I love these people!

Friday, October 31, 2008


Ooh, Happy Halloween everybody!
I love to post on October 31st! So much raucous good fun!

This is where I would insert the festive pictures, artfully arranged and lit of course, of our jack-o-lantern team... if I had been able to find my camera last night after we finished carving them. Maybe later, I guess.

And this is where I would put a picture of the cute costume that I'm wearing to work to show that I am a bean counter with a sense of whimsy as well as a desire to be a team player. IF I was wearing anything more festive than pumpkin earrings and a pin that says BOO! And, oh yeah, can't find my camera anyway.

And ladies and gentlemen, here is where I would tell you about my elaborate plans to foil the little $hithead juvenile criminals that steal my awesome pumpkins off our porch and smash them in the street just to prove that they are stronger than large vegetables. Is it possible to run a little 'juice' through the jack-o-lanterns so their boxers sizzle a little when they pick one up? Not that my pumpkins are all that special this year because I just wasn't feeling the juju, but the mental picture of a pumpkin thief trying to run with his gangsta jeans zapped down to his ankles lightens my mood a bit.

And finally here is where I would put cute pics of my sweet daughters dressed in their adorable little Halloween costumes... except that 'little' is the only term that applies to their costumes and I don't think the internet creeps need to see photos of Hoochie Fairy Girl and Slutty Deviless... even if their overly judgemental mother had a camera.

As I was getting ready for work this morning, Homer declared his desire that we dress up in costumes tonight.
To answer the door and pass out candy, he says.
Okey dokey, dude. You dig out your cowboy costume and I'll dress up as the bitchy accountant... just like every day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Laura Bush has my condolences

"Hey, Dubya! This is Jane! How's it hanging there in D.C?"

"Good, good to hear. Hey, the reason I'm calling... I just wanted to thank you SO much. I really appreciate that you thought you were answering my domestic prayers and all but... I think you might need your ears cleaned, because when I joked that 'we' needed a wife, I meant the whole family needed someone EXTRA to take care of all those crappy tasks that I not only don't have time for... but, frankly, don't want to do. "

"Yep, yep. Like detoxifying the veggie drawer and scrubbing the skid marks from the toilet bowl. "

"Yeah, ick! That's what I say, too! Ick!"

"But Georgie, I DIDN'T say that I need a house husband. "

"Yeah, I know, it sounds good in theory, and oh I'm sure you'll make an excellent one... I guess we're going to find out pretty soon here, huh?"


"Ohhhh, that's what you've been up to. Shining up the Lincoln bathroom, are you?"

"Well, good for you! You go, Tydebol man!"

"Oh, he's a... never mind. That was just a (really bad) joke. But, now see, what I want to talk about is this whole financial crisis you got us into? "

"Yeah, that's the one."

"It's gone too far, Dub. I've been pretty patient. I battled the hella high gas prices by riding my bike and piggybacking my errands. I've been sticking to the sales to stretch my food budget far enough to feed ALL my family members and we've cut back on the luxuries like 2-ply toilet tissue and meat."

"No, I'm sure you weren't even aware there are alternatives. I have to tell you that cheap toilet paper is not your friend when you do all that bike riding but we're working that out... notsomuch with what's been happening lately. See, I'm not going to be able to retire at 62 like you. No, probably not even at 72 because my retirement account is kinda looking like my gas gauge... way down below a quarter tank. "
"No, it wasn't always like that... and now this last week pretty much bites the pie, dude, because thanks to your little credit crunch, builders aren't building because investors aren't investing because lenders aren't lending. You know what that means for me, Gee? That means that project managers aren't managing. It means they are on HIATUS."
"HI - A - TUS. That's a fancy word for staying at home. "

"Yes, that does sound like fun if you are tired of working."

"Oh you are..."

"But see, that means that I now have a house husband... who prefers the term Mr. Mom."

"Uh, huh. Yeah, I liked that movie, too."

"Laura lets you play with the vacuum, does she? Well, I bet that IS a good time... you be careful, hear? Now back to me, George. See, I still have a job. I want to keep my job. I need to get my job done. I don't need 57 phone calls and emails every day asking me how to undelete junkmail (for???) and where we keep the boat polish."

"Nope, I truly have NO opinion on whether the mower should be lowered a notch."

