Showing posts from June, 2009

Three Things

A word of advice to any cheating husbands who profess to want to save their marriages: stop talking about how much you love the other woman. It doesn't help.

What's up with all that, anyway? Why does Governor Sanford insist on sharing his feelings with the press? How besotted can one guy be? Has he doodled his and his paramour's initials on his desk in the South Carolina State House yet?


I can't tell you how disturbing it is to me to realize that every single day disgruntled parents are Googling "ungrateful grown children." How do I know that there are so many people dissatisfied with their adult offspring's behavior? Because this post comes up first. They all come here, these Ghosts of Parenting Future, not realizing that I cannot help them.

Go away - please. You're scaring me.


Today I had to submit an invoice detailing what I had done on my new job so that I could be paid. Imagine if I could do that with my full-t…

On Top Of Spaghetti....

Okay, appliance verses tomorrow - I've got a headache this evening, so it's too hard to do all that cutting and pasting right now.

Why is it that, the minute I sit down to write a dinner menu for the 2 (or 3, or 4) weeks ahead, I can't remember any meals in my repertoire?

Yesterday, prior to my commissary trip, I was attempting to remember what the heck I cook for dinner every night; when I asked the kids to name their favorite meals, Larry kept chiming in with "Spaghetti!"

Around about the 7th or 8th time, I tried to set him straight:

Spaghetti is not an entree. Spaghetti is one part of an entree. Stop saying spaghetti!

(Sounding hurt) I was just trying to help.

Do you really think that writing "spaghetti" on this calendar makes it a meal? Spaghetti is just white flour. You can't serve white flour for dinner.

Well, you can serve it with something else.


I don't know.

Sheesh - for a man who can make his own pizzelles, he's acting awfully …


[Welcome, Women's Colony readers! If you'd like to read more about what I've learned as the mother of a teen daughter, just check out this post, or maybe this one...or, hey! Here's another one! Of course, I like to take my mind off my teen every once in a while by writing instead about vomit, or plumbing, or....well, why don't you just make yourselves at home and look around? There's sure to be something to please everyone. Excuse the mess - we've just gone through a little remodel here.]

Ta-da! I swear, if I had that orange header one more minute, I may have had to quit blogging. You know how you can go along and go along and go along with your same old hair style; and then one day you wake up and realize that you will vomit if you see yourself looking like that one more day?

No? Oh.

Anyway, that's how I felt about my blog layout. Plus, I was hankering after a 3-column set-up and Blogger didn't have any in its free templates. Lucky for me, D…

For Better Or For Verse

Larry and Theo returned last night in time for dinner; and Larry made a point of grabbing me and giving me a kiss when he came in. Sweet?

I think not. The man came home with some mystery virus that kept him feverish and asleep on the couch all evening. He claims he didn't realize he was sick until halfway through dinner. I think he was trying to exact revenge for being made to sleep on a schoolroom floor for a week with a bunch of teenagers while I reveled in the comforts of home.

But that's all right - I'm no slouch at revenge myself (18 years of marriage will do that to you). I forgot to put Susie's diaper on last night, which negligence resulted in her peeing all over him at 5 this morning.

Larry changed and relocated (grumpily) to the couch while I dealt with changing Susie and stripping the bed. As I was contemplating what to do about the wet mattress, Susie (who was standing next to me) provided her assessment of the situation. "We have a problem here,…

Because I Would Not Shop In Debt...

Another comment from Cheri@BlogThisMom (and why don't I just hand this whole blog over to her, while I'm at it?):

Why stop now? I challenge your other readers to do some blender Browning, oven Plath, microwave Cummings, and perhaps even some BBQ Frost. This could be fun.
"oven Plath"? Is Cheri one sick puppy or what? I love it.

Elizabeth suggested "Stopping By My Freezer on a Snowy Evening." How about the rest of you? Send in your submissions (hopefully more than a title, maybe a first verse?) for our all-new appliance poetry slam; prizes not guaranteed, as I am the most unreliable blogger ever.


Larry and Theo are away all week, working on other people's houses (have I mentioned that already? Do I sound bitter, or what?); I took advantage of Larry's absence to hold another Pampered Chef fundraiser at my house. I figured, so long as he was gone, he couldn't possibly sabotage my efforts like last time.

[Again, newbies, click…

Poetry Slam

Cheri at Blog This Mom commented yesterday on the death of my dishwasher:

Any KitchenAid death diminishes me, because my dishes are in this model too, and therefore never send to know for whom the repairman tolls; it tolls for thee.

