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By Robin Dearing
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Awhile back, my band
was scheduled to play two shows in Denver on the same day. We found ourselves at a bar in a strip mall in Littleton with several hours to kill until we played our second set.
In order to amuse ourselves, we began playing a rather rowdy game of what we ultimately dubbed “Riveter pong.” It was like ping-pong only the object was not to score, but just to keep the ball in motion
at. all. costs.
As a result, we would find ourselves hitting the ball with careless abandon. As one could imagine, the normally harmless, ping-pong ball turned into torture device for those unfortunate enough to be trying to play pool at the tables around us.
We hit one guy with the ball several times. Each time, we’d genuinely apologize but then continue our reckless game.
Finally, Bridgett, our good-conscienced drummer, said, “At some point, saying sorry just isn’t going to be enough.”
I whine all the time that parenting is hard. And I’ve admitted that I’m kinda sucky at this whole “mom” thing.
Some people have said that because I worry that I’m a bad mom means that I’m not. But honestly, I know that not true.
Most people don’t see me at my worst — when I’m afire with anger or lost in sorrow, when I’m mean or careless.
But just like the apologies for our transgressions during “Riveter pong,” I’ve come to realize that just saying I have sucky mom moments, just isn’t good enough anymore.
So this year, I’ve resolved — and this isn’t just for this year, but for always — to never be complacent and always be striving to overcome my incendiary temper and my tendency to be selfish and “me”-centered.
My other resolution for this year is to be nicer to everyone, myself included. So, I’ve been allowing myself more time for one of my favorite pastimes, which is reading.
I wonder what it says about me that the books I’ve been reading lately are memoirs about people who have had crazy childhoods punctuated by equally crazy mothers:
The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Okay, despite the technical difficulties I think you can watch it here
! You have no idea how hard that was so I better get some comments girls!!!
Monday, January 15, 2007
Title courtesy of Robin.
The thing about snow is that you can see your footprints in it. The thing about teenagers is they don’t really think past their footprints at times. The combination of these two truths makes for interesting events.
Alex has a friend stay overnight Friday. The same kids who refuse to get out of bed in the morning also refuse to go to bed at night. So about 11:00 p.m. I tell them both good night and since it was very cold, windy and snowy outside I said, JOKINGLY!, “If you sneak out of the house tonight be sure to bundle up.”
Somewhere around 3:00 a.m. I hear talking and stumble out of bed to see whassup. Both kids are in the refrigerator, not literally, but where else would two teenage boys be?
As I glance across the room doing the “mom-scan” I notice a pair of gloves on the floor by the front door. Most definitely they were not there before I went to bed.
“Al, where did those gloves come from?”
“Umm, they’re the gloves you got me from Eddie Bauer, remember?”
“Yeah, I know where they came
from. What are they doing by the front door?”
“Ummmm,” followed by the deer in the headlight - or the teenagers in the refrigerator light - look.
Now my mom radar is on full alert. I open the front door and see two pair of giant size sneakers coated in snow on the front porch.
“Why are your shoes covered in snow and sitting outside?” (Lest you think I am stupid, I have actually figured out by now whassup. I’m giving them every opportunity to come clean.)
“Ummm, we were bored so we walked around the front yard.”
“Really? You didn’t go anywhere other than the front yard?”
“Ummm, not really.”
“Well, very curious because there are footprints in the snow leading down the driveway and up to the road.”
“No, really, we didn’t go very far.”
OK. They are so busted by now. I mean the smoke from the gun is thick in the air! And there’s smoke coming from my ears because not only is the boy less than truthful, he thinks I’m stupid enough to believe him! I will give his friend points because he did actually fess up. (But I’m deducting points from both of them because they weren’t smart enough to at least put their snow covered foot-yachts in the garage.)
Long story short, I ordered them both directly to bed and lights out. The next morning they were served a lecture on the importance of truth, honesty and trust along with their Spam and bagel sandwiches. And Alex got to copy down every military code of honor that exists and write a brief essay on why telling the truth is important. And I lectured him again on how he may or may not get in trouble for what he did, but he will always get in trouble for not telling the truth about it.
In the end, I have to laugh to myself. I bet it was a blast to sneak out, go up to a friend’s house and write “I love you” in the snow as they claimed they did. And if I wanted further evidence to bust them, I needed only to point out two pairs of wet jeans hanging over the shower rod.
