Saturday, December 30, 2006

It's a Wrap - Christmas 2006

Tree with obscene amount of gifts, Christmas Eve after Santa arrived

Back deck with drifts (3rd refrigerator area)

Our new coat/backpack rack!

Anne-Marie with Ryan and Parker

Play Structure flocked for Christmas Day, 2006

Putting the tree up after Thanksgiving means that by December 30th, one is DONE with the Christmas decor. And I'm about ready to insist that all the loot 'find a place'. Where? Who knows. And who bought the children all this stuff?!

Star Wars stuff remains the big hit of the season. Parker wakes up, and instead of crawling in bed with us, stumbles around the house until he finds his light saber. He is literally weaving around, bleary-eyed and barely awake, wielding the thing. Ryan, however, is still my smoochy pooch. He faithfully flings open his door and trots down the hall to leap into bed with us and park his frosty feet on me; burrowing me out of my warm spot.

And snow! Yes! We have snow - 3 feet of it in places, and more on the way. My sister and her fiancee were thrilled to be here for 3 days and be able to snowboard in the neighborhood (Yes! We have big hills here! With rocky gorges at the bottom that will crack your very tailbone if you land on them v. sailing over them - just ask my future brother in law!) But after shoveling 2 feet of snow off your driveway and then having it snow another 15 inches a few days later? Yeah; we're Over It. I'm just glad the children are off school so we don't have to risk life and limb by getting out in this. And of course, having 15 people in the house for 5 meals means we have plenty of grub - 2 refrigerators full. With the overflow being stored in snow banks on the back deck! In fact, I parked steaming pots full of ear-popping hot green chili in drifts; boxes of meats from Petit Jean; plopped cartons full of bottles of wine/eggnog and other libations right out the back door so they'd be handy and chilled for the meals on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy New Year

I'm optimistic about 2007.
I think those who have alot, will share.
I hope those who are passionate about their religion, their views of government, their views on human rights, their views on consumption of resources; will have an epiphany and take a moment, a long moment, to see the opposing view.
And that may make all the difference.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fairly quivering with exitement!

In the true Spirit of the Season, I am going to harass the hell out of a telemarketing outfit that is calling our DO NOT CALL listed, UNLISTED home phone number. Tonight they made the fatal mistake of being rude and then hanging up on me when I requested a supervisor. BIG Mistake.

Have you heard the call played on a radio station from a clever person, interrogating a telemarketer? It's WonDerFull. The callee pretends he is a detective with a police department, investigating the scene of a murder. Which has happened at the home of the phone number the telemarketer has called, and who is now embroiled in the crime. The 'detective' quickly obtains the telemarketer's name and address. You can hear the panic in the telemarketer's voice. Insisting over and over he is a telemarketer, doesn't know the victim etc etc. The 'detective' quizzes him on the number the caller is calling from (I did a *69 and got the number when they called tonight, so I know they are an outfit out of Manhattan) and says "Yes! That's the one - we've got dozens of recorded calls from that number to a local pay phone and the murder victim's phone, setting up drug drops and even murder for hire - we've notified local law enforcement and they are on their way to your location right now (talking over shoulder to a pretend police officer about making sure a 210 was called in, etc). He repeats "Do NOT hang up - it will just be worse for you if you run! I may be able to help you if you just hang on..." and then goes on to give him gruesome details, requesting the 'coroner' to notice this and that stab wound, "Gosh, I can't believe somebody would gouge out eyes!" etc.

Anyway, I have to find the script for this. I found it on somebody's site a while back and laughed myself wheezy hearing it. I promised myself I would use it on the next rude telemarketer. We have an unlisted number, are on every do not call list, and take great pains to put DO NOT DISTRIBUTE/DO NOT SELL on everything in which we have to release a phone number. So I kinda feel well within my rights. I'm going to call and report this outfit too, as the fools are also calling after 9 pm.

Now that I've vented, who knows if I'll have the chutzpah to actually do it. I may type up a quick script in word, just to further vent my spleen.

Ah, can you tell I'm avoiding boring chores?

I am painfully polite to telemarketers. Most immediately remove our number, returning the courtesy of my tone and reasonableness of my request. But ones who don't? I'm loaded for bear and have a script! I should record the call...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

List of Haven't Dones:

Haven't Done the Christmas Cards.
I haven't Done The Photo. (The copying of it, that is)
Maybe I'll send out New Year's Cards...

Haven't Done the Ornaments on the Top of the Tree.
I'm scared to get on the TALL ladder.
Maybe we'll finish it Christmas Eve, when there's 20 people here...

Haven't wrapped the gifts.
If the kids are in bed, so are we.
Maybe I'll do it Christmas Eve with my sisters...

Haven't done the Christmas baking.
If I get any fatter, I won't fit in my clothes!
Maybe I'll bake with Anne-Marie and her sister and my sisters...

Haven't plugged in some of the exterior lights.
I keep forgetting to buy outside-rated extension cords.
Maybe we'll buy them this week...

But you know what's funner?
My list of HAVE DONES!

We have:
Gone to a party every single day since Thursday of last week; and *gasp* - one was even called a CHRISTMAS PARTY! With Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and a few Christians, too!

Hosted a couple of fun dinner parties, where people actually honored my request to NOT BRING ANYTHING! Thank You!

Taken videos of fun things with Parker and Ryan;
Like sitting on Santa's lap;
Hunting for that naughty Runaway Gingerbread Boy, and the principal of Parker's school had caught that Gingerbread Boy;
Santa Claus (and a Really Good Santa Clause! With a nice dog named Holly!) reading The Polar Express to Ryan's class, and handing out sleigh bells and Christmas books;
Parker and Ryan making Hanukkah drawings for our Jewish neighbor, Frank. And Parker even actually gave Frank his drawing! Ryan decided to keep his menorah, but we needed one anyway...

