While Driving

Well, I got off easy with my kid’s teachers this year. So easy I am wondering if they read my last blog post! My daughters teacher said she only needed a backpack. My son’s teacher said he needed 3 pencils and one binder with 8 dividers. That’s it. No pee-chee folders, no calculators, no bright pink erasable pens made in Uganda. I still keep looking for that note asking for more…

So I was driving the other day so thrilled that I didn’t have to look for school supplies and I started thinking about my next blog post. It is funny how you can think of something and it seems to be funny in your head and then you write it down and it’s pathetic. Yes, that even happens to me and comedians like Seinfeld (think the movie Bees, not everything was that funny.)

I also have this habit of thinking of all these ideas and then forgetting them. Now what I should do is to grab a pen and write them down immediately. I am driving many times when these ideas come to me and I haven’t mastered the writing while driving thingy. I can master the driving while putting on lipstick; while arguing with my oldest; while telling my youngest to not cry; and while telling my daughter to not kick the seat. I can also drive while chewing gum, flipping stations on the radio, almost changing CD’s, and singing. (Well the singing is iffy. I did get a speeding ticket while singing and driving 75 mph in 1990. It was horrible as I wasn’t even old enough to drive yet. Okay that part isn’t quite true.)  All these things are legal too. What I can’t do in California is talk on a typical cell phone while driving. I must use the hands free thingy.

I have the handsfree thingy, lest you think I am breaking the law; however, I hate using it. Some people seem to love those bluetooth thingys. They wear them like an accessory and like to sneak up behind you talking on them and make you feel stupid when you turn around and say, “What?” and then realize they weren’t talking to you. My bluetooth is red and could be an attractive accessory; however, I have problems with it. It never listens to me. I have 3 kids and 1 husband who don’t listen to me so why do I want something that never calls when I tell it to call! It never recognizes my voice or just ignores me like my kids.

I have tried to use it a 1000 times and it just makes my kids laugh to hear me say “Call —, call —, CALL —“. As a matter of fact I hear my 3-year-old saying the same thing next to his play phone now and laughing. So now if my phone rings I try to yell in my phone while it is on my lap so I won’t get pulled over. The only problem is that I can’t hear the other person. Sometimes I hand the phone to one of my kids and tell them to talk–this works when my older kids are in the car. My 3-year-old has been terribly unreliable.

You might think I’m overeacting and the police won’t pull someone over for the cell phone law. Oh yes they will. If anyone is going to get pulled over it will be me. There are people that can do whatever and not get caught–and those people don’t even care that they are breaking the law. I try to follow the laws and as soon as I mess up–joe CHP is ready to pull me over. The other day leaving my kids’ school I pulled away from the curb without using my blinker. I looked behind me — no one was there. But of course I looked up to see one of Fresno’s finest looking at me making a blink-blink gester with his hand and shaking his head. I assume it is the blink-blink gester. It is confusing though because it is the same gester that in Spain means your lights are on. I first checked to see if my lights were on and they weren’t. Then I checked to see if I was speeding which I wasn’t — I was pulling away from the curb so I must have been going 5 mph. I then slowed down to 3 mph and prayed I wouldn’t get pulled over. He must have had other things to do, because I didn’t get pulled over. So, no phone calls while I drive. If you call me and a little voice answers, it is my 3-year-old. Talk slowly.

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Back to School

I don’t know how homeschool parents do it. They spend all summer with their kids and then when they are at their breaking point they can start teaching them. Huh? At my breaking point I can give my kids to someone else! Yes, I can walk them over to the school down yonder and leave them for hours. I love my kids. They are great kids; however, I get to a point where I don’t care who stared at who and who was sitting where to watch Spongebob.

Even my 3-year-old gives me the hagard look that says, “Mom, can’t they go somewhere? Remember those days when we could enjoy a bagel and cup a joe at the coffee shop quietly?” If I could take half the energy out of my older 2 kids and somehow get it into my gas tank I would never have to fill up with unleaded again.

As much as I love it when the kids go back to school, I always have this wave of sadness go over me after saying goodbye to them the first day. Those moments when I look back at the summer and think wow, I’m going to miss them. And then I party! No, then I anticipate the list. The list every teacher gives with the supplies they need. I think they all get together and try to find items that only an art supply store in Sweden carries. Yes, the typical list from the teacher is like this:

1. Number 2 chartreuse Swiss mechanical pencil with ulta-fine point and soft blue eraser.

2. 14 pack crayons containing the colors: Salmon, Brick, Yellow-green, and Hannah Montana pink.

