Friday, December 28, 2012

Photo Op

The madness has stopped.  In fact, it has pulled the emergency brake and we are now stranded with four flat tires on a cold, icy, deserted, gravel road.  Figuratively speaking that is... please don't send help.  But then again, our house is sick, so maybe a little help won't go unused.

Oh, disregard the previous post about the gingerbread house preventing illness.  They are like cesspools of grime and viruses that you should not swim in.  Or eat.  I blame the gingerbread house for our misery.

My girl fell asleep with her head in a trashcan.  I felt so terrible for her that I didn't even think about taking a picture.  Now, after examining my action/reaction to this gem of a missed photo op, I am hovering with my camera in hand.  If I thought she could consume anything, like, oh, some benadryl, I'd slip some to her just for the photo.  But I don't want a puke action shot.  And I also don't want the dreaded and feared adverse reaction to the sleepy medicine, the hyperactive sick child.

Remember the flight attendant who tried to slip some to the toddler in the apple juice, but forgot to let the tablet dissolve before handing the mom the chunky, drug laced juice?  Well that wasn't me.  First off, I'd be smart enough, if I were to ever drug someone, to let the tablet mix with the drink before handing it over.  Second, and maybe more importantly, I wouldn't drug a child.  Even my own.  Third, I wouldn't even drug an adult, unless it was agreed upon by both parties.  And then there would be a party.  

So I'm waiting for her to fall asleep hugging the can.  Unfortunately, she is now curled up downstairs watching tv.  This isn't bad at all, except if a certain person was trying to get a photo.  And it wouldn't be so terrible of a photo if the couch she was curled up on wasn't right next to the clothes washer/dryer.  I'm not sure about a normal persons house, but if there is a relatively flat surface next to the laundry area, it is typically covered with hopefully freshly laundered laundry.

Laundry.  Say it 10 times and it becomes a sound instead of a word.  A weird sound, and my favorite.
Not the noun.  The noun stinks, sometimes literally, and I hate it.

Because she is next to a mountain of clothes, even if I get the picture, I wouldn't post it for shame of a messy room that will follow me forever.  Descriptions are one thing, but the imagination can't hold a candle to the actual pile of laundry that is my couch.

So if you do send help, make sure they can fold and put away.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gingerbread Houses are Cold Remedies (at least in my house)

How long are gingerbread houses supposed to last?  Ours is made with graham crackers instead of the gingerbread, which I think tastes like feet.

I go back and forth about  letting my kids actually eat the candy house.

The kids shot down my bug argument.  I said that bugs come out and get their poofeet all over the candy.  They countered by saying that the bugs are gone for the winter.

What about the dust?  My dusting skills are a bit lacking, so  I try not to dust very often, because when I do dust, the chunks of dust just move from one place to another.  Usually into my coffee cup.  So I just allow the dust to pile up.  One day it will become hard, and all I'll have to do is pick up a brick of layered dust.  Easy peasy.

They must get dirty, the house that is, I'm totally fine with my kids being dirty.  Although you couldn't pay me enough to lick my kids.  But is that so bad?  ...eating the dirt, not licking my kids

Some scientist said that the more dirt a person eats, the less they get sick, right?  Well, we eat a LOT of dirt around here (inadvertently most of the time), and we have not been sick this entire season. This brilliant  scientist was probably a busy mom, and I salute her!   She validates me, and I love her.  ...But that means I should let them eat the dusty gingerbread house.  For their health.

So dig in kids!  But wait until we are about to go on a long car trip because I want to be shut in an enclosed prison cell with you while you hit you sugar high. ahem.

Actually, I'm kidding.  Let's pack the remains of the house into your overnight bag and have a visit with grandma and grandpa!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The War of Northern Aggression

Yesterday I experienced my first Civil War reenactment.  Round these parts, it's called The War Of Northern Aggression. ...and I didn't make that up.

We went there because they have a holiday 'Christmas in the Carolinas', weekend.  They do traditional Civil Warish things like make candles and roast a hog's head.  And Santa was there, so bonus, no picture fee.

You know that weird family church that protests at soldiers funerals?  And how everyone feels a bit sorry for the kids that are holding those horrible signs?

I felt the same stab of pity for the kids in this reenactment.  ...maybe not quite the same amount of pity, but it was close.  Some of the adults were a little 'off.'

