30 November 2009

The Wonderful World of Nothing Worthwhile...


I don't know about anyone else, but I think Michael C. over at The Wonderful World of Nothing Worthwhile is hysterical.  I have truly missed his wit and humor.  If you are in need of a laugh, check out these two posts from his archives...  DRINK ALERT!!!

Work Blogging…Yeah, I know, It’s Wrong And Stuff  - The Top 10 1/2 List cracks me up!  :)

Things I Learned This Week - Oh, to be so educated!

Wit...

If I have ever wondered whether my sister Suzanne's kids or my kids have similar personal characteristics... I now have my answer. 

I was on the phone with my sister when I hear in the back ground at her house...

"Aunt Lemon Stand is my favorite Aunt!"

My sister says "What?"
I tell her that he's only trying to suck up to me and she tells him what I said.
Kasey, my nephew, says "Denial is the first phase...."

Me, "You can tell my Godson that he has just become blog fodder." My sister starts laughing....
This morning Rachel wants to know if I will write her teacher a note because she didn't get her homework done.
Rachel, "I didn't get it done because Erin kept bugging me. It's her fault."

Me, "So if it is HER fault if you finish your homework or not, then it is also SHE who is responsible when you DO get your homework done?"
Rachel can sense there is a trap here and doesn't answer the question. She just continues to complain about her sister being the cause of the unfinished homework.
Me, "OK. So Erin IS responsible for whether you DO or DO NOT finish your homework.... Therefore, she is the one who earns your bonus money for bringing home good grades. That is good to know. I just want to make sure I pay the right person."

Rachel, "Wait....."

QOTD: "Wit is a sword; it is meant to make people feel the point as well as see it." G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) English born Gabonese Critic, Essayist, Novelist and Poet
(Originally published 24 January 2007)

29 November 2009

Different Military Branches Are... Well... Different...

I have often been asked the following question...

The Art Of Procrastination...

A few months back I promised myself that I would have all my Christmas shopping done by this weekend.  Instead I have been looking up quotes for my QOTD (quote of the day) just so I can avoid housework and shopping alike.  Please tell me I am not the only one out there that truly has talent in this art form...

    QOTD:


"My evil genius Procrastination has whispered me to tarry 'til a more convenient season." Mary Todd Lincoln (June 1841, Her Life and Letters - 1972)

"Procrastination: A hardening of the oughteries." Anonymous

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." Douglas Adams (1952-2001) English writer, dramatist, and musician

"Never put off till tomorrow, what you can do the day after tomorrow." Mark Twain (pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835 – 1910) American author and humorist

"When there is a hill to climb, don't think that waiting will make it smaller." Anonymous

"Much of the stress that people feel doesn't come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started." David Allen (1945 - ) Productivity consultant, creator of the Getting Things Done Time Management System

"Even if you're on the right track - you'll get run over if you just sit there." Arthur Godfrey (1903-1983) American radio and television broadcaster and entertainer

Time For Holiday Cookies...




 I love making holiday cookies, deserts and breads.  I posted a list like this a few years ago but it definitely needed updating.  Just click on the link and it will take you to the recipe or you can go to a place called NorthPole.com for all their cookies, cakes, pies, bread, fudge and candy recipes.

28 November 2009

A Father Who Only Has Daughters To Torture...

Danielle said to me yesterday that I never get these conversations just right, so I asked her if she had a photographic memory? Believe me, they are not as humorous as if you were actually there but I do try my best....  I also think it's a perfect example of how different people and can hear/see/experience the same thing and come out with totally different impressions.

Anyway, I don't remember what sparked off the following conversation but we were driving up in New Hampshire after visiting my sister-in-law. We were heading to Maine to pick up Rachel and Erin who were at their cousin's house. Just to fully set the stage, so to speak, we had Nicole and Danielle in the back of the van with the husband and I.
Nicole, "Mom can't wait to go into menopause."
Me, "I never said that!"

Nicole, "You don't like having your period."

Me, "That doesn't mean I can't wait to go into menopause!"

The Husband, (Who you know is not going to keep quiet...) "I don't know of any woman who says 'I can't wait til the next time I can bleed for a week!'"

From the back seat.... "Dad!"
And since he can't resist teasing them...
Husband, "I don't know anyone who would say 'I can't wait to be in a raging hormonal mood for a week!'"
Groans from the back seat....
Husband, "I just can't wait to wear belted flotation devices!" (Note to the husband, pads now have a sticky side and even wings!!!!)
Groans now coming from all over the van...
Husband, "I just can't wait to gain weight, feel bloated and be able to say...'Does my butt look good in these jeans?' No, they don't!"

Husband, "Or maybe.... 'Hey my period started.... I'm not pregnant! Just love when I can be sure of that!'"
By this time, the girls and I are laughing so hard.
Nicole had to start begging, "Dad! Please stop it! I really have to go to the bathroom!"

Husband, "Well, at least you girls won't have to worry about the last one.... I'm having you all fitted for chastity belts."
Heh!
QOTD: "I'm trying very hard to understand this generation. They have adjusted the timetable for childbearing so that menopause and teaching a sixteen-year-old how to drive a car will occur in the same week." Erma Bombeck (1927-1996) Humorist

27 November 2009

The Value Of A Letter...

During this time of year I have many friends who ask what was really wanted by deployed military members.  Back in November of 2006 my husband wrote the following when I asked him this question and I would like to share it with you.


THOUGHTS ON MAIL TO THE DEPLOYED SOLDIER


At 41, after serving an entire adult life in uniform, I hope I can offer some thoughts.

Mail, few things bring home closer than mail. Few things are more important. Even in the instantly gratified world we live in, the feeling of getting snail mail is indescribable. I can recall the feeling of at the end of the day, walking the mile or so to the MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) tent to check the mail list (in the Air Force the mail clerks would post a handwritten list of who had mail to save the questions), and the gloom that resulted from having no letter from my family. I remember the day I got 27 cards from my daughters, most containing only one word, but there were 27 of them. They weren’t big cards, all hand made, but they were for me, and there were 27 of them.

