Saturday, November 30, 2013

It's About Time I Was Thankful For This!

Thanksgiving has come and gone for another year, but the Ten Things of Thankful goes on! 

After a trip to my brother's home for Thanksgiving (yes, you will hear more about it; no, not today), I'm home and ready to be thankful for:

1. Blog friends. I hate to name names, because I'll leave someone out, but here are a few bloggers who have been incredibly supportive of me, and I think you should go visit them, if you haven't already:

        Jenn @ Something Clever 2.0

        Andrea @ Underachiever's Guide to Being a Domestic Goddess
        Wendy @ Wendy Nielsen: Writing A New Story 

2. More blog friends. Here is a partial list (PARTIAL, people) of bloggers who have become more than just someone whose blog I read regularly; they truly are my friends:

        Christine @ A Fly On Our (Chicken Coop) Wall

        Lizzi @ Considerings

3. Even MORE blog friends. These are the ones I love to read, mostly because they make me laugh my head off:

        Amy @ Banana Wheels

        Synnove @ Don't Chew On The Dinner Table
        Ashley @ Sorry, Kid, Your Mom Doesn't Play Well With Others
        Beth @ Writer B Is Me
        Zoe @ Rewritten
        Vanessa @ My Half-Assed Life
        Kristi @ Finding Ninee

4. And blog friends who are just the NICEST people, in their writing, in their comments:

       Kari @ Miss Bloggypants

       Kris @ Mrs. Always Random and Usually Shallow
       Diane @ Our Adventures With Riley (we are also SISTAHS)
       Stephanie @ Life, Unexpectedly
       Natalia @ Sophia's Unique World
       Lisa @ The Meaning Of Me
       Sandy @ Mother of Imperfection
5. And the blog friends who provide the Y chromosome for my blogging life:

       Jak @ The Cryton Chronicles

       Clark @ The Wakefield Doctrine

6. And because I KNOW I'm leaving people off my list, I'm thankful for EVERYONE ELSE in my bloggy world. EVERYONE! Write your name right here: _____________________

7. I cannot BEGIN (and did you know if you mess up typing "begin" you get "being"? Just wondered.) to list all my IRL friends who have supported my little blogging efforts, especially those ones who never fail to read the posts and comment via Facebook (that would be YOU Ruth M., Kristin P., Lisa B., Lagena and Cynthia). 

8. My family has to go on this list. They are remarkably tolerant of me exposing them to the blog world. And they give me SUCH GREAT MATERIAL.

My kids call it "blogging orphan syndrome."

My son says, "If you say something, she'll blog the damn thing."

Adds my husband, "If I say anything, she slowly picks up her phone, looks at me, and takes notes."

That's right, dear family. You are always a potential topic.

9. I'm thankful for the Notes feature on my phone, because it allows me to capture things like this:

From my 14 year old daughter:

"I like to lay on my hands when I'm on my stomach and look like a whale. Is it working?" 
  (Ed. note: only if a whale is 5'3", 100 lbs., and blonde. So, no.)

"Past Me would be so proud of present Me."

"I don't have a forehead. I have a fivehead!" 
   (Said while lamenting that she has what she feels is a high forehead.)

Daughter (complaining about her brother): He's been using my shampoo and conditioner and I'm almost out! 
Me: Why? He has his own shampoo.
Daughter: I know, but he says he likes to use mine sometimes.
Me: Well, SOMEBODY has been using my Philosophy soap in the shower and has added water to it thinking I wouldn't notice.
Daughter: Well, why don't you ask HIM? He likes using girl stuff. Maybe he needs some tampons. 

And there's this little gem between my husband and son:

Husband (trying to talk to son through bathroom door): I can't hear a thing you're saying in there when you have the door locked.
(sound of doorknob rattling)
Son: There. It's unlocked. Can you hear me now?

And these quotes from my husband: 

"When do you stop eating? When your left arm gets numb?"

