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Phone torture doesn't work any more.


My sarcastic sense of humor and the use of my shock treatment that I torture my kids with is coming back to haunt me. My phone at work rings and I see it is the house, so I love to drive the kids nuts and the phone is my favorite tool as they have no visual aids to help them understand.  I grab the phone and say “Hello county health department”. With out one moment of hesitation my daughter says “Yes I need birth control right now”.  I almost choked myself laughing.  She got me so good. Then she say’s “Mom I know it’s you”, as if I am the lamest person on earth.  I guess I need to find another way to torture my kids.  The phone no longer works.


Ketchup is not a food group

Growing up we had a family from the South that lived next to us and I thought grape jelly on grits and Ketchup on eggs of any kind, was a cultural Southern food. Now after I grew up and lived in the South for 14 years I realize it was not, just someone’s odd taste that was developed and passed on in the family. Now as odd taste will go I have a couple such as A1 steak sauce on cottage cheese. I say this to be fair to the kids who eat the strangest foods, and food combination that will cause me to twinge a little to see them eat it. Now I am sure that most have had a sub from Subway and everyone has a different condiment that they want on their subs but as of yet I have not found one Subway that has ketchup, nor have I met anyone who puts ketchup on their subs. I have stopped asking because I get the strangest looks and snickers and it’s not for me.  One of the girls eats ketchup on everything and will just squirt it in her mouth and go yummmm. I buy it by the gallon and she eats it by the gallon. When we are out she will drive me nuts till I have gotten the ketchup and she can see it as proof that I really did asked and got it for her. 
We took a day trip up North this weekend to do some sight seeing and beach combing. We stoped for breakfast at Mc Donald's as it is cheap and quick, sometimes, it’s a gamble we take when in a hurry. We had a lot of things we wanted to do in one day so sitting around eating breakfast was not on our list. I felt so bad for the lady taking our order: as they were short handed and the lady of retirement age was the only one at the register.  We are a nightmare to wait on; sitting at a table or standing at a counter.  I always try to get the order and give it to the waitperson as there are less mistakes and the waitperson will survive us better. This time being no different I get all the girls orders and I'm arranging them in my head to lessen the stress on this poor lady, when my ketchup eater starts in, don't forget ketchup. I said "you’re only eating a biscuit and hash browns". Now distraction will send my mind into the twilight zone in a flash; so when the kids then started to ask questions about every item on the menu, my arranged and helpful ordering technique went straight out the door. So now they all want to have one thing from each of the groups of foods in their one through 12 ordering system. All I can say is we did get the ketchup right and in a large quantity, and I am real sure that poor lady was close to having a stroke by the time we left.
As we are trying to consume our food with 9 dogs in a van going down the highway, the complaints and bitching started.  Then two of the girls started in teasing the ketchup eating girl, as she is just eating ketchup. Now I get in on the back end of the situation and say "you’re just eating ketchup"? Then comes the, ya Ma let me show you, everything after that was a blur of chaos. 
Cabot who is my bad boy alpha is sitting in my lap when L. sticks what I learned later was a packet of open Ketchup over my shoulder to show me how she was eating it. He then thinks she is offering up food to him and tries to grab it from her. She screams and yanks her hand back and the ketchup went flying, it was flung from my shoulder all the way to the back seat hitting both the girls sitting back there, the sides of the van and everything in between. Now I have no idea what the hell is going on other than now the dog is licking my shirt and the girls are all yelling and laughing. One of the girls did not find humor in the ketchup slung across the front of her shirt and just sat there as ketchup girl and one of the others cleaned her off. All the dogs are now into getting as much ketchup as they can. I cannot do nothing except laugh and drive while catching glimpses of chaos coming from my rear view mirror. I still have to see if I can get the stain out of the back of the seat.


