Saturday, October 25, 2014

Late For Their Own Funeral

Friday morning i figured out how to get Youngest Boy out of bed without a meltdown.  There are two steps.

Step one, don't wake him directly.  Wake the others, with him in earshot.

Step two, make a deal with him.  When i asked him, after waking the others and noticing his eyes were open, if he would please get up, he said he didn't want to get out of bed until his pancakes were ready.  So we made a deal:  when i tell him the food is ready, he will pop right up and come down to eat.  We did a pinky swear on it, and sure enough, when i called up that his plate was ready, he came down without a fuss.

If i end up staying here again to babysit overnight, he and i are going to agree the night before on what will be for breakfast, and that he will pop up and come eat when it is ready, and that i won't call him until it is.

They got to school without a hitch, and i came back to the house and finished cleaning and tidying and the last bits of laundry, dishes, etc.  Then it was a waiting game to see when Ms. P would be home, as i needed to get home to tidy up and repack because it's homecoming weekend at the uni.  That means a stay on campus for all of the festivities.

As i figured, Ms. P ended up being later than she thought.  Much later.  As i told her son, as much as i love her, she's the kind of person who will be late for her own funeral -- he had never heard that one before, but agreed when he finished laughing.  At noon i went to pick up Eldest Boy from his school, get him a lunch, and get him home.  At 2pm i headed out to get the two younger boys.  Then i crawled through "rush hour" traffic to get them back home.  We pulled in just as Ms. P was emptying her vehicle.

Because i was so much later than i expected, Bigger Girl picked up Little Girl from school and the two of them did the shelter -- i hated that they were stuck doing it, but sometimes it is what it is.

By the time i got home and we got packed, Grandpa was already up on the campus waiting for us.  It was a circus getting out of the house, but we finally made it, and checked in to the hotel, and got the stuff from Grandpa that he had brought us, and unloaded and ordered pizza for delivery.  

It's been a crazy couple of days, but at least i don't need to get up early tomorrow and cook -- i get to go down to the dining room and eat what someone else has prepared.  No, i won't let it spoil me.

Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Romania

Blue Ridge Folklife Festival -- Blue Ridge Institute and Museum, Ferrum, VA, US (a large celebration of authentic folkways)

Constitution Day -- Lithuania

Day of the Basque Country -- Basque Country
    Dia del Pais Vasco -- PV, Spain

Emma Crawford Festival and Memorial Coffin Race -- Manitou Springs, CO, US (spooky fun for the whole family)

Feast of Forty Martyrs of England and Wales -- Roman Catholic

Forgiveness Day -- a day to reconcile or forgive, for your own peace of mind; sponsored by Positive Peaceful Partners and the Center of Unconditional Love

Gormanudr -- Old Icelandic Calendar (beginning of "Innards Month," after all the animals have been butchered and fresh innards figure predominantly in the menu, as the rest of the meat has been preserved for winter)

Hijra -- Islam (New Year, began last night at the first viewing of the new moon crescent)

Hogeye Festival -- Elgin, TX, US (Road Hog Car Show, crowning of King Hog and Queen Sowpreme, Cow Patty Bingo, and more!)

International Artist Day -- with a festival this weekend in White Rock, BC, Canada

London Bridge Days -- Lake Havasu City, AZ, US (come celebrate London Bridge, which was disassembled and moved here and put back together, with a parade and festivities; through tomorrow)

Make A Difference Day -- US (Whoopie Goldberg once said that if every American would donate 5 volunteer hours a week, it would be the equivalent of several million full time jobs; whether or not it's strictly accurate, volunteering is a great thing to do no matter where you live)

Munzipan Feast -- Fairy Calendar (a fairy delicacy, and you don't want to know how it's made)

National Greasy Foods Day

Pit Bull Awareness Day -- it's not the breed, it's the owner

Punk-for-a-Day Day -- internet generated; if you've always wanted to be a punk, try it out for a day

Republic Day -- Kazakhstan

Retrocession Day -- Taiwan

Romp in the Swamp Fun Walk -- Appleton, WI, US (plus hayrides, face painting, an outdoor movie, animal shows, a campfire with s'mores, and more)

Scared Silly: Halloween in Prospect Park -- Brooklyn, NY, US (hauntingly good fun all weekend)

Sourest Day -- as a balance, because we have so many days that emphasize sweet

Sts. Crispin and Crispian's Day (Patrons of cobblers/shoemakers, glovemakers, lace makers/lace workers, leather workers, saddle makers, tanners, weavers)

Texas Book Festival -- Austin, TX, US (one of the nation's most prestigious literary festivals, especially celebrating renowned Texas authors; through tomorrow)

Thanksgiving Day -- Grenada

World Beard and Moustache Championships -- Portland, OR, US (check out some of the former competitors here)

World Pasta Day -- as established by the first World Pasta Congress in 1995; a related website is here

Xterra Kapalua Trail Run -- Kapalua, Maui, HI, US (extreme trail runs of 5k and 10k; through tomorrow)

Birthdays Today:

Katy Perry, 1984
Midori, 1971
Tracy Nelson, 1963
Brian Kerwim, 1949
Jon Anderson, 1944
Anne Tyler, 1941
Helen Reddy, 1941
Bobby Knight, 1940
Marion Ross, 1936
Billy Barty, 1924
Minnie Pearl, 1912
Leo G. Carroll, 1892
Pablo Picasso, 1881
Georges Bizet, 1838
Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1800

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Victor/Victoria"(Musical), 1995
"Newhart"(TV), 1982
"Le Repetition"(Anouilh play), 1950
"The Time of Your Life"(Play), 1939

Today in History:

