Friday, May 22, 2009


See my Tickled Pink Super Bells? The ones on the left of the purple...the, well I don't know what the purple ones are, but OF COURSE you can't see my Tickled Pink Super Bells:

Because the bunnies ate them.

See my orange Impatiens?

Of course you can't see them because, well I don't know if the bunnies ate them or not but they are gone too. My neighbor has confirmed, however, that the bunnies have eaten my white clematis blooms:

See? No white clematis blooms. See that empty barren flower bed next to the clematis vines? Well we decided we needed to dig up everything in this flower bed and start over. And when I say WE, I really mean *I* decided we needed to dig up everything in this flower bed and start over. So last Sunday evening we cleared out the whole bloomin' mess.
And when I saw WE cleared out the whole bloomin' mess, I mean PAUL cleared out the whole bloomin' mess, so we can start over.

While I took Kayla out to practice driving.

So the neighbors to the south of us, who happen to be VERY diligent lawn care people get to look at our dried up barren flower bed until we get busy and replace the old stuff. We have no idea what we're going to put in there.

I'm thinking something in a nice elegant plastic.

This poor neglected flower bed truly adds insult to injury for our very lawn-minded neighbors, because all winter and spring, they got to look at this, our side garage door:

Yes, we have become THOSE neighbors. We are determined to bring down the property values on our cul-de-sac if it's the last thing we do.

When I was telling our neighbor how our freshly painted door began peeling almost immediately after the painter left, he said "Well, earlier in the spring I saw the Virgin Mary in it."

UH! If he had told us that sooner we could have taken our door on tour and made some quick cash.

But, now that I have accepted that there is no money to be made off my door, and now that the weather is fit for painting again, the door guy is here today to make good on his work. Unless, of course, any of you can see an image in that peeling paint that might prove valuable.

As for the dead flowers surrounding my house? While last year I was aghast at all threats to kill the rabbits who were eating all the blooms in the neighborhood - after all they weren't eating MY flowers - this year I'm searching for a big can of BUNNY-BE-GONE.
In the mean time we have lots of work to do - new bushes, new flowers, new mulch, new door.
And if we don't get all this beautifying done neighbors.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Kayla's Summer Youth League Softball team (which is part of the Country Girls Softball League) consists of girls who are entering grades 8,9 and 10 in the next school year. This makes Kayla and her friends the senior members of the team. As is appropriate with that status, they decided to approach their first game last night with all seriousness and maturity:

*note the regulation socks....Kayla - pitcher; Maggie - catcher; Becky - first base.

As the younger members started arriving, I decided to find the "older" girls and encourage them to introduce themselves and make the younger girls feel welcome.

In every high school sport my kids have participated in, I've been very impressed with how the upperclassmen take the new kids under their wings and make them feel instantly like part of the team. This was true for football when Blake was a freshman and in both of the sports Kayla was involved in this year The juniors and seniors take the younger ones to dinner, they invite them to movies and cookouts, they offer them rides. It's always been a very inclusive group no matter what the program. I wanted to encourage our girls to pay it forward with this kind of attitude.

I was a little concerned however, when this is where I found the older girls:

*Kayla, Shannon, Maggie, Becky

Hey new girls! Meet your team't listen to a thing they tell you.

No need to worry, though. While we were in line for shaved ice after the game (because it's not summer until you've had a shaved ice) the mom of one of the younger girls told me how sweet it was that the older girls went up and down the bench and introduced themselves to the new ones and spoke to each younger player. She said she had been a little concerned that her daughter would be playing with high school students.

Had she seen them on the playground earlier she might have packed her daughter up and driven away for good....

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


We have a flip flop lover in the house.

She loves her flip flops so much she'll actually take a new pair and rub them against her face and make little purring noises.

Then when she's done totally embracing the flip flop she'll try them on and ask "Isn't this, like, the BEST. COLOR. EV. VER?"

P.S. Kayla loves flip flops too.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Kayla has finished her first year of high school softball.

This week she will begin her final season of Summer Youth League softball.

This... just beginning.

While this: coming to an end. Seriously, how cute is she?
While the high school games are exciting and fast paced, there was something so sweet and fun about those early games when the girls could barely be trusted to run the bases in the right direction.
The utter excitement of just being on the field with other girls was enough to make them giddy. At one game, when the girls were in about first grade, we watched one of our girls make it to second base and, because she was so excited to be there, she threw her arms around the second baseman and hugged her until they both nearly toppled over in a fit of giggles.
Of course there was also the time, that same season, when our team staged a walk out in the middle of a game. There was thunder in the distance and the girls were getting nervous.
"MOOOOOMMMMMYYYY!" The third basement whined.
"You're fine, it's just thunder and it's far away...."
But she was not to be convinced. After a few more rumbles, she threw her glove to the ground and marched off the field.
"I'm NOT PLAYING in a storm!"
Soon the second basement abandoned her glove and followed her team mate. Then we lost our short stop. Within minutes half the team was in tears over the storm moving in.
Which wasn't actually moving in.
It was then that the coaches-slash-dads all threw their hands up and called the game off. Perhaps the only thing worse than losing a game is losing your team.

