Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Re-Solutions

I usually don't make new year resolutions because they never last more than a day or maybe three days, if I'm especially good. The other day I got to thinking about this, and thought, 'what if I think of them as re-solutions'? This makes me think that if I did something right in the past year, I should keep on doing it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, as they say. So in the interest of maintaining my self-delusion, here are my Re-Solutions for 2009-

1. I will continue to give the Husband the gift of Cheese Puffs for his birthday, Father's Day, Christmas, and any other holiday that pops up. If I had known he was this easy to please, I would have started doing this years ago.

2. I will continue to champion the drama free holiday concept, and expand on it to include Chickenhead's birthday. I do not have the patience to put up with other people's lack of ability to get along with their family members. Check your attitude and issues at the door, or march it back on down the driveway and go home.

3. I'm going to make sure I have more time with Chickenhead. I want more time playing Raving Rabbids TV Party with him, and more time cooking and baking together in the kitchen. He'll be 9 this year, so I figure I've only got a couple more years left before it becomes painfully obvious that he thinks I am the un-coolest person he knows. At least now I can still shoot toilet plungers at zombie-chickens with him and teach him the words to Ramones songs, and he thinks I'm awesome. Let me have at least one more year of that!

4. I'm also going to commit to more time to persue my interests. More creativity is what my brain is craving, and I have a driving need to break out the paper, the scissors, the glue and all my other scrappy stuff and go to town. Sometimes I look at my scrapbook stuff and feel like I'm in a foreign land, and I hate that. I started working on it more towards the end of this year, and it's great therapy. Almost as good as shooting zombie-chickens.

So, I think that's it. No more setting goals for myself that I'm doomed to fail, I'll just keep on doing the ones I know I can't screw up. What about you? What are you re-solutions?

Have a wonderful New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Important Holiday Reminders

Well, tonight is our family dinner and gift exchange with the Husband's family. I'm writing these reminders mostly for myself, but you may find something useful here as well. Ready?

1. Do not discuss politics, no matter how wrong and or/racist your in-laws are about President-Elect Obama. Even if your 8-year old nephew states (again) that the day McCain lost the election was the saddest day of his young life, say nothing. Even when your almost 90-year old grandfather in-law refers to PE Obama as 'that (expletive) who'll be shot before he serves a month in office', keep quiet.

2. Nix the religious conversation as well. Politely ignore your mother in-law when she questions why you have crucifixes, statues of Shiva and Bhudda all in your home, peacefully co-existing side by side.

3. If certain estranged family members show up, do your best to be civil and polite. Maybe if they are willing to put aside differences for the holidays, you should be, too. Of course, the moment they become annoying pinheads, you are well within your rights to politely ask them to not ruin the holiday and act like a spoiled brat in front of their children.

4. Keep reminding yourself that they will leave at some point. The kitchen will be clean again, the wrapping paper will all be picked up and thrown away. Your house will return to normal at some point.

5. Most of all, let go and enjoy yourself. It's one night out of the year that you have to put up with this festival of idiots. Delight in your child playing with his cousins. Sit back with a glass or two or six of wine and people watch and just smile when anyone asks you how you're doing. They'll be out of there by 10PM tops, and you can sleep in tomorrow!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you!
Lots of love
Kelley

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Whatever...

OK, so. I was all excited because I had two days off from work. Yay! I would get all the holiday shopping done, the presents wrapped, bake a few more cookies and make sure I made it to the liquor store to stock up on Christmas cheer.

As I have learned with most plans, nothing ever goes according to schedule. I haven't gone out shopping because it's too danged cold! I still need to wrap presents, hell, I still need to BUY presents. I did bake some cookies with Chickenhead on Saturday night, but it wasn't as fun as it might have been, thanks to the stupid cookie press. Why did I buy myself that thing? Anybody have any tips? Anyone? Besides tossing it in the garbage?

Sunday night, I sat down at the computer and started getting some crazy pop-ups, which I usually never get. Well guess what? I got a lovely malware infection! I spent most of yesterday trying to get rid of it, and while I finally got rid of the malware, I can now only operate my PC in 'safe mode'. The Husband has a friend who works on computers, but he's getting ready to take a week off for the holidays. So posting around here will be few and far between.

Really though, none of this matters too much to me. Christmas is a couple of days away, and I'm excited. Sure, it will be nuts going out later today to buy a few more things for Chickenhead, and sure, I've got a ton of presents to wrap and some homemade mac and cheese to whip up, but it's all good. It will all work out.

So, if I don't check in again in the next day or so, have the loveliest of holidays! May your Christmas and/or Hanukkah be filled with love, laughter, and the people who mean the most to you. And when they all finally leave, may you have enough wine left to have a glass and enjoy the silent night!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Family BS

Well, the whole 'drama-free' holiday that I was desperately hoping for this Christmas is slipping out of my hands. I can't see anything but a Jerry Springer celebration ahead of me.

My MIL has decided that she will come over bright and early on Christmas Eve to 'help'. I have to work Christmas Eve, but don't know for sure when I'll be getting off of work. If I knew she could get the dinner ready in my kitchen without destroying everything, I could deal with it better, I think. I have severe OCD issues about my kitchen, and the thought of someone else cooking, leaving the burners on, burning stuff, melting plastic lids, triggering the smoke alarm, etc., just makes me break out in hives.

My FIL and Grand-FIL will also be coming. The FIL and the MIL have been divorced for 30 years, but still can't stand to be in the same room together. Gramps has had a terrible year health-wise, so he's crankier than usual. I adore Gramps, and to see him frail and quite frankly, nearing the end of his days with us, saddens me deeply. I guess he's earned his right to crank, given what he's been through.

My BIL, the Husband's brother and his wife are currently separated. We invited him and their two sons to come over, but his wife, Princess Crazyhead, has decided that the boys need to be with her and her parents on Christmas Eve, so we won't get to see them. Of all the family craziness, this hurts the most. I know their boys don't understand what's going on in their lives right now, and my heart breaks for them. I would love to be able to hug them and tell them that we love them always, but I won't get to do that. Chickenhead doesn't understand either; he just wants to play Wii with his cousins. The word on the family grapevine is that she has said some very cruel things to my BIL about his family, and I can't help but wonder what she tells the boys.

Nan and Pap, the Husband's maternal grandparents, may also join us. They do not get along with FIL or Gramps very well. Talk about everyone holding a grudge. Nan also likes to pass along 'advice' she hears on the radio from the evangelists she listens to. One of my favorite gems she's passed to me was a warning not to have my baby in a hospital because it would be microchipped (to the best of my knowledge, Chickenhead does NOT have a microchip). Microchips, are after all, how they caught OKC bomber Timothy McVeigh so dang fast. Everyone gets a chip when they go in to the military, don't you know that?

So, within the next few days, I see a long, extended trip to a little place I like to call The Misty Arbors. In Misty Arbors, everything is relaxed, mellow and a little fruity. I may make a side trip down to the old Boone's Farm as well. I know I'm always welcome there, and the family troubles are far, far away.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What The?!...

Since I'm off work today, I've had plenty of time to peruse the many offerings of the wide, wide world of the interwebs. It really is possible to Google, then buy, almost anything you can think of.

But who thought of this?

I'm thinking the crazy cat lady at the end of the road has too much time on her hands. But,if you think you're furry friend can't live another moment without pink (or electric blue, blond or silver)hair, click on over to Kitty Wigs.


Lots of us are Ebay freaks, always looking for a good bargain. Might I suggest the toad purse?

What kind of person looks at a toad and thinks, 'wow, that would make a swell place to store my loose change'?

Maybe you're not in the mood for shopping, how about this inspiring story?



I'm almost sure that the story of Mike The Headless Chicken will touch your heart. Or make you crave some Popeye's chicken. Did I say that out loud?

