Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lurking and fragile tendons

I am going to keep this post short, because I had to remove my wrist brace to type.  I am blogging so soon after suffering traumatic injury (stay tuned for that story) because my good blogger friend Karen Taylor from http://outofmymindbykt.blogspot.com/ honored me with a guest post on her blog today.

  I wish to thank Karen and all of her followers that have taken the time to read and comment.  I love comments- who knew I would be such an attention seeker?  Don't feel bad if you don't comment and merely lurk, because I am forced to admit that I lurk.  I lurk a lot!

Some people in the blogging world find lurking (reading or skimming a blog, but not commenting) objectionable, but I read dozens of blogs, numerous news and comedy sites, a magazine or two and usually a book- each day.  (I have that kind of time to devote to reading for various reasons- I am single, so there is no man to get in the way and I tend to neglect all of my household duties).  So, I don't often comment on blogs.  But I am there.

I am there reading, smiling, commiserating, and often laughing right out loud.  I am like a Peeping Tom, just watching and enjoying.  Oh, wait, that sounds creepy.  I mean- I really, really love blogs and enjoy reading them in my pajamas...no..wait, that sounds even worse.  Oh, great, now you are going to be like the cute guys that I try to chat up at the grocery- increasingly pale and fidgety.   Forget I mentioned it...

To take your mind off the awkward, I will share the series of events that have caused me to wear a wrist brace all week.

It was chilly, so I decided to put on my nice, warm red cable knit sweater and I sprained my wrist doing it.

No, no, I did not fall or get attacked by ninjas or any of the 9,873 other things that would be more probable and believable as the cause of a severely sprained wrist.

I was talking  to my daughter (still trying to figure out if she has any liability here) and I pushed my arm down my sleeve and somewhere along the 30-odd inches of the sleeve, my hand bent over toward my palm.

Now, I have attempted to recreate the event in my mind, so I can figure out what I was doing wrong.  I can say with certainty that I did not suddenly develop superpowers of speed or strength, so there wasn't excessive forceful thrusting in the sweater.

Nope.  Near as I can tell, the couple inches I pushed my bent hand down the sleeve to the armhole was enough  to cause serious pain.  Lamest injury ever!

At least now, the time I burned all of my finger tips by removing a cake pan out of a 350 degree oven with my bare hands, seems a tiny bit less lame.

I can't say I am looking forward to the inevitable injury that will make this one look less dumb.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Practicing Patience

I must have signed up for a Cosmic Patience course and forgotten, because everything in my life lately has been a test of my ability to remain calm.

Prime example- the simple trip to the grocery store to pick up bread and tuna last night.

My pregnant  friend had come over to visit and she indicated that she was running to the store to pick up milk.  I didn't feel like cooking, so I thought tuna sandwiches and chips would make a fairly acceptable slacker-mom dinner for the kids.  I had everything I needed, except, oh yeah, tuna and bread!

So, I hitch a ride with my friend down the road to the store.  It is less than a mile. Her milk, my tuna and bread and the return trip home should have taken 15 minutes, tops.

One hour and 4 minutes later, we return home.  Was there a stick-up at the Sav-a-lot?  Did one of us fall and break a bone?  Was there a run on tuna that caused me to drive all over town searching for a can?

NOPE!

Firstly, while my friend was enormously kind to take me to the store, I had never gone shopping with her before, so I didn't realize that she took an eternity.  Milk turned into a cart full of items.  And our speedy trip was not helped by the fact that when we had snaked through every last aisle and were ready to check out, she realized she needed peanut butter.

Neither one of us knew where the peanut butter was and being 730 on a Saturday evening, there was only one employee in the store and she was busy working the cash register.  Soooooooo, we start at the beginning of the store and only have to cover the first 3 aisles to finally find the peanut butter.

Honest to God, my friend then dithered over creamy vs crunchy, I finally tossed in the creamy and made something up about the nuts in the crunchy giving people constipation (the pregnant woman's curse) and limped toward checkout.

At this point I have been gone over 30 minutes and I just know that my youngest two have tied my oldest daughter to a chair and are either a) setting her toes on fire or b) escaping naked into the woods behind the house.

