Tax Man (or Woman) Cometh

This year we get two extra days to finish our taxes: April 15 falls on a Sunday, and April 16 is Emancipation Day, a holiday in the District of Columbia where the Internal Revenue Service is headquartered. But we still need to get our taxes mailed or e-mailed less than four days from today. So what are you doing this weekend?

When I was in college, I insisted on wresting my taxes from my father, although I was still listed on his form as a dependent. A decade and a half later, motherhood took away my ability to give a hoot about who did my taxes. So now, in addition to changing the cat litter every Sunday, my darling husband does our taxes, along with a few other household chores. But I know many stay-at-home wives who handle the family's finances, including taxes. I'm sure every family has their own neat or not-so-neat solution. What's yours? Do you keep -- or give up -- a degree of control or power along with your taxes? Why does your division of labor work -- or why doesn't it?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  April 13, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Free-for-All
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First.....AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Mike C | April 13, 2007 7:23 AM

"But I know many stay-at-home wives who handle the family's finances, including taxes."

I know many WOH wives with and without children who handle the family's finances, including taxes.

Motherhood did not take away my ability to care about who does our taxes.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 7:26 AM

My husband does our taxes. He loves it. He looks forward every year to the day he can get the new version of the software and start inputting information. It's like a big puzzle to him. I think he's nuts. (Good thing we're balanced.)

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 13, 2007 7:42 AM

My husband does the taxes. I'm more than happy to outsource that - fighting over that task is like fighting over who gets to do the litter box.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 13, 2007 7:54 AM

My husband does the taxes because I'm the more effective procrastinator -- and he's the computer guy. If it were me, we'd be sitting down together, with all the (paper) forms strewn all over the table a week or so before they were due. Him, though, wow -- he's out in December buying the updated TurboTax to make sure we don't owe any estimated taxes; then he usually has the whole thing done by early March. Surprised the bejeebers out of me the first year we were married -- I was just starting to think, gee, maybe we should start doing something about taxes, when he came in one evening and said "come look over the taxes so we can file." Sweet!! So I figured, why mess with a good thing?

Posted by: Laura | April 13, 2007 8:05 AM

Husband does taxes. He has a PhD in math, and like an earlier writer, considers it a challenge! I say, God bless him, I am so glad he does them.

I don't feel like I give up control--I'm involved in every other aspect of our financial lives--and it is I who balance the checkbook, pay the bills, etc.all year long. This is truly balance for us, because once yearly he does the taxes.

Posted by: NW anon | April 13, 2007 8:06 AM

Either of us could do the taxes, or any other chore, except giving birth. I came out ahead on that score.

This opens up a wider area of communication and responsibility. We review our tax forms together, since we are both liable.

We never make any major financial decisoins without discussing them first.

Do you know what you are signing, or where the money goes to in your home?

Posted by: Agreed | April 13, 2007 8:09 AM

Yo, Fred!

Please direct me to the knuckle dragging cave! Can I bring my gun?

Posted by: Officer Krupke | April 13, 2007 8:13 AM

I'm wondering if anyone else has had trouble logging onto the Washington Post website this morning (also, onto Yahoo), because I was unable to log onto either one of them for over an hour till a few minutes ago -- our Internet provider has a printed message on its site stating "CRITICAL ANNOUNCEMENT: "Storm Trojan" Email Virus Prompts Emergency Measures - Messages Containing ZIP File Attachments to be Temporarily Blocked Effective Immediately. Visit [our technology help website] for details," and then when I phoned their help desk, the kind person on the other end of the line (nearing the end of his overnight shift)told DH and me that the problem has been nationwide, not just with them, that they had received 5 million emails overnight and had been checking them one-by-one and, for example, of the 2,500 he personally checked only 18 proved to be legitimate (uninfected) emails, and that the reason I couldn't even check my spam filter this morning was because Postini was affected nationally as well -- although obviously now the Washington Post website is available again, and so was my Postini, but you've got to admit that it's certainly odd that there have been so uncharacteristically few posts yet this morning on this blog board, which makes me think that a lot of other chatters were having the same problem earlier today.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 8:19 AM

Leslie,

I thought that you promised last Friday that Friday would be fun days with no social or fiscal responsibility involved?

So it is off to the IRS cave for you, my dearie! You may come out on April 18. The IRS cave is painted gov't gray.

Would you believe that Frieda, the luddite, does the taxes? No?

I have always done the taxes-with one big exception-for the whole family up until now. This year for the first time, the two daughters have done their own. I took my 2005 taxes (due for me on April 17, 2007) to a CPA since the casualty loss was quite complicated--something about a hurricane and special rules the IRS and the Congress passed for Katrina victims. Otherwise, I use tax software. I did take a bit of accounting in college which helps me understand that no one really understands taxes.

Posted by: Fred | April 13, 2007 8:26 AM

My mother always did our family's taxes because she had formal training as a bookkeeper so was highly qualified for the task, whereas DH does ours (although he likes for me to proofread his work before I sign) -- while on the other hand, a male colleague's wife (who has an MBA) does their tax returns, so I'm guessing that at least in these three cases the decision is more a matter of skill or (like Laura's hubby) temperament than gender roles -- all merely anecdotal accounts I realize, but I'm guessing that others find them typical.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 8:28 AM

My husband will sign the 1040 whenever I finally get it done. He won't bother to look at it. I do retirement and college, too. Our life isn't that complicated.

On the plus side, I haven't seen a bill in years. (His job.)

Please note:
A strict division of labor works for us. It would not work for a couple for whom living within their means was a greater challenge or whose preferences differed. Relative to our income, our tastes are very, very plain.

Posted by: me | April 13, 2007 8:30 AM

Officer Krupke

Of course you are permitted to bring your sidearm. Please make sure that it is properly cleared and safed. You may not bring your 'thrown down' or throw away' or whatever your terminology is.

Would you do me a favor and escort Leslie to the IRS cave? It is next door.

Posted by: Fred | April 13, 2007 8:32 AM

In general, I'm the finance person. But in the case of taxes, whoever gets obsessed about it first will do the federal (usually sometime in February or March), and the other will check it. Then the second person will do the state taxes and the first person will check it.

Posted by: Rockville Mom | April 13, 2007 8:35 AM

My wife does the taxes, always has. She also does about 98% of the spending, so she gets to do the bills. In fact, I don't even know the password to our online checking or bill-payer account. She gives me an allowance of $20 at the beginning of the week, then asks for it back by the end of the week. If I have less than $5, she demands to know what I spent it on.

Something interesting. My wife has known my SSN from memory since well before we got married, but to this day, I have no clue as to what hers SSN is. Is this typical? I wunder how many persons know their spouse's SSN from memory.

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 13, 2007 8:53 AM

What? Did we leave all the man-bashing behind us in yesterday? You know, how those males currently breathing are collectively responsible for the countless inequities of centuries past?

Kudos to Leslie for being PC and saying "(or Woman)" in an acknowledgement that women employed by the IRS can now take away hard-earned money and ensure it goes into landfills courtesy of FEMA (just as easily as men, but with more style, no doubt). ;-P

Fred, taxes are not a serious topic. Well, at least Congress doesn't think so...
You know, Transparent Aluminum is real. Thinner than paper, stronger than steel, it can bounce a .50 cal bullet without taking damage. I bet it would be better than the current stuff in the face of roadside bombs. I would wonder why troops are not getting it for armor but I know it's because politicians are too busy lining their pockets. Nope, not serious at all...

Ok, back on topic: I think next year TurboTax, or whatever equiv will work simply because I will have been in the same job and not moved between states. The wife is the keeper of receipts, and is supposed to stick them in a folder by month, but invariably they wind up in a plastic-bag and we spend a day going through them all only to find out we should get the standard deduction instead. I am supposed to fill out the forms by putting stuff from column a in line 15 and dividing by zero (Chuck Norris helps me with this) to come up with some magical number. I did my taxes early this year because I desperately wanted the refund/ and to get it over with. So, to answer Leslie's other question: This weekend I am having friends over so we can grill brawtwursts after I soak them in beer, drink beer (not the stuff the brats soaked in, that's just wrong) discuss the finer points of comic books, and maybe watch an action movie that makes no sense, but will at least be filled with: a. explosions b. sword fights c. guns d. all of the above. ;-P

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 8:55 AM

Father of 4:
I know my husband's SSN from memory. I'm sure he doesn't know mine. My mother was also the finance person and she always knew my father's, mine, and both my brothers from memory.

Posted by: Rockville Mom | April 13, 2007 8:56 AM

Totally pathetic here! I'm 40 and have never done my own taxes. My mom did my taxes until I got married and my husband does them now. I pay all the bills and am good about the day-to-day stuff, but never did have any interest in the idea of sitting down with piles and piles of papers to maximize my return. btw - nothing to do with aptitude, I am a scientist, have loads of math background and love numbers.

Posted by: Olney | April 13, 2007 8:58 AM

Hey Chris, sounds fun, may I come over?

Posted by: Olney | April 13, 2007 9:00 AM

I used to do the taxes, then my wife found a computer program that does it and now she does them. This is the first year in a while we've gotten a return from the Fed; yay!

Posted by: John L | April 13, 2007 9:03 AM

Leslie,
Could you think of a more BORING topic for today????? BORING, BORING, BORING, BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: BORING.... | April 13, 2007 9:03 AM

We have "a guy." He's done our taxes since we got married, and I'm perfectly content with that. When it was just me, I could do the EZ form, but now I'd much rather hand a stack of papers to a nice older gentleman who reminds me of Jimmy Buffett and just smile when the refund hits our bank accounts.

Posted by: dlm79 | April 13, 2007 9:05 AM

Father of 4

I know what you mean. I did 75% of the spending, but my husband did 100% of the adultery!!

Now I do 100% of the spending!

Posted by: Anita | April 13, 2007 9:07 AM

Anita, I *heart* you. =)

(Sorry that your husband's a louse!)

Posted by: dlm79 | April 13, 2007 9:09 AM

My wife pays the bills so she keeps the tax records. We use an accountant that e-files for us. Less than $100 for fed/state taxes and that includes the e-file.

The accountant is bonded & insured plus will pay any penalties that may be charged if a mistake is made. No mistakes (yet) so I can't actually confirm that last part.

Not having to do the taxes ourselves makes this time of year a lot easier to deal with.

Posted by: SoMD | April 13, 2007 9:14 AM

Before I married, I always did my own taxes. Then I married a (financially) complicated fellow. Now the CPA produces a maximum opus (about a quarter of an inch thick) every spring. It was mailed 2 days ago.

Posted by: bethesda | April 13, 2007 9:15 AM

DH and I long ago memorized one another's SSNs, which occasionally makes it convenient for filling out forms when the other person isn't around. After all, it's only 9 digits, which is one fewer than a phone number + area code.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 9:20 AM

We have an accountant do our taxes as well. We don't have kids yet, but even without them life is too short to spend nights and weekends calculating how to line the government's pocket. It's also too depressing to think about what a high percentage of our taxes goes to support causes we disagree with entirely.

Posted by: lawgirl | April 13, 2007 9:21 AM

Mr Bee and I do our taxes separately because we don't share all of our finances--we pay our household expenses out of a joint account, to which each of us contributes 50/50, but we each have our own accounts also, and separate savings. This is a necessity for us because we don't agree on our discretionary spending (he loves expensive stereos, I'm happy to listen but would never spend so much on them; I collect books, which he reads once in a while but wouldn't ever buy). And I just hate the idea of having to get "permission" from each other to spend our own money on the things we need or just want.

Also it's very important to me to be self-sufficient. I need to know that if anything happened to him I would be able to continue on my income alone. Since I make less than he does, I am the one who watches the finances more vigilantly--I pay most of the bills and make more of the decisions. (Mr Bee is not detail oriented and when he pays bills, he sometimes pays them from the wrong account or makes other mistakes, which causes me intense irritation.)

Something to think about for SAH spouses: You need to have at least one or two bills in your name, otherwise you won't have your own credit rating. My mother was denied a loan recently because she had no credit rating, despite 30 years of managing the family finances as SAHM (and she did have her own income for part of that time, it was just that the family bills were in my dad's name).

Posted by: worker bee | April 13, 2007 9:22 AM

It's one thing to have daycare during the day while you work, and maybe on a Saturday night so you and your spouse can go out...but do you also need to have places to put your child/ren when you're at a casino, or on vacation?

I saw this interesting article that was posted on cnn.money.com: "Drop-in daycare: business as usual? A growing number of businesses are enticing patrons by offering child-care services."

http://money.cnn.com/2004/03/18/pf/daycare_everywhere/

There are now daycare centers at ski lodges, hotels, casinos, etc. What message are we sending our children when we put them in the care of other people... even when we're away on vacation?

Have you ever used one of these services? Would you? Would it make a difference if you were a stay at home mom/dad...and your kids weren't on daycare on a regular basis. Would you then figure you could use a little time-off from the kids on your vacation?

To me, it's taking daycare to a new...and perhpas "unhealthy" extreme.


Posted by: Balance--on Vacation | April 13, 2007 9:25 AM

I was emancipated early because I transferred to a University out of state (my whole family has this innate fear of living near/in a city or ever leaving the hometown, like, EVER, so naturally they didn't support my choice), but you wouldn't believe the trouble I still went through. FAFSA made me get my parents' financial information even though I was emancipated, and even now at 28, many law schools that accepted me are factoring parental contributions in their financial aid awards. It's driving me bonkers. It's as if emancipation doesn't even mean anything.

On to the topic at hand...I do my own taxes, because, of course, I'm single. It's very simple because I have had the same job for years, and have no assets. Next year will be different, because of school, and more complicated, so I'll probably hire an accountant. If/when I'm married, we'll probably have a professional do them. BF is an engineer, and brilliant in math, but I doubt he'll want to do them, and I know I won't.

I have a question, though: are there tax breaks for married couples without children, AKA DINKs? BF and I were arguing about this; I thought there were, he didn't. Help?

Posted by: Mona | April 13, 2007 9:25 AM

Chris,

Did you say Brats and Beer? You are IMMEDIATELY reassigned to the grilling cave. (next to mine by some strange coincidence)

This German boy has not had a decent Brat since he was in Wisc. last. Cooking and Drinking will commence immediately--I am off today! Officer Krupke may accompany us to provide security against those heathens who do not understand that a bratwurst is the highest example of culinary excellence!

Posted by: Fred | April 13, 2007 9:25 AM

To Balance--on Vacation: Does it count if the parents and child go visit a set of grandparents, then let Grandma and Grandpa watch the kid while they (they parents) go away for a day or two alone? Or is it family values in that case?

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 9:28 AM

"There are now daycare centers at ski lodges, hotels, casinos, etc."

Well, difficult ski slopes and casinos are not really great places to take children, and I assume some alone time is good for parents on vacation. Why would this be a bad idea, so long as it's for a short time and parents don't just dump their children for the entire duration of the vacation?

Posted by: lawgirl | April 13, 2007 9:29 AM

oh please....

I've always done the taxes, except for those years where we had to file American and Australian taxes. It is soooo easy with Turbotax. I filed back in early February. Refunds came back electronically within a couple of weeks. It took...what?....a whole couple of hours and that was only because I insist on printing it out, understanding all the numbers and such.

what am I doing this weekend? depending on the weather, I hope to be gardening and loving it. Though I also hope to be grilling a nice steak and enjoying a shiraz.

Posted by: dotted | April 13, 2007 9:29 AM

"To Balance--on Vacation: Does it count if the parents and child go visit a set of grandparents, then let Grandma and Grandpa watch the kid while they (they parents) go away for a day or two alone? Or is it family values in that case?

