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.