Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween! Thank you, Thankyouverymuuuch!

When I asked the Man-Cub what he planned to be for Halloween this year, I was as surprised as anyone to hear him reply "I want to be the ghost of Elvis". But, you know, I like to encourage my kids' creativity so, there ya go.

No doubt, the real Elvis would be rolling in his grave, if you know, he were really dead and not living in hiding somewhere on the Vegas strip.

Or, if he hadn't been abducted by aliens or whatever the popular theory is these days.

For her part, The Girl picked out this costume.

I'm not entirely certain what she is supposed to be but it met both of our Specified Criteria for Acceptable Halloween Costumes:
Mine-it shows neither visible cleavage nor butt crack and, hers-it is green and kind of goth.

The Girl, being a Middle Schooler and all, is only slightly more interested in having double root canals performed without anesthesia than she is in having me anywhere near the school for today's festivities so; she's on her own.
The Man-Cub, on the other hand, still in that unblemished blush of love for his parents, has invited me to attend his classroom party. I am taking the Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein cookies that we baked and decorated together and am certain to have a good time.
Tonight, Chris, Jana and the kids are coming over to join us in the annual pilgrimage to beg candy from the neighbors followed by a bowl of hot chili and a marathon session of scary movies.
In preparation for the event, Hugh is taking the day off to decorate the front yard and porch for the Trick-or-Treaters. He has some new ideas and some creepy stuff up his sleeve and it should be another great year.

So, happy Trick-or-Treating!

Be safe out there.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Good Thing They Don’t Have Truancy Officers for Adults

Hugh and I played hooky from work today. We took the Sea Chelle to the neighboring town to get her winterized before putting her in storage for the season. While the boat was being worked on we did a little Christmas shopping and went out to lunch. Just the two of us. At an actual restaurant. With like, cloth napkins and china plates and everything.

It was lovely.

This evening, we are hosting our annual pumpkin carving party. There won't be any cloth napkins or china plates, I can assure you. But,the kids are stoked anyway.

Speaking of parties, our tailgate party at last night’s football game was a total blast. Chris cooked hotdogs and brats and I supplied huge pump-pots of hot cocoa. Some of the other parents looked at us as though we had just sprouted additional heads or something (maybe they had never heard of tailgating at a pee-wee football game) but, once they had a hot wiener in hand, they changed their tunes real fast.

Heh, hot wiener.

I am like, sooo twelve years old at heart. Funny, though; I don’t remember ditching at twelve.

I swear, Dad.

Anywaaayy...the game was close, we only lost by one touchdown and the Man-Cub was named the saeson's MVP by the coaches. He got a medal and everything.

And I'm sure the fact that we gave each of the coaches a smokin' hot wiener had nothing whatsoever to do with them picking him for the honor.

See? Twelve.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

HalloWednesday: The Final Chapter

Halloween 2003, the Man-Cub suffered a freeze-tag accident that left him missing four top teeth, inspiring the entire family to dress up as, what else? Vampires. Hugh went all out this year, with make-up that was the envy of every student in The Girl’s second-grade class. He also did a mean job at the toilet-paper mummy contest, wrapping The Girl in like two minutes, flat.

Halloween 2004, the year of The Girl’s rebellion and the first time the phrase But I want to pick out my own Halloween costume! echoed throughout my house. I survived and the kids made a pretty good witch and knight in shining armor if I do say so, myself.

Halloween 2005, The Girl chose to be a medieval princess while the Man-Cub opted for Dash from the Incredibles. Hugh and I briefly toyed with the idea of the whole family going as the Incredibles but, spandex is a privilege, not a right and my thighs were in no shape to meet the challenge.
This was also the only year in the history of our very-Halloween celebrating marriage that our jack-o-lanterns were stolen and smashed by teen aged hooligans out for a good time. If you click on the photo, you can see the toothpicks and packing tape that Hugh used when he laboriously reconstructed those jack-o-lanterns following an extensive search for pumpkin debris along our roadway-he got every piece back, if you can believe it.

Halloween 2006, the year The Girl chose a costume that most closely resembled her personality at the time, aka: SATAN. Just kidding, she wasn't that bad. She was a cute little devil, too. The Man-Cub opted for the classic Jack Sparrow look and, since we had been to Disneyworld that summer and had found the requisite wig, he was all set.

Halloween 2007. Zorro and a pirate wench, both of which required swords which of course required a sword fight in the front yard which, if memory serves, then required three Band-Aids to stanch the blood and a bunch of Kleenex to dry the tears.

