Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Stressful is as stressful does...

Well, my iMac is now up and running, after a complete hard drive replacement. *sigh* And for Christmas, the Husbandly One and I decided to forgo gifts for each other, and bought an external hard drive instead.

Not that we didn't get each other gifts, anyway. I filled a basket with little flavored coffee samples, and a cool Christmas mug, as well as his favorite treat, a Terry's Chocolate Orange, and he got me Spirit Tracks for my DS. Heh. I'm currently in the top of the Snow Temple, battling Boss Fraaz, and it's got me... Fraazled. *snort of laughter* After he destroys the ice and flame torches, it becomes considerable harder to kill him, and it also doesn't help to have a nearly nine year old critic at my elbow. "Freeze him, Mom! Use your boomerang to collect ice from that spot he spit the ice at and hit him with it, so his flames go out! MOOOOM!! You MISSED it!!! No, no, now you have to collect the FLAMES!! The FLAMES, Mom!!! MOOOOOOOM!!!! YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!!!!"

Is it any surprise that I sometimes play my video games while hiding in the closet?

And hey, I won Zelda Phantom Hourglass FIVE TIMES!! Doesn't that give me any video game cred??

Anyhow, the iMac is running again, though the fan is now giving us fits. It speeds up, and then slows down, then speeds up, and slows down. I'm putting in a call to tech support to see if we need to bring it in again, or is this something we can deal with ourselves. *sigh*

This has been a strangely stressful Christmas, with only a few stress-free moments. Christmas Eve at my best friend's for dinner, Christmas day with the kids, in which we watched them tear into their gifts with big grins and didn't worry about hurrying them up and getting them fed, cleaned up, and dressed for the drive into Houston and Christmas at my sister's. Instead, we relaxed, took our time, enjoyed watching them discover the Nerf dart guns, the Nerf swords, the books, the video games, and their Asian snacks. Yes, you read that right. They love Ramune and Pocky, and whatever else THO finds at the little Asian market by where he works, and so we buy them every Christmas, and sometimes at Easter, too! I think this year, there were some little chocolate filled pretzels called "Pucca." The jury's still out on that one. Some sort of milk-flavored candy with a lemony back-taste that I'm still making up my mind about, and a cherry flavored gum that I want more of, and even now, I'm resisting rummaging in the kids' rooms to find. Miss Priss got some manga, and I found Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Demigod Files when I went shopping with the Tall Blonde, so that was in there, too. Mr. Impossible got a new DS Lite to replace the one that died last August, due to much abuse. It took the old one dying for him to understand why THO and I kept insisting that he put the thing down when he got frustrated. I will make a recommendation to any parents on my list who have purchased a DS system for their little ones, or who have kids who are a bit on the accident prone side; Nerf Armor. Nerf makes "armor" for the DS systems. It's soft, cushy, and more importantly, shock-absorbing. Buy this. Seriously. Your wallet (and sanity) will love you for it!

And the Husbandly One bought a PS2 system as a family gift, as well as a few games, most notably Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which the kids (especially Little Man) sorely missed after we replaced our PC with a Mac. As you can imagine, Harry Potter got played. A LOT.

After breakfast, and a morning of playing games, and just hanging out, we went to go see "Avatar" and were completely blown away. Went home, and all was well.

Saturday, however. *palm-forehead* Jays, I was so stressed out, because we were supposed to drive into Houston to the Blonde Sister's, and my asthma started acting up just to make things MORE fun, and the kids were squabbling, and oh, I just didn't want to go, but I sucked it up and got in the car, and we left. And yes, I know that sentence is all rambly, but you know, I think it describes the mood and feel perfectly!

However, we'd barely gotten 30 miles into the trip when the Impertinent Daughter piped up from the back seat with, "Um... I'm not sure if I unplugged the hot glue gun before we left. It's sitting on my clock radio, and I don't remember if I unplugged it."

I thought the Husbandly One was going to swallow his tongue. HE was stressed out, because yours truly was stressed out, and that was just... the icing on the cake. Because... we had to turn around and go back. Even after she frantically remembered that yes, she had unplugged the hot glue gun, the Husbandly One and I looked at each other grimly, each of us picturing the same thing: returning home Saturday night to a pile of ashes. Not. An. Option.

So, I dug out my phone to tell the Blonde Sister we weren't coming, knowing it would sound like the Lamest Excuse Ever, but... *shrugs* And why was this a problem? Well... it takes about 3 hours for us to get to Houston. We had left the house just after 11, and we wanted to be at the Blonde Sister's around 2:30 or so, and we were not planning on staying overnight. Returning home to check things out, and then getting back on the road would mean us getting to Houston sometime around 5, and then having to drive home that night. Driving home at night after such a stressful day is... exhausting. We've done that too many times as it is. So... once we were home, we were home. End of story.

And the damn glue gun was... unplugged. Naturally.

So... we went shopping instead, and picked up a few things, let the kids spend their Christmas money, that sort of thing. Got the Impossible Son some new sneakers, and got our usual shock of, "What, his shoes have been too small???" and stared at the new shoes on his feet, thinking they were just too damn big, until he took them off and we realized his feet were just too damn big, too, so, you know he's going to have a growth spurt soon... AAAAUUUUGGHHH!!!! WHERE DID MY BABY GO???

Obviously, the same place my wild fairy child went. *sigh*

Well, we'll probably go to Houston on New Year's Day and leave the presents for my great niece and great nephew there (yes, Auntie is old enough to be a great aunt, now), as well as my mom. In the meantime, I plan to enjoy the rest of winter vacation with the Husbandly One and my kids. Maybe we'll go see "Sherlock Holmes," today. That would be awesome!

I hope everyone's holidays are going well, and that you all got everything you wanted, and maybe even something you didn't know you wanted, but were delighted to get anyway!



Monday, November 16, 2009

Because it was lovely...

You ever have one of those moments when you're wholly absorbed in something, and then something happens that reminds you of why you have come to this particular place in your life?

We were at the library. The Husbandly One and the Impossible Son had gone off into the children's section to look for books, and the Impertinent Daughter and I had gone to look for manga. The manga and graphic novel section is right across from the yarn crafts section, so when I didn't find what I wanted in manga, I walked over to look at books on knitting, since I'm trying to learn. And I found what looked like a fascinating book, No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting by Anne L. Macdonald (no, that's not a typo, that's the way it's spelled on the cover of the book), so I slipped it off the shelf, opened it, and started reading. You'd think a book about knitting, especially the history of knitting, would be boring, but I was wholly and completely absorbed within seconds. How could I not be, reading about how Boy Scout troops during World War I spent hours knitting squares to be sewn together to make blankets for soldiers heading to France? Or when the township of Andover, Massachusetts, decreed in 1642: "The court doe hereupon order and decree that in every towne then chosen men are to take care of such as are sent to keep cattle that they are sett to some other employment withall as spinning upon the rock, knitting & weaving tape &c that boyes and girls will be not suffered to converse together..."

Oh, I was lost! I was standing there, head bent, book open, completely and totally absorbed and then, I don't know how to describe it adequately. There I was, one moment lost in the book, the next, suddenly aware of a presence, breath against the back of my neck, and then lips on my skin. I gasped and turned... to see bright blue eyes looking into mine, and the Husbandly One smiling at me with mischief.

Normally, any one sneaking up behind me and taking the liberty of kissing me on the neck like that would end up with a bloody nose, because I'm a little tightly wired, if you know what I mean! But... somehow, even though I never heard him coming up, even though I wasn't even aware of him until half a second before he did it... I just knew. Somehow, I just knew. And that was just... mind-blowing. After nearly 19 years, you'd think I'd be used to this kind of thing, to just having this... awareness of my husband... but it's constantly a surprise, and it makes me ridiculously happy. Totally ridiculously happy.

*contented sigh*

Miss Priss had a soccer game both on Saturday and on Sunday. And her team lost both of them. *sigh* After yesterday's game, we had a party for the kids, they got their trophies, and had a "Parents VS Kids" game afterwards, which was a HUGE amount of fun. And yes, the Husbandly One played, and so did I! And even more important, I did NOT end up, splayed on the ground, doing a face-plant. Y'all should be immensely proud of me! It was exhausting, and I coughed my lungs up last night, but it was entirely worth seeing the look of delight on the Impertinent One's face when she spotted me playing defense across the field from her. Totally!

Mom, in cleats, running down a forward and keeping him from scoring. Mom, blocking the ball and passing it to midfield. Mom, not dying and not falling. Mom is awesome!

I've won enough awesome points to last me through Christmas!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

And now for something completely different...

Yes, as a matter of fact, I am a Star Wars nerd... why do you ask?

My kids found this, and dragged me to the computer to watch it. They've been singing it for days!! And I can't tell you how funny it is to walk in on my son, dancing in his room and singing, "Kiss a Wookeeeeeeeee, kick a drooooooid, drive the Falcooooooooon through an as-terrrrrroooooooooid, till the Princeeesss gets annnooooooyed....."


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Maybe he was trying to erase bad memories??

So, the Asthma Monster arrived with the ragweed pollen, and I'm ... not doing as badly as say... last year, but I'm still not a happy camper. After I got the kids off to school, I took my meds and pretty much passed out in bed till 1, then got up and groggily decided lunch wasn't happening for me and stared at the computer for a bit. Then I thought shower might help matters, and was in the process of getting in when... the phone rang. And at first, I was going to ignore it, thinking, "Oh, if it's important, they'll call back..."

