Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Something Vexes Thee?

When Queen B got cut from the volleyball team her Senior year, I thought I would never get over the disgust that I felt for the coach who cut her. I was right about that. I also thought that I would never feel that level of disappointment in a coach again, but, unfortunately, it appears that I was wrong about that.

A little back story: Last year, the Booster Club President Extraordinaire and I approached the football coach about the possibility of hanging senior banners at the football field this year. The coach explained to us that he was not in favor of singling out the seniors for recognition because he coached a team, not individuals, so, he would not allow banners on "his" field. We accepted that and asked if he would have an issue with us hanging them elsewhere, to which he replied that he would have no control over that.


Flash forward to earlier this summer, when the coach expressed to us his desire to have the community get more involved in supporting the football team; would there be anything that the Boosters could do to encourage that?


So, as I mentioned here in a recent post, we brainstormed a "marketing plan", if you will, to provide ways for the downtown businesses to advertise and promote home games. In addition to the posters that we were to have made, we would also do the senior banners and hang them in the front window of the hardware store on game days, creating awareness and pride. It was a win-win, the coach got his community exposure, the parents of the seniors got their banners, and, the Boosters got the use of the banners at the Senior Sports Banquet in the spring.

Not so fast.

This evening, after the boys finished with practice, we had scheduled a local photographer to take the pictures for the banners. We had confirmation from the senior parents that they were willing to pay for the banners, and we had ordered the spirit posters that would be distributed to the downtown merchants, along with a schedule of the games. The campaign was set to kick off next Friday, the day of our first home game.

Again, not so fast.

Instead of pictures, we got calls from our sons, telling us that the coach had forbidden them to have banners.

Que the calls between furious football moms.

When the dust settled, we agreed that it would serve no purpose to defy the coach; he would just take it out on the boys. We also agreed that it was no longer in our best interest to waste time on encouraging community support on his behalf. So, the Hoist the Colors Campaign will be set on the back burner...until basketball season.

We are disappointed, but we are not defeated.

We will support our boys from the bleachers, just like we always have. We will host team dinners and decorate lockers and glue glitter onto posteboard footballs, just like we always have. And, life will go on.

Then, next year, when there are no Senior moms to take our place (there are only two Juniors on the team this year; one of them isn't sure he wants to play again next year and one of them has a mom who refuses to get involved), the coach can figure out his own team dinners, fundraising, and volunteer workforce.

Are we being petty and pouty? Perhaps.

Do we feel bad about it? We do not.

Will this possibly poison our Karma? Time will tell.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Ode to the Hazzards of the A.M.

Yesterday, as I made my way down the stairs to start my day, I misjudged the last step and took a minor tumble. I wasn't hurt, unless you count my pride, but, this morning, you can be damn sure I was as careful as I could be on those stairs.

I wish I had been as careful in the kitchen, where I opened the cupboard to grab a coffee cup, just to have the heaviest one I own launch itself off the shelf and into my face.

Some days, it just doesn't pay to get out of bed.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

How I've Spent My Weekend Thus Far...

Friday morning, following several hours of work at the hardware store, and four trips back and forth from the tire store in town (new tires for both my vehicle and the Man-Cub's), I met Queen B in Hooterville for iced coffees at Starbucks. She was in town for a hair appointment and in need of some help with an assignment, so I suggested that we take advantage of the WiFi, the caffeine, and the opportunity to see each other. It was a win-win for us both.

While we were working on her assignment, her hair stylist texted to ask if Queen B could push her appointment back a bit, as she was running late. So, we took advantage of the extra time by running by Oscar and Emily's to visit for a bit. Then, we parted ways so that I could get home to start on the first of three processes involved in a craft that I was starting.

The craft consists of large wooden letters, paint, glitter, glue, a clear sealant spray, and magnets, and, will eventually grace the Man-Cub's locker at Homecoming. The first step was painting the letters with gold and blue paint, to honor the school colors.

I finished off the evening by grabbing a quick dinner at the Chinese buffet with Hugh (the Man-Cub was at the football coach's cabin, along with the rest of the team; shaking chicken bones and chanting around a fire in supplication of the Football Gods, from whom they wish the blessing of a winning season. Or, you know, doing team building exercises, whichever) and then crashing on the couch.

Saturday morning, I got up early (thanks the new neighbor's puppy, who started whining at 5:30) and took my Kindle and a cup of coffee onto the porch. While I wasn't thrilled with the early wake-up call, I couldn't complain about the view.

I spent the remainder of the morning in the garden, where I harvested yet more tomatoes and cucumbers. Then, I worked on last week's thyme harvest, stripping the dried leaves from the stems and storing them for future use.

