Tuesday, May 29, 2007

An appropriate post title this time!

LOL, I just realised that the title for the last post made no sense! I had started a post, then changed it, and never changed the title. Did you wonder where all the monologue-y stuff was? Or just figure I was being a spaz as usual?

I wanted to clarify something about my last post (aside from the apropos-of-nothing title); I am NOT opposed to organized play in any form. Not at all. I am opposed to it in the absence of unfettered running, jumping, kicking, climbing, colouring, pretending, reading, etc. (Many of you already echoed this sentiment in the comments.)

I have a problem with parents deciding to sign their kids up (esp. wee kids) for things because "everyone else's kid is in soccer", or "it'll teach him to be competitive", or "she'll love it after a while, you'll see! I loved dance!" then failing to see the signs of their child not really wanting to be there but doing to please them or because they think they have to.

If my kids want to play organised sports (later) that's cool. Play in the band? FAB idea! Take acting lessons? I won't stop 'em.

I even intend to insist that my children participate in certain things. How's that for parent initiated, lol? One is formal swimming lessons. I feel that that is a necessary skill.

I just object to the poor kids who are scheduled to death with too many activities and/or guilted (sometimes unintentionally) by their parents into competition at something. Parents fighting at t-ball fields? Kids who don't have time for homework because of schedule conflicts? Children as young as four with repetitive motion sports injuries? Kids who are stressed, eat poorly, and do badly in school because they spend so many hours on the road between activities and coming home late because of them?

No. Bad. Sorry. V. v. bad.


Well, i am prepared to maybe, kinda, sort of, tentatively say that perhaps I might be losing weight again. I'm a bit mystified as to why. I tried eating (as you all said) and my weight didn;t budge one iota. So I went back to NOT eating but increased my water intake to five 20oz bottles per day of plain water (in addition to the approximately 23 Diet Cokes I drink per day and the occasional flavoured water). I also started some v. light weight training - seriously, I'm using 5lb hand weights and doing a TEENSY bit of upper body stuff. (I'm not strong enough to do more than a few sets of 10 reps.)

I hesitate to try floor exercises because, as funny as it seems afterward, it's almost impossible for me to get down on the floor - or, indeed, back up - with my knee. I can't physically bend it more than 90 degrees and I can't kneel on it. Ouchie! Makes me hurt to think about it.

At any rate I'm down 11lbs since the last plateau and now hovering here. Trying to think of what to do to jump-start myself again because I'm only 40lbs from my target weight (not to be confused with my goal weight (180lbs - the weight at which I look good) or my 'ideal' weight - the weight that all the books say I should be - a laughable 140lbs.

Sorry experts, I'm a big, strong type of girl with huge boobs. I look FAB at 180lbs. If that's 40lbs overweight then too effin' bad.


Last thing, just a teensy wee geekgasm: did you check out my favicon next to the URL for my blog? How cool is that? Can you tell what it is?

It's a dumpster.


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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 1:04 pm   1 comments

Friday, May 25, 2007

In which much mundane inner monologue appears

Nothing exciting for you today. I managed to post on both the Farm Blog AND Blue's Blog* (I know you are shocked) but can't seem to get motivated a third time, lol.

So I thought I'd offer up a few recommendations.

I don't recommend stuff a lot. I need to, but I never seem to get around to it.

Some of the reasons are: I don't shop; I don't buy clothes, shoes, handbags, or baby stuff; I don't hardly ever buy retail at all. I'm a plain cook so I never offer recipes; I don't drink wine or frou-frou drinks; I don't watch telly so I can't suggest shows to watch. One has to be an obedient consumer in order to recommend things often and we all know how Blue echews rampant consumerism.

I do partake of some things, though, when I'm not beating my clothes on a rock in the stream or making 'possum jerky.

What I do consume new are films and books. But I go through these so quickly that I'm on to another before I get a chance to blog about the last one. EGH and I are film fanatics and it takes me about 48 hours to read the average novel (my beloved non-fiction authors like Richard Dawkins and Matt Ridley take me a bit longer). Subsequently I fail to gush about how cool "V for Vendetta" was and how pleased I was with Will Ferrell in the delightful "Stranger than Fiction' because I usually really hate his films or that "The Woman in the Water" was quite cool as long as you went into it with the understanding that it was a fairy tale and not a horror film.

