Children, cooking, marriage, random stuff, funny stuff, photography, dogs, cats, depression... Whatever you're looking for, you might find it here! The modern 5 and dime.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A taser, a dog, and a possum

That was the headline on tonight's 11 o'clock news.

I mean, you've gotta tune in for that one, right? Your imagination runs wild, what could that possible be?

Well, the true story is not that fascinating (see here), but man, you better believe they got some viewers tonight. (Ok, yes, I feel badly about the dog, poor thing)

For some reason, the critters love San Diego. My old neighborhood was overrun by skunks and occasionally coyotes, even though we lived near downtown. I never thought they would go urban, but I guess when you've got urban expansion, they've got no choice but to go urban.

My old house, we were in the front yard one year watching the Fourth of July fireworks- from one direction you could see them over the bay, from the other direction you could see them over the Pacific. On our return inside the house, my daughter said there was a mouse in the tree.

I laughed, oh, how I laughed! Mice don't live in trees, silly!

I turn around, and there is this GIGANTIC possum. It looked like a rat on steroids. A really ugly rat.

And that, my friends, that is how my daughter learned her first swear word.

*No possums were harmed in the making of this blogpost, nor ever. We went on our merry way, and so did the possum.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Then and now

Playing dress up
Playing Barbies
Playing Snooper Troopers- on the nice color monitor!
Watching Friday Night Videos
Playing at the playground across the street
Eating Beef Jerky and Po Boys from Butera's
School carnivals- smashing confetti eggs
Indian Princesses with Dad
Girl Scouts with Mom
Playing with the kittens
Roommates at Camp- more than once
Talking about boys
Taking road trips to see boys
Getting grounded because we went to see boys

Men (oy!)
Bills (double oy)
Take airplane flights to see each other
Play Barbies with someone much younger than us
Troop Leader with the kids
Play video games that make the 80s blush
Work some more
Get older, and worry some more
Watch things change, and feel helpless

Photo Copyright San Diego Wedding Candids 2005

Friday, September 22, 2006

Autumn.... with a twist of Santa Ana

One of the things I miss the most about living in Southern California is experiencing the Fall season. You have to drive a good hour or more east of this area to experience Fall weather, and even then it is NOTHING like being on the East Coast, or even better, New England, during the Fall season.

We've had a rough week here, temperature-wise it felt like summer as we had a Santa Ana all week.

It finally broke today, and it's actually somewhat cooler and pleasant- and dare I say, fall-like? Is this the way we'll celebrate the autumnal equinox, with some real Fall weather?

All it's doing is making me miss my times in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. And yes, when you live way over here, Illinois does feel like the East Coast! :-) Even my years in Texas had more of a Fall season than this deceptively desert-like area.

Which brings me to my best find of the fall season. I know I'm behind, and there are many, MANY of you who have discovered this before me. But I had a meeting at Starbucks (many telecommuters work at local coffee shops, and this particular store is my favorite- although I have a love-hate relationship with the other store location near me).

A week ago everyone in front of me ordered the Pumpkin Spice Latte or Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino. I ordered my usual Mocha, hold the whipped cream, can you please make it with skim milk? This is the same drink I've been buying from Starbucks, hot or cold, for forever.

Yesterday? I decided to be bold, and ordered the Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino.

I took one sip and just about jumped out of my chair, and I'm sure other customers were staring at me like the freak-sometimes customer who doesn't understand the proper etiquette of enjoying Starbucks. Rule one- don't squeal in delight when you taste the coffee. At least, not in front of the other customers. I'm sure my Barista was saying to her staff, "And that is how it's done."

It is like drinking a pumpkin pie.

Read that again.

DRINKING a pumpkin PIE.

Oh my heavens, this thing is so good. Go out and buy one right now.

Unless you hate pumpkin pie, and then definitely order the mocha. If you hate sweet things, also not for you- incredibly sweet. I adore this thing.

I'm not the only one who loves this drink...

Ditto Hungry Girl

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sorry so long gone...

Oh my goodness, I had no idea it had been so long since I last posted!!! I seriously do not know where the time goes.

OK, I do know where the time goes. I'm way too busy. I'm so busy right now that when it's time to go to sleep, I can't actually sleep because I'm thinking of all of the things I *should* be doing!