Seljuk Turks defeat the German crusaders under Conrad III at the Battle of Dorylaeum, 1147
Battle of Agincourt, in which the Welsh longbow defeats armored knights, 1415
Christopher Columbus, aboard the Santa Maria, lands at the Dominican Republic, 1492
Dutch sea-captain Dirk Hartog makes second recorded landfall by a European on Australian soil, at the later-named Dirk Hartog Island off the Western Australian coast, 1616
Governor Bradford of the US colony Plymouth disallows sport on Christmas Day, 1621
Wedding of future US President John Adams and Abigail Smith (the marriage lasted 54 years), 1764
Canadians and Mohawks defeat the Americans in the Battle of Chateauguay, 1813
Opening of the Erie Canal, 1825
Battle of Balaclava, memorialized as the "Charge of the Light Brigade", results in the deaths of 409 troops, 1854
The Toronto Stock Exchange is created, 1861
Traditionally understood date of the October Revolution in Russia, which corresponds to November 7 on the Gregorian Calendar, 1917
The Archbishop of Dubuque, Francis J. L. Beckman, denounces swing  music as "a degenerated musical system... turned loose to gnaw away at the moral fiber of young people", warning that it leads down a "primrose path to hell", 1938
Adlai Stevenson shows photos at the UN proving Soviet missiles are installed in Cuba, 1962
Uganda joins the United Nations, 1962
Nelson Mandela is sentenced to five years in prison, 1962
The United Nations seated the People's Republic of China and expelled the Republic of China, 1971
Proceedings on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction conclude at The Hague, 1980
Three months after the end of the Ten-Day War, the last soldier of the Yugoslav People's Army leaves the territory of the Republic of Slovenia, 1991
Fidel Castro announces that transactions using the American Dollar will be banned in Cuba, 2004
Sony removed the original cassette Walkman from the market, 2010
Scientists announce that the completion of the nuclear genome study of a 24,000 year old Siberian boy's remains shows 2/3 of today's Native Americans are of Eastern Asia origin, and the others from Western Eurasia, 2013

Friday, October 24, 2014

On My Toes

Ms. P's daughter did come home that first night, to sleep and ask me to wash some of her clothes.  Since i had washed a lot already, i asked her to bring her stuff to her room.  In typical teen fashion, all she did was grab what she wanted and leave the rest on the couch where i put the laundry when i fold it!

When i woke them Thursday morning, Youngest Boy really didn't want to get up.  He shouted and kicked and pitched a fit, and i thought i was going to have to take all the bedclothes off the bed to keep him from getting back in.  By the time he came downstairs for breakfast, he was much calmer, but he explained that no one is allowed to wake him up, it makes him mad.  In return, i explained that he was going to get waked up, because he was going to school, Boss' orders.

They had cinnamon rolls for breakfast, as they had asked for that the night before, and daughter caught her ride when i piled the boys in the car to get them to their schools.

We talked a bit about Jalopy, and her funny noises, and Eldest Boy decided he likes her, she is cool and sounds like she's going to fall apart.  How much you want to bed he grows up to fix old cars?

After dropping them off at their respective schools i went to the store for apple juice, as they had finished off a whole gallon the day before.  While there The Big Boss called and told me to get back to the house because someone was coming over to pick something up.

When i got there, a strange car was in the drive, and a man at the door.  It wasn't the person picking up whatever it was.  Instead, this was someone in a uniform, but an unmarked car, and he was looking for Ms. P to serve her some papers.  It made me very nervous that he wanted to know where the kids were, and when she would be back, and whose cars were in the drive, and etc.  It made me wonder if the STBX was up to something, especially as he was going to be getting the kids from school that day.

The rest of the day i spent puttering around the house, getting crumbs out of the toaster (and a quarter of a waffle! it was a wonder the thing hadn't caught fire!), remaking beds, doing the hand laundry, and tidying the places you forget you have when you don't get into them very often.

After Middle Boy's football practice, STBX dropped them off, and i asked what they wanted for dinner.  They couldn't agree, but wanted to go out, so i piled them back in the car and we drove up the road to where there are enough food places to please even the pickiest eaters.

Eldest Boy and Middle Boy wanted to go to the Greek place, and Youngest Boy announced, as i pulled in, "I'm about to get mad!  I don't want to eat here, I don't like anything here!"  As i explained that he didn't have to get angry, i'd get the older boys a meal here and him something somewhere else, he calmed right down and asked for Popeye's.  That's exactly what we did.  First we went in the Greek place, got the bigger boys what they wanted and they sat to eat, and i walked Youngest Boy to the chicken place next door, where he told them he wanted a large beans and rice!  He got chicken and a biscuit and the very smart worker at Popeye's gave him 3 small beans and rice containers.  We went back to where the bigger boys were.

Youngest Boy wouldn't eat his meal at the Greek restaurant with the rest of us, so we didn't linger.  They were fascinated by the vegan stuffed grape leaves i was having.  They thought i was nuts enough eating seaweed, but now grape leaves?  They only became more convinced when i told them about picking the grape leaves with my grandmother as a child, and watching her stuff them with meat and rice and cook them.

My Jalopy is an endless source of entertainment, too.  They love having to shut the doors hard or kick them to get them to close properly, as they aren't allowed to do such things to the other cars they ride around in.  Again, a beater car does have its advantages, at least in the eyes of a young boy.

At home for baths they pulled the usual boy shenanigans, with Middle Boy insisting on running around the house in his birthday suit, Youngest Boy eating two of those three containers of beans and rice, plus his chicken, and Eldest Boy goading them in any way he could.  It was such a fun and exhausting reminder of my own when they were all below the teen years.

By the time all of us went to bed, i think we were all more than ready.  Eldest Boy didn't want to sleep in his room, i believe they all miss their mom, so they snuggled together in the large bottom bunk, like three peas in a pod.

