Friday, January 29, 2010

It’s 7:57. Do you know where your wife is?…

Once a month, several ladies from the neighborhood get together for game night. We eat yummy appetizers, drink wine and then have a nice dinner prepared by the hostess-of-the-month. This month, the hostess was me. In case you’re wondering, I made stuffed cabbage rolls, cauliflower gratin and garlic bread. We had spinach dip, cream cheese with raspberry chipotle sauce and bacon wrapped shrimps for appetizers. It’s fairly obvious that my friend Jenny was not invited to this party.

Here is a picture of us, at 7:57, enjoying dinner and talking trash about who’s going to take home all the goodies:


After dinner, we refill the wine glasses and play Po*Keno.

Po*Keno is similar to Bingo in that you have a card and the caller calls stuff.  That’s where the similarity ends. After that, it’s like Poker, because your card has poker hands on it and you’re calling from a deck of cards.


We each bring a $10 wrapped gift. The first round, with each person having a turn to call the cards, the winner of each hand chooses a gift.  She opens it and we ooh and ahh and drink more wine. After the first round, we serve dessert, and more wine. Then we get started on the second round. This time, if you win, you can steal a gift from some one else.

In the event that two or more people win the hand, you can decide the winner by the “hand” on the card. Notice how each row is a poker hand? And that would be a really good way to determine the winner, except that we’re girls and don’t really know what beats what, so we just draw a card. High cards wins the prize.

Our husbands suffer our Po*Keno, or Keno Night as we lovingly call it, every month. CGMan has been known to go shopping with me at the last minute for just the right gift.  When I see something I really like (and want to keep!) he suggests I get two, so I don’t have to try to win back what I brought. But that’s no fun at all.

In December, we have Couples Keno and invite the husbands along. We have a large dinner (turkey, ham and trimmings) and lots more wine. We up the ante to two $20 gifts, one for a boy and another for a girl. We are teams, playing our card. The boys steal from boys, and girls steal from the girls. The men? Are just as silly as we are when it comes to stealing gifts!

So anyway, that’s what I was doing last night. If you enjoyed the peek into my house at 7:57, you can thank June over at Bye Bye, Pie. She gave us a challenge to take pictures of the people in our house and what they were doing at 7:57 pm. And we always do what June says because she’s the cool kid.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Changing the course…

I didn’t blog on Tuesday because I was playing Scrabble all day attending a fundraiser for Haiti with Shelley. I did manage to break away from that star studded event to go to the grocery store and run a couple of otherwise boring errands.

Being a “stay at home person” has its advantages. I usually have the stores to myself and therefore have the freedom to wander around, lost in my own thoughts. This is what happened the other day whilst I was at Target.

I was wandering up and down the aisles, thinking, shopping, occasionally checking to see if it was my turn on Scrabble prices for comparison. I really managed to get into a personal zone.

When I reached the checkout, I waited patiently for the cashier to finish wishing the lady ahead of me a good day and that she liked her purse and also that she hoped it wouldn’t rain this weekend.

As I finished putting my items on the belt, a quick flash of annoyance passed over me. I thought to myself, please don’t start up a lengthy conversation with me, I’m in my zone and there’s only room for me. I tried not to make eye contact. For about 2 seconds.

Then I realized something. How self absorbed am I?! I mean, friendliness and customer service are my number one pet peeves. And here this sweet gal is, making sure everyone has a nice day and I can’t be bothered to look her in the eye? I quickly changed my line of thinking, smiled at her and proceeded with a small conversation about how good fresh Brussels sprouts are and how I, too, hoped it wouldn’t rain this weekend.

On the drive home, it bothered me that I had so quickly tossed aside the friendliness of a cashier because it would have intruded on my thoughts. This is so not like me. I’m usually the one to tell them to have a nice day. How had this happened?

At first, I blamed all the other non-friendly people who can’t be bothered to say “Thank you for shopping at with us today and spending your hard earned money, we appreciate your business, this is a bad economy and you have choices to where you shop. We’re glad you chose us.” Or at the very least, look at you and smile when you hand over those hard earned dollars.

I blamed the endless stream of floor persons who sigh heavily when asked to help you find something because “it’s not their department” or dressing room attendants who give you dirty looks when you have 5 items instead of the limit of 4, even though you are the only one in there. And what about the kid at the drive thru window who hands your bag out the window and then promptly shuts it so you can’t ask for ketchup. Have you met some of these people? So you know.  It makes you want to put your head down and get in and get out.