So today, with absolutely nothing else to offer, I give you some recommendations!

First: food. As I said, I'm just a plain cook. I'm not terribly good at it and I don't like, nor do I feel like, preparing the sort of fancy stuff that Julia and Linda are capable of. I fix the same core Southern and British basics. When I see a new recipe, my first two thoughts are; "will I have to go buy some exotic crap to make it?" (bear in mind that 'exotic' to me is, like, olives) and "is it SIMPLE?"

So when I ran across this recipe from Zach and Brie's mom, I thought, "Hey, I could do that ... maybe".

I made it and it was FAB. We scarfed it before I could take a pic. Seriously.

Then, in my own pressed-for-time way I started thinking, "Hmmm ... could I make a version that was actually quicker and easier to make?" I don't generally have ham in the house and making a pie crust takes time (esp. with clean-up) so I came up with this version (Z&B's mom, please don't kill me for altering your wonderful recipe and then ... erm, blogging it. It's an homage!)

The quiche right out of the oven. I'm holding back the slavering horde just out of the picture.

Zach & Brie's mom's quiche - lazy cook version

Frozen pie crust in the aluminium tin

5 eggs

2 handfuls of cheese (we love cheese)

1/2 cup milk

Bacon bits (I use about a tb)

Sprinkle of dried onion


Then follow her directions: Cover crust with foil and bake at 425 about 8 min, mix all remaining ingredients, turn oven down to 350, pour filling into hot pie crust, bake about 40 min. I cover my crust edges with strips of foil to keep them getting too brown. (Take the piece of foil you used prebaking the crust and tear it into four strips.)

After being hacked - EGH inhaled this piece.
Mmmmm, yum. Great now I'm hungry.

Ok, on to books!

Both are non-fiction and parenting-type reading. The first one is How to handle difficult parents (a teacher's survival guide), by Suzanne Tingley. I bought this book ostensibly for EGH, but I wanted to read it as well to give myself - a mom who is about to send her first to school - better insight into what a teacher sees when she looks at us parents.

I'm so glad I read it. Not just because it's funny and well written and dead-on in the types of parents discussed, but I saw a bit of myself in some of the descriptions.

If you are a teacher, know and love a teacher (this would make a perfect gift!), or are just a parent who is concerned with working with her children's teachers rather than against them, then you should try to pick up this book.

The next book is called The Power of Play by David Elkind and it discusses a subject about which I feel strongly. His basic premise is that it is healthiest for kids (mentally, emotionally, physically) to spend a great deal of time - especially children under 6 or 7 or so - engaging in self-initiated, unstructured play.

He laments the changes in the way kids play and details how he thinks it's harming our children.

I agree 100%. Kids don't get to be kids any more. They no longer get to just run, jump, dig in the dirt (and eat it!), socialise with each other unfettered, build forts, pretend ...

Today kids - even tiny children - are dragged to classes and organised sports, drilled with flash cards, pushed in front of 'educational' videos, given 'educational' electronic no-comprehension-required toys, and loaded down with homework. They're not allowed to get dirty, they're not allowed to go outside, not allowed to fail, to fall, to imagine, to learn on their own, to think on their own.

I often fret that my children, who have never been institutionalised, have never been to gymboree or a play date, might be socially inept. I can't say until they start school, but I will say this: they have learned from birth how to socialize with their peers (each other) without my meddling hand.

I do not hover over my kids. I don't micromanage their days. They play how they want to play, whatever they want, whenever they want, so long as it doesn't break anything or harm anybody. If the boys want to put their hair up in ponytails, so be it. If they all want to run about pretending forked sticks are guns and they're shooting bad guys, fine. If they want to sit quietly all day reading books or drawing: no problem.

