Wednesday, June 29, 2011

just in case you were wondering

I still freaking LOVELOVELOVELOVE our new kitchen.

Occasionally I forget about it, and take it for granted, but what I've learned is that a new kitchen is like a great partner - you see their beauty every day and maybe forget how attractive they are, but you need to stop every once in a while and pause to drink in how much they bedeck a day with what they are and, to be frank, how much you LIKE THEM - so often overlooked and yet chock full of satisfaction at second (or thousandth) glance.

I'm right, aren't I?


OK - I brag now!

Thing 2 is a straight-A student. BRAGBRAGBRAG!

DISCLAIMER - It's all his doing, really. He's resourceful, intelligent, careful, and self-motivating. He does have some curious homework habits (and I won't name them here except that nobody else can 'do their business' while he's doing homework), but if I have to clench for 20 minutes in order for him to get all A's?

Totally there.


In case you didn't know, Biff passed his written exam to be an airplane pilot today!



So freaking proud of him. He started out 3 months ago with several hours of undocumented flying ot his credit, and in that time has mastered all kinds of technicalia and pilotage and unsupportabalia of anarchism it's amazing that anyone has room in their head for that nonsense.

Check ride is Sat morn. After that we're taking a ride to....whknowshwere, NC...just because.

Congratulations, Biffster!


That's is from here. My typy fingers are getting tired, and it's time fo' bed.

Tiff out.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Letters I'd love to send

Dear God,

You are awesome and wonderful and all-knowing, so you should pretty much know that I'd really love a thunderstorm soon.

I'm not asking you to PROVE your omniscience by sending one, but figured calling you out on my wants might, well, get you to launch a token of your affection for me my way.

The butterfly bush asked me to ask you, BTW. You cannot turn down a thirsty Buddleia!



Hi guy in the car behind me today!

Gosh, you were following so close to me I thought we might be dating. I felt this odd attraction and repulsion thing going on, like you were this dude I went out with once in 1987 who was super good-looking but a total asshole that I was torn over whether to put up with his douchiness because of his gorgeousness or split and find a nice guy who wouldn't push the limits every dammmmmm second.

GITCBMT - it is not my fault there is a work truck ahead of me carrying 18 million pounds of rebar on a 1-ton truck. Is it also not my fault that the road crews are out paving. Also, it is not my fault that the flagmen have chosen today to fall asleep at the switch and abandon us to a 5-minute(the nerve!) stretch of time that we need to spend at a dead stop on the hot macadam of a North Carolina late June day.

Lastly, it is NOT my fault that my Jiminy, with his powerful 6 cylinders, can't immediately crank out a tire-squealing start from a dead stop once the flagman says 'go,' like it seems you wanted me to.

I had the A/C on. Priorities, man!

Sweetly, like arsenic,



Dear New Girl at Work.

I kind of hate your voice. Like, a lot. Like, I'm sure you are totally talented and smart and really really super awesome at your job (because hey, you have puh-LENTY of initials after your name), and I kind of adore your laugh, so thanks for that, but dang.

That voice.

It will not surprise you that I am not from the far nothern midwest, as I think you might be. It therefore should not surprise you that my people, the ones from The East Coast, do not understand why you do not use your chest cavity to resonate when you speak.

It's like your voice box is attached directly to your eyebrows.

I am not a fan.

Please, for me, laugh more (for hearing you laugh is like bathing in rainbows, so much is the adorable) and talk less. WAY less.

Love, your as-yet-to-be-met cubemate,



My dear family,

I love you.

To the under-21s, I love that you do the chores I ask to to within a reasonable time frame from when I ask it. I love that you do not overly complain about doing them. I love you for being mature and of such good humor.

To Biff - I love that you, on a day with nothing much calling your name, went out and got new bath mats. Seriously? What man does this? You rememberd I noted that the old ones were losing their grippiness, and fetched us a very nice pair that will not endanger our lives if we happen to need to run into the bathroom to take care of...things. Grippy bathmats are, it's clear, worthy of a love note.

When a gal comes home from work to find the dishes done, floors clean, chores complete, and new bathmats, it's enough to put a big ol' DB grin on her face.

Much love love love,

Friday, June 24, 2011

straight from the Good Book



noun: A place of bloodshed.

