Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Regular random

I just checked weather.com to make sure we were still in the clear for mid-80's weather for the next few days. When will I learn to stop inviting that lying cheat back into my life? Sure it is 71 degrees in Cape Cod, 86 here, and now he is breaking it to me that the 90's will be back for five days starting on Thursday. Another woman would've just given me the real story without trying to sugar coat things. I almost feel like I should go do something outside while it's "cooler"? Blah.

Last week I felt like I failed to capture much of the random loveliness that I had encountered, so this week I took more chances to ensure that I would have things to share. Just leaving the house was a bit chancy for me, considering my irrational fear of frogs, toads, froads. It is not that I think they will rise up and attack, I just feel that they are unpredictable in their hopping direction and very squishable. For the sake of making the threat seem greater, let's pretend my front walkway has very large bricks.

I really wanted to catch a picture of this woman with her sweatband at the grocery store. Unfortunately she was moving a bit too fast....ahhhhh, hence the sweatband perhaps?

I honestly took this photo to show you guys the totally rockin' bald with a side order of ponytail combo this man was sporting. However, I now feel like there might be just a little something else hanging out there that could be mentioned.

My kids took this picture for me while they were at the Syracuse Chiefs ball game with my parents (my mother suggested I might want it). Yes! This helps to further my thought that baseball is a super swell thing to watch...if you have something else to do to help keep you busy/entertained. Duct tape flowers are a swell distraction from all of that game play going on.
Apparently she is a season ticket holder, and knits as well.
Remember that cute Minnie Mouse strawberry I found while picking? Um, this is what the boy child found while we were blueberry picking. The butt cheek blueberry.
It was cute at first, but got worse as I took a closer look.
I felt safer driving behind this car as I figured there was less of a chance that the driver would have road rage, or speed wrecklessly, with that taken care of.

Stacy just finished corking wine and is ready for visitors!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stepping Out

The husband had invited me to join him at a business dinner last night. I had ample notice, but somehow that left me no more prepared to be in the company of well-dressed adults than if he had sprung it on me with fifteen minutes to spare. The knowledge that he would be wearing a suit left me no closer to figuring out what ensemble I should cloak myself in, but I knew it had to be several notches above my grocery shopping garb. If we were attending a wedding, I'd have been good to go, as I have that dress. I just didn't want to appear as though I had tried too hard. 

I made some threats about shopping for something new, like that awesome outfit I saw at Marshall's a couple of months ago, but had nowhere to where it to (and now absolutely no recollection of what it even looked like). As usual, life happened and I didn't quite make it to the store. My mother caught on to my running very fast, in place, approach to solving my dilemma and dropped off a blouse (do they still call them that?), provided I could muster up some black pants, and a dress for me to try out.

I spent a good portion of yesterday pondering my ensemble, and feeling a general (albeit minimal) sense of satisfaction with what I had. To distract myself from being unable to locate my black flats, I started to think about what jewelry I could wear to jazz things up a little bit. Then I remembered, the beautiful bracelet! It. Is. Beautiful. A dear friend of mine made this years ago, and I swear I heard singing the day she gave it to me! See for yourself...
Keep your eyes below the wrist please. Oh, but ignore that vein. Ugh!
Anyway, how could I doubt my wardrobe selection with this collection of loveliness tying things together? Yes, this is the foundation I was standing on. Let me break down the rest of what I had to work with...

Hair - First I had to set the wild pony tail free, in hopes that I had not left a permanent crimp across the back of my head. After getting the past month's worth of rain in the thirty minutes before I got ready, I figured I had an excuse for whatever was about to happen. I proceeded to leave what looked like one quarter of my hair in the bathroom sink, so I had less to worry about. I went with a zig-zaggish part because I am pretty sure that was in over five years ago, and I can't say as I have heard anything to the contrary, nor to update my mental files.

Blouse - Borrowed, and it fit (and no, I did not have a plan b if it didn't fit, other that something that would also be okay to wear with the bracelet.)

Pants - The pair I had in mind was still on the dry cleaner hanger in the protective bag! Luckily the shirt was long enough to hide the two inch gap of where I was able to get the zipper pulled to, and where the zipper actually ended. Unfortunately I took the plastic off the pants before rinsing the powder off my hands. (Note to self: Brushing at powder splotches with hands that have still not been rinsed is highly ineffective.)

Shoes - Seriously, what the hell happened to my black flats? I found some other random hand me down shoes in the closet that were just going to have to do. They were terribly uncomfortable.

Makeup - What? If mascara and some Burt's Bees lip shimmer count, then, check.