Because it’s not really a letter, you’re sending. It’s a taste of home, a reminder that someone knows your there, and a distraction from the endless routine. Getting a package of candy from a stranger is a strange wonderful feeling that can pick you up by the boot straps at a time when you need it most. Remember, it’s not the bombs or bullets that are the greatest danger, its stress and depression.

So what to send? A card, a letter, a picture of something other than sand. It doesn’t have to be big, small is okay, although contents you can eat are a plus. A book to read and pass on, home made cookies. I could go on for hours on a fruitcake I got in Korea (thanks Mom).

Movies are great also. In short anything sent is great, just make it personal.

While I’m not a Marine or Soldier and take a lot of ribbing for being a Wingnut, when I'm deployed, it's usually “down range” hauling explosives over the highways in decrepit trucks wearing less than perfect body armor. And I would never miss mail call.

For all of you who have taken the time and energy and personal funds to help the morale of, not only my own husband, but everyone just like him, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
QOTD: "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) 35th American President

26 November 2009

Sometimes I Forget...

I have so many things in my life to be thankful for... but sometimes I forget to take the time to appreciate that fact. In the daily grind of everyday problems, my blessings seem to get lost in the shuffle. Every once in a while I look up and see those blessings standing at the back of the crowd of problems. Those blessings, although short in stature compared to the seemingly gigantic problems, are jumping up and down and waving their hands enthusiastically, trying to get my attention. Trying to remind me to remember them because... sometimes I forget.


Our kids are growing into beautiful young women but allowing them to find their wings to fly is probably one of the hardest things I've ever done. In the daily problems associated with raising teens and pre-teens, I try to remember that 'this too shall pass'... but sometimes I forget. 


I let the annoyances and frustrations distract me from the fact that yesterday, they were babies. Today they are young adults. Tomorrow they will be leaving the nest to pursue their own goals. Not goals that I have set for them. But... sometimes I forget.

With the stress inherent on being married to a military member with all it's pain of separation and tribulations of bureaucracy and politics I sometimes forget the reason we serve. I sometimes forget that my husband has a calling to serve. It is not just a job. It is part of who he is. It is hard to remember this when he comes home late, misses important family events and leaves me to be a single parent while he goes TDY or is deployed on the other side of the world. When finances are tight and I think about the money he could make at the job he went to school for it's hard to remember that he would not be who he is today working any other job. (I KNOW. He's tried it.) But still... sometimes I forget.

The forest of daily challenges make it difficult to see the beauty and blessing of the single mighty oak. But when the clouds part and a single ray of sunshine shines down on the deep green color of the leaves and the rich brown bark of the trunk, the birds and the squirrels held within it's branches, it is hard to feel weighted down, sad, alone or unblessed. In times like these the problems seem to suspend themselves from importance because... sometimes I forget.
QOTD: "When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself." Tecumseh Shawnee Chief (1768-1813)

QOTD...

"My cooking is so bad my kids thought Thanksgiving was to commemorate Pearl Harbor." Phyllis Diller (1917-) American Comedienne and Actress

25 November 2009

Why Some Parents Wonder Where They Went Wrong... Or Maybe Not?

