Monday, November 29, 2010


It’s officially the Christmas season!

I am officially having a hell of a time keeping track of what has & has not been purchased for gifts already. I keep having to go back through my emails & match up non-Amazon orders with Amazon wish lists & remove the items. I think I was a little overzealous on Black Friday with a video deal I found & instead of getting the boys one movie each, I got them 3 each. But I am not sure because there was a cancellation in there somewhere. Everything was UPS delivery to arrive tomorrow so I suppose I will know for sure then.

I *think* I just have to buy the books & board games still & pick out something for our friends’ kids (5 of them). Books are getting tricky what with every changing reading levels, toys are much too varied and changeable to keep up with, games might be better but games are pricy enough that I’m considering one game per family instead of individual kids. There are some interesting looking cooperative play board games, or maybe something for the Wii.

We made good time coming home, until VA.  I95 from Richmond to DC was creeping along Sunday. It got better once off onto secondary roads but we easily lost a couple hours there.

The boys actually slept in Sunday, not waking until 7am. We are usually being served breakfast at the Waffle House by 7am & we knew that by the time we got to one there would be a line waiting to be seated. So for the first time in about 11 years we didn’t go to Waffle House & had the free breakfast provided by the hotel instead.

We had Waffle House for lunch.

It is much colder here than in Florida.

The engine light came on again while we were travelling Sunday. Attempts to jiggle the gas cap didn’t fix it. Today the light didn’t come on. I’m guessing the sensor for the gas cap warning is loose or corrupt or something & it’s giving false readings. I’ll mention it the next time I take the car to get the oil changed so I don’t have to pay extra labor charges.

Hopefully it won’t cause any medical emergencies this time.

I’ve got all my supplies & things chosen for Journal Your Christmas & am looking forward to getting started.

I glanced at my calendar for this week & apparently Saturday is Girls Night Out. I wish I could remember what all & who all was involved in it. Hopefully someone will call me about it.

I also saw that Thursday I am supposed to have a Tupperware party. Probably I should start thinking about refreshments & cleaning the house. Maybe the GNO ladies will be there & I can find out what is going on.

This is my 1000 post on the blog.

The first was July 25, 2005. There is no point in linking it. It says

I bought some new patterns for XS. I got them from Witches Stitches. I don't know why I bought them. I'm almost half way done with my current project but I have been working on it off & on for 3 years. So it isn't like I'll need them any time soon.

This blog started out as a way to keep track of my craft stuff, then I started add parenting stuff & doing daily prompts on a digi scrapping site, then it became more journalish with stuff about the boys and here we are today 5 years 4 months and 999 posts later. I don’t think I ever thought about how long I would blog or things like that when I started. I’ve flirted with trying to make money here but it’s more work than the payout in my opinion & I am not the self promoting type. I have ads, but I get about $8 a year from them so I’m hardly ‘monitzing’ my blog. I write to journal & to entertain & to share things so others can see it’s not just them. My goal was only ever to make some friends & enjoy myself and I think I have done both quite well & look forward to the next 1000 posts.

Thank you for reading me & commenting. I really appreciate it.

Just one small suggestion… please leave your blog URL when you comment if you don’t already. It makes it easier for me to return the visit. Thanks!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weekly Winners

This week’s photos were taken at the insistence of the boys.


We had some bounty hunters join the crew.

But there was a slight problem.


Dinos don’t like bounty hunters.


Boba Fett did try to save Cad Bane.


Fett might be the most notorious bounty hunter in the galaxy, but this guy was unimpressed.

Meanwhile back among the good guys


“Think we should help them?”


“Who? The dinos who hate us or the bounty hunters who hate us?”


“Good point”

For more Weekly Winners please visit Lotus at Sarcastic Mom.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

November Daybook

Todays post was inspired by my friend Rinda at Gallo Organico and is taken from the Daybooking site at

I love doing occasional ‘snapshot of my life’ posts.


