Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Don't Think He Wants The Usual Crap For Christmas...

Hey, it's been a long time since I was here, with many good reasons (excuses) too numerous to list. The most important being that I need to whip the relationship demon. Things had gotten to the point where I was thinking my new profile photo just might be labeled Ms. C and you would see a photo of my fabulous lawyer instead of happy snaps from our last (very last ever) anniversary trip.

But we are both stubborn to the point where we would rather fight for our marriage than give up, and we love each other more than we love to be right and win the stupid argument that started the whole problem in the first place, so it looks like things may be happily ever after. For me, the turning point came when I stopped asking God to change my husband, and asked Him to show ME what I needed to do. And then when I got impatient because it didn't work RIGHT THAT MINUTE, I asked that He guide my way. I guess when the prayer hasn't worked for three years maybe you're just not asking for the right thing...

But, since you all come here for good silly crap instead of soap operas, a funny video. I got a Youtube video link from my fella yesterday for a song called "Stop Giving Me Crap For Christmas". I am not tricky enough to get a link to it in my post, but I know most of you are much more technologically advanced. I'm not sure but it may be some sort of gift-giving hint.

Now, I don't want to be known as the wife who gives crap for Christmas so am looking for a new idea. I would like to give dear husband a calendar for his workshop, the kind you can buy at tacky mall kiosks that feature scantily clad women. However, the catch is that I want the pictures to be of me, his fabulous wife. I am not nearly tricky enough to take self-portraits, and there is no one in town to take them. And even if there was I would not do such a thing in Gossip Central, USA. The Presbyterian Women's Association just voted me president for next year, for goodness' sake. They'd probably expire en mass, right there at the potluck table. And the closest place I might find a photo studio to do it is at least 3 hours away. So I'm wondering if maybe I should make up a little note that says "redeemable for one pin-up calendar" and put in in an envelope, and let S.P. take the photos? Then we could make the calendar at home on the computer. Is that a lame gift idea?

Well, as you know I trust your opinions and you will never gossip about me. Enjoy your Christmas preparations, and if you have any good cookie recipes pass them on, for sure!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

RTT: Poop, Pot, and Procreation

randomtuesday


Some days I'm witty, some days just good looking. This may or may not be one of those days. The wind is blowing about 100 miles an hour and it's raining for the ninth day in a row. I feel like Mrs. Friggin' Noah but there's no room in the ark for my massive frizzy afro.

Every time I get up to go scoop horse poop it rains harder. I figure if I just wait long enough it'll all get pounded down into the dirt, or dissolve into the dozens of puddles forming in the pasture. Either way, I win.

There are so many pairs of tall black boots piled by the door it looks like we're hosting a dominatrix convention. And yes, there's even a whip in my coat pocket. We're boarding a new horse that doesn't understand the concept of "respect the people's space".

We have a new kitten in the house, cute little thing called Alfred. Kids love him, Lilly loves him, even S.P. (normally not a cat person) loves him. There's even a note on his cage that says "Everybody Loves ALFRED!" If he is so well-loved by everyone, why am I the only one basking in the pleasure of cleaning his blessed LITTER BOX? In the RAIN, no less!? (Side note: ever tried cleaning a litter box full of clumping litter in a downpour? See "futility" in the dictionary...)

The kids brought home conference notes a few weeks ago, and their teachers like to get the slips returned quickly to see who needs to be rescheduled. Some offer incentives like free time or treats. The new policy this year is not to reward kids with candy due to the obesity problem. Jones brought his slip home and after signing it I asked if he would get a prize for returning it the next day. "Yes, I think it's something (whisper) illegal." I just had to tell the teacher about that, and she confessed that she was rewarding them with a piece of her leftover trick-or-treat candy. I said "heck, I was hoping for a baggie of weed, at least!"

My friend e-mailed me asking for the name of the birds-and-bees book we used to tell the kids about the facts of life when they were first old enough to introduce the subject. I couldn't remember the exact name of the book so went to the library catalog to do a search. At the end of the long list of titles was the alliterative masterpiece "Where Willy Went". I thought somebody must be putting me on but sure enough there is a book by that name that explains reproduction to youngsters. Don't know if I'll recommend that one to my friend but it might be good for a laugh around here!

Well, I just heard someone say "Hey! What 's with that bright light!" and that means there's a sun break. I should just be able to get on my fabulous boots, pull out the wheelbarrow and get into the middle of the pasture before the rain starts again. Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to scoop I go..

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Get the Thermometer, I Smell Bacon Again....

Last week, had you asked me, I would have said that the most un-fun way to celebrate your birthday would be at your child's pee wee soccer banquet. At McDonald's.

Now I know there is something worse. Having the pig flu on your birthday and being too sick to party.

Happy Swine Flu to You, Pony Girl.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sexy Vampire Hookers Do NOT Say "Oink"...

Hey, we made it through the Pig Plague, at least as far as the Health Care Professional in residence can tell. A little fever here, fatigue there, and let's just leave out the (whisper) diarrhea.

But now we're gearing up for Halloween. I love Halloween. Buckets of candy corn, handfuls of mini candy bars to steal from the kids, and the excuse to run around in a trampy costume, all in the name of good fun. (However, the attempts to squeeze into the trampy costume are often undone by the wanton comsumption of candy. Funny how the truly important parts of the holiday do NOT go hand in hand.)

Halloween Week is always especially busy around here because Pony Girl's birthday is just a few days later, with treats to be made for the classroom, birthday dessert for the family, and a party to plan. This year five desperate-to-be-young-women are coming over to giggle away at a pajama party. Not quite a sleepover as they will all be going home about 9, but there will be a PJ fashion show, Spin the Nail Polish Bottle, the Commercial Game, plus pizza making and other fabulous food indulgences. With this party we move from little-kid parties where I could use up the leftover Halloween candy in the pinata to Tween-Land. I'm not sure what this age will bring. Hopefully it's not too bumpy a ride. Halloween is scary enough!

Anyway, it's good to be back from the dead. I was having trouble figuring out how to come up with a way to make a zombie costume look adequately trampy for my favorite fall holiday.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Will The Flatiron Work On This Curly Tail?

I have one kid back to school, one still on the couch with normal temp but wicked sore throat, and a massive giant sitting on my lap. Everything I got aches or is so weary I can't move it. Either I am just a big ol' slug or something bad is going on inside my decrepit body.

If I do not speak the word "flu", will it not come to pass? Excuse me while I go lie on the couch.

I am NOT sick, just resting.

And slosh some Lysol over your entire body as you leave. Don't forget to gargle.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wait, What Happened to September?

Wow, it's been over a month since I was here. If I had scores of followers they would probably be SO disappointed. As it is my few faithful pals over on the left probably don't even come by anymore due to my high level of suck-ness.

But for a while I was busy. After we came back from the big fun anniversary trip (which reminds me, I have some pictures to post BESIDES the one of the Beaver Wash..) I jumped in to get ready for Camp Victory. That's a camp for girls who are survivors of sexual abuse. We bring these girls, ages five to 17, together for three days of fun at a camp where, as one of them put it, "everything is safe. This is the only safe thing I can count on in my life." It's just like any other camp, with singing, crafts, campfires, silly games, and piles of great food, except that all the girls there have been abused. We give them a safe place to be and get some of their childhood back.

So we had a big training in September, then camp three weeks later, with a lot of work in between. I worked in the office this year to help with paperwork, planning, and untangling last-minute messes, then was a cabin buddy with the youngest group of campers. Lots of action there. Littles never walk when they can run, and they run EVERYWHERE.

Then when camp was over I planned to get back into visiting you all here more regularly, but found myself in a rather serious issue with my sweetheart. One that I was not entirely sure would end up with us looking toward any more anniversaries unless some serious talking was done and understandings reached. It's funny how one person can see something as a small deal and the other person see it as deeply hurtful. And how much not talking about it thoroughly enough the first time can leave a scar that's just waiting to tear open again and do even more damage. I think, though, we understand each other's feelings much better now and can move forward. Even after 15 years this marriage thing can jump up with surprises.

So now today I can finally sit down and say hi again. Lots of free time considering both kids were home sick and are now resting on the couch. I won't make the oink noise, but one of Jones' classmates was in the ER with 105 fever and was given antivirals, and two other kids from their school are also getting the drugs. We are hoping for just plain sick. I'd even take some good old-fashioned barfing flu, if it wasn't swiny in nature...

Hey, come see me again soon. And wear your government-approved antiviral mask!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

As Seen on T.V.

Only a couple of brief things today, as we are getting ready to make the run to Home Depot and Costco before masses of tourists arrrive for the Labor Day weekend and we can't even get out the driveway.

On the news last night there was a disturbing story about a person who followed a family around a department store, repeatedly rubbing himself against the woman's six-year-old daughter. The woman was shopping for shoes at one point, not even six feet from her child, when the man moved between the two and rubbed against the child. To the casual glance it might have just appeared to be someone maneuvering in a crowded shoe department. On the security video it was clearly a lot more. And apparently he had been in the store for some time doing the same sort of thing. His boldness infuriated and frightened me. I also remembered times I had been a bit more than arm's length away from my kids thinking they were perfectly safe because I could see them.

