My occasionally snarky thoughts on everything from motherhood, politics, life and current events. Cocktails are sometimes mandatory. Bottoms up!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Time? No time....

Sometimes I wonder if my life would seem more glamorous if it were in Spanish, or something.

The projects are coming along -- only a few Three Stooges moments. (I'm Shemp, by the way...) My house is no longer "mine" so to speak, but there is lots going on. (And lots getting done.)

And only a *few* flashbacks. Few is good....

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Mmmmmmm Pie.....

Grandma's Oatmeal Pie to be exact. Truly delicious family recipe -- I think it could probably hold it's own against just about any pie. ('Cept for maybe Oddybobo's pumpkin -- but wouldn't that be a fun taste test!)

Oatmeal Pie
(the recipe makes 2 pies)

1 Stick Oleo*
2 Cups sugar
4 eggs
1 Cup milk**
1 ½ Cups light Karo syrup
1 1/2 C. Quick Oats
1 Cup coconut (optional)***
½ Cup pecans

Mix well and pour into two prepared pie crusts (I use a deep dish crust). Bake at 350 for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes or until center seems set. Allow to cool. Serve with whipped cream (or warm with ice cream). Yummy!
* I use butter
**Mix milk with eggs prior to adding to the batter.
***I have never made the pie using coconut (this is my my father in law's favorite pie and he doesn't like coconut). But the pie is so good I can't imagine that coconut wouldn't just make it even more fabulous....

And since there is no such thing as too much pie.....

You Are Mud Pie

You're the perfect combo of flavor and depth
Those who like you give into their impulses

h/t ALa at Blonde Sagacity for the quiz

Monday, November 28, 2005


Had a dream last night that I was making black bean and chocolate chip cookies. And I screwed them up 'cuz I didn't rinse the black beans....

WTF do you suppose that means?!?! Good grief!

Remodeling destruction + construction. Equaling giant mess, probable headache, but hopefully a desired outcome.

That's what's on tap for me this week. Going to do some demolition and recreation in the kitchen, give the "weird little pink bathroom" a facelift (and a new color), and try to make the "closet of DOOM" more closet and less DOOM.

One of the benefits in living in a house that is 111 years old is all of the "character" your house can have. The down sides of having "character" are wonky walls, weird little nooks and crannies and many parts of the house having been built for folks that were a *bit* smaller in stature.

My folks are going to be here visiting for the next couple of weeks and they love the whole "doing projects" parts of their visits. (They have lived in their house in Wyoming for 30+ years so basically there are no new projects to be done there.) They are here to play with grandkids too, of course. But my Dad would go bonkers just waiting for school to get out so we started the project list months ago. And if the kitchen cabinet re-do goes as planned I can have a refridgerator that is *more* than 5 feet tall! The "dwarf" fridge I have had to make do with has been making me crazy since we got here -- and it has become apparent that I will ground zero for family dinners/holidays so it is in my interest to make this place sea worthy, so to speak.

Should be fun.... well, maybe......Maybe?? Aw, hell. At least there will still be cocktails and blog fodder, and pictures. Right?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Stealing a minute

Company is all here. I am in the process of preparing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner (since on Thursday we went to see Harry Potter at the IMAX theater at the Navy Pier -- soooooo cool).

It is amazing how just a little holiday can become so big! I have been holed up in the kitchen baking pies. What kind of Pies? Oatmeal pies. If you have never tried one I highly recommend it. It's my FIL's favorite and I got the recipe straight from Great Grandma -- gotta love traditions like that. I'll have to post the recipe........ Someday....... If I ever get "computer time" again.......

Friday, November 25, 2005

Incoming Message

Up to eyeballs with company [stop]

more company expected [stop]

kids, dogs, cooking, cooking, cooking, cleaning, Christmas (!?!?!)... [stop]

thank God for wine. [stop]

[end transmission]

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Day Before

There is so much I am thankful for this year...

I am thankful for my freedom, and that I have a safe place to raise my family.

For the members of our armed services for preserving that freedom for me.

For friends and family.

For the opportunity to love and be loved.

For gravy.

For warm fuzzy socks.

For good health. And for the hope of good health for others.

For good books, good wine, and good cheer.

For hugs.

For school days and for snow days.

I am thankful for my life.

Happy Thanksgiving. Have a safe and blessed holiday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Scaring the crap outta my OWN self...

Jeez -- it just dawned on me that the curtains were open on the window next to me while I sit here and surf. Day time, no big deal -- primo squirrel watchin' and patch-o-sun baskin'. It's nice!

Nighttime?? Not so friendly. Hubby is working late and as I locked up I couldn't help but think about how paranoid I get listening to every creak and pop of this old house. I sat down to cruise the internet for a few minutes and felt the prickles across the back of my neck. Window -- dark, dark window. And as I reached over to close the curtain all I could think about was what the hell I would do if a fist came through that window and grabbed my wrist. Then all I could so was envision a putrid half rotted hand with a vise like grip doing just that... Great, way to go imagination!

Now I'm looking over my shoulder thinking about turning on more lights. Shit. I think I'll pour a glass of wine, check the doors and see if I can't get a freekin' grip on myself.... Good grief.


