Wednesday, November 30, 2005

To Do List

I have a huge to do list today and this week. Perhaps this will go down as the most boring blog entry in history.

Today's List

Call the President of Gold Country Moms
Make boarding arrangements for the dogs
Make vet appt. for Mandy
RSVP for a birthday party
RSVP for a Christmas party
Find missing DVD from Hollywood Video
Find missing DVD's from Netflix
Find missing Christmas presents I haven't wrapped yet
Clean bedroom in order to find presents
Pick up prescriptions
Find lab slip for blood test (the annual thryoid test)
Go to the grocery store
Wash A's taekwondo uniform
Take A to taekwondo
Cook dinner
Start packing to visit family
Wrap more presents
Pick up J and A from two separate schools
Tomorrow night, I am also baking cookies for a bake sale. This is because I an idiot.
Also, I need to finish Christmas shopping for my casa kid (a charity thing.)

Well, enough list making. Off to work. Nowhere in that list do I see blogging.

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Children Are Nestled

Ahhhhh, the two little ones went to bed early tonight. Only "J" is awake and she is in her room doing homework. She and her sister were both testy tonight, so I am glad to have an end to the whining, at least until tomorrow.
This morning, I woke up queasy, tired and with a headache. Since I'm not pregnant, that must mean I was hungover. See what I get!
"A" started back to school today after a month off. She was glad to go. I was quite happy myself.

I thought "SJ" would be sad that she was gone, but he played happily all morning.
"SJ" also went shopping with me this afternoon. We are trying to get ready for Christmas. It takes more shopping trips than I can count.

Hey, he's a guy. There's no way I can take him on a ten-hour shopathon.

We went to Big Lots, because there were some coloring posters that "A" wanted quite badly. "SJ" saw the baby dolls and kept saying "baby." He wanted to give one a bottle. I have already ordered him a baby for Christmas so I was glad to see he was interested in them.

I found books for one dollar! They were romances, my Grandma's favorite kind, so I grabbed her five. The store had many more good deals than last time I was there.

Next, we had to go buy toiletries. We went to Kmart. I am surprised it is still open. It took a monstrous hit when Walmart opened just down the road. Is Kmart evil like Walmart? I'm unsure. Anyway, they aren't much more expensive than Walmart and they are a LOT less crowded.

Laundry detergent is laundry detergent no matter where I buy it. There is one exception. That is Long's Drug. They add gold dust to their laundry detergent - at least that is the only reason I can think of for their prices to be so high.

"SJ" was excellent. He had one little tantrum, but it was short lived. It was a treat to go shopping with just one munchkin. We stopped and pushed the buttons on all the animated singing things so he could watch. We DID skip the singing deer head today. This was out of pity for the sporting goods employee that hears it twenty times an hour every day.

"SJ" wanted a drink in Kmart so we stopped at the snack bar on the way out. I asked the lady behind the counter if they ever made sub sandwiches anymore. (Call me gross. I really enjoyed those things.) She told me that they didn't make them anymore. She said, very drolly, "We mostly have hotdogs, hotdogs....and more hotdogs."

It's always nice to find a humorous person in customer service.
"J" is trying to get ungrounded. She tried to get me in an argument tonight. I refused to rise to the bait. In fact, I told her that I refused to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed person. Will my Mom of the Year award be coming in the mail soon?

She was unimpressed with my comment, but it had the desired effect...sweet silence.
Today is the biggest cyber-shopping day of the year. Apparently, people go to work and take advantage of the high speed connections to order stuff. Go cyber-shoppers, go! Just leave some good stuff for me. (^8

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Three Sheets To The Wind

I refuse to be held responsible for whatever I post tonight. That's right, I am casting aside personal responsibility! Why? Because I am delightfully, deliciously drunk. I do this maybe once every six to eight months. In fact, I am going to quit correcting my typos as of now! I am working on my 4th bloody mary. Cold Case comes on in 20 minutes. Life is pretty good at the moment. When the alarm goes off at 6:30, it may not be.
J came in on the Amtrak today. The station is set up differentyl now. You used to get a piece of paper when you parked. Then when you left, an attendatn charged yo for parking.

Now, you get the paper. Before you leave, you scan it. Then you pay with your cash or credit card at this scanning machine. Then you get ANOTHER paper. Then you scan that to get out.

It was a bit complicated even for the adults, which was why I was surprised to see an eight year old boy attempting to do it. His mother pulled up to the curb and looked out the window at him and proceeded to yell across at him. She had a gravely, annoying, whiny "smoked five packs a day" voice.

"Sam, did you figure it out yet?"

"Sam, do you know where to scan the ticket?"

It went on in this vein for a bit. All of us waiting in the line behind little Sam were rolling our eyes. Finally she yelled, "Sam, ask the lady behind you!"

I wish just one person would have said, "Hey lady, I have a better idea. Get your lazy GD ass out of the car, come over here and help!"

Of course, she didn't appear to be a rocket scientist either, so what good would it have done?
Our puppy is named Mandy, and we finally thought of the perfect name for her. It is Myrtle. She moans when you pet her and she also sleeps in the bathroom at night. Harry Potter fans will understand the reference.

I'm too drunk to explain it to everyone else.
If Mandy/Myrtle doesn't housebreak soon, I may have to kill her. Remember when you were "supposed to" rub a dog's nose in it when they pooped. Well I know better than to do that, and I won't. But it sure would be satisfying.

Go outside you damn dog, go OUTSIDE!
while I am on the topic of poop...When SJ was a newborn, he had trouble pooping. He whined and fussed beforehand and then had trouble making product.

I was poop obsessed for four to six months before he finally started being regular. (Oh yeah, I'm still poop obsessed.)

