Archive | October, 2008

Happy Halloween!

31 Oct

It’s here.  The day my little hands have been slaving away for.  The costumes are done.  The pumpkins are carved.  The candy is purchased.  Now all that’s left to do is the girls’ class Halloween parties and a quick trip around the neighborhood for some trick-or-treating and it will all be over.  Yesssssssss.

I think the jack-o-lanterns turned out great, as usual.

The old school one on the left is BigHugs’.  Goose drew the face for BigHugs according to her specific instructions, and then Goose and Chuck carved it.  The big melon head face belongs to Mr. T—it fits him perfectly, personality-wise I mean (though, he does have a larger than average noggin).  The ghost belongs to DynaGirl who did the design and carving all by herself and was very proud of that fact.  And the boo on the end belongs to Goose, who chose hers from a set of stencils we have.  Oh, and it was carved by yours truly, as was the melon head.  Betcha didn’t know what mad carving skillz I had.  Snort.

I complain about the hassle and mess of the carving of the pumpkins every year, but it’s tradition and I’m always happy with how they turn out.

Here’s Halloween 2007.

Yep, that’s the Kool-Aid man.  Mr. T was the Kool-Aid man last year for Halloween, and wanted his pumpkin to match.

Halloween 2006

That’s Mr. T’s Darth Vader.  I hadn’t remembered that DynaGirl had done the ghost thing before.

Halloween 2005

The kitty belonged to DynaGirl.  I remember her specifically requesting the wink.


I’ll be sure to post pictures of my little goblins in their full Halloween garb next week.


Have a fun and safe Halloween! 


P.S.  Have you ever seen the entire Thriller video?  It’s a classic.  Oh Michael, what happened to you?

A Political Post!

30 Oct

Our local paper ran a feature yesterday “Ask the Candidates”, in which local elementary school students posed their questions to Obama and McCain.  There were a few gems I’d like to share with you.

Dear presidential candidates, Can you make more books because I love to read.  I would pick the candidate that said yes.  Not the one that said no.

-K., Grade 3

K totally gets politics.


Hello, my name is R.  Why do you want to be president?  Are you going to make prices lower for poor people?  Will you stop the war?  Will you make warm places for homeless people?

-R., Grade 4

Gee, I wonder who his parents are voting for.  I suspect he’s a plant.  Darn that liberal media!


Will you make free stuff?  Kids don’t get a lot of money.  Will you let kids ride go-carts?  So kids don’t have to walk places.  Can you make schools a little longer?

-S., Grade 3

Hey, I’ll vote for anyone who promises me a free go-cart.


As the President entered the room smiling, my mouth opened and the questions immediately jumped out.  “How will you help immigrants learn English?  What will you do to help migrant farm workers earn better pay?  How will you help immigrants feel more welcome in our country?”  Finally, I stopped for his response.  With a smile he said, “Wow those are great questions.  Let’s spend the day, share our ideas and come up with some solutions.”

-L., Grade 5

Is this kid for real?


What would you do if you were president?  Would you be nice or mean?  Would you be happy or sad?  If you are not happy then why are you running for it.  You need to be nice to the people.  Being president is hard work.

-M., Grade 4

I propose a constitutional amendment:  Only nice, happy people may run for President of the United States.  No sad meanies!


And my favorite.

I, R., in the fourth grade, ask you why you are running for president?  Why, I ask?  Because the job of being president is a hard job!  Being president can mean that thousands of people are counting on you.

-R., Grade 4

He’s right, you know.  Out of the 300 million people in our nation, there may well be thousands of them counting on these candidates.


And here’s what I would ask.

Dear Presidential Candidates,

If elected, would you run for re-election in 2012?  I would pick the candidate who said no.  Not the one who said yes.



What would you ask the candidates?


Oh, and how awesome would this be?  You know what this country needs?  More cowbell!