Put down your drinks gentle reader.... The following was forwarded to me by my husband who HATES to pass on any of the junk he gets on a daily basis, but one of the guys he works with convinced him to read this considering how many kids we have. 

~~~~~

A father passing by his son's bedroom was astonished to see that his bed was nicely made and everything was picked up. Then he saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow that was addressed to "Dad." With the worst premonition he opened the envelope with trembling hands and read the letter.


Dear Dad:
It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with mom and you. I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is so nice. But I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercing, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is much older than I am.

But it's not only the passion...Dad she's pregnant. Stacy said that we will be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children. Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone. We'll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with the other people that live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy. 

In the meantime we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Stacy can get better. She deserves it.


Don't worry Dad. I'm 15 and I know how to take care of myself. Someday I'm sure that we will be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren.


Love, Your Son John


PS. Dad, none of the above is true. I'm over at Tommy's house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the report card that's in my center desk drawer.

I love you. Call me when it's safe to come home.

QOTD:  Little Debbie came running into the house after school one day, shouting, "Daddy! Daddy! I got a 100 in school today!"
"That's great, Sweetheart," said her daddy. "Come in the living room and tell me about it."
"Well," began the confession, "I got 50 in spelling, 30 in math, and 20 in science."

24 November 2009

WARNING: Here Be Dragons....

NOTE:  Just in case I have given anyone who comes to the Lemon Stand for all the rainbows and puppy dogs that this blog tends to imply is the reality of our household... I am republishing a post that I wrote back in July of 2006.  (Unfortunately the down side of having to quit blogging is that you can't save your blog posts or comments.  Or at least you couldn't back then) I'll have a more positive post before the day is out.

23 November 2009

The Cat's New Clothes...

Rachel, "Mom? Can I borrow the stuffed cat I made for you?"


Me, "Sure. Will I get him back?"


Rachel, "Yes, I just want to make him some clothes."
THE NEXT DAY....

Rachel, "Here you go Mom. Doesn't his straight-jacket look great?"

I kid you not. Rachel made my stuffed cat a straight-jacket! HEH! If I can get Danielle to take a picture, I will post it later. She did a GREAT job with it and he looks great....wonder if this is a new fashion trend or one that only applies to OUR family?

UPDATE: Rachel took this picture of Traveling Bear 'inspecting' the Cat's New Clothes....
QOTD: "Physics is imagination in a straight jacket." John Moffat

22 November 2009

Choices...

I want to share something I read several years ago. It was so profound to me that I printed it out, framed it and have it sitting near my desk. I wish I could tell you who wrote it but I don't know that. After all this time, I can't even remember where I had originally found it but every so often I read it just to remind myself....

21 November 2009

Daddy's Little Pearls Of Wisdom For His Children...

Nicole explaining to her father why she should be praised for the condition of her room... after all, SHE knows where everything is...
Husband, "I would sooner praise Hurricane Catrina for her organizational skills before I praised you for the condition of your room... at least she left the area in better condition than you..."
::Rachel grumpily doing the dishes...
Husband, "If Anne Frank could maintain a good mood and outlook in a death camp... you can maintain one while loading the dishwasher..."
QOTD: "The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate." Oprah Winfrey (1954-) American television personality, Actress and Producer

20 November 2009

Is Email Really A Form Of Communication?

So I emailed my husband last week at work. He has been working hard to get things ready for a big inspection.  I had decided not to interrupt him with a phone call. He’s busy and I figured that if I emailed him on the computer he could get back to me whenever was convenient for him. So our communication went something like this:

Me, I have the kids and am doing errands. Do you want to meet somewhere for dinner? Or maybe I could drop the kids off at home and we could go on a date?

Husband, I dropped the van off at the garage, the mechanic can’t look at the check engine light, his computer died and it won’t be fixed until next week so I’ll have to bring the van back.

Me, OK, did he say how much the broken heater was likely to cost?

Husband, Haven’t heard back yet, dinner sounds good.

Me, Okkaayy.  I can tell you don’t read my email in it’s entirety. DINNER OUT WITH KIDS OR DINNER DATE W/WIFE?????

Husband, No, I do read your e-mail. I figured if you show up with the kids, then it’s dinner with the wife and kids. If you show up with out them, we can be out of state in less than an hour…
I don’t think that I will every truly get this form of computerized communication. How is it supposed to be faster if it takes 6 emails to have a meaningful conversation?
QOTD: “Never trust a computer you can’t throw out the window.” Steve Wozniac

Ahem, Today's Post Is Brought To You By...


Rachel.  She usually does her spelling homework with her father. These are the sentences she did with him last week. (The apple does not fall far from the tree folks!)

We Are Raising Social Hyenas...


Another post from the dinner table at our house....


We all had settled down and the conversation at our table was pretty average...for us. Rachel was complaining about a Rap Concert her Music teacher was making everyone participate in.
"Can't you call the school and get me out of it? I HATE rap music!"
 Nicole has the same opinion and wasn't shy about sharing it.
"Yeah, Country Music plus Rap equals CRAP."
Lovely. (I happen to like country music and although I am pretty eclectic in my music tastes I don't much like rap myself.)
"Well I had to do Romeo and Juliet and you'll just have to suffer like the rest of us."
Nicole said, "We had to sit through 'Opera'." 
(Opera being emphasized like it was the worst form of plague and before you ask, no, I don't much like Opera either but come on....even I can broaden my horizons on occasion)

I finally told Rachel that everyone has their own cross to bear and hers just happens to be her current Music Teacher. She'll survive.

Conversation continued but as every new subject was introduced, the kids would jump all over the initiator with their comments containing an escalating amount of sarcasm and wit until my husband looked at me and finally said,
"We are raising social hyenas."
I'm thinking to myself that it's a good thing we don't have company often. Imagine the carcasses that would be devoured and where would we bury the remains?
QOTD: "Why don't you save the hyenas the trouble and kill me now? JUST KILL ME NOW!" The Lion King 1 1/2 (2004)
(Originally posted 4 Oct 2006)

19 November 2009

Do YOUR Kids Do This?

