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Nothing is worse than the bug you thought was dead going missing

So my kids are home for the summer. They’re hanging out at home, except when my mom takes them to the movies or they go to their other gramma’s to swim. They’ve been doing great. I give them chores to do each day and so far, so good.

Also, the calls to me during the day have been minimal, so that pleases me. I remember my own mother threatening my brother and I with a painful death if we didn’t stop calling her at work during our own summer vacations.

Today, however, I got a call. I couldn’t answer because I was already on the phone with a client.

Sassy’s voice mail said, “Give us a call so Bandit and I can tell you about our exciting morning.”

I called immediately. “Are the firemen there?”

“No,” she said. “But let me tell you.”

The story she regaled me with involved a cat who loves to eat bugs, a broom, a giant insect – and a roll of duct tape.

I know. Hold on. I’ll explain.

Apparently, Jojo Kitty was yowling in a manner that implied he wanted to be fed. Once Sassy opened her bedroom door to take care of his needs something large and with entirely too many legs skittered across the floor.  She screamed for her brother who came running with a broom. I assume at this time he backed away to a safe distance while Sassy commenced beating the ever-loving shit out of that bug.

As soon as they decided it was dead, the three of them — Sassy, Bandit, and the cat — ran to a safe room and debated what to do about it now. Should they wait for their grandmother to come over and then beg her to wipe it up? Could one of them actually handle it?

Sassy felt that she could do it. She was a teenager now and she expected she could handle this new responsibility. I’m also certain that her brother backed away to a safe distance at this time, too.

As Sassy tells the story, her brother was positioned at the front door, poised to open it as she approached, sweeping the bug carcass outside. Except that the “carcass” twitched as she approached with the broom.

Imagine, Dear Internet, the shrieking that now rang through my house by both kids accompanied by fresh whacking with the broom, encouraging baying from the hound dog, and more wild-cat like yowling from the cat who was desperate to get at the bug. I honestly have no idea how the neighbors didn’t call the police.

Once again, our intrepid warriors gathered their animal cheering squad and retreated to a safe room.

So now in the doorway to the kitchen lies a battered insect and a mangled broom. What to do. What to do.

I believe what they came up with was pretty inspired.

This was exactly what My Honey found when he came home from work. Behold – a paper towel duct taped around the body. This bug was going nowhere.

the bug





What would Grace Kelly say? I can’t imagine.

We were coming home from Target when the Bandit informed me he wants a gold Corvette.

“No,” I told him.

“What do you mean, ‘no?'” he asked.

“You can’t have a gold Corvette.” I said.

This is the hideous vehicle I'm imagining

This is the hideous vehicle I’m imagining


“Because that would be ugly,” I explained.

“Nuh uh.” He responded with a classic. “I’m getting one.”

“They won’t make a gold one. There are rules.”

He laughed. “What’s wrong with you? I can have a gold Corvette.”

“I said no. It’s not possible. I won’t allow it. Besides, they won’t make them in gold.”

“You’re crazy,” he told me. “I’ll take it to a paint shop and have them do it.”

“Nope. You’ll go in there and say, ‘Hey, I want you to paint my car g–‘ and they’ll interrupt you before you even finish. They’ll shake their heads and say, ‘Sorry, the big book of rules says no. Besides, your mother already called.'”

“Really,” he said skeptically. “What would Ava say?” There’s a dare in his voice.

“She’d agree with me.” I know this to be true because Ava hates anything with gold trim. I always buy purses with gold hardware because then she won’t steal them from me. Still, there are limits. A gold car is beyond the pale. There’s no way my Sister would like a gold Corvette. No possible way.

He pointed to my phone. “Then call her.”

I think this is what he's imagining.

I think this is what he’s imagining.

I did. I put the phone on speaker. She answered on the second ring. “Hey, your nephew here wants a gold Corvette. What say you?”

Then my sister betrayed me. “I think that is an excellent idea.”

“What?” I’m genuinely shocked. “I can’t believe you’re saying this. Why would you allow that?”

“It’s the Jersey in me,” she admitted. She’s right. Any hideous car accessory she see’s, she wants. For God’s sake she’s convinced that she wants a spoiler on her Jaguar. It’s ridiculous.

I hung up on her. Encouraging my son to indulge his low-rent proclivities is completely  treacherous. A gold Corvette. Gads.

Of course I am. I’m a princess and this is my tiara.

In honor of National Tiara Day, it’s time for the annual viewing.

We’d play coy, too.

Kate has such a lovely accent. It really brings this home, eh?

Bad news bears

gold toilet

This is NOT our new gold-plated toilet. It was out of stock at Home Depot.

Boy there has been all kinds of trouble at the Bright house. Ava asked rather succinctly, “What the hell is going on over there this week?”

It started out with a plumbing issue that turned into a debacle that took three days to fix. My plumbing is now less 45 pounds of hair, various tree roots, and god knows what else.

