People Actually Read My Blog, or I’ve Got a Killer Friday Night Social Life

Well, it’s Friday night and I’m a bit bored because Ed and the boys are playing Call of Duty:  Modern Warfare III, which is their favorite pastime until Call of Duty:  Black-Ops II comes out next week, so I decided to check out my stats page because I haven’t done it in forever.  The list was significantly longer that I had expected, mostly because I think my mother is one of the few who read my blog and I’m pretty sure she poses questions to the Google browser just to tease me, and there were some search questions listed that I found amusing.  There were even a few that made me almost spew my delicious Pinot Noir onto my computer screen.  That would have been a travesty though, and a waste of good wine, so you can calm yourself because there was no wasting of good wine in the writing of this post.

Slightly off topic, but I’ve recently come across a quote I really like.

Write Drunk.  Edit Sober.  Earnest Hemingway.

That guy must have been brilliant.  (Yes, I know who Hemingway was.  I’m not that drunk yet.)  (Mom, relaxI’m kidding!)

Anyway,  on to the list!

1. Kid Who Looks Like A Monkey.  I mostly liked this one because we’ve been teasing Trip about his enormous ears lately and he is very proud of them.  He has even told his teachers that he has ears like a monkey and they should be jealous.  The little dude is a chick magnet though, so maybe he’s on to something.

2. What Happens to Boys Who Are Raised by Neurotic Mothers?  Dear God, I hope they turn out okay!  Otherwise, mine are screwed.  I think they’ll turn out just fine in spite of me.  Or to spite me.  They’ll probable live as far as humanly possible one day from their dear Momma, but it’ll just be so I can visit them in exotic locales.  Right?  You know what’s really troubling?  Someone found my blog with that query.  And they received absolutely no help at all!

3.  Jacob Hates You.  I don’t really get this one, but it makes me giggle anyway.  Maybe that’s the Pinot?  There are some mysteries the world will never solve.  In any case, I am Jacob’s favorite sister.  I might also be his only sister, but that is not the point.  I am his favorite sister because he thinks I am awesome and no one should ever disillusion him from that opinion!  That, and he’s right.

4.  Box Fight.  That was it:  “box fight.”  What in the hell is a box fight?  I wish I knew.  I’m a child of the 80’s and I absolutely love boxing.  I still watch it on whichever channel shows it late at night when I’m the only one awake because Ed hates it.  Or he just thinks I’m slightly weird for watching people fight in a ring.  I really do love it though.  I remember Mike Tyson fighting on HBO back when HBO was the only movie channel available.  Or were we just poor?  I’m not sure if there were other channels available back in the dark ages and I have no intention of finding out now, unless you, dear reader, just remember that kind of thing off the top of your head and would like to provide me with that little tidbit of knowledge.

As a little aside, I went out with my brother Jacob last weekend for a little drinking and debauchery.  Well, drinking at any rate.  So we went to a local establishment and had a couple of beers, but we were younger than most of the other patrons by a decade or two, which is no easy feat at my advanced age, so we walked across a busy highway (we’re in the country-it’s like crossing the street and risking your life at the same time) to another local establishment where the clientele was closer to our age and we saw a few people we had known from high school because they also hadn’t moved away and a Laurence Fishborne look-alike.  As we were chatting and discussing the merits of a life well lived, a “fight” broke out behind us.  I was as observant as ever and had to be pulled out of harm’s way by my dear brother.  Fortunately, he has become quite the quick thinker.  I turned around in time to see one guy slapping his own chest while hopping backwards.  These weren’t mere steps backwards or done in an attempt to find a space with more room for the actual fight.  These were HOPS!  He was hopping backwards like a rabbit!  And then, there were bouncers who appeared from out of nowhere and separated the two, although I don’t really know if you can separate two guys who are ten feet away from each other.  In any case, one was escorted out the front door and the police were called and they stayed for what seemed like an eternity!

In the end, I came to this conclusion:  If you’re going to get arrested anyway, you might as well throw a punch!  Otherwise, WHAT IS THE POINT??

5.  My brother’s full name.  You’ll have to forgive me for not listing his full name here, but with the last name, there are only twelve in the good ol’ USA, so it’s not like whoever typed that name into their browser could’ve been looking for someone else, but WHAT IN THE HELL, Google?  How is his full name, which I’ve never used on this here blog, associated with my fantastic blog.  (Yes, you should infer a little sarcasm there.  Self deprecation.  Whatever you want to call it.)

