Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Voices in My Head Plan a Party

Staring Martha & Common Sense with heckling by The Insecurities.

We have a July 4th party every year, on or about July 4th. This year it’s the 2nd because the 4th is a Monday.

Naturally Martha has delusions of grandeur. This year it will be different - 50 guests, handmade theme décor in the yard, fun theme goodie bags for the kids, a large spread of color coordinated food & drink for people to enjoy, hours of fun in the sparkling clean swimming pool and lots of different age appropriate games for everyone to play.

Common Sense just shakes its head and The Insecurities are so overwhelmed with material they don’t know where to begin heckling.

I mean my god Martha! I bought a $3 flag tee shirt at Wal mart to wear! What more do you want?

Martha always has delusions of party grandeur & is always sadly disappointed by reality. But Martha is resilient, she never gives up home that someday I will channel the Goddess of Home - Martha Stewart herself.

And when I hit the lottery & can pay someone to do all the work – I will. Promise, Martha.

Common Sense is thinking – well the shade cloth on the sides of the porch is full of holes from being chewed on by the dog, so we could hang the the pool cover up instead. It’s blue. And some red paint got splattered on it when DH was touching up some work he did on the roofline. So there you go – theme colors.

The hecklers wonder if Common Sense knows where the line between realistic & trashy is.

Common Sense suggests if the hecklers are concerned about things being trashy they go clean up the yard because really, an uncluttered yard is about as close to ‘décor’ as we are likely to get.

Martha really wants theme decorated food.  She especially loves the idea of a flag cake made with fruit like you see in magazines this time of year


Common Sense sighs,  Martha… Havoc is allergic to strawberries, and no, we’re not paying for the volume of raspberries that would be needed to replace the strawberries. Not to mention it’s much too hot to bake a cake & Chef Foodie refuses to buy a premade one, they are too dry & the icing is icky. How about a box of red, white & blue Rocket Pops?


Martha thinks that isn’t even trying. Homemade rocket pops would be better & we have ice pop molds. White grape juice, dyed blue & red.

Common Sense gives in but insists the rest of the food be the traditional make your own kabobs, corn, red beet salad & whatever side dishes the guests bring.

Speaking of guests… we never get 50 people. Generally we get our closest friends & their families, about 12-16 people. We never get our invites out in time & people have already made plans.

Martha thinks I should make cute “Save the Date” cards with flags & glitter dipped firework explosions & send them out in mid May.

I’m sure you can hear the laughter from the hecklers where you are sitting.

Martha refuses to believe I am as hopeless with the scissors as I actually am.

As for games…

Martha wants DH to make a cornhole/tailgate/bean bag toss game decorated with a US and a British flag.

Common sense actually loves the idea but accepts it’s never going to happen.

Making games is about #57 on the House Project List.

Even if they are just a sheet of plywood with a hole cut in it set on a couple bricks.

You have to buy the plywood, cut the hole… buy something to cut the hole since nothing we have is the right size…find the bricks since no bricks will be bought because there are bricks around here somewhere…paint…do we even have any paint…

It’s all just too much.

Instead I bought 4 pool noodles at the dollar store & made 8 more lightsabers, giving us a total of 12


So everyone from the 3 year old to the 55 year old can have a Star Wars good time.

The rules are simple.

By Picking  Up a Lightsaber You Agree to the Following:

1. You agree you WILL only attack other people holding lightsabers

2. You agree you WILL NOT deliberately hit anyone in the face or head

3. You agree that you WILL inevitably get hit in the face or head and you waive your right to whine, complain, tattle or in any way retaliate.

4. Dangling by your fingertips from the roofline IS NOT permitted.

Then there is the ManBearPig who infests our woods on holidays & comes out around dusk to make the children shriek & run around & chase it with flashlights in the woods.

Always a fun time when the ManBearPig shows up.

And safe since we have not seen the real bear in a month & will be make enough noise to scare off an entire zoo worth of bears with the firecrackers, bottle rockets & smoke bombs we set off for the kids after dinner while waiting for it to get dark enough to do the real fireworks.