But you know, there's this thing called "Mom Radar," and I just knew...

So, I answered it and... it's the nurse from the Impossible Son's school. And my first thought was, "Dammit, he's got a fever... I knew I should have kept him home when he said his throat was sore!"

But nooooo... now, y'all just know it's not going to be that simple for Auntie... right?

"Mrs. J? Yes, I have Mr. Impossible here in my office, and it seems he's been stuffing erasers up his nose."

O_o... wtf???

"Erasers? Up his nose?" I said intelligently.

"Yes. I got most of it out, but his little nose is so swollen, I can't be sure there isn't more still in there..."

"Erasers?? Up his nose??" I said, apparently still stuck in first gear.

"Yes. You're going to have to take him to the doctor or the clinic..."

"Erasers?? Up his nose??"

Gobsmacked does not even come close to covering it.

So, I got dressed (yes, I talked to the school nurse on the phone NAKED) and called the family doctor. "No, we don't have any openings today, we're full up," the nurse said. Great, I thought. That means the so-called "urgent care clinic," in our town, which closes at 5 p.m. It's less an urgent care clinic, though, and more of a... well... let's put it this way... if your problem is urgent... you're better off going to the emergency room, because you aren't getting in to see so much as a nurse for at least two hours. So, I called the Husbandly One to let him know what was going on... and went straight to voice mail. I waited a couple of minutes, called again... and straight to voice mail. Fuck this, I thought, and called the office landline.

It was disconnected.

Wonderful, I thought, greatly frustrated. And decided to move on.

I went to pick up the little miscreant fezart eraser-up-the-nose-stuffing poor little guy, and found a rather embarrassed son standing in the nurse's office. The nurse pulled out a small bag with crumbled bits of eraser in it, and my stomach dropped. Now, when the nurse had said "eraser," I thought she meant either the ubiquitous big pink eraser that has haunted primary school since time immemorial or those funny wedge shaped ones you put on top of the pencil when the built in eraser wears out.

But no, not even close.

It was... an art gum eraser!! The suckiest eraser known to mankind. The eraser that crumbles into bits the moment you touch it to paper. Yeah, THAT one.

Could he have picked a worse type of eraser to stuff up his nose or what?

"Where did you get this?" I asked, staring at it. "I didn't give you art gum erasers!"

"From the teacher," he said, shrugging.

I checked him out, and of course, I could not help asking The Question. You know the one I mean. The one parents have asked every time one of their kids does something so ridiculous and just plain weird, and just want to understand why??

"Why did you stuff eraser bits up your nose?"

He blinked and gave The Answer kids have always given their parents when they do something ridiculous and just plain weird. Shrug. "I don't know."

Because really, he doesn't. He has no idea, none at all. It just... seemed like the thing to do. He borrowed the eraser from the teacher, tried to use it, watched it crumble and suddenly thought, "Hey, you know, those are just the right size to fit up my nose." Or maybe he thought, "You know, those crumbly bits look just like nasty, dried up boogers. Hey, I'll stuff them up my nose and see if I can gross people out!!" Who knows??

Well... the clinic was stuffed to bursting. Literally. The parking lot was packed, there were cars parked up and down the street and there were people waiting outside. People who stood in little groups, hunched in misery, eyes streaming, sneezing and coughing, dabbing at eyes and noses with crumpled tissues...

I took one look at that and thought, "Oh, no, not today." Yeah, THAT'S what we need. The FLU!! I don't think so!

I took my stinker home and made one more call to my doctor. "Is there any way y'all can fit me in? The clinic is stuffed to the gills. Look, I'll sit and wait for the first available second..."

"Let me talk to the doctor," said the receptionist, and then came back with, "I talked to Dr. R, and the PA, and they both said that they don't have the equipment to deal with this, since you said the erasers are up in both nostrils. They said you should take him to the emergency room."

I looked at the Impossible Son, who was dancing to New Found Glory on his iPod. Our E.R. co-pay went up, and I really wasn't looking forward to taking him someplace else where there would be MORE flu-stricken people. The closest urgent care centers to us are in Austin, New Braunfels, and Wimberly. I was not going to drive into Austin at 3:25 p.m.... not unless he was bleeding out his eyeballs. New Braunfels and Wimberly were out, too. And I still couldn't contact THO.

Thinking of THO reminded me that he had surgery three years ago in San Marcos... with an ear, nose, and throat guy who sees all ages. I googled him, called their office, and yes, yes, no problem, bring him on in.

YAY!! So, knowing that the Tall Blonde would pick up the Impertinent One, I took Mr. Manzie in to San Marcos to see Dr. T. who Mr. Manzie just LOVED, and after sticking a tube up that little nose that let him look into Mr. Manzie's sinuses, was able to tell me that the Impossible Son either sneezed the eraser crumbs out, or swallowed them, because his sinuses were clean.

Oh, happy day!!

He then gave Mr. Impossible the "Don't stick anything up your nose or in your ear that's smaller than your elbow," speech, which still cracks me up, because wow, kids always react the same way. The first thing they do is... try to stick their elbows in their ears!! I think doctors do that on purpose, just to see if a kid will do it!

Much relieved, we made our way back home, and then to the Tall Blonde's house to pick up the daughter.

The Husbandly One called not long after I'd arrived. "Where are you?" he asked, sounding frantic.

Turns out, he turned his phone off, because it needed to be charged and he was saving it in case he needed it while driving. And his company changed their phone numbers, but he never worried about it since he carries his mobile with him all the time. He'll be giving me that new number pretty quick, I think!

All in all, a more adventurous day than I'd anticipated. Ah, the adventure that is parenthood. It's not for sissies, or the faint of heart. And I still haven't gotten my shower!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Every once in a while, the pathway between my brain and my mouth short-circuits, and gives my family fuel for entertainment for months, possibly years to come.

There was an open house at the Impossible Son's school this evening, and afterwards, we went to the grocery store to pick up a few things. It was on the way home from the grocery store that the discussion turned to Halloween and costumes. The Impossible Son asked me if I was going to dress up this year. "I dunno," I said tiredly, because I've got the Migraine of Doom. "What do you want me to go as?"

"I don't know," he said. "What do you want to go as?"

I wasn't in the mood to ride on that particular merry-go-round, so I sighed and said, "Maybe I'll just go as a hippie."

"No, I don't like that," he said and you could just hear the frown in his voice. "I don't want you to go as a hippy, Mom."

Great. "Okay, how 'bout I go as Molly Weasley?" I said. That shouldn't be too hard, right? I mean, she's a mom, I'm a mom, I just have to dress eccentrically and carry a wooden spoon and look harried. In other words, just... dress and look normal, and maybe a poofy red wig or something. And add a British accent.

"That would be AWESOME!!" said Mr. Impossible. "Do it! Do it! And Papa can be Mr. Weasley!"

I looked over at my husband and his tattoos and said, "Um, no, maybe he should be Charlie..."

"No!" said the Impossible Son. "I'm going to be Charlie Weasley!"

The Impertinent Daughter snorted at this, but didn't say anything.

"Okay," I said, willing to go along with this, and thinking about what pens I could use to draw "tattoos" on his arms. "You can carry your toy dragon under your arm, too, and when you go up to people's porches, you can say, look! I'm handling my dragon!"

The moment that popped out of my mouth, I knew, instinctively, that I had Dropped A Brick. There was shocked silence in the van for about... oh... I'd say about maybe 9 nano-seconds that lasted approximately two thousand years... and then they all died laughing.

"MOM!!!" said my daughter, trying to sound outraged while nearly suffocating herself laughing. "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU SAID THAT!!!"

"Wow, honey," said the Husbandly One, snorting and guffawing, "that's... wow! That's way beyond your usual!"

"What?" said the Impossible Son, lost for about ten seconds, and then, "OOOOOOHHHHHHHH!!! MOM!!! GEEZ!!! That's just... WRONG!!!"

See? Even with a migraine, I'm pretty damn entertaining... most especially when I don't mean to be!!

I'm sure my face will stop burning at some point. And I hope they will let me live it down sometime before I'm eighty!

*goes to hide*

Friday, August 28, 2009

NO, my life can never be NORMAL...

Some of you may remember a similar little adventure of mine from three years ago.

Well... yesterday, I had a lot of errands to run, and finished up with another visit to the grocery store to pick up things I had forgotten on Tuesday. I was hot, tired, I just wanted to go home, and I was also thinking of things I needed to do when I got there. So, I was again on autopilot. I went to my van, unlocked the back, and started stowing my groceries. Vaguely, at the back of my mind, there was a transient thought of Something's missing, but I rather irritably chalked it up to having forgotten something at the store, and I wasn't about to go back and get it! No, I just wanted to go HOME. It was 102, I was soaked in sweat, and my flip flops were melting to the asphalt. I just wanted out and back into the cool, you know?

So, I close the back of the van and put the basket away, then hop in my car, thinking vaguely, Didn't I put up the sun shade? Oh, well, guess I forgot again and then wondered why the car was still so cool despite sitting in full sun for at least 30 minutes. Then I thought, "Wait... where are the Soot Sprites I hung on the mirror? And when did my car get so clean??"

At that moment, I just happened to look at the car parked on my right... and saw my Soot Sprites hanging from the mirror, in front of a silver sun shade. I wasn't sitting in my car!!

I had done it... AGAIN!!

You know what the worst part was? I had to unload the groceries, then put them in MY car!!!


