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2 kids. Memories of Wolf and Boo. Many dear friends. Three siblings. Two parents. Samarra the crazy dog. The Player and Pi the Cat. I love you all!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Spy Who Might Love Me

Saturday is here, and the dog woke me up earlier than the kids for a change.  He's been out, stared at his food bowl, and drank some water, now is up on the couch and if he were in a cartoon strip there would be a bubble above him with the words "I want to go for a walk NOW...please oh please oh please oh PUHLEEZE..."

He's not wearing the bunny ears this morning, in case you were wondering.

He got so excited about one of his walks yesterday that I swear when he saw the leash he jumped and all 4 legs left the ground at the same time.  Not bad for my old dog.

Well, he'll get his walk, and then he'll want another one 15 minutes later.  Sorry Wolfster.  You can't always get what you want.

He won't get to go on vacation with us in 2 weeks, which he doesn't know about yet.  He also won't get to go visit his dog buddy Wilson because Wilson's owner moved and isn't dog-sitting anymore.  ACK!  What am I gonna do?  I have 2 weeks to figure it out, I'd better get going on that. 

Wolf would love to go on vacation with us, run on the beach, and pee all over a whole new state. He'll have to settle for some new friends somewhere closer to home, and some new bushes to water.

Later today the kids will be with their dad, and I'm going to work a few hours (I got suckered into volunteering...what kind of backbone gene am I missing, anyway?) and then later go to a movie at the Normal Theater with Willemina.  It looks good, and I've never been to a movie at the Normal Theater that wasn't worth seeing.  I've never won the door prize either.  So maybe this will be MY lucky day. 

Speaking of movies, the kids were watching The Spy Next Door on DVD last night, and they decided that I should get married again to a spy.  Now I did tell them I had no intention of dating anyone or marrying again, and certainly not a spy.  Or Jackie Chan, which was what they REALLY had in mind.  An actor who plays a spy.  They assured me that I'm cute enough to get a guy like Jackie Chan.

Is that a compliment?  Ummm...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Slowing Down

It's Friday.  It's the last "freaky friday" trip of the summer for my kids, who will be going to a water park called Sholem in Champaign today.  They went there last summer and said this is a good one.  They are now connoisseurs of Illinois Water Parks.  Yes, yes they are indeed.

Now while typing that last paragraph, I had to stop and look up the word connoisseur in the dictionary.  My big red old hardback American Heritage Dictionary.  The same one mentioned way back in my early days of blogdom when I discovered to my great horror that the word HUMMUS was not in that dictionary.  Gasp!

I was reminded while looking up the word connoisseur of the joys of stopping to look a word up in the dictionary.  Yes, I can use spell check, but the joy of opening that book and browsing and then finding the word you are looking for and getting a bunch of related information about the word, such as, for example, connoisseur is from French and Latin...and then I remembered the Spanish word Conocer which means to know personally (like you would know a person but not how you would know information ... that word is Saber).  Well, call me a Word Nerd but I love that stuff!

Then there is the joy of having another entry catch your eye and attention.  My big old red AHD has photos and drawings in the sidebars.  And today what caught my eye was a photo of Joseph Conrad.  Yes, the guy who wrote, among other things,  Heart of Darkness.  Scary story!

Well, while looking for the word connoisseur and finding a photo of old Joe, I discovered that Joseph Conrad is not English, as I'd thought, but born in Poland as Teodor Josef Konrad Korzeniowski.  He was born in 1857, 100 years before me! 

See, if I hadn't chosen to look that word up in the dictionary I'd never have known that.  And I bet you that info will come in handy someday.  Maybe while doing something important, really important, like a crossword puzzle with my dad!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


The other day Sierra was worried about what Wolf would be for Halloween.  Hmmm.  I didn't know either!

First she put a Cubs hat on him.  But that isn't a COSTUME I whined.  Ok, she said.  I thought he looked a little like a Dog Train Conductor in a hat, though so we went on a hunt for an old striped conductor's cap we once had.  We didn't find it in the closet.  We didn't find it in the Dress-Up-Clothes box either.  But we DID find some bunny ears in that box, and Sierra thought that would make a good costume for Wolf!

Wolf, on the other hand, thought it would be a good way to trick bunnies!  Incognito Dog!  He's so clever, that Wolf.

Out in my yard there is a weed going incognito as a flower that is kind of pretty.   It is called Clammy Groundcherry in English, but I recognized it as the Tomatillo plant from Ecuador.   

The fruit hides in those light-green paper-lanternish pods, and is poisonous until it's ripe.  Since I don't know how to be sure when it ripens, we won't be having any Clammy Groundcherry Jam this year.

The Latin name for this plant is Physalis Heterophylla and it's part of the nightshade/tomato/potato family.  I didn't know those plants were all so closely related until I looked up the little purple flowers with yellow centers that I see on my walks with Wolf when we are out stalking bunnies!  The one I see all over the neighborhood looks like this:

When I first looked that up I just read that it was called Bittersweet Nightshade.  I didn't continue digging for more information until I was watching a program on PBS one night about plant diversity and saw photos of a potato plant in Peru that had flowers looking nearly identical to these.  When I went back to my Wildflower book and read more, I found that nightshade is part of the potato family.  This family of plants is huge and includes petunias, too!  Well, whaddya know!

Here are what my cherry tomato blossoms look like:

I'm just amazed by the family resemblance!  I'm easily amused is probably a better way to put it.  Simple minded even.  But happy with my discoveries!  

And Wolf is happy when I take him for lots of bunny-hunts carefully disguised as walks, too!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Technologically Challenging Activity for the 50-and-Over Crowd

Here's the deal.

My sister Connie (barely into her 40's) and my brother Mark (just generally "too young" i.e. not yet 40) did this cool thing on their blogs yesterday in which they followed several steps to create their own album cover.  I, too, followed the steps

1.  Go to wikipedia and click on Random, and that entry is the name of your band.

COOL!  My band's name is, (no I am NOT making this up)  Empress Tiruwork Wube.

Ok, so far I am psyched.

2.  Go to quotationspage.com and scroll down to the bottom and take the last 4-5 words of the last quotation and that is the name of your album.

COOLER!  My album is called  More Important than Knowledge.

I'm incredibly psyched now.

3.  Go to flickr and the 3rd photo is your album cover photo.

AWESOMENESS!  Here's my photo for my album cover:

Oh, wait it's not a public photo.  But it's a gorgeous photo of steps leading up to a sky with gorgeous colors and light shining through clouds and...well you get the idea..A Stairway to Heaven so to speak (Oh NOW you get the music for the day choice!)

4.  Put together with Photoshop or something similar.


Well, it's a great idea, and I bet my sister or my brother or some other followers who are under 50 and not technologically challenged can enjoy putting my cover together for me.  In the meantime I'm just enjoying calling myself Lead Singer for Empress Tiruwork Wube.  And claiming to have something more important than knowledge...obviously more important than knowledge of Photoshop anyway.

