Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lemons = Viagra

Bet you didn't know that one, did you?

But it's true! We found that little fact out two weekends ago when my husband and I were juicing about half of the kazillion lemons we harvested from our little tree. Oh, and when I say "we harvested," I really mean me in the pitch black of night before a frost warning, pulling lemons off with fingers numb from the cold and getting scratched up like the loser of an alley cat fight.

Here's just one of the baskets that I picked:

Possibly the fruit of good and evil?

Our little 6-foot tree ended up filling over 5 of those bad boys (yes, I used laundry baskets... it's what was on hand late at night)! I gave away what I could to my parents, my friends, my hairdresser, strangers on the street, and then we used about half a basket for freezing.

Hubby juiced about 3 gallons, which we measured into individual cups and froze. I froze two gallon bags worth of individual lemons slices, and zested 2 cups of peel. We sliced some for our tea and water. And I immediately made a large pitcher of lemonade.

Our entire house smelled lemony fresh!

Standing in the kitchen together, my husband tried to ignore the sticky floor where we had spilled drops of lemons juice as we gazed into each other's eyes. I realized he sacrificed watching an NFL play-off on his big TV in the living room to spend time juicing lemons with me.

And before either of us could speak...

...we heard our kid yell, "No, [Furry Dude]! No!!!"

"Mooommmm... [Furry Dude] won't leave me alone."

"What's he doing?" I yelled back from the kitchen.

"He keeps grabbing my leg."

Uh oh.

Let me just say that Furry Dude is 13-years-old and is in the early stages of congestive heart failure. He doesn't do a whole lot of activity any more. But I had a bad feeling and was trying to find a way to ask my innocent 5-year-old if the dog was trying to do the nasty to his leg.

"Is he trying to dance with you?"

"Yeah. He keeps bothering me and I keep telling him no."

I kicked of my shoes, which were partially congealed to the lemon juice on the floor, and ran into Little Dude's room to see him perched on the top of the futon while Furry Dude was grabbing at his ankle.

With a "NO!" that reverberates across the neighborhood, I pulled the dog off my precious child. My husband, also shoeless, came running in and dragged the amorous creature out of the room.

"Dude, he's just trying to show you who's boss." I told our kid. "You have to be firm with him when you tell him 'No.'"

"Okay." And back to his games he went like nothing happened.

Meanwhile, back in the sanctuary of lemony goodness, Big Dude was trying to settle down Furry Dude. We resumed our work with the lemons, but we could see Furry Dude out of the corner of eyes in the doorway of the kitchen.

"Look," my husband said as he pointed at the pitiful creature.

And we both snickered as we saw Furry Dude literally hump the air.

"That's enough," my husband told him, try to muster some authority (which is not easy when you're laughing).

Furry Dude sat down and we went back to work.

"Oh, no," I said, "look at him now."

And again, Furry Dude was humping the air. It was like he couldn't help himself. Every time my husband would say "that's enough" he'd sit down, but poor little Furry Dude had a serious boner. It lasted for hours and we considered seeking medical advice at one point to heed the warning on some of those ED medication ads ("If you have an erection for over four hours...").

*Note: No blankets or other items were harmed or humped during the making of this photo.
We've never seen Furry Dude in such a frenzy before... I mean, without a female dog around. He's been fixed for years. And although he might do a little "dancing" in his mixed up effort to get another dog to play with him (obviously, he needs some counseling), but nothing like this has ever happened.

"I think it's the lemons," my husband said. "There must be something in the scent that's making him horny."

Great. That's just what I needed to hear when we were both covered in juice.

But my husband found a bright side: "At least he's getting some exercise."

It took a day for the overpowering smell of lemons to dissipate. And sure enough, Furry Dude's lust waned at the same time. The leftover lemons have since found a good home at a local food bank. And our home, and dog, are back to normal.

But we will never again underestimate the power of lemons!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Biology and the Kindergartner

Poor Little Dude had a case of croup, so I spent the last few days working from home and taking care of the small sickie. I love spending extra time with him - even when he's sick. It's always interesting hearing what comes out of his mouth.

For instance, he used to end every thrilling story with, "just like that." Now he starts each exciting story with, "This is going to blow... your... mind." Sometimes he breaks out in the latest pop song. Sometimes he makes up his own songs. Sometimes he'll just randomly walk up to me, offer his hand and ask, "May I have this dance, milady." And sometimes he'll make some odd observation.

Yesterday was one of those odd observations.

He was laying on the couch eating an Otter pop and watching TV when he piped up, "Mom, my legs are growing!"

"Right now?"

"Yeah! They can reach the other end of the couch and they didn't used to do that! You gotta see this!"

"Honey, I know. Your whole body is growing."

This was quite a surprise to him. "What?!? My whole body? I cannot believe that! Are my arms growing?"


"Are my feet growing?"


"Are my ears growing?"


"Are my bones growing?"

"Yes. Your entire body is growing."

"Wow! I never knew that!"

And that's how you teach basic biology to a Kindergartner!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Whatever Happened to Old Yeller's Family?

I don't usually do New Year's Resolutions. However, I'm breaking a resolution I made years ago to never make another New Year's resolution. And I'm actually making a new resolution. (Somewhat foreboding, isn't it?)

My resolution is to have a quieter house.

We are naturally loud people. All three of us have been gifted with super-human lung capacity and reverberating voices.

I, for one, sing and play the saxophone and other wind instruments. I have the lung capacity of a great ape. My laugh can be heard across concert halls. I can be quiet. But get me going and I get louder and louder.

My hubby, on the other hand, doesn't have a quiet setting. He has to whisper from across the room... and I can still hear him loud and clear. We joke that he came from a stereotypical loud Italian family, except they're not actually Italian and they don't talk with their hands. When the family is together, things get exciting... and loud.

Our son... oh, our poor son. He never stood a chance. He can be quiet. But the more excited he gets, the louder he gets. And that kid has some serious volume! You should hear him belt out a song. Oh, wait... if you're within a 10 mile radius, you probably have heard him! I've actually had to work on teaching him to sing quietly.

I have no doubt that our neighbors can hear just about every conversation we have. When we're shopping, people across the store can pick up our dialogue. We are loud... and I'm not proud about it.

The other day, my parents took Little Dude to their (retirement community) rec center. He gets very excited while playing mini-golf. And the more excited he got, the louder he got. He likes a quick game, so he was jumping up and down and shouting. Some lady came by and asked if he was deaf (nope, but anyone around him probably is). When the group ahead would move on to the next hole, Little Dude would shout, "The old people in front of us are done!" My parents thought it was hilarious.

So this year, we're going to try to make the windows shake less at our house. We have a "yelling jar" so that when one of us starts getting loud, they have to drop in a quarter. Don't know what we'll do with the quarters yet... but hopefully we won't have to spend them on earplugs!