Monday, August 31, 2009

Miracle on Sixth Street

I spent a lot of quality time in the garden this weekend, pulling up all of the non-producing plants, thinning out what remained and admiring the seeds in my giant sunflower heads. While I was poking around the spaghetti and acorn squash, I spied something different and, upon closer inspection, discovered this:

That be a butternut squash. One lone butternut amongst a plethora of spaghetti squash but, still, a butternut, hallelujah, amen!

I’m guessing the butternut plant that I bought from the nursery this spring harbored a rogue spaghetti squash seed which somehow managed to do better in the garden yet didn’t quite manage to smother out the butternut plant completely and, for that, I am grateful. Hopefully the lone butternut will continue to grow and prosper and I will be able to make soup later this fall. Fingers crossed.

When I wasn’t in the garden or planting mum bushes and pulling weeds from my flower beds, I was supervising the Man-Cub and one of his friends during a weekend sleep-over. The job was made quite easy, considering the fact that the children spent the majority of their time tackling each other on the front lawn; the novelty of their recently-assigned football pads and helmets providing hours of entertainment.

The Teenager spent the lion’s share of her weekend catching up on much-needed sleep; volleyball practice and her school schedule having exhausted her energy reserves, a feeling that I much empathize with considering that, somewhere along the line this weekend, I caught a cold.

Today, my sinuses are undecided as whether to be stuffed up or to run more than freely so; I am either constantly blowing my nose or engaging in the lovely act of mouth-breathing. My face has also broken out in a nice set of PMS pimples and my eyes are watering or gummy, depending on what my sinuses are doing. I am so pretty!

But, I can console myself with the fact that, right this minute, a butternut squash is growing in my garden, just the way I had hoped.

I am such a cheap date.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Every Once in a While Life Gives You an Opportunity to be the Bigger Person

I might have mentioned that Friday is my day to take a Pilates class at the local recreation center. I might also have mentioned that there is a particular woman who also takes the class who has been somewhat of a thorn in my side, but if not, the story goes like this:

I started the class many months ago. The first class I took was fairly crowded and one of the only open spots was in the front row, farthest to the left of the studio. I settled into that spot and found that it was comfortable for me-I was close to the instructor so I could watch as she demonstrated each move and no one was in front of me to distract me from the experience. In short, I adopted the spot as “my own”. Several weeks later, a woman I had not seen before came to class. She approached me and, with a smile on her face said “I like to work out here”.

Thinking she meant the rec. center in general, I smiled back at her and said “So do I.”

The offended look on her face led me to swiftly understand that by “here” she meant here as in my spot and, for a brief second I actually considered moving for her but; the class was due to start within moments and I didn’t really want to have to find a new place to set up, especially considering that I had already been in “my spot” for the past twenty minutes, stretching out.

So, I continued to smile at her until she got the hint and moved to a spot to the right and slightly behind me.

Following class that day, I learned that the woman had been a regular up until a couple of weeks before I started attending the class and, she generally used the spot that I had claimed. I felt….not as bad as one might think and, in the intervening months, I have faithfully arrived at class twenty minutes early in order to stretch and to, you know, secure my location.

Apparently, today, the woman had finally had enough of my hubris and she point-blank asked me to move my mat to a different location because I was “in her spot”. I had moments to decide if I was going to be the bigger person and move to a new location-after all, she had technically used that spot prior to my starting the class and, she is well, old. On the other hand, I pay the same amount for my membership that she does, I arrive to class early enough to set up my mat and I am kind to animals

What? Kindness matters.

and, I really didn’t feel like moving so; I took a pass on the opportunity.

I wasn’t nasty about it; I simply smiled and said, “I don’t think so”.

For the record, she spent the remainder of the class slowly inching her mat closer and closer to mine until, during a particularly aggressive set of back kicks, I connected with her balance ball and sent it sailing across the studio. Upon retrieving the ball, she moved her mat to a more distant location and, aside from the Glare of Doom thrown my way, behaved herself for the rest of the class.

