Showing posts from January, 2009

Foster Pooches

The canine population of our home increased by one last weekend. We're now up to three Boxers. Before my daughter was born, I had two dogs of my own and two or three foster dogs at any given time. After she arrived and our house suddenly got much smaller (I'm not sure of the exact mathematical calculation whereby an eight-pound person takes up 1400 square feet*, but it seems to be accurate), we opted just to take one foster dog at a time. After Karl passed away in December, however, I agreed to take on a second foster dog. (I say "I" because P tolerates the foster dogs but . . . just barely sometimes.) Brin arrived on January 17th and Fritz arrived on January 25th. Brin napping with Giddy. Fritz-a-million Brin came into rescue after I got a call from a concerned shelter manager. It seems Brin had been abandoned in a house for at least two weeks with no food or water. The shelter lady told me that she cried when she saw how emaciated Brin was. And let me tell you, it t


I am not the fresh-faced "girl next door." Well, at my age I should probably change the term to "rapidly hurtling toward 40 broad next door." I am not a hippie chick. I am not a natural beauty (or even an unnatural one). No, I am a painted-up city woman, a term once used on an episode of "I Love Lucy." I dig make-up and I don't care who knows it. Growing up, I thought of my mother as a fairly glamorous lady. The lyric "raven hair and ruby lips, sparks fly from her fingertips" always made me think of my mom (though not so much the "witchy woman" line). What I internalized was this: you don't go out of the house looking like shit. You iron your ensemble and you coordinate your jewelry and, at the very least, you apply a bit of foundation and lipstick. Imagine my horror, then, to be a college freshman away from home for the first time and to witness all of my dorm mates rolling out of bed and going to class IN THEIR SWEATPANTS. I j

Sleeping Beauty: Giving Kids Weird Ideas about Death Since 1959

The recently released "Sleeping Beauty" DVD has been in heavy rotation at our house since Christmas. The movie was made in 1959, and Disney recently released it from "The Vault." Santa brought the animated flick to our home last month. I, I mean Santa, didn't want to lose his chance to purchase this movie like he did with "Beauty and the Beast." Stupid Santa. My daughter tells the story like this: "The witch died Sleeping Beauty. Don't touch the spindle! The fairies helped Sleeping Beauty and changed her dress. After she got dead, the prince killed the dragon and kissed Sleeping Beauty and then she wasn't dead anymore." Now, I have always pretty open with the kid when it comes to death. Two of our dogs have died in the past two years. I explained to her that Lucy and Karl were old and that their bodies didn't work right anymore. "They died," I've told her in the most straightforward way I know how. I am careful not t

Dumbing Down

For many years now I've had a girl-crush on Robin Meade from CNN. Sure, my affection for her dimmed a bit after I found out how much she likes country music, but I continue to watch her every morning - or at least until the kid gets up and I'm forced to turn on Noggin. Now, though, Headline News is calling itself HLN and I'm finding myself feeling awfully irritated about it. Why, Robin, why? Years ago, I pointed out to my husband, who persists in calling a touchdown a "TD," that touchdown and TD both have two syllables. Hence, it takes the same amount of time to say it either way. Same story with HLN and Headline News. I just hate shortcuts that aren't shortcuts. When someone tries to get me to take a driving "shortcut" to a destination, my standard response is, "Do I have to make more than three turns? Because if I do, it's not a shortcut." Not long ago, I was watching one of my favorite programs, " DogTown " on the National

Cakes and Stuff

After my Weight Watchers meeting yesterday, the kid and I made a birthday cake for her dad. His birthday is tomorrow. If you are a Weight Watchers member, you may know this already but if not, let me break this news to you gently . . . cake . . . is . . . 12 . . . points. I know, it's tragic. Wait, the news gets worse. This calculation is for a THREE-INCH SQUARE PIECE OF CAKE. Trust me, I wept the day I found out. Anywho, A and I donned our respective aprons and got to work. My main job was to keep her from licking beaters, knives, etc. until after the cake was made. At one point I caught her licking a dollop of batter directly off the counter. You know, the counter that I clean periodically with 409? Here it is, the piece de resistance: Don't bother submitting it to Cake Wrecks - they only accept cake-y disasters made by professionals. And clearly we are not that. It is downright edible, though. I took the 12 points like a man and will avert my gaze from the kitchen counter u

Fallacious Thinking (Subtitle: Where Snow Comes From)

She could tell you a thing or two I've noticed that a three-year-old's thinking is at once perfect and fallacious. One one hand, I love how her brain knows no prejudice. She loves people and does not yet divide them into categories. Everyone is her friend. She's bright and she's absorbing her world at lightning speed. It's very cool to watch. On the other hand, some of her thinking is, well, wrong. But how to convince her of that? You don't. Trust me, I've tried. Snow comes from streetlights. What, you didn't know? It''s been snowing a lot lately. At night it is, of course, easier to see the snow when you look up at the streetlamps. And since you can really only see the snow under the streetlamps, obviously they are generating the snow. Makes perfect sense. Only girls have ponytails. She's pretty firm on this one. "I'm a girl because I wear a ponytail," she tells me. "Okay," I respond, "But what about Brian at c

