Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Great Kale Debate: Part Deux

I can't believe I'm having to revisit this, but here I go.  You see, the kale harrassment has continued at the Parsons house.  If you're saying, "Huh?", read this first:  Kale Blog #1

Last weekend my little guy had a friend spend the night.  Great!!  In the morning I went to the kitchen and in the sink there was green stringy vomity slime everywhere.  Not great!!!  I leaned in, fighting all my "stay away" instincts, to get a closer look.  And, by golly, I recognized that awful mess.  Yes, I'd seen it before.  So, when the kids got up, here's how it went.

Me:  "By any chance did you play a double dog dare game of kale tasting last night?"

Little guy:  "Uh, yeah.  How did you know?"

Me:  "There was disgusting evidence all over the sink."

Little guy:  "Oh, sorry.  That was me.  I almost threw up."

Little guy's friend:  "I swallowed mine."  Hey, this could be going my way...I may have finally met another kale fan.

Me:  "Did you like it?"

Little guy's friend:  "No, it was disgusting."

Round about now, my big guy strolled out.

Me:  "So, were you part of the kale double dog dare kale tasting last night?"

Big guy:  "Yeah, I gave it to them."

OK, if you know me, you know I'm a total germaphobe and I've been thinking in the back of my head, "Who reached into my kale container and what are the chances that they've washed their hands in the past week?"

Me:  "You took it out of the container?"

Big guy:  "I washed my hands first."  My kids know me so well.

Alright, that story aside, here's the stats on the kale like/dislike poll round these parts:

Big guy:  DISLIKE
Little guy:  DISLIKE
Little guy's friend:  DISLIKE
Scout, our standard poodle:  LIKE (will do any trick to get a kale treat)
Hazel, our golden doodle:  LIKE (see above)
Pug, our tabby cat:  LIKE (was caught licking all the kale crumbs left in the container)

Go ahead, count 'em up.  Yup!  It's five to five...even Steven!

Alright, who's next?  We need a tie breaker!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Kid is sooooo Pimp!

Yes, I must confess, I spent part of my evening contributing to the "pimp"ness of my kid.  It all started when he wanted to share some of his music with me.  Goes like this on a very regular basis...

Little guy:  "Mom have you heard 'XX'"

Me:  "I dunno, play it."

He plays the video on his phone and I answer "yes" or "no".  Let me say that this is great for bonding.  I'm never critical (actually I rather like most of his hip-hop stuff), and I end up far more knowledgeable, dare I say "more hip," than I started.

Tonight we went through about five or so songs.  Three I knew, two I didn't...but now I do.  Then he played "Thrift Shop," a song I'm quite familiar with.

Me:  "Hey, close your eyes.  I'll be right back."  I ran to my big guy's closet to retrieve something amazing and wonderful and quite precious to me (I stash a few things in the very side four inches of his closet.  He's OK with this.)

Little guy:  "OK.  What are you doing?"

Me:  "Take off your hoodie."

Little guy:  "Um, OK."

Me:  "You could help me a little bit."  He stiffened his previously slack arm so it would go in one sleeve.  Then I slid his arm in the other sleeve, pulled it on, buttoned the front, turned up the collar. and..."OK, look."

Little guy:  "This is AWESOME!!!"

You see, he was wearing a fabulous double breasted, leopard print, fuzzy jacket I bought during the 80s in a Palo Alto thrift shop.  It's always been too big for me, but I wore it for many years anyway.

Me:  "It's yours now.  Enjoy it."

He ran into his room, put his green Afro wig on.

Little guy:  "Take my picture, mom."

I did.  He texted it to a friend.  Said friend very astutely replied, "Duuuuuude, that is soooooo pimp!!!"  And then quite likely forwarded the photo to a bunch of their mutual friends (at least that's what my kid was hoping for, he told me so).

Yup, I've officially contributed to the "pimp"ness of my kid.

...and quite possibly earned some "cool mom" points along the way.

P.S.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go to YouTube and search for "Thrift Shop".   Then you'll go, "Oh."

