Friday, November 30, 2018

11 Signs You Shop Too Much on Amazon

Living in a small town can be difficult at times. But, one of the things that makes it easier these days is the convenience of Amazon Prime deliveries right to your front door. Now, instead of traipsing to the mall every time you need something, you can just make a few clicks on your computer and have anything you want delivered to your home for free* within two days! (*"Free" as long as you pay the yearly membership fee. Maybe "free-ish" would be more accurate?)

Yes, Amazon Prime can be a good thing. But, can you have too much of a good thing? Here are a few signs that you might shop a little more often than you should on Amazon Prime:

1. You are on a first name basis with the UPS driver.--"Steve is running a little late today. I hope he's not having problems with his gout again."

So many boxes!!!

2. When you order something not from Amazon you get very angry if your order takes more than two days.--"What do they mean by 'allow four to six weeks for delivery?' Don't they know it's not 1978 anymore?"

3. When you know the different sizes of Amazon boxes by their number.--"I'm surprised they were able to fit this order in a P5. I thought for sure they were going to need a Q2."

It's funny, because last time they used a P1 and a 2BA.

4. You get more package tracking updates than you do texts or e-mails from family and friends.--"Hurray! The package is out for delivery! Oh, and I got an e-mail from Aunt Pearl, too."

5. One of your favorite games is playing "What's in this box?" (And you are right over 80% of the time.)--"I think the dishwasher soap and the diapers are in this box, and the shampoo and the gift for Aunt Myrtle are in that box."

6. You are on a first name basis with the folks at the cardboard recycling center.--"Hi, Gladys! I love the new nose ring!"

7. You get angry when anyone expects you to pay for shipping and handling.--"Shipping and handling? Why should I have to pay for someone to 'handle' my package? What if I don't want my package handled?"

8. You know where each Amazon warehouse is and how long it takes a shipment from each of them to arrive at your house.--"Oh, good, this package is shipping out of Louisville. They always do a better job of packing than the Denver warehouse."

9. All of your Christmas presents are wrapped in Amazon boxes. (Because you have a box the size of every possible gift you need to wrap.)--"I don't know why anyone would ever buy a gift box. I've got plenty of boxes right here."

10. When a Two-Day Shipping item takes more than two days to arrive, you check the package tracking at least twice an hour.--"It says it's still in Salt Lake City, but it said it was in Salt Lake City four hours ago! It shouldn't take four hours to get out of Salt Lake City!"

11. The mattress in your guest room consists of leftover packaging pillows.--"Timmy! Please stop popping the guest mattress!"

Rest in comfort---thanks to Amazon!

It almost makes all of the Amazon corporate shenanigans worth it. Almost.

Edited from a post originally published on 12/6/2016.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Wouldn't It Be Great...

My two year-old son just climbed into his bed, grabbed his blanket, and curled up for a nap. Let me say that again: He just put himself down for a nap!!!

This never happens. It's usually a big fight to get him to take a nap. I'll put him in bed and the two of us will race to the door of his bedroom, me hoping to shut him in, him hoping to escape into the outside-of-his-room world. Or, I'll try to grab him to put him in his bed and he'll dodge this way and that way, and when I finally do catch him he will literally be kicking and screaming as I put him in his bed. (And on those days when I don't feel like fighting him to take a nap, he'll fall asleep in his dinner, wake up an hour later, then stay up until midnight.)

He put himself down for a nap, and the world suddenly became an easier place to live. Wouldn't it be great if other difficult and troubling things just took care of themselves?

Wouldn't it be great if all politicians started telling the truth? If they could work together with members of the opposite party for actual compromise?

Wouldn't it be great if drivers stayed out of the left "passing" lane unless they were actually passing someone?

Wouldn't it be great if the kids started doing their chores without having to be reminded?

Wouldn't it be great if Walmart had more than two checkout lanes open?

Wouldn't it be great if that one co-worker who calls in "sick" every holiday would actually come in to work so that you could take the holiday off every once in a while?

Wouldn't it be great if every time you went to the doctor's office you got a clean bill of health?

That'd all be great, wouldn't it? Unfortunately, we live in the real world. In the real world my son started yelling for me ten minutes after he put himself down for a nap. He had pooped his pants, and I had to deal with it.

Wouldn't it be great if we lived in a world where people didn't poop their pants? (Especially the politicians!)

Friday, November 23, 2018

It's Leftover Day!!!

