Showing posts from September, 2008

When Good Bloggers Get Desperate...

[Edited to add: I love Sue. I am also insanely jealous of her popularity and her funniness. This post is meant to make fun of my jealousy, not of Sue. Apparently I don't write well enough to get that point across without hitting you over the head with it. Got it? Good.]

Okay, I've got a slight problem. You see, Sue over at Navel Gazing has never really forgiven me for winning that Imperfect Parent contest. She has spent the last few months thinking of ways to get me back. And here is her latest ploy: begging readers to favorite her on Technorati. Yeah, in groveling...just to raise her "authority," whatever that is.

That's not all - she's also bribing people to leave comments. 50 dollars, people! As if she doesn't get enough comments already....Boy, she doesn't mess around, does she?

You know, Sue, I'm worried about you. Blogging can be a dangerous thing. At first you're just another homemaker with kids who thinks, &quo…

Love And Marriage...

Well! Things are looking up. I'm feeling better, no one has thrown up (yet), and my husband is still speaking to me, despite our fun weekend of sick wife - jetlagged husband interactions. Of course, what Larry said when he spoke to me was that he is going away on yet another management retreat next week; so now I'm not speaking to him. He'll be coming back on his birthday, and I'm going to be all Cake? What cake? Who are you again?

I wonder if I can send back his birthday present. I'll tell him it went on a permanent retreat.

Because, did I mention, he is going away again after that. Yeah. I really think he doesn't like me anymore.

But, hey, I get to go out tonight, because I am driving the orchestra carpool this week. That translates into 2 and a half hours of sitting around and knitting in peace and quiet while I wait to bring the orchestra kids back home. And I am still immature enough to hope that, if our young ones are going to get sick, they start t…

Doesn't Deserve A Title

My weekend has been full of sickness (me and the kids), jetlag (Larry), ridiculous marital spats (due to the sickness and jetlag), and news from a friend I visited last week that her kids all started throwing up a few hours after we left. So we're operating under Code Vomit right now, catching up on laundry, stocking up on ginger ale, crackers, and pretzels, and generally battening down the hatches for what we know is coming.

Oh, and lack of sleep - did I mention that? Yeah.

I just cannot find any funnies here today. I'm still busy editing photos in case of my untimely demise, ignoring my husband who is absolutely no fun when he is tired (not me, though - I'm a barrel of laughs right now), and trying to remember which kid I gave the Motrin to and when. They are all in various stages of a headache/sore throat type of thing which is apparently only there to soften them up for the stomach virus's knockout blow.

I'm whining. It's pathetic. Why don't you go …

Mortality Beckons...

Well! Where has the time gone? Larry got home Thursday late, but I didn't even get to talk to him until this morning; by the time he got home from work yesterday, I was in bed suffering from the gallstones that I don't have. Or maybe it's not gallstones, maybe it's pancreatic cancer and it's spreading and soon my children will be least, that's what I spent the evening thinking.

Yeah, it's rough being a hypochondriac.

So, I dragged myself out of bed this morning to buy a bushel of apples at the local farmers' market; and then I came home and lay down some more (all the while wondering if my prognosis would give me enough time to catch up on all the scrapbooking) and then I got up and ironed all the summer clothes I haven't ironed in 3 weeks because someone told me it's getting warm again this week, and even if I am dying, I don't want to look like it.

Especially if I'm dying...I don't want to spend my last weeks hear…

As The Food Turns

All you folks linking over from SpinDyeKnit, the post you are looking for is here. But feel free to stick around for the fridge follies. Or type in "knitting" in the search bar up there to the left.

[If you don't understand why I am showing you pictures of moldy food, please read the post that explains it all. After you read it, you still might not understand why I'm doing this (my husband sure doesn't); but at least you can say you tried.]

Okay, let's get started already. You know, that avatar of mine is haunting me. It makes me think, what would Laura Petrie blog? And then things get really weird...

