Saturday, September 4, 2010

And so the Teenager Says...

after 2 weeks in high school: "i know just enough german to make up dirty sayings..."

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Clearing the Air

Dear Andy Murray,

I was the kid who melted the eraser on the radiator; you were the kid who got in trouble. I've always felt kind of bad about that, but I need you to understand that even though I'm apologizing, I still think you're a jerk.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Facebook

i love reading my kids' status updates...today, little boy # one wrote that he "thinkth hith retainer maketh him thound like a moron..."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Road Trip!!


today was GORGEOUS so i decided to take a road trip to stark brother's nursery in louisiana, mo...i had heard of them years ago, when i was researching a trip through WV...it turned out that the original golden delicious tree was found growing next to a fence in WV & that stark brothers (here in MO) bought the rights to it, insisting that a cage had to be erected around the original to prevent theft...today i learned that they have been in existence for 190 years & were instrumental in marketing/naming both the red & yellow delicious apples...across the road from the nursery is a little log cabin, which was built by the stark family & moved to that location at a different date...it's very picturesque...

it was so much fun walking around, looking at everything...they had all sorts of things that you don't see in a typical nursery...for instance, they had okra, peppermint, and spearmint plants...they had more blueberry/blackberry/raspberry varieties than i could count...they had loganberries, cranberries, lingonberries, and gooseberry bushes...they had pawpaws, hardy kiwis, hickory & hazelnut trees...they had roses & maples & evergreens...they even had honeycrisp apple trees (which are some of the best apples you will ever eat)...there were currants (red, pink, white, and black)...there were jostaberry plants...their inventory was mind-boggling...and it was so much fun walking around, contemplating what i wanted to buy & where it would go in my yard...


i even got to go into the cellar...it had concrete walls & smelled of damp earth...it was the hub of their catalog operation...they had all the dormant plants stored in crates of dirt...you'd go to the cashier & tell her what you wanted from the catalog...you'd pay, then she'd send you downstairs to pick it up...it was so wild...it was a basement full of dormant trees & bushes...row after row of them...it gave me a whole new perspective on getting stuff from a catalog...

ultimately, i had to come home...so after a lot of thought, i passed on the honeycrisp apple tree...it needs a pollinator and i don't have room for 2 addl trees on my land...i purchased 2 lingonberry bushes (which are going to be tiny little things, so think they'll probably fit in the front gardens somewhere)...i purchased a red gooseberry to go with the pixwell that had just arrived...and i couldn't resist 10 VERY PRETTY hot pink geraniums...


this is my wagon full of happiness... : )

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Teenager Quotes Of The Week

"this wind is unbearable and it's MESSING UP MY HAIR!!!"

"if internet explorer were a girl, she'd be easy, but she'd also be the one who gives you an infection..."

"mom, are there any jeans in the dishwasher?"

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Teenagers Are Amusing

they just don't think like normal humans...for instance, little boy #1 spends 10 minutes a day "sexifying" his hair...but he never remembered to wear deodorant until he set his watch alarm up as a reminder...problem solved...

then there's the underwear situation...for years, i have purchased twice as much underwear as needed, knowing that they will wear my "good" underwear to their dad's house...and when the "evil dad underwear" returns, i throw the ill-fitting things away...it's been a good system...

until this year when little boy #1 decided that he will only wear a specific type of boxers...i purchased said boxers, expecting that my underwear would be depleted over time & that i'd have to replenish the stock...no big deal...except the underwear drawer wasn't being depleted...it was very puzzling...

this week, little boy #1 told me that he wore the same pair of underwear 3 days in a row while at his dad's house, because his dad didn't have the correct kind of underwear...i stood there blinking at him, as he protested that he took a shower each day, so it was okay!!! more blinking on my part, followed by an unintentional "ewwwwww..."

his dad took him out to purchase underwear last night... : P

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cursing & Contacts

little boy #1's fool proof method for cursing at school: 1) make sure there's a lot of background noise; 2) make sure the teacher isn't looking; 3) point at another student when you say the word so that when the teacher looks back, the focus will be on another student...

that kid cracks me up sometimes...