AND now, a little joke from my PT friend Mary about exercise for the over 40 crowd:

First start with two 2-pound potato sacks.  Lift to shoulder height.  Repeat 10 times.

After a few days, when that feels easy, increase to 5-pound potato sacks.   After that, 10 pound sacks.

Eventually you should be able to lift 2 50-pound potato sacks to shoulder height. 

After that is easy to do 10 times, you can increase the difficulty by going ahead and adding a potato to the sacks.

HAHAHAhahaha..haha..ha..h....whew, winded from all that laughing, er I mean exercise.

ps - if you want the exact instructions for the album cover creation go to http://www.connielouwho.blogspot.com/

Pop Music

My kids are now learning about pop music outside the house.  It seems to have happened on the bus trips they take on Fridays as part of their summer day camp program.  The trips are great.  They cost a little more but the kids get to go to water parks all over the state...Joliet, Yorkville, Champaign, Springfield, and so on.  They get to ride school buses to these places and apparently the bus driver plays some radio stations that play music that I don't listen to...yet.

Last night while messing around on Playlist, I was telling the kids that Michael Jackson sang with his brothers when he was a little kid.  They didn't know any of the songs from his Jackson Five days, so I found ABC and played it for them.  They cracked up..."That's MICHAEL JACKSON?"  His voice did sound like a little kid and a sweet one at that.  We danced around the living room a little bit.  Then they asked me to find some songs that they like.

I now know who Justin Bieber is.  He sounds like a girl.  Sierra does a great job of imitating him and dancing at the same time.  In her bathrobe.  With a kleenex hanging off her lip because of the big split in her lower lip.  OH, I forgot to tell you about yesterday's accident at the pool. 

She and a little kid collided while "walking" around the edge of the pool.  The little kid was ok, and "didn't even apologize"...while Sierra bit into her lower lip so deeply that there was a lot of blood and a call to mom to come pick her up.  It was split pretty deep but I know from experience that things like that generally heal up nicely on their own.  The experience?  Oh last summer I got a call from the day camp that Jeremiah and another kid had collided while playing volleyball and Jeremiah had a big split in his lower lip and mom needed to come and pick him up.

That time I took him to a dentist and an oral surgeon before finally learning that things like this generally heal up on their own quite nicely.

So this time I used the Instant Movie on Netflix and wet kleenex treatments.  They worked like a charm. 

Except that even by dinner time she was still drinking through a straw.  We were having ravioli.  I thought she'd be able to chew something soft and bland like that on the side of her mouth.  But no.  She wanted it blended. 

Jeremiah and I nearly gagged.  I blended the ravioli with a little water (per her instructions).  It looked awful.  She took a sip through a straw.  Ok, she said, I can do this!

Jeremiah turned pale.  She took another sip.  No, she said, it's not good.  I'll just skip dinner for now.

Jeremiah looked relieved beyond measure.

Well, later we danced and she ate some cheese which she says finished the healing process because it was cold.  Never mind the 15 times she refused to put ice on her lip in the afternoon. 

So, Oh Oh Oh Baby Baby Baby...ABC, 123, that's how easy love can be!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Randomness on a Monday Morning

The Cubs didn't win last night, they lost in 11 innings 4-3, but they gave a good showing.  During the game I continued to be impressed by center fielder Marlon Byrd.  He knows how to hit the ball, throw the ball, and catch the ball.  (That's what baseball is all about after all.)  AND he runs as hard as he can every time he's on the bases.  No standing around waiting to see if the ball is a home run or an out.  In fact, I told my kids that when I get to manage the Cubs I might get rid of almost all the players and start over, but I'm keeping Marlon Byrd.  And if I can't manage the Cubs then I told the kids he could just be my boyfriend.

I'd better find out if he's married.  Also he's probably too young for me.  Too.  Young.  Yeah, better stick to the managing idea.

I went to the combined Unitarian-NCC service yesterday.  Fancy!  And I just want to say that I think we've got the best deal going in town at NCC.  I won't go into detail here, but I will say I'll be looking forward to sitting in our semi-circles and having little Anna be able to dance in the back freely during communion next week.  (Didja see her squirming as she tried to walk in line down the center aisle with her mom?  Oh dear.)

While I was there I saw my divorce lawyer, Gary!  He's a Unitarian.  Who knew?  I meant to thank him for making it possible for me to be Marlon Byrd's new girlfiriend, but I forgot.  Also I guess that hasn't happened quite yet.  Still waiting to see if he's married.  I think I'd better get on the web and find out now, before a very mad Mrs Byrd finds out and ruins my chances of getting to be manager of the Cubs....excuse me...

Ok, I'm back.  Marlon is too too too young, and married.  Never never never mind!

He's even younger than my brother Mark.  He's even younger than Michael Buble!  How is that possible?

Today I am planning to do some home-study classes for my physical therapy license.  Every 2 years we have to complete 40 hours of approved continuing education classes to keep our license current.  And pay money to keep our license current, of course.  And pay money for the classes, of course.  But it's worth it, of course.  So I need 15 more hours by the end of September.  I don't usually wait this long.  But this time I did.  So today I'm planning to get through a 4-hour class on pharmacology (oh joy, rapture, biochemistry!) and maybe start a 5-hour class on radiology which should be fun...looking at MRI and Xrays on my computer.  Later in September I'm going to a one-day class in the Chicago suburbs for a class on Pilates for PTs.  (While there I hope to squeeze in a lunch interview with the Cubs general manager, whose name I should probably learn first.)  That class is 7 hours, so that puts me safely over my requirements by an hour!  Whew!

I wonder if they will mention they effects of hiding your medicines in bon-bons in the class?  I'll be sure to let you know if they do!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What a Day!

I don't mean to brag here, but since I announced my intention to seek the job as Manager of the Chicago Cubs, they have gone on a winning streak of 2 games.  Not just any two games, though, but the first two in a series against....da da da DAH (imagine Beethoven's Fifth here)...the St. Louis Cardinals.  HA.  Game 3 in the series is today, and as I told my friend Todd, the St. Louis Fan, "my laughter will most certainly come back to bite me in the behind, probably today" but he wrote back on Facebook that "it's okay, everyone needs a little Hope."

The nerve of that guy!

Well, anyway.  Enjoy listening to Steve Goodman sing Go Cubs Go today, and thank you to Susan for carefully walking me through the steps of getting music on my blog.

Speaking of Susan, I thought her comment about putting her nightly medications in bon-bons was very clever.  I think if I did that, though I might overdose.  Then instead of thinking I'd died from an overdose of medication, my death certificate would say, "death by bon-bon"...which wouldn't be the worst way to go, come to think of it.