I wish I had batteries for the camera at this moment. I think you really need to have a picture to get the FULL effect...


18 November 2009

Santa Clause Might Want To Rethink Stopping At Our House...

My conversation with Rachel yesterday...

Rachel, "How does Santa get to everyone's house in one night?" (She already knows the answer, but of course, she is setting me up...)

Me, "It's magic."

Rachel, "How does he know what you want? If he knows that much about you, he must be stalking you. Why don't the police ever arrest him for stalking? And how come he never gets arrested for breaking and entering? And for that matter, he doesn't ever seem to get caught for stealing cookies either. Why doesn't he ever have to pay for his crimes?"

Me, "Huh.... You know you really know how to kill the Christmas Spirit?"
Rachel, "Don't worry Mom, it's only November. There's plenty of time to get it back. Still, I think Santa should at least be reported to the SPCA or PETA. Just look at the amount of fur he wears on his clothing and how he forces the reindeer to work more than an eight hour shift. And really... we should sic the fashion police on him. Sheesh, everyone knows that red is NOT a suitable color for a guy that large!"
Guess it's time to cancel Christmas at our house...
QOTD: "After today, I'll bet Santa takes a shovel to the reindeer stalls to fill your stocking." Bill Watterson (1958-) American Author of the comic strip Calvin & Hobbs

Resurrection of the 'I'll See You the Flu During a PCS and Raise You an Online Hotel Reservation that Turned Out to be a Drug Den' Military Poker Game...

First of all, I have to warn you that if you are not reading this post in a place where you can laugh, groan and make other loud noises bound to attract attention... you might want to wait until you are.  Oh, and it might take you a while to read the whole thing but there is something riveting about seeing a particularly unusual accident and being unable to look away.

I must admit that my favorite all time blogger has always been Air Force Wife.  I totally GET her humor, her husband's brand of humor and her family.  As much as I was sad that she closed down her own blog I was thrilled to see her as a permanent fixture on SpouseBuzz.

Now it has been a while since her particular post was written, but it is one of those that never goes out of the memory.  I laughed so hard, I was in serious danger of things better left unmentioned.  The comments were absolutely unforgettable.  For those of you who have no experience with military life... you will get a rare view of how the other half lives.  For the rest of you who have survived, we salute you!

I had read Air Force Wife's post under the dubious title of "I'll See You the Flu During a PCS and Raise You an Online Hotel Reservation that Turned Out to be a Drug Den". By the time I get through the comments, tears of laughter are running down my face. (as I cough and gag)
So I am thinking back over the last twenty odd years (more if I include my own childhood) of military life and of course there are always tours that stand out in one's mind when dragging up these memories. I'm flipping through the 'infamous' incidents in my mind for a short one to share.

Oh, there are too many to count. Let's see, the volcanic eruption? The hurricanes? The typhoons? The earthquakes? The snake? The delivery room? The rat? The trip home to Maine with 14 month old, 6 week old premie baby with me in leg brace to hip and air cast on opposite leg? (All on one tour of Guam?)

So I settle on what I thought would be the shortest story. The RAT. But after writing it out I realized that it was a little too long for a comment to a post. So here it is in all it's glory....

WARNING: Not for the faint of heart!

So we are both active duty (the husband and I) at the time working opposite shifts and living in base housing on Andersen AFB in Guam. I kept finding these grub like worms all over the kitchen. I completely scoured it down with bleach. Twice. And finally left a note for the husband to make sure he didn't leave any food out.

I came home the next morning after a mid-shift and the husband has already left for a day shift. In the sink he has left his cereal bowl. Again there were these fat white worms everywhere. I call him at work to chew him out and as I am waiting on hold I notice the worms have a kind of pattern direction. They seem to be coming from behind the stove.

My husband gets on the phone and I explain what was going on and he says to pull the stove out. So I put the phone down, yank and twist until I get that darn stove out and look behind it............... lots of bunnies.... of the dust variety. There is nothing else back there. So I get back on the phone and the husband is as perplexed as I am. I hang up the phone, scour the floor where the stove goes with bleach and just for good measure I look UNDER the stove. Nothing. I'm exhausted. I put the stove back and head to bed.

This continues to go on for about a week and the worms are growing in numbers at an alarming rate. Every day I scour everything with bleach and every night they are back.

Finally my husband and I both have a night off together and I go to cook a meal. Something I haven't been able to do in weeks. I get everything out, turn on the stove and..... nothing. It doesn't work. Huh. I figured that maybe I didn't plug it back in right so I called my husband to pull out the stove again. It is plugged in fine. So the DH gets out his tools and a flashlight to take the back panel off the stove. He's looking into the air vent with the flashlight when he suddenly jumps back against the wall. By now I am really worried. He looks at me and says he has found the problem but that he isn't hungry any more. I asked him what was wrong and he takes the flashlight and points it toward the vent and as I lean over the top of the stove to look down I see barely noticable tufts of fur and then a few of those fat white worms that we now know are maggots start crawling out the vent.

OK. Normally I am calm in an emergency but there is something about snakes and rats that do it to me every time. I made the husband take the stove outside without saying a legible word. (According to him) Just violent gestures, a few grunts and perhaps a whimper or two.

The next day, the housing office sends someone over. (I stayed FAR away!) He knocks on the door a while later and says that it's all fixed. Turns out that since the house was so clean, a rat had climbed into the stove (never figured out how) and he chewed on the electrical wires for sustenance. Killing himself in a most shocking manner and disabling the stove.

This airman just stood there with a grin on his face as he's explaining this, brushes his hands together and asks if I want him to bring it back on in and test it since he replaced the electrical wires.

It took me a minute to compose myself but I asked him if he had also disposed of the rat and ALL of the maggots and if he had then sanitized every square inch of the stove. INSIDE AND OUT? NO????? Then I want a NEW stove! Oh and by the way, take that one out of my yard immediately along with the remains thank you very much!

And the rest of the story? The airman left to report back to his boss to determine what to do. He never returned. My husband was called at work and told to return the stove to it's proper place and that since it was repaired we were not going to get a new one.

We cleaned and sanitized it the best we could, but I NEVER used that stove again!
 
