Sep 30, 2011

Little Jack Corner

Jack likes to sit on my art box and look out the window.  It's his quiet thinking spot.  It's not often he is still and reflective.  Like his uncle Joe, he is usually either going full blast or sleeping.  I like that he has a place he's decided is his own.

Sep 29, 2011

Partly Sunny

Something Green

Because of the drought, there is a lawn watering restriction in effect.  I don't mind, it's less lawn maintenance when the grass doesn't grow.  Though playing in the yard worries me because it's not as soft and lush as I'd like.  Oh, the sad problems of the first world I deal with.  I hope for rain.

I only have one thing I do in the day that is imperative and scheduled.  I mean of course it's important to upkeep the household and the health and well-being of the children, but if I skip folding the laundry there is none to yell at me but me. My only Monday through Friday must, is picking up the kid and the neighbor kids from school in the afternoon. It only takes ten minutes, unless it rains.  On days it rains, apparently, everyone runs around the school asking each other if they should let the kids go or not, despite the form I signed that said "the kid will not melt in the rain, nor will she shrivel up in the cold and I'll let her outrun the tornado if need be, just let her go out the door at the end of the day" or something like that.

Today I stood under a tree in the school yard trying to shield the baby from the freak ten minute monsoon blowing through by wrapping my body around him and his shivering blue lips while the grade schoolers peered out the window and across the field at their waiting and drenched parents.  After which they only released kids to the parents who trashed their shoes trudging across the big field of mud, with baby in arms and mascara running down their cheeks like a Tammy Faye Baker.  Yes, there was more than one of us that said to each other while walking up to the school "Oh look at this freak little grey cloud." "Maybe it'll rain for five minutes or so." "This could be fun!" and "Shouldn't be too bad.  Good for the plants."  


Middle Class Problems
First World Problems
First World Problems Rap

Sep 28, 2011

Sep 27, 2011

What I Wore

Grey Shirt over white tank,
favorite grey mini skirt, red flats,
red hair tie, red sunglasses
and a one year old. 


I yelled over to the second lifeguard,

"There's a really big spider in the wading pool, can you get a net and come get it out?"

The young man took his time walking to the pool house to get the net while I was doing my best to corral my squiggly toddler to the non spidery end of the wading pool.  As he strolled over to us he rolled his eyes and sounding annoyed, asked me

"Where's the spider, lady?"

to which I replied

"Oh! You will see it when you get over here!"

When he dredged the water logged body of a three inch tarantula from the bottom of the pool he said

"Holy crap! I knew they lived here, but I've never seen a wild one."

We all peered into the bottom of his net looking at the furry little thing.  We beckoned lifeguard number one to stop watching the kids in the pool and come see it before he emptied the net into the garbage.  The drought has all sorts of wild animals venturing into populated places in search of water.


Story about Texas tarantulas during drought
Texas Drought: Fish to be rescued from River
Cattle Boom on Market
Drought Could Be Causing Uptick in Rabies Cases

Sep 26, 2011


Me 9/26/11


When the power goes out, everyone gathers up underneath me. Candles lit, we hold each other for a good long moment before everyone is calm.  I make a mental note to buy a big battery powered lantern and decide a game of Crazy Eights is in order.  I use a flash-light to find a deck of cards that the baby hasn't taken a bite from, all the while stepping over the dog who keeps manically placing herself at my feet.  We sit at the big dining room table and arrange candles.  Light is bouncing off the ceiling and fanning out over the room.  We play two hands of Eights and lose ourselves in conversation about how unfair second grade can be.  The baby is trying desperately to eat the seven of clubs.  We forget who's turn it is.  We run our hands quickly through the little flame and then dip the tips of our fingers in the candle.  I pepper the fun by telling a story about a kid getting hurt playing with fire.  We negotiate a group expedition to the bathroom and back.  We eat cake. We attempt another hand of Eights.  Every appliance in the house jumps on all at once and soon I am sitting among empty cake plates, finger prints cast in wax and abandoned playing cards.

