Soaprogress has been made . . .

Almond In Wonderland

Sorry. Once it was in my head, I couldn’t stop typing that headline. Anyway, I’ve added soap pages to my blog. I have to figure out the best way to set up buy buttons that give you choices. That’s not going to happen this weekend. However, now you all know what I have and what’s available. You can comment on the blog or on FB and let me know what you want or if you have questions. I will get back to you quickly. In the meantime, I hope you get a kick out of the pictures. I sure did.

Okay – let’s make this easier here are links to the soap pages:

General Information

Soap Descriptions


Too much time on my hands!!!!!!

Isn’t that a song? 

Anyway, it’s come to my attention that there are people making weird things out there in the world wide world and they must be making money.  These are all real things and they are haunting me.  

Perfect Polly????  Seriously.  Birds are scary enough.  Why in the world would you want a totally fake bird? And who are the people in this infomercial? Are they really convinced?  The thing does not even come with safety goggles.

Bacon Jam?  Based on a Google Search (doing my part to keep our gub’mint busy) this is a thing.  I love bacon as much as the next person, but no.  Just no.

And, THIS just seen.  That’s right, folks.  Hair stockings to keep perverts and everyone else away.  I just don’t know.  It might be bedtime.

Things that make you go hmmm . . .

We’re winding down the school year (has it only been one school year?).  One by one, Andy is finishing his subjects.  He completed the science class he’s been taking through the Florida Virtual School yesterday.  Today, his teacher called.  I’ve talked her at least once a month since he started the class.  She’s so enthusiastic and loves what she teaches. 

For Andy this class is kind of a transitional thing. With all of the boys, as they got older, I expected them to work on an increasingly independent level.  With this  class, Andy was on his own.  If he needed help, he contacted the teacher.  I stayed completely out of it.  He finished the class with an 87 after a rough start.  The control freak in me would prefer he got an “A,” but I already had my shot at 7th grade science – you know, when I was in 7th grade.  

This afternoon, the teacher called to confirm that Andy had finished the class and filled me in on his final grade.  She sounded so anxious.  I thanked her and assumed we had talked about all we needed to talk about.  But, then she started asking, “Are you happy with his grade?”  “Are you sure?” “I just want you to be happy with his grade.”  And on and on.  It was weird.  Would she have changed the grade if I wasn’t happy? 

That’s all.  The whole thing has been on my mind all afternoon.  It was just so strange.

Reason # 8054 . . .

that Andy will likely be homeschooled for the rest of his K-12 life.  

He’s passed weird into “the zone.”  I’m sure if I sent him over to the local school, they’d send him right back with a polite, “No thanks.” 

I used to think having three kids in middle school was what made me so stressed. I was wrong. At least with three in the same grades, the odds were in my favor that ONE of them would get it. Now, it’s just Andy. And, when he doesn’t get it – he REALLY doesn’t get it. My hair will be white before we get through next year. I know the stoopid will end, but that’s not helping as much as I thought it would.

However, Andy is not totally stupid, he understood the Latin when I turned on the new pope this afternoon.  (That was kind of exciting, wasn’t it? We’re Catholic, so maybe it’s not for everyone, but it’s all so interesting to me.)  But, Andy getting the Latin – that was kind of huge after our disastrous math episode an hour earlier. I am going to cling to that moment.

In a not so proud moment, Andy came in to dinner tonight carrying a hip-high garden stake under each hand, leaning on the flat tops and asked us to guess who he was. Think. Give up? I did. FDR. This child is so so so weird. 

I guess today was “president’s” day. On the way to the vet, I had Andy come to hold onto Cally because she’s not a traveling dog. Andy turned her face to me and pulled her ears straight up in the air and said, “Look, I’m LBJ.” I had no clue.(see picture)  

I have no idea where he gets this stuff.  At least he’s interesting, right?


Today I had lunch with my friend Kate. I love lunch with Kate.  We’re terrible about getting together but it is always so much fun when we do. It’s so nice to have a friend that you’ve known for a long time where you can just pick up and start talking like it hasn’t been forever since you’ve seen each other.  

So we had a long, long lunch today. I am fairly certain we managed to talk about everything. Ever.  We spent some time talking about food and grocery shopping, because, well, we just did.  And, for the third time this week I heard about Grapples. 

The website says “Satisfy your sweet tooth with something sweet, crunchy, filling and good for you!” Color me stupid, but isn’t an apple already crunchy, filling and good for you????  Why in the world would it occur to someone to inject an apple with grape flavor? Eat a grape if you want a grape.  (Now, there was a time in my life where I could understand injecting a fruit with something – say a watermelon with vodka – but those days are long gone.) 

I don’t get it. Kate just saw these in the store.  Has anyone reading ever tasted a Grapple? I’m just not understanding the concept at all. 

It’s not easy being weird

Andy has 2 1/2 days left of being still and quiet.  He’s been incredibly great during all of this.  As a result, his eye is clear.  No change in the iris.  No blurry vision.  No nothing.  We’re doing school-lite this week.  And, as much as I love and adore Andy, I will be happy to let him loose on the world Thursday afternoon.  
Who knew he was such a talker?  Who knew he was so susceptible to television.  He’s been watching lots of Monk on Netflix.  I was fine with that until I took him with me to the grocery store (for a nice slow walk around the produce section)?  As we were driving, we both had matching cups and drinks in the car beverage holder, Andy asked me, in all seriousness, to take a big sip of my drink.  I asked why?  Well, duh, mom, our drinks are not level with each other.  Monk is on hold for a while (maybe forever).  
Weird stuff? I was paying bills today (I put it off because I like having a bank balance over a weekend).  The bill I MOST hate to pay is my student loan bill (yes, I am 1000 years old and still paying on a student loan).  I owe the money, I pay it, but it ticks me off that I was soooo stoopid back then – I let myself be talked into those loans.  This, dear children of mine (if you’re reading), is why I am so opposed to going into debt for an undergrad degree.  Anyway, I went to pay the loan, like I do every stoopid month and there is nothing to pay.  The balance is gone.  I called.  All they could tell me was that the loan was gone.  I emailed (because I don’t trust SallieMae) and they told me the same thing.  I know this will come back to bite us in the butt, but for this month, I’m enjoying the little cushion.  
I told Mike, poor Mike, that in my delusional world a knight-in-shining-armor has stolen our identity and is using his powers for good.  He’s going to pay everything off and build us a retirement fund.  I might have slipped this past Mike – he’s not stupid he knows to just half-listen to me – but I had to push the envelope and mention putting ponies into my newly painted, fenced garden of dirt.  I’m sore tempted to go find some Pretty Ponies at the thrift store tomorrow.  

Anyway, the student loan thing is weird.  I’ll be keeping my eye on it for sure.  In the meantime, I’m going to bed tonight dreaming of pretty ponies, knights and Robin Hood identity thieves.  I’ll see you when I get up around 4 pm – just enough time for me to dress and pretty-up for happy hour. 

Fun at the grocery store!!

Andy and I had to run some errands this afternoon.  One was a quick trip to the grocery store.  As we were walking into the store, we found ourselves behind a mom with three little kids and the youngest (4-5?) was pitching a fit and wailing as they walked into the store.  Having been-there-done-that, I telepathically sent sympathies to the mom and headed in the opposite direction.  
We were in the frozen food section in search of a box o’spinach and some hash browns.  I was standing next to a woman who was about my mom’s age. She and I were discussing frozen potatoes.  When, guess who came down the aisle?  Yep.  Sad, crying boy and his family.  The older woman and I exchanged “poor puppy” glances as they passed.  But, as soon as they passed, the older woman tugged on my arm.  “Do you speak Spanish?”  I shook my head no.  She burst out laughing.  “I finally figured out what that little boy has been whining the whole time he’s been in the store, “You just don’t love me enough, Mom.”  We both laughed really hard.  We had been sympathetic to the little boy with the mean mom until that moment.  LOLOL – Nice to have a translator when I needed one.

After we checked out, Andy and I were trying to figure out where we’d parked.  (Okay, I was trying to figure out where the car was, Andy was just messing with me.)  As we were standing there with me thinking out loud (gah — what am I going to be doing in 20 years?), I noticed an old woman pushing a woman who was obviously her daughter in a wheel chair headed straight for us.  The woman grabbed my arm and stared at me. I stared back.  I thought she needed help or something.  Finally, she asked “Are those your real eyes?” Not knowing about fake eyes, I kind of shouted “YES, THEY ARE.”  She turned to her daughter and said “Dayum they really ARE that blue.” Then she turned back to me, lightly smacked my cheek and told me I should be in commercials and headed on her way.  I was surprised she hadn’t noticed Andy, whose eyes are FAR bluer than anyone I’ve ever met until I turned around and saw Andy studiously tying his shoes.  Once again, we have odd encounters in public.  I guess it’s a step up we weren’t at WalMart, huh?

(That is NOT my eye, but it’s blue.)

Really? Your butt isn’t big enough?

Perusing the news this evening, I saw two items that made me go “Hmmmm. . . .”  I have yet to meet a woman who complains her butt isn’t big enough.  Even my friends that share my lack-of-butt challenges still check the mirror to see if “this makes my butt look fat.”  
Here, herbal medicines that will grow you a butt (your liver and potential for developing cancer be damned).  It’s all about leaving a great-looking corpse, right?  Free range chicken is fine, but, it’s all about the butt.  And, then, HERE! is a woman that died trying to enhance her butt, which if you go through the pictures in the article, was perfectly lovely before she started. 

I’m so glad to have sons.  I make them read these articles and we talk about real and not real/normal and not normal.  We talk about things like this and this.  We live in a strange, strange world. 

Killer . . .