(After telling him I saw a coyote while driving home from the store): "I don't know if I would recognize a coyote unless he was carrying a suitcase with 'Acme' on the side."

"I think the secret to a successful marriage is not having things in common but hating the same things."

10. I'm grateful for Ruby. She is so helpful in everything I do, especially writing.

Link up, peoples. 

Ten Things of Thankful

 Your hosts

Monday, November 25, 2013

November Pinterest Challenge: Preschool Edition

When I accepted the Pinterest challenge from Anna Hartman from In The Next 30 Days and Wendy Nielsen from Wendy Nielsen - Writing A New Story, I couldn't leave well enough alone with just doing a recipe challenge. 

All those preschool ideas I've been pinning? Yep, did a few of those, too. 

I needed a bulletin board idea for November for my primary class, which is composed of 11 three year olds who are turning four over the course of the school year. This is the idea I got from Pinterest:

My version, using the little hands in my class:

I LOVE this! I will say it was challenging to make handprints (let's remember we are painting hands on 3 year old kiddos - loose cannons at best) in the middle of the tree. I literally picked up a couple of them and held them by the waist with one arm while guiding their painty hand with the other. (Never EVER inwardly scoff again when you hear someone is a preschool teacher, thinking they've got it E-A-S-Y.)

Next, we made Indian corn. This is what I saw on Pinterest:

And this is what we made:

Look at her sweet finger!
The Pinterest link showed a child using
the end of a pencil to do this, but I
say go big or go home.



Time for a pre-k project. This class meets three mornings a week and is made up of 16 four year olds. Our Pinterest project was chosen to replace the same old, tired, turkey handprint project we've been doing for years and using for a placemat for our Thanksgiving feast.

This is what I found on Pinterest:
Pinterest won't take me to the site, saying it
looks spammy, so, there you go.
Consider yourself warned.

And this is our finished product:


And now, for a little Pinterest Challenge of my own, I am posting a picture the primary class made of the Mayflower. I got the idea from a Mailbox magazine, but instead of cutting out a handprint for the hull of the ship, I continued my theme of torturing my assistant teacher and, yes, painted their hands, because that's the way I roll:

Now to see how many re-pins I get....

November Pinterest Challenge: Recipe Edition

I have always been a collector of recipes like some people collect things like snow globes. 

Wait, I collect those, too.

Like some people collect Precious Moments figurines (that is DEFINITELY not me).

I collected recipes long before the internet came along. I bought magazines and clipped recipes. I bought cookbooks. I checked them out from the library. And I got recipes from friends and family. I had overflowing shelves and recipe boxes.

 Aaaand, I continued to use the same handful of recipes I had always used. 

A few years ago, this magical thing called Pinterest came along, and my collection became neatly organized on my boards, but I still wasn't doing much more than continuing my hobby as a recipe collector.

Then one of my favorite bloggers, Wendy Nielsen, posted about a monthly challenge by Anna Hartman from In The Next 30 Days to "execute one of the eleventy-billion recipes or projects we're always pinning over on Pinterest." I'm always up for a challenge. Color me IN!

I started my Pinterest Challenge, Recipe Edition, with what I THOUGHT was going to be Crockpot Chicken and Noodles and which turned out to be Incredibly Easy Chicken and Noodles. A little bait and switch, if you ask me, but I made it anyway.

Their version:

My version:

My verdict: Fine, but nothing to write home about. I don't really need a recipe to throw together some chicken, noodles and cream soups and call it dinner. Perhaps the fact that I didn't READ the recipe until I started making it served me right, because had I read it, I don't think I would have made this and instead, would have allowed it to languish on my board.

My next recipe for the Challenge was Crunchy Black Bean Tacos.  I have been drooling over these for, apparently, a year (nice of Pinterest to log when you pinned something, so you know just how very long you have ignored it). 

