Archive for February, 2007

When Good Kids Go Funny

Briauna’s cousin Aubree gave her a book of knock-knock jokes.  She gave Jazzmin a whoopie cushion.  As evidenced by these gifts, my step-grandgirl Aubree must hate  my guts.  They are 7 and 9.  At that age these things are the funniest thing in the universe.  The wicked child gave these gifts to my wards on the busiest week of my life ever.  I have book, publishing, accounting and tax deadlines looming.  Two birthdays and one baby shower to throw.  Four dozen cupcakes to bake for Valentine’s day.  All of which is being regularly interupted by the honk of the woopie cushion and “orange you glad I didn’t say banana?”  Which is immediately followed by fifteen minutes of hysterical laughter by these two little girls.   The farting noise and stupid jokes don’t make me laugh, but the girls reaction to them busts me up completely.   I’m frequently accused of having a weird sense of humour.  Considering that comment usually comes from someone who’s comedy I don’t find funny, I don’t worry about it. 

The things that make me double over and cry with laughter are usually the everyday comedic moments that happen to everyone.   Erma Bombeck, Paula Poundstone, Josh Blue…these people make me laugh.  Many of you recounting your trials and tribulations with animals, kids and household appliances just crack me up completely.  My oldest daughter had this uncanny ability  as a kid to imitate just about anyone, capturing whatever weird quirkiness in expression or turn of phrase her victim had.  She got herself out of oodles of trouble by explaining her bad behavior in the voice of our preacher or one of the teachers at school.  My husband was not amused by this, but I’d be running from the room laughing. 

What makes you laugh? 

Opposum update:  The mangy little beast hung out on the top step of the basement (on the other side of the blocked door) for a day.  We could hear him scratching…ugh.  Pap’s bright idea was to close off all the doors to the laundry room and leave a trail of food from the basement to the back door.  This was obviously a stupid idea.  Luckily, Princess is a cute girl with many buff boyfriends.  She fetched one.   He bravely captured the Opposum and took it away in his truck.  Then he put screens on those vents that are necessary to a basement and blew this foam stuff into the cracks in the block.  I would like her to marry this one, and live in my house, forever. 

February 13, 2007 at 7:53 am 22 comments

Unwelcome Guests and a Trashy Cat

We’ve had our share of weird animals here in the house of perpetual remodeling.  We once had a cat who was attached to a pacifier.  Crazy thing would take them right out of the mouths of babies any time it got a chance. 

There was the night a bat flew in the house.  That was interesting… our three idiot cats dived under the couch, our five big mouthed kids dived behind the couch.  I don’t remember what I was doing, only that Pap was real brave until the bat flew right at him, I’ve never seen a man drop to the floor so quickly. 

When the trashy neighbors next door moved out, a rat came over, up through my basement and right into my bathroom while I was taking a bath.  I’m not sure where that rat went, but I nearly beat holes in the walls with the plunger trying to get myself out of the bathroom without the sneaky, disgusting rodent touching me. 

Today, it was worse.  Isobelle, Princess’s cat, is in heat.  Since she’s a completely indoor cat, she wasn’t having much luck taking care of business, and was making a perfect nuisance of herself roaming around meowing with such distress the grandgirls demanded to know what was wrong with her.  I told them she was wishing she had a husband.  

Tonight, Pap was away referring a basketball game.  Princess was studying, and the grandgirls were cleaning their room.  I was editing a book in the library, minding my own business, when I heard the recycling basket rattle, I looked up to yell at the dog (he likes to rub his back on that basket)  and there was a oppossum…running for the laundry room with  Isobelle in close pursuit.  A screaming, weepy, anxiety attack later (I just hate creepy, crawly rodents, insects or reptiles), Princess took her exercise band and headed to the laundry room to deal with the opposum.  I asked her what she thought she was going to do with an exercise band and she said “Have YOU ever been snapped with one of these things?”.  Lots of drama while we four girls discussed what to do about the invader in the laundry room.  I was very clear about the fact that I was shutting myself in the den until Pap came home.  So Princess and Briauna stomped their way to the laundry room which scared Isobelle into the library and the opposum down the basement stairs. 

We all trooped back to the den just in time to see my stupid dog attempting to make a woman out of the cat.  Jazzmin says “Well, I guess Isobelle found her husband.” 

Just when everyone had calmed down, Pap came home and asked Princess to throw a shirt in the washer for him while he took a shower.   She walked in the laundry room,  flipped on the light and screamed loud enough it made the dog bark…the opposum was back.  Pap comes running with a towel around his waist, I run back grabbing a mop on my way.  Ruger runs by me, still barking and scares the stupid thing to the stairs where it stops and rolls over playing dead.  I can’t believe they really do that….anyway.  Pap goes to pick it up, Princess yells “Dad!  Don’t!  You’re supposed to use a towel!” which startles him and makes him bump his head on the door frame.  He says “I don’t need a $*!*& towel, bring me a hammer!” 

