Thank you, Shealy....

Eraser Eater is ecstatic to have some beautifully colorful buttons to put in his collection. He ripped open the package in the mail and went nuts.


I was reading Lyssa's blog and I feel like a fool. Apparently "carmine", which is ground up female beetles, colors up many of our foods and candies on the market. I have eaten beetles before. Many times. This disturbs me. In this article, which is a year or more old, it explains some of it.

I checked my yogurt and it is ok, thankfully. I have a package of Nerds though, that has the beetles in it.

I announced it to the kids.

My Oldest screamed.

"Why did you tell us!"

"What, do you want to eat beetles?!"

"No, but if I didn't know, I guess I wouldn't care! Now I will never eat candy again!"

That was exactly my motive. Yes.

They are not going to touch those Nerds now.

I feel like we have all been on a Fear Factor undercover. Willy Wonka will pay for this.



As some of you know, I am one of those rare freaks that can't eat certain raw foods. Most of them, actually, except for some berries and a few kinds of lettuce. I have discovered that Romaine lettuce, no matter how delicious it is, can make my mouth swell up a little at first and then my throat is sore for two days afterward. I love romaine lettuce. I love raw stuff. I remember my older brother used to make hamburgers at home as a kid and he would take wads of it while it was raw and stuff it in his mouth. He thoroughly enjoyed it. That certainly nowadays would send me off into itchiness, pain, swelling, and utter misery. Not to mention e coli.

Dear Sir has always felt bad for me about it. He does not know exactly which fruits or veggies give me the worst reactions, but he still feels bad with minimal knowledge. For about five years now he has been unable to eat some of the fruits that I react worst to. He swore one time after eating a banana that he almost had to pull over (he was eating in the car) because he thought he was going to die. He gets heartburn or some sort of bad reaction in his chest. He has sworn off bananas now and will not eat them. He can not eat carrots either. It does the same thing.

Dear Sir just finished eating some watermelon I gave him for dinner (he has not had it in years because I never buy it but let the kids convince me to) and he is sitting down now playing that blasted Game Cube and here he is yelling at me, "Rach, I'm having a reaction! Do you have any medicine for me? I feel AWFUL!"

Bananas, carrots and melons are about the worst things I could ever put in my mouth. Ever. Is it possible that the man, feeling so terribly for me, has sort of sympathy "pains" like you hear about when a woman is pregnant? You know, she throws up, he throws up. She has headaches, he has headaches, etc.

He tells me that I have infected him somehow. I want to pretend he loves me that much. To me, it is incredible and a bit weird too. But he must, he really must. Hmmm, I think I will go kiss him...

I Hate Games

Yesterday Dear Sir and I allowed the boys to get a Game Cube and some games. They had been saving their money for maybe six months to a year now, and thankfully they were able to put their money together and because of the Wii, Game Cubes are cheap so they got one early. My Oldest is so happy he could scream. Eraser Eater is pretty cool with it. Dear Sir, after getting the kids in bed, sat down and played until I fell asleep on the couch.

"You guys are so lucky," Dear Sir would say. "When I was a kid, my parents wouldn't even let me get an Atari. I had to go and play at the drug store or go to my friends house."

When I was growing up we had the Nintendo right when it first came out. The only game I got decent at was Tetris. Other than that, I remember watching my brothers play and beat game after game. Now those games, like Zelda, Mario Brothers, and Castlevania are called "classics".
But you guys all know that. I am dating myself. I know, I am young. Don't use it against me.

Personally I think Wii game systems are dumb. I saw a kid playing one at the game store and he looked retarded. Sorry, fans of the Wii. It just plain looks ridiculous. I understand wanting to get up and do something instead of sitting there and moving your hands, but gee whiz, take a run outside or something. It just looks moronic. Jared is going to have my head.

I took the girl and the neighbor girl to swim lessons this morning and a middle aged woman next to me beside the pool started to ask me questions. She asked if my Girl was in the school down the street. I told her no, that I homeschool.
"Oh," she said, but she did not look at all pleased by this. She seemed nice enough, but sometimes people try to overly act like they agree with it and all that when they really do not.
She said, "So do you find it hard to stick to a curriculum?"
Now, can I ask this: what kind of ignorant, preposterous, and condescending question is that?
Like nothing I do is thought out, like I obviously have no goal.
I looked at the woman and shook my head like it didn't bother me and said, "Nah. You just buy the stuff online and use it. I have found that I have been more intense than I ever needed to be and I have had to learn to back off quite a bit."
Then by the next set of questions and my next set of answers, I could see by the look of her face that she felt stupid because she now saw that I was highly qualified to do my job.

I also went to a wedding in D.C. this weekend (a dear friend was getting married) and I feel so sad because I miss all my friends at Church of the Resurrection. That church is just like home to me. It was wonderful being there but also very painful.

Upon getting the Game Cube Eraser Eater said, "Gee, Dad, I never knew you guys were this nice! I think this is the closest thing to heaven I can get!!"

Now if I can get Dear Sir off that thing when the kids are in bed we will be good. We got rid of satellite TV and now he has another thing to suck up his time. He wanted to get this Clone Wars game but they didn't have it so the salesperson asked if he wanted this one particular Star Wars game or "Rebel Strike". I could tell by the look on his face when he requested "Rebel Strike" that he could have screamed it he was so excited. For a moment he looked like was ten.

It was all I could do to prevent myself from openly rolling my eyes.


This morning when the neighbor girl was dropped off the neighbor said as she looked me up and down: "Well you look wonderful!" And I could tell she meant it.

I was wearing gray jogging pants and a black concert t-shirt. Pretty casual.


Magazine Covers

This is a very interesting article by my friend Catherine Claire. Give it a read. Makes me think that no one ever looks in reality the way they seem to look. On the site that she links to, it reminds me of how a computer generated Barbie looks, an arm so thin and long it looks alien.


Why I Put Up With It

I just remembered another insult a few days ago from the neighbor again. She was at the back door rapping like usual and I answered it. She wanted to know if her daughter could play again. She looked down at my feet after looking me up and down like always and said, "oh, is that metallic nail polish?"

"Not really," I said, "It is light green," and I pulled my foot out more into the light so she could see it.

"Oh," she laughed, "I don't like that. It makes me thing of fungus on your feet, or gangrene or something."

"Well, I don't think so," I said, "green is my favorite color."

"Oh, I know."

Crumbs, here is one of my blasted feet so you can see. They just got through running five and a half miles so they look thrashed, but here goes:
That wasn't much of a help, since you can't really see the color, but they are painted green, and they don't look like fungus, but apparently my neighbor seems to think so. Not that I care much, it is just fun to have something new thrown at you each day to keep you "on your toes" if you know what I mean.

