Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ch-ch-ch-changes...

It's a unique experience to have your older children move out on their own. I could wax melancholy about the myriad of memories I have of each of them. For instance at my second (and last!) wedding, my then five year old daughter came running full tilt down the aisle carrying a piece of wedding cake, intent on showing it to me while I and my wedding party were in the midst of having pictures taken. At the exact moment the photo was taken, my daughter tripped and flew in our classic, extremely "graceful" style, on her belly sliding a few feet across the wedding cake that fell under her. I have an amazing photo of my entire wedding party with our mouths wide open shouting, "oh no!" all at the same time. That's a great memory. Or there's the old family story of the time my eldest son was around three years old and my mother had explained to him during his bath that the little appendage between his legs was his "penis", then later that evening, as he and his sister and my parents were gathered around the fire pit roasting marshmallows, my dad asked my son if he would like some peanuts and my son got this horrified look on his face thinking my dad had just asked him if he would like some "penises". Another terrific memory.

I've spent the two years since my eldest son moved out getting used to the fact that while I may still be mom, I'm no longer a driving force in his life. I am no longer entitled to an opinion that actually carries some weight in terms of his actions and future. So when my daughter moved out two months ago, it wasn't nearly as hard to accept as when her brother flew the coop. I still have to remember when speaking to my beloved children that while they will always be my babies, they don't generally appreciate it when I tell them what to do. I would like to think that they will always value my advice and my ability to relate to much of what they have experienced and will likely experience in their future, but I really have to work on figuring out exactly what my new role entails. Occasionally they still call and ask my opinion, but when they tell me a story or a situation, I have to practice keeping my opinions to myself. Really, I do. Anyone who knows me personally is likely cracking up at my expense. However I would like to point out, that while I have a terrible habit of telling people what to do, I do it with the best of intentions! Okay, I'm ready to admit that this isn't the most attractive of my many attributes. I'll work on it. Happy now?

Back to the changes in our household. When my daughter moved out two months ago, it was exactly three days before I realized that no one had fed the dog. It was two weeks before it occurred to me that the guest bath hadn't been cleaned. I'm also relatively certain that after two and a half weeks, if my youngest son hadn't thought to go check the mail, the mailman would likely have had the police come to the house just to make sure we were in fact still alive! So caught up was I in working through the emotional implications of yet another child spreading her wings, it just didn't occur to me that a redistribution of chores might be a good plan. Got it. I'm happy to report that the animals are now being fed on a daily basis, I've taken over washing the dishes after dinner, and our youngest is now responsible for cleaning his bathroom and checking the mail. Sheesh... who knew?

Witty quip of the day: If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours; if they don't they never were.~Richard Bach. However, if they come back, eat your food, borrow your stuff, tell you stories intended to shock you, and ask for money, they're probably your children and happily you're stuck with them for life!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Who knew?

So here's something fabulous: since I took the time to not only pre-plan all of my meals and snacks for the day but also to recorded them all on the My Nutrition section of Sparkpeople.com, when my coworkers returned from the off site BBQ and brought me a plate (sans meat of course!) I was able to adjust my plan for the day, remove a couple of items and add in a couple of tasty treats and STILL come in well under my max calories for the day. Oh and get this: that included a small piece of German Chocolate Cake. Wow!

One of my favorite quotes (which I've used before on this blog) is posted on a sign in my dad's garage and goes like this: Lack of pre-planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part. By adding to my "Before Bed Routine" (thanks Flylady!) the habit of pre-packing my breakfast, lunch, and snacks for the workday I've successfully averted the overeating that surely would have occurred with such fabulous food at my finger tips. Can I get a woop-woop!!!

If you aren't familiar with either the Flylady or Sparkpeople.com, I would highly recommend you check them out. Flylady helps you organize and fluidly run a household and basic life functions. Sparkpeople is an online nutrition, healthy eating, dieting plan (if you so choose), and motivational tool that offers too many resources to list. Oh and the best part about both of these sources? They are FREE!!! Again, who knew?

Ravings of a Mad Housewife: Men on Facebook

This gal is great! Check out her latest post...

Ravings of a Mad Housewife: Men on Facebook

Apryl :)

Thought for today

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-3, NAS).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Give a wave as you pass...

As I stood up from my desk I turned and walked toward the window in my office and spotted this "little guy" who seemed to be waving at my coworker and I. Of course my natural response was to walk over to the window, peer closely at this mutant creature and exclaim, "Holy cow! What IS that?!?" My coworker and I were both creeped out and yet curious as to the species of this seemingly monstrous bug. It was about two inches tall and at least three inches long. Naturally I had to get a picture and email to my hubby and a girlfriend. Their responses were amusing in themselves. Girlfriend's reply was something like "Ack! Kill it!!!" Hubby's was, "Hey, send that pic to a 'bug guy' and find out what the heck that thing is!"

Considering I work at the airport, I'm guessing that its definitely NOT indigenous to the California Central Valley, and more than likely somehow hitched a ride on an incoming flight. This sucker was large enough to have afforded his own seat.

Hubby did in fact submit this pic to a 'bug guy' and received a response this morning that he had no idea what it could be, that it sort of looked like a Robber Fly, but given it's dimensions it was far larger than any he'd ever heard of. Great. Definitely a mutant. So I took it upon myself to submit the pic to a website called whatisthisbug.com. From what I read about Robber Flies, they are native to Southern Mexico and certainly don't belong in Central California! Someone really ought to inform said mutant insect that he took a WAY wrong turn somewhere near the border. Return home! Post haste!

Anyone have any thoughts as to what this sucker is?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Here's the thing...

A few weeks ago I asked my readers for funny real-life stories involving their families. Only one story was posted in response to this request. I'm posting this story verbatim as it was just fantastic! Please enjoy, leave your comments, and hey I would still love to hear any other stories out there! I guarantee that my family are hardly the only people to have the most incredible situations thrust into their laps.

Cheers!
Apryl :)

deanaohara said...
I have two boys - some days I believe they live to embarrass me - or at least get even for the time I drove them to school wearing bunny ears at Easter. One of our favorite stories involves Children's Message at church. This is where Pastor calls all of the younger children up front for a message. They really should ban that practice you know. Pastor was talking about stewardship and helping around the house. He asked the kids if they had jobs and my oldest (4 at the time) raised his hand. I was so proud - I mean what would he say, feed the dog, pick up his room. I could not wait for the wonderful words that I was sure to follow.

When pastor called on him, Charlie proudly proclaimed that it was his job to "Get Daddy his beer during football games."

Radio silence - all you could hear was the WHACK my hand made on my husband's arm. Then a yelp. Weenie. To which pastor proclaimed "Not anymore Charlie." and bit his lip/to which to whole congregation (600 or so) cracked up.

Glass Doors

At dinner the other night, I watched as a friend's 5 year old son walked quickly into their sliding glass door, knocking his head hard enough that he actually looked dazed for a moment. After making sure he was alright, we had a good laugh after he escaped to play in the backyard. This brought to mind another such moment that took place several years ago and involved the mother of a very dear friend.

