Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Beyond random

Not only are the topics whirring about in the cuisinart that is my brain random, but the way I feel about some of them is random as well. For example: I know that eating less cookies could contribute to slimming down my flabbity tummy; but I also find them irresistible and rarely even attempt to demonstrate any will power. Moreover, I will look for the slightest reason to bake a batch of chocolate chip delights...seeing a bag of morsels in the cupboard counts as good cause! As much as I love cookies though, even I know this baked good was not even a bargain at the seventy-cent markdown price. Seriously? That needs to be on the shelf?

Thanks to Stacy for giving at least my blogging life some structure. She's carrying her sign and keeping us interested in airing out our random thoughts (on Tuesdays). I am thinking I should also take a cue and grab a glass of wine! Click on the box when you finish here and see what other folks are up to.


School's out for summer! One of the early signs that my house would not be so lonely anymore was the extra four pairs of shoes in the doorway. I love the sounds of the laughter...absolutely LOVE it! The dog chose to stand guard in case anybody showed up for the sole purpose of amusing him.

The kids managed to find new shows I had not even heard of within hours of gaining control of the remote. They are game show network addicts now, but are struggling with the commercial content. I had to break the news to them that the target audience for the Family Feud is a much older crowd who may be in need for portable catheters, walk in bath tubs, and a variety of anti-inflammatory medications. Upon my demanding that they take a break from Baggage (as in, please don't watch that ever again), they tuned in to Bizarre Foods. The particular episode they caught showed the host eating conch penis, followed by some man skinning a rodent. Board game anyone?!

I have to admit that sometimes when I head out wearing my house cleaning hat, I am not actually in the mood to clean. It does not help matters when the pet of the house I arrive at tries to lure me to do something else. Look at this pooch giving her best effort to convince me that the play tent is way more fun than the vacuum I have pushed dangerously close to her face. She knows that I know that she knows we could both be having more fun.

Outside is super fun! (At least it is when I don't have to worry that I might burst into flames, or subject myself to a ridiculously high humidity level). Apparently ridding our front porch of the rude barn swallows cleared the path for some very messy robins (possibly the relatives that the shrubbery robins don't like to talk about). They have taken living on the edge to a new level! They have also made my rocking chair an unfavorable relaxation spot for fear that something will land on my head (notice the overflow of housing materials hanging on the chair).

My aunt has this nest situation on her porch. The mourning dove is not a swooping attack bird, but is slightly creepy in her own right. She does not move! She sits on her eggs while my aunt's dogs bark like crazy, people walk in and out of the slamming door, and annoying people with camera phones try to get as close as possible because they have no zoom! We are also not sure exactly what happened to the robins who were living in the nest that she strategically built hers on top of. Maybe she struck a sweet deal and there are eggs in that nest too? It is pretty fascinating (to me) how you can see a subtle difference in building materials between the two nests. A Home Depot versus Lowe's sort of thing.

I am fairly certain that there has been some progress with the plumeria.

The one consistent thought I have had for most of today is...I am tired! I even know what to do about that...good night!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy summer...or another random hot Tuesday

It must be summer as the air conditioning in the van is blowing out air even warmer than the steam already in the car.

OK, I have to pause here (already) to say that auto-correct wins again. I must've neglected a space between the words "as" and "the", so of course that word was changed to "asthenosphere". Then as I was trying to rewrite that word just now, I hit the wrong letter somewhere and had it changed to "Arnie is here". Sorry to interrupt random with random. Thankfully, Stacy is leading the rebellion to keep the random going...


Instead of looking into getting a little dose of freon for the van, we (I) decided we should get a new one (or at least new to us). Hooray! We didn't even leave feeling as though we'd been totally had by the dealer. High fives all around!

I have been meaning to check my calendar all day, as the giant pimple I have festering under my nose would seem to indicate that I have a big date coming up. Maybe the prom or something? I fear that when this blemish makes it's way to the surface that it might engulf my entire face. It hurts to wipe my nose or smile even...pathetic.

I was standing at work last week when I saw a gentleman walk out of the ladies' room. Whatever. The mens' room is about eight feet further along. Neither of these men were triangle shaped or wearing dresses. The facilities are pretty much the same in either room, but not everyone needed to know that. Then a little while later I saw a different guy walk in to the same bathroom. A little while later the SAME dude walked back into the ladies' room. I was torn between thinking he was just that oblivious (um, the sign is even in Braille), or if he was just going to totally commit to his initial mistake.