Yeah, well, I'll see your procrastinating and raise you some futzing around!

Man, oh man, I have company coming and it's two days until Thanksgiving and I am still behind and unmotivated! I sooooo wish it were just as fun to scrub toilets and grocery shop as it is to dink around on the internet and find goofy stuff like this.

Oh well, time to suck it up and work like the grownup I am supposed to be. I just wish I could get the new $%^#$*&# Madonna song out of my head! I haven't been able to kill this earworm even with Sunshine of your Love -- and that usually works for me every time! Must be her pointy boobs or all of that Kabbalah or something....

Here's hoping that your Tuesday is going well.

h/t to Trouble for the Llama song..... :)


Iraqi Leaders Call for Timetable for U.S. Withdrawal

Sunni leaders have been pressing the Shiite-majority government to agree to a timetable for the withdrawal of all foreign troops. The statement recognized that goal, but did not lay down a specific time -- reflecting instead the government's stance that Iraqi security forces must be built up first.

On Monday, Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr suggested U.S.-led forces should be able to leave Iraq by the end of next year, saying the one-year extension of the mandate for the multinational force in Iraq by the U.N. Security Council this month could be the last.

"By the middle of next year we will be 75 percent done in building our forces and by the end of next year it will be fully ready," he told the Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera.

I hope so -- meaning I hope that Iraqi forces can be "fully ready" in a year. It will be interesting to see where this leads given the events in congress last week.

Fun with Tree Rats

Bird Feeder -- $3.50

Seed for the feeder $2.95

Having your two dogs think you're a hero for getting them a big screen TV (aka window) complete with the *crazy* squirrel channel -- priceless. (And funny as hell to boot!)

I am sooooo easily amused (along with the dogs, obviously....)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Great Rant

I read a great rant today over at Desert Odyssey...
...The political wrangling. I saw somewhere that people believe in Washington that slamming the doors of congress for a closed session, or holding an emergency “should we come home today?” vote portrays to the American soldiers over here the undying support and loyalty of congress. What it actually makes me want to say is “grow up.” You want to support us? C’mon out here and say hi on Christmas Day when it will be just like every other day for us instead of staying with your family.

It's a "read the whole thing" item for sure....


Alarm clock Meme

Oddybobo tagged me with an alarm clock meme. :)

1. Do you use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning?
No. I have a very accurate "internal clock" and I am a naturally early riser. It is unusual for me to sleep past 7am and I am usually up between 5:30 and 6:00 even when I get to bed late.

2. What time do you set it for?
In the past when I have had to use an alarm it has been for like 3am -- usually to take someone to or get somebody from the airport.

3. Do you hit the snooze button? If so how many times?
Nope. No snooze button for me. Once I am awake I am awake. There's no going back. But my husband usually hits his snooze 2-6 times. (Drives me crazy since then *I* am the one that's up a half hour before he really needed to get up. Grrrrr.)

4. Have you ever abused an alarm clock?
Not really, I have been known to unplug them when I can't figure out how to turn the stupid thing off -- one of the downsides to not using one regularly is not knowing how to work 'em.

5. It’s time to spread some “It’s Blogcess” linky love.

Rules of the game, as far as I can figure them:
First: Copy and paste #1 - #5(Make sure to link to: “It’s Blogcess”, which is the link in #5. Because it’s always polite to link to the one who started the linky love.)
Second: Link to my site (because it’s polite to link to the site that tagged you).
Third: Go and tag up to five other blogs, or more if ya like.
Fourth: Email the owner of, or post on the blogs that you have tagged, to inform them that you’ve tagged them.
So who to tag?

I tag Brian to see if I can get him to post more.
The Frothmistress because she is a Sooner by marriage too.
Alli and
and Trouble in Shangri La because I can!

Links and fun...

First off the Carnival of the Recipes is up at Rocket Jones -- looks like you may have to have your bablefish interpreter handy (though, according to Ted, if you are Scandinavian you may be able to use a frozen fishstick). Like for his babblefish translation for brining a turkey...
My low and slow peoples are basters; they form throughout the year marvelously from Peru after the year. Low slow and lots of the result in 10 hours to terminate to a bird. With however salt, leave the cook, who the time is not shortened, because none is requested, heat aways even the furnace to run.
Ohhhhkay. How to use the fishstick I can't say.... What I can say (in English) is that the carnival is in fine form this week. Lots of goodies that might even make it into your holiday lineup if you are so inclined. Awesome!

Next, Brian tells a funny story of office hijinx (and a great comeuppance) over at Point Two Percent. If you like the movie Office Space, or if you've ever worked in a cube farm, or hell -- if you've had a job (!) you'll enjoy this.... Ha!
... Well, the IT guy at the time (I'll call him Woody) had a bad, after one particularly rough bout of back pain, he requested an Aeron chair... he had one at home apparently and it helped him a lot. The company agreed and bought him one.

Of course this didn't sit well with one of the company's up and coming R&D managers, who viewed himself as the most important person at the company, bar none.(We'll call him'll meet Jerry in another story.) A classic overly-aware-of-status-symbols, stab-his-mother-in-the-back-for-a-buck type of guy. (But that's just my opinion ;> ) ....

