Wednesday, November 18, 2009

High Fly

I sat at the kitchen table tonight, with son. We both looked at the pancake mix on the counter that should have long ago been put away - by whoever had used it, I might add. He was insightful enough to catch my vibe ~~~ and lobbed it, from a sitting position, straight into the pantry cupboard (that yes, was left unattractively open all day.)

My point, you ask? In a boy home like this?

Everything Must Be Thrown In Our House.

It is not my rule -- I assure you. Still it has sunk in like a molasses I can't dissolve.
Around here "please pass the---- (. . . whatever it is)" really means please pass the -- whatever it is!

If God had wanted me to catch, He would have sent me here as a baseball mitt. I've had a heck of a time learning how to catch keys, the salt & pepper, presents, laundry, milk jugs, remotes, and scissors successfully. And yes, I use the term 'successfully' very loosely.

Not many people know I was the star player of kickball in my elementary school days. Well, the star girl player anyway, after all the boys were picked for sides.
Still - I could kick, yell, and run like nobody's business ( . . all talents that would come in handy in my future career as mother and wife).
But also -- back then -- I could catch!

Something happened in those years of giving birth. My shoe size grew with each pregnancy (not so pleasant), and my catching reflexes morphed into slow motion, before disintegrating entirely.
I've got hearing like Superwoman - (should you decide to complain or moan at me from two bedrooms, one hallway, and a bathroom away - beware) ~~~ but catching? That's gone to pot.

But men throw, toss, or chuck all the time.

I'm unable to catch anything anymore.
I can't tell you how many times I've been hit in the face with pencils, a ketchup bottle, and gardening tools. I have literally become a spectacle, as my loved ones (male family, that is) laugh, gawk, and guffaw til their eyes water.

Great. I've got the kind of sensitive men who don't cry at movies or weddings -- but when mom tries to catch.

It doesn't matter to them if I have my palm open for the hand-off -- it automatically looks like an invitation to throw something at me.
It's also not a blast being constantly inferior when I'm just trying to blend-in.

Case in point. Sitting car to car at Sonic, I tried to toss Hubby a jalapeno-popper through the window from two feet away and beaned his car door so hard it left a dent.

I still know how to throw-up or throw a fit. But so do toddlers . . . so that doesn't exactly make me feel like a genius.
So I can't catch? Do I care? No!

I'm just going to have to concentrate on what I know. I can pick things up with my feet and put mascara on while I drive.
If that doesn't make you want to pick me for your team . .
. . . well it's your loss.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Every Day's Halloween

October, and it's very scary around here.

I got a good look at how many cobwebs are everywhere in the house. It's all coming back to me that I don't think I've dusted since 2004. And the 'sponged' paint job in the upstairs hall--that I thought was to die for seven years ago--really is to die for in 2009. I must repaint before the end of this year. Something soothing, happy, spa-like, and California cool.

Yesterday on the Sabbath, I looked truly ghoulish. But it would have been better if I'd meant to look that way. Or if I'd discovered it before leaving the house for church.

unclasped, half zippered skirt.
paint in hair
lipstick on teeth
deodorant on blouse

I'm happy nobody screamed when they saw me coming down the hall. --Pretty sure I should'a been given a heads-up by a loved one, on my appearance.
Let the masses know, --that when a person has spinach in their teeth or toilet paper on their heel . . you should tell them. The same goes for dresses unlatched and zippers down, k?  If I'm missing a shoe, have my shirt on inside-out, or gum on my lapel, --please, be kind enough to take me aside and enlighten. Is that too much to ask?

(I hear Hubby snicker as I write these instructions, because for him corrections to my person are a no-win.)
(Point taken. So I suppose the men should all stay out of this. Unless there's roast beef or nooky involved, you're not really paying that much attention anyhow, right?)

Scary that all my blogs have some sad, pathetic, or embarrassing story to tell, and every other American homemaker's blog belongs in Country Living magazine for it's adorableness, or on Good Morning America for it's flawless family'ness.   Perfect blogs make coveting shivers run up and down my spine.

Doggy fur is everywhere. She is brushed and brushed and still she sheds. Part Werewolf, do you suppose? The air has become so thick with pet fuzz, I don't know whether to rake autumn leaves, or my family room couch.

I'm old. I'm an old, old fart. And like a witch.
Something was plucked, from some where on my body, at some length, that I can't even share with you -- or you would have nightmares through to next October.

I'm taking a Modern Art course.   I recognize my butt looks like a Picasso. Trick? Or Treat?

