Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Want To Be Mrs. Weasley

I recently took a quiz on Facebook (yes, that horrible place has sort of sucked me in) to see which Harry Potter character I am.

I am Ron Weasley. I'll take it because I love Ron and his whole family, but who I really want to be is Mrs. Weasley.

Mrs Weasley takes the prize. She takes in Harry as one of her own, giving him presents at Christmas, sharing what little their large family has with a friend of her son's. She's still in love with her husband, even when he does silly things that exasperate her. She's not afraid to send her boys a howler if they deserve it.

Then in the fight of good and evil, she does not hesitate to fight for good, no matter what. Sure, she worries for her kids, and sure, having Harry Potter hang around puts everyone in danger, but she does not hesitate. One son works for the wrong side, one son gets badly mauled by a werewolf, one son loses his ear, and in the final battle one son dies.

And through it all, she knows it is better to lose on the side of good, then give in to evil. You got to admire that kind of dedication.

Plus, when she gets down to the final battle and sees Bellatrix fighting with Ginny Weasley, Mrs Weasly becomes a mother bear. My favorite line in the whole books is: "NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!"

Needless to say, Mrs Weasley wipes the floor with Bellatrix and that should be a lesson to all. Don't poke a mother bear. She's fearless, ferocious, and only has one goal: protect her cub.

I quite like that.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Mother's Love And Red Paint

I have painted my kids rooms several times over the years. When they were toddlers, sharing a room, I picked a kid friendly color and that was that, no need for kid input.

When they split up into separate rooms, to make it super special, I let them each pick their own paint colors. This was before I had a digital camera, otherwise I'd post a picture of each one of them, standing in their new rooms, grinning from ear to ear.

My daughter did the Julia Roberts wedding colors from Steel Magnolias (a totally kick ass movie, still, after all these years!) and went with pink and pinker for her room colors. It was like pepto bismo all over her walls, and a hot pink for the trim. She loved it!

My son's favorite color is orange, and that is exactly what he wanted on his walls. I said absolutely, not a problem. With red trim. Also totally cool. That was before I'd ever painted anything red.

Red paint is a killer. It doesn't cover worth a darn, and even with primer, you will end up doing four coats or more. The orange/red room was rocking though, when I was through, and my son was so happy, it was worth it.

Fast forward about 7 years, and my daughter is tired of room colors of pastel blue and green (new house meant a new color scheme) and wants brown and red. Red? Really? Maybe a shade of red like burgundy or magenta.

Nope. Tomato red to be exact.

And that is how much I love her. I tackled red paint again. And it was just as awful as the first time. And she is just as happy as her brother was with his red trim.

As a mother, there are lots of things I'd do for my children, including sacrificing my own life so they might live. Painting anything with red paint ranks right up there with that!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Kids Have Mad Baking Skills

My kids have lots of skills, mad skills, but I am very proud of their baking skills!

A few years ago, they traded off planning and cooking dinners on Wednesday. My son loves a good sandwich and has quite a few keepers in the recipe book, while my daughter likes to try new a red pepper vegan soup. Not the best soup I've ever had, but I was very proud of her for trying it. I just wanted them to know how to cook, to understand how to read a recipe, follow the directions, and not burn down the house!

Dinners also included desserts. Before long, the kids were asking if they could bake something on a night that wasn't "their" dinner night. I gave superficial supervising, such as melting shortening or using a sharp knife, but for the most part it was all them.

And now it is all them. Last night, their Dad asked if someone wanted to bake chocolate chip cookies. Our son excels at brownies and volunteered to make those. We said cool. While we were outside working on things, and the kids decided to look through all the cookbooks to find something new. They picked a recipe from Mrs Fields Best Ever Cookie Book called Marshmallow Clouds and didn't even need to ask, they just knew they could do it.

I personally had marked it years ago as a yummy looking cookie, but it seemed too time consuming to make, what with the marshmallows being "stuffed" into a ball of dough. I am so glad the kids tried them though, they are like my new favorite cookie! Chocolate cookies, with chocolate chips, with marshmallows from the oven they were unbelievable yummy. The next day, still super good and I admit, I ate one for breakfast!

Were the cookies worth this mess I had waiting for me on the counter? Absolutely!
Usually the kids are much better at cleaning up their messes. It's the deal we have. Yes, L can make omelets for breakfast or D make the best stove top quesadilla I've ever had, but they have to wash the pan and clean up all their mess. But Wednesday nights are my one and only dish washing night, and how could they deprive me of the joy of cleaning up a baking mess?

The answer is they couldn't. Still, totally worth it. Good job kids!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

West Nile & Rabies In One Fun Night

Summer in our hometown is filled with free events. I dutifully thumbtack the summer program to our bulletin board each year, but as much as we intend to go, we've never actually made it to anything: not the outdoor movies, the concerts in the park, or the plays.

Until this year.

This year, the outdoor movies are: Grease, American Graffiti, and Footloose....three of the all time greatest movies ever! As soon as my husband saw what was going to be playing, and cross checked those dates with our calendar, he's been ready to go. I was a little more hesitant.

How comfortable can it be to sit on the grass terraces? When I walk up the steps of Terrace Park, I think those "seats" look awfully undone. They can't be too flat across and easy on the tailbone if during winter snow, the hill is a great sledding place!

But, I knew how much he wanted to go. And my daughter loves and adores Grease. And we did love going to the drive in movies last summer. So we went. We carried a couple of blankets and our sweatshirts and I fretted about how we were late. The movie can't start until it's dark, but I wanted to be seated way before dusk!

After the initial, where are we going to sit dilemma, which my husband and I can never really agree on, we were settled. I wished we'd brought snacks because what is a movie without popcorn? Not as much fun, that's for sure.

