Winter Spider

Published January 8, 2014 by clanofthesleepingbear

You find a large-bodied spider in the house, on a sub-zero winter day. You like spiders, so you don’t want to kill it. Do you:

A) put it outside, where it’s going to freeze to death
B) squish it, because while you like spiders squishing is a kinder death than freezing
C) move it to the basement, thus ensuring your scared-of-spiders wife won’t go into the basement for the next month (and now you’ll have to do all the basement errands, multiple times a day)
D) leave the spider in the house to co-exist, until the next time your wife sees it


Grapefruit for Dessert

Published December 28, 2013 by clanofthesleepingbear

Do you know what tastes good after eating grapefruit? Nothing. I bet even oranges taste nasty after grapefruit.

I had fruit salad, heavy on the grapefruit, for dessert purposely so I wouldn’t eat any more cookies this hour. Yet here I am now, wondering how many cookies it would take to get past the grapefruit aftertaste, then past the nasty flavor of refined sugar mixed with grapefruit, and finally on to that point where cookies taste good again. How many would it take, do you think? Four cookies? Six? Somewhere in that range, probably.

The first three to five cookies would be wasted, sacrificed to change the taste bud receptors from sour to sweet. So the real question becomes: is it worth wasting three to five homemade cookies, most likely of my own making, just to enjoy one? Not that I would stop there. At that point I’d probably just make it an even dozen. Why go through all of that work & bad flavors for one good cookie? Totally not worth it.

Which then brings me to this question: how badly do I want this (dozen) cookie(s)? Badly enough to gain another five pounds this month? Badly enough to eat myself into physical pain? Badly enough to overdose on sugar right before I have to wrestle the children into the bathtub?

I could just wait until later, to eat more cookies. I could wait until bath time is over, and the children are in bed. Presumably the grapefruit aftertaste would be gone by then. I could likely enjoy each and every cookie if I just waited another hour or two. That would be the smart thing to do.

Plus, let’s be honest: regardless of how many cookies I have now, I’ll eat more later.


Published October 10, 2013 by clanofthesleepingbear

Husband asks us today what our scarecrow’s name is. We are supposed to name it? Really? Isn’t that creepy? It’s a faceless straw person slouched in a chair under a holly tree, whose head keeps falling off. Never mind that our scarecrow is now two weeks old.

S starts offering up names: “Emily!”

Emily is the name she has recently given her teddy bear (formerly known as Teddy). I nix this name because to name the scarecrow and beloved bear the same name will surely lead to Someone deciding we can’t leave Emily on the front lawn and that she (scarecrow) should be moved indoors. From there it’s just a short step to having both Emily the Scarecrow and Emily the Bear in her bed. I’m already getting the heebie-jeebies thinking about straw and bugs in the house.

Undaunted, S gives us another name: “Snowflake!”

I’m starting to notice a trend. Glitter and Sparkle (all Elf on the Shelf names) are surely the next suggestions.

I’m not sure how scary Snowflake the Scarecrow sounds, although we don’t have a huge crow problem in our front yard, so maybe ‘scary’ isn’t what we are aiming for. We might be aiming for ‘festive’ but with a name like Snowflake we are mixing holidays. I see myself making a red Elf hat and skirt for Snowflake, once Halloween has passed. With V giving it hugs and S naming it, the likelihood of dismantling the scarecrow on November 1 seems slim.

She looks like a Snowflake, doesn’t she?


Afternoon Crafts

Published October 9, 2013 by clanofthesleepingbear

My kids watch WAY too much television. They ask for it, I say no, and then the little one throws a colossal fit. I give in and turn on the TV, feeling guilty about not actually playing with them. This happens almost every week day. Yes, I’m a terrible mom.

I’ve been making a solid effort to change this. Today’s effort came in the form of coffee can crafts. My bright idea was to remove the coffee can label, cover the can with craft paper, and the girls could paint the cans. Easy yet different, right? And it uses stuff we already have!

The coffee cans I have are cardboard, so I’ll never be able to get rid of the coffee smell. I had been thinking of making holiday cookie containers with the cans, but unless we only make coffee cookies, it won’t work. Hmm…. I guess we are stuck making banks. That is less fun than cookie containers. Moving on…

While cutting out the paper I realize it’s too thin to paint so we are stuck with markers and crayons, making the project less fun. Paint is special, markers and crayons are the norm. Moving on…

I clean the cans, cut the paper, set out the markers. Everything is ready. The kids just need to decorate the paper and I’ll glue it to the can. Easy, right? Sure!

First, there is arguing over who gets which markers. I move the seats around so they can share the markers. Then, they each only want whatever marker I am using, only to discard it .7 seconds later. S wants to color my paper, V wants to have a snack.

S finishes her paper and is ready to glue. She refuses to use the opened glue sticks, and insists upon using one from the unopened pack. I refuse, so end up doing the glueing myself. She then asks about the lack of hole in the top of the can. Oops! I forgot to cut the holes.