QOTD: "You should treat all disasters as if they were trivialities but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster." Quentin Crisp (1908-1999) English Author

17 November 2009

Deployment Humor...

WARNING: Do NOT drink or eat and read this...

When my husband gets deployed to wherever his super suit duties take him, he always tries to send me something humorous to keep our spirits up, while the girls and I are attempting to do the same thing.  It's almost like a battle... each side trying to make the other side laugh harder...
On one of his deployments my husband sent me this chuckle with a few comments of his own added for good measure. I just want to say that although we have 4 cats, this particular incident could not happen in our house since we also have daughters and NO WAY does my husband want to give ANY of them an anatomy lesson....
We've all had trouble with our animals, but I don't think anyone can top this one:

Calling in sick to work makes me uncomfortable. No matter how legitimate my excuse, I always get the feeling that my boss thinks I'm lying.

On one recent occasion, I had a valid reason but lied anyway, because the truth was just too darned humiliating. I simply mentioned that I had sustained a head injury, and I hoped I would feel up to coming in the next day. By then, I reasoned, I could think up a doozy to explain the bandage on the top of my head. The accident occurred mainly because I had given in to my wife's wishes to adopt a cute little kitty.

Initially, the new acquisition was no problem.

Then one morning, I was taking my shower after breakfast when I heard my wife, Deb, call out to me from the kitchen.

"Honey! The garbage disposal is dead again. Please come reset it."

"You know where the button is," I protested through the shower pitter-patter and steam. "Reset it yourself!"

"But I'm scared!", she persisted. "What if it starts going and sucks me in?" There was a meaningful pause and then, "C'mon, it'll only take you a second?" So out I came, dripping wet and butt naked, hoping that my silent outraged nudity would make a statement about how I perceived her behavior as extremely cowardly.

Sighing loudly, I squatted down and stuck my head under the sink to find the button. It is the last action I remember performing.

It struck without warning, and without any respect to my circumstances. No, it wasn't the hexed disposal, drawing me into its gnashing metal teeth. It was our new kitty, who discovered the fascinating dangling objects she spied hanging between my legs. She had been poised around the corner and stalked me as I reached under the sink. And, at the precise moment when I was most vulnerable, she leapt at the toys I unwittingly offered and snagged them with her needle-like claws. I lost all rational thought to control orderly bodily movements, blindly rising at a violent rate of speed, with the full weight of a kitten hanging from my masculine region.

Wild animals are sometimes faced with a "fight or flight" syndrome. Men, in this predicament, choose only the "flight" option. I know this from experience. I was fleeing straight up into the air when the sink and cabinet bluntly and forcefully impeded my ascent. The impact knocked me out cold!

When I awoke, my wife and the paramedics stood over me. Now there are not many things in this life worse than finding oneself lying on the kitchen floor butt naked in front of a group of "been-there, done-that" paramedics.

Even worse, having been fully briefed by my wife, the paramedics were all snorting loudly as they tried to conduct their work, all the while trying to suppress their hysterical laughter......and not succeeding.

Somehow I lived through it all. A few days later I finally made it back in to the office, where colleagues tried to coax an explanation out of me about my head injury. I kept silent, claiming it was too painful to talk about, which it was. "What's the matter?" They all asked, "Cat got your tongue?"
If they only knew!
My husband, "Why is it that only the women laugh at this?"

ME, "Too funny! Oh Yes….Have to pass this on! Holy cow! I DO think that all the men will cringe and the women will weep…..with laughter."

Husband,  "It does display the perils of an external reproductive system rather nicely...."
QOTD: "Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it." Bill Cosby (1937-) American Actor, Comedian and Producer

The Silent Treatment (A Woman's Perspective)...

A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment.  Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight.

Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper, "Please wake me at 5:00 AM ." He left it where he knew she would find it. The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight.  Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed.

The paper said, "It is 5:00 AM . Wake up."

Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests.

Understanding Women (A Man's Perspective)...

"I know I'm not going to understand women.  I'll never understand how you can take boiling hot wax, pour it onto your upper thigh, rip the hair out by the root, and still be afraid of a spider."

16 November 2009

Inspiring And Thought Provoking...

WARNING: Tear Jerker Post... Tissues May Be Required...

There are times when I read a post and the feelings it invokes are so profound that I have to stop and wonder if it TRULY was a coincidence that I read it at that particular time. Or, perhaps, was it meant to be a message or reminder to me to remember that despite everyday problems, there are truly inspiring things going on every day if only you open your eyes determined to see them. Determined to DO inspiring things which is often simply choosing to do the RIGHT thing.

Today, I not only had one post that hit me hard, it was followed immediately by another. (Honest, God, I don't need another slap upside the back of my head to get the message.... I promise.)

Both of these posts started out somewhat innocuously. By the end, they both packed a serious punch.

I must gratefully thank Brat of Tanker Brothers for linking to one of the most inspiring posts I have read in a long time by CJ at the VA Mortgage Center Blog entitled "Is Chivalry Dead?" Amazingly, CJ begins this post with a verbal snapshot about showing courtesy to a WWII veteran but goes on to describe, in all it's technicolor glory, a verbal vision of an amazing life version of 'Pay It Forward'... an article by Roger Dean Kiser entitled "The World. It Is A Changin." You should go read the whole thing but I wanted to post the final snippet from it...


"I don’t write this because I want/need a pat on the back. My purpose in sharing this experience is that you’ll be motivated to find someone you can go out of your way to help, whether or not they ask for it. It’s also to make you aware that there are people out there we don’t know with a history we’ve never heard. One simple act of kindness may be the only thing holding that person together when their personal life is trying to tear them apart."
The other post was by Eric over at Straight White Guy. A thought provoking post about how an old photograph finally has a chance to tell it's story.
"… and that is when my original curiosity – that had morphed into a laughable attempt to catch my Father (and fellow Marine) in a uniform hiccup slowly led to the realization of what I was really looking at..."
Thank you again, Eric, for sharing the picture's story. It made me wonder if any of the old pictures I have, still yearn to tell their stories.