That brief thought I had about something being missing? Yeah, that was the myriad bumper stickers the Husbandly One has thoughtfully put all over the back door of my van!!!

I can say this, the owner of the mirror van no longer has a Virgin Mary on the dashboard or a pink flamingo hanging from the mirror. But her car is still insanely clean!!

After I got over my frustration, I laughed pretty damn hard at myself. And you can imagine that Auntie will very carefully check EVERYTHING before she so much as pokes her key in the door again!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Not even 10 a.m. and Jo's had an adventure already!!

So, I'm sitting here, working on a story, and out of the corner of my eye, I notice movement in the backyard. So I duck my head down to look under the edge of the blinds and... there's a dog.

It's not unusual to see a dog wandering around in our backyard. There's a hole in the back gate that, despite my best attempts to block it, somehow is always open (I suspect our children in this matter), and thus, must be irresistibly tempting to the canine species.

There's a Jack Russell who comes into our backyard regularly, trots around to sniff things out, then departs without so much as a flick of an eye at me if I come out to address him. There's an Aussie Shepherd from down the street that comes in at least once a month, but she's very shy of me, and will flee if I look like I'm coming out the back door. A chihuahua comes strutting in, takes a quick tour around the yard and struts back out every now and then. And a large, hairy, brown mixed breed makes occasional visits, as well as a small rag mop type dog.

This morning, it was a beagle, and I watched it for a few seconds, then went back to my writing, figuring that it, like all the other dogs, would find its way back out.

A little while later, I look out and... the beagle is romping happily through the remains of our drought and sun raddled garden, before heading toward the garden shed which I see with alarm is open. So, I got up, threw on some jeans and went out, because I figured Mr. Beagle had forgotten the way out.

I noticed something a little odd about Mr. Beagle, but it wasn't until he turned his right side toward me and I blinked. He only had three legs. One front leg was missing.

I sat on the porch and spoke to him, and he came lolloping happily toward me. Yes, that is the exact word to describe it, "lolloping," and I just invented it and am very proud of it! So, Mr. Beagle came lolloping happily toward me, sniffed me, decided I would do, and cemented that by flopping down in my lap. After a few rather hairy and damp moments, we went to the water spigot, and he refreshed himself while I got a look at his rabies tag and discovered that his human and I share the same vet clinic. So I called and asked, "Do you have a three legged male beagle as a client?" and read the number off his collar.

"Oh, yes, we do!" the receptionist said, laughing. "Oh, my, is he with you now?"

"Yes," I said while he drooled on my foot. "He's very tired and sort of flopped down on my porch."

"You're the fourth person this week to call about him! I'll just let his owner know and have him call you, if that's all right?"

Of course, it was all right, and do you know, the owner just lived about six blocks down from us? I was a little surprised when one a member of our fire and rescue crew drove up, but it was his beagle, and he called Mr. Beagle his three legged miracle, promised to tell me the story another time because he had to go back to the station.

No, he didn't skip off duty to come get his dog. Apparently, everyone at the station insisted he go get Mr. Beagle and bring him by, because they hadn't seen him in a while!!

We exchanged numbers, because we figured Mr. Beagle was probably going to be making a lot of "visits" here.

Three legged beagles... don't think I'll be surprised by anything that shows up in my backyard anymore!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Because I'm SUCH a conscientious mom...

The Husbandly One and I are both... well... geeks. Science fiction, fantasy, we read, we grew up on Star Trek, Star Wars, and all the stuff that childhood in the late sixties, early seventies entails. And there are certain phrases that we will bandy back and forth that make us laugh uproariously, but leave the Impertinent Daughter frowning and saying, "Er... what?? I don't get it..."

One that has really thrown her is when THO or I pop out with, "Brain, brain, what is brain?" at highly appropriate moments, and then fall apart laughing. "What's so funny about that?" she says, looking at us like we're nuts. Well, we are nuts, but that's neither here nor there.

So today, while the Impossible Son was playing at a friend's house, I got on and found the notoriously and infamously worst written episode of Star Trek ever put into production... "Spock's Brain."

Even the title sucks.

It is so awful, it's hilarious, in an entirely unintentionally funny way.

What gets me about that episode? If that's the script that actually made it to the point of being made... what the hell were the scripts they turned down like???

Anyway, she watched it with an air of disbelief, and burst out laughing at times. By the end, though, she got it. And will most likely die laughing with us when either THO or I quip, "Brain, brain, what is brain??"

It's a wonderful life...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

For want of a pen...

An addendum at the end of a friend's post this morning made me laugh somewhat ruefully and think of something that is an everyday irritation around here.

Whenever I need a pen... I have no problem finding one. Seriously, there are pens and pencils all over the place here. What I have a problem with is finding one that works!

The bottom shelf of one of our kitchen cabinets has several jars filled with pencils and pens. Whenever I'm presented with a permission slip, or some form or other that needs to be signed, I open the cabinet and begin the process of finding some sort of writing implement that works or isn't broken. I kid you not, there have been times I have ended up signing a health form in crayon.

That's not even including the two drawers with pens and pencils, and the majority of those pens don't work, and the pencils are all broken. And yes, I have tried to throw the non-working pens out, but I have to be very sneaky about it. If I do it where the Husbandly One can see it, he immediately grabs it, frowns at it, scribbles on some paper with it, and throws it back in the drawer with a "I can get it to work, I just need a few minutes with it. I'll work on it later." And I'll go back a few days later to grab that same pen and it still doesn't work!!

Meaning I have to toss them when he isn't home.

One of these days, I'm going to get a wild hair and sharpen all the damn pencils, too. I mean, it's sad to want to sketch something, or write something down... and all the pencils have broken leads!! And even the mechanical pencils are... empty!!

Happens most often when I'm on the phone. If someone calls me, say from the soccer board, I have to write whatever they are telling me down or... I'll forget it. See, if I hear something, I tend to forget it, but if I read it, I'll remember it because... I remember everything I read.

Sad, isn't it?

So there I am, with plenty of paper, mind you, scrambling for a pen, pencil, anything to write down what I'm hearing, asking the caller to please wait a minute while I find something to write with because... nothing works. I have actually had to resort to carrying a little zippered pouch in my purse of working pens and pencils. And believe me, I guard my little pouch with a ferocity usually attributed to mother wolves protecting their cubs. I know the pens and pencils in my pouch work, and I am not parting with any of them, so get your dirty mitts OFF!!

Sad, sad, sad.

Of course, I have sharpened all the pencils before. Want to know what happened? I went back ten minutes later to grab a pencil, confident that I would find a fully sharpened, unbroken pencil lead... and pulled out a broken one. Why? Because my daughter had come in, taken all the sharpened pencils, and replaced them with all the broken ones that were in her room.

Then she wondered why I was sitting at the table with a handful of broken pencils, chin quivering and tears running down my face!!

Hmmmm... maybe today I'll go through all the pens and winnow out all the ones that aren't working. Tomorrow is trash day. If I bag 'em all up and toss them in the bin outside and put a few bags on top of it, THO will never know!! Unless the kids rat me out.

Guess that means I'll be baking cookies today.

Who, me? Bribe my kids??

You bet your bippy!!

*sigh* The things I do for a working pen!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

That's how I shake... whatever...

Top Ten Good Things About How Hard Albuterol Makes Jo Shake

10. I don't need a battery powered toothbrush, because I shake so hard when I'm brushing my teeth, it's practically like having one!

9. I don't have to work that hard making cinnamon toast, because shaking the cinnamon/sugar mix on is a breeze! I don't even have to shake the bottle!!

8. I can do the shimmy without even trying!!

7. Need to draw squiggly lines? Jo's your gal!!

6. Vibrator. Don't need.

5. No need for a motorized tiller in the garden. Just give Jo a gardening fork, and and let her rip!!

4. Give her a cranky baby, and she'll jiggle that sucker to sleep in no time!

3. Don't need a sprinkler. Just hand Jo the water hose and let her go!!

2. One word. Maracas!!

... and the number one good thing about how hard Albuterol makes Jo shake?

"Watch her wiggle
See her jiggle
Bouncing ta-ta's
Jo's got the shakes again!!!" **

And just for an extra bonus laugh, I took the kids to Dairy Queen yesterday after my doctor's appointment to get us all some Artic Blasts, which are really just slushies. Anyhow, I went to the drive-thru, because no way did I feel like getting out of the car and walking in! So, I drove up to the intercom thingie, place my order, and wait for the gal to tell me how much it is. But she can't do that, no, she has to offer me something more, right?

This is where my hearing glitch kicks in. It's hard for me to understand the drive thru intercoms anyway, but most of the time, I figure it out. However, yesterday, my glitch decided to give me an extra entertaining session in the drive-thru.

"Would you like to knit me some argyle socks?"

Blink. Blink. "Er... what was that again?" I said, knowing there was no way in hell she even remotely could have said that!

"Would you like... to knit me... some argyle socks?" she says more slowly.

Blink. Blink. Okay, I KNOW she didn't actually say that. There is simply no way she could have said that. And really, I just... didn't want to ask her again, because I knew I'd hear the same thing again, so I decided to err on the side of caution and said, "Um... no."

"Okay, your total is $5.81, please drive up to the window to pay."

I turned to look at the Impertinent Daughter, who was riding shotgun, and said, "Could you understand what she was saying?"

