Showing posts from March, 2010

Oh, To Be In England...

My friend Carol, never one to take things lying down, left a lengthy comment after I accused her and her beloved of being, shall we say, a bit challenged in finding an obvious landmark where she has lived for at least 15 years. She began with a nod to Candice, the one commenter who had confessed to her own difficulties in this area:

Thank you, Candice, for your support.Before I address Suburban Correspondent's unprovoked attack, I must agree with her about the garlic sauce. Unbelievable. It was a masterly melding of the garlic and yogurt into a beautiful marriage of flavors -- not a marriage of convenience, mind you, but of unbridled passion -- juxtaposed with a whipped texture that filled the condiment cup like delightful, garlicky giggles. Oh, that the flavor could linger as long as the memories.

As for the mall: we found the mall. We just couldn't find the restaurant. The fact that we made it at all is a testament to Human Will. And we more than made up for ou…

I Heart Science

Sometimes there are scientific findings that restore my faith in the essential rightness of the universe. This one, for example...

Can you believe it? Eating a dose of chocolate every single day can lower my risk of heart attack and stroke. Sure, the article says that a mere quarter of an ounce is necessary to produce these health benefits; but if chocolate the size of a little foil-wrapped Easter egg is good for me, wouldn't an entire bag of those eggs be even better?

I'm on it.

[photo courtesy of]


And for those of you parents who agonize over the benefits/disadvantages of video games, here is a scintillating discussion (courtesy of The Onion) on whether violent video games are adequately preparing kids for the post-Apocalyptic world.

Make sure to check out the comment section. Apparently there are people out there who do not understand satire.

With Friends Like This...

In the comments yesterday, my friend Carol took me to task for not giving you more details of our dinner out together. For some reason she wants me to share how I completely lost control of myself while sampling the garlicky yogurt dip that came with the shish kebab. Maybe she didn't like watching me lick the bowl...

In my defense, the yogurt was not merely garlicky, it had become one with the garlic. It was a religious experience, I tell you.

I won't even mention here that Carol and her husband arrived at the restaurant late, even though they used both MapQuest and GPS to guide them. You know how hard it is to find a prominent indoor just blends into the background...

(She doesn't even have a blog of her own to defend herself on. Guest post, Carol?)


If the spirit so moves you, head on over to Suburban Matron and drop an encouraging note. She has her mastectomy tomorrow (Tuesday). She's being a lot braver about this than I would ever be.

Twitter, Explained - And IKEA - 2 Posts In 1!

Congratulations, Bloggess! Thanks to your post, I finally get the appeal of Twitter. For those of you unaware of the Zombie Apocalypse, I suggest you click on that link now. Who knew that getting your brains eaten by the undead could be so amusing?


Larry and I went out to dinner tonight with 2 other couples. We all left our children (15 total) to fend for themselves. I highly recommend this activity to other long-suffering parents. Just first make sure your fire insurance is up-to-date...


I set a new low-purchase record at IKEA today - 5 dollars (not counting the bags of frozen meatballs, of course). And I saved Larry an additional 1500 dollars by not bringing home the bedroom furniture I was eyeing. But please! Do not give me any credit for thrift - the longed-for bed frame and dressers were just too heavy to load into the cart by myself.

When I told Larry about my foiled expenditure, he paled visibly, a reaction which speaks to his incredibly charming…

A Word To The Wise

I have no idea why someone Googling "easter cupcake ideas" would land on my blog....I mean, unless there are those among us that feel that a volcano cake is appropriate for our spring festivities...

And in the News You Can Use category, this article tells us that Up to a third of breast cancer cases in Western countries could be avoided if women ate less and exercised more, researchers at a conference said Thursday, renewing a sensitive debate about how lifestyle factors affect the disease.
So, if y'all excuse me, I think I'll put this box of Girl Scout cookies away and get off my computer-sitting rear end for a bit...

Enjoy your weekend!

7 Quick Takes Friday: 7 Questions

Why does my husband think that "in the den, next to the computer desk" is the appropriate place to store his kite collection?


