Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last minute Christmas humor!

Can I post some Christmas funnies? As long as there are still decorations out, it's not quite over, right?

OK, because the equation going on this week is that the length of my posts is related to the amount of free time I have. So I will have to make do with a short list. But, erstwhile posting does not mean I am not thinking of posting! Never believe it! Soon I can return to my regularly scheduled pastime, once County schools return to theirs (sorry Susan! Our blogging frequency is conversely related! ;-))

Memorable quotes from the Christmas Past (Passed? Passe?):

1. My Mom, upon seeing my new pajamas: "What are trying to do, scare Rick out of bed?"

Lacking a picture to post, I can only say that these pj's have gained me the name Big Top B. They are very colorful and stripey, and if they also give me night-time celibacy, well, I am over-fertile anyway. So it will all even out. TMI? So sorry. :)
To clarify, when Rick first saw these particular pj's, his first remark was "Did those come with some big shoes and a red nose?" Har-har-har.

2. Cole, upon seeing an Isabella's unfortunately draped sleeping bag: "Mom! Why does Isabella's sleeping bag have a bad word on it?!? It says Hell Kitty!"
Cut to a shot of all adult heads swiveling in the direction of that sleeping bag. Which was hanging on the chair, just so, and did in fact read Hell Kitty. Coincidence? I think not. Isabella *had* been a bit whiny that day. :) And my Mom, *was* straightening the house that morning...

Sunday, December 28, 2008


New computer, your name is mud.

You, sir, are a royal pain.
And will be on your way back to the store on Monday.
Your wobbly-ass, malfunctioning USB ports have caused me great aggravation.
Your intermittent wireless connection a sorry tale of lameness.

My laptop liberation has been revoked.

Until Wednesday, when the replacement "family" computer arrives from The North Pole.

So close! Computing freedom at my fingertips... whisked away by shoddy manufacturing.
What is up with Santa's quality control these days?! Has the man taken to drink? The red nose explained, I say. (Right Susan?)

And so, with Cole home from school, my blogging is interrupted by the imminent call of Webkinz World.
To be continued...

Friday, December 26, 2008


A small note of liberation:

My laptop is all mine again! Celebrate! Santa brought a "family computer" for Cole to play games on... which was a great "present" for me. :)

Ahhh. No more crumbs in my keyboard. No more sticky mousepad. Yes - I have plenty of rules about not eating near the computer. Aren't rules fun?

No more hearing him say: "Mom! Did you close my browser???? You should have asked me first!!!"
Yeah, that one was my favorite. As I'm sure my response was his favorite.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

sweet home

Greetings and Halloo and has the fat man broken into our house to leave toys yet?? Because it is torture by question around here, with 3 children who have Santa calendars asking me all day if today is The Day. It is *almost* enough to make me shout. But I am holding tightly to my holiday spirit in one hand and my holiday beverage in the other!

A peek at our house, from 5pm-11pm and 6am-7am, thanks to my timer - and to the little hands that have FINALLY stopped moving the times around. One day last week it came on from 3pm-4pm, while I was outside raking. Huh?

(This shot was crystal clear on my camera. *Clearly* I should have taken the cuppa cheer out of the other hand, and steadied the camera.

I thought the monkeys wouldn't be curious about my "hidden" (read: behind a pot of pansies) little black timer box.
But I distracted them!

Perry The Penguin!
Thanks Mom. Everyone in the neighborhood that admires him, is told just where he came from. :) This is truly an "I did it for the kids" deal. :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Anatomy 101

I knew this day was coming.

But time just flew by, the kids were all content, and I let it slip my mind. (Yes, yes, my theme this month - the slipping mind.)

Clearly there has been rampant over-use of the all-encompassing term "bottom" in this house. As in sit on your bottom, wipe your bottom, you have a little rash on your bottom, I'm gonna whoop your bottom... the entire area in totality. Simple. Uncomplicated. Ineffective!

Ineffective, how? you might ask. And I will tell you. Ineffective in that the omission of names for girlie parts led two little 3 year-old girlies to believe they had humble boy parts. Really? Oh really!

The day of awakening went something like this. The dynamic duo were playing as usual, all over the house, here there and everywhere. I happened to be near the bathroom when they stopped in, and heard the following chant: "I have a tiny weenie! I have a tiny weenie! I have a tiny WEENIE! Watch me, I can pee-pee standing up, like Cole!"

Uh-oh. And that's how you know when you've left the subject alone too long. Not only is a correction now involved, as well as the slight disappointment to the girls at being told they do not, in fact, have a weenie... (Oh, the disappointment. They idolize Cole.) There is also the open airing of brand new words and ideas ringing loudly around the house for a while.

Comfortingly, they get it wrong often enough to be funny. As in Isabella yelling "Cole! Stop it! You kicked me in my Aretha!" And that is so flippin' funny to me, I cannot correct it. I can only giggle and smile, and think of a song.

So here we go, yet again, with anatomical misnomers... I'm so sorry, Ms. Franklin...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Caroling

It's the time... the season... this means lots of school programs and class parties!

Isabella & Jadyn had their preschool Christmas program last week, and it was memorable...

But let me start at the beginning. First, let's get the girlies dressed. I had bought them coordinating outfits, trusting my ability to bribe them both into skirts. Mine are not girly-girls. At all. They refuse to wear skirts and dresses, though they love to twirl in their princess nightgowns.
So, I pulled out their "program outfits" which I had been marketing hard all week, and really talking up. Here we go!

Jadyn, the dark horse, always surprises us. When we expect her to balk, she often antes up and is so cooperative. And she was delighted to get dressed and excited about the program. Whew. One down... one to go (well, make that 6 - the whole crew had to get dressed up. Eek.) - and Isabella was hiding in her room.
"I hate this skirt! I hate this shirt! I hate my program! I want to stay home." Oh Lord. She sounded exactly like an adolescent girl. I laughed and left her to sort herself out. 30 minutes until go time.

Fast forward 20 minutes, 5 down, 1 to go... time to roust Isabella from the playroom. With mild threats. She cries & screams and as I am well-versed in dressing wriggly kicking young'uns, I prevail. And threaten her if she dares take off the clothes. She stalks off to wait in the car, again, with a real 'tude.

Proof, you say? You don't think oh little angelic one can stomp and scream? View it and weep.

A Christmas story in pictures.

Jadyn gets in here twice, for being a good "gorl." Look at that sweet expression. She froze for this picture (a rarity) - knowing she had it all over Isabella. Slightly smirky, and deservedly so. Never think these twins aren't both middle children, vying for attention! This time she got it right - positive attention, cough cough.

3 down, almost time to head out...

But wait! Who is that tearful one at yonder door?

It's princess Bella!
Come on, little one. Time to sing in a huge room, in front of a huge crowd. Have no fear...

But that's a story for next time!

Still slipping

Last week it was the Christmas card sentiment. This week? Oh yeah. Still slipping.

So, Rick was at a friend's, and I called to tell him to pick up Mexican for dinner on his way home. It was the usual wild & crazy 6:30pm scene here, though that is no excuse, really...
I placed our order, finished prepping the kids for bed, put Phoenix to bed and waited, salivating for our Texas fajitas to arrive. Rick walked in, empty-handed, and asked "What happened, precious love of my life?!" (*this way is much better trust me*)
I stared as though he were an Alpha Centaurian, and vehemently asked, "Why whatever do you mean dearest dear of the deary dears? Where is our hot delicious mezo-american meal?"
He described a clueless bartender, checking every order, assuring him that there was not one in our name.
I stared unbelieving, and felt the vague stir of an uh-oh in my stomach.
Yeah. I totally placed the order at the wrong location.
Never mind that we have lived here for 4 years... and eat there fairly often...
Oh dingity-dang-dong.
I whipped out the menu to see which location I had called (Crabapple! Dammit!), but never think I took the blame! Oh no! It was the witching hour crazies, the fussing baby on my hip - and what did he think would happen, leaving me here at dinner time alone, to play juggle-the-kid?
And then, I dramatically walked out the door, and took my heated, hungry booty to La Parilla, to await a fresh order.
And have a beer. At the bar. And though it was not quiet, it was peaceful and no one asked for anything and thus it was a golden 15 minutes.
I arrived home to find the girls in bed, guaranteeing a relaxed supper. I would say quiet, but you know Cole, and that child talks even in his sleep.
Mmm. Tasty.
Rick has told this story 5 times already & I'm really gonna have to step it up now. He actually asked me if had remembered to feed the baby today... ooh, that stings. That is just wrong.
Every one knows babies can't call the wrong number.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bad Santa

Hi there and Happy Friday!

