There's no place like

Saturday, December 31, 2005

We watched "Sky High" and then we made duct tape purses. Posted by Picasa

We ate (mostly dessert) and then we played Apples to Apples. Posted by Picasa

Happy Birthday little brother!

Friday, December 30, 2005

How many sodas can 7 8 10 teen girls drink in 15 hours? Since they are having a pot-luck meal and I just know that they will all bring desserts, do I fix dinner or let them see the consequences of not planning? Are you kidding? I was thinking spaghetti but pizza would be the easiest clean-up. Activities and crafts are still blurry but they should be in focus by tomorrow afternoon. I'll be photoblogging all weekend here and on flickr to stay awake and sane.

". . . or be like a cow and make milk." Hey! Noggin keeps calling me a cow.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Tumble Time Tigger is EVIL. He has no off switch and was clearly made by the people who made Chucky.

Is Bill Frist looking out for Americans or big business? Did he just pay off a huge debt to the pharmaceutical companies? ~ $873,000 has gone to Bill Frist's campaign funds from pharmaceutical companies. ~ Bill Frist has been actively working in the United State Senate to protect vaccine manufacturers from 4200 pending private lawsuits and countless lawsuits yet to be filed. ~ At least five separate attempts have been made by Frist to deny access to the government's vaccine database of documents. He also has actively attempted to protect Eli Lily, who developed thimerosal, from subpoena. ~ In 2002, Bill Frist made an attachment to the Homeland Security Bill. This attachment, which could be eliminated because of the lack of line item veto, passed. The attachment: The Eli Lily Protection Act. Shortly thereafter, Eli Lily donated $10K to the Frist campaign and bought 5,000 copies of Frist's book on bioterrorism. ~ The Eli Lily Protection Act was repealed in 2003 but early in 2005, another Frist attachment was made to an antiterrorism bill, again unable to be vetoed. This attachment denies any compensation to children with vaccine related brain damage. ~ Language preventing civilians and others from suing vaccine makers responsible for drugs to fight avian flu or biological weapons was slipped into the defense bill sometime between 11 p.m. Sunday 12/18 and 1 a.m. Monday 12/19 by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.

Tommy and Sarah got hand-me-down computers last Christmas and they are great! The next hand-me-down will go to Noah. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The beta fish is travelling the great drain toward the ocean.

Random observations - Toys that use batteries should have an OFF switch. Toys that have a zillion parts should come with their own storage container. Roombas have hypnotic powers that make people stare and drool. I have found the cure for Knoxville radio and its' name is XM Radio! I'm listening to Lucy right now.

Babies should not gain mobility and a tooth at the same time. Ouch and eek!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Since it was so much fun last year, we are repeating the New Year's Eve free childcare Girl Scout sleepover again this year. Preparation is the key. The first step is finding a place to put away all our new Christmas treats. The second step is getting a burn permit so that we can have a bonfire and make s'mores. The third step is planning LOTS of activities to keep the girls busy. Any ideas? Update - It looks like the bonfire will be rained out.

Monday, December 26, 2005

This is sit around the house in your jammies day isn't it?

Sunday, December 25, 2005

A very Merry Christmas to everyone! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas eve everyone! Posted by Picasa

While waiting in the checkout line at Target to write what we thought was a good check since the money was promised by yesterday afternoon (they just called and said they'll pay Doug for this month's work on Tuesday), Amy got restless. She loudly announced to the cashier and everyone standing nearby, "You've got a peanut and I can see it through your pants." I told Doug that I bet he wishes he had a blog to remember that moment in time.

Christmas updates: Evan - Happy but would prefer to be held more than I have so far today. Amy - Just wants Gabriel (her cousin) to hurry up and arrive. Noah - Singing, twirling and happier than I have ever seen. Sarah - Too cool to show excitement, still crafting for family gifts. Tommy - Glazed over on his computer to keep himself in control. Doug - Out shopping and thrilled his parents will be here tonight and tomorrow. Me - Head just a dull throb now, have to wrap and cook all day, but happy.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Close to ready but head hurts too much to continue tonight. We still need a few groceries.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I am in need of a Christmas miracle. It is the kind of miracle where you can only help by sending good thoughts my way. It is like asking the audience to clap to save Tinkerbell. My miracle has two parts. The first part is that Doug needs to get paid tomorrow for some of what he has been working on for weeks. Somehow that money needs to get in the bank tomorrow. That's not even the hard part of the miracle. The second part is the hard part. As soon as the bank has that money, I need to race around town and do most of my Christmas shopping in a single day with a nursing baby in tow. No, Doug can't help. He is on the verge of finishing a project and that demands his full attention. I have distracted him too much already with my whining and worrying about having a Christmas for the children. So, clap your hands and think good thoughts.

