Saturday, January 31, 2009


  The switch behind my left ear must have accidentally been turned to "harumph" mode.

I tried resetting the switch back to "hehehaha" mode, but it didn't stick.  In consulting the owners manual I discovered that the switch may become broken in one of several circumstances, including-but not limited too-overflowing laundry baskets, head congestion, naughty children, dirty floors, too much TV, running out of hot-water, frizzy hair, and water-weight-gain.  It may be compounded by too many late nights in a row and wake-you-up-screaming-nightmares.
Suggestions for repair include: rest, plenty of water, spinach, and a good laugh.  These remedies are most effective when electronics are turned off. (ESPECIALLY alarm clocks.)

Friday, January 30, 2009

(blank inside)

I've got nothin'.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Its Not a Party if we're Not Talking Poop!

You KNOW that's true!
What do mom's talk about when they get together?
Jane's learning to walk
Jack got a new tooth
Bob's been so busy at work he never helps...with the diapers...
and speaking of diapers...

Its a poop fest everytime mom's get together.

But how often have you been mid battle-poop discussion when a flock of pigeons flew over and carpet bombed the area?

There's no "May have" been about it... These are things that were actually said:

"So, let me get this straight, in one 3 minute conversation we've gone from Butt Licking to Eating Bird Brains?"

"Its MEAT and its a LOAF...and everybody's going to eat it"

"I'm a happy boy! hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba"

"Oh, so do it the way Jp and I play fight?"

"I'm gonna go like this..."

"I just don't really feel like eating"

"I asked her about Barney, she said 'No, his name is Mr. Purple"

"Oh, not that again, I got that in jail!"

"What I should have said was...his little dog spot got hit by a car-hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba"

"Who are we kidding, we both know you'll be more comfortable in the guest room"

"Hey buddy, you are really tempting your mom to kick you"

"I leaned in for a kiss, and you punched me!"

"I still want a kiss"

"Is that girl wearing a SNUGGIE?...On an Eliptical Machine? "

"Who's baby farted?"

"I'd like a King Bed at a Queen Price"

"Are you allowed to let us in here?"

"Its crazy, but its well done crazy"

"Our next house is going to have a water closet"

"I learned that on Yo Gabba Gabba Gabba Gabba Gabba!"

"Is WEDGE his REAL name?!"
*inspired by SharkBait's "Things I may or may not have said"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

There seems to be a disconnect

I've mentioned a few of these things previously, but I feel the need to beat the dead horse.

There seems to be a disconnect between my self-perception and the way I am perceived by those around me.

Let me explain.

When I look in the mirror, I see that I am 40-60 lbs overwieght.  I see that my legs are getting vericose veins, I see that my chin is dangerously near double.  I see the grey hairs popping out in all their squirrely gloriousness, and lets not even mention those ones on my chin.  I see the hand-me-down pants, and the inexpensive (ok CHEAP) shirts that I match them with.  Intellectually, I know that the mirror is telling the truth.  I am a late thirty-something, mother who enjoys cookies and bread a little too much and has not yet accepted her no-longer 20 something body and so refuses to spend decent money on decent clothing. ( because what if I lose the weight and all that money is wasted on clothing I can't wear.) I can see that I do not resemble an olympic gymnast, a world-class surfer, or even an avid hiker.  Intellectually I know that my outward appearance is starting to look pretty shabby.  And yet, when I'm not looking in the mirror, and I am seeing myself only in my periferal vision, all I see is a reasonably well dressed, athletic young mother.  I feel reasonably pretty, and I like myself.  I feel capable, and up for a challenge.  So even though I can see in the mirror that my outward appearance is not matching my inward self-concept, I am still surprised when people say things to me that indicate that the mirror isn't broken and really is the one telling the truth here.

Case in point:

Gabriel told me "Mom, I know you'll never get your yellow belt, front snap kicks are really hard"-so I don't look like I can do a front snap kick to my five year old son.  What have I really done to prove to him that this is a skill I would posess?  Nothign I can think of, so I'll prove him wrong in my own time.
At Karate the other night I was working really hard.  I don't want to just go there and sweat a little bit, I really want to learn the skills necessary to progress through the belt system.  I was really giving it my all.  When one of the instructors came to me with a kick-pad to strike I did it! I did it well, I felt great about the way I kicked it.  There was plenty of force behind it and I gave that pad a loud "thud" with my foot.  I liked the way it felt, and I was not surprised at all that I was able to do it.  However...the instructor sure was! His comment?-"Wow, I wasn't expecting you to do that as well as you did." I took it as the compliment it was meant to be, but it definitely added "proof" to my theory that perhaps other people are seeing what I see in the mirror, and not what I feel inside.
And then there was the comment from JP about being marshmallow-y.  Like I said I can SEE it, but I don't really FEEL it, and so it came as a shock to me that he SEEs it.  I don't know why it was a shock, obviously people can't read my mind and even if I did try to perform some kind of mind-meld, chances are good they would still see with their eyes and not my emotions.
It feels really weird, like perhaps I've been lying to myself.  Except that I spent so much time as a young woman thinking I wasn't good enough, attractive enough, talented enough, or whatever else "enough" that I hate to give up this feeling of being ok with myself as-is, even though I know that the "as-is" in the mirror could use a little sprucing up.
And maybe that's all that's necessary.  I did a "deep cleaning" and "took out the trash" a long time ago, maybe its just time to finally put on some fresh paint.  Shopping anyone?