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 09:28 AM"

Personally, I think it's family values in that case because the children are spending time with Grandma and Grandpa... not getting "dumped in daycare" at some resort location so mom and dad can go out, or ski, or gamble, or whatever. Would you agree?

Posted by: Balance--on Vacation | April 13, 2007 9:30 AM

Father of 4: any military spouse or dependent learns to memorize their sponsor's (aka the family member in the service) SSN by heart. It's how you are linked in all of the computer systems for health care, identification cards, etc. I could tell you my dad's to this day but every time I put my mom down as beneficiary for something I have to look it up.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | April 13, 2007 9:30 AM

"I have a question, though: are there tax breaks for married couples without children, AKA DINKs? BF and I were arguing about this; I thought there were, he didn't. Help?"

Actually, it's marginally worse for married couples without children [though the 2003 tax changes made it better for those not above the 15% tax bracket]. Married couples pay more than two individuals with the same joint income [regardless of whether the married couple files jointly or separately].

Do a search on 'marriage penalty' and you will find all of the info you could ever want on it...


Posted by: A Dad | April 13, 2007 9:31 AM

"There are now daycare centers at ski lodges, hotels, casinos, etc."

Well, difficult ski slopes and casinos are not really great places to take children, and I assume some alone time is good for parents on vacation. Why would this be a bad idea, so long as it's for a short time and parents don't just dump their children for the entire duration of the vacation?

Posted by: lawgirl | April 13, 2007 09:29 AM

Wouldn't it be better to choose a vacation destination where the entire family can participate?

Posted by: Balance- on vacation | April 13, 2007 9:32 AM

Fo4 - Yes on the SSN and password to banking accounts - husband has no idea. He is basically clueless. I sat him down a couple years ago and tried to explain it all and he said he didn't care. I could clear out the accounts and run off to a cave with Fabio and he'd be none the wiser.

For the record, I use Turbotax. Our taxes are not that complicated and I actually enjoy it. Refund received in Feb and it is gone with the wind.

Posted by: cmac | April 13, 2007 9:33 AM

"dumped in daycare"??? What are you talking about? When my kids were little, they loved the kid care places. That is where they wanted to be. It was a vacation for them! There was no dumping at all. Jeez, talk about giving yourself a made up problem.

Posted by: dotted | April 13, 2007 9:33 AM

Personally, I would have been very upset if my parents took me on vacation when I was a kid and stuck me in daycare. I have fond memories of doing things as a FAMILY while on vacation.

Posted by: Balance - on vacation | April 13, 2007 9:33 AM

Daycare on vacation:

Dinners at fancy restaurant are another appropriate time for daycare. Children are picky eaters and won't appreciate the foie gras.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 9:34 AM

Bethesda - Are you my twin? I could have written that! Except our opus went out 3 days ago.

Posted by: New York | April 13, 2007 9:34 AM

worker bee, I'm feeling ya. When I got married, I owned a condo, had paid off my student loans and car, had an IRA, and had been religiously saving since the day I started my job; my husband, who had been out of school the same amount of time and made a comparable salary, had $3K in credit card debt and every toy known to man (tho he had at least signed up for the 401(k)). I remember getting unreasonably mad at him early on for spending $90 on a pair of sunglasses. It had nothing to do with whether we could afford the $90; I just thought it was a waste of money, since you could get a perfectly good pair off the rack at Walgreens for $10.

We did merge our money, but we each also kept separate accounts with what we brought into the marriage -- and then we budgeted for each of us to get an "allowance" deposited into those individual accounts every month. I had to do that for my own sanity -- now, he can be as stupid as he wants with his money, but I know I have to shut up about it, because it's HIS money! A built-in anti-nag device. :-)

Alas, I believe he has had at least as much influence on me as I've had on him -- my last pair of sunglasses cost more than his!

Posted by: Laura | April 13, 2007 9:34 AM

Hey Fred!

Thanks for reassigning Chris to another cave.

Frankly, I couldn't take much more of his prancing poetry.

Posted by: Officer Krupke | April 13, 2007 9:35 AM

"It was a vacation for them."

NOW... are you a stay at home mom/dad? Or, do you work? If you stay at home, I can see how it might be a "vacation" for the kids. But if your kids are in daycare during the work week, and they still thought daycare on vacation was more fun than spending time with you...I'm thinking that's not so good!

Posted by: TO Dotted | April 13, 2007 9:36 AM

To Balance--on Vacation: Well, there WAS the time when I was about 5 that my indulgent Grandma let me drink a whole quart of grape soda (because I wanted to), and I wound up barfing purple all night.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 9:36 AM

Balance-the fact you called it 'stuck' shows you don't like them. So don't use the vacation daycares. But don't bring in the word 'values' because liking/disliking something doesn't equate to values.

except maybe chocolate. I love chocolate and so does everyone in my family. It is our family value...he he he

Posted by: dotted | April 13, 2007 9:36 AM

To Balance on Vacation -- We used the daycare center at a ski resort in Utah in February for my 2-year old. I was a bit hesitant to do so (she's never been in a daycare situation), but she seemed to love it and has asked to go back many times since we got home. We also put my 4-year old in ski school for two days and although he cried the first day when we dropped him off, he also cried when we picked him up the first day because he didn't want the day to end and couldn't wait to go the second day. And mom and dad had a great time skiing for the first time in 5 years!!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 13, 2007 9:37 AM

Daycare on vacation:

Dinners at fancy restaurant are another appropriate time for daycare. Children are picky eaters and won't appreciate the foie gras.

Posted by: | April 13, 2007 09:34 AM

OR...do you pick a family restaurant since you are on vacation as a family. Is foie gras more important than family conversation?

Posted by: Hmmm | April 13, 2007 9:37 AM

To TO dotted.
When the kids were little, I was working. So did my husband. We both luckily had jobs then. We've done all combinations of working/nonworking/working but traveling/working in other countries/staying at home/moving/ etc. etc. The oldest is now 26. The youngest is 12.
And just because they loved all the activities in vacation day care doesn't mean they didn't like to also be with us. Jeesh...talk about setting yourself up for disappointment. Life is not either/or. I don't feel, and never have felt, rejected if my kids want to do activities *without* me around.

Posted by: dotted | April 13, 2007 9:41 AM

My child's daycare...which is an after care at school...is now offering parents nights out. So, the children can stay in school from the time they arrive there in the morning until 8-9 at night. Just like daycares on vacation, I think that's taking daycare to a very unhealthy level.

Posted by: Anon for today | April 13, 2007 9:42 AM

Hmmm-you are being rather judgemental. How many kids do you have and what experience do you bring to the discussion to back up your comments?

Posted by: dotted | April 13, 2007 9:43 AM

hmmm when I put the letters S, T, F, and U all together, it won't let me post for some reason. I was going to give those particular letters to Boring, in defense of Leslie, who could have made the topic about daycare again, but regardless the topic will somehow devolve into being about male-bashing, virtuous strippers, and a limeric about something. ;-P

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 9:43 AM

Generally, I hand all my documentation over to my accountant, he finished my taxes, calls me when they are ready and I'm done - No worries. This year however, his admin managed to lose my completed tax return so we're scrambling to figure out what to do. According to the accountant, if you're getting a refund, the IRS doesn't care if you mail your taxes by April 17. Does anyone know if this is true?

Posted by: Michele | April 13, 2007 9:45 AM

To Hmmm, There are other issues re foie gras, but leaving those aside, I don't see anything inherently wrong with parents having a special fancy meal minus the children occasionally -- and the operative word here is "occasionally." Besides, as other posters have already pointed out, sometimes the kids have fun with the other kids being cared for at the resort or wherever -- no matter how much they love their parents (and vice versa) they don't necessarily think it's fun to be with the folks 24/7, either.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 9:46 AM

You think taxes is an interesting topic?????

Posted by: TO: Chris | April 13, 2007 9:46 AM

Michele, you have to file an extension if your taxes are not postmarked by 4/17 regardless of whether you are getting a refund or not. Your current tax return could say you are getting a refund, but what if there is something wrong-say some 1099 is missing-with the net result being you owe money? I'm not a tax lawyer but the extension is easy to file and should not require your accountant.

Posted by: dotted | April 13, 2007 9:48 AM

I'm definitely the math geek in the family, so I do the taxes. Thank heavens for TurboTax! And although I'm not sure whether it is a math geek thing or a woman thing -- not only do I know Northern Guy's SS# by heart, I still remember the SS# of the ex-husband I divorced eight years ago.

Did someone say bratwurst? I'll bring the onions and pickle relish!

Posted by: Northern Girl | April 13, 2007 9:50 AM

Balance - on vacation

"What message are we sending our children when we put them in the care of other people... even when we're away on vacation? "

Duh, you obviously don't do it, so what do you care?

When I put my children in the care of other people when I am on vacation, I'm sending them the same message I send when I don't clean bathrooms, do laundry, or scrub floors when I am on vacation.

The phrase "stuck in daycare" is really outdated. The daycare at most resorts and vacation spots is pretty much exciting entertainment for the kids.

I doubt that my kids would choose sitting next to me for 3 hours at a stretch while I am reading a book over a fun time with other kids.

And my husband and I aren't chained together during our vacations, either. Sheesh!

Posted by: Liz | April 13, 2007 9:50 AM

"Frankly, I couldn't take much more of his prancing poetry." translation: "stop that rhyming now, I mean it!"

"Anybody want a peanut?"

--- Anyway, thanks, but no thanks. I have my own cave... it's hours from here, in the mountains, and comes complete with a 520 bottle wine rack, some assembly and stocking required. ;-P Ah, the joys of being a former officer...

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 9:51 AM

Liz-you go girl!

Posted by: dotted | April 13, 2007 9:52 AM

Laura, I just caved on the sunglasses issue too! I've been making fun of Mr Bee for years because he keeps losing his costly ones. Then it occurred to me that since I am not absentminded like my husband, perhaps I could splurge on nice glasses and NOT lose them... ah, it's so good, I am never going back to the cheap drugstore ones!

Posted by: worker bee | April 13, 2007 9:52 AM

Wow, lots of stuff already:

Taxes: I always do them, and get them done in January. Yes, it's easier with Quicken and TurboTax. One weekend in January and we're through. If a refund is coming, it gets mailed the next day; if we owe, it gets put in the "outgoing" box with a sticky saying "Mail on April 15". This year, the refund is already received and spent.

SSNs: I'm one of those "retentive" people who remember things like that. As an Army Brat, all records were under Dad's service number which is also, by coincidence, his SSN. Dad's been dead for over 20 years, and I still know his SSN. I also know my wife's, each of my 4 children's, and I'm pretty sure about my mother's, sister's and brother's, too. Don't know his daughters' SSNs, though. :-)

Speaking of "Brat" - Chris, Fred, you guys are mean. Now all I can think of is wurst mit semmel und gluhwein; last time I had them was at the Christkindlmarkt a couple of years ago. Darn it, I knew we should have used the refund on a trip to Munich rather than all those new window treatments! Okay, no gluhwein at this time of year, but the Augustinerbrau will do quite nicely, thank you. (Hofbrau and Lowenbrau are for tourists; those of us who spent a good part of our formative years in Munchen know which is the good stuff.)

Posted by: Army Brat | April 13, 2007 9:52 AM

Are your kids regularly in daycare? I think that makes a HUGE difference. If your kids aren't usually in daycare, they might think it's fun and interesting to be at a daycare on vacation and meet other kids. But if you're not home with them regularly, I think vacations should be an opportunity for FAMILY TIME...

Posted by: TO Liz | April 13, 2007 9:52 AM

The phrase "stuck in daycare" is outdated? What makes it outdated?

Posted by: ???? | April 13, 2007 9:54 AM

Northern Girl - that would definitely qualify as a "math geek" thing, it's not gender specific.

And pickle relish on a brat? No, no, no, you have wounded mine heart - get thee to Bavaria posthaste and learn how to do it right!

Posted by: Army Brat | April 13, 2007 9:55 AM

Anyone may file a Form 4868 to have an extention on the filing of the tax form. If you owe money, you have send it in with the 4868. If you have a refund, just file the 4868.

http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/article/0,,id=98155,00.html

Posted by: Fred | April 13, 2007 9:55 AM

DH is/was self-employed and he's Mr. Stock-guy. We gather, he prints off, then it all goes to the accountant.

A woman should always know what's going on with taxes. If hubby should decide to leave and want to take the money you need to know what's there and what's yours!

Posted by: RoseG | April 13, 2007 9:57 AM

"I was going to give those particular letters to Boring, in defense of Leslie, who could have made the topic about daycare again, but regardless the topic will somehow devolve into being about male-bashing, virtuous strippers, and a limeric about something."

My virtuous SAH wife
has been a stripper most all of her life
With her feminine wiles
Our tax forms she files
With no hint of marital strife

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 9:57 AM

I knew Fred would know the exact form number to file. Fred is the man.

Army Brat-what does one put on a brat? I would put brown mustard, but what do I know about brats? The only sausage I didn't like in Germany were those white ones...Junior went to Austria last year and loved them. Goes to show taste buds may not be inheritable.

Posted by: dotted | April 13, 2007 9:57 AM

"But if you're not home with them regularly, I think vacations should be an opportunity for FAMILY TIME..."

I don't give a flying f**k what you think!
Why should I?


Posted by: Liz | April 13, 2007 9:58 AM

I do the taxes....in that I get the paperwork neatly organized and bring it to our accountant in February or March.

There's also the issue that I have my own business (a single-owner LLC), so I keep separate accounts for that. Neither of us want to do the extra forms that go along with that.

Too, I grew up with my father as a corporation (he's a doctor with partners), so to me using an accountant is normal. Other than reviewing the forms or their paperwork, I don't remember my parents ever sitting down and DOING their taxes. They may have broken down things into their proper categories for the accountants, but the accountants prepared the actual paperwork.

It may cost a little bit more, but once I moved past the 1040EZ phase, I like that I don't worry about my taxes (that current crop of TurboTax commercials make me giggle). And I have very neat folders with taxes for the past several years tucked away, so everything is at hand if I need to refer to it for some reason (a big help when I set up my business and when we applied for our mortgage).

Oh - and if you itemize? Last year's preparation costs are deductible ;)

Posted by: Chasmosaur | April 13, 2007 9:59 AM

"I don't give a flying f**k what you think!"

The Washington Post Guidelines state that "User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site."

Liz, you definitely crossed the line of what is acceptable to post on this blog.

Posted by: TO Liz | April 13, 2007 10:00 AM

The phrase "stuck in daycare" is outdated? What makes it outdated?

Posted by: ???? | April 13, 2007 09:54 AM


How about the phrase "stuck with their parents"?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:00 AM

Mustard, onions (grilled) and sauerkraut (sp) are the only accceptable garnishments for a Brat!

Posted by: Fred | April 13, 2007 10:02 AM

Northern Girl, you were obviously misled somewhere along the way. Brats are an art that should not have pickle relish dumped on them as if they were some common hot dog. Please pay attention so that in the future you will know how to properly prepare this exquisite mouth-watering delicacy and prepare it with the proper respect:
(I will leave out the obvious things like purchasing them and take them out of the package, as brats are too sacred for this sort of sarcasm)

1. slowly bring to a boil in a dark beer- this allows brats to absorb yumminess.
2. grill until blackend grill marks appear and brat splits a bit... or just char the heck out of it.
3. slather mustard of choice, usually beer-n-brat mustard, or some deli-style, on a thick brat-bun.
4. stick brat in thick brat-bun
5. dash celery salt over brat. Trust me.
6. top with diced purple onions, regular whites will work too...
7. enjoy

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 10:02 AM

"I don't give a flying f**k what you think!"


