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Showing posts from August, 2012

Now I can bore you with my vacation

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Now that I've shipped my niece back to DC, I thought I should backtrack a bit and blather on about our vacation. As you may recall, it started off badly with my husband getting waaaay lost. So, things could only get better from there. We woke up on Saturday morning ready to get our vacation started.  The kid and I went "into town" for a few groceries. We stopped at a farmers' market which, as luck would have it, was hosting some special "kids' day" activities. She had her face painted, played some games, and petted some hipster's rabbit. (Seriously - I wasn't sure how else to describe that. This dread-locked dude had an angora rabbit and he was plucking out chunks of loose fur so that he could weave something out if it later, I guess.)

When we got back to the cabin, it started to rain. And then to hail. The hail was a little unnerving but we took it in stride. Because we had alcohol and didn't have anywhere we needed to be. I had also brough…

Cousins (or cuzins, as the kids say)

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There are seven grandchildren in our family; five of them have penises. The two girls belong to me and my middle sister. When I was first pregnant many years ago, my baby would have been born in early 2000.  I had hoped that he/she and my niece (born at the end of 1998) would be close in age and would be close in other ways, too. Well, that scenario was not to be. It took several more years before Short Stuff joined our family in 2005.

My niece has been visiting us since last week. Even though my daughter and my niece are 6 1/2 years apart, they get along great. My daughter thinks her older cousin is the coolest thing since the iPad. To give you an example, we went back-to-school shopping at the mall the other day. When my niece told my daughter that skinny jeans are "in," my daughter immediately required me to buy her two pairs. I have to admit that she does look exceptionally cute in them. She still wants to wear mostly dresses, but pants are starting to creep in from time…

A Little Scare

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I haven't had much time to write, as my 13-year-old niece is visiting and I'm using all of my spare time to come up with new ways to embarrass her. I started off by yelling, "BLONDIE!" at the top of my lungs when I spotted her coming through security at the airport after her plane landed, causing her to duck into the crowd and pretend she didn't know me. I followed up by taking photos of myself when she briefly left her iPhone with me on Friday. My sister tipped me off that Blondie finds eyeball close-ups particularly horrifying, so I quickly took a snapshot of my eye and then blithely handed the phone back. Teenagers are fun!  They sleep a lot and eat a lot, though. When my niece wasn't waking up on Friday, I sent her mom a text asking if I should go in and hold a mirror under Blondie's nose.

We returned from our vacation on Thursday. We had a great time at the cabin. I'll write more about our trip later (I'm sure you can hardly wait), but it did…

A loaf of bread, a box of wine, and thou

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We are leaving for a little trip so I'll be offline for a while. Don't rob us while we are gone. We have someone watching our house. Also, we have a very capable third-grader from our 'hood coming by to water my tomato plants and SHE MEANS BUSINESS, MISTER. We are looking forward to a quiet week, our annual cabin-by-the-lake trip. Well, quiet is sort of a relative term when you have a child who cannot stop talking, even when she is on the toilet. We're packing lots of books, board games, coloring books, and alcohol. I am even bringing my yoga mat in case I decide to run through a few sun salutations out on the deck (don't worry- nobody can see me out there).

A couple of random updates . . . 

We finished watching Season 1 of "Game of Thrones." We can't seem to find a way to get our hands on Season 2, as it's not yet available on Netflix and we don't have HBO. We've had HBO in the past but whenever we have a premium channel, the daily line…

The fairest of the fair

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Actually, the fairest of the fair was me. When you have no pigment in your skin, you get to be the fairest of wherever you go. I'm the fairest of public restrooms, the grocery store, Target, you name it.

The cutest of the fair, though?  My kid, of course. We had a great time at the state fair over the weekend. When we first got there, I headed for the vendor expo while the kid and her dad hit the children's activity area. She made a bracelet with her name on it, watched a pizza-eating contest, and scored some free Oreos and potato chips. As for me, the only thing I bought at the expo was some jewelry cleaner. The man offered me a free ring cleaning, so I handed him my wedding rings. However, not before I nearly had to wrench my ring finger clean off to liberate those rings from my hand, eventually resorting to the use of my own spit. "Ha ha!" I said. "I must have gained a pound or two since my wedding!"

I also came |this| close to buying the Slushie Magic t…

The intricacies of the school supply list

We're leaving for the state fair this morning but I wanted to get this little gem written down before I go. As a parent, I think it's extremely important that I chronicle everything that will embarrass my child later.