Make the problem go away

With our big house comes lots of work. Now the kids all agreed to help with the chores as they are way more than one or two people can keep up with. I am real sure they did not think they would be as big as they are.  The small house one hour and work was done here one hour and we are just about to start the work.  Some times coaxing dose not work so I have to give intensive. And then sit back and watch the results. 
Leaves can and do become problematic; I do not want to solve the problem I want it taken care of.  So the problems are half acre of leaves and house full of kids that want to go to the mall. You make them go away and you can go to the mall. Now I had to video the results as I was not sure how this would happen. It took some thinking out side the box, I'm not sure I agree with the results but they did what I said and the leaves were gone.......


Kung Fu fighting or save the food

I often drink and eat while playing on the computer and the dogs have learned very quickly that all they have to do is get on my chair and they had complete access to what ever I have on the desk. I almost never have more than 15 minutes of uninterrupted time. Between dogs and kids I am hopping in and out of this chair a gazillion times. I have already been up and down 4 times and I have not finished my paragraph. That been said I have lost a lot of food and drink to the Damn Dogs and sometimes a kid or two. I try very hard to remember to move it up high so they can not get it but when I have to move fast or something takes my attention quick I don't think about what I have left behind:I am reminded as soon as I get back that I left my food and its gone. As to complete this picture for clarification my desk is on one side of the room and my bed is on the other side with about 16 feet plus of open space between the two. My desk is next to the entrance of my room and one step down from the hallway. My room is sunken one step lower than the rest of the basement. Making jumping up a little on the hazardous side.   
Last night hooligan boys are ruff housing through the basement at a deafening volume and Archie is upstairs in garbage and kids are deep in the drama of their Korean soaps.  All I need to hear is the cabinet door slam shut and I am up and out of my seat. As my body is in the up ward motion to run the steps I see out the corner of my eye, one of the hooligans is just about to jump in the chair where I have pork loin dinner half eaten sitting there for the taking. I truly believe that my quick turn around left me in mid air and no feet on the ground as I Kung Fued the chair sending it speeding across the floor in pursuit of the hooligan boys who are running at break neck speeds to get to the bed before the chair got them. I did not think about what I was doing or what might happen I just was in the save my dinner mode. The sight of these two boys running like hell with the chair in hot pursuit sent me into such a fit of laughter that I fell on my butt. This happened so quick that I was unable to recover from my Kung Fu tactics and just hit the floor and sat there laughing. I spent much of the evening rerunning that picture in my head and sitting in the basement alone laughing at myself and rubbing my bum.


Nose art and cleaning the frig

As refrigerators go I guess ours is average, I got the biggest I could afford because of the size required to hold  tonnage. We are self eaters, self cookers, and everyone has different taste.  My food bill every week is unimaginable. I hate to take the kids with me when I go to the market.  Hell I hate to go to the market. But with them I think I rather have a root canal than go with them. We end up with so much stuff in the frig I have to watch for science projects that start growing in the back. The kids are all teenage and completely innocent of any wrong doing until they get busted in the middle of the crime. To night was no different.  One of the older girls had senior skip day today and the mean mom that I am, tell her you skip you stay home, No hanging out with other kids. So she stayed home and cleaned the house and napped it did seem better than a day at school in her eyes. We had a power outage in the city and we were all sent home at 2:30 so when I get home the excitement level in the house is starting to raise as the other girls are getting home at about the same time I am. Not long after the,why questions, that seemed to be agonizing; just how do you explain electricity and why the TV does not work. Things we take for granted and have grown up with can really test my brain cells when you're trying to explain things in a different language. The power did come back in the nick of time as I was about to go off the deep end with, why.   I am now left in the kitchen with my senior skip day kid when she notices the window that was displaying, some rather good dog nose art, and screamed what the hell mom I just cleaned that window. Ya I didn't do it the dogs did. She says "how do they do that mom" and she sticks her face close to the window and pretends to lick it like the dogs would, and says "like this mom". I am rather use to the sign language that goes on her so I laughed at her and said "no they use their nose". How do they do that? as she grabs Gertrude and takes her nose and rubs it on the glass. Now this was just a little more than I was prepared for and I started laughing and she looks close at the glass and there is a big wet nose smear across the glass. EEEEEWWWWWW I'm never going to clean that window again that's gross, Mom. Not as gross as you rubbing her nose on it. She heads to the frig and says "Mom you want to eat water melon out side with me"? I said"ya, if I don't have to cut it. Now we are just chit chatting and she is working on the melon and the dogs are being a pain getting under foot.  She takes one half and puts plastic wrap on it and tries to put in the frig.  When I hear her say"Ah Ohhhh, it's OK it didn't get in your food".  I see her grab a bowl and take it to the sink and grab the sponge. I said "what did you do"? Is that my soup? She laughed and said it spilled when she put the melon in and it got on my left over dinner but it has plastic wrap and she can clean it off. I looked away for just a moment and when I looked back she had Gertrude and was holding her up so she could lick the soup that is now running down to the third shelf. What the Hell are you doing?  I'm letting Gertrude help me. Here Gertie get that one.  Get the dog out of the refrigerators, are you kidding me. Ya Mom she likes it and cleans good. Now its hard to get mad when your laughing. It was the sight of her holding the dog up so she could lick the frig that kept me laughing. OK, make sure you wash that and the window. There are some things that I am just not expecting to happen, and all I can do is laugh, now I also will not look at the food inside the frig the same and will want to sanitizes it before I eat it.


