Sea Salt for New Years

I had to stop at the local grocery store to get some sea salt for Dear Sir's popcorn. The regular stuff is just not cutting it. The Girl came with me. She always puts it upon herself to search for the thing we are about to buy, so once we hit the spice aisle, she was frantically reading labels, looking this way and that. I crouched down to take a look at all the available salts. The Girl did too.
"I can't seem to find it," I said.
I immediately sensed her frustration.
"Sea salt!!! Show yourself!" she yelled.

I almost fell on my butt laughing. We laughed all the way to the check out line.
Oh, and we did find it eventually.


Le Football American

If Dear Sir would just be convinced that football makes no sense, we wouldn't spend so much unneeded time apart. I tried last year to watch college, which doesn't seem as fake as the NFL, but then I tried watching a little bit this year and was sourly disappointed with Notre Dame. Dear Sir could not bear to watch the games so he watched the Redskins, who he hates. Hey, I hate them. I just hate football. He watches the Redskins so that he can watch them lose. It doesn't matter who they play, he roots for the opposing team instead. There was a guy at his old workplace that was such a huge Skins fan that he would buy the whole office donuts the morning after they won. Dear Sir loved the donuts but always hoped that the donuts would not come the next morning because he was sick of the guy rubbing the Skin's victories in his face.

I have a good friend who is a big Steelers fan, and one day I decided to call her while the men in my home were watching the Steelers game. She wouldn't pick up her phone. I imagined she was at the store or something, who knows. Dear Sir scoffed at me when he heard I tried to call her. "You think she is going to pick up when the Steelers are playing? What are you thinking calling her during the game?"

I didn't think about that. It was hard for me to imagine a girl watching a football game period. In fact, it sort of bothers me but I won't tell my friend that. No, it doesn't really BOTHER me, it just seems like Invasion of the Body Snatchers or something.

The next day my friend called me back. "Sorry I called during the game," I said.
She laughed at me, "Yeah, I NEVER pick up during a game, are you crazy? I don't think I can be friends with you anymore!" She laughed a good bit.


Here are My Eight New Books:

1. The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins
2. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
3. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
4. I Say No by Wilkie Collins
5. A Rogue's Life by Wilkie Collins
6. Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Robert Maturin
7. Through a Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le Fanu
8. Blind Love by Wilkie Collins

Mind, all of these books are classics and all of them will have me planted on a couch reading for weeks. While at Borders tonight Dear Sir consented to me purchasing the Oxford Chronology of English Literature. Gee whiz, I will have a field day with that. Endless book titles at my fingertips. Hardy had a column of his own, the scoundrel. This is good for my future in expertise of the tragic Victorian novel.

So there you have it, Shealy.



I am so sorry, if there in anyone left who bothers to visit me lately. I just have no drive to write, although I have some time. I mean, I am busy like the rest of us, but I just have nothing to say right now. I have plenty going on, but nothing to say, really.

Dear Sir got me eight books for Christmas and I am only 1/3 of a way through the first book. I mean, the book he got me for my birthday. I got books for my birthday too.

The neighbors who destroyed our mailbox invited us over to their house on Christmas day because they said they are "terrible" neighbors. I was sick, the Girl was sick, it was sort of strange, but we went. We stayed a little over an hour and left a bit disturbed. I mean, they are nice people, but it was quite strange and awkward. Their little three year old boy took my hand immediately as I walked in the door and said, "YOU will play with me!" and led me downstairs to his lair of Toys R Us. It was pretty much chaos because the kid talked incessantly, the couple talked over each other, and then she had family who were quiet, but kept interrupting too. Dear Sir and I just smiled pleasantly and let it all trickle down. Our kids were complete quiet angels. Their house was sort of dark and dank; well taken over by the ruler-child. The carpet was a nightmare, the house cluttered so badly that walking around was laughable. If I spilled my red wine it would not have made a difference. Sudafed kept me calm enough to maintain balance while descending the steps as the child clasped my hand and led me to a matchbox race track. Heaven forbid I put my car in his slot. He would scream and attack my hand. I knew my place quickly; I was to be the Venom car, he was to be Spiderman. Heaven help you if you mix it up.

I imagine they must think Dear Sir and I are a fascinating couple. We never argue (at least in public like they do), we homeschool, we look sort of different, and our kids are well-behaved. I must admit, Dear Sir and I are pretty happy. Very happy. They are not. They look and sound miserable. This is what was the most disturbing. I feel very bad for them.

We had many homeschooling questions. They asked about competence but stated that I looked absolutely competent, so they weren't questioning my abilities, but questioning others. Huh.

I am glad I look competent. That sort of made me laugh---and wonder. When visiting a church recently someone asked me (and this is the second time this has happened) if I was Dear Sir's daughter or wife, they could not tell. They were totally not trying to flatter me, they were embarrassed to ask the question and were embarrassed to get the answer. I just looked at Dear Sir and thought, "well, gee, he doesn't look that old!" Then the man, for unknown reasons, goes and shaves his beard. Took care of that. Now he looks like a baby.

I must depart. The Oldest is begging me for coffee and the treadmill is calling me to it, pleading with me to finish what I have started.

I am now thirty and the grave has engulfed me, for now I only speak from the lips of a corpse. But I look competent. This is a relief.


Times for Laughter

After I posted yesterday's post, I couldn't stop crying. Is that not pathetic? I still feel bad, I just don't think that I will cry at the drop of a hat today. Good. It was getting hard to just function yesterday! Weeping while you are making Christmas Cookies is not a good combo.

I have been waking up every morning to my son playing his heart out on the piano. Which reminds me right now of my Oldest. Good grief, this is funny.

First off, I don't give a rip what any of you think about the idea of spanking. I do it and I could care less if any of you do or don't and think I am terrible on account of it. In my house it works, in my parents house it worked, and in most homes I see it done properly (without anger and strife mixed with it) it definitely works. My two cents. So, with that nice preface, here is my story: I was about to spank my Oldest (yes, I did say my Oldest---gasp, yes, he is eleven---he needed it too) because he so major back talked that the parental gods of justice screamed out when as I lifted his sweat shirt I realized that his jean-covered butt looked strange. As I actually bore down with my spoon I realized that I was spanking my own jeans.
"You are wearing my jeans," I said to the Oldest.
"What?!" I am sure that was the furthest idea from his mind at the moment.
"You are wearing my jeans!" I exclaimed in horror.
"These are yours?"
They fit him perfectly.
He messed with the waist line and tugged them up a bit. "I wondered why they fit all weird."
He walked off.
"Get them off!"
"Because they are my jeans!"
"Yes, mom."
I burst out laughing, I couldn't help it.



I have not been able to function right lately because my guitar has taken a bad turn. It has suddenly (with the change in weather, etc) developed another crack continuing from the old one. This new crack is nearly all the way to the bridge. This is all I will say about the detail of how I feel. Things will get cleared up, I hope, but please pray for me. Since I have bought it I have not been able to enjoy it hardly at all as it was damaged after nearly a month or two. The sad thing is that this new damage is just a continuation of the old damage. My poor guitar truly got messed up. The man that fixed it (who did a superb job---I do not believe this damage is his fault) is going to investigate this further, so once the guitar is out of my hands I will feel better. I think. I am just sick about it. At this point I just want a new guitar, this one is thoroughly ruined. I can not abide that before the damage was done, it was brand new, literally a few months old, and then it was stepped on and whatnot to where now I have continual problems with it. I just need a new guitar. I can't handle this anymore.

The kids keep approaching me in my state of despair to hug me and offer their sympathy. The Oldest is playing songs on the piano to "get my mind off it" and asks me from time to time, "are you thinking of your guitar, mom?" It has been bothering me so much I feel like throwing up, I don't want to eat, I wake up in the night thinking of it. I know it is just a replaceable instrument, but this is my dream guitar, ruined in one minute while I was on the other side of the room. Even before I played guitar and I was a teen, I wanted to learn how to play and own a Martin acoustic. In a stupid way, I wish had not bought it. It has caused me a short amount of joy, but nothing but grief soon after.

I have never even owned my own car before. It is stupid, but it was the one thing I prized and it is ruined. The story is worse than this, but I can not talk about it here. Sorry to be a downer, you should have skimmed, I guess.



I am going to continue to take a blogging break this week because I have so much to do. I am going to also take my dear friend, Shealy's advice and not school very much this week so I can get things done and maybe read for once in my life!

See you all next week.


I am getting prepared for this weekend already since I am going with Dear Sir to Chicago and we are meeting friends. Saturday is going to be busy for recluses like us, walking the Magnificent Mile for TEN freaking hours. I am not complaining, as shocking as that sounds. I am so thankful to walk for ten hours with my dear friends. That part is great. It is just shopping for that long? I am not a shopper. I avoid it consistently. Most women would be thrilled to go out and buy a new coat, etc, and Dear Sir encourages me to do stuff like that, but I just find no happiness in it. At least I will be with Dear Sir, and he is my right hand man when it comes to shopping (if we indeed partake in that activity). The man has great taste.

