I went to the grocery store today and got a different bag boy who asked me if I was ready for the New Year. He was sort of philosophical with his comments by saying that he has a theory that there is a difference between "resolution" and "resolve". One would be something you say for the heck of it, and the other would mean actually carrying it out and doing it. I told him that I don't make resolutions. I have never understood why people do. Not because they never stick with the resolutions, but because who cares that in a new year you do this or do that. It is just time to me. I can make a resolution tomorrow to do something different and I will.

Like when I went shopping with my mother to buy clothes a good handful of years back. I had just had my girl a year prior and I was putting it on a bit. My mother was too, except her excuse was menopause or something. I hate shopping. Really, I do. I just don't ever want anything. So I observed how my mother shopped for clothes. She REFUSED to go up a size even if she was bulging out of the size she "thought" she should be. It really bugged me. I mean, it had such an impact on me that I thought, "I can't be like that. I am going to have to buy size tens here because I am getting a little hefty myself and if I don't want to wear them I will just lose the weight starting TODAY." And that is what I did. I started exercising the very next day on a regular basis and have not stopped since. It took me four long years but I got down a good many sizes. Which reminds me---

I was watching TV the other night with Dear Sir and someone asked Paris Hilton what her New Years resolution would be. She said that she will exercise more (because she is so slack) and she will eat less fast food because she eats so much of it. Yeah, we can tell, eh?

I just never realized that people took New Years day so seriously. What is your stinking resolution? I don't have one.


Vegan Hobbit

I have had no appetite for much---food is included. Just thought I would put that out there. I think I have been sick. I was telling the worship leader at my church last night at practice that I think I have had a virus. I think I still have one, I mean. When I start each day the thought of eating food is one of the highlights of my morning. I adore food. Lots of times I don't care if it is good food or not. I adore cold cereal and energy bars and stupid junk that really isn't real food. Right after breakfast I think again about food---what I will have for lunch, snack, you name it. Then I think about what I will make for dinner (and trust me, I have been really slack in this area of late---let's say the past couple of years now) but I still get excited over a side of peas and some brown rice.

I think I am a hobbit. First breakfast, second breakfast. I am even starting to like beer a little bit. So, with that in mind, I have no appetite, I think something is wrong with me, and I should take my temperature.

My Oldest said one day when we were going to have a roast that I would probably not enjoy that dinner very much. I asked him why. He said, "Well, because you are a vegetarian!"

I almost fell over. What in the heck would make him think I am a vegetarian?

I tried to tell him that I am not one and he would not believe me. I think it is because I refuse to eat my own fried chicken. I make it too much, Dear Sir adores it, and I am just plumb sick of it. Everyone else has a heyday while I feast on the veggies and other side I make. Not long from the time of the roast comment I made fried chicken. My Oldest noticed that I did not partake of the bird-flesh and he said, "See, I told you that you were a vegetarian!"

Dear Sir almost spit out his food. "Wha?!!!"
"He thinks I am a vegetarian, honey."
"She is NOT a vegetarian!" Dear Sir rebuked. "You have to never eat meat for that, got it?"

To this day my Oldest still thinks I am a vegetarian. He just believes it.

This is not the first person who has accused me of being a vegan. I remember back when I was a coolian right out of high school I went to a restaurant with a boyfriend and my good friend was the waitress. She leaned over as I was ordering and told me what she thought was good there. I told her that what she suggested sounded vile and I wanted some meat concoction. She almost toppled over the table and she grabbed her heart. "Why, Rachel! I thought you were all 'new agey'! I didn't know you ate meat! Don't you listen to Enya?"

I never knew that listening to Enya equalled eating only vegetables. I can't even eat them raw, how can I be a vegetarian? I have to eat SOMETHING, don't I? Good grief...



Absolutely nothing much is going on, which is a good thing. I have survived not gaining a pound while being unable to run because of my tingly weird leg that I promised Dear Sir I would not run on for two weeks (it is killing me not to run) while eating junk and cereal for meals because I have been too lazy to cook. Tonight I will attempt to roast a chicken once my stupid blonde brownies finish baking (I put them in too small of a pan and now they are taking an eternity to bake).

I am actually not in a bad mood; contrary to what I am typing. I am just a little annoyed that I can not find squat about my leg on the internet so I can help it along the recovery process. The inside of my calf tingles and has cramping and some pain when I sit still and then when I run on it or use it excessively (I did that the other night getting fancy while dueling light sabers with my daughter). It is a nerve problem, I am pretty sure, but there really is not much to be done with it except just not using my leg for a spell, which is rotten and hard to deal with for me. I live on running and then I live on it more, feel the need of it more keenly when I am not doing it. The blight of a woman addicted.

Christmas went well and was as low key as possible (which is always good). We sat around and watched Star Wars and ate popcorn. I baked a little yesterday and the day before with the girl on her new Easy Bake oven, and Dear Sir and the boys played Risk. Of course he pummeled them and taught them many lessons in world domination.

Dear Sir got me a new biography of Thomas Hardy (my favorite author who wrote Tess of The D'Ubervilles for those who have no real clue) and I have been reading snippets here and there while finishing up a few books that I have had bookmarks in. I won't elaborate at length my thorough enjoyment of Hardy because I know it will bore you to tears, but I have plenty of reading ahead of me pertaining to that particular subject and I know I will never grow weary of it!

I also got a really cool Shakespeare book from my sister in law and I think it will be a great read because it basically sets all the plays in narrative format. Thank you, Mindi.

I hope you all had a great Christmas!


I will break from writing since I am just not in the mood.

Can't run (my leg is all messed up), can't write, and can't make anymore cookies. I have made too many already.

Have a Merry Christmas and see you next week unless I change my mind.


Lost Ewe

Last night Dear Sir and I dropped the kids off at the local Baptist Church to their AWANA meeting. The Oldest bolted to his class and the younger ones lined up to sign themselves in, and I walked to the car and Dear Sir and I went to get something to eat and catch up.

When I walked in the building an hour later things were eerily quiet. I did find the Eraser Eater and the Daughter, but strangely my oldest son's class was not in session and every room was dark. I went to the other end of the building to the gym because perhaps he could be there, and lo, he was not. I went to the AWANA leader and asked him where the Oldest son's class was.
"There is no class. They did not meet today."
I immediately got this sinking feeling in my stomach. I almost freaked out, but Dear Sir was behind me and he said, "We will find him, don't worry."
I ridiculously started to search for my son in a frantic fashion. I climbed a million stairways and found classrooms upon classrooms but I could not get to the sanctuary, where I thought he could possibly be since there was a sermon going on there. I think there are four or five stairwells, and I met about four of them and plastered my face against windows in nearly every lit room I could. No son. Finally a man said to me: "You have lost a child."

I think he could tell by the look on my face. I was about to slay anyone who got in the way of me and my child. I felt so ridiculous. I tried to suppress my feelings but said sheepishly, "yes."

This man helped Dear Sir look and I looked everywhere else. Finally the man brought an usher from the service who guided me to the sanctuary and told me to search through the pews (it was very full) for my son. I scoped the place but could not see the other side, so I went to the next set of double doors.
Finally, I saw him. He was sitting down next to a teacher reading his Bible. He was reading Ecclesiastes.

I grabbed his arm and guided him out. I was sure to thank the teacher who sat next to him.

I thanked everyone who helped me including the usher, the man who knew I lost a child, and the AWANA superintendent (even though he did not tell me much).

I have been emotional the past few days. This topped the cake. I did not full out cry my eyes out or anything, but I pushed back a few tear drops and got in the car. I handed the Oldest the rest of my Diet Coke.
"Why are you giving this to me?" he said thankfully.

"Because I lost you and I feel bad for it," I said.
What made it even worse to me is that my son proceeded to tell me how when he found that his class was not in session he ran back to the parking lot to look for our car and we were gone. He said he hung his head and was disappointed that he had to go back inside and roam the halls.

Dear Sir grabbed my leg. "He is a big boy now, Rachel, he knows what to do."

I thought of the parable of the lost sheep during the whole thing. I didn't think about how God must feel when one of His own are lost until I was in the parking lot, three kids safe and sound, but I did think about how God loses sheep when I was looking through endless classrooms. Not until I got in the car, handing my kid the diet coke, did it occur to me that God feels like I felt when a sheep is lost. I felt frantic. I felt horrible. The weird thing is that I knew he was safe, it was the fact that he was not where I knew he should have been. The fact that he was lost.


Back in the Day

Back in the day before Eraser Eater ate erasers and only drank formula and the Oldest only said gibberish and the daughter did not exist yet (even a hint), I worked in a house filled with mentally disabled adults. I worked two days a week and believe me, not to be mean, but the house was mad. It was rather frightening. I don't even know why I worked there or allowed myself to. It was just sheer craziness.

At the interview I was hired on the spot and told to take a course in human restraint. Well, some sort of politically correct/non hurtful human restraint. I was taught to restrain someone from behind, knock them on the ground, and hold them down (many little ladies my size could do it just fine without a thought to it). In fact, I did it just fine but I have gotten a little rusty. Dear Sir is never up for a little practice session. I have never tried it on him before (well, I almost did but feared for my life if I went one step further---ha ha.) Men don't like it when their women can take them down. Gotta respect that.

Anyway, once in awhile I remember I can do this little maneuver and use it on my Oldest. You know, a mentally retarded person is not going to expect it, but a ten year old boy will if you are messing around with him anyway. They are all struggles. And they sweat so much. Tonight I put the smack down on the boy and he was saying to me, "How do you DO that?!"