By Robin Dearing
Friday, January 12, 2007
Back when Margaret was a baby, I was always afraid that she was going to get appendicitis (for no reason in particular — I chalk it up to being a result of my general quirkiness).
I remember wishing that she could identify and communicate her ailments. I wished that she could tell me when there was something wrong with her.
But as the saying goes, be careful for what you wish.
Now, that's she's developed a sophisticated-enough vocabulary to hold a conversation with most anyone, she constantly barraging me ailments.
She'll cry that she needs multiple Band-Aids for a mere scratch that she is sure is going to cause her to be exsanguinated. She needs "two pills" (her reference to children's Motrin) for an ache she claims is preventing her living her life to the fullest. She complains that her stomach hurts ...
And that's the one that always gets to us.
For several months last year, Margaret's stomach did hurt — we could tell by her urgent and frequent trips to the bathroom.
At first, we thought that she had eaten something bad or had a bug, but it didn't seem to go away.
After too many days of suffering, we took her to the doctor.
I like our family doctor. He's pretty patient with me and my sundry, bizarre ailments and is pretty practically minded about treating children (and me, as well).
We discussed the possibility that she might be faking it and discussed the possibility that she had a legitimate problem.
We decided on a course of diagnostics and we decided to begin eliminating certain foods from her diet.
She had an x-ray which revealed nothing major.
Next step, diet modification.
First things, first, we eliminated milk. Being that many people are black-toast intolerant,
er, I mean lactose intolerant, we thought dairy might be the problem.
Well, guess what? It was. We eliminated regular milk and now she drinks lactose-free milk instead.
That seems to have helped a lot.
But she still complains about her stomach.
We're pretty sure that she's OK and that she uses her delicate, digestive constitution as an excuse, but what if she's not?
What if she's got an ulcer? Or gastroparesis? Or appendicitis?
Just another reason why parenting is so dang hard.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
We all know somebody who needs this show!!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 1/11/2007
Contact: Johnnie Raines - Casting Producer: 323/904-4680 firstname.lastname@example.org
ABC’S SUPERNANNY LAUNCHES WINTER CASTING TOUR IN GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO; THIRD SEASON PREMIERE SOARS IN THE RATINGS
Los Angeles, CA -- The casting team of ABC’s hit reality series SUPERNANNY are looking for Western Colorado families for the new season of the show. KJCT News 8, K-JOY 92.3 and producers from the show are hosting an open casting call on Saturday, January 13th from 12PM until 3PM at the Mesa Mall in Grand Junction.
The season premiere earlier this month generated the network’s strongest series performance in the time period since the spring, the network said. Casting Producers from the show are launching winter casting for the third season of SUPERNANNY to find fresh stories illuminating a variety of family issues not seen before on the show.
Interested families who are in need of help with their out of control kids may apply from anywhere via ABC.com, keyword “SUPERNANNY” or call in to the Casting Hotline at 877/NANNY-TIME (1-877-626-6984).
Jo Frost’s expert behavioral techniques and caring ease with children make ABC’s SUPERNANNY a hit with the audience every week. Her newest book, ASK SUPERNANNY hit the shelves this fall and follows up her best selling SUPERNANNY: HOW TO GET THE BEST FROM YOUR KIDS, which spent three months on the New York Times best seller list.
In each episode of the series airing on KJCT News 8, Monday nights this winter, Jo Frost wrestles even the most unruly kids into shape, imparting effective parenting tools and returning harmony to American households one family at a time. Please visit www.kjct8.com for more information.
Please call 323/904-4680 or e-mail email@example.com
Or contact Dylan Hardy at KJCT News 8 (970) 245-8880 firstname.lastname@example.org
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
As mentioned I like to Google random words in my spare time. My favorite word of late has been “Cupcake
.” Reason being I’m thinking of making some cupcakes for Soren’s first birthday which isn’t far off.
A one-year-birthday is a big deal but a large party with clowns and bump-n-jumps seems frivolous. I’m thinking a few family members with pizza and cupcakes is going to be the little affair for my big man. A one hour event
Anyway so I Googled “cupcake.” I was completely stunned. There are thousands of sites and blogs devoted to the mini-cake. I had no idea!
Seems in the larger metro areas like L.A. and N.Y.C. cupcakes are all the rage! There are tons of little bakeries devoted to gourmet cupcake baking. They have cute names like the Cupcake Royale
, the California Cupcake Company
, and Sprinkles
One article claims that cupcakes are the “New Cocaine
.” How many do you have to eat to get that effect?
