Friday, June 27, 2008

new definition of clean

Sour is the new fresh.
As beautiful as my front loader washer and dryer set is, frankly, I hate it. In any given load of laundry, there is no uniform "good smell". You will have one article of clothing that smells great and one that is sour. Then the rest are somewhere in between. With smoke and mirrors, the "earth-friendly powers that be" have convinced us that you can get clothes clean with little to no water and relatively little detergent.
Because of my keener than normal sense of smell, I have noticed that other people must have "energy efficient" washers as well. I have never before smelled so many people whose clothes aren't so or should I say have taken on the odor of the "new fresh". My sister tells me that they now sell packets of stuff for your washer that deodorize it. Why? I never had to do that with my old washer, may it rest in peace. Growing up, my mother's washer never had to be deodorized.
One of the things I love living in the world during this time is the fact that we can bathe on a frequent basis. We don't have to wait a year, having to heed the "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" warning. We can bathe once a day or more if we so choose.
But, now with this altered definition of clean, this different take on the concept of freshness, we may as well sleep late and become more energy efficient selves. I'm thinking about the greasy-haired hippie look. Perhaps nappy dreadlocks. Oh, and I'll be sure not to forget my soured Bohemian-gypsy skirt and mildewed hemp shirt.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

ABC's and 123's
A is for age: 40
B is for burger of choice: Fuddruckers is alright, so is Back Yard Burgers
C is for what kind of car you drive: GMC Yukon XL (and when it is completely filled with gasoline, I am behind the wheel of a weapon of mass destruction!)
D is for your dog's name: no longer had a dog, but used to.... her name was Beanie (short for Beatrice)
E is for essential item you use everyday: hair dryer (otherwise my hair is quite flat)
F is for favorite TV show at the moment: n/a Although I am looking forward to the return of 24 as well as the next season of Criminal Minds (even though I don't like it as well without Mandy Patinkin)
G is for favorite game: football; to play: Balderdash, Pictionary
H is for Home State: born in AL, grew up in NC, now call Jawja home
I is for instruments you play: Catholic mother guilt
J is for favorite juice: orange juice if I have eggs to go along with it, otherwise, cran-grape
K is for whose butt you'd like to kick: why can't K be something different? In fact, how about Kisses... as in Hersheys
L is for last restaurant at which you ate: Ryan's
M is for your favorite Muppet: does it have to be from the actual Muppet show? If so, I like Professor Honeydew's assistant, Beaker
N is for the number of piercings: ears only
O is for overnight hospital stays: five (as in when I had the kids)
P is for people you are with today: see "O" as well as King and a friend who rescued me from the tire place (and also hurt her ankle after a fall which was caused by my putting her name in my blog after she asked me not to)
Q is for what you do with your quiet time: if it is quiet, I am usually nodding off
R is for biggest regret: not being more physically active as a teen
S is for status: married 16 years
T is for time you woke up today: 6:15 then got out of bed at 6:30
U is for what you consider unique about yourself: quirky sense of humor (I think in Far Side cartoons)
V is for vegetable you love: I have a current love affair with eggplant
W is for worst habit: the need to be right
X is for x-rays you've had: got one on my hand when I sewed through my finger with the sewing machine and then jerked back after it went in... needed to make sure there was no part of the needle still in there.
Y is for yummy food you ate today: #2 made me a very delicious omelette this morning, that sweet boy!
Z is for zodiac sign: Libra

my blood ran cold

My car (the big, honkin' SUV) has been making rattling noises which come from the front tire area for about 2 weeks. I just figured the thing had gotten out of balance. It seemed to have worsened and actually got really noisy. It would vibrate pretty bad at high speeds. Almost sounded like a flat tire. At one point recently (on the way to the beach) it actually skeered me. It sounded like the tire was going to fall off. I asked King to slow down, but he just poohed me and kept going. Quietly I asked God to send as many angels as were needed to get us there and back safely.
Fast forward to today. I finally got a free moment to go have things checked (balanced, rotated, etc).
Diagnosis: Cracked front hub assembly.
What exactly does that mean? I have no idea except that the tire dude showed me just how loose it was. With incredulous eyes and a serious, lowered, airy voice, said "Your wheel could come off!" That thing was barely hanging on. Not unlike a stubborn baby tooth held on only by the suction between the tooth and gum.
When I told him that it had been like that for about two weeks he just shook his head. Seeing his reaction sent ice cubes through my veins and I got a really sick headache.

Thanks be to God for that army of angels who kept us from dying on I-95!