Today is:

Chicago International Children's Film Festival -- Chicago, IL, US (the largest annual festival of films for children ages 2-18 in the world; through Nov. 2)

Election Day -- Botswana

Feast of Good & Plenty (the candies)

Food Day -- US (inspiring people to change their diets and our food policies)

Hijra -- Islam (Islamic New Year Begins at the viewing of the new moon crescent, so exact time/date varies by location)

Independence Day -- Zambia(1964)

Jain New Year

Lilith's Day -- Ancient Mesopotamian Calendar (Lilith, legendary first wife of Adam, mother of the giants; date approximate)

Maladay -- Discordianism

National Bologna Day

Peniamina Gospel Day -- Niue (celebration of the conversion of the islanders to Christianity)

Provincial Anniversary Day -- Hawke's Bay, NZ

Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddler's Festival -- Rehoboth Beach/Dewey Beach, DE, US (parade, costume contest, Sea Witch Hunt, horse show on the beach, and more; through Sunday)

Share a Pop Tart With Someone You Love Day -- internet generated, and how much do you want to bet the Kellog company may have had a hand in it (or at least they highly approve)?

St. Anthony Claret's Day (Patron of weavers; Catholic press; Claretians; Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary)

St. Crispin's Eve Celebration -- Tenby, Wales

St. Raphael the Archangel's Day (traditional date; Patron of health inspectors, druggists, happy meetings, leaving home, travelers; against blindness)

Suez Victory Day -- Egypt

Take Back Your Time Day -- Canada; U.S. (anniversary of the day in the US that the Fair Labor Standards Act went into effect, specifying a 40-hour work week as the standard, in 1938)

United Nations Day
     Disarmament Week begins
     World Development Information Day

World Origami Days -- held each year from today, the birth anniversary of Lillian Oppenheimer, founder of the first origami societies in Britain and the US, until Nov. 11, which is Origami Day in Japan; a couple of good sites are and

Birthdays Today:

Monica, 1980
Kevin Kline, 1947
F. Murray Abraham, 1939
Bill Wyman, 1936
David Nelson, 1936
J. P. "Big Bopper" Richardson, 1930
Y. A. Tittle, 1926
Moss Hart, 1904
Melvin Purvis, 1903
Alexandra David-Neel, 1868 (first female foreigner to explore Tibet)
Belva A. Bennett Lockwood, 1838
Sarah Joseph Hale, 1788 (author of "Mary had a little lamb")
Antony van Leeuwenhoek, 1632
Domitian, Roman Emperor, 51

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Dancing at Lughnasa"(Play), 1991
"Voices for Today"(Britten Op. 75), 1965
"Take Me Out to the Ball Game"(Single release), 1908
"Zibeunerbaron/The Gypsy Baron"(Strauss Opera), 1885
The first Transcontinental Telegram is sent, 1861

Today in History:

Cathedral of Chartres is dedicated, 1260
The Treaty of Westphalia ends the 30 Years War, recognized the independence of Switzerland, and marks the end of the Holy Roman Empire, 1648
Felix Mendelssohn, age 9, performs his first public concert in Berlin, 1818
The match is patented, by A. Phillips, 1836
The first US transcontinental telegram is sent, from San Francisco to Washington, DC, ending the need for the Pony Express after only 2 years, 1861
Levi P. Morton, US ambassador to France, drives the first rivet for the Statue of Liberty, 1881
Dr. Robert Koch discovers the germ that causes tuberculosis, 1882
Anna Taylor becomes the first woman to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, 1901
The first NYC subway opens, 1904
Harry Houdini's last performance, 1926
The Hershey Company is incorporated, 1927
"Black Thursday", the start of the stock market crash, Dow Jones down 12.8%, 1929
Al Capone is sentenced for tax evasion, 1931
The George Washington Bridge, connecting NY to NJ, opens, 1931
US forbids child labor in factories, 1938
The United Nations Charter is signed by the first member nations, 1945
Eisenhower pledges US support to South Vietnam, 1954
Government of Poland legalizes Solidarity trade union, 1980
Launch of Deep Space 1 comet/asteroid mission, 1998
The Concorde makes its last commercial flight, 2003
Justice Rutherford of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice struck down the "motive clause", an important part of the Canadian Anti-Terrorism Act, 2006
"Bloody Friday" saw many of the world's stock exchanges experience the worst declines in their history, with drops of around 10% in most indices, 2008
The Northern Lights become visible over much of North America due to a coronal mass ejection, 2011

Thursday, October 23, 2014


No matter the job, you will run into surprises.

When i arrived to play Mary Poppins, there were a couple of surprises waiting for me.  First, none of the children were there!  The two youngest boys were supposed to be, but the soon-to-be-ex had decided, even though he wouldn't keep them for overnights, he would handle them during the day.

The second surprise was that the homeowner association, knowing that Ms. P's STBX had left her with a house that was behind and tried to saddle her with a huge IRS debt, had decided to do something nice for her.  They hired a cleaning service!

Yes, i've been doing her housework for a couple of months now, but this was a good thing, even if it means i didn't have as much to get paid for this week.  When i come, i do laundry, remake beds, and fight to keep things at status quo.  In fact, i often wish i had more time to tackle special projects, but the once a week for 8 hours is barely enough to get the place cleaned and the laundry done.

Because the service had skipped laundry and didn't worry about changing beds, but just did the actual cleaning, it meant i could spend the two days watching kids, doing laundry, and helping the younger boys organize their room and clean their closet, plus tackle the linen closet, and maybe other things.  It would remain to be seen how much i could get done, but at least i would only have a couple of things to actually clean, so i could try for things like wiping out the kitchen drawers where crumbs accumulate and making some sense out of the pantry.

A word about that cleaning service.  They do good work, but they missed a few things.  My first lesson was to never move things, or at least not to move them far.  Especially papers on a desk, that attorney or doctor or pastor really does know exactly where every paper is, and each one better be in the same place when you are done cleaning.  You don't presume to put away small appliances, even if you think they are superfluous.  You don't clean the boys room by stuffing everything into the closet, and leave crumbs all over the closet floor.  And you do not empty the bathroom trash bins and not put a new bag in there.  The daughter was throwing her unflushables in a can with no liner!  Not Cool, and Not Acceptable.

Oh, and you do have to scrub harder than that to get the hair spray residue off the bathroom surfaces.