 ( have I mentioned that I used to love to shop but these days shopping gives me gastric distress? I'm not joking, shopping and me dont get along.  If I could have a guilt-free weekend with a budget that I had prior clearance to spend on me and no whiny kids to tag along, maybe I could enjoy it, I don't know.  Somehow I can't believe that I wouldn't still end up feeling guilty...ah the wonders of motherhood.)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Have YOUR kids been to the NED show?

My suspicions ran high when we got a flyer home that the NED show was coming to our school and special NED merchandise would be available for 5 days following the show...something told me, this is not good.

Now, I know that Never Give Up, Encourage Others, and Do Your Best are messages that all kids need to hear. I can't think of a single kid that doesn't need to hear that, in reference to how to interact socially. But the message my son came home with wasn't exactly "Never Give up and You can Be the President" or "Encourage Others and you'll be a great leader" or even "Do Your Best and you will excell". The message my son came home with was more along these lines...

Never Give Up-if you beg incessantly, there is every possibility that your mother will break down and buy you a yo-yo that you won't be able to make do any of the tricks we showed you today.

Encourage Others-to buy you the damn YO-YO!!!

Do Your Best-to make sure that your mother knows that the message you left the NED show with is that becoming an owner of a YO-YO is the number one way to excel in life, school, and everything.

(oh, and also, if you eat a tissue the right way, you'll be able to spit out little bits of colored ribbon.)

So, thank you NED show, for using cultural values that our children desperately need to sell product to them. Product that will probably get lost in the bottom of the "junk-toy" bucket. Or, if it is actually used and mastered, create a child who is shunned by his classmates as being weird because all he thinks about is Yo-yo's. You're awesome NED, you're a master of marketing.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I've been a bit of a lemon lately...that is to say, not one but two of my best-blogging-buddies sent the "when life gives you lemons" award my way well over two weeks ago, and I have yet to do anything about it. Admittedly, I'm never quite sure what to do with awards. I like recieving them, but I always feel funny about posting them. I'm not sure why that is exactly.

So let it be known, I enjoyed recieving the "When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade" award for being a pro at finding the good or the funny in every situation. (or at least the ones that I write about).

In honor of the award, here's a recipe for lemon bars, if you have a better one, forward it too me, because these aren't perfect. I have only had the perfect lemon bar once and I can't seem to find a recipe that matches it!

These are perfectly enjoyable though.

1/3 C Butter
1 C Sugar
1 C Flour
2 Eggs
2 T flour
2 t. lemon zest
3 T lemon juice
1/4 t. baking powder

beat butter until fluffy, add 1/4 c. Sugar
beat until combined. Beat in 1 C flour until crumbly. Press into bottom of 8x8 baking pan. Bake @ 350 15-18 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients, beat for 2 minutes. Pour over hot baked crust. Place back into oven 20 more minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar when done baking.

Friday, January 23, 2009

In Case you Missed it

Over the weekend sometimes reading lists get a little Krazee with a "K" so in case you share the same secret as me (sometimes I just hit "mark all as read" and start fresh...) I wanted to make sure you got the announcement!

Sit. Back. Down. you freak, there aren't any

hmmm, maybe there should be...

well, back to my original topic, my super talented, super beautiful sister who is mother of 5 boys and photographer extraordinaire has decided to join us here in our virutal neighborhood. She just launched her BLOG last Friday night, but you're invited to go introduce yourself as the kindly neighbor you are and leave her the equivalent of a plate of chocolate chip cookies and a pass along card in her comments section.

Why does she want to get to know you all? As it happens, she and her family are planning a huge cross-country trip this summer and they want to get to know the really special parts of the country that they might not discover on their own. Do you live in a super cool place that nobody ever visits and you just can't understand why the whole world doesn't see it the way you do? Do you share a unique cultural heritage in your community? Do you know the number one locals only hole-in-the-wall/greasy spoon that must be enjoyed to be understood? Well hop on over there and share a cup of sugar over the fence. And if you find yourself looking for a little something different today, give yourself about a half-hour and visit her professional website. She has a beautiful gallery of photos there for your enjoyment.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Things that make you go "hmmmmm"....

"Its not that I want you all muscle-y, but you sure are marshmallow-y right now."
(what do you call that point between marshmallow and muscle?)

Is it Marshmellow, or Marshmallow?

