Saturday, November 28, 2009

Memory Making Moments

The holidays are a great opportunity to make memories with your family, aren't they?

Yes, they are. And, wowie, my family has me to record them all. They're so lucky!

My Mother-In-Law thought it would be nice to have ALL of us sit in the dining room. That makes 11 people sitting around an eight foot table in a 12 X 12 room. The usual dining chairs would have taken up too much room around the table so there were folding chairs interspersed. Since the dining chairs sat a little taller, we put the kids in the dining chairs so they would get a little boost.

Of course, as soon as Hubby sat down, he noted how high the table felt. Out loud.

Then, the kids trickled in.

"Hey, why do we have to sit in the big chairs?" You would think this would be a treat not a trick. Oops, wrong holiday. Naturally kids are going to complain about any perceived inequality. Never mind the fact they got the more comfortable chairs.

Uncle Jay entered the room and sat in one of the folding chairs.

"Dude, these chairs are low!"

My niece Amy pointed out that Nana's "Days 'til Christmas" sign said there were only 10 days until Christmas. Being the bright fourth grader she is, she knew Christmas couldn't possibly be that close. It's only Thanksgiving! Duh!

Popo was pouring wine. I had my amaretto & 7-up from earlier so I was good. Hubby & his brothers don't drink wine so they poured their sodas in their wine glasses. Classy, I know.

There was a lot of chaotic conversation. Popo was trying to say grace. There was probably some burping & farting.

"Shut up! It's time to pray!"

"Thank you oh, Lord, for these, thy bountiful gifts which we are about to receive. In Jesus Name, Amen."


More chaotic conversation.

"Did you know the 'Days until Christmas' sign is wrong?"

"Why are these chairs so low?"

"Throw me a roll. Really, your mom's not looking. Go ahead throw it here."

"More wine anyone?"

Hubby started coughing. He has these fits sometimes. I've come to learn that as long as he's still breathing, to just wait it out and then ask if he's ok.

Being a nurse, my mother in law is also well aware of this protocol.

Everyone stopped talking for a moment.

Hubby did stop coughing and there was a collective sigh of relief.

"Whew, at least no one has to do the Heimlich."

"The hiney lick? That's gross."

"I'm not licking any one's hiney."

"There's no green been casserole?"

"You know if it really came down to it . . ."

"Oh, alright. If it really came down to it, I would like a hiney if necessary."

"Thank goodness, that's not how you really stop someone from choking."

"No, but someone might start choking if they got a hiney lick."

"We're having vegetable casserole this year."

"Or, you might be the one choking if you were the one giving the hiney lick."

"Beans are good for your heart."

"Why am I sitting so low?"

"I know a song about beans."

"There's more than ten days until Christmas you know."

"I'll take some more of that wine now."

Silver Lining:

  1. Dinner was delicious. My in-laws out-did themselves yet again this year.

  2. Time with family is precious. As chaotic as it was, I wouldn't trade my family for anything.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Giving Random Thanks


Thanksgiving is a mere two days away. Am I prepared with a beautifully dressed turkey and a carefully crafted Christmas shopping list?


I'm prepared to be totally random in things I'm thankful for.

  • I'm thankful this is my blog and I write the way I want to write without regards to all things grammatical. So I don't want to hear anything about the "ending with a preposition" thing I did just prior to starting the list.

  • I'm thankful I have a loving family.

  • I'm thankful for Swingline staplers. They really are superior. Red is even better, but no one has gotten me one of those for Christmas yet.

  • I'm thankful I and Hubby both have jobs this season.

  • I'm thankful to have a roof over our heads. Right now, we have the choice of two roofs considering I don't think our renters are going to buy our old house, let alone pay us rent for living there. Not really grateful for that situation, but it's better than having no roof over our heads.

  • I'm thankful the early settlers got over that whole "potatoes are poisonous" thing. Kind of ironic how the American over consumption of fried potatoes is now killing us with clogged arteries, but at least they aren't poisonous - that would sure be a downer on the fast food industry.

  • I'm thankful the turkey wasn't named the national bird as Benjamin Franklin wanted. We wouldn't be able to eat turkey on Thanksgiving! What would we have instead? Ham, chicken, burgers? Those all just seem so ordinary. Ducks or any other fowl are too small. Turkey is perfect!

  • I'm thankful for modern transportation. Did you know the Mayflower was only about 100' X 25'???? That's a smaller footprint than the end zone on a football field! If I want to travel across water, I have my options of a boat the size of three football fields or an airplane that's twice as long as the Mayflower and has these things called wings and engines.