Here is the Oldest's Christmas List, which I thought was funny:

(he then lists a few he wants)
A game controller for {the Girl}
football cards
weapons (like guns and swords and stuff)
Star Wars figures (get some clone troopers for Eraser Eater)
A giant candy cane that I can eat
flower seeds for the Girl
Newsboys CD for Eraser Eater
Hotwheels for me and Eraser Eater
(now here is the bomb he is slipping in at the end):
electric piano (a good one)
Garfield comics

Sneaky, huh?

I can't find Eraser Eater's, but his was pretty funny too. At least to me.


No Talking, No Singing

I put up one stupid set of Christmas lights yesterday. I tried to put others up but it was difficult. I am a woman of little brain at times. The kids fought a lot yesterday over decorating and whatnot, so I was a little frazzled. I made some soap for Christmas and truffles last night. I was so spent that when Dear Sir wanted to start talking to me I just said, "I am sorry, no offense, but I can not possibly speak right now. Can we talk later?" Earlier on the phone I told him that I was going to quit motherhood shortly---and then a child yelped in the background and I said, "gotta go. I'll talk to you when you get home." Guess I didn't do much of that.

I think he took it well. He didn't talk to me the rest of the night. But he is so darned polite I think he must have been waiting for me to say something. What a guy.

I did get paid the highest compliment of my life (to my memory---I have a very bad one) yesterday, so there is something to put into the archival drawer. I put on some Christmas music and I played "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings" by Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan. When Sarah started her verse my Oldest said, "Is that you?!"
"What do you mean, is that me?"
"Singing---is that you singing. That has to be you."
"It does? No, that's not me."
"You're joking."
"Nope, it's Sarah McLachlan."
"What?! I hate Sarah McLachlan!"
"But you said that I sound like her or she sounds like me!"
"I know! She does! But I would like the song if you sang it, not her!"
"Well that doesn't make much sense," chimed in Eraser Eater.
"It makes perfect sense," said the Oldest, "I don't like Sarah McLachlan's singing, but I like Mom's."
"But they sound the same!" Eraser Eater said.
"Oh forget it."

Hey, if someone can mistake my voice with the most gorgeous voice on earth, I am happy until I die. Forget turning 30, I just achieved a lifetime of work.


Christmas Lights

I opened up the Christmas box that sits in the shed with all the decor in it. I don't have tons. The movers broke most of my stuff that I really liked (well, it was the one thing I liked a lot---I must be exaggerating). So---I went to get the Christmas lights from the box (we have about four sets) and two of them were not working. I started to get depressed thinking how I had to go to the store and get new lights, buy wrapping paper, emerge from my tunnel. Not good. Then, by a miracle, I remembered going into the crawl space last year and seeing a tupperware box that said, "Christmas Lights". It was etched in my mind. I put my coat on and went down there. Sure enough, I found this big box and pulled it out and brought it into the house. Looky what I found:

Score, big time. I mean, it doesn't look so grand in the picture, but there are so many lights I can't even express to you the utter wealth. That box is nearly full too, as it is lying there. I wonder what other things are down in that crawl space. Huh. I found a sink. And some blinds, some hardwood, sleds. Lots of cool stuff.

Congratulate me, I won the Christmas Light Lottery.

Also, my boys keep trying to make up a lethal dude named "X-Mas" that goes around and murders people on Christmas. Like, the polar opposite of Santa Claus. I hate the term "X-Mas" anyway. I try my best to never use it.

Let's bring back Boxing Day.


My Boy

The Oldest had a piano recital on Saturday and he was quite nervous about it, seeing as how it was his first time playing IN FRONT OF PEOPLE. He is a great pianist, actually, very good for his age, 11.

On the way there he kept talking about how he felt strange in his stomach and maybe perhaps he would throw up and what was wrong, he was perplexed.

"You are nervous," Dear Sir called back, "It is called 'butterflies in your stomach.'"

"Oh," said the Oldest, "I don't feel so good."

"Pray about it."

I looked back at him and he was bowing his head, folding his hands and praying earnestly.

Once we got there I sat next to him in the front with the other participants, a number under 30. As we got closer to his performance, the Oldest got more comfortable and I got more nervous. I was so nervous I was feeling sick, a total pit in my stomach. Once he actually ran up on the stage and bowed at the piano instead of the audience, I clutched the pew (we were at a church) and clenched my teeth. Why the heck was I so nervous?

He played a ragtime song from his performance book, and then when he finished he put his hand on his chin in contemplation, scratched his head, and half got up and sat down again. Closed his performance book, knit his brow, and then began to play his original piece written in the program as The Great Song in E minor. I was so utterly nervous the whole time, he played so fast and furious, but it was fabulous. It sounded like a song straight from the eighties. It was rockin. And I noticed how he played at the piano. He played like a crazy lunatic, loose, shaking a bit, rocking to his own music, bouncing slightly on the pedals. He played like flipping Chris Martin. When he finished everyone burst into applause and my child's eyes went wide in surprise.

I later asked him why he paused so dramatically between songs. Dear Sir thought that he was about to bolt off the stage (which I think that was part of it), but made himself start his next piece. He said, "I thought for a second, 'I am not sure that The Great Song in E Minor is such a great song---what if no one likes it?'"
I laughed and said to him, "Well, it was good you played it because everyone said how 'great' it really was."

Now he can't wait to play his next recital. I am so proud that he played in front of people. I would be just as proud if he played terribly. The first step in performing what you love is actually doing it. And it always helps when your kid composes his own stuff. Coolness.


It is December First. I know, I am going to whine. As most of you who are familiar with me know, I am afraid to turn thirty. I am not afraid of the number, as silly as that sounds. I am not afraid of entering true womanhood or any of those benefits of being thirty. Youth is not what I lament in a general sense. I lament the youth that was lost in failure to selfishly become what I always thought I would be (I confess): a singer with a recording contract. To me, turning thirty means I bury it forever. The good thing is that I look ahead to still being youthful enough to have quite a future before me, but not young enough to have the future I had in mind from the time I could open my mouth and sing the very songs I wrote in my brain. So there is some good to it all. Just because my music will most likely never be produced for the masses (how vain of me to think that I ought to be chosen by God to do such a thing?), does not mean that I don't have other things that I can do. There's always the bright side, right? I am a great cook (and I mean this as fact, not as a praise to myself) but I don't use my talent in that area much. I suppose my talent is wasted.

I very much feel that my musical talent is wasted on me. I made a mistake somewhere down the road and took the wrong turn or just didn't take a turn at all and went straight ahead. I do not regret being who I am; don't get me wrong. I just do think there is such a thing as squandering a gift God has given and realizing that is depressing. I don't know what I could have done. I wish I could literally take it from my body and pass it on to someone else younger than me who can make use of it. And I don't mean to say that I am all that and a bag of chips either. I really can't take ownership of what God has given. I see myself as His vessel, and it is like having a beautiful guitar given to you but your fingers are cut off and you haven't the faintest idea how to play the thing even if you had fingers.

I realize that what I fight against is God's will. He alone has reasons for the path that He has led me to. And what right have I to question it? There is no one to blame. Who am I to say to the Potter, "Why did you make me?" He just did.


Grey, Gray

I always knew that these two spellings were interchangeable, but I never knew why. Huh. This from Bernie Zimmerman:

"In the third grade I was entered in a spelling bee. During one of the earlier rounds, I was asked to give the spelling of the word "gray." Having a photographic memory, the image of a gray coloring crayon quickly came to mind. On its side, as is customary of most crayons, the crayon's color was written. The spelling I saw on that imagined crayon (which most certainly came from an actual experience in my past) was g-r-e-y. So, that is how I answered the question.

When I was told my spelling was incorrect, I returned to my chair and tried to fight back tears (I really wanted to win, and didn't feel I deserved to be leaving the event so quickly). Not minutes after I had sat down, one of the teachers in the room spoke up and said that she believed my spelling of the word gray was not incorrect. After some research (I believe we were in the school library, so it didn't take long), it was decided that my spelling of the word was acceptable, and I was allowed to continue participating. I eventually ended up winning the spelling bee — something I was very proud of at the time — but that is neither here nor there.

The point of this story is, there are two acceptable spellings of the word gray. Prior to today I was under the assumption that "gray" was the more popular of the pair, but after two quick Google searches for "gray" and "grey," I realized the difference seems to be very slight (on the Web, at least).

So what, then, is the difference between the two spellings? According to Google Answers, the two words have almost the same meaning in all cases, and g-r-a-y is simply an American derivation of the original spelling g-r-e-y. According to Flak Magazine, the difference can be chalked up to the same happenstances that led to organize/organise and judgement/judgment. Apparently e.e. cummings and Prince are partly to blame as well. However, among the several hypotheses for why gray and grey exist, I believe the following to be the best:

Gray is a color.

Grey is a *colour*.

So next time you're faced with the choice of spelling the word "gray," feel free to go with whatever spelling best suits you at the time. I think I'll continue to use g-r-e-y, just because it's been so lucky for me in the past."

Eraser Eater spelled the word "grey." That's my boy. I prefer that spelling too. I am so English, I suppose.