Anyway, i got there to no kids and supposedly the daughter wasn't going to be home at all (or would only stop by to pick up clothes and leave) and The Big Boss with his credit card, the gate key (it's a gated community), and the news that i wouldn't have the kids until after 2:30pm so i could go to the store and get some storage bins.  First i started the laundry, of course.

All was going swimmingly as the boys got home and helped with organizing their clothes, and the daughter did come in for a couple of hours and then went back to the friend's house and then came back to spend the night, but there was a complication.

Dinner was supposed to be pizza, and Sweetie and Little Girl were supposed to watch the boys for a couple of hours so i could go to prayer service at church.  The snags in that were that no pizza place delivers to this neighborhood, and the traffic was such that by the time i had pizza delivered to our house and Sweetie got it to us, it was too late to try to make it to church.  At least the kids had dinner.

We've had a few interesting discussions so far -- what are Cajuns?  What is the loupe garou? Where is the Middle East?  What do you mean you go to church just to pray for an hour?  Why is caution tape yellow and black?  What is marketing, and why is everything on that cereal box exactly the way it is?  Is wanting to sell stuff to people a good or a bad thing, and does it depend on what you are selling?  Somehow i don't think these are the kinds of discussions Ms. P thought about her kids getting into with me, but i'm nothing if not weird.

And there are no more crumbs in the silverware drawer, and the laundry is going, and i think we will have a good time, even if the kids think i'm crazy for making myself a veggie burger instead of sharing the pizza.

Oh, and the last time i was here, there was no internet, no TV, and no phone.  It seems the geniuses who sold Ms. P a different package, with the same company, managed to not transition her to the new package, but just turn it all off while still charging her for it.  It took a tech 12 hours to correct the mess, but it's corrected.  No need to drag them all to Starbucks so i can post this!

Also, many happy returns of the day to my Sweetie!  He and his twin were born on this day mumblety-mumble years ago (he would kill me if i said how many, so that should give you an idea!).

Today is:

Canning Day -- get that harvest preserved!  on the birth anniversary of Nicholas Appert, the French chemist who devised modern canning

Chulalongokorn Day -- Thailand (Rama V Day)

Commemoration of the Paris Peace Agreements of 1991 -- Cambodia

Day of the Macedonian Revolutionary Struggle -- Republic of Macedonia

Deepavali/Diwali(Festival of Lights) -- Hindu; Jain; Sikh (fifth day of the festival)
     Bhai Tika -- ritual where sisters honor brothers for the protection they give
     Gyan Panchami -- Jain (celebration of knowledge and education)

Dia Nacional de la Aviacion -- Mexico (National Aviation Day)

Festival of Forgotten Gods -- so we don't offend anybody, i guess?

Festival of Selket and Ceremony of Thoth -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Finding of King Look Under Your Mattress Jubilee -- Fairy Calendar

French Food Festival -- LaRose, LA, US (local specialties, dancing, music, and fun; through Sunday)

Great Pumpkin Carve -- Chadds Ford Historical Society, Chadds Ford, PA, US (carving pumpkins that weigh about 150lbs or more each; through Saturday)

Liberation Day -- Libya

National Boston Cream Pie Day

National Day / Republic Day -- Hungary

National Mole Day -- US Chemists; from 6:02AM to 6:02PM, in honor of Avogadro's Number; this year's theme, "Mole-O'Ween"

National Pharmacy Technician Day -- because pharmacy technicians "Help America Feel Better"

Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan -- Beginning of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, Hebrew Year 5775, at sundown today

Solar Eclipse -- a partial solar eclipse will be visible in East Asia and over the Pacific, and in most of North America

St. John of Capistrano's Day (Patron of judges, jurists, military chaplains)
     Swallows Depart San Juan Capistrano Day -- after today, in spite of what you think, the natives will tell you that bird is not a swallow

TV Talk Show Host Day -- the way some of them behave, do they deserve a day? Well, I guess everyone is good for something, even if only for being a bad example!  This one is for the birth anniversary of Johnny Carson, who certainly deserves recognition

Ueno Tenjin Matsuri -- Mie, Japan (festival and parade of oni gyoretsu -- demons or ogres -- dating back to the 16th century and said to halt plague, dispel illness, and ward off bad luck; through the 25th)

Birthdays Today:

Keith Van Horn, 1975
Al Leiter, 1965
Dug Flutie, 1962
Randy Pausch, 1960
Nancy Grace, 1959
"Weird" Al Yankovic, 1959
Martin Luther King III, 1957
Dwight Yoakam, 1956
Ang Lee, 1954
Michael Crichton, 1942
Pele' 1940
Chi-Chi Rodriguez, 1934
Johnny Carson, 1925
Frank Rizzo, 1920
Gertrude Ederle, 1906
Gummo Marx, 1893
Adlai Stevenson, 1835
Nicholas Appert, 1752

Debuting/Premiering Today:

The iPod, 2001
"Shadowlands"(Play), 1989
"Pippin"(Musical), 1972
"Barefoot in the Park"(Play), 1963
Dumbo(Disney animated film), 1941
"The Fred Allen Show"(Radio), 1932
"The Squaw Man"(Play), 1914
"In Old Kentucky"(Play), 1893 (ran for 27 seasons)
"Prince Igor"(Opera), 1890

Today in History:

