Sunday, January 15, 2017

Science!

The Sixth Grade Science Fair was a success!

I didn't get to go, but my friend snapped a picture for me.

Olivia came up with her experiment all by herself. She made her own slime, then tested to see how adding salt and sugar to the slime would affect it.  Apparently, a LOT of girls in her class did experiments with Mento's and Diet Coke, which was probably the first project to come up when their mothers looked on Pinterest. So I am quite proud of my independent and creative girl. And proud that she got a perfect score, all on her own.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Kids (and cats) in the Kitchen

So this is how many an evening has gone down at the Metcalf home lately:

7:45 pm - Mom walks in after a long eleven hour shift at work.
                 Dad is working late or working a game and is not home yet either.

Random child says, " Oh hi. What's for dinner?"

This question can be classified as Number One on The List of Things that Make Me Say GRRR. It is especially galling at 7:45 on a Thursday night. 

Here is a life lesson: Nobody wants to be asked what is for dinner at 7:45 pm. If it is that late, and nobody has fed you yet, please, for the love of all that is good and pure in this world, figure it out yourself. And then feed something to that poor tired person who is just getting home at 7:45.  Learning this lesson may save your life someday.

At some point this week, I realized that it was mostly my fault that there are people living in this house who do not know this important truth.

Now, before I go any further, I must insert here that Audrey is very good at making dinner for the family when I am gone. Just a day before, she had made grilled cheese sandwiches for everyone before I got home. And that is not an unusual occurrence.  But she is busy studying, or working, or any with any number of her other activities, and often she is not home to get things going. Also, it's really not fair for all of the dinner prep to fall to Audrey. There are TWO other perfectly capable people in this house who could be pitching in more than they are. I will not names, but the guilty know who they are.

And I will post their pictures, just in case there is any doubt as to their identity.


So I came home Thursday night determined to improve my parenting failures, to teach my kids a lesson in cooking, and to instill some independence, responsibility and self sufficiency into these two birds.

I announced that THEY were making tacos for dinner.

Panic ensued. Protests issued forth. Ignorance was proclaimed.

After that, we got down to business, me perched on bar stool to give orders and advice while they did all the hands on.
 Getting the raw hamburger out of the packaging and into the pan was the hardest part. Neither of them wanted to touch the raw meat. Alas, life is dirty business.
 Olivia finally braved up and somehow managed, with a great deal of maneuvering,  to get that hunk of beef into the pan.
The next step was to turn on the stove.
This proved challenging to them both as well.  When I told them to turn on the stove, they both just stood there, blankly staring at the stove top as if they could light it with their minds. Seriously? 22 and 11, and they don't know how to turn on the stove? Where have I been and what have I been doing these past several years? Apparently not mothering. Or cooking.
 I am happy to say that they both now know how to turn on the stove. They also got some lessons in stove top safety and why we don't leave food cooking unattended. Remember those grilled cheese sandwiches I mentioned that Audrey made? Yeah. Ask Audrey why our house smelled of smoke for three days.

While Duncan  had lessons on browning hamburger, I told Olivia to grate some cheese.  She got out the cheese, and a plate, then looked around.

"I can't find the cheese grater," she told me.
"Hmm," says I, "What would you do if I wasn't here to ask where the cheese grater was?"
She looked at me for a minute.
"I would look for it," she said.
"Bingo!" says I.
And miracle of all miracles, she found it.



 Success. Meat cooked,  grease drained, seasonings added, cheese grated, table set, condiments added, and voila- dinner was on the kids tonight. Next week, I'm requesting crab Rangoon and baked Alaska.


My other mom failure this week? Buying cat food. We have been out of cat food all week.  The cats have been subsisting on milk and the occasional scrap of leftover we throw them. Poor hungry Buck begged and meowed and cried his way into a little taco meat, much to the chagrin of the dog, who never gets anything good. Except Iams. I buy her Iams and she does not even begin to appreciate how lucky she is. She still insists on eating garbage.

Kids who cook could be a big thing around here. I think I like it. Cooking dinner is like, 1/8 of the battle. Now I just need someone to shop for me. And earn money to pay the grocery bill. And plan the meals. And throw away the leftovers after we leave them in the fridge for two weeks....

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Just Another Tuesday

Just a regular Tuesday around here, eating burgers and ignoring the rest of the world having their taco Tuesday. Nobody tells us what to eat on a Tuesday. We will eat burgers on a Tuesday if we want to, gosh.