That's all for now, I'm off in search of more oddities on the internets! And get some chicken!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Secret Shame

I hadn't planned on outing myself about this at all. It's all Lurkergirl's fault! She posted a blog yesterday about the book and movie, 'Twilight'. I thought I was the only woman of a mature nature that was obsessed with these eternal teen vampires. Apparently, there's an entire hidden army of us Twilight-cougars who are thinking all kinds of wicked thoughts about Edward Cullen.

I've loved vampire stories for as long as I can recall. I loved watching any kind of vampire movie, 'Brahm Stoker's Dracula' with Gary Oldman, is my all time favorite. I've read all of Ann Rice's books, too. There's also Laurel Hamilton's Vampire Hunter series of books, which are much more risque, to put it mildly. The movie, 'Interview With a Vampire' was just OK. The books usually are much better than the movie versions. Other than the Lestat series, I've never read a book more than once, and I've now read Twilight a couple of times, and New Moon twice, also. I'm going to pick up Eclipse tomorrow at Borders as an early Christmas gift to myself, and what the hey, I may splurge at get Breaking Dawn, too.

'Twilight' the movie is good, but of course, not as good as the book. And to be honest, the way Edward was described in the book, I didn't think whomever they cast in the role could live up to those lofty descriptions. But I think they did quite well-



Yes, indeed!

I did think that in the movie, Robert Pattinson's eyebrows were a bit overdone, but no matter, he's quite the handsome thing, isn't he?

Now we have to wait an entire year for the 'New Moon' movie. I'm anxious to see how it translates to the big screen, since Edward is not in the book for much of the story. I'm also interested to see what the werewolves look like, and am hoping that they have a bigger budget for special effects.

So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go grab the copy of Twilight that's in our communal library here at work. I have a feeling that with all the snow here today, I'm going to have a long bus ride home, and plenty of time to read!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Little Known Facts About Me...

I doubt that your life will be that much richer once you know the following tidbits, but I present them to you, anyway. Here we go-

1. It pisses me off when other people don't understand or even worse, ridicule my few OCD traits. For example, in the silverware drawer, I have the dinner forks going in one direction, the smaller salad forks in the other. Same with the soup and teaspoons. When my momma moved in, she pointed and laughed and promptly just threw all the forks in any ol' which way and the spoons, too. I damned near broke out in to hives.

2. Other kitchen related OCD issues- All of the knives have to have the handles going in the same direction in the knife block. I'm left handed, so when I reach for a knife, I want it setting in my hand the correct way. And, it bugs the hell out of me if I see that they're going in all different directions. Also, I HAVE to load the plates in the dishwasher a certain way, as well as the silverware in the little basket. I have tried not to care, but that's just beyond me. I also prefer my cabinets organized a certain way, and since my momma moved in, that's all flown by the wayside. I like labels facing out, and certain items in certain cabinets. She's squirrelling away saltine crackers over in the cabinet where the casserole dishes are, and that's just not gonna work any more.

3. I really, really, really hate the color beige. What a blah color. It's the color of depression if you ask me. And if you look around, there's a lot of beige in the world.

4. I can't stand to have the caps on any of my hair stuff in the bathroom. I pop those babies off and toss them the minute I get them home. I got tired of trying to pull a cap off of a bottle of spray gel with wet hands, so I just threw them all out.

5. I truly believe that Alzheimer's is a variant of Creutszfeld-Jakobs (sp?) disease, a/k/a, mad cow. The beef that we consume these days is filled to the brim with anti-biotics, growth hormones and Lord only knows what else. I have no proof for my theory, only what I've read in books like Fast Food Nation and other articles on the USDA and their appalling inaction. I also saw a headline somewhere online today that said that Low-Carb diets can lead to Alzheimer's. So, yeah, I'm not a scientist or anything, and to be honest, I'll probably never stop eating meat, but I wish the powers that be would be a little bit more truthful with us.

6. I have a bad crafting habit that involves starting up some big, complex project and never finishing it. I can tell you tales of half-knitted scarves, cards, purses, and counted cross-stich projects. Especially the cross-stitch. When the husband proposed to me, I began a beautiful Victorian-inspired wedding sampler. It's all done except for part of the bride's dress, and putting in our names and the date. I'll be married to the Husband 14 years come this January, and I don't see that picture getting done anytime soon. I showed it to Chickenhead not too long ago, and he looked at the bride and groom and said, 'That's not Daddy, that guy has hair!'. So did Daddy once baby, so did Daddy.

7. Sometimes, I think Chickenhead's lactose intolerance is killing me, because I haven't kept ice cream in the house for almost 8 months now. I suppose in the long run that's good, but man. What I wouldn't do for some Ben and Jerry's now and again! But I would feel horrible eating it in front of Chickenhead, knowing how much he likes it, and that he can't have it.

8. If you haven't checked out Raphael Saadiq's album (cd, whatever) The Way I See It, you really should. He's modern, classic R&B and his voice is as smooth as Sam Cooke's. Go buy it, download it, whatever it is that you do. Trust me.

9. The other night I dreamed that I found a kitten in our house, and I was trying to hide it from the Husband, for fear that he would make me get rid of it. I named the kitten 'Curtis Martin', whom I've since found out is an NFL, and an NHL player. So, if I get a cat, I'm for sure going to name it Curtis Martin, because that sounds like kind of a cool cat name.

10. I am SO tired of Tom Cruise, and Katiebot and Suribot. Why are these people always walking this poor child around like they're in some purebreed show? Why do I rarely see this little girl smile? Why doesn't she wear a coat half the time? Why does Katie look like she's aged about 25 years in about 6 months? She needs to take that baby and go get herself deprogrammed!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Random Thoughts

I'm feeling strangely peaceful about the holidays despite the fact that I have not yet bought one single solitary gift. I'll do that next Wednesday when I have the day off. The Husband and I will go shopping and I'll come home and get everything wrapped and hidden before Chickenhead gets home from school. Easy peasy.

I'm trying to organize the in-laws to come over for dinner on Christmas Eve. We've always done dinner on Christmas Eve, and it would mean the world to Chickenhead. My MIL is in, but my FIL is being his usual difficult self. I told him we would be having dinner, and he says 'well, I have a (photo)shoot at 10 AM'. OK. Who has pictures taken on Christmas Eve? And even so, is it going to take him from 10 AM until around 6 PM to complete this shoot? Really? But you know what? It doesn't bother me. I can't control his crazy, I can only control mine.

The Husband and I are in the talking stages of planning our first ever family vacation. Dear Lord help me. We want to drive, so the short list includes Louisville, Chicago or San Antonio as possible destinations. I also suggested Mall of America, but it was met with little interest. I think Chickenhead would love Chicago, especially Shedd Aquarium and the Museum of Natural History. So, we'll see where all this talk leads us to. I have a feeling it will only lead to being stuck in a car together for 8 hours, with an endless loop of Star Wars on a portable DVD player and me and the Husband speaking to each other only through gritted teeth, but I'm game for it, I suppose.

In a bit of sad news from my world, my iPod died this morning. Crap. The Husband says I can use his until I get a new one. I am now trying to decide- iPod Classic that can hold 30,000 songs or a Zune? Suggestions?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Men I Like- Olivier Martinez

Oh, Olivier...




I knew this guy was something else when I saw him in 'Unfaithful'. And let's face it; if you're going to cheat on Richard Gere (RICHARD GERE, PEOPLE!), it had better be with an extra spicy piece like Olivier Martinez. Jeepers. Jinkies. I need to stop watching Scooby Doo.



And sure, he's kind of a man-whore, what with allegedly cheating on Kylie Minogue and all, but he's still awfully nice to look at!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

WTH Kind of GD Crap Is This?!

So...lately, when Chickenhead takes his lunch to school, he brings back 3/4 of it uneaten. Even when I make his favorite- baloney (gag) and cheese. I've tried every possible lunch option out there, almost all of it comes back home. I asked him what was up with the lunch deal, and I got two different answers.

The first answer was that a kid in his class, we'll call him Drowsy (because he sleeps through class. And yes, the teacher allows it), 'bothers' people at the lunch table. Chickenhead now says that Drowsy is not harassing them any more, so why isn't he eating?

Well, Chickenhead has said on more than one occasion this year, that they just don't have enough time to eat. I did some investigating, and here's what I found out. The class gets 25 minutes for lunch. The kids that bring their lunch (like Chickenhead) have to wait to eat until the kids that buy their lunch get finished in line at sit at the table. That way they all have the same amount of time to eat. Which is usually about 10-15 minutes. Are you fricking kidding me?!

OK, I know that in third grade they're not going to get enough time to down a three course meal. But asking kids to wolf it down in 15 minutes seems a bit much. Why should the kids that bring their lunch have to wait for the kids that buy? The teacher says that it's so they don't get finished eating too soon. And while I suppose I can understand that to an extent, it doesn't seem right somehow.

I'll be honest here. Every year, there is something wackadoodle that goes on at this school that just makes me nuts. And more and more, I think that maybe homeschooling might be a better option for us. Not just because of the lunch thing, but for a lot of other reasons, especially Chickenhead's A.D.D. He's doing well in school, but he could be doing better, and he's said often that his teacher goes too fast on lessons for him to keep up.

So, I'm wondering...by homeschooling, would we be working in his best interest and adapting his educational experience to his needs or would we be coddling him? This is where I always end up on the fence; I want him to have the social experience of going to school, interacting with his peers, etc., but honestly, I'm getting fed up with the public school BS.

If there are any educators, lunch ladies or home-schoolers out there, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Film Fest!

It's been a while since I posted a Friday film. I think today would have been a great day to just lie around watching movies all day. I wouldn't know, because I had to work! Chickenhead and the husband got to lie around and watch Mork and Mindy re-runs all day, the lucky suckers.

Anyway, this movie talk has me remembering that back in my youth, every afternoon one of our local TV stations would have a movie. Every week there was a theme, and my favorite week was always Beatles Movie Week!

So, in honor of the KCMO Channel 5 Afternoon Movie, here's a clip from 'Help', featuring the lads singing "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away". 'Help' is my favorite Beatles movie, and you can tell it got it's inspiration from the James Bond films of the 60's, and was a big influence on the Austin Powers films. Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, today is the day! My perfect non-Jerry Springer holiday! The turkey is in the oven (the regular oven, Birdzilla was too big for the roaster oven), the Arbor Mist is chilling in the fridge (I'm classy like that), and the only family member coming to our house is my mother-in-law.

I got the pies baked last night, as well as put together my sweet potato casserole, and the dreaded green-bean casserole. All I have left to do today is the mashed potatoes, the gravy, the fried sweet potatoes and the stuffing.

Chickenhead does not want to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with me, and quite frankly, I'm crushed. Who doesn't like the parade? He's weird, like his dad! We have some Wii time planned for later today to play Guitar Hero or maybe Raving Rabbits. Tonight, we'll watch the Plaza Lights on TV.

I'm thankful for the wonderful family I have, and for all my great friends. I hope your day is filled with great food and fun memories! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Terrible Memories From My Past

Before I get to my terrible memory (which popped in to my head earlier this morning), just a quick thought about the big holiday tomorrow-



Please, dear Mother In Law, do not tell me again how the Book of Revelations is talking about Barack Obama. He is not a 'man from the East', he's not Muslim (and if he was, would this be a terrible crime?), he's not a communist, a socialist or any other kind of 'ist'. Adjust your tinfoil hat and be nice, or I'll make you go home.

Ok. The terrible memory. About oh, 16 years ago or so, I was living with my mom, only in her home (dear Lord, I'm right back where I started from). It was the weekend after Christmas, and I was helping her take down the tree and put the ornaments away. The next door neighbors had a rumbly, noisy pick up truck, and we heard it pull in to their driveway and screech to a halt. My mom, being the Gladys Kravitz that she is, immediately peeked out the blinds to spy.

The neighbors, who may or may not have been illegal immigrants, had a rather large pig in the back of the pick up. A real live pig. Standing there in the bed of the truck. Hmm. Normally I don't care what any of the neighbors are up to, but when there's livestock in the neighborhood, well, it raises ones curiosity.

The pig seemed fine, with a rope tied around his neck, which was tied to a hook or something on the truck. We watched the neighbors with interest, as three of them stood outside talking animatedly in Spanish. One went to the garage and came back out with a shovel. He began digging a hole in the front yard, while his compadres drank beer and watched. The world over, there is always two that hang around and do nothing for every one that works. That's just the way men do things, I guess.

So they dug and dug and dug, and my mom wonders aloud why on earth they would dig a hole in their front yard. Suddenly, it hit me. They were going to have a pig roast! And if that poor pig was alive, that meant that sometime soon, he was going to meet his maker, right on the other side of our living room window!

I couldn't bear the thought of listening to that poor pig die. So, I called the police. Kansas City Kansas police are a jaded lot, they've seen it and heard it all. So when I called to ask if it was legal to have livestock within the city limits, the guy on the other end of the line didn't seem too surprised at my question. He said, 'well, it depends on what it is.' I said, 'it's a pig, and it's in their driveway, and they're digging a big-ass hole for it'. He decided that yeah, it might be a good idea to send someone out.

The po-po showed up in about 15 minutes, a record by KCKPD standards. They got out, talked with the guys, checked ID and such, and then left. Then, before I could even wonder what was to become of this poor animal, the neighbors piled in to the car and left. And about two hours later, they came back not with the pig, but a big black trash bag, which I think held the poor slaughtered animal. Not long after that, there was smoke wafting up over the privacy fence from their back yard, and later that night, the sounds of drunken revelry and the aroma of pulled pork sandwhiches.

And so that is one of my terrible memories. It's awful, isn't it? I couldn't eat bacon for almost a whole week!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shout Outs



Just a few observations and comments regarding my day today-

1. To my annoying co-worker:



You are truly your own worst enemy. You've been trying to post out of our department for well over a year, I would think by now you would realize that the rest of the company has heard about your anger management issues. Stomping around the floor giving everyone the stink-eye will not endear you to anyone. Neither will telling our supervisor to go ahead and write you up, because you're leaving early. Get a grip, take a pill, whatever.

2. To my mother:




I'm trying really hard to understand why you spent all day today trying to repair a perfectly functioning shower. You keep saying it's the water pressure, but honestly, I don't have any issues with lack of water pressure when I shower. Do you want it to blast you out of the tub? I said I will have Loony Landlady send someone to look at, but it's not your responsibility or mine to pay for new fixtures. What do you think I pay rent for? Also, is it really a good idea for you to be driving?

3. To the makers and alleged designers of plus size clothing:



What the hell, people? Stacy and Clinton keep telling me I should dress for the body I have now. You are not giving me any incentive to do that. I do not want a wardrobe made up entirely of clingy 'slinky' knits that permanently adhere to the exact body parts I'd like to camouflage. Nor do I want giant, screaming, "LOOK AT ME" print blouses that make me look nine months pregnant. With triplets. Can't we find some middle ground here? I finally did the happy dance in a dressing room recently when I found some Levis in my size. So how about some nice fitting, not polyester in any amount, dress slacks, a skirt that doesn't make my legs look like tree trunks, or a sweater or two made from materials I can pronounce. And make it all affordable, and for the love of all that is holy, have a model that is bigger than a size 12. I realize that in Modelworld, a 12 is plus size, but here on planet Earth, that's the norm. So how about a size 14, or be bold, a size 16 model?

4. To the numerous folks Downtown who refuse to bathe or use deodorant:


The deodorant is on aisle two at CVS. Pick some up. Please. I'm just trying to help you out.