It's a slow news day around here, so I thought I'd share some really hi-larious Bad Santa shots, from Suburban Turmoil!

I don't have many Santa shots of my kids with the jolly guy, because I didn't have a lens wide enough to shoot both Santa and the girls across the room, hiding under a table, in the same frame. Oh well. But I do have a cute comment made by Cole, when I told him my Mom & brother were coming here for Christmas. His immediate response: "Great! Some more hands to help out!" No lie. Eye on the prize, that boy. Straight to the heart of the matter.

Have a laugh at Bad Santa, and I'll stir up some stories soon.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Email Vigilantes

Attention Email Rumor Forwarders! Er, e-Forwarders? Ru-warders? Emailer, emailing the forwards... the Forwarder... Forwarding the rumors...
Oh wait! I got it: Attention Conspiracy-believing-fwding-addicts! Society watchdogs!

I hereby christen you Email Vigilantes.

Should you choose to continue your pursuit of the "hot topic," consider this:

Just because you have a hotmail account doesn't mean you have a hotline to FBI/CIA/Secret Service files on current public figures. Really. Please listen carefully. And get in close, I'm going to whisper.

Not every email story/breaking news flash/character reference is TRUE. Just because it came TO your inbox doesn't mean it came FROM someone truthful/in-the-know/uninterested in scandalous e-rumors or slander. The fate & future of our society does not rest on your deliberate choice of forwarding or deleting. Promise.

Did you catch that? Are you still with me? Because Email Vigilantes are rampant today. Oh, you know who you are. You got that email about potential car-jackers, and you forwarded it to everyone in your address book. Ditto for the one about spiders living under toilet seats. And the end of social security... truth about taxes.... truth about Congress - don't even get me started on the bizarre nature of the ones flying around during this last election cycle. Really. Don't.

As one family member put it: "You must spend a lot of time defending your candidate!" Actually... no. I do not. Because organizations already exist that do an efficient job with this stuff! All it takes is a lift of the finger, a click of the mouse, a few simple words, and Bob's your uncle.

And now, for your vigilante enlightenment, here are the secret agencies that cover all this e-rumor fodder, sift the verifiable fact from the rumor and protect us all from e-garbage - should we choose to use their services. - wow. That seems so cut and dried. Truth or Fiction. - again, wow. Not one, but two sites that are all over this blight.

And blight it is! Blight, I say. Blight! Makes you smile, right? A blight, bloke! It's a bloody blight on the internet community. I mean, the absurdity of some of these things... is way obvious. But the all-too-human-urge to believe in conspiracies and spread the fear? Strong. Powerful. Almost irresistible. Fight it, my countrypeople - fight it!

Pinkie swear right now that you will henceforth Do Your Part to verify each and every email that even slightly smells of rumor-millage. If it turns out to be true, go to town with it. Spread it like it's hot. Unverifiable? File it under D for delete. Dead on arrival. End of the road. Deal? Deal.

Are we cool now?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Merry greetings

Have I mentioned lately that I'm slipping? You know, the old wheels aren't turning so spinningly anymore?

Well, I've done it now.

And all in the name of aesthetics.

I chose a most lovely Christmas card, because the instant I saw it, I loved the colors, the pattern, the spot for TWO pictures (crucial!), and the overall look. L-o-v-e-l-y. And I ordered those puppies, got them in, and proudly sat down to address envelopes.

Full stop.

My cards say, in the area for holiday sentiment, Season's Greetings. And did I notice this, before purchasing? Well, only in the most abstract ways, while I admired the beauty and the colors.

Oh my. Me oh my. Yes, yes, I know Jesus is the Reason for the Season. Yes, yes, I know Christmas is the name of the holiday. Oh don't I know it. Haven't I gotten a-plenty of emails lately, reminding me of this fact? Every wingnut with an email account and a pointer finger zips that sentiment around. I do not disagree! I fell for the prettiness! Swear! Was I raised in a non-Christian barn? (shut up. I was only in that barn a lot because I had a pony. And I liked the smell of hay.) (Email-forwarding-vigilante/morality police will be another topic. Promise! Stop me, oh oh oh, stop me... stop me if you think that you've heard this one before...)

All together now, shake your heads in silent lament at the absolute heathen choice of card I have made. 'Cause I'm sure still sending them out, and I still (secretly) love my choice. Ssssh...

Merry Christmas kids. The word is Christmas.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


This is the post where I reward my faithful reader/commenter Susan aka "Dewar" with a post that she will enjoy. It pays to play, folks. It pays to play. (yes, i do actually remember your middle name, because I thought you & L. had the coolest middle names evah.)
I was sorting old photos, hoping to be inspired to work on the Christmas gift calendars for my family... when I came across some golden oldies. I love the photo box. No matter how many times I poke around in there, I am always delighted by some long-forgotten shot.

In this one circa mid-80's-ish, I would be the sassy chick in the red velvet knickers, staring adoringly at... OMG! Yes it is! But back to my knickers. I love-love-loved this outfit when I was 9 and 10. Did I secretly yearn to be an elf? A showgirl? And what was up with putting suspenders on my knickers? Leiderhosen! My mom must have watched The Sound of Music before she made this outfit.

Notice that I am the only student that is dressed in holiday finery, and with special tight braiding of the hair. Everyone else is dressed like usual kids at school. Me? Oh no. Nothing but the best for student A1A. And by A1A, I mean, check out the sticker chart!! My row is a full house, right off the paper! Please raise your hand if you are an academic over-achiever-turned late-night blogger. You'd think my academic dedication would have taken me further. Nope. I still have a bizarre penchant for red velvet and/or crochet. Weird.

But look! Just 2 rows down, You-Know-Who has only 3 stickers. Naughty, naughty boy. Stop teasing me and just ask to borrow my leiderhosen.
And here we have a family reunion shot. Though why we would be wearing what can only be tiny yellow name tags, I have no idea. Because we have all attended these reunions, in the same building, since the beginning of time. And everyone knows the cool kids table needs no name tags. As if.

This year I am sporting the classic jean-on-jean look, and I betcha some loafers on the footsies. My Hardy cousins are in casual chic. At this point, S has not yet met her hubbie-to-be, and so I have not been able to apprise her of his schoolboy antics and merciless teasing. 'Cause that would have really given us something to talk about that day. You know, other than what desserts were the best. And who the acne-ridden new boy was and why was he at our reunion. And why Page was hanging around the cool kids corner.

Yes, it pays to play. You too could be the focus of Borderland fun & games. Any day now... any day.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Today is a bit of a tender day.

I had planned and written a Flashback Friday post... but life is such that you never know what will make up a day.

Yesterday, my Dad's best friend from high school passed away. And while this friend and I were only bound by our mutual closeness to my Dad... still. The thought of his 3 young daughters mourning their father on a cold Beaufort County day hit me.

As time is wont to do, it can wind around and seem to curve in on itself. And it did this morning when I looked at the friend's video tribute, and the healings of a year-gone melted. I was all of a sudden the grieving daughter standing in the winter wind trying to hold myself into one coherent piece, as I dimly watched the ceremony that commemorated my own Dad.