Sign language doesn't work either.

I came home tonight hungry and tired and the girls caught me in this vulnerable state and got me to take them out to the Sea food restaurant tonight.  Now at the prices they charge we do not eat at these places only on rare occasions.   But they waved the 25$ gift certificate in my face and I caved.
One girl almost never eats seafood and one can not eat any seafood except fish.  Two girls will eat anything and they wanted Lobster: of course they never had lobster but it looked like it must taste great. Now at 25 bucks a plate, eat fish and be glad. They all wanted shrimp cook differently but shrimp; my fish eater had fish and chips. My kids eat with there eyes and have no idea what it taste like, it just looks good.  I laugh and tell them all food looks good on the menu that's how they get people to buy it, they dress it up and make it pretty so people like you will order it at any price, because its pretty food. I do not like to pay a lot of money for food if I have never tried it.  If I don't like it and payed a lot I am madder than hell.  The kids think its pretty and want it.  I learned early on that this is a disaster to my pocket book. I have their numbers now and head them off at the pass. I set the $ amount before we enter the restaurant and if they don't know what the food is or what it has been made with they better not order it,  You order it, you eat it. This lesson has been learned the hard way.  Now to add to this lovely evening at the restaurant we have a cute young male wait person. He is all over the girls with his wonderful kindness and cheery manner.  I believe he is sucking up for good tip.  And the girls had him wrapped around their finger. I am sure he would have given us the food free if he could have gotten away with it:he just made sure we had plenty of food and drinks. I thought I was going to have to remind him he had other customers. Now we do have this communications problem, so we often revert to hand jesters when we can not make ourselves understood. I am use to this behavior but others are not, so it puts us in some rather funny spots when we are out and about. Tonight was no exception. As our young waiter was trying his best to impress the females at the table with his skills at taking orders. He tried to do this directly with out Moms help, as he found out the hard way this was not a wise decisions on his part.  I started to order for the girls and as he ask them what they wanted I started to translate, he turned his body just enough to let me know he did not need me, he wanted to communicate directly with the girls. The first order was easy no sides just fish and chips not much you can screw up there: now he turns his attention to the second girl and she orders a broiled seafood plate and now things are starting to turn bad as he does not have a clue.  I pipe up and tell him she will be having the same thing I order. I could see him relax a little, then came the salad. He said "will you have garden or Cesar salad" she says "I want scissor salad". Now come the dear eyes in the head light look. the other girls have not caught the fact she said it wrong, until the waiter says "what kind of salad"?  All of them take a try at saying Cesar salad, of course I am about to wet my pants because he has the look on his face of , are you speaking English?
Now he knows he is in a bind so he turns to me for help. Yes the devil came out of me as I looked over at her and said "what kind of salad" knowing the hand jester was coming. No disappointment, it was as if she was cued to put her hand up toward him and make the cutting motion with her first two fingers. We all broke out in laughter because now the other girls know she screwed it up and said the wrong thing.  She thought we were saying scissor salad so she wanted to show him scissors so he would know what she wanted.  He just stood their speechless with the look of what does she want all over his face and she showed him again. Tears are now running down my face and I can hardly correct her because I am laughing so hard. The other girls knew she misunderstood us and when she learns her mistake we all break out in laughter, her face is red but she laughs when embarrassed. The waiter looks like he wants to run  and he immediately tuned himself back to me and started to ask me what the other would like, he no longer was trying to impress anyone, just get this order over and leave.   His behavior change after that and he did not look at the girls much and directed all conversation to me. I gave him an extra good tip for giving me a good laugh but he thinks it is for putting up with us. Little did he know I set him up.


