Friday, December 31, 2010

Free Dog to Bad Home

Number sixteen.
I saw it before my feet even touched the floor this morning.
It was dry as a bone.
She either waited outside my bedroom last night
and after hearing that I was fast asleep,
came in and peed next to my side of the bed...
I never saw it from the first batch.
I'm guessing it was the first option.

After I hauled the steam cleaner all the way back up the stairs,
cleaned up number sixteen,
I came down to the main level to sit for a bit.
Chloe walks into the room and looks at me,
walks over to the kitchen table and
hops up onto the chair and jumps up to the table.

Excuse me?

I am sitting not 3 feet away.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ten Pound Pill Gets A Haircut

This is Chloe.
She is furry beast.
Chloe is ten pounds sopping wet.
She is one of nine reasons* we had to hire a house sitter
during the 10 days we visited family in Seattle.
Currently Chloe is on my sh!t list.

No, this is not punishment for being on my list.
This is me saving $50 bucks on grooming.

This is Chloe's version of Hell.
Yes, I have to hold her down to cut the hair on her face so she can see.

Why is she on my list?
Upon arriving home to my wonderfully clean,
sheets and towels washed and folded,
fridge cleaned,
counters cleaned home,
I find that Chloe has peed on my carpets.
How do I know her actions are malicious?
15 times.
This cute little fur ball of joy peed FIFTEEN times on my carpets.
5 in the dining room.
3 in the back bedroom.
3 in Bubba's room.
4 in my closet.

Chloe never pees inside.
She slept in my bed with the house sitters,
she napped in laps,
she had Christmas treats,
she was rarely left alone.
She knew our house sitters.

How did the house sitters miss it?
Chloe peed in non traffic areas. She hid to pee in unused rooms.
Our other 8 pets? did no damage to the house.

*Nine reasons to hire a house sitter:
French Fry
When anyone of these pets dies, we are NOT replacing it.
Today Bubba asked if he could get rid of all his pets
(the condiments) and buy a monkey.
I laughed and walked out of the room, question unanswered.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Crazy People

Before Christmas, we are sitting in the airport on our way to Seattle, at the gate in Dayton when a woman and her son sit a few seats away from David. I hadn't noticed the boy, but David looks over at me, gets my attention and gives me the crazy eye.

I take a beat and look over at the boy (crazy white man's afro, maybe 13) and his Mom (older than me, salt and pepper Marsha Brady hair, bra-less, and layered up with sweaters. Like she wore everything she owned and didn't check a bag) and look back to David. He leans in, over Bubba, and in his tiniest whisper says, "That is the most disgusting pillow I have ever seen. Like what vagrant used that for 20 years before giving it to this kid?" I lean away from David, look around the room to prep myself and finally my eyes rest on the item in question.


Was it EVER washed? Eww.

Fast forward a few hours, we are roaming around the Chicago airport and waiting for our next flight. The subject of seating arrangement arises and it is decided that I will sit next to our kids and David will sit across the aisle with two strangers.*

*Let me just insert here that I ALWAYS sit alone on flights. I have since we had kids. It was decided a long time ago that David would handle kids in flight and I would sit and read, ipod whatever. It is just our thing. It was supposed to be my time of relaxation. Yea, right. Let me also insert here that every time I have sat alone I have always been the person that EVERYONE pities on the flight because I get the weirdos. I am a weirdo magnet.

Off the top of my head, the worst one? Once, on a flight from Minneapolis to Seattle I sat next to a couple who had twin lap babies. I swear said children where over two. Had to be. Let me spell this out for you. 5 people. 3 seats.

On top of the uncomfortable seating arrangement this idiot couple did not bring ONE FREAKING thing for these enormous "under 2's" to with...or drink.

Swear to God.

Half way through the flight after the stupidest parents on Earth fed the twins milk followed by a orange juice chaser...and you guess it, they barfed.


All over me. All over the parents. All over themselves.

