Happy Valentine’s Day 2017… #CelebRAteLove Contribution, with Short Limerick =)


Thorin bearing a Valentine’s bouquet… my office. That’s not too shabby!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!! And a special shout-out to Guylty for the impetus to make something, anything happen on this poor, sad blog! So! While my preoccupationwitharmitage was definitely rejuvenated after my wonderful trip to NYC, a Stage Door Runner event, and 4 performances of Love, Love, Love… it didn’t really translate into a whole lot more blogging on my part. And I really wish that wasn’t the case. Life is just busy right now, and the lovely Richard Armitage has a lot of competition for my time and energy.

I’m elbows deep in another quilt, the kids have a ton of extracurricular activities, the veterinary business is going gangbusters, and it’s just about time to start gathering material for the accountant. But I did have the energy to set up a little office photo shoot… since I knew everyone would probably appreciate Thorin bearing Valentine’s flowers!

He does look rather manfully romantic, there in front of a little collection of Armitage memorabilia, the dog curled up at his feet…




Introducing Roxie, our small dog-like animal.

Oh yeah, and speaking of that dog curled up at Thorin’s feet… I don’t know that I have ever formally introduced my new child, Roxie! Our sweet little Girlfriend did pass away late last spring, and it wasn’t long before we were fortunate enough to welcome Roxie, a 2-year-old rescued Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, into the fold. She’s pretty stinking cute, and has provided all kinds of entertainment and pure, loyal affection. This dog is my shadow. She could probably fill up a blog post, or even a blog of her own with all her antics, but since I’m on the subject, I’ll give you her short story… she was purchased as a puppy by an elderly man with cancer, and after he passed away, she spent several days alone with his body. Needless to say, we work on separation anxiety issues! She was then sold to a family who loved her, but their 60lb boxer was terrified of her 10lb ferocious self, so she went to the Cavalier Rescue organization. Aside from her separation anxiety, she also had bilateral luxated patellas (knee-caps out of socket) since puppyhood, which caused her to spend her entire life completely unable to bend her hind legs. She now has both her knees repaired and fully functioning, and a family that absolutely adores her, not to mention a mom who doesn’t put up with any bullshit terrorizing other animals. She goes back and forth to the clinic with me, tries to steal into the exam rooms to accompany me, enjoys greeting clients in the lobby, believes she has been wrongfully banned from the sterile surgery suite, and absolutely loves the kids. And their socks. And their dirty underwear. I love her so much!



Hubby playing Bass while I sew. We barely fit in the craft room!


My three kids!

And since it’s the holiday of love, and Roxie had a photo op, I would be remiss if I didn’t include the other Valentines in my life… Hubby, My Young Love, and his adorable Little Sister. They bring laughter, smiles and all kinds of good feels on a daily basis. So blessed!






v4But back to my Valentine’s collaboRAtion… my office sports a little bit of memoRAbilia, as you can see. Several magnets on my mini-fridge, several framed photos that were gifted to me, a lovely Francis Dolarhyde shrine, subtle Richarding tree ornaments, post-cards, and mementos from my trip to Greece. Not to mention my very own, life-sized, always amorous Thorin Oakenshield.





A Valentine’s Care Package from Guylty!

Naturally, after I had already taken my photo, yet more Valentine’s goodness arrived in a package from Ireland! Guylty, you’re amazing! Thornton’s Fabulous Fudge, a cucumber face mask (can’t wait to surprise the kids with my green face!), a heart-shaped candle holder, lotion and an unusually sexy post-card all bundled together in a clever handmade zipper bag which is a total shout-out (to the discerning, in-the-know eye) to Mr. A….  Gah! I LOVE IT! I The interior is lined with water-proof vinyl, really nice, and the exterior sports custom fabric… peaches, roses, chess piece kings, red dragon symbols, vinyl records (is that a nod to young Kenneth?) and of course, that unmistakable silhouette (with nape curls!). Thank you!!


v8And finally, although this came a little early for Valentine’s Day, for me it was truly inspiring.

Richard Armitage, filming Ocean’s Eight.

*fans self*

Seriously, if I saw him walking down the street, I’d admire from a distance. I really would.

But if I saw him walking Borzois down the street… I make no promises.

I mean, I’ve always had a major attraction to sighthounds.

And, Dayum.


I want some.

If this can’t make me wax poetic, nothing can. Well worth a little ode…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

















I’m In Love, Love, Love… And #RichardArmitage Sure Better Be!


