Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Baking Season

When I get into a baking mood, no one is safe. Cakes, pies, cookies, brownies, muffins, breads... I churn them out as fast as my oven can produce a golden flaky crust. At first my family thinks it's wonderful, all these goodies for them to snack on,  that I'm always in the kitchen, and available to chat. Then they realize I'm always in the kitchen... wanting to chat. Good grief, they only wanted a drink of water.
I've seen them reverse course and drink from the bathroom tap instead.
My friends think it's wonderful, when I show up to every social function with a plate of cookies, a pie, or a loaf of quirky artisan bread. Until I bring all the above, for a gathering of three people. "Take it to work with you, your co-workers will love it!" I say, as I skip out unburdened, racing home to try a new recipe, leaving their table weighed down with carbs galore.
I realized how bad it had gotten when I made several dozen chocolate chunk espresso brownies. And my daughter Sadie came in to tell me goodbye, because she was heading off to work.

Me: "You work with people, take some brownies!"
Sadie: "I barely know them. It would be weird."
Me: "What better way to make friends! I'll put some in a container."
Sadie: "No, I don't have time. I'm out the door."
Me (calling out): "No, look! I've already found a lid! Look! They're almost ready!"
Sadie (from the door): "Too late! Bye! I love you!"

Sadie was in her car pawing through her purse for her keys when the front door to the house opened.
She was unprepared for the horror walking out through that door.
There was her mother, in a SuperMom apron, holding a container of brownies.
The sweet loving smile on her mother's face was too much.
She was like a zombie. A brownie baking Mommy zombie.
The world moved in slow motion.
"Keys. Now."
She was getting closer.
Her mother was now next to the car. Sadie was out of time, out of options.

Sadie opened the car door.
Me: "Glad I caught you."
Sadie: "Yeah, I was trying to find my keys."
Me: "See? It worked out. Enjoy the brownies!"
Sadie: (deep sigh) "Thank you. I love you."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Schnoz Full of Grey Water- Not a Fan

The kids' bathrooms are upstairs, above my bathroom. This means that each time they forget to put the shower curtain inside the tub while they shower (an honest mistake), or plug up the sink with toilet paper and leave the water running full blast and flood the house (I'm not naming names, here, but the resulting body of water was called Lake Tessa), my bathroom gets the worst of it. With their brown water stains, my ceiling tiles look like those of an inner-city crack house. I plan to replace them all, once the kids are grown. By then,  Lowe's will have had plenty of time to discontinue this particular style, and I'll have to completely redo the ceiling.
For the last month, I've noticed a new water mark on one of the tiles over the tub. Each day, it got bigger, from some leak upstairs. I asked various kids to check that there wasn't water pooling on the floor from their bathroom, but no one could find the source. It had to be from a pipe. A couple days ago, I took a picture of the wet ceiling tile and sent it to Ron.
This morning, I heard someone get in the shower upstairs and within a minute I heard the "plit-plit-plit" of water dripping onto my bathroom floor. I bolted from my bed and saw the same ceiling tile, soggy and bowed from water, dripping. I climbed up onto the edge of the tub to take a peek above the tile. I carefully lifted the edge of the tile from the metal track and lowered it about an inch. I was not prepared at all for the deluge that immediately struck my face. Between the ceiling and floor above, Ron had stapled plastic sheeting, to catch the occasional drips. This plastic had been slowly filling up, and the dampness on the ceiling tiles was merely the overflow. When I dropped the tile down, all this "grey water" rushed to the (now) free edge of the plastic, a direct hit to the face- it drained into my mouth, up my nose, into my eyes, and I fell backward off the tub and cracked my head. All I could do was lie there and watch as gallons of murky water poured from the plastic sheet funnel all over my bathroom. Some of it landed in the tub, but the majority hit the edge of the tub and splattered in every direction. And, since whomever had gotten into the shower moments earlier was still showering, the water just kept raining down.
I got up, peeled my clothes off, grabbed extra towels and threw them on the worst of it.
I sent a text to my daughter (I realize now not the most effective way of communicating with a showering person) that her shower was officially broken, and not to use it anymore.
I posted on my facebook wall, "(My daughter's) super 'neti pot' treatment has made me forget all about my cold!". My daughter's friend responded, "Use distilled water or you could get a brain eating amoeba up tharrrr, but that's probably not likely."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

People of Walmart

I was at Walmart late one night, and there was this bus of  Zombie Gypsies Ludar Americans parked there. You really do see the strangest people at Walmart!

Damn Mind Vacancy

We belong to a homeschooling co-op, and parents are often asked to teach anything they feel qualified and comfortable teaching. We are an interest-based group, so we ask the kids what they want to learn, and try to match that subject up with a person willing to be the instructor.
My kids had asked for some time to have a Driver's Ed class, not with actual driving, but to learn the rules of the road. I volunteered to teach this class because a) it was my kid asking for it, and b) as a driver myself, I felt qualified to teach it.
I went to the DMV to get enough books for the students to each have one (no more than 10). The gentleman working there told me I couldn't take that many. I asked him where I could order the books in bulk. He said I couldn't, and to have all my students find the book in its online version, instead. I imagined all the kids on their laptops, connected to the internet during class, reading the driver's ed workbook via facebook. I thanked him, and took the one book I was allowed to have.
The next day, I returned, and took another book.
I figured since the class didn't begin until October, I could keep this up, and eventually have enough books for everyone.
Today I took my daughter Arden to take her permit test. They gave her a lengthy form to fill out while we waited. I told her she should go grab a few of the driver's ed books, to have a firm surface to write on. I sweetened the deal by telling her if she'd go grab the books, I'd fill out the form for her.
She handed me the form and the pen, I got to work filling it out while she sauntered over to the counter and grabbed the books for me.
"Do you owe child support?", "Are you wanted in this or any other state?", "Do you want to register to vote?", no... no... no... and finally  "Do you wish to be an organ donor?" YES!
The form completed, the books acquired, I had Arden sign at the bottom and go take the test.
She passed!
She was sent to wait in another section, where she (like so many before her) had an epiphany about the DMV. I received the following text, while she languished, "Honestly, the DMV wouldn't take so long if they had more people working."
Finally, they called her name, took her picture, sent her away to wait some more, called her back up with her permit.
She was looking at it and I pointed to the organ donor symbol. "Look! You're even an organ donor!"
"WHAT?! Why would they DO that? They can't just put that on there!"
"I did it. I checked that box on the form."
"I stole for you, even as you try to harvest my organs!?!"

Monday, April 30, 2012

Grief in a Shopping Cart

My mother passed away unexpectedly in January. I'm not ready to discuss that just yet, but I wanted to share with you some odd happenings during my grieving process. I find myself skipping parties and sitting in empty parking lots with 3 lb bags of gummi bears for company.
I wandered around a grocery store recently for over an hour, and this was all I had in my cart:

People who love me tell me to take all the time I need. The next day, they tell me I need to start "pulling my weight around here".
More wine?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ladies of the Flame

We are drawn to bonfires, fireplaces, campfires, candles... Who hasn't been hypnotized by the fire, and seen faces, heard whispers... I always saw women wearing beautiful ballgowns, dancing in the flames.
At the bonfire we had a couple nights ago, I took photos with my cell phone, a crappy camera with poor focus, but managed to capture some of the women who dance in my fires.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"So... Duh!" Soda. The Soda for Sleepovers

My kids rarely get soda, so when they are around soda, they suck it down like a Dyson. Other kids get soda on a regular basis, so when they are around soda, they suck it down like a Dyson.
Let's face it- kids love soda.
When a parent hosts a sleepover, they want to offer the usual sleepover fare; doritos, m&m's, pizza, chips and dip, and of course, soda.
The problem comes when you watch the kids actively enjoying the sleepover. ("Sleepover" is an oxymoron. No one actually sleeps. I think the term comes from "over sleep", which is what the host parents do for work the following day.) Anyway, back to the kids at the sleepover. Watch as a kid runs in, grabs a can of soda, opens it "kruk-TISHH!" takes a single sip, sets it down, and runs out of the room. In less than five minutes, the same kid is back. He doesn't even bother to survey the half dozen open soda cans on the table. He goes straight to the case and grabs a new one. If you stop him and say, "Hey! Drink the one you already opened!" and gesture toward the table, he will eye you suspiciously and say, "That's not mine." If you try to force him to take one of the opened ones on the table, he'll take it, but won't drink from it (he'll hide it under a coffee table, or between the sofa and the wall), and you'll end up feeling like a bar pervert roofie-ing chicks at last call.
After everyone has gone home, you will go through your house and collect hundreds of practically-full cans of soda. You'll marvel at their sheer numbers and existence. Did you even buy this much soda, or do the cans breed in dark corners?
You'll carry the cans to the sink and empty them, watching all that money go down the drain.

Some parents keep a sharpie and roll of masking tape, to write names on the cans of soda. I tried this. I dumped lots of 'named' sodas after the party. There was no point in indicting anyone; nearly all were guilty. I've also tried the "2-liter bottles, and solo cups, with sharpie" method. Kids would literally walk off with entire bottles, to themselves ("I'm taking this upstairs for all my friends.") only to find a 2-liter size stain on the hallway carpet the next day.
Some parents refuse to pay full price for Coke or Pepsi, opting instead for the hand-jobs of soda: "Faygo", "Shasta, "Moon Mist" and "Dr Thunder". At these parties, they still have to go around collecting nearly-full cans, but are consoled by not having spent coke and pepsi prices.

I have a better idea (other than the best idea- I now serve only water to kids at my parties). I will invent a special "sleepover soda", called "So... Duh!" versions of regular brands. It will look and feel and taste just like Coke or Pepsi, Mtn Dew, or Dr Pepper. Each 12 oz can will be weighted to feel like 12 oz, but will contain only one ounce of soda, at the top. Because I've figured out kids at parties do not like to drink soda as much as they like to open soda. These cans will be fully-recyclable, and actually worth more than regular soda cans at cash-in time, thanks to the honeycomb of aluminum adding extra weight inside the can.

Kid runs in, grabs a can of Dr. Pepper "So... Duh!" edition, opens it "kruk-TISHH", takes a sip, sets it down, and runs off. Even if that can gets knocked over, it will be less than an ounce of soda soaking into your berber.
I will charge half of the regular price for this version. It seems like a lot for 1/12th the product, but parents are still coming out way ahead in the frustration department, as well as the recycling side and the cost of carpet cleaning.