Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Eve Bunting Wrote A Book About It --Nasty, Stinky Sneakers

 If Hell had a bottled smell it would smell like these sneakers-- M's marching band tennies.

I tell you these shoes smell worse than sh@*! I have changed baby diapers that compared to, smell like a rose.  I would almost rather camp out in an outhouse than have those beastly sneakers in my car--the scent lingers, for weeks.  How to expunge the odor is a challenge of maximum proportion!  I have tried letting the fresh outdoor air and sunshine bake it out.  I have washed them in boiling hot water, with every type of detergent, coated in Spray-n-Wash, extra Tide sprinkle in the shoe for the washing and then followed with a sprinkle of baking soda in the shoe.  To no avail the scent sticks. Not an ounce of the pungent smell seems to leave.  It is stuck like feather to tar.  Friday night I had to walk down the band hall to find a teen-- consider it a miracle that I sit here with my fingers clicking on this keyboard-- I was hit with the smell of those sneakers times five-hundred.  


After a morning of zero hour and first hour of marching practice, every kid removes their sneakers coated in morning dew then places them in a dark locker that is sealed till the next day. Ech shoe is breeding a bacteria that I swear no janitorial product known to man can cure (and probably no biologist has scene under a microscope). However, I have vowed to find a cure for the stench allowing the M's shoes to enter my house.  As of now, actually for the last four years, they have been grounded to the garage only.

(The photo shown was taken in my front foyer on the way to the garage)

So what does a mom do? She Googles "how to rid odor from tennis shoes".  Here is what the search options are: wash sneakers, dry them, place them in a large zip lock and place in the freezer overnight.  The article swears cold kills the bacteria created from smelly wet shoes.  And, kitty litter in a knee high nylon then stuffed in the shoe.  The article promising that kitty litter draws the moisture from the shoe plus the odor.  I suppose I will give it a try. What do I have to lose?

So if you happen to open my freezer tomorrow to grab a toaster strudel just shift the sneakers--but do not remove.  If you happen to bring you cat by for a visit don't let him think the sneakers are the litter box. 

If none of these crazy ideas work then the final option is-- burn'em!      

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Under the Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights mean a few things for me. It means: glam girls, hair spray hands, bleacher bootie and parent pride. Not mention a whole lot of touchdowns!

While a field show is a work in progress; teasing us at the first football game with two movements and practice flags...the second show should be guard girls in the guise of white Lycra and ruffles, sparkling under those lights with glitter and rhinestones, twirling fabulously fantastic flags to the melodic tunes of "Seasons".  Horns will blow, drums will beat, flutes will flutter, flags will spin and the band will bring down the house--under those Friday Night Lights.

Last night's game ended with fireworks, figuratively not literally, wondering if the opponents ever showed for the game; which was good for the band--more audience.  The audience gathered round the marching band as they took to the stadium courtyard to sing.  Yes, I said sing.  A singing marching band, which one would think should be full of tone deaf kids that would send Simon Cowell screaming his insulting blips.  But, no, when those kids opened their mouths they revealed a hidden instrument--their voices, their singing voices in four part harmony.  They sounded like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  It was the sound of Joy to the World by tune of the Lindbergh High Alma mater.  It was a chorus of green and gold clad angels.  We live in a community that so many plant there own seeds back in the soil.  You could probably ask a thousand alums in those stands to sing the Alma mater and blank stares would greet.  I am one of those blank stares.  How exciting it is to think these 231 kids will leave the same school I attained my high school tassel from and will know a song that gives them pride and ownership to the ties that are said to offer up "the best years of your life."

So until next Friday when "to Lindbergh High we raise our voices"...and our trumpets, trombones, tubas, clarinets, saxophones, sousaphones....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

My M. I just think she is so darn adorable.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Sunday on our way back from Johnson's Shut-Ins we stopped to visit the in-laws.  The girls wanted to swim more, since they live on a lake.  Princess A wanted every last ounce of sunshine her skin could absorb--working in a doctor's office Monday thru Friday in the summer months leaves a 20-year old girl pale--her grandma's house was just the place.

