Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Riled up Random

For a week leading up to Thanksgiving, I was going on about how great it was that there would still be a week of November left after the holiday...Oh how relaxing...Oh the stress that would lift. Apparently I missed the memo that this would mean people would jump out of the gates even sooner with their shopping and decor. My attempt at a fortress of solitude was shattered when I dared to log onto facebook, pick up the phone, or drive down the street and saw just how much progress other folks made while I was off visiting and basking in the joy of my turkey coma and high fructose corn syrup buzz. Sure I have a large bin of gifts that I have been purchasing all along, but they aren't black Friday gifts. I could have had twice as much stuff, whether I needed it or not, for half as much money! 

I tried to right the ship yesterday by heading to the mall, and after one less than favorable experience at a store that can remain nameless (as they did fix things several hours later), and three fruitless attempts for a friend of mine to procure a new vacuum cleaner, I was feeling rather glum. My mother stepped in to help me fling some decorations around the house. (I could try to make that sound more pleasant and planful, but I am not sure it really ever is.) When we went into the basement of shame to grab some bins of decorations, we found that whoever put them away last year must have still been reeling from the eggnog. There was no system, no order. It did not take us long to realize that she could not provide much assistance when I couldn't even help myself. I decided picking up the clutter that had no seasonal flair whatsoever might be a better place to start, besides, today would be another day.

Today? I was able to bust out of Meals on Wheels on the early side after assembling thirty-five pounds of meatloaf (and cleaning up the mess that occurred). I drove the thirty minutes to visit my grandmother, spent thirty minutes there getting things set up for Dickens Villagepalooza this weekend, and then the school nurse called to tell me that my son was visiting her for the second time with a lingering headache, sooooo....I drove/sped/twitted the thirty minutes back to get him. He is resting happily in his cushy couch set up watching some inappropriate programming. I finally pried myself off the couch to package up some more ebay items to be shipped out, and figured I would blog for a bit. NaNoWriMo is slipping through my fingertips with 18,500 or so words to go, but this post seemed more along the lines of what I could tackle. Soon, I will go refine my to-do list on the off chance that I actually manage to DO something tomorrow!

On with the show...

This turkey carrot showed up at meals on Wheels last week to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

I thought these "spiruls" were a little pricey, but I took a dollar from my "serise bisnise" friend's mother and bought one anyway...

I do love a good gag gift, but I am almost certain I can find a better use for the $15 this gem was selling for. Amanda, this one's for you (I will get you $15 worth of chocolate and tea instead)!
Please note crop cut, sequined collar, and tshirt sentiment on a sweater. On second thought, this might have been a bargain!

You look like you like to read! There is a book coming out in December written by two of my friends...really, they are my friends! Marianne from We Band of Mothers is a hilarious freedom fighter for little people, and we have even sent mail to each other. (That is totally a real friend thing. Gifts were even exchanged!) I have spoken to the always clever MOV from Mother of Brothers on the phone. (More proof of friendship, right?) She was kind enough to give me over an hour of her best self-publishing advice this past spring. (Yeah, when I was so gung-ho to make that happen. I should never give myself such a long timeframe for projects.) Anyway, this is what the book will look like...
Sounds funny, I know! There is a facebook page you can click here to go "like". For every 100 likes they get, a copy of the book will be given away to one of the likers! Yippee! The contest will end when they reach 1,000 likes. Go help make it happen, please...pretty please.
  I am off to string myself in lights and holly!

Stacy is up to her cleavage in stink bugs, so you might want to go check that out!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Another turkey breast?

My sister does not blog. It is certainly not for a lack of material, but her two sweet munchkins do not allow her the luxury of the time needed to do so. This story is being provided for your amusement, and with her permission. (She was going to send me the photo to accompany it, but perhaps thought better of it...even though I promised to figure out how to edit it properly.)

Apparently Elaine Benes isn't the only one who can send an unintended extra special holiday greeting. After spending Thanksgiving Eve at a hotel in the city, checking out the Macy's Parade balloons, my sister and her family were getting ready to head out. My nephew was being his adorable self lounging on the bed while my sister finished showering. My brother-in-law snapped a quick photo of his son in all of his smiling glory and promptly sent it to his mother, father, and brother. My sister asked him to send it to her phone as well.

