Sunday, March 27, 2005

Road Trip: Dry as a Bone

We discovered tonight that Bryant, Arkansas, is located in a DRY COUNTY. After driving all day in the rain, with no fun stops at all on such a crappy day, Kev and I were so looking forward to cold brewski tonight at the restaurant. Dammit. We even settled on Ruby Tuesday's as per the kids' choice, thinking it'd be worth it just to get a cold Corona... And the strawberry lemonade was a superb substitute. We each had 2, that's our limit.

I was truly surprised about the dry county thing, because we're not that far outside of Little Rock, and usually the big cities aren't dry. We've had this happen before in travels through the Southern states, wanting a beer and wanting it even more when we cannot buy one. It's such a strange concept to me. Years ago, we went through Lynchburg and did the tour of the Jack Daniels distillery, but we couldn't buy any of it there. Very strange. They can make it, just can't sell the devil's brew.

Anyway, too tired to try and find the county line tonight.

This is our 2nd night on the road, and we will arrive at our friends' house in Texas tomorrow. We've changed our plans along the way, but that's the very best aspect of our road trips... we can be as flexible as we want.

Friday, March 25, 2005

OK, I Think I'm Ready Now


To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness.
To postpone or delay needlessly.
The act of procrastinating; putting off or delaying or defering an action to a later time.
Slowness as a consequence of not getting around to it.

I should be doing laundry and a bunch of other stuff to get ready to leave on our road trip tomorrow morning at 4:00 a.m., but here I am, again, playing and blogging! Yikes!

Someone, who knows me well, once gave me a Round Tuit.

Answers from the Internet

Off and on, I've read this mommy blog. I'm not 100% sure it's totally classified as a mommy blog, but that's my personal classification.

Tangent: mommy blogs -- it's funny, since I'm a mom it seems like I should enjoy those more. But maybe it's because my kids are 16 and 10, and the baby stuff is way behind me... anyway, reading accounts of how junior or missy is making his/her way all around the house now or the child's fascination or reactions with learning to do something, eat something, feel something, etc etc etc... I'm slightly ashamed to say, I don't find it fascinating. It's nice and all, but ho, hum... it's usually boring to me. I feel like I should read those entries with fond memories of when my kids were babies and toddlers, reminisce with longing to have my little one back, or perhaps another baby. Fact is, I'm so totally glad those diaper days are over. I love to say, Joyce, you have got to get the vacuuming done today, or Sam, you will take care of your laundry today or no TV tonight and it's Survivor night, so you'd better do it pronto. I mean, it's awesome. Today my daughter is meeting her boyfriend in town for lunch, and since I totally forgot to pick up Sam's allergy med at Walgreens, she can do it for me! Freedom. Share the burden of errands, of housework. Plus, Joyce got up early this morning, so she and I talked after Kev left for work, and I asked her what she thought about what we're planning to do with the dogs while we're gone, and listening to her opinions on it has made me feel much better about our plan. I love having conversations with my kids. I'd like to read mom blogs with older kids, but my experience is that there just aren't too many of them. I think there could be a couple of reasons for that (warning this is a Very Broad Generalization, and it's meant to be so), if you're a mom with older kids, you may not have extra time to blog, Gen-Xers are driving their mini-vans filled with, e.g., 12-year-old soccer players, all over the place, and also I think it's partly because the Gen-Yers (the 20-30ish year olds) are more likely to turn to the computer (read: Internet) for just about everything and anything.

Anyhooo... back to this mommy blog. The author has put a question out to the Internet; it's a question about a big decision she's contemplating, and she asked what she should do, i.e., move or not move out of a big city into suburbia. I seem to be thinking about it a lot, like way too much. Not so much the question, but why she put it out there and how does she think it's going to help her. She has received a ton of comments, which range, as expected, from one total extreme to the other. (I even commented, me! I still don't know why I did so. Especially since I've never lived in a big city or in a suburb of a big city, but I have made big decisions in my almost-45-years of living.) It's interesting reading about the experiences, but how does that help her arrive at a decision... I just can't relate... I would definitely be interested in the experiences of others, to help provide some insight or research on a question or plan I'm considering, but generally, I would ask family, friends & coworkers or family and friends of family, friends and coworkers. Folks I'm pretty sure aren't zany as hell, or at least are zany like me.

I could see asking the big, wide Internet what were your experiences at thus and such, but to ask it should I or should I not [do something]... hmmm...

