are you going to blog about this?

I can see that getting posts completed during the holiday season is going to be tricky.  Fortunately, my son cooperated today by doing something blog worthy.

My children are slobs and my husband is the opposite.  He is so tidy in fact, he color-codes his socks.  If you ask him why he color-codes his socks, he will tell you that if the power goes out, he likes to know he can successfully choose blue socks or black socks in the dark based on their position in the drawer.  He is sincerely shocked to discover others do not share this concern.

When my children leave their gear around the house, Tim loses his mind.  Often, he will hide items or simply throw them out the nearest window.  Recently, my son left his sneakers on the living room floor and Tim pitched them out onto the lawn where they sat for a week.  Finally, I could take it no more.  “Cole, Buddy,” I said.  “When are you going to deal with the shoes out on the lawn.”

“Wait, what?”

Source of the pooh

“Your shoes?  They have been on the lawn for a week.”

At this point, Cole dashes out to the back yard and retrieves his soaking-wet sneakers.  Several steps into the house he realizes that, while on the lawn, he stepped in dog pooh.

I surveyed the disgusting tracks around my kitchen island, shrugged, and handed Cole a roll of paper towels and some disinfectant.

On his hands and knees, he began scrubbing the mess.  “You’re not going to blog about this, are you?”

“Of course not,” I replied.  “Why would I blog about poop on my floor?”

Obviously, I lied.  I am totally blogging about poop on my floor.

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, All.  To date, my favorite Thanksgiving was the Turkey Day my Aunt Janet smashed my brother’s face into a large bowl of mashed potatoes.  I do not remember what my brother was doing to push my aunt to such drastic measures; it was probably something rotten ’cause that was just the type of kid he was.  Still, I remember her moving swiftly across the kitchen, grabbing my brother by the nape of the neck, and pushing his face into the bowl.  It was fantastic, and we still ate the potatoes.

happy birthday, Dad

My dad, brother, and me. 1978

Today is my father’s birthday.  If he were alive, he would turn eighty today.  To honor my dad, I am going to link his eulogy

and re-publish his obituaty.  My father was an impressive man who left this world a better place.  Happy birthday, Dad!  Long live the Yankees, cold beer, and your legacy.

Ed Fallon, of Tacoma, Washington, passed on May sixteenth at the age of 78.  The son of Ed and Leona Fallon, Ed grew up in Colton and Spokane, Washington where he attended Gonzaga High School and graduated from Gonzaga University in 1957. He is a veteran of the United States Army and served in the Korean War.  In 1963, Ed married Carol Johnson of Sumner, Washington.  They had two children, Neil and Kate.

He began his teaching and coaching career at St. Gertrude’s School in Cottonwood, Idaho, where he worked as the only male with a staff of twenty-five nuns.  This would be his first stop in his 37 year career in education.  Ed moved on to coach football and baseball at Rosalia and Orting High Schools.  While at Orting, his football team won back-to-back Class A football championships.  In 1966, he moved to Bellarmine Preparatory School to build a football program for a school that had not won a championship since 1947.  Under Ed’s guidance, the team won the Tacoma City League Championship in 1971 and repeated in 1972.

In 1972, Ed became the Vice President of Student Activities and Athletic Director at Bellarmine, a position he would hold until his retirement in 1993.  In his decades at Bellarmine, Ed spearheaded the drive to improve facilities and athletics, and lead Bellarmine to become the first co-ed Jesuit high school in the world.  Along with opening the doors for female students, Ed built a fiercely competitive girls’ athletic program.  He established policies allowing girls equal practice time, budgets, and recognition.  In addition, he developed a stipend scale that paid both the girls’ and boys’ coaches equally.

Ed was a member of WSSAAA, NIAAA, and WACA.  As a past president of the Tacoma Athletic Commission, he was instrumental in developing the “Athlete of the Month,” and “TAC Athlete of the Year” awards.  In 1997, he was inducted into the Washington Athletic Administrators Hall of Fame.  In 2006, he was presented with the Robert Bellarmine Award for his distinguished career in education.

Ed is survived by his wife of 48 years, Carol Fallon, his children, Neil and Kate, three grandchildren, and brother, Robert Fallon.  He was predeceased by his brother Mark Fallon on May 13, 2011.

manual labor

I have been doing a lot of manual labor lately.  I actually don’t mind the work.  In general, I am a woman with a lot on her mind, and yard work gives me time to organize the chaos inside my head.  The only thing I don’t like about manual labor is being distracted from the task at hand.

Giant mess of leaves, which you will notice fall from my neighbor’s tree into my yard.

