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, February 15, 2011

Listen to your heart

A couple of days ago the 14-year-old and I were heading out the door in the morning to school. A pencil was lying on the kitchen counter. I hate clutter.

"Is that your pencil, buddy?" I asked.

"Yeah," he replied without a shadow of guilt for having left it lying around (just kidding. If I flipped out every time a kid left a pencil lying around, in addition to the hundreds of other random items of crap they magically spread from their domain throughout the house I would be in a mental hospital).

"Do you need it for school today?" I lovingly questioned.

"What does your heart tell you?" he questioned in return.

ya can't make this stuff up.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What's wrong with going the wrong way through the car wash?

Sometimes other people give us the best laugh!

Hope you enjoy this lady!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The 14-year-old thinks he's funny

The 14-year-old thinks he's funny and well, I guess he is. For my grandmother's 93rd birthday, I made a chocolate cake with chocolate icing; the three generations of women in my family would consider no other flavors appropriate for birthday cakes.
As the cake was being sliced, I loudly announced before anyone had taken a bite that I had made the entire thing completely from scratch - no box mixes, no canned pre-prepared icing. I was quite proud of myself.
The 14-year-old thought this was a good time to quip: "You might have wanted to have waited until we've all tasted it before you gave us that little tidbit of information."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The 12-year-old guest blogs...

Well, not really, but I wanted to publish this cool play he wrote - a spoof on Greek mythology:

