Thursday, October 29, 2009


The kids have been bothering me for years to take them to the haunted ship downtown. The William A. Irvin/William H. Macy gets "haunted" every year for Halloween, but I didn't think the kids could handle having the bejesus scared out of them from a haunted anything. Also, going out at night really cuts into my Dr. Quinn time.

But this year we finally relented and brought them on the tour. Sam is a big tough twelve year old, so I knew he could handle it, but I was still worried about Kira because, after all, she is a nine year old girl, she should be able to be frightened, right? Wrong. The kids weren't even a little bit scared, hardly even startled. Kira was startled by the first ghoul that jumped out at us at the beginning of the tour, but she didn't scream, she just said, "crap," and the ghoul, expecting I'm sure that he was dealing with a normal person, started laughing at her when he realized he wasn't dealing with anything close to normal.

After that, she was expecting people to jump out at us and wasn't scared at all. She just antagonized the people playing the ghouls, and then they would take it out on me just to prove that they really were scary. Who wouldn't be freaked out to have some teenager in stage makeup sneak up on you and invade your personal space? Toward the end, when people would jump out at us, Kira would say, "Get my mom, she's the one who's really scared," and then they would. My throat was sore from screaming.

On the ride home Mitch asked the kids what their favorite part of the tour was and they both said, "How scared Mom was."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kira is weird

I went to the downstairs freezer today and when I opened it I saw a huge perfectly round piece of ice just sitting there. I said, "...What!?" I couldn't really wrap my mind around what I was seeing or how it got there. How does a sphere of ice materialize in your basement freezer without you even knowing about it?

I asked around and Kira told me that she filled a balloon with water and froze it and then peeled off the balloon after it was solid. Why did she do this, you ask? Why not?

Today she asked me if she could bring some cough drops to school from home because the ones the nurse has at school are gross flavor combinations. I asked what flavors they are and she said, "Honey and corn, or kiwi and beef."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

To say this was a lazy Sunday would be a total understatement

I woke up this morning and after getting out of bed, decided it was too cold and rainy to not be under covers, so I went back to bed and read my book. Mitch came up to check on me about 10:30 and told me to get up. I told him the only thing that would get me out of bed was a breakfast that I don't make myself. So he made me eggs.

Fish shaped eggs. He got a cast iron fish shaped muffin pan a while ago and he keeps finding it despite my attempts to hide it long enough for him to forget about it so I can get rid of it. He is trying to prove it's utility. They were pretty good eggs.

Then Kira and Sam and I watched about 12 hours of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. You'd think a person would get sick of Dr. Quinn after 100 hours, but we aren't. It's THAT good! I'm not being sarcastic either. It's a really good show. Now Mitch and I are going to watch Slumdog Millionaire.

I might have developed bed sores today. I'll check later and let you know.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I am 39 years old and I have just realized that what I always thought was the "panhandle" of Florida, isn't really the handle, it's the pan. I always thought the main part of the state, the part that juts down into the ocean was the panhandle. I thought it was called the panhandle and the whole rest of the United States was the pan, and I always thought that was a stupid name, because that's an awfully small handle for such a big pan. But now I learn that the handle is actually the upper part of Florida and the part I thought was the panhandle is the pan.

Now, let's talk about Texas. There is a panhandle on Texas too, but is it the bottom? Or is it the top square part? Is it the side?

Don't get all smug and pretend you have always known what the panhandle of Texas is, because right now you are a little unsure.

If this is the whole pan then I think New England would be a good handle. Florida definitely wouldn't. It would crack right off and, whoa, then you'd be mad! The bottom part of Texas would be a sturdy handle, but I bet if the pan was really hot, you'd burn your hand because it's a little short. You know what would be a good handle? Mexico.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I love you, Cloud Dancing

Last night I was watching disk 16 of 42 of my complete set of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and one of the series regulars, Cloud Dancing, a Cherokee medicine man and also a good friend of Dr. Quinn and Sully, was on the show. That reminded me of a funny story from a different episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and I related it to Mitch:

Me: I love Cloud Dancing.

Mitch: Oh?

