Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm done, I'm done, neener, neener, neener!

I went out and absolutely tortured myself (and my kids) today. I decided without a doubt that I was going to finish my grocery shopping and all the last minute crap-ola and a be done with it! So, as of this very minute, if it didn't get bought... TOO DAMN BAD! We will have to live without it until AFTER Christmas. Now it is time to embark on some housecleaning, luckily I did some pick-up over the weekend, so it isn't heinous in here, and start my baking. Tomorrow I will make the gingerbread dough so we can make cookies on XMAS Eve and XMAS Eve will have me making an apple/cranberry coffeecake for XMAS morn. We're not doing a "traditional" XMAS dinner this year. We'll have BBQ turkey, some green chile cornbread puddin' (if you're Southern, you'll know what I'm talkin' about and you'll be lickin' your lips, if you're a Yankee, then you'll probably cringing at the thought), green beans with almonds, and the Monkey Man has chosen a cauliflower snowball for his side of choice. We'll bake a fresh loaf of wheat or pumpernickel bread and have some pumpkin pie for dessert (Oh, pumpkin pie, THAT"S traditional, maybe I should re-think!). But I think I have everything under control and I am looking forward to a low-stress week, maybe I'll actually get to relax and enjoy a little this year! Hallelujah!

In case I decide not to blog again this week... Everyone have a wonderful holiday, be safe, enjoy your family and friends, and try not to eat yourself completely silly! Cheers!

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's the little things...

Like making gingerbread houses with good friends and amazing kids! People tease me about the gingerbread houses and cookies, the hand-made costumes and spiderwebs at Halloween, or the crazy McDuff-cakes, and Harry Potter and pirate birthday parties, but that's OK. I know in my heart, even with all the mess and all the stress, these are the things of memories and I cherish each and every one! These kids just grow so fast. I feel like I blinked and my little boy went from pudgy toddler to long, lean almost 7 year-old and my tiny newborn became a toddler! So... I do all the stuff, I start traditions, I take pictures like crazy and I try to revel in every moment that they are small! For I know these times are fleeting and before I know it, they will be out of the house, with families of their own, starting their own traditions. I just hope they look back fondly on their childhood and know that they were loved beyond compare!

Here are the Monkey Man and the Piglet's most amazing gingerbread creations (the "Banana House" is the Monkey's, fitting right?)! The Piggle had just a little help from Mommy! ;-)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

TP solution????

So, on Tuesday evening, Big Daddy and I had a discussion about the "Great TP Experiment of '08" and he flat out admits that he NEVER puts a new roll onto the roller! He says he doesn't know why, he just never does it, even at work! I am beginning to wonder if he had some sort of TP roller trauma as a child. Maybe he tried to put the TP on and the roller pinched his finger and subconsciously he has a fear of the roller! Or maybe he just doesn't like to do it. Either way, later that evening he went off to band practice and I went upstairs to bathe the children. To my surprise, this is what I found! Men are such turds. ;-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Great TP Experiment of 2008

Over the last month or so, I have been conducting an experiment, unbeknownst to my Big Daddy. Everytime I notice the toilet paper getting low, I grab a new roll and put it NEAR the toilet paper roller (in plain view). The experiment was to see if the roll would ever get replaced. In the last month, anytime he has used the last bit of TP, it has NOT been replaced by the new roll that is sitting less than 1-2 ft. away from the roller (in plain sight). So, based on this experiment, I have determined that Big Daddy either does not understand the complex workings of a TP roller OR he just chooses not to replace said TP. I am sure he would tell me that there was still some TP on the roll, but honestly, the hanging remnant of the last square just doesn't count! If the next person cannot get enough paper to accomplish at least a partial wipe, then that roll is toast and you should replace it with a new roll! And yes, I realize that as a female, I use more TP than he does, BUT usage should not determine who is the one to replace the roll! It is strictly the responsibility of the one who empties the roll to be kind and courteous and replace that roll so that the next person doesn't have to waddle across the bathroom in search of a new one!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I can hardly believe it!

I just filled up my car for $35! I'm slightly shocked and little dismayed! I'm not sure how to react to $1.55/ gallon! Honestly, I never thought I would ever see gas for less than $2/gal in my lifetime. This is super, yet scary at the same time. Now that gas is cheap again, what will be the motive for finding alternative fuel sources? I mean lets get real, finding alternative sources would take time, effort and money! We have cheap gas again, so who cares, right?!? I hope as Americans we aren't lulled into that false sense of security yet again. We still need to be working toward energy independence, if not for monetary reasons for environmental reasons, or for our children's generation so they don't end up having to pick up the ball that we dropped. After all, we had a gas crisis in the 70's, got everyone all fired up, then here came the cheap gas again and now 30 years later, we're picking up the ball our parents' generation dropped. Cheap gas or not, I'm still limiting myself to one tank of gas per 2 week period (unless I'm actually traveling). Either way, less driving helps keep the gas cheaper and the environment cleaner until we find something better. Just trying to do my little part!

Have a nice day!

Some people take stock in reading cards or tea leaves, personally, I take a look at my Thursday morning pancake! And today, I'm thinkin' it said to have a nice day! What do you think?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wow, gotta love that Texas weather!

Texas weather is so weird! Yesterday afternoon it was windy, but the temps were mild, in the mid-70's. It was getting a little more chilly and windy as I left for my White Elephant party, but nothing too bad. By the time I left the party, just before midnight, there was freezing rain and bone-chilling winds! Yuck! And not the kind of weather you want to be driving across town in after a party! Granted, I didn't have much to drink, but still, I was in Big Daddy's car and the weather really was terrible.

Funny thing about Texas, is Texans CANNOT drive in inclement weather! If it's not sunny, dry, and 100* they just don't know what to do! Now I'm not saying I'm great in the snow or sleet, but I am aware that this kind of weather makes driving difficult and dangerous and therefore I should decrease my rate of speed. Yeah, Texans don't seem to get that. It is perfectly acceptable to be driving 65 mph down Parmer Lane on slick roads because, by god, the speed limit sign says so! I flinched as multiple cars sped past me, only to slam on their brakes and skid through the intersections at stop lights! So although sleet and snow are dangerous, they are nothing compared to the crazy bastards trying to drive in it! Thankfully, I made it home safe and sound, but only due to my diligence, respect for the elements and SEVERE defensive driving! I think when the next storm hits, I'm just gonna stay home!

It makes me smile!

While I'm sitting here, reading and blogging and checking email, I have children playing nicely, which is a rarity! Monkey Man is running around in a tie-dye shirt and Thomas the Tank Engine jammy pants (quite the combo) shooting Nerf darts off the upstairs landing and encouraging the Piggle (who is SUPER CUTE in her brand new polar fleece piggy jammies) to count off and then run after the darts! Quite the little game! Sometimes it strikes me at the oddest moments, "These kids of mine are REALLY stinkin' cool!" How lucky am I that I get to stay home with them? I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I'm bored.

I have another White Elephant party to attend tonight. It's our homeschool group, Mommies Only party. I'm excited about that, mostly since I missed last year. Stinkin' flu! But still... it's over an hour until I leave and I'm sitting here, bored out of my mind, listening to the kids aggravate the crap out of each other in the living room. I actually did manage to get us out of the house today. I took the kids to feed the ducks, but even that was pretty boring. (Well, except for the Piggle deciding to pick up a gargantuan dog turd to show me! Yuck!) The ducks were all really lazy and sleepy, not really interested in being fed. And once we got home, I had to fight the urge to sleep the afternoon away! Maybe it's the weather. It's windy and overcast and it seems as though some sort of storm may be brewing, but I don't know. Either way, I'm freakin' bored as shit right now and feeling all sleepy and lethargic. I better get up and do something so I don't completely poop out BEFORE I get a chance to go have some fun!

Monday, December 08, 2008

The White Elephant

I was excited to get to go to the 5th Annual Martinez White Elephant Party this past weekend! A night out without the kids at a really fun party. This party is known for it's racy gifts with terribly bad taste and it's just a hoot! The first couple of years, the gifts were very "adult novelty" oriented, but it seems that people are now really beginning to tap into their creativity. I ended up with a Pig Pinata filled with candy, shot-sized bottles of liquor, condoms and a penis whistle. I was more excited about the pinata than anything, because I will be able to fill it with candy and let the Piggle whack it on her birthday! Cool. And it's about time, I always end up with the really crappy gift at the White Elephant, like the box of half-eaten candy canes or the broken garage light fixture! So it was about time I got a decent gift, and I shared the wealth. I'm not a big fan of hard liquor, so I doled alot of it out to friends and passed out the condoms to party guests that might need them!

So what was the gift I gave, you ask? Well, that was a hard one. About 3 hours before the party I had still not had any sort of White Elephant epiphany. So the hubby went on a search for a gift, as I was NOT about to buy anything. Then he suggested that maybe I use my photography skills to take a really artistic picture of something weird, and hence the idea of taking pictures of dog crap was born. So yes, there I was in the back yard trying to get the most amazing pics of my dog's shit. I'm sure any neighbors that might have seen me were thinking I was high! Anyway, we went through the photos (which have now been erased from my computer to protect the eyes of the innocent) and picked the best two which we printed. We placed the photos in a frame we had that held two photos and closed like a book and then I wrapped the frame with a note which read:

"I hope you are able to find a fitting spot for these in your home. It just seemed that no matter where we put them, they always looked like shit! Enjoy!"

And there you have, that's how we roll at the Martinez White Elephant Party!

Friday, December 05, 2008

At odds with Christmas

It's that time of year, when I feel pressured to spend more money than we have to make Christmas memorable. My kids have been lucky and have had amazing Christmas mornings with gifts from Santa and endless presents under the tree, but it's a hard to keep up that momentum! How do you top the year before? And then I have all of my hippy, granola ideologies of not wanting my children to think they can have everything, not wanting to be a family reveling in the excess that is so American, not wanting to put myself in the poorhouse in order to fill my kids' closets with Wal-Mart crap that will be played with twice and end up in the never-ending cycle of garage sales and Goodwill donations! I long for a simpler time!

But how is this possible with the endless barrage of Fisher-Price commercials on the Disney Channel and every store having aisle after aisle of junk falling off the shelves to tempt the hearts of the young? Do I never go to Target, do I ban television? Believe me, the thought has crossed my mind! We have become such a disposable world. We seem to be wired to consume and dispose constantly! More is better and I'm just tired of it. It absolutely wears me down. I haven't even started my XMAS shopping and I'm, for some reason, not looking forward to it this year. I don't know if it's the money thing, or just being overwhelmed with what is out there and what the kids want that I'M alright with them having, or if it's the raging, rampant greed that I'm seeing in the general population to acquire as much shit as possible before December 25th? When did XMAS become all about trampling a Wal-Mart employee so you could get 20% off that crappy ass flat screen TV? Seriously?

So here I sit, reminiscing about the stories my grandmother told me of her Christmases as a child. How lucky they felt when their father was able to buy them candy (5 lbs of orange slices, 5 lbs. of chocolate cream drops, and 5 lbs. of coconut bonds) and some baskets of fresh apples and oranges. It was all about family, loving one another and having a couple of special treats to celebrate the season. Things have certainly changed! I am trying to keep things mellower this year, I want to get things I KNOW the kids will play with, I am planning on making many of the gifts, especially for the Piggle as she is still little and hasn't began to demand the Bratz dolls or My Little Pony's yet. It's definitely a thin line to walk, to make their day special, yet to tread lightly on the Earth and not raise entitled little brats that think they deserve everything they ask for. I'll be glad when it's over. Christmas used to be one of my favorite holidays, but now it just stresses me out. I think my new favorite holiday is Halloween!

OK, NOW it's December!

Holy shit folks, it got cold! Remember my last post about warm, sunny breezes? Yeah, not so much anymore. How about frigid, bone-chilling wind and freezing temps?! It is times like these I absolutely abhor all of the big windows in my house! Normally I keep the blinds open to let in all that lovely natural light, but I have been keeping the blinds closed and living in a cave for 2 days! The cold that emanates from the windows is awful! I hereby declare that from now until spring I shall be baking at least one loaf of bread, or cookies or pies so I can either 1) keep the house warm from the heat coming off the stove, or 2) gain about 20 pounds of fat to insulate my skinny, little ass so I don't freeze to death! I suppose it's a good thing I don't live in Minnesota!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Haiku of the day

It's warm, a light breeze
Blue skies, yet leaves falling down?
It's NOT December!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Nearest Book Meme

The Rules:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next seven sentences in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

Two of those ministers were Francis Hutcheson's grandfather and father. John Hutchenson was pastor of Armagh when his son Francis was born in 1694. Francis received his first education at his grandfather's house. It seemed only natural and proper that he follow in their footsteps as a minister.

By then the Ulster Scots community had been through much. In the decades before Hutcheson's birth they had endured massacre by dispossessed Irish Catholics, including the wholesale murder of men, women and children at Portadown in 1641, and paid them back in kind. Many had signed the National Covenant, and backed the Parliamentary forces against Charles I.

(Photo provided by Duluth Trading Company)

Monday, December 01, 2008

It's the Great Pickle!

I have had several folks ask me what the deal is with the pickle ornament on our Christmas tree. So here goes... as far as I can gather my great-grandparents had a set of ornaments, 1 carrot, 1 banana, 1 pickle and I believe 1 apple. According to my mom, these ornaments graced my great-grandparents' tree. When I was in 6th grade, many years after their deaths and when my great-aunt had moved into a nursing home, my mom and I moved into their house, which meant that we inherited their Christmas tree ornaments. We loved them all (except the apple, which was broken way before I came along). We always placed the banana, the carrot and the pickle high up in the tree, right up front as they were so cute and so completely un-Christmas-ey! They were so funny among all the balls and garland and icicles! Anyway, one year we had a tragedy, one of our cats decided to climb the tree, which of course ended with a crash and the beloved pickle was shattered into a million pieces along with several other not so prized ornaments. We were devastated. Many years later, when I was in college, my Mom came across a place that had vintage pickle ornaments and bought one for each household. Since that day, the pickle has been proudly displayed in a place of prominence on our tree! It is and always will be my favorite ornament. Now if I could only find a carrot and a banana!

My Eggscellent Contribution

We were so lucky to have been invited to spend Thanksgiving with friends! I was asked to bring a side of some sort and a dessert item. I opted to make my famous crumbly crust apple pie (yum!) and some deviled eggs. I know, most people probably think there is nothing special about deviled eggs, but you have obviously not had MY deviled eggs! I am the deviled egg Master! The secret is white wine vinegar and fresh herbs! They were immediately ravaged by the dinner guests and were gone long before the meal was served! Good thing I took a quick picture of them in all their glory before I left the house! Now tell me that isn't a lovely plate of eggs! It was the least I could do though considering what a lovely meal we were able to partake in! Good friends and good food, life is good!