Next week, I have no doubt that she will try to beat me to class in order to secure the Sweet Spot (Trademark!) and I fully intend to beat her at that game; I will head for the gym the minute I drop the Man-Cub off at school, putting me there an hour and a half before class starts.

Or, you know, I’ll camp out in front of the rec center the night before; it’ll be fun, like waiting to buy tickets to a Grateful Dead concert!

In related news, I must report that we had our first meeting for tackle football tonight, the boys got their pads and helmets as well as their team assignments and, I am sad to say that; Darren and the Man-Cub were not placed on the same team this year despite the fact that both Jana and I requested that they be.

Now, I could have complained to the representative from the Activities Department. I could have made quite the scene (as did another mother who was less than thrilled with her son’s placement) but, I didn’t; I chose to be the bigger person.

You know, that time.

And, I'm still kind to animals.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday Thirteen, Edition Thirteen:
Thirteen Things I Do That Annoy My Husband

1. Putting my feet in his lap every time he sits at the opposite end of the couch.

2. Pleading with him to rub said feet.

3. Scooping the cat’s litter box and then placing the bag containing the litter in the trashcan in the garage instead of walking the additional fifty steps to the outside trashcan. OHMYGOD! YOU SMELLED UP MY MAN SPACE!

4. When my dirty underwear doesn’t quite make it all the way into the laundry hamper, located inside his closet. Your underwear? It is hanging from the basket. I can see it! OHMYGOD!

5. When I wake up early on the weekends and insist upon messing with him until he wakes up, too.

6. And, when by “messing with him”, I don’t mean engaging in the time-honored rituals of looove; that, I imagine he would wake up for (not that I’m willing to test the theory anytime soon, Dad).

7. When I weed my flowerbeds and, rather than immediately throwing the weeds on the burn pile, I throw them onto his grass where, according to him; they instantaneously seed, thus festering into a lawn full of weeds.

8. The fact that, every once in a great while, I forget to clean my hair out of the drain in the shower. God forbid the hair touches his delicate feet.

9. When I bake banana bread or brownies…and they have nuts in them. Nuts! OHMYGOD! Who puts nuts in brownies?!

10. The fact that, sometimes, I correct his grammar. It’s an illness!

11. The fact that I like to sleep on my side, in the fetal position, which often means that my knees are pressing into his back really, really hard. Dude, I am asleep, I am not trying to cause you pain.

12. My “nasty habit” of picking up his discarded ice tea glasses and putting them in gasp! the dishwasher. Who does that?!

13. My hogging of the computer, which I am doing right now as he paces impatiently up and down the hallway. Perhaps I should wrap this up; I’m sure there are iced tea glasses on the kitchen counter that need to be put in the dishwasher and weeds in my flowers beds, weeds with which I may litter the man’s lawn.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesdays with The Teenager

Edition Six: A Day Late and a Light Bulb Short

We apologize for the tardy nature of this video as well as for the uber-crappy quality; apparently the light in The Teenager's cave room is not as illuminating as one might hope.

As for the tardiness, yes, well, see, I hosted Bunco last night and, let's just say that time got away from me and, you know, leave it at that.

Anyway, without further adiue...

Monday, August 24, 2009

All is well That Ends Well. Especially When It Doesn’t End in a Curving Spine

So, The Teenager’s appointment with the doctor went well today. We were scheduled to see our regular pediatrician but, the clinic happened to be hosting a visiting pediatrician who specializes in teenagers, specifically teenage girls so; we saw her instead and, although it might make Hugh just a tad bit jealous to hear it-I think I may be in love.

The woman was phenomenal, not only did she completely allay our fear of scoliosis (the hump is muscular, The Teenager needs to exercise her non-dominant side more and, you know, it wouldn’t kill her to stand up straight) but, she also addressed issues that most doctors don’t, issues like drug and alcohol use, self esteem, peer pressure and sex.

