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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!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


These are not my nasturtiums.  Not yet.  The first little orange bloom appeared yesterday afternoon in the pot on the deck where I intended to plant only cilantro but nasturtiums also appeared.  As if by magic.  From a pot about 6 feet away where I planted my nastrutium seeds along with some morning glories.  All nasturtium plants, intended and volunteers, are growing lots of big umbrella-like leaves, but no flowers had bloomed until yesterday.  I immediately picked it and showed the kids that if you eat the petals they are sweet, but if you eat the base of the flower it is spicy.  J-dude would have none of the spicy part, still nursing his mouth after surgery.  Sisi ate it right up and then ran in the house for a glass of water.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blue and Orange

These photos are from Central Beach at Indiana Dunes.  These are from the day the kids said they didn't really think they would swim, just climb the dunes.  Fortunately we took their suits along just in case.

When I got back home from the trip, here is what was waiting for me in my back yard:

They are full of blooms and gorgeous this year!

Monday, June 27, 2011


That's the medical term for tongue-tied.  The tissue below the tongue, one of the frenula, is too short and the person can't stick out his/her tongue.  J-dude had that. At least he did until this morning when we went to the oral surgeon and he had a frenotomy.  The nurse said he would probably not need pain medication except ibuprofen, but just in case she called in a script for us.  Thank goodness as the poor kid is hurting.  A lot.  Thank goodness Kathy was available to run to The Jewel and pick it up for us.

When J-dude first woke up from his anesthesia he looked like he might have been on some serious drugs.  Oh, wait, he was.  He couldn't focus very well.  He held up 2 fingers and pointed at me.   He mumbled "mom" and then smiled a goofy heroin-high kind of smile.  Then he got all teary and huggy and said "thank you mom" then he stuck his tongue out at me.  Because for the first time ever he could do that.  I gave him permission to stick his tongue out as much as he wanted just for today.

He was assisted to the car by his dad, a nurse, and his sister.  I got him into the back seat and strapped in.  His speech sounded like his tongue was the size of a baseball bat.  He said it felt like it was "thith big" and kept sticking out his tongue to see if it was the size of a baseball bat.

By the time we got home he was acting less like a heroin addict and more like a regular ol' drunk.  Weaving as he walked, nearly falling down, and saying "why can't I go to day camp today?  I'm fine!"

Now he is in bed, playing a computer game, and professing undying love for me.  Sisi is close by ready to help him or call for help as needed.  In case he decides to try running in place by the top of the stairs.  Again.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wacky and Freaky

Last night I slept 10 hours.  I would have slept longer but the alarm actually woke me up today, as opposed to yesterday morning when I slept late because my phone was set on "silence all".  This is a setting I did not even know existed and I don't know how it got there, but the universe was helping me get extra sleep through technological ineptness, apparently.  Last night I went to bed so early that I am embarrassed to tell you the time. 

Ok, it was 8:30.

So today it is Friday and I have a busy enough day planned for myself with work, Jeremiah's baseball game this evening, and packing for a short trip to the Dunes Saturday and Sunday with the kids and The Player.  Wolf will be visiting the Kirk-Rios and getting to sniff and pee all over east Normal for a change of venue.

But today the kids are going to a Friday program sponsored by the Parks and Rec department.  The Friday programs are generally called Freaky Fridays.  And today's program is Wacky Water Day.  I think they mostly get to spend the day getting wet in and out of the pool.  I hope it warms up a bit before the water play starts, since it is only 59 degrees right now.  Brrrrrr.

Aha!  Blogger is letting me upload photos again.  Here is the former stack of wood that Sisi wanted to turn into a tent.  Just imagine.  Shudder.

Yesterday afternoon the kids and I went to the library to get some books.  There is a contest going on in the children's department that caught Sisi's attention.  It's a Castle Building contest.  She came home and got right to work.  My girl...she went right to the recycling bin to gather her supplies!  Wolf's castle is made of a diet coke 12-pack box, 2 plastic bottles upside down for the towers.  It has a drawbridge that works, and a big red dragon guarding the place.  The assembly is complete and all that is left to do is paint it. We will do that on Monday afternoon.   Lucky Wolf...a little drawn version of him sits inside the castle on a throne!   The final product will most certainly be featured here next week, Gentle Readers.  Until then, enjoy your day and may it be wacky but not too freaky.  Unless you like that sort of thing.