It's much different now.
Now when bad weather moves in we sit on metal bleachers while our girls swing metal bats, surrounded by a chain link fence, and we listen to our girls say "They better not call this game."
"We totally could play in this." "I hope we get to play in the rain." "Yeah, we could, like, slide in the mud."

While we moms make comments like "If that ump had any sense at all, he'd call this game right now. It's foolish - FOOLISH I TELL YOU - for us to be out here in this weather. Why, I have half a mind to drag my daughter off that field right now."
Except our daughters' wrath at being pulled from a game would be much more painful to endure than being struck by lightning.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine actually said to me "I would rather go to the gynecologist than shop at the mall."

I was able to quickly set aside my shock - SHOCK! I tell you - and think of a way that her attitude could benefit me.


So I said to her "Oh, well then. What are you doing on May 13th at 1:30? Because I think we can work something out."

Since I had an appointment today - you know, THAAAAT appointment - I thought I could go to the mall and shop for some fun sandals and a couple of flirty tops, and she could take my place in the stirrups.

After all she said she'd RATHER do that.

I thought I had stumbled upon a great concept.

Pap Smear by Proxy.

During the civil war wealthy families could actually pay somebody to go fight in place of their men folk.

This would be the same thing, except instead of any money changing hands it would be more of a barter system. You go see the doctor for me and I'll check out the sale at Kohl's for you.

Sadly my friend and I never came to an agreement on the initiation of my proxy idea.

Somehow I think she's not as disappointed about that as I am.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I surely must be the only housewife in the country who is constantly in trouble for keeping too much food in the house. A well stocked freezer (or overstocked, depending on how you look at it) really bothers Paul.


There's too much food in this house! He grumbles when he opens the freezer.

Yes dear.

We are not buying any more groceries until we've eaten everything in the freezer!

Yes, dear.

Are we expecting a blizzard?

You complain now, but when that blizzard hits and we can't get out for three days, who's going to be complaining then? Huh? HUH?

This past Saturday, when I couldn't be bothered to make lunch before heading to my cousin's wedding, Paul dug out an old chicken pot pie. And since that was pretty good he dug out another one for lunch on Sunday.

He has decided to take it upon himself to empty the freezer of all of our old food, one meal at a time.

And turn his body into a science experiment while he does it.

How old is that pot pie you're eating? I ask, my hand on the phone ready to dial 911.


Yesterday morning, I noticed he was carrying a plastic bag out the door on his way to work.

Oh, you're taking your lunch today?

Yes. I'm going to eat everything in the freezer that has expired.

Because he'd rather eat old food than throw it away.

But then I noticed something red in the bag. Weight Watchers Smart Ones Red.

But....pfthhht....UH! can't....WHAT. ARE. YOU. DOING?

I'm taking these frozen entrees to work so I'll have lunch all week.

Not my Weight Watchers meals you're not. Don't you be takin' my Weigh Watchers Fruit Inspirations meals. They're not old. Besides, I saw that ice cream you ate last night; there's no way you're counting calories.

Fine. I'll take these corn dogs. He says as he digs in the freezer all over again.

I wouldn't do that. The kids eat those after school. I mean if YOU want to tell the kids you're eating all their corn dogs....

Well there's gotta be something in here that has expired.


Come to think of it, he's asked me to meet him for lunch today. I've been thinking we'd be going to an actual restaurant. Maybe he's planning to heat up all that old food in the microwave at work so we can sit in the car and eat it together.

I better call him and clarify his plans.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


I used to have this beautiful Willow Tree Nativity Set.

In fact, I had it until this past Tuesday.

I was walking through the garage on Tuesday morning, on my way to plant flowers, when I noticed an odd looking toy on the floor.

Hmm. What's this? I asked my dog as I wandered over to investigate.

Then my poor dog actually stuck her ears out, parallel to the ground, and cocked her head to one side when she heard the noises that came out of my throat.

Nyaaaah! I whined as I picked up the camel's head.

Looking around, I saw the carnage scattered all over the garage floor, even under the van.

Noooo! I had found the back end of the camel.

Oh Lord! not the shepherd boy - as I cradled his dismembered arm in my hand.

Finally, among the pieces that couldn't be identified, I found the ear of a little black lamb.

Why? Why? Why?

Seems the box containing the nativity set had fallen from the storage shelves in the garage, shattering several supporting cast members of the nativity.

I decided there was not a lot to do about it until July when the stores start putting out their Christmas decorations. Paul, however, had different ideas. He went online to see what he could do to replace my treasures. Turns out he was able to buy a Willow Tree Nativity Companion Kit that contains a camel, a shepherd boy and two little black lambs.

And just like that, he ordered it for me.

What, I ask you, do you do with a man as sweet as that?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Listen to this...

Our minister asked if we might be interested in helping with a class on parenting. You know, now that we have teenagers, we might have some helpful tidbits to impart to those in an earlier phase of this parenting journey.

I can hear it now:

Paul and Heidi what can you tell us about being effective parents?





*rolling eyes heavenward searching for words*


*scratching forehead*

Let us get back to you on that.

On another note. I have also recently found out that said minister has come across my blog and reads it occasionally.