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Somehow we managed to get through over ten years of Standard Poodle ownership bliss with perhaps, maybe, one or two things/toys/etc. being destroyed...ever!  Well, along comes our delightful Golden Retriever/Standard Poodle mix and all that has changed in the past year-and-a-half.  Now, mind you, she has not destroyed any shoes or clothing or anything that really matters.  But she does have a distinct taste for all things that smell like butts and feet, and dog toys, of course.  Perhaps the "of course" was better placed after the "butts and feet".  Ah, well, put it wherever suits you.

With the socks and underwear (not mine, I put mine in the bathroom hamper that closes, thank you very much) are her companion toys.  She carries them around, lays them upon her bed, holds them delicately in her mouth, but she does no actual harm aside from being just plain slobbery and nasty.

With the dog toys, well, that's a different story.  We've discovered that she has a super power.  She is able to puncture a plush toy with a very tiny hole and pull every bit of stinkin' stuffing out.  Now, she doesn't stop there, no way.  Once she's disemboweled them, she spreads the innards about the house, here, there, and everywhere.  So, what do we find?  One very flat, sad, and deflated toy skin and a veritable snow storm of white stuff.  The scene has "Yee-Haw!" written all over it.

Her latest victim?  A sweet blue octopus we've had for about eight years that went from eight five tentacles (after I did some repair work) just a skin.  Dave affectionately calls it "Emptopus".

Good thing we admire super powers in this family....

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Monday, January 28, 2013

To Grade or Not to Grade

I cannot imagine being a middle or high school teacher.  It's not just the age, and it's not just the HUGE number of students they be totally honest, it's that they're SO MUCH bigger than I am.

I feel the need to pay homage to these teachers who consistently work evenings and weekends both planning and grading.  They so totally rock in my little elementary school teacher eyes.

But...I'd also like to convey to them how much not grading some things is also quite effective learning-wise.  You see, my little guy is in eighth grade and has been assigned a journal writing assignment that he is to do each and every day.  Does he do it daily?  No.  Does he even do it at home?  No.  Does he do it on the school bus on the way to school the very day it's due?  Yes.  Does he get decent grades on it?  Yes.  Does his teacher actually read all of her 150 students' journals?  Absolutely not.  (I wouldn't grade them either, would you?)  Were they all well written?  Absolutely!!!  By golly, they were beautifully formed sentences and fully formed itty bitty stories.  And, yes, I will be keeping this journal forever!

Anyway, how do I know the journal entries aren't graded?

Well...they mostly focus around one topic.  Seriously.  And what is that topic?  Why, it's all about how he hasn't written his journal entries yet and is doing them on the bus (by the way, I do read his entries, that's how I know all about this).  There was one delightful entry that showed up early this six weeks that was a clear departure from the usual topic.  It's one that, unfortunately for you, my kid has denied permission to put on this here blog of mine.

But, I will say it's all about needing to poo.  Yup, if you know my kid, you are not surprised.  And, just as his other journal entries were beautifully written, this poem, too, reads like the lyrics of a beautiful song...the stanzas melodic and the rhymes divine.  I kid you not.  Poo can be writing, that is.

So, I thank you, eighth grade English teacher, for helping to create the great writer that my little guy is!!!


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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Morning Chats

There's a church in my neighborhood that lovingly provides a free breakfast to anyone who'd like to partake.  I've never taken them up on it, but on Sundays I do see a very small stream of people I assume are homeless making their way to and from the church.  Some, heavily laden with their backpacks and bedroll walk by, clearly on a mission.  Some walk by in pairs, chatting with their breakfast pal.  But the ones I find most captivating are those who walk alone for a few feet at a time, then stop to have a very animated chat with a character I'm not privileged enough to see, and then continue on their journey.

I'm sure that most folks who encounter them think they're crazy or mentally ill, which is likely true to some degree.  I find more peace thinking that they're enlightened, and a simple creature such as my self simply is not equipped understand.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

"Safety" and "Sex"

Sometimes those tactics you use as parents work really well...and then, after a while, their effectiveness wears off.  For example, this is what used to work:

Us:  "Clean your room."

Little guy:  "Just a sec!"

Us:  "Why are you always talking about secs?"  Yes, pronounced "sex".

And then he'd clean his room just so we'd shut up.

So, this morning:

Dave:  "Clean your room."

Little guy:  "In a minute."  Yes, the child has learned something.

