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Coffee Break with Liz and Kate » Liz’s Rants

Back to school – Liz’s rant

We’re at T-minus 3 days until the first day of school in our neck of the woods. Which means it’s time once again, to review the dreaded school supply list. Time to start going to bed a little earlier, maybe do a little last-minute studying, time to wish we’d done more over the summer break. Sigh… Time to ask probing questions, like: Are Ticonderoga really the best pencils? (Turns out that  yes, they are. And much to my child’s chagrin, mechanical pencils are still off-limits.) Does our county actually have a large enough stock to supply each child with one large bottle of hand sanitizer? Will this be the year we discover whether or not demerits are issued if we buy a 48-count box of crayons instead of the 96-count box? Is the request … Read entire article »

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The weather spotter at it again – Liz’s rant

So here’s the thing. Poor Kate is stuck somewhere out west, on her way back from vacation – car trouble. Unfortunately, she’s had very little phone service, and of course no way to post. She is safe, though, and had checked into a hotel for the night, somewhere between vacation and home. So hopefully she’ll be back tomorrow. I have no excuses, though – except for a whirlwind storm, heavy rains and accompanying power outages. Anywho, I thought you all might enjoy seeing the morning skies here in the Bluegrass as a major thunderstorm approached. I’ve seen a lot of weird looking skies in my day, but I’ve never seen the sky look like it did this morning. I wasn’t alone in those thoughts, evidenced by the number of people outside … Read entire article »

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Caution: Zombies Ahead – Liz’s rant

Ever have one of those days where you wake up and wonder what’s wrong with people? I have those mornings more than I care to admit. Today is no exception. As you probably know, hacking is apparently all the rage these days. From Wiki-Leaks to Sony to Mastercard, it would appear no one is safe from the hackers and their misguided quest to create chaos. Not even road signs. Enter this story, which, much to my chagrin, played out just a few miles from my humble abode: Then I came across this headline:Police: Man Tries Steal Cop’s Car, Blames ‘Batman’ And there’s the story of the dad who slept in the passenger seat while his 8-year-old cruised at a cool 70 mph down the highway. That’s rich, huh? Taking the cake, though, was a headline … Read entire article »

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Daughters, Marines and heat exhaustion – Liz’s rant

Last weekend, my daughter headed to North Carolina with her future in-laws (Lee and Cheryl) to welcome home our Marine, Adam, who has been serving in Afghanistan for more than seven months. There were months that went fairly quickly in retrospect, but some days seemed to take a year to get through. So I’m sure it comes as no surprise that Hannah was more than a little anxious to make the trip. As is typical with my daughter, she arrived in North Carolina making quite the grand entrance. I should’ve seen it coming I guess. The first sign that she was off to a rocky start came before she’d gotten out of the county: she’d forgotten the “welcome home” sign that she’d worked on so diligently. So she’d just have to … Read entire article »

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The garden that didn’t grow – Liz’s rant

I am despondent. Totally, utterly despondent, I tell ya. Why? Because yesterday, I pulled up my three cucumber plants. Total summer yield: three cucumbers. Well, one was so large that I nicknamed it a zucchumber. I think it tipped the ruler at more than a foot in length. It doesn’t matter, though. I don’t grow them to break records. I grow them to pick when they’re approaching the perfect pickle cucumber size. Which is really tough to do when it doesn’t begin to ripen until it’s already a monster. So I’ll not even count the zucchumber. Meaning this gardening season has been an almost certain bust. No more visions of cucumber salads. No more visions of bread and butter and Kosher dill pickles to can. No more sliced cucumbers with salt, … Read entire article »

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The feathers are flyin’ – Liz’s rant

Remember the last time you were packing 12 chickens around in your Dodge Neon and you needed to run into WalMart for something, so you thought to yourself, “Oh, I’m sure they’ll be fine if I barely crack the window. The heat index is only 117.” Me either. But apparently, someone with North Carolina plates in a central Kentucky WalMart who didn’t speak a lick of English was faced with just such a scenario this week. According to bystanders, the chickens were left in the car for about 30 minutes before police arrived on the scene and paged the car’s owner: “Attention WalMart shoppers. Will the customers with the dozen live chickens in their vehicle please come to the customer service desk?” … “Paging the chicken car people.” … The sounds of crickets chirping was broken … Read entire article »

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Breast Milk Baby – Liz’s rant

Is there anything quite as fulfilling as controversy to kick off the week? I think not. So let’s just skip right over the pleasantries and get right to it, shall we? Yesterday afternoon, while browsing the weekend’s tweets, I came across a new product, brought to my attention by Cool Mom Picks. The product? Breast Milk Baby. That’s right. Forget the days of the little plastic bottle with the milk that magically disappears. This baby doll doesn’t drink from a bottle. Oh, no. It’s a pseudo-breast-fed baby. Now, your little girls (or boys, I suppose) can don a halter with fake breast-o-flowers, pull the doll close,  watch the doll’s mouth move and listen to the sounds of a nursing baby. Before we move on, … Read entire article »

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Twitter Dee, Twitter Dumb – Liz’s rant

