Friday, October 30, 2009

'Twas The Night Before Halloween

‘Twas The Night Before Halloween
©Lisa Barker

‘Twas the night before Halloween and all through the place not a candy was left how could Momma save face?

The kids were all tucked in their beds one through six while Momma was meeting her chocolate fix. The Hersheys were gone, the Snickers were, too, even the eyeballs with caramel goo. Wrappers and boxes and baggies galore littered the kitchen, the table and floor.

When what to Mom’s wandering eyes should appear but the floating Great Pumpkin with a glowering sneer. Shrieking in fright to her bed she did fly begging forgiveness for each pumpkin pie.

But the scene was a farce and not really real - the result of a sugar high and not the real deal. Still, the kids, now awake, cried out in shock when they discovered the candy bowl empty of stock.

“Hey, Mother, what gives? Where’s the candy galore? To the store you must go and get us some more!”

But none of the shops carried such folly. Instead they were decked with red bows and green holly.

“Christmas already? But it’s still October!”

“We’re sorry ma’am, trick-or-treating is over.”

“Oh, you can’t mean that!” mom cried, and looked hurt…as she throttled the clerk by the front of his shirt. “My kids are at home and they’re counting on me! Surely you must have some spooky candy!”

“Sorry again, ma’am, it really is true. In just a few weeks it’ll be Easter anew.”

Sometimes it happens, that a mom goes berserk. It could be at home or at church or at work. The pressures of life begin to take toll and Mom will assume an insane kind of role.

It happened that night, folks say in hushed whispers, when Momma took hostages while still in her slippers. “I want candy for goblins and I want it now! Bring me lollies and taffy and bags of brown cows!”

Even the cops couldn’t reason with Mum and they had to call Papa who came on the run. “Mother, dear Mother, please try to calm down. There’s plenty of candy all over town. Why, just as we speak the neighbors prepare to hand out some treats or a hearty good scare!”

“That’s right!” said dear Mom, “How could I have forgotten? There’ll be plenty of candy to make their teeth rotten. I just can’t explain it; can’t understand why. I’d completely forgotten the night that draws nigh.”

“Maybe you need to lay off the sweets. Let the kids get dressed up and do tricks or treats.”

Mom nodded dumbly and said with a frown, “I guess I’ve been foolish all over town. I just needed chocolate to help me keep calm, so hopefully we’ll forget this by the time it turns dawn.”

The town folks all said that they definitely did. They couldn’t recall that mom just flipped her lid. Well, who could blame her, who’d even dare? Look at the kids that are in her good care. Sometimes they’re sweet and a joy to behold, but sometimes don’t do what they’ve simply been told.

It’s not easy on Mom, it’s not easy on Dad, to not go berserk with the blessings they’ve had. So maybe we all should—one night in October—allow moms and dads to hand sanity over. Let them go nuts; let them go wild. Remember it’s all for the sake of a child.

Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Don't Always Trust the Spell Check Squiggle

The Spell Chequer

Owed Two A Spell Chequer

Eye halve a spelling chequer,
it came with my pea sea.
It plainly marques, four my revue,
miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
and weight four it two say,
Weather eye am wrong oar write
it shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid,
it nose bee fore two long.
And eye can put the error rite
it's rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it,
I am shore your pleased two no.
Its letter perfect awl the weigh,
my chequer tolled me sew.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

If My Boys Designed Barbie Dolls

My two boys are repulsed by all things girl. Easy Bake Ovens, mermaids, princesses, sequins, and dress ups are never free from their derision and ridicule. This morning when I overheard a conversation between them that involved the word
of course I stopped to listen. It turned out they were talking about the kind of Barbie dolls that toy companies should make. After I heard a couple of their ideas I knew I had a blog post on my hands. So, I asked them to elaborate.

Get ready for the New Barbie!!
Like you've never seen her before! (I promise.)

The Bodily Function Barbie Line:
  • Barfing Barbie - with a jeweled barf bowl
  • Burping Barbie - a dial on the back goes from "burp" to "belch"
  • Farting Barbie - a stylish outfit sporting blue flames
  • Diarrhea Barbie - for a special time only she comes with her own commode

The Action Barbie Line:
  • Bazooka Barbie - with the push of a button, the bazooka fires real missiles
  • Lunatic Barbie - her hair stands on end like magic
  • Suicide Bomber Barbie - with strap-on dynamite
  • D-Day Barbie - she's amphibious
  • Terminator Barbie - with glowing red eyes
  • French Revolution Barbie - she'll never have a bad hair day

The Paranormal Line:
  • Zombie Barbie - pull a string and she moans "brains"
  • Ghost Barbie - the only transparent Barbie
  • Vampire Barbie - Fangs never looked so fab

