Saturday, December 31, 2011

Say What!?

In lieu of the traditional 'The Best Of 2011' post customary for the final day of the year, I thought I would just continue to bang out the same old drivel that has helped me reach the esteemed status of more than 2000 people visiting my site in a single month.  That may not seem like a big deal to you.  After all, I think the Bejeweled Blitz game on Facebook probably has 2000 new people on their site every second.  But, to me, I am thrilled to have people come here, read my ramblings, and then carry on with their lives.  It's interesting though, I cannot think of anything else that I would do that would interest that many people.  Thank you for visiting.

I have mentioned before that I think my hearing is going.  I may or may not have mentioned that I have been to the doctor and he said that I have, "a substantial hearing loss due to exposure to noise."  The firing range, the machine shop, various concerts, teaching all adds up.  I am used to having to say, "excuse me?  Did you say that the wax for the turtle is on the sandwich block?"  That is why today's story stands out to me.  It wasn't me and my substandard ears that were in question...for once!

It started when our son Jake was taken to a class by a friend of ours.  We do a lot of carpooling and today was our turn to be kid free.  The class ran a little long and it was starting to look like he wouldn't be back in time to go to his basketball practice the day before the game.  We thought it was best to make sure he got some time under the basket, so we called our friend to see what time they expected to be home.  I happened to be driving to the store at the time so Sylvia made the call.

Did you ever hear one side of a phone conversation that just made you go, "HUH!?"  Well that's exactly what happened.  It went something like this:

Sylvia on her cell phone,
"Hi there!  I know the class is running long but we were wondering if you knew what time it might be over."
"Oh, that long.  We may have to come get him early."
"Uh huh.  Oh you were?  I'll ask Jeff."
To me:
"She says that her husband works near there and they have extra passes to a sneak preview to a movie.  They were about to call us to see if Jake could go too.  Can he skip practice?"

We talked it over and decided that since there were only two practices between games and he was already missing one it would be better if he skipped the movie.  Back to the phone.

"Yeah, we think he should probably go to practice.  By the way, what movie?"

...long pause...

"War Whores?  What kind of movie is that!!?"
(meanwhile I am trying to drive with my mouth hanging wide open)

...long pause...

"Say that again.  I think I heard wrong.  War Whores?!"

...long pause...

"I am hearing something that I hope you are not saying.  Say it one more time."

...slightly shorter pause...

"Spell it!"

"OH!!!!  H-O-R-S-E!!!  War Horse!  HAHAHAHA  I was thinking, what kind of a movie were you trying to take my kid to?  We don't watch those kinds of things!  By the way, Jeff is yelling that you are going in the blog!!"

Even with my bad ears I could hear her laughing on the other end of the phone.  She then said that it was OK to tell the story in the blog but I couldn't use her name.  So I will just call her Hortensianna.

We drove over to the class, picked up Jake, teased Hortensianna that she was a bad influence on our son and that we were going to have to re-evaluate whether or not the boys should be hanging out together, and then rushed back home to go to practice.  When we got to the gym we found out that there was a scheduling mix up and there was nobody available to open the doors.  Practice was canceled.  Guess he could have gone to see War Whores after all.

(Sad part is...I Googled it and in 1996 there was a film made with that title.  Rated X.  Hortensianna has not seen it.)

Thank you all for reading!  See you next year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Sylvia is watching a baby.  Not in a "Ma'am would you please step over here away from the bushes, we would like to ask you some questions." kind of way.  It's more of a "I don't know what I would do if you weren't taking care of our baby" kind of way.

A friend of the family and former teacher to our children, Jen, had a baby, Penny.  Jen works here, she lives there, we live here, she'd rather have the baby here than there, Sylvia is taking care of the baby.  Sylvia gets her 'baby fix', Jen gets to come visit at lunch if she wants to, the baby is doted on, it's a win-win-win.  Of all the people involved in this scenario, however, Sylvia definitely has the best part of this deal!  Penny is an absolute doll.  She is such an easy-going baby.  If I come from school before Penny goes home I am always greeted with a huge baby smile!  I have to tell you, there are about a billion worse ways to be welcomed home, and not too many that are better.  Of course poor Jen thinks, at this point, that this is the way all babies behave so when they decide to have another one she may be in for a shock.  But that is not what I wanted to talk about today.

