Saturday, September 26, 2009

Another question I could not answer...

Saturday night 8:15 pm.  Phone call received while at work. 



"I'm making brownies and you know that egg?  That big egg from Rose Scooby Doo?"


"Well I know why it was so big!"

"Oh yeah?  Why?"

"Because it had two yolks!  Two!  It's freaky!! Is that, you know, normal?"

"Yes.  It can be normal"

"Oh, okay.  And, um, Mom?!"


"What happens to the, you know, babies?"

"You mean if the egg is fertilized?"

"Yeah.  Does one of the babies eat the other?"  

"Babe I don't think so.  Perhaps you should look it up but right now I have to get back to work."  

"Oh. Okay.  Bye!"



But, of course, I couldn't stand not knowing.  Here is the science behind the double-yolked egg.  

Happy Weekend All!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A letter to my children.

Dearest Children,

As of late it has become readily apparent that your father and I failed to indoctrinate you as to the proper use of several common household items. You are thus left with prodigious gaps in your education akin to the Grand Canyon. I am, therefore, composing this letter in an attempt to clarify these ghastly issues before said crevice becomes any larger. Additionally I fear you may enter someone else’s household and become increasingly bewildered if you see these aforementioned items used in a felicitous manner.

Ah where to begin ... where to begin? Shall we start from the bottom and work our way up? Most households have a substrate in their homes called a floor. This surface, which most often is wood or carpet or tile, is designated for walking and facilitates movement from room to room. If one were to clear debris from the gravity driven regions in our home you’d find we too have such a surface. The most common treatment of a floor is to keep the expanse clear from rubbish which permits an individual to ambulate with minimal effort. You may be shocked to find that not all persons climb and clamber when moving throughout their houses.

And speaking of rubbish on the floor - you may also be surprised to discover that most people do not store their clothing, neither clean nor dirty, in random piles throughout the house. You see, in 1903 Albert J. Parkhouse, an employee of Timberlake Wire and Novelty Company, invented the coat hanger. We, as a society, have taken this invention one step further and now hang a variety of clothing items upon this brilliant creation; coats to be sure but also shirts, pants, sweaters and skirts. Smaller articles of clothing are now typically stored in a piece of furniture called a dresser (this is a bureau with drawers which slide in and out). Clothing stored on hangers or in a dresser stays clean and wrinkle free. I highly recommend you join Mr. Parkhouse and give his hanger a good ol’ college try. .

Along the same vein another commodious invention is the clothes hamper. This is a vessel in which to store your dirty clothing items before their transfer to a washing facility. Hampers come in many shapes and forms from wicker to cloth to plastic. All function in a similar manner and are quite pragmatic. Many families find it is just as easy to toss their soiled clothing into a hamper as it is to toss said clothing on the floor. The contents are then contained and easily found on washing day.

There is also another household container that I wish to introduce to you. This container is called the garbage can. Believe it or not there are several of these cans throughout the house; one in the kitchen, one in each bathroom and a large vessel outside. These cans are for all of your household garbage items; paper scraps, pudding containers, banana peels and used fish tank filters. Indeed I would prefer odiferous and/or viscous items by-pass the interior containers and be immediately transferred to the larger can out of doors. Again many families find it easier to store their garbage in these canisters rather than to pry it off the floor at a later date.

And now, my dear children, I will close. This list of items is by no means all inclusive. There are other items such as hair and tooth brushes that still need to be covered. However I do not wish to overload your delicate systems with too much information in a single sitting. Please do not hesitate to ask questions if you are confused by such things as proper use of a hanger or a garbage can. I will readily assist you in your educational quest.

With all my love,


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Against my better judgement my family dragged me hiking today.  I should have been in bed, tucked under the down comforter with a contented smile on my face.  But no.  We had to take advantage of the wilderness that surrounds us.  Bah humbug.  

When we left the house the temperature was in the mid-seventies and sunny.  I glanced at my sweater and thought, nah, I don't want to drag that around!  About halfway to our destination the wind picked up.  Then the clouds rolled in.  By the time we got to the trailhead the rain had started in earnest.  Intrepid hikers that we were (the word stupid may also be suitable) we decided to brave the elements.  The actual hike wasn't bad.  We were moving and under the forest canopy. Then we got to the lake.  As we came upon the water the sky opened up and hooray we were suddenly very wet and very cold.   The boys had to fish, after all we'd come all that way.  Us girls holed up under a tree.  Fortunately I brought my knitting (doesn't everyone bring their knitting to the wilderness?) which helped to keep me from turning into an actual popsicle.    

