Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bad News

My daughter wants a bunny.

She’s known for a while that people have pet bunnies, she just hadn’t considered becoming a bunny owner herself. That all changed last week when the mother of one of her friends asked her if she would like to have a bunny.

Um, let’s see…… nine year old girl with no “very own pet of her very own”- Heck yes! She would love a bunny. Now that you mention it, she would love 2 bunnies, 3 if you can spare them. Thanks so much for offering!!!

“Please mom!!” She didn’t waste a second with the begging and pleading and promising to be the best little bunny owner EVER.

“I’m so sorry, we are right in the middle of our remodel right now, we can’t take on any new pets until that it’s finished.”

Wouldn’t you know that won’t be a problem? The owner of the child who owns the bunnies hasn’t bred her rabbits yet. Though she does have 2, and she’s pretty sure she has one of each, she doesn’t want to “let them get busy” until she has homes for the babies.

It’s kind of like getting pre-sale tickets for New Moon, except the torture of the main event lasts longer than 2 hours. I’m pretty sure bunnies live like 2 weeks or something. Who ever heard of selling rabbits before they have even been conceived? Considering that your target audience is little girls between the ages of 5 and 12, and all of the things that could potentially go wrong with a scheme of this sort, it’s just a dramarama waiting to happen. The sort of thing I try to avoid.

My brother had a bunny, and it didn’t end well, so I figured he was the perfect person to explain why getting into the bunny business was a bad idea. That didn’t turn out quiet like I’d hoped; you can read all about it here.

So, finally I said “Look, bunnies are cute and soft and all, but the truth is they aren’t much fun. Also, do you really think it’s fair for a rabbit to have to live its whole life in a cage just so you can have something soft to pet twice a week?” Then I tried the old, “Besides, those cages get smelly and you don’t think I’m going to clean up after a bunny do you? No ma’am you would be on your own, and trust me, that’s gonna be a lot less fun than cleaning the litter box, which reminds me, we have a cat for Pete’s sake. How are you planning to keep the cat from eating the rabbit?” Then I took a breath and noticed that I was talking to myself because she had gotten bored with my lecture and wandered away.

I knew there was no choice but to involve my husband. This is a risky move because he has been known to be a.) a sucker when it comes to getting any kind of pet and b.) a giant sucker when his one and only little girl wants, well, pretty much anything. On the other hand, the kids know that, at least on the livestock front, if you can’t talk dad into it, it ain’t happenin’.

I explained our position on the whole bunny issue to him and made him repeat the key points back to me, then, with my fingers crossed I left him to read her a bedtime story and break the news. On my way out I heard him say “Mom wants me to tell you something….” Things were not looking good.

30 minutes later he emerged to tell me that her heart was completely broken but at least I was off the hook.

For now.

How do you feel about pets that have to be incarcerated? Or just bunnies in general? Am I a big meanie?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

If this keeps up we'll have to get some of those hand warmer thingies

(this picture is NOT from my front yard, apparently there is weather all over the place, who knew?)
This morning brought a change in our weather. It’s just a temperature drop, but around here we take what we can get. A high of 66 degrees is forecasted, not exactly the kind of thing that would be noticed by those guys over at the National Weather Service, but our kids sure noticed.

One left the house in a quilted flannel shirt (I didn’t even know we owned such a thing). Another was worried he might need gloves so his hands wouldn’t freeze as he rode his bike to school, and our daughter opted for shoes and socks instead of flip-flops, which as everyone knows, is a sure sign of winter.

I plan to wear a sweater. All day. Even if I start to sweat.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I should probably mention this post is L-O-N-G

*I just want to say, this post is long. Really long. Like a freaking novel long.
There were a lot of things going around in my head. The bottom line is we cannot forget that the war goes on and on and on. I recommend you read this post instead of mine, he says what I was trying to, but waaayyy better.

It’s hard to come up with things to write about, especially 4 times a week, most days I really have nothing to say, a fact clearly evidenced in my last post. Other times I have something to say, and a lot of it, but I’m either not sure how to say it or not sure if I ought to open my mouth. I try to keep it light here, what good would it do me to offend my half-dozen regular readers? Also, it’s my opinion that politics are best left at home. I’m probably not going to change your mind and you’re probably not going to change mine. I can live with that.

Most of the time.

I doubt I’m going to change anyone’s mind today, but I promised my brother I’d try to write 4 times a week, so this is what you’re getting today.

*Warning* It’s long, and opinionated, and frankly, at times, not exactly a straight route.

Over the weekend I read a book about conscientious observers during the Vietnam War, it was actually very interesting and it got me to thinking about my own son who is 18, draft age, and his ability to make combat type decisions when he barely seems to be able to make decisions about what to wear.