Dave:  "'In a minute' means 'in a few hours' or 'tomorrow' or 'never' for you."

Little guy:  "No, I will clean my room, because I do have a friend coming over, and I can't until I clean my room."  Smart aleck.

Little guy:  ...pause...kid leans to the side..."Safety!"

OK, that may be meaningless to those of you who still have sweet little children at home, or have big ones who have already moved out, but to us that means that our kid just farted and now cannot receive any consequences as a result.  Now to work on this "safety" issue....

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Friday, January 25, 2013


Dave and I were walking with our dogs.  We were talking about how perfect they were for each other.  That got us on to our relationship, of course.

Me:  "Well, you found a perfect mate."

Dave:  <sidelong glance>

Me:  "Me?  Not so much."

Dave:  "I let you think you're perfect.

Me:  "Oh, well I guess that does make you perfect!"

Ah, perfection....

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Big Hugs

I'm lucky to have pretty darn affectionate kids...particularly considering that they're teenagers and all.  We have our routines, however, around said affection.  As the evening wears on, and I'm cruising through my bedtime routine, and I'm expecting to be tucked in my my kids...hey, I did it for them for many, many years...each of the boys approach it differently.

Big guy's approach?  Well, he does his best to catch me in the hallway or some other part of the house, give me a brief but lovely hug, and say, "This is your hug for later."  Fine by me!!!

Little guy's approach?  Well, he seems to not think about it at all, but...when I text him my nightly text, "Now accepting hugs", I prepare every fiber of my being for that fourteen year old rather large kid to come running into my room, launch himself into the air, and land right on top of me, giving me a lengthy and heavy lovely hug.  Love it!!!

And then I fall asleep within about three minutes, I kid you not.


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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Can't Smile Without You

You know how it is when you hear Barry Manilow crooning on the TV in the other room, and you can't help but start singing and dancing along to "Can't Smile Without You", and your poor seventeen year old son is stuck in the kitchen with you boogieing around him whilst belting out the lyrics, and he starts screaming like someone has just thrown acid on him, and your husband jumps up and runs to the kitchen and joins you in the singin' and dancin', thus trapping said seventeen year old....


Well, I bet you're right jealous, eh?  I know your kids are.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

You can pick your friends, and you can pick your teeth...

Dave and I went out for dinner tonight this afternoon.  We just went and did it after dropping my car off for service.  And, since we're old folks (he can now be a member of the AARP, after all), we showed up at the restaurant at about 4:00 P.M.  And, yes, we were hungry.  After a lovely meal...salad for me, pasta for Dave...we both had all kinds of stuff crammed between our teeth that seriously needed out.

So, what did we do?  We made only closed-mouth smiles to those we passed on the way out, got in the car, and retrieved our tooth pickers.  Now, here's where we differ style-wise.

Me:  "Dave, don't do it right here in the parking lot.  Wait till we're moving in traffic."

Dave:  "What?"

Me:  "Those people are eating.  They don't need to see that."

Dave:  <sighing, and likely rolling his eyes>  "You're a considerate tooth picker aren't ya?"

Me:  "Why, golly gee...yes I am!"

I beamed with pride and then quickly closed my lips as I hadn't yet had the chance to work on my teeth.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Presentation is Everything

You know that trick where you go to Costco or some such store and buy something for a potluck...and you take it out of the packaging and put it ever so carefully in a container of your own...thus creating the illusion of "I made this fabulous dish all by myself!"?

Well, tonight the big guy, who had suckered me into buying him a Hungry Man meal at HEB the other day, plated that ghastly delicious entré on a ceramic dish...thus creating the illusion of "My mom made me a fabulous meal!"


Yes, I did take credit...I bought the darn thing.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Silence is Golden

Rather, silence is impossible.  For me, anyway.

I have this silly habit of waking up way before I need to.  Especially on weekends.  So, this morning when it happened, and as always I wasn't ready to actually commit to "getting up", I stealthfully reached for my iPhone (course it lit up bright as day when I took it off the charger) and pulled it under the covers with me.  I put it on silent mode because I've been trying to rock this quiet morning time, right?  There was a notification that Dave had played his Scrabble word and it was my turn.  Perfect!  Something to do!  I thought and thought and came up with the least lame word I could given the poor quality of my letters and clicked "play".