Hi, my name is Hamish, and my mom is smitten…

I AM in love… with this little guy! *Oops, I did it again*… I brought home a new kitten. Who happens to be on my shoulder as I type, purring lovingly. I needed another cat like I needed a hole in the head, but gah! Hamish! It was just Love, Love, Love… mutual, and at first sight!)

And I’m practically purring with excitement, too! Please God let speculations be true about Richard Armitage appearing Off Broadway in Love, Love, Love this fall… because I may or may not have up and booked tickets for it.

WhatAnd therefore I may or may not be certifiably insane, since it’s not yet confirmed. (Don’t tell Hubby that part!) LOL

But let me just take a moment and have a little celebratory dance, because it is starting to look like an exciting fall for those of the Armitage persuasion! Bye, bye, Richard Armitage Drought! Between Berlin Station installments, a possible Brain on Fire release, and (*crosses fingers*) Live Theatre in New York…. WOW! I wonder if it’s too early to start pestering Digital Theatre… ?!


red mohawk

It’s pretty edgy… and I actually love it!

Speaking of the Armitage Drought conditions, I’ve been totally MIA in Armitageworld for quite a long while. While I’ve been gone, this happened… Young Love received the promised red mohawk in return for losing the rat-tail!

May was just ridiculously busy on the veterinary front, then we took the kids to glorious Colorado.

Ah, Colorado. My favorite place to be.

So I was in Colorado when the Alice movie came out… and I haven’t seen it yet. Not sure whether I want to, at least in theaters. As lovely as I’m sure his several minutes will be… I’m not really enough of a Tim Burton admirer to have a big interest.

BUT, I was also in Colorado when RA started tweeting hints about the suspected Mid-Life Crisis project (a British comedy!? RA playing guitar and possibly maybe hopefully oh dear Lord… singing?) An orgasmic YES to all of that, please!!

OK… that’s all the time I have for now! I may come back with a few pics from our Colorado trip in another post. But I’ll leave you with the best of the bunch…

electra all glass

Electra Lake, evening, all glass. June 2016. Photo credit to Hubby!






It Tasted Like $#!+, And Other Family Woes

Smelling Irises

My Young Love… Looking Quite Innocent. I AM happy to report he finally let me rid him of the dreadful Rat Tail!

Hello! It seems like it’s been a long couple of weeks, and I apologize for being less than a reliable blogger lately. With not much happening on the Armitage front, motivation is lacking, while on the bright side, the veterinary business is really picking up, so free time has also been lacking. I wish I could say all was just fine, but that’s not quite true. On the home front, our Young Love has been giving us fits. Warning: contains very bad language!

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that we have an intellectually gifted (though fashion-challenged) first-grade boy. He’s always had an outgoing personality, breezes through school with fantastic grades, and up until recently, he’s had generally good classroom behavior, with occasional trips to the “Take-A-Break” (Time-Out) desk for reasons such as talking when he’s supposed to be working, or not following instructions. A couple of months ago, he did bring home a Take-A-Break form in which the infraction was swearing, and when we asked him what he’d said, he told us it was spelled “F-U-C-K” and he saw it on the bathroom wall, and could we please tell him what that word even means?

Well, we didn’t tell him what F-U-C-K means. We just said it was an ugly word that was definitely inappropriate for school, and asked him to write all the ugly words that he knows, so we could look them over and tell him which words would definitely be inappropriate. He wrote a pretty decent list, including shit, crap, ass, hell, fuck, pussy, damn, and a few more. The only word he wrote that wasn’t really a dirty word was “sex”, but we said it still wasn’t a great word for most school contexts. =)

Anyway, I looked over his list and told him that he had a pretty impressive list of dirty words, and I warned him that we had better NOT start hearing those words come out of his mouth! Being the type to question every statement I make, he asked what would happen to him, so I told him I thought using language like that would mean he had a dirty mouth, so I’d just have to wash his mouth out with soap if any of the words on that list except for “sex” came out of his mouth.

That was that. No major behavior problems for a couple of months, until the last several weeks, when suddenly we started seeing Take-A-Break forms several times per week, and usually involving getting into altercations with other students, shoving, kicking, calling names, etc. When we asked him what was going on, he said some kids were picking on him, and making him really mad. He’d called his classmate Zoe a “Witch” one day, and his classmate Wyatt a “Total Butthead” the day after that!

I wasn’t sure whether he was being picked on, as he claimed, and acting out as a result, or if he was acting the bully. I sent an e-mail to his teacher, and she responded that for the most part, it was typical rough-housing type of behavior… that she didn’t feel like he was necessarily a bully, but that he was prone to getting physical or calling names when he was frustrated. At home, for this type of infraction, he lost all electronics privileges for 1 week, with the 7-day count-down to start over if he had another incident during the “grounded” period. (It’s going on 2 1/2 weeks, because he keeps on having incidents.)