I love January. I love feeling free to hibernate. Tonight, it was about 4:30, and I found myself debating whether or not it was too early to get into my pajamas, and of course the answer was a resounding NO! It's never too early to get your clothes off in January. Heck, at 4:30, the sun was already setting. July is a different story. In July, 4:30 is still the middle of the day and you feel compelled to be outside getting sunburned. January is a no pressure kind of month in my book.

Olivia had her science fair presentation today, and an oral book report due, and of course she rocked both of them. She got a perfect score on her science fair project and that makes me happy. She was so worried about it, and about having to present it in front of the class. She did the whole thing herself, and to have it be a success feels like such a mom win.  Also, those are two big projects we don't have to worry about anymore, hooray.

Audrey has three big tests this week, two were today and one is on Friday. Then the semester is over, which means the school year is half over. Yikes. Our very kind neighbor gave her a little math tutoring session to help her out with the math test on Friday.

Will has been out 11 weeks today. His birthday on Friday will make 80 days that he has been gone. I wonder if he had taco tuesday today.

Duncan and I finished up his birthday celebration that we had to postpone yesterday. We ordered him a game and went to lunch at Chik Fil A. Did I mention that he texted me at work yesterday at 11:42 a.m., to let me know he was officially 22? I love that kid.

Monday, January 9, 2017

22

It's a bittersweet day to have this guy turning 22. That number seems like such an adult, yet he is still such a kid at heart. He woke up early for a birthday hug from his sister and birthday cereal, just like the good old days.



We had some things planned today, unfortunately, Pharmageddon descended upon me when I got to work. I had planned on leaving at 1 and didn't get out of there until after 3:30. So we will just have to extend the birthday celebrations until tomorrow.

For this evening, we partied it up with laser tag, pizza, a chocolate chip cookie cake and vanilla ice cream. Duncan's friend Jayson came along to make into a real party.


This picture melts my heart.
His goodness and innocence seems to be oozing out all over.
His Star Wars shirt,  and his scraggly hair in need of a trim.
He's an adult, but he will always be a kid.
There is nothing I would not do for him.
I hope I can do enough.

Friday, January 6, 2017

A Poorly Organized Diatribe

It's all quiet on the western front around here on this cold and snowy January evening.  Duncan is downstairs, playing a video game I am sure, the girls are out on various social pursuits with their friends, and Dan is on his way home from a game. It's just me and little old Piper hanging out on the bed together and pondering the ways of the world.

And there is much to ponder, to be sure. I have given up Facebook for a bit, after feeling increasingly and overwhelmingly bombarded by other people's lives and opinions. I feel the need to step back and just think my own thoughts about things for a while. I'm tired of feeling like I need to share my latest epiphany with the world, or impress my neighbors with my latest achievement/acquirement/ accolade. Social media can definitely be a state of disease.  It is absolutely possible to know too much about people you barely know.

And on the state of health care/ insurance: I am almost tempted to get back on Facebook and re-read something I read on there about how terrible it is that some people expect us to actually pay for our own health care. It said something about how if ACA goes away, we will be stuck paying for our own doctor visits, hospital care, chemotherapy, etc.  Okay, well, who else should pay your bills?  Just because you pay an insurance premium doesn't mean that everything from there on out is free. Do people realize that insurance companies are a FOR PROFIT business? Do they realize that for the most part, insurance companies and "big pharma" are publicly traded, which means the chances are very good that somewhere in their IRAs or 401K's they are probably invested in those very same insurance and drug companies that we all claim are ripping everyone off?  Health care costs money. It is a sad truth. Somebody somewhere is going to have to pay for it. It is not free, no matter how you stack it. If everybody is paying their insurance companies less money than the insurance companies are forking over, eventually, the insurance company will go bankrupt. I don't have any answers. I don't know how to solve the problem. But I sure am tired of the half-assed arguments I hear all the time from people who don't even understand how gigantic the problem is. And those arguments come from both sides of the political fence. I am also tired of dummies coming into the pharmacy and complaining about the cost of their drugs,  and complaining that the insurance company wants a say in what drugs the doctor prescribes and how often they get to take them. I want to scream at them and tell them they are welcome to pay for their own damn drugs. If someone else is going to pay your bills for you, then they sure as heck have the right to ask questions about what kind of tab you are ringing up. Especially when the guy helping you ring up the tab is a doctor who has no freaking idea what anything costs, and is being wooed and wined by drug reps left and right. Most of the doctors- no, ALL of the doctors I work with are fantastic people who are too darned busy saving and improving lives to keep track of the most economical drugs to treat their patients with. So if an insurance company balks at paying $400.00 for the fancy new name brand the doctor prescribed when there is a $15 drug that works every bit as well, can you blame them for wanting to know what in tarnation that doctor is doing?