Yep - there's a word for that and it's in the Bible! Supposedly this place was bought by Judas with the money he took for betraying Jesus. It's the place he died, it would appear, after he fell over and, I quote,' his intestines burst out.' Or, alternatively, the field the dudes at the Temple bought after he turned the money over to them and then hanged himself.

Either way, that pretty-looking word has some fairly unfortunate overtones associated with it.

In case you're wondering, this is one of the words a day I get from AWAD, to which I've subscribed for years and from which I have learned a great deal. I don't always remember what I've learned from day to day, but at least by reading about new words I've wedged in one nugget of new information a day. Never stop learning, I say, even if you can't recall tomorrow what you learned today!

Interestingly, Aceldama is part of the Valley of Hinnom, which I also just learned about and sounds utterly dreadful, as it was at times a place of ritual slaughter of children, a city dump, a burial spot for the indigent and enemies, and a place the locals associated with Hell. Nice, eh? Of course today you'd never know that a perpetual stanking fire upon which dead people and trash was thrown ever burned there, as it's pretty nicely cleaned up now and there's even a road running through it you can drive on and not even get shot like you would have when one of the many wars that have been waged there was being....waged. Who knew a big ol' ditch could have been the site of so much terribleness? Just proves that history, while invisible, can still knock you for a loop.

So, there you go. A fabulous lesson about blood money, including human sacrifice, gore, war, and other unpleasantries. All there, right in the Bible. The Good Book! Gracious!


Oh, it's not all biblical research and such around here, heavens no! We proceed with life, keeping apace of school and travel and the endless vacuuming up of animal hair. The trip to Michigan was great, the final school concert of the year was enjoyable, the end-of-the-year report card was alphabetical, and we're anticipating vacation in a couple of weeks. OK, I'm anticipating vacation in a couple of weeks; I can't speak for everyone else. Biff has been flying a lot and studying for his written exam while practicing for his check ride and getting excited about being let off the leash and being a real pilot soon. Thing 1 is a couple of weeks into summer vacation and is very very busy doing nothing all day long (read: sleeping until noon then playing video games all day which I made worse the other day by buying a family pack of Xbox online gold something or other) except when I give him jobs to do. Thing 2 is finishing up school and looking forward to bothering his brother all day long during the summer and then gearing up for HIGH SCHOOL next year. I'm just praying I make it through July without my head exploding, as it's super busy at work with no relief only on October's horizon. Like, I'm not sure where June went, and it's already the 24th and what I thought would be done by now isn't, so where can I buy a few more days?

And like that.

Speaking of, it's time for me to git. Meeting at 11 and I'm not even at work yet! Y'all have some good times for me, OK? Tiff out.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's cold up here!

We're in the great white north (OK, really it's green) for a few days, doing some visiting and celebrating and commemorating and other things that end with 'ing' because that's downright festive and verby.

So far one amazing thing has happened: It is 73 degrees right now. At 11:30 in the morning! Freaky!

In NC, it's probably like 100 degrees already with 90% humidity. The 73 is easy to get used to, but the young feller at the check-in desk said it's going to get hot soon, like, all the way to 85! Oh noes! 85? I might have to put on a jacket!

Silly Michiganders, with their warped notions of what makes a day 'hot.' See, maybe they don't understand that it's not really hot unless you sweat while standing still, in the SHADE. It's not really hot until you'll give up 50 close parking spots to find one under a tree. It's not really HOT until you come in from the outdoors, think 'my, it's awfully cool in here' and then see the thermometer is set to 80 F. That, I believe, is the North Carolina definition of hot.

After a while, you can't help but just get used to that brand of long drawn out hot. There is nothing you have do about it but complain, which is what we do a lot of, as there's nothing else to do about it or in it or with it or for it. Just, complain.

Not too enthusiastically though. That might make your sweat sweat, a look that doesn't work for anyone. Not even for tall glasses of iced tea or Richard Simmons at his most ebullient. Nope - best to keep the complaining down to monosyllabic phrases, like: 'hot out, huh?' and 'dang it's hot' and 'if it was more hot we'd all be fried.' I'm sure there are many a darling Southern phrase about heat, and how it scrambles your brain-pan, but usually when it's very hot, in a North Carolina kind of way, the transplants like me can't do much more than pant out an assent at statements of meterological obviousness, then get back to trying to breathe in such a way as to not scorch a lung. We leave the chatty to the natives, who have adapted through years of sweltering summers to be able to remark on things and sweat and not FAINT all at the same time.