Those little thumbnails really don't offer a full sense of what is going on all the time. Later, when my sister clicked to enlarge that smiling face a bit, she realized that her full frontal topless reflection was not so discreet in the upper left corner of the frame. I give her credit for being able to emerge from the bathroom and look in the mirror with no shirt, as my eyes would have burned. I am ever so thankful that we have unmirrored sections of our bathroom to hide in.

Let's just think about this for a moment...the who, the what, the wears (and lack thereof). All I could offer to console her was to remind her that at least she had underwear on, and an attempt to not laugh as hard as I wanted.

I am almost positive she is sending a Christmas card with just the two children on it this year, but I do love this one.
Thanks for the laughs Suz! xoxox

Saturday, November 24, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 37

Wow! We just got back into town after being away for Thanksgiving. The packing, the driving, the sleeping (or not) in a different bed? Those things are pretty so-so, but the people?! Oh spending time with them makes me happy!

Now that we have done a few of these family photos, people kind of like them, and seem a bit more willing to cooperate. We got ourselves together in record time this year. In fact, it took longer for me to remember how to use the timer feature than it took for everyone to sit down. It makes me happy that I took so many photos. (And it will make you happy that I am only sharing a few.)

This...this right here makes me happy...

Oh, hugs make me so very happy...

I do like turkey, but this little ham (my nephew), makes me happy...

A chocolate turkey made my niece happy. If you happen to have any extra, how can you resist this face?

I wonder what happiness is going on over at Leigh's place!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Random zoo

In an effort to do something fun as a family, while also getting some fresh air, we decided to take the kids to the zoo recently. I have spent a great deal of time trying to decide whether or not these photos are appropriate to share. Well, I know they are inappropriate, but the longing to share them anyway just would not go away. (No wonder I can't get anything done with such pressing matters weighing on my mind.) Please bear in mind that this post will take a turn into some possibly kid unfriendly places, so either minimize the screen if you see small people coming, or get a ridiculous explanation ready...

Let's start here just incase...

 ...sometimes you have to order the BIG salad.

I think he is hoping they bring him some Windex and a paper towel to clean his own damn window.

Penguins are funny...simple as that.

Baby elephants are cute. This is Chuck and his mother or grandmother.

Llamas amuse me...

Oh hey bespeckled bears. What's going on in there? What's that one...
...OH MY GOSH!!!! (And I am happy to report that I was not the woman who said she thought it would be bigger.)
 So limber...
 OK, now he's just hamming it up...
Yes, I took a few pictures. Yes, we lingered longer than a family needed to (ok, the husband actually did walk away...and the fifteen year old boy might have left before his mom), but seriously? Part of the reason I was rooted was that there were families with smaller children headed our way and I had to hear whatever was going to be said. Here is precisely what I would have missed...(I would guess that the girl was about five) "He's cleaning his turtle! Just like my bunny used to?"

Sing it! We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo. How about you, you, you. You can come too, too, too. We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo!

Hum on over to Stacy's to see what tune of random other folks are in!

Friday, November 16, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 36

The husband and I celebrated our seventeenth anniversary this week. That made me happy.
He liked the new furniture I got him, and put it together all by himself. That made me happy too.
Next year's suggested gift is porcelain...hmmm, I have a funny feeling there will be a toilet bowl in somebody's future. I do not know where the crazy list originated, or who updated the traditional to modern. However, the traditional gift for fourteen was Ivory and we sure did get a lot of showers out of the fourteen bars of soap I gave my husband. He gave me one bar. It makes me happy that we have a similar sense of humor.

Stop by Leigh's blog where you will find a whole list of happy people!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Random strategy

Eeeek! So much to say, so few minutes to say it in today. I am sliding in late with the random this week. My brain is at full capacity, but I decided anything with more than one photo gets its own post. I don't know how or when, or whether any of them will be interesting, but please stay tuned just the same. Today is just about the random...

First, some flora...
I took this picture, just the other day, of my spring primose. I distinctly remember them dying back in May or June. I also remember being a bit lazy with my pruning once the hostas that live next door to these grew in. This is what was left behind when we pulled up the shriveled up hosta remnants that were apparently providing quite the protection from the elements.

Now some food...
Much appreciation going out to the waiter who assured my daughter he would protect her chicken parm leftovers from my stuffed mushrooms.