For sure, Laura wouldn't be showing you the inside of her refrigerator, now would she? But today is Wednesday, and I have an obligation to my fan(s) to catalog what is being thrown in the trash this week. So, here we go:

On the left, there, in the Pyrex container (which I love, love, love because it comes with a storage lid) are the remains of our crockpo…

Americans to Wall Street:: "Go To Hell!"

Catchy title, no? I like it. You know, I was doing okay about these investment bankers overextending themselves and - whoops! - sort of upending our entire economy until I heard something on NPR yesterday evening. And, before you start railing about how NPR is just a bunch of liberal hotheads intent on taking down the government, let me tell you that I was listening to Newt Gingrich, who was the Republican Speaker of the House back in the halcyon days of the mid-90's. (And, boy, aren't the days of the Monica Lewinsky scandal starting to look good?)

So, that's a first - I'm agreeing with Newt. In his interview with NPR he pointed out that these captains of the free market have some sort of nerve asking for handouts, not only because a buyout plan is against all the free market principles they have trumpeted whenever someone has tried to regulate their activities; but also because some of these captains have been walking away with salaries in the millions over the …

Monday Already?

Okay, I'm back. My faith in the system was so shattered on Saturday I almost lost the will to live. But the thought of my kids kept me going - who would they whine to if I weren't here? Who would save their egg sandwiches? Who would forget to edit their photos? I came to realize, as I sulked chocolate-less through the day yesterday, that I am essential to my children's lives: they need to be able to blame me for all their problems when they grow up. So, I'm still here.

And, if that's not reason enough to live, there's this:
Yup. Remember that contest a while back? You know, when I nagged everyone for a week to vote for me, because I was hoping I'd end up with a gift card to Amazon or maybe Starbuck's? Looks like the joke's on me. Grandpa and Grandma brought my prize down when they were visiting this weekend. But not before my mother showed it (proudly) to all her friends. Apparently, she has given up hoping I'll get a Pulitzer. Poo…

Corporate Malfeasance

Hershey's Corporation, I want to have a word with you. You know, all the time those Belgium-loving dark chocolate snobs have been raving about the joys of high-priced, fancy European confections, the real Americans among us have refused to be swayed. We have continued buying your Hershey's with Almonds, your Almond Joys, your Reese's, all the while chanting, "U-S-A! U-S-A!" We trusted you, Hershey's; we knew that the chocolate company that had served our grandparents and our parents would know what was best for us, and best for our country...

And you repay our blind trust with this? Replacing the smooth creamy taste of cocoa butter with vegetable oil? How stupid do you think we are? Don't you think we realize there is a lot more at stake here than our own wallets? Do you think we want to see our children growing up and eating inferior chocolate? By then, you'll probably be outsourcing the chocolate production to China; and Lord knows what they…

Remember The...What?

Yesterday I was assigning Brian a page in his American History workbook (this thing here, for 3rd - 5th grades) and I quickly read the assignment first. It was 4 or 5 easy paragraphs on the history of Texas. And I didn't know it. Any of it. Texas belonged to Mexico? Texas was its own independent country at one time? Our taking Texas into the Union precipitated a war with Mexico? Well, knock me over with a feather...

Have I mentioned that I took AP American History in high school? And that I earned a BA in history at a prestigious university? Yeah. Pretty scary, huh?

Homeschooling - it's not just for kids anymore.

As The Food Turns

[If you don't understand why I am showing you pictures of moldy food, please read the post that explains it all. After you read it, you still might not understand why I'm doing this (my husband sure doesn't); but at least you can say you tried.]

It's Wednesday! No, it's Thursday! I went to sleep early last night and never got around to posting. So, sue me. Here is the list of discarded refrigerator items:

1. A small amount of just-expired cole slaw (it would have been a lot more, but I foisted some off on a neighbor yesterday in order to avoid being humiliated today)

2. 2 baby red potatoes which were cooked to perfection in a pot of salted water. I have no idea why these were left over.