Finally, he was regular, and until recently went about once a day, usually in the morning.

Lately, though, he goes ALL DAY LONG. It isn't pretty. He doesn't even eat much. Where in HECK is all this poop coming from?

We are going through baby wipes faster than a hooker goes through condoms on a busy Friday night.

At least I don't get a four hour "pre-poop" cry fest like when he was a baby. But still...yeesh.

Okay, enough poop from me. Good night.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Black Friday

Today was Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. I set my alarm for two a.m. so I could be in line by three. But not really.

I used to eagerly peruse the post Thanksgiving sales the night before, plotting my strategy according to which store opened first and which items I wanted the most.

One year, we waited two hours in the pre-dawn hours outside Walmart. We wanted the sixty-six dollar bread machine. We stampeded into the store with the other cattle and went straight to the household goods. There was not ONE bread machine left. I think the store carried maybe three of them at most. We left in disgust.

Another thing that soured me on Black Friday was the people that didn't get in line. They waited in the parking lot and then rushed the doors when they opened. Classy, huh? The last time I did Black Friday, three years ago, there were security guards to prevent that. Isn't it sad that the stores had to hire security guards to prevent people from acting like assholes?

Mervyn's used to give out gift cards and small presents to the first five-hundred visitors. I saw tons of women who must have borrowed every child in their family and popped out at least five of their own. They had every single one of their freaking kids in line so they could get as much free crap as possible, thus screwing the rest of us.

The very last time I went to BF, I was six and a half months pregnant. I tried to cross an aisle and people were charging at me with their carts in front of them like battering rams. They didn't care that I was pregnant. I needed to get the hell out of their way and fast!

I've had it with this particular shopping day. There is no electronic, gaming system, hot toy or "back massager" low-priced enough to get my butt out of bed the day after Thanksgiving until I have had my full quota of sleep. When the stores start passing out coupons for a year's worth of free day care, I'll show up again. (a week early.)
Old Hoss mentioned God on his blog again today, an "is there or isn't there?" comment.

God is a toughie for me. God involves blind belief. The last time I believed in something blindly, it was Santa Claus. Well, we all know how that ends up. (Sorry, Virginia, it was all a bunch of bullshit.)

My parents never took me to church as a child. My mother said I could choose when I grew up. This is the best prescription to ensure that your children will NEVER go to church.

When I go into church, I feel like an imposter. Remember the final scene from "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" when the man shows up and the aliens discover he isn't one of them yet? They all point him out. That's what I keep expecting to happen. "She can't come in here. Get her!"

Sometimes I'm sure there is a God. Sometimes I wonder, especially when bad things happen to good people.

There is only one way for me to find out for sure and I'd like to wait about forty years on that one.

Let's just hope I don't go to the bad place. I never have cared for the heat much.

I Want This

I want this clock. I just don't want to pay 56.00 for it. It's cute, but costs about twice as much as it should. Of course, I have been accused of having no taste so it is probably only cute to me!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Yesterday I tried to get my floors all mopped for Thanksgiving. I decided to do it on hands and knees with a rag. I didn't feel like playing tug of war with SJ over the mop. Last time I tried giving him his own mop, but then ended up chasing him cleaning up huge puddles.

So I mopped the floor on hands and knees with bare feet. All I lacked was a belly swollen with child. It looks like I'm swollen with child, so it was close enough, I guess.

Mopping on hands and knees is not as bad as it sounds. It gave me the ability to find and scrape up all the smashed fruit roll ups and play-doh bits, to clean the baseboards thoroughly and to realize how much hair my "non-shedding" dogs leave around.

It's not reccomended to use bleach or ammonia on Pergo, just vinegar and water. It was great, because it didn't burn my lungs. Also, when I was done, my house smelled freshly douched.

I didn't finish the whole house, but it was an improvement.
Today, I did not have one single cooking disaster and everything was done at once. This is truly amazing and I'm not complaining!

This is my first chance to sit down and blog and I wanted to list the many things I am thankful for. There are too many to list, but I wanted to put a few of them here.

1. Friends and family. This includes blogging friends. I enjoy reading your posts and I enjoy reading your comments on my blog. Nothing cheers me up more when I'm down.

2. That all my children are healthy.

3. We have a place to live and plenty to eat. (more than plenty!)

4. Elastic waistbands - need I say more?

5. The dishwasher and washing machine.

6. Dogs.

7. Chocolate.

8. Books and newspapers.

9. Living in a country where I can express my opinion.

10. Living in a country where others can express their opinions, even if they are clearly wrong. LOL

11. The fact that A can go back to school Monday and quit asking me, "Are we going to do something FUN today?"

12. That life, for the most part, has been good to me.
I made a chocolate cream pie, mostly for myself. Do I have to share it?

I made it with two layers. One layer was cream cheese, sour cream, cool whip and powdered sugar mixed together. The next layer was chocolate pudding. Mmm, heavenly.

My husband said he thinks I eat my chocolate pie the same way that the dog eats leftover scraps. I just inhale it before it hits my plate and don't taste it. I beg to differ. I DO taste it.
I tried a new recipe from the Barefoot Contessa. It is for bloody marys. I mixed, in a blender: celery, tomato juice, celery salt, horseradish, worcestershire and probably a few other things I am forgetting. It is in the fridge chilling. When we have some room in our overextended stomachs, we will blend in a cup and a half of vodka and give it a try.
It is time to go clean the mess that was once my kitchen before I get too drunk to care. I think there is a sink under there somewhere.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

It's All About the Pies

Thanksgiving shouldn't be called Turkey Day. It should be called Pie Day. One can only eat so much leftover turkey. Pie however...there's never a slice left in my fridge.