My apologies to John Donne.

Apparently I am not the only one who waxes poetic over household appliances.



As recorded previously on this blog, almost 2 years ago I gave my heart to my KitchenAid dishwasher, with its sleek stainless steel interior; its roomy racks that held everything from dinner plates to 6-qt pots uncomplainingly; its silverware basket tucked demurely to the side, out of the way but useful. For almost 2 years it's been a part of my life, and repairman has advised me to move on.

It's over, he said; go to BestBuy and find a new machine, ma'am, one that won't break your heart.

How can I be that callous? For me, a relationship with an appliance is a serious thing, a commitment even (just hush up about that little frost-free fling I had in February, all right?). How can I turn my back on an appliance that served me well for almost 2 years, washing my dishes (and drying them - without bickering) twice a day? Oh, yes, there was that rough spot when it refused to latch shut - but we got past that. I learned to forgive and forget, never rea…

Too Trivial To Be Censored

Just so you know... if you ever have an appliance repairman in your house (a long-awaited appliance repairman) and he says to you, "Excuse me, ma'am? We have a problem"....

You have a problem. Particularly if the appliance in question is a dishwasher and there are two meals worth of dirty dishes waiting on the counter because today is the day that the dishwasher is going to be fixed so why bother washing them by hand?

Yup - I jinxed myself.


I think that Larry will find it hard to criticize my blogging habit as a waste of time anymore - that is, not if he believes in the fight against political oppression and the importance of democratic values. Check out this doozy of an article in The New York Times. Here's a sample (boldface emphasis is mine):

As it happens, Mr. Zuckerman said, the Iranian government’s censorship task has been made harder because there is a thriving blogging communitythere...

...there is something satisfying about a country bei…


I was surprised to wake up this morning to a bright sunny day. So surprised that I thought it might deserve a mention on my blog, something along the lines of "Today was notable in that it didn't rain."

[Yes, it's strange - nay, pathetic, even - that I start composing blog posts first thing in the morning, before I even get out of bed. I don't want to talk about it.]

But then it rained. Again. It's been raining a lot. Every single day, actually...

So! We live on a golf course. This morning I saw a bunch (a school? a club? a clutch?) of golfers who were determined to get their Father's Day round of golf in. They were very wet.

Besides being Father's Day, today is also my birthday. (Like how I buried the lead?) Because Larry and Theo had to leave this morning for a week of work camp, Larry skipped work Friday to take us blueberry picking, just like last year; unlike last year, however, no one pooped in her pants while we were thus employed. Prog…


Conversation Larry and I had this morning:

Wow! Look at that rain!
Coming down in buckets - amazing!
No pool today, that's for sure...
Conversation I wish we had had:

Wow! Look at that rain!
Hey! Did you by some freak chance leave the sliding door open on your brand-new, not-yet-paid-for minivan?
(Slapping forehead) I did! I'm running out there to close it right now, before it's too late!

Sigh...suggestions for drying out a car's interior, anyone?

Food, Exciting and (Not) New....

I am devastated. I wrote a witty first paragraph here and discovered, when I went to link something to a previous fridge post, that I had written almost the exact same witticisms 4 months ago.

In other words, I'm all washed up. Next thing you know, I'll be appearing on The Loveboat.

So let's just get on with it, shall we?

Readers will note that I am once again segregating glass and plastics. I don't know why. Old habits die hard, I guess.

Strike that - I've made that joke before, too.

On the left, from bottom to top:
Mexican chicken with black beans - we love this meal. Everyone eats it. But it disappeared toward the back of the fridge (as I've stated before, refrigerators are built too deep) and now it is past its prime. Hasta la vista! (Did that sentence make sense? I don't speak Spanish.)
Enchilala Duff - everyone used to love this. I don't know what happened.Leftover sloppy joes - see #1Leftover skillet lasagna - this one is probably a candidate …

She Works Hard For The Money...

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled subjects. It's raining today, and...


Oh, that! That ad-looking type thing over to there to the left? That Blogher ad, in fact? Do you think it sticks out too much? I wasn't too sure what to do about the code, and then I...


Oh. Oh, yes, I guess I did make fun of all the Blogher convention fuss last year, didn't I? Well...heh, heh...what are a few jokes among friends, right?

Excuse me?

