Friday, June 30, 2006

What He WILL Eat.

It's been going around; this What My Spouse Will Eat thing. Babelbabe and Joke have done it; maybe others as well.

I can whup you all with what my spouse won't eat. Instead, it's infinitely easier to make up the very short list of what he will eat.

Salmon, cooked medium well done (I like it barely done and very juicy)
Scrambled eggs or well-done omelettes
Swiss cheeses and their direct relations, like Jarlsburg
Cheddar cheese, the sharper the better
Romaine lettuce, oak leaf lettuce and leafy green lettuce
Pasta of almost any kind
Olives - preferably black
Green beans
Bread of almost any kind
Almost any rice
Honey Gone Nuts Granola
Chocolate, banana nut or poppy seed muffins
Cherry Pie
Mosts cake
Dark Chocolate
Some cookies
Most nuts, but not Brazil nuts
Coffee with cream
Canned beans
Pizza with black olives, mushrooms and onions
He will eat Italian food and mexican food, but no meat of any kind
Will eat spicy broccoli Chinese food, some lo mein

You will notice there is NO flesh except for salmon. Few vegetables. Limited cheese selections.

I'm telling you, it's a bitch.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Guess what I'm doing today!


No. Not Unpacking.

No. Not returning 13 phone calls or answering 39 emails.

I. Am. Polyurethaning. Hardwood. Floors.

1700 sf.

On the Main Level.

Jay-sus - I haven't been this exhaustsed in years. YEARS, I tell you.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

We've Waddled Back!

YES! Back from To Hell and Back.

The trip in a nutshell?
1. No Planes, 2 trains.
2. Lotsa Automobile
3. A blow-up mattress & pump
4. Four Slightly Seedy Sleeping Accommodations
5. A few ailments
6. Swimming pools with crystal clarity - devine.
7. Swimming pools with bad test results - not so devine. Baths for all. Scrubdowns, in fact.
8. Korean Heritage Camp - the experience has left me speechless with emotion.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

I'm Outta Heah!

No, not trotting off in a fit of pique.

It's VaCay. It's 2-season packing. It's trying to remember to do Everything beforehand - but one never can. So we have a BackUp Plan. Or Two.

But probably no blog posting; and worse, no blog READING.

And I have No Idea where we are going. But it may involve planes, trains and automobiles.

Friday, June 16, 2006

List Friday: What's Missing?

As suggested by Loretta

1. My mind, or at least parts of it.
2. The rest of that sentence I was just uttering.
3. The little sack of dried bay leaves I purchased not 2 days ago. The corned beef won't be the same without it.
4. The Jenny sweater I left in The Broadmoor in 1989, along with the panty half of a fancy Italian bra and panty set.
5. 3 sets of earrings; opal triplets, sapphires and 1/2 of a diamond stud set.
6. 47 pair of sunglasses, at least.
7. A one-piece swim suit that was flattering. Left in the pool cabana at my Chicago friends' country house.
8. Oldest's kindergarten interview appointment, sometime in August at 10:40 -day unknown. We can find out what day when teachers come back to school Aug 11. That leaves alot of days in August un-vacationable.
9. My box of tools! It's gone, I tell you!
10. A pillow sham. I tore the house apart looking for it 4 years ago. Didn't find it in the move 3 years ago. I finally gave away the matching duvet in utter disgust. And found the sham Last Week.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

My current favorite summer hat

It's washable and ever-so-wearable. It's comfy, cool and provides good coverage. And it's in earth tones.

I hope to be sporting a bicycle helmet most of next year. But the rattlers are out something fierce right now, and I'm not testing fate with the training wheel set.

For blackbird
and yes, it's a day early. I had an adult handy today to help. Oldest tends to shoot great pictures of nostril hairs.

Monday, June 12, 2006

There are two 5 year olds in our house for a month.

Our sons are not quite 11 months apart. Irish Twins. Of Korean Ancestry. These sons were not born of my uterus; they were born in my heart and adopted a year apart.

Oldest is an Old Five; he seems very much older than his years in so many ways, and so much younger than his years in other ways. Oldest is very sensitive and takes life seriously. Most of the time. He has learned that being the class clown is a cover up for extreme shyness. So we now have a serious goofball on our hands, if that makes sense. He also treads lightly on the planet. Unless someone spills something on him, his clothing remains pristine. If he sneaks into bed with us, he is considerate and tries not to wake us and will nearly always go back to sleep.

Youngest is a Very Young Five; he is just now talking in full sentences some of the time, entering into conversations at a very basic level, and able to trade niceties in two, possibly three word, exchanges. If it is a subject that interests him. Like trains, cars or crunchy carbohydrates. The expression 'sneakin' along' has absolutely no application for this child. He thunders and roars! I am woken daily to a very happy, sturdy little boy climbing into bed beside me, rooting around to get the most choice spots of the bed and pillow, and whispering "I want WAFFLES, Mommy!"