I have never once announced that it was now time for crafts or that we were all going outside to play a specific game. The only thing I initiate is reading. My kids are read to - several books at a sitting - minimum, twice a day: once by me and once by their father at bedtime.

I've noticed in my limited experience with other moms with kids the same age as mine, that they (the moms) are the playmates. Almost all the play is adult initiated and the games are strictly organised with rules. I've also noted the parents' tendency to keep a running, encouraging commentary: "Great try, Graycee! You almost had it! Ooops! Try again! Oh no, you fell down! Jump up and get the ball!"

These kids seem - to me - to have two traits as a result. They can't seem to just make up their own games, for one. When confronted by free time, they seem to have no idea what to do, and tend to get up to mischief (and complain loudly of being bored). They also can't seem to engage in anything without their parent's input. If my child initiates a game and they participate, they get distracted if the parent isn't right there approving and commenting and run to find her.

Elkind also discusses the points in a child's development at which they are capable of doing certain things (like comprehending complex game rules). For example, my Dad just recently worried that EGH was not throwing the ball with Boy (he is apparently fearful for my sons' masculinity. He called Bulk a 'momma's boy'.) I didn't bother to tell him that before age 6 or so, throwing, catching, and batting a ball are difficult (that's why they invented T-Ball), and that I felt that the kids were doing plenty of self-initiated interactive things to improve coordination.

I wasn't able to keep quiet when he mentioned how wonderful he thought the youth football (soccer) programmes were. Uh, nope. Don't think so. Preschoolers driven to fields where they are told to play, and how to play, (and to have fun!) by a crowd of adults?


Ok, that's it for recommendation (and rants). Here are some of my Brood engaging in some self-initiated, imaginative play:

No sexual stereotyping in my house. Guinevere has a lovely flowery veil and a big honkin' sword.

Bat Boy and Playa Bulk (they were calling him "Doctor Bulk", not sure what the connection was.) Yes, those are girly glasses. He also has a wee ponytail in back. Be afraid, Dad.

And finally my own Bad Little Mother Sucker doing some adult initiated grinning. Yes that's one of the onesies from my store (*shameless plug*) and may be had here.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 5:58 am   8 comments

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Excesses and shortages

Not much to report here. Got rid of the last of my culls (except three v. small bucklings who will go to the sale) and made a cool $200 in doing so.
I've run out of hay, found a local bloke with oat hay, and finagled a few round bales from him. He's a really nice chap but no one has any hay. Everybody in the state is desperate for hay and a few shysters are selling the oat hay for upwards of $35 a round bale.
First the frost knocked it (the coastal hay) back, then, since then, we've had no rain. It's dry as a chip and folks are having a hard time getting even the oat hay baled.
Feed is also sky high around here - a 50lb bag of whole corn is over $7 - so I've bitten the bullet and started buying our feed by the ton. I get a 10% discount when I do.
This is a small portion of the junk part of the sale.
The guineas and turkey poults are doing well; I mysteriously lost two of the sex-links who are in with the turkeys, though.
The eggs I put in the incubator are a bust, I think. I have the incubator set up in the pump house and the temp has being staying pretty constant. Then, one day this week-end I went out and the temp was up at 105 which, I'm pretty sure, scrubbed the hatch. I'm letting them stay in for the whole 21 days, just in case, but I have no hopes of any hatchlings.
I think I am going to just have to set the thing up in the house (which I don't want to do) because it's the only place that stays a reasonably constant temp.
What I don't understand is why it jumped. It wasn't even a hot day. It's been staying even from the chilly night to the middle-of-the-day heat. It's a head scratcher, that.
On the home front I got the dubious honour and distinct (lack of) pleasure of replacing the wax ring on our upstairs toilet. It was leaking into the subflooring and dripping into the downstairs hall. One word on the swap and the leakage:
I did manage to blister myself removing and replacing all the screws with a hand screwdriver:
I need a damned cordless power screwdriver/drill BADLY.


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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 2:55 pm   0 comments

Friday, May 11, 2007

Gratuitus picture post #18

I've got nothing for ya. Zilch. So here are pics!

