Sunday, September 27, 2009

Facebook? Don't Get Me Started...Literally!

I get asked a certain question a lot: why aren't you on Facebook? Well, let me take this opportunity to explain to all 7 of you "followers" why that is. (That means I will only have to repeat myself 100 more times to all those other potential Facebook friends who don't read this blog.) Great!

Here goes.... I have very little discretion! Have you noticed? I talk about poop and boobs and farts and all manner of socially unacceptable topics. In fact, I'm thinking of renaming this blog "TMI". BUT, since there are only 7 of you to share all these things with, I don't worry too much about my reputation tanking. Heck, I'm related to 85% of you so there's very little risk involved. And as for that other 15% (you know who you are!), well, I can only hope that I haven't done too much irreparable damage. (A little is okay, though....)

Every now and then I sneak onto hubby's FB page (look, I even speak a little of the lingo!) and I see the comments people make. Twice I've even posted comments myself. (It feels so naughty!) But it scares me to death-- sheesh, potentially hundreds of people read those things! That's a lot of stinkin' people. I'm not so sure if I want hundreds of people to be exposed to my uncensored thought processes. But geez, sometimes I'm even surprised at what people share. Have they no shame? (I know, I'm one to talk....) But you see, I'm pretty sure I would post idiotic ramblings that might be forgivable by dear friends and family, but that I would immediately regret having flung out to my hundreds of other cyber "friends".

It's more than that, though. Sometimes when I'm on hubby's account I'll ask him, "who the heck is this person?" and he'll respond, "I don't really know". Whatch'ou talkin' 'bout, Willis?? I have a hard enough time maintaining relationships with people I care about-- but then to have Facebook bring people out of the woodwork that I've only spoken to twice (10 years ago)-- and suddenly they become bosom FB "friends" and I get to see their every thought broadcast on my page?? Some of you might think that's great fun, but forgive me, I don't like people that much.

If I could have a Facebook page and only accept about 20 of my closest friends and family to correspond with, then maybe I'd be game. Oh wait, that's called email and I already have it!

So for all of you die-hard Facebook fans, I applaud your advanced social networking ability. But I'm still a social Neanderthal. Besides, I so don't need to get addicted to anything else right now. (Yeah, I've seen what Facebook does to those of us with less, ahem, self-control than others.) And for those of you still holding out (like me), keep up the good fight-- you're not alone! I realize it's sad not knowing that right at this minute your old best friend from from 5th grade is thinking about the wonderful frozen entree she ate for lunch, but push past the pain. It's not easy to be lacking such vital information, but rest assured you can still lead a happy and fulfilling life! Or, at least, that's what I keep telling myself....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Well, Hello There!

Maybe it's a cultural thing.... But I was surprised to see our cute little exchange student traipse into our bedroom tonight (um, the lights were off) to check and see if we had some extra toothpaste lying around. Well, sure, kiddo! Let me getcha some!

Fortunately hubby was already dead to the world. He sleeps in his underoos, after all....

Sorry, Susie Doesn't Live Here

Some of you have been wondering how my Susie Homemaker Project is going.

Susie who? What are you people talking about?

Okay.... I admit, I've been a bit derailed by the arrival of our exchange student. But in some areas her presence has motivated some very housewifey behavior. Cleaning has been given a boost. (Although I've already warned her not to expect too much in this area.) And I've been an ace with laundry, too! Since I have one more person's dirty clothes to wash I have to be that much more on top of it. Oh, are you surprised that I'm doing her laundry? Um, well, I am too! (And, yes, "sucker" is written on my forehead in permanent marker. It's a long story and not very amusing at that.)