----------------

both little boys got fitted with contacts this afternoon...it was the 2nd attempt for little boy #1, who feared a repeat of last year, but he was very determined perhaps because there is a mysterious "hot cheerleader" in the picture...

after the eye exam, both boys had to insert the contacts themselves, take them out, then reinsert them before they would be allowed to leave...i asked the technician to sit between them so that they wouldn't pummel each other...they worried about how long they would take, but they were reassured they could take as long as they needed...in fact, another patient had been there for 90 minutes...

lickety-split, little boy #2 came charging to the front of the store, VERY PROUD that he had got his contacts in "pop, pop"...then he ran back, took them out & reinserted them...he came running back up, flailing his arms, saying that it was so easy to insert them "pop, pop, pop, pop"...he used words like "ninja" and was incredibly proud that he had beaten his brother...

little boy #1 grew frustrated...the other patient had inserted her contacts & left...little boy #2 was finished, so i drove him to his dad's for a while to prevent him from grating on his brother's nerves...all of which made little boy #1 both frustrated and yet more determined...eventually he got his contacts in with a huge smile on his face...he used words like "awesome" and "so that's what peripheral vision is like"...

the phrase that best summed up their emotional state was "pure joy"...i had no idea it was going to be such a profound life experience...but it was wonderful that i was there to share it with them...

Words You Never Want To Hear Your Child Say

"mom, when i crash your car for the first time..."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Gotta Love Kids

teacher: "what's the difference between empathy & sympathy?"

little boy #2: "the spelling"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

And The Conversation Went Like This...

background: little boy #1 was prepping for his first co-ed party

me: did you change your clothes?
little boy #1: yep

me: did you appropriately "sexify" your hair?
little boy #1: yep (as he commences "sexy dance" gyrations in the hallway)

me: are you wearing deodorant?
little boy #1: uh, no

Sunday, September 20, 2009

All I Wanted Was To Check The Mail...But Nooooo!!!


i was having a hard day...do you ever get tasked with something so difficult that you lay your head on your desk, wondering how you're going to do THAT???

i decided to get a breath of fresh air...i stepped outside to check the mail, and noticed charlie (my neighbor's cat) in my garden...charlie had obviously just found something, and he took off running with his prize...to me, it looked like a dark lump, and i was afraid he'd found my toad...i caught up with him around the corner on his master's back porch, where he dropped it...

we both stood there looking at it, both a little dumbfounded, when i said outloud, "charlie, that's a SNAKE"...secretly, i was happy charlie found it instead of me, as i'm only terrified of snakes if they sneak up on me (and we all know they are exceptionally good at that)...

i blinked at the snake, trying to figure out if it was poisonous...i decided it was probably a garter snake...i also remembered that non-poisonous snakes are good at biting...i looked at my hands full of mail, shrugged my shoulders, and went back to my computer...where i started having doubts about that being the right course of action...i decided i had to SAVE the snake from charlie...

i pulled out my leather work gloves, went back over to find charlie in the same position, just staring at the snake, occasionally tapping at it with his paws...i picked it up, only to discover that it smelled REALLY BAD...i headed to release it some place away from charlie (because, theoretically, garter snakes are good)...but, being me, i had to identify it first, so it went into a holding container...yep...verified on-line...definite garter snake...i called the boys dad to see if he wanted a garter snake as a pet, to which he responded "garter snakes stink", which i ALREADY KNEW...so i turned the critter loose as planned, but i snapped the picture first...

lots & lots of adrenaline...wheeeew...all i wanted was to check the mail...nice...easy...relaxing...but noooooooo...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Have Some Underwear, It's A Gift...

this article cracked me up..."personal items such as undergarments were at times given to trusted staff as a perk"...can you just imagine queen victoria saying: "i like you...you're special...have some underwear...it's a gift...no, really, take it...TAKE it!!!

them brits definitely have a sense of humor, yes they do...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The New Generation of Legos Is Very, VERY Cool!!!


This is an actual Lego crab, assembled by me, with the help of a couple of first-graders...(they were obviously wise beyond their years)...

here's the story: wal-mart decided to do a lego event, with this crab as the project...except little boy #2 (a lego freak) had to attend a mandatory boy scout event...he was very bummed...so i went to wal-mart, thinking i could pick up a cute little bag of individually packaged components...you know, like one bag per kid...grab the bag...walk away...

except they didn't have the kits individually packaged...they had tubs of pieces, with a sign saying how many you needed...the whole event was complete chaos...kids starting the line from both directions...kids stopping in the middle waiting for directions from their parents...parents reaching over...i absolutely KNEW if i didn't put the pieces together that i would have come home to a very disappointed child, missing SOMETHING...

hence my crab adventure...and it was a good thing that i took the time to put it together, because i some how missed 2 tubs, for a total of 16 pieces...

little boy #2 is going to be sad that he couldn't attend the event, but he's going to be sooooo happy to get all these unusual parts...

