Monday, January 31, 2011

Every day is Caturday!

At least around here!

Homer and Francine spend much time lounging in their kitty condos. Homer is more adventurous and has made several investigative forays around the house. He has also advanced to a few lap sessions, and consented to sleep with Ernest for an hour last night. Unfortunately that gave skittish Francine the opportunity to sneak into Ernest's closet. (The day before, she chose behind the piano as her preferred location.)

So I text the kids Elvis-like updates..."Francine has left the closet." She's the Greta Garbo type.

I gave Francine breakfast in bed in her condo (at 4 p.m.) since she was in the closet for the morning meal. Homer was quite put out because there was no food for him, but jeez, look at the guy. He doesn't need seconds.

He's at his widest sitting down. He's one of those cats who would say, "I'm not fat, I'm fluffy." Yes, he is incredibly fluffy but, no surprise, he's fat underneath!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

10 Little Things: Thing Eight

Name 10 little things that make you happy.

Thing number eight: New Friends

Please join us in welcoming Francine and Homer to the Smalltown Household.

These are their bios, via Petfinder.

"Francine's life has been a fairy tale, until recently. She came to the Humane Society as the young offspring of a feral cat and after a brief stay, she landed in the arms of a loving senior woman and her husband. She immediately bonded with the woman, relegating the husband to second class citizenship. Her life as queen suited her well. When the woman passed 3 years later, the husband brought Francine here to find another woman to call her own. Francine is one of our Lonely Hearts Club members which means she prefers the company of people over most other animals. She has befriended another club member, Homer, and they currently share a double occupancy suite. Francine is looking for that special someone. Could it be you? She is the proud owner of a spectacular bushy plume-like tail. Peacocks have nothing on her! She is 3 years old and weighs 7 lbs."

Francine: Domestic Medium Hair-Black And White, Cat; Buellton, CA

"Homer is a full personality character. He is quirky, particular, affectionate, tidy and very dependable. His day starts at 8:00am sharp with a satisfying stretch, immediately followed by the breakfast bell. Meow, meow, meow. Once breakfast is complete he uses the facilities, and initiates the flush bell. Meow, meow, meow. Once his area is clean and his bed is made, he settles in for one of many siestas. Homer knows how to relax. He recently moved into our Lonely Hearts Club suite where he can relax with a single roommate, rather than the full house. At 8 years old he appreciates routine over constant activity. Come meet this entertaining fellow. He will brighten your day. He is 8 years old and weighs an impressive 17 lbs."

Homer: Domestic Medium Hair-White, Cat; Buellton, CA

Thursday, January 27, 2011

10 Little Things: Thing Seven

Name 10 little things that make you happy.

Thing number seven: Dancing Children

Yesterday, one of the third graders asked me if I was going to the assembly after lunch. "We're dancing," he said. Well, I had to stay for that! Our third graders are so lucky. They all get to participate in this fantastic program. They were wonderful!

SBDI ...5...6...7....8...Dance from Rosalina Macisco on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Minor Annoyances

It seems I've run out of the happy little things for a while. It's not that I'm actively UNhappy, but nothing's piqued my interest recently. So instead, I'll vent about some recent minor annoyances.

Speed bumps. There are NINE speed bumps on Ernest's campus. Thump/Ouch. Repeat 8 more times.

Bug bites. I am covered with them. At first my paranoid mind thought bedbugs, but A, we haven't been anywhere lately that we could have gotten them from, and B, my husband has not been bitten at all. My second thought was fleas. Since the cat is gone, the fleas have to attack someone. Who knows. Itch, itch, itch.

A certain child at school. She acts the opposite of her pretty name so I'll just call her...Dischordia. That's what she's causing, so she can be the center of attention.

Stop signs. Since when did stopping become optional? I'm not even talking about the rolling California stop (I'm occasionally guilty of that, too) but I'm seeing so many people drive right through without even bothering to stop at all.

Seat belts. Or more particularly, when someone is driving our truck said someone does not put his seat belt on until he has driven a block, and then he struggles with it and swerves.

