Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Where to even begin?

Lordy. The entire house is a sty and there is all this new stuff to find homes for.

Here is my list of priorities for today:

1. Go nowhere, unless it is possible to stow baby across the street while out. She is so burned out after four consecutive days of at least two hours per day (if not four) in car.

2. Rabbit cage, kitty litter box: cleaning of each and vacuuming near same.

3. Laundry and clean sheets.

4. Dishes and menu.

5. De-Christmas-izing house, beginning stages.

Where to even begin?! Everywhere I look there are heaps of things in desperate need of tidying.


Monday, December 25, 2006

Dora The Exploda

The baby got five Dora the Explorer dolls. Each one different. Wow.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Went to Dad's. Why? Why? WHY?

It was actually pretty fun although I have the usual bad taste in my mouth, for two reasons:

1. As always, there is no picture of the baby on the wall, fridge, mantel, etc. There are several of her children and grandchildren, but none of any of us. Dad said to us, "(Uh, ahem) Er, you might notice that there aren't any pictures of you around here, and, well, that's because I don't have any, so maybe you should go get some taken and then send them to me so I can put 'em up."

This was the point where I helpfully pointed out that I had sent him some of the baby when I had her 2-year portraits done, six months ago, and had a certain amount of satisfaction watching him squirm uncomfortably. "Oh, well, see, they weren't in a frame," he says.

In all fairness, I don't have any pictures of him up either and that's because my mother comes to visit and I don't want her to have to look at him or his evil wife.

2. They have a slightly ratty piano they are trying to get rid of and were going to try to gift it to us, not remembering that we have one already. They don't visit all that often but the piano is front and center when you walk in the door. Oh well. At any rate they decide that they'll try to give it to my brother, as I did mention that he had tried to borrow ours when his kids got big enough to be forced into lessons (being good Mormons they must have piano lessons), but they are living in his mother-in-law's house while the in-laws are out of state building their business, and there is a piano there, so they didn't want it either. So when I get up in the morning Dad tells me they had to scramble to come up with a gift for my brother, and ended up presenting him with a 30.06 rifle that Dad had had for a while but had never used.

3. Okay, so ask me what I got.

4. Nothing.

5. I'm not kidding.

6. They were going to give me a stinking cookbook. I unwittingly headed that off when I told a story about how last year J's parents gave all the menfolk in the family those hand-crank flashlights and the women got cookbooks. Yeah, I get a cookbook every single year from her, and since J is female also, she got one too, so we got 2 cookbooks and no flashlight. Man, I woulda loved one of those to put in the car or the emergency kit or whatever. How many freaking cookbooks do I need anyway?! OMG!! Last summer I sold about a dozen of them off at the garage sale, weird church-bazaar ones and little brand name one and the like.

7. So they gave the cookbook to my brother's wife and I got nothing.

8. So he gets a rifle and I get nothing? WTF!

My intent is to say nothing about the rifle, as that will only make me look greedy (when really I'm just kind of hurt that they "scrambled" to come up with a gift for him but not for me), but I will tell him in no uncertain terms that he needs to find the pictures of Delia that I am very careful to send him every single time I get them taken, and take the extra half hour to go get a frame (the nice people at the frame store will be happy to help) and put them up because it's getting old, year after year, to see no pictures of her and have to stare at the other grandkids' photos. One day the baby will be old enough to realize that she isn't featured on their walls like the other kids, and you can bet your ass that I will be letting Grandpa explain to her that he was too fucking lazy to go get a frame.

I am certain that his evil wife has no trouble remembering to get frames for the photos of the other grandkids.

OMG it's time now to forget all this and move on. He's never going to change.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Rules for Visiting the Germ Farm

Ahem! All right, people, listen up!

When visiting the toddler play area at the mall, please observe the following rules:

1. If your child is, like, two feet over the height restriction, please do not permit him/her and the pack of his/her friends to run amok among the toddlers, bashing them to the ground left right and center.