The pieces that make up a memorial are rather random, as it turns out. The military part of the funeral, while dignified, held no emotion for me. The soldier Floyd was not a man I knew. Yet from many accounts, that time of his life impacted the rest of his life, so maybe I knew him after all. The various friends and family that stood and attested to a life well-spent were all dear and I remember them all with varying degrees of clarity. The framed poster-size print standing on the green funeral carpeting bore little relation to the man I loved.

Somehow it is the memories of Dad's close friends that bring it all home. Because though a man is made of many parts, his friends offer a window of truth into the person. And that little piece of something that clicks between two people will always intrigue me. Always draw me in, to know and attempt to unravel the relationship that binds two together.

This morning it all came down to degrees of separation. For a moment longer I was close to my Dad through the ties of another. In some small way, as I remembered his friend, and thought of their reunion in that other realm, I was with Dad. I could touch him briefly and ride the palpable wave of emotion that is mostly suppressed. Because I was mourning another, that he would have mourned.

And so this Flashback Friday is given to friends old and new, that we might all appreciate those little glimpses of human connection, and know that in the long run, in the final say, we were Known as we walked this earth. The older you get, the more you need the friends that knew you when you were young.

Be pain-free and at peace, Flipper. You deserve it, old friend.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

With whipped cream and a cherry on top

No... I haven't been cooking up a good time today - I've been reading about the Senate runoff race here in GA! And hoping to cap off a good run with the final death blow. Only GA is still struggling with a step toward the inevitable on-rush of the future. The future that holds change!

“Georgia,” she said, “the eyes of America are on you.” says a NY Times article. Oh Lord. Not again. Last time all eyes were on GA, it was when Rep. Broun of GA was comparing Obama to Hitler a month ago. Eek. We don't need that kind of press, right? Then Saxby rang in with his declaration to oppose President-Elect Obama as he "supports GA values." Let me get this straight Saxby. You're going to run against the wind in this move that is sweeping the nation, a move that created a historical change in America with the election of Barack Obama? And you're going to state that publicly, as though you are a majority? As though hope, courage and vision as upheld by Obama supporters cannot also be GA values? Oh-la-la. Tres backward, my friend. Take a breath of the fresh air coming your way.

It's about time for GA to join the culture of progress and critical thinking, and take a look at who is supposedly defending our values in Washington. And though it may not happen this go-round, the balance has shifted, and the voters want results. You may squeeze in again Saxby, by the skin of your chinny-chin-chin, but you haven't heard the last from the 50% of GA who did not support you. And I have it on good report that many of the ones who have had your back, are none too pleased either. None too pleased, I tell you! :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Do you like her?

Isabella: Cole, do you wike Natawie?

Cole: Who's Natalie?

Isabella: In my cwass at pweschool. I don't wike Natawie, she messed up my hair.

Cole: NataLEE?

Isabella: Yeah. Natawie.

Cole: You mean like this? She messed your hair up like this? Then I don't like her either.

Isabella: Mom, do you like Natawie?

Me: I don't know her very well, so I can't say.

Cole: Well you shouldn't like her. She messed up Isabella's hair.

(Isabella nods seriously, content that Cole's got her back. All is right with her world.)

Jadyn: What about me... should I like her?

And on and on it goes. This poor 3 year-old classmate, with the brisk swipe of a hand, has the whole clan out to get her. Such is the pack mentality... :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Quick! What are you thankful for?

Cole: My family.

Jadyn: (silently points to me) Mommy.

Isabella: Underwear.

Phoenix: Milk. Always Mommy's milk. Day & night.

Rick: Kids, beautiful children, beautiful family.

Bethany: Well now, you didn't think I could say it in one or two words did you? :)

Oh, where will I start...

Moms. I am thankful for Moms. Don't they come in all varieties, every one of them necessary.

I am thankful for 2 grandmothers that raised me on good food, that I still think of each holiday.

I am thankful for a capable Mom that loves projects as much as I do. And reading. And tea parties.

I am thankful to be in the midst of holiday memory-making for my brood.

I am simply thankful today that we are all healthy and well, with the wide open world in front of us.

And now I leave you with a song. Courtesy of a well-spent preschool education. Take it away, Isabella!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful Tuesday

I know. I'm running early. That's just the way I roll. Either early or forgotten. :)

But I was feeling so thankful for a coupla things, I just had to start the love.

1. Jon Stewart. No explanation needed. I just get him. Anyone who plays "Devil Went Down to Georgia" in reference to the current Senate race just rocks. Full stop.

2. NPR. It's like a mantra of calm in my car - the antithesis of the house!

3. Cheese. My favorite part of the holiday season is hors d'oeuvres. Cheese-based ones. Cheese-based dips. Cheese Krispies. Cheese logs and cheese balls and gimme more cheese.

4. Ornery, rambuctious 7 year old boys who write notes about me in their journals, when they are sent to their rooms for being (and I quote myself) "disobedient, ill-mannered and disrespectful!" (I have copied these exactly as written.)

I hate Mom! Mom is stupied! Dum MOOOM!

and then:

I Cole Lear pleag (pledge) that I will hate my parintse forever! (Characterized by a drawing of a boy with his tongue sticking out.)

Ooh, the angst of adolescence... and the atrocious spelling of a mad boy! I am saving these journal entries, for sure. :)

Tune in tomorrow for more thankfulness. I'm chockful.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tasteful, thoughtful and... Titillating??

My husband brings me treats. Not all the time, but often enough to assure me that he is indeed thinking of me while he's traveling. And every week he brings me the USA Today from his hotel room. My connection to the outside world.

Over the years the treats have ranged from a tiny box of mints to a gorgeous handmade glass flower and vase. And in each gift I can see his thoughtfulness, his taste that echoes my own, and the time he took to choose something he thought I would truly enjoy. I appreciate every treat and have composed a couple of exhibits to demonstrate some recent gifts.

In "Exhibit A" you will see a lovely hand-painted pendant, trimmed in genuine gold. I really like necklaces, since my neck is always out there bare, having no hair to cover it. This particular beauty came from Columbia, SC and was an anniversary gift.

"Exhibit B" hails from Gatlinburg, TN and is a tree of life pendant. I like trees, I like necklaces, can't go wrong with this choice. It even has a lovely card describing the tree of life and it's meaning. Even better.

But get ready!

Next up is today's gift, an unexpected twist to say the least. I have entitled it "Exhibit WTH??!?" As you will see, this gift differs greatly from the previous two. Like divergent paths in a forest, the difference in gift-sentiment is clear. This shirt clearly lacks in both thought & taste and leans heavily towards "free."

Yes, it does indeed say "Race Angel by Day," "Race Devil by Night" with accompanying characterizations of said Angels. Oh. My. Freak.
Step in for a closer look of this bad boy.

And guess what! It's a SLEEP SHIRT! Woo-HOOOO!
Super-Hot, superstar, hot-mama; I cannot come up with names appropriate for this treat. :) It arrived from my home state of NC.

Actually, the funniest part of this is that one of Rick's clients gave this to him, for me, in all straight-faced honesty. Yeah. Racin' is big business up in 'em parts, ya oughta know. And Rick had to receive it in all straight-faced honesty, because really, you don't want to lose some big Nascar tee-shirt bidness account. That there is some primo race-fan-sleepwear, yeah boy. The other funny part is that Rick asked me not to blog it, because his customer might see... so "Sssh..." and if you have to rush right out & get one, well, don't tell him you saw it here first! :)

Me? I only know that racing started during prohibition as a way to run liquor. And anytime mama needs a drink, ya'll better get it here fast.

So think of me in my sleepshirt this weekend... And for the sake of holding strong at 4 kids, let's hope I stick with being a Race Angel.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

B. v. Board of Education

Since you asked, here ya go! The letter-writing campaign has begun! Here is #1, submitted this morning:

School Board
Planning Commission

Re: redistricting plans for elementary schools

Dear Sir/ Madam,

In reviewing your recent map proposals, a glaring inconsistency has come to my attention. I have looked closely at the boundaries and neighborhoods included in the MO Elementary (MO) zone, trying to determine which plan would be most equitable. Yet the inconsistency I see in each plan is this: while the MO zone has many, many multi-family homes included – there are comparatively few single family home neighborhoods in this district.