Sailing in Myths
By the 12-year-old

Scene 1
(The curtain opens. Two men are standing on a ship.)
Capt. John: Ah, nothing like a nice whaling trip, eh Louis?
Louis: Are there even any whales in the Mediterranean Sea?
Capt. John: Of course!
(A whale appears.)
Louis: What is that?
Capt. John: That's a Sperm Whale!
Louis: Really, Captain?
Capt. John: No, it's a woodpecker.
Louis: Really?
Capt. John: Yes. Now quick, get the harpoon!
Louis: Why are we going to shoot a woodpecker with a harpoon?
Capt. John: It's not ... why do I even bother?
Louis: Too bad. It flew away under water.
Capt. John: What's wrong with you?
(The curtain closes.)
Scene 2
(The curtain opens. There is a storm rocking the ship. Capt. John and Louis are hanging on for dear life. The lights are dim.)
Louis: What's going on, Captain John?
Capt. John: Well, I'm no expert on the weather, but I'd say this might just be a STORM!!!
Louis: Wow! You're so smart!
Capt. John: I don't need your idiocy right now Louis! We're sort of in a pickle if you haven't noticed.
Louis: (Amazed) We're in a pickle? Cool!
Capt. John: ... Really Louis ... Really?
Louis: Yeah! You just said so Captain.
Capt. John: HOLD ON!!!
(The lights turn off)
All: Waaaaaaa!!!
(The curtain closes.)
Scene 3
(The curtain opens. The storm is over. Louis is on top of Capt. John. Capt. John shakes him off and stands up. Louis stands up to.)
Louis: That sure was a mighty strong storm, eh Captain John?
Capt. John: Uhhhhhh ...
Louis: Still shaken up from the storm, Captain?
Capt. John: What? No, I've been through much stronger storms. I can't believe we didn't get the whale.
It's entirely your fault! You onerous, incompetent fool!
Louis: I'm sorry ... I didn't know-
Capt. John: (yelling) See that's just it! You never know, you idiot!
Louis: I... I'm sorry. I-
Capt. John: Just be quiet! I don't have time to deal with you! (Mocking) We're in a pickle? Don't shoot the woodpecker with a harpoon! You-
(A hole opens in the water. A giant figure rises out of it.)
Capt. John: Who are you?
Poseidon: Poseidon! The Greek God of the Sea!
Capt. John: Poseidon?
Poseidon: Yeah.
Capt. John: Did you create that storm?
Poseidon: Yeah.
Capt. John: Are you trying to kill me?!
Poseidon: Yeah.
Capt. John: Why?!
Poseidon: Because you tried to kill my Sperm Whale. I'm just lucky that nice boy stopped you.
Capt. John: That was your whale?
Poseidon: Yeah, his name is Mr. Whale.
Capt. John: Mr. Whale?
Poseidon: I was never very good with names, okay?
Capt. John: Oh, go back to Greece!
Poseidon: As much as I hate to burst your bubble, I'm not the only one going to Greece.
Louis: Land ho!
Offstage Voice (Male): POSEIDON!!!
Poseidon: Oh, here. (Poseidon hands a small metal lightning bolt to Captain John) Bye.
(Poseidon leaves. The curtain closes.)
Scene 4
(Capt. John and Louis are on land next to another giant figure holding a lightning bold.)
Capt. John: Let's see. A lightning bolt? Oh, let me guess… you're Zeus.
Louis: (cheerfully) Hello!
(Zeus leaves)
Capt. John: Well that's just great! C'mon Louis, let's go get that boat .
. (Capt. John and Louis leave.)
Scene 5
(Capt. John and Louis are walking. Zeus chases after them and blocks their path.)
Louis: Thank you!
Capt. John: It should be called Greek Mythology for Louis'.
Offstage voice (Female): WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!
Zeus: BYE!
(Zeus hurries offstage. Capt. John and Louis continue along their wcry.)
Scene 6
(Capt. John and Louis walk onstage. A giant female figure walks out the center of the curtain.)
Athena: Hello, travelers. My name is Athena, the goddess of wisdom.
Louis: (a loud whisper) She's much prettier in the book, Captain John.
Athena: Hey!
Capt. John: (a loud whisper) Never trust illustrations Louis.
Athena: You know I'm standing right here! Here! See? Five yards from you guys!
Capt. John: Yes! The goddess of wisdom! I was wondering if you knew where my boat is.
Athena: Oh, you must be Captain John the lightning bolt thief! It's on the other side of Greece.
Capt. John: I'm aware of that. I was wondering if you could tell me where.
Athena: Of course I can!
Capt. John: Great!
Athena: But I won't.
Capt. John: Huh?
Athena: You called me ugly. Bye. (Athena walks offstage.)
Capt. John: Well that's just perfect! (Capt. John storms offstage followed by Louis.)
Scene 7
(The curtain opens. A giant man is behind it. Capt. John and Louis walk onstage.)
Dionysus: Hey peoples. What's up in yo crib, dogs? I'm Dionysus, the Greek God of Wine.
Capt. John: That's nice. Do you know-
Dionysus: Say, do you dogs got any wine?
Capt. John: (to Louis) Wine is the last thing he needs.
(Dionysus snaps. A bottle of wine appears.)
Dionysus: AwwwwwYeah!
Capt. John: Okay Bye!
Louis: Bye. (Capt. John and Louis slowly make their way offstage. Dionysus starts to rap.)
Dionysus: Wine! Made from grapes from a grapevine! Oh Yeah! Yummy in my tummy!
(The curtain closes.)
Scene 8
(Capt. John and Louis walk across the stage in front of the curtain. Another giant figure runs up on the other side of the stage. He stops them.)
Ares: Halt! I am Ares! The mighty Greek God of War! What is your purpose for traveling?
Capt. John: My boat is on the other side of Greece. I'm trying to find it.
Louis: (to Capt. John) A boat? Hey! I've seen a boat! We were just riding in one! Do you think it could be the one we were looking for?
Ares: Wow He's stupid!
Capt. John: Yeah.
Ares: So, who do we have to fight to get that boat of your back?
Louis: Ewe. Fighting? Fighting is never the answer. Let's see if we can solve this dispute in a more peaceful manner.
Capt. John: Fight? There's no fighting.
Ares: Well, as the god of war, fighting is my instinct. Well, if there's no fighting, I'll have to pass. Good Luck!
Louis: Bye!
(All characters continue on their way and offstage.)
Scene 9
(The curtain opens. A giant figure is standing onstage with a lyre. Capt. John and Louis walk onstage.)
Apollo: Hello! My name is Apollo. Not a speed skater. Not a boxing champion in a movie that sounds like it's about a rock named by Poseidon. o. I am-
Capt. John: Let me guess. You're a Greek God.
Apollo: Why yes! How'd you know?
Capt. John: Wild guess?
Louis: We've seen like, a million!
Capt. John: We've seen five.
Louis: Yeah, well .. I was close!
Capt. John: Sure.