We watched the college football opener, Oregon against Boise State. Being OSU Beaver fans it was more for the fact that football was on than anything. At the end of the game one of the Oregon players punched a Boise player in the face. It was so unsportsmanlike, and now it's all over the news and online message boards. Why it happened, excuses being made for the puncher and the punchee, what action should be taken, and all I can think every time I see the footage (which is about every five minutes on this morning's news...) is two kids in the schoolyard jawing at each other.

"If you don't shut your mouth I'll shut it for you!"
"OH YEAH?!"
"YEAH! *kapow*"

Except these little big boys have forgotten this is, after all, still just a game.

And finally the new Jack in the Box commercial, which is advertising an instant-win kind of game. It's called something like the Big Rip-Off, and the ad shows Jack walking down the street and people are ripping off their clothes and throwing them at him. Made me laugh my ass off last night. After that news story, I needed it....

Happy Labor Day!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

RTT: ABC, 123, PB&J...

randomtuesday

Hey, hey, hey! As you can see from my alphabet soup, it must be the first day of school at the Monkey House. And as first days go, it started off pretty well. No whining about getting up early, no fussing about what was for breakfast, no nagging about getting ready on time. And the kids didn't do too bad either...

So now I'll hit you with some pearls of random wisdom, or at least some nuggets of random smart-assery, and go enjoy my day of FREEDOM!!

Pony Girl is supposed to be in charge of scooping horse poop during the summer, unless she is on a trip with her grandparents or sick, etc. She prefers to have her dad or I do it, or let it lie in the pasture as natural fertilizer. I went out one day last week when she had blown off her chore (again) and scooped up, and charged her ten cents a pile. That didn't bother her nearly as much as when she found out I had sub-contracted the wheelbarrow pushing part of the job to Jones and she would have to pay him a cool fifty cents.

Our fifteenth anniversary is coming up this month and we are going on a little trip. Where? No idea. S.P. has planned it, arranged it and is keeping it a secret. Which in this town means telling NO ONE until we get back. If he tells even one person I'd know about it within a week. It's driving his mom wiggy because she always likes to know all the details. He did tell me the mystery destination was within four hours of our house and there is a hot tub. All I have to do is pack and be ready to go. Sounds good to me!

My son thinks I'm Super Mom because I helped him create a new Lego bad guy out of some old mini-figure parts and a black sharpie. The new bad guy has an eye patch, a scar, and "wicked" zippers on his uniform. Had I known what my boy would value I would have majored in Legos instead of education...

While out shopping with the kids last week I saw a fabulous nightie for the abovementioned trip. Since there was a big sale it seemed like the perfect time to grab one, but of course I would have to try it on. Note to self: DO NOT attempt to try on nighties with children along! Jones wanted me to get the brown one because it was more sexier. Pony Girl said the black one definitely showed more boobs and would I save it for her to wear for her husband someday? OH GOOD GOLLY....the only thing more embarrassing than being IN the dressing room with them was coming out and seeing a man S.P. and I know waiting there for his wife. Having been LISTENING to the whole conversation while he was waiting. At least he didn't ask me if I was going to get the black one or the brown one.

At Keely's I saw a video for an, ahem, massager, that was modeled after a Twilight vampire. It made me think of an ad I had seen once for a kit where you can make a...massager that looks just like your favorite man's junk. When I had first seen the ad a year or so ago, my idea was to give the kit to S.P. as a romantic anniversary gift. But then, would that really be a gift for HIM or more of a gift for ME? Hmmm...

Well, somehow a post that started out relatively clean has wandered into smut again. Better go before the randomness gets raunchy....

Friday, August 28, 2009

Work In Progress....

It's the big day, the day we are done with painting and mild swearing and are moving on to the finishing touch: WALLPAPER BORDER! And we remember well how to do it from the last time. Measure twice, cut once. And curse forty-seven times per foot. This afternoon, when all the furniture is in and before the kids come back and get a chance to mess up their rooms, I will post some before and after pictures.

(I did promise that about my kitchen/dining room remodel but it's always such a mess I can never get any "after" pictures...)

Update #1
I didn't realize that hanging wallpaper border caused Tourette's Syndrome. I've dropped so many F-bombs this morning my husband thinks I'm Vodka Mom. And we realized the first time we did these rooms six years ago it took three rolls of border, NOT two. Let's see if I can still get the borders or if they've been discontinued.

TO BE CONTINUED.....

Update #2
So far, so good. They have the borders in stock and can ship by Tuesday. We could, in theory, move the nicely painted furniture in from the shop and get their rooms arranged but it is now raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock. I think I need a beer to help this project along....


Update #3
Where the fric and frac did I put that bag of outlet covers last week? I took them off, taped the screws to each one, put them in a zip bag, and...lost the damn things. Must have been the paint fumes. Should have just left them in the middle of the floor. Then I'd know where they are...

Update #4
Found them in a box marked "school supplies, Lego magazines and stuff". Makes perfect sense. Kids got home from the fair and were SO excited to see the borders up, though they did ask if we MEANT to stop halfway down the wall. No kids, this is why we always measure the room before hitting the "place order now" button on the wallpaper website...

And it stopped raining long enough to get the furniture in, finally. However the rooms are not in apple-pie order, as Granny used to say, so I will take those fabulous photos tomorrow. Now, back to the beer!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Last Circle of Hell

Today I took my almost-ten-year-old daughter shopping for school clothes. I didn't want skirts that were too short, tops that were too tight, or anything that was too trampy. Plus, to suit her personal tastes, it couldn't be itchy, look weird, or ride up anywhere "too close" to the crotch. Hence the title of today's post. Waiter, bring me a margarita in a five-gallon bucket....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

RTT: DIY PITA

randomtuesday

In honor of it being almost back to school time, I am jumping into the Random Tuesday Soup with some alphabet jazz. "DIY" refers to my home redecorating projects and is self-explanatory. And "PITA" is not all about bread, it describes aspects of the home projects that are chafing my butt.

So AWAYYYY we go!

When the bottle of wallpaper paste removal goo says "use in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask", they're not lyin'. Just because you can't smell anything right away does not mean the chemicals aren't potent enought to EAT YOUR BRAINS like a rabid zombie.

Taping up before painting is a pain. No matter how carefully I get the tape edge down it always leaks. Plus all the dust bunnies that cling to the tape show off what a rotten housekeeper I am.

Since Daddy is the one who does the actual painting he gets the best hugs and kisses and all the praise for how good the room looks. All I did was plan the re-do, look for wallpaper border, strip the old wallpaper, force the kids to go through piles of old junk they've hoarded so we can rearrange things, shop for new bedding and push to get the project underway.

It's amazing how much an old black hair elastic with some fuzz on it can look like an enormous black spider. Especially if you're vacuuming under the dresser and it's pulled toward you quickly by a long piece of hair. It's equally amazing how a simple mom with no musical talent can sound like a diva soprano in an opera when faced with what appears to be a huge spider zooming toward her feet...

Why is it that a kid can see the same toy in the corner of their room for six months, totally uninterested in it, but the minute I THINK of taking it to the consignment store it becomes their new favorite, can't-live-without-it, drop-dead-if-anything-happened-to-it possession? How do they KNOW?!

And last, but not least, how is it that people who have had six years to visit us and see how we're doing in our new place suddenly want to come NOW, when we have a big ol' tore-up mess from one end of the hall to the other and me looking like the dog's dinner all day long? And Lord help me it's some good-looking woman S.P. knows from high school, or college. Why couldn't she have showed up here when things were put together, before I cut off my hair and gained fifteen pounds? Oh Lord, forget my house...I need a remodel....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The 30-Day Plan

Recently I've heard about some interesting 30-day plans to make my life better, or more fulfilling, or just more spicy. Everyone insists their idea will add depth to my otherwise shallow existence. But which one to choose?

Having discarded most of the 30-day exercise programs due to the laziness gene, I have three that are getting serious consideration:

Blog every day for 30 days. (Stretch your mind)

Cook something new every day for 30 days. (Stretch your cooking skills)

Have sex (somehow) every day for 30 days. (Stretch...no, ENHANCE your relationship)

Hmmm, they all sound good, and challenging to keep the faith for the full 30 days. How can I pick just one?

Got it! I'll take the best of all three. I'll cook in the nude every day, see what comes of it (stop snickering...) and blog about it! It'll be the best 30-day program ever.

And just imagine what Wordless Wednesdays will be like...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

If There Is No Fishing In Heaven, Do I Really Want To Go?

Today I got to go fishing with my mom. Now, I am a truly slothful person at heart and hate like the dickens to get up early in the morning, and the boat loads at 4:45 a.m. Even dragging myself upright at 6:30 to get the kids off to school can be a challenge, because sleeping is cool and getting up out of the bed sucks.

But the secret is that I will get up at any time, no matter how early, to go fishing. It's one of the best things ever, in life.

When we get to the port it's still dark, but there's a buzz of activity on all the boats as the deckhands prep bait and check gear. The seagulls are quiet this early; they know there's no point in getting excited till the boats start coming back in. Check in at the charter office, get a license, jaw a little with the lady at the desk who knows us by first name now. When we get down to the boat there's coffee, and people to visit with. Pretty soon it's time to get underway and the skipper gives a quick talk on how to get 'em in the boat.

By this time the sky's just starting to turn, but sunup is still at least an hour away. As we pull out, several other boats are leaving too and it's like a parade. Looking out over the stern I can see at least half a dozen sets of running lights fanned out and we pick up speed leaving the port. Look out salmon, here we come.