Yesterday, they started their Summer Adventure Day Camp at our neighboring town's rec center. It has about 45-60 kids enrolled, ages 5-10. I put some effort into picking out their backpacks, water bottles and extra clothing/hats/sunscreen/lunch/snacks. We did it together so they would know how to open everything and where their items were stored in their new backpacks. The 11 months between them seemed more like 2 years with their abilities to absorb the information I was trying to impart the last few days:
1. What to expect at camp.
2. How I expected them to behave.
3. Handling adoption questions.
4. Asking for help with toileting, etc.

Oldest? Asked questions about everything. Youngest? Begged for a movie during the entire exchange.

So I had 6 hours OFF yesterday. I spent at least 5 hours of that missing them.


Yes! They are shamelessly cut n pasted from Carolyn (TMI Spot)!
I will add YOU later! I am a bit confused at how I did this! Bye!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Summer 1978 Meme: My Torrid Tale

Summer of 1978 was the year of my 1st divorce. Yes, I was a child bride. Both sets of parents had to sign permission for us to marry. And he was 2 years older than me! Why did I marry so young? No - no baby on the way. Because I was an IDIOT, that's why.

I spent the next 6 years after the wedding thusly: Spent 2 weeks opening gifts and setting up a tiny duplex as 'home'. When the last gift was opened, I called my mother and said I wanted to move back home as I couldn't cook and was sick of husband complaining. She replied "You ARE home. Figure it out." We bought a house, with his parents as co-buyers as we were too young to originate a loan. The house cost $18,900. It was built in 1880.

I worked in law offices, then started my own business. Modeled for hair/makeup photo shoots early mornings/evenings and weekends. Worked out Every.Single.Day at the downtown YMCA, which had exactly 3 women members in their co-ed phyed classes when I started working out. Meanwhile, I put husband through 6 years of undergrad and part of grad school. And paid for Every. Single. Thing. Did I mention he was a spoiled Mama's Boy? And that his parents were wealthy, and he was used to buying whatever he wanted? And that I loved his mother to pieces? More than him?

In 1977, I decided I was done raising my soon to be ex-husband. By now, I was living between 2 communities, as dh had gotten a job 4 hours away up in the mountains. We bought a nice condo up there, right at the bottom of a ski lift. But I was still essentially maintaining 2 households on my income, as his seemed to evaporate. I filed my own 'dissolution of marriage' paperwork and had him served. I hammered out our separation agreement, giving myself 75% of the assets. It still cost me a huge sum of money in 1977 dollars - $25,000 - to get out of that marriage. We did not tell his parents for 6 months. It broke his mother's heart. We were That Close.

I found cajones I never knew I had that year. I left a man who had controlled me since I was 15. And I never looked back.

And I discovered P.A.R.T.Y.I.N.G While you guys were riding your bikes around and playing in forts made of tangled roots, I was partying. Aspen. Vail. Boulder. Lower Downtown Denver at a gay dance club called Tracks, which was the Studio 54 of the West. Their sound system was so great, it was worth the drive.

So, here's a typical day, summer of 1977. I might work; I might not. My house payment was $144.06. Bills were low. I had a huge garden and ate out of that. Friends always brought over tons of food and booze. If I had scheduled work that day, I might have to start REALLY early if it was a photo shoot. If it was office work, I could get up around 7. Throw on nice clothes and catch the bus. Read on the bus. Read for lunch. Read on the bus ride home. Miss my stop. Read some more. Get home, find guests waiting on my big front porch. We'd cook, drink and eat. Go clubbing, or maybe not. Get home, catch 4 or 6 hours of sleep, and do it all over again. Weekends were parties, trips to lakes for boat rides (I couldn't risk water skiing - no health insurance!) trips to the mountains for hikes and picnics, sometimes packing in and camping. Life was not just good - it was great. I had never had such fun in my life.

I met J in a bookstore, winter of 1977. He was 10 years older than me. He was a vegetarian, very well educated, very handsome, very laid back. He had greenhouses of gorgeous plants. And lots of cash. Since math wasn't my forte, it never occurred to me that That Much Money probably didn't come from owning greenhouses. And that he traveled to California alot. Plant business, you know? Nah, that wasn't it. If you saw the movie 'Blow' with Johnny Depp, you get the idea. It took me 3 years to finally figure it out. He was very slick about it. And not a user. I'd drive to San Francisco while he was 'working', and buy clothing from little known designers. Go to City Lights bookstore. Entertain myself. The fact that we had a Mercedes, a BMW and flew first class to places to party should have been sending off alarm bells. But, everyone loved us, you know? We were The Couple.