There are posh skater-style stores devoted to cupcake t-shirts and hoodies like Johnny Cupcakes
. (I really like some of these.)
And sweet blogs galore!!! There’s an endless foodie circle of bloggers that devote page after page to their latest “I can bake better than you
It’s the newest hottest wedding trend to serve white cupcakes instead of the traditional wedding cake.
I started to wonder if I could have a new career in cupcake baking. Is this town ready for an entire store devoted to the cupcake? What about other mini sweet treats? Maybe a store reminiscent of European bakeries which sell three bite delicacies like tiramisu and banana eclairs? I’d sell cakes with cutsey names like Palisade Peachy Paradise and Bookcliff Spice and Red Dirt cakes. I’d cater weddings with pure white mini cakes covered in pale pink marzipan and topped with live edible pansies. Or maybe I’d make inspirational cakes for church socials with words like truth, devotion, and love scrolled in rich buttercream.
nice daydream. It all starts with the first dozen. There are thousands upon thousands of Internet recipes.
I was planning on making some cakes out of a box. Maybe I’d throw in a handful of chocolate chips if I were feeling exceptionally creative. But after this wide search, it’s just not going to be good enough. I’m now thinking of chocolate raspberry with blue buttercream frosting. Or maybe strawberry with cream cheese frosting decorated with blue #1’s.
I don’t know. Now I’m overwhelmed. Any suggestions?
By Robin Dearing
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
I love living in Grand Junction for too many reasons to list.
One of which is the people. I've met many wonderful, interesting, intelligent, funny, friendly folks here in the Grand Valley.
Unfortunately, there seems to be an equal number of mannerless— I'm trying to think of an appropriate word that I can use on a family-friendly Web page ... let's go with — dolts living here in the valley as well.
You know the type, the people who won't let you merge over when you have your blinker on, but instead speed up. Yeah, those guys.
It seems that whenever even a semi-big name band or musician comes to town, the dolts think it's their cue to gather with like-minded individuals and put on the dunce parade.
I've been to two shows in Grand Junction where the performer had to stop the show to point out to the dolts who were causing annoying and/or dangerous mayhem that behaving one's self in public is not so much an option as a requirement, especially when one is in a full house.
Now, I'm not such a prude as to think that these doltish folks would act like this everyday. I realize that these mannerless clods, more than likely, had ingested compounds of some sort that facilitated such behavior. But that is no excuse.
If you cannot hold your liquor, then you should stay home and annoy your family — not me. Don't under any circumstances come out and annoy and/or endanger the rest of the ruly crowd.
I love going to shows. I love standing at the front of the stage and singing and dancing with abandon. I've even been in a mosh pit or two in my time. So I'm not some wallflower who wants everyone to sit quietly with their hands folded in their laps.
What I want is for people to act with respect towards their fellow human beings.
It is my belief that we parents need to instill in our children that there's a difference between having a good time and acting a fool.
Monday, January 8, 2007
I have never been a big fan of the comics. This is true in spite of the fact I learned to read by looking at the Sunday comics and eventually all the words on the page were deciphered to go along with the pictures. I have always been puzzled by the multitude of people who freak out whenever we change something on our comics pages. I bite my tongue to avoid saying something like, “Get a life.”
Until I started reading “ZITS”.
This cartoon should be required reading for any parent going through the teenage years. I swear the characters live at my house. I clip it out several times a week to share with Alex. In fact, I told him yesterday that he should call the cops because they have stolen his identity through this comic strip. I rarely, if ever, miss reading it. In fact, if my employers ever mess with it, I will be one of those people flooding our switch board to freak out.
You won’t find the comic on our web pages. But I’m telling ya, it’s worth the price of home delivery. Oh yeah - call us at 242-1919 and we canl set you up with that. Or go back to our home page and do it on-line.
Have fun reading ZITS! We all need to laugh more - especially at our own situations!
Friday, January 5, 2007
Last but not least . . .