On the MoTab: go sing your hearts out at the presidential inauguration, little saints. Unless you don't want to, and then, just don't. You apparently do not get thrown out of the choir if you don't go sing. But please, please do NOT resign from the choir over the fact that they agreed to sing at the president's party and then write a big long preachy and illogical letter about why you are compelled to resign, and go be on all the news shows spouting your crap. Do or do not. Just please don't whine about it. I don't like Donald Trump, and I wish he was not the president. But he has not yet created any fascist or racist or sexist or tyrannical laws. When he does, we will all rise up against him, I am sure. But until then, give the man a break. And give everybody else a break. All the bellyaching is getting really old.  Hillary Clinton is every bit as rotten as Trump, and you know it.

Call me heartless, but I don't really care that much that Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds died one day apart. It is mildly and morbidly entertaining, but really, what has changed for most of us? You can still watch all of their movies, which is really the only thing you loved about them anyway. It is endlessly more fascinating to me to know that when they exhumed Medgar Evers 28 years after his death, his body was still in pristine condition. It's true, look it up. There are pictures.


And for the love of Pete, please stop trying to sell me lipstick. I am not paying $25.00 for a tube of lipstick. It will not change my life. I understand that it is wonderful lipstick, and it has changed your life, but that is not the kind of life I lead.  I don't wear lipstick, I don't believe in essential oils, I don't need any more kitchen equipment and I do not want to be in your downline. Go away now. The End.








Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Back to Real Life

Christmas is over and done with and all put away, except for the traditional handful of items that always manage to get overlooked. This year, it was Olivia's stocking, some ribbon, and some books. Every year, I think I have searched every nook for all the holiday paraphernalia and every year I manage to miss some, which then sits out in the middle of everything else until the next holiday season descends upon us. The good news about that is that at least the stuff that got left out last year is finally put away.

Science fair season is now upon us. Olivia is the participant this year, and her experiment was the effects of sugar and salt on slime. We were up until 10 pm trying to figure out how to graph the results. The actual fair is not til next week, so we still have to do her board, but I feel like we are actually pretty on top of things this time around. I do hate science fairs though. I am bound and determined that this is going to be HER project though, not mine. Nothing I hate worse than a science fair project that reeks of a pinterest loving mother.

With Audrey out of job and out of a musical,  and Duncan out of a mission, things have seemed almost quiet around here the past few days. I can't say I miss driving Duncan back and forth to Kaysville every day. I know I am jinxing myself though, by even thinking the words "quiet around here". You would think I would have learned by now. In fact, now that I think about it,  Dan got a call from the renters in Logan tonight. The furnace is out. Perfect timing, now that there is 12 inches of snow up there and a forecast of -8. Heavy sigh. There goes my night's sleep. So much for quiet.

Happy tossing and turning and wondering how much this is going to cost me.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Page 2

We woke up this lovely second morning of the year to several inches of new snow. Well, to be honest, I woke up at 8:30 to the sound of my neighbor's snow blower going.  Since I was supposed to be at work at 9, there was a brief moment of panic before I decided I just didn't care that much. Making someone work on Monday, January 2 is just too much, especially when the rest of the family got one more day to sleep in and be lazy. I figured the snow would be the perfect excuse for being late for work.

As it turns out, working today earns me the privilege of staying home tomorrow, when everybody else has to go out into the cold cruel world. Everyone except Duncan that is.  Duncan will be home with me now of course, and I already have big plans for us to get all the Christmas put away and the house sparkling clean. We will see how far we get on my little spark of ambition. Tonight I am working on Sherlock reruns and finishing the laundry. I am finding out that Sherlock requires one's full attention, and even something as mundane as the laundry is too distracting.

Tomorrow marks 70 days in the mission for Will. I wish I could say it was going fast, but at least it is going. At least now we can say that he will be home NEXT YEAR!  I've been waiting 68 days to be able to say that.

In other news, we found out on Saturday, via Facebook, that Audrey is out of a job as of tomorrow. The pool she works at has suddenly and unexpectedly decided to close as of January 3. She worked her last shift this evening. This came as kind of a shock, especially since the owners did such a lowly job of informing their employees, but Audrey is carrying such a heavy load of classes this year that it may be a blessing in disguise. She may start looking around for another job or she may just take her time about it. Guess we will see how much she hates being without money.