Thursday, December 31, 2009

Big Boy Lego

Over the years, Ernest has gotten a little bored with Lego, after filling his room with it. (There's one more big Star Wars Lego hidden away somewhere in our's a reward if his room is ever cleaned to my satisfaction, which it never is.)

However, I was intrigued by the Lego Architecture series, and since he wants to be an architect, I thought he would be too.

I was correct.

The Lego version. The real deal.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa's Helper

This elf needed some hot chocolate (he says his dad calls it "cocoa moo") to warm up after his long trip from the North Pole.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

5 a.m. Phone Call

This happened yesterday.

It's a scary thing when the phone rings at 5 a.m. Especially when you have been sick half the night with some kind of icky problem (bad tacos at lunch?). When the phone rang, I thought it was a family emergency. I thought someone was either dead or in the hospital. Because our phone? Is not supposed to ring at 5 a.m.

Instead, I heard: "Hello, this is Teresa from the UK. I'm calling about the package you sent UPS to Global Financial."

Me: "I didn't send any package to anyone in the UK and it's 5 o'clock in the morning." {CLICK!}

Yes, I hung up on her! I thought it was some kind of scam for my credit card information, and at at that hour and in my condition, I didn't care to talk.

However I got another call at 8:30. A U.S. voice this time, who said she really was from UPS. The only UPS package I sent recently was to return something to Amazon with a prepaid label. Did the folks in my local UPS Store copy my name onto someone else's package? I don't know what the problem is with this package, but it's not mine, folks.

But wait, now I'm getting paranoid. What was in the package, why was it sent to the wrong place, and for gods sake why do they have my name on it???

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Home Alone

That's me! Home alone. Whee!

Handy Husband is working, Ernest is at zoo camp, Frank broke a guitar string and has taken off to the big town to replace it. No guitar strings available in this small town, since the local music store closed a year ago.

And what am I doing?

Puttering. I have no other word for it. I drift from thing to thing. I washed the dishes. Then I remembered the mud on Ernest's shoes, so I cleaned them. When I put the shoes away, I was reminded to put my own shoes away. When I went into my closet, I found the stack of unread books had fallen over, so I sorted and restacked them. Now there is a pile to take to the used book store. While in the closet, I found things to throw away. As I was walking to the trash can, the elderly pumpkin outside caught my eye. Better throw that away too. Oh, and take out the recycling. While tying up the bag of paper, the vacuum stared at me. So I pulled it out...but I still haven't used it yet!

And all the while, trotting back to the computer to put in another CD, in my quest to copy all our CDs to an external hard drive. Why? I don't know. It seemed like a useful thing to do.

And so it goes. If you give a mouse a cookie....

Monday, December 21, 2009


Right this minute, Ernest is completing his 500th hour volunteering at the zoo. He is a C-I-T for Zoo Camp this week. He's been working hard to accumulate 500 hours by the end of the year -- the reward is a 50 year membership to the zoo. (Starting in 2010, 2000 hours will be required!)

(Photo from Santa Barbara Zoo Facebook)

Meanwhile, kids from his school have to do 20 hours of community service in order to go on the 8th grade trip. He's happy that he has more than fulfilled that requirement!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Homes Tour

Welcome, if you're here from Jen on the Edge's Holiday Home Tour. Welcome if you're not, too!

If not a day late, I may be a dollar short in the decorating department, but here's what we've done so far.

We got the tree last weekend. We went out to breakfast at the Longhorn, and planned to get the tree at a nearby lot afterwards. It started raining while we were there, so we went home. Two miles away, there was no rain. The road was dry. We turned around and went back...still raining! So we got the tree in the rain! Parked as close as we could, ran to the lot, pointed to a tree and said "that looks like a nice one!" Fastest tree selection ever! But it really was a nice one. Frank and Ernest got it set up.

It's smaller than it looked in the lot. Oh, well.

Mr. Thomas visited later in the week and thought the tree needed more ornaments. Especially SpongeBob ornaments.

Most of the gifts are wrapped.

A few decorations are out.

The Handy Husband even put out some lights!

What's not done is:

I have no wreath. My local boy scout neglected to call me to sell me the traditional boy scout fundraising wreath. Darn you, Mr. Scout! I rely on you for that!

I have no cards. I was going to have photo cards made, but I could not find a photo of all of us. There were no photos of Husband and I together, either. So I have let time trickle away on that one. Maybe New Year's Cards?

I have no decorations in the other room, even though the box is sitting open. Maybe this weekend.

