Friday, June 28, 2013

So, what happened to those cute squirrels of yours, Becky?

The answer is, I don't know!

Late July, last summer, I noticed that the pea vines I had planted had produced exactly no pea pods worth mentioning.  I also noticed a scourge in my petunias...

This scourge was immediately forgiven as I have a dangerous habit of loving all that is furry and cute.
Our cute furry love grew throughout the summer and the fall and into the winter over offerings of trail mix, popcorn, fruit and pretzels.  Eventually the squirrel menagerie grew to four very well fed squirrels.
We named these squirrels Sheldon Cooper, Amy Farrah Fowler, Penny Penny Penny and Raj.  Two male squirrels, two females. 
When the snow came, we kept filling the bowls, and hoped all the calories would produce a herd of baby squirrels.  I'd planned on naming them The Wesley Crushers.

Indeed, Amy Farrah Fowler and Penny Penny Penny conceived.  I  anticipated the spring, when Mother Nature bursts forth in young life, from the plants and trees, to the birds to the cows, to the rattlesnakes hatching and the scorpions waking from their long winter naps. 
Well, spring is over.  It's the end of June.   I haven't seen a single damned antelope ground squirrel in my yard for weeks.
Their cute furry little squirrel holes under the trees in my backyard are filling up with dirt, leaves and twigs.  We've left goodies in their squirrel bowl but it only attracts birds.  My petunias are intact.  My tomato plants are flourishing. 
They've probably moved on and I feel betrayed and disappointed.  What did I do so wrong that they had to deprive me of their squirrel babies?  Why?  WHY?
Wonder if it's too hot to plant peas.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

If we have a hurricane next week, it will have absolutely nothing to do with activist judges.

I lost a fan on my Facebook page today.

Which sent me into a spiral of depression.

No, I'm kidding.  I lose and gain likes on my page and blog all the time.  That's life.  We go into all different directions and that's okay.  However, I received my first public declaration of un-liking because of this status update:

I'm happy with our Supreme Court's gay marriage rulings.  It was a nice way to bring in the morning, learning the news straight out of George Takei's Facebook feed while drinking my coffee.

Below is the first response to my status, name and identity removed for publishing here.   If you cannot read it, it says, "Im unliking your page.  Some of us still believe in marriage....."

In response to this, I wrote several paragraphs and summed it all up with the words, "shove it."  Might as well direct you towards my FB page to read it.  Can't make any of this too easy on you.

I believe in marriage.  I believe in love.  I believe in the practical tenets of legal marriage being a vehicle to protect, cherish and nourish the love between consenting adults with free will.  I believe in kindness and trying to be bigger than the sum of our parts.  I believe that no one owns the divine and that showing grace towards our fellow man is the closest that we can get in that regard. 

I believe in the marriage of the unliker above...if this person is married...because I believe that they have a right to freely love with their whole person and to not have any entity infringe upon protecting the life and livelihood of their union.  I believe this person should be able to conduct their marriage by their conscience, values, and by as much elbow grease as it takes. I believe this person has the right to never marry if they so choose.  I believe this person should be able to end any marriage they enter into for any reason that is valid for them. 

Some of us still believe in marriage?  Yes, some of us do.  Some of us indeed.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Because a limerick would have crossed the line.

I'm not usually aware of trends.  I'm getting too damned middle aged to care, yet, sometimes I feel like I have to know what's going on in the world and in popular culture.

So, that George Zimmerman, his trial has started.

And that lawyer of George Zimmerman's, he opens his arguments at murder trials with knock knock jokes.

Because that is so totally appropriate! 
Knock knock.  Who's there?  George Zimmerman.  George Zimmerman who? All right, good, you're on the jury.

Yet, it's because I'm middle aged, a housewife, and not wholly aware of how fast the world moves, I figure that this behavior must be the new and popular thing to do.  Telling a knock knock joke can ease the tension in even the most uncomfortable of situations, right?  Pull off a knock knock joke with flair and confidence and the world from that point on is your oyster.

Have to speak at a funeral?  Pull out this knee-slapper!
Knock knock.  Who's there?  Boo.  Boo who?  Don't cry, it's only a joke!

Witnessing an execution by electric chair?  Try this:
Knock knock.  Who's there?  Barbie.  Barbie who?  Barbie Q. Chicken!

You're at the gynecologist's, right there in the stirrups, a little giggle won't hurt!
Knock knock.  Who's there?  Cantaloupe.  Cantaloupe who?  Cantaloupe...I'm already married!

In the confessional with your priest, right before you admit to lurid thoughts...
Knock knock.  Who's there?  Nuisance.  Nuisance who?  What's nuisance yesterday?

Birth of your child?  Make the moment even more memorable:
Knock knock.  Who's there?  Dewey.  Dewey who?  Dewey gotta use a condom?

Job interview, right at the beginning, because you want to make a good impression.
Knock knock.  Who's there?  Ivan.  Ivan who?  Ivan a job! I'm broke!

It might be best to just carry around a dog eared paperback copy of the best knock knock jokes in print, then you'll always be prepared for any situation.  A companion book to "How to Make Friends and Influence People" if you will.

Of course, if the reaction to all your levity is this:

...maybe it's not the joke, but the teller.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Uric Acid Trip


I've passed more than a few kidney stones in my time.  Last week I peed in a cup at the doctor's office and on Saturday I passed the little bugger. Or rather, a couple little buggers.  There very well might be more little buggers but as of today I feel much better.

The new clinic doctor has lovely hair and a very nice manicure.  She gave me an antibiotic that doesn't make me feel like I'm on fire.  She did not lecture me about the causes of urinary tract infection or kidney stones.  Instead she has advised me to consult a urologist.

That's not a half bad idea.  The new doctor didn't have to attend twelve years of rigorous schooling to come up with that one.  When you have a history of rocks stuck in your peepee parts, it's a good idea to see a doctor that specializes in peepee parts and maybe minored in a little bit of geology.

Until then, I'm going to impart all the wisdom I've gained from my kidney stones.  One caveat...keep in mind that I'm of the female persuasion and when you're a girl, passing kidney stones isn't quite the same feat compared to when a boy has to do it.  Female anatomy is such that kidney stones have a slightly easier time passing on through.  Men have a longer distance to travel when it comes to the urinary highway to hell.  Their road is narrower.  Mother Nature packed a bunch of really sensitive nerves right at the destination point.  So, first point of wisdom.  If you have to pass kidney stones, be a girl.  It's still a hassle but at least you don't have a penis.

Drink enough water.  By water I do not mean soda.  I mean water.  I'm told that soda only makes kidney stones worse though I don't understand the chemistry behind that. Something to do with some big business conspiracy behind 1000% times profit for sugar water, carbonation bubbles and acid enough to clean a toilet if you dumped a can into the bowl.  It's not often I have soda anymore anyhow because if I drink more than six ounces I bloat up like a Macey's Thanksgiving Parade balloon. This causes the same side effect as my antibiotic which is not at all pleasant for my handlers.

Limit your salt intake.  The kind of stones I get are caused by salt leaching calcium out of my system and then solidifying into a smooth stone in my urinary tract.  I love salt so not salting my food makes me sad.  The Tony's pizza I had for lunch was guilt wracking.  Many apologies to my kidneys for that one.  Extra glass of water for you.

If you aren't sitting on a strainer when you pee, I highly recommend you fill the tub with lovely warm water so you can sit there for a long while with drinking water and a book.  Don't be squeamish. The warm water will dilate your peepee parts and you just let loose when you need to.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

Enjoy the nausea.  Make believe you just had a night out, where you were the life of the party, where people surrounded you because you were the charming popular one telling witty jokes.  It makes it all go by much more quickly.  Or take your enjoyment from getting out of responsibilities because your back hurts, your front hurts and you feel like you're going to puke.  No one expects you to mow the lawn while you're trying to pass a kidney stone, ya know?

Keep the stone if it's large enough and make jewelry out of it.  My largest stone was the size and shape of a popcorn kernel and it dried ever so sparkly!  Someday I'm going to make a pendant out of it and pass it down to my first grandchild because I worked damned hard to create a thing that lovely.  Thanks Grandma, I love you!

If any of this wisdom helped my fellow kidney stone sufferers, even if it was just to laugh about it, then good.  None of this is probably new to you and the commiseration is enough.  We are stone siblings and we must stand strong only stopping short of marching in parades because that would be silly.

If you have never passed a kidney stone, you now know that it's okay to pee in the bathtub.

Even if you don't have a stone.

I won't tell.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Minute Minutia

Short post today.

McDonald's wifi is just as high quality as the coffee...glurg.

My mom is being released from the hospital today.  She had emergency surgery on parts not worth mentioning and a long stay, but she is doing much better.

Today is also my youngest son's eighth birthday.  We are getting him an ice cream cake.  Best cake ever.

Friday, June 14, 2013

I pick vacation spots by euphemism.

It's always good to try new things.

In  this case it's braised breaded beef tongue in tomato with pimento at a Basque restaurant called Epi's in Meridian, Idaho last night for dinner.

On a related note, I also had ham balls as an appetizer and ended the meal with apple bread pudding drenched in caramel and whipped cream.  

New experiences are sexy.  Eating tongue for the first time is sexy. 

Oh shush...let me have my moment.

On another related note, speaking of moments, right now I'm sitting at the finest Denny's that Boise has to offer.  Bacon is bacon anywhere but I'm wondering if I should ask the waiter if he has ham balls.

He looks accommodating.

Again, shush.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The smell from the backseat was terrible...I know that smell.

There is something about the end of the school year that prompts a well meaning mother and housewife to get out to the driveway and clean out her fabulous mini-van.  Since last summer's clean out, the contents of my family truckster have reached proportions that aren't just embarrassing but plain disturbing.  We got to a van cleaning today.  Everything should be shoveled out in the sweet temperatures of June before something you ate half of and stuffed between the seats back in January gets stinky in July.

This always inspires the rhetorical question, "What the hell did I just put my hand in?"

It's best not to think too much about the answer because it could be anything from a wad of sucked on Starburst candies to a rubbery mass that used to be someone's sneaker and sweatsock.

There was this one time, when one of my kids was still in a car seat, that they unscrewed and upended an entire bottle of milk onto the floor of the backseat.  Though we tried our best to clean it up, there were those mighty warm August days in which I cursed the lives of  Holstein cows when I had to make a quick run to the grocery store.

Since then, milk in the car has been banned.

Those kinds of odors are also why I made sure there are enough bags and containers for each passenger of the vehicle to vomit into, if the need arises.

If you ignore the van mess, you can see that I've learned a lot about the art of transporting offspring.  There might be a day where we become stranded and I know we could make it in our van for at least a week if we had to.  My home may not be fully prepared for a zombie Armageddon but my van is preparedness pimped, yo.

Here is what you need in your family truckster:

Plastic shoebox style container, or bucket, something with a lid. like mine in my photo, pre-vacuuming.  Fill this box with:

A roll of toilet paper
A stick of deodorant
Toothpaste and toothbrush
A small sewing kit with scissors
Maxi pads
Several plastic shopping bags
Packing tape
A small grooming kit with nail clippers, tweezers, comb and brush
A pencil and a pen and a pad of paper
Twenty four dollars (that's how much change was in mine...)
Bug spray
Wet wipes and hand sanitizer
Granola bars
A lighter

When you are 60 miles from any public restroom that bucket or shoebox can be vomited into easily when you dump your emergency items on the floor.  Do NOT pull over and empty your vomit shoebox into the wind.

I also have two felt blankets in that van, one under the seats, and another in the trunk area which I use to cover things I wish to hide from my children.  I also have bottles of water which get replaced fairly often because one of my kids thinks that water from faucets is not nearly as special as sneaking water from the van and drinking that.

Then there is also a makeup bag in the door in which I keep over the counter medications.  You want to stop any diarrhea with chemicals before you're forced to poop in your shoebox, because you might need that shoebox to vomit into, and then you want to remember not to empty any of that into the wind.

In case you do though, you've got wet naps and TP to clean yourself with.

Friday, June 07, 2013

The kinds of lessons that stick with a kid for life...

Today is the last day of school.

This is a day full of warm promise for my children.  When I was a kid I knew I could expect hours of summer fun on the farm.  These hours were mostly comprised of horse manure.  You scooped it up daily, you left it in a pile, the pile dried, and then you and your little sister sat on top of it and played king of the hill for hours.

This, my readers and other hangers on, is why I have a work ethic and values.  Spend long enough in poop and something is bound to grow out of it.

My kids don't have ready access to a farm or large pile of poop, so I have to come up with alternative methods to teach them work ethics and values.  Or at least keep them somewhat entertained and out of each other's hair.

So, I've bought several rolls of duct tape.

The thought was that I could have done some sort of crafty housewife type shit with all this duct tape but it occurred to me while my kid was watching me type over my shoulder, that designer duct tape would serve as a creative and novel disciplinary tool in the next three months.

When we tape the kid to the wall for misbehavior, each design will point to a specific offense or lesson.  This will save me the lecturing and my voice.

