Monday, October 31, 2011


Two of my sons are experts on all things zombie. They have read all the manuals:

The Zombie Combat Manual
The Zombie Survival Guide
Military Manual on Zombie Combat

and more.

They are experts. Seriously. If you ever find yourself under zombie attack, please email me immediately at and I will have one of my boys talk you through what to do.

Though I am by no means the expert they are, a little of their expertise has rubbed off on me.

For instance, I know that zombies are drawn to the things they did in life. That's why you should not head to the mall if the world has been taken over by zombies, because they're likely heading there themselves.

That got me thinking on what I might find myself doing if I were ever turned into a zombie. Or should I say a Mombie. I've created a list, and have decided to share it with you here.

1) List-making. As I cannot think of a day in recent memory where I did not make a list, my first order of business as a newborn zombie would be, duh, to make a list. The list might include taking the kids to the dentist, and snacking on any teeeth pulled.

2) I would nag my children to do their homework, pick up their socks, and do their chores, only it would probably come out something like whuuuuuuzyyy .

3) I would make a pot of macaroni and cheese. Because I can not imagine an existence of mine, be it heaven, hell, or altered reality, in which I did not make a pot of macaroni and cheese.

4) I would wash laundry, load after load after load, taking care not to let any of my fingers fall in to the washer.

5) I'd probably limp and shuffle my way to the barn, but instead of feeding critters and gathering eggs, I would leave a path of carnage in my wake. I could always blame it on the foxes.

6) I would write a blog post about who I ate the day before, and finish off by begging my readers to vote for me on Top Zombie Blogs.

But that's just me. What would YOU do if YOU were a zombie?

Don't forget to vote for me on Top Zombie - I mean - Mommy Blogs!
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Mirth Monday

Not so long ago, a hurricane.
Then an earthquake.
Now several inches of snow before Halloween?

That God. He's just such a card.

Thanks for your vote.....
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Thanks for your follow (sidebar).....

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Social - Eun Hae

Next one down on my siggy line...

Wife of Fred for 23 years
Mom of:
Patrick (16)
James (16)
Rosie (13)
Julie (13)
Daniel (12)
My children around the world:
Milly in Taiwan
Eun Hae in South Korea
Felice in Hong Kong
Nadya in Germany
Obrin in New York
And our critters Annabelle, Fiona, Sunny, Sophie, Cindy-Lou and Blue; Mamfy, Mali and Punkin; Nick; Frog 1 and Horny Toad; Charlie and Dizzy; Minnie and Alice; Elfie, Frex, Crope, Tibbit and Ozzy; Genevieve, Pippin and Finnegan; and a dozen or so chooks.

I'd like to ask God why He allows
hunger, poverty, and injustice
in the world,but I'd be afraid
He'd ask me the same thing ...

Is Eun Hae.

Eun Hae (pronounced Oon Hay) was our second exchange student. She was 16 when she came to us; an extremely shy, quiet little girl all the way from South Korea.

I don't believe she really wanted to be an exchange student, but entered the program out of duty to her parents.

She was unfailingly sweet, and always willing to please. Bella bonded with her instantly, and became Eun Hae's little security blanket.

She became very close with another exchange student, Felice from Hong Kong who joined us later in the school year (more on her next week), as well as a student from Taiwan that lived about a mile down the road from us, but didn't make too many other close friends.

She enjoyed singing in the school choir and became close with her music teacher. This teacher's husband was pastor at a church near the school, and Eun Hae came to love that church. She's a very spiritual girl, that one.

Eun Hae had a few quirky mannerisms, which we loved her for. One was her efforts to keep out of the sun. Apparently, in South Korea, pale skin is sought after the way tans are sought after here in the good ol' US of A. Eun Hae had what she considered to be dark skin. Too dark. She hated it and fought the sun like a vampire. If she were in the car with us, she would often wear sunglasses, and put a piece of paper under the sunglasses to form a mask over the lower half of her face. We tried to explain to her that the windows were tinted and she would not get any sun through them, but she wasn't taking any chances. Or for example, if I were to take all the kids out to the shoe store or something, when she got out of the car she would hunker down in the parking lot in the shadow of the car, desperately trying to keep out of the sun while I got the kids out of the car. Funny girl.