6.  My grandfather was in the CIA.  Dude, so was mine!  Maybe.  I’m not really sure.  The stories my mom tells about him killing people didn’t come out of her mouth until long after he was dead and she has a very, very vivid imagination.  (Mom, do not view that last statement as an invitation to describe said murders or self-defense maneuvers in the comment section.  That’s for private discussion at your dining room table where the possibility exists for us to enjoy making even more people uncomfortable.)

7.  Ed is awesome.  I think my husband may have searched this term in hopes of finding some dirt on me.  He has finally come to accept that he has received a life sentence with me for some unconscionable sin in a past lifetime.  Whatever it was, it was bad.  Poor guy.  He’s so nice now too.  You’d think a guy as nice as he is would get a wife who might cook and clean once in a while.  Lucky him, I work and drink red wine.  And beer.  And spirits.  Though not all at the same time because I learned my lesson when I was much, much younger.  Drink one at a time young lady, and you’ll be that much happier for it.  And he is awesome!  And cute!

8-88.  There were so many variations on stretch mark queries, I can’t even begin to list them all. Ladies, and Gentlemen if this happens to apply to you as well, stretch marks are permanent.  Once they rear their ugly heads, they never, ever leave.  Unless you have a tummy tuck and get those bad boys surgically removed.  That’s always an option.  But if you’re not willing to consider surgery, you’re stuck with the little reminders that your body has done something wonderful.  Mine housed three souls at once.  However, those bastards itched when they were forming (the stretch marks!) , so put your lotion on or you will be miserable. 

“It puts the lotion on it’s skin or else it gets the hose again.”  Can you name that one?  It’s one of my favorites.  I blame my seriously warped mother and the strange upbringing I endured.  I can’t believe my brothers don’t write.  Our mutual biographies read like a sociopath’s background….and her mother made her stay up late on weekend evenings to watch scary movies because she didn’t want to watch them alone. 

89-100. These were really just various queries about children and I’m hoping they were parents searching for inventive ways to photograph their cherubs.  And even though I’ve got some mad iPhone skills, they should probably look elsewhere.  I’m not very skilled with the camera.  I’m just persistent.

And well, now it’s time to  send the cherubs to bed and take the remotes away from them.  Momma wants to start watching Grimm and she needs that playstation to do it.


You Just Never Know What Might Be Hiding Under The Bed…

Ed’s parents have taken a little vacation, a long weekend, just the two of them.  They asked Ed to look after their dogs while they were gone.  Of course, he said yes.  Said he’d even be happy to do it.  It’s a real honest-to-goodness vacation for them and it’s been far too long since their last one. 

So tonight, after Ed and the boys and I watched a movie (Brave–loved it!) and had dinner (Tex-Mex–awesome!!), we dropped in at his parents house to feed the dogs and give them some attention.  Sir Patrick Mayo is a standard French poodle.  He’s champagne colored and likes getting his hair cut and styled like a fluffy 80’s perm until Ed reminds him what a waste of time his pride is and then he sulks.  There’s Julie the Boston Bulldog who is absolutely positive that she’s the top dog and she will take down any male dog who tests her authority.  Yes, being a Boston Bulldog, she only weighs 20 pounds.  She’s still top dog!  🙂  And then there’s Burban, the pup of their pack.  He’s a full blood mutt who happens to be mostly black with a small white patch on his chest.  He was named Burban because my in-laws found him sleeping in their garage as a puppy underneath the suburban.  If my mother-in-law had accidentally put the car into drive instead of reverse, things would’ve turned out badly.  Fortunately for all of us, she didnt’.   Burban most enjoys chasing after cats and boys and Julie and wreaking havoc wherever possible.  It’s just that everything is so exciting and he has too much energy and he’s really not sure what to do with all that energy!