As best I can tell, these plastic holiday chocolate pop molds should be a $1.99 item. I saw nothing wrong with them, and they are in season...
...so the three cent "as is" discount had me baffled!
...at $14.99, these seemed a little pricy for a gag gift to congratulate my cousin on his recent engagement. However, they are also too creepy for anything but.

Lastly, I noticed signs like this hanging in each family member's room at my friend's house...
Since this is "serese bisnise" to the seven year old who made them, perhaps you could send her a message. I will print and deliver!

Stop by and wish Stacy well as she is still cleaning up after that lousy guest Sandy.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 35

Plain and simple. Here is what made me happy every day this week...yes, every day...

Seriously, does that first handful of these not make you smile...at least when it's your hand anyway.

 A couple of times I added some dark chocolate raspberry ones to the mix, since dark chocolate is basically a health food and all.
 Sometimes I added raisins to the mix if it seemed like I needed more fruit intake.
If I wasn't really in the mood for anything too sweet, I added some dried tart cherries.

It made me happy that I saved the M&Ms for last on Halloween...when there weren't many trick-or-treaters left!

See what made Leigh and other folks happy this week!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Vote for Random

I have somehow arrived at a Tuesday with no pictures on my camera or phone to document what I have seen over the past week. Now I have to actually try to remember what's been going on. Maybe I can put links to other posts that have photos. My sleep timer is still out of whack, so the whole brain power thing leaves something to be desired. Let's see, we can start with the obvious-an election related tale...

My grandmother mentioned to me, on my last visit to her house, that she had been getting a lot of nonsense phonecalls. I told her we were as well, due to the election. When she asked me what election, I mentioned that there was one coming right up. She then commented on how it wasn't a big one or anything, just the annual, then looked at me for confirmation that we weren't electing a president or anything. When I told her it was, in fact, a presidential race year, she said she was surprised as they weren't making a big deal of it at all on tv...which is true if all of your shows are on TVLand or Nick-at-Nite.

The other night after dinner I asked my daughter to please go practice her violin. Her response was "I can't practice right after I eat!" I have no further comment on that, other than that I forgot about all cramping possibilities and made the same request again last night, and was met with the same response. Be careful out there orchestrateers!

I have noticed that there is just not any dark chocolate in our Halloween haul. Don't get me wrong, I just gave my dark chocolate right to my mother when I was a kid, so I guess that is my point. My children actually eat dark chocolate, but I actually tell myself it is health food. the illusion is not even remotely plausible with the Twix bars.

Remember when that lady emailed me suggesting I link to the bra page of the store she was representing? (It's here if you need to refresh your memory.) Well, yesterday she accidentally sent me an email intended for another blogger. She indicated that I had worked with her coworker and told me how swell notthenameofmyblog was. I sent a quick email back to alert her to her mistake. I am offended as she was offering a $50 gift card to be used as a giveaway on that blog, and all she was giving my awesometastic readers that other time was a 10% off code...so offended!

My husband invited me to attend an awards dinner with him this week. Once I got over my initial disappointment that he was the one receiving the award, as opposed to me, I decided I could go. He just called to let me know it is business casual. I had to remind him that people in the business world have no knowledge of what that actually means. To clarify, he said he could wear a sweater. I asked if he thought we should dress alike. I am wondering if I can get a bracelet to do the work for me again! Perhaps a more casual bracelet though, or this fabulous and versatile necklace/bracelet that my aunt knit for me (I knew I'd find at least one photo)...

Stacy got her power back, so stop by and visit!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Our power hour

I took advantage of the extra hour we have today to do some of the less inviting tasks around here...things I could not fathom wasting part of a decent day doing. I even roped the rest of the house in to help since they each had an extra hour as well. I posted a chore sign up sheet. It was ridiculous. I regret offering compensation for participation. The husband and I took apart two of the bathroom sinks and dealt with whatever nonsense was keeping them from draining properly. (Do you like how I sugar coated that one for you?) I also went into overachieving mode to scrub the toilet bowls readying them for their blue tablet drop ins. Yes, we are officially that fancy!

