Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cat Butts Round 2

Speaking of cat butts... (we were, you say?)

How's this for a t-shirt?? With boots even!

No birthday is complete without one I hear.


Cat Butts

Dropped The Youngest at school this morning. Then decided to wander around this "boutique" garden center before I went home.


Awesome greenhouse, sweet gift shop, cool water fountains, fabulous statuary - cute, cute stuff, but total and complete sticker shock! 4" geranium?  $12.99.


Lawrence, Kansas? Is anybody out there?

Seriously. I know they're in RICHland but who can/will pay these prices? Repeat after me....Recession....

And I was so sad because there, right as I turned to leave, was a display of little ceramic cat butts. Fuffly ones, black ones, yellow ones, ones with kinked tails, ones with curved tails. How perfect. There is an apartment that deserves to have the whole collection prominently displayed on it's walls. One of those running jokes that we just can't let die.


$9.99 for one little 2" high cat butt.


Not today.

I showed them tho. I got in my rig, trotted myself right down to the Farmer's Exchange and blew $75 on lots and lots of flowers.

And by the way, snotty boutique...their beautiful, 4" geranium's were only $2.99.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Practical Jokes 101

I've mentioned that #1 Daughter is a jock, right? If you want to send her running down the street, screaming, just shake something pink & lacy at her....

So she calls tonight with a tale. Her friend, Joseph, is helping her move her stuff at school  into storage for the summer. They're unloading. She comes around the side of the car. Joseph is frantically struggling with a storage tub. The lid has fallen off, he's trying mightly to keep the contents of the tub from spilling and grab the lid whilst clutching something in his  hand. He sees her and starts to apologize and stutters, the fell off...I didn't mean...

#1 Daughter is like...whatever. Stuff happens. Then looks again. What does he have clenched in his hand? It's black, it's is a Black. Lacy. Strapless. Bra...

The poor young man has this, deer in the headlights, look. Caught handling her delicates.

#1 Daughter takes a breath and gets things sorted out.

Heads back to her apartment and demands: "Okay, roomies...who does the strapless bra belong to?" And relates her little adventure.

Sophie hits the floor laughing.

Apparently a neighbor had given Sophies family some clothing which included the brassiere. Sophie, knowing #1 Daughter's allergy to all things lace, stuffed it into the tub. Hoping it would be good for a laugh. When she found it at some fortuitous time. In the distant future. While unpacking.

Having Joseph doing a rumba with it, now, in the middle of the night, instead?

Even better.

Much...much better.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Don't Mess With My Delusions Man

Seriously - hope this is "legal." I've mentioned Pearl? You can go to her site and read this, which depending on how lazy you are, may or may not happen or stay here and read it. She's getting ready to publish and I think she'll do well. She has a knack for summing up life's experiences. Which is what seperates the real writers from the rest of us - that intangible ability to articulate what the rest of us feel but can't express.

I graduated from high school in 1975. The Farm Boy thinks That 70's Show is horrible. I think it's hilarious. We weren't all the brightest stars (back in the day) and in so many of the episodes, I or one of my friends could have been the writers...sad but true. The only excuse I've got is...we were so much younger then.

And yes, Ted Nugent was a part of our life and I so identify with the following piece from Pearl. In fact, in a semi-related tangent, I had already told all my kids that I want them to be sure and marry someone outside of our little community. Because really, no matter what good points one has, after rubbing along together for 30 years there is little you don't know about your neighbors and invariably it is more information than you need to know!!! I want some fresh blood! I want to look at the new in-laws and pretend that that pleasant, polite, politically correct face they present at the wedding is the real them. I've never wanted to know about their warts and certainly don't need to worry about what that might do to the gene pool. A true child of the 70's I know that reality is not all that it's cracked up to be.

So with no further ado - take it away Pearl....