I decided that we should start hosting big dinner parties. But I couldn't cook! J sent me to cooking school. So Summer of 1978, I learned how to cook properly. It was a great summer. I sold my business and gardened, read about history, and religions and sure; some trash - and cooked. I do believe that 1978 was the best summer of my life.

Things went to hell later, but this is Summer of 1978.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Is it REALLY so dangerous, so different, today?

Badger's post got me thinking: Is it Really that dangerous, so terrorist-ridden, so snatch-your-child horrible, that we can never take our eyes off our children for even a minute? Are there Really that many more perverts in the world? Will our children ever be allowed to roam our neighborhoods at any age? Or were our parents just "Bad Parents"?

What do you think? What is your comfort level with allowing your children out of sight?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

30 Seconds of Terror - The Mystic Tan

Vanity, thy name is Victoria.

I decided I needed to have some color for all the end-of-school year parties, birthday parties, visits to the pool, an evening event, etc; all happening this week. Me and the tan-in-a-can? Not so good. A few neighbors, friends and my younger sister have used an instant salon tan with great success. For $20.00, how could I go wrong?


First off, I read the brochure while waiting for the room to be vacated and cleaned. The photos of the process and equipment should have given me a clue - anything that advises you to wear eye guards, breathing guards and to coat certain areas might not be a great idea for the dramatic and/or faint of heart. 'Phfft!' I told myself. When the very deeply tanned host called my name, I confidently strode forth. To Experience the Mystic Tan. To.My.Doom.

We entered the room, and I was surprised at the size of the tanning 'shower'. I should also have noted that the host had to give a good tug on the door - more on that later. He then went through the entire process, poo-pooing the need for eye or nose guard wear (thank God! I said to myself) but stressed the use of the hair net, lotion to block absorption on certain area "Dry Areas" he repeated again and again - heck, I'm dry all over - this is the desert! and also to stand on the metal plate in the shower. Something about how the metal plate negatively charges your body, attracting the liquid to you, or something like that - I was starting to do my usual shutdown when people rattle off instructions. The host rattles off something and then states "And this is important - be sure to dry yourself off, starting with your feet and working towards your head. Dry off very well to avoid streaking." "I don't leave it on until it's dry?!" I ask. NO! He starts to leave, waving a hand toward the poster full of photos and directions, then pops back in and stresses to use the lotion "UNDER your fingernails!" and then he firmly shuts the door. I'm alone with a sink, 2 jugs of tanning-blocking lotion, a bowl of candy and a basket full of big, fluffy hair nets. And 2 towels. And the Shower of Doom.

I shed all clothing and don the hair net after removing my jewelry. I start to really lotion up areas that he said - feet, hands, knees, elbows, between fingers and toes. For some reason I remember him stressing the bottom of my feet - so I really slather the lotion on my soles. Which means I am now sliding around the room, thinking "What a ridiculous thing to have people do!" but I make it into the shower okay. I note the red Start Button. I stand as I have been instructed; legs shoulder width apart, arms out from the sides, with lower arms and hands pointing down down from the elbows, fingers spread. I feel like Quick-Draw McGraw at this point, and I'm getting nervous. The myriad of directions is swimming in my head - Let's see; it's 15 seconds of spray in the front, then a 10 second delay to allow you to turn around, position yourself and then it sprays your back. Okay! I push the button and suddenly remember the first warning "The.Spray.Will.Feel.Quite.Cold."

I immediately forget to take the huge, deep breath I am supposed to take immediately after pushing the red start button.


I hear the nozzels powering up.


SHIT! IT"S FREEZING! And OH GOD! It's misting a Toxic Soup, and oh Crap I was supposed to keep my eyes closed and HOLY CRAP I'm going to have to breath in this lung-dissolving goo! ACK! HELLLLLLLLLLP!

I start panting like I've run a 10k with a fanny-kicking sprint at the end. I am squealing. I am terrified.

The mist shuts off, and I try to push open the door to escape. IT.IS.LOCKED. I am a prisoner.

The spigots power up again. I squeal and shut my eyes. And get blasted on the side. OH FUCK! I was supposed to turn around. I quickly spin and pray my back is now facing the spigots at the right angle. I am almost hyperventilating and cannot seem to keep my eyes closed. I try to squeeze them shut, but they fly open, and start watering with the chemical soup.

It's the longest 15 seconds of my life.

I burst out of the tanning shower and miss the rug so I slide across the floor into the towels. I grab one and immediately give my face a brisk rubdown. I look in the mirror and see a wild-eyed Thing looking back at me. I whip off the stained shower cap and then remember - I'm still covered in this stuff!

I towel off completely opposite of what I've been told (and read in the directions). Do I notice this at the time? No. What I do notice, in bold print on the poster, is an admonition to NOT lotion up the bottoms of your feet. wtf?! He TOLD me to do this. I swear I remember him telling me this!

