A Hodgepodge

Tiny bits of tantalizing information for you to relish, remember, and repeat.

Or not.

1.  I got my hair cut last Wednesday, and unlike last year’s back-to-school- haircut, I like this one.  Wonders never cease, right?  It’s just an above-the-shoulder bob.  Nothing Earth shattering.  I considered a pink mohawk but decided that might scare the 2nd graders.  Or at the very least their parents.

2.  Small Fry, as is age-appropriate, is my little shadow and is having quite the attachment anxiety issues.  It’s endearing at first, but after a while I started to wonder if I’ll ever go to the bathroom or take a shower by myself again.  Speaking of showers, Small Fry has an unholy fit if I take one.  I’ve been relegated to washing my hair by sitting in the tub and using the shower hose while Small Fry throws toys into the tub.  I realize I could lock the door to keep him from coming into the bathroom with me, but that just makes him stand at the door beating on it while wailing.  It’s just pitiful, bless his little heart.

3.   It appears that FOUR is going to be the year of throwing fit after fit after fit where Tater Tot is concerned.  I’d heard that four is the year that the fits stop and the sweet child returns.  I’m not saying that Tater Tot isn’t sweet, because he can be sweeter than southern sweet tea.  But.  He has perfected the art of screaming, crying, and jumping up and down as the preferred way of voicing his displeasure.  Fabulous four, where are you?  (I have a friend who said her little boy stayed three for about two years.  You can imagine how reassuring that was…)

4.  Since I’ll have several months throughout the year of car duty, I need a good raincoat, and I’d prefer that it be sort of cute.  I’m wild about these raincoats with the polka dot lining, but they’re a little on the expensive side.  But I do love the red one.  These are a little less expensive and cute too.  I think I would choose navy or yellow.  Which do you like better?

5.  I’ve been consuming A LOT of coffee lately.  The other day, Tater Tot told me not to talk so closely to him after I take a sip because my breath hurts his nose.  I wonder if there’s a Tic-Tac flavored coffee.

6.  It’s still 147 degrees here in the River City, and it may be a little early to think about winter clothes, but this sweater is calling my name.

I have no idea why I think you’re remotely interested in my wardrobe issues, so I will stop now.

7.  We, the teachers, are officially back at work.  The last two days haven’t been so bad, and I’ve enjoyed seeing everyone and working to get my room ready.  We have our class lists, and so far I’ll have 22 little 2nd graders.  I. Can’t. Wait.  🙂

8.  Yesterday was registration day, and we could either work the early or late shift.  Thinking that the late shift would work better for our little family, I signed right up for the 12:30-7:30 time slot.  I figured that if I worked the late shift, David wouldn’t have to help out with the boys until after work, and it would only be for a couple of hours at the most.  Well, you know what I get for thinking, right?  Poor David came down with something horrible Monday;  sore throat, congestion, hoarse, fever, the works.  He stayed home yesterday and had to take care of the little ones and feeling awful.  After what happened the last time I left him to fly solo with the boys, coupled with yesterday’s experience, he’ll probably never agree to keeping the boys by himself again.  (I can’t really say that I blame him.)

9.  A few nights ago after Tater Tot’s bath, he decided to wear his fleece robe and a Santa hat for a little while.  It was like Christmas in July.

Oh, how that little boy makes me laugh.

That is all for this session of Tater randomness.

Here’s hoping the rest of your week is filled with lots of fun hodgepodge.


Just Another Random Thursday

What do you do when you have writer’s block?  Why not write about nothing in particular at all.  I have no idea where this one is going, which doesn’t make it that different from most of my posts.

(1)  The P key on my keypad is sticking for some reason, and I have to really hit the thing hard to make it type.  Until now, I had no idea how often I use the letter P.  Pretty pitiful, wouldn’t you say?

(2)  I went shoe shopping the other day and found a pair or two of cute sandals on sale for half of the already discounted price at DSW.  You can’t beat it with a stick.  I also ran across these.