Today I wanted to talk about what happens when baby moves from "come on! you can roll over" to "my goodness you are quick! how did you get over there?"  It happens quick, and we are mostly prepared!

When Sylvia and I were new parents we baby proofed the house.  There were latches on all the cabinets, there was a lock for the stove, there was even a lock for the refrigerator.  Over the years some of those locks came off, and with the kids being teenagers, we felt secure that they would not get into the pots and pans to play drums.  Also, since Kristiana is becoming quite the budding chef, we are encouraging her to get into the pots and pans as much as she wants.  We decided that since we live in earthquake country, we should just keep the locks on the cabinets unless there was a real reason to take them off.  Or one could be taken off if it malfunctioned and then we just wouldn't replace it.  As an aside, if you are ever desperate for a personal bag of Cheetos and you yank on the cabinet door rather quickly while forgetting that there is a child lock, that lock will break.  (So we need to replace the lock on the Cheetos cabinet)  Other than that, we are ready...I thought.

You see Jen, being a new mommy, has been targeted by the darkest forces known to mankind.  The baby safety gadget consortium.  This entity exists for the sole purpose of making new mommies feel inadequate if their baby is not protected from all manner of imaginary threats.  They will make a mommy believe that you need to  sterilize a pacifier that has dropped on the floor with their newest Steam-O-matic.  Just fill with distilled water, insert pacifier, wait 15 minutes, and your pacifier is ready to be thrown on the floor again.  Any mom of more than one baby knows that you can achieve pacifier sterilization by blowing the germs off (and in extreme cases putting it in your own mouth to wash it off).

Well this group is trying to wiggle their way into the safety of our house and it visited in a big way the other day.  It all started when I came home from work and Penny was still here.  I got my smile.  I put my Scooby Doo lunch box away.  (Just's the Six Million Dollar Man lunch box)  And then stood in the kitchen until someone rang the doorbell.  I was the closest so I walked over to answer.  I was met by the unholy creation that is the doorknob lock.  Never-mind that Penny is only just beginning to crawl.  Don't think about the fact that if she was able to stand she would still be 18 inches away from reaching the doorknob.  It doesn't matter that even if she wanted to reach it, if she could, she wouldn't have the ability to turn it at all!  Without the lock!!  As it turns out, I wasn't able to turn the handle either.

I spent the next three minutes hollering through our heavy duty fire rated door.  Explaining that I, Jeff Garrett, possessor of several college degrees and pickle jar opening championship medals was being thwarted by a baby-proof doorknob lock!  It went something like this:
"Hang on!"
From the other side, "mummfff mmf" (obviously it was someone who had just come back from having oral surgery, and their mouth was full of cotton swabs)
"We have a new lock!  I can't open it!!"
"Wammff waniff"
"I should just have to push and turn!  Just a minute!!"
"Smmmff snanniff"
"All right I see what I have to do!!  Any second now!!  Dammit!  Do you happen to have a chainsaw!?!"

I eventually got the door opened but it took Jacob coming over to disassemble this modern day torture device.  I imagine that these are the doorknobs that they have at the Hotel California.  You know, "You can check out any time you like but you can never leave."  Nothing?  Using a song that is three decades old as a reference is not blog worthy...Oh well.  Such is my life.

Unfortunately, Jake re-installed the knob.  We are in day 12 of our exile.  This may be the last you hear from us.  Hope is fading.  We are all weak from hunger since someone installed a new lock on the Cheetos cabinet.  Farewell...from the inside.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011!

This is the letter we send to our family and friends in the mail...I thought you all may like to see it as well.

Once again I am late in writing our Christmas letter.  In fact, it is the 26th and we are sitting in the smoldering aftermath of commercialism run amok.  Not really.  Seriously, we had a very nice Christmas, and apart from mom feeling a little under the weather, it was one for the books. 

I don’t want to be one of those families who, in their Christmas letter, stretch the truth, exaggerate accomplishments, and try to outdo.  I will give you the clear and unvarnished truth:  Following Sylvia’s win of the largest lottery in the history of the world she decided to give it all to charity in what the media said was “the single most generous act of recorded history.”  Kristiana won American Idol at her very first audition but they are keeping it quiet to continue their ratings and not discourage the other 50,000 people auditioning.  

