Sensationally Sarcastic

Did you just fall?

Pftt. Noooo! I attacked the floor.

Backwards?

What can I say? I’m talented like that.

Good ol’ sarcasm.

It’s an age-old art that’s near and dear to my heart.

Unfortunately, sarcasm is lost on some clueless people.

Bless their hearts.

Ha!

But seriously, sarcasm does have its virtues.

For instance, sarcastic people tend to be quite intelligent.

And they are skilled at abstract thinking.

And, of course, don’t forget the astoundingly high level of creativity that goes along with it.

Besides, being normal is just plain scary.

(Shudder!)

So let’s take a moment to celebrate this sadly misaligned quality, shall we?

(Words are so awesome! Who would’ve guessed that a simple combination of words paired with a witty undertone could be so satisfying?)

(Actually, I just so happen to be a sarcastically-fluent smartass.)

(Sadly, it doesn’t cover medically necessary shots of hard alcohol, either.)

(Sometimes I find myself taking a moment to reflect on the words that may or may not have just come out of my own mouth.)

(While I wouldn’t recommend actually doing this, don’t ever underestimate the power of the element of surprise.)

(Amen to that!)

(It’s a fine line, but I think it’s safe to say I haven’t personally crossed that threshold. Yet.)

(Not speaking from experience or anything, but I’d imagine there’s some truth to this.)

(This could cleverly be passed off as clumsiness, especially during a pretend fit of sneezes.)

(Yeah, so this is probably a wee bit messed up. But it is a fairly accurate assessment.)

(Quite possibly the most beautifully poetic backhanded compliment I’ve ever heard.)

(Exactly! Some people just express affection a bit differently, that’s all!)

(I realize this is a distinct possibility, but the gratification outweighs all else. It’s a chance I’m willing to take.)

(In that case, I’ll just stick with my new favorite catchphrase: “Go to Michigan!” On that note, there’s a special club especially for those of us who love sarcasm…)

(Hmmm. Oh well, it was worth a try, right?)

Gotta love humor with attitude.

After all, common sense is a flower that doesn’t grow in everyone’s garden.

It’s like that expression:

Silence is golden.

Duct tape is silver.

Now, if only more people were fluent in silence…

~Happy Friday,  friends! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!~

World’s Okayest Mom

I am the best mom, and I am the worst mom.

I am amazing, and I am far from exceptional.

I am strong, and I am a total wuss.

I am kind, and I am pure evil.

I am funny, and I am without a trace of humor.

I am your best friend, and I am your worst nightmare.

I know everything, and I know absolutely nothing.

I am not perfect. I am perfectly imperfect.

I am the World’s Okayest Mom.

In a world where too many strive for the very perfection that is only perfectly impossible, okay is sometimes, well…okay.

I’m not gonna lie. There are definitely times where my sweet, adorable boys drive me to drinking.

And if they were of legal age to drink, they’d probably be tempted to do the same after a long, hard day.

But since that isn’t an option for them, they demonstrate their frustration by peeing off the top of the staircase.

(Just kidding! I’m not raising a bunch of barn animals. Geez!)

In all seriousness, my boys are happy, compassionate, well-adjusted kids.

And that, my friends, is a fairly accurate indication that I must at least be doing something right.

Which is why I took the liberty of awarding myself the title of The World’s Okayest Mom.

After all, I’ve got the shirt to prove it.

And if the shirt fits…

~Happy Mother’s Day to all the marvelous moms out there! And while we’re on the subject of moms, a big shout out to my own incredible mom. Some of you already know her as Tink the Belle from Playing By My Own Rules. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting her, please stop by and check out her inspirational blog. She’s simply amazing. ~

Seriously, I've got a shirt to prove I'm The World's Okayest Mom. How cool is that?

Seriously, I’ve got a shirt to prove I’m The World’s Okayest Mom. How cool is that?

(World’s Okayest Mom originally appeared on Comically Quirky on 5/6/16)

Go to Michigan!

Go to Hell!

Evidently, this simple three-word phrase is heavily frowned upon in some places.

Especially in Bible Belt country.

And especially when used by a child.

