Time for some new Craigslist nuggets.

I can’t help perusing. At least I can say I am not shopping for iPod nanos at the moment. Right now I’m looking for free pets. Not because I want one or intend to get one. Just because.


Maybe I do it because my other alternative is to watch a full-length documentary film about Sushi. Yes. You read that right. When I went upstairs and told AG it was lights out time, I said, “Daddy is watching a show about sushi.” His reply was, “Daddy watches awkward TV.”

Amen, son. Amen.

Anyway, so I started shopping. Here is a listing from the Pets section of Craigslist:

Hello this is Blue the bunny rabbit. We are finding him a home where he can be loved on and played with alot more than what he does now. He is a very sweet rabbit but needs the love and attention. I already have a male bunny rabbit and 2 males do not get along. So Blue will come with his cage, food bowl, and water bowl. I will also throw in a ziploc bag of food and some rabbit treats. There is a rehome fee of $50 and that includes everything I have listed. If anyone is interested please email me or call me at 8136446455. He will be a great pet for a child or just someone who loves bunny rabbits. Not for food.

This one made me laugh. I have a few comments:

  1. It is a LOT…not ALOT. Please, bunny rabbit owner and world at large…PLEASE hear me on this one. Alot is not a word. When you are saying a lot, you are saying a LOT, which is a group of items. OK? OK. Pheww.
  2. Is anyone else disturbed by the frequent use of the term “Bunny Rabbit” here? It’s very unnatural. I felt stuck in a really terrible family-oriented, low-budget cartoon that was designed to teach tooth-brushing habits.
  3. Rehome fee. What in the world is this really? I see it all the time. Call it what you will, it’s a PURCHASE PRICE. You can’t live with yourself if you sell your pet? Does the term “rehome” help you sleep at night?
  4. Not for food. That one made me laugh.

And here’s one I didn’t understand:

sexty cute doggie stroller…zebra (holiday)

used three times nice stroller…call ___________________

Is there such a thing as a sexty stroller or was that supposed to be sexy? Dog strollers are not sexy. They are stupid. So I am going to just assume that sexty is a word that means “weird.”

And then there’s THIS one:

Boa Collection (St.Pete)

I have several boas I am looking to rehome. It is not about the money however I am just wanting to pick up a different hobby.
Email for pictures.

There’s that rehome word again. It’s not about the money. Yeah, I’ll be it’s not. It’s about finally getting a real night’s sleep once the COLLECTION of life-squeezing vipers is gone. This dude is just looking to “pick up a different hobby” that can’t swallow his head whole.

Dude, try racquetball.

Brains that don’t work normally

I have problems processing information through certain filters. Most people have a “that’s insane” filter that I struggle with. Even when a person who DOES have the insanity filter points out my own insanity, I still struggle to accept, or even recognize, what they are saying is insane.

Let’s set that aside for a moment.

I’ve been trying to lose 2oish pounds for 6 years now. Beloved came along and I gained the typical 18-25 pounds. Just as I was killing my gum-chewing habit and getting back on track, I found out there was going to be a fourth child. Beloved was bald headed and 9.5 months old when this news came. So I added the typical 18-25 baby pounds to the never-lost other baby pounds. And now I’ve just grown used to the whole thing.

I’ve had some minor successes over the years. These have become trapped under the more significant failures. I did well while on vacation a few weeks ago. But then I came home and ate Twinkies (stop judging) and Pringles (you love Pringles. You know you do.), as if I was trying to gain 8 pounds for a movie role.

But now, a new day is dawning. A day without Twinkies. A day where the Pringles are reserved for the children only. A day where water is imbibed.

And, a day with a long bike ride. 12 miles. I know that in the world of extreme sports, 12 miles is not a long ride. But when you’ve been living a Twinkie-laced lifestyle, a person with an insanity filter might question starting out at 12 miles. I have been questioned by the Informinator already. Her insanity filter works very well.  She didn’t actually tell me it was crazy. She just asked the question. Are you sure? Should you work up to? Do you know what you’re doing? Yes. No. Yes.


