Saturday, February 28, 2009


Here's a cycling fan from last week. Impressive horns.

Friday, February 27, 2009

My Alter Ego

Ever wondered what you'd look like as a superhero?
(This combines my stringy hair, favorite colors, love of Batman, and constant need to go grocery shopping.)

(I just wish my her ta-ta's weren't so saggy.)

Create yours at The Hero Factory.

Blog post idea totally stolen from Mooselet.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Strands of DNA

Ernest is building a model of DNA for a science project, due Friday. We had a short discussion about the material. I vetoed the use of candy. Sticks, styrofoam, Lego? What's available in the house? Because there's no crafts store within 30 miles. Then we remembered the box of Zoob in the closet.

Ernest created his own design. He still has to build a stand.

These two share some good hair DNA.

They get it from their dad.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Real Men Wear Spandex

Friday's Events:

Floyd Landis, 2006 Tour of California Winner, on the comeback trail.

This should be George Hincapie. Hincapie. Hincapie?

I'm fascinated by his name.

Lance. Need I say more?

Levi Leipheimer, The Leviathan. He owns this race.

Got to have more cowbell.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

He Won Three out of Four

The young man in action. He won 3 out of 4. Yays. Sorry the photo's blurry. Stealth photography, you know. An extreme close-up through the chain link fence. Mothers have to be sneaky sometimes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tennis Anyone?

As I mentioned, Ernest is joining the middle school tennis team and now has the shoes to prove it. This is the first time one of my kids has participated in an organized sport.

I don't know why he didn't play last year. I think the timing of his piano lesson interfered. This year piano is at 7 p.m. Wednesday night. (Ugh! as far as my meal timing is concerned, but it does leave his afternoons free.)

Today was his first practice. And he received what he considered to be Very Bad News. Shorts. Are. Required. This boy's knees have not seen the light of day in years. This is in contrast to his brother at the same age, who wore shorts for the entire school year (and yes we do have cold and/or rainy mornings out here).

So I told him something Even. Worse. "I saved your brother's old gym shorts. You can wear them until we can get you something else." The look on his face!

So it's either go out of town shopping this weekend, because seriously? There's nowhere to buy athletic shorts here any more since the local sports store went out of business a couple years ago.
Or else there's the internet... Out-of-town or on-line? You know me. I ordered shorts and a plain red t-shirt from Land's End, because I'm pretty sure we'll get them before Monday's match.

Or maybe not. Those men in spandex are probably going to interfere with my FedEx delivery on Friday. Ernest may have to wear his brother's shorts after all. The HORROR!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Don't mix

Don't spill this

on this

or you get this

Who knew dishwasher soap had bleach in it? I didn't. Of course, I didn't read the back label either.

Time to get out the black sharpie!

Monday, February 16, 2009

$hoe $hopping

Not for me, this time. I often buy cute $15 shoes at Tar-zhay and never wear them, because I usually wander around in the same cruddy Whatchacallits. When I was a kid, they were called "tennis shoes" or "sneakers." What the heck do you call them now?

Ernest is joining the middle school tennis team and has outgrown his old shoes. His feet are literally bursting out, i.e his toes are jammed against the end of the real "tennis shoes" and there is a hole in the toe of the "sneakers."

There are three stores that sell guys shoes in our small area.... Not in any particular order:

1) a skateboard shop: Great for daily wear, even the HH buys shoes there. But that's all they have. Skateboard Shoes -- large, pudgy, bulgy-tongued things with totally flat soles. (And I challenge you to spell tongue right on the first try!)

No complaints about this store, they just don't carry other types of shoes.

2) The tourist store with the big wooden shoe out front has nice European shoes, but their customer service is SO BAD that I will not shop there unless I am desperate. Ernest may need a new pair of Converse High-Tops this summer... and I may need my replacement LaPlume leopard slides. But I think we will replace these shoes VIA THE INTERNET this year.

Buying children's shoes there was always been an ordeal. And still, I kept on going back, because it was the only store in town.

First, it would take forever for someone to even consent to look at us, let alone say, may I help you.

Then, there was the size ordeal. What size do you want? I don't know, since they are children, their feet have grown. Could you please measure them? They would never ever offer to measure their feet. Many times I would have to do it myself.

Finally, when we would chose a shoe: No, we're out of that size. Hou about this one? Nope. Again and again. Finally, I would say, well, what DO you have in his size? Bearing in mind the children's selection was on a 3'x5' shelf. Not too big a selection. And there would be maybe one pair in the right size.

3) A family-owned store which was previously located in an even smaller town 3 miles away. Now they are near my grocery store. They have mostly athletics-specific shoes. Ernest found a pair of real tennis shoes and the owner was so careful in measuring Ernest's feet: right foot, size NINE, left foot, size TEN!!!! Yes, a whole size different. We never knew. Because no other shoe store measured him so carefully.

$o we bought the expen$ive real tenni$ $hoes at store #3. Because of their excellent service.

But he still needed some everyday shoes. And then Mr. Low Maintenance Frank admitted he needed shoes. It turns out he has only one pair, and there are big enough holes in the soles and inside that I could stick my finger all the way through. No wonder his feet were getting wet. (There could be a second pair somewhere in the black hole of his room, but they'll never see the light of day again.)

Since we were headed to a bigger town to see a movie, we went to a Footlocker there. At least we knew what size Ernest wore! They both found shoes. And we learned that Ernest's feet are now bigger than Frank's.

And that's how I spent $224 on $shoes $aturday.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Atrium White or Cielo Blanco

The Handy Husband is patching a hole in the wall. He brought in 2 cans of white paint, wondering which matched the bathroom?

Hmmm... I put on my thinking cap. We used the Ameritone Cielo Blanco to paint the interior of the house about 18 years ago. So the Benjamin Moore Atrium White must be what we used for the master bath remodel 6 years ago. Why do I have to remember these things? You'd think we could manage to write something on the label!

Why did we have a hole in the wall? Ernest slipped getting out of the shower (he prefers ours to the one upstairs), grabbed onto a towel for balance, and yanked one end of the towel rack out of the wall. Leaving a large hole in the drywall. Yes, he's fine.

But don't you just love paint names? When we had my mother's house painted, I picked "Melted Butter" for the yellow exterior. And for the white trim, of course it had to be "Popped Corn." I'm completely serious.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Room 9 was supposed to decorate their Valentine boxes Thursday, but they did such a bad job on their math that they lost their free time.

I didn't bring any valentines to school yesterday. Because I couldn't find 36 cards that were suitable. (I work as an aide in 2 second grade classes. ) I drew the line at passing out Miley Cyrus or Spiderman cards. They didn't even notice.

There was so much sugar around at lunch time. I was giving a teacher a break at lunch (it was raining so we were stuck in the classrooms) and when she returned and told them they could have something from their valentine baskets, they went wild. Jumping and hooting and hollering. And this was after they had had brownies, cupcakes, and rice crispy treats. Can you say sugar MANIA?

Ernest says the 7th grade was equally crazy. Re the science class after lunch: "Mr. M. didn't like it. My science class doesn't listen anyway, but today was even worse."

And my Valentine will be? Hugging my boys.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cold and Flu Season

Since many in our household have been stricken with colds/flu, I feel it is time to revisit this classic clip:

Stay healthy. Follow Mary Alice's good advice.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Need Some Sun

After some rainy days, we're looking for sunshine! It was windy at lunch today...only one of the lunch tables was in the sun so we put the kids who forgot to bring jackets there.

This cat has the right idea.

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Growth Chart

There are some really cute growth charts out there. Nascar, Thomas, and more.

My kids? Their growth was marked the old fashioned way, on the back of a door frame.* And now it's happened. My baby, Ernest (marks on the left), is taller than me (the 5'6" blotch in the middle). It happened some time between September and now. His pant legs and sleeves are all too short. And his voice got deeper during the 10 days we were gone. I can't chart that. I wish I'd been able to save the old cell phone message with his younger voice!

And Frank? (Marks on the right.) It's been over a year since he let me measure him. He's probably closer to 6' now.


*Surprisingly, the Handy Husband has allowed this writing on the wall. He has offered to take the trim strip off so I can save it. (His ulterior motive is so he can put a clean one up.) I'll transcribe it to paper some day, and keep it rolled up along with mine.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Warranty Scams

Ernest has been getting a number of recorded phone calls: "Your car warranty is about to expire. This is your final warning." Except? Hello? He's TWELVE years old. He can't even drive yet.

He always hangs up on them, but today he handed the phone to me and I got through to a live person in just a few minutes. That's surprising (considering how long Frank and I have spent on the phone with Dell lately, but that's another story). So I told the person how these calls were going to a twelve year old and he put the phone number on a do-not-call list. Which reminded me that I hadn't put this phone number on the national do-not-call registry, so I did.

But wait, there's more. I got this in the mail a couple days ago. I wish I could get that to appear larger. It's completely vague with no reference to any specific car. Now, which of our cars is out of warranty on 1/31/2009? NONE OF THEM! So what kind of scam is this?
Maybe they can get some money from Nigeria instead of from me.

It's Going Around

Ernest and I indulged ourselves on guacamole and deviled eggs Tuesday night. Then I got sick. No, I don't think it was from the food as Ernest was fine.

I think it was from the three kids in room 9 that had the same thing. As I walked A to the nurse's office that morning, he told me how he had nearly upchucked a few minutes earlier, how B had gone home sick the afternoon before, and how C had thrown up yesterday but didn't go home. Yeah. It's like that. I'm better but now Frank is feeling queasy. He did not eat the guacamole and deviled eggs. So I'm pretty sure it's a bug.

Chicken soup for dinner.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Utter Destruction

We heard a cell phone dimly buzzing. Not mine, it's in my pocket.

Ernest said, maybe it's Dad's. Nope, if he left it at home it would be in the bedroom.

This buzzing was coming from somewhere in the living room. It stopped. I called Ernest's number. What do you know? The buzzing started again.

We strip searched the furniture, thinking that the phone would act like all the remote controls in the house and be stuffed down between some sofa cushions. Nope. He finally located the phone, somewhere on the floor under something else. And my living room resembled this disaster area. Wait a minute. It IS this disaster area.

Where's the oddest place you've ever found your cell phone?

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Halftime. That's all I watched. Because it was Bruuuuuuuuuuce!

He didn't lip-sync and he didn't have a wardrobe malfunction. He did have Patti, Little Steven and Clarence.

I was happy.