The Great Watermelon Stampede of ’17

The Great Watermelon Stampede of ’17

by Gina Valley

Did you know there are 53 watermelons in that giant, super-sturdy cardboard bin at Costco? Did you know if your 5 year old aims carefully and hits the giant super-sturdy cardboard bin full of watermelons with the corner of the pretty-big, apparently-even-sturdier-than-the-cardboard-bin shopping cart, the giant, super-sturdy cardboard bin will magically split open?

Did you know when the bin splits open 48 of the 53 watermelons will make a run for it? Did you know the watermelons will quickly scatter in all directions like children do when you announce it’s time to clean out the garage?

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley The Great Watermelon Stampede of ’17 ShoppingDid you know your 14 year old will look at the 8 watermelons still remaining in the not-as-sturdy-as-you-thought cardboard bin and remark to you, “I guess those guys have a case of the L.A.Z.Y., huh, mom?”? Did you know your kids will remember, right in the middle of any watermelon-based, embarrassing, public fiasco, you told them they had a case of the L.A.Z.Y. three days ago, but will not remember you told them to keep an eye on their 5 year old brother three minutes ago?

Did you know your kids will ask why their 5 year old brother needs watching anyway, since “We’re in Costco. What could he possibly break?”? Did you know your kids could make you roll your eyes so hard you’d nearly do a backflip? Did you know one 5 year old could cause a watermelon stampede in the two minutes it takes you to dash down the aisle to grab a 5lb bag of shredded cheese?

Did you know some watermelons are in such great shape they can roll nearly all the way to the registers in the front of Costco before they are tackled and retrieved by a 5 year old or tripped over by his dad? Did you know there is no box to check on the form at the urgent care center to indicate your husband sustained a hip injury due to a watermelon accident?

Did you know people will look at you like you’re crazy when you squeeze between them in hot pursuit of one of the large, green, surprisingly-quick fruits, hollering, “Stop that watermelon!”? Did you know, just like during pursuits in a movie, people will stare and do nothing to impede the escape of your quarry, or any of his 47 friends?

Did you know it’s very hard to pretend you don’t know the 5 year old who caused The Great Watermelon Stampede of ’17 when he keeps following you around the store, calling you “Mommy”, and asking “Did you see how far that big one rolled?”?

Did you know, while you are on a search-and-rescue mission for AWOL watermelons on the toilet paper aisle, your 15 year old will remind you he caused The Bicycle Display Tsunami of ’07 and his sister caused The Coffee Grinder Explosion of ’12 in that very store?

Did you know they really should be more careful about who they let into that store?

Laugh all about it!

-gina

Any shopping avalanches in your life lately? I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photo courtesy of Dreamstime.com – Used with permission.

Are You A Dad-er?

Are You A Dad-er?

by Gina Valley

Do you do the daddy-ing?

Maybe you’re a father. Maybe you’re not.

Either way, the daddy-ing dads, stepdads, uncles, grandpas, brothers, cousins, neighbors, teachers, coaches, and many more do makes a huge difference for the better in the lives of the children they daddy.

Know that all of your efforts for the children in your life are appreciated and world changing, even if they aren’t acknowledged. On behalf of those children, please accept this gratitude. Thank you!

Happy Fathers’ Day!

In honor of all of you, here are some words of wisdom from both those who are wise and those who are wise-cracking.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Are You A Dad-er? Fathers’ DayThe older I get, the smarter my father seems to get – Tim Russert

Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected – Red Buttons

My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it – Clarence B. Kelland

No one in this world can love a girl more than her father – Michael Ratnadeepak

By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong – Charles Wadsworth

Mom and Dad say I should make my life an example of the principles I believe in. But every time I do, they tell me to stop it – Bill Watterson  (Calvin & Hobbes)

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother  – Henry Ward Beecher

A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society – Billy Graham

A father carries pictures where his money used to be -Author Unknown

When I was a kid, I used to imagine animals running under my bed. I told my dad, and he solved the problem quickly. He cut the legs off the bed.  – Lou Brock

I have never been jealous. Not even when my dad finished fifth grade a year before I did – Jeff Foxworthy

Becoming a father is easy enough, but being one can be very rough – Wilhelm Busch

A father is a man who expects his children to be as good as he meant to be – Carol Coats

When I was a kid, I said to my father one afternoon, ‘Daddy, will you take me to the zoo?’ He answered, ‘If the zoo wants you, let them come and get you.’ – Jerry Lewis

To her the name of father was another name for love – Fanny Fern

Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a dad – Anne Geddes

My father was too cheap to take me to the big downtown aquarium. This cheap bastard, he would just take me to the fish market. ‘Look, Tony, there’s the halibut. Shhh, they sleep in piles.’ I’m like, ‘Dad, they’re breaded.’ ‘That’s their blankie.’ – Tony Camin

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Are You A Dad-er? Fathers’ DayI’ve had a hard life, but my hardships are nothing against the hardships that my father went through in order to get me to where I started – Bartrand Hubbard

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in 7 years – Mark Twain

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me – Jim Valvano

Turn off that light! – Every dad. Every day.

