Sunday, August 30, 2009

Duct Tape Fanciness

Hey look! I made this bag yesterday. I am mighty proud of it to the point that whenever I would pass it today I would go, "Oooh! Look at that!"

It's completely made out of duct tape, even the handle, except for the two Velcro tabs that keep it closed. The weave is not stuck down either. It's non-sticky strips held down only on the ends giving it texture. Here's a lousy picture of it. The back is exactly the same pattern as the front.

This bag is my new restaurant bag. Very often I can't finish all of my meal and the waitress says, "Do you need a box?" and I say, "No, I've brought my own." This is how anti-Styrofoam I've become. I would love to start a trend where everyone does this, but I'm not holding my breath.

The boxes themselves are microwave and dishwasher safe. I carry around two just in case and I've made the bag to fit them both.
This bag took three hours to make and quite a bit of duct tape. I can't wait to take it out for its maiden restaurant voyage.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Singing River- One Last Time

The camping trip this past weekend has taken a toll on me. Between sleeping on those camp bunk and the non-stop hiking, I feel like I have strained and tweaked every muscle from my neck to my arches.

And that includes my heart.

Good bye Singing River. We'll miss you.

More picture on my Flickr later today...

Friday, August 21, 2009

First Day of School...sort of

Every year, on the first day of school, amid all the hustle and bustle, I make sure to get a picture of the kids standing in just about the same spot in the driveway, usually with the dog.

It didn't work out this year.

Day 1 -- Just plain forgot about the picture. Hey, it was the first day of High School. I wasn't myself.

Day 2-- Remembered, but couldn't find the camera for anything.

Day 3-- The Boy says, "This is the same shirt I wore on the first day of 8th grade. You can't do it today!"

Day 4-- The Girl says, "Why don't you just wait until tomorrow when we both look really good."

So here it is, the fifth day of school. We finally got the First Day of School picture .

It's picture day at school too, which is why they look so sharp.
Getting the camera ready, I accidentally took a picture of the top of my head and got the flash right in the eye, which is how I got these big smiles. Nothing like a little slapstick first thing in the morning.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Three Year Old Kittens

Three years ago today that sneaky stray cat once again stole into our basement this time to have her kittens. And because it was yucky outside and because the basement was similarly yucky and because those tiny little kittens were so darn cute, today we are stuck with these two.
There's a certain amount of patience and timing you need to photograph cats.
I have neither.

Happy Third Birthday, Jack and Meg! You make everyday an adventure!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Freshman Camp

Yesterday, on a day that could melt you right where you stood, the kids had Freshman Camp. Before I go on, I just have to mention this. I know that organizations use the word "camp" in their events to try to lighten the situation up. You think, "Oh, it's just camp! Camp is fun!" In reality, most of the time, these so called camps are just big drags bordering on complete nightmares. There is nothing "camping" about it. Unless you are actually spending the night somewhere and there is a snack cooked over a fire at some point, I think the word camp should be left out of the naming process. But that's just me.

Anyway. Freshman Camp involves all the incoming kids and their parents jamming in the auditorium. It was standing room only by the time everyone got in. "Welcome to high school, blah, blah, blah." Then they sent the kids away leaving the administrators alone with the parents, most it seems who had shown up gunning for a fight. A bunch more blah, blah, blah and then they opened the floor up for questions.

Hands shot up all over the place. As the first woman stood, I thought we would never hear her. But everyone did because she was yelling. Everyone who asked a question was yelling! These people were upset! Mostly they were upset about the traffic, the drop-off situation and parking. And those ARE all upsetting things, but honestly there isn't anything to be done about it. The whole school is surrounded by a construction site. It's literally hell on Earth over there. The views out every window are construction vehicles and partially built walls. It's not fun. It's not funny. But that is what we all signed up for so truly we all just need to suck it up!

Other than that people were yelling about dress codes, emergency procedures, weapons searches, lack of air conditioning, (Where this woman's kid went to elementary school, I would like to know. Nobody has air in the city!) and the lunch room only serving junk food. It was an impressive meeting. One of the most interesting ones that I've ever been to. There were happy moments though. Like when it was announced that cell phones were confiscated on sight. Everyone applauded. That announcement was topped with that the kids' grades would be updated daily on the website along with homework assignments. Big, big applause for that!

After that we got to go find our kids and wander around the building locating their rooms, teachers and lockers. Only one of The Girl's teachers was in the building and ZERO of The Boy's. That didn't make this mommy very happy to say the least. The Girl's schedule takes her on a nonstop-up-and-down-corner-to-corner-roller-coaster-daily-tour of the building. It's not pretty. The Boy's has more of a flow to it.

But the biggest shock of the day came with their schedules. They are on completely different schedules with completely different sets of teachers. Now I know it's a big place, but I didn't think that this was even possible being that they are on the same team. Not one teacher in common?!?!

Again, not a happy mommy here. Not happy at all. If you put me in the auditorium right now, I'd probably start yelling.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Views from the Zoo

I didn't take the camera to the zoo yesterday. After 500 plus pictures from NYC the cameras deserve a break. Besides what exciting things ever happen at a zoo? Unfortunately for us, several picture worthy events occurred. So in place of those moments where our camera was absent, the web has provided shots that are close enough to illustrate the stories.

One of the first memorable things we saw was a beaver, like this guy.
But the beaver we saw we asleep. I couldn't find picture of a beaver sleeping the position of the one we saw but I did find this dog whose name, strangely enough, happens to be Beaver sleeping in the exact same way.
So what we saw was a guy like this...
sleeping on his back with his paws in the air like this.
You get the picture. Oh, except the beaver at the zoo also had it's tongue hanging out. Quite a sight!

Our zoo has a whole section just about Australia. There is one little house where the koala bears stay. They look like this 23 1/2 hours a day.

Sleeping and sleeping and sleeping. The ones at our zoo are even less fun than this one since they sleep with their faces hidden. They are just grey fuzzy lumps hanging in the branches. They never move. You can't even see them breathe. I've often wondered in they were just stuffed animals that the zoo positioned just to mess with everyone. But yesterday while we stood like suckers watching the grey fuzzy lumps hang, one of them did this.

The little fellow not only woke up, he looked around, yawned three times and then MOVED to another branch. After that he just stared at a spot on the ground. He did that for so long that we finally left. I'm not sure if they can fall asleep with their eyes open, but that's surely what he looked like he did.

Elated by the little koala, instead of headed out of the zoo like we were planning, we traveled deeper into Australia. There's kangaroos, wallabies and wallaroos hopping all over the place in there. While we were recounting to each other the sad story of the kangaroo being killed the train, a little wallaby hopped onto the path in front of us. We were pretty excited that she was so close but then she stood on her back legs.
She had a joey in her pouch! It was the type of moment that if you weren't in a public place and didn't make to make an ass of yourself, you would start screaming. It was that cute. Within moments there was a huge crowd pushing in toward her, taking pictures and getting too close. It didn't take long for her to hop off to safety.

It's just a bit too sunny at the zoo. Not enough shade. And yesterday was very sunny and just a tad bit too warm. Just as we were all about to faint away from it all The Man bought one of these with four spoons.
Now this wasn't a picture worthy moment. Far from it. Actually if someone was taping us and sent it into America's Funniest Home Videos they very well could win big money on the show of four Andersons diving into one cup as fast as they could shoveling in Icee. But that Icee saved the day.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

New York -- Day Five-- jamming a few last things in

Our flight to leave the city was at 2:30. We heard someone had tried to take a gun through security at the airport so things were delayed. We also heard there was a car on fire on some highway between us and the airport. With all that in mind, we decided to leave at noon. That gave us the whole morning to fill with a few more things.

We started by headed out to get The Boy a "That's What She Said" t-shirt from the NBC store. Yes, I caved. Then headed up Fifth Avenue toward Central Park to check out all the fancy-schmancy stores. But since it was only 9:30 in the morning, nothing was open yet.

At the park, we took a horse drawn carriage ride. We are all severely burned by our almost getting lost and drowned in Central Park before but the carriage ride seemed safe enough.

Our City Passes were expired but I was still able to get my Central Park Zoo pressed penny since the machine was outside the gates. I ended up with lots of pennies, but I'll save that for another post.

On the way back downtown we stopped by Capezio's, just because it was there. The Girl was crazy excited. We made the rational decision that we didn't have enough time to find "the perfect" toe shoes but since she needed new practice shoes anyway, why not buy them in New York. It was almost time to go. But what's this? Blocks and blocks of Broadway was blocked off for a street sale. We did a quick run through and I bought myself "I love NY" pajama pants.

We packed up our things and checked out at noon. After an extremely quick and smooth cab ride we made it to the airport with tons of time to spare. Our plane home was a tiny little thing and we made it home 25 minutes ahead of schedule. Here's The Boy reading "Of Mice and Men" which they both have to have read and annotated before school starts.

Marco was thrilled to see us. The cats seemed pleased at our return. One of the fish died. The house still smells faintly of skunk.

Home sweet home.