Made ornaments for teachers and family with those iron-after-assembled bead thingys! And - well, we had a disastah on the ironing board in that Dear old Mommy plunked one down and it UnDid! All over the floor! And the boys were good sports and helped Dear Old Mommy put it back together...

Poaching in lots of bubble baths, and sitting in front of the fires, and lying in bed playing with babies, and having conversations and lovely, relaxing times.

Reading lots of Christmas books. And will continue to read the books and fall asleep in puppy-like heaps.

Obtained the movies for Christmas viewing:
Christmas with the Cranks
The Santa Claus
Love, Actually (with a nod to blackbird for reminding me how very wonderful that movie is).

This has been a very good Christmas season for us.
And it's only going to get better!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Meeting Santa's Helper

Ryan with Santa's Helper. This is a photo I never thought I would capture a couple of years ago; maybe even last year. Ryan not only sat on the dude's lap, he talked to him! In a normal, conversational voice. Understandable, and everything.

Ryan and Parker. Ryan doesn't like loud noises or lights. So, he shuts his eyes for any posed photo. But, all in all, not a bad shot! Again, me with the thrill of seeing the boys sitting on the lap, and no screaming and flailing.

Parker with his first face painting. "I'm not washing my face for a week, Mommy!"

Parker on the Big Guy's lap. Much discussion of the gift requested, a blue light saber with noises. I hope that's what Santa got.

The boys playing with Nana's entry decorations. They spent 15 minutes giving everything a good workout.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Unexpected enthusiasm.

Parker wanted to have some children from his class over during the Christmas break. I decided he could host a 'winter social' and limited him to 4 girls and 4 boys from his class. With Ryan and Parker, that would be 10 if all attended. Definitely Do-Able. Especially with the help of Anne-Marie, our college babysitter who will be on break from university; an athlete and a no-nonsense Amazon type of girl.

We haven't decided on all the diversions yet, but there will be a clue-driven treasure hunt for the craft materials followed by a working-on-craft flurry, and a movie and popcorn in the theatre room.

The children will bring their own brown-bag lunch, and I will serve a brunch for the parents (Menu TBD.)

I expected the invitees to be excited about it. But what has surprised me, and touched my heart a bit, is the enthusiasm of the parents! Turns out they have all been looking for an opportunity to get to know each other.

Any ideas for the craft? I think they are mostly Christians, one Jew and a Hindu. For a send-off, we're going to do a variation on a Buddhist theme -- The children write 3 things on a small piece of paper: 1) The persons they love the most; 2) Their wish for the World and 3) Something they are wishing for. We will tie this to a helium-filled balloon (one for each child) and then do a simultaneous release.

I've got quite a few days to plan more. I'll have Anne-Marie bring a friend to help her, so I will get to visit with the parents.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dry as a Bloggy bone, here. Nuttin' to say

Lots going on, but I'm spending much less time on the computer.

Have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS or HAPPY HANUKKAH in the meantime. I'll be back.

I think.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I got De Blues Tonight.

The LAST of the Big Stuff for Baby is sailing out of the house. Tons of books, toys, clothing (except for the cherished stuff from Foster Mothers, Arrival Clothing -- three beautiful outfits, each time, PLUS a formal one-year birthday Hanbok -- and other special baby clothing that has been washed and preserved in special boxes). Lovely things that we all loved and used. It's going, going, gone.

I've done well with all this General Purging.
Until Today.
Today, I sold the Mountain Buggy Urban Double.
The Cadillac of jogging, all-terrain strollers.
My lifeline to the outside world for years, with 2 toddlers 11 months apart in age.
It is detailed and shined up, even the tires have been armor-all'd, for it's next owner. A lucky young mama who is expecting her 2nd baby in a few months.
I was just downstairs, ready to wrap her up carefully in her original shipping materials and carton. And I started to cry.
I am done with babies now.
And even though I'm sure we're done (come on, I'm 53 and Ken's no Spring Chicken, either!), it's sad to turn the lock and hand over the key.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I'll Be MEME for Christmas

It's going around, this Meme...

Hot chocolate or eggnog?
Hot chocolate, and eggnog lattes, Thank You.

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Oh my Goodness! He is a Wrappin' Fool!

Colored lights on your tree/house or white?

White lights on the indoor trees and on the house. Colored old-time lights on the outside decks and patios. Colored lights on the big 2 dimensional train display outside.

Do you hang mistletoe?
Mistletoe is a SCOURGE in this State. It is strangling our pine trees and conifers up in the high country. *spit* MISTLETOE?! *spit*

When do you put up decorations?
Thanksgiving weekend. The trees are almost fully decorated. Don't have exterior lights up yet, but tomorrow IS another day...

What does your favorite christmas meal include?

Eggs benedict and waffles for breakfast.
Cold cut buffet for luncheon.
Standing Rib for dinner, with twice-baked spuds, different baked vegetables, and chocolate cream pie.

Favorite christmas memory from childhood?
The year I got my Raleigh English racer. We were in Okinawa. I think I was 8.

How do you decorate your christmas tree?

With ornaments from my grandmother, mother, in-laws and out-laws; with ornaments collected from every trip; with home made ornaments that family or I have made; Parker or Ryan's hand-made goodies from over the years.

Snow! Love it or leave it?
I love snow and cold weather.