Setting the scene: my family and I were at a friend's home for dinner one evening. My family of five joined her family of five plus her mother and brother who stopped by as well. We had a very full house. Mayhem ensued every time our families got together if for no other reason than the simple fact of joining six children together in one structure. My friend's kitchen and dining area are thankfully quite large and include a sliding glass door leading from the dining room to the large wood deck out back.

After dinner and the chaos that was always entertaining, I watched in horror as my friend's mother attempted to walk "with purpose" through the sliding glass door to join the rest of the family on the deck. The sliding glass door had been recently cleaned and unbeknownst to her, was quite closed at the time! She ran into that door so hard, and smacked her head with such force that she knocked her self squarely on her butt and was nearly knocked unconscious. Both families immediately jumped up and amidst the gales of laughter, tried to assure ourselves (and her) that she was alright. Thankfully she was none the worse for wear, just a little wounded pride, and to this day we still laugh about the time she nearly knocked herself out. My friend had stickers on those windows for several years just for her.

Witty quip of the day: People in glass houses should not throw stones. Or in this case, people attempting to cross the threshold of sliding glass doors perhaps ought put a hand out, just to be sure.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

An Update

Warning: Christian content to follow.

Just as an update to all who enjoy reading my blogs; through much reflection and prayer I've decided to intersperse my humorous posts with (gasp!) Christian ideals as well. I'm posting this as a tongue-in-cheek, advance notice warning of my intent with the hope of heading off any disgruntled comments, emails, smoke signals, what have you. Not to worry, I still intend to find the humor in everyday life and write about it from my sometimes warped perspective as well. I hope you'll continue to follow and enjoy the content and perhaps have some fun with the new content as well.

Much love to you all! I so appreciate each of you for your time, energy, support, and as always your comments as well.

New post having to do with sliding glass doors to follow.

Cheers to you all, and many blessings for your future.

Apryl :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Observations

While dining out last night with my hubby and a couple of friends, we saw a complex action performed by a older sushi chef at the restaurant. He began arguing in what I assume was Japanese, with the other sushi chefs while pointing at a man seated one table over from us. Then he started shouting at the customer, again in Japanese. He came striding out from behind the sushi bar, still shouting and pointing at the customer, marched up to the man and quite literally slapped him upside the head! To our amazement, the customer took the blow, refused to even look at the sushi chef, muttered a few words of Japanese, then unintelligible English. The only part of the conversation we understood was the customer saying something about calling the cops. No one really did anything. Either none of the other customers caught what was going on, or we've become so desensitized to even mild violence that none of us really registered that we'd just witnessed an assault! A man that we presumed to be the manager gently led the sushi chef away while the woman seated at the table with the customer who'd been smacked sat looking quite mortified.

A short while later the sushi chef returned to the sushi bar, continued creating perfection in the form of some of the best sushi I've ever had the pleasure to indulge in, yet also continued (in Japanese) angrily expressing his displeasure. The customer got up and went to the bar (this was when we realized he was drunk, and must have seriously offended the sushi chef at some point), came back to his table, went to the bar again, came back again then sat down. The manager came out and spoke to the customer and he finally left, his embarrassed dinner companion following in his wake.

Hubby and I thoroughly enjoy observing people in public. They rarely fail to entertain. We've seen situations that would make a person blush, there have been times when hubby has felt it necessary to intervene on behalf of another person being abused, examples of genuine humanity when someone has reached out and offered help to a person who was struggling. A sushi chef slapping a customer on the back of the head however, that was a new experience.

Witty quip of the day: When your companions get drunk and fight, take up your hat and wish them good night. - Japanese Proverb. Too bad the sushi chef didn't keep this in mind.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Murphy's Law

Wednesday morning dawned bright and sunny here in central California. Hubby and I went about our normal morning routine; showers, coffee, getting the youngest ready for his first day of Junior High. At 7:25 hubby and I left, each in our respective Tahoes, and drove out of our neighborhood. At the end of the street, stopped at the stop sign, I waited while a police cruiser and a couple of other commuters passed by then made my turn. About a minute later hubby calls my cell and asks me to catch up to the officer and flag him down. Hubby had stopped and picked up the man's cell phone after it slid off the top of his cruiser. I told him I couldn't see the officer but I would call him back if I found him. Several minutes later I spotted the officer on the side of the road, door open, circling his car and obviously looking for something. I stopped and told him hubby found his phone after it fell of the roof. He laughed and asked where hubby was. Just then my phone rings and before hubby can speak, I told him that I found the officer and asked where he was. His response: "I just got pulled over for talking on my cell phone!"

"Oh no!" I shouted. I told the officer what happened. He calmly replied, "Oh sh*t!" Then jumped in said cruiser and took off to rescue hubby. Honestly, I couldn't help but laugh. I know that's terrible of me, but really? Who does this happen to?

About 15 minutes later hubby called me again (using his headset this time I presume) to tell me exactly what happened. After his initial call to me asking me to find the officer, he continued down the road as per normal. A moment later he saw an officer behind him with his lights on. Hubby pulled over and immediately exited the vehicle. Evidently the officer was unimpressed and shouted at hubby to get up on the curb and hubby complied. The officer's partner also exited the vehicle and stared hubby down.

Confused, hubby asked, "Did you lose a cell phone?"
"No, I didn't lose a cell phone!" First officer replied.
"Oh! Well there was a police cruiser just by here a second ago and his cell phone slid off the top of his car." Hubby tells him.
Second officer, now has his holster unsnapped and his hand on his gun.
"There hasn't been a cop through here for the last five minutes!" First officer informs him.
Hubby, still confused replied, "Yes there was! Like 10 cars ago."
Second officer now how his gun about halfway out of his holster.
Hubby takes all this in and says, "Wait a second, were you pulling me over?"
"Yes I was!" First officer's exasperated reply.
"What the hell did I do?" Hubby said, flabbergasted.
"Sir, you were talking on your cell phone."

This was a true Griswold moment as only the members of my family can experience. Hubby managed to convince the officers that he wasn't making this up by showing them the broken phone he'd retrieved. The first officer magnanimously told hubby that he would let him go with a warning. Mighty nice of him, eh? I'm guessing Mr. Anxious-to-shoot-hubby-if-he-so-much-as-farted was a bit disappointed though.

Witty quip of the day: We live in a society where pizza gets to your house before the police. - Pearlydean. Unless of course you're talking on your cell phone while driving.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Adventures in cooking

Fooling around online a couple of weeks ago found me pondering a couple of websites highlighting a concept known as Once A Month Cooking. The idea being that with a little planning you create a menu, go shopping, spend a day cooking, and wind up with a freezer stocked with fully prepared meals for the entire month. For us working moms (or dads if you're the ones doing the cooking) how wonderful to be able to come home at the end of a long day and merely heat up that homemade meal. I had visions of my family's reactions to no more 'fend for yourself' nights because I'd forgotten to defrost the meat, or since my daughter and I are vegetarians, making the boys their dinner, but forgetting to make something non meat based for us.

