Thursday, December 18, 2014

Barbie girl

When I was about 6 years old, I had a barbie who, I was convinced, grew her hair longer every day and for some reason, it really bothered me. I told my mom and she said if I cut it, it wouldn't grow back. I knew it would, and I didn't want her hair to keep growing unchecked. I'm pretty sure it was a beach barbie, so her locks went to her ankles.

Stubborn as I was, even then, I took matters into my own chubby hands and gave that amazing barbie a bob. I lopped her hair off in one fell swoop of kitchen shears. After I cut her hair, she was not as pretty and I told my mom that my barbie was ruined. She told me it was my own fault for not listening to what she had told me and said it was just tough luck.

A couple days/weeks later, we got new barbies. My sister Sarah got to pick which one she wanted first. I think it was her birthday and the neighbor boys had thrown her barbie onto the roof, but we both got new barbies for some reason. I remember being a little miffed about her picking first, especially since I had such an ugly barbie now, but fair's fair.

Through the years, I have often rediscovered my ruined beach barbie. The barbie with bobbed locks. I remember cutting her hair and instantly regretting it. I remember the paranoia of her monstrously fast hair growth and feeling the need to stop the madness. I felt the need to make things right with the world.

Perhaps that is why I now look at others' haircuts and think about what they could do differently, or what I approve of in their style. I have been going au naturale lately with my hair- ever since my haircut. It has been looking pretty crazy lately, and yet..Charles still loves me. I, who couldn't love my barbie after her bob, met a guy who tells me I'm beautiful even when I go 4 days without a shower. Now a regular occurrence. You're welcome.

Isn't unconditional love wonderful?

Today a telemarketer called our office and right before I transferred him to voicemail, the man asked me "Why is your voice so sweet?" And I was like "Whaaaa? Oh, because I was born with this voice." So then he said it was perhaps because I ate so many almonds and honey. Afterwards, he commenced saying he knew we were based in California and that in India they label their sweet almonds as California almonds now. Then he asked me what my Christmas plans were. I told him I was going to visit my husband's family. Weirdness.

Maybe he thought if we chit chatted he could pitch his service to an actual person instead of our HR person's voice mail. No chance honey man. I've already got somebody who keeps me away from dangerous nuts and buys me expensive honey (the kind with honeycomb in the jar).

I shouldn't be surprised that I get such questions. After all, my little sister Bon has the sweetest little voice you've ever heard and she has Snow White's song down to a T. Go ahead, ask her to sing it for you. Might as well ask about Last Christmas too. I don't know how, but she has all the words down.

This may or not be the kind of caterpillar that made a cocoon above our water bag (used to keep flies away). Our caterpillar is green though, so maybe not? I want to know what kind it is, so if it's bad, I can kill it. Any caterpillar enthusiasts that can tell me if our green caterpiller with grown back spots is good or bad?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


I don't have any of my own kids, but I know a lot of kids. Which kind of means I have a lot of kids, since everyone knows if you know a kid, you have a kid. Glad we're clear on that.

Anyway, Charles and I have been teaching the wolves on a weekly basis and they are a riot. Last night we were doing skits and afterwards had the boys explain what they did and what they could have done better.

Luke and Cooper were in one group acting out what you should do if you see a burglar enter your neighbor's house. I almost died laughing when as they explained in short phrases what they were doing, taking turns, Luke clapped Cooper on the shoulder and said "I'll take it from here." Then Cooper waited a couple of seconds and clapped him on the shoulder saying "Ok, I'll take it from here." It was so politely done and we all had a good laugh.

All of the skits were done expertly and we were impressed with their ingenuity and acting prowess. I hope my boys can be so polite and listen with such respect.

Saturday we got our lemon on at home with lemonade and lemon curd. Yesterday I took lemon bars and cinnamon rolls to work as a bribery tactic. We have 170 cards to sign at work and it's always rough to get everyone to sign the monthly birthday cards, much less the mass quantity of Christmas cards. The bribery worked to some extent and we have 17 of 40 signatures. 23 to go.

We have a squash box of them and half have gone to rot and ruin, so I'm trying to save them. I mean, you can only eat so many lemons..and I didn't want to fill the whole fridge, so most of them are still in the open air. Sorry little lemons.

In our back yard, by our shriveled up leaves, is the compost heap. Sadly, it cultivates more gnats than dirt for us. Boo. So bugs have eaten all our leaves and the garden is a sad failure. Also, lots of gnats fly into our house, so we live in a perpetual gnatting hill. Also, I may or may not have broken our kitchen light cover because I was swatting at them. In my defense, it was very easily cracked and almost fell on my head. Bother bother.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Water is the essence of beauty-

You are probably wondering "What in the wide world is that?" Well, we drink lots of water at SMS Masterminds and, since I sit next to the water cooler, people always ask me who drinks the most water. Since that consistent question has started wearing down my patience, I decided to find the definitive answer (I don't have kids yet, so my powers to suppress annoyance at someone asking the same question over and over have not yet developed). So we put up a tally sheet and have been marking tallies of water consumed this week and will continue until the end of next week. The item pictured below is the trophy our bibber will receive. If you won this contest, you would definitely deserve something at least this cool. 

