Archive for February, 2008

Despite the “giant dip” (that was a shout-out to NHBC)

February 29, 2008

My husband just emailed me:

“tonight, at some point, I want your body.”

My response:

“And you think I’m sexy?

Come on baby let it show?”

God, I’m funny….


More like “Housework in the Village”

February 29, 2008

Last night the kids went to a volleyball tournament. Chris had an evening appointment, so I had the house to myself. Yay!!!!

So what did I do with my time?

Cleaned house and cooked.

What an exciting life I live!

I made Alton Brown’s pizza dough for dinner (for tonight.) I substituted “rapid rise” yeast for the instant and “better for bread” flour for the recipe’s “bread flour (bread machine type.)” I’m really hoping it turns out. Especially since, not possessing a stand mixer, I had to knead the bread by hand. For fifteen minutes.

Then I made myself dinner and finished signing up for our new health insurance plan. Yay! Spending buttloads of money for peace of mind!

Online I noticed that Taylor had left his Myspace page up. In curiousity I clicked on my friend SS’s son’s page, little E. He’s twelve and his page had a political “bumper sticker” on it that said “Bros before Hoes” and pictured Obama next to the word “Bros” and Hillary next to “Hoes.” Little E. is the sweetest boy, so the “hoes” thing cracks me up. I wonder what the pre-teen definition of a ‘hoe” is? (BTW, I always thought it was spelled “ho?”)

Finishing online I folded laundry, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher and was struck with the flaw in my pizza-making plan. No sauce.

I found a recipe online, made it, then ran to pick Taylor up from the school.

Arriving home, I shredded two blocks of cheese with a box grater and unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, checked on the laundry situation, cleaned up my sauce/dough making mess in the kitchen and unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher yet again.

Folded more laundry.

Are you seeing a pattern here?

It’s not exactly “Sex in the City.”

And, oddly, this is what I would consider a relaxing evening, because, other than three trips out to drop kids off/pick kids up, and one brief trip in to the teeny village grocery store, I was able to stay home AND no one was fighting over the computer, the tv or music.

Sadly, tonight will be much less relaxing. I have to run to the DMV, make the pizzas, take Reagan and a friend to the skating rink, hang out for three hours while they skate and, due to our enbrokedness*, not spend much money.

*Yep, I coined that term myself. It seems somehow more descriptive than “poor” and hopefully will be less permanent!


February 28, 2008

Earlier this nine-weeks my daughter was struggling with her grade in social studies. She has been bringing her textbook home, studying, and working diligently on her folder.
Last night she said “Mom, guess what I got on my social studies test?”

Me: “A 97%?”
Reagan: “Yes, on the short answer part. On the essay test, guess what I got?”
Me: “Ummm… a 95%?” (figuring essays might be harder)
Reagan: “a 103%!”
Me: “Oh, good, I’m so proud of you; you’ve been working so hard the last few weeks. How did you study for this test so that you can do as well on your next test?”
Reagan: “Oh, I didn’t study.”

I was pretty much stumped as to what to say after that….

“Taco Meatball Ring” was the first recipe

February 27, 2008

Last night I went to the “Taste of Home” cooking show with my friends Katrina and NHBC. We had a good time. In an eye rolling, OMG, kind of way.

The show was….how should I put it?


For example, the host explained the difference between a clove of garlic and a head of garlic.

And it was very, very commercial.

Especially for something that wasn’t free. Tickets were reasonable, ten dollars, and I can understand having sponsers. But the show went beyond that into overt product placement and cringe worthy audience participation.

One sponser was McCormick Spices. All Taste of Home recipes specify “_ tsp McCormick ________.” That doesn’t bother me. I just subsititute my cheap ass Aldi’s or Dollar Tree basil, cumin, etc…

But during the show, one unfortunate lucky volunteer was asked to lead a cheer.

Give me an S!


Give me a P!


Give me an I!


Give me a C!


(Now if they had stopped there it would have put a totally different spin on the evening.)

Give me an E!


What’s that spell?


What’s your favorite spice?

Not oregano or tumeric, we were directed to respond:



Viva! papertowels was another sponser and everytime the hostess tore a paper towel off the tube we were instructed to yell “Viva!”

