Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mostly Wordless Wednesday... Lilac Festival

The lilacs were well past their peak this year, but the skies were blue and clear, the sun was warm, the company was delightful and the artichokes French were, as always, delicious...  Even in an off year, the Lilac Festival is still one of my favorites in a region known for a multitude of festivals.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lost, Shmost, it's Sweeps Week on Cat TV, too, you know...

Yes, Spring means "sweeps week" for our local Cat TV stations (aka windows on the lower levels of the house).  Besides the regularly scheduled programming of Birdies, Squirrels and Chipmunks, we also get the big guns - BUNNIES!!

Though, all the hours of sweeps week excitement do tend to tire a kitteh right out............

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wipe Out!

Hubby and I took a break from Paintathon 2010 this afternoon to go outside with Kiddo and do a little bike ride practicing.

I present to you Before...

and After...


Yep, Kiddo got going good and fast heading down our street (she's still a little wobbly, so until she's mastered a more steady balance as well as the whole concept of "braking" so she's not doing a Fred Flintstone and stopping by dragging her feet on the ground, she's limited to biking in our driveway and on our street only) and she experienced her first major Wipe Out.  (For the record, she was totally Meryl Streeping up that pout up there, and it took four separate tries before she could maintain the "sad" face long enough for me to capture it.  Still, though, ouch to the large, skinned and bruised area on her forearm.)

I'm a little nervous because Kiddo has swimming lessons tomorrow after school, and in the past, boo-boos of any significance + pool water = MAJOR freak outs.  And this?  Definitely qualifies as a boo-boo of significance.  We've had freak outs over microscopic paper cuts in the past, so there's a precedent here.  I spoke to Kiddo about this tonight, because frankly, if she's going to get to the side of the pool and lose her shizzle, I'd rather not even go.  We decided that I will buy some large, waterproof bandaids tomorrow and she'll go to swimming.  We'll see how that works out........

Speaking of Paintathon 2010, here's a summary of what we've done in the past 10 days:

2 coats of primer for the downstairs bathroom
2 coats of primer for the living room
2 coats of primer for the front hall closet
3 coats of primer for the foyer
2 coats of primer for the dining room
2 coats of primer for the upstairs hall and downstairs stairwell
2 coats of primer for the trim for all the above rooms
2 coats of primer for the railings
1 coat of ceiling paint for the living room
1 coat of ceiling paint for the dining room
1 coat of ceiling paint for the upstairs hall and downstairs stairwell

1 coat of ceiling paint for the foyer
1 coat of ceiling paint for the front hall closet
1 coat of ceiling paint for the downstairs bathroom
1 coat of ceiling paint for the dining room and 3/4 of the living room
replace the light fixture in the dining room

As of the end of today, Hubby's got a Perma Claw thing going on with his right hand from so many hours wielding the paint brush, while I am a solid three inches shorter from multiple neck vertebrae getting compressed from rolling out the ceilings.  Also, we're tired!  The good news is we are pretty much right on schedule with our rather ambitious To Do list for this round of home renovations.  We've got two more weekends to get everything else done before the big Secret Agent themed birthday party (aka "Operation 7 Candles") and I'm thinking we'll get there.  The day *after* Operation 7 Candles?  We will be napping.  Majorly, majorly napping.

Hope your weekend was full of sunshine and paint- and boo-boo free!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Call me Marcia Brady

I know all you moms out there are hoping for something fantastic for Mother's Day this weekend (at least all you moms who live here in the US where Mother's Day is being celebrated this weekend).

Well, you'll never guess what my kid gave me for Mother's Day on Thursday.  Yes, it was a few days early so I'd have that much more time to enjoy it...............

She gave me this - a possibly broken nose.  I know I definitely heard a crunching sound as she tripped while climbing into my lap on the couch to read her homework book to me and her rock-hard skull came crashing down into my nose.

To quote the ever-groovy Marcia Brady: "OH MY NOSE!"

I confess I yowled in pain, which was a lot better than the word that popped, unbidden, into my head at the moment of impact.  *That* word would have caused a lot of trouble, so hallelujah that my record of Not Swearing in Front of the Kid remains intact.  Let's just say that the word I'd been thinking has been redubbed as "Monkey Fighting" or "Monday to Friday" in the broadcast TV version of that piece of cinematic dreck Snakes on a Plane...

So, I managed to only scream "OWWWWWWWWWW!" as my eyes began tearing of their own accord.  Of course it was entirely accidental and Kiddo felt *terrible* about it.  (She actually asked me specifically to please tell Hubby that she "felt really, really terrible about it" when I related the story to him when he got home later that night.)  I immediately went for an ice pack and after a few moments, returned to the couch where Kiddo quite gingerly set herself down next to me and proceeded to read me another scintillating book full of facts about the life cycle of a frog.