I remember one day while in the handicap van (we were taking a drive with the clients) one of the unfortunate fellows sat next to me. In fact, I had to sit between two of them because lots of times they would pull each other's hair or bite each other---the idea is for them to bite me instead. Great, huh. Why the heck did I work there, I don't know. Anyway, This one client in particular would snuggle up against me and I would rub his head (he was a sixty something year old man and he was the most horrific looking person imaginable. I would not have liked to see him in an alley way. He looked scary.) and he seemed to like that. He would rub my arm as well and smile and drool all over me. I thought the drive was going well for the most part and then about half way through it he jolted up on a sudden and punched me as hard as he could on my forearm. His face was set in complete anger and his teeth looked menacing. He kept blowing me but the punches lessened in force and eventually he stopped. While that was going on my particular unfavorite client who had the habit and utter love of pulling hair at all times was trying to get his sneaky little hand at mine. I had the luxury of coming in in the mornings and having to dress him from time to time. All he wanted to do was bite and pull. Finally one day this snotty lady I worked with told me to deal with him for some reason and he was not cooperating with me and I just called her to me and told her I was done with him, she can do it. He gets dressed somehow every morning.

I had to deal with the ladies a lot too. There were a few in wheelchairs and they were interesting. I worked with one in particular quite often and she was not abusive at all. She was just a lot of work. Changing clothes, wiping butts, flushing toilets, giving showers, wiping mouths, feeding, EVERYTHING. She was really sweet natured and I felt so bad for her having to live with some of these harmful ones.

Another lady talked incessantly about nothing. Well, she said stuff but she would repeat it over and over again. I remember one time I was brushing her hair and getting her dressed and she looked at me in the mirror and said, "Who cares about you! Who cares about you! Who cares about you! Who cares about you!......." over and over again. She would get in these moods where she would call you names over and over and pretty soon you would be like, "yeah, who the heck cares about me, anyway?" Dear Sir and I often quote this when we are in a jolly good mood.

I eventually had to quit because one of the clients who had the mentality of maybe a six year old but the body and drive of a twenty year old man (he was around my age at the time) seemed to take a liking to me and started to harass me. I mean, grab me and pretty much would have gone further if I had not watched myself and gotten out of his way. He was a big guy and the most frightening of all of them. I had heard that he had about seven or so full grown strong men on him when he went through a tantrum of sorts and he put most of them in the emergency room. I knew that if I were to tell him no with the grabbings and things and didn't put it as lightly as possible, he would literally snap me in half. It was rather frightening. The last straw was when he got a little too liberal when I was changing his bed (he followed me everywhere) and I had to bow out and he was getting angry and someone had to calm him down. I just called them and told them that I could not return to work. Insane.

It is so sad that people live like this. There is a whole world of them living in little independent homes like this because their parents can not care for them and it is just utterly depressing. It is literally like a whole different world from ours---we are all obsessed with ourselves and looking beautiful and young. These people hardly talk, walk around aimlessly, hurt others because they don't know any better, and do the most vile things. I have seen a lot of body parts I wish I hadn't, that is for sure!


Attack of the Killer Rock

Yesterday I took the kids to the park since it was in the 70's. Where do I live? Florida? California? Nope. An hour from D.C. Give me a break huh? So we went out and had a mini spring day. My daughter took the binoculars and ran around looking like Dora and the Oldest and Eraser Eater went their separate ways-- one to the see-saw and the other to find lizards. I think they literally thought it was summer again.

I went through a mini (I will use the word again) flashback of how horrendous last summer was because of my Oldest son and flying insects. He refused to go by the water (there is a lake by the park) because of possible dragonflies. There was not a bug to be seen for miles and he was wigging out again. "I'm staying right here!" he would yell. I gave up and went on the see saw with him for a bit and taught him my trick on how to make someone freak out and bounce. He didn't like the lesson because I did it to him a million times.

I got tired of the see-saw and moved on to see what the other two were doing by the water and they were taking sticks and pretending that they were fishing. I thought this was a good idea and got a massive branch and said to my oldest: "Look at this thing! You can be Huck Finn and fish with this thing!"

"Not by that water I'm not! That is where dragonflies go!"

I had to convince him that there weren't any dragonflies. To be honest, he was really enthralled with the massive stick. It was taller than me. He took it greedily and announced to the whole park that he was going to go fishing and begged where he could find a worm. I dallied around by the stream and found a worm but I did not touch it. I hate worms. Looking at them makes me sick. Kind of like metal. "I found a worm!" I yelled.

The voice of Mickey Mouse made its way toward me filled with glee and he GRABBED THE WORM from the ground. I almost screamed, but I realized that he was touching a bug like regular boys and this is good.

"So, uh, how do I put it on the end of my stick?"

"I guess you have to pierce it's flesh and stick it on that way," I said, a little unsure of myself.

"Ok." He tried. "It's slippy." It didn't work. "Oh well. I guess I could just take him and dangle him in the water and a fish would come to me." He cupped the worm in his hand. "He feels wiggly in my hand! I kind of like it!"

The thought of that made me feel a little green and pale, but I ignored it and went on.
Finally he decided that dangling the worm would not work so he just threw it in the water. A lot of good that did. All I could think about was hand sanitizer.

I got distracted after a spell and started looking in the binoculars. I saw the Oldest on a rock by the little stream-creek thing and then I saw him WALK THROUGH THE WATER. I about had a cow. That is when I took them home. They were all soaked from being ridiculous and walking through water rather than walking around. The lake water is filthy. Remember the dead duck? Yeah, you get my point. I had to wash everything when I got home. Sick.

Except when I got home the Oldest did not want to go inside. He approached the front porch and then ran screaming from it to the car again. Flash back of the past summer. He stood there, fingers on lip (worm infested fingers, mind you), trembling and crying his ten year old rear end off. "A big black bee! I saw it!"

"There is no bee."

"Yes! I saw it! It was by the rail! It was flying toward me! I will not go in until you kill it!" He was inconsolable, irrational, and petrified. Of nothing. There was nothing.

"No. There is nothing here. I will guide you. Let me take your hand."

"No! I saw it!"

"Look! THERE IS NOTHING! THERE ARE NEIGHBORS! THEY CAN HEAR YOU!" I said this in a loud whisper. Even shame does not shape him up.

"Is there...is there anything black around the porch?" He cried out in a whimper.

"Yes. A rock. A black rock."

"That must be it then."

"Yes. That is probably it. Now come on, and get inside."

He ran in like the devil was on his tail and took the sopping wet shoes off as fast as he could. He refused to go outside the rest of the day.

I can already foresee next summer...again. Ugh.


Christmas Malarkey

Its been ridiculously warm here. I think it did this last year too. The kids are somewhat depressed, wishing for snow, and frankly, I am not sure it will come being this warm in DECEMBER. Dear Sir says that it feels like spring.

James Blunt is still staring me in the face (here, I will turn the card over---hold on a sec--done), and I forgot to mention what else Dear Sir got me for my birthday: a guitar stand (I really needed one!), a shirt that has the British flag on it, the Complete stories of Flannery O'Connor, and a pair of sunglasses that cover more than half of my face. I wish the smaller ones were in style right now. Sheesh. I told him to get me NOTHING because I don't really want anything (I know, aren't I weird? It has taken me this long to figure out how to use the stinking James Blunt gift card). And I still have not done it.

The boys made me Christmas lists this year, which was fun and on BOTH of their lists they wrote that they wanted their sister to have a "purple light saber", which I thought was very sweet. So I found one and wrapped it up and said it was from the Oldest and Eraser Eater. She will be delighted to be able to duel them. I find that she often conforms to their kind of play because there is not another girl her age often around. She goes between being Kim Possible to batgirl to some jedi girl warrior. She will put on her black sweater and dart around with a lady bug utility belt on. It is kind of hilarious. It brings me back to my Wonder Woman days. You couldn't get those underroos off me.

I got Eraser Eater a metal detector (I hate metal, but he will have fun finding some Civil War shells in the backyard perhaps), The Oldest a rubix cube, and the girl this stupid Little Mermaid chariot thing with all the trimmings. I got them more things (obviously), but I am trying to focus on not buying them so much junk. I kept the presents at about ten each (I usually do only seven each) but since family is not around we have to compensate a bit. Plus, they have stockings full of stuff. I remember watching a show once about how poor families try to make up for being poor by blowing up balloons all around the tree for Christmas so when the kids wake up they think it is a big deal and are happy with the little they get. I am not "poor" but I am not with that sort of concept. I understand that I said that I gave them ten presents instead of seven to "compensate" but that is only because the things my kids asked for were so ridiculously simple, like notebooks, pens and erasers, that I wanted to get them things other than just those things! I remember when I was a kid and there were some rough years for Christmas and we had a big family. I was a little more aware I think than some in my family because for some reason I was just built that way. More sensitive, I guess. Believe me, it had its pros and cons. Yeah, we sometimes would not get the usual 20 presents or so for Christmas and would get only ten or seven. I remember one year we had moved and my parents spent a lot of their money on new furniture and things like that (which they needed) and I just figured in my mind that we almost had our Christmas with all that new stuff already. When Christmas that year rolled around and we got less than other years, I did not think what a bummer. I felt bad that my parents had to put up with complaints about it because you know, we were lucky we got anything.

My point is, I don't want my kids to be like that---thinking they deserve more. You get what you get. Thankfulness needs to be encompassing all of it, no matter what it is.


Bulk Buying and Screaming Spouses

So last week Dear Sir didn't even have to pull out the almost -empty carton of milk to send me off to the store. I had it planned in my mind already (believe it or not) and I even planned to go to Costco so I could buy tons of it. I had just been at church with the kids (Dear Sir was home with the Oldest who was sick) and I came home, plan on the brain. Drop the kids off, leave them with Dear Sir, and then high tail it to Costco.

