my random rambling

We Put the Fun in Dysfunctional: Tales of my Not-so-Normal Family Part 5

If you take a four-month-old baby, mix it with a particularly unobservant father, and then add some cat toys, disaster will strike. Don’t believe me or understand how one might come to this conclusion? Keep reading.

I was four months old. My mom had to go out of town for the weekend. My dad was supposed to watch me. My mom left, hoping my dad would realize how hard it was to take care of a four-month-old and more than happy to get away, even if she was a little worried that things wouldn’t run like clock-work.  Well, odd as if may seem, when she returned, my dad informed her that everything had run smoothly and that watching me had been easy. Of course my mom was surprised since she knew for a fact watching a child of such an age was by no means easy. It wasn’t until the following Monday that she found out why it had been so easy and when she did her horrification was extreme.

My mom noticed one of our cat’s toys on the floor and normally wouldn’t have given it a second glance but there was something special about this particular fur mouse. The fur was gone and the mouse utterly bald. Like the fur had been sucked off with a passion.

“Eww, one of the cats must have sucked the fur off of this,” she said to my dad.

“Yeah, or Penny,” he replied. Yes, that’s right, my dad had kept me busy all weekend by letting me suck the (real) rabbit fur off of the cat’s toys.

my random rambling

We Put the Fun in Dysfunctional: Tales of my Not-so-Normal Family Part 4

A lot of people are under the impression that guys can’t cook but that’s not exactly true. Some can cook and others can’t. Over the years my dad’s cooking skills have improved, but years ago, when he was a teenager, dating my mom, he didn’t just lack cooking skills, but common sense as well.

Growing up, my dad’s stepmom made potato pancakes, basically fried mashed potatoes. Well, one evening my dad decided he wanted to make some, the only problem was he had absolutely no clue how to do it. He was about halfway done when my mom came over only to find him in the kitchen, covered in potato bits. He was holding a hand-held, electric beater, that was still running, and covered in the potatoes. Of course my mom asked him what the heck he was doing, and he promptly responded that he was mashing the potatoes. Perfectly logical, right? Well, normally when you mash potatoes they don’t just spontaneously fly everywhere unless you have forgotten to do something to them…

“Well, did you boil them first?” My mom asked.

“Boil them?” He replied, bewildered.

Yeah, that’s right, my dad had no clue that in order to make mashed potatoes you have to boil them first. Now you can see why I don’t truthfully believe it was cooking skills that he lacked but common sense.

Book Reviews

Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead Review


liarspyAbout the Book: Liar and Spy is a stand alone book by Rebecca Stead. It has 180 pages and was published on August 7th, 2012 by Wendy Lamb Books. It has a Lexile measure of 670 and is a contemporary, middle grade, mystery about Georges (the s is silent), and what happens when he moves to a new apartment and becomes friends with Safer, a secret agent wanna-be.

My Review: Liar and Spy was an enjoyable read that like When You Reach Me and Goodbye Stranger have a wonderful ending. (Seriously, what is it with Rebecca Stead’s amazing endings? It’s like her superpower or something!) The story was interesting and kept me going. I loved all of the unusual names and now have this thing for the name Safer. Part of the ending was a little predictable but it was nonetheless extremely satifying. On the down side, there were a couple minor cuss words but other than that I didn’t really have any problems with the book. This book will draw in everyone from young middle-schoolers to middle-aged adults and I would highly recommend it if you’re looking for a short and easy read that makes you think.


my random rambling

We Put the Fun in Dysfunctional: Tales of my Not-so-Normal Family Part 3

Once again I come to you, ready to share a foul story about my cousin and birds. This time the story involves a different species of birds; ducks, and more specifically, my cousin’s great fear of them.

It all started with a drive to the local river. My parents figured that taking me and my cousin to the river to feed the ducks was a perfectly normal activity and truthfully, I believe they had absolutely no intention in traumatizing my cousin. Nevertheless, that is exactly what happened.  We had just gotten to the river and gotten out of the car when the white and brown feathered creatures started advancing towards us.

I highly doubt we had been feeding them for more than two minutes before havoc descended upon us. Whether an overanxious duck pecked at my cousin or whether he was stupid enough to provoke one, I know not; what I do know, however, it that he quickly became intimidated and began backing away towards the car. Unfortunately, he must not have realized that ducks do not see this as a gesture of fear and utter surrender, but rather as one of enticement, or in simple words “Follow me, I have food.” Basically, the closer my cousin got to the car the closer the ducks advanced to him. Sadly, before long, my cousin climbed up onto the hood of the car in a last, fighting attempt to keep the vile creatures away.

Oh yes, what an entertaining spectacle for me and my parents, who rather than helping him, stood off to the side, watching in amusement. Looking back, I can derive one point of importance from this story; ducks are dangerous.

my random rambling

We Put the Fun in Dysfunctional: Tales of My Not-so-Normal Family Part 2


Some people in my family like birds. For example, my cats, but that’s not what we’re going to talk about today. No, today we’re going to talk about the time my cousin almost put a parrot into diabetic shock.

Several years ago my mom and grandmother took me and my cousin to a pet store. Although at the time it seemed like an innocent activity that would keep two little kids busy, it quickly spiraled out of control. My mom was watching me and left my grandmother to look after my cousin, who at the time was probably seven. Well, at some point my grandmother bought my cousin some skittles from a dispenser in the store. This in itself was a mistake. My cousin at the time was the type of kid you had to watch every second and giving him sugar would only double the amount of trouble he could produce. Nevertheless, my grandmother, who may or may not have a similar level of jovial hyper-ness, did buy him some skittles. This alone was not enough to wreak havoc but what came next was. My cousin then gave one of his skittles to a parrot. Me being a particularly observant six-year-old, saw the skittle go into the bird’s mouth and promptly alerted my grandmother. Unfortunately, she said it was fine and promptly grabbed my cousin and fled the scene of the crime.

I still wasn’t satisfied and went to my mom and told her about the incident. At first, my mom dismissed it, thinking it wasn’t a big deal. Nevertheless, she eventually decided it would be best to tell the store clerk. When she did, the clerk lost it. Like really lost it.

“Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! That is a ten thousand dollar bird and he’s diabetic!”

With that, the clerk ran over the bird’s cage in what now was a race against time and began attempting to pry the skittle out of the bird’s mouth. It took a while but she finally removed the half eaten skittle from the bird’s mouth after repeatedly yelling “Drop it! Drop it!’.  She then, of course, proceeded to chastise my mom for letting my cousin feed the bird, despite the fact my mom hadn’t even seen it happen.  Needless to say, when my mom and I finally made it to the car she made it very clear to my grandmother that thanks to her not-so-extraordinary babysitting skills, a ten thousand dollar bird almost went into diabetic shock.


Into Lion’s Den by Linda Fairstein Review


About the Book: Into the Lion’s Den in the first book in the Devlin Quick series by Linda Fairstein. It has 315 pages and was published on November 15th, 2016 by Dial Books. It has a Lexile measure of 740 and is a modern day, middle grade mystery about a map theft twelve year Devlin Quick and her two friends Liza and Booker solve.

My Review: Into the Lion’s Den is an entertaining book that has some pretty awesome characters. Overall had a pretty cool storyline but wasn’t what I would call a thriller. It wasn’t boring by any means but there wasn’t tons of action; it was more collecting evidence and hunting down the thief rather than intense fight scenes and high-speed chases. As stated before, the characters were pretty awesome, especially Devlin. Although Devlin had shortcomings, she was a good character who was always ready to lead and didn’t stop when things got tough. Devlin’s grandmother was also a really great character, as she cared about changing the world more than anything else. All the rest of the characters, Liza, Booker, Devlin’s mom, Sam Cody, and Natasha were also enjoyable to read about. Some parts of this book were a little hard to follow and had to be re-read to fully understand what they really meant, but overall it was a fun story. One of the things I most loved about this story was the theme. It was really fantastic, as it shows the importance of fighting for what you believe in and standing up for your for your friends. Even though this story wasn’t completely realistic, it did have many interesting elements and I will definitely be reading the sequel.