Sunday, February 28, 2010

Late Winter

Wah, the Olympics is over. Now it's back to my dreary day-to-day life. I have nothing to blog about. No thoughts, no incidents, no observations.

And I've got gas from a taco pizza.

I made a kick-butt pounded steak dish today. I finally got it as tender as my Grandma's. Coupled it with homemade mashed potatoes. Yesterday I whipped up a batch of slightly whole wheat cinnamon rolls. When I get bored I cook.

Everybody is fine, the sun is out, it's getting warmer, the giant piles of snow are slowly melting, Monday morning comin' on in 9 hours.

SPRING in Minnesota means many things: mud, puddles, blizzards, more mud, and gray skies. March can often be the snowiest month here. And there's always a giant snowstorm for the boy's high school basketball tournament.

Johnny C got a part time, temporary job as a project manager with a construction company! Let's hope it turns into something permanent. Anyway, because he's just starting, we won't be going to NYC for Spring Break.

Not complaining here, this is just a very bland time of the year.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My husband the four-year-old

My burly manly muscular husband is the biggest baby on earth when it comes to anything medical. Today he nearly lost his thumb on a chop saw like the one pictured and I had to drag his chicken-Italian butt to the doctor.

He sneaks into the house about 6pm and heads for the bathroom. There I find him rinsing his hands, and his thumb is wrapped in kleenex and duct tape. Then I see the other cuts and blood on his fingers.

"Let me see it!" I demanded. "It's nothing" he answers. I put my foot down, and find a giant ugly gaping slash through the bed of his thumb nail. Obviously a dangerous wound. The wood he was holding had jumped and put his thumb right under the spinning blade.

If you've ever looked at power saw blade edges, you know that the teeth alternate directions, to the left and right. So this thing had ripped a valley through his thumb at 4:30 that afternoon! I took him straight to the doctor. There isn't enough flesh left to stitch together, but they cleaned it out, bound it up, gave him a tetanus shot, told us he'd likely lose the thumbnail, and to watch for infection and come back next week to check the scarring.

He also told Johnny C that bandages were very likely to get caught in power tools, and to stay away from them until the bandages come off next week. Do you think he'll listen??

If I hadn't been home, he would have left the kleenex and duct tape on it! I know because he's done it before. At home I asked if it hurt, and did he want some Motrin? His answer was "No, I took a Vitamin C". I'm telling you - a giant, hairy 4-year old. Who's digits I would rather remain attached.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Winter Memory

Found this in my documents - an essay I'd written in January 2001, before blogging, even THEN I was talking.

We have a snow day. Six to nine inches of snow is predicted. It’s likely freezing rain will come on it's heels and compact the snow back into the rock-hard, dangerous mass of immovable frustration that it was until just yesterday. Yesterday my trusty ice chopper and I finally removed the last stubborn strip of the stuff from the driveway and porch. It's become my hobby. If there were a USA Olympic Driveway Ice Removal team, I would be the captain and be on a Wheaties box.

The local radio station announced at 6:30am that school was called off. In what can only be described as a complete lapse of mental functioning, I thought "won't that be fun to have the kids home for a snow day!" I bounded happily into their room to tell them. They leaped joyously out of their beds, hugged me, hugged each other, hugged the baby, hugged the dog. We don’t have a dog, which demonstrates their level of elation. I cheerfully skipped downstairs to make a yummy breakfast of eggs, toast, and bacon while popping some pumpkin bread in the oven.

Then everything went straight downhill.

While making eggs & pumpkin bread I thought "I'll bet our toddler would enjoy squeezing all these egg shells". She enjoyed it immensely. I soon discovered that just enough egg white remains on the shell, sticks to the floor, and makes it impervious to a broom. It also causes every little tiny piece of shell to adhere to feet so they can travel to multiple other parts of the house. Did I mention a lapse in mental functioning?

The older children wasted no time and began fighting, slapping, and whining and cooked up a heady argument by 8am. I sent them outside. The toddler followed me around the house with her snow pants in hand whining to go out. "We can go outside just as soon as that pumpkin bread is done" was my lame response. Do you know how long pumpkin bread takes to cook when a crying, frustrated toddler is waiting?

Meanwhile, the older ones came back inside and begged me to play cards with them, play chutes & ladders (I hate that game), put in a movie, start the computer, get out the watercolor paints, make a cake, invite a friend over, take us to the Minnesota Zoo, go to the video store, take us to the bakery, how many days until we go to the Wisconsin Dells?, sharpen these colored pencils, How come I have to use scratch paper? Why can't I use paper from your printer?, How come you never take us anywhere?, put in my pigtails, watch this! watch this! no, wait, that wasn't right, Ok, NOW watch!, make her quit touching me, get me some ice water, can I cut the pumpkin bread?, make new play-dough, fix the hole in my jeans, Sister said she was going to stab me with a colored pencil, Why can't I cut the pumpkin bread?, play this card game I invented, teach me to sew, Sister was gonna stab me so I poked her in the eye, etc.