So last Monday, he brought home another Take-A-Break form for swearing. I asked him what word it was, and he admitted it was spelled “S-H-I-T”. I didn’t ask him why he said it, but told him after dinner, we’d have to wash his mouth out with soap, as promised. (I’m a Mom of my word… I may have really regretted making that threat, but once it was made, I felt I needed to follow through!)

So after dinner, my plan was to take him into the bathroom, and I’d take a bar of soap and swish it over his tongue a couple of times to put a bad taste in his mouth. A couple of seconds of parental torture, tops. However, when I tried to do this, he bit down on the soap (to prevent it going in far enough to touch his tongue), and when I told him to open up so I could get his mouth clean, he clamped his teeth down further and stubbornly shook his head. I said “Fine!” and left the soap between his teeth while I got a baby wipe and cleaned around his mouth to remove pizza sauce from dinner. When I finished that, I said I thought his mouth was probably pretty clean, and tried to remove the soap.

Dental Impression

I never meant for it to become stuck on his teeth! Honest!

It was stuck! Whoops! He’d bitten into it so far that his teeth were embedded, so it took a brief struggle to dislodge the soap! On the bright side, we have a nice dental impression from the Young Love to admire, now. He was silent and furious, face red, and I told him it was ok to go ahead and rinse the soap off his teeth and spit. He did so, then crossed his arms and stomp-marched out of the bathroom and down to the other end of the house, into his sister’s room, and shut the door with emphasis! I was running a bath, and after a few minutes, I went and knocked on his sister’s door, and told her it was bath time. When she arrived for her bath, I asked her if her brother had said anything about what happened, and she said, “Yep. He said you washed his mouth out with soap, and it tasted like Sh—– I mean, it tasted like… Bug Poop!”

(She covers for him, bless her heart! She totally could have tattled that he turned right around and used the same dirty word 30 seconds after having his mouth washed out… but she totally lied to protect him instead! LOL.)

But our story isn’t over. Later that night, at bedtime, I warned him that the same thing could happen again if he kept on swearing, and I advised him that if he felt like saying bad words, he was free to do so, but only in his head, or if he was all by himself, he could say them out loud. He was just not to swear in front of people, or at people, or he knew the consequences. He responded that he was going to be swearing inside his head a lot, especially when I made him mad, and I said that was perfectly acceptable to me, and kissed him goodnight.

The following day, a Tuesday, we received another Take-A-Break form. He was swearing again! I expressed my disbelief that he would get caught swearing the very next day, and he said he hadn’t done it in front of any teachers, but he had done it on the playground, and some other kids had told on him to get him in trouble. “What did I tell you about swearing out loud? That’s why if you do it out loud, you need to be all by yourself. Otherwise you get in trouble, right?” He agreed, and tried to get out of the soap procedure, but that wasn’t happening, totally effective parent that I am. (*rolls eyes*) This time, I applied a tiny dab of liquid soap on a toothbrush, and he had to brush his teeth with it. To my surprise, he took it in good stride this time, with none of the storming-off antics. (In fact, he was so nonchalant that I made the mistake of tasting it myself after he left the room, thinking it couldn’t have been all that bad… MISTAKE! Blech!)

Along came Wednesday, and Hubby and I were talking via cell phone on the way home from work, when Hubby had to take another call, from the school. I waited with bated breath, and pretty soon Hubby called back, and he’d heard from the Principal’s office. “You’re never going to believe this.” Apparently, our Young Love and his classmate, Zoe, (a.k.a. the “Witch”) were called to the Principal’s office… after the teacher caught Zoe hitting our boy in the genitals! (I admit that rather than feeling horrified or outraged, I stifled a laugh and immediately asked what he’d done to deserve it!) When the Principal asked the two of them what was going on, our Young Love told her it had been happening several times per week since after Spring Break, and Zoe admitted that this was true, but said she only hit him there after he called her names. He in turn admitted she was right. (Evidently he’s a very slow learner when it comes to insulting the wrong girl!)

That night, we had him compose a letter of apology to Zoe, asking forgiveness for calling her names. He did so, and it was a cute note. “Dear Zoe, I am sorry for calling you names. I don’t want to make you sad. Or mad. I don’t want to be your arch enemy. From, [Young Love]” He gave it to her the next day, and behaved himself up until yesterday, when he had another Take-A-Break for shoving, and Hubby received another call from the Principal’s office. Earlier that day, his classmate Wyatt, (a.k.a. the “Total Butthead”) had evidently dared our child to insert his finger in the pencil sharpener, and when the Young Love took the dare, the kid cranked the handle and (slightly) cut his finger! This time the other kid had to go to the principal’s office, and Young Love was just gently chastised by the teacher for taking a foolish dare. Sigh. And we thought he was so bright…. =)

Later, however, I think Wyatt was resentful about the Principal’s office, because just as school was about to be over and the kids were gathering their backpacks, he blocked Young Love’s access to the backpack area and said something along the lines of “You can’t pass, you fat weirdo!” At which time, our son gave him a hard shove, and had to Take Another Damned Break. To make matters worse, it was Tuesday, the day before he was FINALLY supposed to get his electronics privileges back, and he knew that shoving the kid and going to Take-A-Break would mean his 7-day countdown started all over. He apparently cried, and his other nemesis, Zoe, piled it on by calling him a “cry-baby”…

Rough day, right? I feel bad that he’s having these types of exchanges with name-calling, physical altercations, and so on. Now that we hear about the genital hits and the pencil sharpener, I think he is genuinely being picked on, but obviously at least to some extent, he brings it on himself! I know kids will be kids, but I’m afraid of this escalating.

To that end, we talked to him about better ways to handle such a situation, for instance, if Wyatt is in his face, blocking his path, and calling him names. Rather than shoving, swearing, or name-calling, that is. =) Knowing that he has a fantastic memory, I came up with a list of good “comebacks” he could use that might help him keep up his confidence, and come off as cool and nonchalant, which I hope will eventually help prevent bullying. I think it becomes a vicious cycle at some point, in which the kid who is called names loses confidence, and that self-conscious demeanor only triggers more negative attention directed his way.

We actually had a pretty good time last night, taking turns calling each other rude names, practicing our nonchalant demeanor and our comebacks, then turning and walking away! Here are a few:


Young Love: Daddy, you’re a Weird Nerd!

Hubby: You say that like it’s a bad thing….


Mommy: You’re Fat and Ugly!

Young Love: Where is your “Off” Button?


Little Sister: You’re a Big Poo Poo Head!

Hubby: Talk to the hand!


Young Love: You’re a Stupid Baby!

Mommy: You Again?


Hubby: You’re a Disgusting Booger-Eater!

Young Love: It takes one to know one!


Mommy: You’re a Spoiled Brat!

Little Sister: They say everyone has a talent!


And so on… it was actually pretty funny, and cathartic. This morning our Young Love was back at it with his list, begging to be insulted during breakfast! We’ll see how it goes….





Limerick: Rat-Tail

rat tail 1

You can see it a little in this shot. Sigh. The damn thing is about 6 inches long.


Last year on this day, my young love pranked me

So this morning I returned that favor with glee

His reaction was volcanic

Quite a moment of panic

For a minute, I thought he might pee!


But first a little background: my child’s favorite claim to fame

Is something that brings me considerable shame

Remember the eighties?

And the hairstyles so shady?

Well, my son rocks a “rat-tail” that’s lame.


When he was two, I allowed my mother-in-law

To take charge of his haircuts, but she has one fatal flaw:

Her nostalgia is immense

And overrides her good sense

And Hubby’s hair, as a child, should’ve been outlawed.


Yes, unfortunately Hubby once had a rat-tail, too

Which she’s related with pleasure, a time or two

So though I wanted to shrivel

I had to be civil

Then my own child became attached to his fashion taboo!


How many times have I tried to plead?

“Let’s cut off that rat-tail! It’s not something you need!”

“I like it! No, LOVE it” says my stubborn boy

No matter the tactics I try to employ.

“No one else has one!” to which I concede.


Of course no one has one! They’ve gone out of style!

But I don’t want to be mean, so I have to just smile…

Though I’ve a plan up my sleeve

My goal I’ll achieve!

All thanks to my hairdresser’s wile.


When she heard about the rat-tail, my hairdresser shrieked!

“Aren’t you afraid other kids will call him a geek?!?

I never knew that from any of the pictures you post!”

Well of course not! It’s not something about which I boast!

Thankfully she came up with a solution that’s very unique!


I recently made her suggested proposition…

And tricked my child into a compassionate mission:

We’ve arranged a “donation”

For a poor hairless patient

It’s SO WRONG! But he agreed of his own volition!


In return for his gesture of goodwill for someone who’s bald

He gets a hairdo for summer that will have grandma appalled!

He wants to go punk rock

With a ruby red Mohawk!

Which I approved of, though Hubby’s not enthralled.


