Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Our last hermit crab died this week. I am a major animal lover, but I'm not too sad about this one. Crabs are not warm or fuzzy or the least bit interesting. They were fun for the kids at first, but the new wore off and they sat in the family room and we would occasionally hear the clank of him going to the water dish. We started with three little crabs three years ago. One diedand it wasso traumatic to Number One Son that when Number One Daughter's died we secretly replaced it. Hubby bought Cracken (who was the size of a mouse) for Number Two Son, but after he got pinched, he didn't much care for him. Crabs are pretty low maintenance, but we are used to animals that love you back (for the most part). Yea! One less critter to feed and water and clean up after. We aren't going to tell the kids until they notice he is gone. I can imagine they will cry hysterically which makes no sense to me since they didn't really cry when Little Dog died. One of these days I might figure that one out.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Anniversary

On July 22, 2000, Hubby and I started a new life together. We tell the kids that our anniversary is the celebration of the birth of our family, but somehow they get that it is more about us than them. Hubby and I were talking the other day that we don't feel like grown ups, we sti feel like kids in our heads. A look in the mirror reminds me that I have aged over the past 9 years, but Hubby tells me that I am beautiful and Number One Daughter makes me laugh when she talks about my crinkles. I love my family!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I love Ben Stein (not that way)

Ben Stein's final column --

For many years Ben Stein has written a biweekly column called 'Monday
Night  At Morton's.' (Morton's is a famous chain of Steakhouses known
to be frequented by movie stars and famous people from around the
globe.) Now, Ben is terminating the column to move on to other things
in his life.  Reading his final column is worth a few minutes of your

Ben Stein's Last Column...

How Can Someone Who Lives in Insane Luxury Be a Star in Today's World?

As I begin to write this, I 'slug' it, as we writers say,  which means
I put a heading on top of the document to identify it. This heading is
'eonline FINAL,' and it gives me a shiver to write it.  I have been
doing this column for so long that I cannot even  recall when I
started... I loved writing this column so much for so long I came to
believe it would never end.

It worked well for a  long time, but gradually, my changing as a
person and the world's change have overtaken it..  On a small scale,
Morton's, while better than ever, no longer attracts as many stars as
it used to. It still brings in the rich people in droves and
definitely some stars. I saw Samuel L. Jackson there a few days ago,
and we had a nice visit, and right before that, I saw and had a
splendid talk with Warren Beatty in an elevator, in which we agreed
that Splendor in the Grass was a super movie. But Morton's is not the
star galaxy it once was, though it probably will be again.

Beyond that, a bigger change has happened..?  I no longer think
Hollywood stars are terribly important. They are uniformly pleasant,
friendly people,  and they treat me better than I deserve to be
treated. But a man  or woman who makes a huge wage for memorizing
lines and reciting them in front of a camera is no longer my idea of a
shining star we should all  look up to.

How can a man or woman who makes an eight-figure wage and lives in
insane luxury really be a star in today's world, if by a 'star' we
mean someone bright and powerful and attractive as a role model?  Real
stars are not riding around in the backs of limousines or in Porsches
or getting  trained in yoga or Pilates and eating only raw fruit while
they have Vietnamese girls do their nails..

They can be  interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me
any longer.  A real star is the soldier of the 4th Infantry Division
who poked  his head into a hole on a farm near Tikrit , Iraq .  He
could have been met by a bomb or a hail of AK-47 bullets.  Instead, he
faced  an abject Saddam Hussein and the gratitude of all of the decent
people of the world.

A real star is the U.S. soldier who was sent to disarm a bomb next to
a road north of Baghdad .  He approached it, and the bomb went off and
killed him..

A real star, the kind who haunts my memory night and day, is the U.S.
soldier in Baghdad who saw a little girl playing with a piece of
unexploded ordnance on a street near where he was guarding a  station.
He pushed her aside and threw himself on it just as it  exploded. He
left a family desolate in California and a little girl alive in
Baghdad .

The stars who deserve media attention are not the ones who have lavish
weddings on TV but the  ones who patrol the streets of Mosul even
after two of their buddies were murdered and their bodies battered and
stripped for the sin of trying to protect Iraqis from terrorists.

We put couples with incomes of $100 million a year on the covers of
our magazines...  The  noncoms and officers who barely scrape by on
military pay but stand on guard in Afghanistan and Iraq and on ships
and in submarines and near the Arctic Circle are anonymous as they
live and die.

I am no longer comfortable being a part of the system that has such
poor values, and I  do not want to perpetuate those values by
pretending that who is eating at Morton's is a big subject.

There are plenty of other stars in the American firmament...the
policemen and women who go off on patrol in South Central and have no
idea if they will return alive; the orderlies and paramedics who bring
in people who have been in terrible accidents and prepare them for
surgery; the teachers and nurses who throw their whole spirits into
caring for autistic children; the kind men and women who work in
hospices and in cancer wards.