When forks fly.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:02 AM

I wunder how many persons know their spouse's SSN from memory.

I do. I know he doesn't know mine from memory, as he occasionally has to ask it of me when he has medical issues.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:02 AM

To TO Liz: Liz didn't use any profanity. Nor did she attack anybody. What letters did you put into **?

Posted by: dotted | April 13, 2007 10:02 AM

Army Brat and Chris,
My question is what kind of bun?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 10:03 AM

"OR...do you pick a family restaurant since you are on vacation as a family. Is foie gras more important than family conversation?"

Well, one of my favorite restaurants in the world is in Taos. When we lived in NM and could go up to ski for a weekend, I'd happily find a babysitter so we could enjoy a special grownup treat. Plus the girl went to bed @ 7, so it's not like we missed a lot of valuable family "together" time.

I'm really excited that she's now old enough to learn to ski herself. Next year we hope to take a week ski vacation out there. And yes, she will be in ski school -- Taos has one of the finest children's ski schools around, and I'm a pretty crappy skier myself, so I want her to learn right from the get-go. And yes, baby brother will be in the kid care, since he'll still be 1-2 years away. But we'll still have a lot more "family" time than we do at home, since I usually poop out not too long after lunch. So basically, morning skiing and lessons and daycare; afternoons family.

To me, it's not a question about "dumping" them in daycare so we can go gallivant. We have a great family vacation planned, to a wonderful part of the world, doing something that my husband and I really enjoy and that we're excited to introduce my daughter to. I guess some people would say that we should just not do that for another two years until everyone can ski. But to flip that -- does everything always have to be targeted to the littlest kid? My daughter really, really wants to go ski, and we want to give her that opportunity. And we do plenty of completely "together" family trips, like beach weekends. I just don't think a half-day apart is such a horrible thing to subject my kids to as part of an otherwise great family vacation.

Posted by: Laura | April 13, 2007 10:04 AM

boil in dark beer? How long? Until plump?..and then grill? I'm getting hungry.

klb- your wasabi nuts might go nicely as an appetiser, in my way of thinking.

Posted by: dotted | April 13, 2007 10:05 AM

"OR...do you pick a family restaurant since you are on vacation as a family. Is foie gras more important than family conversation?"

How much sex are you getting in the family bed?

What IS it with people who include their children in their every waking moment? Do you decline all invitations to parties that state, "Adults only" too?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:06 AM

Wasabi nuts go with everything.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 10:06 AM

Glad to see others outraged over the pickles... there is hope for everyone here, yet. I am reminded of the commercial where the guy dives to stop the girl from drinking the "light" beer.
Nooooooooo, dooooon't uuuuuse piiiiicklessssss!

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 10:06 AM

Laura,
To me that's a really nice way to use an on vacation daycare. I hope you have fun on your trip!

Posted by: Balance--on Vacation | April 13, 2007 10:07 AM

There is a Brat and a Beer with my name on it waiting in Munich. When are we going Army Brat?

Posted by: Fred | April 13, 2007 10:07 AM

If you are getting a big refund every year, Mr. Buffet isn't doing a great job. This is especially true if your financial life is fairly simple.

You should have him redo your withholding so that less comes out every week, and therefore less is owed back to you at the end of the year.

Your refund isn't a random bit of largesse from the feds. It is the return of an interest-free loan you gave them all year. Perhaps you would prefer to lend less.

Posted by: to dim79 | April 13, 2007 10:07 AM

Okay, drooling over the brats recipe. Yum. They're served with spaetzle and dark beer in my house and the grainiest mustard I can track down.

About vacation: Sometimes, the kids have more fun without the parents when they're on vacation. I don't mean 24/7, but my son absolutely learned more from his ski instructor than he would have from his parents. There are many situations where parents are NOT the best teachers. I can think of several for my own children: soccer, swimming, skiing, ballet, theatre. With the exception of swimming and skiing (and maybe theatre because I've got a flair for drama according to my husband), I could not possibly be considered a qualified teacher. But even so, I am happy to hand over the task to someone else. My kids whine less when it's not mommy and daddy doing the instruction. It is this way with most children I've known.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 13, 2007 10:07 AM

Zeigler's white hots get MY vote.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | April 13, 2007 10:07 AM

Are Johnsonville acceptable?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 10:09 AM

Laura -- I hear absolutely great things from many people about family ski vacations at Snowmass. That's our next destination.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 13, 2007 10:09 AM

"Mustard, onions (grilled) and sauerkraut (sp) are the only accceptable garnishments for a Brat!"

I beg to differ -- saute the onions in a black skillet with thick-sliced bacon before adding to the Brat...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:09 AM

You're a bunch of nutburgers. Even a BOOORRRING topic like taxes brings out the flaming. Jeez, people, get a life. FWIW, I take my tax papers to Jackson Hewitt. They're done in 20 minutes and I get my refund in 2 days (Maryland) and 7 days (Federal). Not a big deal.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:10 AM

slowly bring to boil, that's all- don't let them sit boiling... Take them off and grill them.

As far as the bun, a thick brat bun. think short hoagie roll or something like it. I like to carve the top out in a trianlge like subway so the brat is snug as a brat in a bun.

Dang it, now my stomach is growling and mouth watering... and I have to wait for tomorrow!

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 10:10 AM

to 10:09,

I have not had them that way! I will try it!

About the only thing we get down this way is (sometimes) Hebrew National Knockwurst. Not bad at all.

But then again, New Orleans is noted more for its shrimp.

Posted by: Fred | April 13, 2007 10:12 AM

"Laura -- I hear absolutely great things from many people about family ski vacations at Snowmass. That's our next destination."

Also highly recommend Solitude in Utah for kid's ski school -- fantastic instructors, small classes, great beginning slopes. We had our 6/9/11 year-olds there for 4 full days of ski school this winter and they had a blast.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:12 AM

*laughing at the Brat talk*

I live in Wisconsin now, but grew up and spent most of my 30+ years on the East Coast (NYC and DC).

I've been here almost 3 years...and I've had exactly two brats.

They're tasty, but oh my god, they do put my digestive system in an uproar. Just a lot of fat in those things and my pre-Wisconsin eating habits of sashimi, pho, grilled fishes and tapas just didn't prepare my system for that ;)

When we serve them at home, I always have a package of Hebrew Nationals for myself...and they usually go because one or two other people have the same physiological reaction to those monsters. (Though they usually tart them up like Chicago dogs, not NYC dogs, and that's a whole 'nother thread ;) )

But yes, we learned brat-cooking at the hand of one of our neighbors, a several-generation Wisconsinite. You simmer the brats in beer and onions and then basically flash-grill them. This lets them keep all the lovely fats and juicyness inside while making them crispy on the outside.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | April 13, 2007 10:14 AM

"motherhood took away my ability to give a hoot about who did my taxes"?

Huh?? What does this mean?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:16 AM

For the uninitiated - The Bratwurst Pages.

http://www.bratwurstpages.com/brats.html

Posted by: Chasmosaur | April 13, 2007 10:18 AM

KLB, ein semmel! See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semmel

(if you're adventurous, go to the German site at http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Br%C3%B6tchen#Regionale_Bezeichnungen
they have a picture of a kaisersemmel)

It's a thick, heavy German roll or Brotchen (sorry, can't do umlauts) - usually potato, although sometimes wheat. There are a couple of places around DC I've been able to find them, so that's a special treat.

What do you put on a wurst mit semmel? Thick, spicy brown mustard; grilled onions; and sauerkraut.

Posted by: Army Brat | April 13, 2007 10:18 AM

"Wouldn't it be better to choose a vacation destination where the entire family can participate?"

My parents took me skiing all the time. I went to ski school during the morning, which I loved, and skied with them in the afternoon. Those were some of my favorite vacations. It's ridiculous to insinuate parents are being selfing by arranging some time alone during a vacation.

Yes, we also went to places that had casinos, where I was not allowed to go. But spending one evening with other kids doing kid-friendly activities while my parents had some fun on their own hardly means it wasn't a family friendly vacation.

Alone time is good for marriages, and I would never begrudge my parents that time. It is assinine to accuse parents who want some time away from the kids on their vacation of not being family oriented. Frankly, I find it offensive.

Posted by: lawgirl | April 13, 2007 10:19 AM

Other stuff my kids have done while "stuck in daycare" at resorts -

Put on pretty good abbreviated versions of Broadway shows

Met a lot of interesting foreign kids (that will never happen in my hometown)

Took excursions around town

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:19 AM

Copy and paste: Brötchen München
ä Ä ö Ö ü Ü

All set, now?

Posted by: To Army Brat | April 13, 2007 10:22 AM

Family vacations in my family meant going to the cottage, which was actually a string of cottages all owned by family members. I didn't see my parents for days at a time because I and my cousins would be up at dawn watching the deer feeding in the meadow, we'd spend all day at the beach under the supervision of one of the aunts or uncles, and at night we'd play hide and seek in the woods.

Time with parents was all very well but Mum & Dad were too darned instructional to be considered vacation.

Posted by: worker bee | April 13, 2007 10:22 AM

Balance on vacation does NOT mean living and breathing munchkin activities 24/7. Balance means finding time for mom and dad, too.

Posted by: to Balance on vacation | April 13, 2007 10:24 AM

Fred, we're leaving as soon as I can convince the 18 year old that her college fund was really intended to pay for a trip to Munich all along! (For me, not for her!)

Posted by: Army Brat | April 13, 2007 10:25 AM

"When I put my children in the care of other people when I am on vacation, I'm sending them the same message I send when I don't clean bathrooms, do laundry, or scrub floors when I am on vacation."

Interesting how you equate caring for your children to cleaning bathrooms. Yep, that's a great message to send your children.


Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:27 AM

go look at OffBeat today for an off-balance discussion. Should kids be allowed to read Rowling's Potter series...? Or will such exposure be a fast track to a life of Satanic degredation and sin for all muggle children with these tomes in the school library?

Posted by: Fo3 | April 13, 2007 10:28 AM

Army Brat:

"There are a couple of places around DC I've been able to find them, so that's a special treat."

Have you tried Binkert's Meat Products in Baltimore -- if I remember you are near Columbia -- if so, Binkert's is well worth the trip.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:31 AM

"There are now daycare centers at ski lodges, hotels, casinos, etc."

Sorry but this is NOT new. I did this with my parents on vacation in Disney World, Hilton Head, Ski resorts and it was AT LEAST 25 years ago. Where have you been? Guess not on too many resort vacations...

Posted by: Emmy | April 13, 2007 10:32 AM

I have not read the Harry Potter series yet, as I am waiting for the last book. My pet peeve is readin a book and waiting a year for the follow-up... Anyway, I was raised reading sci-fi and fantasy, of which magical wizards and dragons played a huge part... these books teach more morals, and how good should always triumph over evil no matter what, than almost anything else in society today- including some church lessons (depending on where you are). The only bad thing I gained from these novels was a very cheesy sense of humor- but I and some few others enjoy it. ;-P

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 10:32 AM

A recent divorcee after 14 years of marriage, this was the first year I so much as looked at a tax form, save the year I graduated from college and used the 1040EZ method. I have to say, it was very empowering--but more so in my case because these were my own taxes on my own wages. I had been a SAHM for 8 of those 14 years, and during that time it was a big deal if I earned $10,000 in a given year. To this year have an income high enough to support a family (but low enough to get significant tax breaks I couldn't have gotten were I still married and in a two-income household) was a very good feeling. Yes, struggling with the balance issues of working full time after years of never having worried about it as a SAHM with a husband who earned enough that I didn't have to work, is tough and presents its own issues, but knowing I am capable of supporting myself and my kids definitely makes all the juggling more palatable.

Posted by: Maggie | April 13, 2007 10:35 AM

Interesting how you equate caring for your children to cleaning bathrooms.


Changing diapers isn't too far removed from bathroom cleaning.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:38 AM

Don't forget Halloween.

Posted by: To Fof3 | April 13, 2007 10:40 AM

Chris:
Three cheers for kids reading fantasy! I think the whole buzz around Potter is one of the best things to happen in years--it's really rejuvenated interest in reading among kids, and almost more important, it's convinced publishers to keep publishing good quality & exciting kids' literature.

Posted by: worker bee | April 13, 2007 10:42 AM

I think part of the school system's problem is that it does not encourage sci-fi and fantasy reading, but instead pushes dry boring stuff that kids, and most adults even, would rather not read. It creates a dislike for reading, which leads to poor comprehension and writing skills...

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 10:46 AM

I think anything that keeps kids from watching trashy TV is a good thing. And the Harry Potter books are actually pretty good.

Posted by: lawgirl | April 13, 2007 10:47 AM

to anon at 10:31: Yep, I'm in HoCo. Binkert's Meat Products? Nope, never tried it. Might have to look into it. My favorite used to be Wurzburg Haus on Muncaster Mill in MoCo. Our German au pair in the mid-90s used to swear that it was as authentic as anything she found in the States, but I understand it closed last year.

(My favorite German restaurant in the US remains the Edelweiss in Colorado Springs, just off the northern edge of Fort Carson. Even the steins are authentic!)

Posted by: Army Brat | April 13, 2007 10:47 AM

"Three cheers for kids reading fantasy! I think the whole buzz around Potter is one of the best things to happen in years--it's really rejuvenated interest in reading among kids, and almost more important, it's convinced publishers to keep publishing good quality & exciting kids' literature."

Interesting note -- last night I attended a middle school function [oldest starts middle school next year] and one of the things that was highlighted was a county-wide middle school reading group originally organized by the kids [and supported now by Barnes and Nobles]. The intersting part is that over 80% of those in the group are male -- completely at odds with most of the research on girls being more into reading at that age. The administrators were extremely happy to see so many boys that age into reading -- and gave credit to the Harry Potter series and many of the other fantasy books that have followed it...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:48 AM

I'm just amazed. Years and years ago, it was not necessarily the thing for parents to be around the kids 24/7. Parents made sure they had care (many times other family members, but not always). Why is it not okay for the same thing these days? Why if parents aren't around their kids all the time they are considered bad? If you ensure that your children are safe, what is the problem? And, anyway, for the most part, they would prefer to be with the other kids.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:49 AM

The words "taxes", "bills", "money", and "finance" appear in 3766 posts by 1033 contributors.

Top 10 posters who like to discuss money management:

34 atlmom
36 Megan's Neighbor
38 cmac
39 Meesh
40 momof4
41 Megan
56 Emily
60 Laura
61 Scarry
93 foamgnome

Posted by: Blog Stats: | April 13, 2007 10:50 AM

we did taxes together for 18 yrs ... i was the 'rough draft' guy who knew the rules and she was the 'neat handwriting' gal who did the final copy and had all the stuff we needed neatly organized in the big manilla envelope ... 2 yrs ago we broke down and went to a CPA because i got really afraid of the AMT and not wanting to screw up - we had a couple of oddball, tax-ramification situataions crop up that year ... we both have masters degrees in engineering, so we arent stupid people ... the tax system is just too scarey to screw with any more ...

Posted by: dad o'2 - 21042 | April 13, 2007 10:54 AM

chasmosaur - Doesn't simmering the brats get the fat out? My mom always poked them with fork, simmered then grilled - they were not too fatty. Disclaimer: I am not a Brat expert but I like to eat them especially when some one else prepares.

My neighbor is a brat expert, being an actual army brat (not THE Army Brat) and being stationed in Germany. He loves cooking/grilling and the rest of the neighbors loves eating (and drinking) so everyone is happy.

Posted by: cmac | April 13, 2007 10:54 AM

Oy, and I with some Jewish blood failed to make the cut. So much for that stereotype too... and gasp... look at all the women on the list!