Yesterday while at Grady's fun park (yes, again...this time to celebrate July birthdays for Jeremiah, Nick, AND Isaiah!) I saw something else that seemed like it could kill you if you ate even more than one of them..

Yes, let me be the first to coin the phrase "Death by Deep-Fried Twinkie."  NOT available in places like Uppity Town Normal, let me assure you.  No, you have to drive to south Bloomington (gasp!) to get those.

The boys rode the Round Up.  Over and over. Here are the pictures from that adventure:

Legs belonging to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Nick, and some kid we don't know,  from left to right.


Up, and


Later they had sodas (all four kids had to be forced to sit down in the shade and relax for a few minutes and drink something, even in that heat!)  and they admired the ride that they had just been on.

When I got all four of them together, do you think I could get them all to smile for the camera at the same time?  I told Nick that someday he'll be sorry for that face, but he doesn't believe me.  HA!

Grady's had a benefit yesterday for Children's Hospital in Peoria, so half the money for the wristbands went to a good cause.   After riding every possible ride and playing some mini-golf, we headed back home for cake and ice cream.  It was a great way to celebrate!

And then the Cubs won, AND my Boston Legal DVD (final disc from Season Two) came in the mail from Netflix.  So all-in-all, a fine and dandy day!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Epicurian Delights

I intended to blog today about how our dog, Wolf, is an epicure.  I came to this conclusion when, after giving him his little blue pill (no, not Zoloft...some kind of thyroid medicine) in a small spoon of peanut butter for months and months, I switched to a generic brand of peanut butter and...he would no longer fall for the pill-in-the-peanut-butter trick. 

I gave Sierra the camera this morning and told her to please take a photo just when Wolf turned up his nose at the generic peanut butter.  She was ready, and I got the generic brand (Ok, it's Jewel brand) on a little plastic spoon and offered it to him.  He started to turn his head away and I said "Ok, Sierra, NOW" and then he opened his mouth and start licking that spoon like there was no other food in the world that he would rather eat ever again.


So we have a photo of Wolf licking a plastic spoon that you will not be seeing because in it is also one of my legs looking something like an appendage from a creature in a scary Japanese sci-fi flick from the 50's.  Ok, I really don't know anything about Japanese film, but I can imagine. 

On the topic of food...

Yesterday I made the new potatoes that I got at the farmer's market and they were unbelievably good. I can't believe I ate the whole thing!  I boiled those little red beauties on low for 25 minutes.  Then I sliced them in half, drizzled a little EVOO and butter over them, a little salt and a little parmesan grated over them, and then I offered them to my children.  They smelled them and turned their heads away as if I'd offered them generic peanut butter served on a sci-fi-critter's appendage.  So I ate those papitas all by myself.  And I'm really happy about it.

I can't believe I wrote a whole blog entry about food and forgot to mention hummus.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Help Wanted

I saw in the paper this week that there is going to be a job open soon that I would really like to have.  This almost never happens, as the jobs are usually for hard-working people to work hard for little pay doing things I'm not qualified to do or capable of doing.  Jobs like running an office or driving an 18 wheeler or welding or teaching college chemistry.  The jobs I'm qualified for come advertised in Physical Therapy Today magazine, and in the never-ending mailers for physical therapy jobs that are miraculously always available.  I'm lucky to have a career that has not suffered during the current recesssion, and I know it.

But there is an opening as the Manager of the Cubs that really inerests me.  I think I could do a very good job as manager of the Cubs, and I could certainly do as well as any of the previous managers.  Also my kids would stop complaining when I have to bring work home.  Instead of "Mom, can you please stop making phone calls and come play basketball?"  It would be "Mom, can you call Carlos Silva to come over for a meeting and then he can throw me some batting practice?" 

I see many other advantages as well.  First, of course, I'd get to see every Cubs game.  Heck, I'd have the best seats in the house.  Two, I would likely make more money than I do now.  But I'd take a very low managers' salary just for the first year.  I would promise to take a very very low salary until we win our first World Series and then I'd ask for a big raise! 

I would not need an interpreter to talk to the players from Venezuela or the Dominican Republic.  I can swear in Spanish like a Spanish Sailor.  (Last night at Jeremiah's AJB game the ump made the 3rd terrible call at first base in a row and I said "carajo!" not knowing that one of our coaches lived in New Mexico and speaks good cursing Spanish too.  He gave me a look.  I said "What?  It's not that bad.  I can do worse if you want."  He said, "I can do that too."  Then we went back to the business of watching the game and mumbling quietly in polite English about the ump.)

I think those players need a mother figure at the game.  That would be me.  The bench coaches can do the tobacco-spitting and pitching technique teaching stuff.  I would just set the line-up, give them a pep talk before each game, and decide if they get a time-out or take away their TV time if they behave badly.  Also I would do the interviews with the press. 

It really does make sense.  I wonder how I can get them to look at my resume. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Letter to my Brother

Dear Mark,

Last night at our book group meeting we discussed a book called The Wishbones.  The main character in the book is a guy named Dave, who "accidentally" proposes to his girlfriend of 15 years (15 years on and off as he likes to say) and then is pretty freaked out that he is actually getting married and the story goes on from there. 

In addition to talking about the book, we did discuss you and Betsy. I was prepared to protect you at all costs.  But I didn't have to.  Because the first thing Susan asked me was how old you are.  When I answered, she lost interest in you for her sister.

Now pay attention.  After next year this will almost never happen to you again.

You are too young.

Yes, I promise you that until you are "almost" a senior citizen and want that discount and cannot get it, you won't hear those words again.  Too.  Young.

Enjoy this moment brother!   It's my 39th birthday gift to you, just a few days late.

Love, Kim

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Family that Blogs Together

I helped my dad set up a blog.  You can read it at http://www.tingleytime.blogspot.com/ if you so desire!  Then when I emailed my siblings to let them know that both Mom and Dad are blogging AND that Dad is completely capable of typing in both upper and lower case letters, which is a shock to our entire family, my brother decided being a Blogging Tingley was the way to go.

His blog is at http://www.initialonly.blogspot.com/.    Yes, my brother, the handsome guy you all met at my 50th birthday party.  Oh, wait, none of my followers are single.  Except me.  So forget that.

Ok, not that my Dad isn't handsome, too...but you know, he's taken.  By my Mom.  Ellen.  Who has a blog, too:  http://www.lizting.blogspot.com/.

I DO like how 2/3 of my family now has a blog.  I think they all thought, well JEEZ if Kim can do it, so can I!  And they can.  And I like reading all my friends' and families' blogs.  Blogging is great!  And my family is totally hip in a blogging kind of way.

Ok, maybe I am kind of pathetic in my excitement here.  But you all know, the whole celibacy thing is starting to wear a little thin and I have to get my jollies where I can.

I'm also getting my jollies finding music for my personal playlist on http://www.playlist.com/.  How can I get my music to play on my blog?  Susan?  Mark E?  Help me?