I checked out this OAMC idea and thought, I am the queen of making lists how hard could this be? I scrolled through several meal ideas on a couple of different websites, thought through my family's favorite dishes, and made up a menu of 16 different options. We invariably have leftovers when I cook, and there's no reason why leftovers can't be a part of this plan. After making the menu, which included five breakfast options, I made the grocery list. I discovered a pattern when I made that list for a month's worth of meals. We eat an ungodly amount of cheese! Nonetheless, the list was made. Hubby and I went grocery shopping and spent $279.00 to make a month's worth of breakfasts and dinners to feed our family of four. We stopped at the dollar store and picked up disposable pans and several more inexpensive single serving plastic containers for hubby's breakfasts, along with freezer bags, and tin foil. All told another $28.00 invested. We got home, unloaded everything and I was all set to embark on this cooking journey.

Because I'm nothing if not a helper and a giver, here are a few tips for you should you ever decide to take up this challenge:

1. Don't wait to grocery shop until Sunday afternoon.
2. Don't start cooking a month's worth of meals on Sunday evening. You only wind up with maybe four meals and wind up cooking every night for the next week to finish this supposed "once a month cooking" project.
3. Don't use lasagna sized pans for every meal you make, unless you own a free-standing freezer. We have two refrigerator freezers. A month of meals in pans, DO NOT FIT in those freezers!
4. Despite the desire to make it super easy by having all those meals in lasagna sized pans, in my abnormally small oven two of those pans don't fit at the same time, and since I make two of everything, one with meat and one without, this has in essence doubled the cooking time each night. So I suggest you get everyone on board, either everyone eats meat or everyone becomes a vegetarian.

This weekend as I endeavor to finish this darn OAMC project, I will be putting everything I make in FREEZER BAGS instead of pans, I will do it SATURDAY instead of Sunday night, I will actually MAKE the breakfasts I promised my kids, and I will stop trying to force feed squash to my family who claims to hate it. The squash thing is really a side note. Being quite frugal (cheap), when friends offer up free veggies from their gardens, I take them up on it! However, when your family won't eat it, I suppose it doesn't do any good to cut, par-boil, and freeze 20 pounds of squash. I will do Once A Month Cooking again, although due to space constraints it will likely be more like Twice A Month Cooking, but will endeavor to put a little more thought and planning into it.

Witty quip of the day: Lack of preplanning on your part, does not constitute an emergency on my part. From a sign on the wall in my dad's workshop.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mission Not-So-Impossible

I was thinking today that you've all heard several stories now of the real, and at the very least, somewhat amusing experiences in the lives my family and me, so how about some feedback from all of you?

Here's your mission, should you choose to accept it: post a comment describing a funny experience that happened in your family. Was is something with one of your kids? Did you spouse horrify you in public? Did you new puppy run into a neighbor's house and potty on their carpet? (no, that didn't actually happen to me, however my neighbor's horse-sized dog did wander into our new house and 'introduce' himself to us while we were moving in!) It can be anything you can think of and I may very well compile these stories into my next article for More.com's online magazine.

As always thanks so much for your support, for your readership, and for sharing in the experience of my various and sundry ramblings.

Ciao!
Apryl :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wow!

I just found out that my third article for More.com was not only published, but is being FEATURED right now! http://www.more.com/community/humor_and_chutzpah Scroll to the bottom of the page where the Features are located, mine is the TOP article. Yay! Thanks to everyone for your unyielding love and support.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

CSI

I’m giving some serious thought to starting a club. Actually club might not be quite accurate; really it would be more like a movement, if you will. A conglomeration of resources for mothers everywhere involving identifying those mysterious substances that find their way into our homes, onto our children’s clothes, and become embedded in the fabric and carpeting of our cars. We could have a group help system in place and a database of possible culprits. Something like logging onto the Internet and using Google.com to search out information. We’ll call our website, “What the heck is THAT.com”. Moms from around the country, or even the world, would join and post pictures and descriptions of various substances, identifying what they can, and what they used to clean those substances up. I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking this information would be invaluable. If Crime Scene Investigators can identify a smidge of the tiniest proportions left behind at a crime scene, then surely we moms can identify and share with others, those unknown splotches, smears, and crumbs left behind by the fruits of our wombs.

Case in point: I went to bed last night, quite ill with a cold, and woke up around one in the morning. I sleepily wandered into the kitchen for a glass of water, passing the living room on my trek. As I passed by the previously clean coffee table and area rug, I realized that someone had been eating in there long after I’d gone to bed. The evidence before me was a copious amount of very fine, light brown, crumbs all over one end of the coffee table, and all over the area rug beneath it. A quick glance around, and I spotted further evidence left by inexperienced “criminals” who obviously weren’t very good at covering their tracks. I was able to identify the substance without the aid of DNA collection tests, microscopes, or even a finger print kit. I was also able to identify the culprit himself due to the placement of said crumbs in the living room. My sleuthing skills really weren’t even much challenged in this instance, regardless of the fact that I was ill, half asleep, and quite unhappy at being awake. In the space of about 10 seconds, I identified what were graham cracker crumbs, as evidenced by the package left out on the kitchen counter, and the suspect in this case, which wound up being my husband as all the crumbs were located in proximity to his recliner. Sherlock Holmes I may not be, but a reasonably good detective nonetheless.

While this example was a relatively easy investigation, others are not so simple. My database idea might just come in handy then. We moms are notoriously good at figuring out the various puzzles and intricacies of our households. Usually just a sniff, or a feel, or at times even a taste and we’ve nailed it without the assistance of the area CSI unit. We could call ourselves MSI’s, Mom Scene Investigators. We not only find the lost things, and kiss the boo-boos, but we are a whiz at figuring out the what and who when it comes to stains and messes. Can’t touch us! We’re moms and we have our ways.

Witty quip of the day: Despite what your children tell you, "Not me" is not a real person living in your basement who takes all the blame for any and all things having gone wrong.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Perfectionism

Like me, are you a slave to perfectionism? Do you cringe at the sight of cabinet doors left open, or drawers closed ‘almost’ all the way, or dining chairs either pushed in unevenly or not pushed in at all? How about throw pillows on each end of the sofa, does it drive you nuts if they aren’t placed in the right order and organized by color? I remember watching Sleeping with the Enemy with my husband, and watching as Julia Roberts opened the kitchen cabinet and began to frantically straighten the cans so that all the labels were facing out. I looked at my husband and said, “What’s wrong with that? That’s how our cabinets are.” His look of amusement was perplexing. I simply cannot STAND to not have canned and boxed items be organized by type and have all the labels facing out. How else do you find something when you need it?

I do realize that there’s probably a fine line between perfectionism and OCD, however I prefer to think of it as organization. I like my towels folded just so, my books and movies all facing the same direction, balance when it comes to decorating (meaning if there are two candlesticks at one end of the mantel, there must be two candlesticks on the other end to match), and everyone should simply do it MY way! My family however, tends to think I’m nuts and usually just smile and nod, responding with “Okay, mom, whatever you say.” Patronization isn’t an attractive trait by the way, then again neither is perfectionism.

Over the years I’ve had learned a few things the hard way. If I insist on perfectionism, my family resents me and won’t do things the way I wanted them done anyway, then I expend valuable energy being angry. This makes no sense. I get angry at them for doing things differently than the way I want them done instead of being reasonable and compromising. It’s difficult to admit, but I’ve behaved like a shrew. Then, a few years ago I ran across a notion on Flylady.net that’s amazingly apropos. Are you ready for this? Housework done imperfectly still blesses our family (paraphrased). Let that one roll around in your perfectionist brain a bit. Wow.