And don't freak out if I don't blog this weekend.  Don't want to get sand in my laptop!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Windy Wednesday

Windy Wednesday today.  There is a welcome lack of heat and humidity this morning, after our rains of last night. This post-solstitial weather suits me just fine.

Today is Chocolate Eclair Day.  Just in case you were wondering when you should indulge in a chocolate eclair.  That would be today.  Unless, of course, you are a dog or you are allergic to chocolate.  In that case you should indulge in something else that would make you equally happy.  Or even happier. 

If you are a dog and you are reading my blog, I think that is pretty amazing.  You probably know how to order a large meat-lovers pizza to be delivered to your house, answer the door, and pay with your owner's credit card.

Sisi's bed, in pieces, got picked up by the garbage dudes yesterday.  Before that happened she had a moment of weakness (she hates to get rid of anything) and wanted me to keep the pieces of particle-board (now soaked in rainwater for 2 days) so she could build a "tent."  She took some pictures to remember the bed, but I can't upload photos today so...another time.  When she realized she could not keep the wet warped pieces of fake wood for construction materials, she found some strips of electrical tape that had been holding drawers together and made herself a necklace out of them. 

I think that's pretty amazing, too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summertime Vocabulary

Solstitial is my new word of the day. 

I don't really quite know how to use it properly as an adjective in a sentence, though.   Maybe some of my more literate Gentle Readers could show me how to do that.   I shore would 'preciate it.

I think if I said solsitital out loud, the kids would respond "Bless you, Mom" and then they would get me a kleenex.

I could be wrong, though.  They might go around saying it, thinking it's a bad word.  Whispering it to their friends at camp..."Solstitial...heheh..pass it on."  Or "That guy is a solstitial whore-whittle."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Love a Turkey?

Do you love a turkey?  If so this is a special month for you...June is Turkey Lovers Month.

 If you don't love a turkey then perhaps today will be a June day that interests you more...Ice Cream Soda Day!  Also it is the last day of Spring.  Summer Solstice is tomorrow.  Longest day and shortest night of the year in our northern hemisphere. 

Last night seemed pretty short as I could not get the boy to sleep (we were watching those turkeys the Cubs get beat by the evil Yankees) until late, and I was assisted into a waking state at 4:50 a.m. by Wolf barking to go out just before this morning's big rain started.  Just as I was about to fall back asleep, thunder and lightening and startled children entered into my sphere of awareness.  Lights flashing outside, thunder crashing outside, and the overhead light turned on with a young man's voice saying "Mom!  Come downstairs!" 

I went downstairs and there was already a crowd of 3 in my bed (kids and dog) and so I went back up into the Danger Zone and rested. 

If you love a turkey you need not admit to it, on my website or anywhere else.  Some things are best kept under your hat!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New and Improved Room Arranging

A thunderclap woke me up this morning. Now it's evolved into a full fledged thunderstorm with the biggest raindrops I've seen in some time. It's a beauty!

Happy Father's Day and Happy Sauntering Day. Sauntering will not be the preferred method of movement when people go from their cars to church today. Mad Wet Dash will be more like it. I will be sauntering into the kitchen soon to get more coffee, though. Unless a loud clap of thunder causes me to jump while I'm attempting to saunter. One skittish move and the whole effect of sauntering is ruined.

I gave my dad a rhubarb pie last weekend when he was here, as an early Father's Day gift. If he lived here in town I'd saunter on over and give him another one. Or dash madly from the car to his house as the weather dictated.

Yesterday Sisi decided it was time to rearrange the furniture in her room. She wanted to get rid of the bed frame and put her mattress on the floor, swap the location of the shelves and dresser, and make a few other changes. She drew up a floor plan to show me first. I agreed to help her as long as she also got rid of some of the clutter. She did and even went with me to Goodwill to drop off some toys and clothes and books! Her room looks great and she is very proud. I am very relieved.



Pretty remarkable, eh!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I Find an Old Friend

I have been the Intermittent Blogger lately.  Today I am the Better-Later-than-Not-At-All Blogger.  Here is why:

1.  I slept until 8:00 because J-dude was in my bed and wanted to snuggle.

2.  I got up at 8:00 and J-dude wanted to make my coffee.  That led to mess number one which involved coffee grounds spread over 1/3 of the kitchen and required a vacuum cleaner's help.