Apollo: So I'm the God of music and light. My twin sister's name is-
(Louis takes out the book)
Louis: Wait! Wait! Waitl. .... um a p o here, Apollo. Page 95.32,48,55,64, 78,87, 106, oops!
Missed it! Here page 95! Urn ........... Airtymis!
Apollo: It's pronounced Artemis.
Louis: Okay.
Apollo: Oh no! The lyre quintet meeting is in an hour! I have to go! Bye!
Capt John: Bye.
Capt. John and Louis walk on and Apollo hurries off. The curtain closes as they do so.)
Scene 10
(Artemis walks onstage. She is holding a bow with an arrow notched in it and is taking aim. She is a giant like the others. Capt. John and Louis walk onstage.)
Artemis: Hello travelers. I am Artemis. The Goddess of the hunt.
Capt. John: Hello there.
Louis: Hi!
Capt. John: We just met your brother, Apollo.
Artemis: Oh, him? That's weird. I could have sworn he had a lyre quintet meeting in forty-five minutes.
Capt. John: Yes, he did.
Artemis: I hope he's not late.
Capt. John: Hey! Have you seen a whaling boat?
Artemis: I'm an immortal Goddess! Of course I've seen a whaling boat!
Capt. John: I mean recently! I'm missing mine.
Artemis: You lost a boat? That's embarrassing.
Capt. John: Aarrgg! This isn't helping! Let's go Louis!
(Artemis goes back to hunting and leaves. Capt. John and Louis leave.)
Scene 11
(A giant woman walks onstage. Capt. John and Louis enter on the other side.)
Louis: Hi there lady!
Capt. John: Hello. Please excuse my comrade's stupidity.
Demeter: Hello. My name is Demeter. I am the Goddess of the harvest.
Louis: The harvest? That so boring.
Demeter: Hey punk! You wanna have a winter anti-wonderland the rest of your life?
Louis: N ... n .......................... n .. n .. n .. n .. n .. n n n n n .. n .. no!
Demeter: I didn't think so! (Mumbles to herself) Aaahhhh! Mortals.
(Demeter storms off)
Scene 12
(The curtain opens. A giant figure is typing at a computer. Capt. John and Louis walk onstage.)
Capt. John: Ummm ... hello.
Hermes: (Doesn't look up) Hi. I'm Hermes. The messenger of the Gods. I used to fly around but I just found out about e-mail and it is soooooo much easier!
Capt. John: Yeah ... anyway, have you seen a boat? Recently?
Hermes: No. Wait. Really? No way! OMG! I've got to tell Cary and Marvin and Kyle and Stacie on Facebook and-
Capt. John: Okay you are soooooo not doing your job!
Hermes: I'm the messenger God. I'm instant messaging. Messaging! That's my job.
Louis: Ohhh snap! You just got burned Captain John.
Hermes: It's true. I totally just burned you.
Capt. John: You're the messenger God. Not the instant messenger God!
Louis: Ohhh snap! You got burned back Mr. Hermes!
Hermes: Instant messaging is a type of messaging.
Louis/ Hermes: Ohhh snap! Double burned!
(Louis and Hermes high-five.)
Capt. John: We have to go! C'mon Louis!
(Capt. John and Louis leave. Hermes continues typing. The curtain closes.)
Scene 13
(The curtain opens. A giant man with a giant hammer is onstage. Capt. John and Louis walk onstage.)
Capt. John: Hello sir, how are you?
Hephaestus: I'm okay. My name is Hephaestus. I am the God of fire. I am also the blacksmith of the Gods.
Louis: Why just okay? You have a big hammer. Happiness is just set up for you!
Hephaestus: That's what I thought too. But I've learned that there is more to life than just giant hammers.
Capt. John: (Sarcastically) Really? Enlighten me.
Hephaestus: Well, I think my wife, Aphrodite is running around with Ares again.
Louis: Hey! We saw Ares!
Hephaestus: Really? Did you teach him a lesson he'll never forget?
Capt. John: Okay. Let me explain something to you. Me mortal, he God. We fight, he win. Comprendo?
Hephaestus: Si, mucho comprendo.
Louis: (confused) What er you taaalking about? I don't speak German.
Capt. John: Shut up Louis!
Louis: Hey Captain, look at the map!
Capt. John: What about the map?
Louis: We're almost across Greece!
Capt. John: No, Louis. We're almost across the Greece you spilled on the map.
Louis: Oh.
Hephaestus: Well then you men better get moving.
Louis: True that!
Capt. John: Bye.
Louis: Bye.
Hephaestus: Bye.
(Capt. John and Louis continue. The curtain closes.)
Scene 14
(The curtain opens. A giant woman is sitting in front of a mirror. Capt. John and Louis enter.)
Capt. John: Well looking at the book, considering we've only seen Olympian Gods, you must be, Aphrodite. Hephaestus's wife.
Aphrodite: That, my ... ugly friend is true.
Capt. John: Ugly?!
Aphrodite: Why yes! Look at those wrinkles! Dreadful! Oh, excuse me. I am the Goddess of love and beauty.
Capt. John: Now that makes sense.
Louis: Well gosh, you shore are pretty!
Aphrodite: Why thank you, I know! And you ... aren't.
(Louis starts crying)
Capt. John: Well now look what you made him do! He'll be like this all day and I'll have to deal with it!
Aphrodite: Well it's not my fault that he's almost as ugly as you.
Capt. John: That's it we're leaving! C'mon Louis!
(Capt. John and Louis exit. Aphrodite turns back to the mirror. The curtain closes.)
Scene 15
(Capt. John and Louis cross the stage. Louis is no longer crying, but he is red-faced. A giant woman storms across the other way and stops next to the two men.)
Hera: Hello. Have you seen Zeus? Wait! You two? Oh, you're the ones that Zeus took the boat from.
Hermes told me the whole story. Here's your boat.
(A boat comes out of the middle of the curtain.)
Hera: Zeus is with that 10 nymph again! ZEUS!!!
(Zeus comes out where the boat did)
Hera: I gave them back their boat because you were seeing Io!
Hera: Now wait! It wasn't their fault anyway! They didn't steal the lightning bolt!
Hera: Oh, I'm going to intervene! C'mon Zeus!
Zeus: OKAY.
(Zeus and Hera leave. Poseidon enters.)
Poseidon: Well I really fired him up didn't I?
Capt. John: What's your problem?
Poseidon: Fine. Maybe I went a little too far.
Capt. John! Louis: A little!?
Poseidon: Fine ... but I'm an Olympian God so I still school you!
Capt. John: Fine. C'mon Louis. Let's head home.
Louis: Right behind ya Captain.
(Capt. John and Louis push the boat through the center of the curtain. Poseidon exits on the side.)
Scene 15
(Capt. John and Louis are sailing again.)
Capt. John: Well that was an utter waste of time!
Louis: Not really.
Capt. John: Oh? How do you figure?
Louis: I took Poseidon's trident.
Capt. John: Well Louis, it looks like we won after all!
(The curtain closes.)
The End

