Monday, April 30, 2007

FlightAware Website

An email friend passed along this website to me and it is too cool! You can put in the flight number of someone you know is going on an airplane, and you can track their progress on the website. This morning, I "watched" my husband fly to Chicago, and this afternoon, I "watched" Anna fly from Amsterdam to Detroit. (She's on her way home!)

In Search of Someone Real

There are many things I could do with $400. I can tell you that getting a haircut for that amount would not be one of them. Anna at Fantastic Sams does a fantastic job for $20. Let's face it, $400 and I'm still not going to be a supermodel, and by next month, it'll just need cutting again. John Edwards, however, seems to think his hair warrants that amount for a trim. I can only envision that they are putting each hair under a microscope and inspecting the angle of each hair before cutting. $400?

Four hundred dollars (the price of his haircut) would buy:

  • A membership to the county pool for the summer, to the zoo and museum for the whole year for my whole family.
  • 80 new tshirts at Stuff Mart.
  • Food for our family for two weeks
  • Enough hay for our horses for four months
  • 40 pairs of shoes from Payless
  • 200 baby chickens !!!
  • A Wacom for my daughter Anna
  • A Great Dane Puppy!!!
  • Wm adds: a John Deere Peg Perego Gator
  • 20 pairs of $20 jeans (yes there is such a thing)
  • I have never had a pedicure or manicure, and yes, I know it shows. I could have five of each.
  • Dh and I could eat out 10 times.
  • 40 large pizzas
  • new tires for our van
  • Six massages and I really need massages!!!

Oh, I could go on and on and on. And I haven't even gotten to the good stuff. Maybe, just maybe, he does a lot of charitable things and we don't hear about them. Could that be? But he did this twice, spending a total of $800. His two haircuts would have sponsored a child at CFCA for two years. Two years, that child would have food, education, a home. $800 to Food for the Poor would feed over 85 families for a month.

Okay, I know there are fabulously wealthy people out there, and $400 is a drop in the bucket to them. When running in the public eye for a public office, don't you think you'd have a little teeny bit of sensitivity to the fact that the vast majority of people out there that vote would never spend that kind of money on a haircut? That's what worries me. That lack of sensitivity bodes ill for someone that wants to run the country and spend our tax dollars. And John, it's not about the hair, bud. Get over yourself.

Anna in Germany

Anna returns from Hamburg, Germany today after riding in an international mounted games competition. She and her riding partner took third place out of 10 teams, narrowly missing second place when a piece of equipment blew over before the rider crossed the finish line.

It has been a marvelous experience for her. She's been to Lubeck (a medieval town), Hamburg, ridden a boat in both towns, visited the home on the Baltic Sea of the German people lending them ponies, met people from several countries, and eaten all kinds of different foods.

I am looking forward to her return. I've missed you, Anna!

Cone Monster

William amusing himself with cones at a mounted games competition.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Week in Review

You'd think I'd have lost a pound or two trying to hold down the fort while dh and dd#2 are out traveling, and with dd#1's social calendar. I'm finding, however, that chocolate chip cookies with a quart of milk make me feel better about working so hard. They call my name late at night from the refrigerator.

Dd#2 has been in Hamburg, Germany this week at an international horse competition for Mounted Games. The events leading up to the day she left were an emotional roller coaster. Her riding partner had not received her passport, so tickets weren't purchased thinking that the pair wouldn't be able to go. Last Friday, the passport came, and thus began a flurry of activity to get together all the clothes and items a 13 year old needs to go overseas.

First the most important news: As of this morning, they were in second place out of 12 teams! There is one more heat to go. I am so proud of them. In addition to handling (with chaperones) their first travel overseas, they had two days to accustom themselves to borrowed ponies that were not of their choosing, and to ride for two days against some of the best junior teams in Europe. No matter the finish, they've represented the United States well and shown that they are excellent Mounted Games riders.

Read more about it on the front page of our local paper.

About the same time I saw her off, dh left for Florida and a business conference. They call it a user conference, meaning its for people that use their products. I call it a user conference because they use this as an excuse to leave the old wife at home while they play golf. Two days of golf and eating out, two days of seminars and more eating out. Staying in a hotel where you don't have to angry whisper through your teeth, "SHHHHHHH, there are other people on the other side of that wall!!!!" Eating without having to worry that the ice water will once again be tipped over onto the table or worse, into your lap. Ah, well, it was a bit windy, dh reported, ruining an otherwise nice golf outing.

Dh then continued farther south to visit his parents who live in a retirement community there part of the year. TC's account of the rules at her in-laws retirement community tickled me, as they must be at the same park. I am looking forward to his return this afternoon. Anna will be flying home tomorrow. Please pray for the safety of both.