"Entertaining? Well, it should have been funny when he locked himself out of the house and his truck in the same day, but after a while it all accumulates on top of my last nerve and I tend to rocket right off the anger management wagon. "

"She did? Oh, dude, I'd lay low for a while if I were you. And in the future, keep your hands off the hand washables."
"Okay, anyhowdy, I really need to know when you think this shit is going to end. "

"Yeah, I know. I heard about the bailout and all that. "

"Uh, huh. See, I'm wondering if you have any idea when that's going to start taking effect."

"Sometime in January... after you leave office... and not before... ahhh... I see."

"Shit Georgie, I hope you are so right because meanwhile, if I should happen to beat myself into a coma with my stapler or stab a mechanical pencil through my frontal lobe there will be one more family in America without health insurance... or clean toilets. "

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hot pots/Cool Time

Sunday we took Homer on a birthday hike up Diamond Fork Canyon,
which is about an hour south of Whytown.
It was a gorgeous day as far as October in Youtah goes -
close to 70 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

About 2.5 miles up the canyon,

there are some wonderful hot springs just made for soaking your bones.

We soaked and had a little picnic with some friends.

The water was very warm and the scenery was beautiful.

Notice the hot 'tubs' down in the right corner.

The blue, milky water is from some of the springs, I guess.

These girls gave the trip two thumbs up:

THIS, however, turned out to be a lie:

But I guess you can't have everything.

Oh, btw, those hats are actually hunter orange (damn camera!).

We were careful to wear bright colors since it was still deer hunting season.

I chose to wear a red sweatshirt... in fact, I wore 'the' sweatshirt.

But I washed it first.


Smilin' Shanna, whom I love, even though she has left me high, 'dry' (Youtah-duh!) and photographerless by running off to live down in Tayksus, has given me an award.

Here is what I must do: List 6 things that I love then pass the award onto (along with the rules) 6 blogs that I love! Those were the rules in case you are wondering.

Okay.... keep in mind these aren't the ONLY 6 things... or the TOP 6 things... I don't want to start anything... family: stay calm... I mean I obviously love my family otherwise I wouldn't be putting up with them day after frustrating day... until my nails are nibbled to the quick and... uh sorry, um... 6 things I love. In no particular order. And of no MAJOR significance.

1) Our dog. I won't go into that again because it is just sickening how that pile of pup can make me into one of those freaky, ooshy-gooshy pet people that I poke fun at.

2) Sleep. I love it and I'm good at it. Every night is a crazy dream-adventure, which I generally keep to myself to avoid being forcibly medicated.

3) Audiobooks. It's often best that I NOT be left alone with my thoughts when I'm riding or driving or cleaning the house. Also a must-have for driving through Nevada.

4) My bike. I admit I have become addicted to riding. There are no traffic jams when you only have 2 wheels. I even dream about riding on water and through the air! Oops, NOTtalkingaboutdreams....

5) Thai food. Pad Thai, red curry, green curry, yellow curry and all the things I have to point at on the menu because I can't get past the tom part.

6)Glass. I'm attracted to most shiny objects but glass is my favorite - especially stained glass.

Okay, that's done. Now for 6 blogs I love. It was a crazy weekend at Why-central and I have much catching up to do, so if I happen to pick someone that has already been picked, just go with it, okay? You can put TWO little thingys on your sidebar and feel even more honored.

Kat, SNJunie, Tracy and um... I gotta go but I'll add the rest later.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

S'not my fault!

We were already running about 5 minutes late for school/work this morning when Alpha bounded into the kitchen wearing my sweatshirt... the one she barely gave back to me two days ago. The one she borrowed a month ago and left at her friend's house. In fact, the one that had I not witnessed the friend returning and made a lucky grab, I would still be without. Oh, wait! I am still without it, because it is back on the kid.

So there we are making a dash for the door, when I remember that the sweatshirt she is wearing is the same one I wore when I rode home yesterday. On my bike. In 48 degree weather.

Have I mentioned that although I can tell you my 7th grade locker combination, 40-7-1, I cannot EVER remember to take a Kleenex with me when I ride? Have I mentioned that I have a fairly thin, worthless nose that does not hold heat well? Well, for sure I haven't mentioned that I often resort to my sleeve for... um... moisture management. I know, sick, huh?. Don't worry, I'm discreet. I make it look more like I'm dabbing sweat. Nose sweat. From inside my nose.

But back to the door. Girl in snotty sweatshirt vs. mom who is LATE and will be LATER if girl goes to change her top. I hate moral dilemmas.... dilemmi?

