22 December 2009

Mitten Knittin'

So, yesterday I reigned triumphant when I successfully completed my first knitted mitten. ("I was knittin' her mitten"!!)

Some say it looks like a cloven hoof, some say Vulcan Salute mitten.

I say "I came, I saw, I knitted a mitten without a pattern and figured out my own way." If my kid can't be a team player and shape her little hand into the Vulcan Salute then, well,....you just can't please some folks.

And I think it goes without saying that if you are a Mitten Hater, then avert your gaze. Oh, and why yes, that IS my sultry yet meaty hamhock upon which the mitten in question rests. Thanks for asking!

18 December 2009

Knit Poetic

So....I've learned to knit. I have been inducted into the Knitting Cult that is an off-shoot of the homeschooling co-op of which we are a part. I resisted for a few weeks, but it was inevitable. I think they use some sort of backward masking in the anthems we sing at the opening session. (I should have known when the words included "all hail knit and purl".)

Anyhoo, I am now knitting one and purling two with the best of 'em. So far I have knit 8 scarves and one chapstick(TM) sweater.

02 December 2009

Eggnog Creme Cupcakes

OhmyNOODness!! I have had this idea for Eggnog Creme Cupcakes floating around in my head for awhile now and decided to finally give them a shot. (hehe! With a 60cc syringe!) I loaded up the syringe with eggnog-spiked pudding and shoved it into eggnog-flavoured cupcakey goodness. YUM!

15 November 2009

Open Apology to Jack Elliot

As I drove home Saturday morning after a miserable night at work spent coughing and hacking and, in general, being miserable, I decided that buying a paper would take my mind off of my troubles. Now, a few years back my aunt introduced me to the sheer wonder that is “The Saturday Edition of the Sunday Paper”. Do you all know about this? She was visiting at the time and said that we should buy a Sunday paper…..on a Saturday. I looked at her like she had two heads. I said, “how would we buy tomorrow’s paper today? Today hasn’t gotten finished yet, let alone tomorrow!” She laughed and said that you could buy the Saturday edition of the Sunday paper. Thoughts swirled in my head. How would this be possible?

I am now a convert to the ‘day-early’ newspaper. It makes me feel like I’m living in a time warp.

So, I went to the convenience store near my house and who should I see but Jack ‘Darn’ Elliot. (this is a family-friendly blog!) I just glanced at him, but I was too intent on making sure that the comics and TV guide were inside the paper that I wasn’t paying much attention to our local celebrity. Then…..he kept talking and it hit me. I muttered, in his general direction, that it was “like hearing radio in person’. I told him about how when I lived in Panama I wrote a column for the Tropic Times (I’m sure you’ve heard of it) and it would NEVER FAIL that the only time someone would recognize me in the store was when I had no make-up on, hair askew and my arms were stuffed full of Ding-Dongs and Doritos. (and I wrote a cooking column, for goodness sake! I should have been seen buying capers and wine!)

As we stood there talking about where I came from in Illinois and it’s proximity to the town of Cairo it hit me again….that fatigue, the general funk that had kept me down all night at work and I knew I just needed to get home and get to bed. I thought that nothing would cure this illness like curling up with the newspaper. I bid Jack adieu and headed out.

Hours later at home, my body wracked by what can now only be described as The Flu of Epic Proportion I was terrified by the thought that I had infected Jack and would be met with the wrath of his fanbase if I got their beloved leader ill. (And not in any taboid-worthy way, either, just by standing close to him in a convenience store!)
As I was busy hacking up the lower lobe of my left lung I pictured angry villagers chasing me with torches and pitchforks like I was some kind of Typhoid Cyndi.

So, let me just say to you publicly, Jack: I am sorry if you became ill after our encounter. I didn’t realize just how sick I was and how bad I would feel later in the day. In the wee hours of the night I thought about you and hoped that your health was intact. I’m sorry if I got any funk on you or near you.

01 November 2009

Halloween 2009

Jake & Katy went as Calvin & Hobbes and Claire, though dressed as an angel, was a 'princess' according to young C. oookay. Too bad you can't see Claire's pink Chuck Taylor's under her 'princess costume'. (angel suit!)

17 September 2009

Cricket Mom, what thinketh thee?

I received the following email from one of the moms in the new co-op we recently formed:

“Can't we buy crickets at the pet store to give the kids with their Chinese Cricket cages in week 10? I thought that might be fun.

What thinketh you?”

She thought that might be fun.

Fun she thought.

Uh-huh. Fun.

Fun is dancing through a sprinkler.

Fun is eating watermelon on a hot day.

What is fully apparent to me is that Cricket Mom has not experienced the unmitigated JOY that is “tearing around the house at 2am on a Sunday morning trying desperately to find that d@mn cricket!!!”

What thinketh you?

What thinketh me, indeed!

What I THINKETH, Cricket Mom, is that with two pre-schoolers in my house, we are currently exceeding the maximum allowable decibel level on our street.

What I THINKETH is that my sanity is not likely to last through a cricket permanently residing in our home.

Please remember, Cricket Mom, that we live semi-in-the-country and a late-night Big Mac run was recently averted abruptly due to a skunk on my front porch. A skunk whose very presence held me hostage in my own home.

I’m just telling you right now that if you give my kid a cricket, said bug will soon end up “going to live with a nice family on a big farm where he has plenty of room to run”. Or, to put it in adult vernacular, buried next to the hamster.

Oh, and I’ll give you three guesses as to what YOUR kid is getting from my family for Christmas:

1. Drum set

2. Kazoo

3. Ant farm with a crack in it.

Happy Holidays!

10 September 2009

Fresh from the conference

This was in the powerpoint slide from the last lecture today. So True!

06 September 2009

Words Cannot Describe

That moment we first feel them move.

Those agonizing minutes, fretful hours as we labor them here.

Those tear-filled nights when we worry and wish over their sleeping forms.

That moment when you get the call, that news, those words that tell you hope is gone.

That golden time spent holding a tiny hand, still warm, but not for long.

Feeling his life slip away as he lets go of your hand and takes the hand of God.

There is no levity in this world this week, little joy. This blogger fails to find any funny thing anywhere in the world right now.

I'm so sorry, Nicole! Words just can't describe how we feel for what you and your family are going through right now! You have my cell phone number. Use it ANYtime!


Armondo Sciacca

25 August 2009

The Chickens and the Bees

I had no idea how much a person could learn just by teaching their kid about sex.

Friends were appalled that I just TOLD my kids about it.

"What if they ask questions?"

Answer them.

"What is they ask, you know, personal questions."

Tell them that the answer is “Nunya” Nunya Business. Next Question.

"What if they want to know about your past?"
See above answer. Repeat as necessary.

Just don’t do what my mom did and give your kid James Dobson’s book Preparing For Adolescence. The way he described sex made it sound like the man has to pivot on his toes. I had no idea at that time that legs could move around at all, despite my brief flirtation with gymnastics. I just knew that if his most masculine part was sticking out at a right angle and my Orifice to all Things Feminine was parallel to my feet, well, it doesn’t take a degree in Engineering to know that that sort of arrangement just isn’t meant to be.

I told my boss Kenny that I wanted to get chickens. He told me to keep the rooster out of there. I asked why.

He blinked and looked as if he had been thoroughly stunned by my apparent stupidity. It seems Kenny grew up knowing farm stuff. I stop short of calling his knowledge Animal Husbandry as that term makes me feel vaguely icky. I think that animals should just stick to marrying each other and humans can do the same.

So, Kenny grew up with this country grandma who, according to his recollections, would strangle the errant rooster when he was “making trouble”. I asked why she would do that. He replied, “because they wouldn’t leave the chickens alone”. I asked why they were hanging out with the chickens in the first place.

He said, “once the roosters have sex with the chickens they always want back into the coop!”

I said, completely incredulous and probably WAY too loud for the interior of a Blockbuster store, “OHMYGOD!!! ARE YOU TELLING ME THAT ROOSTERS HAVE SEX WITH CHICKENS?!?!”

I don’t think I have ever seen that man laugh that hard.

Or that loud.

Or, for the matter, that long. I always thought of roosters and chickens as competing groups, not so much as fodder for dating each other. I kinda’ pictured a West Side Story of the chicken coop going on. I just didn’t realize that in that scenario the roosters are wearing the black leather jackets and the chickens are wearing the twirly dresses.

Kids who grow up in the suburbs are clearly at a disadvantage when it comes to this kind of knowledge. I was in middle school before I learned what a cowlick was. I had been told for years that my hair “had a cowlick in it”. I thought that it meant that just when my hair was coming in (as my people are born pale and bald) a cow licked my head just in that spot over my right eye and that is why my hair lies funny and why that Dorothy Hammill haircut never looked quite right on me.

11 August 2009

High School Reunion

Saturday night was the reunion. It was, in a word....surreal. For one thing, I kept thinking, "Can you guys believe we are old enough to DRINK?! Shouldn't somebody be running up to SA with a fake ID to buy Purple Passion and Bartles & James wine coolers?!" (Bonus points if you actually remember SA before it turned into whatevertheheckit'scallednow!)