Sep 24, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge

The Age of Uncertainty

Subatomic particles traveling faster than the speed of light, the changing atomic weight of elements, dinosaur feathers and non carbon based life forms ensure the inaccuracy of 5th grade science text book across the globe.  Imagine an electronic text book on a reader type device for a kids, eliminating exorbitant text book costs and schlepping thirty pounds of books around in a backpack.  The concept has the makings for a great sci-fi-post-apocalyptic story in which all knowledge is lost, proving when children are taught how to learn instead of what to learn, they will be able to better navigate a Truth that is fluid.  Also there should be robots and explosions in the story and perhaps a super heroine teacher type person played by Milla Jovovich.

Sep 23, 2011

Getting Her Bearings

Last night was school skate night.  The skate rink is as close to a grade school disco as it gets.  Watching one little gangly girl clip clop across the floor with her arms doing a wild and jerky air-swim was as comical as watching another's dance moves in which she leaned way down low, bending at the waist doing a circle motion with her arms in perfect rolling down the river precision. This is where the lip gloss and fingerless gloves cease to be dress up items and become a totally serious part of one's style.  It's where sitting on a wall becomes an art form in cool, not something Humpty Dumpty did and parents are the most un-hip people in the room.  It's where toddlers strive to become feral children under the benches where the carpet glows bright and Cheetos are hitting the floor.  For two glorious hours the world spins in screams of joy and shared nachos.

Sep 22, 2011

Blame Game

According to my morning news, Obama will be responsible for:
-Failure of Peace Process,
-Job Killing
-Debt Ceiling Crisis

I'd also like to blame him for my bum knee, this drought and my dog's breath.

I know, how dare I minimize the failure of peace by comparing it to my dog's breath?! But you really don't want her to breath on you, she's 14 and she eats garbage whenever she can.

Let me give you a list of things I like to blame Obama for:
-Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell
-Osama Bin Laden's death
-Adding 4.6 million to the Veteran's Admin Budget for mental health care professional
-Increasing funding for the Violence Against Women Act
-Cutting prescription drug costs by 50% for Medicare users
-Signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
-Increasing Pell Grants for College Students
-Reversing the Global Gag Rule
-Signing New START Treaty
-Getting CHIP for 4 million uninsured kids
-Stem cell research - yay science!
-Creating more private sector jobs in 2010 than during entire Bush years

Plus; giving me cash for my clunker, getting the strawberry milk out of the kid's lunch, making it possible for me to live in Houston and while I'm at it - this incredibly great cup of coffee I am having this morning.


Obama talks about Lasting Peace
"Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the UN – if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now."

Sep 21, 2011

10 Things I Like

Blanket tents
Photos of Cuba
Wing tips
Orange Crush
Squished pennies
Beach glass

Sep 19, 2011

Sep 18, 2011

Gateway Breakfast Food

My friend Derek was at the after party last night with a baggie of candied bacon in his pocket.  He'd pull it out and open the bag wafting bacon smell out into your face before the offer "Candied bacon?"  The first one is free kid. Little did I know that one bite of it would lead me out to the food truck outside where they were selling chocolate covered bacon which I loved soo much that later when our coach pulled out a bacon chocolate bar and offer everyone in the room a square, I would put both hands up and yell  "Me! Me! Oooh, me me  me! Pick me!" while hip checking every one in the way, between me and that little square of artery hardening goodness.  I hope last night's binge doesn't lead to a hardcore deep fried butter habit.


Dear Greenpeace, sending me an e-mail with the subject line "A Horrible Way to Die" does not entice me to open your e-mail.  Put some candied bacon in your pocket.

Sep 17, 2011

These Boots Are Made for Taking the Garbage Out

We are cleaning the entire garage this weekend. I have to. I don't think I can sleep until I do. I took the garbage out last night through the garage and saw a cockroach so big that it made a noise when it ran. It stopped skittering across the floor for a moment and turned to look at me, it's little arm throwing some sort of gang sign at me; it's other little arm grabbing its crotch, all the while yelling "What what! These are MY wet boxes motha fuckah!"  Had I a can of Raid, I'm sure I coulda popped a cap in his ass, but all I had was a longish t-shirt barely covering my bum, a bag of tasty garbage and flip flops. I could have stepped on it, except I had the feeling that I would have felt it's little cockroach muscles flex through my squishy, wimpy, foam flip flop pushing back against my foot and then I'd have to flex my toes into the floor to actually squish it. I couldn't do it. I just slowly backed my way out the side door to the garbage can where I fought off the urge to run and turn over the whole house, furniture, kids, food and dog to the roach. Instead I'm fighting back, armed with various chemicals, a broom and big black boots, every box gets put away, every hunk of garbage is going out and every unwelcome animal obliterated.