It turned out not to be much of a battle between the little Janes on my shoulders. The devil one said 'Fagettaboutit!'... the angel one said 'Mrph frft crsht' which I think was 'let's go get muffins!' I thought about lifting up my purse strap and asking her to repeat, but... shit! I was LATE!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Recidivism at its worst

I no sooner finish singing her praises,
when we witness the

Return of the Panty Habit!

Curiously, those underwear had a solid crotch when they were purchased and worn but not when they came out of the dryer.

I'm pretty sure I know whose handiwork it was, but how do you punish a face like this:

I'm hoping internet humiliation is the key to reform.

Cuz, I'm such the expert

Last night I was chatting with a friend whose oldest child has just started second grade CCD. For those of you who don’t rotate in Catholic circles, CCD is religious education and second grade is big; it’s the year that culminates in their First Communion and with that comes a WHOLE lot of memorization of many things religious.

Noni is very stressed over her son’s lack of focus and apparent inability to memorize the entire book of Exodus. Kid-ding. But she was seriously worried that he was sliding straight to hell because he couldn’t remember the Our Father (Lord’s Prayer to many of us).

I was a bit surprised to realize that she was looking for pointers… from ME! True, I am a veteran mother of 2 fully Catholocized offspring, but remember I am a Protestant – I only pretend to be a Catholic. Okay, I’m not trying to fool anybody. I just go along with the family because I really do like the peeps. They are very cool and where else can you get wine with your spaghetti dinner… at CHURCH? And every time they do ANYTHING, there is cake! The really good Costco kind.

Well, anydoodle, soon she had me stumbling down memory lane back to the days when I would be cleaning the kitchen after dinner and the girls would be sitting on a stool practicing their church stuff. The Lord’s Prayer went pretty well, once we got the ‘Our Father who AREN’T in heaven…’ part fixed.

Some of the other things were also the same as I had learned, however, I knew I was going to have to pay a bit more attention when my oldest was working on her ‘Hail Mary’ because even a lapsed Lutheran can recognize that ‘… fruit of the loom, Jesus Christ’ is probably not the proper wording.

Definitely the good old days.

So, I told her not to worry because they still have 6 months to get it all down and it will come to him just like everything else has. He's a smart boy and soon the peer pressure and evil eye of his catechist will conspire to 'motivate' him more than a mere mother can.

What I wanted to say was “Honey, you better relax because you are going to need to save every single wit for when your high school kid has to read ‘The Scarlet Letter’ and he begs you to help him decipher all that is written in so unclear a language as to give one the vapors, which is to say that you findeth the punishment so unusual and cruel as to suck the blood from your brain and goodness from your soul.”

Yeah! I know! Kind of makes that memorization stuff look like a piece of cake… the good Costco cake.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What I like to call brain lint

Miscellaneous little tidbits that have collected in my head:

I saw that fashion critic, Mr. Blackwell, has died. Maybe because I am wearing black shoes with my navy pants today. Now who's going to give us 'The Lists' every year? Probably not me *hiding shoes*.

My mail-in ballot came on Saturday so I'm going to 'vote' during lunch today. This is SO much better than standing in line... not that my presidential vote will matter, because I live in such a homogenous state of people who vote the OTHER way. The people-in-charge don't think that we all can vote responsibly enough to abolish the electoral college. I DO NOT GET THIS.

Speaking of voting... did you hear that Colin Powell is voting for Barack instead of his 'good friend' John McCain? That's gotta smart a little.

From Alpha: Sarah Palin... parasailin'... coincidence? You decide.

I was going to watch SNL to see SP but decided to watch a movie instead, figuring it's easier to grab the 'good parts' off the internet. I can't decide if I'm efficient or lazy.

Omega's got a nasty case of the coughy crud. Even when they are 16, mom-ears still pick up that kind of thing in the middle of the night. I suppose this will ripple through the troops like the last thing she brought home. She's always been generous, that one.

Researchers have now found that women who got 6 to 7 hours of sleep were 11 pounds heavier than those who slept 7 to 8 hours a night. So... I just need to figure out a way to get... let's see... about 20 hours of sleep. Okay, I'm exaggerating but no shit, Sherlock, the more you sleep the less time you have to eat. And all these years they've been prescribing weight-loss pills that energize us. Chalk one more up for lazy!

Still haven't decided what to wear to work for Halloween. I'm kind of a last minute, throw-it-together kind of girl... aka: procrastinator extroardiare. Too lazy to spellcheck that.