But she was a good student, a wonderful big sister and daughter. Saying goodbye to her at the airport was a miserably sad moment. In her life and in mine.

And do you know that poor little girl, in every communication with me since, has not gone once without berating herself for not being a better daughter? She says once she got home she realized how great she had it with us, what a wonderful family we were, and how she did not join in enough, or show us how much she appreciated us.

Here's an old email from her:

Hi it's me. EunHae.

it's cold. isn't it... i got a cold.

did you have a wonderful christmas and New Year. in korea, we have new year's day on January 1st but we celebrate it February.

Now i'm studing hard like i did before... and i'm sorry that i didn't contact with you for like 1or 2 ( or more than that ) month(s). i wonder what's going on there.

everytime the life here is harsh and unbearable, i think of the time i stayed there.

it was like heaven. and so comfortable.... so i want to say thank you again.

so how are you doing???? and how kids are doing???? i wonder what's going on in America.

now i'm going school and i went to some tranning center from church last week.

it was so awesome and great. the pastor was great and his church was one of the most largest church in korea (or maybe in the world.. ) it was really huge and great....
and when he lectured, i sometimes slept but i think it was good and nice that i didn't regret going there.

i think my life is changing.. i'm studying really hard( i think) and i will follow what my parents and pastor say..

and i think most of the students in our church were changed.... .... i'm so glad... ....

now i'm leading praising part in church. it's kind of hard, but i'm trying to do my best.

miss you, love you so much.... and those old days...

i regret that i dind't give you many things which i can give... and i didn't do my best there.

i once again want to say sorry to you and have a good day..

see ya..

miss you love you
from South Korea EunHae

I surely hope she learns to develop more confidence in herself along the way, because she's really a great kid.

She just doesn't know it.

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Saturday, October 29, 2011


My Rosie, who will be 14 soon, threw a party tonight.

It was a goodbye party for one of her good friends, who is moving to California in a few days.

She pretty much took care of everything except for paying for the pizza and soda and chips.

When I asked her how many kids were coming, thinking the answer would be 8 or 10, I felt my knees shake when she informed me she was inviting the whole class. All 25 of them.

I thought I might cry.

25? 25 13 and 14 year old girls and boys running around my house? Hmmmm. Let's make this an outdoor party, shall we?

It was fine, though. Sweet bunch of kids. Most of them have been in class together since they were about five years old, and now they're these young men and women who are taller than me. But still, grown as they seem, they're kids. They ran and laughed and danced. The girls did a lot of crying over their friend. A lot. Crying and group hugging and pledges of chatting and texting and skyping and calling till their dying day.

As I sat by the fire in the twilight, I listened to them sobbing,

And I thought I might cry.

The boys didn't quite know what to do with themselves when the girls started their waterworks. They tended to gravitate to the games when the tears began to flow.

They're hugging again.
Uh-oh, they're crying.
Wanna play man-hunt?

I watched Rosie getting chased around the lawn at dusk by a boy that used to chase her around when they were about four.
There was a Dragon Tales component to the game.
There was a flirty chase-me, chase-me component to the game as she ran with hands waving in the air, giggling, with this man-boy in hot pursuit.

And I thought I might cry....

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I might cry.
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I might cry.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Farm Friday

OK, it's a stretch to file this post under Farm Friday, but I do mention the Amish, which are about as farming a people as you can hope to find. So bear with me.

Sometimes my internet connection is lightning fast. Blinding. Numbs the senses to think about it.

Other times it's .... not.