Yesterday I went to Costco, the local warehouse store to buy a pumpkin pie. They make a huge one for six dollars and it's better than anything I can bake. Even my MIL, who makes heavenly crust, buys a Costco pie every year.

We went for the pumpkin pie first. All I could see were the pecan and apple pies. I repeatedly said out loud, "Where's the pumpkin?"

Then I saw the gentleman who was literally two feet away from me, and happened to be unloading a ginormous rack of them. I am excellent at making myself look intelligent in public.

We grabbed a pumpkin and threw a cheesecake in the cart. Then we went to get some dog food. On the way to the dog food, ladies from The Cheesecake Factory were giving out free samples of Pumpkin Cheesecake. A loved it. We HAD to get a pumkin cheesecake also. I could have schlepped back to the other side of the store and put the other cheesecake back, but now what fun would that be?

So we are having a pumpkin, a chocolate cream, and two cheesecakes. Well it may be down to one cheesecake by the time Thanksgiving comes. Heh heh.

When we went to the parking lot, I couldn't find my van. The parking lot is set up strangely. There are some straight lines and some diagonal lines. The front of the store is triangular. Really, I have enough trouble finding my car in a normal parking lot. I hit the panic key so I could find it by honking horn, but my key chain was malfunctioning. Figures. Eventually, I did find it or I wouldn't be sitting here typing.
On the whole subject of losing things, I have to tell a story from grocery shopping last week. A very elderly couple was in the produce section. The husband asked his wife, "Where's the cart?"

"Right behind me," she replied.

He looked, "No it's not."

They were both looking around rather confused and I said, "Is this it over here?"

The husband went to get it and growled at me, "Wait until you're our age!"

Note to self: If I ever see this again, pretend I didn't - well unless it's a purse or wallet or granchild or something like that.
I read a quote by Bill Maher the other day that I loved.

"Kids. They're not easy. But there has to be some penalty for sex."

This one may have to be framed and placed prominently on my wall. Oh how classy I am.
J, my oldest, is going to her Father's house for Thanksgiving. This means I get her for Christmas. I prefer Christmas because the vacation time is longer. Of course, check back two days into that vacation, and my opionion will be changed. She's home for how long!

We are going to visit my mother for part of this time. My grandmother flew out from Maine to visit and is staying with my mother. She is my last surviving grandparent.

My paternal grandmother died before I was born. Drinking Sterno to get drunk will do that to you. (Did I mention I'm named after her?) My maternal grandfather died when I was twelve and my paternal grandfather died when I was about nineteen. So my "Nanny" is the last grandparent I have. Her health isn't wonderful but could be much worse. I'm sure we will have a nice visit.
Happy Holidays everybody.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Champagne Cake Recipe

Cake Recipe

1 box french vanilla cake mix
2 envelopes dream whip
4 egg whites (save 2 yolks for the filling)
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup strong champagne (I use Cook's Brut)

Beat all ingredients together in a mixer for 3 minutes. Pour into greased, floured pans. Bake at 350 until done.

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla

Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in 2-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir at least half of the hot mixture gradually into egg yolks: stir into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in margarine and vanilla. Refrigerate.


2 pints whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Beat until stiff.

The Chore Wars

This picture is of the kitchen that started it all. J has one chore. That is to clean the kitchen every day. I usually run at least one load through the dishwashwer daily in addition to what she does.

Last week she kept asking for a "pass" on the kitchen. She said she had tons of homework. I'm sure she did have tons, but she wasn't getting right on it. She farted around for a few hours, then did homework and then said she was tired.

I let her pass for a few nights. On Thursday night, I told her it had to be done. It was piled up and I didn't have time.

Well she conveniently didn't do it on Thursday night. On Friday morning, I woke up to the above mess. She wanted to see Harry Potter on Friday night. I was going to make her do the dishes first and then go. Then she was going to be grounded for the rest of the weekend and do chores.

Husband said, no she had to be grounded on Friday night and then she could be free the rest of the weekend. We told her she was grounded. She stomped out of the kitchen and slammed the pocket door (which husband ended up repairing). So the grounded extended to the rest of the weekend. (I thought.)

"J" thought so too. She made plans to go to Harry Potter Tuesday night. Husband said she was still grounded. I told her she was still grounded and couldn't go.

So "J" is mad at me. Husband is mad at me. I get to be stuck in the middle - oh so fun. Can anyone find me the nearest "tattered" women's home?

I don't even feel like screwing with the holidays. I am tired of living with the strife and negativity. I am tired of being told from husband that I am too lenient and from daughter that I am too strict. I wish I could put them both in the boxing ring with a couple of shock collars and buzzers in each one's hand. Then they could have their pissing match without my prescence.

Update: J just totally pissed me off and is grounded another month. It was a big piss off. Happy Holidays to me!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Big Lots and Other Disappointments

Yesterday (Thursday) was a rare day off. It wasn't a real day off where I don't have my children. It was a day off from any doctor, dentist, speech therapy, occupational therapy or dentist appointments.

My husband worked from home in the morning. As soon as he moved from his spot to shower, I rushed over to blog. My internet connection was down. In fact, it was down ALL DAY LONG! I couldn't check my e-mail or eBay or anything else I wanted to do. I couldn't think of anything else to do on the computer.

I tried playing some MP3's and that didn't work. I put in a CD. That didn't work. I tried J's CD player. Didn't work. Everything I touched was turning to crap. I was almost afraid to change SJ's diaper for fear that his penis might fall off. It was one of those days.

When my husband got home, he realized that the puppy had chewed through our cable. Thus no internet. I could have gladly throttled that dog.
The new Big Lots store in our area opened. This is a store that carries discontinued merchandise at usually low prices.

