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Here, Kitty, Kitty…

April 30th, 2007

Dear Internet,

You still there? Even with everything I’ve put you through the last few weeks? Whew. Close one, huh? Were you worried for my sanity? Don’t be, please. Although, Jesus God, it was a little hit or miss, eh? Luckily there was just enough cocoa left to bake a Volcano Cake tonight. How about a kitty picture? (Wacky Cat 2, ten years ago; photo by my sister.)


“Some people crack, you bake,” my husband just told me. Yeah, I crack eggs. That’s better than cracking up. I was putting the cake in the oven and reorganizing the kitchen. Life gets worse, then it gets better, then you do the whole thing all over again.

In Italian, “Peggio di cosi, si muore.” (Literally: “It can be worse than this — worse than this, you die.” Or something like that.) Or you could have a Neighbor from Hell like this one.

Here’s my other favorite — Wacky Cat 1 is grooming him. He got filthy at the pound. (Pic by my sis? Or my husband? Who knows.)


The rhodies are blooming, the honeysuckle has already inhaled the back fence — it is covered and nowhere to be seen. My hostilities? Gone. I turned over all six of our garden plots this week — so far we’ve planted potatoes, two rows of corn, yellow zucchini, two kinds of peppers and a tomato. We’ll plant bush beans later, more tomatoes, and I don’t know what else. Basil. We harvested what was left of the winter kale and my husband braised it for dinner last night with olive oil, garlic, onion and a dash of lime juice.

Kids? Still home. Homeschooling? Still going well. We’ve been having fun with this site (Wacky Girl: “Are you serious? These words are too hard!”), and this one and this one. We started out here. There are all kinds of preschool sites out there, with coloring sheets and fact sheets and all that. Wacky Boy has mostly been working through his sister’s old workbooks, doing word puzzles and matching games. For fun he loves the Yuckiest Site on the Internet and I Spy Fantasy. And Sesame Street. We’ll probably go to the science museum this week, possibly the World Forestry Center, or back to the zoo.

Honestly, who has time for school? I’m being flip — they miss their friends. I miss my quiet time. But why get them all, uh, de-loused, to be blunt, and then send them back to get lousy again? There is no point to that. And I don’t miss the scene there, the drama, the runny noses, the drinking fountains that don’t work, the vomiting, the volunteering.

(Note that in my mind “volunteering” is right there alongside “vomiting.” What the hell went wrong, formerly altruistic self? Where did you go?)

I don’t miss the crazy cafeteria and the special needs kids who need individual aides but will never have them. My kids are doing well in spite of the public school system, not because of it. I cannot say the same for a lot of the kids. They need help they are not getting and that both pisses me off and makes me feel helpless.

Principal and district are negotiating terms of getting a Lice Swat Team involved in the whole brouhaha. Because the school secretary, poking at the occasional kid’s head with a popsicle stick, with a look of visible disdain on her face? It is not cutting it. Wacky Cat 2 says:




Vote for Ruth Adkins

April 28th, 2007

Please you will vote for Ms. Ruth Adkins for school board.

Because I said so.

Go, Ruth!

Just Trying to Get Home, Thanks

April 27th, 2007

I needed to run some errands this afternoon — drop something off at my sister’s, stop by the library and pick up the DVDs I had on hold and return some books, and some other errand I completely spaced out on. Post office? No. Grocery store? What was it?

I’d already stopped by the vet’s office, mailed some cards, thought about how nice it would be to go for acupuncture. Ahhhh, acupuncture. My mom stops by to hang out with the kids while I’m running errands. (I’m thinking this is the first glitch with homeschooling — when do I run errands? Get pedicures? Go out for sushi with my girlfriends? Internet, I am a kept woman, I think you already knew this. I type for a living! From home! It has its perks. Speaking of, when the hell am I supposed to write? Manuscripts are waiting, and waiting…) (more…)

RIP, Auntie Vera. You were the best girl.

April 27th, 2007

My Great-Auntie Vera passed this week. She was 86! I’m sad that we lost her, but how cool is it that she lived to almost 90? Cool, indeed. Yay for long-lived family members. She was funny and sweet. She was a great cook, and sent us a family/church cookbook for a wedding gift. Then my grandma swiped it, then she gave it to my auntie and uncle. I finally tracked it down and got it back. HA! Ha to you, grandma! (Who is herself 87 this July.)

Auntie Vera’s husband, my Great-Uncle Bunny, was best-known for his threat to my aunts and uncles, when they were diving into the river: “If you durn kids drown yourselves I’m gonna whup ya!” It is threats like that that make a family strong.

Here are two recipes from the cookbook for you, in her honor. And really, when you’re from Arkansas like my mom’s family, there is no point to life without bacon, fried. So both recipes include it.

I love you, Aunt Vera. You really were the best.

(from my cousin Debbie)

1/2 lb. bacon, fried
4 tomatoes, chopped
baked cornbread
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup sweet pickle, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup sweet pickle juice

Crumble cornbread in bottom of casserole dish. Layer onion, tomato and pepper. Crumble bacon on top. Mix sweet pickles, mayonnaise, sugar and sweet pickle juice together. Beat well. Pour over top layers.

Fried Rice
(from my cousin Pam)

1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 cup cooked rice
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce (or to taste)
6-8 slices bacon, cut up

Fry bacon, add celery, onion, garlic and bell pepper. Fry till tender. Add rice, soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Cook on low heat 10 to 20 minutes.