After a while, it would stand to reason that as a society, we would harden ourselves so not to have to deal with people like that. It’s like a thick coating of scar tissue. It’s been picked at so many times, there’s no feeling left. So now, most people don’t even try to be nice and polite to strangers. It’s become too far out of the norm. Get in, get out, make no small talk and for Pete’s sake, don’t make eye contact.

And then I wondered…maybe it’s the other way around? Maybe the floor persons and drive thru kids and dressing room ladies are that way because of people not bothering with small talk. People who yell, make demands and even curse at them. Those who look annoyed when the cashier comments on the something they’re buying, trying to make small talk. The many who grab their bags and rush off and don’t take the time to wish them a good day back. Or worse yet, those who would look down on them from within their expensive suits and think less of the person wearing the blue vest. As if that person doesn’t even deserve the cordial greetings of a civilized society. I would imagine that would wear down even Gidget, after a while.

Could the lack of customer goodness have an effect on good customer service? Something to think about, isn’t it?

I noticed the name tag on the girl at Target said she was a new associate. Let me say this:

Thank you Target girl, for helping me see the error of my ways, however brief. I am making a conscious effort not to become one of “them”. I will always treat you and your colleagues as I myself would like to be treated when I come into your store. Keep up the good work, and don’t let them bring you down. You’re doing great.

We get as good as we give.

Let’s not forget that.

Monday, January 25, 2010

It’s okay, they know me here…

Last night, I dreamed I couldn’t sleep.

It was a really long dream about how I hadn’t slept in like three days and I think I might have been going crazy. When I woke up this morning, I was all, “How many days have I been awake? I don’t want to go even more crazy!”

On a totally unrelated note, I am teaching Zoe how to sneeze on command. She already knows how to sneeze when she gets something up her nose. She likes doing tricks and sneezes pretty well, until I get the video camera out. Then she acts like she has no idea what I’m talking about. Zoe no habla Englisi.


I would like to teach Phoebe not to drool while watching Zoe do tricks. It really makes a mess on the floor, and you know she’s not going to clean it up. And then later on, I’ll be walking through to get yet another snack out of the fridge and hit the puddle of drool, slip and fall right on my keester. Maybe I should teach Zoe something useful, like calling 911.

Speaking of phones, I suppose I should put down the iPhone and do something important. You know, other than making the dog think she has hay fever. One of my friends suggested I play a game with her over the iPhone. I told her I really wasn’t into games, but would give it a try. If I could fit it into my busy schedule of nose wiping and drool mopping. I found the app and now I am so hooked on this game!

It’s called Words with Friends and it’s just like Scrabble. It’s only taken a day, but I am addicted. There is no math! This is definitely a game I can live with. And live with it, I do. I’m checking it every 20 seconds to see if she’s made her play, because I already have my next word in mind. But, she has three kids and a husband and stuff, so she’s not sitting on top of her iPhone like I am. Basically, she has a life.

If you want to play, you can find me in my own little world, dreaming of insomnia.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I got the brown pudding blues…

Don’t you hate it when you’re sitting in bed, watching TV, enjoying a chocolate pudding cup when all of a sudden, out of the corner of your eye, you see what looks like a bug on your boob, so you flick it off and it turns out to be a spoonful of chocolate pudding that you didn’t even notice didn’t make it to your mouth?

And when you flick off what you thought was the big brown bug, but was really chocolate pudding, you karate flick it and get pudding all over your hand, not to mention on the pillow, and the bedspread and on the wall behind the bed and even on your sweater over there on the chair?

I would hate if that happened to me.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

You give me fever…

I am cranky. The reason for my crankiness? Cedar Fever. I don’t know about the rest of Texas, but here in Austin during this time of year, we have a wonderful (insert sarcasm) phenomenon called Cedar Fever. The cedar trees, which are more prevalent than pigeons in the park, go into bloom, causing anybody with a nose to suffer.

Some of the more common symptoms are drippy, stuffy nose, itchy watery eyes, plugged up ears, scratchy throat (sometimes to the point of losing your voice) headaches and facial pain. It has taken three years for me to become allergic. And now I am miserable. I must admit that I don’t have all those symptoms, thank gawd. I am one of the few that suffer from just one of the symptoms; headache. And my head, it aches!!