Do you have anything planned for the 4th (assuming you’re in the US)?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Words on Wednesday


This is from May 2004.

Havoc and his swimming puddle.

He’d been wanting to play in water outside & I had been having him splashing in large plastic bins of water. But they are not built to withstand that sort of pressure, or they were actually needed to hold other stuff so as a solution it wasn’t working.

DH came home from work one day and said “Look I found one of those blow up ring pools really cheap”

It had no size on the bag but Havoc was only 19 months old so I figured it would be fine.

We both thought probably it would be a foot deep.

Yeah, no. It was about 2 feet across

It was about 3 inches deep & that only because I dug out a bowl shaped area in the gravel for it to sit in.

Havoc had a lot of fun with it though, using the hose to fill it up, adding bubble stuff, splashing around, scooping bubble water on his baby brother (then 4 months old) & then refilling the puddle.

The following year we bought a 6 foot wide one, then in 2007 we got a 12 foot one & in 2009 we got a 16 foot one.

But my favorite is the puddle.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Because I am in heavy book reading mode this month I thought I’d participate in the Teaser Tuesday meme over at MizB’s Should Be Reading.

It’s a simple premise, open the book you are reading at random & share two teaser sentences, no spoilers.

I’m currently re-reading yet another Regency romance, this one by modern author Stephanie Laurens (because I felt like exploring the fine line between masterful man & manipulative bastard. Seriously, at the end of this month I’ll have enough material for a master’s thesis on What Makes a Romantic Hero Romantic – Changing Perceptions Through Time. Now if I can only find the right English Lit program)

This one is the 3rd in her 8 volume Bastion Club series, called A Lady of His Own.

My random sentences:

“She did her best to provide the right foil for Charles’ machinations; it didn’t truly matter which of them Nicholas decided to trust. If he ever did; despite Charles’ best efforts, Nicholas remained tight lipped.” pg 248

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bathroom Rage–part 2

A few weeks ago I got a bit testy with some shelves in my bathroom closet.

Due to the stoner builders.

This weekend I tackled another bathroom issue.

It seemed such a straightforward idea at the time.

That is why there is no before photo.

All I wanted to do was replace a cheap white plastic over the toilet shelving unit, that was collapsing under the weight of a basket of towels, with a slightly more expensive metal shelving unit.

Who knew there would NEED to be a before photo?!?!

How hard can it be to replace something existing with something just like it?

The blog fodder potential never even crossed my mind!


I never learn.

Mom, probably you should just stop reading now. Because not only am I about to share photos of my toilet with the whole of the interwebs, I am also going to share photos of the dusty, hardly ever cleaned area in the corner behind my toilet.

This is the replacement shelves (bought at Wal Mart on date night Friday. Do we know how to have a good time or what?)


This is the toilet in it’s built in box


The obvious & more permanent solution to the shelving thing would be to go buy some wire shelves & their brackets and install them. But naturally there are issues with this.

a. the need for studs to screw the brackets into, which don’t exist because the walls aren’t that long  & don’t mention drywall screws – been there, done that, had shelving collapse in other areas of the house

b. the brackets would have to go more or less about where the water pipes are located, on BOTH side walls, the toilet tank pipe comes down the left wall & the shower & tub are on the right & the potential for me to drive a screw right into the PVC piping  is very very high. Especially if I am trying to avoid it.

c. of course the walls are just far enough apart to be non-standard sized so we have to buy long amounts of shelving & cut it to fit (or rather DH has to cut it because see above link for what happens when I try to saw stuff). And cutting bathroom shelving is about 19th on the list of Top 10 Home Projects.

Meanwhile, until bathroom shelving hits the Top 5 a temporary solution is needed. So I started putting together the shelving unit.

I was about 3 pieces in when my Stoner Senses began to tingle.

Something to do with the bottom of the unit.

It looked ok, but I thought it might be a good idea to try a test fit before going any further with this project.


