Friday, December 31, 2010

The end of the year...the end of my rope

Between vacation-imposed family togetherness and the two feet of snow that has kept us in the house A LOT this week, I've been feeling kind of desperate.

I knew I had reached my breaking point this evening when I went into the spare bedroom, shut the door, removed the hamster from his cage and started steering her around the room in a small plastic dump truck that had been gifted to Thing 1 when he was three.

One of the cats stared at me in horror as I laughed maniacally.  I didn't care - I'm the one who controls the kibble.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What happens when it snows

No mail for the past two days.  Maybe this is why I haven't received my "Save the Date" card for the royal wedding?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My first serious post - because some stories must be told

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Post Blizzard Poem

The sun is out now
Mocking us with her ineffective warmth.

Oh, I know how you work
You'll melt the snow on our neighbor's side of the street

Then, given that we bought a house
On a street with a "gentle" slope (and paid too much for it)
Our neighbor's runoff will "run off" onto our property
And freeze overnight.

When I awaken tomorrow in the morn
And venture forth onto the driveway to retrieve
The mess of fliers from CVS, Pathmark and the Liquor Depot (New Year's Eve approacheth)
I will take a spill...a very bad spill.
One requiring heat...or is that ice? 

My pride and coccyx will ache
But not enough to garner me any major sympathy
In a house where I am the only female
And apparently the only one who knows how to
Microwave a plate of macaroni and cheese.

I curse your warmth, oh sun.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Storm Update

I sent DH out for milk before the storm got too intense.  It should taste delicious with the chocolate chips, poptarts and wine I'm serving for dinner tonight.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holiday and Weather Closings

Body of Work will be closed on Saturday, December 25 and Sunday, December 26 to allow our employees to spend time with their families over the Christmas holidays.

We thank our employees for the tremendous contribution they have made to the success of this blog not allowing this blog to die a most deserved natural death over the past year and encourage them to celebrate the holiday in the manner most consistent with their spiritual and emotional beliefs, whether this involves frankinscense, myrhh or moo goo gai pan.  

Please note that New Jersey is under a storm warning for the hours from mid-day Sunday to early Monday morning.  While under normal circumstances weather should not affect the operations of an endeavor like Body of Work (given that I can write this thing while lying in bed, flanked by a couple of cats and dressed in a clown costume), we firmly believe that everyone needs an excuse to not come to work every now and then to stay home and lay in bed (flanked by a couple of cats and wearing a clown costume).

Body of Work is an equal opportunity employer.  We do not discriminate based on looks, IQ or strange obsessions.  Because that would be hypocritical and icky.  I know, because I asked my friend Knucklehead.  Right Knucklehead?

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Yesterday the Today Show aired a segment about unusual compulsions.  Three women were featured, each with an unquenchable desire to:
  • practice ventriloquism (and she did, the entire interview. The interview essentially took place with her dummy)
  • eat toilet paper and
  • sleep with a blowdryer (in her defense, her hair looked great).

Here's the interview.  It's apparently part of a new TLC program about..strange addictions (I just know this is one for the Deiblers).

Watching this segment made me feel much better about my own minor foibles.  It put a spring in my step, all the way down the sidewalk - avoiding the cracks and ending on my right foot, as I must.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The One

The Number One arrived in Times Square to great fanfare yesterday.  A limo, TV coverage, celebrity photos, a red carpet - because how would an inanimate object feel if it didn't get the attention it deserved?

I don't remember the number zero getting all this attention last year when we were turning over to 2010.  Maybe that's because there's an implicit "nothingness" to zero.

I could give birth to tetratuplets, win the Nobel Peace prize, find the cure for the common cold, or even prepare an edible dinner for my family and never get all that attention.

I guess that's because I'm not The One.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sleeping Alone

For a long time, I was satisfied.  The closeness, the warmth, the snuggling.  The furtive nuzzles.  The knowledge that, in the wee, small hours of the morning, there was always a warm body keeping me safe, loving me.

And then one night last week, I finally got really sick of trying to sleep with one cat draped over my head and the other cat resting heavily on my bladder. 

So I'm ready to banish both cats from the bedroom.  As with most things in my life, this isn't as simple as it sounds.  I can't close the door to the bedroom, because Thing 2 gets "scared" if our door is closed.  So I can stay awake until he's asleep and then close the door -- but this often isn't until 11.  I can shut the cats behind the door in the guest/sewing/hamster room, but I don't want to add "crapper" to the multitude of functions that room satisfies.

The only other solution I can think of is a dog.  Cats are afraid of dogs, aren't they?  So if a dog was sleeping in our bed....

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dressing Up

I had to dress up and look nice for something one day two weeks ago.  In my case "looking nice" is a relative term.  In reality, there's not much you can do with brillo hair, a deathlike pallor and the start of a turkey neck.  At least not in the three hours I had allotted to me.

So I washed my hair and started to dry it carefully with my blowdryer.  Usually I just hurry through this step and the hair on the crown of my head ends up flat.  But this time I took my time, so that it had body, bounce and shine.  My cowlick was behaving and there were no obvious nits.  A heady success.

At which time I saw that the comb sitting on the sink was filthy with toothpaste so I rinsed it off under the faucet.  I then noticed that my hair needed a little neatening up, so I ran the comb through my just dried hair.  Except that the comb was still wet (though toothpasteless) and my carefully coiffed hair was now streaky-wet, rendering me looking as though I had just emerged from the shower.

I decided to forget my hair and concentrate on my make-up.  I pulled my vial of Cover Girl lipstick from my cosmetic bag and attempted to apply it to my lips.  Except that it broke in half and I ended up with half a stick of Berry Red sliding down my throat.

So now my hair is soaking wet, I'm choking on lipstick and it's time to go.  But I knew that, had my mother been present, she would have been pleased, my having applied color to my lips.

This is a true story. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Excellent News!

According to, the web traffic reporting reporting site, Body of Work is moving up in the blogosphere.

It is now the 2,652,595th most visited site in the world!  That's an improvement from about 3,053,387 last month!

(By contrast, my popularity in the U.S. has dropped since last month, probably because of all the foreign words I use, like "oy vey").

