Monday, December 31, 2007

Day Four

Hi Daddy,
It's me the boy! I have something exciting to tell you. I FINISHED MY "ELDEST" BOOK! So now you can stop bugging me about reading it. We're going to take it back to the library today. We didn't end up going to the zoo today. We woke up late and then didn't feel like it. We made appetizers for the party tonight. Making them was kind of gross.

Every time I was sitting around doing nothing, Mom would yell "Go read your book!", so I did.

Yausen and Baby Beans are very happy too! Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Day Three

Where's Yausen? Where did he go? Yausen?

Here I am!

Hi Man! It's me, Yausen! I've belonged to Mommy all her life. Usually I'm hanging out in the box with all my best friends, but lately I've been getting out a lot more. It's been fun, fun, fun! Today, Mommy and the girl and boy all left and went to Grandma's. They were gone all day and I think they went out to get something to eat. My friends and I stayed nice and safe locked in the box where the girl put us. She's so sweet! I hope you are staying warm up in Vermont. I'm never cold because these jammies are very comfy and warm! Lucky me! Yay!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Day Two

Dear Man,
Today we did nothing in a big glorious way. We puttered, slouched, procrastinated and dawdled all in our jammies. The big list of "Things To Do" was completely ignored. We watched two episodes of Farscape and played DDR. (Yes, I was very careful!) The biggest thing that happened all day was that, without much fuss at all, I figured out how to get songs into the boy's MP3 player.

I got this shot by telling him to just dance around and not think about that I was going to take his picture. It shows, doesn't it? He's jamming out to the Queen he got from Santa, of course. He wanted the whole CD loaded in. You've got to hand it to Guitar Hero; How else would a 12 year old kid know about and then want to listen to Queen?

I also figured out how to delete those songs that came with it, but you have to do them one at a time, so he's going to do it himself tomorrow! Bwahahahaha! I'm really happy and relieved you are in Montpelier safe and sound tonight with no driving mishaps. It's a drag that you literally have a room that stinks though!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Dear Man...

Hey babe! Today you left for Vermont, FOR THE LAST TIME! I am so proud of you! To stay in touch I'm going to try to post everyday here. (But there are no guarantees on the everyday part of it!)



After you left, the kids and I also took off for the GS party. For a short little two hour party, we did a lot. There were games, food, the gift exchange and then more games. I think it went off pretty well. As you can see, we had the party in the youth room where there is a ping-pong table, a pool table, Foosball and an air hockey table.

After we got home, the kids put together the Avatar Lego set. The canon shoots these little disks and there's a catapult the shoots little green things. There's a trapdoor inside as well. It passes all the tests for Lego coolness.

You are in Utica tonight. I hope you sleep well. Drive safe tomorrow!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Christmas Eve!

Tonight is the big annual Christmas Eve party at Grandmas. Lots of family that you only see on Christmas Eve will there. The Man will be tending bar and the food will be plentiful.


Here's some more shots from around the house. I hope it enhances your holiday experience.
Our nativity scene is still the little baby set with one of the wise men bringing something that looks a lot like a block of cheese. The big ceramic tree was painted by my Grandma (not the same party Grandma as tonight) and the tablecloth underneath was embroidered by her (again, I mean the painting Grandma!).

This pretty lady was supposed to go on top of the tree, but she gets SCARY hot so it just didn't seem like a good idea. Her wings flap slowly and her arms move. The cats think she is fascinating!

Speaking of cats, here's Jack getting into the Christmas spirit. Doesn't he look happy about it!

And of course we have a Lego Santa designed and created by the girl. Very cool.

Even the eagle clock is decked out. Happy, happy Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 21, 2007

I Made It!


