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.

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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…

Spring Break Stupor

Spring is almost here!

Sure, it’s still technically winter.

But it’s already Spring Break.

Ummm…

Yay?

The house looks like a tornado zipped through it.

The laundry is piling up to the ceiling.

And being the unofficial official referee of this crazy clan is taking its toll on me.

Mommy needs a drink.

If this is a preview of what summer holds, I may be tempted to run away with the circus.

ASAP.

What’s that?

Joining the circus is no longer an option?

Damn you, Ringling Bros!

Damn you for not keeping up with the times and taking away that last glimmer of hope.

Sigh.

Don’t get me wrong.

I love Spring Break.

No, actually…

I love some parts of Spring Break.

No homework.

No teacher emails.

No phone calls from the principal.

I’m pretty well convinced we are on the school’s speed dial system.

So yeah, I’m a fan of any type of school-related break.

Besides, sleeping in is always a nice luxury.

Even if it is only until 7am.

Hey, it’s progress.

Anyway…

On Day Oneboth boys managed to land themselves in time out without any electronic privileges.

But then they behaved well enough later in the week for us to actually get out a few times.

And so I found myself going places I’d rather not go.

Like Chuck E Cheese.

Home of the Yuck E Cheese pizza.

That inedibly nasty excuse for pizza always sits in my stomach like a sinking rock.

What’s in that crap, anyway?

On second thought, I’d rather not know.

And then there’s Dave and Buster’s.

Two hours and a zillion dollars later, we walked out of there with our prize:

A Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em game that we could have purchased for $19.99 at any big box store.

But if we stayed home, the whole eating around the clock cycle of fun would’ve continued, à la Hungry, Hungry Kiddos.

Let me tell ya, that gets old really fast.

Between the demands and lack of gratitude from at least one child at any given time, it’s been a most rewarding week.

Get back to school already, will ya?

Spring has not quite sprung…

Daylight savings is about to begin…

And we’re running out of food and sanity.

Wait.

Break’s almost over?

Already?

Noooooo!!!

~Happy Friday, everyone! If you’ve also had the pleasure of being on “break” with kids this week, I hope your sanity is still intact. Have a wonderful weekend!~

Spring Break is fun! Spring Break is awesome! Spring Break is...ugh, never mind.

Spring Break is fun! Spring Break is awesome! Spring Break is…ugh, never mind.

Glamourless Grammar Galore

There, they’re, their.

March 4th is National Grammar Day!

I know you’re all as excited as I am!

Just think – a  whole day dedicated to proper use of grammar!

Grammar Day was created in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, to promote awareness and understanding of proper grammar.

For the logophiles among us, the Global Language Monitor estimates the number of words in the English language to be approximately 1,025,109.

That’s a lot of words one could possibly mess up.

That’s right.

A lot.

Not alot.

They’re two separate words.

Two!!!

In honor of National Grammar Day, let’s have some fun with grammar, shall we?

grammar23

(I rest my case.)

grammar9

(I completely understand. I feel equally as passionate about this mix-up.)

grammar47

(Hahaha! Get it? Oh, never mind…)

grammar22

(I’m sorry… and you’re welcome.)

grammar48

(People who use commas properly are statistically less likely to be raging psychopaths. Need I say more?)

grammar6

(Off too [sic] funny we go!)

grammar28

(Never underestimate the powerful effect of using proper grammar!)

grammar42

(Sure, it’s a cheap shot, but it can be highly effective. Give it a try!)

grammar4

(Proof that it helps tremendously to be able to distinguish between homophones.)

grammar25

(The difference here may be subtle. On second thought, no. It’s glaringly obvious. Get your words straight if you want to avoid becoming dinner!)

grammar46

(Irony at its absolute finest.)

grammar29

(Likewise, “I’m sorry I hate you” could also benefit from a properly placed comma…)

grammar14

(Yoda is the only creature permitted to speak in such a grammatically disturbing manner. This is due solely to his unparalleled wisdom.)

grammar45

(Grammar is good! Grammar is your friend! Please, for the love of God, use grammar!)

Homophones seem to cause confusion for a surprisingly large chunk of the population.

For instance:

its/it’s, to/too/two, there/their/they’re, than/then, where/were, whose/who’s, apart/a part

Yes, these sets of words do sound identical.

That’s because they’re homophones…

Not because they’re words that share the same meaning and can be used interchangeably at one’s discretion.

Sorry, but it just doesn’t work that way.

Oh, and let’s talk about real words put together to form imaginary phrases.

Would of, should of, could of.

Uh…

Hello?!?

These phrases don’t make any sense!

Do you know why?

It’s because they don’t exist!

At least, not in the world of proper grammar.

(Would’ve, should’ve, and could’ve are the contractions for would have, should have, and could have.)

Now go impress someone special with your inoffensively impeccable grammar skills!

~Happy Friday, friends! And Happy National Grammar Day, for those of you who value proper grammar as much as I do. Have a phenomenal weekend!~