3.  Mess number two was J-dude wanted to help make the muffins for breakfast and he wanted to break the egg.  But he is allergic to the shells and so he had to put his hands in a plastic bag to touch the egg and that led to a tricky egg-breaking technique that was not successful.  No vacuum required this time, though.

4.  Sisi decided to make J-dude some toast and whenever she walks through any room we need the Molly Maids to come to our rescue.  Triple that when she cooks.  Sisi is so creative that even her messes are somehow a work of art in a class by themselves.

5.  I sent the kids upstairs and said I needed some time to blog.  Or else.  I would be in a bad mood.  That worked.

So here I am.  I have an old collection of Sylvia comics on the table in front of me.  I was looking for an example of her comics with the devil explaining how hell is not the same for everyone, but I couldn't find one.  Then I decided to Google Nicole Hollander to see what she is up to these days.  She has a blog!  It's called Bad Girl Chats.   Ha!  Her comics are more overtly political and pointed now, not as funny as in the past, but it's like a visit with an old friend  to see Sylvia in new strips. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

All Hands on Deck

Recipe for an Enjoyable Wednesday Evening Alone:


Surrounded by


Ok, I confess I wasn't really alone. George Buddha was there to keep me company:

Poor George needs a touch-up job, doesn't he?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Smile Smile Smile

Today is Smile Power Day according to the Bizarre and Wacky Holiday website.  What's so bizarre and wacky about smiling?  Not a thing! 

Here are some expressions that are not smiles that might make you smile, though.

Rescuing a baby starling egg is serious business.

Dang!  That's not where the ball was supposed to go!

Suddenly pink verbena made me smile yesterday, too.

Now it's time for the annual Hummus-Anonymous-Sing- Along.  Are you ready?
Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you

Thanks for stopping by with that great smile for us, Nat!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flying High

Vexillology is the study of flags.  That is a new word I learned today from the Wacky Holiday Website.  Why is vexillology in the holiday website today?  Because it's Flag Day, of course!

Here is one of my favorite flags:

But that isn't the flag that Flag Day was created for.  No, it's for the Stars and Stripes that Betsy Ross sewed.  However, the Cubs did win yesterday, beating Milwaukee 1-0.  And J-dude pitched 3 shut-out innings last night under the lights at Fairview against the ...other team in blue shirts...and his team, the Carl's Ice Cream Creamers tied 6-6.  J-dude hit a double, walked, and struck out.  He also got a compliment from the coach about how nice he was to another kid on the team last Friday when the kid was struggling with his pitching.  That's even better than seeing the opposing team back up when he gets up to bat.  Lots better.

J-dude and I talked about the interview with Jason Terry yesterday.   My son said he wants to work hard and play for the Cubs for 10 years and take them to win the World Series for you, MOM, he said.  Then he said, but first I think I'll play for the Cleveland Indians 5 years.  For The Player.  Awww, J-dude!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Work Hard Play Hard

Last day to stay and play is today!  The Player went home Saturday.  My parents arrived Sunday morning for a short visit and they left this morning about 6 to head back to Tennessee.  The kids will head out to their day camp soon and I will have one more day at home to .... mow the grass?  ....read and write? ....clean my desk and surrounding environs of piled up stuff?  ...nap?  ...go for a hike?   Oh, the possibilities are endless.

One thing is for sure.  I will be submitting a request for more time off at work soon!

J-dude went to a baseball camp at Illinois Wesleyan last week. He spent 3 afternoons hitting baseballs, playing "home run derby," and having fun.  That's what Wesleyan's coach said is the best way to teach kids to hit.  Sure enough, after not getting a single hit in his first 3 games of the season (before the camp), he hit 3 doubles in last Wednesday night's game.  Friday night he got up to bat and I heard the coach for the opposing team yell to his outfielders:  Get Back!  Get Back!

That sound is music to a baseball mother's ears.

The Dallas Mavericks won the NBA championship last night, whipping the Three Whiny Musketeers of Miami 105 to 95.  I admit I fell asleep watching the game with J-dude.  I watched an interview with Jason Terry of the Mavs this morning online and now I am really glad he is J-dude's favorite player.  JT is a thoughtful and articulate man who grew up poor in an innercity and he said his success is due to ....Hard Work.   He said his confidence as a player is due to ...Hard Work.  He said he was practicing the night before the game as hard as he practiced when he first started out playing in the NBA.  I think he is my new favorite player, too.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Stay & Play, Walk & Talk

I almost went an entire week without blogging!  That's what happens during staycation.  Blogging brain also took the week off.  Now she's back, rested, and with some photos to show you.

Here is my beloved tree at Parklands, in full leafy glory.  The Mackinaw is lower than on my last walk there, but still not down to pre-flooding levels.  The spiderwort are starting to bloom, too:

Damsel flies are flitting around the woods then pausing for the paparazzi of the forest:

Gentle readers, if this inspires you to go for a walk soon at Parklands, please heed this warning:  Take Bug Repellant.  Nuff said.

Here is what I did the rest of the week:

And also I drove people places.  I did clean out two closets and took one big bag and one big box of stuff to Goodwill, as well.  Later today I'm hoping to tackle the downstairs desk-mountain-o-junk area and turn it back into a plain old desk.  Tomorrow the garage shelves.  And Tuesday:  Back To Work!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Static Electricity

For some reason the concept of static electricity keeps presenting itself to me over and over and over lately.  Here is a fun sample of the effects of static electricity on breakfast food:

Collagemama's balloon exhibit pictures made my hair frizz just looking at them.  (Ok, my hair was already frizzy, it's June in Central Illinois.) 

On another note, this week is my first ever Stay-cation.  Susan said I should fess up and call it a Play-cation since the Player is here visiting this week as well.  I still intend to clean my closets but the operative word in the sentence is intend.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions, but in this case I hope the road to Goodwill's donation center is paved with mine.

This weekend I attended my first ever Civil Union ceremony!  Congratulations to Elizabeth and Caroline!  I loved seeing your smiling faces yesterday, you were both absolutely beaming and radiant!  Elizabeth's happy demeanor kind of reminded me of Rice Krispies under plexiglass. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Not Defeated

The Fourth of July Tree got a little boost yesterday when Kathy and I were wandering through Hobby Lobby and we came upon some red/white/blue tinsel and some little flag-like confetti stars!  Sierra got to work this morning:

Here is the current state of our Christmas-Fourth-of-July tree:

In other news J-dude pitched 2 "perfect" innings last night in his game.  No walks, no hits, no errors.  His shortstop made a great play to catch what could have been a hit to left field.  J's team won 13-0.  This was welcome news after they lost their first two games 0-8 and 4-12.  So now they are not, as J-dude calls a team that hasn't won any games at all, "defeated." 

Friday, June 3, 2011


The hibiscus hiatus has ended at my house.  My beautiful hibiscus plant which was blooming like crazy two weeks ago got a little chilly one night and decided to take a break from blooming.  Then yesterday, wow, she came back in full June glory.  Just look for yourself:

Isn't she beautiful? 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Brain Tries to Go on Strike

I have been having difficulty coming up with blogging topics that interest me lately.  This morning I looked on the Holiday Website today and saw that it's National Bubba Day.

"Yawn," said my blogging brain, "so what?"

"But I have to come up with a blog posting!"  I told my brain.

"Well, you are going to have to give me something better to work with than that," my brain sneered.

"Oh crap, I don't have anything better."  By this point I was whining a little bit, looking at the time, and starting to worry that I wouldn't have anything to post again today.

Then my blogging brain got kind of smug and said, "By the way we are forming a union."

"Who?  We who?"

"Me and some other blogging brains.  We want a better salary and we want weekends and holidays off."

"But you don't have a salary!"

"My point exactly," my blogging brain said, and she stamped her foot to make the point more exact.

Pondering the idea of how I would pay my brain, I suppose I left her alone too long and when I returned she was spray painting inside of my skull with graffiti that said Hummus Anonymous management unfair to workers! in dayglo orange.  Damn, she knows I really don't like that color.

I sat down and said, "I can't figure out how to pay you exactly."

My blogging brain looked at me and sadly said, "I know, it wasn't really a very practical idea." 

We hugged and then she said, "I will try harder in the future, really I will."

"Oh, blogging brain,"  I said.  "Thank you.  I appreciate that.  Now give me that damned can of paint."