2. Please require your child to retain his/her socks and thus not place his/her grimy feet that have been God knows where all over the play structures that innocent toddlers such as my own will be touching with their hands. Their hands, which will be entering their mouths at some point. And also touching my stuff. Eeeuw!

3. If your child insists on jumping over the banquette and thus out of the germ farm, please remove him/her immediately. Like my kid needs to learn to jump over the banquette by watching your kid do it, repeatedly.

4. Kindly do not drop your (overage, overheight) child(ren) off at the play area to hang out, bored and unsupervised, while you shop or whatever. They clutter up the place and make it that much harder to see my own kid, who of course insists in playing right where I can't see her, no matter where I sit.

5. Better yet, go the hell home.

Grouchy Shopper with PMS and Recalcitrant Child.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Okay, so it wasn't cleaning the house and making it Norman Rockwell perfect like I had planned, because finishing the stupid rotten Christmas cards took for-effing-ever, but I did get a ton of things done today.

1. Aforementioned cards, which took until way past noon and involved not only addressing cards and cutting wallet sized photos down from the four-on-a-page layout they come in, but also finding something halfway interesting to say on most of them, as we did not really have the kind of year you write about in a Cheery Holiday Letter.
2. Mailing same at post office (happily no real line to speak of, advantage of mailing them so late).
3. Purchasing last minute gifts for kids I will see tomorrow: Rubik's Cube and Polly Pocket items (both requested).
4. Feed store run: 2 bales of pine shavings, 7lbs of oyster shell, extremely chic blue plastic tarp, and very detailed tiny figure of a guinea pig for baby's stocking.
5. Securing chicken coop/run in extremely chic blue plastic tarp for waterproofing/heat retention purposes.
6. Filling chicken feed/water/oyster shell dispensers.
7. Cleaning out coop and laying down fresh shavings.
8. Exchanging rancid seed in birdfeeder for fresh seed which birds may actually wish to consume instead of stopping by once and fleeing in disgust.
9. Hanging suet cake in wire cage.
10. Hanging stained glass thingy (formerly top of windchime which fell apart) outside where it will be pretty in the sun, something I've meant to do for ages and it's a miracle it hasn't gotten broken in the meantime.

Okay, so it seems like the average semi-productive person's typical afternoon, but for me? It's like someone slipped me amphetamines or something. Seriously, I had to find rope and bungee cords, cram myself into tight quarters around a smelly chicken hut in the cold wet yard, scoop damp stinking chicken-guano shavings out of coop, etc., instead of sitting here in utter comfort in front of lovely glowing screen of happiness. Was I possessed by spirit of some kind of barnyard Martha Stewart type or what? We may never know...

At any rate, house interior is a total shambles but chickens and outdoor songbirds are well cared for and I can sleep secure in my position of Avian Savior of Household.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Delia <3's Paint

She likes the bath, and more so if there is painting involved. Note the barest glimpse of cheek. :)

I just didn't know it was going to be this windy!

It's windy out there tonight. Gusts of up to 60mph, more in the mountains, and the power keeps flickering. I have lit some candles and put the flashlight next to them in case it goes out entirely. It has come very close a couple of times already.

Once we had a windstorm and went out with our friend The Aforementioned Katie, and evidently I goggled a bit overmuch at the mayhem (power poles blown down, sheds uprooted, shingles flying about) because Katie and my loving spouse made unrelenting fun of my about it. Hence the title of this post.

First Christmas photo (same chair!)

First Christmas photo.

Christmas photos!

This year's photos that will go out with the cards, which I will mail on Monday (late, but whaddaya gonna do).

Looking for a tree the first weekend in December.

Chuckling in her Christmas finery.

A favorite pastime: manipulating ornaments.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Cabin Boy

I should elaborate on the "Cabin Boy" tradition mentioned in my last post.