Their version:

My version:

Holy cow, these things were DELISH! Frying them in olive oil was silly, though, as it's (a) expensive and (b) has a low smoke point (both things pointed out by my husband when he came in the kitchen to see how the tacos were turning out). I ended up doubling the recipe and switching halfway through from olive oil to canola oil without changing the taste of the tacos.  I also didn't put the cilantro in because, as I confessed above, I have a wee bit of a habit of not reading the entire recipe before I begin, and I didn't notice cilantro on the ingredients list. My husband, who is a huge cilantro fan, said he didn't miss it at all in these. So there you go.

Chicken Tamale Bake was next. We had mixed reviews about this at my house. The problem with it was the cornbread base. The recipe calls for a box of Jiffy cornbread mix, to which milk, egg, chopped green chilies, shredded cheese, pepper, cumin, and a can of creamed corn was added. Jiffy mixes make a slightly sweet cornbread. Creamed corn is very sweet. Put those together, and it doesn't matter HOW much cumin you add (just an observation, but cumin smells like B.O.), that cornbread base is going to taste very, very sweet. Which was the complaint my family had. I was the least put off by it and ended up eating all the leftovers. I would make this again, but I would make the cornbread from scratch, using very little sugar, and substitute whole kernel corn for the creamed corn. Which would mean I would have to adjust the liquid in the recipe and which negates it being any kind of "quick" meal. 

Their version:

My version:

My last recipe in the Pinterest Challenge was Crispy Quinoa Bake. First of all, it was not crispy, but it might have been if the oven temperature had been 400 instead of 375. And quinoa is an acquired taste. Or texture, anyway, because it really doesn't taste like anything much. My daughter and I were not in love with the finished product, but my husband was. He already had a love affair going with quinoa, and he did nothing but rave about this dish. He thought it had a meaty texture that made him not miss that there was no meat in it. He loved the flavors, the texture, yada yada yada, and wants to see it become part of the regular menu rotation. Yay. 

Their version:

My version:

She's not loving it.

There you have it. I do regularly make quite a few of the other recipes I have pinned. Like lasagna cups. And mini chicken pot pie cupcakes. And slow cooker cream cheese chicken chili, which I don't make in a slow cooker. And cranberry feta pinwheels. Oh, just follow me on Pinterest and see for yourself!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

25 Weeks x 10 Thankfuls = Too Much Math

For 25 weeks IN A ROW, I've been posting a little list of ten things for which I am thankful. 25 weeks. (I'd say half a year, but even as much as I hate math, I do know that 52 ÷ 2 = 26, not 25, so Lizzi, have you planned the 6 month party for next weekend yet? Just wondering.)

There are some weeks (this may be one of them) when the idea of coming up with ten things I can be thankful for is more than a daunting task. And there are some weeks when it is difficult to stop at ten, but as I am a rule follower, I pick the ten best things and leave it at that.

This week's 25th Weekaversary Edition of the Ten Things of Thankful begins now:

1. I had a migraine on Saturday. That's two Saturdays in a row that this has happened, if you're keeping score. I'm thankful that it was relatively mild, as migraines go, because I was in a town about 45 minutes away (accessible by two-lane highway only) with my daughter and her friend to watch a college volleyball game. We were sitting at Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers when the migraine hit. I took four ibuprofen immediately and was able to drive us home about 30 minutes later when the blind spot finally left my field of vision.

Volleyball team watching volleyball.

2. I spent all day Sunday in my jammies, nursing my migraine hangover and snuggling with sweet Ruby.

3. Ruby had her first visit to the vet this week, where she tested negative for Feline Leukemia (whew!) and was determined to be in excellent health and a sweet and beautiful baby. Oh, and she weighed in at a whopping 1.5 lbs. I really don't know what we would have done had she tested positive for FeLV; we are all head over heels in love with her (except for Pete).