It's Almost Here!



Yes, I've got my turkey and all the fixins'. We've got potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, everything for stuffing, the necessary gravy ingredients, and the pies.

This year's dinner will be a simple affair. As I've said before, we're not having the usual Jerry Springer holiday, because most of the instigators are going out of town. My mother-in-law will be joining us, but about the most damage she'll do is bad mouth the people that aren't there by repeating horrid family tales she's told a million times. She may accidentally drop a stray press-on nail in the ice cube tray, but I've got a dishwasher that does a decent job with sterilization.

Mom is driving very carefully, and was happy to find out that her insurance will repair the garage door at no cost to her, as it will come out of liability. Mom has decided to park on the street in front of our house now, rather than attempt to turn in to the driveway. She has a hard time turning right, she says, and thinks that this contributed to her running into the garage door the other day.

Chickenhead is in a new and much improved Cub Scout pack, and loves it. We went to a Pack meeting last night, and the boys all got on well, and the other parents were very welcoming. The big Pinewood Derby is in a couple of weeks, and there's Christmas caroling and lots of other activities going on. Lots of good things to keep a boy and his father busy!

I'm psyching myself up to put up the Christmas decor this weekend, and get the house ready. I've got a cookie swap with my girlfriends coming up fast, and I want everything to be festive!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Shameful Confessions

Well, I feel like doing a little soul purging here today, so take a big drink of your beverage of choice and hang on!

1. The husband doesn't really know about this blog. It's not like I set out to deceive him or withhold information from him. I simply wanted a place to record my many twisted thoughts and secret dreams without his judgment. And it's not that he's overly judgmental, it's that he's more one of those overly helpful people that have the best intentions, but end up making you nuts. He would start off with a couple of 'helpful' suggestions, and before you know it, he's taken over the place. Not here, buddy! This is my place to rant, rage, vent and gnash my teeth in frustration. Besides, he usually knows everything I'm thinking, although I may edit it slightly so he doesn't think I'm entirely nuts.

2. I find Alton Brown from Food Network's 'Good Eats' very hot in an endearingly geeky kind of way.

3. Once in a while, I find myself wondering what ex-boyfriends are up to. I guess this isn't too terribly shameful, it's not like I'm stalking them or anything. I feel guilty though, because the husband is a pretty decent fellow, and I really shouldn't be wondering if Mr. X is happy or miserable with his current lot in life and how that directly or indirectly relates to me not being in it. I like to think that Mr. X is silently kicking himself in the pants at the thought of losing a hot dish like me. Heh.

4. Two weeks ago, I was getting all antsy for the holidays (did you notice I decorated around here?), but now, I could honestly give a rat's ass less. Probably because it's usually yours truly who drags all the crap up from the basement, untangles all the lights, sets out all the decorations, etc. And I'll just bet you can't guess who gets to put it all away, can you?

That's all the same I feel like getting off my chest for now. I could confess to a lot more, but for now, I won't. My soul feels a little more scrubbed clean now, and that's good enough for me!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Smashing Good Time

My late afternoon drifting in and out of my Nyquil for Sinuses haze was interrupted not by Chickenhead asking me to check out his latest Lincoln Log fort, but by a rather loud THUD. He and I both looked at each other, and I dashed out of bed. I look in my mother's room, but she wasn't there. That's right, she had gone to the grocery store.

Chickenhead and I looked around the house and couldn't figure out where the noise came from. Just as I was about to go downstairs to see what the husband was doing in the Manhole, my mom came in the front door, looking just slightly freaked out. "I hit the garage door!", she exclaimed. I ran downstairs to tell the husband to get his ass up there pronto. I ran back up and made sure Mom was physically OK, which she was.

We went outside to assess the damage. Luckily, it's not anything too serious, but the bottom panel of the door, and possibly the lower hinges will need to be replaced. There is some minor scuffing on the front bumper of Mom's car.

She's not exactly sure what happened, but the husband and I seem to think that she must have stepped on the gas instead of the brake when she went to park in the driveway. She's confused and upset, and keeps saying that she just doesn't know why she would step on the gas.

So I'm now having to make a very serious decision- do I ground my momma from driving? I know that this is a very common accident, it can and does happen to anyone. But considering her recent health issues as well as a couple of terrifying near-death experiences I've had riding in the car when she's driving, I'm wondering if maybe she might need to let someone else take the wheel. I don't want her to feel like I'm stripping her of her independence, that's the last thing I want. But at the same time, I'm concerned about her safety and the safety of everyone else on the road.

My mom is still young, relatively speaking. She'll be 67 next month, an age when many of her peers are still living very active lives. I don't want her to become a shut-in, but I don't want her to endanger herself or anyone else, either.

I'm going to go fix a glass of wine and think about this some more.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Men I Like- Adrien Brody

I first noticed Adrien Brody in Roman Polanski's 'The Pianist'. He gave a mesmerizing performance as a Polish classical pianist surviving the horrors of a Nazi-occupied Poland. His brooding good looks definately caught my eye, but you feel kind of icky lusting after someone in a Holocaust movie.

The next film I saw him in was the dark and moody 'The Jacket'. There's lots of plot twists and turns, and if you like suspense, I'd highly recommend it. 'The Darjeeling Express', in which Brody co-stars with Owen Wilson, is another great movie.

Enough chatter. Let's look at him.



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mothers And Other Strangers

It's no secret to my close friends that my mother and I have always had a difficult relationship. I was an only child, she a single working mother, and we always had different ideas about what was best for me. I found her smothering and over-protective; she thought I was rebellious and disresepectful. I think she's nuts, she thinks I'm a bitch. That's how it's always been with us.

Over the past few months, something has changed about her. My mother, whom I always regarded as strongwilled and stubborn, has become frail and unsure. Physically, she has aged rapidly, and her health has gotten worse. I'm trying to talk her in to going to the doctor, but I think it's past the point of reasoning or pleading with her to go. No, I'm going to have to make the appointment for her, and take her.

The husband and I suspect that she may have had a mild stroke about a month ago. She said that she stumbled and hit her head on the door of her car as she was getting in to leave work. We tried to get her to go to the doctor for a CAT scan, but she refused. Since that time, she has become weaker, has trouble walking, and has recently begun having hallucinations. She forgets the words she's about to speak, and gets easily confused, especially in the evening. She knows that there's something wrong,but doesn't know what.

Talking with the husband today, we've decided that we're going to make the appointment for her, and take her to the doctor. I'm also going to talk to her about staying in our home. While I was initially excited about the prospect of her moving in to her own apartment, I don't think it would be safe for her to do so. If she were to fall or worse, there wouldn't be anyone there to help her. Until the time comes that she may be in need of constant care, I want her to stay with us.

I'm struggling with the fact that my mother is getting older, and needs my care. Her aging is a sure sign that I'm getting older too. I'm still only 32, right? At any rate, if you could think some positive thoughts for my momma, I sure would appreciate it. She needs some good juju right now!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What Is...

The delightfully kooky Mrs.G. from Derfwad Manor posted a comment on yesterday's post asking, 'what is Christmas?'

What indeed. Those sneaky Christians chose to celebrate the birth of the sweet baby Jesus (not to be confused with 'sweet baby jeebus', whom I call on in moments of exasperation)on December 25, because it was close to the winter equinox, and that would make it easier to convert all the heathen Pagans over to their side. It's considered one of the holiest days on the Christian calendar. I think it should be the holiest, because let's face it, without Jesus being born, the Christians would just be Jewish. But I'm not a theologist, or a theologian or a religious expert of any sort, so let's move on.

Some two thousand years later, Christmas is big business. We all try to remember the real reason for the holiday, but it gets kind of hard when you're bombarded non-stop from November 1 til December 24 with sale ads from department stores, discount stores and hardware stores. And why is every weekend at Kohl's department store the "biggest sale of the year"? Every weekend? Really? Wait, where I was I? Oh yeah, Christmas.