Practicing Extreme Honesty.
(why not, I'm already in trouble for my mouth most of the it possible to kick-it-up a notch?)

If you're going to try to be the cool mom and draw a starwars symbol on your son's lunchbag, you may want to look at a picture or something first. If you chose not too, you will be schooled on the proper techniques at the end of the your 5 year old.

"Jesus is coming to our house mom!"-"really?"-"yeah, he told me I better poop in the toilet."
(have my prayers been answered?!)

The phrase "Why do you come here when you know it makes things hard for me" has been going through my head for 4 days now. (10virtual brownie points if you can name that song...)

There is a song for EVERYTHING

I had a dream that an acquaintance who is doing some work for my employer offered me a ride home and then drove me off a cliff. I saved myself, but I was left literally my fingernails, with about a 100ft drop. He got on a greyhound bus and left me to figure out how to get home.---"what the?..."

Am I the only one who thought it was "Dirty Deek and the Thundercheifs?" (sing that to Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap).


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What to Expect When You're...

Having a Birthday...I don't know...apparently all kinds of crazy balloons and stuff. Go over to "Little Fish" (Life According too...I know you all know her) and leave her a witty-birthday message!

Now on to my original thought about expecting stuff, or rather stuff that I maybe wasn't really expecting...

You know that whole line of books that lets you in on the little secrets about motherhood that nobody told you? I will admit, I have not read each and every book, and the one that I did read, I didn't exactly read cover to cover, but I'm pretty sure they didn't cover the one thing somebody really should have told me.

Why did nobody explain to me that if I chose to have 4 children that sometime in my 30's I would realize that I had spent approximately 25% of my adult life cleaning up somebody else's steaming hot poo?

Of course, given the balance of things good to bad, I would still sign up for motherhood, but it really would have been nice to know in advance.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Besh Ba Gowah

No, that's not gibberish for yummy hot cinnamon sucker from a roadside stop that I haven't had since I was a child. Its the name of one of the most important archeological sites in the Western US.

While cleaning his room the other night Gabe found a "map" he had picked up at a local restaurant that highlighted several nearby attractions and the Besh Ba Gowah archeological site was one of the places featured. When he heard I wanted to get out of town for the day, he brought me his prized "map" ( my boy really has a thing for anything even remotely resembling a map, and don't you DARE suggest he throw one of them away!) and pointed out the picture of the ruins and told me he'd really like to go to "that" place, so we did! It was a wonderful morning with perfect weather. The drive was just beautiful and was perhaps only an hour long. Sometimes its so great to be a tourist in your own stomping grounds.

Hello inappropriate...

You should have seen the face of the lady sitting at the stop-light on the other side of the intersection when I pretended to sucker-punch JP right in the nose the other night. It never occurred to me that A: pretending to sucker punch my husband in public might be as inappropriate as actually sucker-punching him. B: Somebody might be watching and C: I would look up just in time to see a horror-stricken citizen looking clearly confused as to why the woman who just sucker-punched the galactic sized man sitting next to her is now laughing hysterically. (and just so we're clear, he was laughing too).

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The reason why...

You're right, maybe I don't owe her an apology.(for making her be chewbacca everytime we played StarWars as kids) Then again, for my birthday, she did accept my apology in advance, so...hmmm.
Anyways, Its pretty exciting to introduce you all to ..."Chewy", "ChooChoo", "Smell", "Meanie", or "FireFro". I'm not really sure what she wants you to call her, maybe plain ol' Mrs. Smith will do. She may also accept "The Divine Ms. M" but you'll have to check with her on that.
Give yourself a treat and check out her professional website today. Give yourself a good half hour or so and click through her gallery. THESE ARE NOT PROFESSIONAL MODELS!!! The families, and couples featured in these photos are just like you and me. They don't always look beautiful, they don't always smile, and sometimes they even have big blow-outs right before the photo-shoot because somebody...ok, the MOM...gets stressed out about trying to take "perfect" pictures.
What Melanie does is show you what you and your family look like through HER eyes. She has such a gift for bringing out the beauty in everyone.
Her own BLOG was just launched Friday night and I don't think she really has much there just yet, but go and visit it anyways! Leave her a comment, and if you feel comfortable let her know what part of the country you are from. She and her family are planning a huge cross-country trip this summer and are hoping to connect with real families from real places and so she's anxious to get to know you all and find out where your favorite "locals only" kind of places are in YOUR hometown so that she and her family can get a feel for what life is really like in each unique place they choose to visit.
And, if you enjoy her photography and want to see what she sees in you and your family, you just might luck out. She is seriously considering scheduling some photoshoots along the way.
Here's her blog link

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Friday, January 16, 2009

What do you get when you cross a high-kicking Chorus girl with a Pig?

