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September 2006

Picture Perfect Thursday - An Apple A Day


Juicy and sweet; bright; crispy when fresh; sometimes slightly tart; with a flavor all its own:  these were a few of the words commonly used on the handout labeled, "How to know your apples,"  we received at the pick-your-own orchard that Mini-Me and I visited earlier today.


As I was thinking back on the field trip - alone, again, in my car - how those words can also be used to describe my five-year-old daughter.

Juicy and sweet.

Lined up, wearing name tags and holding hands like a bunch of little criminals, I quickly recognized Mini-Me (she's one of the smallest ones in her class) and, with her hands shielding her eyes from the bright sun, she broke from the ranks, reached around my neck with both her arms, kissed me smack on the lips and introduced me, saying:

"This one's MINE!"  


Her teacher separated the class into groups of four and as I tried to remember each of my new charges' names (pigtails, redhead, and curly-top) Mini-Me quickly ran ahead of the group, reached for my hand and quiety said:

"Now, wee-member...deer are a-wot of kids't lose me!"

Crispy when fresh.

There were two other adults in my group (curly-top's dad and gradma).  One of them was going down the list of "things to talk about," then reminded the kids not to pick any of the fallen apples and Mini-Me turned, placed her hands on her hips and said:

"Teacher told us, wike, a hun-dwed times...we KNOW dat, ah-weddy!"

Sometimes slightly tart.

After each of the children picked their allowed quota of "two apples - only!" we agreed it was time to head back to the "weigh station," where Mini-me thought:

" are way out, Momma, 'cause you might bwake it!"

With a flavor all its own.

After we...I mean the APPLES...were weighed, her teacher asked us if she could take a picture of Mini-Me  Another mom (her oldest went to preschool with my Little Man) turned toward us and reminded me that this would probably be one of the last "apple-picking trips" I'd be able to go on and Mini-Me agreed:

"Yah...'cuz I'm in kinder-garden...and we-wee bwave...and she just cw-eyes way too much, anymore!"

Perhaps an apple a day does keep the doctor away - but, nothing does this frazzled, tired-out, headachey and cries-way-too-much-anymore-Momma good, like a big 'ole dose of Mini-Me!

But, you'll have to go and pick your own - 'cuz this one's MINE!

[Joining me on posting a Picture Perfect Thursday - Latte Man]

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Hump Day Diddy Dumbs - How many dogs does it take to change a light bulb?

Celebrating the wonderfulness that is "Hump Day" - the week is half over, baby! - this blog is going to the dogs.  A friend of mine (who also happens to have a love-hate relationship...with her dog) sent me this email, which answers the age old question: 

How many dogs does it take to change a light bulb?

1. Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you're inside worrying about a stupid burned out bulb?


2. Border Collie: Just one. And then I'll replace any wiring that's not up to code.


3. Dachshund:  You know I can't reach that stupid lamp!


4. Rottweiler:  Make me.


5. Boxer:  Who cares? I can still play with my squeaky toys in the dark.


6. Lab:  Oh, me, me!!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeze let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Huh? Can I? Pleeeeeeeeeze, please, please, please!


7. German Shepherd:  I'll change it as soon as I've led these people from the dark, check to make sure I haven't missed any, and make just one more perimeter patrol to see that no one has tried to take advantage of the situation.


8. Jack Russell Terrier:  I'll just pop it in while I'm bouncing off the walls and furniture.


9. Old English Sheep Dog:  Light bulb? I'm sorry, but I don't see a light bulb!

10. Cocker Spaniel:  Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark

11. Chihuahua:  Yo quiero Taco Bulb. Or "We don't need no stinking light bulb."

12. Greyhound:  It isn't moving. Who cares?

13. Australian Shepherd:  First, I'll put all the light bulbs in a little circle...

14. Poodle:  I'll just blow in the Border Collie's ear and he'll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.

How many cats does it take to change a light bulb?

Cats do not change light bulbs. People change light bulbs.


© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

On How Some Early Childhood Prevention Can Still Make My Butt Hurt!

A mom was sentenced to 5 years in jail for allowing her 18 month old daughter to suck from the mother's...bong:

"Ms. Durham allegedly remarked that smoking improved Michala's appetite and left Michala lethargic and mellow - a manner she found consistent with her own experience smoking marijuana," Judge Louis Pollak of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in summarizing the case.

The report goes onto to say, the court ruled she should have to spend no more than two years in prison and I'm thinking...dayum...sure, it seems a bit harsh...but, where were they when my mother was shoving little soft-gels up my ass?