When I got to church the only place where there was room for me to sit was in the back with the people who have the unruly children. They talk incessantly, make noise, and always knock the pile of toys down and make a disturbing crash while the pastor is reading off the liturgy. It is highly annoying. The thing that made me feel more terrible is that my kids (Daughter and Eraser Eater) were perfectly still and behaved while their kids were just out of control and then trying to get my kids out of control too! Mine would not partake, but I felt bad---like the parents would think I am snooty. Well, I felt kind of snooty. The parents were even loud. I was actually "shushing" their kids so they would not influence mine. Before Communion the Dad would say, "Come on, Buddy, let's go get a SNACK!" Yeah, let's just call the body and blood of Christ a stinking SNACK. That is really reverent.

Anyway, after church the mother wanted to make chit chat with me. She said we hadn't been properly introduced, and so I answered some of her questions and tried to keep an open mind. The sanctuary was pretty much cleared out by this time and I could see her husband and at least two of the kids hanging off of him in the foyer. He was maybe three yards away. He sort of called her name out or something and she turned around and told him that she wanted to go downstairs to buy something at the youth bake sale before they left. The man's eyes fired up like I have never seen eyes fire up before and and he BARKED at her:"We are either RIGHT HERE OR OUT THE DOOR!" meaning, I take it, "no." The look on his face and the anger in his whole constitution was alarming. I would not have been shocked if he came up and whapped her one over the head. The horrible thing is that he did this right in front of me. I looked right at him as he said it all and he could care less.

She turned to me and rolled her eyes and said, "Gotta go."

So I went home and then went on my way to Costco. I reached the four-way stop near the end of my cross street and a car was first, I was second, and then a big truck directly to my right was third. I waited for the first car to cross me, then I started to move forward since it was my turn. I was moving and turning the dial on my radio at the same time. I quickly looked up, almost about to crash into the truck (the person who was supposed to WAIT to go next). I stopped shortly and the truck stayed put, blocking me on purpose from going forward. The woman driving the truck was screaming at the top of her lungs, "IT WAS MY TURN!!!!!!!!!!!!" I heard it through her window and through my windshield. She stayed there a good few seconds to notify me of this. She was looking into my eyes and she was PISSED.

I just honked my horn at her in one big honk because I was not about to scream back at her like a nimrod. It was my turn anyway. It is not my fault that she didn't know how to count.

I am surprised at how ridiculous people are. They get mad over anything. Yesterday I went to the post office to mail a little package and the guy that pulled into the parking lot next to me bolted out of his car like he was racing me to get ahead of me in the line. Give me a BREAK!

At Costco I ran into the lady at church with the screaming husband. She was quick to call my name and say hello. I couldn't remember her name but I was sort of rude I think because I was just getting paper products and hoping she would go away. I could tell she was in a hurry anyway----but I felt bad. Lots of times I don't know what to say to someone, I am so tired of being fake, that I just smile and say, "hey" and hope they depart because I really could not move forward with that person anyway.

Dear Sir is almost positive the the screaming husband works in his building (an hour away from where we live!). He is quick to ignore Dear Sir and pretend he does not notice him. Weird, I know.



Yesterday I turned the year that I would be in my twenties for the last time. My father in law said, "I suppose this is the year you will remain forever, huh?"

I told him no, I don't mind getting older.

Then Dear Sir and I talked about death over dinner last night and then I got a sick feeling in my stomach. He said something about these years being our prime, etc, etc. I don't fear death at all---I just hate the oblivion people get lost in because no one cares for them anymore because they are not young and budding. That is sad to me.

One of my favorite gifts was an itunes gift card (among other things from Dear Sir) with James Blunt on it. I hate James Blunt and Dear Sir knew this. I almost screamed when I saw it because I can't stand his face (it reminds me of his annoying voice---talk about mean on my part, huh?) and then Dear Sir had the nerve to quote one of his songs on my card for me just to make things a little funny. I laughed really hard and gave him a shove. He said, "Hey, it's our song!" (We don't have a song and he can't stand James Blunt too). And then we both laughed.

I can't think of any music I want to buy on itunes. Is that not crazy? I thought finally that I would get the Nickel Creek album I wanted but then there is room for some more. Yikes. Can't think. Brain freeze. I really am getting old.



I don't feel like writing at all. Things are way too busy. I am turning 29 in two days and that is kind of crazy. I am sick of cookies and chocolate and I want Christmas to hurry up and come.

My daughter was just looking at some of my "paintings" that I shoved in a corner in the office. (I don't really paint, in fact I am not really good at it---I just used to amateurly pastel icons---and did it badly, at that)

"Why don't you put these in a museum, Mommy?"

"Because they are horrible; they have to be extra special good," I say.

"But they are NOT horrible and they ARE extra special good!" She glares at me. "They are masterful!"

"Well, I am totally content with the fact that I am not a painter," I say dryly.

"You're a musician," She says matter-of-factly.

"Yeah, kind of."

I remember thinking that anything my parents did was totally the greatest when I was little. I am of the mind to completely knock that silly idea directly out of their heads. Many of us take ourselves so seriously. No, I am not some amazing musician. I am a musician but not a paid one. I am a musician only because I was born knowing how to sing. It took absolutely no effort at all on my part. I was not, however, born knowing how to paint, and I was not even good when I did do it, so I would never consider myself a painter. In fact, the thought is just absolutely offensive.

What I really am is a mother, which reminds me that I need to go so I can knock some heads together....


Decorating the Tree

Last night we decorated the tree so here we are taking a silly little family photo with the mac. We had so much fun with the kids. They were so excited they were jumping up and down. I think I put up two ornaments and arranged the rest. Kids put stupid ones in horrible places; some on the same branch and some barely hanging on the bottom. That's going to last.

We topped off our ornament placing with hot cocoa and some truffles and cookies (we all felt gross when we were done) and then Dear Sir caved in and let them watch another installment of The Return of the King. Mind you, our daughter had to "hug" me most of the time and was not allowed to see a lot of it. I still get tense and freak out every time Shelob is around. I hate spiders and I hate big fat ones. That one is the Mack Daddy. Dear Sir continually reminds me that it is "just a movie" which I know and can handle, but it is still hard to look at a spider that size chasing someone. It does look REAL, you know.



THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the '6 weird things about you.' People who get tagged need to write a blog post of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says 'you are tagged' in their comments and tell them to read your blog."

I have a lot of weird things about myself that surpass all weirdness and I do talk about them on here like they are not all too weird, so I will finally admit they are what makes me weird, so here goes (six is not enough by the way):

1. When I am doing something (pretty much anything) I can't talk to you. When I am on the phone, I am stupid enough to pick it up and *try* to talk. Dear Sir experiences this all the time. I completely stutter, leave huge spaces between words, and pretty much can not think of anything except the task at hand. This also goes for computer stuff, guitar playing, raking leaves, and any other manual or brain consuming task (at least for me). The kids don't dare to talk to me while I run on the treadmill. They pretty much stay clear. I would spin off that thing and break my jaw. Dear Sir calls this "one track minded" and "not a multi- tasker".

2. When I drink any drink (especially wine or coffee), I am sure to have a napkin so I can wipe the little dribble of fluid on the rim of the drinking apparatus. It literally makes me sick to see it.

3. I don't like coins, I don't like cheese that is warm and finger-printed, I don't like hair balls, I don't like any of the aforementioned things in the same sentence like I just did. It literally makes my stomach do that sharp lurching. I just don't like finger prints. I think of coins and how dirty they are and how they would put dirt on fingerprints and then without washing hands people would touch other things like cheese or something else porous and sick.

4. I hate being rubbed on the chin. I had it done to me in highschool after I told a football player I hated it and I slapped him so hard his head fell back.

5. I hate it when people say "I dunno". It sounds "du-dumb". Someone dear and close to me is sure to email that response to me once in awhile to keep me under his thumb.

6. I am so ridiculous that I have a kitchen cabinet smack between the kitchen and the dining (school) area and I dedicate it both as a food cupboard AND homeschool supply. I told my friend this once (not thinking anything of it) and she said, "interesting."

So, I tag these people:



The Kids These Days 4

Yesterday morning my daughter woke up with bile coming out of her stomach projectile style. I thought I had heard some voice calling in the middle of the night but I fell asleep again.

I battled this all the morning and rubbed her back and pulled her hair back while she cried and said "help!" when she was "barfing." It was entirely sad to see. I also washed just about everything, cleaned the house, disinfected, and doled out acicophilus pills. So far no one else has gotten this. I really hope no one does. I used to say, "hold on to your hats, we are going to have a rough week!" But since acidophilus, I haven't worried as much.

Monday night I took the boys to Chess Club. The daughter had to go with, so we went grocery shopping since the club meets at a grocery store. Weird, I know, but it works. The same bag boy from a prior post loaded up my trunk with groceries again.

"You're the guy with the pink polo shirt," I said.

"Oh yeah. You should have seen me on Sunday for a reception I had to go to. I wore a crazy grey suit with a yellow tie. I was looking sharp," he sucked in his breath like he was the cat's meow. "I lived life the easy way too. Everyone else was in the car busy with stuff and I just took a nap all the way to Maryland."

"Oh sure, gotta do that," I said, not knowing what the heck he was talking about.

He loaded up my groceries. Since I had to go back in to get the boys from the club he kept talking to me as I walked back.

"My kids are at Chess club," I said, "I have to go back inside."

"Chess club. I was never a chess club sort of guy. I was on the Varsity Football team."

I didn't believe this for one second. This guy is a total pipsqueak.

"Yeah---I would sneak out of the locker room and look at the cheerleaders. They were making this banner for me---I told the other guys that I was busy outside for a second and they believed me. I went out there and they were all over me."
He sucked in his breath again like he thought he was hot stuff. He rumpled up his hair and messed with his collar. He jerked his head around as I nodded at him with obvious polite uninterest. He did not heed this.