The event was lovely. I was pleased that I had moved my bracelet to my right wrist because it took away my worries as I tried to delicately nibble from my plate of goodies gathered at the hors d'oeuvre table. Those jingling sparkly bits of wonder were sure to distract from whatever lack of daintiness I had going on. It was also on my hand shaking arm. Of course folks were pleased to meet me with the greeting my bracelet offered. In case the sparklies didn't do enough to distract people from the rest of what I had going on, I realized that I had been clutching my ice water glass in my right hand. Perhaps they figured I looked decent for a cadaver.

Steve Kroft from 60 Minutes was the guest speaker, but sadly I did not get a photo of him with my bracelet. He was great, and I don't think that was just because I don't get out much. The food was incredible, but I felt so guilty staring down the piece of salmon that came on every plate (buffered very well by prime rib). I do not like salmon. I felt compelled to try it though, so I did...three times. I decided to just give it up though when the third bite almost made me ill. I wish I had a photo of each lovely plate that arrived before me, but I didn't need any more evidence of just how little I go out in public with adults.

On the way to the car, the husband thanked me for going with him. He clearly understood all of the effort I had put in. I am going to go to the bookstore with the money I didn't spend on a new outfit. I might even make a true adventure out of it and wear my bracelet!
Much love and thanks Jen...it still makes me smile!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Caught off guard

What is this? An ipad on the counter AND an unoccupied computer station? I did not anticipate such good fortune, so now I am caught with nothing to say. I admit that the heat really left me feeling like I had no realistic alternate suggestions to electronic mania. The early days of summer vacation found the son mainly occupying his PS3 lair in the basement, while the girl set up ipad camp on the far L of the couch. However, that Minecraft purchase for the computer caused an unexpected hit to my online time.

To add insult to injury, I am frequently summoned to witness the grandeur of the Eden creations. If you are not familiar with this game, consider yourself lucky and move on. I keep trying to muster up what I think is an appropriate amount of excitement for underwater waterfalls and rock mining, that I have no apparent ability to comprehend. The more questions I ask, in part to give the illusion of fascination, the more confused I get. It was clear to me that today's attempt at conversation was intrusive beyond the requisite ooh-ing and ah-ing that the pistons deserved.

I wondered if I was just not enthralled because I was not the one doing all of the building. However, I am confident that my twenty questions have not yielded enough insight for me to even begin to try. I also know that neither child (the girl got the app for the ipad...my ipad...that had a 9% charge when I got my turn today) wants me to be an active participant beyond cheerleader, as then their playing time would decrease.

Soooo, that's kind of where I have been instead of visiting your blogs...pathetic! Since the temperature was below 90 today, the girl did ride her bike to a friend's house. The boy is hiding back in the basement to avoid my numerous requests that he watch tv with me. (I was looking for an excuse to flop on the couch, and was pretty sure some John Oliver Stand-Up comedy could count as bonding if he'd join me.) 

I did make nineteen jars of jam yesterday. Plus, when I went to store them in the basement earlier, I actually sorted and took inventory of what jars I have for the next go around, be it salsa or pickles (or I might go a little nuts and try zucchini relish...provided my fabulous contacts continue to have extra produce!) This level of organization in such a specific area of my life means that other things must be falling apart!

I wasn't kidding when I said that I was caught off guard by the computer being available! Just thought I'd check in. Maybe one of you has infinite wisdom to share about Minecraft? Or maybe you are at the point in your children's summer vacation that $19.99 for an all consuming and non-violent computer game sounds fantastic!? (Prepare to act be amazed!)

**Note: After more conversation this evening about Minecraft, I must point out an error I made earlier when referring to Eden in Minecraft. Apparently that is an entirely different game...that I also do not understand.**

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 20

It was Ladies' Girls' Weekend at the lake this past weekend! I have never had a Mojito, but there was enough interest generated awhile back when I forwarded a Ginger Mojito recipe around, so I thought I would give it a go.

Seriously, the smell of the fresh grated ginger made me so happy...

The aroma was even better when I added the mint to the mixture...

The smell, mixed with the excitement of trying a new recipe, made me happy! Oh, the finished product seemed to make people a bit happy as well! (No fancy photos, as I was concentrating on measuring and pouring...and tasting.)

Stop by to see Leigh's beautiful and happy pictures and links to what was bringing other people joy this week!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Random rattlings

I have been living in my head more for the past couple of weeks. That is not to say that there was anything particularly interesting rattling around in there. I am trying to get out!