Yes, really.

Katrina, NHBC and I kept our mouths-a-shut and our eyes a-rollin’ but, amazingly, the rest of the audience seemed to enthusiastically participate. Maybe they were afraid of an uncomfortable, deathly silence, similar to when a disliked teacher asks a rudimentary question that only a huge kiss-up would answer. (And, yes, I often was that huge kiss up.)

None of us won a door prize either, darn. I really wanted to win the stainless steel fridge, but some lucky lady from Dunlap won it. As I told Katrina, “I have sour grapes. I’m sure her kitchen is WAY nicer than mine.”

Nevertheless, it was great to see Katrina and NHBC. It was fun, just maybe not in the way “Taste of Home” meant it to be.

Oh, and here’s a link to the taco meatball ring recipe.
(The host started making it and we were like, OKAY? There’s just something wrong with the phrase “Taco Meatball Ring;” I just can’t put it into words. However, once it was prepared, NHBC said “Wow, it’s starting to look good, maybe I WILL make that!” Hmmmm…. her contribution to the next book club meeting?)

Note to Katrina: I still haven’t found the damn rolling pin!

Warding off Alzheimer’s one square at a time

February 25, 2008

Saturday night I took the kids, Tay, Rea, and W., to see a performance by the BBQ Kittens, an improv group that performs shows similar to “Whose Line is it Anyway.”

On the way there we met Chris to switch cars. During the Chinese Fire Drill Chris dropped his OUR cell phone. He arrived home, called and confirmed that it wasn’t in the car and decided the best plan of action was not “go and look for phone” but “sit and watch TV.” Ugh. Men.

We enjoyed the BBQ Kittens show tremendously and decided to stay for the second performance. During the break between shows I started doing a Sudoku puzzle and, determined and addicted, I continued to do it between skits. Big mistake.

I got HECKLED by a cast member during the show!

So embarrassing.

In one scene a performer mentioned that something was “As bad as the girl in the front row doing a sudoku puzzle during a BBQ Kittens show.”

Nevertheless, we had a great time and the next morning my husband decided the time was right to go look for the phone. And he found it.

In four run over pieces.

Sibling Rivalry

February 25, 2008

My daughter was in quite a mood this weekend. In her defense, she was recuperating from being sick most of last week. On the other hand, gosh, she was being awfully, awfully awful.

Saturday Chris was gone most of the day. During his absence she started referring to him as “The MAN you CALL my FATHER.”


What does she know that I don’t?

Will I soon find myself on an episode of Maury getting the results of a DNA test?

Had she suddenly noticed her resemblence to the mailman, Randy? (Ha ha, randy Randy?)

But she wasn’t questioning his parentage as much as his parenting. Her brother had told her that “Dad loves me more, that’s why I never get in trouble and you always do.”

I really wanted to respond that “Taylor doesn’t get in trouble because he doesn’t go around maligning his parent(s).” But that would be childish. And untrue. Taylor does get in trouble.* Just not as often as his sister wishes he did.

*For example, he was sternly talked to for his role in this drama, for what we call “instigating.”

Reagan is a bright girl. She knows Taylor likes to aggravate her, so really, why would she believe such BS? It’s confounding.

My sisters and I fought as children (I have the scars to prove it, thank you M!), so I expected some sibling rivalry. But the constant jealousy Reagan has regarding her brother has been shocking.

And I don’t know what to do about it.

(Otherwise known as “field mice”)

February 20, 2008

I think my nephew F. may some day be a multimillionaire. He’s eleven and the most entreprenurial member of my family, by far. He collects items on trash day to repair and re-sell. Once he took an instrument to the shopping center near his house and played it to collect tips. (He stood outside the Dollar General.)

Recently F. posted a question on Yahoo! Answers:

“Do you have to have a license to open a rodent business?”

Yahoo emailed me his question – we are set up as contacts – and it immediately piqued my interest. “Rodent business?” I am sure, that like the musical pan handling, this is not a plan endorsed by his mother.

Following the link, the question was elaborated upon; F. states that:

“I have a really good aim there is a nest out side my house full of rats not mice RATS, and I hit them every time from across the yard. I have a crossman co2 1088 and my aim is almost perfect. Inside I dont break anything at all and I have traps. So do you think you have to have a license to do this?”

