You can eat it with your fingers, and it leaves no residue.

My grandmother used to have a very annoying habit of saying things like, “Oh! If only you knew what I know about Blashenblash! But I can’t tell you. I promised not to tell ANYONE! But you would DIE if you knew!” On a similar note, I can’t help but become annoyed when people shout out something like, “I have a Major Announcement to make, but you will have to wait until next week to hear it.”

If you can’t tell me something, don’t tell me how you can’t tell me something. Seriously. You’re wasting words. And words are not meant to be wasted.

And now I am guilty: I received some Big Happy News yesterday, and I spent a good part of today reading legal documents and signing away some rights. And I’m not allowed to tell you any specifics. But I CAN tell you this: If it is determined that I meet all eligibility requirements, I will be accepting a major prize valued at $1,000. And this prize has absolutely nothing to do with a Wii Fit and everything to do with me spending 30 minutes in my yard taking photographs of food and then freaking out in church about the fact that a peace sign and a Mercedes logo look oddly similar and then rushing home to redo the photo shoot in order to eliminate any potential shout-out to the kind folks at Mercedes, and that’s about all I can say.

I suppose the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it, Grandma?

I will say this, with the slight fear of releasing a rattlesnake: A picture is worth a thousand words. And when my prize arrives (if it is determined that I meet all eligibility requirements), I will post a picture.

And now I shall change the subject somewhat drastically. A few days back, Mercy Buttercup, using a popular social media program, announced that she had found The Most Comfortable Nightgown Ever. I took her recommendation to heart (because we own the same Wiggles guitar), and as I type this entry I am wearing The Most Comfortable Nightgown Ever. And now I shall showcase it for you, using my signature America’s Next Top Model pose.


A huge thank you to Mercy Buttercup. Because I’m never taking this thing off. In fact, Jeff just gave me the go-ahead to wear it to Thanksgiving dinner next week. Aces.

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I chose a tiny bag.

I just took this evening’s muscle lallygagger, so I’ll keep this entry brief for fear that fifteen minutes from now will find me drooling and sputtering nasty tales. (And believe me…)

Anyway. Here are the facts.

I work part time at a yarn store.

The employees at the yarn store are allowed to keep a Hold Bag containing merchandise they will eventually purchase. Up until tonight, I did not allow myself to start a hold bag. Why? Fiber dipsomania, my friend. It starts with one skein. And it’s so easy to put that one skein into your hold bag, isn’t it? Three weeks later, you’ve shoved 3,482 skeins into your hold bag and in no time you’ve stashed away something like $80,000 worth of yarn. And then you have to decide what to return to the shelves. But you love all of it too much. And suddenly you can’t afford to have electricity in your home. And the kids are starting to look like they’re getting scurvy. And you are forced to make chili out of your cat.

Did you catch that whole “up until tonight” thing up there? Yep. Tonight I started my hold bag. Because I fell in love with this. And I’ll be making it out of this. (And, wow. That photo really hurts my eyes for some reason. Bright flash! Overexposure!) So, anyway. Let the madness begin.

Muscles? Relaxed. Time for vampires. Enjoy your night. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Could you also prescribe some laceweight silk yarn?

This morning I visited my headache specialist to figure out how to eliminate this ridiculous everlasting headache. After we briefly discussed my terrible posture and the fact that I get zero exercise each day (I really am a complete disaster), we had the following conversation.

Headache Specialist: Do you, by any chance, have a Wii?

Me (wanting to cry because No. No, I do not have a Wii!): No. No, I do not have a Wii!

Headache Specialist: The only reason I ask is because the Wii Fit has a good yoga routine, and a lot of my patients have found that it helps with their tension headaches.

Me: Prescribe one for me. Seriously. Will my insurance cover it? Let’s do this.

HS: If you already had a Wii, I’d probably suggest you get a Wii Fit. BUT, I can’t ask you to spend that kind of money on the entire system.

Me: Prescribe it. Do it. Let’s make this happen. I dare you.

HS: I think I’ll give you a muscle relaxer and ask you to get a basic yoga DVD.

Okay. I’ll probably take the muscle relaxers a few times. However, I know myself well enough to know that the DVD will get exactly six days of use. (I tend to lose motivation with exercise DVDs after six attempts. See, I really AM a complete disaster.)

Anyway. Starting tonight? Muscle relaxers and a second attempt at Rodney Yee, who wants to kiss me. (At least that’s what I pretend as he poses himself wearing nothing but leggings.)

(This is the headache talking. I don’t normally beg.) Oh, Nintendo. If I had a Wii Fit, my headaches might be cured! Seriously: You could heal a girl in St. Louis with the mailing of one complimentary game system! Is it time for you to Pay it Forward, Nintendo? Is it? Um, please? How’s this for an incentive: If you send me a Wii/Wii Fit combo, I’ll make a video of myself working out wearing nothing but leggings. (If that’s not an incentive, well, let’s just forget I ever typed that sentence.)

EDITED TO ADD: Jeff just called to express his concern about the muscle relaxers. “Wouldn’t it be weird if it went straight to your bowels? Like, you’re still feeling a bit stiff-necked, and then All of a Sudden! Whoops! What the…?!” So, yeah. Now I’m afraid to leave the house. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Banner, Schmanner. David, Schwimmer.

It’s sort of funny.

After putting up the Fluid Pudding Hippo Banner, I quickly received six e-mails saying, “I’m really hating that hippo banner.”

One of my six unsolicited banner judges even said, “I don’t think I can come back here as long as you have that hippo banner.”

