Kids and Pets


Before we had children, my husband and I poured all our parental instincts into our pets. We bought mother and father’s day card for each other from the pets. The cats had cat nip toys and little cat beds and the dog had a scarf she wore on special occasions. After our son was born they had to remind us to fed them. The cats by following us around yowling and the dog by staring mournfully at us while blocking the TV. Either way, we had to find a way for the kid and the pets to coexist.

Many believe that pets are a good way to teach children responsibility and in the case of an only child, gives them someone else in the house besides you to annoy. But what kind of pet. I am a cat person. I don’t dislike dogs, I just think they are a little high maintenance compared to cats. Having a cat is like living with a friend, a deadbeat friend you have to support, but just a friend. You walk in the door and the cat looks up as though saying. “Dude, bowl’s empty.” Having a Dog is more like living with a relative. There is emotion, drama and guilt. You walk in the door and the dog is like, “You’re home. You’re home. I’m so happy you’re home. I didn’t know where you went. I thought you might have been murdered by the meter man. How could you do this to me after I gave you the best months of my life.” and you’re like “Geez, dog, I just went to get the mail.”

Also, dogs have to be walked. Cats only have to be occasionally moved off the furniture so you can dust. Dogs have to be bathed. Cats are self cleaning. It is fun to watch a Cat embarrass itself. Nothing embarrasses a dog.But Hubby and the Kid like dogs. Once my son said the cat was looking at him like he was a dumbhead. I told him that is how cats look at everyone. Anyway, they get dogs and give to me to raise.



Dogs are better with kids. Dogs like kids. Kids run and chase,and throw things. They leave a trail of food everywhere the go. Cats don’t seem to like children as much. For some reason people who run at them screaming “Kitty Cat” make them nervous. A child can walk into a room with cats and all he will see are the tips of tails disappearing beneath furniture.



Other option are birds, fish, and various rodent type animals. I wouldn’t recommend these along with dogs and cats, unless you are want a long, tearful “cycle of life”, “remember in school when you learned what a carnivore was” conversation.


My Stupid Problems

In an effort to distract myself from the serious problems in the world; looming war in the middle-east, the deterioration of the American family, youth violence, the tragic fall of Miley Cyrus; I have decided to make a list of my stupidest personal problems.

When I try to share a table scrap between the dog and the cat, the dog eats her part in about half a second and I then have to guard the cat while she piddles around with her share for five minutes.

I have gotten my sheets and pillowcases all out of kilter. I now have purple pillowcases and blue sheets on the bed. If I changed them today will I only have purple sheets and blue pillowcases to use.

The cat won’t get off the bed so I can change the sheets.

Products now brag about being made of what they’re suppose to be made of. We have juice boxes with ”10% real fruit juice”. I pulled out a package of frozen garlic bread and it proclaimed that is was made with real garlic. I am now wondering if it contained real bread. If it did, wouldn’t they have mentioned it.

The city tests the tornado siren every Wednesday at 10 am. How will I know if it’s the real thing or just another test if an actual tornado hits at 10 am on a Wednesday.

I can’t seem to get over the really bad casting in the Fantastic Four movies.

We have four phone numbers, two e-mail addresses, a blog page and a mail box and people still claim they can’t get a hold of me.

My 5th grader caught a bug for science class. He forgot to take it to school and it died in my care. I feel guilty.

People will read this and suggest I buy another set of sheets, learn to make my own garlic bread and let the cat fend for herself.

Parenting and Noise

If you do not like noise, you should probably not have children. If you already have children, there are few things you may be able to do to deal with the noise. First of all, before you have children, before you even think about ovulating, purge your house of all whistles, drums and musical instruments of any kind. Throw away that kazoo you played at the office Christmas party. Destroy that flute you bought on vacation in Williamsburg. Burn that noise maker you saved form your nephew’s birthday party. Don’t try to put them away or hide them because, I assure you, one day when the in-laws are due, the house is a mess and you have a splitting headache, your child will find it.