Think of each and every fireman who was running up the stairs at the
World Trade Center as the towers began to collapse. Now you have my
idea of a real hero.

I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that
matters This is my highest and best use as a human.  I can put it
another way. Years ago, I realized I could never be as great an actor
as Olivier or as good a comic as Steve Martin or  Martin Mull or Fred
Willard--or as good an economist as Samuelson or Friedman or as good a
writer as Fitzgerald.  Or even remotely close to any of them.

But, I could be a  devoted father to my son, husband to my wife and,
above all, a good son  to the parents who had done so much for me.
This came to be my main task in life.  I did it moderately well with
my son, pretty well with my wife and well indeed with my parents (with
my sister's help).  I cared for and paid attention to them in their
declining  years.  I stayed with my father as he got sick, went into
extremis and then into a coma and then entered immortality with my
sister and me reading him the Psalms.

This was the only point at which my life touched the lives of the
soldiers in Iraq or the firefighters in New York .  I came to realize
that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that
it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me,
to help others He  has placed in my path. This is my highest and best
use as a human

Faith is not believing that God can.  It is knowing that God will.

By  Ben Stein

Monday, July 13, 2009


I've been pregnant or nursing since the Fall of 2001. PMS hasn't been much of an issue... until the past few months. I have been super grumpy, short tempered, sleepy and an insomniac. My poor family. I've discovered that after 3 babies, my abdominal muscles are unable to hold in the PMS ponch, at all. So I look pregnant for about 2 weeks out of the month. Extended nursing has made life easier, my period didn't return until Number Two Son was 18 or 19 months old. Now I'm dealing with life's aches and pains that I'd hoped were gone for good. Another big problem is that the kids think the Kotex and tampons in the bathroom cabinet are giant band aids and super hero fingers. Speaking of pads, it is really frustrating, especially with PMS to have to purchase pads when they keep changing the packaging and names! Errrrrgh!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

blood types

We didn't find out what blood type our kids were, for some reason, they either don't share that information or they don't do the test at the hospital. I ordered kits for all of us as a science experiment. Number One Son was very excited to do the test, although I didn't really want to yesterday. He was tired from swimming and I needed help from hubby who had to hold Smart Puppy all day after he got neutered. I broke down and got out the kit. After we got started, he chickened out, but we finally convinced him, after much drama, to"cowboy up!" His result, O positive, very curious since Hubby said he was AB positive and I am A positive. Well, I was just too curious, Hubby is really O positive. Number Two Son was so brave insisting that he have a turn too. No tears and O positive. Well, honestly, I thought at least one of them would have my blood type, but there was one last hope. I bribed Number One Daughter and she finally relented and I couldn't believe it, A negative! I am bummed, Rh negative blood can be a problem for women of they marry a Rh positive man. What are the odds? I'm not sure, but I don't know anyone in the family with Rh negative (I'll have to ask around), but scientifically, it is possible.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

e-bay oops

I had saved two of my childhood dolls, Baby Crissy and Newborn Baby Tenderlove, when I stopped playing with dolls. I don't remember if I passed them on to my niece or if they might still be packed away somewhere at my parent's house. I found several baby Crissy dolls and e-bay, but I kept getting outbid. Yesterday, I finally decided to bid on a pretty little doll with a tear on her back. I felt sure that she could be cleaned up and repaired. I the checked my g-mail account and, oops, I had already won one. Yup, now I have two baby Crissy dolls. If I find the one at my parents, I'll have three. Number One Daughter has her heart set on one of each for Christmas. I wonder what she'll do when she gets more than she asked for? I'm still searching for the girl Newborn Baby Tenderlove.

Friday, July 3, 2009

RIP Sweet Sydney Marie

I got a very sad e-mail from big sister tonight. Her 15 year old lasha-poo was euthanized today. She had not been in good health and the Vet said she had a tumor on her pancreas. Sydney was one of the most lovingist, spunkiest, smartest, funniest, loyalist dogs I've ever known. When a pet has been in the family as long as Sydney, when they die, everyone hurts. Please Lord, no more pet funerals for a very long time, we have had too many recently!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

U2 sings about Our Lady

Pan fried chick-peas

Deep frying food really goes against my vow of healthy foods for the kids. Out of necessity (I haven't bought a big jug of oil for our deep fryer), I tried frying chickpeas in a pan. It took some trial and error, but I think I have figured it out. I use a cast iron skillet, cover the bottom with a little oil, let the oil get almost to smoking and then pour in a can of drained chick peas. I learned that it is best not to stir right away. After the spitting, sizzling and popping slows down, I stir until they are mostly brown. The kids love them with carrot catchup. Tonight, they had pan friend chickpeas with sauted mushroom and carrot catchup. I find that the chickpeas go well with earthy foods like mushrooms and dark leafy greens. I've also carmalized the chickpeas by adding white or brown sugar when they are almost done. I let the sugar get hot and bubbly and then pour them on foil sprayed with oil to cool. They sorta taste like crackerjacks :)