3. 1 1/2 egg sandwiches (yes, the tradition continues) (click on that, or you won't be in on the joke, and then all the other kids will laugh at you)

4. One Nalgene bottle (I know they are carcinogenic, leave me alone) with the remnants of some parsley tea I brewed up when I stil…

Laugh 2 Times And Call Me In The Morning

All right, I'm the first to admit that I look for the humor in any given situation; and I appreciate anything that makes me laugh about the current state of politics here in the USofA. Laughter is the best medicine, and all that...

But I hadn't realized I'd been, shall we say, overdosing on this skit until I heard 3-year-old Susie saying proudly to anyone who would listen, "I can see Russia from my house!" I'm just relieved she didn't pick up Hillary's line - "Grow a pair!" - instead.

Health news - the doctor called to say that, according to the lab tests she ordered, there is nothing wrong with me - no gallstones, no gangrene, nada. She was about to hang up, but I managed to delay her by saying, "Wait a sec - there is something wrong - I get sick when I eat fatty foods."

"Well, then you should continue to avoid them," she advised. (8 years of medical school for that?)

"But isn't something causing this problem?&q…

We're Not In Kansas Anymore

My oldest son Theo is currently studying Arabic; so I do my best to keep him apprised on happenings in the Arabic-speaking world. In keeping with this goal, I showed him this article the other day; it discusses a ruling by a Saudi judiciary official concerning the owners of TV networks which broadcast what was deemed "immoral content." I must confess, I was a little surprised when Theo burst out laughing.

"What's so funny?" I asked.

"That," he said, pointing.


"Yeah, where the guy says 'Those calling for corrupt beliefs, certainly it's permissible to kill them.'"

"That's funny?"

"Well, he's joking, right?"

"Actually, no."


Strange Goings On

Okay, some of you are getting a little silly out there. In the comments to my post about my gall bladder (a scintillating read, to be sure), Heather boasted of the 207 gallstones that she had had removed from her body and put in a jar (under your pillow, Heather? Inquiring minds want to know). She offered to show a picture of these stones to any interested parties, and FeistyIrishWench (for reasons unknown to me) begged her to do so (still in my comments section - girls, next time you pass notes, you'll have to share them with the class). So now, if you go here, you all get to see Heather's gallstones.

Who says blogging isn't educational? I bet my fellow homeschoolers out there will be all over this.

In other disgusting news, I think the centipedes in our house are out to get me. I woke up this morning and they were everywhere. One dropped on my arm as I went to open Anna's door; the only upside to that unfortunate incident was that my horrified shrieking proved s…

The H Doesn't Stand For Healthy

In keeping with their plan to make my life go by at an ever increasing pace, my children are already talking about Halloween. Discussions about who is going to wear what costume, and what candy we should hand out, and how much candy they can keep have been rampant; and they take great pains to remind me of candy's importance to the holiday, probably because of the trauma I inflicted upon them about 10 Halloweens ago.

You see, that was the year I decided that home-baked whole-grain carrot muffins (in attractive Halloween-themed muffin papers) would be an excellent, homey addition to our nocturnal visitors' treat bags. So I baked ninety of them. Yup - ninety - I had the zeal of a crusader back then, bringing healthy holiday treats to the masses.

Now Larry, as you all probably know by now, is a wise man who knows better than to argue with his wife when she is on a mission. So when he spotted the bowl of attractively displayed muffins by the front door, he didn't say anythi…

Let Me Tell You How I Really Feel

I took yesterday off. Because I knew if I typed anything, it would be, "Iraq has nothing to do with the War on Terror" over and over and over, in boldface.

And "Stop desecrating the memory of those who died on 9/11 by associating their sacrifice with the war in Iraq" in larger boldface.

And "How come no one is taking responsibility for the biggest foreign policy mistake in American history?" in the largest type of all.