Sep 16, 2011

A Girl Scout Tell All Post

My kid and I joined Girl Scouts, you know that Radical Feminist Lesbian Agenda Group where women get together and show girls how to be cooperative, capable, adventurous, proactive humans. We're pretty excited about it and hope to learn some things about the Texas wilderness that we can't get from books. Plus - Cookies!


When I was a Brownie, my parents agreed to be the cookie warehouse for our troop and we had cases of cookies piled high in our dining room for what seemed like weeks.  Then John Belushi died.  Insert ominous music here.  My Dad and a few of his friends went out to celebrate Belushi's legacy of Belushiness.  Upon returning to our house with the been-out-partying-all-night-munchies they stood in front of that mountain of girl scout cookies and did what any red blooded fans of Animal House would... they shoved as many cookies as they could into their cheeks.  I'm not sure how they sorted out the great cookies shortage of 1982 but I remember my Mom being pretty pissed about them going all Cookie Monster on that mountain and someone had to call Grandma and tell her the Thin Mints were never coming. I don't think I was in Girl Scouts the next year.


Dad's are the Original Hipsters

Florida Woman Busted For Assaulting Roommate Over Girl Scout Cookies

The Girl Scouts' Allegedly Radical Feminist Lesbian Agenda

Chart from

Sep 15, 2011


Tiny Vandal

While my son TPs
the living room, I can drink
coffee he splashed in.

Sep 14, 2011


My pal Kiki, over at I Still Hate Pickles posted today about the wildfires and it got me thinking about what I wish I'd grabbed when we started over in Texas.  George Bush Park was on fire last night, right in the midst of Houston.  The smell of smoke hung heavy and ash rained down over our dry dead grass and brittle pine needles.  I realized, while sitting atop a giant pile of kindling, of all the things I left in Illinois that I wish I kept, a hose might be trump.


Heart Attack Jack has the uncanny ability to find the most dangerous thing in the room.  This morning he climbed the stairs to Ella's lair of pink, sparkly, fluff and found the single thumb tack residing in the corner of a night stand drawer and decided it looked pretty tasty.  As I found him teetering down the stairs with a tack in his mouth, I decided that he would make a good bomb squad member, he'll be able to immediately find explosives with his special danger-senses.  

Sep 12, 2011


Yesterday's overwhelming news coverage without mention of the 750,000 people facing "imminent starvation" as a direct result of terrorism is a travesty.  By all means vow to never forget, but please also find in your memory those big bellied babies standing in the dirt watching each other shrivel up in the sun while terrorists play politics with relief efforts, because I can't bare to look at the photos again and find one to show you.  I just need you to remember them, and then imagine more than 200 World Trade Centers going down in slow motion over the next year.

Sep 9, 2011

Holiday Hair

I was at Half Priced Books a few weeks back and found some Life Magazines from 1942. I took home three.  The articles are terribly interesting and the ads are equally entertaining as well as far more suitable for a Friday morning post.  My favorite line: " -unless you like that shiny, plastered down look which jitterbugs often prefer when they dress up for a rug-cutting session."

Kreml Hair Tonic Ad 1942
Click to enlarge 

Sep 8, 2011

Texas Fires

There was a haze in the air this morning and the smell of smoke. I found a lovely sunrise and no fire out the window but turned the news on anyway to make sure Ella had school. They are evacuating Magnolia. The fire is moving South-East with the wind and some schools are cancelled, not ours. I closed the windows, turned on the fan and let it filter.

Sep 6, 2011

Light morning snacks

I bought Jack a book called Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli, because he likes to eat crayons, paper and loose change.  The book is supposed to teach him the difference between yummy and yucky things.  "Blueberries are yummy.  Blue Crayons are yucky."  He thought the book was yummy. Thanks Leslie.

Sep 1, 2011


Locust buzz washes
in and out like waves on air
and the baby sleeps