The amorous side of the equation has suffered a bit, I confess. You see, when there is a veritable stranger sleeping in the room next to you it sort of...squelches the love-- know what I mean? Not for hubby, of course. (Nothing seems to phase him.) But I guess when I'm constantly hissing "shhhhhhhhh!" every time he so much as smooches me...well, it's sort of a mood killer. Poor, poor hubby.... But don't waste too much of your precious sympathy on him, because for what I've lacked in affectionate attention I've more than made up for with belly-satisfying food. And you know the way to a man's heart is really through his stomach, right? (Who made up that fluffy crock-of-poo anyway? We all know what men really want, and their stomach has nothing to do with it.) But my point is that hubby's been getting some good dinners when he gets home, and that's all I have to say about that!

And do you think I've organized any papers? Oh, I've made some attempts-- yes I have. But the funny thing about paper is that it reproduces like rabbits. Every day I get more! It's worse than laundry in terms of multiplying itself. My sister, God bless her, has tried to whip me into shape in the past, but I'm beginning to think I'm a hopeless cause. Someday I will drown in a sea of paper piles, I just know it!

But I still have about a week to finish strong. A week to make hubby stand up and take notice! I've got to redouble my efforts-- so wish me luck! (I'm gonna need it.)

Friday, September 18, 2009

In The Name Of Science

At some point-- while I was eating lunch and simultaneously hot-gluing dead bugs to card stock-- I realized that I've changed. A few years ago combining those two activities would have caused a severe case of dry heaves. But there I was; taking bites of lukewarm Chicken Divan while carefully positioning the motionless creepy-crawlies onto the glue before it hardened. (Even though it's Ruby Jane's science project, this tasty little job fell to lucky ol' me since it involved hot glue. Yippee.)

I haven't changed completely, however, as I found out when picking up a particularly nasty critter and swearing that it moved just a wee bit-- and then flinging it away with a girlish squeal. Upon closer inspection I discovered it truly was dead, and so I gingerly plucked the little guy up and plopped him onto a dab of glue. There, try and move now, sucker!

I then finished my lunch, surrounded by dead bugs.

Yep, I've definitely changed....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Our New Bundle Of Joy

Excuse me, I've been a little busy the last few days being a mother to a 16-year old Brasileira. It's all good, though-- I'm getting a little taste of what it might be like in the future when Ruby Jane hits the teens.

I'm picturing her bedroom with the morning's reject outfits lying crumpled on the floor, the bed, or draped over chairs. The sweet smell of perfume wafting from her room. Books, CDs and DVDs scattered over the desk. Electronic gadgets abandoned where they were last used. And candy wrappers filling the trash can (if they made it that far when carelessly tossed).

I'm also imagining the talks we'll have about boys. The ones who are cute, the ones she's trying to get to notice her, the ones she wish would stop noticing her. And about her 1,000,000 favorite buddies in the whole world-- all of whom are her bestest friends ever. Whoa, all the endless, endless talking. Endless.

I'm trying to think of what I'll say when one day she comes out of her room with a skirt that barely covers her perky little bum, looking all adorable and way, way too enticing. Or what I'll do when the munchies hit her after a long day at school and she orders a pizza before dinner.

Oh, Ruby Jane! Don't grow up! Not yet!

But for now, our sweet, smart, outgoing and hungry exchange student is giving me insight into the world of teenage girls. So what if my ears fall off and we need to take out a second mortgage to keep her fed, I'm getting a valuable education, goshdarnit! ( she'll let me borrow some of her way-too-cool clothes....)

Ah, now that's something to look forward to!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For

Okay, when I said I needed to invite a guest over in order to kick my booty into cleaning gear, I wasn't at all expecting the answer I got to that little "prayer".

How's a foreign exchange student sound? Oh, yeah-- not joking. It was rather a surprise to me, too. A bit more on the spontaneous side than I'm used to! And not only that, but how about a foreign exchange student from one of the cleanest cultures on earth? Perhaps most people would not assume that Brazilians are so pristine a people, but I happen to know a bit about Brazilians. They're scrupulously clean. It's a bit ridiculous, actually.

So, I'd just like to take a moment to thank the Lord for his funny little sense of humor. Ha. Ha. Ha. Very amusing. I'm laughing all the way to the cleaning cabinet.