How old do human offspring have to be before they can forage for food on their own?


For you homeschooling moms out there: Is 2nd grade really necessary? It seems to have slipped through the cracks around here.


Who invented the asterisk? And why?


Is it right to be jealous of the commenter who came up with the joke I wish I had made yesterday? Hats off to Murr Brewster, who opined that "A machine-gun carrying chicken in Starbucks would be all right."

Why do people repeat things that they have not investigated the veracity of? For example, the oft-repeated canard that we have just experienced a "government takeover of health care"? The government's establishment of health insurance exchanges for privately-run, for-profit health insurance co…

Sound Effects Mania

Walking into the den this morning to investigate the source of loud whistling (Why, yes, I am irritable - why do you ask?), I happened upon David saying to Brian, "Okay, now do a whistling cow being sneaked up on by a chicken...with a machine gun..."

That, my friends, is how I know my children are listening to way too much Prairie Home Companion.

(Start listening at 1:45:19 to fully understand what I am hearing around here almost nonstop lately)

How come experts never warn about the effects of too much radio-listening on kids, huh? I mean, a machine-gun-carrying chicken? Shouldn't I be worried?

Acting Like An Adult (For Once)

Sigh. Really, I've had this happen before. I forgot Susie's nighttime diaper last night and she wet our bed.

[Yes, she still comes into our bed. By the time you have 6 kids, you don't care anymore. Not much, anyway...]

And as we all know, in this sort of situation Larry gets up and tries to look alert while I clean up the damage. But last night? I managed to strip the 2/3 of our bed that Larry wasn't sleeping on, rub baking soda into the offending spot, strip Susie, and wash and redress her - all without his waking up. In fact, he snored through the whole thing, despite my efforts to be as noisy as possible. Somehow I resisted hitting him with Susie's pee-soaked puppy-dog pajamas. It was tempting, though.

Maybe 19 years of marriage can be a maturing experience, after all...

Flattery Won't Even Get You Cookies

No real post tonight - I'm still sulking about those Reuben sandwiches...

I made the kids grilled cheese tonight, and Brian still cried. But he choked down half a sandwich so that he could try the Milano cookies a neighbor brought over (to sabotage my weight-loss efforts, no doubt). Then he discovered he doesn't like Milano cookies. So he cried again. I'm just glad he didn't vomit up the sandwich in retribution.


I'm not speaking to Larry, because - in an obsequious (and ineffective) attempt to flatter me - he said, "Wow, I really appreciate your doing the dishes the past few days."

The past few days? The past few DAYS? Try 10 months, honey...and counting...

The Road To Hell...

I made a terrible mistake today. I don't know what came over me, really. But Larry took all the kids out kite-flying and picnicking all afternoon (and no, you cannot have him - he's mine!); and I was feeling so refreshed from being able to clean the bathrooms and do my taxes in blessed peace and quiet, I decided to make everyone a special dinner tonight.

Reubens. Honest-to-goodness Reuben sandwiches.

I've been meaning to make these for going on 20 years now; but I have never had all the necessary ingredients in the house at the same time. Imagine my surprise, then, to discover that not only did I have the sauerkraut (unexpired), the rye bread (essential), and the swiss cheese (small miracle); but, lo and behold, there was an entire cooked corned beef in my refrigerator. (Don't ask - massive St. Patrick's Day fail around here...)

[I consider it no small coincidence that this marvelous confluence of events occurred on the selfsame day as the House's passage of t…

Exercise Hoodies Quicken Weight Loss

Not really - I was just trying to find a theme here...

Took Anna to Target and bought her clothes. What else is new? I went through her closet the other week - if the nation ever faces a hoodie shortage, we are prepared.

David and Larry bicycled all day. Larry realized that he is getting out of shape. I guess his plan of exercising on all federal holidays isn't the best one. That's why I just don't bother.

This Weight Watchers thing has become a sort of rite of spring for me. Last year, and the year before...and now this year. I love traditions. All the weight I need to lose (again) is sitting on my stomach and my bust. I resemble an Easter Egg on legs. It's not a good look.