Guns don’t kill people. Dads with pretty daughters kill people. – Unknown

In 1900, fathers passed on clothing to their sons. Today, kids wouldn’t touch Dad’s clothes if they were sliding naked down an icicle. – Unknown

If you think about it, Adam had more trouble than any of the rest of us buying his Father a gift for Father’s Day. I mean, what do you get somebody who’s Everything?- Unknown

If you can’t do some thing before midnight, then you don’t need to do that thing. – my dad

You should eat more protein and you should go to bed earlier. – also my dad

He was right. As usual

Happy Fathers’ Day to all you who do the Daddying!!!

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What’s your favorite dad quote?  What’s the phrase your dad always said which made your eyes roll? I’m look forward to hearing all about it!

Folding Chair Follies

Folding Chair Follies

by Gina Valley

It’s that time of year again.

Time to shake and bake while our loved ones stride across the stage.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Folding Chair Follies GraduationYou want to be a graduation audience member? Let’s see if you’ve got the endurance, savvy, and possibly even stupidity necessary to make the grade.

Ahhh – the audience – that group of adoring fans that entertains delusions of homicide as the ceremony plods along. At least a lot of them are darn entertaining, even if it is for all the wrong reasons!

By the end of the ceremony, those of us in the audience who have survived have bonded like hostages being held in the desert. We are hesitant to leave our new found friends, and yet sick of the sight of each other.

A few questions pop into my mind as I consider that ragtag group of sweaty individuals sticking to the chairs behind the graduates.

Is there some reason people understand they need to dress up to attend a graduation ceremony, but apparently think bras are optional? If you are over 25 years or 120 pounds, you know a bra is your friend, don’t you? Do some of you more “gifted” guys realized this applies to your upper ailerons, as well?

You do realize people at graduations are bored and overheated, but not blind, right? Why are you punishing them?

Isn’t it bad enough that, to graduate, Junior has to sit there in an asbestos lined dress, wearing a funny hat for 3 hours? Should he also have to suffer through granny’s bobbing hooters knocking over one of his friends?

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Folding Chair Follies GraduationDo you realize that kid could lose an eye? Heck, don’t you think everyone in a 50 foot radius is probably considering scratching theirs out? Why don’t you get it together and rack ‘em up, or lock-n-load, or something?!?! This isn’t the state fair, you know?

If you chose to wear low rise pants, why didn’t you also choose to wear underwear? And, must you sit in front of me and bend over constantly? Can’t you see the wisdom in having some secrets? Do you realize how hard it is to keep a 2 year old from tossing raisins into what looks like a perfectly good target from where she stands?

Instead of programs, why don’t they hand out deodorant to the audience members? They know there won’t be a breeze, so isn’t it worth the effort even if it saves only a few lives?

And, if you’re the only one sitting in an audience of thousands holding a balloon bouquet, doesn’t it occur to you something might be amiss with your celebratory gift choice? Do you realize those balloons are not transparent and the people around you don’t have x-ray vision to see through them? Do you realize the knives being thrown were half attempts to pop the balloons and half attempts to take you out of the gene pool?

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Folding Chair Follies GraduationYou do understand it’s standard protocol for me to snip the string of any balloon that smacks my head, right? And, if I’m smacked twice, I have the right to smack you with whatever I brought (FYI – I’m bringing bricks to the next graduation)?

Is there some reason those of you with air-horns, classy and elegant as those are at a University level function, have to point them at my ear prior to firing off that delightful, fun, audio enhancement? Don’t you realize I would keep my hearing and you would get better sound if you raised it over your head?

And, once you’re seated, can you please stay seated? What is the deal with the people who sit in the exact center of the 100 person long row, and then climb out over everyone every ten minutes? If your bladder is that small, shouldn’t you skip drinking, sit on the aisle, and possibly see an urologist?

When the endless ceremony ends, is there a chance we could maintain a little decorum? Must you stampede out over other audience members the second the recessional is finished? Did you think you were being chased by the bulls in Pamplona?

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Folding Chair Follies GraduationAnd, much as I hate to mention this because I found it extremely entertaining to watch each and every time it happened, I feel in the interest of public safety I must ask, is everyone now aware we’re sitting on folding chairs at graduations? Didn’t you think about what would happen to you when you stood on a folding chair to take a picture? Are you familiar with the phrase “That’s gonna leave a mark!”?