No, I don't think what "bong mom" did was right, but - although she clearly has a problem with understanding the possible damaging effects of marijuana on her baby, I don't believe "bong mom" should go to prison, either - heck, I've known plenty of parents who have gone to uncertain lengths (including giving their kids cough syrup when they weren't sick) just to get their children some sleep and perhaps a few moments of rest, themselves.



But, I have resorted to strapping a colicky-4-month-old into her car seat and driving her around town in the middle of the night, just so her two-year-old sister could get some sleep, while I cried my eyes out to the lullabyes of Barney and Pooh Bear, all in the privacy of my minivan, too!

About those soft-gel bullets I was referring to, earlier?

My brother and I had suffered from terrible bouts of high fevers, not to mention chronic tonsilitis, up until soon after we started going to school.  And the preferred path of treatment at that time (no, I'm not saying!) was to keep the tonsils wet with a lollipop and get a big old shot of Pennicylin in the ass.

Then, if that didn't work, enter...the rectal suppository!


Even the words still make my butt, hurt!

I can still remember her fighting us - yes, my brother suffered the same indignity - and having to call my grandmother to help hold us down, all the while insisting that we, "Stop kicking," or "Don't squeeze it out," and swearing, "Because it's good for you and will make you feel much better!"

As we grew older - and grew out of the fevers like the evil Dr. Froderick von Fronkenstein pediatrician claimed - and our immune system's strength increased, my mother's dependency on suppositories lessened.

Only to rear it's ugly head, again, after Thing One turned 8 months old and ended up in the hospital with a fever of 106, that lasted four days!

"Well, Thing One doesn't have any symptoms and we can't seem to find a reason why she's having a hard time with her fevers breaking.  So, here's a prescription for an antibiotic and some suppositories, just in case."

[eyes go wide]

[a little louder]
"Here's a prescription for an anti..."

[shaking head]
"No...I got that...what's with the...GULP!...suppositories!?!"

The Son of Dr. Fronkenstein pediatrician just smiled as he started to explain, speaking even slower, this time.
"It's a help Thing One boost her immune just administer big deal, really...and she'll be a lot more comfortable...a lot less gassy...and perhaps sleep a whole lot better for you, too."

[feeling queasy]
"Oh big long as it's not YOUR ass...or, YOU'RE the one who's doing the administering...nuh-uh! way...can't you just give me some cough syrup...or, something!?!"

Mini-Me came down with a cold and - although, I kept her from playing soccer and out of the weather this weekend - she woke up a little stuffy.


"Mbaba...can you gib be a widdle bed-i-cin for by doze?"

I explained to her that it could make her sleepy and, if she was really not feeling good, I suggested that she perhaps should stay home and, if her throat still hurt, we could call the doctor, later today, and maybe she could help her feel better.

[eyes go wide]

"Nuh-uh...DOE WAY, are NOT twicking be, again...not wike da wast said, "NO SHOT!"...and BAM, I got TWO! fwoat is feews just find...I ab NOT going to get a shot...not tuh-day...Oooooh no...doe body iz bessing wif MY butt!"  

Suffice it to say, consistent with my own experience, my family and I welcome the healing effects of my mother's chicken soup and a pot of freshly-brewed caraway tea (only!) as the kids and I are learning to appreciate a whole new meaning to "Mama's little pain-in-the-ass!"

Anyone care for a hit?

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Picture Perfect Thursday - The Old Country


Most people from Europe - including my family - refer to their homeland as "the old country."  Though the accents - especially in my neighborhood - may have been different, the meaning was still very much the same.

In my parents' case, they were forced to leave behind everything - and I mean stepping on American soil, for the first time, with nothing more than the clothing they wore, most of which had been donated at the refugee center, before leaving Austria - for a chance to live in America, where everything (even something as basic as freedom) was new.

My father and mother adapted fairly quickly to their new life (they were 19 and 14, respectively) but, kept a lot of their "old world" customs and (once they met and, soon after, were married) shared their love for cooking, gardening, Hungarian music and family, openly.

Every Sunday, my mother, grandmother and I would have dinner on the table by noon (sometimes, as early as 11:30 in the morning) the only time we were afforded to sit together, talk and eat, as a family.

Even now, Sunday just isn't the same without a big old pot of  homemade chicken soup boiling away on the stove...or my grandmother.

I've been feeling weird for the last few weeks and - besides the fact that this is the first time I have all four of my kids in school, at once, and already possessing a restless spirit - although I'm enjoying these first few weeks of solitude, the stillness is overwhelming my senses!

A smell, a sound or a simple thought - the smallest disturbance becomes painful.

Red geraniums.

We've had red geraniums in our windows long as I can remember and I've kept them since the first day we moved into this house, 13 years ago.  I can smell them now - as the breeze blows through the dining room window and carries their scent across my face - and understand why their color was so often referred to in folktales in a very mysterious, stimulating and sensual manner.