Good times.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


The boys actually won their football game last night. By 13 points. It was a great night all around; the boys were pleased with their accomplishment, the coaches were beside themselves, and the weather was nice enough that the parents didn’t freeze to death on the sidelines.


The Man-Cub played especially well, running in all of our touchdowns. Of course, he could not have done it without the mad blocking skilz of Darren the Rooster or of one of the girls on his team who appeared out of nowhere every time the Man-Cub needed assistance. She also played a mean defense; grabbing flags like an addict goes for the pipe which, is probably not a great analogy what with our topic of conversation being kids’ sports and all but, still! She was on fire.

In fact, every one of the kids did an awesome job and every one of them seemed to be having the time of their lives which is what sports are supposed to do for kids at this age so, I’d say we are drawing the season to a close on a very positive note. Tomorrow, we play our last game and, with any luck, the kids will still be as excited about playing as they were last night.

Jana and I are excited about the fact that we are planning a tailgate party at the game, complete with hot cocoa laced liberally with peppermint schnapps and hotdogs cooked on the camp grill; clearly, our priorities differ somewhat from those of our offspring.

On a different topic, my friend, Erika, over at Mom of Two, is doing a really cool thing this month; she’s “pimping” blogs and, yesterday, she picked my blog for the honor. Not only is it a really cool idea-you might find a new favorite-but, it’s really fun to be able to say that I got pimped out and I didn’t even have to wear stilettos.

Plus, Erika is a good friend. She’s an awesome mom, a great wife and a very witty writer and I feel lucky to have her in my life. She’s one of those people who you “meet” on the internet and feel like you have known forever which, just goes to show that, people who are fated to know one another in this lifetime will find one another somehow, some way.

It’s like...kismet, baby.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Meet The Sea Chelle

Because, if you’re going to convince your wife that you need to buy a boat in today’s economy; you better damn well be prepared to name it after her.

I’m not really complaining, Hugh has wanted a boat for forever and we got a hell of a deal on this one. The couple we bought her from is older and thought the boat would be a great investment in their retirement years. Unfortunately, not long after purchasing the boat, the gentleman was diagnosed with terminal cancer; he and his wife are now trying to tie up as many financial ends as possible before he dies. It’s sad, and not really a great way to get a screaming deal on a new boat but; the guy took a liking to Hugh and was pretty adamant about his desire to see us have the boat-hence the great deal he made us on it.

They are a nice couple and they kept saying how much they wanted us to enjoy the boat as a family, to spend our time together having fun and making memories, enjoying the kids while they are young and cherishing our quality time together and, we intend to do them proud.

Changing subjects, entirely; this weekend I broke out my manual Canon Rebel, just to see if I still knew how to use it after being spoiled by my digital Rebel for the past two years. I’m happy to say, I’ve still got it.

There isn’t much I can do with it but, I still got it.

Also, damn, my kid is handsome, if I do say so, myself.

No wonder the girls want to tackle him on the football field.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Still Really Jonesing For a Donut

On the other hand, down another pound so, yay.

The children are out of school today for Parent-Teacher conferences. Hugh and I attended the early conferences on Wednesday and I’m happy to report that both kids are doing quite well in their classes. While The Girl did not manage to pull her PE grade up as high as I would like to see it, I’m pleased with her overall progress and, as I’ve said before, the battle for an A in PE is not going to be my personal Waterloo; we’ll save that for when she announces that she wants a tattoo or a nose piercing.

We are spending our "free day" in town, running errands, including a trip to the pediatrician to have The Girl’s migraine headaches diagnosed so that she may get a prescription for something to help with the pain.

I feel terrible about passing this genetic gem on to the child and hope that the doctor won’t say she is too young for meds. I was about her age when I started getting the headaches (yeah, puberty! Could you piss on us just a little bit more? Thanks!) and, at the time, there weren’t very many options for prescription pain relief. Medical technology has come a long way since then but I’m still worried that they won’t be able to suggest something safe and effective for a twelve-year old. We’ll see.

The rest of the weekend should be relaxing. I was invited to a scrapbooking party later this evening and am still debating whether or not I should go. On the one hand, I am really far behind on the kids’ scrapbooks and it would be a lot of fun to connect with other scrapbookers; on the other hand, I am lazy.

We’ll see how that goes, as well.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

She Likes Me, She Really Likes Me

My parents made the trip over the mountain yesterday to watch the Man-Cub’s football game. The weather has definitely taken a turn for the worse and we froze our collective asses off while sitting on the sidelines.

I am such a good hostess.

