Saturday, February 09, 2008


It's Not Like It's Rocket Science

I don't do instructions. If I can't intuitively figure out what to do, I don't do it. Ask my husband, he'll tell you. So I rely a good deal on dh and older siblings to help William with "projects".

For example, Lauren helped Wm glue together a tractor made of balsa wood that came in 9,998 pieces that were not numbered and had to be assembled in the correct order. She did quite well, and I was thankful for her help.

Here you see Matthias helping William with a kit that builds a "rocket". Based on vinegar and baking soda reactions, it was supposed to travel on it's wheels down the driveway. As you can see from this clip, there are reasons why I am happy to let someone else get involved in the science experiements.

They decided to give it one more try:

After that, the wheels fell off and we gave up. I needed that laugh.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Follow-Up Posts

It was extremely neglectful of me to go calling people goats, rats, oxen, and pigs without a link to what that might mean. If I believed any of it, that is. Read here.

Also, if you plan to enter the limerick contest, please leave your entry on my dad's blog. He'll enjoy seeing the entries.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

There I Go Embarassing Them Again

My dad sent the following email:

I think it would be fun to create a limerick! Each week or month or whenever I will give you the first four lines and you give me the last one. Get the kids involved. I will then send all our friends and family the results. Here is the first:

There once was a girl from La Grange
with habits exceedingly strange,
she woke up one day
and I heard her say..

I'm still waiting to hear the prize, but here are my entries:

  • I think that my mom is deranged.
  • I think that my dog has the mange
  • My underwear could use a change
  • You smell - please move downrange

Okay, I have to quit. My girls say I'm too crude and enjoying myself too much. Imagine that!

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Today is the lunar or Chinese new year and this it the year of the Rat. Out loud, I mused that I don't like rats much and likely, I am one. Sure enough, I am a Rat. After reading about what the rat symbolizes though, it's not so bad. And clearly, this should be my year. Right? What are you?

Making It Work

God punished me for the weather post yesterday. Venturing downtown for the girls' final exam, we had some time to kill before going to the testing center. The public library was nearby - perfect. On exiting, we found a sudden cloudburst in progress. I ran to the car, sacrificing my hair (not much of a sacrifice I hear you saying) to leave the kids to protect the books at the door. As we drove to the testing center, we noticed the street lights were out, wires down. The test was on a computer - needing electricity.

Sure enough, the testing center had no electricity due to a transformer blowing up. We were invited to wait, though the prognosis was up to three hours. I suggested that since the test was on the internet, could we not take the test at another location that had electricity - for example, the library? Well, gee, perhaps that would work, not at the library but at a nearby public high school with a computer lab and proctor. Oh, except that the sloths at the desk hadn't done the pre-test paperwork and didn't have the test code. Welllll, could you not contact the proctor and tell him how to get the code? How about the teacher, who should have time on his hands since this is an eSCHOOL and there is no ELECTRICITY. Can he go with us, meet us there? Yes, it could work. (Imagine that, a backup plan!)

We wound our way through downtown traffic to a public high school where we were admitted to the locked, key-padded door by someone going out. Security is a myth. Asking any bystanding adult, we found the assistant principal who guided us to the lab. I do have to say all the people were more than pleasant and helpful at the school. They were polite in their communication to students walking by. But why was it about 85 degrees in there and why do all high schools have that high school smell? Is it the bodies or the chemicals used to clean?

The girls both finished their exam, completing the dual credit course in Humanities with an "A". Yeah! Both now have three college credit hours for that class.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

No, Really, I Don't

Dear Sprint,

Thank you for recent upgrades to my account. I appreciate the new phone, though it doesn't seem to hold a charge. I see that it has a built in camera, though I've not time to figure out how to download them to add them to the other 10 billion photos on my computer that has left it with a memory deficit. I see it also has voice commands for dialing, but doesn't seem to understand me unless I speak in a fake Indian accent. People are starting to stare. "status" "dial" "LAUREN" I said LAUREN. LAUREN LAUREN LAUREN dag nammit.