Most of the actors were dressed in Confederate grey, but I think they had to throw a bone to the Union, so there were one or two blue coats.  I kept hoping that they would start fighting, but all they did was smoke pipes and sleep in little tents.  Being in The South, I wondered if they would change history in their little reenactment.  I would.  In fact, I would rewrite the entire war.  But I'd make it more fun.  I'd make the soldiers spin around with their foreheads on the end of a musket before they start fighting.  Maybe make them cross a pit filled with hungry alligators.  Survival of the fittest, right?  Or take away their bayonets  and give them marshmallow shooters.  Hmm, no, that would not be accurate for the time.  But potato guns, I bet they were invented by one of those crazy oldster farmers.

I thanked my history loving husband for not being a reenactor.  He is probably one cow horn black powder container away from asking for a scratchy grey wool coat for Christmas.  I'd buy him a blue one though.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lessons From the Santa Train

I love it when someone's intense love for something leads to blindness of common sense.  Like the naming of children.  When you and your partner are making this decision, there is a tremendous amount of stress.  ...Do we give the baby a family name? Unique but not too weird... Do the initials spell ASS?  There are incredible implications associated with the success of a name choice.   Unfortunately, the love you have for this unborn baby leads to some dramatic mistakes.  I happen to know that there are real people with some of the following names...

Mike Hunt.       John Arhea.       Lotta Cox.

Fortunately, there is a website that can make your choices easier.  I suggest that as you pre-parents are mulling over the names of your future sweet bundle, mosey on over to that site before you make the final decision.  Or don't, and make my world a little funnier.

There are other cases of love that cause common sense blindness.  The best is when the love is for a hobby or inanimate objects.  Like trains.  You probably know a grown man that has an affinity for trains. I've not been able to find a psychological term for the obsession with trains, so I'm going to call this disorder 'agmenmania.' (Agmen is Latin for train, at least that's what the interweb told me.) This past weekend I took my kids to ride a Santa Train, and we were surrounded by agmenmaniacs.   One of these beautifully flawed people left us with this gem...

On the back of a train car.

It must mean something in trainspeak, because I got yelled at for laughing at this perfectly normal train sign.

If there are more signs like this, I just might develop into a budding agmenmaniac.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The CDC Says You Shouldn't Drink After Chickens

I think one of my chickens may have had a sip of my wine.  I was out back, doing gross chores, and had put my wine glass down while I did the dirtiest.

-I feel that if a person must clean the waste from other beings, they should have the privilege of drinking while doing the deed.-

Well, I went to get my glass when I was through, and one of the girls was pecking at the wine.  I didn't see the beak actually dip into my vacation in a glass, but I had the sneaking suspicion that she had a taste.  The fact that she later fell off the deck reinforced that thought.

This is not my chicken.  I wouldn't waste XX on a hen.

I should have tossed that glass away, maybe in the test plant I have inside, but it was a pretty full glass and the bottle was almost empty.  Anyway, my kids have been a litmus test for getting a weird chicken disease because they play in the creek that runs through the yard.  If anyone would have come down with Chicken-coli, it would have been them, but they have yet to grow third eyes.  So I drank it.

Even though I consumed the wine, I felt pretty safe.  I diluted that glass of wine with another glass.  The CDC says we are allowed to have certain amounts of lead and cyanide in our drinking water, along with many other very scary things that will kill you if you have too much.  I figured that inadvertently tonguing a chicken by drinking out of the same glass was not exactly good for my health, but it wasn't going to give me scabies either.  I'll find out soon enough.

I have become a human experiment.  I drank the wine for science.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Yes, I was Invited

Tis the season of holiday parties.  I love a good holiday party.  Actually, I really don't mind who's party, or what holiday we are celebrating.  I'll be there with bells on...or whatever accoutrements the season calls for.   If it gets me into the party, I'll hang it on me.

Last night, my husband and I attended the UNC Hospital Volunteer Association holiday party.  The most asked question before the night was, 'what do I have to adorn myself with to get in there?'.  Turns out the answer is a sticker with your name on it.  It's also a good idea if you have volunteered at the hospital, but if you can believe it, that was not a mandatory stipulation.

They had the party in the lobby of the cancer center.  Don't groan yet, this is one disco ball worthy cancer lobby.  If I ever get 'the cancer' (read that in old black lady's southern accent), this is the place I'd go.  Mostly in order to crash the Volunteer Association's holiday party.  Really, who is going to tell a cancer patient that they can't have any of the egg rolls?  Yeah, no one.

I wonder when Duke is having their party?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Decapitation by Mattress

We are one of the few remaining newspaper subscribers.  Ours isn't a daily paper, just the Sunday monster. It takes me approximately 1.5 weeks to read through it, so getting a daily would be overwhelming and I fear the papers would stack up so much that the Hoarders program would come calling.  So I'm always behind, usually by only a week, but sometimes I learn of late breaking news about a month after the event.  That only becomes a problem when I see there is a free give away happening, yesterday.

There are always interesting articles in the paper, more so that what you get from the local tv news.  Where else will you find out that the local hog farms could create power using the methane from the pig waste?  Too bad it costs so much that it will never happen.  That might be a good thing though, who wants to grow veggies in a methane powered green house?  Fart flavored zucchini anyone?

Even when I do read the paper from cover to cover, there are bits I skip over.  The editorials for instance.   If someone is mad enough to actually write into a paper that no one reads anyway, then you know they are going to pour their angry soul into the piece.  I'd rather glue my toes together.  The other bit I skip is the obituaries.  I know there are people that read them obsessively, but they frustrate me.  Obits are little stories about someone's life, so why in the world would you leave out the ending?  I want the gory details.

When I go, you are going to know how, when, and if there is an interesting reason, why.  Like the time I was almost killed by a truck, carrying mattresses.  Have you ever seen one of those farm trucks that are stacked so high with hay that they wouldn't be able to get under the highway overpass?  Well this truck was stacked just as high, but with mattresses.  I was wondering where this bed puzzle was heading, when a gust of wind caught the top mattress and it tried to take flight. My mind did a frenzied inventory...  How many seconds should there be between vehicles?  How far can a mattress fly? Has anyone ever tested that?  Kids test how far paper airplanes fly off of school roofs, the natural progression should be testing the flight characteristics of things that could be deadly projectiles.   Like mattresses.

I wonder how my homicidal mattress truck got all the way to Uganda?

Thankfully, the mattress was tied down just enough so that only the front end flapped up.  But should it have killed me, the sordid fans of the obituaries would know exactly how it happened.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lines Anyone?

We put some sparse Christmas decorations up today.  I always build up a little mix of jealousy and stubbornness when it comes to holiday decorations.  Some of my friends put up Martha Stewart style decorations, with nutcrackers and fake snow to boot.  I always want to cut lines in the snow and pretend that Santa's elves needed to do a few lines of candycaine to get through the night.  I mean, really, don't we all?

The stubbornness comes from not being especially religious or materialistic.   My kids attended a religious preschool simply so that I had one less religion to explain to them.  I told my daughter that picking a religion is like picking your favorite color.  Everyone is right, because it is their personal favorite.  Unless your favorite color is olive drab, then you are wrong.

I'm jealous for the typical reasons, there's not a Martha Stewart bone in my body.  My idea of decorations is the enormous advent calendar house my mom gave me that shoves aside all the books and clutter on my mantel.  This year I actually cleared off the books and crap, threw them on the couch, and put some battery powered lights around the advent house.  I think it looks eerily like ET's spaceship.

My mantel
ET's spaceship

Soon I'll add some garland to the lights, then, when the tree is up too, we can have an ET revival.   Maybe that will be a theme for this year.  Smashed pizza for dinner and Reese's Pieces for dessert. Too bad I won't be able to revive any plants.

Monday, December 3, 2012

'We All Float Down Here!'

This post is brought to you by my loving husband.

He brought me a bottle of wine after being away for what seemed like two years.  It was really only a week, but withdrawal is a dangerous thing.

No, the wine has not been consumed yet, that benefit is brought to you by me.

This wine is named after a character in one of the most memorable novels from my childhood.  Any guesses?  When I saw the bottle, I got a shiver.  It made me a bit nostalgic to tell you.  Seems like they don't write children's lit like they used to.