For some people, the day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday. It's all about shopping and getting the best deals of the year. It's about staying up way late or getting up extra early. It's about standing in long lines and fighting over the last big screen television.

It doesn't need to be that way.

Instead of Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving should be known as Leftover Day.

We spend all week preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. There's lots of planning and lots of cooking. Then we spend maybe an hour actually eating the meal. It's fantastic! But when the feast is finished, what is left? The leftovers, that's what!

So many leftovers!!!
Rubbermaid, Tupperware, old whip cream containers, plates covered with tin foil: they all get stuffed with the remnants of all the best Thanksgiving meal foods. Unfortunately, too much of this great leftover food is wasted each year. The problem is, the longer the leftovers are left in the refrigerator, the more likely we'll forget what is in each container. And then, before you know it, you have a fridge full of mystery meals. And later still, we'll have containers full of fuzzy, furry former food.

That's why we need to celebrate the day after Thanksgiving as Leftover Day. If we eat the leftovers the day after Thanksgiving, we'll be more likely to still remember which food is in which container, and we'll be less likely to waste all of this delicious food.

One of the good things about Leftover Day is that you eat the leftovers right out of the leftover containers. Or, at the very least, you eat the leftovers on paper plates with plastic utensils. One of the keys to Leftover Day is dirtying the fewest dishes as possible. There were enough dirty dishes on Thanksgiving, there's no need to add to it on Leftover Day.

The most common leftover, of course, is filling the leftover rolls with leftover turkey for a makeshift sammich, but Leftover Day can also be used to try new things and new combinations. Didn't have room for the sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving? You can have some on Leftover Day! Have you wondered what the green bean casserole would taste like covered in gravy? It's Leftover Day, give it a try!

And yes, there is still some pie! (But not for long.)

So, this year, take a break from the craziness of Black Friday shopping and just kick back and feed your face on Leftover Day! (And don't worry about the dishes. Mr. Hefty will take care of it.)

Edited from a post originally published on 11/25/2016.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Cinnamon Or Garlic: Is There Really a Difference?

One ingredient can make a world of difference.

The other morning I got up early and thought I would be a good husband/father and make breakfast for everyone. My wife came across a recipe several years ago for something we call "oatmeal bake." It ends up as a dish of oatmeal in a cake-like form--thick, but not too sweet. We usually top it with banana or applesauce or maybe even chocolate chips. The kids really like it, it's reasonably healthy, and it's easy enough that I can make it. Usually.

It was early--between 5:30 and 6:00--so I turned on the light and gathered the ingredients. Everything gets mixed together in one large bowl before it gets put into the cake pan. My wife constantly tinkers with recipes, and discovered that the oatmeal bake was a little bit better with a dash of vanilla and a sprinkling of cinnamon. I had every other ingredient already in the bowl when I reached for the cinnamon and generously sprinkled it over everything.

Except, it didn't look quite right. The cinnamon wasn't as dark as it usually is. That's when I discovered my mistake. Garlic is not cinnamon!

Which one is cinnamon and which one is garlic? (It's difficult to tell when you're still half asleep.)

This is the problem you get when you buy all of your seasonings at Costco.

By the time I realized what I had done, it was too late to do anything. I couldn't undo it. I couldn't gather all of the garlic up and put it back in the container. The garlic was there. I grabbed the cinnamon--making sure it was actually cinnamon--and sprinkled twice as much of it as I normally would, in the hopes that extra cinnamon would somehow overpower the taste of the garlic. I poured it into the cake pan and put it in the oven to bake.

This is what it's supposed to look like when it's finished.
(It really is very good. We have it three or four times a month.)

Have you ever had spaghetti-flavored oatmeal? Of course not! There is a reason bakeries don't offer Italian oatmeal cake. Cinnamon and garlic are not interchangeable, and no amount of cinnamon will completely hide the presence of garlic. I took a bite, and that was enough. I didn't serve any to the wife or the kids, sparing them from experiencing that particularly unpleasant combination of flavors. I served them toast and butter instead. (Regular butter, not garlic butter.)

Here's the recipe.
(I added a helpful little tip at the bottom.)

I learned a few things that morning. 1) Make sure you know your ingredients. 2) Make sure you use the correct ingredients. C) Not all powders are alike. D) Garlic is not a good breakfast garnish. And E) Never try to cook before 6:00 AM.

Friday, November 16, 2018

The 5 Worst (and Best) Things About Thanksgiving

It will be Thanksgiving again before you know it. There are a lot of wonderful things about Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad things about Thanksgiving, too. Here’s five of the worst, then five of the best:

Worst #5: Shopping—It used to be that Black Friday started at six in the morning. Then it started at four. Then it started at midnight. Now, some greedy retailers are starting Black Friday on Thanksgiving afternoon! Enough!!!

Worst #4: Detroit Lions—Why do we get stuck watching Detroit every Thanksgiving? Having to watch the Lions is like someone saying, “You can have a piece of fruit, (Yay!) but it has to be a prune.” (Boo!)

Worst #3: That One Relative—We all have “that one relative.” He/she is the one who makes Thanksgiving (and all family gatherings) a little more stressful than they need to be.

Worst #2: Cooking—The bad thing about the good food on Thanksgiving is that it takes a long time to cook it all. Sometimes it takes days of preparation for a meal that lasts less than an hour.

Worst #1: Dishes—When the meal is over, someone has to do all those dishes. That someone will likely be you.


Best #5: Naptime—After the meal is over, find yourself a cozy spot. There’s nothing quite like a turkey-induced nap!

Best #4: Football—Between the NFL and college, there’s always a game on. (And if you nap through the Detroit game, that’s okay because so do the Lions.)

Best #3: Family and Friends—It’s always great to spend the day with the people you care about the most. (You might even get to see your favorite cousin!)

Best #2: Food—So much good food! There’s turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, rolls, pies and so much more! It’s a wonderful feast, and it all tastes great!

Best #1: Pies!—Yes, I know I included pies under the “food” category, but I figure they’re so good they deserve a category of their own. Pumpkin, apple, peach, cherry, pecan, chocolate, banana cream, or whatever it be, it be delicious! This guy likes to try some pie!!!

There is never too much pie!

 I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!!! In the spirit of the holiday, be sure to be thankful and appreciative of all the good things in your life! 

Edited  from a post originally published  on 11/23/2015.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Stan Lee: Charismatic Creator of Clobberin' Comics!!!

I created my own comic book character once. He was called: THE CLOBBERRER!!! His secret identity was Oscar Olson, and he was a middle linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings. His super power was the ability to...umm...clobber things, a power he gained by eating a radioactive Big Mac.

Obviously, I'm no Stan Lee.

(I'm not even sure if it should be spelled "Clobberrer" or "Clobberer.")

Stan Lee passed away this week at the age of 95. He started writing for comic books in 1939. (1939!!! That's a long, long time ago!) Over the years he co-created many of the best known and most loved fictional characters to ever exist, including: Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, the Avengers, Dr. Strange, the Silver Surfer, the Black Panther, the X-Men, Ant-Man, the Wasp, Dr. Doom, Black Widow, and even Paste-Pot Pete. (Okay, so not all of his characters were big hits.)

(And yes, I know Stan Lee didn't create all of these characters, but his influence on them is certain.)
Of course, he didn't create these characters all by himself. He made them up alongside the artists who initially drew them, most notably Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. Still, even with help, the sheer magnitude of Stan Lee's creations is astounding!

You might say that Stan Lee had it easy. He could just put "man" on the end of any word and create a new character: Spider-Man! Iron Man! Ant Man! Iceman! Giant Man! Or, he could rummage through the dictionary to come up with names for characters: Hulk! Abomination! Juggernaut! Beast! By the time I came up with the Clobberer, all the good names had already been taken, mostly by Stan Lee!

But then, if it was so easy, why didn't someone do it before Stan Lee did it? No, there was more to creating these characters than a catchy name. Stan imbued his characters with charisma and personality. They were more than just heroes, they were also people like us. We don't remember them just because they saved the world, we remember them because they made it through their everyday troubles, too. They joked and cried and kept on going, no matter the odds.

Anyone who has ever tried to write knows how hard it can be to create a memorable character. Stan Lee didn't just do that, he created an entire intricate, beloved, memorable universe! There aren't many writers who can even compare, with the possible exceptions of Tolkien or Rowling.

Stan Lee created a legacy that can't ever be stopped! (Not even by the Clobberrer!)

Friday, November 9, 2018

Baby #1 vs. Baby #4

We all start out wanting to be perfect parents. With our first baby we all try soooo hard to do everything the right way. But, by the time the fourth baby comes around, most of us realize there isn't always a "right" way to do any of it. (Or, we're just too tired to care.)