She had a conversation with me over the weekend telling me about how she quit her job and whatnot and she was starting to explain how impossible her boss was when she stopped mid-sentence and said, "...but you don't really know much about working, or having a boss, but you get what I mean now, don't you?" To those of you who don't know, she knows nothing about me because she is too busy talking to even know that other humans exist. I have had jobs before, duh.

I didn't move but just stood there hoping she would stop wasting my time and running her mouth so I could get inside and read my book.

At my Girl's birthday party she stayed behind after everyone left and said, "You don't know how good you have it, do you?"

You see, everything I have, she wants. She wants someone to support her and she wants to not have to work, mainly. I don't know what she thinks that I do all day, but it isn't sleeping and watching TV. She thinks I am nuts to run or workout. She has no clue why my kids are so well-behaved since with her own son she never spanked him but put up a reward chart because the psychologist recommended it and now he is a criminal. She can't get to me because I know everything about her, but she knows next to nothing about me. And whatever she says to insult me, she sees that I am not penetrated, nor do I respond because I saw this stuff in seventh grade, man. Jr. freaking High.

She told my son that her son is living with her now and would love to play basketball with him.
"Oh, how old is he?" my Oldest asked.
"He's my age," I offered.
"Almost twenty seven," she said and looked at me wide-eyed and shocked.
"Wait a minute," she yelped. "How old are you, I forget," looking at me with her hand on her heart.
"You could be my daughter!" she cried.
"Uh, yep." And you are fifty-four, born a few days from my own mother, and I know not only this, but every stinking detail of your life because you come over, insult me, and then believe that I want to listen to your whole life. I have heard nearly ALL OF IT. And I actually listen. Maybe you can get away with telling the same story five times in a row with the lady across the street because she doesn't care either, but I know the whole story. And I remember stuff. And you can't remember who you told what but I know you go through that every time you start to tell me something. I know that if I say one word to you about my own life that is personal, the lady across the street and all your friends will then know it. I know your kind, dear.

But then I want to display Christ as well. This is very well going on in my head, yes, I am totally on my guard. And I know I come off to her as a little bit elite or something, I don't know how else to put it. She wants what I have but she doesn't know how to get it. Whenever she comes to me with a problem and almost starts to cry, I tell her to pray to Jesus. I flat out preach the gospel to her, no joke. Maybe next time she does it I will put my hand on her head and pray for her right then and there. I figure I have nothing to lose because she keeps coming to me with her insults and problems and then I gain nothing truly. NOTHING. If she wants what I have, I can tell her the truth of it: All I have is because Someone gave it to me. That's it. She can either run from me (which is fine) or accept the truth.

How do you like them apples?


Last night I had a dream about ~Jennifer and I was telling her about my neighbor. She actually rolled her eyes a double whammy when I told her this story:

I was grilling a rack of ribs for dinner last night wearing my sporty little black skirt (it hits right above the knee and is cotton draw-string) with my light blue close fit Wonder Woman t-shirt. I had my black flip flops on. My neighbor approached me while grilling to see how her daughter was doing, who was playing up in my Girl's room.
"Are you letting your hair grow out again?" She asked.

"I don't know," I said, "maybe. It was short last year and now it is growing out again, yeah."

She looked me up and down. "You look.....casual."


I didn't respond. What do you say to that? And furthermore, what does that mean?

I looked just fine to me, I guess.
What's wrong with that?

I guess I should have commented to her that she has been wearing the literal same outfit for five days now (she lost her job or quit it so I have been seeing her every day since) and at least I have some stinking variety no matter how casual. It is stifling hot and she is wearing jeans and a quarter length sleeved cotton black sweater. Real dressy.

What gives, my friends?

Since she has been home from work she has been rapping at my door every day wanting to let her girl play. Yesterday she came over for a few hours and I had to do my routine run of the library in the afternoon and asked the neighbor girl to go home. Then I thought, I bet her mommy is sleeping, so I should call her and see if it is ok if the girl comes along. I don't know what I was thinking. The neighbor girl high tails it home, comes back in a flash and I say, "Is your mom asleep?"
She nods yes. She never talks and I personally don't like the girl. She is mean to my girl.
"Did you talk to her?"
She nods yes. Come on. I give my neighbor a ring. No answer.
Great. I am stuck with her kid no matter what. The chick is asleep.
So I took her and the whole clan.

Right after my run yesterday morning is when the neighbor brought her girl here. I was sitting at the computer, cooling off. I heard her wrap at the sliding glass door at the back of the house. I decided to ignore it. She did it again. Then she did what is the unthinkable in my mind and went to the window and started knocking really hard on it. It was a sound that made me jump to my feet.

I opened the glass door.
"Oh, you are here," she said.
"Can she play?"
"Go on in, she is upstairs." I said to the girl. She ran in.
The woman looks me up and down (she does that a lot). "You were working out?"
"I didn't see you through the window."
"No, I just finished five minutes or so ago."

Save me, people. Jennifer, would you roll your eyes under these conditions?

In a bit I will update this post with a picture of my outfit. Maybe me in my outfit. It really is not so bad.


This and That

Ok, so the glasses just completely bit it just this morning. The Oldest was on his bike (or so he says), went over a tree stump on the ground or a root or something, and off flew his glasses, the frames braking. They were braking anyway so I believe that would do them in, I just don't know about them falling off his face. Thankfully, the frames are covered under warranty, so not a dime has to be spent in replacing them. That is a load off.

I've gone back to where I annihilated the ugly possum and he is quite dead, carcass in the middle of the road. He is a lot smaller now than he was when I just went right over the dude.

Right here is what Dear Sir has been working on lately. It concerns me so you better click over there. I am watching. He he.

And on Friday Joel and I watched the movie The Painted Veil with Naomi Watts and Edward Norton. I loved the book, but I think I enjoyed the movie just as well because it was "edited" well and made a wonderful movie. I think it is totally my favorite now. Very beautiful. You guys should see it. I think I must own it.

I am reading Mystic River right now for some easy summer reading, and it is pretty good so far minus all the f words. I don't know if people really talk like that all the time, but come on, it is a bit much. I know there is a movie, right? I am so behind.

Have a good day. I have to travel up north today at some point to go to band practice, so I will be busy. BTW---my guitar is not totally repaired yet, but I did talk to the repair guy and he says he has it nearly perfect so far, he just needs a couple more weeks tops. Relief.



Dear Sir has an aversion to lost and/or broken things. You hate to tell him you lost anything because he will get all depressed and pretty soon you wish you were dead or buried alive somewhere because the man can not stop talking about it, ceaselessly shaking his head, making sounds behind his sci-fi book.

The Oldest came home Saturday evening, just before dark, about to hop in the bathroom. "Where are your glasses?" Dear Sir said.

The Oldest grabbed at his neck, wide-eyed and scared out of his mind. "Uh, " he managed.

"Where did they go?" I asked.