This store has changed their name more than a rock star. First they were Pic N Save. Then they were MacFrugals. Now they're Big Lots. I liked the name Pic N Save best. Does anyone want to bring on the booger jokes?

This Big Lots also carried furniture. Unfortunately, it took up too much space in the store. Some of the things they used to carry lots of, such as toiletries were meager. The prices weren't very low either.

Why would they replace toiletries with furniture? I don't buy furniture much. The only time I buy couches is after I can no longer remove the marker and food stains and the kids have managed to unstuff all the cushions. Then I buy them used because the cycle of furniture abuse just starts all over again.

Toiletries, though, I buy a lot. After all, you have to have toilet paper. (Maybe A would beg to differ, but the rest of us use it.) I think the furniture thing was a dumb move on their part. If I really buy a new couch, I'm not getting it at Big Lots.
My husband enjoyed his birthday cake very much. I used to buy them every year, but when we moved here, I got a rude awakening.

His birthday cake of choice is a champagne cake. I could not find ONE bakery that would make me a champagne cake. Well, there was one, but they wanted a week's notice and I didn't have a week. (I tried to order it three days before his birthday.)

I found a recipe online. It starts with a french vanilla boxed mix. Then you add four egg whites, one whole egg, champagne, oil and dream whip.

I make vanilla pudding from scratch for the middle. Then I whip cream with a little confectioner's sugar and vanilla for the topping.

We still haven't finished our kitchen remodel so I couldn't find my beater. I beat the cake by hand, but realized I couldn't whip the cream that way. I ended up using one of the old fashioned hand beaters that you crank manually.

It took at least ten minutes to do it. If I did that every day, my arms would be buffed.

For his birthday, my husband received a tin of popcorn from A and SJ, a Slim Jim that was personally picked out by A, truffles from J and Revenge of the Sith from me. It wasn't until he opened the presents that I realized he only received one non-food item. It's okay. He was pleased.

Usually I go buy him pants and shirts for his birthday, but we are broke. We have some lovely Pergo floors to show for our lack of funds. Of course, Christmas is around the corner. Do you think our family members would like IOU's?
I have been reading "The Out of Sync Child". It is about sensory processing disorder. SJ falls more on the sensory seeking side of the spectrum. He searches out textures and smells - good or bad. So when he digs in his poopy diaper it isn't just because he is gross. It is because he is sensory seeking AND gross.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Happy Birthday "S"

Happy Birthday to you
My Significant Other
If you ever divorce me
I am keeping your mother

Happy 38th sweetie

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bizzy, Bizzy, Bizzy

Today has been another day in what is an extremely hectic week. I am getting ready to take SJ to bed, so I will touch on a few highlights.

J had five friends over. They were sitting in the dining room eating. A needed to get ready for taekwondo. I told her NOT to change her clothes in front of everyone.

I came around the corner. Despite my order she had stripped to her underwear. Particularly impressive were the skidmarks on her underwear - ON THE FRONT!

SJ refused to wear his diaper this morning. I caught him playing with a necklace. He was trying to hang it from his penis. I also realized this week that he can burp on command. My boy has some skills doesn't he?

A asked me how old I was. I told her I was 36. She said, "That means you're almost in your forties."

Thank you A, I needed that update.

Wednesday is my husband's birthday. Another busy day is on its way. So many chores - so little time.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Dog Farts and Recipes

Maybe I should change that title....nah.

Last week I made a roast in the crock pot. I love my crock pot, but my husband doesn't care for crockpot cooking much. This is because it isn't crispy - meaning fried.

I have my eating addictions also. We are on our own special diet. It is called the Cardiac Crusher.

Anyway, back to the crockpot. I put in a roast, potatoes, carrots, cream of celery soup and an envelope of Lipton Onion. Then I cooked it until it was done. It's very simple and a good time saver on days that I know my evenings will be full.

I gave some leftover pork to the dogs. Boston Terriers tend to be gassy anyway. Throw in some onion and you have a real smell-o-rama going on.

Mandy likes to sit at my feet while I'm at the computer. Every twenty minutes or so a horrible smell would hit my nose. Imagine if a skunk sprayed you just a few hours after it had ingested some expired egg curry. Then multiply that by ten. Her gas is so bad that Boot's offerings pale by comparision.

Now that I have everybody all drooling and hungry, I wanted to post the tofu recipe from last Wednesday. I made it tonight, minus the ginger and sherry and it was good. It isn't an overpowering sugary sweet and sour. It is understated. I enjoyed it.

For those of you who have to be carnivores, substitute boneless, skinless chicken for the tofu. For those of you willing to give tofu a try, drain it well and pat it dry with paper towels before cooking.

1 TBS sesame or peanut oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp grated ginger root
50g/ 1 3/4 oz baby corn cobs
50g/ 1 3/4 oz snow peas
1 carrot, sliced into matchsticks
1 green bell pepper, sliced into matchsticks
8 scallions, trimmed
50g/ 1 3/4 oz. canned bamboo shoots
8 oz. firm tofu, cubed
2 TBS rice vinegar
2 TBS dry sherry
2 TBS honey
1 TBS soy sauce
2/3 cup vegetable stock
1 TBS cornstarch

Heat the oil in a preheated wok until almost smoking.
Add the tofu and brown on both sides. Remove from pan.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds stirring frequently.
Add the baby corn cobs, snow peas, carrot and bell pepper and stir-fry for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Add the scallions, bamboo shoots and tofu and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Stir in sherry, rice vinegar, honey, soy sauce, vegetable stock and cornstarch and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Transfer to serving dishes.

We ate it over rice. I don't feel as bloated and tired as I usually feel after dinner. Yay. Enjoy!