OK, here at the Casa, Christmas means dragging all your Christmas decorations up from the basement, cursing the entire time. It means an hour sorting all the stupid branches for the tree, and then putting it up. This is followed by another three hours testing all the lights and then putting them on the tree. Chickenhead then helps put on all the ornaments, usually clumping them all together in one spot, which means I'll have to redecorate the tree when he's not around, because my twisted sense of perfection will not allow me to have a clump of ornaments on one spot in the tree.

Christmas usually means Christmas Eve dinner with all of the Husband's family, most of whom can't stand each other. My mother in law will come over, taking over my kitchen like some sort of hurricane of fake fingernails and hairspray. She'll drag 60 boxes of things into the house, all to make 4 food items and put some presents under the tree. My father in law and grandfather in law (I love Gramps dearly), will come over and promptly ignore both myself and Chickenhead the moment my brother in law and his family show up. Yeah, they're the favorites. The holiday meal is inhaled in about 10 minutes time, after 10 days of preparation. By then, Chickenhead and his cousins are practically standing on their heads to open their gifts. There's a blizzard of wrapping paper and gift bags, and just like that, the celebration is over. The old people leave, and the kids have no idea what they got. After everyone is gone, the Husband and I will assemble and install batteries.

Christmas day, it's much more low key. Chickenhead gets up early to see if Santa ate the cookies he sent out for him the night before. I keep telling Chickenhead that Santa really loves a good margarita, but he's not buying it. We look in the stocking hanging from the mantle to see what all Santa (a/k/a crazy MIL) put in there. We then go to the living room and open our presents. Again, the Husband and I spend the rest of the day assembling and installing batteries.

So you see, Christmas is much more than dragging all of your gaudy crap out of the basement and draping it all over your house. It's more than eating candy out of a sock you hung by your fireplace. It's about family and tradition, and most of all, it's about a baby, born a couple of thousand years ago. You know, I bet if Mary knew what her son was really destined for, she would have demanded Joseph find a nice hospital with a birthing suite and a dvd player.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Transitions

First of all, I have to note that I'm failing miserably at this 30 blog posts in 30 days business. I can't even promise to catch up at this point, but who knows, I may become especially inspired before November 30 and manage to pull it off. I'm a world class procrastinator, and often do my best work in the 11th hour.

Well, it looks like my momma will be moving after the first of the year. I confess, I have mixed emotions on this situation. On the one hand, she and I just do not get along under one roof, and it will be a relief to get this pressure off of my chest. I don't know why, but when I'm around her, I feel like I can't breathe. I can't be me, because I know she's judging me, tsk-tsking the little things I do, and the things I don't do. It will be nice to feel like I can be myself in my own home. On the other side of the coin however, I'm worried about how she'll fare on her own. Her health is not good, and I want to know that she'll be able to get ahold of someone if she's sick, I want to know she's eating well, etc. Nothing can ever really prepare you for the shock that yes, your parents do age, and there's nothing you can do about it. Instead of you relying on them, they begin to rely on you.

Also found out this week that my BIL and his wife are on the outs. There's has been a complicated marriage, and while I could say a lot about her, I won't right now. I mostly feel for my BIL and even more for my two nephews, who I'm sure are upset and confused at the turmoil in their lives. I will say this: if you are going to bring children into this world, planned or not, you need to be prepared to put your wants and needs to the side and take care of their needs, especially if they have health issues. Do NOT leave it up to your 8-year old son to be solely responsible for his medication, for his testing supplies, etc. Yes, he should know what he has, but it's up to you as a parent to make sure he follows through, and it's up to you to keep back up supplies at all times. I'ts up to you as a parent to make sure his insulin is fresh, to make sure he has his kit. Too many times I have seen my nephew test with alarmingly low blood sugar, and there seems to be little concern for his well-being. Get over yourselves and take care of this child. OK, said more than I wanted to, but I had to say that.

This weekend is full of promise. I'm going to hang with my girlies tomorrow, addressing Christmas cards and snacking on treats. The holidays are looming right in front of us, and instead of the usual dread, I'm actually looking a little more forward to them this year. I even am starting to get the urge to get the decorations up, already!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pet Peeves

With the upcoming...HOLIDAYS (insert Psycho shower scene music here), it means I have to go in to various retail establishments a little more than I normally might. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE shopping! But the stress of having to buy for someone else is almost too much. Chickenhead is easy to buy for, we can get him video games or the latest Ninja-Ranger-Power-Funkey-Turtle and he's happy. But shopping for others, and more so, having to shop in the midst of other shoppers makes me nuts!

It never fails, I'm at the Walmarts or Target or wherever, and people stop dead in their tracks in the middle of the g-damned aisle. They stand there slack-jawed like they just had a vision of the Holy Mother when all I can see is a two-fer on beef jerky. Get. The. Hell. Out. Of. My. Way. If you don't know what you want or where it is, step to the side. I'm a pro. I know this store like the back of my hand and I can smell a blue light special a mile away. You can't handle me, buddy. So take your wife encased in stretch knits, and your children of questionable paternity and go hang at the customer service center while you figure out why you're here.

If I can make it to the check out counter without chewing off the insides of my cheeks, half the battle is won! It never fails that I somehow gravitate to the check out line with one or both of the following: the customer who feels it's his patriotic duty to quibble over a two-cent discrepancy on his receipt, and/or the annoying teen punk/goth-chick wannabe clerk who either has to mumble hello to you or loudly try to mack on the clerk running the next lane over. Let's take these on one by one.

If you're receipt is wrong, if you just know in your heart of hearts that the bag of dog food was $4.46 and not $4.47 (note to the Walmarts-you're not fooling anyone, so please just make it $4.50 already), take your argument to customer service. You are not an accountant and this is not April 14, so let's move it along.

Clerk, I am so sorry that your rotten parents are making you work to pay for your car and/or college tuition. Life sucks, doesn't it? But it won't make it any better to try to pick up on the cute girl running Lane 5. No matter how much you tell her that Dungeons and Dragons really is a really cool game (really!), her mono-syllabic answers and casual 'mm-hmms' mean she is not into you. Ever. Really. If you have to pick up on her, do it when the shift is over so she can turn you down properly. Why keep embarrassing yourself in front of me and the guy bitching about his dog food?

So, let's get geared up for the holidays, folks. And remember, if you see me out shopping, stay out of my way!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Night Fever

I was giddy with anticipation of getting home from work to watch the election returns roll in. As I sat on the bus on the way home, I began to feel it creeping over me. The aching, the burning, the chills. Yep, I've caught the creeping crud that has already afflicted both The Husband and my Momma. The back of my eyeballs feel like they're on fire, but that hasn't stopped me from watching election coverage on CBS, MSNBC, and my new favorite, BBC America. The husband will soon bring me some Nyquil, and I will succumb to the comforting fog that only the 'nighttimecoughingachingstuffycoldfeversoyoucanrestmedicine' can bring.

This of course means that I may very well go to bed not knowing who our new President is. Who ever wins, I hope that he's ready for the very big job he's being handed. It's sure not a job I would want!

Send chicken soup, y'all!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Finding Traditions

Now that Halloween is passed, it's time to start thinking about...you know...THE HOLIDAYS (insert shower scene music from Psycho here). Oh dear Lord, I just don't know if I am ready.

For starters, this year Thanksgiving will not be a gathering of all the bitter, unhappy in-laws. While I enjoy all of them on an individual basis, if you put all of them together in the same space, it's just a bad, bad thing. I told my sister in-law, how can anyone possibly enjoy the holidays when we're all miserable at the thought of being around each other? So, the husband's father and grandfather, mother, brother and his family will all be heading down to a little Kansas town to dine with the husband's aunt. We were not invited, as there are 'issues' between the Husband and his aunt. And really, we're OK with it.

