April 29, 2009

Step Right Up, We Gotcher Sexy Melons!


I did another check-in with Google Analytics to see what kind of weird stuff people are looking for when they end up here on my front porch. (For reference, here is a LINK to the last time I did this.)

Last time I did a "Top Ten" but today I think we'll approach this by category:

People Looking for Food
  • crumbs from the corner
  • broccoli coupon
  • fish coupons
  • hard gummy worms
  • moldy avocado
  • why didn't brussel sprouts produce
I'm really concerned about the number of people looking for information about moldy avocados. There was some of that from last month, too. Is it the same people who are still looking or is there just a rampant moldy avocado problem?

Also, for the record, you CAN eat hard gummy worms. I have no idea about the brussel sprouts. The only reason I know about the gummy worms is because I have two little boys.

People Who Need to Get Help
  • mom on dog
  • monkeysexfree
Rule number one: No moms on dogs and no dogs on moms. It's just wrong. Also, I think it's illegal.

Rule number two: This blog is 99% monkey sex free. It's just how we roll.

People I'd Like to Meet
  • blogspot sexy melon
  • if you have enough money
  • im a winner
  • mark your dictionary
I had a tough time deciding on where the sexy melon person should go. Food? People who need help? I decided to put Sexy Melon in people I'd like to meet. Possibly. If it's like a sensual food sexy melon that might be a person who is in touch with the sensory wonders of the world around him or her. Of course, if it's one of those weird guys with a melon fetish and a power drill, then I reserve the right to reclassify him to "people who need to get help".

People who have enough money and people who are winners... call me. We can hook up for dinner. You're buying.

People in Grave Peril
  • thinking about having kids
  • dirty diaper hasmat team
  • vomit on front porch
  • water puddles on front porch
For the people who are thinking about having kids... look at the three things below your search and you'll see just a few of the things that are in your future. A few of the other things will be: fighting siblings, fingers smashed in drawers, bloody lip, getting peed on, waking up every two hours, runny noses, vomit on other places besides the front porch and swastikas and cigarettes.

Fortunately, because the human mind is so adept at protecting itself, you'll find most of these horrors dull down to a tolerable level when they are tempered by baby coos, toddler giggling, hugs and smiles.

Befuddled Parents
  • spanking your child below the waist
  • what are some nicknames for toddlers penis
First of all, get more hugs. That helps. Second, try a time-out first. And spanking below the waist should be restricted to the BACK of the child. Not that I know anything about that.

And wouldn't you know people would start finding me via searches for "nicknames for toddlers penis". I'm thinking of changing this to a gardening blog or a cooking blog. Except I don't garden or cook. Maybe auto mechanics. There's no possible way to work the word "penis" into that topic is there? Or maybe economics? Or how about astrophysics? Or maybe a photo blog about trains or flowers or carousel horses.

Aw, forget it. I'll just stick to what I know.

[photo credit: stefano liboni]

April 28, 2009

A Strange and Uncharacteristic Interlude

I posted today over at my "co-blog" for some reason instead of here. I'm trying to reduce the amount of hypocrisy in my life. Since I nag the other two over there to post, if I never do then they will not take me seriously. (As if they do now.)

So, if you need something to read while you're in the bathroom, you can go over there and read about why the French scare me.

Or if you want to be frightened momentarily, you can see where I was earlier today. It was a place with no cell phone signal, too. I would flatter myself and tell you that I'm fearless and intrepid, but you wouldn't believe me if you went over to read about why the French scare me.

April 27, 2009

Sarcasm is Not Becoming

And now let's pause a brief moment and call it an interlude of full-disclosure. This is me in one of my less-attractive mothering moments:

Tristan: [slams cup down on my laptop] Juice! [While he waits for me to respond he jumps up and down on my laptop bag that has all my stuff in it.]

Me: Say "please". And also, get off my bag. That's really nice, Tristan.

Tristan: [jumps off the bag] Nice! Nice.

Me: [walking to the kitchen] Okay, that wasn't really nice. That was Mommy being sarcastic. Can you say sarcastic?

Tristan: Castic. Mmhmm. Nice! [hop, hop] Nice! [hop, jump] Nice!

April 26, 2009

Small Town Snapshot Sunday #6



It's Small Town Snapshot Sunday! Read the rules and get the banners here. Be sure you include the link to your post at the bottom of this entry and also, tag your post "stss" or "small town snapshot sunday" so people can search for it and find you!