My Latest Project

I love icons and I love religious art. I had a window in my shed (that came with the house) and nothing to do with it. It took me a year to think this up, or at least, to have it dawn on me. All the "white" paper you see in the window panes are vellum (like what the monks of old wrote on), and the pictures of saints and whatnot are from a calendar Dear Sir bought at the National Cathedral in 2006. We had nothing to do with the beautiful pictures, so I decided to use them up! I painted the window black and stressed the wood. I also painted the inside of the panes black to get a "stained glass" feel.

I think the saints in the window panes appropriate because icons are often called "windows to heaven."

Now I have revealed my true freakishness.


I Am Now Officially Fish Free

I rid myself of the worthless but cute parasite named Tolstoy. I even gave the cleaning bucket away too. Yes, yes, yes. No more gelatinous masses of whatnots clogging up my drain. No more sweating over the dank and murky tank. No more putting on those sick gloves. No more filters, encrusted rocks, dark green filth, dispensing salmon pebbles, seeing long strings of secretion when I am eating. No more feeling guilty when the fish is barely viewable because I have gone a month without cleaning the dang tank. No more wet shirts and floors. I hate wet shirts.

The kids were a little concerned though because the lady that took Tolstoy was named Darla. Apparently the freak fish killer dentist daughter girl on Finding Nemo was named Darla? Huh. At least I don't have to kill him.

Today I Will Be Fish Free

Of course I have hurt my knee, it is all acting crazy right now, so I am not sure I can keep up my thirty miles a week deal for much longer this week, at least. Makes me mad. I go out and grill some dogs, chase my kids, and over-extend my knee. And here I was thinking I did a good job at saving my other knee. Well, I think I hurt my hamstring and then it has been pressuring my knee, but I don't know right well what my body is doing. Good grief. Not like you guys care much about that anyway. It just bites is all. So instead of running, I am sitting here in my running clothes complaining about it.

And I am getting rid of Tolstoy, our fish. He is just too gargantuan. Every time a person comes over they approach the tiny 2.5 gallon tank and say, "That fish is a shark! Why is he in such a small tank?" Gee, I don't know, because we haven't bought one and gee whiz, I didn't know there were steroids in his food or water or something he is consuming. Look at his pathetic state:

So I put him on my homeschool list and begged someone to take him. Here is the post, it ran:

"Hello all,

I have a fairly large fancy gold fish in too small of a tank (he has
gotten so big) and frankly, I have realized I am not a fish person.
Before I ax the guy, I wanted to find out if any of you have room in
your aquariums for yet another fish.

He is well-mannered, eats a lot, and can withstand tank cloudiness,
human stupidity, over feeding, under feeding, and pretty much anything
negative that can befall a fish. His name is Tolstoy.

His only request is that he have a tank big enough for his huge body,
and a mother considerate and mindful enough to clean his tank and the
usual. He sits in his tank by the table and so every time I eat food I
see his sad condition: his lack of freedom, his burdensome body
(because it is so incredibly huge), his pure neglect and lack of a
rightful fishhood.

If you find it in your heart to relieve me of this happy, adaptable
fish, I would be most grateful.


This is weird:

A lady wants him but probably does not want to drive to the sticks to get him, so I am meeting her at my friends house (who will be teaching my son piano at the time) to dole out Tolstoy. I am going to attempt to put him in a freezer bag. I called my friend about it because I needed her address (I didn't know it off the top of my head) and I had to leave a message. She said that she listened to my message five times because when I got to the part where I said that I needed her address because a lady is going to come and pick up my fish at her house, she could not stop laughing and never heard the rest of the message.

It is a little strange, I suppose. What's with the fish lately? Hairy fish, big fish. Something like that.



Man, I haven't posted anything. I am too busy for you people. Not that anyone comes to my blog with bated breath by any stretch of the imagination.

Yesterday I taught classes again. I had about a billion bags to carry. Afterward the kids and I went to Target and other places to find Advent Calendars (you know, the Santa calendars with the chocolate behind the doors?). We actually did find them eventually, but it was exhausting. The whole way home I had to threaten Eraser Eater because he was humming and playing his kazoo. I was completely fried, so it was not going over well at all. I hate kazoos. Once home, I opened the car door and then as I went to get my purse, I swung my leg over and the car door slammed shut on it. I yelped in pain and sat there for a minute. Then I dropped my keys when going to the broken down mailbox that the neighbors still have not fixed.

When making dinner, I dropped two fish fillets on the floor and (I am not proud of this) cussed under my breath. I was shocked at myself. I am spiraling downward fast. I took the fillets (they were still raw) and ran them under the tap to clean them up again (just in case).

Good grief, I was so hungry once we sat down to eat, but mid-meal I noticed one of my long hairs in my fish. Yep, it had to be MY fish. Well, I suppose that is best, but I lost my appetite. I imagine I got one of the floor fillets and I did not rinse well enough.

I go back and forth so much during the day from table to counter, from counter to table, couch, anywhere where I am doling out food, I feel like Vanna White. Back and forth, back and forth. This morning I was doing that quite a bit and I said to Dear Sir, "Honey, I think I will become a maid when the kids are out of the house. I would make a good one."


In the Morning Drinking Coffee with Nothing to Do

Every time I roast a turkey I have to remember it is like roasting a big chicken. That helps.

I am going to run in a few and thought I would wish every one a happy holiday.

Yesterday was a rough day just getting things done and dealing with the kids who did not have school to entertain them. There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth. I mean, I wept and gnashed my teeth. Truly, I did. It has to do with cable, many wires and cords, a muffled Indian voice over the phone, a Girl interrupting and asking if she can eat a sucker, a boy crawling around under the coffee table making noises and tossing his hands about near me, a bigger boy yelping so loud I could not hear, and one big fat attitude. Something had to get bit.

By God's never-ending grace, blood-shed did not occur, but peace eventually abounded. Dear Sir came home to a semi-calm house (he came home late) and I sat, exhausted, on the couch. And I didn't even run yesterday. How worthless I am. I haven't taken a shower in two days, the night before last I got eleven hours of sleep (that is how I skipped running), and now this morning I have been up for an hour and a half already while everyone sleeps. This is nice.

I also learned from Dear Sir that he was plotting a huge surprise birthday party for me since I am turning 30 on my day of doom. More on that later.



Shed Slamming

I am teaching the art class again today. Now that I know what I am in for, I feel a bit nervous about it. Why, I have no clue. I just dread getting that paint out with all those first graders and making a sorry painting with them. The paintings have been rather sorry looking, if you ask me. Couldn't we have better projects? I would try to spice them up, but the concepts being taught are so limited.

And I am a bit nervous about being in the local paper today for a homeschooling special report. When I was interviewed I had a fever, and who knows what the heck I said.

Last night as I grilled some Hebrew National Fat Free Hot Dogs (they taste funky, don't waste your moolah), I ran around in the dark with Eraser Eater and the Girl, playing tag. I always feel sorry for Eraser Eater because he has asthma. I was trying to let him win a little, but it pretty much blew up in my face. As I tried to chase him before he touched the "base" (which happened to be the shed), I almost had him. He was shrieking and giggling as I about neared him. The mere g-force of my stupid sprint to nail the eraser-eating-freak was too much for my body. I was going too fast, and all I remember is Eraser Eater, his back against the shed, and myself, slamming against where he had just previously been, and falling on my knee to the slate steps below. I immediately began to laugh with embarrassment, thanking God Dear Sir was not around. Gee whiz, that must not have been a lovely sight, and I wouldn't want Dear Sir knowing how much of a total ditz I am. (There are some things, even in marriage, that must remain a secret)

Upon getting up, I saw blood all over my knee and my head snapped to attention when Dear Sir yelled from the patio, "Are you alright?!"
"Yeah, I am alright."
"So did you ruin your knee now? You can't run on it?" He is always trying to find ways for me to not be able to run. He thinks I am obsessed.
"No, I didn't ruin it. I just scraped it, see?" I showed him the cut, blood running down. The kids were in awe. "I think it is fine, anyway. I'll run around the yard in a minute to see if anything is damaged."
He shook his head. "You are the biggest dork I have ever met. Did you see yourself?" He then proceeded to mock me, arms flailing about like a wussy girl, slamming against some wall, and then cascading down in a wimpy heap to the ground with a wail.
I stared at him seriously.
He laughed heartily until I chuckled. "I know, I am a dork," I admitted.

The kids stood by me as I bandaged my knee up and wiped up the blood. Eraser Eater said, "Gee mom, you are so strong. I would be crying my guts out by now with blood coming down like that."

The cool thing is that even swift mom could not catch the asthma child, and I am sure he felt good about himself.

I suck, ok? I can face that.


Kid Kollage

After expressing to me in a sanguine manner that he "hates green beans" as I pulled them out of the freezer, my Oldest grabbed a frozen one and ate it. "Tastes like a really cold green bean. You should try it."
"No thanks."

When dinner was finally served and the Oldest had eaten nearly everything except the green beans, I pointed to them and said, "Eat those."
He looked at me and smiled while forking them up to shovel in his mouth. He made that holding his breath sort of face.
"So when you move out I take it you will never eat green beans again."
"Maybe. ----Unless my wife makes me eat them."
Gee whiz, I don't know where he gets that idea, I don't have that kind of power over Dear Sir.