All the boys - Fiver, Boy, and Bulk:

And the girls in their matching dinosaur shirts - Bitty and THCTD:

Boy, who is obsessed with space, showing me the 'moons' orbiting his newly made up planet "Scooter". Each of the moons is named as well. He's pointing at "Cresst".

Bulk discovering that he can insert his beloved cars into the weird ball thereby making - in his own words - "Baw o' GARZ!":

Fiver, who is supposed to be developing his body and honing his mind in his play-gym-thingy is instead taking after his father:

And a bonus pic of our peacock, Sam. More of him and some farmerly/thriftychiky stuff over on the farm blog:

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 3:06 pm   2 comments

Gratuitus picture post - Farm edition!

Nothing interesting to report over here, either, so here are some pics:

The much touted rabbit cages (the three small ones):

Two medium ones - 10 footers (bonus shot of our India Blue peacock, Sam):

Aaaaand one big mutha - 16 feet long:

I paid $100 for all of them and just sold the 16 footer for $50. Wheeler-dealer, me!

My pied guinea keets arrived!

They're the ones with white bellies and throats and dark stripes on the backs of their heads. The others are chicken biddies included for warmth. I can't wait to see what that guy there in front with the racing stripes turns out to be!

A new batch of turkey poults arrived as well (sorry for the crappy pic). They're the same sort that I ordered before - Bourbon Reds (and what appears to be regular male sex-link chicks):

And here's another shot of Sam, just for giggles:

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 2:42 pm   2 comments

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Grammar Gripe

Having an altogether crappy week/day (I thought the above design was apropo) so I thought I'd vent randomly about grammar. If you want to see a real pro at work on this subject, be sure you check out Mrs. Chili's blog for Grammar Wednesday.

On with the vent:

When I was young, I always thought that the folks who used incorrect grammar or wrote poorly were the unfortunate dregs of society.

They - the folks who couldn't distinguish 'there', 'their', and 'they're' and thought that 'irregardless' was a word and 'nauseous' meant to feel ill, poor lambs (I thought ), were the uneducated, the offspring of semi-illiterates, perhaps even the mentally challenged.

I was wrong.

Grammar and spelling slashers are all around us. People who own businesses, who are professionals (even teachers!), who went to school (and somehow graduated), use hideously incorrect grammar all the time. Don't even get me started on some of the women on my various infertility/TTC/mommy/baby boards (if you're on any of these, you know the people I mean).

Let's randomly pick popular music of which to make an example. Here's a snippet of lyrics from a song on the Robots soundtrack:

Girl I want it you got it
Your body’s like a narcotic
The thought is auto-erotic*

Uhm, no. The thought of her body is erotic. Autoeroticism is the derivation of pleasure without an outside source. Basically the songwriter used the word because he thought it sounded cooler than erotic. He has no idea what it means, or how stupid it makes him look.

(Another example of this is folks who say: "Blase', blase'," to mean "You are nattering on and on." Clearly, they mean: "Blah, blah," but one of them, at some point, heard the word 'blase'' (which means 'disinterested' or 'apathetic'), had NO idea what it meant but thought it sounded hip, and so transmogrified the two into one statement of how laughable a person can be.)


Another example from music:

I love the band Nickelback. LOVE them. They rock. I adore the music and the lyrics are great, but there is one song that I physically am unable to listen to. Here are the first two stanzas:

Believe it or not everyone
Have things that they hide
Believe it or not everyone
Keep most things inside

Believe it or not everyone
Believe in something above
Believe it or not everyone
Need to feel loved**

WTF? Does the music industry not have editor type persons? Do they not have people who advise them on what things to NOT do so as to avoid looking like complete fools?


And just for contrast; this is quoted verbatim from a list that I'm on:

I am looking a particular van. I am not sure wha the make and model but I know UPS uses them. Their meduim size. I am considering one for my business

(A person replies to her, then:)

That's probably the one I talking about! Thanks for the heads up.... do they sell them used? If so what's in your opinion a reasonable price to pay rather new or used? I want a nice clean decent one to carry my inventory in for my business.