: )

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Teetering Between Adrenaline & Wanting to Cry

oh, that was TERRIFYING!!!! i used a 4 foot stick to try to ensnare the spider for my relocation program, but he started crawling UP THE STICK...in turn, i panicked, dropping the stick & flinging the spider across the sidewalk...it charged back at me, sending me into a shrieking/stomping fit because it was HUGE and obviously ANGRY!!!!

when it was all over, my neighbor asked me if i was okay...and i stood there almost non-verbal, trying to comprehend what had just happened...he asked "really big spider?"...i nodded...he smiled and said "i thought so"...

whewwwwww...adrenaline...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Walla Walla Onions - Mesmerizing!!!

i snapped this postcard-worthy picture at the missouri botanical gardens...


this is a close-up of the walla walla onions by Dale Chihuly...


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gorgeousness

a hollyhock in my garden... : )

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Pondering Clover

i can't help but wonder if 5 leaf clovers (upper left) are luckier than 4 leaf clovers (bottom right)...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mad Poodle Skillz

i was in a goofy mood this morning…little boy #1 was telling me about his dream where he was in an army fighting zombie (he paused and i suggested, rather hopefully, “poodles?”)…

he blinked and said “no, mom” then continued with his story…and for the next 3 minutes, every time he said zombie, i said “poodles?”…he would shake his head and go on with his story until he finally told me that he was killed and he turned into a zombie (“poodle?”) spider with an attack strength of + something and a death bite of something else…i told him that he should consider turning into a zombie poodle next time so that he can have mad poodle skillz…he shook his head in a way that meant “and i have to live with this???”…

i absolutely LOVE having children to torment… : )

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring Beauties aka Claytonia Virginica


at the moment, my backyard is covered with my favorite wildflower...



Saturday, April 4, 2009

Oh, That's ADORABLE!!!

my walking friend needed one last thing for her daughter's easter basket...it was a bright yellow blob called "fij fij"...she finally located one and i volunteered to pick it up on my way home...she gave me 2 coupons for 30% off and $20, with the instructions to buy as many as i could...

i walked into the store, carrying a page from the catalog...i pointed to the yellow blob and explained that she was holding one of "these" for me...she found it, pulled it out of its hiding place and proclaimed "that's ADORABLE!!!"...

i blinked a few times, told her that it looked like a bad home ec project, and asked her if she really thought it was adorable..."oh, YES!!!! look at those sweet little eyes...and the pink nose is soooooooo CU-U-U-UTE!!!"

i'm not sure what i said right here, but i know i was thinking "where do they get these people???" i showed her the coupons and asked if either would work...she said "YEEESSSS!!! in fact, the WHOLE STORE is 30% off and this coupon will get you an ADDITIONAL 30% off"...

i asked her if she was serious about that...with bright eyes, she nodded...i asked how much little "fij fij" would cost and she proclaimed $3.19 before taxes...i blinked a few times, trying to comprehend her glee before asking her if she could help me pick out some "cute" ones...

it was a very strange experience...i went to work the next day and told my friend that that the people at little boy stores are significantly less medicated...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Way To Make Your Mom Feel Old, Kid

quoting little boy #2: "it was a really old movie, like, back when batman was blue..."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mrs. Grindlegrowl’s New Rule

Mrs. Grindlegrowl was not happy. Spring fever had set in and the children were not listening. How could they learn about fractions when they were being so silly? Mrs. Grindlegrowl thought & thought & decided that she needed a new rule.

"If you talk out of turn, you will get DETENTION," she said as she eyed little Grindlewylde. Mischievous as ever, he winked at her. When she wasn’t looking, he nudged Lorelei Bite-n-Bile with his tail. Lorelei kicked him with her foot and he yelped in pain. Mrs. Grindlegrowl glared in their direction but, for some reason, neither of them got detention.

Grindlewylde liked Lorelei, although he said he didn’t. He liked her a lot, in fact. After lunch, he gave Lorelei a paper frog and he smiled shyly. She blinked at him a couple of times, then he watched as she ATE HIS FROG!!!

Little Grindlewylde was very, very upset that she had eaten the frog, even if it was paper. He missed a lot of math to make the perfect frog for her, and he LIKED math. He was even more upset when he got detention and Lorelei DIDN’T.