If I live through it, I’ll write later. If I don’t live through it, this will be a very awkward final blog.

I love everyone.

You guys are great.

All 18 of you.

Love Jesus. Live right. Wear a helmet.

When chickens are left to their own devices.

I know he’s my kid and all and I’m sure this is just me, but I can’t stop cracking up at the triangle thing. You had to be there. Really.

I should be exercising right now. Or cleaning. Or doing laundry. But I’m not. Stop judging me. You aren’t doing those things either. You’re on your computer. We are the same. Except that you probably don’t have Price is Right going in the background. It’s embarrassing.

Anyway. Last night I came home from playing Trivia with some friends and wrote a blog. Then, in a moment of realization, my eyes got suddenly large as I looked up from my laptop and said to the husband, “Did anyone put the chickens away?” That was a stupid question. (There really IS such a thing as a dumb question.) No one puts the chickens up except for me. AG will put them away if I mention it. Beloved will, too. No one else cares about the chickens. So, of course, his answer to my panicked question was, “No.”

It was 10:15 and the chickens were still at large. So I donned the rubber boots, grabbed a flashlight, and went out into the night. It wasn’t long before T was out there, too.

As I started this process, I wondered to myself if the chickens might possibly put themselves to bed. The door was open to the coop. Might they just go in and get settled?

Nope. They are way too dumb for that.

Instead, four of them were 4 feet from the open coop door, huddled on top of the bunny hutch. Good grief. Come here, ladies. So, one by one, I picked them up and put them in the coop. But there were only four there. I was missing two chickens.

I was just slightly concerned when I started my search. I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as I went, though, because the missing hens were not in the usual places. I looked under the deck. Nothing there. I looked under the sycamore trees in the side yard. No chickens.

Shoot. This was my fault. I should have told the boys to put them to bed before going to bed themselves. I scratched my head and looked around again. Then I did a sweep with my flashlight. It landed on something. It was Goldilocks, perched very uncomfortably on the edge of a wire fence.  She bocked at me. It was a cry for help. Was she going to sleep there all night? I have no idea. I put the flashlight in my mouth and picked her up to carry her back to the coop. She was clearly relieved and said so as I set her on her perch with her 4 little friends.

There was still one missing. I stood inside the coop in the darkness, counting them over and over, hoping maybe I had miscounted or that one had just wandered in while I was occupied. We still had just the five. I started noticing all the feathers on the ground inside the open coop.

“Do you think something already got her?” I asked Todd.

“I don’t know,” he replied. “That IS a lot of feathers.” As we stood there together, deciding what to do next, there came a kerfuffle above us.



There on the ground was the missing chicken. We stared at this scene like you might stare if a chicken fell out of a space ship. It really was that strange.

We really don’t know where she fell from. Maybe the roof of the coop. Maybe a tree.

I made a fairly strong mental note not to forget the chickens anymore. I better get some eggs out of this deal.

There’s no such thing as a dumb question.

Unless it is the one Mama’s Boy had to answer on his math homework this afternoon. Let me preface this by saying this: I love our school, our teachers, our administrators, and all things pertaining to all of the above. This post is directed at some dude named Bill that wrote this question on that particular day.

I was wearing rubber boots and standing in four inches of mud with a solo cup full of chicken mash in one hand when Mama’s Boy opened the back door and called out to me. He never just calls out. It is never a calm, stable, “Hey, Mom! When you have a second, I need to ask you something about my homework.” It is never that.


He skips 19 stages to go from Hmm to despair. I can’t seem to talk him out of  all of that. So I diffuse when I can. When the door swung open this afternoon he spewed out an entire paragraph about how horribly hard this one question was before I could even respond to my own name. All I could say was that I’d be in after I liberated the chickens, who had been pent up too long from storms.