Here are some of the differences in parental strategies between Baby #1 and Baby #4. (Some of them are specific only to mothers.)

Baby #1: Printed professional announcements sent out to friends and family to announce the pregnancy.

Baby #4: Call and tell one or two people about the pregnancy, then let the word trickle out from there. (At seven months pregnant delight in the fact that some people still don't know if you are expecting or just gaining weight.)

Baby #1: No processed, store-bought baby food for your baby! We'll take squash, avocados, bananas, peaches, and other real foods, blend them up in a blender, freeze them in ice cube trays, and then, when the baby is ready to eat, we'll thaw the food cubes and lovingly feed her one spoonful at a time.

Baby #4: Do we have any Goldfish crackers? Throw some on the baby's tray.

Baby #1: Professionally taken infant portrait in an outfit bought specifically for the photo shoot. Professionally taken 3 month portrait in an outfit bought specifically for the photo shoot. Professionally taken 6 month portrait in an outfit bought specifically for the photo shoot. Professionally taken one year portrait in an outfit bought specifically for the photo shoot.
Professionally taken 18 month portrait in an outfit bought specifically for the photo shoot.
Professionally taken two year portrait in an outfit bought specifically for the photo shoot.

Baby #4: Occasional picture taken with a camera phone when she does something amusing.

Baby #1: Every significant moment of life painstakingly chronicled in journals and scrapbooks, including first smile, first bath, first word, first solid food, first tooth, first steps, first chicken McNugget, etc.

Baby #4: Occasional picture taken with a camera phone when she does something amusing.

Baby #1: Give regular baths with only the gentlest of soaps.
Baby #4: Make sure you get most of the big chunks of food off of the face and hair before going out in public.

Baby #1: Never placed directly on the carpet; a blanket is always put down first so the baby is on the blanket, not the carpet. Floor is vacuumed at least twice a day to make sure there is nothing that the baby will put in her mouth.

Baby #4: Baby placed directly on the carpet. Floor is vacuumed at least once a month, whether it needs it or not.

Baby #1: Top of stairs guarded more securely than Fort Knox.

Baby #4: Top of stairs guarded about as securely as a motel swimming pool. (No lifeguard on duty.) (Stairs? Eh, she'll probably be fine.)

Baby #1: If baby puts anything in her mouth besides her binky or the food on her tray, every effort will be made to retrieve that object before it can be swallowed, including prying your fingers into her mouth to try to dig the object out.

Baby #4: If baby puts anything in her mouth besides her binky or food, shrug shoulders and say, "It'll all come out in the poop."

Baby #1: People react with congratulatory gifts, cards, flowers, letters, texts, and possibly even telegrams.

Baby #4: People react with a snide, "How many is that? I'm starting to lose count."

Baby #1: Given a baby shower by family and friends. Given another baby shower by co-workers. Yet another baby shower by the ladies in the neighborhood.

Baby #4: Baby gets "showered" with whatever hand-me-downs got put in boxes in the storage area under the stairs.

Baby #1: When the baby is hungry, you try to secure a private room where you can breast-feed her. No matter what, you always use a baby cover when breast-feeding. No one will be able to see even one square inch of your breasts! (Not even the baby, because it's pretty dark under that breast-feeding cover.)

Baby #4: When the baby is hungry, you feed it, no matter where you are or who is around. If you don't want to see a breast, you'd best look the other way.

Baby #1: If baby drops her binky it must be sterilized and cleaned with hot, soapy water before given back to baby.

Baby #4: If baby drops her binky it goes right back in her mouth. (Those aren't germs, they're protein.)

Baby #1: Any possible babysitter is fully vetted with a complete criminal background check and at least four references. Also, a degree in child care or nutrition is a plus.

Baby #4: Over 10 years old? Never been convicted of a crime? You're hired!

Baby #1: Check reviews and buy only the safest, most educational toys.

Baby #4: Hey, here's a big box. Go play in that.

Baby #1: All baby clothes match and have a theme.

Baby #4: Do the clothes cover her bum and belly? Good enough.

Baby #1: All baby clothes washed separately on gentle cycle with special fragrance-free detergent.

Baby #4: Baby clothes washed with whatever load they fit with, usually with the towels.