No, I'm not a hypocrite; let's not be self-righteous prigs with the name-calling here, all right? It's a simple business relationship - Blogher puts its ads in my sidebar; people visit; I get paid money. You don't even have to click on the ad, and I still get paid! Isn't America great?

How much money? Well, I hate to boast here, but I might even be able to pull down close to 30 dollars a month. Yup - that works out to approximately a dollar a day - what a great way to make money! Tell all your friends!

Larry was quick…

Taking Care Of Those Who Serve

It's funny, how we Americans argue back and forth about the merits of government v private enterprise. Do we ever consider that either way, things are being run by flawed human beings? Could it perhaps be true that the human race is terminally incompetent? A sobering thought indeed...

Take, for instance, Mary Alice's dilemma - a military wife, in quasi-military housing. You see, a number of years ago, some people decided that military housing might be more efficiently managed if it were privately run. This made sense to many of us who have resided in military housing, in a system that could be, let's say, unresponsive - dilatory - inefficient. "Hey," we thought, "it couldn't be worse! Let's give that profit motive idea a try!"

As a result, many housing areas were essentially auctioned off to the highest bidder who agreed to maintain the houses to a certain standard. In turn, that bidder would receive the occupant's housing allowance a…

Don't Forget To Buckle In

Shannon, of Rocks in My Dryer, is talking about parenting advice at (where else?) today. So I started thinking, what was the best parenting advice I received? There were all the nitty-gritty details, of course: sleep when the new baby sleeps, freeze extra dinners on the weekend, don't neglect your spouse....the list goes on and on.

But, really, the best advice was one sentence spoken to me (by an experienced dad of 4, of course) when I was only 3 months pregnant with my first child. "Don't expect everything to be perfect," he said.

Don't expect everything to be perfect? Well, of course I wouldn't do that! What a nonsensical thing to say. I filed his advice in that section of my brain where I store other useless info and forgot about it.

It took 4 kids and 10 years for that valuable piece of advice to resurface. It took a decade of dealing with fussy babies and dirty diapers and screaming tantrums; a decade of watching, helplessly, as laundr…

Parenting Ain't A Cakewalk

What? You don't recognize it? I'll give you a hint - it was David's birthday. Now do you see it? No?

Yeah, well I don't either. David was attempting to create (in the admittedly difficult medium of cupcakes) a replica of a Saturn 5 rocket atop his cake. He apparently takes after me in decorating skills, poor dear.

And if you knew how long it took me to get that picture on here, you'd be disgusted. Almost as long as it took to make the cake, all right?

It tasted good though. Totally wrecked my diet.


Job? What job? Am I supposed to be working right now? Bummer.


I received my annual parenting shot in the arm today at our local homeschool conference. That's right, Dr. Ray Guarendi was once more on hand to remind me that

I am the parent.
It is MY house.
It is MY computer.
It is MY television.
It is MY cellphone.

Sometimes I just forget the basics, you know? You can click on that link if you need a refresher. Or go to his website


Gosh, I would love to post something right now; but I'm too busy having a nervous breakdown. I don't understand what my new supervisor at my new wonderful job is asking me to do. Picture that Far Side cartoon where all the dog can understand his owner saying is his name (I'm the dog); I am expecting her to tell me to please go away any time now.

My little girls are bored and I can't fix that. So they spend their time irritating each other (and me): "Stop humming! Stop humming that! Stop it!" yells Rachel. "Hmmmmmmmm," says Susie. On and on and on and on...

I was supposed to do a fridge clean-out post, but Larry went and emptied out all the containers I had neatly stacked by the sink and washed them and dried them and put them away. How dare he?

Now Susie doesn't like what we are having for lunch. Any of it. She is rolling around on the floor by my computer chair and moaning, "I'm hungry." On and on and on and on...

We ar…

She's Leaving, On A Jet Plane...

Anna left on her excellent European vacation today.

Take that, any readers who think we are just so mean to our daughter, by the way...

Yesterday Anna and I managed to get through the suitcase purchase and the shoes-suitable-for-walking-through-European-cities purchase without any blood spilled whatsoever. It was amazing. I began to fantasize that maybe things were getting better between us; maybe, just maybe, she could actually stand being around me. What brought me back to reality was watching her put her packed suitcases in our friend's car (aka the escape vehicle). I swear, I never saw her move so fast.

I made her come back for a good-bye hug, though.