Now I am frantically searching my archives for anything mean, cruel or inappropriate that I may have typed.

I know I called some Las Vegas prostitute a tramp once right here on this blog. See, she had gone on the morning news shows and said the great thing about this country was that she could build a business of her own and become financially successful, while serving the needs of countless men.

So I went on this rant and let my fingers get carried away on the keyboard and actually called her a tramp. Maybe twice.

*hanging head in shame.*

And then there's the time I said "hellacious," because that's the kind of evening I was having.
But at least then I asked my ones of readers if I could say "hellacious," on this blog, before actually using the word "hellacious." A few times.

I don't even want to think about the time I wrote crap crap crap - TWICE - because my papers blew out of my hands and into a muddy field right outside Staples, causing me to run through that muddy field trapping papers with my feet and wiping who-knows-what off of them before I requested 100 copies of each.

As much as I try to keep this blog-o-mine rated "G," sometimes I let my snarky side shine through.

And look where that's landed me?

Saturday, May 02, 2009


What do you do when you are having a wedding reception on prom night and you need somebody to shuttle your guests back and forth between the reception site and their cars?

Why, you hire three 17-year-old boys who have no interest in going to prom, of course.

*Drew, Blake, Cody

The cousin of one of Blake's classmates was recently married in his homeland of Greece. They held their reception two nights ago and, since Blake and his friends were free, they agreed to be the parking attendants-slash-shuttle drivers for the evening.

Because, really, if you need somebody to drive a golf cart back and forth through your neighborhood, is there a better person for the job than a teenage boy?

But wait. What if any of those guests get out of line?

No problem. They'll just pull out the big sunglasses and show 'em who's boss.

Hey Blake - CHiPs called. Ponch wants his shades back.


Two years ago Kayla sprained her ankle during track practice; she ended up on crutches.

The injury itself was not as painful as the nurse's orders, however.

"No flip flops!" she told the heartbroken patient.

Because Paul wasn't with me at the doctor's office for that injury, I said we'd take some crutches from them and they could bill us.

Poor Kayla. If her father had been with us that day, he would have carved two tree branches into "Y" shapes and made her hobble around like an injured character from Gunsmoke.

A couple weeks ago, Kayla injured her foot while sliding into home during a softball game. And, no, she wasn't safe. After another visit to the clinic and an x-ray, she was ordered to be on crutches for at least four days.

The crutches I had bought two years ago, however, were too short for her.

"Walgreen's has crutches. I checked," I told Paul.

"I'm not buying a new set of crutches for her to use for four days," he replied, clutching his wallet to his chest, as he dug a new hole in which to bury it.

"Honey, she's a freshman. There WILL be more injuries. I promise you we'll get our money's worth out of them if we buy new crutches," I reasoned. But he was not to be swayed.

After one day on crutches which were too short for her, however, Kayla gained the sympathy of her father, who agreed to get her a pair that fit.

He marched into the school office and asked the secretary if they keep crutches on hand for sports injuries.

Sure enough, the trainer had some crutches.

Sure enough, Paul was able to find a way to get our daughter free medical equipment, which is being stored in our dining room.

I like to call this decorating style "orthopedic chic."

When we were explaining the free crutches to a friend of ours, he said "Oh you should have come to me. We have crutches of all sizes," as his hand climbed an imaginary staircase to illustrate the options we would have.
Between him and our friends who bring antibiotics back from Mexico, we might never have to see a doctor again.

Friday, May 01, 2009


Yesterday I was back in our little grade school again to make another ArtPals presentation.

The print I introduced to them was Prince Balthazar Carlos on a Pony by Diego Velasquez - painted in 1634-1635.

Riveting, huh?

Since the painting was of a little prince on a horse, I decided to take some fabric that would show the children the kinds of things a prince might wear in that time. I took some satin and velvet, some golden ribbon. In the first classroom, I held up the fabric and explained that this was the kind of fabric a little prince's clothes might have been made of.

Then I handed the soft and shiny fabric to a little boy and told the kids to pass it up and down the rows so everybody could handle it. Because little ones like to touch things.

Let me just say. My mind is no longer in tune with that of a seven year old. I don't know if my mind could ever have been prepared for what I saw these children do to that fabric.

Each child took the fabric and ran his or her little hand over it while making cute little ooh, ahh noises.

And then each child put the fabric up to his or her cute little face and proceeded to wipe it across said face like a towel.

One little boy decided to run the fabric across his head after he'd wiped his face on it.


I just...

It's just that...

I was paralyzed.

I was struck dumb.

As the fabric made it's way up and down the rows, having suddenly been turned into a communal bath towel, all I could think of was the swine flu. If any of those kids was feeling the least bit fluish I was going to start craving corn cobs and watermelon rinds by midnight.

I really don't want to get sick.

Boys and Girls, do NOT put the fabric on your face or heads. Please, just touch the fabric with your hands. No, not on your face. Keep it in your hands. NOT THE FACE!!!!

But the pull was too great. Once the first child had put the fabric on his face, no amount of pleading or threatening, was going to keep the other children from putting it on their faces.

Guess what.

The other classes didn't get to touch the fabric.