Children's clutter. Not Frank's because I won't even go there. Literally. I will not go in his apartment. Out of sight, out of mind. But since Ernest is in the house, his clutter is visible. He can leave stuff out and ignore it for weeks, nay months, nay years an eternity. I got fed up with the school supply shelf which has had all his 8th grade papers strewn across it since June. I don't have a before picture -- it was just too awful.

That's enough of that for today.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Daily Drive : Apples

And here's another break from the favorite things....This has been floating around in my drafts for a while.

Just north of the deer crossing, and across the road from the haunted house, is Apple Lane Farm. No surprise, it's owned by the Lanes. This is the scene of many first grade field trips. Mrs. Lane knows everything about apples and the little woollybugger moths (honestly, they have a real name but I can't remember it) and the pheromone sticks they use to repel the moths.

A useful tip for squeamish children -- even if the apple has a hole in it it's still OK to eat...the moth caterpillar has gone all the way into the core and the rest of the apple is fine.

Here's six-year-old Ernest on his field trip way back in 2002.

It looks like his friend picked more apples than he could carry.

Sweet sweet memories. Makes me want some apple pie right now!

Friday, January 21, 2011

10 Little Things: Thing Six

Name 10 little things that make you happy.

Thing number six: Chatty Children

Nothing makes me happier than when a child chats with me at recess. I have had a little shadow this week, young Master Y.

I have learned so much about him:
  • directions to his house -- does he want me to visit?
  • his favorite food -- fried potatoes
  • his favorite color -- almost everything except pink
  • his sleeping habits -- he's a deep sleeper and doesn't remember his dreams
  • his bathing -- "I had to take a shower because I had a P E E (he spelled it out) bed." "That's T M I!" I told him.
  • his secret -- "Can you keep a secret?" he asked. "Of course," I said. So he came close and pulled his shirt tight to show his round belly. "I weigh over 80," he whispered. I guess I'm glad he can confide in me.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

10 Little Things: Thing Five

Name 10 little things that make you happy.

Thing number five: Girl Time

I have a husband and two sons, and so does my beloved niece (although her guys are younger). Sometimes we feel the lack of female companionship. So every once in a while (but not often enough!) we manage to carve out what we call "girl time" where we dish and commune and commiserate and whatnot. And perhaps have an Herb Garden Gimlet.

This WAS going to be my happy thing yesterday but she had to fill in for a sick co-worker.

So we have a rain check for girl time and going to see Black Swan!

Enjoy your time!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Fly

[We hereby interrupt the favorite things broadcast to bring you this replay of a recent event...Dialog and events remain the same, names have been changed to protect the innocent.]

INT. BEDROOM - 1:45 a.m.

HUSBAND and WIFE are lying in bed. Wife moans,
tossing and turning in the bed. Husband sighs.


I'm going to turn on the light and kill that damn fly.

You'll never find it.

The light comes on and we see Wife armed with a purple flyswatter.

Wait for it, wait for it wait for it.....
..... There! It's on the lightbulb.

She swats in vain but she can't reach it. She gives him the flyswatter.

Get it! I don't care if we break the bulb.

He perches precariously on tiptoe on the end of the bed, in the nude.


The fly is on the floor.
She grabs the swatter.


The lights dim.

FAINT BUZZ continues for 20 minutes.

Monday, January 17, 2011

10 Little Things: Thing Four

Name 10 little things that make you happy.

Thing number three: The What Should Frank Make list.

This is an actual list on our refrigerator. I added red velvet cupcakes after I read Cheri's blog. I think Frank could fit that job description.

Frank was looking to expand his dessert repertoire beyond the incredible pies and cookies he has already mastered. Ideas were flying around the room, so I said, "Why don't you make a list?" Crickets chirped. No one makes lists around here except for me, so the list is in my writing.

Our weekend included a cheesecake. I've since added lemon bars and s'mores brownies to the list.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

10 Little Things: Thing Three

Name 10 little things that make you happy.

Thing number two: An afternoon with Frank and Colin

As your children get older, especially after they can drive themselves, one-on-one time with them gets increasingly rare. So it was a special treat for me to spend yesterday afternoon with Frank.

He wanted to see The King's Speech, which surprised me since usually he tends towards sci fi adventure. Now, I've been wanting to see it too so I jumped at the chance.

Because....really, you know why.