How I Miss The Nuge

I’ll admit it. Back in the day, I was a huge Ted Nugent fan. Stranglehold? Free For All (baby)? Takes me back to the 70s, a friend’s basement, sitting in a circle passing a joint, laughing and digging the music. A simple, silly, and supremely friendly time.

That was then, of course; and this is now, and we are left with our memories and the (mostly) clandestine and mischievous knowledge of having a slightly misspent youth and an almost stereotypical experience of the 70s.

The music was a trip: six- and seven-minute songs to groove to, drum solos, guitar solos, expansive jams, opportunities for musicians to climb out on to a musical limb and bring you along.

Music moved on, of course, as the arts must: to disco, to dance music, to the electronic drummer and synthesizers, to punk.

OK. I can handle that. I own quite a bit of it, as a matter of fact. Things change. People grow up, get jobs, pay taxes, throw real dinner parties, serve decent liquor and form opinions based not on what their friends think but what they think.

Which brings us back to The Nuge. Ted Nugent.

He had a reality show not long ago – and who knows what it was called. I had to look it up. It was just that forgettable – morons competing for some reason for something. Who cares? It stunk. Nothing I found out about him was anything I wanted to know about Mr. Great White Buffalo. In fact, I found out that he was a patriarchal ass. I could’ve done without that.

As we said in the 70s: Burn!

What’s my point?

That I miss my illusion. All I ever needed to know about Ted Nugent was that he was/is an excellent and rockin’ guitar player. He was my childhood, my teenage years, my rock-and-roll fantasy.

My apologies to The Nuge, but I never wanted to know the real him.

I just wanted to be in the room while he played.

Posted by Pearl at 7:00 AM

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Well Then

You know, people don't hang around for long if you're indulging in a pity party. If you have issues it's best to get over yourself and get on with it.


Yeah... here it comes.

Goofing off. Joking around. Laughing.

A chance comment is made.

The response?

loud and abrupt, "That's not happening Lady."


Talk about a conversation stopper.

Nothing like finding out exactly what they think in some of the most unlikely circumstances.

I'd better start being nicer to those cats.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

For the Love of All Creatures Great & Small

The following was found posted very low on a refrigerator door:

Dear Dogs and Cats:

The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairs/hallway were not designed by NASCAR and are not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom/end is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I will not buy anything bigger than a queen sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not, however, think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! And if, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. (Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine/feline attendance is not required.)

The proper order for kissing is this: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.

Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:


(1) They live here. You don't.
(2) If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.That's why they call it 'fur'-niture.
(3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
(4) To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don't speak clearly.

Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:

(1) eat less,
(2) don't ask for money all the time,
(3) are easier to train,
(4) normally come when called,
(5) never ask to drive the car,
(6) don't hang out with substance abusing/using people,
(7) don't smoke or drink,
(8) don't want to wear your clothes,
(9) don't have to buy the latest fashions,
(10) seldom bite the hand that feeds them,
(11) don't need a gazillion dollars for college, and
(12) if they get pregnant, you can sell their children.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Vision Check

I have a co-worker who redefines creative absentee excuses. I'm usually ready to hear a really good story. Sometimes I'd almost pay to be a State Trooper for a day so I could catch some of the better "fish stories" for speeding. But this gal is so bad that we almost started a David Letterman Top 10 100 list of reasons why she couldn't come to work. She is beyond determined to utilize every single day of paid sick leave and personal leave that is available to her. I, on the other hand, work part time. No paid leave - for anything. If I'm not there when I said I would be, trust me, there is a valid reason.

I've always had a certain admiration for the folks who didn't bother offering silly excuses about absences. They're pretty frank about just not being in "the mood" to work. One of my favorites that I've heard is..."I won't be in today. I'm sick. Sick & tired of being sick and tired of this job." Which is why I got a chuckle from Pearl of this morning. She says her favorite call in line was..."I've got a little eye problem..." which meant that she couldn't see herself going into work that day.

If I were the boss and she didn't abuse the privilege I'd have to laugh and give her a pass for the day.

So... was talking to The Commander. He & the wife will be moving soon. He has short timer's syndrome and is a little tired of the current job. Told me he'd seriously debated calling in recently, but being a reliable sort, refrained from playing hooky. Still, even tho he made it to work his motivation level was a bit low. But when he walked into the men's room, however, and saw a plumber trying to unclog a plugged toilet...and watched as the brown swamp rose and overflowed onto the man's pant leg and down into his boot...

He noted, "MY job was suddenly looking a lot better."


Monday, April 12, 2010

As The Crow Flys

Let's be honest here. As life goes on I find that I have seriously ratcheted down my expectations. Had to - I'd found that trying to get everyone on board, up and at 'em! etc. etc. just ended up with me nagging all parties involved. I'd be frustrated that they wouldn't get out of bed and get going and they felt badgered, out of sorts and hang doggy because I was always nipping at their heels. Obviously my "step up to the plate" plan needed some fine tuning. 

So I'm learning not to expect a lot. From anyone. And that's probably for the best but sometimes...

Needed new underwear. Those of you in the know, understand it's not as simple as walking into your local store. They have to be ordered. A little advance planning usually covers most situations. Unfortunately things were getting a bit frayed here at the homestead and I was delighted to note that the distribution center had popped that package onto the Federal Express truck early last week and I had anticipated them arriving this last Saturday.

Didn't happen.

I check the tracking number this morning... Delivery is a ways off.

Know where they went? 

Los Angeles.

Apparently it was too much to expect anyone to notice that the address read - Burbank, WASHINGTON. (Had the correct zip code also.) But, silly me, the only Burbank is in California, right? Just outside of LA???

You know one of my favorite sayings used to be:

Best to aim high and miss, than aim low and hit.

High Expectations? Shoot. Anymore I get excited if they even get in the right state.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's Just Not Done!

In Robert A. Heinlein 's book Friday he discusses the marks of a sick culture. He notes, in a conversation between Friday and her Boss, that ....

Sick cultures show a complex of symptoms such as ... (violence, muggings, sniping, arson, bombing, terrorism of any sort. Riots of course - but I suspect that little incidents of violence, pecking away at people day after day, damage a culture even more than riots that flare up and then die down...Oh, conscription and slavery and arbitrary compulsion of all sorts and imprisonment without bail and without speedy trial - those things are obvious; all the histories list them.) BUT a dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot. This symptom is especially serious in that an individual displaying it never thinks of it as a sign of ill health but as proof of his/her strength.

Okay, we've established that I blog, in part, to vent about my issues. Ya leave the house and people do some pretty outrageous things. If they're right in my face, I'm may occasionally say " all of that," (I'm not a very good door mat) but usually I back off, go around, under etc. Yes, we all know I mumble about it here but basically I usually take care of whatever needs to be taken care of and go on my way. While I fall short of the ideal charitable, gracious person - at the back of my mind is always....Grandma Emtman.

Born in 1892 in Germany, she came to America in 1927. Married shortly after that and had four girls. My mother was the second oldest. Grandma spent quite a bit of time with us, or should I say we spent quite a bit of time with her. There are many interesting stories but at the end of the day her legacy was...."IT'S JUST NOT DONE!" Regardless of what we were doing, if we were slothful, misbehaving, or ill kept she was quick to lower the boom and let us know that whatever we were doing, that was inappropriate, needed to cease and desist. Immediately.

I'd be lying if I told you that Grandma Emtman was an easy woman to be around. But occasionally I look at the world around me and mourn the demise of her value system. We seem to be in desperate need of it. Good manners are not a waste of time. They are the "lubricant" that make us able to interact with one another gently and coexist peacefully. Just because someone does something differently than us should not be an occasion to hoist a stiff middle finger or pollute the airwaves with foul language. Hopefully, most of us would agree that a little self control in interpersonal relationships is a good thing.

Grandma's, "It's just not done!" (along with that particular, clipped, German accent) could surely be useful in a little behavior modification in today's world and go a long towards getting our society off the dead and dying list.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Down Under Humor

Thanks to The Commander for today's funny...

I'm told these questions were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have a great sense of humour (not to mention a low tolerance threshold for cretins!)


Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia ? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? (UK).

A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)

A: Depends on how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)

A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia ? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay ? (UK)

A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia ? (USA)

A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe ...
Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not...
Oh, forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is North in Australia ? (USA)

A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia ? (UK)

A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do...

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)

A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is...
Oh, forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia ? (UK)

A: You are a British politician, right?

Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany)

A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers.
Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)

A: Rattlesnakes live in A-mer-i-ca which is where YOU come from.
All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia , but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)

A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia ? (USA)

A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia ? ( France )

A: Only at Christmas.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)

A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.


The Ah Hah Moment

I'm so happy. Vanny is back!!!! My little 2000 Dodge Caravan has a new transmission and is road worthy again.

We bought the van in 2000 when it was almost a year old and had about 10,000 miles on. When I dropped the transmission a couple of weeks ago, we spent a small amount of time looking for a replacement. Basically going for 3-4 year old vans, with 60,000 - 80,000 miles on them.

Searching over Washington & Oregon we found several likely suspects in the $8,000-10,000 price range. We started locally and finally were headed down to Portland when the Farm Boy & I looked at each other and said, "What ARE we doing?" A new transmission will cost roughly $2,500 and even if we have to throw a new engine in it later, for a minimum of $5,000 total we'd still have a rig who's mechanical history we know inside and out that should run happily for another 100,000 miles.


We made a U-turn at the state border.

You know, if we just had money burning a hole in our pocket - buying another vehicle would have been fine. But we have college aged kids, a few unfortunate credit cards and a mortgage on our home. We have been counselled to get and stay out of debt. We've avoided "growing up" financially for (cough) ... a long time. No time like now to change that.

So fix "Vanny" it was. While I doubt it will make it another 10 years or 200,000 miles, climbing into my little van was sweet. 

The cool people may cringe when they find themselves riding in a minivan but in my book it's still "a good ride."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bumper Snicker

Smile and the world smiles with you.

  Pass gas and you stand alone.

Sorry, just had to share.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How Do You Spell Sociopath?

You know you're in trouble when your teeth start to clench.

At our local high school last night. Ran into a school counsellor. We made small talk. During the conversation, the name of ***** ****, came up....

There was a pause. Then, "He's not a very nice boy," I say.

She laughs. "You mean he's a normal teenager."

"Uhh, nooo..."

Okay, time to switch subjects! Right now. Because this is going to be one of those things that we're going to have to agreed to disagree on. But just in case anyone is listening, or better yet, if anyone cares....let me elaborate.

First - what is normal?

My normal includes: being responsible, honest, diligent, having a sense of integrity, might even try being kind occasionally...You get where I'm going here?

These are not age restricted characteristics. You don't suddenly become honest at age 18, or kind at age 30. Granted being a good person, to a certain degree, is a learned process, someone probably will need to teach us to share but if you're into Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten you might agree that we can start having a pretty good handle on stuff starting in the 6-8 year old age range.


So here we have a teenager who is relatively intelligent, quite good looking, and when he wants to be...very charming. He has a sweet mother, lives in a decent neighborhood, basically has a lot of advantages. Is able to participate in sports and other school activities and just for good measure is apparently sent away to church camp each summer.