Just think about it -- only 2.6 million more websites to overcome and I'll be playing with the big boys, like Google, Facebook, Amazon and  It's a level of success I never imagined.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

In the next couple of weeks, we're going to see lots and lots of lists recapping the year 2010 and taking a prospective view towards 2011: the best of, the worst of, those we lost, the Person of the Year, resolutions for 2011, why it was a good year, why it was a bad year etc., etc., etc. ad nauseum.
Time did not name me Person of the Year for 2010 (that honor went to my hero, Mark Zuckerberg) and I did not make the best-dressed or the worst-dressed lists (though my name was short-listed for the latter for my splendid performance at the PTA holiday party, where I wore short-shorts, a Hoochie Mama maternity tee-shirt and pink Crocs).
But I've got my own list. Here's what I accomplished this year:
  • Launched one kid into the college-sphere. And he did me proud, washing his clothing at least once during the semester and avoiding arrest the entire semester.
  • Changed my computer hard drive - myself. It was a solemn act, one requiring complete silence, a steady hand and a red phone hooked up to Geek Squad.

  • Lost my job - and did not cry. I did drool a little, but they deserved that.
  • Watched lots of Real Housewives tv. Which gave me a new appreciation for quality reality tv, like Fox News.
How was your year? Do tell.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Forget full body scans, the TSA and indecent pat-downs. What's an even more annoying tactic in the name of safety and security?

It's called a Captcha and, according to Wikipedia (the "Source"), a Captcha is a "type of challenge-response test used in computing to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer. The process usually involves one computer asking a user to complete a simple test which the computer is able to generate and grade. Because other computers are unable to solve the CAPTCHA, any user entering a correct solution is presumed to be human."

Here's a Captcha I came across today:

Carly Abscess

And then they superimpose a web over it:

and you end up with something like this:

which is very, very annoying, particularly on a full stomach.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Heart of the Home

For a long time I maintained the delusion that I didn't and couldn't cook much because I didn't have the time to do it properly.

Now that I've been home for six months without a job, that theory has gone the way of my latest adventures in reconstituted chocolate pudding. I have plenty of time, but chose to spend it in other ways, like aimlessly surfing the interwebz searching for relevant pyramid schemes.

My new excuse is that I don't have the proper tools. Enter into evidence my oven (below). The only way to keep it closed and prevent the heat from escaping is by propping a Breuer chair against it.

The stove broke a number of years ago. Add to that the flame-blackened cabinets, victim of Chanukah candles burning a little bit too high and a little too bright and the refrigerator that is too small for a family of two adults and two Things. I won't buy a new oven, cabinets or fridge because what we really need is an entire kitchen remodel. And we're just not in a position now to undertake that.
The one advantage of the Breuer chair in front of the stove is that someone always has a warm seat (and maybe a few singed eyelashes). It's my little way of welcoming guests to the heart of my home.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I am your worst nightmare, the woman who strikes up long involved conversations with you, a stranger, in public places. I think that one loses ones inhibitions as one ages (and is no longer embarrassed to pen a sentence like the previous one, in which I used the "royal" one three times in a row).

So I was taking the train into Manhattan yesterday and noticed three young men sitting in the seat across the aisle, fully decked out in Santa Claus regalia. The man to my left saw me looking at them and whispered that there were also a variety of elves and reindeer on the train.

So looked at the young man closest to me and in true uninhibited fashion asked him, "Where are you going?"

"Into the city," he replied.

I shot him a dirty look and then he added sheepishly, "For Santa-Con." He explained that Santa-Con was some sort of convention, he didn't really know what it was, but he was going.

Then, without missing a beat (and realizing that I didn't have a blog post prepared for Monday) I asked him, "Can I take your picture?" So here are the three young men, the first of many festively-clad I saw yesterday:

I corralled another couple of S. Claus' on an escalator, who also admitted they had no idea what SantaCon was all about, but that they had heard that jumping rope was involved.

Here are some more of them:

When I got home I looked up SantaCon on the web, but the website didn't explain the event too well either:

Only 368 more days until the next SantaCon. And next year, since I already kind of know what the event is about, I promise not to pepper you with questions in public. But best to not sit next to me on a long airplane flight.

P.S. One of the office buildings I passed had a lovely Christmas scene in the window with merry squirrels, seamstress elves and this frightening little guy with the Star Trek ear....I just had to share.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

One day....

...the meaning of all this will become clear.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Arc of My Year - a Derivative Post

It all started with my FB status updates, which tracked my weird, wonderful and uber-sexy life. Then it became a blog and the rest, as they say, is her-story.

Anyway, FB just rolled out an app that lets you review the past year’s status updates and collate them into a picture! So in putting mine together, I had the opportunity to reminisce about 2010.

This is what I’ve been up to this year, in a nutshell!

I wish I could take the day off from being insightful today and just stuff envelopes or something.

Was just terminated. Seriously.

My MBA has paid for itself many times over – now I’m just looking for a really good Ponzi scheme to see me through to retirement.

The cat keeps bringing me Pokemon cards, but I refuse to play with her.

I am simultaneously googling “sofa repair services” and “cost to declaw a cat.

Countdown to Martha. Rotating my lampshades and calling the fishmonger.

I can’t find my haggadim or seder plates, but I DID find a Kwaanza photo frame.

It’s Tzedakah, not Sudoku, shanah punim.

Passover is just a few weeks away and already I am looking forward to the gentle and familiar rhythm of our tradtion. Here’s an example: the annual phone call from my mother in Florida, demanding to know whether I got 5 one pound boxes of matzoh free with an additional $25 purchase at the A&P. When I tell her no, she yells at me.

Kids Say and Do the Darndest Things
First thing this morning, I cut my thumb on the blade of the Cuisinart while putting it away (not even while using it!). Thing 2 say to me, “Already?”

Sometime after we put him to bed last night, Thing 2 nipped out of his room into the bathroom and cut some designs in his hair. Apparently he didn’t break any house rules, because the only place he is allowed to go after lights out is to the bathroom. Funny how we didn’t think to establish any “no cutting designs into hair” rules when we first thought out this parenting gig.

From Channel 4 news this morning, “The shooting victim walked to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

This cracked me up: the name of Raquel Welch’s new autobiography: Raquel – Beyond the Cleavage.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pulling an Adult All-Nighter

It's been many years since I last wrote a paper for a class. When I was in college and then in grad school, I was always so anal-retentively hyper-organized (and needed my sleep) that I always finished my work way ahead of schedule. So I never had a social life, but I got the beauty sleep I would have needed had I had a social life.

