Wednesday, November 18, 2009

what should we do today?

Chamine sometimes knocks over the kitchen garbage and savagely rummages through it for tidbits of tasty morsels. I’ve taken to putting a chair in front of the garbage at night if I think that there might be anything remotely temptingly tasty smelling to her. But I never saw this one coming. I got up this morning and found this:

SOS pads snatched from the kitchen cupboard and shredded on the floor

Who would’ve thought? In your wildest dreams, would you have imagined she’d munch on SOS pads? I wouldn’t have. What I figure is she was just trying to brush her teeth. Good girl, Chamine.

Not to be outdone by this display of good hygiene, Miley had ideas of her own this morning. I was happily (not so) cleaning the bathroom, when I heard a romping around in the bedroom. There was no noise, no barking or mild growling, which usually accompanies a Miley/Chamine romp. To satisfy my curiosity, I went to check it out. Miley was rollicking with a precious little scorpion, pawing it around like you might see a cat do with a mouse. Yikes! I had a cloth in my hand—not a fly swatter, not a shoe, not a brick—a cloth, and that scorpion was scurrying for cover under the dresser. I couldn’t let it get away! I slapped it around with the cloth. Poor cloth got stung several times, and I’m pretty sure it’s currently gasping for its last breath as it convulses out its final nerve spasms of death.

So good job, girls, brushing your teeth, scouting out venomous creatures. Now, what should we do tomorrow?

Monday, November 16, 2009

what's up?

When we first got Miley, she drove me crazy with the in and out of the door thing. I was used to Chamine's patient system. When Chamine wanted to go out, she simply stood and stared at the doorknob, willing it to open. Eventually it would. If we were neglectful enough, she'd get tired of waiting and just lay on the ground and stare at the door. She never made a sound, never scratched at the door. She just waited patiently until someone noticed her.

After Miley arrived, she took over the job for both of them. If she saw Chamine staring at the door, Miley would stand there and whine. If I didn't respond, she came and whined directly at me. At first I thought she was begging me to open the door so she herself could go out, but then repeatedly, after I opened the door and Chamine went out, she would just stare at me. It was a kind of "mission accomplished" sort of thing. And then of course, whenever she wanted to go out, which was frequently, she would stand at the door and whine for herself as well. She didn't really need to go out every single time she did this, but I wasn't about to take any chances on any special gifts left somewhere because I didn't halt my life to open the back door.

It got really, really old. I mean really, really, really, REALLY OLD. Finally, we decided to get a doggie door. We hemmed and hawed over the purchase for a bit. Get it big enough for Chamine? Just get a teeny door? What to do? We got one we were certain Miley could get through, obviously since she's just a quart sized creature, but we weren't certain Chamine could get through. As it turned out, Miley was scared to death of the door. Big surprise there. But of course the fearless one, saw the door, and with one very small coaxing from her mommy (my daughter), Chamine pushed right on through. "You want me to do what? Squash my body through that little hole? Oh. Okay." We did finally get Miley through after a few days, and now both of them use it freely and happily. We wonder how Chamine ever lived her life without this door.

But this is my favorite. Sometimes when Chamine is outside lounging around lazily, I'm pretty sure she gets this idea: "Hmmm. I wonder what's going on inside the house. I wonder if I'm missing out on anything important or tasty. Guess I'll check." She sticks her nose in, hangs out there for a few seconds, assesses the current household situation, and then decides whether or not she needs to come in and launch a more serious investigation. Sometimes she walks on in. Most often however, she just hangs there for a few seconds, sniffing and listening, alert for anything that might require her attention. Then satisfied that it's as boring as ever inside, she just quite simply pulls her nose back out and settles back down in a heap by the door where she started. Cracks. Me. Up.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

christmas stress

Christmas stresses me out. It was so easy when my kids were all little. They were so easy to shop for, so easy to please. There were dolls and clothes, and even diapers one year. Now, I need to find cool things that please adult children, cool things that are hip and awesome. Ya know what I'm sayin' here? It's a lot of stress for me.

So this year I'm having my regular stress out. The only difference this year from other years is that I have no ideas this year at all! All I have is a nice, organized EMPTY Christmas list, and Christmas is just not that far away either. And dude, it's time to order stuff if you're ordering over the Internet. So I got online looking for fabulous ideas for these fabulous people in my life, and the Internet just failed me miserably. But just today I was perusing a magazine, and I'm pleased to say that I've come up with the most perfect gifts ever. Here they are:

Who doesn't want a remote controlled tarantula? Really? I know I do.

And a marshmallow shooter. Whoever invented this is surely a genius. What else could you ever want to do with your spare time?

In case you can't tell, these are not merely checkered pjs. Oh no, they're crossword puzzle pjs. With this fun gift, you now have something to do when you're up late at night with insomnia. No more counting sheep for this lucky gift recipient.

And lastly, but far and wide not leastly, these amazing circulation improving leg wraps. Many an hour to be enjoyed in front of the tellie while this lucky person improves leg circulation. Hmmm. I wonder if they have arm circulation improvement gadgets too. I'll have to check that out. Then you could look like a quad-limb-broken-bone patient in the hospital.