Summertime seems hard to settle into any kind of routine, since there really isn't one when the schedule varies week to week with travel, camps, and oppressive weather. That carefree lack of planning is probably super swell...for carefree people. Today I thought about some of the long standing items on my to-do list, and wondered if tomorrow I should replace them with things like:

1. Test that mocha chip muffin on the counter again to decide if it is worth saving.

2. Wear the ill fitting shorts from last week for an entire day to see if eating habits improve at all. (Of course this is in direct conflict with item #1, so luckily there are seven days in a week.)

3. Continue to plod through stack of unread books so that I can justify buying myself something new. (Seriously, the last two trips to Barnes and Noble with nothing for me teetered on depression inducing.)

4. Make up ridiculous things to put on to do list to make self look productive.

We went to an outlet mall today. Remember when outlet used to mean super huge bargains? No thank-you Old Navy for your $30.00 dress. Can't you get some discreet blob of ink on yourself, so I can have you for like $10.00?

These are the tallest tomato plants I have ever seen... 

A little reminder that salsa day will be here before I know it. I bet there is a chance that there are things I could do to make myself better prepared. The smarter money is on the chance that I will do no such thing.

What on earth am I talking about? Great, you don't know either? Well, I guess sometimes you just need a Little Sumpin' Sumpin'...

Stop by and visit Stacy for some more random action...

...and maybe when you come back here I will have formed a complete thought!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 19

 Being on vacation in Cape Cod last week made me really happy! Here are just a few highlights...
My niece making friends with hermit crabs
Dribble sandcastles bring a smile to my face, as I remember watching them being made on Blue's Clues with my much younger kids. Plus, they are just so cool!
Boogie boarding with Grandpa
My son made this racetrack for his cousin to run around. So many laps!
Another shark free beautiful sunny day
 One more thing about vacation that made me happy...the mindset that allows you to believe that yes, in fact your haul onto the beach did burn far more calories than contained in one innocent coconut frozen yogurt!
Mmmmm...Sundae School!

Stop by to visit Leigh and see what made other folks happy this week. I love this quest!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Randomly roasting

OK, so treating the weather like a toddler and giving it no positive or negative attention for acting out did not make it behave any better! Holy heat of hell! I just tried to walk the dog and two houses away he looked at me as if to say he thought he could use the toilet instead. It is windy out...windy...not breezy! Make no mistake that when it is 99 degrees out, a 31 mph wind feels like the breath of 100 dragons...not a breeze. The big cool off, down to 87, ought to be super swell tomorrow. I hope I have a clean sweatshirt!

So we're hope from Cape Cod now...
(no that is NOT everything)
After making it over the bridge and off the Cape, it took us an hour to travel the next three miles. I only started to lose it three times, I think (and that was due, in part to my son's insistence that the woman in the black Navigator was giving me dirty looks). After traveling a couple more hours in heavy traffic, my son pointed out a breakdown lane...yes, exactly where I felt like I was headed!

Oh Trader Joe's...I missed you by the time I left the parking lot! I am infinitely envious of those of you who can just run to Trader Joe's as needed, instead of stocking up on some random variety of yum-yums...hoping there were enough dark chocolate caramel and sea salt candy bars in the bag to hold me to the next visit...wondering how long to wait before opening the lentil chips so they aren't gone too soon...lamenting over those items left behind in some effort to display some self control.

I am not sure why I left without clipping a few hydrangeas...
The small white hydrangea I have, that has been scorched brown in spots by the sun, is just adding insult to injury.

Moving on...

The balloon border let us know it was the party room! Ah, the joys of taking a 15 year old boy to the pediatrician for his annual physical.
Neither of us really understood the purpose of this privacy cloth, so I suggested a cape.

I tried to keep an open mind at the Korean restaurant, but nothing about "fish flakes" sounds appealing, and everything about it sounds like goldfish food...oh that smell!

I have to go move some food around the kitchen counter in hopes that it magically turns into dinner!

I know Stacy is enjoying the east coast sauna as much as I am, so stop by and wish her some random cool thoughts!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 18

The hydrangeas here in Cape Cod make me so happy every year. They grow like regular old shrubs do at home...These balls of color are so much prettier! I am also happy that I could go outside to enjoy the flowers without melting!

Lilies need love too!
I will have the hydrangea blues when it is time to leave, but for now they make me very happy!

Stop by Leigh's place to see what's making other people happy this week!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sandy Random

Greetings from sunny Cape Cod!

I am ending my relationship with weather.com because of the lies. I have been toyed with enough, given promises of much lower temperatures (yes, well it is lower than 90) and even a few rain drops.