My stuff is in a pile on the floor. I put on my clothes, find my hat, sunglasses, keys, coin purse that serves as my purse, phone and jewelry. I feel amazingly fine as soon as I get the door open and go out into the waiting room.

It takes hours to process (really, overnight) and I smell that funky smell of self-tanning products. I am excited to see what I look like tan!

I got out of bed with my usual covey of fans present. Oldest immediately asks "Mommy! What is wrong with that toe?" I look down and see a Very Dark Big Toe. On both feet. Streaks on the rest of my feet, with blobs of very dark skin on my ankles. The boys are now rubbing my toes, trying to clean them! Youngest trots off to the bathroom, and comes back with a wet washcloth.

While Youngest is scrubbing for all he's worth on my right big toe, I notice I have a huge white streak on the inside of my legs. And a matching white streak on the other leg. Lovely! And, what's this? My hands now resemble Baboon hands and are a palm reader's dream - all the lines are extra dramatic. And did I mention, Orange?! And my fingertips? Looks like I've been digging in piles of rich, dark loam - not the crappy clay we have here. Youngest notices my hand and starts scrubbing away at it with the washcloth. I decide to shower. And really survey the damage in the bathroom mirrors. I look like an idiot! Splotchy, streaky, And decidedly orange.

It was 98 degrees here today. And guess who wore long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, foot-covering shoes and a big hat today?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Rambling thoughts on a Sunday...

I really need to plan our summer vacations. We have an impending Korean culture camp; do we even have room reservations? NO! Have I set up Chicago, Las Vegas, Florida and Points East? NO!
The house is disorganized - a chronic situation - remember the packrats that reside here - and there will be no cleaning today - too much going on (HOORAY!). Meanwhile dh and Oldest are sleeping in the guest room, and Youngest is not 2" away, snoozing in his nest of pillows in our bedroom. We have had guests staying until waaaaaaaaaay after dinner, and we have played movies for the children to keep them inside and away from the mosquitoes - I guess Scooby Doo is a bit scary and causing night upsets - oops!

We have a largeish garden plot at dh's company community garden plot. Today, we will plant something, anything, in our garden plot. Yes, I know; we're Very Late. We've been waiting to get the rototiller from my parents' house, but now we'll just use a spade and turn over bits of soil here and there and plop big vegetable plants in the dirt - instant garden. The rest I will sow to cut flowers. The other gardeners will share vegetables with us, and we will happily share cut bouquets. I think that's a good arrangment! So today, we will take tools, seeds, and chairs to our city garden plot.

We have a barbeque to attend mid-afternoon, and afterwards we will go to our community pool for an evening swim. I like to swim after the heat of the day and the crowds. Then we shower the boys there, put them in their pajamas and they are nearly asleep on the short drive home. A quick read and rock, and they are off in dreamland.

I need to make summer-weight quilts for the boys' beds. There is a fabulous quilting shop not too far away, full of delicious cottons and flannels. I'm going to let the boys pick their patterns and colors. With the boys in full-day summer camp 2 days a week, I should be able to finish them - probably just in time for fall... hmmmmm. I should've started this in the spring. Are those quilts-in-a-day patterns really possible?!

A few of my friends want to learn how to can, pickle and put up jellies and jams. I've done all this, but not lately. I'm going to get all my recipes and equipment out, check it over and start planning some canning days. The girlfriend I used to can with is now too busy to participate, I fear. It seems like just a couple of years ago that we were learning to do this, but it's been more like 25 years! I'll invite her. Does anyone have any favorite recipes or tips to share? I know to put the pickling cukes on ice for a few hours before pickling. Any other tricks you use, or resources you have found invaluable?

Refinishing the hardwood flooring needs to be done this summer, too. I use Bona Kemi's easy refinishing products - a water based polyurethane applied twice with a special applicator. It is really easy to apply and lasts about a year. But it's tedious in that all the furniture has to be moved, the floors scrupulously vacuumed, washed and dried, and no children can be around. The smell fades very quickly - it's pretty non-toxic. And the scratches and abuse on the floors? Disappears into a gleaming gloss of perfection. Here where I buy the supplies: Floor refinishing supplies

K and I need to finish the window treatment in our bedroom. The pieces are lurking in every corner. It's just finding the time to do it. I'm looking forward to having black-out drapes in here - it's bright at 6 a.m. now. We bought the dark velvet off Ebay a long time ago - really a bargain. Who knew we'd be using it in our bedroom - K got it to make 'media room curtains' for his future media room. Sometimes his bargain hunting pays off in mysterious ways. Not that I'm condoning pack-rat-iness, but sometimes...?

And I'm making myself tired just thinking about all this future busy-ness. It's not so bad while one is doing it, but the planning of it - e x h a u s t i n g!