  • I'm thankful the moderate temperatures of the summer have not yielded and icy fall. This weekend was gorgeous, no jacket required during the day. May not be quite as nice on Thursday, but at least we aren't looking at three feet of snow.

  • I'm thankful most of you don't see my every day dorkdomness. Like when I bite into a hot dog and ketchup squirts all over my shirt or how I sometimes snort when I laugh.

  • I'm thankful my kids don't care too terribly much when their jeans get a little hole in the knee. I haven't found any nifty patches, and replacing jeans for every little hole just seems wasteful.

  • I'm thankful I live in a country with an "official" start for the Christmas shopping season. Seriously, how does the rest of the world know when to have all their sales and go on major shopping benders for the holidays?

  • I'm thankful that there isn't anything I feel the need to buy that would require me to get up at 3AM in order to get in line before the store opens at 5am. Friday is going to be my mental health day - I'm even sending the kids to day care for at least half a day. Hubby, on the other hand, needs to go and get us a new rotating Christmas tree stand.

  • I'm thankful for the health I have.

  • I'm thankful for all of you readers. You make me feel good when ever you comment. At least I'm not talking to myself out here in blog land.

To visit all the other random thinkers, click on the pretty purple button above to visit them at The Un-Mom.

Silver Lining:
  1. Hubby does all the cooking for Thanksgiving so I really do get to relax and just deal with the pretty stuff (setting the table, decorating, etc).

  2. As of Friday, it will officially be OK to crank the Christmas music on my radio at work!

A Day Off

Why do you take a day off work?

A single day.

Not a whole week for vacation.

Just a day.

Most of the time, it's to get something specific done. Get the car worked on, take the kids to a doctor appointment, finalize a major purchase, etc.

My sister took a day off work on Friday. She had to get her car inspected so she could renew her license plates. Sounds like a legitimate reason to take a day off, right?

Totally legitimate if that's the real reason she took the day off.

But that's not why. No, getting the car inspected was a side item that just happened to occur while she was busy doing what she really took the day off for.

What was the real reason you ask?

To go see the new movie aimed at folks about half her age: New Moon.

She dropped her car off at the inspection place and walked (yes, WALKED) ten minutes to the movie theater. At 9:30. In the morning.

And get this, she was bummed because no one else wanted to go with her. Can you believe it? No one else wanted to use up their PTO in order to go see a movie on a Friday morning.

The auto shop was supposed to call her when her car was finished. She didn't get a call during the movie so afterward, she hung out in the lobby of the movie theater for a little bit.

Sissy had a plan. It made no sense for her to walk all the way back over to the auto shop and sit there until the car was finished. All they had was bad coffee and a 13" TV showing only local channels on rabbit ear service.

The Plan:

  • Sit in the lobby, look at watch a couple of times.

  • Stand up and walk around the lobby.

  • Open phone and pretend to make a call.

  • Scan the show times for all 18 movies showing at that particular theater.

  • Pick a show.

  • Nonchalantly, wander into a second movie without paying for another admission ticket.

2012 was showing in about five minutes. After a squeal of excitement and a little skip in her step, Sissy headed over to that theater. So much for nonchalantness.

Almost as soon as she plunked her butt into a seat, she realized she was hungry. She'd been there for a couple of hours already and it was getting pretty close to noon. At the concession stand, she got herself a healthy lunch of popcorn & soda.

She had to risk exposure for not having a proper ticket, but I suppose she saved herself the embarrassment of getting kicked out for making loud and obnoxious bodily noises during the movie. You know there would be some geek there on a Friday who would complain because he couldn't hear the movie due to her stomach growl reverberating throughout the nearly empty theater.

She'd be asked to leave. The geek would reveal that he saw her walk out of New Moon and into this theater without buying another ticket. Judge Wapner would jump out of the shadows, determine that she had defrauded the movie theater, and pound his gavel sentencing her to a year without any Twilight. Oh, the horror!!!!

Good thing she risked it all for that popcorn and soda.

Silver Lining:
  1. We have something new to add to the usual Thanksgiving list. Because of her stealthy ninga-ness in getting in and out of the second movie without getting busted for being ticketless, she did not end up in jail for defrauding a movie theater. Thus, she did not have to make the license plates that are now on her legally licensed car.