It might not seem like much when I say that I had to spend the last nine school days with the meanest group of sixth grade zombies ever, but believe me, it was a long, LONG nine days.
Not only were these zombies mean to each other, but they were also openly mean to me. It sucked! Me, the fave sub in the district for the past five years finally met her match in a group of angry haters. And they had the nerve to call ME mean! It was just too much to take.
Here's some highlights: This week they had to make their PowerPoint presentation on the inventor they researched. They've been working on this program for weeks and this presentation was the grand finale of all their hard work and preparation. Watching them was torture, pure torture. They would stand and face the board and read what they wrote to us off of it. "Hello, my name is Mean Zombie and this my report on Alexander Graham Bell". I spent all 55 presentations wanting to scream "I KNOW HOW TO READ! STOP READING TO ME!" Of course these zombies who spend the majority of the school day screaming at each other across the room or (just to the person sitting next to them) could barely muster more than a whisper for the presentation. Did I mention it was torture?
During recess, which was indoors eight days out of nine because of the weather, I would put Free Rice up on the Smart Board for anyone to play. Do you know Free Rice? It's a vocabulary building site that donates 20 grains of rice for every word you get right. Go and play it a little and then you'll understand why when the average vocabulary level for anyone playing was around 6, I wanted to rip my eyes out.
Today, being the last day before break we showed a movie. What should have been a cake afternoon was just misery. They talked, moved around, passed notes, got flaming angry about what was written in notes, stormed around the room, a little shoving fight broke out, a handful of zombies got shipped out and finally we just shut off the movie because no one was watching. My ears are still ringing from it all.
But it is over. Over! Over! Over! The other teacher said something along the lines about me coming back again the next time the teacher is out. Yeah, right. I'm not available, ever again. I'm terribly terrible busy and won't be able to make it. So sorry.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Slideshow Disaster

Ugh! What a hassle this simple little slide show has ended up being. I put it up the first time and it started scrolling through pictures that weren't mine! Why would anyone want to put pictures of people and places they didn't know on their page? It seems that nobody does because when I went to "Help" on Blogger it was chuck full of people complaining about the very same thing.

So I tried to follow the ass-backward directions that some bloggers out there used to successfully get their own pictures up, but the only thing I can achieve is "Feed Not Found". Whatever. I was getting so worked up about getting it to work, that the boy offered to bring me a beer. Did I raise this kid right or what?
Anyway, here's a couple of the shots I was hoping to slide on by:

Here's the front of the house. Love those lights down the walkway!

Our giant tree that we literally risked our lives to get home. There's the boy jamming out the Guitar Hero.

Formally known as the kitchen tree, this is now the bedroom tree. The cats love to sleep under this.

My favorite lit wreath.

And a little sprig of mistletoe!

More pictures another day!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas around the House

My last post was about my latest zombie job. I found a really appropriate Grinch picture to go with it, but just when I was about to get the whole thing together, Mamacat decided to walk across the keyboard doing all kinds of strange things to the post and then ultimately deleting it, which doesn't seem possible but it's true.

I take it as a sign. So instead of dwelling on how much I dislike my job right now, I went around the house and took pictures of our Christmas decorations. They should show up as a slide show in the sidebar and I hope it works.

For all of you who can't visit our home, here's a little taste of what we've got going on.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Christmas Tree Day '07

This was by far the most memorable Christmas Tree Day of the past 15 years, but not in a good way. It started out normal enough; sprung the kids from the clink then drove and drove and drove out to the tree place. We took the truck, because throwing the tree in the back is a load more easy than trying the thing to the roof of the van, but then we had to take the van as well, because only two people can fit in the truck! Oh, well.



It was cold out there this year with a nice covering of snow. We tromped around for awhile. The dangers of being pegged with a snowball were ever constant.


We finally all agreed on a tree and the man cut it down in no time flat.


Another tree conquered!



Now came the ugly part: The drive home. It started on a bad note. Boccardi's was closed. "We're sorry. We are no longer going to open for lunch Mondays through Thursdays". What a load of crap! So now we have to figure out somewhere else for lunch and it's starting to snow. Wait. It's REALLY starting to snow.


People, it was like white-out conditions all the way home! I was a effing wreck by the time we hit our own driveway! There were cars in ditches, cars facing the wrong way, cars sliding out of control everywhere! It was nerve-wracking to say the least! Now the man has been downplaying the whole thing like I'm some kind of hysteric, but it was bad! REALLY BAD!


The tree was all snowy by the time we got it home, which meant it had to come in the house wet and frozen. But after all was said and done, the needles were swept up and the mud and water sponged clean, it ended up being a very lovely tree. I'll take a picture of it tonight when it's all lit up and looking sharp. For what we had to through to get it, it should be the best tree ever!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Standing the Test of Time (or why I'm due for a new bridal shower)

As you may or may not be aware, the Man and I are just days away from our 15th wedding anniversary. As usual we will spend the day tromping in the woods, murdering an innocent tree and dining out on extremely yummy pizza. You'll get that story later.


Being that it's a landmark year, I started to wonder about what else around here has survived the last 15 years besides our love. (Please refrain from those childish gagging noises!) So I started looking around for shower and wedding presents that we still use on an everyday basis. I'm not talking about the fancy-pants knick-knacks, girly wine glasses and too-pretty-to-use bowls. They live in the cupboard and will last until the end of time, provided I don't drop them during their once-every-two-years dusting. No, I'm talking about the heavy-weight bruisers of gifts that have stood year after year, toe-to-toe with the Andersons and still have some fight left.