Can you ice skate?
Yes, very well forward. Not so well backwards.

Do you remember your favorite gift?

Getting Parker Christmas of 2000, and then Ryan Christmas of 2001.

What's the most important thing about christmas for you?

Being with the people I love.

What is your favorite christmas tradition?
Having the entire family at our house, usually overnight.

What tops your tree?
Our ceiling.

What is your favorite christmas song?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Around here, lately

Parker in his new vest from his grandma in Florida

And the back of the vest - Just As Nice

Trimming of the house; note the train track going in under tree

The bannister with its red bows.

The creche. The boys are giving Baby Jesus 'some private time'.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wide open space sunsets

Hope you've had a great weekend.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings:

  1. Teacher ::

  2. Fifty ::

  3. Crossword ::

  4. Stuffed ::

  5. Family ::

  6. Purr ::

  7. Toad ::

  8. Cocktail ::

  9. Insecurity ::

  10. Magical ::

Teacher: Teacher!
Fifty: Bucks
Crossword: Puzzle
Stuffed: Shirt
Family: Feud
Purr: Fect
Toad: Stool
Cocktail: Party
Insecurity: Alert
Magical: Mystery Tour

Does this yell "70's'" to anybody else? Were any of you even born in the 1970's?!

And this overheard by Parker, whispering into his Nana's ear, about a whipped cream/fruit cocktail/nut concoction that we call Heavenly Hash, which she makes every holiday: "Nana, I just Love Your Heavenly Cash!"

Monday, November 20, 2006

Doing backflips of Joy!

A DEAR friend, with 2 chilluns of her own, picked up my two for an out-of-the-house playdate.
The house is
I am wrapping Christmas presents, and starting on my cards.
For the first time in 6 years, we might send holiday cards.
I hired a team working on a neighbor's house to do fall yard cleanup. It is
We are going to have a 70 degree Thanksgiving.
Very Very Strange

It's 4:30 and the children are just now home.
More later.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I wish we could afford a live-in CARETAKER

Not a medical type; a PROPERTY CARETAKER.

The endless list of unfinishable tasks grows ever longer.

The windows? Are FILTHY.
The exterior maintenance? Deferred. I'm sure we'll be getting a NastyGram from the HOA any day now "Paint or Die!"
The cleaning out of the garage? One area has been attempted. I've sold off some of the baby stuff. (That was more difficult emotionally than I thought. Even at 53, I think I'd love to have more children...but it would be a selfish thing to do.)
The lower level storage rooms? Shambles! Scary shambles!
The Christmas lights? TBD
The 12' Christmas tree? Each piece weighs a bloody TONNE.

The husband? Besides being out of town for this week, is sporting carpal tunnel, or somethin, in both arms.
The very idea of me doing any of these things? Makes Ken shudder at just the thought. He does things with much thought, attention to detail and perfection. I accomplish tasks with much gusto, speed and my version of attention to detail. Which always involves multi-tasking. Because I can. You know, the GIRL chromosome? The one that Gets Stuff Done on this planet?
(Aside: We are watching Caillou on PBS. I love the way Canadians say "About". I cannot mimic the sound.)

And sitting here perusing blogs, I've decided to do Joke's pie and dressing for Thanksgiving, which my parents are graciously hosting. Because they have new kitchen appliances! Fancy Miele ones!

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Procrastination Meme:

swiped from blackbird, and I know why it's called the procrastination meme. As I am procrastinating by doing this. Chores? A million of 'em, hooting my name. Pffffffft say I.

Explain what ended your last relationship?
I shall repeat: "Marriage".

When was the last time you shaved?
This morning.

What were you doing this morning at 8 a.m.?
Avoiding parenting by pretending to be asleep.

What were you doing 15 minutes ago?
Making 'Eggs McMommy', a variation of the only item on McD's menu worth replicating.

Are you any good at math?
When it's the only option left.

Your prom night, what do you remember about it?
ExHusband and I flew to San Francisco to see 'HAIR' - so yeah; I remember that vividly.

Do you have any famous ancestors?
A couple of names you'd more than likely recognize. Some of whom were mistresses to famous men and caused an uproar.

Have you had to take a loan out for school?

Last thing received in the mail?
Catalogues! Christmas catalogues! (verbatim from bb)

How many different beverages have you had today?

Do you ever leave messages on people’s answering machine?
Well, yes.

Who did you lose your CONCERT virginity to?
Way too long ago to remember.

Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?

What’s the most painful dental procedure you’ve had?
Cleaning is No Fun.

What is out your back door?
Deck off one and patio and gravel diggin' pit off the other.

Any plans for Friday night?

Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?
No - salt and my skinny, but Really Thick hair is no good.

Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns?
Yes. And 2 of the 3 were icky.

Have you ever been to a planetarium?
Yes, we try to go every place we visit.

Do you re-use towels after you shower?
Yes. Things dry fast in the desert.

Some things you are excited about?
Cool weather, Fancy coffees, CHRISTMAS YAHOO! and youngest's new speaking abilities. He is Almost. There.

What is your favorite flavor of JELL-O?
Invisible. Used to be jello shots.

Describe your keychain(s)?
It's a heavy Italian chain with a heart, and a coin purse attached. It is my purse, in fact.

Where do you keep your change?
In 2 eager little boys' piggy banks.

When was the last time you spoke in front of a large group of people?
A couple of years ago at the Home Builder's Association.

What kind of winter coat do you own?
Columbia parka system for knocking around and Fluerette cashmere for finer occasions. It is my 'mink'. I love this coat.

What was the weather like on your graduation day?
Never graduated.

Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed?
Closed per the Fire Department rules. Our Watch Dad is ever alert, however. If one of them so much as gulps loudly, he's up like a shot.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Things we DO here, even if there's something wrong with them

Stolen from Badger, et al, and modified into oblivion

There is too much we don't do, whether wrong at any level or not. It's far easier to list what we do:

We DO these things, oh yes indeedy:
3 substantial, mostly organic meals; no snacks
Beddy-bye at 9 (even the adults - we are whupped)
Water all day/night (okay, the Daddy enjoys a libation or two)
Occasional tea/coffee (not a daily occurrence)
Candlelight dinners
Mini Van
House Rabbit
Tae Kwon Do
Speech Therapy
Occupational Therapy
Scholastic videos
Outside Play
Toy Trains of every sort


We put the boys to bed, asleep, after reading and rocking. Alot of parents around here think we are nuts. But holding a sleeping child? Is the sweetest thing I get to do every day.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Few Good Things

These? Did NOT get put away yet. But they are fun to look at, and we are still enjoying them.

All this Plastic and Tupperware, etc? DID get put into a "Totin' Privileges" Rubbermaid Tote, as we are now going to use Glass...

YES! Glass Storage Containers!

These are my new 'slippers'. G-Series ballerina flats from Cole Haan. They have gel in them. My feet? Are So Happy!

My beautiful sons gave me these. I wear them constantly. The bright topaz is wonderful, a cheery thing. My life is complete!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Stolen from My Float:

You Are From Mars

You're energetic, althletic, and totally hyperactive.
You love playing sports and being in the middle of all of the action.
You're independent, corageous, and brave. Unafraid to do things your way.
Mars can be reckless, quick tempered, and a little too spontaneous.
So think before you act - and resist your natural urges to dominate others.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Got this idea from an aussie

named lazy cow who is posting an encyclopedia of the Letters of her Life, from A - Z, as it were. Today was coffee, cricket and chalk. Chalk? It's okay, haven't had any mishaps. Cricket? I have no idea about cricket except it has bats and hotties in white trotting around a field, and 'sticky wickets' fits in there somewhere. But Coffee? I Love me some coffee (and tea).

The lovely blackbird already had us post coffee pots a while back in one of her Show and Tells.

But Tea has been an Unexplored Thing, at least in my Blogging Memory. (Which is less than a year old - Forgive me)

So, here's my Tea Stash.

This is Drawer #1, All teas, all the time.

This is a tea mix called "Mental ClariTea". It's made by a rather kooky local herbalist. I have no idea how aged this tea is. Or whether her company is still in business.

Since it's fall, I got out our cheap-o espresso machine, which has served us faithfully for at least 10 years. I'd love the one joke scored, but he got the Only Deal in the World on that one. Due to a MISPELLING! ARGH! Lucky man.

This is Tea Drawer #2. Full of teas from a local company, started in the 70's by a hippie, who is now a very Rich Hippie. And a pretty nice guy. At one point he sold the company to a big food company, but I think he bought it back.

And there's plain old Lipton. Oh, and please notice the ancient tin of Constant Comment! And that dreadful Sand Art kit? It's the reward the boys earned for cleaning up the entire playroom tonight - tomorrow we'll attempt this project. And OH JOY I JUST CAN'T WAIT! And then we'll get to display it! I think the boys will make one for each of their teachers, heh heh heh...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Planting a Spring Garden

Talk about delayed gratification - planting Spring bulbs, in fall, in CLAY soil, and having to move landscaping rock, cut weed guard fabric,
Attempt to get the clay plug out of the blub digger (A Bitch of a chore) and then add compost, bulbs, more compost and pack the clay back on the top, fold fabric back over clay, push rocks back over.
and WHEW
I planted about 75 bulbs, 3 in each hole, kind of close together. I also go for the Big Bang and sacrifice the top bulbs the 2nd year, as they aren't deep enough to survive 2 winters. Tulips only last about 5 years, anyway in this climate - they perk to the surface in the freeze/thaw cycles.
If any rodents start eating them I am going to hire the pigeon slayers in the neighborhood to rid us of the next menace.
This took ALL Day! But I did it in peace and quiet. Every time the boys made an appearance, hopefully hopping from foot to foot and yelling "MOMMY MOMMY LOOK AT THIS!" I said "It's LOVELY! Now, back to your dad and working on the railroad!" If they balked I gave them The Evil Eye.
Now for a nice, steamy hot bath, some arnica cream on my soon-to-be-aching shoulders and arms and a nice hot cup of tea. I may even watch Sunday TV! What's on Sundays? Nah - I'll probably sit in our beautiful bedroom, with a roaring fire, and read books with the boys and then the newspaper.
Parker and I are reading the Magic Treehouse series. Ryan is listening, a bit. But mostly, fidgeting and yelping about his turn.
I am also reading the Sunday funnies to them (Comics in the newspaper, for you feriners.
Hope you all had lovely weekends!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

As they are, lately

Today, was a get-nuttin-done-day. Except for shuttling to birthday parties, laundry, cooking, eating Vietnamese food out by myself for lupper, picking up from birthday parties (love that they are now usually drop off, since Ryan is five. Five seems to be the magic age for drop off around here). Then we got back, and hustled to the Fall Festival (fundraiser for the school) to bid on the dozens of baskets available. They were great! I wish I would've brought my camera.