You have to be proud of my gift searching skills this year. I know I am. Now all that's left to do is figure out which girl gets what. Start casting your votes, girls!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

happy halloween

It's Halloween, so naturally we dressed up our children. They heard Halloween was all about treats, and they're ready to do their tricks. Just bring on the treats.

P.S. Don't forget to check out the new recipe in honor of Halloween--Cinncinnati Chili.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

just one dog

So at our house, we have this same conversation, with small variations, from time to time:

daughter: Mom! So did you know we have two dogs?
mom: What?! When did this happen?
daughter: I don't know. I just noticed it today.
mom: Why would anyone need two dogs? That's ridiculous.
daughter: Seriously! But Mom! We have two dogs!

Sometimes we switch dialog parts. Sometimes the conversation takes place in bouncing text messages, but the conversation just seems to keep repeating itself.

There was a time when we had a dog, a cat, a frog, three birds, and a fish or two. Whenever we went on vacation, we had to hire a regular zookeeper to come look after our domain, with a pamphlet designating who to feed what, where, and when. That really seemed ridiculous to have so many pets, but who would have ever thought we'd cave in to having two dogs?

We're not supposed to have two dogs. I got Miley for my daughter living far away who needed some company. It was supposed to be a birthday present, and I was keeping her until I could give her to her for her birthday. As it turned out, Miley immediately bonded to me; I sort of fell in love with her; and the next thing we knew she was staying instead of merely lodging here for a short stint.

I'd like to say, however, that in some ways they're just one dog. See Chamine was and is such a bad barker that we had her voice box removed. Sad day for our family. My children still have not forgiven me for this. They're certain I'm going to spend my eternities rotting in a very deep, dark place for this black deed. Her bark was deep and ferocious and actually really beautiful. Also really annoying to next door neighbors. So Chamine still attempts a barking frenzy, and she thinks she's all tough and warding off the world's most horrifying predators, but she sounds mostly like a dog squeak toy. However, Miley fills in where Chamine can't quite be up to snuff in the barking zone. Miley can bark, and let me tell you, it's a sharp little annoying sound too. Chamine is big enough to see out the front window and therefore sound the alert that there is something going on in the front yard. Usually a butterfly flew by or a blade of grass moved. Who knows? It's even possible that a grasshopper hopped! Miley picks up the alert and dutifully passes it on even though she has no clue what she is freaking out about.

Then let's talk about bite. Well, Miley's just plain too scared of her own shadow to bite someone else's, much less to bite an actual living being. Then there's Chamine. She's not afraid to bite, and she will if she thinks that she or anyone in her territory has been threatened. I feel safe with her around, but let's face it, it's not cool when she bites the guy who came to paint your new door for you, or the guy who just arrived to work in your yard. Really. Not cool. So as it turns out, Miley has the bark and Chamine has the bite.

Let's talk about fear. Fear is a realm where Chamine does not, has not lived. She's fearless. She's afraid of nothing, and is quite ferocious if she feels threatened. However, with us, she's as sweet as a little baby puppy. Now on the other hand, Miley lives in that realm. Fearful is her domicile. Her address is 1234 I'm Scared of Everything, Don't Hurt Me USA. She runs from all large objects. And when you're roughly less than a foot tall and less than ten pounds, pretty much EVERYTHING is LARGE. Sticks any larger than a chew stick are the worst. Loud things? Well, she's out the doggy door when the vacuum turns on.

Now here's an interesting phenomenon. If you call one dog: "Here Chamine, C'mere, c'mon." It doesn't matter what your pitch is or how sweetly you call, that one dog whether it is Chamine or Miley will likely look at you with indignance, "What? You calling me? How dare you!" While the other dog comes running lickety-split. Now it's not that they don't know their names. They do. That's been proven with the "Do you wanna treat, Chamine?" multiple times. No, here's what I figure. When they hear their own name being called, they just don't want to move. "Seriously? Are you bugging me right now?" But when they hear the other name, they want to be stinking sure that they're not missing out on something that the other one is getting. Pretty sure that's what's going on here.

So, soon after we got Miley, we got a doggy door. That little thing was crying to go out and then turning around and crying to come back in so much that I was going crazy. The doggy door is a lifesaver. It was quite the challenge to get Miley to go through in the beginning however, but Chamine just pushed on through. "Oh, you want me to do what? You want me to go where? That little hole? Sure, no problem." (See the paragraph on fearful and fearless for an explanation of these behaviors.) It took some serious prompting, pleading, and bribing to get Miley through. We had to use some serious treats, and none of that doggy treat stuff. We had to resort to people food to get her through the door. It took awhile, but Life cereal finally did the trick. One day when we were practicing this new found skill, we called to Miley to come through the doggy door, displaying the awesome treat waiting for her on the other side. Not to be left out of this treat giving frenzy, Chamine headed straight for the door. Miley ducked under her body, and they came through together--same time! And dude, it's not a very big doggy door!

So as you can very well see, these two dogs are quite a complement to each other in so many ways that really they function quite nicely as one.