The pictures I wanted to use today for STSS are stuck in my camera because I forgot my cord at work! So, as I was looking through some pictures I'd previously taken, I found some odds and ends in a similar theme of "roads". So, now I present... small town hiways and biways:

One great thing about living in a small town is that you sometimes have the highways all to yourself and you can walk anywhere you want.



There are very few sidewalks in the town where I live. You walk on the side of the road and move over when a car comes by. My neighborhood and downtown is the only place you'll find sidewalks, although we're about to go "uptown" soon and get some sidewalks on our big highway when it's widened. Wow, how fancy is that??



Downtown, after a rain:



I love the way our roads snake and twist through the trees, over the hills, down through the valleys. The sharp twists and turns make you slow down, watch where you're going, pay attention to detail. This is a place where you can enjoy the drive.



And sometimes there's barely a road at all. Sometimes it's just a track of gravel or even dirt.



And sometimes a road doesn't even have that. Sometimes it's just a space between the trees, a gap littered with sticks and leaves, nothing but a memory of a road that used to be there long ago.



Have a happy Sunday in your small town. (And don't forget to add a link to your own STSS post!)

Small Town Snapshot Sunday Participants
1. Small Town Vintage
2. Left to Be
3. Ruth
4. A.
5. mrs. e

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April 25, 2009

Say Goodbye


I don't know if this is an old person thing or a Southern thing or just a bad-mannered thing, but my mom doesn't say goodbye before she hangs up the phone. It drives me crazy.

There's an old guy that I sometimes have to work with (a competitor of mine) who does the same thing. I always feel like I'm in a race to say goodbye and get my end of the phone hung up before he hangs up on me. Because when you don't say goodbye to me before you hang up, that's what I get -- that you're hanging up on me.

For example, here was my conversation with my mom this morning:

Me: Your friend Ramona dropped that book by the office. (blah blah blah, we talk for 15 minutes about the book and other stuff)

Her: Okay, well I'll be by to pick it up this morning.

Me: Okay, sounds good. See you later.

CLICK.

Me: Damn it. She did it again. Why can't she say goodbye before she hangs up the phone???

That's pretty much how every conversation goes, with me saying damn-it-she-did-it-again at the end.

* * *


Apparently, the phenomenon is also contagious. I was sitting at my desk and at the end of a phone conversation Rob had he simply hung up the phone.

Me: What happened?
Him: What do you mean 'what happened'?
Me: Did they hang up on you?
Him: (getting irritated) Nooo. Why are you asking?
Me: You did that thing.
Him: What thing?
Me: The hanging-up-without-saying-goodbye thing.
Him: No I didn't.
Me: Yes you did.
Him: No, I don't do that.
Me: You just did it. I'm telling you.
Him: I did?
Me: Mmhmm.
Him: Oh my God. I did it. I don't want to be one of those people.

* * *


And yet, he has done it on more than one occasion.

We were on the phone and when we finished the conversation he hung up. Damn it.

I called him back.

Me: You hung up on me.
Him: No I didn't.
Me: You're that kind of person now, the kind that doesn't say goodbye.
Him: Damn it.
Me: I know. Tell me goodbye now.
Him: Okay, bye.
CLICK

The phone rings and I answer.

Him: You did it to me.
Me: I know. Cool, huh?
CLICK
Me: Damn it.

I call him back.

Him: Hello?
CLICK
Me: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I got him really good that time.

The phone rings. I answer it.

Him: Are we done having fun?
Me: I think so.
Him: Okay, bye.
Me: Bye.

I think we got it all out of our system that time.

Bye.

[photo credit: splorp]

April 23, 2009

Young Hearts, Young Love


Tonight my son was crying over a baby bird. At baseball practice a boy had found a baby bird that was sick or lost or whatever happens to baby birds who are not with their moms. The boy pitched the bird over the fence to get it off the field.

Apparently, my son came unhinged and started crying right there. (Suddenly, I have this image of Tom Hanks bellowing, "THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!")

And then came bedtime. He was in bed for 15-20 minutes and out he comes crying again. "I can't sleep," he says. "Every time I close my eyes and start to sleep I think about the baby bird and I dream about it. I want to go find it and make sure it's okay." It's cold and pitch black outside. There's no way to find a baby bird no matter what our inclination. He is his mother's child and wants to make things right in the world.