Baby #1: Read and study every parenting book you can get your hands on. Join parenting focus groups online. Learn the pros and cons of every parenting technique.

Baby #4: Whatever.

(You may be wondering, "What about Baby #2 and Baby #3?" Well, Baby #2 and Baby #3 fall chronologically and philosophically between Baby #1 and Baby #4. These are the middle children. To be honest, they're pretty much just a blur.)

Edited from a post originally published on 5/10/2016.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Preschooler Or Politician?

It's Election Day! I'm a stay-at-home dad, and I've been keeping my eyes on the big midterm elections this year. Lots of excitement! Also, I've been keeping my eyes on my kids, especially the 2 year-old and the almost-four year-old that I spend all day with.

Sometimes, when I'm keeping my eyes on so many things, I find it hard to differentiate between the politicians and the preschoolers. They really do exhibit similar behaviors. Don't believe me? Well, here are a few examples:

*Quite likely to call someone they don't like a nasty name. (Like "butthead," or "horseface.")

*Makes promises they have no intention of keeping. (Like "I'll only use the crayon on paper," or "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep it.")

*Likes to kiss other people's babies.

*Constantly interrupts others and talks when they are talking.

*Likes to hear himself talk.

*Writes undecipherable, nonsensical gibberish. (Like "covfefe.")

*Likes to throw mud.

*Makes up the rules as they go.

*When caught doing something wrong, likes to blame others.

*Sometimes make fun of people who are different.

*Thinks life is a parade and everyone is waving at them.

*Likes to stick stickers everywhere. (Including bumpers.)

*Never cleans up their own messes.

*Likes to exaggerate using really big numbers.

*Frequently throws temper tantrums.

*Takes credit for things they didn't do, but never takes responsibility when things go wrong.

*Tells fibs.

*Thinks everyone is picking on them.

*Is not completely potty trained. (Okay, so that one is probably just for preschoolers.)

The good news is that after today we won't have to hear anything at all about politicians or elections for at least a couple of years! (Maybe.)

Note: I tried to keep this blog post as politically neutral as possible, using examples from both political parties. Unfortunately, I ended up leaning heavily on Donald Trump links, mostly because that's either what came to my mind or appeared first when I did an internet search. Is this because he acts more like a preschooler than other politicians, or should I blame the Fake News?

Friday, November 2, 2018

Friday Fiction: Life, Death, and Inconvenience

This story is fictional, but it has some significant personal meaning to me and my family. It is not based upon an actual experience.

"Karl, is there anything else on the agenda before we turn over time to the general population?" The lines behind the microphones in each aisle were already about six or seven people deep.

"Yes, Ted, there is," Karl answered, looking down at his notes. "When people come to pick up their kids, they've been parking in the bus zone again. That one day last week Helen couldn't pull the bus in where she usually does because some car was in the way. And since the bus wasn't parked where it usually is, the Anderson kids missed it. So then Janie had to come all the way into town to pick up her kids, and she wasn't very happy about it." Janie Anderson had written a terse note about the incident, and everyone on the school board had seen it.

Ted nodded. "Okay, so this is a problem. What can we do about it?" Ted, Karl, and Pam all turned and looked at Bernie, because he was the one in charge of the buses.

"Well," Bernie said, "we'll have to re-paint the lines. And we'll have to make sure nobody parks in the red zone. And it'd probably be a good idea to have a teacher posted out there for the next couple of weeks to make sure everybody's complying. Is that good enough, Janie?" The members of the school board looked to where Janie Anderson was sitting on the third row. She grudgingly nodded her head.

"Okay," Ted said, "Was that the last of it?" Karl gave him the "thumb's up" sign. "Then," Ted continued, "I guess it's time to open things up for any concerns you all might have. Martha, it looks like you're up first."

"Thanks, Ted," said Martha, speaking into the mic a bit nervously. "Well, it's about my son, Clark. You know those green rocks that everyone has been finding lately?" Several people in the room nodded. "It seems that whenever he's in the same room with some of those rocks he gets really dizzy and weak and sick. So, I was wondering if we could make some rule to keep those green rocks out of his classroom."

"That sounds reasonable," Ted said from his spot behind the table at the front of the room. "We'll see if we can work something out."

"What?!" shouted Kaitlin from the audience. "No way! My son Bryan loves those green rocks! Why shouldn't he get to play with them just because they make one kid a little sick?"

