Thursday, December 11, 2008


A spider has trapped my 9-year-old daughter in her room. What it hopes to gain by holding her hostage I have no idea. It hasn’t issued any demands or sent a ransom note, so I’m not clear about its motivation. It might have been sent by the Spider Gods to torture my child for some misdeed in her past, although I can’t imagine what she’s done to the creepy crawlies of the world that would earn her this reward. We go outside after it rains in order to rescue worms. She watches ants for hours, naming them, offering crumbs of her food, encouraging them in their hard work. And when we go camping, she explores under rocks and leaves with me, looking for new critters.
I’m also wondering how this particular spider managed to gain so much power over her. As far as I can tell, it has no arsenal, no visible weaponry. I would consider a telepathic sort of control, but I don’t believe a spider’s brain can link up with a pre-pubescent girl’s brain. I don’t think any living creature can do that. I certainly haven’t managed to do it, and I used to be a pre-pubescent girl, or so my family tells me.
It must be the beets. We’re having beets with dinner and I was stupid enough to mention that unpopular fact when calling everyone to the table. And, suddenly, a child who never exhibited any sign of Arachnophobia has become horrified at the pale yellow, 2 cm long spider on the wall across from her room. In order to get her to dinner, I could remove the spider, smash it or usher it outside. Or I could capture it and put it next to her plate, which is the direction I’m leaning. I could dip it in chocolate and serve it as dessert or I could make it a pet and give it a name and a box to sleep in. Or, I could tell her to get over it and come eat before I serve up the greens that grow on top of the beets. Maybe I’ll add some grub worms for protein.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rocky Mountain Mama

This is an ad. It’s a self-serving ad. It’s shameless self promotion. I’m telling you in advance so you can click the “next” button now. features a conglomeration of, well, mothers, from the uh, Rocky Mountain area. In case you’re not sure where that is, it would be the jagged lines between California and the Mississippi river. Specifically, the Denver/Salt Lake area. Occasionally, about every 2 weeks, I’ll submit a post for them, which they will then throw away or use, whatever.
Now, this is not a “how cute is my kid” blog, nor is it a “why I’m such an amazing mom” site. It’s a rant-log, and it should be interesting. See, if you know much about the area, and there’s no reason why you should, you know that Salt Lake leans to the right just a bit and Denver scootches pretty far the other way. So, you have a microcosm of geopolitical thought, all in one easy-to-access location. Ain’t that gonna be fun, now!
What they write about doesn’t really matter to me, truth be told. I just really like writing, and if it were a weblog devoted to cat food, and they’d let me publish, I’d write about cat food. Of course, I wouldn’t actually taste the cat food. I’d serve it at dinner and blog the responses.
So, go to and tell them to post my stuff. I don’t get paid for it, except through those warm fuzzy comments that I need so much.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Feast on This

I just ate 6 chocolate waffle cookies with chocolate icing. A friend made them for me, well, ostensibly for my whole family, but between Hal and me, the kids only got one each. Chocolate isn’t good for them, anyway. Makes them hyper. Me, I’ll just take a sleeping pill to counteract the caffeine.
Tomorrow, I’m going to make caramel lace cookies. I tried to make them in Houston, but the near-underwater levels of humidity rendered them soggy lumps of goo. I ate them anyway, but it wasn’t any fun and so I’m looking forward to polishing them off this year.
I also make Divinity at Christmas, but this is one food I don’t enjoy. I make it because my mother made it, so it’s a tradition. I believe strongly in traditions, to the point that I make a particular Jell-O salad every Thanksgiving even though I am, literally, the only person I know who will eat it. I have stopped doubling the recipe so I’m not completely robotic about Holiday Agenda Items.
Other food issues crop up this time of year for me. For instance, every year, we all get our favorite sugar cereal. Since it’s the only time during the year that I buy that junk, it’s a big deal. Except for me. About 4 years ago, Honeycomb changed their formula so now their cereal tastes like round Cap’n Crunch. Which makes my teeth ache, gets soggy as soon as it gets in the same room with milk and does not remind me of my carefree youth the way Honeycomb did. So, I’m out of cereal options. There is not a single cereal I would buy for myself. I don’t mind eating them, but as a Santa gift? Not in this Winter Wonderland. I think I have it figured out for this year, though. We leave all those cookies out for the Jolly Elf on Christmas Eve, right? And you have to have an assortment, but you don’t leave every single cookie on the platter by the chimney, so I’m thinkin’ I’ll just set aside a couple dozen for myself, stick them in my stocking and call them “Breakfast Cereal.” Maybe a few gingersnaps, some Mexican weddings, a mint iced brownie or two… It’ll keep my energy level up for the present opening, after which I can crash on my bed for a couple of hours to sleep off the sugar headache. Sounds like the best Christmas of all, and a great new tradition.