Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Thankful Thoughts

What a pleasant Thanksgiving weekend we've been enjoying. I cooked...and well, I might add. Stuffed and started cooking the bird around 9:00AM, then hopped on the treadmill for 40 minutes. May I announce I have lost my first 10 lbs. since starting SparkPeople, by the way! Woot, go me! So anyway, The power went out around noon, which was rather annoying considering our electric stove (I miss my gas stove.) My brother was concerned about the possible lack of mashed potatoes. We hurriedly transferred our baking turkey to the grill until the power came back on around 1PM. Mashed potatoes saved. We ate around 5, and I was conscious for the whole thing (did I ever mention the Thanksgiving I didn't eat all day before, then consumed a glass of wine (which turned into a bottle) while preparing the food? I made a lot of loving phone calls that night. And had to eat cold leftovers.) My darling nephew and his family came over for dessert, and a game of Yahtzee, of course, at which A thoroughly kicked our butts. My brother and I sat up chatting for a few hours after I got the kids to bed, which was probably the best part. Friday the boys went golfing, we ate pizza for dinner and watched Ironman, which is by far the best superhero movie I've ever seen (don't argue with me over that, I'm not exactly a superhero purist.) My husband just took my brother and BOTH kids golfing now, which means I am well and thoroughly ALONE...I shall read a few blogs and do a little crafting before meeting them at my mother's to decorate her tree and eat dinner. Ooh, I got my holiday lights up yesterday while the guys were golfing too, which is funny since I hate keeping up the holiday decor for long...but I was cleaning the garage, and they were there...
So. I am thankful for...
  • my family, of course.
  • Duke Energy, for getting the power back on.
  • Robert Downey Jr. for being him (and rather hot, at that.)
  • Eli's Cheesecake (if you're in Chicago, and you like cheesecake, check it out.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Only my daughter...

I actually meant to post this last month, but now is as good a time as any.
On October 12, the Studmuffin and I took our kids and my nephew to the zoo, meeting nephew's mom and brother there. We hadn't been there long - I think we had been to the playground area, taken pictures on a large pumpkin, and visited the rhinos and a few tigers. We were in the tiger canyon area, looking at the white tigers when the Girlchild says, "hey, I'm stuck!" I tell her to unstick herself, she can't. Her knee was wedged in the slats of the fence around the enclosure. I gave her a tug, she didn't come loose, and she started to whimper that it hurt. The Studmuffin tries to maneuver her going. She is crying by now that it really hurts, and Studmuffin (my engineer who can figure anything out) tells me to go find someone. Monkeybutt runs off one direction, I go the other (it took me forever to find someone.) I come back with a maintenance guy, but by that time, Studmuffin has the GC propped a bit so it didn't hurt anymore, and they have two employees with a screwdriver staring at the situation, trying to figure it out. Studmuffin informs them that they will need a socket wrench to loosen the board, and after poking at the slat a bit, they agree and call someone else to come with the right tool. (the mood has lightened by this point, A and I are giggling with GC a bit, saying only one of my children could get themselves into this situation, and I have taken out my camera and taken pictures, for the scrapbook, of course.)
Finally, a security guy comes along with the right tool, and they loosen the slat and get my darling daughter out. Everyone was happy. I have a new page to add to my scrapbook. And everytime we turned around that day, there was a security guy following us. I can just imagine the the radio conversations that day, "Do you have that troublesome family in view?" "No, do you?" "Find them, stat! We gotta keep an eye on this group."
I'm so proud.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Another one of those mornings I just can't sleep. Which means I can catch up on reading and writing blogs, but it also means by 2PM I will be very tired. It being so early and all, I am really not feeling the intelligent pratter vibe, if you get my meaning, so this will be a stream of consciousness blog. Which can be useful in it's own way...
Yesterday and the day before I walked on the treadmill for 50 and 43 minutes, respectively. All because of Sparkpeople challenges. I felt very good after. I plan to work out today, as well...probably aerobics, though. My legs are sore, but in a good way.
We had our MOMS Club open house on Monday. I put a lot of work into that, and I found myself rather stressed, which is odd for me, as I am all about the entertaining. It ended up being a decent event; we only had 3 new people come, but we had several existing members there, and 2 of the new people joined. So I guess it was a success.
I need to get my holiday cards started. Have you all started your shopping yet? I can't believe it is so late in the year...time is seriously flying. By next year I hope to be accomplished enough to make most of my gifts. I wish I was a craftier person...I mean, I make a lot of crafts now, but they're not exactly good enough to give to someone else. Everytime I put together a scrapbook page, or make a piece of jewelry I think, wow, someone else could do this so much better than I can. Which is not a big deal when it's for me, but I don't want to stick someone else with my sub-par garbage. Although I did make a pair of earrings for a friend's birthday last Friday, and they turned out pretty super-cute. My friend A and I have already planned some sewing lessons for January, so maybe I'll be sewing like a fiend by next year, as well.
This basement is a mess. I should clean it. Maybe later.
My stream seems to have dwindled. It wasn't flowing very smoothly, anyway.
Have a good day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Ok, admittedly, I have not been feeling too terribly thankful today. My knee hurts, I'm not sleeping well, blah blah. But I said I was going to start a new "thing", so darn it, I'm going to start it.
So, today I am thankful for the following:

  • Libraries. Purveyors of free entertainment since...well...whenever libraries started. Maybe I'll look that up. (apparently, libraries made up of actual books, rather than documents, first appeared in Greece in the 5th century, B.C.)
  • My new SparkPeople friends. They are terribly supportive, and even dealt with my whining yesterday. And they have never even met me. But we all know we all have "been there" if you catch my drift.
  • Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread/Muffin mix. It's really good. And I can make it up really fast tomorrow morning for the moms and kids who will be coming over to make a craft, for which I just cut out 16 paper bag cornucopias.
  • Kroger, for the free paper bags.