And to clarify:
  • I do not want my phone to have a global positioning system. Though I could have used it today when I drove downtown, got lost, drove the wrong way down a one-way street, I still don't want it. I would like it to beep when I "clap on" so I can find where I put it and save me from having to call myself.
  • I do not want the internet on my phone. I could have used it today to look up where I was going before I started out to go there, but I still don't want it.
  • I don't need my phone to play fancy ringtones, like a horse neighing or a pig squealing or even the latest top 10 pop songs, just a ring will do. Generally, I think any sound these days is my cell going off, so I'll catch it if it so much as beeps.
  • I don't want to text message, I don't want my daughter to text message. No really.
  • I don't want to send photos. Again, really.
  • I don't want the latest Playstation III games on my phone. Driving down the highway in these winds at 70 mph is enough like the BMX game as it is. Adding on playing my phone at the same time would be just too much fun.
  • I do not need to access my email while dodging tractor trailers on the highway. I don't even need it while waiting at the doctor's office. I'm terribly old-fashioned and bring a book. Book, b-o-o-k, you know the square looking thing with paper....Oh, forget it.

To reiterate, I want to use the phone as a phone. Really.
Thank you for understanding and for reducing my bill by the extra $59.99 you tacked on for the above services.



Weather Pornography

That's what dh called it - weather pornography. At midnight, I watched the long, red, bloody line of storms move ever closer last night, waiting for the moment that I might have to raise the dead (sleeping) and move them all to the basement. The weathermen were in their glory, even referring to the high winds as "fine winds" and "terrific storms". The excitement in their voices, their enjoyment of the event, was palpable.

The line moved across the radar screen heading straight for us as the weathermen frothed at the mouth, spittle flying as they warned people to the basement. As often is the case, the storm moved through our county in five minutes in an anti-climactic way. There is something about the topography here and the proximity to the river that seems to kill the storms. We do occasionally get very bad weather, but south of us - they get the worst of it repeatedly. Makes one kind of wonder why they stay there.

While appreciating the ability to see the storm coming if it indeed is tornadic, the fever pitch did ruin the enjoyment of laying in bed in the dark listening to a perfectly good thunderstorm. I'm going to be tired today.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Beyond Gross

I've had to do some disgusting things in my life, but Sunday took the cake. My mom, hearing the tale, said that she has changed her mind about someday owning a mini-farm or at least one with chickens. It all started Sunday morning when I noticed that Mo, a six year old Black Giant hen, appeared to be moving very stiffly. Her rear was completely caked. You can guess with what. When I picked her up, she gave the breathy whine that signaled either pain or distress that I was picking her up.

Taking her into the kitchen, she was given a bath in the deep sink there, causing nearly everyone, myself included, to nearly lose our lunch from the smell. Blown dry, I took her back outside and put her down. She stood there miserably. I noticed her crop was quite large. A crop is a kind of pre-stomach in a chicken where they gather food. Sometimes, they get impacted, perhaps from eating hay or long pieces of grass, or some food forming a ball there. I took her inside and put her in a cage. I thought we'd wait and see if the "in" might improve after cleaning the "out".

I'd read how to make a hen vomit by holding her slightly upside down and squeezing the crop. A sour smell indicates impacted crop. I almost emptied my crop with this process, but she indeed was sour. I liberally cleaned the kitchen with pure bleach and went with my family to a Super Bowl party, hoping she'd now feel better. On my return, it seemed she was going downhill. It was either drastic measures or she'd die for sure.

I read on the internet how to slit the crop and pull out the contents. The websites assured me that this was not painful to the hen. I took out the razor, cleaned it and her with peroxide and made a small slit. She didn't move. Out came bird seed and who knows what. I hadn't given her bird seed in several days, so she was impacted, but I found no "mass". She looked worse, and I saw that look I've seen many times. She wasn't going to make it. By the next morning, she was gone.

Wm and I took her and Lester, the rooster who'd been "on ice" since his death by racoon, and buried them back in the woods. Wm went on about how happy they'll be in heaven with God and how happy they'll be to be buried together and have "company".


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