Sorry, V, for mentioning your name in the last blog.... hope your ankle gets better! Just be glad I didn't Google you!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

let the "training" begin

Note: I find it curiously odd that the night before the man dies, I was blogging about George Carlin. I actually Googled him that night because I thought I remembered that he was battling cancer and that perhaps he had already died. The very next day he dies. Strange is all. I decided that since I do not believe in coincidences, that perhaps I should pray for his soul. So I did.
Also, my friends Vicki and Teresa asked that I not mention their names in any blog entries....uh.... Oops!

Ok, y'all..... guess who is doing big boy stuff in the potty?
And guess who also got these unders as a reward for doing such big stuff?
The training has begun.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

gettin beachy

Just got back from an impromptu trip to the beach. Now, though it did not involve anyone throwing up like poor Bia experienced, it was equally as bad. And all rolled up into 2 days!
A friend of ours has a "place at the beach" and offered it to us a couple of weeks back. We had never been before, so he explained the ropes. "You'll need to bring your own linens and there is no maid service, so you clean before you leave."
A free place at the beach and the only drawback is that you have to clean up after yourself? No-Ho-Ho Problem-O-Oh! I am the type of person who always cleans before we check out of a hotel anyway. (Well, it also serves as a way to make sure we haven't left anything.)

When we get there Friday night (after a grueling four-hour trip of listening to the sounds of a baby, who was at the tail end of a fever-filled virus, mingled with a Thomas the Tank Engine DVD -shoot me now!) I realized that the folks who borrowed the place last time didn't do such a great job 'cleaning up after themselves'. Within five minutes of being there and kicking off their shoes, the bottom of the kids' feet were black.

Clean bathrooms.
Go out to get steamed shrimp.

Saturday morning the wee one was still running fever and feeling puny. After only spending 2 minutes on the beach, she decided she hated it, and I had to take her back to the condo where I decided to fill my leisurely hours with more housework. (Why didn't I bring any light reading, like that copy of War and Peace I'd been wanting to crack into?!?!)

Finally, at about 2:30, went to get lunch and ventured to the mall where I managed to snatch a few bargains at Coldwater Creek (ah, retail therapy!!). Then we went to Mass and met up with some friends to consume more steamed shrimp the sounds of overly-tired-and-obnoxious-by-this-time children.

Today, rather than my trying to wax poetically, you can just merge the past two days' descriptions, minus the shrimp (I am the only one who was steamed today!!) and you will have a mental picture of how things went. King did let me sleep late this morning, so thanks for that, dude! And, much to his credit, he did try to talk me into being the one who took the kids out to the beach, but I knew he really wanted to go (can you say Martyr Complex?). Besides, er... let's just say that I was also experiencing that "need to clean" a woman tends to get once every four weeks or so. Now really, there was no better person to clean that condo, was there?

Today's car ride home was par for the course, complete with trying to appease babykins and listening to trains talk. No offense, but I think I could probably strangle narrator George Carlin by now. I kept wishing he would make Percy or Gordon say something really inappropriate, so I could have some comic relief.

So there you have it, proof that
1) there is no place like home
2) the best part of any vacation is getting "back to-da house".

Friday, June 13, 2008

friday the thirteenth

So, if I was superstitious, it could explain the day I had. It would be great to be able to blame this awful day on SOMETHING. Here are a few of the day's highlights:

  • I did not get to work out this morning (got a slow burn going on that one - don't get me started!)
  • Let's call a "diaper malfunction" bright and early with kid #5 which required a bath and a load of laundry
  • three phone calls at 8:15 am... one of the callers was actually on my front porch trying to get me to come to the door (had the baby in the bathtub, so I couldn't answer the phone OR the door!)
  • finally got downstairs and had to answer the door mostly dressed (as in my bra was downstairs)
  • no milk for cereal
  • small tiff with King before breakfast over who was going to cook the eggs (turned out it was me, since he had to go take a shower)
  • constantly being screamed at by a 2 year old (I've mentioned before that he suffers from a Napoleonic complex, right?)
  • another "diaper malfunction" at nap time (no, poop is not an art medium ... and by the way, you are supposed to cry or something so I'll know you are awake!!) which, of course, required a bath and a load of laundry
  • after volunteering for an event the Irish Dance school puts on dinner was from Wendy's drive through... and was a Chicken BLT salad - but when I got home, I found NO chicken... went back and waited in the long drive through line AGAIN just to get some. Really. Crispy. (aka burned) Chicken
  • it's nearly 11pm and I have to get up by 5:30 tomorrow morning and be cheerful to a 13 year old who will certainly not be pleased to be getting up that early.

So, was there a ladder I walked under recently? Or, maybe it was a black cat that crossed the road or something?