I could tell. He lost them.

Dear Sir almost popped.

I ran over to the Oldest and lead him downstairs. "We will find them right now, let's go," I said.

We went to the house by the cul-de-sac and searched endlessly until it was too dark to see. Crap.

Let's just say Dear Sir was fit to be tied, but remained behind his book as I got a flashlight and searched the stinking driveway.

You get to the point where if someone hates lost things as much as they do, you have to cope somehow and be at peace with the lost thing because the other is upset enough about it for the both of you.

You see, in my house, it is never if momma ain't happy ain't nobody happy. It is the other way around. If I ain't happy, life commences, people still laugh and have fun, and I am alone in my wretchedness. And you see, it is totally my fault that no one is happy when Dear Sir is faced with a lost item. I immediately go into Emergency Code Red mode and don't stop until I fix a situation. You see, I am a fixer.

I gave up once I noticed that the flashlight was not beaming enough light to see under the vehicles. I got the kids in bed and I sat down to read.

After church yesterday the search began again. Dear Sir sent the boys out to find the glasses at that house where the boy lost them and they came back defeated after four hours of searching a huge lawn. My son's feet were blackened with soil and he put them on my couch, drink in hand, panting. I felt bad for him. "Wanna go to the pool?" I asked.

"I don't know. I am really wiped out," was all he could manage.

I prompted him to get those feet off the couch and get his rear end up the steps to wash them. He eventually got his shorts on and I took them all to the pool. Dear Sir worked on my band's poster for the concert this fall, and the little blurb for the site. He also read.

You know, I can't stand lost things either. I see it as a challenge so I search and search until I find it. I knew that my Oldest was never going to find those glasses because of this reason: he is male. I don't want to knock men, but they can't find anything. Just the other day:

"Where's the toothpaste! It has vanished!" yelps the Oldest. He was standing in the bathroom, tooth brush in hand.

"Where could the toothpaste have gone, Rach?" Dear Sir said from behind his book.

"Nowhere. It is sitting on the counter in the bathroom, last time I saw it."

"It couldn't be...it..."

I walked over there and there the toothpaste was right smack on the freaking COUNTER, in plain sight.

"How could I have missed that!?" yelped the Oldest, completely incredulous.

Easy, you are a male. Males see the hot dog, but never the ketchup. Males see the woman, but never the clothes. Males see the forest, but never the trees.

When in need of a search party, the people to send out should be women or girls. The first thing that should have happened was to send out the Girl and me to find those spectacles.

Last night the doorbell rang at 8:30. Dear Sir always scowls when the phone rings or the doorbell rings. He jumped from behind his book. "What the heck?!" he said.

I ran down to see what was up. The Oldest ran down too, seeing kids from his window in the dusk.

A group of mainly girls were at the door and a couple of boys. "We found your glasses," they said.

The girl in the group found the glasses, in the grass, by the volley ball net, in the yard that my boys had scaled up and down for four hours. And she found them in nothing flat because I saw her at the pool when we were there and we left before her. The girl probably saw a little light gleaming in the dark and picked them up, with her towel around her waist, knowing full well that they were the famous missing glasses.

Man, am I glad that drama is over. I have learned my lesson. Never send boys. Send girls. They find stuff.


My Day

My head is still full of snot and my throat is still uncleared. I am not miserable anymore, but I am totally sick of having this hindrance to my vocal abilities. It takes the confidence right out from under me. I am getting to the point between church functions and now band practice that I will need to be up to singing four times a week. And if I can just get my blasted Martin back, I will be in better spirits. It is still getting fixed from the nice crack it has on the soundboard and the scratches all over the back from being scraped across a dirty hard surface floor (if you don't know the story, look here). I think I should hear something by Monday? I think that will be five stinking weeks.

Yesterday, I apparently survived the Chuck E. Cheese chaos. It went fine. I had to rush to the bathroom a few times to literally clear my head of an abundance of gelatinous fluid (there's that word again), but I fared alright. I got the salad bar so I would not have to eat much of the pizza and found a blonde hair in it. I was hoping it was mine.

Afterwards, I took the kids to my sister-in-law's apartment to let the kids play for forty-five minutes or so, and when that madness was through, I decided I needed to be home so I could make it to praise band practice in a few hours (since it would take me a good hour to get home). My girl would not move. Literally. She cried and sat on the bed where she and her cousin were playing video games and ignored me. It took me probably a half hour to get her out the door without making a bigger scene than she already made. It is rare she is ever like this, so I was patient but seething inside, ready to bite her neck and suck up her blood.

To top off the stress, before my daughter pulled her tricks, my Oldest was acting sort of ridiculous, being a total punk, and I told him to go out the front door and wait for me before he could push himself into an ever-increasing hole of hard core discipline. Yeah, he went alright. And he slammed the door. I am sure when my brother and sister in law looked at me they saw the fierce madness in my face at being so disrespected, and prayed at that moment for my salvation and for the life of my son who so foolishly just about committed suicide.

So, after pulling various teeth to get the crying Girl out the door, I got them all in the car somehow. Eraser Eater was a perfect genius, kissing my butt to no end. He's a smart kid. He knows that when the other two are acting up, he best not. The Girl let out a huge wail upon sitting in her booster seat, and the pot boiled over and I lost it. I let out a craggy yelp of frustration, some unintelligible cry of rage, and pulled the car into reverse.

"I was good," Eraser Eater meekly said in a tiny voice.
"I know! Thank you!" I yelled.

Then I made the wrong turn and got onto 66, the freeway that is always having rush hour traffic. Even at four in the afternoon. My mind wandered to what could have been, a half hour earlier and I would not be hugging the bumper of the car in front of me.
"If I could have been gone a little while ago when I WANTED to be gone, I would not be stuck in traffic now!!" I aimed at my daughter, "Thank you!"
She let out a perfect wail of failure.
The others just plain quit talking or even breathing. I think my daughter cried for about 60% of the hour plus ride home.

Then, as I was in the fast lane of the highway that would lead me to my destination, a huge truck with a double decker flat bed full of cars (do those things have names?) decided that he would just completely ignore the fact that I am driving straight ahead, and decided to merge out in front of me. It was complete suicide, completely illegal, and completely wretched of him to do. The hit was so close, if there had not been a slight emptiness in the lane next to me, he would have ended the lives of us all. I swerved to the right and honked my horn for a nice long time until he was no longer in my range of vision.
"We ALMOST DIED!" I yelled. I felt like the Dukes of Hazard. Usually when things like that happen my heart beats wildly. I noticed that this did not happen. That really should have scared the crud out of me. I think, when you don't fear anymore, you have lost your mind.

We finally got home and I made dinner right away since Dear Sir was to be walking through the door in a jiffy and I needed to get to practice once that happened. I ate a protein bar while I cooked and put it all out on the table and then left.

