Thursday, January 29, 2009

Open Wide, Honey!

I have to take Pony Girl to the dentist after school today. She went two weeks ago for a regular six-month checkup and everything looked good...EXCEPT.

The dentist and hygenist described it to me as a "buckle pit", which is a fancy way to say that as one of her new molars was forming it didn't grow together and make a smooth surface on the side. It left a pit, which they have been keeping an eye on for several visits. This last visit, it had sticky stuff in it that could indicate 'pre-cavity' activity.

SO, it needs attention. Of the filling sort. Will it need a drill, I asked. No, not exactly, more of a high-pressure water/air scoop tool. How about Novocaine? Well, we can try without but it depends on how sensitive the tooth is. When do you want to do it, the receptionist asked.

NEVER. Unlike lots of her classmates, this is the first tooth Pony Girl has had that needs work. All the dentist visits have been a breeze, with the exception of the icky-gross (her word) fluoride treatments. A little picking, a little poking, a spin with the tickly polisher and then a new toothbrush and trip to the treasure chest.

This is the real deal; the other side of the treatment room, so to speak. When she was getting ready for school I reminded her today was the dentist and asked her if she was ready. She laughed and said, "Oh Momma, it's not like it's going to HURT!" I laughed too. Ha-ha. Oh, I sure hope not.

Now, I know that this day would come sooner or later and I'm just being a big weenie. But I've been in that chair a LOT (root canals, crowns, and braces too) and I know sometimes it hurts. A whole bunch. And right now it's kind of difficult to think about taking this daughter of mine, who I'm supposed to protect from hurts, into a room where she most likely is going to have pain.

Will she be scared? Will she cry? Will I? Will she be angry that I didn't tell her all about what was going to happen before we went? Should I have told her? Will she be afraid of the dentist after this?

Gosh, it's just like one of those soap-opera cliffhangers.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Had Ambition, And StupidVideos Took It Away...

Boy, did I get up with a list of things to do this morning. Laundry to finish, some teaching materials to sort through, clean up the house a little, and the biggie, help S.P. put up some electric fence. And I had HOURS to get it done before going back to pick up the kids. Just gotta check the e-mail, and a fast jump to MSN to see what's doing on the news...

Hey, look at that. MSN has a teaser for an $82,000 swimsuit. Better click on it...oh, it's a video. On StupidVideos. Oh no, I'm being sucked in! HELP MEEEE....

Holy crap, what happened? It's almost lunchtime. My foot's asleep and so is my ass. And all the wash is still there, and the mess, and everything else. StupidVideos stole my morning. It was insidious, the way it happened. First the swimsuit story. Then a ninja cat video. Then "The Evolution of Dance", part one AND two. Then it was just a blur of bad singing , flying body parts (bare and clothed), and bratty kids.

I kept telling myself, "Just one more, just one more. I can stop after this one.."
I remember saying that about beers in college, dates with guys I knew were no good, and the nanaimo bars left over from Christmas. Finally, I came to my senses with the one thing that could not be denied.

I had to pee.

Now I'm going to get busy on my to-do list. Nothing will stop me or slow me down! I just have to make a quick stop over at GreenJello's, and from there maybe go to Casey's, and a fast peek in at Keely's....

Saturday, January 24, 2009

We Have Spirit, Yes We Do!

No, it's not an episode of "I Love the 80's", it's the photo evidence of SPIRIT WEEK at the elementary school!

Day 1 was "Wacky Hat Day", with Jones going military style with the cool khaki hat his grands brought him from Finland. It's got funky pins all over it and he thought he was the cat's ass in that thing. Pony Girl put on her pimpy top hat made of pink and purple leopard print fur, the one that looks like it has Hostess sno-balls stuck all over it. Truly fabulous.

The second day, the only one they really dressed up for, was 80's Day. They did this one last year and had the most fun with it, so we tried to make good outfits again this time. Since they wanted me to dress up and come help in their rooms, I went for the classic 80's look. Big hair, big-ass lace bow, lace gloves, and blue eye make-up. Since none of my shirts have shoulder pads I had to rig some up on my tank top straps. They worked pretty well, except for when I bent over to help kids with their work; then they slid down and it just looked like I had big square boobs. Pony Girl did the Flashdance thing, right down to the leg warmers. I made them out of the sleeves of the ugliest sweater the thrift shop clerks had ever seen. And the coolest part is that now I have a great sweater vest for next 80's Day! And Jones rocked the grunge look, with the exception of the stringy lanky 'do.

Celebrity Day followed, with so many little girls dressed in minis and leggings to emulate Hanna Montana it looked more like Tramp Day on the first floor. I stopped to talk to one of the reading teachers and we saw a mini so short it really did look like a belt. I asked "Isn't this Celebrity Day? What celebrity is that, Heidi Fleiss?"