Note: If you decide to do a similar contest, please measure the water in ounces. Due to the competitive nature of the participants here (high achievers), there has been no small discussion of cheating and equal terms for everyone. The latent problem solving skills in me have been stirring. Lesson learned.
I also promised you pictures of the giant framed landscape hanging above our bed. Here it is, a picture of the fridge sized landscape that could kill us any time now. Pictured underneath, in the perfect spot for a good crushing, is Charles Ward, my special angel. Look at that sweet face. 

Also, he made a glider for one of his classes. They were supposed to have a flight contest with fellow classmates tomorrow morning, but it has actually rained here for the second time this year. So we are grateful for the rain and will see the glider contest sometime in January. Woot. Now, take a second to imagine that beautiful ornamental glider hung to the right of the significantly sized landscape on our bedroom wall. That's right, it has been placed just so in anticipation of its first official flight. Definitely my idea.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Jump out the window! Well, don't, because it's raining outside and you're not likely to bounce in the rain. Usually though, a great idea.

We watched and cared for some cats over the Thanksgiving weekend in exchange for a real bed. One cat was named Lightening and the other Ally. Lightening was older and white. She drooled when petted and shedded comforters worth of hair to boot. Ally was a friendly kitten that loved attention and her little toys. She also loved to torment Lightening, so she was not allowed into Ally's room.

Cat toys- Ally's toys were suspended from what looked like the end of a downsized fishing pole. There were two- one that looked just like a mouse when it was quickly moved back and forth and the other a bird. She could have played with her two fishing poles for hours. Too bad she needed a person to move them for the true effect to go into play. Lightening had not toys, but would meow for you to pet her whenever you entered her room. She reminded me of our barn cats that we loved dearly. Who wouldn't? They ate all the mice. Well, all the ones they could get to.

The mice in the corn/chicken feed were inaccessible to them. Those mice would just run around in the feed bins when we reached in to feed the chickens. That's why we didn't like going into the barn at night- nobody wants their hand bitten off by mice. Blurgh. Shivers.

They were affectionate and delightful cats. However, after four days of scooping poop, I can safely say I will never own an indoor cat. How could I possibly with such a smell wafting past my nose every time I fished their poop out of a bunch of rocks and deposited the clumps into plastic bags. So gross. The only way it could happen, would be if I could potty train my cat to poop into the toilet. Then I might, but that is a strong if. Actually, there is a way to do it- check out Pinterest to see how.

Anyway, besides having to take out the litter, I'm just too lazy to pet a cat and play with it all the time. Plus, half my friends and family are allergic, so they would never come over to visit me. Then, if Charles and I ever wanted to take a trip, we'd have to find someone to care for our cat. It's not so easy as it sounds.

Cats might also eat our baby. Oops, too late. See- no baby. And that's why Charles and I will probably never have animals.

On the other hand, I would like to say Facebook has deviously planted many films of adopted animals that needed good homes and so when Charles gets an outdoor dog, we will probably get one from a shelter. I know, I said we wouldn't, but there are two people here and one of them would rather have a dog than a goat. You don't have to milk dogs.

I feel like there has to be a happy go between- like if I had to milk the goat more than once a month for a year, I would have full reign to sell it like Anne or just to make it unexpectedly into goat burgers. Charles: "Where's Franny?" Me: "Look at the chart. It's filled with tallies. You know what that means. I made her into goat stroganoff. You can enjoy her all week, no hassle." Then we'd be done with it because he would know the triumph of owning a goat, and he would finally get to say he ate goat. Goat for you Charles!

When I was younger, I wanted a dog. Actually, I wanted a puppy. Big difference. Puppies are so cute. Dogs are crazy. Anyway, for Christmas my brother Neal wrapped a round mermaid sled in butcher paper and drew a dog on the outside. He also glued together popsicle sticks and pasted one of his school pictures onto the front, cut in the shape of a dog head. So that Christmas I got two fake dogs. Thanks Neal.

We ended up getting a big dog sometime that year. He was a dog named Major and he was not a nice doggy. He would bark and didn't like to be petted. Then one day he was gone. He ran away from us into the Missouri abyss and we never saw him henceforth. My mom said he ran back home probably, but his family had moved. See Homeward Bound.

If we had a dog, Charles would love it and pet it and rock it to sleep. Too bad we have no room, but sorry dogs of the world, his love is all mine.