His father sends him to bed and I follow to find him huddled under the covers. He pokes his head out to see who has come to his bedside. "It's me," I say. "I've come to lie down with you for a minute. I know you're having a hard time."

He bursts into tears. "Do you want to know why I'm having a hard time?"

"Yes," I say as I lie down beside him, wrap my arms around him.

He tells me the story about the boy and the bird. He sobs it out in bursts and spasms, weeping deeply for the bird who is gone from his mother. I listen and wonder if his tears come from a deeper place, a small corner hidden away, a past we haven't talked about in depth, the one that holds the tale of a baby taken from one mother and given to another. I try not to let my mind go there, to hold firmly to the image of the baby bird because I want the tale to just be a simple story about a lost bird in a field.

We talk at length about nature and survival of the fittest and how life for animals is not the same as life for humans. It's not making him feel any better. I decide I'm not good at this and take the easy way out. "Think about something else," I offer as my lame solution.

"I can't, I can't stop thinking about it," he wails.

"Think about something really interesting. Like... I don't know, maybe climbing a mountain with your brother. And you're closer to the top than he is and he hangs on for dear life and instead of grabbing the mountain he grabs the back of your pants and your pants nearly come off and we can all see the top of your booty crack and your brother starts yelling, 'BOOTY!'"

This sordid vignette had the desired effect which was to send him from despair to glee. He laughed and laughed and we expounded for a few moments on how horrible and tragic it would be to have to mountain climb with his brother because of various booty crack incidents.

And, of course, booty crack conversations just naturally evolve into conversations about girls. I explained that any girl on this tragic mountain climbing trip would certainly never be allowed to see him again. They would be forbidden by their mothers, instantly.

He said he had to tell me something bad. My heart lurched. "Sure, tell me something bad, I'm ready."

"You know I like Sadie."

"Mmmhmm."

"But she doesn't like me."

I told him how crazy that was because he's the most awesome boy ever, so handsome and with the coolest freckles ever. "Not everyone gets to have freckles you know. They are cool. You know what my mom called freckles when I was a kid?"

"What?"

"Kisses from the sun!"

His eyes got wide and he smiled. "Is that true????"

"Of course it's true. The sun comes down from the sky and goes MWA MWA MWA and everywhere it kisses your face is a little brown spot, a kiss from the sun." (The part I left out was that my mom told me this because kids at school would make fun of me and she was trying to make me feel better.)

"You know what this MEANS???"

"What?"

"This means I'll be TAN!"

I laughed. "Well, I suppose if you get enough freckles and they smoosh together, yeah."

"Okay, you want to hear something else bad?"

"Yes, tell me."

"I really like TWO girls. I like Haven and I like Sadie."

"Hmm. Really? Does Haven like you?"

"I think so. Dad says sometimes when a girl messes with you it means she likes you." (My first thought was oh please don't take relationship advice from your dad.)

"How does she mess with you?"

"I don't know." He seems a little embarrassed suddenly. We lie there for a minute. He smiles. "Well, I tell you who really DOES like me."

"Who?"

"Megan."

"Really? How do you know?" I try not to look too eager because I don't want him to get embarrassed and stop talking.

"Well, the other day I was trying to help her pick up her crayons and she slammed my head into the table. That's how I know she likes me."

As we lay there in the dark for a few more minutes I thought, wow... he is SO like his dad.

[photo credit: amypalko]

April 21, 2009

Familiarity Breeds Contempt


This is the modern version of the parable that illustrates the adage "familiarity breeds contempt."

* * *

A man is hunched over some electronic equipment putting a movie in that he and his wife can watch after the children go to bed. It's a loving moment during which he is getting the movie ready and she relates interesting (to her) events of the day.

"And so, Shannon sent me a reprint of this article about flash fiction. It's so cool... it's fiction that's a thousand words or less. I had never heard of flash fiction."

The husband fiddles with controls on the equipment, sliding the DVD into the slot. "What is this movie about again? Oh, sorry... flash fiction, thousand words or less. Got it."

She sighs. "Okay, well *I* thought it was really cool. I know you don't, but I was just pretending for a second that you might care and thought you might want to play along."

"Um. Well. Do you still love me?" He is certain she's angry, or at least annoyed.

"Of course I love you. However, I'm not sure I like you anymore. In fact, I'm crossing you off my list of casual acquaintances."

"Your what?" He's never heard of this list.