Who said we have two dogs? That's utterly ridiculous.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the princess and the pea as never before

Once upon a time there was a kingdom. This kingdom was in search of an imperial princess. Now this princess needed to be pretty and sweet and loyal. This princess needed to be small and fluffy and, well, needy. Oh, and ever so sensitive. Yes, the sensitive in this story is very important. So the queen in the kingdom came up with a delightful plan. She decided to invite some candidates to her palace to spend the night. Now what these candidates did not know is that when they went to bed at night, there would be a pea under their mattresses. Whichever candidate could feel this pea would be the princess of the kingdom for she possessed all the attributes the queen was in search of. The candidates began to arrive. Among them was a delightful chocolate colored beauty named Miley.

So the night began. There was dog chow to go around in abundance. The water dishes were constantly full of delicious, cool spring water. Servants stood nearby to pet these candidates and shower them with love. And of course the treats were busting from the cornucopia. The program for the evening's entertainment included chew toys of plastic, of rope, of every desirable kind, and then a long, happy stroll around the palace grounds.

Finally, the evening drew to an end, and the candidates were escorted to their quarters. Miley was delighted to find that her mattress was high, soft, and cushy. But what was that? There was something . . . something . . . sniff, sniff, sniff. Yes, there was something. Miley jumped from her throne of cush and dug beneath all the beautiful fluff to find what? A pea. Gladly she gobbled it up. How lovely to be provided a bedtime treat. These accommodations were certainly royal indeed. The regal queen hadn't neglected a single detail in entertaining her guests.

The following morning the queen went from bedchamber to bedchamber, asking her guests how they had fared the night. Each and every one yawned prettily, patting their lips ever so daintily. "Oh, so lovely."

Finally in great discouragement, the queen came to the last bedchamber. "So Miley, my dear, how did you sleep?"

"Well, quite lovely actually."

The queen's countenance fell. Was there not a princess to be found for her kingdom?

"Except one thing," Miley added.

The queen smiled and straightened up. "Yes, what is it? Were you not comfortable in the berth provided for you?"

"Oh, no, my lady." Miley said, "I was quite comfortable. Comfortable, in deed. In fact the lovely after dinner treat you left for me under the mattress was so much appreciated."

"Then you felt it!" exclaimed the queen.

"Oh no, not at all. Certainly not. Under all that mattress? Are you kidding? I sniffed it out of course. I was just wondering where I could get some more. That was an awesome treat, and I'm pretty sure I'm hungry again."

In despair, the queen called for her servant. "Escort them all out. Every one of them. The kingdom will have to do without a princess."

This is a mountain of pillows and a comforter piled up in the corner for the night. Miley scaled it and plopped down as if to say, "Thank you very much for this fine bed." The story, well, it just needed to be told.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

go away

What I said:
"Here . . . take this stick and go away so I can exercise on my step."
What she apparently heard:
"Here . . . take this stick and go lay on my exercise step."

What I said:
"Here . . . take this stick and go be cute like Chamine and lay on my exercise step."

What she apparently heard:
"Here . . . take this stick and run away from that scary exercise step as fast as possible."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

take a rest

I laid down to take a little rest.

Apparently, my leg looked like a pillow.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

the hiding place

I just finished reading "The Hiding Place" by Corrie ten Boom. I felt as if I should say something about it, or rather I should shout on the rooftops about it or something. And I think what I might shout is, "How can things like that happen? How can human beings be so inhumane?" and then maybe this: "Why can't we all just get along?"

I take so much for granted in my world. I know this, but I realize it even more blatantly when I read something like this. I take a nice warm shower every day . . . with soap! I sleep in a nice comfy bed in a climate controlled room. I whine and complain about how bored I am of my clothes. "I need more," but I have a closet full to choose from every day, and they're all clean. I have plenty to eat every single day, in fact more than plenty. I whine and complain about losing that last ten pounds all the time. Those I love no longer all live with me, but they are all healthy, living in good situations, having happy lives, and I can visit them as I please. My most serious suffering this year was when I had no Internet! Pity! Horror! Terrible Life!

I've seen documentaries on the Holocaust, I've read about it. I've been to a Holocaust museum. Just the same, every time I read or see more, I am so aghast. How do people turn into monsters? It makes me feel so vulnerable. I feel like I live in a safe neighborhood. I live in a country where there are laws and consequences for breaking laws. I know it's not a perfect system, but I feel relatively safe in my little world. Is there going to be another world war? History would probably point to "yes." It seems that somehow on this ball we live on we can't seem to learn from the horrors of the past, that cycles just keep repeating themselves.

So as I read this book, I began to think "what if." What if the world goes crazy again? What if the war action takes place in my safe little world? What if I become a Corrie ten Boom? And then the thought occurred to me: What if this happens to my children? And then I could no longer bear it. I can almost bear the thought of having to live through horror and suffering myself, but my babies? My grandbaby? My heart breaks with the very thought of this suffering being thrust upon those I love. And as those thoughts took root in my brain, I began to read so much the faster. This book had to be finished. I couldn't bear their pain any longer. I couldn't bear the thought of this pain to those I love, and I raced to the end.

But by the time the race was over, and I had finally crossed the finish line, I realized that there was so much more in that small volume than a mere recounting of the horrors of the Holocaust. They were well documented, yes, but the story of hope, the story of faith and kindness and goodness, even in the face of cruelty, were the triumph in this story. The message of its story is clear. From the pages of the book itself, " . . . there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still."

