Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Report on Retreat

Getting there was the first experience. I rode with a friend and since she didn't have the directions, I figured I was navigating. We both knew sorta where we were going. We left at 4:30 and thought we'd be there by at least 6:00 so we would have time to eat before it started at 7:00. My friend was the piano player for the event so she needed to be there a little before 7:00. We got there a little before 7:00, like 6:45 without dinner. The retreat was in a fast-growing area so the freeway was a dream with a million stop lights. We never did find the road the directions told us to turn on, but somehow we made it anyway. We had an ice breaker where you find people who match the comment in the box, like "Someone wearing blue." The problem with that was I'm so blind I couldn't read the comments. I know. I need to get my eyes checked. I'm just getting old and blind, what can I say. I won a door prize, but not the one I wanted. One of the little old ladies won the full body massage. The music was good and the speaker was good. When I'm going to have time to do the things she suggested, I have no idea. I felt a little left out because no one ever sat by me. (Except my friend when she was done playing the piano.) That seems to happen to our family wherever we go. My friend and I had fun together, although I did have to stop trying to help her get where we were going because she doesn't drive the same way I do. We did some shopping afterwards. I got some jewelry for the girls. I'm not very good at shopping for me. I got a few more smiles at church on Sunday from some of the ladies. So it was a good time.

Friday, March 26, 2004

I'm running away from home

I'm going on a ladies retreat tonight, and I'm a little nervous. I've never been on one of these before and I'm going this time because I didn't have a good excuse this time. Last year, the high school band trip was the same weekend. I've never felt like I fit in with the other ladies. I don't always feel very included either. As I told you in my first blog, I'm a bit of a dinosaur. I've also been more comfortable with guys. Maybe it's because I only had a brother, no sisters. Maybe it's because in high school I was in ROTC and on the rifle team. I like football and other sports. (As a spectator of course.) I can talk cars and identify military airplanes by silhouette. I have to admit, though, that there is a down side to guys. They're gross.

Well, I better go make that meatloaf.

All came back alive

Everyone survived the field trip. I did have to hold one little boy's hand, but I didn't wring his neck. I'm pro field trips, but why does every other kid in the state of Texas go to the same place on the same day as my group? We took 4 buses with 130 kids, but when we got ready to leave, we only had 3 buses. Seems the other bus driver wasn't a regular driver but an electrician for the district. Every field trip I've ever been on has had bus troubles. We had to cram everyone on 3 buses and three people had to take roll on each bus to make sure we didn't forget any of the little monsters darlings. As I called out the names they kept telling me that person was on another bus. I finally yelled at them that if I wasn't calling their name they needed to "Shut up!" Luckily the teacher stepped on the bus about that time so I had a little back up. You also need to understand that I hate to say shut up. To me it's just rude, crude, and socially unacceptable. My kids know when I say that, I've had way more than enough and another room would be a good place for them to be. By the time we got back to the school, I was thinking a sedative sounded pretty good.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

One more time

After the fiasco at the cattlemen's museum, I'm surprised, but pleased, that the school is letting Mayhem # 2 and the rest of the other 7th graders go on another field trip. Tomorrow we go to the science museum. They are studying forensics in science and there is an exhibit at the museum. Last night she had to come home, watch the news, and take notes about two women who were abducted and locked in their car trunk. They were located through the cell phone tower they were using while they talked to police. The class was going to discuss the clues the police might have to follow to solve the case. This story led off the news and she was frantically taking notes. At the end of the news cast, they said the police would be holding a news conference soon because it was a hoax. She asked, "Mom, what's a hoax?" I had to spell it for her too. The teacher was most disappointed about the turn of events. Anyway, pray for us as we go on our trip, because if I catch one of these hooligans out of line, there's gonna be a crime scene!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Bon Apetit

Lee, this blog’s for you. (or should I say Chef Pincotti?)

Mayhem # 2 has a project in her Texas history class. They are researching the immigrants who came to Texas in the 1800’s or earlier. She chose the Irish. One of the things they have to have is a recipe from their people group. I told her haggis was out right off the bat. (I know that’s really Scottish, but she couldn’t decide which group she wanted.) Being the ever observant Mom, I noticed a recipe book the library had displayed around St. Patrick’s Day on Irish cooking. We looked through it last night and we’re alternately amused and grossed out. First she was appalled that 90% of the recipes contained some type of alcohol. I taught drug prevention classes at the school for six years so I guess it sunk in. Mayhem # 1 was amused with the recipes that contained Guinness. That’s her new favorite commercial. “Brilliant!” Most of the desserts were somewhat normal. However, the tea ice cream, whiskey parfait, and the Irish coffee jelly didn’t sound very appealing. The main courses seemed to be the most interesting. There was the tripe casserole or sweetbread and chicken souffle. Then we have the list of other body parts: calves’ brains in puff pastry; calves’ liver with marrow; pressed ox tongue; pigs’ feet with mustard sauce; loin of lamb in puff pastry; stuffed shoulder of connemara lamb; stewed ox tail; pheasants’ breasts in puff pastry with grapes and brandy sauce (That just sounds wrong!) ; and grilled chicken joints with fresh tarragon. Are you feeling all right, cause there’s more. How about some rabbit rabble, pigeon souffle, dressed crab (I prefer mine dressed over naked.), or skate with black butter? One of our “favorites” was the jellied eels. It was special because it contained the whites and shells of two eggs. I guess the shells gave it a little crunch. The other “favorite” was the winkle omelette. The name just killed me, so I had to break out the dictionary and find out what a winkle was. It’s a shellfish that eats clams and oysters by boring through their shell. This recipe also contained a “drop of anchovy essence.” Wellll doggies!

Monday, March 22, 2004

"To Serve You Better"

You know that when you see a sign that says, "Pardon our mess. We're remodeling to serve you better." whatever establishment you are in is lying through their teeth. Such as the grocery store that has installed the self check out lanes. Now after I've spent an hour trying to find what I like (which isn't always easy because they've discontinued it from last week) I have to check out the groceries too. Before I'd just put them on the counter and let the cashier do everything. Now I have to take the items out of the cart and scan them, put them in the bag, when the bag is full I have to put it back in the cart but that's impossible because my cart is still full of the rest of my groceries. Plus you have to slap the screen a few times because it knows you picked up the bag of groceries and it wants you to put it back. And while you are trying to scan your items the screen keeps telling you you're not doing it right. When you get to the produce, you have to type in the first three letters of the item. A whole lot of chaos happens when your screen can't find large limes, only small limes. You have to flag down some help. The help gets things going again, but then it's not ringing up the sale price. Flag down the help again and let them try to figure out how to override the price. Once everthing is scanned, then I get to scan my coupons, of which the screen only recognizes half. Flag down the help. Since I write a check for my groceries, I get to go see the help at another counter so they can take my check. So let me get this straight, I shop for my groceries, unload and scan my items, bag them, put them back in the cart, scan my coupons, go write my check, and take my groceries to the car, because there's not a bag boy in sight. What I want to know is, "When are they going to start paying me?"

I went to the store last week and discovered that things are about to get worse. Now you will be able to take a hand-held scanner with you as you shop and scan as you go. You will also have to put in a code on the produce scales so it can print a bar code label for you. Up until now only the froo froo market had those. I'll step off my soap box now, but I'm afraid I'll be looking for a new grocery store. One that doesn't want "To Serve Me Better."

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Ta Da

Look! We're all here. Well, maybe not everyone because I'm sure I forgot someone, and for that I apologize. Now I can find yall from my place instead of Mr. Mayhem's place.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

So embarrassed

Tuesday I went on a field trip with Mayhem #2 and about 40 other kids to the Cattlemen's Museum. Only in Texas. There were seven adults. The teacher broke the kids into six groups and she was going to float among the groups. The kids were told to stay with their group and not touch anything except the buttons that would make the little speeches about what you're looking at. These instructions were given at least twice. I had nine kids in my group and as soon as we walked into the exhibit area they scattered. All except Mayhem #2 and her friend. After about 5 minutes, the teacher called everyone together and told them that people were touching things because the alarms were going off. We had to leave the museum early because the alarms continued to go off so much that they had to turn them off. Another bus load of kids had gone earlier in the day and the museum praised them for being so good. Because of our kids, the two groups that were suppose to go Wed. couldn't go unless they had at least 10 chaperones. That was a subtle way of saying, "Don't come back." The really sad part was that many of the kids who were disobeying were the "honors" kids. The smart ones who you know know better. I've told my girls that being smart doesn't mean you know how to behave. I was afraid that this fiasco would keep the science class from going to the science museum, but I think that's still on for later this month. The trouble makers aren't suppose to go though. Mayhem #2 is excited about the science museum because they're studying forensics. If I'm going, there better not be any gross stuff. Some how I think I'm out of luck. I'm going and it will probably be gross.

The Pressure

I have a small problem guys. (The term "guys" means everyone and comes from watching too much Magnum P.I.. The main greeting was "Hi guys.") I'm a slow reader and I can't seem to get to everyone's blogs. Then it takes longer to think up comments. And sometimes I don't leave comments because I'm afraid I may not understand exactly what you're talking about and I don't want to show my ignorance. I have lots of blog ideas, but it takes time to get it all down. I have to be grammatically correct or Mr. Mayhem will correct it. (In case you didn't know. He knows everything.) So, I apologize for not getting to everyone's blog everyday. (Mr. Mayhem is laughing at this because he knows I mean it.) Remember, I'm new at this and please stop typing and scrolling so fast!

Monday, March 08, 2004

"They call him Flipper..."