So I never had the occasion to "pull" an all-nighter. Now I'm in grad school again, but since i'm not working outside the home and both kids are in school, I have plenty of time to work on the two papers I have this semester. Perversely, I have too much time - I've been puttering around with the papers for a couple of months now and would just like to get them finished. I guess I work better under pressure.So next semester, I've vowed, I'm not going to start working on my papers until nearly the very last minute. This will be a much more efficient means of getting them done. Which means I could conceivably be pulling the first all nighter of my life!

I wonder what an adult all-nighter looks like?

  • Pink Floyd vs. Pink Pepto-Bismol

  • Amphetamines -- "uppers" to keep me awake vs. sleep-depriving menopausal hot flashes (I don't actually get these, but I know more than a few ladies who would be more than happy to lend me some).

  • Middle of the night pizza delivery vs. middle of the night existential angst-driven Entenmann's fest.

Paper's due tomorrow. Awesome! See you on the other side.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

In the Wee, Small Hours of the Morning

It always starts at the most inopportune of times. I've just chased Thing 2 into his room for the fifth time that night and he is finally dropping off into that Netherworld where hyperactive kids go when their motor finally wears down. I've climbed into bed and warmed up the cold sheets, pulled the blanket up to my chin. One cat is snuggled into the crook of my neck and the other has found a home on my bladder. I reach for the remote, turn on the news and lay my head back on the pillow, my sleeping husband snoring to beat the band next to me.

And then it starts: Squeak, squeak, squeak, SQUEAK, SQUEAK, SQUEAK.

It's Sammy the Hammy on her nocturnal journey to California. She's in the guest bedroom/sewing room/man cave three stairs down and to the right and her hamster wheel needs oiling - a fact I never remember until I am comfortably settled into bed.

At first, I try to ignore it. I turn up the volume on the tv, remove the hand I had clamped down over my snoring husband's mouth and nose in an attempt to ratchet up his volume to blot out the squeak (an added bonus is that he can breathe now and will survive to make me coffee in the morning).

But I can't stand it. It's driving me crazy, like a Paris Hilton News-a-Thon. I feel the way I do in the middle of the night, when I have to go to the bathroom and wish I could delegate the task to someone else (a human catheter?)

So I get up, walk down the three stairs and then another flight of stairs down to the kitchen, reach for the cooking oil and a paper towel and trudge back upstairs to oil the hamster wheel. Cause I've got nothing better to do at midnight.

The obvious solution would be to buy an extra bottle of vegetable oil and a roll of paper towels and keep them in Sammy's room for middle-of-the-night emergencies. But I don't want to be known as that woman who keeps oil in the bedroom. Or do I?

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Road to Hell is Paved with Milles Bornes

I wanted to make it a very merry, non-electronic holiday season.  So we bought Thing 2 a bike, and, in a misguided attempt to foster closeness and bond as a family, I bought him some games we could play together in front of the faux electric fireplace on a cold winter's night.

It was a mistake.

The game was Milles Bornes, the card version of a game I used to play as a kid.  And like so many kids' games, the instructions are entirely incomprehensible.  Even for an intellectual - and an idiot savant - like me.

Here is an excerpt from the instructions:
  • Green Go cards are very important.  Remember you can only play Distance cards when you have a Go card on top of your Drive Pile.
  • Always follow a Remedy card with a Go card before you play any Distance cards!
  • Play red Hazard cards on your opponents to stop them from playing Distance cards!  If someone plays a Hazard on you, fix it with its matching Remedy card.  ALWAYS follow a Remedy with a Go card to get moving again!  There are 5 types of Hazard cards.
And on and on and on.  And we hadn't even gotten to the part yet that tells me how to cheat, cut family time short and get back to my Martha Stewart Living magazine.

Thing 2 was staring at me expectantly, with that look that said, "If you don't hurry up and figure this out, I'm going to hack into your Facebook account and sign you up for Farmville."

So I did the only thing I could think of to keep peace in the house:  I sent him to the computer to surf for porn with his dad.  After all, a kid can bond with his dad as well as his mom, can't he?

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I had completely forgotten about the following incident until I heard a cat meowing from the wrong side of the basement door this morning.  There's an important message here - if you figure out what it is, please let me know.

Several years ago, Thing 1 had a day off from school and I went to work as usual (this was in the days when I was still employed and not just sucking the marrow from society like the leech I am today).  He was still sleeping when I left.  Towards late morning, I called the house to say good morning (to Thing 1, not the house), but he didn't answer.  I tried again about 20 minutes later.  Still no answer.  It was pretty uncharacteristic of him to sleep quite this late and he wasn't answering his cell phone, so I started to get a little nervous.

My work was a mere 20 minute drive from home and I considered sneaking out to check up on him, but I was determined to talk myself down from the ledge.  There were about a gazillion possible explanations for why I couldn't get in touch with him and I was going to prove myself optimistic, reasonable and level-headed, even if I had to overdose on tranquilizers to achieve these blissful states. Why, he was probably outside taking a walk....or at a friend's house.....or being held hostage by a three-headed alien...or freshly kidnapped and indoctrinated into the Tea Party.....

Three p.m. finally rolled around and I drove home leisurely, looking forward to finding him safe, showered and vacuuming his room (in other words, the movie based on the incident would be both a fairy tale and a fantasy).  I even stopped for a gallon of  milk before pulling into the driveway, opening the door and singing out, "Thing One?  Thing One???"  No answer.

I rushed upstairs and found myself in front of a closed bathroom door.  From the other side I heard a "Mom? I'm locked in!"  (Remember the cat at the beginning of this excruciatingly and boring long story?).

He had gone into the bathroom to take a shower, the doorknob/lock jammed and he'd been stuck inside for six hours.  He tried to escape through the window and by taking the door off its hinges, but failed on both counts.  He lined the bathtub with some towels, climbed in and contemplated the mold on the ceiling.

Thing 1 was hungry but otherwise unscathed.  Unlike the cat, who found plenty of mice to eat in the basement.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

If You Give a Moose a Muffin.....