"No, not really," she said, then grinned knowingly at me, recognizing the signs. "Okay, Mom, what did you hear?"

I told her and she burst out laughing, and we spent a good few minutes trying to decipher it with out any real success. Thus, by the time we drove up to the window, we were semi-hysterical. When the server came to the window, I managed to wheeze out, "What the heck were you asking me over the intercom after I placed my order?"

She blinked and said, "Um, I wasn't taking the orders, Ma'am. But... I can ask." She looked over at the blonde teenager wearing the headset dubiously, then said, "Might not do any good, though."

"That's okay, it's more fun for us to try to figure out anyway," I said, paying her and accepting our slushies.

"Why, what'd you think she said?"

I told her, and she nearly dropped my cup. I have a feeling Miss Ditzy Blonde is going to have a hard time living that one down.

When I told the Husbandly One about it later, he laughed, but as I thought about it, I realized she was probably asking something like, "Would you like to order any more with that?" or "Would you like some extra snacks?" But it doesn't quite fit.

Oh well, I may never know!! File that one away with the man in the grocery store that I could have sworn said, "Beat me, Daddy, I slobbed the knob." And no, he didn't really say that, because (1) he was saying it to his wife while holding his little daughter on his hip, and (2) I was reading his lips, and his mouth didn't match his words, but I was so stunned by what it sounded like, that I just... couldn't get past it!!

** For those of you who don't know, back in the 80's, Jello brand gelatin had a commercial jingle with the lyrics, "Watch it wiggle/See it jiggle/Cool and fruity/Jello Brand Gelatin..."

Friday, June 12, 2009

I write, therefore I ... AAAUUUGHH!!

Writing for the last four months has been... difficult. I don't know what it is, but every time I sit down to write... something happens.

It'll be difficult to start, it goes in fits and stops, and then finally, blissfully, I settle into the writing groove, I'll be going great guns and...

"Mom, Mom, wait, you have to hear this! So, I was in my choir class, and this guy came in... no wait, it wasn't a guy, it was... no... wait... forget it, I forgot. So... whatcha doin'? Is it okay if I hang here a while? I'm bored. Oh, and I'm hungry, too... can you make me some ramen? Or, no... wait... popcorn. Can you make popcorn, Mom? I'm not hungry so much as I just feel like nibbling... you know, popcorn. And hey, can we watch a movie? You haven't watched a movie with us in...."

Then she wonders why I'm banging my head against the desk.

So, I find another opportunity to write, sit down, have trouble starting, then hit the groove, the keyboard is practically smoking, it's going so well, I'm flying and completely lost in the story and...

"Hey, honey, we need to talk about whether we're going to send the kids to soccer camp. I've been looking at the budget and I think we can manage if we do this camp, as opposed to the Outrageously Expensive Soccer Camp of Doom. But we'll need to cut out this, that and the other from the budget, if you'll let me get on the computer so I can bring up the... honey... why are you grinding your teeth?"

Literally. It never ends. It's like a vast conspiracy to Keep Auntie Away from the Computer, and it's driving me completely insane. I have several writing assignments that I am supposed to be working on, and one of them is nearly completed if... I... can... just have a friggin' hour alone!!! And the other, I am barely halfway through.

I have to tell you, there are times when I get so frustrated, I want to throw up my hands and say, "Fine. I give up. No more writing. I get the damn hint, okay? Just forget the writing and give up on it because there's just no point. No point at all!!"

Then I remember why I write in the first place. Because it hurts not to. Because I can't stop. Because I have all these ideas, and pictures, and voices in my head, and they all need to come out, and the only way to do it is to write it all down.


*is very frustrated*

Right now, though, the temptation to throw in the towel and just give it all up is very, very strong.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Why am I doing this again??

Ever been working on something for months, writing, researching, struggling with it because, dammit, you just know you can make it work, but every attempt seems to just be... wrong. It's stiff, unnatural, refuses to flow no matter how you try to rewrite it, no matter how many different angles you try to approach it from, and your deadline is looming closer and closer, and you start getting desperate, because you don't want to ask for an extension, you know you can do this but... AARRRGGHHH!!!

Then life seems to throw all these obstacles and blocks your way, keeping you from working on it, until finally, it slams into you with all the force of a speeding train... you're writing about the wrong characters. It's not a story about this person... it's a story about those two people. And suddenly, everything flows the way it is supposed to, your fingers are flying across the keyboard, it's so easy to write now, whereas before, it was like trying to slog through mud uphill in a torrential downpour with a 150 pound pack on your back.

Serious, that drives me nuts. And it drives the people around me nuts, too.

I hate being a writer.

But then, sometimes, it just comes so easy, words seem to flow from my fingertips, and I can literally see the story before my eyes, like my own little movie and I'm just taking notes, really. The characters speak to me, leaning over my shoulder and whispering suggestions as I write, making me laugh at highly inappropriate moments when I suddenly realize why a certain thing needs to happen in the process of a story, or almost making me cry when I realize someone has to die and why. Sometimes, I feel like I am just a medium through which the story comes, the conduit that brings it to life on paper, because it can't stay in my head or it hurts, like they're drumming against the inside of my skull, trying to escape, and I can only relieve that pain by writing them out of me, and it feels so good, so good when it all works, when it comes together and it works and I know it works, there it is, see?

I love being a writer.

And this is why the Muggles think writers are crazy. And maybe we are. But who cares, as long as it makes a good story?

Friday, May 29, 2009


The kids have been home from school for 3 hours and 31 minutes. And I already want to strangle send them back.

This does not bode well for the summer.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tales in the Land of Counterpane...

I read to the Impossible Son at night. We go through books much more slowly than I did with the Impertinent Daughter. He goes to sleep, lulled by the sound of my voice, whereas she wanted very much to know how the chapter ended, and often would beg for more.

I was like the Impossible Son, lulled to sleep by the sound of my mother's or my Uncle James' voices, no matter how interested I was in the story.

This is why we are on Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and taking our time through it. I feel like I'm letting him down, though. I've been reading to him since he was a baby, just like I did with Miss Priss, and by this time, Miss Priss and I had gotten through The Wizard of Oz, Charlotte's Web, Alice in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass, all the Harry Potter books that had been written up to 2004, all of the Narnia books, The Back of the North Wind, many, many fairy tales, The Black Arrow, The Secret Garden, The Light Princess, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach...

Whereas the Impossible Son and I have gotten through from Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone to The Half-Blood Prince.

I think we shall take a break from Harry Potter after we finish this one and maybe start on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a change of pace!

Tonight, however, I did something different. I told him a story, a story my mother used to read to me when I was very small, and the cadence of it entranced me so much... that I memorized it. It was the story of The Old Woman and the Pig, and I have told him this story before, as I have told it to his sister many, many times, and I always tell it a little different, though the cadence part remains the same. And as he listened to me go from, "Cat, cat, kill rat, rat won't gnaw rope, rope won't hang butcher, butcher won't kill ox, ox won't drink water, water won't quench fire, fire won't burn stick, stick won't beat dog, dog won't bite pig, pig won't jump over the sty, and I shan't get home tonight," to "The cat began to kill the rat, the rat began to gnaw the rope, the rope began to hang the butcher, the butcher began to kill the ox, the ox began to drink the water, the water began to quench the fire, the fire began to burn the stick, the stick began to beat the dog, the dog began to bite the pig, the pig began to jump the sty and she FINALLY got home..." he blinked and said, "It's like a song, isn't it?"

And I said, "Yes, yes, it is, it's very like a song!"

He said, "That's what helps you remember it all, right? Because it's like a song, it has a rhythm and a flow, and you tell it like a song, just... not singing it?"

"Yes, that's it exactly!" I said, very pleased. "A lot of the old fairy tales are like that. Like the Three Little Pigs tale, you know, little pig, little pig, let me in, not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin, then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in?"

"Yeah!" he said sleepily. "Just like that! Are there any more like that?"

"Oh, lots and lots," I said with a smile. "Want me to tell them to you?"

"Sure, but not now. For now, I just want to know what happens to Harry on his first day back at Hogwarts."

It's not like he hasn't seen the movies. But, he knows the books are different, and has learned to appreciate that.

Meanwhile, my head is filled with the stories and rhymes my mother and sisters and uncles and aunts read to me. And I can hear my mother softly saying...

Wind, wind, gently sway
Blow Curdken's hat away
Let him chase o'er field and wold
Till my locks of ruddy gold
Now astray and hanging down
Be combed and plaited in a crown...

*goes off to bed with visions of goose-girls, talking horses, ravens and swans flying, and glass mountains in her head*

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Dear Ms. Rowling,

Please to be reading Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, in particular, the last book. THAT is how you wrap up a series. Not by throwing random people and situations in, because you're exhausted, and just want to finish the damn book, then adding an epilogue that wraps everything up neatly and tidily because, dammit, you're done and you just don't want to mess with it any more!

Don't get me wrong, Deathly Hallows had some truly inspired moments, but there was so much in it that just felt... out of context, or seemed to be thrown in to move the plot along without any real thought for if it actually did move the plot along.

And I'm sorry, but killing Fred Weasley because you couldn't make yourself kill Arthur Weasley in the fifth book doesn't count as "moving the plot along." That's just called "chickening out and trying to make up for it... badly."

Still rather grumpy with you,


Lost in Olympus...

This morning...

*curled up on bed, nose buried in book, cat at feet, cup of tea on table slowly growing cold*

Later this morning...

