Friday, January 29, 2010


After an ass chewing from a family member over yesterday's blog post, I'm only offering an update (and some cute photos of Binny) and refuse to add fuel to the fire.

Both of my grandparents are back home and hopefully getting some much needed rest. I haven't made any plans to go see them yet but I've been in contact with the rest of the family and we are ALL trying to come up with ways to make their lives easier. We're not all on the same page yet but I know we all love my grandparents very much and only want the best for them.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Double Whammy

My aunt called tonight to say that Grandpa Conrad is still in the hospital and hoping to come home tomorrow (good news) but now Grandma Dee is also in the hospital, as a patient. She was there visiting Grandpa today when she decided to run down to the gift shop to get Grandpa a magnifying glass so he could read the newspaper but never came back up to his room... She was feeling dizzy and weak so she went to the ER and now she has been admitted as well. I don't know many details as none of our family is there with them but from the bits and pieces I have heard, it sounds like it's nothing too serious but apparently serious enough that they both are in the damn hospital! My first instinct is to get my ass out there and help out any way I can and say fuck it to the plans I have to go out for their Anniversary party in March but wouldn't you know it, I came down with a rip-snorter of a cold today so that will hold me back at least a few days.

My mom and Aunt are hesitant for me to go out there, not sure why considering neither one of them can make it out any time soon. My feeling is that some family is better than no family. They both have been fighting like cats and dogs over that damn anniversary party too which I'm sure is no good for my grandparents' fragile hearts. Why can't we just cut the crap and work together as a family? Screaming into phone receivers and hanging up when you don't like what you hear is NOT helping. I know this is hard. It sucks too, but this is life and if we have learned anything from those two wonderful grandparents of mine is that you treat people with love and respect. Whether we like it or not, we all get old and we all get sick and eventually we all will die. It's how we deal with these situations that shapes a family and one so tiny as ours needs to work together and stay close, if not for each other, for my grandparents. They need us whether they'll come out and ask for the help or not.

It is not my intention to make make even bigger waves by writing this all down for everyone to see but I needed to get it out and this little blog of mine is my version of one of those squishy stress relief balls. Thanks for listening.

Wardrobe Wednesday

Saturday afternoon as I hurriedly cleaned my house and prepared dinner for my in-laws, I was pleased that the girls spent an entire hour upstairs out of my hair doing godonlyknowswhat and not re-destroying my clean living room. After that lovely hour of peace and quiet which by the way is ALWAYS too good to be true, all of a sudden I heard a clomping noise making it's way down the steps and out emerged my 2 darling daughters wearing their favorite skirt/shirt combinations and matching pairs of black boots yelling "LOOK WHAT WE FOUND!" Apparently these lovely boots were in a bag of hand-me-downs that I had thrown into Mae's closet and forgot about. But not my girls, no sireee they don't forget anything that flashy. At first, Mae insisted on wearing the boots with the big chunky heels but after a few missteps with the too big boots she decided to switch to the more reasonable pair. Her ankles thank her, I'm sure.

More Wardrobe Wednesday at Heathen Family Revival.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Okay, so I'm cheating by writing this Monday night; something I never do. Pre-posting is just way too organized for me. I'm more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of blogger, but not today. With the Gardener working odd shifts, my blogging has taken a backseat to my household duties. For now, nights are my new mornings, at least until the apple cart gets dumped again. By the way, how young is too young to operate the stove and use the sharp knives?

Oh well, let's get on with it already, it's Random Monday Tuesday Thoughts.


