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Showing posts from October, 2008

FUN WITH FIRE!!!!

OK, I know one day very soon I'll break down and try this myself because I just can't stand not having this totally awesome trick under my belt. (Let's face it, my exploding coffee creamer only gets me so far...) I saw this on Food Detectives (Food network) and looked around online to prove it. And it's true. Grapes, when cut a certain way, will explode into flames when put in the microwave. Apparently the electolytes in the little fruit arc between the halves (you have to cut the grapes a certain way) and the thing shoots up in flames. Science is so cool. Anybody ever try this? Anybody want to bet how long it takes me before I set my house on fire? (FYI: I found a video of it here: http://vimeo.com/1761680?pg=embed&sec=1761680 )

My totally insightful thought for the day

I am constantly struggling with explaining things to my kids. It's nearly impossible for them to understand the adult world, but I have to admit the following description of a "bad mommy day" is nearly perfect. Ellen to Toby getting ready for a shower while he runs around naked and pretending to sing opera at 8:45PM: Just be good so mommy stops yelling so much today. Me: Have I really been yelling all day? Ellen: Well, not ALL day. But a lot of it. Me, tempers rising as Toby is still not behaving and now my daughter has called me out on my crappy parenting: Well let me explain it to you this way. Imagine you wake up and someone hands you a piece of homework and you have to do it. You have to do their work! And every time you finish one problem, they erase it. Over and over. And over and over. And then, when you finally get something finished, they hand you another piece of homework. All day long, you can never get anything done because you're busy not accomplishing an

Stress-inducing school photos: Just tuck in a t-shirt?

It was pretty fitting that the forms came home from school because I was just noticing how much dust had formed on last year’s school pictures. Now that we’ll be getting new ones, I suppose I can hold off on the Pledge until I replace the toothless, hairless smiles from last year with brand new ones. School picture day is extremely insignificant in the context of the entire world, but in the tiny world that my children and I live in, it is a huge deal. They are very concerned about what they are going to wear to be preserved in childhood history, and I am very concerned about ordering enough copies for all of the grandparents, not to mention remembering to send the money to school that day. Of course, there are other things I worry about too, all which stem from the disastrous memories of my very own school picture days. In first grade, the cowlick that still exists on the right side of head was in full force which only complimented the bangs that my mom cut at a too-steep angle. A

Piano Practice

Ellen (aka Carmen Miranda) practices for her piano program... CLICK HERE to view.

Darn the first entry -- THE BOOTS.

I hope to, years from now, sift back through the archives to view the very first entry of this blog. And most likely, I'll be disappointed because reading things that you've personally written aren't quite the same as reading what someone else wrote. Just like coffee and salad always taste better when someone else makes it. It's one of those worldly mysteries that not even Nancy Drew could figure out. I'm starting this blog in lieu of my old web site which is now defunct because the whole economy is going somewhere in a handbasket. But this [free!] alternative gives me one great place to post everything and anything I want, combining my old blogs, SmallTownSoup.blogspot.com and OutdoorMama.blogspot.com. But to put something of substance in this first entry of this new blog, I thought I'd tell a bit about the boots you see in the logo. This photo was taken before Annie was big enough to wear shoes, so there's only two little boots following mine. Toby's

Piano Practice

Ellen (aka Carmen Miranda) practices for her piano program... CLICK HERE to view

Too funny not to share

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Toby is almost 5 years old, and last weekend my husband, Ryan, took him out squirrel hunting for the very first time. They sat silently in the woods and when the time was right, Ryan pulled the trigger and the squirrel, still with a nut in his mouth, took his final breath. Ryan went to retrieve the little guy and left my own little guy sitting silent at the tree so that they could wait for the next squirrel to hop by. When he got back, Toby picked up the dead animal, petted it, and at one point even rubbed his cheek on the soft fur. Ryan was very impressed that Toby wasn't afraid of the dead animal. When it came time to dress and clean the animal, Toby was right there to learn. He happily scooped the guts out with his little hands. Again, Ryan was very impressed. Examining all of the body parts, Toby asked "is this the poop-hole, dad?" "No," answered his Dad, not really ready for what came next, "that is his weiner. And that there are his, uh, er, his nuts.

Too funny not to share

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Toby is almost 5 years old, and last weekend my husband, Ryan, took him out squirrel hunting for the very first time. They sat silently in the woods and when the time was right, Ryan pulled the trigger and the squirrel, still with a nut in his mouth, took his final breath. Ryan went to retrieve the little guy and left my own little guy sitting silent at the tree so that they could wait for the next squirrel to hop by. When he got back, Toby picked up the dead animal, petted it, and at one point even rubbed his cheek on the soft fur. Ryan was very impressed that Toby wasn't afraid of the dead animal. When it came time to dress and clean the animal, Toby was right there to learn. He happily scooped the guts out with his little hands. Again, Ryan was very impressed. Examining all of the body parts, Toby asked "is this the poop-hole, dad?" "No," answered his Dad, not really ready for what came next, "that is his weiner. And that there are his, uh, er, his nuts.

Look out, folks—there was a well-timed spark

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The little fire-making workshop came just at the right time because lately I’d been really getting bogged down by the daily doldrums of being a mom. Stuff was starting to get to me. I’d practically break into a sweat about the smallest things, like I had totally lost perspective on what really matters in life. Not that fire really matters, but I found myself worrying about what the other moms would say if I fed my kids white bread and at what percentile the baby clocked in. It was getting out of hand, and I knew it when, driving to my little fire-making workshop, I bombarded my husband with my apparently annoying life. And if I would have been a fly on the wall in my own conversation, I probably would have thrown up. “The weather these days is so annoying. The school rule is that it has to be 60 degrees before you are allowed out without a coat, and I know this because I got scolded for not wearing a coat one morning, and now it’s like 59 degrees when we leave for school and the kid ha

Of bald eagles and cheerleaders

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You’re never too old to learn something, right? Playing a child’s board game recently, I have learned two very interesting fact. For one, I never knew that a group of twelve or more cows is called a “flink.” (And I am anxious to add it to my next Scrabble game!) Secondly, I learned that the bald eagle when it is a young bird, looks nothing like a bald eagle. Like most birds, they start off kind of funny looking with grayish down that covers their little bodies. At about three or four weeks, the little birdie begins to grow its secondary coat of gray down, and by the time the little dude (or dudette, as it may be) is around 6 weeks old, it will be nearly as large as its parents—but will just start growing in its black feathers. Not white, black. In other words, no bald head. The white feathers that grow on the head and the tail and that are so characteristic of bald eagles don’t grow in until sometime during the bird’s fourth year of life. In other words, eagle kids don’t look anything

Learning things the hard way prove to be real life lessons

This past week I learned, the hard way, that one should not roast hot chili peppers on the same day one goes to the dentist. This is, of course, because of that last minute rush to the bathroom, five minutes before your appointment, where you scrub the garlic bagel out of your breath and hope to trick the dentist into thinking that you floss more frequently than a full moon. Because when you are rushing to roast hot peppers and then floss your teeth, you tend to be a bit lazy with the whole rubber glove/hand scrubbing thing, and you inevitably end up running around the bathroom, fanning your face, spitting, and yelling “my lips are on fire! My tongue is on fire!” Eventually the burning subsides and you go to the dentist and while laying there in the chair, mouth pried open with multiple instruments that suck and scrape and grind hanging out, you sit your nine-month old baby on your lap in the hopes to keep her occupied while your mouth is sucked and scraped and ground. And to keep h