Friday, August 29, 2008

It's a must have

Every time we go to Target blonde rascal plays with this "yada, yada, yada" thing. It is stuck amongst the mini hand sanitizer, gum, mints, play dough, batteries, etc... in the check out line.

He loves it, but I never would buy it for him. I was holding out for a special occasion such as a stocking stuffer. I was in Target the first day of school so I caved in and bought it as a treat that day.

It is HI-larious! It records your voice and then you replay it in either super fast or super slow speed. So you sound like a chipmunk or the Silence of the Lambs dude..."It puts the lotion on the skin"... or a mixture of the two.

It has provided HOURS of entertainment for blonde rascal and... ahem... me! We all know my sense of humor is right on track with an 8 year old. It cracks us up. It was only like $ can you go wrong?

Not that I would know, but I bet sophomoric bodily function noises would be especially funny on the yada, yada. You know, if you are immature enough to be entertained by them. I'm just sayin'.

Snatch one up then next time you are in Target for your Christmas stocking endeavor. Your kids will love you for it.

Blonde rascal is playing football this year. Weds. night was meet the coach and pick up your equipment. As we walked into the gym there was this row of girlies sitting in the bleachers. We were greeted with a sing-songy giggly chorus of "Hiiiiii Zaaaaaaach!" I gave them the evil eye as we passed by.

Little hussies.

Of course when we got home there had to be a trying on of all football equipment. Which I have to say is really quite a production.
My little ladies man extraordinaire.

In more exciting news, my good friend Mary has started a blog!!! Go see her and give her some lurve. Way to go Mary, you blogger you!

Mary has become the 3rd of my local posse of amiga's to blog. There is the illustrious Kristen and the smart & witty Staci. I do believe the only other friends who would be tempted to take on the blogging world would be blurker Stacey (now you have to leave a comment!) who is adorably cute and her blog would be loved by all... and the mysterious Jennifer Aniston. Jennifer NEEDS to blog. She has 3 tween/teen boys....well 4 cuz you gotta include the husband...and needs some relief, which I have told her blogging would surely provide. She is full of dry sarcasm which would crack up her masses of readers...or at least me.

I just returned from the grocery store. Shopping in preparation for our short weekend visit from our Marine, which would explain why the bill was $100 larger than normal. The boy can eat.

On that note I probably won't be back in blogville until Tues. Have an enjoyable long weekend friends!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Warning: Health Alert

So blonde rascal and I were in McDonald's a few weeks ago. I should mention that I really don't like McD's and avoid it like the plague...but we all know every once in a while it is, well, unavoidable. Plus for blonde rascal it is like the crown jewel of chain restaurants and so it an insanely cool treat when we go.

On a side note I will say that their new country chicken sandwich, or whatever the name is, is really actually pretty good. It is an exact replica of the Chick-Fil-A sandwich.

While I was sitting there stuffing my face with the calorie ridden sandwich and b.r. was wallering around in the germ infested play place, a father and two tween boys came and sat at the booth next to ours. The boys sat down and the father was going to go place the order.

He asked the boys what they wanted and one boy said he wanted a Quarter Pounder.

To which the father in a very authoritative and reprimanding tone replied "You can't get that. Why would you want to clog up your arteries like that?"

My mouth, full of greasy chicken, fell open in utter disbelief.

If the artery health of your children is a large concern, then why would you even let your tires hit the parking lot at McDonald's?

Let's be honest, there is NOTHING on the menu at McDonald's that is even remotely health conscience. (I personally don't consider salads full of ice berg lettuce to be healthy) I think your wisest menu choice at McDonald's, with regard to the plaque in your arteries, would be...a napkin.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's time

I had taken off the last 2.5 weeks from running. Sort of as an end of summer lazy indulgence. It was a nice break, but honestly I don't feel as sprightly and my eating habits are worse when on a break. When I am running I don't snack as much because I don't want to blow all those calories that I suffered for that day!

This morning was it, it was time to get back on track. It hurt, oh lawsie mercy I huffed and puffed and my body tried to tell me I couldn't. But I DID. My mind told my body that it would perform.

On the i-Pod Jay-Z was asking me to "Show me what ya got lil' momma" and so I did. It wasn't pretty but I did it.

