Friday, October 15, 2010

Gideon's Tooth Story

Once upon a time, there was a cavity. Then hygiene was born! Then the hygiene was sneaking up on the cavity while it was eating a tooth. And then, he was about to kill him, and he said *singing*, "Why can't we be friends? Why can't we be friends? Why can't we be friends?"
And then he threw his spear back (this is in the future). And then the cavity grabbed it & threw it at him and then someone walked up and had a sign that said, "You splattered him!"
And then he pulled out the spear and then used it to break out all the teeth.
The End

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fa la la la la la la la la. La. La. La.

Let me just start by saying that I love, love, love my favorite radio station, KLTY. And I love Christmas music as much as the next person. However, beginning the day after Thanksgiving until the day after Christmas (except for Sunday morning), KLTY ONLY plays Christmas music. And they have "preview weekends" before Thanksgiving.
Here's the problem: every recording artist seems to think they need to release a Christmas album. Result: approximately 256 million versions of the same 20 songs. So, being bored with the whole situation, I've decided to present you with the 1st Annual Christmas Song Egg Nog Awards. Why Egg Nog? I just like saying nog.
Here we go:
Best Version of "White Christmas": Bing Crosby (no brainer)
Best Version of "O Holy Night": Celine Dion
Best Version of "Ave Maria": Jaci Velasquez
Best Version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town": Gene Autry
Best Version of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas": The Carpenters
Best Version of "Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful)": Luciano Pavarotti
Best Version of "The Christmas Song": (tie) Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole
Best Version of "I'll Be Home for Christmas": (tie) Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra
Best Version of "Blue Christmas": Elvis Presley
Best Version of "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree": Brenda Lee
Song mostly likely to make a good voice sound slammin': (tie) "O Holy Night", "What Child Is This"
Best Lyrics: "Sweet Little Jesus Boy"
Song most likely to make you cry like a baby: "Christmas Shoes"
Dumbest Lyric: (tie) "With a tail as big as a kite"-Do You Hear What I Hear? (They were really struggling to find a rhyme there.), "There'll be scary ghost stories"-It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Do people really tell ghost stories on Christmas?)
Song Least Likely To Make You Think of Jesus at Christmas Time: "O Christmas Tree"
Song Most Likely To Make You Think of Jesus at Christmas Time: "Mary Did You Know?"
Best Song for a Choir: "Carol of the Bells"
Song Most Likely to Make You Spit On Your Neighbor: "All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth"
Best Song for Testing Lung Capacity: "Angels We Have Heard On High"
Most Depressing Christmas Song: "Please Come Home for Christmas" (Lyric-"I have no friends". How sad is that?)
Song Most Likely To Make You Get Up & Dance: "Linus & Lucy"
So, what do you think? Add to my list and comment. Feel free to disagree with me. You'll be wrong of course, but knock yourselves out. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A + B = Purple

Before I write, a disclaimer. If you want to read a nice story with a happy ending, this is not for you. No poetry or allegories today. I am writing about harsh reality. And I'm angry.
See that boy in the picture? That's my brother, Marvin. I could write to you about his intelligence, his sense of humor, or his compassion. I could tell you about the times we played together as children, and how he played games with my children. Instead, I'm going to tell you about the end of his life. How he was ripped from this life in violence, wounding us with pain that never heals.
Marvin was an addict. Self-medicating from an early age, hoping to numb himself against emotional pain. Always feeling isolated, always feeling unwanted and unloved. Despite all the love poured out on him by his family, he never let go of the sense of abandonment caused by being adopted. Any painful experience-being bullied at school, financial hardship, or personal slight was added to the bank of pain inside his heart. No amount of love and encouragement would empty that bank. After our (adopted) mother died, there was no way to even get close.
So, you say, there are ways to deal with an addict. Tough love. OK. Intervention. Right. If you add A to B, you're supposed to get C, right? Wrong. When you are dealing with an addict, adding A to B might get you purple. There was no mention of that in the intervention information. That there is no logic. An addict has to hit bottom to get help. Really? Sometimes they hit bottom and they die. That doesn't do much for their recovery, does it? It's hard to live with an addict. It's even harder to live without one.
My brother committed suicide at the age of 27. Alone. It was by far the worst thing that has ever happened to me. My children have had to sit in the front row of a church, with the uncle they loved laid out in a casket in front of them. I have heard the anguish of a father who has had to go identify his son's body. I've gone from "family member of an addict" to "suicide survivor". And I have lived through a depression that I never before thought possible.
And here's what I know now:
Sometimes you can do everything right, and things can still go horribly wrong.
Hindsight is painful.
Control is an illusion.
Holding tight to God is the only way to survive. I think that God doesn't expect us to do "great" things during an attack. Coming through a storm with your faith intact is the real victory.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Squeezing Washington in the Laundry Room

With help from my favorite 6 year old, we made our first batch of homemade laundry soap.  Its working title is "Mama Tarron's Homemade Clothes Washin' Substance".

I have to give props to my homesteading friend Tonye, who gave me the idea in the first place.
Before I give you the recipe, here is the break down of the cost.  Note:  these numbers are approximate, so don't go commenting on my math.  
The recipe yesterday made nearly 3 gallons of soap, or approximately 147 loads of laundry.
I usually buy "all" detergent, which is consistenly about $4 for 32 loads.  Cost for appr. 147 loads=$18.36, cost per load=$.13.
I used soap I already had, but if I had to buy it, I would probably buy Ivory @ about $1 a bar.  A box of Borax and a box of Arm & Hammer washing soda, about $3 each.  The recipe uses 2 cups of each of these, which brings the total for this recipe to $2.50, plus water.  Cost per load-$.02.
It took me about 15 mins. to do this, once I had all the ingredients ready.  I saved $15.86, which means I made about $1 a minute, or $60 an hour.  Not bad at all.
Note:  I saved plastic detergent bottles to put this stuff in, but you can just leave it in the bucket, covered.  Putting it in a bottle with a lid makes it easier, because you have to shake or stir it before you use it.  One site I read said that you can add essential oils to the mix for fragrance, and I will probably try that next time.
By the way, this is a great lesson in math & liquid measurement for all you homeschoolers.
Try it & let me know what you think!

Recipe #1

1 quart Water (boiling)
2 cups Bar soap (grated)
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda

  • Add finely grated bar soap to the boiling water and stir until soap is melted. You can keep on low heat until soap is melted.
  • Pour the soap water into a large, clean pail and add the Borax and Washing Soda. Stir well until all is dissolved.
  • Add 2 gallons of water, stir until well mixed.
  • Cover pail and use 1/4 cup for each load of laundry. Stir the soap each time you use it (will gel)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2009 Congressional Agenda

Since Congress obviously has this financial crisis well in hand, let's move on to other important issues. We all know that in their capable hands, we will have a budget surplus in no time.
Therefore, as a taxpayer, I feel it is my duty to set their agenda for the next year. They've been working so hard, I figure they could use the help.

1. Appoint Oprah Winfrey as Secretary of State. Oprah obviously knows everything about everything, and already has most of America under her power. Were she to take her show on the road (so to speak), America would achieve world dominance in record time. Besides, Hillary needs to stay home & keep an eye on Bill.

2. Establish an IRS task force to investigate flying Wal-Mart sacks. Every time the wind blows, they are everywhere-an airborne menace. This is just a way for Wal-Mart to get free advertising without paying tax.

3. Immediately ban the sale of so-called 'Athlete's Foot' remedies. The name implies that only athletes can use the product. This is discrimination against non-athletic Americans.

4. All school children must be imprinted with bar codes. These can be used in conjunction with metal detectors at the school, which will be linked to a federal database. This will make public school funding faster and more efficient.

5. Appoint Bernie Madoff sole trustee in charge of distributing money from the bailout package.

6. Issue butterfly nets to all American citizens. These nets can be used to catch carbon emissions, which will then be sent to Al Gore to be recycled into toilet paper.

7. Establish the American Auto Manufacturer's CEO Vacation Fund. These hard working individuals have sacrificed their private jets, so this would help them to maintain their standard of living. It would be funded by the unemployment benefits of furloughed workers.

8. All commercial and household use of ice should be strictly prohibited. All available ice will be taken to repair the polar ice caps.

9. Food that will be consumed by the American public should first be sent through a Chinese processing facility. This will ensure that our food supply contains the level of melamine recommended by the FDA.

10. In addition, all American toy manufacturers must complete a course of instruction produced by the Chinese government on how to lower production costs through the use of lead.

After these suggestions are implemented (by next week, at the latest), Congress will be free to take a taxpayer funded vacation for the rest of the year.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gideonese, Lesson 2 (Phrases & Sentences)

And now, for Lesson 2 in Gideonese, phrases and sentences. These are sure to impress your friends and cause gross mental confusion.

Most Agobiness
Translation-"Almost Godliness", from a line in Ratatouille.
No way, Hose B
Translation-"No way, Jose" (that one makes me giggle)
They'll all be crying in their sockies!
Translation-"They'll be crying in their sake", from a line in M*A*S*H.
Expect your others!
Translation-"Respect your elders."

I thought I should make a record of these things, because Gideon is beginning to assimilate into complete American English. I must say I'm a bit saddened by this. I can only hope that Gideonese doesn't suffer the same fate as Latin, Aramaic & the U.S. Constitution. But I digress....

In other kid news:
During history last week, I noticed Hannah flattening a piece of paper to the mattress. (Yes, we were having history in bed, under the warm blankets.) When I inquired, she showed me the paper. It was a dry cleaner's tag that read "Hand Press Only". History was temporarily suspended while the teacher regained composure.
I must tell you that Hannah gave me permission to share that little episode.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Kid Quotes 5

Scene: Hannah is reading ingredients for maple syrup from a cookbook.

Mom-"Wouldn't it be easier to go buy syrup?"

Hannah-"You have to learn to make things on your own. That way you don't have to depend on the economy."

Mom-"Did you hear that from us or TV?"

Hannah-"News. They show a lot of crazy things while you're waiting for the weather."

Scene: Gabriel is getting ready for basketball practice.

Mom-"Are you excited about basketball?"

Gabriel-"Duh. I got mad skills."

Scene: Samuel is in Dad's lap, inspecting him for some kind of imaginary job.

Samuel-"No dirt, moustache, not too much bald spot, unibrow. You're hired. I like you kind of people."

Scene: Family in the living room, watching TV. All is quiet.

Gideon-(shouting) "Can't you make those Christmas lights stop flashing?!? They're driving me nuts!"