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 10:54 AM

"Years and years ago, it was not necessarily the thing for parents to be around the kids 24/7. Parents made sure they had care (many times other family members, but not always). Why is it not okay for the same thing these days?"

Because "years and years ago", one of the parents (the female half) was with the kids on an everyday basis, and it was accepted and understood that she would have her own/adult time on vacation.

Today's women seem to feel it's necessary to not only have their own/adult time every weekday from 7-6:00, but also while they're on vacation and every Saturday night to go eat foie gras.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:55 AM

with regards to the "to dlm79" comment... I've been married for 2 tax cycles. The first time, we owed money due to some finagling we had to do to pay off bills and pay for closing cost on our house. The second time, this year, we got money back because of the interest paid on our house.

I see no reason to change the way we're doing things... if less money were taken out during the year (which is about to become moot because I'll be a SAHM starting in July), we'd spend it on nothing - a cappuchino, a movie, something. Bit by bit, and it would just be gone. This way, getting a lump check, we can do things like re-carpet our house and buy nursery furniture without having to put it on plastic.

I don't mind "lending" the gov't money. Having taxes come out of my check doesn't bother me one damn bit. It's the price of being an American citizen. *shrug*

As for all this talk about brats... Now when I see "Army Brat" I'm pronouncing it like the food. LOL

Posted by: dlm79 | April 13, 2007 10:55 AM

I boil the brats first and then grill. I swear they're less salty that way.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 13, 2007 10:57 AM

Fred - I'm patching drywall first time today - any tips besides go easy on the joint compound?

Posted by: moxiemom | April 13, 2007 10:58 AM

"we both have masters degrees in engineering,
so we arent stupid people"

I'm not convinced!

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 13, 2007 10:58 AM

We do our taxes all year long. By the end of jan, we have a spreadsheet set up and a folder and deal with things as they come up. At the end of the year the accountant gets it all and he gets to worry about it.

I got an accountant when I couldn't figure it out one year(I had sold some stock). Way too complicated for me to worry about these days. And we have a small business these days.

We both know what is going on globally-but I (the dw) take care of daytoday bill paying. I know *his* ssn but he has mine written down somewhere cause he forgets.

Posted by: abc | April 13, 2007 10:59 AM

For a 2006 tax return that shows a refund due, you have until Apr. 15, 2010 to file it (3 years, 3.5 months after the close of the tax year).

Posted by: to Michelle | April 13, 2007 10:59 AM

"Because "years and years ago", one of the parents (the female half) was with the kids on an everyday basis, and it was accepted and understood that she would have her own/adult time on vacation."

Are you talking about the U.S.A.? If so, what decade??

Doesn't sound like any common trend in my lifetime.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 11:01 AM

to go eat foie gras.

Posted by: | April 13, 2007 10:55 AM


What's your obsession with foie gras? Would you object as much if they were eating steak, or fish, or spaghetti? I don't personally know anyone who eats foie gras.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 11:03 AM

anon at 10:55
Both my husband and I remember our stayathome moms one particularly humorous way: as children, if she saw us during the day, that meant we were shortly going to be given chores. Neither of us wanted to be 'caught' by our moms. So we weren't around...and that was true of most all kids in our respective neighborhoods in the 50s and 60s. Our moms didn't want us around 24/7 and we didn't want to be around her 24/7.

Honestly, do you, now that you are an adult, want to be around your parents 24/7? For a short time, sure, but not 24/7.

Posted by: dotted | April 13, 2007 11:03 AM

'Changing diapers isn't too far removed from bathroom cleaning'

Hey! My babies were much cuter than a toilet!!

Posted by: experienced mom | April 13, 2007 11:05 AM

I don't mind "lending" the gov't money. Having taxes come out of my check doesn't bother me one damn bit. It's the price of being an American citizen.


I DO mind, so I guess that makes me unAmerican, right?

Posted by: To dlm79 | April 13, 2007 11:08 AM

I love the Harry Potter books, so do my kids. I would also like to put a plug in for the Walter R. Brooks authored "Freddy the Pig" series.

Yes, they are being re-published thanks to shameless persistance on the part of adult children, such as myself. Yes, our little group also donate money to libraries in need, along with the books.

Join us on the dark side, we have cookies! And a yearly convention! No--no one hits anybody. Unlike the group of people whom Harlan Ellison has slugged.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | April 13, 2007 11:11 AM

Fred - I'm patching drywall first time today - any tips besides go easy on the joint compound?

Posted by: moxiemom | April 13, 2007 10:58 AM

Let it cure all on its own--do NOT hit it up with a hair dryer. (That was a lesson learned the hard way, once.)

Posted by: MdMother | April 13, 2007 11:12 AM

"Yep, I'm in HoCo. Binkert's Meat Products? Nope, never tried it."

As another in HoCo resident -- I highly recommend Binkert's for getting your brats and other german foods -- give them a call and get their price list -- we make a big order from them every Oktoberfest.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 11:12 AM

I just can't seem to shut up!

"Yep, I'm in HoCo. Binkert's Meat Products? Nope, never tried it."

As another in HoCo resident -- I highly recommend Binkert's for getting your brats and other german foods -- give them a call and get their price list -- we make a big order from them every Oktoberfest.

Posted by: | April 13, 2007 11:12 AM

You could also try the butcher shop in Mt. Airy, they get all sorts of things in there. Come the autumn, plenty of people lug their deer in for processing. They make the BEST peppered deer jerky around.

Binkert's is good too.

Posted by: MdMother | April 13, 2007 11:15 AM

if less money were taken out during the year (which is about to become moot because I'll be a SAHM starting in July), we'd spend it on nothing - a cappuchino, a movie, something. Bit by bit, and it would just be gone. This way, getting a lump check, we can do things like re-carpet our house and buy nursery furniture without having to put it on plastic.

Why don't you grow up and learn to SAVE, like an adult? You need to spend more time over at Michelle Singletary's columns and chats.

Posted by: To dlm 79 | April 13, 2007 11:17 AM

Both my husband and I remember our stayathome moms one particularly humorous way: as children, if she saw us during the day, that meant we were shortly going to be given chores. Neither of us wanted to be 'caught' by our moms. So we weren't around...and that was true of most all kids in our respective neighborhoods in the 50s and 60s. Our moms didn't want us around 24/7 and we didn't want to be around her 24/7.

Honestly, do you, now that you are an adult, want to be around your parents 24/7? For a short time, sure, but not 24/7.

Posted by: dotted | April 13, 2007 11:03 AM

Geez, my mother worked outside of the home (strange hours, so we had plenty of opportunities to see her) and she had the same philosophy. I learned early-on to skulk away and find something to do. Otherwise there was plenty of cleaning to be done, amongst other miserable chores.

That was in the 70's & 80's.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 11:17 AM

"Why don't you grow up and learn to SAVE, like an adult?"

It works for them--so why don't you give it a rest? They aren't complaining, I see.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 11:19 AM

Thanks Mdmother, I was actually considering that since it takes so bleeping long to dry and I've gotta do several coats. I will soldier on bravely in my home improvement journey!

Posted by: moxiemom | April 13, 2007 11:19 AM

"Why don't you grow up and learn to SAVE, like an adult? You need to spend more time over at Michelle Singletary's columns and chats."

Yeee-ow! I guess it's pick on Di day. Ok.

#1, I do save, DH and I have quite a nice savings account built up. My point was that the extra whatever the heck it would be that would be in my check if I were to change my witholdings wouldn't really be noticed as much if it were just bi-weekly. You get a better sense of it when it's in a lump sum.

#2, I think it's actually QUITE American to be unhappy that Uncle Sam takes a chunk of your paycheck - I never said that not minding makes me more American, I just said that taxes are the price we pay. (Literally)

#3, It's Friday and I'm in a good mood, so neener, neener. ;-)

Posted by: dlm79 | April 13, 2007 11:23 AM

I do the taxes, always have probably always will. I handle everything financial or administrative because i'm just the one who's better at it. I love my husband, but when it comes to being on top of things like various taxes, he just has no idea what needs to be done. Meanwhile, to fill out a completely itemized return for both Fed and State it only takes me an hour.

Posted by: preggers | April 13, 2007 11:24 AM

Moxiemom wrote: Fred - I'm patching drywall first time today - any tips besides go easy on the joint compound?

Moxie, when it comes time to sand be sure you wear a mask and googles, and cover your ears and hair, otherwise the dust gets into all those places. It's so gross to blow your nose and have spackle-dust thickened snot come out.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 11:24 AM

What is the obsession on this blog with cleaning toilets? Don't you people flush? A simple wipe with a spray cleaner on the toilet seat then a swipe with a bowl brush ought to do it. Good grief, it's not rocket science.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 11:26 AM

Fred,

shop here for your Wisconsin sausage. Delivery is quick too!

www.usinger.com/

Posted by: Pink Plate | April 13, 2007 11:27 AM

catladay - thank you for lessons in home improvement and hygiene! I'd also like to thank you for helping me to stick to my diet with that so very vivid discription! haha. Really, I appreciate the help. All the online stuff makes it look soooo easy and seems like it takes 15 mins so I'm happy to learn from those who have gone before me. meow

Posted by: moxiemom | April 13, 2007 11:29 AM

I do the taxes, handle all the finances, pay all the bills. I took over entirely almost a year after we were married. DH and I filed separately that year since we hadn't yet combined bank accounts and such, but when I took a look at DH's returns I saw that he had filed as "head of household" rather than "married filing separately"--which made a HUGE difference in the amount of taxes owed! He didn't see what the big deal was. Then when I realized he also didn't see due dates for bills as a big deal either, we combined all financial stuff and I started taking care of all of it. Turbotax makes my life easy--just plug in all the numbers. Takes maybe an hour.

That said, I haven't yet filed this year. I filled out the forms, but because we owe money I'm waiting until the last minute to actually pay!

About social security numbers--I have DH's memorized, but he doesn't have mine memorized. Heck, he doesn't have our phone number memorized! Mr. Dyslexia (as he calls himself) simply can't memorize numbers.

RE: daycare on vacation. I've never had the luxury of going on a vacation that offers a daycare program, but I imagine that if I did, I'd take advantage of it at least for part of the time. From what I've seen of "daycares" at resorts, it's less like daycare and more like summer camp--lots of fun, age-appropriate activities and no hanging around with the boring adults.

Posted by: Sarah | April 13, 2007 11:31 AM

What is the obsession on this blog with cleaning toilets? Don't you people flush? A simple wipe with a spray cleaner on the toilet seat then a swipe with a bowl brush ought to do it. Good grief, it's not rocket science.

Posted by: | April 13, 2007 11:26 AM

I'm with you. Here is a list of things I like cleaning less than the toilet

1) the shower
2) the baseboards
3) the windows
4) that little trench that the sliding glass door sits in
5) The tubs
6) Mopping

I could go on and on.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 13, 2007 11:32 AM

Moxie - #4 is the pits. Silly little area!

Posted by: cmac | April 13, 2007 11:35 AM

In an attempt at levity I would like to take this opportunity to query the readers of this prominent periodical as to their individual perceptions of the appropriateness and the eventual likelihood of a significant reduction in our taxes in a manner akin to that of Lady Godiva, an Anglo Saxon woman who resided in Merry Ole England during the 11th century, who made a contractual agreement with her husband Leofric (the Earl of Mercia), to reduce the exorbitant taxes currently being levied upon the denizens of the town of Coventry if the fair Lady would agree to ride her steed in all her resplendent naked glory all throughout the cobblestone streets of the peaceful little hamlet.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 11:39 AM

Geez, my mother worked outside of the home (strange hours, so we had plenty of opportunities to see her) and she had the same philosophy. I learned early-on to skulk away and find something to do. Otherwise there was plenty of cleaning to be done, amongst other miserable chores.

That was in the 70's & 80's.

LOL! I made myself scarce too, and it was the late 60s and tbe 70s for me. Once, my mom took me to her job, which was located near some woods. Since she was on a major picking and canning kick in those days (specialty, blackberry jam), and was allowed to pick and keep fruit grown on the property, I knew I was in for picking duty. So as soon as we got out of the car, she turned to see me running into the woods. Her version of the story is that I liked nature and trees so much, I couldn't resist running off. I do like nature, but I hated chores. But I never told her the truth.

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | April 13, 2007 11:39 AM

KLB, My eyes are watering!

Posted by: cmac | April 13, 2007 11:41 AM

cmac,
Jealous?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 11:41 AM

I don't know why I found this particular Thai-Po so funny... but here it is again just for the fun of it:

"wear a mask and googles, "

LOL

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 11:42 AM

Wow, lots of hatred for those who might want to spend one minute away from their precious bayyyybeees! Chill out. Even if you WANTED to spend every waking vacation hour with your children, what makes you think they want to spend it with you? Kids' ideas of fun aren't the same as adults'. The kid wants to go down the waterslide. Are you going to put down your book and tanning lotion to go down it with him, or are you going to insist he sit next to you for four hours while you bake, staring wistfully at the water slide?

There is nothing wrong with vacation day care. Parents need a break, too.

Posted by: Mona | April 13, 2007 11:43 AM

Chris - you and your Thai (and Tae) Pos! I told my DH about you last night. His response? "D'oh!" LOL Hey, I think you're punny. I mean funny!

Posted by: dlm79 | April 13, 2007 11:43 AM

I have a blackberry story for you:

We went out riding and picked blackberries along the way. Filled up a couple of canteens. Took (most of) them home and baked a blackberry pie for my dad's birthday.

We all got ONE slice and went out to do something. The pie was put into a cake holder, put on the counter, shoved to the back and we left.

Two hours later we come home. The dog is slinking up to us with "that" look on his face...it was a fabulous pie that he had enjoyed.

It took us 3x as long to get enough berries for the SECOND birthday pie, because the blackberries were really "done" by the time we got out riding again.

The dog was cherished despite the fact that our hands looked like we had run them through a meat grinder after the second attempt. But we WERE upset!

I hate that damned little trough for the shower door too. The MOST disgusting things collect and fester there...eww!

On the subject of taxes, I get someone else to do it. What with the side business and all, I don't want to screw up and have to face a potential audit. It's worth the money to me.

Posted by: MdMother | April 13, 2007 11:45 AM

Wow, lots of hatred for those who might want to spend one minute away from their precious bayyyybeees!

Helen Lovejoy, "But who will think of the chillldrennnn?!"

Anyone else want to admit that they've found their kids drinking out of the water bowl, once anyway?

*raises hand*

Posted by: Maryland Mother | April 13, 2007 11:47 AM

Maryland Mother,
I had a friend whose daughter loved dog biscuits. She would let her have one on occasion figuring it wouldn't really hurt her.
One day in the grocery store her daughter pitched a fit in the pet food aisle when her mother wouldn't get her a box screaming "but you ALWAYS give me dog biscuits!"

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 11:49 AM

To Moxiemom: Also, several thin layers of spackling dry faster than one thick layer, and you can be more precise that way. Even though the application takes longer, it's really worth the extra trouble. Best of luck on spackling, and the diet.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 11:50 AM

Using a tax preparer is the same as using a nanny. I raise my own kids & do my own taxes.

Posted by: Bethesdamom | April 13, 2007 11:50 AM

Hey to those of you that soak the brats in beer then grill them, what is a good dark beer to buy to boil them in? I don't usually buy beer so I am not familiar with what would work...

Posted by: On Bratwursts | April 13, 2007 11:51 AM

P.S. to Moxiemom: Try to keep any house animals out the room where you're working, because they don't generally like to wear masks, goggles or bandanas - -plus, they'll track the dust from your sanding all over the house. I'm not the catlady for nothing!

And just keep thinkin' about that snot-paste.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 11:52 AM

Bethesdamom - just wondering about the comparison... care to elaborate?