Me!!!!!JP tagged along and got some awesome video of me doing my moves-es on my first night of Karate Lessons. The instructor told the redbelt helping me "She's actually a BlackBelt at BillyBobs Down Home Dojo" LOL (she really did! lol)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Its Back...3 Rants and a Rave

You know the drill...3 things that are making me scrinchy, and 1 that melts it all away.

1. To the multitude of people who have seen fit to hit the side of my car with your car door in the last 4 weeks...(seriously, I had 1 "rude door" ding for 4 years, in the last 4 weeks it has been multiplied by at least 5)If you are so fat you can't get out of your car without hitting my car in the process...park on the outside of the parking lot and talk a walk! The extra steps will do you good. ( I am fat, technically, medically "Obese"...I can get out of my car without hitting your car, so I'm guessing your just too lazy or too inconsiderate to care).

2. To the person at Cost-co who saw fit to take not one, not two, but FOUR parking places...who do you think you are? Now, I understand you don't want "rude door" dings on the side of your beautiful new truck, but seriously, FOUR parking spaces? At Costco? Where there are never 2 EXTRA parking spaces, ever? I could go on about this, but I'll probably just come off as bitter and angry.

3. "Push Here and Tear Back" boxes. Am I the only person on the planet who can't open a box by "pushing here"? Seriously, am I? Because I have never yet been able to successfully open a box, using only my fingers, by "Pushing Here". If you want me to be able to open your box by "pushing here" may I suggest some kind of scoring system? Perhaps you could range the scores from 1-4 based on difficulty. How's that for an idea?
RAVE!!!---Wixom Zoo for her Kindred Spirit-edness, and her lurkerville confessions.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How did I do? (so far)

I thought that I would let the pictures speak a thousand or so words....

We spent some time at the Boyce-Thompson Arboretum, it was a perfect day for it!

(what does Lisa WANT for a present...?)

I heard a Rumor...

That somebody's put it out there that its my BIRTHDAY today. Yeah, it is. And I had something else planned, (unbirthday related) but lets do this instead-ok?

Wanna Know How Old I am, Crack the Code.

1.  I was brought home from the hospital in a yellow VW Bug. No seatbealT, No carseat.

2.  When I turned two, I had a Snow White BirtHday party.  I think that may have been the only one I ever got that had a store-bought theme.
3.  I prefer Pie over Cake.  In fact, I don't like store bought "birthday cake" at all...yuck..not even with ice cream and potato chips on it...gross.  I would prefer Banana Cream...but not store bought. (because the cream is icky on store bought cream pies)
4.  My daddy took me on a Daddy DaughteRDate for my 4th birthday, we went out for Mexican Food.  I threw a fit because I couldn't wear the same dress I had worn for my 3 year old Daddy Daughter Date. ( it was too small...*cry*).
5.  I haven't been Twenty-Something for a while now.
6.  Sunday Night=Muppet Night ( or was that Saturday?) either way, Animal is my favorite and the all-time best episode ever was when Debbie HarrY of Blondie was the guest host.  ALL TIME BEST!
7.  When I was Seven, my youngest brother was born.  The day after Halloween.  I'm pretty sure that was the year  mom and dad tried to convince us that clowns and hobo'S were the same thing, NO DEAL. (but mom and dad still won after convincing us that if chose not to dress up we would not get to go trick-r-treating).
8.  My nick-names were "Little -L" "Wiki" "BravE Baby" and "Brave Baby L"
9.  My mother and father SWEAR they had not heard about ElVis' baby girl or that she was named Lisa Marie. But the first thing people ask me when they learn I am Lisa Marie is "Oh, parents Elvis Fans were they?" (try Beatles and Rolling Stones people).
10.  When I was in about the 4th grade, my dad would roll home in his Fiat (sometimes slamming on the parking brEak because the real brakes had gone out again) jump out and chase after us all around the yard singing "Whip It"!
11.  You were a close child-hood friend if you remember "La Bamba-the Stadium Cruiser" and not being allowed to leave the curb uNtil all occupants had yelled at the top of their lungs "Pigs In Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace!"

12.  And just for laughs...when I was thirty-five, I made an illegal turn, down a dead-end-wrong-way-street, in a horrible rainstorm with no lights except on my car, right into a roadside park.  The only thing my sister could say was "Good thing there weren't any Hobo's!"

Now get to it, crack the code! I'm off for some kinda something.  ( I think.)  It *feels* like Jp has planned some kind of surprise...or at least stealthily planned to do what I told my mom I wanted to do, which means he's been reading my e-mail again... ;)  

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Can Anybody Answer These Questions for Me?

Why is "Wookiepedia" on this 'puter's shortcuts?

Why do the men in my life think I want to discuss facts about General Grievous and Count Dooku?
Why do I get drawn in to these discussions as if these were real people and we are discussing historic events?

And lastly...why do I have so much trouble embracing my inner nerd?


P.S. Even more importantly, why in 30 years have I never apologized to my sister for making her be Chewbaca every time we played Star Wars in the Neighborhood?