I felt love anew for having a treadmill in our house. This time last year I would take blonde rascal to school and then go to the gym. Which would get me back home at about 10:00. But now I get up at 6:00am to run in my own little cozy home, take b.r. to school and am back home by 8:15. That's what I am talking about. That gives me 2 additional hours to totally slack off be fiercely productive.

For instance I was home by 8:15 this morning and mowing the grass by 8:30. It is totally delightful outside. There is the smallest hint of Fall. The air is a little cooler...and I noticed last night my eyes were an itchy mess. A sure sign of the lovely Fall allergy season. I am pretty sure that mowing the grass did NOTHING beneficial for my allergy eyes, but it had to be done because the yard was starting to resemble a jungle!

The other thing it is time for is QUILTING!!! I had big plans to be productive in the sewing room this summer and well here is what was heard coming from the sewing room all summer....


Nada. SO it is time. I am in fact working on a top secret project that I can not show you nor talk about because the blog has ears. Also on the list, the list I can talk about, is a CUTE Halloween wall hanging that I am going to make for the Fall Festival Auction at blonde rascal's school. Plus some Christmas projects that I intended to finish before Christmas...last year! And lastly it is crazily enough not too early to start thinking of Christmas presents to make. Can you believe that.

Speaking of the sewing room, I am going to swap my sewing room and the guest bedroom. I will go into the full on details soon. I have mentioned before that I have a perpetual desire to rearrange furniture. Why? Who knows. It just brings me great joy! Normally I just think about it, do some rough measuring and then it is go time.

However with this current brilliant idea I have been thinking and thinking and planning. Obsessed with this, this and this blog. All of which have either great hobby room space or links to great hobby rooms or just downright fabulous organizing plans.

There is a lot of furniture and storage options to consider especially because my sewing room will now be in the smaller room. So on a whim I did this whole graphing out thing.What is the proper term for this? Huh pesky brother-in-law Mark? He knows because he has like 12 degrees. Architecture/Civil Engineer/Marine Biology/Psychology/Restaurant Hotel Management/English Lit./blah blah blah. Over achiever.

Back to my story....THAT was the most fun I have had ALL year! I rearranged on paper for hours! I was like a kid at Christmas. Geez if I had done this all along it would have saved a lot of sweat through the years. You really must try this.

Blonde rascal got in on the fun...although his arrangements were not always logical, you might say. It was neat though because I would point out, for instance, the fact that it would be impossible to open the drawers in that particular configuration. I would see the wheels turning in his head and he would rearrange again. Kept him entertained too.

My other assistant wanted to see how he would look laying all over the room...He is really no help at all.

I cannot start this project until Monday because The Marine is coming home this weekend! Yipee! He is still in training in Missouri but got leave for the long weekend. He will be home for just about 36 hours but that is better than nothing.

I might go make mock-ups of every room in house now. Entertaining me has always been embarrassingly easy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Complete loss of morals

This is Gary, one of our barn cats. She is pretty, yes?

Obviously those dirty, rotten, scoundrel tom cats, that wander in and out of her life, think so too.

Yep, more kittens.AFTER she just had a litter in March. Better her than me!

They are 3 weeks old and ridiculously cute and sweet.

This is Alvin, from Gary's first litter. He is just a toddler kitty now ...
..."Mamma why are you ignoring me now that you have all those pesky mewing babies?"

Alvin was the one kitten that blonde rascal loved and held from the moment he was born. Alvin was the runt. He was also the only kitty we said we would keep besides the original 3 mom cats.

Gary is a good mom, and just like any new mamma of quadruplets she still makes time for her first born...

Now dangit that is enough cattin' around. Drastic measures are going to have to be taken. I have lectured those cats until I am blue in the face but they refuse to quit their wild ways. Looks like a trip to the vet is the only answer. Of the 3 original mom cats only Gary and Sandy are left. Patrick seems to have disappeared...probably met her demise in the form of a coyote one dark night. So that means Gary, Sandy and Alvin (because those are the ONLY cats we are keeping) need to be fixed. I wonder if the vet will give us a volume discount?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Now what?

I got blonde rascal off on the first day of 3rd grade without a hitch. Just as I have said every school did my baby get to be in 3rd grade already!