I was in the Army, I was 20 when I enlisted and I believe in defending the rights of not only the citizens of this country, but those who are not able to defend themselves. I believe in liberty and justice and the right to bear arms (to an extent). That said, there is, in my mind, a big difference between those who are unable to defend themselves and those who our government would like to see “democratized” so one hand can wash another. Then there is the whole, how does one (or a group of individuals) decide when it’s worth sacrificing lives in the defense of freedom, and how many lives before it’s not worth it anymore? (Don’t even get me started on the financial cost.)

Sunday morning I saw that there had been more bombings in Iraq, near the Green Zone where my father spent the better part of the last 5 years working for our government in an effort rebuild their military and infastructure. Many were dead and missing the story said. Later I read an article about D-day and the 3000 French civilians who were killed during the days leading up to the invasion as Allied forces bombed the area to prepare it. 3000 civilians.

By the end of the weekend I was feeling super uplifted and cheery.

Yesterday morning there was news of helicopters crashing in Afghanistan and the rising death toll from Iraq. Some days I read the news and I want to go back to bed. Maybe it’s because I was in the military, or because I grew up an Army Brat, or that I have sons who are, or soon will be, old enough to enlist. Maybe I'm just an overly sensitive emotional woman on the verge of menopause. Who knows, but I do think about it a lot. The military is not a bad life, but it is a different life, and I felt somewhat isolated from the rest of the world while I was part of it. When I think of soldiers past and present I am in awe of the sacrifices they make, usually on behalf of someone else. There are a few at the top making decisions, but the majority are just following orders. Sometimes they agree with those orders and other times they don’t but they still (usually) follow. Not all soldiers are brave, not all soldiers are upstanding citizens, but I happen to think most are.

After I read the draft book this weekend my husband and I had a conversation about war and being on the right side. The thing about war, the thing that keeps war going, is that BOTH sides think they're on the right side. Mothers in other lands love their sons just as much as I love mine and hope that the causes they fight for are just. Sometimes there’s no way of knowing until the dust clears.

My son is taking some crazy advanced government class at school and his teacher is having them do all of these assignments, you know, to get them to use their brains and have opinions of their own and to know WHY they feel the way they do about things. Quite a lofty undertaking for a high school teacher if you ask me, but it’s her headache, eh? Last night for homework he had to answer a questionnaire that would supposedly give him an idea of his political leanings.

I pause here to tell you that while I believe in leaving politics at home, if I happen to be at home, with people I trust (notice I did not say who “agree with me”) I will be more than happy to engage in a lively debate. I have actually seen my brothers argue quite convincingly for the other side, you know, for fun. I am also a huge advocate of my kids forming their own opinions and not taking mine or my husband’s or their friend’s as their own.

While he was answering his questions my son would stop every now and then to shoot one my way and ask my opinion. I’m proud (?) to say that some of that “use your own mind” crap must have sunk in, because there were several times he tried to convince me that my opinion was wrong. We might not agree on everything, but he got that debate gene from me, and that’s something right?

Today the headline that caught my eye was this; a man who has spent his adult years in either the military or other government service has resigned from his job because he believes that we, the United States of America, are doing more harm than good in Afghanistan. Read the article. It’s not a decision he came to lightly. He’s not a pacifist, he’s probably a Republican, and he thinks it’s time for us to admit we can’t fix things there.

Where the heck is she going with this, is that what you’re thinking? Or is anyone even still here?

I know that we all have a million day to day things that have immediate impact on our lives, like lead in face paint, the economy, and new i-phone apps. that consume our attention, but I feel that it is so very important that we remember that RIGHT NOW there are men and women in foreign lands fighting and dying for something that may or may not be right. And because those men and women made a choice to do that, my son won’t be forced to, and neither will yours. I don’t think we all need to make cookies or become pen pals with a soldier (though those are really nice things to do), but I think the least we can do is learn about and understand why they are being asked to be there, and if by some chance we have an opinion about it, maybe we can drop a line to someone in charge and ask them to please not forget that the conflicts we are involved in are not just ideas and charts, each and everyday men and women and children are dying on both sides, and if they wouldn’t mind could they make a plan to either get in and get it done or get the heck out, sooner rather than later. We don’t have to agree on the path, but I think we should all be able to agree that we need to stop wasting time and get on one.