I went in. He was grueling over this one question.

To just bring you into the scene, I will post the picture I took of the question.

This is the THINK SOLVE EXPLAIN question. So, let’s look at this together. She cuts the square into two triangles. And Mama’s Boy has to explain how he knows they are two triangles.

There’s only one answer to that.

Because they are.

Because they are triangles. What do you mean, explain how you know? You just know. A triangle is a triangle. Red is red. Keens are awesome. Annie Lennox is the best female pop star of all time.

Well, clearly Mama’s Boy needed more than my boneheaded answer. Cuz. That’s what I said. Just cuz. That’s why. When that wasn’t going to cut it, I turned to the next logical source of information: Google. Let’s get the definition of triangle and explain it that way. How do we know it’s a triangle? Well, because it is a shape comprised of three angles. TRI angle. There, boy. Feel better? Say that.

He was staring at me. Blankly. A long pause passed between us before he finally said,”Why can’t I just write what I was going to write?”

Well, you can. Of course you can. For some reason, I got the impression you were desperately soliciting my help. Perhaps I misunderstood the spewing at the back door. No matter, boy. Go for it.

After that, I put back on my rubber boots and returned to the chickens.

Hours and hours passed and I found myself thinking back to today’s homework scene. I had just sat in on Trivia Night at Gator’s with a group of seriously smart pals and enjoyed a slamming first place victory. And all the brain juice flowing at that table (none of it mine) made me wonder what exactly the boy had said to explain how he knew that Maureen was dealing with two triangles. So when I got home, I pulled out his homework.

Well, duh, Bill. (that’s the dude that wrote this assignment…) Because each side has a big point.

I can’t wait to see what Maureen needs us to explain for her tomorrow.

Seriously. What are the odds?

This news story made me laugh. For the sake of one bear and a freaked out traveler, I probably shouldn’t laugh. But I did. Now you know what kind of a person I really am.

Man Swerves to Miss Moose and Hits Bear

(Newser) – An unlucky Norwegian man driving on a country road at night swerved around a moose in the road only to hit an even unluckier bear. Wildlife officials say the bear, one of only around 150 in the country, was injured in the crash, Reuters reports. They have found traces of blood indicating internal injuries and are trying to track the wounded animal. The car was damaged in the collision but the driver—and the moose—were unharmed.

What are the odds of you swerving to avoid a moose only to hit one of the 150 bears in the entire country?

That sounds like something I’d do.
If only I were brave enough to drive in the Norwegian mountains.
Or rich enough to fly across the pond.

Random Summer Advice

If you don’t like Skittles, you may not want to borrow your daughter’s Skittles 2-in-1 shampoo. It smells like Skittles. You will be wearing Skittles on your head. The good news is that one chlorine bath takes you right back to your pre-skittled hair. I much prefer the smell of summer bleach.

If you are me, you will attract the strangest people on the beach. They will come to you and sit down by you and engage you in strange, strange conversations. And they will not leave. For 5 days.

Since you are not me, because I am me, this will not likely happen to you. But if you are you, and you like strange people and conversations, you can hang out with me and then it will be like you are me. Except at the end of the day you can go home and be you. And that might be better.

I know how to pack a summer. I packed this one full of awesomeness. I am thankful.

I have learned a whole lot about what’s important in the last few weeks. Sometimes life seems normal and nonchalant. And while it might go smoothly some of the time, it is never something to just be passed through. It’s urgent that I focus on the right things. Always. Because at any given point, the normal nonchalantness might become a thing I don’t recognize. I can’t afford to be shuffling along in my flip-flops watching Spongebob. And not that this solves everything, but I have decided to memorize the book of Colossians. There’s so much good stuff in there about how I need to live and about my Savior. I decided to go backwards. Memorizing from back to front. It’s a little awkward because I’m currently memorizing the last half of chapter 4. It’s all the closing stuff. But I think I’m going to be able to retain it better this way. At any rate, I am determined not to get off track this year.