Amy just fed Evan a dog treat. Now my little brother can stop whining that I fed him dog biscuits as a child. There is harmony and balance in the universe again.

"If you wake Evan, YOU are going to nurse him back to sleep." "If you don't quit fighting, I'm moving your beds to the front porch." . . . because I'm all about the idle threats.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

What does it mean if a black cat being chased by a white cat runs across your path?

Doug got an anonymous gift from someone today. It is not fruitcake though. It looks so good that we are saving it for Christmas Day's breakfast. Thank you secret Doug fan!Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

If you can't say something nice, say nothing at all, so . . .

Please stop whatever you are doing and say a prayer, light a candle and think healing thoughts for Kristyk's family.

The celebrity resident of my grandmother's nursing home is a 101 year-old woman. The home had a Christmas party this past weekend. There was food, singing and finally, the nativity story. As the storyteller began, the tiny senior resident spoke up and loudly proclaimed, "Oh, that story again? I've heard that story so many times, I don't care if I ever hear it again."

Monday, December 19, 2005

The strangest thing on our tree last year was the okra pod (painted gold). It is still on the tree, but I think the CD hanging on this year's tree is even more unusual. Anything odd on your tree?

Elle trouve mille moyens de lui montrer la haine vers moi mais il ne peut pas la voir, ainsi je ressemble à la moyenne. Il les amusera au lieu de ses enfants. On ne permettra pas le désordre. Jeu de la guerre psychologique au lieu du jeu avec mes enfants le jour de Noël. Il a déjà commencé l'abus verbal et psychologique. Nous sommes hors d'argent et il n'y a aucun bonheur.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

If I survive until the 26th without a total meltdown it will be a freakin' miracle. It looks like I will be disappointing my children, my spouse and the entire extended family this Christmas. I miss last Christmas.

Yesterday when the house was quiet, I heard our resident squirrel chewing on the wood in the attic. I went to get a picture of our uninvited guest and he kindly poked his head out for the camera. A moment later, a second squirrel popped out. There are TWO squirrels living in the attic. How can I kick them out now? They could be the Mary and Joseph of squirrels. The poor squirrel couple just wants refuge from the cold, cruel winter. Desperate for a place to stay warm, they chewed a giant hole in the wood and now they finally have a home for the winter. Aren't they cute? Don't you think we should at least let them stay until Christmas? Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 17, 2005

"I don't want to be good. Santa needs to visit bad girls too." Doug and Noah are camping and the girls are with my parents, so I'm home with my oldest and youngest boys. The Christmas music is playing, the tree has lights and I'm blogging and uploading pictures to Flickr instead of doing laundry. If I can get a fire going in the wood stove, tonight I'll watch tv in bed with Evan and Tommy without worrying about anyone sticking popcorn up their nose.

Aunt Jeni and that boy Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 16, 2005

Amy didn't like having her eyes dilated. She got crankier by the minute even when I let her call Doug on the phone. "Daddy, I want to go home and eat a peanut butter sandwich and Mommy won't let me." She has bad vision but we can wait until just before kindergarten to get her glasses. If I can't get the child to wear clothes, I don't know how I can get her to wear glasses.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Since Amy failed her Lion's Club eye exam, I am taking her to the pediatric opthalmologist tomorrow. The only one in Knoxville. The one whose waiting room is always full because he is who Children's Hospital calls for every eye emergency. Blech.

Dear Blogger, Are there ANY human beings working there or is this system run completely by heartless computers? This blogger's widow has been trying for weeks to get someone at blogger to make a post on her husband's blog. Could you PLEASE help this woman. My husband has been writing you for weeks, trying to get his account back. Please restore the for user djuggler. Cathy

There's no ice here. Sure, it's rainy, but it's really not even very cold outside. The mountains protect this area from most bad weather. I just hope we are taking good care of the mountains.