By not having to do the big dinner with family members that don't really get along, we can spend a day with Chickenhead, and create some new, and hopefully lasting holiday traditions. But what will they be? I want something more meaningful than a new side dish (although I am eyeballing one). I want something that's our own, unique to our family. Something simple, that really conveys what the holiday is about, and what being thankful means.

I have no idea what the plans are for Christmas yet, and to be honest, I'm not worried about it. If we are not invited anywhere, we still have each other. We can create some new traditons on that day as well. I'm not stressing on it; I'm enjoying the lifting of the holiday burden. I don't have to concern myelf with who's not speaking to whom, I don't have to deal with people who come into my home and ignore my son, I don't have to keep people in separate rooms because they can't act like adults.

So, enough about the holidays for now. Half of us at the Casa are sick, Chickenhead and I have so far been able to escape the creeping crud that has already claimed my Momma and the husband. Chickenhead is going to the dentist tomorrow; he has an adult tooth that has not grown in. The baby tooth fell out in July, and now his gums are all purple where that new tooth should be coming in at. Let's all keep our fingers crossed for Chickenhead that he has a non-traumatic visit tomorrow!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Well, I've Already Jacked This Up

So today I was on Pioneer Woman's site, reading about her life, and found a link to another great blog, Derfwad Manor. My, but Mrs. G. over at Derfwad may be a long lost relative of mine. She's got the same slightly skewed way of looking at the world as I do. And I LOVE skewed!

Anywho, my point is that over at Derfwad, Mrs. G. posted about November being National Blog Posting Month. I did not know this. The goal is to blog 30 posts in 30 days. Great. Here it is, Nov. 2, and I'm just now finding out about this. So I wonder if I should do two posts today to catch up? Or can I tack on another post any other day this month to make up for it? I suppose I may have to read up on this at the 'official' website for this, NaBloPoMo.

Not much going on at the Casa today. Last night, we went to Michael's (Yay me!) so I could get some more materials for my Christmas cards. I think I've got everything I need now, except for an idea design-wise. After Michael's, we went to the dreaded WalMarts. Chickenhead had a $25 gift card burning a hole in his pocket, so he invested in the technology of the future, Funkeys. Has anyone else seen these things? It's a game that runs on your PC and you can buy different Funkeys to play different games and go into different portals in Funkey-land or Funkey-town or where ever they are. I don't know much about Funkeys, but I am hoping that they don't infect my computer with some sort of funkey-virus.

Mercifully, election season is almost over. The husband and I voted by mail in ballot, and I'm glad we did. No waiting in line on Tuesday. Everyone get out there and vote! It doesn't matter who you're voting for, just get out there and be heard! All that being said,I will be very glad when Wednesday, November 5 gets here.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, boys and ghouls! I just love that silly old joke. Halloween is really my favorite holiday, I have to say. There's just something about the combination of the leaves, the cool autumn air and kids dressing up in costume.

Our Halloween got off to an early start. Since I didn't have to work today, I was able to get up with Chickenhead and get him ready for school. He wore his costume to school for the costume parade this morning.

Just like every morning when he waits at the edge of our yard for the school bus to come, the neighbor's cat, O'Ryan, came over to say hello. O'Ryan waits every morning until the bus comes and Chickenhead gets off to school.

Good Morning, O'Ryan!


Chickenhead was very excited to be wearing his costume to school. The chestplate had a pump attached that pumped fake blood through it. The fake blood did not attend school, however.


I don't think the Grim Reaper is supposed to be frolicking...


Even O'Ryan thinks it's wrong, somehow.


Once Chickenhead got on the bus and off to school, I had to decorate cupcakes for the class party. I saw an idea on Martha Stewart's website to make Brain Cupcakes and thought I would try that. But brains are harder to make than what you might think, so I made some bloodshot eyeballs, and just a few brains.


Here's a brain. It looks nothing like Martha's.


That's OK, though, because the kids in Chickenhead's class loved them. We had great room parents to work with us, and the kids had a great time.

Once we were home from school, Chickenhead got ready to go to a friend's house for a Halloween birthday party. I didn't get to take any pictures there, but it was a great party. The boys, who were all from Chickenhead's Cub Scout den, were taken through the neighborhood to Trick or Treat by the birthday boy's dad. They really raked in the candy, and even stopped for hot dogs during their trick or treating. Yes, someone was grilling hot dogs and giving them to the trick or treaters, so they could take a well deserved break during their rounds.

Sadness struck, however, on the way home when Chickenhead realized that somewhere along the way, he had lost the mask to his costume. He was devastated. Chicken thought he had put it in his bag, but it must have fallen out. Exhausted and upset, he sobbed uncontrollably until we got to McDonald's. All hail the miraculous healing powers of the Golden Arches!

And so, that was our Halloween. We got home and sorted through the candy and potato chips and Oreo cookies, and called it a night. The costume and the long lost mask are already a distant memory. We're already discussing what next year's costume will be!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Well Goodness!

I hadn't realized how long it had been since I decided to sit down and write. A whole two weeks have somehow passed!

Let's see, what all has been happening around here? I had another birthday last Wednesday. I have discovered that after 40, a birthday is truly no big deal! I had lunch with Rhonda at Planet Sub, and dinner that night was Chinese food that we ordered in. I got some lovely gifts from my family and friends, and some always appreciated cash, too. It was a perfect day- no stress, no anxiety over this being a 'big' birthday. I think I want all birthdays to be like this from now on; no fussing, no stressing, just enjoying my friends and family.

Oh! The really big news. My momma is moving! Probably won't happen until after the first of the year. She's moving in to one of those apartment buildings that are seniors only. I hope she likes it. Who am I kidding, she never likes anything. But she's moving. I have to admit, I feel a bit conflicted. I know she's not happy here, and I know she wants a place of her own. But I'm concerned about how she'll do on her own, and if she'll be able to make it financially. I worry about her health and what will happen if she gets to a point where she needs help.

Last Wednesday was 'crazy hair day' at Chickenhead's school. It was spirit week for their United Way fundraiser. Everyday is a 'crazy hair day' for me and I asked Chickenhead if he just wanted me to do his hair to look like mine. He laughed and said, 'NO'. I was shocked, believe me. So, when we went to the Walmarts, I picked up some blue hair gel. This is the final result-



Pretty cool, huh? I'm thinking maybe I should try it!

I had last Friday off, so after the scheduled parent/teacher conference, the husband and Chickenhead and I set off to do some shopping. I went to the Footlocker clearance store on Metcalf, and scored a pair of Nike Shox for $53.00! Sweet! Everything in the store if half off. We bought Chickenhead's new school shoes there, and I've been scoping them out for some new kicks for myself. Went to Michael's to get a craft project for the Halloween class party coming up this week. Now I just need to think of a game. The other room parents have been great at helping to organize everything, and now it's almost time to put it all together.

Finally, I think the fridge is finally, really, truly fixed this time! Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blah, Blah, Blah

Not much is going on so far this week. It was lovely having yesterday off, and I think I've got sloven laziness down to an art form. I spent a good part of the day dozing off and on to the Discovery channel. It's a sad, sad thing when snippets of Monsterquest seep into your dreams.

I finally dragged my butt out of bed around 2 or so (I was dressed, and in my defense, I did do a load of laundry, so I wasn't completely useless) and waited for Chickenhead to get home from school. His school was doing a PTA fundraiser at our favorite Mexican restaurant, and you don't have to twist my arm to get out of cooking, so we went! I threw myself in the shower and got ready, and we went out to eat. It was a very relaxing evening, all in all.

This morning I woke up and I could swear that the freezer is acting up again. The appliance repair company fixed our fridge last week, replacing the defective part that was covered by our warranty. So now, I'm all paranoid!