One of the things on my to-do list (and trust me, I'm making a new list each and every day) involves my daughter's upcoming 8th birthday.

I'm trying to be super-organized this year, so I don't freak out when it gets closer. Another way I'm keeping it calmer this year is by inviting fewer children.

This is a near impossible task, as when I told her she could invite 7 friends, she immediately listed 20. I don't want anyone to feel slighted, but my house just CANNOT hold more than that. I'm not even sure it can hold that many!

Next issue with the birthday planning- the presents. I've started a list of the things she's wishing for, and how we usually do it is I buy her a big present for her birthday that I'm absolutely sure no one else will get her. Whatever else is on her list, we check it off if she gets those presents from her friends, otherwise those items immediately go on her Santa wish list.


OK, so here goes. Last year her school went on lockdown.

For those of you unfamiliar with lockdown (although in the post-Columbine area, most of you are familiar with the policy), lockdown means the school is in an immediate emergency danger that requires locking down the school, they lock the classrooms, the office, they close the window shades, and the children climb under their desks a la 1950.

When her school went on lockdown, the school did not notify the parents for over 4 hours.

Granted, they were only on lockdown 20 minutes, but some of the children were scared.

Apparently, the school didn't call because they didn't want parents taking their children out of school "unnecessarily".

Now her birthday present includes the following:

A cellphone.

Yes, a cellphone for an 8-year-old. She's not getting it for 6 more weeks, and I'm already going over the rules and guidelines for proper cell phone use, and using it during school is a major no-no unless there is an emergency.

I'm planning on getting her the Firefly Cell Phone because it is not only kid-friendly, but it has many fantastic safety features.

Children 8 years old should not be text messaging, IMHO- so this phone does not have any of those fancy bells and whistles we are used to for cell phones.

The Firefly has a locking feature so the only phone calls it can receive are from phones already in the phonebook. It can only call phone numbers that are stored in the phonebook.

I like that very much. I like that my daughter will have the ability to call me in emergency situations, and at 25 cents a minutes, you really don't want your child using the phone for much else. The phone can tell you how many minutes you have left, and you can purchase extra pay-as-you-go minutes from their website.

Careful though, the minutes expire after 90 days, and I believe there are some minimums you must meet to keep the phone active.

However, you can get a cellphone contract for this phone with a SIM card from the major carriers (like Cingular and T-Mobile). I'd much rather do that than the pay-as-you-go option.

I know it sounds shocking to some people for a child to have a cell phone. I think it is an excellent chance to teach her about personal responsibility, and it makes me feel better knowing she can get in touch with me should she need me.

We live in a much scarier world nowadays, and we could all use a little extra safety net sometimes.

If your child has a cellphone and is 12 or younger, please leave me some comments about your experiences, I'd love to hear them. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Camping for Wussies

This weekend we went camping.

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a terrible camper.

First of all, I'm a germophobe. Huge germophobe. Can't stand germs, freak out from germs, run screaming into the forest kind of germophobe.

That means bugs, reptiles, whatever- really gross me out when I have to sleep with them.

Second of all, I do somewhat well with the outdoors when I have a place I can escape from nature.

We assumed (erroneously) that we'd be in a nice cabin with electricity and running water.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! Excuse the maniacal laughter.

What we got was a glorified tent.

I've been tent camping exactly one time in my life. A tent would have been better than what we got, because what we got was dust, pollen, and mice (and who knows what all else). I was told in some of the cabins the mice were living INSIDE the "mattresses", which shall forever after be referred to as "mice habitats".

The grand total was a major allergy attack that sent my body almost immediately into a severe sinus infection. This made it even more difficult to deal with camping.

Even more humiliating was knowing that all of the children were doing so much better than I was with the camp. My own daughter is a camper, she's got it in her blood now, and I'm not entirely sure where that comes from. The first words out of her mouth as we were pulling away to go home (yay, happy dance, joy joy!) were "When can I come back?"

Next time, I'm making sure I've got all of the correct camping provisions. I will no longer believe the "packing list" they provide as our guidelines. I will create "Wendy's packing list for camping" which will include everything from a lantern to a huge box of Claritin.

And a clean suit.