Oh, and you want to hear something amazing? Unlike every other grown person alive, Anna doesn't need to floss her teeth. Ever. Really! She told me so. Isn't that great?

I made her pack the floss anyway. Because I'm an annoying old lady with nothing better to do than harass my teen daughter. It's sad, real…

Rest Assured, It's All About Me

I received a couple of comments on this post from a couple of days ago expressing worry that I am not being fair to my Anna. Ilana, in particular, worries that I am cultivating such a wall of resentment against my daughter that, even when/if she should attempt to reconcile with us (as she matures), I will not be able to meet her halfway.

Apparently, Ilana never read this post. That experience taught me that - hard as it is for my present-day self to believe - when/if Anna returns as a delightful young woman, I will welcome her with open arms. And I qualify that statement with an "if" only because I know women who, although they did mature into fine adults, never really wanted to reconnect with their parents. It happens, folks - so I am a trifle guarded in my expectations.

Truly, I empathize with Anna (but I don't tell her that, because she loathes hearing it). I remember feeling the way she does, wanting to be grown-up and independent and in control of my own life and …

Presents of Mind

Larry called me from work the other day.

"Hi, honey! Did a package arrive today?"

"A package? No," I said. I couldn't help thinking, What a romantic! He's already ordered me something for my birthday and he can't wait to find out what I think of it!

"Well, if it shows up, call me and I'll come home to get it. It's for this woman's farewell luncheon at work."

"Oh." What about my birthday, buddy? "I thought you were giving her that other thing that arrived yesterday."

"Yeah, we're giving her that one, too."

"So...did you get me anything?"

"You? Um,, I didn't. I told you, this is a work thing."

"You mean you were online ordering all these presents for another woman and you never once thought, Gee, maybe I should order my wife a little something while I'm at it?"

Give Larry some credit - he can think on his feet.

"Of course I wanted to get you something, …

Mothers And Daughters (And Toilets)

Anna and I had an animated discussion (late) last evening on the various methods of properly cleaning a toilet. I explained that merely waving the Lysol wipe in the general vicinity of said toilet is not effective, as evidenced by the mold growing underneath the seat. Anna was...shall we say...not receptive to this theory. Things deteriorated from there. You moms of teen girls can picture it, right?

This sort of encounter was nothing new, by the way. When (2 1/2 years ago) I first gave Anna the job of doing a daily, 2-minute powder room wipe-down, she was - to put it mildly - incensed. "Oh," she said. "And I suppose that means that you'll just do nothing!"

[Yes, I did laugh. Wouldn't you?]

So Anna came downstairs this morning, apologized (hey, she had a flute lesson she wanted to go to that day), and then....get this...she hugged me. What's up with that?

[I can tell you when she last hugged me. It was September of 2006.]

I posited that it was temp…

Time For The Swimsuit Competition!

Hey, menfolk? Go away. Just...go, okay? This is Ladies' Night.

Are they gone? Good. Because they can't understand. Do you realize that men never have a bad hair day? They never "feel fat"? They don't suck in their stomachs every time they walk past a mirror?

It's as if they are a different species, you know?

So, today was the day. That once-a-year day of reckoning. It was hot. It was sunny. And the kids were begging me, "Let's go to the pool! We haven't been there yet!"

That's right, we hadn't gone to our particular Mecca of summer fun just yet. Because I was dreading that first wearing of the swimsuit, dreading pulling it on and observing yet again that, though it is of the modest variety (thank you, Lord, for tankinis with skirted bottoms!), it can never be modest enough. It can't cover the bulging varicose veins in my calves, it can't hide the wrinkles above my knees. Yet I am required to walk around in it in fu…

Still Here, Just Lazy...

Who says knitting can't be relevant to our current economic situation? Check out this story on knitting's potential to bring peace of mind to the newly unemployed. All you non-knitters? Watch out. We are taking over the world.

Now I'm just waiting for our venerable First Lady to pick up those needles, during one of those interminable state dinners, say...


Speaking of Mme Michelle, does she have a blog? No? Why not? She's got a chef and a maid and a babysitter - so it's definitely not a time issue. Maybe she's afraid she wouldn't get enough Followers. C'mon, Michelle! We're all waiting for it -! Can't you all picture it?

I don't care if he is the POTUS - I'm not going to pick up his underwear from the bathroom floor.

Sneaked down to the kitchen for some of that great pie late last night and was caught...damn Secret Service...

Don't know if I can go another 3 whole years without yelling …