So I got a ride in the Mini to the big town, we had Kahuna burgers, saw the movie, and went to Costco. He pushed the cart. What more could a mom ask for?

I was happy all afternoon.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

10 Little Things: Thing Two

Name 10 little things that make you happy.

Thing number two: Boys with Olives on fingers.

I know I've described this crazy love before. Thanks to nephew McQueen for this sequence. It made me happy.

10 Little Things : Thing One

Name 10 little things that make you happy.

I got this meme from Green Girl in Wisconsin, but you know me, I have to do it my own way. So I'm going to show you a thing a day.

Thing number one: Pie for breakfast.

Seriously! Frank made another variation of this custard pie, this time with apricots and raspberries. Oh my, this was the best breakfast I've had in a long time. Creamy custard and tart fruit popping in my mouth. Way to wake up the tastebuds.

And yes, that is a Christmas dish. I felt like using them a while longer.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

He Really Shouldn't

Last night my husband was looking at one of those websites that he really shouldn't have been looking at.

You know the kind, with girls named Satin and Pearl and Barbie and Sonja. And descriptions like friendly, loves to cuddle, would prefer to be alone with you.

You get the picture...

or do you?




Here's sultry Sonja...

But I don't know..Barbie looks a little skanky to me.

Monday, January 10, 2011


We had to put our cat to sleep tonight. RIP to our beloved Sox. We are grateful to the vet who makes house calls. I can't talk any more right now. Hug your pets for us.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

My Very Own Keebler Elf

I had a Keebler Elf in my kitchen before Christmas, but I didn't get a picture. You know how secretive those elves are.

He left some evidence, though.

He was only about 2/3 of the way through filling these tins. There was another layer of cookies on top -- DOUBLE CHOCOLATE!

We had some lucky relatives this year. And relatives? If you want to return those tins, I'm sure the elf will fill them up next Christmas.

Friday, January 07, 2011


Old age is mellowing these two former enemies. It used to be that they couldn't be in the same room together, let alone the same house.

The cat nibbles, then the dog sniffs around and vacuums up the leftovers. A perfect system.

Thursday, January 06, 2011


Miss Z has some competition in the acting department.

I watched Miss T and a friend walk across the blacktop towards me, about the length of 2-3 basketball courts. Miss T announced, "I need to go to the office because I just fell and sprained my ankle."

But she had managed to walk the aforementioned length without a trace of a limp. So I told her I didn't think it was sprained, since she wasn't having any trouble walking on it. But I called the office anyway.

As I finished my conversation, I noticed Miss T auditioning various limps for her friend, until finally she settled on a painful looking foot drag with the presumably injured foot twisted as far as it would go to the side.

I called her on it.

However, Miss Z is still on a roll this week. After several reprimands in the cafeteria for yelling in people's ears and general rowdy misbehavior, she let loose with this statement: "Girls are supposed to kill boys." (She has two older brothers.) All the boys at the table were terrified. Don't worry, we tattled on her to her teacher.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


That's my teeth chattering, in case you were wondering. It was 32° this morning. Yes, I know the temp is in the teens or below for some of you, but remember we are California Weather Wussies out here. I forced Ernest to wear a sweatshirt. Mean old Mom.

Remember Miss Z, my interesting first-grader. I neglected to blog about her activities during the last week of school in June. Let's just say they led to a 3-day suspension. I don't see her too much this year, because she's in a different second grade class, but occasionally we have some playground interaction. On Monday, she came up to me and said, "I need to go to the office to call to go home because I have asthma and need my inhaler." Note: she does NOT have asthma, it was just an elaborate plot. A fine little actress, that one. What is this obsession the kids have with going to the office? They think it's some magical cure-all. Or maybe they just get candy.

In other news, I think I've killed our computer. Not this one, but the other one. Aaack.

[Pretend there's a picture of Cathy going "aack" right here. This computer doesn't like to copy pictures.]

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Clever on Sunday

With a younger cousin nearby, Ernest is mischeviously making up for all his years as a younger brother.

I often told him the story of my dad, who told me he was only ticklish on Sundays.

But he has put a new spin on his Morfar's technique. He tells Mr. Thomas he is only ticklish every other Sunday. The problem for Mr. T is that it's always the wrong Sunday.

Clever child young man.