The chair definitely becomes the star of this little show!

Finally, Indigo has a great guide for those thinking of relocating. Excerpt:

You can live in Phoenix, Arizona where.....
1. You are willing to park 3 blocks away because you found shade.
2. You can open and drive your car without touching the car door or the steering wheel.
3. You've experienced condensation on your butt from the hot water in the toilet bowl.
4. You would give anything to be able to splash cold water on your face.
5. You can attend any function wearing shorts and a tank top.

She also has the 411 on California, Maine, Colorado, The deep South, The Midwest, and Florida. Quite handy! (And funny...) Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

So what to do............

Imagine that you are contacted by a person from your not so distant past. Someone who helped you through a eminently stressful time (in a professional capacity). Not necessarily a "friend" per se, someone who got paid for their services, but at the same time someone who tweaked your inner radar and felt pretty trustworthy to you. Deal done. 'Nuff said. Fond thoughts about this person, but no invites for dinner of coffee -- no further contact. And that's okay.

Then out of the blue, the person calls. (You recognize the voice immediately but wonder why they would be calling.) Turns out they have had a bit of a stressful time (like yesterday) and they (okay she) is in need of a little counseling. Does my Hubby have any advice as to how she should handle the totaling of her car (car vs. deer) and what should she expect? (The accident happened the night before and it was one of those deals where she could have been killed and she was appropriately freaked a little.) Hmmmm... okay. So she was looking for a little reassurance and possibly some advice.

Since Hubby is no longer involved with vehicle "insurance replacement" and was at work I spent 45 minutes talking her down out of her tree, getting her some information from, and basically explaining what happens when your vehicle gets totaled. The whole what happens next stuff.... She seems to be okay. Through the conversation it comes to light that she is newly divorced though, and has been having a rather difficult time of things. Platitudes are exchanged as well as best wishes. Done.

Then 2 days later a nice thank you note arrives in the mail -- with a "Gee, if you're not too busy could we get together soon and bake cookies (with the girls) or shop/have coffee?" request. And for some reason I am having some pause. I am wondering:

What could I possibly bring to this woman's life?
What is she looking for?
Is this God knocking me on the forehead because I am in a position to offer some constructive help?
Or am I about to get caught up into circumstances that will be detrimental to me or my family?
Am I a bad person for not immediately jumping into the fray?

So there lies the dilemma. My "gut feelings" (usually VERY accurate) have been a tad off of late so any thoughts would be appreciated.........

I am usually so sure of myself -- it is very disquieting to feel so unsure.

Update: Actually, just writing it all down has helped a bunch. If you have thoughts though, feel free to share.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Don't even want to think about it..... ::shudder::

In honor of opening day

And because Christmas is right around the corner, here is an *interesting* combination of the two...

And I mean *interesting* in a "that just ain't right!" kind of way...... YMMV.

Fun for Saturday

First, (via email) bumper sticker funnies:
Jesus loves you...but everyone else thinks you are an ass.

Impotence...Nature's way of saying "No hard feelings,"

The proctologist called...they found your head.

Everyone has a photographic memory...some just don't have any film.

Save your breath...You'll need it to blow up your date.

Your ridiculous little opinion has been noted.

I used to have a handle on life...but it broke off.

Guys...just because you have one, doesn't mean you have to be one.

Some people just don't know how to drive...I call these people "Everybody But Me,"

Hang up and drive!!**

Heart Attacks...God's revenge for eating His animal friends.

Don't like my driving? Then quit watching me.

Some people are only alive because it is illegal to shoot them.

**We saw this one the other day on a red ford pickup, irony at it's finest -- the driver was on the phone when we passed...**
And a quiz that answers the question "when am I gonna die?"
Um, okay....

I am going to die at 73. When are you? Click here to find out!

That's okay, I'm still only halfway there...

Friday, November 18, 2005

Amazing! Fabulous! Incredible!

Filed under More Harry Potter Dorkyness......

The movie was visually stunning. The Hungarian Horntail Dragon kicked ass on screen as did the sweeping visuals of Hogwarts. The whole movie was far and away darker, more exciting, funnier, and far better acted that the three previous movies combined. The kids are growing up and it's a good thing. I can't wait to see it again!

My only "complaints" such as they are is that there is a LOT more I would have liked to have seen. The Dursleys at the beginning (when Fred and George slip Duddley the Ton Tongue Toffee), Bill and Charley Weasley, more about the Rita Skeeter (closet animagnus) stuff, more of the Quidditch World Cup, Sirius there to comfort Harry after the Tri Wizard Tournament, Dumbledore making the command (at the end) for them to "get the old gang back together," basically just more.... I would have liked the movie to have been 5 hours long with an intermission halfway through, truth be told.

I would think that knowing the background would be pretty necessary to follow along and "get" the nuance and skimmed over parts of the story without having to work too hard. But really, the movie was great. So exciting, lots of laugh out loud moments, parts that make you jump (even when you know what's coming) and deep sadness. They did a great job bringing forth the emotions of the story -- fear, joy, excitement, grief -- it's all there. And it works...