To wind up the week we had Color War with each class assigned a color. All the classes had a pretty decent showing with the exception of the one kindergarten class who was One little boy warned the teacher "I can't wear pink, my daddy won't like it!" I did see one boy sporting his class color; pinned to the front of his blue sweatshirt was a tiny pink baby t-shirt belonging to his sister. Cute, cute.

That's all the spirit we got. Maybe we'll get points for style.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Santa Gave Me Salmonella!

With all the uproar about tainted peanut products and things being recalled and pulled from shelves, S.P. and his crew decided to print a full list at the pharmacy yesterday of all the affected products. He noticed that PetSmart was pulling some of their pet food items, which was something we hadn't really thought about. Of course we checked our pantry for foods that would make us sick, but didn't even consider all the treats we buy for Lilly that contain peanut butter.

Like the big bag of doggie treats Santa brought that had a fat ol' layer of cute peanut-shaped cookies near the bottom...

Now, the disclaimer. I AM NOT BLAMING PETSMART FOR WHAT HAPPENED IN THE STORY I'M GOING TO TELL, NOR AM I SAYING THE CUTE PEANUT DOG COOKIES ARE TAINTED WITH SALMONELLA. I don't even know what happens if dogs are exposed to salmonella. But, if you read the little sidebar about our family you have a preview of what's coming up. Don't read on if you think poop is gross.

Story opens first thing in the morning with me on the couch, S.P. in the kitchen. It's quiet, the dog is already out, and I hear Jones coming down the hall. He pats my arm and says, "Momma, there's something in the bathroom." Something? "Something bad."

Hmm. "Did you do it?" No. "Did Pony Girl do it?" He doesn't think so. S.P. is curious at this point and goes to investigate. "OH SH*T!!" Wow, must be bad. I start to get off the couch and here he comes. What is it, I ask. "Whaddya mean, didn't you hear? It's SH*T! I think the dog exploded."

Then he gets the fireplace shovel and heads back to the bathroom. Dang, must be bad. He comes into the kitchen for a trashbag and paper towels. "Hey, will somebody come hold the trashbag?" Jones and I look at each other. He's been the Trash Man on the chore chart for a couple of years and is quite proud of the title. I say, "looks like a job for Trash Man!" Uh-uh, he says, not when there's turds.

O.K., I can hold the bag. When the door opens and I see the bathroom floor my first thought is, "what could be worse?" Then I smell the smell. Oh, I can't hold the bag; not even sure I can hold down my coffee. S.P. tells me to go away because he doesn't want to clean up barf too, but would I throw in a new roll of Clorox wipes?

Pony Girl gets up, looks in, and decides that either the toilet has overflowed or her brother has, and can she use our bathroom? Later as S.P comes through with a disgusting trashbag I hear him say "any day that starts with scooping crap out of the bathroom with the fireplace shovel is destined to be a bad day..."

Then a few days later, another mess on the bathroom rug. We can't say yes, it is directly because of these treats, but it's the only thing different in her diet so we are chucking them out and maybe the yuck will stop. Because if that happens when S.P. is at work I'm pulling out the shop vac.

Anyway, check out your pet treats as well as your people treats. There may be nothing wrong with them, but wasting a little money might be better than finding "Something Bad" in your bathroom. Or on your best carpet.

Monday, January 19, 2009

You Want Me to Taste WHAT? or, This is Not Your Mother's Home Party

I was sick this weekend. Just a cold, the same one everyone else in the house has had, but it dragged me down and made me not into doing much. Which was too bad because on Saturday night there was a chance for me to go out and have a little social-type fun with my friends. No, not a hot club or fabulous foreign film, but almost as good: THE HOME PARTY.

I had to call in sick, so missed out on the chance to nibble finger food, catch up on the latest news, and try on jewelry with the girls. You see, the jewelry home party is the latest stop on the "sell-from-home-and-make-a-bundle" train. And that train's been chugging along for a lot of years! I used some of my sick time to remember parties from my past...

My mom used to go to Tupperware parties, where you could win an orange peeler and buy a bunch of bowls. I went to one but all I remember is playing with plastic toys and eating cookies. She took me to a Mary Kay party once, where 12-year-old me sat with a bunch of "old ladies" putting on layers of makeup and wondering why the saleslady thought I needed wrinkle cream.

In college I went to a home party where the hostess was selling lingerie. "Try before you buy!" she said. And there's the dressing room, and here's the punch bowl full of cosmos, and before I knew it I was modeling undies in front of all my friends. That's where I wrote Rule #1 for myself when attending home parties; "Thou Shalt Not Spend While Drinking". I had to work extra shifts at the drive-in to pay for all the underwear I ordered at that party!