But back to this morning, and my April Fools joke

He was busy brushing his teeth and didn’t notice the slight poke…

I pinned up his rat-tail in his sister’s hair clip

Then took out some scissors and made a loud snip!

“Goodbye, old rat-tail!” I cheerfully spoke!


With a gasp, his hand flew to the back of his neck!

And feeling nothing there, he shouted “WHAT THE HECK!!?”

“I know it’s not summer yet,” I started to say

As he turned around frantically, totally betrayed!

“APRIL FOOLS!” was delivered with a fond peck! =)

















Well That’s Just Crap-tastic. (Public Service Announcement)


OK, sorry about the Damn It, Richard. It’s hardly your fault that I spend so much time Preoccupied.

Word to the wise… don’t EVER put checks in the mailbox! I totally should have known better… we’ve all heard stories about stolen checks. However, because I only have so many hours in the day… ok, that doesn’t exactly hold water, either, seeing as how I spend a preposterous amount of time PreoccupiedWithArmitage online… damn it, Richard!

Let’s face facts: I’m just too lazy to make trips to the post office!

Let’s back up a moment. As many of you know, I own my veterinary practice. Or the bank does. A couple of years ago, when Hubby and I first started the process of purchasing the hospital, we learned that the practice itself is an entity, comprised of its clientele/records, equipment, pharmacy and all that jazz. The building and property are a separate entity, and were sold to us separately. Our accountant suggested that we form two separate LLCs, one for the veterinary practice, and one for the real estate, mainly for tax and liability purposes… and that’s what we did. Any veterinary practice, it turns out, pays a monthly rent, whether to an outside party, or to the owner itself. In my case, I pay rent to my real estate LLC… not making very much money off of it, as the LLC then basically uses all but a fraction of the rent payment to pay the real estate mortgage. The practice pays a separate mortgage for itself. All this to say… I have two business checking accounts. The primary account is for the practice, and pays all of the bills, its own mortgage, the many forms of insurance, the payroll, the taxes, the inventory, laboratory fees, licensing fees… the list goes on indefinitely. The secondary account is for the real estate entity, and pays only its mortgage payment, plus once in a while, a bill that applies strictly to the building itself, such as a plumbing repair.

Bad Idea

Yes. It was most definitely a bad idea.

Last month, early October, I put my mortgage payments in the mail box…. one envelope containing both mortgage checks (out of separate checking accounts) which goes to the same company holding the loans on both… why not save a stamp? These are some of the largest checks that I write, so I always keep an eye on the bank accounts to see when they clear, and in the 2 years that I’ve owned the practice, they’ve always cleared the bank within a week of my putting them in the mail. Not last month… I watched and watched, and never saw the mortgage payments show up. Finally on Monday, the first business day in November, I decided to call the company to inquire about whether they’d received the payments, and when I did that, I happened to notice that there was a check cleared on Monday for $204 written off of the secondary real estate account. I clicked on the check, not remembering any plumbing repairs etc., and sure enough, it looked like a banking error. The check was written by a “Garrison and Sons” with a local address, and made out to an auto parts store. After learning that the mortgage payments indeed never reached their destination, I then called the bank to dispute the $204 check that was written by another local business. The bank looked it over and agreed to refund the $204, and I didn’t think much of it.


Oh, snap!

Yesterday, I decided to check the account to see if the bank had refunded its error, and low and behold, there were 4 more checks written off this account. All from “Garrison and Sons”… I called the bank again, and this time, I clicked over to the primary account and noticed 2 checks that cleared yesterday written off the primary account… and you guessed it… this other account was now clearing checks written by “Garrison and Sons”. Suddenly the light bulb went on! I realized this was check fraud, if it involved my two separate accounts purporting to be the same “Garrison and Sons”… and sure enough, a quick google search revealed that “Garrison and Sons” was completely bogus and didn’t exist in our town.

Oh There Are Others

Well… Yes. There were others.

Apparently, some miscreant, in bold daylight, took my mortgage payments out of the mailbox in the 2 hour time frame between when I’d put them there and when the mailman arrives (as a matter of habit I always write and mail checks first thing in the morning, and he arrives mid-morning)… and then somehow printed some very convincing checks for “Garrison and Sons” that had my bank routing numbers and account numbers along the bottom. All this took a couple of weeks, as the first checks started clearing just this week, and I count myself very fortunate that they made the mistake of using my secondary checking account first. Since I almost never write any check out of that secondary account except the one mortgage payment, I caught it quickly. Had they only used my primary checking account… well, it would have taken a long time for me to catch that, as I write at least 30 checks per month out of that account. Most likely, as long as they stayed within reasonable amounts less than $500, I’d not have looked twice at checks clearing the primary account for who knows how long!