*curled up on chair, nose buried in book, cat trying to get in lap, glass of ice tea with melting ice slowly dripping on desk*


*sitting at table, nose buried in book, forkful of salad suspended in air and dripping salad dressing on jeans and bare foot, unnoticed until cat starts licking foot*

After lunch...

*nose buried in book, curled on couch on porch, until sense of vague disquiet and the thought that something is being forgotten stirs in occupied brain*

Yes, I remembered to pick up my kids before it was time to pick them up. And in a few minutes, I'm going straight back to Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian. And I'm reading slowly because I want to savour it!! And y'all might actually get some fanart out of this one... maybe...

*curls up on bed again and is lost in book once again*

Monday, May 4, 2009


Thirteen years ago today, I was driving the Husbandly One nuts every time the door to my hospital room popped or squeaked. I'd sit up and say, "Is she here yet? Have they brought her?"

And he'd groan and say, "No, honey, she's not here yet, for pete's sake, GO BACK TO SLEEP!!" because we'd been up all night the night before.

Over and over, any time a door down the hall opened, my door would squeak, groan, or pop, and I'd sit up and say, "Now? Is she here now??"

And he'd throw a pillow at me.

I should have been exhausted, and I was, but I couldn't sleep. I was drugged up to my eyeballs, but I couldn't close them to save my life. I couldn't sleep, couldn't relax, couldn't do anything until I saw my daughter.

Then the nurses finally brought her into my room, and I held out my arms, and they handed her to me, and I forgot all about everything else as I eagerly unwrapped the blankets and counted every finger, every toe, looked into her face, sniffed her head, and kissed her and said, "Yep, this is my kid," then promptly curled up with her in my arms and went fast asleep.

And the Husbandly One said, "Hey! No fair!! You kept me up ALL NIGHT LONG!! WAKE UP!!"


So the Husbandly One picked the baby up and put her back in the bassinet. Whereupon I promptly sat up, not quite awake, and started reaching and whining for my child. So, he picked her back up, put her back in my arms, and I promptly curled on my side with her in my arms and went right back to sleep. When the nurses freaked, THO said, "My wife wants the baby in her arms, she gets to keep the baby in her arms. They'll both sleep better that way. Now, if you're done here, go find someone else to bother!" So they did.

And so began our adventures with the Impertinent Daughter, who introduced us to the joys and horrors of Parenthood. It has definitely been a rollercoaster ride! And we've enjoyed every single second, even the terrifying ones!!

Happy Birthday, Impertinent Daughter! Love you bunches!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

I think they do it overnight....

Well, after weeks of eating virtually everything in sight, the Impertinent Daughter had a growth spurt and is probably within one to two inches of being as tall as I am.

It hit me when I was watching her referee a game, and she had turned sideways to me. I thought, "Hmmm, the little pudge she was getting seems to be gone..." And I frowned and realized she hadn't eaten like a ravening, starving wolf the last couple of days, and I thought, "Ah... growth spurt." But it didn't sink in until later that afternoon, when we'd gone into San Marcos to get her some new athletic shoes. She was standing there in her socks, and I had just straightened up from listening to something the Impossible Son wanted to tell me and it hit me...

We were almost eye to eye.

The Husbandly One turned at my gasp, and his eyes went wide and he said, "Auntie, take off your shoes."

So I did.

And it was even more apparent.


And the Impossible Son has had his own growth spurt. His legs are impossibly long right now, and his shorts are far too short all of a sudden. His feet look too big, and he's clumsy. I think he's about to grow again, and I can't help but think, "But, we just bought you three new pairs of jeans!!!"

My kids are both going to be taller than me. And possibly taller than THO, as well.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Because being crafty comes in handy...

Well, so much for getting to bed early last night.

The Impertinent Daughter informed me at 8 p.m. last night that the Death Eaters administrators at her school decided that students were no longer allowed to be in possession of... rubber bands. Yes, that's right, folks, the kids are no longer allowed to have those extremely dangerous implements, rubber bands in their pockets, on their binders, in their hair, etc. Because they can use these extremely hazardous items to... launch paper.

*closes eyes, sighs, muttering "Ay-yi-yi" under her breath*

Give me strength, I swear. I'm wondering how many girls who wear ponytails on a regular basis are freaking out this morning because they can't put their hair up?

The reason this impacts us is because of the boxes I chose for my kids' bentos. They are temporary, but for now, they are the right size and depth. Only problem is, they have a tendency to pop open when a kid does something like swing them around, bump them into other kids, or walls, or tables, etc., with the end result of food everywhere. So... I just salvaged the big rubber bands that came with our newspaper and wrapped them around each end of the box... and problem solved.

Until now.

I offered to take some extra wide elastic and sew the ends together for her to replace the rubber bands.

No, that won't work, they still count as "rubber bands."

I said, "Okay, how about I get some fabric and make tubes to cover the elastic, you know, whip the ends together and you can use those? If they fuss, you can say they're headbands and pop one on to prove it!"

"Mom... we can't have headbands, either."

Because... they can be used to... launch paper.

My goodness, I had no idea paper was so... DANGEROUS!!

I brainstormed for a bit, then said, "Okay, fine, I've got some fabric, I'll make a bag."

The Husbandly One said, "That will take too much effort, and you don't have enough time. Besides, your sewing machine is broken, right?"

Well, the bobbin case is... acting up. Driving me nuts, actually. I need to replace it, but you know, at that time of night, it wasn't going to happen. Well, I went to work on my sewing machine, fixed the problem with the thread tension, got the bobbin case to stay put, and dug out the fabric, a roll of parchment, and my sewing box, and got to work.

Yes, I had to make a pattern. And I was up until nearly 2 a.m. working on it, because the bobbin case kept popping out every time the bobbin got too light (too little thread on it), because the handles I was making for the bag didn't turn out right, and I had to figure out how to re-do them, because one of the cats dumped out the entire contents of my sewing box on the floor (I'm still not sure I retrieved it all) and because I had to hand-sew one side of the bag.

But I did it. And I'll have a photo of it later on this afternoon. I would have taken a photo this morning, but the Husbandly One did not inform me he was having to leave early until ten minutes before he was going to leave, and that left me with no time for picture taking at all.

I will say it is not beautiful, or the most attractive bag I've ever made... but it's functional, and when the Impertinent Daughter saw it this morning, rather than being horrified by it, as I was fearing, she was delighted and immediately started drawing on it. She's very proud of it and happy with it, and I am relieved and wish I could very much go back to bed for a few hours BUT...

Miss Priss has a UIL Choir performance this afternoon AND a soccer game immediately after, and it's an away game. And I still have errands to run.

Caffeine... I must ingest mass quantities of caffeine today.

Oh, and I have a battle wound from sewing last night. I sewed my finger. Ouchies!! Next time, I shall be sure to keep my fingers far, far away from the needle!!

*goes in search of caffeine*

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Your Weekend Soccer Report...

Well, first off, the Impertinent Daughter. I'll cut to the chase. They lost, 6-3, and part of it was just... poor coaching.

And there are 22 girls on the team.

Oh, did I mention the girls don't have their own uniforms, necessarily. They have hand-me-down uniforms... from the boy's high school VARSITY team. Yes, my friends, the school district can afford to lay new sod at the high school football field, they can afford to landscape the high school, and they can afford other things I won't mention here (but they piss me off BIG TIME)...

... but they can't spring for new uniforms that FIT for the junior high (or the high school) girl's soccer teams.

When I was washing the Impertinent Daughter's socks (the uniforms stay at school and are washed there), I discovered they were two different sizes! And they had holes. No wonder her socks kept falling down!!!

No, I am not a happy soccer mom.

Anyhow, the Impertinent One got about eight minutes of playing time. There are so many girls on the team, the coach tries to rotate them so they all get to play. And no, I'm not sharing my opinion of that. Suffice it to say, 22 girls on the 7th grade team, 28 on the 8th grade team, and they play 11 v 11. You do the math.

So... here is the Impertinent Daughter from her game last Thursday...

Rushing in

Miss Priss is the gallant number 5, rushing in as back up for her team mate.

All's I can say is... she had a good game for the 8 minutes she played.

*is hoping the next one will be better*

So, the Impossible Son's game was on Saturday, and they lost, too, 5 to 1. He played forward the first half, and goalie the second half, and he really surprised me. He was fierce and only gave up one goal! The Blue Dragons played hard, but the other team had a kid who probably should have moved up to U10 this season. What was good was watching the Dragons finally catching on to what the Husbandly One has been telling them since practices began. It's so cool when that happens, you can practically see their brains smoking when it clicks. "Oh, this is why coach keeps telling us not to clump up in one area and to keep spread out!!" and, "Oh, this is why he keeps telling us to dribble the ball down the sides and not down the middle!!"

So, the next few games should get progressively better and better! It was so cool!!

And here is the Impossible One, doing his job...

Goalie saves the ball!

Can't you just see him thinking, "It's MINE!! The ball is MINE, MINE, MINE!!"

I told him to pretend the kids from the other team were clones of his sister, and the ball was his favorite nerf gun, and she was coming to get it from him.

Would you say it worked like a charm?

*merry laughter*

Thursday, April 2, 2009

"Because when I arrive, I bring the fire..."

The Impertinent Daughter has her first soccer game today. Her first game playing for her school, that is.

Remember how I said there were about 33 girls trying out for the 7th grade and 8th grade teams? Well... no one's been cut... yet. I think the coaches want to see how they do in this first game, and then decide.