Although I've never met my grandmother - my father's mother died eight months after my brother and I were born - my father has been able to keep her memory alive with stories of her gentleness, soft-spoken manner and infinite patience.  We were her first grandchildren and she proudly told anyone and everyone - within ear shot of her front gate or clothesline - that her "oonchies" (slang term for "uno-kam" meaning "my grandchildren) were coming to visit her, soon.

Two years later, my grandfather solemnly welcomed his only son and immediately took him out onto the small apartment's balcony.

"What do you see?"

[following my grandfather's gaze]
"Mother's geraniums."

"You know I'm not a superstitious man, don't you?"


[my grandfather continues]
"Well, what would you say if I told you that each and everyone of those pots of flowers were dead, last week.  Have been for quite some time.  And the day I got your telegram telling me that you were bringing me my grandchildren, they started to bloom?"

And as my father stood there, staring at the pots thick with blooms, he choked back the tears enough to answer my grandfather:
"I'd say they are very red!"

So would I...Papa. 

[Friends sharing in a Picture Perfect Thursday - Latte Man (along with Lady Liberty)]  

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

About Last Night, How Teachers Fear Me and Other More Amazingly-weird Stories!

My husband and I had a fight, last night and it wasn't bad or anything in particular - mainly about "bullshit" as a friend and fellow mom-who's-been-there-done-that, later agreed - but, I left the house and considered attending the first (of three) back-to-school night a joyful escape.

Yes, I guess it was bad.

To think leaning against the wall of the "all-purpose room" (used know...all things) of Little Man and Mini-Me's school in a standing-room only crowd of people - not to mention having a really bad back and still crying, a little -as anything more favorable than's just plain weird, don't you think?

Wait, it's about to get weirder.

After the second session of meet-the-teacher, I lingered a bit and waited to speak with Little Man's (Mrs. Gives-a-shit-load of Homework) about his obsession with...well...anything that can effectively be utilized as a weapon.

The more damage it inflicts, the deeper his fascination.

She didn't think it was a big deal - I, however, felt otherwise when I found a cut-out bear that his class was supposed to color and describe what makes them unique - although, my son's "Sniper Bear" never did make it up on the wall.  Not until he and I had how much his bear (complete with dark, angry eyebrows and an ammo vest) did NOT look like his Uncle Bud and what the word "sniper" actually means.

[pointing at wall]

"See, there's "Sarge" and he's looking very proud to be an "Army Bear!"

[rolling eyes and grabbing chest]
"'s just that...well, I'm glad I found it in his folder...and I asked him about it...and I just didn't want you know...that I didn't notice...or, that I'm okay with all the guns...tanks...missiles...heat-seeking...or, otherwise...and...well, hell...we don't even own a gun...thankfully...for my husband's sake...otherwise...he'd be dead...right about now!"

[eyes go wide]
"Oh, hello Mr. Elementary Principal, are we the last ones in the building?"

And I turned...very slowly...and follow her eyes...right to the shocked-look on Mr. Elementary School Principal...well...I had to say something.
"Um...well...we had a fire the other day...and our dishwasher blew-up...and now my husband's pissed because I bought sheets and go with our new bed...because...well, after four kids...and me tell you about how really back can get!?!"

Amazingly enough, he listened and - although, most probably out of fear - and I can only hope that my husband does the same...some time today...and doesn't think I'm such a nightfall.

Weird, perhaps...but, not a shit!

Did I mention my new bed is "da bomb!" and really, really comfortable!

[P.S. - please join me here for Picture-Perfect bed!] 

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have NO luck at all!

There's a Hungarian saying that my grandmother would always refer to (especially in bad times) that loosely translates as:

"A dog will almost always crap, where crap already exists!"

Well, I wonder if they use bull horns in heaven?

Because, I swear to you...on all that is good and covered in semi-sweet chocolate...with the shitload of trouble I've been getting into - not to mention out of - lately, someone's been watching out for my sorry butt!

[remember, our dishwasher blew up less than a month ago]

Not to get too superstitious, or anything - although, I am knocking on wood as we speak - but, let me just tell you what happened on Friday and perhaps can judge for yourself.

Good luck, or bad luck?

It was raining...HARD...Friday morning and the fact that I'd been fighting off a migraine the entire week, didn't help - at exactly 3:15 a.m., I lost.

For anyone who's ever suffered from this blinding, deafening and for sure you'll be puking by first light-type of know.

The last thing I remember is my crying as the pillow was being pulled away from my head and my husband shoving something into my mouth and saying:

"Suck, don't swallow."

