It will be useful again, someday.

One day last week, to combat the boredom that comes with a pandemic quarantining, Carter decided to rearrange the furniture in his bedroom. He drew out a schematic of where he wanted his bed, dresser, bookcase. Without any thought to the piles of stuffed animal, dirty clothes, and other random bits and pieces of childhood that tend to shed from him and litter his bedroom floor, he declared himself ready for help with the furniture moving.

Deflated but not undefeated, upon hearing he actually had to clean his room before the move, he went back to his room. I went back to trying to work from home.

Awhile later he returned with an odd shaped plastic case clutched in his hand and a smile on his face. He had found the bag of dental goodies one gets from an orthodontist when one signs up to spend thousands of dollars on straightening your child’s teeth. Amidst the floss and tiny tubes of toothpaste, he had found a folding toothbrush complete with its own case. A travel toothbrush.

He popped open the case and unfolded the toothbrush with reverence, much as I would imagine a child would do upon being given their very own jackknife. It was in the middle of a sentence about packing his newly discovered teeth cleaning treasure the next time we  travel to visit grandma, that it dawned on him.

There would be no travel. No visits to grandma. No visits at all.

I have not seen his travel toothbrush since, but I am looking forward to the time when it can be used as it was meant to be used.

Stay home. Stay safe.

Take care of yourselves.

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Watch out for that Ladyhole!

We were having dessert when one of the boys said a grossly improper sentence.  And by grossly improper, I mean by way of grammar.  (As a side note, if any of this post is “grossly improper by the way of grammar” it may be due to the glass (or two) of wine I consumed during dinner).

I gently corrected this said grossly improper grammatical sentence and, pushing my glasses higher on my nose, told them that, “Words matter.”  I went on to tell them about a high school teacher I had who was very forefront in gender neutral wordage.  She did not say “mailman” but “mail person” or “mail carrier”.  I gave a couple other examples that were stellar, I’m sure, but then I made a misstep.


Yup.  How do you go about making that one gender neutral?

Carter, who is now eleven, robustly and gleefully blurted out his attempt (not gender neutral at all).


Much laughter ensued.

As a teacher, and a mom, I instinctively tried to turn the tides.

“Words matter,” I tried again.

This time Husband piped up about words and our president and improper…

I may have said that Trump was a whole other type of hole (to which Carter – dang he is sharp – said, “Donkeyhole?”)

Oh, my.

Feeling cornered, I turned once again to the manhole.  Distraction can sometimes be your friend.  My solution to the non-gender neutral term for manhole was utility vault hole.

Utility vault hole.

Yes, utility vault hole, was my gender neutral answer to the manhole.

Husband immediately pointed out how smoothly “utility vault hole” rolls on the tongue.    I strongly suspect he was mocking me but chose to ignore it.

Dessert ended.

Dessert ended, without a single person bringing up the word “piehole”.  This makes me rather sad because pie was what was for dessert.


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A Glimpse Into Cody’s Breakfast Playlist

  • Cindi Lauper  – Girls Just Want to have Fun
  • Borgore & Sikdope –  Unicorn Zombie Apocalypse (quite a catchy tune that I find myself whistling more often that I like to admit)
  • Marshmello  – Here with Me
  • The HU – Wolf Totem (This is a Mongolia band that merges heavy metal with traditional Mongolian throat singing) Here is a sample of the lyrics for those of you fluent in Mongolian:                                                                                                                    рслан ирвээс алалдан уралдъя
    Барс ирвээс байлдан уралдъя
    Заан ирвээс жанчилдан уралдъя
  • The Beastie Boys – Fight for Your Right

Not a bad mix for making buttermilk pancakes and scrambled eggs on a lazy Saturday morning with your thirteen year old son.


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Nothing but Fur

The other day Carter asked me if he could go skinny dipping in our backyard pool.  Considering the time of day – it was daylight – and our location – the middle of one of the largest cities in the U.S. – I told him that, no, he could not but that he could swim in his underwear.  Our backyard is rather private so I felt that this was a decent compromise.

He looked at me strangely and told me he thought that swimming in your underwear was skinny dipping.  I explained what skinny dipping really was and then attempted to shock him by telling him that some people in our household had been known to skinny dip from time to time, back in the day.

He was not shocked at all.  He then proceeded to make me feel old and schoolmarmish by pointing out that it was probably poppa as “…you would never do that momma!

“Sasha would do it,” he said “she goes fur dipping!”  He laughed under his breath as he headed out toward the pool, a trail of clothes already forming behind him.  Before he left the room I heard him say, “Nothing but fur.”

Fur dipping – nothing but fur!