29 Oct

I think it’s safe to say my first name is fairly unique.  I’ve never met another person with it, and I’ve never met another person who knew another person with it.  Sometimes having a unique name is cool—people notice it, comment on it, ask about it.  I’ve received a fair number of name-related compliments over the years.  Sometimes it’s also kind of a burden—no one knows how to spell it or pronounce it, you can never find personalized novelty items in the stores, and not everyone’s “That’s different” comes with a complimentary tone.  But for better or worse, my name is one thing that’s always been special about me. 

Well, the other day Chuck sends me this e-mail with a link to a page that shows a gravestone of someone else with my name.  My name!  Part of me thought that was kind of cool, like “Hey, I’m not alone in the world after all!”  But the other, bigger part of me thought “Harumph!”  I’ve labored under the delusion of my name-related specialness for so long, I’m not sure I’m so crazy about the idea of someone else out there walking around with my name.  Well, hopefully not walking around since she’s been dead for 25 years, but you know what I mean.

So from now on when someone comments on the uniqueness of my name I suppose I’ll feel somewhat obligated to disclose, “Yeah, well, some dead lady buried in Australia has the same name, so whatever.”

P.S.  Chuck sent me the link with no explanation.  I just clicked on it and there was my name on a tombstone.  This happened just two days after the birthday cake incident.  Coincidence?  Should I be worried?

P.P.S.  I forgot to tell you that the fake wacky search term from last week’s Wacky Search Term Wednesday was “sock monkey bra”.  So that means Cheryl wins!  Congratulations!  Look for some kind of prize of some degree of awesomeness to be heading your way some time in the future.

I’m late! I’m late!

28 Oct

No time to say hello, goodbye!  Too busy assembling costumes.  Yes, I know Halloween is three days away, but tonight is my church’s Fall Festival (I don’t know why they refuse to call it a Halloween Party) and trunk or treat.  I really wish all Halloween parties (or Fall Festivals that require the wearing of costumes) took place on the same day.  The get dressed up and then get dressed up again three days later thing is really annoying.

Also, I got an e-mail reminder about tonight’s festivities with the subject line “Trunk or Teat”.  A rather unfortunate and somewhat disturbing typo, in my opinion.

Super Mom!

27 Oct

Super Mom—part I

Guess who’s making a hobo Cinderella costume?  I was up until 1 am working on it, too. Although, I suppose “making” might be a little bit of a stretch since the only thing I’m actually making is an apron.  And some mice.  With clothes.  And no, we are not ripping up the nice Cinderella dress.  We are doing Cinderella in her day clothes.  You know, the brown dress with the blue sleeves and the white apron and white kerchief in her hair.  And the best part is we had it all in the closet already.  It’s very cute, actually.  I’ll have to post pictures because I can tell you aren’t sure.  Oh, and the bestest part is Goose thinks I’m beyond awesome because I’ve made her wildest Halloween dreams come true.

Super Mom—part II

About 10 minutes after Mr. T left for school today, I realized he’d forgotten his PE clothes.  I had just put them in the dryer this morning because I totally forgot about them last night.  Now usually I’m the kind of mother that thinks this would be a perfect opportunity to teach him how to be responsible for his own things, but I remember what it was like to be a “non-suit” in PE and it really isn’t all that fun.  Plus last week was parent teacher conferences at his school, and I met with his PE teacher and asked him about some days Mr. T had been docked participation points because Mr. T assured me he had suited up and participated every day.  His teacher said that it was for a two-day note that had been written (presumably by me) to excuse him from participating, and he could make those days up if he would like.  I’ve never written a note and told the teacher as much, to which he replied, “Well, is he the kind of kid that would write his own note?”  No, he is not.  I asked if it was possible that he had been mixed up with another student, and he kind of looked at me like I was nuts and then suggested maybe I just didn’t remember.  It was only two weeks ago.  I think I’d remember writing a note asking for him to be excused from PE for two days.  So when I asked Mr. T about it again and mentioned the note, he said that another student in his class had sat out with an injury for a couple of days a couple of weeks ago, and he happens to have the same first name as Mr. T and his last name directly follows ours alphabetically.  Well, gee.  I didn’t bother to bring this to the PE teacher’s attention.  Mr. T still has an A in the class (plus it’s PE!), so I decided it just wasn’t worth it.  But I was going to be darned if I gave that teacher any more reason to think my kid wasn’t perfectly wonderful with a non-suit today.