Anywho, that’s what I’ll be doing this evening, instead of watching Fat Tracy whine her crazy self through another week of Biggest Loser, I’m going to write a couple letters. In all honesty, it will probably be less stressful.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Lisssping is NOT funny

It's not. I'm not even kidding one little bit. A few days ago we made a video for our family blog and my daughter asked why her voice sounded so weird on the recording, so I explained to her how most people don't recognize their voices when they hear them, but she sounds just the same to me. Then I recorded myself so she could hear my voice live and recorded, you know, to prove the point that both would sound the same to her. ---You are never going to believe this, but when my voice is recorded it doesn't sound the same at all, when my voice is recorded.......I have a LISP!!!! How on earth can that be?

At first I was in denial. How is it possible? I have 3 brothers, if I had a lisp wouldn't they have teased me during my youth? Of course they would have, have you met my brothers? Then there's the fact that I am like 80, or 41, or 26, years old. Wouldn't I know by now if I were a lisper? In all of these decades wouldn't someone have suggested speech therapy to me? HUH!? I'm telling you what, if they cared at all they sure would have!! Thanks Mom!!!Can you develop Late Onset Lisping? Is it contagious? What if I caught it from one of those kids I tutor at the elementary school?

Holy cow!! What if it'ssss true? What if I am a walking SSSNL ssskit? What if my friendsss make fun of me when I'm not around? What if that'sss why I can't make NEW friendsss?

When my kids came home from school I said "why didn't you guys ever tell me I have a lisp?" Of course they acted like they didn't know what I was talking about. But I know that's becasue they're teenagers and they just wanted to get away from me and make jokes about my speech impediment and also my perception impediment. Because, really, who doesn't know they lisp? No one that's who.

I'm left with no choice but to do what any self-conscious insecure woman would do. I've made a video of myself so you can decide. I realize that some of you have never heard my voice "live", if you'd like to call me I can speak to you on the phone, though now that I think about it, I fear the telephone also distorts my voice, because people are constantly asking me to repeat myself. I just figured they had poor connections.


ps. if you know what's good for you, and my self image, under NO circumstances will you make fun of my excessive blinking or that tendon in my neck that pops up sometimes.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I'm hooked on Willy Wonka and it's not pretty.
For starters here's today's lunch~

I know you are NEVER going to believe this, but they weren't even very good.  It's shocking that something with the name "Sploshberries" wasn't all that tasty, but they just didn't have any "zing". What's a sploshberry anyway? I suppose a better question is, what possesses me to buy this junk?  I don't even give it to my kids, I HIDE my leftovers.  I am a sad, sad woman. 8
Anybody else eat candy for lunch?

This is my "Keep Calm" themed calendar. The quote this month is exactly how I feel several times a week.
Apparently I have a problem.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Praise Be!

Our X-box has been repaired. That’s right, now you can all ditch your chores and come over to our house and play Halo II this weekend. (Prizes if you dress up.) I got an e-mail this morning from my friends at Microsoft letting me know that Satan’s Time Waste Machine is up and running and on its way back where it belongs.

Can you hear the angels singing?

Me neither.

The X-box came down with a virus about 6 months ago. First we thought it was the Ring of Death and everyone was all like “whoa, dude the Ring of Death, that sucks” and then they were like “At least it they’ll fix it for free” and then my kids were all like “moaahhhm, when are you gonna send the X-box in??!! don’t you love ussssss?”

I'm not ashamed to admit I DO love my kids, but I’m NOT in love with the X-box, I know a lot of mothers really like it when their kids spend hours playing and arguing over video games, but I'm not one of those popular moms and I wasn’t in any hurry to have the Ring of Death exorcised from its bowels. FINALLY, after a lot of foot draging and hemming and hawing, I couldn't put it off any longer so I got online and answered all of the questions and found out that our X-box was not as sick as we had originally feared/hoped. We were not dealing with the Ring of Death; instead we were facing the dreaded E-73 error. Which in addition to not having a cool name like “Quarter Circle of Death”, is like the swine flu’s weaker younger brother, and also not covered under the FREE repair section of our X-box HMO plan. No siree, turns out E-73 removal is like collagen injections, you know, an elective procedure, and has a $99.00 deductable, which I unfortunately had to inform my children I was not going to pay.

Universal Healthcare, yes. Universal Video Game System Repair, not so much.

When my sweet video game loving boys finally scraped their 9,900 pennies together I was left with no excuse for not sending the dang thing in, so I did. And now, after months of deprivation, it is on its way back where it belongs, our children can resume the mushing of their brains. Soon our halls will be filled with the harmonious sounds of Guitar Hero again.

Our home will be happy once more.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm just going to get some draino and one of those snake things

My husband had some lab work done a couple of weeks ago, and well.....the results were less than positive, if pressed, you might even call them negative.  We decided no more of this talking about eating healthier, it's time to take action.  I went to the library and checked out a few cookbooks and asked him to look through them and mark some recipes that he would be willing to eat.