And what would a free outdoor movie be without the hippie running the projector? As he started the opening cartoon, the mosquitos came out in droves. I hadn't thought of that. Next time, spray ourselves liberally with bug spray.

Then the hippie projectionist said, not to worry about the mosquitos. Soon the bats would be here to take care of that problem. This might be the only place where we could get West Nile and Rabies at the same time.

And yep. You could look up and see the bats winging it above our heads, or in the case of my daughter, close enough she swears it touched her hair! Then the movie started and we were sucked in and it was wonderful!

Totally worth the extreme wedgie I had after sliding down our "flat" terraced seat over and over again. We are already counting down the days until the next movie! Although we'll have snacks, bug spray, and lots of pillows, and possible some baseball caps to keep the bats out of our hair!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Double Knotting Is A Life Style Choice

It wasn't until after I had my own children, that I started double knotting my shoe laces. I'm not sure if I did it so much for the kids that it just became a habit, or if I suddenly decided it wasn't just for kids and anyone could use the help of two knots to keep their shoelaces tied.

But now I am a committed double knotter. I don't even realize I'm doing it. And I never have untied shoelaces, so that is a huge plus.

The only hassle is when I take my shoes off. Double knots are a bit more trouble to undo than a regular knot where you can just pull the ends and viola, presto, it's untied. But here, again, this is a life style choice and I've been doing it all my life, I just kick them off. I guess it's not really kicking so much as a heel to toe stepping action, where I put the toes of one foot on the heel of the other, stepping down with my toes as I lift my heel up.

So, that's not at all "kicking them off." That poses an interesting question of how that saying came about....but that's getting off on a tangent, and I don't really have time to google my queries.

I don't know why everyone doesn't double knot. Or maybe we all do and we keep it in the closet. Like eating a whole package of Oreos or loving the movie Milo and Otis. Not that I've down either of those things.....well, at least not since I was a kid!

I've made my choice, my life style choice, and I'm sticking with it. I'm a double knotter for life!

Or until I'm too old to bend over to tie my shoes and my kids buy me velcro ones. All I can think about that is: Awesome! Some parts of growing old totally rock!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jiminy Cricket!!

I drag myself out of bed at 1:30ish in the morning because nature is calling. And my husband just got home from a concert and kind of woke me up a little, but enough I knew I had to go before I could drop back into sleep. I shuffle to the bathroom, with only one eye half opened, no glasses because finding them and putting them on would wake me up even more, so I'm going about with blurry, sleepy vision. I push the bathroom door open, step one foot in, as I flip the light on, I take another step and felt it.

It was a terrible wet popping sound from under my heel. Jiminy Cricket! That's not what you want to hear or feel when you are barefoot, half blind and completely sleep stupid.

I calmly keep walking to the toilet and as I sit I stare at the brown smooshed blob that is on the floor. I check my foot. Yep. Wet with some kind of bug guts. Is that a long bug leg by my foot? Or a piece of grass?

Gag a little, feel creepy crawlies all over, wish to heck I was wearing my glasses so I could see better. Pretty sure it's a giant spider. After washing my hands I go over to the brown blob to check it out. I was feeling true horror that I had stepped on a giant spider. I briefly consider calling my husband out of bed so he can clean it up because I hate big spiders that much.

A closer look reveals that isn't quite how I think a stepped on spider should look. I scoop it up with toilet paper and think, could that be? Is it? A cricket?

Where on earth did a cricket come from? I don't think I've ever seen one in our yard or in our house. I take it back to my husband and make him turn on the lights too look at it. Yep. It's a cricket. That's totally weird. He says he hopes I won't mind, but he's going to throw it away in a garbage that is not in our room.

Good idea. I don't want that thing in my room. Turns out, I wish it had been a giant spider. Those things you know are wandering around your house and you expect to see them at some point, hopefully not in the middle of the night while you are going potty, but even so that would not be a surprise. A cricket, on the other hand, is something odd and weird and the odder and weirder something is, the creepier it is.

I learned something about myself today. I don't like Pinocchio just because it's a lame, super gay story and a terrible movie. I hate crickets. Jiminy is no friend of mine. Besides the obvious (he is a cricket), he's also always right, and you know how annoying that kind of person is!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Perfect 4th of July

I love the 4th of July. It is my favorite holiday. People always ask you what your plans are for the 4th. Big doings afoot? Not exactly big, but for me our plans are perfect.

It starts with food: Randy's famous barbecued chicken, potato salad heavy on the pickle, baked beans from scratch, corn on the cob so good it doesn't need butter, strawberry shortcake with homemade shortcake all eaten in the backyard of Mom's house. And maybe a cupcake or two!
Next it's downtown, hometown, Arlington parade, us waving, clapping and cheering for tractors, firetrucks, horses, bagpipers, the school of dance, more tractors, old cars, politicians, and one clown (only one, thank goodness), the kids dashing out to get the candy tossed to them, husbands on kid wrangling duty while us girls sit and gossip. This year we added the question, "are you doing okay?" to the pregnant sister who looks like she could have the baby any day now!
Last, it's kids holding sparklers, laughing with the joy of playing with fire. Bigger kids, grown men usually, bags of rockets and fire crackers, punks lit, grinning from ear to ear with the joy of playing with fire. My sister and myself, sitting outside, calling words of caution to our kids, and husbands, ever watchful for a wild, stray rocket to land in our laps and start smoldering. It happened once, and we've been super watchful ever since.
And for me, the 4th is perfect because I've been spending it with my guy for the last 18 years. 18 years ago, on the 4th of July, he showed up at my house with an eye patch and his Mom as his driver, and as I sat down at the river and watched him light off fireworks, I knew I'd love him for the rest of my life. So far, so good!