Posted by: dlm79 | April 13, 2007 11:52 AM

"Wow, lots of hatred for those who might want to spend one minute away from their precious bayyyybeees!"

Not really. Just a couple of wacko,out of touch, homely, shapeless women badly in need of a makeover.

Posted by: Tina | April 13, 2007 11:52 AM

Maryland Mother,
I had a friend whose daughter loved dog biscuits. She would let her have one on occasion figuring it wouldn't really hurt her.

KLBSS,

I can remember sampling dry cat food as a child. It wasn't bad, overall. But I certainly did understand why they preferred OUR food.

Okay Fred, where's my invite? I have more funny stories that I'd rather share with a smaller, more intimate group. Plus I want to hear yours!

MdM

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 11:54 AM

"Hey to those of you that soak the brats in beer then grill them, what is a good dark beer to buy to boil them in?"

Find a boch beer. Stock up, they only appear in the spring.

Posted by: MdM | April 13, 2007 11:55 AM

Honestly, who wants to see some old congressperson's old spouse riding around nude on a harley (today's equiv of a horse)? But did not this blog go the way of discussing the problems associated with the paying of someone to be nude yesterday? Ah, if only problems could be solved so easily...

However, I think something, eventually, must give on our taxes, and it should not be the citizens! Someday people are going to get sick of Congress wasting their money... Taxes are supposed to be levied for the benefit of society as a whole, not corporations and politicians. Mismanagement and corruption winds up costing us 2/3 as much more on just about EVERYTHING the government pays for.
Tea party anyone? But what shall the good townspeople pollute the coastal waters with this time, if not crushed and dried leaves?

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 11:55 AM

"Tea party anyone? But what shall the good townspeople pollute the coastal waters with this time, if not crushed and dried leaves?"

Politicians?

Can we start in Anacostia, while chanting, "No taxation without representation"?

It gets my vote (and I have one)!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 11:57 AM

Chris wrote: I don't know why I found this particular Thai-Po so funny... but here it is again just for the fun of it:

"wear a mask and googles, "

Glad you liked it, Chris. Whatever floats your boat...

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 12:01 PM

1554 is a decent dark beer, and one of the oldest recipes- thus named because it had the date "1554" on it when the brewers found it. Any stout or even a porter will work too... but I often find myself taking the cheap way out. I tend to like trying new things and my adventurous spirit leaves me with many bottles of beer that are "not quite good enough" for drinking, but make a great cooking tool. I hate the thought of throwing away beer, even if I don't particularly care for it. You can't go wrong with Sam Adams, which you can drink, or cook with. Dominion Winter Brew was a good drink I just discovered- unfortunately I found it as it was on sale, and took the last 6-pack.

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 12:03 PM

Anyone find that they drink different beers in the summer than they do in the winter? I'm not a beer drinker, but DH prefers dark lagers in the winter, and lighter pilsners in the summer time. Anyone else?

Posted by: dlm79 | April 13, 2007 12:05 PM

I liked the blackberry pie story, MdMother. Despite my tortuous canning experience, the blackberry is one of my favorite fruits. Go figure.

BTW, I have an accountant do my taxes, and I do drive out of my way to go to her. It's one less thing for me to worry about.

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | April 13, 2007 12:06 PM

I also married a man with complicated finances, and he's self-employed to boot. We have an accountant and DH does most of the tax prep.

Daycare on vacation -- Why is all or nothing with you people? I don't know anyone who leaves their kids in daycare for the entire vacation. I don't see anything wrong with making a vacation a mix of family time and private time. When we visit family on vacation, we usually take an evening to go to a nice restaurant alone and leave DD with Grandma/Aunt. Other days, we're together as a family. I believe this is called BALANCE.

Last summer, I took DD with me on a business trip. The convention I was attending had a kids program and attendees frequently bring their family. I spent the day working and DD went on field trips all over Nashville and had a ball. In the evening, we went to family events sponsored by the convention or had dinner just the two of us. We stayed at the Opryland Hotel, which is much swankier than our family's usual travel accommodations, and she loved getting breakfast room service every morning. DH had a week to himself at home alone, which he enjoyed as well.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 13, 2007 12:12 PM

Fuuny thing about blackberry-picking. When my parents would leave me with my grandparents (who lived in the wilderness, without electricity) for a few days during summer vacation, Grandma and I would go out berrying around 7 AM, then bring our haul back to the house, where she would build a wood fire in the kitchen stove (having already laid the fire the night before, with old newspaper and kindling wood), and once the fire was hot enough we'd cook up and mash the berries, strain the pulp through recycled cheesecloth sugar sacks (which she'd saved from back when sugar was sold that way, rather than in paper bags, like now), add more wood to the fire, reheat the juice with 1½ times the amount of sugar till boiling, then pour the liquid into recycled jars and glasses that she'd boiled in a dishpan on top of the stove (to sterilize) -- and finally she'd melt some paraffin in a washed-out tin can (as the wood fire in the stove burned down) and pour a thin layer over the top of the jelly and lay a loop of recycled string in the wax so it would be easy to pull off when she was ready to use the jelly weeks (or months) later. I thought all of this was just the MOST FUN!!!

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 12:16 PM

Hey, did I stumble onto one of the food blogs by mistake? :-)

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 12:17 PM

To Vegas Mom: And absence makes the heart grow fonder, too, right?

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 12:18 PM

"Daycare on vacation -- Why is all or nothing with you people? I don't know anyone who leaves their kids in daycare for the entire vacation."

But you see, if you state that that is exactly what people are doing, in addition to leaving kids at rest stops along the way, then the blog trolls get their vital attention needs met.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 12:23 PM

catlady

"When my parents would leave me with my grandparents (who lived in the wilderness, without electricity"

That reminds me of all the places my parents left me where there wasn't nary a telephone for miles around.

I didn't hear from or receive any mail from my parents for weeks at a time, and it was the same for a lot of other kids.

Wow, have things changed!!!!

Posted by: Sue | April 13, 2007 12:24 PM

Absolutely Catlady! :>)

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 13, 2007 12:26 PM

"I didn't hear from or receive any mail from my parents for weeks at a time, and it was the same for a lot of other kids."

Funny, I get the impression they might have been trying to tell y'all something... (or not tell you as the case may be) ;-P

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 12:27 PM

That's what's called setting up a straw man. So people get sucked into answering the wrong question.

Posted by: To 12:23 | April 13, 2007 12:27 PM

To Sue: How did we ever survive undamaged?

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 12:29 PM

Moxiemom,

I am not good at all with drywall. I acutlly have someone in the house right now doing some patch work. But as another stated, you need to build up thin layers. Just be patient. It will take some time but the long term durability will be better!

Posted by: Fred | April 13, 2007 12:31 PM

Re "build up thin layers" of spackle. That was mine, Fred!

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 12:33 PM

For a 2006 tax return that shows a refund due, you have until Apr. 15, 2010 to file it (3 years, 3.5 months after the close of the tax year).

Posted by: to Michelle | April 13, 2007 10:59 AM

But I would err on the side of caution and send in the 4868. As another person pointed out, you may find some stray 1099.

Posted by: Fred | April 13, 2007 12:34 PM

Catlady -- you must have had my Granny! Well, ok, mine did have electricity -- and two acres in Georgia, about 1/4 of which was blackberry brambles. Best, best childhood memories were spent out there with buckets, getting all scratched up and chiggered to death and sweating like a pig -- but boy, at the end of the day, you had blackberry jam, blackberry jelly, blackberry pie. . . . To this day they're my favorite fruit, bar none -- but the commercial ones just don't taste as good.

Funny, though, I don't have quite the same fond memories of the okra picking and canning.

Posted by: Laura | April 13, 2007 12:36 PM

To Laura: That's probably because it was okra -- LOL! I know of only one decent way to fix okra.

Cultural Tidbit of the Day quiz: To which flower family does okra belong?

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 12:39 PM

mmmm.... okra. we grew a little and mom would put it in her gumbo. ah...memories. Can't wait to retire (or semi-retire) to my cave and come out to play in the dirt to grow things. :)

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 12:40 PM

to cmac:

Possibly. Like I said, I've had two, and generally stay away from them. The two I've had have been dripping with fat, and it made me sick. And I was told they were from particularly good places to get brats. I was told the simmering helped keep them wet, but this was hardly a food scientist talking ;)

What I know is from living in Western Wisconsin, which I'm told is the most Wisconsiny part of Wisconsin (whatever that means).

A good meal here is where the meat is cooked well, or the walleye is fried to a fare-thee-well. Cheese curds seem to go with just about anything, or if not, then potatoes in some form. (There's a chain out here called Taco John's - they actually put what can only be described as TATER TOTS in their Mexican food!)

Seasoning is not prevalent - I've found a lot of the food pretty bland (if I prepare food with spices, people gush over how tasty it is, so I think there's room for palate growth ;) ). And if it's not a triple portion, then it's not enough food. I frequently order appetizers for dinner here when going out - that's usually more than enough.

At the local fairs, it is not uncommon to see people ordering double-brats (two brats in one huge-honkin' bun). Or the mind-bending pork-chop on a stick.

I just can't get into the local food for the most part. I mean it looks tasty enough, but there's not a lot of seasoning or variety. I'm told food in Madison and other Eastern parts of the state is tastier and prepared in a healthier manner.

We have a few good restaurants that cater more to those who migrated here from the Twin Cities or Madison - where the food is a bit more varied and healthy - and that's where we eat when we go out. Brats or cheese curds rarely feature on the menus, or if they do, they are served in the bar.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | April 13, 2007 12:40 PM

When I was growing up in L.A. we had part of an orange grove in our backyard. A developer had purchased an orange grove and then subdivided but left all the trees standing where the house wasn't.

So we would have really freshly squeezed OJ, also fresh lemons and blackberrys from the lot next door.

Posted by: Fred | April 13, 2007 12:44 PM

Been to a Taco Johns... it's true! Not bad, but not quite authentic. Then again the authentic el-salvadorian places I've been serve food on top of a pile of french fries, so maybe they are onto something. ;-)

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 12:45 PM

One, two, three, four...
Hrmm!
One, two, (one, two, three, four!)

Let me tell you how it will be;
There's one for you, nineteen for me.
'Cause I'm the taxman,
Yeah, I'm the taxman.

Should five per cent appear too small,
Be thankful I don't take it all.
'Cause I'm the taxman,
Yeah, I'm the taxman.

(if you drive a car, car;) - I'll tax the street;
(if you try to sit, sit;) - I'll tax your seat;
(if you get too cold, cold;) - I'll tax the heat;
(if you take a walk, walk;) - I'll tax your feet.

Taxman!

'Cause I'm the taxman,
Yeah, I'm the taxman.

Don't ask me what I want it for, (ah-ah, mister Wilson)
If you don't want to pay some more. (ah-ah, mister heath)
'Cause I'm the taxman,
Yeah, I'm the taxman.

Now my advice for those who die, (taxman)
Declare the pennies on your eyes. (taxman)
'Cause I'm the taxman,
Yeah, I'm the taxman.

And you're working for no one but me.

Taxman!

Posted by: Fred | April 13, 2007 12:46 PM

Hey Fred --

Where did you grow up in LA? My parents both grew up in the Hollywood area. I grew up just outside LA in Ventura County.

My grandparents were from rural Minnesota. Reading Chasmosaur's post, I think I now know why meat in their house was always cooked to resemble shoe leather . . . .

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 13, 2007 12:47 PM

more memories... fresh squeezed orange juice! Definitely an experience/memory to be treasured! This blog is all about the food today! Not that I mind, mind you. :-)

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 12:48 PM

"Are you going to put down your book and tanning lotion to go down it with him, or are you going to insist he sit next to you for four hours while you bake, staring wistfully at the water slide?"

I would put down my book and go with him.

"There is nothing wrong with vacation day care. Parents need a break, too."

In theory, I see nothing wrong with vacation day care.

IMO, it's just a matter of personal priorities. I was over 30 when I had my children and had been with DH for 8 years - 1 dating, 5 living in sin, and 2 married. I never was overly career-oriented but work for financial reasons. DH and I had children because we wanted a family and family life. Kids were in regular daycare while we worked. When they were small, we did go out occasionally and leave the kids with sitters at home or with grandparents at
their homes. We do believe in time for ourselves, both as a couple or as individuals.

We only take one vacation a year - leave time is used up for various dr appts, sick child days, school closed days, etc. We consider those vacations to be for the family and would not consider putting the kids in daycare during that time. For that one week, we don't care about fancy dinners or personal interests. We had plenty of time for those things before we had kids, and they will grow up more quickly than you can imagine. The kids are teens now and we let them each bring a friend along on vacation. So now, we may get pizza and a movie for the kids to eat while we go out for a fancy dinner.

Maybe the reason we feel this way is just personal preference, or the fact that we had so much time together before kids. Or maybe it's because we are not in an income bracket such that we take vacations at fancy resorts - usually a week at the beach or Busch Gardens/williamsburg or camping or week at the mountains/Deep Creek Lake. More like Fo4's lifestyle. We could afford the ski vacations before kids, but not anymore.

To me, vacation is a time to take a break from work and our normal daily routine, not a time to take a break from my children.

Bottom line - I would not consider putting kids in daycare while on vacation, and I don't understand those who do. But, it is their choice and I don't think they are wrong just because I think it's wrong for me.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 12:49 PM

Fred, scatman... awesome... couldn't have put that song to a better use. You've done me proud... I could cry.

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 12:50 PM

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Fresh Squezzed OJ
Is good for me and you!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 12:50 PM

to Chris:

lol - okay. Fair enough.

I spent too much time at Anita's as a kid I think. The only potatoes were with her steaks, not rolled into her fabulous burritos. And when I visited Costa Rica I don't think I saw a single potato, just lots of beans and rice.

The whole Potato Ole thing (that's what they're called), just seems too weird for me.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | April 13, 2007 12:50 PM

I have an accountant that does our taxes, and have used the same guy/firm for years. Even so, I still have to prepare everything to turn over to him. This has always been my job (wife), and it used to be grueling and time consuming hunting everything down.

A couple of years ago I came up with the idea of having a "current tax year" word document on our PC. Now whenever my husband or I have a deductible expense, we immediately enter it into the word document at the time it occurs (there are a few simple categories like prescriptions, charitable deductions, doctor/dentists, etc.)

Luckily, my husband and I are both disciplined about doing this. What a time saver! Now at the end of the year all the figures are already put together in one place and ready to go. I just save off the document as the final version for that tax year (under another name) and reset the document for the next year.

Of course, you have to still file and save the receipts to back up the numbers, and be disciplined about entering the amounts at the time they happen, but this system works great for us. (and back up your word document, too!)

Posted by: CJB | April 13, 2007 12:51 PM

Has anybody here gone strawberry picking with their families?

You know, the 100 mile car ride out into God's country to crawl around in the dirt and mud to lap bugs and eat berries until you feel sick? Sunburn on your neck? Back hurt yet? It's not fun, it's like hard, boring labor!

And here's the kicker: The farm will charge you more per quart that you picked than if you just went to the local grocery stor and picked them off the shelf.

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 13, 2007 12:52 PM

Chasmosaur:
I spent all my childhood summers in Wisconsin. Not easy for a vegetarian! But, oh, boy, I still love those cheese curds. And wild rice. Those are the two things that stand out to me as "Wisconsin food".

Posted by: worker bee | April 13, 2007 12:52 PM

To Sue: How did we ever survive undamaged?

Dunno. It must have something to do with expectations. I didn't expect to see or hear from my parents for long periods of time, so I didn't feel bad about it.

I had fun and was content where I was.