In addition to the freezing temperatures, the game was a total blow-out and, not in our favor. Apparently, the Man-Cub’s reputation for running well preceded him and he was shut down on every play. In fact, the game got a little aggressive, with the Cub's biggest competition coming in the form of a leggy little girl with a brunette ponytail. That child went after the Cub’s flags on every play and was generally successful in grabbing them. Many, many jokes were made on the sidelines about the wanton hussy grabbing at my son’s junk, I can assure you.

When we got home, we teased the Cub a bit about the situation and he threw his hands in the air and said “What do you expect? She likes me!”

When I asked him how he knew that she liked him he said “Duh, school!” like, I am such an idiot for not putting that together in my pea sized little brain.

My Dad asked him to clarify and he said “She told me so. Well, she told her friend to tell Michael to tell me and, now I know.” And, as I recall, that is the way it is done at this age which, is all well and good as long as she keeps her hands off my son's junk at school.

I’m just saying.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy HalloWednesday : Part Two

Bored yet?

Where was I? Ah, Halloween 2001. The second year that I busted out with the mad sewing skilz only, this time, the whole family was cursed by lucky enough to benefit from my labors; we went as the characters from Snow White.

The Girl was an impressive Snow White (I managed to get her back seam straight but, the inset sleeves on that costume were a bitch) and, at the tender age of three, the Man-Cub was hardly in a position to complain about being made to portray Dopey.

Yes, Dopey. In my defense, Dopey is my favorite of Snow White’s dwarves and, honestly, the one the Cub most resembled. And, if you tell him I said that I will deny it, vehemently. I should also point out that this was the first in a series of years that the Cub was broken in some way, shape or form on Halloween; this time it was his first broken arm, courtesy of the playground slide. Luckily, the cast matched well with the colors of the costume. Like that mattered.

As I was saying, the whole family got into the act that year; I took it upon myself to go as the Evil Queen and, did a damn good job of it if I do say so, myself.

Hugh was totally type-cast; he was Grumpy. But, the fact that he donned that costume and sat in a teeny-tiny little chair at an equally teeny-tiny desk making spiders out of egg cartons and pipe cleaners as twenty-four Kindergarteners looked on, is one of the million and ten reasons that he is the perfect man for me.

Flash forward to the next year, Halloween 2002. Once again with the sewing skilz except, you can tell I was burning out on the whole thing because, while The Girl’s Belle costume is hand-sewn, the Man-Cub is attired head to toe in discount Disney Store. My only excuse is that the dress took approximately one billion years to sew, what with the crinoline underneath and the ruffles and shit-I was exhausted. Plus, the Cub made an adorable Woody the Singing Cowboy and I was not about to attempt that costume on my own so, there.

Please do tune in next week when we enter the exciting world of BUT I WANT TO PICK OUT MY OWN COSTUME, MOM.

I’m still trying not to take that one personally.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Things That I Am Loving Right Now

-The birdfeeders in my tree are attracting a hell of a lot of birds. I like birds and I kind of enjoy the thought that I am the only soul in the neighborhood who is feeding them. My neighbors seem to only feed stray cats which, since it keeps the cats away from my birds; is probably not a bad thing. Still, spay and neuter, folks, spay and neuter.

-My new immersion blender. Yes, I love an appliance but, in my defense; butternut squash soup would not have been the same without it. Just saying.

-Starbucks nonfat cinnamon dolce latte, 130 calories, 0 grams of fat and a full serving of milk. And it tastes delicious.

-The ages that my kids are right now. Yes, The Girl is a handful of hormonal angst and sensitivity but! She can make me a cup of coffee just the way I like it and she knows how to empty the dishwasher. The Man-Cub is still all lovey-dovey and cuddly and his cheeks are still round and soft and edible and he can clean up after himself, take care of the unpleasant chores that come along with dog ownership and he tells the best fart jokes. Plus, I don’t have to deal with changing diapers, cleaning bottles, wiping noses or remembering to break the suction on my nipple before pulling a tiny set of fangs mouth away from my boob (the pain! The pain!). Not that I didn’t enjoy those things you know, at the time.

- The weather. We are enjoying a beautiful-and long-autumn. The leaves on some of the trees in our neighborhood are just turning now so; we have enjoyed a continuous display of color for the past month and a half.

-Pumpkins. I cannot say enough good things about pumpkins.

-Fiber One bars in chocolate and oat flavor. I’ll admit, they took some getting used to-at first it was kind of like chewing on a really tasty mini straw bale-but, now; I am addicted. They kill my cravings for chocolate and, with nine grams of fiber in each bar; they fill me up, making for a low calorie treat. Plus, you know, fiber, need I say more? No, no I need not.