Speaking of people who won’t stop proselytizing…

April 27th, 2007

Don’t be preachy with other people’s kids, dammit. Just don’t.

Ask Dear Prudence.

Thursday Thirteen #90: My Thirteen Superpowers

April 25th, 2007

Hello 13ers,

Do you think it’s a quincidence that Vicki Phillips, much-disliked superintendent of Portland Public Schools, would resign on the same day she gets the letter Hockey God and I sent her, demanding that the district change their slacker, inadequate lice policy?

Do you? Yeah, me neither. People, that is no coincidence. That is my superpowers at work.

My Thirteen Superpowers, by Wacky Mommy

1. I got Vicki Phillips to resign with just one letter.

2. My ability to be patient with my children, even when they’re playing “Butt Ball.” (It involves one person bouncing on a whoopee cushion while the other person tries to push them off. Wacky Boy: “IT’S LIKE GOLF, ONLY YOU PLAY IT WITH YOUR BUTT!”

3. I have eyes in the back of my head. With them, I can do many things. Just ask my kids.

4. I saw Hockey God, my future husband, sitting on his front porch, drinking a beer, and thought: i will marry him someday. And I did.

5. My ability to fix dinner, do the dishes, answer the phone, answer the front door, do laundry, feed the cats and give them their medicine all at the same time.

6. When I was 19 and living with my best girlfriend, she had some wild boys over and I told, “Eh, that one is bad.” Turned out he was an escaped convict from the Rocky Butte Jail. (No lie!)

7. I can tell when my mom is lying when she says, “Yes, I read your blog all the time.” She never reads it! Mom, read this blog, dammit.

8. Once I knew that the car I was in was going to crash. No, I was not driving, smartass. I not only knew that it was going to crash, I knew that we would be going down a steep hill, out of control, with no brakes. Hours later, this premonition came true. Strange, no? I was able to keep my head and all was fine. (After this, I listened to the premonitions.)

9. I have mad homeschool teacher skilz (See Item 2, above).

10. I can make you forget all your troubles with just one visit to my site.

11. I can make you itch with just one more visit to my site.

12. I can sleep 12 hours at a stretch. Well, I could if I didn’t have to feed children.

13. I can come up with a list of thirteen things at the drop of a hat.

Have a superfine week, everyone.


And now, a word from our sponsors, TrueBlue Blueberry Juice

April 25th, 2007

We received samples today in the mail. Samples! I adore samples. TrueBlue Blueberry Juice, named “best new blueberry beverage” by the North American Blueberry Council. They sent the Blueberry/Pomegranate flavor, too.

“I like it. And also, I don’t like it, I love it!” — Wacky Boy

“I really like it, too.” — Wacky Girl (this is high praise from her, as she doesn’t care for juice)

“Good with a shot of vodka, over ice.” — Wacky Mommy

i have not the words, part 417

April 24th, 2007

We sent our kids back to school yesterday for the first time in two weeks. My son, my husband and I have not had… I can’t say the word anymore. The situation. We have not had the situation do a little merry buggy dance on our heads. Although if you asked anyone at the school or in our neighborhood, they’d tell you, oh, yeah, they all four had it, it was terrible.

No, it has just been one problem scalp here.

My girl — my girl who refuses to let us shave her head, or clipper cut it — my girl has been clear of the situation since Tuesday, April 10th. That’s when she was clear of adult bugs, nits and anything resembling them. My girlfriend L, and really, God love her for doing this, picked eggs off my daughter’s head on Monday, April 9th. She had a couple of dead nits on her head on Friday, April 13th.

So technically, as of yesterday a.m. we have been “situation-free” for thirteen days. That’s 13. Can I say that more LOUDLY? Almost two weeks. We were in okay shape. I thought. I combed through her hair yesterday with tea tree oil, found nothing, braided it and sent her off. The school secretary (because our school nurse is only there two days a week) checked her out, thoroughly. All clear.

She comes home with an adult louse on her head, several nits and lots of eggs. (The Internet, in unison: Duh.) The principal refuses to check heads, refuses to send a “we have lice” letter home, (although they did send home a generic “here’s what to do if you have them” letter), refuses to pick up the phone and call parents.

We’re not going back to school this year.

Dixie Chicks/ Shut Up & Sing/ Taking the Long Way

April 23rd, 2007

“And how in the world can the words that I said/
send somebody so over the edge/
that they’d write me a letter/
Sayin’ that I better shut up and sing/
or my life will be over”

— Not Ready to Make Nice
Dixie Chicks

I’ve loved the Dixie Chicks since the first time I heard “There’s Your Trouble” in 1998. My favorites for country music are… (more…)

TV Turn-off Week 2007

April 23rd, 2007

Once again, the kids and I are doing TV Turn-off Week (April 23-29). This is our fourth year! And once again, it’s Stanley Cup play-offs, so my husband gets a pass to watch hockey. And celebrate 4:20. Damn, update that blog, dude.

That’s fair, I’m thinking. Hockey is different. I mean, hockey, hockey, hockey!!! (The kids and I don’t join him.)

I’m also thinking… “No Grey’s Anatomy???” Good thing there’s not a No Blogging Week. (Yes, I realize we should try for no computer time, too. But my kids don’t often play computer games, so that’s no big loss for them to go without. And blogging saves my sanity — what little of it is left. Plus, writing is my source of income. And Hockey God is a computer guy, so keyboarding = $$$ at my house. So don’t try to take our keyboards away!)

Are y’all doing the no TV thing at your houses?

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