Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The "Silly Science" Dessert Contest

The Vacation Bible School program that the urchins attended this week had somewhat of a science base, so at the "family night" party, the organizers held a "Silly Science" Dessert Contest. The criteria? Something related to science and edible.

Lest I sound like the bitter old hag that I am, let me preface this by saying that the two best displays won first and second prize. Both were volcanoes. One had a dark pink yogurt lava flow; the other had dry ice in the middle. Very impressive, both of them. They deserved to win.

After that? Eh. Not so much. Third place was a Jello seascape. It had a good presentation, and it was mostly edible, but it didn't exactly scream "science fair" to me. Fourth place was Jello Pudding Cups that had some sort of cracker thing sticking up and M&Ms dropped in. I was a lot confused on what it was supposed to be. Some sort of strange smiley faces?

This the first place volcano, just as the lava was beginning to spill forth. On the left you can see the fourth place pudding cup entry.

This was my entry, a gummy insect collection, decided upon in a last minute instant message flurry with PEZmama.

I wimped out and just wrote the common name on the tag, since I couldn't decide which kind of gummy beetle it was. As if it really mattered anyway. (I was leaning toward scarab beetles though.)

The original plan was to make a sheet cake to make it look like a styrofoam board. I decided to go with cupcakes instead because I thought it would work better with the potluck style dinner. I think it did, since they were gone about 10 minutes after the judging.

Anyway, I knew it wasn't a fabulous entry, so I wasn't expecting any sort of a win. But I really thought mine met the criteria better than ol' Pudding Face.


Friday, June 27, 2008


The week of VBS is over. I am thrilled, and now I'm going to sleep for 37 hours.

Coming soon: photos of my magnificent entry for the silly science dessert contest -- my entry which didn't win, but was the only one that anyone actually ate.

So there.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

The VBS Effect

Ah yes. You know it. The effect of that week-long Vacation Bible School? Exhaustion.

It's hit us.

We went to VBS at our church already, but a friend called and invited the children to VBS at his church, so we're at it again. Not that it's a bad thing. The children always love VBS. The program the church is using is Power Lab, so my science-loving youngsters are doubly thrilled. But regardless of the fun, the exhaustion still sets in for us around Thursday.

I knew that it was coming. I could see it last night and this morning, so I had planned for us to take it easy this afternoon. We did just that. We spent the afternoon watching Mist (twice), and yet Sass was in inconsolable tears not long before time to go to the church. Why? Because the movie was "so sweet" that she couldn't bear it. For her, that's the fog of exhaustion talking.

So tonight I took Spyder to VBS, and Sass stayed with me.

What did we do? A big fat lot of nothing, most of which involved deciding what flavor ice cream to get at Baskin Robbins.

By the time we returned to the church for the closing assembly, Sass was ready to join her class briefly before being dismissed for the evening.

Tomorrow night isn't really a class night. It's the awards ceremony and the family picnic. We'll be there (with a "silly science" dessert), and I'm certain we will have a great time. But I'm just as certain that we will all be glad that VBS is over.


That's my Spyder

ME: Okay guys. We're going run over to Kroger this morning to get a few things. Start thinking about what should be on the list.

SPYDER: Hang on a sec. I have to pick my nose.

ME: You have to what?

SPYDER: Pick my nose. I can't think when I have boogers.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Story of my life

Well, kinda. Mine was from the, you know, girl perspective. Close enough for this song to make me nostalgic.

As if that takes a lot these days.


Monday, June 23, 2008


ET Online is reporting that George Carlin has died.

Ah, Rufus. You totally rocked.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Let me make that decision. Thanks.

Today I was driving down one of the main thoroughfares in my little town. It's six lanes, so it's not an insignificant street.

I was driving in the middle lane when -- whoosh! -- water came out of nowhere and rained down upon my little car. I was so shocked that I slammed on my brakes and was nearly smooshed by the massive truck behind me.

Apparently, the girls at Hooters were holding a


Or at least that's what the sign said.

Those kooky Hooters girls. I doubt they're known for their proper use of quotation marks. Or spelling.

But that hideous sign apparently wasn't doing a great job for them, as no one seemed to be taking advantage of the "FREE" CARWASH. To change this situation, they had decided to throw buckets of water on the cars driving down the road.

Oh the brilliance of that plan, throwing water on the vehicles zooming down that six-lane road.

They had better be praising someone for the Hooters Miracles bestowed upon them. First, that the big ol' truck behind me didn't smoosh me. Second, that I was in the middle lane and had to keep driving rather than turning into the parking lot to (ahem) voice my displeasure.


