Showing posts from March, 2010

Whack-a-Mole, cart return style

And a legend is born, a legend of a creature that lives among the corralled carts at the Shako Mart du Wal. The creature is stealthy, but even so, he must come up for air every few hours. He creeps among the wheels of the carts, gathering leftover donuts and forgotten cookies for sustenance. In order to keep himself hydrated, he licks wet carts after rain showers. Because he lives mostly under carts, he cannot tolerate bright sunlight; he must scavenge for lost sunglasses among the returned carts. He is The Creature of the Cart Corral.

An attempt to clutter up the kitchen counter even more

I'm sprouting wheat kernels.

Last week, I had a project for Fake Child--growing wheat grass. She enjoyed spreading the seeds on the dirt and misting them to keep them wet. (My kids have gotten into the fun of it too. I'll catch OJ misting the seeds and Matt will ask if he can do it too) The grass is now close to two inches high.

When the seeds had just sprouted, I got a sudden, daring (as daring as I get these days) urge to eat one. I didn't even rinse it off. I just popped it into my mouth. I liked the texture. I ate a few more. I let Fake Child eat a few too. I made OJ eat one.

Now I am sprouting some wheat for my own eating pleasure. Mom gave me a sieve-type lid for a Mason jar specifically for sprouting and I popped that on a clean jar and in three days, I should have salad fixings of wheat sprouts! I could also make bread but I will save that experiment for later.

Bad poetry and Applebee's

First, I post this bad poem for Jenni. I call it "Forty-one." No reason. (unless Jenni wants to admit to her age. Otherwise, I just picked the number out of a hat)

It is your birthday, your birthday so fun,
A day to rejoice as you turn forty-one.

The play life is over, the real life begins
You’ll have much to enjoy, you’ll wish you were twins.

So smile at the day, and to the uglies that frown
On your day, say, “Scram, I’ve no time to be down!

Put on your pink shoes, your bangles and rings,
Don your prettiest clothes and spread wide your wings.

Dance to the music, drink deep from the font
Getting older is fun! You can do what you want.

You can say what you feel, there is no one to nag,
Or lecture or reprimand, or say, “Scalliwag!”

There is freedom in forties, and fifties and on,
The days of being held back have up and have gone.

So get on getting happy! Waste not your time!
The best years are ahead, your life onward, sublime!

Bad poetry, we love thee! I hope you enjoyed it. It probably …

Home today

Jim and Hayley get home tonight. Yesterday was a bit of a doozy for them (just a bit. Like maybe just the first "o" of doozy). They got stuck for two hours on I 80 when it closed because of a giant wreck. After several hours of sitting in the car, and upon the advice of someone within cell-phone distance who had access to a computer, the internet, and thus the Wyoming DOT website, (i.e. ME) they got the heck out of Dodge (aka Bitter Creek Exit at mile marker 111.5) and drove back to Rock Springs and headed north on some backwater Wyoming country highway to go up through Casper and into South Dakota. Where they are now.

And let me tell you, the only thing more boring than driving through Wyoming on I 80 is looking at pictures of vehicles driving on I 80 on the semi-live camera shots on the Wyoming DOT website. (rim shot. Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week)

Anyway, on to more important matters.

Ten things I was able to do while Jim was gone:

1. Sleep with the b…

More pictures from Utah, where I am not

Hayley plays Mario Kart (or some other Mario game with a first cousin once removed who is sitting in the chair and is three. Or four)I had to put this up on my blog because this is a picture of Jim's two cousins, Sara and Jenny (Sara is on the right, Jenny on the left). I met these two girls when they were quite young--Sara was six I believe (and now she is married, has her own child and another one on the way! And Jenny is married too, with two children!). Sara sat on my lap and was very friendly the moment she and I were introduced. We both liked that our names were spelled the "right" way. I knew I fit into Jim's family because of her. And I have a sister named Jenni. Two Sara-and-Jens! And they have a brother David! So that night I met them also happened to be the night Jim proposed (much later after everyone had gone home).

Here is Karen with one of her grandsons. Karen, like Anne, has not aged one BIT since I met her that night at Anne's when I got …

Prom prep

So Other Jim asked a girl to Prom. And all I said was that he was pretty sure she was going to say yes.

I never followed up on the story.

OJ gave Edna the shirt and she said "Maybe."