Mad Eye Moody steals the show (many times) and I look forward to seeing his character again in the 5th movie. Ralph Fiennes is incredibly (and believably) evil as Lord Voldemort -- an enemy of epic proportions. And his countenance? The stuff of nightmares -- very, very scary....

I loved, loved, loved (!) this movie. Eye candy of the best kind, IMO..... (and only 6 days 'till I see it again!)

Fun for Friday

You scored as Captain Jack Sparrow. Roguish,quick-witted, and incredibly lucky, Jack Sparrow is a pirate who sometimes ends up being a hero, against his better judgement. Captain Jack looks out for #1, but he can be counted on (usually) to do the right thing. He has an incredibly persuasive tongue, a mind that borders on genius or insanity, and an incredible talent for getting into trouble and getting out of it. Maybe its brains, maybe its genius, or maybe its just plain luck. Or maybe a mixture of all three.

Captain Jack Sparrow

Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

h/t Alli at Fox Rants

Thursday, November 17, 2005


I got my ticket! Come 12:30 tomorrow I'll be watching this...

I know, a "good" mom would wait and take her kids with her. But to be honest, I am sooooo looking forward to seeing the film I want to go the first time by myself. (And let's face it, it's not like I'm going to have a problem seeing it again......)

Yay me!

[And yes, I know I am a total dork -- but sometimes dorkiness is a good thing, right?]

Easy Salisbury "Steak"

It's cold outside so why not cook? Here's an easy and yummy alternative to meat loaf.

Easy Salisbury "Steak"

1 ½ - 2 pounds lean ground beef
1 can condensed french onion soup (divided)
1 egg
¾ C. breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs
salt and pepper

For sauce:
2/3 can condensed french onion soup
½ C. Ketchup
2 Tbs. prepared mustard
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs. flour mixed with ¼ C. water

To make:
Mix ground beef with 1/3 can of the condensed french onion soup, bread or cracker crumbs, egg, and salt and pepper to taste. Form into oval shaped patties (about the size of your hand) and brown in a deep skillet over medium heat. While the patties are browning mix all sauce ingredients together.

Once Salisbury "steaks" are done, poor sauce over them and reduce heat to low. Simmer covered over low heat 35-45 minutes until sauce is thickend and patties are cooked through. You can also place the "steaks" into a pyrex baking dish, add sauce, cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour if you like. Serve just with sauce or a little sprinkle of cheese or some sauteed onions are nice! Enjoy!


Jeez! Did winter have to come all in one day? How about some gradual stepping off here? Huh? Even the dogs go outside and immediately turn around to come back in! Brrrrrr.

Update: 6:11 I wrote the above before I clicked over and saw the picture Lileks posted at The Bleat. Heh. Very appropriate....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Things that make you say....


Or in my case, "Damn! Damn. Damn. Damn damnity damn damn damn damn....."

Things like discovering that somebody left the freezer door open.**
And the %$#&$*#*! fish tank is leaking! (What a colossal error in judgment that whole project has been...... But that post will have to wait for another day.)

%$#^!&$ $%#^%! *&$^#%
I find myself damn director of the fishy relocation program today. Ever feel the need for your very own personal beep?
I do........... %&#^!

I generally like to decide my own chores for the day thankyouverymuch. Enough with the extra damn crap!!! Grrrrr........

**(Thankfully the turkey was still rock solid, but there are some other things that either got pitched or will get cooked tonight.....)

Do you ever feel so behind...

You're afraid you might just "lap" yourself? Good grief!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Child Labor

Wisconsin style....

And you should have heard them! The "woe is me" was pitiful. Pitiful, I tell you! (Just not pitiful enough to get them out of helping their dad with the last of the leaves....)


No, not "over" (though I have been known to do that too) this time I am talking about tipping the pizza guy.

In a restaurant or bar situation I have my tipping strategy down.

Piss me off or do a really, really crappy job -- 10-15%.

Do an okay job 18%.

Do a good job (extra napkins + timely service) 20%.

Really outdo yourself (without being annoying) 25%.

Usually, I end up tipping at or just over 20% because most servers try to do a good job (and succeed). That, and I worked in service industries long enough to not hold it against someone who is "in the weeds" having just got triple sat with 6 tops. Just sayin'. If you're trying you're going to get 20%.

Anyway, the question is how much to tip the pizza guy? My philosophy is "a couple bucks and change" since the pizza guy is *not* going to serve me or clean up after dinner or anything. He's a "take this food item from point A to point B guy" and a couple bucks and change is generally about 10% of the total. (I will tip more for really bad weather like when it's 20 below and there is a chance that the pizza or pizza guy could freeze going from the car to your door....) But otherwise it's a couple of dollars and change.

Hubby, on the other hand, thinks it should be 15-20% of the total -- just like restaurant tipping. I am of the mind that 20% is a bit too generous....

So who's right? How much do you tip?

Monday, November 14, 2005


A quick giggle...
A three-year-old little boy was examining his testicles while taking a bath.

"Mom," he asked, "are these my brains?"

"Not yet," replied his mother.

h/t L&Dal :)

Red White and Blue Food!