And here on the homefront? It has rained just enough to keep the grass growing several inches each night. While trying to keep up with dd#1's social calendar (she can't yet drive, and now I know why parents count the days until they can), I've been trying to keep up with the horses (buying hay, moving manure, etc) and cutting the grass. One day, I spent over an hour cutting, enjoying the instant results, the feeling of a job well done. It was late at night though, and dark while I finished up with the headlights. In the morning, I noticed that the dandelions had shot up their flowers overnight and turned to seed, and the entire yard looked as if I'd done NOTHING.

Well, and that is why I've not blogged much this week. Aside from my dwindling sense of humor, I've been trying to hold together this fort with duct tape and baling twine. Speaking of duct tape:

DS: Mom, why do they call it DUCK tape?
MOM: It isn't DUCK tape, it's DUCT tape, with a T on the end.
DS: But why do they call it DUCK tape? What is a DUCK - T?
MOM: Ducts are the pipes they use in houses to carry heat and air. You know those metal pipes in the ceiling?
DS: No. So why do they call it that?
MOM: So they could put a picture of a duck on the front of the package and you'd know what brand to buy.
DS: Oh. (subject dropped, finally)

Private note to TC: That photo is from seventh grade, back when cheerleading wasn't a sport but rather something you could do while the boys played basketball, since the girls had no team. And I did play softball, as a pitcher and catcher, and later coached other kids. I didn't try out for cheerleading in high school, eschewing the popular crowd mostly out of a profound anxiety of hanging with the "in" crowd. I was a nerd.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Update on Poly

After spending two days with her paramour, Poly (our Polyphemus moth) began laying 42 eggs. I wrestled with guilt at confining them to the cage, and that night, let them go. They floated away on the night. We have several days left to go to see if the eggs are fertile.

Global Chilling

Can you please tell me why, in an age when we are beaten over the head with the need to conserve energy, that public eateries and places are cold enough to hang meat? I'm sitting at an indoor playground (which conveniently has wireless internet) watching ds and his best friend play. They don't want to leave, though we've been here hours. And why should they? Lots of toys, a giant indoor slide, all the pizza they can eat. Me? I'm freezing my tookus off. (Is that how you spell tookus?)

Have you noticed that fast food joints and places like this are freezing cold? We have in our family held the belief that such places are cold to encourage you to eat quickly and leave. I'm so cold, I'm seriously considering going down the slide over and over to generate some friction to warm my tookus.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Gee, Thanks....

Posted by Picasa
Ds asked to see a photo of what I looked like when I was a kid. I pulled out a photo album which was of my later "kid" years. He looked at the line up of cheerleaders and asked, "Which one are you?" I pointed to the girl pictured above, to which he replied, "Gee, mom, you were skinny." Thanks. Nothing like the truth to lift one's spirits for the day.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Moth Whisperer

We caught a male! Following directions I found on the web, I placed "Poly" outside in her container on a white sheet, and turned a flashlight on the sheet between 10 p.m. and midnight. During that time, I went outside, and there he sat, gently moving his wings. He was much prettier and furrier than Poly, with a more distinctive blue "eye". I picked him up, and put him in the tub (covered with screen) with Poly.

He was not at all happy about being imprisoned, despite the waiting and willing female. After some flapping around, I finally got him to grab onto the branch near Poly, but not before she grabbed one of his antennae and ripped half of it off. I wondered if that hurt?

Will our efforts be successful? Will our Pyramus love our Thisbe? Today, I see two white spots on the tub near Poly, which I take are eggs. Both are quitely resting, as moths do in the daytime. Tonight, I'll release this male, and see if Poly can call another.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Poly is Born!

Yesterday, Wm. shouted that the moth had hatched! Inches from the cat's paws lay a swollen caterpillar looking thing. It was Poly. Though I knew that moth's are born with their wings furled, it still was a strange sight. She looked all caterpillar and no moth. She squirmed and squirmed, her gross abdomen wiggling as she looked for a place to hang. She began climbing my arm, a rather unnverving feeling, like having a Japanese beatle attach itself to you.

We got some tree branches and got her settled. She held on tightly and hasn't really moved since, except for expanding her wings. I worry that she's not yet stretched them outright and that they are a bit wrinkled. Females, however, really do not fly around much, I read, but rather wait for the males to come to them. (I like that idea.) I'm not sure if Poly is early or not, but we intend to put her on the front porch and see if she can "call" any males to her tonight.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 19, 2007

And the winner is....

The local Spend A Lot has staple can goods, such as tomato sauce and chicken stock, for less than even StuffMart, so I loaded up recently, buying two whole flats of cans. Wm. played for a good amount of time, stacking, counting, building and rearranging them. Who needs toys? After a time, he tired of them and left them scattered about the room.

He sat in the sunroom eating his lunch and watching his favorite PBS show. I suppose I should know better than to talk during a show but I asked him to please, when he was through, pick up the cans and put them in the cardboard tray. He replied, "You can't make me."