Super Mom—part III

So I got home from dropping off the PE clothes, and what do you think I saw?  Mr. T’s clarinet.  Fortheluvva… I had decided that would just have to be too bad because I had already made one special trip to the school and I’m not a special trip kind of mom anyway, so he’d just have to deal.  To make a long story short (I already spent way to much time on that PE clothes thing), I took his clarinet to the school too.  And the lady in the office kind of gave me this look and said, “Well, maybe next time the consequence of not having his clarinet for band will teach him to be more responsible in the future.”  I wanted to tell her I’m usually right with her on that, and then I wanted to explain to her how this was the first time in the 7 years of Mr. T’s school career that I have ever brought something(s) to his school when he’s forgotten it, and then I was going to tell her about how I’m on this whole Super Mom roll today, and then I was mostly just irritated that this lady who knew nothing about me or my son felt the need to comment on my parenting, so I just left.

I don’t care what she thinks.  Mr. T is a good kid.  For some reason I wasn’t in a “That’ll learn him” kind of mood.  And today, as far as he’s concerned (and Goose, for that matter, who is looooving her hobo Cinderella costume), I’m Super Mom.  Or at least I darn well better be.  I can go back to being Oh Well Sucks To Be You Mom tomorrow.

Friday funnies—family edition

24 Oct

This in no way reflects how I feel about my own relatives.  I love my relatives.  Especially the ones that I bother to talk to on the phone.  Hey, I’ve called you before, Mad.  Anyways, it’s just that I’ve titled this post “Friday funnies—family edition” because it’s Friday and I have some family stuff to throw in here, but I needed a comic that fit the theme for the “funnies” part and this is the only one I could find.


Fairy Goosemother

Goose, waving her wand in my direction:  Bibbidy-bobbidy-boo!  Turn you into a mom that’s beautiful!

Me:  Hey!

Goose:  I said beautiful.

Me:  So you’re saying I’m not already beautiful?

Goose:  No, I’m pretending you’re an animal.

Me:  Like in Cinderella when the fairy godmother turns the mice into coachmen?

Goose:  Yeah.

Me:  What kind of animal am I?

Goose:  An elephant.


Family togetherness

Kids overhear Chuck and I discussing an article from the paper about a man beating his wife to death.

Goose:  I’m never going to beat up my husband.  Dad, would you beat up Mom?

Dad:  No, she beats me up.

Me:  No, I don’t!  When have I ever beat you up?

DynaGirl:  Do you beat him up with your words?

Mr. T, snickering:  Mom verbally abuses Dad.

Me:  What?!

Oh yeah?  Well, I’ve got three words:  leftover birthday cake.


More family togetherness

Mr. T:  You can roast beef, but you can’t pea soup.

Goose:  Mr. T is the grossest person in this family.

DynaGirl:  He was adopted.

Goose:  Yeah, you were adopted.

Me:  He wants to be adopted.

Chuck:  He’s from a hobo family.

Me:  They dropped him off on our doorstep.

Chuck:  That’s why he’s obsessed with hobos.

Me:  It’s in his blood.

Mr. T:  Yeah, it’s in my blood.  Hobo instincts.

That’s my boy. 

Darn that Cuss-o-meter

23 Oct

So the other day I was blog browsing and came across this test over at Mary’s place.  You plug in your blog’s URL and it measures your use of profanity and spits out a percentage.  According to the cuss-o-meter, my blog is G rated—no cussing.  I hate to admit it, but I was slightly disappointed.  Here I thought I was all edgy and pushing the envelope of polite conversation.  I’ve even been concerned at times that I might offend or corrupt someone, but apparently I’m wholesome.  Wholesome!  Harumph.

Here it is—proof of my piety:

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?