I bid on 5 baskets and won 2. I couldn't believe that some assholes were SNIPING AT A SCHOOL FUNCTION. This is not Ebay, people. This is a fund raiser for the school. You are supposed to 'play the game'. Which meant I had to run around like a crazed Border Collie at the end of bidding, as OF COURSE the baskets were all over Hell's Half Acre. Two other parents were doing the same thing at the end. One of the auction volunteers saw that I was practically careening around corners, so she decided to announce an extra 30 seconds for Table 5, and I barely made it for our Class Basket. Same thing was happening on the basket next to our class basket - it was a high-end vacation at a luxury resort, with more perks thrown in. One of the dads finally said "To Hell with This!" just as I was writing in the last bid on our class basket. I looked over and he had bid $500 OVER the last bid on his basket! I told him "I like your style!" He smiled and said "Thanks! This is a good deal... " Yeah, you Old Softie! I love good hearted folks.

A few parents and I ran around bidding on every basket that didn't have anything on it yet. Not many, but a few. At the end, other people came up and bid over us, which was a bit of a relief. Every basket sold. The children had an area that they were bidding on, too. Ken and the boys ate at the festival and played Bingo as well. While I was doing the Mad Dash around the baskets. Damn Snipers!

For those of you with school-age kids, do you attend these fundraisers? If so, what works to get people to attend? I was a bit surprised at how few people attended - but the PTA had to drop the Food and Games portion of the event due to lack of volunteers.

Tomorrow? I'm doing non-parenting stuff. Maybe some laundry. I want to cut out the aprons I'm going to make for gifts, and start assembling the teachers/therapists/Paras gift baskets. Another mom and I like to give the Christmas Gifts at Thanksgiving so the recipients can use the Christmas-themed goodies in the season. I bought a ton of candles and other non-perishable stuff at the end of last Christmas season.

But for now? It's nighty-night time. There are two little guys just about falling asleep in daddy's arms. They are all watching a Scholastic video, featuring a Scottie. 'Angus Runs Away'. New one on me.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

These are the Days to Remember, for they will not last forever

I have been humming that song for 2 days straight. Billy Joel? (A 'no shit, Sherlock, if that's the case - he sure took the bullet train to Hades for awhile. But I digress... )
We watched a movie a coupla nights ago - something we rarely have time to do anymore. Plus, the media room is kaput since the projector
Ken refuses to believe it's a goner, and tries to lure me down into the basement with promises of hot
(Oh Get your minds OUT of the gutter)
But I am much wiser than that, and insist on watching movies on our measly 32" 20-year old, busted remotes tvs. (WHY are there always three flippin' remotes involved to watch a movie these days?!)
Long story to get to the movie, which was The Big Labowski (I almost typed 'The Dude Labowski') and had some oldies but goodies songs in it. And I still laughed. Then last night we watched the Life and Death of Peter Sellers. What a Schmuck! And we love the Pink Panther movies! Will I be able to watch them anymore. Ah, probably...
Well I got off on a tangent. That's the problem with stream-of-consciousness posting. I don't save as draft and edit. I type and post. Who else does this? I also have no idea how to spell check in Blogger.
Let's see; Hallowe'en. It was Most Excellent this year. Ryan wore a costume - Lightning McQueen of Cars. Which was a step-into, hooked over his shoulders type of thing, with a hat. We only had 2 wardrobe malfunctions. It was less than 25 degrees here at 6 p.m. when Ken and the boys decided to make their foray. We had a bit of an issue finding a coat that fit under Ryan's get up. He started to ramp it up, crying and whining. I did the old "Fine! You can just stay home with me and hand out candy." which was a mean thing to suggest to a 5 year old. Ken stepped in with a remedy - he removed the guts to Ryan's 4 in 1 parka system, adding another choice to our daily coat tango, and solving the skinny-enough-yet warm problem. Meanwhile Parker is leaping foot to foot, getting overheated in his triple layers of insulation under his Clone Trooper Star Wars costume. FINALLY, they set out. And had a grand old time. Just the right amount of candy was procured.
I, unfortunately, did NOT have enough candy this year! There was a never-ending stream of bigger kids. It was almost too cold for the little ones. The best thing was alot of the parents dressed up to take the kids out, and they were more excited about their costumes than the kids were about theirs! Ken donned his knights of the indoor round table thingy he made 20 years ago. Complete with Hide Of The Naga wide belt and sword. Impressive in the fact that he could still fit into it.
So, that was Tuesday night. Wednesdays we have too much going on in the way of TaeKwonDo, therapy, playdate exchange (mornings) and game night at home. Tonight we had a party at Pump it Up, with at least 7 autistic kids out of 16 guests. It's a perfect place for autistic kids; we had them cut off the music, keep the lights on (you should have heard the screaming when they tried to do the disco thing! It was not a happy place.) We've seen alot of these little ones for 3 years now. Their accomplishments are amazing! Most are talking, communicating and getting needs met by ways other than beating on their mothers. (And yeah; it's usually the mothers doing the caretaking. A parent needs to stay home with special children. Whomever earns the most, works. Men usually make more. So the women stay home, whether they are emotionally equipped to deal with the stress, or not. But this is a whole other post.)
The opening presents part got pretty amusing. Just try to have an autistic child rip open presents, take a quick look, cast it aside and move to the next one. HA! It was hell getting each present out of JoJo's hands and moving him on to the next. And that's when the ratio of specials to typicals came into play - the typicals were on a demonic mission to Get Those Presents OPENED, and would tolerate nothing but a thorough shredding. JoJo, being one of the younger kids there, didn't have a chance. The opened present would be admired, then quickly slipped to the back of the circle where I would whisk it away. At one point, JoJo wailed "Missvicki; I want that one!" and I handed it back, to the yelps of the other children. Thinking back, it was the most enjoyable Pump It Up party I've been to, ever. 15 kids is the key. More is awful. Chaos. But, yeah, I would recommend it to other parents with SN children. 86 the music and disco option (lights off, with mirror ball and lights making crazy patterns), serve cheese pizza, cake, open presents or not and then candy bags to get the children to the car.