Also, we have a brand new toilet.

Then tonight our internet modem took a crap. Best Buy is useless. The modem is not even 5 months old! I spent about an hour on the phone with Motorola. They were super nice and helpful and a new modem is on it’s way, but we’re not completely convinced that there isn’t something else wrong in addition to the modem.

My Honey wants me to take my turn on the phone with tech support, but that makes me want to cry.

Jeez, I’m practically afraid to come home anymore.

I’m old and sad…and now I need a cookie

I live less than a block from the elementary school that My Honey and I both attended growing up. I always thought it would be really cool for my kids to go to the same one. It wasn’t to be, however. That school district has become a bit of a disaster in the 35+ years since we went there.

First of all – HOLY SHIT did I just type that I was there THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AGO? I’m horrified by that realization.

OK – I got a grip on myself. Anyway, we’d never have sent our kids to that school now. But I still think it would have been cool. The school district is in such dire straits that they’ve been closing schools and they’ve remained vacant while they decide what to do with the buildings.

After many stops and starts, finally they sold my old elementary school to a developer for residential properties. Now some builder is going to put up cookie cutter houses or something equally dreadful.

In the good old days...last week

In the good old days…last week

I can’t tell you how sad it makes me to see them bulldozing my old school. I pass by it literally ever single time I leave my house. While we were camping they demolished the gym and basketball courts. On my way home from work tonight, I noticed the lower grade wings were missing.

It makes my heart hurt.

My 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms are no more. Rooms where I spent countless hours in the corner for talking. Where we practiced our Christmas program music by Mrs. Dooley’s piano. I can still sing all the words to Up on the House Top and even do the little dance steps and hand movements. The room where I wrote my first ever story is gone – The Lonely Crayon. I won the school competition for it in third grade.

Pretty soon Mr. Miller’s 6th grade class will be gone, too. He was my favorite teacher of my entire school career. That’s the class room where my father embarrassed me beyond all reason, scarring me for life when he entered my classroom with my forgotten lunchbox and said, “Birdlegs forgot her lunch” in front of everyone.

And the room will be gone where I played flute in the school band for at least three weeks before I decided, nah.

And the courtyard where we had cake walks.

And the stage in the cafeteria where my girl scout troupe put on the very first play I wrote (with my mom).

And the library where I checked out every Judy Blume book over and over and over until the librarian made me try something else.

And my 4th grade class where we watched the solar eclipse with those special doohickeys we made in science so we didn’t burn out our retinas.

I’m depressing the hell out of myself.


May 13

5-things12This week was bitter-sweet. The week flew by because Amy had plans to be out on Friday to go camping and Ava dreaded being left alone for the entire day with the crazies they work with. So, as the theory of relativity proves, time progressed at breakneck speed. Here’s the stuff that Ava pondered being totally alone on Friday.mammogram

1. Not going camping. Few things are more glorious than NOT going camping. Someone challenged us to come up with a short list of things that are worse than camping. Seriously, the Sisters were hard pressed but they gave it the old college try. In no particular order: getting a flu shot, getting a mammogram, giving birth. Okay, those are all medically related, we guess that tells you something about our dislike of grasshoppercamping.

2. Bugs in your food. Ava cannot vouch for this first hand but Amy and their Phd Super Smart Friend L both insist that while camping, bugs get in your food – AND you accidentally eat them. WTF?! Ava wondered how Amy didn’t lose weight on these outdoor weekends. Ava is certain she’d starve first instead having that accident. Phd SSFL posited that the bugs were protein – maybe she’s not so smart after all. Avahouse called her nuts and vowed for the 985,021 time that she would never camp in this life time or any other.

3. House payments. The Sisters cannot understand the need to go outside to sleep. They have both worked long and hard to buy a home. That roof over their heads is a particular joy to them. It’s such a happy part of their life they want to sleep under it 365 days a year. Unless they’re sunburnin a nice hotel and then they’re okay sleeping away from home.

4. Sun burn/sun. Go ahead, stop reading now and look at the photo of Amy right over there to the left. What sadistic family would make that poor pale woman go out in the sun? There is no Ava photo but, being sisters, please imagine her looking exactly the same. Last July, they were both shocked tobig-foot-loch-ness be sunburned in the middle of NYC even though they stayed on the shady side of the street and were out there for 15 minutes. Camping? No thanks.

5. Big foot riding the Loch Ness Monster in the lake. Amy left for the wilds of southern AZ and Ava only agreed to it and released her ankles because they’ve been watching Finding Bigfoot. If anyone is going to find Bigfoot it’s going to be the Sisters. Here’s why – if Bigfoot is real, there must be baby Big Foots. Right? We know you just pictured a tiny furry Big Foot in your head. How cute was that?! That’s the Big Foot the Sisters will find and raise as their very own. Don’t laugh, we’re going to say he’s just extra hairy and it’s not polite to stare.

Lochness Monster sighting at Patagonia lake, local woman takes it home, calls it Mortin

Dearest Amy’s Husband,

It is with great sadness (not mine) we inform you of the news that Amy will not be going camping. She has been rude and hostile at work, lo these past few days, and I, for one (there are many others), feel that such churlish behavior should not be rewarded with the gloriousness, nay the sheer delight, of a camping trip. Perhaps, next time, if her actions warrant a reward (doubtful) she well be granted permission to camp and join the hunt for Big Foot.


Amy’s Fellow Office Prisoners



A new definition of insanity

The Bright family is making me go camping again. Ostensibly, this is for Sassy’s birthday. It’s what she wanted to do for her 13th birthday. I don’t understand why, but whatever.

She has several friends coming with us and we invited the extended family. Now it’s blossomed into an enormous 786 person melee. I might be exaggerating a little, but not by much. Just understand that there will be a crap-ton of people.

This does not make me any  more excited to go. You faithful readers will surely recall that I consider camping – or any outdoor activity, really – as an abomination.

This week finds my family launching into a flurry of activity. There’s packing clothes and buying groceries and, inevitably, there’s something that needs to be repaired on either the boat or the camping trailer. This year, both.

What is this lunacy?

What is this lunacy?

So this evening I’m standing at the kitchen table folding laundry. Sassy asks if I’ve done any of hers yet. I pointed to her pile.

“Great,” she said, grasping a t-shirt from the stack. “I want to iron my clothes for camping.”

I looked at her with the same expression you’re making right now. Sassy has never ironed a single item of clothing in her life. I have no idea what the hell this is about.

“Why?” I asked, stupidly.

“Because I just want to.” I never got a real reason out of her. There was no point belaboring it.

She turned on the iron and I showed her how to fill the reservoir for steam. By God, if she was going to iron, there would be creases. She proceeded to try to jam the t-shirt over the ironing board, neck first.

“No,” I told her, and flipped the shirt around. I know what she was trying to do. She wanted me to iron her clothes for her, but that in an inexcusably stupid idea and I’m not falling for no “banana in the tailpipe” (gratuitous Beverly Hills Cop reference).

“How do you do this?” she asked making ineffective swipes with the iron.

“You take the hot metal part and press it against the offensively wrinkled clothes.”

She made a “har har har” noise at me. I have no idea where she gets this sarcastic tone.

I resumed folding clothes because that’s what people do. She abandoned the ironing plan because that was stupid and no one irons clothes to go camping.

May 6

5-things12Captain America Civil War was quite good in our estimation. Prepare yourself – it’s very long. We don’t recommend you drink any beverages before the movie because if you get the large, 55 gallon drum size soda they sell at the concession stand then you’ll never make it through the film without having to pee. You need to be careful. You’re not going to want to miss any parts of the film that have the yummy Winter Soldier in it. As always, there are some great lines in the film, ones we and the kids diamond 2have been quoting ever since we saw it. We have some other good stuff to share with you too.

1. Rocks. Another huge diamond has been found, this one in Botswana by a Canadian owned Lucara Diamond Corporation. Weighing in at 1,109 carats. it’s as big as a tennis ball. They’re calling it the Lesedi la Rona which means Our Light. It’s to be auctioned off at Sotheby’s in met gala ballJune and they’re expecting somewhere in the neighborhood if$70 million dollars. It’s beautiful even without being cut. The Sisters are going to send Sotheby’s a check.

2. Met Gala. We love the Met Gala Ball every year. The themes make the dresses so entertaining. This year the theme was Manus x Machina. The gowns were pretty awesome. We loved Emma Watson’s “gown” since it was actually pants. She looked like a sort of cyborg futuristic samurai – the result was very cool and she has amazing style. cupcake ATMThe winner, though, is the gown worn by Claire Danes and designed by Zac Posen. She looked like Cinderella – but with a dress that lit up by fiber optics. Cinderella would have peed herself for this dress.

3. Best ATM. Ever. We can’t think of anything more brilliant than this ATM. The Sprinkles cupcake company has several of these ATMs around the county. You insert your credit card and OUT COMES THE CUPCAKE OF YOUR CHOOSING. We wrote that in all caps because it’s Trudeau pandasseriously important. We mentioned several years ago about a baguette ATM several years ago in France. We really love this trend.

4. Looking better than ever. Take a look at this picture. There have been a lot jokes about moving to Canada after the general election in November. We’ve been considering Cuba. The border is open now and their food is better. Besides, the weather is tropical and the Sisters freelymark admit that cold is NOT a favorite thing. Still, Canada has hockey and croissants and now this. We present to you Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada holding panda bears. You’re welcome.

5. Our boss. Amylynn moved her office from one part of the office to another. That’s a big job for sure. She successfully filched the office pictures from the old office but needed someone to hang them up for her. She asked nicely and her boss was willing. We love this picture. The man had to improvise a tool belt. Not everyone’s first choice.

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