Told you! No theme...

7 Quick Takes Friday: The Spousal Grudge Edition

I was complaining to a friend today that my husband is once again going to a really neat place on business, while I stay home with the kids. And she said, "No problem - I'll stay here and watch your kids! You'd be crazy not to go, too." I greeted Larry with this exciting news when he walked in the door, asking him how much airline tickets to Europe cost and what sort of a hotel were we staying in, babbling on and on about how lucky I was. People! I haven't even been on an airplane since 1994!

Whereupon Larry pointed out that I do not have a current passport. And you generally cannot procure one in less than 2 weeks....



Yesterday's post is gone. Larry the Censor did not like the reference to conjugal relations. He doesn't care that the joke doesn't work without it. I explained to him that, since we are married, it is okay for people to know we have sex. He doesn't agree.

I typed that just to bug him. It will probably be …

Party Of The First Part

I settled down to work tonight, first reading a (rare) email sent to me by my highly intelligent supervisor. It contained instructions for a new task. She wrote it as though it were in English and could be understood by anyone. Or at least by yours truly, who has been working on her stuff for the past 9 months....

I did okay until the second part. (And now I'm thinking..."The party of the second part and the party of the first part...") Part 2 involves creating a table or spreadsheet. I'm not up with that. I'm essentially a monkey who can type. Somehow, she has yet to figure that out.

So I'm writing this post instead. When in doubt, blog.

I hope that link up there works (you may need to log in to Facebook first) - it's a classic. What are waiting for? Go! There's nothing to see here but a puzzled primate scratching her head...

[Photo credit to the Ephemerist]

Armed And Dangerous

phdwithninekids just twittered, "Do you know the way to san jose? (ok, I'm dating myself...but at least I don't know the rest)"
Well, I knew the rest. And now I'm sitting here, grooving to Dionne Warwick while the rest of the family (sans Larry) is still a-snooze in their beds, thanks to that mind game of a time change yesterday.

While you attempt to get your day started an hour late, enjoy!


Oh, and for anyone interested in a feisty discussion on Mommy Bloggers (a title I, for one, wear with pride), head on over to this post at Motherlode and check out those comments. Weird baggage alert! Some of these folks have serious issues with people of the mothering/blogging variety. According to these naysayers, tomorrow's headlines will read, "Large Packs of Feral Children Roaming the US; Blogging Mothers Haven't Noticed."

Alice Bradley (of Finslippy) takes them all to task in her comment on page 2. But really - read them all.…

The Horror! The Horror!

Wow - I've just become Exhibit A in the Icine forum topic "Things That Are Terrifying #451: Mommy Bloggers".

Context is needed, but not given, by this author - herself a mommy blogger. Her genteel tone when talking about all this is elevated to all the more horrifying by the realities of being a mommy blogger.

The horrifying post? This tongue-in-cheek jeu d'esprit, written over 2 years ago. Would it shock the person who linked to it to know that I have at least double that number of blogs in my reader now? And should I be flattered that she considers my tone "genteel"?

Stinkbugs And Mousies And Ants, Oh My!

Well! That purchase of a brand-spanking-new Toyota minivan last year isn't looking so smart anymore, is it? You know, nothing adds a certain frisson to the driving experience so much as wondering if your car is going to stop when you want it to. Sort of Russian Roulette on the Road, you know?

It's still a great car to knit in, though. And what else matters?


I know you folks haven't heard a lot from me on the mouse front lately; but fear not, that isn't because mice no longer stop by around here. Oh, no, our house remains a popular vacation spot for any rodents looking to come in out of the wet and the cold. Of course, it hasn't helped that Larry decided to provide them with a continental breakfast special by storing the bird seed inside the house. PETA would have been proud of him.

Dealing with these pests over so many years has toughened me somewhat; I no longer scream and threaten arson the minute I discover mouse droppings in my kitchen cab…

Spare Parts R Us

My friend (you know, the mayo-giving one who doesn't bother to read my posts) called me today.