Outside my window is the lake my parent's’ house is on, and the water fountain the development put in for decoration. I love hearing the water falling in the distance

I am thinking that my bronchitis from October is staging a Thanksgiving comeback & I am VERY unhappy about this.

I am thankful to have two healthy parents to spend time with over the holidays. My parents are in their early 70s & I am so glad they are able to take my kids for bike rides & go fishing with them

From the kitchen there is fudge. DH made chocolate pumpkin fudge, which is chocolate fudge swirled with sweetened pumpkin puree. Texturally it is….interesting. Flavorwise though it is delicious

I am wearing capri pants and a tee shirt

I am creating a couple layouts for the creative teams I am on and a pair of crochet fingerless mittens

I am going home in a few days. 1000 miles back up I95, along with every other person on the east coast who is travelling for the holidays

I am reading Murder on the Danube Express, which is a ‘gourmet mystery’ meaning we get more elaborate & detailed descriptions of the food being eaten than of the bodies being found. It is good though & I’ll be checking the other books in the series out of the library when I get back.

I am hoping DH is still employed come the new year, and for the rest of the new year etc

I am hearing something on FOX news, my folks preferred news station, though they seem to be switching between it and a liberal leaning talk show which is doing a bit on the same topic. They like to hear all sides even though they are generally somewhat conservative, more fiscally than socially.

Around the house it is unusually neat, but my parents are tidy people to put it mildly. It’s sort of like living in house that is expecting a visit from a photographer from Gracious Living magazine at any moment. But I am used to that because they have been that way my whole life. I maintain my lazy housekeeping is a result of rebellion against the expectations of my childhood.

Yeah, that’s right. It’s my parents’ fault my house is a cluttered mess.

One of my favorite things is laying on a lounge chair on a screened in porch reading a good book

A few plans for the rest of the week – tomorrow DH & I will go out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary, which is not actually until Saturday, but we’ll be on I95 then & somehow dinner at Dennys pales in comparison to dinner at a high end Japanese restaurant.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing in honor of my upcoming anniversary.

DH & his best men. (DH is the one in the middle, he is wearing Max’s tie because he forgot to bring one)


Happy Thanksgiving to my US friends and thanks to all my readers for being a part of my life. I appreciate your comments & emails more than I can say.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Ok it’s not wordless. It never is wordless. I always have something to say about any photo I post. But generally not enough to qualify as ‘wordy’ Wednesday and my thesaurus falls short on one word synonyms, beginning with W, for “just a few words or maybe a couple sentences” Wednesday.

I suppose this lead in does make it ‘wordy’ this time but really, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the photo, so IMO it doesn’t count in the word total.

Anyway, here is the photo.


On the 20th of the month I take self portrait for my 365 project. About a week or so ago I noticed that the (proportionally) few grey hairs I had on mostly my neckline area, and therefor hidden unless I wore my hair up, had been joined by new, much more prominent, grey hairs on my brow line & felt this development should be documented for posterity.

Because someday I will look at this photo and think “I looked so YOUNG then and had hardly any grey hair at all” and “Why did I always go so long between eyebrow waxings back then? What WAS I thinking?”

Monday, November 22, 2010

A journey of 1000 miles

begins with a dead battery in the driveway.

Much better than a head on collision in Darien GA (2002), a broken timing & alternator belt in Orangeburg SC (1993), a flat tire in Lumberton NC (1999) and a failed transmission in Wheeling, WV (2007).

It’s all a matter of perspective.

We opted for the ‘wandering through VA, NC & SC’ route and as usual got lost around Lynchburg VA. US29 and SR460 run together there for a bit & then apparently, there is a hidden portal that US29 goes through & then continues on down through the state. We never find this hidden portal.

We don’t know the correct magical words I guess.

Though lots of other words do get said when 20 miles (and no signs) later we realize we are still on 460 and 5 miles from Bedford, which is WEST of Lynchburg & we are supposed to be near Danville, which is SOUTH.