And sometimes that slower pace makes me insane. Times when I'm frazzled and frayed and on my last nerve, I want to throw my laptop into the pond. But then I would need to wade in after it and fetch it from the slime because I do love it so. And I don't want to wade into my pond. It's icky and there are things in it that would have sung to the soul of my 8 year old overall-wearing self that no longer hold the same charm for me.

But other times, times when I am at peace with the world and my children are sleeping or far away from me, that I can regard sketchy internet with a zen calm.

Times like that, I liken the slow pace to getting stuck driving behind an Amish buggy on a curvy twisty road. You can't pass. All you can do is slow down and wait. Wait for the road to straighten out enough that the passing visibilty improves, or for them to turn off the road. With any luck, there will be a couple kids peering out the back, wearing their royal blue or vibrant purple shirts, their bonnets and straw hats. They will wave and look ridiculously adorable. You will smile. You will wave back. You will very nearly wet yourself from being so calm and relaxed and your face resembles that of a dental patient on a healthy dose of nitrous.

Of course, this affect can only be achieved if you are

a) driving without children
b) trying to get nowhere at any particular time, or
3) on a healthy dose of nitrous.

I'm afraid I have to confess here and now, however, that as much of an Amishphile as I am, I am not always in possession of such a Zen state when trapped behind a buggy (or when trapped behind a slow laptop). Cute kids and a clip-cloppin' horse can only soothe my nerves so much if I'm particularly harried.

Kind of like alcohol. Remember when you were studying for your learner's permit and you had to memorize the alcohol equivalents? It was like 1 case of beer = 1 bottle of wine = 1 flask of whiskey. Or something. Maybe it was can of beer, glass of wine, shot of whiskey. I don't remember, but I've been drinking and I don't remember things so good.


Or am I?

Anyway, there should be a stress-soothing guide for when we're feeling at our wit's end. Like 1 sleeping puppy = 1 hour of speedy internet service = 1 buggy full of Amish kids.

Or I don't know. Maybe it would be easier to hole up in a dark corner with that bottle of wine....

Thank you for voting. Just click this brown button. It's lightning fast.
Thank you for following. It's more like getting trapped behind an Amish buggy. Go to the sidebar, find the followers, follow the prompts to add yourself to the list. Just whatever you do, don't throw your computer into any body of water. Trust me.
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

So this is kinda cool....

I got an email last night from someone over at BlogHer (which I had joined a few weeks back). They decided to feature one of my blog posts - Grooming Your Cockatiel - on their front page. I know, right? That's what I thought. They even paid me for this honor. I can now buy myself fancy coffee every day for a couple weeks if I want to without feeling beholden to anyone.

Anyway, check it out here by clicking this link below. Join the other 500+ people who have done so, so you can consider yourself part of the "in crowd". A dream come true for you, right? Glad I could help with that.


Small Triggers

This morning in Health class, my son got to sit in the classroom and glance awkwardly around, trying to avoid eye contact while all the other students were busy raising their hands.

This morning in Health class, my son's teacher attempted to teach her students about, I presume, relationships and attaching, and she illustrated her point by asking who remembered their mother giving them a blanket when they were little, or tucking them in, or snuggling with them.

This afternoon in my home, we had an episode. The episode began with balking when asked to do chores. The episode involved a state trooper. The episode ended with a very out-of-sorts boy spending most of the evening sitting on the floor with his head in my lap, barely able to function.

Small triggers open big wounds.

We'll keep trying to stitch them back up.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

My Jamesy painted this!

Now why don't you paint me right into the top 10 by clicking this button.

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Omg, I see you actually paid attention to my little tagged-on PS in yesterday's post; I have 3 more followers. Thanks my 3 amigos! Who's next? Come on, don't be shy. Take the plunge and add yourself as a follower. It won't hurt a bit.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tip for Tuesday

I learned a couple awesome tips from my sisters during our Treat.

