Monday, December 3, 2012

Stuff a Stocking....for real

I admit it: I am a Christmas stocking snob.

I expect (not a good word for Christmas, let's face it) the same well thought out stocking, akin to those I give. Each one, carefully stuffed with age appropriate, personality inspired goodies; funny, smart, quirky, adorable.....yes, sure. They also contain your usual array of staples: toothbrushes, floss, lip balm, bandaids.


And this is big.

My bandaids? Specific for each person. Last year, for example, Hubs, a huge bacon fan received, that's right, bacon bandaids. Shocked they make them? I kinda was. Thrilled? Absolutely.

So this year, having a little trouble (already, right out of the gate) finding things that either a, my X won't get my son, b, I won't hate having in the house, and c, something totally thoughtless and boring, I hit the blogs, websites, Pintrest, googled, yahoo' it, I scoured it.

And............found all the same things.


I will not, under any circumstances, put ammo in stockings. Okay. Fine. I don't need to. J doesn't hunt, the world is not going to end soon enough for him to have purchased a weapon; in fact, the only weapon to which we lay claim? So antique the only thing it might do is blow up in our hands. Plus, I think that's stupid.

Hey, just my opinion.

Also not including? Batteries, socks, oranges, iTune cards, gift cards of any kind, pencils (since I've penciled us to hell and back - need one? drop by), perfume, underwear - seriously, who truly wants to open undies at the table, or an entire stocking of candy. Our dentist bill is outstanding with four kids anyway, no need to encourage higher ones.

My top:

Zombie beef jerky *Hubs, a HUGE Zombie guy, could have an array of Zombie inspired gum, mints, candy, bandaids*

Moose iPhone stand

Magnets that look like knives thrown into the fridge (or other cool magnets, conversational pieces, if you will)

Nail polish (obviously, not for the boys)

Giant candy lollipop, old school style

Blow up, wearable unicorn horn (for my child with a hysterical unicorn thing going)

Tidly winks - hey, it's the closest our ten year old will come to beer pong for a long time

Cool leg warmers (for the baby)

Red Wing Boot Oil (for hubs, who's bottle is apparently older than I am)

Shoe polish

Shoe polish brush

Mini Lego kits (yes, everyone save for Screech gets one)

Corn on the cob holders, in some weird funky design - daschunds, pigs, cows....

An item with a fave character on it - ex: my guy's getting the Animal from the  muppets cereal bowl

Something to do with an inside joke - not a dirty one (necessarily...:)

Car wash coupons

Wind up toys that walk

Sling shot fuzzy chickens - granted, they're dog toys, but the three older kids will love love love aiming them at each other, playing with the dog...they were a dollar!

Lilly Pulitzer anything. Oh. Wait. That's just for me.

Funky bandaids (I love the crime scene do not cross! ones I found!)



Mini Rubix cube - (think: Target, $1 bins, they have moose on them!)

Clown nose


Baking spatula's

Rubber gloves with the cuffs, flowers, patterns....(Homegoods, TJMaxx...)

Now, having said this, I am sort of worried, in a perhaps, kind of concerned, not-staying-up-at-night-thinking-about-it kind of way, but the it's-crossed-my-mind kind of way that my stocking won't quite measure up to the ones I'm packing.

Good thing I'm a firm believer in the It's The Thought That Counts kind of Christmas Gal. No matter what, (and I've received some weird things) he's always thinking, that one.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stain Genius!

I am a stain removing Genius.

I removed blood from a white linen dress, a pink linen suit, eons ago, when my son and stain removers were in their infancy. Back in the days when ingenuity, elbow grease and sheer stubborn refusal to part with particular garments lead Laundry Goddess around the globe away from our dependency on Tide, Whisk, Era...(enter your favorite soap here) and embrace a new culture (a cult following, most likely) of stain removing products.

I take in other people's stains. Bask in the applause....adulation.......right: I digress. Sorry. Staring at the ever-growing Mount Never-Rest of four children, three sports and one infant/toddler learning to feed herself, with a love of brightly hued foods, I do try to find the bright spots.

I'd like to point out, this is not it's first stain rodeo today. See the bubbles? The color above? What happens when stain remover meets THIS VERY COLOR! 

Not pretty. I am not pleased, but more...say.....annoyed. Naturally, this is the first wearing of this fabulous addition to our wardrobe. I'm preparing to put this sucker in the circular flier, including the hyperventilating accompanying such a move with brand new clothing.

Gave the Dawn/hydrogen peroxide mix a shot. Rubbed and scrubbed with my very own toothbrush. *Note to self: find new brushes I know we have somewhere.

Nada. Remained as stubbornly affixed as before. 