"Yeah--they were like, all over me. And I had to tell them that I had to go back to the locker room to be with the guys and they came to me weeping, tears rolling down their cheeks---" he was sure to use his index fingers to make a little stream-line down his own cheeks for effect, " and they showed me the banner they made. I was like, 'I am sorry ladies, I have to go--' and they both gave me a gift of one kiss on each of my cheeks---" he pointed to each cheek, "and then it was really crazy but they finished by kissing me right here--" and he pointed to his lips, "and it was sort of gross, but they kept doing it and I was like, 'ladies! I have to GO HERE!' and I..."

At this point we were totally inside the building and I couldn't handle it anymore. I said, "hand sanitizer is good to use in that situation. Lots of germs. Just wipe it all over your face..." I proceeded to use my hands in a circular motion around my face for effect since he was so fond of using hand gestures.

He looked at me and did not skip a beat.
And he walked off.


Love Your Monk

Dear Sir says that this is "the life." That is a monk, above, walking around in his sandals in his modern and simple monastery. As a monk, one can wake up at four in the morning to pray, write on vellum with a quill pen, and read books when not gardening and helping the poor---um, and going to many different prayer times like vespers and compline and all that. We were looking around some site with this picture on it when Dear Sir could not stop exclaiming, "Just Look at that! That is AWESOME!" I told him to save this pic so that I could complain about his love for the single life. Ha ha.

Actually, monks are pretty cool. When I read The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco I could not stop drawing them. I soon discovered that I pretty much stink at drawing; I will never go anywhere with it so I guess I will just stick to singing. But, I just wanted to express my love for the mysteriousness of monkhood.

So, when we went to the National Gallery of Art a few weekends ago Dear Sir and the crew and I were walking out of the building to cross the street to get to the parking garage. Dear Sir was suddenly distracted by a monk walking the streets opposite and forgot where he was. He politely jerked his head in the monk's direction so that I could view him (how could I not? He looked so odd compared to all the other stuff around him). Suddenly a scream pealed behind us just as the monk was to come into full view and we had to turn to console our crying daughter who tripped and fell on the ground.

"I am very sorry to have not had a closer look at the monk," mumbled Dear Sir.


I Actually Watched TV Last Night

Last night I stayed up because I was #1 Not tired and #2 I wanted to finally see Sarah McLachlan perform something. I missed the Oprah show, I missed the parades and stuff, so I thought I could stay up and watch Conan O'Brien. Dear Sir asked me this morning if it was worth it. Well, not really, but it took me forever to fall asleep anyway, so it is not like I missed sleep I could have had.

She looked sort of weird. She sang just fine, I thought though, contrary to what others have said of her past performances for this Christmas album. My friend L. said that when she saw her something was "off" and her daughter even noticed it. Someone else---Funky Red or someone told me that she saw her perform for the Macy parade and she was nervous and it showed. I was a little curious last night, to be honest. I wanted to see what was up. She looked a little like she gained some pounds---but you know, the camera adds some weight and plus, it was focusing at a bad angle, so I am sure no one would look too pretty in her situation. I don't know.

I watched a bunch of other garbage. I watched Manheim Steamroller perform some of their silly trash. I swear, I thought what I was watching was back in the late 80's. The camera work was not 80's looking, but every person in that "band" or "group" or whatever you call it looked like a person permanently glued to that era. Not the more retro hip way the kids do it now days, more like early 90's hair that is full of hair spray, old fogey guys playing violins with long curly hair. More Yanni and Michael Bolton type looks. Cheesy Baby Boomer Embarrassing kind of look. And they were into it. I mean, INTO it. They were swaying with the music and closing their eyes like they were blasting out Jimmy Page guitar riffs and waltzing around waving their arms between bell chimings and stuff like they were the world's greatest musical group. I had a huge laugh over it. I don't know how anyone could take them seriously. The music itself was not even updated sounding. I am sure there are keyboards and stuff that play things better than what Flock of Seagulls had to offer way back when MTV just got started? The electronics sounded like a ten cent keyboard. So, I was CONVINCED that the performance was old. It was on PBS. You know, it could be old. I clicked the info button. It was from LAST YEAR! I have one thing to say to Manheim Steamroller: "QUIT."

And that was for Emma, who hates them, and for me, who had a really good belly laugh watching it.


Foul I To the Fountain Fly

I am wrapping soap and having a decent time with it. I am supposed to get on that treadmill and run but I am running away from it right now. I am a bit tired. I took the kids to the mall today to get Dear Sir a replacement sweater for the favorite sweater I ruined last night by one push in the dryer. He tried the thing on and it was considerably smaller and just "not right". I immediately called the Polo Outlet store and asked if they had a replacement. They did. I had them put the thing on hold and so I high tailed my behind over there this morning. Walking around the mall and telling kids to "stand here" for ever and a day is not my idea of amusement. I stood in line at the Polo store waiting for the lady to return a billion hot pink polo shirts. Then the cashier got on the phone and ticked away at his computer and I stood there waiting while a kid wandered a little over here and another wandered over there and pretty soon I would be calling this kid's name or that kids name (or every kid the wrong name) and giving the evil stare. The evil stare never works even though I tell myself when I am doing it that I look intimidating.

I can jerk my hand in a quick motion pointing to the empty space beside me but it is not heeded. I can purse my lips and clench my jaw and even my fist but that does not help. I am stuck. In line. The dope behind me will think I left my place and say, "Sorry chick."

So, I stand in my little plot and pray for the child to make eye contact so I can lure them over with SOMETHING. I just get tired of speaking. You know what I mean, moms? Speaking is just something I wish I never had to do. I repeat the same thing over and over and it is never heard. "Stop talking. I said, stop talking. Please be quiet. Be Quiet. SHUT YOUR MOUTHS FOR THE LOVE OF PETE!"

I understand how Jesus felt when he would say to the people, "Listen to me!" or "I am telling you the truth!" Try to count how many times He said that stuff. Tons. This is our human condition. We do not listen. We do not hear. We do not care. It is very interesting to me that we are told in these times to be attentive because no one knows when Jesus will be coming again. Being attentive is just not something we NATURALLY do. Look at my kids. I don't teach them to be UNattentive. Nope.

So, I got the sweater, all was well and we went to the bookstore. I thought of getting some coffee but decided against it because I did not want to stand in another line and bear the torture of THAT again.

Last night I was sort of in a foul mood (this was BEFORE I realized my major blunder in shrinking the sweater) because I let the kids get to me when I should have just been cool about stuff. I was in a hurry or something, I can't quite remember, and I opened the door to go to the bathroom and slammed the door and my index finger with it. Believe me, other words came to my mind as I yelped in pain but a thunderous "CRAP!!!" was all that came out. Dear Sir was right outside the door on the computer and as I sat there in the bathroom nursing my wound I thought how he must think I died. I walked out and acted like nothing happened and he didn't even turn his head. He must be used to this animal house sort of feel we have, I guess.

Well, I have truffles and whatnot to make and maybe when some are finished I will take a weak little picture. I can't take pictures very well. I don't know what the deal is. Some people say don't flash and get where there is natural light, but I just have no clue what that even means. So, I will continue to take dopey pictures and you will have to like it. No one can be good at everything, right? I don't need to be good at taking pictures if I can make soap and melt chocolate. That is good enough, eh?


E Possible

This is the Daughter doing "Kim Possible." I told her to put a little more ham into it but she just couldn't do it. She said she had to stand up for that madness. I guess she is not a real actress. A real actress would do whatever possible to get the end result. But the picture is cute nonetheless.

I forgot to mention that Dear Sir told me that "slosh" is not a word. When one says "I got sloshed" you can not say "I am a slosh." I do know you can say "lush" but every body says that. "Slosh" sounds cooler. To me. So, if I ever make fun of myself and the red wine again and need to use a word like "lush" without using the word "lush", I will just continue to use "slosh" because it is my own perfect made up word for a person who likes to pretend she gets drunk (who really doesn't and has no intention of it). There, I made it up myself.

Last night Dear Sir and I went Christmas shopping while the crazies went to AWANA. We wolfed down a couple of burgers (see Ann, I do eat out) and a huge pile of fries and then went on our way to Borders. I had to return something, so Dear Sir went to the magazine section (he detests returning things or being any part of the process). When I got back to the magazine rack he was thoughtfully reading something and told me to give him a minute. So I went somewhere else and we met up again and went out to the parking lot. Dear Sir turned to me and said, "I ran into this guy while I was reading a magazine, and I swear, he did a double take when he looked at me and then said, 'has anyone ever told you that you look just like Kiefer Sutherland?' I told him that my wife says it all the time and he said all I need is a cigar in my mouth and we would be twins."

Yes, I do tell him that a lot. My own Dear Sir does look like Kiefer (lucky me). The nose, no, but the eyes and mouth, yes. He has never believed me (he always shakes his head at me like I am a wicked child) so it is funny that some stranger has pointed it out.

I just ran out of coffee. Now, I would panic if I were EmmaSometimes, cause you know, her running out of coffee is like me running out of red wine. May as well IV that precious dark fluid straight into her veins. And she doesn't use Splenda either. I put a big heaping tablespoon in my coffee just for extra cancer, and feel just fine doing it because I have consumed less calories and can use up those calories to eat some chocolate (of course, in the morning with my coffee). I have already eaten a couple of squares.

Well, I better get school running because math is crying in the cabinet, unused and sad. Tomorrow I get to whip out the Latin and perhaps I will use yet another vocabulary word as my title. And----while I am busy doing all that you can all feel jealous because I live with Kiefer.


What Happens When a Recluse Emerges

Here is my Cappuccino Soap I made yesterday. It smells yummy and looks yummy! Reminds me of a truffle.

I just finished making breakfast. Eraser Eater was slow to the table practicing his memory verses for AWANA tonight. When he saw that The Oldest and the Daughter were already feasting on their french toast, he started whining and saying junk like I love them more and I probably poisoned his food.
"What?!" I asked. "I don't want to hear any more malarkey like that come out of your mouth, you hear me?"

"Well," chimed in the Oldest, " I have had thoughts like that before..."