So what I like to call my "lightswitch reaction" kicked in. (Meaning I can be a heartless bitch and can turn it off and on like that, baby! Seriously, I can.) I've thought about that mommy blogger's question so much that now I'm tired of it and I think it's just silly, and not in an entertaining way for me at all. So I've deleted my favorites link to her blog, I mean I didn't even move it to the "blogs of semi-interest" folder. When I get bored, I do stuff like that. But then I'd probably delete the link to my blog if I wasn't me. Ha!

Secrets of the Sauce

Last night after the husband arrived home from a long 13-hour shift (he had to work over an hour), I took some leftover tomato sauce and made tomato soup. (The tomato sauce was leftover because I opened a can to juice up the leftover goulash we had the night before, & all we have in the pantry are big cans of tomato sauce.) That was our dinner, along with cheesy garlic bread that I found in the freezer. It was one of those times when you start looking in the fridge, freezer & pantry for some idea of What To Make For Dinner. The freezer heralded Texas Toast, and that was the inspiration for dinner. And the tomato soup was really, really good. My husband was all "this is the best tomato soup I've ever had" and when he asked what I put in it, I told him it was a secret. I said, "A good chef never reveals her secrets." My daughter piped in to say, "That's magicians."

Oh, yeah, that's right.

Cream, 2% milk, salt, pepper and Mrs. Dash Table Blend with the tomato sauce. It's rocket science, I tell ya.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Someone Can't Wait, Though

Unlike his mom at this moment, Sam cannot wait to get on the road. He's never been to Texas, to Aunt Sandy's house, nor met Shadow, her dog who signs all his birthday cards.

Sam is pretty much fascinated with Texas right now. And here Sam has prepared some very important pieces of information we need to know for our visit: Texas Facts & Symbols.

Spring Break Headache

We leave early Saturday morning for our Spring Break Road Trip. Michigan to Texas and back in 1 week. And now it's that time, right before a vacation, where I feel like I don't want to go. I am at heart a homebody. Though I've been so looking forward to our road trip, right this moment I'm wishing it were over already. Well, not 100% wishing that, since I can't wait to see my best friend in Texas... but...

Since we have 3 dogs, 2 cats and 1 gerbil, there's always the pets to consider. And since Reilly, Dog No. 1, i.e., Top Dog, stays in the house, that's even more of a problem. He doesn't do well all alone 24-7, it just isn't possible. But everyone is busy, busy. My Daddy just had knee surgery so we don't want to hassle him and Mom to come over to our house to play with Reilly. And there's the fact that we live off from 1/2 mile of a dirt road, and with a long ass driveway, and both are total mudslides at the moment. They're both in the worst condition I've seen in years... I almost got stuck the other night. Ugh. So we don't want to ask anyone to drive up and down our road twice a day. Even if we asked, I'm not sure anyone would!

So... we've finally settled on taking all 3 dogs over to my folks where they can live together for a week. Mom and Dad have a fenced-in portion on a cement slab with a nice outbuilding, so the 3 dogs will sleep together, too. Reilly will need about 50 baths when we get home, but he'll be in too much dog party heaven to miss us. I worry, though, that the experience will change him too much and he won't be our old Reilly.

Anyway, we'll put food out for the cats and the rat to last a few days and someone will tool on over every other day or so and bring in the mail & newspapers, check on the house and feed the critters up again.

I also worry that our dogs not being here to bark their fool heads off, I mean, er, watch over the place, that we just may get robbed or something.

This whole thing just kinda sucks. It's sucking all my happy anticipation for vacation right down the drain. I have a headache the size of Texas and a fuse more like Rhode Island, temperamental to the core. Ain't that a great recipe for a road trip???

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


We started out to just give him the usual* blonde highlights, but it's such a hassle to pull all those little bits of hair through that cap, and it hurts, too. So we ditched the cap and did the whole head! Whoo hoo!

Now, on Spring Break, I'm sure my blonde boy will have more fun!

*Sam has been wanting "stuff" done to his hair since 1st grade. Not sure where he gets that from! We used to do colorful gel spiky hair, then we did the butch-almost-bald look, then lately we've been doing blonde highlights just to the top of his head. He's my fashion boy!

More on Pod Dwelling: The Phlegm Story

It is such a damn good thing we're taking a vacation.

My neighbor, here in the pod, whom I've previously mentioned, the one that eats unusual items for breakfast often... well, he's back at it. A while ago, I finally got tired of smelling his breakfasts and of hearing all my fellow pod dwellers bitch about the smells, along with bitching about hearing his constant hacking, choking, gagging, coughing and other loud manifestations of phlegm (likely greatly affected by all his greasy breakfasts)... so anyway, I finally got sick and tired of it all, got on the 'net, printed off a bunch of articles regarding how to reduce phlegm in your body, how greasy foods increase phlegm production in one's body, etc etc etc. I gave him the printed pages (about 50) and asked him to kindly finish his breakfast before he comes into the office and why don't you consider oatmeal?... You see, he stops at this local restaurant each morning, which has no take-out, by the way, so he must park his car, exit his car, walk into the restaurant and pick up his meal. So I suggested he take an additional 2.3 minutes and wolf it down there, instead of bringing it into the pod, smelling up the pod for 2 hours when he only spends but a moment wolfing his food down. But the smell lingers and lingers. Thus we get to "enjoy" his breakfast for much longer than he does.

That pissed him off, but it worked for a while. But now he's back at it. Bringing in his smelly ass food every single damn morning again. And of course, it's usually greasy. So then we get to listen to him try to handle the phlegm all fucking day long. It is so GROSS. And I am so bloody tired of it.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Ornery Club

Tonight my husband and I were charter members of the Ornery Club. Jeez, we both were ornery Big Time. Kev was nasty-faced because he just got up from a not-too-restful sleep and had to head back on into work for another midnight-12. (Did I mention that I abhor this 3-2-2 shift??? Grrrr.) I was cantankerous for pretty much the same reason. I am so very glad we're heading out on a road trip this Saturday. With the prospect of one whole week away from our respective hellholes, and Kev and I should both be able to be a little less contrary.

The one highlight of my day at work today was when I realized that though I had told all of my work team (via e-mail, in accordance with our team norms) that I would be on vacation beginning this Friday and not returning to the office until Monday, April 4th, this Friday is actually a company-paid holiday. I can't believe I didn't know that, but I was totally planning to use 8 hours vacation time, and instead it's a holiday! Yay! And then I realized that, oh shit, I don't have anything for the kiddos' Easter baskets yet. Good thing they're not babies any more and expect me to be a good mommy. They're old enough now to know better.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Mexicano Cena Partido!

My daughter, a sophomore in high school, invited a few of her friends over yesterday evening for a Mexican Dinner Party! This was no impromptu, spur-of-the-moment-let's-go-to-Taco-Bell thing. This occasion warranted decorations. And planning, grocery shopping, cleaning and cooking all day. Joyce did most of the cleaning, and I did all the cooking. Chicken tortillas, beef enchiladas, corn cake, Spanish rice and refried beans. The girls loved the food. Especially the 3-layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, à la mode. Delicioso! They liked the punch bowl of virgin strawberry margaritas, too.

Her brother, her dad & I made ourselves scarce and left the girls to themselves. Sam was upstairs playing on the computer, while Kev and I watched TV in the basement. We could hear the girls talking and laughing and havin' a good ol' time! It was great listening to them.

After dinner they watched a movie, "Woman on Top." Appropriate choice for the evening. We could tell when the movie was over, because the girl noises increased.

Joyce gave each friend a small gift when they left. I had found these small satin tie string bags at a dollar store, in pretty pastel colors with either butterflies or dragonflies embroidered on them. They were meant for wine gift bags, and they were so pretty. She burned a CD of some pop Latin music for each friend, not sure where the music came from (but it's pretty cool -- heard it before dinner), and put that and a green margarita glass (another dollar store purchase, a Libbey green glass bubble stem, very pretty) with a wrapped parcel of homemade chocolate chip cookies in one of the satin bags, with a small note that said "Gracias! Thank you for coming to my party." It was really neat, and the girls loved 'em. (Love those dollar stores!)

I think they all had a good evening. I'm glad. It was a lot of work, for one thing, but worth it. Joyce hasn't had a party in so long. It's a lot of stress to have a party, and since she could only invite 8 people, she was worried about offending some friends. It's a good life lesson for her. Throwing a party ain't always like going to a party!

One of her good friends stayed over the night before and got up kind of early with Joyce and I, and she helped with housework and decorating and other stuff all day long. What a doll! She's my favorite of all of Joycie's girlfriends.

Alley & Joycie: ¡los dos amigas buenos!