According to the calculations of Archbishop James Ussher and based on the Bible, Creation begins, BC4004
Second Battle of Philippi, Brutus defeated by Octavian and Marc Antony, Brutus commits suicide, BC42
The Jews of Barbados are forbidden from engaging in retail trade, 1668
A revolt is held in Haarlem after a public ban on smoking, 1690
First Jewish prayer books printed in the US, 1760
The Continental Congress approves a resolution barring blacks from the army, 1775
Failed coup against the Emperor Napoleon, 1812
The first plastic surgery is performed, in England, 1814
72 Senators are summoned by Royal Proclamation to serve as the first members of the Canadian Senate, 1867
The New Orleans Mint reopens as an assay office, 1876
The First National Horseshoe Throwing Championship is held in Kellerton, Iowa, 1915
The first North American transcontinental air service begins between New York City and Los Angeles, California, 1929
Husband and wife Dr. Carl Cori & Dr. Gerty Cori are awarded joint Nobel Prizes, 1947
An underground earthquake traps 174 miners in the No. 2 colliery at Springhill, Nova Scotia, the deepest coal mine in North America at the time; only 100 were rescued, 1958
A United Nations sanctioned cease-fire officially ends the Yom Kippur War between Israel and Syria, 1973
Emperor Akihito becomes the first Emperor of Japan to stand on Chinese soil, 1992
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat reach a "land for peace" agreement, 1998
Apple unveils the iPod, 2001
The US CDC announces that, if current trends in diet and exercise continue, by 2050 1 of 3 American adults will have diabetes, 2010
To bolster their relationship, China and India sign a new border defense agreement, 2013

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Bad Joke and a Great Observation

Today i get to start playing Mary Poppins, so not much time to think of something new to say.  Or even of something old to say.  A bad joke and a great observation will have to suffice.

A man loved his dog, and his dog loved sugary cereal.  So every day he would give the dog a few pieces of its favorite treat, which he kept on hand.  Eventually the dog died, and a few months after, he got a new puppy.

One day he decided to see if his puppy would perhaps like the sugary cereal his previous canine had enjoyed, so he got the box out from the back of the cabinet.  Opening it, he took out a few pieces of the cereal and gave them to his pup, which turned up its nose at the stuff.  The man tried a piece for himself, and found that it was stale.

This goes to show you that you can't feed a new dog old Trix.

As for the observation, a young mother was sipping her morning coffee as her one-year-old daughter tried to grab at the cup.  The five-year-old big brother grabbed his sister's hands and said, "Don't do that!  You don't want to find out what she's like on a day when she doesn't get her coffee!"

Yes, i have my coffee, and i'm going in!

Today is:

Abu Simbel Festival -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (along with Feb. 22, the day when the sunlight fell perfectly on the statues of Ramses, Ra, and Amun at the temple complex)

Caps Lock Day -- celebrating life in screaming CAPITALS (i'd include a link to the promo site, but it's rather annoying and uses foul language)

Children's Day -- Australia

Clean Up the Earth Day -- begun because having only one Earth Day a year doesn't give enough emphasis to the amount of work that needs to be done

Color Day -- a day to consider how color affects your life, health, and world

Day of National Concern About Young People and Gun Violence -- US (students around the nation are asked to sign the Pledge Against Gun Violence)

Deepavali/Diwali(Festival of Lights) -- Hindu; Jain; Sikh (fourth day of the festival)
     Goru Tihar/Goru Puja -- Day of Oxen (among most people)
     Gobardhan Puja -- Day of Cowdung (among followers of Krishna)
     Mha Puja -- Day of Self (among the Newar community)

Eat a Pretzel Day -- unclaimed sponsorship; does anyone else suspect that pretzel makers know how to spread stuff around the internet, too?

International Stuttering Awareness Day -- information here

Jidai Matsuri -- Kyoto, Japan (Festival of the Eras or Festival of the Ages)

4#Lung Health Day -- US (on the Wednesday of Respiratory Health Week; some sites to explore about lung health are and

Medical Assistants Recognition Day -- US (American Association of Medical Assistants)

National Knee Day -- take care of your knees, and they will take care of you!

National Nut Day -- grab a handful of nutritious almonds or walnuts or your own favorite mix; if you don't like nuts, you can just choose to go be one, instead

Seeking of King Look Under Your Mattress -- Fairy Calendar

Smart is Cool Day -- and i don't know who started this one, but i'd say someone tired of being made fun of for being a bookworm

St. Mary Salome's Day (Patron of Veroli, Italy)

Tacoma Holiday Food and Gift Festival -- Tacoma, WA, US (for those who want to get the shopping done early, you show offs; through Sunday)

Anniversaries Today:

Toastmasters International founded, 1924
The first Metropolitan Opera House in NYC opens, with Faust as the first performance, 1883

Birthdays Today:

Carlos Mencia, 1967
Valeria Golino, 1966
Brian Boitano, 1963
Jeff Goldblum, 1952
Deepak Chopra, 1946
Catherine Deveuve, 1943
Jan De Bont, 1943
Annette Funicello, 1942
Tony Roberts, 1939
Derek Jacobi, 1938
Christopher Lloyd, 1938
Timothy Leary, 1920
Joan Fontaine, 1917
Robert Capa, 1913
Curly Howard, 1903
George Beadle, 1903
N. C. Wyeth, 1882
Sarah Bernhardt, 1844
Franz Liszt, 1811

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Me and Bessie"(Musical), 1975
"Take Me Along"(Musical), 1959
"The Far Off Hills"(Play), 1928

Today in History:

The temple of Apollo at Daphne, outside of Antioch, is destroyed in a mysterious fire, 362
Emperor Kanmu relocates Japanese capital to Heiankyo (now Kyoto), 794
Battle of the Southern Fujian Sea, Ming Dynasty wins a victory against the Dutch East India Company, 1633
Princeton University is chartered, 1746
Andre-Jacques Trim becomes the first sky diver, parachuting over Paris from a balloon, 1797
Sam Houston is inaugurated as the first President of the Republic of Texas, 1836
First telegraph line linking US east and west coasts of the US is completed, 1861
First concert performance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, 1881
World's first automobile dealer opens in London, 1897
President Hoover gives the "American system of rugged individualism" speech, 1928
The FBI ambushes Pretty Boy Floyd, 1934
First commercial flight from the mainland to Hawai'i, 1936
Jean-Paul Sartre is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, but turns down the honor, 1964
A Multi-Party Parliamentary Committee selects the design which becomes the new official Flag of Canada, 1964
The Soviet unmanned space mission Venera 9 lands on Venus, 1975Red Dye No. 4 is banned by the US Food and Drug Administration after it
is discovered that it causes tumors in the bladders of dogs, although the dye is still used in Canada, 1976
Tropical Storm Alpha forms in the Atlantic Basin, making the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record with 22 named storms, 2005
A Panama Canal expansion proposal is approved by 77.8% of voters in a National referendum held in Panama, 2006
India launches its first unmanned lunar mission Chandrayaan-1, 2008
North Korea gives the US permission to search for the remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War, 2011

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Good and Crazy

Some days are like that, good and crazy.  Like yesterday.