We gathered at their kitchen table, conversation quickly turned to "what we were doing this time last year".  Last year I remember I was exhausted, all the time.  For three months I went from work to the hospital for the night shift of keeping my mother-in-law in company.  When she was transferred to the hospital across the street for rehab King Ralph and I shared the job of "keeping her company"--I went right after work, then he came when he got home from work so I could run the girls to activities.  Her husband left when I arrived so he could rest.  I think keeping her mind going and working helped in her healing process; keeping her lucid and lessened her moments of rambled thoughts...thoughts that were at times very Alice in Wonderlandesque.  Still no matter what we say to her today we cannot convince her that during her two brain surgeries there were no bugs removed from her head. As we all sat around talking about her latest doctor report (no surgery as of now to place a metal plate on the skull area left open and no doctor visit for a year) she looks at the girls and says: "there is something about your grandma you don't know".  King Ralph was prepared to hear some deep dark secret of his mother's past...when she says..."I collected the bugs when I was at the doctor and brought them home and threw them over the balcony."  Her husband rolled his eyes up and shook his head.  What do say to someone who still struggles with the symptoms of brain surgeries.  I'll tell you what I said.  I said "great Mom, then the bugs are in the lake and they are gone, forever, never to return.  You can stop worrying about the bugs."  I am telling you all that must have been one vivid dream she had when she out of it.  She swears the doctor removed bugs that had faces like Jim Carrey.  Why Jim Carrey we'll never know.  But no one, not us, not her husband, not her daughters, not her grandchildren, not even her doctor can convince her she had NO bugs in her head removed. I doubt too that that is the last we'll hear about those bugs. I also think we should hide all the Jim Carrey movies they may own, just in case.

Bugs or not, a year later it is quite the miracle she survived all she did and is back in a darn good place all around.

It sure feels good to start off the school year not completely exhausted physically and mentally!              

Monday, August 23, 2010

Next Time We're Going Camping At Johnson's Shut-Ins

This past weekend was the last obligation free weekend for sometime--Friday starts football season...which means marching band.  It will be the beginning of the end.  This time when I say that I really mean the end;  M is my last marching band child.

So what did we do to enjoy our last band free weekend?  We went to Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park for a day trip on Sunday.

A seventy mile drive from home brought us here.

It had been a while since we visited the park-- even a while before the dam collapsed and destroyed the park.  We weren't so surprised to see how many trees were lost from the onslaught of water, still kind of sad to see such vast openness at the parks entrance.  The shut-ins don't look much different at all. The new visitor center was nice, some art outside and inside a few hand on exhibits. (Which lent hand to grown girls acting like children)    All the new day use areas were really nice--shaded solid structure canopies over picnic tables and BBQ grills on concrete pads.

Before we headed for home we checked out the newly located campground down the road from it original location inside the park.  It was really nice.  Bigger than before, five loops, with lots of full  or electric hook-up sites and really nice walk-in sites nestled in the trees for tent campers .  Every site is paved with lantern hooks, fire rings and picnic tables.  We picked out a site in the "electric" loop for our visit--site 310 (it had nice shade trees).  They also now have camping cabins that are quite spacious with little front porch decks. The shower areas (which is a huge pet peeve of mine) were nice and plentiful.  The toilets--flush.  Not just flush but let you choose which way to flush--up for number one down for number two (I'm not going to tell which direction I  moved the handle).  
It was to hot and humid to hike; the trails look they have been restored nicely. For .95 you can get a trail map, not bad considering it cost nothing to enter the park.  However, get there early since they only allow so many cars to enter at a time.  When we left after four hours of swimming and picnicing there were two cars waiting there turn to enter.   

We skipped Elephant Rocks State Park this time.  We really want to try to explore Taum Sauk Mountain State Park next trip out that way.   

As soon as the heat breaks (and marching band isn't all consuming) we plan to head back to the shut-ins for some hiking and marshmallow roasting over an open fire...'cause next time we're camping at Johnson's Shit-Ins!      

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sweat Does A Kid Good

I started wondering yesterday how it is I survived elementary school.  How any of us survived school.  I'm not talking math class and spelling tests, I'm talking the days of non-air conditioned classrooms. How is it we are still here on this earth?  According the color coated weather chart that landed on my desk we lived our entire youths in the "red danger zone" and still managed outdoor recess.  I imagine way-back-when in the days before Doppler radar and all those other fancy weather person tools, it must have gotten be a hundred degrees and hotter with the heat index; no one feared us having a heat stroke on the playground.  Back-in-the-days we had a box fan, or two, that blew around hot air in the classroom and our teachers wore nylons with their skirts.  I remember we would get lectured about the possibilities of losing fingers and nose tip if we grabbed hold of the fan to talk into the moving blades just to hear our voices vibrate. We'd say the obvious to the fan blades: I'm HhhHoOoOOootTTttTTt.  We learned in the dark, not because we were learning to be owls, but because no lights meant a cooler classroom.  Going outside on sweltering days meant a chance to have air circulate around your glistening body while adjusting to sunlight.

Present day. Recess canceled.

I stood on the playground yesterday in 94* with 45% humidity, feels like 101* with my thunder thighs sweating, feeling like I wet my panties, my bra soaked wet, wondering why I couldn't seek refuge in the air-conditioned building waiting for the principal to cancel recess that was being conducted in the "red zone".  Society has come to learn that recess in this type of weather can only be conducted indoors with a/c or at the local community Olympic size swimming pool. 

While my body was a pool of sweat the feet were happy with jewels catching the sun.  Except with fashion comes pain--even in the world of stretching the flip flop dress code rule.   

See my wound? They require some break in time...but aren't the flops fabulous in that simplistic way?  I couldn't possibly shower in these beauties. No way!

Then today as I was prepared to sweat my arse off again...I heavily dusted in Shower to Shower powder from shoulders to knees with double layers of Secret anti-perspriant under each arm pit...what the hey outdoor recess was canceled.

I don't know, I think all the sweating I did in elementary school built character.  And, isn't that what schools are all about these days-- Character Education?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's Like Being Stuck In Punxsutawney And I'm Phil

I feel like Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day.  I go to bed and wake to an alarm clock that seems to scream repeat of the day before...except today a little earlier..."a little" is going to be the way.

We all survived the first day of school--me included. It seems like the first day has rolled into the second day a whole lot quicker than years preceding.  Yesterday I heard rustling in my bathroom at 6am, this morning 515am.  Yippee-ya-hoo zero hour begins.  Although M has her own wheels now to drive herself and the neighbor girl to zero hour; someone still has to get up and make lunches.  I know some of you are saying pack the lunches at night.  I just can't bring myself to make a sandwich the night before and then think it has to hang around in a messenger bag all day, growing that much older and stale.  Fresh, I like the girls to have fresh soft bread.

I am told today is going to be another recess weather day sent from heaven.  Any outside temperature under 90* constitutes a Jesus loves me.  Tomorrow the weather man is predicting a visit from the devil.  Which means only one thing in my book--wearing shoes that allow my feet to breathe. I try my best to follow defy the footwear rule of "no shoes that you can wear in the shower", but sometimes it is just hard.  Last night when I went to Target to purchase more school supplies, I found a beautiful pair of flops that I cannot wear in the shower.  Beautiful golden flops bedazzled with clear jewels.  They scream I'm trying not to defy your rule [in a fashion way].  While the first several weeks of school means trying to swim to the top of a stack of work, my feet will be saying bling and aaahhh as air circulates around them.

That my friend is what makes for a tired mom with building assistant happy feet. 

Tomorrow I will wake and it will be another day in Punxsutawney.  Two down, 174 more to go.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Senior and a Sophomore

D just walked upstairs and we had this brief conversation

D- Can you see my bra straps

Me- No I can see the straps of your tank top.

D- Whatever I don't care, this is like the stupidest day. Summer is over! 

That's right D it's here, the first day of school.  A day that always has an eve of stress.  Years ago it was gummed reinforcers not filled from the school list that sent D into a frazzled mess.  Present day stress caused by the mysterious location of the black nail polish.  Yep you heard me right, D finally likes her toes painted.  She fought the mark of femininity practically her whole life and now... she likes only black for its high fashion mark not to confused as a mark of goth.  Like every year, I manage to calm the rippled waters.  Toes painted. Then it was a runway of hair style options.  Aaaaaahhhh! Just get to bed.

M's eve stress is limited to foot wear since her fashion choice is once again dictated by her role as she dons a Link Crew Leader T-shirt.  So what could stress my M--four inch wedges or flat jeweled sandals?  Uh, flats go much-much better with your newly acquired parking pass.

6am I hear movement in my bathroom.  No, it can't be, stop this day of what will become long scheduled early risings!  Unfortunately there is no stopping it.  Eye shadows and pink blushes dust in the air, hair spray fumes suffocate and brown sacks stuffed with yummies line the kitchen counter.  The outside temperature is a sentiment of Jesus loves us; as the weather is reported to be a glorious 82* at noon with lower than usual humidity.    

And the camera.

Yes sirree the always coveted First Day of School picture.     

A senior and a sophomore. (Or looking at the picture a sophomore and a senior) 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Been Prank'd Band Geek Style

The moment of glory. The moment that thirty-two seniors had waited for.  Holding out, stuck it out, never throwing in the towel because of all those zero hour rehearsals, instead waiting four years for their turn to reek havoc.  Senior prank at band camp.

When Princess A was a senior I gave the kids the idea to fork the practice field.  Known as the largest band class of seniors in Flyers history they were fifty-four seniors strong that year contributing around a hundred forks per band kid.  Like burglars in the night they crept to the field in the darkness fashioning the plastic forks center field to read "08"--their graduation year. 

So here we are in our abode once again plotting pranks.

I had heard rumbles of this and that but nothing concrete. There was chatter about putting clubs on the gators steering wheels.  There was babble of an intricate web design of duct tape on the directors' cabin door.  There was jabber of gator sabotage once again, this time the talk was wrapping the gator in Saran Wrap.  In the end...the prank played out nicely.  First they decorated the field with everyone's water jugs, assembling them to spell out "NX-211" (the number on the side of Charles Lindbergh's plane, hence Lindbergh High School).  That was the opening picture of their freshman year competition show "Flight".  Next they decorated the drum major stand with signs and copies of the head director's face.  They couldn't stop with his face plastered in just one spot they dusted the entire camp with his mug.  Phase two.  They woke all the directors by standing in the hall of their cabin playing the fight song.  Thankfully they stumbled out to greet them with chuckles.  The big finale. They then returned some time later rousing them to the outdoors where they stood at attention in a block formation and pelted them with water balloons.  Thankfully the directors are young enough to remember the joys of pulling off a senior prank...not to mention when the temperature is still just below 100* at 2am water sprinklings is a welcome cool down.  When the head director got to the field with the band in the morning he got all sentimental at seeing the "NX-211" on the field.  He then asked the seniors to go stand on their mark from the opener of that show.  Crazy but everyone of those seniors knew exactly were to stand.  I suppose that was his way of saying when a year ends, you have played the show enough to gag yourself and you are happy that marching band is over for the season; it really does leave its ever lasting mark on your memory.

So as hot, tired and crabby as the 234 marching band teens returned home to their parents after four days of intense practice in sweltering record heat.... thirty-two hot, tired and crabby seniors returned home feeling like the all time prank champions of LHS marching band seniors.