Did you realize your scream, the ensuing laughter from those around you, and the siren of the approaching EMT’s would drown out the sound of the graduates’ names being read? More importantly, did you not see the 11 other people who tried and epically failed at the same stunt you decided to have a go at, prior to your grand chair adventure? Did you really think you could succeed where they had failed? Did they use the actual Jaws of Life to extract the chair from your body?

Is there some law of physics which requires 2 and 4 year olds, who were hyper and cranky throughout the entire ceremony, to fall asleep as the last name is read? And, what causes their body mass to swell to nearly 5000 lbs as we attempt to carry them on the 2 ½ mile trek to the car? And, which car did we bring?

Did you know if I see another folding chair anytime soon I may have a post audience member traumatic episode?

Can I get some iced tea STAT?

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What is the goofiest thing you’ve seen in a graduation audience?  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.
This post is based on Death by Folding Chair – The Perils Of A Graduation Audience, which first appeared right here on ginavalley.com May 31, 2012.

He Answered To “Easter Basket”

He Answered To “Easter Basket”

by Gina Valley

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley He Answered To "Easter Basket" Pets Dogs EasterJust ’cause we love ’em doesn’t mean they’re smart.

We had a dog named Douglas. We loved him all very much.

But, and I mean that in the nicest possible way, Douglas was an idiot.

Often when I’d look at Douglas I’d say to him, “It’s a good thing you’re pretty.”

He was pretty. He was a lab and saluki mix, with shiny black fur that was soft like a rabbit’s. His mouth was always smiling. He had a long tail with a dangling, silky fringe that that never got tangled. He was lean, and looked like he could run down a cheetah. He really was a pretty dog.

He was also pretty dumb.

Douglas joined our family when he was 9 months old. His first family had named him “Douglas,” after the black train on the Thomas the Train TV show. We opted not to change his name because we didn’t want to confuse him. If we knew then what we know now, we would have just laughed and laughed and laughed at the idea of not confusing him.

Douglas, who was sweet and wonderful with children, despite his enormous size, lived in a constant state of confusion. I swear sometimes the other dogs were laughing at him. I sometimes scolded them for that. Apparently, he wasn’t the only confused member of our family.

It took nearly 2 years to teach Douglas to “sit” on command. It took nearly 4 years to get any kind of acknowledgment from him that when we hollered “No!” we are not happy with what he is doing, and he should stop. Even then, sometimes all he did was pause.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley He Answered To "Easter Basket" Pets Dogs EasterHe didn’t wag his tail like normal dogs. He had an asymmetrical pattern when he put his tail into motion. When he was especially excited about something he’d do what we call “helicoptering,” which was when his tail just made continuous, enormous circles.

But, it was his seeming inability to understand what his name was that was the source of most of our head shaking and giggles.

For the first two years after he joined our family, we would call out, “Douglas!” to get his attention, and then, having received no acknowledgement whatsoever again, we would call out, “Trixie!” to get Douglas to come to us (you might remember Trixie was one of our other dogs who, sadly, passed away a couple years before Douglas did). Douglas would see Trixie run up to us, and he would follow her. The funny thing was he would run up to us if we called out, “Trixie!” even when Trixie wasn’t home.

But, that was OK. At least we knew how to get his attention.

And, he was very pretty.

Even though it usually received no acknowledgement from him, we consistently call Douglas “Douglas.” We were ever hopeful that he’d catch on to his name. But, at 13 years old he still hadn’t.

For almost 6 weeks one spring he answered solely to the name “Easter Basket.” Daughter#1 was in a conversation, and when she said, “Easter basket,” Douglas charged across the house, giant paws slipping and sliding, long legs flailing, right up to her. We thought it was a coincidence.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley He Answered To "Easter Basket" Pets Dogs EasterIt was not unusual for Douglas to make a sudden mad dash through the house for no apparent reason. We didn’t even answer the door if he ran up and barked at it unless the other dogs did, too. He had excellent hearing. He even heard, and I think saw, invisible people.

So, scientifically minded family that we are, we tested “The Easter Basket Moniker” Theory later that day. We had Son#3 sit on the sofa in the family room with no food nearby, as we wondered if Daughter#1 being in the food-centric dining room earlier had been the reason he had made his mad, well-timed dash. Son#3 called out, “Easter Basket!” Douglas came running.

I’m not sure if Douglas thought “Easter  Basket” was his name, or if he had associated “Easter Basket” with candy, and was hoping to get some (my dad also came running at the phrase “Easter Basket.” He loved him some candy!), but for whatever reason, for the first time in his near decade as a part of our family, we had a reliable way to call that dog to us. Gotta admit it felt a little weird hollering it out at the dog park, though.