But, to get back to the point, it's in the 70's in MI right now. That's a temperature at which I can feel my mental facilities loosen up. Might be that I'll mosey outside and breathe deeply for a few minutes, just to say I did that in June.

And then take a nap. Because, dang. Been up since 3 a.m. (mostly awake) and it's time. Doesn't matter HOW hot it is, if I'm up for 9 hours I'm wanting a nap.

Hope y'all are well, and that this Flag Day is being good to you!

Tiff out.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Please, let it be 5 p.m.

Day dragging. Not enough amusement on the interwebs, and too much work to do to enjoy loafing, even if there was something of interest.


Reformatting stinketh, thou and thine can believe that. Thus it is said, thus it is (re)written. My own fault for having to DO it, as the project I'm reformatting to meet the new specs of the publishing software was supposed to be done over a year ago, when the new specs were not in force, so in addition to the general PITA factor that comes with a wholesale reformat of a 100+ page document is the butt-kicking I'm delivering to myself for being in this position to begin with. Good thing I'm a reasonably flexible gal, as self-administered butt-kickings require a certain amount of bendiness.


Sometime I wonder what it would be like to have nice legs. Mine are not. I have bulgy thighs, fat knees, cankles, and chubby feet. When I see ladies with gorgeous legs, I am envious. Cute little ankles, feet that fit into strappy sandals, actual visible kneecaps! What luck to be them!

As I get older though, it's nice to know that nobody really expects me to have good legs anymore. Age does have its benefits. Combine that lack of expectation with some high-quality supportive undergarments, and I expect to get a few more decent years out of this old body.

As long as its mostly covered up.


I hope you are planning something fun for the weekend. Me, I'm mostly going to be doing practical things ahead of our trip North next week, and napping.

Amuse me with your 'to-do' list in the comments if you have the time and inclination - I'm hoping at least ONE of you will mention something about emus. It's time for a good emu story, I think.

Tiff out.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

12 minutes

It's 'make up dinner as you go' night at the Tiny House, which might result in something fantabulous or might results in something along the lines of 'I hope I don't remember how I made that'; only time will tell.

But there's ham and onions involved, so it won't be totally terrible.

I think this is the fourth complete meal I've made off one Easter ham, and there's still a terrifying amount of meat left on the the bone to go. Easily enough for a few hefty sammiches or another entire meal for 4.

Then there's the bone. This one, I might just chuck, as it was 100 freaking degrees here today, which in NO WAY equates to pea soup weather, and besides, I have a tub of it in the freezer from a couple of months ago I've not yet thawed and supped upon, so what's the point of making more?

It's bad enough I'm boiling macaroni right now. The kitchen heats up like MAD with the new Maserati of stoves doing the cooking. Simmering a pot of liquid love (AKA pea soup) for hours would be waaay too much.

Also - Eric the cat is a champion shedder. Are there medals for that? There should be. He would totally win one. Or all of them. Day after day I leave for work in the morning and the living room floor is reasonably hair-free, and by 5:30 there's a clumpy mess of orange hair left thereupon. The culprit can ONLY be Eric. It's a darned good thing he's utterly adorable, or he'd be out on his ear by nightfall.

Funny, I feel the same way about the Things on occasion (anyone else with teenagers care to explain to me how they fail, time after time, to PUT AWAY THEIR DAGGONE CEREAL BOWLS WHEN THEY"RE DONE WITH THEM??). When they were sub-double-digit ages I was OK with telling them how to live like regular folks, but things have devolved to the point that I despair of them ever being able to eat a meal without me saying 'BITE SIZED PIECES' or "MOUTH CLOSED' or 'DON'T TIP YOUR CHAIR' or any one of a number of motherly aphorisms with which I spice our dinner conversation.

I hope it's not just us, or them, or me. They can't be the only semi-domesticated teens in the world, can they?

Tell me all about it in the comments. I must dash - pasta's done!

Tiff out.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Its'a new post! 'Oooray!

Partied like big dawgs Saturday night at the Bela Fleck concert. Our seats were so good!


The basic math behind out limited seats choice is as follows: General admission + arriving 45 minutes after the gate opens = big wall of SUCK for seating. My view, out there on the vast swathe of grassland that is the 'open-air' seating, was of a garbage can. GLAMOUR! Seriously, that was the best we could get, being unfamiliar with the arrangement of the place and where to snag a good view (hint - on the mulch mound surrounding a tree is good. It's all about the elevation).

