There are cookie crumbs in my socks

The other day I was re-organizing my sock drawer.  (Yes, I was that bored. Plus I couldn’t find any paired socks.)  “Oh, look what I found!” I exclaimed to my husband.


“A box of chocolate chip cookies I hid.  I completely forgot about them.  I wonder if they’re still any good.”

He shrugged.  “Only one way to find out.”  He opened the box and helped himself to a cookie.  “Kind of stale.”

“Drat!  I hate it when I hide food and forget about it,” I muttered.

“Me, too,” he agreed.

You may wonder why we have food hidden in odd places in our house.  It’s simple.  We have a thirteen year old son who does not exercise restraint when it comes to junk food.  If I buy a box of cookies at the store on Monday, it will be completely depleted by Tuesday, without my husband or I having had the first one.  A package of family-sized chips will, likewise, be polished off in one sitting.  A bottle of juice will be consumed in a few hours, although he always leaves a teaspoon full in the bottom so we can’t say he drank it all. He is also quite clever in that he leaves the empty packages on the shelf so we won’t realize the items are gone.  This makes it even more aggravating when we go to have a snack and discover an empty package full of crumbs.  Things we buy to pack in his school lunches are gone within a day or two, leaving us with nothing to send except peanut butter sandwiches, which always come home uneaten.

The only alternative was to start hiding food which we actually wanted to last until the next trip to the grocery store.  We have bottles of juice and individual bottles of Gatorade in our bedroom closet hidden underneath my pants, which hang on a lower rack.  A large box of Goldfish is in there, too.  Cookies, chips, candy, and crackers end up in our night table drawers, desk drawers, sweater closet, and filing cabinet.  Unfortunately, Darion, the bottomless pit, has become quite the sleuth in sniffing out where snack items are hidden.  There are no hiding places left which he hasn’t discovered.  We have resorted to banning him from our bedroom, which works only as long as we are in the room monitoring it.   However, it is really difficult to hide frozen foods like ice-cream and Hot Pockets.

One shining light in this aggravating situation is that Darion is extremely picky, so if we find something  we like which he doesn’t, it can actually be stored on a pantry shelf with no fear of it disappearing.  Oatmeal raison cookies—not a problem.  Pretzels and nuts will remain undisturbed.  Cereal is in no danger.  Even Moon Pies are safe.

You may be itching to point out the obvious answer to our dilemma—which would be to stop buying any junk food, period.  While I agree this solution would work in theory, I’m not prepared to go to that extreme.  😊




Last night my husband and I attended the first high school football game of the season—Baker versus Rocky Bayou.  I won’t go into the actual game, itself, which ended with a score of 51 for Baker and 7 for Rocky.  This year, since there are not enough boys to field a junior high team, the junior high is part of the varsity team.  For the first time, our eighth grade son, Darion, is officially a member of the Rocky football team, rather than being the water boy.  Although it will probably be a while before he ever sees real action on the field—at least until he is taller than the cheerleaders—nonetheless, he is excited to be a participant.  He is easy to pick out from the rest of the team, as he is at least a head shorter than most of the other players.  As the team was leaving school on the way to Baker, he called my husband with the news that he “might get put in the game” tonight.  Loosely interpreted, this meant he asked the coach if he would get to play and the coach said, “We’ll see,” which translates to, “There is no way in you know where you will play tonight. Or for the next three years, for that matter.”

So my husband and I drove to Baker to hear Darion’s name announced at the beginning of the game and to watch him stand on the sidelines, which he did very well, by the way.  We found good seats at the top of the bleachers, where there is a fence for a backrest and plenty of light from the stadium lights for me to read the book I brought along.  (As I have mentioned, I don’t particularly care for football.  Please don’t hate me.)  The night was perfect for a football game.

Then the game started.  Little did we know we had chosen seats two people away from the self-designated bleachers coach.  There is always at least one at every game.  This is the guy who critiques the players, the coaches, and the referees, and lets them know exactly what they are doing wrong, in a loud and belligerent voice.  In my left ear.  I’m sure everyone on the field is listening to his words of wisdom and adjusting their plays to fit with his expert instruction.  Then again, maybe not.  My son tells me that while they can hear people yelling from the bleachers, they can’t really make out what they’re saying.  And this is standing on the sidelines, much less while in the middle of a play on the field.  The coaches are wearing head phones, so it’s highly unlikely they are privy to the superior coaching from the stands.  The referees, even if they could hear the angry diatribe of how they are messing up calls, are used to ignoring people.  I have never once seen a referee, in response to an irate fan, reverse his decision and say, “Oops, you are right.  Thanks for pointing that out to me.”  All of this makes me wonder.  If nobody is paying attention to the bleachers coach, why is he so intent on screaming his directives throughout the entire game?  The only possible consequences of his actions are to raise his blood pressure, annoy everyone around him, and make it difficult for me to concentrate on my book.