Twelve hours later when the pumpkin bread was done, I spent another 25 minutes dressing the toddler to go outside. She took a long hard look at the snowdrifts and started wailing "inside! inside!" The older ones took her in hand and I started up the snow thrower. No matter which way I pointed the chute, most of the stuff flew back in my face. My neighbor has one that throws the snow to South Dakota, mine manages a modest 6 inches or so. So every pass takes longer & longer because the snow you just plowed is now piled heavily in the next row.

The toddler cried to go in the backyard, so I started a path, and told her to follow. The protesting was amazing. Turns out she wanted me to carry her. Maybe I'm a bad mother but I refuse to carry a twenty-six-pound toddler wrapped like the Michelin Man through waist-high drifts just for amusement. Perhaps to make it back to the dugout after feeding the livestock in an 1890 blizzard, but not for mere fun. I finally persuaded her to go out the back door of the garage. There she found a wonderful puddle of thick lint from the dryer vent to stomp in. I was so happy to see her occupied.

Later the toddler fell into a blissful nap, and the older kids set off to play in the neighbors yard. I hope some other Mom volunteers to do hot chocolate duty. What I should have done this morning was immediately taken two extra-strength Tylenol and added Kahlua to my coffee. I'll have to remember that on our next snow day.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I get annoyed

Generally I like people, except out in public.

Why can't people figure out how to move in public places?

At somewhat crowded malls, or sporting venues, there is a flow. A flow moving into a seating area. A flow moving toward the concessions, a flow going up the stairs. And most decent folks understand the "driving on the right" idea works really well with foot traffic too.

But there's always those people who will stop right at the top of the stairs to scope out their next move. Or they'll stop ALL flow to talk to their kids. Please people, as on the highway, move over to the shoulder to take care of business. Or next time I'm going to plow into you full speed and knock your Mt. Dew out of your hand. And everyone behind me will applaud.

And some common folks just need a slap on the head.

At sporting events, like my daughter's volleyball tournament last weekend, there are precious few seats to watch the action. Generally most reasonable adults at these things understand this, and as soon as their darling's game is over, they vacate those places and let the next bunch of trapped parents in. And the exchange goes on. We're all in this together.

Last weekend a group of parents, and their kids, immediately grabbed the entire section, chairs and all, and plopped down all their gear, their coolers, their coats, their blankets, etc. Even though 4 other teams were playing and spectating on the same court. No one else had a chance. Most of us were left standing. At one point I'd had enough, and I moved their gear and gave myself a seat while my daughter played. If I made them mad, GOOD. It was a local team, but I won't say the town's name except that it rhymes with Chutchinson.

And I can talk in a catty way about hair for a minute?

Hey, other Mom's, remember when we were kids in the 60's and 70's and we laughed at all those weird old women still wearing beehive hairdos? Well, you and your bleached poodle perms and mall bangs have become those weird old women that kids laugh at. Your "do" may have been bitchin' in 1983 but it's well past its prime. You're probably a reasonably good looking 40-something woman under all that mess. So honey, get a good cut & color and lay off the tanning.

But could you please get out of my way, and move your tie-edged polar fleece Packers blanket so I can watch my kid play?

Thank you.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I love the Olympics - always have. I can't wait to clean up dinner and find a comfy spot on the couch for another evening of athletic excitement. We all sit and marvel at their bravery and remark how there isn't enough money in the world to get me to try speed skiing. I'd have a panic attack just standing at the top, let alone actually leaving the gate with skids on my feet. How do they do that without wetting their pants the entire trip down?
I would need to be greeted at the bottom with a straight jacket and Thorazine on IV.

Dr. Monkey has a really great summary of the Olympics here. In many ways, I echo his feelings.

I always cry with them too. Anyone else cry with Lindsey Vonn Tuesday night? Maybe it's because she's from my area. Or maybe it's just cuz I'm a big sap.

The coverage is lacking though. I remember plenty of personal stories in the 70's and 80's about athletes from around the world. We'd get caught up in the story of the Norwegian skier, the Chinese skater, the Russian luge guy. But now it's ALL AMERICA ALL THE TIME. And hello American fans, I think it's rude to chant USA! USA! when you are visiting another country. We aren't that much to cheer about right now, just sayin.

I'm hearing that CNBC and Canadian channels have better coverage, but sadly I get neither.

I've been singing "Shani, like a melody in my head . . . . " and it drives my kids nuts.