My parents first telephone in our house was when I was 16. I was a big telephone yakker for a couple of weeks, and then pretty much lost interest in it.

Now, I avoid it as much as possible.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 12:53 PM

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Fresh Squezzed OJ
Is good for me and you!

Posted by: | April 13, 2007 12:50 PM


Ouch! I know Chris. Chris is a friend of mine. And 12:50, you're no Chris.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 12:54 PM

Father of 4- like those places that charge you to cook your own meal?

All these cutting-edge places that make you do your own work, when that was what you would pay someone to do! haven't seen full service anything in a while... now I am even ringing up my own groceries! "Please return item to bagging area" ok "Unexpected item in bagging area, please remove item." ok... "Please return item to bagging area." WTF is up with that???

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 12:56 PM

Sue, did you accidentally just type my name in the "Name" box instead of yours?

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 12:57 PM

""Wow, lots of hatred for those who might want to spend one minute away from their precious bayyyybeees!"

Not really. Just a couple of wacko,out of touch, homely, shapeless women badly in need of a makeover."

Wow, Tina, how old are you? This is the kind of insult my 17 year old daughter uses. When there's no intelligent response, attack their looks.

Posted by: to Tina | April 13, 2007 12:59 PM

12:54, you're right, that was definitely not me. It was obviously some (other) no-talent-hack. I will hopefully think of something (note)worthy to post soon... but I think Fred took the cake today.

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 12:59 PM

"Bottom line - I would not consider putting kids in daycare while on vacation, and I don't understand those who do. But, it is their choice and I don't think they are wrong just because I think it's wrong for me."

State this in the first place!

Not after a boring novel that makes no point!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 12:59 PM

In keeping with our Tax and Food Topic of the day, here is

Fred's Cultural Tidbit of the Day

This is just to say
(by William Carlos Williams)

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Posted by: Fred | April 13, 2007 1:00 PM

Father of 4 wrote: "Has anybody here gone strawberry picking..."

Yes. Right out in our back yard every late May to early June. Strawberry plants are so easy to grow, and will last a few years, even longer if you till under alternating rows each year (after the first few years) to give the remaining plants room to spread their runners to make new plants.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 1:01 PM

Chris,

What did I take the cake for today? I really would rather have a brat tho.

Posted by: Fred | April 13, 2007 1:03 PM

"Sue, did you accidentally just type my name in the "Name" box instead of yours?"

Posted by: catlady

Yes, sorry.

I was thinking about my tabbies at home, they will grow up more quickly than you can imagine.

Posted by: Sue | April 13, 2007 1:04 PM

To Sue: No harm, no foul. Give your kitties a hug for me.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 1:13 PM

to worker bee:

I think you'd find vegetarianism easier now. Our grocery stores have great organic sections, where they have all sorts of good veggie options. (I know - I'm in there a lot ;) ).

And wild rice? Good lord, I haven't seen a lick of it here. I'd love a nice side of wild rice. I've made cold rice salads in the summer and people look at me funny.

I think it's because I'm in the middle of farming country. Norske (aka Norwegian-American) food reigns supreme. I still can't wrap my head around the excitement about lutefisk - why would you eat something prepared in lye?

Posted by: Chasmosaur | April 13, 2007 1:13 PM

I was blogging in my prime; it was lunch-time
The topic was by Leslie
She told us several times she didn't like man-kind
cause we were not elite

Seems that I was posting something about nothing
about the topic from a day before
That's when catlady said it, then Laura said it
They made me want to go to the store, the store

and buy a
Blackberry sorbet
The kind you find in the grocery store...


Ok, I'm stopping there... that's just too awful, even for me. ;-P

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 1:14 PM

Wow! I got a mention in Chris's poem -- Laura, too! Guess that makes us muses. Right, Laura?

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 1:18 PM

NOOOOO that was not poetry, that was by the artist formerly known as Prince, known as that symbol thingy, now known as Prince again!

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 1:19 PM

note to self: start naming the song being parodied before the parody to give it context.

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 1:20 PM

Yes, catlady, there are great theraputic benifits to be dained by gardening, but paying to pick your own fruit? Next thing you know, self-serve at the gas pump will be more expensive than the full-serve.

I remember when my parents took us kids peach-picking. Possibly worse than strawberring picking. I took my first bite of the sweetest peach I could find, and then the juice ran down my chin. The fun was over from that moment on. Hornets constantly buzzing around and the peach fuzz got all over my skin. I would rather take a roll in fiberglass! Then there were thousands of rotting peaches to step on. Yuck! And to think that my parents considered the outing a wholesome family affair.

BTW: Apple picking is not so bad.

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 13, 2007 1:20 PM

Strawberry picking (when it wasn't in our front yard):

Butler's Orchard
Larriland

Okay, anyone ELSE miss SEEDED watermelons? I do...there IS a difference. They DO taste better!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 1:21 PM

Chris, NOW I recognize it! Before, I just thought you were a really bad poet. LOL!

Raspberry beret... the kind you find at a second hand store.. raspberry beret...

Posted by: dlm79 | April 13, 2007 1:25 PM

Chasmosaur, re Lutefisk:
My cousin once ate it on a dare. Then she ate soap to wash the taste out of her mouth. She liked the soap better.
One of the times I was very glad to be a vegetarian!

Posted by: worker bee | April 13, 2007 1:26 PM

Chris, Oh dear, I'm afraid Prince is, (ahem!) slightly after my time. I see him on TV occasionally, but have no idea what all the fuss is about -- although I gather he built a state-of-the-art recording studio in the Twin Cities, where he's been supportive of young artists. Can someone please elaborate a bit further for an old geezette? Or is Prince worth it?

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 1:30 PM

Father of 4, you're supposed to take the peaches HOME! One of the simplest desserts I know is homemade raspberry frozen yogurt served over sweet ripe fresh peach halves. (Store-bought raspberry frozen yogurt or sherbet will work in a pinch).

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 1:33 PM

To 1:21 PM: Hey, I remember Butler's Orchard, from when we lived in the DC area. Got yellow and white peaches there -- mmmm, mmmm, mmmmmmm! Glad to hear they're still in business.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 1:34 PM

How about a Blackberry Sherbert (not as musical as Prince perhaps). This was in Cook's Illustrated a few years ago.

Blackberry (or Raspberry) Sherbet

3 cups fresh berries (or a 12-16 oz bag frozen)
3/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice (1 or 2 lemons)
2 tsp Triple Sec or Vodka
2/3 cup heavy cream


In medium nonreactive saucepan, cook 3 cups fresh berries, 3/4 cup water, 1 cup sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture just begins to simmer, about 7 minutes.

Pass mixture through fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible.

Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 teaspoons Triple Sec or vodka; cover with plastic wrap and chill in freezer until very cold, about 40 degrees. Do not let mixture freeze.

When mixture is cold, using whisk, whip cream in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Whisking constantly, add juice mixture in steady stream, pouring against edge of bowl. Immediately start ice cream machine and add juice/cream mixture to canister; churn until sherbet has texture of soft-serve ice cream, 25 to 30 minutes. Freeze overnight to harden.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | April 13, 2007 1:39 PM

Butler's Orchard is a family tradition for us. Strawberries in the spring. Peaches in late summer. Pumpkins and the harvest festival in October. I love riding up to Germantown to go there.

Posted by: Emily | April 13, 2007 1:43 PM

A couple of people have made the argument that it is better to put chidren in daycare than to make your children sit beside you for 3 hours and read a book...

Honestly, I can't think of a single mother I know who would read a book (especially for hours on end) instead of playing with her kids at the pool. Do you??

Posted by: what? | April 13, 2007 1:44 PM

Hey, Chasmosaur: Only 2½ months to fresh raspberry season!

Are you anywhere near St. Croix Falls? Such a gorgeous area!

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 1:46 PM

What? wrote: "Honestly, I can't think of a single mother I know who would read a book (especially for hours on end) instead of playing with her kids at the pool. Do you??"

Sure -- my mom. She kept an eye on me while she read, while I got to play merrily in the creek.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 1:48 PM

Why leave home to pick your own? My father planted a garden big enough to feed an army. Since he had 4 built-in workers (his kids) we were relegated to pick the crops. Peas, string beans, lima beans, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, leaf lettuce, strawberries, cucumbers. I hated the peas and beans because you had to bend over in the hot sun or crawl on your knees (backache, sunburn, scraped knees). Tomatoes and corns weren't too bad because you can stand up to pick them. Hated potatoes because Dad would drive along with the tractor, turning over the rows, and we'd get clumps of dirt in our shoes picking up potatoes. (I bet you city slickers thought potatoes grew above ground, didn't you?) Cucumbers weren't fun, either because they grow on vines and SNAKES like to crawl under the leaves and hide. Surprise, surprise when you reached under to pick cucumbers! Mom canned and froze fresh veggies all summer so we could eat well in the winter. Nobody was obese, we were proud of our produce, and Dad provided well for his family with zero labor costs. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, you spoiled, overindulged elitist snobs.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 1:50 PM

to catlady:

:) I am so waiting for the farmer's markets. But this recipe actually works equally well with frozen.

I'm located in the Chippewa Valley region, so not quite as northern as St. Croix Falls. Anywhere you go in "The Northwoods" is just flat out gorgeous though :D

Posted by: Chasmosaur | April 13, 2007 1:50 PM

Chris, you're no William Carlos Williams, but we luv ya just the same :-).

Fred--great CTOTD.

I'll bet Schaller and Weber would ship brats if you called them:
http://www.schallerweber.com/index.asp?action=page&name=4&subname=10

If you're ever in NY, Hallo Berlin, "New York's wurst restaurant," sounds mandatory for you and Chris (and it's kid-friendlyif you go early-no vacation babysitter required). I've seen mixed reviews, but I've always loved their sausages and beer. They even have a cart in mid-town now. That's new since the days I frequented their old place on W. 51st.
http://www.halloberlinrestaurant.com/main.html

Posted by: Marian | April 13, 2007 1:57 PM

Chris:

I love okra. And check out www.fairtax.org


Posted by: abc | April 13, 2007 2:02 PM

To anonymous at 1:50 PM:

Have you ever tried growing cucumbers up a trellis or trained them up plastic-covered 2" mesh fence-fabric? Avoids your reptilian problem, saves space, plus the fruit doesn't rot on the ground.

Grow only pole peas and beans, using the same kind of fence-fabric: much easier on the ol' back to pick. Nothing compares to raw peas fresh out of the pod.

Mulch your potatoes heavily with grass clippings, so less digging is necessary -- just pull the mulch back, then scrabble around in the dirt lightly to locate the tubers. Have you ever tried Yukon Gold? (See, one can be an elitist snob AND a home gardener at the same time!). My favorite white variety is good ol' Kennebec -- a good keeper for fall and winter.

Do you grow Swiss chard? One of my favorite greens, cut-and-come-again all season, can survive a mild winter and produce the next spring, not bolting till the next year's crop is well along.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 2:04 PM

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, you spoiled, overindulged elitist snobs.

Posted by: | April 13, 2007 01:50 PM

Kind of hard to plant crops in an apartment in a high-rise, wouldn't you say you backwoods pecker?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 2:05 PM

Chris - Raspberry Beret, Prince.

Posted by: cmac | April 13, 2007 2:05 PM

"Honestly, I can't think of a single mother I know who would read a book (especially for hours on end) instead of playing with her kids at the pool. Do you??"

My mom would, too, catlady. Occasionally we'd coax her into a game of pool volleyball (haha, almost wrote poop volleyball), but she was usually afraid to get her hair wet.

Posted by: Mona | April 13, 2007 2:06 PM

To Mona: Another thing -- my dad and I were both dark-skinned and bronzed easily, but my mom was just a sunburn waiting to happen.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 2:08 PM

Catlady,

I love swiss chard! It always grew well for me, so did rhubarb, potatoes, sugar snap peas, pumpkins and cucumbers. We never had any luck with corn--darned deer.

I like the blue potatoes, and sweet potatoes.

I'm hungry, somehow a cup of coffee for breakfast and lunch doesn't suffice.

I still think that thornless blackberry plants are cheating. But I'll eat them!

Posted by: Maryland Mother | April 13, 2007 2:08 PM

OK - so now I dropped into the gardening blog - this is too funny. :-)

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 2:10 PM

Do you grow Swiss chard? One of my favorite greens, cut-and-come-again all season, can survive a mild winter and produce the next spring, not bolting till the next year's crop is well along.

I love this stuff! I like to stir fry it. But I don't have the nerve to grow anything yet, with my overindulged, elitist self! ;>

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | April 13, 2007 2:14 PM

To Maryland Mother: Am always flad to find a fellow/sister chard aficionado -- its such an under-appreciated veggie! But I gotta tell you, if you like thorns so much, try growing gooseberries or jostaberries -- they'll cure anyone permanently. I still bear the scars.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 2:14 PM

Okra has got to be the nastiest vegetable on the face of this planet. But I love love love artichokes. I saw some at Whole Foods that I was tempted to buy, but $5 for 2 artichokes seemed like highway robbery.

Posted by: Emily | April 13, 2007 2:14 PM

I overlooked asparagus. Shame on me!

Okra is okay, if it isn't boiled to death, then it's disgusting slimy glop. I would imagine it's good if it's cooked in a wok too, with some seasoning.

Okra folks, does that sound right?

I love artichokes too! But I also worship at the altar of garlic butter, so that tells you something.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | April 13, 2007 2:18 PM

OK - so now I dropped into the gardening blog - this is too funny. :-)

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 02:10 PM

Anything is better than TAXES, right?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 2:20 PM

If I have enough, I cook up two meals' worth of Swiss chard at one time -- chopped stems boil in bottom of steamer, torn leaves steam in the top pan; takes ca. 20 minutes. Serve hot chard with butter and salt (though my dad, being more diet-conscious, preferred vinegar instead). After the meal, chop up the cooled leftovers, marinate in a dressing of 3:1 corn oil:vinegar, peel and smash a couple of garlic cloves to add, plus S&P to taste, then toss the greens, and refrigerate in a non-corroding bowl or pan overnight. Serve as cold salad the next day with lunch or dinner.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 2:23 PM

Honestly, I can't think of a single mother I know who would read a book (especially for hours on end) instead of playing with her kids at the pool. Do you??

Posted by: what? | April 13, 2007 01:44 PM

I guess you are serious about this, but my kids have friends they play with at the pool. Every mother I see is either gossiping or reading a book. I read a book and keep one eyeball on the pool. My main duty at the pool is to provide a snack at break and money for ice cream if the ice cream truck comes by. Transporation to and from as well.

Posted by: cmac | April 13, 2007 2:23 PM

Anything is better than TAXES, right?

Posted by: | April 13, 2007 02:20 PM


You'd prefer death then?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 2:24 PM

Catlady: Dad did the planting so he didn't care that we were the ones bending over to pick the beans. He didn't plant Swiss chard, but did plant leave lettuce that grew in rows, not the heads of iceberg lettuce. This had a slightly bitter bite to it. Mom made a hot sweet/sour Pennsylvania Dutch dressing to pour over it and called it 'wilted lettuce'. Once in a while he'd plant asparagus -- you cut it off an inche or two below ground. He also had an orchard of fruit trees, but it took a long time and a lot of maintenance and spraying to take care of those.

When we picked corn, mom would put water on to boil before we got to the garden. You have to get it into the boiling water immediately after pulling off the ears.

I also found out what we called 'stewed tomatoes' is actually tomato pudding. My grandmother made tomatoes and put chunks of buttered bread in it and a bit of sugar and baked it in a casserole dish. We called it stewed tomatoes, but there is a southern dish (tomato pudding) that is identical. Guess we just used the wrong name.