3. 5 notebooks containing no more than 90 pages, preferably 63 pages all black with red stripe.

4. Wescott Wood School Ruler in 1/16 increments complete with metric scale so we can wonder why America had to complicate things.

My son will forget to hand me this list until he is going to bed on the first night of school. At that time, he will insist that I must run to the store immediately because if he doesn’t have all of the correct supplies by the next morning he will fail school and his teacher will yell at him. I will then try to calm him down which will not work and he will be angry at me until I have found the correct items. I will go to every Target and Wal-Mart within a 15-mile radius the next day and come home with nothing. By December my kids will have all the correct supplies for school.

Scale

I’ve never owned a scale. I thought if I owned a scale I would be too worried about my weight and thought it would be more important to watch how my clothes fit me. I’ve been watching how my clothes fit me lately and I don’t like how they fit me so I bought a scale.

When you first start blogging you look at your blog stats daily or maybe hourly. Your curious to know if anyone reads your blog. Afterall there are millions of people on the internet, surely someone finds your blog interesting. Maybe not. When you buy a scale I think you do the same thing. You weight yourself at random times of the day. You eat a bowl of ice cream and see if you gained any weight. You run around the block to see if you lost any weight. You see what you weighed if you only had one leg, etc. Yes, I am spending too much time on the scale. One hour I’ve gained an ounce the next one I’ve lost 3 ounces. I took a bath and gained a few ounces. I cut my hair just to lose more weight. I think I have a problem.

So I am going to only weight myself once a week. But right now I need some ice cream. I will jog in place while I eat it though so it balances out.

Take it with a Grain of Salt

I grew up with Morton Salt in the cupboard. I think that is the only salt my mom ever bought. I remember the commercial “When it rains, it pours” on the tv–is that still a commercial? So when I needed to buy salt at the store yesterday my eyes automatically went to the little blue container with the little girl with the umbrella on it. But I didn’t buy it because I was lured by the generic salt that was quite a bit cheaper. Salt is salt right? No, I couldn’t open the generic container. How hard is it to take the sticker off and pull up the little silver thingy? Afterall, salt containers haven’t changed in 40 years probably (I don’t know I’m not that old). The sticker tore into little pieces and had to be pulled off bit by bit. The little silver thingy ripped my nail! Yes, it can be important to buy the salt your mom had in the cupboard.

That salt mistake reminded me of my other more serious salt mistake. For some reason I managed to buy salt that wasn’t iodized years ago when we were first married. My husband was concerned that we were both going to end up with a bulbous protrusion on the neck. I explained that it was a mistake, and I didn’t think goiter was common in the United States–we should be okay for awhile. I ended up buying Morton salt later that day. Of course now, years later, I hear of a lady with a goiter that lives near my sister.  Yep, she must have been salting with the uniodized salt. My husband will never let me forget it.

Planes, Trains & Buses

“I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early.” Yogi Bera

In the last two weeks I have spent quite a bit of time traveling, but I haven’t gone very far. Well, I did go from California to Salt Lake City to Phoenix to Kansas City and back. I guess that was very far; however, if you consider my total flying time you would have thought I went to Europe. I did end up with a credit for another airline ticket though — that was good.

I also decided to avoid driving and high gas prices so I took the train to southern California. However, the train doesn’t go all the way to southern California without a bus getting involved in the trip. Here I was thinking I was making a decision that was better for the environment (and my head) and you know how many people were on the bus both ways? Around 7 people were on the bus–so much for helping the environment. And it was so LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG. The train was nice and full, but why didn’t California look to Europe for some public transportation guidance? Does a high speed train from northern California to southern California sound like a good idea–maybe 20 years ago? I made the mistake of living in Europe and then trying public transportation in California. Even the buses in Spain are more efficient.

I discovered on this train/bus trip that if I want to go to northern California then the train is not too bad an idea because I would actually take the train the whole way–no Amtrak buses to pick me up. If I want to go to southern California well, I better get an electric car if I want to help the environment. Or maybe I could ride my son’s plasma car? I’ve actually gotten pretty fast. You should see my u-turns.