After which I worked on glittering the Cub's letters, so they would be dry enough to seal by the evening. Then, Hugh and I ran into town to do errands, including a stop at the printers, where I approved the proof of the sports punch card that the Boosters have ordered for the upcoming season. By the time we got home, the glitter on the letters was set and I was able to spray them with sealant, which I left to dry overnight.

This morning, I managed to sleep in past 5:00, which was nice. Then, I started laundry, spent three hours at the hardware store, glued the magnets to the backs of the Cub's letters, and called that project good.

Right now, I am debating the merits of getting up to make dinner vs. encouraging self-sufficiency in my family members by requiring them to fend for themselves. Care to make a wager on which way that will go?

Friday, August 26, 2016

This Could Only Happen to Me

It's been a long week. I recently started working with two new families, families who can only meet in the evenings once they have finished with work. This means that I now work until 7:30 three days a week. While this also means that I can continue to take Fridays off-without using my comp time-it does make for a really long day, three days out of the week.

I tell you this so that you have some sympathy for what I am about to tell you next.

Or, so that you will at least feel somewhat bad about laughing at me for what I am about to tell you. Because you're going to laugh. It's ok, I forgive you.

Anyhoodle, yesterday afternoon, I hit a wall of exhaustion. I was so sleepy, I actually nodded off at my desk.

You know that thing we all do when we nod off unexpectedly? The thing where we inadvertently jerk our heads back up because our chins have bobbed onto our chests, startling us awake? Yeah, that thing. Well, I jerked awake with such intensity, I wrenched my neck.

Now, I can't turn my head to the right without experiencing a shooting pain down my shoulder blade, and, I want to cry when it happens.

Do you know how often I am required to turn my head to the right? A lot, apparently. More than I realized prior to injuring myself while taking a nap.

Jeebus H. Cripes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hoist the Colors!

I just finished hosting this year's first meeting of the Booster Club. Our first order of business was to come up with a slogan that we can use on all of our advertising for the year, specifically with the intent of driving more participation and enthusiasm from the community in general, which, was a request specifically made by the football coach.

I suggested banners with the slogan Hoist the Colors! Pirates Sail Tonight, to be displayed on game days both at the school and in the businesses downtown. We've never tried to involve the businesses and I don't know why; I think the business owners will be both cooperative and enthusiastic.

I was a little nervous to suggest the slogan, afraid it might be too "out there" or that they wouldn't "get" it, but, to my relief, it went over really well. We also decided to order small rally towels, to sell at home games, so, when the cheerleaders give the rally cry "Hoist the colors!", people can wave them in response.

Once that was decided, the ball really got rolling, thanks in part to the cheerleading sponsor, who really likes the concept; she suggested that we also purchase a pirate flag to run up the flagpole prior to the raising of the American flag and the playing of the national anthem. Once that suggestion was made, it evolved in to flying the flag on a secondary flagpole at the school all day on every home game day.

In short, there is a lot that we can do with the Hoist the Colors theme. I'm so glad I sucked it up and suggested it.

I'm also glad that we had such a good turnout for the meeting, we really accomplished a lot and I got to spend time with a group of Senior moms who are just as excited about making memories with their sons as I am about making them with the Cub.

These are my People and we are in this fight, together. Hoist the Colors, indeed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

You Know You Raised Them Right When They Humor You

Yesterday, Queen B started her third year in college. It hardly seems possible since we just dropped her off for her first year, like, the day before yesterday, but, here we are.

As further proof of the fact that she is, indeed, my daughter, she sent me a couple of pictures...

I'm so proud of how well I managed to warp her in the short 18 years that she spent at home.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Thyme Began in a Garden

And it definitely did well in mine this year.

I'm not complaining; I love thyme. In fact, next to basil (which, also did well in my garden this year), thyme is my favorite herb. I use it in several chicken dishes as well as in my homemade chicken noodle soup. Actually, the last time I made the soup, I noted that I was running low on thyme, so, having this harvest to dry and store will come in handy. Plus, this cutting was only the first; there is still a large, healthy bush in the garden that will require several additional cuttings before the end of gardening season.

In addition to the thyme and basil, the garden has produced a shit-ton of cucumbers again this year (why is it always something I don't like, Garden Gods, why?), as well as a plethora of tomatoes, both the larger Roma and San Marzano variety, and the smaller yellow pear type.

I also harvested one head of cabbage so far, with six or more still to go, and I am anxiously awaiting the full growth of several eggplants (that's a total lie, Hugh is awaiting the eggplant, I could take it or leave it. Probably leave it, actually).

But, the best news of all is that I counted five baby butternuts on my squash plant this morning. They are in varying stages of development, but, should all mature right on time to make a large vat of butternut squash soup with plenty left over for butternut risotto and, for me to experiment with butternut ravioli (Fall Bucket List!). This makes me happier than is probably warranted, but, I take my victories where I can get them (see above: Cucumbers and Eggplant).

Not terribly pleased with the direction that the garden is taking would be the Man-Cub, who has been warily eyeing the large Brussels sprouts plants. I'm 99% certain that the sight of the plants triggers a PTSDesq reaction from him, stemming from that one time when we forced him to at least taste a Brussels sprout and he gagged and almost barfed in his dinner plate.

I actually still get a chuckle out of that stellar parenting moment.

And, I digress.

All in all, it's been a pretty good gardening year, which, makes up for that nightmare that I went through last year. Thank GOD.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Workin' at the Car Wash

Earlier this morning, I took my car to the high school to be lovingly and carefully cleansed by the football and volleyball teams. And, by lovingly and carefully, I mean, rapidly and in a manner that took more consideration of speed than of delicacy.

Either way, I ended up with a clean car and a lot of great pictures; just like last year.

Despite the number of photos in which my offspring is actually flipping me the bird, I'm pretty sure that he was happy that I was there. At least, that's what I'm telling myself.

If he wasn't happy about it, at least the Booster Club President was; I aided her in handing out sports schedules to each car that pulled through the gate, as well as helping to sell bumper stickers and magnets. We managed to unload quite a bit of our inventory, which we will discuss replacing at next week's club meeting.

School is definitely in session; we have entered the whirlwind and it's going to be nonstop from here on out.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Off and Running

The Man-Cub's Senior year is off to a busy start. The class has already met to start planning the events that will mark this, their final year, in high school; they've designed and printed the official Senior class t-shirt, they've planned tonight's back-to-school movie on the quad (Goonies, I'm actually jealous), and they joined together to paint the number 17 on the small hill abutting the football field (this is a long-standing tradition).

They are a fun group and I have no doubt that they are going to make this year quite memorable. I'm really looking forward to going along for the ride.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Here We Go

Today is the first day of the last year of this kid's free public education. It's been a pleasure and a privilege getting him this far and I know that he is going to do BIG things.

I could not be more proud (and, sad, and happy, and heartbroken, you know, the normal array of mommy emotions).

Take the world by storm, Man-Cub! You've got this.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Happy Hump Day...Oh, Wait

I have been laboring under the false impression that today was Wednesday, when, in fact, it is Tuesday. This mistake led me to freak out over having missed my weekly supervision meeting with my staff, to prematurely celebrate the coming weekend, and to attempt to make it to a hair appointment that isn't actually scheduled until next Wednesday, which means that I even had my wrong Wednesday wrong.

It was just that kind of day, is what I'm saying.

And, tomorrow, I get to do it all over again, apparently.

Let's hope I get it right this time.

Monday, August 15, 2016

School Starts on Wednesday...

...Back to School Night happened tonight. Hmmm, am I alone in thinking that odd; to have Back to School Night before school starts? Is that a thing in other communities? Maybe it give parents a better chance to prepare their preshus babes for the first day of school? I don't know, I just know that, in all the years that our kids have attended this school district, Back to School Night was held during the first week of classes, so, this new way threw me off a bit.

Apparently, I am not alone in that, either; the fall sports meeting was held this evening as well, and, with the short notice (found out about it at 4:30 this afternoon), we were not able to alert the other parents or the majority of the Boosters, which resulted in a very poor turnout; we're talking three- parents-at-the-football-meeting, poor.

This makes it rather difficult for the coaches to get the information that they need to share with the parents out, as well as royally screwing with our ability to recruit new underclassmen parents, which, sucks all the way around.

I'm not exactly sorry that this is the last Back to School Night that I will ever attend, considering the circumstances. On the other hand, I hope it isn't a harbinger of other fuckery to come this school year.

Time will tell, I suppose.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

I Am the Bird Whisperer

So, after spending the past couple of months stressing over the never-ending process of keeping the hummingbird feeders full, I was finally rewarded; I earned their trust enough to get close to them.

At one point, I had four of them on the feeder and another few whizzing around my head and squeaking in my ear. It was a surreal experience.

Now, when I go outside to refill or clean the feeders, the birds hover around me until I am finished rather than zipping off to the trees to wait for the feeders to be returned.

It's pretty cool. I am One with Nature.

Hear me roar.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Well, That was a Night of Our Lives That We'll Never Get Back

Last night, Hugh, Chris, and Jana and I went out for dinner and a movie. he plan had been to see the new Jason Bourne flick, but, while waiting in line to buy tickets, we saw the poster for Sausage Party and I mentioned that the trailer for it-which I had seen while waiting to watch Bad Moms a couple of nights before-looked hilarious (and, in my defense, it really did, those people making those trailers know how to polish a turd, I assure you), so, Hugh and Chris decided to flip a coin, heads, Sausage Party, and, tails, Jason Bourne.

Heads won, which meant we all lost because we found ourselves in the theater, surrounded by kids we all agreed were in no way, shape, or form, 17 or older (way to go with the monitoring of the R rating, theater personnel!), watching what amounted to animated porn. Really, really bad animated porn featuring common grocery items.

Why we didn't just get up and leave, I will never know (we probably didn't want to seem like giant squares to the toddlers crammed into the room). It was truly awful. That didn't keep Jana and I from laughing hysterically at just how bad it was, or, at the situation in general, because of course we did; you've met us, right?

Anyway, after the movie, Hugh decided that we needed to rejoin the original plan, if only to purge the image of the food orgy from our mind's eyes, which, was how we found ourselves back in the theater, watching Jason Bourne.

It was a long night for us old folk, but, despite the ninety minutes of horror, it turned out pretty darn well. We got to see Chris and Jana, after all, and, the dinner at Applebees was fairly delicious, so, all things considered, not a total waste, despite the title of this post.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Bad Moms: A Review

Just kidding, I don't do movie reviews, but, if I did; I would have to give the film two solid thumbs up. I went to see it this evening with four of my favorite Booster Club moms, following a dinner meeting that consisted of a little bit of club business and a lot of catching up.

The movie won't win any awards, but, it won the hearts of the women in the packed theater, if the applause following the end credits was any indication. And, I say "women" because, while the theater was packed, we counted only six men among the audience. I hope they enjoyed it.

Anyway, it was a really pleasant way to spend one of the last nights of the summer,and, it was a movie that was on my Summer Bucket List, so, I really feel like I was a winner all the way around.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

It Won't Be the Last Time Someone Tells Him to Turn His Head and Cough

Yesterday, I took the Man-Cub to the doctor's office for his last sports physical. I could have let him go on his own, he's almost eighteen after all (Throw up, in my mouth, you know the drill), but, I started this with him and I wanted to finish it.

You'll be happy to know that I refrained from accompanying him into the actual exam room. As he followed the nurse back, I cheerfully made my annual joke about his hernia check to which he made his annual eye roll, and, that was that.

Why is there no place in the baby book for Baby's Last Sports Physical?

Monday, August 08, 2016

I Am Not An Animal

The wasp sting to my left cheek resulted in quite a bit of swelling, but, it's only noticeable when you look at my face. I mean, when you look directly at my face and are able to then compare and contrast the left to the right; if you look at my side profile, it's not quite as noticeable, which is why I intend to walk into rooms sideways today.

I'm sure I will be back to normal by tomorrow.

Well, normal for me, anyway.

In the meantime, I feel like I need to confess to tracking down and annihilating the wasps that I felt responsible for the attack on my face. I searched the garden and the fence line surrounding it for quite a while before I discovered several active nests tucked into an old birdhouse that was sitting atop the locker that holds my gardening tools, and, once discovered, I shot a stream of wasp spray into the birdhouse, effectively killing every wasp inside. A couple of the wee bastards attempted escape but I showed no mercy, drowning them each with a tidal wave of poison.

I have no regrets.

On a happier note, the garden, while having it's dangers, is also providing a bounty of fresh vegetables with which to torment the Man-Cub.

I had just cut the cabbage from it's nest of leaves and was leaving the garden when the wasp dive-bombed my face; the coleslaw I make with it better be worth the pain I endured for it's sake.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

What Do You Suppose the Facial Equivelent of Muppet Hand Looks Like?

I'll let you know; I just took a wasp sting to the left cheek.

Now, hopefully, my face won't swell up quite as dramatically as my hand did. I did do a few things differently this time; I immediately applied a vinegar compress, popped a Benadryl, iced the area, and, I'm 99.999% certain that I got the stinger out. With any luck, these things will prevent me from sporting the equivalent of Muppet hand.

On the off-chance that it doesn't, my money is on my sporting a close resemblance to the Elephant Man.

I'll let you know.

I was totally going to throw up a picture of the actual Elephant Man, but, that only succeeded in making me seriously sad for the guy as well as striking terror in my heart that I will, indeed, end up looking that malformed sometime within the next twenty-four hours, so, I refrained.