My sweet daddy used to say, "I'm a lover, not a fighter, so c'mere and let me give you a love." Then he'd wrap me up in his big, strong daddy arms, and I was trapped there until he was done squeezing all the air right out of my lungs. So why can't all human beings be so loving?

I know how simplistic this is, but we are all God's children. Why can't we all just get along?

Monday, October 5, 2009

pavlov's dogs

You know about Pavlov's dogs, right? Well, just in case you didn't have the same psych class as I did in college, I'll give you a brief description of it. Why, you ask? Because I said so. I'm a mother. It is a mother's right to use this phrase when they really just don't have a decent answer.

Pavlov was a Russian scientist who discovered/coined the term "conditioned reflex." He experimented with dogs at meal time. He rang a bell just before feeding them. The dogs learned that the bell meant food and after a period of time, the ringing bell--which meant the prospect of food--would make them salivate even if it wasn't feeding time and there was no food in sight. If I've just whetted your appetite and you really just want to know more, or perhaps become a pysch major because of my titillating description, go to the Internet to learn about
Pavlov's Dogs in more detail.

I know you're wondering how this is pertinent to anything. See, here's what happened. I was sitting at my computer working away. As I recall, I was inputting recipes for my website. I was troubling with something that had gone awry, and when this happens I just can't get it out of my head until I get the problem fixed. I had started the dishwasher before I sat down to this task, and I was there long enough for the dishwasher to finish. When my dishwasher finishes, a little bell sounds. This is annoying, but no one has had the gumption to go read the manual to figure out how to turn it off. Manual? Who reads manuals anyway?

Bell? Yes, you see somehow this is going to relate to Pavlov's dogs. But how? As that bell rang, I realized that I was really thirsty. However, in my bullheaded determination to fix whatever the issue was on my site, I couldn't seem to rise from my seat to get a drink. Step two of annoying dishwasher is that it continues to ring every few minutes until you go tell it to shut up. Telling it to shut up involves pushing a button while muttering under your breath how stupid a ringing dishwasher is.

The dishwasher continued to ring every few minutes, and every time it did, I realized I was really thirsty. It took several cycles of this before I realized what was happening. I had just become one of Pavlov's dogs! So did that make me jump up and go get a drink of water? Sure. Actually, nope, I just kept right on working until I fixed my site issue, thus solidifying this conditioned response. I'm pretty sure I came within about an inch of dying of dehydration before I finally crawled to the dog dish to have a sip. And now I have to wonder. Was this conditioning permanent?

Excuse me. I've gotta go. The dishwasher bell just rang. I'm suddenly feeling extremely thirsty.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

try this new recipe

When I was visiting my daughter, one of her friends brought over this treat.

Doesn't it look so delicious? I think I want to marry it. I was so enamored with it, that I got right on line and googled it. Golden Graham S'mores is what it's called. It's every bit as delightfully delicious as it looks. Maybe even better. And it's super easy to make. So if you'd like to make this sinful treat, I've added the recipe to my website. Just go to my sidebar to the right and click on my website. It's under confections.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

a pom what?

Miley is actually not 100% Pomeranian. Now if you think, "oh, she must be part some other breed of dog," no, that is not what I meant. What I meant is Miley is actually not 100% canine.

We've decided quite conclusively that she is part bat. Just look at this cute face.

Then twist the picture upside down, and don't you see a bat?

Then if you look at her a little longer, she also becomes part fox.

Pretty little fox, isn't she?

And then of course, spend a little time with her, and you realize without hesitation that she is actually in large percentage a cat. Much like a cat, she walks around and in between legs. Then she carries it a little farther by rubbing her head against your foot. She loves feet. They are her passion in life.

One time I was reading and she was at my feet. I was swishing my leg back and forth, creating that petting foot that she loves so much when it occurred to me that I could just treat her like a real dog and pick her up and pet her while I read. She could barely tolerate this for longer than five seconds. She wriggled to get free and bounced down to my feet, wrapping herself around them again. "These are for petting," was the reprimand that I'm sure I heard.

Also, if you look at her little white tail and white underbelly, suddenly she becomes part skunk. I've never actually seen a chocolate colored skunk, but maybe? And sometimes, the way she smells after she has been in the backyard eating who-knows-what, well . . . skunk sort of fits rather well.

But please don't forget that she's also part bird. A blanket that gets left on the couch is quickly converted into a nest. She scrambles around until she has herself a nice little comfy blob to lay down on. It's rather a frantic little display, but she's always so proud of herself after she has attained her goal, and she can finally plop down in the center of her nest.

So now we have bat, fox, cat, skunk, and bird. You see how her percentage of actual Pomeranian is really dropping, but we're not finished yet. She has one more thing in her mix that we certainly mustn't leave out.