After S.P. and I got married it was candle parties, Discovery Toys, knives, and my favorite, Pampered Chef. At the other parties you always got finger food, usually chips and dip, veggie tray, and maybe a cookie. At Pampered Chef the hostess makes real food to show off how to use all the fabulous kitchen tools. If you're lucky the party is set for dinnertime and you can leave the family at home and go have a fancy three-course tasting meal including a cocktail beforehand. And the catalog is full of the coolest kitchen gadgets imaginable. Even if you suck in the kitchen you want this stuff.

Since we moved here, there aren't as many parties. Catalogs get passed around and orders are placed but no one really wants to host a party. Last year was the dawn of Occasions, a new kind of party where you could taste mixes and prepared items for party-ready foods. That was great. We just stood around and grazed, and when you wanted to order something you knew exactly what it would taste like. I thought it was the best sort of home party I'd ever been to.

Then I got another invitation. ""Bring A Friend!" the invite read. I could ask my mom, or a fellow teacher maybe. It was some of the techs S.P. worked with at the pharmacy. Not a company I recognized. What kind of products, I asked. The hostess suggested I check it out online. Oh, my. This was a SEX PRODUCTS home party. Lingerie, costumes, lotions, potions, vibrators, dildos, whips, cuffs, you-name-it-we've-got-it. Holy crap. Now, here's me, trying to fit the idea of this in with all the other home parties I've been to. At the Discovery Toys party we played with the products, at Pampered Chef the hostess showed us how to use the products, at Occasions we tasted the products. Hell no! I'm not playing with any vibrating clamps, I'm not watching the hostess show me how to use ANY kind of beads that are labeled "anal", and I'm sure not taste-testing all the Love-Lubes to find my favorite flavor!

And I didn't even want to think about what the door prizes would be.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What's A Nice Girl Like Me Doing In BFE?

So often since we moved here to our small town, people who knew us before ask "How could you leave the city? How can you stand it there without good shopping, good schools, good anything?!"

Well, yes, there are plenty of times I miss Target when we need a quick birthday gift for a last-minute party, or the choices available in a nice big Safeway. But I find we spend a lot less money on impulse purchases of stuff we don't need in those stores, too. Where we are, there's not four places to browse. There's one and if you're lucky they've got the thing. If you're not lucky you make do, do without, or try to find someone else who's got one you can borrow.

Good schools? Well, I work there and feel they do a pretty good job. With having to meet the needs of all the kids, low to high, it's hard for the teacher to serve everyone. I get frustrated with our parents who never check homework, never read with their kids or take them to the library, never come to conferences, never do much of anything except complain about how bad a job they think we're doing. I worked at schools in the city where things weren't any different. Small-town schools aren't necessarily lower in quality.

And we have lots of good "everything". At lunch we looked out the front window over the bog and got to see a red-tailed hawk hunting for his own lunch. For at least 15 minutes he dipped and swooped in the sun, giving us quite a show. Then we went outside in 65-degree weather, a real corker of an afternoon, and watched Pony Girl ride Honey in the big pasture. Now from my chair here I can see a bunch of ducks on the water hole and a heron wading at the edge looking for a fish. It's just quiet enough for me to hear the ocean roar every now and then.

At our old place I'd be looking out over four lanes of traffic, where it wasn't safe for the kids to play in the front yard. Loads of fast-food trash blowing down the street. And for sure at least three sirens would have screamed by our house during the course of the afternoon.

Would we give up what we've got to go back to that? Nope. Not even for Target.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What if you started a blog and nothing funny happened?

Today is not just like any other day at the bog. There's the usual massive amount of laundry waiting in the hall, and the pony is giving me the fishy eye waiting to be fed, and there are piles of stuff waiting to be organized, but it's a special day. It's the birth of my blog.

All the usual questions are evident: What will it look like? Will it be funny? Will it be smart? Will people like it? Will it be easy and fun or a pain in the butt every day?

I've watched and lurked on others' blogs; I've laughed and cried at what they have written. Many times I've wished for a place to vent my frustrations, tell something funny, ask for advice outside of my small-town circle of friends. But was there time in my life for another thing? I finally had to admit that there had to be time for THIS thing; this thing for me.

So TA-DA! Today I took the plunge, started the blog, pictures and all, and....

Gee, nothing funny happened today. And it's after 4. There was a brief humorous conversation I had with Jones about where I would have to take his temperature if he wouldn't open his mouth or take off his shirt so I could get to his armpit...

But after all I'm just meeting some of you and don't want to be tacky first time out.

Maybe for today, just getting out here and saying "hi there" is enough. My family is hanging out behind me saying "We want to see the blog! Can we see the blog now?!"

So we'll see what tomorrow brings. For now, Happy Blog-day to me.