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Catty-Princess in the Dragon's Realm

Photobucketnce upon a time, a happy family embarked on a grand adventure.  The happy family prepared in advance for the adventure by serving a nutritious meal early in the evening, preparing an evening snack of homebaked cookies and milk to be enjoyed upon arrival home, and leaving the house on time to arrive at the special event where the adventure would take place.  

The family got in the car, each with a smile on his face, and a giggle in her voice.  All preparations had been made and the car's engine was being fired precisely on the planned minute of departure.  As the car left the drive, a sense of joy and excitement permeated the air. ( which, thanks to daddy was much fresher now than it had been 40 minutes prior, when the rancid "McGriddle" sandwich had been found under the back seat somewhere near the 2 year old's sitting place.)
The family arrived at their designated destination with great expectations for the evening.  Arrival had been planned for 1 hr. prior to the opening of the grand event and the children were allowed some time to run free.  Like many families, this family has found it advantageous to encourage wiggle removal prior to events which may possibly require long periods of sitting quietly.  The children appreciated the opportunity to interact with other children and run and play.  When the time was well spent, it was determined that it was time for the happy family to reunite in their chosen seats, to spend a few minutes calming down, and preparing themselves to sit quietly for the remainder of the evening.
This is when things went horribly wrong.
Unbeknownst to the noble parents, a Catty-Princess had taken over the realm of the Dragon, and was prepared to do great war.  This Catty-Princess is a master of deception, changing from"Catty" to "Puppy" or "Kangaroo-y" to "PonyPony" as the battle requires.  No Dragon shall deter the Catty Princess in her epic war against parental control. What the Catty-Princess requires is nothing less than vast amounts of space to crawl, sniff, jump, or gallop within.  At all times she must be allowed to whisper quiet yet persuasive "Mews".  She must be allowed to prepare herself to do battle, which interpreted means she must never be confined to that trap called a stroller-with-a-seatbelt. The Catty-Princess must be offered free and full reign over countryside (or gymnasium as the case may be). Should the Catty-Princess be constrained in any manner the pretty ponies dancing under a rainbow of love and joy shall be forever  banished.  And the spirit of the Catty-Princess shall be invaded by the peircing screech of a feral banshee's cry---protesting against the punitive powers of parenthood. 
The screech shall be followed by sobbing and great amounts of boiling-hot, salty tears which shall stain the Catty-Princess's eyes and fair cheeks.  It may appear that the Catty-Princess shall never recover from the selfish banshee's invasion, and so a spell must be found.  The Catty-Princess must be removed from the realm of the dragon. It is only outside this realm that the princess may once again visit her ponies and rainbows, but first, she must purge the banshee.  

With a torrent of wailing, punching, kicking, and screaming, the banshee is finally banished, and a change has come over the fair-warrior-princess.

A change of clothes that is.  The banshee was expelled,( in chunks, through the mouth and nose. She smelled an awful lot like hamburger soup...who knew?) and the Catty-Princess returned to the Dragon's realm, a humble, penitent servant.

The End.
dragon Pictures, Images and Photos

Saturday, January 10, 2009

He Did It!

Friday night was the big night!

Here is Gabe having his white belt signed by Master Han before testing began.
This was such a great night. Gabe struggled through his kicks, but he did really great with his fighting forms and had an amazingly deep, gutteral "Kiya!" Its something you wouldn't imagine coming from a 5 year old.
We (our family) have so much to learn from this organization that focuses on respect and kindness, I can't wait for us adults to become a part of the organization and to have that constant reminder to "Be Polite, Be Patient, Be Brave, Be Alert, Do Your Best, Respect Yourself and Others."
Being polite and respectful are kind of, well, difficult for us. (JP apparently comes by it honest though, as proven to us by his father leaning over in the middle of Master Han's talk on respect and making a fake snoring sound, rolling his eyes and commenting "Who does this guy think he is, Confuscious?"....ummm, wow, epitome of respectful behavior, right there) Anyways, it was proven to us multiple times throughout the night that this is definitely the right place at the right time, not only for our son, but for our family. I absolutely cannot say enough good things about this organization.
So, now its time for mama to get training, cuz I gotta prove the "Goob" wrong---I am NOT going to be a white belt forever, even if front snap kicks ARE really hard!
Congratulations Super-Goob: Wearer of the Yellow Belt!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Calorie Dense AND Healthy

These two things are difficult to acheive but those of us who have skinny little kids who are constantly being pushed pedia-sure by pediatricians ( I swear they get a cut) know that for some people its an important combo.

Here's a little something we came up with that the kiddo's in question LOVE. ( Us adults steer clear of it, WAY clear!) It is calorie laden, nutrient rich, and has lots of protein for growing little bodies. The best part? Its embarrassingly easy.