I remember 9/11 all right: I remember the silence in that beautiful blue sky as all planes were grounded, a silence that reverberated with pain and anguish; I remember the funerals that went on for days and weeks; I remember wondering if any of us would ever laugh about anything ever again.

And I remember something else: all that godawful suffering and the fear that it engendered were cynically hijacked for political purposes by the neoconservatives in the current administration. That is what makes me feel sickest of all.

[I didn't feel al…

As The Food Turns

[A few newcomers were puzzled last week; if you don't understand why I am showing you pictures of moldy food, please read the post that explains it all. After you read it, you still might not understand why I'm doing this (my husband sure doesn't); but at least you can say you tried.]

It's Wednesday, the day of the week when Suburban Correspondent flings the doors of her refrigerator open wide and invites the entire world (or, at least, 300 people) to see what has gone bad in her refrigerator lately. It's like a train wreck, folks; you just can't help looking!

Here we go, friends - the throwaways this week. You'll see that we have a few of the regulars with us today - the sacrificial egg sandwich there on the right, the homemade salsa - along with some newcomers to the fold. On the left you see the usual assortment of Gladware (actually, a piece of Tupperware is on the bottom of that pile, a lone survivor from the days when I thought I could actually keep…


1. You would think, knowing how helpful knitters generally are, that someone, upon reading this post a couple of weeks ago, would have e-mailed me posthaste to warn me that, if I'm switching needles midway through a pair of socks, I might want to recheck my gauge on the new needles. But no, I heard nary a warning; so I've been happily knitting away to make a mate for the perfectly sized sock, the sock of my dreams, that I created on those accursed bamboo needles, enjoying the relative ease with which my new metal DPN's slide through my knitted loops, without even suspecting that I was careening toward a knitting disaster.

In short, the second sock is appreciably narrower than the first. I could leave it as is; but then every time I would wear it, I would be reminded, by the discomfort in my left foot, that a mistake had been made. Here I was fantasizing that I could become one of those knitters who actually manages to produce more than one item per year. Alas, that was a…

My Mind's A Blank

[For those of you wandering over from Alice's Wonderland, the post concerning grown children and eating habits is right here.]

Okay, Feisty Irish Wench has handily convinced me to go to the doctor. How? By lobbing the word "gangrene" at my hypochondriac-al self yesterday in the comments. Yup, she regaled me with tales about her father's gangrenous gall bladder, which got that way because he refused to go to the doctor about his gall stones. I get the message, okay? I'm calling tomorrow for an appointment.

But I hope to goodness she was making all that up.

Oh, and many thanks to Julianne, who sent me this handy-dandy website about recycled elephant poop. Who knew? Next time someone gifts me with some pretty stationery made completely of recycled materials, I'll just have to wonder. I let Larry know about the recycled-dung products featured on the site and he exclaimed, "No sh*t!"

I guess I was asking for that.

Home Remedies (Geopolitical and Otherwise)

Today at the commissary I bought "recycled" tissues. Now I'm wondering what that means exactly. It sounds sort of gross, doesn't it?

Daisy felt that my spoof of Governor Palin using mom tactics to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was "...denigrating the Israeli homeland." I take issue with that. I was denigrating the Israelis; I was also denigrating the Palestinians. But I wasn't denigrating the Land of Israel and its Occupied Territories. Which happens to be the homeland not only for Jews but also for numerous Palestinians who stubbornly refuse to just go away. What's wrong with those people, anyway? Can't they take a hint?

[Warning: geopolitical discussion ahead - feel free to skip to the asterisks.]

I agree with Thomas Friedman's line of reasoning on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the Israelis have avoided deciding on a real solution to the problem for over 40 years now, and they are paying the price. You see, in 1967 they…

Ha, Ha, You Still Don't Know How I'm Voting (And Neither Do I)

I'm taking my time posting today, because I just don't think that any of you will be that excited about what I am excited about. Which is, I cleaned off one of my counters that has been covered with junk since I got back from vacation, oh, over 2 weeks ago. Namely, a 2-gallon drink cooler, a 1/2-bushel market basket, scads of gallon-size freezer bags that I keep meaning to reuse, assorted napkins and dishtowels that people insist on leaving there, 2 leftover loot bags from Rachel's party a month ago, and assorted other junk. And you know what? It was downright energizing! I felt empowered!

