Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Technology makes our lives easier." PAH!

I'm percolating a blog post about some recent events, but then I realized I need to import some old posts from 2006 in order to link back to them.... So I spent the better part of this evening copying individual posts because when I tried to use Blogger's import function, I got the dreaded error message, "byz07-51-xp1." Which, in programming-speak, probably means, "WARNING: This blogger is a buffoon and we don't want her blathering on this site. Import aborted! Run away, run away!"

Anyway. I'll get to the recent news another day. In the meantime, if you're new to this blog, just go back and read the stuff from the second half of 2006. Here's a short Christmas entry to get you in the spirit of the season.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why My Family Will Never Make the Cover of a Homeschooling Magazine

Homeschooling moms always worry about gaps in their child's education. And sometimes my kids' Facebook posts make me wonder if they're being educated at all.

Well, this explains a lot.
Apparently, we (and by "we," I mean the inmates who are running this asylum) are letting Skippy the Wonder Pug choose the day's curriculum.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Underwear tales

If you've been reading this blog for very long, why haven't you gotten professional help by now?

No, that's not right. What I meant to say was, if you've been reading this blog for very long, you know I have a long-standing tradition of visiting StuffMart twice a week to pick up milk and to replace my sons' socks and underwear, which disappear under strange and unexplained circumstances. They're the only people I know who, upon walking to the end of our driveway to get the mail, leave fully clothed and return with nothing more than half a t-shirt, the back pocket from their jeans, and two shoes (usually not matching) - and no mail. And that's not even during tornado season.

Anyway. As I tunneled out from under Mt. Laundry lately, I noticed more than the usual number of boys' underwear on the west slope. Unfortunately, nearly every pair looked as though it had been used to smuggle cactus from Brazil to Canada. What's up with that? My girls are still wearing underwear they've had since they outgrew princess panties. What in the world goes on inside a boy's pair of jeans that turns his briefs into shop rags after only one or two wearings?

That was a rhetorical question. I don't think I really want to know the answer.

So I was in Florida last week, and I mentioned to my mother-in-law (who is a 5-star mother-in-law except for when she spoils her son, Mr. TC, and then I have to re-teach him that cold cereal with milk is too a meal and he better be darn glad for it because those boxes of Raisin Bran don't just jump into the shopping cart by themselves, thankyouverrymuch) that I wanted to visit the nearby outlet mall.

She agreed, saying, "Oh, good. I need to visit the Vanity Fair store to get some new underwear. I just don't know where mine have disappeared to."

I swear I am not making this up. And, yes, I'm concerned. Unfortunately, she didn't have any bridge games while we were there, so I wasn't able to sniff the Chex mix.

Do you think it's a bad thing that I frequently get emails that start with, "I thought about you today..." and then end with a story about boxer shorts?

Like this recent message from Brandi:
"So I thought about you yesterday. I found a pair of boxer shorts lying on top of the electric winch in the driveway. I expostulated*, and Daniel picked them up without comment and put them away...on the floor of his bedroom. Well, maybe you had to be there."

(* If you're looking here for a definition of "expostulated," think again. That's what teenagers with cell phones with a Google app are for. Go ask one of them.)
(* Brandi also lives in a small town in Texas. I imagine the folks down at the Piggly Wiggly grocery get all confused when she comes in and starts throwing her vocabulary around next to the Little Debbie Snack Cake display, 'cause the longest word used in rural Texas is "fixin'tuh." As in, "I'm fixin'tuh write a letter to Jerry Jones and tell him my dead coon tick hound could coach the Cowboys better'n that Wade Phillips fella.")
(* Brandi actually talks like this in real life. She's also one of those overachieving people who, every year on her birthday, does a number of push-ups equivalent to her age, is a published writer, and is taking a Master Gardener course. The reason I have not linked her blog here is because I know some of you will want to go and toilet paper her site, and I can't be responsible for that. Besides, I already tried it myself but she distracted me with big words. So I let my dog expostulate on her lawn when she wasn't looking.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

In which I prove conclusively that I am not related to Martha Stewart.

Taking a break from my mutterings on aging to report on some other recent events....
I love my church. And I love the ladies in my church, even though they make me feel like a big, fat goober redneck.

Case in point: Every few months, our church holds a lovely brunch for women. Guest speakers bring words of encouragement, nummy food is served, and not one young mother has to get up because her four-year-old sneezed milk out of his nose. One of the features of the brunches is that various women volunteer (and I used the term "volunteer" loosely, as you will soon see) to decorate a table for 6-8 in the assigned theme for that particular brunch. Women bring china and stemware and fresh flowers. The ambiance is feminine and festive and restful. Well, it has been. Until the wrong "volunteer" was selected to decorate a table....