General Idiocy

Twice this week, I had to go to the ATM machine. Once I had to put in a deposit. Once I took out cash. Both times I got lucky and was the first one in line. Generally when I go to the ATM machine, I get stuck behind somebody afflicted with a case of the dumb ass.

We've all seen these people. They fumble for their card. They put it in the slot. They punch numbers than peer at the screen. They punch in more numbers, peer some more and look confused. Meanwhile, the rest of the people in line are gritting their teeth and trying not to moan aloud.

Really, how hard is it to use the ATM? You punch in the numbers. You choose what you want to do from a limited menu. If these people find these few options confusing, I'd hate to see them in the cereal aisle in the grocery store. Yeesh.
The results of this week's election were almost exactly the opposite of everything I voted for.

This means one of three things.

a: I'm smarter than the average bear

b: I'm dumber than the average bear

c: I don't have a clue what the heck I'm doing. Does anyone have a supervisor's position open in their office they would like to hire me for?
Some of the voters in this county had the chance to vote on measure L. Since it affected only two cities in the county, they were the two that got to vote on it.

Measure L would have added approximately twelve dollars a year to property taxes. This money would have funded libraries. It didn't pass. I have to say it again. IT DIDN'T PASS!

Who in heck votes NO on a library tax?

Maybe it's the same idiots that can't use the ATM machine. If not being able to read is good enough for them, then it should be good enough for the rest of us.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Too Tired To Blog

It has been a busy weekend and I am too tired to think of anything remotely interesting to share.

Friday, I took the kids to Apple Hill. We walked on the "nature trail" and they petted animals at the petting zoo.

I took pictures of the animals for SJ. I will put them in a photo album for him so we can look at the pictures repeatedly and name the animals. Perhaps his first sentence will be, "Okay, I'll talk already if you'll just leave me the heck alone!" I'd settle for that.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Happy Veterans Day

If you know a veteran, give him a big kiss today.

For those who have husbands who are veterans, I heard through the grapevine that blow jobs are requested.
Does anybody else appreciate those oh so enjoyable subject lines that the spammers send with their e-mails? I try to get a chuckle before I delete them and send the to the trashcan in hell where they belong.

Here are a few recent ones.

Re: Do Eat No Worldwide Flyer (Don't worry. I only eat the ones that fly thru CA)

The study suggests different magnitude quakes begin in different ways said Lucy Jones, the scientist in charge of the U.S. Geological Survey in Pasadena, who was not in charge of the study. (But she took credit anyway. Bitch!)

Adrian: Time to let you know (Yes, time to let you know that if you open spam, you're a sucker)

II Beaten Sargent (Sounds like what cannibals add to their pancakes)

You reply my frigging underfloor ("My frigging underfloor?" Is that like "my little chickadee or "my sweet baboo?" When my husband gets up I can say, "Would you like a cup of coffee my sweet frigging underfloor?")
My mother suggested that I get Allison a mannequin arm and leg for Christmas. I thought of something a little easier. I will buy a Barbie and dismantle it. Finally, Barbie will be good for something besides destroying budding self-images worldwide.

Mattel should make a post-marriage Barbie. She will come with three kids all under the age of six. Her hair will be unkempt, mousy brown and badly past due for a haircut. Her breasts will sag to her waist and come with a "milk leaking" feature. Her stomach will bulge. Her thighs will rub together. Her clothes will all have spit up stains on the shoulder and they will either be too tight or look like garish circus tents. Her face should have a perpetually stressed look. When you press a button on her back, she will emit phrases such as:

"We're running late. Find your goddamn shoes already!"

"Do I look like an ATM to you?"

"The teacher is calling me tonight why?"

"What do you mean you have a class project due tomorrow that you've known about for three weeks?"

"You're working late again?"

"Has anyone seen the frigging Xanax?"

Now that's what I call reality in advertising.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Eavesdropping A

This story was supposed to be in last night's blog. I told A to go to her room because I needed to show her father one of her Christmas gifts. (the pictures.) She came out and said, "Mom I think I know what you got me."

"What?" I asked, with dread.

"An arm and a leg. I heard you telling Dad. Are they a real arm and a leg?"

There is no comedian on the planet as funny as a kid.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

There's One Born Every Minute

A had photos taken in her taekwondo school in full uniform. I only had the pictures taken so she could be on the wall of the school with the rest of her class. That was it! I was only spending four dollars. Uh huh.

Last night, I went to see the proofs. They were so cute. I just wanted to buy an 8x10, but the minimum price for a package with an 8x10 was seventy dollars. I ended up purchasing the proofs and the negatives instead. It was cheaper than a package, but still more than I wanted to pay. But they were so cute!

She doesn't know I purchased them. For Christmas, I'm getting one made into a big poster for her. Shhhh, it's a surprise.

One time, when SJ was two months old, I got his pics done. The 16x10 was free. The rest cost money. I made my husband go with me so I could stick to my guns. He ended up being a bigger sucker than I am! Nothing in life is really free is it - except bad advice?
My tasty tofu cooking class was tonight. I learned that soy raises your good cholesterol in addition to lowering your bad cholesterol. (I knew it lowered bad but not the other.)

The two recipes I got weren't bad, but for fifteen bucks, I could have purchased a whole cookbook.

The teacher also brought a block of pre-baked sesame flavor tofu. I LOVED that. I went to the store after class to get some, because it was so good. It cost almost five bucks and it wasn't even a full pound. AAGH! I thought my husband would love it, but he turned up his nose. So did A and SJ. I will never get this family to try healthier choices. Just load them up on the lard and starch and they're happy. In fact, A would just like me to put a funnel in her mouth and load sugar in it.

