Category Archives: Drivel

Ice Marbles via Pinterest in a Moment of Insanity


If you’ve been on Pinterest for any longer than an hour, you’ve probably seen this image. I would like to first say, you have no idea how annoying it was to try to find the original post for this idea. Even now, I can’t even be 100% this is even it, but let it be known, I tried.

I discovered a stash of balloons the other day and I decided to give this a try. Without the help of the kids, because I just don’t have that kind of patience nor am I quite that insane.

The balloons I had were “standard” size but I discovered that this means smaller than expected marbles. Cheap balloons are meant to hold air, not necessarily dense, heavy water. I’m warning you now.

I filled up the first balloon with water at the kitchen sink at our drinking water tap faucet because I figured the higher pressure would make quick work of it. The balloon’s opening did not fit tightly over the spout, it filled the balloon but wasn’t enough to expand it. The water simply overflowed back out. Since the kitchen faucet had a sprayer head, it wouldn’t fit over that so I moved into the bathroom, which had the only spout in the house that the balloon’s end would fit snugly on.

So now I’m in the bathroom with my balloons and food coloring. I used the cheap liquid drops – the kind that comes in the bottles that look like garden gnomes. You know the kind I’m talking about.

I put a couple drops of the coloring in an empty balloon and then fit the end over the tap and gently turned the water on. It expanded as I had hoped, but I didn’t try to fill it very full for fear of it exploding. I didn’t want to reuse that balloon, either, so when I turned it over to empty it, the water violently erupted and red water went everywhere! It was a mess.

After I cleaned that up, I took a new balloon, added a couple drops of the coloring and tried again. It got about the size of a very large grapefruit when I carefully removed it from the faucet and tied off the end. It is crucial to NOT fumble-finger this part unless you are outside and you don’t care about the mess. I ended up with four filled balloons, which I gingerly placed in a bucket (again, because I kept imagining one would burst) and then set it outside overnight.

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Sparring Partner said that they would end up sticking together when the latex froze, however they did not, and really? It wouldn’t have mattered if they had. This morning, I cut the balloons away and I was left with my ice marbles.

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They are not perfectly round, so don’t expect them to be if you try this. The food coloring actually settles while the water is freezing, which resulted in a more ombre affect. Don’t put the final product anywhere you don’t want stained when it melts, like your deck rail or porch or steps. Of course, I don’t care, so I did sit mine on top of the deck.

OH! And I almost forgot: there’s no need to wait until the outside temps reach and maintain freezing. Since the balloons don’t get THAT big, you could just put them in a bowl or container and put that in the freezer, especially if you have a chest or storage freezer. I would recommend you put them inside something, just in case the balloon gives way.

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My Brain is a Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn’t Want to Live There.

My son has on different occasions asked me whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable. I tell him that’s a great question and that he should ask his science teacher.

But now I’m curious so I google it. A tomato is categorized with the cucumbers, pumpkins and peppers so it’s a vegetable, right? Nope. Technically, it’s a fruit. They are all fruits. If a bloom creates the end result and it has seeds (whether they are edible or not), it’s a fruit. That means cabbage and lettuce leaves and potato and carrot roots are actually vegetables, but scientifically (!) they aren’t either. Vegetable is a culinary term, not a scientific category.

Not confusing at all.

This leads me to a post I saw on Facebook about Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention (which, as my husband pointed out, has the most unfortunate acronym…), and the whole "mom-in-chief" thing as compared to Ann Romney’s speech and the "love so deep only a mother can fathom it". Sparring Partner announced they had both played the Mom Card. The continuing smack down of women-on-women continues without the short nighties and the feather pillows.

But now I’m curious so I googled it.

Who DID play the Mom Card the most?

Mom – 5
Mother – 5
Dad – 7
Father – 3
Parent – 5

Total: 25

Mom – 2
Mother – 6
Dad – 5
Father – 3
Parent – 4

Total: 20

It was interesting, but not necessarily revealing. Trivia I’ll forget by the end of the day. But, hey, why not take it a step further… I found Hillary R. Clinton’s transcript from the DNC in 1996 (before the Mommy Feuds and the War on Women):

Mom – 1
Mother – 6
Dad – 1
Father – 1
Parent – 19

Total: 28

And then I went one step further. "FAMILY / FAMILIES"

AR – 4
MO – 13
HRC – 21

So now YOU tell ME: are the presidential candidates’ wives fruits or vegetables?