Me: Yeah, a few episodes back he and Dr. Quinn and Sully went to Washington DC to testify before congress about the treatment of the Indians,

Mitch: ..... okay...

Me: And when they were checking in to their fancy schmancy hotel, -only the best for Dr. Quinn- the hotel clerk saw Cloud Dancing and told Sully to tell his friend; NO COOK IN ROOM! and Cloud Dancing said, "Tell him that if the room service is good, I will not have to cook." Ha ha! That crazy Cloud Dancing, gotta love him....

Mitch: (silence)

Me: (smiling and nodding; pleased with my funny anecdote about Cloud Dancing)

Mitch: (getting the saddest look of pity I have ever seen on a human and directing it at ME!)

Me: What? Why are you looking at me like that?

Mitch: Like what? I'm not looking at you like anything!

Me: Yes you are. You are looking at me like you feel sorry for me.

Mitch: No I'm not! I'm just listening to your wonderful story! Please, go on!

Me: No, forget it.

Just for the record; Cloud Dancing is a great character and the actor, Larry Sellers, is a great actor. Nobody needs to feel sorry for me about that.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Petey, the nastiest bird in the world


I was talking to someone yesterday about my old friend Petey the parrot. He was my pet for a couple years when the kids were really little. He was the most obnoxious, loudest, nastiest pet in the world, yet I miss him. Weird.

I had to get rid of him because he hated Sam, (who was about five years old at the time) and would bite him every time Sam got within five feet of him. (We've since learned that all birds hate Sam.) I decided it was time for Petey to go when I was trying to teach him to show dominance over the stupid little tiny bird by getting him to "step up" on a three foot dowel that Sam was holding, thinking that if he got the bird to follow some commands, Petey would start to not hate Sam with such a bloodthirsty vengeance. I was wrong. Petey did step up on the dowel, but then he ran the length of the dowel and before Sam could drop it, Petey bit him on the hand and it was bleeding. That was the last straw.

I put an ad in the paper and sold him to an old lady who thought Petey was darling. I brought the bird and cage over to her house and set things up, all the while the little old lady was poking her fingers at Petey and he was trying his hardest to bite her. She just laughed and thought it was cute and said, "It will take him a while to get used to me." I never checked back with the lady to see how things were going because I'm so afraid that Petey flew onto her back and pecked her to death and then ate her.

Petey really liked me. I know this because when he was sitting on me he would regurgitate which in bird culture means he thought I was A-Number-1. He was desperate for my attention and would make a piercingly loud shriek to get my attention if he even heard me in the house. I read somewhere that to get them to stop making that obnoxious noise, you have to teach them words and then they will use the words instead, (although, now that I really think about it, I think that was children and not parrots)  He wasn't all that willing to learn words, but Mitch taught him to say the word "squawk." So when he wasn't actually squawking, he was saying "squawk."

He got away a few times which was not the relief you might think it should have been. He really upped the loud obnoxious squawking when he was scared. He was desperately afraid of nature and heights, which was unfortunate because being a bird, he was jumpy and could fly. If he got startled when he was outside, he would fly off in a panic.

One time he flew into a white pine across the road that is about 100 feet tall. He was almost at the very top. He was squawking like crazy for help but there was no way I was going to climb a hundred foot tree for a mean bird that got on my nerves. So I stood under the tree where he could see me and called to him. I think he knew that I wanted him to fly down to me but he looked at me like, "Are you crazy, woman? I'm not flying down! Look how high I am!" I started to walk away and he squawked for me to wait and then he slowly started climbing down. I was not going to wait the five hours it would have taken for him to climb down so I went in the house. In a panic, he flew out of the tree toward the house, looking down at me, squawking the whole time. Then he flew into the tree right next to the house and screamed and screamed. I went in the house. After two hours of climbing down and screaming, I was at the point of getting the bb gun and putting us both out of our misery when he finally climbed all the way down and walked to the door. I let him in and he walked to his cage and was quiet for the rest of the day.

