Tag Archives: humor

How I Spent My Last Cent on School Supplies

School starts next Monday for us, so I’ve been doing all the registration forms and final shopping for supplies.  Our PTAs sell all the school supplies in a shrink-wrapped kit for each grade. I highly recommend them.  Here are a few things I love about these gems:

  • Convenient (This is self explanatory. Really.)
  • Everyone who buys them has the same thing as the next student (colors may vary).
  • I don’t have to go on a wild-goose chase to find the extra-ginormous white paper that none of the stores sell (even though it’s on the supply list).
  • It’s less expensive, especially if you factor in the stress of searching for that mythical white paper, the gas used, and the torture of listening to your child debate over which color scissors or ruler or pencil bag–Just pick one already!
  • It helps the PTA (every penny counts).

Two folders plus tax: $1.08.
(No, I didn’t shop on the tax-free weekend. My sanity is worth the tax.)

In elementary school, there are plenty of people out there who let their kids be individuals and pick out what they want.  *rolling eyes*  Check to be sure those supplies aren’t going to be used collectively.

Flash forward to middle school–no fantasical white paper that was only a figment of some list maker’s imagination.  *happy dance*

However, the math, music, and Spanish teachers don’t include the items they want to use, which means another shopping trip after school starts.

“What do you mean you need two more binders, five more spirals, six boxes of tissue, and graph paper? Those weren’t on the list.”  Yep, eighth-grade additions last year.

After several years of buying the kits, there are certain things that we’ll never run out of:

  • Safety scissors (Yes, 6 pairs of safety scissors from K through 5.)
  • Number 2 pencils (Who uses 12 pencils in a school year?  And don’t forget the decorated ones that come home as prizes and gifts.)
  • Pink erasers (There is nothing wrong with the inch-wide, gray stump that comes home in May.)
  • Black, blue, and red pens (It’s my husband’s fault and that’s an entirely different story.)
  • Highlighters in 4 different colors.  (Lots of them.  Eventually, the older ones dry out.)
  • Crayons (I know these are multiplying in the crayon drawer. It could also be because I have a weakness for fancy Crayola crayons. *shhhh* Don’t tell my husband.)
  • Colored pencils.  (If I ever have to buy another set of these, it’s because–there isn’t a good reason.)

And yet, I’ll be buying the first grade kit for my little one this year.  Sigh.

On the other hand, preparing for high school was easy.  We have so much stuff on hand that we didn’t need to add pencils, pens, paper, and highlighters to our overstocked office supply store house.  Our shopping list was short.  A binder, spirals, and folders.  Should be easy.

Um, no.

We went to Target and spent about a minute picking out a binder and the spiral notebooks in the acceptable colors.  Then we spent another 10 minutes searching for folders with brads (or prongs, as Target called them).  Finally, a very helpful employee said that they were completely out and wouldn’t get in any more, but the store on the other side of town had over 100 in stock.

I had flashbacks from the year when we changed schools and missed ordering the supply kit.  I went to three or four different stores to find the white paper that was big enough for a giant to use for origami folding.

I didn’t want to drive across town to another store.  So I whispered the “W” word (Walmart).  Then I cringed, because I knew my daughter’s reaction won’t be pretty.  “I hate that store.”   (She stands on her principles that they don’t take care of the environment.  That’s yet another story.)

So, I appealed to her that it was silly to waste gas for two folders.  She relented.  When we arrived, I remembered that I disliked the store, too.  Two folders were chosen in record time.

While we waited in the slowest express line ever (no self-serve registers at this store), I realized that I had no cash.  There was no way that I was going to put $1 on the credit card.

I dug through my purse bottomless pit until I found every last coin.  I had exactly $1.12.  One was an old wheat penny, and that went into my daughter’s pocket for safe keeping.  All I needed was $1.08, and I was officially finished shopping for high school supplies. Woohoo!  I even had a few coins left to my name.

At least until the math, music, and Spanish teachers send their lists home.

Here’s some link love for some school-ish posts that I think you’ll like, too:

How do you handle shopping for school supplies?  Was there ever a wild-goose-chase item on your child’s supply list?  Do you blog and have a post about school you want to share?  I love to hear from you.  🙂

Words to Play: Zax

I have fun playing Wordfeud, as I’ve mentioned before.  Sometimes I discover words by accident.  It’s a trick I learned from my husband who has a knack for throwing tiles down to spell a word that also racks up huge points.  (He’s cute, but an evil genius that way.)

Here’s a new word for you that uses both Z (10 points) and X (8 points): ZAX.  And I only had to use two of my own letters.

ZAX: At least 19 points!