I realize that wedges are all the rage these days, and some are pretty cute.  Just for giggles, I tried these on.  They were great until I tried to walk in them.  It became crystal clear that it would take me all of 3.2 seconds to break one, if not both, ankles in them.  Check out the pair behind them to the right.  Does anyone remember Yo-Yo sandals from the 70s?  I barely do, and these remind me of them.  I tried those on, too.  What do you know?  It was like trying to walk with yo-yos attached to my soles.  Obviously I am not one to keep up with the latest shoe fashions.  I care too much about my physical health.  I am a walking accident waiting to happen.  I own it and embrace it.

(3)  I received a catalog with the most comfortable looking clothes I’ve seen in a long time.  I think this St. Tropez Knit Tunic is adorable.  I bet you I could live in this shirt and these pants.  And I’d love to think I could pull off this top and skirt, but my hips tell me otherwise.

(4)  My mother came to town yesterday and we spent the day together by ourselves.  It was wonderful.  We did a little shopping, ate lunch, laughed a lot, and had a great time.  I love it when we have a day like that.

(5)  After my mother left, I met my friend, Amy, for a little while at McAlister’s for some laughs and a huge glass of tea.  We both drank ours in about 5 minutes, trying to replenish our bodies from sweating half to death just from walking from our cars to the restaurant.

(6)  Tater Tot’s birthday is Monday.  We’re having a little family gathering at my mother’s house Saturday to celebrate.  This year is all about Spiderman, and Tater Tot might just explode if Saturday doesn’t get here soon enough.  Adding to the excitement is the fact that my brother, Jim, is coming home from Knoxville for the birthday festivities.  I hope he realizes what he’s in for with a four-year-old on a Spiderman cake sugar high.

(7)  Have you seen this YouTube video of the brave baby gorilla?  If you haven’t, it is sure to make you laugh.  Just be sure to watch it all the way through.

Have a great Thursday.  I’m off to some kind of workshop this afternoon that has something to do with computers.  I am sure I will be the star student.  Bwa-hahahahaha!

If You’re Interested…

This probably won’t interest you, but every now and then I check my blog stats, which I did just before opening a blank page, and I looked at the “search engine terms” section.  Apparently, someone typed in “toddler drinking” and Tater Tales popped up.  That’s not exactly what I’m going for here.  Besides that, who types in “toddler drinking?”  I’m a little concerned.

Back to the randomness of this fine Saturday.

Several weeks ago, I whined about the fact that when we renovated our kitchen several years ago we opted for stainless steel appliances.  The decision seemed like a good idea at the time, but then it became clear that keeping them clean was easier said than done.

Until now.  Glory hallelujah, I have found the perfect stainless cleaner EVER!  It’s called  Hope’s Perfect Stainless.  Is that perfect or what?  This stuff is so easy to use.   You spray it on your appliances and wipe it off with a paper towel.  That’s it.  There is no buffing with a soft cotton towel or any of that silly business.  Would you believe that I’ve cleaned our appliances once since I bought the bottle a couple of weeks ago and they haven’t needed cleaning since?  ONCE!  Oh, sweet joy of all joys!  I’m anxious to check out their other products, which I didn’t know existed until I looked at their website.  If their other stuff keeps things looking clean for two weeks at a time, they’ve just found themselves a loyal customer.  For Pete’s sake, I haven’t been this excited since Nabisco came out with Golden Oreos.

Like most families these days, the Taters are trying to be smarter about how we spend money.  One thing we don’t do nearly as much as we did a year ago is eat out.  It’s not like we were regulars at the city’s five-star restaurants, but picking up take-out from our favorite Chinese place or the burger joint around the corner every couple of weeks was pretty common.  These days, we just don’t do it that often.  It’s not that big of a deal, but every now and then, I do miss it.


