Monday, August 31, 2009

Benji's Checked-off To Do List for Sunday Night:

Snuggle with mommy while drinking baba.

Toss all books off end tables.

Break a leaf off Grandma's plant and tell mom you finally "got a Flower!" Break up leaf and stem and scatter.

Toss all the books off one shelf (do more if possible).

Eat popsicle in Dad's bed and fall asleep.

Drag nintendo controller all over house by cord; bang it on as much of the antique furniture as possible.

Shove Nintendo controller plug into mommy's mouth ad nauseum (literally).

Spit chewed-up watermelon all over the carpet. In many rooms.

Draw all over self with black marker.

Eat ice cream.

Spill paper cup with fruit stones in it.

Play with poop that didn't go down the potty when someone flushed.

Spill potty water on the floor.

Try to take appliances out of the cupboard (foiled by mom; try again later.....).

Play with whole wheat flour in cupboard.

Have a bath.

Pee in tub (while Baby is in there, too).

Rub pizzadilla into the kitchen floor and then eat it (gets the grease off).

Spit-spray water all over the living room carpet.

Find another cup.

Spit and spill water on the antique end tables.

Try to play outside after dark (foiled by mom; wait until she's not looking....).

Put toys, candy, and nail polish out the doggy door.

Cry to watch a movie (try several titles; perhaps one will stick).

Run screaming (wait until Grandma and Grandpa are asleep).

Hit Anda with a broomstick.

Toss a stick and hit mommy in the head (Dang, narrow miss. Try again when she's not looking....).

Chase Daniel.

Throw chairs around.

Mess with the article Caleb is reading online (how many clicks in before he catches me?).

Lose one of Anda's shoes (but not the other).

Run car all over keyboard while Mommy is typing.

Run away when Mom tries to change my poopy diaper (wait until baby is crying already).

Yell at Mommy: "Don't Spank ME! I Spank YOU!"

So, we're in Utah for a bit.....

I grew up in Utah, so it should be familiar territory for me. But I've been away long enough now that there are some things that have struck me as very very odd:

The people are unfriendly. I have more than once looked someone in the eye and smiled at them and gotten a blank stare back. I'm the kind of person who makes friends with the clerks in the grocery store, so this is strange for me.

Um, Road Rage? Why?

2-toned hair. Are the women aspiring to be zebras or skunks?

Skinny moms. They don't have as many of these elsewhere. What's up with that?

Those same pitying looks when I go out in public with 5 kids. I thought people in Utah, of all places, would understand and I wouldn't be so abnormal.

Conformity is highly valued here. Moreso than other conservative places I've lived.

Hello, Billboards! Even Las Vegas doesn't have so many billboards. And the billboards are text-intensive---how are you supposed to read them and drive safely?

Love the speed suggestion on the roads. Oh, you mean that's a speed limit? Why is it the starting point in the slow lane on the freeway? Why is it the tailgate speed on city streets? I'm confused... Are the cops just lulling people into carnal security so they can make a killing on speeding tickets when the economy starts pinching local budgets, then?

Maybe everyone speeds so much here because ya'll don't ever post the speed limit? Hey? Might think about that some time.....

Let's hear it for uncontrolled growth! I've never seen so many communities that seem to aspire to slumhood in my life!

I used to think summers here were hot. Now I haven't found a day for the kids to play in the slip-n-slide in two weeks in Mid August.

Wow. Perfume. All over the place. Even on the men. Lingering on the sidewalks when nobody has gone by in hours. Surprising because Utah is a relatively nice-smelling place in general. Except for all the perfume....

Friday, August 28, 2009

Did I just read that?

"Dog Coats Produced by Three Genes" (

Gene Kelly, Gene Wilder, and Gene Roddenberry?

Funny. I thought they were being produced by Cruella deVille.....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I always regret this, but....

From the Silicon Valley Mercury, regarding the attempt to take the gay marriage debates to the Supreme Court: "Walker previously said he wanted a full trial to provide the appeals court with a complete record, including testimony related to the history of discrimination against gays and lesbians, the impact of denying marriage rights to same-sex couples and evidence related to whether Proposition 8 had a discriminatory intent."