I was pleasantly surprised when my play worked.  The double-word score was a nice bonus.   But what does the word mean?

It couldn’t be the Dr. Seuss characters he called the Zax.

From Dr. Seuss’s story “The Zax”

Wordfeud doesn’t accept proper names or characters from books.   Even after the nice score, I couldn’t leave it alone.  I had to look it up.

Besides, what if my opponent asked me what it meant?  I had to know what this special three-letter word was.

Dictionary.com defines it as a “hatchetlike tool for cutting and punching nail holes in roofing slate.”  Hey!  I turned my AX into a hammer.  (Yes, I often laugh at my own jokes.)

I discovered a new wordexpanded my vocabulary!  However, it’s not a word that I’ll ever use in a conversation.  I’ll have to find a roofer first.  “So, Mr. Rooferguy, you gonna use a zax on that roofing slate?”  I don’t think so.

What’s important is that I got *counting on fingers* 38 points for those three letters.  (What?  I’m a word girl.)  My husband is laughing that I think that’s a big score.  Sigh.

Played any unusual words lately?  Do you have a favorite word that’s nearly impossible to use in a normal conversation?  Have you had a slate roof put on your house, so you’ve seen a zax in person?  Share, share, share.   😉

We figured that one out a long time ago

I have a whale bone to pick with the world of history as written by men in relation to what women were capable of doing, knowing, or creating–especially when it’s about clothes.

Historically, men have made life-changing decisions for women and declared that’s how women must carry forward–as if men actually knew anything about what goes on in women’s minds or bodies.  (Pantyhose is a perfect example.)

A recent discovery of a medieval bra has overthrown the long-held belief that the bra was invented only about 100 years ago.

Really?  Just because there hasn’t been material evidence of bras before the torture device called a corset, people can’t fathom the idea that women might have been smart enough to sew fabric in such a way as to support their breasts comfortably?  Thank goodness the Victorian Age is over!

by Steph Lawton from WANA Commons

Mary Phelps Jacob got the first patent for a bra in 1913 when she sewed two silk hankies together to wear under a new evening gown.  I can’t blame her for wanting to pitch her stiff, tight, and uncomfortable corset.  But that doesn’t mean she invented the brassiere for the first time ever in all of history.  Sheesh.

Who did most (if not all) of the sewing for, well, forever?  Women have be designing, creating, and burning their own undergarments for eternity.  Wait, did I say burning?OK, that part isn’t true.  In 1968, the myth of the bra-burning feminists was born at a draft protest.  Even though it didn’t happen, the myth was perpetuated enough so that some women felt free enough to leave their bras at home.  (Some really shouldn’t haveI could be a little jealous; others didn’t look any different.)

Honestly, there are so many bra options on the market now that women can wear anything from the barely-there sheer to the push-up bra.   Don’t forget the all-in-one SPANX so no one sees the muffin top at the too-low waistline of our jeans.

Oh, no!  We’re back to the torture devices again!

Women, have we learned nothing since the corset was thrown out?

In honor of the sometimes-matching partner to the brassiere, check out what Jenny Hansen has to say about the national day for underwear.

Just for fun–Answer this quiz to tell me your favorite.  🙂

Do you have a least favorite article of clothing?  I’d love to hear from you.

Demon Dog: Adopt One

click, click, click, click, click

I stop.  The sound stops.  I continue walking.

click, click, click, click, click

The sound keeps pace with my steps and reverberates on the hardwood floor.  I stop.  The sounds stops.

Is it a ghost or monster or psycho following me in my own home?

If this were a horror movie, I would turn around and see something terrifying, something that would scare me to death.  Instead, I see the creature of the night adorable dog.

The creature followed my every move. I couldn’t get away…

She’s cute, right?  Don’t be fooled.  Haven’t you seen MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL?    That bunny rabbit had “nasty, pointy teeth.”

This elderly furry thing that my daughter adopted from the SPCA has the latent ability to kill every living organism in a 5-mile radius clear a room with her, um, stench.  I found a sensitive-stomach kibble that killed the horror movie monster–at least until the dog eats something she shouldn’t.

This dog also has the ability to sit and stare.  It makes us wonder if there isn’t a Cujo somewhere inside that little 18-pound furball.

The creature stared. Silent and deadly.

In all seriousness, my daughter did a loving thing by convincing us to let her adopt this 11-year-old dog.  (Granted, my husband was out of the country at the time.  In my defense, he could have said, “No, we already have a dog” in any text message or phone call.  He didn’t.)   My daughter paid for the adoption fee and most of the supplies with her own money.  She even parted with old toys in a garage sale to earn enough money to pay us back for other doggie incidentals.