The other night as I prepared to go to bed, Miley jumped up on the bed. She began her nesting procedure, but then she nuzzled under the covers, and here is where I truly wish I had the video camera on her. Dialog simply cannot do this justice, but I'm going to try. She nuzzled under the covers and then began to burrow. I'm not sure where she thought she was burrowing to. One can only conjecture: the center of the earth, China, perhaps a place where human beings have four feet (Miley heaven). She burrowed all over under the cover. I could tell by the shape under the covers that she wasn't walking around upright, she was slithering around army crawl style. It was so amusing I just stood there and laughed. It reminded me of something that I must be pulling from my memory banks of long ago, long forgotten cartoons. You know, the animal jumps down a hole, and then you see the dirt making mounds as the small underground rodent displaces the dirt upward. By the time she found a way out, I had managed to grab the camera. I snapped a couple of pictures before the gopher turned around and returned to its tunneling.

I'm not sure what the percentages are, but Miley is not 100% Pomeranian as her previous owner claimed. I am quite certain that she is bat, fox, cat, skunk, bird, gopher, and yes, I suppose, a very minute percentage Pomeranian.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

in my defense

It's just not my fault that I keep going to visit my grandbaby. She's like a narcotic drug or something. As you might recall from a couple of posts ago, I visited my sweet granddaughter AGAIN with the excuse that I needed to use the Internet. I'm telling you she's addictive. You can't help but fall in love with her. I simply cannot get enough of her. Just take a look for yourself . . .

. . . and then try to tell me that if you were me, you wouldn't use any excuse possible to visit her.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

qwest on a quest

You know how when the power goes out, you still walk in a room and flip the lightswitch? And when the water has been turned off, you still walk over to the faucet, put your hands under the non-existent flow, and turn the water on? How about when the Internet is out, and you sit down to the computer multiple times to check something out, look at your emails, read blogs, look up a word, check the distance between two points, google something, then google something else, check your own blog to see if anyone is leaving you comments, and finally, of course, google something. Yeah. I can't seem to quite get it through my head.

In fact, as I was thinking about how I didn't have the Internet, it occurred to me that I should hurry up and email a note to my kids so they would know that I don't have Internet and thus email. Oh. Wait, Stupid! That would require the Internet! Then as I was at my daughter's using the Internet one day, we were planning a little meal at my house. We talked about a certain recipe that I needed that she had. While sitting at her computer, using the Internet because I DON"T HAVE IT, I emailed myself a recipe so I could use it at home. WAIT, DUMMY! YOU DON'T HAVE THE INTERNET! Argh! My skull is thick!

I am just so used to having my luxuries of life that, Dude, I can't get along without them. I really don't know how to live without the Internet. I'm telling you it's like living in the dark ages. But I really feel like I have to tell the story, or rather VENT the story.

One day, the Internet just decided to go on strike at our house. One second it was there, the next it was not. Now I don't pretend to be a computer guru, but I'm not a novice either. I did all I could think of to try to fix the dang thing. I jumped through all the rebooting hoops I could think of--numerous times. I couldn't get the thing to come back to life. I called a computer guru, who pronounced the modem diseased and ready for burial. I bought a new modem. Hmmm. No fix there, folks.

Here's where the story takes the turn that makes me start to murmur and basically scratch my eyes out. I finally called Qwest. Qwest, folks. Qwest. I just wanted to make sure that you knew that Qwest was who my provider WAS. Yes, Qwest. I talked on the phone . . . Oh wait, I meant to say, I listened to an automated voice and responded in a yelling voice so that it would register my voice for roughly 45 minutes.

Finally, the automated system decided, in its infinite wisdom, that it couldn't fix my problem, and it finally patched me to a human being. I mean no ethnic slurs, but I was speaking to a Spanish speaking fellow. Why do companies do this? It really irks me. I want us all to have jobs, but someone who doesn't speak English well enough to be understood on the phone, SHOULDN'T BE ON THE PHONE TO THE ENGLISH SPEAKING PUBLIC! He put me through just about the same hoops as the recording had, and once again determined, in his infinite wisdom, that he couldn't fix my problem. So he scheduled a tech to come out.

Said tech showed up late afternoon, clearly unhappy to be there, clearly under the impression that his work day should be over and it was all my fault that he wasn't at home vegging in front of the tv with a cold beverage in his hand. He wanted nothing to do with me, my computer, or my computer lines. But dutifully, and in obvious irritation, he checked the lines and reported, in his infinite wisdom, that there was nothing wrong with them. I protested, telling him the Internet was clearly not working and that meant to me that there was something wrong. He asked if I had filters on my phone lines. Filters? He nearly rolled his eyes, but managed somehow to maintain his composure. He went to his truck and brought me two filters to put on my phone lines. Then he told me he was certain it would fix the problem. For sure it would fix the problem. Did he come in and check my Internet? No. Did he care? NO. Oh, guess what? The filters did not fix the problem.

Qwest was on a quest that day to lose a customer. When I get back from using the Internet at my daughter's (if I ever actually leave), Qwest is losing my business. I've already set up the appointment. I'm going to find out how Baja Broadband treats its customers. Rumor has it that they don't have to be very awesome to beat out QWEST.

Friday, September 18, 2009

where in the world is grandma?

Can you guess where I am?

I'm at my daughter's house so I can use the Internet. Yes, my daughter that lives something like 2,000 miles away. Yes, the one who happens to be the mother of my only grandchild. WHAT?!! I just felt like I was becoming a nuisance to my local daughter. I'm just spreading the burden around a bit.