-My son’s Cub Scout pack and its’ leaders who crack me up with their fabulous sense of humor and relaxed attitude toward the whole Scouting experience. Today, we are taking a field trip to the corn maze. It won’t be haunted this time and I’m looking forward to navigating it in the daylight. Plus, we are going to build a fire and toast marshmallows-a very “Scouty” thing to do or so I am told.

All in all, I’m really enjoying things right now. Of course, my laundry list of things that are really irking me right now is also about as long as my left arm and includes:

-Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse? No, just, no.

-Heroes, I am so confused! Who is a good guy? Who are the bad guys? I need a decoder ring and a flowchart just to follow along.

-Why did I spend good money for orthotic devices that make me want to rip my own legs off? The pain, the pain!

-Unsolicited political messages being left on my answering machine at all hours of the day and night-as a consequence of my irritation at the invasion of my privacy, I might just have to pick a random celebrity to vote for as a write-in candidate-I’m thinking Howdie Doodie.

Howdie Doodie for President!

Monday, October 20, 2008

You Might Be a Redneck

If your idea of a fun Saturday consists of sitting in your lawn chair all day while watching garden vegetables being launched through the air at speeds of up to ninety-miles-an-hour while Gomer Pyle narrates the entire scene from the back of a flatbed trailer on an ancient PA system powered exclusively by mice running on a wheel.

…And, up next, we got the volunteer fire department with the Punkinator; this here baby is a marvel of modern technology, employing the newest in air compression science….whoa! where did it go? I lost it in the sun! Anyone got a visual on that punkin? Earl? Earl, you see it? Ok, there it is! Folks, I’d say that punkin is halfway to Saturn! I hope them Martians like them some punkin pie! Ha,ha,ha!

And, while I might be joking about the mice, I am dead serious about the rest of the scenario.

Clearly, I am only part-redneck because I could tolerate barely an hour of watching the “Punkin Chuckin” before declaring myself bored silly at which point, Jana, Chris, the kids and I picked up and ventured to greener pastures AKA: The Pumpkin Patch where the children scampered through a free corn maze before picking out this year’s sacrifice to the Jack-o-Lantern gods.

I think they did a pretty good job although, the Man-Cub got a wee bit over-ambitious in judging his own strength and could barely get his gigantic pumpkin back to the car. On the other hand, had he wanted to be the Headless Horseman for Halloween, we would have been all set.

After paying for our pumpkins, we returned to our house for pulled pork sandwiches and spiced cider. The kids entertained each other and Jana, Chris and I visited with our good friend, Neecie, who stopped by to borrow a costume for an upcoming Halloween party. We tried to convince Neecie that she should accompany us to the ‘haunted” corn maze later that night but she was having no part of those hijinks so, we were on our own with seven kids.

When we got to the maze, the line for admission stretched along the country road for at least a quarter of a mile. Luckily, the weather was quite mild and the hour and a half that we spent in line went by quite quickly, relatively speaking.

The maze itself ended up being a lot of fun, if not at all frightening- for the adults that is; the kids were suitably terrified. In fact, I ended up dragging fifty pounds of Man-Cub who had cleverly managed to attach himself-leach style-onto my left leg. Have you any idea how difficult it is to navigate a corn field in the dark with a fifty-pound tumor growing from your appendage? It. Is. Hard.

We managed, though and made it through the maze in a little over half an hour. Of all the creepy things in the maze, the most popular was a scarecrow perched on a straw bale-we debated whether or not it was real for at least fifty yards as we approached and, when the first two or three of us made it past without any movement from it; determined that it was, in fact, fake. This is, naturally, when it leaped from the straw bale, waving its scythe over its head and screeching to beat the banshees.

Jana peed a little in her pants which cracked me up. Because I am a good friend like that.

Anyhoodle, the day was a huge success.

The whole weekend was successful, actually. I managed to make the butternut squash soup that I had wanted to try and it turned out quite well. Better than quite well- in fact-it was delicious.

The Man-Cub, who generally turns his nose up at potatoes, onion and carrots and who turns positively green at the thought of eating squash, loved the soup. I mean, loved it-ate his bowl and asked for seconds. I have no idea how that happened but, I am willing to take full advantage of it and, since the recipe made a ton of soup; we will have plenty in the freezer for days when the child is short on vegetable consumption and I am at my wit’s end with trying to convince him to just eat one brussel sprout forcryingoutloud! It’s good for you!