While I will never stop expecting my family to pick up after themselves, I’ve discovered that a day at the river with my kids is exponentially more rewarding than a day of driving them to drink while I bark orders at them like so many slaves, to complete tasks they have no hope of completing to my satisfaction. I’ve discovered that no one will stroke out if there’s a bit of dust on the TV and that I’m capable of closing a drawer and straightening cans to my liking without berating my family into submission. There’s this rumor circulating around my house that they might actually LIKE me now. Who knew?

Witty quip of the day: Sometimes... when you hold out for everything, you walk away with nothing. ~From the television show Ally McBeal

Friday, July 17, 2009

Age is ONLY a number.

For most of us girls the general concept of aging doesn’t bother us. When we sit back and examine our lives we girls aren’t all that worried about getting older. Right and I’ve got some swampland in Arizona with your name on it too. Come on now ladies aging scares us almost as much as say, one of our kids coming through the door with a broken arm. It’s nearly as frightening as our spouses on the wrong side of age 50, pulling into the driveway in a cherry-red Corvette.

Getting older for women means fun and exciting things like the after 30 arm jiggle, the 40 year old butt-slid-down-our-thighs, and the post 50 crows-feet extravaganza that paid no mind to the promises of that “miracle” cream at $60 a tube. Despite what we see on late night infomercials and in magazines, there are no cures for getting older. Perhaps that’s why we women spend millions of dollars per year on cosmetics, laser procedures, miracle creams, Botox, face lifts, and collagen injections. No matter the cost, we are beyond gullible when it comes to the anti-aging industry.

Being the helper and the giver that I am, I’m here to offer a few suggestions that while simplistic, might just make this aging process a little less traumatic on us all.

1. No matter his age, don’t let your husband keep that cherry red Corvette. It’s only going to cause your neighbors to bombard you with well meaning questions such as, “Oh sweetie is there something wrong with his penis?” Buy him a boat instead, that way when he’s sulking over the loss of the sports car, he’ll be doing something constructive like fishing for his dinner since you likely won’t be cooking for him again any time soon.

2. You CAN have your chocolate and eat it too. I’ve never met a hot flash that couldn’t at least be comforted with a great piece of chocolate. It may not cool you down, but by God the very heat you’re projecting will melt that sweetness just like butter the moment it hits your tongue!

3. Remember girls: any movement is better than no movement. So don’t run out and join the gym if you aren’t planning on having Vinnie-the state bodybuilding champ, train you. Instead, get outside and take that dog for a walk. Grab your kid’s iPod and rock out while you walk the neighborhood. You will look to all like you are engrossed in your healthy undertaking when you’re checking out the neighbors to see who’s doing what with whom. If you can, take notes, makes for more accurate re-telling later.

4. Lastly, some common sense. Throw out that expensive face cream in favor of something chemical and preservative free, with a little SPF for protection. Drink your water, filtered from the tap is just fine. Enjoy your coffee, but ditch the soda. Limit your sun exposure, don’t smoke, and try not to eat anything that isn’t either grown or raised organically. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, why would you put it in your body? It’s the only one you’ve got! Try not to poison it.

I’m in no way suggesting that you hug a tree, lick a rock, or even buy a pair of Birkenstocks, and by all means, please continue to shave. I am however, suggesting you use the sense you were given and let age happen. Time will pass whether you fight it or not, so why not have some fun instead?

Witty quip of the day: Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many. ~Author Unknown

Saturday, June 27, 2009

To Tofu or Not To Tofu...

Since becoming a vegetarian nearly a year ago, I’ve tried – and forced upon my unsuspecting hubby and kids – a variety of vegetarian fare. Most of which was a resounding success. I’ve found that just about anything made by Morningstar Farms is fantastic. They make a fake “chicken” nugget and corn “dogs” that taste exactly like the real thing. Last night I made a homemade pizza using meatless pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, feta and Parmesan cheeses, garlic, and sauce. It was delicious! Even our meat-eating friends came back for seconds. Most of the time my creations are fabulous. My coworkers had no idea during our last chili cook-off that what they were eating was not hamburger in my submission but rather meatless soy crumbles. I took second place to someone who cheated and used an Emeril recipe!

Then there’s the tofu. Prior to becoming a vegetarian, the only thing I’d ever used tofu for was to add protein to smoothies. FYI silken tofu blended into a smoothie is wonderful. Then I decided to try cooking with it. My first attempt was an abject failure. Tofu must be fully drained prior to cooking otherwise what you wind up with is a mushy mess. One would think that draining tofu would be as simple as opening the package and putting the tofu into a colander and letting it drain. Not so much. It has to be pressed to get as much of the liquid out of it as possible. So I dutifully placed the block of tofu between several paper towels and pressed it with my hand. Then watched as the tofu shot across the kitchen, having exploded on my counter top. About half of the block survived this first round of draining, so I wrapped it in several more paper towels and pressed it a little more lightly this time, and drained what I could. After adding the sauce, seasoning, a multitude of veggies, and cooking it until it seemed done, I sat down to sample my handiwork. Then I promptly dumped the entire pan down the disposal. IT WAS DISGUSTING. It was as unpalatable as I would imagine a fermented pile of worms would be. I gagged. I sputtered. I was traumatized! Then I checked the expiration date on the tofu package and discovered the problem. Tofu has a shelf life. Who knew?

Although my next attempt or two came out far better, which may have had something to do with the Tofu not being rotten, my kids won’t eat it and soy makes my husband sick. So why, you ask, did I continue to try? Probably because I don’t give up easily and cooking is one thing I do exceptionally well. I wasn’t going to allow a measly block of tofu to screw up my nearly flawless record of culinary delights. Yesterday’s lunch however, has cured me of this obsession. Pre-seasoned and sauced tofu is no better than plain. I prepared it properly, I added additional sauce, and then served it over salad greens with oriental dressing. There is no disguising that spongy almost tasteless quality. I gave it the old college try, but I’m done now. Tofu has, in my book, been relegated back to smoothies and smoothies alone.

Witty quip of the day: “Hey Mikey! He likes it!” From the old Life cereal commercials, remember? Although in this case it would have likely been; “Hey Mikey! Why are you gagging and turning green?”

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

But that was mine!

What is it about the food on a mother’s plate that is so much more tantalizing that anything else in the house? A mother could be settling down with a bowl of grits, and if she hasn’t settled everyone in the house down with the exact same meal, it’s almost a guarantee that she’ll be unable to finish her meal. It won’t be for the obvious reason of stopping because she’s full, since she rarely finds out what full means. No, she’ll be unable to finish her food because her children will have tuned in via supersonic mom’s-got-food-I-haven’t-got radar and will have traversed from various locations in the house to check it out and beg “just a bite” from her. Unfortunately, being mothers we seem to have this built in insatiable need to feed everyone that steps foot into our homes regardless of the fact they have just finished the meal you’ve prepared for them. If one of the kids asks for a bite – and they will – you’re going to give it to them. There is no point in trying to say no; it’s physically painful for us to say, “Hey, that’s mine”.