And that's just what happened.  When I sat down to make a grocery list from the things he had picked out I found this marking his spot~

Looks good for your heart, right? Change is sooo much fun.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Maybe you've noticed

I’m more like an onion than a parfait.

I always tell my kids “You only get one chance to make a first impression”. It's true, I think people take note the first time they meet you, they kind of decide if they want to put any effort into getting to know you, or if you’re a nut they might decide if they want to keep their distance. That’s why I try to make a positive impression; I try not to be too nutty. It gives me a little cushion. I think I’m one of those girls who needs some cushion.

We moved into our new house a couple of months ago and now we’re in a new ward, I put on my outgoing, smiley, super friendly willing to pitch right in face so I could make a good first impression. Man is that exhausting.

Then I started to feel bad, because like an ogre, I have layers.

To the untrained eye I really am that first impression person, nice and helpful, quiet and kind. Then as you get to know me and peel back the layers you find I am still a nice person (mostly) and I really am always willing to help out, but I can also be sarcastic, and opinionated, sometimes silly and other times serious and not always the height of spirituality, actually at times quite the opposite, and mostly NOT quiet. Oh, and there's that dumb saying the wrong thing at the wrong time thing, it's charming. An enigma wrapped in a riddle, that's me. I don't even know who I am, how on earth am I supposed to wrap that up and present it to the world?! Huh?

Yeah, where was I going with this? Right.

I hate being the new girl. Everyone in my new ward has been very nice, very welcoming and genuine.  The problem is not them. It's ME.

You would think an old lady like me wouldn’t get so sweaty over not having a buddy to sit next to in Relief Society, but you’d be wrong, so very wrong. I feel like I’m in Jr. High. What if no one talks to me? What if someone does talk to me and I say something stupid? (Unfortunately the odds of that happening are higher than I like to admit.) What if they think I’m weird? What if I think they’re weird?

Also, there was this time right after I moved in that I may have totally blown it. I was at a “mid-week activity”, or whatever they’re called now, at my new ward, the kind of thing I usually skip but I was trying to make a good first impression and this woman came up to me and said, “Are you Sue?” I said yes, and then she told me her name and said she recognized me because she READS MY BLOG. She wasn’t yelling, it’s just seemed like it, because for some reason, the idea of someone that I don’t know RECOGNIZING me was, I don’t know, unreal. So instead of being flattered, or even friendly, I just sort of FROZE. Then I said a few super witty things like, “Uh” and “Oh” and “Doh!” Because, yes, I am a social retard.

Of course, after she backed away slowly (I’m sure she was silently praying she had mistaken me for someone else) I thought of at least a dozen (okay, 3) other ways I could have reacted if only I weren’t my own worst enemy. That was over a month ago, and I’ve barely been able to bring my self to make eye contact with this poor woman, or anyone else, in all that time because I’m so embarrassed that a person like me, with so much to say on her blog would have so little to say in person. I did finally say hi on Sunday and she didn't run screaming from the room, but that only proves that she has better people skills than I do, which we already knew because of the whole introducing herself in the first place thing.

I’m thinking of becoming a famous recluse. I just don't have the energy, or the skills aparently, to make good first impressions anymore and since I've already admitted that it's all down hill after the first time you meet me, why bother? Right? I know I can manage the recluse part, I’m going to watch Grey Gardens this week and see if I can pick up a few pointers. If you have any ideas as to how I can become famous I’d love to hear them. Unless they involve talking to real people, like in person, using my mouth to form words. Then I’m out.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I'm late getting this up, but in "honor" of Columbus Day I wanted to mention this book. It's about the first people to land on our continent and it ain't exactly the same story you heard in 3rd grade. I read it last year and found it very interesting and also a little horrifying. It makes one want to think twice before gloating about their ancestry. I think it's super important for us to know the real what's what of things lest we go around spouting that which we do not really know.
He also wrote this book which I liked even more -

It's about the Civil War, past and present and how in some parts of our country the the Rebel spirit lives on and the Confederacy is alive and well. (Or about as "well" as it ever was).

What I like most about Horowitz is the way he seems to try to capture all sides of the story, he goes to great lengths (not to mention distances) to deliver the whole, um, you know, kit & caboodle, it's kind of a sometimes funny, sometimes serious, fact filled, travelogue. What more could you ask for?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yesterday was a success

Inspired by this.

I braved that~

And baked these~

Victory is mine!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oh.. when I said tomorrow... did you think I meant TODAY?