Baby Girl thought this foray into using the tub for reasons other than bathing fascinating. She also reaches just high enough now to turn on and off the cold water tap. Adds great excitement, for all involved. 

I reapplied, liberally sprinkling with Baking Soda, walked away, yanking Screech away from the wonders of faucet usage. I'm soooo not in the mood to play the On!/Off! game with her. Bad enough I'm leaning over the tub, her hanging off my calves, yanking my loosish pants to my ankles all the while splashing me hither and yon with cold water. 

I figured I'd wait until I'd gotten her into bed for a "rest", heaven forbid I use the word nap!! before nipping in to check on my soaking laundry. Yeah. Like three hours passed. 

I came in. Closed my eyes. Turned on cold water tap, rinsed. Opened my eyes to:



I told you.


Death Roll

My darling baby daughter - gasp - almost a Big Girl now! at 15 months, has a mind of her own. Recently, I've noticed some startling comparisons - not to my son, or the other kids that came with The Lovely J...but to Animal Planet.

Getting her dressed this morning, for example, after she invited herself into my shower, scratching me hither and yon on freshly shaved legs (I'm so in love with the Intuition ones - all included, I can still get my leg up higher than her head and reach, a feat raising the level of difficulty daily) she opened the door, doing her vocal version of "Let me out. I'm all done now."

Seriously? I made her wait until I'd have a final rinse. This would be that moment when all thoughts of luxuriating under warm water evaporated into the mist brushing the ceiling. Grabbing her towel first - so dumb, since standing there freezing doesn't bother her, or raise up goose-bumps on her legs totally wrecking the shave job - she took off.

Naked. Nudey, as we call it here. She is not remotely potty trained. Running around nudey isn't really a great idea. Not indoors at least. In the cool of New England autumn. Grabbing a diaper, her filly panties, since "fixing her frillys" remains to this day the only way to get her to lie prone for changing, I engaged in a wrestling match worthy of those guys who bill themselves as Gator Boys or whatever they're called.

(It's Gator Boys. I checked.)

The Death Roll made an appearance, albeit brief, thank you, I did learn a few things from my Big Guy, and.....I'm embarrassed to admit... the show. She rolled until dizzy, I swooped in on my (possibly) only chance, diapering her before she blinked.

I skipped the duct tape. And the electrical tape. There is something seriously wrong with one's mothering skills if diaper swapping entails duct tape. Unless it's holding the diaper on. Then that's totally acceptable.

Getting her into her clothing?

I might as well wrestle an octopus into a vest.

She's quick. She's elusive. She's downright stubborn. We watched a program about this particular octopus, clever enough to open chests, can get through the tiniest of holes......I'm raising it's mate, right here.

Plus also? When she was smaller, I thought it was so darn funny she's mimicked me shadow boxing. (yeah, I know, I should have known better....or at least expected the following): she uses it on me. Complete with the grunting noises heard on the Wild Monkey show when fist fighting over the last orange slice.

Took one right in the eye.

She says "eye".

A good thing, since apparently the ONLY thing separating her and the Animal Kingdom is the ability to communicate.

Oh, sure, I learned a lot raising my Big Guy.....but thanks to Animal Planet I have few new tricks up my sleeve. Or my bath towel, as the case may be.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Mane Event....

I have legendary bed-head. I give the Statue of Liberty's crown a run for it's money. Or a bad-tempered porcupine. Either way?

Not a good hair day.

Briskly whipping the dog, un-showered (me, not the dog), sans hat, around our good mile plus loop certainly didn't help matters. The breeze was lovely; add in working up a nice sweat, decent cardio, tackling the Big Hill?

I went from nearish a version of Something About Mary with all over head involvement, to Cruella De'Ville hit my lightening.


My big guy, nipping in as fullback these days on his football team, needed a ball to carry around, flip, toss, nearly break things in the house or nail the baby all in the name of getting ready for the next big game. We headed out to Dick's.

Where, naturally, I ran into her.

You know the one. She's that one woman in town, the one who always appears to have it all together.....whereas I dried my hair through my open window, completely eschewed make-up as 1, I've already met the man of my dreams so impressing a guy I need not, 2, I forgot face lotion so my face was itchy, and finally, mention Dick's and my son may drag me naked out the door.

She was totally put together. Sigh.

Truly, there's no confidence on the planet strong enough to withstand the pitying looks I got since I looked as though I'd styled my hair while standing on a land-mine.

From there, I nipped into Michael's, picking up safety pins for this consignment event going on, in the middle aisle of the store, the one right in the busily opening doorway, and ............

O. M. G.

The only good part about tinkling in the middle of Michael's?

Trust me when I tell you:

No one was looking at my hair.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Doomsday vs. Groomsday

We know a guy who's a doomsday prepper.

