120° and melting

I was excited there was rain again this morning, but completely forgot that suffocating humidity comes with it.  

If you don't already know, the ghetto van does not have AC.  And normally, just opening the windows is good enough for the little running around I have to do.  Everything is so close that even if I did have working AC, by the time it got the van cooled, we'd be home.

Today, today was pure torture!  

S and I went to book distribution at the high school (exactly 2.6 miles from the house) around 9:30 this morning, then made a quick stop at the Wal-marts (on the way home) when we got done around noon.

In that very short time in the van, a total of 10 minutes, I contracted a severe case of the sweats.

It was so gross.

I was soaked from my head to my toes by the time we got home.  It's so hot and sticky out, diving into the pool isn't much help.  The only cure is to stand directly in front of the fan with it blasting on high.

I wondered what the humidity and temps were (I was thinking it was at least 90°), so I looked it up and guess what?

It was only 88°, but the humidity level was at 58%!


I'm surprised I'm still alive!

We'll see if I make it when I go out again to take S back to school for cheer practice.

If you don't hear from me by tomorrow, I just may have melted....


The start of school. I love it, I hate it.

School starts in two weeks.

I can't wait for that first day.  (These kids need to GET OUT!) 

Yet I can.

High school is the worst.

I sometimes wish high school was like it was when I was a kid.
Other times, I don't.

Let me explain.  

I did not go to a traditional high school.  I went to a school that had grades 5-12 in it.  


That's right.

You heard me.

All 8 grades in one building.  It was a pretty big building.

My graduating class had 51 students in it.  98% of which I went to kindergarten with.  And I knew their younger/older brother(s)/sister(s), cousins, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles....

You get the picture.

When I went to school and got to my Freshman year and wanted to take an art class, I did.  I picked what art class I wanted, what period of the day it in fit amongst my other required courses, and which art teacher I wanted.

When my siblings wanted to join the band, they did.  

We wanted to take pottery.  We did.

Now, my kids, if they want to take an art class, choir, dance, ceramics or anything other than Math, English, History or a Foreign Language you have to pay for it.

That's right.  We have to pay for our kids' elective activities.  And any sports they wish to participate in.

All students have to pay a dollar activity fee.  No matter what.  If they want to take, say choir, like S does, that's a $30 activity fee PLUS a course fee of $50.  

So for one kid, that's $80 to take one elective.  


I remember S had a friend her Freshman year who was in cheer, on the swim team, the softball team and I also think the volleyball team.  That's a lot of activity fees to pay.

Not to mention; when did she have time for homework?  Or socializing?  Especially with the schedule they have in cheer.

Despite all the fees, I wish had the choices they do in electives.  They have a ton of art choices, apparel and design, merchandising, photography, ceramics.  The list goes on and on.  

I'd probably have a hard time choosing. But I might've been able to figure out what to do for a career.

Because I still have no clue what I want to be when I grow up.



Just the other day I changed my signature so it now at the bottom of every post it says Ramblings by the Insane Queen.

That same day S was telling her sisters I was like the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland.

S: The Queen says 'Come play croquette with me.  We'll have lots of fun.'  Then yells 'OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!!'  With mom it's 'GO TO YOUR ROOM!'

She's now out of the will.


I don't play the saxaphone. So get over it.

I come from a family of musicians.  My mother played piano and my three sisters and brother all played various instruments in our high school band. 

I, on the other hand, did not play an instrument. 

Oh, I tried.  Believe me, I tried.  Like my sisters before me, and my sister and brother after me, in the 4th grade I took up the flute.  Not because I really wanted to learn how to play, but because it seemed expected of me. 

Don't get me wrong.  I love music.  I love singing.  And dancing.  

Although I should only do either one in a room with no one in it!  

I'm rhythmically challenged and tone deaf.  Not a good combination for someone who may want to play the flute.

Or dance.

Or sing.

