1.  Every time I see a map I still think of the West Wing episode with cartographers telling C.J. that the globe is wrong.  That relative size and even the location of certain countries is inaccurately represented on the world map we currently use. 

2.  My favorite part is when they demonstrate the need to flip northern and southern hemispheres.  C.J.: “But you can’t do that.”  Cartograher: “Why?”  C.J.: “Because it’s freaking me out!”  (Seriously.  Watch the clip here and tell me your mind isn’t blown.  You’ll never look at a globe the same way again.  Plus you’ll giggle.  Win/win.)

 

3.  Apparently our kids have an eye for design.  T-man’s rearranged his game room to make it a “home theater” so he can host friends for movie night or video marathons.  Bear won’t quit changing stuff around even though we’ve begged her to stop moving heavy furniture.  They’re driven by feng shui, I suppose.

4.  I’ve got my mornings back now that BrightSide drops both kids off at school on his way to work.

5.  I’ve decided my mornings should start with coffee, breakfast, and dog snuggles.  Plenty of dog snuggles.  And it is good.

6.  Someone once told me there is no “try.”  You can’t “try” to sit in a chair – you’ll either sit or you won’t.  The message stuck.

7.  The kids look at me like I’m speaking Portuguese when I use this on them.

8.  Speaking of foreign languages, I’m teaching myself Spanish with a free app my niece (shout out, E!) told me about called Duolingo.  It has an accompanying flash card app called Tinycards.

8a.  This is by far the most productive use of my car rider line time.

8b.  The app tells me I’m 9% proficient in Spanish already.  I think it may be overestimating my powers of retention, but I appreciate the positive reinforcement.

8c.  Buenos dΓ­as.  Bebo agua.

9.  I find myself literally unable to process giant blocks of text.  When faced with a huge section of words the letters all start to run together and my brain blanks out.  For real, y’all, you’ve got to hit enter once in a while.  Split that sh*t up into paragraphs.  Please.

10.  I’m fully aware my amount of white space probably makes some of you as batty as no white space makes me.

11.  It started pouring during school pickup and the temperature dropped fifteen degrees in an hour.  I think that’s pretty weird.

12.  There’s probably some science-y explanation, but I prefer to imagine little penguins waddling around up there, blowing icy breath into the clouds.

13.  This is why I usually keep my “fun science” theories to myself.  They tend to make it sound like I’m dropping acid.

14.  At the risk of seeming insensitive, it should be amusing watching middle school girls dismiss through shockingly cold rain.

15.  Although, to be fair, I may have emitted a small squeal as I ran to my car.

16.  Dude.  No judgment.  That rain is C.O.L.D.

17.  There’s this boy at another middle school who’s using a walker right now.  My friend said he fell in the hall last week which, let’s face it, marks a low for any middle schooler.  Before he knew what was happening, though, two huge football players scooped him up and another was helping him back into his backpack.  I get teary just thinking about it.  Y’all.  The kids are gonna be alright.

18.  It’s been quite the dog week at our house.

19.  On Monday we came home from school to find a stray outside.  Naturally, the kids ran over to meet her and check for ID – no collar, no tags, no nothing.  Plus she was looking pretty rough.  Skinny, visible spine, several growths, a severe limp…definitely not a dog I could tell the kids would find its way home on its own.

20.  So Bear and I took her to the vet.  I was praying there’d be a chip and I wouldn’t have to figure out what to do but the universe was not on board with that plan.  So we got her checked out, gave her a couple of vaccines, and brought her home for the night.  Gracie and Phoebe were, well, surprised.  Oh, and did I mention she was, like, really really old?

21.  Our buddy spent most of the night struggling to breathe so at 5:00am she and I went into another room.  At 7:30am I dropped Gracie and Phoebe off for a day at the vet’s (yay, dental cleanings!).  This gave me Tuesday with the stray we’d named Pepper (for her salt and pepper muzzle), trying to find her a home while carrying her outside to pee every 90 minutes since she can’t do stairs.  That afternoon I posted pics on our neighborhood’s Facebook page and got a quick response – Pepper’s owner had texted a Lost Dog notice on another network, and the photo was a spitting image of the dog on our couch.

22.  The world turned inside out when I saw her name listed as Peanut.  That’s because eight years ago a sweet black stray showed up on our street – no collar, no tag – and stayed with us for three days until her owners posted flyers around the neighborhood.  This was our Peanut.  Well, not our Peanut, but our Peanut from eight years ago.  Except now she’s sixteen and clearly struggling.

23.  Back then my kids stood sobbing in the driveway as Peanut’s owners came to take her home.  T-man and Bear had already grown to love her in the few days she’d been with us.

24.  This time I watched as a little boy ran to our porch, peeked through the window, and started shouting, “Peanut!  Peanut!  Peanut!” when he spotted his dog.  The smile on his face was priceless as he barreled through the front door to hug her, and the family had a bounce in their step as they headed back to their car.

25.  Wednesday’s sun rose on two dogs exhausted from dental work and a mama emotionally tapped out.

26.  Wednesday morning also brought doughnut holes.  ‘Cuz doughnut holes.

27.  And three cups of coffee.  ‘Cuz coffee.

27a.  Starbucks makes vanilla coffee pods for the Keurig.  Vanilla coffee plus french vanilla creamer is hea-ven-ly.  Mmmm.

28.  I’ve now hooked both my kids up with Duolingo and signed them in for Spanish.  This family is all in, baby.  The fact that T-man and Bear might have the chance to earn credit in an 8th grade class is icing on the cake.

29.  I’m finding the flash cards to be somewhat addictive myself.  That would be why there’s still two loads of clean laundry left unfolded on a family room chair.  Buenas noches.  Bebo el vino.

30.  I desperately need three solid days off the grid.  Short of checking into witness protection, any ideas on how to get that?