Friday, February 29, 2008
Almost a year ago my beloved gas grill conked out on me. The parts that need to be replaced will cost several hundred dollars. I thought I could hold out, maybe find them on e-bay or something close enough in size that I could rig something up...yeah that's what you want to hear...that I am "rigging up" my GAS grill.
Months passed and I was seriously missing my grill and all of the yumminess that it provided.
Spring arrived and I found myself strolling through the garden center of my local Wal-Mart. Grills, grills and more grills....I started looking at some of the less expensive charcoal models. I originally got a gas grill for convenience. I wanted to be able to cook quickly and without the hassle of waiting for coals to get hot just to do some hot dogs.
But there is just something about the smell of a charcoal grill being fired up...turns out it is the lighter fluid. I have apparently turned into a steak snob. I spent years perfecting the ribeye on my gas grill...and the first one I cooked on my new charcoal grill was very disappointing.
A ribeye should not taste like smoke and lighter fluid. A week ago I purchased one of the chimneys. You put it in the grill, stuff the bottom with two sheets of wadded up newspaper and then fill the top with charcoal. Light the paper and 15 minutes later you have a chimney full of blazing hot coals.
So this eliminates the need for lighter fluid, and I am going to try cooking a steak with it tonight. Hopefully it will make a big difference in how the food turns out.
So if all goes well tonight we will dine on juicy ribeyes...topped with a dab of my homemade garlic herb butter and baked potatoes...
Cross your fingers...
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Not the quick, 'hey Mom' version but the looooonnnnnggggg loud one that vibrates from one end of the house to the other.
This 'Mom' has nothing to do with me...it is about the idea of me. It is used when one child becomes annoyed with another. For example:
Magnuts & MonkeyBoy are playing Wii.
MonkeyBoy decides that Magnuts is too close to him and tells him to back off. When Magnuts, of course, ignores him or gets closer it is time to sound the 'Mom Siren.'
There is no expectation that I will materialize and smite the offending child...it is a warning system. Not a warning for me but for the misbehaving child that the alerting child is ready, willing and able to narc them out.
It. Is. Driving. Me. Nuts.
Ignoring it does not work...it is part of their design. If they really want my intervention I can hear it coming from a mile away...
Plaintiff: "OOOOWWWw! Why did you do that...I am telling Mommmmmm"
Defendant: "Shhhhhhhhhhhh....wait you're ok....don't go in there...wait you can play first...."
Then they find me and the blame begins. The Defendant, at this point, feels that the deal offered was rejected so now all bets are off. There will be no acceptance of responsibility only rabid denial.
Those situations are bad enough...but at least that 'Mommmmm' has a purpose.
About the 8th time the MomSiren sounded yesterday I snapped. Seriously. I walked into the den and laid it out for them:
"Quit screaming for me unless you are bleeding or something is on fire. If you need to talk to me or you are having a problem of some kind get your young little butt off that sofa and come to ME. "
So...my plan for the future is rid this house of the 'howler monkey' aspect and teach them better conflict resolution skills. Failing this...I will be locking up the Wii and buying ear plugs.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Magnuts-Wedgie wedgie wedgie.....
MonkeBoy-NO!!! a boxer wedgie really hurts...
So of course I go to Rob...the answerer of all things penile. Apparently there is a huge difference between a boxer/brief wedgie and a boxer wedgie. As the groin guru so delicately explained it...
It is all about seams...the boxer/brief has seams that run on both sides of the actual crotchal area. So if one applies direct pressure from above/aka a wedgie, the pressure is distributed equally over the area causing a tight "cupping" effect. Uncomfortable, but not deadly.
The true boxers have a middle seam. Picture the garrote killings in your favorite Mafia movies...one guy sneaks up behind another guy, slips piano wire around his neck and WHAMMO. It is kind of like that, but worse...according to Rob. In a boxer wedgie the center seam is rocketed straight up into "the area." It does not need to be a direct hit, or "center mast" if you will, a grazing of any portion of the area is enough to cause problems.
Boy children, a continuing education.
Monday, February 25, 2008
I got her test scores back Friday. She scored, are you ready...a 20.
A frickin 20 composite.
I almost wet my pants.