After the end of his “Easter Basket” phase, we went been back to calling him “Douglas,” while he went back to having no idea that we are talking to him.

Until one fall day.

That day ‘Ole Easter Basket amazed me.

I called out, “Douglas!” and he tore through the house and ran right up next to me, looking at me expectantly. I was so shocked that it took me a minute to remember I was calling him to see if he needed to go outside. He went out.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley He Answered To "Easter Basket" Pets Dogs EasterTwice more over the next couple hours I called out “Douglas!” and he ran right up to me. I was so excited that at nearly 10 years old he had finally learned his name. Sometimes you lower your expectations for certain individuals. I could hardly wait to show my kids.

When my pack got home around dinner time, I called out “Douglas!” to give him a chance to show off his new found brilliance. No reaction.  I tried several more times. I even tried with a Scottish accent. No dice. He didn’t even look at me until I walked over to him and petted his head.

Whatever iceberg had popped through the surface of that vast empty ocean that was his brain had sunk back down into the depths.

But, that was OK.

And, luckily, he was very pretty.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Know anyone whose wheel is spinning, but you suspect the hamster fell off long ago? Ever have one of those “what’s my name again?” days?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it!

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

This column first appeared right here on ginavalley.com on as If It Answers to “Easter Basket” It Must Be Our Dog, August 23, 2012.

I’ll Just Poke Myself In The Eye

I’ll Just Poke Myself In The Eye

by Gina Valley

You know how sometimes you impress your family and friends with your skill and competence?

Yeah, me neither.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley I’ll Just Poke Myself In The Eye Duh! Moments bugs insects freaking outLast night a little moth flew straight into my face, landed on my nose, freaked out, and tried to fly away. But, he must have forgotten how he got there (or maybe he just had a poor sense of direction. Not judging here. Just reporting) (Although I am pretty sure he’s male, since he didn’t ask for directions and I know how you guys hate to do that), so instead of flying away from my face, he cruised forward and went underneath the bridge of my glasses.

So, the hyper Lepidoptera got trapped between my glasses and my eye. This further, apparently, freaked out the moth (I believe that “freaked out” is in fact a scientific measurement of the quantity of spazzing out an organism is doing, even though The Professor continues to insist that it is not). So, the moth took off flying and crashed directly into my right eye.

My winged assaulter then proceeded to fly the short route between my eye and the lens of my glasses repeatedly and rapidly, alternatingly bouncing off of the glass of the lens and the lid of my eye (thankfully my eyelid has that built in “close you fool!” reflex, because, heaven knows, I wasn’t thinking quickly enough to shut it).

I’m pretty sure the little bugger completed his Kamikaze circuit at least 20,000 times in the ten seconds it took me to wrest my glasses from my face (you know, sometimes my glasses just fall off, but during this moth-related emergency they seemed to be cemented onto my ears with some sort of invisible glue).

I, naturally, remained completely calm and relaxed throughout the whole experience.

By “calm” I mean, naturally, “screaming and running around”(that counts as cardio, right?). I’m pretty sure the moth was screaming, too. The Professor says that moths can’t scream. But, the moth was right by my eye, and I’m fairly certain I could see his little mouth screaming.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley I’ll Just Poke Myself In The Eye Duh! Moments bugs insects freaking outI’m also pretty sure that when a giant insect is attempting to gain entry into your body by way of your eyeball, it’s the perfect time for screaming. Now, granted, this was a tiny moth, but I think the appropriate-screaming-time designation still applies.

You never know what those things are capable of morphing into. After all, moths start out like little worms. They somehow turn themselves into an animal that can fly. Who knows what they can change into if one of them somehow manages to burrow into my brain. I’m not about to give one of them access to my gray matter by way of my eyeball just to see what flies out later. I ‘m still using my brain. Well, some of it, anyway.

After panicking, and barely managing to survive this furry, aerial assault, I then, as so frequently happens when I’m involved in something stupid I hope no one else in the world ever finds out about, felt a deep need to tell someone about it.

Very often, partly because he’s nearby, and partly because I know he won’t tell anyone (who’d believe him anyway?) I decided to tell The Professor what happened.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley I’ll Just Poke Myself In The Eye Duh! Moments bugs insects freaking outHe started off pretty interested, because my moth incident had resulted in a puddle on the floor. He’s always interested in the composition of puddles, partly because he’s a scientist interested in chemicals and partly because he’s a dad interested in not stepping in piddle.

He sort of lost interest in my short tale of moth woe early on when he determined I’d created the puddle when I dropped my bottle of water while doing graceful ninja moves (my description) (probably would have been referred to as “I think mom is having a seizure” had any of my pack been witnesses) in an effort to evade my furry winged stalker.

As I was demonstrating the bizarre trajectory the moth took, I managed to poke myself in the eye with my fingernail. I thought this was an especially brilliant move on my part because I was wearing my glasses at the time.

The Professor didn’t seem impressed with my finger agility or the extent of my injury. In fact, he went so far as to imply that I was over-reacting to the situation, and by “imply” I mean he  actually said, “You’re over-reacting to this situation.”

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley I’ll Just Poke Myself In The Eye Duh! Moments bugs insects freaking outMy temporary blindness didn’t seem to raise any sympathy either. He did suggest that I only type on the left side of the page until my vision in my nail-impaled right eye had returned to its normal clarity.

He’s a big help.

That’s ok, though. I won’t take his lack of compassion personally.

In fact, I’m thinking of surprising him with some homemade chocolate chip cookies to take to work tomorrow, if my eye stops watering soon enough to make them.

The surprise will be that they’re not going to be chocolate chip cookies. They’re going to be oatmeal cookies with raisins. He hates those. They get stuck in his teeth.

We’ll see who’s over-reacting when he bites into one of those.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have you freaked out recently? Were your loved ones helpful, or too busy laughing? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.

This column is based on I’ll Just Stick My Finger In My Eye, which first appeared on ginavalley.com May 11, 2013.

Socks ARE The Devil!!!

Socks ARE The Devil!!!

by Gina Valley

They’re trying to drive me insane.

No, not my pack.

Well, them, too, but I’m talking about those knit, Ninja-skilled, foot festoon-ers.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Socks ARE The Devil!!! Laundry SocksIs there anything more futile and infuriating than trying to keep a supply of clean, paired up socks?

Oh. My. Gosh.

Why is that absolutely impossible to do?

Socks seem to disappear at our home right before our eyes. I’m not sure whether to call it a miracle or a curse, but whatever it is, I can’t seem to stop it.

Once I bought a pack of 12 pairs for Son#4 at the Big Blue store. By the time we got to our van in the parking lot, the package was down to 10 pairs. By the time we got home, it was already down to 8. And, he hadn’t even opened the package yet.

Chances are, of those 8 pairs, only 3 pairs actually made it to the laundry room for cleaning and re-wearing. The rest of them likely took off to live stinky, free-range lives under the bathroom cabinet, in the back of his closet, or in our breakfast cereal cabinet.

Why can’t my family get their dirty socks off of their feet and directly into our laundry room, without a 3 day layover in our kitchen or on our dining room table? I’d have the socks complain to their travel agent, if I thought it’d do any good.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Socks ARE The Devil!!! Laundry SocksWe have a bucket in our laundry room that dirty socks are supposed to reside in. It’s actually more of a tub. It’s hard to miss. I keep getting larger and larger tubs, because I think the socks are climbing out and making a run for it, causing our supply to constantly dwindle.

Why does my pack refuse to corral the socks we can actually find? If they would just drop their used socks into the bucket, I could work my over-bleaching magic, and produce clean, slightly transparent foot cozies for them on a regular basis.

Maybe they’re afraid to have them washed because they know how socks in our home use laundry day as a starting point to begin world travels.

My dryer doesn’t just eat an occasional sock. No, it’s apparently running a complete sock protection and relocation program, sneaking socks across borders and in and out of houses throughout the world. I caught an argyle with a tiny Scottish passport in the last load I pulled from the dryer.

Of the 6 socks that made up those 3 identical pairs from the same package that I bought for Son#4 that day, only 3 socks will emerge from the laundry. And, not a one of those 3 socks, which were identical when they entered the washer, will look even slightly like a relative of the others as they exit the dryer.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Socks ARE The Devil!!! Laundry SocksHow come when I buy new socks and wash them, even though they all came out of the same package, when they come out of the dryer they’re invariably all different sizes, shapes and colors? What’s up with that?

The military should have such shape-shifting and camouflage technology!

After washing a full load of more than 50 pairs of socks, I end up with about 57 individual socks, and not a matched pair in the bunch.

I‘m considering moving to Hawaii, solely so that my pack won’t have to wear socks.

I’m pretty sure the savings in sock money for the first year alone would pay for the move.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Is your home a hideout for sock fugitives, too?  Do they disappear before or after you try to wash them?  Shoot me a comment with all of your suggestions for sock containment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng, metmuseum.orgDreamstime.com – Used with permission.

This column is based on Socks Are The Devil, which first appeared on ginavalley.com/ January 15, 2013.

