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-

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-


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.