Jake, with his 8th grade science kit and a bag full of peat moss, has solved the world’s energy crisis.  And me, I was promoted and received the title “America’s Best ___________” where anyone can put in any profession and it still applies.  All right, so that isn’t exactly the whole truth.  Jake also had to use some orange peels. 

Actually, as a family we have been plugging along and doing what we can to remain sane amid a flurry of schedules and responsibilities.  Sylvia is still home schooling the kids and has started watching a baby for a teacher friend of ours.  What a cutie! (Sylvia and the baby both)  She continues to do her ministries at the church and is hoping to grow the one group that she has been leading into multiple groups.  She has a heart for helping people who have been abused.  And, unfortunately, there is a definite need. 

Kristiana is still enjoying singing in several choirs and was able to travel to New York (without the family…sniff) to sing in a showcase for highly skilled choirs.  She is studying the piano and guitar and is planning to use her talent in her career working with kids following college.  For now she is thinking that high school has much more schoolwork than junior high.  (We haven’t had the heart to tell her that when she starts to work she will look back at this stress as ‘the good old days.’) 

Jake has gotten a hold of the book “How to Be a Teenage Boy!” and is studying it very carefully.  He is paying special attention to the chapter, “Clever answers that may or may not get you into trouble.”  He is also learning the piano and guitar and amazing people at his knowledge of all things scientific.  He is still participating in sports of all kinds, when he isn’t sporting a cast, and we are starting to get recognized by the staff at the ER.  He even had a broken arm when the whole family went with the church to work on the Ganado Mission in the Navajo reservation this summer.  It was such a rewarding time that Kristiana is going again over spring break and we are in the process of seeing if the whole family will be able to go. 

As for me, I am still teaching kindergarten and enjoying it ever so much more than last year’s very challenging class.  I have learned some new teaching techniques that are making this well behaved class excel, and it is exciting to be a part of.   Other than teaching, I am still enjoying writing in my blog, “Do I Really Live in this Sitcom” at ( and occasionally people tell me that they are still enjoying reading it, so I suppose I will keep plugging along.  I have also been given the inspiration to write a book that is centered on Sylvia’s ministry.  I think it could be an important and meaningful book once I get the time to sit and write about it and postpone writing about the funny things that happen in the family.  I have purchased five lottery tickets for the mega prize so once I win that should afford me more time to write (as long as Sylvia doesn’t give it all away to charity). 

Overall we consider ourselves blessed every day and hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to a prosperous and terrific new year.  God Bless!                                      

Love,    The Garretts

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dog For Sale: Cheap!

Amid these troubled and uncertain times I have come to the realization that the dog must go.  I understand that this will come as a shock to some of you but at this point, it's either him or me.  Since I am the one who gets to get out of his warm bed to let him go to the bathroom, (at 4:30 in the morning...every morning!...including the first day of my Christmas vacation when I could be sleeping in!), I vote him!  Add to that the fact that I have opposable thumbs and can open jars and am willing to squish spiders, and it ain't looking too good for the pooch.

Among the many benefits of being the proud owner of Fudge the Wonder Dog is his ability to keep you safe.  Let's say there is a small appliance fire in your kitchen.  Fudge could alert you, allow you to get your family to safety, and get your picture on the front page of the paper!  Of course, in order for this to happen you would need to have an appliance fire and that certainly has it's drawbacks.  Also, you would need to have that fire at precisely 4:24 A.M. in order to rouse him from his many dreams of chasing rabbits.

He could also protect your family from marauding hordes!  He would definitely be who I choose to be by my side if I were ever to face a marauding horde.  Of course, this would have to be a horde of mailmen in order to set off his protection instincts but given the high rate of disgruntlement in the U.S. Post office I would say that it's even money that the encroaching hordes would be carrying mail sacks.  If, however, one of the mailmen is pushing a vacuum, you will surely die.