It started crazy, with Cicero not wanting to go into gear for Bigger Girl, who needed to go get a replacement Social Security Card.  Yes, she lost her second one.  Anyway, it took both of us to get Cicero to cooperate, but we finally managed.

It got good, or maybe even great, with news from The Big Boss.  Even though he's not at that job any more, i still call him that because i work for him and Sweetie helps run errands for him.

Anyway, yesterday was The Big Boss' day in court with the lady who sued him and forced him to resign from his job.  He won!  She was found to have absolutely no case, and unless she can come up with more evidence in the next 30 days, which she can't, it's over.

He can decide to counter sue her for defamation of character, and he would win, although it would be a moral victory only.  Either way, he has been vindicated, and i hope the newspapers that were so quick to take her suit and slam him with it will now report that she lost because she really had no case.  We will see, somehow i doubt they will bother.  It's not sensational enough.

Then the day got crazy with another call from The Big Boss.  He and Ms. P have been invited out of town, and her soon-to-be-ex was supposed to care for the kids while they were gone.  He has, as usual, flaked.

So i was called and asked if i would babysit from Wednesday morning through Friday morning, taking them to school, picking them up, feeding them, getting homework and baths and etc. done, and  doing my usual weekly cleaning on those days.

Of course, i said yes, and i hope they have their internet fixed by then, or those kids are going to find themselves at the library or Starbucks for a time each day as i post.

Also, Thursday is Sweetie's birthday, so he will be taking his brother out to dinner that night (it's a twin thing).  He will also come visit me at Ms. P's house each day, and i'm going to get Little Girl and him to come watch the kids for two hours Wednesday evening while i go to prayer service.  Friday morning i will just have to miss Bible study, i'm sorry to say, but it's the nature of the job.

The Big Boss, bless him, is talking about me coming so he can show me how to get the kids and where to go and what to do.  It's so funny!  As i told him, i remember the drill, and i still take my own youngest to school most days (although Bigger Girl will do it on Thursday and Friday this week).

It's going to be interesting, that's for sure.

Today is:

Apple Day -- U.K. (to inspire local orchard revival and celebrate local varieties)

Antillean Day -- Bonaire; Curacao; Saba; St. Eustatius

Armed Forces Day -- Honduras (Dia de las Fuerzas Armadas)

Babbling Day -- an internet generated day for Blatherskites

Caramel Apple Day -- US (leave it to the US to add sugar!)

Count Your Buttons Day -- whoever came up with this one needs to count his marbles maybe?

Deepavali/Diwali(Festival of Lights) -- Hindu; Jain; Sikh (3rd day of the festival)
     Gai Tihar and Laxmi Puja -- Day of Cows and Laxmi (goddess of wealth; day three of the festival)

Egyptian Naval Day -- Egypt

Garbanzo Bean Day

Global Iodine Deficiency Disorder Prevention Day

Humble Yourself By Having Your Picture Made Wearing A Bicycle Helmet Day -- no comment

Hurricane Bebe Day -- Funafuti, Tuvalu (commemoration of the destruction by this hurricane in 1972)

Independence Day -- Marshall Islands(1986)

International Day of the Nacho -- Mexico; U.S.

Jailhouse Rock Day -- Elvis' song hit #1 today in 1957

National Nurses Day -- Thailand

National Nut Day -- UK(urging everyone to swap a burger for delicious and nutritious nuts, at least on this one day)

National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

Overseas Chinese Day -- Taiwan (Republic of China)

President Ndadaye Day -- Burundi

Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity --

Reptile Awareness Day -- hooray for snakes and turtles!  and lizards, don't forget lizards, and gators, and...

Seeking of King Look Under Your Mattress -- Fairy Calendar

St. John of Bridlington's Day (Patron against complications in childbirth)

St. Ursula's Day (Patron of educators/teachers, holy death, schoolchildren, students; British Virgin Islands; Catholic education, especially of girls; Cologne, Germany; University of Paris)

Trafalgar Day -- British Empire (noted, but no longer an officially holiday)

Anniversaries Today:

Juan Peron marries actress Evita (MarĂ­a Eva Duarte), 1945

Birthdays Today:

Jeremy Miller, 1976
Ken Watanabe, 1959
Carrie Fisher, 1956
Benjamin Netanyahu, 1949
Elvin Bishop, 1942
Judge Judy Sheindlin, 1942
Frances Fitzgerald, 1940
Ursula K. LeGuin, 1929
Edward Charles "Whitey" Ford, 1928
Celia Cruz, 1925
Joyce Randolph, 1925
Dizzy Gillespie, 1917
Georg Solti, 1912
Edwin Myers "Ted" Shawn, 1891
Will Carleton, 1845
Alfred Nobel, 1833
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Butterflies are Free"(Play), 1969
"Orphee aux enfer/Orpheus in the Underworld"(Offenbach operetta), 1858

Today in History:

Sultan Kilidj Arslan of Nicea defeats 1st Crusaders, 1096
Martin Luther joins the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg., 1512
Ferdinand Magellen arrives at Tierra Del Fuego (Pacific Ocean), 1520
Sea battle at Dunes, Lt Admiral Maarten Tromp defeats Spanish Armada under De Oquendo, 1639
First display of the word "Liberty" on a flag, raised by colonists in Taunton, Massachusetts and which was in defiance of British rule in Colonial America, 1774
US Navy frigate Constitution, Old Ironsides, launched in Boston, 1797
Battle of Trafalgar, Adm Nelson defeats French & Spanish fleet & dies, 1805
The Penang Free School is founded in George Town, Penang, Malaysia, by the Rev Hutchings. It is the oldest English-language school in Southeast Asia, 1816
Joseph Aspdin patents Portland cement (Yorkshire England), 1824
Thomas Edison perfects carbonized cotton filament light bulb, 1879
First transatlantic radiotelephone message, Arlington, Va to Paris, 1915
Women are allowed to vote in France for the first time, 1945
Comet Ikeya-Seki approaches perihelion, passing 450,000 kilometers from the sun, 1965
The European Patent Institute is founded, 1977
The metre is defined at the seventeenth General Conference on Weights and Measures as the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second, 1983
Images of the dwarf planet Eris are taken and subsequently used in its discovery by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz, 2003
The European Parliament awards Cuban Dissident Guillermo Farinas the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, 2010

Monday, October 20, 2014

Awww Monday: Cute and Yummy!

Awww Monday is hosted by Sandee, of Comedy Plus.  Since we could all stand to start our week with a smile, this is the place to post those cute pictures that make you say, "Awww!"

#2 Son isn't the only one of my kids who knows his way around the kitchen, although he's the only one planning a career in cooking.

Little Girl loves to bake and decorate cookies, as well as make pies and other sweet treats.  Her Halloween cookies taste good and make you smile before you ever take a bite!

While decorating, and someone couldn't resist eating half a ghost!

Smile big1

Happy bat!

Don't you want one now?

Today is:

Birth of the Bab -- Baha'i

Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day -- actually a good idea

Deepavali/Diwali(Festival of Lights) -- Hindu; Jain; Sikh (second day of the festival0
     Kukur Tihar/Kukur Puja -- Day of Dogs

Feast of Agios Gerasimos -- Kefalonia, Greece (celebration of the patron saint of this Ionian island, with religious services followed by dancing and feasting)

Feast of No Excuse For A Feast Day -- internet generated, if you have no other excuse to celebrate something today, use this one

Festival of Ebisu -- Japan (the laughing god, who is the only one available this month, as the 8 million other gods of the pantheon gather at the Grand Shrine of Izumo; traditionally on 20th day of 10th month of the lunisolar calendar)

Hurricane Thanksgiving Day -- US Virgin Islands (only celebrated if no major storms have come through that year)

Installation of Scriptures as Guru Granth -- Sikh

International Adjust Your Chair Day -- because you need to check at least once a year to make sure your chair has you in an ergonomically correct position

International Juan Valdez Appreciation Day -- internet generated, yet as we sip our morning wake up brew, let's remember the hardy souls who pick the beans for us!

Mashujaa Day -- Kenya (National Day/Kenyatta Day)

Miss American Rose Day -- with online only pageants devoted to high achievement and community service for girls and women of all ages, Miss American Rose suggests treating all women in your life like beautiful roses and performing community service with them

National Brandied Fruit Day

National Day on Writing -- US (sponsored by National Council of Teachers of English)

National Heroes Day -- Jamaica

Revolution Day -- Guatemala

Seeking of King Look Under Your Mattress -- Fairy Calendar

St. Acca's Day (Patron of learning)

Suspenders Day -- probably begun by the same people who wanted to see if you would observe Wear Something Gaudy Day and Dress Like A Dork Day

World Osteoporosis Day -- International Osteoporosis Foundation

Anniversaries Today:

Clint Black marries Lisa Hartman, 1991
William Shatner marries Marcy Lafferty, 1973
The Sydney Opera House opens, 1973
Aristotle Onassis marries Jacqueline Kennedy, 1968

Birthdays Today:

John Krasinski, 1979
Dann Gillen, 1967
Viggo Mortensen, 1958
Danny Boyle, 1956
Keith Hernandez, 1953
Tom Petty, 1953
Melanie Mayron, 1952
Tom Petty, 1950
Jerry Orbach, 1935
William Christopher, 1932
Mickey Mantle, 1931
Joyce Brothers
Art Buchwald, 1925
Fayard Nicholas, 1914
Bela Lugosi, 1882
Charles Ives, 1874
Charles Dewey, 1859
James Robert Mann, 1856
Arthur Rimbaud, 1854
Christopher Wren, 1632

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"The Six Million Dollar Man"(TV), 1973
"No Time for Sergeants"(Play), 1955
"Vor Sonnenaufgang/Before Sunrise"(Hauptmann play), 1889

Today in History:

The first Crusaders arrive at Antioch, 1097
The city of Nuestra Senora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace), Bolivia, is founded, 1548
Battle of sekigahara sets Tokugawa clan as Japan's Shoguns, 1600
Maria Theresa of Habsburg becomes ruler of Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia, 1740
Patent of Toleration, providing limited freedom of worship, is approved in Habsburg Monarchy, 1781
US Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase, 1803
The U.S. and U.K. sign the Convention of 1818, which, among other things settles the U.S. - Canada border at the 49th parallel for most of its length, 1818
First Edition of London Sunday Times, 1822
Lincoln formally establishes Thanksgiving as a national holiday in the US, on the 4th Thursday of November each year, 1864
P.T. Barnum's Hippodrome featuring "The Greatest Show on Earth" opens in NYC, 1873
The hull of the RMS Olympic, sister-ship to the ill-fated RMS Titanic, is launched, 1910
The first Negro League World Series is held, the KC Monarchs shut out the Hilldales, 5-0, 1924
United States of America and Pakistan establish diplomatic relations for the first time, 1947
The Nepal Stock Exchange collapses, 1971
The Sydney Opera House opens, 1973
BM-PC DOS Version 2.1 released, 1983
US accuses Microsoft of violating law by forcing IE browser on computers, 1997
European astronomers announce the discovery of 32 extrasolar planets, 2009
Atronomers announce that galaxy UDFy-38135539 is the most distant object observed from Earth, around 30 billion light-years, 2010
Muammar Gaddafi, and his son Mutassim Gaddafi are killed shortly after the Battle of Sirte, 2011

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Silly Sunday: Youthful Exuberance

Silly Sunday is hosted by Sandee, of Comedy Plus.  It's the place to come for weekly laughs, and it's easy to do.  Laugh and Link Up! and join the fun.

