Tuesday, September 30, 2008
And this weekend? Is our bi-annual board meeting for which I have to help prepare numerous reports and charts.
So, my brain is tired. All I have running through my head are terms like "the importance of endowments" and "the treasures of our collections."
Perhaps tomorrow I can come up with something more entertaining, but for now I'm resorting to the test pattern.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Ever since then, stations have been running out of gas on a regular basis. On Friday, an oil exec actually urged Georgia's governor to cancel the GA/AL football game, an action which would have had him run out of town on a rail (though in retrospect it might have been a good idea. UGH!).
We didn't really go anywhere this weekend so that we could preserve the gas that we had. On the way to work this morning I passed 7 gas stations with no gas, and even though I had more than a quarter of a tank I still felt a little panicky. When you commute 50+ miles a day, gas is critical and I have no way of knowing when those gas stations will get a new delivery. And then when they do, everybody will rush to that station and in a matter of hours that station will be empty again.
Now, I know some of this "panic" is self-created. We get all worked up and get gas even when we don't need it, but really, what is going on? Why do we still not have gas? How is this situation going to right itself?
And speaking of situations righting themselves, what about the stock market? And the $700 billion dollar bailout? Frankly, I wasn't sure if I should be glad or sad that the bill didn't pass today. This is a huge decision and everything about it just feels rushed to me. I think the market can correct itself with the right kind of stimulus and maybe throwing $700 BILLION dollars at these failing companies would be the answer, but I can think of lots of other ways to stimulate the economy. Whatever they decide they just need to make sure that there's lots of oversight and lots of accountability.
But what do I know? I'm just a little old American worker, plugging away at my 8-5 job every day. Trying to pay off bills. Trying to save for a retirement that is seeming farther and farther away. Trying to pay for daycare and essentials for my children.
But I don't need any stimulus. Nooooo. Not me. I just need some gas.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
As he was walking away from the beer section, a guy standing nearby said, out of the blue, "That's a really good beer. And the roofers like it too."
Huh? The roofers? What in the sam hill?
Mr. Daddy got the vague feeling that the guy was attempting to pick him up.
What do you think? Is "roofers" some kind of code?
Thursday, September 25, 2008
One evening a couple of weeks into the school year, Bubba told me that a kid in his class named Aidan* had hit and kicked him.
"On purpose?" I asked. "Are you sure it wasn't an accident?" I questioned him only because a few days earlier he had told us that a boy had kicked him in the chest, but upon further questioning he admitted that the kick had been an accident while they were playing.
"No, Mommy. He did it on purpose. He hits me all the time. I don't like him."
Hmmmm. "Well, just stay away from him if you can Bubba. And if he hits you again, tell your teacher. Don't run to the teacher about every little thing, but if somebody hits you, it's okay to tell the teacher about that. Does Aidan hit other people too?"
"Yes, Mommy. He hits everybody. He hit Thomas in the head and knocked him to the floor."
Well good grief.
A few weeks went by and no more mention was made of Aidan but when we went to our parent teacher conference last week, I asked his teacher. She wasn't really aware of what had happened because Aidan isn't in Bubba's actual class and they only see each other in the before and after school program, which she's not a part of .
But two days ago, Bubba came home and told us that Aidan had hit him in the eye and had tried to bite him. Two teachers had intervened and had apparently had a "discussion" about whether to pull a red card on Aidan. A red card is the highest level of discipline a child can receive and usually merits a trip to the office, but apparently they decided this behavior did not warrant a red card.
Well hell, what DOES warrant a red card?
So, short story long, we emailed all three teachers involved (his teacher and the two teachers who witnessed the incident) and asked that action be taken to prevent Aidan from hitting Bubba anymore. Bubba's teacher emailed back the next morning and assured us that she had already spoken to the morning and afternoon monitors to keep Aidan and Bubba separated. And thus far it seems to be working.