The chapter book reading aloud is going well. Ryan wanders off, starts to get noisy and has to be reminded that his turn is next for a picture book. Game night is a hit - we have carry out from a great place called Good Times and then play games 'til nearly bedtime. The play date tradeoffs are going well. Parker and Ryan go to 2 other children's homes on Wednesday mornings, and then those 2 boys come here on Friday mornings. 3 was an evil number, so we invited one of Ryan's buddies, Eddie, to participate in the exchange. It take more supervision as the older guys try to upperhand the younger kids. Normal stuff, nothing too mean. Plus the 2 little ones have to eat lunch before 11 so they can get on the bus at 11:20. The 2 bigger guys go at 12:45, so they have plenty of alone play time without the pesky guys.
Why am I telling you all this tripe? Because, these are the days to remember, and they will not last forever.
Soon they will be big boys, and the problems will be bigger - drugs/alcohol/driving/icky friends. I can fix almost every problem now. In the future? Not so much. So when I get pissy about my days of No Time For Me, I keep telling myself 'Ah, but these are the gravy days, my dear. Life is good. These boys of mine are beautiful, innocent and so sweet. I am their Everything, right now. Enjoy this time.'

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

As I am, today.

Hello, this is me at 53.
No makeup.
Lots of moisturizer.
No. Work. Done.
blackbird did a post on women today.
Us Old Girls?
We are not invisible anymore.
We are being applauded for allowing age to happen.
I reckon I earned every line and wrinkle.
And most of them from laughing.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Um - So I guess this makes Ken CatWoman?

I'm seeing a "You're Batman" theme here... (check previous post)
Halloween Horoscope for Libra

You only like halloween if you have a special someone to share it with.
You like a romantic scary evening together - no big parties or events for you.

Costume suggestions: Romeo and Juliet or Batman and Catwoman

Signature Halloween candy: Nerds

Filler 'til I can post about Las Vegas ...

You Are Batman

Billionaire playboy by day. Saving the world by night.
And you're not even a true superhero. Just someone with a lot of expensive toys!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Cooking & Shopping in Las Vegas

No Fear and Loathing here. No, Siree! We are
1. Cooking
2. Shopping, lotsa shopping.
3. Eating
4. Cooking
5. Going to multi-million dollar Parade of Homes, walking a Boston Terrier (with the heart and soul of a Much Bigger Dog) in Perfect Weather, down manicured meandering paths bursting with mountains of flowering rosemary; going to Cirque shows, entertaining friends, cooking old favorites like Roasted Tomatoes (Kim) and Rope Vecchia or Granny Pants (Joke); and eating, oh the EATING!
6. Loving the completely different flora in this heavily irrigated, desert landscape.
7. Finding a new brand of shoes that actually feel good on my feet - Taryn Rose.
8. Missing my husband and sons, terribly.

Life Is Beautiful.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Patchy blogging ahead

I am going on vacation.
See you later, Aligator.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings:

  1. Stuff ::

  2. Block ::

  3. Ingredient ::

  4. Flagrant ::

  5. Dandruff ::

  6. Betty ::

  7. Tide ::

  8. Judges ::

  9. Take it easy ::

  10. Chef ::

My mumblings:

1. Stuff :: and Junque

2. Block :: Party

3. Ingredient :: Recipe

4. Flagrant :: Disregard

5. Dandruff :: Itchy

6. Betty :: Boop

7. Tide :: Pool

8. Judges :: Votes

9. Take it easy :: Alcoholic

10. Chef :: Knife

Thursday, October 19, 2006

From the Peanut Gallery

Scene: Living room in our house, 7-ish tonight
Ryan, shaking some pom-poms eagerly, a special gift from school for doing all his tasks that day: "Mommy, looky dese!"
Mommy: "Yes, they are lovely. And look at how sad your brother is that he doesn't have one to shake. Could you share?"
Ryan: "NO!"
Parker: Running upstairs, sobbing his eyes out. He's in his Melodramatic, Sulking, Sobbing 6 Year Old Stage. God help me.
Ryan: "See, dis says 'No Touching, Parker.' "
Mommy: "Let me see that pom-pom. I don't see any "P's" for Parker - but I do see a "D"..."
Ryan, interrupting "Oh! Well...NO TOUCHING DAT!" and shaking both of them in my face "And No Touching DESE!"
I run upstairs, laughing, and fall over Parker, who is hiding on the landing, in the dark. Who sobs "He C-c-c-can't SPELL, Mommy!"

So, I guess Parker now believes Ryan can read the labels on toys. Heh heh heh.

Scene: Field trip to an operating farm's Pumpkin Patch today. Windy, cold and MUDDY. The class is a mixed-aged group of 11 pre-school children. 6 special needs children, and 5 typically developing peers ages 3-5; and Parker, who is attending as a 'student assistant' being the ripe old age of Kindergartener.
Young adult tour guide, daughter of farm property's owner. Obviously knows her way around and works the farm.
Showing children farm equipment, then moving on to the animals. First up, the COW. Yearlings, happily munching away in a feed trough.
Girl, small speech about the kinds of cows they are (Black Angus and some kind of fancy dairy cow) "Who knows what we get from cows?"
Parker: "MEAT! I LOVE MEAT!"
Stunned silence.
Vegetarian preschool Director quickly yelps "DAIRY PRODUCTS! Like MILK! ICE CREAM!"
10 other children go "YUMMY ICE CREAM!" and we move on to good, old, safe sheep.
Farm Girl, after small speech about sheep, asks "Who knows what we get from Sheep?"
and I yell "LAMB CHOPS!"