This is my fault. I have been bringing the crap in the house because I like it too. My family needs to find the nearest 12 step program.
Boots snuck off again last night. J was taking out the trash and when she opened the gate, he took off. She called him and he wouldn't come back.

I drove around the block and nothing. I decided to try one more time and got lucky. The next time he does this, maybe I'll take him straight to the vet for a good snippin'.
Well my feet hurt and so do my eyelids. It's time to go to bed. I will post my sweet and sour tofu stir fry recipe later.

Good News and Not So Good News

This has been a busy week. A had a dentist appointment Monday. SJ had speech therapy Tuesday and a hearing appointment today. The good news is his hearing seems to be fine. The not so good news is that his speech therapist says he should be assessed.

He repeats words for her, but he is not grasping the words. Basically, he is just echoing.

He also has a few stims that he repeats quite frequently, especially arm flapping. The definition of stims is below. I cut and pasted from another web site.

(The word "stim" refers to any (usually repetitive) self-stimulatory behaviour. The stereotypical example is rocking or flapping, but it can be virtually anything that causes repetitive sensory input. What counts as a stim varies from person to person. Also, what works as a stim for one person may cause sensory overload in another.)

He has an appointment to get diagnosed but not until January 30th, which seems an eternity to wait.

In the meantime, I ordered a book on communication reccomended by his speech therapist. It only cost an arm and a leg fifty bucks. I searched the local library for some information and there was not a lot of literature to help me and anything good was on order or checked out.

While I don't believe he is autistic, he does have autistic symptoms. We shall see.

I am sad, of course, but I also know that there are many worse things that a child can be afflicted with. I will continue to encourage him and do the best I can.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Tom The Bomb

Tom the Bomb is the not so affectionate nickname we have for our cat Tom. We've had Tom for about seven years, since he was a kitten. We adopted him from the shelter in San Jose.

Tom was playful as a kitten but once adulthood hit, he became a lump. Tom is the feline equivalent of your unfavorite relative who comes to "visit" and then proceeds to take up permanent residence in your household until the day they die.

If you pet him, he bites you. He won't play. He refuses to get used to the dog that we've had a year and a half. He wants to eat, poop, lay around and scream loudly at the door, preferably in the middle of the night. He hacks up hairballs the size of Texas. Once he did this in my favorite chair.

My annoyance with Tom began shortly after we moved to our current home. Every time he laid on my bedspread, he left a poop spot. After the fourth washing of my bedspread, he was no longer allowed in the bedroom. In fact, everywhere he laid, he left poop spots. We found out later that his anal gland needed drained, but by then I didn't want him on my furniture, period.

Tom has other poop issues also. The reason we call him Tom the Bomb aka "the ass of doom" is because his crap stinks so badly. It isn't normal cat poop stench. It is a "god-awful nose hair singing must don a haz-mat suit to scoop it" stench.

That's not all. We have tried clay litter, scoopable litter, flushable litter and litter crystals. We have also tried Tidy Cat and Arm & Hammer Deodorizer. We have tried scooping and disposing of the turd as soon as it leaves his butt. We have tried shutting the bathroom door and the smell seeps under it. None of these measures work. The minute the cat takes a crap, our whole house smells like ass - EVEN WHEN the turd has been scooped out and whisked away to the outside trash.

The vet suggested that he had food allergies and reccomended a special food, a special EXPENSIVE food. Let's see. Uh no.

Tom also craps out of spite. When we leave town, we load him up with food, more than he usually eats in that amount of time. We give him two mixing bowls full of water. One time, we stayed a day late and he ran out of food, so he shit on the living room floor. Now when we leave, we lock him in the bathroom.

Tom is also no longer living in the house. He lives on the porch in his cat bed like a great, black lump of mold. But does he leave the area to crap. Oh no, why bother? He craps under the porch. All visitors to our house are greeted with the smell of cat ass. Welcome friends and neighbors!

He just had his most recent well kitty visit at the vet and he is in perfect health. Crap. This obnoxious smelly creature could be around another thirteen years or more. Somebody just shoot me please.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Saturday Night RV Test

We tested our new (to us) RV out on Saturday evening. There is a KOA approximately five miles down the road. That seemed a safe distance from home in case things went awry.

We should have left a little earlier Saturday, but it took me over half the day to get ready for the maiden voyage. There's a lot of stuff to pack up just for a bit of camping.

The KOA was very nice. It had a children's playground, a "petting zoo" consisting of two goats and some peck your fingers off chickens, and a murky, moat-like "fishing" pond that went in a circle with ducks swimming in it. There was a bridge over the pond and we threw bread off the bridge to the ducks.

There is no chivalry in the animal kingdom, let me tell you. The male mallards would steal a crust of bread from the females just as quick as their bills could gobble. It was a case of you snooze you lose.

There was also a pool and hot tub, both closed. The pool made sense to me for being closed but not the hot tub.

The husband had realized after we got on the road that he had left the instruction manuals at home. He wanted to turn around, but I was sure he could figure things out. There were a few things he couldn't hook up, but they were minor and we were quite comfortable.

J brought her friend D along. They had a good time together. The husband and I played board games with them while A pouted, because the games were too hard for her. I did play one game of Uncle Wiggily with her. She won. Perhaps I let her, but I'll never tell. I don't make a habit of letting her win, because she needs to learn how to lose also.

I cooked dinner on my four burner stove. Four burners! Woo-hoo. It worked better than the stove in my house. It was a little awkward at first because the space was so small, but I soon re-learned the dance of the RV. It's a carefully choreographed ballet where everybody maneuvers around each other while resisting the urge to yell, "Get the hell out of my way!"

After dinner and halfway through board games, SJ had a meltdown. He hadn't napped all day long and it wasn't surprising. I got him to sleep in five minutes flat.