That soup might just save my sanity. Or, you know, what’s left of it.

Speaking of, I got a call from the Man-Cub’s PE teacher last night; she wondered if Hugh and I would be willing to run the school’s Halloween Carnival on Halloween night. It’s only four hours of dealing with every child in town plus their parents, the volunteers, the teaching staff and random High School students who decide to crash the party. I told her that I would have to discuss it with Hugh and get back to her.

There for just a split second, I actually considered saying yes.

Now, that’s scary.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another Day without a Donut

As of today, I am down nine pounds. My jeans fit like they used to and I don’t get winded walking to the post office; it kind of makes the donut boycott seem worth it.

Ten pounds to go to get me back to my fighting weight and I will gladly make appointments with my general practioner, gynecologist and the lovely techs in the mammogram department at the local hospital (what? You think I’m going to let a mammogram tech see me with fat boobs? I think not).

If I don’t hit a plateau, I should make my goal weight by the end of December. Of course, having said that; the gods of weight loss will strike me down with the Plateau from Hades right around Thanksgiving (shaking my fist at the heavens).

In less boring news, Hugh is still in Atlanta. Tonight, I am going to clean the house. And, attempt to make homemade butternut squash soup. And, redo my pedicure. So…ok, not less boring news. Moving on.

So, yeah, Madonna and Guy Ritchie getting a divorce-didn’t see that coming except, oh yes, yes, I did. Anyone else?

I am rambling today, could you tell? Apparently, I focus better when I am not donut deprived but, you know, probable high cholesterol and all...rambling is a forgivable side effect of the sacrifice.

At least, that’s my story. And I’m stickin’ to it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

When All Else Fails, Make Like a Chicken and Cluck Off

The Man-Cub’s football game last night was a riot and, I mean that in the it-was-so-much-fun-that-we-laughed-our-asses-off way and not in the our-kids-just-beat-up-the-other-kids way.

Our team was behind 14-0 and frustration was setting in-for Chris (what is it with men?), who thought that Darren should be doing a better job of blocking for the Man-Cub. In a moment of brilliance during a bit of side-line coaching; Chris encouraged Darren to tuck his hands into his chest, elbows out-like a chicken, a big, bad chicken. To illustrate this concept, Chris rooster-strutted down the sidelines, elbows out, neck out, and missing only the standard clucking of the real thing.

It was hilarious.

And, effective; Darren rooster-blocked two opponents at a time on the next play and the Cub ran in for the first of what would become three touchdowns, all aided by Darren’s mad chicken skilz.

After the third touchdown, Darren ran down the sidelines near where we were sitting and crowed bock, bock! as loudly and as clearly as he could given the giant mouth guard stuck firmly between his teeth.

Chris, Jana and I laughed so hard, I thought I might wet my pants. I didn’t, of course; that would be embarrassing.

In the end, we lost the game 21-20, having missed an extra point on one play. The Cub was mightily proud to have run for all three touchdowns and Darren is now the toughest blocker on the team.

And his new nickname is Rooster.

Chris, I might add, is proud as a peacock which, I should point out, is also a bird.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Welcome to HalloWednesday

The first in a three-part series on the kid’s Halloween costumes throughout the years; thrilling, huh? Hey, I warned you yesterday.

So, first up we have the bee-witching costumes the kids wore at ages one and three. For being only a year old, the Man-Cub made quite an impressive stab at the trick-or-treating thing. As I recall, I pushed him and Darren in the bike stroller while The Girl and Kaley walked with Jana-the first in a long line of times that we would all trick-or-treat together.

Next, the costumes the kids wore at ages four and two-my first stab at sewing their costumes. The Girl’s dress was sewn so crooked in the back, I practically ordered her to scoot backwards out of a room when making an exit.

Even still, I think this was one of my favorite years as far as the costumes went. My older sister and her kids were visiting that year and my nephew dressed as the Tin Woodsman and my niece as the Wicked Witch of the West. If we had only had a handful of flying monkeys, we would have been complete and, awesome.

As it was, the kids were pretty damn adorable and we took all four of them to the local pumpkin patch for the day. Somewhere, I have pictures of it; I have no idea where they might be and that is going to slowly eat away at my will to live-until I find them, that is.

Speaking of things that eat away at my will to live; we have another football game today. The game doesn’t start until six but the coaches want us at the field at five so the kids can get in another practice-apparently, losing every game we play is unacceptable as far as the coaches are concerned.

Picky, picky.