It got so crowded in the nest that one bird could no longer fit his beak inside of it.

Clearly there was no choice but to leave. The bird looked so confused by what should happen next. Luckily the parents were nearby to act as escorts until things started to make more sense.

Here's a much needed summer product. Now you can make an ice cream treat that's super easy. Instead of scooping that ice cream in one swift motion onto a yummy cone, you can smash it into a mold with a plastic recreation of a cone.

School is finishing up this week. This is that time of year when I have high hopes of fostering some good habits in my children...things like helping more around the house, reading more, complaining less. Tune in next Tuesday to find out how quickly my dreams were crushed.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It goes without asking

I am sure that when my husband called at 6:00 to tell me he was on his way home, he thought I would pull out my angry voice (since dinner is typically served at 6:00). He casually slid the words "plasma donation" into his excuse, as some sort of phone call equivalent to the old "Be nice to me, I gave blood today" stickers. Since I had been busy puttering around the house, with a belly full of fresh picked strawberries, I really hadn't even entertained the idea of getting dinner started (he does not necessarily need to know when that happens).

As I hung up the phone, I did recall him telling me awhile back that the Red Cross, no longer satisfied with his blood donations, was now after his plasma...whatever that means. This reminded me of just one of the many ways in which my husband is a finer human being than I am, which is annoying because it distracts me from all of the ways in which I find myself to be superior. I would like to want to give blood. I would like to think that some cookies and juice would be all I'd need to put myself back together after such a thing.

I have had numerous successful blood draws, excluding the one when I had mono and a very unsteady walk back to my car. I am convinced that had more to do with the mono cells attacking my body (yes, that is what my high school and college level anatomy classes taught me...mono cells?...so sorry to my professor!) than anything having to do with the actual needle. I had one other bad bloodwork experience. When I had my blood drawn at the beginning of my first pregnancy, the tech asked me a few times if I had any problems with bloodwork. I told her I did not, because I really hadn't. Since it was my first pregnancy, I had no experience with just how much blood she planned to swipe from me...oops. I did not pass out but apparently stopped looking very well at vial forty-two, after I might've accidentally glanced over thinking things were about finished. The woman got a bit pissy, and of course I felt badly at the time. Whatever. For the past fourteen years, I have laid down every time I have had blood drawn, as a precaution.

Back to my universal donor of a husband...He comes in the door with a red band crossed around each of his arms at the elbow pit. (You know where I mean, right?) Now I already knew from his phone call that things had taken longer than expected, and quite honestly, that was all I really needed or wanted to know. He mentioned it again. In an attempt to show some interest, I stuck to a topic I could manage, and asked where the place was located. Lame, I know. During dinner he announced that it was weird to be pinned down for an hour without even being able to scratch an itch if you had one. Nobody jumped at the chance to delve deeper into the topic. So then he told us which movie he watched during the transaction. It was not one I have ever seen, but I did ask if he was able to watch it in it's entirety (yes).

After a few minutes, the donor announced that it was weird to see the blood coming out of one arm, going thru a machine to take out the plasma and platelets and then going back into the other arm (focus on taco). This statement might've elicited a "hmm" from someone at the table. I considered asking if we could postpone any remaining portions of the conversation until after dinner, but realized that I wasn't going to be any better, or eager, of a listener then.

A few minutes later, he went for it. (So stop reading if you wish, or at least put down the taco!) "So you know what color blood is?" "Mmm-hmm." "Well after going thru the machine, the plasma part looked like a big bag of urine...and the platelets looked like yellow frosting stuck in a bag." And with that, my taco filling all glopped out onto my plate, as I worked hard to not start throwing silverware...at his head.

I hope the fact that none of the three of us asked him to STOP TALKING ABOUT IT counts for something, even if we did not ask him to please tell us more. Oh, and the cookies he earned? Lorna Doones, my favorite, on the kitchen counter unopened. He probably deserved to put us through a power point presentation on his experience. At least maybe this will keep him from exercising tonight...exercise...another reason he is a finer human being than I.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Random nature Tuesday

The most random thing around here lately seems to be the weather! I felt so hot and bloated last week that I almost parked in the expectant mother parking just to have a shorter hot walk into the store. I thought if I brought back the preggo waddle, and stuck my already puffy belly out a little more, seriously...who was going to ask me if I had parked there inappropriately. Then this week brought some cooler weather, and another round of allergens into my nasal passages. I finally succumbed to taking some allergy medication, and found out that the particular suckers that I chose are diuretics...so why do I still look so bloated? (she said, as if she didn't know what either an abdominal crunch or elliptical machine were). Now I am slightly chilly, and that makes me very happy! And....tomorrow will be 80 (and hopefully not a single degree higher!)