Score one for Mom!

Why don't the ice skaters wear uniforms? Personally I think figure skating is probably the most demanding sport in the winter Olympics. Ever tried to just skate a few laps? It's slap out exhausting. The fact that they make it look like butter is a testament to their skill. But all those sequins, feathers, netting, makeup, hair jewels, and pastels are distracting. And that's just the men! Any sport that involves costuming causes me serious mental pause.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What's better than SWAG?

There should be a graphic here but
blogspot isn't cooperating tonight.

I got a fabulous package of swag from my good friend Dr. Monkey! Can't tell you how an old-fashioned piece of personal snail-mail just lights up my day. THANK YOU Dr. Monkey.

First he sent me a book that's been on my "to-read" list: The Girl from Botany Bay, by Carolly Erickson. How did he know? I tell you that Dr. Monkey is a medical genius. This story will get anyone over their whining.

He also sent a CD I'm now addicted to - Normal as Blueberry Pie - Nellie McKay. My fav is a haunting version of an old cheesy Doris Day song The Black Hills of Dakota.

I owe that simian some good Minnesota swag, as soon as I find some!

Monday, February 15, 2010

So far, so good

So, here's what happened.
Apparently I had a virus called Anti-virus 2010. Some shitty programmer with nothing else to do but ruin folks' lives invented an insidious little program. It's a pop-up window, and when you hit CLOSE, it begins installation. THEN it overrides all your anti-virus and malware software. THEN it attaches itself to Google, and jumps into place trying to sell you bogus anti-virus software. Evidently, it will extricate itself after you buy his worthless product. In my book, that's called extortion.

I've instructed my kids to just close any pop ups, but that's no longer good advice. Now you have to go to the windows task manager and end the task.

So I hauled my CPU to my friend Scott Johnson at 2nd Chance Technology in Decorah, Iowa. After about a day's notice, I dropped it off with him at 8pm and picked it up at 6am the next morning. He cleaned everything out and now I'm back in business. This guys ROCKS!!! And it's a long story why I was in Northeast Iowa, and not home in Minnesota.

But here's the weird thing - I can't seem to comment on anyone's blog!! Even though I'm signed in.

Am I Really Back?

Being exiled from Google was like a banishment. I think I'm back - at least for now.
More later.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Hi folks, I'm still here. Posting at work which is a big no-no.
My home computer won't communicate with google - don't ask me why. I've tried everything. And without google connectivity, I can't access my blog either. So you'll have to live without me until I get this resolved.


I'll be back!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Is it Monday? Or Wednesday?

A whirlwind day. We've been in a major snowstorm, and lost two school days to it. You wouldn't believe the size of my email inbox when I returned to work today. Like hacking through the jungle with a dull machete.

The home computer is on the fritz - for some bizarre reason we have lost all communication with Google. It just won't go there. I've done scans, I've uninstalled and reinstalled Mozilla, I've gone through Internet Explorer, but no luck. I can get there at work, but not at home. So I have no access to my email, my calendar, etc.

AND it says it's low on RAM. Got any good suggestions about buying RAM?

Watched bits and pieces of The Evil One's speech at the sore loser's, oh I mean tea bagger's convention. What a moron!! If I were a Republican I'd be totally ashamed that my party thought she should even be let near a microphone, let alone public office. She has to read things like "Lift America's Spirits" and "Energy" FROM HER HAND?????? I might understand a few figures or stats in there, maybe her pin number, but ENERGY? TAXES? LIFT AMERICA's SPIRITS? What an idiot. They are only smitten because she's pretty. If she looked like me, they'd have left her in Wasilla on the city council.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tapas Post

The small plates of my life.

1. Earliest sign of Spring in Minnesota - when the ice on the windows starts to shrink.

2. Focus on the Family can kiss my liberal feminist agnostic ass.

3. I have another winning crock pot recipe. Want to hear it or are you tired of recipe posts?

4. Does anything feel better than silky long johns?

5. Coffee and half & half are my drug of choice.

6. Come on someone! Those dishes aren't going to wash themselves!

7. If facebook starts charging, I am outta there.

8. I just read about an Andy Warhol painting going for $21 million at auction. I know it's someone's personal money, but do you realize how many families in foreclosure that $ would save? How many kids without health insurance it could cover? How many books it would buy for poor school districts? Why do clueless people get all the money??

9. My husband is a cutie. A cutie that makes me want to kill him in his sleep sometimes, but still a cutie.

10. Actually, my true drug of choice is Pepsi over ice.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cracking me UP!

You people are totally freakin hilarious!