But a couple of questions have come up for me. Did we do the right thing by handling this with the teachers? Should we have counseled Bubba to stick up for himself a little bit before getting the teachers involved? I have this vague, uneasy, feeling that perhaps we have let Bubba down in some way but not letting him fend for himself in some way.
But then I think, my God, he's only five. He shouldn't HAVE to fend for himself at this age. And those feelings I have are probably just the antiquated notions of what's proper masculine behavior. Boys are supposed to be rough and tumble and fight and take care of bullies, right? Whatever. I don't want Bubba to be bound by those same notions that boys have to be so tough and never cry and don't talk about their feelings.
But the other question that has come up for me is about Aidan. What is going on with this child that he feels like he must strike out at everyone? His brother apparently has no such issues and is actually a friend of Bubba's. That's part of what makes it so strange. Is Aidan just being "all boy"? Or is there more going on there? I have no way of knowing. I know Bubba has two great advocates behind him, fighting for him, helping him. But who is behind Aidan, fighting for him, fighting to find out why he's so angry? Who is helping Aidan?
*not his real name
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
We would watch the fair come into town. The big trucks would roll in and the rides would start going up. Sometimes we'd wander over and watch through the fence. Our ran a concession booth and my mom usually worked in it at least one night. I'd sit at the counter while she worked and when her shift was over we'd hit all the rides. When I was older I was allowed to roam the fairgrounds with a friend, checking in with my mom every once in a while.
Now I love taking my kids to the fair. I love to see their eyes shine when they see all the lights blinking and see all the games (the games!). I love to watch them on the rides, spinning around, smiling so big that their teeth are about to fall out, calling out "Mommy, look at me!"
Because my grandparents were in the dairy business, we always check out the livestock barns. There's something peaceful about cows. Their quiet chewing. The smell of hay. Our second favorite stop are the chicken pens. You know, there are some crazy looking chickens out there in the world.
Oh, and don't forget the food. Where else can you get polish sausages, cotton candy, candy and caramel apples, and funnel cake all in one place. For one night, our dietary restrictions are laid aside and we eat fair food. I mean seriously, for me it's not a trip to the fair until I get my caramel apple!
I still like to ride some of the bigger rides myself. I'm a little bit of a daredevil and I will ride just about anything out there. Now Mr. Daddy on the other hand, does not like the rides at all. He will ride the rides at official theme parks like Six Flags or Dollywood, but he just can't bring himself to trust that the rides at the fair have been put together properly.
Me? I guess I just suspend my disbelief for a while. And really? Isn't that what the fair is all about?
Monday, September 22, 2008
1. Prone to unexplained fits of crying.
2. Crying jags often followed by fits of hysterical giggles.
3. May remove all clothing with little to no provocation.
4. Likely to hang all over you while you're trying to help them get their clothes on, impeding all progress.
5. Insist that you go the bathroom with them. One hundred times a night.
6. May wet themselves.
7. Might throw up on you.
8. Gets more adamant that they can do it the more you try to help them (no matter what it is that they're trying to do.)
9. Will recount hilarious (to them!) story that is basically incomprehensible to the rest of us (often the plot of the latest Dora/Wow Wow Wubzy/Scooby Doo episode).
10. They piss the ever loving crap out of you with their behavior, but you can't help but love them anyway.
Friday, September 19, 2008
My first cup of coffee was perfect. Just the right amount of cream and sugar. Mmmm.
That it's National Talk Like a Pirate Day. Avast ye scurvy dogs!
I'm probably coveting these in vain -- I have kind of thick calves so they probably won't fit, but I can dream about them, right?
And lastly, the weather has finally cooled off a little. Ahhhh.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I love cheese. And milk. There are few things I enjoy more than a super ice cold glass of milk. And last year's event was tons of fun, so when the lovely Mir invited me to the 3-A-Day event this year, you bet your sweet patookie that I jumped on that opportunity.