For those of you up North...the ACT is like the SAT but the max score is a 36. A 20 means that she scored higher than more than 50% of all juniors and seniors NATION WIDE who took it.
Miss-D didn't let it go to her head too much. She did start using words like 'twentylicious' and 'twentyriffic' but didn't get as far as referring to herself in 3rd person...
Friday, February 22, 2008
Cause you know that it is so easy to get it filled out by a physician at 6am.
He says he needs it for next year, for football. The 8lbs he has gained in the last year have gone to his head...at 69.7 pounds he feels ready for JV football.
Yeah, he is only going to be in 7th grade, but they let them play JV.
I attended one of the pep rallies this year. The school has a grand total of about 20 football players, that is JV and Varsity, most of the boys play both.
Even funnier is the half time show. When the buzzer sounds most of the football players head to the locker room. A few of them head to the sideline, remove their helmets and pick up an instrument and line up with the band to perform the half time show.
That's right, in full pads and cleats they march with the band. If I get a chance I will try to capture that bloggy magic on video for ya.
Have a good one...
***BTW for those of you on Blogger...my spell check finally started working again this morning...did y'alls?***
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Yesterday I needed to have it my way, so I came by.
What the hell is the BK Pipe and why am I handing it to my 8 year old?
I am not sure why the new straw/pipe is so frickin thick but the kids really thought it was cool. You could pass a spitball of massive proportion through a straw that thick...one that could really do some damage...cool. There was also talk of letting the hamster use it as a water slide.
So if the point was cool toy...well done.
Now let’s talk logistics.
At first I was hesitant; I considered that the larger diameter might require greater suction to actually pull liquid to the top. It does, but not a problem. Let’s move ahead to what happened when I got to the end of my refreshing Diet Coke...
...I am driving my car with the FlyingMonkeys in the back. I shift through the busy intersection, jamming to Delilah, reach for my almost empty cup...shake it a little to settle the last of the drink...move the large hose like straw to my lips...and suck...hard. Tiny droplets of Diet Coke begin their noisy path through the BK Pipe, my lips begin to turn blue from the effort required and then "THUNK".
I like ice. I like to chew it, suck on it...notice that both of those things would take place in my mouth. I am not so fond of the ice bypassing my mouth and heading straight for my lungs.
So now I know, no suckie the icie...but you just know that some igmo is going to do this and then try to sue you ....just like their baby's Mama's Sister's Cousin's Friend did when her coffee was too hot...
Just lettin you know,
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Had another "empty barn" moment this weekend. Are y'all aware that after midnight Comedy Central becomes completely uncensored? I wasn't...till Saturday.
It was midnight and I was snuggled down but wanted to leave the TV on a little longer. I was flipping through the channels when I noticed a Jeff Foxworthy thing on Comedy Central...and thought..."how bad could this be" (by that I mean how nasty...I was aware that it would be lame). I figured that if a kiddo wandered in while it was on I would be ok...how about a big fat no. F-bombs abound...there were things said that would have made Jane Fonda blush...
So, as a public service to anyone as clueless as I about all things occurring after 10ish...Cartoon Network and Comedy Central not so much for kids.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
We were all together...huddled in the bathroom.
Yep, the five of us plus TacoHamster, PenelopeParakeet and ChiliDog, crammed into the kid's smelly bathroom. Me sitting in something wet...that for my mental health we are going to call water...
We had been under a tornado watch for hours when the WeatherGuy pointed out that a tornado was headed in our general direction. The kids gathered blankets and pets and we continued to watch the WeatherGuy to determine if retreat was really necessary.
How about a big yes.
It occurred to me that because our house is so out of the way that no one would know to come dig us out if we were actually hit. I called my Dad and asked him to call us back in 30 minutes...if we didn't answer he was going to call someone to come help us. I was still on the phone with him when it started.
The wind went from 0 to 60 in a matter of a single breath. We ran to the bathroom, slammed the door shut and pulled the blankets over us. The wind was howling and then the power went out. In a matter of minutes it was over and we were fine.
I found our little battery operated TV/radio and was stunned when the batteries actually still worked. I don't know about you but I don't generally have 12 C batteries lying around. I found our WeatherGuy just in time to hear him mention that a tornado had touched down in our area.
There were a few tree limbs down and our gate (about 8 feet wide and extremely heavy) had twisted to the point that the hinges tore from the post. That was the extent of the damage...we were very lucky. I didn't realize how lucky until later.
Between storms I rode up to check the barn and the horse, both fine. I decided to ride on up the road to check the old house and one of the other fields. It only took a moment to figure out exactly where the tornado had been. Had I walked out my back door into the woods 25 yards I would have been standing in its path.
Today I am adding some things to my grocery list, things to help us be more prepared for the next storm…batteries, something to nuke their bathroom with, and some GasX for ChiliDog…don’t want to survive a tornado only to succumb to methane poisoning.
Friday, February 15, 2008
I am sure some of you are aware that TV is supposed to be all digital by Feb. of 09. I was in the dark about the difference between digital and analog quality...till now.
We got a new TV a few weeks ago. Our first new TV since I bought the Quasar with built in VCR before we got married. We got the new one home and set it up...I had no idea how crappy analog looks on a good TV. The picture is actually worse that it was on our older smaller monitor.
We have basic cable and it is all analog all the time...I called the cable company and was told that in order to get digital I would have to rent a receiver for $7 a month. I pointed out that I do not need a receiver that the TV has one built in. They don't care...to get it I have to have the box. If I want the 9 HDTV channels they offer I have to use their Dual DVR...at a cost increase of $40 a month. The $7 receiver started looking better and better...until she told me that I couldn't have basic cable anymore that I had to upgrade to a whole bunch of stuff that I don't want or need for an increase of almost $30 a month.
I do not want 12 MTV channels or a baker's dozen of VH1...
I do not want to spend an extra $30-40 each month...
I do not want a new box of any kind...
Instead of TIVO or some other recording device we have something way cooler...a dedicated PC with Media Center. Rob hooked all of this up and it is amazing. It does everything a normal DVR will do (record two channels at the same time) and more. Let's say we are watching a movie and start arguing about where we recognize one of the actors from...there is no need for me to get on the computer and look them up to prove that I am right. I can click on the "More Information" button and it will pull up the entire cast...then I scroll to the character in question and hit "select" and Viola a complete list of every movie they have ever been in.
Another bonus is the fact that it is free...all of it...even the guide data that updates regularly and wirelessly.
So JaniceSparrowCablePirate...I hooked up an HDTV antenna. It gets NBC and CBS...FOR FREE.
The rest of it I can live with....for now....
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Q-What is the proper age to get married?
Magnuts-14, cause sometimes your mom lets you.
Q-When is it ok to kiss someone?
Magnuts-When you are 700 cause then you wont be alive.
Q-How do two people fall in love?
Magnuts-First they are friends, then best friends, then they are boyfriend and girlfriend.
Q-What does falling in love feel like?
Magnuts-Very very good.
Q-Does a person need to be good looking to fall in love?
Magnuts-No, cause sometimes a nerd boy can fall in love with a nerd girl.
Q-How do you make someone fall in love with you?
Magnuts-Pay them or push them down a hill.
Q-How do you make love last forever?
Magnuts-Be nice and give them stuff.
Clearly I have some work to do...the push them down the hill thing was much more of a running theme than indicated here.
Happy Valentines Day!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
He spent the night away from home, with a non-relative, for the first time a few weeks ago. Before he left I reminded him that he was not allowed to do anything at his friend's house that he was not allowed to do at home.
When I picked him up the next day he seemed fine until he got in my car. Then he just broke down. The little boy had not spent a lot of time playing with him. I asked Magnuts why this was and he told me that the little guy had been playing a video game most of the time. I wanted to know why they had not played a two player game together...that is when he really lost it...turns out that most of the games the kid had were rated M for Mature. My children are not allowed to play those games...and Magnuts didn't.
I was stunned. I could not believe that he made that choice...a really hard choice. We decided that we really wanted to make an example out of this...to reward him in some way that would make a huge impression on him and his siblings.
Enter Taco the hamster and all of her hamster stuff. I was anti hamster until I saw this:
You can even buy a little track for this thing...how funny is that. We are waiting on the little car...but went ahead and got her a hamster ball. It seemed kind of cruel at first...then she got the hang of it and looked like she enjoyed it.
She can really get going in that straight shot from our office, through the kitchen and into the den. When the end of the road, or as I like to call it..the wall, comes into view she hits the breaks.
She also spends an amazing amount of time on her little wheel. Magnuts has been paying particular attention to this...apparently he thinks that we could wake up one morning to a "really buff strong hamster" capable of breaking out of her cage and killing us all.
I think he is kidding.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Saturday morning, at or around the butt crack of dawn, I was up to get Miss-D ready to go take the ACT...MonkeyBoy groaned and told me his still felt crappy.
Our only option is really the Urgent Care center. It is a really nice place but the waiting time can be 4 or 5 hours. I figured that if we dropped Miss-D off and shagged right on over to the doctor we might be early enough to get in and out quickly. My experience from working in the hospital was that the drunks and/or anyone between the age of 16 and 25 would be sleeping until at least 11am no matter how crappy they felt.
We get dressed and haul Miss-D to the school for her test. It was just as strange as I thought it would be. All of those high school kids were standing in line, bleary eyed, sucking on a coke and holding their car keys. Miss-D was bright eyed and bushy tailed...clutching her little back pack that her Mommy had filled with Capri Sun and snacks.
Then it was off to the clinic. We were not even close to being the first ones there. I had totally forgotten about the older folks...the only people on earth who get up as early as mothers with young children.
When we got to the waiting room there were 4 couples ahead of us. These people had to be in their 80s and had clustered together to chit-chat about the reason for their visit. It looked like some kind of weird group date. People started streaming in steadily after we arrived. This guy who I think may have had TB sat right behind us...I thought I was going to have to be really rude and move but luckily we were called back before I could do it.
First to triage...the place where I got my first indication that I would be nominated for an award...MonkeyBoy had a temp. of 102.5
Then the nurse asked him how long he had been feeling ill..."A couple of days...maybe 3 or 4."
What a look I got. Never mind that he had not told me that he felt bad 4 days ago.
We were led to a room and he was swabbed for a quick strep test. The doc came in and she was really sweet as she told me that he was positive for strep. A scrip for antibiotics was written and we were headed out to the office to pay up when I said..."He was at school yesterday...and I can't believe I told him to suck it up."
The doctor said, "Well hey, Mother of the Year!"
I guess she realized that she sounded like a giant beee-ach....cause she quickly told me that her sister had done almost exactly the same thing and that afterwards had labeled herself Mother of the Year...
I kind of felt bad for her; she really didn't mean it in a snotty way....
**** Stay tuned…tomorrow I will be introducing the two new residents of Reeves Farm
Friday, February 8, 2008
****NOTE: Mom, I am adding this little notation to point out my restraint…because your friends read this. There is a great joke here…something about an overzealous prosecutor, a skank and a dozen or so hypocritical professors. Thing is it is not yet 7am and I can’t put it all together without it being completely inappropriate….so you are welcome. ****
Anyway…this program seeks out children who scored well on the Stanford Achievement Test. I am guessing that they want to see how well these kids will do on a test that is not designed for their age group.
I looked at the prep stuff and the math section really worries me. To do well in that section you really need to have had Algebra, Geometry and at least Trigonometry. You can’t just read the question and try to reason out an answer. If you have never heard of the Quadratic Equation you cannot hope to recognize the situation in which it would be needed to solve the problem much less apply it correctly. Surely they do not expect these kids to be prepared to do math at that level.
The English and Reading Comprehension I get. She should be able to handle some or most of that. The science section seemed possible with a little applied logic and luck.
I am concerned that her expectations might not be realistic…I am worried but it was her choice to take this test. She does not seem the least be nervous or anxious about it so maybe my worry is for not. Perhaps she only wants to take it to freak out the older kids. She will be walking into the high school portion of her school Saturday morning to take this test with a large group of juniors and seniors. While they are digging through their wallets/purses to find their driver’s licenses to show proof of ID she will be flashing a year book with her 5th grade mug shot…I can see how that would appeal to her…
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Ahem...she is 12. I remembered that she has a passport and let the worry go...until I thought about the fact that it is 9 years old. She looks a little different now.
The paper did say that a year book photo would suffice. I forked out $30 for her to get one in 5th grade...and lost my frickin mind when what showed up was a 40 page, paper back, piece-o-crap. If it gets her into the test it will have almost been worth it.