Just for kicks, I thought I’d test out some of the blogs I frequent to see how they compare to my own wholesomey goodness.  And the blogs I frequent, gentle readers, are yours.  Yes, yours.  There were some interesting results, which I will now publish here.  Don’t worry, I’ve kept you anonymous to protect the innocent and the guilty.

Frankly, I was thinking this one was a little low.

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?


I was kind of surprised by this one as I’ve rarely encountered anything I would consider to be off-color.

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?


This one didn’t surprise me at all.

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou


I think this one’s a wannabe rebel.  Like me.  Only a more successful one, obviously, with that half a percent.

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?

So getting back to me, I’m curious if any of you are surprised by my results.  Has my word choice ever given you pause?  Am I your guilty pleasure?  Or am I a regular Pollyanna?  Is there no edginess here?  Am I completely devoid of edges?  This is for posterity, so be honest.

Wacky Search Term Wednesday Returns!

22 Oct

I’m not completely convinced I’m ready for this. It may be too soon. A part of me is still grieving over the loss of my last beloved list of wacky search terms. But sometimes you just gotta move on, right? As part of the healing process, no? Disasters strike. Trajedies happen. Stuff gets lost. It’s the circle of life.

So just for kicks, I’m going to throw in a fake. Whoever can correctly guess the faux wacky search term wins a prize. I don’t exactly know what yet, but rest assured it will be something awesome. Or at the very least of little or no monetary value, which with me is pretty much the same thing as I live and die by the motto “There is no charge for awesomeness.” Have you ever gotten a bill?

look alikes obama—Funny, I’ve never gotten that one before. Kurt Cobain, Sam the hobbit, Tommy Lee?  Sure. But Obama? For some reason I’m imagining this gentle googler is Italian.

sock monkeyu—“If a-you say I look alikes obama a-one more time-a, I’ll sock monkeyu in the face-a!” Because sometimes cultural stereotyping is just funny. Or not.

“invisible woman” fetish—Is this the science model? Fantastic Four? Are we talking burqas, here? I’m curious. And also disturbed. Anything with “fetish” attached is automatically a candidate for pervert status, as far as I’m concerned. Unless, of course, it’s a cowbell fetish. That is perfectly understandable. And acceptable. As long as you’re using the cowbell for good, not evil. Do not desecrate the cowbell, sir! Do not dare!

washing machine illustrated—What kind of sicko gets their jollies from washer centerfolds? Are some models sexier than others? Does it make a difference what’s in the load?

“top 10” “innocent search terms”—I suspect this person is really looking for obscure or underground not-so-innocent search terms and is covering his buttocks with the “quotes” in case his boss is monitoring his lunch break computer activities. Plausible deniability, you know? “I have no idea how I got on this invisible woman fetish forum, sir. I was looking for something wholesome!” “And how do you explain these washing machines?” “All right, all right! I confess!”

sock monkey writer—That’s me.

monkey spanked—Step away from my blog, sicko! Go back to your washing machines!

how to sock monkey—Latest dance craze. All the kids are doing it.

sock monkey bra—Is this for you or your sock monkey?  I’m not so sure I’m crazy about the idea of anatomically correct sock monkeys.

sock monkeys instructions—For? What exactly are you trying to get your sock monkey to do? I can’t help you unless you can be more specific.

sock+monkey—Equals awesome.

how many lbs socks to make sock monk—Are we talking Gandhi, Friar Tuck or Tony Shaloub? It makes a difference.

sock monkey goes to hollywood—This sounds like a promising movie franchise: Sock Monkey Goes to Hollywood, Sock Monkey Goes to Camp, Sock Monkey Goes to the Monestary.

sock monkey in love—See above.

i am atwittered about going to the farm—Me too! Those turkeys are vicious little bastards.

circus animal crackers pink tastes nasty—Is there really a difference between the pink and white? Really?

bulk mothers circus cookies—Is this so you can pick out all the white ones? Cookie bigot. You’re probably trying to get rid of those rainbow sprinkles too.

meaning of none taken—They’re trying to say you didn’t offend them. But frankly, I’m a little offended by your ignorance and/or stupidity. Idiot. No offense.