Can I tell you how sick I am of biased reporting on this case? Clearly either the reporter or the judge himself is 100% already in favor of gay marriage--no court case necessary.

What about testimony related to the history of discrimination against religious people? What about the impact of granting marriage rights to same-sex couples (socially and for religions and religious organizations like schools and social services organizations)? What about whether Prop 8 had an anti-discriminatory (for religious people) intent? Or a religious intent? Or the intent to protect our rights to believe in the Bible as we understand it, and not force religious institutions to do things that are unconscionable to them?

I realize this is a two-sided issue that will end in someone being deeply hurt. There is no peaceful solution that I can see--my "right" to freedom of religion is at odds with your "right" to marriage. Both sides see their unalienable right to pursuit of happiness under attack. Both sides feel discriminated against and want the government to force the other guys to shut up and leave them alone. Both sides feel deeply, undeniably firm in their view. Neither side is going to be able to be convinced to change their minds--so all the explanations and propaganda out there are just feed the flames of discord instead of converting people to one side or the other. Nobody seems to be acknowledging that we don't have the right to force people to abandon their beliefs, no matter how repulsive we find them.

Do white supremacists or polygamists have the right to believe things we find discriminatory? Absolutely. We protect that right, even if we think it is horrific. Do they have the right to teach their children their beliefs? They do--and social services can't take their kids away over it. Do they have the right to hurt other people? No.

And that's where this debate stands--your freedom to act on your beliefs threatens my religious freedom and well-being--threatens to hurt me--in my perception, and my freedom to act on my beliefs threatens yours in your perception. How do you solve that problem?

One thing I know: you can't solve it by denying that the other side has something to say that is worth addressing. Sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling louder is NOT an effective problem-solving strategy. Even for the courts. Even if the press is doing it, too.

There IS an actual debate going on here, and it is very much being presented as a one-sided bullying by religion. That bothers me. One side brings up questions, the other side either refuses to acknowledge them or brushes them off with a cursory "not a valid concern" or pulls out emotional propaganda. Either way, THE QUESTIONS REMAIN. Nobody is trying to answer them. They're just trying to make people agree or shut up--but not addressing their very real concerns.

And the Press is party to the whole problem.

Where debate is stifled, government becomes one-sided and corrupt.

Regardless of the issue, if the people aren't allowed to ask questions and seek answers, we are in seriously bad shape.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

So. My week.

This was one of the harder weeks of MY LIFE.

First, we were trying to move. This is one of those things that our personal physical problems makes much harder than average. Moving takes a sustained physical and mental effort over several days to several weeks. But with my fibromyalgia and Tim's ADD, sustained physical (me) and mental (Tim) efforts are nigh unto impossible. Add to that 85 degree heat IN THE HOUSE and 110 degree heat outside, and the fact that we haven't exactly found another house in town to go to yet so we were trying to cram everything into a POD that was too small, actually, even after we decided to get rid of all the mattresses, the kitchen table, some of the kitchen chairs, the crib, the spare infant car seat, the exersaucer, a couple of dressers, two couches, etc.... So the pure physical labor in the heat left us deeply exhausted.

So we were sleeping from about 10:00 am until about 5:00 pm and then waiting for dark and working through the night when it was cool. But even for us those are the wrong sleeping hours. So we were all deeply exhausted from lack of sleep, too.

Stress is bad for fibromyalgia. Any emotional highs or lows or intense periods of any kind leave my body hurting for a couple of days. And moving is stressful. So is having to tell a landlord that just lost her job that we won't be her tenants anymore. Moving also requires repeated motions (bad for fibro) and sustained motion (bad for fibro) and extended periods of labor (bad for fibro) and messes with sleep and eating schedules (bad for fibro) and makes eating right hart (bad for fibro). Generally I can push myself to do anything I want for a couple of days, and then I'm okay for a day or two, and then I'm smashed and pay dearly. So the second week of a two-week move I'm also paying for everything I did the first week. So I was in pain all week--every bit of moving hurt enough that I ended up wandering the house unable to make myself fight the heat to work because it hurt to work.

Moving stresses children, who then need their mother MORE, not less. And I have 5 children. All stressed. Plus one is still nursing and he was hot so he wanted to nurse more. And he was stressed and wanted to be held all the time because, let's face it, a 7 month old can see that something is up but can't possibly comprehend it. And the big kids cried when I sold things we didn't want, so that didn't help. I admit I actually picked out the 6-hour-long video of cartoons and put it on for Benji hoping he would watch it for a long long time.

So where does that get us? Hot, exhausted, in pain, and toting a baby. And trying to pack everything into a trailer to take to Utah and a Pod to take to storage--both too small for what needed to happen. And trying to pay attention to 5 small stressed children, two of whom are in diapers still and one who is just barely potty trained.

And then Daniel tasted his first Walnut. And had an allergic reaction so severe he ended up in the emergency room. So he now has a life-threatening nut allergy we have to deal with.

And then all 5 kids got head colds.

In the midst of this, we found out one sister (who is pregnant) was incredibly ill and in and out of the hospital (and she still offered to come down and help me!). Another was put on bed rest so her baby wouldn't come early and her toddler got hand foot and mouth disease. Another had a baby. And a brother got into and then out of the hospital and is getting divorced. So stress in the extended family compounded our concerns and made us hesitate to ask anyone for help.

And what was Tim doing? Well...he had to pack his office and studio--no small undertaking-- and both sort and pack the storage room (not big, but full). And he had to arrange for help moving big things and deal with that. He had to pack the stuff out of the house, playing tetris with the stuff and the spaces available and with no help from me because I was busy juggling kids, throwing things into boxes, and trying to keep Benjamin from getting smashed while he was helping, running down the street, tearing up the neighbors' yards, or chasing the cats that like to scratch him.

And, because this is an unplanned move, he was still working. We knew we had his first tour as Mister Tim (not as moosebutter) set up for August 15-25, so he was dealing with the myriad details that have to be taken care of. In the midst of all the packing, sick kids, traumatized and teary wife, jaunts to the emergency room with terrified and swollen 3-year-old, etc, he also had to do a couple of showcases in Vegas, run a rehearsal with Wonder Voice, record/edit a demo song and then re-record the solo line for broadcast, finalize details for his shows on the tour, add a couple of extra shows in Utah, get the ball rolling for 6 groups to audition for Sing Off (new NBC reality show featuring A Cappella groups in a kind of American Idol format), finish writing and rehearse his new material so the shows on the tour won't be crappy, fight with the computer software that won't quite do what he needs (there is no software written to do exactly what he's doing with music, so he has to cobble together a couple of other things, and sometimes when he gets up on stage, it just doesn't go--even though it just worked half an hour before at home) and deal with dozens of tech issues attached to his new show, find and make sure costumes and sound equipment got to the right places, train a new singer in moosebutter and do a mini-tour out of state with moosebutter, go watch and give feedback to a Colorado vocal band that was showcasing in Vegas (and negotiating a contract to be here)--and get me and the kids in so I knew more fully what we were talking about since we often work as a team on analyzing shows before he gives the feedback they need, and somehow manage to eat and sleep. He was also supposed to be recording a "single" (which actually usually has about 5 songs on it now, in this digital age--it's really just a half-length album) to sell at his shows on this tour, but that didn't get done. And we've recently been restructuring the way he runs his business in hopes it will become less work and more profit, but that entails him starting work on 5 full albums that need to be recorded and produced. We also had scheduled Caleb's baptism at the end of the tour in Utah, so we had to deal with all those details, too.

And all this when he has ADD, which doesn't stop him from being a functioning human being, but does stop him from being able to sustain mental effort on a single project for 2 weeks straight. He runs his business by doing 20-100 things AT ONCE, skipping between projects and working far enough in advance that he still hits the deadlines. And he had a whole load of deadlines this month, and adding moving into the mix doesn't allow him to finish things to meet those deadlines--it's not conducive to putting everything away and just moving any more than my fibromyalgia is.

So we knew the first stop of the Mister Tim tour was a Religious Revival--he had to be there before noon on Sunday, the 16th. It takes 6 hours to drive, and he had to attend TWO performances in Vegas on Saturday night, the 15th.

Exhausted, weary, and Not Done Packing, I was so numb by the time he walked in and said we need to just leave everything and come back after the tour, I kinda just stood there on the edge of tears (but too hot and tired to actually cry) as he spent a couple of hours throwing things into the trailer and shed and begging me to show him what HAD to go into each and what we could leave behind. I think I managed to get clothes and shoes on everyone, and I cleaned the shower and emptied the fridge of things that wouldn't last 2 weeks....and managed to leave the quilting stuff I intended to bring and use to entertain myself at Mom's house. Perhaps I understand in small part how the Saints felt trying to leave Nauvoo in covered wagons in the dead of winter.

And then Tim bustled us into the car. We locked up the house in a state of horrid disorder (I finished 2 rooms completely, even cleaning. I mostly finished 3 other rooms. 2 rooms got done and then unfinished again ,which irked me. And the other rooms are all about 3/4 packed and finished.). Locked the storage unit and the trailer, and left. Tim will go back with a truck or big van and trailer in a couple weeks (we're in the house until September 4 anyway) and get the rest of our stuff, clean, and run a weeks' worth of rehearsals leading up to the September, October, and November tours that are already set up for various groups and for the Sing Off auditions.

Anyway, we drove all night with an overloaded trailer and fussy children, and got to my Mom's house in Lehi well after dawn (the kids loved watching the sun rise). Tim didn't get to sleep. He unloaded car and trailer, found his first costume, dressed and did his hair, and went off to the first gig.

We collapsed into my mom's bed and onto sleeping bags around it at about 10:00 am and slept until 8:00 pm, played with cousins for a few hours, and are ready to collapse into bed again. Tim came home in the midst of that and collapsed into bed himself, and he's still asleep and needs to be for as long as possible so we can hit the next gig--tomorrow night (that one's free, at Tahitian Noni at 7:00, so come. We should be recovered by then!)

I have learned that it is incredibly difficult to face something you know you are bad at an unsuited for in the first place and work your tail off trying to make it happen, and then to realize you are going to fail and have to keep going anyway, pushing through pain and discouragement knowing you'll never succeed. I have much sympathy for children struggling in school now. And for women struggling against depression. And for people with ADD who are being told they must just learn to focus. And for women with fibromyalgia who don't have the luxury I normally do to structure my life around my strengths and completely ignore my weaknesses. And for others of us who are forced to face our handicaps and work without hope of success.

I hate leaving things undone.

As if in consolation, though, in the middle of the "night" I woke up with a fantastic plot for a novel in mind, complete with clever dialogue, fun plot twists, and fairly decent content (extra-plot meaning, depth, character development, etc). That only happens when I am getting enough restorative sleep and when my soul is at ease, so that was a huge good thing--getting a new plot meant that the sleep was freeing my soul from the pains and sorrows of the week, and I could stay free. I haven't dreamt up a new plot in months. Maybe since we moved to Vegas (Vegas has been hard for me).

Writing has always been my escape and my rest and my playground. It gives me a break from the toils and troubles and brings me joy. It's something I can succeed at when all around I am failing--something to look at besides my messy floor and unwashed dishes. So an entirely new plot in mind with interesting characters and dialogue for me is like candy, only more satisfying. It's like soaking up sunshine without getting too hot. It's like getting lost in a good book is for other people. It is delicious food for my soul.

A very welcome blessing that lets me know tomorrow things will be fine.

Because tomorrow, I can write.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Allergies and did I just read that collide....

We've been packing, selling what we could, packing more, packing more...and discouraged because there's seemingly no way to get everything done.

A friend from the ward brought us some home made granola for a treat.

And, at dawn, after we packed all night to avoid the heat (sold the swamp cooler, so now we have to use the semi-functional air conditioner!), Dan ate some.

And his face swelled up, and his lips swelled up, and he got that asthmatic cough and thought something was stuck in his throat, and he got pale and his speech got thick because his tongue was swelling....and I gave him some Benadryl and Tim whisked him off to the Emergency Room, which is where they are right now (they called to say Dan is fine, though).

So, naturally, I looked up "nut allergy" online since my friend who made the granola told me the ingredients, and the only three I never use are walnuts, flax seed, and psyllium.

I found this gem of a sentence on a site about nuts: "The following are not considered nuts: nutmeg, water chestnuts, and butternut squash." (

No kidding....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Did I just read that?

From Google News today:

"Coroner Completes Jackson Autopsy, Film Deal Set
ABC News -
‎32 minutes ago‎ -

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Penny Pinching Tips: Get Stuff Free

Finding out about this stuff changed my entire approach to getting things I need. Seriously. I no longer buy furniture. I often see appliances and if mine die I won't look to buy first. I've gotten clothes, shoes, toys, food---free.


Several ways:
There are sites online that link people who want to get rid of stuff to people who want stuff. Craigslist is the biggest national site, although it is more active in some places than others. Some of my friends swear by Freecycle. Family and friends in Utah use KSL's free stuff page. I'm sure there are other sites. The key is to find the one that is most active in your community and use it. Read it daily, and then jump when you see something you need.

Another source of free stuff in some communities is thrift stores that take donations on-site. They often receive stuff they don't or can't sell (like furniture that won't fit on the sales floor, toys when they don't sell toys, pots without lids or lids without pots, ugly art with nice frames, etc). Many of these stores (not including DI--and I can't figure that out!) can't afford the high dump fees to throw all this stuff away, so they put it out for free (often by the back door in a free section inside, or outside near the donations center, or sometimes out beside but not in the dumpster where you can take it until the store closes, when it goes into the dumpster). I do know people who actually dumpster dive thrift stores for the rejected but usable donations, but I don't recommend this because it's illegal in most areas.

In Las Vegas, a major source of free stuff (and recyclable metals for families that collect and sell them) is trash night. I know, it sounds terrible, but it's not. The trash collection in Vegas happens twice a week and isn't automated, so they take just about anything you can put on the curb. So people here put things that other people would truck off to a thrift store as a donation out on the curb for the trash man instead. And other people go wander around just after dark (it never actually gets dark here--it's always just after dusk, all night) on trash nights and collect the usable stuff that nobody wants. We've seen park benches, computer parts, toys, furniture, carpet, appliances, doors, windows--even a "marble" bust and its pedestal.

Another source of free stuff I've found is churches. Many churches have "recycle" or "swap" or "trading table" nights where anyone (not just members of the congregation) can come and bring what they want to get rid of and take what they need or want. It's a great way to get rid of and get baby clothes, housewares, small appliances, books, toys, etc. I was in a ward that did this every Enrichment night, and it was the only time I always went to (and didn't forget) Enrichment. The wealthy people in the ward eventually nixed it (and I stopped going to Enrichment) because they couldn't see any value in it (why would anyone want old used stuff?)--but I think every ward should do this, and then afterward take the leftovers and donate them to an appropriate charity (DI, Savers, the homeless shelter, etc).

If you know of active websites or locations for free stuff (NOT those stupid promotional sites that promise free laptops and are mostly scams, and not sites for free coupons or samples --that's a separate topic--but sites where you can get free real items from real people), post the links in the comments so the list here can become as complete as possible.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Did I just read that?

Necessary background info: UNLV is the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, a large public university.

So this headline is from our local free newspaper that came in the mail today:

"Students earn college credit at UNLV"


I don't know if this is an insult to the students (most don't earn credit, so it's a miracle someone did?) or to what they're doing at the school ("You mean we don't come here to pole dance?") or to the newspaper ("We didn't realize that was what the university was for!").

Certainly reflects poorly on the editors!

I had to ask, didn't I?

A few days ago I said, "Dare I ask what's next?"

Well, I found out.

We're moving.

