Thursday, January 31, 2008
- Vanessa, with the Valentine surprise. (I'll be surprised too, since I haven't put it together yet.)
- M-i-l, with chocolate. She doesn't blog, so she will pay hers forward with 30 home made hand decorated cookies for a 3rd grade class she volunteers for. (I know you're not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, but how else could I phrase it? The class for which she volunteers?)
- Echo, with Stephen King. (Will you ever have time to read it?)
And a big mea culpa from me for forgetting to mention that in my pay it forward from Bunny, I also received a CD of awesome music burned especially for me. Thank you again, Bunny! Great favorite stuff!
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
When you have a senior in high school, responsibility is imminent! In 1990, I thought I would just have a baby. I didn't really comprehend that he would grow up. Lucky me, he grew up nicely, with very little trouble. We've been working on what I call "Life Lessons" or responsiblity lessons for a couple years:
- Driving safely, check. BIG check. VERY IMPORTANT check. A+++ on this one.
- No illegal substances. ANOTHER BIG check. Another A+++ Don't think this has ever been a question.
- Keeping your cool car full of gas and clean, check.
- Good grades, check.
- Laundry, check. (He knows how to do it. This year's goal--do it on a regular basis. It's usually all black. One load!)
- Cooking, check (He can cook his favorite foods--pork chops, mashed potatoes, pancakes, fried eggs, and other things I can't think of right now)
- Telling us where you're going, check.
- Locking yourself out and what to do afterwards, the newest check. (Call a locksmith.)
- Appropriate usage of your new lap-top, check pending........
- Job, we'll give him a pass until he talks to the honchos at his dad's office. A little nepotism, but a lot of responsibility. So the checkmark is pending....
And coming soon....
- Going to Japan!....
- Balancing the checkbook...
- Grocery shopping...
- Paying bills...
- Enrolling in college....
- Moving.....(small steps, hope he moves into our upstairs apartment first).
- The perfect outfit: whatever fits and looks good! In my case, from Coldwater Creek.
- The perfect meal: steak and asparagus
- The perfect hangover cure: chicken flavor Cup Noodles
- The perfect road trip: Carmel
- The perfect facial feature: cheekbones and smile
- The perfect drink: Sunstone Merlot
- The perfect song: changes frequently. Currently "Radio Nowhere" by the Boss
- The perfect sign of affection: a friendly touch, a caress, an unexpected hug
- The perfect afternoon: relaxing!
- The perfect vacation: what's perfect, I don't know. My best vacations have been to New York with great food, museums, tall buildings, and ....whoo-hoo... Broadway shows!!!
- The perfect invention: I have 2--the printing press and electricity
- The perfect type of wedding: your heart's desire
- The perfect album: Dark Side of the Moon
- The perfect accent: I do like those Aussie blokes. But Hugh Jackman may fall off my list because I can't find an "official" website for him. And Heath? May he rest in peace.
- The perfect date: dinner and whatever happens afterwards
- The perfect weather: calm and mild, or... cool and rainy with the toasty fireplace
- The perfect party: Hopefully, our 25th anniversary party in September.
- The perfect sport: I don't do sport. I will suggest... belly dancing? (She's definitely not me, she's my teacher.)
- The perfect thing to say: "I love you."
- The perfect day of the week: Friday, the part of the weekend that is farthest away from Monday morning.
And I have been procrastinating as usual about paying it forward. But here goes my version.
I have 3 fabulous prizes:
- My beloved copy of Stephen King's Duma Key (because books are falling off the shelves and I have to declutter) (and it's a great book!)
- Something chocolate (probably both milk and dark)
- or a Valentine-themed mystery gift
- fi·as·co /fiˈæskoʊ / [fee-as-koh] –noun. a complete and ignominious failure.
- er·ror (ěr'ər) noun. a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattention
Key word here: inattention.Tuesday morning Ernest realized he didn't have his retainer. Working back in time, we established he hadn't had it since Sunday afternoon. Since the out of town pizza party. Since he wrapped it in a napkin and left it by his plate. Since the party trash was thrown away. So we've made a trip to the orthodontist for a replacement. It turns out our "retainer insurance" was on an annual basis, but they don't send out renewal bills. How would I have known! But the orthodontist kindly let us pay the insured price instead of the full price.
Monday, January 28, 2008
They had been to an assembly for the Amgen Tour of California, which will be in our town February 22. Every child got a souvenir cowbell. Give a child a noisemaker, and of course the child will make noise with it.
So I can truthfully say, I have finally heard enough cowbell.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Plastic lawn furniture blown around a little.
No new leaks! Yet. Knock on wood.