I stab my scissors into the plastic top and immediately slice my finger open. At the same time I realize V has gotten the top off the glue stick and is coloring my paper with glue. I grab the scissors and glue and run off to the kitchen to clean up my bloody finger, where I manage to leap over a surprise pile of cat puke.

When I return with bandaged finger (and cleaned floor) to the Scene of Crafting Fun, everyone has lost interest and is playing with other stuff. V barely put a marker to her paper so I drag her back, stick a marker in her hand and ask her to do more. “More” ends up being three dots (literally) and then she is “done!”

Set-up and clean-up of Crafting Fun: 30 minutes.
Crafting Fun: less than 10 minutes.

That went well, right?

Random Thoughts on a Rainy Day

Published October 7, 2013 by clanofthesleepingbear

I’m having a Day. Not a Good Day, or a Bad Day, or a Difficult Day. Just, a Day. One of those days when the weather is strange and there’s lots of random thoughts flitting about my head. Such as:

1) I make rice and beans a lot for a Polish/Irish/Cherokee woman married to a German/Italian/Polish man. Like, a LOT. I almost never make any Polish dishes, and absolutely never make any Irish or German dishes. Yet, I make rice and beans weekly.

2) I’m three books into a romance series I thought was four books but apparently is at least five books. I’m not sure I want to go that far for a Happily Ever After, especially when the author painfully includes the backstory of the previous books on each new book. It’s pissing me off because I really want that HEA and have spent four days invested in the first three books.

3) WHAT was I thinking when I told my then 3 y/o daughter we’d talk about getting a dog when she was five??? THAT IS ONLY 7 MONTHS AWAY!!! It seemed light years away when I said it!!!

4) I am patiently waiting to hear back from someone about being a paid beta reader. I really really really really want this. Getting paid to read and critique books? I feel like I’ve been looking for this my entire life! Please please please please let this work out. It is my Dream.

5) When I said I was patiently waiting in #4? Yeah, that was a huge lie. I’m jumping out of my skin waiting.

6) I think a small Nutella-fall (waterfall of Nutella) would be a fatal fantasy, but I can’t stop wanting it.

Cats vs. Kids

Published September 27, 2013 by clanofthesleepingbear

Sometimes I wish child-raising was like caring for cats.

Are they bored? Just sprinkle some catnip around and watch them go crazy.

Are they being naughty? Just shake a can of pennies at them, or spritz them with a water bottle.

Are they being really naughty? Lock them in the bathroom until they can get along.

But, no. There’s all this calm talking and lessons and deep breathing to find more patience when you are sure you’ve run out.

Which leads me to a great business idea: Loan-A-Kid.

Are your cherubs on your last nerve? Do you need a break, just for a few hours, but don’t want to use a traditional baby sitter? Do you need to get some things done but feel guilty about neglecting your kids?

Loan-A-Kid matches your cherubs with a lovely, caring couple who would like to parent for a few hours. Perhaps they cannot have children, or aren’t yet ready for the full-time parenting gig. Perhaps they simply chose not to have kids, but would still like to lavish love and attention on a few children for short periods of time. These loving couples have been carefully screened and are ready to love your children for a few hours.

Maybe this idea needs a bit more thought…

In the meantime, I have to go hand out catnip and chocolates.


Published September 22, 2013 by clanofthesleepingbear

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m not fond of bugs. Or spiders. Or any of the ‘creepy crawly’ type creatures. Rodents, snakes, and reptiles are all fine. Enjoyable, even. But not bugs.

I’ve always been a big fan of squishing unwanted creepy crawlies that wander into my home. It’s cruel, yes. Husband refuses to kill these things, and instead relocates them to their proper home, aka Outside. Despite his penchant for what I consider excess critter kindness (they’re bugs!!), and my completely adorable yet almost crippling fear of all things with more than four legs, he’s not at all appreciative of me waking him up to relocate bugs. Am I just supposed to go to sleep knowing there is something crawling everywhere and anywhere in my house??? Fat Chance.

Now when I find an Uninvited in the house late at night, I put on Husband’s shoes and stomp the thing to death. If he doesn’t like it he needs to be less grumpy about being woken up.

Husband is away this weekend. Word seems to have spread around the yard & they’ve all conspired to invade my house. There’s a large spider on the ceiling of the upstairs bathroom, right over the doorway. My hair is a fright because all of my products are in that bathroom, and that room is now off-limits.

Worse, there’s a huge bug in the dining room. I mean HUGE. So big that I couldn’t step on it, as its the size of a baby mouse. Not a pinkie, either. More fuzzy size.

One in the morning and I’m locking all the windows, in a fit of home-alone paranoia. There IT is, black as night, sitting on the base of the girls’ Little Tikes salon chair. I look at It, It looks at me. I back away, and make a mad dash for a pair of gigantic shoes. I clomp back, and take another look. There’s just no way I can kill this thing and feel anything but horror. Sigh. Now what? It’s too far away from any door so I can’t chase it out, and I can’t leave it free. Husband will be home in 18-20 hours. What do I do????



It took a ridiculous amount of courage to do that. I’m not proud.