The Teenager responded really well to her and, when the doctor used the phrase “No glove, no love” and The Teenager failed to burst into flame; I knew I we had a winner. Too bad she is only on loan from another practice, otherwise; I would totally break up with our regular guy and run off with her.

Anyhoodle, the child needed only one booster shot, is right on track for height and weight development and now realizes that an adult-other than her mother-uses rhyming syntax when discussing safe sex practices.

And, you know, no spinal curvature.

All in all, it was a very good day.
If I Didn’t Know Better, I Would Think it Was Autumn

There is a definite nip in the air this morning as well as a sky full of thunderclouds; it feels like September or October and, I am sooo not ready for it to be September or October, already.

On the other hand, if it were October, I would get my hour back from the Daylight Savings Bandit and, I could spend that hour on extra sleep, glorious sleep.

Oh, well.

Look, I’m talking about the weather! Anything to keep my mind from drifting to the topic of scoliosis! Not that I’m worried, I’m not. No, really, I’m not. Just because I may have had nightmares all weekend about the summer that one of our neighbors-and my favorite babysitter- got put in a full body brace to correct her spine doesn’t mean that I am in any way, shape or form worried. I’m just, um, you know, mildly concerned. I’m sure everything is going to be alright. Rainbows. Unicorns….

Anywaaay…have I mentioned the weather? Whoo-boy! Sure does feel like autumn out there!

Friday, August 21, 2009

When is a Butternut Squash Plant Not a Butternut Squash Plant?

When it is a freaking spaghetti squash plant, that’s when. And, while a spaghetti squash plant is perfectly fine in theory, it isn’t so grand when one is expecting butternut squash to grow on it, godamnit.

So, yeah, this spring I bought a couple of lovely butternut squash plants from the nursery, brought them home, planted them, nurtured them with my blood, sweat and tears and, just when I thought it was time to peer amongst the large trailing leaves, in search of the first butternut, what do I find? Three ginormous spaghetti squashes. Like ginormous. HUGE. I could not have done a better job as a spaghetti squash farmer if I had tried. Alas, as I just spent the last paragraph or so explaining; I did not try.

And, now I am butternutless.

In other woeful news, I took The Teenager to the clinic yesterday for her sports physical. The lovely PA there informed me that the child appears to be in the earliest stages of scoliosis and, you know, when we wished for a child who was ahead of the curve, this is not what we intended.

Monday, we have an appointment to see our regular pediatrician for a second opinion and to discuss options in the event that her spine is, indeed, curving or, if she just has really bad posture. (Fingers crossed!).

From everything that I have read on the Internets-thank you, Dr. Google-we are probably looking at some physical therapy. On the off chance that it is more serious than it looks on the outside, The Teenager could just get her wish for braces-although not at all the way that she had hoped.

Because I am soooo good at dealing with unpleasant issues, I have decided to take the Wait and See approach and not to worry until Monday. In the meantime, I fully intend to take my anxiety out on the owner of the nursery where I purchased the butternut imposters.

I might even write a very strongly worded letter.

Because I am just that bad ass.

(And, not at all worried that my precious daughter is evolving into a better-dressed teenaged version of Igor, Really. I mean it. Not worried at all. Hey, spaghetti squash, anyone?)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday Thirteen, Edition Twelve:
Thirteen Tips for Staying Motivated to Exercise and Eat Well

1. Buy a super-cute, moderately expensive pair of designer jeans in a size or two smaller than you currently wear. Hang said jeans in a prominent location and stare at them for an hour each day. Visualize yourself struggling into the jeans, wrestling with the buttons and splitting the center seam right down the backside. That donut you have been eyeballing will seem far less attractive.

2. Stand in front of a full-length mirror. Rotate 90 degrees to the left. Slap your ass with your right hand while craning your head over your right shoulder, witness the tidal wave of fat that ripples across the wide expanse of your thighs. Shudder appropriately.

3. Review old pictures of you during your Glory Days. The weeping that follows should prevent you from eating the chocolate chip cookies that your daughter just brought home from the Volleyball Team bake sale. You know, most likely.

4. If not, repeat # 2 on this list.

5. Attempt to run a mile uphill at the local park. The burning sensation this leaves in your lungs should adequately replace the craving that you have for spicy Mexican burritos smothered in green chili and dripping in full-fat cheese.

6. Enlist a friend to talk you down from the ledge during really bad cravings. Pick a friend who won’t cave to the cravings that you are describing and, at your weakest moment, grab a 3 Muskateers bar to eat right in front of you while encouraging you to stay true to your promise of…no more 3 Muskateers bars.

7. If you accidentally enlist a friend who does indulge in the 3 Muskateers bar in front of you, feel free to throttle her and to hide her body in a shallow grave; digging burns calories.

8. Spend a half hour a day in close proximity to an annoying person; trying to avoid his or her presence equals extra steps on the ol’ pedometer.

9. Throwing heavy objects at your spouse during an argument counts as a weight-lifting exercise.

10. Running from your spouse after hitting him in the head with a heavy object counts toward your daily cardio goals.

11. Make-up sex burns 120 calories per hour.

12. Cleaning up broken objects burns more than 120 calories per hour.

13. If all else fails, repeat #2 on this list.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Shhh... Did You Hear That?

I’m pretty sure it was the mournful wailing noise that an ovary makes as it shrivels and dies and; I’m pretty sure it was my ovary.

So, yeah, the kids went back to school today. The Teenager and the Man-Cub have officially entered the last year of Middle School and Elementary School, respectively. Next year, I will have a kid in High School, a kid in Middle School, an honorary membership in AARP and a nice little room in a nursing home all picked out and ready to decorate with pictures of cats.

And, in the immortal words of Truvy Jones: Honey, time marches on and eventually you realize it is marching across your face.

On the other hand, I hear the rec. rooms in those nursing homes are The Place for Bingo games so, there’s that at least.

Le sigh.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesdays With The Teenager
Edition Five: If She Gets Any More Excited, We May Have to Sedate Her

Monday, August 17, 2009

This Picture Has Nothing to do With This Post. I Just Like It. So, There.

Did I Fail to Mention that School Starts this Week?

Wednesday, actually which; don’t even get me started on the ridiculousness of starting the school year in the middle of the week and, on early release day, no less. That’s our tax dollars at work, folks.

On the other hand, I still have today and tomorrow to relax without having to be the Morning Nazi so, glass half full, yada, yada.

Ironically, the kids fail to see the ridiculousness of the situation and are actually looking forward to starting school (I know, let that sink in for a moment) and, we managed to get all their school clothes and supplies this weekend.

Because I planned the trip so well, we totally missed the traffic snarles and hoopla surrounding the President’s visit to Neighboring City for one of his Town Hall meetings and, for that, I am quite proud. We even had time to grab lunch at the Chik-Fil-A (best chicken in the free world, hands down) and, we can say the children will be properly outfitted for their first day in fifth and eighth grades.


On a topic not remotely connected, Rowdie is recovering well from his trip to the vet. As far as I can tell, the only side effect of his recent sterilization (or, his total emasculation, as Hugh has deemed it) is a generalized air of suspicion whenever he is around me. I’m fairly certain he has guessed (correctly) that it was I who put Hugh up to having the surgery done and I’m doing my best to make it up to him, showing him extra affection and making sure that he gets first choice of the garden tomatoes but, still, total suspicion about my motives, I can tell.

On the other hand, he still jumps when I throw a ball and, if we have prevented his urge to introduce himself to small children via his penis, well, then, all is well that ends well.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday Thirteen, Edition Eleven:
Thirteen Ouch Moments

1. Yesterday, we took The Teenager for her first consultation with the orthodontist. She needs to have four teeth pulled before they will even think about putting braces on her. Four.

2. The braces are going to cost $5000. Five thousand dollars.

3. After tiring of Rowdie’s insistence on humping every new person he meets, Monday; we took him to the vet and had him fixed. Yep, snipped those suckers right off. If his baleful expression of woe is any indication; we totally hurt his pride, if not his body.

4. In an effort to regain some control over my rapidly expanding girth, I recently started working out again. Long-time readers will realize that this heralds the return of The Exercise Induced Tourettes. Shit!ouch!motherfuck!damn!

5. We just got the bill from the Man-Cub’s recent appendectomy. Thank God for insurance but, still, ouch.

6. Hugh has been suffering from a virus related to the virus that causes Shingles and he is in some major pain. Which makes him a major pain, as all you wimmens out there will understand.

7. School starts next Wednesday. The children are going to have to start getting out of bed early and shit. My head hurts just thinking about the struggle ahead.

8. Speaking of school starting, this weekend we are headed to Neighboring City to do our school-clothes shopping. I don’t even want to think about how much that’s going to cost but, suffice it to say; I have an arm and a leg picked out already.

9. My older sister and my niece were in a car accident the day before yesterday. My sister’s beloved Mustang was damaged pretty badly but, luckily, my sister and my niece were able to walk away.

10. My hair stylist-the stylist I have used for the past ten years-is moving away. Granted, we have recently had a few not-so-great hair moments between us, due to her tendency to get carried away with the scissors while venting to me about all the troubles she has been having with her teenage son but, still; now I have to find a new stylist. That’s worse than having to start dating again or, so I’ve heard.

11. Last night, the Man-Cub stubbed his pinky toe three times in the space of an hour. On different objects in different rooms. The toe is currently the biggest toe on his foot, thanks to the swelling. I’m fairly confident that it isn’t broken but, there is no way I am taking him to the doctor to find out, see above: Hospital bills, orthodontist bills, vet bills back-to-school shopping, inevitable bill for therapy once the search for a stylist is underway.

12. While straightening my hair this morning, I accidentally burned my neck with the flat iron. Now I have a hickey and I didn’t even get to have any fun.

13. I just burned my tongue on my coffee.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesdays With The Teenager
Edition Four: She May Not Live to Film Another One

Monday, August 10, 2009

I’ve Heard of Strays Following Kids Home but This is Ridiculous

The Man-Cub and Darren took off on a nature hike not five minutes after we arrived at Lake Powell on Friday. This is not an unusual activity for the boys and, since we had a lot of unpacking to do, Jana and I let them tootle off on their merry way. Not five minutes after that, they arrived back at camp with a new friend.

Being the enlightened parents that we are, we demanded that the Cub return the lizard to the wild as soon as he was done examining it, read: NOW, now for the love of god!

The Cub allowed the lizard to use his shoulders as a perch for an hour or so and then he and Darren walked up a nearby hill to set him free. The Cub set the lizard down and walked away and damned if that reptile didn’t scurry along right behind him, up his leg and back onto his shoulder.

Three times.

Finally, a few hours later, as we were loading up the boat to hit the lake, the lizard got the message and jetted back under a bush, never to be heard from again.

Cut to two days later, on a beach miles and miles from camp.

What. The. Fuck.

It’s like the Man-Cub is the Lizard Whisperer or some such shit and, for the record, I don’t see much future in that career.

Sooo, in other news; the trip was a total blast. The kids enjoyed the warm weather, the warm water and the towels, warmed from lying in the sun. They did not so much enjoy the warm Gatorade once the ice ran out each day but, hey, you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.

I enjoyed myself immensely watching as Hugh wake-boarded like a pro. We all took our turns on the tubes, the knee board, jumping off a small cliff and just being together.

On the not-so-bright side; the restrooms in the RV Park we stayed at were Disgusting. Also, I didn’t remember the smell from the septic system being quite so, um, prevalent the last time we were at Powell. Of course, that time we rented a houseboat and were on the lake the majority of the time so, why would I have, right? Anyhoodle, Jana and I rechristened the lake Lake Bowel and, with any luck, the next time we visit, we will rent a houseboat and forego the stinky RV parks and campgrounds.

Should we do that, we are aware that the Lizard Whisperer will be out of luck. Unless he attracts swimming lizards, that is.


Thursday, August 06, 2009

It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Forgets to Let Go of the Handle

I had a wonderful visit with my sister and my nephew this week. While the kids ran around like hooligans, ignoring bedtimes, threatening each other with light sabers and engaging in epic battles of Wii Carnival; my sister and I bonded over my numerous scrapbooks and, by bonded, I mean that I tied her to a chair and held her hostage until she had looked at every single book plus the ten thousand photos that we took on our trip to Disney three years ago. She was a really good sport about that whole deal.

She was also a really good sport about us strapping her five-year old to an inflatable tube and then trying to drown him. In our defense, had he just let go of the handles on the tube when it became apparent that it was going under rather than, um, floating; I'm certain we could have avoided the whole ugly scene.

As it was, my nephew came up sputtering, my sister didn't have to leap into the water to save him and, after much cajoling and encouragement; he tried the tube(now, with more air!), again and, while I can't say he enjoyed the ride (his cries of "Stop the boat! I don't liiiike thiiiis!" being mostly ignored), at least he got back on the horse.

So to speak.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and, Barbie and my nephew left this morning. We will miss them and, not just because I get a huge kick out of torturing my nephew.

Tomorrow, Hugh, the kids and I are off to Lake Powell with Chris, Jana and their gang. We are almost certain to have a good time and, with any luck, we won't repeat the mistake of dragging one of our offspring under the water on an accidentally under-inflated tube.

You know, unless we lack for entertainment.

There, there, baby; Aunt Chelle would never purposely drag you behind the boat.
Pinky promise.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Would Blog But, Am Having Too Much Fun

Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Tuesdays With The Teenager
Edition Three: You Know You're Old When the Original
Friday the 13th is Considered a "Classic"

Monday, August 03, 2009

This Is Why Some Species Eat Their Young

The children have been home a grand total of three days and I have already resorted to threats of bodily harm if they don’t stop bickering with one another right this second.

My parents insist that the children were the picture of sibling affection during the week they spent at their house but, since we have already established that my parents are pod people from the planet Spoilatron, living amongst us for the sole purpose of infiltrating our defense systems one spoiled grandchild at a time; I am hard pressed to believe anything they say.

Besides, the constant arguing over control of the Wii remote, who gets the last Gatorade, whether or not the world is round and which came first-the chicken or the egg - is evidence enough that they are not the well behaved children the Pods would have us all believe, whatever their nefarious purposes.

The good news is; my sister and nephew are scheduled to arrive for a visit any minute now. I’m looking forward to adult conversations on the porch (now with more wine!) and to having a distraction for the children although, with my luck, the monsters will include arguing over who gets to play with their cousin to the repertoire. Lucky us.

In other news, my Tahoe is in the shop. Again. For the same issue that they supposedly fixed a couple of months ago and, this time; it is out of warranty (by less than 1000 miles. Kill me, kill me now). Hugh is under the impression that, since we reported the problem and it was worked on while the warranty was in place, the dealership should honor an extension for the repair, whatever it ends up being. I’m less convinced of that but, since I am the optimist in our relationship; I’m not going to piss on his parade the one time he looks to the positive.

I’ll need all the piss I can muster to pee on his fiery hot meltdown once my fears are realized which, should be anytime between now and 5:00 this evening, when we get a call from the service guys or the shop closes. Whichever comes first.

I am, as you can tell, giddy with anticipation.