....and squint, and turn your head to the side and take a couple of hallucinogenic drugs, you might even believe this is a real fireplace.

Does the electrical cord give away its fauxness?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Still Pregnant after all these Years

I think my ship has finally come in.

In December of 2002, in an entrepreneurial frenzy, I bought two (yes, TWO) Midge & Baby Happy Family 3-in-1 crib, table and cradle sets at Toys R Us for $19.99 each. This is a pregnant version of Midge.  She pops out a curled-up baby when her belly is opened.  Kind of like a Mattel & Co. c-section.

You see, just the day before, WalMart had pulled this product from its pristine shelves because some customers were put out by the thought of their children being exposed to Barbie's pregnant friend, as though it were catching.  Never mind that this very Midge was happily married to Alan and already had a three-year old son named Ryan.   

I thought I had hit obstetrical pay-dirt when I chanced upon a shelf stocked high with pregnant Midge dolls at ToysRUs.  Apparently, while they had been pulled from Walmart, they hadn't been pulled from ToysRUs (or from many other retailers).

I immediately went home to list my find on Ebay, reasoning that Midge's new baby (two of them!) was my ticket to wealth.  And I did list it...but not before the other 5,000 "Mint in box - Rare and Banned!" entrepreneurs who had gotten to Ebay before me.

The first dolls to sell did indeed fetch a pregnant price -- about $100 each.  But by the time my dolls reached the top of the listing, I would have had to throw in a Medela breast pump and an entire layette to break even. Supply and demand, you know.
So my Midges and their babies were relegated to a shelf in my closet.  And there they have sat ever since, retaining water, craving pickles, acting all hormonal and teary with Alan.  The longest pregnancy ever known to woman or doll.

But at the urging of Thing 2, I snuck a peek at Ebay this morning and it seems that "Mint in box - Rare and Banned!" Midges are once again in demand!  If I list them soon, I may get up to $50 each.  That would be a profit of $30 per, which, if amortized, depreciated and stated in today's dollars means that I probably owe ToysRUs about $183.

No one ever said I was a business whiz (particularly my former employer).  Maybe I'm more the creative type.  How's this for a lead-in to my Ebay ad? "Pregnant Midge!  She makes a great stocking stuffer!"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Black Friday - Post Mortem Monday

We came, we parked...we Black Fridayed. 

I reluctantly agreed to take Thing 2 to Toys R Us in exchange for his promising to never, ever again bring my underwire bra to school to share at the "Growing Up" program. 

Predictably the store was crowded - and not in a good, let's line up early and party cause it's a Springsteen concert kind-of-way.  Check-out lines stretching out the door, aisles packed, mostly families with two or three young children, shopping carts filled with toys.

What puzzles me about these shopping excursions "en famille" is how parents maintain the Santa Claus mystique on Christmas morning when the kids open up their presents and discover that they have received every toy that was in that shopping cart at Toys R Us on Black Friday.  To bring it back to the religious context in which Christmas was conceived, how would Jesus explain this "coincidence?"

But I digress.

So what does a Jew search for at retail on Black Friday, whilst his Christian brethren are making merry inside the mall?

A Ouiji board to communicate with relatives on the "other side," of course.  (That's across the cosmic divide, not on the other side of the New York/Delray-Boyton-Boca divide). While 99.99% of Americans were seeking electronic and Snuggies, Thing 2, the consummate consumer, had pointed his gift-seeking radar at a low tech way to communicate with spirits who, if contacted, were likely to pinch his nose and insist that he eat chopped liver on Ritz crackers while wearing a sweater.

We split up to look for the Ouija Board.  "Let me know if you find it," Thing 2 requested brightly.  As I sucker punched a three year old to keep her from reaching for the last Justin Bieber "One Less Lonely Girl" doll, I thought to myself, "Oh sure, oh child of mine, I'm going to hold back that piece of information so we can spend even more time in this HELL HOLE."

We left Toys R Us, without the Ouija board.  It was too expensive and the check-out line too long.

But I guess our relatives from the other side could have predicted that.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Lite - An Anthropological Experiment

For years I have warned the kids that the mall is NO PLACE for civilized humans on Black Friday.  Instead of shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, we will continue to give thanks, as a family, by spending time together at home: playing board games, listening to music, looking at old family photos and maybe doing a 500-piece Elvis jigsaw puzzle or two.  Together.

Typically, I'm ready to slit my wrists by about 9:15 a.m., but I hold it together for the sake of the kids, who can hold out until at least 9:30 if we have enough peanut M&Ms and licorice left over from breakfast.  So, tomorrow, for a change of pace and since I'm all in favor of education and stuff, we're going to do a little anthropological experiment.

We're going to the mall.

I want the kids to know how the other half lives:  what it's like to get stuck in traffic backed-up so far, it's still Thanksgiving Day somewhere; how it feels to circle the parking lot so many times you get dizzy and nauseous and qualify for a Nascar event; whether the pain of a cleated sneaker on your back is mitigated by saving 40% off on a Chia Pet.

But we're going to do Black Friday LITE.  We won't leave the house at 3 a.m., we won't bring a battering ram, we won't have a "strategy."

It will just be "us" against "them."  I'll report back on Monday.

Hold me.  I'm scared.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Holiday Closing

Body of Work will be closed on Thursday, November 25 in observance of the American holiday of Thanksgiving.  This is to allow our staff to spend the holiday with their family and friends.

We will re-open at 1 a.m. November 26 for our "doorbuster" specials.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

That for which I am thankful

  • Spanx
  • Sleep-away camp.  It is a gift from God.
  • The pharmaceutical industry.  Particularly those companies that manufacture mood-enhancing drugs, aka "Mommy's Little Helper."
  • Mangoes
  • Sarah Palin and Levi Johnston, for hours and hours of entertainment.
  • The Real Housewives series.  For reminding me how lucky I am to be a brunette, modest, invisible and well-behaved in public.
  • The 50% of the time that the cats throw up in the kitchen or on a wood floor rather than on the carpet.
  • Days when I don't get phone calls from school, medical labs that track orphan diseases, NJ Energy Plus, an alumni association or the pervert down the road.  It happened once -- I remember it fondly.
  • Four-way stop signs.   Of all traffic indicators, they are the best, don't you think?
  • My Body of Work fanFans.  The vagrant who once stumbled upon my blog on the way to  Example of a really SUCCESSFUL blog

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This Really Happened

My mother came to stay with us on Sunday to keep an eye on Thing 2 while DH and I attended a wedding.  After she settled herself in, I went upstairs to get dressed and made-up, applying lipstick, blush, mascara and all other manner of hope. 