Long, long ago, when I was still in the bloom of my misspent youth, my friend Katie McNoLastNameToProtectHerPrivacy (for reasons which will shortly become clear) recommended a movie to me, saying she and her now-ex-husband had been to see it and it was really, really funny.

Shortly thereafter I and a group of friends, including my brother and I believe possibly even his future wife, ventured forth to the movies, and at my behest the one we chose was "Cabin Boy." Because Katie! Said it was funny!

Of course, it sucked. It was not funny. It did have a few funny moments, but they merely puncuated the unmitigated and unrelenting non-funny-ness of the rest of the movie in the way that frosting might punctuate the non-frostingness of a turd.

At the end of the movie I looked down the row to see each and every person in the group boring into me accusingly with their eyes: You did this to us!

Naturally in my own defense I placed the blame squarely where it belonged, firmly on Katie. My brother and I have, whenever given the opportunity, ribbed her unceasingly about this over the years, and she has staunchly defended her position, maintaining that it was a funny movie despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

At any rate, it finally came out on DVD a few years ago and I was given a copy for my birthday which is in September. Naturally I passed the same copy back to my brother at Christmas time, and it has been in circulation ever since. I am in possession of it at this time and am gleefully planning its return to his household, probably concealed inside another gift or smuggled into his coat at the family get-together on Christmas Eve. If we were going to his house I would probably find a way to put it under his pillow or prop it up on his toilet seat, but we'll be at my Mom's this year.

And as for Katie, well, our friendship remains intact, based firmly on our opposing views regarding "Cabin Boy."

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas Meme

Stolen from a blog linked to a blog that I read. As these things are viral I don't think it's necessary to credit where I stole it from, as now I do not remember the link....

1. Hot Chocolate or Egg Nog? Hot chocolate. Mom always made it from scratch on Christmas morning, and now I do too. With marshmallows. .... Oh, and egg nog? Nasty. My brother and I call it Gag Nog.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? A combination of both.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored lights on tree. Both on house in the years that I am not too lazy to put lights on house.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Only if having a Christmas party which, um, I've never had.
5. When do you put your decorations up? When we decorate the tree. We bring the tree home, get out the boxes of decor, and have at it in a frantic orgy of holiday cheer.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? There are a few cookies that I enjoy that my Mom makes, plus fudge... mmm, fudge... the "cheater" kind on the jar of marshmallow creme. I was fully an adult before I realized there was another kind, and I like the cheater kind better.
7. Favorite Holiday memory? Going to the tree lighting in the city square, and coming home to find that Mom had forgotten to turn off the stove. The turkey carcass that she was boiling down for soup had blackened and stuck to the bottom of the pot, and the house was filled with acrid black smoke. We joke about the Turkey Cremation Chamber to this day.
.... Okay, another more appropriate memory might be the year, I think I was in junior high, that it snowed and was icy and windy for the week before Christmas. Not characteristic in our part of the country. It was brutal weather and getting around was treacherous. I recall accompanying grandparents to the store, in their car absolutely reeking of cigarette smoke and with the heat blowing full bore because the heater was semi-broken and the fan had two speeds: high, and off. At any rate the weather broke on Christmas night and we all went for a walk, it was still snowing but the wind had died and it was so peaceful and beautiful out. Like magic.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I do not remember.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, usually chosen by Mom. Sometimes it was two, one was pajamas and the other was a toy of some kind.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Usually in one day; I am permitted to put the lights on without help from anyone as I have a way I prefer it to be done. Honestly I am not a control freak! I just like the lights to be kind of wound in amongst the branches, thus concealing the cord somewhat, rather than draped loosely around the tree so that the cord shows a lot. After that we all hang ornaments, to the extent that a toddler hangs ornaments.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Since it rarely snows here, I use it as an Event. I stock up on the essentials (milk, bread, chocolate) and stay home. Nobody here can drive in the snow and you are much better off leaving your car in the driveway.
12. Can you ice skate? It makes my feet hurt.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? At the time, probably the year my brother and I got 10-speed bicycles. But last year I got tanzanite earrings and it was the first time I cried getting a gift.
14. What's the most important thing? Being with family and friends, and letting the important people in your life know that you love them. Oh, and the whole Jesus thing.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Must I choose just one?!
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Exchanging the same copy, unopened and in perfect condition, of the movie "Cabin Boy" with my brother. Generally we conceal it in some way.
17. What tops your tree? A little angel ornament.
18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? Both, kinda. The giving more and more, especially now that there is a child to spoil.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? "Sleigh Ride" for a lot of reasons, among them the jingly bells.
20. Candy canes, Yuck or Yum? I like about one candy cane. A small one.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Stole this from Smart Mouth, but I'm not doing the tagging:

