A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

Read the full story »
Food

Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.

News

The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

There’s an egg in my kitchen
Sun, 6/12/09 – 22:34 | Comments Off
There’s an egg in my kitchen

A dear friend who’s never had to deal with food allergies laughed at me when I evicted all eggs and egg products from our house after Big Guy’s bout with anaphylaxis five and a half …

Trust is not relative but money is
Sun, 6/12/09 – 22:04 | Comments Off
Trust is not relative but money is

Is community trust a luxury in America, the Gallup Poll asks as its lead-in to a survey showing that 82 percent of those who make $90,000 or more a year believe a neighbor would return …

Hearing the lies that tumble off my tongue, I want to puke
Fri, 4/12/09 – 14:43 | Comments Off
Hearing the lies that tumble off my tongue, I want to puke

It was my mistake, I suppose. I let the guys watch “The Polar Express” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” in the same day.
Big Guy being Big Guy, he immediately picked up on certain …

A SWAT for tearing down the walls between advertising and news
Thu, 3/12/09 – 22:11 | Comments Off
A SWAT for tearing down the walls between advertising and news

Once upon a time, in a land long ago and far away, news was news and ads were ads and never the twain did meet.
Oh, sure, the advertisers would try and occasionally succeed. I can’t …

Making reading a race
Thu, 3/12/09 – 12:51 | 2 Comments
Making reading a race

There are two things I like about the new voluntary reading program at Big Guy’s school, which involves his teacher sending home two books that the kids read until they can complete the text without …

If I had a pet chicken …
Wed, 2/12/09 – 22:40 | Comments Off
If I had a pet chicken …

If I had a pet chicken I will eat pizza with it.
I will eat hot dogs with it.
I will have a cocoa with it.
I will play with it.
I will take it to The Box.
What would …

The $60.42 answer to the question of helping children with asthma
Wed, 2/12/09 – 22:28 | Comments Off
The $60.42 answer to the question of helping children with asthma

With a callous eye toward the bottom line, insurance companies unhesitantly ax coverage for medications asthmatic children need. Don’t deny it. It’s happened to us.
If executives won’t shell out $300 to prevent an emergency room …

Yes, I’m making another chart
Wed, 2/12/09 – 13:46 | Comments Off
Yes, I’m making another chart

So what was that I was saying yesterday about being in a transition stage, where techniques that used to work no longer do the trick?
This morning – when Big Guy poked, goofed off, ignored me …

Shopping’s no fun? No kidding
Tue, 1/12/09 – 22:45 | Comments Off
Shopping’s no fun? No kidding

When it comes to shopping I’m not quite in the mainstream, but the other side doesn’t have a majority either.
According to a Rasmussen Report poll released over the weekend, 39 percent of Americans consider holiday …

Yes, my kids are brats. And I bet you were, too
Tue, 1/12/09 – 13:56 | 4 Comments
Yes, my kids are brats. And I bet you were, too

Boots announced his arrival home with a wail and a belly-flop on the floor.
“What’s wrong with him?” Dad asked.
“It’s not Christmas,” I said.
“Huh?”
“They were decorating at school today, and he doesn’t get that he doesn’t …

Warning: Don’t eat the lip balm
Mon, 30/11/09 – 23:26 | 2 Comments
Warning:  Don’t eat the lip balm

I thought nothing could ever top the warning the eyeglass cleaner at work used to carry: Do not use on contact lenses.
That was before last weekend, when I bought a box of lip balm that …

In search of a Christmas present that doesn’t exist
Mon, 30/11/09 – 14:20 | Comments Off
In search of a Christmas present that doesn’t exist

Damn you, Juan Pablo Montoya.
No, I’m not talking about that little hoo-ha at the end of the last race that led NASCAR officials to tell you to park it for two laps. That was as …

A SWAT for hissing at a call to play nice
Thu, 26/11/09 – 20:17 | Comments Off
A SWAT for hissing at a call to play nice

It’s the type of meaningless legislation that usually draws scant attention beyond the members of the team being honored or the local luminary being recognized.
Except this time, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II’s resolution backing the designation …

This year, I’m thankful just to be
Wed, 25/11/09 – 18:35 | Comments Off
This year, I’m thankful just to be

We thought he’d be gone by now based on the word at the end of July: Deployment in August.
That plan quickly fell apart due to a boatload of paperwork and tasks Dad still needed to …