As we pull our FULL cart up to the line, I pull out my no-good-for-nothing-piece-of-crap-battery-doesn't-hold-a-charge-cellphone out of my purse.  Great, the battery is dead, even though I had just had it on the charger.  I can't call.

As I stand twitching, Mommy Guilt on overdrive, scenarios in which my 3 offspring have been maimed in some horrific way flash through my head.  I bounce from one matronly shod foot to the other.  I crane my neck searching for other employees, I huff, I puff.  4 minutes have passed and we are still waiting for the guy with the creepy beard to collect his cheezy crackers and beef jerky so that we can begin checking out.

Now, the cashier was as sweet as honey and bubbly and is just a really nice woman and did I mention she was the ONLY person working in the store, cause if there was anyone else, they were hiding behind the bananas.  Did I also mention that she was elderly, with a frigging eye patch?  Now, don't assume that I am some horrible person that looks down on differently-abled people or whatever she had going on.  OK, last night I WAS a horrible person, but I am not usually THAT JERK.

Normally, I would have stood patiently as she fumbled everything and messed up the code for my friends kiwis and then was too weak to lift the bags out of the little cubby where she loads the groceries right after scanning.  I would smile and pat myself on the back for being such a understanding person.

Only, I couldn't call home and I said I would be back in 20 minutes tops and I had been gone for more than double that and I would have welcomed Ghengis Khan as my cashier, bloody stake, pillaging and all, if the line would move faster!  I was in full on, paranoid Mom/ disaster scenario and Patchy the cashier was moving at the speed of sloth.

When we were (finally) done, I practically raced my very pregnant friend to the truck, tossed the groceries in, willy-nilly, and hopped in the seat the whole way home.  We barely had time to read the note that was wedged on her side mirror commenting on her parking ability.  No cuss!

Much to my surprise, there wasn't a burned out shell or police cruisers to greet me at home.  Instead, the two youngest were watching Disney channel and my oldest was on Facebook.  Their only complaint was that they were hungry.

Great, now I have a mountain of guilt over being impatient with little old eye-patch lady and a useless cell phone.  But, the tuna sandwiches were good and I didn't have to dirty any pans.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring is a fickle cuss word

Yesterday, I tempted fate and boasted of finally having nice weather.  Even the late afternoon tornado warnings and small bits of hail did not dim my view.  This is central Kentucky.  Local tornado sirens wail so often that I sometimes think I hear them even when they aren't going off (OK, maybe that last part is just me and has something to do with rapidly encroaching senility, but I digress...)

This morning, I peeped out my window and the gray skies and general gloom still did not dispel my rare good humor.  No, that did not occur until 9:51 am, when I popped out the front door on my way to the mailbox.  I no sooner stepped onto the porch, then I yelped, cursed and rushed back into the house.

In short- the frigid is back.  Once again, it is bone-chilling cold.  Like we haven't seen enough of this all winter!  

Determined not to have the day be a total wash, I did some light house work (boo! hiss!) and spent the afternoon watching movies with the kids.

One movie we watched was  Fantastic Mr. Fox.  

Fantastic Mr. Fox Poster

I have wanted to watch this for a while and I was not disappointed.  I found it hysterical and my 12 year old also loved it, but my two younger children weren't nearly as entertained.  They weren't completely bored, but they weren't laughing uproariously, either.

Maybe that is because, in spite of the animals, this movie is definitely targeted toward adults.  I don't mean R rated type of adult.  I mean, subtle and dry humor with plenty of wit.  There were plenty of scenes that caused me to laugh out loud- George Clooney as the self-absorbed Mr. Fox is brilliant.  

However, the movie had  one running joke that still has me and the  kids giggling.  In place of every cuss word that would normally be used, the characters simply said 'cuss' or 'cuss word'.   For instance, the characters would exclaim, "What the cuss?"   

Now, I have 31 years of foul language fluency under my belt, but I absolutely love this approach to language.  Anyone remember The Smurfs and their use of the word 'Smurf' in place of arbitrary words?smurfs - the-smurfs photo
The Fantastic Mr. Fox is like that- with obscenities.  Clever.  Love it!

So, you can surely agree when I say that Spring is a fickle cuss word.  






Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Type L for Lazy

I am most definitely not a Type A personality.  I am much more of a Type L for lazy.