It's quite a trip out to the good fishing grounds, but there's plenty to see as we go. Here's the Coast Guard station, with lots of blue-clad men and women hurrying to Motor Lifeboat School. They wave as we go by and I can tell they'd love to cut class and come out with us for a few hours. Another boat comes up next to us and the skippers do a little racing to the next buoy. We motor past the lighthouse at Cape D and the water's getting a little choppy. Crossing the bar where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean is sometimes smooth, sometimes torn with huge troughs and swells. Today's not bad and soon we're past the second lighthouse at North Head. We can hear the gentle "ding" of the buoys as we speed by, and huge flocks of brown pelicans seem to be racing us to the fish. Hey, look...three seals playing in the water! And the sunrise is just gorgeous today. Fishing is great but I like the getting-there part too.

Now the boat slows and it's time to grab a pole. Immediately a fish hits at the bow and the shout "Fish On!" rings all around the deck. Too bad, this one's not a keeper but we have plenty of time. Sometimes it's slow, with the wily fish slipping up long enough to steal your bait and leave just a smelt head on the hook. Skipper comes by and tells us "Now this isn't a petting zoo, folks..we're here to catch 'em not feed 'em." It's our first trip with this new skipper and he's good. Patient, funny and full of witticisms. After fixing one pole up he gets it back in water and says "All set now, next time one hits you'll be fartin' through silk." Must be a good thing.

And we fish, and fish, and fish some more. It's a fabulous day. Not too much chop, warm but not blistering hot, and I can see that Mom already has two fish. And a green face. I go to check her out and her scop patch is partly on her skin, partly in her hair. Ooh, no wonder she's feeling queasy. But boy, she's fishing like a champ. We fix the patch and I go back to my pole. Haven't caught one yet, but I've fed several fish. And I swear that every time I pull up an empty hook a fish jumps out of the water about ten feet away. I think he's giving me the bird, fish-style.

But finally, there's a good twitch, then a hard jerk and it's my turn. Get the pole set, reel, reel, reel, and here comes the net. It's a beauty, and the deckhand says the magic words "It's a keeper! Nice one!" Ahh, feels good.

But they're whipping our butts at the stern. The best fisherman today is a white-haired lady in yellow rain gear. She looks like the Gorton's fisherman and she's just haulin' those bad boys in. When she catches her fifth fish we can hear her joyful yell "This is my best fishing day EVER!" Mom tells me later she's been fishing for 40 years. She ends up with six fish; two for herself, two for her seasick granddaughter, and two for the boat. Salmon fear Mrs. Gorton...

With that we've limited and it's time to head in. As we turn toward the port and pick up speed the gulls start gathering. It's fish-cleaning time! The deckhand gets busy at the side, chucking all the insides overboard and as he does the gulls start shouting "MINE! MINE! MINE!" I nod off for a bit, but wake as we pass a chiming buoy. On top of it, bobbing in the wake from the boat, are three loud-barking seals. Lots of boats are coming in and it's only 8:30. What a day!

All too soon we're backing into our slip and the deckhand is passing out the fish. Another trip is over, and now we get to enjoy our catch. That's good. I like fish. But I LOVE fishing!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

RTT: Mom's On Vacation!

randomtuesday

Oh, it's a great day. The kids are off for a few days with their grandparents, I have cake left from Jones' birthday party (come tomorrow for a picture) and "America's Next Top Model" is on ALL DAY LONG!

Plus I can throw out whatever weird idea comes up and it's not disjointed, it's...RANDOM TUESDAY THOUGHTS. Brought to you by the management, endorsed by the UnMom, and 100% organic.

Go, hamster, go...

Jones got a Crime Scene Investigator kit for his birthday, complete with UV flashlight that makes body fluids fluoresce. So far we have discovered that our teeth are brilliant in the dark, our toilets are disgusting, and Jones needs to shake it off better before tucking it back in his shorts.

No matter how mature our relationship has become, I can still make my mother blush with any obscure reference to my sex life. We are planning a weekend trip for our 15th anniversary next month and asked if they would take the kids. She asked why we were going early and I said it would ruin our romantic plans to have "Mother Nature" along. Her face turned beet red and she stuttered like Mel Tillis. Guess there are some things you just don't bring up to your momma...

Adding braces to Pony Girl has really changed her look. From the neck up she looks a couple of years older, which causes a little consternation when we take her to the beach. Last time we were there she was sprawled on her towel, sunning her buns, and a couple 12/13-year-old boys were checking her out. When she got up to hit the water and they realized she was not as old as they thought the looks on their faces were hysterical!

It's time to redecorate the kids' rooms. Whe we first moved into the house six years ago we painted and decorated for 2- and 4-year-olds. For their respective birthdays they asked us for something more grown-up. Pony Girl is getting a horse theme, and Jones went for the hunting dogs with camouflage bedding. If I can tear myself away from Top Model my job today is to clear out their rooms and tape up the woodwork. Oh crap, I have to strip that wallpaper border out of Pony Girl's room too!

Byeee....

Friday, August 7, 2009

I Swear This Isn't About Sex Or Even Close to It...

I love my small town, and with the exception of certain times of the year when we can't move for the number of tourists crowding in, it's a fabulous place to live and bring up kids.

One of the only shortcomings is the lack of shopping outlets. We do have a couple of grocery places, limited clothing, office supplies, and whatnot, but there's definitely no specialty shopping unless you're after smoked seafood or kites.

Something we've found ourselves in need of more and more frequently these days is horsey gear. There are two farm stores across the river that carry a bit of tack but not much, and so catalog shopping is a must when we need something really specialized. We found a great catalog recently that will ship any order for a flat rate of $7.95, so it's always a good idea to look carefully through for not only what we need now but what we might need next month and make the most of that shipping fee.

Today, as I was flipping pages, I came across some new goodies that made me wonder if the company had merged with some adult-products company. "Uncle Jimmy's Hangin' Balls" and "Uncle Jimmy's Squeezy Buns" right there for anyone to see. And in a family catalog! On closer review they were just horse treats, but it certainly made me squirt coffee out MY nose for a second...

And they've got hair extensions to make your horse's tail fat and sexy, and some spray-on stickum for your saddle to keep you in the seat (wish I'd had a can of THAT a few weeks ago..) and a 100-piece value pack whip assortment.

Never thought I would see the words "value pack whip assortment" together anywhere in my life.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Heard in the Costco Restroom...

"Mom, could you wait outside?"

"Why?"

"I need some privacy."

"I'll close my eyes."

"No, it's better if you would go out there..."

"Well, I can't see anything with my eyes closed..oh, all right. What's up? You got something new I don't know about?"

"No, I just like privacy."

"Well you know, I've seen your goodies since you were born."

"No, I didn't have goodies when I was born."

Exit mom...and laughter.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

RTT: There Seems to Be More Sex In This Post Than Usual...

randomtuesday

Wow, Tuesday again. It's been weeks since I've been in the RTT open swim. And how do you make an excuse for no post on Random Tuesday? That's like saying "I couldn't attend the Nudist's Ball because I had nothing to wear." Tuesday is the day where you string it together, throw it out, and be not ashamed. Kind of like when a toddler learns to dress herself. So, here we go...

My mom and I are going salmon fishing next week. It's become our August tradition and we have a ball. We always get on a boat with some real die-hard sportsmen-type guys who snicker at our pink ball caps and gloves; the ones who are certain they will have to catch fish for "the little ladies" as well as their own. Every year one of us gets the first fish, and it's always a nice one. Those guys' mouths flop open just like the fish and it's truly priceless. Maybe the fish favor us local folk?

We were dog-sitting for my folks this weekend, for their ancient lab/mastiff mix. My friend came over with the kids and told me about her search for a male lab to breed with her female. She admired old Bear and asked if he was fixed, which he is. After a few minutes of watching him amble around the yard before climbing the stairs V-E-R-Y slowly, she said, "You know, even if he wasn't fixed, I think he'd need a Viagra...for his whole body."

For the past three years or so our school has had the policy of "all parent requests for teachers will be honored". In the spring it was announced that this was no longer the policy and staff should spread the word. Lots of parents, grandparents, and interested parties tried to make end-runs and plead special cases, but it would seem that the edict held firm. The announcement was made "lists will be posted August 3", which became "the first week in August". Yesterday there was a veritable parade of cars in the parking lot circling past the doors. No lists. My guess is the principal is going to post them on Friday afternoon then run like hell. And not answer his phone till Monday.

You know that you are getting old when...there is some romantic snuggling going on, and then the pleasant warming sensation turns into a burning sensation. Holy crap you say, what kind of "personal warming gel" is that?! No, sorry, it's not hot romance, it's your lover rubbing his sore muscles with "Icy Hot" before bed and then getting frisky...

The Boob Fairy has already visited some of Pony Girl's friends. I was surprised to see some of them after a few months of summer vacation, looking so, ah, DIFFERENT. She had some thoughts on the subject:


"When your boobs arrive is when you start wearing make-up to dinner and important family events."


"Your make-up enhances your boobs."


I was unaware of the link between boobs and make-up. If make-up truly had such an effect on boobs, Tammy Faye should have needed a wheelbarrow to tote hers around in. And I went through an eyeshadow fetish in my senior year that should have left me with double-D's, at least..


Well, that's all I got for now. Better save some random for later, when my husband comes home and says, "So , honey, what did you do all day?"

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Night Stuff

It's finally here! The week my children wait for all summer long! The week the church custodian fears above all others. The week that makes creative juices flow in ways we mommies only dream of all the rest of the year.

VBS WEEK!

Yes, Vacation Bible School is upon us again, and although we have known about it since May, we are swamped in a last-minute panic.

"How can we make a burning bush by tomorrow morning?"

"There aren't any red stickers anywhere in town for Pharoah's boils!"

"Can we stuff a whole team of kids under one table and pretend it's an Israelite house?"

Oh, it's always a great test of ingenuity and making-do. The early pioneers and settlers have nothing on me when it comes to creating stuff for VBS. Two years ago I made a "tribes of Israel" tent out of two stacks of chairs, a big brown tarp and some huge utility clips. A few saddle blankets on the floor and Presto! Just call me Rebekah. Last year it was "God's Big Backyard" and we had it all: tent, picnic table with checkered cloth and a blanket on the ground.

This year I'm at the Bible stories station. Hence the burning bush, boils (and other plagues) and Israelite house. Out of the five days I think Pharoah Day will be the most entertaining; the kids get to throw pretend dead fish and frogs at him, turn his drinking water to "blood" with kool-aid powder, and clip clothespin locusts to his clothes. Plus stick red boils all over him.

Anybody have any good VBS stories out there?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

It's Confession Time

Dear Lord,

Remember two years ago, when we had our last visit from "the family"? How I said that I would try harder next time to be patient and kind, gracious and loving and understanding? How I promised to see them as beloved children of yours, and not be cranky, and not lose my temper, and not second-guess the parenting skills of the grown-ups or the behavior, attitude, or questionable amounts of respect shown by the children? How I swore not to compare the way their children acted to the way mine do? How I told myself I would NOT encourage my sweet children to offer their cousins a poke in the chops if they didn't keep their blessed hands to themselves? How I promised, in general, to be a better aunt, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, and relative?

Well, I must have been lying. Bring on the lightning and put me out of my misery already...

Amen.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

Hay!

Today, we went for hay. It is a necessity but as so many "must-do's" are, is not so fun. For the hay to be ready (for after all it is just dried grass tied in bundles) it must be hot outside. Freakin' hot. Lay in the shade and pant like a dog hot. If we could just do it in winter I wouldn't mind doing it, but, there you go. Since it's an outdoor activity in the sun, you must wear lots of sunscreen. And then the little itchy bits of hay stick to you, and get in your bra, or your tank top, or whatever.

And forget the romantic ranch hand fantasy, ladies. There are no hunky young studs in cowboy hats and sun-bronzed bare torsos buckin' those hay bales. Just old fellas with farmer tans, butt cracks full of hayseeds and greasy John Deere caps rolling hay and yelling "Git your foot off the clutch before you burn it up, Lurlene!"

The kids love it. They ride the hay baler with the farmer, catch snakes and jump bales. S.P. thinks it's a good workout for his surf rescue work. And for me? Today I hoisted and stacked, and kept thinking to myself, "am I really going to this much trouble for that big so-and-so who dumped me on my can two days ago?"

Ah, sweet irony...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hurt

I wanted to have a fun fabulous post today, or maybe a great picture in honor of Wordless Wednesday. And if you've been here a time or two you know my favorite photo subjects are the kids. But I couldn't do it today. Especially not a kid picture.

See, right now in our little corner of Washington the big story is a missing child. Missing since Friday night from a small town, not much bigger than where we live. A ten-year-old girl who was just walking six blocks home from a friend's house. Probably done it lots of times before. Everyone is searching everywhere for her. Someone knows where she is.

Pony Girl went to her grandparents' house on Monday. They live down in town, small-town. Grandma called her to set the table and she didn't come. Grandma looked all through the house, outside, down the driveway. The girl was gone. Grandpa happened to look out the big window and there she was, riding her bike down the side road. When I sat her down to explain why she must never go outside without someone knowing where she was, and she needed to have someone with her whenever she was riding her bike, she didn't understand why. So we pulled up the story online and I watched her read it. Now, she understands. She's my age, Pony Girl said. What do you think will happen to her?

I didn't want to think about it. Thinking about it would be admitting that it could so easily have been my child, pulled off her bike while no one knew she had slipped out for a ride.

But as hard as it is to think about, we still have to talk about it, and keep talking about it, and try to keep her and Jones safe without being overprotective. That balance gets harder to maintain every time something bad happens "out there". I can protect their heads with helmets, their bodies with seatbelts and their health with vitamins and handwashing. How do I protect them against evil people?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lazy, Crazy, Days of Summer?

When I was a kid I couldn't wait for summer vacation to come. The last couple weeks of school just dragged by, and it was always warm and nice, so hard to get on the bus and spend a beautiful day INSIDE when summer was so definitely calling my name. But finally, the last day of school was over! I would hop off the bus with a bag full of old papers and junk out of my desk and run to the house, free at last.

It was a great feeling. Sure, there were chores to do; weeding the vegetable garden, house stuff, an occasional trip to the mountains for a load of winter firewood, but mostly my time was MINE. Sleeping late (well, it was pretty hot by 6:30 and hard to sleep with the hop duster plane flying overhead anyway), reading all the books I wanted, riding bikes, playing with my friends...the fun was endless.

And on weekends there were camping trips, horse shows, picnics, great mad fun stuff with my mom and dad. Life was great. It couldn't get any better.

Though there were times when I wanted to go somewhere that my bike wouldn't take me, and no grownup was available to drive. I wished to be older. Then when I was older and could drive there was the "parental permission" thing to get around. Such times when my summer freedom was curtailed, or denied outright, I thought to myself, "just wait until I'm an adult..."

Well TA-DA! It's here! I am an adult in the summer! School's out and the livin' is easy, right? RIGHT? Yes, ma'am, Mrs. Adult, you are free to rock out this summer day after you mop that gross floor, finish that heap o' laundry, hit the grocery store, take Pony Girl to the eye doctor, attend the Vacation Bible School planning meeting (and don't forget the road through town is closed, you'll have to detour..), and for the love of Pete would you TRY to get some exercise before you wear that BATHING SUIT?!

Hey, this summer business looked a lot easier when I didn't have any perspective..

Saturday, June 13, 2009

She Cleans Up Good, Don't She?

Isn't it amazing how a young lady can go from THIS:



to THIS:



In a four-hour time period?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts: ...Oh Look, a Chicken!

Dum-te-dah! It's day of all days...Random Tuesday! And they be no one in this chair more random than me. Hey, did you ever see "National Lampoon's European Vacation"? You know, the scene where the Griswolds have 15 minutes to see the Louvre? That's me, today, trying to shepherd my second-graders through 10 classrooms full of science-fair experiments in one hour. My brains are gone.

So, AWAYYYY we go...

One of my own students was in a funk because he had no science experiment to display. Over lunch, less than one hour before the fair was to begin, he had a GREAT IDEA. And the water bottle volcano was born. Take one full water bottle, loosen the cap, and place in a large basin. Squeeze really hard until the cap (and water too) shoots into the air. Refill and repeat. And relocate experiment to the sink area. He was a big hit and got a green participant ribbon too. Rocked his whole day.

Last night I found an empty snail shell on the floor by the washer and dryer. Made me wonder if it was empty when it came in the house, or if it was carrying a passenger, traveling in some little boy's pocket and went through the wash. Note to self: check clothing for snail stains...

We had the ASB carnival at school last Friday, with fun games, dunk tank, and goodies including a bake sale and cake walk. Good times and we made a lot of money for field trips, but the big irony of the night: the family with the diabetic child won three cakes at the cake walk.

I can't wait until she leaves. I'm so tired of the attitude, the snotty looks, the angry back turned on me. Most of the time I'm just trying to take care of things she needs, but the lack of respect I get in return makes me wish she would just disappear. I can't believe a ten-year-old could be capable of such hatefulness, but it gets worse every day. And she's so pretty, too.... Hey, anybody wanna buy a horse?

Oh, that's all I got. When this job ends I may actually get to READ other people's blogs again...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Oh, My Achin' Ass..

What a day. On the field trip one of the kids in my group was feeling a little car (bus?) sick so I gave her a plastic bag for just in case. We made it all the way to the tide pools, then all the way back to the aquarium. I packed the bag into my backpack in preparation to get off the bus. As we were parking the bus, yes, sitting in the parking lot waiting to get off the bus, I felt a frantic whacking on my arm. Behind me the child is THROWING UP. I got the bag out and back under her face in time for the second wave but...damn.

And when we got back to school my sub for MY class had already escaped for the day. No note about how the day went, or how the kids were, or anything. So tomorrow I plan to just get them nice and quiet, look around, and say, "So, what do you want to tell me about yesterday?" And see if they have any guilty secrets to share. They must not have been fabulous or she would have left a glowing note....

Then for the big finish on my day, Pony Girl just came down the hall and said her teacher told them that anyone who doesn't participate in the science fair won't get a "4" on their report card for science. Well, hell. We got the notice about the science fair on the 8th, with an added note from the teacher that since they'd just finished a big project and the fair was the 19th, it was an optional thing. To me, basing a student's final grade on a project doesn't make it optional. I had to send her down the hall to her room so I could cuss this teacher out in style. We had a great idea for a project but with such a short time to do it she decided to wait and enter the fair next year. It's not the grade, because we know she has done well and will be proud of her work no matter what, but it just seemed like a bullshit trick.

Excuse the pissing and moaning. Maybe I need a little nap...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

RTT: School May Not Be Out, But the Teacher Is...

It's late, but I shall be random anyway. Here we go.

My students love the bathroom. Maybe I should move my desk in there with them so I can get more teaching done. We could begin a study of tornados...

And whoever designed that restroom should get a big ol' swirly. The tiled floors and walls magnify any noise the kids make until it echoes down the hall. It should've come with padded walls and a white noise machine.

Our creative writing assignment was "How would you build a snowman?" I had some great stuff come in, lots of descriptive words and details like "with a striped hat" or "with coal for buttons". I had to laugh at "not with yellow snow".

Had two kids rush up to me in the middle of writing time wanting to tattle about something-or-other. (A twosome that LIVE to tattle..) They were both insisting that they would talk first. With a long line of kids needing help with their snowman stories, I said, "get a sheet of paper and write down everything you want to tell me. Then I'll read it after I help these kids." Funny thing, they were tattling about two TOTALLY DIFFERENT INCIDENTS!

We are having a healthy eating contest among the kindergarten, first and second grades. After lunch each day they report how many servings of fruits or vegetables each kid ate. At the end the class who wins gets a fruit salad party with the Healthy Strides teacher. Today one of the students reported eating a serving (1/2 cup) of sliced olives. Another reported a serving of pickle slices. After taking a drink of water to rehydrate my salt-puckered mouth, I told them those foods were too salty to be eaten in 1/2 cup portions and counted as "healthy choices".

Today we watched the Schoolhouse Rock cartoon about adjectives before starting the writing time. It was so cool to listen to the song and watch the kids enjoy the animation. Maybe tomorrow I should review verbs, just so we can watch that one. "Verb, that's what's happening.."

That's all I got. Now I correct the papers.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Resume Says TEACHER, Not Tree Removal Specialist...



It's been a long and busy week. Taking one-day-at-a-time sub jobs can be like eating Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans; you don't know what exactly they'll be like or if you'll like them much once you've got 'em, but they are always an adventure. Good ones leave a lingering pleasantness, and the bad ones kind of disappear after you get done gagging. Having a long-term job can be better because the flavor's always the same, but if it's a flavor you don't like much after the first day you can't spit it out till the job's done. Sometimes the flavor grows on you, other times you just paste on a smile and gut it out. Like sucking one of those sour warhead candies Jones likes. This week I've had both kinds of beans. Monday was earwax. Yesterday was more like watermelon, with a brief appearance by sardine around lunchtime. Next week we shoot for chocolate truffle...

Anyway, today I was catching up on laundry, ironing, some computer time, and just general vegetating. S.P. came in to ask for some help with a project. An easy project, he said. Just sit in the truck and back it up when he said to. Aha. What's the catch?

"Well, I'm felling that dead tree and want to drop it without hitting the pumphouse."

As you can see, I didn't come near the pumphouse. Busted hell out of the corral fence though. Never ask a teacher to do a logger's job...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Randomness, Take Me Away....

randomtuesday

Ah, Tuesday. Time to let the hamster spin the wheel again.

At my age, and as one of responsible adults in the house, it's my job to set a good example by buying and eating nutritious foods. There are dozens of healthy choices in the breakfast cereal aisle. Raisin bran, wheat chex, oatmeal. I want sugary rot-your-teeth-no-whole-grains, please. Where's that stuff that tasted like marshmallow rice krispy treats?

Cookbooks are great. There's a whole shelf of them in the living room. Another one in the kitchen cabinet. S.P. asks why I have so many, and couldn't I get rid of some since we always cook the same things out of the same one or two? He doesn't know about the third shelf full in the laundry room. It's my secret stash, my food porn. I love to look at the glossy photos of what could be, so different from what we have day in and day out...I never stray, it's enough just to look.

The kids are playing T-ball this year. Pony Girl is a little afraid of the ball and doesn't want to get in front of the grounders. Brilliant me, I'll play catch with her and LET THE BALL HIT ME so she can see it doesn't hurt that bad. Yeah, right. Go sit on the bench, tacos-for-brains...the swelling will go down in a few days...

A week or so ago Jones and I were discussing his manly parts and he decided "wedding tackle" was his favorite euphemism. The other day he said, "So if boys have wedding tackle, do girls have tackle boxes?"

We just got the new Cabela catalog. Not the sportsman's catalog but the women's clothing one with all the great-looking stuff in it. I could blow two paychecks ordering from that catalog, if I had a job...
ANYWAY, I turned a page to find a silk camisole and tap pants set in camouflage print. It was puzzling. When I wear stuff like that I want to say "HEY! LOOK AT ME!", not "HEY! BETCHA CAN'T FIND ME!" And my boobs are hard enough to find anyway...

Pony Girl has a report due this week on Native American tribes. All I can say is "When I was a kid we didn't have it so easy..." No, I really did say that. My parents' and grandparents' words flowed out of me even though I swore to myself I would never repeat that phrase. Golly Ned. You Google, you make notes, if there's a question about something you go to Ask.com....crap. Can I travel back in time and re-do all my elementary school papers? Because I would be so fabulously brilliant the teachers would think I was Doogie-Damn-Howser. She did do some of the research in books, and will always do part of it in books, but wow. The information superhighway really speeds up the homework process.

That's my best for today...but my two-week sub job starts on Friday and some of the juiciest blog fodder comes from the classroom!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

If You Bake It, They Will Come...


Well, just look at that. Wouldn't pie like that make you slap your grandma? Seems like no matter what we serve as the main dish at our church fund-raiser lunches the people just keep rolling in for the pie. Especially the chocolate-almond pie. Though this year my coconut cream pie was pretty popular too. And of course the lemon meringue, though it wasn't set up when we tried to cut it and it had to sit in the freezer for awhile...

But as Momma always said, no dessert till you eat your lunch. And they came, and they ate taco salads. Loads of taco salads. We ran out of tomatoes and olives, and it came pretty close on the meat. We overshot it on the cheese by ten pounds, but that'll keep in the freezer for another church-lady affair.

Everyone seemed pleased when we were done. Nobody argued much, we all tried to smile and get along, and I think we made enough to pay all the bills and have some profit as well. Now I'm going to take a little nap. Getting up before 6 to make meringue for pies is better left to the little old ladies of the church. I think I'm too young for that crap.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Always Wondered Why That Bread Had A Hole In It...

I know it's late, but I was at the Cash and Carry buying massive amounts of food today for the upcoming fiesta. 20 pounds of cheese, 20 pounds of lettuce, 10 pounds of sour cream, 90 tortillas and 2 huge jugs of picante sauce. And the checker still asked "Planning for a big event?" Nope, I'm just a really big eater. You should see the girdle I'm wearing....

But just-in-case my taco queen duties keep me from finding a fabulous picture to sling up here tomorrow, you can wander over to YouTube and check out "naked Swedish crispbread dancers". I tried to post the link but since it includes material for those over 18, you'll have to go there yourself.

Maybe next year we'll have a smorgasbord fundraiser. Bring on the crispbread, herring, and naked dancing waiters!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Can I Have A Margarita With These Tacos?

I have discovered a true fact of life. Never, in a group meeting, express enthusiasm for any idea that the group should do unless you are prepared to be the chair of said event.

At our church we have a group of ladies who have been meeting **forever** and doing various missions projects that require funds be raised. We raise this money by holding a holiday bazaar/clam chowder luncheon in the late fall and a St. Patrick's Day luncheon/treasure room tag sale in the spring. Well, this spring no one was terribly excited to make the traditional St. Paddy's creamed chicken on biscuits lunch, so we discussed putting it off till after Lent and doing a taco salad lunch instead. (Creamed chicken in March was done to accommodate our folks who were not allowed to eat meat during Lent.) I was enthusiastic about a "Spring Fiesta" taco salad lunch, and suddenly I was the chair...sucker.

Is there a shopping list, I asked. Yes, somewhere. Is there a list of duties from the last time we did this. Yes, somewhere. Is there support for this project? Yes, of course! Except for the tried-and-true crew of ladies who are always there for these big church-lady kitchen extravaganzas started calling me...."Dearie, I just won't be there that weekend." Seven of the women who are my best helpers and know where things are and were going to get me through the planning and executing of this luncheon are not even going to BE THERE!

Well, at least we have decorations. We used them two years ago, at the last taco salad luncheon. Pinatas and big tissue-paper flowers, right? But here's the ladies in charge of decorating, telling me that no one has any idea where the decorations were put last time. We looked in all the closets, the storage shed, and three different garages. The blessed things are just gone. Well, make a plea to the congregation for Mexican-themed decorations and hope we don't get frog sculptures wearing sombreros and smoking joints...

And the big event is this week. Saturday. Got my pie-baking crew and my taco shell-making crew. A crew for doing up taco meat and a team of waitresses. Somehow, despite my sucky organizational skills and the glitches, we're gonna do it.

And next year, I'm keeping my taco trap shut. Adios.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Excuse Me Ma'am, You Can't Bring That Hairy Thing In Here..

randomtuesday

Jones received a joke book in his Easter basket this year and spent the day walking around like a comedian in a bad lounge act telling us Easter-related jokes. Some of them were really good, others stank like the egg you hid under the porch step three years ago and forgot about. Of course, predictably, one went like this:

Q: Why was the Easter Bunny too embarrassed to deliver eggs?
A: Because he was having a bad HARE day!

And that is the segue into today's edition of Random Tuesday Thoughts...what do you think? The right blend of humor and subtlety?

I have curly hair. And a lot of it. And combining that with lots of rain here on the cost often makes it even more curly and voluminous. There are lots of nice words that could be used to describe it, or even neutral words that would be o.k. The one I've been hearing a lot lately is "big". I'm not so sure that is a good sort of word for hair. Usually I'd rather hear, "You have a lot of hair," or "You have thick hair," but there's something almost unkind about "Wow, your hair is really...big." I mean, I don't go around saying to people, "That's some big ass you've got there..."

When going into a store, the general assumption is that the salesperson is there to make a sale. The best way to do so, at least from what I remember from a short retail career, is to be pleasant to the customer. Don't suck up, but try not to offend. While shopping for hair products, the salesperson was telling me about a great new thing. "I love it," she said, "and lots of the women who come in swear by it. You'd probably love it too...it's great for big frizzy hair." Oh. Crap, I better take my massive afro out of this shop so some other customers can squeeze in!

My last year in college I shared an apartment with a friend, and quite often I would wet my hair in the bathroom sink in order to give it a fresh "do" for evening plans. One weekend her parents came up and she complained to her dad that the bathroom sink was really running slow. No problem, he said, I'll take a look at it. He tinkered around with the trap, and then with a pair of pliers, and the next thing I knew he was pulling this huge wad of hair out of the drain. It looked like an enormous drowned rat. He swung it around a little and said "Well, I wonder where THIS came from?" All eyes on me and my great big hair.

When we went to that family wedding a few months ago we played "the Newlywed Game" at the rehearsal dinner. One of the questions was "When you first met, what attracted you to your wife the most?" I couldn't think of what S.P. could possibly have said. When we flipped our cards he had said "her hair". Then he was telling everyone how when he saw me walking down the street I had long thick hair and it was the most beautiful hair he'd ever seen on a girl. Wow. I never knew that.

After my last trip to the salon I had some new streaks put in the front, and they turned really blond. It was a windy day and my hair was extra wild by the time I got out to the barn to feed the horse. While holding the hay in one arm and reaching up to open the gate, I felt something tugging on my hair. The horse was trying to EAT my HAIR! Apparently in its newly blond and windblown state it looked enough like the pale grass hay that she decided it was dinner time. Luckily she spit it out when I dropped the real hay and there was no obvious damage.

Sometimes whan I go to teach the best hairdo is a loose bun, because it keeps the hair out of my face and makes me look a little more like a professional and less like the wench on a bodice-ripper novel. One day a boy noticed me pushing the pencil I'd been using into my bun and asked why I was doing that. "Well, then I always have a pencil handy when I need one." Good enough answer for him. When I got home later and took down my hair I had three pencils of different lengths stashed in there. I could probably smuggle two hershey bars and a pint of vodka in there and nobody would ever know.

Well, that's all I got. Random on a theme. It's not supposed to rain, so maybe today my hair will just be medium sized.

Monday, April 13, 2009

It Feels Like Monday

One of the difficulties of living in a small town is that no conversation stays private for very long. If you tell it at one end of town in the morning, there's a better than average chance that it'll be to the other end by dinner time. Really juicy gossip can go from one end of the peninsula to the other quicker than the mail truck.

That was hard to keep in mind when we first moved here from a much larger city, where you could go weeks without seeing the same faces in the grocery store on a regular basis. Around here everyone knows that Sunday-after-church is the place to meet people at Sid's Supermarket for a visit.) Discretion had to become a part of our conversations.

Added to the fun was the fact that both sets of our parents live here, and are pretty well known in the community. Most folks seem to think that if they hear a bit of news about US, they should hurry right along to let our parents know. And it's not uncommon for a piece of news involving S.P. or I to be told to US by our parents instead of us telling our parents first. Such as "I hear you are going to sub two weeks for Mrs So-and-So." when Mrs. So-and-So hasn't even asked me yet. Where did you hear that, I'll ask. "Oh, I saw her at the post office and she said she was going to ask for you..."

Sometimes the gossip can really get you in deep, so we try hard to keep things under our hats and tell the kids, "what you hear in our house (or car) stays in our house." So far that's worked pretty well. Maybe that's why I come here to tell stuff. Only one of you knows my folks, and you won't tell them nuthin', right Suz?

Today I had to go tell my dad that the horse he gave Pony Girl (and he has been so excited about her having) is not a good fit for her and her daddy and I need to start looking for a more suitable kid horse. She has been avoiding the barn and riding lately, making excuses about why she doesn't want to ride, and told me the horse scares her and she is very frustrated with riding. But she loved horses and Grandpa did give her the horse, and she didn't want to disappoint him. Ugh, what a conversation.

I have never liked unpleasant discussions, especially those where my dad and I are on different sides, and the thought of this one has made me nauseated for over a week. I kept reminding myself, "We both want what's best for Pony Girl..." But there was also the reality of all the money Dad had spent on the horse. Well, I got through the talk, and my dad's main thing was that he was bummed that she couldn't tell him herself about how she felt. But like I told him, she looks up to him so much and he had given her her "heart's desire" and was so excited for her to like it, how could she say anything?

We couldn't really talk much to anyone here because of the small town grapevine, and I didn't want to drag my mom into the whole thing and make her take sides, so it's been like a storm cloud over our house for months. But it had gotten to the point where even the lady who gives the riding lessons was noticing and commenting, and we knew it was time to step up and do it. But dang, it was hard. Like saying, "thanks for the generous gift but we don't want it." Doing the best thing on behalf of your kids is always right and necessary, but having my dad on the "other side" sucked.

Hugs, anyone?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What's This Thing Called Again?

I was having a lights-out conversation with Jones last week as we so often do, and thought it would be a good idea to hit on the "no one should touch your private parts" speech again. (We had an incident near the school where someone tried to lure a boy into his car recently, and both kids had a lot of questions.)

So he asked if his chest was private parts, and I said no, just his penis and testicles. (Trying to make sure he knows the proper words instead of "wink" and "package", as we used to call it.)

"My WHAT?"

"Penis..."

"I know what that is, what's the other word?"

"Testicles, you know, underneath.."

"OH! I thought those were my NUTS! or my BALLS! I get it!"

I am so glad it's dark, because even though we are discussing a perfectly natural thing my face is red and I'm about to bust up. Yes, I say, those are also names for them, but if you go to the doctor's office with a problem you would want to use the proper words and say "Doctor T, I have a pain in my penis, or a funny mole on my testicles, not 'there's something wrong with my wedding tackle!'"

And now his dad will have something fun to talk about after lights-out....

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Totally Random Tuesday: This Message Brought to You by Cold Medicine So Good it Should be Illegal

randomtuesday

It's Tuesday, so it must be the day of randomness. Maybe I should just declare it Random Week and be done with it. My thoughts today will go together in no particular order or logic, like the outfit my daughter put on to go out to dinner last week. I swear she looked like a bag person, or was playing "How Many Colors, Patterns and Fashion Styles Can I Combine Into One Costume?" It looked like she had sustained brain damage somehow, or Mardi Gras had thrown up on her. And the truly scary part? Her dad thought the outfit looked FINE. Of course he is color blind...

We went to Great Wolf Lodge for a night on our way back from visiting friends in Seattle. If you haven't been, it's a hotel with a water park inside. Very cool, and we all had a blast. Even Jones, who has been afraid of "scary" rides since Disneyland. He doesn't understand that sometimes people scream from sheer delight and fun, and is certain that the screams he hears on rides are howls of MORTAL TERROR. You want mortal terror, son? Take a closer look at some of those swimsuit selections on the other folks at the water park. Just because you CAN squeeze yourself into a size-8 string bikini doesn't mean you SHOULD. It was kinda good in a way though; after viewing some of the people there I didn't feel so squishy and out-of-shape anymore...

The kids had their conferences on Friday, before we left. Everything seems to be going well; they like school, get along with others, have good behavior. At the end of Pony Girl's conference her teacher hit us with a fabulous fun spring-break surprise: the kids are going to do research reports, and WOW! Would we like to take home some books for her to start looking through during the break? Uh, that's a big "No thanks" for me. Spring break is supposed to be a little vacation from work, and the kids were going to come home from Seattle, re-pack, and head out again with my folks. I didn't think they should have to oversee research work on their trip with her. C'mon teacher, let those brains have a rest. Bring on the SpongeBoob and comic books!

I am sick. It's the cold Jones had at the end of last week and it attacked me somewhere on the long stairway up to the Howlin' Tornado water ride. But we had been waiting for this trip for a month and I wasn't letting some germs get ME down, no sir. Why is it that people so often seem to get sick on trips like this? When we took the kids to Disneyland in the middle of a visit to the inlaws' place Pony Girl got a horrible stomach bug the day before we were supposed to drive to Anaheim. When we shared this story afterward it seemed EVERYONE had a similar trip tragedy: "Oh we saved two years for the snorkel trip and she broke her leg the day before we left.." or "We had to fly four kids across three states with two plane changes and they were all throwing up..."
I wonder why that happens? Is there a travel demon or something?

Well, now that I have no more random thoughts it's time for a little nap....

