Saturday, December 15, 2012

Reading the statuses on FB this morning, it's evident that people need to chill the fuck out. They're all thinking they know the perfect solution to this type of tragedy when the truth is that there is none.

Keeping God out of schools, bringing him back, arming everyone, arming no one, home-schooling your kids...none of that will prevent this kind of thing from happening.

But arguing about it is all people can do to help themselves make sense of it. They need a tangible solution and they will not find one.

It's okay to grieve about this, folks. It's also okay to grieve about the fact that the world is random and dangerous and long as you remember to appreciate that it's also amazing and innocent and beautiful and none of us are guaranteed a single day here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Finding Jesus...Again.

In honor of His return, I'm reposting this entry from 2011. 

Finding Jesus.

Last year, while driving my children to school, I passed a house with a plastic nativity scene in their front yard.  It was a very simple reproduction of the Holy Family with SuperStepDaddy Joseph and the Virgin Mary kneeling near the...


...wait a minute... 

*blink, blink*


It seems that, in this family's version of the Nativity Story, not only was there no room at the inn, but the manger was full as well.  Mary and Joseph knelt near the newborn child in a plastic, Ten Items or Fewer shopping basket. 

It struck me as an interesting decorative choice and I wondered what made them choose to put a half-naked representation of the Messiah in a plastic shopping basket.  

From a distance, the baby-doll that sat in the basket appeared to be a version of the Rub-A-Dub Dolly I had when I was a child.  Its limbs were straightened, which put him at an odd angle in the too-small basket.  Because this doll was not meant to bend, he looked like he'd frozen solid in the cold, which looked more than a little bit creepy.

Was he a place-holder for their real Baby Jesus or did the third part of the Holy Family get baby-napped years ago, forcing the family to search the bargain bin at the Dollar Store for a replacement?

Sadly, I feared we would never know.  On the way to take the girls to their last day of school before winter break, we noticed that Shopping Basket Jesus was missing.  The basket was there, but the Baby Jesus was not. 

We prayed for his safe return.

This year, our prayers were answered.  He is back, but Mary seems to be a little worse for wear.  Behold: 

Virgin Blows Her Top Over Missing Express Lane Messiah's Return

*2012 noteSomeone send these people a new Nativity, please.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Don't read this.

Testing for mobile. Don't read this, people. I'm deleting it in a minute. I said don't read it. Stop it now.

You're still doing it.

Black and Blue Friday!

Twas the dawn of Black Friday, and in front of the store,
The people had camped out all night by the door,
Their bottoms were nestled in frozen lawn chairs,
As they peered through the glass, plotting what would be theirs.
The veteran shoppers were dressed for the weather
Eyeing new blood, as they huddled together,
When toward the glass doors an employee came near,
With a key in his hand and his face filled with fear
They watched him approach, with their eyes opened wide
He unlocked the door and then leaped to the side.
Like antelope, torn from their watering hole fun,
When the lion creeps nearer, break into full run,
So into the store the patrons did dash,
With lists miles long and buttloads of cash.
More rapid than eagles, they grabbed at Wii Games
They pushed, kicked and called one another foul names.
The Black Friday shoppers went straight to their works,
They prided themselves on behaving like jerks.
They said, "Puck your mother!" (or words of that sort)
As shopping became a full-contact sport!
Black Friday peeps, know this as you roam-
You're fighting without me, I'm staying at home!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Do you know why your phone has a lock feature?

So you don't butt-dial your grandparents at 10 O'clock on a Friday night.
Yup. *nodding* That's why they invented that.  Butt-dialing.  

The story:
My daughter went to a haunted house at the local fairgrounds last Friday night and it seems that in the middle of fleeing a poor imitation of Jason from Friday the 13th, she butt-dialed my dad.

I got a text on my phone from my mother:  
"Quick!  Where is Madison?  VIP."

I hurriedly replied, "She's at the fairgrounds with her friends.  Why?"

"She called Poppa and we can hear everything." 

"What do you hear?"

"...a lot of screaming..." 

Lock your phones, people.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Public Schools are DANGEROUS.

This is the weekly email from school. Do you see it? Do you??

Reginald Q. MacGuillicuddy Intermediate School E-blast

October 12th, 2012

(Please click on any of the links below to go to learn more information.)


The Book Fair is Open for Business!

Band Spectacular Moved to Monday, October 15!

Learn about Parent Portal Grades Access at Conferences

String Fest on Saturday! Come and Join the Fun!

Hoops for Heart Starts Oct. 22nd!

Hunger Games Tributes will be Selected Next Week!

Rotation Classes are Switching on Monday!

Reminder – Check Out the New Band Website!
Yes.  That's right.  My children could be selected to represent their respective classes in their very own Hunger Games at school. 
May the odds be ever in their favor. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

We've got spirit, yes we do...

In honor of the Steelers' season starting tonight, I bring you a video by Lily and Madison...and Madison's iPod.  

Let's go, Steelers.

I freaking love those kids.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Taking the plunge.

Well, I've done it.  I have finally opened a store from which I hope to sell many sparkly things.  It might need a little work and a lot more lovely baubles listed, but it's a start. 

I've got no experience with this, but thanks to the power of the intarwebs, that will not be a problem!   Internet businesses come with rather detailed instructions dumbing down the magical wonders of entrepaneurship into something akin to Lemonade Stands for Morons. 

It is truly awesome.

I don't doubt that I'll meet a snag or two along the way, but at least I've jumped in at last.   I don't think I'll have money falling out of the sky on me, but only because I don't think Paypal can DO that.  It might hurt, anyway.  And I'm fragile. 

Also, I sometimes doubt my genius and think no one will buy my pretties.   But enough of that!  I'm not here to cast my own shadow of doubt, I'm here to promote this wonderful new venture! 

So let's do this thing!

Go here.  Look.  Buy.  I'll make stuff out of whatever you want, for a price.  Except puppies.  I can't work with puppies.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It feels like fall today.

John took the girls fishing today and I had the entire house to myself.

I sat alone watching Sex and the City (movie, not series) and enjoying the quiet and the sound of the rain and a lovely gentle breeze blowing in through the window and I thought, it feels like fall.

I know it's still August and the heat will climb back up to Oppressive in a day or two, but right now, at this minute, it feels wonderful.

It's one of those mornings that makes me think of plaid skirts and white shirts and crisp apples and the smell of paper.

God, I hope it lasts.
photo courtesy photobucket Klattu01

Sunday, August 5, 2012

ToeJam Sam and the Maxi-Pad Aisle.

Hi, peoples.  I've got stuff to do today, so please enjoy this piece I wrote a few years ago while I try to find the top of my dining room table again.

ToeJam Sam and the Maxi-Pad Aisle:
I didn't know I wanted three children, but four and some-odd years ago, the urge to have just One More Baby gnawed at me until I finally shrugged, rolled over and ordered hubby to "just do it".   Bingo-Bango-Bongo, I got pregnant (yep, pretty much just like that).  I peed on a stick to be certain of it...on Mother's Day, no less.  Yepperooni.  Pregnant.   
Many moons passed.  Many many moons passed.  So many moons passed that I was beginning to think that I was living on the wrong planet.  This child was setting up shop in there for the long haul.  
I suspected that bambino knew it was wintertime and had hoped to hibernate until the weather warmed up a little.  I had visions of being pregnant forever with that kiddo all warm and toasty in the Womb For Went...*ahem*...RENT.  
So one day in January my doctor gave me a pitocin cocktail with an epidural chaser and a few hours later a very teeny person practically shot out of my vagina (that's "bajingo" for a few of you).  We named her Sam.  Our family was complete with three adorable little girls and the sky was full of lollipops and rainbows.  It was a Lisa Frank world.    
Let's skip a few pages of our story and bring us to the here and now.  We'll title this segment "Never a Dull Moment". 
Yeah, that says it nicely.  Sam is anything but dull.  She's the child who wants to name animals after breakfast cereals and body parts.  ("Cornflakes" was one and I won't say the other one, but it rhymes with Schmagina.) 
This is the same child that cannot watch a toy commercial without stating "I wanna buy that for my birthday" even when she's alone in the room.   This is the child that loves animals so much, she pees on their heads.  (I can just hear her some day, "Jeez Mom. I did that ONE TIME!!") 
The entertainment Sam provides us with is absolutely invaluable.   A trip to the grocery store is never boring.  Just this week, Sam was with me at Wal*Mart.   The surrounding area bustled with my fellow shoppers in search of their favorite shampoos, soaps and various scented shaving creams, when Sam's eagle eye spotted the familiar Always box.  Pointing, and using her I'm Outside And Just Too Doggone Excited About It voice, she exclaimed,
Those are the moments that take my breath away.  Sometimes they take the breath away from other ladies shopping within earshot, whose shoulders hitch up and down as they try not to laugh loudly at what my daughter just said.  Bless their hearts.
Pardon me.  She just ran past the doorway...naked...with a can of Spaghettio's.   

Yeah, dull I don't get much.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

This post should read "Results not typical."

I'm not sure how this happened, but...

In March, I wrote a post about Spring Fever and the urge to plant despite my tendency to kill green things.
After a couple of months, this is what became of those innocent little seeds that I shoved into some dirt and watered until they just couldn't take it anymore:

Catnip and cucumbers and petunias live happily together in the window box...
 They have climbed up and grabbed hold of the wind-chimes, silencing them.  (I may have to remedy that with a kitchen shears.)

Are you as shocked as I am?  I mean, look at those plants!  They're, growing and junk. *shrugs incredulously*  I dunno.  I can assure you it wasn't intentional.  I watered the hell out of those things.  I don't know how anyone could survive that much attention with a hose.  (You totally went there, didn't you, you bunch of pervs.)

And still, despite the water-boarding...
See those?  Those are green beans.  Green beans!  I grew those!  (It makes me wish I liked green beans more than I do.)

I'm also growing oregano, basil and tomatoes which you can see in their little group photo.
I'm totally making pizza with this stuff.   Well, not with the green beans.  That would be gross.   I don't want to make herfy pizza. 

I take back what I said about my inability to grow green things.  Apparently, I DO have what it takes to garden.

Edited to add: OMG, wait.  Don't go. The CUCUMBER!  I forgot to show you the cucumber!  To all those I led to believe I couldn't grow something that wasn't housed in my uterus...check out this bad boy.

Suck it, Trebek.

Friday, August 3, 2012

I'll give you two bags of Oreos for your Dyson.

I am the proud owner of a Bernese Mountain Dog named Brinkley.  He is one hairy motherfucker.  Seriously.

This is Brinkley:
"I am one hairy motherfucker."

You can probably tell he sheds.  A lot.  And because I am SUCH a domestic goddess, my house is typically covered in giant hairy balls...of fur. 

I had company coming in the beginning of July and, as usual, an obscene amount of vacuuming to do, but the Saturday before my friend Lori and her kids arrived, my piece of crap Hoover decided it wasn't up to the task and punked out on me.

"YOU suck. I quit."

I didn't have the time or money to buy a new vacuum, but my mother owns a Dyson and lives only fifteen minutes away, so I borrowed hers.  It sucks the way vacuums are supposed to suck!  Yay for clean(er) floors! 
Heh heh.  Right.

Once I had tried my mother's Dyson, I wanted to get one of my own.  So, on Sunday...remember my company was due to arrive Monday...I found an ad on Craigslist for this:
I'll suck the shit out of your floors.  Literally.

So I sent the person an email.

