January Secret Subject Swap: Like Mother, Like Daughter, Except When We’re Not

secret

Welcome to Round Two of the January Secret Subject Swap. 17 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.  At the end of the post is the list of ALL the people who participated this month!

This is my second time participating!  Here is my prompt, submitted by Denise at Go Cheap or Go Home:  I knew I had turned into my mother when…

But she is my real mom. And I bet she likes this just as much as I do.

She IS my real mom, and I bet she loves this just as much as I do.  This is one of my favorite pictures!

Well, I haven’t actually had that exact moment yet where I thought I was turning into my Mom.  There are lots of ways that we are similar, and ways that I wish I could be more like her!  I will now attempt to list some of these things-keep in mind my mind is a bit fuzzy from what they say is bronchitis, but I’m beginning to think there is some sort of brain eating virus accompanying it.

Ways I Wish I Was More Like My Mom:

My Mom is a pretty crafty person-to have her craft skills would be awesome!  I’m good at scrapbooking, but have never been much at the other stuff.  Remember, you all saw my cakes.

We've had kitty ribbon shredders, why have I never thought of this?

Eureka!  Forget those fancy edge trimmers, I have a cat!

She’s also great at being thrifty. I used to be.  Now that I have no control over my money situation not so much.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for financial security…  When I was a kid she would do little things like do rebates or work part-time here and there so that we had money for little things like music lessons.  When my son was little I still was able to do those things, but since then all of the various ways I managed to bring in extra money have gone the way of the dinosaur.  All but one of the places I have picked up extra CPR classes have shut down or quit offering services, people were not interested in sending their kids to my preschool music classes, and I can’t even hired for ONE job these days let alone an extra job for cash.  I’m hoping I can start bringing in something with my writing here soon.  That would be swell!

This was too funny not to share!

This was too funny not to share!

My Mom had to go it alone often when my sister and I were little. My Dad was often out at “sea”, what they call it when Navy guys go out on their tour of duty.  Often he was gone for months at a time.  Not only that, we moved a lot!  She made sure we had a fun time wherever we lived.  I don’t think I am nearly as good or as patient a parent as she was with us when we were kids.  I’m hoping I get better as time goes on.

moms that do everything

I’ll include my address if anyone wants to come over and take me up on this.

She’s really good about remembering those all important things like birthdays and anniversaries.  She always remembers and I always look forward to getting a nice card in the mail for special occasions.  I now have calendars with reminders on both my computer AND my phone, and I STILL forget.  I guess I do remember them, just never in time to get something into the mail.  I suppose if the calendars were to slap me across the face with the card and then push me out the door to the post office with it in my hand, they might be more useful!  For the record, I do remember the things in the house I live in.  Beyond my little ADD world, forget it…

The Ways That I See That We Are Alike:

There’s definitely the sense of humor.  The weird sense of humor that I have runs in the family.  A little morbid and maybe a little bit different than what other people might consider funny.  But when we get together we all just get each other.

Because I too am strange and unusual.

Because I too am strange and unusual.

Growing up, movies were something that we watched together as a family on a regular basis.  Therefore we can quote most of the same movies and tv shows. We quote so many movies and shows on a daily basis at our house that awhile back I even wrote about it. My Mom and I have a lot of the same movies on our favorites list.  I’ve branched out a little since I’ve married my husband, but the old stand-bys are still the best!

I bet you can name that movie...

I bet you can name that movie… one of our very favorites.

We have this thing that we call the recessive gene.  No it’s not a disease or a birth defect.  It’s this thing that happens to some members of our family.  You can be anywhere, anytime, and hear someone say something or even just see something and you automatically break into song.  I can’t control myself any time anyone says anything that remotely resembles a line from a song.  And neither can she.  For example, if someone says the word “so” or “sew” or “sow”-I have to go there. I have to follow up with singing “… a needle pulling thread”.  Sad…but true…

genetics

We both enjoy working with kids, because kids are funny (though oftentimes it’s the adults that suck).  She was a second grade teacher for years, and now is a school librarian-both at the same school I started out teaching at.  I taught preschool for a long time.  Neither of us went insane doing it.  Seriously though, much like me she hasn’t decided what she wants to be when she grows up either.

commas

We like punctuation. If you’d like, I can even sing you the song from the original “Electric Company”.

There’s a few other things too:  One in particular is the annual tradition of the lost gift.  Every year Mom misplaces a gift for someone.  This is due to the fact that she starts her shopping early and spreads it out.  Guess what, I’ve done the same thing a few times, just in a different way.  I have bought things for people and totally forgotten them until I accidentally happen upon them.  (The thing, not the person.)  And it has recently come to light that this was passed down from her mother to her, and now to me.  I just had to change it up a bit.

Perhaps as I get older I’ll be more like my mom in the ways that I want to be.  Like when I grow up?  Oh I forgot, I refuse to grow up, just get old.

The '70s are a long way down there anymore...

The ’70s are a long way down there anymore…

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

http://www.BakingInATornado.com                     

http://menopausalmother.blogspot.com/

http://lifeonthesonnyside.blogspot.com/

http://suburbiainterrupted.com/                             

http://www.bigaandlittlea.com                       

http://ibddaddyandme.blogspot.com

http://stacysewsandschools.wordpress.com/

http://www.3monkeysandamartini.com

http://www.somethingclever2point0.com/

http://www.themommyref.blogspot.com/

http://rushingforbagels.blogspot.com

http://gocheapgohome.com

http://www.rebekaches.com

http://mooreorganizedmayhem.blogspot.com/

http://slackermomof4.blogspot.com/

http://www.mommyunmuted.com/

Please Stop Breathing So TV Will Come In: Our Life Without the Satellite

We’re doing it wrong.

Now that the election is over we can get back to what really matters in our house:  TV.  We’re taking a (forced) break from our satellite dish and relying on a set of rabbit ears, Netflix streaming, my husband’s laptop connected to the TV through an old monitor cord, and Family Video as well as our own collection of movies for entertainment.  And maybe a shadow puppet show or two.

It’s not so bad.  But rabbit ears are extremely touchy with today’s digital television.  We don’t get ABC at all.  CBS, NBC, FOX, and a few channels we don’t care about come in pretty well.  PBS does not.  You may recall that we have two kids who live for PBS programming.  There’s been a lot of tension for my kids because of this.  PBS WILL come in if we follow these directions for watching PBS with rabbit ears:

1)  You must sit perfectly still.  There will be no talking, laughing, or moving, or breathing.  No noise, no movement, did you hear me?  NO BREATHING!

2)  You may not walk past the TV.  We may lose the signal for hours.  This includes adults, children, dogs, and cats.  That means no going to the bathroom.

3)  You may not do anything in the kitchen.  That means no cooking, cleaning, or dishes, because that also makes the signal go out.  I was REALLY sad about that one…

4)  You may not sit within eight feet of the TV.  Even if you are sitting perfectly still, because your body’s aura disrupts the signal.

Gone are the days where you could see some of the picture without a real good signal.  It might be fuzzy, there might be a little “snow” and static in the picture, but you could make stuff out good enough to watch the show.  Analog TV had its advantages.  I can’t stand the way the digital signal cuts out with those shrieks and squeaks and loud buzzes.

Seriously, though, living without the satellite doesn’t really make a lot of difference to me.  Yes I miss the DVR part, because I have no idea when anything is actually on, except for The Big Bang Theory.  But most shows I can catch the episodes on their respective websites.  As of yet I’ve only paid for the Netflix streaming.  Since we can hook up our computer to the TV with the giant cord, we can still watch the few shows we watch regularly on the TV.  The Netflix, well, we’ll keep it for a little while, but the selection is about you’d expect for $8 a month.  Since we found some older comedy routines and movies we want to see, it’s worth it for now.

So that’s that.  We only get a few channels and no one has died.  Hey, I only got four channels as a kid and it didn’t kill me!  We may not have access to a lot of great tv, but if nothing else I have found a great way to make the kids sit really quiet and still.  You should try it.  I’d better stop typing now, because I’m disrupting the signal.

UPDATE:  Go here to read the continuing saga of the rabbit ears-Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention, And Maybe His Grandma Too.

Ready for Fall

I’m ready for fall.  I’m ready for leaves changing color, weather cool enough to wear sweatshirts, and being able to put away the tank tops and shorts for a while.  But what I’m really getting antsy for is Fall TV.  Does that mean I need to get a life?

This has nothing to do with fall TV, but when I think of TV I think of this…

We don’t watch a lot of “new” TV in our house that isn’t sports or PBS.  My husband and I have a few shows that we regularly watch.  In his current mostly unconscious state, my husband doesn’t view a lot of TV shows anyway.

Let me state right now that we shun almost all things that are even remotely reality TV. If you want to quit reading my blog forever right this moment, I understand.  A couple of exceptions have occurred to this rule.  We watched “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” when it was first on, mainly because it reminded me of college (hey I was a music major, you figure it out.)  I watched one season of “America’s Got Talent”, simply for the fact that one of my good friends from school made the finals.  Then I lost interest in it after that.  We also viewed quite a bit of “Iron Chef America” when it was on at dinnertime, but it’s never been something we make it a point to watch regularly.  We have several episodes of “Restaurant Impossible” on our DVR.  Not sure if we’re ever going to watch them, at least not together.