In the unlikely event that your children don’t accost you for whatever is on your plate, I can assure you that the husband will find you utilizing his superhuman mom’s-eating-something technology and will be sure to ask you, mid-bite no less, whether you plan to finish that. At which point if you are anything like most normal women, you’ll roll your eyes, and hand over whatever it was you were attempting to inhale. Sustenance? Who needs it? Your special mom abilities negate such inane needs as food and drink on a daily basis, unless of course you are out of the house and away from your leeches. Those rare meals out with friends are what sustain you for sometimes weeks at a time till you are able to sneak out for another uninterrupted meal. I’ve known moms who have had to make lunch out with the girls at Olive Garden last as long as two months before taking the time to refuel once more.

Are we super-moms flying in to save the day, feeding wayward children, our husbands, and yes even the dog all while denying ourselves? It would seem so. It’s an interesting phenomenon to say the least. I personally have stooped so low as to sneak to the kitchen, and eat something straight from the refrigerator as quickly and quietly as possible so as to keep from alerting my husband and children to my culinary activities. Believe it or not, occasionally I just want to make and eat something without being asked to make more or give my something up. Selfish, I know. Terribly poor mothering yes, but nonetheless, I am human! I have needs too! I think I’ll start picking food off of my children’s plates just to see if it really does taste better just because it wasn’t on my own.

Witty quip of the day: They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I say the way to a mom’s heart is to let her actually fill her stomach once in a while. Then sit back and watch what happens. Might be kinda fun!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Social Networking

Ok, Myspace I get. Facebook I get. But Twitter? What the heck is the point? Have we become so self-involved that we actually believe it’s necessary to post in 140 characters or less our every thought or random feeling the moment it pops into our heads? Celebrities like P Diddy, Kim Kardashian, and Ashton Kutcher shamelessly promote their thoughts as though they were the leaders of the free world and we should hang on their every word. Sadly, given the fact that they have over a million followers each, it would seem that we do in fact hang by veritable strings, breathlessly awaiting their latest “tweet”. This we do in hopes of what? Mindless celebrities imparting words of wisdom that will somehow improve the quality of our obviously boring and less important lives?

If you are going to “tweet” folks, would it kill you to come up with something more original than “Ewww! A fly just landed in my triple mocha latte!” Or worse yet, “I'm bored!” How about using it to promote something useful? “Don’t forget the Central High Football game tonight at 7:00!” Or, “Bad accident on Hwy 99 North this morning.” It could be relatively useful for those of us with the tiniest bit of intelligence.

Social networking in the 80’s was an entirely different animal. It involved actually talking to one another. In person no less. I know this concept is a little hard to fathom but I’ll try to explain it thoroughly. We would call one another on the phone usually posted on the wall in the kitchen, the handset (you remember, the part you lifted up and put to your ear) often attached to a 10 foot long cord (yes, we had CORDS in those days), then getting as far away from the adults in the house as possible and making plans with your friends. Plans that involved getting out of the house and doing something crazy like walking the mall, hanging out at the park, driving around aimlessly, or just hanging out at someone else’s house. Social networking to us was a face-to-face affair.

Here is my advice for those of us that are attached to our technological devices a tad more than we should be: get out and live! Really, it won’t kill you to log off the Internet and log in to personal interactions with the people you know. The shakes will subside, the abject panic you’re feeling will in time dissipate, and the unique side effect of getting out of the house and away from your computers and cell phones could very well be exposure to sunlight and (gasp!) exercise. Calm down, you can handle it; I have every faith in you.
Witty quip of the day: Unplug!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sisterhood of the Traveling Cats

Moving historically provides little entertainment value as we carefully pack our most cherished belongings, lovingly wrapping that strange looking monkey sculpture Aunt Ida (or other eclectic aunt) gave you, hoping beyond hope that it might “accidentally” be shattered in some bizarre, fell-off-the-back-of-the-truck, type of accident. Some of us take the time to carefully label each box with not only contents, but which room it’s to be delivered to. Then there is the pride one feels at having had the forethought to tape a piece of paper to the door of each room identifying which room is which for your would-be helpers so as to minimize the growling, grumbling, and general grumpiness that will, sooner rather than later, be directed at you for having duped them into helping you move, yet again. Apparently there is no amount of pizza and beer that can adequately repay your friends who have begrudgingly given up a weekend to toil like slaves. One can only hope that all who volunteer can keep their wits about them, employ a sense of humor, and at least find some measure of satisfaction in knowing that you have weeks of work ahead of you not only in unpacking and decorating, but in acclimating your family’s animals to their new home.

I recall the first time we moved after having adopted our now 12 year old cats; they rode unfettered in the front seat of the U-haul with my husband. One hid under his seat, howling for the entire 45 minute ride. The other spent the trip wrapped snugly around his neck, not unlike a snake, claws dug into his shoulders, making a low, guttural, growling noise pretty much the entire way. Hubby was less than amused. Last summer when we moved, we made multiple trips throughout a week, doing what we could to lessen the “major moving” over the weekend. During one of our last trips, we decided it was time to bring the animals over. My daughter drew the short straw. When she arrived in her Jeep, she and her brother hauled our extremely displeased cats into the house where they immediately hunkered down, did a slow belly crawl, and made growling noises again, all while familiarizing themselves with the new digs. My daughter said that as usual Tazzy hid under the front seat and howled, but Sam spent the trip in a near fetal position on the floor board of her Jeep, with her mouth wide open as far as it would physically go, seemingly in abject horror. There were no noises coming from that mouth, just wide open, silent scream, kitty-panic. Monyka felt terrible, but said it was the funniest albeit creepiest thing she’d ever seen. Eventually the cats may forgive the affront of having been tortured by yet another car ride. Or they may not; I still half expect them to attempt a complete hostile takeover one night while we sleep.

Witty quip of the day: Dogs have owners, cats have “staff”. Cats are as likely to curl in your lap and purr with contentment as they are to quietly, over a period of years, plan your demise.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

And the award goes to...

It’s been said that motherhood is the noblest position one could attain. Sadly, while almost anyone can achieve that lofty goal, there is no users manual that goes along with it.

If there were parenting awards I’m positive I would get the “Bad Mommy Award” multiple years running. I’m the mom that tries to make sure all the details are covered, yet still manages to forget to get the phone number of the friend with whom my son is staying the night, then panics in the middle of the night when I realize it. I’m the mom that plans the beach trip and while remembering to pack the kids clothing appropriate to the unpredictable weather, forgets to bring or even purchase while there, the sunscreen to keep them from scorching like lobsters. I’m the mom who “takes one for the team” and takes the kids and their friends to the water park for the day, and while this time remembering and actually putting to use the sunscreen, doesn’t think to dry off my son before reapplying thus causing the sunburn he came home with because the sunscreen didn’t properly soak into his skin. Yep, motherhood is just a good time to be had by all. Or not.