4. Later the same evening as her vet appointment, I noticed Ruby rubbing her left eye with her foot. Upon closer inspection, I saw that her eye was rimmed with pink and was very watery and obviously irritated. It got progressively worse as the evening went on and was no better the next day, so I had to call the vet's office to see what to do. The solution was to stop by and pick up a prescription for an antibiotic eye ointment for her, and while I really do think she picked up the infection at the vet's office and probably should have been given the ointment for no charge, I am grateful that the antibiotic is working, and she is much better. And that she never showed any other symptom of feeling ill other than rubbing her eye. She was just as bouncy as usual, even right after getting a smear of ointment in her eyes twice daily.

5. I am working on a 30-day Pinterest challenge that I learned about from my bloggy friend Wendy Nielsen (whom I lurrrrve). Results show will be Monday, but here's a sneak preview for you: I made something with quinoa and it didn't suck.

6. Wednesday, I started feeling kind of crappy. Sore throat. Sinus-y headache. Achy. Slight cough. On Thursday, I felt even crappier, but I shouldered on. That morning, during circle time with my primary class, I watched as probably 7 of the 11 in the class coughed or sneezed without covering their mouths with their elbows (or anything else - at this point, I'd even take a hand, as long as the mouth was covered). I talked to them YET AGAIN about the importance of covering your mouth and nose with your elbow when you cough or sneeze, that I was now coming down with a cold and I got it from ONE OF THEM. At this point, one of my boys got a big grin on his face and said, "I bet you got it from me!" Kind of cute how proud he was that he gave me something, even if it was his cold. (And yes, I believe he was the Midwest Distributor, as my dad would say.) And it ended up being a pretty mild cold, as that was my worst day, although I am FAR FROM CURED.

7. I came home from school that day, put on comfy clothes, covered up with a fuzzy warm blanket, and napped with Ruby, the house quiet except for her purring.

8. On Friday, my pre-k class got everything done in preparation for being Indians at our preschool Thanksgiving Feast on Monday. I wasn't sure we would get it all done, as they are so busy socializing that they don't get their work done in a timely fashion, but we made it. Vests, drums, headbands, necklaces, placemats, DONE. Bring on the Pilgrims.

9. I am not a proponent of putting your Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving, but since we won't be at our house for Thanksgiving, I gave myself a head start on decorating by taking down all the fall decorations and putting them in bins, ready to go up to the attic when the Christmas stuff comes down. I feel very accomplished.

Ruby has tipped this basket of mums over
about a hundred times in the past 2 weeks.

10. Borrowing a page out of Clark's book, I am making my tenth thing of thankful that I am thankful that I came up with 10 things. Shut up if you think that I only did 9. It was all I could do to get the ones I did.

If you're reading this and you haven't given Ten Things of Thankful a try yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Be part of the Legend.

And PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE notice (and mouse-over) your artistic co-hosts of TToT spelling out a message to you, which would never have happened without the begging and threatening of our Founder, Lizzi of Considerings. (Psssst - I'm the "Y".)

It's time for the 25th TToT
Please join our hosts so

Everyone's favourite Pig Wrangler Who do you want to be today? Clark? Scott? Roger?</ area> She's loving the Sunny side of life Cloudy with a chance of poetry Purveyor of brain-candy, beautiful words and dorky pictures Nutty as a bloody fruitcake! Our Bardic WIZARD, and mascot The Skipenator She'll bake you a mountain of thankfulness What the L? She's deranged! Our very adorkable warrior Image Map

And just for you, a freebie, too:

Ten Things of Thankful

 Your hosts

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday 11.20

Winning people over, one kitten at a time....

Admitting Ruby is adorbs is the first step, Lizzi. And thank you for the lovely tribute!*

*TOTALLY not my artwork. Lizzi's da bomb at it though, isn't she?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

It's Not Just About Kittens This Week!

Holy mackerel, this week went by quickly! I'm nervously typing this as Pete saunters into the room and gives Ruby, who is sitting in my lap, the stink eye. He is feeling a little displaced (a little?!), as he likes to lie in my lap while I'm on the computer, too. And not that I'm playing favorites, but the difference between having a 25 pound cat in your lap while you're working who is also lying on at least one arm, effectively cutting off all circulation while you're typing, as compared to a 1 pound kitten who curls up in a little ball and purrs merrily, is exponential.