I like comedies.  I really don’t watch anything else, except for a few older few sci-fi shows.  Maybe I’m just too ADD for dramas.  I like to laugh.  And by golly I’m ready for some new episodes of my favorites.  I’ve checked out a couple of the new shows that have already premiered.  I don’t know what to think.  They’re ok, I guess.  I know you can’t really judge a show by its pilot episode, but so far I’m not really sure if I’ll keep watching or not.

My husband’s and my favorite show on TV right now is “The Big Bang Theory”, in case you haven’t figured that out from reading this blog.  We understand a lot of stuff they reference on the show because we’re geeks.  It really adds to it when my husband will pause the show to read the formula written on some board, and he is able to explain it to me (he took Quantum Physics for fun you know).   My other favorite is “Modern Family”, but last season I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had.  I guess it really depended on the episode.  I adore Cam-I had some friends who are just like him.  We both really enjoy “The Middle”, because it’s very much like our family.  My husband is a geek version of Mike Heck, and our son is very much like Brick.  We are middle class people barely making it, much like the people on the show.  It’s mean sometimes but oh it’s FUNNY!

Some shows just have to ruin it for their fans.  We used to love “Bones”.  It is funny and witty and well written.  The characters are great, we are big fans of Hodgins- who else do you know who gets excited about fecal matter?  However, when Emily Deschanel became pregnant in real life they decided to write it into the show, but they went about it all wrong.  They had her get together with her partner.  Nooooo!  There goes all the will they or won’t they fun!  That very rarely works on a show.  We still watch, but it’s just not as enjoyable.

The only show that started last season that we really liked was “Whitney”.  She is one of Evil Genius’s favorite comedians.  The show is like a really warped version of “Friends”.  It’s very different from other shows-I know a lot of people DON’T like it, but I am very happy it’s coming back.  We tried to like “The New Girl”, because we love Zooey.  Some of it is very funny-the Thanksgiving episode was hilarious and we still refer to it.  But we finally came to the conclusion that somebody just decided to turn Zooey loose and let her get as crazy as she wanted.  As much as we wanted to like it, we quit watching it.

“Family Guy” is truly unique.  It really takes a certain type of humor to like that show.  My husband loves it.  I really like it, but there are some things that just plain go too far-which is exactly Seth McFarlane’s intent.  There are some episodes that I love to pieces, and some that are more disturbing than they should be.  We don’t watch it like we watch the other shows, but we do catch it when it’s on.  On that note, I must admit to laughing hysterically at “Robot Chicken”, but that show is so disturbing… yet some of it is sooooo funny.

The one show that I keep forgetting about that is really funny is “Raising Hope”.  I forget it’s on.  I even have the DVR set up to tape it, and I forget to watch it.  Then I’ll have a night with nothing to do and will watch every episode and laugh my butt off.

I have mentioned quite often that we are both geeks, as referenced in Embracing Geekdom.  We both love Sci-Fi, and are big fans of Star Trek.  There isn’t really a show on that is that genre that we watch at the moment.  We have watched “Being Human” (the American version).  Our interest in that show comes and goes.  We really like the characters, we just don’t always like where it’s going.  I’m not a huge fan of the really dark gloom and doom shows that tend to be on.  I watched the new “V” series for quite a while, then it just got depressing.  I wasn’t really surprised they cancelled it.  “Heroes” was good enough to keep my interest for quite awhile, but when Evil Genius got bored of it, I just quit watching.  It was just too dark and depressing.  I like to laugh!  Maybe those dark and gloomy shows tap into my anxieties a bit too much.  I like to look forward to what is going to happen.

I secretly view “Parenthood” each week on nights my husband is gone or in bed.  I get a little irritated at some of the stuff on it, like why does Lauren Graham play the same character in every show she’s in? But I genuinely like it.  The reason I view this alone is this:  if Evil Genius sees I’m going to watch it, he’ll watch it too.  And then he’ll make fun of it, because there might be some warm and human stuff going on.  We can’t have that in our house.  Or he’ll ask 5,000 questions about who is who, what has happened, why that happened, and THEN make fun of it.  No, I don’t go there any more.  I’ll save it for when I can watch it sans mockery.  It’s as close as I get to a soap opera, and I hate soap operas.

Our favorite shows in the whole wide world besides the ones I’ve mentioned are “Friends” and “MASH”.  If there is an episode on, chances are we’ve seen it.  Most episodes of Friends we can recite.  Is that sad?  I don’t think a day has gone by in our house that we don’t quote an episode of that show, unless we are sick.  We own seasons 1-7 of it.  Someday I hope to own them all.

Do you watch much TV?  Good for you if you don’t, you’re more strict than I am.  What shows are you looking forward to this fall?

It’s Summer Vacation and No One Is Dead Yet

I didn’t die.  I’m still here.