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Laundry liability

I get tired of pulling random items out of the laundry... so I came up with the idea of putting a sign above the laundry chute reminding the boys to empty their pockets of crap before throwing said clothes down the chute.

It doesn't work.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sophie the opera star

I love watching dogs with their heads hanging out the window of a moving car; it's just one of those things in life that makes me smile. I've never seen a dog look sad with its entire head (or more) protruding from a car window, wind in its face, eyes slightly closed, nose to the air, delectable scents wafting readily toward it.

I used to be chagrined that Sophie couldn't enjoy this favorite doggie pasttime because she's confined to the very back of the SUV... but then I thought of folding the back seats down so that she, too, could partake of this near nirvana experience.

Once I figured it out, she needed no encouragement. She's gaga about the wind in her whiskers as we drive down the road, no matter the speed. She's in the doggie zone. Happy as a clam.

I must admit that, when she sticks her head out the window, I get such a kick out of watching her that I reposition my sideview mirror so that I can see her more readily (yes, I also watch the road and my rearview mirror).

Now, Sophie-style is to poke her full head out of the car window, close her eyes slightly, and close her mouth completely.... at least it was her style until recently.

Last week on the way to pick up the 12-year-old from school, she changed tact in a way that had me giggling uncontrollably. She had her full head out the window; it was raining slightly. For some reason (I forgot to fill her water bowl, perhaps?), she opened her mouth. No big deal, right? Except that opening her mouth gave her a completely different sensation, and she loved it. She loved it so much that she proceeded to maneuver her jaw left and right, back and forth, to feel the difference in the streaming air. That was funny in and of itself. What made me lose it was that when she moved her jaw around, the altered windstream created a whistling noise. The noise delighted her to no end, and before you know it I was driving the country roads with a German Shepherd girl sticking her head out the window, moving her jaw consciously back and forth to enjoy the melody it created. The "aha" moment was hysterical. She would close her mouth, cock her head, then open it and move her jaw: boom - whistle sound.

Driving with Sophie will never be the same again.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hell is freezing over...