I suppose we could have gotten up and moved, but once we had all our “stuff” settled, it’s hard to gather it all up, crawl over people, and seek out a friendlier location.  The dirty looks I gave the guy seemed to do no good.  One can only conclude that perhaps the guy was a has-been high school football star or maybe a wanna-be high school football star.  Or a frustrated coach who wasn’t on the payroll.  I suspect he had a kid on the team, as he kept yelling out one name in particular.  Poor kid.

I know I have at least two or three years before I have to watch my son exhibit his athletic prowess in front of hundreds (dozens) of screaming fans.  When that time comes, I will probably put my book aside and actually follow the game, with my heart in my throat, fearful of what dire mistakes he might make which will affect the fate of the planet (or his chances with the NFL).  I only hope when that time does comes, I am able to restrain myself from offering my expertise in a loud and argumentative manner from the stands. But I’m not making any promises.

In MY Day …

I love the comic strip “Zits”.  It’s about a teen-aged boy, Jeremy, and the completely opposite way he and his parents view life.  I sometimes wonder if the cartoonist has hidden cameras in our house, as the situations depicted in the strip suspiciously reflect what goes on in our home.  However, the cartoon the other day had me thinking along different lines.

Jeremy and his girlfriend, Sarah, are walking down the street and see a kid selling lemonade for one dollar a cup.

Jeremy says, “A dollar? When I was your age, I sold lemonade for fifty cents!”

Sarah says, “You just old-manned that kid!”

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve really come to love the phrase, “When I was your age”.  Granted, I intensely disliked it when my parents used it on me, and I always somewhat suspected their revelations were grossly exaggerated.  But honestly, don’t kids have it so much easier today?

The other night I watched my son writing his book report on his summer reading project on the computer.  Not only did he not have to look up how to spell words in the dictionary, the computer automatically put capital letters on the first words of his sentences.  Geesh!  Back in my day, we actually had to know how to spell words without spellcheck and how to correctly punctuate sentences.  We actually had to go to a physical library, search through the card catalog, locate and check out physical books, and look up references in order to do a research paper.  Oh, and don’t forget, this was all done on a typewriter, so mistakes were not all that easy to correct.  This took a lot of finagling to collate sentences from several different sources and get them in the right order before sitting down to type the finished product.  Then we had to remember to return the library books.

When I was a kid we didn’t have cell phones.  Our phones were anchored to a cord, from which we couldn’t move more than a few feet.  Portable phones hadn’t been invented yet.  We even had limited calls and party lines. Remember having to wait around all day for the phone company to send someone to hook up your phone?  I remember unsuccessfully begging my parents to let me have an extension in my bedroom so I wouldn’t have to talk to my friends on our living room phone.  Now kids are deprived if they don’t have their own smart phone by the age of five.  Spoiled cry-babies!  If only they had to put up with the inconveniences I did at their age.

When I was a child, we didn’t have air-conditioning. Nope.  We sweltered in the miserable Ohio summers with only an inefficient little circulating fan to blow the hot air around.  I remember sitting in church, with the oppressive, dense air weighing heavily on the congregation. There were little cardboard fans mounted on a broad wooden stick advertising funeral parlors placed in the hymnal racks. (I wonder why these fans were always from funeral parlors.)  These fans were pretty ineffective in cooling, as we generated more heat from the effort of fanning ourselves than we derived benefit from the hot breeze the fan produced.  Sometimes, however, I would scoot over behind someone who was fanning herself so I could reap the advantage of the breeze without the work.  And of course we always wore our Sunday best to church.  Women wouldn’t have been caught dead in shorts or pants and men always wore suits.  We stuck to the chairs in our desks at school—oh, and this was back in the days when girls had to wear dresses and pantyhose to school.  (By the way, in the freezing winters, we still had to wear dresses and pantyhose to school.)  Riding in our cars in the summer guaranteed sweat drenched clothing.  There was only relief as long as the car was moving, which made sitting at stop lights unbearable.  Moreover, with the windows down, we were treated to the nauseating odors of exhaust fumes from all the other vehicles on the road, as well as the sickly smell of hot tar and asphalt.

I could go on and on about how much harder we had things back in my day, but I’ll cite just one more example.  Not only did we not have school buses which picked us up and delivered us to our destination (like these lazy, whiny children of today), we had to walk five miles  to and from school each day—barefoot in the snow and uphill both ways.  I kid you not!