"It's my list of people that I like and to whom I enjoy discussing various light topics of interest."

The man picks up a toy phone that lies among the other toys scattered across the living room floor. He puts the receiver up to his ear and says, "Hello? Hello? Can I please speak to someone who gives a damn?"

* * *

The bad news is familiarity breeds contempt. The good news is the movie wasn't half bad.

April 20, 2009

Challenge is a Matter of Perspective


As I was driving away from the last city council meeting I was thinking about the challenges I face.

Behind me was the challenge of wrangling a budget to come up with $33,000 more dollars to pay for new insurance for city employees. Behind me was a company in bankruptcy that left us with an $8 million bond that we have to pay without them. Behind me were problems of varying shapes and sizes, small, large, unruly, hulking, lumbering, rampant and the ever-lurking potential problem that can jump out at you like a thrill-seeking gremlin with a penchant for surprises.

Ahead of me was a little boy who won't pee in the toilet. No matter how many different ways you try to trick him.

I wanted to drive back to city hall where the problems seem small by comparison.

I dialed Hubby who was at home with the kids.

Me: Hey, uh, my meeting is running long. There's a problem with some stuff in the thing.

Him: The thing? (I could tell he was confused.)

Me: Yeah. I mean, well, the problem over at the east side of the... you-know. (I'm not very good at lying.)

Him: Which side of the "you-know"? (I could sense he was trying to trip me up.)

Me: East. The east side. YOU know.

Him: Um, not really. When are you coming home?

Me: Is Tristan potty trained yet?

Him: We just started yesterday.

Me: Oh yeah, that's right. (Long, awkward pause. After a while I thought the call was dropped.)

Him: So, you're coming home when?

Me: Um, I guess right now.

Him: And that problem with the stuff in the thing at the east side of the you-know?

Me: Oh, I guess that'll fix itself without me.

And then I pressed harder on the gas and turned toward home, driving farther into the night.

[photo credit: the _ml]

April 19, 2009

Small Town Snapshot Sunda #5

It's Small Town Snapshot Sunday! Read the rules and get the banners here. Be sure you include the link to your post at the bottom of this entry and also, tag your post "stss" or "small town snapshot sunday" so people can search for it and find you!

Here is my very long contribution:

Mural of my town, full view:



Mural, in context with the town square:



Detail views:





This mural is a painting of what our town square looked like when the town was very young. The courthouse in the mural is a wooden courthouse that eventually burned down and was replaced with the courthouse you see below. I put some marks in so you'll hopefully understand the context.



And a close-up view of the courthouse and the one little storefront from the mural:



Small Town Snapshot Sunday Participants
1. FL9
2. Easy Street
3. mrs. e
4. A.

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April 17, 2009

English, Southern Style

In a recent post I had made reference to someone using the expression "ought notta." Honeypiehorse asked if people really say that around here and it made me want to go dig up an old post about a few little Southern language quirks. Not a comprehensive list by any means, but some of the more odd ones that you don't see every day.

If you're interested, you can see it over at my old group blog, Three Girls Grown Up. The article is called: English, Southern Style.

April 15, 2009

Overheard from My Desk

My husband and I have a special relationship. I know this because we not only live together, have two children together and we WORK together and have managed to stay married to each other for coming up on nine years.

Not only do we work together in the same office, but we share an actual room in that office. One room, two desks, no divider. As I sit here I can look diagonally to my right and there he is sitting at his computer.

I think it's a great testament that after all this time we've not killed each other. Most couples couldn't help themselves.

While working with my husband I am often privvy to conversations he has because his phone conversations are "in my bubble". I can't help it if I have a big bubble. I think it might be genetic.

On the particular day in question this is the conversation I hear:

"Hi Judy, I need two nipples. [pause, then some chortling] It's for my big gray hose."

I lean over and try to look around his monitor. Even leaning over I still can't see him.

He continues, "I don't care what color they are as long as they're the right size."

Obviously he's an equal-opportunity nipple seeker.

"Okay, I'll be down to see you this afternoon!"

He hangs up the phone and says, "Good news, honey, Judy has the nipples I need. Now we can get the pool running."

Well, thank goodness for Judy.

April 13, 2009

Move Along, Nothing to See Here...