So, can you spot the imposter?


21 Oct

We had pancakes for dinner last night.  Pancakes is one of my fall back meals for those nights when I just don’t have time for or just don’t feel like cooking a “real” dinner.  For awhile there, we were having pancakes at least once a week, but lately it’s more like twice a month.  My family are good sports.  They don’t mind the pancakes for dinner, I think partly because dinner time is pretty much the only time I make pancakes.  I’m not so much a hot breakfast kind of gal unless it pops out of the toaster. 

Sometimes they’re even excited to come downstairs to the smell of pancakes.  Last night Mr. T came up behind me in the kitchen to see what was on the menu and said, “Mmmm, brinner!  Yessssss!”  I think he was mostly relieved that I was cooking dinner at all.  Usually, if it’s getting to be past 6 pm and mom isn’t in the kitchen yet, we’re getting into “whatever night” territory.  Whatever nights are when mom’s not cooking a meal and it’s just kind of a free for all.  We have these more often than I would like to admit.

I typically serve pancakes with some kind of meat like sausage or bacon and whatever fruit I have on hand.  Occasionally, I’ll throw in some eggs for the non-allergic family members, and if I’m feeling really fancy, I might make hashbrowns.  And once in a blue moon I’ll break out the waffle iron.  If I had my way, we’d do French toast, but how do you make French toast without eggs?  I can make a decent pancake without egg and milk, but I’m not sure what eggless, milkless French toast would be.  I’m thinking, uh, toast.

What about you?  Do you have brinner at your house?  What are your family’s brinner favorites?  Oh, and feel free to share some recipes with those of us who could stand to expand our brinner repertoire.


Minor irritations for a Monday morning

20 Oct

I usually walk my girls to school every morning as it is only a few blocks away, but this morning it was cold and Goose has a cold and, well, let’s be honest, I was feeling kind of lazy so I decided to drop them off.  There are no words to describe the depth of my loathing for that special circle of hell that is the elementary school parking lot.  The parking lot has a lane designated for drop offs.  You pull into the lane and wait until you are in the safe drop off zone, let your child out, and then get the heck out of there so that the other parents can do the same.  And, of course, all the while remembering to pull forward as to not waste any of the precious drop off zone space.  It’s really not that hard until you have some joker who takes a good 5 minutes to push their kid out the door, and then you’re screwed.  Everything’s all backed up.  And then you have the other jokers who just can’t wait, so they completely bypass the drop off lane and pull directly into the drop off zone.  There is no bypassing, people.  No bypassing! 

Today I was in the zone letting out my girls.  The code of the zone is sacred, people.  Wait your turn, pull forward, drop off quickly, move along.  I know the code.  I live by the code.  And poor Goose this morning pinches her finger in the handle as she’s trying to pull the van door shut.  Do I get out of the car to comfort her?  No, you don’t get out of the car.  There is no drivers exiting the vehicles in the code.  Only pulling forward and moving along.  I do my best to console her through the window, making my sincerest face of sympathy, blowing a kiss, and then nodding vigorously with a smile to reassure her she would be fine.  The two cars ahead of me pull out and just as I’m easing my way out after them, another car cuts right in front of me, blocking off my exit.  She’s not even pulled in next to the curb, so I can’t get around her. Finally, after her kid is out the door, she realizes she’s going to have to back up to get out and almost hits me!  I have nowhere to back up—there’s a line of cars behind me, for crying out loud!  This woman does not live by the code.  Who is she to think she can live outside of the code?

So I’m good and bothered by the time I get home.  And hungry.  I figure a forkful of leftover birthday cake will be just the thing to chase my troubles away.  But there’s no birthday cake.  Nope.  Uh-uh.  The cake is gone.  No trace of the cake.  Not a sprinkle.  Not a crumb.  I can only assume that Chuck took the entire container of leftover birthday cake (which was easily like three pieces worth) to work with him.  The whole thing!  I’m totally not telling him where the Halloween candy’s stashed.  When I get the Halloween candy.