Ugly Betty

I know. I am always so late in watching popular television. I had heard of Ugly Betty, but I hadn't even attempted to watch it. Ugly girl works at fashion magazine? Pass!

Then Julie recommended it.

(aside: I love the Netflix friend section!)

We have very similar tastes, so I thought I might give it a chance. I never really got as far as actually adding it to the queue though.

But I was browsing at the library on Wednesday, and I came across the entire first season in the DVD section.

(aside: My library is beyond fabulous.)

I checked out the first season, and I made Skeeter watch the pilot with me. He was unimpressed. As for me, I loved Betty. She was clever and confident and tenacious. I was much less impressed with the rest of the characters, but I liked Betty enough to continue. Skeeter fell asleep during the second episode, but I started to like the show even more.

I watched the entire first season in three days. Seriously. Three days. I was hooked! Part snarky gab-fest, part trashy soap opera. Loved it! Loved it! The soapy parts are so unapologetically unrealistic and fun, but really what kept me watching was that I liked Betty.

And I counted a minimum of six cliffhangers in the season finale. That's got to be a record. I'll bet that I end up buying season two when it's released.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oh, that's right. I have a blog.

I have become a schedule-oriented person. I never would have believed it. But now that summer is in full swing and we have no set schedule, it's quite obvious.

This lack-of-a-schedule thing is creating havoc in my life!

Oh, we've been doing loads of fun stuff, but it's just making me crazy that we don't have a schedule for our weeks! I can't even count on the cheap summer movie, since the children were only interested in two of them.

So, the funnest thing we've done this week? Blueberry picking at a local blueberry farm. Yes! We had such a good time, and we have two gallons of the biggest, sweetest blueberries as a result of the outing. The children and I went back this morning to pick more, and we were greeted with a "Picked Out" sign. They'll be reopening next week, so we'll be back then for certain!

Today I made these Blueberry-Lemon Chess Squares that Julie recommended. Let me just say -- pure deliciousness. Rich though, very rich, so make sure you have some milk to have with it.

And just for fun . . . yesterday's earworm tune:

It was satisfyingly infectious.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Miss Rumphius

My children and I read together quite a lot. I'm sure it's not the same for everyone, but I think I spend more time reading aloud than I spend making dinner.

My children have a tendency to ask for the same things over and over (Pippi, anyone?). Most of the time I go along with whatever they suggest.

But one day about a week ago, I didn't ask what they wanted. I just started in on Miss Rumphius. We had read it years ago -- Sass probably wasn't even a year old yet -- so neither of them remembered it. But this time, I think it may become one of the ones we read again and again.

As a young girl, Alice sits at her grandfather's knee in his seashore cottage and hears stories of his travels. Alice decides that's just what she wants -- to travel, then to live in a little house by the sea. Her grandfather agrees that these are wonderful aspirations, but he asks her to add one more -- find a way to make the world a more beautiful place.

For days afterward, the children and I talked about making the world more beautiful, about what exactly did "the world" mean. How far does "the world" reach? Does it have to be something physically beautiful, or can it mean beautiful thoughts or deeds? It sparked excellent discussions, and it helped them start to think of things from a much larger perspective.

I just picked up the book on a whim that day, never expecting that it would give rise to those kinds of discussions. But I'm glad it did.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Day of Dad

In honor of my dad on Father's Day, a reposting of his Dad-isms.


My dad is quite a character, particularly when it comes to his speech. He's truly part of the old South, and his language is as colorful as any you can imagine.

He has quite a few phrases that I consider "his." Here are a few of them, along with a translation for those who haven't had the pleasure of hearing them in person.

Phrase: You ain't done it.
Meaning: I know you're fibbing, so 'fess up. (Doesn't have to refer to a particular activity; can also refer to thoughts or ideas.)

Phrase: What does that have to do with the price of eggs in China?
Meaning: You've brought in excess drivel. Get back to the topic at hand.

Phrase: Six of one, half a dozen of another.
Meaning: Whatever. It's all semantics. Also, it doesn't matter.

Phrase: What about it?
Meaning: Hey, how's it going?

Phrase: I said if this weather continues there's going to be a whole lot of it.
Meaning: I didn't want you to hear what I said. (He always says this if you ask him to repeat something.)

Phrase: Me neither too also.
Meaning: Yeah; I agree with that.

Phrase: I don't know. My brother went to school that day.
Meaning: I don't know the answer.

Phrase: You stepped in what?
Meaning: I didn't hear what you said.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Life Expectancy

Have you seen this Life Expectancy Calculator?

It's got to be wrong. Mine ended up being 92 with a virtual age of 19! HA!

But I suppose I can look forward to being old and carrying my hearing aid around in a box like my Memaw does.