When I came downstairs some three hours later, Mom looked up at me from the kitchen table where she was relaxing, peered into my face and asked, "Why don't you put on some make-up?"

Oh...hi there Mom.  Didja sleep okay?

My mother is my only biggest fan, the one who "clicks" when I'm feeling abandoned and forwards on to me all the Snopes, health and scam warnings in her inbox when I'm feeling unloved.  Each morning, she turns on her computer, checks "the" email and settles down with a cup of coffee (black with two pilfered Sweet n Lows- more on that later) and a half a bagel to read through Body of Work.  I consider this the greatest of compliments -- after all, she could have been watching Hoda and Kathy Lee.

So this morning I decided to take Mom's advice and apply my make-up more liberally.  This is how I greeted her:

She liked the lipstick effect, but suggested I do something with my hair.  You just can't please some people....

By the way, I learned this morning that my Mom doesn't steal Sweet-in-Low from diners and highway rest-stops but actually buys it at the market.  I think my childhood is over.

Monday, November 22, 2010


It's a bit hard for me to admit this, but there is one radio advertisement that makes me tear up every single time I hear it.

It's the OnStar ad.    OnStar - in-vehicle safety, security and communication

Each OnStar ad starts with audio of a call being routed to OnStar Communications Central from a vehicle which has just been involved in an accident.  OnStar can sense when there has been "air bag deployment" and communicates directly with the occupants of the vehicle (is it just me or does the word "vehicle" stink of rednecks?) to assess the situation and reassure the victims that help, in the form of police, ambulance, fire and first responders, is on the way. 

It's a touching moment when the victim, sometimes stoic, sometimes sobbing in fear or pain, acknowledges and thanks the caring OnStar operator for her concern and help.  It renews my faith in mankind and makes me wish that I, too, had an "OnStar-equipped vehicle" like a Chevy, Buick, Pontiac or other piece of crap American car.

Here on Planet Emmer, we too have our own "first response" team.  I cannot tell you how many times the police have responded to a non-emergency at our home, usually precipitated by a kid dialing 911 when he was angry at me.

Fortunately, the police in our town (I have come to call them "our" cops given the frequency with which they visit us) are big, burly and know how to deal with situations like this.  They sit the kid down, look him squarely in the eye, fondle their guns and hand out a STERN WARNING - that I should stop being the only mom in town who doesn't let her kid do anything.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Martha's November-December Calendar

My Facebook "fans" (in the broadest sense of the term) know that I love Martha Stewart, the nesting she represents....and her monthly calendar.  Martha's monthly calendar lists her daily activities - activities related to shearing sheep, rutabaga, and fence posts.  I suspect the real purpose of the calendar is to make the rest of us feel like trash  for buying prepared mashed potatoes and store-bought - rather than home-made hand-dipped - candles in the little blue box for the (commercially manufactured) Chanukah menorah - rather than creating a menorah from a manzanita branch Martha "does" Chanukah

But it's a fun read and I just found a version of her calendar online. Martha's planning calendar - fun!  It's not as detailed as the in-magazine version, but it will do in a pinch!  Here's a November-December excerpt:

November 4 - Stock liquor cabinet for entertaining  (I can relate to that!)
November 7 Make reflective leash for pet (
November 16 Stock home bar (Done - check!)
December 18 - Make a polar fleece dog coat (

Do you "Martha?"  If so, how do you "Martha?"  Does it involve a compost pile?  I am holding a contest for the best holiday decorating idea involving cow manure, manzanita branches, Christmas cactus and lucite gnomes.  Don't hold back.  I'll be announcing the winner in a future column.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Chanukah Secret

For the past three days, I've been walking around with the charge receipt from a certain chainstore in my (cool, non-Mom) jeans pocket.  It's the receipt for the Chanukah gift I purchased for Thing 2.

I have to leave it in my pocket because if I remove it he will find it and know what I got him for Chanukah.  I know, because it happened two years ago (when he couldn't even read as well as he can now).  At the time, I placed the receipt in the pile where we keep all our credit card receipts, reasoning that there was no way in hell he would ever find it.  Why I wouldn't have this problem if I were cooler and just used a debit card.

So of course, one afternoon, his super-sensitive, gift-seeking radar zoomed in on this VERY PILE of papers among all the piles of papers in the house.  He rifled through, interpreted all the numbers and codes like some midget accountant and discovered what he was getting as a gift.  That kind of ruined the surprise of the monogrammed underwear I had gotten for him.

I wish Chanukah would get here already.  I want to change my pants.

I'm pretty sure he doesn't know how to get to this blog, but given how sneaky he is, I can't take the chance of revealing what the gift is here.

So if ANY ONE of you tells him about this blog, you're not getting a ride on the pony.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Week in Pictures

This is my dream vacuum cleaner.  I bet it could suck up cats, mice, hamsters, fish and children before you could say, "Slurp!"

I pointed out to the lawn care guy that he had missed a leaf on the side of the house, but for some reason he didn't find that very amusing.

See also:  Autumn Leaves - a poem

This is what my clock radio showed when I woke up yesterday morning.  My first thought was that I had gone back in time to the 1700s.  Which would have been a welcome respite from all the other electronics that don't work in my home.

Finally, here is MacBeth "helping" to keep the cover on Sammy's cage.  

Don't you wish you were me?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Debit Cards Meet the Wizard of Oz

Last week on my Facebook page, I started a discussion about whether I was the only one left in the entire free world who had never used a debit card (I had heard somewhere-- maybe via the very reliable left/right wing media - that I was).

The consensus was mixed -- many of my friends had never used one either, while others thrust a dagger through my heart, confirming that yes, I WAS the sole debit-less being left on the planet.  But there were enough hold-outs for me to feel confident that there were some cool, successful, sexy people who weren't using debit cards - like me.

But still, I wanted to be cooler.  Way cooler.