Well, I'm sure there's more but I think you've suffered enough.

Have a Monday everyone.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Today's thought on marriage

Menopausal moodiness (real or imaginary) may come and go but asshole lasts forever.

Friday, October 17, 2008

More a lipsyncher than a whisperer

In a few weeks our family will be celebrating one year of dog ownership... in the respect that we have been owned by a dog for almost a year. It's unbelievable that Princess PepperAnn has tolerated us for nearly 366 days. Especially come to find out, I have been dog-parenting ALL WRONG!

Our walks are not at all up to code. Not only do I make my dog go in/out the door before I do (how else am I going to open/close the doors?) but I use one of those retractable leashes that so even though she chooses mostly to trot by my side, she is free to stop and sniff and ramble about in her 12-foot bubble of freedom around me. It is HER walk, after all.
I also let her sleep with me... on my bed... which is the exact same level as me, the supposed pack leader. Hey, her breath is much better than the other animal I sleep with and she has never produced anything silent but deadly. The only time I regret giving her bed rights is when she pulls the covers off me in the morning to roust my lazy butt.
Hmm... oh yeah, I let her jump on me. It's part of an incredible 'welcome home' package which also includes lots of licky! Are you shocked yet?My sweet neighbor keeps trying to give me tips on teaching her to fetch. Psht! Like anyone can't play that game. We like the game where she rockets by me trailing a fleece toy from her mouth and I try to grab it. If I miss, she runs by a bit closer or slower to help me out and keep me from quitting in frustration. When I do manage to grab hold, I'm rewarded with a game of tug o' war. There is a fetch aspect of it, too, but it's pretty much her call. I mean do you tell your kids how to play their games?

As far as working for my affection? Ha! I can't even walk by her without disgusting pda's. She is just that yummy!

When we brought her home from the pound, the manual (yes, they gave us one) was a big proponent of the kenneling thing. That just didn't set well with me so I set up a quiet area for her in the laundry room - a place where she could go and not be bothered, where she would feel safe. Well, she is a border collie. Do not ever adopt a border collie unless every moment of your life can stand up to intense canine scrutiny. She has no desire to be by herself. Her job is to watch EVERYTHING I do... 24/7/52. The only time she will retreat to her laundry room is if I turn on the big, bad vacuum or clip my nails. I didn't say she didn't have some... um... idiosyncrasies.

The whole food-as-a-reward thing? I give her a bowl of kibble twice a day whether she's done my ironing or not but I do let her lick the Friskie's spoon in exchange for herding the cats to the 'table'.

One advantage to being studied so well by a dog is that you really don't have to say much... even in a whisper. I have never yelled at her, I've never really had to punish her. Back when her diet consisted largely of flipflops and panty crotches, one stern look would send her sulking. I'm not even sure why she quit - probably because I blogged about it. For fun I smile at her, which starts her tale wagging then I quickly raise an eyebrow, which stops it... smile...wag...brow up... no wag. This repairs the part of your self-esteem that is worn down by having teenagers that pay you no attention.

The worst thing PA does anymore is shred an occasional boogie-filled tissue or sneak snack bars out of my purse during the night. She doesn't eat them, but when I wake up in the morning and find a FiberOne bar on the floor, I imagine it's her way of saying 'I could have eaten that and given Mr. Nightfarts a run for his money.'
But thankfully, she doesn't, so how can you not totally love this 32 pound, fur-coated package of princess!?

Educating Jane

There's a lot I don't know and I admit it pretty freely. It's hard to get information if you have to pretend you already HAVE the information and nothing stabs my sternum like not knowing EVERYTHING. Okay, I also enjoy outing people who pretend to know things, but don't, but that's just a side hobby.

Anyway, my current need is to know WTF Brooke Shields is talking about in the Volkswagen commercial that played last night during the Saturday Night Live Thursday Update (or whatev it's called), which was hilarious, by the way. Either you know the commercial or you don't. I've seen it a few times and still don't get it. Could someone explain it to me?

Please use simple words in your explanation and type s-l-o-w-l-y. Thank you.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Worth coming to work for

This is the kind of bosses day card that pretty much
makes up for all the icky bossy* things that bosses are required to do.

And should be thanks enough.

But when combined with chocolate and lunch at my favorite restaurant
(it's tamale Thursday!),
I will probably be signing bonus checks by mid-afternoon because
it is WAY more than I deserve.

Happy Bosses Day
to everyone who bosses anyone!