"Well," Martha replied, "actually he gets more that just a little sick. We took Clark to see the doctor and he told us that not only does Clark get really sick if he's in the same room as the green rocks, but that if he touches them it might cause a reaction which could kill him. So we want to be very careful about those green rocks."

Kaitlin was standing now, and she had pushed in front of Hank to take control of the second microphone. "If? Might? Could? It sound to me like a lot of guess work. You don't even know for certain what would happen if your boy touches those green rocks, do you?"

Martha tried to calm herself so she didn't seem too angry when she answered. "No, I don't know for certain. But, if there's a significant chance these rocks could kill my son, I don't want them anywhere around him."

"But Bryan loves to play with those rocks," Kaitlin continued. "If Bryan can't play with his green rocks, it might make him sad and depressed. Why should the concerns about your son's health outweigh the concerns about my son's health?"

"Well," said Martha, "there's a big difference between your son maybe being a little sad and my son maybe dying. I'm not saying your son can't play with the rocks. He can play with them before and after school all he wants. I just don't want him bringing them into the classroom where they might kill my son!"

"I don't understand why I should be responsible for the well-being of your son," Kaitlin sneered. "It sounds to me like he needs to learn for himself to stay away from the green rocks. I don't know why my son has to suffer because your son has a problem."

"We are trying to teach Clark to stay away from the green rocks," Martha responded. "But, he's only in second grade. There's only so much he can control right now. That's why I'm asking for everyone to be reasonable and not send any of the green rocks to school."

"Reasonable?" Kaitlin was apoplectic. "Reasonable? What is my Bryan supposed to bring to class for his next Show and Tell? Rocks that don't have a green glow to them? Do you know how absurd that sounds?"

"There are lots of things your son can take for Show and Tell besides the green rocks," Martha sighed.

"Oh, and what if he brings something else and it makes some other kid sneeze?" Kaitlin asked. "Will we have to ban kids from bringing anything to class?"

"The only reason I'm asking for this is because it can make my Clark deathly ill. There's a big difference between someone sneezing and someone possibly dying."

Kaitlin snorted. "If you're so worried about this, why don't you just keep your boy home and home-school him?"

Martha's face turned red with anger as she replied. "I am not going to lock my son away in some fortress of solitude just because he is different! I don't think it's asking too much to have your son not play with the green rocks while he's at school. My son's life is at stake here. This shouldn't be so difficult."

"Fine!" Kaitlin said sarcastically. "We'll just kowtow to your son's every whim. He'll grow up with such a sense of entitlement because everyone has always had to bend their will for him. Is that what you want?"

"No, it's not. I wish my son wasn't different. I wish the green rocks didn't make him sick. But they do. He doesn't have any choice in the matter. I..."

Kaitlin interrupted. "What happens when he's an adult? There won't be any school board to go crying to. No one to bully other kids into not playing with the green rocks around your precious boy. Don't you want to teach him responsibility now?"

"It's not a matter of responsibility," Martha replied. "We can teach him to avoid the green rocks all day long, but there's no way for him to know if your kid has some in his pockets. It's not like he has x-ray vision." She turned to Ted and the rest of the school board at the front of the room. "Isn't there anything you can do to help protect my son?"

Ted took in a deep breath. "Martha, Kaitlin, you've both made some strong points. We'll have to take this under advisement as a board." Neither woman looked satisfied, but they both stepped away from their microphones and headed for their seats. "It looks like you're up next, Lisa," Ted said.

"I'm here to talk about homework," the woman said. "I send my daughter to school to do school work. Why do these teachers feel the need to send school work home with them? Can't they do it all there? Isn't that what school is for? They've got all day to do it!" About half of the people in attendance began to applaud. The other half rolled their eyes.


 Now choose a title that best fits this story.

O A. School Board Blues
O B. The Allegory of the Allergies
O C. The Fortress of Solitude
O D. The Green Glowing Rocks of Home
O E. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

[Author's Note: My ten year-old daughter has an allergy to peanuts and tree nuts. The doctor told us that as little as one-eighth of a peanut could cause a reaction that could kill her. Thankfully, she can be in the same room as the nuts, she just can't touch or eat them. So, it's not necessary for her school to ban all nuts. My daughter sits at a separate table during lunch time, one that is designated as "nut free." The school administration, the students, and the parents of the students have all been very helpful and accommodating, and for that we are very grateful.]

Edited from a post originally published on 10/23/2015