Friday, March 31, 2006

The "Next Blog" button

I have mixed feelings about the "Next Blog" button. I find myself obsessively clicking it, looking for that great new thing, like vegan lunch box. But most of the time it's either spam, some guy with only a single blog entry, or a foreign language. Oh, well.

Oh, yeah, and porn.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Can you say "Stockholm Syndrome"?

Jill Carroll was released. You remember her, the Christian Science Monitor reporter who was videotaped by her captors, who said that they would kill her if all Iraqi female prisoners were not released in 3 days. I am thrilled that she is on her way home. But it cracks me up that she said "they never even threatened to hit me". Because, you know, hitting me is so much more serious than killing me.


Now that she's out of the area, she has retracted all the statements she made while in captivity. They were all made under duress. So, still thrilled she's home and hoping she's ok.

Don't you know WHO I AM?

Gotta love these congressmen convinced they are not just public servants, but superstars. Cynthia McKinney has so much on her plate, she can't be bothered to wear her ID pin, because, after all, all the police officers should know who she is, right?

That woman is ego in heels.

Good thing I only hear NPR in the car

On NPR yesterday, Bill Richardson explained that "the alternative that all these people don't want to address is deportation".

I've got news for you, Governor. We who are against illegal immigration are happy to address deportation. We agree with it. We support it fully. Legal, law-abiding immigrants who want to become part of American society--and legal, law-abiding people who want to be here as legal residents and send every last penny back to their families abroad, ALSO support deportation for border-jumpers and those who would turn America into some sort of retro-Mexico.

We are a nation of immigrants, it's true. I come from a family of immigrants. None of my ancestors were in the US five generations ago. But when my great-grandparents came here from Europe, they knew that they were gaining something at a cost. They came here and became Americans, and their children were raised as Americans. We can be proud of our European heritage and curious about the lives we might have led had our ancestors stayed in Europe, but we only wave one flag.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Cleaner in 10 minutes

Have been feeling a bit fragmented lately--so much to do, never really accomplishing much.

I always feel like I should be able to hand each boy a dust rag and expect the whole family to work together, steadily, until the house is clean. But that is just not the way my house runs. Try it, and not only do I not get what I want, I also get a major case of furious mom.

So today I took a "10 minute" day. The idea is that I set a timer and clean one room for 10 minutes, then take a minute or two to plan the next 10 minute spot. I ended up spending 120 minutes on hardcore cleaning in 9 different rooms, all broken up between meals and school and checking my email and running errands and doing an interview. Then it was time to make dinner.

The 10 minute system does not yield a clean house. But it does get a dent in the mess, everywhere, while still allowing me to keep half an eye on the kids. Most of the house is in much better shape than it was this morning--something I can't always claim, especially on days when I have an interview. Plus, I am not insane with frustration at the attempt to tackle one big project while the kids destroy the rest of the house. If I could manage this every day, the place would probably sparkle.

Ah, discipline. Yeah, there's that.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Pork: the new health food

Thank God almighty, they are creating pork brimming with omega-3 fats. They wonder if the public will embrace it. I think the bigger question is, will the public STOP embracing the pig farmers, long enough to let them get some work done? Yay! Pork, pork, pork!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Full House

Great Hubby quote for the day: "We have to move, this house is full."

An alternative plan is to buy the house next door and build a pedestrian bridge between the two.

Or, yeah, I could continue with my eternal de-cluttering project. Guess which option I'm going with, for now?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

no blogging for now

Dad is in the hospital with lung complications after his emergency quadruple heart bypass. I am tired, worried, and distracted...not really in a bloggy mood.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Tampa Lamp-a!

I love my shells. I love my lamp. And I love the empty space the shells were monopolizing, on my end table. Which leads me to the pefect 5-minute craft: Tampa Lamp-a! I stuffed it all in there, glued a piece of paper to the bottom of the lamp, and am admiring it as I work.

And now, it's time to find a great way to show off The Sponge.