And whadda ya get? A nicely wrapped package that inside contains a sneaky kid who is mean, abusive, dishonest, and a bully. The same "normal teenager" who torments those weaker or less agressive than he. Plus the morally bankrupt kid who, a year ago in middle school, panicked after utilizing the school janitor's closet with his then girl friend and told all his friends (aka anyone who wanted to listen), "Crap! She's pregnant. What am I going to do???" Followed shortly by, "Yes!! She had an abortion!!! DUCKED THAT BULLET, Bwahahahaha!" (Then high-fived everyone in the immediate vicinity.) Without, apparently, a single thought to the devastation he had left in his wake. But he had his hand firmly on the butt of the new girl friend shortly thereafter. Emphasis on the "shortly." Have I mentioned he was like...14 here???

Oh, I could rant on. Really I could. But to what purpose?

Might I remind the adults in this kid's life who insist on giving him a pass - this shouldn't be accepted as normal behavior.

I know this is a bit drastic but still - defense exhibit #1.

Ted Bundy.

I'm told that he too was intelligent, good looking, and charming. Quite a few women must have thought so also. The number ranges anywhere from 36 to over 100+, we'll never know for sure.

Wonder how many school counsellors thought he was a normal teenager too?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Would You Like to Rephrase That?

I'm the "lead" in a group order collective. Folks figure out what they want, then they give me their list and money. I cash the checks, order for them, (using my credit card so hopefully they haven't given me a rubber check - but yeah it's happened,) sort the stuff when it arrives, and most of the time I'm nice enuf to deliver. The only benefit I receive from doing this is the same discount everyone else gets if we meet the minimum order requirements plus an occasional brownie point/pat on the back for organizing and dealing with the paperwork.  This last week a partial order came in. Rather than hold it and have all the boxes cluttering up my house I delivered what I had. The Youngest packed boxes to the doors for me and was instructed to tell folks that we would make the rounds again  when the rest of the order came in. At one particular house he handed the boxes over to the hubby, gave him my message and left.

This morning I find  two emails. The wife, of the above man, finally got around to opening her boxes today...proceeded to make a bee line to the computer and inform me that she was sure she'd been shorted and there was no way that that was $181 worth of product. Then went back and an hour later emailed again to let me know that indeed stuff was missing.

You think?

First, let's give a shout out to that reliable man for relaying a simple message. Yeah guy. Thanks - so much.

Second, let's have a little lesson on computer etiquette...if you're in a snit have questions, and need to communicate your concerns via email -  read it, reread it and then it's still probably a good idea to sit on it for a while before you hit send. The first one came across as if she were accusing me of misappropriating her money.

This good woman usually sets a store on appearances and tries very hard to be ladylike and gracious. I'm not saying she's not...but still that email could have used a little work.

You know, I spend a lot of time in small acts of service. Trying to do my bit to make the world...blah blah, blah blah. Of course I get irritated by people, which is one of the reasons why I started this blog - so I could bitch, get over it and get on with it. You know, my faults are legion, my virtues few, but I'm a  pretty straight shooter and to insinuate that I'm not...

I, of course, took my own advise. In replying to her email... I wrote it, reminding them, gently, that they had already been told it was a split order, (actually I think I just implied The Youngest may not have passed the message to give them an out, but he had, I'd checked as soon as he got back in the rig...) read it, reread it and then sent it.

I am sooo good.

Then I promptly vented here.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Dentist's Chair

Friend Wendy is forever talking about the indignities of aging. She's not at all shy about declaring her intent to have her chest restructured sometime soon. Doesn't want to be bigger just wants everything to be back where it used to be...before gravity intervened.

I'm here to tell you I've found a solution. At the dentist's they've got those handy dandy chairs that recline and tilt back?  Well, last week, I found myself being tilted back until I was becoming distinctly uneasy. Surely my head was down far enough?


A little farther?

Okay, we're good, right?

Hey! Doc! Any further and I'm going to slide right out of the chair onto the floor! And then I became aware of a slight shift.

Uh-oh. More tilt. More shift.

I can feel my cheeks starting to burn and I'm thinking this is an "interesting" dilemma.

Wendy dear, think incline/inversion table. The girls haven't been that close to my chin for...years.

Who knew one should wear a sports bra to the dentist?????