Hellz. The pipe is in the way of the lower support piece.

I wondered if maybe I could disconnect the toilet tank & then slide the thing under the pipe & then reconnect the toilet tank, though that will make it nearly impossible to screw together because the screws are on the OUTSIDE of the unit & there is no room to fit a screwdriver between the wall & the unit.

I wondered if we had a short screwdriver?


Hellz. Doesn’t matter about the screwdriver.

The support piece is the EXACT SAME HEIGHT as the pipe.

I wondered just how flexible pvc piping is anyway. Then I wondered if I really needed that support piece. Then I wondered if I could replace the pvc pipe with some flexi pipe that would fit over or under the support piece as needed.

What I needed was a second opinion.

And a hacksaw.

Or better still, someone with a hacksaw to give me a second opinion & then act on it.

So I dragged DH away from some important tree cutting to come in and consider my problem.

He said no the pvc pipe isn’t that flexible, yes you can replace it with flexi piping, no he wasn’t going to do that & yes the support piece was probably needed.

Then he said he’d cut it out anyway & spot weld another piece in it’s place somewhat higher.

For the record, DH enjoys playing with his welding stuff more than playing with the plumbing.

He bought the welding stuff so it is a known quantity, whereas the plumbing was put in by stoners & therefor has “Here Be Dragons” written on it on the house blueprints.


Slightly altered support piece


New shelving unit.

From now on I will change nothing, not even bed sheets, in this house without a BEFORE photo.

Oh sure, I’ve changed the sheets hundreds of times so far with no problems but sooner or later my luck will run out & I’ll need a before photo to prove it.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekly Winners

apologies if you saw a couple of these earlier this week

Havoc asked me to dye his hair for summer



Gas prices last week. And look! A Big Gulp coming soon! Civilization comes to the boonies.


Also, we are at last getting rid of our double stroller, but not before the stuffed animals got one last ride around the yard.


For more Weekly Winners please visit Lotus at Sarcastic Mom.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 24, 2011

To dye for

Havoc again wanted to do something dramatic with his hair for summer. I talked him out of shaving his head except for a spiked mohawk.

It grows out uneven.

That’s my whole problem with it really, the uneven growing & subsequent haircuts that look weird for months.

So instead he went with wild semi permanent color instead.

The beauty of wild hair color is, if you get sick of it, BUUUZZZ and it’s gone.

This is why Mayhem was against the idea of all over wild hair color.

Mayhem LOVES his curls & refuses to get them cut. (Which is actually working out well for the tangle issue now that I have prevailed on my husband to let it grow long enough the tight curls are longer & more relaxed. DH’s issues with the long hair are solely related to the tangles & the endless whining that accompany brushing Mayhem’s hair. DH had a 17 inch long braid when he cut his long hair off in 2006)

So Mayhem went with having his favorite curl dyed blue temporarily. He twirls his favorite curl, which is just over his left eye, when he is thinking. He did it as an infant while nursing.




his hand is hiding the hair clips holding back his hair.








In real life Havoc’s hair is a sort of electric fuchsia. The box was fire engine red but this is certainly more pinkish. He’s fine with it for now but I said if want something darker we can get a different, darker red in a few days to go over it. The dye was a combo bleach & color & said he should sit under a drier for 30 minutes but since this is a house & not a salon I ran the hair dryer over his head for a few minutes every so often instead. Possibly that accounts for the pinkness. Or the box just lied which I totally believe, being more than passing familiar with that phenomena myself. 

He insisted on the spike mohawk.

You can barely see Mayhem’s blue. His hair is too dark to take vibrant color without bleaching & I knew he’d never have the patience for both bleach & dye, not to mention he’d be left with a weird pale streak in his hair when the dye faded.

So that’s the summer hair here, at least until it stops raining enough for everyone to go swimming again.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Well, I suppose that is a win

The kids are out of school for summer.

I go to the gym 3 days a week for about 50 minutes.