Update: Son #4 is turning into Mini Trump: "I like what you did with the shells. It's a quality lamp, at a reasonable price." Sometimes, talking to him is like talking to a fifty-year-old.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Son #1's alternate plan for mud

After a discussion of golems and other mud people, he suggested this no-fail plan for sand castles:

"First, get a pile of mud. Then, tall it up."

Reminds me very much of the Monty Python sketch, "How To Do It".

You volunteered me?

A few weeks ago, I received a flier recruiting volunteers for the annual Friends of the Library Book Sale. I am a volunteery-kind of person, and I looked over at my two strapping oldest sons and thought: Perfect! They can serve their community in a small way, and support an organization that has given us, as homeschoolers and book junkies, a lot over the years. I told them I was signing us up.

I purposely requested a brief (2 hours) period before the sale...not a lot of work, not a lot of hustle, just a chance to hump books around the room and maybe pick up a few bargains. I am such the understanding Mom. I am making this so easy.

Today, Son #1 is all cranky about it. I have ruined his Saturday. And Son #2 suggests we bring Gameboys.

I can hardly stand the joy.

Update: Son #1 threw himself into the task with gusto. Son #2 spent most of his time with his hands in his pockets. Will I never learn?

Also noteworthy: Of the other volunteers, half were high schoolers looking for Maryland's required volunteer hours. The rest were sent by the states attorney's office. We were the only ones there who did not have a form for the coordinator to sign.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Ya know how seeing an Outback commercial makes you want to eat there?

I have a hard time believing Free Porn Weekend is going to do anything other than make EVERYONE in their church (and anyone who reads their announcement in the newspaper) think about porn. Aaaaand, maybe hunt up a bit, too.

But, hey, here I am linking to it, so these raunchy thoughts are courtesy of, ME.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Lunchtime, and life, as Son #4 sees it

These days, lunch time means I've been dodging in and out of the kitchen to turn off the spiking oven or turn on the oven that has decided it is tired of cooking. These fish sticks look fine to me. Who are these people to demand crunchy fish?

After many trips back and forth (turn on the oven, eat my lunch, turn on the oven, play Same Game, turn off the oven, turn on the oven, eat and play, turn on the oven, nag the children, beep, nag, beep, nag, serve, Son #4 summed up my uninspired luncheon thusly:

"Fish sticks and potato wedges. Who are you to resist it?"

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Infernal TiVo

Hubby came home for lunch and introduced me to some new features on TiVo. I am hooked on SameGame.

All productivity and life balance shall cease. I hang my head in shame.

Everyone's a critic

Took the boys up to make 60th birthday dinner for my mom. It was a fairly uneventful evening, except for the "Son #3 CAN'T want to be a dentist. That's a terrible job, and they have the highest suicide rate of any profession" rant.

I tried to argue, Son #2 tried to argue, Son #3 reiterated that he really DOES want to be a dentist, but somehow that was just stones in the riverbed under my parents' constant flow of insistence.

Then again, they never really seemed to love their careers. They look down on my uncles for their career choices. They have needled my sister into a half-ish life. They were quite upset with our decisions to work overseas, have a big family and to homeschool. And they pulled out ALL the stops to get me to not marry Hubby, lo those many years ago, and only after about 14 years of marriage were able to admit that maybe I made a good pick.

So, maybe Son #3 should do whatever the hell HE wants, without so much grandparently input.

Friday, March 03, 2006

What a day's worth of dishes looks like

Today we did some school to finish out the week, went to the library to pick up research paper resources, skating and the park, made fried fish for dinner and then I took Sons #2 and 3 to fencing class. Which means I didn't do any dishes before 8:15 tonight. An hour later, I just had to take a photo of what a full day's worth of dishes looks like.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

KMart does it again!

I like a store that's honest about its customer service policy. If there is any convenience at KMart, they are as surprised as the customer.

It's time to reassess

Yesterday, Son #4 said, "Every time I see you, you're on the computer." This means one of two things. Either I am on line way too much (a possibility) or, whenever I cook and clean, I become invisible. I am leaning toward the latter.