This morning, I went out to rake the leaves in my yard.  Because I am an experienced leaf-raker, I estimated that cleaning up the mess would take about an hour, but I failed to estimate the hour worth of interruptions I would receive while trying to rake.  That is the problem with manual labor, you can never anticipate that the UPS guy will show up and want to share his recipe for award-winning giblet gravy, or the neighbor will choose Thursday at 10:00 AM to discuss the placement of our shared mailbox.  You can never predict when your three-year-old will demand a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich cut into the shape of mickey mouse.  So, the hour chore ends up doubling.

And I certainly could not foresee that while I was out raking, Ella would be inside tying the dog to the coffee table with a small belt.  That is something you can’t really imagine until your child comes screaming into the yard yelling, “The dog is stuck!  The dog is stuck!”

Chaucer tethered to the coffee table

three hours later

happy Veterans Day

My husband is a veteran of the United States Army, Special Forces Group Ten.  I told him that it should be called Unit Ten because Group Ten makes it sound like a method for organizing a kindergarten field trip, but he insists that they were a group, not a unit.  It also makes no sense to me that the first Special Forces group was number five and the last formed was group one.  That is why we are so confused by the United States military.  You are supposed to start with the number one and move up from there; how can they not understand this?

I would like to point out that while my husband was learning how to kill people with a Q-Tip, I was still in Junior High.

Still, my husband is a veteran, and he has to go to work today.  Meanwhile, my teenagers, who feel they are serving their country every time they throw their empty water bottles on the floor of my car as opposed to out the window, have the day off.

I propose that veterans should get the day off, and teenagers should be woken up by a drill sergeant at 4:30 AM, forced to run ten miles, build a fire out of cow manure, and feast on a meal of squirrel road kill.  There should be lots of push-ups involved, and it should be either pouring rain or a hundred degrees.  Then, they should spend the rest of the day learning how to build a sniper rifle.  Actually, my fourteen-year-old son would enjoy that, and I am slightly freaked out by his potential enthusiasm.  Forget the rifle, the rest of the day will be spent cleaning the latrine, peeling potatoes, and hazing each other.

Cinnamon the ninja hampster

My three-year-old goes to preschool on a farm and over the weekends, the teachers parcel out the smaller critters.  This weekend, it was Ella’s turn to babysit Cinnamon, the hamster.  It is no secret to my family that I do not like hamsters.  I have enough problems on my property with moles and bats; inviting the enemy to spend the weekend in the heated comfort of my home feels counter-intuitive.  Still, the little bugger is here, and the kids enjoy having her, but Cinnamon is completely aloof and ungrateful. Plus she has the creepiest little toes, and when she walks her belly drags on the ground.

Friday, after lunch, Ella was sitting on the floor in the family room holding the sinister fur ball when the rodent leapt, ninja-like, from Ella’s hands, flew across the room super-hero style, and immediately became invisible.

This is Cinnamon as she attempted to leap in my direction and sever my hand from my arm

In a panic, Ella began screaming, “I lost Cinn!”

I looked and looked, but couldn’t find her.  We placed carrots strategically around the room and sat patiently waiting, nothing.  I brought the dog in hoping he would scare the snot out of the hamster and she would come sprinting to us for protection.  We could not see Cinnamon, but we could hear her say,
“Screw you, big stupid dog!  You’ll never find me.”

I was slightly concerned that if I began moving furniture I might smoosh her under a sofa leg, not that I care one way or the other, but who wants to be the mom who murdered the preschool pet?

Slowly, I pulled one piece of furniture at a time toward the center of the room.  And there she was, holding up her skinny middle finger and giving me the stink-eye.

Once Cinnamon was safely back in her cage, Ella and I left to run some errands.  Half-way through the parking lot, Ella slid her hand into mine.  “Let’s not tell anyone we lost Cinnamon,” she said.  “When we bring her back to school, let’s just keep it a secret.”

Kate-ukkah

Nine days ago, President Barack Obama declared November to be National Adoption Month. As an individual who was adopted, I appreciate having a month to honor me (Right now one of my distant cousins is reading this and screaming, “Holy Crap! You were adopted?”). Yes, I was adopted, and my birthday is in November, so I feel Barack had me personally in mind when he chose this time-frame to pay tribute to my life.

So, throughout this month, you should think of me often, send generous gifts, and pray for my continued health and safety. Moving forward, you can refer to the month of November as Kate-ukkah, like Hanukkah, only instead of lasting eight days, it lasts a month, and instead of being a festival of lights, it is a festival of ME. Also, I read that during Hanukkah, fried foods are eaten to commemorate the importance of oil. In this way, Kate-ukkah and Hanukkah will be similar. We will all eat fish and chips, sing songs, and leave work early to light candles.

It is only right that I have my month. After all, August is National Sandwich Month, and October is National Pet Wellness Month. National Bicycle Month is in the spring. Let’s face it; I am way better than a PB&J, a parakeet, or some rusty Schwinn.