If your shopping list includes a very specific item that you may have trouble recalling the particulars for, such as an odd lightbulb or battery, try taking a photo of the needed item with your cell phone. Then when you're in the store, you can pull up the photo to help you select the correct type.

Or, try texting the information to yourself. This is great for those tiny numbers on those little disc-shaped batteries. I've taken those with me to the store in the past and invariably lost them in my purse (or the slip of paper I had written the numbers down on).

This would also work for the dimensions of a piece of furniture. For instance, I've been wanting a small cabinet that will fit under the sink in my downstairs bathroom. It's a tight space, though, and if I'm out shopping and see a cabinet I like, I'm never sure if it would fit. Having those dimensions in my phone wold make it soooo much easier to needlessly spend money on that little cabinet, wouldn't it?

Here, I'll text you a reminder right now:
pls vote 4 me by clking on this brwn bttn. t/y!

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Oh and PS: I would love to see how many followers I have on this here blog. I know it's more than 17. Could you all take a minute and pretty please add yourself as a follower? Just mosey on over to the sidebar, find the box for followers, and do what the nice computer tells you. Thanks, friends!

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Mirth Monday

Tried and true "Product Warnings":

"Caution: The contents of this bottle should not be fed to fish." -- On a bottle of shampoo for dogs.

"For external use only!" -- On a curling iron.

"Warning: This product can burn eyes." -- On a curling iron.

"Do not use while sleeping." -- On a hair dryer.

"Do not use while sleeping or unconscious." -- On a hand-held massaging device.

"Recycled flush water unsafe for drinking." -- On a toilet at a public sports facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

"Shin pads cannot protect any part of the body they do not cover." -- On a pair of shin guards made for bicyclists.

"This product not intended for use as a dental drill." -- On an electric rotary tool.

"Do not drive with sunshield in place." -- On a cardboard sunshield that keeps the sun off the dashboard.

"This product is not to be used in bathrooms." -- On a Holmes bathroom heater.

"Eating rocks may lead to broken teeth." -- On a novelty rock garden set called "Popcorn Rock."

"Caution: Shoots rubber bands." -- On a product called "Rubber Band Shooter."

"Warning: May contain small parts." -- On a frisbee.

"Do not use orally." -- On a toilet bowl cleaning brush.

"Please keep out of children." -- On a butcher knife.

"Do not recharge, put in backwards, or use." -- On a battery.

"Warning: Do not use on eyes." -- In the manual for a heated seat cushion.

"Do not look into laser with remaining eye." -- On a laser pointer.

"Do not use for drying pets." -- In the manual for a microwave oven.

"For use by trained personnel only." -- On a can of air freshener.

"Warning: Do not climb inside this bag and zip it up. Doing so will cause injury and death." -- A label inside a protective bag (for fragile objects), which measures 15cm by 15cm by 12cm.

"Please store in the cold section of the refrigerator." -- On a bag of fresh grapes in Australia.

"Warning: knives are sharp!" -- On the packaging of a sharpening stone.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Social - Milly

Next one down on my siggy line...

Wife of Fred for 23 years
Mom of:
Patrick (16)
James (16)
Rosie (1)
Julie (13)
Daniel (12)
My children around the world:
Milly in Taiwan
Felice in Hong Kong
Eun Hae in South Korea
Nadya in Germany
Obrin in New York
And our critters Annabelle, Fiona, Sunny, Sophie, Cindy-Lou and Blue; Mamfy, Mali and Punkin; Nick; Frog 1 and Horny Toad; Charlie and Dizzy; Minnie and Alice; Elfie, Frex, Crope, Tibbit and Ozzy; Genevieve, Pippin and Finnegan; and a dozen or so chooks.

I'd like to ask God why He allows
hunger, poverty, and injustice
in the world,but I'd be afraid
He'd ask me the same thing ... Milly.