Thus begins the beginning of an end.         

Friday, August 13, 2010

Oh Louie the Triton She'll Learn to Love You--Someday

Today was the day of realization.  The day Princess A had to reckon with the demon inside of her...the demon of feeling like a traitor...coming to terms with the decision she made herself.  It was an inner battle between Rawdy the Red Hawk and Louie the Triton.  While a red hawk is an actual creature, a [Triton] named Louie is a mythical creature...Princess A kind of feels like she left her real world and is in a mythical land.  I call it transition, she calls it reality.

This morning was orientation.  Why ever did I agree to go?  New school, new system to learn, love for my child.  Yep that's the reasons.  However, when they threw me in a room with parents that were virgins to the send off of a child to college..."Letting Go" was the last seminar I needed to be forced to attend.  Fifty minutes of chat about kids doing there own laundry (I stopped doing her laundry long before I sent her off to college), shedding tears when you say that final good-bye (which I didn't do two years ago because I was excited for her venture) and setting up a communication system-- when to call your child. (I plan to call Princess A from the kitchen to her bedroom often).  Why oh why does the parent of a transfer commuter student need to sit through such a seminar?!  Princess A was questioning why she needed to attend seminars on how to navigate the university's website and how to be safe on campus (as she waved her mace in a pink container at the campus police officer as he lectured). 

While we ate our complimentary lunch (is anything really complimentary...by look of the tuition bill I say no); Princess A and I agreed to bounce.  I didn't think we were above the room full of parents and students but when you have done it in one place it feels like repetition. You know same song different tune.

We headed off together to tend to a few lose strings; Princess A with her list of "to do's" and me with the wallet.  That's why I came along, to pay for stuff like a parking permit and books....

From the corner of my eye I caught glimpse of a different mascot.  This mascot looked like a chicken that had been rolled over by a truck--hardly competiton to Louie the mythical creature that looks like a red lizard.  I asked a campus administrator standing there who the chicken was.  It was explained that the chicken was a mascot that student life uses to get the student body pumped up to join activities. When I asked why a chicken though, the administrator just shrugged her shoulders.  I'm telling you it was like someone went to a mascot recycling center and decided a chicken that looked like it had been run over by a truck seemed like a good idea.  Guess we'll see if the matted chicken pecks Princess A to get involved in her new place of higher education.        

Then we filled out an evaluation, scored a couple of free university T-shirts (free is never free it's all in the tuition, right?) and bounced.

And so, the period of transition is set to begin.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I am hemming color guard parade uniforms, still.  If one leg is longer than the other it is probably because I am hemming with one eye open and one eye closed.  Hopefully tomorrow morning the auditorium full of school district employees attending the back-to-school rally will be so tired they will have one eye open and one eye closed.

The things we do for kids...for marching band.   

(It seems at this hour of the night Viagra TV commercial are in full abundance.  Do you think they have proof that men suffering from a lack of are awake watching TV at this ridiculous hour?)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Somebody, Quick, Turn Back Time

This is it, officially the last week of summer break.  Sigh. Next Tuesday I will be posting a picture of M & D as they head off for a new school year; for M her final year of high school, for D a move up the "food chain".  For me the last year in my building before its transition back to a middle school--twenty-five years as an elementary school comes to an end.  So today we are all waking early making our own transitions.  As wonderful as staying awake till 130am watching old black and white movies is...real life beckons to rear its ugly face once again.  Alarms will awaken at 515am, while lunches will need to be packed and pencils sharpened.  All the absences that made summer break so enjoyable are ending.  Resurfacing will be those famous Avery Sister fashion fights: she's wearing my socks, I didn't say you could wear that shirt, hey those are my sandals take'm off...oh gosh I can hardly wait.  Not!  Till then we have last minute summer reading requirements that are in the crunch mode--for a seventeen-year old Madame Bovary lacks that grasp-ya.