I noted quickly that time tends to sharpen the edges. I noticed a LOT less clique-adge. More people were moving with great fluidity between social groups.

I also noticed that people only knew me in the context of "being Amy's friend". As soon as I said, "I was friends with Amy R." I would see the flash of recognition. I suspect that if I had spent the reunion sitting alone at a table on the periphery of the room with my face buried in a notebook writing my sad poetry....they would have said, "OhYEAH, now I know who she is!"

I spent much of my high school career as Amy's sidekick, the person whose job it was to make her dates laugh while she went to the bathroom and put on make-up.

If I had a dime for every. single. time I heard, "Amy, your friend Cyndi has such a great personality" (which, as we all know is code for "nice to talk to, not exactly Date Material") I would be a rich woman indeed.

I still can't believe that the people I went to high school with are this old.


Prior to the reunion I had lunch with my brother Dennis. I told him that I was starting to feel a little nervous about going to the reunion. He said,"well, as long as you don't go with your hair looking like that it should be fine." I explained to him that I had already "done my hair". (If you can call washing and putting gel in hair "doing your hair".) He said,"but it looks like it's just wet. It looks like you have gel in it, like it's "fake wet".


I attempted to explain to Dear Brother that my hair currently has two settings:

1. Dry and frizzy


2. Fake wet gel from hell

That's it. I understand that while we were growing up I had that silky baby-fine straight hair, but after Baby Number Three my hair became curly and rebellious.

I know not why.

All I know is that when I don't put gel on it young children run screaming and villagers end up chasing me with torches and pitchforks.

I didn't want to ruin the reunion.

I had to use the gel.

05 August 2009

I AM the rainmaker

If you are in central Oklahoma and you were wishing for rain today then...

You are welcome.

I was feverishly working to get ready for our trip tomorrow and decided that putting the comforter and pillowcases on the line for that "sunshine fresh smell" would be a grand idea.

Which, of course, means that it will rain.


In the morning Katy and I will be travelling to Illinois for my 20th High School reunion. (Yeah, I can't believe it either!)

Twenty years?! That can't be right. Hold on, I'm gonna go do the math.

Yeah, apparently, it really HAS been twenty years.

Two decades.

One-fifth of a century.

Holy Guacamole. I really don't feel old enough for this. I think I must be lying and maybe it is my TEN year high school reunion. Yeah, that's it.

28 July 2009

Facebook Song

...courtesy of the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppets. I LOVE them. If I ever go to a concert I'll have a lighter in my hand. (which could be bad, now that I think about it as the singers themselves are highly flammable.)

14 July 2009

A Wing and a Prayer

Ken Hoffman, I have a Wing to pick with you!

I read your absolutely gushing review of Wendy’s new boneless Asian wings.

found here:



Ken, I have but one question for you. Have you ever actually EATEN CHINESE FOOD? One can’t help but wonder if perhaps you have only heard tales of Chinese food, but have never consumed it yourself.

Did you eat the same Americanized lumps of poultry that I did? With one bite I knew I had been had. I sat there looking forlornly at the deceptive chunks and thought, “these are McNuggets in sauce”. And a BLAND sauce at that.

Now I will admit, just for the sake of literary and culinary transparency, that I cook with SPICE AND FLAVOUR, so that may have been my downfall. I use curry, cumin and herbs of all sort. So, I may be a bit biased in the flavor department as I demand that my food, you know, has some.

Mr. Hoffman, the only recommendation I can make at this point is the rapid ingestion of some P.F. Chang’s Kung Pao Chicken.

It’s the only thing that can save you.

06 July 2009

Netflix: Netflix Movie Viewer

Netflix: Netflix Movie Viewer

Bellydancing. It's harder than it looks.

That is all.

02 July 2009

Scooter: the E! True Hollywood Story

I keep wondering if maybe Scooter had issues.

This is coming as a last-born, attention loving baby of the family. I can’t help but wonder if Scooter hated that the other muppets got all the attention and accolades. Maybe Scooter, forever jealous of the attention given to his much cuter twin sister Skeeter, born into his polyester and fiberfill family at a time when his parents, worn out from caring for their other Muppet Children, were not as available to give Scooter the attention he so craved.

Perhaps Scooter became all too accustomed to allowing others to steal the spotlight that he truly deserved. Truth be told, Scooter was likely the least physically attractive of the bunch, although his genius and intellect cannot be ignored. We could assume, from the physical and intellectual attributes that are obvious on the show, that Scooter likely placed top in his class at Muppet High. I am thinking ‘member of the chess club’ and possibly a nearly silent member of the debate team, always allowing others to have the last word. He certainly kow-towed to Kermit’s incessant demands.

After years of drug abuse, most of which was hidden by the success of the muppet show, Scooter ends up in a back alley just off Hollywood and Vine, an embriodery needle sticking out of his arm, his felt all nappy and worn. What has become of this once-well-known member of the Muppet Show crew? Will Scooter agree to treatment at the Betty Felt Clinic for Severely Disturbed Puppets or will he continue down this dangerous path?
NOTE: The preceding rant is just a general 'wondering-ment' and is not intended as actual reporting. Don't sue me, I'm just speculating here!

Rainbow Resource

I placed our curriculum order for next year. I am SOOO excited! Here's what we are getting:

For Katy:
French for Kids (add-on for French)
My First French ABC Picture Coloring Book (fun add-on for existing Learnables French curriculum)
Chemistry Laboratory Worksheets
Chemistry Student Text (Real Science 4 Kids)
Chemistry Teacher’s Manual
Vocabulary From Classical Roots A
Little French ABC Coloring Book (another add-on)
Analogies (for the whole co-op class to review)
Wordsmith (writing)
Editor in Chief Book A1 (editing and revising)
Thumb Thing For Reading Large
Classical Latin Alphabet Bookmark
Life of Fred: Decimals & Precents
Life of Fred: Fractions

For Jake and Claire:

Get Ready for the Code Book A
Mudpies to Magnets (pre-school science curriculum)
Songschool Latin Student Text and Song CD
Songschool Latin Teacher’s Edition

I just realized that I didn't order Jake's Funtastic Frogs math book, but I can pick it up locally.

We already have Before Five in a Row for Jake and Claire as well as Prima Latina Latin for use after Song School Latin. Also, I am going to see how Jake does with following along on Katy's French lessons.

As far as lesson PLANS?! Well, I think that it is something that only an afternoon with Ann and a few rounds of margaritas will accomplish.

13 June 2009

A Scofro, Gravy Shoes and the night at work

Katy and I have been doing some research for the upcoming Geography Fair. We decided to present Scotland this year because we have some heritage there.

‘some’ is what I thought. As it turns out we are completely Scottish, from the butterscotch chips in my pantry to the dreadful state of my hair these days. My hair started getting more and more curly with each subsequent child I birthed. I told Kirk that I was going to keep having babies 'til I had an afro. It was then that I realized that, being Scottish, I wouldn’t have an Afro, I’d have a Scofro.

When I got home from work tonight I told Kirk that, if I were to comb my hair out and take a brush to the unruly mass I’d look like Bozo on a bender. “Hey, boys and girls, wanna assess risk with me?”

Anyhoo, tonight was not without it’s highlights. I got to work with the new girl, who is, get this, named ThatCyndiGirl, too!! Same spelling and everything. I told her that I was going to drag her to tap class so we can work out a Me and My Shadow number. I think she’s game. (And her new nickname shall henceforth be “Cyndi: The Sequel”)

I ran to the place where we get dinner these days and promptly dumped about 4 gallons of mashed potatoes and 17 gallons of brown gravy on my ugly sandals. Yes, the ones that Kirk has despised for twelve years straight. I think he put out a hit on my sandals. He’s been giving them the stink-eye for years. Looking back on the event’s of the evening I now see all this foreshadowing. Kirk’s furtive glace around the room as I donned the horrid footwear, the man who loaded the food into the van at PlaceWhereWeGetDinnerTheseDays who was a little too nice about the whole thing and a little too insistent that HE load the trays.

Hmmm. The more I think about it, the more I think Kirk DID put a hit out on my shoes.

I have a t-shirt he has been trying to get rid of for years. "Don’t go into the laundry, Dear One, I’m comin’ for ya!!"

10 June 2009

Carole in the kitchen

As I was working with dear Carole the other day, the subject of juicers came up. She piped up, "Oh, I have one of those! I just LOVE it! Why, I was even able to make powdered sugar with it!"

At that moment I heard it-Jack Lalane had a cow.

What I would like to know is how a person looked at that machine, the contraption that, just down the street from my doughnut-swilling family, creates spinach smoothies which are consumed for breakfast.....and said,"I'll bet I could juice SUGAR!"

What's next? French Fry Frappes? Cheeseburger Shakes?

That Carole's a culinary genius, I tell ya! (Leave it to a diabetic to figure out a way to juice sugar!)

02 June 2009

Denzel at the Walgreens

Prior to coming in for a twelve hour shift I took a quick shower with the associated shampooing of the mane. A full fourteen hours later, as I was driving home, I reached up to my head and realized that my hair was still wet.

Fourteen hours later.