Here are my 10 Things of Thankful for this week:

1. The boys haven't pounded Ruby into the ground yet, and she probably deserves it, because she's getting very brave and sassy around them. Fletcher is a tail swisher; his tail is always in motion, from a little flick to a whip, and Ruby finds it irresistible. She sneaks over and gives it a little swing, gets braver and gives it a pat, then moves on to a full-on pounce, and he just looks at her as though she is just an annoying little sister. Pete still snarls and hisses on occasion, but he will stay in the same room as her, which she accepts as a challenge to poof up as big as she can and do a sideways, bouncy advance on him. Fortunately for her, she can also bounce away pretty quickly, and all is still well.

2. We have given Ruby the run of the house now, and she chooses to sleep with me at night. It's very sweet to have her snuggle up next to me (I have a fuzzy blanket that I throw over the top of the covers in cold weather that is an absolute cat magnet - I predict that by Christmas, I will have 3 cats on the blanket with me on a cold night, leaving little room for me). I have to lie very carefully, so I don't roll over and squish her. Very. 

3. Aleve. I am thankful for it on many levels, but it's especially comforting when I have spent the night sleeping in one position, because I don't want to disturb the purring fuzzball next to me.

4. I left preschool one day this week, picked my husband up at his office, and drove us to a restaurant clear across town for lunch (big 5 mile trip!). As we were getting out of the car, I reached in the backseat to get my purse aaaaaand - no purse. Whooops! Seems I forgot to get it out of the cabinet where I keep it during school (at the requisite 5 feet off the ground, if there are any state health inspectors out there reading this), as I already had my arms full with stuff that I was taking home to work on over the weekend. I'm so thankful that I didn't get pulled over by one of the many police officers I passed on my way from point A to point B to point C.

5. For the purposes of clarification, let me state that I never HAVE been pulled over by the police.

6. Obviously, we switched drivers for the trip back from the restaurant. Then I had to resume driving with no license from my husband's office back to preschool to get my purse, which is a total of four blocks. And yes, I saw a police car on my way. And no, he didn't pull me over.

7. Even though all three kitties seem to be getting along together fairly well, I still come home from an absence worried that there will have been a re-enactment of "The Gingham Dog And The Calico Cat" in my house. I came home yesterday to find:

I call this "Still Life With Cats"

8. I took my daughter and a friend to see the high school play last night. We went to eat first ("Welcome to Moe's!"), then to the 9/10 Center to see the play. They even let me sit with them! I love listening to them talk about all things school and boys.

9. The play, "You Can't Take It With You," in case you were dying to know, was excellent. The acting, the costumes, the set - oh, the set! It was beautiful! Lots of detail, completely in keeping with the WWII time period of the play, right down to the telephone, the typewriter, the snake. WHAAAAA??? Yes, there was a live snake in a glass cage on the set. And THANKS TO ME, that snake didn't escape, because I spent the entire play keeping at least one eye on it to make sure. YOU'RE WELCOME, FELLOW PLAY PATRONS, YOU'RE WELCOME!

10. It's Saturday. The weather is weird. Warmish. Terribly windy. Spitting a little rain. But my mommy is coming this morning to meet her new grandkitten and take me on a belated shopping expedition for my birthday. Time to move the kitten off my lap, get out of my jammies and get ready!

LINK UP TIME! Right here, right now.

Ten Things of Thankful

 Your hosts

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday 11.13

I will concede that it might, MIGHT be possible that I had a little trouble unraveling the package of raffia....

Monday, November 11, 2013

Bring On Monday. Please.

Highlights of my weekend:

Had a migraine on Saturday afternoon. Enough said.