  2. I'm a little impressed. She saw two movies, got her car inspected, got an oil change, AND ate lunch all in the span of four hours. Now that's what I call multi-tasking.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Do you ever feel like you're in a movie?

What kind of movie do you picture yourself in?

Drama, action, comedy?

Me? I'm totally in a dramactionedy.

We've had renters in our old house for two years now - we're on our third family.

We haven't received our November rent payment. They have never been late before so it was a little perturbing.

We've called, sent an e-mail and even wedged a letter in the door jam. But they wouldn't call us back or communicate with us in any way. Really, if something was going on, why wouldn't they at least call us?

Feeling as though we had no choice, we trucked out there hoping to find them at home.

I am not one for confrontation. My heart beats so hard, you can see it Looney Tunes style thrusting in and out of my chest. Big difference though. My heart beats out of fear, not out of love. At least I don't get those big X's over my eyes.

We parked the car across the street and walked up to the door.

I swear the entire neighborhood could hear my heart beating. Like in Poe's The Telltale Heart, the sound just kept getting louder and louder.

Hubby made me do the knocking.

The renter's son answered the door and told us they weren't home, but they should be shortly. We left and got back in our car.

"He is totally calling them right now. What are we going to do?"

I was whispering in my own car. Why, you ask? Here's where the movie part comes in. Because that's what they do in the movies. Anytime there is a plan developing, the actors tend to whisper, a loud whisper, but a whisper no less.

"We're going to move the car around the corner so we can see the house, but where it's not real obvious we're watching. Then, we'll wait and see if they come back."

I moved the car and turned it off. We had a nice view of the house.

Then I noticed the dash lights were still on. What if they could see the glow of the lights; thus, be able to see my face?

I pulled the keys out, but the lights stayed on.

I opened & closed the car door, and the lights on the dash went out, but now the over head light was on.

I clicked the lock button on the remote and the light went out quicker than if I'd just let it fade on its own.

In hind sight, the light issue could have been avoided if I had:
  1. just turned the over head light off at the switch

  2. realized that someone driving 25 - 30 mph was not going to notice the very faint glow of my dash lights, let alone be able to discern my face.

Anywho, we were safely locked in our car, but not really in stakeout position. I sunk down in my seat, started eating my McDonald's cheeseburger and slurped on a diet Coke. Now, I was in stakeout position.

They finally pulled into the driveway. Can you hear my heart beating??????

We let the garage door close and gave them enough time to get into the house. I went to start up the car, but had to click the unlock door button on the remote AND actually open a door prior to starting the car or we may have had a horn honking debacle on our hands. Nothing like ruining a perfectly good stakeout with a lot of horn honking and lights flashing to announce your position.

To make a long story short, we managed to pull off a stakeout, but we were not able to get our rent. It's still unresolved at this point.

Silver Lining:
  1. We managed to keep ourselves out of the news by not being complete landlord *ssholes. We didn't try forcing our way into the house and raising a ruckus in an attempt to collect our rent. That always turns ugly and usually gets you on to shows like COPS. Also, I don't look good in orange.

  2. We know they haven't abandoned the property and it doesn't look like that is their intent.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Morning Me


You guys are just getting whatever spills out of my brain today. You're going to get a little taste of my day starting with 5am.

I had to restart the alarm. It went off at 5am, I hit snooze. It went off again at 5:09 and I hit the ocean waves button, which is on the left side of the clock. And it resets the snooze. So I turned the alarm off, changed the "wake up time" to 5:11, and turned the alarm back on.

The alarm went off at 5:11, I hit snooze.

The alarm went off at 5:20, I hit snooze.

The alarm went off at 5:29, I hit snooze.

The alarm went off at 5:38, I got up.

Got ya there, didn't I? You thought I was going to hit snooze again.


Why do women need make-up? Granted, I'm not leaving the house without it, but who started this?

I must say, I really like my new Mary Kay facial highlighting pen. It really does make my eyes look more awake. I'm all about the allusion of looking awake.


Where did hubby go?

Since he's playing on the computer, I will too.

Wow, that sounded childish. Too bad. You all get the benefit.

Random Tuesday Thoughts. I'm not really all that randomly funny this early in the morning, but I haven't posted in a few days so I really must do something. Let's just see what falls out.

I'm hungry.

I'm re-reading what I've written so far and while it may not be funny to you, I'm cracking myself up. Sad, isn't it?

Now, I really need breakfast.

Crap, one of the kids just got up.