Then again, who am I to talk; I made a four-year-old back out of a pre-school classroom because her seam was crooked.

Kettle? This is Pot; you’re black.


My will to live is mostly intact. I had a lot more pictures of that Halloween but, apparently I scrapbooked them. Because I was waaay more efficient at keeping up with the scrapbooks back in my younger days.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Run Like the Wind...Bulls-Eye!

I cannot say that without tacking on the “Bulls-Eye” thanks in no small part to the Magical World of Disney and Pixar Films. Of course, every time I say it I am reminded of the Halloween that the Man-Cub was Woody the Singing Cowboy

and I am totally verklempt. My babies are growing up so fast.…..grab a cawfee and discuss.

Anywaayy…the Man-Cub ran for another touchdown last night and there was no inappropriate aggression on the field; we are proud. We have another game tomorrow night which Hugh will have to miss due to the fact that he is flying to Atlanta tomorrow morning for the Fall Market. I elected not to attend this market because I am lazy saving myself for the Spring Market in New Orleans. So, I will be a weekend-widow again this week.

I’m toying with the idea of going through all my old pictures and then subjecting you all to a “Through-the-Years” pictorial essay of my kids’ Halloween costumes.

Oh my gawd! I Bet you can hardly wait, huh?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Birds Fly South; I Nest

Unfortunately, Jana and the kids were unable to make movie night and Hugh was away all weekend, doing security for a private event. So, what did I do with my time alone with the children? Friday night, I banished the Man-Cub to his bedroom with the new Iron Man DVD and allowed The Girl the rare privilege of attending the High School football game with her friends (and minus her father) and I cleaned house like a mad woman.

I seriously got on my hands and knees to clean the wood floors with a rag and Murphy’s wood soap and I have the bruises on my knees to prove it. I cleaned cabinets, sucked the dust bunnies and cobwebs out of the corners with the vacuum and cleaned the French doors until they glistened (for all of one tenth of a second before a pair of Rowdie’s nose prints mysteriously reappeared on them, damn dog). I rearranged my pantry and I even polished my silver (all four pieces of it).

I was looking forward to sleeping in on Saturday but, that was not meant to be as The Girl called from the game to ask if I minded if one of her friends spent the night as her father works nights and wouldn’t be home in time to drive her to the school to catch the bus to the volleyball game-attendance at which, you may recall, The Girl had been denied.

I didn’t mind, terribly, if the friend spent the night and I also didn’t mind terribly getting up with the girls at 5:00 the next morning to get her to the school by 5:30. Once that was accomplished, The Girl and I elected not to go back to bed but stayed awake and watched television together until the Cub woke at his usual early hour of six-thirty.

Getting up early must have messed with my energy level-in a good way-because I spent the rest of the day, and the rest of the weekend for that matter, working on projects around the house. For lack of a better term, I was preparing my nest for the winter-cleaning, reorganizing, putting away the summer items that were lingering on shelves and in corners and generally just preparing for colder weather.

I ripped up the last of my garden-it stopped producing anything a while ago-and bundled the last of the Rosemary for drying. It is hanging in my kitchen windowsill now and the whole kitchen smells heavenly.

I changed the linens on all the beds, from cool cotton to warm flannel and jersey sheets and I placed the feather bed on Hugh and my mattress; it helps keep me warm and I love the feeling of sinking into it at night; like lounging on a cloud.

Once that was done, the Cub and I baked and froze thirty-six Frankenstein-shaped sugar cookies for his classroom Halloween party and I roasted and pureed the six sugar pumpkins that I had intended to do while Jana was over. I now have more than enough pumpkin puree in my freezer to last through the winter.

And, speaking of winter, we got our first hard freeze last night. It was not, as the Man-Cub describes it frostbite on the grass but, a true hard frost. Apparently, my inner-pioneer knew something that my 21st century self did not and I am happy to say; my house was warm and toasty before the freeze.

Not a bad way to spend a weekend, if I do say so myself.

Friday, October 10, 2008


This has been a long week but, I’m proud to say that we got through yesterday without one single act of rebellion by the spawn; they were both on their best behavior and it reminded me of why I love them. Granted, today they could each do something that totally explains why some species eat their young but, we’ll cross that bridge if and when we get to it.

Looking on the positive side, thanks to The Girl's blatant use of the middle finger, I won’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to drive an hour and a half to a volleyball game. Instead, I can sleep in, linger over my morning coffee and take my time cleaning the house before Jana and the kids come over for movie night.