After the lightning bolts shot from my eyes, and I was able to gently ease my eyeballs back into their sockets, I picked up his lunch plate and asked him, "How would you like dry toast for lunch? Who makes your lunch? Who turns on that TV? ....and for that matter, who buys all your toys?"

"You do," he said with a smile.

"Right, and if you want to have a fight about this, who do you think is going to win?"

"You are." Another smile.

I gave him back his lunch and walked out satisfied that I'd made my point.

Later, I found the cans all neatly arranged in the trays. "Wm! You did such a good job putting the cans in the tray." I beamed.

"I got Lauren to help me (read: do it)"

Who do you think won that round?

...And One of These

I still haven't found the solution to TC's puzzler, but in searching for things that cost $5,999, which is what she says is the price tag, I found that this is a common price for motorcycles and for that price you can buy a mounted rhino head for your wall. On that same page, however, I found a real bargain: a beaver lamp. Who can live without one of these?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Better Stay Outta Mom's Way

Fish in My Hair is having a contest. She wants us to guess what this weird thing is. I'm guess a weird kitchen appliance of some sort. Thinking to use my advanced degree in Googling to bald-face cheat, I googled "weird kitchen appliances". If you want to know what kind of day I'm having and the mood I'm in, I want one of these:

Now, THAT's a cool kitchen accessory!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

How Sublime - January 26, 2006

I'm doing a little archiving today - that is printing out my blogs and putting them in a binder so that someday, someone might find them and say "that was one crazy weird woman". I thought it might be fun to spend a little time sharing my favorite blogs, or ones which seemed to generate the most interest by readers. This one was just too much fun. (Disclaimer: do NOT try this at home. It is dangerous! And fun! But don't do it.)

How Sublime - January 26, 2006

Today, we received a gift in the mail from Omaha Steaks. Now, you might think that the gift was meat, and certainly, there was some in the package. But the real gift was a bag full of dry ice. We were headed to the library, but I recognized the fleeting opportunity for a fun science experiment. So, I took it upstairs and cautioned everyone not to touch it! That was instant permission to squeal. We put some in water:

Share Video at
We talked about CO2, how the solid sublimes directly into gas, whether hot or cold water was more effective. Then, we put out a flame with the gas. What else could we do? Well, we filled up some baggies and watched them pop. After the first squeal or two, that just wasn't enough bang, you know? So we tried something more: (note for you safety geeks, we were behind a protective door)

Share Video at
So much fun. Life is like that you know? You have to catch those moments when you can.

A Warning to the Jammin'

Two pews in front of us at church, a young girl fawned over her boyfriend who would have liked to have been anywhere else. I guess it is a sign of my age that I had to laugh at the boy's pants. Had it not been for his over-long tshirt, we would have been treated to the sight of his boxers. My mind wondered as I pondered how he sat down with such pants. The style reminds me of "pillow head people" that often were included in variety shows of my youth: long torsos created with pillow cases, low riding pants, with very short legs. Obviously, I needed to pay more attention to my prayers.

On the way home, dh warned the girls not to be so taken with a guy. I snorted. It will happen, I predict. However, I warned, should you girls bring home a boy who chooses to wear his jeans around his kneecaps, you should warn him in advance that your mom will give a good tug to his pants and pull them down. Just as I am unable to walk behind someone on the stairs without goosing them, I have an irristible urge to tug on jeans worn in such a fashion. And I will do it....

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Flying Pigs

The Louisville Metro Mounted Police Patrol has a sense of humor. This is apparent as soon as you walk into the barn. This pair of jeans was occupied when a horse named Pete decided they needed a little more ventilation.

Pete, named for Officer Peter Grignon killed in the line of duty days after the horse's purchase, seems to be one of the horses in the barn with "character". During our tour of the barn, we learned that stencils of flying pigs painted on the walls of the stalls signified the number of officers unseated by that horse. Pete had twenty-one.

Accustomed to ponies, we were amazed at the size of these animals. Here is Dd#1 with Jim, who weighs over 2200 pounds. You can see his head is almost the same size as her torso.

On the way to the tour, Ds moaned frequently from the backseat that he wished we didn't have to go to this field trip. After learning that we were going to see police officers that rode horses, and that yes, they did carry guns to fight the bad guys, his protests increased. After the tour, told me that he wasn't wanting to go on the field trip because he didn't want to see the police fight the bad guys. I guess he envisioned a shoot out at the OK Corral. What is surprising about this is that he will climb over people and things to catch a glimpse of such a thing on TV.

Sounds like a dream job to some of us, grooming horses for two hours, riding around the city four to six hours a day and leading VIP parades for Presidents and the like. That is, until you find out that you have to be a police officer for three years before applying to the Mounted Patrol. Bottom line is that they are police officers taught to ride horses, rather than riders taught to be policemen.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Is this any clue as to why I am crazy?

