Monthly Archives: May 2008

Allergy Central, checking in

My throat hurts and my nose itches.  Half of us are sneezing and blowing our noses from seasonal allergies.  I’m wondering if it is possible to just snort Benedryl? 

WWC#37: Penultimate and Entrance

Welcome to Weekly Words Challenge #37

This words for this week are PENULTIMATE (next to last) and ENTRANCE.   I formerly thought that penultimate meant not quite the ultimate, so this was a week for me to learn a new word! 

For your own word edification and photography challenge, check out the Weekly Words Challenge, brought to us each week by the pontificating Tink.  

I have been blessed with 4 sons:
Disneyland boys
By dictionary definition, son#3 is my penultimate son.  
He’s not sure he likes that moniker, but it’s my blog and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t constitute future therapy sessions.  


Here to make his official entrance is my penultimate son, Humorous-Juniorous.  He earned that name by nature of his sharp wit and uncanny resemblance to his father.  Some would call it a spittin’ image.  His quick mind and sense of humor blend together in such a way that he comes up with some real zingers.

H-J plays the flute and is a voracious reader. 
He also loves Nintendo. 

H-J May 2008, say \




Forget “Cheese” … just say Wii!! 





And you wonder why I call him Humorous-Juniorous?



Wondering why he is called Humorous-Juniorous??


This photo was admittedly taken more than 2 years ago, but it is such a cute picture of H-J that I wanted to add it to this post.  Because I’m his mom. 
UPDATE:  Moo commented that I didn’t have an entrance submission.  She is sort of right…and in deference to her, I give you this lovely door, which was an entrance to the girls’ weekend abode:
A beautiful door makes for an enticing ENTRANCE

Memorial Day 2008: Remember…

Please take a moment today and remember…

picture from Sometimes Saintly Nick at Nick’s Bytes

Memorial Day is upon us.  For many Americans, it is a day of no school and no work, a day of picnics and games and perhaps even camping.  For some, it is the first weekend of summer. 

For my brother, a Marine, it is a day to take his children aside and teach them about the sacrifice of others who have gone before him. 


Too often folks equate the military as pro-war.  I don’t see it that way.  Personally, I don’t know any soldiers who want to leave their families, and I certainly don’t know any families who want their loved ones to go to war. 

Sometimes Saintly Nick wrote about this last Wednesday; I highly recommend a visit to read this post. 

I’m just sayin’…

Over at Juggling Life, Jenn wrote a great post on May 24th about overheard conversations.  (She’s actually written several of them.) 

Folks do say the darndest things.  At times I even remember to collect those sayings that struck me as funny, or curious, or odd…  Whatever.

“My butt is draggin’ today.”   
(Yes, the sparks are flying!!)  

“Safer than swimming with piranha while wearing a baloney bathing suit.” 
(And you would know this…how?)

“This looks like the work of someone smoking some while watching ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ in the Pink Taco Restaurant.” (Jason Rose, president of Scottsdale-based Rose & Allyn Public Relations, referring to the new Starbucks logo)

“Humans have a greater vocal range than Mockingbirds.”  This would be my 15yo son’s idea of dinner table conversation.

“Yeah, I read that in Stephen Hawking’s book.”  Same 15yo son, different subject…at least I think so!   Yes, he has read  A Briefer History of Time.

What are some (rated G or PG) sayings that you have heard recently?


WWC#36: Pure Regret

Regret is a simple and yet complicated thing. 

Some of the more simple forms of regret take place in our landscaping.
Whomever planted these bushes must have wanted them to grow into a large hedge.  They did.  It has been 30 years since our house was built, and we now have a barely-manageable hedge.  MusicMan used a step-ladder to reach as far into the center of the hedge as he could, to cut the top down to size.  He finally had to crawl into the hedge and pop up like a gray mole from underground, in order to finish the job.  This is because the only thing between the back side of the hedge and the cement steps to the basement is a rickety iron railing. 

And that’s just at the back of the house. 

 In the front of the house we bought last year was a very overgrown hedge.

No, I’m not talking about the rhododendron that’s nearly as tall as the house itself.  I’m talking about the hedge that lined the entire front porch…the hedge that only let folks pass through to the front door in single file.  

It was made up of 2 different kinds of evergreen bushes.  I believe that one type of bush was in the boxwood family; the other type of bush was sort of Christmas-tree style. 

Did I mention it was a VERY BIG HEDGE ?

In the heat of summer, my husband and 2 teenagers worked to take it down.  After days of sweaty, back-breaking work, only 2 bushes were removed.  It was at this point that we had the brainy idea of cutting the remaining bushes back.  WAY BACK.  
Poor bush, we regret your pruning

Poor bush, we regret your pruning.

close-up of pruned branchSuperDad did his best to describe proper pruning techniques, but sometimes teenagers take everything so literally!  When he said to cut away any straight branches, only leaving those that curved and twisted, he didn’t realize there was a very important straight branch right in the middle of you…
Thankfully, there are small signs of hopefulness in our pruning madness.  New growth is happening, and SuperDad is vindicated in ruthlessly ruining the hedge his plan for the bushes that line our front porch. 

However, I’ve only blathered on talked about the simple sorts of regret. 

Now for the heavy stuff…

posing with my dad last nightMy father left this morning; after a 5-day stop at our house, he is continuing his journey, visiting family around the United States.  I’m not sure how many miles he is logging, but he is driving a large loop around the “lower 48.”  His health hasn’t been stellar over the past few years and this was a trip he was VERY determined to make.  His children were concerned that he might not “make it” (frankly, we feared he’d end up dying part-way through) but we are VERY happy to be proved wrong.  I regret that it has been over 5 years since we last saw him.   {I also regret that I was wearing a t-shirt and an apron for this pic!}  Since my given name means pure, this photograph is where I will sum up my “Weekly Words Challenge” submission. 