I soon learned my artistic talents lay in the art room.  The first time, in the fifth grade, I set foot in the art room, I was in love.  All the sights of colors and designs around me were like a crackhead in a crack store.  

I could live in that room.

And the smell.  Oh, the lovely scent of the art room.  

Don't even get me going on the smell of the art room.  There is no better smell (other than fresh cut grass and rain) than paint, turpentine, clay and whatever else there is in that lovely room of creativity.

I took art all four years in high school, and while Mom and Dad went to every single band concert my sisters and brother were in (dragging me with them) there were very few art exhibits. 

In fact, I think our school had a total of three exhibits!  And all were all held on the same nights as the damn band concerts!!  I couldn't even get my own night to show off my talent!  

Can you tell I'm a little bitter with the band?? 

Damn band geeks.

Unfortunately, as much as I loved the art room and drawing and painting, I have done very little over the years. 

Painting a wall, or chair does not count.  I still have my charcoals from back then, and my sketching pencils, gum eraser and calligraphy pen.  Oh, yes, I even did calligraphy.

But now, all that is done on the computer.  And although designing on the computer can be fun, it's just not the same as getting out the sketch pad, pencils, water colors, or acrylics and scribbling away.

And it sure doesn't smell the same either.

*'The Boot' was done by me.  Click on the image for a larger view.  Notice in the lower right hand corner the date (1983) and my grade (95).


First grade paste eater

The other day S and I were talking.  About what, I can't remember.  But some how we got on the subject of eating things.

Things that you really shouldn't eat. But most kids have.

One of those things was grass.  And by grass, I mean the green stuff that grows on your front lawn.  Not the other stuff.  

I grew up in New England where the grass is way different than the grass here.  And I told the girls that, yes, I've eaten grass when I was a kid.

Horses and cows eat it.  I can't be that bad.  My sisters, brother and I have all tried it.  

Some of it is actually kinda sweet.

That lead to "What else have you eaten that's not food, Mom?"

Well, here is what I've eaten* as a kid that wasn't food.  For humans.

*horse grain (Not bad.  Kinda sweet.  The molasses we'd mix into it is gross) 
*clover (yum!)
*I've licked a salt lick (Yuck!)
*chewed on a maple branch (Oh so sweet & yummy!)
*honey suckle (we'd suck out the 'sweetness' from the centers)
*crayons (They're nothing like wax lips!)

Do you see a pattern here?  Other than the salt lick and crayons.

The list grosses them out.  And makes them think I'm even weirder.  Probably because they live no where near a farm, and I grew up down the road from one.

And the last thing I told them I've eaten, is the very common kid eaten item of paste. 

Which, if I remember, wasn't all that bad because I don't ever remember gagging and throwing up.

Every kid in the first grade has eaten or tasted paste.  It's like a rite of passage in elementary school.

And every elementary school had that one kid who was always eating the paste!

During art time, he was the one who would cause the teacher to whisper to her aid; "Remember to watch Randy with the paste.  We're running low."

C'mon, admit it.  You've eaten paste, too.  I know you have.

You've probably chewed pencils, too!

What weird thing(s) did you eat as a kid?

*By eaten, I mean I've tasted a small amount of it.  Unless it was grass and clover.  I ate quite a bit of those growing up.  I don't eat them any more.  Only because AZ doesn't have the good stuff like they have in MA!  I'm just kidding.  Okay.  I'm not.  I'd probably still eat grass, and definitely clover if it was near by.


The Kitten Report. Otherwise titled 'Kittens in the Cupboard'.

If you are following me on Facebook, you've might have read my kitten updates.  Since I have more to say today ( a lot more), I'm doing the update here instead.

First, they've been moved.  By Piper.  On Saturday morning I was doing laundry when I saw Piper carrying a kitten across the dining room.  I asked her just where did she think she was going with that kitten. Like she was going to answer me!  I followed her, and sure enough she headed to the hall linen closet.  

I was putting away towels and left the door open, which she saw as a prime opportunity.