It was touch and go for about the first 30 minutes this morning. He was highly offended at being woken up before the sun.

He managed to get dressed but then could only make it this far on his way to the kitchen for breakfast....
....before he was overcome with exhaustion.

He eventually woke up enough to eat breakfast and pose for the obligatory 1st day of school picture.

One with a funny canned smile:
And then a full on cheesy whole mouth full of teeth & sun in my eyes smile:
I am not ashamed to admit that I have jumped right in to my kissing up to the teacher scheme right off the bat.Hey....a few brownie points never hurt. His teacher seems really sweet and blonde rascal has lots of friends in his class. It should be a great year. He didn't mind me walking him to his room (probably because he didn't want to be seen carrying flowers for his teacher!) but I had to grab him in order to kiss his cheek when I left. Little toot.

I went to breakfast with my friend "about to start a blog" Mary whose youngest started kindergarten today. I consoled her while she wept in her pancakes for her baby! Just kidding, she and her baby were fine. It was a fun little treat.

Then I ran in to Target for a few necessities. It was nice to calmly browse with out any "Are you done yet/Look at this Mom/Can I have this/I have to pee BAD/Can we go now/Can I get a pretzel/Can I have this?" conversations going on!

But as I drove home I was a little lonely. I came in the house and thought "now what?" as I listened to the silence. I miss my little buddy.

I'll be over it tomorrow!

For now I think I will go turn on Sponge Bob in order to break into my new freedom slowly.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Love me some Craigslist

Earlier in the summer I loaded my old car up with some old chairs I found on Craigslist.

They are totally cute and my original plan was to paint them and use them on the patio.
But THEN I found this little cute desk on Craigslist.
It was already black, thank goodness, and it was sorta shabby with some old paint showing through. Perfect.

I painted one chair black...
...and now have a little desk spot in our front entry.I am looking for the perfect lamp to set on the desk. I can't wait for Christmas so I can fill the little drawers and nooks with shiny baubles.

We went to our next door neighbor's house last night. They were having a little family and friend get together for their daughter's 1st birthday. You forget how CUTE they are at that age. She was just delightful.

After church hubs wanted to go to Joe's Crab Shack for lunch. Barf. I have strict policies against eating seafood while landlocked. You eat seafood while on the coast...any coast. The ONLY exception being a fine restaurant with a highly trained experienced chef. Joe's Crab Shack sadly does not fall into that any stretch of the imagination. And this is West Texas, we are way landlocked.

I wanted Mexican food. This is Texas, we can get some gooooood Mexican food dadgumit.

We allowed blonde rascal to be the tie breaker. He voted for Joe's Crab Shack based on the dessert selections which he had seen on a commercial.

There were about 4 other tables full. Hubs wondered why it was so empty on Sunday after church, in the Bible Belt no less where every restaurant within a 30 mile radius is crowded every Sunday at 12:15.

Hubs now knows why it was not crowded. It is also worth mentioning that he now supports my argument for only eating seafood while on the coast.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Neurotic? Perhaps.

School starts Monday. Boo hoo. I am not ready for the whole busy, schedule driven mess. I will no doubt accomplish more, while blonde rascal is at school, but "accomplishing" is overrated. Spoken like the seasoned slacker that I am.

So today I got all of blonde rascal's school clothes out, planned outfits, cut off tags and threw it all in the washer. I am obsessed with clean, neat, cute outfits for school. Katie bar the door after school or in the summer when his "play" clothes look like something I have dug out of a dumpster. But for school? Fogetaboutit.

I went through his sock drawer. Threw away all holey pairs. Then picked out the few "white" pairs. I did have to buy some new socks and separated them from his play socks.No, that does not say school says socks, SOCKS! There is not a bleach or power detergent around that will get that boy's socks clean after he has played outside all day. So yes I did separate all his nice white socks from his play socks.

Even though during shorts season at school he will wear the "no show" style socks, I still can't allow dingy socks to be worn to school. Neurotic? Perhaps. I mean seriously, you know they take their shoes off sometimes at school. How terrible to display holey, dingy, stained, nasty, mismatched socks. Gasp.