Not that we haven't thought about it, but, honestly, we also hadn't really truly thought about it either. Today, after chatting with this pal,  the Lovely J and I began a list. All the important things we'd need, for our family of six, one of whom is still an infant, the others that grow out of clothing and shoes faster than I can blink.

Naturally, food, water, shelter, blah blah blah rates top. Shortly after the Essentials List took shape, My Essential List began.

This would be where J's and my path diverged, so to speak. He wants to take the one less traveled.

I want to take the one that's prettier.

Deodorant, razors, face cream. Honestly, if I'm going to be all Roughing It and stuff, I'm going to need something beyond safety, food growing in a garden and perhaps a goat. Shampoo, never listed (seriously, I've looked it up, several times, all sorts of places) don't make the cut. Really? After the big stink (pardon the pun) about body odor drawing on vermin, the necessity of personal as well as home cleanliness, what, does someone really assume I'll be washing my hair with bleach toilet tabs?

Oh. Wait. Yeah, I might.

I'm totally fine to leave behind my array of hair dryers, irons, curlers, toasters, shoot, take the microwave. I'll be fine. Meat arriving as it appeared alive; I'll work on adapting. I may still gag. Actually, I know I'll still gag. I'm gagging now, thinking about it. Thoughts of growing food from seeds absolutely terrifies me; I can't keep even a fake houseplant alive. Growing my own grain? Corn? Beets? Root veggies? I suppose this separates the wheat from the chaff so to speak.

We chatted about our daily routines; he's passing on taking up large quantities of hair gel. Good thing, since I'll need the room (I said this aloud, mind) for my lotions. (Yes, there is indeed, an "s" on the end of lotion. I own several kinds. Or. Well. Most that are produced). The priceless look of disbelief - his, that I might suggest such nonsense, and mine, for him thinking I wouldn't - a cold clamminess popped on my skin. My well-moisturized skin. The soft skin he adores. Just sayin'.

The look on his face changed to pity.

He expects me to give up lotion. Cold turkey. My dependency upon a good creamy smear borders an obsession requiring it's own 12 step program.

Good thing he's okay with cleaning products; my reliance, admiration and adoration of anything labeled as "cleaner" surpasses my need for lotion.

No, really! It does.

Thank God I lasered my underarms when I did. Nothing says My Life Sucks like hairy pits, dry skin, cracked nails and brittle hair.  I very well might starve feeding my own children, but dammit, I'll at least look passable when I do. He and our pal may doomsday prep until ....well....doomsday.

I'll be the one everyone wants to barter with: I'll have been Groomsday Prepping for years.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Buyers Remorse

I got a text from Hub's on Friday morning. He'd entered the uncharted waters of Storage Auctions.

I went with him on two, simply to watch, learn, and laugh. People watching is crazy business at a storage auction! Almost as good as in Family Court, but I digress.

We so weren't buying anything.

We were distinctly, not buying.

The text began, in fits and starts with the three units for sale; how two of them housed complete junk and trash....followed by some agonizing silence. The third unit? Was that trash too? Did someone overpay for that one?

Of course someone bought it.

We did.

Personally, I might have started smaller (or not at all, ps.).  The rules are pretty clear: you have 24 hours to get all of someone else's stuff out. Oh. Right. And the law stating all personal items need be returned. I tend to trend along the lines of what I'd want to find in a returned box; Hub's is going with anything that has their name on it.

I'm glad we're not posting these boxes. 

Loads of the boxes constituted " important personal items", now holding court on one dining room chair.....birth records and certificates, back to 1910, Social Security Cards, gun permits (1934, the gun, already sold in case you were wondering),wedding photos, the ashes of a beloved dog they'd cremated, death certificates of various relations (or enemies I suppose), hospital records and bills. I thoughtfully included the Holy Very Scary Naked Photos nestled up with a #2 pencil I used to gouge out my eyes.

Among a ton of other things. 

I wish I'd saved to count all the lighters we've discovered, am thrilled that the needles all are (so far) capped, and I took a moment to wonder just who saves a hatchet in their sweater drawer. I thought perhaps poor packing skill, until I found the cleaver cleverly tucked in among tampons and mouthwash, circa 1984. Her Tampax really packs a wallop. 

People Are Really Weird. 

Especially those on illicit drugs.

Let's just say that those glassine baggies I found, the little ones? That white residue? Hmmm. Most likely goes with the extensive selection of razor blades, some ripped right out of a Lady Bic, some flittering about unattended, sharp side up, and the mirror boasting snorting snot marks. I figured out what the little pouches containing a spoon, lighter, and hypodermic are; thank God for Law & Order. Without knowledge imparted during a pregnancy spent on our sofa, I might never have identified half of those things.