Milly was our very first exchange student. She came to us back in August of 2004 all the way from Taiwan. She was a lonnnnng way from home but she quickly fell into the groove of our family. I was immediately impressed with her level of maturity, and with the degree of respect/obedience to her parents. I can remember her getting all dressed up to go to a school dance. She was wearing heels when she left, and she was wearing them when I picked her up, though all the other girls I saw coming out of the school were barefoot, holding their heels in their hands. I asked her, didn't she take her shoes off during the dance, to get more comfortable? She told me her Mom had said she should keep them on all night so that she could get used to wearing them. And so she did, even though her Mom was literally as far away across the world as she could be. Wow.

Milly was a wonderful big sister, a good friend to the girls and boys she met while she attended our school, and a terrific daughter. She was an excellent cook, too. She invited friends over for her birthday party, and single-handedly cooked several amazing dishes, icluding two of my favorites that she made, sesame cold noodles and pineapple shrimp. I believe she was turning 17 that year.

She came back to visit a year or two after she left. She is now a grad student, and doing quite well. Straight As all the time, of course, then and now. We keep in touch through Christmas cards and Facebook.

Her picture is still up on the mirror in my kitchen, along with pictures of our other students and our kids. I sure hope our paths cross again someday.

She's my Milly.....

Thanks for your vote! I see I'm movin' on up again....
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Saturday, October 22, 2011

A. Mazing.

I'm Going to BlogHer Writers '11!
Got back late last night from the 2011 BlogHer Writer's Conference.

I went with my sister Mary and we had a fantastic, enriching experience.

We met some amazing people.
We learned.
We connected.
We were inspired.

Now I'm all ready to curl up in a ball in my pajamas with my computer all weekend to do some more editing, work on building my platform, and send out more query letters.

Hope the kids can fend for themselves....

How 'bout while I'm working on my book, you work on taking my blog higher in the ranks. Just click this brown button to vote. Easy peasy.
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Friday, October 21, 2011

Farm Friday - Clueless

That hen I wrote about last week? I am clueless as to what ails her.


Sits in her nesting box all the time.
Not laying.
Pooper looks weird.
When I take her out, she eats and moves and drinks and clucks and poops normally, but her feathers are all fluffed out.
She is not standing in an "egg-bound hen" (not to be confused with "south-bound train) posture, which supposedly looks like a penguin -very upright with tail pointed downward - her posture looks just fine. Her Mama done taught her right.
When I do take her out of her box, she sometimes behaves in a gender-confused fashion. She points her wings to the ground and chases after some of the other hens, and even the roo, trying to hop up on their backsides.

So, all you chicken people out there, what am I dealing with here?

Is she:

a) molting?
b) egg-bound?
c) sick-as-a-dog-and-about-to-die?
d) transsexual?

She's such a nice little hen. So pretty and sweet. Help me to help her.

Here she is back when she was healthy as a horse. I want to put a little tiny tiara on her head, she's so pretty.

My chicken group has been of no help. The vet has been of no help. So now I am reaching my hand out into cyberspace to all my bloggy friends. Surely one of you must know a thing or two about chickens?

Shirley, any thoughts?

1) Research.
2) Inform me, teach me.
3) Save the chicken.
4) Click this button.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Turn and Face the Strange Ch-Ch-Changes

You may have noticed a few changes on my blog of late.

In the olden days my blog was unadorned, save a few bits in the sidebar about me and/or my family.

Now? I've got a BlogHer ad and list of some of their recent posts, a Facebook badge, a button so you can share on FB and tweet on Twitter, a means for you to search the blog, subscribe to the blog or follow the blog by email.

So annoying.

And I'm sorry, I am.

But as you may or may not be aware, I am trying to get a book published. First draft is written, 2nd draft being worked on. Goin' fishin' for a literary agent. And I actually did hear back from one of the agents. While it wasn't an offer and it didn't sing my praises, it also wasn't a form letter rejection, like the others. She told me I need to get my numbers up. Numbers as in platform. As in blog hits and Facebook fans and, perish the thought, a following on Twitter.