My Wheel of Fortune

I’ve finally decided what I want to be when I grow up.  I want to be Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune.  Well, to clarify, I don’t exactly want to be Vanna White, I just want her job.  Seriously, I can be window dressing.  How does one go about falling into a gravy train “career” like hers?  I can gesture to the puzzle board.  I can touch on a lit up square to reveal the letter behind it.  I can grin and clap like a seal while the contestants spin the wheel. Vanna actually has an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for most frequent claps. She has clapped more than 4 million times in the 32 seasons she had been on Wheel of Fortune. That’s based on an average of 606 claps per episode. If I try, I’ll bet I can clap 607 times per episode.  And, unlike Vanna, I can even remember what letters are supposed to be in the puzzle so I don’t prematurely move when a contestant calls a letter that isn’t there.  (I love it when she does that.)

Back in the day, she actually had to turn the squares by hand.  When a contestant solved the puzzle, she had to frantically turn the rest of the hidden letters.  I guess that was too physically taxing. Now she just taps the lit up squares.  And have you noticed that when a contestant solves the puzzle, all the letters magically come up?  She doesn’t even have to tap the unrevealed ones.  So I’m kind of wondering if the letters can simply be revealed by technology, what exactly is her function?

I am willing to travel to exotic locations to promote the show and speak lead-ins for advertisements.  I am willing to be a guinea pig for designer clothes to be worn only once.  She has a big fan base of women who are interested in her daily wardrobe, which led to the phenomenon known as Vannamania.  I can do that.  How does Ellenmania sound?   I am even willing to stand with Pat Sajak, flutter my hand, and chirp, “Bye bye” at the end of the show.

Do you know she makes an estimated four million dollars a year from Wheel of Fortune?  Four million!  And get this—they only work four days a month, recording six shows each day.  Wow, that’s gotta’ be tough!  Yes, she does have the stress of having to change her designer clothes between each show, but I could live with that.  What’s more, I could still work my regular job as a veterinarian if the taping could be done on my days off.  I wonder if Wheel of Fortune would be interested in taking bids for Vanna’s job, you know, sort of like government contractors.  I would be willing to undercut her four million by say, oh … 90%.  Think how much money that would save the network.

So now that I’ve decided what I want to be, I’ll just send an email to Wheel of Fortune advising them of my availability.  You never know.  Stranger things have happened.

You’re Dead Meat

There was a strange notation in our appointment schedule the other day.  Granted, we get some strange notations every day, but this one was particularly interesting.  It simply said, “Dog rolled in something very dead.”

Hhhmmm.  Very dead.  As opposed to what?  Only slightly dead?  Dead is one of those conditions I typically regard as a black or white matter. Either something is dead or it is not.  Does very dead make it more dead?  It’s kind of like being a little pregnant.  I could only surmise that “very dead” was somehow an indicator of the degree of odor associated with the act of the dog rolling in the offensive material.

This got me thinking, which is always a scary undertaking.  (Did I really just write “undertaking” in a blog on death?)  Clearly my mind should not be allowed to wander loose by itself.

For example, where did the phrase, “dead as a door nail” come from?  How dead are door nails, anyway?  Is being as dead as a door nail worse than just being merely dead?   Well, it turns out “dead as a door nail” means unequivocally deceased—which all this time I thought was the simple definition of “dead.”  I never knew there were varying degrees of being dead.  The expression goes back to poems in the 1300’s, and was also used by William Shakespeare and in Charles Dickens’  A Christmas Carol in 1843. It is thought that the phrase “dead as a door nail” comes from the manner of securing door nails that were hammered into a door by clenching them. Clenching is the practice of bending over the protruding end of the nail and hammering it into the wood. When a nail has been clenched, it has been dead nailed, and is not easily resurrected to use again.  Wasn’t that was a fascinating bit of trivia?

It’s incredible how many idioms there are for the word “dead”.  Dead ringer, dead tired, dead center, dead end, dead giveaway, dead serious, knock ‘em dead, dead weight, dead of night, stop dead in your tracks, play dead, and beat a dead horse are just a few that come to mind.  But I’ve never heard the expression, “very dead.”

There is, of course, the question of why dogs choose to roll in dead, smelly things.  Many believe it’s instinctual behavior, hearkening back to the days when dogs’ wild ancestors would mask their scent to help them sneak up on their prey. One would think, however, with their keen sense of smell, rolling in foul smelling substances would be as offensive to dogs as it is to their owners.  This just goes to show that what is perceived as repulsive by one individual can be perceived as a fragrant aroma to another.  Kind of like those people who apparently bathe in their body sprays which give everyone around them a headache.

Knowing how unpleasant it is to have your dog roll in dead things, particularly when they want to climb all over you and lick your face afterwards, if my dogs are ever dead set to do it again, I’m going to kill them dead!  (Was that last sentence a bit of overkill?)