Last week while wandering the aisles of the grocery store, I stumbled upon what turned out to be a delicious compromise.  You can get the taste of four Macaroni Grill entrees without the restaurant price.  It’s dinner in a box!  (Okay, you do have to buy the chicken, but that’s a positive thing because who wants chicken in box?  Ewww.)  I was skeptical at first, but the whole thing, chicken tenders and all, cost about $7.50.  I figured I would try it and at the very worst we just wouldn’t like it.  Goodness knows I’ve spent way more on meals that ended up in the garbage and were replaced by a large pepperoni from Pizza Hut.  I bought the Chicken Alfredo with Linguini, and folks, it was good.  Tater Daddy and Tater Tot liked it, and there was enough left over for Tater Tot’s lunch later in the week.  If you’re interested, here’s a link for more information AND a printable coupon.  Last night I made the Chicken Marsala. DEE-LISH-US!  It made enough for Tater Daddy and me, and there would have been a little leftover for a small lunch, but someone (cough, cough) gobbled it up while she was cleaning up the kitchen.  I hate it when she does that…

Okay, gang.  The last thing I’m going to leave you with is a recipe for Sweet and Sour Green Beans.  Yesterday I wrote about, among other things, my love of bacon and tomato sandwiches. I also mentioned green beans.  So now I’m going to give you a recipe for green beans that involves using bacon. Lots of bacon.  This is quite possibly the best green bean recipe in the world, and it comes from the cookbook Absolutely a la Carte.  I’ve referenced it a few times, and it’s my all-time favorite cookbook.

Sweet and Sour Green Beans

4 (16 oz.) cans whole green beans, drained

2 medium onions, sliced and separated into rings

16 bacon slices

3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup vinegar

Place green beans in a 3-quart baking dish; place onion slices over beans.

Fry bacon in skillet over medium heat until crisp; drain, reserving drippings.  Crumble bacon and sprinkle over onion.

Cook reserved bacon drippings, brown sugar, and vinegar in skillet over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved.

Pour sugar mixture over casserole and chill several hours.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.


Enjoy the weekend, y’all.

Why Are Tuesdays So Random?


I’m not sure why it happens this way, but Tuesdays are usually filled with such randomness around the blog.  Very odd.  Very odd, indeed.

Well, there’s no reason to delay this week’s batch of this-that-n-th’other.  Here goes.

  1. How about last night’s episode of The Bachelor? (Be sure to click over to I Hate Green Beans sometime in the next 24 hours or so for Lincee’s recap.  And get ready to laugh your head off.)   Here’s my humble take on things.  (A)That Jason… he’s a smoocher, huh?  (B)I can’t help but wonder how much input the producers have when it comes to who stays.  Because keeping Megan and Erica couldn’t have been Jason’s idea.  Without those two, there might not be a cat-fight.  However, with them, an all out brawl is sure to occur.  Oh my.  I see scratching and hair-pulling in next week’s episode. (C)And then there’s the stalker, Shannon.  All I can say is Beware!  (D)I especially liked the bachelorette, whose name escapes me for the moment, who said that she was glad she didn’t get the one-on-one date with Jason because she wouldn’t have known what to do with her hair.  I think that shows that she’s ready for a deeply committed relationship, but perhaps it’s with Paul Mitchell or Vidal Sassoon rather than our bachelor, Jason.  
  2. Speaking of hair, Hallelujah!, I have an appointment Wednesday for a cut and color.  And we all know this sista needs several days in that salon chair.  Amen?  Amen.  It’s been about four months since I’ve had a full day of hair-care, and I’m thinking of changing things up.  When I say “cut,” I mean a real CUT.  (Now, people like myself with long, horsey faces can’t go short-short.  Otherwise we’d all be rounded up and put in the starting gates at the Kentucky Derby, and while I’d love to attend the Derby, I would prefer that my outfit include a great big hat covered in teapots and pheasant feathers and not a shiny, satiny number 9 jersey and a bridle.)  In addition to the oddly long face that I have, there’s also the hair itself to consider.  It’s naturally curly, and not necessarily in a good way.  It’s not like I can hop out of the shower and let it dry naturally and look like Felicity.  Even with natural curls, I have work on it — mouse, diffuser, blah…blah…blah.   Wearing it straight takes a pretty hefty time commitment, not to mention about three or seventeen brushes and an industrial-strength flat iron.  So, short hair isn’t an option, but if I don’t cut some of the length off soon, you can see me the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs wearing the number 9……
  3. There was a great post by Chris at Notes From the Trenches yesterday about a contest involving Quaker Oatmeal and ending world hunger.  You might want to check it out.  (She’s a great photographer, so it’s always interesting to see what pictures she posts.)
  4. I’ve been a sporadic reader of The Pioneer Woman’s blog/online empire, but it’d been a while since I checked in.  The other night I started reading about how she and Marlboro Man met and fell in love.  Have y’all read it?  You really don’t have to because I’m sure it’s going to be made into a movie at some point.  M-E-R-C-Y!  And if you haven’t read it and decide to read it, it’ll just make you come this close to yelling at your husband, “Why haven’t you rescued me in the middle of nowhere at midnight and kissed me until my knees disappeared?”  I haven’t even gotten all the way through their story, and I’ve already hollered those words at least 347 times at my sweet and very confused husband.  (He doesn’t read MY blog, so he has no idea who the Pioneer Woman is.  He’s probably the only person on earth who doesn’t.)