My friend, whom I will call "Carol," because that's her name, approached me a few weeks ago about decorating a table. The conversation after church went exactly like this.

Carol: How would you like to decorate a table for our next brunch? The table themes are either "Summer" or a state of your choice.
TC: No.
Carol: It's easy, you can use paper plates! Just put some pool toys on the table for your centerpiece!
TC: No. I am SO not gifted in that area.
Carol, busy writing "TC" on the list of table decorator volunteers: Okay, I've got you down!

So that was that. But what Darth Carol did not realize is that I do not own a matching set of 6-8 anythings. Well, there might be eight matching socks in our house within a couple of hours after my bi-weekly socks-and-underwear shopping trip to StuffMart. But on any given day, the only things I have eight of are Q-tips and infant rectal thermometers. (Don't ask; I have no idea.) But since the table theme wasn't "Personal Health & Hygiene" or "Orifice Care," I didn't see how that was going to help me.

In the end, I cobbed together some stuff that we had around the house and managed to dress a table for 6 people. Here are pictures of the tables in all their glory. See if you can guess which one was mine.

A pretty "Fresh and Fruity" table.
"Sunflowers and Sunshine"
"A Day at the Beach"
"Picnic in the Park"
"Southfork Ranch"
"Oklahoma Apple Blossoms"
"Does Anyone Else Smell Cow Poop?"

Anyway. At least I learned something from this experience, and it is this. If you can't hide from Carol, the next best thing to do when approached is to play dead.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"I'll have the rhododendron - no butter - with a side of those geraniums hanging by the front door."

I never watched any episodes of the infamous Survivor shows on TV. I always figured if I really want to see a group of sociopaths pretend to like each other and form faux alliances, I could turn on CNN and watch our Congress in action.

But it dawned on me recently that, as I've gotten older, every day becomes an immunity challenge in which I try not to vote myself off the island. Permanently, if you get my drift.

Take eating, for instance. I mean, you live your first 40+ years pretty much eating whatever you like with no thought for the consequences, mostly because there aren't any. But then you hit a Certain Age, and suddenly your internal organs go all geriatric on you, and you don't dare eat the wrong things lest your gizzards implode in a great mushroom cloud of deathness.

So eating out becomes an additional challenge, because you have to look for menu options that are:
  • low fat
  • high fiber
  • sugar-free
  • low carb
  • high in antioxidents
  • low calorie
  • organic
  • packed in BPA-free containers
  • endorsed by Wilford Brimley, who apparently is eating the right things because he's 175 years old
I don't know why restaurants even bother putting little icons on the menu to mark the least dangerous foods (geriatric organ-wise). Basically, your food choices are 1) shrubbery, and b) green tea (which is, in fact, a liquid made from shrubbery).

That's why I've started choosing restaurants based on the landscaping around the building. That stroll from the parking lot to the front door, past the greenery under the windows? That's the older person's version of the salad bar, buffet table, and dessert cart. Yummo.

I'm pleased to report that the all-shrubbery diet has kept me alive thus far. Showering without my glasses on, however, is another story. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Your guess is as good as mine.

I have no idea where my muse went. Maybe took a job as a census taker. Maybe became a nun. Maybe joined up with the roller derby. Maybe became a flight attendant for JetBlue.

Wherever, it was obviously a better paying gig.

But thanks to lots of pressure demands threats concern from my friends, I'm ready to give this blogging thing another go. Well, that, plus I have a lot of stuff to crab about.

I recently perused the May 2010 copy of More magazine. If you're not familiar with More, it's a publication for "mature women," allegedly to encourage them to stay hip and relevant and to celebrate aging. (As if.)

I could take the magazine a lot more seriously if they didn't always feature surgically enhanced 40-year-old actresses who celebrate aging by getting back into their size 2 jeans. Forty isn't even "mature," in my book. If you're young enough that your ovaries are still working and your knees don't look like they've grown an eyelid of thigh skin, you have no business calling yourself a mature woman. More would gain a lot more readers if, once in a while, they featured a 65-year-old woman with a face resembling a Basset hound who gave in and bought bigger size pants because she refuses to give up real butter.

Anyway. This particular issue of More included interviews with some comediennes and female comedy writers, and this statement by Sherri Shepherd struck a chord with me:

"Comedy is an art form where you have to be imperfect. That's what makes you funny. Young and pretty isn't as funny as old and pissed off about it."

Mm hm. Which is why my next post, about the challenges of aging, is going to be titled, "Survivor: AARP."