Grindlewylde called his mom to let her know that he’d be late that night. He huffed and puffed. He stomped and he sulked.

His mother listened very patiently. When he calmed down a little, she told him that she loved him, and she understood that he was upset, but that he could not yell in math class because that was the RULE.

Little Grindlewylde sulked off to detention, hmpf’ing with every step.

Copyright 3/14/2009

Monday, March 9, 2009

Grindlewylde and the Cookie Budget

Little Grindlewylde had a problem: he was addicted to cookies!!!

In the morning, his mother would drive him to school. She would try to kiss him and he would jump out of the car. He would run into the school and, if Mrs. Grindlegrowl wasn’t watching, he would run down the hall. He would run and run and run until he got to the cafeteria, then he would walk.

He would walk QUICKLY past the peanut butter cookies, because everybody knows that peanut butter cookies are evil. He would slow down a little as he walked past the sugar cookies, but ONLY if they were frosted. Because just beyond the sugar cookies, under the extra sparkly lights, were the TRIPLE chocolate chunk cookies!!

One kind of chocolate would make his feet wiggle. Two kinds of chocolate would make him do a happy dance. But THREE kinds of chocolate? Well, that was enough for him to get his goof on.

Mrs. Grindlegrowl did not like it when he got his goof on. Neither did his mother. In fact, when Grindlewyse discovered that he was eating THREE cookies for breakfast and THREE cookies for lunch, she was all sorts of not happy.

She told little Grindlewydle that he could have ONE cookie a day, and that any extra cookies would come out of his allowance. Little Grindlewylde scowled. One cookie a day would be horrible.

And it WAS…until…(shhhhh!!)…the day he discovered ice cream COOKIE sandwiches!!!

Copyright 12/12/2008

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hearing Things

last night, the mom could have sworn that Little Boy #1 said "did you know that magical chihuahuas can eat snakes in one bite?"

after careful consideration, and much blinking, the mom leaned in close to him and asked "are you on drugs?"

it turns out the mom misheard things...the magical chihauhuas were actually eating STEAKS in one bite...because that makes so much more sense...

video games were definitely less strange when i was a child...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

leettle-a buys shuooldn't iet su muny cuukeees. Um gesh dee bork, bork!..

rolfmao...yes...it's true...i discovered a website that will translate all my mom-isms into the dialect of the swedish chef...

http://rinkworks.com/dialect/


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Happy Un-Birthday Dear Co-Worker...Happy Un-Birthday To You!!!

well, today was fun...we accidentally celebrated a co-worker's birthday 4 months in advance...

we definitely surprised him...lol...

Monday, February 2, 2009

My Morning Ritual



every morning starts like this...i open the door...bela rushes in, chirping, to tell me hello...he can't meow to save his life...but he's my baby... : )

Sunday, February 1, 2009

20 Things You Didn't Know About Me

1) I am morally conflicted about silk…I used to have this na├»ve idea about how the silk worms made their cute little cocoons and after they emerged, people unwrapped the silk…but that isn't how it works at all…as soon as the caterpillars finish spinning their cocoons, they are immersed (alive) in boiling water, because if they emerge, they will cut through the silk fiber, ruining its commercial use...

my issue is this...i don't believe in killing an animal, unless you intend to make full use of the remains...i have a big problem with people buying fur coats, made by the fur industry, because of how those animals are treated...i do not have a problem with people who trap, who eat the little bunnies (or whatever) and who then tan/sell the furs, even if the those furs are eventually made into coats...

my moral conflict about silk is that roasted silk worms are a foodstuff in asia...so, in theory, nothing is going to waste...but silk worms are not part of my diet (now or in the future)...and somehow it doesn't seem appropriate for me to wear silk for that reason...

2) to further complicate matters, I believe that the only other valid reason for killing an animal is if it is threatening you…I often watch my feet when I'm walking so that I won't step on an insect…I grossed out a friend last year because while we were walking around the parking lot, i picked up a praying mantis to relocate it to a (hopefully safe) grassy area...i relocated some ladybugs that got in the building for the same reason...

mosquitoes fall into the threatening category...as do ticks...(even if they aren't touching me...)

spiders...that's difficult...logically, i know that they are good...however, i'm TERRIFIED of them...that's a very fine line for a spider to balance, without getting squashed...