Well, there you have it.

Randomness.  I warned you.  It’s just a regular old Tuesday around here, folks.  

I hope your Tuesday is infinitely more interesting.

New Year’s Addictions

Many people start the year with a list of things they hope to accomplish or improve upon.  I was all ready to sit down and make myself a good ol’ list of those when I got sidetracked by a few new addictions.  I’m not at all proud, but what can I say?  I’m hooked.

First, I’d like to thank BooMama for posting several weeks ago about PathWords (which she so appropriately  termed “crackwords”).  I play it so often that my hand frequently either cramps up or becomes slightly numb.  It actually becomes quite uncomfortable to continue playing, so I stop immediately…after another round or 83.  

Some time ago, and I don’t even know when it was, I wrote that my husband is a huge fan of shows like The O.C. and One Tree Hill.  I have spent a lot of time, and I mean A LOT, poking fun at him for it.  He bought all four (?) seasons of The O.C. on DVD, and he DVRs all episodes of that other one.  For weeks now, those shows have been playing on one TV or another when he’s home.  

And guess what?  I am completely addicted to them.  Well, right now it’s mainly The O.C. , but I’m learning my way around One Tree Hill pretty well.  Tater Daddy is off this week, but — as is the case whenever he tries to take vacation days — he had to go in to the office for a few hours yesterday afternoon.  Before he left, we’d been watching the Marissa/Ryan/Seth/Summer marathon.  While he was gone, I put Tater Tot down for a nap, did some laundry, played PathWords (duh!), and ate all kinds of junk.  When he came home he puttered around for a few minutes and then settled back in his chair, and when I heard the theme song playing, I came bounding into the den from the other side of the house.

And yes, I apologized profusely for making fun of him.  Then we made fun of the show together.  We have such meaningful couple-time, don’t we?

My newest addiction, though, started yesterday morning when a Facebook friend suggested I try a new game:  Word Challenge.  OH, MY STINKING WORD!  You’re given about seven or eight letters and you see how many words you can make in two minutes.  I love it because you get to use the keyboard so there is no cramping or numbness!  You have to do some silly little clicking in order to start another round, but I just use that time to dip my Wavy Lays into the sour cream-n-onion dip and take a swig of diet coke!  Brilliant, eh?

It’s about 1:45 a.m., and I am only now writing my blog post because of these nice little distractions.

Oh!  Wait!  For the next couple of months, we can add The Bachelor to my growing list of “Reasons I Can’t Be Bothered to Cook and Clean.”  