My daughter keeps telling me I look like an old woman. She continues this statement with a question of, "Are you going to die?"

This is seriously depressing since I am turning 30, have no recording contract, and realize that chewing my cheeks perhaps gives me wrinkles. She's messing with my mind.

I went and picked up a friend's kid today (who is a total sweetheart) to play with my boys. He sat in the car for a spell with Eraser Eater, marinating while I talked with his mom. When I opened the car door, boy stink met my nose.
"For crying in a bucket, this car smells like solid boy!"
"I'm in here!" yelped the Girl.
"Yes, I smell a slight sugar and spice. But the rest---I don't know, stinky manhood..."
"I like to think we smell like sweaty salsa," the friend chimed.
I laughed so hard, I couldn't take it. Thankfully my bladder wasn't full.
"I think I am going to use that."
"It was cool, it sort of rhymed," the boy said.
"Well, it is actually called 'alliteration'," I said, "like super slurpy, or something like that."
"Sweaty salsa. That's too funny." I shook my head, imagining I would write it on this blog.

Phil Wickham - Messiah

It is a bit slow at first, but stick with it until the end. He blows my socks off every time I watch. This guy is truly incredible.


The Colour - Devil's Got a Holda Me

You guys have got to see this. At least, if you have any taste whatsoever in music. This guy is like Bono and Jim Morrison molded into one human being. Way better than Evanescence.


The Plague of Gnats

Ever since Dear Sir and I brought the plants in the house we have this huge infestation of gnats. They are strangely attracted to our bathrooms and the Girl's room. Before putting the Girl to bed I am caught smacking gnats between my hands, pounding walls, pelting mirrors, just to kill those things. And they keep multiplying. Last night I was doing just that when putting the Girl down. "Can't I just go to bed?" she said softly as I clapped into the air. She was all tucked in.

Of course you know that my Oldest is afraid of flying things, but he has grown somewhat accustomed to the whole gnat scenario. They fly around his head constantly---hey, they fly around my head constantly, and so you just look dumb batting at the air to get them away. He was getting a snack out of the cabinet last night and I walked by. You know when you walk by someone you get a catch of their smell? I almost fell over. I walked back. I smelled my son's pits.
"Deodorant?!" I hollered.
"I forgot."
"You stink like nothing else I have ever smelled before!"
"I forgot."
"This is beyond just mere stinking. Get up there RIGHT NOW and take a shower."
"What?! I can't take a shower right now! It is almost dinner time! I don't take showers this time of day!"
"You do now. Get up there right this instant. And don't forget the deodorant. This is a natural consequence. You forget the deodorant, you take a shower before dinner and remember to put it on this time. You won't forget now, will you?"
He dragged himself upstairs. He came down all splotchy like he cried the whole time he was in there. And I am certain it was not because I told him he stinks, but because he did not want to take a flipping shower.

As we ate dinner a gnat kept circling us.
"There's a gnat!" yelped the Oldest.
"Yeah, it's right there!" called the Girl.
"Eat," I said.
"I think it just died by my plate," the Oldest said.
"Yeah, it probably took a whiff of your pits," I mumbled.
"You really think so?" the Oldest asked, "This has happened before?"
Yes, he's completely serious.
I rolled my eyes and stabbed at my fish.
"Just eat."


My Daughter Saved Me

Yesterday I decided to run my butt off and then get the kids to Co-op. I was teaching the art class (at the last minute---thankfully I know some art) and I stupidly told the authorities that I did not need an assistant. Well good grief, I did. I did not realize that the absent teacher would leave me with very little to get the project going. We were painting. I needed water. That was the blasted thing I could not remember on my way there. I knew I would need some cleaning supplies and some paper towels (how would I have done it if I had not stopped and gotten some on the way?!) but did not think of water. Ready water.

Thankfully the Girl was there and she went back and forth from the classroom to the bathroom getting me water for the paint cups. Once she finished doing that, we all sat down and I explained the color wheel to them. It was sort of nuts because I had about ten kids from Kindergarten and First Grade and they were all over the place. I just think paint and little kids don't mix really well, but they seemed sort of cool about it. I begged and pleaded with them not to mix the paint around, to wait for instruction, etc. They did pretty well except for one of the boys who just wanted to make "black" and so he took his palate and swirled all the paint together. I saw him do it. He took his hand, jerked it around in a circular, jagged motion on the palate and looked up at me. It would have been fine except for the fact that the paint was even scarce, if you could believe it, and I almost lost all composure. I almost took a bite out of him; he looked up like it ain't no thang but I reeled it in and mechanically got more paint. Almost as soon as we sat down another kid showed up late and my daughter looked directly at me and said, "I will go get another cup of water." She knew exactly what I was thinking because it was the perfect resolve for me. I felt calm. I floated outside my own body and watched the masses of paper towels being used, the paint swirling about, the fingers turning various colors. One girl got purple paint in her hair.

Later when Dear Sir came home I sang her praises. "Did you know how awesome she was in art class today? She was my perfect assistant! She worked hard for me, I was so relieved to have her! She saved the class."

The Girl looked at both of us and said, "It was hard work but I actually rather enjoyed it."

I gave her a bath, and as we washed I insisted that we talk with British accents the remainder of the evening. Then she pretended that she was Lucy and I was Susan, and I can't remember what we talked about (most likely nonsense) but we read Narnia after she got her pajamas on.

I had paint on my hands to my wrists (I really get into it when I do color) and I got red paint on my good jeans. Why the heck I would wear my good jeans to a painting class I have no clue, but I did run a long time and forgot to eat lunch, so there you have it.


Save Me

If you have not seen some of my other songs, here is one to listen to just for fun. Nice and boring. Go to sleep if you want.

The Spice

I don't think I am a health nut; I ate lemon meringue pie yesterday for breakfast because there is nearly half a pie left sitting in the fridge. I don't even suggest anyone take a piece for dessert again. It wounds me. It hurts too bad.

Really, actually, whatever.

So, back to my semi-health nutness. I love Cliff bars, I have found a love for Almond, soy, and rice milk (of all the blasted things!), and I actually like....(gag) Boca Burgers (aka--soy burgers). A friend of mine recently turned me on to them---actually, to all of that stuff, and I have been buying it. Well, I am a little afraid, if you get me. No, you don't. I haven't told you what I am afraid of. Well, I have, but I am afraid of many things. Meat is scaring me, to be frank. Meat, I know. My friend told me that if a person has ever eaten pork (she freely eats meat, she was just telling me some scientific fact) they have worms. Worms, people. Ever since she told me that those pork chops I bought a month ago are still sitting in the freezer.

So I probably have worms. I hate worms! When I was a kid, I had to turn my head when that guy on Dune rode on the big huge ones. The spice is the worm, the worm is the spice. Flipping allspice reminds me of worms. I don't eat shrimp because they look like worms. If you say worms when I am eating spaghetti I suddenly lose all interest. I nearly fainted when I had to dissect a worm. The biggest worm I have ever seen, that is. --Besides the one on Dune.

I told Dear Sir about my scare, and he said, "paranoia will destroy ya."

A lot of help he is.

Imagine if you ate potatoes or something it would give you spiders. Well, that was sort of a dumb analogy, but it is the same sort of fear.

And then I heard about dogs and how they carry tons of parasites and whatnot---they kiss you with their tongue and suddenly Johnny has contracted worms, people!

I'm done talking about this.

I was reading on Carolanne's blog and her readability is high school. Well, la di da! I stupidly or actually, retardedly (look, I created a word!) plugged in my url for that madness. Junior High.

I'm in shambles.


Don't Skim This, It Is My Masterpiece

I am joking. But truly, don't skim. You must be forced to live a few minutes in my shoes:
I sort of slaved yesterday. I try to keep silent now when my food is not eaten. Well, Dear Sir is trying really hard to be good about eating things he does not want to. I made some chicken with citrus marinade on the grill, but it did not go over well. Everyone sort of picked at it. To keep with the citrus theme, I made a lemon meringue pie. I have not had that in some umpteen years, so I was excited about it. When I tasted it, it was perfection.

The kids: "Uh, I'm full."
"Too tangy."
"I can't finish it."
"Use less lime next time." Lime?

Dear Sir: There is no quote. I know that he knows I watch him in my sneaky way as I wash the dishes. He slowly ate it, like he was trying his hardest to enjoy it. Like that strawberry pie he was trying to politely eat at someone's house when we were first married. His mouth shook a little as he strained to get his lips around the seedy fruit. The look in his eyes as an offensive food is on his tongue is hard to misplace. You know what it looks like? A person holding their breath....

But then I was shocked when he brought the plate to me empty. What gives? Dear Sir, what gives? "Thank you, that was good."

I never know what that means. What does that mean?

I will most likely never know. Some things we can't be so open about, you know? Like weight. He refuses to tell me his weight. "You're obsessed, Rach. I am not telling you."