In other words, marketing.


However. Preliminary reports would suggest it's working. I've started a new public FB account and I've been linking my blog posts there. I've been tweeting. God save me, I've been tweeting. I have joined BlogHer and I've been submitting posts there.

I've only been doing this a week or so, but my numbers are beginning to climb.

So while I had to be dragged into this more aggressive blogging world kicking and screaming (well, grumbling and whining, anyway) with all these gadgets tucked in everywhere linking folks hither and yon, it appears it does help to increase my audience.

So I hope you can tolerate these annoying ch-ch-ch-changes, and that you decide to hang out with me a while longer. And hey, don't be afraid to grow with me. Check me out on FB. Subscribe to my blog by email. Perhaps you could even tweet me. Or what would be truly awesome sauce, as my kids would say, would be if you referred me to a friend or so. You know, like the old commercial, you tell two friends and they tell two friends, and so on, and so on...

Because at some point, when my blog hits are like 42,000 times higher than they are now, maybe that agent will take another look at my book. And then I'll get all famous and you can all say you knew me when.

Awesome sauce.

Tweet me!

And click me!
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Goodbye, Hello.

Arrived back home last night, after being away on my Sister Treat since Friday morning.

Home again, home again, the good and the bad.

Goodbye emergency vehicle sirens all hours of the day and night, goodbye car horns honking.
Hello to the clip-clop of Amish buggies, the cluck-clucks of my little chickadees, and the happy whimpering and tail-thumping of my happy-to-see-me dogs. Hello to the laughter of my children and their professions of joy at seeing me back home once again. Hello (sigh) to the sounds of the squabbling of my children.

Goodbe to staying up till 1, till 3, till 4:30 in the morning.
Hello to bedtime at 9:30 last night. Mama needs to catch up on a little rest. Mama's darlings can put themselves to bed on their own for a change.

Goodbye free champagne and appetizers, goodbye "good" wine.
Hello cheap stuff. Hello diet soda and coffee. Hello whine.

Goodbye chance of meeting Goerge Clooney.
Hello getting to SEE George Clooney.

Goodbye Judy Greer, Alexander Payne, Matthew Lillard, Robert Forster, Jake Gyllenhall, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges.
Hello Fred, Patrick, James, Bella, Rosie, Julie, and Daniel.

Goodbye freedom.
Hello restrictive undergarments.

Goodbye to eating 1 to 2 meals per day prepared by someone else, cleaned up by someone else.
Hello to preparing 1 to 2 meals per day, prepared and cleaned up by Yours Truly (OK, with a little help from a few in the peanut gallery).

Goodbye shiny and shapely fingernails and toenails.
Hello chapped and dried out barn hands.

Goodbye getting hair done by a stylist, including wash, blow dry and style, and with a "gloss treatment" thrown in for good measure.
Hello getting hair "done" at home with a 2-in-1 shampoo and a towel dry.

Goodbye to an entire day's worth of dishes consisting of about 10 or 12 items to be washed in about five minutes in the sink.
Hello to an entire day's worth of dishes consisting of one to two full dishwasher loads to be loaded and put away by one of the peanuts.

Goodbye to the star-studded, dressed-to-the-nines film screening at the New York Film Festival, goodbye to watching a fantastic movie with MY SISTER and George MF CLOONEY in it.
Hello to watching a movie in our PJS on our TV all cuddled up on the sofa under a blanket, while eating microwave popcorn.

Goodbye to the companionship of my sisters. Goodbye to their silliness, their understanding, their massages, their therapy, their unspoken and unbreakable bonds.
Hello to the knowledge that we will never grow up, we will never tire of our Treats, we will always understand and be there for each other.

Saying goodbye to my sisters makes me sad.
Saying hello to my family makes me happy.
If you're happy and you know it, click the button, click, clikck!
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Did I Meet Him?