Fudge is a floor cleaner and food processor!  I did an experiment the other day.  We had a leftover yolk from a soft-boiled egg.  I snuck down to the room that houses his food dish.  I dropped it in from a height of four feet...splut...and as fast as lightning, Fudge came racing across the kitchen and 'Hoovered' that egg yolk with surgical precision!  Of course I have never actually seen lightning "mosey" across a floor before.  Actually, it was more of an amble.  A stroll with a dash of lolligag?  Well, the point is that Fudge heard the softest of sounds and reacted!  Of course it was a food related sound.  He doesn't always hear it when someone is trying to get him to go outside, move away from the door so we can leave, or get away from the sandwich on the table, but apparently his ears do work.  In fact, they work so well that if anything hits the floor in the kitchen he comes along to investigate.  And if he knows that it is a food item, and you are bending to pick it up, well then you'll see some speed.  In addition to keeping food related items off the floor, Fudge has a unique ability to process the food as well.

I'm sure everyone knows about the ability dog's have to turn their little brown pellets of food into significantly larger pellets of, let's just say, ahem, non food.  All dogs can do it.  No big deal.  Well Fudge and his magical belly can turn one stolen morsel of onion into a quart and a half of (descriptive and odoriferous explanation deleted).  It would be a science experiment in the making if it wasn't so dangerous for the pup.  I just wish he would stop and think, "last time I ate something that smelled like this I got sick.  I will leave it alone."  But alas, he is not known for his discerning palate.

So there you have it.  One big brown alarm clock in the shape of a furry man's best friend.  I suppose I should mention cost.  The kids would be terribly upset if I let him go for the bargain basement price of mere millions...let's start the bidding at billions.  Operators are standing by!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Different people have different levels of 'gross'.  One may think that observing the five second rule for a dropped cookie may be gross.  Another may have no qualms at all about observing the five day rule when finding leftover pizza in a box that was hidden by the Sunday paper. (I have no personal experience with this, I can assure you)  Some people can eat dinner while they watch movie after movie with the words, Blood, Murder, Kill, Hotel, or Dismember in the title, where the director seems to be paid by the gallon of gore.  Others may get woozy and have to turn away from the screen while a doctor gives someone an injection on a doctor show.  (I also have no personal experience with this either)  Differences are the key!

Well I have been informed, indirectly by my daughter Kristiana through Facebook, that I was being gross while writing and talking about our anniversary yesterday.  According to her definition:  I am guilty as charged.

It started when I wrote a blog yesterday about the proposal.  The way it works is I write here on the blog, I upload it to the net, then I go directly to Facebook and include a link that is shared on Twitter, then I share it onto my profile page since there are only a handful of people who are connected to my blog page or follow me on Twitter.  I'm not sure who appreciates or is annoyed when I upload all these places, but that is what I do.  Well, being a guy of the nineties, that means that I am also sending this info to my daughter.(Yes, I am aware that it is 2011.  But seriously, should I say I am a guy of the tens column?)  But I digress...

There usually isn't a problem since KRISTIANA will typically just skim through my blog to make sure that I haven't written KRISTIANA anywhere where KRISTIANA might see it.  (I'm gonna pay for this)  Apparently she also checks to make sure I haven't tipped the 'gross' scales toward the embarrassing side.  Yesterday was ripe for signs of embarrassment.  It started when I posted:  Seventeen years ago today. I married my best friend!  on Facebook.  I was quickly informed that someone thought it was "gross".  (I suppose you can guess who...NO!  It wasn't my wife!) Then, Sylvia had the nerve to write:  Happy Anniversary!!! Love you lots! Thanks for my surprises around the house!  You can imagine the uproar when that hit the screen!  We received another, "gross"  Then, because I wanted to write solely on Sylvia's wall and not be an ad for the blog, I wrote:  Happy Anniversary Honey! I love you!!   "gross"   Sylvia also did a little electronic graffiti (wrote on my wall) with:  Seventeen years ago today I married a pretty wonderful guy!! I would say yes all over you Jeff Garrett.  That was followed by the now routine, "gross"  I would like to point out that we have friends, Lucinda and Jamey, who are always sending love notes back and forth on Facebook.  Kristiana thinks they are cute!  

The gross-fest continued through the day and evening.  I would say, "I love you Honey." to which I would hear, "gross."  When I said grace over the dinner that I planned, I thanked God for bringing me Sylvia and for our marriage.  "gross"  When I opened Sylvia's car door.  "gross"  When I held her hand.  "gross"  I gave her a peck on the cheek.  "gross"    When I burped the alphabet after chugging down a liter of Dr Pepper.  "gross"  (Ok, that one may have been deserved)  I'm telling you, I couldn't do anything without moving into the "ewww" category.  Trouble is, except for the card, we were pretty much as gross as we are all year long. All right, so I sprang for the extra few dollars to put Baby's breath in the roses.  That is different as well.  (Kristiana didn't seem to think that was gross for some research staff is working on the reason.)  
Jake didn't join in the gross-o-rama.  I suppose he wanted to suffer in silence.  