If you can’t lip read… he’s saying “I WAS SO SHOCKED!” Well, so was I! I mean… Braums? Really?

One kind of funny thing about all this was that aside from that first check made out to the auto parts store, all 6 of the other checks out of both accounts were made out to Braums, a local fast-food restaurant. Hubby and I were joking that it was a good thing that whoever stole our account routing numbers didn’t have more refined tastes! I mean, if I was going to do check fraud and spend it all on restaurants, I’d be fine dining! LOL.

But that’s the only funny thing about it. It turns out that the only option at this point was to close those accounts and open new ones… and be more careful about the checks in the future. This was a simple task for the secondary account… but the primary account? What a huge crap-tastic headache! Not only are our merchant services (all the payments made to the business via credit card) tied into that account, but the payroll, state and federal taxes, insurance payments and a long list of other bills are automatically/electronically drawn from that account. Which means that after spending 2 hours at the bank opening new accounts, transferring money etc., I then had to contact at least 15 other companies to notify them to draw payments out of a new account.


Yes, thankfully I DID begin to speculate… just how many checks did those sleazy Garrisons and Sons intercept?

Then it occured to me that I’d better go through my checkbook and follow-up on every check written in October… first to be sure it had cleared, so there wouldn’t be any outstanding checks trying to clear a closed account, and second in case more checks never did arrive at their destination. Turns out I’d actually written 2 other checks on that fateful day in early October, and neither had cleared… so the scumbags apparently took all my mail out of the box that day and other payments aside from the mortgage never reached their destination. So I had to also call those companies and explain why those payments were late. I’m telling you… it was a headache that took literally an entire day to resolve, because each of those various companies involves a lot of phone waiting time, explaining the situation, getting transferred to different departments, then filling out appropriate forms and faxing them in.


Such a waste of time and energy, and all so some jackass could eat at Braums!!


My Young Love Persona Non Grata was lucky I didn’t make him my whipping boy….

Then, as if that weren’t enough crap for one day, I was on the phone with some company or other when a call came through that I let go to voicemail. Turns out, the voicemail was from my Young Love’s Persona Non Grata’s teacher. He apparently pushed a classmate into a computer station in anger after not getting a turn at the computer task, and was sent to the Principal’s office. So he’s in big huge HORRIBLE trouble (and he’s lucky I didn’t take out my frustrations of the day by paddling his little ass!)…. as it is, he’s lost all his electronic privileges, his Halloween candy, his Gymnastics Play Night for November and has acquired a number of unsavory new chores for the next 2 weeks, minimum, pending perfect behavior at home and at school for the duration! (He’s lucky Hubby just texted me that the Young Persona Non Grata did manage to make the honor roll… mollified me just a bit!)

thumbs up

Everyone cool with that? Good. Public Service Announcement finished.

At any rate…. apologies for the rant… but please, don’t make my mistake!

Public service announcement: If you write checks at all in this modern day and age… do NOT put them into your mailbox!

Please… drop them off at the post office BEFORE you resume your regular Richarding activities!



In Which The Young Love Debunks Bad Parental Household Myths

Every morning our routine is as follows: Hubby rousts the kids and oversees them getting dressed, then sends them into the bathroom where I’m usually finishing up my hair and makeup. I then de-tangle and style Little Sister’s hair while both kids suck on toothpaste.

That’s right. They will gladly and exuberantly apply tasty kid-flavored bubblegum toothpaste to their toothbrushes, then half-heartedly brush teeth for about 10 seconds, then zone out and sort of suck on their toothbrushes while I remind, cajole, tease and/or sharply bark orders to “BRUSH Teeth”… which they will do for a few more seconds then return to enjoying the bubblegum flavor.

At some point last week, I called their Daddy in and told him to get out his phone and add “yucky flavored kid toothpaste” to our shared groceries app. Hubby dutifully pulled out his phone and started pecking on it, murmuring “hmmm… how about spinach flavor?” Over the simultaneous shocked gasps, I agreed that spinach-flavored toothpaste would surely be something they’d have to brush, and brush fast, and never suck on for long. Poor Little Sister’s eyes welled up with tears as she quickly resumed brushing, and such a look of horrified, tragic woe was on her little face that Hubby and I immediately felt almost bad about the urge we experienced to die laughing. My Young Love, on the other hand, reddened, wrinkled his nose and glared daggers at us as he, too, began to brush furiously. When his 2 minutes of dentist-recommended tooth brushing time was over, he spat into the sink with all the disgust he could muster, and I’m quite sure he entertained visions of spitting at our feet if he could have gotten away with it.

