QUOTE OF THE DAY (OR MORE): "No, no. You don't understand. This is an '89 Calico. I'm pretty sure that exceeds the Kelly Blue Book value. The cat's totaled." --A comedian whose name I forget talking about a vet who presents a $3,000 bill for a 12-year-old cat

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Okay... so remember the list of cookware/bakeware items my 13-year-old was supposed to bring to school to make quickbreads with the other 8th graders?

Here it is again:

two 10”-12” mixing bowls

one set of measuring spoons

one fork

one set of dry measuring cups

one liquid measuring cup

one rubber spatula

one mixing spoon

I learned in a subsequent email from the teacher that the kids, who are baking in teams of two, could divide up the necessities between them. I was glad I wasn't going to have to label all that stuff... I mean think about it - labeling every measuring spoon and every dry measuring cup ... and not being able to get the darn masking tape off of the bottom of anything. I relaxed a bit, foolishly basking in the knowledge that our duty would be cut in half.

You see the foreshadowing here once again, don't you?

Last night as we were preparing the items to accompany him to school, I brightly mentioned: "oh - hey, buddy. Your teacher said that you could divide the items between the two of you; did you do that?"

"Oh yeah," he answers, my little McFly, "yeah we did."

"Whew," I sighed with relief. "How did you split it up?"

"I agreed to bring the first 4 items and she agreed to bring the last 3."

My first thought was: "Great; that's really fair..." and then my slight irritation increased as I gazed upon the list while juxtaposing the first 4 items on the list with the last 3. Go ahead and peruse the list again yourself.

No, really. Go ahead. I'll wait.

k. See what I mean?

Essentially my son is bringing everything while the chick brings 2 spoons and a cup.

I'm frustrated now because he didn't think this through, and this means my having to send him in with not one, but TWO large, heavy good mixing bowls... not one, but FIVE separate dry measuring cups, each with its own permanently affixed label to mitigate the urchins' "little to no recall [of whose items are whose] when it comes to which cooking utensils they took out of their bags less than an hour before," individually labeled measuring spoons (again - FIVE of them), and .. oh... a fork.

She's bringing 2 spoons and a cup.

I kept shaking my head, not really believing he hadn't noticed this disparity.

"Bud," I asked, "did you not LOOK at the list? Do you think it makes sense how you divided it?"

"um, nope," he answered. "I just knew there were 7 things on a list."

I smacked myself in the forehead and managed to calm myself down while tediously labeling 13 items.

Then... as we pulled up to school this morning for him and his brother to hop out, he whined: "how am I going to carry all of this stuff in?" - the stuff being his heavy backpack, an extra large binder and folder, his lunchbox, AND 2 large mixing bowls, 5 dry measuring cups, 5 measuring spoons and a fork.

I couldn't restrain the feelings which were lying dormant.

"Well gee, I dunno, buddy! Maybe you should have looked at the list before you decided to bring most of it!"

There was no way I was parking the car (I would be lynched for stopping where I was in the drop-off line and walking all the way to the middle school with him and back) and walking him in on a morning when I had no make-up (not a big deal, really, that one), my hair in a ponytail (again - part of my regular look), my pink, green and blue pajama bottoms, my non-matching hot pink slipper socks puffed into my heelless sneakers, my long-sleeved non-matching maroon Bay State marathon Tshirt (my favorite item of clothing now since I qualifed for the Boston marathon there... I never take it off), and here's the best: a hot pink (but different shade of hot pink than my slipper socks) scarf hanging around my neck. Wait. For you to really get it (split infinitive, I know) I'd better take a picture....

See? He was on his own schlepping all of that stuff in to school.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Your kids are mentally challenged...

This memo I just received from the 13-year-old's teacher had me laughing out loud, so it's blog worthy. Here goes. Pay special attention to the part in red. llol.

To: All 8th Graders and 8th Grade Parents

From: witty Head of the Middle school and erudite librarian (these names have been changed :)

Re: 8th Grade Thanksgiving Baking Tradition

On Tuesday, November 24, the 8th Grade will bake loaves of quick bread during their first two periods. The breads will be donated to a local charity.

The class has been divided into teams of two (or three, in one case) students. Each team will need to bring in the following:

two 10”-12” mixing bowls
one set of measuring spoons
one fork
one set of dry measuring cups
one liquid measuring cup
one rubber spatula
one mixing spoon

Bitter experience has taught us that, despite our 8th Graders being bright, visually perceptive, and generally knowledgeable about their own possessions, they have little to no recall when it comes to which cooking utensils they took out of their bags less than an hour before. So please LABEL the items you send with your child in such a way that the label will remain evident after washing.

I have also enclosed the baking pairs list so that your child can work out with his or her partner who is bringing what.

We will buy all the ingredients; all you have to do is send in the requested equipment.

Thanks in advance for your support.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Only evil people write checks at the grocery store

Early this morning after I drop kicked the boys sadly said goodbye to the boys as I dropped them off at school, I went to my local Safeway for, literally, one item. Our house is on the market (anyone want a house?), we had a walk-through scheduled for late this morning, and I like to have fresh flowers in a vase on the kitchen island for walk-throughs.