QOTD: "We do not remember days; we remember moments." Cesare Pavese - The Burning Brand
(Originally posted 2 Sept 2007)

The Rest Of The Story...


I know that is is now past Veterans day, but a fellow blogger reminded me of this post.  I hope that he will post HIS original post but here is an interesting history lesson...





 


In the interest of angering the laundry Gods to whom I am supposed to be paying homage to by washing, drying, folding and putting away a gargantuan mountain of laundry (which I am still avoiding to post this) I was attempting to solve a little mystery. 




15 November 2009

A Series Of Unfortunate Events...

At the end of this post will be a poll (no it is NOT a quiz... sheesh!) and if you would be so kind as to participate. Believe me, by the end of this post... you'll be wanting to weigh in on the decision...

I asked my husband a couple of weeks ago to take the air conditioner out of the window. When the first hard frost comes and I'm shivering under the covers due to the draft coming through the air conditioner... well, it means it's time to take it out, winterize it and store it in the basement.

That is his job (when he is home and not off on super suit duties). Those air conditioners are heavy! How heavy? Read on...
So I bugged him a few more times about it even though I know he's been amazingly busy.  Time just flew as it sometimes does and he just never got around to it. (I know, the Red Sox games are riveting but still... actually, that's not really fair... it truly has been a very busy year and the truth is, it was 'I' who got impatient..)

Well, where we live there is this strange phenomena that happens twice a year. A couple of weeks in the spring and a couple of weeks in the fall, there are swarms of ladybugs. I had never seen anything like it until we moved here. When I say a swarm, I mean literally thousands of these flying insects. I used to think ladybugs were cute.

So the last few days, the ladybugs have been getting in through the air conditioner in our bedroom. On Wednesday night my husband vacuumed up hundreds of them that covered our bedroom ceiling, walls and windows. And still left the air conditioner where it was.

There is another bit of information about ladybugs that I wish I was still blissfully ignorant about. When ladybugs are squashed, batted or sucked up by the vacuum, they let off a bad odor. It's one of their defense mechanisms. Truly, I could have lived an extremely full and happy life without knowing this first hand!

Yesterday afternoon, it was cool in the morning and warm in the afternoon which is the only time they come out. Since I had woken up at 3am and could not get back to sleep, I had decided to take an lunchtime nap. I woke up about an hour later, covered in ladybugs... UGH!!!

They had, again, come in through the air conditioner in the window and were still streaming in as fast as I could vacuum them up. Finally, my last thread of patience snapped. I went to get the drill. I was going to take the air conditioner out of the window and put it on the bedroom floor for my husband to take care of.

Here's where the law of physics slapped me upside the head. I am about 5'3 and weigh just under 120 pounds. I figured the air conditioner couldn't weigh any more than about 50 pounds. (Yeah, well I was a tad bit off)

So here I am using the little screwdriver do-hickey on the drill. I remove the screws to the frame so that I can raise the window. The air conditioner is balanced on the window sill and with the window down and the air conditioner frame screwed in, all is good. BUT, when a 120 pound woman leans on the front of the 100 pound air conditioner as she is raising the window to release it, well.... had you been out side looking up at our second floor bedroom window you would have seen said air conditioner almost pull said woman out the window.

Luckily I caught the window frame in time to keep from heading south head first at a rapid rate of speed. Unfortunately for the air conditioner... well it's demise will be sorely rued come next summer.

Unfortunate also for the internet satellite dish that sits on the side of the house below our window... it is now sporting a new look. A beautiful divot. AND it was hit hard enough to knock it out of alignment, so NO internet.

I'm sure the oops look on my face was priceless as I leaned out the window to survey my handy work. **cough**

So I call the husband at work to tell him that he doesn't have to worry about taking the air conditioner out of the window any more.  
"You can thank me later. Oh, and by the way? I need you to pick the air conditioner off the ground outside our window. Okay?"
Silence greets my pronouncement. I can hear the wheels spinning.

So here is my poll...

If this were your husband, would you:

A. Vote him off the island for not having taken the air conditioner out when you asked him the first half dozen times or so.

B. Thank him profusely for picking up the air conditioner and putting it in his truck for disposal and attempting to re-align the satellite dish so that you could have your email and internet service back.

C. Laugh like a loon as you imagine just what you must have looked like to the neighborhood at large. (BTW, the squirrels and wild turkeys were not overly impressed by the entertainment)

D. Hand your husband a pillow to gently lay his head upon while sleeping on the couch.

E. Just say to yourself, "Suck it up, Buttercup" and chalk it up to 'Life's Lesson number 3,849'...
QOTD:
Earthworm: "It's not dirt, but it tastes good."
Spider: "Mmmmm. Better than ladybugs."
Ladybug: "What?"
Spider: "Excuse me."
From the movie, 'James And The Giant Peach'
 (Originally posted on 19 Oct 2007) (BTW, the last time I posted this it was almost split completely even across all five options... just goes to show that the guys tend to stick up for each other while the women are in complete agreement)

14 November 2009

Why Men Should Never Take Messages...

13 November 2009

Wax On, Wax Off...

Last night we were discussing the network system my husband has set up in our home and the fact that my face has been in an HTML book all day and I have not come up for air. My husband got to make dinner last night. :o)
Me: "Honey, can you tell me if it is possible to create a link within a web page that will take me to a different place within the same web page?"

Husband: "Should be in either the book you bought or the one I gave you."

Me: "Couldn't you just tell me if it is possible?"

Husband: "Yes, I could."

Me: "Well, is it?"

Husband: "Yes."

Me: "Where can I find out how to do it?"

Husband: "In the book."

Me: "Could you TELL me how to do it?"

Husband: "I don't remember. It's been a long time since I took those classes. I thought you had already done the lessons in the 'HTML and CSS in 24 Hours' book?"

Me: "No, I just have been cutting and pasting and looking up just the specific stuff. Like how to post a picture. How to change font and color. Now I'm trying to find the link thing but I can't find anything on it."
Husband: "Let me get this straight. You buy a book so you can learn how to fix up your web page in 24 hours and then you spend more time searching for stuff than if you had just done the lessons? You don't need a book 'for dummies' you need one for the 'incurably impatient.'"
OK, so he has a point. Sigh. After dinner I started from the beginning. :o(