He's probably still alive because he is supposed to live to be 40. He's only 6. He's still got 34 more years of making his owners miserable.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Witchie Poo

Yesterday the kids got their Halloween costumes. Kira is going to be a witch with vampire teeth, (because she wanted to wear vampire teeth and she fell in love with this hat), and Sam is going to be a skeleton. He's so skinny he doesn't really even need a costume, but he got one anyway. He always gets costumes with tight whole-head masks and he's claustrophobic so they drive him nuts. I tried to get him to get the big whoopie cushion costume because it doesn't cover the face, and the whole day would be a farting free-for-all, but he had his heart set on the skeleton costume. When we go out trick or treating Mitch is going to wear hip waders and I'm going to carry a paddle and we are going to be "Row vs. Wade" Get it?

Things I'm learning from Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

I got the box set of every single second of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman for my birthday. This is what I've learned so far.

1. Every medicine cabinet should be stocked with plenty of laudanum, quinine, and willow-bark tea.

2. Frontier people were hot-heads.

3. Dr. Quinn's mother is actually the person she thinks is her sister who is 15 years older than her. (This has not been substantiated by the show, it's just my own personal theory.)

4. Don't ever let a barber pull out your tooth.

5. Haho means "thank you" in Cheyenne. And also "hello" and also "goodbye."  Kind of like Aloha!

6. Being a whore in a frontier saloon in the 1870s wasn't that great a job after all.

7. Hawks listen to what you say, and if you say something profound, they caw. Every time.

8. If you want to dress up as Dr. Quinn and her children for Halloween, your 12 year old son will ruin it by refusing to have anything to do with your plan.

9. When you eat a bowl of candy corn, what's left after you eat the big parts is just a mess of white tips, and they look like baby teeth, and it's really fun to pretend you are eating baby teeth. (I actually learned this from eating candy corn WHILE watching Dr. Quinn, not from Dr. Quinn herself.)

10. General Custer was very vain, and a real bastard.

11. Dr. Quinn is a naturally talented trapeze artist. Who knew?

12. Wolves make great pets until they get rabies, which they will.

13. Mine cave-ins = no joke

14. You know how you thought that 1870s frontier doctors couldn't perform plastic surgery? Well, you were wrong.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The More You Know

Today I learned (from a source that shall remain nameless lest she (or he!) be embarrassed that I'm telling her (or his!) deep dark secret) how to fart and frame someone else for your fart.

First, in order not to let anyone know you're doing the farting, you have to drop your pencil on the floor, and while you are bending over to pick it up, spread out your butt hocks in order to make your fart silent.

Then, if it is silent but deadly, (as it always seems to be with my source) blame it on a person you don't particularly like sitting in a desk near you. Make a big deal over it so they get really embarrassed.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Kira's glass is half full

Kira got her school pictures back yesterday. They turned out cute and boy is she thrilled with them. On the ride home from school yesterday she was admiring herself in the big 8x10 and said, "I think I look really good in this picture," I agreed. Then, "This picture makes me look like I love the outdoors." I asked how she figures that and she said, "Because the blue background looks like the ocean and you can see that scratch on my neck that I got from a tree." She also says that her freckles are very dark and adorable, and that even the tiny zit on her chin looks good in this picture. We curled her hair that morning before school and she said she is really happy she had gym first thing in the morning before pictures because the sweat made her bangs uncurl until they were perfect; bent, but not too curly. We might have to send a thank-you note to the photographer from her.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Child Abuse Entertainment

I've been seeing ads for the new movie based on the book Where The Wild Things Are.

I am willing to bet my life savings (yeah, I know, ha ha) that in twenty years, this is going to be the movie adults will remember as the freakiest movie they will have ever seen in their entire lives and they will be asking themselves "Why why WHY the HELL did my parents take me to see that horrifying movie?" It will be the equivalent of what H.R. Puffinstuff and the Banana Splits were to my generation. When I see the ads for this new movie it brings back my H.R. Puffinstuff PTSD and I have heart palpitations and want to cover my head and cry.

.... Jesus Christ


Kira in the Car Part VII

After a long ride of quiet thinking she said, "I bet worms bump their heads a lot."

Monday, October 5, 2009

I love Milli Vanilli. There, I said it.