Posted by: anon at 1:50 | April 13, 2007 2:24 PM

Maybe the Okra I once tasted was overcooked. It was incredibly slimy. It's not supposed to be that way?

Posted by: Emily | April 13, 2007 2:26 PM

Anything is better than TAXES, right?

Posted by: | April 13, 2007 02:20 PM


You'd prefer death then?

Posted by: | April 13, 2007 02:24 PM

It's gonna happen at some point anyway, we can talk about it, if you wish. I prefer to discuss recipes to discussing taxes.

At least death will muzzle the trolls.

Or will it?

Do trolls die, or are they resurrected?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 2:27 PM

Almost anything but taxes - not a fan of chard but do like the blackberries so can we get back to them?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 2:27 PM

The only use for okra that I know of is in a gumbo. For a bit of mushy flavor. I take it out of cooked gumbo and put it on the side for the garbage disposal.

Posted by: Fred | April 13, 2007 2:28 PM

When I was in elementary school, I grew a radish the size of a softball. My brother and I took turns bringing it to school to eat off it at lunch.

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 13, 2007 2:28 PM

Maybe the Okra I once tasted was overcooked. It was incredibly slimy. It's not supposed to be that way?

Posted by: Emily | April 13, 2007 02:26 PM

Nope--it was overcooked and it's not supposed to be that way!

My first encounter with okra was just as awful. My mom had never prepared it nor eaten it. We just thought it was supposed to be that way and she didn't try it again for a long, long time.

I remember trying to persuade the dog to eat it. No go.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 2:28 PM

To anon at 1:50: What you said re corn. When you have your own garden, you can plant the seeds any way you durn well please! I mix the seeds from several kinds of leaf lettuce all into the same packet, then plant maybe 10' every few weeks throughout spring and summer. It broke my heart not to be well enough to have a garden at all last year :-( Am hoping, with DH's help, to have a salad and greens patch this year. Plus we have perennials (asparagus, rhubarb, berries, fruit trees, etc.).

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 2:30 PM

KLB

Go to the ice cream shop on Georgia Avenue, just south of Dale Drive. I can't think of the name right this second--Tropical-somthing-or-other? Get some soursop ice cream there. They'll get in blackberry ice cream soon, I hope!

Posted by: Maryland Mother | April 13, 2007 2:31 PM

Emily and I have the same taste in food; okra is the food of the devil as far as I'm concerned.

I've got my tomato and jalapeno pepper plants out already!

Posted by: John L | April 13, 2007 2:31 PM

How about a contest?

"Old trolls never die, they just _____" (and keep it clean, dang it!).

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 2:32 PM

Are the gardeners here SAH or childless? I can't imagine having the time to grow my own food in addition to everything else on the schedule.

Of course, maybe if I were actually interested in gardening or farming I would find or make the time :).

Posted by: just curious | April 13, 2007 2:33 PM

...rot and continue to stink up the place"?

Or are you looking for short and pithy?

Hmm,

How about "spawn"?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 2:34 PM

The only cooking method for okra that I find tolerable is to slice the young, tender fruit crosswise into dime-size slices, dredge them in cornmeal and fry till the breading is golden-crunchy.

I'm still waiting for a correct answer to my trivia question from earlier: To which flower family does okra belong?

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 2:35 PM

I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, so not much gardening/canning going on. But my dad liked to plant strawberries and I always looked forward to strawberry shortcake in the summer.

My husband grew up in rural Alabama. His parents kept a large vegetable garden and he and his brothers loved all the fresh veggies at the table. Except in the winter. For some reason, his parents would plant the ENTIRE garden with collard greens in the wintertime. They were served almost every night. He said they used to plot dousing the garden with gasoline and burning it around January. He still won't eat collard greens.

Living in a concrete-covered desert, we don't see much gardening. DH and DD recently planted veggies in a raised bed using the "square-foot gardening" method. We've had lettuce and radishes so far, and we're expecting tomatoes, corn, snow peas and bush beans later this spring. It's been fun picking lettuce for our salads at night!

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 13, 2007 2:36 PM

Catlady: Dad didn't like rhubarb. I've never eaten it myself. When mom was sick in the hospital one year, someone made him a beautiful strawberry/rhubarb pie. He didn't touch it, gave it to a neighbor instead, but the thought was appreciated. We did twist his arm one year to plant green peppers and eggplant which did quite well.

Oh, I forgot to mention, he always planted spring onions, too. These are delicious eaten fresh and dipped in salt.

Posted by: anon at 1:50 | April 13, 2007 2:37 PM

MD MOM,
Is the ice cream place Kirstens in the strip mall where 16th diverges from GA?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 2:38 PM

"Old trolls never die, they just get sick from okra poising under a bridge"

Posted by: cmac | April 13, 2007 2:38 PM

poising = poisoning

They are not poised!

Posted by: cmac | April 13, 2007 2:39 PM

Old trolls never die, they just post away.

comp-post away, if you're gardening still...

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2007 2:40 PM

cmac,
Maybe the trolls are posed under the bridge?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 2:40 PM

Make sure you prime the spot before painting. That is a big deal if you are using a paint with any gloss to it. Otherwise you will have one "unshiny" spot no matter how many layers of paint you use.

Robin

Posted by: Re: spackle | April 13, 2007 2:41 PM

To just curious: It's something you can do WITH kids as a family activity. Let them help, let them plant a few seeds in their own little garden plot (I'm thinking of Father of 4's story about the softball-sized radish!, let them help pick and sample the produce straight from the vine (or whatever). Hope against hope that they'll pull the weeds instead of the crops when you assign them to cultivate the garden.

BTW, what to do with bionic radishes, that are a bit too tough to eat sliced: grate them -- I use a food processor because I loathe bloodshed, especially my own! -- then sprinkle over a green salad. Voilà, not so tough to eat any more. I've also heard of country people making soup with both radish roots and greens, but have never tried it myself.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 2:42 PM

KLB: Trolls are such posers. Always with the primping and fluffy.

Posted by: cmac | April 13, 2007 2:46 PM

fluffy = fluffing

I can not type today. Maybe the trolls really do have fluffy somewhere on their wretched little bodies.

Posted by: cmac | April 13, 2007 2:47 PM

If you take a picture of a troll does it show up?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 2:47 PM

klb-
in my most humble opinion, I find your post at 2:47 to be the post of the day. too funny....

Posted by: dotted | April 13, 2007 2:50 PM

Catlady: Hibiscus.

Maybe Leslie should turn this blog into a cooking/gardening blog. Beats everybody ripping into each other about how to raise kids.
BTW, if you've got kids, plant what you want and make them pick the produce. Worked for us.

Posted by: anon at 1:50 | April 13, 2007 2:51 PM

Robin is so right about priming the sanded spackled spots. Thanks for reminding us.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 2:53 PM

poising = poisoning

They are not poised!

Posted by: cmac | April 13, 2007 02:39 PM

Now if they are standing on their little pointy ends, does that count as being poised?

KLB,

It's in that strip mall next to the Exxon. ACROSS the street from the Woodside Deli. It butts up to the public parking place--you know, where everyone who shops at Snider's park?

If not soursop, how about mango? Yum!

You know what just occurred to me? It's ramp season! I am going to go and find myself a bowl of ramp soup tonight.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | April 13, 2007 2:53 PM

I used to have a nice little garden in my back yard - three kids of tomatoes, and peppers and some pretty flowers. One day I came home to sticks! The deer ate every plant, every flower, every bud.
Then they ate every hosta that I have been cultivating for ten years. And they did it lying down - breakfast in bed.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 2:53 PM

To anon at 1:50: After some people pay their taxes, they may NEED to grow their own veggies just to stretch the budget!

There! I tied the two topics together :-)

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 2:55 PM

Chris --

Logged off to do paying work and see I missed "Blackberry Sorbet" -- ROFLMAO. I am most honored to have made it into your song. And yeah, I am old enough to have recognized it right off the top. :-)

Time for more work and fewer blackberries. Sigh. . . .

Posted by: Laura | April 13, 2007 2:55 PM

three kids of tomatoes, and peppers and some pretty flowers. One day I came home to sticks! The deer ate every plant, every flower, every bud.
Then they ate every hosta that I have been cultivating for ten years. And they did it lying down - breakfast in bed.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 02:53 PM

Which brings us back to deer jerky.

I'm so sorry about your tomato kids, too. *wink*

I bet they are hanging out in the troll fuzz though.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | April 13, 2007 2:56 PM

The deer are so tame in my neighborhood that they simply stand there and watch when I walk my dog. We get within 5-6 feet and they just keep on chewing.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 2:58 PM

Speaking of deer, my dad brought me three bags of hunks of unidentifiable meat. I suspect it's deer meat. I was afraid to ask; I just thanked him. I didn't want him to suspect I didn't appreciate what he offered. So I guess I'll spend the next several months wondering what it is and what I will do with it.

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | April 13, 2007 3:01 PM

Deer meat makes a dedent stew but you need lots of liquid as it is dry if not properly cooked.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 3:02 PM

I was afraid to ask; I just thanked him. I didn't want him to suspect I didn't appreciate what he offered. So I guess I'll spend the next several months wondering what it is and what I will do with it.

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | April 13, 2007 03:01 PM

It could be, it could be buffalo. Treat like you would any really lean cut of meat.

Me? I turn it into chili.

But, he's your dad; surely he wouldn't be upset if you asked him, would he?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 3:04 PM

Sorry, that was me at 3:04

Posted by: MdM | April 13, 2007 3:05 PM

Okay, I have to admit, I have nothing to contribute to the gardening blog. I kill plants. My roommate and I tried to grow an herb garden once and everything died once I took charge of it. I've killed bamboo, of all things. (It took years, but I managed it.) I've killed an air plant--those spiny plants that get nutrients from the air, that you spray with water once a week and leave alone. So, instead, I'm going to ask a question pertaining to the last post of last night's blog: am I the only girl who likes p0rn, and watches it on a regular basis? And I'm not talking softcore or "couples" p0rn. I'm talking about the kind of p0rn guys watch when their wives are NOT in the room.

Posted by: Mona | April 13, 2007 3:08 PM

Bottom line - I would not consider putting kids in daycare while on vacation, and I don't understand those who do. But, it is their choice and I don't think they are wrong just because I think it's wrong for me.

Your post was right on. We feel/vacation the same way. Well said.

Re: okra - when I worked at a fast food restaurant in Arkansas we sold fried okra. Folks seemed to like it.

Mona - you dirty, dirty girl! meow.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 13, 2007 3:11 PM

But, he's your dad; surely he wouldn't be upset if you asked him, would he?

No. Now that he is back home (he brought it up from NC on a visit), I can ask him without him seeing the look on my face, that says, "What am I going to do with this?"

I think I'll try to cook it this time. I'll be the only one eating it; if my son hears it's deer, he'll freak. My dad may have hunted this deer himself.

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | April 13, 2007 3:13 PM

Mona - very revealing. I don't watch porn but I have found in my advancing years that it is more prevelant in my generation then I thought. I am almost 40.

Posted by: cmac | April 13, 2007 3:13 PM

Mona:
You are not alone! I have to admit to bafflement over some women's hostility to it. (Note, I do understand completely women who are hostile about it if their spouse has a true obsession or addiction, where it impinges on their intimacy.) But casual indulgence seems both natural and fun. I can't imagine why this is so often painted as a men vs women thing. Mr Bee and I have somewhat different tastes in it, but we are united in thinking it's healthy and enjoyable.

Also I know some people that work in this industry and it isn't all exploitation as some opponents paint it.

Posted by: worker bee | April 13, 2007 3:16 PM

Ack, late to the game but I see discussion of two of my favorite underappreciated foods - okra and rhubarb! I love them both.

We are starting our first garden this year and I am sooo excited. We cleared out the corner of our yard and are going to build raised beds hopefully next weekend - the soil here is so bad that we were told to not even think of trying to garden in it, that we had to either dig it out and replace it or do raised beds. Cannot wait to get it going!

Posted by: Megan | April 13, 2007 3:20 PM

Normal topic too boring today so...

***another off topic alert***

Censorship, hypocrisy, or just right?

Frankly, I've always thought Imus a putz, and never have listened to his show for more than 5 minutes at a time. Mostly because it was just too stupid. Gratingly stupid, actually.

But some wonder whether we in a better place for selectively going feeding frenzy on this? Does ensuring this moron got fired, even after having his apology accepted by the victims, serve a useful function? Will or should it lead to others?

Will it at least open the larger useful dialogue that somehow in society? In a society where we went off track enough to think that calling women "b!tiches" or "hos" was in ANY way something useful, much less for something as pathetic as low brow entertainment?

So--is this action justified, way overdone, hypocracy laden, or long overdue?

I find during this whole tempest that I much agreed with the opinion that while a shock jock type might call someone already residing in the public sphere ugly names, calling private athletes with no microphones and no agendas is a matter of a slightly different sort, and one which made this more than a typical free speech issue.

Where do most of you find yourselves on this?

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | April 13, 2007 3:20 PM

I think the network was pushed into a corner by Jackson and Sharpton. No one can win against those two rabble-rousers.

I think Imus' comments were relatively innocuous had he not been in the public spotlight, knowing his comments would not be taken well. I think poor judgment in his case, and overreaction by black "leaders" who care more about lining their pockets than the causes they purportedly champion. In short: no right answer, but I sympathize with the network. People were calling for blood, and wouldn't stop till they got it. It's a CYA situation.

And no, I don't have a p0rn addiction, nor does BF, though he has an impressive collection leftover from his college days. I'd say he watches a few times a week for, ahem, *practical* purposes, as do I. Wait, I am divulging entirely too much here...

Posted by: Mona | April 13, 2007 3:28 PM

td of 2: I am so sick of this arguement. I can't stand Imus either, so that is why I never listened to him. He has been annoying and insulting people for years, he is basically an a**. I hate what he said, but I am not really surprised.

If I have to choose I will pick hypocrisy because of the people leading the charge to get him fired. Not sure if I have the energy to debate the issue but am willing to read the responses to your query.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 3:30 PM

To Megan and others: Small raised beds with intensively planted crops are an ideal way to grow a salad garden, greens, root crops and annual herbs (am I leaving anything out?). First you need to get your soil's pH tested (just buy a little kit at your home/garden store), then adjust with lime if the soil's too acid. Amend and aerate the future planting bed by turning under topsoil and peat moss (both sold in huge plastic bags). If you neither own a rototiller nor relish the prospect of turning under all this stuff manually with a shovel or spading fork, you can always rent a tiller for a day, or borrow a neighbor's (dedicated gardeners are well nigh evangelistic when it comes to making new converts, so this is not as unlikely a scenario as it sounds!).

And either buy or check out of the library a comprehensive vegetable gardening book first.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 3:30 PM

Perhaps the lawyers on the blog can clear something up for me regarding free speech.

Imus' "speech" was quelched by his employer, who saw advertisers (i.e., revenues) abandoning the show and very negative public opinion. He was in essence fired. How did this infringe on his "free speech?"

Now if the government had swept in and shut down the show, there would be a horse of a different color. That would definitely qualify as infringing on Imus' (and the radio/tv station's) free speech rights.

Am I mistaken? The government certainly cannot suppress free speech. But I don't see firing an on-air radio personality because he's become a liability as a free speech issue.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 13, 2007 3:30 PM

God, I know I'm going to get slammed for that post, but I have a meeting, so I can't respond. Let me clarify: I don't disagree with Imus being fired. I just have very little respect for Sharpton and Jackson, and I don't think their intentions are pure.

Posted by: Mona | April 13, 2007 3:31 PM

Old trolls never die, they just find someone else to pick on!