I'm hungry. Dang kids! I never got a bowl of cereal.

A turkey sandwich or a peanut butter sandwich? Tough decisions. Geez, I wish I was in Kindergarten.

How do kids have so much energy in the morning? I'm dragging ass & haven't had any coffee yet, but they're running "the racing circle" screaming their heads off.

Who decided an open concept floor plan was a good idea? There is always some kind of wall somewhere that gives the kids the idea that the entire floor is a race track. I can't believe I haven't lost a child to a counter corner head injury or to the beating they would receive upon breaking the doors to the china cabinet.


Library day was yesterday.

Did Cupie return her book? Nope.

Did we even read the book? Nope.

It needed to go back but it was only a few minutes before the bus was going to get to her stop.

Compromise time. Let's read on the porch!

Of course, it was chilly and my jacket was locked in my car. Being the good mommy I am (stop tittering), I didn't want to waste time getting my keys so I could get my jacket; thus, risking the chance that we wouldn't be able to finish the book. It was about chipmunks. How long could that possibly take?

Dear God! It was actually about chipmunks. As in, they live in burrows (which the main entrance is about a yard long) and they have five black stripes on their backs (which you can see even when they are babies and don't have any fur).

I opened the book and it smelled musty. I really should have told Stinkles to back away because the mold spores emanating from the book could have activated her allergies and killed her. Half of it was black & white (I'm sorry, yellow - the pages have yellowed) and half of it looked like it was colored with chalk.

I closed the book just as the bus turned the corner. Cupie skipped off to school and I'm the greatest mommy in the world!

I'm still hungry.

Dude, you all must be bored as hell. I'll spare you the rest of the morning details. The most exciting thing after Cupie got on the bus was that I ate a bowl of oatmeal at 11am.

Woot! Woot! What a fantabulous morning! NOT!

I'm not the only one suffering from this randomness. Visit the "Un Mom" by clicking the pretty purple button for more. Go on, click it!


Sorry, the mom in me feels the need to tell everyone to do something at least three times.

Silver Lining:
  1. If you made it this far, you deserve something special for your efforts. Go scrounge around some one's desk for a piece of candy. You know some one's got candy - everyone brings it in right after Halloween so everyone has a chance to watch their butts expand. No sense keeping the candy at home all to yourself so only your own butt expands - that's just selfish.

  2. Did I mention I'm the greatest mommy in the world? You're gosh darn right I am - I sat in the chilly morning air reading a book that had to be returned to school because it was already late. I saved my child from feeling completely dejected because she had to return a book that she personally picked out, but never got read. I'm a hero! Do you think a Hershey kiss could be fashioned into a medal? It's the only thing shiny around here (lots of Halloween candy, remember?). Aw, forget it, I'll just eat it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Free Peep Show!

Getting ready for bed last night, I set my jammies out on the bed.

Then, I went to the closet to get undressed and put my clothes directly in the laundry sorter. On the way to the closet I pulled the cord to close the blinds.

This is NOT my routine.

Usually, I get undressed in the bathroom and put my jammies on in there. Not because I'm a prude who can't get nekked under the bright, shining, overhead light in the bedroom, but because that's where I leave them when I get in the shower each morning.

After getting on my jammies, I pick up my clothes and throw them in the pile of dirty laundry outside the closet door.

Yes, I a few moments ago did write that there was a laundry sorter inside the closet, but that pile is just soooooo convenient when your tired or just plain lazy (which, sadly, is more often than not the case).

Anywho, now I was nekked and had to walk to the bed to get my jammies on.

I walked past the window with the closed blinds and stood right in front of the window with the open blinds. There was a paralyzing moment before my arm went into action and pulled the cord.

The bottom of the window is about two feet from the floor - thankfully my knees & gnarly, unpainted because no one sees them in the winter toenails were shielded! Really, what would a Peeping Tom think?

Sorry the free show was last night so most, if not all, of you missed it.

If you were in the alley behind my house last night and happened to look up at my mortifying moment, I just have to say:


Silver Lining:
  1. I didn't hear any screams of horror, retching noises so anyone who saw me must not have thought it was a disguesting show.

  2. I also didn't hear any applause, hoots, hollers, or whistles so it either wasn't a good show, or I've just told you all about a moment no one else even needed to know about.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Saint Gemini the Devout

We have a nifty double oven. It's a Maytag Gemini that fits in the same space as a regular stove. You lose the pots & pans storage drawer, but you gain and extra oven - it's awesome!