 Stop running around the house and play outside.  Stop shouting in the house and shout outside.  Stop going out of the house and coming into the house and going out of the house and coming into the house. 
Should have stopped complaining about being bored and then whining and pouting through the chores I gave you to do because you were complaining about being bored. 
Stop fighting over the Playstation.  Stop fighting over the Wii.  Stop fighting over the computer.  Stop fighting over the Nintendo DS.  Stop fighting over the TV.  Stop fighting over the transistor radio.
Should have taken a bath when I told you to.  Should have brushed your teeth and put on deodorant and put your clothes in the hamper.  For the love of the Lord, put on underwear!
Quit asking for chips, soda, snacks, juice, candy, snowcones, popsicles, ice cream, fast food, cookies, and Kraft mac n cheese.  Eat a vegetable.
Quit calling your brother names, especially the following:  Poophead, Buttsniffer, Douchecanoe, Fartknocker, Dickcheese, or Rand Paul or any other PG13 or above rated expletive.
This is for my 14 year old son:  Quit staring at boobs.  Do that in your room. 
 Stop using up all the hot water. 
Pink Polka Dot
This is for my 8 year old:  Pee IN THE TOILET.  As in, lift up the lid, lift up the seat, aim, and hit the water.  If you dribble anywhere, wipe it up!
Skull and Crossbones
Don't bite.  Don't spit.  Don't kick.  Don't sucker punch.   Don't hit each other with sticks, bats, pillows, the cats, rocks, books, kitchen implements, toy swords/light sabers/guns.  No snapping wet towels at one another. No hair pulling.  No pinching, rug burns, noogies, wet willies, purple nurples or wedgies.  No threatening one another with knives, scissors, screwdrivers, pins, pens, razor blades or paper cuts and lemon juice.  No bloodletting of any sort.

Hopefully that covers the summer, cross fingers.  There are other design options if it doesn't...or I could just have a cubic ton of horse apples delivered and let them have at it.

It'll be good for their immune systems if it comes to that.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Uncomplicated Life II

Since the weather has warmed up my husband and I have taken off to the miles of open desert just west of our front door to hike.  Winter was so damned cold and it seems like our souls need to soak in the sun. 
Many people think that my part of the world is bland.  Nothing to do.  Soulless, if you will.  I can't agree.  I love the desert.
There is plenty of sage and scrub, but not so many cactus plants about.  When we passed this cactus rose in bloom, with more buds ready, we had to take a photo.

Just wanted to share.

Monday, June 03, 2013

The Agony of Degrease

We don't often watch sports in my house, so I'm no expert, but doesn't it seem that sports reporters perform the exact same interview no matter which athlete they're interviewing?

All the same questions have the same answers too.  The only difference is how far out of the locker room the athlete is.  I prefer the interviews where the athlete is breathless and sweaty with exertion, or nausea, or defeat.

As a woman who has long mastered the sport of housewifery, I long for the chance to be interviewed just like Kobe Bryant or Tim Tebow.  Someday someone with a microphone will pull me wet out of my shower, a sponge in one hand and a can of cleanser in the other, and ask me about my performance.

My answers will be deep and moving.

Q: What do you think are the chances you'll put the hurt on that grout today?

A:  Well, that grout is tough, real tough, but I know I've got the skills and the desire to win against it.  All it takes is hunkering down and getting the job done.

Q:  Why do you think you missed that spot on the mirror? 

A:  I guess I just wasn't feeling it.  You'd wipe and when you've got one streak down, another one appears.  I've been fighting hard and I guess, sniff, today wasn't my best day.  But, ya know, the lord is with me and I'll come back from it.

Q:  Do you think you're ready to get up in the attic and clean it out for your yard sale?

A:  I've been training for that attic for a long time, putting boxes up there, taking them down, putting them up.  The real training is up here though, in my brain.  You gotta visualize it.  Visualize getting the boxes down, setting up your tables, pitching the sale, getting the payoff.  I'm pumped!  Woo!

Q:  What made the difference today in getting that toilet bowl so sparkling?

A:  Yeah, you gotta get away from your bad habits.  Try something new.  You gotta want it more.  I had a coupon for that new fume free cleaner with bleach.

Q:  You're hosting the big yearly dinner party.  How do you prepare?

A:  It pays to have a strategy.  Finger foods, main course, drinks.  Get all the work done before they get there.  Don't let them see you sweat.  Take it in stride and have fun.

Q:  How are you going to get your housework done when you've been sidelined with an illness this season?

A:  Just gotta rest and heal up.  Then we'll get back to it.  Takes work and patience.  Spit.

Q:  How do you handle the kids?

A:  Move fast.  Plenty of interceptions and good blocking.

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