And now? The counter is covered again. But at least it's different stuff.

Time for a news round-up. First off, good news, fellow hypochondriacs! We've got even more to worry about! That irritating sore in your mouth that's been there a while? It might be cancer! That stiffness in my joints that I was chalking up to middle age? It might be cancer! Isn't that great…

True Love

I stayed up late to listen to McCain's speech (I'm an equal-opportunity convention watcher) with the kids, and now I must scurry off to bed before I walk into my kitchen and see something scurry across the floor. As I did last night. Which brings me to

Reasons I Love My Husband

He always agrees to have "just one more" kid.He didn't drag me up to Maine over Labor Day weekend.He puts up with tripping over knitting bags and yarn stash in the bedroom.I spend all his money and he never complains.When woken at midnight by my decidedly female "Eeek!", he staggers out of bed and sets mousetraps in our kitchen.Before he goes to work, he empties said traps of whatever carcasses may lie therein.If that's not love, what is?

As The Food Turns

It's Wednesday! Time to clean out the refrigerator and start with a clean plate. I mean, slate. Whatever.

I'm not doing too badly, folks. I've been making my kids eat the leftovers more (not cooking helps to facilitate that), and it shows. Sort of. Still, despite my best efforts, on the right there we have 2 Gladware containers of leftover "enchilala duff." (Named by one of our toddlers, can't remember who...) That's black beans, corn, salsa, canned diced tomatoes, and tomato paste, all thrown together in a crock pot and then dished out in taco shells to a semi-appreciative crowd. These particular leftovers must have gotten lost behind something else; otherwise David would have finished them off in lieu of eating our normally carnivorous fare. They are accompanied in the leftover category by a small amount of pot roast (glass dish) that has passed its "eat by" date. Not too bad, not too bad...

Atop the roast is a jar of maraschino cherries a…

It Takes A Mother...

Okay, I've been mulling all this over, and what I think happened is this: originally, the VP selection committee called me, you see; but I wasn't home. One of my teens must have taken the message, and of course I never got it. So the committee had to settle for Governor Palin, right?

But that's okay - Ms. Palin is way more photogenic than I am. How does she pull off that sexy schoolmarm look, anyway? Will someone tell me, please?

It does look as though the Republicans have figured out that to achieve, say, a settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, they don't need some politician who doesn't know squat about making people get along; they need, instead, someone who has spent at least 15 years forcing her children to coexist somewhat peaceably. I can picture Ms. Palin sitting down with those recalcitrant Middle Easterners now:

Ms. Palin: Okay, fellas, what seems to be the problem here?
Mahmoud Abbas: Well, they started it; they came in and took our land …

Sock It To Me

I've been wondering why I can never find a matched pair of socks for Susie when I need it. Well, the mystery has been solved. I excavated her sock/underwear drawer and analyzed what I found - 2 lonely pairs (over there on the left) and 17 single socks: 6 pink, 4 purple, 3 green, 2 yellow, and 2 white (with lace cuffs). All completely different from each other.

Tell me, how is it possible for a 3-year-old child to already own more than a dozen mismatched socks? Where do the mates go? It is conundrums like this that eat away at my soul, bit by bit, until there is nothing left of me but a half-crazed woman roaming the aisles at Target, searching fruitlessly for a pack of all-white little girl socks.

Fruitlessly, I say, because you cannot buy a whole bunch of socks in the same color. You have to buy them in packages of 6, and heaven forbid that you should be able to find a package that has less than 4 different colors in it. So you buy the assorted colors, and when some socks di…