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Simple Sunday – A Wish for Soup

I was home sick from work Friday.

This means that on Thursday night I had to: put in for a guest teacher, write sub plans (giving as clear of directions as I could in my feverish state on all the subjects, transitions, small groups, spelling test and reading test procedures, and the passing out of the various homework components for the following week), and email a co-worker with my plans so that she could print them off.  I also had not planned on being out so, while the white board had the schedule already set for the next day, I had not put out the homework and other various papers that needed to go home.  I wrote directions for my wonderful co-worker on this as well.

I slept in until six but needed to get up to prepare breakfast and make school lunches for the boys.  I made sure they had clean teeth and brushed hair before I could go back to bed.

For lunch I wanted comfort food so I made grilled cheese.

Alas, I had no soup.

It is now Sunday night and my painfully sore throat and fever are gone.  My throat is still scratchy and my sinuses are far from clear, but I am so much better than before.  Fingers crossed that no one else at Casa de Shoes on the Wrong Feet catches my bug.

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Surprise Catch

The dogs were a tumbleweed of black fur as I opened the door to let them in. They had been outside to take care of their business and were eager to start their day, eager for their breakfast.

Sasha whipped around my legs while Haley leapt in small bursts nearby.  From the back door we typically walk through the dining room and kitchen and over to the hall closet where the dog food is stored.

I started walking.  The dogs followed, well, Haley followed.  Something was going on with Sasha.

Sasha’s tail, ever elusive in the chase, was clamped tightly in her mouth.  She looked both startled and confused at her accidental tail capture as she tried to follow Haley and I.  She spun in tight circles, tail in mouth, while simultaneously trying to walk in a forward direction towards the source of her breakfast.  It was not working out well for her.

I stopped, dislodged her tail from her teeth, and patted her and praised her for her success.

She pranced off proud as could be, ready to take on the world one tail at a time.

Raise your paw if you are a successful tail chaser.  Successful tail chaser, right here!

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Simple Sunday – Not so Extreme Weather

We were treated to a bit of rain, clouds, and cold this weekend in Phoenix, AZ.

Don’t feel too bad for us, however, because while parts of our country are suffering with extreme temperatures this also happened to us over the weekend.

No, the pool is not heated.

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Simple Sunday – Fresh Squeezed

Nothing quite like using fresh squeezed grapefruit juice to make a margarita on a sunny day.  Even better, the citrus was given to us from one of our neighbors.


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The Tigger on our Doorknob

There is a small stuffed Tigger that hangs from a key chain that, lately, can be found hanging on our door.

Tiny Tigger on our door knob.

The Tigger was originally ours, but Carter decided he was done with it and graciously offered it to one of the four and a half year old twin girls who live next door to us.  Let’s call her Ella.

She was quite taken with it and rushed home to show her mom.  The Tigger has a zipper in its back that can be unzipped to disclose a small pouch that one might use to store coins or paper money.  But not for Ella.  No, that pouch had only one use in her mind and that is to put notes in.

I got a text from Ella’s mom the first night Tigger was at their house.  It warned me that Ella had hung the Tigger on our doorknob and that inside there was a note for Carter.

Ella will be 5 this summer and cannot yet write, but her mom acted as scribe for her.  It was a simple note letting Carter know she will not be able to play because she is at her cousins house.

The next time Ella came over she demanded to know where the Tigger was and why Carter had not written her a note back.

Carter does not like to write.  His spelling and handwriting are both less than desirable, but he wrote her back.

And so this has been on going on, cul-de-sac pen pals.  Today there was a new note from Ella and this time she wrote it herself and her mom wrote a translation.

I rather love the notes in the Tigger.  It makes me smile to see it hanging on our door or to watch Carter run across the cul-de-sac to hang it on Ella’s mailbox.


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After dinner, I make school lunches for Cody, Carter, and myself.  Tonight was no different.  As I was pulling items from the fridge and formulating the lunch menu, Carter walked by.  He peeled open the container of sugar snap peas and loudly crunched into one of them.  We chatted a bit as I made sandwiches and put them into the lunch containers.

Carter helped himself to another fistful of peas.  He called out for me to look at him.  There he was jauntily leaning against the kitchen door frame, pea pod held between his fingers as if it were a cigarette.  His face was puckered into a scowl, his eyes narrowed and dark.  Then he smiled and laughed as he proclaimed himself to be a Vegetarian Thug.  The Veggie Thug took a pea puff or two and then chomped off the end of his prop and smiled again.  I asked him to recreate his Thug so as to photograph it.

Livin’ the Veggie Thug lifestyle.

You’re welcome.

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