Truthfully, I have not been blogging (I know, bad.  Stop nagging already, what are you?  My wife?), or entering contests or *gasp* reading books, because I have been very busy.  Busy with Spring!!

Thank God!  Finally, we have good, warm weather.  The kids and I are spending a lot of time outside, walking, playing, sitting (my fav activity!) and gardening.

I have flipped and flopped about the garden thing since I moved into this house and I finally decided to just go for it.  Granted, my landlord did indicate that she didn't 'think digging is allowed', but I asked her to double-check.  She never got back to me and anyone knows that means it isn't a definite NO, so it must be OK (I realize that it is the logical foundation of life as a 7 year old, but it also applies here, because I said so, that's why!)

I have started with planting some flowers in the newly turned beds in front of the house.  I intend to also eliminate the need for fighting my mower on the steep hills at each side of the house by planting some sort of hardy ground cover.

I have to be honest, if I could afford them and get them to my house, I would go with planting rocks.  It is amazing how little you need to water, weed and care for rocks.  Amazing things.

Finally, I have plans for a good size vegetable plot out back.  I originally was going to go with small or medium, but I went a little nuts when I was buying seeds.  Visions of crunchy salads and juicy melons were dancing through my head.

The most interesting part of all of this, for you dear reader, is visualizing my gardening chores being done with all the finesse, technology and tools of a leper in the 17th century.  I am, as always, teetering on the brink of abject poverty.   So, I have a cheap dollar store shovel and seeds with which to bring about my Martha Stewart transformation.  Oh, and let's not forget the hose.

It was also a dollar store item purchased last year for the kids to play in the water with, but it is now pressed into duty as the official garden irrigation system.  On one hand it is nearly perfect as a soaker hose- given the many, many holes, large and small, adorning it's length.  As a forceful spray from only one source, it is an abysmal failure.  It is worth mentioning that the water squirting from every direction is absolutely frigid in mid-March and that, once again, my heart and constitution are sturdier than I suspected.

I am not discouraged, yet.  If people could scrape vegetables and flowers from the earth for thousands of years with sticks and stones and the occasional ox, then I can manage with an eight dollar shovel and a leaky hose.  If nothing else, I know that my hard work will be rewarded with a bumper crop of zucchini- that magic squash that even a blind baboon could produce, if it stopped biting and flinging poop long enough to bother.

In fact, it is so easy to grow, it is a wonder I don't see 'wild zucchini' plots everywhere.  It is the dandelion of the vegetable world, only I never stand over a cauldron of bubbling oil attempting to coax crispy goodness from a slice of dandelion.

Don't get me wrong.  I love fried zucchini (though eating 3lbs a season is my limit, thank you very much Miracle-Gro).  I just hope that all the other things I really want to eat decide to follow zucchini's Type A example and not my Type L.

I also hope my neighbors really like zucchini.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Love is not a noun

When I was a kid, my father was in the Army and we moved- a lot.  IF (serious big IF) I had made any friends, when it was time to part there was always that moment when addresses and promises to write were exchanged. Sometimes I even meant it when I said I would write.

Now, in all those years, I did write a former pal once or twice, but I never received an answer.  For the most part, I just didn't write.

My very long winded point is- I have a long history of not writing when I am supposed to.  Hence, the mostly empty blog.  I know, I am really sucky at this.

I have been busy.  I swear.  Just this weekend alone there has been an impromptu birthday sleep over for one of my daughter's friends (more on that in a paragraph or two), 2 family movie nights, two walks to the store and the usual housework (though for me it should be called house-punishment-torture...I really hate dishes and cleaning and all that grown up stuff).

About the birthday sleep over, my daughter has this friend (who doesn't know my blog exists, so I can speak freely) whose own mother is one of the most selfish and neglectful cows in the history of parenthood.  Let's just say that in the nearly 3 years I have known the kid, I have given her more clothes and gifts than her own mother.

She doesn't even bother to buy her school clothes.  By no means rich, she still finds plenty of money for stuff she wants.  Meanwhile, her kid goes to school in too small and ragged clothes.  Don't even get me started on the fact that she rarely launders said clothes and the kid has to wear items over and over, until they are filthy.