*not official bossish terminology

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hair Today

Do you ever have one of those mornings where you wake up and look in the mirror and think that you must have slept standing up because your hair actually looks pretty dang good?
Yeah, not that often for me either.

But for some reason you feel obligated to touch up a few spots here... and there... because after all you have prebudgeted hair time that needs to be used up... and pretty soon your head looks like the bad end of a donkey.
That would be me today - walking around academia as the poster child for 'can't leave well enough alone'.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Saving the economy one sheet set at a time!

Well, if I got four pillowcases in my gold queen set in You-tah.
And Kat got four pillowcases in her white king set in Texas.
And I read some of the reviews on the Target website that ALSO mentioned four pillowcases.
I think there is a good chance that there could be more sets out there with four pillowcases.
Personally, I'd like to discuss it more but I have to hustle back to the Target.
...if you're wondering what the package said, I have to admit that I threw it in the trash without reading it... in the icky kind of trash where there's no turning back.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Right on Target!

Long, long ago I moved here to You-tah from the mid-north. While the weather was a definite upgrade, ifyoucanbelieveit there was NO TARGET! I know! It was like living on Gilligan's Island ... without coconuts.

Then about 15 years ago, it arrived. Not simply Target but a SUPER-Target was planted just a half-mile from my front door, I think to reward me for my ten years of hard shopping. And now we have kind of like a marriage; I give them half of everything I earn and they provide me with shampoo, sports bras, lamps and chocolate... and the dollar aisle! I think the dollar aisle might be the sex in Target love!

My retail spouse is always there for me and yesterday was no exception. I won't take you through every item on my receipt because it would be so wrong to bring up the Saran wrap and personal lubricant but... things like bobby pins - the BLONDE bobby pins. And Pumpkin Spice Kisses... mm-mmm... And then these sheets that I saw in the sales flyer:

Oooh... all cotton, 450 thread count, the perfect shade of gold, on sale for $39.99 and they had a queen set in stock. Doesn't get much better, you say? Ah, but it does.

I took the sheets home, opened the plastic protector , pulled out all the cardboard and threw the golden jumble into the washer.
And then into the dryer.
And then I started to fold them...
fitted sheet...
cuz the fitted sheet's a bitch to fold...
pillow case...
pillow case...
pillow case.
What? Three pillow cases? I tried not to pee myself. Could there possibly be another?
Flat sheet...
pillow case!
There were four pillowcases in this set! I was so excited that someone in the linen industry finally 'got it'. I mean does anyone have less than 2 pillows each? We actually have three each because we keep two in the shams, that match the duvet, which we use to throw over the functional pillows... so you don't see the drool spots and stuff. Yes, we are the glamour family.

You have no idea how this silly little thing buoyed my day. On the one hand I was thinking how this was going to totally save me from my pillowcase problem - deciding which pillowcases to rob from what other set to coordinate with this set (don't even start with me on buying the extra pillowcases at $20 a pair). On the other hand, I'm all 'why did no one think of this BEFORE my med levels had to be quadrupled?!?!?'

So, I was excited to tell you all about this, believing that there might be people just like me out there. Well, not JUST like me because that would be redundant... and frightening, but people who have more than the standard allotment of pillows. And I got ready to write this post and I looked up the link on the internet... you know... just to prove that it wasn't the imaginings of someone who, say... stumbled upon a forgotten bottle of gin while cleaning.
And guess what? THIS is what it says:

• 4 pc. Sheet Set
• Includes Fitted Sheet, Flat Sheet, 2 Pillowcases

• 100% Cotton, Tumble Dry, Machine Wash

• 450-Thread-Count

• Gold, Stripe Pattern

TWO pillowcases. Not four. They DON'T get it after all. It was totally the mistake of some Indonesian sheet packer.
And now I'm so sad that I have to go back to cleaning... because the liquor store is closed today.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I tell ya, snow joke

Wow, TGIM! Another day of weekend would have surely killed me. I crossed the last item off my list at about 9:30 last night. That new profile pic is supposed to exhibit my exhausted/bitter look but I think it comes closer to saying something like... "Halloween has come early for this wicked, witchy housewench." See where your heinous punishments have driven me?

Never mind what I just said, I couldn't stand that face so I changed to my queenly picture.