Dear IRS:

If you happen to work for the IRS, let me first apologize for how stupid I am going to tell you I think you are.

Our kids have to pay taxes because of some kind of trust, or something, their grandfather set up for them. This spring our Financial Dude (I think that’s the title on his business card) calculated that Aitch had to pay $28 in taxes for 2011. A check was filled out and attached to her return and that was supposedly that.

Then in May we received a letter from the IRS with a pay-stub enclosed asking us to pay her taxes, now with interest, to the tune of $28.11. Within a couple minutes I was able to determine that they had transposed the SS# for my daughter per the back of the cancelled check sent in April so instead of applying the check to Aitch’s account of say 111-11-1234, they used 111-11-1243. I was also able to confirm that this was an error on their part because we had copies of the returns that have 1234 on everything.

When I tried to call the IRS to explain how they are stupid, as I am sure they don’t hear enough of, I was told they couldn’t discuss the account because I am not Aitch. I tried to tell them that she was three, but because the IRS is stupid, they did not care that she was only a pre-schooler. I called the Financial Dude who said, “Seriously. The IRS is stupid and I’m not spending two hours on the phone (I was on hold for an hour) over $28.” Fair enough. So I made photocopies with a letter explaining the mistake and mailed it to the IRS.

About a month later, we received another letter and another pay stub informing us that to avoid additional late interest charges we should pay the $28 and some-odd-cents AND that they would review our information and respond within 45 days. That was in June.

Last week, we got another letter informing us that their big, giant collective heads were still reviewing and it would take another 45 days.

And I just laugh because…well, like, WOW. There’s a federal employee out there who has been paid three months salary to have a $28 tax dispute sit on his or her desk. I don’t know what an IRS employee gets paid, but I’m going to guess it’s around $7,000, minimum, a quarter. Doesn’t that make you laugh, too?

ETA: We got a letter from the IRS this week. They “found” our original payment from back in April and our 2011 taxes are settled. It took them three and half months.



Things went better at the meeting than I expected. Details, if I get around to them, will be provided then.

Instead of writing blog posts, I’ve become obsessed with Pinterest. It’s not you, it’s me.

I have a board that I post the stupid things I find on Pinterest to, including the above poster (without the strike-through or additional word). Of course someone went right ahead and repinned it so now the damn thing is perpetuating itself like a couple of cockroaches under the sink of a hoarders bathroom sink.

Now that I have it posted a corrected version here, I can repin it. And you can just go about with your day as usual while I ride my high horse off into the sunset.


I’m a RSVP Nazi. I think that if I send out an invite to my kid’s party with a phone number or email to RSVP to that it’s not unreasonable to expect a response either way.

Not only am I a RSVP Nazi, I’m also a Hypocrite. Nice to meet’cha.

An acquaintance (a girl I temped with a year ago) invited us to her wedding reception. On the postcard-like invite, we were asked to RSVP on their website or their phone by a certain date. A week before their wedding, she sent me a text wondering if we were going to be there so she could get a final meal count.

I can’t believe she would have contacted everyone who hadn’t RSVP’d, can you? I thought well, maybe, she hadn’t invited that many so catching those last half dozen or so….but I’m not buying that either. If she invited me, who hasn’t seen her much less talked to her in months, she probably invited tons of other people who are much closer than we are. Unless she doesn’t have friends?

Is it weird that she text me? Would you? I’m not talking about a birthday party with ten kids, either.

She must recognize my fabulousness and wanted to make sure I was going to be there.

Yeah, that’s it. Fabulousness.

New Toy

I got a new toy for my upcoming bday and thought I would give it a test run via an app. I can’t imagine typing out a major post with my thumbs (esp since it took me 3 attempts to type “thumbs”).

But when the urge strikes I can update on the fly.


And just like that *snap*, the killdeer’s eggs were gone.

The man we hired to install a sump-pump next to my husband’s shop had no idea that his heavy equipment trailer’s width would take out the four speckled eggs. I saw the tracks in the lane as they drifted to the right, to the side where the nest was. I had coordinated the nest’s location with a large white rock and in line with the fence post several feet away. The adult killdeer, who took turn nesting and who had become so accustomed to our vehicles passing by and therefore didn’t even bother to fly away each time we passed by, were nowhere to be seen.

Even upon close inspection I could see no eggshell fragments. Nothing but gravel and rocks. Maybe they had hatched that morning before the trailer drove over their nest. Maybe.

It’s as if they were never there.