The books my daughter reads are very nice though.  She reads quite a lot for a 7 year old, at least compared to the 7 year old me.  Think about the choices we had in the early eighties.  Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys.  I never got into them, mostly because I judged a book by its cover.  And those covers were the worn out, cloth, hard bound novels that could disappear, camouflaged next to the set of equally ugly, cloth covered encyclopedias.  How could a kid pull something from the shelf that could either be a fun mystery, or in a horrible twist of fate, describe the life cycle of algae?  Not me.

So I entered my late childhood as a non reader.  That is, until a historic trip to my Aunt and Uncle's house in NY.  It was there that I first looked at a book shelf and saw something that intrigued me.  It was this...

Recognize the cover art?  It's from the post modern, transcendent novel, Misery.  Just picture a little 11 year old girl, innocently curled up with a novel, reading about a psycho chopping off the leg of her prisoner. That summer I married Stephen King.  Kind of explains a lot so far, eh?

So that brings us back to the wine.  I know it's hard sometimes, but if you hang on tightly, I'll get to the point.

When I was in 7th grade I read 'It'.

This is the wine...

'Want a balloon?'

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Don't Sit There!

I've decided to do this exercise routine throughout the month of December.  It's something a friend posted on Facebook, and it is basically doing squats.  Every day you up the number and by December 30th, you have to do 100 ...I mean, you are able to do 100 squats.  I did the required 20 yesterday, and haven't given up yet.  I still have quite a few hours left in this day to do the 25, or however many it calls for.  The problem I'm having is not exercise related however.  I'm having a problem with the word 'squat'.  It's an ugly word and I don't like using it, so I'm going to come up with a different word to describe the straight back bend down with your hands outstretched and your head up exercise, just so I don't have to use that ugly little 5 letter word.

Not all bad words are 4 letters.

As all exercise terms are words that describe the action being taken by the exercisee, the word has to be rather illustrative.  Honestly, the only time in the real world when I perform this pose is when I am using a public toilet.  Who, in their right minds, actually sits on a public toilet?  I worry about the future when I learn of a child that just plops their tush onto the Sears toilet seat.  Really, just wait until you get home, unless it is an emergency, at which the happening is a very rude and expressive one.  Do YOU want to sit on the seat after this expressive happening?  Me neither.

This is not me.

So this exercise will henceforth be christened 'the Hover'.  You're welcome.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Eve, the Transsexual Key Lime Tree

Can you water plants with beer?  I wonder that every time I have that last few sips from a warm and slightly backwashed can of crappy American beer.  I usually don't drink it fast enough to prevent the leftovers that get tossed, and I'm often sitting in my uber comfy rocking chair next to the winter rescued plants.  One of the plants is a bougainvillea that is going on about 4 years old, and the other is a key lime tree that we brought up from Florida, and he is 12yo.

The key lime tree is actually the offspring of the original, but it sprang from her roots, so really it is part of the same, just a touch smaller.  Kind of like the way Christians say that Eve was extracted from Adam's chest, but in root extraction form.  And I was god.  Hmm, now I will name my key lime tree Eve.  But I think Eve is a boy, the tree that is, so maybe he is a transsexual key lime tree.

 The original took a good 7 years before giving us any fruit, which was always just one or two limes after teasing us with about 8 million flowers.  Eve has yet to produce for us, which is pretty understandable seeing that he is a he.  Maybe I'm wrong though, maybe Eve really is a girl.  I think it takes a fruiting tree (is fruiting a word? well it is now... and spell check didn't correct it, so there.) about 9 or 10 years to bear fruit, so I'm not giving up on Eve.  Eve is pretty, whether we get a lime from him or not, and I love him for who he is.  See, proof that god loves transsexuals too.

So you can imagine my dilemma. Do I water these plants with backwash laced, beer leftovers?  If these were just normal throw away plants, I'd give it a swirl, but I don't want to damage them.  I should note here that I am far from a half way decent gardener.  I buy plants for my garden from the half priced rack, plant them in my sort of shady sort of not shady garden, and institute a survival of the fittest rule.  Every once in a while I water them, but really, if they can't hack it, then it's their problem.  It's a war of the roses.

Maybe I'll go out to the half priced, sad plant bin, buy one that looks a bit healthy, and feed it beer backwash.  OOhhh, that could be a school science project!  We'd have to call the beer 'liquid refuse' but  it could win!  At least I'd give it 1st place.  I can't wait until my kid gets to third grade...