That raises red flags in my mind as to what the future will hold for the student body of MO. First of all, having lived in and around this immediate area for over 5 years, I have been in many of the neighborhoods around Alpharetta. There is great diversity in this area. And according to the recent map proposals, the majority of said “diversity” would attend MO. The other schools (A, CW, SH) will be effectively homogeneous across the board – coming from similar upper-middle-class neighborhoods.

Each elementary school should get a proportionate amount of multi-tenant housing, single-family homes, and upper-middle income neighborhoods. Only by dividing the areas fairly can each school support the needs of those attending, and maintain a high standard of education.

I feel strongly that this new map will adversely affect MO. So many of the neighborhoods contain blue-collar families, with both moms and dads working, and therefore less available volunteers for PTA, classroom needs, media center requests and other voluntary parent involvement. Also, all the multi-tenant housing skews the student body towards those that are more transient. Class field trips at MO are already affected negatively, because the amount of voluntary field trip donations is dropping.

MO needs the demographic that it stands to lose in these redistricting proposals – single family homes. MO already bears a heavier weight of ESOL students than any other school in this area. That number would only rise with the proposed redistricting. Also, of the closest area schools (A, CW and SH), MO has the lowest number of students in the TAG program.

Finally, MO bears the highest percentage, by far, of students in the free/reduced lunch program – 24%. The previously mentioned other schools nearby have free-lunch enrollment percentages at 12%, 2% and 3% respectively. All of these statistics point to a potential downturn in the school’s quality.

Please continue to consider the input of local parents, as we all work together to come up with a map that would be the most equitable for our children.



Our school currently has a great mix of students from all walks of life, and we have been pleased with every teacher. However, it is already on the statistical low end of all the scales the schools are rated on. It is a simple matter of fair distribution of all the types of homes that make up an area.

Simple, right?

If the board moves forward with any of the current proposed maps, the housing values in our immediate area will most likely fall. Because with the stroke of a pen, our school will be determined as less desirable than others very close by. Ah, politics you whimsical mistress. With one hand you achieve the finest national measure of equality in my lifetime, while with the other local hand you proclaim there are biases based on socioeconomic standing.

I'm up for the challenge!

And if you have any strategic suggestions, send 'em over.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Writing for a cause

Well friends, today I turn my penchant for wordy words and rambling sentences toward a good cause.

I will be MIA as I write letters to the school board concerning the redistricting of our elementary schools. I will try to bring my current passion for politics into the letters, and channel my activist tendencies. I will also try to channel calm competence and not screeching outrage!

Yes, I will be sitting criss-cross and chanting "ohmmmmm" while writing said letters. No I will not be burning patchouli incense. Yes I may use the phrase "in the all-encompassing spirit of our recent presidential election" when addressing the board and its seeming bias in drawing districts. :) Yes I may also use the phrase "boots on the ground" when referring to actual real life knowledge of considered neighborhoods. No I will not chant "Build here! Build now!"

I am really aggravated at the board and their collection of what passes for school grouping criteria.

Before I get side-tracked and write a long tedious post about the situation, I am logging off! :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Flashback Friday: In which I return to my bread 'n' butter

I have been told that my kid stories are my bread and butter.

However, these comments come from a variety of people that (*ahem*) choose not to (*cough*) "join a blog" as though I have in some way attempted to recruit them into the proverbial communist party.

Or, to make it politically relevant, socialist party; pick your poison. (Poison? Matter of opinion, again. Ever been to a socialist country, ye who proclaim it cometh nigh? I have. Good ole Americer don't resemble one in the least, nor will it in 4 short years. Promise.)

So, for the record, creating a username so that you may comment & express your particular delight over a post does not constitute a change in party affiliation. Promise. And while today I return to ye old bread & butter, tomorrow you may not be so lucky. :) (I mean, really. I couldn't even avoid political diversion and analogy for one flippin' post. Take heed.)

Back to B'n'B...

Today's flashback is made up of a few photos, one of which was taken 30 years ago (eek) and one of which was taken yesterday.

Me, age 2-ish, Atlantic Beach, NC near Uncle Chip's beach motel, I think. Correct or corroborate me, Mom.

Whether this was a set-up or not, my parents aren't saying. Regardless, it has become a catch-phrase for my family, though I swear I don't make this face anymore. Much.

But my youngest girlie does. Frequently. And always in conjunction with a banned activity, such as touching my computer, as seen below. She timidly wiggled the mouse, caught my eye, grinned a la "keep off the grass" and while she held my eye, wiggled the mouse again.

Daredevil. Remorseless heathen.

This is the face of the child that silently climbs on the counter, tears open a box of cookies as though a rabid squirrel got into the kitchen, eats her fill, replaces the box, and denies it ever happened.

Jady-jade-jade. The girl who named her new stuffed puppy not Blackie, Snowball, Fluffy or Puppy as most 3 year olds would, but who immediately smirked "Donk-a-doo-doo" at us when asked what she would call it. "Donkey-doo-doo?" we replied, hesitantly smiling, and silently hoping she would not take this puppy out in public and call for it. "DONK-a-doo-doo!" she crowed, unapologetically noting our raised brows.

So Flashback Friday is dedicated to the child I once was, and may still be, but certainly bequeathed directly down the line. Betcha I know where it came from in the first place.

And if you want to bet to, guess you'll just have to daringly join the party & leave a comment. Heh.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Something happened on November 4, 2008 at 11 pm EST.

It could be called the convergence of a political event with a shift of consciousness.

A sea change in the communal consciousness.

A raising of the vibrational frequency.

The lifting of a burden.

Something happened that caused beings both real and corporeal to stand up and shout “Yes!”

Because what happens when millions decide the status quo is not working? That the old vision has failed, the old rhetoric is stale, and hearts are crying out for solutions?
We all want solutions to the plague of problems in our nation, in our foreign policy dealings, in our sense of purpose. And solutions to the general feeling of dissatisfaction, apathy, and unrest – so that we may be at peace within and without.

Enter the communal consciousness. It always connects us, but in moments like this, it is palpable. Like a fine net of electricity connecting us all. Uniting us to make a move, though we may be uncertain of the future; there is the glimmer of potential. Hope and potential.

In this climate the stage is set for change. And millions of people in unison strive towards a common goal. All because a man thought he could make a difference, could unite a majority with the burning flame of idealism, could inspire hope and courage in place of apathy.

What happened was bigger than politics. It was the voice of millions saying that Barack Obama did not represent one thing, one policy, or one idea. He represented America. And that little piece inside each of us called hope. Hope that we can sail forward with our best sides showing. Hope that our beautiful nation with its quilt of peoples can lay down bigotry and champion courage. Hope that with just the right leader, at just the right time, true solutions to a plague of problems both domestic and global can be found.

It was a statement that a new day has dawned. The era of vision is begun, with a leader who bears a vision of our nation’s course and of our place in the world.

And with our vote of confidence, the human frequency rose. We began to vibrate with the very energy of possibility, to cast off centuries of historical burden, to rise to our true potential of world leader. See, we knew we did not live up to our ideals. We knew there had to be a better way. It just took someone to rise above the muck, to stand on the wall as the watchman and say “Lo! The morning comes!” And we will greet it with all confidence and cheer. We will rise to the challenge of change.