I just read a wonderful post by Aunt Becky at Mommy Wants Vodka and she mentioned in passing the band Milli Vanilli which reminds me of how much I LOVED them. I loved them so much that when I was a teenager (I might have been 20), Jonelle, Tonya and I rented a station wagon, drove to the Twin Cities and saw them in concert. We were pretty close to the front. I wanted SO BADLY to be the lucky lucky girl to go up on stage and have Rob (or was it Fab?) *sing* Blame It On The Rain directly to me. That would have been so wonderfully great.

This makes me think of all the times people have told me I have terrible taste in music. Puh-lease. Milli Vanilli, although total frauds, were good. Of course, I mean the people that actually sang the songs were good. They were probably fat middle aged white guys though so, you know, not so nice to look at for the teenage girl audience.

I also love the song Ballroom Blitz by Sweet and if that's wrong, I don't want to be right.

Queen is another favorite mostly because of the music, but also because nobody could pull off a white, chestless unitard quite the way Freddy Mercury could. I'm almost positive it wouldn't look good on anyone I know.

Not many people can pull this look off. Could you?

This brings me to my music nemesis. Tom Waits. Ugh. I hate him because he's supposed to be good and he's not good. I'm convinced he became popular because of a series of dares. Somebody was at a bar one night and heard him *sing* and tried to be pompous for their friend and said, "I like him, he's really good." And the other guy couldn't believe what he was hearing but didn't want to be outdone and said, "Oh, me too, he's wonderful," then the first guy said, "You do not!" and the second guy said, "Yes I do, I'm going to go buy his album right now." and the first guy said, "Oh yeah? Well, I'm going to buy two albums, give one away, and also buy tickets to one of his concerts!" and so on and so forth. Kind of like in the story The Emperor Has No Clothes. Well, I'm that little kid in the crowd that says, "He's not wearing any clothes!"

Not even a white chestless unitard.

1930s hobo? No, Tom Waits

Tomorrow will be better, (I hope)

You are going to be so sorry you read this post, I'm warning you right now. It's about my houseplants, for god's sake. I'm not kidding, scroll down and look, there are pictures. STOP READING THIS.

Okay, you asked for it. Don't say I didn't warn you. I got my plants ready for winter yesterday. I took the ones that were outside that I think can continue to "flourish?" indoors for the winter and now my house looks like a jungle of not-exactly-healthy plants, but they seem to have strong survival skills, having lived months and sometimes years in my care, so the least I can do is not let them freeze.

This one is a hibiscus that I bought a few years ago because it had gorgeous orange blossoms. It is not looking its best right now. I should probably cut it back, but are you supposed to do that in the spring? I don't know. This plant is a drama queen. If I move anywhere but where it is right now (actually it would prefer to be in front of the closet door instead of next to it), all the leaves turn yellow within a few days and fall off. And it hasn't bloomed in a long time. If it was a person it would be an impossible bitch. But it lives on despite its touchiness.

This is a Jerusalem Cherry bush? tree? My mom gave it to me last year for my birthday and I had it outside all summer. The leaves used to be really dark green, but now they are pale green and looking sickly, but it has lots of nice fruit. I aerated the soil today and fed it so hopefully it will start looking better. FYI: Jerusalem cherries look delicious but they are poisonous. I know, I didn't believe it either, so I tasted one once and my mouth got very tingly and then numb.

This is a rubber plant that I got in college. You had one too? No kidding! Everyone did! Is yours still alive though? Mine is still hanging on by a thread. It actually died last year so I cut it way back and then some leaves started sprouting again. I should put it out of its misery but I just can't make myself do it.

Why are you still reading? I can't believe I'm still writing this. It was either write about my plants or my longing for menopause so count yourself lucky I went the boring route instead of the horrifying-you-with-intimate-personal-details-about-my-uterus-that-nobody-wants-to-know route.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Little Tip

If your husband is ever annoyed/disgusted/sick of you, repeatedly saying the word "poontang" will eventually make him smile, even if he's fighting hard not to. Say it with a little flourish.

Mitch is trying to watch a cooking show (booorrriiinnnggg) and he's annoyed because I keep talking to him, but maybe if he would have SHUT UP while I was trying to watch Dr. Quinn earlier, I wouldn't be so compelled to be irritating during America's Test Kitchen ..zzzzzzzz....