So, did y’all watch it?  (Is everyone busy making their “Vision Boards?” Ba-hahaha!  Oh, thank you ABC for that one!)  Be sure to check in with I Hate Green Beans sometime today.  I’m sure Lincee will have posted her recap of the show.  I, for one, can’t wait.

Until then I’ll be passing the time with one of my new addictions.

Sunday Randomness

Hello, y’all!  

It’s another cold Sunday and there is all kinds of randomness floating around in this head of mine.

For one thing, I am trying to make homemade chicken noodle soup, courtesy of Robyn at Pensieve, but do you think the water will boil?  Heck, no.  It’s taking its own sweet time over there, and I’m not even watching the pot.  I only look at it occasionally to see if it’s doing its thing.  Which it most definitely isn’t.

On to the real randomness.

  • I have a new blogging friend whose name is similar to mine, so, of course, I think she’s fabulous.  She’s an American gal living in Australia, which sounds awfully fun, too.  Plus, she’s new to the wonderful world of bloggyland, so stop by her place down under and say hello sometime.  She’s known as Tater’s Mama.
  • My friends, David and Amy, have been home for a week with their daughter, Ella, and they’ve settled in quite nicely as a family of three plus Sampson, the dog.  Sweet Ella is beautiful and happy and loved.  In addition to adjusting to being parents of a one-year-old, David and Amy are keeping us posted of how things are going on their blog.  Feel free to stop in and say hello.  
  • Tater Tot’s Grandparents’ Day program was Friday, and it was cute.  His class sang “The ABC Song,”  “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” and “Saw Saw The Wood.”  Tater Daddy was to video the performance and I was going to take pictures and stand at the ready should the teacher need help if a meltdown or six  occurred.  However, a microphone obstructed Tater Daddy’s view of our little star, so we switched roles.  Guess who forgot to take a single picture?  I got the camera out last night to download the pictures, and finding none, asked why.  He said, “I didn’t have the camera.”  Um, I gave it to you when you handed me the video camera.  “Oh, I guess I didn’t notice.  I’m sorry.”  He really has so many good qualities that it’s not fair to gripe about stuff like this.  Even when I really want to…..
  • The Christmas decorating has begun.  I found this snowman Advent Calendar (or countdown calendar, if your prefer) at TJ Maxx for $12.99 last week.


I thought it was cute, and it’ll do the trick.  Tater Tot wants to wear it, so we’re having to explain to him about 97 times a day that it’s not a costume.  The one I would really like to have looks like this.


It’s from Pottery Barn Kids and it costs around $70.  If I were crafty, I’ll just bet that I could probably make it for, what, around $12.99?  Since I’m not at all crafty, and I’m not going to spend $70 for a Christmas decoration, I figure I did alright for the bargain decoration that Tater Tot not only wants to wear, but also hugged last night before he went to bed.

  • Tomorrow’s post is going to be an extra special one because my mother, Poopsie, is the author.  I’m using one of her articles from her days with our hometown’s weekly newspaper.  Among my favorite humorists are Dave Barry, and the late authors Lewis Grizzard and Erma Bombeck.  In my humble opinion, my mother tops them all.  I hope you’ll stop by tomorrow for a Thanksgiving tale.

That’s it for this Sunday.  I’m going to go check on that chicken.  Wish me luck, y’all, or it’s going to be plain old noodle soup for supper.

Just Some Monday Random Stuff

Oh, good morning afternoon evening, bloggyland friends, and a Happy Monday and almost Tuesday at that!  It was a mighty full weekend for the Taters, and I bucked my routine last night and went to bed before 2 a.m.  Oh, I was up twice with the Tater Tot, who has decided that no night is complete without at least one or three hollering fits.  I’m sure that this, too, shall pass, but not before the bloodshot look that his Mama now sports is permanent.

But since I called it a night before writing anything for the blawg, I thought I’d indulge in a little more randomness than usual.