It’s been more than two years since I opened my Twitter account, but only a few months that I’ve been actively using it. Notice I said actively, not successfully. I figured since everyone else is tweeting, I should be tweeting, too. It was time. Time to join the hoopla. Time to network like a pro. Time to embrace the latest (whatever) and greatest in the world of instantaneous communications. God help us. And is there really any other way to master anything other than to jump right in with both feet, hoping you can swim because you’re too lazy to throw on that life vest? I think not. Which could be an issue I need to re-address. Because I’m a tad bit prone to royal screw-ups, when left to my own … Read entire article »

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Will you take a quarter? – Liz’s rant

Perhaps I should begin by telling you that Summer, Bert and I had a yard sale over the weekend, in case you hadn’t already figured that out by the headline. Because I’m betting if you’ve ever held a yard sale, or been to a yard sale, you’ve heard these words before. Heck, you may have even said these words. I’m also betting that if you’ve ever held a yard sale, you can pretty much figure out where this is going. I’m probably getting ahead of myself, so let’s start at the beginning. Well, not the real beginning, where you go through everything you’ve owned, closely examining each item and assigning it value a scale of 1-10 – one being something you’ve never used or haven’t used in many years, 10 being … Read entire article »

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Happy Independence Day

Well, you guys know Kate – she’s out putting firecrackers in mailboxes again (just kidding). Seriously, we’re both out and about today, celebrating the birthday of our great nation. Please remember the cost of freedom, and the brave men and women of our military who fight tirelessly as the ultimate flag-bearers for freedom. God Bless America! Happy 4th! … Read entire article »

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Don’t paint your nails, Mom – Liz’s rant

I was really hoping to jump right into Fourth of July preparations today, seeings how the celebrating America’s independence is right up there with Christmas as far as I’m concerned. But the festivities will have to wait. Because I – or should I say, my son – apparently has issues with finger nail polish where all things “mom” are concerned. It’s the darndest thing, I tell ya. My first hint that something was wrong came a few nights ago, when I came out of Hannah’s room with her basket of 847 bottles of nail polish, to see if somewhere in the mix there might possibly be a bottle of bright red (the perfect color for the 4th of July). “What are you doing, Mom?” “I’m going to paint my nails. Do you mind?” “Yes. … Read entire article »

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Festivals, food and fried Kool-Aid – Liz’s rave

I love festivals. And in the spring, summer and fall months, they abound all across the country. One of my favorites is the RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival in the railroad town of Bell Buckle, TN. Think of a Moon Pie flavor and they’ll likely have it. Of course they have other things, too. Like fried Twinkies and fried potatoes and fried Oreo’s and the list goes on. My hands-down favorite festival foods? One of those grease-laden corn dogs with mustard, washed down with a funnel cake. Elephant ears aren’t too bad either. As you know, the two are essentially the same, where the dough and toppings are concerned. Maybe my favorites makes me old school. And I guess I am. Either that, or I’m just out of the loop, or … Read entire article »

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Warts: Nothing a shotgun can’t cure – Liz’s rant

I suppose it’s an age-old question: What do you do when a wart causes so much discomfort that you just can’t take it anymore? Bury a rag? Buy some Wart-B-Gone medicine? Have the doctor freeze it off? Do incantations? How about this novel approach? Try a shotgun. That’s right. Apparently Shaun Murphy of England recently took that route, after, in his mind, all other avenues that point toward relief had been blocked. According to  a story that appeared in The Telegraph, Murphy found the shotgun in a hedge, and, one would assume, figured, “Hey, I’ll just blast off this wart!” So he did what any self-inflicting, wart-hating, crazy person would do. He liquored up, took aim and fired. Try to contain your shock as I tell you the gun shot blew off most … Read entire article »

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A daughter and her car – Liz’s rant

Have you ever noticed that when things are good, as a parent, you can rank right up there with the bffs of the world. But when things are bad, you’re suddenly enemy No. 1? Let’s just say I’m currently Enemy No. 1 on my daughter’s list through no fault of my own. It seems her car has a slight problem (at least that’s how the women among us would likely term it). It’s running super hot and leaking a fluid. Which wasn’t on my daughter’s list of things to take care of last night with a double-header softball game four counties away. So I took the car for a spin before she left. And when the hot/cold gauge (does it have a real name? Oh, what does it matter) goes to hot after … Read entire article »

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Marigolds for Granny – Liz’s rave

I’d been “testing” marigolds for a month or so, looking for that scent that reminded me of my grandmother. By testing, I mean rubbing on the flower with my fingers, much like you would to smell mint or basil or whatever. Because marigolds have a distinctive smell that I remember from my childhood. And marigolds are one of the many things that remind me of my late grandmother, Ibbie (Stewart) McAllister. Granny was the quintessential grandmother, in my opinion. She’d let me camp out in the pop-up tent, even though she knew I had no intention of staying out there all night. She’d let me use Clorox and clean her bathroom all day long if I wanted to. She’d pop us popcorn, toss in a stick of butter and call it buttered … Read entire article »

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