Today is Friday the 13th.  I’m not superstitious.  Not really.  Ok maybe a little. It IS raining today.

I think maybe my Friday the 13th might have actually started yesterday.  It’s what I call a “Charlie Brown” kind of day.  Perhaps I have mentioned those on here before.  It’s when everything you touch gets ruined!  We had one corelle cereal bowl and one wineglass break all over the kitchen floor.  Add the kamikaze bottle of Catalina dressing that jumped out of the refrigerator as I was trying to fill my water bottle.  The lid broke-there was red dressing EVERYWHERE!  They do call it the “everything” dressing-but I don’t think the floor was in that category.

On top of that, my son almost missed t-ball because I was distracted by my husband’s extraction.  (See what I did there?)  He had THREE teeth pulled.  You know it hurts when my dear husband is taking painkillers.  He has some sort of strange belief that you should be tough and endure the pain.  Needless to say, he has been pretty floaty.

Meanwhile I am enjoying some of the perks of not working.  I never admitted to being Happy Susie Homemaker, but I’ve actually done a decent job of getting my house to the point of if someone were to actually want to come to our house that I think they wouldn’t throw up at the sight of it.  Obviously the kitchen floor isn’t part of that-I’m hoping to get it to the point that my shoes don’t stick slightly to the floor where the dressing was.  It’s amazing what you get done in your house when you have the time.

And then we have the “Mom I’m Bored” summer crisis.  My children are not normal children.  Or maybe they are normal modern day children.  Not sure there.  My daughter apparently was maliciously attacked by a fly at some point earlier this summer.  She’s terrified.  I don’t mean she gets a little upset when a “buggy” (as she calls them) comes around.  No, instead, we get the ear splitting breaking the sound barrier windows are going to break scream every time she spies any sort of insect or arachnid.  I’m sure the neighbors think we’re torturing her.  It’s to the point that she will barely play outside, and when I am actually able to get her out there she tries to use my body as a shield.  Not cool.  She doesn’t understand why I don’t use my Mom superpowers for good-somehow I am supposed to go out there and somehow eradicate every insect in the yard.

Then there is my son-he would rather sit on the couch and stare at a blank tv than do ANYTHING else.  Playing outside is something he rarely wants to do unless there is water involved.  Otherwise the best we can muster is letting him bring his stack of books outside and let him read them at the table on the deck.  He does that while my daughter clings to me for dear life because a bug might get her.

I’ve tried to at least give them some reasons to want to stay outside (without screaming).  We have a pool.  The top is deflated (slow leak-can’t find it) and the water turns green after a day because it’s been so hot.  I bought two different sprinkler heads at Kmart-one that rotates around and one that is a circle with holes in it.  I was really proud of that-most of the kids sprinklers are at least $10 and the two together cost around $7.  My son is scared of the one that goes around-he says he gets water in his eyes.  My daughter wants the “spinny” sprinkler every time, because she likes the power of trying to stop it from going around.  Earlier this week I made them sit out there until they compromised on which one they wanted to use.  Luckily my son figured out that if he put something on his face that would take care of the water issue (mini scientist that he is).  Since then he has run through the sprinklers wearing either safety glasses, his mask without the snorkel, or swim goggles.  It’s kind of funny, really.  And apparently the bugs must leave my daughter alone while the sprinkler is on.

And then there were the homemade bubbles.  We tried to make them.  I found a recipe online for the “World’s Greatest Bubbles” and tried it.  There are great recipes for them online but many use glycerin.  My aunt swears by it, so do many other people but I could not find glycerin anywhere I went.  And I went EVERYWHERE.  So we used good old fashioned corn syrup (same idea, right?)  We even shelled out the money for the neat looking sun tea jar as mentioned on Pinterest.  What we learned from this:  1)  The bubbles have to sit overnight or they don’t work as well as you would like.  2) Do not let toddlers come over to try the bubbles, they will eat them 3)  Don’t try to pick up the jar full of bubbles and move it without checking that the lid is on securely on.  What happened?  The jar fell and the part where the bubbles come out broke off.  My garage never has been so clean. We are going to try the bubbles again now that Wal-mart has the jars on clearance-I got one for $2.  I just need to get off of my butt and make the solution.

I tried to add the link to where I found the recipe because I think the girl that does it does a beautiful job on her site, but I sure can’t find where it is, so I’ll copy and paste:  http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2010/05/06/diy-the-worlds-best-bubbles/

We have some other random things, such as tie-dying, that I just need to get them excited enough to go out and do it.

I came to the realization that hey, school starts in almost exactly one month… We go back REALLY early here in corn country.  My kids may not realize it but they should be having a ball.  It will be over before they know it.  Poor poor tormented children whose mother won’t let them sit in front of the tv…