To Be Young…Or Godzilla!!!

To Be Young…Or Godzilla!!!

by Gina Valley

I took two of my sons with me to the gym today.

They wanted to go.  I should have realized that was a bad sign.

I’ve been wanting to take them with me for a while now, so I could teach them how to use the equipment correctly.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley If Only I Was Young…Or Godzilla!!! Gym Working OutSo they would be safe.

So they would be knowledgeable.

So they would not need to go to the Emergency Room.

It seemed like a good idea.

The only problem was they didn’t seem to realize what a truly horrible place the gym is.

They had a great time.

I tried to explain to them that it is not a fun playground, no matter how much fun they thought they were having. I reminded them that gyms are such accursed places that they put them in prisons.

They are, apparently, too young to realize that the elliptical trainer is not a fun racing simulator, but actually punishment  for years of starting dinner with Oreo’s instead of salads.

They thought weighing themselves on the super accurate, right-there-in-front-of-everyone scale was a hoot. They even tried standing on it in different ways in an effort to make themselves heavier. Heavier.

I wouldn’t weigh myself on that scale even if there was a blackout and everyone in the gym was blind.

They weren’t the least bit self-conscious or uncomfortable, as they climbed onto the leg press machine, despite needing to contort themselves into what appears to be a gynecological exam position, with their knees nearly in their ears.

I blush every time I use that machine. They laughed and discussed whether tooting would provide them with enough jet propulsion to lift another 20 pounds (I’ve been victim to their tooting. It could easily lift another 40).

I came home feeling like I was dying and wishing I could take a nap. I wondered if I could just melt into our sofa.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley If Only I Was Young…Or Godzilla!!! Gym Working OutThey came home energized and ready to go for a run. They jogged around our block twice before coming into our house.

I was too tired to even mix my protein drink.

They made it for me, and then dashed out to re-arrange our garage. They were excited about doing some more lifting.

I could hear them laughing and joking as they moved around the heavy boxes and tools.

When they came in, they asked me if we could go to the gym again tomorrow.

Before school.

When it opens.

At 5:30 AM.

I think this is why Godzilla steps on young people.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Do you have any overly enthusiastic gym-mates? Do your children like to work out? Does lifting a fork full of food to your mouth really burn calories?  Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it. And, I can’t get off of the sofa.

Photos courtesy of Dreamstime.com – Used with permission.
This post originally appeared right here on ginavalley.com titled Oh To Be Young…Or Godzilla!!!
on February 9, 2015.

I REALLY Need An Intervention!!!

I REALLY Need An Intervention!!!

by Gina Valley

The Food Network is like crack.

I know it’s bad for me, but I keep going right back to it time after time after time.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I like to cook. I love to cook, actually. But, watching the Food Network makes me yearn to cook like they cook. Nothing else will do.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley I REALLY Need An Intervention Reality TV Food NetworkI look at my cooking scenario and nearly scream, “I can’t work like this!”

The Food Network makes me realize to prepare a proper piece of ingestible artistry I need my children off in a mysterious, unspoken wonderland, my kitchen pristine, and all of the ingredients pre-measured into those cool, little, clear glass bowls.

I’m pretty sure my kids broke all of those bowls. And, even if we had any, it would take me more than the hour long program to find them. Half the time I can’t even find our carton of eggs.

How can I possibly create amazing culinary delights in my chaotic life after watching cooking Utopia?  It’s too depressing. I don’t even have that magic sink you drop dirty dishes into which makes them disappear during the commercial break.

I wish they would do cooking shows for real people. I don’t mean those reality shows where contestants are given cactus chunks, a tomato, 6 artichokes and an unlabeled can, and told to prepare a meal for eight cowboys in under one hour.

How about a real show with real people showing real solutions to real problems?  Really.

How about a show where contestants must prepare a week’s worth of meals for preschoolers without using chicken nuggets, string cheese or Cheerios? No fair reminding them that Jonny currently refuses to eat anything orange (color, not flavor) or that Lily will “die” if any of her different foods touch.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley I REALLY Need An Intervention Reality TV Food NetworkHow about a show where the host has to paw and burrow through a real home’s cupboards in an effort to find the ingredients and the pan to make meatloaf before a 3 year old wakes up from her spontaneous nap, which can only mean she’s getting sick, all while helping a 14 year old with her algebra homework and showing a 10 year old how to make a Diary Of a Wimpy Kid diorama.

How about they show us how to make that cream puff tower surrounded by spun sugar while a mother-in-law hovers over every move, constantly repeating in a heavy, old world accent, “Oooh, the next time you see me, I’ll be dead,” without the chef engaging in any eye-rolling or snappy comebacks, such as, “Don’t make promises you aren’t going to keep!” That would be holiday magic.