I am not morally opposed to having a little color on my skin. However, various patches of brightish pink were not the hue I had in mind. Due to the strength of 1,000 suns and an incredible lack of clouds, (hence the not feeling so much cooler) my SPF 50 was rendered nearly powerless. Then again, I could be cutting edge if splotches are the new rage.

Nauset Beach has not disappointed so far. Despite the beach being evacuated just hours after we left the other day, for a shark sighting, we haven"t been denied access. Of course the seals don't bring about the same ooing and ahing as usual, as it is more like wow that's close...ARE THE SHARKS COMING?...followed soon after by OK MOMMY'S NERVES CAN'T TAKE ANYMORE, EVERYBODY OUT!

In addition to seeing scraps of Lycra being asked to do the amount of work that an entire bolt of fabric should be responsible for, there have been some other gems...

Speaking of gems, I am not sure how many years in a row we have seen this guy. The speed he moves at coupled with the look of determination on his face does not make this look like a hobby.

When I see someone like this well-toned individual, I have a moment where I feel safe from the sun's rays, as I assume they are all focused right on his reflective skin surface. Glad I had on sunglasses!

OK, this guy was positioned right near us at the tidal pool. I guess all of the small children made it seem like a safe place where nobody would stomp his creation or trip in his moat. We were relieved that he ws standing on his knees, so that we were less likely to lose my niece and nephew.
Now either he was building for his own personal pleasure, or his family doesn't care much for him, as I never saw anyone approach the castle.
Nearly an hour later, and his rolling and body grooving technique were too much for my son and I to take seriously. It was also determined that his back might have been just a wee bit too hairy to get a smooth finish on those walls.

I thought my daughter was gesturing from higher on shore to alert me that there were fins in the water, but it turned out she just wanted to be sure I saw these folks dancing. They had their music playing quietly, and what better place to bust the ballroom moves out.

The news report claimed that 3,000 people were evacuated from the beach the day before, and yet here were the lifeguards appearing uninterested and without binoculars.

I felt much safer when the skipper finally arrived!

Stacy has finally arrived back home after her whirlwind cross country excursion, so go see  what random souvenirs she brought back!

Friday, July 6, 2012

A memory by any other name...

Some possible titles suggested for this post... 

What kind of fish is that? 
Threading the needle? 
Past meshing with present? 

I am fairly certain that you are nowhere near guessing where this story is headed given all of these titles.  

Today my sweet son, who came into this world with an incredibly off-center cone head with a very decent sized hematoma, turned fifteen. In honor of his birthday, and since we are in Cape Cod, he suggested I honor him here by telling this little story. Warning: this is going to be a bit graphic, and seemingly not quite the appropriate birthday homage. On second thought, maybe it is exactly the right way to salute a fifteen year old boy. Here goes...

It was a bright and sunny day about six years ago. A bunch of us had just spent a grand afternoon on Nauset Beach. As we were walking back to the car, the boy started to whine a little bit about his bathing suit. I didn't think much of it, as it was a bit of a walk and we were all pretty hot and tired. Suddenly his complaints took on more of a sense of urgency, so I decided to try to help him out. I figured we would just get the sandy suit off of him and he could make the seven minute ride home in a towel. To insure his privacy while I investigated the matter, I held up a towel as a screen. As we tried to pull off his bathing suit, it seemed to be stuck on something...well on one thing in particular. Oh my gosh! My son's bathing suit mesh was trying to circumcise him one bit at a time. Seriously. Some wayward piece of foreskin had made its way thru the bathing suit lining and could not find its way back out. This situation was going to take more thought, tools and privacy than the public beach parking lot could provide. 

Six of us piled into the Chevy Tahoe beach mobile, and I tried to drive as calmly as possible. The daughter was six years old at the time and was sitting in the back seat crying with concern for her brother. The only real description I had uttered was that he was stuck in his bathing suit. I do not know what uncurable diagnosis made for tv movie she had conjured in her head that warranted such upset, but on I drove. Some passengers kept trying to offer words of reassurance. I finally said "You did not see what I saw back there!" 

Upon arriving back at the house, my son gingerly walked up to the bath tub to get his sandy self ready for whatever magical remedy he hoped I had, while I basically went on a frantic search for scissors. I walked into the bathroom, our eyes met, and I knew he trusted me. Then I was eye to eye with the one-eyed menace who didn't look quite as confident. Mesh bathing suit linings have pretty tiny holes. Skin that has found its way through one of those little openings looks very vulnerable. I knew I was not wielding good sewing scissors that were likely to perform precision snipping. One wrong move was going to be a very bad thing. I decided to make a cut in the fabric much lower than the inchworm. I then told the boy to just hold on to the suit while I ripped the lining up to free willy. Phew. Mission accomplished. Circulation and better ability to walk restored. 