Ernest and I are leaving in 2 hours for McQueen's birthday party. We also have a present for Mr. Thomas.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
The last time I remember this much wind (1998) we lost 4 trees.
- A beautiful huge California Oak tree on our patio fell toward our house, just on the edge of the roof outside Frank's bedroom, but he didn't even wake up! The sleep of the innocent. This was the saddest tree loss, as it was planted as an acorn by the son of the original owner in 1963-68.
- A pine tree fell on a car, but actually it was beyond our back property line. So not our insurance problem, thank goodness.
- Two already dead trees just tipped over, and smashed our bridge. Yes we, have a bridge to nowhere. There is a hot tub on the other end, but it doesn't work anymore.
- And Ernest did not like the resulting chainsaw noises because they were "youd" (loud). He was only twoish.
- A block away, a pepper tree completely crushed a garage.
- I've got photos.
I'm still hearing the wind blow. Update tomorrow.
I cook dinner almost every night, usually a really good dinner that most of us eat. I hoped that since I would be gone most of the day, he would take charge.
So I got home at 5:30 tonight and he wanted me to help and I was freaking. The dough was recalcitrant. My portion would not spread out. And my old thin pans...the teflon was flaking off. When I saw the black mystery specks, I threw that dough away. I pulled out my other "good" cookie sheets, but warned, "These are the insulated kinds, they may not cook right? I have a pizza stone (which I think I suggested before) we could use?" Damn me for my questioning female voice but he gets mad if I out-and-out BITCH. Well, he says he's not mad but it sure feels to me that he does.
I prefer one cook in the kitchen.
I had possibly the smallest hissy fit of my whole life (I went in another room and actually shredded a piece of paper), because it's close to but not quite PMS time. I offered to get Bobolis. but no, he muscled the dough out with a rolling pin. Rectangular. I cowered at the edge of the counter and cut up the sausage and veggies.
He chose not to use the pizza stone. The pizza did not cook thoroughly. The boys ate theirs, we cut ours in half and baked it longer on some other non-insulated pans.
My point is, I cook dinner almost every night. We don't go out that often. I do not need dinner to be an ordeal. I do not need to struggle with it, and question it, and beat it with a rolling pin. I am pissed, but being the passive type I am, I will not say anything. He decided to throw out the leftovers. That says it all.
HH, if you read this, remember I love you, but I this is why I don't want to cook pizza at home anymore.
Clear this morning, and totally blustery tonight. Must....watch....Pooh....
Photo Credit: the Handy Husband. As I was driving the Ernests (their real names are the same, so they must have the same blog names, but the one that's not my son will be Ern for short) to their P2P meeting, I called my HH begging, "When you go to the hardware store, please take a picture of the snow! " He done good.
And to all of you who have REAL honest to goodness inches of snow on your streets, I apologize for getting so excited about this. Where I am, this doesn't happen every year.
The wind is blowing ultrahard... hope we don't lose any trees. That also doesn't happen every year, but this is the most wind we've had in a long time.
Cuddle up with your loved ones and some hot chocolate.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Frank said, "We're locked out of the apartment." That's our spare 'oom. A friend stayed over and they left the key in the 'oom. Ernest visited them, and left the EXTRA key in the 'oom. (You're wondering why he was home on a Friday? He had the day off after finals.)
In the morning they left the 'oom. The door shut. Panic ensued. They tried to pick the lock (evidence of miniature screw drivers and straightened-out paper clips left on the counter). They were unsuccessful.
I told him I didn't think there was another spare 'oom key. He tried the two mystery keys in our key dish but they didn't work. (It's true, one is labled "Mystery" and one is "?." Why do I still keep them?)
So I said, get out the phone book and call a locksmith, and you can pay for it on your VisaBuxx. This 17 year old boy doesn't like to call people, but he did. And the locksmith came and opened the 'oom and everything was fine. And I have to compliment the locksmith, they were there in about an hour.
I was proud of myself for not rushing home and fixing things. For me, that's the hard part of being the mother of a teen: sit back and let him solve the problem. But that's what I need to do.
And his job tomorrow is to go to the hardware store and have some extra keys made.
P.S. the next day: he didn't get the keys made (which ended up to be job #3 on my final list), but he did clean up the room (#1) and figure out how to return his broken Rock Band guitar controller (#2). I gave him a pass on #3 until tomorrow.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Ernest discovered Frank's Heelys last weekend. Now he is heelying around the house whenever he can get them off Frank's feet.
But both boys have one problem: they can't turn left! I've been calling it Zoolander Syndrome. They are trying hard to overcome this sad and misunderstood affliction.