Long story short we are now home and dry.  Another check in the "I'm happy to be home and happy to have a home" box.  But now I must go to work.  Tomorrow you will find me tucked in bed smiling contentedly - no matter what.  


Tuesday, September 15, 2009


“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home
and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.”
– Lin Yutang

I love to travel. In fact, when I grow up, I intend to travel often. This world has so much to see and so much to do. I want to take it all in; to squeeze the earth into my head, wrap my cranium around it and never let it go.

Chicago was awe-inspiring. It was amazing to see the bright lights of the big city. To watch a crowd cheer on their home team. To sit on the steps of a museum and listen to a concert. To eat and eat and eat. And to walk and walk and walk and walk.

And yet it was also marvelous to come home. The first thing I did (even before greeting the kids) was to inspect the fruit trees and garden. The plums and peaches were ready for picking. My tomatoes had finally turned red. The chickens were laying on a regular basis. Then kids came streaming out the door, neighborhood friends in tow, and the crisp autumn air filled with laughter.


The next day I found myself in the kitchen. School was out. Pizza dough was rising. The boys were fishing. The girls were playing quietly. Pandora was serenading me from the computer. My hands were buried in a bowl of oats, butter, cinnamon and brown sugar when this song came on:

Indeed I was in heaven.


Someday soon I hope to venture out again. But for now I'm quite content to rest my weary head in this house where pet fur abounds, the laundry multiplies like rabbits and the dishes follow suit. Today there is no place I'd rather be.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Guess where we are ...

The mama and the papa are in Chicago - alone! Grams and Gramps are watching the kids. Mama is attending lectures. Papa is exploring. Yesterday we caught a Cubs game. We've had hot dogs and deep dish pizza, coffee and margaritas (the healthy diet begins next week). Our feet are sore from traipsing about town and we are in dire need of stretching. Perhaps we could find a yoga class to melt our aching muscles. But for now I must shower and get to class.

Happy Weekend All!


Sunday, September 6, 2009

The next to last day of summer ...

Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day.

Dalai Lama

What's best is when both are meaningful; the friends and the day. We had a wonderful day visiting with friends, picking fruit, eating ice cream, admiring fish and ducking in and out of the rain. Today was a perfect transition between seasons. Bring on football and apple pie, school and homework, crisp nights and crunchy leaves. Autumn here we come!

I hope you, too, had a wonderful and meaningful weekend!


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Love coming in under the wire ...

Things I love today: 

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Somethings Happening Here

"Frugality without creativity is deprivation."
~Amy Dacyczyn

This weekend the hub and I had another "talk". A money talk. Such fun. Though we've been frugal we aren't meeting our financial goals. We've been slipping up; going out to eat, buying coffee shop coffee and seeing a movie here and there. This behavior is good for the economy but not the pocket book. We have loans (I'm almost embarrassed to tell you what my education cost). Our house likely isn't worth what we owe on it. And to top it off we have desires. There are things we want that we can not afford and will never be able to afford if we don't stop piddling our money away.

Me, I want to make frugality a game. A challenge. To see how far we can go and still have a life. The hub sees it as punishment. "Why oh why are we working so hard and yet have no money. None!" It's not as if we aren't making money. We are but our income is indeed less than years past. And our money is spoken for. Dude we have three children. Of course we have no moola! Finally we agreed to give the adults a weekly allowance (yes - I said adults). The remainder of the weekend was so quiet you could hear crickets chirping.

Then Monday morning, on the prompting of a co-worker, I decided to have a garage sale. Saturday only 8 to 2. This led to an impromptu clean up of the garage. I hung our canoe all by myself!! While cleaning I found a three-ring binder that my son will need for school, as well as, an entire bottle of dish soap and a bottle brush. These are all items we needed and would have purchased in the near future. Now, even if we don't sell a single item, we are still ahead.

And things snowballed from there. The kids began sorting through their stuff. My daughter found a pair of earrings she didn't know she had. And the hub got into the game as well. Last night he cleared out his side of the closet. Not only did he unearth clothing he didn't know existed but he also discovered a renewed urge to exercise and fit back into some of his favorites.

We are spring cleaning in the fall and guess what? It's fun. There. See? Frugality can be fun!

The next big place we're hoping to save money is with our food budget. Have you ever figured out just how much you spend at the grocery store? I did. Let me just tell you I was shocked. But more about that later in the week.

For now I must take the girls to their swim lessons. After all it is the very last week of summer. I hope each and every one of you finds a treasure in your house today even if it's just a bottle of soap!

Happy Wednesday!