My family always had a garden. One year, I planted gourds and all these nasty bugs were crawling all over the garden. No more gourds for me. We always grew potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, onions, peppers and cucumbers. My brother sometimes grows corn.

Anon at 1:50, you had a tractor! Your family must have been rich!

Posted by: scarry | April 13, 2007 3:31 PM

Jackson who said he was sick of hearing about the holocaust and Sharpton who called Greeks homos.

They are the moral leaders for this country?

I can't wait to hear what they have to say about the black panther who called the girl filling in for O'Reilly a wh--- on the air last night.

Posted by: anon | April 13, 2007 3:39 PM

NBC weatherman Al Roker and correspondent Ron Allen. Black executives at NBC and CBS, and at companies that advertised on Imus, like American Express.

Posted by: Who wanted Imus out? | April 13, 2007 3:43 PM

anon - who was filling in for O'reilly?

Posted by: CMAC | April 13, 2007 3:43 PM

The conservative Asian girl (sorry don't know how else to describe her)

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 3:46 PM

On-air "talent" doesn't have free-speech rights. Money talks, and sh*t (Imus) walks.

Posted by: To Mona and Who wanted Imus out? | April 13, 2007 3:46 PM

Michelle Malkin?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 3:48 PM

Anon: Michelle Malkin probably.

Posted by: cmac | April 13, 2007 3:49 PM

My 2 cents on porn. Worker bee may disagree with me but I think that it is an industry that literally chews up and discards women. I think that a lot of the images can be used by some to fuel misogynistic feelings and actions. So we choose not to watch because we are choosing not to support the industry not as any kind of moral judgment about individual sexual preferences. If the women were getting most of the money, then maybe I might feel differently, but the majority of those producers are no better than pimps. I think there are few women who emerge from that industry not significantly scarred.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 13, 2007 3:49 PM

"Imus' "speech" was quelched by his employer, who saw advertisers (i.e., revenues) abandoning the show and very negative public opinion. He was in essence fired. How did this infringe on his "free speech?""

Vegas Mom, I'm not a civil rights lawyer, but I'd say you are right that this isn't a free speech issue in the legal/constitutional sense - the first amendment prohibits the government from limiting free speech, it doesn't prohibit a network from firing someone for being a jacka**.

I have no problem with him being fired.

Posted by: Megan | April 13, 2007 3:52 PM

Texas Dad of 2, I will say this:

While on the way home yesterday, I listened to two radio programs, one on NPR and one hosted by a popular author of relationship books. The commentators appeared to agree on one thing -- that the music which refers to women the same way that Imus referred to them deserves scrutiny as well. Such scrutiny is nothing new. A woman, the late C. Delores Tucker, railed against negative and derrogatory messages in rap music for years. I agree that those negative messages are damaging and need to go.

The best way to change the extremely derrogatory content in music is to not buy it. The second best way is to not produce it in the first place, but that won't happen as long as people buy it and listen to it.

That said, it was Imus' time to go, although he should have been gone sooner. It's not unusual for radio personalities to be let go before because of statements they make.

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | April 13, 2007 3:54 PM

Moxie, I'll go a step furhter -- the real problem is that it's the objectification of women.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 13, 2007 3:55 PM

I think Arlington Dad has just tied our Imus/porn discussion together!

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 13, 2007 3:58 PM

I agree that those negative messages are damaging and need to go.

Who are the people rapping these songs?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 4:00 PM

Vegas Mom - you get extra points for still being so astute this late in the day! Well said Arlington dad.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 13, 2007 4:00 PM

I can remember when people were snickering at Tipper Gore for saying the lyrics were over-the-top.

Having said that, money talks. And money said it was time for Imus to go. I never heard his show before, but if he was anything like "The Greaseman" or Howard Stern, I wouldn't have like him.

I remember hearing Howard Stern, live, the day he made his infamous phone call to the airline. I also remember his parody of "Leave it to Beaver". I thought it was funny when I was 12, but his humour hasn't grown or matured.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 4:00 PM

Scarry: Dad had a little tractor called a 'Pony' and we certainly were not rich. He had that tractor in the early 1950's before my youngest brother was born, and still had it when he died in 1990. He took care of it just like he did everything else he owned -- with a lot of love and care. Kept it in the tractor shed, covered the tailpipe with a coffee can to keep the bees out, and I think he burped it when he put gas in it. He used to earn extra money on weekends for plowing other peoples' gardens, so it earned its keep.

Rich? Us? No way!

Posted by: anon at 1:50 | April 13, 2007 4:02 PM

Moxiemom:
I understand your qualms.
With some research it is possible to find p0rn created by empowered women. Our local adult shop is great for this.

Posted by: worker bee | April 13, 2007 4:04 PM

That is funny. My dad had a rototiller and we would go behind him and plant the spuds. Those were good days looking back on it. Glad you have nice memories of your childhood. I was only teasing you about being rich.

Posted by: scarry | April 13, 2007 4:06 PM

worker bee I have never heard a woman admit she liked porn.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 4:06 PM

"Vegas Mom - you get extra points for still being so astute this late in the day!"

Especially on a Friday - though you usually are so it's no surprise.

Arlington Dad, I think you're exactly right that it's about objectification of women, and I also think that's exactly what turns so many men and women on. I think for a lot of people, it's the visual equivalent of tying/being tied up with silk scarves - an easy way to play with the limits of control and vulnerability without really being at any risk.

Posted by: Megan | April 13, 2007 4:10 PM

And as my mother said, "It's not a spectator sport."

Posted by: Arlington Dad | April 13, 2007 4:11 PM

I think I'm 3 hours earlier than most on this blog, unfortunately. How I wish it was after 4pm! It's only lunchtime here, so my brain hasn't been completely drained yet!

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 13, 2007 4:13 PM

For any military spouse, knowing their husband/wife's SSN is the "key to the kingdom" as it were - I can't see the doctor, go to the bank, get on base, get our car registered, or buy something on base without someone needing to see somethign with HIS (I am a wife) SSN on it - that is how they do things.

He on the other hand, doesn't even know if I HAVE a SSN :)

Posted by: military spouse | April 13, 2007 4:24 PM

LOL I've been misreading rototiller as rottweiler, and have been understandably confused. Glad I got that cleared up!

So much for being asute! I need to slow down!

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 13, 2007 4:33 PM

Mona I like the hard core stuff too.

Posted by: another woman | April 13, 2007 4:34 PM

Vegas Mom - a big duh! here for me. Don't know why it wouldn't occur to me that being called Vegas mom you might be in VEGAS of all places which is 3 hrs. earlier.

Worker bee - I have heard of the porn by and for women I guess I just never wanted to work hard enough to ferret it out (no snark at all intended). I can't even get my act together enough to see Mr. and Mrs. Smith let alone seek out p.c. porn.

Posted by: moxiemom | April 13, 2007 4:34 PM

Heard this on the radio on the way home"

CBS = Can't Beat Sharpton.

It is scary when Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are the moral compass of this country.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 4:36 PM

Appreciate good porn - no S&M, just plain fun. I even went to a couple of theaters - one in NYC when I was 18 with a bunch of school mates. We were curious as to what it was all about.

Posted by: Another woman II | April 13, 2007 4:39 PM

NBC weatherman Al Roker and correspondent Ron Allen. Black executives at NBC and CBS, and at companies that advertised on Imus, like American Express.

Posted by: Who wanted Imus out? | April 13, 2007 03:43 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 4:40 PM

Vegas Mom, I just read the post where you put rotweiller in lieu of rototiller - what a picture that must have been in your mind! What was it - a dog with a bag around his neck planting? Hilarious.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 4:49 PM

Vegas Mom, I just read the post where you put rotweiller in lieu of rototiller - what a picture that must have been in your mind! What was it - a dog with a bag around his neck planting? Hilarious.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 4:49 PM

Vegas Mom, I just read the post where you put rotweiller in lieu of rototiller - what a picture that must have been in your mind! What was it - a dog with a bag around his neck planting? Hilarious.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 4:50 PM

Guess the Post is having problems again as I had trouble posting and then it went three times. ARGH.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 4:52 PM

Guess the Post is having problems again as I had trouble posting and then it went three times. ARGH.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 4:52 PM

"It is scary when Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are the moral compass of this country."

One of the writers on Slate had a good line about how incidents like this force us all to pretend that Al Sharpton has moral capital - I think that's the best description I've seen of the situation. When you say something as stupid as Imus did, it lets pretty much anyone else act like they've got moral capital.

Posted by: Megan | April 13, 2007 4:52 PM

I guess there is a problem with the post. I didn't mean to submit three times.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 4:53 PM

Okra: fried or cooked properly. It is in a bunch of indian recipes as well-my indian roommate would put it ina bunch of yummy dishes.

I wonder all the time where jackson and sharpton get their money -ok, sharpton has a radio show, but I also wonder why people listen to them. The stuff oin rap stations is worse than imus.

I don't like imus-but still, if someone is listening(and I suppose he'll go to satellite now)then he'll have a show I suppose. Yes, vegas mom, you are technically correct-but stations can get their licenses revoked by the FCC based on what the FCC declares to be 'indecent'. And there is not real written policy on what they consider indecent.

Posted by: abc | April 13, 2007 4:53 PM

KLB, Maybe Vegas Mom was picturing a Rottie wearing a yoke and pulling a little plow. We've discussed this possibility with the dog, but he's disinclined.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 4:54 PM

More like a big dog digging up and loosening the soil. It just didn't seem a very controlled method to me . . . .

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 13, 2007 4:54 PM

Anon at 4:06:
Well, now you know there are a few of us at least!

I wonder if there are also some women who like it but are ashamed to admit it, either because it's not PC or because our society seems to have this idea that "men are visual" and "women need romance" and anyone outside those norms is a freak...

Posted by: worker bee | April 13, 2007 4:56 PM

I don't believe for a moment that Sharpton (or Jackson for that matter) have the tru interests of those girls at heart. If they did then they wouldn't have pushed for the extremely public continued humiliation this must be bringing to them. They could have dealt with CBS, MSNBC and Imus directly and quietly leaving the public out of it. When asked they could have confidently said that it is no longer an issue if the situation had been taken care of to the satisfaction of all parties.
Is it only a good deed if the entire world knows about it?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 4:58 PM

OK Vegas Mom, you have certainly given me the best laugh of the day. Thanks.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 5:00 PM

"More like a big dog digging up and loosening the soil. It just didn't seem a very controlled method to me . . . ."

LOL, what a riot. I can also just picture myself asking the neighbor to borrow their rottweiler for my garden ;)

By the way, catlady, I forgot to say thanks for the tips! My husband is an experienced gardner, though he hasn't had one for many years, so I am pretty much following his lead. Our raised beds will be built with timbers and filled entirely with bagged top soil, everyone we've talked to here has said the soil is so bad you just have to totally replace it or spend years and years building it up, so we're taking the shortcut. We've had a compost bin going for about a year though so at least we'll have that to use!

Posted by: Megan | April 13, 2007 5:00 PM

OK Vegas Mom, you have certainly given me the best laugh of the day. Thanks.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 5:00 PM

OK Vegas Mom, you have certainly given me the best laugh of the day. Thanks.

Is anyone else having lots of trouble posting? This sucks.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 5:00 PM

KLB SS MD--

As it's Friday, make that a double. . .

Posted by: Marian | April 13, 2007 5:02 PM

"Is it only a good deed if the entire world knows about it?"

Is this the opposite of "character is what a person does when no one's looking?" I try to keep this concept in mind except when I'm sneaking chocolate!

My rotweiller error has me losing asute points fast! :>)

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 13, 2007 5:02 PM

Or, I should say a triple.

I'm having trouble posting too.

Posted by: Marian | April 13, 2007 5:06 PM

Thousands, if not millions, of American women read romance novels and they are most definitly p0rn. Fun, but p0rn. So I'd say p0rn is very popular among women. I would also bet if more women knew about women friendly porn that was hard core if they could get it discretely they would watch it.

Posted by: Bookworm Mom | April 13, 2007 5:06 PM

Vegas Mom,
Exactly what I mean. Do you think that either one of them could have done it quietly? If their purpose was to get an apology and either a suspension or firing it could have been done quietly. But that wouldn't have suited them now would it. Don't get me wrong, I don't like what he said at all but it has been blown way out of proportion. And it isn't as though he needs the money.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 5:07 PM

It's Friday the 13th . . . .

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 13, 2007 5:08 PM

I wonder if there are also some women who like it but are ashamed to admit it,

yes, definitely.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 5:11 PM

To KLB, Vegas Mom and everyone else having difficulties posting: See my rant at 8:19 AM. There are definitely problems today, and the Post is hardly alone in this. I'm just grateful that WaPo hasn't had problems again for this long, since I had other email to handle today.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 5:13 PM

catlady,
I figured it was better since I had no trouble during the day, only since I have been home. Or that my posts are just too boring.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 5:15 PM

thank you catlady for pointing out the problems. I had problems too but I missed your earlier post...

Posted by: dotted | April 13, 2007 5:17 PM

Oh, dear, I'm getting my words tangled, too. I meant to say, I'm just grateful that MY EMAIL hasn't had problems again for this long, since I had other email to handle today.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 5:18 PM

KLB --

I agree completely.

I think that old whipping boy, the media, can also shoulder some of the blame here. I was just in the breakroom, where a TV is all MSNBC all the time. Everyone's still screaming about Imus, and the headline across the bottom of the screen was "Imus' Retirement, Day 1." How many days do you think we have to look forward to of headlines like this? Heaven forbid we should cover real news, or even have an adult discussion about "free speech," race, language, women, etc.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 13, 2007 5:18 PM

To dotted, KLB, et al.: "Storm Worm Blast Still Evades Antivirus"
http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/004102.html

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 5:46 PM

"and the headline across the bottom of the screen was "Imus' Retirement, Day 1."

Oh good grief - this is the kind of stuff that keeps me from watching news channels. Or any channels, really, but especially news channels ;)

Posted by: megan | April 13, 2007 5:51 PM

Okra belongs to the mallow family.

Only on this blog can we go from taxes to produce to Imus to porn. It's been fun.

Posted by: curious nonmother | April 13, 2007 6:10 PM

curious nonmother | April 13, 2007 06:10 PM

And don't forget vacation day care and a few recipes.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 6:45 PM

"Okra belongs to the mallow family"

Like the orange mallows that bloom out here in the desert? Yes, we do have native plants that bloom in this God-forsaken desert!

Wow -- my southern, okra-loving husband will get a kick out of that.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | April 13, 2007 7:41 PM

Vegas Mom,
Too bad there is nobody left to play with while you are still around. :-)

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 13, 2007 8:01 PM

well, i'm still here, but it seems everyone took their balls and went home...:) have good weekends all

Posted by: abc | April 13, 2007 9:22 PM

To Vegas Mom: Okra is a heat-loving crop (although your summer heat may exceed even okra's limits of tolerance). Since I've never lived in a dry climate, I can't address the issue of okra's water needs. But I believe there are vegetable gardening books tailored specifically to your climate -- perhaps from "Sunset"? -- that you could either buy or check out of the library. Good luck.

Posted by: catlady | April 13, 2007 10:19 PM

Eine gross bier und eine bratwurst bitte!

Posted by: Fred | April 14, 2007 9:21 AM

It's days later - I still have to add in my opinion. I do all the bills and taxes because I found out early my husband was oblivious to due dates. I learned his SS# because I needed it for access to some of the accounts. Finally - vacation is family time but the adults should get at least some time to choose what they want to do. We tried skiing with the kids before they were ready, and they begged for the warm, entertaining daycare (granted, I was mostly a stay-at-home then). They still like a break from parents on vacation.

Posted by: Kirsten | April 17, 2007 1:50 PM

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