Off the subject of blogs and on to other topics of interest..to me...

Redbook Magazine.  Ok, for some reason I was looking at a Redbook magazine yesterday and I had this bad bad realization.  The LAST time I looked at a Redbook magazine I didn't like it because it was for "older women"..in my mind at the time, anyway, and I was probably 22.  Then flash forward to yesterday.  In my mind, Redbook is still for older women, but as I flipped through it I realized...oh my Gosh...it's for women in their 30's who are way younger and cuter than me!  And who have probably had blogging families forever.  So more hip, too!  I'm over the hill in a Redbook kind of way and didn't even have 5 minutes of enjoying that magazine.

Next topic..food.  Tuesday I went to the Uppity Town farmers market and bought a bunch of great food...tomatoes, green beans, sweet corn, new potatoes, and a loaf of Olive Ciabatta from the Medici bakery.  Then later I went to pick up my Henry's CSA share..onions, fennel, carrots (rainbow colored!), lots of cucumbers (after reading Caroline's blog entry about pickles I understand why there were so many cukes...they are the rabbits of the July vegetable garden, aren't they?), and more tomatoes.  Then I came home and ate....hummus and the olive bread.

It was so good I forgot all about Redbook magazine.  I'm thinking of Vanity Fair, instead!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Getting our daily bread....

I have been reading Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.  It's a non-fiction tale of the year her family spent trying to live only consuming food raised locally and mostly from their own farm.  It's a noble concept, and has made me think more about my own eating habits (love those mangoes from overseas!) without actually feeling guilty, just more thoughtful and optimistic about trying to do more "local eating."

I already am part of Henry's CSA, so that is a good feeling.  My own garden, however, is pitiful at best.  Tomatoes, peppers, and basil.  That's it.  So I'm thinking about getting more of a veggie garden going next year and actually using heirloom seeds to start some of the plants indoors early, and...well, I'm just thinking about it.

My yard is blessed with lots of shade, so I have to figure that out, too.

Then there are the local farmer's markets, which I could certainly frequent more often.  In fact there is one today in Uppity Town Normal.  (That's the only way I can remember to say Uptown instead of Downtown Normal which I think is now a misdemeanor in McLean County, saying Downtown Nor...oops, so is writing it...nevermind).

The book has me thinking not only about good tasting and healthy food, but of course the energy wasted in transporting food around the world and packaging it and so on.  That has left me nostalgic for my lifestyle in Ecuador.  Minimal carbon footprint lifestyle.

1.  I walked or took public transportation (buses mostly) everywhere.  Literally everywhere.  Maybe a taxi once every few months.

2.  I lived in a house for part of the time that was smaller that my kitchen is now, and had no need for a furnace or air conditioning.

3.  In that little house, the chocita as we called it, which means little hut, I had no hot water.  Short showers meant less water wasted.  Brrr...

4.  I had no TV and used an internet cafe if I wanted to email.

5.  I did have electricity, a gas stovetop for cooking, and for a few months a small refrigerator. 

6.  I did my grocery shopping at the Sunday Market...I could buy everything I needed there.  Rice, any fruit that grew in the country (bananas, pineapples, strawberries, mangoes, papaya, mora which is like blackberry, and more and more and mora), oats, all my vegetables, herbs to make tea, and so on.  Everything.  Then I'd have lunch at the market...hornado, which is a whole roasted pig with hominy corn cooked in the juices.  A few slices of meat and the hominy on a plate.  The woman that I always bought from (yes, there were several selling whole pigs slice by slice at the market) liked having one of the local gringas in her line...it was good for business.  So she always smiled and gave me a piece of pork to eat while I waited. 

7.  The only thing they didn't sell at that market that I needed was potatoes.   That's because a few blocks away was the Plaza de Papas...the potato plaza where every Sunday you could buy about 40 different kinds of potatoes, and also shoes.

8. No, I don't know why you could buy shoes at the potato market.  I forgot to ask.

9. Oh wait, I forgot.  The other thing I couldn't buy at the market was milk.  Here is how I got my milk:  Twice a week when I needed milk, I would put an empty pitcher out, inside the water pump shack, with the money inside.  My neighbors who lived down the hill and had cows in the valley up above us, would bring milk straight from the cown, take the money, fill the pitcher, and then holler:  LA LECHE...so that we would know it was there.  I'd take it in, boil it, skim off and save the cream, and that would be that!  Delicious!

Well, you get the idea.  One millionth of my carbon footprint now.  Even though I have a fairly modest lifestyle for the US, it's kind of crazy how much more energy I use.  So I'm going to at least try to get more of my food locally and find a place that sells both potatoes and shoes...oh wait, that would be Walmart.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Oil Change

It's Monday and I don't have to work.

I do have to get the oil changed in my car.  For the first time since I've owned this car, which I bought in September 2003, I went over the recommended 3000 miles between oil changes.  WAY over the 3000 miles.  When I realized it, I was so embarrassed that I was going to get the oil changed at one of those drive-through places instead of at the dealership.  (They know me there, for gosh sakes.  Doubly embarrassing!)

Then when I went to the "10 minute drive through" place, 2 things happened.  First they told me it would be over a half hour wait.  (That made me suspicious...do they know what they are doing?)  Then I remembered how Francisco's truck got ruined and had to have the engine rebuilt after something bad happened at one of those drive-through places.

So I backed up and got out of line, and tucked my proverbial tail between my legs and called the Hyundai dealership.

I got Renee on the phone.  She is always very nice.  Well, so is Robert, the other person at the service desk.  So, I said I needed to schedule an oil change for my car.  She said "We are busy until next Thursday."


I said, well, I'd better go somewhere else because I had gone over the recommended 3000 miles and shouldn't wait so long.

She paused and asked my phone number.  That's how they look up who you are.

Oh, KIM! she said. 
Well...it's so nice to be famous.

SO, what IS your mileage?  she asked.  Then she guessed, about 1000 miles less than it actually is...

Ummmm,  I said.

Monday at 11, she said.

Great! I said.

And so that's what I'm doing today.  Along with some other stuff, of course.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Politics Aside...

In 1984, the year not the book, President Ronald Reagan declared July to be National Ice Cream Month, and the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day!  Who says he wasn't a good president NOW?  Huh?

Actually it was probably this young man's idea to have national ice cream month and day. 

I think I'm going to ask President Barack Obama to declare October (my birthday month) as National Hummus Month.  And the 9th of October (my birthday) National Hummus Day.  I think this would cheer everyone up, take our minds off the economy, the wars, the economy, global warming, the economy, the mess in the gulf, the economy, and the economy. 

It would be timely, too, for the Democrats, to ride the coattails of National Hummus Month right into this fall's midterm elections!