Being the over prepared psycho parent I am, I pull out ziploc baggies one with baby wipes, one with clorox wipes (to wipe the tray tables and seat beat buckles, silly) and one with plastic grocery bags to help said idiots clean up and dispose of the soiled clothes etc, because God knows when and where they are going to get the brains to/means to do this on their own. I also excuse myself to the bathroom taking my own spare pants and shirt (yes, I carry those in my bag) in their ziploc and clean myself up. And yes, I go through a box of gallon ziploc bags when I flew with my kids. If you ever take a baby on a plane, bag EVERYTHING separately in ziplocs. I swear by it.

But I digress. David. Me. Chicago. Discussing seating arrangements.

David jokingly tells me he is going to take one for the team and sit with the crazies this go 'round. We board the plane. We settle into our seats. And you guessed it...

Pillow boy and his Mom are David's seat mates. Pillow boy takes the window. Mom in the center seat. I am chuckling to myself, but I have no idea what is to come.

I, the uber prepared, take out my ipod and start watching a rerun of American Pickers. David looks longingly at my ipod and I produce a second ipod stocked and charged specifically for him. (FYI:He has his own ipod, but (bet you $100 bucks) it is not charged nor are there tv shows on it. FYI#2: We have 5 ipods between the 4 of us because anytime anyone upgrades I get the old ones and I have 2 old generation nanos).

About two hours into the flight the show begins. I hear something through my headphones. A strange sound. I glance over Afro boy's Mom and she is looking through a magazine rapidly and after she flips each page she rips it out and wads it into a ball. It takes me a second to digest this. Crazy lady is ripping the magazine apart.


After the pile of wadded up magazine pages gets to big for her lap, she starts shoving them down the front of her million layers of sweater.


I laugh, out loud, and try to catch David's eye. He knows better than to look at me and ignores my stares. I am willing him with all my telepathic being to look at me, but he will not cooperate.

After her sweater is full, did I tell you she had a freaking stack of magazines? She takes one of the sweaters tied around her waist and starts stuffing THAT with magazines. When she is done, like 30 minutes later, she sits and rocks the magazine baby for a while.

What is Afro boy doing? Of coarse. He is asleep against the window on the nappy pillow.

I'm done watching my ipod at this point.

There is a better show on now, and it is LIVE.

I take out my magazine and pretend to read it, watching the crazy lady. After rocking her baby a few more minutes, she whispers something to David and he stands up to let her out to use the bathroom.

Whispers. Hand gestures. Me laughing myself into

an asthma attack, and 5 minutes later crazy lady returns sans magazines.

I look over at David making crazy eyes.

Where are they?

She must have flushed them.

Crazy lady pulls her backpack, that also must have been owned by the bum that owned her son's pillow, and rifles through it's contents and comes up with a plastic store container with a slice of day old blueberry pie in it. She looks around and pauses a beat, thinking. Then, she opens the container of pie and starts eating it, without utensils.

Swear to God.

She is eating this piece of pie like it is her last meal and she just smoked something in the bathroom. Blueberries on the face, blueberries down her shirt.

I am DESPERATELY trying to catch David's eye,

he will not budge.

He is not going to loose it. Tears are practically in his eyes.

The finale? An announcement comes over the PA system that we are beginning our decent. Crazy lady rips open her backpack and roots around and produces a HUGE pill box. She opens a few of it's doors and proceeds to down two handfuls of pills.

I am seriously about to wet my pants.

I am writhing in pain from the laughing stomach ache I have.

Crazy people.

Enjoy them.

Best Christmas Gift EVER!

We just got home from Washington last night:
billions of loads of wash...
cleaning of carpets (dog! Argh!)...
grocery shopping to fill the bare fridge...
more on the trip (and it's aftermath) later.

Right now I wanted to share the best
Christmas gift ever!

My sister bought David and I this book
Looking for a pee in your pants good laugh?
Get the book!

Discover their sister site

Funny? Yeah!
And to think, we could have been a part of this phenomenon,
if I had only signed the release forms.
I'd better get on it so I can get us into the sequel.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wishing You a Merry Christmas

Watching cheese being made.

Beautiful produce.

Gorgeous seafood.

Merry Christmas from Pike Place!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's Been A While

Sorry it has been so long.
We've been getting cultured.

Yesterday we went to see the Picasso Exhibit.