No, it's not a patriotic Dr. Seuss story you've never heard. It's this weeks Carnival of the Recipes giving a yumalicious nod to the elections of the past week and Veteran's Day!

I couldn't think of any red white and blue food recipes to submit, but other folks had my back. Taleena's Cranberry-Blueberry Scones sound way yummy and Keewee's Patriotic Pie is a delight for all of the senses. I am looking forward to trying both! And there's lots more...

So if you are in need of some extra yum, check out the Carnival over at Myopic Zeal. Who knew patriotism could be so tasty!

Great Weekend

Had a great weekend. Sadly, Hubby worked really long hours (new job + retail environment + OMG Christmas!!!! = long hours and no days off). But, ya know, given the alternative -- that's okay. We'll see him in 2006.

I had a girlfriend come to visit for the weekend from St. Louis -- we had a fabulous time. Nothing like a good friend and a weekend filled with yummy lunches and movies and wine and cheesecake to recharge your battery. Nothing. And I got to celebrate getting older! (I think she came just to see me go first). Some folks complain about birthdays but the way I see it again, given the alternative (aka *not* getting older) I'll take one more year every time! I have stuff to do yet!

Her arrival marked the very last of the warm weather we will see 'till Spring though, and today it's cold. Officially cold -- like in the twenties this morning. And come Wednesday we are supposed to get some snow. Yikes! Nothing like getting a firm shake out of complacency! So I need to get busy and get all of the winter gear out and ready for action. We have had a lovely long fall and I know it's time for snowpants and boots and the like but still, I always want to hang on until the very last minute.
**Ding! Times up.**
The good news is that the biting wind that swept through did a great job of removing the last leaves from the trees -- so we can get that squared away before the snow flies.

It just cracks me up that Mother Nature sometimes dictates my chore list. (And boy is she feelin' b*tchy this week....) Oh well. Time to get to work I guess....

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Halfway to 70

That's me today. I'm 35. And I don't feel a day over...uh...35.

So that's good, right?

I thought that these were appropriate funnies to mark the occasion:

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Some Nerdy test fun for Saturday.

See how not stupid you are.....


h/t Ogre

Now if OU could just win their game today!! Whoohoo!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Veteran's Day

If you can read this, thank a teacher, If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.

To all those who have served -- Thank you.

Update: Harvey at Bad Example has a suggestion for the best way to thank the troops.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


The Carnival of Comedy is up and Tommy at Striving For Average is giving away the prize money he found in the carnival in-box to some of the participants!!!! Yay me! I'll be rich! Rich I tell you! This is the best day of my life!!!!

** whisper whisper whisper **
Whaddya mean there's no real money???

** whisper **
It was just spam? Oh. Oh, well. At least my name's still Rich..... Anyhoo, there is lots of funny to be had over at the Carnival and you should go check it out -- even if Tommy isn't giving away money..... ( that would have been nice, though....)

And here is a little funny to get you started!

**I changed the cartoon from the one I had earlier -- I like this one better! :)

Veteran's Day... tomorrow.

But today marks the 230th birthday or the USMC! Happy Birthday Marines!

The fund raising drive for Project Valour IT (Voice Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops) is still going on and going strong and there is still time to donate before the end of the inter service competition tomorrow. Help out if you can:
Blackfive continues to lead the Army team, SMASH leads Navy, Greyhawk leads Airforce and Soldiers' Angel Holly Aho leads the Marines.

I still can think of no better way to honor our Veterans.
(The Navy team and Army have both reached their goals or $21,000 but are still scrambling for bragging rights -- Airforce and Marines are on their way.) Whoohoo!

And here is a great Veteran's Day post. Appropriately written by Captain B at One Marine's View. As he writes:
Across the full spectrum of operations, Marines create stability in an unstable world. We continue to do so as Operation Steel Curtain excels with success here in Iraq, especially on our Birthday!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Just one more bit of bad Karma I didn't need....

....jeez -- you try to do something nice.....

So I cleaned out the fish tank. Now, one would think that would be a nice thing to do! It's a pain in the a$$, but I like to try and keep the animal members of my family healthy and happy and frankly the tank really needed it.**

So I cleaned it. Scrubbed the inside of the glass, removed all of the plants (plastic) and rocks and scrubbed them too. Replaced filters that needed to be replaced and rinsed out the permanent ones. Changed out 80% of the water. Then, I put everything back and peered in to see the gratitude on their little fishy faces. Sadly, not only was there no gratitude, the Guppy is missing. The fancy orange one. Crap.

So did a couple of head counts -- no Guppy. Waited a few minutes, repeated the head count, still no Guppy. Picked up and shook all of the plants and the rocks, checked the intakes for the filter system, removed all of the filters. No Guppy anywhere. Not in the tank, not in the bucket, not in the siphoning/cleaning tube thingy. Nada. Zip. Zero.

So now either I am an inadvertent Guppy killer, or he has been spirited away into some weird Fishy Witness Protection Program that I didn't know about.

Either way, I feel guilty. Why? I don't know. I think it's a mom/caregiver thing (you never want to lose a ward) or something. My only condolence is that it's a freshwater tank instead of saltwater so the Guppy cost like $1.35 instead of $35.00. That helps.