Where in the world should Grandma go next to use the Internet?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

living like a cavewoman

So, I find myself in a really weird world. For the past week or more, yeah pretty sure it's more, something like ten years it feels like, I haven't had the Internet at home. It's sort of like being a cavewoman really. So I run over to my cute daughter's house to use her Internet every couple of days and just do the bare minimum: check my emails, send an Amazon order off, look at my other cute daughter's blog. These things are important and essential. As it turns out, I'm not going to have the Internet for almost another couple of weeks. So I thought I'd just give you some random things to think about meanwhile.

Every day the average person swallows about a quart of snot.

A stalk of sugar cane can reach up to thirty feet.

The largest number of children born to one woman, a Russian peasant, is 69.

In a survey conducted in 2000 by Kimberly-Clark, it was found that men prefer to fold their toilet paper and women prefer to wad it. (Running my own survey of a total of four people, I found this survey to be accurate.)

An elephant cannot jump. (Playing basketball is out for them.)

The first domain name ever registered was (I checked it out. It's still there.)

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321.

A duck's quack does not echo. No one knows why.

The San Francisco cable cars are the only mobile national monuments.

A sheep, a duck, and a rooster were the first passengers in a hot air balloon. (Which do you suppose was the pilot?)

Barbie dolls in Japan and China have their lips closed with no teeth showing. American Barbies show teeth.

Mel Blanc (the voice of Bugs Bunny) was allergic to carrots.

Pollsters say that 40% of dog and cat owners carry pictures of their pets in their wallets. (You may not believe it, but I am not included in that 40%. I will be remedying this shortly.)

Americans did not commonly use forks until after the civil war.

Pearls melt in vinegar.

The average four year old asks four hundred questions per day.

The sound of ET walking was created by someone squishing their hands in jello.

American novelist, Mark Twain, is the first known author to submit a typewritten manuscript. (Before typewriters, manuscripts were handwritten of course. Can you imagine?!)

Ever wonder why Hershey's kisses are called "kisses"? It's because the machine that creates them looks like it's kissing the conveyor belt.

An octopus has three hearts. (Just think what bypass surgery would be like.)

Frank Baum created the name of "Oz" in his story Wizard of Oz when he looked over at his file cabinet and saw the letters O-Z.

The right lung of a human being is larger than the left lung. This is because of the space that the heart takes.

A starfish can turn its stomach inside out. (This could be a useful dieting tool. I'd like to learn how.)

Ten percent of the population have outie belly buttons.

Pearls are rarely found in North American oysters.

The average weight of a new born baby is 7 lbs. 6 oz. For a triplet baby, it is 3 lbs. 12 oz.

The United States and France have the most pet dogs in the world. Approximately one out of every three families has a pet dog. Switzerland and Germany have the least pet dogs, having one dog per every ten families. (We help with the statistics by having two. We do what we can to make the world a better place.)

There are roughly 100 million single adults living in the USA.

More than 90% of shark victims survive. (But I'm thinking if you're in that 10%, that amounts to 100% to you. Thus, I pretty much stay out of oceans.)

On average a person has two million sweat glands. (Pretty sure I have more.)

The little circles of paper that are cut out after a paper has been punched are called "chad."

It's possible to lead a cow upstairs but not downstairs. (However, if anyone ever tries, please call me. I'd like to be in the audience.)

Peaches were once known as Persian apples.

In 1998, a book called "Eat a Bug Cookbook" was published. If you don't believe me, go check it out for yourself:
Eat a Bug Cookbook

The biggest bug in the world is the Goliath Beetle which can weigh up to 3.5 ounces and be 4.5 inches long. Cook that up for dinner!

A person would have to drink more than 12 cups of hot cocoa to equal the amount of caffeine found in one cup of coffee.

In just one drop of water it is possible for 50 million bacteria to be present.

Armadillos have four babies at the same time, and they are always the same sex.

No word in the English language rhymes with the following words: orange, purple, silver, or month.

The first toilet stall in a public restroom is the least likely to be used, which means it is also the cleanest.

and last but not least:

There are some species of snailbugs that are venomous. Their venom can be fatal to humans. I am not one of those snailbugs.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

sock snack

So I'm pretty sure that you're wondering how Miley survived my most recent absence. She didn't whine outside the bathroom door and plop down with her little paws and nose under the door when I got back. No, she didn't do that. This is what she did:

In case you can't quite discern what this object is, allow me. It's a baby bootie that has been shredded by small doggie teeth. Hmm. Somehow symbolistic of her feelings in the matter? I'm not sure. But here's the really weird thing. I make these little booties, and I keep them on a shelf that is five feet off the ground. Miley is roughly twelve inches tall when on all fours and maybe just short of twenty inches when she does her dancing trick. This is actually really hard to measure because as soon as anything resembling a stick comes out, that dog is history out the doggie door. Sticks, especially long ones, are the most frightening thing in the world, just in case you weren't aware of this fact. She is also afraid of any large object, but sticks are apparently the spawn of Satan. I did, however, manage to get those rough measurements for you. Now where was I headed with this? . . . rereading . . . Oh yes, um, so the booties that are five feet off the ground. Miley is a really good jumper. She jumps up on a bed that is three feet off the ground with ease and grace, with an occasional hand up. It's particularly amusing to watch her try and fail, her little head popping up just over the side of the bed over and over. But it seems that this three foot jump is a pretty good stretch for her. So how, may I ask, did she get this little bootie off a shelf five feet up? And why? How she got it completely eludes me. Now ask me why. I have the answer to that one.