So, if you see me walking down the street
And I start to cry each time we leave
Walk on by, walk on by


My youngest son is maturing. He's much less like a toddler now and more like a little boy. He's starting to make a little conversation, he's responding to reason (sometimes). I feel we've been walking through the very dark Valley of Madness and Irrationality that people refer to as The Terrible Twos and are at the edge of a new land, an unnamed land where boys and their mothers cuddle over casual conversation, where little boys don't hit their moms during blind raging tantrums and where they also serve an occasional latte (not laced with vodka).

That light at the end of the tunnel is looking really nice right about now.

And all this would be the answer to the question my husband asked me on the phone as I was leaving the Wal-Mart parking lot, which was, "Why in God's name would you take him in there WITHOUT A BASKET?!"

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

This was the night my husband had to be at a fire meeting at 5:30. I picked up The Toddler at 4:30 from the daycare and it was necessary for me to stop at the store on the way home to grab a can of spray whipped topping for a dessert Julius had requested that night because of his excellent report card.

The mission was simple: Get in, grab the can of topping, get out. Simple. (In theory.) The two major problems are 1) that the dairy section is at the very back of the large building and 2) my son is a runner.

We left the car and started off pretty well. He kept close in the parking lot and held my hand (which he never, ever likes to do). He stopped to look for cars when I asked. See? Maturing.

The minute we hit the door, this is what happened:

  • He grabbed limes.
  • He grabbed a tomato.
  • He grabbed a plantain.
  • He darted wildly between baskets.
  • He tried to climb into the open freezer bins.
  • He grabbed a carton of eggs.
  • He opened all the doors to the milk coolers.

But at last we were at the dairy section. And still, not too terribly bad.

The bigger problem came when I was faced with a decision between eight different cans of topping. I stopped to read them to figure out which one I wanted. That's when Tristan ran away.

I read the title on two cans (Extra creamy! and Fat Free!) and when I turned to see why Tristan was quiet that's what I realized he was gone. Just completely gone. Every mother's nightmare.

"Tristan? TRIIIISTAAAAN!" No answer.

In the face of a missing child I have no problem whatsoever embarrassing myself so I yelled very loudly, "I'VE LOST MY KID!!" There were three people around me and they all started looking around with me. Finally a man said, "Is it a little boy you're looking for?" He'd found him over in the paper towels.

Tristan, however, didn't realize how panicked and subsequently annoyed I had become and thought, instead, that what I really wanted to do was play a game he and his brother play called, "Ha ha, get me."

The guy said, "He's running down toward the back..."

I said, "No problem. Thanks. I'll cut him off down here." I ran down the dishsoap aisle, turned right at the end where I thought he would be. Nothing. Turns out he had turned sharply left and run up the laundry soap aisle. I got there in time to see him running right toward the pet section. He laughed maniacally.

At the pet section (where I still hadn't caught up to him) he jogged right again, grabbing a container of fish food yelling, "Mommy, fish!" to which I yelled, "Show me, show me!" He spun around and stopped and waited for me to catch up. Hallelujah. I might not be able to catch him but can still outsmart him. (For another week if I'm lucky.)

I grabbed the can of topping we needed (no reading, just grabbed one randomly) and we headed to the checkout. Halfway there he darted sideways and ran into the clothing section. Lost him again. This time I was determined to find him without making a fool of myself. Finally I spotted him looking for me slyly as he was hiding behind a display. I struck like a cobra and grabbed him by the wrist. We shot out into a main aisle right in front of a lady with a grown daughter and a basket. Tristan fell to the ground screaming, "NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOO!"

The lady had an alarmed look on her face. I mumbled an apology and picked Tristan up in a "football carry" and took off toward the front waiting for the inevitable siren's call of a toddler beginning for mercy. "NOOOOOO! DOWN DOWN. NOOOOOOOOOO!"

Part way there I found an unattended basket and wrestled him into it and when I turned to wheel the basket around suddenly that woman appeared again in front of me, partially blocking my way. She had a strange look on her face. I braced myself for unsolicited parental advice. I smiled graciously.

"How old is he," she demanded.

"He's two. You know two year olds." I chuckled, she didn't.

She asked Tristan, "What's your name, honey." He mumbled something unintelligible.

"His name is Tristan." She was starting to give me the willies.

"I have a grandson that's two. His name is Henry and he's from Oregon. This child is the SPITTING IMAGE OF HENRY." She eyeballed me suspiciously.

"Oh," I said. I got the feeling she was about to imply that I had somehow kidnapped Henry from Oregon and that his trantrum was due to him recognizing his long lost grandmother during the unlikely moment that he and his kidnapper happened to run into each other in this small town halfway across the country.