And when I found out that the event was being catered by Five & Ten, a local award winning restaurant, well, that just sealed the deal. I mean, get a load of this menu: Spanish tortilla of aged cheddar, local potato and leeks; pain perdue with blackberries and yogurt and maple syrup; biscuits with Georgia gouda and Benton's bacon; local yellow grits with Vella jack cheese, seared skirt stake and poached quail egg; croissant of spice rubbed pork tenderloin with cucumber yogurt raita; peach perfect smoothie and cocoa-berry yogurt tarts.
Excuse me while I wipe my chin. I ate all of those things last night and I still drool when I read about them. Here are some photos so that you can drool, too.
If I had known how delicious the biscuit with the gouda and the bacon was going to be I would have put down the camera, grabbed two of them and headed into one of Mir's closets to stuff my face. Even though I didn't do that I somehow didn't even get one picture to share with you. But trust me, it was to die for.
When we arrived, the lovely Dairy Hosts remembered me from last year (and won my everloving gratitude by remarking on my weight loss!). We gathered in Mir's lovely kitchen for a demonstration on how to make skinny hazelnut lattes and absolutely scrumptious peach smoothies. Here's the recipe for the Peach-Amaretto Frappe:
1 cup fat free or low fat milk
1 large ripe peach, peeled, pitted and cut into eighths (or two canned peach halves, drained)
5-6 ice cubes
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
Now I will tell you that I drank this fully preparing NOT to like it because of the almond extract, but it was dee-licious. And so refreshing. And the best part is that if you use the fat free milk, it only has 240 calories and 1 g of fat and is 40% of your required daily calcium!
They also had a huge variety of Cabot cheeses and Greek yogurts for us to try. I tried a Cabot pepper jack that was fantastic -- just the right amount of kick and the cheese was so smooth. I'd never tried Greek yogurt before, but the honey flavored one would make a fantastic dessert.
The nutritionist on hand gave us lots of great tips about how to incorporate dairy throughout the day because you know you can't get your 3 servings all in one sitting -- your body won't absorb all that calcium at once. You have to get your 3 servings over the course of the day (that's something I learned last night, can you tell?)
Anyway, it was a lot of fun. I would have had a great time even if I hadn't won a fabulous cappucino maker! That was just the icing on the cake. Mir was a great hostess and the Dairy Ladies were super nice. Oh! And Mir's Tuscan plaster wall from hell? BEAUTIFUL! And I'm not just saying that. It really did look fantastic and if I didn't know what a pain in the ass it is to do, I would totally do that in my next house.
So go check out the 3-A-Day site. They have some really great recipes and snack ideas and you can sign up to receive coupons.
Now excuse me while I go grab a muffin and wash it down with some ice cold milk. I've totally flung a craving on myself.
Monday, September 15, 2008
During times of drought; however, the town would reappear. From the shoreline you could clearly see the outlines of the tiny cabins that stood in row, the wooden frames rotting, but still there. All you had to do was run your hand through the sandy lake bottom and you would come up with handmade nails by the dozen, broken shards of blue and white pottery, bits of glass, handmade bricks.
We would spend hours sifting through the sand, amazed by each find. I loved imagining what the lives of those people must have been like. What was a typical day like in the of one of the women? Full of hard work and little rest, I'm sure.
Now, about 50 yards behind our house is the site of an old homeplace. There's nothing to indicate that a house once stood there except the memories of the locals. A couple of months ago Mr. Daddy and Bubba went exploring and came back with some really neat stuff: broken pottery, the bottom of a beautiful purple glass dish, a glass seal for a Mason canning jar (circa the mid-1800s per the research Mr. Daddy did online), some pieces of an old boot with decorative work punched into the leather.
Mr. Daddy and Bubba were hooked. You can often find them down the hill, digging up pieces of the past. Bubba already wanted to be an archaeologist, but these little field trips sealed the deal.
But neither he nor Mr. Daddy were really satisfied with their discoveries. They wanted MORE.