Here's last year's tour.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Crazy Computers

Both computers in our house are going crazy at the same time.

The laptop, which is technically MINE but has been taken over by World of Warcraft, decided to stop playing WoW. Ernest has tried to reinstall it 4 times. Each time the installation/update fails earlier in the process. Twice we've gotten the blue screen of, if not death, at least serious system dismemberment.

The other computer, the old workhorse, or "Full of Crap" as my husband lovingly labeled it, has decided it can't see YouTube videos any more. I solved that problem, no thanks to Internet Explorer. So I don't think I'll be using Internet Explorer any more. Firefox and Chrome work quite nicely, thank you.

And why, now that I have decided to copy all our CDs to an external hard drive, does iTunes decide to freeze up all the time?

Sunday, December 13, 2009


There's an old saying: "My get-up-and-go got up and went."

It doesn't help that every man in the house is grumpy about something. HEY, I'm the only one allowed to have PMS here.

The HH is stressed about work and car.

Frank can't enroll at CC until "2099." Yes, you read that right. They've got a typo in the system and he's been on hold for about 3 days total (he hates "smooth jazz" now) and no one is fixing it.

Ernest's WOW developed a bug. He has tried to reinstall it 4 times, but each time it stops working earlier in the process. And each time he gets angrier.

So they are all in a pissy mood. And I'm tired. [Insert Madeline Kahn song here.] Of noise, of cooking, of being sick, of listening, of trying to think of helpful things to say.

So let me know if you see my get-up-and-go. It's probably at a spa somewhere, having a massage and a martini.

Monday, December 07, 2009

More Pie

After our oven was fixed, Ernest decided to make another pie.

I think this is an easier way.

Pie Muppets! I am delighted!

8 million views of the Muppets Bohemian Rhapsody, but there are a lot of other funny new bits, too! I loved the Muppet Show and am glad there's some new stuff! I confess, I have all the Muppet Movies -- on VHS. Old School.

Feel free, confess...what old thing do you still like?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

To Party or Not To Party

The Handy Husband is turning 50 this month.

This was in the paper yesterday:

DEAR ABBY: I will be 50 next year. My daughter is determined to throw me a party, but I'm not interested in acknowledging my age. In fact, thinking about it throws me into a panic. I realize this is my problem, but how can I make her understand that this is something I truly do not want and I won't attend? She thinks I'm joking. -- 49 AND HOLDING

DEAR HOLDING: Your daughter is well-meaning but insensitive. Because you can't make her comprehend that birthdays have different connotations for different people, and that you prefer to "forget" about this one, plan an enjoyable getaway for yourself the week that yours rolls around and leave town. And every time you feel yourself going into a panic, practice this mantra: 50 is the new 30. Once you make up your mind to accept it, then you -- like so many others -- will believe it and calm down. Aging is normal. It's stress that's the killer.

My husband does NOT want a party. I respect that. So there will be no party. Just dinner out and a chocolate cake.

(But did you notice that Abby said 50 is the new 30? All I have to say is w00t!!!!! )

I will be turning 50 in May. I would LOVE to have a party. I'd better start dropping hints, or else I will have to plan it myself. Five months to go...

Oh, yeah, was this post about my husband's birthday?

And speaking of parties, today is my BLOGOVERSARY! Cheers!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Turkey Day Traumas and Triumphs

This is slightly late for a Thanksgiving post, but it is hard for me to blog when everyone is in the house.

The traumas:

We ran out of butter.

When I got back from the store, the turkey was still on the counter, the oven had gone out and the house smelled like gas. ***

The gas smell made my headache worse.

So did someone's zealous overuse of cleaning products. (Did he have to pick that moment to attack the grungy glue oozing out between the pantry floor tiles? With acetone?)

And then there wasn't enough Mrs. Cubbison's. I should have bought 2.

When I went BACK to the store AGAIN, they were out of stuffing!

The Triumphs:

The turkey fit in Frank's tiny oven and cooked just fine.

On my second trip to the store, I had a nice chat with a mom I hadn't seen in ages.

I toasted some bread and added it to the stuffing I had.

The oven worked later and I was able to bake the stuffing and sweet potato casserole.

Both recipes turned out great.

Everyone loved the food.

The pies were awesome.

We were able to distract Mr. Thomas from having a trauma by offering him pie with whipped cream.

Everything is better with whipped cream.

***Mr. Kelleher was here this afternoon and put a new igniter in my oven so I can safely use it again!