*massive roll of eyes*

Miss Priss is going to play fullback and... middle sweeper?? I think that's the term her coach used. Oh, and forward. Her friend, B, is going to be goalie, which is a good thing, because while B may be the poster child for Stereotyping Blondes, she's a wickedly brilliant goalie. She's tall (meaning taller than me), thin, with excessively long legs that tend to fold up on her unexpectedly. She's very fast, can run forever, and you'd think she'd make an excellent forward or striker, because she's very focused and aggressive (on the field), but... there's the legs-folding-up thing. So, she's a goalie, and I have to say, in watching her play over the last four years, I've watched her do things she should not have been able to do.

Anyhow, this game should be interesting, simply because there's going to be about 16 girls sitting on the bench, and I think they play 11 v 11. Miss Priss said, "It's going to be weird, having subs." Because usually, playing in the rec leagues, we don't have enough kids on a team for more than one or two substitutes. She's gotten used to playing an entire game without a break.

Oh, and did I mention, she has to stay after school? They're not allowed to come home and eat and get ready, etc. They have to hang around at the school until the game starts at 5:30!! Meaning... they'll not have eaten since lunch. And no, the school is not going to provide a snack.

I should have realized, since the junior high is stupid about so many other things, that they'd be stupid about this, too. Apparently, they think the kids are going to either forget about the game and not come, do something vile to their uniforms in the interval between the end of classes, and arrival at the school for the game, eat something totally unsuitable and vomit during the game, or... hell if I know!!!

So, I packed a snack bento for Miss Priss along with her lunch bento. And if the coaches complain, they will bring the Wrath of Auntie down upon them. Because how the hell they expect the girls to play two 30 minute halves on NO FOOD since 11 a. m., I don't know. No wait... two 45 minute halves.

Sorry, I had to pause and let my blood pressure go down.

There are at least six girls on Miss Priss' team who have been in the rec league, that she's played on a team with at some time or other. I think I'll get together with their parents and see if they would like to approach the coaches with a "What the hell do you think you're doing??" argument, but phrased much more politely, and see if we can't rectify the situation. You know, along the lines of, "Do you want us to rotate and bring team snacks for the girls to eat before the game or during half-time? You see, we're pretty used to doing that, anyway, because our kids have been playing soccer for a long time..." yada, yada, yada.

Otherwise, I don't see how we can keep them from crashing, if you know what I mean! Otherwise, I'm going to find myself sneaking Miss Priss a Hershey bar or something to keep her charged.

*rolls eyes*

Oh, and yesterday's prank on THO was a huge success!! I waited until after I was sure he was at work, and I called him. He said he had set his phone on his desk, and when he heard it, he looked around, thinking, "Whose phone is that?"

One of his co-workers said, "THO, I think that's your phone."

He said, "No, it's not. Mine has a kind of samba ring-tone."

Another co-worker said, "No, dude, that's your phone."

He said, "Can't be. Where's that coming from?"

They said, "That's your phone!!"

He said, "Holy cow, that is my phone!" and answered it, but it had gone to voice mail at that point. He saw it was me and called me back, and I was laughing so hard when I answered it that he knew who had done it.

*dies again*

Then... as I said, I'd emailed friends and family to call him, and his phone rang all day long!!

I have to say, this is the best April Fool's Day prank I've ever pulled on him!!

Of course, he said, "Vengeance is a dish best served cold."

*dies laughing again*

We'll just see about that!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hee Hee Hee!!

Y'all... I am SOOOOO evil!!

Last night, I put a ringtone on the Husbandly One's phone that says in a very swishy man's voice, "Pimp... pimp phone... ringing pimp phone... pimp phone ringing," over and over again and all without him knowing it. And oh, wasn't it hard for me to keep a straight face, or to keep from cackling with glee last night?

Anyway, in a little bit, I'm going to email friends and family to call him periodically throughout the day so it pops out with that ringtone constantly. Because... he doesn't know how to change it.



Hoo, hoo, hoo... oh, I am evil!!!

Happy April Fool's Day, y'all!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Because forgetful Jo is... what was I saying???

What a day.

Ran some errands, though I found to my great irritation when I got home that I had forgotten to pick up rooting hormone for my rose cuttings, and teflon tape. It doesn't help that our local WalMart is remodeling, so you can't find anything. I swear, it's like going on a treasure hunt every time I go in, and not the fun kind. Half the time, even the employees can't help you because... they don't know where anything is, either. And I must say, I find their method of grouping merchandise eccentric, if not just plain entertaining.

Anyone want to explain why I found two shelves of sanitary napkins in the paint department?

And hey, you know, every time I go shopping for underwear, you know I'm really thinking about pork rinds, right? So, I guess it's handy to have them right there in the big middle of the women's bras and such.

*shakes head*

And the fabric department is gone. Not that I was wild about the fabric they had, but I didn't mind buying, say, denim, or tapestry fabric, etc, at WalMart, and it beat driving into Austin or San Marcos when I was in a pinch. Now, though... *grimaces*

I've dug and created a bed at the end of the back porch, and added compost to amend it a bit. The folks who lived here before us left the head and foot of a metal bed frame in the garden, I guess to provide architectural interest. I'm going to put the head in the bed I just dug, and plan to plant moon vine there. I love moon flowers. They're big and fragrant, and bloom in the evenings. I planted them at our first house in this area, and loved watching the sphinx moths come out to sip nectar from them. We used to deliberately wear white shirts so the moths would fly up to us land on us. They were so cool!

I'm hoping to plant purple hyacinth bean against the back fence, too. That won't bloom until August/September, but it will be so pretty when it does! And the hummingbirds love it.

I want to clear some of the flower beds in the front yard, but for some odd reason, I can only work out there for a very short time before I start feeling extraordinarily bad. Like, "Oh, gods, I have to go to hook up the nebulizer and go straight to bed," bad. And we have no idea why. There is no obvious difference between the front yard and back yard unless...

*is suddenly thoughtful*

In other news, I have discovered that the Impertinent Daughter will not find out if she's made the 7th grade soccer team at her school until the day before their first game. Which is on Thursday... this week.

They only started tryouts/practice last week.


You know, when I was in swimming, we started practicing for the season (which was November through May, though it didn't get really competitive until February) in September. And we started basketball practice in early October for the season that ran from November through April.

I find it sort of nuts to start soccer practices a week before the season starts. And what really blows my mind?

A lot of the girls trying out have either never played before or... they only started playing last year.

Out of 33 girls that were trying out, I only recognized maybe... eight, that played in our league. And one that I know plays select outside our league. So that's... twenty four girls with little or no experience.


*does not know what to think*

Well... it should be an... interesting season!

Oy... what a day!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ahhhh.... Spring...

I love afternoons like this.

I'm sitting in my room and the windows and blinds are open. There's a lovely cool breeze blowing, just enough to offset the warmth of the day, which is still cool enough to be pleasant. The wind chimes on the porch are chiming softly, the cats are curled up on the foot of the bed, or drowsing on the window sills, the kids are giggling in the living room, and the music on the computer is on low, just barely loud enough to be heard. I can hear THO in the kitchen, moving around and talking to the kids...

*lolls in the laziness of it all...*

You think my kids are what???

Sometimes, it takes a complete stranger to give you perspective.

THO wanted to look at pickup trucks at a CarMax in Pflugerville, so... we went. I have to admit I'm not wild about getting a truck right now, since the mileage is lousy on most of them, but I do recognize the necessity, and besides, it was just to look, not buy. So, we loaded up the kids and drove to Pflugerville, which is about a 45 minute drive from where we live.

I expected the kids to be a bit restless, which was why this was just a look and not buy trip. Learned our lesson when we bought the minivan... do not bring the kids with us to buy a car.

Well, they were glad to be out of the car, and were more than willing to climb in and out of the truck THO wanted to look at in particular, and I'm sure it didn't help that I had a pounding headache. Still, I didn't have to fuss that much, mostly, "Settle down," and "No, you may not climb over the backs of the seats!" I didn't have to fuss at them (meaning mostly at the Impertinent Daughter) for picking at each other. Still, I guess the headache magnified things for me, and I felt they were being the Most Horrible Children in the History of Horrible Children.

It was when we were done and getting ready to leave that the salesman turned to me and said, "Your children are really well behaved."

I automatically put on my Patient Mom face and turned to say something like, "Next time I'll feed them a bag of sugar before we come," or "Don't worry, we'll leave and never come back," because I was expecting sarcasm, and didn't realize it wasn't there. Fortunately, the Husbandly One swooped in before Auntie could drop a brick and said, "Thank you. You know, we don't often get compliments about our kids."

The salesman nodded and said, "They're energetic, but it's pretty obvious they love each other. I'm just watching the way they're acting, and even though they're getting into things, they do stop the moment y'all tell them to. And they're teasing each other, but I don't see any hair pulling or shin kicking. They're teasing each other, because they like each other, you know."

And all of a sudden, all the things that they were doing that had been so magnified by my headache shrank down and I saw that they were actually being pretty good.

We went to eat after that, and I sat there kind of bemused, watching both the kids as I ate, listening to them talking to each other, and to THO, and thinking, wow, am I just bracing myself constantly for them to be badly behaved, or overly excited, and therefore setting myself up for it all?


Maybe I need to loosen up a little.