Once Julie and Burban had licked their bowls clean and Patrick refused to admit there was food in his bowl or that his body required any sort of sustenance, we let all the dogs run through the house and chase after the boys.  That is why you have children, right?  To wear down the dogs?  Anyway, the dogs and the boys made multiple trips up and down the long hall and scattered the rugs and absolutely nothing fragile was broken.  After the dogs and the boys looked sufficiently tired, the young dogs were put in the back yard and Ed and I went to find Sir Patrick Mayo.  Sir Patrick Mayo was cowering on top of Ed’s parents bed and shivering because he absolutely knew he had been abandoned and his people were never coming back.

And then, I noticed it.  My dear in-laws, most likely my father-in-law, had taken louvered doors-the quarter width ones you might have found on a closet door back in the 80’s- and propped them up along both sides of the bed.  There has always been a wooden box at the foot of the bed so the dogs could easily climb onto the bed. But this, this was too much.  Their bedroom has a dark, gothic feel to it anyway, but now, you can’t see under the bed at all!  It totally freaked me out!  You have no idea what might be hiding under the bed waiting to grab your foot while you’re sleeping!  Mummy?  Vampire?  Crazed Murderer?  Werewolf?  Zombie?  Alien?  You have no idea!  Any one of them could be under the bed and you would be totally unaware!

I told Ed and the boys about this.  I described the fear with which one might be jolted when said unknown creature grabbed their sleeping foot and pulled them under the bed and started eating their organs.  I even demonstrated the scream which might slip from their mouths.

They all looked at me like I was crazy.

“Where do you get this stuff?” asked Logan.  (He can be a cynical little monster some times.)

“Dude,”  I said, “You don’t understand!  Oma made me watch all of the scary movies when I was your age.  She wouldn’t let me go to sleep.  She made me watch every single scary movie ever made just because she didn’t want to watch them by herself.  She said she was preparing me for a potential attack.  I mean really, if a poltergeist was going to target just one person, it would be her and not me.  The point is, I know all about these kinds of things and you always leave the space under the bed within clear sight so you can see any monsters under the bed!  It should be a law!”

“Mom,  you’re weird,” said Trip.

“I don’t want to watch any more movies with you, Mom,” said Logan.

I think Ed just rolled his eyes at my histrionics.

I might have seen a zombie hand pushing the louvered door out of its way.

This is a Public Service Announcement

I’ve learned something new and I feel that I absolutely must share it.  Did you know that you can sneeze hard enough to make your eyeball pop out?  It’s called Globe Luxation.

Isn’t that awesome??  haha!

I’ve never seen it happen and I don’t really want to see it either.  When it happens, the eyeball pops out and is flopping around on the cheek and stays connected to the head by the optic nerve, muscles, and blood vessels.  There’s even the potential that vision won’t be affected after the eye is put back into the socket.

Why do I have this tidbit of knowledge?  I’m working on a short story that is much too long for the blog and I couldn’t come up with the term I needed for said story and I was googling all kinds of vision problems.  Globe Luxation was the first thing I came across.  It was of absolutely no help to me, other than I thought about eyeballs popping out for half the night last night.

And yes, when I publish my masterpiece, I will put the link to amazon on my blog.  And on facebook.   And I’m going to ask all of my friends to put the link on their facebook pages.  And I may advertise somewhere.  It’s all about the egg money.


Oatmeal Dreams

Growing up, Mom would cook breakfast for us every weekend.  Cereal with milk was the norm for the week, but once Saturday rolled around, Mom would break out her Betty Crocker cookbook and open it to the breakfast section.  She didn’t really need the cookbook, but I think she opened it out of habit.  Mom would make pancakes and french toast and lots and lots of bacon.  Her repertoire also included some fantastic cinnamon toast, peanut butter and honey toast and oatmeal.  She would only ever cook one thing for breakfast, but whatever she cooked was bound to be delicious.  And what got me thinking about Mom’s Saturday morning breakfasts?  Well, I’ve been on a cleanse in an attempt to lose the holiday weight I have gained and I get to eat almost nothing.  In my food deprived state, I saw a breakfast tray for a patient in the hospital and it had oatmeal on it and the oatmeal seemed  absolutely decadent.  After drooling over hospital oatmeal (and not stealing a nibble from my patient!), I decided that the next weekend I was off, the boys were going to have hot off the stove oatmeal, made with butter and sugar.