You know, when I said I was going to tell you a funny story about my mom tomorrow/today? Sorry.  I had a crappy morning and wasn't really up to finishing and editing a funny story.  Let's shoot for tomorrow, shall we?  But don't get your hopes up, in all likelihood it just one of those dumb things that's only funny to me.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

At least that's what I think should happen

*We interrupt our irregularly scheduled blogging for this important tirade. Our apologies to those of you who do not watch/or have not watched your DVRed episode of The Biggest Loser*

What on earth is going on over there in Biggest Loserville?

Someone is clearly asleep in the rule shack. Or maybe there isn’t a rule shack, maybe this isn’t even a RULE issue, maybe this is a common sense issue. I don't care what KIND of issue it is, but I do think we need get to the bottom of it. (and by WE I mean YOU over there at NBC who's job it is to get to the bottom of stuff like this)

Listen, I’m all about fair shakes and all that crap, but seriously, come on! That Tracy is a loser, and I don’t mean loser in the way you would expect me to mean loser when referring to a show about, um, big losers. I’m mean loser like “Hello, what’s up with this loser?!”
I’m just going to cut to the chase and ask--, Why is she still there? She can’t exercise, she can’t participate in the physical challenges, and if you ask me (which I totally realize you didn’t) she seems a little shifty. Yeah, I know, shiftiness is no reason to be tossed from a reality show; I just thought I’d throw that in there.

The way I see it, coming to “the ranch” healthy (you know, as healthy as a 350 lb person can be), working out for a week or six and then getting stress fractures that make it impossible to exercise is one thing. I can even see giving that person a chance to recover and continue on. (Though as we have seen this week with the whole Tom Delay tragedy, overcoming stress fractures is easier said than done, even when you have a heart of gold, great teeth and a really good partner) Sadly this is not the case with our Tracy. This woman has yet to set foot in the gym yet 4 people who could and were more than willing to participate and needed the help just as much as Tracy have been sent on their way. Frankly, I’m starting to feel a little irritated about it. I know controversy and contention sell, but I think I speak for everyone, or at least myself, when I say “Give me a break!!”

I know she wants to be there, I get that she doesn’t think she can lose weight at home, but for crying out loud, this woman can barely walk up the stairs to get on the scale. SEND HER HOME!!

That’s it. Tomorrow I’m going to tell you a story about my mom. It’s funny. Don’t be late.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

And one more thing.....

This morning I was on hold for a little while and I got to hear a recorded loop of important health related information that our doctor has started using in place of the easy listening radio station I used to enjoy so much (really, hardly anyone plays the BeeGees anymore), in addtion to being told how often I should have my cholesterol levels checked, I learned that his office is very pleased to welcome Dr. Newlady to the "team". I was so thrilled to hear of her “special interest in cosmetics” but most of all that she is “skilled in the administration of Botox.” Because you know, maybe while I’m over there later waiting for my kids to get swabbed for swine flu, I’ll just have her “administer” some toxin into my forehead. My worry lines are getting out of control.

Is Botox mainstream now? Do regular people get it? Or have it done, or whatever the proper usage is. (I know people can be sensitive about things like that, for example, my husband has told me over and over how he hated it when his mom would ask him if he was “using marijuana” instead of “smoking pot”, he couldn’t even continue the conversation when she did that. I just want to make sure I’m not upsetting anyone.) When I think of Botox, I think of those rich ladies, you know, like on CSI Miami, or Dallas. But if my family dr. is advertising it on his hold recording, if you can get it "administered" by the same person who gives you a flu shot, apparently I have missed the Botox boat. Not that I would have gotten on the Botox boat if I had known it was at the dock, but I do like to know what’s shakin around the PTA, if you know what I mean.

Speaking of the PTA, can I ask you a question? What do you call your children’s teachers? And if you are a teacher, what do you want to be called? I never know what's up these days. By habit (and maybe some respect mixed with a little fear) I always call them Mr. or Mrs. But what about when they write a note and sign their first name? Isn’t that an invitation to be familiar? Or what if they are 20 years younger than you are? What if once, at an awards assembly, they squatted and you (and the whole 2nd grade) saw their thong?

Here’s something else I’ve been thinking about, does anyone really eat vanilla flavored Tootsie Rolls? And why are they even in the bag of “Fruit Flavored Tootsie Rolls”? Vanilla isn’t a fruit. Is it?

Also, what’s the point of even having an unfasten your seatbelt signal on an airplane if they are going to tell you to please keep your seatbelt fastened at all times, even if the captain turns on the remove your seatbelt signal? Is it some kind of power struggle between the Pilot and the Flight Attendants?

Starsky or Hutch? I mean, you know, if you had to pick just one.