Practice went fine, I guess. I left really late because the music director has become a kindred spirit and we find that if we sit down and talk we get to laughing our sides off at stuff. I think it is because she is my age. No, I think it is because she is so sweet and kind and reserved and I am so in your face about stuff, we are refreshing to each other. I left her house laughing to the car, and she laughing to her front door. I drove home trying to hit high notes with my snot infested throat.

Since I live in the blasted forest, Dear Sir told me once that if I ever see a deer and know that I am going to hit it, just hit it because there are so many trees I would hit one of those if I tried to avoid it and my chances at survival are much more if I just plow the deer down. Make sense? Makes perfect sense to me. He said in Michigan, where he lived his high school years, people would die on roads that are filled with trees on each side because they would swerve to avoid the deer in front of them and it a tree instead.

So, at the last minute as I was on this forest road to my house, I spotted a HUGE possum. I know these things because they used to come around at night when I was growing up in California. They are so ugly. This thing was huge and walking pretty slow. In the middle of the road. I remembered what Dear Sir said. I just plowed right over the thing. I ain't dyin' for no possum. It felt like a glorified speed bump and I laughed a bit. Oh crud, I hope it didn't hurt the tires, I thought. But they were ok.


Ok, I am heading out with the crazies to Chuck E. Cheese's. If I do not live this through, please inform Dear Sir that I would like the "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven played at my funeral. It is so ravishingly depressing, isn't it?


Reading a Medical Manual Always Helps

I just got up about an hour ago with little sleep under my belt....at least I got some the night before. Maybe it was the combination of the cough syrup and the benadryl that gave way to the zzzs. I forsook the allergy pill because I thought I was clear enough in my head; I was feeling better last night, but my voice was still craggy.

I skipped band practice because of my inability to sing (I even tried in the shower and started to laugh at myself---how pathetic). I did take the kids to the pool to get them entertained since now they are not sick anymore. It was so hot but then I felt cold because I had all this Sudafed in my system. And then I got a sunburn like an idiot.

I had this whole post about how kids are mean to my kids but I deleted it. The Oldest just read over my shoulder (a complete no-no) and so out of respect for him I guess I will not go there.

Since I have been unwell and all that I had some sherbet for dessert the other night. I was scooping it all out and plopping it on a cone when the Oldest approached me with longing eyes.
"Hey," I said, "This is mine. Quit begging. I am sick, and this has essential vitamin C to boost my immune system."

He widened his eyes with delight and smacked his lips. Oh brother, I thought. This kid just loves food. He even begs for meatloaf.

"But Mom," he held out his hands as if he were in prayer, "please...."

I gave him a nice long look meaning nope.

"But Mom, I am suffering from scurvy this very instant! I have a lack of vitamins and minerals!" He put his arms above his head and wiggled to the ground like the Wicked Witch of the West, after water was dumped on her.

I burst out laughing and couldn't stop. He stood up and chuckled a little looking about him.
"Were you laughing at me?" he said.

Yes. Who the heck else would know about scurvy at his age? Good grief, he knows too much.

I looked back in the archives at this silly little story:

You Know, All That Crazy Stuff

Dinner with my kids can be hilarious sometimes when I am not on their backs to stop talking with food in their mouths or to use their napkin. For some reason last night they were arguing (the boys were) about whether "girls rule" or "boys rule". I know, stupid, but this is what kids talk about. My oldest (he is nine) argued that they "both rule" because they have different functions. He continued to say, "Well, don't get me wrong or anything, I kind of like girls, but I don't care about getting married or sex or any of that crazy stuff."

As you may well imagine, I almost choked.

I did a sort of double take like, "What did you say?" He repeated it. He did ask at one time what sex meant (a long time ago---he loves to read medical manuals) , but he used the word so casually. It was hilarious.

He continued to say, "Yeah, and I'm not going to be one of those teenagers who have posters of girls on their walls either!"

I said, "Where did you get that from?"

He said, "Oh, I don't know, I just know that for some reason."

I said, "Well, that is lust anyway and I would not allow it."

My youngest son said, "Yeah, it would be funny if real girls were hanging from the walls!" Then he proceeded to imitate a girl hanging from a wall saying, "help me!" in a falsetto. He realized what I had said just then. He said, "What is lust?"

I said, "Lust is wanting something you can't have."

So my oldest son said, "Yeah, like, you know, the lust of the flesh!"

I about died.


Me and the Nut Cases

Jrh, Mr. So. Cal Tinker, and whom I like to call the phantom sandwich, just gave me an award for inspirational blogger. I am a complete moron and I can not figure out how to display the thing because I am not a morning person and can not think straight right now. Thank you, JRH.

I rather think I inspire people to write about gelatinous masses of nastiness or at least inspire some thought about it, but that is ok. Someone has to do it.

I must confess that in my sickness yesterday I did not run one wink. Instead, I sat around all day and read a really weird book and kept putting off the run. I blogged some too. I got tired around noon while I was reading, and my eyes were about to close for good when one of the crazies jumped on my bed next to me and declared, "It's 12:05! Time for lunch!" I don't know if the medicine made me nice, or if God granted me an especial grace, but I jolted up and obeyed on the spot. I went down and made various things for them to eat and then ate a frozen yogurt cone.

After that I read some more, avoided the run again, and then went downstairs and assisted the Girl in making some cookies and cake in her Easy Bake Oven. The boys got all interested and begged to have some of her goods, so we all shared it and had Chai Tea (I had English Breakfast black tea). The Oldest got inspired and asked if he could make a cake himself out of a mix, and I consented and he went to town. I just instructed a few things but he pretty much did it on his own. To say the least I was impressed. He was excited because I told him that if he could pull of a mix without help this time, I would teach him how to make a cake from scratch next time. He was full of glee and continually jolly the rest of the evening.

I then made some chicken noodle soup and Dear Sir came home and grilled himself a burger. Then I went insane and ironed some of the man's pants and a shirt and told Dear Sir that if I iron tomorrow hell will certainly freeze over. My pits stank for sure after that madness so I took a shower and read for a spell until bed.

I woke up this morning knowing that I have a band practice (for my band the Einsteins of Love) for a gig in September, and my voice is not going to allow it, I am afraid. I hope I don't go mute again. There is a settling of mucus on my vocal chords and I found that yesterday I was even frightening people over the phone. Not again. I took some Sudafed to dry me up, but I don't think it is going to help much. I still sing better than someone who can't sing, but that is not saying much. Control is everything to a singer.

So, after all the cake making and whatnot, the kids and I took some pictures on the Mac. Here goes:


Can You Hand Me Two Tissues? My Snot is Thick...

That's it. Where did the Woman go again?I have no shame now. Complete misery.