Now I just have to hope that the girls don't notice -- or that they at least buy my whole Fishy Witness Protection Program story.... Either way. Crap. Sorry Mr. Guppy!

**Technically, cleaning the fish tank is *not* supposed to be my job. But as it is with all pets, in my experience, care and feeding almost ALWAYS becomes "Mom's" job.....

That dog won't hunt....

....Well, actually that's my Husband.

I was over at Army Wife's place where she is soon to be a deer hunting widow. She has her supplies though...

I will be a "deer camp widow" for a few days. Time to break out the chocolate, chick flicks, a nice bottle of wine, and some bubble bath.
So I imagine that she will be okay. (Provided the toddlers don't hide the chocolate, dump the wine and drink the bubblebath, of course....)

Anyway, her post reminded me of a funny thing that happened right after we moved to Wisconsin 2 years ago. You see, my husband doesn't hunt. Never has. And around here, that in and of itself is a bit of an anomaly -- we just weren't aware of it.

I sent dear husband off to a birthday party with one of the girls.. (I had a friend in town visiting so he got drafted to do birthday party duty.) Off he and K. went to the local Bowling Alley (a very happenin' BD party location here in WI) and because we were new in town and unsure of BD party etiquette he decided to stay for the duration of the party -- hell, there was a spot to have a beer there and watch the game so it's not like it was going to be rough duty or anything.

So hubby finds a spot, orders his brew, and settles in for a bit. And gets to have this conversation:

Random Bowling Alley Bar Guy: "So have you got yours yet?"

Hubby: "Pardon me?"

RBABG: "Have you got yours yet?"

Hubby: "I'm sorry. I don't know what you mean..."

RBABG: "Your deer. Have you got your deer yet?"

Hubby: "Oh.... I'm sorry, no.... I don't hunt."

RBABG: ... ... ...

"What do you mean.... you don't hunt."

Hubby: Um...... I mean don't hunt. I don't own a rifle or shoot animals. I don't hunt. Nothing against it -- I just never have."

RBABG: ... ... ...

"You mean you've never been hunting? Ever?"

Hubby: "No."

Well, this revelation had shaken RBABG to say the least..... And after some mumbling and incredulous stares, he says, "I don't think I have never MET anyone who doesn't hunt........"

To which my unflappable Hubby answered. "Well, now you have....." And he turned back to the game.
Personally, I like that he doesn't hunt. I never have to worry about coming home to dead birds in the sink, or a carcass hanging in the garage. (Or him going out for a nice weekend in the woods with his buddies and coming home with a gunshot wound....) You know, stuff like that. And it's not like he doesn't get to feed that "hunter gatherer" instinct -- he golfs. And I have yet to ever have to figure out a way to cook the golfballs that he brings home. An added bonus...

Don't get me wrong, I understand hunting both as a sport and a means by which to fill your freezer. I grew up in a family that hunted. My Dad would get an Elk tag every year and would occasionally get lucky and draw a Moose tag as well. One of my favorite photographs of my little brother is of him with his first Elk (a gorgeous 5 point buck).

We filled our freezer every winter and had "meat packaging parties" in Gary Moody's garage. If that's what you like to do I'm all for it! *I* just don't want to go -- ever. I ate enough Elk, Moose, and Deer (and the occasional Antelope) growing up that if I never eat wild meat again, I am okay with that. Really.

So for this hunting season, I will tip my glass to the many "deer camp widows" out there.

May your chocolate be creamy, Your wine never empty, and Your chick flicks and bubble bath soothing and warm.

And may your kids be nice to you and eachother and enjoy early bedtimes -- (while we're askin' might as well go for it.) Salud!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Remember when...

I posted that Note to Self?

Do not attempt to dig a new basement under a two story 100 year old house.

Do not
attempt to dig said basement YOURSELF with a Bobcat.

Do not
skip the "concrete option" and decide that treated wood walls and 2 X 12's will do an adequate job supporting the house.

It's just not gonna work out! And it will make for a big crash! :^0
Yeah. Right. Gotta remember that.

Because apparently this is how you fix it.....

It took about 20 minutes from start to finish. And attracted every Y chromosome for a 3 block radius. Boys love destruction....

I'm curious to see what comes next.

Monday, November 07, 2005

You know, it takes a special kind of stupid... kill yourself playing catch with a hand grenade. Really.

To these Darwin Award winners --Thanks for taking yourself out of the gene pool. Thanks so much. Good God......

h/t Ace

Well, that's that.

It's my last bloom of 2005.

I am actually going to try to winter this fuschia plant -- it was just too pretty to give up on easily.

I mean, I know it's November and it's time to really let go of the warm days and get ready for the snow but still. When you see that last hold out from summer.... defying mother nature.... it makes me want to hold out a little longer too.

Then I take a look at my driveway and get a big ol' reality check.




Got it.

Now where did I put the weather-stripping? I'd better get started! Oh! And somebody pass me a rake....

Sunday, November 06, 2005

What's in a name?