This house is too hot and the A/C isn't getting fixed (or even looked at). Rental prices in Vegas have dropped by half in the past 12 months, so we can get a similar place with a bigger yard now for $600-800/month (vs the then-dirt-cheap $1200/month when we got this place). The neighborhood was fine (not great) when we moved in and is going down hill (we've had people arrested basically in our front yard twice, there was that incident with 5 gunshots the other day, we hear sirens every night--and we don't live on a main road or by the hospital or fire station to justify it like we did in Longmont--bunches of houses in the neighborhood are for sale and not selling, and someone stole the ash tray out of our beat up '96 Honda Odyssey--made away with all of 98 cents in pennies and nickels and a key to a car that was sent to the junk yard in Colorado 2 years ago, but I still felt violated. Why would anyone break into a 13-year-old beat up minivan? Seriously!). Um--Bugs. Lots of bugs here. Can't get rid of them. Mystery bugs are becoming a daily experience, and the kids are covered with bug bites (especially tiny painful ones from itsy-bitsy black ants that are vicious and we can't get rid of!). Lots of reasons to bail. Including that blasted carpet I mentioned before. I still hate carpet.

We're trying to pack (Trying, I say, because it's being difficult, with Tim on tour in Utah, Nathanael having developed separation anxiety--when his body is separated from mine, he has anxiety--and a shortage of boxes).

The plan as it stands right now is to chuck our stuff into storage and take an extended vacation to Utah (6 weeks or so) and then return to Vegas to a cheaper house in a better neighborhood with a bigger yard when the weather has cooled off and Tim's currently-in-negotiations contracts here take effect.

But I've learned never to be too set on my own plans. Obviously we'll go with whatever God throws at us and try our best to enjoy it. Whatever it is.

Caleb loves to read

Caleb loves to read so much, he seems always to have a book under his pillow--often a 700+ pager! So what happens if he's well into more than one book?


And he did sleep with both of these under his pillows that night!

Did I just read that?

Paragraphs 1-2:
"WASHINGTON — Lynette A. Fromme, who was briefly in the limelight she so craved after pointing a gun at President Gerald R. Ford in 1975, will be released from federal prison on Aug. 16, the federal Bureau of Prisons said on Wednesday. Ms. Fromme, 60, known as Squeaky, has been held in a prison near Fort Worth, Tex., and is due for release because her sentence has expired."

Paragraph 8:
"Ms. Fromme was sentenced to life in prison for attempting to assassinate the president. ... Ms. Fromme got an additional 15 months in prison for escaping."

Does this mean they're releasing a zombie? That puts a new twist on the Manson family....

I guess according to the federal gavernment, Life + 15 mo = 60 yrs. If that's the case, the Supreme Court is in serious trouble!

Cash for Clunkers

What the government sees in this program is a chance to improve the auto maker's fortunes and the environment at once.

What I see is a bunch of rich people making it much much much harder for us poor folks to be able to get a car in the future (since they are scrapping all the cars that we count on being able to buy for cheap when our current clunker dies). This program was conceived by people who have no concept of what it is like to be poor. (Also no concept that money doesn't grow on trees--and sold to people who don't see they'll be paying more than the rebate amount in increased taxes!)

This is NOT an economically wise move, in terms of making employment accessible to the poor or in terms of being wise with our resources. It's a plan based on the same old "debt is good" economic model that caused the grief we're in now! (Not to mention it takes the people who actually had cash to put into the economy and ties that cash up in a car payment that wasn't on the budget before...hmmmmm....).

It's just a way for rich people to help moderately rich people show off, keep an industry that can't make good products alive, and make themselves feel good for 'doing their part to help the world'.

I can't believe nobody mentioned to them that the worst clunkers are driven by those of us too poor to take advantage of their program. So it just once again widens the gap between the middle class and the poor and guarantees that gap will be wide for a long long time (since the cars they're supposed to be investing in don't last and they got rid of all affordable cars for years to come)...(hey, wait--that might actually LOWER the value of all American-made cars in the long run. How does that help the industry?)

When is someone going to fire the idiots we elected? Or are we really that dumb and greedy that Cash for Clunkers is going to be seen as a good plan?

Meanwhile, if you have a big old van you're thinking about getting rid of, don't Clunkerize it! I'm gonna need a bigger van soon....

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Did I Just Read That?

