Friday, October 30, 2009

Eggroll? Eggroll, Who?

Welcome to the family, little Sassafras Williams. My best advice for you as the newest member of the clan? Don't get sick.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I am not sure how to say this without sounding more unstable than I already seem, but sewing makes me want to jump off a bridge. And we're not talking the real stuff here, like clothes and decorative pillowcases, as I don't have a machine. That would render me completely catatonic. We're talking the little, "easy" stuff. Buttons? God help me. Darning? As if. Hemming? Laughable.

So imagine my surprise and reluctance (and terror) when I was presented with the "opportunity" to sew a patch onto Sweet Mr. Beans's fencing pants. I basically just stared in abject horror until my husband repeated, "He needs it on there by Saturday's tournament. He's gotta show his Club pride!"


Well, here I am now, Thursday afternoon, taking a small break to hammer out my frustrations on the keyboard, because...

It took me literally two hours to pin it on, re-pin it on, re-re-pin it on, thread the needle, tie that stupid knot at the end of the thread that everybody claims is so essential, stick my finger, stick my finger again, and finally get the job done. I was exhausted, both mentally and physically, and so relieved it was over.

So, in walks my husband just now, and I leap up to show him my handiwork. He doesn't really smile. Rather, he looks confused and a bit frightened to say what he needs to tell me.

"It looks great, but you sewed it on the wrong side."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Circle of Life

So we had this lizard. Yes, had. He is no longer with us, both in the literal and figurative sense.

And for all of you curious reptiphiles and reptiphobes, here's how it all went down...

I guess first, I should provide a little background info, just to get PETA all nice and worked up. A general unspoken rule in our house is any mammalian member of the family will receive appropriate basic veterinary care. If, God forbid, something catastrophic were to happen, well, we'll just cross that bridge when we get to it.

Now, if you reside in our home and are not a mammal... Well, be happy you have a warm place to live and keep an eye on the cat.

And so it went, until this past week when our poor Chinese water dragon, Eggroll, starting acting sort of strange and slow. But the funny thing about reptiles is they'll do that before they shed, or when they are cold. So, we kind of just ignored the weirdness until yesterday. My husband decided to seek medical care for him, which just had disaster written all over it from the get go. His point was a good one, however. His thought was that if it was something simple, and fixable, why not? It was better than just watching him die. So we loaded the lizard in the car, and drove him to the exotic animal clinic.

The whole scene was a riot (until we got to the part about Eggroll's terminal illness). It was exactly how you would picture it... Lots of good-natured weirdos, lots of photos hanging on the walls from appreciative former patients (turtles in Santa hats, iguanas posing with kitties, etc).

Well, the Dr. examined Eggy and pronounced him gravely ill with pneumonia, a skin infection, and possible organ failure. Her treatment plan consisted of immediate hospitalization, tube feeding and iv antibiotics. Basically, lizard life support. To the tune of $1000.


I felt like the worst person in the world when I asked sheepishly if there was a "Plan B". My husband, by the way, was too busy staring at a spot on the ground and fiddling with his car keys to help me out.

Luckily, the vet was really understanding and presented us with an Euthanasia Plan. Now, I don't mean to sound heartless, but it was pretty hilarious. We could be there with him, if we so chose. We could take his little remains with us, or have him cremated. I think we could even select some sort of commemorative urn for his ashes.

In the end, we chose a clean cut of the cord, if you will. We said our solemn goodbyes to the little wheezing lizard in the orange Nike shoebox, paid our $49, and ran.

We got home and broke the news to the boys. Despite months of basically ignoring the poor animal, they took it very hard... Until I told them we could go to our vet's office tomorrow to look at a stray kitten that's in need of a home.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Home-Grown Terror

My life tends to run at only two speeds... boring and slow, to the point of mental and physical degeneration, or hypersonic overdrive, feeling overwhelmed and pulled in a thousand opposite directions, making me want to veer off the nearest (and highest) bridge.

So guess which one is my life of late ? Well, since it's not August, it must be the second one. Here's what's on my plate... if anyone can help me figure out how to remain calm, cool and ever so collected, I will write you into my will (which is currently in the red, BTDubs).

1) Father-in-law in hospital. Nothing too horrible, but the man is approaching 90, and he's the healthy one of the bunch. Not a good scene, and part of the reason we do NOT reside in Texas, while the rest of our extended family remains IN Texas.

2) Husband feeling the guilt of being 2,000 miles away from sick dad and needy relatives, and is sort of roaming around in a funk, which is worsened by...

3) Husband just got glasses for the first time (bifocals, to boot) and they are messing with his psyche. I am not good at doling out the TLC, and that is really what he needs. Hey, join the club, mister.

4) Magazine fundraiser at school has been extended for yet another week. Have I mentioned I am in charge?

5) Holiday crap displayed, and crowd-worsening detected, in Target. And you all know what kind of downward spiral/mania this induces. In fact, I am seeing stars and feeling nauseous just thinking about it. Must find a new approach to the holidays this year. Can't deal with Turducken, panic, advent calendars, relatives, and the extra 20 lbs ever again.

6) Dog has a partial tear of her ACL. No, she's not a professional football player. However, she may need to become one to cover her veterinary bill.

7) Kids are hacking and sneezy and semi-sick, but not to the fun point, where they lie silently in bed, drifting in and out of consciousness. They are cranky and annoying, and way too active. Am left with no choice but to try to sneak them back into school. Have vowed not to answer the phone, should I get a call from school.