This is my year. It may not be perfect. It may not be pretty. But for as many days as I have this year, I’m living them. And I’m going to give it my best.

To do this, I will continue memorizing. I have a goal of running in town (remember…people do not run in the country) or hitting the gym while the kids are in school. I’m going to work my tail off at the kids’ school and have loved every minute of that so far. I really never thought I’d be that person, but I am now that person. I’m going to keep the house clean and cook like I’m not a poser.

And also, because it’s important…I will buy some adult shampoo.

Because if you get all the other stuff right, and you smell like a Skittle, you still have a problem.


Do you subscribe, as I do, to one million discount sites that offer bowling deals you will never use and online scrapbook coupons you will never redeem? I don’t know why I do this. I must promise myself not to buy another one until I have bowled the old ones, laser tagged myself out, and bought the cool new forks I just got a deal for. If I buy the forks first, I can take them bowling with me. That would be fun for everyone. And the forks bowl free.


In a world that doesn’t always protect us from the ugly stuff, do I really want to pay $147 for two days (16 hours) of scuba diving classes? Do I? I’m looking at the deal and wondering: Can they guarantee my safety?

I love the water. Love it. I grew up spending my summers at a private beach where there were no obnoxious college parties, not that many flailing, over-tanned body parts that I didn’t want to see, and a bunch of friends and family that were always there when I was. I loved water skiing, fishing, swimming, and splashing around. ABOVE the surface of the water and in water that was less than 6 feet deep. I distinctly remember being out in the Gulf with my friend one afternoon with those old canvas rafts that had rope strings attached. We were sharing a raft and drifting along in a relaxed manner. When we looked back to shore, we were so far out you could hardly see it. We were 13. So we both grabbed the rope and went under to see if we could go down and touch bottom. Nope. No bottom touching there. We were in over our heads. And we didn’t like it.The water wasn’t the clear blue-green of Panama City fame. It was dark brown, due to a natural reef out a couple of miles. You couldn’t see anything. Anything could have been lurking there. So we got on one side of the raft together and we kicked until we could kick no more. Until we were back in water we recognized. Until our toes skimmed a sandy bottom.


I didn’t often do that. I didn’t often allow myself to drift beyond the point of safety. I don’t prefer dark and murky places. So when I opened my email this morning to find that Eversave had offered my 16 hours of scuba diving classes for $147, I thought that over for a moment. They say, “Come, explore an underwater frontier. Adventure with us! Bring your own equipment or rent ours! We’ll teach you. We’ll certify you. At the end of this, you’ll have fins and gills and grins and thrills.”

I say: Can you guarantee my safety?

A REAL offer would include an armored wet suit. A wet suit that when touched by a tooth’s enamel immediately springs forth with sharp killing spikes. My Safety Guarantee Suit would be triggered by tooth enamel, with several panic buttons strategically placed, and would automatically kill anything in the shark, whale, or giant squid family.

Why hasn’t anyone thought this up? My blog is my patent. Don’t you dare try to develop the Safety Suit. It’s trademarked already.

In a world where there are no guarantees, my suit is an extra layer of Stay Out of My Face.

But if you dive with me, don’t get cutesie and try to bite my arm. That’s instant death, my friends. The suit does not discriminate.

I cannot guarantee your safety.

Back to school

Oh my.
There are a lot of things and situations and injustices and states (Louisiana) that I hate. I am often quite verbal about these things. But there is little that I detest more than the Back-to-School shopping trip. Two columns of supplies for each kid. Three kids. That’s SIX COLUMNS of supplies. To make it MORE challenging, since SIX COLUMNS is not challenging enough, I had to go to a new Walmart for my new country locale.