While I surprisingly remember who got us many of these gifts, there are a few that I have no idea. Many apologies to you wonderful people. Even though I've forgotten you, your gift lives on!

I love this little hand vac. I also received a Dirt Devil upright, but that thing started bellowing black smoke within a year and that was that. I shudder to think how much birdseed and dog hair this little thing has sucked up! What a trooper! Thank you to whoever got me this!

Just this summer my stand mixer, which was also a wedding present, up and croaked. Now all I have left is my hand mixer, but it is one powerful little machine. This guy has made cookies, cakes, brownies, pudding and mashed potatoes beyond counting over the year. Thank you to whoever got my this!
Now these guys might not qualify for the "Everyday Use" category, but they do live on the freezer door everyday, always ready to make your drink extra frosty. Uncle Al, thanks for the mugs!

The man and I moved right from our mommies homes right into our own. We had nothing. The wedding provided wineglasses and heavy beer mugs, but nothing came for an everyday drink of water. Grandma C. gave me a Tupperware catalog and told me to order whatever I wanted. I wanted these. I used to have a lot more, but they crack and can't be replaced. Tupperware makes some ugly ass glasses now, no thank you. These guys get used constantly. I actually had to wash a few up quick to get this picture. Thanks Grandma!

My friend Cathy Lynn (knocked up again!), gave me this set. The lid to the sugar bowl broke as well as the lid to the butter dish. But other than that, all of these pieces get used a lot! That's the last of the Halloween candy which I promptly pitched after I took this shot!

These two are part of the same set (obviously), but they don't get out as much. Still, very pretty and practical. Thanks Cathy Lynn!

How about these two sad specimens. I had to search the WAY BACK of the towel closet to find towels I got as a bride. Truly, they were wonderful towels in their day, thick and soft. Now they look everyday of their 15 years. But they make great rags! Thanks whoever got me these!

Ah, the storage containers. The bottom one has the last of the Thanksgiving buckeyes in it. I remember trying to return these, but I couldn't figure out where they came from. Lucky thing that. There is at least one of these in the fridge or freezer all the time. Thanks for buying somewhere unusual, whoever you were!


I know who got me this one. It was Star. Not a lot of people use the door knocker, but its out there in the wind and rain all year round. Looks like it could use some polish! I'll get one of the kids on that right away. Thank you Star!

This casserole might not have made the cut for a picture because it is far from used everyday. I think it might get trotted out a couple of times a year. But I found this picture of me unwrapping it at my bridal shower and that's pretty cool.




I'm almost positive that Flame got us this salad bowl set. There used to be four little bowls. I love this set and use it all the time. Thank you Flame!

Speaking of Flame, here's a tough group of chicks who went to cuddle up with Santa between the wedding and the reception. Love ya Weaver!

But who are these two? Oh my! That is some teeny-tiny dress!


But here's my favorite wedding present. The one I got from the Man. Happy Anniversary, babe!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

My New Addition

Behold my new lovely electronic postal scale! It might not thrill the three of you, but I am very much in love with her!

As you may or may not know, the Man and I are small-time Ebay sellers. We always have a thing or two up for sale, sometimes as many as twenty items. I really enjoy it; putting stuff up, keeping an eye on it all week, the drama of the last few minutes as the snipers go crazy and then shipping it away making our home just tiny bit lighter. Oh, and making money is bonus as well. But about a month ago, I had a very bad Ebay week and it was all to blame on the puny little scale we had that just didn't have the umph to get the job done. Running back and forth to the post office to have things weighed is always an option; a nerve-wracking, horror-filled option. No, no, no. I needed a serious piece of equipment and I needed it now before we put one more item up.

So with a dip into the Paypal coffers I bought the above sweet little baby. She weighs objects from 2 ounces up to 76 pounds. The ounces will come in handy, 76 pounds is a wee bit excessive, but what fun!

I've been waiting three weeks for her to show up and it has been such a drag. I swore I wouldn't put anything else up to sell until she arrived and it was taking forever! So I nag and nag and nag at the seller. They finally came back with an apology and the excuse that their shipment was delayed, thereby delaying mine. That means THEY SOLD MERCHANDISE THAT THEY DIDN'T HAVE! So very, very uncool. My feedback will reflect my opinion of their substandard business practices, I assure you.