1.  This one is at the top of my list because it’s been bothering me for several months and I don’t know how to remedy it.  Someone out there might be able to help.  Unlike the hair on the top of my head, my eyelashes are now exerting all kinds of stubbornness and are refusing to curl.  If they continue in their new-found independence, they will most likely grow right straight down, thus causing me to see the world through vertical blinds.  I imagine that might be somewhat annoying.  To top it all off, the right set is worse than the left set, which actually makes sense in the weird world of me, as the left “side” of my head has always spawned curlier hair than the right.

I know.  I am one freakin’ case study waiting to happen when it comes to hair woes.  And now you can throw my eyelashes into the mix.  Does anyone have any solutions to getting stubborn eyelashes to curl?  Anyone?  Anyone?

2.  Let me preface this one by saying that I am grateful for the right to vote; so grateful, in fact, that I’ve already done it.  It took two-and-a-half-freaking hours of standing in line, but I’ve done it. Having said that, are you ready for this election to be OVER?  Am I the only one who feels like the campaigning for this election has been going on for nine years?

3.  We visited a new church yesterday.  I could’ve joined on the spot.  ON. THE. SPOT, y’all.  And that’s saying something, because it was a Presbyterian church and I am Methodist to the bone.  I didn’t even go into withdrawals when we didn’t sing The Doxology after the offering.  It’s a wonderful church, and if they throw potluck suppers with tables of casseroles made with Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom and/or Cream of Chicken soups, well, please forgive me, Charles Wesley.  I may just cross over…..

4.  If you want to start your week off with a true blessing, PLEASE go to Around the World and 2 Kids and read their post from yesterday (Sunday).  I can’t remember when I’ve wept with such joy and thanksgiving.  I realize that a great deal of it is because I know David and Amy, but if you read about their experience at church in Ethiopia Sunday, I believe that you will carry an extra smile with you.

5.  The AT&T repairman just left our home because our phone has been on the blink.  Callers were getting a fast busy signal.  We were hearing the phone ring, but when we answered all we got was a dead line.  The caller ID somehow managed to disable itself in the process, so we couldn’t call people back and explain, so, um, frustrating?  Just a smidge.

I really wanted to blame the problem on that nasty little mouse, Eddie, from a couple of months back. Oh, Eddie is long gone, thanks to a second visit by the exterminator and some peanut-butter-coated poison.  But I wanted to think that Eddie somehow gnawed through one of the phone wires in a last-ditch attempt to cause some irritation and inconvenience from the great beyond.

It turns out that I can’t blame this one on a dead mouse.  It appears that a great big dust bunny is to blame.  In other words, Tater Mama’s vacuuming isn’t as, er, thorough as it should be.  Evidently this big old dust bunny walked over to one of the floor phone jacks and made itself nice and comfortable.  Because I managed to suck up a sock while vacuuming with the Oreck and haven’t dropped it off at the store for repairs, I’ve been using our other vacuum, the Dyson.  I love it, but it doesn’t lie down flat, so I’ve kind of slacked off on getting up under the furniture where the dust bunnies and all kind of other critters hide.  Remember.  I don NOT have the OCD, so if the vacuum cleaner does not lie down flat to get under the furniture, I do not lie down flat to get under the furniture….  But I might start, lest we lose our ability to communicate with the outside world.

5.  This time-change thing is just wearing me out.  I know.  You’d think the “extra hour” of sleep this weekend would’ve been nice, and usually you’d be right.  But it has caused all kinds of confusion with a certain two-year-old who apparently liked things the way they were.  He’s still waking up at his “normal” time MINUS a half hour.  What’s up with THAT?  That’s 6:30 in the ohmystinkin’wordareyoukiddingme?  (Have I mentioned that I am NOT a morning person and that left to my own devices I might roll out of bed around 11:00?)  So, yeah, I’m off my game just a little more than normal!

Heck.  I’ve been working on this post since 8:30 this morning, and it’s 4:45 p.m.

And that’s all the randomness for now.

Later, y’all!

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