3) I still have an irrational fear of getting swept out to sea and being eaten by a shark…

4) lolcats make me laugh hysterically…

5) I sacrifice my own wants and needs to those of my children to a degree that they will never comprehend…

6) I have a large scar on my left hand because I used a sickle incorrectly as a child…(a sickle is sort of like a short-handled scythe…)

7) I adore monarch butterflies...last summer I planted milkweed in my garden to attract the caterpillars…(it worked)…and i was very happy that my boys were able to experience watching a monarch emerge from its chrysalis…

but it was a strange moral experience at the same time...i planted milkweed so that the caterpillars would have something to eat...yet i was raised (probably like most people) that it's a bad thing if insects decimate plants in your garden...i had to keep reminding myself that the goal was the animal and not the plant...

8) I think grass is a homogenous, green desert…it is devoid of nutrients...it reduces biodiversity…and it enslaves modern man to chemicals and pointless yard work…(not all yard work is pointless, just the part that involves caring for grass)...

if i had my way, i'd rip it all out and replace it with a short flowery mix of violets, maybe some clover, and a bunch of spring beauties (which are a tiny white flower with pink veins on the petals...)

9) I have poor eye contact because of a guy named Mickey…at the time, I had an eye condition called GPC (Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis)…amongst other things, it caused my eyes to quickly build up deposits on my contacts…these deposits looked like tiny white dots...

once upon a time, i was flirting with Mickey at the bus stop, and he was just one of those people who was absurdly blunt...in a VERY LOUD VOICE, in front of all my classmates, he said, "did you know that you have dots on your eyes???"

i was horribly embarrassed, and the fact of the matter was that, yes, i did know that i had dots on my eyes...but i couldn't afford another pair of $300 contacts (disposables didn't exist back then)...and the lenses on my glasses were really thick, plus my glasses made me look hideous...so my solution was to not look people square in the eye...i've never really broken that habit...

10) I am happiest when I am stomping around in Bear Creek (outside of Ottumwa, IA) with my boys, reminiscing about how my dad used to do that with me…

11) my dad committed suicide when he was 41…I will be 41 this year…

12) I broke off my front tooth in a sledding accident in 7th grade…I crawled around in the snow trying to find it, thinking that they could glue it back on…(I wasn't able find it, and the dentist told me that he couldn't have glued it back on anyway…)

13) I am not allergic to shrimp/crab/lobster, although I say that I am…in reality, I have a severe intolerance…and it's just easier to explain it as an allergy…

14) My home computer shouts "Inconceivable!" (from the Princess Bride) when I make a mistake…it says "You're all clear kid! Now let's blow this thing and go home!" (Han Solo from Star Wars) when I shut it down…

15) my favorite movie quote of all time is: "Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya! You Killed My Father! Prepare to Die!"

16) I think it's cool that my dog actually understands what I'm saying, even if his vocabulary is limited…

17) if I could do my life over, I would have been a paleontologist…

18) I am fascinated with any clear object that contains visible moving parts…I can relate to the guy from the Flight of the Conchords who said that his favorite color was "transparent"…

19) I think everybody should kiva…it's just the right thing to do…

20) last of all, thanks to facebook, I now have 3 friends named Barbara [Something Italian]…isn't that crazy???

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Grindlewylde The Ninja

Mrs. Grindlegrowl liked an orderly classroom. She liked rules, rules, rules. She had so many rules, that little Grindlewylde couldn’t help himself. It seemed like he was always getting into trouble.

Mrs. Grindlegrowl frowned when he crawled under the chairs, pretending to be a guinea pig. And she scowled when she discovered that he had fired staple-shaped projectiles at the class, using the stapler from her desk. But when he made origami throwing stars and pretended to be a ninja, she had three words to say: Detention, Detention, Detention.

Little Grindlewylde was not happy about this. He fussed all the way home, to anybody who would listen. He argued that Mrs. Grindlegrowl never told him that he couldn’t play ninja, that this was a silly new rule that she invented because she was just plain mean.

His mother, Grindlewyse, being a very loving and kind dragon, would hear none of his excuses. She patiently explained that little Grindlewylde had broken a rule, and that he needed to be punished. Then, she told him that his punishment was fair, and that she agreed with Mrs. Grindlegrowl.

Grindlewylde huffed & puffed and a tiny wisp of smoke came out of his throat. But Grindlwyse did not change her mind. And neither did Mrs. Grindlegrowl.

Copyright 10/15/2008