If you slip up and let this happen, do not delude yourself into believing that if you take it away you will be stifling your child’s musical potential. This is not your burden to bear. It belongs to the beginning band instructor at the school. He is a professional and probably use to play in a rock band and no longer has fully functional eardrums. Do what you have to get that noisy thing away from your child. Distract him with junk food, violent video games or fast paced, attention sapping cartoons. Use whatever you have at your disposal. You sanity is at stake. Then destroy it or better yet give it to the child of that “perfect mommy”, down the street. That help may level the playing field a little.

 Another noise problem is toys. I am convinced that some toys were designed by a secret society of population control advocates. There are cars that when shaken, rev up their engines, shout out an inspiration and meaningless catchphrase then rip across the floor. There are little praying dolls that when rolled over on in the middle of the night will wake the child by telling him “he may die before he wakes. There are mechanical dogs that bark and bark and bark then turn a flip. The one I hated most was that stupid singing purple dinosaur. It would sing the same sweet, edifying, simpering song over and over until you find yourself holding it under running water screaming, “No wonder you’re extinct ,you hideous purple lizard. Mind your own business about my manners.” Oddly the solution to this is simple. Wait until the child is asleep then remove the batteries. When he wakes up and wants to know why the toy no longer makes noise tell him the cat broke it. There is probably already some animosity between him and the cat anyway.

 The worse noisy experience for a parent is the fast food play place. Imagine if you will, a small glass, echo chamber like room filled with wonderful slides and tunnels and all things designed to make six year old girls emit high pitched, piercing screams that can cause the ears of any adult in the room to curl up and roll into their head. If you enter the room and see any female child between the ages of 18 months and 11 years turn around and go elsewhere. If you have a female child between the ages of 18 months and 11 years then you will just have to suck it up. You may try headphone and an iPod or laptop, but chances are other people in the room will constantly be tapping you on the shoulder to tell you things like, “Your toddler is taking off her clothes and throwing them at the other children..” or “Did you know your son has been stuck inside the slide for 20 minute?” or “Could you please make your daughter stop screaming.”

 One last thing about noise. Do not expect to be able to have another deep thought until your youngest is out of the house. You will suddenly find yourself on the brink of an epiphany. You will straighten up from the dog poo on the carpet and say something like, “This world peace thing, all they need to do is….” “Mom! Joey’s looking at me!” The deep thought will then fly from your mind never to seen again. I don’t know if any research had been done on the number of great thinkers who had children vs. those who didn’t, but I suspect they ones who did lived in societies where boarding school and nannies were the norm. If you insist on trying to have deep thoughts take something to write on when you go to places where you will be bored out of your mind, like the park, a school program or a fast food play place. There will still be noise but not all of it will not be directed at you. But do not try this camping unless you want to look up from solving the energy crisis to find your five-year-old playing with a big black “kitty” with a white stripe down it’s back.

Chicken ala King


  • ½ cup chopped onions

  • 2 Tbs butter

  • 1 can mushroom soup

  • 18oz package of cream cheese softened

  • dash of pepper

  • 2 cans boned chicken or 1 ¼ cup

  • 3 oz can of mushrooms

  • ¼ chopped green peppers

  • 2 Tbs chopped canned pimiento

  • flaky biscuits


In a saucepan cook onion in butter till tender. Do not brown. Blend in soup, cream cheese and pepper. Stir in chicken and mushrooms. Heat to boiling. Add green pepper and pimientos. Serve over biscuits.




My first thought about this recipe was that anything with that much cream cheese couldn’t be all bad. It also looked like an easy recipe. My only problem was that I couldn’t find real canned pimentos. The store did have large jars of pimiento-looking, pickled red peppers. To avoid being stuck with a large jar of pimiento-looking, pickled red peppers, I pulled the red things out of a jar of olives that I had in my fridge. There is now a jar of empty olives in my fridge. The recipe recommend this be served over biscuits. Just in case I made noodles as well. Hubby and I tried it both ways. The Kid only ate noodles. He will not eat anything with pimiento-looking, pickled red peppers . Anyway Hubby liked the dish. I liked the dish. We both agreed that it was a little better with the biscuits than with the noddles and the greens peppers and pimiento looking things really added a lot to the flavor.