That’s where I just had to put my foot down.  I mean, come on, he’s bigger than this tiny little opposum, just pick the thing up and throw it outside.  Jeesh.  I said as much so he bent over to pick the thing up and let out one of those reverberating drumroll farts.  Princess starts laughing and says “Who needs a hammer, you just gassed the thing to death.”  The words were not even completely out of her mouth when the opposum rolled over and fell off the step. 

I couldn’t take any more at that point.  Pap went to the basement and reported that the opposum was in a corner under the stairs and he’d deal with it tomorrow.  In the mean time, he blocked the basement door so it couldn’t get back upstairs.  I’m on my way to the couch with a cold compress.  Princess has gone to bed on the second floor where its safe from her crazy family.  Isobelle is giving the dog the look again.  Jeesh. 

February 9, 2007 at 8:58 am 30 comments

Snow Days

To say its cold is a hellish understatement.  The kitchen pipes are frozen.  My lovely little cricket car made one weak attempt to turn over yesterday, and then gave up.  She’s left word she’ll be back when she can see black road again.  The grandgirls are going on day four of no school.  Send sunshine you warm weather folks!  Or valium…whichever is cheaper to ship.

I should be working on THE BOOK.  But I’ve stared at the screen for two days, and while the scene is rattling around in my head like a handful of marbles in a shoebox, I just can’t get the words onto the screen.  So I went outside to play instead.  I can’t remember having a winter full of snow like this since I was a kid.  The grandgirls had never seen one, so it was my absolute duty to teach them the fastest way to get down a hill on a sled, how to make snow angels without getting your butt totally wet and how to test the pond to see if the ice was thick enough to skate (it wasn’t).

 Its quiet in the house now, Papa Bear has taken the grandgirls to visit with his parents.  I’m sore, and chapped but Ben Harper is in the background, singing about morning yearning.  Through the window  by my desk I can see its snowing again, but the space heater is keeping me toasty warm.  I should be writing Philip’s story…

February 8, 2007 at 5:40 am 12 comments

Wasted Days and Wasted…well days

Where did my Saturday go?  One minute I was just gonna take a little nap, the next it’s dark and silent and I’m all alone.  That’s a lie, I wasn’t alone.  Princess was here but asleep on the couch.  In case anybody is interested:  Never wait up for your children out on a date once they turn 26.   They are aware that they don’t have curfews any more, and they will take advantage of that fact. 

The children’s book I’m ghost writing is half way done.  We had a team meeting yesterday and the artist handed me copies of the first three chapter’s illustrations.  What a rush, what an eye opener!  She’s working only from what I write with no other input so when I haven’t been clear enough or descriptive enough, it shows up in the illustrations.  Out of the six scenes she chose to draw, only one didn’t match the vision in my head.  It gave me chills.  And clearly pointed out a flaw in Chapter three that must be corrected in edit. 

Worrisome news from my son.  Since he’s a senior in college and will lose his health insurance after graduation in May, Pap made him go get a complete physical in case there was a lag between graduation and then finding a job with insurance.  Most of the results came back great, his cholesterol is low, no diabetes, healthy heart …exactly what you’d expect from a physical on a 21 year old.  But the blood tests did reveal some irregularities with his liver.  He’s been reassured that no matter how much beer he’s drank since he started college the brew could not be the culprit, but the doctor is concerned about hepatitus or a fatty liver. 

The good news about having a bad medical report is that suddenly your parents and sisters don’t look like such evil, inconsiderate creatures after all.  I’ve heard more about what he does and who he hangs out with at school in the last three weeks than I have in all four years he’s been away.  Kids!

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m down to 421 days to freedom.  You should probably begin planning the party to celebrate my withdrawal from the accounting rat race now.  Just a suggestion. 

February 4, 2007 at 4:35 pm 26 comments

My Next Husband Must Be a Nerd

I married Pap because he was hot.  Of course we didn’t say “hot” back then, he was a “hunk”.  Unfortunately, hotness only lasts so long, and the old guy is getting a little frayed around the edges.  Barring a train jumping its tracks and crushing me, or one of my children poisoning my oatmeal, its likely that I will outlive him.  We don’t consider this a depressing topic in my house.  Pap will be the first one to start the “your next husband should be….” conjecture.  He claims its because he wants to be sure at least one more man must suffer the indignity of living with me. 

Thanks to David Carridine and his string of Nerd movies, its been socially acceptable to marry a nerd since the eighties.  But then it was also nerds.jpgthose movies that downgraded my status from nerd to dork.  Nerds are smart and clever with piles of money.  Dorks look like nerds but are broke.  Its important to keep your stereotypes straight you know. 

On second thought, since nerds now have their rightful place in society, its unlikely they’d prefer me to all the tall, blonde, model types.  We should perhaps look elsewhere for future husband candidates.  I’m open to suggestions.

February 2, 2007 at 6:35 pm 24 comments

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