I cleaned all the ripe goods out of the garden on Friday night, but Homer convinced me to leave the rest because he was sure we were only in for a 'few nights of cold temps' and then it would be back to the 70's. I bowed to the great Gardenmaster and left the almost-ripe stuff. We covered the garden on Saturday night and Sunday it looked like this:

Oops, someone kicked their covers off in the night.
Can you believe that crap? Our fourth-earliest snowfall EVER. The leaves are still on the trees - and green! - for Pete's sake.

Someone else is not amused:

Well, me either, at the thought of trying to wrangle that frozen hose onto the reel as part of the 'clean the patio' item.

Okay, I'm really irritated that these two pictures seem to be bonded together.
Uh! Now, I've totally LOST the last picture... which I no longer have available for upload.
Well, there goes MY charming good nature for the day. It was a cute doggie-playing-in-the-snow shot. Awww...

So... yeah, back to The List. I want you to know that not only did I finish the list but I took full advantage of my organizational ADD, and managed to clean the laundry room, deep clean our bedroom, clean the kitchen SEVERAL times, cook a few meals AND crack the whip on the girls to get their work done. I did all this because I was a woman motivated... no, more like frightened. By what you ask?

Drum roll please...

The Pedicure.

I'm not sure if it was the prospect of having to GIVE the pedicure, or imagining how much Homer would enjoy it that inspired me. The man was right at the top of my other list this weekend - the one that lists all the different kinds of feces. This being the case, Lorrie's suggestion of tic-tac-toe three nights in a row was probably my number 2 choice. Again because I was in no mood to make his life more um... LAZY.

Okay... *deep breath*... back to my happy place...

Wait, just one more word... ASS!

Okay, much better now. And so my lovely winner, Nodope, if you email your particulars to me, I will send you your prize. If you're concerned that I might stalk you, go ahead and rent a PO Box, but be aware that since you live in Iowa, you are probably safe until spring thaw and by then I will have lost your address. I am not a very organized stalker. And I pretty much close up shop in the winter. Brrr... who wants to sit in a cold car... drinking lukewarm coffee... for hours with no potty breaks...
I mean, I've heard that stalking is better in the summer... not like I'd know.

I do have to compliment you ALL one your suggestions. I learned a lot, especially that our sweet Shanna has a cruel streak. And I think I might apply Anony Miss's suggestion to my evening tasks. No task completion, no makeup the next day. That way the world can share in my misery.

The bird doesn't fall far from the window

Proof that us Why women are cut from the same cloth:

The whole family is scarfing down their biscuits and gravy on a peaceful Sunday morning when they hear the familiar sound of a bird smacking loudly into the living room window. Poor Homer is mortified and runs to look.

Jane calls: "CatTwo-oo!!""

Jane, Alpha and Omega in unison: "Cleanup on aisle...
Jane: ...four!"
Alpha: ... seven!"
Omega: ...three!"

Alpha: "I like how we all say different numbers."

I like how we all have the same dark sense of humor. Sometimes I am just so proud to be a mom.

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's good to have goals

At this very moment I am feeling quite energetic and optimistic about how wisely I'm going to use my weekend. But I often feel that way on Friday, only to have my hopes tank like the Titanic. Call it lazy... or distraction... or willfulness, but Jane-with-Good-Intentions usually becomes Suddenly-its-Sunday-Night Jane.

Since I have used up half the weekends of my life, I need a new plan. The best I can think of so far is to set myself up with a little bit of internet-pressure.

My idea is to make a list, post it here and then come Monday I will have my post-of-reckoning where I will have to shamefully admit if I didn't complete all my tasks. But this will only work if there are consequences and since failing grades didn't scare me in college, I doubt they'll work now. Here's where you all come in.

I need you to come up with your best idea for Jane-appropriate punishment. Never mind what you're thinking, what I'm talking about is... something that I would totally HATE to do. Like Momma would make me eat a sandwich with mustard and mayo... or someone else might know to *gasp* make me wear pantyhose for a day. Sorry, I took the easy ones but you all gotta work for this. If you don't know me well enough, just make up some punishment that sounds pretty darn bad... like goin' huntin' with a VP wannabe. Gah!

Okay, here's what I need to accomplish:
  1. Clean the good stuff out of the garden - rumor has it there's a freeze a coming.
  2. Drain/wrap/cover the swamp cooler.
  3. Bring in my house plants.
  4. Put away all the $hit on the patio, excluding Homer's duck sh...tuff (notmyproblem).
  5. Get the furnace cleaned and running.
  6. And... find a new picture for my blog... one that makes me look less like a stoned woman in a mom-bob.
PLEASE comment me your motivations. I have a cool prize for the owner of the most motivating suggestion. REALLY!