Yes we will.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sentimental Sunday

Yes, the reality of this stage being over is difficult for me to grasp.
I cringe at the thought of taking down my campaign materials, as though that puts Barack further from me.
When will my Inaugural Ball tickets arrive? What will I wear? :)
I cannot seem to talk about anything without filtering it through election statistics. I sit outside, waving at the neighbors driving by, and giving them the thumbs-up. They have no idea why. I smile and go on about what a great week it is. They have no idea why. They have moved on. I scowl when the newscasters dare speak of any other news.
Ah, the lucky ones, that can vote and keep their hearts intact.
And so it is Sentimental Sunday.
I have a good post brewing for Mood-altering Monday, in which I dig deep into the American psyche - post-election, of course. Deep. Be open. Be very, very open. ;-)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Freaky Friday

OK, here's the thing. I am not one to tout my absolute perfection for one thing or another, but come on. Admit that I make a totally perfect vampire! Put me in the darn movie already!

I have seen my future, and it is as a part of the Cullen family. Only without the hair-tucked-behind-the-ear look. That wig was h-e-a-v-y! Look at the ear-bendy action!

And, ok, to be perfectly true to the books, without the freaky teeth. If you have to ask "what books" then we need to talk. :) I hope the movie (in 2 weeks!) is enjoyable.

And now here we are, the happy family heading out - me, sans freak-teeth. Cole said I was embarrassing, Isabella kept saying "Pretty Mommy!" about the hair. Isabella & I, with our fine almost non-existent hair, have hair-envy of long locks.

Have a freaky Friday! Or not, depending on your preference and tolerance for freakiness. :) (See, Susan - your theme days are contagious!!)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's all about hope

The President-Elect. Wow.

What a night. What a day. I tried to sleep last night after the results, but my brain seemed to think it was my civic duty to review the victory speech. I was electric with excitement & wonder! And then when I had reviewed that speech to my mind's content, I moved on to a rebuttal email directed to people who have barraged me with derogatory emails for the past year.

That turned into a struggle between the desire to be as gracious in victory as Obama has been, and the absolute burn to say I told you so in a snarky way!

I finally decided I would wait until Obama took NC, and then send an email - but hasn't that taken all day! Give it up already! All the precincts are reporting, and yet there it sits, still gray on the political map. The Solid South seems to be having a difficult time giving up the ghost. But that's okay. I have faith that this too shall change, and right about now would be good (said while refreshing CNN map to hopefully show a blue NC).

Here is my prepared email, since my lovely readers are, ahem, the proverbial choir, and will not be on the receiving end of this:

Over the past year you have sent unsolicited political emails to me, calling Barack Obama a variety of names. Some of the more colorful names given to him in the emails were these: Anti-American, Muslim, terrorist, socialist, Fidel Castro, racist, liar.

There remains only one name for you to call him now.

Mr. President.

Swoosh! :-) Turnabout is fair play.

But truly, I squelched the snarky me for the euphoric me. And fed my buzz on the continual sound bites of the victory speech, by switching networks so as to maximize face time with Barack. The man brings me to tears. I am so proud of yesterday's accomplishment, and so proud of our nation.

What a day. A very great day.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Lemme hear your party talk...

Political, political, I wanna get political - let's get pol-i-tic-al! Lemme hear your party talk, your party talk... :)

This was a good day. I could say Best Day Ever - but I am confident tomorrow will bear up to that over-the-top title!

The mail came at 1:00pm - and what might you suppose was in the box? Why, my last-minute absentee ballot! Cheers, ya'll, I don't have to wait in that long line! As you can imagine, Rick & I played air guitar and high-fived. Really. :)

Don't you know we tossed those young'uns in the car, and wheeled down the road, while I bubbled in Rick's ballot (if that is illegal, then I did NOT bubble in his ballot. Pinky swear.), and on local candidates we disagreed on, we simply chose opposing sides, secure in the fact that we would cancel each other out. The joys of marriage.

The county gov't. center is 15 minutes away, and I ran in first to present my ballot. And ironically, in this historical election, with all the hype & hoopla over voting machines & technology, the ballot box looked like something from the girl's preschool class - it was just a big wooden box, with a laminated "Official Ballot Box" sign on the side. The office worker verified I be who I say I be, and in the box I dropped it. Luckily, I had consulted Rick on the desired application of a lipstick-kiss to Barack's name... and Rick advised that it might render my ballot void. So, consider it "on account," Barack.

And then, it was done. Months of preparation, excitement & discussion culminated in a simple moment in an old government annex, in an almost-empty office with a big wooden box. I said good luck to my ballot and let it drop.

I waited while Rick delivered his ballot, and we were home in a flash. I was jazzed. Psyched. Giddy. Feeling the vibe of the outcome, and so excited to have it all finished and to have Cast My Ballot. I felt like I had actually done something to tip the outcome of this race, and it was a heady feeling.

Here's to a very good day, when for just one moment I was the one voice, the one vote, the one hand that made the difference.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Personal vs Public

Something funny is up with total strangers blurring the lines between private and public info. People will ask anything! And out of experience, my criteria has become this - make it funny if you're going to make remarks or ask questions!

This stranger phenomenon first struck when I was pregnant with twins. Perfect strangers wanted to know my complete fertility history, and were not shy about asking if I was on drugs. Fertility treatments, in-vitro, acupuncture, karmic meditation - how did this happen to me?? It always caught me off guard, though I probably should have come up with a good line early on. I don't think well on my feet.

Well, that's not quite true. I think fine on my feet, only a foot usually ends up in my mouth. :) So, it's better for me to have down pat what I will say, so as to avoid awkward stares. Plus, I have face that is practically glass. Everything I think runs right across my face, like the CNN ticker. Or maybe my eyes are projectors, like those script-thingies public speakers read from.

Either way, I would stare blankly at the nosy nelly stranger, and state the truth. "Dropped two eggs, and both took! Wow, what luck!" Finally I saw a tee shirt that gave me an answer to if twins "run in my family" - I would say "Depends on who is chasing them." :-) That became a favorite.

But now, when we roll with our entire entourage, people watch and smile or grimace or follow us and ask to be adopted. Oh wait. That's Angelina that gets that question.

So we were going into a store, the whole kit & caboodle, and a kind gentleman was holding open the door. As the kids paraded around the corner, followed by Rick with the stroller, I could see by the stranger's face that he was thinking of those circus clown cars where 3000 clowns climb out of a tiny VW.

He said, "Well, that's a passel of kids! Don't you have a TV???"

Cut to Rick & I, giggling at each other, wondering when our personal life became mall-parking-lot fodder. But truly appreciative of two things: 1. it was funny, 2. we hadn't been asked that before, in quite that way.

A TV? Maybe I should have just told him I ran out of books to read... :)

Friday, October 24, 2008


Some days we just need to take a breath, a deep one, and not take ourselves so seriously.

In the spirit of deep breaths and lovin' life, this goes out to my Dad. He would have forwarded this to the world. Wait a minute... he just did! :)

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Thanks to Backpacking Dad for this one.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Call

I got the call this morning.

The ring shrilled out in the silence, early enough to make my heart pound.

I checked the caller ID and got a little breathless. Quietly, I said "hello" and strained to listen:
"This is the A. Public Library, materials you have selected are now available."

Ahhhhhh-YEAH! Whoot-whoot... whoot-whoot!

If you're thinking it is the remaining two Twilight books, you would be right! And if you're thinking I put them both on hold at the same time, you would also be right. I'm a very speedy reader. :) I will fight off those waiting 14-year-olds any day of the week.

So... I'll be MIA for a while.

I'm thinking I can get a huge Costco pizza, and just leave it out. The kids can nibble on that all day, and they're getting better about not spilling when they pour their own drinks.

Sorry children of mine, I have an obsession, and his name is Edward. And klutzy Bella reminds me of myself. I have the perfect example.

Many years ago, as I was just about to leave for NYC, for my first professional modeling shoot, I had a small accident. The morning I was supposed to leave, I over-excitedly opened the front door - right on my face. Skinned my whole cheekbone. Doh. And was delighted to explain to all the make-up artists exactly *why* they had to cover up a scrape. Such is my luck with physical coordination.