I hope I’m not alone after reading that headline and having the Talking Heads Psycho Killer running through my head.  Love that song.  
That said, this is just a “how weird is my husband” post.  Yesterday, Mike and Ian spent the best part of the afternoon putting in a light in the back of the house for Mike to use when he insists on grilling in the dark (not to be confused with Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark – no psycho killers or grillers to be found there).  It was supposed to be a quick and easy father/son project.  It didn’t really work out that way.  In the end, I think Ian was teaching Mike (aka Ward Cleaver) creative ways to swear.  To that end, I think it was a positive experience.
When Ian came in to shut the power down to the entire house, I noticed my neighbor sitting outside supervising her five year old on his new Christmas bike.  I also noticed she had her trademark plastic cup with a straw that signaled it was, in fact, happy hour.  I grabbed some cheese and crackers, an adult beverage and a blanket and headed to saner territory.  We snacked, talked books and were freezing our behinds off when another neighbor drove by, asked to drop one of her kids off while she picked up the other  AND would we be be there when she got back? Well, of course we would. 
About the same time, my first neighbor’s husband came out, as did Mike.  It was a regular driveway party.  For another hour, we all talked about crappy cars we’d all owned in the 80’s among other things.  I distributed ugly hats I’ve knitted to keep us all warm (we looked like a meeting of the house elf society – especially funny since 3 of 5 of us had on shorts and flip flops).   (Note:  This is not my hat – this is what I found when I googled Dobby hat – my hats are not nearly as pretty or sturdy.) And, then we were invited in for dinner.  Who knew?  Neighbor #1’s husband had been watching football and making something called KILLER casserole.  
All the kids and adults chowed down on this stuff – noodles, cheese, more cheese, onions and something else that was gooey – sour cream?  I don’t know, but it was delicious and perfect for a bunch of cold people.  When we came home, Mike and Andy sat down to watch Alton Brown while I puttered with the laundry.  An hour later, Mike came out to tell me he was going to bed.  But, he looked worried.  I asked about it.
“Why, exactly, is it called KILLER casserole?”  I told him I didn’t know, but I didn’t think it was a problem.  “Are you sure?”  Now, I’ve met Mike’s parents and I know how they cook.  I guarantee you Mike grew up eating, if not the exact same thing something pretty dang close.  I asked him how he felt and he assured me he was fine.  I told him to go to bed and think of happy things.  Mike did not look entirely convinced, but he went off to bed.
Later, when I went into bed, I slid in quietly – not because I don’t love Mike but because despite the fact that we upgraded to a king-sized bed about eight years ago, Mike thinks we are sharing a twin bed.  Mike is a snuggler.  If he senses me getting into bed, I’m in a loving head-lock before I can even get my pillows adjusted.  After all our years together, I’ve mostly adjusted to this fact.  I get my time to sleep face down, sprawled all over the place after he gets up in the morning.  
But, even for us, last night was extra weird.  I slid under the covers and was on my left side when suddenly, Mike’s hand was on the side of my hip and pressing it into the mattress.  Nothing else, just the hand.  Weird.  I waited about 10 minutes and pushed him off of me.  I thought he’d gone back to sleep when suddenly, the hand was on my hip and the other hand was holding my left arm straight up.  Then I started to laugh – I was waiting for him to sing “I’m a Little Teapot.”  I waited again – he was DEAD asleep.  Again, I pushed him away and claimed an extra 6″ of bed for myself.  
By this time, I was fully awake.  I got a fresh glass of water and put on a Harry Potter cd and climbed back into bed.  I wasn’t sure what was coming next (everyone sing Psycho Killer with me) but nothing happened for a while.  I was just dozing off when I felt the lightest touch on my hip.  It was Mike.  He had just one finger, ever-so-lightly sitting on top of the side of my hip.  His arm looked incredibly uncomfortable.  I waited, without moving, a good 20 minutes.  Finally, I fell asleep – Mike’s finger still on my hip.  
I’m blaming the Killer casserole. 

(I asked Mike this morning and he has no recollection of any of it.  Oh, oh, oh ohhhhh . . . run, run, run, run run run away!)

Start with what you know.

You know I’m weird.  Let’s build on that, shall we?
I’ve mostly given up the 24-hour television-news-cycle, but I still read some sites when I’m online.  One site popped up this morning and the first story I clicked on has been bothering me all day long and I’m putting off bed because I know I’m going to have nightmares. 

This is the story.  Holy cow!  These women were hiding 4 pairs of boots and 3 pairs of jeans and more in their rolls of fat.  $2600 from a TJ Maxx. I’m not much of a shopper, but that’s a LOT of stuff!  And here I worry about 5-10 pounds of PMS fat every month.   It has never once occurred to me that I could use my gooey-ness to my advantage and steal stuff with/via it.  But, how in the world do you inconspicuously stash this stuff under your rolls in the middle of a store???  How in the world do you hide a pair of boots under your boobs – ever? anywhere?  Even if they’re really big boobs and really small boots?  HOW?  

And, I’m thinking if you have enough bulk to hide four pairs of boots in your boobs, maybe you don’t need the boots. Your boobs are so big no one is ever going to look at your stolen boots – ever.  I dunno.  Jeans?  I’m curious about who they were shopping for – themselves? Where in the world does a person of any size hide a pair of jeans??
And we wonder why airport security is so tough?