If you’re thinking about adopting an older dog, there are a few things you should know so you don’t have a horror movie waiting to happen:

1. It will take awhile for the dog to get acclimated.  Did she miss her previous owner?  I think so.  She didn’t make a sound for the first two months.  She watched our first dog constantly.  The day she saw another dog walking by our house, she flipped.  This little poodle mix had quite a bark.  It was about that same time that she started playing with her dog toys.  She was incredibly playful.  Some dogs settle in sooner.  Don’t be surprised by the dead calm stare.

2.  You may have to change the dog’s food.  There are no words to describe the noxious fumes that wafted throughout the house killing us slowly.  Whatever you do, don’t feed it after midnight.  (Did you see the movie Gremlins? Gizmo was cute.  His fed-late-at-night offspring, not so much.)

3. Prepare to care for an older dog. Sigh.  She doesn’t always make it until we get home from work or through the night.  In the middle of the night during the bewitching hour, she lets me know with quiet whines haunting sounds that she needs to go out.  She also didn’t know that the grass was the place to go.  My daughter gets to clean the patio often.  At least the new food made her “presents” easier to clean up.

4. Discover the dog’s tricks.  She doesn’t come when called even though we kept her name.  She wasn’t crate trained (still isn’t).  She didn’t sit, shake paws, or lay down. With little treats, my daughter learned that her new dog wasn’t as untrained as we thought.  Also, if you have another dog in the house, the new dog will probably follow the other dog’s lead while she insidiously infiltrates the family.

5. Love the dog.  My daughter felt compelled to rescue this dog.  She loved her from the moment she saw her.  This “pup” is just the right size for my younger daughter to walk, too.  Quirky, but adorable.  I got nothing for the horror movie theme here.  She’s a good dog.

Links:

  • My friend Nicole recently posted about her newly-adopted dog.
  • Click here to see what the ASPCA says about older dogs that need new “forever homes.”
  • The Senior Dogs Project website has some good information, too. I don’t completely agree with their #10 on the top 10 list though.  It’s rare for both dogs (now 11 and 12 years old) to sleep through the night, unless I stay up late and let them out before I go to bed.   And to think I was thrilled when the kids stopped waking me up every night.

My daughter and I joke about the “demon dog” and her strange, horror-movie ways, but we both agree that she is sweet and was worth adopting.  I kinda like the click, click, click sound she makes when she walks on the hardwood floors.

Do you any pet adoption stories to tell?  Please share in the comments below.  🙂

The Dog Ate My Homework

It’s that time of summer when I start thinking about getting the kids ready for school. Instead of thinking about supplies, physical forms, and sleeping habits, something reminded me about the time when my older daughter was in fifth grade and our dog ate her math homework.

Really, he did.

He’s an adorable, yet precocious, Portuguese Water Dog with all the manners in the world (after A LOT of training) and as long as there are witnesses. As soon as he’s alone and sees an opportunity, he’ll scrounge for anything he thinks might be yummy.

He is allowed to stick his head in his own bags. He loves presents.

On this particular day, my daughter may or may not have had probably did have something that smelled edible in her book bag.  It wouldn’t take much for this scavenger to think something smelled good.   Heck, this is a dog that will eat a roll of toilet paper like corn on the cob when the mood strikes him.

When we returned home from an errand, we found math homework strewn all over the floor.  It was mostly shredded.  Teeth marks and slobber were evident.  My daughter’s “little brother” had put his muzzle inside her book bag and pulled out the paper to get at whatever it was he was looking for.  (Portuguese Water Dogs are smart!)

My daughter stood in the middle of the room and stared at her destroyed, half-eaten math worksheet.  “What am I going to do?” she cried.  “No one will ever believe that my dog ate my homework!”

It was pretty funny seeing the cliche excuse in action. But I was a good mom and didn’t laugh out loud until later.

The dog put himself in timeout in his crate.  He knew when he was in trouble.

We collected the homework–every last shredded piece–and put it all in a zip bag to take to school.  The evidence clearly showed that a dog attacked the paper. I emailed her math teacher and explained the gory mess we found and that she was terrified that he wouldn’t believe her.

He sent the nicest note back.  He owned four dogs and wouldn’t be surprised by anything a dog did.  No worries.  What a relief!   Fabulous teacher, too–one of my daughter’s all-time favorites. Now, it was safe to laugh.

In sixth grade, her new math teacher told the class that “my dog ate my homework” was a stupid (his word), non-viable excuse and that they should think twice before using it.  According to my daughter, the students who had been in her fifth grade class started laughing.  They knew that a dog really could eat homework!