Ten Things That Make Me Happy
1. A sincere “I love you” from my son, or anyone else for that matter
2. Having my family close at hand
3. A bottle of really good red wine for less than ten bucks
4. An up-close parking spot
5. A haircut I like the first time
6. Prayers answered the way I think they should be answered
7. Going on a picnic - anytime, anywhere, any weather
8. A full tank of gas, a clean car, my favorite CD’s and an open road (OK that’s four, but they’re related)
9. I can still do at least ten real push-ups
10. Making my son laugh
Nine Places I’ve Visited
1. King Hassan’s palace in Morocco
2. La Alhambra
3. Haleakala Crater
4. Harry’s Farmer’s Market
5. Praia de Roca
7. La Catedral de Sevilla
8. Canyonview Stadium 14
9. Monterey Bay Aquarium
Eight Random Things You Might Not Know About Me
1. My tan lines from Hawaii are beginning to fade
2. I won the school spelling bee in 6th grade
3. My spice cabinet is alphabetized
4. There are certain crimes I would commit if they ever become de-criminalized
5. I have never seen “Rocky Horror Picture Show”
6. I once drove all night with friends to get tickets to a Grateful Dead concert (about which I remember little)
7. I love to make and eat soup, any kind of soup
8. I own t-shirts that are older than my son
Seven Things I Want To Do Before I Die
2. Win Powerball
3. Have grandchildren
4. Visit Scotland and Ireland
5. Get Botox
6. Be on an episode of Boston Legal
7. Have time to say a Hail Mary
Six Ways To Win My Heart
1. Tell me I’m a good mother
2. Take me on a trip somewhere
3. Compliment my son
4. Be my handyman and fix stuff
5. Don’t argue with me about ANYTHING when I have PMS
6. Support me even if you don’t agree with me
Five Things I Don’t Like
1. People who throw their cigarette butts out of their car windows
2. Any so-called “reality” TV
3. People who litter, especially in the wilderness
5. People who don’t clean the microwave at work after they use it
Four Things I’m Afraid Of
1. Anything bad happening to my son
2. Choking, drowning or some other violent death like murder
3. Getting cancer or any life-threatening illness
4. Being the only survivor after nuclear war
Three Ways To Turn Me Off
1. Vote for a candidate or issue without bothering to become informed about either
2. Blame all your problems on other people or events and refuse to take responsibility
3. Pick your teeth in public after eating
Two Things I Wish I Had
1. My original Woodstock poster
2. The proverbial magic bullet
One Thing On My Mind Right Now
1. That I actually get paid to do this
By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Thursday, January 4, 2007
This was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.
Ten Random Things You Might Not Know About Me!
1. I grew up "off-the-grid" often without running water or electricity.
2. I wear socks to bed and then kick them off before I fall asleep. There's always a nest of disgarded socks at the foot of my bed.
3. I'm passive-aggressive.
4. I like to search random words like "tiny pants" "crackhead" and "europeans" into search engines to see what comes up.
This is one of my favorite restaraunts although I've only been there twice.
6. I like scary movies because they make me giggle.
7. I put ketchup on my eggs.
8. I'm klutzy and socially awkward at times.
9. I'm secretly shy.
10. I read A LOT! I'll read anything including shampoo bottles while I'm waiting for the conditioner to set in.
Nine Places I've Visited:
The White House
The Sistine Chapel
The Red Sea
Eight Ways To Win My Heart
1. Take me somewhere...anywhere.
2. Surprise Me.
3. Remember something random I've said.
4. Save something I've given you.
5. Be there for me in my weakest moments.
6. Remember my name and how to spell it.
7. Let ME be nice to YOU!
Seven Things I Want To Do Before I Die:
1. Have more kids.
2. Take those kids backpacking in Europe, to Disneyland, and to Yellowstone.
3. Eat at Tavern on the Green
4. Retire Rich.
5. Value and use all the time I have left.
6. Catch a really really big fish...then let it go.
7. Tell my family I love them every single day.
Six Things I'm Afraid Of.
1. Not having any emergency food in my house.
2. Losing my family.
3. My teeth falling out.
5. People stalking me on this blog.
6. Getting old.
Five Things I Don't Like:
1. I don't like when Internet commenters use acronyms like DD for darling daughter or LOL for laugh out loud. I can't always figure it out and it's annoying....FFS!
2. Drivers that turn into the far lane....It's illegal and annoying.
3. When people stand too close to me in the line at the grocery store.
5. Rude people.
Four Ways To Turn Me Off
1. Make fun of me.
2. Not listen.
3. Be cranky for no reason
4. Be boring.
Two Things That Make Me Happy
One Thing On My Mind Right Now