It Smells Like Pink

My Muddah has received her birthday gifts, so I can tell you the TJ Maxx story now. No doubt you were waiting with bated breath. A couple week ago, I went shopping to buy some birthday gifts for my mom. I knew I was going to a gift shop that features an alarming number of breakables that are positioned three feet off the ground. My daughter, as fortune would have it, is three feet tall. So, I left her at home with "Father" while I shopped. When I got home, she was mad as a hornet when she realized I had shopped for Meemaw without her. Feeling guilty, I promised her I would take her shopping so that she could pick out a gift also. So, on Thursday, I took her to TJ Maxx after work. As usual, she shed her coat as soon as she passed through the automatic doors. I have been carrying her coat all winter, like some hapless butler. I steered her towards the bath products. Immediately, she picked up a floral box containing a bar of pink Laura Ashley soap. The bar was as big as her hea

The Sad Truth About My Parents

As you know, I've been threatening to put my parents in a "home" for some time now ( "with a special wing for dementia!" ). The biggest hurdle I face, however, is that they are only in their 50s. Apparently I am supposed to wait until they've actually retired and are decidedly infirm. Eccentricity is not a solid diagnosis all on its own, it seems. Now, however, I think I have a bit of proof that they are unable to care for themselves. My daughter drew this portrait of them today and I have to tell you: it is pretty accurate. She started to write "Granddaddy" at the top and ran out of room. As you can see, neither of my parents has a nose. But, it's okay - they have each other and that's the most important thing. They both have ears, so there's that. My mother has a very large head, whereas my dad's noggin is tragically undersized. They have three fingers on each hand, but they are strong people and they do not let their deformities


On Tuesday evening, the technician from Time Warner Cable came to our home (I'm surprised he didn't meet his maker on our driveway - the Ice Capades have been performed on smaller sheets of ice) to fix our DVR. Actually, he did not attempt to fix it at all. He simply swapped our box for another one. They must wipe the hard drives and then continually redistribute them around town, because I noticed a few dings on the last one. When he arrived, my daughter was finishing up her dinner. I couldn't help but notice how her eyes lit up when she realized there was a stranger/victim in our home. "I'm done!" she announced excitedly. I scraped off her face and hands with a baby wipe (at what age do you have to stop buying those? Cuz I am planning to keep them in stock until she leaves for college) and excused her from the table. She had been playing dress-up, so she skipped into the living room wearing one of her sparkly princess gowns. "Do you want to see m

"No one can take you from me"

We had an ice storm on Sunday and could not leave the house. I ran out of creative ways to entertain the kid by lunchtime. She played dress-up. We played Lucky Ducks until someone got in a huff over losing. Am I supposed to let her win? I'm never sure of the rules on that. If I let her lose, her little psyche is damaged. If I let her win, she never learns about disappointment and then grows up to be a maladjusted adult. If we are playing a game and I've won more than once in a row, I'll usually try to rig it so that I lose the next game. Some games are easier to rig than others. I also attempted to teach her to play checkers. She demanded that we switch colors in the middle of the game, so I gave up on that one. I think she may be a little young for checkers. Either that, or I'm too old to muster the required patience for teaching it. She had a tea party using the new Disney Princess set she got from her Meemaw for Christmas. The other day she held up one of her toys


As you can tell, they sell red slushies at the snack bar We took the kid rollerskating yesterday afternoon. I think half the town was there for the matinee session (when you live in the land of ice and snow, the weekend entertainment options are limited at best). At first we put our little newbie skater in traditional skates, but the wheels spun a bit too efficiently and she could not keep her feet under her to save her life. The rink also offers Fisher Price skates that fit over the shoes, so we swapped for those. The second pair worked a lot better, and gave her a modicum of traction. Towards the end, she actually started to get a bit cocky and skated on her own for a few yards at a stretch. I have to tell you: I love rollerskating. I can't wait for A to learn how to skate proficiently so that I can take her to the rink regularly and pretend that I'm there for her benefit. My rollerskating career got off to an inauspicious start when I broke my arm in the mid-70's (I trip


The DVR stopped working. [insert expletives here] Time Warner is sending a technician on Tuesday evening. Oh, and I asked the customer service representative about the movie channels and apparently they do that as a "teaser" so that I'll be enticed into ordering them. Evil plot no workie. I quickly remembered why we never keep movie channels to begin with. I watched exactly one movie ("Babe"), and that was it. The movie channels had all disappeared by this morning. P is lamenting the lost possibilities of offerings like "Skinemax," but I'm not too brokenhearted. I am plenty pissed about the DVR not working, though. Now I'm headed to Weight Watchers, and yes, I have to pay because I'm over my goal weight. The kid slept in my bed and kicked me in the kidney all night. Basically, I'm in a mood. I'm off to kick some kittens or beat up some orphans or something.

The last person on the planet to get a DVR: me

My friend Leslie is always bragging about how she DVRs shows like "The Woman with Giant Legs" and "I Eat 33,000 Calories a Day." (These are actual programs on TLC - look 'em up if you don't believe me. If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'.) With each passing day, I have grown more and more bitter about her and her "I'm not tied to the linear passing of time so ninny-nonny-boo-boo" attitude. Me, I'm stuck watching "Wow Wow Wubbzy" in real time while my favorite programs go on without me. When I visited my mother in Oklahoma last month, even she was not locked into regular television. She has a brand new flat-panel screen and DirectTv to boot. (And this is a woman who nearly went into cardiac arrest when we got a new VCR and a new microwave in the same week when I was in junior high.) But now she has conquered technology and even has wireless internet and a laptop. My mom has some sort of abnormal fixation on the show "Cops