For the record? Free-basing doesn't lead to more illicit drugs (does anything even top that?) it leads to horticulture. Mint boxes, necklace lockets, old photo canisters hold selections of seeds. Little baby pot plants waiting to sprout and mature. Too bad I'm not that much of a risk taker. We could've grown, like, a lot of pot. 

This history of the family fascinates me; the little snippets gleaned from a forest of delinquent bills, saved Hallmark cards, drawings, post-it notes of phone numbers, certificates of rabies vaccinations, spaying, court documents (both civil and criminal), how meticulous one of the owners must have been at some point to save all of her pay stubs from her first job in 1952. 

And hair.

Braided, pony-tailed, bangs, of several of her offspring. A vial labeled Bob's Teeth captivated even the kid's attention. C'mon. How many of you could wander by a dining table and not stop at that? Bob's Teeth?

The could also have gold in 'em. I thought that was a bit of a stretch, but at this point? Who knew? It didn't. It held Bob's three tooth crown. To cover that unsightly spot he must have had right in the front row.

Cameras. Crapy jewelry. 75 watches. Sharp tools. An otoscope. A snakeskin that I feared meant a large snake might be residing in this mess. So far, we've not found it. I'm hoping this means it is not currently living in my garage. Three ipod nanos. A pattern to make clothes for a 27" doll. A book to build our own sports plane. Thank goodness it wasn't how to build your own boat; he might actually take that on.  Barbie magazines.  The Mickey Mouse Flip Book is cute - and worth something - the lipstick shaped like a pink penis? Not so much.

A. Penis. Lipstick.

The furniture sold in the yard sale Hub's buddy held the next day. We broke even. Mostly. Kind of. Not really. After we paid the kids for working, add in gas, food during this extravaganza, we spent money to have the uplifting and enlightening experience of viewing and sorting someone's else's stuff. I'm paying for an experience we cannot duplicate in our own home.

He's convincing me that we'll more than break even. Sort of.

Guess what.

I'm not buying it.

Details Details

I'm a detail girl. Honestly.

Overlooking some minor details goes with the territory and title of being a New Mom. As well as an Old Mom. I have issues sometimes finding the right word for things - things or people or places I can see in my head? Do not always translate into what flies out of my mouth.

For example, when someone asked me what Hub's ex-wife does, and I said, she works at a hospital in town, they asked (duh, the next question in line - but the one I was hoping they wouldn't ask) - what department?

Yeah, this is generally where the train goes off the rails.

I could see the office. I knew what they did there. My response to this query?

The Titty Fairy Office.

My mouth hung open too - I swear, that is not what I meant to say...only...I wasn't entirely sure what to say. For the very life of me, I couldn't recall (or perhaps find?) the words: Plastic Surgery. Gaping about as a fish out of water, we stared at each other, waiting for someone to say something. My laugh sounded hollow even to me.

Add to this auspicious I'm Becoming A Complete Moron list:

Totally forgetting the baby is on Miralax.

No I did not forget to put it into the bottles, or cereal and fruit, veggies, etc - I looked up the signs for cereal, peaches, pears, fruit, carrots....cow....c'mon, who doesn't need to know the sign for cow? Right. Okay. So I recall to feed the baby. That's well established; look at her fabulous cheeks - eating well is no secret in this house.


(this is a big however)

I feed the remaining cereal to Pucker.

A beagle.


This would be where one of those pesky details - like the freaking laxatives in the baby food along with bowel moving produce products - turns out to be rather important. The dog is so regular she hardly knows what to do with herself; she was pretty regular to begin with. Perhaps, as you might imagine, she hardly needs help on that end. I looked at it as a bonding thing with GiGi - see? Jealous of someone that sits in a chair that drops food constantly along with toys? Doggie heaven. Clean floors without my bending over? Better still.

Dog eating laxative infused poop-inducing baby food?


Explains why some nights she cannot get through the night without either a potty break, or, some Surprise Poop. I'm starting to think it surprises even her. I've only taken a laxative once or twice, but I recall distinctly the Surprise part.

I've been lucky.

I still recall how J takes his coffee (iced, cream, sugar, huge cup, straw). I remember the diaper bag, though not always diapers. Or wipes. But I forget them at different times. I take the dog out, but forget the leash. (that one's a stretch, I know...I just hate the leash) I've run both the washer and the dishwasher without soap, walked into more rooms than I care to admit completely blank on why I am there.

Dressing GiGi to leave the house, in matching clothing, tights and shoes? Having her look so freaking cute no one pays attention to my lack of make-up?


It's all in the details.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Answer A

Living beings in my house tend to fall into two distinct categories:

A. Despite careful tending, they die.

B. Despite total lack of care and attention, they live on,
I am convinced, to annoy me senseless.

The only person who seems to care that the (unwanted...on my part at least) guinea pigs in the basement have made such a mess, have spent quite a bit of time (more than I care to admit) without a serious cage cleaning, we are attracting mice, is me.