Last year, the week before her 12th birthday, the girl excitedly invited my daughter to her house for a birthday party.  Only her mother didn't even bother to make a cake.  I usually throw some low-key birthday parties- no pinatas, ponies or clowns, but I can whip up a frigging cake and blow up some balloons.

On the day of her birthday, she gave the kid $20 and told her to walk to the convenience store to get chips and drinks for her own little party.  The 'party' consisted of my daughter, another girl and the birthday girl eating chips and drinking soda while watching youtube in the girl's bedroom.  Mazel tov!

I guess it could have been worse and the mother didn't even do that much, but to me, that is like saying,"Be grateful I only broke your leg and stole your allowance, I could have slit your throat."  Wrong is wrong, even to a lame degree.

When Christmas rolled around, I knew the kid would likely get the shaft- her mother couldn't be bothered to put up a decoration and told the kid there wasn't 'any Santa' and therefore, she wasn't going to receive a single gift.  Now, I wrongly believed that the mother was trying to fool the kid and would later give a gift (not that I agree with this type of warped parenting, though I have witnessed plenty of it), but I was wrong.  When Christmas rolled around, the only gift that girl received, was from my daughter.   We gave her some Bath and Body works stuff and some books.

She was so grateful, I had to go into my room and cry after she went home.  F-ing rotten mother, I could snatch her bald and set her toes on fire!!

So, Friday, it is the girl's birthday and once again her mother can't pry herself from online chat rooms long enough to do ANYTHING for the kid.

I had $10, so I gave it to her and baked some chocolate chip cookies. I didn't know she was going to, but she walked to the store and bought a cake mix and frosting, then came back and asked if she could make herself a cake at my house.  If my heart hurts so much, what can that little 13 year old girl be feeling?

I let her and another girl stay over with my daughter.  I tried to make it fun, lots of silliness, baking, snacks and movies.  I even got up the next day and made my homemade French fries, because that girl loves them.  This is a biggie, cause it is a pain in the ass to make fries the way I do- clean, slice, soak, drain, soak, drain, pat dry, fry in small batches in a fry pan.  It usually takes about an hour and a half to make enough to feed everyone.  It sucks, but for once I pretended that I was having a blast sweating over a pan of bubbling oil.

I don't know why, but I am still amazed at the selfishness and incompetence of so many parents I see.  I really don't know why they become parents in the first place.  The only thing I can equate it to is people that will get a puppy, but when the cuteness wears off, the dog is tied up, mostly forgotten in the back yard.

I know it isn't PC to say so and it certainly isn't in line with my usual civil liberties political leanings, but I really wish that only people that were going to be adequate (not even good, just frigging adequate!!!) could become parents.

I often hear people wail about how much they 'love' their kids or some idiot tries to justify some other idiots lousy parenting with the 'but they really love their kids' excuse.  I could vomit!  Love is not a noun.  It is a verb.

The kind of 'love' these people are talking about is a selfish and twisted thing.  It is solely to feed their needs with nothing left for the child.  It is like a bad romance.

I just want to smack someone.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I may never have to leave my house

As a person that dislikes places like Wal-mart, the internet has become my best friend.  I have done almost all of my gift shopping online the last couple of years and I have recently found several different sites where I can order food to be delivered right at my house.

Earlier today, I ordered a 5 lb bag of Haribo Twin Cherry Gummies through Amazon.com. Those are my favorite candy and  5 lbs just might last more than a night...kidding...they will last a week, tops.

Now, if only they would bring back the milkman, I would be set.

In the past, I have used Alice.com to purchase household and personal items like toilet paper, dish soap and baby wipes (no baby, but they are great for cleaning stains and fingerprints on walls).

Today, I tried a new site called Soap.com.  Don't be fooled, they aren't just about soap.  I ordered Swiffer dusters, some Febreze and make-up (they carry most of the brands you find at your local drugstore- Maybelline,  Covergirl, Rimmel, Neutrogena and more) along with a couple types of bath soap.  It will be here in two days via FedEx and shipping is free for all orders over $39.

Another bonus is that they offer a big selection of e-coupons for items.  Alice.com offers this, too, but today Soap.com had more coupons and cheaper prices on the items I was buying.  Additionally, Soap.com (but not Alice.com) participates in a cash back program through Ebates.com.