[blank stare]

Okay, I know how it sounds - and can imagine the Google hits and weirded-out referrals I'll be getting in the next few days - but, I was talking about my migraine meds...sicko!

Typically, getting this type of kick-ass headache, I'm down for the count.  So, my husband said he'd call and remind me know...get up...and start picking up the kids from school.

Did I mention that losing consciousness and - if I do manage to withstand the sound of my eyelids opening - experiencing nearly total vision loss, was to be expected?


The day wasn't know...too pretty.

So, I managed to crawl - okay, move v...e...r...y...s...l...o...w...l...y - to the downstairs bedroom my three girls share, throw up in their bathroom, before getting into Thing Two's bed and covering my head with about a gazillion beanie babies.

They're very soft, you know.


From a dead-sleep, I sat up - which sent the dog and two cats flying from every which way - and my head reeled as my eyes went wide!

The room was dark - thank goodness! - but, I had this terrible feeling of...I dunno...that I had to get up and make myself a cup of tea.

"A CUP OF TEA," people!

Take it from me, the last thing a migraine-sufferer (like me) wants to do is to get up and make...anything...unless, I really, really had to.


So, I walked - still, very slowly - to the sink, put the kettle on and just stood there staring out my kitchen window.



[lights flickering]

Great, just what I needed...a total loss of power...again!

[remember losing our electric and being robbed of Labor Day Weekend, by Ernesto?]

Just, great.


My eyes went wide and - as I stared at the flames shooting out of the electrical box on the side of the house - I thought to myself.


Then - holy crap, the house is on fire! - I was finally able to snap out of it, grabbed a kitchen towel and ran (yes, mother-flubbing RAN!) to the playroom, ripped open the back door, slapped the shit out of the electrical outlet and was able to put the fire out!

Although, I felt like crap - not to mention I was still in my pajamas and soaking wet - I kept apologizing for all the mud and the dog crap in the backyard, as I explained what happened to the very nice police officers, who thought I handled the know...pretty good.

About a 30 minutes later - as the firemen finished prying the melted box out of the wall and making sure that it was indeed, contained - I was standing under a tree on the front lawn and one of the police officers came over to me to tell me, we were done.

"Okay, the power's back on and we've capped the wires and everything else looks...okay...but, keep the kids away from the back of the house, just in case."


I just stood there and watched him start to walk away, turn around, and add:

"Oh, and good thing it was raining...and you were downstairs at the time...and you were actually able to see it catch fire...well, Ma' know, it could have been A WHOLE LOT worse - you're very lucky!"

I smiled, nodded my aching head...thanked him and the firemen for taking care of things...with very little damage...and for NOT making a huge mess...and then I puked!

Yes, Nagy Mama - I'm feeling much better and heard you just, fine - and thanks for helping us see passed all the dog crap!

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Picture Perfect Thursday

My bloggy-friend, Amber, takes some of the most awesome pictures of her children (of course, she's working with some really great material) and visiting her blog makes me feel all warm and fuzzy - sort of like sinking into my favorite over-stuffed chair and sipping on a deliciously fruity red wine.

Letting down and inspiring tranquility, when chaos threatens to dampen even the strongest of spirits.

Then I got this idea.

After taking the kids to school this past week (can't remember which day, exactly, as they all seem to sort of meld together after a while) I walked the dog and then - trying to avoid the rather large piles of dirty laundry - I walked around my very dusty house, pushed passed the unopened mail, picked up my "current projects" folder that I managed to drop and then tried to decide what to tackle first.

Feeling even less inspired, I grabbed my camera and headed outside.

Afterall, it was a picture-perfect day and - though, I started to panic thinking I had left the camera on the soccer field, somewhere - working in my gardens is a guilty pleasure.  Best done alone with my thoughts.  A time when getting dirty was key.  As a child allowed to play in a mud puddle and just being happy living in the moment.  The deeper I dug into the soil, the stronger the release.

I planted a shade garden - that runs from my backdoor and right under the kitchen window - which is one of my most favorite places to sit, especially very early in the morning before the rest of the house wakes, and I can't think of a better place to start Picture Perfect Thursday:

I call this photo:  "Still" - A bit dusty, a little disheveled and slightly worn - perhaps even looking a bit overwhelmed, don't you think? - she is still able to look passed the weeds and keeps her focus on the beauty that is all around her.  A picture-perfect reflection of what I'm feeling.  Right now.

[If you would like to join me in sharing a "guilty pleasure" for Picture Perfect Thursday - let me know in the comments section of this (as well any future) post.  I'll link to it and hopefully, we'll get to learn a little more about each other.  What do you have to lose?  A little time, perhaps?  It's all about YOU, babe.  Surely, it's time well spent!]

© This Full House 2003-2019. All rights reserved.