Sunday, July 26, 2009

I think I need a new purse

Well, I've been thinking for a while that I need a new purse. Maybe need isn't the right word, but I am tired of the purses that I have. It might be time to spice things up. A girl needs a new accessory. But, as I early moaned about, my car was only just repaired and the wallet is feeling a little light right now. So, maybe a responsible person would make due with her old purse. Since there really isn't anything wrong with it. Except that it is boring. (I'm borrowing that term from my daughter and most other children I've encountered around her age. It seems that everything that isn't meeting current expectations is BORING! So, my purse is boring.)
Anyway, having resigned myself to deal with the boring purse and be grateful that I have a car that is operational, I headed out this weekend to a Royals game with the entire family. My parents and my sister's family came along, too. Lucky for me, I got to sit on the end of our crew and no one seemed to need my attention. Like always, I packed a book in my purse. I always do this because you never know when the reading gods will shine down upon me and allow me a few minutes to read a book. And during the Royals game the gods shone down upon me. I think I spent innings 1 through 7 mostly engrossed in my book. (I'm reading Getting Warmer by Carol Snow and quite enjoying it.)
But, back to my purse. once I had pulled out my book, I set my purse on the seat next to me with it sitting open in case I needed something. I heard some screeching coming from a couple of rows in front of us and looked up. After watching some crazy flailing about, I realized that the crowd was actively avoiding contact with a bee. And that bee was headed in my direction. Remain calm, I told myself. The bee is not coming for me. My eyes darted all around trying desperately to locate the little stinger. Then, I spotted it. And it was headed straight for me. Of course. I attempted to summon up my acting skills and look like a mean wasp, which must have been somewhat effective because the bee veered left and landed in my purse. GREAT! I watched in horror as the bee burrowed further down into my purse, which was pretty much crammed to bursting as it was. Locating a stow-away bee was not going to be easy. But surely, the bee will realize that there are no flowers in my purse and head out. Right? Wrong.
Now for this problem, I blame Bath and Body Works and their flower scented lotions and hand sanitizers. They threw my bee off track and he was burrowing toward them. I watched my purse for several minutes before calling in reinforcements. B was forced to climb over Savannah and me to get face to face with my purse and carefully start evacuation procedures. Lucky for me, the bee was found and peacefully removed. I am a fan of bees and their pollinating ways, so I wasn't hoping for bee homicide, just eviction. And the mission was successful. But, now I was thinking that maybe I should go looking for a new purse. Maybe one that contains some sort of bee repellent. My current purse is yellow and may resemble a honeycomb a bit too closely.
Then, came today. And an awesome purse sale at JCPenney. They had some really cute bags marked down to less than $20! But, I called upon my inner will power, and put them all down.
And picked them back up.
Then put them back down.
And walked away.
I returned to my parent's house for our weekly Sunday family dinner and enjoyed an evening with the fam. Then I started working on rounding up the kids. They found their shoes and I grabbed up my purse and a shopping bag. I walked into the kitchen where my sister informed me that it looked like there might be some dog poop on the bottom of my bag. I cringed. First of all, I may have carried a dog poop bag all throughout the mall. Second, this may be ballpark spill debris that I may have been toting around for a full 24 hours now. I didn't look at my purse and thankfully, my mom came over with a wet towel to help me out. I looked out into the living room where my purse was sitting on the floor and discovered that I had set my purse down in a pile of dog vomit.
Yes, that's right, dog vomit.
I think that clinches it. The universe is sending me a sign. It is time for a new purse.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My car is broken. And it may be out to get me.