Friday, March 18, 2005

Up With the Sun... Or Not

I'm definitely a morning person. I love getting up in the morning with the house all quiet. I love smelling the coffee brewing. I love drinking a nice hot cup, especially on super chilly mornings. I love it that our house is always cooler in the mornings... get out of a nice warm bed into the brisk morning air. It's a waker-upper.

Our bathroom faces East and the windows look across one end of our pond toward the woods and the sunrise. Certain times of the year, it's still nighttime when I'm getting up, but other times, like now, the sun is rising. I love that light.

Yesterday's sunrise was a beautiful big orange ball of a sun.

This morning's was a cloudy sneaking up of daylight. With ghosts.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

My Son, The Old Fart

My son, lying on the sofa (home sick all day), watching TV...
Me, sitting nearby (working on computer)...
I overhear something like the following:

Pat: Well, Dan, you've won yourself a bundle and a nice little trip! You've got $10,800 so far!

Dan: Whoo hoo!

My Son, the Old Fart: Whoo hoo, Dan, maybe now you can buy yourself a decent haircut.


I finally figured out how to use my flash on my "new" digital camera. I got this camera as a service award from the company where I work. It's a very, very nice free camera. I've had it since early last October, but every time I started to study it, I got intimidated by it. Too many whistles and bells on it. I've used it, just not very well. I couldn't get a good shot at any of my daughter's volleyball games. I talked with a friend who I've seen carrying around a digital camera often, and she clued me in on a couple of little things. But still, I just don't know how to use that camera, and most of the pictures I take are crap. So I've made a decision to learn. The problem is that I don't really enjoy having to figure out what all the buttons and messages mean on the camera, but I do want to take and have nice photos. So that means I have to fork out the time and effort to learn how the darn thing works.

It's war and that darn camera ain't gonna win!

So I've been looking at quite a few different photo blogs. And I frequently read blogs that have daily photos. I thought that would be an interesting vehicle to get more fun out of learning how to use my camera. And then I came across a site that has a weekly photo assignment. You take a picture per the assignment, and then link it at that site. It is also like a competition because they end up with the top 6 voted as best, but I'm not really into the competition. Mostly it is just so cool. The assignment is usually one word, and you're left to interpret it however you want. Some of the photos are bad (even worse than mine!), but some are awesome. I think there are a lot of professional photographers participating. It's like visiting an art gallery. I decided to participate in as many weeks as I can, just to use it as a means to learn my camera, and because I think it's fun.

And the side benefit is that not only will I get more familiar with my camera, but I'm learning more about handling the jpg files and posting, linking, etc. I posted a photo, and the first time I did it was way wrong (and they deleted the link, thank goodness), but I figured it out. So now I've got another blog... it's my photo blog. It's so fun!

Monday, March 14, 2005


As if Monday mornings at work aren't bad enough, what with a pod* neighbor bringing in his hot breakfast from a local restaurant most mornings (such as shrimp scampi and bleucheeseburger and the other usual fine-smelling TYPICAL breakfast fare), and all the other little tidbits that make this work location a fine thing... this morning we have a Major Infestation of ants. There are hundreds of tiny brown and black ants everywhere. Our carpeting, circa 1981, is a mix of tan, gray, rust, black, brown, etc., and it provides excellent camouflage for the ants. Except you know how ants are... they don't usually stay still. So in certain areas of our pod this morning it looks like the carpeting is ALIVE.

What a lovely Monday morning.

*A pod, for those of you fortunate enough not to know, is a large configuration of cubicles. Our pod is in a rectangle, and they are meant to have an open center usually containing a table and chairs for meeting, though we replaced that with filing cabinets. The idea, originating from info systems or info tech groups as I understand it, is that the pod dwellers could all easily share info, thus making IS/IT response that much more, um, responsive. They could share easily because in a pod, there is absolutely no privacy and each person cannot help but hear (and smell) everything going on in the pod... and in the neighboring pods. And now we have ants. And everyone knows about it, of course. Because we all share info around here.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

How to Handle Four 10-Year-Old Boys... or What I Found in My 'Fridge

My son has 3 friends over; they stayed over last night. (And they all slept in the basement, right underneath our bedroom.) We discovered that the energy of 4 boys is not represented by the formula =1*4, but rather the energy grows exponentially, and is more like =(1*4)*4. One may also insert the words "noise" or "volume" in place of "energy" and the formula will remain static. Add 1 very large bouncy ball, and well, static is but a distant memory.

So how does one handle energy (noise, volume) of such magnitude? One bottle Rossignol Seyval Blanc did the trick for me.

I'm still trying to figure out where this particular bottle of wine came from... Rossignol is a winery on Prince Edward Island, and I don't remember bringing back this bottle of wine from our visit there in the Summer of 2003, but I suppose it's possible. But it would be more interesting to me if I had found and purchased this wine locally. We absolutely loved our vacation on PEI, and this sweet little wine was best in that it brought back a bunch of great memories of our trip. The label has a picture on it of what's probably the estate, and there's the red dirt and the hills and the blue ocean in the background. Ahhh....

Saturday, March 12, 2005

I'm Really Sure It's Been a Morning of Cuteness

This morning at the bagel shop were 2 little girls, obviously sisters and both adorable. The older sister was about 7 and the younger sister was about 4 or 5. This was the conversation I (and everyone else in the whole place) heard:
YS [in very loud voice]: Are you sure?
OS: [response not audible]
YS: Are you really sure?
OS: [response not audible]
YS: Are you really, really sure?
OS: [response not audible]
YS: Are you really, really, really sure?
OS: [response not audible]
YS: Are you sure?
OS: [response not audible]
YS: Are you really, really, really, really, really, really sure?
OS: [response not audible]
YS: Are you sure?
OS: [response not audible]
YS: Are you sure?
OS: [response not audible]
YS: Are you really sure?
OS: [response not audible]
YS: Are you really really sure?
OS: [response not audible]
YS: Are you really really really sure?
OS: [response not audible]
YS: Are you sure?

... [and repeat from beginning] ...

If these 2 cutie-pies hadn't been so darn CUTE, that would really have been irritating.

And then, just to top off the cuteness, when I went to my car there was parked next to me a big old Chevy Suburban. In it was the most adorable fluffy golden brown little puppy I have ever seen, and it was wearing this teensy little black collar with little white doggie bones all over it with a small silver heart hanging from it. I think it was a golden retriever, but it may have had some lab in it because his little puppy face looked like he was smiling at me! Way too cute.

And generally, I'm so not a babies/little kids/puppies kind of person. I'm the type that notices the baby's nose is all snotty, the little kid's fingernails are dirty and the puppy obviously isn't housetrained.

But today it was all about CUTE!

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Every once in a while, I get into reading a bunch of other blog entries. Some of them are very, very strange, and some are quite entertaining. It's kind of weird looking into someone's life that way -- kind of like driving by homes at nighttime and looking into the windows of the homes that have their lights on, looking to see what their livingrooms look like, what they have on their walls, if there are any people you can see. I personally have never seen anything other than typical, expected things and people. No one without clothing, no fighting, no unusual decorating schemes. That's how a lot of blogs are. Predictable. Especially the ones by teenagers. Oh, the angst and drama. Young single adults, lots of self-centeredness. Yuppies and new mommies, too cool, way too cool. But they're all so interesting, even the superdooper predictable ones are interesting. Well, not ALL of them. Some are just plain stupid. But by and large, it's pretty good reading.

I have to admit that I don't like the blogs that get super political. It's probably my upbringing and it doesn't truly make sense, but my own personal politics are just that to me -- personal. Thank goodness there's a slew of folks that don't feel that way. But you won't see any political opinions on my blog.

And the blogs that are so open about who they are and where they live and what they do kind of intrigue me. I'm not trying to hide, but I wouldn't intentionally put it all out there, either. But I mean, really, who is gonna look for me on the 'net. Nah. But still, you won't ever see last names on my blog.

The blogs that concentrate on famous people (of the star variety, not like historical figures) can be interesting. All those feelings about someone who will never know you, who would never care about knowing you. The interesting part is why does the blogger care so much about them. I'm a huge fan of TV and movies, but you won't see an in-depth review of either on my blog, or any strong opinions about any actor, director, et al.

I enjoy blogs that give book reviews. Some blogs that I read often, I think I've gained enough of an insight into the bloggers' personalities (which is to say, not much, but enough) to know if they recommend a book, I may like it. I even keep a list now of books I want to read based upon some blog recommendations. You may see a book recommendation on my blog.

And the comments to posts sometimes just crack me up big time, and sometimes I think, man, how sad is that. How sad that someone cares enough about a blog by someone they don't know to verbally attack the person/post. Jeesch. Guess I'm a country girl through and through. Yes, I mean naive. I like it that way. Anyway, I'm not a comment-giver, doubt if I ever will be.

Grammar. Spelling. What the hell is going on?

So why do I blog? Don't really know. I like the exercise of writing. My kids like to occasionally read it and see their dog's picture on it. Maybe if I had kept my blogging secret to my family, I'd have a different style of posting. But I'm not the type to keep secrets. I guess I blog because it's kind of like the same reason I make to do lists. No real point to it! I think just putting down some organized thoughts makes me feel like I've accomplished something. It's a good feeling.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Oh, Man!

I was just reading some blogs at random (tangent: oh my heck! there's a lot of crap out there), and looking up some stuff on the 'net, one click leading to another, just basically wasting time and being unproductive. And I've noticed lately that people my age sure look OLD. Holy crap. Gray hair and old eyes, and tired faces. So then I thought, do I look that OLD? And pre-shower and makeup, oh, yeah, I do.

I'll be 45 soon, and hey, 50's right around the corner. I guess I don't really mind all that much, because for some odd reason, 50 doesn't sound that old to me. I remember a time when 50 did sound old, though. What's that mean? And what's old to me now?... 80, I think 80. But I bet I'll change my mind when I'm about 74...

I think I'll go shower now and Put On Lots of Makeup! ha!

My Best Friend

My best friend's name is Sandy. We've been best friends for about 24 years. Almost 20 years ago, she and her hubby and their then-2-year-old son moved far away to Texas. We've managed to spend quite a bit of time together through the years, and we talk all the time. I just love it, though, when we have time face-to-face. Phone calls just don't replace that time together.

Sandy sent me an e-mail this past Thursday afternoon to let me know she would be flying in the next morning. The Next Morning!!! So she got to see how dusty our house really is. But I plied her with wine and made her forget about it. It was so wonderful to be with her, drink wine and make dinner together. (She stopped on the way to our house from the airport and bought steaks to grill!... ahh... filet mignon!)

And it was also wonderful to wake up this morning and leisurely have coffee together and more good yakking, then with a nice little caffiene high going, whip up a quiche lorraine and pound cake for breakfast.

But then she left. She's spending the next 2 nights at her brothers, and they're going to the funeral of a friend tomorrow, which is the reason for Sandy's trip back home. Their friend died of colon cancer last week, after her short battle with it since Christmas. She was a neighbor they knew growing up and have kept in touch with through all the years.

I'm glad Sandy and I got so much time to talk together in her short visit with us. She's one of the most interesting people I know, and it's weird because I know she doesn't think she is. We're driving to Texas to see them over Spring Break, so we'll be together again in a couple of weeks. Can't wait!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Happy Birthday, Kev!

Today is my sweetie's birthday. And what a wonderful day to have a birthday. Kiddos have a snow day. YAY! Snow day!! Lots of snow still falling, and we've already gotten about 8 inches so far. It's so nice we're all home together today, snug in our warm house with homemade waffles in our tummies.

Kev and the kids are dressing to head out and shovel snow for a while, then we're going over to Gramma and Grampa's to go sledding on the hill.

I'm still making waffles. I always make a quadruple batch of batter, and then make waffles for about an hour or two. They freeze well, and they taste about a zillion times better than the waffles you can buy in the freezer section of the grocery store. Zillion ain't no exaggeration. It's a great recipe, which starts with a dozen eggs, separated and the whites whipped to stiff peaks, which are folded into the batter last. Mmmmm.... fluffiness! Crunchy squares to hold hot (real!) maple syrup and melted butter. The kids will probably eat waffles for every meal until they're all gone.

Our kids have only ever had real maple syrup at home. My dad used to make it, but it's a lot of work. Even though Dad is still strong and pretty agile (stronger than most men his age), making syrup was too much work. It's expensive at the grocery store, but worth it. When the kids have the fake stuff at restaurants or friends' homes, they can hack it, but they sure prefer the real thing. When their friends eat here, they're so used to the fake stuff that sometimes they don't like the real syrup. It's weird. How can you prefer the fake stuff over real sweet, woodsy maple syrup??? So now I keep a bottle of fake syrup in the pantry (and that stuff lasts forever). Not for any desire to please their friends, but who the heck wants to waste expensive real syrup on a kid that would rather have brown-colored thick sugar water with artificial maple flavoring!

The only blotch on the day is that Kev has to go to work tonight for a midnight-twelve. Damn that 3-2-2 shift.