How about they show us what to make when your stockyard-owning friends from Texas and that nice vegan couple with the peanut and soy allergies you met at the soccer tournament in Malibu both come over for dinner on the same night. Surely, there is something that can be made for them all, besides reservations.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley I REALLY Need An Intervention Reality TV Food NetworkAnd, how about a show where they make dinner with what we have when we have neither the basics nor time for a trip to the grocery store? I’d love to see them come up with something yummy using only the slightly wilted lettuce, 2 cans of garbanzo beans, a half used tub of fromage blanc cheese, and the pound of ground meat left in the back of our fridge at the end of the week. Now that would be a challenge.

Especially since I think that ground meat might actually be spinach from last month.

If you need me, I’ll be hiding from my kitchen. And, the meat/spinach.

I’ll probably be watching The Food Network.

I need an intervention.

Laugh  Out Loud!

-gina

Do you watch The Food Network? Do you have a favorite show you love or love to hate? How about the other “reality” networks like HGTV or DIY or Lifetime?  Do you find inspiration or frustration? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

This piece is based on a column which first appeared as I Need An Intervention here on ginavalley.com on November 28, 2012.

You May Think It’s Funny, But It’s Snot

You May Think It’s Funny, But It’s Snot

by Gina Valley

Sometimes, I do something I’m proud of myself for doing.

This was not one of those times.

I was at the hair place today for a much needed session with The Hair Whisperer. After she thoroughly coated my hair with some sort of magical goo, The Hair Whisperer had me sit under one of those giant, chair-mounted hair dryers.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley You May Think It’s Funny, But It’s Snot!!! Embarrassing Everyone knows the dryers at a hair salon are akin to Sanctuary, and no one under a dryer is to be disturbed. Besides, you can’t hear what anyone says to you when you’re under one of those giant heat spewers anyway.

I planted myself under Dryer #1. I was alone in the dryer area for the first few minutes, then a woman I’d never met planted herself under Dryer #4. Consistent with the Rules of Sanctuary, Woman Under Dryer #4 and I did not interact.

Now, I don’t know if God was testing me, or he just wanted to share a laugh, but at the very moment I happened to turn my head toward Woman Under Dryer #4, she sneezed.

It wasn’t a dainty little sneeze like many women do. Nor, was it a more feminine version of the male free-for-all explosion. No, this was more along the lines of what a blue whale does when it suddenly needs to clear its blow hole after 2 hours beneath the waves.

The force of her sudden nasal explosion created, as all the physicists might have expected, an equal and opposite reaction, causing her head to make a rapid acceleration toward the back of the dryer.

It didn’t even take a second for her velocity backward to be suddenly, and noisily, stopped by the back of the dryer hood, as signaled by a loud “thunk!” and a tremoring of the drier and chair.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley You May Think It’s Funny, But It’s Snot!!! Embarrassing Before I could open my mouth to ask if she was OK, the force of her head hitting the back of the dryer resulted in what I can only assume was some sort of rebound effect, causing her head to jolt forward, where it, predictably, collided with the front of the drier hood, as signaled by another loud “thunk!” and an increase in the tremoring of Dryer Number 4 and its chair.

I’m not proud to admit that every fiber of my being screamed out for me to laugh.

And, it was not just tempting to laugh. It was almost impossible not to. After all, a sneeze-induced, double head whacking is way past funny. It’s hilarious!

I tried not to laugh. Really, I did. I bit my lip. I thought about that horrible commercial about the abused animals. I remembered that time my grandpa wore his Speedo to the beach. But, nothing, no matter how sad or horrifying, could remove my need to giggle.

The more I tried not to laugh, the more I felt my body shake. Soon, tears were escaping my eyes. The fact that I shouldn’t laugh was making it nearly physically impossible not to do so.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley You May Think It’s Funny, But It’s Snot!!! Embarrassing The shell-shocked Woman Under Dryer #4 wrangled out from under Dryer #4 without touching the hood. I couldn’t help but think she had developed a fear of it, after having suffered through 2 rapid-fire collisions with the plastic crown. I wondered what the word was for a fear of hair dryers. This caused my need to giggle to increase even more.

At that point I realized The Hair Whisperer had returned to check my warming tresses. She was standing next to me, her mouth gaping, a clear indication she had witnessed the sneeze-off, as well.

I knew if I made eye contact with The Hair Whisperer I would dissolve into a laughing heap, so I focused on the floor and continued to bite my lip in an effort to maintain control until Woman No Longer Under Dryer #4 was well out of earshot.