She moved all the kittens to the bottom of the linen closet, (I think because the kids wouldn't leave them alone) which I then had to rearrange so the kittens weren't peeing all over D's sheets.

I hadn't taken many pictures because it's so dark and I need to use my flash.  I really hate the way photos come out with the flash.  And I haven't really taken the time to learn how to use my on board flash to get a good photo.

This morning I bit the bullet, turned on the flash and shot some kittens (sounds so bad that way, huh?!).

All I can say is thank the Lord for Photoshop!

As you can see from the pic above, they pretty much still sleep most of the time.  

Except that little bugger in the back, Berlioz.

She is going to be a handful.  

Like a toddler with ADHD!

As soon as I began taking pictures (and I'm sure the flash had something to do with it) Berlioz woke up and was off and running.  She was the first of the kittens to open her eyes and begin walking.  That's when I knew she was probably going to be a handful.

Lazy little Number 7 loves to sleep.  

A lot.

He takes a bit longer than the others to get motivated enough to rumble and tumble.

And how adorable are Peach and Couch?

Makes you want to take them home, huh?  **wink wink**  Like in 6 to 8 weeks???

But that Berlioz.  She's an instigator.  I'm sure of it.  Just look at this and tell me you don't agree.

 {Here's a narrative of what's happening in the above photo}

Leaf (in the back):  "Nom, nom, nom.  Yummy feets!"

Peach:  "Huh?  Whaaa???"

Couch:  "I smell.... I smell.... Oh.  I don't know what I smell.  I'm just a widdle baby!

Berlioz:  "Come on!  Wake up!  It's PLAY TIME!!!"

Number 7: "Get. Off. Me.  I want to sleep!"

Poke: **yawn**  "Pax, you makes a comfy pillow."

This program was brought to you by Feline Munchies.  Tune in next week for another exciting episode of "Kittens in the Cupboard".


Something different

Today, I thought I'd stray from my usual ramblings of family and useless chatter to bring you something that I think is pretty cool.

Many times, while doing a Google search for one thing, I stumble across a website that doesn't have much (if anything) to do with my search, but I find interesting.

The other day I came across one such site.  I was searching for a recipe for D's rainbow cake and came across Threadcakes.  If you're like me and love to look at awesomely decorated cakes, this is a must see.

On a side note; I L-O-V-E Ace of Cakes.  I watch it every week, and I so want to work for Duff.  

But Charm City Cakes is in Baltimore.  

It snows in Baltimore.  

And gets cold in Baltimore.  

Plus, Duff hates cupcakes.  

I love cupcakes.

That, and the whole, I'm in Arizona and he's in Maryland thing probably wouldn't work out anyway.

Oh, well.  A girl can dream.

Anyway, back to Threadcakes.  It's an online cake competition with each cake design based on a tee-shirt design from their on-line store.  Some of the contestants are professional bakers, some are just regular Joes hoping to show off their talents.

They not only show the completed cake, along side a photo of the inspiration tee, they show the baker's step-by-step creation process.  Which is, to me, just as interesting as the final result!

Take a look.  If you appreciate the artistry of a beautiful, kooky, funky, awesome cakes, you won't be disappointed.


Lessons from a cat

I think we should all take a cue from Piper.  

She's been the major caretaker of 8 kittens, yet she still got up this morning and chased some shadows, attacked an empty pizza box then ran & slid across the dining room floor.

No matter what our age or how many responsibilities we have, we should all take time out of our day to just be silly and have some fun.
What do YOU plan on doing for fun today?


I just might attack an empty pizza box!


Weathermen and monsoons

This whole week (until Sunday) our local weathermen have been warning us we're under excessive heat warnings.  Which, to me, is kind of silly.  We live in Arizona.  It's the middle of July.  Of course it's going to be hot!  Yesterday it was 111° and today the high is expected to be 112°.

Now, if it get 115° or higher, then yeah, that's excessive heat and warrants a warning.  