See this little freak, excuse me, I meant, darling puppy, came with this very odd obsession. She loves feet and anything associated with them. Sure, you're thinking, she likes shoes like any self respecting puppy does. No, I'm sorry, it most definitely goes far beyond that. I noticed soon after I got her that she would cuddle up to my feet whenever they stopped moving. Not only that, she suddenly becomes a little kitten, rubbing her head across the top of your foot, hmm, or bottom of your foot, it makes no difference to her. If I'm wearing flip flops, she will wiggle her little nose between the foot and the flip flop and happily snooze there. I'm pretty sure she thinks that feet are magical entities. (See here my blog entry think twice. It will take on new meaning for you now.) In fact, as I write this entry, she is sitting under my foot with what I am pretty sure is an I'm-in-heaven expression as I just swing my foot back and forth. It's kind of convenient actually. I can do all kinds of things while still giving Miley attention. So nicely low maintenance. Not only are feet her happy delight in life, but she also joyfully engages in playful romps with socks, something like you would see a kitten doing with say, a ball of yarn. She can sniff out a sock in a ten mile radius. Okay, okay, anywhere in the house. We can think we have safely removed all socks from her roving nose, and suddenly there she will be shamefully displaying the sock that she has stolen. She looks pitifully horrified at her own behavior. It's as if she is saying, "I'm sorry. I just couldn't help it. See, I found this delicious sock snack. I simply couldn't walk away from it. You can yell at me now." What I find amazing is that it is repeatedly socks. Occasionally she comes up with the snotty tissue or some other disgusting object from the bathroom garbage, which I shan't identify, but mostly she just forages for socks. If only we could teach her to pan for gold or silver or something valuable. But don't you think that a baby bootie is a little bit amazing? It's a kind of sock, yes, but really? Here's the most amazing one, however. When my grandbaby was here, there was a little package of baby socks in her luggage. A package, in plastic, packaged up and sealed, not even in the open air. I'll be a monkey's uncle if she didn't sniff it out and bring it to me with that I've-done-a-way-bad-thing-again expression. Perhaps I have a genius dog on my hands. She can even find socks in packages that have never been on feet! I don't know if I should praise her for her ingenuity or yell at her and put handcuffs on all four paws and arrest her for aggravated sock theft.

And you thought she snatched the bootie because she didn't like my sweet grandbaby! Piffle!

Friday, August 28, 2009

can i have her now?

So I asked my daughter when she was here, speaking of my grandbaby of course, "Can I have her?"

"No, Mom."

"So when you go back on home, do you think maybe I can have her then?"

"No. Mom, no."

"So can I have her now?"

"Mom! No!"

"How about now?"


"Can I h . . . "


I waited for a little while. Let the subject drop away.

"So, you know, I'm thinking I'll do grandma camps. I think that would be fun."

"That would be cool. Yeah, it would."

"Starting with next week."

"No! Mom! Just no!"

I think I'm really breaking her down now.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

missing the little miss

It's funny how I suddenly have this burning desire to travel to a certain state all the time now, more than I did before. You see there's this Little Miss that's growing so fast, she puts weeds to shame. So I went for a little visit. In Reader's Digest fashion, days with the Little Miss go something like this: feed, burp, change, hold and stare at her, start all over again. We did manage to do other things. We went to dinner a couple of times. We even went birthday shopping for the Little Miss's mommy. But mostly, I was just happy if it was my turn to take care of her. Hey, I was even happy for it to be my turn the day that both Mommy and Daddy declared it Grandma's diaper turn since it was bulging and ripe and ready for the changing. I believe that was the day that I had just said something to the effect that in her short seven weeks of life she had managed to spit on me, throw up on me, pee on me, umm, have gas into my bare hand as I prepared to bathe her, but that she hadn't yet managed to poo on me. She remedied that oversight that day.

It finally came to the night before I was to leave. She was sleeping peacefully in her little bed. My daughter, seeing me staring at her, read my mind. "You can take her out and hold her if you want to." Want to? Knowing full well that I was going to have to get up before the sun even decided to turn over in its bed and yawn, much less rise, I slipped her out of her little bed. Then I sat there in the semi dark with her, just staring at the face that I knew I would miss so much. The next time I see her, she probably won't be that little squishy baby. She'll probably be holding her head up steadily and easily. She'll probably be able to sit. She'll probably be making little baby sounds of cooing and gurgling and giggling, along with her caveman sounds of grunting and groaning. She'll probably be so much bigger. So I stared at her into the night, daring the night to go on forever. But of course morning eventually came and found me saying goodbye. I started missing her as soon as I walked out the door.