I am sick today. Well, I was sick yesterday and the evening before that. So my weekend was pretty much ruined by my moaning and groaning about a cold. I hate being sick. I thought I could defeat it (Dear Sir says it is all my pride) by running on the treadmill to boost my immunity levels, but it did not work. So I guess I will run on the treadmill later to get better. I know, I am crazy. I just read somewhere that it helps.

I slept very poorly too. I had songs stuck in my head that I wanted OUT, and then I do the usual toss and turn, stuff the tissues up my nose and breathe through my mouth. I was hotter than Hades, burning it up beside Dear Sir. He is always on the too warm side, so he stayed clear of me. I think I had a fever. I was pretty much miserable. I woke up at all hours, and then I finally got to the hour of one in the morning and felt a hand on my back and it wasn't Dear Sir's.

There Eraser Eater was, his little skinny frame etched out by the moonlit window, saying, "Mommy, I don't feel right."

My conclusion was that he was hungry, so I had him pop a Pepto pill and pull a sleeping bag on my side of the bed on the floor. He was contented with that sure enough; he went right to sleep and then I tossed and turned the rest of the morning.

This got me to thinking about the mind and how it never turns OFF. Even in my sleep I know it is going on, I know it is saying words and thinking thoughts and I can't get it to quit. It is like when you are throwing up and all you can think about is the "Yellow Submarine" song stuck in your head that keeps playing over and over as your up-chuck soundtrack. You vow to yourself, I will never listen to the Beatles again! because you feel so wretched and the association is not good, but soon enough when you are feeling well you put good ol' Ringo back in the CD player and don't think about it ever again.

I just want the mind to turn off once in awhile. This would bring much pleasure, but then again, if the mind would be turned off, pleasure would not be felt. Ok, so maybe I wish that the mind could just focus on one or two things. If I could go through a night and just think about sheep jumping a fence that would be great, but in reality, I think about the grill being on, the house burning down, a stupid song that I hate, germs everywhere, and things that need to get done. When I am sick I think silly things like I am the person in the novel that I was just reading and I am saying her words over and over, or in a half sleep I keep thinking about how I am not sleeping well and how much snot can my nose really produce? Buckets full.

While sick, I actually sang a Keith Green song yesterday and accompanied myself on guitar during Communion. People said, "no one would have known you were sick by your singing voice!" but then I knew because I was so frigid in that blasted building (they keep it so cold) and the Sudafed I was taking makes it ten times worse so of course my pick slipped out of my hand creating a pause in the music but by some act of magic or Divine Intervention I caught the thing and carried on. I really, really hope I don't turn mute this time.


Sin Eraser

Yesterday Eraser Eater decided upon waking that he was going to get all Charles Finney on us and live out the holiness movement by attempting not to sin all day long. I thought that a very noble thing to try, but knew it would be short-lived.

He did so well, I have to say. He has been so bearable all day, catching himself before he whines, saying "yes, mom" when I tell him to do something, trying his hardest to share and whatnot. Right before lunch he came to me very upset and disturbed.
"Mom," he said wide-eyed, "I am very worried---I have been trying not to sin and I think I have sinned already."

I am sure I could have thought of a few slip-ups, but who is counting? I did not notice anything too in-your-face to say, "Ah yes, my boy, it was when you yelped in selfishness as your sister tried to read your precious magazine!"

"What did you do?" I asked, curious.

"I picked my nose," and he started to almost cry but I put my hand on his shoulder and told him not to worry about it.


Wimpy Aggression

I am literally exhausted. I made a little pact with myself that I would work out for an hour a day and then have the weekends off (or work out on Saturday if I felt inclined). I have been running at least 4 miles a day, but more like 5. Yesterday I had to make tons of soap so while the soap was cooking I would run in twenty minute increments. I did that three times. I pretty much stunk the whole day.

Which reminds me, I asked my Girl if she was going to run like mom when she gets older for exercise.

"No," she said, "You get too stinky and sweaty."

I think she said something about swimming instead, which sounds good---just don't go in the bathroom. But don't pee in the pool either. Never mind.

I noticed last night getting back from band rehearsal (praise band rehearsal) that I talk to people I am mad at when I am driving. I was alone, of course, and here I am yelling at the windshield. It took me an extra long time to get home yesterday because some construction was going on at a pole and the guys were going from pole to pole, not allowing me to pass. And it was on purpose because the guy holding the stop sign noticed I was irritated and he held me there with a string of cars behind me two separate times. I was a little eager to get over and around, and he kept jumping in front of my car and waving me back with a wince on his face. Like he was a freaking cop or something.

I was very irritated by this man. Of course I go through a blast of words like "Crapola," "Come on!" "Jerk!" "Butthole!" and then I realize I am not talking to anyone and even if I had the ability to talk to him personally I would not say that stuff. It is sort of like the wimps way out.

I just sent off the receiver for Direct TV (I am so happy it is gone!) yesterday and I had to call FedEx to come pick up the box. Of course, there is always and automated voice. Do you guys ever take your aggression out on these robot voices? I always do, I find. I am irritated to talk to a machine, so I yell at it.
"Press 1 or say 'order for pick up,'"says the machine.
"Order for pickup," I say.
"I did not understand. Press 1 or say 'order for pickup.'"
"OR-DER FOR PICK-UP!!!!!!!!!!" I yell.
"Please hold while I take care of that for you..."

I hate talking to a machine. They have no feelings, I can scream at them.



I wake up nearly every night afraid that the grill was left on and I have wasted all the propane. I did that once or twice and I have never been cured of the after-effects. I jolt awake for some unknown reason, and then I immediately think of the grill. Did I forget something? My mind immediately goes there.

The other night I had a dream about my Girl and she was singing to me in some high-pitched soaring sort of lilt and I jolted awake. It took me a good second or two to realize that the tail end of Someone's soft snore was the sing-songy tune I heard in my dream. When I emailed the Man later to tell him what had happened he said, "what can I say, I even produce music in my sleep!" Come on. Anyway, the thoughts that entered my mind once I let go of the fact that my Girl was not truly singing to me but my sleeping Sir was instead, was the filthy dirty bathroom floors at the pool. My mind went directly to the floors there and how gelatinously disgusting and slimy they are. I remember earlier that day I took the neighbor girl to the pool along with me and the kids and she had to go to the bathroom. She did not bring her sandals but went in her bare feet and I remember looking at her feet in despair and concern, wondering if I should pick her up instead of allowing her to get tainted like that. My mind went from the floors to realizing the folly of wearing my sandals in there.

Believe it or not, my thoughts continued on and got worse. Not only would the bottoms of my sandals get tainted, I would be a stupid idiot and continue to walk on other grounds with them and then walk in my house with the filth on the bottom of my feet. Those Asians really have something there. They know stuff. I kept thinking about my carpet and how many vile germs from the bowels of hell itself full of wrath and sin would be lingering on my carpet, ready to enter my children's rectums by way of their sitting on the bare floor. Oh yes, but they would have clothes on. But suppose they have just underwear on or their swimming suits? I vowed that I would wash my feet and my family's feet before entering bed every night from there on out so the germs would not follow them to their sheets and creep in their beds and haunt them in their sleep. Oh good grief, I would clean the stinking carpet the next day in great haste, no matter what I had planned.