It started with the facial pain. Not even knowing I had allergies, because why should I think that, I’ve never had them before, I stopped in at the pharmacy and said only, “My face hurts!” The gal behind the counter said one word,  Zyrtec. I was all, “I don’t have allergies, see, I can breathe through my nose” and proceeded to sniff loudly at the pharmacy counter. She looked me right in the eye and said that today’s cedar count was eleventybillion and I do, in fact, have allergies. “Take Zyrtec.”

So I did. It worked wonders! Until the real headache started. I’m talking severe pain in my head. Not wanting to go back to the pharmacist and tell her she was wrong, that I don’t have allergies at all, but in fact a brain tumor, I decided to do what most people do. I went on the internet. Nothing says good health care like self diagnosis.

This is the interesting thing I learned. You have to take more than one kind of medicine to cover all the different headaches. Nice. There are several different kinds of allergy symptoms that cause different kinds of headaches.  Zyrtec is an antihistamine of a certain order and only hits xyz. But if you have other kind of head pain, you have to take a sinus pain medication that covers efg. Does your head hurt yet? Yeah, mine, too.

Luckily, I had some of that, and I was finally able to sleep last night (otherwise, this post could have been ugly). But I do have one question: Can somebody please tell me why in the name of all that is rosy, can’t they put both pills in the same get-out-the-scissors-if-you-can-find-them-because-you’re-too-weak-from-chronic-headache-to-try-to-tear-through-the-CIA-protected-super-glued-child-resistant bubble??


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday…

Go ahead, waste three minutes of your life. You know you want to.


Puppy Love from Dawn Custer on Vimeo.

P.S. Raise your hand if you were in love with Donny Osmond (not you Meg, you’re too young).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

There really are no ugly cows. Well, except for one…

I have been collecting black and white cows for over 20 years. With every Mother’s Day, birthday and Christmas, more cows were added to the collection. Over the years I have had well over 200 hundred cows. Some are no longer with us (insert taps music here) due to breakage from throwing balls in the house old age, or just falling apart (also like old age, dammit). Sometimes a cow just doesn’t “go” anymore and has to be retired.

All of my cows are beautiful. Except for one. I have the honor of having the ugliest cow, ever. Having had probably just about every cow ever made in my collection at one time or another, I think it would be fair to say if anyone could be the judge of cow beauty, it would be me.

Here are a few examples of pretty cows:

IMG_3042 IMG_3044  IMG_3047 IMG_3053 IMG_3055 IMG_3056 IMG_3057 IMG_3060  IMG_3068b  IMG_3064IMG_3063 


Even the chewed-up dog toy cow is prettier than my ugly cow.





The ugly cow has a story, as do pretty much all of the cows in my house. The ugly cow comes from Venezuela. We were staying at a beachside resort when I saw a man making soapstone carvings. They were all very good, dolphins and suns and stuff like that. I asked him if he could make a cow for me. He stared at me blankly because I totally forgot he doesn’t speak English. So I asked in my, didn’t-bother-to-take-it-in-high-school Spanish, if he could make a vaca. Between my non-Spanish and his non-English, we managed an arrangement to meet the next morning and he would carve for me a beautiful vaca.

I hadn’t seen any cows on this Isle de Margarita, so I figured maybe he had to go look it up to see exactly what he was carving. And honestly, I’m wondering what book he looked in, because at first glance, I wasn’t sure this was a vaca.IMG_3070


It has a cow bell, so it must be a cow, right? But something seems wrong with its head.






It’s eyes have a distinct Asian flair.







Even with the language barrier, he was able to convey to me how proud he was of the udders. With all six nipples. It’s a cow, all right.






This cow used to have little dainty ears, but Phoebe chewed them off. So now this poor cow is ugly and has no ears. Poor thing.

But I keep it because I’m pretty sure I’m the only one in the world with an ugly Venezuelan, hand carved, six teated, Asian faced cow.

Ugly, schmugly, I love it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Did you know…

… camel’s milk does not curdle?"
Does that mean it just gets “humpy”?  bwahaha!  I crack myself up.

…that 40% of cat and dog owners carry pictures of their pets in their wallets?
I don’t carry pictures of them in my wallet. I can store so many more on my iPhone.

more people are killed annually by donkeys than in air crashes?
“Jackass kills driver and steals car”

…owls are one of the only birds that can see the color blue?
How can we tell? And why do we need to know?

one in every 4 Americans has appeared on television?
I have!