What I wanted to say was, "Lady, do you think if I was going to kidnap a kid, it would be THIS CHILD? No, as lovely and adorable as he is with his winning smile and dark, hypnotic eyes... would I pick a child who feels like he's made of lead and can beat me at arm wrestling? No, crazy lady, I'd choose a malleable, quiet child who could be lured with promises of candy or Barbies or lost puppy dogs or really good tuna salad sandwiches."

Instead I just said, "Well, okay, buh-bye." I waved and turned to go.

She looked at Tristan with mopey eyes and said, "Take care, little boy, I hope it's all okay for you..."

Now in the basket, the world was right and we made it through the checkout with no further incidents. I saw the lady in a checkout nearby, her eyes boring through me. I pushed the basket toward the exit and glanced up at the missing child poster to see if there was anyone up there who might look like Henry from Oregon.

The magic doors slid open for us and we were on our way 45 minutes after we first went in for one little can of spray whipped topping.

April 12, 2009

STSS #4

It's Small Town Snapshot Sunday! Read the rules and get the banners here. Be sure you include the link to your post at the bottom of this entry and also, tag your post "stss" or "small town snapshot sunday" so people can search for it and find you!

Here is my contribution:



Happy Easter! This is what Easter looks like in a small town. (Which might look remarkably like Easter in a big town, but never having experienced Easter in a large town, I wouldn't know. Please advise.)

Small Town Snapshot Sunday Participants
1. Ozark Life
2. Mrs. E
3. A.
4. Aventuras de Lalita
5. Smalltown Girl
6. gpartha

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April 11, 2009

Zombie Chickens Here and There


Normally I don't really like these award things that you have to pass on, but the Zombie Chicken Award was hard to resist for two reasons. One was that how can you not be fascinated by zombie chickens? The second is that I got it from two people in the span of about a week.

Thanks, Staci @ Just Bloggled and Margo @ Life in the Short Lane for thinking I'm worthy of this:

The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all…


This is the part that's difficult... passing it on the five others. But here we go anyway!

  1. Midlife Jobhunter
  2. Literally Laughing Out Loud
  3. A Lawyer Mom's Musings
  4. The Shark Tank
  5. Life Just Keeps Getting Weirder


There's a whole bunch of folks who are worthy. If you like to see more that I'd love to give zombie chicken awards to you can always check my blog roll.

Thanks, Margo and Staci!

April 10, 2009

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow


I had a dream that I was cutting my own hair. (This picture is not me, by the way.) The dream was so vivid, when I woke I went in to check to make sure I hadn't done it in my sleep or the kids hadn't hijacked me in the night. Nope, it's all still there. Long, ratty, annoying.

I went to see the hair lady. She chopped it all off. More accurately, most of it. I said, "Take everything except the part that hides my fat neck." And she did. Red hair surrounded my chair like debris from a bomb blast. I feel liberated.

Then, strangely, I happened across an old post from three years ago about coloring my hair (which I don't do anymore).

Is there some cosmic force at work? What's with all the hair suddenly? Maybe I should start reading my horoscope every day.

[photo credit: margolove]

April 9, 2009

Save the Words

I was cruising around at MommyKnows and ran across her Save the Words meme. I'm not playing because I don't really like to do the tag memes because I hate to inflict myself on people. (Well, mostly.)

However, I couldn't resist adopting a word myself:



blateration = blabber; chatter

I was very torn between two words: blateration and pregnatress

Blateration was an obvious choice since blateration is pretty much all I do around here. My life is filled with it. Blateration, I mean. Because that's what we're talking about. Blateration.

However, pregnatress was definitely a big temptation. It means "female power that generates or gives birth to something". For example, "I am the pregnatress of this blog." However, the word kind of gave me a heavy, bloated feeling. I was worried it might slow me down a little. So, I will leave that one for someone else, but do hurry over and visit pregnatress at least. It's a big and powerful word, stoic and solid. It's trained not to jump on you and is fairly well-behaved. Its nose is cold and wet and it never whines when you have to leave it to go to work. It's a great word.

Blateration, on the other hand, is proving to be a little bit unruly. Fun, but definitely rambunctious. Wish me luck. Now, go adopt a word!