Yesterday I woke up and said, “You know what, Hippo Haters? I’m not really liking the hippo, either.”

So, I put up a photo of my hand getting ready to make out with a zombie. And that banner sort of sucked, too.

Please be patient with me as I learn to work with banners. Better yet, go visit Secret Agent Josephine. While you’re there, go ahead and nominate me for her free monthly web graphic drawing. Look at me over here. I’m all naked, severely unperky, and in desperate need of something adorable to cover my top.

Because it’s Sunday, I’m about to leave you with some words of wisdom. Last night, Meredith called me into her room and said the following: “Mommy, you can’t just keep getting a new cat and then letting it die and then naming your next cat after the dead cat so you always remember the dead cat. The best thing to do is make a picture book with a million pages to help you remember your dead cats. Fill out a page every time a cat dies, and then you can name your new cat whatever you want.”

(Meredith did not hear us joking about cat chili yesterday. I honestly have no idea where the million-paged dead cat notebook idea came from. But I DO think that everyone needs a million-paged dead cat notebook. Wait! I have just unstumped you on the holiday shopping for the Person Who Already Has Everything, haven’t I? You’re welcome.)

Quick! Get thee to Secret Agent Josephine! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Conversations with Jeff

Jeff: Today is the day I make chili. Italian Sausage Esquire Magazine Chili. The only ingredient we need is meat.

Me: Wouldn’t it be weird if we used Sidney?

Jeff: Yeah. That would be weird. Like, “Okay, Folks! The weather guy said it might snow today!” And because there’s a tiny chance that it could perhaps snow, the Puddings go all DEFCON-1 and make chili out of their cat.

Me: And then it doesn’t snow after all, so we pop open a bottle of Fresca and invite the neighbors over.

Jeff: “Hey! Guys! Yoo-Hoo! Hey you over there across the grass from our house over here! You wanna come over? Something is happening! We just made chili out of our CAT, for God’s sake! You gotta get over here and help us eat it!”

Me: “Hey! You thought you hated us because of our Obama bumper stickers?! Scratch that one! WE JUST MADE CHILI OUT OF OUR DAMN CAT!”

Jeff: “The kids LOVED that cat! Heya! Who’s bringing the oyster crackers?! Cat Chili! Ding-a-ding-a-ding!”

(Just so you know: We went to the store and purchased Italian sausage and Pancetta. Sidney is resting comfortably on the couch with no idea that we were planning on eating her for dinner.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

5 Reasons Why I Might Be On Day 10 of a Migraine

1. Coming soon to a public place near you? Harper and The Tantrums!

2. Meredith’s eyes were dilated today. She’s been crying about The Potential for Dilation (my next book title) for nearly a week now. And when I say “crying” I mean that Meredith may or may not be performing with Harper and The Tantrums in a public place near you.

3. I have started 483 more knitting projects, including a mystery shawl (the first clue comes out next week!) named Mystic Ice. Starting Projects coupled with Never Finishing Projects seems to be a seasonal trend for me. I swore I wouldn’t do it this year. But there I went. Oh, 2009. I am sorry.

4. Someone just told me that Christmas is less than six weeks away. And six weeks is too soon! With six weeks to go until Christmas, it almost feels like Christmas is over. Oh, Steve Miller.

5. I’ve eaten too much cheese. It’s just that simple. Specifically, Swiss cheese and mustard sandwiches, often followed by a snack of more Swiss cheese.

I have an appointment at the headache clinic on Monday morning, where the following conversation will surely take place.

Headache Doctor: Have you been doing your exercises?
Me: No.
Headache Doctor: Did you sign up for the yoga class I was telling you about?
Me: No.
Headache Doctor: I hate you for never listening to me. Is this how you treat everyone?!
Me: Wow. I think it is. Will you drill a tiny hole into my head?

Wait. Estonian Lace! Also, Tyrolean Stockings!! Sei Shonagon Pillow!!! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>


I almost forgot to post something! Hey there!

(This is the perfect time for you to go somewhere else. May I suggest a trip over here?)

My mom came over, we went to Starbucks, and then we cleaned the girls’ room and decorated it for the holidays. Winter comforters, flannel sheets, snowman rugs, spotless floor… It looked really nice.

We picked Harper up from school and when she saw her room, she lost her mind in a really crappy way. The tantrum that was kicked off at the sight of a blue snowman rug lasted nearly two hours and included kicking, screaming, and (my personal favorite) spitting. Tiresome. Disappointing.

Meredith came home from school and ate soup. I found this to be completely delightful. (Especially after spending two hours with a Tasmanian devil.)

I put together a pesto pizza.

We headed to school for Harper’s parent/teacher conference. And because of her tantrums (I’ll spare you the details.), we are going to be teaming up with a developmental pediatrician and a social worker. This, aside from the soup thing, was The Greatest Thing to Come Out of This Day. (Wait. Coffee with my mom was good, too. Nonfat chai!)

We returned home where Harper played soccer in the kitchen and Meredith wrote the following:

“I pledge my honor to serve God and help people get their Kleenex if they don’t have any. 24 times to 24 sneezes to 24 Kleenex. And if you don’t mind, we will help you. We will serve your students to live by the friendly scouting wishes and to live. To live by the live.”

As you read this (if you read it immediately after I hit the Publish button), I’m either washing my face, jumping into pajamas, or sitting in bed reading until I drift.

May you all have 24 Kleenex for your next 24 sneezes. To live by the live. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>