And since our delightful guest will be moving in the day after tomorrow, you'd better believe I will be spending every waking hour until then scouring my filthy house.

Kick in the patooshky? Ummm...yes. Just a bit.

So, ready or not-- here we go!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


It may be my dad who is my only true sympathizer on this one. After all, he's the one who passed on the "bionic nose" gene to me-- the one that enables us to smell garlic on a person five feet away (when they ate it two days ago). It's a curse, I tell you! A curse!

Anyway.... I was giving an acquaintance of mine a ride home from an event we both attended this evening, and this person ripped one in the car shortly after we took off. And when I say "ripped one" I mean they didn't even mess around-- this cookie went straight for the gold. Please understand that I need to describe it in detail-- in order for you to truly understand the nightmare I lived through tonight.

My car could not have smelled worse if this person had gone ahead and moved their bowels right on the passenger seat. In fact, this was an actual worry of mine for several moments. The thought that my guest had actually pooped in my car was a very real fear for the many minutes that the stench lingered in-- no, clung to, hovered over, permeated the air. My dog could not have hoped to outdo this person's accomplishment even with performance-enhancing turkey. In fact, I have a few meaningful words about it that I'd like to share right now: sulfur, Campbell's tomato soup, rotten eggs, Limburger cheese and diaper genies. Take a moment to ponder those.

Meanwhile I was expected to keep up my end of the conversation. I think I deserve a hearty pat on the back for the effort I put forth. It's not easy to talk when you're trying your darnedest not to breathe. I tried to think of a sly way in which I could covertly open every single window in the whole van. "I so love the night air! Let's invite it into the car with us, shall we? Let us envelop ourselves in its refreshing properties!" just didn't seem natural, ya know?

And so...I suffered in silence. The kind of silence that only an unintentional fart in unfamiliar company can bring. I'm not sure if I wish my passenger had just copped to the offense so we could giggle about it and then move on, or if it was better that we both tried to pretend the overpowering reek had emanated from some other mysterious source-- like a demon fart or something. Either way, I wanted to spew my guts in revulsion. It was that bad.

I can only hope that a good night's sleep will erase the foul memory of this evening. And so I go to my bed with hope in my heart, and perfume on my upper lip. Goodnight, dear ones.

Susie Homewrecker

Okay, confession time. I think I bit off a little more than I can chew with this whole "Susie Homemaker" thing. Maybe it would have been prudent to start with a list of, oh, thing. Like "get out of bed every morning" or "put on clean underwear daily, assuming any has been washed".

But, no, I had to get all idealistic with my dreams of 50s housewifery. I am here to tell you, I am just not that kind of girl! What kind of girl am I, you ask? I think lazy is much too strong a word. I prefer relaxed or easygoing or even lackadaisical. I have perfected the art of rest-- an ideal that so many Americans have abandoned like a naughty stepchild. But, you see, I will never die an early death from a stress-related illness. You won't ever find me lying on some psychotherapist's couch recounting my inability to slow down. I am a master of slow. That is, until I get up some motivation to actually tackle something....

Hey, that gives me an idea! What I need is a good swift kick in the patooshky! And you know what that means? That's right; guests. I need to invite guests over. Guests I don't know well enough to decide that my house looks fine as-is. Guests who, preferably, have never been to my house before at all and might (gasp!!) want to look around!

But first, let me try and undo some of the damage I've just done to myself in the above paragraphs. You need to know that I've made strides in several housewifey areas-- one being cooking. Just look at that stack of cookbooks! I've been making good use of them, too. Why, just the other day dinner consisted of a homemade baked macaroni and cheese (made with whole wheat pasta, no less!), fresh green beans from our garden, and roasted cherry tomatoes (taken from T's garden) which were sprinkled with coarse salt, olive oil and some of the oregano I recently dehydrated. And we washed it all down with lightly sweetened homemade lemonade. If that's not a Susie Homemaker-worthy meal, I don't know what is.