In school.

(Gasp!)

How do I know this?

Well, from recent experience, of course.

I honestly don’t believe that is, by any stretch of the imagination, the worst thing a person could possibly say.

At the same time, I also don’t personally go around telling all my friends to go to hell…

Plenty of people struggle to speak a single, coherent sentence without the added flair of numerous, strategically placed curse words.

I am not one of those people.

Yes, I do occasionally use such words here on my blog for comedic impact.

But not in my everyday conversations.

And certainly not when speaking to my kids.

My child-free brother, on the other hand, ironically tends to pepper his speech so heavily with curse words that nobody even seems to notice anymore.

Including him.

Or my kids.

It’s like our brains have been trained to filter through to register only the important information.

In fact, I asked my sons whether they ever notice their uncle cursing.

After careful consideration, they both answered at once:

No!

But then my older one paused for a brief moment before correcting himself.

Well, there was that one time, on Easter.

One time?

And on Easter, of all days?

Seriously?

But that was more a question of curiosity, on my part.

Besides, my poor Easter-cursing brother lives too far away to be all that big of an influence.

If anything, YouTube is by far the bigger offender of the two.

It’s paradoxically helpful and a bad influence, all at once.

Damn it, YouTube!

But anyway…

This past Monday, I received a somber phone call from the assistant principal informing me that my little darling would be spending the entire day in in-school suspension for this uncharacteristic transgression.

I had to marvel at the severity of the consequence.

And, of course, I also had to question how that statement had even come about in the first place.

Oh, that!

Yeah.  

So-and-so said “hi!” to me in a weird voice.

So I told him to “go to hell”!

Right.

Because I can’t imagine any other plausible way to respond to such an appalling greeting.

And the best part?

That’s actually the kid’s real voice.

And, the child seemed to find this response humorous enough to laugh.

Geez.

The joys of middle school.

The struggle of trying to figure out who you are.

The struggle of trying to discover where you belong.

The struggle of simply trying to fit in.

This, evidently, is where the smartypants humor kicks in.

Who doesn’t love the class clown?

I know I’m a sucker for humor.

If someone makes me laugh, they’re my friend for life.

There’s no escaping my friendship.

Ever.

That’s pretty much all there is to it.

At any rate, I had to attend a conference at school the next morning.

And I had to put on real pants before going, because it seemed like it would probably be a good day to do so.

Perhaps I should’ve worn my World’s Okayest Mom shirt, too, but I didn’t think about it beforehand.

At least I didn’t burst out in laughter at any point during the meeting.

But I wonder if I should’ve pointed out that Hell is also a place in Michigan, and so perhaps my child was merely recommending a vacation idea…?

Or perhaps not.

Oh, well.

At least this makes for good writing material, right?

So…

If Hell is a place in Michigan…

Is it okay to tell someone to go to Michigan?

Sigh.

On a side note, maybe we really ought to go to Hell…

Hell, Michigan, that is.

Hey, you have to admit, it does sound rather intriguing…

~Happy weekend, everyone! Hope you all have a heavenly break from it all!~

Go to Hell! I mean, Michigan. Yeah. Go to Michigan!

Go to Hell! I mean, Michigan. Yeah. Go to Michigan!

Misadventure Merriment

Melee.

Mayhem.

Misfortune.

I’m a magnet for disaster.

I suppose that in itself isn’t particularly shocking.

But the thing is…

A disturbing percentage of these incidents seems to be birthday-related.

It’s astonishing, really.

Coincidence?

Perhaps.

But you have to admit, the timing is utterly impeccable.

I mean, I’m prone to chaotic situations in life.

Period.

But as my birthday started to get closer and closer, it became glaringly obvious.

Case in point:

On my very first birthday as a mom, my baby managed to get ahold of a dangly earring.

He innocently toyed with it.

And then the little Hulk yanked that sucker right out of my ear.

Well, they say love hurts, right?

A couple of years later, we decided to take a day trip to the Grand Canyon.

I was 7 months pregnant, but up for an adventure.

At least, I thought I was.

When we arrived, a thick fog closed in on us.