It went like this:

I'm interested in the Dyson vacuum you've listed on Craigslist. 
I'm in Davenport, but I'd love to take it off your hands for you very soon.  Is there anything else I need to know about it?  The listing says it's in great shape.
Looking forward to hearing from you.

Hi Erika
This vacuum runs great, is clean and ready to go. It has no issues, my husband completely went through this vacuum when he cleaned it. We are located just outside of Dubuque by Peosta, if you like I could meet you in Dubuque. When will you be in this area?

It takes me about an hour to get there, and I have company coming Monday that will be headed out on Thursday, so is Friday too late?  I'd hate to say "Oh, TOMORROW works" and totally put you out.  :-/ 

I wonder if I could get you to come down to $100 on it...if I throw in a bag of Oreos?

I suck at Craigslist.  I don't know what the heck I'm doing. 


Then fifteen minutes later I followed up with this:

And of course, NOW I see that you also have the DC17 listed as well.  *drool* 

This Hoover Pet Cyclonic that I've got is a hunk of junk.  I wish I could afford even the $200 for the DC17!   WANT!!

I could offer you $175 and TWO bags of Oreos for the DC17...   

Hi Erika
Thank you for your interest in the DC17. I could do $175 for you on the DC17 (and the Oreos, my husband LOVES Oreos, lol). Could you make it to Dubuque before Friday by chance?

My husband has volunteered to make the trip while I entertain my friend!  lol.
He can make it tomorrow (Tuesday) at about 1:00 if you'd be able to meet him someplace along 61, as he comes into town that way.  

Does that work for you at all?  (I'll send him with the cash and the cookies to complete the transaction!)

Let me know.  :)

 Hi Erika

Yes, that will work fine. Have him meet me at the HyVee on 61, it's by downtown Dubuque right before you get to the bridge. I will be driving an older blue Dodge van and my cell number is below if you wanted to give that to him in case he needs it that is fine. Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you so much.

Sounds great!  So we've got HyVee on 61 at 1:00 with $175 (and cooooookieeees).
John should be driving my brown Windstar, and he'll have your number in his phone.  

Maybe I don't suck so bad at this Craigslist thing.  I hope I hope I hope this vacuum makes all my dreams come true!  (Or at least picks up the mass of fur that lines my floors, anyway.)

Till Tuesday!  (Oh, ha! ..Such a dork.)


Hi Erika
Yes tomorrow at 1pm at the HyVee. Craigslist is really easy most of the time. I have had really good luck with listing and buying stuff off craigslist. I have never had someone barter cookies with cash though, I'm happy with that Cookies + Cash = Happy Husband!! Thank you again. You will love this Dyson!


Hi Erika
My husband wanted me to confirm they will be the Double Stuff

 Is there any other kind?!   Of course, they are! :)

Ok, lol

A day later I wrote back to her with this:

This thing is fantastic!    If you click on the link in my signature, one day soon there will be a blog post about this exchange.  It was just too silly not to share.  :)

Thanks again!

Hi Erika
Thank you for your business!!! One package of Oreos are already gone!! Your hubby and I got to HyVee about the same time, he was a really nice man. I explained a little bit about the vac to him but he said you had borrowed one and knew all about them. Please let your friends know about our vacuums, we handle most all models, mainly higher end vacs and they are all nice and clean in good working order like the one you received. Have a fantastic week and try to stay cool!! 

And that's how I got a vacuum that actually sucks.

DC17 - Vacuum of Magnificence
My filter-less existence works in my favor once again!   :)

If you liked it, share it with your friends.  If you hated it, share it with your enemies.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lookit! More free stuff!

That last giveaway was too much fun and so easy to do that I decided to host another before I open my Storenvy shop.  

This time it's a pair of glass, beaded earrings in a really lovely plum color.  This is one of my favorite pairs, actually, so I made two.  One for me and one for the giveaway.  They really catch the light, don't they?  

So, if you think they're as totally bitchin' as I do, enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

ETA:  Congratulations to Laura!   Thank you for entering.  I hope you enjoy your new earrings.  :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oh, Internet, how I've missed you!

You may have noticed my absence as of late.  Believe me when I say you were not abandoned by choice!   It was an act of God.  Or Mother Nature.  Or Gaia.  Or Thor.

Last week, we had a teensy little rainstorm.  It didn't bring us lower temperatures or a break in the humidity or even enough of the wet stuff to bring an end to this drought that is wreaking havoc on the crops in the Midwest.  It did bring lightning.  Lots and lots of it.

One of those bolts with many volts struck the pine tree in our backyard.   My oldest daughter and my husband saw it happen.  They were standing out on the back porch, watching the light-show, when suddenly the world became very bright and deafeningly LOUD.   Both were shaken, but not hurt by the strike, thank God.

With the lightning striking so close to the house, we suffered a bit of damage to our electrical stuffs:  the computer went kerblooey and the Direct TV box in my room will no longer turn on, and now the ceiling fan in the kitchen has decided to up and this heat.  Great.  So now I'm forced to do the dishes only during the hours when the sun is up...and burning a hole through the kitchen windows...with no moving air to cool me.  *sigh*  What to do...

You don't want to read my complaints, do you?  You want pictures.  Of course you do.

I don't know if I have to explain too much about these photos, but you can see that the lightning bolt more than peeled the bark from the tree.  The bark pretty much exploded from the inside out, actually.  There is a split down the length of the trunk. How deep it goes, I don't know, and I hope it hasn't compromised the tree too much.  We like that tree.  It's been here way longer than we have.

Enough digressing.  Pictures.

Ground to point of entry.
This is at least twenty feet up the trunk
and where we thought
the lightning first struck the tree.

But when you step back a ways...
See where the shadow ends way up there?
THAT's where it hit.

 Side note before I let you go...

Did you know that when lightning strikes a coniferous tree, it can totally barbeque certain pine cones but leave others untouched?  Something about the sap and the path the lightning takes...I dunno.  Apparently sap is a great conductor of electricity.  Yikes.

But hey!  It's great to be back!   Now tell me everything I missed! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Parenting is so full of WIN.

My children recently had their semi-annual plaque scraping and professional tooth polishing appointment.  Even scheduled early in the day, we spend most of our morning there.  Three kids, three cleanings, one oral hygienist...Yeah.  It takes a long-ass time.  
 We came prepared, having brought a backpack filled with crayons, coloring books and reading materials, but it was the Mancala board that got the most use:
Mancala Tournament: Hour Two
By the time the last child was released with healthy teeth and gums, we were nearly starving.  I promised to feed the heathen spawn, so we headed to McDonald's.  (Where else can I poison my family for under twenty dollars?) On the way there, the girls decided that British accents were just what our boring old car ride needed.  The next twenty minutes on the interstate were very entertaining.  Did you know that anything and everything is not just funny in a horribly exaggerated accent, but freaking hilarious?
The fun didn't stop when we reached the drive-thru at McDonald's.  
While I wasn't savvy enough to order the food in my semi-convincing accent, I did greet the cashier who took my money with an enthusiastic "Ello Guvn'a!" making Madison nearly shoot a snot rocket at the windshield trying to stifle her laughter, while the two in the back brayed like donkeys.
Having still not had enough fun, we kept it up all the way home, the hilarity of the situation causing the two smallest campers to increase their volume with each word they spoke.  Finally, I had to ask them to bring it down a notch, saying, "You know what, guys? I don't think they yell everything in Great Britain. I can't recall the last time I heard someone announce: "IT'S TIME FOR TEA!"
Just then, the high pitched, and overly affected voice of Samantha piped up from the back of the van and yelled, "MERRY CHRISTMAS, BITCHES!!!"

I'm still trying to decide whether that's a parenting fail or a parenting win.
Which do you suppose it is?
(If you are guilty of grinning at this, please share it with your friends.  If you thought it was a ridiculous waste of your time, share it with your enemies.)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Show me your box! Your mailbox!

Sugar Daddy and I are getting new storm doors put on the house soon and our new front door will no longer have a mail slot in it.  Mail carriers like to have a hole to stuff the bills and junk mail into, so we're on the lookout for a super-cool mail box for the side of the house.

While I'd like to see something like this...

I'm not above taking suggestions, if you've got them.

So tell me...

What can you picture here?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dear Allie Brosh, I'm going to steal your readers...

Ever since I wrote this entry inquiring as to the whereabouts of my very most favoritest writer/cartoonist, I've gotten a lot (Alot) of traffic on that post.  People are searching it multiple times a day and landing on that page.   They're not looking for me, Allie.  They're looking for you and FINDING me.

It may seem cheap, but you know what?  I'll take it! 

I just wanted to let you know, that I'm planning to borrow those readers for a while.  Only until you come back.  You can have them back...provided that you can identify them.
Sure, I don't draw clever little cartoons and I don't have a dog that makes a whine like a jet engine, but I'll try my best to keep those folks entertained in your absence.  Maybe I'll post pictures of things that "almost" look like vulvae and call it "Suddenly Bajingo".   Maybe I'll just talk about how much the Intarwebs misses you. 

Maybe I'll use hypnosis and duct tape.

Anyway, I'll take good care of them, Allie.  I swear.

So, hello!  If you were led to this blog through a search for Allie Brosh, please stick around for a while and we can chat about how fabulous Ms. Brosh is and how very much we miss her unique brand of humor.

But first, look into this golden're getting very sleepy...

No, no, keep looking at it...wait.  Where are you going?

Friday, June 29, 2012

I ALMOST DIED TODAY! Don't drive angry...

My name is Erika and I am addicted to the Mocha FrappĂ©s at McDonald's.  It's not a healthy addiction by any means (I'm pretty sure there's crack in those suckers) but this morning that unhealthy addiction nearly got me killed. 

You see, the power of suggestion is great.  It is far greater than the power of my will.  So when Sugar Daddy said  "Hey, you should take my car and go get us a couple of those Mochy Frappy things from Mickey D's", I said, "Ye-OKAY" and guffawed like Goofy as I grabbed his keys and headed out the door. 

WHEE!  Mocha bliss was on its way!

Few things have the power to upset me when I've been promised chocolatey, blended happiness, but you can imagine my chagrin when I looked in the rear-view mirror and spied a burgundy Bonneville barreling down Locust Street toward my bumper.

It became apparent that I could be rudely introduced to my maker if the driver didn't press her dainty piggies down hard on the brake pedal, and pronto. 

The scene that played out in the front seat of that Bonneville was a short one, as I was viewing it entirely in fast forward, but I'll relay the gist of it:  Crazy Girlfriend is angry at Wrong and Stupid Boyfriend.  Crazy wants Wrong and Stupid to see just how crazy-angry she is at his incredible wrongness and unfathomable stupidity by threatening to take both of their lives in a fiery high-speed crash, ejecting her crazy-angry self and his wrong and stupid self into the back of my car at speeds that could launch a rocket into space.

Thankfully, Crazy veered off to the left, passing my car and moving on to threaten Wrong and Stupid's life on the car in the next lane.  And she didn't stop there.  As soon as there was one car-length between us, she changed lanes again.  Crazy continued the lane change, accelerate, hard brake, lane change pattern speeding down the road like KITT from Knight Rider (with all the lunacy, but only half the badass) until she was out of sight.

And that's how I almost became the victim of vehicular homicide this morning.  Yup.  I didn't die though.  I'm here!  I lived to make a vague implication about my brush with death on Facebook and now I'm here to blog about it for you people.  Aren't you glad?

What do you mean that's not a brush with death?
When that woman charged at me like an angry bull in a four-door sedan, I saw my life flash before my eyes (primarily the un-caffeinated, boring parts) as I faced the unhappy prospect of being denied a blended coffee drink.   Are you telling me that doesn't count?

*sips mocha frappé*

Shut up.

(If this made you smile, please share it with a friend.)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

How We Roll - Re:Shopping Carts and Kids

I posted this picture on Random Ninja's facebook page yesterday and it reminded me that I promised to share with you another of my secrets to surviving the grocery store with kids in tow.

Re:  Shopping Carts 
If you are under the age of 6, you must have your hand on the cart at all times.  If your hand leaves the side of the cart, you get put IN the cart.  This means that if one of your sisters is already in the seat, you will be put in the basket of the cart where the groceries will soon pile up around and on you.  You will pray I have marshmallows, cereal, and bread-related items on my list as numerous canned goods slowly press the life out of you.

Important note:  If you choose to ride in the cart and you wish to sit in the basket, which is only an option if the seat is occupied by another person or if you are too big to sit in the seat, your gluteus maximus MUST have waffle marks on it when we leave.  This means you actually have to SIT in the back of the cart.  Standing is never an option and will result in painful beatings about the face and neck.  I'm kidding.  It will, however, result in the cart coming to a full stop and waiting until you cop a squat on the metal mesh once more, with the promise that if you do not comply, you will have no media access for the next two days.  That's pretty much the same as forbidding them air, without the legal ramifications.

Seriously though, standing is NOT an option.  We learned this the hard way when a year-and-a-half old Lily went head over teakettle in the children's clothing department at Target one day and landed smack on her head, scaring the life out of me and causing great pain to her poor little melon.  I'm happy to report that she was unharmed and today is a thriving 11 year old soopergenius, but I still can't pass a child standing in the basket without cringing and saying a little prayer.

I know some people will protest "Oh, but I watch them very carefully". To this, I will channel Dwight Schrute and say:

"Fact: It is impossible to reach a child tipping out of the front of the cart when you are at the back of it unless your arms are disproportionate to your body."  

So if you're part sloth, go crazy.

As for me and mine, this is how we roll:
Please note: the children in this photo are not all mine, but I left with the same number I arrived with, so it's all good.

To review:  The rule is that if you're under the age of 6 you either have one hand on the cart at all times or you get into it.  
Sam's 7 now, so the rules really no longer apply to her, but as soon as we get out of the car, that hand instinctively attaches itself to the cart. My mother loves this. So do I.

How do you roll?  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Marvelous Thrift Store Finds and Leg Amputation.

On Saturday, I visited Goodwill.  I told myself I was only going in to look.  Just for a second.  (That's all it takes, isn't it?) I don't need a cart.  If I get a cart, that'll make me put stuff in it and then I'll buy that stuff and then we'll have too much stuff again and need to get rid of that stuff.  The circle is vicious.
Nope, I'm just going to look.


Now, I have to tell you that I've planned to buy new stools for my kitchen for a while now and hadn't yet found a set I absolutely had to have...until Saturday.  Because Saturday I found these.

Ignore the peeling vinyl, I'm going to re-cover them.
The best part?
$3.38!  Each!!

At that price, you'd better believe I trotted up to the front of the store, grabbed myself a cart and shoved those suckers in it faster than a ...faster than...faster than something already fast performing a difficult task IMPRESSIVELY fast.
Those stools were MINE.  I staked my claim. After giving me a bit of trouble, I finally convinced the bar stools that they needed to come home with me and they fit into the cart obligingly.   This is important.  If you put something in your cart, that's like writing your name all over your school supplies or licking the last piece of pizza.  It says "Mine".  And no one else will get their grabby Saturday-thrift store mitts on them.  Unless they want to tangle.  *threatening face*

I was pretty stoked about this stool purchase.  Until.  Until I found something even better!  An air hockey table for only forty bucks!  FORTY!  I whipped out my cell phone and sent Sugar Daddy a text telling him of our incredible good fortune.

"Rejoice!  I have found the air hockey table of our dreams!"

I imagined our days filled with the soft hum of the table and the clickiety-clackity-smack of the puck as we battle for a tiny plastic replica of the Stanley Cup.  

"Basement or garage, which do you think it'll fit in?"

He sent back, ""

WHAT?!   Are you kidding me?  This is the end-all-be-all of family entertainment devices!  We NEED THIS.

"Aw, why not?  It's only $40.  C'mon, man.  I WANT IT!"

As Miss Madison will recognize, he sent back the same message we send to our oldest daughter when she tries to push the envelope: "The answer is no.  This will be the last text about this.  Further texts will result in consequences."

Now, it's true that we really don't have much room for an air hockey table anyway, and his idle threat had me giggling in the middle of the store, but I couldn't very well respond to Sugar Daddy with anything supporting his logic, so I instead sent:

"*pfft*  Dude. That's whack."


I got the stools.

And these are GREAT bar stools! 

Sadly, once I got them home I remembered that there is a difference between "bar stool" and "counter stool".  That difference is about 4 inches.  My counter is simply too short for their awesomeness. 

But wait!  I have a dad.  My dad has major power tools.  I'm very hopeful that the combination of my dad and the major power tools will be just the ticket to taking them down a notch...or four. 


Edited to add:  I sent my father a text asking if he'd be willing to cut four inches off 8 legs...belonging to no one he knew, and if so, when would be a good time. 
"Now."  He sent back.

Seriously?  Sweet!

I hurried over to my folks' house where we performed partial amputations on the bar stools with a table saw...and laughed while we did it with sickening glee.   Hobbled, they now look like this:

And they fit perfectly under the counter. 

I took the severed legs home with me.  If the stools give me any more grief I can always flaunt them with a menacing look that says, "There's more where this came from."

Now that I think of it, I might use them in my next giveaway.


If this made you laugh, will you share it with a friend?

Giveaway Winner Announced!

If you didn't enter the giveaway for the sparkly stuff I made, go HERE and seeth with jealousy over Jennifer's new baubles.

Unless you hate them.  Then you can piss off.  ;)

Congratulations, Jennifer!

Friday, June 22, 2012

How Lily either helped someone drive to Texas or buy drugs on an otherwise normal Friday morning.

I forgot to tell you guys what happened with Lily and me last week.  She and I were out picking up stuff for her birthday party that day this was...Friday...and as we were leaving, we passed a young couple, maybe in their early twenties, holding a sign that said: "Out of gas.  Need to get back to Texas.  Anything helps." 

Still driving, we chatted just a little bit about how far away from home they were but the discussion ended there.  Listening to the radio, Lily's mind was still working on the couple. 

Soon she said, "Mom?  ...Could we give them something?" 
I said, "Would you like to?"
She nodded.
"See what I've got in my wallet." 
She said, "You've got five bucks." 
"Do you want to give it to 'em?" 
"Well, can we?" 
"Sure!  Let's go around the block." 

And so we did. 

She leaned out the window and handed the young man a five dollar bill.  His face lit up and he thanked Lily, thanked me and his female counterpart chimed in with a happy "God bless you."  I could tell their appreciation was genuine.

Now, I don't know what they were driving through Iowa for, but I saw their car nearby in the lot (they had actually been standing near it when we pulled in) and it did have Texas plates on it, so there was no second thought of Gee, I hope we're not helping them support their crazy glue addiction.  But you know what?  Despite that little nagging voice of skepticism, it still feels better to give SOMETHING, doesn't it? 

They were grateful, she felt wonderful and I was extremely proud of my kid.

What about you?  Would you encourage your child to give to a panhandler? 

Some Other Stuff I Wrote