Last night I Noah finished his book report and project. Half of it was on The Grey King (easy) and half of it was on Golem. Golem is illustrated with hauntingly beautiful cut-paper scenes. The story is very dark and easily used as a modern day parable but Noah missed the underlying themes completely. Maybe I am doing Noah a disservice by not having him watch the news each day. I do not accept full blame for him thinking "there is one guy in the story named Rabbi". Golem is available at the library and only takes a few minutes to read. It takes much longer to think about the story in a political context. Go read it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Is this the fun part? Posted by Picasa

Is "biggerest" more than biggest or halfway between bigger and biggest?

I have now officially begun my holiday freakout that will end in a total meltdown. Too much to do in too little time with no money or cooperation.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Dear squirrel, When I sit at my computer I can hear you right over my head. If you are going to break and enter and be a squatter, you should at least have the decency to be sneaky about it. I would not mind sharing our house if you only slept in the attic. I have always felt sorry for your family, hiding in bunches of leaves high on the tree branches. However, using our attic as a potty and chewing on the support beams is just not good guest behavior. I can only imagine what bugs are sneaking in with all those leaves you keep dragging in there. Unless you learn some manners you are going to be evicted. I just hope you are not home when Doug removes the entrance to your our house. Cathy

A lifetime ago, I was a member of a church in Alpharetta, GA. I regularly annoyed others' with my opinions and ideas. Apparently a Baptist Sunday school class is not a good setting for philosophical discussions. :) The class was able to tolerate my presence after I said something negative about missionaries but they could not forgive me for daring to disagree when they started speaking hate about sexual orientations. Even my now ex-husband suggested I find something else to do in church during that hour of time. The woman who interpreted the services wanted someone to do the sign language interpretation in the sanctuary until the sermon began so that she could sing in the choir loft. I thought it sounded like fun and since there were two services, that would get me out of Sunday school. Every week I used a book to memorize the signs for that Sunday's hymns and on Sundays I signed until the she left the choir loft just before the sermon. After a few months of this it came time for the church's big Christmas service. There would be no sermon, only a choir program and the interpreter really wanted to sing. So, I spent several weeks practicing and preparing for the big program. The day came and I interpreted (I use that term loosely) two full programs of Handel's "Messiah". I had sooo much fun that when my now ex told me he was leaving, I was actually excited about going back to school to get an Interpreting degree (and learn I had been making some huge errors). I am completely out of practice now, but Christmas and Christmas music always make my hands a little twitchy, because that is when I found my voice.

The Christmas cards go in the mail today. It's later than I would like but I am still happy.

Monday, December 12, 2005

I wonder why Michael thought of me when he got tagged with a "5 Wierd Things About Me" meme. 1) Until I started middle school, my mother packed a jar of baby food in my school lunch every day. 2) The only time I ever camped out for concert tickets, I spent the evening breastfeeding. 3) Every so often I must completely rearrange all the furniture. 4) I speak for my dogs. 5) I would rather have the curtains open than the lights turned on. Since I only have about 5 readers, consider yourself tagged. Leave me a note when your list is up so I can go see if you're really wierd.

Which McDonald's is going to have free Wi-Fi for Nintendo DS?

I love the holidays, but I will be very happy when I don't need to carefully plan all of my errands to avoid the entire mall area. It's become a magnet for rude drivers.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Should Doug - a. Just start a new blog. b. Mount a campaign to get his old blogger identity back. c. Create a zillion different blogs griping about losing his old blog. d. Continue his boycott of anything blog-related.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Evil stomach bug Achey, sleepy and stinky Mommy needs a bath

Friday, December 09, 2005

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Posted by Picasa

A stomach virus has invaded our home. It took the weakest down first. Three down, four to go.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans."

They really should sell valium over the counter.

My brother is enjoying his first winter up north. It is 51 degrees here and the mountains shelter us from most weather ugliness. I would enjoy a good snow once or twice a winter but being snowed in from November until March doesn't sound very fun.