Lets get the crappy news out of the way first... Grandpa Conrad is in the hospital again. Same pesky congestive heart failure but this time it appears to be less severe. Hopefully he'll be able to go home tomorrow after the fluid drains off of his lungs and heart. Today in the ER the cardiologist told them that the next time he starts to feel the fluid build up, to call the office and he'll just order the correcting meds without having to make a trip to the ER. Good news I guess but still at 92 I wonder how many more of these he can take.
Our snow has melted away! The last week or so has been unseasonably warm but the rain over the weekend was the real killer. The once beautiful winter scene is long gone and now dog poo and empty beer bottles (thanks Highway motorists!) have become the new scenery. I'm hoping that the snow will return soon to cover up the impurities, but so far it's just flurries.
Binny has a new found love for Avocados. She always tolerated them in salads and on taco night but now she makes a special request of half an Avocado with a sprinkling of salt for lunch. Gives me an excuse to split one, without wasting an entire half.
I have become a Facebook junkie. I used to pick on my husband for nosing around the site and posting silly little personal blurbs but now I find myself taking time out of my day to complain about careless grocery baggers and playing the silly quizzes.
A few weeks ago I mentioned how Costco didn't have my brand of dishwasher detergent and I had to buy the inferior brand... well I should have left them at the store and hand washed my dirty dishes. The tablets I bought left a nasty film on ALL of my dishes and now I have 95 (0f 100) tablets left that I refuse to use. So much for getting a deal. If anyone nearby (I refuse to spend more money on those damn things by shipping them) uses Electrasol Finish with jet dry power ball, and wants them, let me know. Come and get 'em. They don't work for me and my unbelievably hard water.

Wow, this laundry list of crap sounds pretty dull. Hopefully the rest of the Tuesday bunch has more interesting random thoughts. Click over to Keely's blog for the whole line-up.

I'll Have A Bagel With A Side Of Bed Head

Some mornings I'm absolutely amazed at what a night of sleep can do to a head of hair. AMAZED!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wardrobe Wednesday

This is the outfit Binny chose to wear to a Birthday party over the weekend. Well, this was take one anyhow.She agreed that 2 striped shirts were a little too much so she changed into bright pink instead.Binny liked the combination so much that she repeated the look again yesterday for school, minus stethoscope.

More Wardrobe Wednesday at Heathen Family Revival.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Tuesday again, time to get all random with the Un-Mom...


First off, I'm feeling better! The sinus infection is much improved but the eye thing is taking it's sweet time to heal so it may even be longer in these damn glasses. I don't think the eye is any worse, just taking a while to heal from whatever is bugging it. I mostly only notice it at night when I'm tired and it feels super dry so I squirt in an eye drop and all is better temporarily. I have decided that I'm not going back to the doctor though. If anything I'll make an appointment with an eye doc but seeing the doc at the clinic isn't going to do me any good. For now I'll wait it out.

I'm waiting impatiently for all of our tax filing papers. I still haven't purchased the 2009 computer tax program (waiting for a coupon) but we also haven't received ANY of our W2s yet. *tap, tap, tap* We're hoping for a decent sized refund to help pay off some pesky hospital bills from when Mae was sick last spring and I'm still planning to get back out to Arizona to visit my grandparents one more time this winter, possibly for their 60 wedding anniversary party. (I haven't told them yet, so if anyone reading this knows my grandparents, please don't tell them. I want it to be a surprise.)

My computer contracted a virus. That was fun! The other night, the Gardener tried to do a search and when he clicked on the results link he was redirected to an ad site. Tried again and same thing yet a different site. We thought it was just a Yahoo thing because Google worked fine. Weird huh? Then yesterday I tried to search for a recipe on Google and the same thing happened. Hmmm? Eventually, after searching then copying and pasting the links right into the url box, I discovered that we had the Google Redirect Virus. We downloaded a spyware removal tool and that fixed the problem but it had me sweating for a few hours minutes until it was resolved. I always get nervous using those free download Internet programs that claim to solve all of your computer problems. The entire time the thing was running I kept thinking that all of a sudden an animated joker face was going to pop up on the screen laughing at me with the words "YOU'RE FUCKED" beneath it. Lucky for me that wasn't the case, at least not this time.

My favorite sitcom (well second of course to The Cosby show) The King of Queens is back in reruns 5 nights a week. For a while it was either reruns of Friends *yawn* or that awful Deal or No Deal hosted by the forever annoying Howie Mandel. So happy to have Doug, Carrie and Arthur back!

That's it for me today. Click over to Keely's blog for more randomness.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Frosty Morning

*After totally grossing out my readers yesterday... sorry about that by the way, I can assure you that there is nothing gross in this post, just pretty winter photos.