Maybe I need to realize that the little talks we have before we go anywhere, where I tell them what behavior will be acceptable and what will not, like climbing onto displays or cartwheeling down aisles, are actually working, and they're both old enough to know how to behave now without those talks. And without my having to constantly fuss.

That or maybe I need some really heavy tranquilizers!

The thought occurs to me, too, that I need more one-on-one time with each child, too. Because when I run errands, or do things with just one kid, well... it's enjoyable, and less fraught with the competition of trying to get more of Mom's attention.

Like I said, sometimes, it takes a stranger...

If I seem distant and lost in thought today, well... I'm just thinkin' things over...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Thought you ought to know...

Equinox, shmequinox...

Forget the first robin you see, or crocuses peeking up through the snow, mud, grass, what-have-you...

Wanna know the real harbinger of spring?

Jo shaving her legs... which she did this morning.

Spring has officially arrived.


Monday, March 2, 2009

The Impertinent Avenger

Full Fury

This is what happens when the class Tell-It-All tells the Object-Of-Your-Daughter's-Affection... that she likes him.

Well, actually, I think this is what she WISHES she could do to him.

You know, if I was that kid... I think I'd make myself really, really scarce tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

She's SO Random...

So, I'm tucking the Impertinent Daughter into bed, and Calcifer is lying on her arm and side, purring to her as he tries to get comfortable. This makes the tucking-in part more difficult, and I'm tugging at quilts, comforters, sheets that are under at least fifteen or so pounds of cats, plus or minus a few pounds, and Miss Priss says, "Hey, my foot is cold!" and lifts her right foot to waggle at me.

"Great," I said, and started tugging at her covers again, which have become a sort of Gordian Knot of covers, thanks to how she tosses around at night, and then how she retangles them at night when she's reading or drawing before bed, no matter how I straighten them during the day. I fuss at the cat, sending him to the foot of the bed and tug again at the quilt.

My daughter suddenly turns over and says, "My shoe is off, my foot is cold, I have a bird I like to hold!"

I blink a few times as I stare at her and then I said, "Um... ooookaaaay..." and then the memory hits me and I start laughing.

She's almost hysterical as she rolls in the bed laughing, and I said, "That was totally random! What was that, One Fish, Two Fish..."

"Yeah, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish," she said, still laughing heartily. "I don't know why, but that just popped into my head!! My tooth is gold, my hat is old, I have a bird I like to hold, my shoe is off, my foot is cold."

I shook my head. "Dr. Seuss warped your tiny little brain," I said, and then wondered why it didn't warp mine. I mean, I read those books to her, and oh, geez, I had to do the voices, too! Green Eggs and Ham, The Foot Book, Mr. Brown Can Moo...

I must have had The Foot Book memorized, because we used to read that over, and over, and over again. I never complained, though, because I remembered the stupid books that were around when I was small. I never had to deal with them, because I learned to read at a very early age, but everyone in my first grade class had to suffer through, "See Jane run. Run, Jane, run!! See Dick walk. Walk, Dick, walk!" Dr. Seuss was a relief!! So, I didn't mind doing all the funny noises for Mr. Brown Can Moo, or for Horton Hears a Who, and It was fun to listen to Miss Priss chirp in to correct me when I would deliberately read parts wrong.

Mr. Manzie doesn't let me do funny voices so much, but that's because he's got my hearing glitch, and it dawned on me that the funny voices make it worse. That reminds me, I need to introduce him to Horton Hears a Who. The book, I mean, not the movie.

I'm glad my kids like to read. It's nice to know I've raised the next generation of bookworms!

*snickering to herself* "My tooth is gold, my hat is old, I have a bird I like to hold..."


*sniffles and dabs at laugh tears* Oh, GEEZ!! that's funny!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's the Little Things...

At the moment, I celebrate just because...

Mr. Manzie's math grade dropped from an 88 average to 34. This after bringing his language arts score up from an 87 to a 95. So... I've started focusing on his math a little more and he's brought it back up to a 78 so far. So... YAY, IMPOSSIBLE SON!! More work ahead, but so far, so good!

Thank heavens for home-made flash cards, Nintendo DS Math Trainer, pennies, Legos, and mental math games played in the car.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"No, Simba, no!!"

I love the conversations we have in the mornings on the way to school. Sometimes they start out funny, sometimes they don't. Sometimes we don't talk at all, all three of us sort of huddled in our seats, not quite awake, and not quite sociable yet. But every once in a while, we're all awake, and peppy, and you never know what's going to set us off.

So, this morning, we're walking out the door, and the Impossible Son was moving a little slow (any slower and he woulda been goin' backwards), and I was keeping an eye out for Calcifer. Calcifer does not like his kids leaving the house. He hates it. He most especially hates it because they're leaving... without him! He'd probably be fine if he could go to school with them, and does not understand why he can't go, too. He doesn't like it when they go outside to play, again without him, either. This has resulted in our having to keep an Instrument of Cat Discipline by the door (it's a squirt bottle with water and about a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in it, just enough to smell to a cat).

So, the Impertinent One had walked out and left the door wide open, and I had to rush up to it before Calcifer could, and because I'm funny that way, I shouted, "Back, Simba, back!" while grabbing the water bottle and aiming a few squirts at him.

Picture one orange cat with a wrinkled up moue of disgust, fleeing rapidly back into the kitchen.

Mr. Impossible started laughing. "Back, Simba, back?" he quoted back at me. "Why'd you say that?"

I laughed, too. "I dunno, guess I got Tarzan on the brain or something."

"Tarzan doesn't say that," he said, walking past me to go outside. "There's only that leopard, and I don't think he had a name."

It was then I realized how remiss I've been in my childrens' educations. They've never seen any of the old Tarzan movies, or the television series! I'm a terrible mother!!

"Well, Mr. Manzie, there was a live action TV series about Tarzan when I was a kid, and he seemed to say, 'Back, Simba, back!' an awful lot." I followed him out to the car. "In fact, I think every single lion he ran into was named Simba. No matter where he was, if he ran into a lion, it was always, 'No, Simba!' and 'Back, Simba!' and 'Stop chewing on that man's leg, Simba!' No matter how many lions he met!"

Mr. Manzie nearly fell out of the car, laughing, and the Impertinent Daughter said, "What the heck are you guys talking about??"

So, I filled her in, and also started talking about the movies, and Johnny Weismuller, and how it seemed just about every guy they got to play Tarzan after him seemed to be an Olympic swimmer, like it was a job requirement. And we talked about Tarzan's animal vocabulary, which seemed to primarily consist of the word, "Unk!"

"Unk?" said my son. "What does that mean?"

"Who knows?" I said, heading toward the junior high. "It was sort of utilitarian word, meaning whatever he wanted it to me, I guess. Unk, Tantor! could mean 'stop charging!' or 'please get off my foot, you're killing it!' Unk, unk! could mean, 'back off,' or 'I'm going to rip your guts out through your nose,' or 'don't even think about touching my sandwich!' Very flexible word, unk."

At this point, my kids are semi-hysterical. "And it worked??" said my daughter in disbelief.

"Oh, yeah, all the time. It was a movie, you know." I just grinned. "Of course, Tarzan has changed a lot."

"I know!!" said my son, still laughing. "I mean, the Tarzan we saw isn't like that at all!"

He is referring, of course, to Disney's Tarzan, not the Tarzan of Edgar Rice Burroughs' novels, alas. So, we talked about how different that Tarzan is from the Tarzan I had grown up with (because my mother loved old movies), and my daughter frowned and said, "Yes, but why is he different?"

"Well,"I said, thinking a little harder than I'm accustomed to that early and without as much caffeine as I usually require, "I think that's because in the movies I grew up with, there still wasn't a lot known about gorillas. They're kind of shy, and hard to find, and when people did finally find them and see them, the gorillas were frightened and did their best to make the intruders go away. So, the Tarzan in the movies was sort of rough, and macho, and domineering, did a lot of chest beating and posturing, and his movements were sort of jerky. But in the sixties and seventies, Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey started observing and studying chimpanzees and gorillas and found out that they weren't like that at all. That they were actually rather gentle and quiet when they were just among themselves and didn't feel frightened or threatened. So, the Disney version of Tarzan sort of reflects that research. What's he like?"

"Well," said Mr. Manzie. "He's quiet. And he's slow and gentle. And curious."

"Very curious," I said.

"But very protective," said Miss Priss. "He protects his family."

"Yes, just like the gorillas do," I said, nodding.

I thought that part of the conversation was over when Miss Priss got out at her school, but Mr. Manzie had another question for me.

"How come people didn't know that about gorillas back when your movies were being made?"

I didn't bother to correct him, seeing as those movies were made in the thirties and forties. "Well, Little Man, that was because no one ever thought of just going into the rain forest to observe them quietly, right there in their own habitat."


Why was I being required to think so early in the morning?? "Well, because in those days, that wasn't considered a valid form of research. It was thought that no one could observe animals without projecting their own thoughts and feelings onto the creatures they were watching. And no one wanted to invest the time, because it required a great deal of time and patience to watch animals in the wild."

"I watch the squirrels in our backyard all the time!"

"They are fun to watch," I agreed, "but... would you want to sit and watch them and do nothing else all day? Not play on your Nintendo, not run around the yard pretending to be ninjas, or chasing Bigfoot, or kicking around the soccer ball, just... sitting on the grass being very, very quiet for hours and hours, watching and waiting for the squirrels to do something."

"That would be boring!"