Yes and no.

George was there, and that made my night, because I wasn't sure he would be there at all. At the end of the movie, we saw the director (Alexander Payne) up in the balcony at my 5:00 taking his bows. Then out from behind him came Georgie (!!!!!) and some of the other cast members, as well. He was maybe 15 ft away; I could have hit him with a spitball.

Also? Jake Gyllenhall was two rows behind us. So. Cool.

After the movie (between the two screenings), Mary walked down the red carpet and I got to take a few photos of her from behind the gates where the press stood. I was able to get a brief glimpse of George, then, and of some of the others.

But at the after party? He was a no-show. Bleh. So I didn't get to meet him-meet him. I did get to meet many of the others, though, like Alexander Payne, Judy Greer, Beau Bridges....

When the cast was all riding down the elevator to some meeting, George kissed Mary on her cheek. I pretty much made out with that cheek the rest of the evening. I embarassed the both of us but I have no regrets.

What else....

Oh, here's a funny. So Mary had actually rented a couple dresses, not sure what to wear to this thing
(yeah, fancy people can rent dresses from Rent the so they can wear dresses that would otherwise cost them thousands of dollars. Little Hollywood tidbit for you there)
but couldn't decide which one to go with. So when we were out shopping on Saturday, she found this awesome little dress at H & M for 20 bucks. That's the one she went with. So anyway, when she was on the red carpet, she was interviewed by ET. And they said to her, "Who are you wearing?" And she sez, "H & M. Twenty bucks." I. Love. It. George MF Clooney kissed the cheek of a girl wearing a twenty dollar dress. Slummin'.

Here are a few photos.

Mary hailing us a cab to take us to the event.
Mary, Veronica and I at the film festival, before the screening.
Mary on the red carpet with all the press shouting, "Mary, left, left!" and stuff.
Mary being interviewed by ET.
George on the red carpet.
George being ushered into another room after the red carpet.
Veronica with Shailene Woodleigh.
Mary at the after party with a few co-stars.

I'm not in any pictures with the celebrities. I was saving myself for George, if he showed. Alas....

By the way? I. Am. Exhausted. Four hours of sleep last night. In fact, I don't think I've gotten more than 4 - 6 hours of sleep since last Tuesday night, which is when my sisters first arrived.

But it was so worth it.

As always, thanks for your vote. It's hard work bringing you the inside scoop like this.
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Social Becomes (for today) Sister Treat

My two sisters and I get together once a year without significant others and/or kids. It's our "Sister's Retreat", only when my kids were little they called it a Sister Treat, and the name stuck.

I can't think of a more appropriate name, truth be told. It is a treat in every sense of the word to get together for our annual pilgrimages. We've been doing this for 12 years now, and we've seen Broadway shows, gone jet skiiing, we've been snorkeling in clear Carribean waters, and horseback riding on the beach. We have shopped till we dropped, gotten silly, gotten sunburned, had massages from professionals as well as from each other at 1 in the morning.

This year we're staying local, as in no fancy hotels or quaint bed and breakfasts. Instead, we're holed up in Mary's apartment in New York. First night we ate burgers for dinner at a diner, followed by some good old-fashioned apple pie a la mode. We stayed up till 3 in the morning eating microwave popcorn and giving each other head/neck/shoulder massages and talking about how much it sucks getting old. We talked about work, kids, our childhoods, writing, relationships, religion, aliens, and did a little celebrity name-dropping. This weekend we've been trying on dresses, getting mani-pedis, and doing a little shoe-shopping.

Tonight? Well, tonight's the night. Will I meet him or will I not?
If I do I'm sure it will go splendidly.