…lima beans contain cyanide?
Let’s keep that information from the donkeys, shall we?

kissing helps prevent tooth decay?
Pucker up baby, I’m all about preventing tooth decay.

…more than one in eight people in the U.S. show signs of being addicted to the Internet?
I can quit any time I want. No, really, I can.

…in Hong Kong, a woman may kill her adulterous husband, but must do so with her bare hands? 
She can’t use a donkey?

the population of the world could fit inside the borders of Texas?
I would have to move. To one of the now empty islands in the Caribbean.

Roman Emperor Caligula made his horse a senator?
Clearly his donkey couldn’t be trusted.

…dry fish food can make a goldfish constipated?
Whose job was it to figure that out? And how many years did he have to go to school to get that job?

more than 2500 left handed people are killed each year from using right handed products?
How many of those used a right handed donkey?

…that men with a certain rare medical condition can breastfeed babies?
Don’t you have to be pregnant first? I would say that’s pretty rare, indeed.

during good sex, endorphins are released, which are powerful painkillers.
CGMan, you’re right! You do have just the thing for my headache!

Friday, January 15, 2010

…and then he changed the ending!

Last night I had a great visit with one of my besties. We were comparing notes on our husbands chatting about our day, which is something we do every time we get together hardly ever do, when she told me her husband did something totally unexpected. Just when she thought she how he would react to a given situation, he threw a curve ball at her.

Yesterday, her son had an accident in his car. Not an hour later, she was rear ended in her car. And her hubs didn’t even get mad! I would have thought for sure he would blow his top. At least, I thought CGMan would have and therefore her husband would, too. But noooo, he had to go and be all understanding and everything.

After having said that to her about CGMan, I was reminded of the time the boys and I were messing around in the Skater’s bedroom. The Marine was about 16 at the time and the Skater about 9, and I was about mhbmhbm. Let’s just say that two of us were old enough to know better than to have a free-for-all in the bedroom.

I was watching the two boys wrestling and decided my baby was at a distinct disadvantage, so I decided to help him out. I jumped on the Marine’s back (I was also mhbmbdh pounds lighter then) and began to pummel him about the head and shoulders. Skater jumped in with a couple of well placed sucker punches. The next thing we knew, the Marine was twirling around trying to shake me off his back and pick up the Skater by the scruff of the neck. He didn’t take into account how small the room was as he started backing up, and he backed my butt right into the wall. Literally.

Talk about hearing the crickets chirping. It was dead still in that room as the three of us looked at what should have been a small hole, considering my butt wasn’t all that big (right?), but was in fact, a pretty large hole in the wall. We each looked at the other two, “You’re his favorite, you go tell him”.

I decided I should be the one to tell him, since technically, I was the adult in the situation.  I headed down the stairs with a heavy heart to tell him what had happened and that it was really an accident and yes, I know we shouldn’t have been roughhousing in the house and we’re really sorry and we’ll mow lawns to fix it, blah blah blah.

He came up the stairs and into the room where the boys were standing with fear in their eyes. He looked at the wall and said, “Well, it looks like we have a hole in the wall” He asked how it happened and the boys started talking at once: “hewassuckerpunchingmeandhewastryingtopullmyearsoffandthenmomjumpedonhisback andherammedherintothewall”

CGMan just stood there, then said, “Well, I guess there’s only one thing to be done” (The boys had pictures of endless groundings and torture chambers, I just know it!) and he placed the skateboard calendar over the hole.

I was shocked, too! I mean, if there was ever something to get mad over, it would have been this. But he didn’t. He recognized that sometimes s**t happens. And the fact that we were having fun when it happened, well, that was just a blessing.

I’m glad for my bestie that her husband is the same understanding kind of guy my husband is and not the hot-heads that we seem to think they are. Maybe now I can tell CGMan about backing over the lawn mower.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten…

-- Calvin Coolidge

Last night I watched a movie that made me cry all the way through it. You might be thinking it was some uber chick flick, but let me assure you, it was far from it. I don’t know if you remember an email from a few years ago that circled the globe about the Marine Lt. Col. who escorted a fallen Marine home to Wyoming. It was called “Taking Chance”. I remember it well. I cried every time I read it, and I read it every time it came into my inbox.