I wish we could just gain an hour once a week or so. Imagine the possibilities, you're reading a great book curled up on the couch, knowing full well there is an hour's worth of housework that needs to be done (yeah, I know it's never just an hour, but we are dealing with phony pretendy time here). You set the stop watch for sixty minutes, do a little vacuum and dust combo, then boom, back to the couch like the horror never happened. Sure, the potential is there for a situation to arise like any time I would get a bonus in my paycheck. I would spend that bonus more than once, rationalizing that I was still ahead of the game...with a new couch! So maybe cleaning would really eat up two hours, but only one of them truly ripped out of my actual twenty-four hour day. I had so much extra time on my hands that I did tomorrow's laundry job.

I cannot seem to get my meals and snacking to work out quite right though on my jet lag day. I don't understand what the problem is, as I essentially woke up at the same time as yesterday, which is an hour later than a week day. I ate breakfast and then felt like I was playing catch up. I normally have a snack about 2 1/2 hours after breakfast. That duration of time should not have been influenced by the time on the clock. No, it shouldn't have. I think things went off track when my quest to clean out the refrigerator yielded a package of latkes my mother had made. I assure you they were taking up far too much room and needed to be cooked immediately. I thought I was making them for lunch, but as I summoned the children I was informed that it was only 11:30. I don't know why their bodies were not on high alert that it was really 12:30. They came around a little later for their latkes and lunch, but I never actually ate lunch, just a latke snack...and then another round of latkes (still snacking I say).

When I realized I hadn't rounded out my lunch with the rest of the food groups, I had some candy. Now it is 4:30, and my body thinks it's 5:30, and I have to be the bearer of bad news to tell myself that neither one of those times is dinner time. Humpf. This should serve as a warning to me to never travel outside of my time zone.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week

As my children get older every time I blink my eyes, I am so happy and thankful for the moments we share together doing our traditional things.

My son complained as much as ever about gutting his pumpkin, but said he would do one scoop for a photo.  He ended up finding a longer spoon that kept him an ample distance from the pumpkin, but also did a horrible job. I eventually stepped in (just as he planned, I am sure). Meanwhile, the girl scraped hers out so well I asked if she was using it for cereal.
 He was struggling to come up with a plan, but I am sure the hat helped warm his brain to think.
 She always has a plan, and sometimes saves alternate drafts from one year to the next.
His pumpkin is raised for a reason, as you see it left a little "present" underneath. He had already done a throw up pumpkin and a guts as hair pumpkin. Yes, I am still happy he joins in...no, really, I am.
I am happy that they still enjoy trick-or-treating, as well as each other's company. My gangster (not to be confused with gangsta) and crayon (complete with snowman pillowcase?)  made my Halloween very happy...
...even if they only shared certain candy!

Stop by to see what made Leigh and other folks happy this week!

No, really I should get going

My 52 Weeks of Happiness post? Yes, that is what should be here right now, but that would take a few minutes for me to upload the pictures...literally, a few minutes. Those precious few minutes that I don't really feel like I have right now. There is Halloween shrapnel everywhere, and I am not sure where to start, or if the reorganizing will ever end. I did pick up the 120 pieces of candy the girl child left on the floor last night after her counting and sorting event was complete. Fozzie is pissed, of course, but I was concerned for his safety. Yes, I realize I may not have seemed concerned when I tied his cone around his neck to make him a radar for Halloween last night, nor did I exercise good judgement when I thought pouring a handful of Nerds boxes into the cone would make him a cute candy bowl. I may have neglected to consider the noise that might make, or the terror it could cause. My son asked if it made us bad people that we tried it, and I assured him we would only be bad people if we tried it a second time...we did not, and I am offended if you had to ask.

So why the ramble? Well, I was agonizing about whether or not to sign up for NaNoWriMo this year after not achieving the ultimate goal last year. I decided to go to the website and look around, then figured I would sign in to see what my actual stats were last year. Then I was trying to remember where in the pull down menu I could find the information on signing up...and then I realized somewhere in that trail I HAD signed up...

And away we go! So while I decide whether to put away the Halloween decor, pick up the other debris laying around, go get a haircut, jump in and get typing, eat candy, I needed to stop. I realized I needed a time out when I attempted to satisfy my hunger with a bite off of a piece of dark chocolate almond with sea salt under the guise of not having time to gather a proper snack. I ran to the computer while I was chewing, before I could take a second bite. I thought I would sit here for a minute and just talk about it. Hopefully this gives the flakes in my snowglobe of a brain a chance to settle down.

Okay then...shall we?