I programmed into my smart phone GPS that I needed the closest Walmart. It began to route me to it, speaking to me as it went. It was almost like having a flat little companion on my shopping trip with me. But then–a call came in. Someone I hadn’t talked to in awhile. I answered. Now what? I was going to end up lost. And then, as the drops of confused sweat poured off my brow, my phone whispered something to me. In .5 miles, turn left on County Road 579. Aha! She speaks to me softly even when I am speaking softly to someone else. Rock on!

I got a little off track. Back to the Back-to-School shopping. When you walk into a store for this yearly shopping trip, there are bins and folders and sales and paper and scissors and rocks. I’m supposed to get centimeter graph paper, but the package doesn’t say what size it is. Should I be able to eyeball a little block and just KNOW that’s a centimeter? Well, I couldn’t do that, so I located a ruler, which I needed to purchase anyway and measured that sucker. Seemed like a centimeter to me.

I understand the bins and sales and groupings and all of that. But they do not understand that I am buying for 3 or 4 kids in a pop. So if I were Sam Walton or his great nephew, and if I were going to open a store that sold Back-to-School supplies, I would get rid of all the fluorescent lighting and massive amounts of colored bins. So many choices! I would put in a few 25-watt lamps. And I would pipe in some classical guitar music and have a couple of coolers at end caps where back to school shoppers could share a tasty beverage. Occasionally, I would have a nice person wander by to say nice things to the shopper…things like: Hey, good job on all your shopping. Looks like you are really making progress. Or maybe they could compliment the shopper’s outfit or something. Maybe even place a few people in my store who could assist the weary shopper.

But probably if I really, really, really loathe the Back-to-School shopping session (and I do), it’s not likely I’m going to want to open a store that partakes in such. Maybe I should open a massage parlor next door and offer specials to the glazed eyed mothers that exit the school stores with a cart full o’ chaos.

It’s not really called a massage parlor, is it?

I’m skating tomorrow night. You can stick that in your quidditch broom and smoke it.

I’m here to fill you in on things you don’t know…

And here they are:

If you make plans to be gone from home for 22 days straight, do not leave a half-full bag of red potatoes in your pantry with your air turned up to 80. Just don’t.
I am so dead serious about this.

If the above scenario does indeed occur, just go ahead and set your pantry on fire, stand aside with the fire extinguisher, and never eat another thing that was near those potatoes.
I hope you are really paying attention…

Before you pass the night, 12-6 a.m. might possibly seem like a short six hours. When one kid wakes up wailing at 12:30, 6 a.m. is like the Hope Diamond: you can’t afford it, you’ll never see it, and you should give up completely.

Hugo is a good, calming movie choice for 3:30 a.m. The children will go back to sleep after watching it.

Taking 14 naps that are 15-18 minutes each is not as satisfying as a 6 hour stretch in your bed. This one is free of charge.

Todd is probably the biggest trooper ever. I’ve never seen someone rock a 19 hour trip like he did. I drove for maybe 2 hours.

Kicking your dashboard many times can sometimes cause your AC to start running again in your car. Your feet will smart from the kicking, but that’s a heap better than sitting gamey in 19-hour-old jeans. Jeans.

Don’t wear jeans on a 19-hour road trip in August. How dumb can you be?

Louisiana is a whole lot easier to take when there are only 5 other cars on the road. I mean a WHOLE lot easier. In fact, this is the first trip EVER where I didn’t suffer in this state on either leg of the trip. We must have snuck by them because it was dark and rainy.

This is boring.

Don’t try to go to subway after driving all night. The toppings appear blurry and become very confusing. Also, the subway sandwich artist will not understand why you are so dumb.

If you leave an exhausted child alone in a room, you might come back in to find a scene like this one…

That was 5:10 p.m. I carried her to bed. We’ll see how that goes…

Another fantastic adventure carried through safely with God’s help. I have pretty much only kind things to say about the short people in the car, too.

More stories at another time. If I can’t order a proper sandwich, I shouldn’t try to regale you with stories from the road. You can thank me later. Or now.