Pulled a cat turd off Fletcher's butt that was stuck in his fur. DON'T LIKE READING ABOUT IT? IMAGINE HAVING TO PULL IT OFF!

Made beef stroganoff for the college boy. Seemingly used every pot, pan and utensil in the kitchen, then had to wash them all, dozens and dozens of them. DOZENS, I tell you.

Also seems I have a bit of a habit of using the wrong size pot, pan, bowl, etc. And by wrong sized, I don't mean too big. I may underestimate volumes just a wee little bit. Might account for the dozens and dozens of dirty dishes I had to wash.

Baby Ruby has been given run of the house during the day, and she immediately put the big boys' catfood on her radar, which is not agreeing with her kitten tummy. Some not-very-pretty things ensued.

Why won't Sarah Palin just go away?

As I vacuumed the rugs in my room, the vacuum cleaner started smelling like it was about to burst into flame, so I had to turn it off, unplug it, and perform exploratory surgery. Diagnosis was what appeared to be about five pounds of long hair wrapped around both the beater bar and the motor pulley (that's the roller brushy thingy and the little posty thingy that the drive belt loops around, for those of you who don't want to Google it).

Killed 137 wasps in the living room. Or maybe it was more like 5, but it SEEMS like more when you're chasing one around with the fly swatter, trying to smack it before the kitten climbs the curtains to get it. Did I mention I had a migraine?

Went to Aldi to get groceries (along with about half of the town - why did I wait until Saturday afternoon to get groceries?) and their debit card machine wasn't working, which meant I was able to buy $17 worth of groceries, because that's all the cash I had, and thus limiting me to essentials necessary for beef stroganoff: noodles, broth, sour cream, mushrooms, roasted red pepper hummus (that last one might have been just a little something for the chef...). And before you ask, I already had beef in the freezer.

There is civil unrest in my house over the naming of Ruby. I say the one who scoops the litter box, feeds and waters them, cleans up the kitty barf, and PICKS POOP OFF THE KITTY BUTTS gets the final say in the naming of the cat. End of story. 

Sorry to see the weekend over so soon? Not. Me. Bring on Monday.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Ten Things of Thankful: The Kitten Edition

Because I know you are DYING for an update, before I go any further with my 10 Things of Thankful post for this week, I want to let you know that I am no longer hearing "Wrecking Ball," "The Cup Song" OR "Royals" in my head on continuous play; I now have "Allison" by Elvis Costello stuck there. At least there has been an improvement in the quality of the song.

#10 on last week's list announced that we had a new member of our household. Here are my 10 Things of Thankful that I brought that baby girl home with me.

1. We are still arguing about her name. I have decided to call her Ruby. The rest of them can just live with it.

2. She cries for her mama when she's sleepy, and I have to hold her while she makes cookies and soothes herself until she falls asleep.

3. She keeps me from getting anything done around the house, like laundry and cooking and cleaning.

4. She is like a toddler on speed. Except she's potty trained already.

5. She thinks I'm her mama. Thankfully, not enough to try and nurse or anything, because she'd be in for a rude surprise there on so many levels. Just in a cuddly, snuggly, follow-me-all-over-the-house (or sleep on my laptop) kind of way.

6. The other two cats are s-l-o-w-l-y warming up to her learning to tolerate her. Fletcher started out by lurking in the same room with her and has progressed to touching noses with her. Pete no longer is reduced to a hissing, name-calling, snarling ball of fury; he has gotten within a foot of her without bursting a blood vessel, although he keeps a wary eye on her at all times.

This is Fletcher, in his box. He claimed this box as his own when we brought it
home from Sam's Club when he was about a year old. It has been sitting
in our entry hall ever since. It is his and his only. He trained Pete to stay
the hell out of it, and he will have Ruby trained, too. Maybe.

7. She is very chatty.


9. She is endlessly amused by chasing her own tail.

Yep, still following you.

10.  Because she is asleep on my hand, I am willing to type this entire post with one hand, as it's best to let sleeping bundles of energy sleep undisturbed as long as possible.