What about you?  Do you have a funny pet destruction story to tell?  Do you have to do certain things to keep pets out of trouble, such as keeping toilet paper rolls off the holder? Share it in the comments below.  I’d love to hear about it.  🙂

Good and Bad Ideas in Colorado

In honor of a family trip to Colorado, I have a few good and bad ideas to share.

This is my first attempt at blogging from the WordPress app on my phone. If it looks odd I’ll edit from my computer later. 🙂

Good idea:
Picking out a rock at a shop to take home.

image

The legal way to bring home cool rocks


We had a great time shopping!

Bad idea:
Picking out a rock from a national park to take home.

Good idea:
Fishing with your kids on the
Arkansas River.
Bad idea:
Fishing with your kids on the Arkasas River from the Royal Gorge Bridge.

image
Seriously, the highest suspension bridge is not a good fishing location. I guess the sign is for extreme fishing enthusiasts crazy people.

Good idea:
Riding a ski lift to the top of a mountain.
Bad idea:
Riding a ski lift to the top of a mountain during a thunder storm.

image

My view as a thunderstorm let loose on us


Oh, yes, we did this. We rode the lift back down the mountain as the rain started and the thunder rolled. The lift closed before we got to the bottom. I don’t recommend it.

There are plenty more where these came from. After listening to my kids recite quotes from the Animaniacs for a couple of hours, these moments are jumping out at me. Here’s a list of all of the segments:
The Animaniacs “Good Idea, Bad Idea”

It could have been a horror movie when…

…A demon squirrel attacked me.

Really?

Yes, and there were three witnesses.  It was the perfect setting for a horror movie.

It was a beautiful spring day my senior year in college…

(My husband interrupts this blog to point out that this happened a looonnnggg time ago.  He’s cute–I think I’ve mentioned that.)

Back to the story.  I was walking with a friend.  There were two one cute and one demon squirrels under a large oak tree just off the sidewalk.  The cute squirrel was eating an acorn.  The other demon squirrel was looking at us.  It was watching us.

The staring demon squirrel darted toward the sidewalk as if in a mad dash to cross a road before becoming road kill.   He overshot the sidewalk and we kept walking.

Suddenly, there was something on the back of my bare leg. I was wearing shorts, not jeans.  In a horror movie, I would think it was nothing harmful or that it was something playful–and I would be very wrong.

The demon squirrel had jumped onto my leg.  What the heck?  Tiny, gerbil-like demon squirrel claws were sliding down my leg.   I saw only the flash of the demon squirrel’s tail as I turned from side to side–bushy, brown tail no matter which way I turned.   I experienced a moment of complete paralysis.

The demon squirrel slid all the way down my bare leg and ran to the oak tree where it stared us down with glowing red eyes.

Maybe the demon squirrel’s eyes weren’t glowing red, but they would be in a horror movie.

My friend laughed.  Actually, I’m pretty sure he was ROTFLHAO.  He stomped at the demon squirrel.  The demon squirrel, holding on to the side of the tree, stomped back.  I kid you not.  Still laughing, my friend said, “Maybe it thought you were a tree.”

Not funny, friend.

The other two witnesses were as stunned as I was.  I’m pretty sure they were both ROTFLTAO after they showed a little concern for me and then disappeared into a building.

Over time, I’ve been able to forgive the demon squirrel for being possessed protective of its acorn tree.  You have no idea how glad I am that this happened before cell phone cameras and YouTube (yes, that was a looonngg time ago).  My friend would have captured it on video and posted it online before the adrenaline left me shaking and in shock.

Here’s video of an angry squirrel. I could’ve sworn its eyes glowed briefly. It could be the same demon squirrel.

(My 14-year-old just informed me that it couldn’t be the same squirrel because they. don’t. live. that. long.  It’s hard to blog with family looking over my shoulder.)

It’s a good thing my experience wasn’t a horror movie.   If it had been, the bystander who did nothing to assist the first victim would have been the second victim.  My friend might have been pelted with acorns by a demon-possessed squirrel with red, glowing eyes.

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My turn to ROTFLMAO.

Go see this illustration of a squirrel by Ryan Green (his squirrel-ish story is funny, too).  The bunny ears do seem to make the creature less scary.

My demon squirrel would benefit from ears like that.

A friend of mine told me that she chased squirrels the other day.  Then I realized that Tommie wasn’t chasing real squirrels.  You should read her blog about it.  It has a cool video of horses, too.  🙂

Do you have any squirrel or wild animal experiences stories to tell?  Share them in the comments below.