"Yes, and that is why it requires a whole lot of patience to be an animal researcher! And we are here, and it's time for you to go to school!!" I said, pulling up to his school's drop-off area.

Should I feel a teensy bit guilty that he asked, when he hugged me goodbye, "Why can't learning stuff in school be this fun?"

"I think it sometimes is, kiddo," I said, handing him his backpack. "You just don't always remember that."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," he said, and got out of the car. And as he ran to the doors of the cafeteria, I couldn't help but wonder if I should have home-schooled him after all.

Then my sanity returned, and I just started thinking of projects we could do on our own. Yes, that works out much better...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Because she's cool like that...

On the morning drive to school...

Impertinent Daughter, musingly: "I wonder what we're going to do in Athletics today?"

Jo, suddenly seized by mischievous impulse: "Maybe you'll learn how to defeat the invading Mongol hordes!"

ID, blinking: "That's... that... would be totally awesome!! Swords!! Spears!! Bashing people! I could do that!"

Impossible Son, piping up from the back seat after the daughter is dropped off at school: "I know how to defeat the Mongolly Horns!" (because he has his mother's hearing glitch)

Jo, trying not to laugh: "Oh yeah? How?"

Impossible Son, beaming: "Give them your chocolate chip cookies! You are going to bake some today... right? Right?"

I guess I know a hint when I hear one!

Because she's cool like that...

On the morning drive to school...

Impertinent Daughter, musingly: "I wonder what we're going to do in Athletics today?"

Auntie, suddenly seized by mischievous impulse: "Maybe you'll learn how to defeat the invading Mongol hordes!"

ID, blinking: "That's... that... would be totally awesome!! Swords!! Spears!! Bashing people! I could do that!"

Impossible Son, piping up from the back seat after the daughter is dropped off at school: "I know how to defeat the Mongolly Horns!" (because he has Auntie's hearing glitch)

Auntie, trying not to laugh: "Oh yeah? How?"

Impossible Son, beaming: "Give them your chocolate chip cookies! You are going to bake some today... right? Right?"

I guess I know a hint when I hear one!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Because Logic Can Sometimes Fail You...

There are times when I am forcefully confronted with the differences between my children.

I am very much aware that my kids are two different people. After all, look at the names I've given them; the Impertinent Daughter and the Impossible Son. She is inventive, a quick thinker, a little brash at times, stubborn, loving, and though a bit prickly at times, she has a good heart. He is generous, never met a stranger, quirky, stubborn, good natured, and easily hurt at times. And both of them are very bright, full of mischief, and transparent as water (fortunately for me).

But... they are two different people.

Today, I was trying to help Mr. Manzie with his math homework. Now, our district has a light to no homework policy for students. This is very frustrating for me as I see homework as (1) practice for the kids and (2) a way for parents to keep up with what they're learning in the classroom and, more importantly, how it is being taught. Since he always brings home spelling words, and a reading assignment, I only have a very vague idea what they're doing in math, though I do try to keep up by hitting the school's website, hitting his teacher's webpage, and then taking time to talk to his teacher as much as possible. Still, as I said, it gives me a very vague idea what he is doing in class.

So, when he came home with a D, tottering very close to an F, in math, well... I wasn't surprised, but I was frustrated. We've been going over flash-cards, and math problems on the computer, etc... but... we evidently missed something.

He brought math homework home today (after I asked the teacher between clenched teeth to please send something related to the math they were doing in class home so I can help him), and, well...

My kids are two different people.

Logic works on the Impertinent Daughter. If you said to her, "9 + 9 = 18, so if you take 9 away from 18, that would be?" and she'd frown, thinking, then say, "It's 9." You say that to the Impossible Son, and he looks up at you, smiles, and says, "Um... 17?"

So, you rephrase it and say, "If 9 + 9 = 18, then 18 - 9 =...?"

"Um... 19?"

I had to remind myself that in a lot of ways, he's a more visually oriented person than Miss Priss is. And that logic doesn't work on him.

Why do I say this?

Well, I breast-fed both my kids. When it came time to wean Miss Priss, we were able to talk about it, well, about as well as a near three year old and an adult can. We talked about what weaning was, and how she was getting to be a really big girl, and that we could take it slowly by reducing nursing by one feeding a week, etc, and picked out which one she felt she could give up. Took six weeks, but she was weaned. Had a little party for her, it was great!

When it came time to wean Mr. Manzie, he wasn't having anything to do with logic or reasonable discussions. He wanted to nurse and that was final! So... I had to tell him I was running out of milk. I cut him back one nursing each week by telling him, "Oops, I'm all out of milk today, sorry!" And then, when we were down to one nursing, I had to put Band-Aids on my breasts (no, not on the nipples... OUCH!!) and tell him the milk machines were broken, and there was no more milk to be had.

It was a sad day in Little Man Land when the Mama Milk Machine broke.

I had to keep that in mind while trying to help him with his math homework. And I'm not saying I've figured it out yet, but heck, if I have to, I will dig out the Legos to get him over his mental hump, especially since they are working with adding and subtracting double digits. Think visual aids, Auntie!

I just have to remind myself, what works with one child won't necessarily work with the other because... they are two different people.


Saturday, January 24, 2009


Amazing when you can turn around someone's bad mood just by snogging them silly...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Because she's silly that way...

So, the Impertinent One told me she saw an interesting sticker on a fellow student's binder. It said, "Severus Snape is a better match for Bella; I'll take Edward off her hands."

I laughed and said, "Well, that was random!"

"Totally," she said, and added, "I thought it would have worked better if it had said, Severus Snape is a better match for Bella; I'll just go burn Edward now!"

This made me laugh even harder, because she wants to make a t-shirt that says on the front, "My vampires are sunlight intolerant," and on the back, a picture of Edward's head with the hair on fire and his eyes bugging out. When I could get a breath, I said, "Maybe it should say, I'll just start the bonfire for Edward, shall I?" which made her snicker helplessly.

Then she said, "I like my vampires TOASTY!"

"With extra garlic," I added.

Which made her snort with laughter.

I really, really love it when she gets me! And I know she loves it when I get her!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Conversation with Impertinence...

So, I'm sitting here writing, and the Impertinent Daughter walks in.

"You know what just happened?"

"What happened?" I asked, hugging her briefly.

"Well, the ice cream truck came down the street, and we all went to meet it, because I was going to buy some ice cream for me and Little Bother, and the truck started to slow down, but when we got to it, it suddenly sped up, and zoomed down the street and around the corner." She looked very annoyed. "Little Brother tried to chase him down, but when the driver saw him, he really hit the accelerator and disappeared!"

"Hmmm... guess that Pedophile Aversion Charms I put on you and your brother works then," I said absently as I looked back at the computer.

"The... what??" she said, staring at me in stunned disbelief.

"Pedophile Aversion Charms," I said, looking up. "What?"

She was frowning at me. "Hey, I just wanted some ice cream, GEEZ!!"

And she went stomping off.

Kids. No appreciation for quality spells or anything, I swear.

*snorts with amusement*

Conversation with Impertinence...

So, I'm sitting here writing, and the Impertinent Daughter walks in.

"You know what just happened?"

"What happened?" I asked, hugging her briefly.

"Well, the ice cream truck came down the street, and we all went to meet it, because I was going to buy some ice cream for me and Little Bother, and the truck started to slow down, but when we got to it, it suddenly sped up, and zoomed down the street and around the corner." She looked very annoyed. "Little Brother tried to chase him down, but when the driver saw him, he really hit the accelerator and disappeared!"

"Hmmm... guess that Pedophile Aversion Charms I put on you and your brother works then," I said absently as I looked back at the computer.

"The... what??" she said, staring at me in stunned disbelief.

"Pedophile Aversion Charms," I said, looking up. "What?"

She was frowning at me. "Hey, I just wanted some ice cream, GEEZ!!"

And she went stomping off.

Kids. No appreciation for quality spells or anything, I swear.

*snorts with amusement*

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Ticket to World Domination...

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Follow me, oh, my faithful minions!! *wafts the scent of chocolate chip cookies at you all*

At last... the world is MINE!!!!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

*merry laughter*

The Impossible Son just told me that I could take over the world with my chocolate chip cookies.

"No one can resist them!" he said, "not even Sebastian and Gerardo!"

Oh, well, if that's the case, what am I waiting for?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Lather, Rinse, Repeat...

You know it's been a lousy Christmas break when the Husbandly One wants to go back to work!

Mom got out of the hospital on Wednesday, but had to come back here to stay with us rather than going back to Houston as my two older sisters had planned between themselves. They had planned it because I was recovering very slowly, and they knew THO had his hands full, and because they felt Mom would feel better in her own bed if Bets stayed with her.

That isn't how it worked out.

First, the Blonde Sister's daughter, A, got it, and the Blonde Sister, who works at a doctor's office, found herself having to work overtime because this virus is making the rounds where she lives. Then my oldest niece, D, got it, and had to be hospitalized because she got severely dehydrated very quickly, so Bets had to stay with her kids.

Mom didn't mind, really, and neither did we, though it did mean giving up our bed (and just after we'd gotten used to being back in it, too!), and since our appetites were as sparse as Mom's, that meant no one pressuring her to eat, and eat, and eat!

The Blonde Sister and the Brotherly One came to pick Mom up today and take her back home. I am glad, because truthfully, none of us are up to a drive to Houston and back today. Well, the kids are more energetic than we are, but they still aren't eating all that much.

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take a nap now.