It obscured the entire view of the canyon.

The fog was so thick, and visibility was nonexistent.

If that wasn’t bad enough, droves of hail started falling from the sky and pelting me in the face.

And in my big baby belly.

We left the Grand Canyon without ever actually seeing the Grand Canyon.

Talk about a memorable trip.

Then there was that year of pink eye fun.

First, my oldest had gotten it.

Damn school and their teachings of sharing everything.

From crayons to chicken pox.

Anyway, a week later, he passed it along to his brother.

But lucky me!

I escaped without incident!

So my husband and I went to Las Vegas to celebrate.

My birthday, that is.

Not the kids having pink eye.

We went to a kick-ass Steel Panther concert at the House of Blues.

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of going to Vegas, it’s basically a city that never sleeps.

Where parents bring their kids to roam smoke-filled casinos in misguided judgment of what constitutes quality family time.

Where trucks advertising topless dancers fill the streets and abandoned pornographic trading cards are plastered to the sidewalks.

Where moms push strollers at 3 o’clock in the morning with one hand, while balancing twenty-inch cocktail glasses in the other.

Very interesting place, that’s for sure.

Especially on The Strip, the best place in the world to go when you need to feel better about yourself.

I mean, aside from Walmart.

But all good things must end.

And so we returned home.

The next morning, I woke up with pink eye.

Evidently, there’s no escaping the great conjunctivitis epidemic.

Another year, my mom and I spent the day at the beautiful resort where my husband and I had gotten married several years prior.

After strolling the scenic tropical oasis grounds, we decided to head indoors and explore some more.

We marveled at the magnificent brunch setup we’d stumbled across.

Then realization dawned on us when we saw a giant Welcome! banner.

We had unwittingly wandered right into an Ophthalmology Convention.

It was a bit awkward, but we hung out for a while and acted like we totally belonged there.

In retrospect, we should’ve grabbed some coffee and a bagel or two on the way out.

Maybe next time…

Another year, we’d dropped the kids off at school and hit a local casino.

I’m hardly a gambler.

Mostly because I lack the attention span and get bored easily.

Besides, how many slot machines can one play before their eyes glaze over and their butts become permanently fused to the chair?

When it was time to leave, I didn’t even bother to cash out my big winnings of the day:

A whopping 34 cents.

Woo hoo!

But the highlight of that day, by far, was the email I had received from my oldest child’s teacher:

“Happy Birthday! Your son asked me to wish you luck at the casino today!”

Oh, my.

I’ve had my share of other memorable birthdays since.

We’d gone to Chuck E Cheese.

We’d gone to Legoland.

We’d spent the day on a pontoon boat on the eerily brown waters of Lake Texoma, where I didn’t dare to dangle so much as a single toe in the water for fear of contracting something that would surely lead to some sort of unfortunate mutation.

And, of course, there was that one horrifying, traumatizing day with Princess.

But this year wasn’t so bad.

My darling sons repeatedly threatened me with a trip to Cabela’s (a.k.a. Vegetarian Paradise).

Complete with dinner consisting of moose.

Fortunately, they didn’t make good on that promise, and we ended up having a nice family day a few weeks before my birthday.

At the zoo.

Because we hadn’t been to a zoo in several years.

Oh, well.

At least it was a beautiful day.

But on the night before my birthday…

I accidentally gave my little one a fat lip.

While it may seem like payback for that Easter nearly a decade ago, when he knocked me in the face with his hard head and I had to go to work the next day with a fat lip, this was totally a freak accident.

You see, the little sneak had been watching clips of The Walking Dead on YouTube.

That night, I turned out his light and tucked him in.

Next thing I knew, he was on the floor, sinking his teeth into my leg.

Presumably, he had been protesting bedtime.

The little Walker zombie’s role-playing earned him some brain rattling, lip splitting action when I landed on his bed and our heads collided like asteroids.

Geez.

Do we know how to celebrate or what?

~Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you’ve had a great week, and enjoy the last weekend of April!~

This card was undoubtedly designed for me...

This card was undoubtedly designed for me…

Gardening in Gnome Man’s Land

Who would’ve thought I’d moved to No Man’s Land to become a farmer?