Let's hear it, everybody, "Awwwww!"

And an unofficial #11 (because I am a rule follower and can't make it official, as this is TEN Things of Thankful):

I am thankful for my AWESOME "WAKEFIELD DOCTRINE" T-SHIRT that arrived this week.

And it's PINK!

You know that 30 Days of Thankfulness that folks are doing on Facebook? Skip that, do this. It's much more fun!

Ten Things of Thankful

 Your hosts

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Rubbing Elbows With Strangers

If you happened to read this post, you will know that my husband and I recently went to the movies, were the first ones in the theater, and then the next thing we knew, the 25 or so people who also came to the movie sat all around us, in spite of the rest of the seats being empty. 

Last week, when I went to my follow up appointment with my general surgeon, I also got to see the college boy, as the doctor's office is in the same city as his school. On any visit to the college boy, regardless of time constraints or time of day, it is mandatory to take him somewhere for a meal. His tastes are relatively simple, one of his favorite places being CiCi's Pizza, a buffet-style pizza restaurant (the one in our town was blown away by the tornado and has yet to re-open, so he is still making up for lost time by eating at the one where his school is as often as possible).

It was around 3:00 in the afternoon when he and I headed to CiCi's, and the place was relatively empty, with only a few patrons sitting at booths along the wall. We were the only ones seated in the center of the restaurant, which is filled with tables (and vaguely reminiscent of, say, a college dining hall). We were winding down with the pizza and starting to think about eating some dessert pizza (they have a decadent one they call a Bavarian Cream pizza, which I am pretty sure has nothing to do with Bavaria but everything to do with delish) when a couple in, oh, their late 70s came in.

And sat down at the table right next to us.

The woman and my son were very nearly touching elbows.

All the while, 90% of the restaurant IS EMPTY.

See that plate? Bavarian Cream Pizza. Totes delish.

Now, the next part is kind of sweet, as she proceeded to set the table with plates, napkins and utensils while her husband got them drinks. They took turns going to get their food, then sat side by side to eat.

Right. Next. To. Us.

We left the restaurant not long after and laughed about it in the car. My son speculated that perhaps that is "their" table, the one they ALWAYS sit at when they come to the restaurant, and we were infringing on THEIR space by sitting there (you know, like Methodists and the way they all have "their" special pew in the sanctuary).

"And," he continued, "what about the way she set the table?" 

"She's probably been setting the table for him for 60 years," I replied.

Then I had a bit of an epiphany. Or a brain fart. Because the next thing I said was, "Your dad and I will never be married for 60 years."

I did not notice my son's reaction and blithely continued on, "I mean, I intend to live to be 104, but your dad, well, I'm not sure about him. And he was 33 and I was 32 when we got married. 60 years? That would put us into our 90s. Probably not going to happen."

And then my son quietly said, "Gee, thanks for that."

I looked over at him and saw a tear trickle down his cheek. 

What was just a simple math equation and a certain amount of practicality to me was deeply upsetting to my tender-hearted son.

While he is 18 and considered an adult, inside, he is still that little boy who, at age 6, when he heard a news report about a woman who neglected her baby until it died, cried and said, "Mama, why couldn't WE have taken that baby from her and taken care of it?" The one who turns the lid around on my mother's kitchen trash can every time he's at her house. The one who still likes to climb into bed with us sometimes, all 6'3" of him.

And there are no backsies.

Instead, I apologized for being so unthinking. And I bought him a glow in the dark rat, which he planned to dangle over his roommate later that night.

Now, please excuse me; I have a 60th wedding anniversary to plan.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday 11.6

Were our neighbors trying to tell us something when they 
pointed a giant cat's ass towards our house on Halloween?

Friday, November 1, 2013

It Was An Alarming Week

When I am Sovereign Ruler of the Universe, I am going to declare the day after Halloween to be a holiday from school. Get ready for it. In the meantime, I must plod along life with the rest of the masses, biding my time, and occupy myself by finding the thankful in the past week. Here goes.