I think this particular neurosis of mine started when I worked at Parent's Day Out when Blonde Rascal was a tot. There is no excuse for sending dirty & disheveled kids to school. Some babies would come to PDO unkempt and smelly(I don't mean dirty diaper, I mean all over!) and I just could not bear it. At that age it is not the child's fault but purely a reflection on the parent! That revelation was seared into my brain.

My top 3 list of absolute cleanliness no-no's for my own child:
1. No dirty and/or long fingernails. Evah. Yuck.
2. No left over tattoo sticker things on the body. Ewwww. That screams of no bath.
3. NO sticky band-aid funk remains. You know, the sticky brown outline left behind after band-aid removal. Double ewww.

I will never be able to jump on the "green" laundry soap campaign. Blonde rascal's clothes must always heavily & obviously smell of laundry soap. Love me some Gain. And stains? Not on my watch. I will scrub and scrub to remove stains. And if the stain is inevitable, then the item goes to the play clothes drawer. No stains on school clothes.

Ahhh..........there is the collection in blonde rascals room....freshly laundered, stain free, sweet smelling school clothes! And shiny new tennies....AND a new backpack! AND on that note parents, seriously if you send your baby to a daycare of any type then please for the love of pete routinely wipe out that nasty stank diaper bag. Eww. Likewise I am somewhat neurotic on keeping the b.r.'s backpack clean and all tidy like.

Perhaps if I had more than one child to wrestle and wrangle to get ready each morning for school then I would not be so neurotic. Oh well, at least I can admit my problem. It is the first step you know.

The piece de resistance?
Oh you'd better believe my clean, stylin' little man will wear this everyday. Again it goes back to my PDO days. I had a sweet adorable baby boy in my room whose mom put this on him every morning and we all LOVED it. It does not smell baby lotion like nor like cologne...just clean like soap.

I have been putting this on blonde rascal every school morning since kindergarten. He pays no attention to it, it is just a normal part of his morning hygiene routine. When he notices it says "baby" that may be the end of it. The only place I can find it is CVS. Of course a bottle lasts a year.

I think my favorite clothes are from The Children's Place. I have found they hold up really well. That is impressive. The C.P. is soooo affordable too. Love that.

There it is all out in the open, my obsessive, slightly neurotic nature regarding blonde rascal's school clothes/cleanliness. I am prepared and at peace now.

Good news is we did NOT go to Chuck E. Cheese last night. Instead we went to Main Event which is really more age appropriate for b.r. AND they serve adult food. As compared to C.E.C. where you have the opportunity to indulge in greasy pizza and a lovely ice burg lettuce salad bar. Yum! My pal Meredith had my back though, informing me that they serve beer at the Chucksters. Who knew? All those years at C.E.C. could have been so much more enjoyable. Incidentally, they serve beer at Main Event too. ; )

We went to Target today to buy dog food, a twenty-nine cent pencil bag and snacks for b.r.'s class. So how did my bill come out to be $88.47? Sweet nibblets it is because Target is magical and I love it. Speaking of, I think I will be ordering these. Clemson girl, who is undeniably a riot and her blog makes me giggle, swears by them. This story regarding the wonder pants made me shoot coffee out of my nose the morning I read it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

While the cat's away...

Oh, nope that's not right. The cats are ALL still here and the ones in the barn have in fact dismembered a rabbit which I have been stepping over in order to feed the horses the past few days. My gag reflex is in good working order I can assure you.

Never mind all of that, too much information for you city dwellers. I don't know if any of my 3 readers are country dwellers. If you are, speak up. I need moral support.

Actually I should have titled this "While the husband is away, the wife will paint!!" Hubs is at a conference in Dallas all this week.

First of all, let me admit that I am insanely jealous of people who are blessed with mudrooms. I mean seriously, that has to be the best thing that could ever happen to a house. Well, that and ginormous closets.

We do not have a mudroom so I decided to get over my jealousy and make the best of what we have.

The problem I have is with our back entry into the house from the garage. It is a high traffic area and even most visitors come in this way. 99% of the time it is NOT fit for public viewing. Included in the problem is that the laundry room is right there in the back entry hall. Although presently "organized" it is not always tidy, if you know what I mean.

