Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Magic and mayhem and ... sickness

The weekend was quite a whirlwind. We were going non-stop since Friday morning. In addition to the usual schooling and family stuff, I was scheduled to work four nights straight (hasn't happened in a LONG time). I had forgotten how tiring it is! And it's not as if I have some sort of high-stress position. Working at the bookstore is pretty great, actually, and I love it. But combined with everything else, it was just a bit much this weekend.

Weekends are always busy, but for this one, we had something special planned. On Saturday we went to see Magic Tree House: The Musical. Both of the urchins are big fans of the Magic Tree House series, and they were overjoyed to hear that the musical was going to be performed in town. It was crowded and noisy, as expected, but both of the children were just enraptured by it. I wish I had been able to take a photo of Sass while she was watching the performance.

After four days of go-go-go -- really, five days if I count the 5 hours at the zoo on Thursday -- I shouldn't be surprised that Spyder and I are both sick. Blech. We are both having allergy issues. His has turned into a cough; mine has turned into a sinus infection. Hot tea is my friend. And sleep, although I'm not getting much of that with Spyder's coughs.

Today I sat down and watched a full hour of PBS Kids with them, just watching and nothing else. I never do that! If I watch with them, I am doing something else too -- clipping coupons, folding laundry, knitting .... Today, I just sat.

Here's hoping there will be more of the sitting and recuperating, and soon. I hate when we're sick.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Home of The Crazy

Vanessa is not the only person who finds the crazies at Target. I have moved into that elite class as well.

Tonight I had to run in to get ... something. I can't remember what. But it was important, I swear!

Anyway, I was wandering around the clearance endcap in the grocery aisle -- because, hey, you never know what you'll find, right? An older man, probably in his 60s, was loitering in the cereal aisle. Yes, loitering. And kind of creeping me out. I moved on. A bargain is not worth attracting the attention of The Crazy.

I stayed in the same general area, and about 10 minutes later I decided to go back to the clearance endcap (hey, there was coffee on there). The Crazy was still there in the cereal aisle, but he was now taking items out of his basket and putting them behind the cereals. When he was finished, he moved a box of cereal in front of his stash and walked to the main aisle.


Once at the main aisle, he took a moment to look around. Then he walked back to his stash and pulled out a Target bag.

UH huh. Now I knew what was going on. (And yes, I stood there and watched the whole thing because I was just riveted.) An employee was a couple of aisles over, so I told him my suspicions and went to get the rest of my stuff.

-- OH, I remember. I went to get coupon organizing things. I'm attempting a new system. I'll report back once I'm done. --

I finished the real shopping and went back to the dog toys. I always have to check out the dog toys at Target because they're just so darned cute. The Crazy passed right by me, speed walking. A few minutes later, he passed again. And then a few minutes after that -- yep -- he zoomed on past once more.

As I was going to the checkout, I saw the employee. He and another employee had removed the stash. The Crazy had gone back to gather his items, and when he found that they were missing, he had taken to speed walking the entire store. For the last 20 minutes. He passed me four more times while I was in the checkout line.

Until now our Target has been mostly Crazy free. The Wal-Mart was the place to find The Crazies. Apparently they've migrated.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Doggy ATM

I actually saw this a few days ago, but Skeeter and I had such a laugh about it tonight that I had to share.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

49 cents

That's how much I paid today for all of this.

I started doing the couponing thing back in November. I've used coupons in the past, but never consistently and never deliberately. I always just used them if it was convenient. I decided to really give it a go this time with a different attitude to see if I really could lower our food and toiletries budget with it.

In short, I have. It has taken me a while, but I think I've finally gotten the hang of it. I am regularly saving 50% or more with minimal effort, and sometimes quite a bit more, as shown by the shopping trip today. Our pantry and linen closet are stocked with items that I've gotten practically free. And they are items that we actually USE. So far I've drawn the line at buying something just because it's super-cheap.

And let me tell you, it's pretty nice to be able to just go to the cabinet when we are getting low on something rather than having to worry about making a trip to the store. The money saving is great, but that little perk is the best for me.

It still takes me a little longer to do my shopping plan because I am matching coupons to sales rather than saying, "I feel like salmon this week!" and buying it anyway. And the more that I work on the coupon matching, the easier it is.

I'm not in the big leagues yet, but someday I'm gonna be.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Selective grammar

Tonight we were driving home, and Sass and Spyder had one of their typical "what if" conversations. I can't remember the exact topic, but it was something along the lines of "what if birds said 'woof' and cats said 'cheep cheep' and ducks said 'cockadoodle doo'?"

They play these sorts of games often, and I was only half-listening until I heard Spyder say, "That ain't right!"

As usual, I immediately popped in with, "No, honey, you should say 'that isn't right'."

Spyder's unexpected reply was, "No, Mom. I'm using bad grammar to make my point!"


Sunday, March 22, 2009

That wasn't quite how I thought it would go ....

The urchins love for me to tell them stories of my childhood. Especially Sass, who finds it just astonishing that I was once a child.

One of her favorites is a short but disgusting one, where I decided to have a little ol' nibble of the Milkbone.

Don't ask. I've no idea. I was about 5 at the time, and I suppose I just thought it sounded like a good idea. After all, the dog thought they were awesome. Why wouldn't I, said the five-year-old logic?

Five-year-old logic has a tendency to be flawed at times. It was just as gross as you think it was.

So today, as I was making lunch, Sass came to help and said, "Mama, tell me the story about when you ate the dog biscuit." I always really ham it up for her, telling her how Pal was all jealous and sad that I was eating his treats. And YES, I always mention how icky it was.

Apparently that wasn't much of a deterrent.

After lunch, Sass was blowing bubbles for the dogs to chase (their favorite fair-weather activity). They had all stopped for a break and a treat when Sass suddenly decided that, by golly, now would be a fantastic time to try a dog biscuit!

YAY! Or not.

I tried to warn her, but Sass is not only sassy, she's stubborn too. I suppose she thought I was holdin' out on her, keepin' her away from the really good snacks. She chomped down on the dog biscuit like it was a, well, a biscuit. For people.

Oh how suddenly she changed her mind.

The spitting and sputtering and then the yelling "AAAHHHH, GROSS!!!" Thank goodness we were outside.

After many water swish-and-spits (and two toothbrushings), I think she is ready to leave the dog treats to the dogs.


Thursday, March 19, 2009


They're more than friends. They can be both a friend and a pillow.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lifting the cone of silence*

I know; I know. I just left you hangin'. I'm sorry.

Several people sent emails, and my sister even called (twice) to ask me to PLEASE WRITE SOMETHING. ANYTHING.

But you know what got me? Skeeter.

I was on the phone with Sister Lisa, who was once again asking when I was planning to take up the whole blogging thing again. While Lisa and I were talking, Skeeter popped in with, "February 5th."


"February 5th was the last day you posted. And it was about the dead fish."

Oh dear. Well, I suppose it was.

So let me give you the update on poor Blaze's demise. And funeral.

The urchins were quite upset, especially Spyder. I asked if he wanted to bury Blaze, and he did, but he wanted ME to do it.

Hrm. While I didn't exactly mind, I didn't particularly think it was good for Spyder. Having someone else complete the burial ritual doesn't exactly bring closure to you, right?

So I put it off, saying that I wanted it to be done at sunset for symbolic reasons. Spyder liked that idea, and we talked about Blaze and his coming funeral off and on throughout the day. We decided that Blaze would be buried under the Spyder's tree so that he could help sprout new life.

Eventually (as I was hoping) Spyder decided that he wanted to do the burying himself. He and Sass had a nice funeral for Blaze at sunset.

I won't even attempt to catch up on all of the funny things that the urchins have done -- because they are quite the little entertainers -- but I've promised myself (and Skeeter) that I would begin to record them again.

*That's for Skeeter too.