Or maybe it's time for hummus lovers to declare their political independence and form a third (ok, ok, sorry Libertarians and Greens...a fifth) political party ...the Hummus Party USA.  Yes, we need the USA because it will soon have counterparts around the world.  Hummus Party Papau New Guinea, for example.  Now say THAT fast 3 times while chopping a garlic!  Watch out for your fingers!

Actually we might be better off if there were NO political parties.   Imagine!  Just people running on the issues.  Oh my goodness, silly me, what a crazy idea. 

Oh wait, it turns out George Washington warned the country against political parties when he left office as our first president.  Hmmm...What a smart guy!  I bet he would have loved hummus, too!  And ice cream, of course.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

No Joke!

I dreamt last night that I was going to perform a stand-up comedy routine in Spanish!  I was getting ready to go on-stage and realized I didn't have my props, which were 2 stuffed animals.  I found some substitute ones, and was feeling a bit better.  Then I tried to recall my monologue, and my mind was blank.  I couldn't even remember the topics I was going to talk about.

And, I'm not even funny in Spanish!

Well, what a relief to wake up in my own bed, in my own home, with plenty of stuffed animals around.  Even if some of them are living on ceiling fans.

I think my monologue must have been about hummus.  But I'll probably never know.

Did you hear the one about the Spanish-speaking chickpea?  No, me neither.

Well, today we will be staying home and resting.  In particular we will be resting Jeremiah's right leg.  He complained all last week about his ankle hurting "a little" and we've been putting ice on it sometimes and using an ace wrap sometimes.  Yesterday during his baseball game it became obvious that something is wrong.  He was running around on his right toes instead of the foot.  Hobbling is the word I'm looking for, hobbling around.  Yes, not what a physical therapist mother wants to see.  Ice and ace wrap after the game.  Ice and ace wrap and tylenol all day today, leg will be elevated (as soon as he gets up) and if that doesn't make it better, we'll probably be getting it xrayed soon. 

I was feeling confident until yesterday that it was a minor sprain.  Then when I woke up this morning, after the relief of not having to give a Spanish monologue at a comedy club, I remembered the story of my boss at the last hospital where I worked.  She too, is a physical therapist.  Her son hobbled off and on for 3 weeks before she took him to the newest orthopedic doctor in town who xrayed his foot and said it was broken.  Then gave her "the look" when he realized it had been that way for 3 weeks and that she was a physical therapist.

I don't want to get that look.

But your kid keeps saying, "it's fine, I'm much better"...as he hobbles off to the swimming pool slides or to the shortstop position.  And we want to think "he's fine, he's fine..."  (notice I've switched to the first person plural to include all parents or caregivers here, to spread out my worry a bit). 

Escuchaste la broma del hijo de la fisioterapista?  No, tampoco yo!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Things We Learned

On Jeremiah's birthday we learned a couple new things.

One.  Nine year olds who pretty much know what they are getting are NOT fooled by wrapping a small package in a big box. 

Two.  They still are happy when they got what they wanted and no surprises.

Three.  It's easier to blow out the candles if you put them all in one cupcake!

Four.  Fresh blueberries, ice cream, milk, and a little sugar mixed in the blender makes a great summertime treat.

Five. Nine year olds like reading about themselves in their grandma's blog!

Six.  Nine year olds REALLY like getting $5 more than they were expecting in grandma and grandad's card!

Seven.   If your mom forgets and leaves her cell phone in the car and then the battery runs down you won't receive the calls from your grandma and grandad and the next day your mom is going to let you call them back.  (Sorry.)

Eight.  If you can toss three beanie babies onto the blades of a ceiling fan and then turn it on, it's really funny when they come flying off.  That is, if you are eight or nine.

Nine.  I think that's enough learning for one birthday.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy Birthday to Miah!

My mom's blog yesterday about the made-up-words you have to type to comment on blogs cracked me up!  And then she had to type the word FLUCK to comment on MY blog. Which cracked me up even more.  As I wrote back when I saw that:  "I'm laughing so hard I might PLISS my PLANTS!"

So DLAMN, FLUCK, SHLIT (a kind of beer, I think) and PLISS!  Four of the words you used-to-not-be-able-to-say-on-television.  The others really are...very very blad!

Enough of this schlitz...

Jeremiah's team won their game.  He walked a buncha times and struck out once.  I think only one kid on his team actually got a hit.  Lotsa lousy pitches from the other team.  He made 3 great plays in the infield at shortstop and third base.  Everyone loved the cupcakes for a snack, and the coach was shocked to learn how young Jeremiah is.  He is certainly the youngest player on the team.  Coach told Francisco, "he's a natural athlete"...well, yeah, that's true.  I wish I could take credit for it, but the credit goes to...my mom who gave him a foam baseball when he was a baby and he started throwing it overhand before he could even sit up.  I kid you not!

I bought 24 cupcakes at Jewel for the game.  After the players and their siblings had their fill, there were 8 cupcakes left.  (Sounds like a 3rd grade math problem...)  I asked Jeremiah if we could have the leftovers for his actual birthday so I don't have to turn on the oven in this sweltering heat.  He'd just finished playing a game in the sweltering heat, so he was into the idea.  YES, he said.  HURRAY, I thought.

I really did get lucky, getting him for a son!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Got Lucky!

No, no, get your minds out of the gutter.  Jeez...

The 2010 Major League Baseball season is Half Over.  The National League won the All Star Game for the first time since 1996.  And for the first time since the game counts for anything.  (Winning league gets home field advantage in the World Series, since 2003, due to fans getting madder than wet hens when the 2002 game was allowed to end in a tie so prima donna ball players wouldn't have to ...what?...finish the danged game!?  Heck yeah we were mad.  Jeez!)

But that's not why I was lucky. 

No, it's because I only watched an Inning-and-a-Half of the game, but I got to see the NL score all 3 runs with a bases loaded double in the 7th inning.  Double hit by Brian McCann (now nicknamed McCann-Do!) and third run scored by Marlon Byrd, my favorite Cubbie, who ran so fast from first to home that there wasn't much of a play at home. 

He really is my favorite Cubbie this year.  Though I like all of the men in blue, win or lose, of course.  I'm no Half-Baked fan.

So what else was I doing during the other Seven-and-a-Half innings of the game?  I was NOT watching Two and a Half Men, although it would be kind of Half-Heartedly funny if I had been.  No, indeedy, I was watching more of the Boston Legal episodes that my parents have lent to me.  And eating hummus on sesame crackers.  And picking up the vegetables from Henry's CSA, which this week included fennel. 

Attention parents:   I am almost done with these DVDs!  Are there more?  Do you want seasons 3 and 4 as gifts so I can borrow them?  (What a Half-Assed offer THAT was...Jeez).

I have no idea what I'm gonna do with the fennel.  I didn't know it existed outside of the jars of seeds that someone once told me are really good on top of homemade pizza.  I tried it, it's true! But a whole...fennel plant?  I have Half-a-Mind to look in the recipes that Henry's sister sends online when they give us these weird plants.