Weird story, we were walking around the exhibit and I
saw this woman across the room.
After admiring her scarf I glanced at her face
and thought, I know her.
We had just visited my brother in Knoxville and I remember seeing
this woman on his fridge, but I couldn't remember her name.
I text my brother.

After stalking this woman for a few rooms I get up the nerve
to approach and ask.
I ask her if she knows "my brother's name."
She looks at me in surprise and answers yes.
I explain that I was just visiting my brother in Knoxville and now
I am visiting my sister in WA,
she is shocked I recognize her from my brother's fridge.

It seems that when my brother and his wife
were pregnant with their first child,
they met this woman and her husband in birthing class.
Their kids were born a week apart 21 years ago.
My brother had not been in contact with this family in a few years,
but he had an old picture Christmas card on his fridge.
Strange and wacky world.
Or should I say I have a strange and wacky memory?

The rest of the day was fun hanging with the family.

Love this place!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I am Not a Bad Mother

Last night was Hannah's middle school band concert.
There are so many other things in life I would rather do than attend
a middle school band concert.
To name a few: have a painful root canal,
go in for an annual girley exam,
have my toenails clipped in a public place by a stranger,
or go to an all day insurance seminar and sit in the front row.

Band is David's thing.
Band is David's requirement.
I love to be with my girl and support every little thing she does,
but the ONLY reason I went last night was because I did not want
to be a bad mother. The no show.
The "my Mom is at home stuffing her face with bonbons,
'cuz she'd rather not step foot in this auditorium to hear our band"
kind of bad mom.

So how did I manage?
A little friend of mine named David Sedaris.
I sat in that awful auditorium with my ear buds in
listening to "When You Are Engulfed in Flames" loving
every minute of the concert.
I heard the music as background music to my very enjoyable book.
I just had to listen to a chapter that didn't make me laugh out loud,
as I am known to do when listening to Sedaris.

I saw my girl preform. I clapped in all the right places.

I took pictures.
I am not a bad mother.

When it was over, on the way home, I commented how short
the concert seemed this year and how quickly
the evening seemed to pass.
David just looked at me and rolled his eyes.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas on a Snow Day

Monday we had a snow day.
We all got to stay home from school,
David went to work for a few hours, but left late and came home super early.
I put a roast in the oven and
we decided that we would have an early Christmas.

The four of us decided that we would only
do stocking stuffers this year since we are going to be at my parents
Christmas morning.

We started with the Christmas story...

We sat in front of Davids Grandma's tree, with all it's handmade
ornaments from David and his brother.

Candy, t-shirts, and fun stuffers...

...sweaters, magazines...

...socks, and mugs...

It was a wonderful family time.

Now it is a little weird.
Holiday commercials, people rushing around
buying last minute gifts in a panic.
We are calm and done. Christmas behind us.

It is almost as if we celebrate a holiday
such as Diwali or Hanukkah and have these crazy Christmas celebrating
weirdos to contend with and put up with.

A Day In the Life

David: Let's go for a family walk. Everyone, go get your coats on. Let's take the dog for a pee.

...5 minutes pass...adults have coats on waiting at the back door, children are missing.

David: Let's go! Mom and I are waiting at the back door!

Hannah appears, adding the finishing touches to her ensemble.

Bubba appears coat-less, glove-less, shoe-less.

Me: What are you doing? Come on Bubba.

Bubba: (running into the laundry room) I need to grab something I'll be right there! (door closes)

Me, Hannah and David: We're leaving. Come on! What are you doing?

Bubba: (through the door) I'll be right there.

Me: (opening the door) What are you grabbing, aaaaahhh! (Closing the door promptly) Why don't you have pants on?

Bubba: (through the door) I'm coming. Just a minute. I need some underwear.

Me: (thinking back through the previous events of the day) Have you been commando all day?

Hannah: Eww. Gross.

Bubba: No.

Me and David: Then why are you changing your underwear?

....door opens and Bubba walks out picking up his coat...

Bubba: Because I sneeze-peed. My pants were wet.

Me and David:

Hannah: Okay then, we all ready?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I Love this Type of Art

Get it? This type?

I know. I'm hilarious.
This British artist uses a typewriter to "draw" her pictures.