What kind of flower are you?

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"Mischief is your middle name, but your first is friend. You are quite the prankster that loves to make other people laugh."

Stolen from Another Nutter

Monday, October 16, 2006

Viva, Las Vegas!

I am going to Las Vegas the week of Oct 23. I'll be there quite a few days. If anyone else is thinking of going there, I'd love to meet for brunch or afternoon tea (You feel free to drink, I don't do dat anymore).
No boys this trip. Just me. I smell a devine massage and some Cirque du Soleil shows in my future. Also, some Really Good Dining.
But the funnest thing, besides being with my seester? COOKING FOR ADULT TASTES! You know I will be perusing your blogs, asking for your favorites.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings:

I say, you think:

  1. Opinion ::

  2. Tardy ::

  3. Peer pressure ::

  4. Grownup ::

  5. ! ::

  6. Beer ::

  7. Sit ::

  8. Shower ::

  9. Consummate ::

  10. Wasting ::

My Answers:

1. Opinion :: Poll
2. Tardy :: Late
3. Peer pressure :: Has Started
4. Grownup :: Tastes
5. ! :: Favorite punctuation
6. Beer :: Ale
7. Sit :: Down
8. Shower :: Bridal
9. Consummate :: the Deal
10. Wasting :: Away

Please remember to use

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Friday Musings:

1. I am maintaining steadfast in my refusal to get roped into Show-The-Love with PTO. One of the first lessons in negotiating is the Guy Who Talks First, Loses. I remain unusually quiet. Then happily chirp "Oh! I will be out of town that week!" Which, luckily? Is TRUE! I am going to see my seester in Lost Wages, Nevada, end of October. But will be home in p.l.e.n.t.y of time for Hallowe'en. Of course.

2. The packratIlivewith has added Found Items to the pile in the garage. I wondered why the light fixture in my side (the 2-car side, need you ask) of the garage had been completely removed. Now I know; it's to keep me from seeing the crap that is slowly sifting its way back into our lives! Well, we'll see about that, Mister.

3. My Jewish Husband is sittting shivvvva (explanation for crazy spelling below) with our deceased projector in the media room. It gave up the ghost last week, in the middle of showing the boys the 3rd Star Wars movie - the one with the wookies or whatever they're called. I made the mistake of saying 'Dark Vader must've shot the thing' and now both of them are scared to death of the media room. OY.

4. Replacing this behemoth is going to be painful; to get the picture quality we've become used to is going to cost. Alot. But the technology must have gotten friendlier in the past 25 years (yes; this projector was an 80's model, I'm sure) and lord knows, lighter. I swear this beast must weigh 250 pounds. Or more. And pushing 15 buttons to get picture, sound, computer running etc., is way beyond my patience level. I am praying that we now have to push maybe 3 buttons and PRESTO! We're in business.

5. We had our first freeze last night - late for this time of year. We've gotten to enjoy a nice, long autumn. And it's supposedly going to be a cold winter. I hope so. It will kill off some of the bugs we've been plagued with. Deer Flies? In COLORADO?! The midwest's got nuttin' on us. Mosquitoes carrying the much coveted West Nile virus, fleas, ticks and termites? They LUUUUUURVE living here now.

6. I'm typing this and storing it in draft mode. Maybe 2nd or 3rd time I've done that, in fact. With blogger misbehaving, I'm thinking this may be a good feature to utilize.

7. Seems blogging is going a bit 'out of fashion' these days. Figures. I'm getting my second wind. I've also heard rumors that there is a Spanish search engine (?) or something that ignores 'no robot searching' commands. If I find that my blog has been pilfered and cached for posterity after I've gone to pains to keep it off the web, I'll find the fuckers and cap them. In fact, I should go up there and mispell sittttting shivvvvva so that doesn't cue a search. CRAPPE!

Can I PLEASE go to bed now?

My morning routine is quick and easy. Shower if it's a Shower Day, using facial creams and scrubs in the shower, foot care scrubs, body washes and polishes. If it's a bath day (night), then I use Costco Borghese facial products. Every day there are 2 meds, bioidentical hormone creams applied in varying amounts daily. Teeth care. No BFD either way.

I don't know about you, but the older I get, the longer my nighttime routine has become.
Used to be a 3 minute max routine. Now? It's a Ritualistic Event of mammoth proportions.
First, I get out All The Potions. For a woman who is reputed to be low maintenance, I have contents in my bathroom vanity drawers that refute that claim.
Three cream facial cleansers.
Two facial 'wipe' cleansers.
Two special exfoliants.
Four different kinds of facial creams.
Three Serum treatments.
One whitener/brightener.
Two eye creams.
I try to stick within the same line nightly (Costco Borghese, Bobbi Brown EXTRA or Prescriptives/Lauder).

Some of these products are also used on my neck/throat/chest area and also on the tops of my hands.

Then there's the tooth care drawer.
Three kinds of toothpaste.
Three toothbrushes.
Numerous choices for floss.
Anti-bac rinses.

Then, there's the foot care! Mustn't forget the feet...
Three foot scrubs
Two planes
Two files
Four different salves/lotions each with their own socks.

I have probably a dozen different body washes/sugar or salt scrubs and bath bubbles or salts. The boys have different bath products, too. (And I use special oils when I massage them. I am going to miss doing that when they get self conscious.)

I never thought this was any big deal. I rotate using the products, depending on the condition of my skin. If I don't tend to my feet, they crack and hurt.

Living in a desert is a bitch. You really have to mitigate the damage.

But one of my girlfriends saw the contents of the vanity cabinets today and her eyes bugged out. "What in the heck do you DO with all this stuff?"

"I Rotate products. Just wait 'til YOU'RE my age; this won't be luxury stuff - it will be necessary!"

Who knows if it has made a difference. I know I believe in it, so I do it.

As you were.

PS - I don't usually wear any cosmetics except for Burt's Bees Lip Shimmers or lip cream just about constantly. And I don't do anything with my hair.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Loot! (Edited)

The shoes are Earth shoes - heel is lower than the toe. Bag is Oocci Gucci (knockoff). The laptop was already in residence (but was a useful prop)

Please notice the thyroidectomy and basal cell carcinoma removal scars abounding on my throat/chest. But isn't the necklace a Thing Of Beauty?! It's from the Elements collection at John Atencio. And Parker and Ryan each gave my an earring to match! I was astonished!

It seems to really pay off when your husband is out of town for a week prior to the day of your birthday. I would highly recommend it!

48 Things You Could Care Less About

1. FIRST NAME? We're not speaking of it on this PRIVATE BLOG.


3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Last night, while grocery shopping. I started thinking about my niece who isn't doing too well.

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? It depends on the writing instrument. Sometimes, it's pure crap. Other times, it bearable.

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? I have a weakness for mortadella.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Absolutely. But I've have to be a very tolerant person.

7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? No, just the blog.


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Before I had kids? Yes. Now? No.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Oatmeal, cooked all morning in Ireland. Served with thick cream and a slab of butter.


12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Yes. Emotionally and physically.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? I love me some Vanilla Bean. Also, Ben and Jerry's almost anything.

14.SHOE SIZE? 7 and a half. With a narrow heel, but not narrow ball.

5. RED OR PINK? Pink. But onl blue-y pinks, not orange-y pinks.


17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My maternal grandparents.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? I want everyone who wants to do this to do it. How's that?

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? I'm wearing Gap black low-rise pants, a J Jill double shirt, and knitted mukluks

20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Generous slice of birthcake cake (choc/choc)

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? LeapFrog Word Caper, a crackling fire and road paving.


23. FAVORITE SMELL? Desserts baking in the oven



26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? Yes, very much.



29. EYE COLOR? Cold, hard cash.

30. HAT SIZE? 7 and something. I have a big head.


32. FAVORITE FOOD? That's like asking Imelda Marcos to pick out a favorite pair of shoes. Come on now.



36. HUGS OR KISSES? Depends on who is giving them out.

37. FAVORITE DESSERT? See question 32.


39. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? See question 38.

40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Stegner collection, Because I Said So (collection of essays from Marin County mothers) and dozens of childrens' books.

41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? Laptop.


43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Children roaring with laughter.


45. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? Been around the world, but I guess the furthest would be somewhere in Asia.

46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Making speeches with no prep or notes.


48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I swiped it from Carolyn

Take an IQ TEST (with an annoying finish)

You scored 133 on Tickle's IQ test. This means that based on your answers, your IQ score is between document.write((iqscore-10)+' and '+iqscore+'. ');123 and 133. Most people's IQs are between 70 and 130.
In fact, 95% of all people have IQs within that range. 68% of people score between 80 and 120. The following chart to your right, shows these percentages and where your IQ score is on that scale.

Print your Certificate of Intellectual Achievement.

There's more to intelligence than a single number, a single score or a single label. Tickle uses four distinguishable Intelligence Scales in the Ultimate IQ Test. By analyzing your individual scores on those four scales, we are able to look beyond the raw IQ score into how you process information and thereby determine your Intellectual Type.
How do you relate to other IQ test takers?

Your Intellectual Type Is:
Visual Mathematician You have a strong ability to process visual-spatial and mathematical information. These skills combined with your strengths in logic are what make you a Visual Mathematician.

You're able to understand patterns visually and in numbers. That means your mind can create a mental picture for any problem. In addition to that skill, you possess an intelligence that allows you to apply math to that picture, too. That helps you manipulate multiple parts of the picture (or problem) to come up with a solution.
You have many skills that are critical to success and problem-solving. Your talents help you understand the "big picture," which is partly why people may turn to you for direction — especially in the workplace. You flourish in environments where tasks are clearly defined, and you are a whiz at improving processes and making things more efficient. Your ability to detect patterns and your skills in math and logic, make it natural for you to come up with ideas and theories that simplify processes for everyone.

Outside of work, Visual Mathematicians tend to do well at strategic activities like chess. It must be that ability to recognize patterns — both as they are and how they develop. Regardless of how you put your mind to use, you've got a great set of talents. You will be able to envision a clear path and calculate the risks, and more importantly, the rewards, of anything you take on.
Great Jobs For You
Because of the way you process information, these are just some of the many careers in which you could excel:
  • Physicists
  • Chess player
  • City planner
  • Astronomer
  • Physicists
  • Mathematician
  • Researcher

Some of Your Greatest Talents
You've got tons of strengths. It wouldn't surprise us if you:
  • Can give practical application to abstract thought
  • Can predict patterns
  • Are resourceful & practical
  • Envision the "big picture"
Here's a link to take the test.
I will warn you that you have to click on a bunch of "No Thanks" at the end to get your test. I also didn't answer the last grouping of questions after I submitted my email, and still got the results just fine.