Or some would just say I have half-a-mind.

Good day, and I hope you all get lucky today, too!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Batter Up!

Hummus is In The House!

Just thought I'd mention that, as the title of my blog IS Hummus Anonymous and I have been remiss in writing about hummus lately, in favor of writing about kids, fame, and backhoes.

It's my old standby, Sabra Pine Nut Hummus.  Which also has a very small amount of roasted red peppers and those are very good in very small amounts.

Last night Jeremiah and I watched the All Star Home Run Derby.  It is an amazing thing to watch those guys pound ball after ball into the seats...400, 440 feet away.  Holy heck!  How do they do that?  Well, for one thing, they keep their weight onto their back foot as long as possible so that they use their whole body to swing and not just their arms....The commentators gave us a physics lesson!

The numbers of home runs the players are hitting in the regular season this year is down from previous years. No one seems likely to hit more than 50, which is still an accomplishment.  But it's the post-steroid era.  I hope. 

Tonight is the All Star Game, this year it's in beautiful southern California.  P-Dub might have seen some of the players at the airport yesterday! 

I will probably watch some of the game.  I know as a fan of baseball you'd think I would watch all of it.  Once upon a time I did watch the whole game with friends as a yearly ritual, my fantasy baseball league friends.  We didn't care so much about the game as getting together...3 times each summer....The Draft, The All-Star-Game and the End of the Year Party.   Yes, I'll bet you didn't know that I started a Rotisserie League back in the 80's when it wasn't very popular yet.    My team was called "Them Pigeons" (we lived in Chicago...).  I never once won money in the 3 years we did the league.  But I had great fun and for a while knew every single player in the Major League and most of their stats!  AND every year the winner of the league, who got like $100 or something, got a botte of Yahoo chocolate soda poured on their head.  So winning wasn't all that attractive anyway.  

The Yahoo ritual was in the official rule book.  I would never have thought THAT up on my own!

 And now, because I know some of you don't like baseball OR hummus, but have read faithfully to the bottom of this post, here is a photo of the collage my Sunday School class made this week:

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Demise of the Snack Shack

It finally happened.  Rain came down.  The tarp blew off.  The Snack Shack got wet beyond help.  Sierra was sad, but when she smelled how bad wet cardboard's odors are, well, she was all for saying goodbye to the snack-shack-and-van.

She drowned her sorrows in a new project.   "I'm tired of baking-soda volcanoes," she informed me.  "Really?"  I thought.  "When have we ever made those?"

Note to self:  check inside Sierra's closet today while she is at camp.

"I'm going to make a new kind of volcano."

All I could think is "Mother Nature, Watch Out!!!"

After a flurry of activity creating the scene (Ecuador)

and a secret internal device for the volcano was loaded up with baby powder (!) and tested, the demonstration was ready.

Pay no attention to the man behind the screen..I mean, the girl blowing into the straw...

Kaboom!  Baby powder explosion!!

Well, it made her so happy that we saved the volcano.  I think we can use it in future garage cleaning lessons!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My Fifteen Minutes of Fame and other things...

Today it is MY turn to be famous.  Andy Warhol says we only get 15 minutes, but I think I may have gone beyond that already.

1.  I'm mentioned in Kathleen's blog today a lot of times.  Wait while I go and count...6 times my name appears! 

2.  My picture is in the Pantagraph!  I am on the front page in color as a little half-person up by the *ph* at the end of Pantagraph, looking at a Story Box, which I eventually purchased at the Sugar Creek Arts Festival.  I'm also in a black and white photo on page B2, doing the same thing but my name is in the caption. 

3.  My picture is on the Pantagraph website, too!  In the Photo Gallery section of the Sugar Creek Arts Festival article.  Same photo as the black and white one on B2 above, this in color.  So you can see me being a famous buyer of art even if you can't get the Pantagraph at your local newstand.

The arts festival was hot, darned hot.  Sunny.  Crowded.  Always a great thing to do.  Attention:   family artists...you too could have a booth at the festival and enjoy sitting outside for two days sweating in the heat to sell and talk to strangers about your art. Or not. 

On a less fame-related note:

Today is my Sunday to teach the kids at Sunday School.  I asked my two if they wanted to come to class today and they said yes.  I asked if they had any ideas or something they wanted to talk about.   They said yes.   They said The World Cup.  They said Soccer. 

Soccer at church?  I asked.

Yes, soccer and Jesus,  they answered.

I felt quite challenged by that.  So I asked for more specifics.  Amazingly they came up with a few. 
Fairness in sports.  And how The World Cup could break down barries by showing people around the world what they have in common.

Well whaddya know!

And of course the World Cup final is today, Holland is playing Spain.  Willemina is out of town, or she would be teaching with me, and we would be singing Hup Holland Hup and drawing pictures of lions in their undershirts.  But instead, we are going to make a big soccer collage!  Inspirement courtesy of Kathleen's bookmark collage project at the Arts Festival.

The materials to collage while making bookmarks were found in used books purchased by Babbitts.  There was quite a variety of materials.  Stamps, real bookmarks from various bookstores around the country.  Letters.  Notes.  Recipes.  Pamphlets.  Pages torn from other books.  Postcards.  Some very old.  Some very odd.  And in a strange coincidence...there was a xeroxed copy of the front of Miner Brock's Birds that Frequent the Night and his photo with the heebeejeebeejesus hairdo. 

The kids will be using magazines for their collages.  I can't wait to see their work...maybe it will have something to do with soccer or Jesus.  Or maybe not.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


First, a few snapshots from the now-famous pool party:

Jeremiah showing off his fade-away jumper in the pool.

Sierra and the famous purple pool noodle!

And Now for Something Completely Different:   a soon-to-be famous artist's rendition of the Tingley Family circa 1973-ish more or less...

Left to right:  Grandad, Kim, Uncle Mark, Aunt Jill, Grandma...

Wait, I said, where is Aunt Connie?

I ran out of room, the soon-to-be-famous artist replied.

Well that explains it.  Artistic license IS everything, I reckon.

Today we will be going to see the works of some other artists at the famous and fabulous Sugar Creek Arts Festival.  And maybe we will get to stop by the Babbitt's Collage-Bookmark-Making- Booth featuring the already famous Kathleen.  And maybe I'll find the woman who makes the funny collage doohickey poems/stories and this year I WILL buy something from her. 

More on the festival tomorrow!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fathers and Daughters and Boys...Oh My!

Thursdays at Day Camp are very pool-intensive, weather permitting.  Thursday morning the kids get the Fairview Pool Water Slides to themselves.  Shorter lines, more sliding!  In the afternoon it's the usual swimming at the pool.  Yesterday Sierra passed the swim test that allows her to go off the diving board at Fairview.  This, from a girl who said she wasn't going off a diving board EVER just 5 short weeks ago.