On google news today:

Blocking Protein May Prevent Premature Labor
U.S. News & World Report - ‎4 hours ago‎
Chimpanzees appear to be the source of malaria in humans, according to a study released Tuesday. Researchers studied malaria in chimps in Cameroon and Ivory Coast and concluded that the parasite that causes malaria in humans likely developed from the ..."

The headline is fine. So is the paragraph. But the combination leaves you saying, "huh?"

Monday, August 03, 2009

How I love words with two opposite meanings.

I was very careful to buy markers for school that said "Washable" on them. I forgot that there are two meanings to that word--removes easily in the wash (washable paint) and withstands washing without being damaged (like washable clothing).

Apparently these markers adhere to the second definition.

The brightly colored patterns Anda put all over her body withstood washing without being damaged in the least!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Did I just read that?"

from a craigslist ad for a singing telegram: "need to get in touch with an employee in Springville Utah who was just in an accident with a dear. (weird huh?)"

At least the boss knows that it's unusual to be in an accident with a dear.

I've said this myself before,0,6650122.column

So that's kind of where I am. Can we trust a government whose bills are being paid by the Insurance Company lobbyists to reform health care? NO.

Does the way the government runs Medicaid make me want them to take over health care? NO.

But until we put doctors, instead of insurance companies, in charge of health care, there's no hope. The insurance companies are more corrupt and more like monopolies than any of the software companies that the government smashes. They are more powerful. And they are payrolling our lawmakers.

We're screwed.

What Dan Likes to Break

Daniel was playing with his toys the other day, and the energy built and built in the game until he was noisily banging things around. Now, I'm totally in favor of the boys playing at saving the world, conquering the bad guys, rescuing people, and generally being heroes. But there is a point where the violence seems to overwhelm every other aspect of play, and I call it there. I don't like my boys to rehearse violence.

So I called out, "Play gently, Dan!"

He immediately protested, "But Mom, I'm breaking the fourth wall!"

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Rough Week

Benji put poopy bum-prints on the carpet. Hooray.

Caleb accidentally threw the contents of a full cup of tomato juice across the family room. Yippee.

I decided I will NEVER live in a house with carpet again. Ever. Never ever. And if I buy a house, I'll rip the carpets out and throw them away and live on bare concrete rather than deal with carpets. No matter how much you vacuum, it's never clean (if you don't believe me, pull up your carpet and pad and check out what's lurking underneath.....). And it is a nightmare to clean when kid messes hit it (like vomit. Or blood. Or leaky diapers. Or food. Or spilled bubbles. Or marker. Or paints. or....) I HATE carpet. Worst invention EVER.

Harvesting grapes (we had a huge crop this year) by myself just after dawn after the kids have gone to bed. Heavenly. Until I broke out in hives wherever the grape vines scraped against my skin. And then started into an asthma attack. Benadryl took care of that, but not the hives, which, 5 days later, are still insanely itchy but have resolved themselves into little patches of clustered blisters. Apparently my skin thought I was harvesting poison ivy. Hooray.

And, since I now can't touch the grape vines, I'm watching the skeletonizer moth larvae skeletonizing the leaves, leaving the vines bare. I'm afraid they're going to die. Great.

Did I mention it's hot?

Oh, and the power went out for 2 1/2 hours during the hottest time of day yesterday. So...we had a nice visit to the library. (The upside of this is I got to re-set the open windows and found a better arrangement for the swamp cooler, so the house is now cooler than before. 80 degrees. Now.)

Baby is fussy. Fussy. Yup, still fussy. Teething, methinks.

Does home made scones with honey butter count for dinner? I made a real dinner, but the kids were too interested in the honeybutter to eat anything else.

So now they're fussy, too.

Starter in the car started going. Or, rather, stopped going. Well, it's rather inconsistent of late. Sometimes we go and sometimes we don't.

Rent is uncharacteristically late. (Landlady is a gem, though, and waived the late fee!)

Despite the landlady's generosity, I feel compelled to start packing, and I've learned over the years that if I don't obey that prompting, I regret it. Have any boxes? I know I do somewhere around here.....under the disastrous mess we call a house.....

Any wonder I didn't get any schooling or much writing done this week?

So, dare I ask what's next?