Well, soon as I did that I heard Dave's phone "ding" notifying him that I had played and it was now his turn.  Grrrrrrrrr!  Darn noisy notifications!  He rustled in bed, turned over, grabbed his phone to check it, and sighed.

Me:  "Sorry, Dave."

Dave:  <silence>  He's clearly better at this quiet thing than I am.

Then the dog started whining her "I gotta pee" whine.  Time to get up, I figured.  I got out of bed, careful to not yank the covers off of Dave, walked by my side of the bed, and WHAM!  I ran right into the chest that has resided at the foot of our bed for many, many years now.

Me:  "Ouch!"

Dave:  <silence>  Dang, he's good!

Now to go see if I can accidentally set off my car alarm....

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Please Please Me

So, I did an experiment.  I followed an internet recipe for a brownie in a mug.  A few ingredients, one minute and forty seconds later, brownie!  And they were good, so I hear, I didn't try them.  The little guy didn't want to eat all of it, but his friend did.

Little guy:  "I don't want it, but I'd like a bagel."

Me:  "You'd like a bagel, what?"

Little guy:  "I'd like a bagel, please."

Me:  "I'd like a bagel, please, what?"

Little guy:  "With cream cheese on top."

Me:  "No, goofy, with sugar on top...'pretty please with sugar on top.'"


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Friday, January 18, 2013

Feeling Wonderful, Amazing, and Fabulous!

I pretty much never, ever talk about my job on this here blog...'cept to say I love it so much and all.  Well, I just had to share this.  Seriously just one of a million reasons I do love my job so very dearly.

Me:  "So, what was wonderful and amazing and fabulous that you loved about school today?"  I ask my students this at the end of every day.

Adorable student:  "I got to stare at you all day."  He went cross-eyed.

Me:  "Is it because I'm so beautiful?"  I primped my hair with both hands.

Adorable student:  "Uh, yeah, you're cute...but really I liked the blocks."

...ah, four-year-olds...

Yup, my job rocks!!

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

There's a Drug for That

We've lived in a "house of pee" for several years now.  Our old lady dog, Scout, has a leaking problem, you see.  Well, this weekend I heard that there's a drug for that.  Now, I'm not one to jump on drugs for any little malady or anything like that, but I tell you what...I could not get a vet appointment fast enough.  Yup.  8:30 Monday morning Dave took her in.

I'm sure this is how the conversation went.

Dave:  "Our dog has a leaking problem."

Vet:  "No problem, there's a drug for that."

Pretty much like that, at least.  Course it was just like when I go shopping for one two dollar item and leave the store with one hundred dollars worth of stuff...our dog had some sort of kidney/liver (I can never keep those straight) infection, too.  Yup, there's drugs for that, as well.

So, many hundreds of dollars later, we have the leaking drug that is supposed to "taste great" but I still have to shove down my dog's unwilling throat every night.  But...drum roll, seems to be working!!!  Not one leak in three nights!

I'm a very happy, very pro-drug girl!

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Boys and Weapons

What is it about boys and weapons?  They instinctively make them out of simply anything.  And without a "thing", they use their fingers.  Not sure when this stops, but certainly not by the age of fourteen.  My little guy came home with a stick a few days ago.  Me?  I just saw a three foot stick.  Him?  He saw a magnificent bow in the making.  And, by golly, he created one.

Tonight he called me outside to see something.

Little guy:  "Mom, come out."

Me:  "No, it's cold."

Little guy:  "Come out."

Me:  "No, I don't want to."

Little guy:  "Come out, pleeeeeeease."

Me:  "OK."  You now magic word powers and all.

I walked out onto the front porch.  There he stood, looking like a beautiful warrior, bow drawn, string pulled back...and "sproing!"  Yeah, the arrow fell straight down to the ground by his feet.

Me:  "Cool.  OK, I'm going back in."

Little guy:  "Wait, one more time."

He loaded it, pulled the string back, and "sproing!"  That arrow flew like the wind.