To me, it’s pretty apparent that F. is seeing this as a money making opportunity. Rat abatement=cash in hand….

However, the savants at Yahoo Answers seem to think he wants to sell the dead rats. For example, one person’s response is:

“How is that a business? You going to sell the carcasses?”

Okay, yah, I’m sure there’s a big market for dead rats.

Another person offered this insightful advice:

“Go to a local sporting goods store and ask ’em if you need a hunting license to hunt rats.
You WILL need a tax license to run a rat-hunting business.”

And, my favorite response, from my mom (F.’s grandmother):

“F., I think those are voles, not rats.”

Doesn’t she realize she just ruined all his rat killing street cred?


February 20, 2008

This morning I’m feeling a little “off,” a little fuzzy headed. My idiocy was just confirmed by the following internal dialogue while checking my email:
“Oh, a Freecycle email urgently needing a bassinet. I wonder who plays the bassinet? Did a child just join band? Or did someone suddenly have a whim to learn to play the bassinent?”

Luckily my next email wasn’t from a Mr. Okon who needs help moving money from his native land, Nigeria, to an account in the U.S. and will reward me greatly for helping him set it up.

Of course, it was from my bank asking me to confirm my account (and so odd that they misspelled CEFCU in the address line.)

President’s Day

February 19, 2008

Yesterday we did nothing presidential. Reagan and a friend went ice skating. And, silly teenage girls they are, wouldn’t wear gloves or coats because that would be “dorky.” Freezing, apparently, is “cool?”

While the kids were skating, SS, Taylor and I went to run errands. First stop, Vallartas for lunch, then on to Walmart. SS needed coconut products, yes, more than one; she loves that brown fruit. In fact that’s really what she should (re)name her blog; I love that brown fruit!; I’m sure she’d get some interesting visitors via google.

Taylor and I needed the ingredients for pineapple banana smoothie cupcakes. (Yes, it’s a willful suspension of disbelief, pretending that cupcakes containing pineapple, banana and the word “smoothie” in the title are healthy!)

Checking out, SS was approached by an elderly gentleman, who started a conversation about his good health, due to eating lots of produce and having acres and acres of gardens. He was quite vehement. Luckily he didn’t notice the contents of our grocery cart. Cat food. Kitty litter. Cake mix. Two clearance sweaters (in non-baby poop colors, my new resolution!). Coconut oil. Coconut milk. No produce.

Unfortunately, Mr. Talks-a-lot-and-has-lots-of-nose-hair, joined us for the walk to the exit. He began ranting about young folks. “They just don’t like to work.” I thought he was talking to us as peers, commiserating about the sad state of young people – such as Taylor, who was with us – but SS thought the comment might have been directed towards us. Either way, at this point Tay and I decided to ditch SS with the old dude.

SS: “Thanks a lot.”

Quickly thinking, I said “Oh, I thought if we got ahead of you, you could say ‘I need to catch up with my friends.'”

I started the car, and SS, trying to help Taylor unload the groceries, opened the back door, not knowing Reagan had thrown all the trash from the back seat into the trunk area on our way to Peoria. I let out a little gasping scream and, in an instant, SS was enveloped in a swirling vortex of Taco Bell wrappers, expired coupons, and newspapers.

Mexican food, Walmart, littering…. not reverential to any president, but definitely American.

Valentine’s Day Wishes

February 15, 2008

Yesterday I wrote this entry, but didn’t get around to finishing it:

“For Valentine’s Day I wish I had:

a clean car

a clean bedroom

a clean bathroom

Noticing a trend? Apparently we are slobs. Especially me.”

Today I’m a bit sad because my husband didn’t get me anything, WAY WORSE, he didn’t do anything for the holiday at all. And, no, we never had a “let’s not celebrate Valentine’s Day” discussion. He knew that I was planning a special meal, that I had researched recipes, shopped for the supplies, and that the meal was more elaborate than my normal cooking. (Anyone ever made risotto? The stirring’s a bitch.)

He didn’t forget. He just chose to do nothing.

And I’m pretty bummed about it today.