I kept icing it and took some ibuprofen for good measure, and by three hours later, it looked like this:

It was hard to tell if I was going to wind up with black eyes, but I took the lack of a nosebleed as a good sign and went off to bed.  Sleep was not restful for me, though, because I am a habitual stomach-sleeper, face down on my pillows, so although I carefully arranged myself on my side with my nose well clear of the pillows, as soon as I was deeply asleep enough, I'd automatically roll over and then OW OW OW wake myself up, wait for my eyes to stop watering, carefully rearrange myself on my side and repeat until morning.  A few times, I felt my nose running and though "Oh crap, now I do have a nosebleed" but it was just a plain, old, garden-variety runny nose, likely due to all the tears that my rolling onto my face was causing.

When daylight arrived, I did a quick survey - nothing seemed to have fallen off or swelled up to any grotesque proportions, and my pillowcase was delightfully clear of any bloody nose type stains.  I went into the bathroom to observe what time had wrought -

Whew, no black eyes and the bruising and swelling weren't too bad, either.

So yes, for Mother's Day, I get to channel my inner Marcia Brady.  She was so pretty and cool and popular - who wouldn't want to be Marcia, Marcia, Marcia? She did get to hang out with Davy Jones and have him sing to her, after all...

Now, while you're doubtless sitting there wishing your kid could accidentally be so thoughtful for you, let me wow you further - do you know what I'm going to be doing tomorrow?  What my big plans are for Mother's Day?  Well, hang on to your hats, because I'm going to be................ painting!  (Are you jealous yet?)  I'm actually rather excited about it, just because it means we're making progress on our renovation project list.  Our current To Do List has a deadline on it - we want to have everything completed before Kiddo's seventh birthday party, which we're having here at the house (eep!) and to which Kiddo's inviting her whole class, Daisy troop and a few other friends (I believe we have 30 kids total who will be invited - double eep!) and which will have a Secret Agent theme.  Speaking of the theme, I'm a bit miffed because I entered a contest to win food and beverages for a kid's birthday party through a group of organic food companies, and while I didn't win, they still posted my idea as one of their top "ideas we love" - what's up with that?  You loved my idea but don't want to give me a few cases of organic snacks?  Grrrr.  (You can find their list here, and my idea is #3 - the Kim Possible Secret Agent theme. THIRD on the list, but I didn't win.  There were multiple winners, btw.  No, I'm not bitter.  Okay, yes, I am a little bitter.  I was so hoping to win!!)  Anyway, we want to have the foyer, living room, dining room, hallway, stairways and downstairs bathroom done by then - we've got 3 more weekends before the party.  Then there's the actual party, which is going to take some planning and preparation.  There's also a bunch of school/PTSA and Girl Scout stuff going on in the next three weeks and the yard which won't stop needing mowing, just in case I thought I was going to be relaxing any time soon.

So, tomorrow when all you other moms out there are having mani/pedis or champagne brunches with George Clooney or hot stone massages or just sleeping in until noon and then watching whatever you want on TV completely undisturbed with snacks and beverages brought to you on demand, think of me, Marcia Brady with a paint roller.  I'll raise a gallon of primer in a toast to you and wish you a very happy Mother's Day!

(Okay, I should mention in all seriousness and officially for the record that Hubby has said we will be going out for breakfast tomorrow morning, after Kiddo lobbied hard for "going out to eat for all three meals" for Mother's Day.  I also know that Kiddo has a Mother's Day present for me hidden in her closet, as I've been expressly forbidden from looking in her closet before tomorrow.  So, I don't mean to imply that they're not planning on doing anything in terms of celebrating tomorrow, just that once we're done with the celebrating, lots of painting type stuff will be taking place.)

I will leave you with a short video clip that has had all three of us Smiths cracking up this weekend - 


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Random Thoughts Tuesday (because it is still, barely, Tuesday)

Once Lost had finished blowing my mind and breaking my heart this evening, I'd intended to come in here to the office, shut off my computer, grab my book and head up to bed.  (I'm reading the latest Jodi Picoult, by the way, anyone else read it?  I'm about 3/4 of the way through right now, so please, no spoilers.  I'm still wondering Did He or Didn't He?  Or Did His Brother?...)

Well, one thing led to another - or more precisely, one click led to another, and here I still sit, almost two hours later.  Time Management and Decent Bedtime FAIL.  So, instead, I'm going to throw out a Random Thoughts Tuesday (now with rambly intro, woot!) like my bloggy friend Cristin does so well.  (I know it isn't Cristin's original idea, but she's the one I read regularly who does this the most, so I'm going to leave it with her.)

Here goes!

I've developed a new landscaping style in the past few weeks.  I call it the "Yard Mullet" and it is achieved by mowing the front and sides of one's yard, but leaving the back long.  I find it's easiest to create the Yard Mullet by attempting to mow when under impossible time constraints and if there's Weather coming.  You know, with a capital W, like last week's spring snow, or this morning's thunder, lightning and hail storm that blew in out of seemingly nowhere.  Yep, from the street, it's all business - neatly trimmed, nary a dandelion bobbing, but in back?  Jungle party!

(For the record, I *do* go back out and get the yard de-mulleted eventually.  It's not like my property is the equivalent of a 90's Billy Ray Cyrus or anything.)