Now the funny story of her arrival. Yesterday, the shifty sellers sent a message that she had been shipped. Hurray! And here's the tracking number! Hurray! Hurray! Just out of curiosity, a few minutes ago I entered in that number to track where she was right now. Hmm, let's see... left Virginia... shipped to Richfield...central sorting... Elyria...left by front door.... What? Left by front door? I literally dash through the house, through the dog and over cats, on Legos (ouch!), pull open the door and there she is! Covered in snow! Hurray, hurray, hurray!

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Tale of Two Phone Jacks

There is a certain phone jack that is more important than any other phone jack in our home. It's the one in the Man's room. Thursday it went belly up. Here's how it went down.

Thanksgiving night the Man comes home and discovers that he is unable to get online. Not a terribly big deal since it was very late. Probably just a glitchy thing. But Friday morning, yours truly was unable to access email. Now things are getting serious.

The first thing we do is check the phone line outside that wraps around the house to the room. Back when Marco was a bad little puppy, one day he was able to not only reach this line, but rip it down and chew it into many tiny bits. We both hoped the current problem was a repeat of that-- the Man fixed it himself in no time flat. But alas no. Marco's "Eating everything he sees" days are long past.

Trying out the kitchen phone into the suspect jack verified that the problem wasn't the computer (big sigh of relief), but the phone jack itself (new sigh of frustration). This problem is more mysterious than a chewed up wire, I'm afraid.

So now we are waiting for the phone company to come out and poke and prod and most likely pull out about two pounds of animal fur mucking up the works. That's my theory anyway.

But let's return to the importance of this jack. It is one overworked fellow! First, it is hooked up to a phone and the answering machine. The loss of the phone is just inconvenient. The loss of the machine is a bit of a relief actually! (I could move it somewhere else in the house but....) The fax machine is also part of the package, but it only gets used in that capacity maybe twice a year, so we can do without it for a little while. No, the big problem comes from the fact that our Internet connection is DSL wed to that jack and that is not going to fly at all!

But here we are all back online and going strong with the "Going to Vermont" laptop in my bedroom. I have to say that I LOVE having this up here. Love it! The Man on the other hand is quite miserable without his #1 procrastinating excuse at his fingertips down in his room. Matter of fact, I'm so in love with this situation (I even have a little desk all set up in here!), that when the jack problem gets all fixed, I'll be very reluctant to give this up. There might be a riot. But for now I'm going to play some cribbage online, maybe waste some time finding cool stuff on Youtube, read a bunch of blogs and then do some shopping. Hurray!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Family Pictures

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday. Ours was packed with family. Literally. Thanksgiving Day had my mother's house bursting at the seams with dinner for 31. That was followed by games, movies, a puzzle, dodging thrown wooden blocks and general grazing on the leftovers. Occasionally you would have to step outside for some fresh air just because all the air in the house was already in use.

Friday was quieter with ordered in pizza, more games and paraffin hand treatments all around. Lavender...very nice.


But Saturday was the grand finale. We had to take the big group picture since most everyone was in town. Big props to Bob from Rodriguez Photography for making this a success (and getting Summer to smile). To fit all our shining mugs in one shot, we moved all the furniture and used my living room. Completely crazy how many people were in my house! And because a bunch of fam had to hit the road early, we did this at 9 AM. Check out the little video that the man shot. Now he made this with my little digital camera so the quality is not so great and it makes this annoying clicking noise, but it's enough to get a flavor of the morning.



video



Okay, so it's REALLY grainy and noisy, but that's what you get. (Sorry Man. :( You probably aren't happy I posted this either! ) It's a big love fest because everyone is getting ready to leave; some for home, the rest out to breakfast at IHOP since Hazel's was already packed and strangely enough didn't have enough room for 20 more people. More pictures and stories to come!


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pizza Rolls

Warning: This is not the recipe to make pizza rolls, it's just the step by step process which I am showing to make you insanely jealous... and hungry.

These babies are the best! It's the ultimate Grammy treat. First there's the dough, lots and lots of dough sitting around rising and doubling and doing all the things good dough should.
Then it gets rolled out REALLY thin.
It get cut into squares and rectangles and shapes with no names by the pizza cutter.
You have to test the oil and the dough, so some little pieces are dropped in. And yeah, that a big thing of Crisco back there. That's what we're cooking with people!

Those lovely test pieces won't go to waste though. A sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar and they are good to go!Meanwhile, this bowl of pepperoni and sausage all chopped up into tiny bits comes out. That must mean it's almost time!
A spoonful of the mix goes on each little square.

And a pinch of cheese on top of that!
Then they get folded over and sealed together making a little pillow of pizza.

It's time for them to go for a swim in the hot oil.

And that's it! That's the boy snagging another one. And who can blame him!