As Ernest was zipping around the hall this morning, he said "I love the turning of the right path. It's EPIC, I tell you. It's NOT epic going that [i.e. left.]" He has a strange way with words.
It's great to be able to make
However, both my kids are pancake chefs so they will continue to be responsible for making the big batch on the weekend.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Easy - game score minus 5 points.
Medium - game score
Hard - game score plus 5 points
Expert - game score plus 10 points.
Frank (Cartman?) and Kyle played expert and passed (95 and 100). Kenny and Stan played easy, and failed. But get this, the teacher played on easy and ALSO FAILED. I'm not sure how much weight this is actually going to have on their grades, but it sure sounds like a fun class!
Let's hope he aces his REAL finals.
Monday, January 21, 2008
*The Pirate's Dinner Adventure is a pirate version of Medieval Times. Frank thought that seeing pirates dance to "Y.M.C.A." was deeply disturbing.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Last week I had a call from an insurance agent that sold policies for the company I used to work for. He offered me a job! How great is that? The only problem... I hate insurance. I did customer service for 15 years and I don't want to do it anymore. Even though I could make a lot more money.
But I told him thank you, I don't want to burn any bridges, but I just don't want to do insurance anymore, and I
This week I was stressed about the lunch duty because the kinders are staying for lunch now and since one K aide quit, we are shorthanded for lunch. I spoke to our new "interim" principal about it, and besides a "wait and see attitude" about lunch she also asked, would I go back to second grade?
Second grade, my nirvana last year? With the teacher who loved loved loved me? And who communicated with me and treated me like a partner Of course I would go back to second grade, but due to budget cuts I will only be back with her for part of the morning. The other part will be with another second grade teacher (I volunteered for her when Ernest was in 2nd grade) who is very particular, but apparently she wants me too.
P.S. The school secretary called yesterday to say they were putting me on lunch duty all five days but I wouldn't have to do morning recess. WhooHoo.
It feels good .
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
I will pause for congratulations... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... thank you, thank you all. I'd like to thank the Academy--- oops, wrong fantasy. If I can find the picture of my 13 year old self accepting the pretend oscar from my BFF's pretend awards show, I'll add it here.
To celebrate, I am hosting a VIRTUAL party on this post. I invite all my loyal (or not) readers to post a comment with your favorite beverage(s) and appetizer(s). Remember, there are no calories at a virtual party! I will start with two choices each since I'm the party girl.
Beverage: Pomegranate Martinis and a Merlot from Sunstone Winery.
Appetizer: Alaskan Rolls from Kabuki and something really decadent like Artichoke Dip (mayo, parmesan, all that great non-diet stuff).
P.S. Please make a music selection, too. Mine is Bruce, and I'm sure the HH's is Led Zeppelin. Give me 2 songs and I'll put it in the mix for the big 25th anniversary party in September. Maybe the food too!
Thank you friends!
diced granny smith apple
I wanted to put nuts in it. I thought I had walnuts but after an exhaustive search of my cupboard, all I found was a bag of pecans which expired in 1999? WTF? I am not THAT bad a housekeeper and I HATE old food. The pecans went in the trash.
The salad was good without the nuts.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
I won't discuss 1 and 2 - TMI. But #3: "finish what I start" is, surprisingly, coming along OK. Friday I cleaned the oven, Saturday I finished recovering the seat of a child's rocking chair* (after 2 boys it was dirty and frayed) and today I washed the floor.
*Now there is no place to put the chair. It was in the garage for more than 6 months while I procrastinated, and now its space has been taken up by the Rock Band equipment.
The Handy Husband was proactive today, and fixed the washing machine when it started making a noise. He's never fixed the washer before, so he looked up diagrams on the internet. It made the same noise a few months ago and $80 later, it turned out to be a wire in the pump. Probably from his pocket. Same thing this time! Glad he saved us the $80.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
It just occured to me that we have lived in you for 20 years today. Happy Birthday, House! I'm sorry I haven't taken any pretty pictures of you recently. Here's one from this afternoon, a little bare. You would look prettier if your wisteria and roses were in bloom.
Here's your front yard in September 2006. Ernest and I were on our way to a Pirate Faire.
Here's our patio in August 2005, where the Handy Husband has barbecued many a yummy tri-tip . And where Frank and Ernest learned to manage the stilts and pogo stick. (Thank you for keeping them uninjured when they fell off!) Here's the back yard in April 2005, hosting Ernest's 9th birthday party. Give that pinata a good whack! (There's the path where Frank whacked the lights!)
When we saw you, we weren't even intending on buying a new house. We remembered you from when we were kids. The Handy Husband delivered papers to you. So we walked through your open house just for fun. Little did we know we would fall in love.