You'd think that the rest of the dinner conversation would be taken up with school stuff considering that the kids start school in about a week and a half. Nope. Rachel had pulled up the bottom of her shirt to rub her tummy. Danielle decided that she now has a 'pudge' on her stomach. Both agreed that they didn't have hair on theirs like Daddy does. (Not that he has a lot, but he's a GUY)

I said that at least he wasn't one of those guys who model and wax all their body hair off. WRONG THING TO SAY. Great example of mouth diarrhea and not considering the audience.

Now although Danielle at 14 knows what this is (don't ask me how), Rachel who is 12 and Erin who is 8 definitely don't. To make matters worse, I had just seen a blog about a poor woman who had to sit on frozen peas due to 1/2 a Brazillian Wax job gone horribly wrong.

It probably was not very funny for this woman but with this picture of a woman sitting only on her right side with a package of frozen peas in my mind's eye and the look on my husband's face from the model comment, I started laughing and couldn't stop. Anyway, I really wasn't going to mention this out loud. Everyone was looking at me like I had lost my mind. I was trying so hard not to laugh that by this time that I had tears running down my face. I would look at my husband and the expression on his face would set me off again into whoops of laughter.

I finally had to explain in as watered down terms as I could think of because of the younger kids. I was laughing and crying so hard by this point that I don't think they got much of the story but Danielle did catch on to the gist.

Danielle turned to her father with an angelic look on her face that she only gets when she's going to do something really bad and says that we should get him a gift certificate for a full Brazillian Wax job. I about fell out of my chair.
QOTD: "For one word a man is often deemed to be wise, and for one word he is often deemed to be foolish. We should be careful indeed what we say." Confucius (c.550-c.478BC) [Analects]
 (Originally posted on 21 Aug 2006)

08 November 2009

I Think I Tweaked My Blog Until It Exploded...

**UPDATE:  It has been pointed out to me that looking at my blog in mozilla foxfire is a lot better than in internet explorer.  I hope my visitors (and CRAP there were a LOT of you yesterday!) Will be kind enough to tell me any other problems I may be missing in any of the web browsers.  Pretty please?**

**ANOTHER UPDATE: I am starting over from the begining again...  :o(

Um, yeah.  I think you can tell that I am having technical difficulties.  But worry not!  I am a woman... and I have a PLAN!
BEG!  Yup, that's my plan.  I'm going to try to find someone, ANYONE who can figure out why my posts are cascading like this.  And why my right side... the one hiding under the middle, is afraid to come out and play.

I probably should mention that a blog about lemonade should probably not have a flower and butterfly but I am working on it.  If I were magical, I would zap a few lemons and lemonade in there, as it is... I'm begging Danielle to work her magic on the computer to give me something similar.

And if all else fails?

I'll go back to the beginning and start again...
QOTD: "I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is 'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle!" Alice in Wonderland

07 November 2009

Position In The Universe...

Danielle was a little nervous about going away, and her Dad's solution was to dole out his unique wisdom...
 
Danielle got a scholarship to a really cool 3 week summer camp in New York. Her father and I took her to the place she was to catch her ride. She was very excited and didn't have a single problem with parental separation. (I, on the other hand, have not taken the separation with the same aplomb. I am getting a taste of how it will be in the very near future as our kids start heading off to college.)

The Husband was his usual self...

We got out of the van and hauled the luggage out to the sidewalk where about six other kids and their families waited for the transportation to arrive.
Husband, "Well, have a good time. I need to go get a cup of coffee. Love you. Bye."

Danielle, "What? I'm not more important than your coffee?"

Husband, "We all have our priorities and I always say you should know your position in the universe."
Danielle, "I should be number 1. Just where am I on your list of priorities?"

Husband, "Well, coffee is number 1. I guess you could be number 2 but I am not sure about that. Let me think about it for a while and I'll get back to you."

Me, "What about bacon? How come that's not high on your list?"
Husband, "Because the list is written on bacon." (my husband is having a love affair with his bacon)
Danielle and I just rolled our eyes.

Yes, it was comforting to me that the family dynamics do not change much as we get older.

Luckily our daughter has been able to have email communication where she is at. I told Danielle that I had sent her a care package.

Yesterday I received a letter from camp...

Mom,
Package, did you say? A package for moi? You shouldn't have! (ok, yeah, you should have. Manners are the epitome of humanity...I think?) When do you think it should get here?

This is my (almost - a couple weeks shy) 15 year old daughter writing. I'm thinking I should brace myself for the future...
QOTD: "Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and, I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known." Carl Sagan (1934-1996) American Astronomer and Popular Science Writer

06 November 2009

Rice Krispies, Butt Wind and Out of the Mouths of Babes...

A evening in the life of the Lemon Stand family... 
At the dinner table last, our daughter Nicole cracked her neck by pushing sideways on her jaw with her hands on her head. *popping noise*

Rachel, not to be out done by any of her sisters, tries the same thing and nothing happens.

Nicole, attempts to further contort her body by turning upper torso around in chair until she sounds like a commercial for Rice Krispies.  (Snap, crackle and pop)
ME "Eeeewwww, ok, that's enough. This is not appropriate behavior for the dinner table. Besides, it's not very good for your back or neck."

Husband agreeably warns, while cracking his knuckles (he's such a guy!) "It really won't be good for 'your neck' if I hear it again..."
Erin, who then lets out a lady like burp, "Sorry Mom."

Before I could say anything Rachel came back with, "Better to pass gas through the mouth than the butt."

ME (I just HAD to ask), "Why?"

Rachel, proudly proclaims "You can clear a room faster with butt wind than belching. It's a known fact. I've proven it."  (She has too.  Although she likes beans the rest of us have to wear gas masks after she indulges.)

Nicole, ribbing her sister as elder sisters always do, "We need to lock Rachel in a big bubble when she has any beans. She can be bubble girl. That way when she farts she only asphyxiates herself."

Rachel, "Where's the fun in that?"

Husband threatens, "If she gets the bubble then you get the zip lock bag..."
Later when our youngest daughter, Erin, who is 8 years old, complained of a headache I thought that giving her some Tylenol then putting her to bed a little early would probably be a good thing.
As Erin crawled into bed she said, "Mommy, my bed has to be fixed."
From the other corner of the room Rachel, deliberately misunderstanding, said "Your bed doesn't have to be neutered, it can't reproduce."

Erin will always try to win a verbal battle with Rachel, regardless of the subject, "But then where do cat beds come from?"

Rachel, with a straight face says, "The come from a bed manufacturing facility.  Don't you ever notice how beds are stacked? One right on top of the other?"