Before bed that night, the husband asked me if I wanted him to turn on the heater. I replied that the RV was warm enough and that we didn't need it. After listening to me on not turning around to get the RV instructions, I'm surprised he listened to me on this one. I wish he hadn't.

Everyone else was warm enough, but I froze my butt off all night. I kept waking up with my teeth chattering. Every time I tried to get in a comfortable, warm spot, SJ woke up and I had to get him back to sleep. I couldn't stretch my legs out and the back of my knees cramped up. It was a VERY long night.

I will say that our mattress was surprisingly comfortable. I was worried about it as it looks like it has been run over by a steamroller.

In the morning, I cooked breakfast. Allison and the husband went to the petting zoo. After I got dressed, I took SJ to feed the "gucks". Considering the pond looked a little like a slimy waste dump, I think his word for them was more descriptive. He didn't care what the pond looked like. He was outside. He was free and he was throwing food at a new kind of animal.

We packed it up after about an hour of outside time. It was about an eighteen hour camping trip, just long enough to figure out what needed fixing on the RV.

The kids had a great time which always makes me feel like the weekend was successful. And Old Horse, I figured out a way you can make your pile. Put a sensor on a puppy that emits a noise when the puppy is about to sneak off and take a crap in the back of your RV. Get on it soon, please.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

In The News

Yes, traffic in CA really is this

I shouldn't laugh at this

Friday, November 04, 2005

Can You Tell Me How To Get?

Yesterday's post should have come complete with green fur and a trash can. Just call me Oscar.
Our local paper has a small blurbs column. At times, readers send in old Burma Shave slogans. This one was in yesterday's paper.

Is he lonesome or just blind - this guy who drives too close behind?

I love reading those.
Next Wednesday I am taking a class called "Tasty Tofu Cooking."

My family is underwhelmed at the thought of what I will be making for them. Party poopers.
I recently became a gumshoe and I'm not talking about being a detective. I literally stepped in gum. Now I have to painstakingly extricate it off the bottom of my shoe. People who throw gum on the ground should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Spit out gum should have DNA tests run on it so we could chase down the culprits. At the very least, we should be able to force these jerks, at gunpoint if necessary, to place it back in their mouths.

My other shoes have dog poopie on them. But it's from my own dogs so I can't start ranting about people who don't pick up after their pooches.
We have had the pleasure of Boots' company for almost a year and a half. During this time, he has learned that the toddler is the mecca of table scraps. He hides under the table and SJ hand feeds him anywhere from twenty-five to ninety-nine percent of his food.

One will often find SJ walking around the house holding food in his hands while Boots intently shadows him.

Today Mandy was under the table at breakfast time. SJ introduced her to pancakes with syrup. I give it a month, tops, before SJ has two canine shadows.

Mandy is proving to be a sweetheart. When you pick her up to rub her, she gives little moans of pleasure the whole time. When she sees you in the morning, her little stub tail wags in glee. There's something about being that special to another living creature that melts your heart.

Boots is funny also. Yesterday I started playing with him and he literally smiled. He opened his mouth and the sides of his lips went up. I'm not kidding - he smiled.

Today in the van, J was holding him, and he was giving her a look of total adoration. Could Heaven really be dog-free? Would it even be Heaven without our furry friends?
SJ never says his own name. It is the same as his Daddy's name also, so I don't know if that is causing confusion for him.

When I tell him he's being naughty, he says, "Nonny nonny guy."

Today, I was showing him the mirror and saying, "Who is that boy in the mirror?" He said, "guy."

SJ, I dub thee "Guy."

He is doing pretty well on his speech therapy. He's not really making sentences yet, but he is saying more words.

His hearing test is next week. I think his hearing is fine, but I wouldn't be the first parent that was fooled.

Wish us luck.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Liar Liar, Pants On Fire

Someone get the fire extinguisher because I'm burning up. I told a lie. I don't usually lie for two reasons:

1. I feel guilty

2. I am a crappy liar

Maybe the order should be reversed. I'm not sure which one influences me the most.

SJ needs occupational therapy on Friday. A can't go. I called an ad for an at-home childcare. Maybe this is dumb, but I didn't like the lady over the phone. If somebody is watching my kid, I want them to sound like Mary Freaking Poppins. I want enthusiasm, not somebody who says they will check their schedule and call me back. There was no sense of warmth coming over the phone. I want warmth!

SJ's speech therapist, Tish, came to the house Tuesday. I told her he might not show up Friday as I was having sitter issues. She said she knew somebody she could talk to who ran a child care center.

I received a message on the phone machine Wednesday from Tish that the lady she reccomended would watch A. So I called the non-warm childcare lady and told her that A was running a fever. I lied and felt like she didn't believe me. (Maybe because I SUCK at lying.)

Then I tried to call the lady I was told would watch A - twice. One time she wasn't in. One time she was busy so I said I would call Thursday. (today)

I called today and she wasn't in. Okay. Occupational therapy is Friday morning. This leaves me kind of screwed. See what God does to liars!

My husband generously volunteered to work from home tomorrow morning. Phew
This week I have been feeling a bit blue. There is no real reason to feel blue. Everyone is healthy. We have a roof over our heads and enough to eat.

So why am I sad? I hate it. It sucks when my emotions aren't logical.

A pox on the doctor who made me give up my Paxil!

I thought maybe the dirty house was the reason for the blues. For some therapy, I decided to clean my pigsty, er bedroom.

My bedroom is much cleaner, but I am still in a funk.
Taking a chance that the critics were wrong, we rented "Bewitched." Even the critics didn't adequately condemn this piece of crap.