However, the threat of spinach toothpaste WAS quite effective for several days, then the brushing became lackadaisical again this morning. I decided to remind my little slackers children that spinach toothpaste was on the horizon for kids who suck on toothpaste without brushing, and that’s when my Young Love set me straight.

“Don’t believe her, Sissy. There’s NO SUCH THING as spinach toothpaste!”

“What do you mean there’s no such thing? How would you know?” I responded, suppressing a grin.

“It’s obvious. I typed in ‘spinach toothpaste’ and did you know what I found, Sissy? Nothing. There’s no spinach toothpaste on the computer, so there won’t be any spinach toothpaste, anywhere! Ever! Mommy is full of it!”

“You… could spell spinach?”

“Well, I can now!”

Busted. I guess it’s back to the drawing board.


Proud Parental Moments. Or Something Like That.

first day of schoolWell, it’s Back To School today. The Young Love is starting first grade, and Little Sister is starting pre-K. I snapped a pic to commemorate this occasion, and just now noticed the Young Love apparently dribbled something on his shirt before departure. Sigh. Well, chances are he’s not the only little boy to appear on the first day of school with some form of wardrobe malfunction.

I thought I’d share a “proud parental moment” that occurred a couple of nights ago, on “Back To School Night”, when we took the kids to investigate their new classrooms, drop off school supplies, and meet their new teachers. Little Sister acquitted herself nicely, immediately going in for a big hug and telling her teacher how much she loved her, upon but a moment’s acquaintance!

The Young Love, on the other hand, possibly made quite a different impression on his new teacher. Mrs. V is young, pretty, and embarking on her first year as an educator.

She knelt down and engaged The Young Love in a conversation right away, enquiring, “And what is your very favorite subject in school?”

Young Love: “Um, Science!”

Mrs. V: “Oh, good! We are going to be doing some fun science this year!”

Young Love: “Did you know what?”

Mrs. V: “What?!”

Young Love: “When I grow up, I’m going to experiment with ACID!”


I was immediately red-faced, and Mrs. V’s eyebrows flew up. However, Hubby, the innocent Chemical Engineering Professor, didn’t catch any psychedelic drug reference. No, Hubby was proudly thinking in terms of stoichiometric equations and pondering the prospect of introducing his son to the delightful reaction to be found in mixing vinegar and baking soda!


This is not the first time my Young Love has stupefied everyone with such a comment. When he was three, our family was attending a luncheon celebration at my workplace, and he was proud to tell everyone about the wonderful new sport to be had at the grandparents’ house: a delightful new game for the backyard!

Except, his loud announcement was this: “Did you know what? My Grandma Dee has CROCAINE at her house!”


Me: “Croquet! Grandma Dee has a CROQUET set at her house!”

Kids do say the darndest things! I’ll be sure to let you know if there are any further proud parental moments to be had this weekend, as we’re having a mother/son vacation to Colorado to attend my aunt’s wedding. She happens to be getting married to another woman, so I fear all kinds of interesting proclamations might be anticipated. LOL

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Crotch-Shielding Topics of Conversation



bathtubThe other night, Hubby was supervising our young love in the bathtub when a topic came up that caused Hubby to profess complete ignorance. “Hey Mommy? Can you come in here please? Your son has a question you might be able to answer….” I knew this was going to be interesting right from the start, just from Hubby’s wry tone.

* * *

I entered the bathroom and looked down at the boy in the bathtub, who happened to be carefully palpating his own scrotum. My eyebrows must have flown up, because Hubby started snickering before any words were even spoken.

“Um, Mommy? I was just curious, about… um… did you know, there are two balls inside my boy parts?”

I cleared my throat, but was unable to lower my eyebrows. “Ah, yes. I know.” The young one palpated the two balls a bit more, and I glanced at his father, who was standing outside the bathroom with a wickedly gleeful smile on his face.

“Well, Mommy… did you know, I just wondered what my… two balls… what those look like on the inside. You know, inside my boy parts?

“You do? Well, ah… they are, ah… they’re kind of grey, and they have some blood vessels on them, and… ah… well it’s a squiggly tube on them.” I glanced again at Hubby, and he was cocking his head, too, processing this description. “Right, Daddy?”

Hubby denied any in-depth knowledge of the inner appearance of testicles. The young love, always on the alert for new vocabulary words, immediately piped up. “What are test-icles?” I looked expectantly at Hubby, hoping for Daddy to provide the answer, but Hubby was content to defer to the family anatomy expert.