The trouble with the indecisive manner in which Mother Nature is conducting herself is that all seasonal activities are catching me off guard...namely, the end of school! My son's last day of classes is tomorrow, and he was disappointed to hear that there was no more cold pizza left for his lunch. Apparently he wanted something "fancy" for the last day...fancy...cold pizza. He turned down the turkey cheddar roll up I offered (clearly just not fancy enough!).

A request was made to eat dinner outside tonight, and since I couldn't think of any reason not to, it seemed like a simple way to raise my approval rating among at least one eleven year old girl in particular. This catapulted us into a nature festival. I do love watching big bumblers getting tipsy on nectar...

I was also glad to see the goldfinches using the feeder that claimed to be "just for them" with special perches to allow their upside down feeding...whatever, just happy to have them dine with us! Yes, that is a dead tree that the feeder is hanging in, but that is where the birds were visiting (there are five in the gang) so that is where I hung the feeder.

I might have mentioned the "daisies" I thought I was transplanting early last month. I watered them, and they really did well with the move...and then a purplish little flower started to emerge from an increasingly straggly looking plant. Ok, so I transplanted a weed. Here are some daisies we can keep an eye on...they make me smile a bit more when they are in bloom.

Of course with a daughter named Lily, who I just can't get enough of, we have several different varieties of her namesake out and about in the yard. Let's keep an eye on this one too...

I thought I was going to sneak in for some robin egg photos like last spring...

However, these are the nearly full grown birdies we found instead, since it is MID JUNE!!! I had to clean my living room window for this event, but then decided I should take the screen out for better photo ops. My daughter asked me what we should do if the mother bird flew inside. When I realized I had no other thoughts than SCREAM really loud, I closed the window. Creepy eye much?

Speaking of green, check out what arrived in my mailbox today! My cousin's very thoughtful wife knew that I had no green food coloring, but now you can choose which shade you are envious in!

I feel a need to create something special and yummy...stay tuned! In the meantime you can check out Amanda's awesome blogs about good eats and a dog's life. I should mention that we are watching Cupcake Wars as I type, and I highly recommend that you try to check out the Kentucky Derby competition episode. It goes without saying that I will not look anything like the overzealous, edible glitter adorning, Barbie in the flouncy miniskirt and floral apron when I go on my baking expedition...of course not...I am a brunette!

Nature-ally, I'd like to thank Stacy for helping to keep the random rolling! Click and see what she and other random rebels have on their minds today!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Yes, it's Friday!

I saw the above button on a blog I follow, and experienced some level of enthusiasm for being over forty for the first time...ever...I am fairly certain! Go ahead and click the button to check things out over at "Never Growing Old"!

So it is Friday, complete with some sort of pressure that I should have found something fun for the family and I to be doing this beautiful evening (aside from playing Monopoly as my daughter is angling for...I asked if I could read my book while we played). I have that slight bit of panic going on that the summer will be a disappointment to the kids during our "home" times. They used to be content to play in a bucket of water...literally...for a good part of any given sunny afternoon. I am fairly certain that I will need to step up my game this year. Of course if I just let the electronic gods take over, I am sure there would be much peace and harmony...for everyone but me! Oh, I'm not saying I couldn't be persuaded to succumb to the glories of finding more blogs to follow, possibly baking cookies for two out of three meals a day. I just feel like I have to try to fight the good fight while I still stand a remote chance of winning once and awhile. Ew...I am not making myself feel much better, but am absolutely certain that warm cookies would help...at least during the 3 minutes I was actually inhaling them!

Let's turn things around and finish up with a reflection from this week that will make me smile for days. I thought my son forgot to put his shorts on yesterday morning before school. He likes to put on his shirt and lounge for breakfast and cartoons, putting on the rest of his things when he goes upstairs to do his last minute hygiene routine. When I went upstairs after he left, to wake up the girl child, I noticed his shorts on his bed. I opened his dresser drawer and did not register any other shorts as missing. I had these visions of him sitting on the bus and suddenly realizing that he was in boxers only. (Giggle, giggle.) I quickly texted him "Did you put shorts on?" and was relieved to get a message about a minute later "yesh!" I know I should've had more faith, but this is the same fine young man who put his shirt on inside out AND backwards after gym class earlier this year ("It wasn't ALL day." "Really? When do you have gym?" "Second period.")