Actually, the kids were a big help.  We got the house tidied up while mom was off helping her brother with some chores.  Kristiana prepared the dinner (let the kids play to their strengths I always say) and Jake helped me arrange the roses in the vase.  When Sylvia got home she was very pleased with the way the house looked and how the kids had gone above and beyond what she had hoped for.  As for me, I was happy to do it.  You know the saying, "When mama is happy, everyone is happy!"
I Love You Sylvia!

At the risk of being called gross one more time I would like to say, I Love You Sylvia! ...  My prayer is that our kids find relationships that are just as gross as ours is.  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I Still Do

Did you ever notice how some blocks of time don't seem like the same amount that the clock says?  Whenever a student who has come back to visit me in my classroom I will usually try to guess, by how many years have gone by, what grade they are in now.  I have tried to stop since I now have former students who are having families of their own, and it would be really embarrassing to ask if they are in twelfth grade and have them say, "No, but my son is in kindergarten."

I have already written, in order, about how Sylvia and I met, the fact that it was an arranged marriage, and that ever important first date, (you can click on the links if you've never read them) but I have never written about how I proposed...until now.  It has only been a year since I've written about Sylvia and I as a couple, but I suppose to you it seems more like a decade.  Funny thing time, I remember that at this time seventeen years ago, today, I was just waking up, in this house, on a twin bed, in the room that my son is sleeping in now.

But back to Sylvia and I.  We had been dating for a while and I knew,  The big "knew."  I wasn't sure if she knew that I knew, but I knew.  It was a dating anniversary and I wanted to take her out to dinner.  A common occurrence.  But I wanted this date to be special so I made reservations at the restaurant that we first went to.  Neptune's Palace at the end Pier 39 in Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco.  When I picked her up at her parents' house I pulled up, opened my car door, and found a penny at my feet.  As I've said before, I don't believe in luck...but it couldn't hurt.  I picked it up.  When the door opened Sylvia looked stunning.  I went in, said "hi" to Ruth, her mom, got the usual "Hmmmph" from her dad Kurt, and away we went.  Her parents didn't appear to know that I knew or that she knew that I knew, you know?  I was sure that everyone could tell that I was a little fatter.  One tiny box in my jacket pocket fatter to be exact.  No one let on.

When we got there I tried to be nonchalant as I could, but I told the hostess that I needed a table by the window since this was a special occasion.  It's little things like this that Sylvia likes.  They sat us at a table in the corner and I heard the hostess walk away and tell our waiter that the people at table 8 were celebrating.  Thanks!  I'm sure when she was out of ear shot she said, "And did you notice that he was walking a little funny?  It's almost like he has a little box in his coat pocket."

We ordered dinner, Sylvia had a lobster dish that they no longer serve and I ordered shrimp Alfredo.  We looked out over the bay.  There were millions of sparkles on the water.  We talked.  The lighthouse on Alcatraz Island shined its light rhythmically. We watched as the sun started to go down.   And then I started to get nervous.  It wasn't bad enough that there was this little box in my coat pocket that had been rubbing against my ribs all night, now I was starting to lose my lighting.  And then time slowed down...  Sylvia said, "We... should... order... dessert..."  In my head...WHAT!?  No! We are not order dessert people!  We eat, we get full, we leave!  Dessert!?  Think Jeff think!  "No, I thought we would do dessert somewhere else.  Let's walk along the pier."
"Ok, I'll be right back."

As Sylvia went to, ahem, powder her nose, I rushed the waiter through handling the check and gathered all of our things.  I was waiting by the front door when Sylvia came back and I hurried, as slowly as I could, out to the rail at the end of the pier.  The sun was setting.  Perfect.  I turned my back to her, reached into my pocket and felt for the box.  It wasn't there!  Just kidding.  It was there.  It was so there that I had nearly pounded a dent into my chest from checking.  With my hand in my pocket I turned back to her and said, "I got us some dessert."  And then I pulled out the box of Cracker Jacks that I had been hiding in my jacket all night.

I know, I know...I've been teasing you all along.  I am aware that you thought I had a tiny velvety ring box in my pocket.  That is so not me.  I handed it to Sylvia as casually as I could and she started to open it.  Did you ever notice that Cracker Jacks boxes are nearly impossible to open?  I am certain that they are made by the same company who makes safes, panic rooms, and the black boxes on airplanes.  Sylvia had trouble with this box.  So she turned around, put her elbows on the rail, and held the box over the bay as she tried to pry into it.

Speaking of prying into it.  At about this time, seventeen years ago today, my elderly great aunt, Ev, who was visiting started calling for help through the bathroom door.  She was ok but had locked the door and now it wouldn't open.  The lock had broken.  We didn't have time for finesse at this point.  We pried it open with a monkey wrench on the doorknob.  Sorry about that.  Back to the bay.

I couldn't take it any longer.  I said, "You may want to hold that over here.  Just so it doesn't drop."  She looked at me knowingly and turned back around.  Back to slow down time.  In reality all of this took about a only felt like half an hour.  Once the box was open she looked and saw that there really was Cracker Jacks inside.  She shot me a questioning look.  I said, "You don't have to eat that.  Look for the prize."

Since you all have figured out where I am going with this I feel I can explain now.  In the interest of public service.  If you ever decide that it would be a great idea to open the bottom of a box of Cracker Jacks, empty the contents, throw away the prize, and re-insert your own prize along with the warned.  No matter how expertly you seal the bottom (and I did do a fantastic job) exposing the caramel corn to the air and then packing it up again will turn it into a somewhat solid brick of inedibly sticky popcorn.

Luckily Sylvia found the little envelope I made, tore it open, and pulled out the very real, very non-Cracker Jack, engagement ring.  I took it from her, I placed it on her finger, and asked her if she would marry me.  This is where the real slow down happened.  She hugged me, she kissed me, she started to cry...she never said anything.  People all around us were walking in slow motion.  There was a guy who just happened to begin reading War and Peace over to the side.  More hugging.  More crying.  A couple with a stroller walked by.  Very slowly.  I looked up to window of the restaurant where we just were sitting at table 8.  No one was looking down at us.  The guy reading the book slammed it shut and said, "Done!"  Still Sylvia hadn't said anything!  More hugging!  So I asked.  "I'm guessing you mean....?"
And then she said my second favorite thing ever.  "Yes!  Yes, I will marry you!"

And exactly seventeen years ago today, in just a little while, we were standing up in front of our friends and family, listening to Ave Maria play through the sound system of the church when Sylvia said my very favorite thing.  "I do."  Well Sweetheart, on our seventeenth anniversary I would like to say, "I still do!"

I love you Sylvia.  Thank you for making me the happiest man on earth.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cereal Killer

I apologize!  I did read somewhere in the book "How to Become Rich and Famous While Writing a Blog!" that you should never apologize.  I was brought up much better than that so here goes!  I am sorry!  To the author of the book.  Sorry.  To the person who may or may not have gotten to the parking space a milli-second before I pulled in.  Pardon.  To the newspaper delivery boy(man) who didn't get a tip because I feel the paper should be readable and not soaking wet.  Mea Culpa.  And finally, to all of my loyal readers, who have come to expect much better than this shoddy treatment...Please, forgive me!

Why am I typing this while groveling?  I failed to keep up with the times!  I want to be on the cutting edge of blog writing and I have apparently missed the boat.  Fear not!  I have purchased a ticket and I am walking up the gangplank of said boat right now.  Bon Voyage!

The name of this metaphorical blogboat is "Pictures Of Food" and it is coming to a (usb)port near you.  It seems that there is a plethora of blogs dedicated to people taking pictures of their food.  I was falling behind.  Now be warned, while I think that taking pictures of food is a wonderful thing to do, it just never seemed that interesting to me.  It wasn't something that drew me in and made me want to buy an expensive camera, nicer dishes, and a I didn't.  But I can guarantee that this will be the best blog of its kind!  (eventually)  It may take me a little while to get the hang of it.

With no further ado, I would like to introduce the subject of today's feast:
The Cinnamon Toasted Raisin Charms

I stumbled across this recipe quite by accident.  It was a cold winter morning and I had a little extra time in the morning so I decided to make myself a rare bowl of cereal.  I opened the cereal cabinet and beheld a veritable cornucopia of breakfast treats!  After pondering the selection I made my decision.  When I reached to lift the box and its bounty I misjudged the weight, applied too much force, and slammed the box into the shelf above. (something I did regularly before milk came in see through containers)  I was holding what I assumed to be an empty box.  Upon closer inspection I found that I was mistaken and that empty and two tablespoons worth weighed nearly the same.
Lucky Charms with all the "charms" removed

I took it out of the lineup.  I reached for my next choice...gingerly...once bitten you know, and found that this one was similarly weighted.
Raisin Bran...minus raisins

On the counter it went.  Third choice.  Same.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch (luckily there is nothing for the kids to pick out)

Fourth.  Ditto.  (I lost this last image though...I took these on my phone and I think I may have accidentally made it my profile picture on Facebook.)

What to do what to do?  Then it came to me.  What if I chose to eat all of them simultaneously!  Four bowls would have been wasteful.  Throwing away even twenty eight cents worth of cereal?  Unheard of!  One big bowl.  Done!
VOILA!  Cinnamon Toasted Raisin Charms!

The way I figure it, and according to the panels on the sides of all the boxes, I have accomplished in one bowl over 128% of my daily intake of riboflavin!  (129% if I used whole milk)  For all of you purists out there who may be inclined to suggest that I have exceeded the serving suggestion size I would like to invite you to measure out the exact amount suggested, just once, and try to make it all the way to lunch.  I tried, the resulting bad mood is legendary at my school!

Apparently I forgot the cardinal rule of food in the house.  Anything deemed "not enough", "not worth it", or "not as good as that" automatically becomes food for Dad.  I used to enjoy eating the parts of the pizza that actually held the toppings before I had kids!

So there you have it.  I have written about and photographed food!  It was a lot of fun and I can assure you I will most likely be writing on this subject again!  I can feel the riches flowing toward me already!  I may make enough to get a white tablecloth to have as a backdrop for next time...dare to dream!  I am already considering my next food related project.  It came to me while I was making a sandwich after I finished breakfast.  I had three loaves of bread to choose that, of course, meant I had only six end pieces!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Short But Sweet (The story and the kid)

It is no mystery that working with kids is about as hilarious a job as you can have, but when you work with a classroom full of them, and they're five, rarely a day goes by when one of the cherubs doesn't do something adorable.  It doesn't hurt that I work with colleagues who are constantly on the lookout for cute as well.  

A few days ago, at recess, I was done handing out the Goldfish to the students to eat (crackers people-I don't work in a frat house.) and I came outside to see the other male kindergarten teacher "calling" one of my students on his iPhone.  Little Joe (not his real name) was, of course, talking on his iBanana!  As I walked by, Josh tapped me and nodded to my student, as if to say, "Look at this!  He's totally having a conversation with me!  

Josh played along with Little Joe for about a minute and then decided to 'end the call' since we can't be seen playing all day long.  They may decide that we are having too much fun and lower our pay.  ('s our little secret)  Well he kept talking and asked about Little Joe's day, how he was doing, and most importantly, where he went on his break.   Little Joe, who had been faithfully talking into his fruit phone, answered every question.  As he began what seemed to be a long winded answer to the final question, Josh said, "Little Joe!  I can't hear you!  You are breaking up!"

Most kids would have laughed and said something like, "You're silly!"  Little Joe, who is apparently no stranger to dropped calls, (I never trusted the commercial where the guy says, "ooh ooh eeh ooh?" Which of course is Gorilla for "Can you hear me now?")  Little Joe pulled the iBanana away from his ear, cupped both hands around the 'receiver' end, and yelled, "I SAID, WE WENT TO MY GRANDMA'S HOUSE!"

Josh and I erupted into silent guffaws (we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings) and he said, "Jeff, you have GOT to remember this!"  I don't need to remember, I have a blog!  And now you can remember it too.  

I was tempted to get the iBanana to replace my Droid...but after seeing this poor reception I think I will stick with dreaming about the Razr .  Besides, I hear that they are already working on iBanana 5!  Technology, sheesh!