As Woman No Longer Under Dryer #4 crossed in front of me on a trajectory toward the restroom, I lost my mind. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m sure, looking back, if I had simply followed the rules of Sanctuary, everything would have been fine. But, I couldn’t do it. I don’t know why. I just couldn’t help myself.

Barely able to contain my laughter, I heard myself, in what must have been a completely involuntary action, say to Woman No longer Under Dryer #4, “Bless you.”

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley You May Think It’s Funny, But It’s Snot!!! Embarrassing She stiffened, and glared at me.

I might have been more taken aback by her giving me the evil eye had I not been so distracted her smock.

The salon staff outfits each client in a black smock upon arrival. The smocks make you feel like you’re at the height of fashion, and they’re great at hiding any wayward blobs of goo during the miraculous transformations the various aestheticians wrought.

When Woman No Longer Under Dryer Number 4 turned to give me the look I suddenly became aware of another effect of her nostril work out. Not only had the explosion released a tremendous amount of energy, resulting in her double-head-whacking, it had also apparently released an artful display of her nasal…er uh…productions.

It looked as though someone had airbrushed a delicate, glistening map of the cosmos on the front of Woman No Longer Under Dryer #4’s smock, and had dropped a couple big planets into the mix. The bright lights shining from the ceiling made the strands and blobs glisten against the black background.

I almost expected to hear Carl Sagan telling me which heavenly body each splotch on her smock represented.

#Funny You May Think It’s Funny, But It’s Snot!!! – Laugh All About It!!! http://ginavalley.com/ #Humor #embarrassing But, I did not expect to hear The Hair Whisperer whisper in my ear, “I think we might need to throw out that smock.”

But, she did, and I’m not proud to admit I lost the battle to keep from giggling. I lost it big time. I didn’t just giggle. I laughed. I snorted. I guffawed. I laughed again. I hee’d. I haw’d. I totally dissolved into a shaking, crying pile of hilarity.

I never saw Woman No Longer Under Dryer #4 come out of the restroom. That might be because I was nearly blind from crying due to laughing so hard. Or, she might still be in there. It’s a shame, though, because I wanted to apologize to her.

So, Woman Under Dryer #4, if you’re reading this, I apologize for laughing during what was likely a mortifying and traumatic experience for you.

I admit I thought it was funny at the time.

But, I see now that it’s snot.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Have you ever done something totally embarrassing in a public place? Have you witnessed someone else embarrassing themselves? How’d you handle it? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Be sure to get first notice about my humor writings by subscribing to my email notices by clicking that lovely box at the top, right of this page. You’ll receive convenient updates when I post on this website. I promise not to do anything weird or annoying with your email address.

And, as always, thank you for sharing my humor with your friends and family on your social media platforms. I already paid for those share buttons at the bottom of the page, so I’m happy when you use them.

And, as always, I appreciate all of your support.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission
This post originally appeared here on ginavalley.com in March 2014 titled You Might Think It’s Funny, But It’s Snot.

I Want A Kids’ Shoes Tracking Device #whatIwantforChristmas

I Want A Kids’ Shoes Tracking Device

#whatIwantforChristmas

by Gina Valley

I want a kids’ shoes tracking device for Christmas. We, as in me, spend more time looking for my kids’ shoes than for anything else.

Hopefully, the tracking device will come with a setting to help me locate my shoes when one of my kids has “borrowed them” (my black suede boots are particularly prone to “wandering” this time of year, apparently drawn toward the dangerous mystique that is my daughters’ closet).

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley I Want A Kids’ Shoes Tracking Device #whatIwantforChristmas Holidays Gifts Christmas

If the tracking device also has a setting that allowed me to determine whether a child’s missing parka was left at school or on the soccer field, even better.

But, I’d be more than happy with a basic kids’ shoes tracker.

I’m betting Santy Claus has an amazing shoe tracker to keep track of all the elves’ shoes. He could pass that on to me. I don’t mind a little wear and tear, as long as the tracker works, and finds shoes, even if they don’t have pointy toes.

The Jolly Guy needs to realize I’m ready to put out for this, too. And, I’m not just talking cookies and milk.

I’m willing to throw in some very fancy eggnog with a big splash from a very old bottle, just the thing to put some spring back into his step on a long night of deliveries.

As long as I can find the bottle.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Be sure to hook up with me on Facebook and Twitter  and Pinterest so you can see all of my #whatIwantforChristmas posts.

I’m looking forward to reading your #whatIwantforChristmas posts, too. Shoot me your Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest links if we aren’t already connected. I’m looking forward to giggling along with you!

Be sure to invite your friends to join in by sharing my What Do YOU Want? post with them on all of your social media spaces.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission