Thursday, February 28, 2008

They grow up too fast

My baby is winging her way across the country right now. Okay, okay – she’s not really a baby. She’s 18 years old.

She’s flown solo many times. To attend a Civil Air Patrol powered flight encampment (where she was learning to fly airplanes, rather than just ride in them), to attend a CAP leadership encampment, and to attend Summer Seminar sessions at both the Naval Academy and Air Force Academy.

Still, this marks the first time she’s gotten on an airplane by herself and will be disembarking not into the able hands of a responsible adult, but into the hands of several other 18 year olds.

Me: Don’t do anything that I wouldn’t do.

Daughter: Of course I won’t.

Me: You know, that leaves you an awful lot of options.

Daughter: Stunned silence.

Friday, February 22, 2008

My personal horror story

As I’ve mentioned in passing, I started Weight Watchers – again – about four weeks ago. Yesterday was the weekly weigh-in. Only a fellow non-svelte person can truly understand the horror of a weigh in. The horror that is present even when I KNOW I’ve been following the program somewhat religiously.

Oh, okay, I’m not journaling nor have I been very good about drinking my water. So I guess I’m not really being all that religious about it. But I’ve been pretty darn good. And I’m not stunned when the scale shows a loss (8.6 pounds so far – and only a fellow Weight Watcher can recite his or her weight loss to 2/10ths of a pound!).

And yet, when it’s time to weigh in and have someone else see the number? Music akin to that which might be heard in a Hitchcock movie starts playing in my head. Funky graphics like those accompanying Jimmy Stewart experiencing vertigo flash behind my eyes. And, of course, everything that might possibly affect the number on that scale is removed – sweater, shoes, heavy jewelry. And, yes, there is the requisite potty break immediately prior to stepping on the scale. Heck, if I could weigh in naked, I would. But it wouldn’t be fair to traumatize my fellow shoeless weighers like that.

My entire family belongs to Mensa (the club of good test-takers) and we have hosted the local group’s annual “chocolate” meeting at our house for the past two years. The 3rd annual Chocolate Challenge is this Saturday.

As Lloyd Bridges might have said in “Airplane” – it was a bad month to start a diet!

I’m fearful for my points-counting self at tomorrow’s meeting/chocolate fest. I mean, I will personally be baking a scrumptious chocolate cake. Decadent Fudge Cake to be precise. And there will be many, many other delicious chocolate items available for consumption.

Pray for me.

Friday, February 15, 2008

General warning to those who inhabit the planet Earth

I took my son in to get his driver’s permit this morning. By the end of March, he will be behind the wheel of a car that does NOT have a brake on the passenger side. Let this be a warning to you all!

On another, less frightening, note, we’re perusing applications for next year’s exchange student. We’ve hosted four girls so far (two from Germany, one from China and one from Italy) and have, for the most part, thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We’re branching out to the other sex for next year and have received three applications from German boys to look over.

This is always a nerve-wracking time. We’re a pretty laid-back family and think we’re easy to get along with. So far, we’ve had great luck with our students. Of course, the beauty of hosting is that if the student is simply not working in your home, you can ask for him/her to be moved to torment another family. Don’t you sometimes wish that was an option with your own kids? YOU JUST SHAPE UP OR WE’RE DUMPING YOU ON SOMEONE ELSE!!! Yeah, I can see how that would be a useful tool.

But no matter how good previous experiences were, I’m always nervous during the choosing phase and while waiting for the student to arrive. What if the introductory letter they wrote was more about getting picked and less about what they’re truly like?

So, keep your fingers crossed for us. We’re just looking for someone who enjoys the outdoors, will eat my cooking and pretends our jokes are funny. How hard is that?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Home improvement

Well, as bad as I felt, I must not have had a true Man Cold since even though I stayed home from work with a snuffley, achy, fevery illness, I still managed to do laundry, vacuum and wash dishes. No real Man Cold would have allowed anything beyond sleeping and whining.

Speaking of dishes, we recently got these dishes. I just love them. They look great with the new colors in our kitchen.

One very small problem. The dinner plate is just a wee bit too big for the standard kitchen cabinet. Which means that the cabinet door would not close completely when the dishes were placed inside it. Not really noticeable until you were standing right next to the barely open door, but it was DRIVING MY HUSBAND CRAZY.

So he emptied the entire contents of the cabinet onto the kitchen counter and proceeded to remove the cabinet from the wall so that he could add a quarter-inch of wood to the back thus rendering it deep enough for the new dishes. This involves cutting, gluing, clamping, nailing, painting and lots of waiting while stuff dries. And the entire process, no doubt, is accompanied by the requisite Tim Allen man grunts.

As you might imagine, this is not a five-minute job. Hey, it makes emptying the dishwasher much easier, though—just stack the clean dishes on top of the counter. No problem.

And it’s made for some fun times. My son, after pointing the stud finder (doesn’t that sound like something that should be issued to every girl upon obtaining maturity?) at his chest and hearing the reassuring “beep” exclaimed “Hey, it’s confirmed – I’m a stud!”

Like father, like son.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Rebelling body parts

My entire head is driving me crazy. Let me count the ways …

  1. The skin around my eyes is trying desperately to resemble a road map of everywhere I’ve ever been. Since Hawaii is the only state I’ve missed and I’ve been in 8 foreign countries, you can imagine the amount of moisturizers and other alleged face miracle workers I’m employing in an attempt to keep it from succeeding in its quest.

  1. I can hardly operate the tweezers quickly enough to control my chin’s desire to grow a goatee.

  1. My hair looks like I’ve highlighted it in front. I haven’t. Thankfully, my grey is more like blond (or at least my very, very nice friends tell me that – can you spell l-i-t-t-l-e w-h-i-t-e l-i-e?).

  1. And on top of all that, although I am most assuredly not male, I seem to have caught a MAN COLD. (You can thank Average Jane for directing me to this hysterical video.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Happy Super Fat Tuesday!

Enjoy whatever primary caucusing pre-Lent fun you have planned!

I'm embarrassed to admit that although I was COMPLETELY AWARE that the sidewalk pictured below was a sheet of ice and I was walking VERY, VERY carefully, I still managed to slip and fall, not at all gracefully, on my ass yesterday. I guess I should be grateful for all the padding.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Send a little bit of that global warming my way

My husband is hot. No, not THAT kind of hot. Well, I happen to think he is THAT kind of hot. But this is not THAT kind of post.

He’s like a heater. I will never have to have an electric blanket because sleeping next to my husband provides all of the heat necessary. I’m never warm in the winter. Probably explains my need to make those tied-together fleece blankets for everyone. I assume everyone needs a blankie in the winter or they’ll freeze to death watching TV in their own living rooms. I know I would if I were blankie-less.

The kids and I drove up to McCall last weekend for the annual McCall Winter Carnival. We stayed with friends in their cabin. There was LOTS of snow in McCall.

And I left my heater, er, husband at home. What was I thinking? I had to explain to the kids that there was no way I could sleep alone in the coldest room in the cabin because I was used to sleeping next to their hot dad. (EWWWW, Mom!! TMI!!!) Luckily, my daughter took pity on me and shared the double bed so I didn’t shiver my fillings loose trying to get to sleep.

And what’s with this?

I have to walk past this business every day on the way to and from the parking lot provided by my office. They don’t shovel their walk much.

I think they’re trying to drum up business.