Don't worry; if my face does end up that malformed, you're totally getting that picture.

Friday, August 05, 2016

All That Glitters

Last night, I hosted a jewelry party on the porch. Actually, I was not the hostess of the party per se, but, of the location. See, my office mate and friend, Kortni (you may remember her from such thrifting adventures as Pickin' at the Pea and Cowhand Sally's Barn Sale), was recently separated from her fiancée due to some nasty behaviors on his part. Dumping him, according to Kortni, was no big deal; losing the house they shared, and that Kortni had worked her tail off to decorate and make homey, however, was a blow.

Long story short (too late!), Kortni had scheduled the jewelry party several months ago and she did not want to reschedule. Because she is currently bunking on the couch at her dad's house (her new townhouse won't be move-in ready until this weekend), her options were limited, and, since she didn't really want to hold the party in a conference room at Day Job, I offered the porch.

I'm glad I did; we all had a ball. The party was really well attended, and, despite a steady drizzle throughout the evening, the porch kept us dry and comfy, and, with the temperatures in the high 70's, it was perfect conditions for a large gathering.

Of course, it wouldn't be a porch party without some liquid refreshment, so I offered to provide the drinks; in this case, a white sangria that may just become my new favorite drink. I used a combination of wines as well as peach brandy and a simple syrup, which I poured over a mixture of white nectarines, strawberries, and lemons, then finished off with a splash of club soda. It was refreshing, not too sweet, and carried a ninja kick that didn't hit you until you had sipped the last drop through your straw.

So, friends, new acquaintances, sparkly baubles, tasty snacks, and a cocktail; sounds like Porch Night to me.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

The First of the Lasts, Part Deux

Are you all ready to hear me whine about the Man-Cub's last year in school? No? Too damn bad, because here we go.

Yesterday, I made my last trip to the High School to register a child of mine for classes. Now, technically, we had registered him way back in the Spring, when he chose the classes for his schedule, but, in addition to that exercise in frustration (it really was), we also have to complete registration on-line every June and then follow up with an in-person visit to the school to sign one last document and to pay fees.

Overkill much?


Anyway, as of yesterday, the Cub is officially a Senior, with a schedule and a locker and a parking permit and a ridiculously overdeveloped Senior Attitude.

And, as of yesterday, I am officially $160 more poor than I was the day before. On the bright side, won't have to write that check ever again. all know that I don't really see that as the bright side.

Beginning of the end, my people, beginning. Of. The. End.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

It's Hard To Type With a Muppet Hand

The wasp sting that I mentioned a couple of days ago has morphed from "slightly annoying" to "REACTION OF EPIC PROPORTIONS".

Ok, maybe not epic proportion, but, my hand is really swollen and red; I am not kidding when I say that I woke up this morning with a hand that would be better suited to a Muppet. Or, to Minnie Mouse, except for the fact that I have the correct number of fingers for a human.

Anyway, I am popping Benadryl like it's a career goal and, hopefully, I will be much improved by tomorrow.

On the off-chance that I am not, however, I am not opposed to a temp job at Disney World.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Summer is Almost Over, Ask Me How I Know

A.  Stampede weekend has come and gone, always a sure harbinger of shorter, colder days to come.

B.  The tomatoes are finally staring to ripen in my garden. Today, I picked several handfuls of Yellow Pear tomatoes and a couple of decent sized Romas. I also picked a small handful of Brussels sprouts, although, it will still be a bit before the majority of them have developed enough to harvest.

C.  My compost bin is almost ready to be turned out into the garden, to fertilize the longer growing vegetables, like those Brussels sprouts. When I gave the bin a turn today, I discovered a live wasp's nest tucked into one of the grooves in the bin; my discovery occurred when one of the little assholes stung me, unfortunately. Now, for the most part I have adopted a live and let live mentality in regard to the majority of critters in the garden, including the wasps, today; not so much. I nuked that nest with spray and cheered while the assholes died. I hope it didn't screw up my karma too much.

D.  Registration for the Man-Cub's Senior year takes place this week. While he has already been registered online, we still have to go to the school to confirm his schedule, get his locker assignment, and to pay our fees. School starts for the Cub on the 16th, when he reports for duty as a LinkCrew member, to help with orienting the incoming Freshmen. Classes then start on the 17th, with the annual Football/Volleyball car wash fundraiser on the 20th.

E.  Pumpkins, fall leaf garlands, and other Autumn themed decorations already line the store shelves and bikinis, beach towels, and sunscreen are marked down 70% in the clearance section of the Hellmouth.

F.  I already purchased my first Halloween items to add to my décor. I might have a problem.