Is a bong still a bong -- even if you're not allowed to call it a bong? From Mr. Vanderleun we get an answer -- well sort of...

"You can't say that here or I'll have to throw you out of the store," says a stern voice from the front.

Slowly I turned.

"I beg your pardon?"

It's the clerk who is glaring at us from behind the counter. "I said you can't use the B-word in here. They are "waterpipes."

Ohhhhkaaaay.... But it sounds a little delusional to me. Or maybe that's the whole idea! Needless to say, logic doesn't live there -- but its absence makes for a funny post!

The Carnival of the Recipes #64 up! Lots of yummy to be had over at Pajama Pundits. Donna has organized a whole lot of fall weather goodness so head on over and give it a look! Mmmmm.... The Cheddar Chowder and Sausage & Pepper Stew alone are worth the trip! Yummy!

Saturday, November 05, 2005


I need a Halloween Candy Exorcist to come to my house ASAP.

This is getting scary, folks -- the mini Snickers bars are winning...........

Movie review

Doc Russia posts his review of Jarhead. Or as he puts it..... A Jarhead talking about Jarhead.

Hmmmmm. I didn't think I would want to see this film -- I may have to.....

While this may be true.....

I'm gonna have to risk it. Duty calls...............

Friday, November 04, 2005

Project Valour IT

Needs us!

Project Valour IT was begun as a way to support our wounded veterans by providing voice activated computers and software for their use while they recover. You can read about Valour IT here.

Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, provides voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries or amputations at major military medical centers. Operating laptops by speaking into a microphone, our wounded heroes are able to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the 'Net, and communicate with buddies still in the field without having to press a key or
move a mouse. The experience of CPT Charles "Chuck" Ziegenfuss, a partner in the project who suffered hand wounds while serving in Iraq, illustrates how important this voice-controlled software can be to a wounded servicemember's recovery.

"At that time I had no use of either hand. I know how humbling it is, how
humiliating it feels. And I know how much better I felt, how amazingly more functional I felt, after Soldiers' Angels provided me with a laptop and a loyal reader provided me with the software. I can't wait to do the same, to give that feeling to another soldier at Walter Reed." - Captain
Chuck Ziegenfuss at TC Override

And to make this fundraiser fun, there is some friendly competition between the Services -- Blackfive is leading the Army team, Mrs. SMASH for Navy, Mrs. Greyhawk for Airforce and Soldiers' Angel Holly Aho for the Marines. Competition closes a week from today but the wounded vets win regardless.

I plan to donate to each branch equally.... I know it's kind of a cop-out as far as the competition goes but it seems the most fair to me. (I have had family members serve in 3 branches, after all....)

So pick a branch (or 4) to support and do what you can -- I can think of no better way to say a big Thank You to our wounded veterans this Veterans Day!

Update: Okay, I've made my contributions (after some trouble remembering our pay-pal password).... It looks like folks are generous out there! The score right now at 2:30 pm CDT is:

Army: 6,594.99
Navy: 8,550.00
Airforce: 2,225.00
Marines: 4,240.00


A Note to Daddies

When a child comes to you in the middle of the night telling you that they don't feel good..... And after you re-tuck them in and your still half asleep wife (aka Mommy) asks if you gave said child a bucket...... do not say, "Oh Honey, she'll be fine..."

Trails happen. That's all I'm sayin'. And they aren't "happy trails".....

Thursday, November 03, 2005

A good movie to clean house to...

Mystery Alaska.

Even though it has Russell Crowe in it... I generally don't like movies that he is in for some reason. (I think it's the underlying "arrogant bad boy" mojo he exudes. Some women find that attractive -- it just makes me kinda want to smack him....)

I may have to follow up with Miracle and just make it a hockey movie kind of day.....

Some tee shirts I may actually have to buy.....

I don't know what kind of mailing list I have gotten myself on, but for the past couple of months I have been getting catalogs filled with the damnedest things.....

The kind of stuff where at first you flip through and think,
"Who in the world would ever want any of this stuff?"
And then something will catch your eye and suddenly your are thinking,
"Hey, I may really need that!"
Even though there is no way in hell you have ever needed anything of the sort -- you've gotten by without one of those handy dandy food chiller appetizer trays...
"Keeps your snacks at the exact right temperature while entertaining -- perfect
for sushi!"
...your whole life, and odds are you don't need one now. Hell, you don't even eat (and would never try to serve) sushi! Even if I had a chillable appetizer tray.... that maintains a cool temperature for up to 3 hours.... and it is pretty and round and silver....... And it is only $19.95.........

See what I mean?

At any rate, I got another interesting catalog in the mail recently filled with a LARGE assortment of stuff I am pretty sure I don't need. (There was a Santa/Yoda on the cover, for heaven's sake -- now there's a clue!) But I have to admit, I am intrigued by some of the tee-shirts that they offered...
"I have multiple personalities and none of them like you."
"I've stopped listening. Why are you still talking?"
"Make it idiot proof and someone will make a better idiot."
"Who are you and why are you reading my shirt?"
"Some days it's not even worth chewing through the restraints."
"It's better to have loved and lost than to live with the psycho the rest ofyour life."
"Shut up voices, or I'll poke you with a Q-Tip again!"
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
"You can't scare me, I have a 2 year old!"
"Just be happy I'm not a twin."
"I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol."
"Even if the voices aren't real, they have some really good ideas."