Last night, I watched the HBO movie of the same name, "Taking Chance”. I don’t have HBO, so didn’t even know this had been made into a movie. I found it on my Netflix and I am so glad I did. I loved it. Kevin Bacon played the Lt. Col. who escorted PFC Chance Phelps home to his family, after he was killed in Iraq. He did an awesome job. Lt. Col.  Strobl and  Kevin Bacon, that is.

Even though I was very familiar with the story, it brought home to me the importance of all our military personnel. It doesn’t matter whether one has been in combat or behind a desk. Every job they do is an important one.

It also reminded me that even though it’s not in the headlines every single day like it was at the beginning, we still have military personnel in the four corners of the globe and they are in danger every day. They are there for us and for countries who are too small to stand up for themselves. We also have military personnel right here in America. Don’t think for a minute because they’re not over “there” that their jobs are any less important.

I am a Marine Mom.

My son is proud of his job and the country he stands for. My son has seen combat (more times than this mom cares to think about), my son has worked behind a desk. And my son has escorted his fallen brothers home. I am proud of him as he performs each of these jobs.

I couldn’t help but think of him as I watched this movie. Every single thing they do is for the respect and dignity of the person who gave everything he had for his country. I pictured my Marine, as he did what I would consider to be the hardest job of the Corps, taking a young man home to be laid to rest. He shared with me stories similar to what I saw in this movie, how people were kind and respectful. How he was moved by what he saw in the hometowns.

My hope in sharing this with you, is not to wait until one is on his final journey home to be kind and respectful. Be kind and respectful now. Be thankful for them. Be proud of all of them. Our military is awesome. No other country has what we have. Men and women, a lot of whom make this their whole life, work hard to protect our country and do the jobs that some most of us aren’t cut out for. It isn’t for everybody, that’s for sure. But for those who volunteer, in my eyes, you’re all heroes. Thank you.

I encourage you to read the story of “Taking Chance” , you can find it here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Say cheeese!…..

Every once in a while, CGMan and I like to go out for a grown up dinner. When I say grown up dinner, I mean a place where there are usually no kids. Not that I have anything against kids (or grandkids) it’s just that I don’t have any anymore. It’s so nice to be able to go to one of those hidden, dimly lit restaurants, where its quiet and there’s a three piece jazz combo in the corner. Oh, it makes being a grown up feel so much better.

We decided to go to our favorite little place, on his last night in town. It was wonderful! There was the jazz combo, it was dark, and we were at a table for two. It was romantic. CGMan ordered us a lovely bottle of Pinot Noir (my favorite) and an appetizer of “select Italian cheeses”. It was fun just to be grown ups, trying things we’ve never had before. That’s another nice thing about grown up restaurants, there is no kids menu and never is there chicken strips on the menu. We always try something new.

This time it was the cheeses. We hadn’t ventured very far from cheddar and Swiss and the occasional brie. I mean, CGMan’s favorite football food is a cheese and salami plate. We were all, “Ooo lah lah, look at us having fancy Eye-talian cheeze”.

That is, until I took the first bite.


Someone with a little more class would say it had an “acquired taste”, but I’m pretty common and all I can say is that it was GROSS! This is no lie, it had the smell of a petting zoo. in. my. mouth. The waiter told us it was a “delightful” little goat and sheep cheese. Well, I certainly don’t know about “delightful” but it was very obvious it came from a goat. The smell was so strong, it was if I was standing right there at the petting zoo, feeding one. I could almost taste it’s hair. I couldn’t even taste the cheese, only the smell of goat. IN. MY. MOUTH.

Do I spit it out? I thought of that, but my eyes were tearing up so bad, I couldn’t find my napkin. Luckily it was only a small bite, a taste if you will (a taste that will never leave my senses) so I just swallowed hard and downed my glass of wine. Waiter! Another bottle, please.

I am quite proud of myself for not making a scene in our favorite little dining spot. I was even the dainty lady as the waiter took the plate, I murmured “Nice cheese”.  Just like it was perfectly normal to eat cheese that smells like sheep’s feet. If that’s a requirement to be on the A-list of hoity-toity people, I’m really not interested.

After that, we had a lovely fettuccini with a white clam sauce. It was delicious! Thankfully, there was enough garlic to get the taste of goat out of my nose. I love garlic.

Goat cheese? Not so much.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mmmm Mmmm Monday…

Over the holidays I became an addict. I am surprised at how easy it was. I really thought I was a stronger person. But I am weak. After the first free ones, (from my Dad & ORMom, no less!) I couldn’t keep up. I couldn’t get enough. I had to have more. I even went out in the night for the supplies to make my own.