And, I'd like to add that my bed has been faithfully made, dishes have been religiously washed, and my laundry-- a beast I have tamed. Actually, come to think of it, my only real area of failure is the room cleaning part of the deal. Other than the bathroom I cleaned last week, my hands haven't held a cleaning rag or donned the vacuum at all. I HATE cleaning!

And that is where the guests come in. I can see no other way. I must invite someone over.

But who?? Well, my friends, that is a question best left answered on another day. Until then!

Monday, September 7, 2009

I'm Just Askin'....

Can laundry ever really be all done? I mean, what about the underwear you're wearing right now. When all's said and done, isn't it really just "laundry"?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Worth A Thousand Words....

This is hubby. Hubby is napping. Wife is doing laundry while hubby is napping. Wife scores big "Susie Homemaker" points. But wife will lose all points if hubby discovers this picture on the worldwide web. Friends and family agree not to tell hubby. Everyone is happy.

Latest Quotes

I've been collecting amusing quotes from several different sources lately. I don't know if there's something in the air, but geez....

1. Hubby's Female Team Teacher: (upon seeing me help hubby prepare his classroom for school) "Oh, you're such a nice wife! I wish I had a wife...."
(Not a bad idea, that.)

2. Me: "How was school today?"
LM: "Good. I made a new friend!"
Me: "Really! What's his name?"
LM: "I don't know-- I just call him Optimus."

3. LM: "I hate school!"
Me: "I'm sorry to hear that. How can I help you like it more?"
LM: "You can buy me a new Starscream." (Transformer.)

4. LM: (after I'd repaired his Transformer for the umpteenth time) "Oh, good! It's as brand as new!"
(Hmmmm, I'm seeing a theme in all of LM's quotes here. Maybe it's time to lay off the You Tube Transformer episodes for a while.)

5. This next one requires a bit of background. Ruby Jane and I were at the grocery store (the one where we find all the crazies working-- anymore we go there for entertainment as much as their low prices) and our checker to be funny-- but she was coming off as just plain loony. After saying something that especially amused herself she blurted, "the sarcasm kicked in in about an hour and a half!"
Huh? Then as we were leaving she yelled out to Ruby Jane, "thanks for the toys!"
Ruby Jane looked at me, confused, and asked, "she's drunk, right?"
Maybe so, honey, maybe so....

6. Ruby Jane's Soccer Teammate: (upon walking up to Ruby while she and I were kicking a ball back and forth) "Is that your sister?"
Ruby Jane: (disgusted) "No! That's my mom! She just wishes she were young."
Me: (delighted) "Wait! You can call me her sister!"
(I've got to invite that sweet girl over for dinner sometime.)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Susie Schmusie

I can only claim one victory as a housewife yesterday and that is this:

Brown Butter Coffee Cake. It is the first baked item I've made in months-- and yes, it was delicious. You know what? You can keep a hubby quite happy with something as simple as cake. Who knew...?

Speaking of hubby-- he hasn't noticed anything different yet. At least, not really.... He did ask me yesterday (looking at my curled hair and made-up face), "are you trying to look pretty or something?" I had to take a moment to figure out how to respond to this lovely compliment-- but the witty retort never materialized. Instead I said lamely, "uhhhhh.... Yes?" "I thought so," he said then. Hubby's winning way with words is why I fell in love with him all those years ago-- and he hasn't lost his charm yet!

So I'm going to have to make an even bigger impression on him today. I haven't quite figured out how I'll do that, but if I come up with anything brilliant you can be sure you'll hear about it! Until then, wish me luck!

Maybe I Need Prayer

As I was taking the kiddos to school this morning I came to an uncontrolled intersection in which three cars (including myself) had arrived at nearly the same time. Technically, I should have been the second car to go according to the "right of way" rule, but I don't assume everyone else is aware of (or follows) the rule, so I waited patiently to see what the other two cars would do first. (No sense in starting my day off with an accident!) The car on my right just sat there and so I gave her a little wave to let her know she was free to go ahead. The car behind me became very impatient with this five second delay, however, and laid on her horn for me to just go.