And I am not happy about it. I drive a very cute vanilla ice cream colored PT Cruiser and have been having a bit of trouble with it over heating recently. I've had it in the shop only to learn that they could find nothing wrong with it and the darn thing. It wouldn't overheat for the mechanic once. Over a 4 day period. With the mechanic running it ragged trying to force it to react badly. Nope. Nothing. So, I take the car back home with me and have nothing go wrong for almost 2 weeks. Then, yesterday, the car decided it was mad at me again and started to run hot. Out of the blue. So, after all male family members looked at the engine and concluded that things were not good. Somehow, my car had been hiding a vicious leak of antifreeze. I was told that I could "probably" make it home. (Home is a 40 minute drive away across barren farm fields with no one to help me once I'm broken down on the side of the road but a serial killer truck driver). "Really? Do you really think it's ok for me to drive home?" I ask. "Well, you will probably make it. It may break down. Your engine may burst into flames or fall out all together. But, just be careful," was the reassurance that I received. So, I buckled the kids in the backseat and off we went. Sweat beads formed across my forehead before we reached the end of the driveway. My fingerprints are now permanently embedded into the steering wheel. But, thankfully, I made it home. Whew!
So, this morning, the PT Cruiser went back into the shop. And this time it didn't hide it's illness. Nope. It has major problems. The mechanic called to inform me that the water pump needs to be replaced. $$ And the timing belt. $$$ And the entire engine must be dismantled to reach these parts, so 9 hours of labor $$$$$$$$$. At this point I was feeling woozy and had to lie down. Damn cars. I'm going shopping for a horse tomorrow. I'm not kidding.
After I received the news that I would soon be facing financial annihilation, I decided that taking the day off of work was probably not a good idea. So, I had to hop into our jalopy. (FYI, B and I work opposite shifts, and use the fuel efficient car for commuting, while our SUV or jalopy, as I like to call it, sits idle unless we have a major snowstorm requiring the use of 4WD at the rate of 2 miles per gallon) So, the jalopy has been facing it's own set of challenges lately, mostly in the form of recurring flat tires. It is currently operating on 3 regular tires and 1 spare. I had to drive 40 minutes to work like this. Going 50 mph in a 60 mph zone. With a giant semi approximately 3 cm from my rear bumper and what I think might have been his middle finger waving at me. I smiled and returned the greeting.
So, at the end of the day, I have learned that cars suck, and horses rule. I'm currently shopping on eBay for a new set of riding pants and a saddle. Which look do you think is more me?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pretty in Fluorescent

Well, I finally finished reading Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster. Jen, your books are so fun to read. I remember finding Jen's first book, Bright Lights Big Ass, and once I read it I had to have more. Seriously, if you haven't read her books, you need to. They are all laugh out loud funny. And if you have time, read her blog at
So, I was given Pretty in Plaid for mother's day. Back in May. And I started reading it right away. Now, I'm not sure what has gone on in the world, but the days do not contain enough hours. Some of them are being sucked out and I'm not sure where they are going. I am concerned that I might be repeatedly abducted by aliens. Daily. I have not taken this long to finish a book in a very long time. And it was a book that I never wanted to put down. But for my own (and everyone else's) safety I had to. Two hours of sleep a night puts my own life and the lives of the general public at great risk. I drive a very boring 45 minute commute each day. My car doesn't have cruise control for a reason. No cruise = no snooze. (most of the time)
But, the book was hilarious, as expected. So, in the spirit of Pretty in Plaid, I am posting my own wardrobe inspired childhood story.