Last year we relied on DinoDino for our navigation & he did fairly well. We did find our mistake a mere 10 miles out that time.


But OMG the amount of caffeine he drank! And the bathroom breaks he needed!

This year we decided to upgrade and let the Force be our guide.


Help us Obi Wan Kenobi! You’re our only hope!

“This is not the exit you are looking for. Move along.”

But no.

Apparently Han Solo had it right all along:

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for Google Maps by your side.”

Meanwhile evil Darth VDOT is all “I’ve altered the traffic patterns. Pray I don’t alter them further.”


We made decent time, getting dinner to go at Wendy’s rather than sitting down for it to make up for the 45 minutes we added with our little side trip to Bedford.

We were in Walterboro, SC by 11pm & stopped at the same Holiday Inn Express that we stopped at last year. Last year we got one of the last rooms, the one by the elevator.

Walterboro Holiday Inn Express has the slowest & loudest elevator I have ever encountered. People were still using it a 2am & at 3am & at 4am and I have insomnia & am sleeping in a strange bed & this damn elevator is creaking & groaning all freaking night long. Not a good night for me last  year.

So this year when the clerk says “We only have one room left” I said “Is it next to the elevator?” because I am NOT taking that room. She said “oh no” & then paused in a way that made me think it must be across from a ice machine that was constantly refilling or other noisy terror and then she added “it’s smoking” in a tone of both horror and apology.

We are not those people. Unless someone is actually smoking in the room while I am there I really don’t care. I am sensitive to the stale cigarette smell but my experience the past decade is the vast majority of smoking rooms are inhabited by non smokers or smokers who travel with non-smokers & therefor still smoke outside. They hardly ever smell of cigs.

I said “Does it have two beds? We’ll take it”

And I got a $10 discount for taking the smoking room.

As soon as I finished this conversation two other people came in & were told there were no rooms & the other clerk started calling other hotels for them. I check in, we park, unload sleepy kids & the overnight bag, come back through the lobby & the clerk is saying to the other people “Sorry, nothing at the next exit either”

So WooHoo for timing!

We were at Waffle House at 7am, which is actually late for us, normally we are there before dawn.

We rolled through GA & into FL fairly easily. Decent traffic, lots of cops but everyone was moving. We made an error in assumption around lunch time. DH thought that the intersection of I95 & I4 would be just brimming over with restaurants & said ‘lets wait until we’re on I4”. Well… I95 was certainly full of places to eat but there is nothing on I4 until practically Orlando. So we were very hungry when we pulled into Perkins, along with everyone else who had the same thought. But once again we beat them there by mere minutes & were given the last seating before a wait time was established.

WooHoo again!

Amazingly traffic was really moving around Orlando. DH was in a pack doing 90MPH at one point. We made our way on US17 with no problems, though according to Google we were wrong.

Who are you going to believe Google maps or your own lying eyes?

My annual craving for soft serve ice cream hit at the state line as usual. There is plenty of soft serve within 20 miles of my house but I only ever really want it while in FL for some reason. But as usual it was like 9am then, so we decided to wait until a little while after lunch.

Here is the problem with that – while there are Dairy Queens & other soft serve places on practically every exit in northern Florida, somewhere around Tampa/Orlando, they vanish. There is no soft serve anywhere in southern Florida until Fort Meyers and that is 10 minutes from my folks house & we can never bring ourselves to stop then.

Next year we are having soft serve ice cream FOR lunch damn it!

We made such good time we arrived at my folks house two hours earlier than planned.

The boys were good travellers. They watched movies, played their DSes, did math games & mostly kept the whining down. Mayhem was whinier than Havoc but he had very little sleep Thurs or Fri night.

I finished crocheting a glove, but it’s too small. I discovered that about halfway in & decided to finish it anyway so I could see where to adjust the overall pattern. A larger hook & a couple more rows at various points should correct it.

So now we are here. Hanging by the pool, drinking cold ciders & chilling out.

How was your weekend?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekly Winners

Just a few today




new toys


practice with the +2 lens


Hunting season


Our 13 year old cat Nefertiti. She has always hated being photographed

For more Weekly Winners please visit Lotus at Sarcastic Mom.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Planning ahead

I already had the momentum from  writing up lists for packing, so I thought “why not plan for Xmas since you are in planning mode?”

And it was good.

I know in general what my boys are each getting for Xmas – a Lego set, a movie, a Wii/DS game, a book, a board game & stocking stuffers. Plus one family gift. The specifics of the gifts still need some work.

I have the Lego sets (Star Wars battle of Hoth theme) and I got our Batman loving Mayhem a boxed set of the Dark Knight cartoon series. He was going to get the newest Lego Star Wars, Clone Wars Wii game but it’s arrival has been pushed back to March. So now I am forced to find something else.

Because 6 year olds do not understand rain checks.

Havoc has been talking about playing Battleship for a couple months & I keep waiting to find it in stock somewhere around here, but it never is so I suppose it will go on the Amazon list. I think he’s going to get How to Train Your Dragon as his movie unless he suddenly develops an interest in another one.

I have half a dozen books for them on my Amazon wish list, I just need to decide which ones to get them.

Stocking stuffers are Pokemon cards & Star Wars figures.

The family gift is going to be something like Wii Sports Resort (plus one controller & 2 nunchucks) but we haven’t chosen a specific game. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

My folks will get the usual calendar & bookmarks. People who take 3 cruises a year are really hard to buy for. They have already bought everything. I may crochet them some mittens & a hat for the next time they cruise Norway.

All the other adults we give gifts too will be getting homemade goodies.  We’re going with fudge this year. 3 kinds. Plain, raspberry & mint chocolate. Plus possibly some peppermint bark cookies if they turn out like I hope (sample batch being made while in FL). Maybe even some toffee brownies.

You know what the great thing is about giving homemade fudge as a gift?

It’s the gift that gives back.

The recipient opens the box, sees the fudge and says “OMG! Fudge!” Takes a piece for themselves immediately (because how could you not) and then good manners prompts them to say “Have a piece?”

And you get to eat fudge too.

Never mind that you probably have been eating fudge for a week and struggling not to eat their fudge as well.

You give someone a gift, they offered you fudge. It’s win-win.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


It’s that time of year!

Time to go to Florida & spend a week with my folks.

There is so much still to do.

Packing – My packing, his packing, their packing, food packing, electronics packing, DVD packing and then the inevitable ‘no you can’t take that’ unpacking. We took the Wii with us the last couple years. The first year it was fine, but last year my folks put a tv in the boys room & we connected the Wii to it & hardly saw Mayhem all week. I think maybe we can go Wii-less for 10 days. They will have their DSes  & our entire DVD collection to watch during the football heavy moments.

I’m having problems with what books to take surprisingly. After all, I have a Kindle now so it should be a no brainer. But I don’t have that many Kindle books yet so maybe I should bring some dead tree books with me. But nothing is really saying “READ ME!” at the moment & my folks mostly read political thrillers & spy novels which do not interest me, so there is nothing to read when I get down there and that make me VERY VERY NERVOUS.

Prepping – Our house sitter is a vegan. So NOTHING in our house is edible to him except the bags of  veggies in the freezer & the Mike’s Hard Margaritas (and I’m not sure about those). Not that I have to feed the house sitter, but I like to leave a little something for him. Last year he was a vegetarian who ate cheese so it was easier. If he goes macrobiotic next year he is on his own.

Cleaning – Don’t want the house sitter to think we’re slobs. ..Ok, so he knows we’re slobs, but there is no reason he should have to live with it

Mapping – Harder than you think, even with Google maps. ESPECIALLY with Google Maps. Yesterday they suggested we go down I95 to I4 and then across. Today they seem to think we’d be better off cutting down through Virginia & North Carolina & meeting up with I26 in South Carolina before ultimately taking I75. Since on neither occasion did they manage to get us from our house to the main road in the fastest manner, I am dubious of their advice. Having made this trip about 15 times now I know that, unless there is a major traffic slowdown due to construction somewhere, it really does not matter which way we go. We’ll get there at the same time give or take an hour or so. The problem is the directions themselves. If we go down I95 we don’t need to pay attention to exits until we get on I4, some 12-15 hours after we leave here & then it does get direction intense once we leave Kissimmee because it’s all state & county roads. If we take the cut through VA & NC route it starts off direction intense on state & country roads but ends up on I95 to I10 to I75, which is a well marked no brainer (most of the time, saving only last time when we did miss the I75 exit). So it’s mostly a matter of deciding whether we want to get lost on our first day on the road or on our second day. We always get lost at some point.

Personally I am pushing for cutting through VA & NC and then taking I95 to I4, thereby doubling our opportunities for getting lost because after 15 years it all gets kinda same-y & you long for a little minor excitement. Not ‘suddenly needing major car repairs 500 miles from home or your destination’ excitement, (we did that in 2002) but ‘I think you missed a turn there 10 miles back’ excitement.

I’ve got some fingerless gloves I am crocheting to keep me occupied in the car (because just like the boys I get whiny if I don’t have something to keep me occupied as a passenger. DH just goes to sleep) and some audiobooks. So far we have Murder in Mountparnasse by Kerry Fisher and Agatha Christie’s The Secret of  Chimneys, which should probably get us there & if not I have a bunch of Stuff You Should Know podcasts to fall back on. We haven’t chosen the annual Douglas Adams book yet; though So Long & Thanks for All the Fish has been mentioned a few times.

I’ll be tweeting & Facebooking updates Friday & Saturday. I’m if you want to follow along on the adventure.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

knowing when to quit

I am currently nearing the end of my 3rd Project 365 – A Year in Photos

365 photos for 3 years is 1095 photos. But that is the number of FINISHED photos. How many photos were actually taken to get that one photo a day? In my case, well over 5000 ADDITIONAL photos.

That is a lot of photos.

2008 rocked! I love the photo book I have from that year. So many memories captured & at what I feel was just the right age. The boys were 4 and 5 and home most of the day. They played with so many different toys. There were so many things to photograph. It was fun and easy and I enjoyed it so much I decided to do it again.

2009 was good. I have a very nice book from that year. It’s a bit on the small side but that is my own fault for being spatially challenged & not being able to visualize how big a 7x7 book actually is. The boys were 5 & 6 and were in school most of the day for most days. They had discovered the joys of the Wii and the Nintendo DS and computer games. They still played with a lot of regular toys though and it gave me a chance to broaden my scope & include random things from daily life to make up for the lack of ‘boys’ toys’ photos. I was still enjoying it so I decided to do it again.

2010 is a struggle. The focus is just things in daily life. I try to make most photos of things that will still be identifiable years from now. Plates, books, the yard. But I do add some random things like sewage manhole covers and leaves in the woods to keep in interesting. The random things from daily life are limited however. My life is very routine. And I live in the country. There just isn’t that much ‘identifiable stuff’ to take photos of over the course of a year. To give myself some structure (because last years lack of structure worked against me) I made a list of 19 things to take a photo of every month; such as the cats, my book pile, the kitchen sink, etc. I’m doing good with 15 of those things still. But the rest of it has become work.

And when hobbies become work, they are not fun for me anymore.

Things became challenging in September, with me missing days or not finding anything new to take a photo of all day long & falling back on “whatever is on my desk”. Then I was sick for 3 weeks in October. I missed more days & kept having to get caught up and by this weekend it had become work to get the photos taken.

There are 7 weeks left and for 6 of them I have plenty of photo ops. We’ll be in Florida for 10 days at the end of November & I always take a couple hundred photos. Then it will be December and Journal Your Christmas which means daily prompts & ideas for photos.

So I am going to finish out the year.

But I am done.

I love the idea too much to not do any photo project next year but it’s going to be smaller & not so timely. I think I may take that list of 19 things and trim it down to 10 or 12 and every month take photos of those 12 things. But I have all month to take those photos, so if life works out that it is the 28th and I have only taken 2 photos, so what? I can take the remaining 10 that afternoon if I want.

Or I may wait until my birthday in July and do a 45th Year photo project, make the 12 items personal to me & run it from July to July.

Either way, no more 365 Projects for awhile.

Unless the boys want to do it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Well, there’s your problem

The past 60 days, financially, have been challenging.

(just so you know we are mostly working with a Dave Ramsey plan, with a few modifcations because we are incapable of doing exactly as anyone tells us)

My car repairs.

A weekend away

DH’s truck repairs

My illness. Not that bronchitis is a spendy sort of illness but the fatigue leads to dinner out, take out & poorly planned shopping trips costing more than budgeted.

Plus the coming costs we have yet to absorb.

Kids uninsured dental appointments & possible orthodontia appt

Xmas shopping

Thanksgiving with family in FL & the trip costs (several dinners out & two hotel rooms)

So DH & I sat down with the budget spreadsheet and had a come to Jesus meeting. (which is much funnier if you know I’m a Wiccan and DH is agnostic)

We went over, line by line, everything on the bank statements, added up all the categories & sorted by costs(man that is a lot of money on dinner out & OMG Amazon!), discussed where to cut back to make up for the shortfall (dinner out & Amazon), what to transfer to pay what amount, how to stop us both from spending the same $100, etc.

Despite ending up over budget the past two months, we are actually doing fairly well with budgeting. See, we stuck with it for 6 months and it was 3 large expenses (2 unexpected) that threw us off. Usually we only manage 3-4 months and then a slew of minor crap from poor planning (dinner out) derails us.

Yes, we blew it.


We made it 6 months before blowing it this time!

We should celebrate!

With dinner out!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Artwork by Havoc

This one is legitimately done as an assignment


What I like are the expressions. Gulped & Appetizing both look happy.

Neither the boarder nor his landlord look particularly pleased about the payment, possibly the boarder is behind on his rent & still has not paid up.

Even the robot seems displeased by the diversity.

And Grumbling… at least he is clearly articulating his problem. He’s hungry and that guy with the hot dog (who also resembles the hot dog) is not sharing.

It’s not quite up to Havoc’s usual standards but he said those boxes are hard to fit things in.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Poorly Planned Advice

I’m sure if you have been in a store you have seen the recent issue of Cosmo with this headline


Of course my first thought was “Oh Cosmo, you masters of the blindingly obvious. Take his pants off?? Who would have thought that without you?”

But then I considered this piece of wisdom from a non-pithy headline, real world position.

You don’t want to take his pants off first.

First, take his shoes off. Or better yet, have him deal with the shoes before things get too steamy.

Think about it. 

If you go for the pants first, the shoes get in the way. Sneakers, loafers or god help you, work boots, do not slide easily through pants. Then you have pants tangled around shoes, which is useful if you are into restraint I suppose but gets in the way of your getting on to the ‘sexy strokes he’s been craving but won’t ask for"’

Does GQ run articles telling men these things about women? Or do they run articles like “Sexy strokes you should under NO CIRCUMSTANCES ask for. Let her guess what you want.”

Have you seen that dating site commercial where the woman is thinking about a romantic night & pictures banging her head on the guy’s head and him throwing his back out and furniture breaking as they land on it?

Going for the pants first sort of puts you in the same place.

You end up all hot & bothered dealing with pant legs tangled up and shoes trapped & really…nothing kills the mood like logistics. Everybody has to stop what they are doing & deal with getting the shoes & the pants off.

May as well take the socks off while you are down there too because seeing a man in a shirt, naked from the waist down, yet also wearing socks, is not sexy. It is rather goofy actually. Unfinished as it were.

So go for the shoes & socks first, it will make all the rest go much more smoothly.

“First, Take Off His Shoes” probably didn’t work well as a Cosmo headline. It’s either ridiculous or suggests a foot fetish and male feet are the one area of the human body that Cosmo rarely covers. Unless they have changed format in the 10 years since I have actually opened a magazine. 10 years ago, after over a dozen years of reading Cosmo I realized they only had about 15 sex articles that they just keep rehashing plus maybe a dozen make up & clothing articles & they just changed the adjectives - “Wide legged pants are in”, “Skinny legged pants are in”.

I can get a grande mocha for less than the cost of Cosmo and the mocha suits me better these days. I’ve gotten too sarcastic for Cosmo in my middle age.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Weekly Winners - waterpark

These were all taken with my Droid phone. I still haven’t gotten pics off my camera.

Havoc crossing the lily pads. We had some interesting lighting



And in the lazy river


Mayhem coming off a slide


Playing with the pumper


And getting soaked in the bucket tipping


For more Weekly Winners please visit Lotus at Sarcastic Mom

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Blast from the past

I’ve been scanning old photos again, encouraged by Prompt 8 of True Stories. I’ve posted other scans here from time to time along with what I remember of them.

My mom, when she sees the blog posts, calls me up and tells me what I remembered wrong or adds details to things I wouldn’t have known at the time. We sometimes argue over who is correct. I tend to think it is me because being 28 years younger than her I have had less time to forget things & fewer memories to crowd them out.

This is from my folk’s house in 1975 (as if that is not totally obvious to everyone)


What makes this so obviously a photo from 1975?

Where to begin…

The phone my father is speaking on is mounted to the wall, with a short cord.  You could just barely sit at the kitchen table while talking on the phone. Mostly though you had to stand, so make it a short conversation. Especially if dad was expecting a phone call, which was always. There was no call waiting back then.

You can just about make out on the right side of my dad’s face his sideburns. He had IMPRESSIVE side burns. Side burns were BIG in the 70’s He looked like Engelbert Humperdinck, or so I am told. I cannot find a photo of EH with the side burns for comparison.

Then there is the woman.

Not my mom.

One of our neighbors but I don’t know who. I rarely recognize any adults in that era.

She is wearing a sleeveless polyester pantsuit with an orange, yellow & brown striped shirt under it. The shirt collar is HUGE. So are her glasses. Note how the color of her hair matches the overall hue of the room.

She is SMOKING. In the HOUSE! Just off to the left of the photo is an enormous brown ceramic ashtray that would be just mounded with butts at the end of a visit from the neighbors. They all chain smoked. My parents chain smoked. I have that ashtray now. I use it as a candle holder with greenery for Xmas decor

That drink in front of her is called a highball. I once knew how to make them as a party trick when my dad hosted poker nights. (I was 8 in 1975, 8 year olds mixing drinks was a bit of ‘thing’ in our neighborhood. The kid across the street made a mean martini)

She is sitting at a round orange laminate table with white rounded plastic chairs. These chairs had orangy-tan cushions that were held in place by a single strip of velcro that often gave way if you wiggled at all in your seat, sending you sliding to the floor along with the cushion & if you were lucky you didn’t smack your chin on the table on the way down. Adults just found the cushions slippery. Kids who couldn’t reach the floor with their feet lived in fear of dinner time.

Because sliding off the chair & smacking your head on the table was proof you were “Goofing off at the table! Go to your room! no MASH reruns for you tonight”

But it was a useful place to hide green beans when no one was looking.

Then there is the serviceable brown fridge. We also could have gotten it in avocado green or harvest gold, but my parents liked the contrast of brown appliances with an orange & tan kitchen.

If you held the fridge door open longer than 2.5 seconds a voice from somewhere in the house would shout “Close the damn fridge door! You know what is in there! You were just looking in there 5 minutes ago!”