Yes, my name is Dawn and I am addicted to Karen’s Hot CRACKers.


I’m telling you, if you set out these CRACKers for your Super Bowl party, you’ll have addicts, too they will be gone in no time. They are way better than potato chips. Better than peanuts. Better than cheetos. Not better than chocolate, what are you, crazy? But really, I suggest making two batches. They’re that good. I’ll show you how!

First, let’s get the ingredients out. Canola oil, red pepper flakes, garlic powder(if you like), a large package of Ranch Dressing mix and a box of saltines. That’s it.


First you mix together 1½ cups of canola oil, the pkg of Ranch dressing mix, 2-3 tablespoons of red pepper flakes, and garlic powder (if you like, which I do).

IMG_2995IMG_2996 IMG_2997 

Then you pour this over the whole box of saltines (that’s 4 sleeves, in case you buy your crackers at Costco, like I do. Now. Thank you, CRACKer lady)

IMG_2999 IMG_3000

Stir gently, or turn container, every 15 minutes for 1-2 hours. After that, you will have a surprisingly un-oily addictive little snack. Store in a large ziplock bag (if they’re around long enough to store).


Oh yes, you’ll have to make your own, because seriously- I’m not sharing.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Be careful, that bolt is what’s holding his head on…

Yesterday, my totally cool friend Jenn (and I say that not only because she’s awesome, she also lives in Maine where it is frozen. Cool, get it??) so, anyway, Jenn wrote a most hilarious blog about her Frankenfinger. I couldn’t keep from laughing right out loud. Really, go there and read about it, I’ll wait.

You’re back now?

While I was waiting, I remembered the time CGMan made cocktails for me and my girlfriend, Sharon, who then went home and proceeded to cut the tip of her thumb off with her new knife. (Be careful, BD, don’t drink and slice with that new Santoku)

Right after I had finished reading Jenn’s blog, CGMan came in and asked me to change his bandaids from the mole removing procedure he had yesterday….



Does anyone else see the humor in this?

FrankenSteve had his bolts removed yesterday! Oh, I crack myself up!

Thursday, January 7, 2010 math this time, I swear

I have a favorite aunt, actually I have two favorites, but one of them is having a contest. She’s a retired school teacher and you know how they love to challenge the brain, so this isn’t her first contest. Last year, she had one where she promised the contest didn’t have much math, that it was more like a “carnival game”. I got all excited because I love contests and I hate math. I figured this was a no-brainer, right? I don’t remember ever having to add anything up at the fair. “Ring a bottle, win a bear!” How hard could it be? You tell me.

Here is a snippet from last year’s contest:

“There are two ways to win.  Just be the one with the closest guess of how many cubic feet of dirt in BOTH planters combined  AND the combined weight of that dirt in both planters (only dirt, nothing else) and you win! “  Then there was some clue about the small planter to help you figure out the big planter.


Yeah, I don’t know about you, but that sounds all about math to me. Those school teachers, you gotta watch out for them, they’ll trick you. So you can probably guess that I did not enter that particular contest because I hate math is not my thing. For those of you who might lose sleep if you don’t know how much dirt was in these planters, here is the answer, courtesy of my Dad, the winner:

Clue  small planter:    10.5 cubic feet    822 pounds of dirt
    Large planter is 84.15 cubic feet.   It's 8.014 times bigger than 'clue planter'.
    84.15 + 10.5 =  94.65 Total Cubic Feet
    Weight of dirt*: Clue planter -   822 pounds divided by 10.5 cubic feet = 78.28 pounds per cubic foot.
    94.65 cubic feet  x  78.28 pounds = 7409 pounds of dirt

7409  POUNDS of DIRT TO FILL IT   (3.7045 TONS)

Excuse me? Is that MATH??

The reason for telling you all that is to lead you up to her new contest. When I saw her email I was leery, because her concept of math and mine are decidedly different. This time, though, it’s about creativity and I certainly have some of that! Here are the rules, and trust me, I went over them several times looking for math a trick.