Anywho, it is also very devout in following religious fasting practices.

Hubby was re-setting the time on the stove for the end of Daylight Savings time and this is what we expected: 9:37

Instead we got this: SABB ATH

None of the buttons on the stove would work. Not the cancel button, not the clock button, not the number buttons, NOTHING.

We needed the manual.


This "Sabbath" mode would stay in effect for 72 hours. The oven would not turn on for 72 hours. This struck fear in the heart of Hubby. What do you mean no oven for 72 hours?

Back to the manual.


If you push the "Clock" button for three seconds, the "Sabbath" mode would be cancelled.

Hubby jammed his thumb on the button for three seconds. The display started blinking and the time came back.

Woot! Woot!

A heathen dance was performed in the kitchen.

Then there was a beep.

And the display switched back to "Sabbath" again.

Hubby jammed his thumb on the button as hard as he could (I'm surprised it didn't go through the display and into the wall behind the stove). Again, we got blinking. Then, the time.

Now, he went ahead and started the oven. Anything to break the cycle.

The time actually changed by a minute and the oven started warming up.

Ha, HA! Take that!

More heathen dancing ensued.

The disabling the oven for 72 hours to encourage fasting is really a flawed idea. There are soooo many ways to get around it. For example:

  • The burners still start.

  • We have a microwave.

  • We have a ton of cereal.

  • Who said Spaghetti-o's had to be heated?

  • Hubby's been known to open a can of chicken noodle soup and eat it right out of the can.

  • Hello, take-out? We have a drawer full of menus.

I could go on and on, but I'll space you the details.

Hubby pressed cancel on the oven. No sense in wasting energy to warm it up any further.



We have GOT to stop dancing!

Silver Lining:
  1. Hubby finally pushed enough buttons to cause the stove to revert to factory settings. This meant it re-set to 12:00.

    And it's going to stay that way for at least an hour. We'll try again when it turns to 1:00.

  2. Just in case, I've got three boxes of cereal in the pantry and two gallons of milk in the fridge. Good think I'm prepared for these kinds of emergencies.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

New Tools

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post for my friend Kat over at the 3 Bedroom Bunglow re-telling the story of last year's Pumpkin Carving Adventure.

I didn't know how we were going to top using the drill to put holes in our pumpkins, but Hubby figured out a way.

Now, Hubby doesn't consider himself much of an artist except it comes to carving Halloween pumpkins. He goes all out with the tools and this year was no exception.

Hubby's check list prior to starting included:

  • Pumpkins

  • Carving Template

  • Tracing Paper (For the template. Poking little guide holes isn't good enough for Hubby anymore. This has become a science.)

  • Big, Huge Knife

  • Dremel

  • Drill

  • Pumpkin Gutter

  • Shop Vac

Yes, you read those last two correctly. A Shop Vac and a Pumpkin Gutter.

Hopefully, you know what a Shop Vac is.

I suppose a Pumpkin Gutter needs a little explanation.

You see, Hubby doesn't like to carve all the way through the pumpkin because the design eventually sinks into the pumpkin. By just removing the hard orange rind, you get the design, but no sinking. But one problem he's always had is getting the walls of the pumpkin thin enough to make a light show through the "skin".

This year, he got a "Pumpkin Gutter". This tool goes on to the end of your drill and helps thin out the walls of your pumpkin significantly. More so than using that orange scraper do-dad that comes with the pumpkin carving kits.

Since we used a drill last year, just using the new Pumpkin Gutter with the drill was not enough of an improvement over last year.

There had to be another tool we could use to make this experience easier than ever.

Hence, the Shop Vac!

This would suck up all the yick inside the pumpkin. I liked this idea because I didn't have to play the role of yick-scooper-outer.

You know the kids had to get in on all this action.

They're too young to handle the knife or the drill. And heaven forbid they mess up the tracing of the design.

So they were designated the official yick suckers.

Stinkles wasn't too thrilled with the sound of the Shop Vac at first.

But she eventually warmed up to the idea.

Looks pretty good, but could be a little cleaner.

Time to pull out the heavy altillery. That's the Pumpking Gutter.

Oooo, this looks nice & clean. Good gutting job Hubby.

Let the artist work his magic.

Sorry, I had to get in a picture of my excited ballerinas.

Ooooooooo, spooky!

Silver Lining:
  1. We had the most awesome pumpkins!

  2. I was yick free this year!

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