"Of ME poisoning your food?!"

"Well, uh, it was probably a year ago now and it probably only lasted about not even fifteen minutes, so..."

"What the heck?!"

What the heck is right. Now that I typed this out you guys must think I am a maniac.

The Oldest then launched into how Eraser Eater was rolling around in bed singing about money. Well, chanting about money. "He was talking about turtles and money and how much they would cost..."

This kid is a money freak. He claims that he will live with the Oldest because they could split the costs of living. It will be "cheaper." He is only seven.
He makes notebooks of models of cars and things that he will design when he is a man and will sell for "a few thousand" a piece. He talks about how he would make things available for all people no matter if they have money or not. He sounds like a Communist to me. Better get him cracking on Adam Smith before he goes down the tubes.

Last night I went to the homeschool mom's group. I was a little disappointed, to be honest. I brought my toffee bars that are made from sweetened condensed milk (I burned the filling and did not have another can of sweetened condensed milk, so I looked up how to make it myself online and BAM! I did it. It took forever, but it was pretty cool.) and put them on a table. I was a little late for reasons I wish not to get into, and so I put a name tag on and the administrator put a sticker on my back. She said it was for a game. OK.

I can't even remember what people were talking about. It was some local thing, and then the Administrator started talking about the "first" game. Each of us had a sticker on our backs with a school subject typed out on it. We had to ask other ladies questions of what the subject was without anyone telling us directly. Dumb. I started with the lady next to me---she started asking me questions as to what her subject was. It was "algebra." Only two prizes were given and by the time this lady asked me her third question the prizes were already snatched. Finally she guessed and I found no reason for my playing at all. I just took the sticker off my back. The Administrator approached me almost immediately. "So did you guess your subject?" She asked me.
She looked at me questioningly.
"I figured since there were not prizes to be had I would just take the sticker off and cheat. Mine is 'spelling'. I would not have guessed it anyway."

Another lady waved her hand at me and said, "Oh, spelling is easy. You had an easy one! You would have guessed that for sure."

"No," I continued, "I am a moron."

I was sitting there wondering why we had to have games to entertain us.

Then someone rang a bell and it was announced that we were to play the game "Bunko." Except, when they explained it, it was way different from the one time I played it. It takes no one special to win. It is a mindless game of rolling dice and tallying down a stupid score. Tallying down the score is the hard part. I hardly talked to a soul the whole time the games were going on. At one point a lady from my team got up and got some books. She opened a few up (they were homeschool books) and scanned them over. Another lady commented that she must have gotten them from the {homeschooling} library.
"How does that work?" I asked. I wanted to know about their system, etc.
"Books." They both said in unison.
"Do you check them out, or..."
No one answered my question although I am sure they heard me. I was irate. I slammed my lips shut and said "forget about it" in my mind.

Finally I got to the table where the president of the group was (she was the one that asked me to help her do a soap thing with her and I canceled because the kids were sick?) and she sort of looked past me and waved. I looked behind me to see whether she was waving at me or not and no one was there. I guess she was waving at me. "Oh, you're Rachel!" She said at last. I looked down at my name tag. Some lady looked at it too and pronounced my name in German.
"Ladies, Rachel makes soap."
"Which reminds me," I said, digging in my purse, "I have a soap gift for you because I felt so bad about not showing up the other day." I did not want to give it to her in front of the other ladies at the table but I could tell she thought I was strange and put up with me. I pulled out the gift pack of soap I made and handed it to her. She gasped and put her hand on her heart. The lady next to me blurted, "Do you sell this?" and that is all she said.
The German pronouncing lady said, "And you make this how?"
"Oils and lye. You know, coconut oil, palm, Crisco, cocoa butter, that kind of stuff."
She nodded her head in agreement and said, "thought so."
Someone said something about it being hard to do and I downplayed it (like usual) and said it was pretty easy. Dangerous, but easy.

I barely talked to anyone else. Some people asked me a few questions but that was it. Nothing spectacular. The president did come up to me again to thank me for the soap and ask me a question about signing Eraser Eater up for a spelling bee. I was interested in that. I asked her the ages of her girls and she said one was in fifth grade.
"I have a boy that is in fifth grade," I said.
"That's ok," she said. {What, may I ask, is that supposed to mean?} She nodded her head at me like I was a retard.

I do have to admit to you that I have trouble speaking my mind sometimes. Thoughts just don't flow out. I write WAY better than I talk, so maybe people do think I am a retard. But, she needed to know what grade my kid was in so she could send me the proper spelling words for him.

I said to her, "My second grader is the one that will be signed up for the spelling bee."
"I understand," she said.
"My oldest son can't spell worth a lick..." I continued. And here is where I turn myself into the retard she thinks I may well be because I know she thinks this or perhaps thinks this and I get more nervous talking to her and then I end up turning into it.

She nodded her head as if to wave me off and to 'get on with it I am wasting [her] time'.
"It's ok," she said again, quite gracefully this time.

I could tell she was just putting up with me. The sad thing is that she is my age and seems all nice but talking to her is different. Maybe she was nervous. I doubt it though. She seemed pretty comfortable to me. Everything is copacetic, you know? And she is incredibly understanding.

When I came home and told Dear Sir that all we did was play games so hard that we did not have time to talk he shook his head and said, "Just give it another try."

I am not intimidated by these ladies at all, now that I have met them. A few of them have barely gotten their school years started! I am a School Nazi! It is more me that would be looking down at them thinking, "come on, get it together!" But I know many of those ladies have a completely competent school program in their homes and it works well for them and I have no reason to judge or anything like that. I have a lot to learn, actually. I was just hoping that the meeting would be more informative and at least I could make some friends. I was the first one to leave, now that I remember.

Oh well. So, Emma, that is how it went.



Ok, so I am having fun with this photo booth thing and I am having a better day. I was cracking myself up doing it. I have just finished the batch of Cappuccino Soap, so I can't wait to slice it up once it cools. School was relatively simple and straight forward, and tonight I am to go to a homeschool mom meeting. I have no idea what I am getting into, so I hope I am not scared off. Homeschooling mothers continue to intimidate me (even though I am one of them).

So, since I am feeling about a fourth of the way chipper, I will write something sort of chipper. I will not, however, write a cheer:

I am happy when I find stuff like allergy pills.

I am happy when I eat chocolate.

I am happy when I work really hard and then get to relax.

I am happy when Dear Sir asks me to make him popcorn. (Don't tell him I said that!)

Ok, I have to quit this. It is making me a little queasy.

The fact is, no one is happy or content unless things are going their way. At least if I am honest with myself that is what the deal is. No, Eraser Eater, you may not have a melt-down, it will ruin MY day. You get what I mean. I am trying to digest the fact that the only way I will please God is if I live my life like I want to please Him and not myself. It is such a contrary idea or condition from what I am prone to do. Have you ever tried to walk in the opposite direction of oncoming strong wind? That is what it feels like every day. It is a striving that takes strength. I am talking about myself, yes, but I am also talking about every person who is a Christian. It's like I try to tell my Oldest almost every single school day before we start (and believe me, it gets old): You can't get out of it, this is the way it is, so get used to it and enjoy it while you are at it. It is hard to think about enjoying "striving". Or rather, "enduring". Life should not necessarily be difficult from the outside, but it is more of a war inside that makes it the hardest. At least that is what I think. A fight against self.

This reminds me somehow (don't ask me to explain this) of a story C.S. Lewis told about when he was in the war. He and his comrade were down and talking bad about it in the trenches and another soldier was so "in the clouds" about the state of the war and he was exceedingly optimistic to a fault. Lewis could not believe that people could actually be so silly until the very bitter end as death faces them. Lewis was saying that there is a line drawn between pessimism and realism. I think this is true. Why must we lie to ourselves so we feel better when reality is staring us in the face? More optimistic people would say a realistic person is pessimistic.

So---realistically, I am only happy when I get my way.

And---I am not getting my way today but I will be happy anyway. So there. True happiness is finding that I am not in control. I would really mess things up if I were. Thank goodness for that.



This is pretty much how I have felt all week. A picture is worth a thousand words. And I look tired. Raking leaves, making soap and dealing with screaming children.

I know Susie is going to kick my butt if I don't write something.

I about had a brain aneurysm while teaching the boys Latin today. I was trying to get them to translate sentences and tell me the adjective and noun genders. My Expo pen kept running out. Finally once we got to the word "misera" the oldest translated it for me and said, "How you feel, Mom, 'miserable.'"

"Yep, pretty much," I barked.

I tried to write it with the faint Expo pen but I just beat the board instead with it. The Oldest put his arm around me and pat me on the shoulder.

My neighbor came over and told me all about her cheerleading days while I sat in my stink drinking water from my Wonder Woman mug (I ran for a bit) and I listened to her made up cheer with a smile on my face. I told her that I always had hated cheerleaders. She told me that her cheer was especially for people like me.

She also told me that Dear Sir and I are "yuppies" and sort of more "upscale" than other people in how we live. I don't know what that means, but ok. I think it may be because we have icons in our house, but I really have no idea what that means, really. I feel like a total slob most the time and my kids dress themselves, so we are not without a child running around with a hole in his pants or a stain on his shirt. Heck, Eraser Eater wore his "favorite" shirt for three days and I totally did not notice until Dear Sir pointed it out to me kindly during dinner the third night.

"...And we're running out of toilet paper...." he told me last night.

So where was I just a minute ago? Going to the stinking store to buy two mega packs of Quilted Northern. Ok, so I buy upscale toilet paper. But it does really last much longer.

And I keep a relatively clean house. I mean, my neighbor will hardly let me walk in her house. She comes in my house and wows about how clean it is. I always feel like it is a mess because papers are on the table that Eraser Eater left.

Also, the internet keeps knocking me off. So, I will post now before it does it again and I lose my mind. It has been doing this all day.

See you all tomorrow!