So I have two choices, not go to the gym at all for 2 months or paying huge sums for 2 months of ‘unlimited’ childcare.  It’s not really unlimited, just 2 hours a day  but you can go every day.

They did away with the ‘buy a block of childcare to use as needed’ option they had last year.

Not going to the gym is not really an option. First, I have to pay membership dues whether I go or not so it’s a waste of money. Second, I like food & work out so I can eat the food I want, so it’s a waste of waist.

If I pay the huge childcare fee I feel obligated to go at least 4 times a week & stay at least 90 minutes, or I am not getting my money’s worth.

Knowing me this actually means I will just feel more guilty than usual as I lay in bed in the morning skipping the gym.

Enter Dr Sleep with unexpected motivation.

After looking over my sleep chart yesterday during our appointment she commented on the facts that

1. I seem to take 2 hours a night to fall asleep, going to bed at 11ish & not falling asleep until 1ish

2. I have no consistent wake up time (due to school days vs non school days)

She thinks these two things are related  & talked about your body natural rhythm & circadian clocks needing reset, etc etc

Upshot of this is I am now supposed to go to bed at midnight & get up at 7am.

Every. single. day. Including weekends.

One of the reasons I lay in bed until 8, 8:30, 9 is due to the fact that most mornings there is NO GOOD REASON to be awake any earlier.

But I have paid for the gym childcare. And it opens at 8am.

So I will be going to the gym 3 mornings a week because there is NOTHING BETTER TO DO. One day a week I have a class at 4:30pm so I suppose that morning I’ll *gasp* CLEAN or something.

That leaves me with 3 mornings still. My brain isn’t alert enough to scrap at that hour. And I’m not coherent enough to read & comment on blogs

I suppose I could go to the gym 5 days a week but the kids would be unhappy with that. They have to put clothes on to go to the gym & my kids believe no school=no clothes & get cranky if they have to get dressed too often.

So I need some suggestions of things to do at 7:30am (allowing 30 minutes for breakfast).


Monday, June 20, 2011

Mid month reading check in

I’ve gotten wrapped up in books by two different authors.

One is Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, which I am busily rereading before the new one comes out tomorrow.

I feel obligated to reread entire series when a new book in it comes out.

This is quite an undertaking with authors like Evanovich because the new book is #17 & that does not include the 4 between the numbers books.

The problem with rereading 16 books in a series in a row is that things that are only mildly annoying in a single book get quite annoying in bulk.

There really is no good reason for Stephanie to end up covered in food quite so often if you ask me. It gets old fast. And that bit with the hot dog costume at the end of #15 serves no purpose at all, it’s not even that funny.

Plus continuity errors are far more striking.

Quick! What is the name of Morelli’s aunt? Depends on which book you read. Mostly it’s Rose, but it’s also Ruth & Rosa. What’s the name of Stephanie’s parents’ neighbor? Again, depends on the book & she even was the subject of one so you’d think…

The other author is Georgette Heyer,the Grand Dame of Regency Romance.

I know, I know, after all the complaining I did about Regency romances last month, what the heck am I doing reading more?

Well these are different.

First off they were published between 1930 & 1960 & lets just say things were different back then.  Mainly, they will never bother the first two of my issues with romance novels – simultaneous mutual orgasms every single time & what about morning breath. This is because no one kisses more than a hand until the last 3 pages of a book & even then all that happens is a kiss on the lips.

No tongue even.

Which is why, when I first came across them in the early 80’s I never finished the two I tried. My thinking then was “Who reads romance novels with no sex in them? Why would you do that? The whole point of historic romance novels is the sex scenes requiring the removal of period clothing.”

If you have ever read Bertrice Small’s Skye O’Malley series you know what I am talking about.

Soft core porn with Elizabethan neck ruffs.

That is what I was reading at 13.

My parents tried to oversee my reading but by the time I was 12 they’d given up. They both read a great deal, but I am faster than them & had more free time. Plus the books were on the living room bookshelves so it’s not like I was sneaking them from friends.

My mom did say something once like “Are you sure that isn’t a bit too adult for you?” and I said “No” and that was that.

Probably she was relieved because it spared her having the sex talk with me.

I’m older now, wiser too & ok, a bit jaded. It’s now refreshing to read romance novels with ROMANCE in them, as opposed to experienced masterful men sweeping inexperienced women off into dark corners to teach them the various ways orgasms can be achieved.

Not that I am swearing those sorts of books off, just it’s a nice change.

I’ve enjoyed almost all the ones I have read so far. Fun plots, witty & humorous with great characters. The Grand Sophie is probably my favorite, with Arabella second. The only one I have not enjoyed is Bath Tangle.

There is a fine line between a masterful, commanding man and an obnoxious, domineering jerk & sometimes one of the best parts of a romance is watching a jerk become the decent guy he really is. However, the hero of Bath Tangle, beginning, middle & end, is a jerk of the highest class. IMO. The heroine is not much better & frankly I think they deserve each other because spending time in one another’s company is the worst punishment I can think of.

Short of flogging.

I don’t often want to flog fictional characters but I will make an exception for Ivo & Serena.

I was over them both about 40 pages into it & so flipped to the end to see if they improved any & was treated to Ivo saying “Tell her if she won’t come down to me I’ll come up and drag her down.” And down she came.

That is when I decided flogging might be too good for them & they deserved one another.

Because seriously, my response would be “Tell him I am waiting for him with my pistol loaded.”

I don’t care how much you love someone, that shit is unacceptable.

I’d make a lousy Regency heroine. And not just because I had no dowry, nor even expectations. And my father was IN TRADE! Horrors!!! Not to mention in my single days I was much more in the Bertrice Small line of heroine than in the Heyer line.

I suppose I should be glad DH married me in spite of it all.

I’ve also tried some of Heyer’s mysteries but I don’t like them as well. I liked The Unfinished Clue but failed to finish Behold Here’s Poison & Death in the Stocks. I got about 50 pages in, failed to be engrossed & flipped to the last chapter to see how it ended. I did not find the ending compelling enough to want to read everything in between (usually I do) & tossed the books over with Bath Tangle & returned them to the library.

So now I am sitting around waiting for Smokin’ Seventeen to appear on my kindle tomorrow morning. Not sure what I am going to read after that though.

Book 18 isn’t out until November.


I go for my 8 week check in with Dr Sleep tomorrow. I have consistently been sleeping from 1am ish to 6:30ish for about 6 weeks now, expect for that period when I had gastrointestinal issues. I even managed to sleep from 1am to 6am Saturday night when the males were away camping & it’s been a decade or more since I’ve managed to sleep more than an hour at stretch when DH was out of town.  So staying asleep seems to be going good. Falling asleep though… that’s still a problem. But definite progress on the insomnia front to report to the doc.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekly Winners

Mayhem was unhappy I insisted he eat some of the meal he was ‘starving’ for before letting him go play


He wanted to go play with these lightsabers I had made


They were very popular


My latest manicure


For more weekly winners please visit Lotus at Sarcastic Mom

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Unexpected date night.

Last Sunday DH offered to watch some friends of ours kids while the wife practiced her motorcycle skills with her husband. She’d bought DH old bike a few weeks ago & completed a motorcycle class just before that but hasn’t quite worked herself up to riding on the road yet.

He took all 4 kids to lunch & the park, then she offered to take all 4 of them to the pool. What with one thing & another it was 5:30pm before they left for the pool & she said they’d stay until it closed at 8pm. That left DH and I with nearly 3 hours on alone time.

Know what we did?

No, sorry to disappoint. We had other things in mind.

Namely jettisoning the nutritious meal we’d had planned for the whole family in favor of total junk for ourselves. Possibly, having stuffed ourselves with chips & Oreos we might have gotten to other things but instead we ended up on a 4 store quest for kettle corn that ended up in Wal Mart and naturally took nearly the whole 3 hours.

Kettle corn is popcorn tossed with butter & sugar & is delicious.

I’d suggested we run out to the ‘corner store’ for chips, though I had kettle corn in mind. DH is all about chips so was totally in favor of this idea.  Corner store had no kettle corn or other suitable chip, crisp or other snack. DH could find nothing he wanted either so we got back in the car & drove into town to the grocery store on the south end.

No kettle corn there either, but they did have cider & I suppose I could have pretzels & ranch. I knew there was kettle corn at Wal Mart because I have bought it there but Wal Mart is at the other end of town & is a time sucking vortex. DH suggested we try the next grocery store, where there was no kettle corn & no cider. 

I was all “Pretzels are fine.” and he was all “No, lets try the next grocery store. you should have kettle corn if that is what you want.”

He just wanted Ruffles & you can buy Ruffles anywhere, except the corner store that specific day.

The next store also had no kettle corn & we were now within sight of Wal Mart so we agreed to go there but to go straight to the snack aisle & not be distracted by the electronics department,  the shoe department, the automotive department or the outdoor store. It was now after 7pm & we would be hard pressed to get home & scarf our chips before the boys were dropped off.

We found the bag of kettle corn, the Ruffles, some soda & then had an attack of conscious & decided to look in the deli for a premade pepperoni or meatball sandwich to go with our chips & provide a more balanced meal. What we found was  microwave meat & cheese nachos. Made with ground turkey, so it was ridiculously healthy & we felt all virtuous buying it.

It was delicious. At least the 4 bites I had of it because that was all I managed before the boys came barreling in the door smelling nachos & claiming they were starving.

They ate all the nachos.

We’ll do better next time. We’ll know to go right to Wal Mart from the start.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordy Wednesday


It was 1985, their thoughts were short & so was their hair.

On the left, with the cigarette in his mouth is my husband’s best friend Max. I believe he was home from a 2 year stint in the Army & this was the summer before he started college.

On the right, with the cheesy 70s porn star mustache, laughing his fool head off because they’d been smoking funny things, is, gods help me, my future husband.

Who,  by the way, had gotten rid of the mustache by the time I met him 4 years after this photo.

This pair of 20 year old stoners would eventually become responsible family men & contributing members of society, but at the time of this photo, you’d never guess it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Meanders–backing up

I decided to bite the bullet & try an online storage & backup plan this past week.

I have 200GBs of stuff to upload.  After 5 days 16GBs have been uploaded. That means it’ll only be a mere…

um…5 goes into 16 3 and some times, so 3ish GBs a day…into 200GBs…. um…let me get the calculator… 62 days give or take, and I have a 15 day free trial so…

I’ll never be able to tell for free if it works. I have to pay for 2 months before I even get the darn stuff uploaded.

Oh, and my ISP? has a 6BG a month up/down limit at our pricing tier (no unlimited tier at all) & you incur MASSIVE overage charges if you go over it.

Which I have done already.

But they are cutting me some slack on the overages charges on account of I am a MASSIVE pain in the butt about my signal strength, towers vs poles & that guy down the road who is tying up all the bandwidth downloading po.rn (which I know because I got a new tech support guy on the phone one time & he was talking to himself while checking out who was on the repeater & said “whoa this dude’s pulling down some porn”).  Deal is I shut up about the signal strength for 2 months & they will look the other way about the overages.

Or something like that.

What do I have 200GBs of?

Hell if I know.

According to the backup scheduler I have 106GBs of photos, which I totally believe because it’s photos & digi scrapping supplies combined (both end in .jpg or .png), 16GBs of music, which sounds reasonable, 24GB of movies, which makes me question what the software considers ‘movies’ because we don’t download movies & the Flip video movies only take up 16GBs on my harddrive. Then there is 8GBs of  zips & archives, most of which I ought to have excluded but didn’t think about in time & if I changed it now it would have to go back & start over at the beginning, and finally 45Gbs of ‘other’.

Gotta love ‘other’

I have 16GBs of audio books on my computer, probably they are ‘other’. DH thinks the rest must be fonts but I only have a 800MBs of fonts. He blames everything wrong with every computer I have ever had on the fonts. In his world people only need Arial & Times New Roman and everything else is just excessive. 2,700 fonts is out of control insane in his world, never mind 1000 of them came preloaded on the computer.

When I want to annoy him I send him emails in STOMP or Porcelain fonts.  But usually backfires because his email software tells him the font can’t be found & uses Arial instead.

So I have 37GBs of unaccounted for files. That seems a bit much. I can see not being able to identify 3-4GBs but 10 times that amount seems like more than just carelessness.

Do you use an online backup company? Did it take weeks to do the initial backup? Have you ever had to redownload the stuff to your computer? Did it take as long?

Friday, June 10, 2011

10 things I will probably manage to photograph this summer

Please note the *probably*.

I went from 18 photo ideas in January to 12 photo ideas by the end of May.  Theoretically I should be down to about 7 by August.

But hope springs eternal!

1. My husband (yes ladies, he cooks as well as shoots over the heads of bears)


2. Havoc (helping Daddy cook)


3. Mayhem (reading while others cook, like his mom)


4 & 5 The dinos & nailpolish. Not often seen together, but I think they match wonderfully.


6. Legos


7. Myself


8. My book pile


9. The clones



10. The cats (this is Smoke, who recently stayed away for 5 days & is now grounded & not allowed out of the house for a month)


This post inspired by Shimelle’s  10 Things Blogged on the 10th for everyone in her Beyond Blogging for Scrapbookers. Please stop by for more posts.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Obligatory What My Kids are Doing This Summer Post

School is out or about to be out all across the country & all across the blogosphere parents are posting about all the things their kids will be doing instead of sitting inside in front of the tv or computer.

So I feel I ought to post something as well.

Except it was 102 degrees yesterday and today it was 90 by 10am and my kids were & currently are playing Wii Lego Clone Wars and I don’t see myself encouraging that changing much.

See, its hot as hell out there & if I’m not going to make *myself* go outside, I cannot morally make *them* go outside and their only other option inside, apart from the tv, is to play games that seem to involve shouting “MOM HE’S DOING X!!!” over and over.

And I am against those sorts of games.

Out here in the boonies we don’t have waterparks or fun indoor playgrounds where they could spend hours in wholesome physical activities. There are no local open swimming pools, just two members only pools that insist you pay 12 months a year to go swimming 3 months a year.

And I am against that sort of thing as well.

For less than the cost of two months membership at the cheaper place we bought a 16ft Intex pool 2 years ago. True there is no diving board & no lifeguards but the concession stand is stocked with fruit & is way cheaper. Plus it’s membership is so highly selective it is by invitation only.

I had thought there would be lots of backyard camping this summer. Possibly even nightly.

But then the bear from last year returned. Last week our dog woke us up barking in that “I’m going to kill!!” way that made us think someone had broken into the house. After DH grabbed the shotgun we looked out the bedroom window (no point getting the gun after you’ve been spotted, much better to surprise the intruder by whipping back the curtains & showing them both barrels.) and there was our intruder on our porch, only feet away.

A big black bear, easily 500 lbs and probably taller than DH if the bear stood on his back paws.

It was eating out of the can of chicken feed.

Between the dog barking & the curtain being pulled back the bear decided to lumber  off the porch & that’s when DH opened the door & let Houndini out. Houndini is part or maybe all  Plott Hound. We got her from the pound so we have no idea who her parents were. Plott hounds were bred in the Appalachian mountains in KY & TN to hunt bear & boar and even though we’ve never trained Houndini to do more than sit, stay & come, she knows she is supposed to chase bears.

And she did.

The bear took off, Houndini took off, DH stood warily on the porch & fired his gun well over both their heads. Houndini came back a few minutes later looking all proud of herself & refused to come back in the house. She slept on the picnic table that night & the few nights as well.

Good thing because two nights later the bear came back, from a different direction. But Houndini was ready & stood her ground, barking her “DIE! YOU ARE GOING TO DIE!” bark that she reserves exclusively for bears. The bear was over by the cars, standing on the retaining wall. We could just see its face from the bedroom. DH got the gun again, waited until Houndini gave chase & once again went out & fired off well into the air.

See, it’s illegal to shoot bears out of season & without a license. Only a misdemeanor but still… Unless of course you catch them in the middle of destroying property other than trash cans or threatening a human & so far this bear has done none of that.

What is recommended, after locking up your trash, which we do anyway, is to scare it off with noise – loud radios, fireworks, or yes, gun shots in the air.

We bought some bottle rockets that make a screamy whistling noise & as a preventative light off a couple every night. It’s been 5 nights since the last bear sighting but Dh still takes his gun to lock up the chickens at dusk & there has been no backyard camping yet.

We’ll be inside this summer. Watching tv & reading books.

Safe from the heat.

And bears.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Historic peace accord signed this weekend


Now I just hope the dinos can come to some sort of agreement with the bounty hunters & then the summer will be quiet.

At least among the toys.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Organization & anger management

I decided it was time to finally clean out the closet in the master bathroom.

After all, I have already cleaned out the oil & vinegar cupboard, the pantry, the fridge & the freezer. The junk room needs cleaned but is a multi day project.

Mostly though Havoc had a wart & I knew I bought some Compound W in the past year but couldn’t find it in the closet.

No clue why.


The plan was to empty all the shelves, slide out the bottom one, slide in a plastic drawer unit, throw out the expired stuff & restock the drawers & the shelves.

Sounds straightforward right?

And in anyone else’s house probably it would have been.  But this house was built by stoners.

This is the underside of one of the shelves


A sliding bracket. Clever. Keeps the shelf from being accidentally bumped out of place & provides support for the whole shelf.



Yep. The door frame blocks the end of the shelf slide, so you cannot actually remove the shelves AT ALL.

Unless you take apart the door frame. Or saw off the bracket.

Oh goody! Power tools




Hellz. No batteries.

Oh well. We’ll go old school


Except I have to saw UPWARD while semi squatting because the shelf is the wrong height to kneel or stand & if I bend over I can’t see what I am doing.

You know what? Screw this careful spot sawing nonsense.

What I need is one of these.


A mallet. Goodness knows I have enough rage & frustration built up to knock the hell out of dozen shelves.

(know what’s fun? Calling your husband up at work and saying Where can I find a jigsaw & a mallet” and then counting the seconds of the pause before he says “Do I want to know why?”)

Know what is even more fun?


Take that you freakish stoner installed pain in the ass shelves.

Found this on the floor. Maybe it is a hint.


So with the shelf gone I was able to slide the the drawers & restock the shelves.


Now I realize the fun part of these posts for everyone is seeing just how old the stuff is. Sadly I have no photos because mostly it was prescription stuff and the editing required to block out all the identifying details was more than I cared to tackle. Or it was that white on white imprinting that requires even more editing to be visible in a photo.  But let me just say the pantry & fridge have NOTHING on the medicine closet. The oldest thing in this closet was a bottle of prescription pain killers from when I had my gall bladder out in March 2004. There was a bunch of stuff that expired in 2007 and another group of things that expired in 2010.

In this house we dig around on the shelves, find the box or bottle of meds we want, look at the expiration date (hopefully), see it expired in 2008, put it back on the shelf & go buy some new stuff. We don’t throw it away immediately because there are small kids in the house & while they have never gone digging through the garbage & helped themselves to expired meds, it COULD happen. We can’t flush it because of the septic tank. So we leave it on the shelf, intending to throw it out on garbage day or adding it to the used kitty litter when we clean the cat box.

Yeah, like THAT’S going to happen.

The boxes & bottles pile up, get pushed around, deceive us into thinking we have 5 boxes of cold medicine & make it impossible to find the Compound W.

Thus leading to shelf rage.

Clean out your medicine closets. The shelf you save might be your own.