Don't rent it. Save your money!
Another piece of crap is a book I purchased by Elizabeth Lowell. It was called "The Secret Sister." Boring piece of crap book - what a waste of money it was! It is so hard to find a book anymore that grabs me and keeps my attention. Sometimes it grabs me at first and then starts meandering so ridiculously that I skim to the end. Are there no good authors anymore? Or have I just lost my attention span? Life is too short to read crappy books.
Someone has stolen my personal chocolate stash. It was in a white plastic bag and now it is missing. Nobody will claim responsibility. That's because I will kill the culprit if I discover who it is.
Wow, what a cheery post. I am just a ray of sunshine, aren't I?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A is going crazy

Poor A, the child hates being home. She is so bored. Monday we carved pumpkins and went trick or treating in the shopping center AND the neighborhood. Tuesday I needed to rest but she didn't. Today she got to play at the gym while I exercised. I get tired of hearing how bored she is. Bored is a luxury reserved for the very young.
It was another momentous occasion today as we made it to the gym. I went to the ten o'clock cycle class and the instructor asked me if I was new. I started laughing.

He said, "Have I asked you that before?"

I said, "This is the third time."

He asked my name and said he wouldn't forget again. I told him I would dye my hair pink so as to confuse him. It's almost worth doing to make my point, but wouldn't I look like a huge walking case of mid-life crisis?

I couldn't find any good exercise pants this morning so I wore a pair that is pretty ratty. I had a stained shirt and no make-up. I couldn't find one of my well-fitting bras so I put on one of my comfortable ones. Those are the ones that are way too big and really don't do much supporting. When we pedaled fast, I was trying not to bounce, but the boobages still flopped around like a couple of tube socks filled with flubber. J deserves all the thanks for pointing out to me how much they bounce when I'm going faster than a walk. She told me I look like a cartoon caricature. My children keep me humble.
Every morning I drive J to school. Almost every one of these mornings we see a very old man walking down the road. He's hunched over. His left arm is always up to his coat. I thought he was holding his coat closed before, but am now pretty sure that's the way his left arm is. He pushes along on his way to wherever it is he goes. I think maybe he is walking to the corner store.

J and I have been watching him at least a year. I don't know if he lost his license or just likes to walk but we both admire his spirit. Every day he is out there slowly making his way to his destination. That is one determined man.
One other thing we did today in addition to the gym was go to a "Toys That Teach" store today to purchase a Christmas present for SJ. There was a HUGE stuffed dragon that A wants for Christmas. It is already impossible to walk in her room past all the junk and I hate stuffed animals. Nothing on her Christmas list is small and unobtrusive this year. Sigh.
Today's paper had an article reporting that stamps will be going up another two cents in January. This is yet another reason to pay your bills online. Of course, shipping packages is still insanely expensive. I can remember when a stamp was thirteen cents. I bet some of you can remember farther back than that.
Another article I read a few days ago was about a man who got in trouble for possessing child porn. I don't know about other states, but in California, trading child porn with others is only a misdemeanor. Can this be right? Did I read it correctly?

Insider trading is a felony, right? But having pictures of naked kids isn't? I know which kind of criminal I feel more threatened by.
On Behind the Stove, some of the word verification words were posted and it was suggested to make up meanings for them. My next suggestion is inspired by that.

A asked me this morning what SPD stood for. I didn't know - Stinky Poopy Diaper maybe? So I am posting random letters, and anybody that wants to, can guess what they stand for. There are no incorrect answers.


Go for it.

More Halloween Goblins

My aunt in Maine sews the costumes for her granchildren every year. She makes me and my glue gun look pretty pitiful! The costumes are so nice and the little ones so cute, that I had to post these.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Still Catching Up

This has been a busy week thus far. It is hard to find blogging time.

The dinner plan for Halloween night was corn casserole, sos, and potato buds. (instant potatoes by Betty Crocker - not too bad).

I began mixing the corn casserole and realized that the corn bread mix that is supposed to go in it was missing. I had purchased it at the store the night before, but there was no sign of it. I placed what I had mixed in the fridge. Then I started cooking the hamburger for the sos.

The plan for the sos was to be super lazy and use a pre-packaged gravy mix. This was Halloween night. Time was of the essence!

The gravy mix was also missing. Ugh. I had hamburger cooking on the left burner and potatoes on the right. The potatoes were done and I turned them off. Oops wait, I turned off the hamburger. No problem. I would re-light the burner. Only I use a big long lighter to light the burner. (Otherwise I burn myself.) Guess what had walked off! The lighter was nowhere to be found. WTH!

There was a regular lighter in the house so I had my husband light the burner. He is not lighter impaired like I am.

I made the gravy from scratch and somehow dinner got on the table, but for a while there I was a screaming maniac. Well actually, I am usually a screaming maniac.

We should get the stove fixed but it seems like something around here always need fixed. There are many joys of home ownership. Stuff breaking down constantly isn't one of them.
J went trick or treating with friends. I'm glad she still does it. When I was in high school, I still wanted to trick or treat but my friends were too "cool". I'm glad her friends will still do it.

Two years ago, when J was trick or treating a lady asked her if she wasn't a bit old to be doing it. I wish I had been there to set the beeyatch straight.

That happened to me when I was eleven. (I was large for my age.) Some old bitty told me that since I was so big to be trick or treating, she was only going to give me a little piece of candy. Talk about ruining Halloween.

She shaped my future Halloween philosophy, I'll give her that. Anybody can come to my house trick or treating and I will give them candy. Fifty years old? No problem. As long as you are young at heart, I will share my chocolate.
All hell is breaking loose behind me right now. Take one 2 year old tyrant. Fill him with some sugary candy. Watch the explosion. Oh yay!

Time to go put out some fires!