Hell is freezing over because look! I did something creative! I made a pumpkin cheese ball, complete with a stem fashioned from the icky tasting end of a bunch of broccoli.

I admit that it's from a recipe, but still.... it turned out pretty cool.

It's the little things in life... lol

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Real conversations with the 14-year-old

me: "Son, is your seatbelt on?"
14-year-old: "nope."
me: "Put it on, please."
14-year-old: "It IS on, Mom!"

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween challenged

I am just taking a moment to be grateful this morning.... grateful that the 14-year-old, as a freshman in high school now, no longer must have a Halloween costume.
I know, I know. Some of you are gasping for breath, unable to believe that there exists, right here on earth as your fellow human, a person who despises having to generate an idea for a child's Halloween costume, let alone find the time to create it from scratch. While I have some very good friends whom I admire immensely for their ability to produce an incredible, homemade, imaginative Halloween costume, I, myself, always depended on Target.
Therefore I am grateful this morning for my older son's status as a freshman in high school, exempt from all activities which prove his mother Halloween costume-challenged, and a younger son who is old and creative enough to produce his own homemade Halloween costume.
This year the 12-year-old is a "Cereal Killer." He is carrying a cereal box (a cereal which had no high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors or hydrogenated oils, mind you) with a fake knife plunged into it and fake blood spurting out of it. I could never have come up with that idea.
Though I am inept at Halloween costume creation, I can carve, as you can see, a mean pumpkin (assuming someone creative has already laid out the pattern for me on paper). I also do some pretty good iced Christmas cookies....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Would you, could you with a mouse?

We have stink bugs. Who doesn't? Before I found out that the unfortunate and grotesque result of two stink bugs' mating was 400 more stink bugs and that their only predators are my husband and I, I used to throw them delicately outside where they belong, as I do for other bugs I find within the confines of my house. Yup, I'm a pacificist when it comes to anything living in my house, big, scary spiders and those disgusting centipedes, of course, excepted. They die. I'm not really clear as to why God created those sorts of creepy crawly things that seem to serve no purpose except to give humans the heebie jeebies. Or maybe that IS the purpose. Perhaps it's part of punishment of the human race for Eve's greed in eating the apple? Being subjected to creepy crawly creatures?

I've digressed, haven't I?

My point is that when, 2 nights ago, the 12-year-old pounced down the stairs and, relatively calmly, informed me: "um, mom. There's kinda sort of a mouse in your bathroom."

After clearing up that he wasn't kidding and that there was, indeed, a mouse in the bathroom, trapped into a corner by a candle, ostensibly, I quickly yelled to the husband: "we are NOT going to kill him." See? I had already assigned the little guy a gender.

Chaos followed.

I was assigned to procure a pot and its top while the husband raced to the garage to put on his work gloves in case the little guy bit him in our best efforts to free him. The boys sped upstairs to get a glimpse of the action.

We arrived in the bathroom, closed the door to make escape more difficult, and carefully removed the candle to reveal a quivering, good size mouse in the corner, wondering what in the world he had gotten himself into.

"I'm not touching him," the husband proclaimed.

"Oh, fine," I said. "Give me your gloves." When I tried to grab him, though, he moved.... and he moved VERY quickly... into the room with the potty in it. The boys followed, the husband followed, and I followed. We were all chasing this little tiny mouse around the master bathroom.

"Cut it out!" the husband demanded, stressed out already by the ordeal. "I don't need you boys in the way!"

I laughed, but the husband wasn't yet seeing the humor in the situation.

He blockaded himself inside the potty room with the door closed... just him and the mouse.

A loud and chaotic struggle ensued, audible but not visible, with the husband muttering various things to himself or no one in particular... "F_ING MOUSE!!" Clanging of the pot could be heard clearly. It sounded like world war three in the tiny room behind closed doors. At one point the request for a tall trash can in lieu of the pot was made.

Then... a silent moment.

"Did you get him?" I asked.

"Kind of," answered the husband.

"You didn't hurt him, did you? What do you mean kind of?"

"Well, I've got him under the trash can but don't know how to get him IN."

Finally, after a lot more noise and perserverance, the husband triumphed. He emerged from the little room, sweat covered and holding the tall trash can.

"Athletic little guy, geez," he observed.

We unceremoniously replaced him outdoors, as far away from the house as we could (as if that will prevent his visiting again...)

Now it's back to stink bug eradication around here...