Dude, don't judge me. I never said these would be deep.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

One more Obama-mama post...

Hanging as I do with people mostly of the same mindset, I have read a number of blogs celebrating our new president-elect's victory which are much better written than anything I can compose. I'll only assure you all that for the first time in a long time, I am not feeling so terribly sarcastic about politics. Rather, I am...hopeful.

Taking part in CNN's rather silly "hologram" project aside, Will.I.Am makes me smile. Thank you to my friend at Eat,play,love for bringing this gem to my attention:

Allow me to share my experience with you...

It's late, and it's time to go to bed. But I felt like sharing with you all the lovely moment I had this evening.
First, I spent today immersed in a flurry of kid-related activities. 3 hours were spent drowning in the sugar- and token-fueled insanity of Chuck E. Cheese. We celebrated my nephew's birthday, and he is worth every second of suffering, but I came home ready to knock my head against the wall if it would rid my brain of the echoes of electronic beeps, the screams of young children, and the memories of the jerky, robotic movements of the mechanical mouse and his equally decrepid robot back-up band playing unfortunate '80s music. I had an hour of the relative peace of only my own children beating on each other before we descended upon another child-infested horror - the school fun fair. Or, as it's called at our particular school, the "Mann Mingle." We had it all, friends. Long lines, screams, shouts, and begging of children, a wall-to-wall packed silent auction (where I did score a 6 month membership to a local health club for $40, so I'm pretty freaking thrilled.) I was sooooo ready to leave (5 minutes after we got there.) Got the kiddles to bed, and treated myself to several hours of blog-surfing, scrapbooking, and then, bliss.
I sat at my kitchen table, daintily picking apart that most delectable of treats, the eclair.
I get my eclairs from Emerson's, a local bakery. Now, Emersons does not do everything right. Honestly, most of their pastries leave something to be desired, but their eclairs are sinful. The pastry is light and flaky, the chocolate coating is thick and amazing, and the cream. Oh, sweet heaven, the cream is decadent. It is heavier than a whipping cream, sweet and vanilla. The pastry is almost overstuffed with the cream. I have a woman's appreciate of all things dessert, but these eclairs are a true Experience. I savored my eclair whilst perusing my new Scrapbooks, Etc, in the absolute silence of my kitchen.
I feel well recovered from my trying day. Now I shall go to bed and dream of creative scrapbook pages and sweet vanilla cream. Good night.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I would like to start a new feature here - a post every Thursday expressing my gratitude for something, or many things. I'm thinking it will enrich my soul.
But before I do that, many of you are aware that the candidate I supported wholeheartedly won the election this past Tuesday. I was, of course, thrilled, and excited, and all those predictable emotions. I need, however, to describe how pleasant election day was for me and my family this year. Monkeybutt has been very interested in this year's election. He carefully researched each candidate and decided, for himself, which one he hoped would win. Tuesday morning, the kids and I went to our local polling place to vote. The line was not terribly long, and I took the kids into the booth with me. We discussed the process on or way to Panera to eat bagels. Whilst eating bagels, we discussed other positions to be filled, and who we thought would do the job well. My Girl Child suggested our youngest cat might make a good President. Monkeybutt suggested our girl cat for "the head judge person of the Supreme Court, because she likes to slap random people around. Is there a head judge person?" I said I thought there was, but I wasn't sure, as I am not so informed on the processes of the Supreme Court. The guy sitting next to us happened to teach Criminal Justice at UC, happened to be writing a test at the time, and (happened to be very very cute.) He informed us that yes, there is a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and it was likely our cat would be a fine candidate. The kids left the table to put their trash away and I thanked cutie professor guy. He told me, no problem, and my children seem "very intelligent. It's gratifying to see." The man captured my heart then and there. I mumbled something about thank you, they just talk a lot, and left, grinning the rest of the day.
Anyway, the rest of the day was relatively pleasant, and how gratifying was it to come home from an election party at 11:30PM, after watching the excellent and moving concession speech by John McCain, to find my Monkeybutt, snoring on the couch with the tv tuned to election coverage? Sigh. I'm so proud.
Ok, so I am very thankful for that day, for my son's interest in more than just his own four walls, for Barack Obama, and for cutie professor guy at Panera.
I am also thankful for the unseasonably warm weather we have been enjoying, my new microwave that can pop popcorn without burning it, and my sweet muffin-noodle nephew, Ben who celebrated his 2nd birthday today!
Happy Birthday, Ben!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Day!

I just want to remind everyone, no matter who you are for, Go Vote on 11/4/08! No excuses, I'll watch your kids for you, just go vote!