This irritated me. I hate being honked at when I've done nothing wrong. Honestly, I wanted to flip the lady off-- but I kept my finger to myself since I was in front of my daughter's private Christian school (which hubby also works at). I didn't want someone coming into his classroom later on and asking, "was that your wife I saw flipping the bird earlier this morning? She sure is charming!"

I'm normally not prone to road rage. Really! Steal my intended parking place? Fine, maybe you needed that spot more than I did. Cut me off? I hope you get to your destination faster. Tailgate me? Perhaps I'll just slow down a little to tick you off. (Okay, that wasn't such a good example.) But my point is that I'm a pretty easy-going driver-- until you honk at me for no good reason.

It brought to mind one of my...not so shining moments...when my children got to witness my Christian maturity in action. I was in the parking lot of a supermarket which had arrows painted on the rows to direct traffic. I was pulling out of my parking space and heading in the correct direction of the arrows, when suddenly a car whipped around the corner and we both had to slam on our breaks to avoid a collision. The other car, of course, was going the wrong way. The driver, an old man, proceeded to deliver a colorful diatribe worthy of any sailor. I was ready to tell him where exactly he could put the arrow he was clearly not following, when I remembered I had my two impressionable children in the car with me. Darnit. But as I looked back at the old man, his face twisted in unreasonable anger, I couldn't stop my tongue as it shot out of my mouth and I scrunched my nose up, eyes glaring. Wow. I haven't done that since I was like, 10. Yes, I actually stuck my tongue out at the grumpy old fart. Real mature. But what's worse-- my kids saw.

They were in shock. They had no idea that their mother was capable of such an act of childishness. Ruby Jane gasped, "Mom, did you just stick your tongue out at that man?" I couldn't help but giggle as I told her I indeed had. We all started laughing our fool heads off. Then they asked me what a few of the man's choicer words meant and I stopped laughing. "You don't need to know!" I told them, and we drove off.

My kids still remember that day. The day they discovered their mother is actually human. The day they discovered that mom can put up with a lot, but not with a crabby old man cussing her out. The day they discovered that sticking your tongue out is an offense that can actually be laughed at instead of scolded. (Yeah, that wasn't one of the best lessons I've ever unintentionally taught.)

So, for all of you who are shocked that I would even consider giving the finger to someone-- or even simply sticking out my tongue-- you now know how you can pray for this dreadful sinner. Hey, pobody's nerfect!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Yesterday Was Just A Practice Run

Okay, so this whole "Susie Homemaker" business is harder than I thought.... As I looked at my list of 10 goals last night (only 6 of which I actually accomplished) I realized I'd gotten off to a slow start. But when you're beginning from ground zero like I am, any start should be celebrated. Uh...right?

But that's not to say I didn't manage to make some progress. And I have pictures to prove it! Just look at that bed! Did a professional come in and make it or something? Why, no! I made that sucker all by myself.

Then I got a little ambitious and decided to make my own dried herbs. You know, real pioneer woman stuff. My sister gave me chives, sage, basil, Italian parsley, chamomile, and mint from her garden to add to my already abundant stash of fresh herbs (I have thyme, lavender, lemon sage, oregano, stevia and tarragon-- uh, does anyone want any??). I thought, "hey, why don't I dehydrate all this stuff? It'll be a piece of cake!" Famous last words.... First of all, I invested hours in washing, plucking and drying all the stupid leaves. Then, contrary to what all those instructions I read on the internet suggested, it does not take 2 hours to dry herbs at 95 degrees! It has taken over 24 hours! And I'm still not done with batch number one! Hubby came home last night to an 82 degree house and asked, "what in the heck are you doing? It's hot in here! You're not going to run that thing all day tomorrow are you?" Needless to say, I think he was really pleased with my effort.