I said please.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Simply charming

Yesterday on my ride home from work, I blew not one but TWO holes in my front bike tire. The first hit came from a wire lawn flag. The tip must have been bent juuuussst right so it lodged in my tire and went flarp, flarp, flarp spinning wildly with the tire until I was able to reign in my speed as well as my potty mouth. Thankfully, I wasn't in a school zone. This is You-tah so there's probably a fine for that.
Well, my bike has slime tires which are supposed to be self-healing so I hopefully yanked out the wire and the tire oozed a wee bit of green stuff and a few bubbles before sealing itself just as promised. I rode for another mile or more before I hit another something which brought me immediately down to the rim. Yikes! The new hole looked more like a vomiting little pac man who was obviously not going to get well on his own.
I pulled over and parked my butt next to the irrigation canal and considered using the phone-a-friend option, specifically a 'friend' that I gave life to. The one who had 'my' car. But that seemed like more trouble than I needed, so I took off the tire, put a couple patches on it and off I went; later and dirtier but feeling good because no fossil fuels were burned on my behalf.
So big deal, right? Well, it is actually, because the day before that, I rode home with no patch kit, no air pump and no cell phone (also no helmet - bad morning that one) illustrating once again just what a charmed life I lead.
I really believe that.
I also believe that one of these days, everything is going to go to $hit in a monumental way. And I want you to remind me of things like this when I am whining with intense agony over losing my million dollar lottery ticket.
I want you to say "Suck it up, Jane. Remember back in 2008 when fate postponed your flat tire by one day? This here is just payback."

Just for Shanna, I took a picture of my 'toolkit', with my cellphone joining the party just to show how big everything is. It all takes less space and is much lighter than my water bottle... now on the other hand, Homer's toolkit is quite a bit more complicated, because he has to abide by the rules of the man club which state that you must be able to rebuild the engine of a '52 Chevy with just the tools within reach.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Soon I suppose, he'll by smokin' catnip

CatOne has been sporting some new stripes lately. They tend to be of the flourescent highlighter variety. Sometimes pink, sometimes orange as shown here. On special days he gets both!

If the guy had any dignity at all I would track down the perp and make her clean him off with her very own tongue. But I just can't get up the energy to defend the honor of someone who regularly grooms his privates on the roof of my car for the whole neighborhood to see.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Omega Ways

I took some flack for my last post because it appeared I was criticizing Omega for not knowing geography.  That's not quite the way it is.  I love that girl to death but frankly I am not at all sure that we share any DNA. 

See, it doesn't matter that she was around this summer when Marial and I planned our Tahoe trip.  Or that I talked about it oh, probably 13 bajillion times before we left.  Or that she was around when all the preparations were made.  No, in spite of all that apparent exposure, she never once thought to ask 'Where is Lake Tahoe?'  I would bet that HAD she been taken along, she would not even have thought to crack a map along the way.  And when we crossed that border and saw the big 'Welcome to California' sign, she would have been just as shocked as when she read that sweatshirt! 

Maybe I'm just more curious than necessary.  Maybe I'm too concerned about what's going down around me.  I admit, I might have an overgrown nosy gene but how did I raise such an oblivious child?

Her new role as driver has given me a few more wrinkles.  You cannot tell her to exit the freeway at 45th,  go west to 23rd, and stop at H-boulevard.  No, it has to be: exit off the fancy bridge, go down the hill, turn at the gas station with the big green sign, and stop right after the rickety fruit stand.  Street signs?  They're probably just for the mailman.

But her oblivity is not limited to geography.  Omega has been very good friends with Rocki for over 3 years.  Rocki's parents own a business.  Omega has NO IDEA what type of business it is. I know what it is because I sat with Mr & Mrs Rocki at a banquet and the subject came up.  It's not anything obscure or difficult to understand.  I'm sure if Omega asked Rocki, she would tell her but, here's the part that baffles me, Omega has never thought to ask the question!!  And she can't understand why she should care.

There were times when she would attend her sister's basketball games and appear to pay rapt attention to every play.  She would cheer and shout encouragement to her sister, definitely following the action, but when asked what the final score was or *gasp* who even won, and she would just smile sheepishly. 