And yes, those thoughts, the thoughts full of resolve, like washing feet and cleaning carpet, were the only thoughts that would allow my mind to wander and drift back into sleep, the kingdom of whistling voices and spiraling clouds of whispering slumber.

I have crazy thoughts at night.

Last night we went to small group for our church and I had issues with going barefoot in the house because that is how they did things there. Barefoot? I thought. I felt a little self-conscious in my bare feet, Dear Sir was running around in his socks, we all felt a little naked. Of course, the woman of the house is Asian and knows her stuff. Her customs are to do such things and this is smart. But do I have the guts to do this in my own home? No...good grief, I thought, I could never do this.

It would so feed my Howard Hughes tendencies and it would not be good.



This is good to look at when reading "Eraser Eater Is a Freak", which is the third link. Guilty as charged.

Here and here and here you will find why I don't like coins, or at least some silly stories mentioning it. Have a laugh at my deranged mind.



Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

I got rated this because of the words "hurt" and "pain". Huh?

So you know that yesterday we went and saw The Wizard of Oz at the theater. The kids had a good time. The Girl sat next to me and kept asking me when we would see the witch next; she seemed a bit obsessed with her. Despite what I thought before I got there, I did have a good time with them and I imagine that at least the Girl will remember that event for the rest of her life. There is nothing like seeing that movie in a theater. I remember seeing E.T. at the drive-in theater. I was frightened for months. My older brother's friends would call the house, ask for me and say, "E.T. phone home!" just like the alien himself and I would scream and put the phone down. My brother would scramble around on the floor in continuous laughter, holding his gut. I don't know how Drew Barrymore did it.

The Girl had to get ready directly after the movie to go to the lake with the same couple that took them all on the raft. They have a seven year old granddaughter visiting and wanted to know if my girl could play. My girl got her bag together, grabbed all her items she needed and I asked her if she was prepared.
"So, what did you put in your bag?"

"Oh, just my swimming suit, the towel, a left over mint for Hannah, my Hello Kitty hair clippies, and some tissues."

I thought I heard her wrong. "Some what?"

"Some tissues, because my nose is having issues."

I thought I really heard her wrong this time. "Your nose is having what?!"

She stared at me completely annoyed. She stood still and spat out in still a respectful way, "some ISSUES, Mom."

"Oh," I said. "What kind of issues?"

"Even though I take the white pill it still gets stuffy at night and through the morning. It has issues."

"Oh, I see," I said, "my nose does that too."

I was successful in not laughing at her because that was just too much. This girl literally talks to me like an adult and at times it is just so apparent that I even get taken aback.

The other day I was outside with the neighbor girl's aunt who had taken my girl and the neighbor girl out for the day and she had just brought them back home. We were talking about discipline and whatnot and we noticed that the girls were running around a tree as fast as they could. My girl said under her breath, "I am just burning some calories!"

The neighbor girl's aunt said, "I bet she gets that from you and all your running!" and she laughed heartily.

Did I mention that Eraser Eater is now attempting to have a button collection? This is not driving me nuts because I have chosen to use it as an advantage for myself. Yesterday I needed the boys to keep themselves busy while I ran for a spell and I really wanted them to get some of that summer reading down so we could record it down on their program sheets. My wicked plan worked. I told Eraser Eater that I would let him choose from my myriad of buttons (only one) if he successfully read for that good hour or so with no issues. He was incredibly eager and happily did it. For some reason, using the word wicked reminds me of that line the witch says when she is melting, "How could you destroy my beautiful wickedness!?" or something like that. I had a good laugh about that.

Dear Sir thinks the button thing is odd, but does not say anything about it, to my happiness. We had a talk about it last night.
"So what do you think about Eraser Eater and those buttons?"
"Yeah, he's obsessed with them," Dear Sir laughed, "it is sort of weird, but whatever."
"I am just glad he is not collecting coins," I said with relief, "buttons are better than coins."

Buttons are better than coins. I have issues with coins.


I Did Not Do Spell Check

Yesterday we went to the pool (even Dear Sir went). I left with the kids and the neighbor girl and Dear Sir took off to get a hair cut. I almost fell over when I looked up from reading my book by the pool to see the man walking toward me with a towel. WHAT? I thought.

"Sorry it took me so long to get here," he said, "my mom called when I got home."
Huh? I didn't expect you to come at all, I thought, but kept to myself.

Then he swam around and played with the kids. He taught Eraser Eater how to get to the bottom but found he was not weighty enough. I have hardly ever seen Dear Sir wet. In chlorinated water, that is.

I swam around for a bit, avoiding getting my head under because water likes to remain in my ears for a number of days and I start to act all crazy, hitting my head over and over from time to time to get it out. I hate that feeling. Once when I was a kid I got swimmers ear so bad that I wailed and screamed all the way to the doctor and he told my parents my ear was almost completely closed up.

I am a little bit sore because whenever I exercise in any form I do a bit too much and work myself over. I did a million breast strokes and people kept getting in my way. I hate that. It's my pool, dang it.

You know, I am just really irritated right now. The kids want to go to this free viewing of the Wizard of Oz this morning and I am not a morning person and they are all running around with their toast and eating in various places besides the table and I am about to go nuts and the whining and the crying because if they don't hurry we will not go and then the Oldest doesn't want to go but wants to go to the blasted pool and he keeps being a grump about it and keeps wanting more toast and I am going to go nuts and I am not making sense but making run-on sentences or just one big run on sentence and the Girl's hair looks like a rat's nest, and the Oldest has yesterday's shirt on probably because I have not done the laundry and I am still in my pajamas and need to get some make up on so I won't scare the world, and to put it short: I am just not ready.

And I hate the Wizard of Oz. I hate black and white movies because old technology bores me. It drives Dear Sir nuts.

Well, I better go. Time is pressing. Have a good day. And I hear someone urinating all over my toilet seat. Grrrr....


It's OK

I was mad at the librarian that assumed I was an idiot. I did put them in one big clump and say they all need a toilet wash, but that is because I am on the throne and I am lethal.

Thou shalt not assume I am an idiot.

Sorry for any offense to librarians out there---I have just run into some strange ones. I would love to be any of your librarians because hey, you would be so supportive of me! So quick to defend the one in town, you are!

I am so stinking judgmental, so cruel, so bigoted, and so out of line. Forgive me.

I meant just that one librarian and maybe that other one---and maybe the other one I am thinking of, yeah, that's it.


Librarians are a Gruesome Species

Yesterday I took the kids to the weekly library visit. The Oldest's reading program requires him to read books according to theme, and so that is what we are abiding by. I was trying to help the boy find a "western" novel. The only thing I could think of finding for him was a Louis L'Amour book, but I have never read any of them and don't know if they are clean. I am not about to pick one up and try it either. I have way too many books to read before I die. I tried to rack my brain as to what classic there is that is set in the West, and I can't think of ANYTHING. I mean, the wild west. I thought of Owen Wister's The Virginian and that's about it. I think it would bore my son to tears, is what it would do. I also thought about Laughing Boy but it has some adultery in it and a little bit of murder/violence, so I didn't want that. I was having a brain freeze.

So, I decided to do what I never do and ask a librarian. When the boy signed up for the program the librarian (the nice one) told us to feel free to ask for suggestions at the table. The reason I never ask them is because even though they are librarians, they have no clue about books. I have mentioned many books in my time to some of them that are common and they look at me with their mouth open like I just spoke (as Doozie would say) Swahili.

I went up to the librarian lady that is sort of a strange one, thinking since she is not as nice as the other one she may just know her stuff since she lacks social skills. Boy, was I an idiot to do that.
"I am looking for a book in the young adult section for my son. He needs to fill the "western" quota for the reading program's game board. Do you know of any good western books that I could look at for him to read?"

She looked at me, uncertain of whether or not she wanted to deal with me. She had a book in her hand that she was trying to check in, and I was disturbing her.
"Well, the other librarians are tied up at the moment," she said, "and I don't know of any western books."
I quickly realized my mistake.
She continued, "Some people find it helpful to look at the back of a book and see what it is about. In that section over there," she pointed to where I was standing, the oaf--"is the young adult section. You can look at any of those and pick up a book and look at the back of it."

I almost laughed out loud. Was she kidding? No, she was completely serious. I just said, "yeah, ok." and she continued to do her book job. I could have slugged her. Really? I can touch the books? I can read the back? I almost told her that I could not read, so she needed to help me read the backs of the books. I am surprised she granted me that grace, assuming I had the ability to read. Well, everyone knows how to READ, just no one knows how to find a particular subject by looking at the back of a book!

I know I should have said something, but the lady was obviously so chemically imbalanced in her brain that she would probably have a breakdown at the counter because a patron stood up for herself. I think librarians are freaks and need to have their hair flushed in a public toilet.



Dear Sir spent some time tweaking the blog up for me. I have no clue how to do it. I messed around with photos for awhile not wanting to take any new ones, but then Dear Sir told me the one where I am choking myself was just too ridiculous. I like ridiculous, but oh well. So I spent a good bit trying to get a picture, but just resorted to the one to the right. Pretty blah. Dear Sir says that I look scary. I won't stab you with a knife though, so don't worry.

The day before last was full of chaos as usual. Eraser Eater woke up not feeling too well, but I stuffed him full of acidophilus so at least I could bear life without him throwing up constantly, if that was what was going to happen anyway. I gave him anti-nausea medicine and a bucket to puke in if need be. He was sort of hating life. I was not sure if he was totally sick though because he felt ok, he wasn't hot, he was still able to talk about food but had no appetite, and he was still running his mouth like normal. He was just sedentary.

I had promised the kids that I would take them to the pool and by the afternoon we got going and got in the car. Eraser Eater, by the time we were half way to the post office (a little errand before we went), started to moan and lay down in the seat. Great. By the time I got back from mailing my letter he was done for. He did not want to go to the pool anymore. The Girl immediately wept and the Oldest, wising up finally, did not complain. I turned directly to the store thinking I needed popsicles and junk to feed the boy. The Girl wept nearly the whole time at the store. I kept saying, "self control" to her but it did not work. She would stop for a minute and then start up again.

When we got home I put the sprinkler on and instructed the Girl on how to run around in it. She had a blast. Eraser Eater was stable on the couch with a slushie, and the Oldest ran around outside with his newly purchased cap gun. Mickey Mouse was unleashed, Ariel was flopping around finless, and the Eraser Eating freak was whispering sweet nothings to his hand.

This is where I hurt my toe.

And then after dinner, after putting Eraser Eater to bed, the Oldest was reading his Bible so he could play his gameboy. He instantly lamented because his games were stuck in his safe and he could not remember the combination. Oh for crying in a bucket, I thought. He put all his games in the safe, entered a new code that was unfamiliar to him, and locked away. Lovely. I immediately felt bad for him. I don't know why. Dear Sir just said, "I guess you can sit there for a few days and figure it out." He sat there with gameboy in hand unable to play it because he had all his games stuck in the safe. He was trying fruitlessly to remember the combination he set. "I think it had a seven in it," he said to me.
"Or an eight or a nine or a one or a two," said Dear Sir. He shook his head.
"No, really! I think I had a seven and maybe a nine," said the boy.
"Good stinking grief!" I said.
I grabbed the safe. The lowest number you could enter would be 001 up to 999. We can count to a thousand, I thought. I started at 500 since he said he remembered numbers in the highest register first, and I just counted up. By the time I got to eight hundred fifty the boy had taken his shower. Dear Sir prayed with him and then the boy said to me, "Gee Mom, you sure are nice to do that for me."
"Yeah, yeah," I waved him away. "Good night."
893 pop! Not one stinking seven in it. Figures. The Oldest was just walking out the door and heard it.
"You opened it!" he cried.
I handed the box to him. "Now don't do that AGAIN. The combination is eight hundred ninety three."
Can you imagine putting something you prize in a safe and then forgetting the combination? Now my fingers are all sore from moving the digits on that thing around. Sore toe, sore fingers. I should have just allowed the boy to do it himself but I think he would still be doing it to be honest.

How to Bind a Wound from Work

Yesterday the cleaning bug bit me in the butt and I felt it was proper to vacuum the floor since bits of paper and nuts and berries had made their way there to disturb me. I was trying very hard to have the house semi-clean for Dear Sir when he came home. He likes that. By the time I got myself into the sun room I was pretty mad because vacuuming always has that effect on me, and guess what I did? I pulled the vacuum back in a quick jerk to move it a little to the left and I delightfully pulled back on my big toe's nail. If anyone knows me at all, there are two places on my body that make me a madwoman if I am touched there: On a toe nail or under my chin. I have yelled at a few people in my life that have encountered my toe nail, and I have slapped many men in my life who have run their finger under my chin. Get BACK. So, I pretty much ruined my toe nail.

I called Dear Sir right away after I laid prostrate for a spell yelping in pain (I almost said the "sh" word, but maybe said the British version instead because I suddenly went insane---all that British blood in me), remembering that we had only a few small rainbow band-aids. He calmly aided me and my wound over the phone and directed me to some normal band-aids! I could not believe it! That man has it going on, I swear. He said, "On top of the manila envelopes in the office, there are two band-aids." How this has ever gotten past me, I don't know, but I put them on directly saying, "I am not sure these are going to cover it!"
"I will buy you more band-aids on my way home," he said.
"You will?"
"What should I do now with my toe? I mean, the band-aids are not enough. It is all loose. I know. I will wrap some duct tape around my toe."
"Don't do that...that's crazy."
"I'll make it look pretty. I have no choice."
"Isn't there some gauze somewhere or something? I'll be home soon. Just sit down and quit doing stuff."

I hobbled over to the junk drawer and pulled out some clear packing tape. I proceeded to wrap it around the band-aids to keep the wound intact. Stupidly, all I could think about was running. How maybe I could bind the wound enough so the pressure of running would be minimal tomorrow when I would step on that stupid treadmill. Now that's dedication, brothers and sisters.

When Dear Sir got home I was making tortillas. He came in all bright and happy (the house was clean) and he greeted me. He got on the computer and replied to some emails, read the news. I walked over to him with flour all over my front and said, "You forgot the band-aids, didn't you?"
"Oh, crud!"
"Just forget it. It is all under control now."
"No, no way, you will need them," he looked down at my toe wrapped in packing tape. He started to get up. He felt around on his front pocket like he was feeling for a wallet or keys, and then got up a little, sat down. "I'll go directly after dinner."
"No. I will go directly after dinner."
I smiled.

When he got home he handed me the band-aids. "I got two different kinds. I wasn't sure."
"Thanks," I said.
"And I got you something else," he started to dig in the bag, under a box of tissues. He pulled out a 3Musketeers, my favorite candy bar. (For years, he has never gotten it right. He would always buy me a Snickers and say, "I thought your favorite was this!" Whenever I eat a Snickers I always get a rotten peanut.)
I grabbed it, jumped up and down and said, "I bought myself one today, now I have two! YES!"

The kids immediately felt jealous seeing that I got a candy bar and they didn't. "Hey---" the Oldest said.
"Your mom got hurt and you always need something to cheer you up when that happens, " Dear Sir said.

I think he is starting to get it, friends.


Languish at the Lake

Yesterday friends from church invited us to their home along with the pastor and his family and another family. They have a lake at the back of their house with a dock and a boat and the children all went on this raft and had a blast.

Dear Sir and I sat in the boat and watched all of our children on this raft hold on for dear life as the boat plowed through the water. Granted, they all had life vests on, but it was still a little frightening. Dear Sir would not look at me the whole time. I giggled at their delighted faces as they hopped here and there, splashed this way and that, and bounced on the water because I was extremely nervous. Our kids are nerds, they read books, and they barely swim.

In fact, I got a nice shiny burn last week because I decided that I would go in the pool to teach them how to polish their swimming. The Oldest swims like a cartoon, having no clue what to really do, just splashing around. All he really has to do is scream help and a life guard will come to his aid, that is how ridiculous he swims. I had to put and end to that. I went in there and taught them for a few hours with no sunscreen (like a flaming idiot) and taught them to dive, float, breath stroke, go off the diving board (!) and use no goggles. I also taught them to hold their breath underwater the proper way so they would stop using their fingers to plug their noses. I know, they were lost and I had to help them.

Eraser Eater swims like a fish, but a little lopsided. He had become so accustomed to swimming with only one arm (the other arm used to plug his nose) that he got pretty good at it. He would somehow squirm across the water in a quick motion with only one arm darting here and there to guide his little body.

I can't even talk about the Girl. She just learned how to wade a little and go under the water with her eyes closed. She swims a little from one end of the pool to me, but that is it. I have to work with her more.

So, with this in mind, I was a bit nervous seeing our kids on that raft. The boys I felt confident about since they were swimming in the "deep end" already, but The Girl was in trouble. Once the raft ride was over they all had to jump off it into the water and swim to the boat. Oh man, was that an ordeal. It was all drama and ridiculous. The Oldest was acting like a survivor of the Titanic, Eraser Eater was just fine, and The Girl just couldn't get it together to doggy paddle. "Go to the rope!" yelled the pastor. She somehow got to the rope and I had to get all specific with her, with great anticipation on the side of the boat (almost about to jump in), telling her to act "like Kim Possible" and pull herself toward the boat by climbing the rope. "Act like Batgirl!" I yelled. She smiled and laughed and that seemed to be the ticket, she got in just fine after that. In my attempts to get her to swim I have to remind her to think of how Ariel swims in The Little Mermaid once she gets human legs to get her to do it the right way. It actually works. Good grief, I have to use my mind too much.

At one point the Oldest was going to go on the raft with two other boys his age and they all had to jump in the water and swim to the raft. All the powers of darkness doomed my boy, for he could not get his big ol' butt on that raft for the life of him. He yelped all frustrated like Mickey Mouse, whimpered and winced, tried with all his might, but he could not get his stocky self up there. One of the boys (who doesn't take to well to him) got himself on the raft and we had to ask him to take one of my boy's hands to help him up while the other boy (still in the water) put his head beneath my sons butt and pushed him up. All I could think about was Chris Farley. At every attempt to hoist the boy on the raft, we heard high-pitched exclamations come from him, some saying, "this is impossible!" "I will never get on this raft!" "I am DOOMED!" and garbage like that. I get past the point of being embarrassed anymore. I have to hide my face and laugh in my hands because it is literally like a comedy sketch.
"He weighs nearly as much as me," I said, thinking that that information would help.
"It's hard to get on that raft," the pastor said.
"If he could put that weight into muscle, he would be a really strong kid," the guy who owns and the boat and who was driving it, said.
"weights," I said, "we could use some weights."
"It's really hard to get on that raft," the pastor said, "it's a lot bulkier than you think."
But when you are a little bulky yourself, it makes it that much harder, I thought but did not say.

By some miracle, through the help of the other two boys, my son got on the raft in a final yelp of triumph like a baby was being birthed, and off the boat went, dragging the raft behind it.

After that get together we took the kids to the local fireworks display once it was getting dark, and got in line for some kettle corn and cotton candy.
"What did you think of the raft?" I asked the man.
"I thought that our kids couldn't swim," he said.
"They seemed to have fun," I laughed.
"I was very nervous for her on that thing." He pointed to the Girl.
"You wouldn't look at me," I said.
"I was watching her!"
Apparently Dear Sir got scared out if his wits. I know that if something had happened (which nothing would because she had a life jacket on) the pastor, who was in a swim suit and who is incredibly athletic, would have jumped in to get her if Dear Sir or I were not fast enough. Dear Sir would most likely just push me in and say, "Save her!" if we were the only two on the boat. And it would be better that way because I could remind my daughter of how Ariel washed up on the shore in front of Prince Eric's castle and she didn't even cough or sputter.