April 8, 2009

Mom vs. Dog

It's spring and the grass is growing fast in the yard at the back of my office. In quiet moments of the morning I sit and have a cup of tea before I get started for the day and gaze out the window at nothing in particular.

In the distance I see something moving through the grass, something low and black, an animal. As it gets closer I see it's a small dachsund bobbing up and down through the greenery. In some spots all I can see is his head. It's really time to mow, I realize.

My mom comes into the room, stops and looks at me for a moment. As a self-proclaimed "woman of action" she finds it nearly unbearable that I'm sitting there holding a cup of tea and staring out the window. In fact, most everyone in my family cannot understand at all why I look out the window and invariably assume I'm having either a petit mal seizure or some kind of depressive incident. They give me way too much credit since mostly what's going on in my mind is something like, "Grass... green... pretty. Tea... good."

But back to Mom who fills the room with her silence. She follows the line of my gaze out the window where she spies the little dog plowing happily through the grass. My reverie is interrupted when she exclaims, "THAT'S THAT DOG! THE DOG! THE BLACK ONE THAT ALWAYS POOPS ALL OVER THE PARKING LOT!"

I glance over and say, "Huh." I'm passive-aggressively non-committal.

Suddenly she races across my office and out the other door, through the conference room, through the kitchen. The side door flies open and I hear her screaming at the dog to get out of the yard and stop pooping around here.

Simultaneously I'm still watching through the window. The dog's ears go up and he looks alarmed. He turns and races as fast as his 2-inch legs will carry him back through the tall grass toward his house. Halfway across the yard he turns around and puffs his chest out and barks at her several times as if to say, "Oh yeah? Look at me standing in your yard, barking at you."

He then senses what we all sense about her -- that she is dangerous and it's best to not push our luck. Before she can respond he turns and runs again to the fence, the boundary of our property. He turns again and barks, half-heartedly but determined to keep some dignity. "Here I am again, barking at you!"

The side door slams and Mom comes back in and looks out the window to be certain he's gone. She seems satisfied.

"You sure showed him," I said.

"Well, he ought notta be pooping in this yard."

"He told you a thing or two before he left. Did you see?"

"Yeah, whenever I go by his house he barks at me like he's gonna come and tear my face off."

I smiled and sipped some more tea. I'm not sure which of them won. I think I'm actually the winner watching that amusing showdown.

I set down my tea and get to work.

[photo credit: valerie miller]

April 6, 2009

Blast from the Past

I ran across these when I was looking for something else. These are pictures of The Toddler as a newborn after his very first bath. He was completely traumatized. I still can't get over those eyes!

   

April 5, 2009

STSS #3

It's Small Town Snapshot Sunday! Read the rules and get the banners here. Be sure you include the link to your post at the bottom of this entry and also, tag your post "stss" or "small town snapshot sunday" so people can search for it and find you!

Here is my contribution:



This is what we do in our small town on a Saturday or Sunday. We explore nature, spend time with family, etc. I know it's not a picture of the "town" I live in, but I hope it captures the feeling of the small town I live in. Plus, the picture cracks me up and I just HAD TO post it.

Small Town Snapshot Sunday Participants
1. A.
2. Easy Street
3. Laundromat
4. Scrap to My Lu
5. Rural Ukraine
6. Thorpeland
7. Uninhabited Images
8. Kathy
9. Smalltown Girl

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

April 3, 2009

Pay No Attention, Please


And now it's time for me to relate the most embarrassing moment in baseball history. My baseball history, at least.

Tonight was the first game of my son's baseball season. His first "real" game.

I came armed with my good camera and the BIG lens, because I was certain that I'd be chasing Tristan all over creation. It would be okay because I have a 300mm lens that will get shots all the way across the field if necessary. (It turned out to be necessary several times.)

Things were going really well in the beginning. He talked to his brother. He picked up a cute chick. He looked at the moon. He laid down on the steps and tried to kill some old people. He balanced on some landscape timbers.

Really the only significant problem came when we ran into The Puddle.

The Puddle stretched across the entire sidewalk. There was no getting around it. Anyone who has experience knows that little boys cannot resist a puddle. No matter how well-behaved, no matter how stern and fearsome his mother is, no matter what you threaten him with... a little boy cannot leave a puddle alone.

I was pleased to note that he actually listened and obeyed the first time he saw the puddle and I said, "No puddles, no puddle, please!"

The second time he veered toward the puddle he also listened. And the third time.