And I now find myself saying the exact same thing….

Last we have the wallpaper.

No one could mistake that wallpaper for anything other than exactly what it is. 1970’s kitchen wallpaper. I’ll bet a quarter of the people reading this blog, who were alive in the 1970’s, had that same wallpaper in their kitchens, or it was in their best friend’s kitchen. Admit it, most of you encountered that wall paper, in either gold/orange or green/brown at some point in the 70’s.

There were matching curtains on the kitchen window.

Not pictured is the flooring. Vinyl. It had an orange & tan pattern of interlocking squares.

Interesting coincidence… when I was 15 they remodeled this kitchen and went with a blue motif. New wall paper, new flooring, new cream colored appliances. When I was 30 we bought our house and the tile in our kitchen was the same pattern as my parent’s 70’s kitchen but in the blue and cream color of the redone kitchen.


Mom will no doubt let me know which of the neighbors that is and probably correct me that it’s not Engelbert Humperdinck but some other 70s singer that everyone thought my dad looked like.

And probably that isn’t a highball but a whiskey sour (a drink I still make).

But I am 99% those are Virginia Slims she is smoking.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Writing this month

I’m sure you have seen that it is NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month or NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month.

The theory is similar.

Write something every day for a month, though NaNoWriMo has a stated goal of writing from scratch, a minimum 50,000-word novel. NaBloPoMo only gets you 31 posts of whatever length you wish.

You could combine them of course if you want.

I did NaBloPoMo a couple years ago. But it is challenging for me because we spend 4 solid days on the road in November every year and I am not the sort of person who blogs from her phone. I need big, full sized keys to type more than 140 words. And I have this self imposed thing about each post being created on an individual day, not piling up 3 posts to auto post while I am on the road.

So I thought I would actually try writing this month.

A long long time ago, I created a galaxy far far away.

Well, a world anyway, not an entire galaxy. It started out as fantasy world for a D&D role playing game I was running in college & grew over time into a story & then several short stories featuring a plethora of characters. I came across my notes about the characters, the details of the world I created, the governments, the politics, a bunch of stuff about thieves guild structures and several of the short stories. So much stuff came back to me while reading it, side issues with taxes on booze & the major port town, a badly planned overthrow of a local governor by the thieves guild, a half a dozen minor characters who probably have no use at all but I’ll enjoy writing about them. 

I’ve decided I am going to write some more about that world. How much ends up story & how much end up character sketches & vignettes explaining various oddities about the world I have yet to decide.

But this month I am going to pick up a pen and write on paper, every single day, something about this world.

If I come up with anything that can stand on it’s own, without lots of backstory & exposition, I’ll share it.

Otherwise expect randomness as usual.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Worst mom ever

If you are wondering where the blog post filled with photos of cute kids trick or treating in costumes is, it’s not here.

And it won’t ever be here this year.

We were at Great Wolf Lodge waterpark for Halloween. They had a short haunted hayride & a little ToT seek & find set up to entertain the kids between 6-8pm.

Both kids packed bits & pieces of their costumes.

They ended up with maybe a dozen pieces of candy (which is fine)

I was in a crabby mood because we didn’t get into our hotel room until almost 6pm due to housekeeping being so far behind & then the Bar & Grille place was only doing buffet (for $20!) and we couldn’t just get sandwiches like the last time & I didn’t want a greasy pizza, which was our only other option.

And we had to rush everything because we were so late getting our room & I HATE being rushed.

So instead of snapping photos I snapped at people.

Until someone gave me a margarita, but the kids were in bed at that point.

Havoc was Commander Cody & Mayhem was Batman.

I did end up getting a single buffet order to go. I filled the soup container with almost two dozen chilled shrimp, then loaded two styrofoam boxes with ribs, pork roast & fixin’s, thai chicken & rice and a small sampling of desserts. DH and I had it for dinner and for lunch.

Which is really the only way a buffet is worth the money in my book.