I mean, really. Who opens a door on their face?? Surprisingly, my big foot did not stop the door.

You can see why I might have a soft spot for poor Bella. :)

So, until I have read the books a few good times, in all eager anticipation, I will be off the radar. Off the grid. And living large in my gifted imagination.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Happy Day

Today marks the day that R-i-c-k-e-y was born! Why does he spell his childhood nickname with an e-y? Nobody knows. And his mama is 96 now, so she ain't tellin' and may not even be aware that I use that name so frequently. I love this smile. I do not love this muscle shirt. :)
To celebrate Rickey's special day, I put a treat in his suitcase, for him to open in his hotel. I don't know why. Just had a wild hare that I would encourage his lifelong appreciation for H@lle Berry, rather than wishing my poor ole pale self could ever be that glam. So, in went the latest Esqu!re mag, though I did read the article first, and may I say, Ms. Berry IS all that. And they were remaking the iconic Clinton cover this month - very cool. While finding this pic, I learned that H@lle is from Ohio, too, like R. Coincidence? I think not.

Here is Rickey in his Daddy hat, which he wears so competently. He threatens to take over my job. I threaten to let him.

Happy Day, to my main man. May you know the quantity of my love by the way I posted multiple muscle shirt pics even though I am so anti-muscle-shirt. You have me over a barrel. Cover those guns, H@lle's on the prowl.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

You had me at "You..."

This delectable note was in my inbox this week:

You were one of the first‏
Barack Obama (
Mon 10/13/08 1:26 PM

Bethany --You were one of the first 100,000 people to own a piece of this campaign. You provided the strength needed to build a movement. Back then, few pundits or insiders thought we had a chance. But thanks to you, we overcame steep odds. Twenty months later, millions of Americans all across the country have joined you, working for change.

Oh Barack. You had me at "You were one of the first...." Oh wasn't I. I read about you, googled, youtubed and generally stalked you for the past 4 years. When others had never heard your name, I toted a Barack button on my handbag. When your name was but a blip in the Chicago legislature, I forwarded your local speeches. I fell for you. Your crisp diction. Your controlled eloquence. The way you say "Well. Look." as you gather your thoughts.

I have enshrined my fridge with your smiling countenance and love letters, pushing my children's artwork to the fringes. My little ones see your face on tv and come shrieking for me - "Mom! It's A-wok-a-bama!" *sigh*

Waiting for your call‏
From: (
Wed 10/15/08 11:06 PM

I know you are waiting for my call. I will place it very soon now, when early voting week opens.
Your siren song of change has captured me. Please don't break my heart.

Sincerely yours,

"one of the first"

Friday, October 10, 2008

A jumble of unrelated ideas

I had a coupla things brewing up into stories overnight.

The first one was "My grandmother thinks Sarah Palin should be President and I have been struck dumb." Something about the cute little suits she wears, combined with her cute mannerisms, or somesuch notion. But she is so cool for a granny, that I could only listen and mumble respectfully that I disagreed. And finally admit we would get nowhere with this discussion and besides that, my throat was closing up on me and my eyes were bugging out. Such is the toll that stifling of political opinion takes on me. Such is my respect for my beloved Gig. :-)

But I have just the solution for people of like mind:

Write her in on your ballot! Really! Go ahead! There's a spot for people that you think could get the job done, so use that blank space! I think that's exactly what you should do, and get a few of your friends to do the same (but only a few friends, mind you).

And then I'll see you in November... :-)

(What?! You think I'm kidding, and there must be some trick to this?? I promise not. You're truly allowed to write in your own choice. Just don't hold me accountable for the outcome.)

Then I was going to post some fun action shots of the kids playing in puddles yesterday, which I may still do.

But when I walked out to the mailbox, and saw this on the driveway, courtesy of Cole, I knew I had my post:

A propos of nothing, my boy graffiti'd peace slogans on the driveway! With exclamations galore, to show his extreme emotion! "No hate!!!" and "Love is best!!!" - a 2nd grade view of the ideals of life. I love it. (Sorry, pic wouldn't turn...)

Happy Friday all - have a no hate kind of weekend...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Teen angst!

I know this will not be funny to some people... but it really cracked me up! All due respect to overwhelmed parents and all, and feel free to remind me of my hilarity when I am a mom of 4 teens...

On the news this morning, there was a story on a recent problem. It seems that the Safe Harbor law that was passed is being misused. The law was intended to stop infant abandonment, by making it legal to leave unwanted babies at certain locations like fire stations and hospitals.

But lately, parents have been dropping off their TEENAGERS! What an option!

Your kid throws you some teen angst and -BAM! Dropped off!

I called my Mom to tell her I was thankful that this law was not in effect when I was a teen, or I surely would have grown up as a ward of the state. :) Mom asked if there was a limit to the amount of times you could drop a teen off, or was it only allowed once. :) Sorry Mom, Jeremy's not a teen anymore, he's yours for good...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hawks a-swooping

Phoenix is deeply enamored with trees (said the woman who named him after a bird, sheepishly) (not that I named him sheepishly, no, that was with confidence. Just that I am noticing his avian tendencies rather sheepishly!). He will lie on a blanket in the back yard for a very long time, delightedly cooing and kicking. We call it “watching the leaves dance.” He gets all of his appendages a-going, just a-thrashing away, and is so a-thrilled when the wind a-blows and all of the branches a-wave. Haha. That was a-irresistible.

I discovered today that it works from inside too. He was discontent, and it was raining out. So I put him on a blanket by the back door, which is glass, so he could see the tree right outside the door. Magic in the forest – it worked! He saw those branches, with the rain all drip-dripping through them, and the leaves all jiggly with the breeze, and he became content.

But yesterday when we were out back, Phoenix wriggling in delight, me reading alongside him in delight, a hawk flew into the yard again. It was smaller than the one that visited earlier in the spring (pictured in my blog headline, and responsible for the confirmation of Phoenix’s name), but still very cool. It landed briefly in the tree near me, then swooped down into the neighbor’s yard. I soon heard small squeaks and assumed it caught whatever it was after. I couldn’t stand up to look over the fence though, because I was all of a sudden struck by the notion that it might swoop in and take Phoenix!

And that notion snowballed until I was decidedly & weirdly superstitious about leaving his side at all. Like the tales of fairies returning for changeling infants, my mind raced with the idea that my boy might return to his home in the sky… I mean, really. He does a great hawk cry – truly authentic. He would be an asset to any raptor family.
I know. I clearly spend too much time in the company of kids, fairy-tales, my lonesome, and reading sci-fi/fantasy. Part-bird, part-boy! Maybe he has owl blood, which could explain his nocturnal tendencies. Well, no, he doesn't exactly hoot. He only screeches. I'll have to think about this some more.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ode to Costco

I think that I shall never see
I sight that is so joyful and lovely
As 3 hungry pumpkins sitting on a bench
Sharing one slice and one drink to quench
The hunger! The thirst! The ravenous hordes!

Well, my rhyming petered out, but this is all true - take one giant Costco cheese slice, divided by 3, and one medium drink - and you've got dinner for 3 for less than $3. No whining, no pouting, just glorious silence accompanied by munching and swallowing.

And 2 snickering strangers, avidly watching the carnage that is our kids eating Costco pizza. These people said it was such a treat to get "dinner and a show" but even more of a treat to see us feed all those kids with ONE slice. I told them that's how I keep them lean and mean, at their fighting weight. Then I told them we would be back next week, and may possibly charge a next-table fee for interested patrons.

Such is life when you roll 6 deep.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Gentleman Joe

Happy Friday folks! =)

Well, I honestly cannot say I "watched" the debate, because I kept getting distracted by Palin's beehive, and had to look away. So I listened, and heard waaaay too many Beaver-Cleaverish phrases. Those gosh darn maverick hockey mom outsiders just make me want to say gee whiz and wowsers!
Biden certainly played nice, and even when he called Palin on dodging questions, he did it in a soft way. So that was a little disappointing. I like attack-dog Biden! Of course he had to moderate it, but could have gone with a bit more spunk I think.