(He replies again. She responds:)

Yeap that's the one LOL!I already check the net GEEZ guess I'll have to wait until I the lottery for one of those LOL!

What is her business, I wonder? (Aside from making me wince.)


Here's another gem; again, verbatim:

I have went thru my Dresser and Closet (spring cleaning) and have a bag FULL of Ladies Plus Size Clothes ( size range 24 thru 28)..There are Pants...Skirts...Dresses (lounge type)and Shirts...All are in Good Shape and can be Wore to Work

Of course, this speech pattern ('have went through' and 'can be wore') is typical of Standard Southern White Trash (this one is primo whisky tango, from Pelion, the butthole of the universe.). But what's up with the ellipses? Are commas too ... common? Or perhaps unfathomable? Why be arsed to learn punctuation when you can simply choose one that you fancy and use it for every application? While we're At It ... someone Explain to Me ... the random Capitalization ...

Where does this one work? Who hires these people? Are they raising children to speak and write like this? Is there an unusually high suicide rate for language arts teachers in Lexington?

I just purchased this button for my Evil Genius Husband to wear to school (I also comes in t-shirt form). What do you think?


(Obligatory link litter:)

More tees for teachers here, shirts, mugs, buttons and stickers for those of us living in the Southeast (no I don't have a shirt that says "Pelion, butthole of the universe", but I should), and check out our NEW maternity cut t-shirts!

PS: for those of you still awaiting you free goodies that i promised ... what was it, last year? *sigh* I have finally gotten them all wrapped and posted! Yay!

I am also getting really addicted to giving stuff away, so look for another round of freebies to my peeps here soon.

PPS: post already edited for ... a grammar error! *rolls eyes* There are probably ten more.


*copyright Fatboy Slim, lyrics from Wonderful Night, from the Robots soundtrack.
**copyright Nickelback, lyrics from Believe it or Not, from the album The Long Road.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:27 am   7 comments

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I suck even more! With links!

So, I'm reading my fave bloggers, right?

And I really love these chicks. Seriously.

I have VERY little time in my day to be reading blogs, but I love to keep up with my posse*, and the few others I read. Y'all shape my life. (and there's a few of you whom I lost when my computer crashed**)

Anyway, Julie, over at A Little Pregnant did this post on infertility t-shirts at CafePress.

CafePress does the fulfillment on MY shirts and stuff. Aaaand I have infertility stuff in my shop (having been down the infertile road. It's a really bad road and the sharp rocks hurt your feet and it sucks. Big Time.)

Aaaaaaaaaand she mentioned one of my shirts. In the first paragraph.

I think the phrase used was "frankly appalling".


Ok, ok, I adore Julie. I've been reading her blog for years. Her opinion is quite valid and, honestly, that design is a bit appalling. It is actually a pregnancy design and quite common (and popular). I was compelled to do it because the Science Geek in me found some of the other takes on it a bit silly (sperm with smiley faces? UGH.)

Over on the CafePress forums they say that any publicity is good publicity ...

Then the very same day I'm checking Statcounter and discover that my shop has been mentioned. The title of the thread?

"Some of these (not all!) are pretty funny"

Did I say UGH?



*I shall honour you ladies with a proper shout-out on my OTHER blog if you allow me to (and when I get time ... I know, I know ... Blue we've been waiting for you to get stuff done forever! *sigh*)

** Anna and Danielle! You are two. Are you linked in my comments? Must check. Hmph! And does anyone know how I can get in touch with Grrl (chez miscarriage) and Karen (naked ovary)??? Both have password protected blogs and I've lost my stuff in the crash. :(

PS: do check out Julie's blog post. She offers up some great alternative infertility designs in her own wicked funny style. If you've ever been infertile you need to be reading this chick.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 10:50 pm   4 comments

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I suck. >:(

Your Language Arts Grade: 98%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

I got one WRONG. Wrong! That blows large.

Should I still be allowed to post grammar rants? Offer grammar t-shirts?


Some teacherly-types here and here who aced it.


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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 10:05 am   5 comments