Thursday, December 24, 2009

And to all a good night...

The spread left for Santa:

Dear Santa

Thank you for giving to children from everywhere gifts and joy no matter if they are Irish* or Chinese or whatever. Since you give some Christmas to everybody we want to give some to you. Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

From Max Harmzie Norah Pepper and Stewie

P.S. Pepper says Hi**

*The last NORAD update I had given them was that he was just in Ireland, she's always got China on the brain since Grandma was teaching there until last spring. Just a theory of mine.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Volcano

For as long as I can remember, I've eaten my mashed potatoes by piling them up, carving a little hole in them and filling the hole up with gravy. It just makes sense. This way, you get maximum efficient use of your plate (especially important in buffet situations) with minimum risk of gravy infiltration to other food – just gross (half of you are now sitting there nodding "oh, that's just obvious"; the other three are face-palming "WTF? You are bent lady!" that second half of you can just bite me)

Growing up, my family mostly ignored accepted this. I have received some blank stares and probably some rolled eyes when I wasn't looking. Mostly, just "oh, that Harmzie – has to make her little mashed potato volcano!" They openly mock me (NB: this is just regular, every day, normal family interaction - it's why I have the stomach for the Internet) – albeit quietly – but I'm certain they realize the genius of my arrangement as I see them Easter, Thanksgiving & Christmas dinner after Easter, Thanksgiving & Christmas dinner, their little piles of mashed potatoes sporting increasingly larger divots in their tops. They make sure their gravy runs over so it doesn't look like they did it on purpose, but I'm watching...

My girls noticed this early in their mashed potato consumerism phases. Not having the years of family politics and baggage to impede them, they quickly embraced the brilliance of The Volcano. Mashed potatoes are one of their favourite and most highly anticipated foods in the dinner cycle. Sadly, Stewie will not eat mashed potatoes, even with the entertainment they bring to the table [snort].

Usually, they are content with piling the potatoes, smooshing out the hole and watching the gravy fill the void until it *just* runs over the edge – the smaller the trickle, the better (this whole issue may actually be the reason Pepper did her volcano project last spring). The other night though, things were a little more... interesting.

I had built the perfect volcanoes for each of them. I mean, textbook. One tiny stream of lava running down a craggy mountain face. Pepper took her fork (she used a fork! I'm so proud) and grabbed a tiny blob of potatoes and put it smack in the lava's path.

"Oh no! The lava is heading right for the city!"

Norah quickly followed, noting a city in her lava stream. "Oh... they're toast"

Pepper was madly trying to save her city by redirecting lava flows. I noted her city was right on the edge of her plate. "You know," I commented, "as the chief engineer, if any lava gets on the table, YOU'RE the one responsible – and in big trouble." She looked at me blankly. "You can *direct* your lava flows. Do you see how your sister's city is toward the middle of her plate?" More blank. "Don't get gravy on the table!"

Norah had moved on. "Look Pepper, my volcano has exploded, taken out the city and is now a delicious lava and ash tornado"

Throughout all of this – including the naming of Mount Potato, Mount Chick(en), Mount Bean (we had green beans, too), plus a dozen more including Mount Norah, Mount Pepper, Mount Stewie, as well as each of their friends on our street AND in school... AND several other food varieties we were not having that night... – Stewie was watching intently while gnawing on his drumstick – the only thing from this delicious and entertaining supper to pass his lips. At one point, he stood in his chair and announced that he would have some mashed potatoes too, but that he didn't want to eat them. Before I had a chance to shoot him down in a fiery ball of momtastic you-can't-have-food-JUST-to-play-with-it, BOTH Pepper and Norah chimed in with a matter-of-fact "No, you can`t just play with a volcano, you have to eat it too"

"Oh," he replied, and sat back down, continuing to watch & gnaw on his drumstick.

And I just wrote an entire post about mashed potatoes.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Girly Bible

Girly Bible

Rules for Girls

Reprinted (verbatim – as is the title) with permission from the author.


  1. Never talk about vilolince
  2. Never think vilolince is funny
  3. Never kiss a boy under the age of 12 (unless they are relitives)
  4. Never tell secrets to those you don't know
  5. Pay no attention when the "boy show" is on
  6. Always eat & talk (not at the same time) for the girls show
  7. Never be rude
  8. When you have a crush on a boy be nobody but yourself
  9. Always be yourself
  10. Be clean
  11. Don't' change the rules in this book (And I mean it!)
  12. Obey the rules
  13. Take care of what you have
  14. Friends don't fight
  15. Friends don't be meen to each other
  16. Friends look out for each other
  17. Play fair
  18. Ignore those who are annoying
  19. Be careful what you say
  20. Be calm
  21. Face your fears
  22. Boys don't live by these rules
  23. Never expect anything in return
  24. Don't make fun of people
  25. Chear on your teammates & friends
  26. Don't play with matches
  27. Stay fit
  28. Dress apropitly for the wether
  29. Don't listen to advratisements
  30. Mute ads
  31. Get your butt of the couch and go outside
  32. Don't do things without asking your parents (unless your 18+)
  33. Be neat
  34. Be careful what you wish
  35. Do what you want to do
  36. Girls are not lazy
  37. Don't cry over spilt milk
  38. What you say is what you are
  39. Nnnnnnnnneeeeeevvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrr no matter what obey the boy bible.
  40. Don't talk to strangers
  41. Obey rule #40
  42. Be a good girl all the time.
  43. Ignore boys
  44. Consentrate
  45. Remember all the rules!

Norah – age 9


I didn't write this. I didn't even encourage its writing. I didn't even know about it until it was well under way. But it is extremely encouraging to note the influence we have had on its creation. Several of these rules we *regularly* deal with *considerable* flack on. The violence ones are humorous, considering the frequency of sister-clocking which occurs around here. We're still working on implementation of the rules, I suppose.


I hit "publish", snap the computer closed and roll over to go to sleep. Max reaches out with big bear arms and pulls me in for a big bear hug. He giggles lasciviously "is THIS in the Girly bible?"

"No," I say "This will be in the new testament, which she doesn't know she has to write yet."

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