As Mae bounded down the steps this morning she yelled, "Jack Frost was here! Come look!"
I quick made breakfast for the family then grabbed my camera, car keys, my sweatshirt and ran out the door to snap a few photos before the sun melted it all away. I should have taken a few minutes to clean off the filter from my seldom used wide angle lens but only noticed the issue after I was back in the warm house editing the photos. Oh well, it's clean now for next time.
I hope everyone is enjoying the weekend!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Not Sure How This Turned Into TMI, But It Did.

I once again (for the second time in just over a week) find myself all alone in the house. The girls are at a Birthday party and the Gardener and his dad just took off with the tractor and a trailer to pull a dead tree off of some guy's lawn to cut up for firewood. I'm sure it comes as no surprise that firewood is another one of the many things my husband refuses to pay for. The only reason he even uses a dirty, stinky wood burning stove is because it's basically free heat for his shed. Whatever, as long as I get the afternoon to myself, I don't care what he does, just as long as he doesn't amputate something in the process. And yes, I need the afternoon to myself.

All week I've been battling a pesky cold. I'm not usually one to give in and actually go to the doctor for myself but once my eye started to give me problems AND NOT GET BETTER, I decided it was time to get my ass to the clinic and have it checked out. At first it felt like there was something in my eye but after flushing it and examining it in front of the mirror for the better part of Wednesday morning, I gave up and figured that my contacts were the culprit or my eyes were just dry... or something, so I kept the contacts in their case for the next 2 days with absolutely no relief. Hmmm? So finally yesterday I decided I couldn't take the eye BS any longer and at this point I had also diagnosed myself with a sinus infection. Awesome!. So as not to be wasting money on a Doctor visit with just one ailment, I decided to get my money's worth.

Doc couldn't find anything significant wrong with my eye other than an irritated area near my tear duct (Hello!) and agreed that my self-diagnosed sinus infection was indeed antibiotic worthy plus he gave me some drops for the eye. So now I'm using the drops and taking the antibiotic which in turn is making my pee smell extra nasty. (Let's be honest, pee is not a great smell to begin with, but adding an antibiotic or asparagus makes me really want to gag. Eeew!)

The eye is feeling better already but I'm supposed to keep my contacts out for another whole week. Yep, stuck wearing my old glasses for another week. I bought this old pair way back when I was just about due to give birth to Binny. (I'll do the math for you, Binny's 5.) One morning baby Mae decided to break my glasses when I was too sick to pay any attention to the activities of a one year old. I at least had the good sense to replace the broken pair right away but apparently I made my choice from the bargain rack and went for the cheapest pair in the store. Actually considering the crappy quality and ugliness of my glasses, they lasted longer that I had hoped. While we were out in Minnesota over the summer one of the arm thingies broke off while the glasses were on my face! My very cheap resourceful husband fixed them for me. Thank goodness my Brother-in-law keeps a soldering iron around. While my glasses are again useful, they really aren't meant to be worn outside the house, what with a big chunk of silver metal attached to the chipped bronze frames and all. Couple that with my too tight jeans and I'm one hell of a sight this week. All I need is a big nasty cold sore to complete the look.

Does it show that I took maybe a few too many Sudafed (the good semi-illegal stuff) this past week? It may be affecting my blogging...

Let's see, what else? Oh, there was a bird stuck in our house the other day! Yeah that was fun. Well it actually wasn't technically in the house part of our house. It was in the back porch but still, it certainly didn't belong there! I heard something bang on the back door, so I opened up the door to find a bird flying erratically around and around, while Oliver snored away on the floor completely oblivious to our houseguest. I called Rocko out to chase the bird away but he just looked at me like WTF lady? It's cold out here, let me back in the house! Or at least that's what he would have said if dogs could talk. So, of course I did the most reasonable and rational thing I could think of and consulted Facebook. By the time I got any FB responses, the bird decided to find it's way out the open back door. My dad (he doesn't FB or read blogs or any computer-y type stuff) somehow found out that I had a bird in the house and called me with some advice. Said he has a never-fail method for removing critters from attics, garages, back porches, etc. Says it "works every time, never fails!" My dad loves to offer any kind of help he can even if it comes in the form of crazy advice or a goofy story. After telling me a story (see?) about an old friend back in North Dakota and an attic full of squirrels after a tree fell on the roof of his garage, he said to hang an ammonia soaked rag in the infested area and come back a few hours later. The ammonia will either knock them out or be offensive enough to make the critters find a new hang out. Good to know, huh? I'm just glad the bird left without me having to go out there and have my already ailing eyes pecked out intervene.

One more TMI, then I'm done for the day, I promise. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I had a weak stomach (other than the aversion to weird pee smells), like getting grossed out by vomit or snotty noses or stinky dog farts.... or stabbing a cow's placenta with a pitchfork to dispose of it. Seriously, having kids may be desensitizing but it's nothing like working on a dairy farm. There was a calf born yesterday, so I had the pleasure of disposing of the cow's cleaning (farm talk for placenta) last night during chores. Well that's not really true either. I just moved it to a place in the gutter where the cats and dog couldn't reach it so they wouldn't tear it apart and make a mess all over the barn. Besides being slippery and full of blood and other bodily fluids, that sucker is heavy! I'd say 20 pounds or so! After we milked all of the cows and the poor new Mama cow, we had to feed the still soaking wet brand new baby calf. And guess who had the pleasure of holding his/her slippery body up so that it could drink some milk? You guessed it! By the time I finally got home, almost an hour after I usually do, I so badly needed a hot shower. I swear I stayed in there for a good 20 minutes before turning off the water.

Good times!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wardrobe Wednesday- Sasquatch Edition

I had a coupon for $10 off at Kohl's that was burning a hole in my pocket close to expiring so I thought I would use it to buy myself a new coat. The coat I've been wearing isn't as warm as I would like and is missing a button. Well that's not quite true. The button fell off the coat sometime last winter and has been riding around in the pocket ever since. So rather than sewing on a button, I decided to hit the after Christmas sale instead. I found a super warm yet not huge down jacket with a big fluffy hood that snaps closed. The snaps are especially convenient on cold windy days. I love it!

The problem is that there was no way my daughters were going to let me out of that store without at least walking through the girls section. We walked around just looking, then Mae discovered the secret to great shopping... a sale. And not just the it's Kohl's, everything has a sale tag on it. We're talking 65% off all coats and outerwear! How could I say no to that?

Well, I tried but obviously I caved and bought Mae a new coat. Plus it came with a matching hat and scarf. Binny isn't much of a shopper and was thrilled that she would be getting Mae's old coat. Works for me!

More Wardrobe Wednesday at Heathen Family Revival.

*Oh and the shoes on Mae's feet? Those are Sasquatch snowshoes my mom gave us a few years back. They strap right over the kids' boots to make big tracks in the snow.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

RTT- Costco Fail

Tuesday again. Time for an update.


  • Our Christmas tree is finally down but even after vacuuming the living room TWICE, I'm still finding pine needles (with my feet!) all over the house.
  • The Gardener spent 3 hours Friday morning cleaning up all of the snow that fell then drifted around the buildings. This was the drift I was referring to when I said that the snow was waist deep. Okay fine, I'm short but still!

