Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lights Out!

Our electricity or "chrisity", as Abby would say, conked out Friday night. So we pulled out the candles and rounded up flashlights. The little miss determined that we had "wasted our chrisity and now it was GONE!" We had to call the grandparents and explain it to them, check on the brother gone for an overnight and find something to entertain us in the candle-glow.

I forget how pitch black it is when the lights are out. No digital display on the clock face to illuminate the dark even a teeny bit. No moonlight shining through the windows. I bet we flipped the light switches ten times, even though we knew there was no power.

Rob went upstairs and scrounged up both a radio/cd player and the batteries to go with it and we spent our time dancing to Kid Rock's "All Summer Long" and listening to the local high school football playoff games on the radio. When Abby got bored, the portable DVD player and a set of headphones kept her charmed until the lights flickered back to life over an hour later.

We had such a nice time in the dim light of our candles, that we may have to institute a regular "lights out" policy. It was amazingly calm and peaceful with no electronic distractions, well.... distracting us from each other and some simple entertainments.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tis NOT the Season Yet!

The leaves aren't finished falling here. Though brisk winds have done a good job of denuding the majority of the brilliant red, yellow and orange leaves that have been hanging on desperately the last few weeks. Cotton trucks are humming down the highways, loading massive modules of white rectangles and bearing them to the gins. Every road you drive down has bits of white fluff clinging to the edges, blowing in the breeze. Testament to the harvest.

Some of you have already finished your shopping! I have done, say.... 20 percent. I know Thanksgiving is a distinctly American holiday, though some of you have planned "grateful" celebrations for your families. Traditionally, most people don't decorate for Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. But this year, I have seen wreaths, ornaments, outdoor light displays and tinsel well before the usual dates. As early as OCTOBER in some cases. While I love Christmas as much as anyone, I'm not ready for the season to begin! The kids haven't even polished off their Halloween candy yet! Though their mother has done her part by polishing off all the chocolates.

Rob and I are planning to do the "Santa Shopping" on December 2nd. A nice time, after the turkey leftovers are finished and the season truly should begin. Another trip to the city for those things that are impossible to find in a rural area. We did buy the Wii in July so we wouldn't have to deal with the late season panic of trying to find the impossible to find. Every commercial Abby sees prompts her to say: "I want you to get me that!" You have to love a capitalistic society. Nothing says peace, love and joy like a princess castle.

One of our annual family rituals is to buy some gifts for those less fortunate than ourselves. Since J.T. earns a $3 a week allowance, We've been discussing the possibility of him using a portion of his saved allowance to buy something for the food bank. He was adamantly opposed. Insisting that everyone in Statesboro lives in "cabins" (houses) and have everything they need. Since part of my job at a non-profit involves fielding requests for financial aid, I know that isn't the case. Convincing him to part with his money has not been an easy sell. "But I worked HARD for that money. If I give it away, I'll have to work even harder to earn it all back."

I blame Rob. He always wanted his allowance in one dollar bills so there was more to count. While generous me wanted to box up my leftovers and ship them to those starving children in Africa.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

When Life Hands You Grapes

Don't make grape juice! Make me a glass of wine. I'd enjoy it right now. But I'm not sure if I want to have anything to do with grapes.

We have a no drinks/food in the bedrooms rule. Enforcement is lax. The kids are very adept at sneaking it in and where are inept at catching/berating them when they do. The male child snuck a full bottle of grape juice into Abby's room today. I think you know what happened, don't you?

I am taking a break after spending the last hour blotting, patting, soaking, cleaning, begging the grape juice to come out of the carpet. It still looks like a crime scene from a grape murder. A massacre of an entire vineyard of grapes. All the grapes in France committing a mass cult suicide... okay I'm exaggerating.

J.T. forgot his homework. Again. Half-an-hour after spilling grape juice on the carpet is not a good time to tell your mother that your homework assignment, already a week overdue, is not in your bag. Abby followed up her nail polish on the lips adventure by decorating her entire face and hands with lipstick and then wallowing about on the carpet.