And to top it all off we are entering monsoon season, so there are threats of thunderstorms (which never seem to happen) and it's humid.  

We Arizonians don't like the humidity.

Speaking of monsoons, let me tell you of my first Arizona monsoon.

Sean and I moved to Arizona from Massachusetts (where I grew up) the beginning of September, 1991.  I'll never forget him telling me we arrived at a good time because it was monsoon season.

Now, back east in Massachusetts, we did not get monsoons, but we usually heard about them in the southern states, especially Florida.  And they were usually doosies.  Very high winds, heavy rains, flooding, trees uprooted and all that good stuff.

So when Sean told me it was monsoon season here in our new home state of Arizona, I was anticipating all the happenings I'd heard about as a kid growing up in New England.

I couldn't wait.

Boy was I disappointed.

That first monsoon, I'll never forget it.  I worked the closing shift at the mall and all we heard all day was how the monsoon was coming and the rains along with it.  And all I could think of was I hope it hits after work so I can see it.  

I love storms.  

I love watching the rain fall.  

And the lightning strike.

If I could be a storm chaser, I probably would be.

So I'm driving home about 9:30-10:00 that night, the freeway is nearly deserted, and the sky is lighting up with a spectacular lightning show.  Things were hopping now with this monsoon rolling in!!  I wanted to get home so I could A) watch the storm coming and not have to worry about running off the road and B) not get caught in the high winds and heavy rains.

I get home, set up the lounge chair in the back yard, get comfortable, watch the lightning and wait for the madness that comes with a monsoon.

Or so I thought.

There's more madness in my family tree than there is in an Arizona monsoon!

I think I sat out in the back yard for over an hour waiting for the "big monsoon" that never  happened.  Well, it happened.  Just not how I thought it was going to happen.

I have sense learned that in our neck of the Arizona woods, a monsoon simply means it get's hot and sticky, possibly we'll get some lightning, and maybe, just maybe a bit of rain.

But not much.


This morning

ET lays on the bench by the arcadia door soaking up some morning sun.

While Piper deals with this:


Does this now mean I'm a grandmother?

As some of you who follow me on Facebook know, earlier this week our 2 cats had kittens within 24 hours of each other.

It was quite an interesting two days.

Grab a snack, a drink, sit back and let me tell you all about it.

Piper was the first to have her babies, and did so at the wonderful hour of 3:30 AM this past Thursday.  

I heard her meowing in the hallway & really didn't think much of it.  Sean usually gets up for work about that time and lets her out to lay on the patio (how she got in this predicament to begin with!) and if he gets up late, she will meow to be let in to R & D's room.  

Suddenly that meow turned into a sound I had never before heard come out of a cat.  I jumped out of bed & ran to the hall to see if maybe Canon suddenly decided to eat her!  She was still in the hall & I saw a small wet spot by the girls' door & she was eating something off the floor.  


Yeah, Genus, she's having a baby!  She wanted to get into the girls' room and have the kittens under R's bed.  

Thank goodness they remembered to keep their door closed!

Piper then walked down the hall to the kitchen with the kitten hanging out of her and the sac still in her.  At this point I knew I had to help direct her to the box I had set up for her to give birth in.  After the sac was out, I had her come over to the kitten (that was on the kitchen floor) and see that I was picking it up and bringing it to the box.  She followed, and not too long after, she had 4 more kittens.

I knew ET was going to have her kittens within the next day or two.  Sure enough, she had them the next morning.

She came into my room very early in the morning to sleep with me and all I could think was "Please don't have any babies on my bed."  She wanted me to constantly pet her, so I knew her time was coming.  Soon.  Very soon.

I caught a few zzzz's with my hand on her belly so if she had contractions, I could feel them and take her to her box.