Yeah, it's time for me to step in as Rachel at age 12 still hasn't learned what 'age appropriate' is, "End of subject!  It's time for you to sleep."

Erin,with a puzzled look on her face, "But how are the beds made?  The same way I was?"

I can't tell you how much I wanted to say "pretty much"...  :o)

ME, "This is a talk for another day.  Go to sleep"

Erin grumpily says, "Why do I always have to go to sleep just when the talk gets interesting?"


ME, "If you really want "the reproducing and how babies are made talk" right now, I will be happy to explain it to you."  (I'm thinking Reader's Digest version because if my kids are brave enough to ask, then they deserve an answer.  Since Erin is the youngest and there is a 7 year difference in age between Nicole and her, she knows approximately what subject 'the talk' is about.  But that story is for another day.)

I guess Erin quickly changed her mind (every girl's prerogative) and said, "Mommy, do we have to? I really don't want a long talk about sex tonight, I have a headache."
Out of the mouths of babes.
QOTD: "I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick. Not wounded. Dead." Woody Allen (1935-) American Actor, Author, Screenwriter and Film Director
(Originally published 5 April 2007)

05 November 2009

Mother/Daughter Conversations...


Nicole, "Mom, have you ever thought about having an affair?"

Me, "No."

Erin, "Mommy would never look at another guy!"
**rolling my eyes**
Rachel, "Mom looks at other guys. Her eyes glaze over anytime she sees Hugh Jackman!"

Me "Hmmmm. I don't know if you could consider day dreaming as actually thinking about having an affair. I can tell you that I truly appreciate nicely proportioned, testosterone enhanced scenery as well as any other woman."

Danielle, (to her sisters) "You can be happily married and appreciate other men.... you just can't jump on them like they're the last chopper out of 'Nam."
My jaw dropped.
Danielle, "Well, it's true! I heard it on a comedy podcast."
My parents NEVER prepared me for this!
QOTD: "The perfect love affair is one that is conducted entirely by post." George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish literary critic, Playwright and Essayist
(Orginally posted 22 Apr 2007)

I Couldn't Resist...

Hate Your Job And Need A New Perspective?

Are you having a bad day at work? Thanks to an old email I have just the thing to change that lemon into lemonade...

04 November 2009

Words of wisdom from a 16 year old...

Nicole, "'Normal' is not a state of being...  'Normal' is a setting on your washer."
QOTD: "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats."   H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) US Editor
PS (I honestly have NO idea why I put this particular quote with this post... it IS possible that I did not get my daily ration of chocolate...)

(Originally posted 4 Oct 2007)

03 November 2009

Bedtime Conversation...

ME to Erin: "Time for bed. Go get into your pajamas and brush your teeth."
Erin: "But I'm not tired. It's not a school night. I don't want to go to bed."

ME: "It's already way past your bedtime, it's time to go to sleep."
Erin heads over to Daddy because Mommy wants to send her to bed. She starts hugging him.
Erin: "It's not fair Daddy. I don't want to go to bed."
Husband hugs her and rubs her back.
Husband to Erin: "You're absolutely right. I think you should really show Mommy how you feel about this. Just lay down and don't do anything. You really need to use the passive resistance option. Just be really quiet and don't move.... and since you'll probably be doing it for a while you might as well be really confortable, so you might as well lie on your bed."

**blink, blink**
Erin: "Hey, wait a minute... I'm not stupid you know."

Husband: "I know you're not. I was absolutely sure you would figure it out because I KNOW you are really smart!"

QOTD: "Children from the age of five to ten should watch more television. Television depicts adults as rotten SOB's, given to fistfights, gun play, and other mayhem. Kids who believe this about grownups aren't likely to argue about bedtime." P. J. O'Rourke (1947-) American Political Commentator, Journalist, Writer and Humorist
(Originally published 4 Mar 2007)

Do Chinese Kids Try to Dig Their Way to America?

My family was sitting down at a restaurant having lunch. The question was actually stated more like this:
“When Chinese kids go out in their back yards, and they start to dig a hole, do their Mothers yell out the back door for them to stop digging a hole to America? Do they use a shovel made in the USA?”
I bet that you are wondering right about now, what prompted one of the kids to ask this question. Unless you were John or Kelly :o) They would know that this question did NOT come from one of the kids but from my very own Husband. And I don’t have to wonder where THAT memory came from. I can see his Mom in my mind’s eye. She’s probably telling him to put the dirt BACK in the hole. I wouldn’t presume to know what she was thinking, but if I had a child as prone to mischief (euphemism judiciously used here) as he was, I probably would have just told him to go ahead and dig it deep enough so that nobody would find his body when I came over to fill it in over his corpse.

The Husband is one of 7 kids. As a matter of fact he is #6. I hope he doesn’t mind me posting this here but I gotta tell you that I’m SURE his parents have attained Saint status. Especially his Mom.

My husband says he was kicked out of Sunday school at a very early age and many people can’t imagine why any church would do this (especially when he tells the story with such a straight face) but then you’d have to know some of the other stories that came out of his childhood.

His mother banned him from going into any stores for about 7 years because he would hide in the clothes racks from her. He wouldn’t come out when she called or got worried. Then one day he did that and then went to a store manager and told him that his mother had left him. Guess that was the last straw. I don’t blame her. I would have blown a gasket.

He once carved one of his brother’s names on his brother’s bed, just so he could see him talk his way out of it. Admittedly, his brother could talk himself from a hubcap to a car in very little time (he had an amazing gift) but this was a pretty mean blow. I was so happy when my husband told me that although his brother didn’t rat on him to his parents, he beat the snot out of him later. :o) Don’t you just love to see justified paybacks really do happen sometimes?

My husband really has too many historic family events to ever get them all in writing but I have to tell you that he also broke a different brother’s ribs with a wrist rocket once but then again, Karma really does happen. His brother returned the favor by pushing him down a set of stairs sometime later. The landed on both of his hands trying to break his fall. Instead he broke both his thumbs. At the same time. No opposing digits working. Imagine, if you will, trying to button a button, zipping a zipper, picking up and holding silverware, a cup, etc. without opposing digits. Yep, Karma at work.

Nowadays, my husband calls up to apologize to his Mom. Often. It’s that Karma thing coming around again. The pre-teen and teenage years of his own children. I can hear the laughter of fate in my mind…
QOTD: “It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off.” Anonymous
(Originally posted on 30 Jul 2006)