Don't shake my hand IF I am lucky enough to get in the bath, I am almost always faced with a series of choices. Evan only sleeps for 20 minutes at a time (if I'm lucky), so by the time the water is run, I have very little time. Do I wash my hair or scrub my body? Do I shave up to the knee on both legs or shave one leg today and hope I get the other one done tomorrow? If Amy is home, I can almost guarantee that she will hop in the tub and I will spend some of the borrowed time scrubbing her. When Evan becomes inconsolable and I hop out still soapy, do I try to rinse off in the sink or just rub dry with the towel and ignore the sticky, soapy residue left behind? Maybe I should just swipe myself with a baby wipe every time I change a diaper. Is there anything worse than being out in public and noticing some yellow not-mustard under your fingernails that escaped handwashing?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I wish Doug could tell this story. :( This morning Doug decided he was going to get Amy's nose clean before school. She has looked, ummm, boogery for days. He held out a tissue and told her to blow. Then he asked again and again. I told him that Amy and I had done this same routine on Monday and nothing was ready to come out then. This only made Doug more determined. His daughter was not going to preschool with "stuff" in her nose. Doug worked and worked at the nose and asked Amy to blow one more time. Out popped a giant, unpopped popcorn kernel. Amy has had popcorn in her nose since who knows when. I am still trying to find out when and where she ate (and played with)popcorn. I can't decide if I am more disgusted or amused. I mean, ewww gross but that girl is really funny.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Blogger has deleted Doug's account, possibly because someone flagged his blog as spam. We don't know for certain because they won't respond to his emails. Doug has never sent an unsolicited email or made bizarre comments on strangers blogs in an attempt to get people to his blog. Without Reality Me as an outlet, Doug will either lose what sense he has left or (more likely) drive me off the deep end.

The wire poked through and I attempted a repair. It popped out again. In pain and frustration, I ripped the wires out completely. Shortly after, one of the snaps tore loose. I gave up the battle and threw it away. Now I have one. Just one.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Almost there. Posted by Picasa

There is a squirrel digging all over the front yard, presumably to locate buried seeds. I wonder how he'll react when he digs up the remains of one of the hundreds of moles that the cat has killed and Doug has buried in shallow graves.

A silly quiz and a Frappr map all in one day. I'll do anything to avoid laundry. I feel a cartoon coming.

Feminine You scored 46 masculinity and 76 femininity! You scored high on femininity and low on masculinity. You have a traditionally feminine personality. My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender: You scored higher than 25% on masculinity You scored higher than 87% on femininity Link: The Bem Sex Role Inventory Test written by weirdscience on Ok Cupid Found on Dr. Helen's Blog

Favorite Christmas Carols - Doug likes "Greensleeves". I like "Hard Candy Christmas". Tommy likes "Carol of the Bells". Sarah likes She Daisy's version of "Deck the Halls". Noah likes "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer". Amy likes "Jingle Bells" (and she doesn't even know the Batman version yet).

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Santa 2005 Posted by Picasa

Tree status - still waiting for lights Place your bets now on when it will be completed.

Today we will bundle up warmly and drive the sleigh up north to visit Santa. The more children are in the picture, the greater the chance of someone crying. Two children have the sniffles, so we may get runny liquid from someplace besides eyes. I am hopeful that this experience won't leave me in tears.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Whatever happened to - Tracy Buster, Teri Harper, Travis MacPherson, Glenn Tanner or Kevin Cates? In case they ever google themselves. ;)

Next Friday someone makes their once a year visit to disrupt our lives. Blech. Evan went to the pede this morning and his ears are clear but he has a sinus infection. Wah. Molly needs surgery on her front left elbow (do dogs have elbows?). Boo hoo. I have done no shopping. Eek! Tonight I plan to stare at the tv and eat Phish Food. Yum.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Do something silly this weekend! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Have you tasted these? Delicious! Posted by Picasa

I think the most violated grammar rule in the south is putting a preposition at the end of a sentence? Anyone disagree? "Where are you at?"

I had an unhealed psychological wound that I covered with a bandaid and ignored. It festered until I knew I had to find a way to heal it myself. I found a way and ripped off the bandage. I knew it would hurt but that it had to happen in order to heal. It should have been quick and a great relief as the wound healed. Instead, I find others rubbing salt in the wound. Mumbling to self - This too shall pass. This too shall pass.



In the house:

Me - the Mom
Doug - the Dad
Tommy - age 15
Sarah - age 12
Noah - age 9
Amy - age 3
Evan - 8 months old
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from cathymccaughan. Make your own badge here.

Mom's Stuff:

100 Things About Me
My Kids Are Pigs
My Husband's Crap
Pottery Barn Registry
Blogroll Me!

It runs in the Family:

Seldom & Never
Serendipitous Reflections
The Ramblings of CarMom
The Stomock's Retchings

Blogs I'm reading:


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