Feel free to try it.  It's just retro enough to be cool, and I really think it will catch on.  I mean, have you seen some of what's considered fashionable these days?  I mean, for Pete's sake, jeggings?!?!


Speaking of cutting, Kiddo needed a trim, and when I took her in to the salon yesterday afternoon, she asked if she could have it cut even shorter than it had been when we had it bobbed back in March.  I said yes, and lo and behold, another two-two and a half inches hit the floor.  It still looks pretty dang cute, if I do say so myself, but it is reverting to its wavier self now that it is shorter, which is bugging Kiddo (who didn't listen to her mama, even though Mama always is right, heh).  She's going to lose her mind when we go to Florida this summer and her shorter 'do meets the southern, summer humidity!

But in the meantime, it looks like this:

If she continues to want it shorter at every consecutive haircut appointment, I figure she'll be channeling Demi's G.I. Jane look by the time she's eight.


Back to the topic of yards and specifically dandelions - do you want to know why I'm now convinced dandelions are EVIL?  Because last week, I pulled a handful out of a planting bed, all of them not-yet-silver-and-open, and tossed them in the yard debris pile at the curb.  Two days later when I was out getting the mail, I glanced over at the debris pile and discovered this:

Yes.  They'd continued maturing and had opened even after being picked.  Every single, last one of them.  WTH?!?!  That is just so not right!!

It would also help my yard out considerably if my beloved daughter didn't find blowing dandelions irresistible.  Grrrr.  I guess this is karmic payback for all the dandelions I blew in my youth, but still.  Oy.


I'm on the school carnival committee, and part of my job is to solicit businesses for donations for our raffle.  I haaaaaaaate soliciting.  Even for a good cause (which it is) and even for a nonprofit (ditto).  I've told myself I don't know how many times in the past week I'm going to get out there and get it over with, but each time something (something totally legitimate, like Kiddo coming down with strep and me coming down with a nasty but fairly brief stomach bug) has prevented me from going.  Now I've sworn to myself that I'm going to go tomorrow and do it.  Maybe typing the words and hitting the Publish Post button will help reinforce my resolve.  Why can't the donation fairy just turn up at my doorstep with some artfully packaged gift baskets and a fat stack of gift cards?  Sigh...


This afternoon was our monthly Daisy Scout Troop meeting.  This fact should not ever be a surprise to me, seeing as how I'm the troop leader.  Yet once again, I found myself looking down at Kiddo's Daisy tunic and at a baggie of patches that needed to be affixed, just so, to said tunic, just an hour before I had to leave to go to the meeting.  I don't know if this counts as Mom Fail, Daisy Troop Leader Fail, or both...

So, I was determined (as I always am in that final 60 minutes before I have to leave when I discover anew I haven't attached last month's acquisitions to the dang tunic yet) that I would get them on before I had to go.  I dragged out the ironing board and plugged in the iron.  Checked the contents of the baggie - only two patches, not too hard.  I began doing the larger one that needed affixing to the back of the tunic first.  I ironed and I ironed and I ironed, and the damn thing just *wasn't* sticking.  It took me over three minutes before it finally dawned on me - this was a sew-on patch, not an iron-on patch.  All the ironing in the world wasn't going to stick that bad boy on.  If only I hadn't burned my hands and fingers fourteen times while attempting the impossible.  Sheesh.  I abandoned it in favor of the more important Daisy petal that had to be stuck onto the front.  This one I *knew* is an iron-on, as I've already put eight of its brethren on the front in a rather haphazard, circular formation per Daisy Uniform Guidelines.  I lined it up and began ironing away.  It isn't adhering, either.  ?!?!?  Yes, I kept attempting to iron it on for another good minute before pausing, engaging the rusty wheels in my skull that pass for a brain, and flipping the petal over.  It still had the backing paper on.  Whoops.

I burned my fingertips mightily removing the now-nuclear-hot backing paper from the tiny petal, but I got that dang thing on before I left.  Of course we came home from the meeting with two more petals that need to be sewn on, so I purposely left the iron and ironing board set up and set Kiddo's tunic on it when we got home, because this time?  I'm not waiting until the afternoon of the meeting.  I might as well get them on before the scabs heal from the burns I incurred today!


Has anyone out there actually bought and tried those sneakers that are supposed to help your posture and tighten muscles and help you get in shape?  I will admit to being intrigued whenever I see an ad in Entertainment Weekly or a commercial on TV.  I'm more than halfway tempted to get a pair, but I'd love to know if they live up even vaguely to the hype.  (Sorry, Joe Montana, you don't cut it for me, endorsement-wise.  I'd like to hear from a real person, preferably a woman, whose opinion I could trust more readily.)

Whoops, now it's Wednesday.  I really need to get to bed.  I'm meeting (in my carnival committee persona) with the principal tomorrow, and I don't want to be either racoon-eyed and yawning or so jacked up on caffeine I can't sit still, and I fear at this point, it's going to be one of those options or the other......................