That happened to be today.  I got out of bed at the perfectly reasonable time of 10:30 a.m. because the boys were begging for chicken nuggets and I told them they would be trying oatmeal today.  They moaned and groaned and made faces.  They whined and said they just wanted chicken nuggets.  I told them Oma used to make oatmeal for me with lots of butter and sugar.  Their ears perked up a little after I said sugar and butter, but only slightly.

So we all tromped down the stairs and I turned on cartoons for them and filled a pan with a bit of milk.  I then promptly forgot about the milk as I was getting the oatmeal and got distracted by my phone and the milk may have scorched a little bit.  I added in the oatmeal as the boys started whining again about starving to death.  I told them the oatmeal only had six more hours to cook and that I’d get it right to them.  They may have rolled their eyes at me, but i ignored them.  I stirred and stirred and then added more oatmeal because my concoction didn’t have the right consistency.  After it reached perfection, I divided the oatmeal into three bowls, added butter and sugar and brought breakfast to the table. 

And even I was a bit disappointed and I think I’d have been happier if I had just taken a bite of my patients oatmeal.  I don’t think she would have cared.  The oatmeal was good, it just didn’t live up to my expectations.  And my demon children hated it.  Logan absolutely refused to take a bite until I threatened him with housework.  Trip, who is a people pleaser and doesn’t like to hurt anyone’s feelings, ate as much as he thought was necessary to make me happy.

And Logan stopped after this bite.

Gardening Follies, IV

This story starts with Gardening Follies, Gardening Follies II, and Gardening Follies III. Click on the links. 🙂

Sasha turned to face me and, in a hushed voice, said, “I’m not really sure where to start. We are in the underground tunnels surrounding Arbor Vitae, the tree of life. I saw the weasels drag you into the tunnels.”

“Wait! Underground tunnels? Arbor Vitae? What the hell are you talking about?”

“Would you like for me to finish? Do you think you could hold off on the barrage of questions until I’ve told you what I have to say? And unless you’d like for some of the predators searching for you to actually find you, you need to keep your voice down,” hissed the irritated cat. “Now, I was saying I had watched the weasels drag you underground into the tunnels. I followed them to see what they were going to do with you. I was curious.  I had to wait for them to leave because there were so many of them.  They must have left so they could set the snakes loose.”

I was stunned.  Why would they kidnap me? Attack me?  What threat was I?  More importantly though, we needed to get out of here.  We had no way of knowing if the weasels had though the snakes would be sufficient for my demise or if some other predator was waiting for me.

Sasha’s eyes were constantly moving, checking for anything coming our way.  “We must keep moving.  I think we’ll be safest back at your house.  I had to follow the weasels for a very long time and I am not completely sure how far from your home we are.  We should try to get above ground and then make our way back to your house.”

Sasha turned and started walking, checking into doorways and around corners as I followed her.  The darkness seemed to go on forever, broken only by the glowing, giant lightning bugs.  I had lost all sense of time.  My most fervent wish was to get back to my normal size and back home.  I could think rationally when I got home and decide what my next course of action should be. 

Sasha slowed and held her hand up, indicating I too should stop to see what might lie ahead for us in the road.  Sasha took a step to her right and I was able to glance over her shoulder.  I had to blink several times.  My eyes had grown so accustomed to the dark that the beautiful rays of sunlight streaming down into the tunnel hurt my eyes terribly.  Sasha motioned for me to stay where I was and then she crept towards the light, checking for predators and weasels and booby traps.  Sasha’s head rose and rose until half of her body seemed to have disappeared.  After an interminable search, Sasha decided the hole really was an exit from the tunnels and it was safe for me to leave.

Sasha climbed delicately and quickly and easily up through the hole.  I was not so graceful.  I put my hands on what I thought were secure rocks in the side of the tunnel below the opening only to have them crumble in my hand.  Eventually, after grunting and groaning and straining and many other unladylike traits, I made it to the top of the tunnel and scrambled out.  The warm sun felt magical on my skin.  The air had cooled considerably, but being free would always trump being a little chilly.