Mostly, I am sure, from Lois' side of the condo wall. I suppose however, that once they penetrate the hallowed halls of my home, I should cease to care from whence they came.

Truth be told, I'm not a huge, shall we say, fan, of these idiot animals, since in my book, pigs live outdoors, eat outdoors, poop outdoors, right before they turn into some lovely bacon. These pigs? Shit in the house. Sigh. While I'd like, in the most nebulous way, for them to cease to exist, I'd rather not be the one to find the bodies, or, have to break it to the kids, they are not taking a "long nap", or, hibernating for the winter.


I looked online, to find the best (read: easiest) way to clean a piggie's cage (without actually touching anything) only to find that first, I'd have to touch everything. I'm pretty sure that's when the gagging began. Either way, I'd need to move piggies out of their habitat (I don't really want them getting too accustomed to the idea of this being "a home") then, touch all their unwanted bedding, prior to filling water, food pellets, raw veggies, etc.

I'm awesome at cutting up their veggies. I'm even pretty darn talented at delivering them, when needed. Mostly. So I forget some days. I'm not the only one who does, so I am free to pass along that blame. Perhaps, onto someone who actually claims ownership of these guys. I'm guessing they are guys, a, because they lady at the pet store told J they were guys, and b, I currently am unclear on the anatomical differences between the two. So far, whether they are gay pigs or lesbian pigs, they have not (thankfully) reproduced.

Gloves, clearly, were a must; the bedding that smells lightly of lavender a huge bonus, as these aromatic pests - I mean - pets, are not stunning the world as the latest perfume to be carried by Estee' Lauder. The online articles (yes, I read more than one - want to make sure I'm doing this correctly, lest I be the cause of their demise) gave me a handful by handful accounting of my upcoming laborious process, along with the list of "acceptable" vegetable matter they should have daily. A cup of it, per pig.

I read the list. (far easier than beginning the cleaning of The Cage)

Now, keep in mind, our pigs diet consists mostly of raw veggie table scraps, along with the cheapest carrots one may find, along with a steady stream of vit C rich spinach, and apples, cut with cores and seeds altogether.

The list suggests (rather highly, I gathered, since it listed it twice) staying away from feeding them a diet too rich in those foods; they should be given in pretty consistent moderation. Stay away from apples seeds, cherry or apricot and peach pits: all contain arsenic.

Not here.

The fine print, after the discreet star above the veggies listed, warns against kidneyfailure, too much vit A making them dreadfully ill, just prior to killing them.

I read this, complete disbelief dancing across my face, as this proved one thing, and one thing only: despite my best, well-intenioned feeding of these guys, I've been unintentionally poisoning them. We have been doing this for going on two years.

Leads me to the only possible conclusion: no matter what I do.....

They. Will. NEVER. Die.

Why is choice A never the right answer?!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Care Package

I'm dismantling the elaborately disorganized pile of mail that I swear, some old, wizened Japanese guy erected into his own home. I feel badly, (for a nanosecond) evicting him this way, but I need the room.

Hopefully, not for more mail. The stuff arrives daily. In copious amounts. Or small amounts. I could count on one hand the number of times I've opened that damn box to find it empty. Sure, I too enjoy finding a pastel envelope inside, holding a time honored nod at traditional communication....witty, charming, sweet, sappy, not even addressed to me....even better? Find the box empty.


I find this:

(when I find a photo, it will go here)

Chaaarrrmmming, I know.

Hubs and I both are List N' Pile Makers. Great minds think alike! Naturally, I draw the line at utilizing the excel application while planning out the packing up for vacation. Ahem. Hubs.....uses it. I've hauled together an alarming amount of packing in a very short period of time: I grew up watching my mother pack at the very last second. I've added to this concept: since I (clearly) won't have any clue what I want to pack, (and wear) while gone, I need ALL of my clothing washed. It does, I admit, make the Last Minute Packer Packing a good pinch easier. Add to the ease? Most of my wardrobe involves either nine hundred shades of matching pink and blue, or, acres of white. Everything, or nearly, goes with everything else. See? A. Breeze.

The kids, currently all fighting for Style Independence requires little of me other than open respective drawers, grab one handful of each necessary item, add a suit, toothbrush, and four deodorants per child. The baby retains the most allotted personal time for packing. I hide a great many sins (bad hair moments, droppy breasts in a droopier bra I thought I got rid of but am now wearing, bottoms I didn't zip all the way - whether they zip all the way not really the point) behind my beautiful child.

Enter the mail.