Getting there is all the battle
Wed, 25/11/09 – 12:00 | Comments Off
Getting there is all the battle

I’ll admit it: I’m a spoiled brat who never had to travel more than an hour for Thanksgiving as a kid. Until this year, the guys never had to ride more than five minutes.
So imagine …

Dirt gets its due again
Tue, 24/11/09 – 22:23 | Comments Off
Dirt gets its due again

Bacteria are normal. Bacteria are good. Bacteria can even help the immune system.
So say researchers at the University of California, San Diego.  According to an article in The Guardian, the very same staphylococci that causes …

Bowled over by bowling – and I still stink at it
Tue, 24/11/09 – 13:09 | Comments Off
Bowled over by bowling – and I still stink at it

I don’t have fond memories of bowling.
For that matter, I don’t have fond memories of any sport other than as a spectator. I’m the stereotypical “last kid picked in PE class” – except it’s not …

If they won’t build them right, ban them
Mon, 23/11/09 – 22:42 | Comments Off
If they won’t build them right, ban them

Here’s a great example of how we’ve improved products over the years to the point of making them heaping piles of junk.
The crib I slept in as babe decades ago now lives in my parents’ …

The birthday partiers break out on their own
Mon, 23/11/09 – 13:05 | Comments Off
The birthday partiers break out on their own

It wasn’t quite as big a deal for Boots as it was when Big Guy got his first non-cousin party invitation a year and a half ago – but, then, Boots already has been to …

No worries? Try to find some quickly
Fri, 20/11/09 – 23:35 | Comments Off
No worries? Try to find some quickly

Are you walking around humming a happy tune, blue birds over one shoulder and a rainbow over the other?
You better find something to worry about and fast. It turns out that, while walking around in …

Milk: It’s what’s for dinner
Fri, 20/11/09 – 14:34 | Comments Off
Milk: It’s what’s for dinner

I love independence – one of the happiest days of my life was when Big Guy woke up early, climbed on a stool, hoisted the Cheerios from atop the fridge and made himself and his …

A SWAT for trying to create a rap sheet over a rap
Thu, 19/11/09 – 22:44 | Comments Off
A SWAT for trying to create a rap sheet over a rap

You’re a harried fast-food worker sticky with sweat and grease but trying to maintain the obligatory smile and chirpy tone because even a minimum-wage job is a coup in this economy.
“Welcome to McDonald’s, may I …

Epiblogue: Ordering organic for ‘that rat’
Thu, 19/11/09 – 13:57 | 3 Comments
Epiblogue: Ordering organic for ‘that rat’

Yes, I’m paying $9 a bag for organic  hamster food – double the normal cost, and $9 was the sale price. Yes, I’m ordering it online because I can’t find it locally. And, yes, I’m …

Relax, bloggers. The media are not out to get you
Wed, 18/11/09 – 23:17 | Comments Off
Relax, bloggers. The media are not out to get you

I suppose it’s human nature for defenses to go up in the face of criticism.
But still, it’s perplexing when those being criticized – or even mildly questioned – still are lashing out almost two months …

The hamster who won’t leave Fort Irwin
Wed, 18/11/09 – 14:40 | One Comment
The hamster who won’t leave Fort Irwin

The desert’s not everyone’s mug of iced coffee, but I happen to like it. That’s why I’m on my third family in the past year – they keep leaving, but I always manage to find …

Five days to stop a pandemic? Nah. It’s too much
Tue, 17/11/09 – 22:32 | 2 Comments
Five days to stop a pandemic? Nah. It’s too much

What would it be worth to you to stop swine flu from spreading? Would $290 a week be too much of an investment?
That’s how much it would cost to let a minimum-wage worker stay home …

Some like it hot, but some are just ridiculous about it
Tue, 17/11/09 – 13:59 | Comments Off
Some like it hot, but some are just ridiculous about it

I sensed that there wasn’t something quite right about the man on our first date, when I delicately dipped an egg roll  into the clear-your-sinuses-hot mustard as he slathered the sauce the full length, spreading …

Drug companies robbing everybody to pay Paul
Mon, 16/11/09 – 22:47 | Comments Off
Drug companies robbing everybody to pay Paul

It took me a while, but I finally figured out where I’d previously seen the scam the drug companies are trying to pull off on health care reform.
It was about this time last year, at …