Last year, I waited too long to buy school supplies. We generally take a vacation in late August (as we will again this year) and I don't like to think about school until, well, Labor Day. My daughter is extremely excited about going back to school, however. She is a big, bad second grader now. There are three grades under her so I'm sure her level of power on the playground is growing day by day.  For me, school is . . . a lot of work. Between making lunches and dealing with the mountain of paper that comes home every day, not to mention the homework and the reading logs, I'm usually sick of it all by Halloween. I am not sure why all of the jobs fall to me just because I have ovaries.

Anyway, after finding the school supply section was all but empty…

The whole world's gone mad

Animal Liberation has a lot of handicaps. First and most obvious is the fact that members of the exploited group cannot themselves make an organized protest against the treatment they receive (though they can and do protest to the best of their abilities individually). We have to speak up on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves. You can appreciate how serious this handicap is by asking yourself how long blacks would have had to wait for equal rights if they had not been able to stand up for themselves and demand it. The less able a group is to stand up and organize against oppression, the more easily it is oppressed.
                                                                    -Peter Singer,
Animal Liberation 

It's no secret that when it comes to animals and their treatment in the world, I have some pretty strong feelings. I am not down with eating animals, experimenting on them, or using them for our entertainment.* A lot of people point to the Biblica…

Chores, chores, chores

I've been comparing notes with some of my friends.  "What kind of chores do your kids do?" I ask. "And do you pay them?"

The reason I'm asking, of course, is that my workload is heavier than seems necessary some days. Doing laundry, vacuuming, dusting, mopping, cooking, and cleaning toilets, all while holding down a full-time job? Blech! Everyone who lives in my house is ambulatory. It seems logical to me that some of the people who share my last name could be, you know, doing a little more. Also, I'd like to teach my daughter the value of work and money. I don't want to raise a spoiled kid who shows up for her first day on the job and expresses horror at the fact that her boss may expect her to . . . work.

I heard a wide array of responses from the friends I queried. Some of my parent-friends dole out allowances and some don't. Some feel that chores are expected because it is part of the obligation that comes with being a member of a family (c…

You Shoulda Seen the Other Guy

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My newly minted bike rider had her first major spill yesterday (yes, she was wearing a helmet). We rode to the park after dinner and were on our way back home when it happened. I'm still not sure how she fell. Maybe, with a few weeks of riding under her belt, she got a little cocky and wasn't paying close attention. Or maybe there was something in the road. I'm not sure. I was riding behind her and saw the handlebar jerk to the left. Then I saw her face hit the asphalt.

It was one of those slow-motion moments, the kind a parent fears the most. I saw her bike fall and I watched her go down. The first thoughts to fly into my brain were, "Broken teeth! Compound fracture!" I hopped off my bike and engaged the kickstand, but the bike fell over and clattered against the curb anyway. I ran over to my daughter just as she was getting up.

Now, my child is not the type to dust herself off and soldier on. So, I knew there was going to be a scene, regardless of whether her …

Let me just be the 8 millionth blogger to comment on this

I do not eat at Chik-Fil-A. I am a vegetarian, so I have no need to go there. Plus, we only have one in our state and it's not terribly close to me. So, there's that.

It's been hard to ignore the buzz about the restaurant chain lately, though. As we've all heard by now, COO Dan Cathy made some remarks regarding his support of the "biblical definition of the family unit."  He also spoke of the fact that we, as a nation, are "inviting God's judgement" if we do not support that definition. As many news sources have pointed out, he/the company donates to organizations such as Exodus International.

It bothers me when someone talks about the traditional family, the Biblical definition of marriage, and so forth. My family was created through adoption. What if someone decides that my family isn't legitimate enough for their liking? (You may think I am exaggerating here, but there are some anti-adoption people out there who literally terrorize adopt…

We bought a disintegrator

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It's been a quiet week so far. I cleaned up the basement and tried to figure out what to do with all of my cat-related stuff. I do not plan to take in any more kitty cats. I have lived with cats all my life and I adore them, but I have two little problems: 1. I do dog rescue and 2. I'm allergic. My dogs are not vicious by any stretch but if a cat runs, they will give chase. And when you have three big dogs doing the chasing, the pack mentality sort of takes over. It's not fun for the feline. For those who manage to have lots of dogs and cats living together successfully, my hat is off to you.

Until Ella was gone, I didn't realize how much cat paraphernalia we had downstairs. There were toys, scratching posts, beds, and catnip. Also, a lot of hair. I didn't vacuum down there too frequently because Ella had a coronary event every time she heard the vacuum cleaner. When we first bought our house, I purchased a carpeted, multi-level cat condo sort of thing.  I've r…