So yesterday morning, attempting to "up" my coolness quotient, I dressed in the new non-Mom jeans (the waist hits me at the navel, rather than right under the chin) purchased at the thrift  vintage store Unique -- A Vintage Thrift Shop - very cool! with my hair tousled  just so (after an hour's worth of grooming),  and a confused insouciant look on my face.  I sauntered into Wachovia and approached my "personal banker."

"How can I help you today?" he chirped.

The words just rushed out, like a dam had been unleashed.

"I heard I'm the only one in the world who doesn't have a debit card.  Can you help me? 

And he did.  He punched in a few figures on his computer, looked serious, inquired about the name of my first pet, squinted at the computer screen and announced that I was already set up for debit greatness - I always HAD been.

Apparently I had the potential for coolness all along, just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz always had the power within herself to get home to Kansas.  I just didn't know it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Royal Pain Wedding

The staff here at Body of Work just wouldn't be doing its job if it didn't acknowledge the upcoming royal nuptials that were announced yesterday. 

We were all relieved to hear that Prince William and Kate Middleton had finally made their engagement plans official.  Both in their late 20s, with no direction and no prospects to speak of....

Oh wait, that was me.

All joking aside, I think I have a great deal in common with Kate Middleton. 
  • She's a commoner.  I'm common.
  • She's an emerging fashion icon. I'm a ... she's an emerging fashion icon.
  • Kate wears statement-making hats.  Me too.  Here's a photo of me wearing a hat I picked up in the big city last week:

(Yes, those ARE my flannel pajamas hanging on the hook in the background.  What were you expecting from this Mickey Mouse operation - Victoria's Secret?)

I remember that when Thing 1 was a toddler, my mother and I were discussing how difficult it was to raise children.  Somehow we got onto the subject of Princess Diana, whose kids were a few years older than Thing 1 was at the time.   Mom remarked how Princess Di probably had it easier than me, that she probably wasn't on her hands and knees cleaning up Cheerios off the royal kitchen floor.

But I think if you look hard enough you can find many similiarities between the royals and "just us folk."  And I fully expect an invitation to the wedding.  I wonder if Kate and Will will be registering at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I hope so - I've got a minivan full of 20% off coupons.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's Movie Review Tuesday!

The good news about Skyline, the new movie co-directed by the Strause brothers (I had never heard of the Strause brothers, but referring to them in such a familiar fashion  makes me sound like a movie aficionado, even though I haven't been to the "picture show" since ET came out in 1983) is that it is only 92 minutes. 

The bad news about Skyline is that it is a full 92 excruciating minutes.  And it only took about 10 of those minutes before I started thinking about how good a bullet between my eyes would feel.

I can't remember what possessed me to agree to take Thing 2 to the movies on a Friday night. I suspect it was a bribe for his agreeing (actually, "agreeing" might be a bit of a misnomer, particularly where handcuffs and a straight jacket are concerned) to go to Shabbat family services with me.  His spending a full 40 minutes in the torturous embrace of  his friends, singing, eating brownies and black and whites requires serious recompense.

Basically - and I'm stealing this description from an online movie review: "In the sci-fi thriller 'Skyline', strange lights descend on the city of Los Angeles, drawing people outside like moths to a flame where an extraterrestrial force threatens to swallow the entire human population off the face of the Earth."  The inside shots take place in a fantastic penthouse apartment.  Outside, there are explosions, metallic aliens, slime, apocalypes and other otherworldly stuff.

And through it all I couldn't take my eyes off the penthouse's Subzero refrigerator, granite countertops, ceramic mosaic backsplash with diffused background lighting, beverage center, wine storage, warming drawer and a Wolf six burner cooktop, automatic shades/blinds which ascend and descend with the flick of a button and 270 degree views of the LA skyline.

I won't reveal the ending to those of you who may want to see Skyline so I am posting a SPOILER ALERT.  Don't scroll down if you don't want to know the ending.  But it IS tragic- I wept buckets.

The Subzero fridge gets wrecked.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Going R - O - G - U - E

I went rogue this weekend, purchasing a birthday gift for one of Thing 2's classmates that's a little out of the ordinary.  Instead of buying a giftcard for a cool mall store like PacSun or Aeropostale or one for ITunes, as most of the kids do, I purchased an old-fashioned game.  Scrabble.

I figured his little friend might appeciate a gift she could dig into as soon as she got home from her party, maybe striking up a friendly match with her parents or siblings.  It's a fun game, educational, traditional -- in fact, no one can say a bad word (that's a pun) about Scrabble

But if Scrabble's not her cup of tea, she can always get back at me (see below).  And if she gets the "W" or the "Y" on a triple letter score, she's bound to emerge a winner!

Picture Captions

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Week, New Look!

Many, many thanks to my cousin, Patti Argoff, for designing me a fantastic logo. Patti is a professional illustrator of children's books and tee-shirt designer, has won many awards for her work and, as you can see, she is exceptionally talented! 

A little bit more about Patti:  she began her career as a child model and at the tender age of eleven, was cast by Samuel Goldwyn in a comedy serial.   She’s had dramatic roles on most networks and recently scored as a night-club singer.

Please visit Patti's website at:

Oh, and if anyone knows how to center a logo in blogger, please let me know.  :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

An Afternoon at the Mall - A Photo Journey!

Since it's the end of the week and, according to my extensive market research studies, no one reads my blog on Friday, I thought I'd take this opportunity to show off a few random photos I took at the mall last week. 

It was the last day of his school's week-long "Halloween Break" (don't ask) and Thing 2 had finally tired of torturing me with his top ten list of my failings.  Among my favorites were 1) you're not a "fun Mom" because 2)  I "never take him anyplace" and 3) I (meaning me) can't "think of anything fun for him to do." Thing 2 asked me to take him to the mall and I quickly agreed, fantasizing that I might be able to lose him in the crowd.

I also agreed because it was high time for my annual "last trip to the mall before the holidays start" (this was November 5).  It may sound counterintuitive to swear off the mall as December approacheth, but as a Yiddishe mama, there's no reason for me to set foot in the mall during the season of merry and bright.  (As for Chanukah, I throw the kids a few latkes, mumble some phlegmy words under my breath and call it a holiday).

So here's a pair of jeans I saw at Aeropostale. They were on sale for $50, down from $60.  I wonder how much they would cost if they weren't ripped?

