Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cat Art

Aunt Snow has found more cat art to complement Mrs. G's beloved blue-eyed Siamese.

Here is my contribution to the Online Gallery of American Vernacular Cat Art. Along with some of my cat tchotchkes.

The bulk of the collection is housed in the downstairs powder room. Coincidentally, the cat litter boxes are also housed here. The Cat Art came first.

The portrait of Sox, our black cat, was done by Ernest in 6th grade Meet the Masters (Rosa Bonheur).

The orange cat isn't really a cat, it's a fox drawn by a talented 11-year-old student friend of mine, but I thought it was close enough to be displayed in this collection.

Most of the ceramic cats on this small shelf belonged to my aunt/godmother. I have another box stored in a closet somewhere. My mother got the center glass cat in Venice. The Owl and the Pussycat booklet was mine as a child. I can still recite that poem.

Vintage linen towel with cat, made by another aunt.

Tigers are cats too.

The flame-eared statue is "Cat Maul," Ernest's 3rd grade Make-Your-Own-Star-Wars-Character. (Frank totally stole his character from Spaceballs...he made Pizza the Hutt.)

I realized we had some other fine cat art that had never been displayed.

Ernest's 100th-day-of-school project, 100 buttons in the belly of a cat.

Ernest's portrait of two of our gone-away cats, Callie and Hazey.

My earliest attempt at cat art, painted at age 10. It was a copy of a greeting card. Looks like I didn't quite finish it.

Another attempt at age 12.

And a more recent one, copied from a magazine ad.

I'm going to need a bigger powder room.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Things I Don't Do Anymore

While I would love to try more new things, here are some old things I'm not doing any more.

  • Shave my legs. This is not because I'm some earthy kind of person, it's that they just don't have hair anymore.
  • Balance my checkbook. I was delighted to give this up a couple years ago, after I realized what a waste of time it was for me. I only write a few checks a month, so the balance on the bank website is pretty accurate.
  • Cut out Boxtops for Education. I used to be a little obsessive about saving them, thinking if I throw it away it's like I'm throwing away a dime. And who wants to throw away money? (My husband has, but that's a different story.)* But then the school did not even collect them last year. So why bother?
  • Make a grocery list. This is new! I don't have to keep a written list because my darling iPhone does it for me.

I wonder what else I could stop doing? What have you given up?

*I use the ashtray in the car to hold things...sometimes trash, sometimes spare change. Like about $2.37 in change from In'n'Out -- they were using $1 coins that day. So he literally threw away money when he cleaned out my car and, without looking, dumped the contents of the ashtray in the garbage. Yes, I discovered it and fished the coins out of the garbage can. I'm not proud. I used those dollar coins on the next trip to In'n'Out.

Friday, May 27, 2011


We are down to single digits now!

Filling in at middle school recess this morning, a kid tried to shoot a basket after the whistle had blown, nearly hitting another aide in the head. Then he left the ball on the playground. Two big no-nos. The other aide told him if he did it again, he'd have detention every day for the rest of the school year. He said, "It's only 16 days, I don't care." She and I laughed and didn't bother to enlighten him that it was only 8.

At lunch recess, I was nearly trampled by a horde of screaming second graders stampeding across the playground. I didn't know what was going on, but then I spotted a swarm of bees in the air. That's something new.

Other than the bees, the classroom and playground have been pretty calm this week and we can bet the difference is the absence of Mr. Tattler. I've mentioned him a few times. He seems so starved for attention and acting out is his way of getting it. But as nice as it is to have him gone, our hearts break for him because it is because of yet another parental separation. He looks a little like this, after having to shave his head to get rid of an unacceptable mohawk...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Favorite Bookmark

A picture's worth a billion words.

Bonus question. What book was I reading?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Birthday Wish

Yes, it's my birthday today. I believe Frank is making homemade pizza for dinner. I heard some mumbling between him and Handy last night, but I think they meant for me to overhear.

I had a lovely time visiting with two long-time (we mustn't use the world old) friends last night...wish the rest of our group could have made it, but these were their legitimate excuses: second honeymoon, son's music program, sports final game.