 Divide into His, Hers, and my favorite, My Ex's and His Whole Families Mail. Then, the subcategories play havoc, mail attaching itself to a manmade merry go round of table top, chair seat, table top, dining credenza, table. The piles get mixed. The Everyone Else's Mail at some point makes it into the I'll Write My List Here Pile, as lists do hold up well on the back of expensive mailing envelopes companies (AARP, solicitations for auto dealerships, carpet cleaning) hope make it into the Opened Pile of mail. The Must Have Coupons, Bed Bath and Beyond leading the list, as they'll take any and all coupons, regardless of date!! the papery $5 off one item ones sometimes utilized as slobbery chewing fodder for the teething infant in high chair awaiting anything else of interest.

Yeah, I saved that coupon too. When it dried, the bar code was still totally readable.

At this point, more mail inevitably arrives, thrusting itself rudely into the merry-go-round, scooching the napkin holder, salt shaker and butter dish further up toward the other part of the table. The Eating Around It Part. The side we both attempt to keep relatively clear.

Relative being the key word. Those flyers, ones printed on heavy heavy cardstock, just shy a full page? Awesome place mats. Eat. Watch kids drop food everywhere. Throw out "mats"...patting myself on the back all the way to the trash: two birds, one stone.

Unfortunately, a good deal of all this stuff that's sent, is, well, Real Mail. The I Need To Open It kind. Bills. (pay online, have the satisfaction of ripping that sucker in half with great panache, an eyebrow raised at Hub's growing pile, while yours, obviously, shrinks) More bills. Tax stuff. That thing they send for free tomato plants.

Under the heading of mail, also resides, School Mail. By far, the worst offender. Full sheets sent home, sometimes in triplicate for the kids, all piling up in those respective piles, riding the merry-go-round, usually reminding me in the middle of the produce aisle to stop by and buy a ton of Scholastic Books.

Seeing as this paper we recycle (I so do what I can to help the planet) it has crossed my mind, many a day, how many trees die just to tell me a new dentist moved to town. With our pile towering over the entree, using the baby's highchair tray as a back up serving station for sides, I'd love love love to stick it to these companies.

Right up in the right hand corner.

Here's a stamp: mail this to someone who cares.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Life's messy.....

....and here's to Cleaning!

As a busy mom, I've hardly time to vet certain cleaning products, and while my "Not On" list is long (read: nearly limitless) my Gotta Have It List grows just as quickly.


Carpet cleaners. I have, say, three of them. Maybe four. No, wait. One died. I recall holding the burial, the fact that it was, indeed, murdered by someone (who is as of yet unclear) under the age of 12. A large bar of soap was found, lodged in cleaning mechanism.

I took it apart. Since is was already DOA, really, what more could I do it?

I replaced it.

Tried everything under the sun, from Urine Be Gone, Nature's Miracle (fabulous laundry qualities), to Bissell Pet Cleaners (both kinds), OxyGen......

my favorite:

half Windex, half hot hot hot water

Works. Like. A. Charm. For Really Ugly Bits, feel free to use the one with Ammonia already in it. With a tiny one all of a-sudden on the move, I'm not keeping great whopping quantities of anything around.

As we're currently at floor level, why not ride this train into Fabulous Wood Floor Preps?

We have cleats. Lots of cleats. Baseball. Softball. Football.

They leave marks. (so do some rude relatives that visit, dragging their heels everywhere they go - hello, have you not heard of removing your shoes at the door? 85% of household dirt stays at the door that way!!)

Enter....the tennis ball. Rub along the black mark, and voila'!

This is the tennis ball you do not throw back in the dryer....but we'll save that one for another day.

And..............the baby calls :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

All. Fired. Up.

Boy was I fired up today.
The baby managed to completely go through four outfits today, including one, with a Breaking Wind precursor in a bank parking lot. Not the back lot, either. The front We Shouldn’t Park Here, It’s A Fire Lane lot. You know, the lot you make when you’re Live Parking.....only to come out and find not your spouse on camera, with the security team watching her intently. They are watching her change the baby, stripping her naked in the process, throwing bits of baby poop on the ground atop the diaper already resting there. 
Right by the front tire. 