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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

On and On and On

I generally think of myself as being a relatively shy introvert.  This is likely pretty true except when I'm around the people I'm most comfortable with.  And that would be Dave and the boys, of course.  So, all that being cooped up in my wallflower self much of that time leaves me raring to go when I'm around them.  I seat myself on Dave's desk and ramble on and on about my day and he responds with the most interested "uh-huh"s ever.  I go into the boys room, after knocking, of course...I've learned my lesson...and sit on their bed whilst they play video games and ask them endless questions about their day and life in general.  I mean, lovely, right?

Well, the other day I went into one of my boy's room, sat down on his bed, commenced rambling, and...

"Mom, stop for a while."

So I did.  For about five seconds.  And then I figured we needed to talk about the overuse of the word "like" in his vocabulary.

Yup, some days I'm pretty popular 'round these parts.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

The Great Kale Taste Test of 2013

So, as I'm want to do, I've changed up my diet again.  It's just something I do, and it drives my family nuts.  Mind you, I always do it for the right  For months at a time I completely take certain things out of my diet in an effort to feel better.  Results have been mixed and I usually end up right back at my I eat pretty much everything except fried food and mammals.

Well, for some time now I've been eating a raw diet.  Yup, no animal products at all, and only raw food or food that's been only slightly warmed.  Frankly, I'm loving it!  So, the other night I was eating my salad and broke out some yummy dehydrated kale that had been seasoned ever so deliciously, and Dave reluctantly agreed to try some.  And, gee, let the dry heaving begin.  Sounds dramatic, but it wasn't far off from that.  Fail, Dave.

When the kids showed up he offered to pay them $20 to eat about a teaspoon worth of the stuff.  It was double dog dare time.

Big guy went first.  He took the piece, turned it over a few times, and examined it from each and every angle.  Slowly, slowly, millimeter by millimeter, he brought it to his mouth and inserted.  He kept a straight face, chew-chew-chewed, then ran to the sink.  He spit it out and then proceeded to, I kid you not, puke in the sink.  Fail, big guy.

Little guy went next.  Unlike his big brother, he popped that sucker right in his mouth.  He was doing fine...or so it seemed...until his loving and supportive big brother started making gag sounds.  Yup, it wasn't but thirty seconds before he, too, was embracing our kitchen sink.  Fail, little guy.

What do I have to say?

...wimps...that means there's more for me!!

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

These Boots were made for Slipping

Every time I go to my dad's place, and I happen to be wearing my cowboy boots, I have to ask let me hold on to them as I walk down a short, but very steep, pebble concrete slope to get to my car.  The last time I was there, this is how it went.

My little guy (the only one I was with that day) ran down said slope ahead of me and got to my car.  Before I even thought to say anything, he turned around and looked at me.

Little guy:  "Oh, good, you're not wearing your boots."  I was in my very grippy tennies.

Me:  "Aw, that was so nice that you checked.  You're looking out for me."

Little guy:  "No, it just means I'm lazy."

I'm so on to him.  He loves me!

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

That was Vewy, Vewy Scawy!

So, I was sitting in Dave's car all innocently, of course, when all of a sudden a creature launched in the driver's side door.  I screamed!  I swear it was just like in "Jaws" when that darn old mean shark pops out of the water and lands on the deck of the sinking "ORCA"!

And then there was Dave, laughing...and Hazel, said creature, looking at me sweetly with her beautiful brown eyes.

OK, Kali, breathe....

...I'm not a fan of surprises.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Solve This!

It was a little wacky at the conclusion of dinner tonight.  Suddenly there was math challenge afoot!  My big guy has this freakishly amazing ability to multiply two numbers together and come up with the right his head...without writing anything down!  And they can be two or three digit numbers!  Well, since he's good at such things...

"I only play games I can win at."

...he suggested a bit of a contest.  Little guy was allowed paper.  Dave did it straight out of his head.  Me?  Well, in spite of the fact that I seriously loved math in school and did things like solving matrices just for the fun of it, I picked up  my handy, dandy iPhone and punched the numbers in.

I mean, seriously, someone had to be the judge, right?

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tighty Whities

I was having a little conversation about guy's Speedo swimsuits with my little guy.  Turns out neither of us are fans.  Somehow it lead to this delightful discussion...

Little guy:  "Why did you make me wear all those tighty whities, mom?"