First good laugh of the day came from my cousin Anne, a nurse, and if you knew her Pulmonologist husband it would be even funnier:

"I just got home from Sam's Club where everybody and his dog who lives in the north hills was stocking up on milk for the expected 3 feet of snow. I drove into the garage and Husband popped his head out of the back door and jumped to my assistance to haul in the groceries - just a few things, really. Unfortunately, the 3-can pack of Dow Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom cleaner was on top - and he tripped and the cellophane-covered 3-pack landed right on it's nose on the kitchen floor. The lids broke on all three - and the white foam comes spraying out - and under pressure from the clear-wrap. Like a surgeon extricating a foreign body out of someone's gut, Husband swoops to pick up the foamy monster and throw it in the kitchen sink - it only continues to explode and foam and the next thing I know he's performing some kind of Heimlich maneuver and the spray adjusters are going nuts and he's covered with foam and now really trying to hog-tie a greased pig. The green hard-plastic canister tops are all splintered and he's tearing away the plastic wrap likes its clothing and he's got to stop arterial bleeding. I tell you, by this point I am just doubled over in painful laughter. "What's this scrubby bubble for anyway???" The look on his face - so serious - like he was really in a full code - if only we had paddles: "Charge to 300! CLEAR!!"

He honestly thought I was crying - but I was just laughing so hard.

When I told him it was bathroom cleaner, he gave up all heroic measures and the hissing subsided. And then, after he just abandoned all efforts and left the foamy corpses in the kitchen sink, he looks at me real serious.

"Honey. Don't worry. We can get more."

My #2 good laugh was here at Skyler's Dad's blog.

My #3 was here at Grant Miller Media

#4 was Dr. Monkey's Science Day!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Teriyaki Chicken in the Crock Pot

This blog is like my mind - all over the place. One day politics, next day jokes, next day recipes. At least I actually remember writing each and every post, so we know it's not a dissociative disorder. But if I start to talk about myself in third person please bring it to my attention. Yeah, like SHE'D listen!

Anyway . . . . . today's offering to you all is,

Because what busy person doesn't enjoy a good crock pot recipe?

6-8 skinless chicken thighs ( I kept the skin on - who wants skinless chicken? And I think you could use any cuts of chicken, but legs might fall apart)
1/2 cup of soy sauce (I used 1/2 low sodium and 1/2 regular)
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. or more grated fresh ginger
2-4 garlic cloves, minced

Place chicken in Crock Pot. Combine remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken.
Cover* and cook on high for 1 hour, then on low for 6-7 hours.
Serve over rice.
*If you had to be told to cover the crock pot, there is something wrong with you. Then again I recently forgot to plug the blasted thing in, so who am I to judge?

Best slow cooker cookbook series out there!

These never cease to make me smile

I received an award today! From Mommylisa over at Mommy's Nest, who blogs with humor, grace, and much funny love for her munchkin.
She has given me the Beautiful Blogger award!
I'm so honored.
First I'm amazed that 46 people actually admit that they read me, and more tell me they read too but haven't logged on. Again, that just fascinates me because I think I'm boring.
And now I will share the love:
I'm going to pass this award to Mama in Wonderland.
Not only is she a real-life flesh and blood friend, but she's a real-life published author! Her essays recently appeared here, in the collection P.S. What I Didn't Say, Unsent Letters to Our Female Friends, published just this Fall.
Mama writes with good humor, love, and self-deprication about the mind numbing aspects of parenting young children on one income while trying to maintain some adult decorum and sanity.
Thanks again Mommylisa!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Stewart reviews Obama’s “awesome” Q&A with House GOP, rips Fox for bailing

Why wasn't this everywhere?? Evidently MSNBC carried it live.
No small wonder why FOX cut if off immediately.

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tell CBS how you feel


CBS cleared the way to subject nearly 100 million people to Focus on the Family’s extreme agenda by agreeing to air its new pro-life ad during the Super Bowl.

Focus on the Family has an unmistakable anti-choice, anti-birth-control, anti-sex-education, anti-gay agenda. If that wasn’t bad enough, its views on women are just plain insulting and dangerous. For example, its web site urges women facing an unintended pregnancy to seek “wise advice” because “the hormones and extreme emotions of pregnancy make reasonable decisions more difficult.”

CBS still has time to change course if enough of us apply pressure. Urge CBS to drop Focus on the Family’s ad.

You can go to the NARAL site and sign their petition.
Or you can Email CBS here. If this link won't work, go to and scroll to the bottom and click the "feedback" link.

Here's what I sent:

"I am respectfully asking you to drop the planned Focus on the Family ad during the Superbowl. Pandering to their extreme agenda during a family/recreational event is shameless. I will avoid the Superbowl, and all other CBS programming until I hear your decision has been reversed. I may be one person, but I will spread this message and urge others to do the same."