Lucky for me she waited until about 7:00-7:30 to have the first one.  Which she decided to have on the floor!  Then she kept wanting to get into the box with Piper!  I kept her in her box for the next kitten, then the third one took her a really long time to deliver.  I think it was noon or later by the time she had the next one.  Unfortunately, it was stillborn.  By this time I had moved ET's box next to Piper's, but ET still wanted to get into Piper's box.  While ET was cleaning off one kitten the other one began crying and Piper couldn't stand it, so she took that one to care for.  I decided it's probably best if I just put them all in one big box.

So I dragged out a big storage box from the garage and got all the kittens and the mamas into it and ET promptly popped out two more kittens, one right after the other.

Now we have (and by we, I mean me) 9 adorable kittens to care for for the next 8-10 weeks before we have to find them all good homes.


Mystery Solved

Tonight's dinner conversation:

Savvy:  I clean my room and the bathroom.  Really well.

Sean:  No you don't.

Savvy:  Yes I do!!

Me:  And when have you ever cleaned your bathroom, Sean???  When have you ever so much as wiped up the water you splatter all over the counter?

Sean:  I never do that!

Me:  Right.  It wasn't you. 

Sean:  No.  It was the cats!!  Really!!  Cannon lifts up the toilet lid for them and they splash in it!

Oh, thank goodness.  All these years I thought I was living with a slob and it was the cats!!


Well, that sucked

So.  Yesterday, Sean & I were planning on having just a small family BBQ (him, me & the girls.  Or is it 'he, I & the girls'?) then heading out to watch the nearby fireworks.  Just about 3 miles down the road is a beach park where they have a huge show every year.   

Just to give you an idea how close the show is to our house, I drew up a rough map.

Pretty close.  Close enough were we should get a good view of it from our backyard or roof.  And since Sean got home too late to drive anywhere near it, we were staying put.

He fired up the grill about 7:00, we ate some grub, then hung around waiting for the show.  I was excited to take photographs with my new camera.  I read about a bunch of tricks to get some good shots of fireworks and was dieing to try them out.  

So, I set up my camera in the backyard,  (turns out, without a ladder, climbing on the roof with a camera and tripod is not a good idea) sat and waited.  They usually start the fireworks about 9-9:30.  I only had 20 minutes to wait.

Suddenly I heard them starting but they were more to the west.  (Think more towards the left of the fireworks on my map)  That was not where the fireworks were supposed to be.  It was the next town over.  I could see them, but they were too far away to photograph and there were trees in the way. So I waited.

I sat out until 10:15 and never saw a damn thing!!  This morning I read the fireworks started about 9, but I never saw or heard them.  And you'd think as close as we are to the park, we'd be able to hear and see them really well!

So, my 4th was kind of a bust.  Although R, D & I did have a good time driving up to Tortilla Flat with Shannon & Russ for lunch (Thanks guys!) I never got to try my hand at taking photos of fireworks.

 And that really sucked.


I often have strange dreams

Have you ever had one of those dreams that involve people and/or places that are both from your past and your present?

I have them a lot.

I usually don't remember them much when I wake up, just that it was weird.  

I often have weird dreams.

Last night I had one of those weird ones, and I actually remembered it!  But before I get into my weird past/present dream, let me give you some back ground.

Several years ago, before Sean & I moved out to Arizona, I worked nearly 4 years for a couple who owned a local clothing store.  (We're talking late 80's/early 90's here)  They not only sold clothing, but also shoes, active wear, accessories, health and beauty products and even wicker furniture.  One of the things we did was everything was hand written (usually by me, because I had the best handwriting!) From sales signs, to price tags to sales invoices.  Some days I did a lot of writing!!  Anyway, when we wrote up the sales invoices, we wrote the item name, product number if it had one, and cost then everything was added up on a calculator and the tax added.  

I never asked why they did things this way, I know some of it had to do with keeping tract of inventory, but we had a cash register that could at least add up the cost and include the tax.  In fact, after writing out the invoice, all the numbers were put into the cash register. 