Me:  "I never made you.  You got to choose all your underwear...just like you got to choose your own hairstyle."

Little guy:  "I don't think I ever would have chosen them."

Me:  "Hmmmmm...maybe you're right.  Maybe those were hand-me-downs."

Little guy:  "That makes them even worse!!"

Kid's got a point.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Winning isn't everything...

...unless you're a teenage boy.

Scene:  Knock-down, drag-out, wrestling match at my house between the little guy and the big guy.  Seriously not a fair fight.  I mean, the big guy outweighs the little guy by practically double.  And, just FYI, turns out that farting is a legitimate wrestling strategy.

So, here's how it went...

Little guy:  "Help!  Help!  Get him off of me!"

Big guy:  "All you have to say is, 'You win.'"

Little guy:  "I'm not gonna say that!!!!"

Please do me the courtesy of inserting a bit of flatulence between each line, and there you have it.

Those silly rascals!

Good times!

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Tale of Two Tails...or maybe three

I really hardly ever feel old.  The only thing that makes me feel that I must be getting when I find myself rolling my eyes at what "the youth of today" is doing.

So, what happened?  Well, the other night Dave and I were out.  We had a lovely dinner and then went to a coffee shop to hang out and play cards.  I, I, was easily twice as old as most everyone there.  I'm good with that because that's the age I still think of myself as. 

I was thinking, "Oh, yeah, I relate to them, I'm pretty much just like them only I no longer have to spend my every evening studying."  Whew!  So, I was thinking that until this young woman showed up at the counter near our table.  She had not one, but two fuzzy tails attached to the back of her jeans...and they lightly swayed, to and fro, to and fro.  It was synchronous wagging, I tell ya!

So, it was at that moment that I realized that perhaps I'm getting old and I don't "get" the youth of today.  And then I remembered that I, too, once had a tail...yup...mine hung braided from the side of my shaved head.  Wonder how many "old" people hadn't "gotten" me either.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

X-Ray Vision

I hate to brag, but what's a girl to do when she finds out she has x-ray vision?  You see, it turns out our refrigerator is really only about six inches deep.  How do I know this?  Well, because no one, no one, can see anything past that.  Except me, it turns out.  Perhaps it's not my x-ray vision, exactly, it may be my super human ability to move items over and look and see what's behind them.

At any rate, I know where to hide all future family gifts...right behind the bin of organic spinach.  Ain't no way anyone is going to look behind that!

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Lovin' that Home Life

So, you know, yesterday my big guy told me that the older he got, the less annoying I got, right?  Well, now he's told me, "I like my home life."  I'm beyond thrilled, on the one hand.  I mean when I was seventeen I absolutely did not feel that way about my home life.  Far from it, in fact.  So, while I'm totally thrilled, I'm wondering if I also need to be worried...just a little bit.

After all, when I was seventeen, striving with every fiber of my being to be my own independent person, I was making plans in my mind about the how, where, when I would make moving out of my parents' home happen.  Is that discomfort necessary as a motivation to move out of the home you grew up in?  Does this mean my kid will never leave?

Not that I'm in a hurry or anything...I rather like the kid.

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Annoyingness is in the Eye of the Beholder

Well, it turns out I'm getting less irritating as a person, in general.  Or, I suppose, in specific.  You see, my big guy gifted me with this statement just this afternoon.

"The older I get, the less annoying you and dad are."

Now, of course I hastily patted myself on the back, only to be beat down gifted with this statement from my little guy...immediately after the other statement.

"No way!  You and dad are more annoying than ever!"

Ah, well. Good to know there's light at this annoying tunnel.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Cold Hands, Warm Heart least that's what I'd like to think.

You see, my hands are pretty much always freezing.  I don't think it's an aging thing, seems they've been cold as long as I can remember.  And these days, as I'm the smallest Parsons in the house, these frigid appendages are my main line of defense.

You say something I don't like...I lovingly place my hand on your cheek.

You refuse to do a chore I've asked you to...I encourage you to follow my directions by gently touching you on your bare back. 

You become a total spazz and blather on and on...I convince you to stop by putting both hands on your bare stomach.

This morning after several such incidences...

Little guy:  "You should go up in the sky and touch the atmosphere and make it snow."