HOWEVER, one does not go to a Bela Fleck concert to see the awesome pyrotechnics or the back-up dancers, so the occasional 'stand up and gawk' plan worked fine for viewing opportunities. The rest of the time we just listened, and relaxed. The lawn has its benefits, and the stretching out is one of them. Who wants to be stuck on the concrete risers that are the expensive seats when one can (arrive early), pick a good spot, and LAY DOWN? Nobody, would be my answer.

Thing 1 embraced the lying down, and the star gazing. And the wandering around. I think the last one was his favorite.

Thing 2 was more concerned about the picnic basket, and what might be next in its capacious depths. Also, some walking around. He's only just 14 - large crowds don't hold the thrill that they do for an almost-16-year-old. Thing 2'd rather hang out, snack, and chill.

Biff spent the latter part of the show hanging out in the crowd as well, standing up and getting his gawk on at Victor Wooten, one of his small gods. I have to say, as bass players go, the dude can bring it. I can't appreciate him as much as Biff can, but even I, as uneducated in Things Bass as I am, can tell that he's got magic in his fingers. That, or he's got 8 fingers on each hand and is a freak of nature.

Either way, it was fun to listen to.


Thing 1 is out of school for the summer. He is 15, and has no plans.

I don't remember what that was like, though I would like to.

He should enjoy this last summer of total freedom, as the Time of Pure FOlly is rapidly coming ot a close for the boy. I've made him promise me that starting next school year he will join Key Club at school, which, if they're any good, will, along with band and TKD, keep him hopping busy for the year. Next summer it's JOB TIME, so this is the last of the endless summers.

So, I'm buying them each a season pass to the town pool, and will encourage them to spend a fair amount of time 'wandering' the neighborhood. As teenage boys of unusual size, they should be fine walking downtown for hotdogs at Shorty's or taking themselves to the pool or meandering to friends' houses.

Yep - time for him, in particular, to grow up a little more, is what I'm thinking, while the mother I was 10 years ago is hollering in anguish that he's already too grown up and DON'T LET HIM GO!

But I have to. They need to flex them wings a little, before their butts grow into those gaming seats in their room. I swear, if I didn't MAKE them stand up from time to time the only reason they'd get up and walk is when they have to pee.

And even then I'm not so sure they wouldn't find a new use for milk jugs.


Well, it's off to the store for me. We're running low on wine, speaking of milk jugs...

I hope y'all are thriving where you're planted, and that each little hair on your adorable heads is a shiny indicator of a healthy digestive tract.

Tiff out.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Snips and snails and the whatnot

Firstly, because I am a lover of the astronomical sciences, though very much a dilettante in scope of knowledge, I present you with this:

Yes, it's 8 minutes long. Believe me, you do, honestly, have 8 minutes somewhere in your day to turn on the speakers and marvel. Get the whole family in on the game! They can get as motion sick as you do! See who can last the longest without needing a peppermint!

And don't forget to MARVEL.


Secondly, a vignette. I just returned from a trip to the fabulous Youngsville Food Lion, which I rather like as it's new and a good size and still has the Food Lion prices (CHEAP!).

But that is not blogworthy.

What is notable though, and I'll get to it eventually, is what was said to me in the store. Setup: there was a couple also at the store, a Mom and her daughter, actually. Mom was a white-ponytailed lady of indeterminate age, daughter was a gray-haired, overall-wearing, semitoothless woman, also of indeterminate age. As often happens, we three perambulated the aisles mostly together. It was clear that daughter was sort of 'dependent' on Mom. Not terribly so, but the vibe was there.

At one point, I slipped in behind daughter to go down the chips aisle while Mom was still examining deals on Cheetos at the endcap. Daughter turned around suddenly, thinking I was her Mom, and said 'Oh! You're not Mommy. I was expecting her.'

I felt sad for a moment, and just as I was about to try to help her, she said: 'I wouldn't like to think I'm nearly old enough to have a daughter as old as you.'


Thanks, shiny shirt-wearin' shorty overall-sportin', gray crewcut-havin' toothless wonder of Franklin County - you totally just harshed my buzz.

Go find your own mom.


Tonight it's pizza night, as it should be. It's also 'lay around and be lazy night,' which is also as it should be. I love Friday nights. Best night of the week, because Saturday mornings at the Tiny House usually mean a whole lot of nothing is going on. Me and the nothing are tight. If left to my own devices, I will hang out with nothing a lot. Nothing is as easygoing as Nothing.