My favorite bad mommy award moment was probably the time I was picking up my two older children from grade school. I was a long line of cars and when I finally pulled to the front of the school, I hurried the kids to get in and get belted, as there were a ton of other cars behind me. I started to take off and my daughter screams at me to stop. I look in the backseat and realize that my son hadn’t made it fully into the car before I started to drive away! Thankfully no one was hurt, although I’m pretty sure I was the laughingstock of the elementary school for quite some time after. Even worse was the repeat performance later that year! Recently I took my youngest to the doctor for a checkup. We discussed his allergies during the appointment and I asked for a recommendation for allergy medication as his symptoms had been acting up for three weeks or so and he’d been sniffling, sneezing, complaining of a headache, etc. Upon examination she determined it was not in fact allergies, but rather a nasty sinus infection he’d been suffering with for the last three weeks. I’m pretty sure I’m a front-runner at this years awards show. My awards are currently on display on my mantel.

Witty quip of the day: “The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them.” - Frank A. Clark. My kids will simply run screaming to the nearest therapist. We’re hoping for full recoveries.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mommy, what's courtesy mean?

The golden rule: treat people as you would have them treat you. Common courtesy: a more modern way of saying the same thing. We seem to have lost sight of the simple concept of treating one another with even the tiniest morsel of respect. Remember when you would run in to the grocery store for milk and bread, and upon reaching the checkout line, the kind lady ahead of you would invite you in front of her as she had an entire cart full? Or getting to a stop sign at the same time as another car and having them wave you through for no other reason than it was the polite thing to do? We said please and thank you and goodbye upon ending phone conversations. Somewhere along the line we seem to have lost our ability to execute random acts of kindness, and with it our sense of courtesy has vanished as well.

Last Sunday, I stopped at Costco to get gas and typical of any weekend, it was packed. There were 3 cars ahead of me in line; the first two were at the pumps, a third waited ahead of me. The car ahead of him finished and was able to pull around the first car. The car ahead of me pulled forward, and just as he put his car in park, the first car pulled away. Imagine my shock when the car ahead of me failed to pull to the forward pump and allow me to pull in behind him. I watched dumbfounded as this idiot got out of his car and removed his gas cap. I rolled down my window and with a smile on my face, asked him if he would mind pulling forward. He looked at me and said “no”. Naturally I handled his belligerence with my usual tactfulness and grace. I responded sweetly with, “and why the hell not?” He replied, “You can go around!” I then asked him “how am I supposed to squeeze my full size truck between your car and the cars next to us?” He ignored me. At this point I noticed the attendant standing there witnessing this exchange. I threw my hands in the air as if to say, “Do something!” The little weasel walked away! I nearly yelled “(insert synonym for cat here)!” but remembered my 11 year old in the seat next to me. “I have bigger testicles than HE does!” I muttered. So I squeezed my truck as close to that man’s brand new Infiniti as I possibly could and pulled in front of him. My first instinct was to block him in. Full size truck, lots of cars, not a problem! Instead I took the high road and stood there while fueling, staring the jerk down, daring him to say something further. I got back in the truck and my son informed me that he was watching that man and he saw him point at me and say the “b-word”. I just smiled and explained to him that since the man didn’t have the guts to say it directly to me that it wasn’t worth worrying about. Logan said, “What a jerk, mom”. “Yes,” I agreed, “but some people are just too miserable to be nice to anyone else.”

Today’s witty quip, well really more of a question: Is common courtesy not only dead, but buried six feet under and decomposing?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

McWhat?

McDonalds has attempted to go all fancy-schmancy on us with their newest offering: the McCafe line of espresso drinks. It’s not enough that they’ve long since cornered the market on all manner of questionable foods; be they fried, battered, grilled, limp or stale. Now they are threatening to snag a share of Starbucks' niche market. Sacrilege! We northwesterners know our coffee. You can’t package slop in a fancy cup, add chocolate and a spritz of whipped cream, market the snot out of it as a “Café Mocha”, and expect us to slurp it up like so much, well… coffee!

Added to the indignity of a grown man ordering a “McSomething dripping in grease” and being asked by a grossly unimpressed, pimply faced, ball of attitude whether he’d like to upsize his meal in order to quicken the quadruple bypass lurking at the end of that triple cheese burger and super-sized fries, is the fact that now you can upgrade your meal and instead of downing a mere seven thousand ounces of Dr. Pepper, you can insult your taste buds further by choking down a McLatte, or McMocha instead. Seriously, am I the only one affronted by this desperate attempt at grabbing up more of our hard earned dollars via one stop shopping? Next they’ll offer escargot, pesto pasta, and sushi. It’s not enough that our culture is addicted to their fatty, white flour, white sugar offerings, now they’ve added espresso! Actually, it’s not a terrible ploy. A tad diabolical for a so-called family restaurant chain, yet an idea with merit nonetheless.

Anyone who regularly dines at McDonalds likely doesn’t have a palate mature enough to know that Coffee People, Seattle’s Best, and Starbucks serve upper end coffee that is not only palatable, but also thoroughly enjoyable. Or better still, there are independent espresso shops, which not only allow us to support local entrepreneurs but afford some of the more delightful coffees currently available. Oh and the best part? One can order a favorite coffee drink without having to add a stupid moniker to it such as the “McCafe”.

Today’s witty quip: ‘Scuse me… where’s my latte? Get a life people! Part of the fun of experiencing our world today is the idea of choosing several different venues in which to spend our time and money. Don’t limit yourselves to the one stop shop, get out there and live!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

And More Critters

I have this vague memory of being 6 years old and living in eastern Washington in a little duplex that while small and not particularly grand, was always spotlessly clean and tidy. My mother would wash my long hair in the kitchen sink while I stood on a chair in order to reach. Looking down at the floor, I remember seeing what had to have been the single largest cockroach in all of Washington State. There certainly couldn’t have been another anywhere that would rival this sucker in overall breadth and girth! Between the screeches and screams, my mother managed to capture that wily creature and save it in a jar. I don’t remember my stepfather being terribly impressed at my mother’s prowess. I also don’t remember us living there for much longer. When I was seven we moved to Portland and to this day I have no idea why. Perhaps my parents heard rumors of Portland’s dwindling cockroach population.

It wasn’t until I was sixteen that I recall any further incidents with Mother Nature’s bizarre critters. At that time we were living in a small and yet again extremely well kept house in North Portland. My mother discovered that a possum had taken up residence and built herself a lovely nest in our attic. My newly divorced mom called upon the services of my friend’s father to assess the situation. His idea of “dealing” with the problem was to take one of his rifles into the attic and shoot the offending invader. I was DEVISTATED. I could not imagine the MURDER of one of God’s innocent creatures being the agreed upon option. There was no explaining to me that possums are evil, vicious rodents that carry a myriad of infectious diseases. I was inconsolable and didn’t speak to my mother or my friend’s father for at least two weeks.

This event may have spawned the guilt my mother unquestionably experienced considering the vast number of stray animals she allowed me to drag through our home over the next two years. There were a pair of rats from school, a pregnant cat who birthed 3 sickly kittens, another three kittens we adopted, the full grown cat who adopted us, the dog, the pregnant guinea pig, oh and lets not forget the chameleon. Ok the chameleon we actually purchased from the pet store. However the kittens liked him far more than we did and sadly his life wasn’t fated to be lengthy. Did you know that chameleons lose their tails when frightened? Huh. Me either.
This brings us to the Witty Quip of the Day: “just say no!” Make this your new mantra. Regardless of how many times your children haul some bedraggled, mess of a cat/dog/guinea pig, etc. into your home, just say no. Practice makes perfect!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sarcasm? Yes, please!