The Just Plain Disturbing Line:
  • Black Lung Barbie - accessorize with a pickax and coal car
  • Rabies Barbie - with foam-at-the-mouth action
  • Truck Stop Barbie - she swears like a truck driver (parental guidance suggested)
  • Circus Freak Barbie - hair, tattoos, piercings, and more hair
  • Blow Fly Barbie - squeeze her stomach and gel flies ooze out of her limbs

And there's plenty more where that came from. I've never seen my boys so excited to talk dolls.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Quote to live by

“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”

---Lance Armstrong

Monday, October 12, 2009

Today's Word

discombobulate - [dis-kum-bob-yuh-leyt] - verb (used with object)

to confuse or disconcert; upset; frustrate

I am completely discombobulated by computer events the last couple of days. I went to bed Saturday night and everything was fine. On Sunday morning my oldest son told me there was a weird dialogue box when he turned on the computer and every personal setting, document, picture, music file, bookmark, etc. was gone. The computer looked like when we turned it on the first time out of the box. *panic* Luckily I have online backup (aside: Get it. Do it. It's so worth $5 a month) and so I started restoring everything - a process that would take 12 hours.

Then hours later the online backup program showed that it had paused the restore and gone through its routine daily backup, and listed the files that had been changed. What??? It shouldn't have had anything to change, because there were no more files left! But what was even more valuable was it listed the changed files and their location on the computer, which was some freaky TEMP file where whatever had happened had stashed *everything*. So I hadn't lost everything. In fact, I now had duplicates of whatever the restore had gotten to. So I went on a hunt and delete party. I only got through most of the documents, and none of the pictures or music.

Then this morning I turned on the computer and my desktop wallpaper of Saturday was back (which it wasn't on Sunday) as well as all my internet settings, and my documents and pictures in the right places and not duplicated. There are a few files missing that I've quickly restored from my backup, but I'm sure I wasn't hallucinating all day yesterday because my family all saw it.

And that's why there hasn't been a good post with pics over the weekend, because all my photos disappeared, then relocated to a strange file in the cobwebby corners of my hard drive, and then popped back into place.

I'm beginning to suspect that my computer is possessed. I think it's been fraternizing with my hot water heater. *staring suspiciously at other appliances*

Monday, October 5, 2009

Soft Pretzel Recipe

This is a favorite at our house. (I'd love to claim the credit, but Jason's the one who always makes these.) Delicious!

Soft Pretzels

1 1/8 cups water (around 70-80 degrees F)
3 tablespoons light corn syrup (or can use brown sugar)
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons margarine (cut into 4 pieces)
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

2 quarts water
1/2 cup baking soda

non-stick cooking spray
4 tablespoons margarine (melted)
coarse sea salt

Place the first five ingredients in the bread machine in the order they are listed (putting one margarine piece in each corner of the bread maker and the yeast in the center of the flour).

Select the “Dough” setting on the bread machine and let it run its cycle (should take about 80-90 minutes).

When cycle is complete, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into eight balls.

In a saucepan, combine water and baking soda and bring to a boil.

While soda water is heating up, use your hands to roll each ball into a rope about 20 inches long and then form into pretzel shape.

Carefully lower pretzels (one at a time) into the boiling soda water for about 10 seconds, remove with a slotted spoon, and place onto paper towel.

Spray baking sheet, place pretzels, baste them with butter, and liberally sprinkle salt.

Bake at 425 degrees F for about 10 minutes.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My Kids Are Like Horses

Yes, my kids sometimes walk on all fours. And when Princess dresses up in her Hawaiian grass skirt you'd think a horse was eating hay in her room, but I'm referring to a specific way my kids are like horses.

Sugar cubes.

Some of you may not have had the joy yet of building a 3D model of one of the Seven Wonders of the World out of sugar cubes. Lucky for us, we've reached this milestone of life!

We are now the proud owners of a 2 1/2 foot high (slightly crooked) sugar cube model of the Lighthouse of Alexandria!

Artist's depiction of the lighthouse.

And our lighthouse.

But, as Professor was sure to point out to me, it can't be too perfect. It has to be sixth grade work.

I learned something about my children during this process. They have as much of a fascination with sugar cubes as do horses. The boxes of cubes on the counter were like black holes of temptation, sucking them over to stare with longing and pester me with questions.

"Mom, can we open them?" "I just want to see what they look like!" "Can I taste one?" "I just want to see them." "Can't we just look?" "What do they feel like?" "What do they taste like?"

My daughter even went so far as to shake the box of cubes so that grains of sugar would fall out, and then she would lick the sugar off the counter top. I wish I were kidding.

And then when we actually *opened* the first box to start making the model--the joy! The rapture! The requests to eat "just one"!

I did let them each have a cube. You'd think it was the greatest thing since... well ... sugar.

Lucky for us, we still have half a box left.

Maybe I should give them away as Christmas presents.