Game room rules

Hubby and I just put in a movie/game room. It will mostly be used by our 10-year-old and his friends. But before he can bring a bunch of 8 to 12 year old boys into a room with pricey media equipment they will have to read the rules. I am pondering making them sign it.

1. Do not throw anything! not a Nerf ball nor a remote nor a fit nor a sibling, I mean it! Do not throw anything in this room.

2. Please keep your feet off the wall. Your footprints were cute when you were two, now… not so much.

3. No real-life fighting or wrestling. Game characters may fight and wrestle all they want.

4. Do not touch the movie posters, especially The Avenger poster. That one’s mine.

5. Drinks and light snacks are permitted until I start finding month old cookies and cups of chocolate milk you can chew. So please dispose of wrappers and leftovers properly and return dishes to the kitchen.

6. Please do not tease, abuse or stir up any pets who may wander in. Especially around the expensive wide screen. You may, however, use them to dispose of leftover snacks as long as you don’t give them chocolate or anything that will give them gas.

7. Watch your language; no cursing, cussing, profanity, blasphemy, dirty words, obscenity, swearing, ethnic slurs or words that make someone cry.

8. No jumping on the furniture. Before you jump on the furniture think of how many new games and movies you could have bought for the price of a new futon.

9. Please do not leave pillows and blankets on the floor. The dog will assume they are for her and the next time you go in there they will smell like dog.

10. Please return games and movies to their boxes and remotes and controllers to the console. Please remove anything that does not belong in the room (shoes, toys, hats) when you leave. Anything that is not put up will be put up by me and I do not guarantee that I will remember where I put it.

11. Do not write on the wall, the floor, the furniture, a friend or any object in the room. If you need to express yourself, I will provide you with a blank sheet of paper.

12. Breaking a rule once will result in a warning. Breaking a rule twice will result in banishment from the room for a 24 hour period. Breaking the rules more than two times will result in banishment from the room for one week, times the number of previous infractions, times the number of headache tablets I have taken that day or until I say so.

13. If you break something on purpose or in a fit of anger or if you hurt someone on purpose or in a fit of anger you will be banished forever or until I get over it, whichever comes first. Hint; offering to pay for the object will help me get over it faster.

14. We reserve the right to change, amend, add to, subtract from, multiply, divide or complicate any rule, at any time for your protection, for the protection of others or simply for our amusement.

Banana/pineapple pudding Hubby said this was the best

Banana/pineapple pudding

Hubby said this was the best pudding he had ever eaten. I have made banana puddings and I have made pineapple puddings before but this is my first banana/ pineapple pudding. It is also my first time to make filling from scratch. I have always used packaged. Here it is as written.

Line a baking dish with a layer of vanilla wafers. Slice two bananas on top of wafers. Add another layer of wafers on top of bananas. Top that with layer of pineapple.


1 large can of pet milk

2 eggs yolks

1 cup self rising flour

1 cup sugar

1 TBS vanilla

Combine flour, sugar, egg yolks and milk. Blend well. Cook over double boiler until thick. Add vanilla

and blend well. Pour over layered banana, pineapple dish.

Beat egg whites until stiff and pour over pudding. Bake until brown.

I didn’t change a lot on this one, except for obvious things like adding sugar to the eggs whites and I had to use my own judgment on what “thick” meant. My cooking judgment is iffy but it worked out this time. It was good… really good. I also didn’t have a double boiler and had to improvise.

Confession of a Mediocre Mom

This is not a parenting article. I am not an expert on child rearing. My experience in this area consist of 18 years as a legal child, 20 or 30 years babysitting younger siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Five years herding the kids at church from one room to another. Six years as occasional little league dugout mom and nine years as the mother of the world’s most strong willed little boy. So, I really have no legitimate parenting advice. What this is, is a confession of a mediocre parent for other mediocre parents just to tell them you are not alone. It sort of a way of saying “Yeah I did it. I bet you did too.”