You need oatmeal -real oatmeal, not the instant kind
Honey or brown sugar
and Peanut Butter ( natural peanut butter not only tastes best but has the best nutrition in it)

cook your oatmeal, serve it up, give each kid a small spoonful of brown sugar or honey and a LARGE HEAPING spoonful of peanut butter. Stir it up till its smooth and creamy and delicious. If your kid likes milk in their oatmeal, go ahead and add milk to it.

Its not pretty, so no pictures, but I've read a few posts recently about kiddos who can't keep weight on, or who have been sick and have lost weight, so I just wanted to share a breakfast we've had great success with.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Proud Moments in Housekeeping


as if you all didn't already KNOW the answer! (at least if your hanging out here you'd BETTER!)

I like your sleeves, they're really big.

I'm laughing hysterically at the part in Napoleon Dynamite when Kip backs over the plastic bowl and it shatters.  I watched that part well over an hour ago now and it is still making me giggle.  I just love it when he so very meekly mutters "dang-it" and then peels out.  That is a movie I just don't imagine ever not being funny to me.  But, its not funny to JP.  He is completely befuddled by the fact that this movie, more than any other movie we've ever watched together, makes me laugh with unbridled hilarity.  Maybe, JP doesn't like it because it hits too close to home? I dunno, I didn't know him in highschool, but I do know there is a story about him eating his tacos with his head down in a tray ignoring a "hot-chick" who was trying to talk to, you know.  But seriously, who could refrain from laughing when they pummel the Summer pinata?  Haven't we all wanted to pummel our very own Summer Pinata at least once in our lives?  I know I have, and yet, I do feel strange about allowing boys to pummel US Army Tank pinatas at birthday parties.  It feels a little...well...terrorist training camp to me.  And yet, Birthday Express tries to sell me one every year around April!  

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Jump on that Crazy Train and Ride, Sister Ride!

I've been holding back, I absolutely know it, and my motives are purely selfish. I have gotten away with this behavior for nearly 15 years, but I used to be able to blame it on somebody else. ( like an Ex-Husband).

I have not jumped into the "(insert favorite sport here) Mom" role. Its not that I haven't embraced it, its that I have not really encouraged my children to participate in organized sports. Just like Octamom, I like my long baths, and my long books. I like my quiet time. I LOVE that my children will willingly go to bed at 7:00pm every night. I like that I'm not running all over the valley in crowds of disgruntled dad's who's major-league dreams never came true. I like that my leathery butt is not sitting on a bleacher bench only half clothed, pretending that I'm not swilling beer at my 10 year old's baseball game. There are alot of things about organized youth sports that are great, but I haven't found anything about it that I'm dying to participate in yet.

And so I find myself at a junction, where love for a child meets selfish attitude and I realize a decision must be made. I've written before about Gabriel and his Karate lessons. He LOVES Karate. And I think someday he will be quite good at it. But there's this sticky little caveat...he will only be good at it if we give him the opportunity to train to his best ability.

The past few weeks ( Christmas Break to be exact) we have "tested" the program. It has involved rearranging our schedule in ways I'm not entirely comfortable with, making good use of the "Crock-Pot", and extending bed time 'til 8:00pm (gasp!).

And this is what I've found. This works for us! (In fact, sitting outside the studio for an hour most evenings I've realized that Martial Arts just might be the thing I've been looking for in MY life. I've committed to joining the studio and attending lessons. Hopefully by this time next year I will find myself to be the owner of a small rainbow of belts.) I have seen our family come together to support one of our children in something that is very important to that child. Its wonderful to see him from the vantage point of "fly on the wall" train, learn, focus (sometimes) and work towards a specific goal.

We've decided to hop on this train and ride it. We don't know exactly where this journey will take us (although various trips to California and Arkansas are almost certainly in the mix) and we're not really sure exactly what this commitment will require of us as a family. But we've decided to make this commitment to him and his potential.

It is our hope that as an adult, our son will be able to look at his child-hood and know that Martial Arts helped form him into a respectful young man who knows how to set and achieve goals. But my greatest hope is that we as a family will have found a healthy ( both in body and in mind) activity that draws us closer together and helps us strengthen the bonds we already share.

So here goes! Friday is Gabriel's first testing day. I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be no turning back after he tastes success in acheiving his first goal-to earn a yellow belt. Better pack my bags, 'cuz I "Hear the train a comin' rollin' round the bend" (10 virtual points if you can tell me what song that is!) and I want to be on it with both feet before it leaves the station.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Some would call it Evil Genious

Others would call it just plain wrong.

Whatever YOU decide to call it, I call it "Ghetto Fried" Ice Cream.

The Evil Genious known in these here parts as "Dad", "JP",and "Mr. Cave Hair", the Master of All the Should Not Be dissappeared from the bedroom two evening's ago. In his absence I heard the freezer open, the distinct rustling sound of a bag of cereal, and the unmistakable pop-thud-clink that is Mr. Cavehair extracting peanut butter from its cozy home in the Skippy jar.

He returned to the bedroom baring a smile of pure delight and told me to close my eyes. I'm always up for a surprise and so I quite joyfully cooperated. Of course he had to tease me just a bit and put an empty spoon in my mouth first, but then came the sweet delight forever more known as "Ghetto Fried" Ice Cream.

It was so good, we knew we had to make it for the kids on Friday night, so we did and I insisted on blogging it. ( I think Mr. Cavehair was actually quite flattered, as he was quite cooperative with my silly picture taking!)

This is a child's bowl being prepared. Be warned, if JP makes your bowl it will be approximately equal parts vanilla ice cream and peanut butter. I personally find the peanut butter to be totally and completely unecessary, you can be your own judge on that.

So, you need vanilla ice cream, Honey-Bunches of Oats cereal, honey, and peanut butter ( that is SO optional!).
Put your ice cream in your bowl, mash your peanut butter into your ice cream, generously cover your serving in Honey Bunches of Oats, and then drizzle the whole lot with Honey.

If you're serving it up CaveHair style, it will need to be mushed all together. Cleaning the sides of the bowl before allowing a picture to be taken would be highly irrational, this is about taste, not presentation. Also, if you do not have a pair of sunglasses to place on the counter next to your food preparation station, don't worry, its not actually a recommended practice.

Now, if you've ever had expensive Fried Ice Cream at a "Mexican" restaurant ( I put "Mexican" in parenthesis because I am 99.99% certain that if I went down to say, Michoacan, I would have a very difficult time finding any fried ice cream, Chimi-Cheesecakes, or even Burritos) you will recognize the taste immediately!

Seriously, this tastes to much like the real thing that I'll bet the real thing won't even taste this good if I ever order it out again.

So there you have it, "Ghetto-Fried" Ice Cream. Now go back and read that part about the bedroom picturing me in Flannel Pajamas festooned with pink elephants on ice-skates. (yeah, the one's from Target, I got them for Christmas from my 14 year old).

Friday, January 2, 2009

(not so) fictional friday

I've been playing with the idea of making Friday's "Fictional Friday"...but for today, lets stick to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth...or in otherwords, lets talk about "Assault with a Deadly Weapon."

It was Hot, Very Hot. 112F or warmer. I had spent the previous 5 weeks or so slowly touring every inch of nearby zipcodes with a GPS system and small handheld computer attached to my car. The purpose was to gather certain data which would be used in the future to develop a navigational system much like GPS, but without the satellites.

In the 5 weeks or more that I had been out collecting this data, I had seen alot. I toured placed of deep contrast. One block would be gang-bangers,drug-dealers, and prostitutes. It was not uncommon to see those prostitutes out strolling a young child to the "sev-ie" or packs of underage boys smoking in that same "sev-ie" parking lot. In an odd way, I felt back "at home", having spent several years of my adult life in a community that was on the rocks, swaying back and forth between prosperity and desperation, this was a world I'd seen before. It was no surprise to me to be confronted with a McMansion of considerable size shortly after rounding the last corner tagged with turf-identifying graffitti. In this neighborhood, everybody protects their property. Some do it with expensive electronic alarm systems, others with illegal weapons and low tech messengers. It really was none of my concern though, this wasn't MY neighborhood. I would be here a short time, do my work and leave. Most would never even know that I had been here.

Then something changed. In part, my assignment changed. I now had a new zip code to scan. This area was much closer to home, and in fact included my home within the scanning area. I was excited and somewhat relieved as gas money was not reimbursed, and this was in the days of well-over-$4.00 a gallon-gas. To be working so much closer to home was a treat. It meant I could throw the kids in the back seat, give them a drink and a bag of crackers, turn on some "kids tunes" and just drive. I love to drive. I love to explore. This was the perfect job for me. We explored our own neighborhood, and nearby neighborhoods and then decided to head out to the more remote areas to be scanned. We saw coyotes, horses, burros, jack-rabbits, enormous Saguaros towering overhead. Sometimes we'd roll down the windows and just enjoy the hot, dry, desert air. It was wonderful, it was fun.

The assignment was drawing near to a close and I hoped to be assigned an additional area following the completion of this scan. I had just a few more neighborhoods to complete and I headed out early on a Saturday morning to get it done and submit the work with a request for a new assignment. Fortunately, for whatever reason, I had chosen to go out by myself that day. I don't know exactly in which ways the event might have been changed had my children been present, but I am glad that they were not.

I had become accustomed while outside of the town limits to seeing long dirt drives marked "private". I generally did not access those drives, it seemed wiser to honor the owner's wishes than to risk the wild-west attitudes of those living on the outskirts. But today, I was driving within the town limits. Today would be smooth sailing, no coyotes, no crazies. Or so I thought.

Enter the kindly folks on 20th st. 20th Street is a dirt road, lined with thickly overgrown brush and vines, broken down trailers and mangy dogs. It has a tall Palm tree in the center of the cul-de-sac which has been taken over by Ivy. Hung up high, at the end of the drive, is a small store bought "keep out" sign. Nobody minding their own business would ever notice the sign. I certainly did not notice any kind of warning sign, private property sign, or keep out sign, so I continued down to the end of the cul-de-sac, circled the large palm, and made my way slowly to the end of the dirt road. As I drew nearer to the entrance of the dead-end street, I saw a man come out to the road. He was shirtless, and unkempt. He had blood smeared all across his abdomen and he was yelling wildly. Certain that he had been assaulted and was signaling for me to help I approached him cautiously. Looking all around me, wanting to be sure I was not going to be attacked, I began to roll down my window to ask how I could help him when I found myself looking down the barrel of a gun. He was yelling and screaming AT me, not FOR me. The man I had approached with the intent of helping, was instead threatening to shoot if I didn't leave immediately. He was flailing his arms around, screaming like a mad man "can't you read, are you stupid? Can't you read?" He used the gun to point at the store-bought sign hung high up in the palm at the end of the road. I looked over my shoulder, saw the sign and then decided to get out!

I reached the end of the road, checked my mirrors, he wasn't following me. I checked my mirrors again, and pulled onto the main road. As soon as I felt I was a safe distance away, I pulled over. I realized I was shaking so hard I couldn't safely drive, much less dial 911. Its funny how the mind works. I sat and debated about calling my husband or calling 911. If I called JP one of two things would happen, he'd either hunt down the crazy man and murder him for threatening his helpless wife, or, he'd tell his fully capable ought-to-be-able to handle everything that comes-her-way wife "what do you want me to do about it?" Neither of those scenarios worked for me, so I opted to call 911. I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted out of that either, and frankly, I felt like a tattle tale. I was absolutely certain all they heard on the other end was "Maaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaam Sissy yelled at me and I didn't like that." But, alas, they actually heard "I was just threatened with a gun" and they took me seriously. An officer came out to my location and took a report and that was that. Until they came to my house and told me that they had charged him with disorderly conduct and ticketed him. Now, I am no expert, but I do have a little bit of knowledge in this area ( a tiny little bit) and I know that a ticket for disorderly conduct seemed pretty light. But the officer told me "Yeah, it was just your unlucky day, they've had alot of break-ins over there and all the neighbors got together and decided that the next person to come down that road was getting shot." ITS MY UNLUCKY DAY?! granted, I didn't actually get shot, but I don't care what reasons a person has for slinging a gun in my law-abiding direction, its unacceptable. And the minimum acceptable charge in my mind is Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

Fast Forward 6 months...I have put this incident out of my mind. Or so I think. True, I quit that job and accepted no future assignments from them. True, I went on an eating binge that resulted in 20 lbs gained in 6 months. True, I've become somewhat anti-social and have had a very difficult time making friends. True, I've pretty much refused to go down the main road that 20th st connects too. But I hadn't connected any of those behaviors with the main event. I had been told he got charged with disorderly conduct which is about the same as what a bar-fighter would get slapped with, which is nothing. So I decided if the police think its nothing, then its no big deal and I'll just move on. Have I ever mentioned I also feel this irrational need to "keep up" with my combat veteran husband? I honestly felt weak for having been afraid. I was actually mad at myself for not performing some kind of master-of-hand-to-hand combat maneuvre to relieve the assailant of his weapon. Seriously. I actually was angry with myself for not disarming the man. (hello....that's not right!) If the police said it was no big deal, and my husband couldn't quantify my fear for me, then I was the one who was over-reacting and I just needed to live my life. And so I did. Until the Victims Advocate package came in the mail the beginning of the week, and I learned that the man was charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Which not only makes more sense to me, but also sent me into a tail spin of emotions that I had to literally cry out on my husband's shoulder. All of the sudden a simple peice of mail lends legitimacy to my original fear, and at the same time discounts every positive action I had taken to continue living without fear in my new community...because now, there is proof that fear was the rational response afterall. Assault with a Deadly Weapon means much more to me than Disorderly Conduct. In my mind-whether right or wrong-Disorderly conduct is something that is provoked. Its a loss of control on at least one person's part. It probably happens without any plan for the behavior. Assault with a Deadly Weapon however (again, in my mind, whether right or wrong) involves having made a choice in advance to carry the weapon, and the choice to USE the weapon if provoked. It wasn't my fault that the actions of others provoked this man to violence towards me and the original charge of disorderly conduct made me feel as though I were somehow complicit in the event.
So now, I think I'm going to seek out counseling, because I am truly TRULY confused about all of this and even with all of his experience in dealing with whack-o's, poor JP just isn't equipped to tell me what do about any of this. Hopefully, soon the kindly soul on 20th st. will be endicted(sp?) and eventually be found guilty of being a wanna-be-wild-west-vigilante.

And in the meantime, I'll just keep doing what I do. He didn't take my life and I'm certainly not going to give it away.