Wicked. My tub is wicked. If I don't clean it tomorrow - I will ship it to LAPD Forensics for lab-work studies. A gift from me to them. You know, like how people donate cadavers for greater learning?  For all their skill, I will still have to attach a little note that reads, "Yes, this is a tub."

The best I can hope for is that maybe by Christmas, at least some of the scare here will be covered by pine needles, candle wax, or goodwill.  Because what I'll do to a kitchen at Thanksgiving, will be nothing short of horrifying.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dirty Laundry

Ahh, if only for the days of yesteryear . . . when it didn't matter if you were clean or not, if your clothes hadn't been washed since winter, or if the berry picking and fox hunt of spring still lingered on your pantaloons.

Remember how Buttonman . . or any Buttonman, was supposed to fix my washing machine? Well it's still not fixed . . . and we've been waiting for parts for close to three weeks now. Oh how, oh, I wish they'd never invented clothes (--well, except for a good muumuu).

Something learned on this dirty adventure is that I seem to have become an Elitist, --because I'd rather wear something wrong sized, wrong seasoned, or just plain soiled, than go to use a public laundromat. I'm sorry you have to read of such snobbery, but it's true.

Have you seen the inside of a laundromat lately ?? Well I haven't either . . but I'm sure every Tom, Dick, and Harriot hillbilly is washing tennis shoes, fishing vests, and wrestling leotards in those machines -- not to mention cloth diapers! (thanks, Obama.)

And we (I) have sunk to new depths around the homestead, just to keep me from having to go to one such place.
Where the boys have thought me a fairly whippet clean freak . . they now hear things like 'if it ain't standing on it's own --wear it again!!' and 'clean hands warm heart, dirty shirt looks smart', and 'yeah, well, no one ever said it'd be easy . . --you just assumed it'd be washed.'

Trying to stay above the influx of fouled apparel, I have traveled hither and yon borrowing any machine besides a public one. I'm like that annoying bachelor who rotates around his friends' apartment couches instead of getting one of his own.

Other people's washing machines are my heroin.

Worse yet, I think I may have accidentally left my backup-granny-panties in some dear friend's machine . . but I can't remember who's! So it's been like tracking down a crime (--cause those granny's really are a crime . . . )
And if my friend's hubbytype I sit next to in Sunday School finds them first, I will never be able to live with myself, or speak of the gospel in front of him again. How can I read scripture out loud when I know my super knickers are hanging in his laundry room ?? Somehow I must get his wife to explain they're a fancy shower cap . . and leave it at that.

Last week I had my teen bring and do two loads at his buddies house while he hung out. (Of course I asked the mom first . . )
Later Teen'son told me . . and get this . . .

' . . I don't want to do laundry all the time!' (two loads)

. . . Well, I guess you won't want to grow up to become your wife then, --because . . . HELLO!

Today I at long last concluded being a washing machine elitist wasn't so easy on gas and friendships, --and I finally hit the public domain.
Once I got my clothes past the clientele's cigarette smoke it was rather smooth going. The machines were tiny and only offered twenty-eight minute cycles (is that enough to clean 'smells-like-teen-spirit' ?) . . but in no time it was over and I was home, -having successfully made a small 3-load dent in my 50-load-mother-of-a-habit.

I can feel it in my psyche --my machine's parts are going to come tomorrow.

And yeah, so what. It's official. --I enjoy homemaking best with all the in-home modern day conveniences.
You can sue me.
Just don't make me do dishes at the dish-o-mat.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Button Envy

By now you can tell Hubby's and my relationship is a little different than most. But in one aspect I suspect it is similar to most every other male-female relationship in the world. That is, --the button is his first love. I sometimes think my male even loves buttons more than he loves me.

Of course I don't mean the sew-on kind, --but the round pushable things that often accompany electronics, power, or heavy equipment.
. . . in fact, I've actually heard him mumble in his sleep --not "Bliss, Oh Bliss" . . but "button . . button, who has my button? . . ."

On a recent car ride with the Hubs, I attempted to poke at the temperature controls protruding from my side of the dash--otherwise known as His territory. I was quickly chastised as Hubby decreed all knobs impeccably positioned, and our environment unalterably the "perfect temperature."
And then he uttered the words I will forever mock him for "you will never win an argument about temperature with me, so don't even try!"

First of all, that's just plain funny.
You have to admit, --you can so hear random hubby's of all-walks, throwing out a sentence like that.
It's like, okay dude, okay. You be in charge of 'temperatures'. That'll be yooouuur little baby.