Here is the view as you walk in the door
Hello cluttered coat rack and dull beige walls! Yes the coat rack is full of winter wear even though it is August.

Just beyond that is the lovely island in the kitchen a.k.a the catch all.
I would like to blame that disaster on hubs who comes in from work and lays everything there, but hubs does not carry even one...much less two... purses! That picture is sort of embarrassing.

Ugggggh. The whole situation drives me batty.

So I painted the back entry a cool shade, Wedgewood Gray by Benjamin Moore.

I then moved this cabinet....... which I got a few years back for a song at my favorite craft/antique that was going out of business, from the guest bathroom, painted it black and moved it into the back hallway.

It is now organization central.Yep, organization at it's finest.

On the top shelf I put cork on the back for a bulletin board and a letter tray for all of hubs paperwork/mail/crap stuff.

Shelf #2 we have a cute little lamp and an old suitcase, which I bought on a fun antique/junk shopping trip with my adorable sister-in-law while in TN a couple of summers ago. (Hi pesky brother-in-law Mark in TN! I have to give him a shout out every now and then or he gets testy.) the suitcase is a power strip which all manner of rechargeable items will be plugged into. Come in the door, plug in your phone/iPod/whatever gadget. All in one spot. Sweet.

Bottom shelf we have a bowl for keys. Yes hubs will be putting his keys there, if he knows what is good for him.

I put scrapbook paper on the back of shelves 2 & 3. Got that and pretty much the idea for this whole project from numerous other brilliant blogs which I did not keep track don't give me credit. I am just copying!

I took the cabinet doors off the bottom because they would not stay shut.Hung a rod, attached some fabric to those fab little rings and there you have it.

A hidden spot for wayward shoes, blonde rascal's backpack, ahem... purses.

I took a little wooden, unused, coat hanger that was in the garage, painted it black (duh) and hung it behind the door. For the pool bag of course.......and hopefully a more manageable amount of winter wear! Probably both hung there simultaneously. I like to entwine the seasons to keep things interesting.

For the times when someone knocks on the back door and I gasp in horror at the sight of the laundry room, I took a cheap window panel from Target, sewed some fabric and ribbon on to it.......and attached it to a curtain rod and some clips. Now I can yank it closed and no one will be the wiser about the state of the laundry room!!!

For a little art I took a picture that blonde rascal drew which I loved and framed it.
It was on a 12x18 piece of construction paper so I reduced it. I reduced it after spending no less than 45 minutes sweating, cussing and crying in a very busy Kinko's with a possibly inept employee who kept saying..."OK, hmmmmm, let's try it this way"

I bought the perfect, looking, frame for the art. I bought the frame at the $1 store. It was $6 and that made me happy. But the 60 minutes it took me to try to force and then shave down the back of the cheap ass frame with a utility knife in order to put it back together did not make me so happy. (Note to self, do not buy another frame from the $1 store. Ever.)

So that sums up the happy story of my new organized back hallway.

The next picture I would like to title "When does school start?"....

Blonde rascal put up the cot/air mattress thing and slept in the living room last night. At which time a huge mess ensued. Couch cushions thrown hither and yon, various bedding articles strewn loss of order. Oh well. School starts Monday so I have to cut the little man a some slack. Fun needs to be had while it still can.

On that note, we are going to Chuck E. Cheese tonight. Say a prayer.

On yet another note, I do believe this post is full of run on sentences. Do forgive.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Shrinky Dink Fun

If you are a child of the 70's, like moi, then I know you remember Shrinky Dinks. They were soooooo terribly cool.

I have no idea if you can still buy them but look what I found... you can make them!


You start with one of these...We ate all of those cookies in one sitting so that we could use the container. Just kidding. Well sort of. They were g-o-o-d!

I traced a monster truck, what else for my boy, onto the plastic. Blonde rascal colored it.

Then you slap that baby into the oven and watch with glee as it curls all up.

Whaa-la you have a shrinky dinked monster truck!Blonde rascal was thoroughly entertained by this free, easy and fun craft. I won some major fabulous mom points that day!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Saturday morning I made waffles. They were just darn good if I do say so myself! This recipe is my Dad's specialty. Well, I think the recipe came from the Houston newspaper but Papa does a great job of whipping up a batch. Hi Dad! My Dad is my most faithful reader...and not just because he feels obligated as a parent, he truly thinks I am downright brilliant. tee hee hee!