The fourth time I think I actually saw the "aw screw it" switch flip like an inadequate breaker that can't handle the final demand of that last toaster you plugged in. And I watched as he ran in slow motion through the puddle and stopped in the middle, then looked back to smile at me.

He has a charming smile. However, at that moment that was really about the only thing he had going for him.

It's not that I'm such an uptight mom. (Okay, those who know me would say I'm a really uptight mom.) I'm an uptight mom who is learning to not get so excited about certain things like my kid being up to his knees in dirty water that might actually have flesh-eating bacteria in it. And did I mention his shoes are brand new? I simply say to myself, "No biggie, it'll wash." And then I also breathe into a little brown lunch sack that I carry with me. Sometimes I bend down and put my head between my knees. Pretty good, right?

On my left was a couple in lawn chairs. They were snickering. On my right was an old lady in a lawn chair who looked up at me wondering what I was going to do. I looked at her and shrugged. I could tell she did not approve.

Tristan ran the length of the puddle several times. A hum began to form in the stadium crowds. Everyone stared at my child who was wet nearly to his thighs at this point. I pretended I didn't know him. People were looking around trying to figure out where this child's parent was. The whispering increased. The hum grew louder.

A woman walked up next to the old lady next to me and said, "Oh my... I wonder whose child THAT is." The old lady's head snapped around to look at me to see what I would do.

I glanced over and said, "That would be me. That's my child right there." She stared at me like I'd gone mad.

You know, to me it genuinely didn't seem like a big deal. This is why I think I've gone a little haywire because it probably SHOULD have bothered me. What bothered me most was the rain of disapproval I was getting. That was when I snapped. Just a little.

At the top of my voice I said, "Yessirreeee... that puddle stomper is my son. But YOU KNOW... once a kid is in the puddle he's full committed and you sure can't unring the bell can you? Wet is wet."

Then I might have actually cackled. I'm not sure about the last part, but I think I might have.

Here's a view from the sidelines:



April 1, 2009

More of the P-Word


I don't think I did this. I really, really, really don't think it's my fault that my kids want to say "penis" all the time. I think it's just because they have them -- that's what makes them do it. You don't see women running around saying the V-word all the time. What is with the P-word?

I am the mother of Beavis and Butthead. And they're not even teenagers yet.

Julius in particular delights in trying to get The Toddler to say inappropriate things. I hear Julius laughing hysterically in the back seat. "Mom, Tristan said penis!"

"Okay, let's not talk about that. Stop getting him to say stuff like that. I don't want to be out somewhere in a restaurant and Tristan starts saying 'penis'."

And it turns out THAT was totally the wrong thing to say because Julius thought that was awesome.

After he got done laughing his head off he said, "Oh Mom, that would be so FUNNY if he just yelled right out loud, 'Big giant penis!' right there in the restaurant."

"Yeah, funny if it wasn't OUR family."

"No, it would be funny even if it was our family."

"Okay, we're done talking about it now. Thank you."

We drive in silence for a few moments which began to lull me into a false sense of security. And then Julius says, "Mom, wouldn't it be cool if they had a Penis Day Parade? With big giant 60-foot penis floats that drove down the street?"

Would that be cool? No, my son, that would NOT be cool because we live in the bible belt with 2,499 other people and what that would mean is that the pagans have overrun the city and fire would rain from the sky and old ladies would be turning into pillars of salt. Peasants with torches and pitchforks would storm down our driveway and demand that I deliver you up, because, after all... it was YOUR idea, this grand Penis Day Parade. And I would have to throw my arms out to the side and block the door and bellow to the angry mob before me, "NO! YOU SHALL NOT TAKE MY SON!" And I'd be there by myself because your dad might be down at the Penis Day Parade because I forgot to remind him about the angry mob that would eventually be coming to our house and because I didn't remind him he'd be downtown watching the women in the nude-colored leotards and the roller skates who have ribbons that they wave around as they skate between the giant penis floats.

That's what I thought in the split second before I started yelling, "STOP TALKING ABOUT PENISES NOW, OKAY?"

A guy driving past looked at me and waved, smiling. I'm sure he could read my lips and see that I was talking about penises and now in about five minutes my cell phone would ring and my mom would be on the line saying, "There's talk in the town that you're driving around with the boys talking about penises. What will people think?"

Well, Mom, people will think that I have Beavis and Butthead for kids WHICH IS TRUE.

[photo credit: prosto photo]