The kids are on a "Mommy break". That little interlude of time where it is best for their well-being if they are out of Mommy's immediate reach/voice range for a bit. The new steam vac is getting quite a workout tonight.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Going Green

Our household has become more conscious of our impact on the environment in the past few years. We are trying to make the print our lives leave on the world smaller and less damaging. To that end we have begun recycling. Over half of our weekly haul is recyclables. We are more aware of the energy we use and ways we can cut back. We use the drying rack, but not as often as I'd like. As Rob says, we're not really green, we're a pale blue/turquoise.

We still have a lot of areas in which we need to improve. Clothes get popped in the dryer about 60% of the time. The kids like the juice boxes better than juice out of the bottle, and prefer individual yogurts. Less packaging would be nice. I would imagine that the next vehicle we buy will probably be a hybrid, but other than the Toyota Prius, few models are available in our small town. I would like to switch to fluorescent bulbs, but I hate that they are bright, but don't seem to really light up a room.

Another down side to living in a small town is that finding products made within a close distance is difficult. Most of the things we buy are shipped in from some pretty distant locations. I'd like to do more composting this year and love the idea of planting a spring garden. We tried last year and went waaayyyy too big and planted too early. After a late frost killed everything, we didn't replant. This year I'm thinking we should try some tomatoes, a few squash and some peas. Organic products are nearly impossible to find here and I'd love to treat us to natural, unsprayed, unaltered products. So what are you doing to lessen your human footprint on our planet? Does convenience ever hinder your efforts?

On a completely unrelated side note: Abby just painted her lips with nail polish. Yay weekend.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Saturdays in the South

Football. American Football. Entire Saturdays are devoted to following one's favorite team. Tailgating (drinks, food, socializing) before the game. Cheering during the game. Tailgating after the game.

My favorite team is Georgia Tech.... or as Rob might tell you, whatever team Coach Paul Johnson is coaching. Last year it was Navy, this year it is Georgia Tech. Though I won't watch them on TV because I get too nervous when they aren't doing well and too excited when they are doing well.

Coach Johnson is good with a one-liner: "He ought to leave me alone. I don't go down to McDonald's and tell him how to do his job, do I?" My all-time favorite: "If you can find me one time where I said the team won because of brilliant coaching, I'll kiss your butt at city dock and give you two days to draw a crowd."

I know, I know, the sport haters are cringing. But you love me in spite of my devotion to American Football

Saturday, November 8, 2008


31 Dora the Explorer band-aids on the floor.
1 Dora the Explorer band-aid in the freezer.
26 dollars for 4 tickets to Madagascar 2.
18.65 for 2 small Sprites, 1 medium diet coke and a medium popcorn.
10 two liter drinks I could have gotten for the cost of 3 restaurant size drinks at the theater.
20 bags of microwave popcorn I could have gotten for the price of that medium popcorn.
5 minutes I spent trying not to laugh while the resident hypochondriac feared an allergic reaction to a piece of bubblegum.
2 benadryl taken for the reaction.
350 toys, pieces of toys and things we aren't sure are toys that were taken from the playroom.
0 toys the kids missed from the playroom.
350 toys that will become their all-time favorites when they realize they are about to be pitched.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can!

For every American who is sick of the same old Washington politics that have led our economy into the ditch, our young men into a war that might never end, and have driven our national debt into the trillions... yes we can affect change for our country. Hope is on the horizon for my generation.

J.T. voted for Obama at the school "election." Another child told him he couldn't vote for Obama because he was black. Looks like we still have a lot of work to do.

But for today, one bridge has been crossed, others are being built and the possibilities are bubbling beneath our feet and onto the path towards the future.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Showdown at the P.P. Corral

Every night, my darling daughter and I have a showdown... in the bathroom (loo/toilet for those not in the continental U.S.). I beg her of the millions of cups of chocolate milk to please, please, please go use the potty before bed. "Puh-leeze....."

She ignores me. I get annoyed. "Go to the potty... NOW!" Still being ignored. "Abigail! Sit. On. The. Potty. " I finally have her attention, but I'm faced with the mutinous chin thrust and a stubborn: "But I don't hafta!"

What to do? A compromise? That won't work. This is an all or nothing issue. Yes she has water-proof sheets on her bed, but washing them everyday gets old rather quickly.

So... we have a contest. Who can go the quickest. Luckily the bathroom walls can't talk. A potty face-off with a four-year old is certainly not my finest moment.

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Map