Easy, peasy. Try them...

2 C. Bisquick
1 egg
1/2 C. oil
1 1/3 C. club soda

They are seriously yummy. The club soda gives them a light somewhat crisp texture that is perfect.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Journey to the Center of the Earth

Hubs was playing in a golf tourney yesterday hosted by one of his customers in Hobbs, New Mexico.

He had to leave about the same time that blonde rascal and I would be leaving for church. In a fit of spontaneity I decided that blonde rascal and I could go with him for a little end of summer quicky road trip. I had NO intention of watching a golf tourney, heaven help me, but surely there would be something fun for us to do.

Me: "What can blonde rascal & I do for fun in Hobbs while you golf?"
Hubs: Blank stare. Blink.

Hobbs is kind of an arm pit of New Mexico. I'll be honest...A LOT of New Mexico is an arm pit! Sorry New Mexicans...but seriously, you agree don't you? Sure it is beautiful in the mountains and Santa Fe is all artsy fartsy cool, but the rest of the state not so much.

However all blonde rascal and I had to do was drive 90 miles past Hobbs to see......Hello Carlsbad Caverns! Probably one of the most incredible and awe inspiring places to see in the U.S. Seriously, add it to your list of things to see. I had not been in about 10 years and blonde rascal had never been.

You are lost in the middle of freakin' no where New Mexico......yet there is a wonder land beneath you, 750 ft. beneath you to be exact!

Holy stalagmites!
The token cheesy self portrait.

On the tour the park ranger told us that the only critters that live in the cave, besides the organisms in the cave pools, are flesh eating crickets.

Excuse me?
AHHHHH run for your life!!!

They come out after the lights are turned off. They are tiny and white and eat the skin cells that are sloughed off of all the human visitors each day. I think they just tell you that so you don't try to stay in the cave after it closes!
This place is phenominal, the pictures don't do it justice. Spectacular.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

You can pick your nose...

.... you can pick your horses....

...AND you CAN pick your horse's nose!

That my friends is the sad and disturbing evidence of what happens when the men folk are roping and I wander out there to watch.

I get bored. Really quick.

My girl Josie wasn't being roped off of and so she was bored too. She is very mischievous, which makes me happy.

Without Josie to entertain me, it is just the same old boring "roping" stuff.

They move the cattle towards the chute...
...I "man the chute" momentarily until those nasty beasts start losing control of their bowels and then I am out. After a few pictures that is.
I wonder if this freak got that tear drop tat while he was in the pen? You just can't get good cattle anymore.

Hubs traded a horse, which he does about as often as changing his undies, and got this good looking fella...His name is Thunder something...Thunder Cloud, Thunder Dome...Thunder Cat! That's it! He is a Red Roan and he is quite lovely.

Look at him work...Check out those muscles. Go Thunder Bolt! Err uh I mean Thunder Cat. I hope Thunder Cat says that about me when he looks in the window in the morning and sees ME running on the hamster wheel treadmill... "Look at those leg muscles on that chick". Hey a girl can dream.

Blonde rascal and his bevy of neighborhood beauties were watching. That was before they started playing in the dirt. A day at our house is not complete until there are dirt covered clothes!
Then the blonde rascal got to ride a sweaty and tired Thunder Cat...Kinda looks like he was on the surface of the moon or something, huh?

It was an action packed day for us. We went to blonde rascal's school in the morning to find out who is teacher is going to be this year. It was who we had requested...Mrs. Dear. How is that for a sweet teacher name?

That was followed by a trip to the dentist for a cleaning. I am proud to report that both blonde rascal and I got a clean bill of health.

After that we were off to the lovely home of hubs boss to swim.

We took our sweet next door neighbor along.
Blonde rascal is man enough to wear her pink goggles...

All the while I.......lazily lounged around watching them splash, reading a book, eating a popsicle or two and taking a dip in the pool for a nice little cool down.

I also lectured those wee children about the merits of working hard, getting an education so that one day they could be the boss.

Because when you own the joint, you can then afford to have a wicked cool swimming pool in your own backyard!