I don't know that Skeeter would agree


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

Shamelessly lifted from Mrs. C at Homeschool and Etc.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer SAD

Most people have heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), commonly known around here as the "winter blues."

Winter has never bothered me. In fact, I love it. I know that we don't have the harsh winters that other parts of the country do, but our winter is perfect for me. Once the cooler temperatures start, I feel as if I'm emerging from a cocoon of sorts.

Just today I found out that there is a summer SAD as well, a reverse of the usual SAD. This article about summer SAD in the New York Times is several years old, but it puts a personal face on the problems associated with the disorder.

I get headaches from direct late afternoon sunlight. Not the usual "oh, my head hurts" headache, but the non-localized "oh, I feel sick" headache that can last for hours afterward. Morning sunlight doesn't bother me too much, but the afternoon sun feels so intense that I try to avoid going out then unless I know I won't be in the direct light.

The problem has become worse as I've gotten older, especially in the last few years. And to be honest, I always thought that it was odd. I've never even mentioned it to anyone except my husband because I was more than a little embarrassed by it. Now I'm wondering if there's more to it.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Earlier today Skeeter sent me this article on "earworms." No, they're not strange Star Trekian bugs. An earworm is that little musical melody that gets stuck in your head and just will not go away.

Ah, the memories.

When Skeeter and I were in our early marriage days, each of us would make a decided effort to infect each other with those earworms. Sometimes it was blatant, singing at the top of our lungs. More often it was a subtle background humming or singing that one could barely discern on a conscious level. Those would get us every time. Each would find the other person singing or humming whatever annoying song had been chosen.

Is it bragging to say I was brilliant at it? I was. My favorites were show tunes and children's music, mostly because I knew Skeeter couldn't let the guys at work know what music was going through his head. "Hello Dolly" was always a winner, as was "Interplanet Janet."

Little does Skeeter know that sending me that article just opened up a whole new can of earworms for him. It's 12 years and two children later. I'm armed and ready with a whole new set of songs.

"This is the song that doesn't end . . . ."


For the Austen fans

A portrait of Thomas Lefroy is to be for sale soon. Lefroy is rumored to be the inspiration for Pride and Prejudice's Mr Darcy.

(As an aside, I'm currently reading Letters from Pemberly, a modern "sequel" to Pride and Prejudice.)



My children loved this. And they still do. We sang it in the car just yesterday.


Monday, June 09, 2008

Things I learned about myself this weekend

Skeeter took the children to a fishing rodeo this weekend. Originally it was just going to be an activity for Skeeter and Spyder, but Sass decided she'd like to go as well. And off they went.

That left me at home -- alone -- for more than two hours. I had no idea what to do. Seriously. I love being alone. I always have. But I haven't had the opportunity to be at home completely alone for more than a couple of hours in, oh, 10 years.

Skeeter (with children) and I (without) parted company at church, after the vacation bible school program and carnival. When I got home, I truly had no idea what to do. No little hands pulling at me. No one asking for something. I sat on the couch in the silence for a while, enjoying the emptiness.

Over the next 18 hours, I did all of the normal things that I do on Friday night and Saturday morning. I folded laundry; I did the dishes; I took a load of things to the thrift store. It wasn't until Skeeter and the children were on the way home that I realized something important.

I have abandoned my hobbies. I used to make soap and do scrapbooking. I was never emotionally attached to the activities, but I did enjoy them. I haven't touched my supplies for either hobby in at least two years. Once I found myself presented with an opportunity to do them, I didn't know where to begin.

I'm not sure where to go from here, but that was a real eye-opener.


Friday, June 06, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

I am almost ashamed to admit how excited I was to see Kung Fu Panda.

Sass wanted to see it too, but Spyder? He has now become too cool for "kid movies" now that he's practically an adult. A 10-year-old adult. Yeah. I thought that too.

Thankfully, my friend Brenda was just as excited about it, so we dragged all of our urchins to my favorite movie theatre to see it with us. I probably shouldn't mention that it was the first showing on opening day. But hey, if we had gone to the second show, we would have shared the theatre with a day camp of 300 preschoolers.

(Not kidding about the preschoolers. Or that we went to the first showing.)

So. The movie. I didn't check any reviews before I saw it, so I only knew what I had seen on the trailers.

(Skeeter is a little bit of a fanatic when it comes to watching movie trailers, so I've probably seen them all.)

I prefer walking in not really knowing what to expect, but I'll admit that I did have high hopes for it. I wasn't disappointed. It was exactly what I was wanted it to be -- a clever comedic action movie that's good for the family. It didn't stoop to the potty-humor or the innuendos that are funny for adults, but not really appropriate for children. I didn't cringe when watching it with my children -- not once -- and that was wonderful.