Slinging Lye

I forgot there were some pictures of the gig a few weeks ago. Duh. This one is one of the better ones. The new camera is so sensitive that the photos often come out blurry because Dear Sir shakes somewhat like an old man.

I have not gone out one day this week, which means I have no humorous writing material. I have been feeling like a recluse. I run inside, I make soap inside, I school inside, I ask my neighbor (she offered) if she will get me a gallon of milk since she will be "in town". Yeah, living in the country means it is a trip to town. Naturally. Well, I should cut myself some slack. The kids were sick this week with colds. I was supposed to help this lady (who is the head of this homeschool group I just became a part of ) to teach little girls how to make melt and pour soap. I have never done this anyway, so when I called her to cancel because my kids all woke up sick, I didn't feel so bad. I think I scared her a little anyway. She called me last week at the last minute because she saw on my "home school group application" that I made soap and she thought I may be able to assist her. She asked me about how to make soap and you know, I launched into too many details and I am sure I ended up sounding like "blah blah blah" after awhile. Cold Process, Hot Process. I am a Hot Process snob. People who do the Cold Process think that the HP is inferior and that in the process you lose glycerin. They have never done it and they really don't care. All they want to do is CP and so therefore they are CP snobs. There is a literal divide in Soapmaking, mind you. Protestants and Catholic-esque sort of divide. Pretty soon we will all hide behind cars and throw lye at each other. Except we Hot Process people will be faster because hey, we can mix the lye water and the oils at ANY temperature! Those slow Cold Processors will be left in the dust, burning with alkaline pain because they will still be at their sinks, attempting to raise the temperature of the lye water to match the temperature of the melted oils. Slow pokes.

Of course, none of you know what I am talking about and pretty much skipped that paragraph, didn't you? I notice a lot that you guys comment on stuff that is just sort of general---I talk about a book I read or a CD I bought and no one cares. It is totally cool with me because hey, that doesn't matter so much, we all have different tastes. Not everyone just goes and picks up The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot and yearns to talk about it. Yeah, we all love Grant Lee Buffalo and Eisley. Those two aforementioned things are bands. Sorry to be obscure. Ha ha. I wish I had stories of putting in a car stereo or some madness like that, but I don't. In fact, in our nice little VW the cd player does not work. Dear Sir and I try and try to play CDs on it but the laser or something keeps skipping and we just don't have time, money, or the ability to know what to do with it. It is already hard enough to get an oil change. We give up and listen to the radio and I tell you, the radio saddens me quite a bit. What is with this modern music? Why does every "rock" band sound like a whinny kid? I mean, not Oasis Liam Gallagher whinny, but ten year old Green Day whinny. Stupid whinny. I can't stand it. First it was the New Kids recycled into the Backstreet Boys or N'Sync and then now it is Green Day recycled into Whinny Band. I don't know any of their names. I see perfectly sane, wonderful people loving this stuff too and it frightens me severely. Nirvana put an end to the New Kids by pretty much shaming them into the abyss of "where are they now?" and so I am waiting for the next thing to drown out this silly punky childish infection in music. I would rather be tied up wearing scratchy wool in a sunny room with coins on my lap listening to James Taylor than listen to this junk out right now. Dear Sir and I continue to hope as we watch MTV or CD USA or Fuse or VH1 that something worthwhile will come on. Come on! We are always forced into watching "Hogan Knows Best." And frankly, I can handle Brooke Hogan's music more than I can handle the Green Day rip offs (and I hated Green Day from the beginning) today. And that is not saying much.

Don't get me started on Christian music and how every male singer is ten years behind (at least) by yearning to sound like Eddie Vedder. I think it is a part of getting old for me. Old people don't understand young people music. This is especially bad though. It just is.

I know, I am a bit caustic today, eh? I have been making so much soap you have to spray some vinegar water on me to get me to simmer down. I bite, I sting, and don't even attempt to test me with your tongue because you will definitely get a "zap". The only thing to quit this horrible music is to perhaps wash these whinny punk brat's mouths out with soap. So there.


I Am Not Worthy

I just bought the new Sarah McLachlan CD called Wintersong, and I tell you, it is very beautiful. Buy it. I was a bit skeptical at first since I see sometimes that she is tired of trying to write songs (she really struggles with it personally) and I saw it as a way to make money and sing without having to go through the hassle of a tour and all that. Maybe that is part of the attraction for her, who knows. I just have to say that I love her voice; she has the best singing voice of any woman roaming the earth and I am exceedingly jealous! :)

Well, I got up at five fifty and here I am typing away. I imagine my day will be filled with cooking and hearing a football game all around me.



27 Candles

Today it is raining. It is also my little brother's birthday. I have to say "Happy Birthday" into cyberspace at least to have it said.

Now I must literally run.

I have been making loads of soap over the past few days. I have Pearberry, Some Sea Smell, Autumn smell, Oatmeal, some Gingerbread, a bit of Orange Creme, and I will make some Cappuccino, Kitchen Soap (to get the smell of garlic and onion off your hands), and maybe some Vanilla. If any of you want to order some from me (about $3 a bar plus shipping) let me know! Sheesh! I am soapified!

Again, have a happy holiday. And, happy birthday, brother.


Tolerable Morning

The kids woke up sick yesterday with a cold and I made them do school anyway. Not my daughter though. She was the worst. Her eyes were all glossy and she was sniffing up a storm. For the past two days she has been watching movies and playing Memory with either me or "Saint Bob". Who IS "Saint Bob"? I have no idea. Apparently he is really bad at memory, needs the car door opened for him to be let out when we go to the grocery store, and sometimes he brings his friend "Frank Tom." It gets lonely being the only girl, I suppose.

I made some soap (that turned brown-green) and I ran a fistful of miles, and then I made chicken noodle soup for dinner and ate nothing myself except some chips and beans that Dear Sir said smelled awful. When you can't eat anything raw like avocados or tomatoes---you take what you can get and put beans underneath a layer of jarred salsa and some sour cream. It is sad, I know, but at least it has some flavor.

Thanksgiving will consist of just my little immediate family and I will roast a small turkey. For the past couple of years now I have been making the dinner so it is sort of nice. Before we would be around extended family and with one side they would not allow me to make anything except yams and the other side would not want me to make anything but jello. I know, it sounds like I am a terrible cook. I just don't know why it worked out that way. I made a sweet potato pie once and no one dared to eat it except my father in law (I think). These are people that used to think eating Mexican was eating out of a can.

I think I will make more soap today (people have been wanting to buy some from me for Christmas), will skip the running, teach the kids, and drink some coffee. But not in that order. And now that I have officially bored you with absolutely no wit, I will leave it at that because I am not a morning person. The morning does not usually find me in sanguine spirits.

But, before I go---I have to tell you guys about the other night when I wanted a glass of red wine with pizza. We ordered a pizza and so I pulled out one of my waiting bottles. I have a bum corkscrew and so I always uncork the bottles the hard way; with my own strength. That bottle was the hardest thing to uncork. It was so hard, I pulled some shoulder muscle in my attempt and actually had to set the bottle down to just say, "That was a nice attempt, Rachel, but it is not happening." I asked Dear Sir if he would be able to do it. "If you can't do it, Rach, I can't." I wouldn't want him to pull his shoulder muscle either. So I had water with my pizza and the bottle of wine sits on my counter still uncorked and lonely. I will have to buy one of those turbo corkscrews to get that baby open. And to prove to you that I do only drink occasionally, I have not had a glass of wine since the gig on November 7th! Try to hold your jaw closed for that one!

OK, well, I must fill this day with work.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving and be sure to eat some popcorn.


My Judgement Bomb

My neighbor is a really nice lady. She has always been very talkative from the start and I rather like hearing her talk to me. I was a little concerned on moving out here that I would be a bit lonely, but this neighbor breaks up the monotony of the day when I see her. She has a little girl that is my own daughter's age and they play quite a bit.

This neighbor also runs a beauty pageant. I don't know how that works, but somehow it does. She is all worked up lately because she has this pageant coming up and she has wanted me to sing for it (I really can't because I need accompaniment and I will NOT play guitar for the first time in front of people for a pageant because hey, I am too vain for that and well, very nervous). Then she has been making goodie baskets for the contestants (they are mainly girls) and she wants me to make little samples of soap.

Yesterday I went over to her house to retrieve my daughter, who was there too long for Dear Sir's taste (he had not seen her). I had just ran a handful of miles on the treadmill and I was sweaty, ruddy in the face, and of course, I was lacking any make up or anything good. "Oh Rachel," she said as I walked near her kitchen, "You should enter for the Ms. category because I am sure you will win---" I looked at her like she spit in my face. "Well...you should see some of these ladies that are calling me up wanting to enter...." and she shuddered. She already asked me to be a judge and I declined. I can't judge beauty. I can't be judged either. That is one of my worst nightmares!

I am glad that she thinks I am "passable." Reminds me of Mr. D'Arcy saying that Elizabeth was "tolerable."

That is one reason (besides many others) that I would hate to even try out for American Idol. People always tell me to do that. I think the idea is silly, if they really sat down and thought about it. I just would dread going in front of Simon and singing the "Unchained Melody" or something and he would say, "That was absolutely dreadful." Paula would snort and Randy would say, "That just was not happening."

Now, I am not giving you crazy people out there an opportunity to tell me what I can do to change my vocal ability or even my boring songs; I am a little agitated about that lately. If you want to put me over the edge, just tell me I need to change things up or give up completely. I have had too many things in my past that have been horrible in that regard. Music is something where you are literally opening yourself up---you are vulnerable---someone is seeing the other side of your brain at work and then for someone to come and criticise it for your listening ears is rough. I remember as a girl I sang a song for a friend who was taking voice lessons. My whole life I had been told that I was a mature singer for my age, very good, etc, etc. When I was finished with my song she snickered at me and told me that I jiggled my jaw when I sang like Whitney Houston (which I totally don't)---and that shows that I am an immature singer. She continued to rip me a part. I remember standing there aghast. All the things she had to say to me were so weird and wrong, that I completely blocked them out of my memory. I just remember the experience. She told me at the tail end of her critic party that she was the one who "begged" the choir teacher to give me a second chance at try outs our Freshman year.