One time when Alpha and Omega were about 8 and 6 years old, I demanded that one of them confess to some damage done in the bathroom.  I told them that they couldn't play outside until I found out who did it.  Omega finally confessed and off they went.  As I stood by the bedroom window I overheard Alpha ask Omega why told me she did it.  Omega's shocked response was "Didn't I?"  No, she didn't, Alpha had done it but since she didn't jump in and own up to it, Omega assumed she must have done it herself... and forgotten. 

As I've mentioned before, blonde or not, Omega is no dummy.  She has a high school GPA that probably exceeds both Homer's and mine put together.  She has no problem recalling complicated dance routines and can recite mathematical equations with the same practiced rote of a hockey mom in a national debate.   Just don't ask her when the election is or where she and her friends went for dinner last night because not only might she not know the answers but she will look at you pitifully and wonder why your life is so empty that you would care. 

She may have a point there but I think I have determined that Omega runs her head like she runs her life.  Her bedroom is virtually clutterless.  Not to say it's clean but everything that's in her closet or on her floor or draped over the bed is something she needs and uses.  If something doesn't fit or just doesn't please her, she will pack it up and give it away.  Toys?  Long gone.  Memorabilia?  Forget it.  The girl even has one totally empty dresser drawer.  I know!  She should totally be forfeiting her woman-card.

homecoming 027So maybe that's it.  Maybe she just tosses everything out of her head that she doesn't need.  I guess that's cool... for her.  But I still think I might've brought home the wrong baby.  Anyone out there have a 16-year-old tall, goofy, clutterish daughter that doesn't fit in their family? 

If so... too bad for you.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Maybe her real last name is Donner

So I'm passing out the souvenirs that I bought in Tahoe and I hand Omega a hoodie sweatshirt which she looks over before excitedly reading the printing on the front.

"Lake Tahoe, California... wait... CALIFORNIA?!"

She looks at me like I've played some horrible trick on her.

"Um... yeah?"

"You went to California? You didn't tell me you were going to CALIFORNIA!" she says in her huffy voice.

"Where did you think Lake Tahoe was?" I'm assuming that she probably thinks it's exclusively in Nevada but I'm enjoying the idea that she believes I was in 'California', which to her means Disneyland and beaches and hot surfer boys.

"I thought it was in like Idaho... or maybe Utah. Not California!"

And now I have to cross geography teacher and travel agent as well as pioneer off her list of career possibilities.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What happens in Tahoe... gets blabbed all over the internet

If only I had some lurid, saucy stories to share. But no, Chick Trip '08 was pretty tame and that was all good with us.

My friend, Marial, flew into town a week and a half ago and we packed up and headed off to Tahoe for a week.

This is basically what you see when you drive between Salt Lake City and Tahoe.

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Well, that's not true. This is the Salt Flats which is quite a bit more exciting than Nevada via I-80. BTW, did you hear that someone went 415 mph on the salt flats last weekend? I bet those drivers wear Depends or something. Four hundred and fifteen mph's!!! Yikes!

Back to us, though. Marial snagged us a swanky condo in Squaw Valley. Check out the views from our balcony.

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No tents and coolers for us this year, because we be celebrating the big FIVE OH!

Those hot tubs were wonderful... the perfect way to marinate our abused bodies.

We hiked down to Emerald Bay and beyond one day. Beautiful only starts to describe it.

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This is the Vikingsholm Castle. It is under construction, like most of the roads in the Tahoe area.

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And we biked the west shore of the lake, stopping at Sugar Pine point. This is Marial multitasking.

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She is parenting by phone and taking pictures at the same time.

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That's a boat that we didn't ride.

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Can you believe how clear that water is??? They say you can see a white dinner plate in 75 feet of water. I believe it.

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We also took a hike up to Ellis Lake and had a little lunch lakeside. It was so pretty and peaceful.

tahoemari 271 Notice my cute new pants from REI. The legs zip off when it gets too hot! I have no idea why it looks like I have a stick up my butt.

Here's our kayak trip on Donner Lake... another unbelievably clear lake.

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Here's my copilot on her virgin kayak trip.

tahoe2 015 Okay, it was my first trip, too, but I'm pretty sure it won't be my last since we didn't rip any holes in the boat.

We paddled up and down almost the whole lake - not bad for a couple of novices.

Marial took this picture. Notice how ONE of us is busy paddling while the OTHER one, the one in the BACK, is taking pictures!

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One day we drove around the whole lake and made brief contact with the racy Nevada side, but that was about it. We both preferred to throw our money into massages and body wraps at the spa. No pictures, just one word - ahhhh!

Definitely heaven, this Tahoe place.