I certainly didn’t see it coming.

My garden gnome would probably agree, too.

But he doubles as a bird bath, so what does he know?

Gnomes are thought to be symbols of good luck.

And, as protectors, they’re meant to watch over crops and ensure a bountiful harvest.

But I have to wonder if my gnome has gone into hibernation.

Or passed out drunk.

Every time I go outside to water my plants, I get eaten alive by fire ants or chased around the yard by kite-sized dragonflies.

But that doesn’t stop my determination.

Not even a bit.

Now, I don’t particularly have a green thumb.

But I do like living things.

And I also like green things.

Particularly if they’re useful. 

Especially if they’re edible.

Sure, I may be a bit rough around the edges…

But I can be very caring and nurturing.

I want things to grow and thrive.

Unless they’re prickly weeds.

Or hairy spiders.

Anyway…

Last year for my birthday, I begged for my very own veggie garden.

Seriously.

It was an experiment of sorts.

I knew nothing then.

I know slightly less nothing now

But this year, I am so ready.

In fact, last year’s oregano and parsley plants are still going strong!

In spite of unintentional neglect.

Meaning there may have been a month (or three) when I had completely forgotten to water them.

In my defense, it’s been a very hectic year.

Last year, we started with two strawberry plants, along with some cucumbers and tomatoes.

The tomatoes and cucumbers each yielded respectable levels of output.

And the strawberries?

They lasted six days.

Apparently, the adorable rabbits needed them more than we did.

This time around, I opted for a different variety of herbs.

Unfortunately, you can’t plant vodka.

Or Prozac.

So, I bought some lavender for my frazzled nerves.

And peppermint.

And purple basil.

Purple!

Green is great and all…

But diversity is a great thing.

In retrospect, I probably could’ve used an aloe vera plant for my gazillion bug bites.

Oh, well.

Maybe next time.

I was on a roll, though, and decided we also needed a tree.

And so a tree we did get.

A tree named Bob.

Yeah, you read that right.

Bob is named in honor of a generous Home Depot employee.

Nobody could find a price on the lone little Redbud tree that I so desperately wanted.

The checkout line was starting to snake all the way around the garden department.

So, Bob sent us off with a wave and a “Merry Christmas!”

Who says Christmas cheer can’t last all year?

Oh, but I wish I had remembered to ring the specially-designated bell for great service.

The only time I ever think about doing that is when I use self-checkout.

How funny would that be?

Besides, who doesn’t deserve a pat on the back for a job well done?

Maybe next time, I will remember.

And I will ring it.

For Bob, not myself.

No matter how awesome of a job I’d just done scanning and bagging my own crap.

But getting back to Bob the Tree.

My mom has taken a liking to calling our new tree Bob Hope.

After all, we really do seem to need all the hope…and help…we can possibly get.

Hope.

It sounds so promising.

So prosperous.

Plus, Bob Hope was a humorous centenarian.

A centenarian, for goodness sake!

Yeah, the guy was clearly on to something.

~Happy weekend, friends! As Bob Hope once said, “A sense of humor is good for you. Have you ever heard of a laughing hyena with heartburn?”~

Meet Bob. He's the coolest little tree in town.

Meet Bob. He’s the coolest little tree in town.

Ascending into the Abyss

All girls love horses!

Do they?

Do they really?

Well, then.

I guess I’m just not like all the other girls. 

So, anyway…

My birthday is right around the corner, and I’ve been thinking about one exceptionally unforgettable birthday.

Not exactly fond memories, per se, but memories nonetheless.

I’ve affectionately come to call it The Horse Adventure from Hell.

My husband, DJ,  wanted to do something nice…

Something different…

Something unintentionally death-defying…

Now, let me just say this:

Despite being a vegetarian, I’m interestingly enough not really an “animal person”.

Horse-sized dogs terrify me.

Dead skunks and armadillos don’t look so cuddly.

Cows and their babies are kind of cute, though.

Everything else, I’m clueless about.

Hell, my family couldn’t even handle taking care of half a dozen pet fish.