There is a girl in her grade who acutally could provide a driver's license. How goofy is that? If you have your 16th birthday while still in middle school you should not be allowed to drive. Any person who has made such crappy choices that at 16 they have lunch with a bunch of 12 year olds sucking on juice boxes and telling booger jokes obviously does not have the judgement to be opperating a 2 ton vehicle.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
We don't get cool "weather days" down here. If we wake up and see the name of our school scrolling across the TV screen we are in trouble. In the 8 years their schools have only closed for two reasons: tornados and hurricanes. Boo.
It was 80 degrees here yesterday and they are predicting a "light" freeze tonight...no wonder the weather is nasty.
Time to batten down the hatches and hang on...see y'all tomorrow.
***Is anyone else using Blogger having trouble with spell check? Mine has not worked for a week...just wondering...
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
The bane of my elementary school existence, as a mom, the Bonnie Plant cabbage program. Crap.
Miss-D and MonkeyBoy both brought them home in 3rd grade...and I killed them both...the cabbages that is.
It might have worked out fine...Magnuts has a short memory...I could have planted it in the yard and he would have forgotten it...so its certain death would not have been a huge issue. Except that my brother-from-another-mother (my first cousin Andrew) happened to be visiting Friday. He happens to work for the
Magnuts was on fire...$1000...he was dreaming of Pokemon cards and whoopie cushions. The word "Scholarship" does not compute...he does not get that he can't just take a wad of cash to Wal-Mart.
So now the pressure was on me. I was trying to explain to Andrew my history with the stupid things. He told me just to leave it the little pot for a while and then plant it in the yard some place.
Well that is how Cabbage#1 bit it. They will not last in their little plastic pots for very long...and a month is definitely too long.
I told Andrew that I could not just go dig a hole and plant it in the yard. Our dogs are attracted to anything having to do with fresh dirt and will roll all over it killing the plant. I know this because that was the fate of Cabbage#2.
Andrew suggested that I go get some wood and BUILD a little raised garden....ahhhh....no. I told him that I would just throw it in one of the planters I already own.
Andrew: You know these things get pretty big...
Me: Not mine...
Andrew: Really, Laura they get huge. I don't think those pots are going to be big enough...
Me: What evah....
This was not even the biggest one. 40lbs is the AVERAGE size of one of these fully grown.
To make matters worse Andrew called Magnuts in to see these pictures...all the "OH WOWs" coming from my office attracted the other two FlyingMonkeys. When they laid eyes on the pics...well let’s just say...awkward.
MonkeyBoy: Ummmm, Mom...is that the same kind I had in 3rd grade?
Miss-D: What's this business about $1000...I didn't hear about that...
MonkeyBoy: I thought you said they were only supposed to live 2 weeks...
So with a heavy heart I am off to buy stuff to try and keep this thing alive….oh and some candy or something for the older two so they will stop giving me “the look.”
Monday, February 4, 2008
There have been years when I actually had to get up during the game to get a drink because the game was mediocre and the commercials were must see. This was not one of those years.
There were a few that stood out...I loved the tire commercial with the screaming squirrel. The squirrel screams, every animal on earth screams and then the lady in the car barreling towards it screams. This was a good commercial...had it showed a little puddle of squirrel urine after the car missed it...it could have been great.
I also loved the Doritos ad with the mouse that rips through the wall and beats the crap out of the guy. I am sick that way…one of my favorite shows of all times was the “Happy Slapsgiving” episode of How I Met Your Mother. There is just something about grown men slapping the crap out of each other.
The other tire commercial where the driver speeds up when he sees Richard Simmons in the road…also a good one.
There were a few others that we thought were funny…but it just wasn’t like it has been. We ended up seeing tons of local commercials. Crap that comes on ten times a day during lunch time programming…junk. There should be a law. No commercials will be shown during the Super Bowl unless they meet certain criteria; they must be brand new and they must be funny.
I do not want to watch the two guys that do food service for Samford University talk about how they choose BCBS as the insurance for their employees. I have guide info on my TV…I KNOW that Sara Conner Chronicles are coming on tonight at 8 central…you do not need to remind me 15 different times. Are the NASCAR people forgetful…do they really need you to remind them a dozen times that there is a race coming up?
What commercials did y’all like?