Me:  "Aha, I have a new super power!"

I'll do my best to use it for good and not evil.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Festive...all year long

The time has come to take the holiday decorations down at our place.  Like anything holiday-ish, we're minimalists, of course.  What did we do?  Well, we dragged in the pony tail plant that resides on our front porch and I wrapped it with colorful lights.  I added a tree skirt to the bottom and called it "done".  Dave got the ladder and strung lights on the pillars and awning and called that "done".  Oh, and I hung our four stockings on the rock wall.  Seriously, that was it.  I figure it'll take us fifteen minutes tops to take everything down and have it back in the shed.  Awesome!

This undecorating routine reminded me of one of my clearest childhood memories.  When it came to Christmas, my mom was seriously all in.  She loved everything about the festivities involved and did all of them to the nth degree.  Well, one year when Christmas had come and gone, my mom met with refusal from everyone in the family when she asked for help with undecorating.  Everyone!  Even the cats, all eleven of them, just turned the other way and yawned.

So, what happened?  Did she just begrudgingly dismantle everything all on her own?  A task, mind you, that likely would've taken a crew of four multiple hours to complete.  Did she budget her time and take just a bit down each day?  No, she decidedly did not.  I don't remember her actually saying anything at all at the time, but come August, when our fully decorated artificial tree was still standing in the living room, we figured she wasn't going to do the undecorating without our help.  And, by the time it was September, well, that meant only three more months till it would need to be put up again, right?  So, there the tree stayed.  It became a fixture in the home.  After a while no one even bothered to ask about its presence in our home when they stopped by for a visit.  It was like the crazy aunt who came for a visit during the holidays...and never left.

Come January of the next year when it was time to undecorate once again, I don't think my mom had to even ask twice for help.  We were all over it.  She didn't even have to lift a finger.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I can't stand playing video games, but I rather enjoy watching people play them.  OK, actually there was a brief period around the turn of the century when I was addicted to Tetris to the point of seeing those wacky tiles falling every time I closed my eyes.  I've worked through that since then and it's no longer and issue.  Whew!  Anyway, all sorts of video games get played in my house.  The mild-ish sports ones, the build your own scenes/characters ones, and the horrifyingly delightfully violent ones as well.

When I was a teenager I'd go with friends to the video arcades.  I had little or no tolerance for playing the games offered up for stacks of quarters, but even then I rather enjoyed watching others play.  I totally remember the look of my boyfriend's hind quarters as he twitched uncontrollably, swayed back and forth, and had words with the machine as he played pinball.  Sigh...

Well, right this second I'm watching Dave and my little guy play some FIFA soccer game.  And, ya know what?  They're sitting versions of that boyfriend of mine.  Twitching, swaying back and forth, urging a ball/player (or whatever) to go a particular direction, and howling exasperation and celebration alike.

Yeah, I don't get it, but it sure is entertaining to watch.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

So Ugly She's Cute

I often rave about our old standard poodle, Scout.  She's eleven (I think), and the sweetest dog ever.  She'd be just perfect if she didn't pee every time she slept or relaxed or barked to vigorously.  Oh, and if she didn't consider the mailman to be her arch enemy, that'd be a bonus, too.

Well, this delightful creature crossed a line lately.  That line all of us aging folks dread.  Yes, the line where you become so darn ugly you circle back 'round and become cute once again.  How did this happen?  Well, partly it's that she has a ghostly white eye due to a cataract.  Gives here a rather unusual look.  But, mostly it's my fault.  You see, the last time I gave her a hair cut I went for the intentional lazy look.  Not that she minded any short cuts on my part as getting her hair clipped has never been on her "things I like" list.

What did I do to this poor creature?  Well, it's more like what I didn't do.  I left the top of her head, her ears, and her legs up to her leg pits (such a thing?) long and furry.  What started out as a lazy, yet cute, look that had her sporting the spitting image of Olivia Newton-John getting "Physical"...yes, I had her wear a bandanna on her head, has since turned into legs-o-dreads a la woolly mammoth style and a fro that would set Don King all a quiver.

So, I suppose she's due for a clipping that would reflect her inner beauty, but for just a bit longer her style will reflect my inner laziness.

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