Just Heather

Stacia’s last day of school is Thursday. Part of me is excited about it. The early morning rush will be gone. The homework deadlines no longer my responsibility. PTO meetings on hold and after school activities on break for summer. The feeling of relaxation I will have next week has no comparison. I expect it to last about a day and half. That’s when the these-kids-are-here-all-day freak out will occur. I’m great at planning activities when necessary. I’m not so great at spur of the moment “I’m so bored” ideas. I think I shall spend some time next week before that hits planning a list to pull from.

Girl Scout Day Camp is in 3 weeks so that will be an easy week. Soccer Camp is the week after that. Then 2 straight months of all me! I wish I had a fence so I could just open the door and usher them out. As it stands, if I want to send the munchkin out Mommy has to go too. I’m not much of an outdoor person. Though if we can ever get the wireless network going, I might do alright. Now if only ESPN News were piped into the backyard.

I’m talking about real, honest-to-goodness support. My Brownie troop organized a care package drive at school. We managed to put together 10 care packages for soldiers overseas through the Any Soldier program. I am preparing them to mail this week, and in doing so discovered several other great programs.

I ran out of packing peanuts. Not surprising since I’ve never bought any in my life, but I still had 5 packages to complete. So I did what any good coupon queen would do and put a request on Freecycle. Not only did I receive 5 offers for packing peanuts, but I received an amazing offer from Beanies for Baghdad to ship all 10 packages for free, courtesy of Gary Sinise through Operation Iraqi Children and A Million Thanks.

I think all 4 of these efforts are wonderful opportunities to truly support our troops, and I plan to participate in some way with all 3 who have preserved my girls’ troop funds for next year’s activities.

Next time I say, “Since we aren’t going to be able to actually go camping this year, wouldn’t it be fun if the troop just came to my house!” please, please, please talk some sense into me.

No, I’m not talking about some ancient, secret, family recipe. I’m talking about my mom’s famous No-Bake Cookie recipe that I just can’t seem to hold onto. I’ve written it down—numerous times. Yet everytime I have a craving for them, the recipe is no where to be found. One night last month I called mom after midnight for it. Today I called her as she was putting her makeup on. She’ll probably be late for work, but my No-Bake Cookies are smelling good on the stove!

There is just something about small towns. I was driving down the road yesterday when a firetruck passed on the other side. The windshield said “Protectors of the Village.”

As for this village, we’re definitely not missing our idiot. I had to sit for an hour Monday with Spencer while he had his hand/thumb x-rayed. He fell off his skateboard. In the house. At midnight. Then he comes to bed, says not a word, and goes to sleep. The next morning when I asked why he stayed home from work, he says “I think I hurt my hand.”

Think? You mean the swelling wasn’t confirmation?

They took 3 different x-rays and still can’t tell if it’s broken. The doctor splinted it and plans to take more x-rays next week to see if there is a healing line. Then they’ll cast it. I knew something like this would happen as soon as he bought that damn thing.

This is why I insisted on full protective gear which, of course, he won’t wear in the house because it’s not like he’ll get hurt on the carpet or anything. I love you, you idiot.

I made the front page of the Chicago Tribune! I did an interview on Wednesday about my work with coupons. I took the reporter on a shopping trip and showed her how to save a bundle. I knew the article was coming out yesterday, but I had no idea it would be front page. If I had, I wouldn’t have frantically flipped through the entire paper and gotten newsprint all over my new shirt on the way to Mother’s Day dinner with my dad’s entire family! Good thing I got to impress them with my front page news so maybe no one noticed.

I think I might have killed a bird yesterday. It wasn’t my fault. The bird flew under my car from the side while I was driving. I didn’t hear anything, but in my rearview mirror I saw something fluttering along the side of the road. It’s possible that something under my car just clipped his wings, but it’s more likely Darwinism in action. Stupid birds shouldn’t breed either.

Unfortunately, this isn’t my first run-in with wildlife. I nearly hit a Cardinal during my driving test many years ago. I managed to avoided it, luckily, since I’m sure killing the state bird would have had a detrimental affect on my score.

I once killed a 9-point buck with my Beretta. Doesn’t that sound much cooler than “a huge deer rammed into my car?” The trooper who arrived on scene actually asked if I wanted to keep it. While venison is pretty tasty, I’m not exactly sure how I would have gone about that. I’m guessing you can’t drop road kill off at the local butcher and ask for some steak and chops.

I had some watermelon a few weeks ago. It was not great melon—pink, hard, not very juicy—but I could not get enough! I called my dad—official supplier of watermelon—to get some good stuff. None. The local season hasn’t started yet and they don’t have anything in the warehouse. Never fear! Grandpa to the rescue!

My grandfather had a Georgia melon transported up last week just for him. He promised to send a slice with my dad. If you knew Papaw, you would now what a total sacrifice this would be. I was expecting a small sliver, just a bit to curb my craving. I got the biggiest, juciest, best-tasting slice of watermelon you’ve ever seen! It was so good, I’ve had to control myself to make it last. I can’t wait until the Indiana season starts. I don’t take advantage of the free produce much, but I’ll make up for lost time this summer!

I’ve also been craving tomato-based products—chili, coneys, BLTs. The only thing the two fruits really have in common is lycopene. I didn’t think you could crave a pigment, but at least this baby should never have to worry about cancer. I’ve got your antioxidants right here!