In the mean time I have been getting in last minute appointments. M tried again, to no avail, to find a cure for her vision condition.  Now we just sit back and watch her eyes slowly change till the inevitable of another surgery.  No time frame was given, and I didn't care to ask, just left knowing one day she'll be under the knife again.  However in the possibilities of health issues I dare not complain.  Her life is full and rich despite.

Friday Princess A and I will be off to explore her new university choice through an orientation.  She's at peace with her decision to make the transfer and of course when I paid her tuition I felt my wallet sing a Pink Floyd tune.  Okay so we don't have enough money left to buy a football team but there is cash left for maybe a two star [not a four star] dream.  However it's not about how much money King Ralph and I are saving, it is about Princess A finding happiness in her journey through higher education; coming to a place where she feels undistracted and satisfied with her level of intelligence.  I know she will be thrilled to not be sick all time.  When she was away at school she spent more time in the health center seeking cures than she went to the pediatrician in her early years.  The Dayquil/Nyquil profits will take a hit with our Princess A healthily  residing at home.

All this realization of what is about to start all over again means one thing...three more days to bronze my skin.

Good-bye blog, hello pool.

Saturday, August 07, 2010


Yesterday was a happy day.  Not because I spent the afternoon floating in the pool bronzing my skin.  Not because there was no band practice to drive to at the crack of the summer's day's dawn.  Not because Mother Nature gave a break from the oppressive heat (well truth be that sure did add to the happy day).  Not because I have just made my auto insurance company a little bit wealthier.  Yesterday was a happy day because M got her driver's license! 

Now I am not sure it was an all out happy day for me or King Ralph since sending our kid out on the road solo means noshing at our fingers nails till our baby girl returns home safely.  Regardless we have been through this teen driver experience once before...it never minimizes the parental stress.  We do hope that having our girls wait to drive till they are high school seniors, allowing the last portion of the developing brain to evolve--reasoning--helps them to be more responsible drivers.  We really are proponents of making the driving age 18.       

Since King Ralph's new life goal is to have more cars in front of our house than the frat boys next door...we have a little Honda we added to our stock.

So here's to you M, may you never roll a stop sign and may you always drive the speed limit. You too M can be the receiver of Dad's standard last words as you walk out the door--"be safe."

Yes, be safe.    


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Add Candle Please

I am celebrating the merriment of growing a year older.  Or am I celebrating the merriment being perimenapausal?

I had this dream last week that I took a pregnancy test and it came out showing an odd sign on the stick so I peed on the stick again for it to show positive.  I believe I woke in a sweat, a cold sweat this time.  I mentioned to Princess A and D last night my lack of menstruating when it was suggested that my dream might be coming true.  I don't know what made me speak what was rolling in my mind out loud but I replied "not a chance I was in a camper" forget the dawg was snipped a decade plus ago.  The look on D's face was, well, priceless.  Forget that my favorite thing in life was to trap the girls in the car and talk sex ed with them (a trapped captive audience when driving 65mph down the highway can't escape the lessons)-- they would prefer to believe a stork dropped them off at the door than that their parents....

I considered making this Paula Dean treat for myself for my birthday except one, it is to damn hot outside to fire up the oven and two, with my metabolism all whacked the last thing I need to add is hard to burn fat to my frame.  I guess I'll stick a candle in my celery stalk snack.

I am going to take the hiatus of the curse of womanhood as a birthday gift of sorts.  What do I call that two hour hot flash I had Saturday night causing me to lose sleep?        

If I don't melt away on this birthday of mine I will consider it a great accomplishment in my year older--feels like 111* today. Uhg!

Here's to great adventures to come in my-- another year older.

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Week's Calendar Says

My week is filled with driving M to the high school for more of this...
I suppose someday when my calendar doesn't say it is filled with this, I will miss it.  Until then waking at 6am in the summer to drive screams--nightmare.