We decided on movie night because the weather is once again predicted to turn to shit and, rather than disappoint the kids, we are being proactive in our planning. While the kids watch movies, Jana and I are going to roast and puree six small pumpkins for pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins. It’s been a long time since I made anything with fresh pumpkin and just the thought of it makes my mouth water in anticipation.

If we get done with the puree, we will bake and freeze Halloween cookies for the boys’ classroom parties. If not, I’ll bake them myself on Sunday but; I’m really hoping for the company and, you know, one more responsible adult who can help clean up the aftermath without making a bigger mess than existed, originally.

I’m not quite sure what it says about me that I am willing to use my friend for her mad cleaning skilz but, there you have it.

On the other hand, I have agreed to do black and white portraits of her kids as a Christmas present for Jana’s mom so, skill utilization goes both ways.

Changing the subject completely; today is the last day of Spirit Week at the middle school and the kids were encouraged to dress like twins. The Girl and Kaz donned matching outfits and hairstyles and, while they were adorable, I cringed visibly when they suggested that we adopt Kaz so they can be sisters and I can, and I quote, "have two twelve-year-old daughters".

Because that wouldn’t make me reconsider eating my young at all.

I bet they would be delicious with homemade pumpkin butter.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Did I Just Breed Them To Be Aggressive?

Oiy. The Man-Cub’s football game last night was exciting.... in an oh-my-god-my-son-just-brutally-tackled-that-other-kid sort of way.

Yep, in flag football.

Now, maybe you don’t know flag football but, the point is…no one gets tackled in flag football; it just isn’t done.

Unless, apparently, you are the Man-Cub and/or his buddy Darren and you just happen to have two girls on your team who just happen to get purposely sucker-punched by the boys on the opposing team in which case; all bets are off and brutal tackling and/or cold-cocking becomes acceptable because it isn’t nice to hit girls.

Jana and I were torn between being completely mortified and vaguely pleased; who said chivalry was dead?

I can’t talk about this anymore so, here’s a picture of Hugh’s dead antelope; maybe I can blame him for passing along the aggressive gene, after all, he kills things.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

More Daughter Drama

The Girl was suspended from the volleyball team today after an incident following yesterday’s game; apparently, as the bus was leaving the school, a group of boys from the opposing team’s town began shouting obscenities and saluting our team with their middle fingers. The Girl reciprocated the gesture and was unlucky enough to be caught by her coach who called it an act of unsportsmanlike behavior and a poor representation of our school.

The coach was right on both counts and, although The Girl wasn’t the instigator, she participated in the fray and I have no problem with the school’s decision to suspend her from the final tournament.

The Girl is quite upset about the whole thing, she realized immediately that what she had done was wrong and she is truly remorseful for her actions. She’s especially torn up about it because my parents were scheduled to make the trip over the mountain to watch her play and now she won’t be; she knows she has disappointed people and that is a hard lesson to learn in the seventh grade but, better now than when she is a senior in high school, I suppose.

And, it could be worse; she could have been suspended from school for drinking vodka on the school bus on the way to an eighth grade volleyball game.

Not that I know anyone that that ever happened to, you know, other than her Aunt Barbie.

Hey! Maybe the kid's rebellious streak is genetic.

Kill me. Kill me now.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

We've Got Balls

The Man-Cub’s first football game of the season took place last night; our team played against the other third-and-fourth grade town team and, I am sad to say, lost. The kids played well, though and; considering that the Cub’s team is comprised mostly of third graders, that says a lot.

The Cub played especially well; he is playing in both the receiver and quarterback positions and has proven that he can run like he’s on wheels. This comes as no surprise to his father or me; we’ve been chasing him for years.

Today, The Girl is going to a neighboring town for her second-to-last volleyball game; she has improved a great deal this season but I think the whole team is burning out and the end of the season will be welcome.

Once the Cub’s football season ends the beginning of November, we will be free from sports and sports-related traveling and scheduling until wrestling season starts in February. I’m looking forward to the break but, with the holidays approaching; harbor no illusions of having extra time on my hands.


Ok, not really. I already have almost half of my Christmas shopping done and have no problem believing that I will be completely done by Thanksgiving. Then, the decorating and baking and wrapping and partying begin in earnest.

Maybe I should relax and enjoy myself now; even if it means doing it from a lawn chair on the sidelines of the football field.