Wow. Just when I thought someone couldn't come up
with something new in the art world.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gone today, Snow Tomorrow

We went out for the day because we are supposed to get
snow tomorrow. And Monday. And who knows
when we will be able to leave the house again.

So we headed out toward Cincy.
On the way I willed the car to stop at the outlet mall.

It seems that the insurance man told us that they would replace the coat
(North Face liner to my big coat)
I was wearing the night of our car accident, as well as
David's new pants. They were destroyed.
Decisions, decisions.
Shopping with someone else's dime was harder than it seems,
but I walked away with this awesome new coat...
I was very impressed with the Columbia outlet. I toured both
Columbia and North Face stores and while jackets in the North Face store
were $200, I bought my Columbia Omni Shield Stain resistant
armor coat for $25.00 and LOVE it. I've worn it all night.

So off to IKEA for some meatballs.

And nine hours later I still have the meatball revenge.
I HEART meatballs, but sometimes they don't love me back.

But I digress.
Guess what? I did not buy a THING. Not one thing.
I was very disappointed in IKEA's as is department today.
Usually I can get some good cheap fabric, plates, bedding.
Nothing today.

More shopping back home and I walked away with
4 pieces of clothing from the GAP for Bubba for $40.
They had some crazy buy one get the next for 60% off sale,
and I had another coupon that they honored.
3 pairs of pants, and a Christmas shirt.

Bubba only wants to wear fleece lined track pants currently,
and I found these rocking fleece lined elastic waist
pant that feels like he's wearing track pants, and we are both happy.

A productive day.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Amazing Art

Amazing sharpie and styrofoam art.
Go check out the artists portfolio here.

DSLR Gift Guide

I know I just did this whole tutorial on homemade
camera bags and all,
but I have bag envy. I want this camera bag...
This little camera bag holds a full sized DSLR
and extras. It's name?
4 million Dollar home.
I know, sounds weird, but the Crumpler bags
have great names. The 4 million dollar home is the size I want.
They offer a 5 million, 6 million, 7 million dollar homes as well as the
Brazillion dollar home.
The Brazillion dollar home holds a laptop and all this other
camera equipment! Yikes!

As expected, the increase in dollar size indicates an increase in bag size.
The Brazillion Dollar home is $200+

Another want?
A Gorilla DSLR tripod.
These things are awesome. Perfect for taking next years
Christmas picture.

Speaking of next years Christmas picture,
you'll need a remote for your tripod.
You don't want to bump your camera while running around the
side of the room to fall into place.

Secret Santa

Each year my work mates and I celebrate the three days
before our annual Christmas party with three small
Secret Santa gifts ($2 each day).
At our party we receive our big gift ($20-$25) as
well as play games and get a gift from our boss.
Last night was our party and the big reveal!

Sorry, I should have taken pictures each day.
My Secret Santa spoiled me. I am sure she spent way more than her limits.

Gorgeous Christmas mug
Lip gloss

(Necessity kit)
Diet Coke
Burts Bees Lip Balm
Peanut M & M's

Holiday Lottery scratch ticket (no wins)
Pooping Reindeer

Thursday (Bonus):
Christmas paint bucket filled with
brownies (another necessity).
Pop rocks.

The Big Reveal:

$20 in itunes gift cards!

mini sharpie dangly pens!

I scored this year!
Thanks Barb!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Almond Roca

And so it begins.
The Christmas season is officially upon us when
I start making Almond Roca.
All the buttery sugary goodness...

...using the heat of the candy to melt the chocolate chips...

...after the chocolate is melted I add the nuts as the final step.

Put it in the fridge and voila, the best food of Christmas.
FYI-this is our family's Almond Roca recipe,
currently my sister uses a different
recipe that uses brown sugar.
I like both as far as flavor,
but this one is second nature to me.
Conservatively, I make 8 to 10 batches a year.
It is an awesome gift.
I have friends in NC that have nicknamed it "Crack Candy"
because once you have it you are hooked.