This teacher was in a bad mood when I was trying out. She was yelling (I mean YELLING) at everyone and when people were done she shouted "NEXT!" at the top of her voice. She was intimidating. My "friend" went ahead of me and sang "My Country Tis of Thee" as instructed to. She had a soft, flighty sort of voice and could stay on key. The teacher nodded as if she were "passable" and marked something in a booklet at the piano, then screamed, "NEXT!" I am shaking just thinking about this. I went up there and sang the same song and before I could get to the third line, the teacher stopped playing, turned to me as if annoyed to no end and asked me sharply, "Why are you trying to sound like people on the radio?!" Mind you, there were a huge number of people trying out all around me. They were all staring at me and watching. I tried to explain myself. She would not let me. She looked at me wide-eyed and said, "I will give you one more chance. Sing it straight." I sang it. She stopped the piano with a bang, turned her big fat body around and said, "Stop trying to sing like people on the radio!" And then I said, "I am sorry, I can't help it. That is just how I sing."
"NEXT!" she screamed. I ran off, trying not to cry.
Then I heard my name before I could leave the building. I turned around and there was the teacher, calling me back to her hell hole and all the spectators with her. I obeyed. I stood there as she picked me apart in front of everyone. She told me that she did not want to deal with me because I said, "That's the way I sing, I can't help it!" and she was sure to use a whinny, mocking voice while putting her hand on her hip as if to imitate me. I looked around. Everyone was wide-eyed and looking at me. SHE MADE ME SING THE SONG AGAIN. This time she instructed me to sing as plainly as possible (no vibrato?) so I just imitated my friend's voice and sang with no vibrato, no character, no real voice at all. Just plain. I was just putting a voice to keys---to notes.
"Much better," she said and I walked off with a heavy heart.

This is what my "friend" was talking about. She said she went to the teacher and begged her to give me another chance as I was walking out of the building. What a good friend, eh?

I thankfully, moved from one school district to another and tried out for another choir (again) at the new school. I had the complete opposite experience. The man begged me to be in his choir and had nothing but embarrassing compliments. He told me stuff that I just can't repeat on this blog---it was like God knew I needed healing from the bad experience. The man loved my voice, my vibrato, the whole thing, and did not say I was trying to act like people on the radio (whatever that means).

Everyone has bad experiences like this. I have had many others. But then I have had better ones more than bad. Somehow the bad is always dominant. It's just that singing can be so raw. At least for me it is. I can't imagine what it would be like to be judged by people for my looks.


They Are Trying to Escape

Today the kids and I had a really leisurely day of school and then watched Anne of Green Gables. The boys thought it would never be over. At one point, Murilla loses her temper and is firm with Anne when she is seen with Gilbert in his buggy. Anne floats upstairs in her distress, and Murilla follows her and says, "I am sorry Anne, for losing my temper."

Eraser Eater said, "What?! She just lost her temper?! You should see my mom scream at us!" And then he held his belly and laughed under the coffee table.

Then I went to the bathroom and sat on a puddle of urine on the toilet seat. I bet Murilla would scream over that madness, but do you know what I did? I wiped it up and said, "Thanks for peeing on the seat, guys....Put it UP when you need to go." I didn't even raise my voice and I am covered in various bacteria from my children's kidneys. That's wonderful to think about. I probably should go wash....

I had the kids write their Grandma a letter this morning before school and the Oldest was having a real hard time. He claimed that he had nothing to say. Finally he got the idea that he would draw and so he drew a picture of a dog. "This is TERRIBLE!" he yelped out. "I can't draw anything! I am just not good at it, Mom."

"Well, you can't be good at everything," I said to him. "You have so many talents, you can't have them all..."

Eraser Eater, perking up at this point and always game for the chance to put in his pesky two cents said, "Yeah, you can't be good at everything like Bach, or Beethoven or that freak who made the Mona Lisa! Whooohahahah!"

Nope, no one can draw like that freak who made the Mona Lisa. But the Oldest does draw better than him NOW, wouldn't you say? That old chap is dead.


You're My Wonderwall

I am in a dismal sort of mood (as you all know I am a bit melancholy anyway)---so I get this way from time to time. Whenever I see this photo it always makes me laugh. What the heck is going on? Why is Eraser Eater closing his eyes? My Oldest is acting like a freak. This is what happens when I let them mess with the photo booth on this computer. I should let them do some tomorrow so I can post another example of goonhood.

I got school done today; that was a feat. I changed the strings on my guitar too. I felt that one. I always stab my fingers with the ends of the strings and believe me people, it hurts badly. It makes the hair stand up on top of my head and body every time. I bled for a bit and then kept stringing the thing up.

Eraser Eater told me the other day that I was the "best mom" and "no one could out mom" me.

I made him repeat it again because I thought it was funny. He said:

"You are the best mom, and NO ONE CAN OUT MOM YOU!" He flailed around like a crazy boy and bounced on my bed.

"No one?!" I asked, "Really?!"

"Yes! Except maybe Mrs. H." And then he ran off as fast as he could and laughed all the way downstairs before I could catch him and tickle him to death.

Mrs. H. IS a fabulous mom. (Mrs. H.--note that I used the word "fabulous") If I am second best, that is good enough for me.



I can't think of anything to write about. My life often just jumps into the deep pools and swirls of homeschooldom and motherhood. Someone whines, I have to be firm. Someone cries, I have to console. Someone yells, I have to scold. I did not consume enough calories today so I took the kids to the library and felt faint the whole time. I would dread stooping down because when I would get back up I would see lights in my eyes and birds fluttering here and there. I have been diagnosed with hypoglycemia but I do not eat the right way (absolutely no sugar of any sort---pretty Atkins). I try to eat better, but I am also allergic to raw stuff so I don't get enough fiber. So, pretty much to make things more clear, I am up the creek.

You know, whenever I drink red wine I get a little red myself. I am probably allergic to the sulfites in it. I hate allergies. I hate saying I am allergic to anything. It is embarrassing. It is like wearing a sign around my neck proclaiming that "I am special". I can't stand the word "special".

So, speaking of red wine----I love the stuff you know. And yes, truly the last time I ever got drunk (I think drunkenness is a sin) was when I got alcohol poisoning after drinking a whole half bottle (one of the huge ones) of Smirnoffs. I was laid up for two weeks throwing up and thoroughly ill. I remember laying in the backseat of my boyfriend's car rolling around in misery. The whole time I was drunk I remember saying, "Is my tongue black?" What an idiot I was. Well, I am still sort of idiotic. BUT--that truly was the last time I got drunk. Well, actually, one of the only two times I ever did. So, every time I sip from my glass of wine I look at the glass. I HATE the little dribble of wetness my lips leave after I take a little draught. It literally makes my stomach churn. I asked a friend once what she does to the little dribble when she sees it.

"Oh, I just wipe it off with my finger!" she said, laughing.

"That's sort of sick," I say. "Who knows what is on your finger when you wipe it and then there goes the glass straight to your mouth again!" I felt a little queasy thinking about it.

"Why? What do you do?" She wondered.

"I take my napkin and wipe it like this," I said. I proceeded to show her exactly how I wipe the rim of the glass, producing a shiny clean area once again. Sort of like a priest. I continued, "It's the holy way."

She laughed in my face. "Only you would come up with that!"

I have to eat with particular utensils too. It is bad enough that I have to stick metal in my mouth, but I am used to it. I just can't use certain ones. If I am at someone's house and they have utensils that I think are ugly and wrong looking, I have to try my best to ignore it. I admit that no one else has these issues mentally, but I have to still live with this.

We were at the Smithsonian this past weekend (the National Portrait Gallery) and I had to skip the coin section. Yeah, they have ancient coins that most people would enjoy looking at but I had to walk right through and try not to look if I did not want to lose my appetite for a week.

A couple of years ago one of my kids (it was the girl or Eraser Eater, I can't remember) came to me sucking on something. It was a number of pennies (I shouldn't write this, it is making me ill)---I started screaming and I somehow got them out of the child's mouth and went to the bathroom and gagged in the toilet for a spell. Good way to turn me into a bulemic.

Ok, enough.


They Are Taking Over

Tonight I made donuts for dinner. I know. Donuts. I feel so guilty eating them because I used almost a half a bottle of canola oil to make a batch and only a thin amount was left on the bottom of the fryer when I was done. Talk about soaking up the fat. Imagine if you ate some of those things regularly. Sheesh.

If any of you have any idea where the bottle of allergy pills are that I just bought please inform me. I have been searching for them for two days. I hate losing things. I about had a heart attack when I went to the cupboard to get them and they were not there. The day before I had my daughter (who is five) dole them out to all who needed one for the day and she swears she put them on the counter. I had a hard time believing her. This is coming from the girl who took my keys one day and hid them under a tree. "If you know where my keys are," I said desperately, "please tell me." I was so persistent. It got me places though because, sure enough, she stepped outside for a bit, walked back upstairs where I was standing, and handed me the set of keys with some grass and roots stuck to them. I could not scream at her because a real estate agent and her pack of nerdy prospects were in the house and I had to maintain my composure. I had to get out of there too. But this is an old post.

So, you can understand how I do not trust my girl. She is so wonderful, so sweet, so loving, but she is sort of sneaky. Girls are sneaky. I have pretty much torn the house apart though. When the phone rings I practically think it is someone who will say on the other line: "Your allergy pills are in the hole in the tree in the front yard."