My Parting thoughts

It’s always a treat to come home after work and find the girl deeply engrossed in Korean soaps.  I have lost my humor over the whole thing as I never get to sit in my own living room and watch TV.  I know my Big Dog of the house title dose trump their omega pack status, I always feel like a meanie going in and taking over the remote.  I just go to my room, the basement, and watch my 13 inch screen TV.  It’s not until I reemerge from the depths of the house that I catch a humorous moment coming from them in the living room.    
I came up from my room and three of them are lined up on the sofa sitting on the edge, elbow to elbow and the other one is in the chair next to the sofa and they are all eating ice cream and watching Korean soaps with all of the dogs sitting in front of them hoping for a taste.  Now the only person in the house who understands Korean is the exchange student.  She does not watch them like my girls so most of the time I am yelling “turn that down, you read the sub titles, what the hell”. I truly do not understand why the volume is so loud when they are reading.  They tell me they want to hear it. Whatever!   But this day she is in the middle of the drama with the rest and I hear her say “You know this is perfect Korean and I understand every word but I am reading the sub titles to”.  Every one breaks out in laughter.  Then out of left field come one of them and she says “I like my ice cream in a bowl”. Then another one chimes in “I like my ice cream in a cup”. And without changing the momentum of the of the ice cream going into her mouth and her eye never left the screen the exchange student says “I don’t care what my ice cream is in I just eat it”.     My parting thoughts as I left the room is Holy cow they look like freeking robots sitting there glued to the TV eating ice cream in unison. What the hell is next, will their heads start spinning around as they spew green stuff?  