Admittedly, after I post this page I believe I'll regret putting this next photo up on my blog. It's just a little too reminiscent of a picture I would have taken of myself in junior high after having primped for an hour. It smacks of misplaced adolescent ego, ya know? But, my intention was to show that I did my hair and put on make-up, folks! It's true! You can see so for yourself! And not only that, hubby went to bed a happy man.... (Because I'd given him time to himself after work, of course!)

Yikes, I'm already blushing a little.... Okay, sorry, this is boring. Never fear, you will not have to be subjected to the run-through of my housewifely activities on a daily basis. (Unless I have nothing else to blog about, that is-- I never make promises I can't keep.) Besides, I'm a little busy today-- too busy to just sit here. I've got dinner to think about and a bathroom in desperate need of cleaning. Oh, and laundry.... Lots and lots of laundry. Ugh-- laundry!

I bid you ado for now, my friends.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Susie Homemaker Project

I'm a big-time reader. I wish it could be my job-- I'd read all day long. I've read (or listened to) over 50 books this year already, and if you're doing the math you'll discover that makes me a big huge geek.

But in my readings I'm often inspired. For example, one of the books I read at the end of last year was called "Do Hard Things", written by a pair of teenage brothers. So for my new year's resolution this year I decided to pick a "hard thing" to do every month. I've had lots of interesting months, let me tell you!

This month I'm going to share my new hard thing-- because I have a feeling it will be the source of much amusement for me-- and therefore you'll be hearing about it on this blog. You see, both my kids are in full-day school this year (WOOOHOOOO! Sorry, that just escaped....) and it seems that one of the most popular questions I get asked these days is, "So, what are you going to do with all your time?" Ummm, am I supposed to do something? Is there a secret here that I've never been let in on? Honestly, I was planning on becoming a soap opera expert and bon bon connoisseur. I didn't know there were other options for us stay-at-home moms who have kids in school. Dang! I was so looking forward to that!

But then I got to thinking.... What if I became a housewife? I know, I know-- I already am a housewife. But to tell you the truth, I'm terrible at it. I'm not a big fan of cleaning. I have a habit of only doing laundry when someone tells me they're out of underwear. The extent of my organizational skills include stuffing odds and ends into grocery bags and hiding it all in a closet somewhere. Lately dinner has consisted of three letters: P, B and J. And to me, "routine" sounds exactly like the word "slavery"-- so I tend to avoid it at all costs. Oh, and heck, I might as well go for broke and tell you that my hubby has informed me that sex every night would not be too excessive in his book. (Yikes.... I'm still trying to wrap my brain around that one.)

So as I was thinking of all the ways in which I suck at my one and only job, I decided to "do a hard thing" and actually try to improve some of those areas. (I'm still not sure about sex every night, though. That just sounds...painful. Can I get an "amen"?) So this month I'm starting the "Susie Homemaker Project". I figure if I put this idea out in cyberspace-- and list everything I hope to accomplish-- then I'll be more likely to follow through. Here goes:

1. Laundry will be completely done, folded and put away once a week.
2. A hot dinner will be served every night at 6:00.
3. Dishes will not remain in the sink overnight.
4. I will make my bed every day-- throw pillows and all.
5. I will choose a different room to de-clutter and clean every day.
6. I will go through (gag) all my papers (choke) and organize them (gasp).
7. I will give my hubby time every day to decompress and relax or go out with the guys.
8. I will have a quiet time every day.
9. Hair will be done and make-up applied daily.
10. Ummm...okay, this one's tricky. I'm not actually going to tell you my plan for sex (you're welcome), but just know that I don't anticipate that there will be any complaints.

Okay, now that that's done, I'm off to go shopping with my mama! (Hey, I never said I wasn't going to have any fun! After almost a decade of being a full-time mommy I think I deserve to let loose a little!)

Anyway, I'll keep you posted.... Oh, and don't tell hubby about this! I want to see if he notices on his own. (Evil grin.)