1. Where were you 1 hour ago? Eating dinner (kosher reduced fat hot dog on a bun, frozen veggies, yes I know: not the epitome of higher nutrition)

2. Who will be your next kiss? The baby, bedtime is shortly

3. Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you? Yes, a tiny inch-high molded plastic baby doll from the Playmobil "Holiday Home" set we bought last year on clearance and broke out just this evening, and with which she has been obsessively playing all evening. She brought me the doll for reasons that are unclear to me.

4. When is the last time you went to the mall? Wednesday morning for storytime at the mall branch of the library, a standing date with a stay at home dad and his daughter who is about a month younger than ours.

5. Are you wearing socks right now? Nope. It's 40 degrees out and I am wearing capri pants and Keen clogs.

6. When was the last time you went out of town? Went to Ikea a few weeks ago for fun, it's up near Seattle.

7. Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days? I wish.

8. What was the last thing you had to drink? A Coke.

9. What are you wearing right now? Khaki cargo capris, red v-neck tshirt, hoodie sweater, Keens.

10. Have you been in a car wash? Yes, in a car being washed.

11. Last thing you ate? See question #1.

12. Where were you last week on Saturday? Lab class, then the Christmas tree farm.

13. Have you bought any clothing items in the last week? No.

14. When was the last time you ran? More than a few feet? Last summer.

15. What is the last sporting event you watched? I don't watch them.

16. What is your favorite class? Human Anatomy & Physiology

17. Your dream vacation? Several months in the British Isles, then the rest of Europe, just seeing sights and hanging out. If that's not feasible, a few weeks in the Florida Keys might be nice...

18. Last 3 people's houses you were in? Sister-in-law's across the street, SAHD mentioned in mall question (dropping off/picking up baby when he watched her so I could study), my brother's house (again dropping off/picking up baby so I could attend a training for work).

19. How old are your parents? 60 and 61

21. Do you miss anyone? My good friends Graham and Liz who live in Juneau, but none of us have lived in the same town since Graham and I were in high school! But I wish we lived closer.

22.Last play you saw? Lordy. Probably "Angels in America" like a hundred years ago.

23. What are your plans for today? Put baby to bed, put wife to bed, play WoW until I go to bed. Whoopee.

24.Who is the last person that commented on your page? yellojkt

25. Ever go to camp? No, except Outdoor School which was part of our 6th grade year in my school district.

26. Were you an honor roll student in school? Yes.

27. What do you want to know about the future? When will we pull out of Iraq?

28. Are you wearing any perfume or cologne? Not today but I did wear it once last week. It's a knockoff of Anais Anais that my dad picked up in Bahrain when he was there for the first Gulf thingy, long long ago. It is in this swell little bottle with a screw-off goldtone top, and then you wiggle this wand out that has the perfume on it which you then apply to your wrist. The bottle lives in this little purple velvet box and is hand-labeled "Anis Anis" in blue ball point on a plain white tag. It's pretty cool... I use it sparingly.


30. Where is your best friend located? Besides my better half, I'm not sure who I would call my Best Friend, because I have some very warm friendships with a few people. Graham and Liz in Juneau, Karen and John here in town, etc. Can't we all be best friends?