Monday, October 06, 2008

A Crappy Weekend, As Predicted

The weatherman got the forecast right; it was a rainy, chilly and dismal weekend. On the bright side, I made a pot of French onion soup that was to die for, got up to season 3 on my Alias DVD’s-yes Alias, a show that went to Series Heaven like three years ago, what can I say; I always come late to the party (and, Dad, you were right waaayy back in 2004, I didn’t know what I was missing)-and I got caught up with the household laundry. So, it may not have been a pretty weekend but, it was productive.

It was productive for Hugh, too; he went hunting with his father and managed to fill his antelope tags-a buck and a doe, both of which have an appointment with the meat grinder later today then, according to Hugh, the buck’s heads will be stuffed and mounted-you know- just as soon as he can find the right taxidermist for the job (apparently, the rack on the thing is quite impressive, I have no idea-I took one look at the poor thing and threw up a little in my mouth).

According to me, when, and if, that happens, it will be hung at the hardware store because there is no way in hell we are hanging a carcass anywhere in my house, I don’t care if the rack on it lights up and dispenses Diet Pepsi like a drink fountain.

Also, his plans to preserve the head in my garage freezer until he can find the right taxidermist for the job? Yeah, Not gonna happen. I’m not bluffing when I say that; if I find the head in my freezer I will place it in the bed on Hugh’s side, just to send a message. Not bluffing, at all.

Ok, yes I am, a severed antelope head would totally ruin my sheets.

Can’t have that.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Well, Bummer

All week long, the weather has been gorgeous so, now it is Friday and; the weather sucks. The forecast for the weekend is dismal which is unfortunate considering that Jana and I had planned to take the kids on our annual pinecone-gathering expedition in the hills. As it stands, we will probably have to scrap those plans.

On the other hand, this weather is perfect for staying in and catching up on our Netflix queue while a big pot of chicken-noodle soup simmers on the stove.

So, I guess I’ll look on the bright side.

What else can one do, really?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Does This Parenting Thing Ever Get Any Easier?

We got a note from the Middle School band teacher, informing us that The Girl is becoming a bit of a problem in class; apparently she and Kaz can’t stop chatting each other up and are disrupting the general learning environment, could we please take steps to correct this situation?

Let me think, hmmm, middle school girls….chatting in class…how unusual.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning the behavior, in fact, The Girl got one righteous dressing down last night after I got the letter, but; you can’t really change the nature of a beast and girls are, by nature, chatty.

After our come to Jesus meeting, however, The Girl promised to do better. I promised to march my ass into that classroom to monitor her behavior if she doesn’t succeed in “doing better”, she burst into tears and accused me of trying to humiliate her which, kudos to her because I didn’t even know she knew the word much less the proper context in which to use it and, she stomped off to bed.

Status quo, maintained.

Some day, when she has an ungrateful, sassy daughter of her own (God willing), she is going to look back on this and realize that she was being a pill and that I was a perfect parent (ha!). She will then pick up the phone and call me to apologize for being such a beast to me way back in the seventh grade, she’ll applaud my handling of her and beg me to tell her how I got through it.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to call my Mommy.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Always Be Prepared

Yesterday I accompanied the Cub Scouts on a field trip to the local McDonald’s which, might seem like an odd field trip for a bunch of little boys but, considering that half of them will probably end up working fast food at some point in their lives, was fairly appropriate.

The boys enjoyed the trip, most likely due to the giant ice cream cones they recieved at the end of the tour and; I enjoyed my time with the other Scout Moms who were along for the ride. Our troop isn’t exactly what you would call a typical Cub Scout troop -for one thing, it is huge- we are talking 30 boys huge. And, they range in age from first grade to fifth grade so everyone works on their badge projects at their own pace.

Our troop leaders are the nicest, most charitable people I have ever met and they really place the emphasis on the boys having fun, learning good values and being kind to one another rather than on earning every badge ever created and I, for that, I truly appreciate them. Plus, in a town as small as ours, we are lucky to have a troop at all, much less one that does as many neat things as our seems to do.

For example, this month (October already, yikes!), the boys are going to rig a pumpkin catapult for the town’s annual Punkin’ Chuckin’ event. Boys and catapults go together like peas and carrots so, the excitement among the troops is quite high, as you can imagine.

I’m excited for the event, myself as it is being held at one of the local farms and rumor has it that the corn maze there will be haunted that night. Haunted by local high school kids but, haunted nonetheless. Unfortunately, Hugh will be out of town that weekend but, Jana and I have every intention of taking the kids to the event, ourselves; we both like a good scary corn maze.

Not too scary, of course; we wouldn’t want anyone to pee their pants or anything. However, it couldn’t hurt to take along an extra pair of undies, just in case, like the Scout motto says: always be prepared.