It’s been said that sarcasm is a society’s lowest form of communication. I am quite sure I disagree. Without sarcasm most of us would have no idea how to communicate our irritation at being asked pointless and blatantly thoughtless questions. For instance, when being seen in the emergency room why must the doctor’s first query always be, “and how are we doing today”? Really? I’ve been known to respond ever so patiently with, “well I can’t speak for you, but I feel freaking fabulous”. Had I been without my natural affinity toward the sarcastic, I might have responded with the typical, “fine thanks”. I’d rather have to explain some bizarre sexual injury than answer an asinine question with platitudes. Oh wait, I did have to explain a bizarre sexual injury. Who knew sex with one’s spouse would one day provide an entertaining, albeit slightly humiliating, story? That however, is a tale for another time.

I will allow that sarcasm employed while addressing one’s superior, or during a job interview may perhaps be somewhat under-appreciated. Although one must admit that at its finest sarcasm is humorous, witty, quirky, and fun to those of us with a modicum of intelligence and the ability to converse in an educated and reasonably well-informed manner. It’s even more amusing when sarcasm is employed toward the dolt whose most recent reading material was likely the graffiti surrounding the bathroom stall at this week’s hottest “it” club.

Stay with me for a moment and ponder the following: when asked a ludicrous question, is your knee-jerk reaction to answer in a kind, patient, and eloquent manner? Or like me, do you automatically respond with a witty quip designed to let the stupid-question-asker know that he or she could have answered their own inane question had they simply dusted off the old brain for oh, say a nanosecond?

One of my favorite one-liners came from a friend’s daughter, who with a deadpan expression and voice lowered somewhat ominously, calmly quipped, “I will point. And laugh.” to a person having stated their intent to do something incredibly stupid with an outcome destined to be humiliating. While the offending party may have been less than amused, nonetheless the sarcastic witticism will live on ad infinitum. I admire that kid’s quick wit and often biting humor. Reminds me of someone. Can’t imagine who that might be.

Today’s Witty Quip: “Why get high when there are other ways to achieve a smug sense of superiority.” – Sarcasm, Facebook.com Group

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fun with Surgery

I will admit that usually there isn’t anything particularly humorous about someone we care for having surgery. What is however, often extremely funny albeit quite embarrassing to the patient, is the often bizarre reaction to pain medications. Now I’m not talking about allergic reactions here, I mean I’m not sadistic. I’m talking about how while hopped up on narcotics, apparently anything goes in terms of voicing their opinions. While sober, most people possess that natural filter which supposedly exists between brain and mouth. While drugged up though, suddenly a patient gets free license to voice whatever random thought wanders into their addled minds.

Case in point: my father recently had a full knee replacement. This type of surgery is pretty major and requires large quantities of narcotics in order to manage the pain along with a two to three day stay in the hospital during the first part of recuperation. At two days post-op I called my dad to see how he was faring. After speaking with my mom she laughingly passed the phone to my normally extremely controlled, and dry-humored father. The conversation started typically with the usual pleasantries and questions regarding his recuperation, his pain level, and whether the hospital staff was treating him kindly. Suddenly without provocation, he declares that his wife, my mother, is “a lucky woman to be married to him”. I hear my mom in the background agreeing with him… I’m certain I didn’t detect sarcasm there at all. He tells me how she’s been taking good care of him except for the night before where she nearly yanked his catheter out by mistake. His accounting of this affront was the following: “I said, WOMAN! Watch out! I am not a PULL TOY!” I very nearly wet my pants.

Speaking once again to my mother, we decided that my dad on drugs was the most fun we’d had with him in a long time. At the very least, he was providing much fodder to be used during future torment at his expense. He will ever be much appreciative of our lengthy memories and tendency for rehashing his various exploits at inopportune times.

Witty quip of the day: “DARE to keep parents off drugs”. Or don’t. They can actually provide loads of entertainment value under the right circumstances.

Friday, May 1, 2009

BBQ Lighters and Clever Children

Our youngest was always a clever child. At eighteen months he knew how to operate the VCR better than I did. He would put in his favorite movie and using the remote would fast forward to his favorite part, then watch, rewind, and watch, all without the pesky assistance of his parents. When he was two and a half, I installed the usual child-proofing paraphernalia such as the door knob thingies that spin in circles unless one were to depress the buttons on either side in order to engage the actual door knob. He went around behind me and removed them, handing them to his father when hubby couldn’t get into a room. Yes, our child had talent. Alert the press! No one else’s child could be nearly this clever! Shortly thereafter came his most accomplished act of cleverness to date.

Always careful to store lighters so there was no risk of his getting to them, one evening I erred. Having used the BBQ lighter to light candles in the living room, I thought I’d put it back in the cabinet before going to bed. I was wrong. I awoke at 5:00 the next morning to the sound of the smoke detectors screeching their dire warnings. Given it was the middle of winter and we had baseboard heating, it wasn’t uncommon for dust to get caught in those baseboards and smolder causing a bit of smoke to set off the detectors. It had happened before, so when the alarms sounded that morning, I didn’t panic. Upon investigation, imagine my shock and horror to find my loveseat engulfed in foot tall flames, and my two year old standing lighter in hand, a few feet away. The look on his face was at least bemusement; at most it was sheer awe.

Having no fire extinguisher, I dashed to the kitchen to get water while yelling for my oldest son to come help me. Ryan stumbled in bleary eyed, saw the fire, and started doing the hands-in-the-air-monkey-dance! Not helping. I shoved a 7-11 Big Gulp full of water into his hands with instructions to “dump it on the sofa”, and quickly filled another cup as well. We managed to douse the fire, haul the offending sofa out to the carport, flood the scorched carpet, and then survey the damage. After a call to hubby to let him in on the festivities and assure him there was no need to come home from work, I showered, dropped the kids off, and went to work. Oh, the clever part? Even though technically this was an act of arson perpetrated by my own flesh and blood, our insurance fully covered the incident and we thanked Logan profusely while picking out the new carpeting, and for the new furniture as well. We have been known to rent him out on occasion, just in case you were wondering.

Witty Quip of the Day: Fire Extinguishers; get one. I hear they are far more effective than Big Gulp cups.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Boys and Their Toys

A man and his motorcycle are much like a boy and his dog. When man decides he wants to purchase 650 cc’s of rumbling power, he’ll come up with a laundry list of brilliant reasons why this is the most logical use of a couple’s expendable income. “But baby, if I ride it to work every day and park the truck, we’ll save over $200 a month in gas” he says, sporting a broad smile, mentally patting himself on the back at having quite nattily appealed to his wife’s frugal side, confident there’s no way she’ll say no to “the face”.

When boy opts to break out the big guns with which to ask his parents for a dog, it’s not entirely different from when man broached the motorcycle subject with his spouse. “I swear Mom, I’ll feed it, and train it, and clean up after it, and I’ve already picked out a name and EVERYTHING!” This adorable child stands with hands clenched in front of him, bouncing side to side, with a wide grin, thinking “Ha! There is no way she can say no to ‘the face’!”