1. You know how you get a song stuck in your head for days and days and can't get rid of it? I had Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" on interminable repeat in my head (and I like the song, actually, if I hear it every once in awhile, but not over and over and over...) and FINALLY was able to dislodge it. 

2. We all know the only way to dislodge a song that's stuck in your head is to replace it with another one, right?  Goodbye, "Wrecking Ball." Hello, "The Cup Song (When I'm Gone)."

3. Got rid of "The Cup Song" by, yes, replacing it with ANOTHER song. This time up, "Royals" by Lorde. I do love her voice! Which is a good thing, because I keep hearing it over and over and over and....

4. I make a pretty darn fine sugar cookie. This week, I made a double batch and cut them out into pumpkins and fall leaves, then frosted them and sprinkled them with colored sugar. I would show you a picture, but I ate them all. 

5. Always good to have a reason that I can't possibly finish the laundry.

6. Had a follow up visit with my general surgeon, Dr. Dorian Grey. He did a VERY THOROUGH breast exam, made all the more weird by the fact that I can feel the pressure of the exam but not actually feel anything on my skin. Ever fall asleep funny on your arm and your hand goes to sleep and is so far beyond the prickly stage that it seems completely dead? Like that. He didn't find anything of concern, and I don't get to gaze at his unlined face and auburn hair don't have to go see him again for another six months.

7. Our security alarm went off the other night at 1:30 a.m. Before going to bed that night, I had taken an ibuprofen p.m. in an attempt (failed) to thwart the insomnia I have been having for the past few weeks, and had finally dropped off into that deep, dark sleep that sometimes happens right after you drift off. At the blaring of the alarm, my husband leaped out of bed and headed for the upstairs alarm control panel, catching his foot in the handle of a duffle bag that was sitting outside the hall closet door on his way.  I was aware of the alarm going off and of my husband thundering out of the room, and was trying to drag myself out of my ibuprofen p.m.-induced sleep when I heard the crash caused by him falling over the bag, followed by a stream of curse words. He got the alarm off, then headed downstairs to investigate when the alarm went off a second time. I had gotten up by this time and pushed my way past him, going down the stairs to the alarm control panel in only my pajama top, having shed the bottoms during an earlier hot flash, and hoping I didn't meet a burglar. When I checked the downstairs panel (which is the only one with a digital read-out of the alarm status), I saw that the cause of the alarm going off was a problem with the phone line. I walked into the kitchen and picked up the phone. Problem, all right: no dial tone. (Cell) phone calls to the alarm company and the telephone company and two hours of flopping around, hearing "Wrecking Ball" or "The Cup Song" or "Royals" on an endless loop, and I finally dropped off to sleep. Aaaand the alarm went off again. AND IT WASN'T EVEN SET. So what did I bring away from this for which to be thankful? No burglar, silly!

8. I had a dream this week that I was pregnant, and in spite of my basket being rendered relatively useless from two uterine ablations, and my egg production halted both by the monthly Zoladex injections and the daily Arimidex tablets, I woke up just short of hyperventilating. Once my heart stopped racing, though, all I could think was, "Whew!"

9. Halloween is over! Yahoo! (I really don't like Halloween that much.) It rained buckets all that morning and into the afternoon, but by 4:00, the sun was shining and in another hour, the kids started ringing the doorbell. We ended the night with over 900 trick or treaters, and now it's over for another year.

About 6:30 p.m.

Really starting to get busy. Around 7:30 it was crazy,
with kids lined up all the way from our front porch to the street.

10. Best for last! We have a new baby at our house. As of this writing, she remains nameless (and we are open to suggestions). The other two cats hate her. HATE her. HAAAAATE HER. She is currently kept segregated from them until everyone can play nice. And I love her.

Don't miss the party! Link up now! I mean it!

Ten Things of Thankful

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