Not every day can be a good shoe day. Apparently.

Because sometimes it’s good to know these things happen to other people, too.

“So apparently, per the news, Seattle is having a Winter Storm Warning, aka WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE IN A FROZEN TUNDRA OF DEATH!!!!

Now I was aware of this, but may have slightly forgotten about it when I was getting ready this morning and picking out my shoes for the day.  My beautiful 3 inch stiletto heeled shoes.

Shut. Up. I. Know.”

Chivalry is dead.. and buried… and then someone dug it back up and peed on it… and then buried it again… with a dead fish…which stinks… literally. | But That’s For Another Blog

ps – This one is front runner for the Best Post Title EVER award, which is a totally made up thing but still highly coveted among us wordy wordsmiths.

the secondary market for nanny cams

We never did invest in a nanny cam.  I can see the benefit, especially if someone else spends all day with your kids, but we never felt the need for one in our home.  Or, more accurately, the discussion of having a nanny cam never even came up between BrightSide and me.

There were plenty of times when it would have been advantageous to have a bird’s eye view of what went down in the other room.  Knowing exactly how Sharpie got on the carpet.  Being able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt who threw the first Lego.  These would have saved valuable brain cells spent sorting through denials and accusations, brain cells that might even have fired up to make a dinner or two.  But alas, we went old school.

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who, what, why

Welcome to Monday’s list of burning questions.

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1.  Why can’t I figure out the actual trash schedule?

We got a notice that trash day was switching from Friday to Tuesday – fine, I can roll with that, it’s why I set alarms on my calendar.  So if we put the can at the curb on Monday night then it should get picked up the next morning, right?  Apparently not.  I must have missed the super secret schedule detailing which holidays would be considered trash holidays and which would be business as usual because for the life of me I can’t seem to get that right.  And if you think this doesn’t matter then you’ve never had something scary/moldy/unidentified lurking in your trash can.

2.  What on earth is in this paint?  (Or isn’t, as the case may be.)

I enjoyed the company of house painters for a week in December.  The kids got to choose the colors for their rooms but, more importantly, the painters erased all evidence of smudgy handprints from our walls.  Lord willing, both the kids and dogs have matured enough to keep from dirtying the whole place up again (fingers crossed).  I didn’t realize how good I had it, though, until I stepped into a neighbor’s home later that month and was nearly knocked off my feet by the fumes.  What sort of magical paint did they put on our walls so it doesn’t smell like a chemical factory explosion?

3.  No one else sees impending disaster?  Really?!

Two twelve-year-old boys, one stunt scooter, and a trampoline.  Who on earth thinks anything good can come of this?!  I’ll tell you who.  Two twelve-year-old boys.  Sheesh.

4.  What exactly would happen to me if I marched myself right into that cafeteria and gave the class bully what-for?

I mean really, what’s the worst that could happen?  If I keep my hands firmly in my pockets, use my stern mama voice, and refrain from notable profanity…a visit to the principal’s office?  I can do that.  An order to keep my distance from said child?  That probably wouldn’t be a problem; one reaming out is typically all it takes.  Let’s be honest – I have a lot more latitude than my daughter does, and I’m not constrained by the teacher/student dynamic.  I would never have said this in my twenties but I’ve come to believe that sometimes a kid just needs their ass handed to them so we can all move forward together.

5.  Probably another science class fact I would have picked up had I paid attention, but how does that whole migration thing work?

Not the pattern itself, I get that.  But how does a bird know which way to fly?  How far to go?  When it’s time to come back?  Does one ever just say screw this and hang behind?  I mean, that flight time’s gotta be exhausting, and not all birds migrate anyway…

6.  What DNA trait in children makes them take something, consume two or three bites or sips, then abandon it?

Seriously, kids have little to no remorse about doing this, even other people’s children who are at my house.  Maybe I’m remembering some sanitized version of my childhood, but I can’t think of a situation in which I would have taken a drink from someone’s fridge then left it sitting ¾ full in the garage.  Or taken an extra slice of pizza, ate the tip, then decided I was too full after all.  Now here I am, stuck between a rock and a hard place – throw money in the trash without complaint, or risk fostering food issues by focusing on it?  I can’t win this one.

7.  What do you suppose a kid’s looking to hear when they ask if you believe in aliens?

Mine have asked this question within the last year, and I have to say they both looked a bit unsettled with my answer.  It seems that “sure, maybe – not in an Independence Day invasion sort of way, but I think it’s a bit presumptuous to believe that we’re the only life forms in this entire universe” wasn’t quite what they wanted to hear.  I’m not sure if they wanted assurance that creepy creatures wouldn’t be attacking their hometown or simply needed me to give them a solid yes or no.  Either way, they looked a bit dissatisfied with my alien theory.

8.  Why does everyone have a story about shoving something up their nose when they’re a kid?

What is it about this particular orifice that’s so appealing?

9.  Who the hell came up with this “Would you rather” game?

I was sitting in the family room recently while T-man was FaceTiming a friend.  Let’s put aside for a moment all the ways video calls can lead to trouble with tweens and focus on the conversation’s content.  I was periodically monitoring them (read: muting the tv and eavesdropping supervising the call) when I heard T-man ask her this question: “Would you rather be hung or shot?”  I’m sorry, what?!  It seems this game is all the rage among youngsters these days.

10.  Is it every generation’s calling to hate their parents’ music?

I thought we’d escaped this one.  The kids listen to a wide range of music in both of our cars though they each have their own preferences, but I didn’t think anything rose to the level of hatred.  That was until we were in the kitchen one morning last week and I was playing Jason Mraz.  His music tends to be upbeat and energizing, but it’s not the mindless pop that makes me switch channels so often.  We’d been listening for about five minutes when T-man asked me how I could listen to “that music.”  I asked him what kind of music he meant, and he said – wait for it – “boring.”  Gee, son, tell me how you really feel.

The Ugly Truth

Some things in life are simply awesome.  You’re happy when they show up, and life is good.  Maybe not angels singing from on high, life altering kind of good, but still…good.

My adult self was distressed to discover not all good things are created equal, though.  Some are moderately good.  Some are barely good.  Then some are an evil sort of deception that looks good but turns out to have an underbelly of what-the-hell.

These are some of the Ugly Truths lurking in my grown up world.

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ginger root, fennel, and a great rutabaga

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m not big on vegetables.  Actually, “made no secret” might be a bit of an overstatement.  I worry my parenting skills might be questioned (or a blood panel ordered) if I openly admitted exactly how lacking in vegetable expertise I am.  Let’s just say, for sake of clarity, that I have an extremely limited palate.

And nothing makes that fact more glaringly apparent than a stroll through the Harris Teeter produce section.

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the Valentine’s Day interview

For those of you looking for a fiery Valentine’s Day.  Bonus points for ridiculously opposite answers.  Happy interviewing!

“Our friend Beefy posted this little thing on Facebook the other day, and my reply was, ‘This looks like a great way for The Mister and I to bicker with one another for 10-20 minutes! How romantic!’

Who’s older?
Apparently he was in a big, fat hurry to get here and I played hard to get

Who was interested first?
Me, but then him and then me and then him, and well, that went on sometimes not at all and also for over a decade”

We Don’t Do Valentines | joeyfullystated

what valentines would look like if I wrote for Hallmark

BrightSide’s never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day.

We show our love every day.  It’s the little things, not the cards and flowers and chocolate, that tell the people we love how much they mean to us.  What makes February 14th the ultimate litmus test for a relationship?

Yada, yada, yada, no last minute runs to the flower shop for him.  (Although, in an extreme case of irony, I have a beautiful vase of roses sitting behind me as I write.  BrightSide dropped by the store on the way home yesterday and spotted them there; I’m not normally a flowers kind of gal, but they were a really nice surprise.)

At any rate, since there’s a whole bunch of us out here who live a less than glamorous existence – what, you mean you don’t eat brunch draped in diamonds? – I thought I’d offer up some real life Valentines.  You know, for the rest of us.

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eight years of classroom cupid

Valentines Musings for My Munchkins

We've survived many a ♥ day,
you and I...
There were years 
I was certain
we'd never survive.
Addressing endless valentines,
fumbled shoebox crafts,
scouring ingredients for peanut allergies
lest we send a classmate
into anaphylactic shock.

"Bee Mine", "You Rock",
"you're the purr-fect friend!"
Huddled around the kitchen table,
enduring the angst of picking
which card goes to whom.
Then there's always the mom
whose kid does those damn
Pinterest valentines
when we all know 
you only want
the sugar

Elementary socialism
demands a valentine
for each boy, each girl -
no exceptions.
For years we've 
faithfully followed 
the rule,
candy for everyone,
no child left behind,
until the straw that broke 
the camel's back.
Now one's on strike,
refusing to take Valentines
at all
if it means putting on
a false face.

Middle school's shark tank
throws our kids in
to sink or swim
as they tread the
social waters
of tween hierarchy.
Suddenly a normal Tuesday
is rife with angst -
girls and guys
tiptoeing around each other,
painfully anxious,
parents helpless
through it all.

I do not envy you today,
my loves.