Mary: "George, I'd like you to meet my sister, Anne"
George: "It's a pleasure to meet you, Anne."
Anne: "Shoe."
George: "Pardon?"
Anne: "Keyboard? Pitchfork."
Mary: "I think what she's trying to say is....umm, Anne?"
Anne: "Mbletwt?"
George: "Yeah. Ummm. Oh, Brad, hello! Will you ladies excuse me for a moment?"
Anne: "Tshbmwluh!"

Yeah, It'll be fine.

And hey, know what? You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I learned something last night. Some math. I learned that two glasses of $38 a bottle of wine at a restaurant does NOT equal two glasses of $10 wine at home. Also learned that food in the stomach at at the time of said wine consumption? Makes a big difference. Huge.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I Love Ya', Tomorrow!

Tomorrow I go to the screening of The Descendants at the NY Film Festival.

Tomorrow I may or may not get to see George Clooney. In the flesh.

Today? My sisters and I will make the final decisions on what to wear. My sister Mary, the one in the movie, has several really FANCY dresses to choose from, each one more beautiful than the next. Sparkly, long, plunging, backless dresses. One of them is a size ZERO.

I hate her so much.

Me? I'm wearing either a bridesmaid dress from two years ago or a dress I bought at Marshall's for $29.99 about five years ago. I am a die-hard fashionista.

Mr. Clooney.

Will he show?

I will know tomorrow night.

YOU won't know till Monday morning.

Sleep well, my pretties......

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Farm Friday - Pam! Kick it up a notch...

I went out to the barn the other night with Rosie. It was her turn to close things up in the barn, but we had gone out to dinner for her sister's birthday and it was after dark. She doesn't like to go out there on her own after dark.

Because of the rats.

Yes. Rats. Buhahuuuueehhh. Ew.

Because rats, you see, go part and parcel with a barn. A barn is quite simply a haven for a rat. Dog food, chicken feed, water, bits of hay, lots of good hiding places.

During the day they stay hidden, but if you go out there at night you're sure to see one. Or a gang.

Anyway, so brave and compassionate Mom that I am, I accompanied her to the barn, and rats we saw. But they scattered, and we forged ahead with our work. She got our farm dog Annabelle squared away for the night and I went in to check on the chickens. They were all roosting save one. One of our Buff Orpingtons was still all hunkered down in her nesting box, which is where she had been hours earlier. I'm figuring she's blocked.

So I went to the house and got me a can of Pam. Back to the barn I went, and this time I took along Cindy, our Rat Terrier. The rats had stayed hidden, though (probably b/c I had left the lights on) so she didn't get to do any rat hunting.

Anyway, I picked up Goldie or Puddin' or Big Mama, not sure which Buff it was, truth be told, and sprayed her nether regions down with some Pam. I did a little external palpation but nothing felt unduly amiss, so I put her back in her box and hoped for the best.

I can honestly say that is the first time I have ever used Pam in that particular fashion.

Maybe I should call them up and let them know? Kind of like the endorsement Crisco got in The Help?

"Hello, Pam Operator? Can you connect me with marketing, please?"
I really think it would make a great commercial:

"Pam. Keeps your eggs from sticking in your pan, keeps your eggs from sticking in your chicken's ass. Buy some today!"

Anyway, the next day she was no better. Still sitting in her nesting box, still looking morose, still no egg.

I sprayed her down again and when about doing my business running kids to the orthodontist and play rehearsals and whatnot.

Then in the evening I decided it was time. I was goin' in.

So we brought her inside, nesting box and all, and placed the whole works in a dog crate. I got out a heat sock, which I warmed up and put in a ziplock, and I got out the mineral oil. I turned, let's call her Goldie, upside down and tucked her under my arm, with arse forwards (hers, not mine). I coated her liberally with the oil and put her back in her crate on top of the toasty heat sock.

So now I've got chicken, and oil, and heat. Good thing we already ate dinner.

We never did get her to produce an egg, but she seems better this morning somehow. She's moving easily, eating, drinking, clucking. Being a chicken.

Fingers crossed. Will keep you posted.

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