Thursday, January 28, 2010

Alone in a Crowd

The writer finds a cat sitting on the keyboard.

Mi mi mi!

Hey Meg! How about you find someplace else to sit? Since I'm home alone today I'm going to try to write about that. Being alone.

Mioooow! Miow! Miow-miow-miow-miow!

You've got a whole house to sit around in. Now move it.

Me ma mi me ma!

No that's my tea. Here, you have fun in the paper recycling box.


Okay, leave then.

The writer realizes that if she doesn't get some laundry started, her family will be drying themselves with washcloths after their showers, again.

Hey Jack Jack! How's it going?

(Jack jumps up on the food table and knocks a dish to the floor.)

No, it's not time to eat.

(Jack jumps over to a litter box, stares at it then pointedly, then stares at the writer. This repeats several times.)

Yeah, those boxes do need done, but it's not my day. You're just going to have to suck it up.

(Jack runs over to the pile of dirty laundry and starts to paw around in it.)

No, I don't need you help with this. No, Jack. Let go. Let go! I said Let Go!

(Jack returns to the food table and knocks another dish to the floor.)

With both machines now industriously whooshing away, the writer becomes aware of incessant barking and baying happening out in the yard.


Arrroooo! Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof!


WOOF! Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof!

Marco! It's just a squirrel. Come here! Marco come! MARCO!


Marco you stupid... Yes! Good boy. Good boy! Come here. Good... OH! Why do you always have to step on my foot?

Pant pant pant pant pant

No, you're not getting a cookie. Too much barking.


And you made me yell out of the door like a crazy person. No cookie.


You think being pathetic is going make me change my mind?

The sound of the mailman on the porch distracts the writer from further berating her dog. Marco grabs the cookies from her fingers and runs away to play with it.


Hey Mama. Do you want to sit with me and go through the mail?


Don't chew on that.


I can't see with you in my face like this.


I AM paying attention to you. You're all over me!


No, it's not time for bed.


No, I don't want you to fix me right now. No. Oww! Okay that's enough. I've got stuff I wanted to get done today.


The writer heads back to the computer. After depositing ninety percent of the mail in paper recycling box, the writer finds a cat sitting on the keyboard.


Hey Meg.


You know Meg, I'm just lacking inspiration right now. I think I'll go clean the fish tank.

Friday, January 22, 2010

How the President's Visit Impacted the Andersons

We are all home today because President Obama is coming to town. They closed the college because that's where he's speaking so The Man is home. They closed all of the other schools because an unknown number of roads would be closed for unknown lengths of time. Last night when I was running kids hither and back, I saw piles of barricades and road closed signs on curbs. At first I couldn't understand why they would be driving the president through the center of the city, but the newspaper this morning says that one of his stops will be Riddel where they make football helmets. Who's idea was that?

They can close all of the school under the umbrella title of a calamity day. One of my Facebook friends called it a Sn'Obama Day, which is just clever enough to make me really jealous.

Last night the kids went on an exhausting toboggan field trip with Student Council. I was leery of this trip being on a school night knowing that the next day they would be wiped out from dragging that sled up all of those stairs over and over again. (They went down nine times.) So my still sleeping children say thank you to the president for letting them sleep off all of the fun instead of nodding off in class today.

So what shall we do with a unexpected day off. I'm thinking clean the basement. They are probably thinking Xbox. Maybe a compromise can be reached. Isn't that the essence of Democracy?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

No such thing as a free lunch? How about a really cheap dinner?

My apologies first to Weaver since Pizza Hut was once a place of employment and she might not want to read about it here. Sorry babe.

When the kids were little I knew every restaurant in town that had a "Kids Eat Free" night. I could map them all out for you. Red Robin on Tuesdays. Bennigan's on Wednesdays. Friendly's on Fridays. Bellacino's on Sunday. Then four times a year we got loads of free meals in the report card envelopes. Eat' n Park. Ponderosa. Applebee's. Friday's. We were set.

But once your kids stop looking like they are under 10 (no matter how you dress them or coach them to act) all those free meals stop coming. Once your kids are out of elementary school, getting coupons for good grades comes to an end. My kids were seeing the inside of restaurants less and less.

Then comes the very bad day when the hostess eyes your kids and asks, "Kids menus?" and they both say no. Now you are taking four adults out to eat and that equals an uncomfortably big bill. Eating out for them is pretty much over.

All this sets the stage for our trips to Pizza Hut. Every now and then on a Friday, especially if I've worked a lot during the week, we like to go to Pizza Hut. I'll come right out and say that I like Pizza Hut pizza, but it is not pizza. It looks like pizza, it smells like pizza and it has all the ingredients of a pizza, but it's something different. There's no other way to describe it except that The Man agrees with me and that's why I love him so much.

We go on Fridays because there is a waitress working there named Kat. Kat is our secret weapon to affordable eating out with the kids. The first time we met her we all ordered Pepsi and she suggested a 2 liter bottle for the table. That might not seem like much but that little move saved us $8.

When we go to Pizza Hut and are unlucky enough not to get Kat, the server will tell us that they are not allowed to give out 2 liters to tables or that they are out of 2 liters at the moment. Blah, blah, blah we say to them.

Right now Pizza Hut has a $10 any size, any topping special going on. Combine that with our secret drink special and the whole visit was only $13.12. Woo-hoo!

Postscript: I'm going to give out a shout out here to Jessica at Friendly's as well. For years our bill said that we ordered four waters (free) instead of the drinks she actually served us. Making friends with waitresses is well worth the effort.

Monday, January 11, 2010

So it looks like for now I will only be able to post text on this blog. But give me a few days and I'll figure out pictures too.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Lego Toy Workshop

One of my favorite gifts this year was this fantastic Lego Christmas toy shop.

Here's the front. You can see the toys in the front windows.
Inside you can see the toy maker at his work bench upstairs. Downstairs is the shop with a fireplace.

The toy shop came with plenty of people like these skiers, this big mouth kid and a faceless snowman. I'm not exactly sure what that kid is planning on doing with the carrot.

It also came with this giant tree being lit by a girl on a ladder.

No Christmas tree is complete without toys.

The last part is this tiny park scene with carolers. I love their little books!

Remember the toys you could see in the shop window. One was a train and the other was this tiny robot. It is so simple and yet so adorable. I'm crazy for this guy. I want to make a whole army of them.

Hmmm.... I wonder how many I could make....

Monday, January 04, 2010

Holiday Bags a la Duct Tape

To make up for my utter lack of imagination in gift giving (gift cards to everyone), the kids and I created small duct tape bags to put the gift cards in.

Working with duct tape can be a real hassle at times. Working on a tiny scale doesn't make it any easier, but the end result was mighty adorable.

This is a full sized bag. It's a wine tote I made for sweet Mindi. I wanted to play with texture in this bag. I went though almost a whole roll of chrome tape to make all of the braids. The effect wasn't exactly what I imagined. The Man called this the heavy metal bag. I was hoping for something more like bling. Maybe if I hadn't based it in black...

But the last bag we made was the best. This full sized tote made for The Sister took all three of us a good long time to negotiate. It ended up having no visible seam which I particularly proud of.
Here's the other side. I think it came out so neat.
There were a few colors that we didn't use on this bag because they were too distracting from the whole. It's amazing but true.

"Post more blogs" was not one of my New Year's resolutions, but I will try to get in more than two a month. Happy New Year!