Here are the many faces of the Little Miss that I will miss:

But I think that I will miss this one the most:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

some things just don't change

So I went to the county parade today. I rushed to get there on time because my daughter was in the high school marching band, and I knew she was at the beginning of the parade. In my rush to make sure I didn't miss her marching by, I failed to grab the camera. Once I got there, I found out I was a half hour early. Then I wished I had my book.

In retrospect, I'm really glad I didn't have my book because I did something far more fun. I people watched. I found myself a nice shady spot near a fountain. And you know what? It was nice to see that there really are some things that just don't change. Since I was there early, I got to do a lot of people watching. I found it fascinating that it seemed like any other parade I've ever been to, including, you know, parades way back "in the day." In this changing, technological world of ours, a parade is still a parade. I enjoyed watching the children darting across the street chasing each other, the parents yelling after them. I saw four sets of twins! Yes, four. One set of twins was dressed in matching top and shorts outfits, and they had their radio flyer wagon with their little brother in tow. Have you ever been to a parade where the radio flyer wagon wasn't in attendance? I think not. I watched the one brother struggle with it to get it over the curb. Then he brought the baby brother to the fountain to show him the wonder of the water and the rocks. "There's something under there," he said mysteriously. People sat on the curbs, searching out the shade as much as possible. Then there were the smart ones who showed up with folding chairs and lined the curb with their families. And don't forget the puppy. A puppy on a leash showed up with its family. It bounced all over, just happy to be a part of the day. It made me wish that in addition to my camera and my book that I had brought Miley as well. All of it seemed so timeless. It could have been any year, any state, any county that I was watching them in.

Finally the parade began with its typical entrants. Leading off were the police officers on motorcycles, making fancy "eights" in the road. The flag was then proudly marched by in the arms of men in uniform, and we stood with our hands over our hearts, respecting this great country of ours. There were floats with beautiful young girls, old cars, typical advertisement floats, political floats, people throwing candy and small stuffed toys to the children. And finally the high school band came along. I saw them in the distance, their color guard in perfect sync with each other. I abandoned my shady, cool spot and stepped to the curb. (How I wished for that camera.) I searched for that beautiful teenage face in the band. She wasn't hard to find, and then, typical mom that I am, I felt that twitch of pride. Gee it was just a parade, and gee, she was just marching and pounding a drum, doing a little bounce side to side with the music sometimes, but I was just proud of her, her talent, her beauty . . . her.

It was the time honored tradition of a parade. Nothing much has changed in decades of years . . . nothing much at all.

Friday, August 14, 2009

first day of school

Yesterday was the first day of school. It's a tradition at our house to take a picture to memorialize this great day. In fact just last year, my daughter who is attending college in another state sent me her first day of school picture. She was wearing a beautiful mussed up side pony tail and a childhood expression. Call me skeptical, but I have a funny feeling she re-did her hair before she actually left the house.

If we took all those pictures out and lined them up side by side, we could see how each kid grew from year to year. We could see the grouchy face of the one who just didn't want her picture taken in that particular spot. We could see the funky clothes of the eighties. We could see the floofed up bangs (yes, I know I just made up a word, but you totally understand what I mean). We could see the fancy pink Winnie the Pooh backpack (that was Kindergarten not high school--I promise). How about the Mickey Mouse dress and the "Buzz Off" outfit. Who could ever forget the fancy dance poses? Oh, and then there are the brace faces and the sack lunch in hand. And then (giggle) there's the home-permed hairdos that never should have left the house. How about the side pony tails? Precious.

So as I was saying, yesterday was the first day of school, and like the dutiful mother that I am, I took pictures of my beautiful teenage daughter before she left for school. Well, I tried.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

missing you

As you might have noted from my previous entry, my baby granddaughter and daughter came for a visit. Boy, life was different. My regular schedule and routine went straight out the window. But who cares?! Who needs a routine when you have a baby around? Or who can even manage to keep one for that matter? :) It was so wonderful to have them here.

The night before they left, my daughter let me have the night with my sweet granddaughter. It's an interesting little phenomenen really. I think she went to bed with a wicked grin, thinking, "Aha, tricked the grandma into staying up all night, and I get to sleep. Sucker, grandma!" And I went to bed thinking, "Aha, tricked the daughter into snatching a whole night from her and getting to hog the baby all I want! Sucker, daughter!"

Just about now you might be thinking I'm completely nutso, but it's the plain, silly truth. I just love nights with a baby. There's something so magical about it. First of all, there was no little vulture standing by waiting for a turn. And believe me, there are lots of baby vultures around here. She was mine, all mine for a whole night. I swaddled her up in her blanket, kissed her sweet, soft forehead, and watched as she searched for the bottle in hungry desperation. I got to hold her in my arms as long as I wanted to, listening to her little baby sounds of pure satisfaction as she gulped down her middle of the night feedings with eyes blissfully shut in half sleep. It was just plain a privilege to stare at her sweet little angelic face in the dim light. Then as I held her to my chest waiting for her not-so-ladylike burps, I cuddled her close, and wished for her to stay, but the dark of night slowly dawned into morning light. The magic was over, the sweet thing left, and now here I am, a grandma without a baby to cuddle. What am I to do?

Oh yeah, that stupid schedule and routine.

Missing you, sweet thing.