Man, having obtained the prize, will spend hours pouring through motorcycle magazines and parts books; seemingly as if overnight he’s become an expert in all things two-wheeled. He’ll purchase exhaust systems and hand grips, easily spending each month what he assured his wife they would save by “parking the truck”. It’s the driving force of all conversations with pals while beer in hand, they gather round the shiny new love of his life. They’ll designate entire weekends for installing new parts and pondering the next “bike run” while making Tim Allen-esque grunting noises.

Boy will spend hours romping about with his puppy, and even more hours being reminded to feed, water, and perform poopy duty. He’ll spend entire evenings and whole weekends playing ball and wrestling with the love of his life. Countless days will be spent on such nuances as dog’s ability to stop on a dime when careening across hardwood floors chasing favorite toys, but fails to remember that just because he can see through it doesn’t mean the sliding glass door is open. Boy will plan backyard camping events with his friends in which they will tell dog related stories, one upping each other as to whose dog is the best fetcher/chaser/licker ever!

Take a guy poll regarding motorcycles and dogs and I’m wagering the response will be something akin to our witty quip of the day: “If that don’t light your fire, your wood’s gotta be wet!”

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Case of the Exploding Spider

Moving up the walkway just after dark one evening, I saw something fairly sizable scurry under the front door. Unable to see what it was, I opened the door and bent down to get a glimpse at what just gained entry to our home. Peering at what appeared to be a spider, I got as close as I dared, which amounted to about 4 feet away, and tried to get a better look. Why, you might ask, did I care to look closer at one of Earth's most disturbing and horrifying creatures? Primarily because it strongly resembled a quarter sized brain attached to eight legs. I called my husband over to “come check out this crazy looking spider!” Of course that was wife-speak for “KILL IT, KILL IT NOW!!!” So my daring husband closes in and crouches down on one knee in order to examine his prey. Our two teenagers and our 8 year old have also wandered over to lend their investigative skills. Crouched down on one knee, having gotten a closer look, hubby declares “huh!”. Astonishingly, this is where it all goes terribly wrong. He reaches around, yanks the flip flop off of my foot, and in slow motion I watch hubby smack the spider with my shoe, whereby it literally explodes and hundreds, yes HUNDREDS, of baby spiders shoot out in all directions all around the kids and him. At the exact moment the spider explodes, hubby falls backward onto his seat and my big, burly man proceeds to backwards army-crawl several feet in hyper-speed while emitting a howl that scared the dog and sent the cats into hiding! In retrospect I will concede that perhaps what panicked the animals might have been the shrill, ear-piercing shrieks of my daughter, sons, and me as we all sprinted across the room away from the baby spiders swarming my entry. Our youngest was the only one who possessed the wherewithal to run to the kitchen, procure a can of bug spray, dart back to the entry, and proceed to bathe the area in a dense fog of poison, thus completing his first, and dear Lord we hope last, act of genocide. We are so unbelievably proud.

Twenty four hours and one Google search later, I discovered that what invaded our home that night was not in fact some bizarre, mutant, never before seen species of alien spider, but instead was nothing more than the common Wolf spider. Common. Right. Because I’m confident that most of my neighbors had experience in dealing with brain-like, exploding spiders and simply opted to keep this information to themselves. Oh, as a side note, the Wolf spider carries it young around on its back during its travels. Just thought this bit of trivia might help you sleep better at night.

Witty quip of the day: Say it with me - BUG SPRAY. Seriously.

Apryl :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Romance Novels

Guilty pleasures: we all indulge once in a while don’t we? Come on, admit it. You risk ridicule by treating yourself to the occasional romance novel don’t you? It’s just us girls here; no condemnation, no judgment… well maybe just a little judgment. I am only slightly ashamed to admit that in my early 20's I used to read them nearly exclusively, and while in recent years I’ve moved on to more thought provoking fare, I gleaned some simply magnificent ways to depict anatomy that I might never have learned otherwise! I mean if one doesn’t refer to a man’s penis as his “quivering manhood”, well then what on earth would one call it? Or perhaps the word vagina is just too crass and without romance novels, we would never have learned to describe a vagina as her “blossoming flower”, right? One can also pick up some fine tidbits about the path one’s relationships should take. Such tomes almost always start with one boy, one girl, and one castle in some far away land. Boy is a swashbuckling hero if a bit of a rake. Girl is always gorgeous with long, flowing hair, and a heaving bosom. (How does one’s bosom “heave” by the way?) Boy woos girl with dreadfully daring deeds, and a shocking repertoire. Girl hates boy, well maybe she loves him. No, she definitely hates him. Next he beds her, and then she REALLY hates him. Of course he’ll run off to perform more swashbuckling deeds and have hearty adventures while she stays behind at the castle simultaneously hating him/loving him. They always wind up together in the end. Sometimes he tricks her into marrying him. Other times, she tricks him into marrying her. Nonetheless, they marry, love and hate each other some more what with the heaving bosom and quivering manhood and all. Then in the end they are desperately in love and generally with child. Oh shoot, I’ve ruined the plot line of the book you’re currently reading haven’t I? Please accept my humble apologies, really.

Today’s Witty Quip: “Blossoming Flower”. Find a way to use it in your daily commentary. Only we’ll know that it means vagina. To the uninformed it will sound as if you’re speaking of the flora and fauna in your neighbor’s yard instead. No need to thank me, I’m a helper and a giver…

Apryl :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Witty Quips For Everyday Use

As I lounge here sipping my morning coffee and contemplating such important topics as whether or not to treat myself to a pedicure versus tackling the vast mountain of laundry currently calling my name, I find myself wondering whether in fact the laundry literally just SPOKE! I'm going out on a limb here and presuming it didn't. I'm certain however it wasn't the dog or even my conniving cats who managed to pull one over on my daughter and me this morning and got themselves fed not once but twice, and assuming rather that it was my conscience whispering words of disdain designed to instigate the guilt necessary to get me to finish doing the laundry. Oh and my cats? They are the former leaders of the evil cat cult my children were certain lived beneath the deck at our old house. But I digress... Today's "witty quip for everyday use" is: "What now, quippy?!?". For those of you unfamiliar with this catchy phrase I should in all fairness cite my source. The erroneously cancelled TV series, The Gilmore Girls, provided today's witty quip. Setting the scene: Rory Gilmore has just been turned away from taking an important test by arriving late to class due to a deer hitting her Jeep on her way to school. Rory lost her normally well kept cool and launched into a diatribe, directing the final portion of said diatribe to Paris, an extremely narcissistic young woman whose constant verbal haranguing has culminated in Rory leaning down to Paris and shouting, "what now, quippy?". For those of us requiring a definition, allow me to offer an example: when frustrated or perhaps even agitated, instead of shouting "how do you like them apples?!?", one could instead change it up and shout "what now, quippy?!?". Try it out for yourself. Don't worry, I'll wait. (cue the Jeopardy music here) Now, don't you feel better? Wasn't that refreshing? A dear friend and I use this particular quip on a fairly regular basis as we love the confused looks upon the faces of the befuddled souls for whom we've chosen to bestow our newest riposte upon.

I leave you with a recently discovered anonymous quote: "If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague."

Ciao for now!
Apryl :)