The daughter was relieved, my brother finally found out what the actual problem had been, and the husband continued walking around without a care in the world. (Seriously?)

My son wanted to make sure that I rolled out as many synonyms as possible, and while the effort was not terribly grand, I would be remiss if I left one of his favorites out. Protect everyone's tallywackers from attack bathing suit mesh!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 17

One would think that this being our twelfth summer trip with the two kids to Cape Cod would give me some idea what we might need. I am not very good at packing, not very good at all. As a result it is not one of my favorite things to do, but I keep my eye on the prize!

I am very happy that three out of the four of us (leaving the one I am not in charge of in any way to his own luggage devices) are ready to go tomorrow!
Note Nauset Beach hat. Obviously mom did this one.
I am not sure what shorts I wear everyday as I did not see anything I wanted to pack
I suppose I should take some inventory of what this little lady actually put in her bag.
I am happy that we got ourselves these cool (yes, so very cool) bracelets last year to commemorate our fabulous boogie boarding days. We all wore them to activate our powers this evening!

Stop by to visit Leigh to see what is making her and her other friends happy this week!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Random heats up

I am not going to talk about the weather. Instead, I am going to act like it is a misbehaving toddler that I wish to give no negative (nor positive) attention to. I will just sit here and be thankful for the air conditioning, and the much cooler forecast I saw for Cape Cod during our upcoming travels. (No, I haven't looked at that forecast in the past twenty-four hours because I need to believe it hasn't changed much.)

I have some moderately disappointing blog news to kick things off...

1) I have been unfollowed by someone. When I am not busy letting it bother me, I tell myself how it really shouldn't bother me.

2) I feel like I have let you all down, in that we waited too long to test that toilet paper. The survey is now closed, and I will never be able to share the glorious questions that I am sure were contained within. I will tell you this, as much as I disliked the first box of toilet paper, the second was worse. My daughter emerged from the bathroom exclaiming "What was that? I don't do rest stop toilet paper!" Also, in case there were any inquiring minds, we did not check off all 500 boxes for the 165 sheet diary roll (just 24). I hope my failure to provide an end to this illustrious tale does not cause me to lose more followers.

I am happy to announce that I colored my hair yesterday, without incident. I look $6.00 (price of box) better! I do not think this is the boost needed to propel me towards my 25th reunion. Make no mistake, it is not that I looked any better then, rather it would've been nice to give the impression that I had finally learned how to use styling tools and products (and makeup beyond mascara).

I used a can of tuna fish the other day, and was instantly reminded of why I don't do so more often. Ew, that smell! I was wondering if that smell appeals to anyone without four legs and fur. I am not disputing that a tuna melt sandwich is a delightful thing, but that whiff in the air? Bleah.

The other day, I saw a picture of myself with my cousins, and I was wearing overalls. I don't think the photo was old enough for me to be rocking such a look. There was another shot in which I have overall shorts. Why could I not get enough of that dreadful style on myself. Now that I have mentioned my cousins, I realize that there is an actual professionally taken portrait of me with other cousins, and I was wearing...corduroy overalls! Wow! How many cycles have those pants lived? Or, was I just perpetually out of fashion?

Speaking of pants, I saw something in Walmart that made me shudder the other day. (As if that sentence could've ended a different way.) I was way too close to get the camera phone working, and also had my daughter right next to me. Those three women would've taken both of us down. The one I wanted to pose with had leggings as pants, and they were working overtime to hold things in place. I just hope she had a lot of tools at home to help her remove them from, what I can only imagine must've been almost to, her esophagus.

Remember the peer-to-peer awards where my husband works? (Click here if not.) Well, in an effort to make them even more, oh I don't know, cheesy? They've been renamed...
Oh yeah?
So far he has received a plastic salad bowl with a lid and a freezable insert, oh and a little cup for dressing. I just can't fathom what fabulous thing he did to be allowed to choose such a swell gift.

Why? WHY did I not trust my instincts that were shouting at me that the recipe said the wrong size loaf pan?

Well, I guess that was enough random information, that you probably didn't need to know, for one week. I appreciate the opportunity to lighten the load in my mind before I start packing for vacation...so much to do! Plus, the people across the street are mulching, and I need to go keep watch in case they burst into flames. I would totally leave my fortress of cool-itude to douse them with the garden hose if needed. I am that kind of neighbor.

Stacy is still out traveling and giving more proof to the notion that my US geography knowledge stinks! Stop by to visit!