I was in the second grade and discovering the joys of fashion. Fluorescent shirts were all the rage and I had several, thanks to a mother who loved to sew. So, it was a Friday and on Friday's we were allowed to choose a record to bring into school to listen to at the end of the day. I think I was the very last kid on the list and I was so eagerly awaiting my moment of musical glory. Every Friday for the entire year, every girl in our class had brought in the song "Mickey" by Blondie. And, every Friday everyone cheered for the song choice. I had waited almost half of the school year to show my classmates that I was as cool as everyone else and woke up that morning with a spring in my step. I couldn't wait for everyone in the second grade to see that I was super cool. And to illustrate my super-cool status, I carefully chose my outfit for the day. Jeans paired with a top to stop traffic. White turtleneck under an adorable duck print blouse (collar popped) under a bright yellow fluorescent sweatshirt. Oh, yes, the entire second grade would be bowing at my feet by the end of the day. This was going to be the best Friday ever.
So, I set off for school in my fabulous outfit with my Blondie record under my arm and a big smile on my face. I was standing in line before school started when someone asked, "who's bringing in music today?" I remained silent, but felt the exhilaration of anticipation building inside of me. Best day ever was happening now. I made it into school, possibly floating, and sat in my seat. Things went smoothly until it was time for gym class. Gym class always allowed us to mill around a chat with each other while things were set up. Nick, the coolest boy in the class (who also possessed a real streak of evil) came over to me. "Hey, Shanon, why do you have 3 shirts on?" "Um, because it's cool," I responded. I was already sensing a change in my days greatness. Stupid Nick had now brought negative attention to my triple shirt decision. Some of the other kids started laughing. "What are you? An Eskimo?" I heard someone say, laughing. "It's not that cold in gym class," another kid muttered. "Why are you wearing 3 shirts?" my friend asked me discretely. "I think I look cool," I seethed at her. "You might be wrong," she tole me. I hate Nick! HATE! If gym class weren't my least favorite class of the day, I would totally chuck a ball at his head. But due to my lack of gym class skills, any ball I chucked in his direction would surely land on the teacher's head instead and result in further humiliation for me. So, I sucked it up and hated him silently. The day continued without further incident, but I resolved never to wear my awesome triple shirt to school again. Finally, the end of the day arrived, and the teacher asked for the record I had brought in. My moment of glory was now going to be restored. I walked to the back of the room and retrieved my Mickey record out of my backpack and proudly walked to the front of the class to hand it over. "What did you bring?" someone asked. I turned around and showed the front of the record. A low groan rolled over the class. "Not that again!" Nick yelled from the back of the room. I turned back to the teacher and handed over my record and went back to my seat. A brief second later, Nick was nothing but a smoldering pile of ash on the floor. I had called upon the Thunderbolt Kid (Bill Bryson's The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid) and he had unleashed his powers upon Nick. Sadly, Nick learned a moment too late, that you do not laugh at Shannon on her triple shirt wearing musical moment of glory day. "Hey, Nickie, you not so fine!"

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Those Crazy Fremont Days!

Well, our past weekend was quite eventful. Fremont, Nebraska (a town about 7 miles to our west) was having their annual John C. Fremont Days. It's an event that I look forward to every year. Mostly for the crafts and black market goods that I can purchase very cheaply. This year I had read in the paper that there was going to be a checkers tournament and an attempt at the Guinness Book of World Records during the Fremont Days. This only sealed the deal of our attendance. The weekend started off Friday evening with a hot air balloon glow. It was really neat. We could have climbed into a couple of the baskets for photo ops, but the kids weren't too keen on the idea of having that enormous flame roaring over their heads. We admired from a distance.
First off I must explain that Myles is a checkers prodigy. He's only ten, but if you are searching for Bobby Fisher to play a game of chess, you will soon be searching for Myles Lacy to play a game of checkers. He is virtually unbeatable within our family and has beaten his friends and teachers as well. So, we decided he was definately entering this tournament. We were excited and certain that a huge jackpot of winnings was coming our way.
Well, upon arriving for the sign up we learned that there weren't very many people interested in playing checkers and that our heaping pile of winnings would only consist of a 5 dollar bill. After about an hour of heated checkers competition, we also learned that our leader had no idea how to eliminate players or separate the winners bracket from the losers bracket. In the end, Myles came in fourth place. I tried to console him, but the loss of the $5 and the certainty of his opponents cheating (they were) were too much. He was angry. So I offered the kid a $5 consolation prize and his mood lifted.
(Savannah worked on a giant jigsaw puzzle during the checkers competition.)