Last week, I wrote that Loony Landlady had called to say that she was having a heatilator installed into our fireplace. Not knowing what a heatilator was, I used the Google to find out what was up. Whooo-boy was I excited! But, we didn't get an actual heatilator. No, what we have is a glorified space heater that looks like burning logs. It has light bulbs underneath it to make the 'flames' and the burning ember effects. It has two heat settings, and Loony Landlady's Boy Toy assured me that it gets plenty warm. "Oh, by the way", he says on the way out the door, "these things use a lot of electricity." I asked how much exactly, and he says, "well, if you leave it on all the time, it will add probably around $60 to $75 to your electric bill each month". Great. We plan on only using it when we're in the family room, and that's it. I'll probably just go all the way white trash and just use it as a space heater. If I keep it in the fireplace, there will be a lot of cold air coming in around it from the chimney. And how can you top the class of having an electrical cord snaking out of your fireplace? I told my friend Carol that I was going to plug it in to one of those Clapper things. *Clap, clap* instant ambiance! That's how I roll, with my fake fire right in front of me on the sofa! You bishes can't hang!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday, the three of us piled into the car and headed out to Lee's Summit. We met up with my mother in law, and went out to Faulkner's Pumpkin Patch. It was a beautiful day to be outdoors! It was sunny, and not too hot, and very windy. All in all, the perfect fall day.

The patch had tons of stuff to do. Of course, there were pumpkins-


There was also a petting zoo, where the star attraction, at least for Chickenhead and his cousins, was the goats. They all love the new Arby's commercial where the guy marries the goat. Chickenhead goes around the house all the time saying, "she's hot!", like the guy in the ad does. Please send help immediately.


I got the boys to sit semi-still for 10 seconds so I could get this photo-

Don't they look like they're having a blast?

There was tons of other stuff, too. There were all kinds of games, and of course, a hay ride.


Finally, the boys had pony rides and we picked out our pumpkins.




Everything about yesterday was pretty much perfect!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thank You, Columbus!

Let the festivities begin! Thanks to Christopher Columbus losing course and finding the New World about 500 years ago, I have a three day weekend.

Here's what I'll be doing this weekend-

Tomorrow, we're having a heatilator put in our fireplace in the family room. Loony Landlady says that it has a remote, and we can use it for warmth, or to make it look like we have logs burning in the fireplace. Sounds good to me! I'm all for anything that will make the family room warm this winter. That room is like a big walk-in freezer around January.

Chickenhead will be selling popcorn with his Cub Scout pack at CVS tomorrow. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that he gets a lot of sales. I know it's all for worthy causes, but I will be so glad when all this fund-raising business is over.

Sunday, we are going to the pumpkin patch with my mother in law, and the husband's brother and his wife and their two boys. I've decided that I'm going to take the MIL aside and tell her that this year for Christmas, I would prefer that she just get Chickenhead one gift, and not the entire contents of Dollar Tree. I'm all for getting a bargain, there's nothing wrong with that. But don't buy $30 worth of crap that will get torn up within two days. Spend $30 on one or two really good things that he really wants. He'll be happier and it will be much easier on you, crazy lady.

At some point this weekend, I've got to mow the back yard and get the patio tided up for the winter. Cover the grill and stack up the patio chairs and all that good stuff. Before too long, I'll be running out to either rake the leaves or run them over with the mower every fifteen minutes, as we have five oak trees around our house. No matter how much I rake or mow, though, the leaves never seem to really go away. Oh well, it will give me something to do in February!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Crap, crap, crap!!

In Memorium-






Just when I thought things were progressing nicely around here, the fridge decided to crap out again. I called the repair company, and they are going to order new parts and install as soon as they get them in. I talked with the kid that fixed it what, three weeks ago?, and he said that it sounded like the parts failed, given that it's doing exactly what it was doing before. Which is not doing what it's supposed to do, which is keep my food cold. Luckily, the parts are under warranty, so I shouldn't be out any more money. I better not be out any more money. I don't have any more money! Maybe I should just get a new fridge? I don't know. I wanted to wait until we move, and get a new one then. Ugh, I should just go take a nap!

In other news, the husband has been gone this weekend on a camping trip, and comes back later today. Friday night, Chickenhead and I went out to dinner with my mom (who should NOT be driving, but that's another story for another time)at Hot Wok, a local Chinese buffet type place. Why is it that EVERYTHING on the buffet is fried? Do we really need deep fried crab meat? I didn't eat much, and managed to keep Chickenhead away from too much of the fried foods. Last night, we lived it up again by going to my favorite cheap Mexican food place, Don Chilitos. How I love Don's! I hadn't been there in a while, and it was still pretty tasty. Also, this was homecoming weekend, so there were lots of girls there in their formals who after filling up on sopapillas and Coke, tottered out on their high heels to walk the two blocks to the high school for their dance. Y'all got some cheapskate dates, that's for sure! They could have at least driven you to the dance!

When did homecoming get so expensive anyway? I saw limos, long formals, tuxedos, etc., most of what I usually associate with prom. Things must have changed in the 5 years since I've left high school!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

La Cacina De Chaos

I decided to try a food experiment today. Yesterday, a friend of mine sent me an email with a recipe for '3-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake'. I'm all about chocolate cake! And if I can get it in three minutes, score! So, I decided to try out my best 'Pioneer Woman'-type food photography skills (huge apology to Ree here, I'm just not worthy!!) and give the recipe a shot.

First, here's the recicpe-

3 - MINUTE CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE
1 Coffee Mug
4 tablespoons flour(that's plain flour, not self-rising)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
Some nuts (optional) Small splash of vanilla
Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well . Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 2.5 minutes on high. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired. EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to share!)
And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now, we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!


Here's my cast of characters-



Stirring the dry ingredients together-


Adding the eggs and the milk-




Stirring in the oil and chocolate chips. Stir, stir, stir!


And now, into the microwave! Please ignore my messy microwave, I forgot to wipe it down last night. I suppose you're probably saying 'why didn't she wipe it down before she took the picture?' Believe me, I'm asking myself that very same question.


I didn't take pictures of it cooking in the microwave. I'm somewhat suspicious of radioactive waves and what they might do to my camera. Anyway, here it is after two minutes, thirty seconds in the microwave-



It looked pretty tasty and smelled like, well, fresh chocolate cake! The destructions say to turn it out onto a plate. This is what I ended up with-

Hmmm....


I scraped out that last bit in the mug and put it on the plate. Chickenhead and I each tried a bite. The verdict? While tasting like chocolate cake, it was a bit rubbery in texture. Also, the recipe calls for 'non-rising' flour, and to be honest, I'm not sure if my flour was self-rising or not. The chocolate chips definitely added chocolate-y goodness, but I would have preferred that they were a little more dispersed throughout the cake, and not in a big clump on the bottom.

This recipe won't replace the Betty Crocker Warm Delights cakes for sure. Betty got it right when she made those. But, if you desperate for a warm, gooey chocolate fix, this is passable. Eat it while it's still warm; I found that the moment it got cool, it was even more rubbery.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Well, well, well....

OK, so I've been away for a bit, but it's been pretty darn crazy for the past couple of weeks. We finally got the fridge fixed and now everything that should be cool or frozen, is.

Work has been especially crazy lately. Everything going on on Wall Street has a direct impact on my job, and I have been busier than a one-armed paper hanger. Actually at this point, I would almost rather be a paper hanger, one armed or otherwise. There's lots of upheaval at work, and I'm thinking that my boss (who is a really great person and one of the main reasons I've stayed in that job for almost seven years now)may be taking another job. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for her if she does get it, but that just leaves our department wondering who we'll be working under, and the prospects there don't look too good.