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

Requiem 3/30/09

Today...is a sad day. We've had a loss at our house, a spirit who's been with us a long long time. Since S.P. and I moved into our first home. Always there, eager to help out when things got down and dirty. Never too tired to pitch in, no matter how early or late the hour.

And when the first baby came, and stuff got nasty, my helper never refused. Never said "NO, that's just too much," or "Do that yourself, I can't take anymore!" No complaints at the burdens added by a second bundle of joy either. My friend stood through it all, doing the work when I was too tired to muster the energy.

Through dog barf, kid barf, and worse, we stuck together. Through a move across the state, when the load got heavier and we had to slog through sand, my faithful friend worked by my side. Sometimes harder than I did, into the night after I had gone to sleep.

But I knew time was taking its toll. Creaks and groans could be heard and there were times my helpmate needed to lean on me. And last night, the death knell. Vital fluids leaked from my loyal pal and I knew it was the end...

Today, my Amana washer passed away. And much like a couple who has been married for many years, sleeping and waking in the rhythms of a life lived well together, the dryer followed only hours behind, struggling to dry the very last load.

I cry not for the loss of my dear friends, but for the bill at the appliance store as I replace them....

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's Almost Done!

Ooh, I am so excited! After almost two years our kitchen/dining room remodel is almost completely finished. The kitchen has been 95% done for 18 months, we've just been waiting on the floor. And the floor couldn't go in until the dining room/entrance extension was completed as the same laminate was going to go right through from the kitchen to the front door.

But oh, now it's almost there. The trim work is getting done, and good golly, it's beautiful. Next week I will get it all clean and ready and take pictures, and then post some "How We Made-Over Our Mess" shots. It's hard to believe it's the same place.

And with the exception of the rust carpet that needs replacing (which will probably have to wait till next year) this is the final step in re-making our 40+ year-old house! Ya-hooo!

Now we just have to keep it clean...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Little Love Song

When we first brought Pony Girl home from the hospital she went everywhere in the house with me. Kitchen, laundry room, bathroom. I got really good at doing stuff with one hand, which was no mean feat when it came to going pee and wrestling those baggy post-maternity pants up and down.


It wasn't because I didn't have any help. S.P. was home, then my mom came, and they were more than happy to take over whenever I needed a break. It was hard for me to explain to them that I just needed to keep her close all the time and it felt strange to let go. I guess when you've had a passenger for so many months it's odd to go solo again. But of course I had to share and pass the baby, after all it WAS her daddy and her grammy.


After the first week everyone had to go home, or back to work, and it was just us girls. And we snuggled. Mm-mm. All day long I would just hold that sweet thing, play with her perfect fingers, sniff the baby smell, rub my chin on her forehead, and sing little songs. Every now and then a feeding, and a diaper, and back to our chair. And she would fall asleep, and I would watch. Sometimes I would be tired too, and want to take a little nap, but I felt like if I slept I might miss something special. Eventually I would sleep too, but so often I just watched her face.


During one of these days I thought a trip out to the grocery store might be fun, so we bundled up and drove off. On the way there a song came on the radio, one that described everything I had been feeling about my new baby so well I had to pull over and just listen. I smiled, and cried, and said, "yes, that's exactly it." I still can't hear the song without crying those same tears of joy, remembering those first weeks with my sweet girl.


The funny thing is, it's a love song for a couple. It's called "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"and was originally done by Aerosmith. A few years ago it was redone by a country guy, Mark Chesnutt. It's perfect for two people in love, whether it's a new love or love that's gotten old and gray together. But if you listen, it's can be perfect for a parent head over heels in love with a brand-new baby, too.



Here's a YouTube video with photos set to the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uanUMMqy9Xc.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

randomtuesday

Boy, what a relief to get back online. Some mystery bug had the computer down yesterday and I couldn't sign on for anything. No blogging, no cooks.com to figure out what to make with a pound of hamburger, no access to the school website to see what important things I might be missing...

It must have been in sympathy for all the other sicknesses that have descended on our house. Finally it seemed that all the people were better, and the appliances started getting sick. The fridge has had an odd odor for weeks, though we have gone through it three times and chucked out any food that could possibly be making a stench. The washing machine does the watusi in the spin cycle so bad I have to sit on it to keep it from moving into the kitchen. And just for company the dryer makes this screechy cat-in-heat noise every now and then that brings tom cats to the door.

But, I have control of the computer again just in time to join the random fun.

I went on a field trip with Jones last week. Field trips are fun; between being a teacher and having kids I've been on quite a few. Why is it that the rottenest-behaved kids never have their parents volunteer to be chaperones? And I always seem to end up with at least one of them in my group. It's no secret why; the teacher always says "I gave you Little Sid Vicious because his mom isn't coming and I know you can handle him..." Well, crap. Sometimes I've hit the jackpot and gotten two or three of 'em. So I have my own child and the Demon Squad. Yee-haw. Last year the teacher asked if I needed anything and I asked for Valium and a cattle prod. She thought I was kidding...

Snow. I moved to the beach for moderate winter weather. Last week I was trying to teach a group of second graders and looked out the window and it was SNOWING in MARCH. AGAIN. Snow here used to be an anomaly, a rare treat. Like "I bought these snow pants for my young daughter and they haven't been used again till now, when I pass them on to you, my sweet granddaughter." If we wanted snow all the time we would have moved to a snow zone. One with a Target. And a Red Robin.

Laundry is fun. It must be because I do it so much. And it's o.k. because S.P. goes out in rain, wind and snow to shovel horse poo and feed the pony when I don't feel like it. But how come I check the pockets 99% of the time and find nothing, and the one time I don't check there's CHOCOLATE in the pocket of Pony Girl's coat and it goes through a hot dry? Ooh, gross. It looked like, well, crap. Used it as a visual aid:"This is why you must never keep candy in your pockets, kids..." Maybe I'll remember to keep checking those pockets.

EEHAW! Got a call to teach eleven days in April for one of the second-grade teachers. Good money, should provide a good story or two, and get to be at the school to keep an eye on Jones and his headaches. However, several of the kids in the class are either teachers' kids, or kids of friends, or of parents who have reputations for making things difficult for the teacher. So it may be more work than just teaching the class and doing the prep. Teaching your friends' kids, or your fellow teachers' kids, can be a huge headache if they don't respect your professionalism. Bring on that Valium...

We have a problem in our sixth-grade class this year with some of our young men and women. Some of the boys think it's perfectly o.k. to slap the girls in the face and say "oh, we're just playing around". That for me is enough of a problem, but it gets worse because the girls who are being slapped are allowing it: "No, that's o.k., I don't mind." As far as I can see it's not all of the girls, just the ones who want the boys' attention so much they don't care what kind of attention it is. It's finally being addressed, but I can't believe this would have been coming up with twelve-year-olds.

Gosh, I guess this should have been Random Tuesday Rants. Gripe, gripe, gripe...

I can end on a positive note because we have been playing "Mad Libs" with the kids lately. Pony Girl got some for her birthday and her teacher has been wanting her to spice up her writing assignments with more adjectives and adverbs, so we started doing them for practice. Now we do them because they're so dang fun. Even Jones gets into it. When their grandparents come over he just HAS to read them the latest Mad Libs we've created. A bit of wisdom from our last game? "When you make a promise, make a sailor's promise. Say yo-ho, yo-ho, near the bum cheeks I'll never go!"

There's a rule to live by...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Is It A 5-Slap Restaurant, Son?

We love us some country music at our house. That's not all we love; there's a wide assortment on the iPods here from AC/DC to Vivaldi. It just depends on what we're in the mood for. And if you've listened to some of that red-neck music, you know there are some quaint phrases that are only used in country songs. Jones' favorite phrase, that he heard a couple of years ago and has been using ever since, is "so good you'd slap your Grandma". The funny thing is, after he heard it in the song he heard it on some TV cooking show too. Well, we thought it was cute and didn't worry too much about it until my mother-in-law called one day and said "Jones told me my cookies were so good he wanted to hit me!" WHA? No, tell me exactly what you said to Grandma. "I said the cookies were so good I could slap my grandma! That's really, really good, right?" Well, she just didn't get it even after we explained, so he decided to save that praise for my mom, who understood what a compliment it was.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about how that could be a useful rating tool on this blog. Movies are given so many thumbs up, and restaurants are given so many stars, with five being top-notch. So the only icon that would make sense here, when talking about a restaurant or a recipe, would be the "granny-slap". I'm sure it would be a cute little thing, properly drawn. Maybe a cartoony hand slapping a little cartoon granny off a rocker? Don't know though, it would probably offend somebody, somewhere...

But anyway. For today, I offer a recipe we consider to be 5-slaps, for sure.

Pork Verde Enchiladas
1 1/2 to 2 lbs pork loin chops or tenderloin
1 28 oz can green enchilada sauce
1 2-cup pkg shredded co-jack cheese (more if you like cheese)
package flour tortillas (burrito size)

Cube the pork and toss in a zipper bag with 1/4 c. flour. Brown pork in 2 TBS oil, drain off excess oil. Add enchilada sauce to cover pork. Bring to a boil, then set to low. Simmer 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally. Scoop out pork, reserving sauce.

Make enchiladas: pork--cheese--sauce, then roll up. Place in pan, cover with reserved sauce and more cheese. Bake 30 min. at 350.