31. Do you have a tan? Redheaded pasty freckly girls don't tan.

32. How old do you want to be/were you when you have kids? I was 37.

33. Do you collect anything? Not really.

34. Last time you got stopped by a cop or pulled over? Um, I think it was driving through the Yukon Territory, going a little too fast. Did not get a ticket.

35. Have you ever drank your soda from a straw? If it's in a cup with ice, I prefer to. If it's in a can or bottle, never.

36. How do you like your drinks? Cold Corona with some lime, cold Hefeweizen with lemon, hot latte' with vanilla. I drink a beer about once a year.

37. Do you like hot sauce? No, no, no.

38. Last time you took a shower? today.

39. Who do you have a crush on? Hm. Brendan Fraser is kinda cute. Angelina Jolie, strictly physically though.

40.What is your mood? A little weary.

41. Are you someone's best friend? Not sure. Hope so. Besides the wife of course.

42. Are you rich? Comfortable for the most part, materially speaking.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

More empirical data

Got another email from Dad. I think at this point I don't block them just for the perverse joy I get out of picking them apart.

What I would like to emphasize in this email is the steaming hot guilt tag at the end, which I have emboldened for ease of identification.

Here goes... Sorry...


Before U were thought of or time had begun,
God stuck U in the name of His Son.

And each time U pray, you'll see it's true,
You can't spell out JesUs and not include U.

You're a pretty big part of His wonderful name,
For U, He was born; that's why He came.

And His great love for U is the reason He died.
It even takes U to spell crUcified.

Isn't it thrilling and splendidly grand
He rose from the dead, with U in His plan?

The stones split away, the gold trUmpet blew,
and this word resUrrection is spelled with a U.

When JesUs left earth at His upward ascension,
He felt there was one thing He just had to mention.

"Go into the world and tell them it's true
That I love them all - Just like I love U."

So many great people are spelled with a U,
Don't they have a right to know JesUs too?

It all depends now on what U will do,
He'd like them to know,
But it all starts with U.

Will YOU pass it on.

When Jesus died on the cross he was thinking of you!

If you are one of the 7% who will stand up for him, forward this.
93% of people won't forward this"

.... Okay, so that kinda speaks for itself. The guilt tag at the end seems to be a fairly constant feature of these emails. I'm sure the author(s) view this as a "challenge" but I consider it to be more of a "snotty little hassle" and have yet to forward a single such email, strictly out of principle, but in small part also due to the extreme sappiness and/or offensivity of the content.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Cuteness Abounds

OMFG, my WoW realm server is down! OH THE HUMANITY!!!

So, I have to post a few photos of super adorable cuteness here on my lonely blog instead.

We went to get the Christmas tree on Saturday. The tree farm was a total zoo, packed with muggles etc., but we managed to find a lovely specimen and end its life mercifully quickly. Then we had to stand around (temp in the 40's btw) and wait for SIL, cranky toddler niece (nearly 2), and Future Woodchucks of America hopeful nephew (age 6) to slaughter their tree. It took a lot longer for them owing to the nephew's insistence on doing as much of it as he could. Next year we're bringing lawn chairs and a propane heater, I think. At any rate, cuteness abounded and I got a few pics.

We also managed to hit the leaf pile again this year, just before Halloween, and here you see the results:

Tell me she isn't perfectly marvelous. I dare you. :)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Just In Case

Just in case life wasn't crappy enough, we have been roped into driving up to see my father and the evil harpy he calls his wife. It's four hours each way. We're going up the Friday before Christmas and coming back about 24 hours later. I do not want to cede even the tiniest portion of my Christmas Eve to these people... I have the good excuse that we want to go to our own church that day. They can hardly argue with that. And I'd like to see them try.

Then Christmas Eve we'll drive a little over an hour to see my mom, and then on Christmas day we'll schlep over to J's parents' house which is a good 45 minutes.

I hate all this driving. Next year people can come to see us instead.