Nah, I suppose it was just one of those days that makes me really appreciate the ones that aren't like this.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

forbidden donuts

#4 in the car on the way to take big sis to dance class:
"Mamma. I need donuts."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

fighting nature part two

Birdie made it through the night and was quite active today. His wounds have dried out... whatever that translates to in the world of bird recovery.
He started eating pretty well today and gained so much strength that he was trying to push the lid off the box!
I decided (much to number 3's chagrin) that he needed to be released. I wanted to put him back into nature before he forgot how to catch food on his own, or maybe before his parents forgot him, or before the local cat ate dinner.
Whatever his role is in the food chain, I hope I did the right thing and I hope to catch a glimpse of him happily splashing in the birdbath one day.

Monday, June 9, 2008

fighting nature

As I was pulling out of the driveway early this morning, nature was taking its toll on a fledgling bird. A crow had attacked it and done a fair amount of damage. In an effort to try to save their offspring, both mommy and daddy bird were trying to attack the crow, and he dropped the baby bird. Right in the middle of the road.

Of course I could not just drive past it. I gingerly moved the injured animal off of the road and into the neighbor's flower bed. When I got back home from my Curves workout, the bird was still there, panicked and panting. So I did what I know will be a dumb mistake. I picked it up and brought it inside.

I called a vet friend of mine, who interestingly enough has the same scenario going on at his house (his was attacked by a cat). His advice was to feed it cat food and watch it overnight. If it was alive the next morning, chances are good.
The only problem is that this bird looks like something you'd pick out in the poultry section of the grocery store. Each time I look at the poor little thing, I think, "why am I doing this?"
The thoughts encircling my brain:

  • I am going to have nightmares where I transfer a sickly baby bird onto one of my kids.
  • My philosophy is Never Give Up.
  • Infection will set in before those wounds heal up.
  • Why am I taking this time away from my own children?
  • Why didn't I let nature take its course?

So, even though in hindsight, I probably should have let nature happen, I couldn't fight my own nature in trying to rescue this sweet little beady-eyed creature.

More to come......

Sunday, June 8, 2008

week one

Well, we survived week one of summer vacation. It wasn't as bad this year as it has been in years past. Perhaps dangling the pool in front of them as a reward for having a good day has helped a bit.
Though, just this afternoon, I hit my patience limit on the "kid droppings" that are littered throughout the house. I officially became a nag. I found myself saying several times There's a place for everything and everything goes in its place.
The upside is that tonight I can actually walk into the kids' rooms, and not trip over dirty clothes, books, or army men.

Friday, June 6, 2008

the new new phone book

The new phone book has arrived. Each year it is delivered the same way. Plop! There it is right smack dab in the middle of the driveway. This morning as we were eating breakfast it was sitting on the dining room table. Like an obnoxious brat, it offended me.

King and I reminisced, "remember when phone books actually had a nice picture on the front?" Maybe it was a picture of the coast or the mountains. Maybe it was a close up detail of a flower or some kids playing in a sprinkler, but the picture took up the whole front cover. There was The Real Phone Book title at the top and then the city, towns, and surrounding communities listed across the bottom. And that was all.

Our phone book does have a small picture that takes up about 1/4 of the space. The rest is filled with advertisements from ambulance-chasing lawyers who also specialize in DIVORCE CASES, written in all caps in case you have a hard time reading the word ATTORNEY. Well, thankfully I don't have the need for a DIVORCE LAWYER, or an ACCIDENT OR INJURY SPECIALIST.

Well, as insane as it is (though you must admit, a beautifully obsessive-compulsive act) within 20 minutes of the breakfast dishes being cleared, I had that sucker completely covered with Con-Tact paper. No more offensive ads which silently grate my sense of sight, or scrape the lining of my inner calm.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

chocolate: the once-a-month cure all

My oldest, after a beautiful morning together with her siblings, started "going sour". Trying to divert the collision I saw in the near future, I brought some silliness into the room and started joking around. Still, I saw her mood careening toward her siblings.
Ah, the phone rings! (Thank you, Jesus, for whomever is on the other end of the line.)
"Hello? Why certainly the two middle children can come swim!!!" (Thank you again, Jesus!)

20 minutes later, the two are off to a friend's house to swim and I walk into the kitchen where Number 1 is fixing herself a toddy: chocolate milk- heavy on the chocolate.

"Mmmm.... I was wondering if a little chocolate was what you needed."

"Yeah," she said sheepishly.

"I know EXACTLY how you feel!"

Sunday, June 1, 2008

and a quiet old lady who was whispering hush

At what age does a small, lively person learn the meaning of the utterance, "shhhh"?