It’s not as though I was unaware of the security camera - anyone who still uses an actual bank building knows that it’s littered with cameras. 
ps. None of the angles make my butt look good. I’m pretty sure my arms looked fat too. 
The dog has driven me nuts, ingesting not one, but two diapers she ripped out of the trash; this leads to some Serious Intestinal Ickiness. Excessive, one might say. With all that going on, dinner to whip together, laundry that arrived out of no where - I was totally caught up! two kids sporting snarky 'tudes, I truly thought I’d had a bad day. 
That is, until I called Trish. 
Me: “I’ve had the day from hell. It’s filled with poop.”
Trish: “I need to call you back after I shave Mark’s head.”
Me: (add a couple of snorts) “...shave his head? Why”
Trish: “Can I tell you when I call you back?” (snicker)
Me: “No! I need to know now!”
Trish: “He set his hair on fire”. More laughing.
Me: “Shut the front door!”
Trish: “I’ve got to go shave it. I’ll call you back.”
Now, I should say, Mark is a welder, so evidently (and this I did not know) stuff catches on fire all the time. Due to all the layers, often it goes mostly unnoticed until too late. Shoe laces. Gloves. Hats. She mentioned that several times he’s come home missing half his pants. 
Half. His. Pants.  
Right. The hair....while welding, a hot piece of metal (snicker snicker snort) landed on the headband strappy thing of his welding shield. That set the headband on fire. Not, mind, that he noticed. With sparks and bits of flame going every which way, I suppose one could mistake their hair with any other flying flamishy bit.
Apparently, it wasn’t until it started to smell of burnt hair did he make the connection. 
Obviously, since I have the above facts, she called me back, which is a great thing, as I might have thrown all the kids (two with attitude, one blowing Surprise Poop every five minutes and the gassy dog) into the car, driven over to her house, and demanded to know the circumstances. 
This all leads me to one very important conclusion:
I’d rather be all fired up, than on fire.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm Convinced....

...that I should move to Texas. Into a trailor park. And not take off the wheels.

Because then, when I wander, half dressed, shoeless and chewing tabacco into my local 7-11, I'll actually win when I buy my daily lottery ticket and six pack. Not just the weenie prizes either, the really big ones, the Fuck-Off Prizes. Oh, I'll tell the press that I'm going to become the world's greatest philantrhopist, right up there with Brangelina, Doing Good will be my motto - only first? I'm going to Do Good For Myself for a change.

I'm going to book that massage I've wanted for eons (but I bought child sneakers instead, as someone's feet grow faster than crabgrass on a hot July afternoon) and go to the dentist. For a cleaning. I love love love getting my teeth cleaned.  I'm going to hire someone to turn my barren, sad excuse of a lawn into a beautiful, gorgeous landscaped project, with trees that replenish the earth, and in their ensuing health and shade, kill off the baby stupid trees my neighbor (and I use that in the strictest sense - he really does live next to me, but we're, you know, not neighborly) planted, on my property line. That is, if I don't run them down with the lawnmower I'll finally buy, the ride on kind, you know, by accident.

I'll give to the big contributors that participate in the Grand Scheme of Things: the Cancer Society, the ASPCA, and build a new home for the groundhog - maybe he'll convince Spring it should arrive a little earlier out here, if he had better digs.

I've noticed that some people have won in New Jersey, but not the Fuck-Off prizes. Only the Blip On The Radar, I Had To Share It With Seventeen Other Winners prizes. I don't want those. Sharing is great, in the abstract, but honestly, as much as I tell my son how great and wonderful it feels to share, I think he suspects I might be lying.

I think even he gets it that sometimes, just occassionally, you want stuff all to yourself.

So this time around, when it reached some ridiculously huge billion dollar number, we bought tickets; some with the kids birthdays, some with ours, the puppy's birthday.....along with everyone else. We purchased it from places we would be proud to share some of it with - since, evidently, ultimately, they get a piece of the pie for being the one guy who sold the winning ticket. 

Paid for by the Lottery itself, ps. 

We played the What If game, in bed, late at night, laughing out our options.....stuff like buying off politicians that annoy us, or, better yet, purchasing my seat in the White House. I'm, like, smart, stylish, and, I have fashionable taste. I've a eye for business, and a very limited tolerance for stupidity. Which hubby thinks might limit my reign of power. There is, let's face it, tons of stupidity that goes on behind closed doors over there. 

However. He's right in the concept of purchasing those things that need some serious change, being the one to do it. Ending hunger in THIS country, for one. A live in masseuse for another. We can't decide on male or female; I say, just have both. They'll have a free residence from which to run their massage business, in one of the beautiful cabana's behind my huge pool, in my well-landscaped yard, right next to the Pool Guy.

The one who keeps an eye on that pesky neighbor, and the trees he planted not on the property line, but truly, on my property. I have the right to complain, to go to town hall and force him to move them....but we're already not really friendly, and I am trying to instill in the family how to place nicely in the sand box with others. Or, at the very least, not say anything badly about him, within his earshot.

Wonder how this all came to mind? I'll tell you.

Upon heading over to the town hall, I found out that I missed the big town meeting and open hearing for the gravel pit some idiot wants to put up behind my Other Neighbor's house (this neighbor, I like) ....and I've seen the guy that wants to operate it, and I wouldn't let him near my kid's sandbox, much less dig a big fat hole in the earth, so he can make money off destroying everything aound out here. I've considered going so far as to plant box turtles, which are endangered (this would be their natural habitat anyway) out there, if only I knew when the EPA was doing their walkthrough. I'd have to time it carefully, for with my luck? Those sneaky guys would wander off before the EPA made it to their new home.