Every time we’d look over, another sucker would float lifelessly to the top of the tank.

Well, whenever they weren’t busy inbreeding, anyway.

But back to horseback riding.

Actual proclamations from the stable’s website:

“The view is spectacular!”

“Everything always looks peaceful and natural from the saddle of a horse!”

“Our trail rides are great for reducing stress and creating peace of mind!”

More like great for inducing enough terror to drastically reduce one’s lifespan.

But hey, I’m sure it’s all relative.

At any rate, we soon found ourselves climbing to the top of a 9,000-foot mountain in the Coconino National Forest in Arizona on a 3-hour scenic tour.

Scenic being some sort of deranged code word for “direct path off a freakishly high mountain, straight to your death”.

In retrospect, this was probably not the wisest choice for a novice.

I had never ridden a horse before, nor had I any particular inclination to do so.

But I am all for trying new things.

And since we like getting the most bang for our buck, we opted for the best value-

The longest ride option available.

Naturally.

Upon our arrival, we were introduced to our guide.

She couldn’t have been older than 16.

And for the life of me, I can’t recall her name.

So let’s call her Philippa, the Greek word for “friend of horses”.

Seems appropriate enough.

I was assigned a lovely white horse named Princess.

DJ received a brown one called Spirit.

Knowing absolutely nothing about horses, I figured they both looked mild enough.

But just five minutes into the experience, I was fully convinced these horses were trying to kill us.

Or just me, at any rate.

DJ somehow seemed to be enjoying himself.

Hmmph.

The horses kept climbing and climbing.

Up and up and up.

Princess demonstrated a startling pattern:

Climb up, look down.

Climb up, look down.

Slip, slip, slip.

It was a narrow, single track trail, with loose rocks lining every inch.

With each step upward, it felt like she was losing her footing.

My confidence was shaken by this point, but the journey upward continued.

There was nothing even remotely peaceful or relaxing about this experience.

When would it end?

Mare?

More like nightmare.

Every once in a while, I’d get a bit of a break when we were on a patch of flat surface.

I’d close my eyes briefly and try to enjoy the moment.

For, like, ten seconds.

And then we’d be galloping upward again.

Walking, trotting, cantering, galloping.

The majority of these terms meant nothing to Princess.

She knew only one speed:

Galloping uphill at neck-breaking speed.

But at last, we had made it to the top!

The saddle was killing my gluteus maximus.

My hands throbbed from holding onto the reins for dear life.

But we were still alive!

We dismounted from our horses and tied them to a giant log.

The vista view was indeed breathtaking, overlooking magnificently lush forests.

We marveled at the stunning sight and took a few pictures.

And then break time was over.

Princess was the first horse to be untied from the log, so I climbed back up.

But then the unthinkable happened.

As DJ was about to mount Spirit, all three horses spooked.

The two that were tied to the log pulled back with all their might…

Pinning DJ and Phillipa under the log.

Meanwhile, amidst all the chaos, Princess ran in frantic circles.

Before sprinting right toward the edge of the cliff.

Terrified, I was pretty well resigned to the fact that I was gonna be a goner for my birthday.

After all, nothing says Happy Birthday like the gift of being tossed off a horse from the top of a mountain.

I can’t even begin to remember how I managed to get that horse under control and avoided going off the cliff.

But somehow, we miraculously turned around and headed back toward the other two horses.

DJ eventually lifted himself from the weight of the log.

And then he freed Phillipa.

Her jeans were torn and bloodied.

Tough cowgirl that she was, Phillipa hopped back on her horse like nothing out of the ordinary had just happened and led us back down the mountain.

Slip, slide, slip, slide.

When we reached the safety of flat land again, I could finally breathe.

In fact, going back toward the stable was by far the most enjoyable part of the adventure.

We parted ways with Phillipa after giving her a whopping 50% tip.

You know, for almost killing her.

I’m sure nothing would make her happier than knowing she’ll never in her life have to see us again.

Don’t get me wrong.

Horses look nice enough.

When they are safely inside the stable.

And far, far away from me.

Sure, it could have been a fun adventure…

If somebody else had been on that horse.

