Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Randomness, Take Me Away....


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 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..


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'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?"


"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


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