In the evening she had her last swimming lesson while Jeremiah had a baseball game.  Thus, I was the only one in the family to witness her first attempted dive off the diving board.  All I can say is "wow" and "ouch!"  Those belly flops off the board hurt like the dickens.

Later in class they got to dive off the platforms, which was pretty cool and she had better luck with those. 

Jeremiah's team won their game.  After the game, Coach Brad had a pool party for the boys and cookout for the families at his house.  They have a pretty good-sized above ground pool, just right for about 15 kids to rough-house a bit and make a lot of noise.  Sierra joined the fun, along with Coach's daughter about the same age, and a lot of 9 and 10 year old boys. 

The dad of one of the boys was chatting with us about his nervousness about his daughter starting high school this fall.  He was worried about his 14 year daughter around those "17 year old boys."  Hmm, I thought, as Sierra whapped a cute boy with a purple pool noodle.  The dad is a big imposing looking guy.  I suggested he be sure to drop her off the first day and let any 17 year old wanna-be-trouble-makers get a good look at him.

The dad said he could do even better.  He had told us before that he works "taking care of [name left out in case of future anonymity needs] Cemetery."  Now, I hadn't really thought what "taking care of a cemetery" means.  But last night he said, And I Quote:

My daughter knows to tell any boys that bother her that
1.  My dad likes to hunt.
2.  My dad is a gravedigger.
3.  My dad has about 1000 acres of woods at his disposal.
4.  My dad knows how to operate a backhoe...

Well, that ought to shrivel any young man's...ardor...

He was, of course, joking.  He's a really nice guy.  Then I turned about and saw a different cute boy head into the tree house in the yard with Sierra. 

Sierra, repeat after me:

My dad knows how to use a machete...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Day Off

For breakfast yesterday I had greek olives.  It was that kind of day, when I could do pretty much whatever I wanted.  I stopped answering my phone after the 2nd call from work by 9:00.  The kids were with Francisco.  I did the following:

1.  shopped for groceries
2.  laundry
3.  ate a bunch of really good food including the aforementioned olives, blueberries and yogurt, hummus (surprise!), fresh green beans from Henry's CSA, more hummus, coleslaw made with fresh green and red cabbage and carrots from Henry's CSA, and more hummus
4.  went out for iced coffee with Kathy at Borders and bought a copy of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
5.  listed to a few lectures on CD from my newly arrived "Great Courses" class on "Great Authors of the Western Literary Tradition"  (it's never too late to start a liberal arts education)
6. watched 3 episodes of Boston Legal.  I laughed so hard that I almost peed!
7.  listened to Terry Gross on Fresh Air interview a comic I'd never heard of and heard her laugh so hard that she snorted right there on NPR.  (I love women who snort when they laugh...my friends Patty, from PT school, and Gayle, from Minneapolis used to do that regularly.  I love it because it's so honest and unfeminine)
8.  went to the post office to mail my parents a package.
9.  made a blueberry pie for Francisco, which completes my atonement for Monday's day-camp-goof-up (otherwise known as dampgup)
10.  oh look I made up a new word!
11.  oops, i'm off topic now...let's see, yesterday...
12.  in yesterday's blog I asked Mom to make up a word for "free technical speech difficulties" but she didn't feel much inspirement on that one.  It is true, the best made up words ARE spontaneously done.  But what about frechspiff...sounds German or Dutch.  Hup Frechspiff Hup!
13.  I think I'm done now.

I have to go to work today...all together now....AWWWW!

See y'all tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hup Holland Hup!

Comments from yesterday didn't get published due to Blogger having some kind of free speech issues. Or technical difficulties.  Who knows?  It's good to be a little suspicious sometimes, or so I hear.  Anyway, or as Kathleen would say, "anyhoo..." I got to read the comments on my email.  But I don't think I can publish them here since I don't have the "approval" step in my comments.  Or maybe I'm having free speech/technical difficulty issues.  Or maybe I'm have free technical speech difficulty issues.  Mom, can you please make up a word for that?

I had a busy day yesterday.  First I took the kids to day camp and got a copy of the week's schedule just to be sure there were no other surprises.  Whew...camp meets every scheduled day the rest of this week.  Then to work.  Then to watch the end of the World Cup Soccer game with friend Willemina, who is from the Netherlands.  Hup Holland Hup!  She was very excited when they won.  I half-heartedly pretended to root for Uruguay, as I kind of wanted to have a team from South America in the finals.  And Uruguay did give those Dutch a little scare at the end of the game, scoring a goal in the last few minutes, but it wasn't enough.

And Willemina sang me a song in Dutch about the soccer team which involved a lion in his underwear, a lion standing around in soccer shoes, and some other silly funny things that she translated for me. That was the highlight of my afternoon, until she fed me strawberry shortcake with Cool Whip! 

I left after all her Dutch friends began calling!  They are all understandably very excited.   The Netherlands has never won a World Cup and has not even been in the final game since 1978.  Of course, being a Cubs fan, I can't feel TOO sorry for them.  But I will root for them in the finals, especially if they are playing Germany.

And the Uruguay team WAS cuter.
Just sayin'.
But cute don't win no World Cups.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Help is on the Way

If you happened to read the comments on my post yesterday you would have noticed that not only did I make a mistake in offering to work Monday because when Monday rolled around I just didn't feel like it, BUT when the kids and I arrived at day camp where I drop them off before I go to work....there WAS no day camp.  HAHAHA!  It was then 9:05 and my first patient was schedule at 9:00.  HAHAHAHAHAH..A...ha..ha..h....

What the heck to do?

I called their dad and whined until he agreed to drop whatever he was doing at work and come take care of the kids.  I promised to be home by 1:00.  He was not happy.  But he did come over and while he was here taking care of the kids he mowed the grass.  The kids walked the dog.  They had lunch.  So, I guess what I'm saying here is... his happiness isn't really that crucial.  (Oh, that's mean.)

He did intimate that a blueberry pie would do a lot toward making him feel more charitable about my day camp mistake.  Which I was planning to make tomorrow anyway.  So...

It's good to be able to laugh at our own mistakes.  It helps when someone can bail us out, though.  Otherwise I wouldn't have been laughing.

Once during a speech in the US the Dalai Lama made a mistake while referring to one of the Buddhist sacred texts.  His translator just corrected the mistake while translating into English.  But lo and behold (I love that word, Behold!) the D.L. speaks a fair amount of English himself and corrected the translator.  Finally the translator humbly pointed out the error in the D.L.'s original words.  Ultimately they had to get out a copy of the text to resolve the question.

Then the D.L. said, into the microphone, "Oh.  I made a mistake.  HAHAHAHAHA!"

True story.