Anybody else but me, that is.

As the company’s website proclaims:

“You will remember this horseback riding adventure for a lifetime!”

Oh, if only you knew.

Once in a lifetime may have been one time too many…

But at least I look back now and can laugh.

Sort of.

~Happy Friday! Hope you all have a marvelous Easter!~

The "before" picture, with me obliviously posing with Princess and Spirit. I can assure you I probably wasn't smiling afterward. And if I had been, it would've been solely out of relief from surviving this "adventure."

The “before” picture, with me obliviously posing with Princess and Spirit. I can assure you I probably wasn’t smiling afterward. And if I had been, it would’ve been solely out of relief from surviving this “adventure.”

Apocalyptic Annoyance

Knock it off!

Make me!

You wanna go?!?

Sigh.

Some people get up and start the day with yoga and meditation.

But not us.

Oh, no.

We get up and start brawling.

It makes life so much more exciting.

Hey, no fair! He’s got more cereal than me!

Nuh uh! Why do you have more cereal than me?

Whack!

What was that for?

I wanted that book!

Well, I had it first!

Shut up!

No, you shut up!

I’m telling!

Not if I tell first!

Mom!!!!!

Mealtime has always been painful in this household.

One child eats only as a means of survival…

And even then, only by force.

Meanwhile, the other one “helps” clear his brother’s plate.

In the most annoying manner possible, of course.

Well…

Life is all about balance, I suppose.

Stop looking at me!

I’m not looking at you!

Knock it off, or I’ll lick you!

Mooooommmmm!!!!!

One boy reaches over and snatches a single piece of dry cereal out of his brother’s dish.

I need more food! He ate most of mine!

And so the flailing begins.

Between foot stomps and arm twists…

And pinches, punches, and pokes…

It’s little wonder I’m such a fan of finger foods.

No way am I encouraging the use of utensils if not absolutely necessary.

Fencing with forks?

Slapping with spoons?

Noogying with knives?

No, thank you.

Knock, knock!

Who’s there?

Boo.

Boo hoo?

Why are you crying?

Shut up!

No, you shut up!

Alrighty then.

I like trains!

You’re rude!

I like turtles!

And rotten!

Cheese! Cheese! Cheese!

And you’re annoying!

I swear, sometimes I can’t help but marvel at how I’m the most normal person in the room.

Yeah? Well, you’re mean!

No, you’re mean!

I like cheese with my squirrels,

I like squirrels with my cheese!

OMG! Why are you being so annoying?

Smell my feet! SMELL them!

You wanna go?!?

And so ended breakfast…

~Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you’ve had a great week! Enjoy your weekend, and try to stay out of trouble. Well, maybe a little mischief won’t hurt…~

I'm fairly certain my child invented this impressively annoying catchphrase...

I’m fairly certain my child invented this impressively annoying catchphrase…

Windy with a Chance of Hail and Tornadoes

Butterflies, dragonflies, mosquitos…

Oh, my!

Well, t’is the season, after all.

Trees and grass are finally springing back to life in all their springy green glory.

Bright, aromatic flowers are in full, allergy-inducing bloom.

Colossal bugs are buzzing around, draining blood from unsuspecting victims like stealthy vampires.

Oh, but let’s not forget the sunshine and warm gentle breezes!

On second thought, scratch that last one.

The sun has been making itself scarce, as forecasts of endless storms take center stage.

And the so-called breezes have been anything but gentle lately.

With wind gusts fast enough to outpace the Roadrunner, gentle is definitely not the right word.

Oh, and I recently discovered that my efforts to recycle are clearly for naught.

Earlier this week, I caught some of my recycled goods blowing right back out of the recycling bin, rapidly drifting down the street like engineless aircraft.

Straight into a massive puddle of swamp.

Which means my attempt at recycling had astoundingly resulted in littering.

Littering!

And let’s not forget about that corn dog box I encountered several days later, crushed in the middle of the road.

I’m 99.9% certain that the box in question originated from my household.

Or more specifically, my recycling bin.

My stupid, stupid recycling bin that refuses to keep its lid on.

