It Never Gets Old

Sister C and her husband came over with their four kids to help us celebrate the 4th of July.  We didn’t do anything outrageous… we grilled some burgers and dogs, ate some cupcakes that were homemade by Kid B, drank some wine and fired up a few amateur sparklers in the light rain that has been falling on us for well over a week now.  We are missing our Kid A, who has been away for two out of an overall four weeks, but we had a really fun time together nevertheless.  God Bless America.

Actual warning on sparklers: "Flamable.  Do Not Put in Mouth."

Actual warning on sparklers: “Flamable. Do Not Put in Mouth.”

Somewhere in the middle of putting out dinner I realized that we were dangerously low on ketchup.  And I had no back-ups anywhere.  As far as Sheepdog is concerned, this is an unforgivable offense.  We are allowed to run out of toilet paper in this house before we are allowed to run out of ketchup according to him.  I think ketchup is vile, so I wanted to tell him to squeeze a tomato and some sugar on his tots and deal with it.  Sister C’s husband had already made a last minute run to the store for 17 kinds of Triscuits and the aforementioned sparkle wands, so nobody was going anywhere else in the middle of the meal.  It’s not like we ran out of alcohol, for goodness’ sake.

I promised Sheepdog that I would get more ketchup (and a few spares, just to make him feel safe) the next day when I went on a regular grocery run.  I had a few other things I was running low on anyway.  I asked Sister C to start a new list for me so I would not forget.  The next morning I thought of some more things that we needed, so I just added them to the list.  This went on throughout the day.

I never actually made it to the store on Friday (I made sure not to serve anything that would require ketchup, lest Sheepdog have an aneurism), but sometime over the weekend I had occasion to go out.  In the middle of the produce aisle I pulled the paper from my purse and I began reading over it to make sure there was nothing else I needed to add when I noticed Sister C’s special request.  I burst out laughing and then I remembered that we also needed yogurt.

grocery list

Having sisters is awesome.  I sure do love mine.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…


I will let you in on a little secret.  I do not like stuffed animals.  More accurately stated, I hate them.  They bother me to no end.  They shed, they are full of dust mites (invisible to the human eye, but they are there – guaranteed), and they smell.  I don’t care if they are the sweet, soft ones made for replicating a mama’s heartbeat and cuddling newborn babies, the lineup on the back dash of some child-at-heart/ molester’s car, or the three-foot-tall neon ones that have been sitting up on a boardwalk or a carnival shelf absorbing cigarette smoke and cheese steak and cotton candy farts from passerby tourists for weeks until someone actually gets three rings around the bottle necks and takes them home… stuffed animals of every kind are icky.

I also dislike toys that make really loud, repetitive noises.  Especially the ones that do not have an on/ off switch.  Argh!  I have no doubt that they are made in the devil’s own toy factory.  My house is usually pretty loud, just because of the number of people who are in it at any given time, and I am very good at ignoring many of the standard, resultant kid noises, but those particular toys just push my buttons and they get under my skin and into my blood like MRSA.

Put the two of them together and you have created my particular brand of kryptonite.  Stuffed animals that make noises can unhinge me in a way that little else can.  When I come into contact with them I can focus on little else until they are far, far away.  For Always.  Dear Good Lord, please please please make the talking stuffed animals all go away forever in a gasoline fire and send the ashes up in a space pod to Pluto.  Just make them disappear and never come back.  I would be ever so grateful.  Preesh.

So, we went as a family to visit with a very dear friend the other day.  Sheepdog and I used to spend a lot of time with this sweet woman and her husband (who has since passed away) when we lived in New Jersey years back.  As life is happening and kids and work and other stuff takes up most of our time, friendships can fall to the wayside, especially when they are long distance.  Sadly, we have not gotten together in years.

This woman has lived an amazing life and has the heart and soul of an angel and she is also a Dirty Bird (which is a character trait that will always make me want to be BFFs).  She still touches Sheepdog’s biceps and butt whenever she gets the chance, in the most loving and ornery way possible.  We were so excited to spend time with her again and to have her get to know Kids A – E a little better.

We couldn’t have orchestrated a more perfect visit.  The kids were fun and funny and played nicely with her and each other.  They were asking questions and listening politely and using their manners.  We talked and swam and ate together.  And at the end of the visit she brought out presents for the kids, including some beautiful bracelets for the girls, funny bobble head pens and a paper planes kit for the boys, a couple of very peaceful, solar-powered owls that are my new favorite Zen Friends, and this…

Guess which toy might “accidentally” get left behind at Nanny and Pop Pop’s house when we drive back to Atlanta this week?  Or strapped to one of the 4th of July fireworks tonight?  And I can guarantee you that it will not be these guys…

Because these guys are awesome.

Happy 4th!  God Bless America and wish me luck for tomorrow…