I confess that my child has eaten left over birthday cake for breakfast, pop tarts for lunch and dollar frozen dinners for supper… but not on the same day.
I confess to being tempted to leave him in the church nursery and go shopping instead of to services.
I confess that I wanted the Lincoln Logs and Lego more than he did.
I confess to taking the batteries out of that noisy, annoying toy while he was asleep.
I confess to lying to him about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the operating hours of Burger King, what Uncle Joe really said when he stubbed his toe and why his noisy annoying toy not longer works.
I confess to falsely blaming my husband for the way he was dressed.
I confess that he has spent the entire day in his pajamas, when he wasn’t sick.
I confess that I have let him eat raw cake batter, kiss the cat and sit in my lap and drive the car.
I confess that I have let bad words slip in his presence.
I confess to counting onion rings as a vegetable and ice cream as a dairy product.
I confess that I usually have to turn on the TV to get my housework done.
I confess that one day while doing this, he learned how to operated the remote and watched two full minutes of “The Simpsons”.
I confess that there have been times when I wasn’t fast enough or diligent enough to stop him from eating something off the floor.
I confess that there have been times when the thing on the floor was so expensive or hard to duplicate that I brushed it off and put it back on his plate myself.
I confess to using the dog as a vacuum cleaner.
I confess to have played with my son’s bath toys in the tub.
I confess to wiping his nose with my sleeve, his sleeve and a napkin that I found in the ash tray of the car
I confess that I am worried about what other parents will think of me when they read this.
I confess that I’m not perfect and am fine with the fact that neither was my mother.

Baseball Mom
Little League Baseball season has started and my husband and I, as well as parents all over the country are headed back to the baseball stands. For us it will be our sixth year.
We started our son off in rag ball at the age of three, but now that I think about it, rag ball is a weird Idea. You put five or six preschooler out in the field. You will need a couple of adults out there as well because preschoolers do not stay where you put them. Then you take another preschooler from the other team and try to get him to hit a baseball off a tee. This will sometimes take up to 20 minutes per batter. When the ball is finally hit, all the preschoolers in the field who are not crying and not playing in the dirt will go after the ball. One child will get the ball and the rest of the children will cry. Meanwhile an adult will attempt to get the child who hit the ball to run to the base. This can take up to another 10 minutes. Another adult then tries to get the child with the ball to chase this child down but he will be too busy beaming about being the one who got the ball. When all the kids have had a turn at bat, you change sides. There is usually only time for one inning.
After a couple of years you move up to to tee ball. This is a little better. By the age of 5 and 6 the kids know a little bit more about what they are doing. Still following instructions and paying attention can be a problem. One day my son’s tee-ball coach was getting very frustrated with them. He was yelling things like “get off the base”, “get on the base”, “run to second”, “throw to first”, “run”, “stop running.”, “get your glove out of the dirt/off your head/ out of your mouth.” “stop playing in the dirt”. I don’t think they were listening because every so often he would look at the stands where the parents sat and say “I am speaking English aren’t I?” We all thought is was funny because it wasn’t our problem for the next forty-five minutes. Then the entire infield had to go to the bathroom
It was in tee-ball that my son really started to like baseball. I will never forget his first home run. It was one of those tee-ball home runs where the ball is hit over the shortstop’s head and past the left-fielder who really wasn’t expecting a ball to come to him and was using his glove as a butterfly net. After being screamed at by the coach, the left-fielder chased down the ball and threw it at the second baseman who missed it because he was waving at his grandpa in the stands. The ball rolled between the right-fielder and the first baseman. They got to it at the same time and began to fight over it. The first baseman won the fight and flung the ball in the general direction of where the catcher was playing in the dirt. Home run.
Sometimes towards the end of the season the coaches will take away the tee and throw the ball to them to get the kids ready for coach pitched baseball. For the first time some of these kids strike out. I was dugout mom the night they took away the tee. There was more crying in that dug out than in Sandra Bullock movie, and we were winning. I can just imagine what was going on in the other dug out.
This is our first year in kid pitched baseball. Kid pitched can be a little boring because the pitchers don’t really know how to pitch yet. Most of the runs come from walking and stealing and most of the outs come from batters getting bored and frustrated and swinging at balls four feet over their head or rolling on the ground across their feet. Because of this you have 9 and 10 year old revering back to chasing butterflies will their gloves and playing in the dirt . One day I’m going to play in that dirt. I have to know what’s so fun about that.