To find out all the how-to’s of the WWC, go here.
The well-rested Tink, freshly back from vacation, is our fearless leader. 

In which Encyclopedia Blue eats a scorpion

 That wasn\'t chicken
It is important to know where your food comes from and your own individual place on “the food chain.”  Some of us choose to eat meat.  Some of us choose to not eat meat.  I have a friend who will eat chicken, turkey, and fish, but she refuses to eat of any animal that suckles its young. 

I remember being a kid (the people kind, not the goat kind!!) on my uncle’s farm, helping to feed the Nancy the pig, and then later helping to eat Nancy the pig.  Yes, my uncle made sure we knew what we were eating.  I considered it a good education.

We’ve never tried to hide food reality from the boys.  When the oldest ones were little, they wanted to know what they were eating: “What’s this?”  “Pork.”  “What animal does it come from?”  “It’s pig meat.”  “Oh.  OINK!!” …and then they’d giggle and continue eating.

Our nurse practictioner was vegetarian and he was so sure that if kids knew that their hamburgers came from cows that said “MOO,” they’d never eat hamburgers!  My oldest kids proved him wrong.

This is not true for all 4 of our boys.  The SnakeMaster actually turns green when meat is discussed like that.  And I’ve told him that if he is willing to eat a healthy vegetarian diet, I am willing to serve it to him.  He is not quite to that point yet (too picky about beans and such) and he needs his protein. 
H-J would prefer it if all foods could taste like candy (but not the cinnamon flavored kind).  He likes chocolate, and simple homemade nachos (chips and cheese, melted together in the microwave for 22 seconds), and milk, and watermelon & green grapes.  On more than one occasion, I have found spinach leaves in the washing machine and dryer; his chosen method for sneaky avoidance of that healthy food seems to be to pocket the evidence. 
My own Music Man is a true meat-and-potatoes kind of guy.  He is very happy to see meatloaf with gravy and mashed potatoes on the table, and he has been known to over-consume the spuds simply because we tell him that he served himself more than he could possibly eat.  Teenagers love to prove their parents wrong. 
Encyclopedia Blue has always been a foodie, for better or for worse.  He is also the healthiest eater (by his own choice) of the 4 boys. 
We have several favorite family stories concerning E.B. and food:  the time he ate pickled asparagus, said “This almost tastes yucky!” and then helped himself to more… and how, as a baby, he demanded that his food be shoveled into his mouth as quickly as possible.  He would cry if it wasn’t spooned in fast enough, but if you satisfied his need for speed, he would end up choking and crying as he spit it all out.  Then he would cry again because his mouth was empty. 
It’s a good thing he loved to eat, because as we struggled through food allergy discoveries, so many foods gave him an upset stomach (or worse).   When E.B. was very young (up through the age of 4), he was allergic to dairy AND soy proteins…along with other things.  As he was a nursing baby, I also had to give up quite a few foods during the first year and a half of his life.  It was a challenging time for both of us.  He did outgrow those food allergies –a tremendous blessing for us all!– and today he is my most adventurous eater.  
A few years ago, a friend of mine was living in China.  She sent us a Christmas package containing a lovely scarf for me and a jar of smoked scorpions for the boys.  Apparently, these are quite the delicacy and we were lucky to have those dried bugs.  They smelled awful.  Stank.  Reeked.

 And Encyclopedia Blue ate one. 

WWC#35: Earth 7 (no, it’s not a planet, a spaceship, or a bad movie…yet)

This week, I am an underachiever.  (Do you give awards for that, Tink?)
I’d like to blame it on the migraine I woke up with, but really?  I was more focused on the girls’ weekend (and the fact that my dad arrives for a visit tomorrow) than I was on this week’s Weekly Words Challenge. 

So here are my interpretations:
Perhaps one of the prettiest places on EARTH
Perhaps one of the prettiest places on EARTH

Choices of 7
Choices of 7
because I have spent the past several days either trying to read directions or trying to give directions.


Have you seen today’s “Pearls Before Swine” by Stephan Pastis?

Don’t forget tomorrow is WWC day!  The words are SEVEN and EARTH. 

New family member

I’m on my way out of town for the weekend, but I just had to post this picture:
I can\'t wait to meet her!

I’m a great-aunt to a beautiful new baby girl! 

WWC#34: (1,2,) Three….Fire!

My mind isn’t as focused on WWC as it should be this week.  I’m thinking about the upcoming weekend, when 2 friends from high school days (a long, long time ago) are flying in for a girls weekend.  WOOT!! 
Yes, for Mother’s Day weekend, I am running away from my husband and children having a break from on-call motherhood.  It is an honor to be chosen to host this year’s “Girls Gone Mild” weekend.  Current plans include each of us getting a massage/facial, hiking, and wine-tasting.  Because we intend to have a totally relaxing weekend, we decided this should be our mascot
 (photo courtesy of google images)

But enough about that!  You’re here for Tuesday’s Weekly Words Challenge brought to us all by Tink at Pickled Beef. 

I had been hinting that I’d like a FIRE pit, but SuperDad wanted to be able to play horseshoes.  Since he was the one putting himself and the 2 oldest boys to work on our sunny Sunday afternoon, you can see that…
Our new horseshoe pit has one, two, THREE sides:

After I took the above picture, I wandered over to the garden. 
I found one of the few foods deer will not eat:

a FIERY red pepper!!    (SuperDad likes them, so he must have missed this one last fall.)

Tune in next week when the WWC will include the words SEVEN and EARTH