All this work: "light" lemon meringue pies, crappy citrus grilled chicken, fluffy biscuits in low calorie form, reduced calorie takes on brownies and cookies, marinated flank steaks, crispy chicken tacos---you name it, I have been making the light version of everything. Even blasted fried chicken for the benefit of this man who would like to lose a couple of pounds (even though I think he is perfect) and what do I get?

You're obsessed.

Well I guess I could certainly help the dude gain some pounds, now couldn't I? He wouldn't know anyway if I put extra amounts of fat in any given thing just for the heck of it. Oh, this recipe could use some more Crisco. I think I will put a whole stick of butter in his popcorn! Hey, how about two!? I could deep fry every meal and tell him it is the healthy version. Pretty soon his one chin would be eleven.

Yesterday I couldn't stand it anymore. "Please tell me your weight," I said, "I have been working so hard, getting up to make your lunch, making you breakfast so you won't eat the Butterfingers instead, cooking all these meals for dinner, going through recipes...."

You know what the gentleman said?
"Guilt trip."
Guilt trip.
So I settled with: "Well, then. Is all my work working?"
He nodded his head in a nonchalant, comce-comca sort of way, shot me a few squinted eyes and said, "Sure."
"How much?"
"So how much further do you have to go?"
"Ah, you know..." He put his hand out wiggled it around like I knew what that meant.
"Do you have a lot to go?"
"Just some."
Blue blistering barnacles in a thundering typhoon, the man gets to me!!!! I turned around and made his pathetic lunch.


Mocking the Devil

Here are my crazies, dressed up for Halloween last night. Our new camera is super sensitive, so my old man, when he takes pictures, biffs them up oftentimes because he shakes. At least the prized costume is a bit more clear in this picture so you can see my grand idea.

Eraser Eater wanted to be a mummy and I couldn't cope with buying fifty bucks worth of gauze at Wal-Mart, so I decided to purchase a cream colored thermal set and a large low-tack masking tape instead. We put a snow hat on the boy's head so we would not have to remove tape from his hair. I started taping from his legs, and once we got to his chest the Oldest and the Girl thought that he looked more like C-3P0 instead of a mummy. Once I got the tape on his arms and head, he looked just about right. I tell ya, no one could stop talking about his costume. People were going nuts. Absolutely no one was a mummy out there and he was the only one. People loved the idea too, so what can I say, I'm a flipping genius.

He had issues breathing at first (sort of like the power of a corset, masking tape is); he said that he felt like he was breathing against a wall. But then he got used to it. He said it was "worth it" to look so cool. I walked the whole three miles of trick or treating with them and practically felt compelled to hold Eraser Eater's hand through the whole thing because I was convinced he could not see well. He couldn't move too well either, but the tape started to bend some as he moved around and by the end of the night he was alright. Police cars were driving around our neighborhood everywhere and one of them stopped as we were walking and rolled down his window. When I looked over at him I said, "Do you need anything?" He looked at me wild-eyed and said, "No, I was just trying to see that mummy costume better. How in heck did you do that? That must have taken at least an hour!"
"Nah, it took all of eight minutes."
"Good G-d, woman, how did you do that?!"
"It was very stressful...."
He rolled up his window and laughed as he drove off.
Everyone kept saying "good luck getting that off" but it wasn't bad. I just got scissors and cut and peeled it all off. It probably took about eight minutes for that too.

The Girl, contrary to what you think, was batgirl, and very sensitive about it the whole night. People kept saying, "Oh, look at batman!" Or "Oh, it's batlady!" At first she was kind about it, but then she started to get really angry. Her whole point was to be cool and brave, and you know, batgirl aka Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Gordon's daughter, but it wasn't working out for her. There was a little boy in an Incredible's suit that kept saying whenever she walked by, "It's Batman!!!" Finally she had had enough after fifty houses and barked, "I AM BATGIRL!" I could practically see the froth spewing from her mouth, she was so livid.
"Everyone thinks that I am Batman or Batwoman! I don't get it!!!" The woes of costume confusion.

My Oldest was an Army commando for the second year in a row. His only requirement was a new machine gun, and he got it. It lights up and everything. The evening was filled with his hollers (in the same Mickey Mouse fashion) through the dark and his lit up machine gun going off. At one point he walked up to a lawn ornament (really a guy in a scary suit with a pitchfork) in some sly army man way and a petrified scream came from his macho lips as the lawn ornament moved and yelled. In other words, my kid jumped out of his skin and I laughed all the way up the driveway.

Eraser Eater started to get cold in his tape so we eventually went home. But the night was full of fond memories, especially when Eraser Eater had to go to the bathroom and I had to make a hole through his tape and grab his peter for him so he could pee in the woods. Thank goodness for underwear that has little trap doors so you can have easy access. Eraser Eater has a sick fondness for peeing outside. At least no one noticed in all the woods---it was pitch black anyway out there. It is sort of strange to see a mummy urinating. Maybe too much sign of life?

Another note: I think the neighbor girl, who is sick AGAIN, infected my daughter AGAIN! I am pissed.


On the Rocks

Now is the time for my life to get ruined. Look at this. I can barely type. I am having to backspace and type about five words a minute because I am so freaking cold. Apparently I have circulation issues although my heart is so stinking efficient that my resting rate is only 48. Did you read that? Forty-flipping-eight. I am practically dead. Which leads me to the juice of my post.

I went to get blood work done on Friday because of my various issues (I really hope they find something so I can take a pill for my iceberg limbs and be done with it), and my daughter went back with me. The guy pulls out the massive needle and my daughter's eyes light up (she is six). She says that she will stand by me and hold my hand.

"That's a great vein," the blood-taker says "you should donate."
"Here hold this," he hands me a million tubes. He takes the needle and pierces my skin. I sit there watching.
My daughter, wide-eyed, says, "HOLY COW! You're that brave?"
She watches as my blood pours into the little tubes. "Looks like grape juice. That's so much! How are you going to walk out of here?"

In other news, did I mention that I ran like a duck yesterday? Yeah, about half-way through my eight mile, I noticed that I was jutting my feet out like a moron. All day then, my knee-leg area felt like a sore wind-up toy. I know that does not make sense, but that's how it felt. That's what happens when you get into a trance. You don't pay attention to how your feet fall. Oh yes, winter is full of blog fodder. Today my arms were frozen solid. When I finished my run I put my right arm behind my hot, sweaty back. I nearly shot straight up, my arm was so cold. Of course I did not mention that it is abnormally cold in the room where the treadmill is---but that is what happens to me. Toes go numb, fingers refuse to work, I am in the middle of Costco buying six gallons of milk and suddenly I can't feel my foot.


8 Things

(This is a Meme Avery tagged me for, do it if you want on your own blog)

8 things I’m passionate about (besides the usuals like homeschooling, my children, etc):
1) God
2) Dear Sir's beard and I guess Dear Sir
3) Ridding myself of worms
4) Anti-polygamy
5) My hatred of coinage
6) Cadbury Eggs
7) Whether or not Eustacia fell in the weir or as my kids would say about a video game, "suicided"
8) Running that extra mile

8 things I want to do before I die (besides the usual, like, see my kids graduate college, make a real album of my songs and whatnot):
1) Write a novel (but this will be my Dead Souls, I am afraid. It will probably end up in the fire)
2) Write a song about the Matrix
3) Go to England, perhaps live there
4) Be a Brit Lit professor and just make people write essays while they hear me rattle on about the weir
5) Rid myself of stretch marks
6) Pull out that Mentos at the perfect time---when I am especially embarrassed that I fell---and gee whiz, would someone know what the heck that means?
7) Wear high heels (don't have any)
8) Become a 'sensational novel' expert

8 things I say often:
1) Gee whiz
2) Crap!
3) Good grief
5) That's just crazy
6) I'm gonna...(fill in the blank)
7) That Game Cube is gone
8) I'm going to lose my mind

8 books I’ve read recently:
1) North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
2) Tintin and the Broken Ear by Herge
3) Tintin and the Black Island by Herge
4) The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
5) A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
6) Summer by Edith Wharton
7) Husbands and Wives (short story collection) by W. Somerset Maugham
8) All the Pretty Horses by McCarthy

8 songs that I could listen to over and over:
1) "Part of the Queue" by Oasis
2)"Rock and Roll" by Led Zep
3) "Fear" by Sarah McLachlan
4) "Must I Wait" by Phil Wickham
5) "Don't Dream It's Over" by Crowded House
6) "Warning Sign" by Coldplay
7) "Honey Don't Think" by Grant Lee Buffalo
8) "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven

8 things that attract me to my best friend:
1) He’s a genius.
2) He’s impossible.
3) He likes me even after I wig out; he is so mature.
4) He teaches me freedom.
5) He’s incredible with the children (much better than I could ever be).
6) He's a freaking enigma.
7) He is firm, decisive (about most things), and uncompromising about the things that matter.
8) He is achingly handsome.

8 things I’ve learned this past year:
1) There are many uses for plastic cutlery
2) My Oldest remembers more about the Bible than I do
3) Getting up early, running for an hour, and eating less sugar helps me sleep at night
4) Don't poke me, I bite
5) Homeschooling Moms (at least many of them) are not as scary as I thought
6) I am a bad driver
7) I subconsciously avoid ironing
8) That I am an adult


Words I Hate

My knee just jolted in a sharp sort of pain (it wasn't really painful, just like a small electric shock) so I took that as maybe a sign to stop running this morning. So I only made it two miles today. On a ten and a half minute mile. On the treadmill, running a ten and a half with no incline is like walking. It does so little for me I could probably give a speech or something. So I guess if my knee sends out a little shock I need to quit for the day.

But before the pain came, I was thinking about words I hate. I was just reading Avery Gray's blog and she somehow inspired me into thinking about this. She was going on about words at one point. There are a few words or phrases I can't stand. For starters, I took a potty break between miles and saw one of my Cooking Light magazines in a basket by the pot and saw the word "healthful". I hate that word. I don't know why people use it, I think "healthy" just about covers it, healthful is just plain dumb sounding.

Then that got me thinking about the word "tender". If I ever have to use that word (I even wince when I have to use it to describe meat) I always slap a "or whatever" at the end of it because of sheer embarrassment. Soft doesn't cut it, so I guess I should take the time to grab a thesaurus and see if there is an alternative I can study for times I have to use that stupid word. I knew a girl in high school that used that word every other sentence to express her sentimentalism. All I could think about whenever she entered a room were posters of dogs or cats licking each other and hearts surrounding them. Or else I think of a long, pointy skewer prodding a big piece of raw, red meat.

After that, I thought of the word "special". Special is so overused, so ridiculous and trite sounding that it makes me barf. I would rather use the word "unique" but unique can mean good and bad. Special means both. Again, I need to search for alternatives. Just so you know, I am not really so dumb, I just have issues with words coming into my head quickly enough for them to exit my mouth with precision. I'm probably autistic.

I hate the word "precious". I HATE it. I will never use it. It makes me think about Precious Moments and fluffy animals bouncing around with high-pitched voices on fluffy clouds. Oh gee whiz, I just described a Care Bear. But that is what I mean. Some colorful, chipper bears blasting happiness on someone melancholy with their rainbow colored bellies. How vile. I knew a woman once who carried around a chihuahua. I really think those things are annoying. Anyway, she put a shirt on it that said, "precious possession." I know, exactly.

I hate the phrase rat race. I can't stand the word "huckleberry." I do, however, like Twain's book, shockingly enough.

And I've noticed that I hate words that are sort of happy and gleeful. I have issues with the word gleeful, but it describes these words pretty well, I guess. I think I am a happy person, I just have issues with people that can never be serious. To me, there's nothing worse than a person who is bouncy and happy all the time and then pulls out the "negativity go away" sign when anyone sounds a bit dirge-y. When I see that I think brainwashed. A little too much Joel Osteen and maybe what's her name---Joyce Meyer---penetrating the brain. Not that I watch either of them---when flipping channels I would catch snippets but would have to turn the channel because it made me so sick. But that all could be a different post entirely.

I hope your day is full of tender, precious moments. Here is an alternative version: I hope your day is full of delicate, high-priced moments. No. Delicate, invaluable moments. Delicate, priceless moments. How about dainty (oh wait, I have to puke) exquisite moments.

Just have a day full of garbage and malarkey.


What the Heck

Heaven help me, I went to a freaking pumpkin patch with the kids and a slew of others yesterday.

The kids were running and playing tag on bales of hay, and my daughter (who is six), who was tagging a three year old who weighs about two pounds, accidentally knocked him off and guess what? He broke his arm badly.

The mother was so smooth about it. She was checking his arm out, unsure of what had happened. I stooped down and looked at his arm too. Good grief, I ought to know about broken arms. Eraser Eater broke both in a span of nine months and I about had a heart attack. He ran at me with this lightning bolt shaped, limp limb, and I screamed. I almost pooped my pants, actually. I had no clue what to do. I danced around in a circle, completely undecided. I saw a safety pin that I had no idea where it came from (it was the phantom safety pin) and I made a sling, since my son was trying to hold his arm up. He was white as a sheet and just had a wince on his face. He sat in the middle of the floor while I called Dear Sir and screamed and wept.

"Don't cry, Mommy," Eraser Eater said softly, "Am I gonna die?"
I was twisting myself around like I had to pee, I was so antsy. I had no car.
"We can set it ourselves," the Oldest said, "I read it in the medical manual. We can handle it, Mom."

This all flashed before my eyes. This lady was top notch though. She could handle stuff. She calmly asked her child if he could grab her finger, etc. I took a few looks at his arm and I said, "I really think he broke it. I would take him to the hospital." When she would touch his elbow he would flip out.

My Girl went to the very middle of the pumpkin patch, sat down, put her head on a pumpkin, and wept.

This isn't the first time she has seen an action of hers start up a result like this. I realize that it is not her fault, any of the kids could have tagged the boy. I see that. She just probably has a complex by now, gee whiz. You see, when Eraser Eater broke his arm the second time, she is the one who gave him the shove off the piano bench. Yes, I did say a piano bench. She was probably, I don't know, three? And she remembers it well.

So I went to bed last night dreaming of broken arms, in-shock-pale faces, and x-rays.



I think I have no common sense. At least, I think that my brain takes a bit longer on average for a sensible thing to come to it. Not sure if the reason is because I ran too many miles, ate too much sugar, or didn't sleep enough. Who the heck knows.

The last time I had to deal with a big ol' bad boy coming from my daughter was this time. Bear with me please:

"Anyone who thinks that once your children get to a certain age you don't have to deal with secretions anymore, you are kidding yourself. It was only last night that I had the Girl go #2 and she called me up to wipe her rear like she always does. Since her bowel problems have been real true problems over the years, I feel chained to the sound of her voice when it says, "Mom! I went!" The size of that bad boy was unbelievable. How she produced such a mammoth piece of waste and did not split in half, I have no idea. She did not even cry, which is a miracle. She gave me a sour face instead.
"That pupper is not going to go down," I said in low tones. I imagined pumping that stupid porcelain bowl for at least a half hour. Maybe it would take all night. Even with the power plunger. That sucker would need the snake.

"It will clog?! What can you do?!"

I went downstairs and grabbed a spatula that I knew I would never use again. It was nice and firm and did the trick. I dipped the spatula in the toilet and sawed that thing in half.

"You had hamburgers!" I laughed.

Actually, that is scary, because does beef really break down? Let's just not talk about it...."

Dear reader, why, oh why, did I use a spatula? I have a wealth of plastic cutlery in a drawer. I mean, I have run out of spoons and the only thing I can find is a knife (contrary to that stupid "Ironic" song by Alanis---ha ha). I have a billion plastic knives clogging up my drawer. And the other day I opened it up and thought, "Huh." In fact, it took a friend to turn me on to the idea when recalling the story once to her. When I saw the plastic knives I thought, "that's a great idea. Gee whiz, what's wrong with me?"

So last night I tried it out. I only tried it out because I remembered. And I even brought a plastic baggy up with me too in order to seal up the fecal slicer. No more laboring over the toilet in endless frustration, sweating like a pig. I have a wealth of plastic knives!

I don't know how I have managed to live this life.



Last night I about lost my mind.

I took the kids to AWANA (it's like Sunday School for kids on Wednesday nights at the local Baptist church) last night because Dear Sir came home from work sicker than a dog with the neighbor girl's cold that she so sweetly infected us with. Remember? She lied and told me she was not sick (she has allergies) and then told my daughter later that she was "tricking" me and she really was sick. Well, now Dear Sir has the plague and last night I had to take the kids to AWANA on my own. I tell ya, Dear Sir is my other brain. I mean, he has a full brain to operate on and I have only half of one, I am beginning to believe. I forget stuff all the time. You know, I wake up at night frightened to death wondering if I have left the grill on or not.

When I picked the kids up, they were all chipper and happy and sweaty. It was the usual. I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary like the common moron that I am. I got 3/4 of the way home and looked at my Oldest who was straining in the dark of the car to read the Superman comic he brought.
"Where are your glasses?!" I barked.
"Your glasses. Where are they?!"
"Oh no! I forgot them!" yelped Mickey Mouse.
I turned the car around. I completely lost my mind too. I pretty much turned into an animal and growled all the way back to the church. The church. I went 80. I thought about the convo with the Man of the House if I went home without the glasses. Remember (you really ought to click there) when the boy lost them at his friends house because he took them off in the grass? They scanned that grass for days and I scanned that grass until dusk looking for those things. Dear Sir was a mad ball of wrath for an entire weekend because they were lost. And a girl found them somewhere, I don't know, by a volleyball net or some madness like that.
"I will never take them off again," mumbled the Oldest in his high pitched way.
I was out for blood.
"Even in the shower?!"
"Even in the shower," he sighed. He believes anything.
He actually found the glasses. He went in, found them in the gym nearly where he left them, and ran back triumphantly. I demanded silence the whole way home. All three of the crazies were solemn.

Fast forward to bed time:
"Take a shower. Do I have to tell you every stinking time?" Dear Sir winced. Mind, the man was doped up on Sudafed. You ain't nice when you're on that stuff.
"No." The Oldest looked at me. "Do I keep them on or off?" he asked.
"What do you think?" Dear Sir said impatiently.
The Oldest looked at me blankly, confused.
"Use common sense."
I could tell he was about to get in the shower with those things on.
"Take them off," Dear Sir said. "Don't get smart."
"He's not getting smart," I said, "he---never mind."
The Oldest went into the bathroom mechanically and closed the door.

I repented this morning during prayer time if that is any consolation.


My Experience with Racism

Boy, am I glad I homeschool my kids. Looks like Conan the Barbarian isn't doing too much for California.

Which reminds me. I was in public school in California. I was there from Kindergarten all the way to the eighth grade. I remember first grade though, especially. I was warned about my new teacher, Ms. Santoyo, from my older brother. I had heard all sorts of nasty things, but I can't recall one thing said. I was pleasantly surprised though, on the first day of school, to see that she was nice. At least I thought so. She was nice to everyone as a whole, I guess.

One day I remember specifically a boy at the desk next to me took my eraser. He wouldn't give it back and I needed it. I demanded it back and he kept hiding it, putting it in the air, and pretending it was a plane or something. Finally I said, "Give me the eraser, stupid!"

The kid went running to the teacher. He, in broken English, told the teacher that I called him stupid. I told the teacher that he took my eraser and would not give it back. She, the teacher said to me, "You are the one who is stupid. He can speak two languages and you cannot." She had a look on her face of triumph, now that I remember it. I did not understand why she would act like that then, but now I do. And it makes me mad. The boy was obviously an immigrant and he barely spoke English. In fact, a good bit of the class was dedicated to teaching these immigrant children how to speak the language, and we English speaking kids were ordered to color or sit still. It is all a blur, but I remember that somewhat.

I also remember after that incident I was suddenly put into a "speech/language" class with mentally retarded kids a few times a week. I remember sitting at the table wondering what the heck I was there for. The kids, who were slow in speech and actually mentally disabled (the kid next to me was in a wheelchair and wore neck braces and stuff), were prompted to read cards from a series of flash cards---or to identify pictures or something. I had to do it too and wondered why I was with these kids. The work was pretty easy, I thought.

Come to find out years later, I was pulled out early from the whole duration of that class because my parents found out about it. The teacher actually put me in there without notifying my parents. My mother had to argue with the teacher about whether I was retarded or not! Now, as an adult, I see why she did it. She was angry I called the Hispanic boy "stupid". If you read the beginning of this post well, you would also see that the teacher was Hispanic. Talk about a racist, huh?



Here are ten literary characters of the male species who I have a slight crush on. Emma made me do it:

10. Clym Yeobright from Hardy's Return of the Native. Any man who says these lines I will quote has won me: "Well, whatever I may have thought, one thing is certain--I do love you--past all compass and description. I love you to oppressiveness--I, who have never before felt more than a pleasant passing fancy for any woman I have ever seen. Let me look right into your moonlit face and dwell on every line and curve in it! Only a few hairbreadths make the difference between this face and faces I have seen many times before I knew you; yet what a difference---the difference between everything and nothing at all..."

9. Atticus from To Kill a Mockingbird. I love smart men.

8. Jude from Hardy's Jude the Obscure. He's depressing and he's smart. Great combo. He's the only thing I liked about the book.

7. Pierre from War and Peace by Tolstoy. For some reason when I think of him I think of C.S. Lewis.

6. George Emerson from A Room With a View by E.M. Forster. Cecil, eat your heart out.

5. Gee whiz, I am having a hard time with this. I think Armadale from Collins' Armadale.

4. Roger from Wives and Daughters by Gaskell. Scientist. That's all I have to say.

3. Eugene Wrayburn from Our Mutual Friend by Dickens. He's a barrister, he's lonely, he's bleak. Perfect.

2. Mr. Thornton from North and South by Gaskell. He's dark, he's vain, he's smart, he's decisive.

1. Dr. Fane from The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham. Kitty Fane is an idiot. He gets the more attractive the madder he gets.

That was really difficult, partly because I have a terrible memory and have read too many books. I am sure there are tons I left out but I just can't think. Maybe it is the Sudafed anyway.



Sometimes I crave a cigarette. Don't you guys? I never truly used to smoke; I only did as a teenager very little---just for fun, like trying sushi, not out of "peer pressure" or any madness like that. I didn't care that much about what friends thought of me in that regard. Heck, I think I was allergic to the stuff anyway. At least my nose and eyes went nuts when around it. I just sort of liked the burn in the lungs and the nicotine high, much like eating roast beef, getting it stuck in the teeth, and flossing those bad boys out and making the gums bleed. Sometimes pain feels sort of good, like running until you are sore, or getting a colon cleanse, I don't know. As long as something bad is getting purged, like rotting roast beef, unused energy, you get the idea.

But all that is not a good point. Smoking is not like that, really. I can see smoking a pipe in moderation would be sort of relaxing. Maybe I am having these thoughts because my nasal passages are clogged and the sound of something to "burn" them clear is appealing. Perhaps I need to go eat some hot peppers. And maybe C.S. Lewis thought like me. Or I think like C.S. Lewis. He was open to a sort of purgatory because he refers to it a little in The Great Divorce and has a quote somewhere about how there will be some sort of painful change from the old man to the new man physically once we are to enter into heaven. I don't think the Catholic view is correct, like a suffering for the sins of this life. Jesus paid for that already. I mean from our sinful bodies to the eternal ones. Don't know if that makes much sense, but I can buy that. Like a literal molting. Hey, we do it all the time, sin corrupts things like our showers and we have to clean them continually, and our gardens, the weeds never stop cropping up. I suppose as long as sin is present, life is one big fat purge. Maybe I am a heretic.

And how did smoking get me started on this. I have no clue. Maybe it is the Sudafed in my system. That stuff is possibly like the red-pilled peyote. No wonder they make you sign for it. It makes you a condensed version of yourself perhaps. Which means I am a total freak. I think my point was that sometimes something burning or painful feels good---getting clean is nice.

I knew a guy once that showered very little. After a weekly trip to the shower once, he told me:
"Don't tell anyone, but this kind of feels good."


I got sick from the neighbor girl who lied when I asked her if she was sick when she was playing here.

So I wasn't really sick this morning, and now I am. I ran six miles this morning (again) thinking that I would beat this sucker in the butt. I feel good, I am not tired, but my nose is on a continual race. It is already red and disgusting, my face is all splotchy, and what the heck, I just feel like dying because I hate being sick.

I think I am going to go see Molly tomorrow night up in D.C.

The Oldest, this afternoon: "Mom! You look horrible!"

I just broke one of my china saucers.

I shouldn't be allowed to do the dishes. Ever. I am the worst dropper of things. I am always dropping stuff. Do you guys drop stuff? I broke a bowl last week. I had to buy new dishes.

Have a good night.

I Hate Wal-Mart

Dear Sir, my ever-negative companion, cracks me up. He is so chipper and smiley when he is not rolling his eyes. He is one of those guys that smiles after everything he says, forcing you to believe that he does not have too much negativity (or as he would say, reality) in his mind.

For example, we were in Wal-mart, the only place to buy thermal underwear for me since I dread winter now because I get so cold. New breeds of humans only crop up at Wal-mart, the regular earth's sort of Ura-Kai, blasting from the floors of the place donning dirty stretch pants, floppy shirts, and snotty kids. Let's not forget the fact that they have a habit of yelling through the whole store and making scenes.
"I wish we were at Target," I said as we stood last in a massive line.

"Keep it down, Rach," Dear Sir said, "man, we are such snobs." He took a good rub of his forehead out of sheer weariness.

"Look at this!" I said under my breath. "All I can think about is throwing up."

"This is bad, I know. This is like purgatory." He shook his head.

"I'm blogging that," I laughed.


Star Wars Liturgy

I have been running around like a maniac lately. I literally have no time. I hate this. Mondays are good but from the devil, Tuesdays get sucked up in chores and errands that have to be run, and lately I have been enveloped in Narnia with the Girl and Tintin with Eraser Eater, so I have been reading very little of my own stuff that is sitting neglected on my shelves. To say the least, today, I have four huge HEAPS of unfolded laundry at the foot of my bed just waiting for me to fold it all and put it away. I am not going to get into the massive pile of ironing that needs to be done.

Yesterday I had to make a run to the grocery store to get shavers for both Dear Sir and I because I have been using that poor man's shaver for the past month and therefore have dulled it terribly. Of course, the usually bearded man decides that he wants a clean-shaven face when I start using his shaver. Go figure, huh? So, I was making a dash with the kids to get the stupid things. On our way out, I saw an ATM for my bank so I got some cash. The Oldest and the Girl were standing next to me, but Eraser Eater, it appeared, went to the doors, but I couldn't see him.

Once we all got to the doors, I saw him standing beside the automatic sliding doors with his arms up in the air. He had a smile on his face. He scissor chopped his arms in front of him to get the doors to open as we approached.
"May the Force be with you!" he hollered and laughed, "And ALSO WITH YOU!"

I know that what he did would make no absolute sense to the usual protestant. The priest in an Anglican church would say, "The peace of the Lord be always with you," and the congregation would respond, "And also with you.." (usually with their arms outstretched). So to me, I had a good belly laugh over it---that boy is pretty clever.


Watching Kids

I am watching a friend's kids today. Boy are they funny. There are a total of three boys here and three girls here. The boys are on the Game Cube and hollering and freaking out. The girls are in the Girl's room and listening to music. My friend's oldest girl is obsessed with some Disney punk band (who really sucks but I won't tell her that). I thought I would expose her to a little Eisley and she listened for 2.2 seconds and shrugged her shoulders. This girl is ten and a half. Is this what I get to look forward to? I tried to talk to her some but then she started going on and on about a game and I had no idea what she was talking about. I am sure she is a nice girl, but it was pretty funny how she kept going about something and using words and names for things and I had NO FLIPPING CLUE. I just nodded my head and then made an excuse to exit the premises. Her nails are an inch long and she kept utilizing them to make points in her soliloquy. All the while she was smacking her pink bubble gum and never pausing at all to take a breath. I keep trying to imagine what I was like when I was ten.

So, I am here you know, chillin'.


Crap, I'm the Toothfairy

The Girl is suffering from her very first loose tooth. She is six and rather late with it, but that can't be a totally bad thing. It is just that I want so desperately to pull the thing. I have had a couple of stabs at it but I guess the Girl thought it was too painful to complete.

Last night she sat in her bed, the room dark, and bid me to pray with her before she dropped off.
"I know something," she said.
"What is that?"
She pointed at me and gave me a wide-eyed look. "You, are the toothfairy."
"What?" I could barely cover my smile in the dark. But she could see me.
"I see you smirking," she said, "You and Dad are totally the toothfairy."
"What makes you think that?" I said, trying not to look at her full in the eye.
"Because fairies aren't real and I know you sneak in the bathroom, take the tooth from the cup, and put money in instead."
"Yes, I know it." She looked triumphant. "What would a toothfairy do with teeth anyway?" she said.
"I don't know, maybe build a tooth sculpture?" I was thinking of this Arthur I saw when the Oldest was little.
"You saw that on an Arthur," she said.
"Well----{The Oldest} believes it," I shrugged.
"That's because he is a boy and boys are dumb. I am a girl."
Now that I think of it, it did take a girl to convince a friend's son that Santa was dead. He wept all day on account of it.


The Space in My Brain Where Politics Goes is Empty

Ah! I just calculated and I have accomplished 210 miles since August 18, when I finished up my first thirty miles per week. No wonder I am tired every night! It really is nice to be tired so I can have good sleep. I don't jolt awake any longer worried about whether I left the grill on or not. That is a soothing thought.

Well, I've got nothin'.

Did I tell you all that as I was singing and playing guitar the other day the Girl came in with a paper held up above her head that said, "I vote for you!"

Pretty cool, huh? And she doesn't even watch American Idol. It is just in our brains to want to vote for someone, I guess.

I think I would only vote for John McCain because he winked at me when I walked by him in the Capitol building. But I don't put my heart in voting because I just let Dear Sir tell me who to vote for. It is much like how I feel about sports. If he likes Notre Dame, I will like them because I don't know what anything else is. And, I am not quite a feminist, although I appreciate what some feminism has accomplished, but pretty much think it terrible and the cause of many of our problems with society today. I do, however, like the fact that I can "let" Dear Sir vote for me. :) I was raised, as Dear Sir kindly pointed out one night, with little care for sports, news, or politics. I swear, if a good teacher in high school had not pointed out the beauty of Thomas Hardy's works, I would not be a literature freak as I am today. It is just too darned bad that I never knew that "V" is for "victory" and Nixon was not really holding up the peace sign. You learn something new every day.


Have Mercy

Here is a song of mine for you to listen to. It is all rough and everything---and you can't understand my words too well, but anyhow, I am working on that!!! :)


Phil Wickham

You people need to hear this guy. He is incredible. For the love of pete, listen to this song and buy the album on October 2nd. And---buy the last album too. You will NOT be disappointed. He is crazy good.


Excitement Just on the Block

We just got back from a walk, the crazies and I. We saw a smashed up snake (it was very fresh), two swans in our lake, a cicada that nearly sent my son over the edge, and then right when I thought the excitement was all over, Eraser Eater yelps at the top of his lungs from the other side of the street, "Holy cow! That's about the biggest piece of poop I have ever seen in my life!!!"

And who goes running nearly in front of an oncoming car just to see this phenomenon? The Girl. And what does she say? "Holy cow," in hushed tones.

And what does my Oldest say? "That is too big for a dog. It must be from a horse. But people don't ride horses around here..."

They have complete interest but very little to say about the smashed up snake, but a ton to say about the gigantic piece of excrement. I do admit it was quite large, though. Had to be from a horse...



Yesterday I had had it with Eraser Eater and his migraines. The Oldest kept calling them "margarines" and I had to keep myself from whopping him upside the head. He still calls the "Vietnam War" the "Vitamin War" too. I don't know how to help with that---read the word, maybe?

So--I got Eraser Eater to the eye doctor because I was convinced that the headaches were from a need for new glasses. He is one of the most compliant children---even in pain, he tries his best to put on a good face. The migraine was getting to him, I could tell. He sat there, in the dark room, with that lens/machine in front of his face and the doctor kept saying, "is this one more clear, or this one?" and he would say, "the first one", or "the second one", etc. Pretty soon his responses were getting less animated and more laborious. In fact, he sounded really strange when the exam was nearly over. "Are you ok?" I asked him smack in the middle of a slide of letters.
"No," he muttered.
"What's up?" I said. The doctor looked at me.
"I think I'm going to puke."
"Right now?" I asked, stupidly.
I swooped up his eight year old body, carted him to the bathroom, and let him toss his cookies. He had his hands all over the toilet seat and his head was resting there as well.
"My butt hurts!!" he yelped.
Oh good grief, I thought. He's gonna die or something.
"Do you have to go to the bathroom?"
"No." A blast followed.
All I could think about was the rank he was getting on his forehead as he was carelessly marinating on the toilet seat.
When he was finished I bolted out of there and asked the doctor for some alcohol wipes. I took them and wiped down Eraser Eater's face. I cleaned him up pretty well and then he was able to go and finish the exam.

So, his prescription is not very altered. I mean, he needs new glasses, but I don't think that is the cause of the migraines. He was still hurting on the way home, moaning and groaning. I have had to pull over before. That boy has puked in parking lots, grocery stores, Trader Joe's bags, etc. He is good at it. And clean about it too, which is a relief to me. I just have to deal with the Oldest getting all bent out of shape at the noise. So--on the way home I remembered that I have some Tylenol with Codeine in the cabinet. A whole new bottle of it from when the boy hurt his neck at the church gym. I was afraid for a second so I thought I would call his doctor to see if it was ok for a migraine. Dumb decision.
The nurse immediately shut me down with the codeine.
"He needs to be seen," she said.

"Look, if I go to a Quick Care they are just going to prescribe Tylenol with Codeine anyway. I have some already. " I quickly saw my folly in calling. What a dork I am.

"You don't know that. There are other things they could prescribe."

"Ok, but what's the big deal? He is throwing up and stuff and I need something for the pain."

"Tylenol with codeine is a narcotic. "


"You don't just give it to your child whenever he has any little ache or pain."
I was very very tempted to give this woman the what for. I quickly regretted calling but since I was in the whole muck already I thought I may as well play out the whole thing to the full. Did she hear that I said he is in so much pain he is throwing up? If she had been available to deck, I would have done it. Call me a heathen.

"Well, he can't be seen until tomorrow, and I need his headache to go away now. What can he take? IB Profen? How much is advisable? What is the largest dose you can recommend?" Last night he had the migraine so badly that nothing was helping---not even a full 200 mgs of Advil. I could hear Eraser Eater moaning in the background.

"What does he weigh?"

"Around sixty-five pounds or so."

"Two junior Motrin tabs."

"I don't have Motrin tabs. I don't have the junior kind. I have regular I B Profen. What can I give him from what I have in my cabinet---I don't want to take my kid another place so he can have yet another opportunity to puke in a parking lot or something. Can I just crack one in half? Can you give me milligrams?"

"Hold on."

She got back on the line and said, "The doctor will call you back."

Oh for crying in a bucket.

Of course, fifteen minutes later a doctor did not call me. Apparently I was not worthy enough to even talk to the nurse anymore. Why do medical people think they are so untouchable? I don't get it. It bugs me that the doctor can not stoop so low as to call a patient. You have to go to them, they can't come to you, they can't give you any straight answers because of lawsuits. Drives me nuts. The receptionist called me.

"The doctor said, 'Two Junior Motrin tabs.'"

Oh yeah? I turned around and handed him two teaspoons of the narcotic.

All better.

I think the migraines are from the Game Cube. I am convinced of it now. I pulled the plug on it and there has not been one headache today. Hmmmm....