Box of Smiles

We received a box of smiles but I must start at the beginning so my readers will understand the box of smiles.  It started with this blog   and then there was this blog and the mention of socks though out many of the blogs started this.  It appears that Colleen a friend has enjoyed the sock/underwear problems at the Damn Dog house: she just could not help herself in sending the said box of smiles.  She has quite the sense of humor which we here all enjoy a good laugh.
Last night the plumber is coming by to fix the many leaks and drips we have here and put a few door knobs back on and reattach the door that Gertie has body slammed to death.  I knew he was coming right at the time I would reach home after work. Now as all women are always prepared for company, I raced home to straighten up before he came. I ran in barking orders at the girls and all they could say is Mom you have a box. They proceed to nag me about opening the box.  I had no intention of being deterred from my chosen course of actions that needed to be done. The Plumber arrived and started on fixing things.  Then he realizes that his tool that he needs is missing, and I decided that he could fix one more door knob while he was there.  So he could keep working he sent me to hardware store. This was a short trip but one I did not want to make, anything to keep charges to a minimum.  I get back and I then decide that while he is there can he figure out how to change the florescent light in the kitchen as I can’t even get the top off the fixture to change it myself.  Well off to the store again as I have no florescent tub light in the house. Time just kept marching on and we are all getting hungry and we cannot cook or warm up anything because the sink is now in parts and tools spread about the kitchen. The girls bugged me one more time about the box and then went to watch Korean soaps. Dogs are penned in the living room wining because they want in the kitchen with me.  I am ready to start gnawing on something, dog, kid, chair leg, I didn’t care I was so hungry and it is close to 8 PM and lunch was gone a long time ago. So to take my mind off my stomach I grabbed a knife and went into the other room to open the box.    I saw the sender and was totally confused at why she was sending me this big box. The first thought is she wants jammies made from some awesome fabric she found and winter is over????? I cut the tape and pulled one flap up and saw the socks and fell out laughing.  I knew at once where this was going.  The girls start in yelling what so funny, what’s in the box Mom.  Now I cannot stop laughing to tell them they just got a gazillion socks and none were matched up. The girls cannot stand it when I laugh and won’t stop, so they surround the box and start yanking out sock, saying “what the heck is this”?  Now I have gained some sort of composure and started telling them that this was a joke because Mom is always blogging about socks and underwear problems. The girls are realizing quickly the cute socks are on the bottom and hey there are some goodies in there to. Now they are trying to open the other flap chaos was starting to take over when I grab the box and emptied the contents out on the floor.  They screamed and scrambled to get the best socks. One was in the bathroom when the commotion broke out and then I turn to grab the camera and there the plumber stands with doe eyes in the headlight look.  I started laughing all over again. When the fourth kid comes out she starts yelling hey I want some socks and she jumps in.  I ask L. to show me here stash she was protecting in her lap and when the missing kid saw it she jumped her and now the dogs are in the mix and the plumber is just standing there laughing.  I looked at him and said “what you never saw girls fighting over socks”. Now when one girl realized she had one sock and someone else had the other the negations started.  As they are yanking off the dirty socks to put on their new ones the dogs are opportunists and this was turning into a cha ching moment and they started picking off the dirty sock and running like hell to the basement.  Now I have kids and dogs everywhere.  While I am waiting for the girls to come back I see a card in the bottom of the box and grab it. It says. “Have a smile today”.  When the girls got back and I wanted to take pictures of them in their new sock, I realize not all the dogs had their sights set on dirty socks; some had targeted the goodies that were in the box.  Hershey kisses, dog biscuits, dogs and kids with new socks was all it took to take my mind off my stomach. Hell the plumber even cute me a break on the bill for a good laugh and some dog slobbered Hershey kisses. Well I am hopping the girls did not give him the dog slobbered ones but knowing kids they aren’t going to eat them.   Colleen Thanks for a good joke on us it was truly an unexpected surprise we all enjoyed and it brought more than smiles.


Rose colored glasses :(

A face book friend who’s avatar is of a dog with glasses on, one eye glass is blue the other is red, it reminds me of an analogy I heard a long time ago about rose colored glasses.  It strikes at the heart of so many people I work with and my own kids.  It goes something like this.
If you come from a country where everyone wears blue glass, as soon as you’re born you get a pair put on, you cannot take them off they are there forever. You live, see and believe everything the same way because you all have the same color glasses on. One day you move to another country where everyone wears yellow glasses, they live, see and believe the same because they all wear yellow glasses.  You feel lost and completely alone because you cannot see their world in yellow glasses you only can see their world in your blue glasses and there for cannot understand why people here do the things they do. You stick out your different because everyone can see you have blue glasses on. So to fit in, not stick out and understand this new country you put a pair of yellow glasses over your blue glasses knowing that they will never come off once they are on. But you still do not see the country in yellow but for ever will see the world in red. You no longer can see in blue and you cannot see in yellow you will be part of both and make your own world seeing red.
Working with refugees and seeing first hand this process they go through and most do not have someone guiding them through the new world they find themselves in.  I cannot even imagine how hard that is to leave absolutely everything you know, believe and understand to go to another country to find freedom from persecution, fear, genocide and corrupt governments: to be isolated alone and unable to communicate with the people of the new country. The United Nations and our country believe we are helping them.  We are but we give them minimal help getting them integrated into this country.  So for the rest of their lives they will be noticed as different and unaccepted as an American even when they acquire their citizenship. They will be a cross of both countries and live seeing this country with rose colored glasses.