Basic Tee robe

This simple robe is the basis for many historical costume. Almost all Biblical era costumes start with a version of this robe. You can also make many Roman and medieval costumes starting with this pattern.

I call it a tee-robe because it looks like a large, long sleeve tee-shirt. I have made quite a few of these for adults, children, dolls and even puppets. Because I have made so many I can kind of eye ball the measurements, but for your sake, I have included one way to make sure it fits.

Long- sleeve, one-piece robe

To make this robe out of a single piece of cloth you will need to make sure your fabric is wide enough. Most fabric is about 45 inches wide. Wide enough for most children… and most puppets. Some fabric is 60 inches wide. This will do for most adults shorter than about 5.8. Choose cloth that doesn’t fray or wrinkle easily, such as a cotton blend or a heavy knit. This will save you the trouble of hemming.

  • With arms outstretched measure from one wrist across the shoulders to the other wrist. If you are making a short sleeve robe measure from elbow to elbow. This will be your width.

  • Now measure from the top of shoulder to hem line. Double this. This will be your length.

  • Cut your cloth to these measurement.

  • Fold in half from top to bottom. You will have a square.

  • Mark the exact center of the folded edge.

  • Cut a hole at the mark big enough to slip over your head.

  • Refold and lay on ground

  • Have the wearer lay on the cloth with arms outstretched along the folded edge. Draw a line beneath each arm and down the side of the body. Be generous. Not only should the robe fit loosely but too big is easier to fix than too small. This is your sew line

  • Check for symmetry. The arms should be the same length and there should be the same amount of distance on each side between the lines and the edge of the cloth. You will have a tee shape.

  • Draw another line about an inch outside the sew line. This is you cut line.

  • Pin together with safety pins along the sew line and try it on. Make needed adjustments. Cut out your robe along the cut line.

  • Baste or glue along the sew line or if using an iron-on seam lay your seam between the sew line and the edge.

  • If using glue let dry.

  • Flip your robe inside out. and try it on.

You can also give your robe a little flair by making your sleeves wider at the wrist and tapering them down the arm. Then make the skirt of the robe wider at the hemline by tapering up to the waist. This will give you a snow angel shape.

Give the robe a lot of flair for a medieval lady or just a little for a Biblical King. A shorter robe becomes a tunic for a Roman soldier or a 11th century peasant. What costume it becomes depends on trim, material and accessories. You can also layer different versions of this robe to make different costumes.

Peep Cake

Peep cake

After showing how Mammaw Grace made a cake, I will now share one of my favorite cake recipes.


  • 1 box strawberry cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 1/3 sup water
  • 1 can cream cheese icing
  • 4 o 5 boxes of different colored peeps
  • Colored sugar of a different color than the peeps

Mix cake mix, eggs, oil and water according to the directions on the box. Grease pan or place cupcake papers in muffin pan. Pour batter into cake or muffin pan and bake according to directions on the box. In order to get a variety of colors you will have had to buy more peeps than you will need. While the cake is baking this is a good time to eat excess peeps and allow nine year old assistant to lick spoon. Remove cake or cup cakes from oven. While cake cools eat more peeps and cake batter. Spread cake or cup cakes with icing. Sprinkle with colored sugar. Decorate cake with peeps by placing peeps on the cake, alternating colors. For example; blue, pink, yellow, purple, blue, pink, yellow, purple. This is very important. You or someone else will notice if you have; blue, pink, yellow, purple, blue, yellow, pink, purple or (God forbid) you have two of the same color next to each other and it will bother them..or you. Also if you are making cupcakes make sure the amount of cupcakes is divisible by the number of colors you have to work with. In other words if you have four colors, make 24 cups cake. Do not make 25 cupcakes unless you find a box of green peeps. Because then you have to decide which color gets an extra cupcake, plus the muffin pan only makes 24 cups cakes and my cups cake display holder only holds 23 cupcakes and nothing is divisible by 23. Okay do this, if you have a 24 cupcake muffin pan and a 23 cup cake display, make 24 cupcakes. Let your assistant eat one cupcake. Put the rest of the cupcakes on the display and try not to think about the fact that you have one color with fewer cupcakes.

Anyway this is how to make peeps cakes when you are both lazy and a little OCD.