Source:  Joan Oliver Emmer for Planet Emmer Productions

The mall staff was just starting to put up the Christmas decorations - this being the first week of November and all.  The red bows look small, but they're actually huge -- I took this from the second level.

Source:  Diane Arbus for Planet Emmer Productions

Similarly, while these may look like festive Lifesavers, they're really humongous Christmas wreaths.

Source:  Ansel Adams for Planet Emmer Productions

This is Thing 2, looking cool as he examines skateboarding tee-shirts at the skateboarding store.

Source:  Annie Leibovitz for Planet Emmer Productions

And here's me.  It's not the BEST picture of me, but it's darn close!  And I took it myself!

Source:  Joan Oliver Emmer for Planet Emmer Production

For a bit of perspective, here's me when I get really dolled up:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In the Moment

I'm very much an adherent of traditional medicine.  Offer me an epidural (pregnant or not) and I'm there!  So when I was assigned to read an article on alternative, complementary and integrative medicine for one of my social work classes, I was expecting the details about naturopathy, chiropractic and aromatherapy to leave me screaming me for a Tylenol and some Ace bandages.

But one of the modalities I read about peaked my interest.  It was a discussion about meditation, among whose basic tenets are concentrating on the present moment while "diminishing painful ruminations about the past and anxious preoccupations with the future."  Heck, I'm all about blowing those roads-not-taken straight to hell. It was lunchtime and I had a few minutes to kill before my train, so I decided to meditate on the cup of yogurt, granola and fruit I had bought at Penn Station.  Here's how it went:
  • I dig into the grapes and cantalope that lay atop the granola covered yogurt. With my spoon.  It's a plastic spoon, white (moment, moment).  I love the sweet, chunky crunch of the granola and I'm really enjoying this.  But then I start to think about how fattening granola is and this is why I don't keep a box of it in the house and how I might gain so much weight from my lunch that I might not be able to fit into the dress that I need to wear to a wedding in three weeks.
  • I mix the granola into the yogurt and take a spoonful.  Yum.  But wait -- it's not vanilla yogurt, as I thought, but bitter, plain yogurt (a metaphor for my life?).  Which is not sweet enough for me.  I rummage in my purse and pull out a packet of Sweet-n-Low (that pink stuff) and stir it into the yogurt.  Better.  But then I start to wonder, as I have my entire life, whether anyone actually buys Sweet-n-Low at the supermarket, or whether it's everyone's standard operating procedure to just swipe it from diners (as I was taught as a young child at my daddy's knee).
  • I am awakened from my Sweet-n-Low reverie by the cry of a young infant to my right.  I gaze upon his sweet face, and note that his mother is smartly dressed in a matching red sweater and skirt, a look that I never managed to achieve in my nearly 19 years of parenting (and she's not even wearing spit-up on her shoulder).  I start to ruminate about baby breath, lost opportunities, and 2012, when, according to the Mayan calendar (and Thing 2), the world will surely end. 
At this point, I am sweating profusely, not a great look for someone who's striving to achieve existential nirvana.  I reach into my purse for a Xanax, which is right there and in the moment, and breathe a huge sigh of relief.  Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You Gotta Elieve!

Macy's Herald Square is the world's biggest store and the first building to have the modern day escalator. It covers an entire city block with ten and a half levels of the latest fashions for you and your home (yes, I swiped that last part off the website).

But what Macy's Herald Square doesn't have is the letter "B."

I stared at this sign for about three minutes yesterday morning (nobody ever said I was quick-witted) before realizing that the Macy's workers had stopped before finishing their work.  (Or that someone somewhere was nursing a large B-shaped bruise on his head).
Source:  Joan Oliver Emmer for Planet Emmer.

Here's the press release announcing Macy's holiday "Elieve" campaign.  Macy's "Elieve" Campaign.  It's for a very worthy cause, so I hope it is successful.

Est wishes for a lessed and eautiful holiday season.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Show Me Your Marathon -- I Dare You

You think you ran a marathon on Sunday, Gebre Gebremariam, Edna Kiplagat, Edison Pena, Al Roker, Meredith Viera and Jared Fogle?  You try getting a 10 year old up and out on his last day of "Halloween Break" and let's see who can claim the thrill of victory.

8 a.m. (really 9 a.m. as we have just turned back the clocks). The Awake and Stretch.  Attempt to wake up Thing 2 for our train into the big city to watch the NYC Marathon.  Thing 2 rolls over, curses under his breath, and pulls his five layers of blankets back over his head.  I pull them off (arm exercises) and start to massage his back.  He pushes me away, moaning "Ma -Ah!"

8:30 a.m.  The Climb and Threaten.  I walk back upstairs and threaten him that if he doesn't get up immediately, we won't have time to walk through Times Square and glimpse the peek-a-boo shows.  That gets his attention.

9:00 a.m.  The Plead and Reach.  "What do you want for breakfast?"  I ask Thing 2.  He starts to name virtually everything we don't have in the house (because I haven't been shopping this year AND HE KNOWS THAT):  pancakes, sausage, fresh bagels, muffins, lox.  I reach to the top of the fridge and pull down some sugary "weekend cereal" to keep things moving along.

9:30 a.m.  The Command and Bundle.  It's 35 degrees outside and Thing 2 has not yet deigned to don any of his winter clothing this season because, according to him, "It's hot outside."  (You would think he were menopausal).  I plant my feet firmly on the kitchen floor, draw myself up to my full 5 feet 2 inches in height, fold my arms like Mr. Clean and give him that look that says,"We ain't going nowhere."  Point taken - winter jacket on, but not without a parting shot:  I look fat in this.

10:00 a.m.  The Run, Fumble and Run Again.  Reach train station, park car and run to the ticket machine, where I drop my keys and credit card.  Machine spits out correct tickets, we run up the stairs and hurl ourselves onto the train as the doors close behind us.

I'm exhausted.  And I don't even get a medal.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Describe Yourself, in 10 Moronic Words or Fewer

When I applied to graduate school many years ago, I had to write an essay describing my reasons for wanting to earn a graduate degree in business administration (reasons which COMPLETELY escape me now), and what I would bring to the program.  I have a very clear memory of sitting on a picnic blanket in Central Park's Sheep Meadow and penning my autobiography.  (This was back in the pre-computer days, when "penning" literally meant picking up a pen and writing.)

The reason I remember this so clearly is because, even then, I was struck by how ridiculous my essay was, particularly the part where I described myself as possessing a "seriousness of purpose," like some kind of mutant MBA in a Jane Austen novel.

I was reminded of this because I've been playing in the Linked In playground a lot lately and have noticed how job titles have morphed from the more generic President, Director, Analyst and the like to titles that are, let's say, more descriptive than in the past.  Apparently to stand out you need to append at least one adjective to your title, to qualify exactly what type of Director you really are ...or at least use a trendy buzzword.  Here are a few examples:

  • Senior IT Executive, Early Adopter, Part Time Futurist
  • Experienced, Decisive IT Executive
  • Creative Motivator and Problem Solver
  • Mentor and Catalyst
I am wondering what the part-time futurist does when he is not predicting the future (maybe he specializes in the past?) and whether he can tell me whether I will ever get a job (or maybe a part-time job is all he can foresee?).  And whether the "decisive" IT executive took a lot of time weighing his options before coming up with that description.  I am particularly intrigued by the "creative" means that the otherwise engaged "Problem Solver" uses to motivate and whether I can adopt that model in moving my recalcitrant children along.

(You just knew I was going to slip in the word "recalcitrant" before the end of this post, didn't you?)

I am weighing a number of options for my own Linked In title.  They certainly won't contain such mundane words as "experienced" or "award winning" (mostly because I haven't won an award in the past 30 years) but I am considering other attention-getting alternatives like "moody," "Blood Type O-" and "these hips were made for birthin' babies."

Those should set me apart.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Yesterday I misplaced my cell phone. I was pretty sure it was somewhere around the house under the stacks of old newspapers, rotting mangos and cat hair, so I dialed my own number with the intention of tracking down the ring. But my call went directly to voicemail, where my own melodic voice cheerily informed me that I was not available. This “direct to voicemail” stunt happened because my phone has taken to turning itself off unannounced (which was not very convenient under these circumstances).

I called Evil Cell Phone company to see if they could turn on my phone remotely, which I thought sounded like a very plausible idea. After 10 minutes of being bounced from robot-voice to robot-voice, they told me this was not technologically possible (this could actually be a good project for DH (who works for the company) to throw into the Suggestion Box. Maybe we could win a new…cell phone).

I looked under the couch cushions but found nothing but a penny, several kernels of unpopped popcorn, rat hair and an iron-on nametag emprinted with “Thing 2.” I twisted myself into a pretzel and searched the Batmobile minivan, peering under the seats, wedging my hand inside the sticky center console, climbing into the trunk and rummaging among the loose cans of Diet Pepsi, reusable supermarket bags and a multi-colored schmattah from 1965. Nothing.

I emptied my purse onto the couch, pulled out crumpled tissues, scribbled notes, binder clips, empty gum wrappers, keys, about nine pens and a yellow highlighter. No phone there either.

I was remarkably unfazed, if a tad annoyed, because I don’t like talking on the phone anyway and if someone calls me on my cell, it’s got to be bad news (e.g., there’s a sick or incarcerated kid to pick up or bail out). But I hate to lose stuff and still beat myself up, even years later, about everything I’ve lost in my life: my Queens County library card (which I lost when I was eight, cost 10 cents to replace and later resurfaced tucked into the backseat of our Red Rambler), Thing 1’s pretzel-shaped teether, my October, 1992 monthly NJ Transit pass, and every phone number I’ve ever scribbled down on a Post-It note for later programming into my (lost) cell phone.

So today while sitting in the driver’s side of the minivan at the skate park, I reach into my purse for my comb - the purse I had completely emptied the day before - and close my hand around …what else? cell phone.

And to top it off, Dear Reader, I can't find my charger now.

I’d like to be angry, amazed, disgusted with myself or even frightened. But I’m not. I’m busy – my voicemail messages are telling me I’ve got some kids to bail out.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Yesterday was Election Day and I was thinking about how rarely I take a firm stand on political issues.  This is because I'm indecisive, meek, easily swayed and ill-informed.  (Oh, and afraid that someone might yell at me).  But, like Dr. Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters who had a rule (or more of a guideline) never to get involved with possessed people:

A Guideline, Not a Rule!

there is one issue about which, I too, have an inviolable rule.

Okay, maybe it's more of a guideline.

I won't buy an article of clothing with the name of the manufacturer - designers like Calvin Klein, Liz Claiborne, Juicy Couture, or Guess - splashed across the chest .  It seems counter-intuitive for me to to pay  a multi-billion dollar conglomerate to serve as their advertising vehicle.  Shouldn't Cal or Liz be paying me?

Cause there's a lot of real estate "up there" and I could conceivably become very wealthy in this way.

Interested?  Inquire within.  Or "up there."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Have a Heart

I entered the garage one morning late last week, heading for the driver's side of the minivan.  As I did, I heard a "crash" and saw, out of the corner of my eye, the box containing our Hav-A-Heart trap hurtling towards the ground, narrowly missing my head.

'Mr and Mrs Rattus: Old English Black Rat'In case you don't know, a Hav-A-Heart trap is a cage designed to trap small rodents like mice, squirrels and bear in a humane manner, luring them in with the promise of food and snapping shut after they enter the cage.  When the animal has been trapped, one can choose to "relocate" them (in our case, we run them over to the yard of a neighbor we don't like in the dead of night).

We've had our failures with these traps in the past.  Once we placed peanut butter in the trap, hoping to entice inside for a snack the chipmunk or squirrel who was running sprints in our attic throughout the night.  The next day, when we checked the trap, the peanut butter was gone, but the rodent was nowhere to be seen.  (It had, however, left a note, asking for the chunky kind for its next meal).  We imagined it lying on its back somewhere, belching and pounding its paw-fist in hysterical laughter.

In the past week our cats have caught and slaughtered three mice in the house.  This is a disturbingly high number of kills and I suppose it's due to the construction taking place across the street.

Still, I think the rodents were sending me a warning this morning when the Hav-A-Heart trap so "mysteriously" tumbled down from the shelf high in the garage.  It was kind of like finding a newspaper full of fish on my front doorstep.  Like they were saying, "Get rid of the felines. Or else."

Threat? Or coincidence?  You be the judge.