This is a recipe S.P. created while I was out at a workshop. I came home and said to myself, "what is that great smell?" Three enchiladas later I said "where did you get this recipe?" No recipe, he just made it up.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Apparently I'm Not Smart Enough To Be A Sexpot

I was reading the weekly paper yesterday afternoon and an item in the police blotter caught my eye. It was about a minor female at the high school who was caught with pornographic photos on her cell phone. Further investigation revealed that the photos were of herself and she was texting them to a boy she liked. While I was appalled at the decay of the moral fiber of our youth, at the same time I was intrigued as to how I could use technology to give my own love life a little bump.

Our previous cell phones were bare-bones, just for making the occasional call or a game of pinball while stuck at the doctor's office. But last time S.P. came home with camera phones, saying, "Well honey, it's hard to get a plain old phone anymore.." I took a pic or two with it but never really used it for a camera. Till last night. Ooh-la-la, hot and sexy me was gonna wow that guy on his way home from work. I didn't get nasty, just a little cheeky, and sent it off. I figured as soon as S.P saw it he'd give me a call. No call. But when he got home he'd give me a grab, for sure. No grab. Maybe photo messages take longer? Well, for sure he'd see it on his travels to or from the pool. Nothin'... By bedtime I was starting to wonder, just WHO did I send that picture TO?

This morning he said he had to hit the lumberyard to get stuff for the new floor. Aha, I thought, surely by now that message will have come in, and he'll see it. No comment when he arrived back. Not even a smirk. So I asked "Did you get my message?" Sure did, he said, the 7-up for Jones is in the truck. Not that message, the OTHER message! "Did you send another message?"

Well, hell, I sent SOMEBODY a message.... let's see, who is above and below him on my contact list? Oh, just the boy scout den leader, and my in-laws... fabulous. "Are you sure the message sent, honey? What was it, anyway?" Oh, nothin'...just a picture of my nekkid bumcheeks framed in some trashy panties...

But looky here...there's something in my outbox...thank you, Lord (is it o.k. to thank God when your semi-pornographic text message didn't send?)

So, should I be more embarrassed that I tried to send my husband a smutty photo on my cell phone or that I wasn't tech-savvy enough to get the job done?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

randomtuesday



I was watching people at the kids' school yesterday during the book fair and saw several women with multicolored streaks in their hair. Not highlights, but blue, pink, red, purple. Rainbow streaks, you would call it. And they were not the sort of women who really needed to be calling attention to themselves, you see. If you saw them on the street with plain hair they might not catch your eye, but with the hair it was "HEY! LOOKY HERE! I AM MIGHTY VISUALLY UNAPPEALING AND THOUGHT I WOULD MAKE IT WORSE BY GIVING MYSELF FRUIT STRIPE HAIR!" I just didn't get it.

Why is it that the freezer door never gets left open just an inch when it's stocked with things like cheap popsicles, white bread for communion or the 20 boxes of girl scout cookies you're hiding from the kids? No, it's when you have a stash of halibut fillets, or there was a great sale on sirloin burger or premium ice cream and the freezer is stocked with great stuff that something blocks the door open just enough to send it all into meltdown. And half the time it's when you are gone for a few days to boot.

I never realized how much of a redneck my in-laws thought I was until S.P. and I played "the Newlywed Game" at the wedding we went to last month. One of the questions was "what is his favorite home-cooked meal?" I said "porcupines", which most people know are the rice-speckled meatballs cooked in tomato sauce. After the game several of the extended family gathered around me to marvel, "do you REALLY eat PORCUPINES?" Hand to Heaven, they truly thought we eat porkies at our house. I wonder if they think we have an outhouse and a still in the backyard too....

Monday, March 9, 2009

I Swear We're All Going To Start Gargling Lysol...

OMG!!
Are almost-40-year-olds allowed to use that phrase while posting in their blogs, or is it reserved for the teen set? Well, I'm usin' it today, because it's that kind of day.

I had a teaching job today, and Pony Girl woke up with a 103.6 fever. No prob, my folks can come stay with her. Of course she wanted ME to stay, and could I try to get a sub to sub for me? No, not really. I've worked for this teacher so much she doesn't even write plans anymore, just leaves a stack of work with sticky notes showing what time to do each thing. SO I would have had to go in and put together a set of sub plans for the sub, and that wasn't happening. Grammy and Gramps would take great care of her and I wouldn't need to worry. Until 9:35, almost the end of reading time. The classroom phone rang and it was the office. Crap-ola, now Jones was in the nurse's office with 99.8 fever. Not too bad, except they send kids home with fever of 100, and he'd already had motrin this morning for the headache he woke up with! So he went home too.

Now, this might not sound all so bad unless you hear the rest. At least one person in our house has been sick since the first week of January. S.P. got sick and gave it to Jones, then it just kept going with new bugs, and now it's MARCH and we're still SICK!! I just finished a Z-pack for a sinus infection and thought that was the end, but then S.P. caught a cold, and then the kids started these fevers, and now we are all getting back on the freakin' merry-go-round again. I want OFF!

Screw Listerine, we're swishing with Clorox starting tomorrow...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Random Tuesday...RECIPE?!

Hi, there. I had a great idea this morning for some Random Tuesday Thoughts: The Wedding Edition. But then two things happened. One, a ginormous pile of laundry left over from our travels needing my attention. And two, my day slipped through my fingers faster than poop through a goose and I had no time to compose a witty blog entry.

So, I bastardized the sacred Tuesday tradition to bring you a quick and zippy soup recipe instead. And you have to admit, it's pretty random...

Chili Macaroni Soup

1 lb. hamburger
1 med. chopped onion
*cook till pink is gone; drain
5 c. water
15 oz. can chili beans
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (juice too)
can corn (drained)
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
sauce mix from Chili Macaroni Hamburger Helper
Stir into meat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 min. Stir in macaroni. Cover and simmer 10-14 min. or till macaroni is tender.

We like to top it with queso dip and fritos, and a blob of sour cream.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hey, That Bouquet Thing DOES Work...Sooner or Later!



We went to a family wedding this weekend in Utah. Which was great for lots of reasons: we caught up on family stories, we partied with the relatives, we got to see Pony Girl really dressed up, and I got to squeeze in a visit with an old friend. And the fun thing about this wedding is that the bride was one of our ring bearers 15 years ago, and actually caught my bouquet. (None of the single women there wanted anything to do with it!)


We flew in Friday and hurried to the rehearsal site, just in time to see the END of the rehearsal. That was o.k., because Pony Girl is pretty smart and caught the gist of her job in a few seconds: follow the other flower girl and throw the flower petals UP so they flutter DOWN. And smile and be lovely. No problem.


Off to the rehearsal dinner. Just a few blocks, so we could walk there. Go two blocks south, then one east. Oops, not the right place. So we asked directions. No, it's two blocks east of here, then one south. Walk, walk, with two hungry and travel-tired kids hurrying along. Crap, not here either. Cell phone rings, it's the father of the bride. Are you lost, he asks. Oh yeah, it turns out that the second person who gave us bad directions had us walk right past the back side of the place and four blocks out of our way. BUT we finally made it, just in time for dinner. A lot of fun, and the bride came by to let us know that I didn't have to do Pony Girl's hair; the whole wedding party was being done at the wedding site. Ya-hoo for me, and Pony Girl too, who has little patience for me fiddling with her hair.


After the dinner was a meet-and-greet party for family and friends, where five lucky couples played "The Newlywed Game". S.P. and I volunteered, despite having sucked at this game five years ago on our 10-year anniversary trip to Sandals. Without going into embarrassing detail, I can say we have not improved with time. Luckily Jones fell asleep on a sofa and missed the whole thing; Pony Girl witnessed our last-place finish.


Next morning the kids swam with their dad and aunt while I visited with family, then it was off to the wedding venue for Pony Girl and me. She decided on lots of curls, and while she was getting done up and hanging with the "big girls", I got to hang with my friend. You all know her as Suz, the Queen of Green Jello. We hadn't seen each other for 20 years, and it was a treat to just sit down with her. She showed me fabulous pictures of beautiful Utah, beautiful daughters, and a handsome man who she is enjoying life with. (Did you know you glow when you talk about Ron, Suz?) It wasn't a long time to spend together, but I felt very blessed to have seen her and shared a bit of time.


The wedding itself was very sweet, with the groom not bothering to hide his tears at first sight of the bride, and lots of funny, tender moments. Afterward we rode a travel bus up into the mountains for the reception where we toasted, watched a slide show full of photos of the couple (including one from our wedding where the bride attended us as a little girl) and danced a lot. Jones was the "family photographer" and kept disappearing with the camera to take pictures. When we got home there were some really, um, artistic-looking shots that were either too dark or too oddly angled to tell what they were, but for the most part he got some very good ones. Several of Pony Girl and S.P. dancing during the bridal party dance, and a excellent one of the bride and groom together.


Near the end of the evening the bouquet was tossed. All the single ladies went out, and the flower girls were encouraged to join them. They should have passed out catcher's mitts, because the flowers hit the floor twice without anyone laying a finger on them. The third time it went up, up, up...and no, Pony Girl didn't catch it.


It was a great wedding, and a wonderful weekend, and just so magical, almost, to see the bride come full circle from the little girl at our wedding to the beautiful woman at her own. Her dad told us that the years would just fly by and before we knew it we would be giving our little girl away.


Now there's something to think about.