I am a little down because Ernest is unwell...just an intestinal type bug but the concern is he won't be fit to ride on Friday. He's been training for months for this.

So instead of sending me birthday wishes, since I've had plenty, please send get well wishes for Ernest instead.

And don't worry about me, my iPhone boyfriend is entertaining me.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mom Mnemonics

I volunteered at Hogwarts Faculty Appreciation lunch last week. It was nice to meet some of the other parents (90% moms). I have a hard time remembering names, though.

So I used a few mnemonics to help me remember the names of moms and some of their respective children.

Secretary of State Clinton, and her daughter Comet.
My favorite teacher's eldest daughter and her son, Buster.
Huffington post without the "a"; her daughter, doc brown's girlfriend in BttF III, and her younger son, a pope.

Weird, I know, but it helped me a lot.

I used this method with success to learn a new 3rd graders name. I look at him and think Kutcher.

What helps you remember?

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Homer thinks he's camouflauged here.

Wait, where did his eyes go?

We gave him a collar and the opportunity to go outside. He stood in the doorway for a while, then nonchalantly ambled back in the house. He knows where his bread is buttered. Or where his food is plated.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


The boy I referred to before has been at it again. Constantly.

They put a sticker on a chart for every accelerated reader test they pass at 80% or better. At the end of the week, they get a raffle ticket for each sticker on the chart. Some big readers get as many as 4 stickers in a week. Get this, Tattler had put 16 stickers on his chart. Teacher said, Do you think we're stupid? We can check, you know. He was speechless with guilt.

We took practice tests in preparation for our STAR testing: for review, and also to practice good test taking skills. Being quiet, listening to instructions, not writing on the test booklet. All those things that are SO hard for them. If they are a good test taker, they get a star on their desk chart (yet another bribe reward). Guess who is not a good test taker? See above. Interrupts, blurts out answers, writes on his booklet, looks at his neighbor's paper. Sigh.

Guess who, on the actual tests last week, blurted out answers. We were not surprised.

Yesterday, he was allegedly dreadfully injured at recess and had to hop to the nurse's office as he said he could neither wiggle his foot nor place any weight on it. But he walked back to the class with no trace of injury. He felt like throwing up at 11:30. But he was running and playing at lunch time.

Yahoo featured Manners All Kids Should Know today. I would like to send this to the parents of almost every child in the class. Except for Mr. Gibbs.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


On Saturday, my Magical sister-in-law married her Prince Charming.

It was a beautiful day.

The best dog led the procession. This was totally unplanned but it was perfect!

Her grandsons led her up the path.

And only got a little bored.

There were flowers.

And food. And cake.

And a Lori Anderson bracelet on my wrist.

The day couldn't have been more beautiful.

Sons in suits, hair intact.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Out of the Woods

Ernest has returned.

The hair -- After a shower and lots of conditioner, he got it subdued down to three snarls which he asked me to help with. I mentally named them Baby Mat, Mama Mat, and Papa Mat. Papa Mat took a lot of work and a tiny snip of the scissors.

And speaking of bears, Ernest can now tell you how to shit in the woods. Without toilet paper.

His group had all the fun, including a broken-down car and a rattlesnake. There was rock climbing, backpacking, rafting. He was alone in the woods for 5 hours. (Not lost, it was one of those empowerment things.)

He's off on a bike ride now, and then we're going to a wedding!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Just Like This!

I think this is the best picture to come from the Royal Wedding...

Poor little Grace! Don't we all feel like this sometimes?

I feel like this when I'm on cafeteria duty.

What makes you feel like this?

Monday, May 02, 2011

Semi-Empty Nest

funny pictures - No worries mom, I'll come back soon !

Ernest left on a 6 day backpacking trip with his class, so I'm feeling at loose ends, not having anyone to drop off or pick up this week.

He packed only what was on the very minimal packing list. One thing NOT on the list was a comb or hairbrush.

Will he come back with dreds?

Will we have to shave his head?

Shaved cat is NOT amused.