So, on Friday of last week, our very own metal detector arrived. Yes, that's right. We are now the proud owners of a metal detector. Mr. Daddy got a lot of grief from his coworkers about being an old man. I was tempted to tease him, too, but frankly I think it's kind of cool. And I can't wait to see what we find!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Bubba is convinced there's a dead person buried there and he wants to dig it up.
"Daddy! Help me dig!" he implored.
"Bubba, I don't want to see a dead person," Mr. Daddy explained.
"Well, just help me dig and then turn your head!"
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I love the Star Spangled Banner. Though it is difficult to sing, I love to sing it. I always think about the meaning of the words as I'm singing it. I can never get through it without tears welling in my eyes.
O say can you see,
By the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed
At the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars,
Through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched
Were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets red glare,
The bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night,
That our flag was still there.
O say does that star spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Imagine waking after a terrible battle, not knowing if you'd won or lost, only to look out to the horizon to see Old Glory, waving gloriously. Victory!
That's how I felt after September 11, 2001. One image that stays in my mind is the sight of the American flag, its pole stuck deep in the smoldering rubble of the World Trade Center. My mind couldn't comprehend the tragedy that had just occurred and I was desperately seeking something to hold on to. And there, waving gloriously, was our flag.
We are still here. Though we lost so many on that terrible day and our souls and our hearts are bruised and beaten, though we will never forget, we are still here.
And we're not going anywhere.
Burgh Baby's Mom has a moving tribute to the heroes killed in United Flight 93. For the month of September she is donating all ad revenues from her site to the Flight 93 Memorial Fund. The more visits she gets, the more money she'll raise, so go check out her wonderful tribute to those brave souls. If you wish, you can also donate directly to the fund by going here.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
1. Over the weekend, we discovered that the original Star Wars was on. Mr. Daddy tried to entice Bubba to watch, though Bubba has already seen it.
"Did you know, Bubba, that I was just about your age when Star Wars first came out?"
"Was it in black and white, Daddy?" Ooh, burn!
2. We've decided to go to West Virginia for Thanksgiving since several of Mr. Daddy's siblings live there and we haven't been to visit in a while. In fact, the last time we were there, Bubba was only about 7 months old, so obviously he has no memory of it.
Mr. Daddy has really been talking up the trip.
"We'll get to see your cousins. You'll get to see the town where I grew up. You'll even get to see the house I grew up in!"
"Was it uncovered by archaeologist?" (In Mr. Daddy's defense of Bubba's blatant attempts to make him feel old, this question was actually sparked by an article in our latest Smithsonian in which archaeologists think they have discovered George Washington's boyhood home. Bubba wants to be an archaologist, so I actually think he was a little disappointed that Mr. Daddy's house isn't a ruin.)
And finally, my favorite...
3. We were watching our fish the other night. We have 5 very small fish (The Scooby Gang) and two gold fish, Knox (as in Fort Knox since he's a goldfish) and Senor Pescado (because he looks as though he has a pencil thin mustache). Knox was really bugging the crap out of Senor, bumping him, pushing him out of the way, swimming around and around him.
"Wow, Knox is really being a bully!" Mr. Daddy exclaimed.
"Well," Bubba replied in a knowing, almost world-weary tone, "fish have their own lives you know."
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
So, here's ten more. Eventually we'll get to 100.
40. When I'm eating a sandwich or a hot dog or pretty much anything between two slices of bread, I always leave a little bit of bread/bun on my plate. I don't really know why I do it, except that if it's a large bite and there's no meat left I usually think "well, I'm not just going to eat the bread. it's not worth the calories." But sometimes it'll be just a tiny little piece. It drives Mr. Daddy NUTS. Just tonight he picked the tiny little crust up and waved it in my face "Why? Why don't you eat this tiny little piece?" I don't know. It's just my thing.
39. I've never seen any of the Godfather movies. I know, I know!!
38. I've only been fired from a job once. In college. It was mortifying.
37. For a very brief while I worked in a t-shirt shop at the beach. You know, the kind where you walk in and pick the design off the wall and then someone behind the counter uses that gigantic iron to press it on your t-shirt? Yeah, that was me.
36. As a child I used to LOVE going to those old-timey photo booths. I would still go if I could get anyone to go with me!
35. I have a thing for guys with big noses. Nomar Garciaparra. Adrien Brody. You get the idea.
34. In seventh grade I wrote Ted Turner a letter about the Goodwill Games and he wrote me back.
33. In high school I received a Best Actress award at the regional One Act competition for playing a pregnant, gossiping bridge player in a play called The Coal Diamond.
32. If I really like a song, I'll play it 3 or 4 times in a row. Yeah, the kids have got nothing on me.
31. I don't like cinnamon rolls. Yes, there is something wrong with me. I like to smell them, but I don't really like to eat them.
Monday, September 8, 2008
A couple of years ago the University passed new rules regarding tailgating that didn't go over very well with the Bulldog faithful. RVs can only park at the intramural fields and not until after 6:00 p.m. on Friday. You can no longer park your cars on the sidewalks. Tailgating is restricted to certain areas.
I don't really care about these because we tailgate at my mom's since she lives within walking distance of the stadium. Most of the fans are used to the rules and don't give anybody any problems anymore.
But on Friday I saw a sign prohibiting tailgating hat I never thought I would see. I didn't think you would HAVE to make a sign like this: a sign prohibiting tailgating IN A CEMETERY! In a pre-Revolutionary war cemetery, no less. A cemetery that is actively undergoing restoration.
If you have to be told not to tailgate in a cemetery, you have some serious issues my friend.
UPDATED TO ADD: Apparently there ARE some people who need to be told. Central Michigan's backup quarterback -- and journalism major -- writes a blog at NCAA.com and wrote the following about his experiences in Athens:
“Ball game aside, the trip to Athens, Ga., was quite an experience. … The hilly campus was rife with tailgaters for over a mile along the bus route to the stadium. There was one scene so bizarre and frankly a bit frightening that offensive tackle Andrew Hartline nudged me and had me look out the window.
“Groups of people were tailgating in a cemetery. Welcome to SEC football.”
I had to forcefully drag Punkin away from her friend's birthday party because of her misbehavior.
She started having a tantrum because a much younger child got the riding toy she wanted. I offered her another riding toy, but she didn't want it and she kicked and screamed and fell dramatically to the floor. When I gave her her first warning she hit me (halfheartedly, I'll admit, but the intention was there) and I put her in time out and told her that if she didn't straighten up we were going home. She calmed down a little.
But when she saw that another friend had started riding the alternative toy she went berserk. I offered her a third riding toy but she continued to scream and kick and cry. I looked around and all the other children were playing happily. I thought, we could stay. I could give her one more chance. Then, Tootsie, I'll admit I thought of you. I left her there, in hysterics, and found the hostess. I apologized for leaving but told her that Punkin's behavior required that we go.
I carried Punkin kicking and screaming and thrashing to the car. An employee of the party place stopped to see if we needed an ice pack. No, just a nap. She sobbed and wailed. I buckled her in. Amazingly I remained calm through the whole thing. Mortified, but calm.
She sobbed for a good fifteen minutes, begging to go back to the party. I'll be honest, I cried a little too. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. And even right now, it makes me feel sad.
There's been a lot of stress in our house lately. Punkin's behavior has been been very trying...and tiring. Yesterday Mr. Daddy's car wouldn't start. Those things, plus a few others have me a little stressed. All of it has just left feeling angry at the world, pig bitin' mad (as Mr. Daddy would say).
One ray of sunshine to which I will cling the rest of the day -- the star/sticker chart that we've created to reward good tooth brushing habits on Punkin's part seems to be working like a charm. I totally stole the chart thing from Mir, but I don't think she'll mind.
I never thought I would be glad to see Monday roll around. Here's to a better week. It's gotta get better 'cause it can't get any worse.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Van Halen or Van Hagar? And if you don't know what I'm talking about, I don't even want to know.
Steve or Joe? Ditto above.
Han or Luke?
Bon Jovi or Metallica?
Jen or Angelina?
Angel or Spike?
Are there any other big either/or's out there that I'm forgetting?
Updated to add: Ooh, ooh, can't believe I didn't think of this one: Roger Moore or Sean Connery? Or Pierce Brosnan? or Daniel Craig?
Completely unrelated and totally random -- I posit the following: retrieving an item from behind the washer/dryer is one of the most difficult tasks known to man.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Oh, we've got a few tufts here and there. The crabgrass is growing like gangbusters, of course. As I was pulling some up on Sunday Mr. Daddy said "Isn't some grass better than no grass."
"NO! Crabgrass must die," I yelled as I applied the shovel to the baked earth. And it takes more than a little elbow grease to even get the shovel in the ground because you know what happens when you put clay (our yard) into a kiln (the Georgia summer sun)? Terra cotta! Or its equivalent anyway.
Amazingly, we did have fairly good luck with our small garden, though that's probably because we watered it. It was small and didn't require a lot of watering. This year we started small because we've never had a garden before, so all we planted were tomatoes, squash, and Bubba's odd request, carrots.
I've never grown carrots before and not long after the beautiful green sprouts came up, I realized we had a problem. How do you know when carrots are done? Pretty much the only way to tell is to pull one up and that sort of defeats the purpose, especially if it's not done yet. I did a little googling around and found out that you can dig away just a little of the top soil to see if you have carrots yet, so we went out to give this a shot. Have you ever tried to dig away just a little bit at a piece of pottery? Yeah.
Finally, after a rain, we dug around a little bit and saw some orange. By this time the carrots had been planted for weeks and we were already harvesting our tomatoes and our squash. We were all so excited!! Behold! Our Carrots!!
And now for a little perspective:
That is Mr. Daddy's watch, by the way. We have not climbed the beanstalk and found these carrots next to the giant's watch, a la Bugs Bunny. Mr. Daddy called it "carrot floss." Yeah.
So, we are not carrot farmers. Turns out carrots like a sandier soil. Don't we all. In fact, they make great container plants, so that will probably be the route we'll go next year.
But in the meantime, if any of you have any drought resistant landscaping ideas, I'd love to hear them. 'Cause I heard the mud and weed look is out for 2009.
Monday, September 1, 2008
I'm not sure where I first heard of a fairy that would come and take her higgie. I know several parents have done similar things and so we began telling Punkin that when she turned three the higgie fairy would come and take her higgie and would leave her a present.
Saturday was her real birthday and while I felt slightly guilty about taking away her beloved higgie on her birthday, I didn't want the first higgie-less night to be a school night, completely forgetting that Monday was a holiday.
On Saturday we decided to go to a nearby football game-free town to get some new fish (more on our fish saga later) and to have dinner out to celebrate Punkin's birthday. Before we left, we wrapped her higgie up in a bit of colorful tissue paper and left it in the center of her bed. She gave her higgie a kiss and thanked it for being a good higgie. If I'm being honest there was just the teensiest tear in my eye. She didn't seem all that concerned, but I'm sure she thought higgie would be right there when we got home.
But it wasn't. In it's place was a pretty little pink bag filled with some Bubble gum flavored chap stick, a shiny pink lip gloss, a beautiful pink bracelet, and a totally awesome Groovy Girl. She was thrilled! But then she said "where's higgie?"
"Higgie's gone, sweetie. The higgie fairy took it, remember?"
"Oh. Yeah." She looked around wistfully and my heart broke just a little. "Higgie's gone?"
I don't know why, but I think this has been harder on me than it has been on her. She fussed a little bit at bedtime that night and she fussed a little last night, but truly it's been much easier than I had anticipated.
He was a good higgie, but now it's time to grow up. And that's why my heart hurts this morning. My little girl, my baby, is growing up. No more diapers. No more crib. No more higgie. Who knew it was possible to feel so proud and so wistful at the same time.