I may have to actually make a purchase one of these days............ Oh, and the name of the catalog? What on Earth, of course.....

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

More Harry Potter Dorkyness

Only 16 days to go.... And via Alli at Fox Rants we have the best Quidditch World Cup clip yet! Whoohoo!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Richmond Answers Oprah's Questions

...C'mon, I'm a housewife. It was bound to happen eventually......

So Oprah had a big show today all about why men are the way they are. Expert panel and all.
Good grief -- is she kidding me? This is the best topic she could come up with? It's 2005 and you're telling me that Oprah thinks we haven't figured men out yet??? Well, okay. As I *always* try to be helpful, I will attempt to answer these very difficult ::cough:: questions pertaining to the whys of men....

1) Oprah asks -- Why do men go to strip clubs?
[Are you freekin' kidding me? -ed.] Ahem, now while the "expert panel" gave all sorts of interesting answers to this question (along with much hemming and hawing) I can answer.
Because they can. There are naked boobies there and beer and they can have lunch. Men (in my experience) like all of those things. Moving right along....

2) Oprah asks -- Why do men look at p0rn online?
Richmond answers: Ummmmm. Ohhhhkaaaayy. I think this question is very much like the whole "strip club thing" only said "man" is not required to leave his house. So again, because they can! Men have eyes and they know how to use them. If they have time and opportunity they will look at naked women parts whenever possible. And there still might be a chance that they can have beer and lunch + naked women parts even at home. I swear, if there was braille p0rn for blind guys -- blind guys would "look" at p0rn too... Again..... moving on....

3) Oprah asks -- Why do men play golf?
Richmond answers: Well, because they can't look at p0rn all of the time. And golf allows for the opportunity to talk to their friends about all of the good strip clubs they have been to and what web sites are the best. And it affords them the chance to do "business" while being outside playing a game that feeds their "hunter gatherer" instincts. (Jeez -- at least it's *not* p0rn -- why complain?)

4) Oprah asks -- Why don't men see things that need to be picked up? Why don't they help more around the house?
Richmond answers: Oooohhhh, now there's a toughie! (Not!) Because they don't care. No, really! They don't. Men have 7 basic (internal) questions that determine what they are going to do at any given time. These are the driving forces behind the motives of most (straight, at least) men...

1. Am I hungry?
2. Am I horny?
3. Do I have to pee?
4. Is the game on?
5. Will this get me laid?
6. Am I sleepy?
7. Will this make me money?
If a man sees something that needs to be picked up [ie. dirty clothes on the floor] the average man will determine if any of his *needs* listed will be met by picking up said dirty clothes. Then ( and only then) will they make a determination as to whether or not to pick up the dirty clothes. If none of the aformentioned items on the list will be affected, (ie. "I am sleepy. I need to move the dirty clothes so I can get to the bed to go to sleep.") a man will simply "not see" the dirty clothes. Really. The clothes will be rendered invisible.

5) Oprah asks -- What do men think about after sex?
Richmond answers: Ummmmkay. Back to the list of 7 things that motivate men. They will run through the list and determine their next course of action. "I am hungry..." will have them wondering if there is any leftover pizza in the fridge. "I have to pee..." and they will be leaving the love nest sooner than later. You want to know what they are thinking about? Odds are it's either a replay of what just happened or they are thinking about sleep, the game, or food. Men are simple creatures.

6) Oprah asks -- Why do some men cheat?
Richmond answers: Oh C'mon!!!! Really. Really? Because some men can. There's that whole "naked women parts" thing and the "hunter gatherer" thing. I think we should just encourage them to look at p0rn and play golf instead......

7) Oprah asks -- Why don't men want to cuddle?
Richmond answers: Well, they do want to cuddle... if cuddling means that they can get laid. If they have already gotten laid, then they have already moved on to the other important parts of the list -- Is the game still on? Am I tired? Am I hungry?... And so on.......

Look. There's no big secret here. Men like to solve things (aka answer the questions on the list). Women like to talk about or think about or feel things..... And most married guys have a number 8.
#8. Is my wife gonna yell at me if I.....?

Well, there you have it. And please don't get me wrong -- I happen to LOVE men. They can lift stuff and kill spiders and smell good and all of those things that I really like. I have purposely lived with The Man of my Choice for approximately one third of my life! I have also just gotten old enough not to expect a man to act like one of my girlfriends. Men are, well....MEN! And Men and women are (basic plumbing aside) very different.

As women (and thanks for trying, Oprah) I think we need to just stop trying to make things so hard.... Ahem, I mean difficult. Men are what they are. And we wouldn't like them as much if they were just like us.....


Last night was perfect for trick or treating. Little witches and ghosts, ninjas and grim reapers, Hogwarts students and fairies everywhere! (Darth Vader was also very popular.... and came in a variety of sizes!)

We had a blast! The only down side (if you can call it that) is that I think we ended up with as much candy as we started out with! Not that the girls are disappointed by that....