I had to take Mayhem #1 dress shopping Friday night. Just getting out of the house was a comedy of errors, but we made it to the mall with two hours to shop. We did the typical cruise through the first store to check out what they had, and then proceeded to cruise through every other store in the mall because they may have something better and cheaper. Then it's back to the first store to buy something. The tone for the evening was set in the first store. She decided she didn't want anything that looked "suity". She wanted the drapey chiffon stuff. She pointed one out that had "bubbles" on it. I just busted out laughing. The dress was blue-green with trails of blue, green and white dots. I had to explain that that was the background for the opening credits of an old 70's show about a dolphin named Flipper. She tried it on anyway and luckily it didn't work. I don't think I could've looked at it without thinking, "Flipper." Of course I had to explain the show to her and sing the theme song. She thought everyone would be rescuing Flipper and I said no he was usually rescuing the people. She said, "Like Lassie under water." Yeah.

We also were looking at formals. You know. We have until the middle of May to find just the right one for band banquet. If you don't start now, the one you want will be gone. That's the other reason we had to cruise through the whole mall. Here we are in a little tiny dressing room with these huge dresses. She's whining about them being itchy. I'm telling her, "Wear a slip." I accidently picked up one that was completely strapless. I said, "Try it on. What the heck." (You have to understand. She's very modest, and this hot pink strapless gown was a shocker.) I'm behind her hooking hooks and zipping zippers and she says, "Mom, I don't think I can breathe." To which I responded, "Breathing's not allowed in this dress. What do you think holds it up? None of these dresses are made to be comfortable. They're made to make you look good." She's still thinking about that one.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Drama Mama

A couple of weeks ago Mayhem #2 tried out for a part in the UIL One Act Play. The play is The Princess and the Pea, and, of course, she wanted to be the head princess. You have to understand. This is the kid, that when younger, threw these amazing temper tantrums. Mr. Mayhem and I would stand and applaud and say, "The Oscar goes to..." Last year, the high school did The Music Man and they needed some younger kids for the crowd scenes. She winds up with the part of Amaryllis, partly because she can play the piano. She had to tease a boy, steal a scene, and play the piano badly. I told her, "There's no acting involved. You've been type-cast!" Last year, she got a minor part in the One Act Play, and the week before competition, she becomes one of the four major characters. She was the red-headed albino gypsy. Unfortunately, she didn't get a part in this year's play. She was devastated. Last week the teacher asked her if she would be the stage manager. We found out that she would be responsible for the props and their placement, as well as, making sure the actors were where they were suppose to be. And since our school is hosting the competition this year, she'd have to tell the other schools where their stuff went and where they needed to go. So basically she gets to boss everybody around. "Great, type-cast again!"

Friday, March 05, 2004

O S U R Part Deux

One of these days Mr. Mayhem is just gonna be dead...cuz I'm gonna kill him! The family went out to eat last night without Mayhem #2 who is on a student council retreat. We decided to go somewhere she doesn't like, and the choice was Razzoo's. Cajun is way too spicy for her and besides the bus stopped at McDonalds. We figured she go to eat out too. (Ssshhh. Don't tell. She'll be jealous. Unfortunately, we ran into her science teacher on the way out. If he says something to her next week we're busted.) Anyway, it must have been training night because we had a new waitress. There was also a brand new bus boy. We overheard the instructions about wiping off the table and the fact that the salt went in front of the sugar packets and the pepper went in of the Sweet & Low packets. We were waiting to order (which is something you do when you have a new waitress) when Mr. Mayhem reaches over and moves the salt and pepper so that they are longer in the appropriate places. I told him he was going to get that poor boy fired on his first night. I thought, "OK he'll put it back before we leave." While we're waiting on our food, I look down and he's taking all the sugar packets out of the holder and switching places with the Sweet & Low packets. He asks, "Is anybody going to help me?" What do you think, Bonehead? Mayhem #1 is trying to stay in her chair while she's laughing. I look around the room and inform Mr. Mayhem that our little sugar holder is now backwards compared to all the other tables. "It is? Really?" Believe me, "Momma has had enough!"

Wednesday, March 03, 2004


You've heard the saying, "I can't take you anywhere." Well it applies to Mr. Mayhem. I informed all the Mayhems Monday morning that both schools had open house that night. I was the only one who knew that. Why am I not surprised? And why do they have both campuses have open house on the same night. It blows the whole night. Luckily the girls only had homework from two teachers each. Gee, "Come to open house, but do all 87 pages of homework too." I just don't get it. Back to Mr. Mayhem. In every classroom we had to wait to speak to the teachers until another parent was through. While I'm standing near the teacher waiting quietly, Mr. Mayhem is horsing around with the little Mayhems and making them squeal and/or bump into things. He's picking them up and carrying them around the room. I give him the, "Mom has had enough look," and he straightens up long enough to talk to the teacher. We move on to the next room and start all over again. We did this 14 times!!! The last room he makes a Kramer-style entrance. I guess he was trying to impress the French teacher. As we were leaving he said his ADHD must have kicked in. He kept getting bored. I'm not buying it.