Before climbing into bed I wondered what would happen if I ran my fingers through the curls and waves to get the remaining gel out of it. My hair was quickly transformed from semi-normal/borderline Good Hair Day to a cross between Don King and Ronald McDonald. A stacked red afro. And, if you must know, an ANGRY red afro that shook each time I moved my head, like a stacked, layered, orange jello wedge of attitude.

Fast forward to later in the day. I was informed that we were out of feminine hygeine products and they were needed NOW as opposed to later. Off to Walgreens I go, thinking that I will get errands out of the way before jumping in the shower and leaving for work.

As the saying goes, "famous last words".

Off I go to Walgreens in running pants, my power t-shirt (from ThinkGeek, it glows in the dark!) and the aforementioned angry red afro.

I picked up the feminine product, and, since ingesting twelve thousand grams of fibre per day has failed to make my 'earth move' of late, some prune juice. Redbox is running a promo right now with Engangered Species candy bars. If you buy a candy bar you get a free one night movie rental. Who am I to pass up such an offer? Buying that $2 candy bar just saved me one dollar in movie rental fees! So, there I am with the pads, prune juice and candy bar and,.....Glamour magazine.

I approach the counter and only because I have the luck that has followed me throughout my lifetime, Denzel Washington's twin is checking me out at. And, of course, by 'checking me out, I can only mean 'completing my transaction'. No one was 'checking me out' last night, save for the very large sweaty man who looked at me in the snack aisle. The look on Denzel, Jr's face screamed, "oh, honey, there's nothing in that magazine that can help YOU. Those magazines are reserved for the Pretty People. You put that back and grab yourself a bible and a pocket protector!"

Geeze, why didn't I just round out my purchase with some Monistat and a tube of Ben Gay?!

26 May 2009

Not in London

As I was rushing around yesterday trying to do a quick "get-ready" so we could go swimsuit shopping (an endeavor that I should REALLY only undertake fully drunk on Malibu Rum!) I received a phone call from Friend Kara informing me that someone had hacked my Facebook page and was asking my friends for money so I could "get home from London where I'm stranded"!!

So, let me officially set the record straight. I am not in London. I am here, where I live, in Oklahoma City and have never actually BEEN to London, except in my dreams and while getting lost in a good book. I was not mugged in the park in London and my cell phone was not stolen. I do not require monies sent to a paypal account so I can get home.

I am here. Still here.

I would LIKE to go to London, but it's not looking likely at the moment. I'm too busy getting my ego crushed by swimsuit shopping. It is REALLY disheartening to lose 50 pounds and STILL not fit into any suits.

What would any self-respecting chubby girl do after realizing that no swimsuits fit? That's right, I went directly to the market and bought ice cream.

I really had no other choice.

As I was feeling sorry for myself what with the ill-fitting swimwear and the hacking of my facebook page I thought about how it was Memorial Day, after all and others have sacrificed their very lives for my freedom.

Really, when you put it that way, what do I have to complain about?! I'll bet you anything that the servicemembers who have died on our behalf, so we could experience freedom, would gladly deal with a bad clothes-shopping experience or a facebook hack just to be alive.

When you think about it that way.........my day wasn't that bad after all.

23 May 2009

Mr. Morton is the subject of the sentence......

And what the predicate says he does!

I awoke this morning to my children watching SchoolHouse Rock. When this song came on Kirk said, "oh, I LOVE Mr. Morton!" so I started singing the song to Jake as if HE were the subject of the song:

"Oh, Jake is the subject of the sentence

And what the predicate says he does!"

Then we started coming up with all sorts of things that Jake DOES on a daily basis. I printed the words up on sentence strip paper (found at Lakeshore Learning Store....LOVE that place!) and had Jake cut them out. It was Jake's first day practicing his scissor skills and I had completely forgotten just how much skill and effort is required in using scissors! That boy is a real whiz with the scissors!

I just LOVE SchoolHouse Rock!

MRI Results

The pulsatile tinnitus thing is still from some unknown source, but he said that the memory loss was most likely due to insomnia and the insomnia most likely due to anxiety. He asked, "what could be causing your anxiety?"

I told him, "My husband's mother-in-law lives with us".

I believe that is in the category of 'Nuff Said.

I love Kirk and I knew that his mother-in-law was part of the deal. So, where does that leave me but where I currently reside: setting up a standing date with Xanax?

20 May 2009


Preliminary MRI reports indicate that I still have a brain in my head. (Some may have been wondering after my recent run-in with a brick wall, drowning my cell phone and plopping my less-than-graceful self down into a pile of PlayDough.)

And, then there is always the fashion disaster that I call my wardrobe.

After spending almost an hour inside that magnetic tunnel I can truly say that I understand, no, REALLY understand the meaning of the word, “boredom”. It would have been much more manageable if they had let me take my laptop in with me. I entertained myself by trying to think of the names of






Then, when I got tired of that I went back and alphabetized everybody’s names in my head. When I got to Z (thank you, Zonya!) I tried to think of a spice for every letter of the alphabet.

After awhile I found myself lying there thinking, “what’s the point? They aren’t going to find anything, anyway and I will spend the rest of my life being lost and not knowing why".

Lately, I tell Kirk the same thing over and over and over again. I told him that I hope don't end up like Drew Barrymore's character on 50 First Dates.

Results tomorrow.

07 May 2009

Open Letter to My Boss

Open Letter to My Boss:

Dear A,
There is something you should know. I should have disclosed this information during the interview, the background check, the second interview, the week-long employee training or even the new hire orientation. Since I did not divulge this information then I can only beg forgiveness and come clean now.

It seems that I have a Genetic Fashion Deficit (GFD) and I have known for some time. I apologize now for not confessing earlier. In truth, I hoped that my disability could live in blessed obscurity. With an ill-timed Ebay purchase, however, obscurity was not to be mine. While searching Ebay, and drunk on the power of a newly acquired paycheck, I clicked “bid on this item” before truly considering how such a purchase could affect family members, friends, clients and coworkers. The tears of laughter coming from clients as they viewed my hideous footwear is evidence that I can no longer keep my fashion dysfunction quiet any longer.

Up above you can view the horror I have described here. One can only hope that now, as sandal season approaches I can darken the doorstep of our office in more fashion-forward choices.

One can only hope.

I should let you know that a co-worker snapped her head backward while laughing at one of my outfits and may have suffered whiplash. Is this the sort of thing that is covered under Worker's Compensation?

Again, I apologize for not coming clean before now. I was hoping you would never find out, but.....as we don't wear uniforms, it was just a matter of time, really.


P.S. I have attached a picture of the shoe in question. Please have mercy on me. Leniency is appreciated! I know now that the only thing that could possibly appropriately accompany these shoes would be a full-length rainbow-coloured fur coat and a hat with a feather protruding from it, but still I beg for mercy.

27 April 2009

Svengali Jessica

Have you ever had that friend who just had to say the word and you thought, “GREAT idea!?” Well, that friend is Jessica. Or, since I know a few Jessica’s in my life, as she is called at home, “Jessica
Who-is-about-to-graduate-from-UCO-with-a-Master’s-in-Psychology”. It’s a long last name. I think it’s German.

Anyway, I talked her into a 5K and she has repaid the favour by talking me into a triathlon. Now, far be it from me to besmirch the character of such a fine individual, but I just gotta say that I hope she is aware of her powers over me and that she doesn’t try to talk me into bank robbery or trying to start up a home meth lab.

Or smoking crack. I have an inhaler now, and I have a feeling that using an inhaler while toking on a crack pipe probably isn’t considered cool amongst the drug crowd.

But, I could be wrong.

I’m still trying to figure out how to swim 400 meters in Lake Arcadia without being seen in a swimming suit, but I haven’t come to any brilliant conclusions on that one. While the thought of my nearly naked body being seen by all and sundry troubles me, I also don’t relish the idea of swimming in a sweat suit, so we shall see if modesty and shame outweigh my need for streamlined swimming.

25 April 2009

the Mouse and the Burrito

I babysat for Janice, a co-worker of my mother while I was a teenager and too young to procure the required work permit that would have allowed me to secure a real job.

Instead I watched her children.

I was warned that Janice had, and I do quote for your edification, “not the cleanest house in the world”.
In the world of understatements there are your tiny hyperbole and your whoppers. This was in the category of unmitigated ‘whopper’. As I entered the house my equilibrium was immediately called into question as not only was the floor sloping at dangerously funhouse angles, but every open area (and I use the word “open” loosely in this context) was crammed full of crap. Not just crap, but also junk and ‘stuff’ as well.

As she let me in Janice stated, rather apologetically, ‘sorry about the mess’. As I spent the two hours in Janice’s filthy home with her equally filthy children I made a mental not to never require the use of a bathroom while there. As was my habit in those days I would stop by 7-11 on my way to Janice’s house, fresh from my volunteer job of teaching little kids to swim at the Y (which, of course, left me freshly chlorinated and, I hoped, immune to any ick present in the home), pick up a beef and bean burrito, put it in my backpack and cook it upon my arrival at The Home That Had Not Seen Soap. I liked to think that the act of cooking it at her house would heat up and kill any bacteria that had attached themselves to the burrito wrapper upon entering the home.

One could hope.

So, on that particular day, the day that could also arguably be called Cyndi’s Last Day in Janice’s Employ, I entered the home, burrito in hand, and heated it in the microwave oven. I sat on the couch, the only place left in the entire residence upon which one could rest buttocks, (safely or otherwise) and attempted to take a bite. As soon as the first bite was fully inside the confines of my mouth, I saw it.

Because it was looking at me.


On the floor, not even two feet in front of me was either a large mouse or a small rat who had, it seems, met with an untimely demise. Not only was said rodent crushed at or about the area just above his or her torso and just below what would have been the location of an Adam’s apple had the victim been a human male, but the ocular areas were protruding. Yeah, his or her eyes were bugging out in a perpetual look of surprise. I mused as to whether the rodent had been startled to death by the state of ruin in the home or if something heavy had fallen upon it. My shriek brought the filthy children running from their respective polluted rooms. Upon their arrival they said,”oh yeah, the mouse is dead. We are waiting for the cat to take it out.”

Waiting for the cat, indeed.

I looked around for something with which to remove the body, but could find no container suitable for the transportation of a dead rodent. And, honestly, I thought that if the cat was too lazy to pick it up, perhaps so was I. I would like to report to you that I didn’t leave those poor children with a dead rodent on their living room floor and that I am the sort of person who goes above and beyond both the call of duty, but also any moral or ethical obligations.

I would like to.

However, any potential guilt was assuaged by the knowledge that I was leaving the children in the incapable hands of their father, a person with conceivably more upper body strength with which to transport animals, dead or alive and with even MORE obligation, moral, ethical and legal than myself. That is what I told myself. Now that it has been 23 years since this incident I can’t help but wonder if that rodent has been worn into the carpet like indoor roadkill.

Upon the arrival of Janice I informed her that, sadly, this would be my last day. I barely made it out of the house without gagging. I hopped on my bike and pedaled just as fast as my puny little 15-year-old legs could carry me. My decision that my gastronomical health trumped my desire for spending money was one I have never regretted.

15 April 2009

Man of my dreams

You know how some people just hope and pray to someday meet that special guy who will take one look at them and say, “Baby, when I look at you, I see the future”? Well, I have found that guy.

Unfortunately, he is my dentist. And what he sees when he looks in my mouth is his future.
His future car,
his future boat,
his future beach house. It seems that when I hit that magic age of 34 years, 5 months, 4 days, 11 hours and 14 minutes my teeth decided to all turn into Chiclets and start giving me trouble.

It all started with a pistachio. I decided a few years ago that my new year’s resolution was to try new things.

Aren’t those just some famous last words that usually end up in a last minute trip to Mexico in the trunk of someone’s car and a desperate attempt at rounding up bail money from across the border?

But, maybe your Senior Year was different.

That fateful time, a few years ago I decided that I would try all sorts of new things: rock climbing, bellydancing, running even if no one was chasing me and…… eating pistachios. I read a book when I was a kid about this girl who loved pistachios so I thought, now that it has been over twenty years since I read that book, it’s my turn, too!

They should come with a warning label.

I had no idea you had to take them out of the shell first.
I tried to eat it, but it was too hard and when I tried to bite down on it, it hurt my tooth. I bravely tried to throw it out the sunroof, but it came back in, landing in my hair.

Must be divine providence. Tried to throw it out again. Again it returned to me. Must be meant to be. Tried to eat it again. That was the fateful move, I believe. There was my dental downfall.

CRACK goes the tooth. Cha-ching goes the dentist.

So, here we are, three crowns and two root canals later.

Do you see where being adventurous gets you?

I had an appt with "Dr. Joe" yesterday to get fitted for a new crown, being royalty and all. I told him that next time we get together I am just going to take an order of nitrous, hold the pain. When you suck in enough of that stuff you believe that you can do anything, like text message while lying flat on your back and stoned. All I remember was some poorly spelled text message and the fact that my cell phone fell on my face. More than once.

A friend commented that she was surprised that they "let" me text message while on nitrous. I don't think that there are any laws about drunk dialing, or, in this case, nitrous texting.

I was still on cloud nine from my near-victory the night before in a Jerkey Belching Contest. Thank you, Friend Jason for feeding me weird jerky. Despite my near-Olympic worthy flossing skills I was still picking kangaroo out of my teeth the next morning.

10 April 2009

Another Diet, another day

On the John Tesh show last night he spotlighted a new diet book. I hear those word and think, "here we go again!"

More diet advice from someone who thinks she has The Answer.

This new author tells us that all we have to do is approach our food intake like a bank account. If you have a carb rich breakfast of, say, pancakes and syrup, don't have pasta for lunch and dinner. Focus on getting protein, etc. in to balance it all out.

Well, isn't that just logical? Additionally, she says that you should eat food as close to it's beginnings as possible. In other words, apples are better than apple juice and apple juice is better than apple drink, which is "apple-like" in name only. She says that "you are what you eat".

In other words, Be The Broccoli.

Again, all logic and rational thinking here. I'm not disputing that. What seems apparent, though is that this author lacks any of the, shall we say FOOD ISSUES that Yours Truly carts around in her soul on a daily basis.

Obviously this woman eats only to stop hunger.
Obviously she has never bitten her own finger because it looked like food.
Never looked at her own husband like he was a porkchop.
Never wondered, while someone was talking to her about some "major life crisis" how long it would take to heat up the oven for pizza rolls.
Never inhaled a bag of Dale and Thomas Kettle Korn so fast that she scarcely tasted it.

And it is completely obvious to me that this woman has never, not once in her life, been so desperate for a snack that she ate cherry flavoured Chapstick in the hopes that it would taste just like Twizzlers. (it does not, for your information.)

09 April 2009

Open Letter to the Weird Guy Who Knocked on My Door Today:

Dear Weird Guy,
Word on the street is that the reason you were walking up and down my block today knocking on every single door is that you were casing the houses for future activity. Let me put you on notice right now. We are not in need of any thievery today. Probably not tomorrow, either.

If, however, in that brief moment betwixt when I lost my mind enough to open my door to you in the first place and the nanosecond later,..... you happened to peer into my home, I hope that you had Spring Cleaning on your mind and not larceny in your heart. If you know of any home organization tips or gardening help you could throw my way, I would be most obliged.

However, if you were fiendishly devising ways of stealing our stuff, you should know the following:

1) The piano is really heavy and needs to be tuned and, it should be noted, does not fit into a Honda Civic. Ask me how I know this.

2) We don't own a stereo any longer. Well, that's not true. We still do have an 80's era boombox, but the CD player is broken, so if you steal it you may need to have that repaired.

3) Our can opener doesn't work either, but we hold onto it anyway because we keep thinking that the next time we pull it out of the cabinet it WILL work and our faith in the Appliance Repair Fairy will have been restored. The manual can opener we use is really hard on the hands so if you have any "pre-arthritic changes" going on in YOUR phalanges you may just wanna pass on the can opener.

4) I don't know what that funk is in the microwave. I have been told that you can boil lemon juice in there, but, as you can smell, it hasn't helped. The whiff reminds me of Dead Hamster, but I can't be too sure. And, if you are just gonna steal it anyway I may not bother. The Brillo pads are under the sink. As you can tell from the state of the microwave, they havn't been used much.

5) If you take the dog you may wish to know that she is struggling with some incontinence issues and has to take the brown pills twice a day; they are in the front closet. Oh, and she pees in the car, but only if she gets startled, or loses her balance, or if someone from a neighboring vehicle looks at her cross-eyed. Oh, and she drags her butt on the carpet, so if you are gonna take the dog, you may as well pick up the carpet cleaner we have in the garage. Don't forget to put water in the tank or you will ruin the motor.

I think that's about it. Next time you visit our neighborhood please remember to call first so we can put out the good stuff.


06 April 2009

She Gets an A for Effort

About two months ago I asked Co-Worker Jessica if she wanted to do the Couch to 5K with me. She enthusiastically agreed to it. Shortly after the start of training our entire household came down with some horrible stomach virus, which I promptly used as an excuse to never train at all. Jessica sent me encouraging emails about how much she was "just loving this" while I was busy puking up a pancreas.

So, race day approached and, initially I told Jessica I just wasn't going to do the 5K. The race we were training for was the Red Bud Classic. Now, I ran the Red Bud about six years ago, also with no training base (I'm seeing a pattern here) and finished in at an embarrassing 46 minutes. I will tell you now that the ONLY reason I finished that one at all was because I don't know the Oklahoma City area that well, and particularly not the neighborhood in which the race is held and I had no idea how to get home. I knew that the only way I would ever see my loved ones again was to make it to the finish line and take the shuttle back to my car.

Yesterday morning as I lay in bed attempting to WILL myself to get up my frantic mind came up with all kinds of reasons not to go:

1) I am tired because I didn’t get nearly enough sleep last night. I would have to go to work straight from the race and I would get there tired, worn out, exhausted.

2) I didn’t train, even though I promised Jessica I would.

3) It is really windy and cold outside.

4) I just plain don’t feel like it.

All of these were good reasons, all of them valid, but in a desperate attempt to be a better person than I currently am……I went. I had reasons to go, sure, but I could only think of one at the moment: I really didn’t want to be the sort of person who asks someone to accompany her on an adventure and then ditches the adventurous friend at the last minute. When the only exercise you get is jumping to conclusions, it may be a good idea to postpone the 5K, but nooooo. I had made a promise and I was about to keep it.

First of all I learned that when those healthy types talk about carbo loading they probably don’t mean “eat an entire package of chocolate mousse flavoured Peeps just moments before running”. They stuck in my gut, but the aftertaste was worth it.

It was so windy that at times I felt like I was standing still when I was actually, theoretically, anyway, going forward. I kept looking down at my feet and it appeared that they were moving, but I felt no forward motion because the wind was pushing me back.

They give you this goodie bag when you register, but you really only need a few items from it:

Bib number

Safety pins with which to pin on your bib number

Timing chip


Everything else is swag and most if it is rubbish. I saved the mint and threw everything else away as, ‘HELLO! I’m about to run, walk, meander or otherwise saunter for 5 kilometers, or 3.2 miles, I am not a pack mule, some of this has GOT TO GO!’

With nowhere else to put my t-shirt I had the brilliant idea of shoving it down the front of my pants. Yeah, why not shove a mass of material into the part of my body that already has too much bulk?!

As usual, a brilliant idea.

So, there I am, closing in on the finish line, just one more stinkin’ kilometer to go when I strike up a conversation with these two kindly (I thought!) older ladies. They talked about their kids, I talked about mine, then the one closest to me says, “and I see you’re workin’ on another one right now!” glancing at my gut.


I said, “no, I just couldn’t think of anywhere else to put the t-shirt they gave me!” Then she says, “Oh, I was about to give you credit for something you didn’t deserve credit for!”

Okay, despite the fact that you ended that insult with a preposition....

Well, nothing makes a fat girl run like a put-down, so I took that as my cue to pick up the pace. After all, the finish line was looming and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna WALK over the finish line!

Here is a list of some of the people who passed me during the race:

1) Small children
2) Little old ladies with perfectly coiffed hair and handbags
3) All of the wheelchair race participants
4) The guy with 1 ½ legs and the cool prosthetic
5) Visually impaired runners with service dogs

I finished in an unimpressive and snail-worthy 55 minutes. I glanced behind me just as I crossed the finish line and saw Molasses closing in.

02 April 2009

Things I Have Learned this Week

1) When discussing sippy cup logistics with friend’s daughter while exiting friend’s driveway, absence of attention can lead to an unsightly union of Honda and brick. Ultimately, hilarity will NOT ensue.

2) While bathing a wiggly 2 year old remember to put your brand new cell phone (that you were too cheap to buy insurance for!) in a clean, safe, DRY place. The right side of your jacket pocket is NOT a safe place. As it turns out nice warm Mr. Bubble bubble baths are not recommended for the Samsung T-819.

3) When doing laundry, it is always important to check pockets. (I hear the “I told you so” coming from my mother already!) Brown crayon, which his shockingly similar to fecal matter and not nearly similar enough to chocolate chips, smears inside a dryer like snot on a doorknob, but adheres with the tenacity of Teflon on steel.

4) When sitting down to write a blog post in which you complain about the crayon inside your dryer, check the chair first. Playdough is not a recommended accessory for pajama pants.

5) When a friend recommends that the crayon can be removed with a credit card, she does not mean to replace the dryer, but to scrape out the crayon streaks.

I assure you that this is not an exhaustive list, though living it has been.

01 April 2009

Built Like a Brick FriendsHouse

Today I accidentally became a homewrecker when I crashed into my friend's decorative brick wall thing at the end of her driveway. I was attempting not to hit the part on the LEFT of the driveway and ended up hitting the chunk on the RIGHT.

There I was, innocently conversing with her daughter about how we leave sippy cups in our wake wherever we go when BAM!! the unthinkable occurs.

I feel awful. I jumped out of the car and assessed the damage and knew that it was too late to play dumb about the whole situation. I told her what happened. I started out with, "First of all, you should know that I am VERY, VERY sorry and will fix it, pay to have it fixed, whatever it takes!" She was very kind.

She called later to tell me that she had made the call to her husband to let him know. I don't know her husband that well and fear that they may take our dog Trixie as collateral until the wall is fixed.

What do you do to make this sort of thing up to a friend? Rake their yard? Clean their gutters? Pumice their feet? Bathe their dog? (and their dog has more hair than three Rastafarian llamas.) Ooh, maybe I could give their dog some dreadlocks? Make them some black bean soup?

I was so distraught over how I am going to make restitution (besides fixing the wall) that I accidentally dropped my cell phone in the bathtub while bathing Claire tonight. So, if you are in my phonebook and received calls from me, but heard nothing.....sorry. My numbers are all messed up in my phone and I am drying it out. (which is why I can't call you to tell you why I'm not calling you!)

Tomorrow HAS to be better, right?


The irony here is that just the night before all of this happened, said friend had asked me, "Do you ever blog about me?" I told her, "Not unless you do something stupid!"

Well, Ann, I took care of the stupid for you!

30 March 2009

Boogie Woogie

So, today after I ran back to the dentists office to pay the bill Kirk and I made a video. CLICK on it!

Katy had six teeth pulled today. That girl is a real trooper! It appears that one tooth, that had an exceptionally long root structure, did not exit her mouth willingly. She wrote in my journal, "That one hurt".

Poor kid! Just remember Katy, "Short term difficulty for long term solution!" (Thank you, Jessica!)

Top Secret Dental Investigation


ThatCyndiGirl, your intrepid reporter of all things necessary to know in life has just returned from a month-long research sabbatical in which I plan to explode wide open the secret clandestine world of dental hygiene education.

It has come to my attention that dental hygiene schools are setting us up for failure! Dental hygiene schools are actually teaching their students to rot our teeth! Read on for more details about my shocking findings.

I, of course cannot reveal my sources as the world of dental hygiene is fraught with as much danger and intrigue as any international espionage organization. What I have discovered has both shocked and horrified me at the same time. Here is a taste:

I have come to realize that my earlier suspicions about a certain dental hygienist at a certain dental office in the Metro really IS manufacturing confections in her very own kitchen. It seems that the only thing this heretic is NOT guilty of is operating a food service without a license. She is fully licensed,my friends, I believe because she went into this venture knowing full well that candy and other confections would be her literal bread and butter for years to come.

Even more shocking than her extracurricular endeavors, though is that THESE COURSES ARE ACTUALLY BEING TAUGHT IN DENTAL HYGEINE SCHOOL! Yes, folks, they are completely setting us up for failure. Ever wonder why they have a bowl of Tootsie Rolls by the check-out? It’s because those aren’t Tootsie Rolls, folks, for fear of copyright infringement, they are Rootsie Tolls and they know just what they are doing. Why do I keep getting cavities?! Some could say it is because of my kettle corn addiction, but that would just be blaming the victim, now wouldn’t it? I think it’s because there is no way I can say no to a “Rootsie Toll”. Who can? It’s chewy, it’s chocolate-y. They know what they are doing, folks and they are good at it.

I, for one will not stand for it. I challenge all of you to take a stand against this travesty.



Listen to Nancy Reagan and Just Say No to their devious dessert offerings!

Brush your teeth while you drive!

Floss in the movie theatre!!

I have taken it upon myself to let people know up front where my dental leanings lie, so I have made it a point of late to floss at bars.

I have it on good authority that guys find if absolutely irresistible to see a woman flossing her teeth while guzzling a Guiness.

28 March 2009

A Morning Meeting gets Refreshed

We had a mandatory meeting at work the other day. It was a mandatory “training” that they called an “opportunity session” for an “opportunity” to be sold insurance. This company, which is popular for using a particular bird to help get its point across, offered disability, vision, dental and cancer insurance. Sadly, they don’t offer the kind of insurance I could really use. They did not offer, for instance, Put Your Foot in Your Mouth Insurance nor do they offer OhMyGodYouActuallyWoreTHAT Out of the House?! Coverage.

First of all, I got there a few minutes early and they wanted to make small talk. I despise small talk, but particularly first thing in the morning. I don’t like it because at best it seems disinenguous and I really don’t like making small talk with someone who is here to sell me something. It is infuriating. I feel like it attacks and insults my intelligence. Let’s just be honest with each other: You are here to make as much money as possible. I am here to spend as little money as possible. Our very missions are at odds; we must deal with that fact. How’s about we don’t dilly around with each other, eh?

I declined the accidental insurance. After he was done with the sales pitch I kindly asked for the declination form.

Then it started.

I guess he didn’t see the swagger in my step or the sleep in my eyes, but he went for it anyway.

Apparently, Mr. Insurance Guy woke up with a deathwish. Apparently, Mr. Insurance Guy decided that today would make a lovely day for an arse-whoopin’ from a chubby redhead.

This is what he said to me, “Well, if you have decided that one hour’s pay per month is too much to spend for your family’s peace of mind…..”




LOOK, Barney, I wasn’t the one who was named after a dancing dinosaur, so lemme just tell you straight up right here, right now: cancel my subscription. I’m tired of your issues.

And get the message out to the other insurance guys:

I am putting you all on notice. ThatCyndiGirl is not to be trifled with, especially in the morning when she hasn’t had enough sleep and has had about two carafes of caffeine less than is required for her personality to be fully functional."

I had spent the better portion of the previous night, a time when I should have been knee-deep in a dream about Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame, attempting in vain to achieve blessed slumber. I knew that if I fell asleep at midnight I could actually get a full 8 hours sleep and still make it out of bed in time to get ready and be at the meeting on time.

By 1 am rolled around I knew that I could still get a good 7 hours in if I could just fall asleep at that very moment. Yet, sleep eluded me.

At 3am I thought about how only getting 5 hours of sleep would leave me feeling groggy and irritable, but I soldiered on, anyway trying to fall asleep.

As the clock hit 4:30 am I wondered if just staying up might be a better option, but the thought of driving then trying to sound semi-coherent on zero sleep dissuaded me from that option.

Sometime after 4:30 I fell asleep which left me precious little time for actual slumber. This lack of sleep may explain my menacing mental meanderings.

The upside to the meeting was sitting next to Kristina. I don’t believe I have ever met someone so perpetually perky........ but in a good way.

She brought this tea from Starbucks (and they are a whole other rant altogether!) called Refresh. She admonished me to try her tea because, as she pointed out, she “doesn’t have cooties”. Kristina really needs a tea named after her called Perky Peco. I saw her one time when she was ticked off about something. It was hard not to laugh. It was like looking at a pissed off poodle. She somehow musters the courage to be a nice person even when she is in a bad mood. Truly, a better person than Yours Truly. Which, is why we asked her to babysit our chitlins. We don’t trust them with just anybody. Or, rather, I should say, “We don’t trust just anybody with our children”. That sounds better, makes them sound less like tiny criminal masterminds and more like the valued offspring that they are.

26 March 2009

TAGGED! 12 Things About Me

I think it was about a year ago when Alana tagged me. I might take forever about it, but I don't forget, so here is my list:

12 Things About Me:

1) Cottage Cheese gives me the willies. I find that it's lumpy albino appearance leaves me feeling vaguely violated and like I can't trust it. Especially when it is plopped unceremoniosly atop a lettuce leaf.

2) Being in the water is so calming that, if I could, I would live in the water and never, ever come out. (hence Claire's waterbirth) If I had it my way I would have waterbirths, waterconceptions, waterteethcleanings and watersleep.

3) I learned to drive on a stick shift because my brothers told me I couldn't. The words, "it is virtually impossible to pass a driving test in a stick-shift in Illinois" sounded like a challenge to me.

4) I am not athletically gifted, but that doesn't stop me from trying.

5) Sitting still for too long feels like torture.

6) I LOVE to have my hair brushed.

7) I am a vegetarian, except for chicken. Well, and fish.....and steak, I LOVE STEAK!

8) In a tragic genetic mishap I was born without a fashion sense.

9) No amount of dance classes will ever be sufficient to cure me of my CKS (Chronic Klutz Syndrome). My hips and shoulders remain perpetually bruised from my frequent run-ins with doorframes.

10) I have a deep-seated loathing for belly buttons. Yours, mine and everybody else's. It is just a whole lotta' grossness in one puckered little valley.

Yuck. My dream guy is that dude on Kyle XY who is without naval. AAAAAhhh!!! I think I could love him forever!

11) I have written many a haiku about my hatred for the belly button. I realize that this is a continuation of Point Ten, but until I work through my Naval Issues with a therapist and puppets I just can't let it go.

12) I adore alliteration, love limericks and am positively perky about poetry.

23 March 2009

Miss Linda and the Chocoguacolate Moose

My neighbor Linda asked me if I wanted to go to a Women’s Luncheon with her. I only agreed to go because:

A) I really like Linda and any chance to talk to her is worth any thing else that might happen that day and

B) I am eternally curious about what normal people think is fun. Particularly, I am fascinated by the luncheon crowd. They are a different breed and, since Linda seems like she is ‘not so much the Luncheon Type’ I thought we could have fun making fun of the food.

Big mistake. Linda picked me up because it was at some local country club. I had no idea a country club even existed in my area. I said this to Linda and she agreed. She is a very down-to-earth, no-make-up kinda’ person who I am VERY comfortable with. She was very comfortable that day. As we were walking in she confessed, “Oh, no, I still have my barn shoes on!” I looked down and, sure enough, there was mud caked on her shoes. Ah, a woman after my own heart as I was carrying a 4-month old Claire and still sporting maternity clothes. I should note here that I was nursing Claire at the time and, as nursing requires extra calories and all, I was perpetually as hungry as a famished farm animal. I thought about grabbing a snack before we left, but though, “hey, it is, after all, a luncheon, I’m sure they will feed us!”

Famous last words.

First they brought out a salad that was actually VERY good and for me to rave about salad is truly a culinary achievement. It had some sort of sauce that defies description. It was almost like tomato based gravy. Then they fed us some other vegetable dish that was okay. What I did not realize going into this affair was that this particular seminar was based around one central theme. I had mistakenly agreed to go thinking that the central theme was, "eating lunch".

Oh, how wrong I was.

The central theme was "Eating Raw Food and Leaving Cyndi Famished".

At some point near the middle they brought out this super-expensive fancy blender that costs more than my first car. Everyone ooh'd and aah'd and planned how they were going to spend a chunk of their kids' college fund on this Vitamix blender.

I'm a heretic because I was sitting there thinking that deep fryers don't put you nearly in the hole like a fancy blender and fried food just tastes better than spinach smoothies.

Then the coup de grace: what they called chocolate mousse. After eating it I think I would have preferred chocolate moose. As it was passing by my nose I could smell a vegetable in there. THEY PUT A FREAKIN VEGETABLE IN CHOCOLATE!!!

Chocolate mousse: it was made with cocoa powder, not actual chocolate. I am told that the healthy types do this because it saves fat and calories. WHO EATS SOMETHING CHOCOLATE TO SAVE FAT AND CALORIES?!

The chipper lady leading this discussion asked, with no hint of irony I might add, “can anyone guess the special ingredient?” I had already leaned over to Linda and whispered, “It has avocado in it”.

My pudgy hand shot up, and Veggie Lady asked me, “Can you guess the secret ingredient?” I replied, with flat affect, full confidence and monotone voice, “its avocado”.

Veggie Lady’s face was suddenly crestfallen. “How did you know?” she gasped.


How do I tell her that when you mess with a fat girl’s junk food WE ARE GONNA KNOW!! How do I tell her HEY LADY, WHEN YOU TRY TO SNEAK VEGETABLES INTO MY CHOCOLATE I WILL FIGURE IT OUT?” What am I? 2 years old?

I just replied, “Good guess”

The worst part was that for the entire luncheon, during the introduction, during each speech and particularly during the salad course I could smell steak. Not just steak, but possibly the most delicious steak ever smelled by a human. The aroma of this specific cut of meat had been hand-cut, delicately seasoned and cooked to perfection.

All while I was busy eating vegetables. Here I sat, just a stone’s throw away from high-quality beef and I was eating like a rabbit. Linda is REALLY into health food, so I thought it would be uncouth for me to ask her to stop at McDonald’s on the way home. I knew that I was really WAY too hungry when the wildflowers on the side of the road started to look appetizing.

But, hear me now, Linda: if you ever invite me to one of those seminars again I WILL GO, but only because I like the ride in the car with you so much. I’m making my new list of questions for you as we speak! And, really, after a few dozen health-food-type seminars and I am bound to start changing my ways! I would ask you my questions now, but I have some Ranch dressing covered Twinkies calling my name.

22 March 2009

Workbox number configuration

Now, this will mean nothing to you if you havn't completely consumed the Workbox System Kool-Aid, but here is what I meant on the boards about the number config.

The kid takes the velcro number off of the workbox when it is completed, mind you! and puts the number on the chart.

The numbers have a lower right hand configuration on the chart and when the velcro'd number is put on it is more of a center config so that it is easy to see, .....from a distance......by a mom who may or may not need bifocals......that the chart is

1. completed

2. not completed

3. in some sort of limbo betwixt the two.

In this image three boxes have been completed, which is quite a feat considering that Katy had to do them all while cocking her head to the left!

20 March 2009

A dentist in my hula hoop

I went to the dentist on Monday and was pleasantly surprised that the dental hygeinist that I previously described as having the “warmth of a snake with a belly ache” is actually a wonderful person. At second glance she has the warmth of a freshly baked muffin. She applauded my fine flossing technique.

Hey, you jam a metal pick into my gums and you definetely get my attention and I become a flossin' fiend forever more! As usual, they keep the temperature somewhere around Frigid and when I mentioned the icicles forming on my fingers they offered me a blanket.

Not JUST a blanket, it was like a twin-sized swatch of fluffy heaven. The underside was as soft as a puppy’s ear and less likely to pee on my lap or nibble my baseboards. I fell in love with that blanket so completely that I thought, “toothbrush goodie bag be damned, I’m leaving with this blanket!” I tried to walk out casually with it thrown around my shoulders. When questioned I informed the office staff that I came in with it and it was part of my superhero costume, my cape of Great Hope. They weren’t buying it. As I tried to beat a hasty retreat they stood on the hem, snapping me back into the office.

"You almost forgot to make your follow-up appointment!" said they.

Super Haiku Girl is foiled again! But, I’ll be back!

And, for your edification and enjoyment:

A Dental Haiku:

Plaque be damned, I floss
Not even popcorn can hide
I love that mint Glide!

I find it interesting that the dental hygenist has a name that is frequently shortened to the moniker, “Candy”. It makes me wonder if she is secretly at home crafting taffeys and caramels-all a part of our dental downfall, just to ensure her job security.

Speaking of names, they call the Dentist Dr.Joe, a tradition I will continue here unless he wants a free plug for his gig. Every. Single. Time I hear them call him "Dr. Joe" it makes me think of Dr. Ruth, so I have to think of it like this:

"Dr. Joe, who is taller, more masculine and less German than Dr. Ruth. Oh, and whose speciality seems to be teeth, not bedroom antics" which makes it so much more mental work than just calling him Dr. Lastname.

But, what do I know?!

And, speaking of people who are all up in my grille of late, I went to Wal-Mart tonight, that bastion of all that makes me balk, to stock up on shaving crème.

It’s just like Alanis Morisette said, I had a cabinet full of razors and a simple smattering of shaving crème. So, off to the evil empire. As I stood in the aisle, perusing my potential purchase I was accosted by this woman who kept moving closer and closer with each breath.

She stood to my right and moved right into my personal space. She kept peering closer and closer as she gazed into my chest. I looked into her face and was met with the gaping maw that, in better days, probably hosted her teeth, but now held only the memories of dentin past. I nervously thought, “Look, lady, you can have the last can of Flirty Mango with Olive Butter (WTF is olive butter, anyway?!) Skintimate shave crème, I’ll let it go if you will just GET UP OFF OF ME!”

Instead I kept moving my torso backward, although my feet remained planted firmly within aisle five. As she continued to advance I realized that I was getting dangerously close to doing a backbend and I had yet to put my arms up to catch myself in graceful backward descent. She was, firmly and without apology, within my hula hoop. Now, for those of you who don't know about your own hula hoops, it is a technique we use with clients/children of clients to teach them about their personal space and how they can safeguard it. In short, people are only allowed "inside your hula hoop" if you give them permission. I am most certain that my perusal of shaving products did not constitute an endorsement of her advances.

Suddenly she blurted out, “Is that necklace of yours supposed to be apart like that?” I told her that, indeed it was and she scuttled off, no doubt to help other customers who required a Wal-Mart employee peering into their breasts.

In other news, Kirk Cameron owes me two dollars and sixteen cents.

I take paypal.

I was schnuckered into watching that stupid FireProof movie. OhmyNOODness! That right there is two hours of my life that I will never get back. First of all, I wasn't able to suspend disbelief long enough to buy Kirk Cameron as a manly firefighter. If they had cast him in a role of telemarketer perhaps, or the guy who dresses up like a hotdog for some restaurant, okay, but a FIREMAN?!?! No, not happening.

Here is a man who clearly does not wrinkle the sheets, ifyouknowwhatImean.

13 March 2009

Ode to a Laminator

So, I got a laminator for Christmas. I'm thinking that right about now only my homeschooling mom-peeps can truly understand what a momentous occasion this is. Today I used it for the first time. (yeah, I had to kinda' warm up to the idea. I generally fear technology.)

I laminated the kiddo's workbox charts.

OhmyNOODness! I am swooning. I am deep in hot plastic-coated love. I am going to laminate everything I own tonight and if Kirk sits still too long he, too will be encased within hot plastic. I'm gonna laminate recipes, pictures and my social security card. RULES BE DAMNED!!! I am woman, hear me laminate! When I worked at Blockbuster, back we still heat-laminated the new membership cards we laminated everything we could find that would fit into those tiny pouches. Bugs? DONE Paperclips? DONE Junior Mints? DONE to a cholate-y goodness. It smelled like hot chocolately love in there when we laminated the Junior Mints.


In other news I finally got my haircut today. It was a mess. As Hillary waded through it with a comb and a prayer she kept asking, "So, HOW LONG has it been?" I told her, "so long that I can't remember how long ago it was......."

I DO remember that my last trim was sometime before Election Day, so it was last year. I really do need to remember to get my hair cut more often. They deserve some sort of humanitarian award for not smacking me in the back of the head after dealing with my mane.

Thank you, Hillary. I do appreciate your efforts. I look sorta' like a redheaded Tinay Fey. I'm just about to run for Governor of Alaska because, as you know.....

"I can see Russia from my house!"

11 March 2009

Workbox Kool-Aid

Just go along, Cyndi, all the cool moms are doing it.

I have consumed the Kool-Aid. I couldn’t help myself. One moment I was innocently reading a thread about some crazy Workbox system and the next moment I was transported down some rabbit hole and being handed a shoebox full of sugary liquid and told to “chug-a-lug, Cyndi, chug-a-LUG!”

So, I did. Because for the past, oh, 33 years or so I have been searching for some sort of system that will help me get organized.

Sidetracked Home Executives was ‘too many details’.

Flylady made me want to curl up in the fetal position in the corner while sucking my thumb. (I still have nightmares about all of those emails! In these horrible dreams I am being attacked by a huge housefly with coiffed hair and sweatpants and she is killing me with spam, both of the inbox variety as well as the unknown meat-in-a-can sort.)

Then I heard about Workboxes.


I can’t help it. They said it was a good idea, so I went for it. When I told my mom about it I heard that sudden intake of air in which I knew that her next words were gonna be, “and if all of the Five in a Row moms robbed a bank would you do it, too?!”

Well, yes, Mom, I WOULD. These are my peeps, after all. It’s not like we are out smoking behind the science building. We are organizing our children’s school day and what could be more important than that?! And, really, MOM, I would love to continue to explain all of this to you, but I gotta’ go. The other homeschooling Moms are picking me up. We are headed out for a joyride then we’re gonna go jump off of a bridge.

I’m not sure why. They told me it was a “Physics Experiment”.

Jake's haircut

In an ongoing effort to save money I decided to cut Jake's hair. He doens't care as long as there is ice cream at the end.

I forgot just how much he moves while "sitting still". I will just say now that the end result is not really what I was going for, but here is how it turned out. Here are the before and after shots:

10 March 2009

Workbox pics

These aren't laminated yet and the pages aren't cropped or anything, but here they are:

04 March 2009

Physics of Fear.....or Trixie the Brave

I held down the fort quite nicely while Kirk was on his TDY to Turkey. All was well and I made the mistake of thinking, “this is going okay, after all!” Then it happened. That fateful night I took Trixie out for her last nightly constitutional of the day. As I looked back to the front porch I saw IT.

And it was staring at me.

Now, everytime I tell this story this spider gets bigger, but suffice to say it was at least as big as a bear paw (the pastry) or a really big quarter. And the look on his tiny face was menacing. His look said, “I can take you. Fear me”.

So, surveying my options I quickly realized that the other two doors leading into the house were locked and my only option was climbing into a window. The window on our front porch leads to the bathroom and it is a tiny window. I feared that I would be ensnared in a Winnie the Pooh in the honey tree siutation, so I opted out of that one. But, I remembered that Katy and Claire’s room is not far from the front yard. I reasoned that I could go to Katy’s window, knock just lightly enough to wake her, but not hard enough to wake Claire, (shyeah, right!) have Katy open the window, hand the pooch up and over the windowsill and shimmy in myself. Forgetting, of course, that the window is too high for me to climb into unassisted and maybe Katy could hand me her trash can and I could invert it and use it as a step-stool.

Perfect plan.

Except for one thing.

I don’t dust the outsides of the windows. (Oh,yeah, you can all just gasp now in shock and horror. Good for you, if you go around dusting the outside of your house……in a stated that popularized the term “duststorm”.)
I now realized that it was likely that I would be forced to pass through a spider web, possibly FULL of spiders just to aviod the one on the porch.

Plan B. We will RUN AS FAST AS WE CAN to get back inside and I will leap over the spider. I explained to Trixie how we would have to get a good running start and leap over the spider at just the right time to clear his nasty little body to get ourselves to safety. We discussed the velocity necessary to jump over the spider, but not crash into the front door. We argued about arc and just how high the arc needed to be to complete our plan safely. I explained our plan, complete with sign language and some translations into Spanish. (Trixie, is, after all, from Panama and I can never tell how much English she has picked up. Spanish is her first language.) So, sure that Trixie understood we now attempted some practice jumps.

There we were, leaping all over the front yard like a chubby sprite and her faithful canine companion. Confident that we were ready to execute the jump of a lifetime, one that would undoubtedly deliver us from fear, we began our run. We ran full-out to the porch and, as Trixie approached, it was obvious we spent too much time in negotiating the physics of the jump and not enough time in practice. That intrepid pup ran right past the spider. She never even attempted to become airborn! As she passed the spider it jumped onto her right rear paw. I saw it and gasped. My first thought was, “oh, Trixie!” but my brave pup just shook the spider off and went inside. Brave indeed. I knew now that just being in her presence was going to make ME braver still just by virtue of proximity.

I had the courage to jump. I knew I could do it. I ran, I leapt into the air, completing my arc with as much grace and fine form that one would assume of a chubby woman in her 30’s. I landed a little too close to the front door, with the door handle in my grasp and quickly retreated inside.

To keep this from happening in the future I decided to keep a supply of coffee cups on our front porch. Kirk came home three weeks later to find 5 mugs, each trapping a scary spider within.

11 February 2009

the Great Potato Race

I distinctly remember our first microwave. Its size rivaled the console televisions of the 1970’s, its dimensions imbuing it with the ability to cook within it’s depths an adult turkey. When I told my brother’s wife that we could now bake a potato in only six minutes in the new contraption she asked me, full of incredulity and, I’ll admit this to you now, a concentrated air of superiority, “why would I bake a potato in six minutes in a microwave oven when I can so easily bake it in only an hour in the conventional oven?”

Why, indeed.

I mentally envisioned both of us on a culinary countdown, me in front of our new microwave oven, she in front of a conventional oven, a contraption she was only casually acquainted with in the first place, glaring at each other as we raced to the potato-cooking finish. I would laugh triumphant as my tuber emerged, fully baked, from the microwave in only 6 short minutes, while she stared pitifully into her oven and awaited her potato's slowly-heated conclusion.

She had, until this point, only made the Noodles of Ramen and various incarnations of Some Beef Dish. What she did was create a concoction of hamburger, one egg, and a generous helping of Lawrey’s Seasoned Salt. If it was a meatloaf she as crafting, she put it in a loaf pan. If it was Salisbury Steak, she put it in the shape of a patty. It was culinary craft of a whole new form. I feared that if I ever were to eat breakfast in her home I would awaken to that meat in the outward appearance of bacon strips.

Quite possibly the scariest thing about her kitchen, though was that from the time she married my brother in 1984 to the time of this writing in 2008 she has had the same bottle of dish soap in her kitchen window. I never figured out if it was a decoration or if she simply forgot to use it. Every dish I retrieved from her cabinet had a film of grease on it at least a millimeter thick. It was like being on a tiny and terrifying roller coaster just attempting to keep the dish within my grasp as I hoisted it from cabinet to countertop. She once returned from a trip with my brother after I had house and kid-sat for them. She rushed to the kitchen window, noting the reduced quantity of detergent in the Dawn bottle and shrieked, “what have you done?!” I had taken every dish out of the cabinet and washed it with soap.

She holds a grudge to this day.

08 February 2009

Our New Menu

Usually I just scrawl the menu on the back of a junk mail envelope, but today I decided to actually type it into Word, with accompanying grocery list. Here is what's cookin' at our house:

Family Menu February 9-22, 2009

Monday Asian flank steak, jasmine rice, stir-fried vegetables

Tuesday Oven fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, peas, bread

Wednesday Braised sirloin tips, sliced onion potatoes, green beans

Thursday Grilled pork tenderloin, sweet potato casserole, crunchy parsnip cakes

Friday Black bean soup, sweet potato fries ***Family Game Night!!!

Saturday Egg rolls, fried rice, chocolate cake (Happy Valentine's Day!)
Sunday Dinner: the Sequel (leftovers)

Monday Beef kebabs, sweet potato casserole, green peas

Tuesday Cheesy pasta and broccoli

Wednesday Indian grilled chicken, basmati rice, aloo gobi

Thursday Beef brisket, herbed potato wedges, green beans

Friday Beans and kielbasa, cornbread ***Family Game Night!!!

Saturday Crockpot chicken alfredo, broccoli

Sunday Dinner: the Sequel

06 February 2009

Okay, here's the silly:

And it makes me smile EVERY SINGLE TIME I see it

Snowbunny Pics and more

Claire as snowbunny, Claire as silly.....you decide:

Stoichiometry of a Pea

So, Sunday night I was at work when my mother called to tell me that Claire was throwing up.....and had been for awhile now. We started the count at 3 rounds of vomitting. I came home and found her still upchucking. I freshed up her pj's and threw her in the car, along with everything that could possibly fit in my backpack. In it I shoved: another pair of her pajamas (unmatched, but who cares), a package of baby wipe refills, unopened. A ziploc bag for when I open the baby wipe refill, an extra pair of her socks (more than likely similarly unmatched) and the biggest handfull of fresh diapers my small hand can grab in an urgent hurry. I strapped her into her sweet flowery carseat, tucked bathtowels all around, under and over her so she could barf on something more easily laundered. (I'm planning ahead. I'm not careless!)

We spent mere moments inside the ER before being seen. I apologized for coming in "just for a kid vommitting" and said that I "knew it wasn't an emergency." The Dr cut me off right there. He said, "she only weighs 26 pounds. 26 pound people can deydrate really fast, it IS an emergency." So, that made me feel a little better. It made me feel like I didn't have to keep apologizing to them, because, really, who would you rather see at 1am this cute snow-bunny looking kid or some whiny-ass crybaby with a gunshot wound?!


So, he gave her some Phenergan, which didn't work. Next, he gave her some Zofran, which she promptly refused to take. They crushed it into a powder and I tipped her head back and he said,"you need to let us put this in your mouth". The only word I heard from her all night was right at that moment, "okay". She took it and threw that up, too. I had half a backpack full of clean bathtowels for her to throw up in. The nurse who was helping us watched me dodge Claire's projectile stomach contents with our fine linens and I explained, "by your third kid you no longer think letting them puke all over you is the sign of a noble mother." By the end of our little excursion she had vomitted over 11 times in 3 hours. I'm glad we went.

They decided to send her home anyway with a script for Phenergan suppositories. And this is where our stoichiometric nightmare began.

Wouldn't you know that they were not going to work effectively for this particular bug becuase that part of her anatomy was currently under attack as well. So, I called in a Rx for Phenergan gel.

Evil stuff, that is. Apparently they put the ENTIRE PRESCRIPTION (SIX DOSES!!) in one syringe. Do you know how to do THIS sort of stiochiometry inside your head?

Claire weighs 26 lbs (which is how much in kg?) and her dose is 1/2 of a 12.5 mg suppository. Now, her Phenergan gel Rx is for 0.025 ml of gel, or, as the Pharmacist told me, "a pea sized amount". Have you ever tried to visualize a pea sized amount of a liquid? I am trying to imagine,......if a pea were to ever want to be a liquid, how far and how fast would it spread and would it still occupy the same mass in space? (As I tried to figure this out in my head I chanted to myself, "BE the liquid pea, Cyndi, BE the liquid pea!")

So, the next day Jake comes down with it and I am told to use Claire's suppositories, as her dose was half of a whole suppository and Jake's dosage would be one whole one.

Big Mistake: Jake is now facing Montezuma's revenge as well, so suppositories are out of the question. As I drive back to the pharmacy to pick up his Phenergan gel I wonder how 12.5 mg of the solid suppository translates to 0.50 ml and how to compare this in a more "apples to apples" way. I mean, if someone could show me the diameter of a average pea and then I could convert that to the mass of gel in ml.....maybe.

So, I challenge all of you science geeks to ponder me this:

What is the mass of an average green pea and how would half of it's mass end up as
.025 ml. I am arguing with no one, it's just that us enquiring minds would like to know. Oh, and that I accidentally gave him DOUBLE THE DOSE as I was trying to squeeze the tiny syringe and read it (upside down, mind you!) at the same time. I panicked and wiped it off, while calling poison control. She was all, "Dude, you, like, totally did what I was going to tell you to do. I mean, he is gonna' be like totally fine. Wake him up every 15 minutes or so and if you are stressed out about, like, anything, just totally call us back." She also explained that Jake could start having hallucinations. I had a feeling that my friend at Poison Control had beat us to 'em.

DUDE. She like totally helped and I think we are totally going to be like the best of friends now.


11 January 2009

New Year's Resolutions

This year I resolve to get in worse shape than I was in last year.

This year I resolve to drive to the bathroom and, in other words, get even less physical activity in my day than ever before.

This year I resolve to do one push-up and/or crunch.

This year I will increase my intake of dark chocolate and decrease my intake of dark, leafy greens.

This year I will drink more hot chocolate and less skim milk.

This year I will have more sex, more leisure and less work. One must balance ones’ life after all.

This year I resolve to never wear pantyhose or anything tight or constricting. I have one life to live and I do not intend to meet death with a tightly cinched waistband.

This year if I want to play hooky from the homeschooling moms get-together and stay home and tap dance on my back patio I will and if anyone wants to say anything about it I will quickly transfer that phone call to my dial tone.

This year I will not waste my time with snooty stuck up know-it-all’s. If I don’t enjoy your company then I won’t spend time with you. (except for my friends that I really WANT to see, but don’t have time for: good luck figuring out which group you belong to!)

This year I will not freak out if my kindergarten-aged son doesn’t read Shakespeare and diagram sentences. I will remember this year that childhood is fleeting and stopping to watch a possum eat your cat’s dinner on the back porch is a joy to behold and should NOT be rushed!

This year I will take a moment to record my two-year old pointing to her brother’s screwdriver and shouting, “snoospida!” That voice, this moment,…..my heart!