Last night was to be spent babysitting.

Then the whole day was shanghaied.  The lady whose house i clean needed someone to take the two youngest kids, so i went over.

The two youngest boys are 7 and 9.  When i ran errands with them, they got a huge kick out of Jalopy, my old van.  They had to shut the doors hard, which they aren't allowed to do with their own vehicles.  When they didn't shut the door hard enough, i would go to that side of the car and kick it to get it to close, which had them thrilled to see me kicking the van.  They'd never had an experience like that riding in the nicer vehicles their parents always have.

During dinner, they kept leaning toward each other and giggling and laughing.  When i asked what was going on, the younger said, "He's farting!" and they both laughed like they'd never heard anything funnier in their lives.

In fact the older was passing gas, "So hard it's lifting me out of the chair!" he said, bringing on more laughter.

 Their youthful enjoyment of bodily functions and giggling like mad ended up in a joke telling session, kid style.

What do you call a dinosaur that doesn't take baths?

Why do fish live in salt water?
Because pepper makes them sneeze!

What do cows read with their breakfast?
The Mooospaper!

What did the toast wear to bed?
His pa-JAM-as!

What did one eye say to the other?
Don't look now, but something between us smells!

Why won't cannibals eat clowns?
Because they taste funny!

These kids know a lot of silly jokes, which reminds me of young Tee Boudreaux and his youthful exuberance.

Tee was just at the age where boys become interested in girls, a little older than these two.  He got a crush on his teacher, Ms. Melancon.

One day, after school, he got up the courage to go and tell Ms. Melancon how he felt, and he asked her to marry him.

"Oh, Tee," Ms. Melancon said, "that is so sweet of you!  But you are so young and you are my student, so I couldn't think of marrying you.  After all, at your young age you wouldn't want to be having children of your own!"

"Oh, dat won't be no problem, Ms. Melancon!" Tee said,  "I'd be careful!"

Today is:

Armilustrium -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival of Mars)

Bettara-Ichi -- Ebisu Shrine, Tokyo, Japan (Pickle Market Fair, enjoy the pickled radishes, a specialty; through tomorrow)

Constitution Day -- Niue

Deepawali/Deepavali/Diwali/Divali(Festival of Lights) -- Hindu; Jain; Sikh (for the next five days; local dating customs and government holidays for this Lunar New Year/Festival of Lights can vary)
     Kag Tihar/Kag Puja -- Day of the Crows (day one of the festival)

Dita e Lumturimit te Nene Terezes -- Albania (Mother Teresa Day)

Evaluate Your Life Day -- a day to make sure your life is heading where you want, and course correct if it isn't; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Greasy Spoon Day -- internet generated, a day to go revel in the love of your favorite greasy spoon diner

International Human Rights Day -- Turks and Caicos Islands

National Seafood Bisque Day

Pastoral Care Week begins -- honoring all clergy who provide spiritual help and care, they need recognition and care themselves; this year's theme is "Spiritual Well-Being"

Respiratory Care Week begins -- recognizing the respiratory care profession and promoting awareness of lung health issues

Samora Machel Day -- Mozambique

Seeking of King Look Under Your Mattress -- Fairy Calendar

St. Frideswide's Day (Patron of Oxford and the University of Oxford)

St. Rene Goupil's Day (Patron of anesthetists, anesthesiologists)

Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Day

Yabusame Festival -- Koyama, Japan (horseback archery, samurai costumes and dragons, oh, my!)

Birthdays Today:

Jason Reitman, 1977
Ty Pennington, 1965
Evander Holyfield, 1962
Jeannie C. Riley, 1945
John Lithgow, 1945
Patricia Ireland, 1945
Simon Ward, 1941
Michael Gambon, 1940
Peter Max, 1937
Robert Reed, 1932
John Le Carre, 1931
Jack Anderson, 1922
Auguste Lumiere, 1862
Annie S. Peck, 1850
Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson, 1748
Thomas Browne, 1605 (O.S. date)

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"The Rothschilds"(Musical), 1970
"The Miracle Worker"(Play), 1959
"I Remember Mama"(Play), 1944
"Pomp and Circumstance Marches"(Elgar Op. 39), 1901
"Tannhauser und der Sangerkrieg auf Wartburg/Tannhauser and the Singers' Contest at Wartburg"(Wagner opera), 1845

Today in History:

Battle of Zama, Scipio Africanus and his Roman legions defeat Hannibal Barca and the invading Carthagian army, BC202
King Gauseric and his Vandals take the city of Carthage, 439
The Thirteen Years' War ends with the Treaty of Thorn, 1466
Martin Luther becomes a doctor of theology, 1512
The first general court is held in Boston, 1630
Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown at 2PM, end of the US Revolutionary War, 1781
Napoleon begins his retreat from Moscow, 1812
Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman to receive a medical degree, 1849
The first 4 blacks are elected to the US House of Representatives, 1870
The USPS first used an automobile to collect and deliver mail, 1914
Streptomycin, the first antibiotic which could treat tuberculosis, is isolated at Rutgers University, 1943
Black Monday - the Dow Jones Industrial Average falls by 22%, 508 points, 1987
Mother Teresa is beatified by Pope John Paul II, 2003
Saddam Hussein goes on trial in Baghdad for crimes against humanity, 2005
Hurricane Wilma becomes the most intense Atlantic hurricane on record with a minimum pressure of 882 mb, 2005
Naheed Nenshi becomes the first Muslim in Canada to be elected mayor, in Calgary, 2010