No, I have not looked in the hole in the tree. I have looked (believe it or not) in the shed, in a bucket outside, in the red wagon, under leaves, on the porch, on top of the frige, in every drawer and crack known to man, in every cabinet, down the sink (I am nuts), in the trash (even the outside trash), in every room except the boys' room, every bathroom, under anything that can possibly have room for a bottle to roll under (including the treadmill) behind the piano, behind the stove---everywhere.

I saw a kid show today called Kipper the Dog and he was looking for something important to him. Dear Sir said, "Hey! That's like the allergy pills!"

I have even looked in vases and various other little holes. Girls are sneaky, I tell you. Sneaky.




Last Night's Show

I thought the gig went pretty well last night; I just had a very good time, as did everyone else in the band. I hope we raised a lot of money for the benefit too, but it was election night and not many people were wanting to go out, I am sure. Plus, it was raining. I think we had a pretty decent crowd though. The place was for the most part filled---just not overflowing like it normally would be. I think too that the gig started an hour later due to voting times. I think the voting ended over here at seven o clock. I got a lot of wonderful feed back, but we were up first (contrary to what the site for Jammin' Java has up) so I was not able to talk to hardly anyone and hear much from the crowd. We immediately sat down and listened to the Placeholders who were for the most part acoustic and fun. They had me come up and sing some songs with them in the middle of their set. I did "Further and Further Away" (a Cheryl Wheeler song) with Laura Waters (the female lead for the Placeholders/Defectors) and I was so excited to at last sing a Sarah McLachlan song, "Possession" with Laura singing back up for me. I thought it went excellent.

Here was last night's set list for the Einsteins and me. The ones marked with an * are songs that I sang (at least the lead vocals):

1. Hard Day's Night (by the Beatles)*
2. Speed of Sound (by Coldplay)*
3. Shot at You (by Nils Lofgren)*
4. Folsom Prison (by Johnny Cash)
5. Don't Let Me Down (by the Beatles)*
6. Dream (by the Everly Brothers)*
7. Gimme Three Steps (by Skynyrd)
8. Wonderwall (by Oasis)*
9. When You Say Nothing at All (covered by Allison Kraus and Union Station)*
10. Oh! Darling (by the Beatles)*
11. Suspicious Minds (by Elvis)
12. Honey Don't/Route 66 medley (by the Beatles, by Nat King Cole)*

I know you all wish you were there.

I did drink some wine, Susie, I have to so I don't get too nervous, therefore resulting in no vocal constriction and dry mouth on the first song. I walked around with my blue solo cup, fooling everyone that I was drinking water when really I popped open a bottle of red in the green room. I did not trip over any chords, so that was good. All my band members take care of me and make sure I get those little niceties. They are the best. My bassist (she is a chick--which is just rockin, if you ask me) asked me before we went up, "did you get your 'juice'?"

So I got zero sleep last night, and my kids fell asleep during the Placeholder's set because they were so tired (it was WAY past their bed time). The girl usually goes to bed around 7, Eraser Eater around 8, and The Oldest around 9. Eraser Eater fell asleep on my lap during the Placeholder's set and everytime they were done with a song, people would clap and he would jolt awake for a few seconds and clap furiously and then when it would all subside he would sink back into sleepdom again. I thought it was sort of cartoonish of him.

I also met Angela for the first time last night. That was a real treat. I was so glad she came to see us perform! She had to get the low down on who Eraser Eater, The Oldest and the Daughter are. When she approached us she turned to Dear Sir and said, "You must be 'Dear Sir'!"
We all had a laugh over that. Thank you, Angela, for coming!

So now I am going to contemplate a nap and maybe do some house cleaning. My house is a sort of wreck. Back to the grind. :)



Tonight is the night; I will be singing for the Einsteins and passing out a few t-shirts (with my name on them, which is absolutely hilarious). I really, really hope it goes well. In one of the songs I have to sing a Beatles song where Paul McCartney belts it out and I just can't scream like he can. In fact, I don't know how to scream. I don't think I ever have before.

My kids have never seen me sing in a live concert setting either, so it will be fun for them to see me up there. Dear Sir is going to try to get a little video action in and bring the camera. I have to be sure to bring myself a bottle of red wine "for the road". Plus, to make things even BETTER when I sing, and to really smooth the pipes, I make sure I eat a huge bacon cheeseburger before going up. Works like a charm. That was some advice from a record producer that never produced a record for me---probably because I really suck. But I won't let that stop me from singing and making a fool of myself in public. I enjoy it too much.

IF the concert goes well and say, a recording of it is passable, maybe I will put a song or two on my music site. Who knows. And then it is very possible that I will get onstage, trip over a cord and break my butt.

You just never know.

If you are local, come see me.


Bono Was My Boyfriend

The other day I went out and found some used CDs at the local used cd store. I found the recent Travis CD, some Richard Ashcroft CD (formerly from the Verve) and U2's Rattle and Hum. Usually I would not have picked up the U2 disc because I know it so stinking well and I have gotten tired of U2. I used to have the CD and I let someone borrow it....you know how that goes. People rarely return things. Anyway, Dear Sir had been getting "Silver and Gold" stuck in his head so he bought it on itunes. I figured when I found the whole disc I could listen to "Heartland" once again and "Desire." Triple score. It got me thinking about how obsessed a fan I was in highschool.

I loved U2. I mean LOVED them. I actually had a huge love for Bono (back before he was such an annoying political icon) and I thought he was my "boyfriend". At least, that is what I would tell people. I went to school in the South (I was formerly from California, so I was a bit different in everyone's estimation) so no one knew who the heck Bono was. No one knew hardly who U2 was. I wore U2 shirts all the time, spent my money on U2 memorabilia, cds, buttons, postcards, banners, posters, you get me. I only say that people in my school did not know who U2 was because they were BEHIND. The South is always behind. If someone walked around with a Depeche Mode shirt on, no one would know who they were. "Who the heck is that?!" they would say. You would just have to roll your eyes because they were so steeped in Hootie and the Blowfish and Collective Soul that it made you want to puke. So, point is, I was a sort of weirdo in school, always donning some U2 junk, claiming Bono was my boyfriend. I was so used to saying this that it just sort of "stuck" with me even when I had "real" boyfriends. They would just roll their eyes at me. I remember specifically one time I borrowed a "Kill Bono" shirt from my boyfriend (he was rather sick of Bono) and wore it to school to freak people out. They all almost had heart attacks. They thought I had lost my mind.

I wore U2 shirts so much, in fact, that the teachers started to notice. My American History teacher (who got off the subject very liberally, I may add) noted my shirt and said, "U2? Oh yeah, I remember a band called U2. They opened for (I can't remember---someone stupid) during their first album...."

"Boy?" I said.

"Yeah, I guess----Uh, and the lead singer---he was really sort of annoying and energetic---he danced around quite a bit and jumped on the amps and stuff." I am sure he had something more to say about it, but it wasn't from a fan's perspective, so I sort of blocked it out. All I remember is the class looking at me and laughing and feeling like they knew then a little something about U2, now that the teacher had some experience with them.

I told a recent friend one time (who is a bit older than me and was partying before I was born) a few years ago that I was a big U2 fan in my old days. He said, "Yeah. They sucked. They opened up for this really great band called the 'Suburban Lawns'. You had to see them. They were great."

The Suburban Lawns? Huh? WE ARE TALKING ABOUT U2!!!!!!

Anyway, let's fast forward to my days when the kids were very little and I was living in Idaho with no car to my name and I was in the little house with the big huge hedge.

A salesman comes to the door. He is blonde, young and fresh out of college, and sort of good looking in a foreign sort of way. He has tote bags full of books and he is trying to sell them to me. His accent is thick.
"You are from Ireland," I say.

"Yes, let me show you these books."

"Anything, for a guy from Ireland," I say to him. {I know I must have sounded stupid. I had a kid on my hip, a kid trying to get out the door, and it was BLAZING hot outside. Gotta love those hot Idaho days. Ick. This Irish guy was sweating like a sieve.}

We look at the books on the porch. I have no money, there is no chance of me buying the books. I have, what? Thirteen dollars in the bank?

"I used to be a huge U2 fan," I say like a school girl.

"Ooh, yes," he says and smiles as he looks up (am sure, thinking of the Emerald Isle).

He is holding a pen and he is showing me prices on a chart.

"Bono was my boyfriend in highschool," I continue. I am, of course, remembering the good ol' days when everyone knew he was my boyfriend, even though he wasn't.

The guy drops his pen and stares at me blankly, like he has seen a ghost. He mumbles, "Bon---boyfr--?"

"It's a joke," I said, "I used to be so obsessed with Bono that I used to call him my boyfriend."

He laughs heartily, feeling like a fool, picks up his pen and says, "You really had me there."



Lately I just want to walk around in sweats or at least running clothes and do nothing. I don't want to put on jeans or khakis, or anything that does not have an elastic waist. I am not really getting it. I don't want to wear any of the clothes I have except stuff that resembles a sweatshirt, sweats, or sweatshirts and sweats. They are the only things that come to mind.

I have always been a person that has put on some make up, but you know, I don't even care lately. I don't even care if my hair is "done" as in straightened or even curly with some mousse in it or something. I feel like I am slowly getting lazy. I don't know if I just need new clothes or if I need to go crazy and run like a crazy person like I did during the summer or what.

And I just noticed yesterday that my hair used to be thick and now it isn't. Weird, huh?

I am losing my mind, I am losing my hair, I am losing my wits, I am losing my gumption...

That's it. I have to run tonight. Get on the old treadmill.

Homeschooling mothers---is this a normal thing? I know that Jennifer has struggled with this---

I tell Dear Sir that I want to wear nothing but sweats and he says, "Good. Sweats are awesome." When I know I look terrible he says, "You look nice!" I am literally taken aback, look at myself and what I have on and say, "Huh?"

I have a good husband. And we are both on crack, I guess.