Again, someone to bail us out.  Ex's, translators,...friends, strangers, neighbors, firefighters, dogs...equal opportunity here in the land of the free!  So today, while eating hummus and enjoying life, think about those who helped you out of a jam and raise your crackers in a toast to them!

Monday, July 5, 2010

What Was I Thinking?

In a momentary lapse of judgment last week, I agreed to work today, Monday, July 5th.  I am spoiled rotten most of the time and do not work on Mondays, except when I teach once a month at the Cancer Center.  Usually I drop kids off wherever they belong on Monday mornings then come home and do whatever needs to be done.  Usually that involves drinking coffee, reading, and thinking about how great it is to have Mondays off.  Okay, sometimes I get busy on Mondays, too, with errands, appointments, etc. but really I know how good I have it. 

On most Mondays I feel like a teacher in the summer!

Well, last week at work it appeared that we were going to need some extra help on Monday.  So I offered to switch my day off for any other day and work on Monday.  My boss jumped on that idea and this week I work today and have Wednesday off.  Which on Tuesday evening I am sure I'll be really glad about, but right now I'm wondering...what was I thinking?

I was not thinking about Sunday night being fireworks and a stay-up-late-night for the kids.

After fireworks we got home, had snacks, brushed teeth, and got into the guest room bed together.  I don't know why, but Jeremiah had made the bed up earlier in the day to ask if we could sleep in there.  He had found clean sheets, put them on, found blankets, pillows, the works!  So I said yes.

Usually at bedtime we read a couple chapters of Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer.  But I told the kids last night it was already too late and I was too tired to read.  So we talked about the book a few minutes in the dark, instead.

Here's what I found out:

Jeremiah thinks Mr. Duffy is the killer.   But Sierra thinks the surprise witness, Julio's cousin, might be the killer.  We discussed the reasons for their opinions, and then...fell asleep.

I know at least one of my faithful readers has read the book, so please, no spoiler comments.  We want to find out who the killer is the old-fashioned way!  Finishing the book to the end, at night, under the covers!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Snack Shack Revisited

You may have noticed that while I was helping my parents learn how to clean my garage, the Snack Shack mysteriously disappeared from view.  If you know my daughter Sierra, you know that I would not have dared to get rid of the Snack Shack without her blessing.  So it ended up in the back yard.  Since it hasn't rained this week, all is well.  But yesterday the Snack Shack went through a miraculous rebirth.

First there was some disassembling, measuring, and rearranging.  Why yes, that IS my good bread knife on the ground!

Then some cutting...yes now that bread knife is in her hands!  Yowza.

And voila!  The Snack Shack Delivery Van is born...
Sierra says it will have a kitchen inside so she can drive around making pizza and selling it. Just as soon as she learns how to build an oven.

Hello, may I take your order? 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Grady's Fun Park

Friday night I took my kids and a friend of Jeremiah's to Grady's Fun Park.  The plan was for the boys to practice their swings in the batting cages.  Which they did.  And had a good time.

In order to keep Sierra occupied while the athletes were in action, I told her she could go on a ride.  She decided she would ride the bumper cars.  I had a flash-forward 8 years into the future when I saw the gleam in her eyes as she got behind the wheel.  It wasn't a pretty sight. 

Later the boys decided they wanted to go on one ride too.  So we debated which ride all three of them would agree to go on together.  (Grady's is fun but not cheap, which is why they didn't go on three different rides, of course). 

Sierra wanted bumper cars again.  Jeremiah wanted bumper boats.  Jacob wanted to go on something called the Roundabout, in which you are chained in place to the side of the ride and then the ride spins around fast and the bottom drops out.

I'm sure his parents may have some worries of their own about the day he gets his driver's license.

They finally agreed to go on the bumper cars.  Everything seemed fine until I saw two other kids come to get in the bumper cars.  One of them was a kid who outweighed mine by at least 40 pounds, and had a big bruise on his face.  I know it was wrong of me to think so, but I was kind of afraid he might get a little, well, vicious in there.

It was wrong of me to think so.  He was very careful and gentle not to crash as hard as he could into the other kids and also never hit them head on. 

Jeremiah enjoyed the bumper cars too, but was also interested in the photo opps.  Probably thinking forward to product endorsement when he's a pro athlete...

After that we had ice cream and then headed home.  The kids rolled down their windows and yelled "NICE CAR!"  at every other vehicle we passed with the windows down.  Then acted shocked when people looked at them.  At one point we came upon what looked like the quintessetial gang-mobile car.  I said, "don't yell, don't yell at that car, please don't yell at that car."  And they didn't.  Amazing.

So once they are 16 all I have to do is ride along with them and give them advice like that, right?  Sounds like a good plan to me.

Have a great Saturday, drive safely, and remember to Watch Out for The Other Guy!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Staying Healthy

Sierra has now completed her 3rd week of swimming lessons, and also she is still so into making her own eggs that I fear she may need to start taking cholestrol medicine before her 9th birthday!  I think I will stop buying eggs for a while and see if we can find something ELSE she likes to make that might be a little healthier.  Something with blueberries would be good, since July is Blueberry Month.  OR if we decide we want to combine blueberries and cholestrol we might make Caroline's cobbler!  See http://www.carolineandelizabeth.blogspot.com/ for yummy details!

One interesting thing about the first week in July, which you probably don't know if you've never worked in a university hospital, is that more people die in hospitals from medical mistakes during the this week than any other one week period of the year.  Do you know why this is?  Do you want to know?  Spoiler alert---I'm going to tell you now!

The first of July is the beginning of the "educational" year for medical interns and residents.  So if you are in a teaching hospital during that week, chances are good that your medical resident doesn't yet have a clue what they are doing, and the attending doctor is probably running from mistake to mistake tearing his or her hair out. 

Ok, I exaggerate.  But the statistic IS true.  Or it's a lie.  Or a damned lie.  But still...

Apparently some very smart women found this out, and thus created a holiday-ish week for the first week in July called


Coincidence?  I think not.

On the topics of Sierra and the medical profession...

Sierra is very interested in anatomy and physiology from a science viewpoint.  I mentioned this to our neighbor Shannon who sells college textbooks, and she gave me two interactive learning programs for our computer that teach anatomy and physiology.  Sierra and I will probably try to tackle those this weekend, and then we will have some gross anatomy lessons for you on next week's blogs.

And remember, try to stay out of the hospital until at least next Thursday!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


On Wednesday afternoon I simultaneously watched a Cubs game on TV and took a nap.  I'm so good at multitasking!

Here are some other activities I seem to be able to do at the same time with ease: 

walk and chew gum

blog and drink coffee

drive and curse

eat drink and be merry  (3 simultaneous tasks...a new record for me)

sing outloud and embarrass my children

read and sunbathe

love Sierra and love Jeremiah..."yes, the same amount...yes, even though you are very different...yes,yes,yes"

cry and laugh.

And here are two things I can't do simultaneously:  shower and type.  See ya tomorrow!