  • I gained 7 pounds over the Holidays and now I hate to admit it but I'm putting myself on a diet. I know it sounds crazy that a 105 pound woman would put herself on a diet, but seriously my clothes are starting to not fit so well, so yeah, time to say NO to that extra cookie (or 5) a day and walk my butt out to the mailbox instead of waiting for a trip out of the house to pick up the mail with the car. Nothing crazy, just cutting out unhealthy snacks and moving a little more until I can fit back into my jeans. The last month or so has been a season of indulgence for me. With all of the snacks and meals out when I was in Arizona and 3 weeks of family get-togethers and parties (with eggnog!), I feel a little bulgy... and not in a good way. My plan for the next few weeks is just to make sure that I think about the kinds of foods that I'm putting in my mouth. I'll still probably have a cookie here and there, just stop at one. I think it will do us all some good to get back in to a routine of healthy eating. This also may be my half-assed attempt at a New Year's resolution. We'll see...
  • Binny and Mae started swimming lessons last Saturday. Mae is convinced that she can swim all by herself but frequently sinks like a stone and the instructor quickly scoops her up out of the water. Binny is still not loving the part where her face gets wet, but she puts up with it and even held her head under the water for 5 seconds. Mae did it for a whole 32 seconds but Mae is so darn competitive that this doesn't surprise me in the least.
  • I learned that vinegar is no substitute for dishwasher detergent. It works great in the dishwasher to sterilize canning jars but not so great for an entire meal's worth of dirty, crusty dishes. I ran out of tablets Saturday and figured that some vinegar would do the trick along with the heavy wash cycle. Not only was the vinegar ineffective but there were food bits stuck over all of the dishes so I had to actually hand wash *gasp* our dinner dishes. Monday morning I promptly made a list and went to Costco along with a coupon for my brand of dishwasher soap but they sold out their entire stock over the weekend! I bought some inferior other tablets to substitute until I can get the good stuff. I hope to try again before my coupon expires. Why does it seem that every task I take on takes at a minimum 2 days to accomplish? Much like this blog post....

That's it for me today. Click over to Keely's blog for more randomness.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Thank You

I feel like a lucky duck lately. My kids are back at school (hooray!) and I won 2 more bloggy giveaways. Besides the beautiful knit hat I wrote about here, I won a parenting book in a giveaway hosted by Ann of Ann's Rants and a boxful of the most beautiful Springerle cookies from Wild Child of Naked Opinions.

First the book. Ann offered up 2 books with the only requirement being to leave a comment about the worst parenting advice ever received. That wasn't too hard as I've been given tons of terrible advice over the years but the one that took the cake and won a signed copy of Chris Mancini's funny yet unbelievably true parenting book for expectant fathers, “Pacify Me: A Handbook for The Freaked Out New Dad” was the time when my husband's Grandmother gave the girls each rosaries... as baby gifts, to a couple that she was well aware weren't planning on baptizing (let alone raising Catholic) any of their children. (Wow, that was on hell of a sentence. Whew!) It wasn't just the very sweet yet possibly awkward gift of a rosary, it was the instruction that came with it. She told us that for long car rides it would be a good idea to put the rosary around the baby's neck, you know just to be safe. What part of putting a string of beads around an infant's neck equals safe, I will never know. When one of the Gardener's aunts (A Catholic herself) suggested that maybe it wouldn't be so safe to do such a thing, strangulation hazard and all Grandma replied, "the Lord would never hurt your child." Thanks Ann and Chris for the fun giveaway and for the opportunity to share some crappy advice.

Next the cookies! Wild Child offered up a hand made foodie giveaway a few days before Christmas but due to low turnout she gave out a box of the most beautiful Springerle cookies to 2 lucky bloggers, (me of course being one) along with a recipe book titled Too Pretty To Eat. While the cookies are of course very pretty, I had to try them. Delicious with a cup of coffee or dipped into a cup of hot chocolate. Yumm. Thanks Wild Child!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Big Snow Today

We were about due for another round of snow. The inch or two of 3 week old snow was starting to get a little gross looking especially in our dogs' favorite parts of the yard, if you know what I mean. So yes, a little bit of snow to cover the more yellow areas was welcomed but the 8+ inches of blowing snow was a little more than we were hoping for. The Gardener plowed the driveway twice before he left for work but you wouldn't know it now. I had big plans to bundle up tonight and hop on the tractor to clear the driveway but after I walked through the waist deep snow drifts to get out to the shed I decided that I would just make it worse if I tried to move the snow. Wouldn't want to get banned from snow removal for a second year in a row.

I haven't used the old new tractor yet and the plow only works in reverse. Can you really picture little old me on a big 'ol tractor PLOWING BACKWARD with a strong north wind? I think not! Instead I'm waiting up for the Gardener, hoping that he'll be able to get his work van into the driveway, not that we have to shovel out the end of the driveway at midnight.

Update : The Gardener just made it home and said it was the second worst weather he's ever driven in. At least he's home!