He needed the cardboard tube to make a guitar.

Eagle Cam

I've been watching a Bald Eagle in Maine sitting on her next via This morning, I saw her get up, walk over to the side of her nest. While she was there, I think I saw a white fluff peek up for a moment. Have her egg(s) hatched?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My New Pet, "Poly"

Meet my new pet, "Poly Phemus". One day at a neighboring farm, I espied what looked like a bat hanging from a tree. It caught my eye because it would have been quite unusual for a bat to be hanging outside in the sunlight. On closer inspection, I found that it was a very large cocoon. I plucked it from the tree and took it home. It has lived all winter on my front porch in a Ball canning jar (lid punctured for air).

I thought surely it was undeveloped until one day, I took it out and it began to move!

Internet research and Rod, a neighbor who loves bugs, have led me to believe that this is the cocoon of a member of the Saturniidae family, or giant silk moths, likely Polyphemus, hence her name. We'll see if she might actually be a cousin of this moth when it emerges.

Holding the cocoon is really quite strange. You can feel the moth scratching at the inside, and if you hold it to your ear, you can hear it scrabbling. This appears to be quite distrubing to some people. So, of course, we hold it up to every vistor's ear to share!

I saw somewhere that Luna moths emerge in June, so likely, Poly will be with us a little while. We are hoping for a girl, as she will "call" to males, mate, and then lay eggs so that we can continue this project. Sadly, she will die after that. If it is a male, we will set him free to go sow his wild oats. Stay tuned!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Someday, He'll Love That I Wrote This

Even if I don't write this, there were enough witnesses that this story will be retold when he is older. All families seem to have a few embarrassing, yet hilariously funny stories that they like to tell over and again, laughing until the tears form in their eyes. I think this might be one of those.

My mom was visiting for Easter. As we hadn't visited in awhile, we chatted away, trying to cram a month of visiting into just a few hours. Dear Son, hearafter referred to DS, was becoming bored and the ancient child whine went up, "I have nothing to dooooooooo!" (As if this was my task in life, to keep him endlessly entertained.)

"Here," I said, grabbing an old digital camera that still sorta works sometimes. "Take some photos. Take a picture of Grandma." And he began to take photos. Here is one of of our dog, Paris:

He experiemented with making faces:

And he did take one of Grandma and me:

After coming up for breath from our conversation, I looked around for him, calling his name. He was in the bathroom, door locked. Call it mother's intuition, but the first thing out of my mouth was, "I don't EVEN want to know what you are doing in there." I banged on the door, ordering him to come out. He claimed to be going potty.

When he emerged, he brought the camera to me. He did not want me to look at the photos, a clear indication that my intuition had yet again not failed me. Why, I asked him, was the camera wet? He replied that he might have dropped it in some pee. Oh, terrific. I wiped it down and promised not to show the camera to anyone. I suspected that the photos would be best viewed in privacy and quickly deleted. In today's world, could I prove that they were self-portraits, if you could call them that?

Later, I looked at them with him. Fuzzy and indistinct, it was still clear as to what was the subject of his photography. Oh, Lord, I'm raising a pornographer! We'll be able to look back at his early start in his career, which is why he'll be so good at it, having had so many years of experience. We, of course, had a discussion of why we don't take such photos, funny to DS though they seemed. As to why the camera was wet, it seems he was trying to catch the shot, uh, mid-stream, an action shot you might say.

So next time I am busy, perhaps some crayons or playdough might be in order. The camera is taking a little vacation.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

May this Holy Day lift you up with the promise of wonderful days to come.

One of the best ways to lift one's spirits is with laughter. Click here for my Easter laugh to you.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I found this quote in today's paper:

The great mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell once said,

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

So true!

I'm Taking Them With Me

(Disclaimer: Dh says I can blog about HIM - he's hoping I'll practice my writing, write a book, and make enough that he can take early retirement.)

"Did you notice that I'm putting a new liner in the garbage can?" Dh asked after pulling out the full bag.

"You mean just like I do a bazillion times a year?" I asked, obviously not giving the right response but unable to help myself.

"Yes, but that's part of what you do," he replied. Just call me the Garbage Queen.

"Someday," I whined in my best martyr voice, "I'll die and all of you will appreciate all the things I do unrecognized on a daily basis, like the garbage bags, feeding the dogs......"

"Oh, no," Dh interrupted. "If you die, I'm tucking the animals into the coffin with you. You have to take them with you."

"How will you find the chickens if you don't have Daisy?" I asked, referring to our amazing chicken-tracking dog.

"What chickens?"

I was left cleaning the kitchen while pondering if that is how pet mummification started in ancient Egypt. While we may think that Egyptians revered their cats enough to mummify them, too, it may have been as simple as Akmed sending his wife's pet to the grave with her.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts