Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Soccer...or Not

Rea had a great Fall soccer season; she had more fun than she’d ever had playing. She bonded with her teammates and coaches in way she never had before, she improved significantly as the season progressed. I had never been in the habit of staying during her practices, I would usually use that time to run errands or read – but this team and coaches were having such a GREAT time out there, that last year I stayed every day and just watched them laugh, cut-up and work hard.

Their hard work paid off and they were undefeated. They had a great run.

Rea’s coaches asked her (and the other team members) to sign-up for Spring soccer – this would be Rea’s last opportunity to play in the U-12 age bracket. They were going to draft as many of their players from the Fall team as possible; Rea was excited about playing with her team members again.

But, for some reason the association changed everything and a blind draft was done. Names were drawn from a hat. Each team was created randomly – none of the coaches got to pick any of their players.

Don’t get me wrong, Rea got a good coach. She played against his team last year and they were tough. I happen to know her coach personally and I like him A LOT, you couldn’t ask for a nicer person. But, we are going to let Rea quit soccer and we truly feel bad about it, because I know it's going to leave him high and dry.

Here’s the deal - when they didn’t let the coaches draft they didn’t get any say over the SIZE of their players. Rea is a twelve year old girl playing at the very end of her eligibility. She was fairly closely matched in size with many of the boys on her Fall team. BUT, she absolutely towers over the other players on her current team, a fact that she is acutely aware of. And it’s something that EACH and EVERY ADULT likes to POINT OUT.

Being a twelve year old girl is tough – I remember it all too well. I reached my full adult height by the eighth grade and remember towering over my classmates - and Rea has already caught me. I didn't like the feeling either.

I know there are a lot of parents in that camp of "if you start something, you must finish it" realm and I think that's great - for your kids. But, you know, I've had jobs through the years that I didn't like that I quit - and I found a new one. Hobbies that I began and found that I didn't have an affinity for. Right now, living and just being a twelve year old girl is tough enough. Middle school, the ins and outs of that, the social implications and the Nellie Olsens that come with it are more than enough to deal with.

Soccer we can control. We can't control middle school, life OR Nellie's spoiled ass.

And another thing, bite me. 5'2" is tall in the eighth grade!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I can't see Dan Rather doing this.

Apparently WGN News anchors Robert Jordan and Jackie Bange have been together for many years. This little routine started out really small and simple; they do this during the first commercial break of their broadcast. And then along came the internet, and a video camera.

Made you smile didn't it?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Battle on the Homefront

We are being overtaken by ANTS. HELP.

Every Spring when we get new mulch we always get a few ants in the house. We spray for them and usually it's not a big deal.

And honestly, they kind of fascinate me. Have you ever stopped to think about how they get the message about exactly WHERE the sugar bowl is. I've always liked to think about one teeny-tiny little ant going back to the colony and saying "Dudes, you aren't EVEN going to believe what I found!".

This time around, my fascination has run it's course. Ants are in the dishwasher, it doesn't seem to matter how many times a day I run it on rinse-cycle, they reappear within an hour or so.

The little guys are in the microwave - Danny zapped one for a minute and a half the other day. For the record, they are impervious to that too.

For some unknown reason, they have not discovered the cat food, ON.THE.FLOOR. What's that about? Not good enough for them?

They are in the silverware drawer, the drinking glasses cabinet and the spices cabinet.

And this morning - the most horrid violation of all. One was in my cup of coffee. I'm sorry, that's where I draw the line.

War has been declared.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Age appropriate?

I don't know about you, but I still love a new box of crayons. There's nothing quite like them. All those beautiful colors, lined up in a row, just waiting to be used. Though I always sort of hated to mess them up. But, I did and enjoyed them until they were nubs. Then don't you remember taking all those scraps and nubs and melting them into one, big, mega crayon and drawing neat squiggly pictures on "vanilla" paper? And, if I could find a decent coloring book, I'd still color on occasion - but no one seems be able to print one that suits me anymore.

I'm a sucker for Play-Doh too; the smell almost makes me weak in the knees. My Mom would play Play-Doh with me when I was small, making tiny little plates & cups and bowls with food. My girls had Play-Doh through the years - and still do. I love to play with it now, there's nothing like a Play-Doh Fun Factory, I still love to make spaghetti!

I love to fly kites too. I like to keep a fairly decent one to take to the beach - they are so easy to fly there because of the steady wind off of the ocean. It's fun to watch a colorful kite way up in the sky and imagine what it would be like to fly. I guess it's why I love to parasail.

And bubbles, it's hard not to like bubbles. I derive a childish pleasure from bubbles. I find it hard to resist them in the check-out line even. I want to buy all of those bubble guns, the flavored bubbles and everything in between. Bubbles are one of my favorite birthday gifts to buy for little kids - much to the dismay of other moms!

I may be forty-six years old, but I sincerely hope that I never lose my ability to enjoy these childish pleasures. I have encouraged my girls to continue to enjoy these things too, to not think they are "too old" for them.

Based on today I'm thinking maybe at least that's one thing in the Mom Department that I've managed to do.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Boys

Oscar and Ben have a pretty amiable relationship. I snapped this picture of them sleeping in one of the red chairs this morning. Ben must have been cold, he's got everything tucked in tight as can be.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Break, Spring and Love Offerings

The girls are on Spring Break this week and next, so I haven't had a chance to blog as much. Hopefully things will be back to normal in a week or two.

We've had beautiful weather the last two days, so apparently Spring is on the way. We had our first sure sign of Spring today - Syd was out in the driveway enjoying the sunshine and Oscar brought her a Love Offering. Isn't that sweet? Bet you didn't know that cats brought Love Offerings did you? Well, they do, and Oscar does it on a regular basis and his favorite offering is: Snakes.

Here's today's Offering, who somehow managed to survive the ordeal.
He hightailed it back to the woods lot (with some encouragement from a broom).
Meanwhile, the Superior Snaker sulked from the window sill. It hurts his little feelings when we shun his Love Offerings!
And I know some of you would have cheerfully pulverized the Love Offering - but I can't, it's not in me. If he were poisonous I would, but he's not, so I don't. When Dan is here I get him to relocate the Offerings a lot further from the house - but today, the woods lot will just have to suffice.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Town Dog

There's always a dog on the court square in downtown Lynchburg, it's like a Town ordinance or something.

Fred the Basset Hound sleeps on the bench in front of one of the restaurants and this guy was being an Official Greeter in the street.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Rea has this contraption and I never get the name right. I'm not sure whether she has a Ripstik or a Wave Board and she's constantly correcting me. Whatever. What I DO know is that it looks like a broken arm waiting to happen - but she whizzes around on it like nobody's business.

I found this picture today when I was cleaning up some old files, apparently Rea snapped it with my camera whilst whizzing about...that's real safe, Huh?

I tweaked it a little in Photoshop and thought it came out pretty neat.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I am SO gonna try this!

Rosario Dawson intends to be a mom one day, but when her little ones do naughty things, the actress says she doesn’t believe in yelling — just torturing with her tongue.

"I think licking is a really great way of disciplining your child. It's definitely a lot better than screaming at them,"..."My mom did it to me for punishment, she loves to say that I came [from her] so she can do anything that she wants to me in public. If I was acting out or talking up or just being a precocious child as I was she would lick me and my face in front of all her friends."

And I have a friend who employed another technique that I wish I'd thought of when my girls were small and they were acting up in Wal-Marts - she would sing. VERY LOUDLY, like an opera singer. She says her children would literally beg her to stop and would always promise to behave and be obedient little beasts.

How's that for creative?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In Memory - Henrietta Yoder

"You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us." Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I looked out one day last week and this semi and flatbed trailer were parked in the street. Our neighbors had received a load of sod and they were getting ready to unload it. The Blue Heeler on the trailer was impatiently pacing around the Grizzly Adams looking dude obviously waiting for something to happen... As soon as Grizzly moved toward the fork lift, Pickle (yeah, that's his name, isn't it cool) hopped on and was ready to ride.

I don't think Pickle or Grizzly quite knew what to think about the paparazzi.

Pickle was all about the fork lift - I suspect that he's ridden a time or two before. And holy creeping rhizomes Batman, that's bermuda grass. Help me.

I love that face.
After all of the sod was unloaded and they left, I thought they would let Pickle in the cab of the truck with them. Wrong. Look closely and you'll see him riding on the trailer - he was running and spinning in manic herding dog fashion as they picked up speed.
I think he'd ridden on that trailer a time or two before too...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Holy smokes! Another birthday...

Today is Danny's special day. Don't you just love this picture?

Dan is good fodder for a lot of blog material - I enjoy teasing him and fortunately he is a great sport about it.

But, since it's his birthday, I'm going to be nice and tell you that although I throw him under the bus from time to time, there is nobody I'd rather spend time with. Still.

He makes me laugh. He loves our girls to distraction. He takes great care of us and I am so thankful for him.

Love you Dano!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Look who's wearing the birthday tiara today...

I've searched high and low for a better old picture of Nina, but this is the best that I can come up with! I was very disappointed that I couldn't put my hands on the ones of New Year's Eve in the late 1980's when we were all rocking the permed hair that required all the gel and a can of Aqua Net. Nina wasn't looking at the camera in any of those, so they didn't make the cut!

I can't think of Nina and not smile - she's uninhibited, crazy and so much fun. But at the same time she's also a woman of deep faith, with a strength that I cannot begin to fathom.

Happy Birthday Sweet Nina - Hope you got to ride your Harley!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Today is our twenty-seventh anniversary

Dang, that's a long time to hang with somebody!

We've been married for more than half our lives and it has worked for us. Danny is my greatest friend and ally and I sincerely hope that I'm his. But it hasn't always been fun and games, there's been a lot of hard work, plenty of tears shed and more than enough fights to go around.

But when it's all said and done it's been a great ride and one without regret. I'm ready for the next year and twenty-seven more - if you are Dano.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Nameless DVD Box strikes back

I guess the Nameless Box didn't appreciate me blogging about it's short-comings, cause since Saturday, when I innocently requested that it record "Barefoot Contessa", Nameless Box began recording EVERY.SINGLE.PROGRAM on Food Network...for all eternity.

The Nameless Box was full to the brim with duplicates of "Chopped" and "Throwdown with Bobby Flay" and countless other shows that I had never seen and NEVER WANTED TO SEE.

Nameless Box refused to allow me to delete these programs from my TO BE RECORDED list, didn't include them on the Priority List (or TiVo's Season Pass screen) and denied all responsibility for them being recorded at all. Figures.

Then in the wee hours of Thursday morning I woke up and really needed to know the time. I'm weird that way, but I want to know what time it is all night long. Previously our cable box was what I depended on to keep me on schedule during the night, but now that job belongs to Nameless Box - but when I peered over the covers this morning...the Box said it was 1:124. Okay Box, is it 1:12? Or perhaps 11:24? A bleary-eyed investigation of the kitchen clock revealed that it was 3:40AM.

Tonight, the Geek Squad (a.k.a. Danny) has spent some time with the Nameless Box (I hope he jerked a knot in it's tail) and he says that things are set to rights now and it will behave.

We shall see.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Houston, we have a problem.

Yesterday morning when I pulled back in the driveway after school drop-off, I couldn’t find my garage door opener. It was missing from the visor of my Tahoe and I sat staring at the garage door for several minutes. I was very perplexed – but then suddenly became quite certain that someone had been joy-riding in my Tahoe!

The clues were all there; I had forgotten to take my keys out the night before and had left it sitting unlocked in the driveway. I had noticed when I got in earlier that morning that the radio was tuned to a different station that my usual Gerry House and the House Foundation and the most glaring bit of evidence was my missing opener!

Just as I started to hop out and go in the house to call Danny and report that someone had been out carousing in the night in my Tahoe and had changed my radio station and stolen my opener, I looked up one more time …and remembered that I don’t have a garage door opener any more. I haven’t had one in about four years – the Tahoe has those programmable buttons, one of which I HAD PUSHED to close the garage door when I left the driveway about ten minutes earlier.

Guess Rea is right…I am blonder than I pay to be.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sleep Walking Dog

Shelley is funny to watch while she sleeps - she twitches and moves her feet, occasionally she'll woof softly and she whines alot. But, Bizkit...OMG!

Monday, March 2, 2009

March came in like a lion...

and we finally got some snow! Six inches!!
Shelley loves the snow and was ready to go out bright and early. She stayed out for a very long time and I thought she was really enjoying it; snow has always been one of her favorite things - in her younger days she would play in the snow until she dropped. Running, cutting and wheeling in true herding dog fashion, supervising all snow-ball fights and snuffling her snout in the snow.

This morning however, she was done with the snow and ready to come in. I just didn't realize it for a long time. Apparently she had been circling the house and all of the outside steps were too slick for her to climb. It's so sad to see her get old and begin to slip away.

Nelson enjoyed it for a while too, he played outside with Scout and Trooper. But, My Boy is a little height challenged like his Mama and his belly gets cold. Plus, the longer he plays in the snow the more extra weight he picks up, by the time he came in he probably was three pounds heavier than usual, and shivering.

Getting those snow balls off is tough - Nelson gets a little persnickety if you pull too hard on them. It's messy if you wait them out. So, the easiest thing to do is give Nelson a quick bath, but as you can tell from the look on Nelson's face, a bath is something akin to torture.