Oliver sure does like this weather though, almost like he was meant for the snow or something.
Weird huh?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wardrobe Wednesday

With hair like this, does the outfit really matter?
It's been a while since the girls have gone curly so last night after their baths I spent about an hour combing and rolling 2 heads of hair.

Mae went for more of a subtle look and Binny more extreme, but I think she pulled it off, at least after the assumed break-in period.

*For more Wardrobe Wednesday visit Heathen Family Revival. Plus, Kelly now added a Wardrobe Wednesday blogroll! If you play along and aren't yet on the list, I suggest you do something about that right away! Also while you're at Kelly's blog check out her daughter's adventure with foam rollers. Being cooped up at home on cold days makes us moms do crazy things, I guess...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts


Alright, time for an update. I feel like I haven't blogged in a bazillion years but I guess that's what family togetherness feels like... damn near an eternity. Holiday get-togethers and birthdays have sucked up every spare minute of our time in the last few weeks. The kids have been bouncing off the walls since sometime early last week, it's been way too cold to send them outside to hurl themselves down the snow drifts in our yard and our DVD player is on the fritz. That means my children have been doing one of two things from the time they open their eyes until they pass out way after their normal bedtimes. Either A- Fighting, or B- playing with their new toys which include a really loud horn for Mae's bike, 2 plastic recorders (yes, one for each) a keyboard, and a pogo stick. Thank you Grandmas for giving my kids the most annoying and dangerous gifts ever. I'll remember this the next time my kids decide to make a home made craft for you. I see lots of glitter in your future. You know, glitter is the gift that keeps on giving.

So as much as I love my children and really I do, it was nice to know that they would be going back to school yesterday. They were both super cranky after school yesterday and I had them both in bed by 8:00 last night. I was shooting for 7:30 but it didn't happen. The Gardener is working odd hours this week so I'm doing the dinner and bedtime routine solo.

Our tree is still up but at this point it's more of a fire hazard than a festive Holiday decoration.
I'm hoping to take it down today and reclaim my living room but I will miss the glow. Actually it was the Gardener's idea to take it down today. This morning just after the kids left for school he said, "You want to take the tree down this morning? I'll help." now he's taking a nap on the sofa.

The Catholics pissed me off yet again. This time they messed with my Soap Opera. Yeah that's right, yesterday the local TV station decided to air the installation of the area's new Archbishop instead of my trashy daytime favorite, Days Of Our Lives. The nerve I tell you.

That's about it for me today. Click over to Keely's blog for more randomness.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's Eve- Photos!

I have been way too busy to blog this past week. With the kids being off of school and hopped up on sugar from the endless amounts of treats that are in our house combined with a different party or family function nearly every day, my blog time has all but evaporated. Hopefully by Monday I'll have some time to vent about it all, but for now I decided to put up some of the photos from our friends' New Year's Eve party. So everyone stop hounding emailing me to do so. Just kidding, I'd be just as annoying with the promise of trashy party photos too.

This year's costume party theme was Circus Freaks/Sideshow. At first I was stumped as to what my costume could be, but after consulting with my ever creative family on Christmas, I decided to be a Strong Man. I had great ideas involving a swim cap and an assload of fuzzy pipe cleaners but the latex swim cap made my head itch and two side taping pipe cleaners to my upper lip didn't sound too fun... so I switched genders (or stayed the same, I guess) and went as a Strong Woman.
The Gardener knew instantly that he wanted to be the Bearded Lady and has been growing out his facial hair since OCTOBER(!) to fit the part.

He borrowed the dress from my friend T, the wig from my Dad (don't ask) and the gloves, boa and hair accessories from the girls.

Evil Knievel
And guess who won the costume contest? I won the prize amongst the women and both the Gardener and Evil Knievel tied for the men but a rock, paper, scissors match determined that the winner was Mr. Knievel.

The rest of the Costumes

3 fortune tellers...

I don't even have the guts to say (publicly) what T's costume was but she pulled it off.
Her husband recently had his brain removed but was still able to use his iPhone...
Woman with an extra pair of legs.
And the rest of the party photos...

As always it was a great time and we wouldn't be anywhere else to ring in the New Year! Thanks B&T for hosting and allowing this big bunch of freaks in your house!