Then he went to take a shower because they had just played basketball. While he was rinsing off, Edna made this:So, "heck yes," OJ is going to prom this May 1st.

And this is what the neurotic kitty does when his neuroses have left the house for a few days:He becomes a lap kitty and a beggar for attention.

Not here

Jim and Hayley aren't here. They are there. "There" means "with Katie." They left Saturday morning and arrived yesterday afternoon. Jim wanted to take some stuff out to Katie and asked Hayley if she wanted to come with. She did. She's on Spring Break so she's not missing anything.

Jim is staying with his aunt and uncle and that is where they had dinner last night. Aunt Karen is a party-loving woman and she whipped up a dinner and a birthday cake for Hayley since yesterday was Hay's birthday. (PS Hayley is staying with Katie--sister sleepovers!)

Hayley and Uncle ArtJim
Jim and his two daughters and his mother, who drove down from Idaho to see them all. Hi Anne!
Jim and Anne (who hasn't changed at all since I met her 22 years ago)

And this is Jim's cousin Sara and her husband David. They took care of Katie the first year she was in Utah. Thank you!
Unfortunately, Karen took the pictures and didn't take any of herself so I can't p…

A very quiet Sunday afternoon but an energetic Saturday night

It's almost too quiet. People are either gone to Utah, gone to work, gone to sleep, or engrossed in a book. I should be making dinner for those few left in the house but I think I'll blog instead.

Last night I took Matt to his cousin's birthday party. Owen turned three and Marissa had the party at a gymnastics school.

This is the foam pit where Matt and Dylan (another cousin) spent most of the time. See that flowery patch above Matt and Dylan? That's Dylan's sister, Maya, who, by the looks of things, has faceplanted into the foam cubes. Apparently it's hard to navigate through the cubes. And you can't touch the bottom because it's 8 feet down.

Here is the birthday boy with his daddy. I can't believe Owen is already three!

Here is Matt, taking a flying leap into the foam pit from the trampoline runway.
And here are two of my brothers engaging in some fun that no doubt reminds them of their childhood: throwing stuff at little kids. The little ki…

Can you guess what Other Jim is doing?

He's doing it late Friday night when he really should be in bed.
But he needs it for tomorrow morning.
He's going to Rochester
Just to ask a girlto Prom.
Prom isn't til May 1st, but it's never too early to ask. He says she knows about being asked and he's pretty sure she'll say yes. He's sure enough to invest time and money into asking the question via T-shirt.

OJ is in Rochester, and Jim and Hayley are on their way to Utah to see Kate. Paul was working out with his shirt off so Matt and I decided to go for a walk.
We walked to a local pond.

Matt had a honking conversation with the geese and read the signage.

I took pictures.

Tomorrow maybe I'll post pictures from a birthday party.

Wrecked cake

Haydle-dee turns thirteen on Sunday--is the world ready for another teenager? To celebrate, she and her friend went to the mall this afternoon. I didn't think she was the mall-going type of girl, but I was wrong. She bought some kind of Japanese fizzy drink. The Japanese have invented some weird process for bottle opening: no cap, simply a glass ball you have to hammer out of the way with a special tool. Then as you drink, the glass ball floats around inside the bottle doing who knows what to the liquid. It's just plain weird, and way more difficult to open than a simple bottlecap! But then they eat with chopsticks, so I guess it's no surprise. Hayley eats with chopsticks sometimes...she's turning Japanese, I think she's turning Japanese, I really think so! (name the band who sang that song)

Back home, we had her birthday dinner. She didn't know what she wanted for her special dinner with the special birthday plate until last night. I offered all kinds …

Choose your earworm

And by earworm, I mean the second definition in the link.

When I am home mostly by myself, I like it quiet. No music, no TV, no sound at all, unless I'm talking to the cats. Quietude helps perpetuate the pretense of time standing still while I'm at home. With no sound to aurally remind you of the passage of time, I can pretty much convince myself that I'm in some kind of bubble outside of the ticking of a clock. This has been a secret I've kept for a long time because a) I participate in music-intense activities, b) I'm married to someone who likes music and c) he likes to hear it constantly. And really, I don't mind when he is home and puts in a cd, but when I'm home by myself, NOTHING. Not even humming.


Lately, I have not been allowed to keep up the pretense of non-time through quietness. I have been afflicted by earworms.

First earworm This is thanks to Hayley and Matt who LOVE this commercial. Then they sing it ALL the time. And then I si…

Leprechaun poop

That's what we called the mint M&Ms that I put on people's plates last night for St. Patty's day. See? We also have mint Hershey's Kisses and Rolos for the treasure. Corny and silly, but the kids enjoyed it. So did I.

See Paul's face? Click on the picture to make it bigger so you can see the expression in more detail. He's never been photogenic. He always has a scowl on. Notice how he is stacking his Rolos. He built a little fort out of candy as we were getting ready to eat. Hayley is jiggling the jello and wishing she could dive right in.

This is a better vantage for full food viewing. I'm not any sort of Martha Stewart; my table settings are usually haphazard and messy. But if I were to go all out and make everything look just right, I'd be spending several hours placing things in just the right spaces and then it would take the kids mere nanoseconds to destroy the fine table and they wouldn't have noticed how nice it was in the first p…


Happy St. Patrick's Day to those who celebrate it! As far as I know, I'm not Irish, but the corned beef is cooking, the green jello is setting and the cabbage is in the fridge, fearing the knife.

I have no idea if my children wore green today, except Matt who had on a tie-dye shirt with ample amounts of green on it. It's a moot point, though, because pinching is not allowed in school anymore (some districts consider it "assault").

When I was a preschooler, a babysitter informed me that I had to wear green that day. It was a lovely March day in southern California, and I didn't believe her because I had never heard such nonsense. I thought if it were really a law, or if it were really important, surely I would have heard of the need to wear green (Thanks a lot, Mom. What else haven't you told me?). Besides, I thought to my four(or five)-year-old self, what did the color of clothing have to do with getting pinched? I was a bit put off by the babysitter p…

Gearing up

For another teenager in the house. Do you realize what this means? I will no longer have two little babies ! Come the 21st, I will have only one little baby left to me in my middle age! Every one of my other babies defied orders to stay little and cuddly by growing up!

My second youngest will be 13. Dear, sweet Hayley enters the years of teenage turmoil. And once she finishes with her teenage years, she'll probably be gone, just like her older sister (Hi Kate! Kate had a good time at the Brian Regan show and she is all moved into her new place! Send pictures of yourself, Katie!). Which is not a bad thing. Katie's doing fine all on her own, and we hear from her often so we know that she hasn't forgotten about her parents. So I don't despair too much about Hayley growing up. I do wonder though, what happened to that little girl who liked Teletubbies and wearing nothing but tights and 3D glasses. I could have sworn she was right here a second ago. Now I have this a…


Paul had a mole removed for the second time two weeks ago because it grew back. The doctor removed a bigger chunk of skin than she did the first time and stitched the gap closed. She said come back in two weeks to get the stitches removed.

So I set an appointment for removal of said stitches.

For today.

I picked Paul up early from school and hauled his (and my) butt up to Edina (dr wasn't in Burnsville office this week so we had to take two freeways to get to the office). We go into the office and check in. I sat down with Paul, and the receptionist calls out, "You have a $25 copay."

"What?" I said, "Isn't this a follow-up? He's having stitches removed that one of your doctors put in." She said that depending on the procedure sometimes the followup doesn't count as a follow-up, but as a regular office visit. What the aitch? I told her that I was going to call the insurance company before I paid to see what they said about it.

So I went ou…

Getting ready for the holiday (the one that isn't Jenni's birthday)

St. Patrick's Day, that is.

I'm not Irish and neither is Jim, but we (and by "we," I mean "I") can't pass up the opportunity to have a themed dinner. Hayley is on board for it as well. She suggested green mashed potatoes and green jello. Short of serving corned beef (which I am not familiar with), what else can we do? Any suggestions from you, the reader (all five of you)?

I'm thinking stir-fried cabbage and/or broccoli. Green paper plates and Hershey's Nuggets for decor (and that's as far as I will go to decorate).

In other news, we had ANOTHER band concert last night and this time Paul and Hayley participated. All-district band concerts feature three bands: 6th grade, middle school Honor Band, and the Wind Ensemble from the high school. I worked on an assignment for my new class but I listened as I wrote. Matt came with us to the concert and came away enthusiastic for band next year (not that he wasn't before, but he was even MORE…

In threes

Final test, being in charge of a large-ish activity, and laryngitis. Those three things sort of knocked the desire to blog out of me for the past few days. Then there was the band concert last night, which I went straight to from children's choir, where I did not take Matt because he is coming down with something. It was a good thing I had children's choir, because I was able to pass the buck in dealing with Hayley forgetting to bring her clarinet home for her concert, which was going to be at a different school than where her clarinet was. Jim was able to deal with that particular mishap and Hayley was in her concert chair on time and ready to play. He deals better than I do.

I think I did pretty well on the test. I am confident that I passed and that's supposed to be all that matters (but I am well aware of my tendency to expect 100% and nothing less will be satisfactory).

Tonight, another band concert with the possibility of an emergency trip to the ortho for Paul w…


Humanities test today (or Wednesday if the test hasn't arrived at the testing center in time for today). I have a hard time keeping straight the modern sculptors and the architects. I have no trouble with most of the musicians, but some of the Romantic nationalists (Dvorak, Chopin, etc tend to blur together too.

Wish me luck (and doughnuts).

Movie night

Jim and I went to a movie last night: "Ghost Writer." I read about it in the paper and thought it looked interesting. But it was playing at only one theater in the whole area. It must be some kind of indie film or something.

The movie was playing at the Uptown Theater, which I had heard of but wasn't familiar with it. And as we drove to it, Jim mentioned that he'd passed the freeway exit on a daily basis but hadn't ever been to this part of town since we've lived here. Both of us thought the Uptown would be closer to downtown (but since it's called Uptown, I thought later, we assumed wrong). There is a movie theater downtown, which I have been to as a teenager--but I can't remember what it is.

Anyway, I would love to wander around the Uptown area. I love all the old buildings and funny little shops. I wonder about people who live above the funny little shops and what the apartments look like up there, especially the one with the purple light eman…

Random felineness

The kids didn't say anything cute yesterday so you all get to look at pictures of my cats.
"I'm ready for to veg on the couch after a long, difficult day of napping."


Guess what's for dinner?

I should have taken more college classes way back when

While driving with Matt:

We came to an intersection in a rural area. Matt asked, "Is this part of a city?" I said, "It's a rural area. I think it's part of C____ R_____ Township."

He paused for a bit, then asked, "What makes a place a city or a town or a township?"

"I don't know," I replied.

"Is [our town] a city?"

"I'm not sure, but I think it is."

"Do you have to have a fire department, a post office and a library [which is what our town has all in one area] to be a city?" He was determined. "Does a township not have those things?"

"I don't know."

"How do people decide how to make a county?"

"I don't know!" My ignorance is apparent and I don't like it.

"Is it based on how many people are in it?"

"I don't know! But I don't think population has a lot to do with it. You'd better grow up and go to college and take political scienc…

Today's mystery

Why is it that I'll tear apart a room to find a stray M&M, but I can have 15 pounds of chocolate chips in the pantry (it's true--I weighed them) and not eat a single one of them? And I know they are there. I see them every day.

The trick with chocolate chips is keeping the rest of the family out of them so we can save them for brownies and cookies, both of which I love with all my heart and stomach, and can (and will) eat whole pallets-full. But not an unprocessed chocolate chip.

Plain chocolate chips=meh.

One track mind

The birthday cake. I can't stop thinking about it. I tried to leave the house for a walk, but the cake conspired with the weather to make the sidewalks slippery and nearly impassable for foot traffic. I was herded back to the house to be tortured by its chocolately goodness. I'm trying to avoid even being upstairs with it.

I'm trying to shake the reputation I have around here by NOT eating the cake. I overheard Hayley talking to Katie on the phone and Hayley said something about wanting a cookie or something but there aren't any left. Then I heard the muffled sound of Katie's voice on the phone and Hayley replied, "Probably" and then laughed. I asked her what Katie said and Hayley answered, "She said most likely you ate them while we were at school."



About today

Ten reasons today is a great day:

1. Jim is still in his forties.
2. But not for long...
3. He doesn't look as old as he says he is.
4. He doesn't act as old as he says he is.
5. He promised me that he won't ever have a midlife crisis.
6. We get cake!
7. And lots of frosting!
8. And homemade enchiladas! (oh wait. I have to make them! Sigh. But I'll do it!)
9. We're going out to lunch!
10. Happy birthday Jim!

Picture hopefully to be edited into this post later. Maybe I can get him to smile for the camera at lunch today.