"Did Larry get the dishwasher hooked up right?" she asked.
"So you actually read my blog?"
"Yeah, I read it. Is it hooked up?"
"Actually, no - he hasn't had time to look at it."

[Significant pause]

"So, now you have 2 broken dishwashers in your house?"

Well, yes. That's one way to put it. Thanks.

[Picture courtesy of HowStuffWorks]

I'll Drink To That

Sometimes? It's easy to believe that all is right with the world.

Now excuse me while I drink my way back down to a size 6...

[Photo credit: Lars Klove for The New York Times]

Can't We All Get Along?

Homemaker Man has suggested that I solve all my appliance problems by putting ice in the non-working dishwasher and using it as overflow for my overcrowded refrigerator. Jillybean chimed in with the suggestion to leave the skanky Pyrex dishes in the garage. I don't have a garage; but she made me realize I could have left them in the minivan with the pizza. I mean, if it stays cold out...

Isn't that what's great about the blogosphere? Someone, somewhere, has an answer.

It's too bad someone doesn't have an answer for our beloved Mrs. G of The Women's Colony, who has run into some pretty heavy blogging weather of late. Myself being a person who winces at any comment that falls even a millimeter short of warmly supportive, I can't imagine how she has managed to withstand the barrage of hate comments, flaming emails, and threatening phone calls that has been unleashed upon her this week.

And why? Because she's not Christian enough. Heavens, people - bef…

Beware What You Wish For...

First, a round of applause for my devoted husband. Larry woke up early this morning just to install our brand-new used dishwasher as a surprise for me. I came downstairs to the sweet sound of its gurgling rinse cycle. Yes, I had doubted him. But I am willing to eat crow on this one, since I don't have to wash the dirty plate by hand.

It was a beautiful, hope-filled morning. I danced around the kitchen like Snow White cleaning up after the seven dwarfs. I loaded the breakfast dishes into the dishwasher. I loaded the lunch dishes, too. While the dishwasher ran through its cycle, I emptied out my refrigerator and cleaned all the shelves, happy in the knowledge that all the nasty-smelling storage dishes I unearthed would be washed later in my marvelous machine. I took down my beautiful dish-drying rack and stowed it under the sink. I scrubbed its drip pan and stowed that, too. Hello, 21st-century!

But wait! Was that a puddle forming in front of my newly-acquired appliance? …

Topless Tobogganers and Other Stuff

MSNBC has been kind enough to gather together weird news for bored people like myself. (Let's not wonder how the mother of 6 kids who homeschools, knits in her spare time, and has a part-time job can be bored. I agree, it makes no sense.) The headline "Second Annual Topless Toboggan Race Begins" caught my eye tonight. There's even a video.

Tis a strange and wonderful world we live in.


Today Larry brought home a free used dishwasher. It is now ensconced in a corner of my dining room. Shall we take bets on when it will actually be operational? Because, although my husband has the best of intentions, I'm not optimistic. I suppose I could use it as a sort of serving table at parties. Or maybe a toboggan...


I got a very pretty haircut on Thursday. Long-time readers (if I have any) will know what that means. It means that for the past 3 nights I have had head-lice nightmares. I'm thinking I might need some medication …

In Which I Make Fun Of Rich Folks' Problems

[Welcome to this humble blog, Stumblers! For more hard-hitting (ahem) reporting on the alarming trend of wealth making you stupid, go here. Or here .]

This New York Times article discussing the increasing use of occupational therapists to teach young children how to write makes it apparent that, like many of the academic ailments we ascribe to our children these days, the current scourge of "dysgraphia" is most likely due to the unfortunate collision of normal child development and too-high academic expectations.

Wait! Make that the unfortunate collision of normal child development, too-high academic expectations and an extraordinary amount of disposable income, as is apparent from another quote in the same article:

“Even with the economy like it is, the hottest question when we socialized at our country house this summer was not what country club do you belong to, but who is your child’s O.T. back in the city. And how can I get an appointment?”
Let's see…