Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Piece of Cake

What do you do when you want to lay on the couch and read a book and the kids will not JUST HUSH FOR ONE FREAKING SECOND? No, really, I want to know. I'm not talking to you, Heidi, because I already tried your duct tape method and it took me three weeks and a whole bottle of turpentine to get the sticky off when I was done. But all the rest of you need to send me your techniques because I am not doing so hot on my own.

Here, see for yourself. Yesterday I let them make a cake out of a mix, which worked out pretty well, except for the eggs and oil mixture spilled on the floor. Actually that wasn't too bad, anyway, because the sticky eggs sort of offset the slippery oil and it didn't look much different than the kitchen floor always looks. And, I made them wash their hands, so I can cross that off the list for the next few days. Plus, need I even mention, now we have cake! WIN-WIN, my friends!

But, still, one does eventually have to wash the batter-spattered bowl, mixer, cups, spoons, floor, counter, and hair, which really cuts into my couch-laying time. So, as always, I am looking for your brilliant comments to help me out. The couch beckons. Seriously, I'm dying here. I already let them watch 'Free to Be You and Me' on youtube 4 million times, and now they are marching around all the time chanting, 'A doll, a doll, William wants a doll!' until I want to yank my hair out by the roots and shove it down my throat. OH, THE HUMANITY!!!!

I'm waiting, people.

Monday, April 25, 2011


If you are my friend on Facebook, you probably already know all about the rat wars at my house. If you're not my Facebook friend, you totally should be, because I have a lot of really important stuff to say on there, as you can well imagine.

Now that the weather has warmed up a smidge and the compost is getting good and rotty, we have had a rat invasion in the back yard. They come through the fence from the sheep farm and burrow under the compost to plan their assault. Then they swarm over the back porch to eat the copious seeds that have fallen from the bird feeder. When Henry was alive, he probably kept them at bay, but now, sadly, we have to battle them without his assistance. Lloyd started sniping them with his pellet gun, but it was a little slow for his liking, and they don't make an automatic assault version. I told him I thought I could convert it with directions from the internet but he didn't like that idea for some reason and went with traps and poison. It's like he fancies himself some big gun expert or something and thinks I have no idea what I'm talking about. You can see one of his ginormous traps in the picture; this particular one set right in the path where their trail from the farm comes under our fence. I could get some stunning dead rat pictures, but I'll spare you. I'm tenderhearted that way, plus I'm getting a little afraid of those crazy PETA people after the whole hamster thing.

Naturally, success in rat-killing leads to a quandary: what to do with the carcasses? They are big, fat, glossy, generously-whiskered creatures and surely would be useful for many things. Seriously, they are the picture of robust, glowing health, except for being dead. One certainly doesn't want to just toss them in the trash; that would be VERY wasteful. But we have to get to them quickly, or the other rats will carry them away. I'm not even kidding. They disappear if you leave them out there; I bet there is a cadre of mortuary rats that pack the dead soldiers away on their shoulders to some kind of ghoulish body shop where they hack their bodies up to make paleolithic body armor and weapons out of bone, skin, sinew and tails.

They're smart, you know, and they learn from their mistakes. If Lloyd had any sense at all, he would let me do the conversion on that pellet gun so he can just mow them down and be done with it. This slow attrition method is risky, like tying Batman to a slowly submerging platform into a shark tank, then walking away, totally sure you've vanquished your enemy. We all know how that ends up, don't we?

In fact, now that I think about it, I'm getting a little concerned. Ever since I read 'Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh', I have been suspicious that rats are more than they appear to be. I bet they could climb right up on this keyboard and start blogging away. You'll know it's them when they start raising money for PETA and pushing for a revolution.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bad Pennies

I despise the neighbor kid; is that bad? He is a creepy little know-it-all and I loathed him on sight. He is one of the kids that is always riding bikes around the neighborhood and he often comes over to see if the boys can come out. They usually don't want to play with him but he is constantly out there. He ALWAYS has a lot to say and knows everything about everything. Today he told me how to fix Shane's training wheels and was very put out when I did not follow instructions.

It's a gorgeous day here- the sun is shining, there's a little breeze and it's about 68 degrees. The sheep next door are getting their spring haircuts, to their loud sheeply dismay. It's so beautiful, in fact, that one of the kids told me he wanted to come in, because "it's too hot". This is the damage wrought by seventeen straight months of rain, wind, sleet, hail and snow, Seattle. See that you don't do it again and we'll call it even this time. But before they started suffering from heat exhaustion, they were out riding bikes in front of our house and he-who-shall-not-be-named turned up around the time Weston found a penny in the street. Apparently, he then asked to see it, and then took off without giving it back, saying Weston had given it to him.

Naturally, this was VERY distressing, and Weston came in the house seeking advice about how to deal with this travesty. I think he was sincerely shocked that someone could do something like that, and this kid is older, so Weston finds him intimidating. But guess what? I had absolutely NO IDEA what one should do in a situation like this. Seriously, I was completely befuddled, so I just gave him a new penny and told him that we were lucky to see what kind of a person this little jerk was at the cost of just one cent and maybe he's not the kind of guy we want to be hanging around with. After puzzling over that for a few minutes, Weston went out looking thoughtful, and then yelled at him until he gave the penny back.

All's well that ends well, I always say, and now I'm thinking of asking Weston how he thinks I should deal with that crazy guy in my office.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hamster Ball

A hamster ball could be any one of a legion of things: a hairy little testicle, a party where rodents go dancing, a party where people dressed up as rodents go dancing, or a game where you kick hamsters into a goal or whack them over a net. The possibilities are endless, and I now have about a zillion new ideas just awaiting further development; feel free to borrow them! Look away now if you are a PETA member- it's just going to get worse and I'm not at all squeamish about inventing other, more bloody, ways to entertain myself. Judgmentalfreakball, anyone? BYOBAPOB (Bring your own bat and plenty of beer)!

But I've been thinking about a different kind of hamster ball lately- the clear plastic kind that the little critters can cruise around the house in without getting stepped on or peeing on the carpet. Not that we have any hamsters, of course. The boys simply refuse to try them, even when I fry them up like nuggets and serve them with ranch and a nice side of fava beans. I swear, kids today, they're so SPOILED. The truth is, the hamster ball is for me.

Remember that John Travolta movie where he played the boy in the plastic bubble? I got to thinking about that the other day because I am very, very sick of dead soldiers, earthquakes, tsunamis, radiation, psycho politicians, the Supreme Court, corporate greed, the economy, the dreary weather, and all the rest, making a plastic isolation bubble extremely appealing. I need to move around, though, and I'm pretty sure a giant hamster ball would be an outstanding solution. It will have a number of attractive design features, including my friend Lisa's idea for a wine-filled drinking bottle. It will have curtains that I can draw when I can't look at the worms in my living room or the pee in the boys' tub anymore, an artificial source of sunlight for all those super rainy days, and some high-grade soundproofing. For work.

I even have the perfect name for it: The Nut Ball. Interested? Call me!