 And then, I got to thinking how one of my fellow town dwellers managed to snare this contract's okay by buying off one of the senators and I thought, well, shoot, if I had the money, I'd buy off officials to my advantage. So he could stick his plan in his pipe and smoke it. My house would be saved from losing it's value, and being covered in dust.

Plus also, the town would love me. And then, I wouldn't have to buy a lawnmower. People from all over would line up to take care of the hard to do chores around the house (snow shoveling, also leaps to mind here) as thanks for my saving the town from a hoard of stupidity, dust, and massive amounts of heavy truck traffic on our roads.

Just think.

All this could happen, if only I moved to texas, and took up walking around barefoot, chewing tabacco, surveying my life from the inside of an RV, with the wheels still on.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

(R)evolutionary Drosophilia, Part II

(R)evolutionary Drosophilia, Part II

I remembered this post, written while still residing in My Dream Home after a phone from Mag's to tell me that my fruit fly trap most certainly interested them but failed in its ultimate goal: to catch them. Evidently, they're just a-hanging about the rim on the paper cone I trimmed to size, laced with wine (they do love a good cab - who doesn't, ya know?) and rotting fruit. 
Where have I gone wrong? I could have sworn this worked! I even kept the cap out for Mag's, for easy disposal! So when she called, to tell me they were all just chilling on the edge? I looked this up.

Only to find, I was wrong, and Mag's should NEVER take any drosphilia advice from me, as all I managed to do was create the X-Team of friggin' fruit flies. Sorry Mag's. However, below is how I know I suck at catching the elusive, nasty, invasive and annoying beasts:

Drosophila, a small, rapidly multiplying insect, lives a very short life span. They hatch from eggs, spend the first four hours of their young lives mutating into the full-wingeddrosopholia shortly before it begins to eat, find a mate, and lay nearly one hundred of it’s own eggs, before lazily hovering around, and then, dropping dead. It’s fascinating, that their entire life span is twenty-four of our hours. Not even dog years. They live One Full Day.
Interestingly, you might note, I seem to know a good deal about the elusive yet much seen drosophilia. I should. We did an expirement in highschool, where each team became a parent host, and we bred them, counting them each day, four times a day, to see how quickly our species was multiplying. And, counting mutations along the way. There were several “special needs” ones - one winged wonders that were never going to fly, or reproduce; ones without heads, or feet; and a running ton that were just fine. Healthy little guys…so long as we didn’t use too much ether to knock them flat while we counted them. Flash back to the homestead:
They’ve taken over my kitchen. They pop up out of the trashcan, when it opens to receive the latest dumping of coffee grounds, or anything else unsuitable to doggie digestion. They’ve been spotted hanging out in the sink drain, and miraculously fyling free before the water hits them - but after it’s turned on. Under the cabinets, they’re hanging like bats, regardless of how much Lysol I spray under there. I think, I’m providing my own laboratory for evolution. They’re getting craftier. And, more of them are left to irritate me.
Granted, it’s summer. Fruit can no longer ripen lovingly on the counters, in big colorful bowls, begging to be added to cereal, ice cream, or eaten in passing on the way out the door. Sliced berries, sugared blueberries, fruit salad - all the trimmings and trappings of a bountiful summer lay hidden in the fridge, safe from mass-producing fruit flies invading their tender, juicy flesh.
I built a trap to catch them. I laced a water bottle with slightly-past-it’s-prime fruit (their favorite!), fitted the mouth with a paper funnel, trimmed down to allow easy access to the fruit in the bottom of the bottle, and kept the cap, for easy disposal. How long would we wait to catch some? I figured, overnight, I’d have turned my less-than appealing kitchen into a bug free zone.
And………………………………………….I would be wrong.
They evidently don’t care for the food once it’s in the bottle. Living off Lysol evidently strengthens both their immune systems, and their resolve. They’re not even investigating the bottle. I think they’re even living longer. And multiplying faster than before.
See? I’m breeding smarter drosophilia.
Now, I wonder: if I trap a man in my kitchen, homosapius stupidus, do you think he’d evolve too?

Part II: Have found man....he has been in my kitchen. Seems to be evolving into someone whose company I enjoy quite rapidly. Not quite drosophilia rapid; but rapidly enough. I've near sprayed him with Lysol, and I'll be damned, he's still here. Hmm. Question is, is he evolving, or, (gasp, dare I say it?) am I?

Maybe both. 

All I'm saying, is while he can stay? I'm so not having 100 of his children.