I procured a lovely bouquet of alstroemeria, Gerber daisies and Asters and proceeded to the checkout line.

I like my local Safeway because it is a mile from my house and I know its contents and their whereabouts like the back of my hand. In and out.

What I don't like about Safeway is that there are never enough cashiers, but I give them a break and don't complain (much) because I know the economy is tough and they need to pinch pennies.

I mosied up to the only line open (I could mosy because there wasn't any competition approaching the checkout area at the same time as I was), an express lane for 15 items or fewer which contained a woman with a plethora of items, I'd estimate 50. (See the link in that last marathon sentence to learn grocery store line strategy).

I know what you're thinking... but no. I wasn't irritated at the lady, because it wasn't her fault. Safeway only had that one lane open at that early hour, and I have been that lady with the 50 items needing to check out when the only lane open is an express lane. I felt her pain, I did.

I employed a different strategy. I conspicuously kept checking all around me within view of the cashier and the store manager. Getting the hint, the cashier said: "is there someone behind you?" to which I truthfully responded: "uh huh." My strategy worked; she got on the intercom and called for help with the cashier lanes. I'm brilliant, I know.

Well, Linda from produce took her sweet time getting to the lane which she was to open, and I played the game we all play when relief is coming to the cashier lanes: I tried to figure out which was it was going to be so I could dart over there, what with my being next in line. In the meantime, a harried looking woman took her spot at the end of our line, now 5 people long.

You can see the foreshadowing, can't you?

When Linda took her spot in aisle 5 and flipped on her light, the harried looking woman, last in line, darted over to the newly opened register. I walked over and planted myself behind her and bit my bottom lip hard. If she didn't have so few items and it didn't look as if she were going to make something specific with them (I think maybe it was a blueberry cheesecake? - which I imagined would be for some housebound old woman somewhere), I would have said: "excuse me, but I was before you, ma'am," in my nicest, sweetest, most diplomatic voice possible (yes, husband, it does exist).

Like I said, I held my tongue. I am going to heaven for sure.

My lip started bleeding as this woman, when her few items had been tallied and bagged by sprightly (not) Linda, proceeded to dig into her pocketbook. She couldn't possibly have begun digging into her purse while Linda was bagging and tallying, could she have!? THAT would have made sense and been efficient, especially by someone who was in such a hurry that she had to cut in front of the entire line...

As blood started running down my chin from my lower lip and my blood pressure began to rise, she finally pulled out her checkbook. People, if you still write checks in the grocery store, know that you are living in the age of dinosaurs. They take credit cards, folks. They take debit cards. It's all electronic these days, people. Get with the millenium.

Because this woman was in such a hurry that she had rudely to cut in front of everyone, she had already written out her signature and the signatory and was just waiting for Linda to give her a total, right? NO! She hadn't even pulled the checkbook out of her 80s purse!

[Insert sound effect: a distant scream, as if from a mountaintop, starting out as a piercing, loud scream and then ever so slowly fading....]

The woman took 10 minutes to fill out the check and hand it to Linda, whom I think had finished filing her nails by now. There ensued some controversy as to the exact amount of money Linda wanted to receive as change from having written above the amount she needed to pay for her flippin' blueberry cheesecake ingredients!

When the evil, check-writing woman was finally gone and I had purchased my flower bouquet (in a matter of 30 seconds; I actually timed myself and my quick credit card transaction), I had blood dripping down from my lip (oh LORD I wanted to say something to her or to the cashier after she had gone) and I decided I had burned enough calories in anxiety to skip my training run today (not).

Ah. I feel better now. Thanks for listening.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Surprise! Surprise again!

It has KILLED me not to blog about such a blogworthy subject, but I finally can now.

Get this: one of my best friends and her husband both turned the big FOUR OH this fall, and they each planned a surprise party for the other. How funny is that?

The whole plan was quite convoluted; I avoided talking to her just so I didn't mess anything up.

His surprise party came first; as everyone had gathered in their home, waiting for him to arrive, she depravedly made the rounds, proclaiming for all to hear: "he hasn't even SHOWERED today. ha ha!"

We just all nodded to ourselves and thought, knowing her turn would come in a couple of weeks. "Ha. You just wait."

Sure enough, last weekend, as she thought she was coming to listen to a band, she ended up entering a room of friends and family and a canine, some of whom had traveled 500 miles to attend.


That pooch? One of her surprise presents. This makes her FOURTH dog. (They also have 3 cats, 2 horses and 2 goats). Did I mentioned she's depraved? I love her anyway.

Her party fell on the same day as the husband's and my 16th anniversary, so we were grateful for the party...

There they are, the two 40-year-olds, each the surpriser and the surprisee in turn.

Things got a little crazy when the band played Sweet Home Alabama (3 times)

You can dress her up, but, well....
Happy Birthday, friends!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nonverbal communication

Without even muttering a "woof," Sophie has made it quite clear what she thinks of being left in her crate during the day.

But she's really cute, isn't she?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I am a good mom

There are exactly 3 chocolate chip cookies left, and the TWO boys get home from school in a half hour.
I think I need to eat one of them so that they're not fighting over who gets the extra, yes? (Fractions, smactions)
God I'm a good mom...