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fresh from the oven

Thank goodness for Random Tuesdays! It provides a home for the pictures I take, of random stuff, that I feel so compelled to share.

Let's jump right in with how helpful my son was in picking up the house in preparation of the baby shower I was hosting this past weekend. It would have been so totally unacceptable for him to have thrown his shin guards on the floor after practice, as opposed to hanging them up...

Speaking of the baby shower, high -five baby hands? Or out of season turkeys? (The blue frosting made it more clear.)

In other baked goods news, this is just about the most ridiculous product I have seen lately. I am fairly certain that by the time I inflated and assembled this tote, I would have eaten half of the batch of cupcakes in some sort of aggravation induced rage.

Some things that come out of my oven are just wrong on many levels. Turkey meat log, I guess, as meatloaf certainly doesn't begin to describe this.

Awhile back, my friend and I decided to try microwave chocolate cake in a mug. Perfect for a small cake emergency when the craving goes beyond what a sensible candy bar can offer, but not a large enough crisis for one to inhale an entire pan of brownies. Fond memories...such fond memories...must keep blogging to keep from googling the recipe again!

I just couldn't let this woman walk out of my life unphotographed with her tattoos, high heels and shorty-shorts ensemble. I just wouldn't have been able to do her look justice in any of my descriptive attempts. Thank goodness she didn't ride the bike, as our maturity trio was barely keeping it together as it was.

Don't forget to click on the nice lady below to check out what random treats other folks are talking about today!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

We could talk about the weather

Two days ago it was ninety degrees here in Central New York. I am not a fan of the heat, especially when it sneaks up on me. Then today came the wind. This morning the thermometer was struggling to escape the fifties. The poor dog was struggling as he tried to take his morning stroll. I took one strong gust up the left nostril, as I struggled to pull my towel turban over both of my ears (pretty picture, I know).

Earlier this spring we had some rain...perhaps forty days and nights of it! Then after a couple of dry days, the fuzzy histamine commandos had me wishing for more rain to tame them back down. I am not exactly sure where the wind today actually blew in from, but there are some nasty allergens floating around in it. It's that sort of allergy nonsense where you try to scratch the back of your throat with your tongue. It feels pretty gross, and I am fairly certain looks rather unattractive to anyone nearby. Plus there is also the noise that the feeble attempt at throat scratching makes. At one point my ears started to feel itchy as well, and I did not appreciate the distraction from my horrible sore throat. Not to jinx myself, but I was happy that my eyeballs had not succumbed to the attack.

Luckily my throat only hurts when I swallow. I will admit right here, right now, that I know for a fact I was chilling with my mouth dangling open during the night, letting the drool hit my pillow so I wouldn't have to swallow. Hey, at least it was my own pillow right? Maybe tonight I can try something different, like actually sleeping.

Thanks for letting me gripe...and as I would imagine, commiserate with a few of you. By the way, I highly recommend fudgesicles as rather decent throat lozenges.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I have to go there

I have never been a huge fan of Arnold, he fell in the take him or leave him category of actors. I don't follow politics, so his role as governor didn't wow me either. As a result, news of his infidelity scored fairly high on the snooze scale as well. I was minding my own business, driving the car during morning talk time. I was alone and able to listen to radio stations that my children deem "old people music". Lo and behold, the story of the day was the increasingly infamous maid to the Kindergarten Cop. They commented that the woman was not very attractive (which is how I find both Arnold AND Maria). Then one of the djs said she "just looked like a regular fifty-year-old housewife". I was so annoyed! I was offended on behalf of housewives everywhere! Not to kick Maria when she's down, but I do think she might be more attractive after a few months on a Tollhouse bar diet. I am just still not ready to accept gaunt as stunning in anything beyond a negatively shocking way. Of course there was more chat about how Arnold could have gotten anyone, and blah, blah, blah... I would've expected such inane banter from the local college station disc jockeys on a hungover Sunday morning, but this was a borderline oldies station, and they were disrespecting the oldies!

Okay, I got over my initial desire to write a letter to the station manager. Heck, I even got over my urge to blog about the topic. I was getting on with my life when I stumbled across this gem from my brothers' supreme action figure collection.
He was hanging out in the same junk drawer as these folks, and it just seemed like a sign that I needed to share them with you. This is what we figure the scenes would've looked like...complete with Maria turning green with rage (I can't explain where her hair went).

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