Second of all . . .


What about when it comes to sticking thermometers into baby's butts . . or . . say . . at what temperature the hard-ball-stage in candy making is determined? Or maybe, I dare say, at what future menopausal temperatural-state my hot flashes will deem I smack to smithereens anyone who offends me over how cold, or warm I am?
Will I ever become adept at those such things??

And, um, kind sir, -- even now, I may just know the teensiest bit more about what air temps I like blowing on my face and legs, than someone, say . . who is not in my skin!
That's like suggesting I will never win an argument about what flavor ice cream I like best.

So, buttons (and obviously, temperatures), are big in my home, let me tell you. It's like world powers go straight from heaven, to buttons -- and All Rule Who Rule The Button.

(It's a little known fact, by the way, that the caveman made the wheel because it greatly resembled a large pushable button. The whole 'able to travel' or 'introduction of the cart and wagon' --- was just a lucky by-product.)

I have a hard enough time just getting to touch a button past all the testosterone flailing around here. ~~But forget if I even go so far as to verbalize a button question out loud! I mean those controls are swiped so fast from my hands, the breeze tugs at my jowls.

I need only ask for the slightest usage explanation on something like keyboards, ipods, automatic openers, media, cameras, or remotes, --and they are ripped from my grasp. How it is I am to learn anything about pushing buttons, I don't know, when every explanation involves secret codes being entered above my eyesight, and at lightening speeds the likes of which only NASA engineers can interpret.

On the upside, our washing machine control board is broken . . and at this very moment one of the household button Masters (the cute one, that I sleep with), has it taken apart and cleared for re-booting. I gotta admit, not having to call in an Outside-Button-Pusher for a thing like this is nice. --Plus it wouldn't likely go well anyways . . --like inviting a cock-fight of the button-know-it-alls right into my own laundry room.

I'm a simple woman.
If I can still be in charge of colors and feelings, I won't rock the button boat.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Help

The Help is getting reeaally weak, let me tell you.

It's not the world my grandparents grew up in, that's for sure. I feel like they had nothing but Jimmy Stewarts' helping them buy suits, Donna Reeds' at the makeup counter, and Gomer Pyles' filling their cars with gas.

I just came home from a trip (twenty miles, that is) to Old Navy, only to find a hearty plastic security tag still screwed tightly to my son's jeans. Why it didn't beep when we left the store, I don't know. But the bigger question is why the little girl ringing us up didn't remove it! To my understanding, she has two jobs. One, 'remove security tags' and Two, 'take our money.' (Lord knows saying thank you, smiling, or being helpful --- have long since been dropped from the common employees to-do list.)
Yes - I usually recheck my purchases for mischarges or stuck tags, because this ain't my first time at the rodeo. But gimme a break.

At the slight chance this may have truly only been a simple case of retail-clerk human error, please allow me to be unforgiving for at least the length of this blog. I've done my time being patient in malls and stores. Believe me. And fyi -- I am under strict orders not to get sassy to deserving store employees while my children are still standing next to me. I am supposed to give them some hand-signal-of-evacuation that affords them the opportunity to run like a Marine when I feel the urge to start any necessary 'talks' with The Help.

At home I fantasize how when I call Old Navy  (as my teen cries 'It's fine! It's fine! It doesn't matter! Don't call!' from behind me)  ( . . right . . I can't even look at you cross-eyed -- you're going to wear a 3-inch metal dinghy stuck to your hip all school year?) ---they will surely apologize, or share a way for me to remove the device by myself, or offer some sort of discount if I drive all the way back. I know Old Navy school must have taught The Help that much about customer service, during their half day of sorta-corporate training? ~~Or, maybe they really do only teach them how to hold a twenty to the light.

Soooo -- yup.

'Just bring it here and we'll take it off,' I hear during my phone call to them.

'Um, I figured as much. My problem, you see, is the opportune time to have taken it off would have been when I was at your store. It's a real pain to drive all the way back now-from half an hour away. '

'What do you want me to say?

(--I am now envisioning passionate plans to headbutt Brittany when I get there. --Straightaway look for Britt, and headbutt her--)

'Well, for instances, I was hoping you could tell me of something I might do at home to clip it off.'


'Is there anything else we can do about this?--'

'Uh, I'm busy with a customer right now'  (I guess I am a has-been customer?) . . can you hold--' (attitude, attitude)

No! I don't want to hold!  And so, in her monumental effort to make me either be quiet, or hang-up, Brittany succeeds---

There was no 'I'm sorry' or 'I understand' or 'What can we do to make this right, as your business and happiness mean everything to us here at your semi-local Old Navy.'

Now I fully realize real Christians don't let this kind of stuff get under their skin. They're all patient, and whatnot. But there are certain things about society that are really starting to get on my religious, and non-religious nerves.
Things like this . . and I would have to be like Super Dooper Born-Again to not act at least a little non Born-Again about it. It's not the accidentally left on device (if indeed, it was accidental and not just lazy) that gets me most, --but the whole 'who-cares' that goes with it, and woeful work ethic.

So why is it, you ask, --did I even bother with the phone call and not just clip it off myself?

First because, like I said, I fantasized that the call might have been of some help, somehow . . . but even more, --do you remember the buzz about these little babies being full of ink? Am I the only one that thinks that anymore?
All I had needed was for Navy Brittany to confirm it was no biggy to clip it off -- but she wouldn't fess up.
So I'm upset nuts-with-the-world, . . and meanwhile Hubby has slipped out back with son's new jeans, son's friends, and is about to go MythBusters on said-security-tag.
All fine and dandy til someone loses an eye, --or worse yet is sprayed with pink-bankrobber-dye, for their first day of school.

I bellow - and the mob at least consent to holding a sandwich baggy around the device before the clipping commences.

Sure enough in no time all jeans are freed, the men feel like studs, --and I'm not traipsing back to Old Navy --which was of course my original goal. But now, frankly, I am feeling more than a little peeved over the spoiled Brittany-Headbutting plans.

More Bliss complaining:

At the Cloth World counter yesterday, two young adults came up to where I was making a return. I assumed they were there to get thread for the grunge holes in their shirts, or some craft tool to retrieve the rings from their noses, but no, --they were job searching.

"Can I get an application?" asks the boy to the clerk. She hands him one and then, "oh, I guess, me too," adds the girl who's with him . . . like it's a total afterthought. Then the boy asks the clerk, "and do you have a pen or pencil I could use?"

I mean, how can I not be excited, right? The future Help right before my eyes! From what I can tell--and I don't want to judge--but I think they'll do wonderfully. Really on their game. Go that extra mile for a customer. Say 'thank you' when you've spent bucks. And dig deep for hidden or not-so-hidden security devices.

My shopping life blows.
Either that, or what can I say? I'm old, and I'm cranky.
You do the math.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Quality Time

You can learn a lot from an episode of Cops. Had I only known, I wouldn't have avoided it all this time. Just yesterday the boys and I got to catch a show after crashing together in the family room.

And for once, I had the remote. After finally, finally, getting a healthy lesson on TV remote control usage (hey - the men were leaving for Scout camp . . I had to give in or it could have been a long week of something awful, like no HGTV!) --I finally know my way a bit more around the television.

Well needless to say, I am all fingers now. If I'm not mistaken, --I even recorded something using the cable dvr, while they were gone at camp.
And I meant to do that!

Anywhooo, the poor bad guys, of Tacoma, Washington. I mean, that place is crawlin' with cops . . from what I could see. And surprisingly I found it not as hard as you'd think to find comparisons in those reality scenes, to one's own life.


First thing we see is four cops runnin' their you-know-what's off, to catch some Superbad. I mean there was panting, sweating, and bumbling like you wouldn't believe. I thought to myself, 'Man! That bad guy must be able to run!"

Turns out, all of the cop'rs suddenly turn a corner and bam! There he is, the bad guy, --sleeping under a blanket, by a chainlink fence, the whole time!


Yeah, --everyone's going full steam, like crazy, and all they needed is to pull this dude out of bed! Well, the cops start yelling at him, banging at him, pullin' the blanket off, threatening taser action . . their dog is yelping and barking and yelping, --pulling at the dude's ankle with his teeth . . and I turn to my 18 year old and remark, "hey, --that's just like when we're trying to get you out of bed at eleven o'clock in the morning!"

For some reason, he totally didn't get it, I guess, --and takes off in a huff. Why?

Next scene, some criminal is dashing from his car, and making a break for it to the nearest concrete runoff tunnel, by the freeway. Well, I can certainly see why he is in such a dang hurry . . because his pants are about to completely fall off! And then, in no time at all, he can't even move, 'cause those jeans were so low on his hip - his belt was screamin' for mercy. Next thing you know, bam! The pants are at his ankle, and he isn't going anywhere. How humiliating!
"Wow!" I motion to another son, "that goes to show what a pickle you'd be in should your legs ever have to actually travel at any real speed, wearing what you wear. ---And there'll certainly be no escaping the police with your pants like that!"

He leaves the room too. Another one bites the dust? What for? This show is just getting good.

Next we see three cops banging and banging on someones door. "Open up . . Open up!" they yell. "Is anyone there? Is anyone home? Answer the door!"
Well of course, we, the audience, know someone has gotta be in there . . but they are not responding in a timely manner, at all! What's their problem? --you have to ask yourself. Don't they know they are only going to get in more trouble?? Then, just as you think one of those good officers is about to bust the door down, --some nut cracks it open and says, "Huh? What? . . Um, didn't hear you officer . . . Sorry."

"Would you look at that?" I say to one dear son left in the room. "That reminds me of when the phone is ringing, or the doorbell is going - and you guys don't lift a finger because, as you say, it's 'probably not even for you.' Look what could happen next time you blow off the phone or the door just because you don't feel like getting up -- You might be going down for the count, man! . . Would you look at that!"

For some reason my boy shoots me the stink eye, and goes to find something else to do.

Can't a girl have any fun around here??

Now it's just Hubby and I. I pat his leg and purr, "I wonder what they're going to enlighten us with next, Hon, don't you? . . This is like a party game, or something!" He mumbles about liking me better before I knew how to find all the channels, and leaves to find his compadres.

Well then, it only took fifteen minutes of MommyTime for me to clear the room. Doesn't exactly make me feel loved, now does it!
I guess next time I'll just have to keep all my helpful commentary to myself. No Big'ee. But I gotta tell you - I don't know what good that's going to do anyone~~

Monday, July 20, 2009


It wasn't that long ago we were teens ourselves, the Hubby and I, ---and so believe me when I tell you, we know how to roll.

I know, I know . . most parents think they 'still got it.'
And parents before us, thought they 'still had it.'

But believe me when I tell you, we 'still got it' . . even if we are the only ones who know it.

Our boys didn't write the book on having lame parents (like that would happen--)
--It's been written before. Like a billion quadrillion times. And sometimes--I might add--by kids who actually read!

I mean come on! Who do they think we are? Now that Hubby and I have lived on both sides of the fence. We're experts. We can get inside a kid's head like nobody's business. In fact as the latest generation of parent-types, we should be the Darwin theory-like most adapted and functioning of our time! Double-in-fact, --so adapted are we in our position as head of the pack, we're downright . . freakish!

Do I remember my teen years? Like they were yesterday! And don't forget, --Hubby and I are from the eighties! (for heaven's sake) --and who knew cool better than the 80's (and a bit of 70's), I ask you?

We may not have stuff like Flock of Seagulls, un-airconditioned cars, and Tab soda anymore, but . . .
(---well, maybe aged Flock still plays at county fairs . . . and Hubby is driving ala'-unairconditioned because all fix-it money went to the kid's car, and Red Bull's like, twenty-six Tabs in-one . . . so sure - some similarities within the decades still exists.)

All the more to prove we totally understand this younger generation! Right? Ultimately - the Hubs and I generally know what's up, and deserve much more uber-respect.

"You can't talk that way to me, child!"

I saw ELO laserium at the LA Griffith Observatory! (and not a one of us wore seat belts all the way there!) I watched Three's Company when my parents weren't looking! A girl in my high school English class drove a Pinto!

I danced to Jefferson Starship and Spandau Ballet, feathered my hair, and wore the original hip-huggers! Eric Estrada filmed an episode of Chips down the street from me! We drank Coke from a glass bottle! Listened to music on a transistor! We ran out of TV shows at nightfall, liked polyester, and rode in a station wagon with backward facing seats. Don't mess with us!

Keep on Truckin'
Have a Nice Day
I'm a Pepper
Who ya gonna call?
Hang Ten
I'm what Willis was talkin' about!

The Other Side of the Mountain . . . . pal!

Parents before us lived through the depression and fought in the war, yes.
--Apples and oranges.
Hubby and I experienced all the heck we needed-soup to nuts-to relate perfectly to these little buggers.

So why is it then our sons' think we don't know our backside from our front??
I've know my backside from my front since before they were a twinkle in their father's eye! And they look nothing alike!

We're cool. We're hip. We're wise.

We're tired. We're poor. We're throwing darts in the dark.

Either way ( . . the Manual says . . ) something will stick.

( . . . that, or somebody's going to lose an eye.)