We followed our morning of checkers with an afternoon of shopping at the craft fair and playing games at the kids fair (I hate those things. They never end well.)and eating lunch. Then the sun came out. The temperature had been nice all day, but once that sun made it's appearance the heat went up and our enthusiasm went down. We sat under a tree for some momentary relief while we decided what to do next. The 4 block walk to downtown and our car didn't sound appealing, but we'd run out of options. Then, the universe presented us with a tram. For free! So we hopped aboard and eagerly rode our way downtown to the first tram stop. We could see our car and were all smiles. But, the tram didn't stop. It kept on going. And going. And going. After driving us all the way across town at the break-neck speed of 4 mph and then returning us to our original location (4 blocks from our car) an hour later, we decided our day was over. We would return tomorrow for my attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records and achieve the fame and recognition that has always eluded me.

Ok, the Guinness attempt was for the most people running in high heels. I thought this was funny and had to join in. Realistically, this wasn't going to be my chance at fame, but if I could get into the Guinness Book of World Records, my kids would think I was awesome (at least for an hour or so). Unfortunately, we were short about 180 people. Apparantly there have been a lot of high heel races of late, because the organizer was being informed of the ever increasing number of runners necessary to beat the record each day. We offered to all run backwards to get a new record, but Guinness wasn't interested. And we ran anyway. And I didn't fall down. That should be a record.
We stayed after the run for the parade and the kids had a good time. Then they ate all of their parade candy and enjoyed a crazy sugar rush. Oh, what a weekend!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fred and George Weasley

We have two new pets. They are two tiny little toads. We have named them Fred and George Weasley. They are so tiny and so cute. But, for now, they are living outside of the house due to their need to eat live bugs and my need to live in a house completely free of live bugs.

Mower Man

Myles had long ago declared that his desired profession was that of a mower man. He used to watch the mower truck pull up in front of our house and unload the industrial mowers. He would act out the work of the mower men in exact detail. This included the way they wore their hats and sunglasses. He has an eye for detail. Of course this was back when he was 5 or so. Since, then we have moved and the weekly watching of the mower men has ended. But, this past weekend, he was given the chance to try out the weedwacker. And his love for all things lawn maintenance has been renewed. He quickly learned that those little bits of wacked weeds slamming into your shins feel a little less than pleasant and had to change into jeans, but the kid knew how to make weed-wacking look cool.
And this year's birthday list:
1. His own weed-wacker
2. Baseball cards (his desired profession long ago changed from mower man to professional baseball player)
3. A PSP and games
4. Cash
I tried to explain to him that it isn't nice to ask for cash, but he reasoned that he will have to buy gas for his weed-wacker. True. Cash is back on the list.

The Fabulous Fourth!!

Well, we made it through the fourth of July with all of our fingers in tact. The kids had a lot of fun lighting off fireworks all week long and my wallet is significantly lighter. Did all my disposable cash just go up in smoke? I believe it did. It was also one of the coldest 4th of July's since 1930. And it was drizzling for most of the day. We were all wearing sweatshirts. But we will not be swayed from our desire to blow things up. Our inner pyro's were proud.
Well here's the gang enjoying the holiday...

Savannah really liked the colors the smoke balls left on the sidewalk. I'm pretty sure these colors will remain there until next June.

Myles had designated himself as the official lighter of all fireworks. He put on a great show and all appendages are still intact at the end.

No matter where the fireworks were lit off at, the smoke always made it back into our faces. I should have provided everyone with ventilators.

Myles finally got to snarf down some of Papaw's delicious BBQ ribs. Myles's mouth has been watering for these since the previous 4th of July. mmmmmmmm...Ribs.

The girls all had some fun with sparklers.

In this picture I was able to capture a rare moment of the kids working together without fighting and cleaning up. These are two very rare occurrences lately. Of course, this was 2 days prior to the 4th when I could still threaten them with no more fireworks unless they cleaned up the mess. Right now our front sidewalk is still littered with the remains of approximately 40 million fire crackers. We did get all of the big stuff picked up, but I'm still trying to coerce the kids into sweeping up again. They, I think, are holding out for me to bring out the cash as incentive. Slave labor just don't come cheap anymore.