On the homefront, my mom told me the other night that she's #8 on the waiting list at a nearby seniors apartment. I told her that there's no need for her to rush out of here, and I truly mean that. She's a great help to us, and Chickenhead will be heartbroken when she moves out. But I understand her when she says that she feels like she needs her own place. And to be honest, if I were her, I would probably feel the same way. Still, it will be another huge adjustment for our family.

While a part of me is quietly excited at the prospect of getting my craft room back, I'm much more concerned about Chickenhead, and how he'll adjust. I'm kind of hoping that she won't be moving until the school year is over, so that he'll have the summer to get used to it and not have any additional stress.

Speaking of Chickenhead, he's doing great! School is going much better this year than last. He's finally feeling better since we discovered that he's lactose intolerant and we cut out dairy. I worry about him making friends at school, because I know what it's like to be an only child, and sometimes it's hard. I'd like for him to be more outgoing, but at the same time, I don't want to push him to be something he's not.

So, that's about it. I'm looking for Halloween ideas, as I'm head room mother this year. Don't make fun of me, I don't have the holiday turtlenecks and the matchy-matchy holiday jewelery! I'll be the one in the Obama t-shirt, quietly being myself. I have to admit, when I talk with the other moms at Chickenhead's school, I feel horribly out of place. I guess you can take the girl out of the 'Dotte, but you can't take the 'Dotte out of the girl!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Oh Dear...

OK, so to relieve some stress, I decided to visit a website that Carol was linking on her site. Yearbook Yourself allows you to upload a photo of yourself and 'try on' different looks from different eras. To say that the following photos will keep me from sleeping tonight is an understatement. View at your own risk.

Here we go-
1960- (I look like my grandmother, and that's not a good thing)


1974- (with Marcia Brady hair)

<

1984- (Actually not too far off from how I wore my hair then.)



So, if you've got some time to kill and not a shred of dignity left, I highly recommend heading over to yearbookyourself.com. Don't say I didn't warn you!

When It Rains, It Floods

To say that my 4-day weekend didn't go as planned is an understatement. I try to roll with the punches, after all, like John Lennon said, 'Life is what happens when you're busy making plans'. With that in mind, I tried to be breezy about the fact that the refrigerator crapped out Tuesday morning. When I opened the freezer door to find melted popsicles running all over the place, that was my first clue.

I immediately called the repair man, who told me that they were really busy, but he would have someone at the house between 2 and 5. Great. So, I cancelled my plans with my friend Carol, because I had to get all the perishibles on ice and the frozen stuff into the freezer out in the garage. Trying to look on the bright side, I decided it was a great opportunity to clean the fridge and freezer really good, and toss away some of the older stuff hiding way in the back.

In Repair-world, 'Between 2 and 5' means that they will come around 5:30, and that's only after you call to find out where in the hell they are. But the guy that showed up was nice enough and quickly diagnosed the problem. The only downer was he had to order the parts needed but he assured me that they would be here by today at the latest.

Well guess what? No frigging parts!!! In fact, the parts may not come until Saturday or Monday. Are you kidding me? No, they are not kidding me. Although, they did try to re-assure me that sometimes the parts distributor will say that the parts take a week to 'cover themselves'. So, it looks like we get to have the cooler on wheels in the kitchen for another day or so. Joy. My mom is already going around making clucking noises and going on about how she hopes her cheese and eggs are ok. Whatever, sister. Your cheese and eggs are the least of your worries.

To make my week even more adventurous, last night on the way home, the bus driver hit a car. She didn't really hit the car, so much as tap it's bumper. There were no injuries, thank goodness. But, since the accident happened in one county, and the bus driver crossed over into the next county before she called in the accident, we had to give all of our info to the bus company, two police departments and the state trooper. This entire incident added another hour to my journey home.

Tonight, the only thing I'm planning on doing is nuking something in the microwave for dinner and lying down. I'm spent!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Gone With The Wind

So Friday I was all excited about having a 4-day weekend. I was darn near giddy as I hopped on the bus to get home. Friday afternoon, it was cloudy out, but nothing really looked out of place, weather-wise. I knew we were due for rain, but didn't think much of it.

As the bus was sitting in traffic on I-35, the dispatchers began talking about tornado warnings over the radios. Long story short, the dispatchers were ordering the drivers off the road, ASAP, and to stop at the first public building they could get to to unload passengers. Our driver decided to stop at an AT&T building that was so secure, we had to sign in for visitor badges before they would take us to a safe area. So, I spent a good part of my Friday evening in the hallway of an AT&T building with 8 others. Fun, fun. No, the really fun part was that despite the warnings, there were no tornadoes in the area where we were.

After that, the rest of my long weekend flew right by, too. I've cleaned, done laundry, spent time with Chickenhead. We ended up watching 'Holes' instead of 'Finding Nemo', but that's ok. I can watch Nemo by myself sometime!

Friday, September 12, 2008

This Weekend, I'm Gonna...

Well, the vacation gods have smiled down on me, and I have this coming Monday and Tuesday off, so I get a 4-day weekend. Yay me! Here's just some of the fun I'm planning for myself-

Chickenhead and I are going to pop up a big bowl of popcorn and watch Finding Nemo. We love it when Dory speaks whale. We usually spend the rest of the day speaking whale, too.

On Sunday III (aka Tuesday), I'm going to do lunch with my friend Carol. She's all kinds of awesome- like all of my friends.

I'm going to clean out the front closet. Should I sell the husband's scuba equipment? The wetsuit hasn't fit since 50lbs ago...

Put some stuff on Ebay.

Make some more cards and get some scrapbooking done.

The weekly chores of cleaning and laundry.

I also have to make sure I devote some time, probably Sunday afternoon, to lying around watching movies on Lifetime. I need that, every now and again.

Today was picture day at school. Let's all hope that this year's picture doesn't turn out like this one-


Bless his heart, doesn't he look like a serial killer?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Movie Time

Here Comes The Circus! From one of my favorites, MST3K

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Getting Things Done

This morning when I woke up I decided that today was going to be a day for getting things done. So, after my mom left for work and the husband left for some Scout thing, it was just Chickenhead and me. We ate breakfast together, and made fun of Sandra Lee's table-scape and her obvious drinking issues on Semi-HOmade Cooking. Then I set down to business.

I decided that I wanted to figure out what I was doing for our Christmas card this year. I went to the CTMH Consultant's site and found a cool idea. Sweet! So I dug into my re-org'd scrap crap and got out what I needed. This is what I created-

The front-


Inside-


For this card, I used:
Kraft paper cardstock (I hope I can find more of this stuff). It's like a brown paper bag, but a heavier paper.
CTMH White Daisy Ink
White Cardstock
Some green patterned paper
'Merry Christmas' ribbon that I got at Michael's, I think
Stick on bling

You can view a video tutorial on how to make this card at this site-
Hero Arts Blog

There are a lot of GREAT ideas at Hero Arts, so be sure to check out the entire site! I think I may be there the rest of the weekend!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Semi-New Spaces

So, back in February when my Aunt Judy passed, I didn't give much thought to her having anything that I would want. She had been so generous to me when she was alive; always sharing books with me, or favorite recipes. But my cousin had me come over to her house and pick something out to remember her by. It didn't take long for me to realize that what I really wanted was this-



This is more than just a memento of my aunt, this is also a wonderful memory of my grandmother. She ran the kitchen of a local church for many years, and this sign hung up above her desk there. After she retired, it had a special place in her kitchen. Being as she's the one who taught me how to cook, I love having it hanging in my kitchen now.

Since I was in the kitchen doing a little sprucing up, I decided to go ahead with my plan to re-organize my scrapping stuff. I cleaned out the crap that was in the sideboard and sorted out all of my supplies. It worked out perfectly! My large rolling cart fits just right next to the sideboard. And I still have my other chest in the laundry room with the stuff I don't use that often. Now, I've got a place to work and easy access to my supplies and storage. Yay me! See for yourself-