I feel like Joe Biden stated clearly the goals of the Obama-Biden ticket, and connected the dots on salient issues. So I was satisfied on that account. But boggled on the so-called mommy appeal of Palin. The persona, charisma and experience of Obama & Biden weigh heavy with me. And the thought of Palin in crucial foreign policy negotiations makes me nervous. Her mid-western pet phrases will not seem half so cute in those situations, and will hardly get the job done. Cuteness can only mask ignorance for so long - and should never replace a firm grasp on policy. Not when our national security is at stake. Cuteness is off my radar when it comes to representing American interests on the worldwide stage. Talk about starry-eyed surprise - when the glaze of Palin's physical appeal has been rubbed off of Republican eyes, that's when you get the surprise - as in, Surprise! I don't know a thing about world politics!

So the only real debate question at this point should be this: Who do we all want to stand up AS us? To speak FOR us? And I am infinitely more comfortable with a well-versed, well-traveled team of leaders who are able to move among a variety of cultures both domestic and international. Maverick won't mean a thing once you're out of US borders. On the world stage a maverick is more akin to a rogue nation - that goes its own way regardless of international opinion.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

mad mommy

To the silver Honda Odyssey mommy in a hurry to get her daughter to preschool today: I wrote down your license number, when I caught you at the stoplight, after following you through my entire neighborhood - no easy feat, considering the fact that you blew through EVERY stop sign and drove 20mph over the speed limit! Thank you to that pesky/lucky pedestrian that happened to be crossing, as he stopped you in your tracks, enabling me to barely make out your license plate number. And believe me, as I watched you pull into MY girls' preschool carpool line and drop your daughter off, right in front of me, I could only stare in astonishment and think oh no you did NOT!
You will be getting a letter! I have friends on the citizen's auxiliary police force! And failing that, I know by your carpool number exactly which class your kid is in! I guess you just didn't want your little doll to be late, and miss handing in that huge sparkly, hot pink butterfly posterboard with her favorite things posted all over it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rah Rah Obama!

Yeahhhh. Way to throw around the words like you speak the language! Way to bring eloquence back! Way to bring the facts and figures back! Way to actually answer the questions! Way to... well, you get the point.

I found the, ahem, debate (if I must call it that) very enjoyable. And found myself wondering what exactly are people hearing when they listen to The Opponent? Is it like Children of the Corn? Do they watch him and recite the talking points in a brainwashed monotone? Come on people! How many times can you answer a question with "I will cut spending." Thanks. We got it the first time. And please, have your cake or eat it - though canst not do both! Are ya gonna be the maverick (loner), or the guy reaching across the aisle, facilitating solutions? Pick one, I'm getting a mixed message.

I have a theory that The Opponents followers are being thrown off by the maverick nickname. They hear that word, and in their heads go somewhere, oh, late 80's, a military base... fighter pilots... Tom Cruise... with me here? And they think The Maverick! H&ll yeah!! I'll vote for HIM! :-) I didn't know HE was running!

My favorite part of the night was Obama's view on foreign relations, and restoring the world's respect for America. He is so well-rounded, from his grasp of economics, to his acknowledgement of America's natural place in the world as a beacon of hope for those less fortunate. So Round One goes to the one who actually IS Mr. Congeniality, because that actually works when trying to get things done and run a country. You know, working together, melding ideas, cooperating... somehow it seems so simple! :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Look here, missy

A certain BFF has razzed me about my recent adoration of Twilight. Because, technically, it is a "young adult" novel. Technically. Oh alright! I'm the "loose woman" of the book! I'll read anything! I've said it before and it will be repeated - I like big... books and I cannot lie..." Come on, you know you can sing it...
Besides, what are these classifications about anyway. Lack of R language, intimate scenes - come on. Sometimes the best writers say more by saying less. And Lord knows, the teen set is reading more into every scene anyway, regardless of mmmphmm details. uhyeahyeah. Anyway, while the grown-ups of the world were moving on, I have apparently been scoping out the teen crowd & loving it. Can I get a hollah from the one other Anne McCaffrey fan?? Another friend recently told me he was into those Pern books "years ago." I didn't mention that I watch her site for each new release, and read her son's books too... Oh well, some habits die hard. Particularly the sci-fi ones, because hey - it's hard to write sci-fi and make it believable and appealing! I have enough daily experience of The Real World - so please, take me away! Tell me about lovers who *don't* have to clean up messes they didn't make! Throw in a little crrrrazy vampire action! I will read it and be glad that for a moment I got to leave these four walls. Lord knows, the screamer keeps me in a 4 block radius these days , and my how that chafes.
The world has enough going on that is of momentous import, so I like to go off-worlding now and then, and enjoy it enough to share the love. So just smile and thank me in the morning. Because you WILL be up late finishing Twilight. Betcha. BFF. ;-)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

She has read too many books...

...and it has addled her brain. :)
I'm back on the subject of "Twilight" - or I should say I never left it, since I thought about that book all night while I whack-a-moled my boys. It must be a particular knack to get lost in a book, and I've possessed that knack for many a year. I remember adolescent days of my Mom having to come up to my room and rouse me out of a book, when she had been calling me to come for dinner. At that time it was The Black Stallion series, and anything else horsey, or anything Madeleine L'Engle/fantasy.

What you may find amusing, astounding, or downright impossible is the fact that I have retained that knack - even in the midst of the 5 o'clock mayhem, I can mentally transport. (Quite a useful skill, I might add! And you would agree, if you have ever stepped foot in a houseful of under-10's before dinner.)

It happened yesterday, in the late afternoon. "Twilight" was so riveting that as I sat in the den reading, with the kids noise in the background, I did not even notice that the 3 had migrated to form a semi-circle around my chair. They were taking turns calling my name and I barely noticed. Finally Cole, gave a louder shout and I looked up, startled. The three of them cackled at that, thinking I was playing with them, pretending to ignore them. I felt a little disoriented and actually agreed to immediate rounds of ice cream. I think. At any rate, I felt mildly disapproving toward myself.
Can a book be "forget-to-feed-your-kids" good? That should be on the rating scale, along with "forget-to-pull-ahead-in-the-carpool-line" good, "forget-to-go-to-bed" good and "forget-you-even-have-kids" good. My favorite fall books are the "forget-there's-a-football-game-on-and-we-won't be-going-anywhere-all-season" type. :-)
So, this book was all that good, so good in fact that as I got within 40 pages of the end, I reserved the next 3 in the series at the library. They had one available immediately, and I wanted it so badly, that I actually took the girls and Phoenix into the library first thing this morning. Whoa. Be still my heart! I know, it astounded me, too.
Alas, book 2 was MIA, despite the librarian's search. All that effort for nothing - now I have to wait for the transport truck to bring My Books from south of town. *evil eye at that other fan who is holding onto the book past the due date*

Here's to book-addled brains and mental transportation! ;-)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Friends, Romans, Countrymen...

OK, that's all the Shakespeare for now, it just sounded like a good intro. Could have just said friends, but the rest rolled out.
I'm here! Present and accounted for! When 3 friends wrote to ask where I was, all in the same day, I realized I had fallen off the face of the earth for a week. =)

I didn't think I could be humorous this week about this pack o' Lears, until I kept repeating a funny quote I read recently. This author, Stephenie Meyer, was describing her 3 small boys, and called them "chimpanzees on crack." :-) That's it! That's where I was all week, handling my cracked up chimps.

Then, because simply being crazy is not enough, I started a painting project. Our banister, which curves around with the stairs, and continues upstairs around the loft, looked boring to me. So I decided to paint it a deep espresso color. Only, I had to tape off 5,000 white spindles so they wouldn't get painted too. And that's only the beginning. The clever paint dude at Lowe's directed me to prime the banister first. I taped and primed for 20 minutes before Baby 4 woke up in an ornery mood, and I'm realizing this lovely project will be on-going... because when Jadyn aka Peelerina got home from school , she went around peeling off the painting tape. Ah.