I accidentally found myself being an accomplice to littering yet again just the other day, when the designated litter bag blew right out the open car window and into a field of cows less than a mile from our house.

Oh, the irony. 

So much for saving the environment.

Anyway…

Here’s a funny story to take the spotlight off of myself:

Years ago, I had these really cool environmental license plates on my car. 

One day, a passenger (who shall remain nameless) had the audacity to toss trash out my window. 

Seriously.

Littering from a car boasting environmental pride.

Not cool.

I couldn’t sleep for days afterward.

Which isn’t surprising, when you consider I’ve actually been known to chase after my airborne trash.

But there is a time and place for everything.

Besides, I couldn’t imagine running after my rubbish among herds of cattle- namely Longhorns and bulls- being a wise decision.

I must say, I’ve lived in states with some rather erratic weather over the years, but never before have I experienced extremes like this.

Good thing we’ve got a handy weather alert radio to scare the crap out of us at all times of the night.

It typically starts with a Severe Thunderstorm Warning.

After a matter of minutes, a Tornado Watch follows.

An hour later, it escalates to a full-blown Tornado Warning.

Meanwhile, unforecasted hail the size of baseballs pounds against the windows and roof like an onslaught of rocks launched out of cannons.

The neighbor’s trash cans tumble downhill before flipping completely upside down.

Trash littered her front yard.

(Ha! Looks like I’m not the only one accidentally littering, after all.)

The next day, my younger son and I went out back to play football in our mud pit of a yard.

Because, you know, it wasn’t raining at that particular moment.

With the wind still blowing, one of our decorative pink flamingos and the watering can just had to get in on the action.

The watering can actually caught the football as they both flew through the air from different areas of the backyard and landed together in the grass.

Phenomenal catch, watering can!

It’s safe to say that the weather here in No Man’s Land is anything but predictable.

But, hey, we have the benefit of experiencing all four seasons…

Typically, all in the course of a single week.

Take this past Christmas, for instance. 

It was a record 76 degrees that day.

Three days later, snow coated the ground.

How exciting, right?

Well, I suppose there is a reason we’ve got a well-stocked storage closet under the staircase that doubles as a storm shelter.

On the bright side, the abundant clouds in the sky make for some magical masterpieces each time the sun rises and sets.

Always, always a silver lining!

~Happy Friday, friends! If you’re amused by my weather-related chaos, be sure to also check out Sunny with a Chance of Tsunamis. Have a fantastic weekend!~

Our watering can getting in on the action by catching a football.

Our watering can getting in on the action by catching a football.

Doubtful Dinosaur Musings

The Temporal Bone is connected to the…

Tailbone?

Say what?!?

Dinosaurs are such an enigma.

Perhaps it’s because their bones are like a ten billion piece jigsaw puzzle.

Think about it.

With no helpful assembly instructions for guidance, each type of dinosaur is estimated to have roughly 200 bones.

And with hundreds of different types of dinosaurs…

That leaves a disturbing amount of room for error.

After all, who’s to say we’ve been accurately assembling those prehistoric bones?

When dinosaur fossils are discovered, they tend to be badly damaged, crushed, or warped from the weight of dirt and rocks.

So they may be pieced together incorrectly.

Or the “final” result may actually be incomplete.

In fact, scientists themselves have been known to harbor doubt when attempting to piece those suckers back together.

With strange dinosaur names like Yamaceratops, Irritator, Gasosaurus, and Drinker…

It’s almost like paleontologists are trying a little too hard to divert the confusion.

Which brings us to the Bone Wars, between American paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh.

So fierce was their rivalry in the heated pursuit of discovering and naming new dinosaurs that there was no shortage of bullying, bribery, and flat-out careless errors.

Case in point:

When Cope presented his fossil of a marine reptile called Elasmosaurus, it was discovered that the vertebrae were assembled backward.

The head and tail were also transposed.

So much for any attempt at accurate representation.

Marsh, for his part, was trying to piece together an Apatosaurus.

But it was missing a skull.

So he knowingly used the head of another dinosaur to complete the skeleton.

And the moral of the story?