8) The stupid lizard appears to be ill. If he dies, this will be the second lizard we have had to bury in a year. I am not a good lizard nurse and may need to put Dr. Kevorkian on speed dial... Maybe I can get a group discount.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Will Meme for Food

You may know that I kind of drew that weird, sudden, arbitrary line in the sand, and decided to no longer participate in any memes. I was pretty heavy into them, and I needed a clean break. So I quit.... cold turkey. And while I am generally very pleased with my decision, I am not unaware of the consequences. I have definitely isolated myself, somewhat. Also, now being left to my own devices for topic inspiration, I have found myself lacking at times. Seriously lacking.

And I am so seriously off-track right now. Enough about me.

So my old buddy, CaJoh, is celebrating his birthday today. And what I love about CaJoh, other than the fact that his nom de plume makes him sound like a cult leader, is the inspired simplicity of his blog.

What does any of this mean? And why should you care? Okay, well, here... let me spell it out:

CaJoh + Meme = Friday's Feast (yay!)

It's a simple one, really. You just have to talk about food (oh darn, right?). So I am going to dig deep within me for any vestigial memeing abilities, and see if I remember how to play.

Here's what I have to say about food:

1. You really can acquire a taste for those God-awful, healthy bran muffins (the hungrier and more desperate you are, the better).

2. If you are interested in obtaining the worst morning breath known to mankind, eat something with pesto for dinner the night before.

3. And now for my all-time favorite, which bears frequent repetition... Oatmeal is a totally acceptable and healthy dinner for your children (and disillusioned but hungry husband).

Happy Birthday, my friend, and Happy Weekend to the rest of you. Oh, and don't get used to all of this sociability... Back to our regularly scheduled programming posthaste!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Past Due

I've been more than a little fascinated lately by the life-cycle of the blog. Oh, you didn't know there's such a thing? Ah, but there is... and if you look closely, you, too, can easily identify the various stages, and their inherent characteristics. It doesn't take a scientist (which is good, because I ain't one) to figure it out. I won't bore you with the whole explanation, because it has been discussed by bloggers big and small around here.

Now, what is intriguing is how most blogs seem to stall at the cocoon spinning phase, and either just crawl around as a perpetual caterpillar, hungry for comments and approval, or feel the need to change, begin to spin its cozy transformational bed, but then kind of just fall off the tree, never to be heard from again. Rare is the blog that truly undergoes the somewhat painful metamorphosis and grows its gorgeous wings. And the simple reason why?


Fear of "letting down readers".

Fear of sounding stupid.

Fear of being boring.

Fear of saying what you actually mean and being judged a bitch. Or uncool. Or unenlightened. Or ungreen. Or just plain mean. And who wants to be considered mean?

Well, that's all going to change. At least around here. I freely admit that I have been guilty of some serious self-censoring, and I don't like it. My one purpose for starting my blog was to, for once in my life, be truly authentic. To just be me. To say what I want to say. Embrace what I really feel. To write about what is inside of me, instead of continuing to portray a character that people around me expect and enjoy, at the expense of my soul.

And if people don't like it, and suddenly I am alone? Well, at least my one constant companion will be a lot easier to look in the eye.

So if you're up for saying what you mean, without fear of being thought of as mean, with no regard to obligation or perception, grab a button (stage left), and... well... say what you mean! Even if it's silly, boring, controversial, sad, happy, upsetting or confusing, if you feel it in your heart, it is worth being read, comments be damned!

Finally, I have to give a big shout out to my pal, Em, who heard my heart, helped me figure out what I was feeling, and then grabbed my hand and jumped off of this bridge with me. And while she was busy taking care of me, she found the time to design that cool button that says it all.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Teen Talk: The Reunion Show

Back by popular demand... The child formerly known as Sweet Mr. Beans, who now, clearly, is working hard to shake the 'sweet', and well on his way to embracing the whole teen attitude thing. I may have to just recast the role if he doesn't shape up. Or maybe I can just claim him to be his own evil twin.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Sordid Truth

So here it is... the truth. I have been avoiding you. All of you. And I guess what I am hoping is you will maybe understand. If not, well then so be it. Please be patient and know that any irritation in my 'voice' is not, I repeat, not directed at you. But since it is illegal to throttle my children and abandon them on the street, I must take my frustrations out on the innocent... you.

Now, why have I been ignoring all the wonderful, optimistic, conscientious, inspiring tales of raising the next generation? Because suddenly I see the futility of it all. The societal judgment lingering in the air, for nothing, has gotten the better of me. The angst over breast or bottle, TV or no TV, green or... well, apparently there is no other choice besides green, or our kids, and the world as we know it, will all just instantly go to Hell.

I guess it seems harsh and, well, rude, to say it just doesn't matter if you do or do not grow your own squash to then boil (But not too long or all the nutrients will evaporate and your children will get rickets. Or is it scurvy?), and then mash, and then strain, and then mash again, and then feed to your children as they listen to Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

And do you know how I know it doesn't matter? Because I've done it. And you know what? My kids still talk back to me. They forget their homework at school. They complain about taking the trash out every single time, even though they have been taking out the trash twice weekly for the last 4 years. They fail tests. They go out with friends, in actual moving vehicles, and don't answer their cell phone for hours at a time. Yes, it happens.

The pressure on teens today is insane, and even in the most laid back of households, they feel it. Kids are depressed, kids feel lonely and isolated, and it has very, very little to do with whether or not they learned the alphabet in Chinese as a toddler. They react to things with little regard to the 'tools' they learned during circle time in kindergarten. Hormones are raging, chemicals in the brain are on the loose, disaster looms around every corner. Yes, it happens.

Or maybe at this point, you are thinking, "Well, it won't happen in my house." And maybe it won't. But it probably will. And, like me, you will be ill prepared for the constant frustration and emotional wrangling.

But, at least I know that when the day comes and my boys are standing in front of a judge, awaiting their sentence, they will remember to say "Yes Ma'am". And the nutrition they banked as infants will sustain them through years of prison food.