So I decided to read instead, since I can do that while jostling said baby on one knee. And I got totally wrapped up in this book, Twilight. The aforementioned author, of chimpanzee on crack fame, is riveting! But on my way to reserve the next 2 books, through my library online, I saw emails that lead me here, and well, that's that.

I'm sure I can manage some project pics in the next few days! Or at least a book report on this really good book.... ;-)

Friday, September 12, 2008


It's a little disconcerting to me that my kids are essentially "city kids." And so miss out on the dubious educational experience of roadkill that most country kids like myself find commonplace.

Well, this week while walking around our neighborhood, the kids found a mangled dead bird. And they were SO fascinated. It's curious to me how kids don't shrink from the word dead, because they don't have any emotional association with it yet. They just say over and over "It's dead! Look! A dead bird!" So they poked that bird with sticks, bounced rocks off of it, and asked if I could make it fly again. Finally I herded them along, feeling the little birdie should be left in peace, and slightly uncomfortable with their morbid fascination.

Then, roadkill visited our yard, having been dragged into the yard by some unknown predator. The kids came running inside, yelling excitedly that there was a dead possum in the yard. Though, how they recognized *what* it was, I have no idea. It was only a furry, headless torso. And so the stick-poking, dead conversation began again. I let them examine it, as long as they didn't touch it, and listened to their chatter. The girls chattered & poked and finally decided on a solution to the presence of a dead possum torso.

"Mommy, someone took this possum's head, can you find it and put it back on?"

See? We're all just puzzle parts in their minds... or Mr. Potato head...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Caught up... again...

I know I should just turn off CNN sometimes, and be peaceful and content to not think about politics. And yet... here I am again, watching, soaking it all in, googling comments made by The Opponents, and holding imaginary conversations with myself.
And since I've already delved into politics, why not religion? Ooh, scary. Either draws people closer or scares them off every time! :)
The repeated line in my head today was to Palin (yes, again).

"Hey Palin, God called. He said to tell you that there's only one of Him, and He's on both sides."

But she will be bold, and she will insist that we are in Iraq doing God's task - which smacks of superiority. Because the people we war against are also praying to God for assistance, deliverance and victory. As are the soldiers, bystanders, townspeople and children of all nations involved. God is God. He goes by many names, in fact too many to count.

Here is an awesome song by one of my favorite artists, Jack Johnson. I'll try to post the link, because you can read the lyrics AND hear the song here:

Monday, September 8, 2008


The girls were feeding their stuffed puppies and animals today, and it cracked me up.

They got the nursing pillow, and sat together on the couch breast-feeding their various animals, and carrying on conversations between each other and the animals.

Isabella told her puppy to save some for the rest of the animals.

Jadyn declared early on"Everyone, I can't feed you, I just got 2 little bweasts." Then she told the Beanie crab, "I gonna feed you, 'cause Bewa feeding her puppy a LOT like Mommy feeds Phoenix a LOT."

Isabella tells one baby, "Why did everyone cry? She's gonna drink 2 milkies, so I can't feed the other one." "We need some bigger bweasts so we can feed Po (a big panda)."

Jadyn: "You can't feed my puppy, 'cause he delicate."

Isabella: "Puppy! Don't dwink too much milkie!"

Jadyn then begins to throw her animals around the room like they are in a hurricane. Isabella jumps up to rescue them, but decides throwing them is more fun.

Ah, the balance between maternal feelings and the desire to be wild... :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

One small step...

I came up with a phrase that amused me this week, and since it won't stop running through my head I'll exorcise it here.

Sarah Palin: one small step for Republican-kind, one giant leap back for womankind.

This week, part of the "it" that irks me was said better in 2 news articles than I could have hoped for. And so I'm simply going to share 2 articles as food for thought. 'Cause I've sure been thinking about them, though I try & try to move on and not get agitated. :) Maybe agitated isn't the word... incredulous? boggled? fired up!

The fact remains that the women of my generation stand on the shoulders of women who fought for equality of the sexes. And though I may not choose to exercise every one of those hard-won rights, I hold tightly to the freedom. And I refuse to countenance any potential leader that would revoke those rights. My girls will not grow up in a world without personal freedom, a world where the government dictates to their potential harm, what they can and cannot do with their bodies. It's not about whether or not a woman chooses to exercise her rights - it's the simple fact that the rights exist. And should continue to do so in a world inhabited by equal peoples.

First some humor...
Sarah Palin and foreign policy:

Then some meat...
Gloria Steinem on Sarah Palin:,0,1290251.story

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bike derby!

A busy week... aren't they all?! :)

Isabella & Jadyn had school Tuesday, and Rick took a vacation day. Imagine our delight - only one child - free sailing! So we packed our car-screaming bundle of joy and stayed out riding around, browsing, just hanging out the entire morning. And had lunch out... what a treat for me... And Phoenix fell asleep in the car after 6 minutes (seemingly 16!) of crying, so we were practically alone! :)

This seems to be the way post-preschool will go: Isabella sits me down, and slowly takes each picture/drawing/project out of her bag, describing it in detail all the way. Jadyn throws her bag at me and says "You take it out." Then Jadyn says "Bewa played with a girl today. A girl in a pink shirt." Isabella nods sagely, "Yes. We played ponies." I ask, did Jadyn make a new friend too? Jadyn stares at me and somersaults away. She later names 2 boys in class that she "loves." I'll keep you posted on this.

The big fun deal of the week is the new bike-riding frenzy! A co-worker of Rick's had given us 2 bikes back when our girls were born. They have been in the attic for the past 3 years, and we decided... what are we waiting for?? Bring it on!! So began the daily bike derby in the clubhouse parking lot. And getting there (one block away) is half the battle. Keeping the teetering girls away from the curb, out of the middle of the road, off of each others tires, away from the stroller... whew! But to see them slowly cruising around, sticking close together like they're towing each other with a short rope - it is too cute.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Last night, I watched our future President accept the Party nomination. He was eloquent, impassioned and inspiring – adjectives I have not used to describe a political candidate since I came of age.

And so I have been mulling over Barack Obama’s acceptance speech, trying to figure out just why it moved me, and what makes him the candidate for me. For all of my “voting-age” years, Clinton and Bush have been in office. In the Clinton years I hardly had a political opinion. And in the Bush years I have cared deeply and been at odds with his leadership for 8 long years. So to feel utter patriotic pride after a speech, and excitement for our country’s future is new and thrilling to me.

Barack Obama’s message of unity sits well with me and my beliefs. He spoke of it last night, the notion that we are not Americans of every race and division, but simply Americans. I take it a step further – before we can possibly resolve issues both domestic and international, we must acknowledge our commonness. Obama simply gives me hope that instead of seeking political & cultural divisiveness, we can seek a common goal and unite toward it.

No matter how “”Kumbaya” it sounds, I believe in my core that international peace will become a reality in my lifetime. And when that day comes, when the state of international relations makes that change from an idealist notion to a present reality of peace, it will have been worth any amount of work. It is with that goal in mind that I stand behind Barack Obama. He will prove himself to be a man of solution, though it will not be popular with every citizen. He will be willing to sit down with world leaders and devise strategies that are not based on war and invasion, or fear-mongering, but on the grounds that a peaceful resolution can be found. Yes, war is the history of mankind, but at some point we must stop re-living our history and create our future.

Toward that end, we need a leader that can inspire and encourage. We need a leader with charisma, and should not fear that quality. For the tool of charisma can pull followers together and accomplish real change. People don’t get excited by mere words. We get fired up when those words are spoken powerfully by someone with the inherent qualities of leader. Someone whose destiny it is to lead our country into a new phase.

I am Bethany L. and I approve this message… :-)