Sass loved it, despite that she only got to sit with Olivia for part of the movie. Some large-haired adult sat directly in front of her right before the movie started. She only lasted about 20 minutes in that seat before she got tired of leaning to the left to be able to see.

Considering that Spyder left the theatre busting kung fu moves with Ryan, I'm pretty sure he enjoyed it too.

So go see it, and let me know how you liked it.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

A tale of five players

Skeeter and I have had an interesting line of experiences with our DVD players.

Being the wannabe techno-geek that he is, he bought one of the early DVD players. One of the multi-disc DVD players. I've never understood those. What kind of lazy person needs three DVDs in at once? At any rate, it was expensive. He never actually confessed how much it was. Not long afterward, he broke it by putting more than one DVD in a slot. As if the three slots wasn't enough already. I have to admit though -- the remote for that DVD player was awesome.

The second DVD player was the same brand, but we slummed it with only one DVD slot. The advantage to having the same brand was that I was able to use Remote #1 with it. Rock on! It was a good DVD player. We used it for at least 8 years, then *poof* it started playing DVDs in black and white. I passed it to a friend who said he could probably fix it. He kept it for 10 months.

So we bought DVD player #3. It worked well for a while, but then it started getting all picky on us. It just simply wouldn't play some movies. "Mulan? Oh, no. I don't think so. But I'll let you watch Annie. Again." I love Annie. Carol Burnett is just brilliant as Miss Hannigan. But I can only watch it so many times before terrible things begin to happen.

Because Player #3 was so picky-picky, we got DVD player #4, a cheap little thing. That player isn't so picky about what plays, but it is horribly picky about scratches. Scratched DVD = freeze-frames. Very distracting. Very. Distracting.

About the time we were thinking about replacing Player #3 or Player #4, the friend brought over a repaired Player #2. Yay! A DVD player that actually plays DVDs! How novel!

All went along well for about a year, then . . . poor old Player #2. He still was fine with playing the DVDs, but he started playing them in black and white again. At that point, Skeeter and I thought that perhaps it was time to give up our old favorite.

After moaning about it for a week or so, we did a search at Circuit City and found one, probably middle-of-the-line, and decided we'd just buy it. And we did.

You know, after all of that, it makes all of us appreciate a DVD player that plays any DVD we want -- and in color!


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

It's the little things

The internet has returned. I think I've gotten accustomed to those times when our ISP decides to stop working because it really didn't bother me all that much. I did have to make a couple of unplanned trips to the library to use the computer there, but really it wasn't so bad.

But today the library website was down. All day. Still is. That is bothering me more than when our whole ISP dissed us.

This week is vacation bible school at church. Skeeter and I aren't volunteering this year, so we have whole two child-free hours every evening. Tonight Skeeter made a playlist for his Zen -- a loud playlist -- that he can play during his root canal tomorrow. And I? I went to Office Max without the posse. I have a deep and healthy love for office supplies, so it was a beautiful experience.

Skeeter took me to the cell phone place a couple of days ago, and we looked at Blackberry and Blackberry-type phones. Now that we're actually looking, I'm overwhelmed by all of the options and possibilities.

And while I'm rambling on, let's talk Ben and Jerry. Have you tried the new flavors? Skeeter is in love with the Cake Batter ice cream. I'm having a hard time deciding whether I prefer the new Imagine Whirled Peace or my old favorite, Stephen Colbert's AmeriCone Dream.

And now, I'll set the coffee for tomorrow morning and officially go off-duty.


Monday, June 02, 2008

That darn ISP

Our internet is out. Again. It's been out since yesterday morning, sometime after we left for church.

It had been working so well for so long that it was completely unexpected. So for now, I can only access the internet through Skeeter's work computer late at night or through the library.

So it's not that I don't want to post or read blogs. I do! But don't expect me soon.



Sunday, June 01, 2008

You're seeing what?

Last night we took the children to see Horton Hears a Who at the bargain theatre across town. Cute movie, and definitely worth the trip to the bargain theatre.

Sass has the worst time remembering the name of that particular movie though. I've no idea why. She loves Dr Seuss, and we've read the Horton books. But some reason, she just can't get the name of that one quite right.

So yesterday when we were at the store, Sass had a conversation with a lady about our planned movie outing. (Yes, my children strike up conversations with random strangers; it's just what they do.) The conversation started as usual --

"We're going to see a movie tonight!"

"That sounds nice. What movie?"

Then, divergence.

"We're seeing "H.oo.ter Hears a Honk."

(Nice lady does double take, looks at me.) "You're seeing what?"