If you don't know about Ebates.com, it is a great site where you sign-up and when you wish to shop online, you log onto Ebates.com, find your retailer (they have 100's, including Wal-mart, Target, and Cooking.com) and go to the site of your choice via the link on Ebates.com.

You earn a percentage back for all your purchases made through Ebates.com.  It is legitimate.  I have received checks and have another one coming soon.

If you wish to sign up for Ebates, here is my referral link: http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=Xy7PGr0d8JbPmV9HeVL9JA%3D%3D

If you want to try out Soap.com, you can receive a 15% discount on your order by using my promo code APE25346 at checkout.

If Alice.com is a better deal for you, then you can sign up through my referral link and receive $10 off when you spend $50: http://www.alice.com/referral/DB41121

Full disclosure:  If enough people sign up through my Alice.com and  Ebates.com link, I will get a bonus and for every person that uses my discount code on Soap.com I receive a $10 credit.

 Just like when you head to a brick and mortar retailer, it pays to check which offers the best deal for you.  For me, today, it was Soap.com.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rain, rain-go away!

It is so gloomy today that at 9 am, I still thought it was around 6am.  I was trying to 'sleep in' when the doorbell rang.  I very grumpily thought, 'who the hell is ringing my bell before 7 in the morning?'

It was one of my daughter's friends who had forgotten something she needed and it was after 9 am and pouring rain.  I am sorta bummed.  I was hoping to shove the kids out the door this weekend while I did some much needed early spring-cleaning and I wanted to walk to the grocery store later.

I am really not heartbroken about delaying the cleaning, but I am sick of what is in my fridge and cupboards and was hoping to find something good to make for dinner.  Ah, well- I hate wet ankles, so I am going to stay home.

On another, completely unrelated topic- I have been watching a ton of TV lately.  On top of marathons of 'NCIS', I have watched the first 5 seasons of 'Weeds' and both seasons of 'Drop Dead Diva'.  Yeah, Netflix!

I really enjoy 'Weeds', it is off-beat and irreverent, however, I am increasingly disenchanted with Mary-Louise Parker's character, Nancy Botwin.



If you don't know anything about the show, the premise is that a young widow takes up selling pot to the secret stoners in her suburban neighborhood in order to maintain her lifestyle.  As time has gone on, the character has evolved into a self-involved drama-junkie.  I intend to watch season 6, it is an entertaining show, with a lot of great characters, but Nancy Botwin makes me want to smack her one and that has kind of ruined my former enjoyment with the show.

I know I have always let little things about TV and movies affect the way I feel about a program, but I can't help it.  For instance, I always had a hard time enjoying 'Seinfeld' because George Constanza was so repulsive to me and don't get me started on reality dating shows- let's just say I can't be entertained by women so desperate for fame, attention and love that they will participate in a nightly stew in a jacuzzi swapping saliva with a moral-less Lothario.



Photo Gallery: The Bachelor
On the other hand, I am still loving 'Drop Dead Diva'.  On this show, a pretty 24 year old aspiring model dies and returns to earth in another body.  She takes over the life of a 32 year old overweight and frumpy lawyer.  Admittedly, I would have sooner ripped out a molar than watch a show about a 24 year old dim-witted model, but the evolution of the character as she tries to come to terms with her new life is very compelling.  I find myself smiling and sniffling through each episode.

While there is plenty of legal drama, at heart, this show deals with the idea of soul mates.  I am on edge waiting to see if her former love recognizes her as his true love in her new guise.  Yes, I am a romantic sap, at least when it comes to my entertainment choices.

 Along with great regular characters, this show has a constant stream of wonderful guest stars.  I love seeing some of my favorite actors in great character roles.

Drop Dead Diva Poster

I can't wait for season 3 to start on Lifetime in June!

I should also mention that since I bought the 'Megamind' DVD last week, my youngest has watched it multiple times a day.  Funny, because I enjoyed the movie, but thought that the humor wouldn't appeal to small children.  I guess I should have taken into account that they are being raised by a weird, profane and sarcastic woman with more brains than social skills.

Now, you all know what important things have kept me from blogging this week.