Mitch and I are sitting here listening to the radio and chatting like married people do. I said, "If it doesn't rain today I think I'll mow the lawn," and he said, "Is that a euphemism for something?" What? What else could that even mean? Anyway, I asked him what I should blog about today and he said, "The time you called for chicks," which I don't think is that funny of a story, but whatev. A couple of years ago in the spring I called Dan's Feed Bin to ask if they had any chicks available for purchase. Here's our conversation:

Dan's Feed Bin: Hello?

Me: Hi, I was wondering if you have any chicks for sale?

Dan's Feed Bin: What?

Me: Chicks? Do you have any for sale?

Dan's Feed Bin: (silence)

Me: Hello? Is this Dan's Feed Bin?

Dan's Feed Bin: Yes, this is Dan's Feed Bin.

Me: Well, do you have any chicks?

Dan's Feed Bin: Yes. We have chicks, but around here we call them "women."

Me: What?

Dan's Feed Bin: We don't think it's nice to call them chicks. They prefer to be called women.

Me: No, I mean chicks as in baby chickens, not women. I don't want to buy women.

Dan's Feed Bin: Good because we don't sell women. I think that's against the law.

Me: .................. So, do you have baby chickens for sale or not?

Dan's Feed Bin: No. We don't sell chicks.

Me: You sold chicks last year

Dan's Feed Bin: No, I think you are mistaken.

Me: Okay..... thanks anyway.

Dan's Feed Bin: (hysterical laughter) This is Mat! (my brother in law)

Me: Why are you at Dan's Feed Bin? And how did you know it was me? Why are they letting you answer the phone?

Mat: (more hysterical laughter) I'm not at Dan's Feed Bin, dummy! I'm at home!

Me: But I didn't call you, I called Dan's Feed Bin!

Mat: I called your house, I must have gotten through before your call got through.

Me: Oh. I have to call Dan's Feed Bin. Bye.

I know, you're thinking, "Well, did she get the chicks?" No. I didn't. See, as a story it's more sad than funny.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The joke is on her (what does that even mean?)

I took this picture last night on my way to bed. Kira went to bed fully dressed, threw a robe on, put a sleep mask on, and covered herself with a skimpy blanket all because I insist she make her bed every day before she does anything fun. The joke's on me!

"Big deal!" you say. Well, it is kind of a big deal because being the never-plan-ahead, incredibly stupid person that I am, I forgot to order heating oil this fall so the house is freezing. (shut up, September was really nice and warm, how was I to know that it would stop being nice and warm?) HA! The joke is on HER!

Kira woke up this morning cold and tired and consequently, incredibly crabby. The joke is back on me again.

Today I'm going to wash sheets so she is going to have to unmake her bed. The joke is back on her.

This joke isn't very funny anymore.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

From me to you, with love

I had to go to the grocery store today so this morning I asked the kids what they wanted for dinner. They both yelled out in unison, "SLOP!"

Their two favorite things that I make are things they have lovingly named "slop" and "oil chicken."

Sad, isn't it?

I'm in the middle of making a delicious vat of slop right now. Lucky, lucky kids. Here is the recipe:

Family size box of chicken flavored Rice A Roni
About a third of one of those disgusting sausage shaped things of hamburger
1 can of green beans
1 can of corn
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup

Brown the rice. (Burn it a little, people like that.) Then follow the rest of the directions on the Rice A Roni box. Brown the hamburger, set aside. When rice is done, add hamburger, corn and beans, and cream of mushroom soup. Stir until heated through. Enjoy!

Mmmmmmmmm..... slooooppppppp......

And here is the recipe for oil chicken.

Box of frozen, individually wrapped shapeless lumps of chicken kiev
Family size box of chicken flavored Rice A Roni

Put chicken in oven for as long as the box tells you to. Cook the rice according to the box it comes in. Serve chicken on a bed of the rice. Important: Gently cut the top of the chicken open so as not to squirt the oil all over your face and give yourself (or your child) third degree oil burns. Let the rice get soaked in the chicken's oil. Enjoy!

This meal is mostly reserved for special occasions because although delicious, the oil probably isn't the healthiest thing you'll ever eat.