Remember, this was about 1987 to 1991 in a very small town.  Technology was slow.  As a matter of fact, no one I knew had a cell phone and by the time I left, only some towns had cable TV.  

Yeah.  Very backwoods.

Anyway, the store was in Gt. Barrington, MA, but the owners, Phyllis & Sherwin, had their main residence in Hilsdale, NY and an apartment in NYC, where they would often go to visit family and friends, do some buying for the store and take in a Broadway show.   Many times, their friends would come up from "The City" to visit and would shop at the store.   Sometimes it was a small family, other times it was a whole herd of friends.

Gatsby's closed their doors for good around 1990.  Which was probably a good thing, because Sherwin (one of the owners) was pushing close to 80 by then, I'm sure.

So, back to my dream.  I had dreamed I'd gone back to MA to help out in the store, and naturally, as can happen in a dream, the store looked exactly the same.  I was at the register, which was at the front of the store right by the entrance which had display cases of jewelry and health &  beauty products.

Suddenly, a large groups of the owner's friends came in and were all gathered around the front counter, making me feel like they were a mob closing in.  Phyllis came out from the back office and they all scattered to go say hi to her, except for a couple of women who wanted to look at some Kiehl's  skin creams, which were a big hit with the ladies from "The City".  

Phyllis, Sherwin and the group, except for the ladies I was helping, left for lunch and I was left to run the store.  No big deal.  I'd done it plenty of times before.  

In 1988!!!

The ladies wanted to see a skin cream that was in a display case behind the counter, so I went to it looking for the particular cream they wanted.  

And here is where the dream gets really weird.

As I'm looking for this cream, I found it, then lost it.  I looked and looked in the case but it was no longer there!!  I apologized to the ladies, saying I was sure it was there because I just saw it, and to give me a minute to keep looking.

Then I sat on the floor and began thumbing through a Vogue Magazine.


I told you it got weird.  

The ladies finally decided on what they wanted to purchase (I have no idea how they decided since I was sitting on my ass on the floor reading Vogue and of no help to them!) and I began to ring them up.

Except the store had advanced into the future!  They no longer wrote out sales invoices but scanned the price tags into a computer that I had no clue how to use.  So I  had to call up the sales girl, who I didn't know, and who had miraculously appeared out of no where, to show me how to ring up a sale.  As she was showing me how to run the computer,

I woke up.

The end.


This morning I had a good topic for today's post. But I forgot what it was

So instead, I thought I'd make a list of what I did today.  It's riveting.  So be sure you're sitting down.  Maybe with a glass of wine in your hand.

1.  Slept in until 5:45, then got up and showered.

2.  Had a plain bagel and small glass of milk.

3.  Did some more cleaning/organizing in the garage.  Which I probably should've done before I showered.  Man it was hot already!!

4.  Vacuumed the house.  Kids, cats, dog and a husband are super messy.

5.  Took pictures of some more items to sell on eBay.  Listed them.

6.  Packed up items that were sold on eBay.

7.  Got a knock on the door by a man who lives on our old street, across the main road.  Yesterday I had scheduled a postal pick up of some other items I sold on eBay; which never got picked up.  Either the postal worker can't read, or is directionally challenged because he attempted to make the pick up at EAST Erie, not WEST Erie.  I'm scheduling another pickup for tomorrow and I'm including a note that says "Be sure to read the address!"  Seriously.  I am.

8.  Played a little on the computer.

9.  Took the girls to practice.

10.  Made lunch.  Half a turkey, lettuce and tomato sandwich.

11.  Picked  up the girls & dropped off 7 boxes that the ding-bat postal carrier never picked up because he can't read.

11.  Took some more pictures for my Flickr groups, edited and uploaded.

12.  Made dinner.  Homemade chicken strips (which were really good!), corn on the cob, and carrot sticks.

13.  Made the kids do dishes while I uploaded POtD.

14.  Wrote all this nonsense for you to read.

15.  Now I'm going to go watch SYTYCD with the girls.

Good night!