We did a lot of work on you at first. Kitchen, floors, ceilings, doors, bathroom, even doorknobs! 20 years later you need a few more touchups (like my hair!). You could use new paint and new windows.
Thank you, House, for taking care of us for 20 years. Thank you for not complaining when your empty rooms grew overstuffed or when I forgot to clean you. Thank you for keeping us warm and safe and together as a family. We love you.
Love, Mom, Handy Husband, Frank, Ernest and The Cat.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
There was a box of blood oranges in my way. So I bought some. The checker
At this time, the Pomegranate Martinis still have the edge. The Handy Husband said he felt like a 50's husband, coming home to a Martini. But I was not wearing a housedress and a frilly apron. I have decided to invest in a real cocktail shaker (Tupperware is not cool) and Martini glasses. When they arrive, I may don the frilly apron as a joke. (Yes, there will be clothes beneath it. There are children in the house.)
Today he said, "I need a flash drive. Can we get one at the hardware store?" I only laughed a little, then said, "No, but we can look at RiteAid." We found one. This is so he can move files between school and home, for the school newspaper his GATE class is starting.
Now he is asking me math questions. What the heck are complementary and supplementary angles? I looked that one up on Wickipedia. After the second question , I said, "Ask your brother!"
I don't remember Ernest every being naughty. I used to call him my Angel Baby, because he was so good and looked like a curly haired chubby cherub. He liked to wear costumes year round. One favorite was the silver "robot suit" with helmet, which I made. We just gave that to our g-nephew Mr. Thomas, who expressed an interest in becoming a robot. (We'll need a picture, hint hint.)
He's a good kid. He does well in school (even English is better this year), he is a careful driver, he doesn't take drugs, he comes home on time, he doesn't argue with me, he has a great sense of humor...I could go on. I was trying to think of anything really naughty he'd done (besides failing English) and all I could think of was when he was 3 and got hold of a big barbeque spatula and happily went down the backyard path smashing the ceramic lights on his way. We still haven't replaced them all. Fourteen years later.
Monday, January 07, 2008
There's a South Park name grouping: Frank could be Eric Cartman (some of you know his real name)...but far less disgusting... and his stage band+ friends are Kenny (no one's killed this Kenny), Kyle and Stan (only Stan's real name is different but it uses some the same letters),
Also there was Gonzo, plus the singer in Frank's real garage band^ whom I have not nicknamed yet, and a girl who is the daughter of an English teacher#.
+Stage band: the 7th period class where sometimes they do drumline and sometimes they just jam. Frank couldn't schedule Concert Band because it conflicted with AP calculus B/C. He chose calculus.
^Garage band: In the drummer's garage, they are trying to be a real band. They have played "Paint it Black" in public.
#He got a D- last year, but the teacher still liked him.
*OK, final footnote. We don't want to insult anyone who loves Jesus. Here is the story behind the nickname: 2 years ago, Frank went to Australia and had a home stay. He went to school with the boy from the home stay. Someone at the boy's Christian school shouted out, "It's Jesus" and took Frank's picture with his cell phone. (Frank had lovely long hair and a beard.) So Frank (the older brother) has been called Jesus for a while, and this year when his friends met Ernest (with lovely long hair and no beard) they called him "Little Jesus," or, my favorite "Baby Jesus." No offence meant to anyone, it is based on portraits of Jesus, especially the one that hung on my godmother's wall for 50 years.
This post has gone on long enough. Goodnight!
So the older (11 in January) g-nephew, a real car guy, provided our centerpiece for the evening. He knows everything about cars.
I was going to call him CarGuy, but that's just too... ordinary and garage-mechanic-y. So I'm going to call him McQueen (as a tribute to both Steve and Lightning) which is uber-cool. If he would prefer another name, he can e-mail me.
His 3.5 year old brother will be called Mr. Thomas. Because he is obsessed with... yeah, you know. Mr. Thomas loves to visit us because we have Thomas videos and Thomas toys (...from the early 1990's. We don't know if they are lead infected but Frank and Ernest survived them OK.) There's "Small Thomas, " the small box of metal Thomas toys. Then there's "Big Thomas," the huge yellow box of Brio trains with some Thomas trains added.
So, McQueen and Mr. Thomas, come back soon.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
1. Use hand lotion on a regular basis.
2. Ditto dental floss.
3. The biggie: finish what I start! I am the world's best (or is it worst) procrastinator. Today's job: put the Christmas decorations away.
UPDATE on #3, yes all the decorations are put away. And I also put away most of the crap in the "sewing room" aka "spare 'oom" aka "room of one's own" aka "room of requirement" aka "retreat from snoring room." 1/7/08