  • 25 words or less (The difficulty is in how short this really is!)
  • Any type of writing - poem (unrhymed or not) first paragraph of a short story or novel, a limerick, free form writing of any kind
  • Every entry must use the word *ominous   (see all acceptable definitions below) once, but only once in your 25 words or less submission
  • Can be funny, serious, or anywhere in between

*ominous  (adj)
threatening, warning, worrying, gloomy,  menacing, ill-omened, unpromising  being or exhibiting an omen : portentous; especially : foreboding or foreshadowing evil,  sinister
ominous –adjective
1.portending evil or harm; foreboding; threatening; inauspicious: an ominous silence fell over the group
2.having the significance of an omen.

I decided I could be creative and write something. I write a blog, right? And we all know how easy that is. So I sat down and put my creative cap on, okay, it’s really an apron, but whatever. After about an hour, when my eyes glazed over I finally came up with this little nugget. I’m thinking “winner, winner, chicken dinner!”

IMG_1416 I’m a gal with two dogs
Who like to play and chew clogs
It’s quite ominous
That one is abdominous
Maybe she’d do better to jog


Did you see that? No math! Other than counting words, which apparently is too much like math for me.

I am inviting any of you to join our little contest. It is fun and gives the retired teachers something to do. Just put your submissions in the comments and I will forward them on to her. No prizes this time except for the warm fuzzies of a job well done. And the chance to beat my Dad. Even though he says he’s not a wordsmith, I’m thinking he has some phrases up his sleeve.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Home is where you can say anything you please, because nobody pays any attention to you anyway…

Yes, I am home. Finally. I had very good intentions of keeping up with the blog, but as you can see, that didn’t work out so well. I can’t help it, I was distracted. By what, you might ask. Well, let me just give you some highlights:

First, there was the trip to see where the Marine works. He is a recruiter and his office is in the mall. We went in and delivered cookies to his coworkers, since they had to work while the Marine was on leave. The Skater came in some time after us and told the on-duty guys he wanted to be a marine. The other recruiters didn’t know this was the Marine’s brother. Yeah, my boys are as opposite as night and day. One is a peace loving, pierced and tattooed free spirit and the other is the poster boy for the Marine Corps. The “Gotcha!” moment was priceless.

Then I was distracted by taking the Marine and his Sunshine to the zoo. How can one think about a blog when all this is going on?

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While the feeding the giraffes and watching the masked lovebirds make out was really eeww cool, it was this little tidbit in the restaurant that had us in stitches. Remember, it doesn’t take much to amuse us.

Speaking of simple things to amuse us, Sunshine almost wet her pants when the Marine bent over to pick up some loose feed and a swan reached out of the water and pecked him on the side of the head. She says he screamed like a girl, he says he screamed like a Marine Marines don’t scream. Because that was so funny, rather than let any other passers-by know about the rabid swan, we just stood off to the side to watch him do it again, and again.

After the zoo, we stopped to see family. It’s always such a nice visit, with many stories to share and pictures to take:

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We had a great time on New Year’s Eve with our dearest and oldest friends (not oldest as in age, because we have friends who are a lot older than them!) It was a family party, which meant there were kids. Which meant there were boy kids with new nerf guns they got for Christmas. Which meant the Marine only lasted about 20 minutes before he started giving them battle advice and another 10 minutes before he commandeered a gun and started a 3 boys against one Marine war. During a break in the action he asked his Sunshine for two things: a set of nerf guns, and when she reminded him he needed a kid to play with, he asked if he could get one this age so he could play with it right away.

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Finally it was time to head home. There’s really nothing exciting about a two day road trip through the desert and West Texas. Except for this! -


We saw signs for The THING every half mile for about 50 miles. We had to stop.




This was not the Thing.







This car was believed to have been used by Adolf Hitler, the thing is, it can’t be proved. So it’s not The Thing.





Neither are these, although they’re pretty weird, hunh? The book in the back is The White House Cookbook ca. 1887.

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As creepy as this is, although not as creepy as a scorpion, it was also not The Thing.


For those of you who have been with me a while, you might remember my love for Roadside America, so you’ll understand that I can’t really show you The Thing. It would spoil it for all the other people who travel through the boring desert to find a little amusement. I will tell you, it’s not this, either:


That about wraps up all the reasons I didn’t keep up my blog for the last week.
I am so full of distractions, but I’ll try to get back on track. I’ve missed you.

Join me tomorrow when we discuss why they would make a plastic keeper this small:

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Who the hell saves one brussel sprout?

Wordless Wednesday…with some words…

I like wordless Wednesdays. It gives me a chance to show off some pictures that I have cramming up my phone. Let’s see, since you’ve alread...