“Um… that’s the word for those two balls inside your boy parts,” I offered, praying we wouldn’t have to begin naming all the anatomical areas that comprise the aforementioned boy parts. Hoping to avoid just such another question,  I added, “Did you know how I know that testicles are grey and have blood vessels and a squiggly tube? I have seen a lot of testicles when I do a special surgery on dogs and cats!” Surprisingly, the young love didn’t question me further on either the anatomical names of *all* his boy parts, or on the “special surgery” I do on dogs and cats. No, he threw another curve ball.

“Do you have a picture of test-icles?” Father and son looked at me expectantly.

I cleared my throat again, thought it over, then reluctantly admitted that I could probably come up with a picture on the computer, if he was still interested at the end of his bath time, and beat a hasty retreat. Heading out to the computer, I typed “testicle dissection anatomy” into the Google image search (hoping to avoid rampant erections and other images of a pornographic nature), and after what had to be the speediest bath-remainder in the young love’s history, the little guy appeared at my side, eager to see what his two balls really looked like on the inside. I’d reviewed the options and selected one that looked something like the description I’d given, and I observed the young love’s reaction to the image.

covered crotchHe covered his crotch with one hand, and one eye with the other hand! First he blurted out that the testicle looked “Gross! Are you sure? That’s what they really look like, Mommy? Like a… a really scary dead eye?!” Then his gaze moved to some of the background images and he wanted me to click off the selected image so he could peruse those, too. I tried to warn him that if he thought the one I’d picked out was scary, then he definitely wouldn’t like some of the others, many of which demonstrated some very ugly pathology. He summoned his courage, and insisted he wanted to see them, so I clicked off and he took over the mouse, perusing the images, still with one hand protectively over his crotch.

At one point, he clicked on a sagittal section of a dissected testicle, and yelped in shock. “Mommy! Oh my gosh! No, no, no, no, no! Oh! Who would do that? Who would cut them in half like that?!?” I noticed he had both hands covering his crotch at this point, and he was looking at me for answers to this unimaginable horror.

Trying to contain my amusement, I explained that it was actually the testicle of an animal, one that had been removed and cut in half by a doctor or a scientist in order to study the structure and learn how it works. Then I decided it was probably time to wrap this up, and began to worry that he might either have nightmares involving testicular torture, or decide to share his newfound knowledge with his fellow kindergarteners.

“OK, Buddy. I think it’s time for a little Minecraft or something else nice to think about. And, Buddy…. I also hope you will please NOT talk about testicles or what they look like when you’re anywhere except at home. Will you do that? Because testicle-talk is not really appropriate for school. You understand?”

“Of course not, Mommy! Testicles are too embarrassing!”

“OK, well… yeah. I guess so. It is ok to ask questions, but just ask me or Daddy, right?”

“I know. I won’t. But can I see some more of those pictures?”

“Ah… well… I think I’ve had enough testicle pictures. Haven’t you? Hey! Do you know what your heart looks like on the inside?” LOL… we looked at a heart and a brain and finally Hubby returned and took Curious George off to bed.

Huge sigh of relief. =)

* * *

The young love didn’t mention anything about testicles the following day, but I did have a really big laugh when I sat down at the computer after the kids were in bed last night, and saw there was a new word typed into the Google search bar:


Heaven help us.







Worried. That is All.


My young love. He’s six.

This week I’ve been preoccupied with RL. I’m usually a truly laid-back kind of a mom, but my little guy has me really worried. Look at those baby blues of his… I would give anything to see his right eye clear and open today. My young love woke up Monday morning with scleral injection, conjunctivitis and mildly swollen eyelids on the right eye. Thinking pink eye, we kept him home from school and made a doctor’s appointment. He was started on oral and topical meds 2 days ago, but this morning it was worse than ever, sealed shut with goop, severely swollen, and developing tiny blisters over the eyelid. I’d think allergic reaction to topical med, except we were told to pre-emptively treat both eyes, and the other eye shows no allergic reaction. I have another appointment this afternoon. He’s breaking my heart, trying to be brave, but he’s in so much pain even the lightest touch causes floods of tears. Then there’s the oral antibiotic- upsetting his stomach so much that last night he puked his bed and both kittens! Maybe some day I’ll look back and laugh at the image of those kittens, ears flat, flicking their paws trying to dislodge the chunky nastiness that they were unfortunate enough to be in the line of fire for. What a scene. Bath for three, coming right up. Then I have to travel out of town tomorrow for a conference, but I’m not sure if Daddy can handle the eye cleaning and medicating job. Hubby is such a softie, and it hurts the young love to try to remove that gunk. It has to be done, but will Daddy be up to the task? Ahhhh!