If it the bones can be crammed together in a way that may or may not properly fit…

Hey, that’s good enough!

When someone is determined or frustrated enough, it’s gotta be so tempting to cram a puzzle piece someplace it doesn’t quite belong.

Especially after spending far too much time puzzling over it.

Take the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex, for instance.

Take a really good look at it.

T Rex’s disproportionately minuscule arms look like a better fit for a smaller dinosaur, like Triceratops.

No wonder those creatures look so angry.

With stubby little arms and a tail that drags ten feet behind on the ground like a ball and chain, what’s there to be happy about?

There’s also been debate over the years as to whether the Brontosaurus ever actually existed, either.

Who knows?

Anything is possible.

All I know is, if I were to dig in my backyard and unearth dinosaur bones, I’d let my kids try their luck at assembling a new creature.

And then I’d let them name it.

So far, we have several promising contenders:

  • Buttasaurus
  • Boogerraptor
  • Dieceratops
  • Stinkyheadamimus
  • Thunderthighapus
  • Dinkybrainadon
  • Atrociousaurus

The possibilities are endless!

Which brings me to another point:

You almost have to wonder what human bones haphazardly pieced together by the next creatures on earth in fifty million years might look like.

Now, that ought to be interesting.

Nah, there’s no way those weird things with five wiggly digits could possibly belong up there by those goofy funnel-looking thingys…

Oh, well.

Just stick that crap on top that freakishly small skull…

And voilà!

We’ll call it the Peabrainasaurus!

~Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you have a terrific weekend!~

The dinosaur depicted here is most likely the approximate result of assembling bones together, puzzle-style.

The dinosaur depicted here is most likely the approximate result of assembling bones together, puzzle-style.

Blisteringly Ballistic

Swish!

What could be more delightful than a bone-chillingly dreary day?

Why, experiencing the joy of nature on such a lovely day, of course!

Or perhaps more specifically…

Playing basketball outside in freezing temperatures!

With a child whose blatant disregard for my well-being has not gone unnoticed by yours truly.

Did I mention it was astonishingly windy, too?

When there’s finally the teeniest ray of sun poking through the foreboding clouds right before the sun sets, it’s obviously time to wander outside into the frigid air.

Nevermind the fact that it’s chilly enough to guarantee Frosty the Snowman at least one more day of puddle-free existence.

Oh, and thank you, Daylight Savings Time.

Thank you so much.

Your highly anticipated return has provided this wonderful extra hour of daylight.

Which wouldn’t normally be such a bad thing…

Except after a long day, when I’d like nothing more than to convince the kids that the dark sky means it’s clearly time for bed.

Somebody, please tell me why it’s so difficult to force a child to go outside and play on a gorgeous sunny day?

Wouldn’t that be far less painful for everyone?

I guess this must beat shower time.

That’s got to be it.

So there we were.

You wanna go?

You wanna piece of me?

Come at me!

Where you at?

Chop, chop!

Come on!

Show me what you got!

I’ve got frostbite.

That’s what I’ve got.

Wanna see that?

My child seems genuinely intrigued.

So I stuck my hand up his shirt.

My freezing cold, bluish-purple hands.

Ah, warmth!

Gotta keep swimming, swimming…

Or maybe it’s running, running…

Or dribbling, dribbling…

Let me tell ya, cold is a very powerful motivator.

I shot far more hoops than usual that day.

The magic modus operandi?

Bouncing and hopping around like a maniac in a desperate attempt to generate my own heat before succumbing to imminent hypothermia.

Which, evidently, is not a concern for crazy children.

Their sheer insanity keeps them sufficiently warm.

Between hook shots and free throws…

Along with no shortage of illegal elbows, tickles, and fouls…

It was a surprisingly invigorating outing.

Nothing but net.

And frostbite.

Swoosh!

~Happy St. Patrick’s Day, friends! Hope you’re all enjoying a day filled with fun and shenanigans. And corned beef and Guinness, if you’re into that sort of thing. Have a fantastic weekend!~

Nothin' but net! Well, somewhere under those icicles...

Nothin’ but net! Well, somewhere under those icicles…