Tomorrow, however, promises to see my weekly date with Nothing cancelled, as we will be 1) picking up the pottery we painted last week (a hike down Six Forks road, so round-tip will be at least 90 mins), 2) taking Thing 2 to a pool party in the afternoon (yet another chauffeuring opportunity! joy!), 3) going to a Bela Fleck and the Flecktones concert tomorrow night at the Art Museum, which is way the heck on the other side of Raleigh but thankfully starts at 8 (be there by 7!). Thankfully, the actual rush-around time is minimal, but the day is full. With that kind of schedule, it's clear my weekly date with Nothing will have to be cancelled. Oy, my life. Such hardship.


Also - Yahoo, could you please put someone on the job updating the comics page? It's been since TUESDAY since I've seen a new chuckle-worthy strip! Unacceptable! I so totally need to know what Seth and Fernanda are doing in 9 Chickweed Lane, and the hijinks Dilbert and the gang are up to! Not to mention Frazz, For Better or for Worse, and Get Fuzzy. Without that 5-minute humor update in the morning, the day just doesn't get going properly.

So, get snappy. FIX ME UP.


I hope y'all have an enjoyable weekend, with plenty of time for nothing and lots of time to do what you want to when Nothing isn't an option.

Tiff out.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

some thoughts

Some news makes me angrier than other news. The farm report and anything related to puppies is OK, the rest often engenders a dangerous uptick in seething. Unfortunately, I listened to and read the news today. Thus, I am angry, to wit:

People who kidnap a young girl and keep her hostage for 18 years should get prison. CLEARLY. However, why stop at just prison? Why three hots and a cot, when there's so much MORE that could be done for them? For people who do such things, I propose a special kind of prison, which includes these fun activities:

  • live in a tent
  • have to poop in a 5-gallon bucket
  • no teevee
  • no radio
  • muzzles for all!
  • access to your intimate body bits whenever
  • and plenty o' brainwashing.

Seems fair, as that's what people who kidnap young girls usually do with them. Unless they keep her in their basement and father children with them, in which case liberal applications of darkness and unwanted physical advances should be added to the menu, but please keep the brainwashing, as that seems to be a constant.

At the risk of stating the BLATANTLY obvious, this menu of woe goes for people who kidnap young boys too. I have no tolerance for any of them. They are the worst kind of thieves, except those who kidnap then kill. Those people, the kidnappers and murderers, have a truly unique place in my heart, but because that is a very terrible place (but just that one tinysliver! I promise!) indeed I won't share with you what I think should happen to THOSE people once they are made a guest of the state (or country).

Corollary: anyone who kills their own child and shows knowledge of having done it should be taken behind the barn and shot. Or drowned, slowly, in a bucket of pig pee. Or hung out to dry in the vicious Carolina summer sun, without benefit of SPF ANYTHING. These are people for whom I've given up hope, which I KNOW is against my faith as I should always look for the good n' love my neighbor n' seek to turn the hearts of men n' such, but at this point in my Godly walk I can only remember to seethe, and imagine dreadful things happening to them that might, maybe, equal the suffering through which they put their children.

Note: I keep the insane out of this. I have done insane things - and later looked back on them and wondered who that person was that did those things, and was appalled that even in the midst of terrific distress and heartache I could have even considered doing those things, much less done them at all, but I did, and so must pardon those who do other ill-advised things. However, I pretty much stopped short of murder, though I can't discount that people have made me mad enough to wish them dead. Stopping short is a great distiguisher between the truly mad and the very stressed, is my thinking.

Why are some people so wicked? What pushes them to such depths of despair? How horrible have their lives been to think that violence, thievery, kidnapping, execution, was the BEST way to behave?

For all that hurt, I'm sorry - to the victims and perpetrators alike. Doesn't stop me from wanting to somehow make the perp take the walk their victims took, for as long as they took it and in a much similar way.

Me and the Old Testament, in this we are alike. Every day I'm trying to crack into the bit after Psalms as the model of how I should live, but it's a tough row, darlins'. The urge for revenge (or is it justice?) runs deeeeep.

This post brought to you by me being sick of people being evil to each other. I know it's not original, or even very well spelled out, and I don't' care. Sometimes it's just a big ol' serving of warm chopped vitriol here, served with a side of bile.

Mmmmm, bile.

The End.


picture link here