Yoga and Flipped Eyeballs

Ed said to me a few months ago that he wanted to start doing yoga and he wondered if a local gym where many of our friends exercised had a yoga program.  He asked around and I asked around and we were each told by quite a few people that the gym did indeed have a yoga class.  And then, we did nothing about it for weeks.  We’re proactive like that.  Gym memberships spontaneously appear in your wallet if you wait long enough.  So in November, the memberships still hadn’t spontaneously appeared in my wallet and Ed was begging me to take care of the membership situation, so I went up to the gym and signed up.  The guy who did the initial paperwork with me was a bit of an ass, but I figured he wouldn’t be in any of the yoga classes so I wouldn’t have to put up with his arrogance very often and I was right.  We attended our first yoga class the very next day.   The Yoga instructor, a blonde, new age-ish kind of girl,  arrived wearing stilettos and a dress.  She thanked everyone for coming, turned on the yoga music, and started us on the difficult Indian Style Sitting Pose while we breathed deeply in and out through our noses.  We were told many times throughout the class to practice each pose with our eyes closed, but it’s really hard to follow in a new yoga class while feeling like an absolute moron with your eyes closed.  You want to look at the instructor as she changes positions.  You want to look at your husband and make sure you are more flexible than he is.  You want to make sure the entire class hasn’t gotten up to encircle you  and point and laugh as you try a new pose.  Or that they haven’t all gotten up to encircle you with machetes.  Or Machine guns.  And how do you really know that a ninja intent on killing you hasn’t slipped down through the ceiling tiles if you have your eyes closed??  So I kept my eyes open the entire time, as did Ed.  And really, if you don’t keep your eyes open, how can you look at your husband’s cute butt?  So it was in this very first yoga class with Ed and the weird, new age music and my open eyes that I first did the Downward Dog.  For those of you who have never done a Downward Dog,  you bend over at the waist and lean forward until you get your hands to the floor, basically making yourself an inverted V.  We stayed in the Downward Dog position for eight of the yoga instructor’s breaths, or about ten minutes.  It was during the Downward Dog that my eyeballs flipped.  Yes, flipped. 

And now it’s time for the physiology portion of this story.  You have neurons, aka nerve cells, in your eyeballs that send any image you see to your brain, but somewhere along the way, the image has to be flipped in order for us to see the image with the right side up.  Researchers who were having quite a bit of fun with some college kids put their subjects in special goggles that flipped the image they were seeing and then waited for the subjects brains to flip the image right side up again.  Once they removed the goggles, the subjects had to wait a certain amount of time before their brains were able to flip the image again.  I think every student in an Anatomy and Physiology class has heard of this study and probably never actually read the case study and such is the case with me.

Now, back to the cool part of my story.  There I was in the Downward Dog position, eyes open, trying in vain to breath deeply in and out through my nose, giving up and breathing deeply through my mouth, watching the instructor as she told us to inhale deeply about every seventy seconds, watching Ed’s backside and checking his form when I realized that my arms and legs looked like they were connected firmly to the ceiling.  I watched my trembling arms and thought that I could just straighten out my legs   and stand where I was.  The whole experience was a bit surreal.  I looked forwards and backwards just to make sure I was seeing what I thought I was seeing and sure enough, the floor had changed to my ceiling.  And then, too much blood finally rushed to my head and I got dizzy and the trembling in my arms reached its limit and I had to pull out of the pose and went down to all fours.  I was finally able to sit quietly in the class for a few minutes with my eyes closed, but it was only because I needed a break from my upside down world.  My flipped eyeballs (very technical term, I know) flipped back very quickly as they hadn’t been flipped the wrong way for more than a few minutes.

Now that you know you can flip your eyeballs, are you going to try it?

The Smell of Rain

Ed and I had yet another enjoyable evening after ditching the kids with my mother this Saturday.  (Don’t worry.  They visit their other grandparents often too.  It’s almost like we don’t have to parent them.)  We went out to eat and had steaks that were just okay.  We went for ice cream afterwards and sat on a bench outside the store so we could enjoy a rare early summer thunderstorm rolling in.  The sky was filled with lightning.  The air was full of the smell of rain.  Unlike most literary savants, I am not full of scientific facts, so I came home to google the smell of rain.  Wait!  What?  Anyway, the smell of  rain is caused by a bacteria called Actinomycetes.  The moisture of the rain causes the bacterial spores to produce the distinctive rain smell.  If you’ll notice after multiple rain storms, the smell does not occur.  There, you learned something from my blog!

And obviously, I wrote this a few weeks ago because Texas has been hot and dry for the last few weeks!