Almond Roca

2 sticks of salted butter

1 cup + 2 Tbsp white sugar

1 cup slice almonds (

1/2 cup sliced almonds for candy & 1/2 cup for top)

1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips

Heat butter and sugar in a saucepan for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add ½ cup almonds and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to turn golden brown. (The mixture will turn golden brown suddenly, be careful!) Do not overcook! Spread mixture into a jelly roll pan. While still hot, spread the chocolate chips over the top, smoothing with a spatula until smooth. Sprinkle with almonds while the chocolate is soft. Place in cool spot or in refrigerator. Break apart after candy has completely cooled.

If you have ever been to Tacoma, Washington you should be familiar
with the Brown and Haley Candy Company.

The original Almond Roca.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Serial Killer Closet

Have you ever wondered what would happen if some CSI team
came into your house and looked through your stuff?

I know, I'm crazy like this. I think of weird crap all the time.

Anywho, I was getting down my sweaters and stowing some swimsuits and
other summer items when I came across my little plastic container of,
we'd better just call it crap, mementos I could not bring myself to part with.
Inside said box of crap?
Various jewelry my children have made or purchased...
A name badge that my daughter made me that reads
"Worlds Best Mom" in cute pre-teen handwriting...
Two little square jewelry boxes filled with teeth...
A scary (just ask my sister), opaque bag FILLED with long blonde hair.

Maybe I'd better do some de-cluttering before
the CSI team arrives.

Getting Back In the Swing

Winter is upon us.

The 'hood is looking pretty and snow covered.
No longer will our neighbors judge us for our weeds and
brown lawn, everyone is equal in winter!
Yeah, snow!
(That is the only time you'll hear me say that phrase.)

Chloe the wonder dog has a new trick!
Or should I say she has A trick.
She L*O*V*E*S to be off leash on her afternoon walk around the neighborhood.
As soon as she hears Bubba's bus coming she takes off running and
tries to beat it home.
I can't tell if she likes the chase of it or if she's so dumb (and has the memory
of a gnat) she forgets how mean Bubba is to her.

I really like this coaster pattern I found online.
I started this project awhile back.
I started machine sewing the coasters
so I could have a reason to sit on the couch and hand stitch the binding
whilst watching t.v.

Here is the start of my coaster gift set.
I bought a little pack of this Christmas fabric at JoAnn and
made a little placemat/runner and
now I'm making some coasters and such, as a stocking stuffer for miene Mutti.
(The colors match her living room.)

And finally...I wanted to wrap up a wine bottle for a friend
and made a wine bottle coozey. Isn't that what you call those foam things
that keep your beer cool?
Anyway, I made a few, since they were a cinch,
to match some of the gifts
I'm giving.

Monday, December 6, 2010

2010 Christmas Cards

I (royal we) FINALLY ordered our Christmas cards this weekend.
For the past 13 or so years I have ordered them
BEFORE Thanksgiving weekend
and spent the weekend addressing envelopes.
Not this year.
We (even) used the picture we took this summer
just for Christmas card purposes. Everyone looks great.
Everyone likes the picture. Bubba is accurately represented.
Basically no major design decisions, except verbiage.
As I am typing in the details and finalizing the cards I am
bantering with David over what we should
write in the obligatory text box provided on the website.
I ask David what we should write, this is what he came up with...

"We went to the Caribbean this summer
and chances are you didn't.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

All Time Favorite

I have been a fan of Archie McPhee's
for 15, maybe more like 20, years.
Back when I was in college I would take
my young nephews to their store on
Stone Way in Seattle and give them each a dollar or two.
We would walk away from the store with
fake body parts, plastic bugs, metal lunch pails with groovy designs
and other nonsensical fun.

Archie McPhee was the inventor of such
action figures as Jesus, The Lunch Lady, and The Librarian...

Archie McPhee invented such classics as the emergency bow tie,
chest hair wig, world's largest underpants, and any mustache or
false teeth combo you may ever need.

Archie McPhee also was the first place I knew that carried
fun crafting items to recycle.
I would sort through bins and bins of plastic parts and other
recycled industrial pieces.

When you are walking through a mod store and you see an
awesome kitchy item, look at the manufacturer,
if it says "Accoutrements" it is from Archie McPhee's.

Back to my search for the perfect foodie gifts for my nephews.
Bacon belt?
(BTW-Archies carries all things
bacon...mints, air fresheners, floss...)
Inflatable meatloaf?

Bacon placemats.