Something out of nothing? Not really.

Well, I sat down here to lay down some of what's been happening this week and find myself not knowing where to start. One reason could be that the week has been so ridiculously busy I have had regular feelings of falling into a deep pit filled with quicksand and 2-headed laundry monsters nipping at me from all directions and another reason is that nothing's going on. Seems a bit contradictory, No? I often wonder how an entire week can go by in a flash. A flash, I say! And I cannot relate to someone just what occurred to make it fly by, since we all know how fast time flies when we're having....fun, is it?

Here are the highlights from the week since the last post:

  • Absolutely fabulous meal with our own, personal The Finer Things Club meets Farm Life in Iowa book club and dinner meeting. We discussed the Pulitzer Prize winning "A Thousand Acres". I give it a solid 6.5 out of 10. I give the dinner a big fat 10. There were steaks and melt-in-your-mouth potatoes with fresh chives from the garden, a sinful apple pie, a real, live Jell-o mold, which added a beautiful splash of red to our plates, and a spinach/cheese puff. An All-American Meal. Plus, it was my first night out in what seemed like 14 years. And there was wine.
  • My first set of power hedge trimmers finally came out of the box and I let out a few tough girl grunts and felt the power surging through my veins as I chopped and trimmed the straggly mess that is our front yard. If ever you find yourself feeling weak and powerless, Power Tools are the answer! Forget self-help books and 12 step programs. Get a weed eater and start whacking! Grab a hedge trimmer and hack up some shrubbery. I don't mind getting dirty and sweaty when I can feel that engine rumbling under my hands. The adrenaline (or is it testosterone?) is intoxicating. No wonder men are so cocky. It's the tools. As absolutely fabulous as an immersion blender is, one has never made me want to say, "HoooYaaa!".
  • Lactic Acid Build-up. I have obviously been severely negligent in the muscle development of my legs, because after a workout of many squats and lunge type activities, I'm sure I look like I'm walking with a giant stick up my arse since every step zaps my legs and butt with what I am sure is 50,000 volts of high quality electricity.
  • The AIA hosted an open house to view the product of their hours of teaching at various Austin-area elementary schools. Big E's class was the only one to actually build 3-D models of homes, so in addition to the farms, igloos, huts, adobes, teepees, and Big E's Le Corbusier-inspired home, we got to see models of small cities, floorplans that included bowling alleys and laser-tag rooms, and house elevations. The architects were very nice and offered Big E a job. We're in the negotiation process now.
Can these guys even be out of college yet?

That about wraps up a week in the life of me. Aside from all the rest of the stuff .


The boy

Once upon a time there was a girl and the girl was going to have a baby. She already had a baby girl, and she felt very, very certain that the new baby would be a baby girl too. And then she'd have two little girls to lock up in the attic when they turned 15. She decided to go to the doctor and have the doctor confirm her irrefutable intuition. The doctor tried telling the girl that there appeared to be a penis in the ultrasound. The girl said "No...look again.". The doctor looked again and said it was most definitely a penis. The girl said "No, it must be the umbilical cord. I cannot raise a boy. Boys turn into men and I don't know how to make one of those". The doctor was not to be swayed from this opinion. The girl was nervous.

The girl told her little girl that she was going to have a new baby brother. The little girl said "That's OK Mommy, there's still time for the baby to change into a girl". The girl said "Hmmm..maybe".

Six months later the girl gave birth to the baby. It was indeed a boy. The boy grew. He grew and grew and grew. Before long the boy crawled and walked and climbed. The girl was tired. Then the boy would climb his little boy body up into the girl's lap and he would cuddle close. He was a warm, snuggly boy when he wasn't jumping and climbing. The girl was happy.

Then one day the boy turned Five. He was still warm and snuggly, but then he said things like, "Your kisses are slobbery". But the girl kissed him anyway. And he laughed his sweet, little boy giggle and gave her big, slobbery kisses too.

And the girl was happy.


Hormonal Wisdom

There must be some things that older women have taken an oath not to share with we younger women....I still count myself among the latter group, thank you....but I think I may have stumbled upon something, some tidbit of knowledge that may make the whole world a better place, and having sworn no oath myself I feel obliged to share it.

Here it is.

PMS does NOT cause us to view the world in an irrational way. I admit it can seem that way to wary onlookers, among whom I have been for many, many years. It is very much the opposite. The rush of hormones that flood our bodies bring us the GIFT of finally seeing the world with a clarity that normal human beings, aka men, children and non-PMS women, can neither see nor appreciate. The super-human PMS woman can see finally how absurd and ridiculous it is to cajole her children to eat their dinner. A perfectly nice, child-friendly dinner. Consuming food is a necessary bodily function! Why must a child be encouraged to eat? Do we fall overselves telling them "Way to go! You breathed all day today!"?

This revelation came to me last week as I sat at a favorite kiddie hot-spot enjoying the free Wi-Fi while Little A terrorized the bacteria tubes. The mom seated behind me was gushing praise over her two children for what a great job! they were doing eating their french fries. Really? Must praise be showered for consuming a french fry? A couple of days later, I found myself gently encouraging, cajoling, bribing, reminding my own children to eat their dinner. Then the hormones kicked in and I saw oh so clearly! If they don't want to eat what I put before them at night they can make their own dinner! Or better yet, not eat at all! They can take their behinds upstairs and go to bed hungry! Yes! It's just that simple. No more wrangling. No more pleading. Dinnertime bliss and a glass of wine.

I have PMS to thank for this eye-opening experience. I can hardly wait to see what pearl of wisdom next month will bring. I'm so excited. I know they are too.


Giving Thanks

We fooled all the other travelers by waiting until Thursday morning to begin our journey to OKC for Thanksgiving with my family. Except that when we stopped at That Coffee Place That Shall Not Be Named in Hillsboro everyone in the whole wide world was there too. The poor kids working there all looked like some unfortunate soul who has a crazy person shooting a gun at their feet while screaming at them to "DANCE!". I thought to myself that when my turn came I should be sure to be upbeat and cheerful, wish them a very happy Thanksgiving and leave them with a big fat tip to help make up for the living Hell they were experiencing on what is supposed to be such a nice day. But when my turn came up an hour and a half later I was doing well to remember what I was there for in the first place. While I'm fairly sure I managed to not be unpleasant I definitely forgot to tip which I realized about 10 miles down the road and then, the guilt. I'm hopeful that this semi-public confession will act as a small penance and even out my karma a bit.

Dinner at my parents' house was a delight. Big E and Little A had a MARVELOUS time with their cousins. Big E can hardly contain her energy and goes full throttle from the moment her eyes pop open around 6:30 am until she loses the battle to keep them open just one more minute around midnight. Little A found himself sleeping in his and Big E's old bed (which now belongs to Little M). A moment of sentimentality washed over me as I tucked him in for the night. Then I heard someone opening a beer and I gave him a quick peck on the forehead and a "'night!" as I raced out of the room for a night of Taboo. AmySooLoo and I make one HELL of a Taboo team, let me say! We were on FIRE! RW and BB seem to think it had something to do with us living together for 15 years and talking on the phone every day for the last 9 years, but whatever! They're just trying to look for excuses for their embarrassing, ego-crushing loss. So, I guess I'm thankful for kicking ass at Taboo.

Other things I'm thankful for....Big M and her awesome moves and skills and for letting me know that I don't HAVE to say "freakin' God", Little M actually gave me three kisses (a record!) AND let me get her tummy, AP's pumpkin pies, AmySooLoo's mashed potatoes (there better NOT have been cauliflower in there!) and a bed to crash on, Mom and Dad's turkey and gourd-shaped salt and pepper shakers (three complete sets!), Uncle D's lesson on the ring around the moon (right again!), RW is Johnny-on-the-Spot with the DP, Boy cousins who love to play Monopoly. Family. Friends. Health. Big E. Little A. Bubble Boy. Good times.



There are certain things that once mentioned or experienced will form a memory that will be forever linked to another experience or thought. This may occur out of repetition such as a child misspeaking a word so many times that in the future anytime you hear this word (or the word it was supposed to be) you will hearken back to the memories of their chubby little smeary face talking with grand enthusiasm about the asthma that oozes out of volcanoes. And you hate anyone who dares to correct them. Let them grow up thinking asthma comes out of a volcano. WHO CARES? It's adorable.

Or it can occur because it coincides with an important event. The morbid of these is when a death happens close to a holiday those sad events are inextricably linked forever. The happy of these is when you can connect something, like a birth, to an event, or a song, or a particular blanket, etc...Such as when Bubble Boy and I drove to the hospital to experience the horror that was birthing Big E we listened to a Smashing Pumpkins CD, so whenever I hear 1979 I will forever think of that chilly early morning drive. It invokes those feelings of uncertainty during my last moments as not-a-mom, The bladder-emptying fear. The bladder-emptying excitement. Or maybe that was just a big, 2 week overdue baby. Either way.

So, today when I began making the stuffing for the Thanksgiving dinner I pondered the making of the same stuffing five years ago. The recipe was new, from Mrs. E, who has since abandoned me for "family" and "no fire ants" in California. I was making a gigantic batch...one for a potluck, one for our dinner and one to freeze because Uncle K was coming to visit and it's nice to have a back-up. I was hugely pregnant with Little A (he weighed in at 9 lbs, 7 oz - no petite flower...I blame the Halloween candy), and was chopping and sautéing my little heart out when da! da! DA! my water broke. I was beyond elated to have had my water break. This was THE event I wanted to experience in my life more than anything else. Big E was 2 weeks late and even after an induction was loathe to enter the world (that stubbornness? don't know where she gets it and yes, it HAS lingered), so having the water break meant good things! I won't go into the whole birth story because really? who needs to read how it went really brilliantly and then we had a crazy-ass nurse who was convinced he had a raging infection and SHE was the only reason he was still alive? No one. So.....moving on.

Forever and always I will think of That Moment when I'm making that stuffing which I will make every Thanksgiving. And I want you to never make another stuffing either. Everyone MUST make this stuffing, so now you can all think about my water breaking when you make it. Won't that be nice? So, here's the recipe.

Pistachio Cranberry Stuffing

1 lbs bulk sausage
½ cup butter
1 maui/Vidalia onion
1 ½ cup chopped celery
1 T minced garlic
1 1//2 cup dry white wine (or drink the wine and use chicken broth)
1 lbs dried herb stuffing (dry)
12 oz dried cranberries (soaked and drained)
1 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
¼ cup Grand Marnier or zest and juice from one orange
2 eggs lightly beaten
salt and pepper

Cook sausage in skillet and put in large bowl. In same skillet, add butter and sauté celery, onion and garlic. Add wine and cook 2 minutes. Add stuffing, sausage, and sauté mix in large bowl. Add dried cranberries, pistachios, orange juice, and eggs. Mix well. Place mixture in greased casserole and bake at 350, 30-40 minutes. (Cover with foil).
Add chicken broth or OJ if too dry. (or amniotic fluid if you have any)


Family Project

Big E has had the privilege to have a group of architects come into her third grade class this year and teach the kids all about architecture. It's been a great experience and we feel very lucky that she's had the opportunity. What a great way for a business to do some community service and smarten up some kids! She's learned about details, scale, types of architecture, etc... They even had the chance to draw a blueprint of their dream house, although they caution against the inevitable bowling alleys, race tracks...you know, the kinds of things you see on Cribs (I'm thinking Tony Hawk's abode, specifically). So when she came home saying they needed to create a 3D model of their dream house, I wasn't particularly surprised. I was surprised by the fact that we only had one week to complete said project. Usually the assignments are given out in Plenty o'Time to accommodate other homework and activities. So, we set right to work. Loooooong story short, Bubble Boy ended up cutting a helluva lot of foam core since we didn't consider it prudent to put a razor blade in Big E's hands. Who knows what kind of long harbored ill wishes might come out? Big E did a lot of measuring and gluing and approximately 5000 hours later this is what we ended up with.

Yes, that IS an Olympic size pool. And a trampoline the size of my entire living room. We had lots of fun on this little project, so it didn't hurt quite as much as it could have when we found out that the project didn't actually have to be their DREAM house, it could be any kind of living structure, including teepees, igloos, huts, etc... And it wasn't quite as painful to discover when on the morning we carried this thing to school that the entire project was OPTIONAL. Maybe it'll be worth millions when she's the next Frank Gehry.


Swell Season Indeed

Thursday, when this current go-round of feeling like I'm breathing through toothpaste was just a little glimmer on the edge of the horizon, Bubble Boy and I had a living breathing babysitter come entertain the children with her finely honed abilities of texting faster than speaking. We hadn't had a hired babysitter (someone other than family) to go out at night for over a year, I think. We did that Sunday morning date back when Spiderman 3 came out but have been reluctant to go out at nighttime since our favorite sitter hiked her rates to [GULP] $14/hour and the Bubble kids have been well-trained to resist any effort to get them to go to bed. Their bedtime avoidance skills are among the best I've heard about and takes an assertive, nay aggressive, personality to prevent them from completely overpowering the situation.

SO, the circumstance for our diving back into the babysitter circuit was to go see The Swell Season. I've had them on the margin here as "being on my iPod" for a few weeks, because since my day of Skinny Dippin' a while back I just cannot get enough of their music. It was serendipity to find that they would be performing in Austin.

After scrambling to do my normal afternoon activities plus make myself stunning (I wore a skirt! boots with heels!) for a night out on the town I headed downtown to pick up Bubble Boy. I slowed down to slightly slower than speeding for him to hop in the car and we began the search for parking. How can there be so little parking? Isn't there a city manager or something to kinda make sure the city is workable? It's great to have this thriving downtown scene but how the hell can people get to it? Whatever. I was confirmed in my feelings that I am basically introverted because when it all comes down to it, I hate people. No, No...not you. Not individuals. Masses. Throngs. Crowds. I found myself starting to shut down and lash out. Finally got some food and a beer and things started to mellow, much to Bubble Boy's relief, because I think he was ready to start pretending he didn't know that woman who Hates People.

Then the show started and all was good with the world again. I didn't mind the fact that I had to stand the entire time, much of it on my tippy toes in my high heeled boots since I am one of smaller stature. I didn't mind the chill in the air. What I did mind was Texas Hair Blonde Woman in front of me who would not SHUT UP. She apparently felt the need to comment on every verse of every song to her much older boyfriend/husband/sugar daddy. Her hair was so big (how big was it??), she could've been hiding a week's worth of groceries in there, so everytime she leaned over to whisper something witty, entertaining, annoying to her man I had to take two steps to the right to see around her again.

But I didn't let it get me down. The show was too fun and good to let something like crowds and big hair ruin it for me. After the show we walked down 6th Street for a while to check out the goings-on. I enjoyed looking at the names some of the other bands performing at the many live-music venues. My favorite was Lyin' Bitch and the Restraining Order.

When we got home the kids looked angelic as they snoozed in their beds and the sitter gave a glowing report. I'm so happy to be back in the babysitter market.


Piling it on

I have broken the hearts of ten 8 and 9 year old girls.

For months I've had this day highlighted in my calendar as GIRL SCOUT CAMPOUT. The first time my friend and I were to take these little adventurers on a real tent camping trip. True, we were only going as far as her backyard. But! she has a large, undeveloped tract of land on the other side of her fence, so in reality it is more secluded than any of the campgrounds I've been to in the last year. The bathroom was closer, but other than that, it was to be truly roughing it. Well, except for the trampoline and playscape. But besides those things....hard core camping. I wasn't even going to take my air mattress or crockpot.

But alas, it is not to be. Despite my best efforts at denial over the last two days my body has succumbed to Yet Another Illness. It's not like I go around licking toilet seats and shopping cart handles. So what gives? Did I not properly cleanse my body of toxins TWICE this year? Yes I did. A total of 6 weeks of deprivation and herbal concoctions to boost my immune system which apparently now is about as strong as the dried up crispy wisp of a leaf that flew in the back door yesterday. I had a couple of weeks of feeling strong and healthy and here I find myself in bed hacking, sniffing and typing of my woes while Bubble Boy and children are off enjoying the last game of the soccer season and the trophy party. And I had to make the phone calls to inform the girls that the camping trip was canceled. I tried to blame part of it on the chance for rain, which is slightly more than slight. But we all know who the culprit here is. I will shoulder the guilt but I feel an overwhelming urge to go out and buy them all puppies and kittens to make it all better.



Not much going on today. Which translates into there's all kinds of crazy stuff going on today..and yesterday...and tomorrow. I try to not think about anything beyond the next 12 hours because that would send me straight into Shut Down mode with no hope of rebooting until Dec 1. Why is November so nuts? Of course, I will be thinking the same thing a month from now as I scramble to throw a festive holiday together. That'll be me rocking uncontrollably in the fetal position as I mutter recipes, party obligations, and tips on making those holiday traditions extra-special for your family or else you're a horrible person whose children are doomed to grow up to be the next Jeffrey Dahmer and it will be all because you didn't make a Gingerbread House with them.

Speaking of whom...that provides a nice segue into the topic of 1994. Remember then? Good times, when not all of us carried cell phones and those who did lugged large bricks with antennae around on their hips. Or when you actually had to go to the Computer Lab to do your college assignments that required a computer because no one had laptops. You were doing great to have a 12" color monitor that weighed in around 100 lbs with a computer that had something like a 20 MB hard drive? and maybe an internal, dial-up modem. And it was new to have the Internet in your very own home. Ah, AOL and your hourly rates for us to connect at 56K. Verra verra special indeed.

Which brings me to this. I may not have mentioned previously my addiction with all things CTU-Related. That would be Counter Terrorist Unit. CTU-Los Angeles, specifically. Workplace of none other than the venerated Jack Bauer (aka Kiefer Sutherland). I'm speaking of '24', of course. I know people rag about it being right-wing propaganda, but it's just so exciting! True, it's become a tad formulaic, but still. A better cliffhanger-show, I have never seen.

So, I'm a bit nervous at the prospect that it won't be starting up in January, as promised, due to the writer's strike. Obviously some other people are worried (and nostalgic for the good ol' days of '94) so they have created for our viewing pleasure, '24 - 1994'. I'm not savvy enough to embed the video here (meaning it wasn't available on YouTube and there was no pretty paragraph of code for me to copy), so it's a link. It's about 3-4 minutes and I promise will make you laugh at how much things have changed in just a few short years. Here's the link again in case you don't want to scroll back up to the first (or second) link. I'm helpful that way.


Taking a breather

Having already messed up my daily blogging attempt I feel no pressure to keep trying. It's like the healthy eating thing. If I make a small exception at some point in the day to eat, say, a piece of Halloween candy (which is quickly becoming a true addiction - somebody help me!), when I happen to stroll through the kitchen an hour later then it seems only acceptable that one more piece won't hurt, I've already lost today. Tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll be better. And later I go into the laundry room (where yet another stash is hidden), and figure Why Not Another? And so on, and so on. It all falls apart and goes to hell while I just shrug Eh, Whatever.


Bubble Boy's mom flew in from the Twin Cities for a quick visit this weekend. The kids enjoyed leading her through the house showing her various things. Look at my report card! See me throw this paper airplane? Check out my beads, Little Pet Shop, Hot Wheel collection, Webkinz, Watch me jump, Watch me hurtle off the stairs at a frightening speed, See how I can ride my bike with no hands? Look at me! No don't look at him, look at ME! Stop looking at HER and watch ME do THIS! And on, and on, and on, and on. I know she's a patient woman because I was ready to scream TAKE A BREATH! STOP TALKING FOR 15 SECONDS! GET THE DUCT TAPE! about 10 minutes after she got here.

But really it was a lovely weekend. Beautiful weather, soccer, parks, shopping, cooking and eating. Can't ask for much more than that.



I have spent the last nine years honing my Mommy Guilt Skills, along with my Martyr Skills, Passing on of Arcane Knowledge Skills, and Sneaking Chocolate Skills. I can summon guilt at the drop of a hat. Maybe I didn't give my kids one single green vegetable today. Maybe I borrowed another piece of candy from the kids' Halloween stash. Maybe we've skipped teeth brushing too many nights this week. I'm not saying any of that is true....I'm just saying Maybe.

But now, I have failed YET AGAIN. I set one teensy goal for myself, to blog every day in November, and already I screwed it up. I even created a little list of possible blog topics, something I hadn't done up to this point. I'm more a whim, fly by the seat of my pants kind of blogger. Some with idea starters from which I could expand and create a thoughtful, approaching-interesting post. Others just some of my favorite photos that Bubble Boy has taken of late from which I could make small comments. Now you've seen my game plan.

But as I crawled my tired bones into bed last night (still on the floor for 3 more days! but then on a real, live bed...well, hopefully not live - har, har, har), I realized that an entire day had passed since my previous post. And did I hop right up, march downstairs and throw something together in a haphazard way? No I didn't. Because that would be cheating. And I was too lazy.


Critical Examination

In the moments he's not scaling the walls of the house or jumping from the top of the swingset or otherwise training for his future career as a stunt man Little A can be quite a sensitive soul. He intermittently suffers from a nervous, sad, or tired tummy, the only cure for which is my tone-deaf rendition of Mary Had a Little Lamb. Do not waste his valuable time attempting to throw other songs into the mix. Twinkle, Twinkle? Nuh uh. Bananaphone? Please. Any songs we learned as we spent thousands of dollars on Music Together classes? Forget about it. It HAS to be Mary and her co-dependent lamb.

And so it is that he's heard the song so many times he's beginning to dissect the song and wonder Who is it who makes these ridiculously restrictive rules that a lamb should not be at school? Does that apply to the teachers also? Can other animals come...just not lambs? Why not lambs? Why does the lamb follow her absolutely EVERYWHERE? Even to the bathroom? That's silly! Does it sleep in her room or does Mary sleep in the barn? She should sleep in the barn. I would sleep in the barn. Where would you sleep, Mommy? In the barn too? It's probably cold in the barn. And lots of hay to make you sneeze. Maybe it needs another lamb friend to play with while Mary's at school so it won't be so lonely and have to follow her everywhere she goes. Why would it be so funny to see a lamb at school? Are the children laughing at the lamb? or Mary? That isn't very nice. Why are they so mean?

So glad his tummy feels better because my head hurts.


The Wurst photo album

I swiped these photos from SJ since neither Bubble Boy nor I were willing to schlep his ginormous camera and my camera is subpar at best. I can barely lift his camera when I'm fresh and all pumped up on the power juice (coffee counts?), so I wouldn't even consider it on a 62 mile bike ride. Anyway, I doubt BB would've wanted to risk his precious lenses that he lovingly gazes at on a nightly basis to the potholes of Hays County.

I felt really lucky to have friends from three separate groups participating in the ride, but sometimes had that feeling like I get at large parties that I just don't get enough time to spend with anybody 'cause I'm trying to spread the love around. I'm sure this is a very self-centered interpretation, since I am in fact very self-centered. Can we talk about me some more?

Team Toprope just before we all head out...

Can you tell by looking that it was a beautiful morning?

Bubble Boy got a little cocky with a barbed wire fence while searching out alternative bathroom sites. I guess it showed him. I prudently warned him of the dangers of flesh-eating bacteria and antibiotic resistant staph infections in my classic OCD fashion, so he doused it with ointment and we were on our way.

This was either right before or right after the barbed wire incident...it's all a blur. That cup in my hand is from drinking pickle juice. This is something I did regularly as a child. I'd stick a straw in the pickle jar and slurp it up. Mmmmm....brine. Little did I know I was preventing muscle cramps!

At the end of the ride. Still smiling! And that's even BEFORE the sausage and beer.


What's the proper etiquette?

I just came home from the lamest meeting in all the whole wide world and was feeling a bit overwhelmed looking at the pile o'stuff on my desk, and on the kitchen counter (FlyLady would call it my hottest Hot Spot among the many) and my Inbox and feeling like I'd just wasted all this time at that stupid meeting, then....Then.

In typical procrastination form, I took a seat to check out my sitemeter to see if my mother has read any of my blog entries lately (I'm watching you, Mom!) and Lo! and Behold! there's a reader from Paducah, KY. Paducah? You ask? Why, it's the home of Suzanne of Bizzyville, to whom I have been a dedicated lurker for lo these many months of my Blog Life.

Earlier this year Suzanne kept me awake all night long as I was atwitter with the knowledge that she had actually commented on one of my entries. I read her words over again and again, mentally caressing them with my fingertips. My little brush with a Blogging Hero. But now...now!!! Y'all. She linked to me. Bubble Girl is linked from Bizzy's site. And I don't know the proper etiquette. So, while I'm sure I sound like a blathering fool, I'm an honored, grateful, humble, giddy, blathering fool.

Was it Halloween?

I finally reached deep into the well of stored energy and made the arduous journey to Bubble Boy's office to look at the Halloween photos. Only to discover that there's not a single picture of just Little A as...as....as...darn. I can't remember the pirate name he gave himself. See what happens if I don't blog about something right away? How do I manage?? BB had mentioned this to me but it hadn't registered. No one's surprised by that, I'm sure.

I do have a group photo. This is a traditional picture we've taken every Halloween since we've lived with these stairs, so I guess the first would've been 2001. Some years only a few kids have graced these steps. One year they were jam packed from top to bottom with about 35 kids. That was a crazy year. The neighbors were truly frightened as they opened their door to three dozen kids screaming TRICK OR TREAT!!!

I really like this picture of CJ watering my pitiful, embarrassingly dead basil. When a 23 month old starts taking matters into his own hands because you have killed yet another plant, it's pretty bad. I'm not sure, but I think Bubble Boy was making a little statement when he took this picture.
Just remembered Little A's pirate name. Captain Cutthroat - because he's "a throat-cutter". How could I forget?


Remember, Remember, Remember

Laying in bed in the dark, early hours savoring the precious extra hour granted by Time Fairy. Little A, who has been sleeping peacefully in the make-shift pallet on the floor since 4 am, wordlessly lifts the blankets and slips quietly into bed next to me. He snuggles in.

His body is longer and leaner than it was just a few months ago. Sharp elbows and shoulder blades and long, muscular legs replace the soft, pudgy, cuddly toddler he was just last week, it seems. I enjoy the peace and quiet; the warm, gentle breathing.

He's not throwing himself off the stairs, shooting his webs through the air or shrieking at his big sister for looking at him cross-eyed. He's not squirting a brand new bottle of hand soap all over the bathroom in his effort to "help" me or jumping all over me and spilling hot tea all over my lap. He's just quiet and cuddly.

I stay in bed and really savor that extra hour.


Pick your cliché

The Wurst is over. For Better or for Wurst. When Wurst comes to Wurst. You get the idea. Bubble Boy, a multitude of friends and myself set off on the ride from Austin to New Braunfels this morning under a beautiful sky in the crisp, autumn air. This was by far the farthest (furthest?) I've ever ridden and I have to say it was really fun. Despite dropping my chain a couple of times (DRAT!) and a flat tire that really kicked my a$$ until I had my AHA! moment and realized that I was riding flat, it was a great way to spend a beautiful autumn day in Texas. We rode through small country towns. Some idyllic with lovely, tree-lined roads and cute little white churches and the storybook cemetery on the edge of town. Others, not so idyllic. Some with houses with more used tires in the front yard than a junkyard. And one house in particular that had more Little Tykes playthings in the huge front yard than the house itself was worth. As LO and KT say, You gotta love a man a WHOLE lot to live in some of those houses. Note to Hays County....fix your roads. Lord, there was more patch and pothole than good road left on some of those roads.

Oh, and let's not forget the beer and sausage at the end. Around mile 50, as my flat was being fixed (great service...thanks Bicycle Sport Shop!), CC tried motivating me out of my doldrums with the tantalizing thoughts of Beer and Sausage. I almost vomited on his shoes. That was the last thing I wanted at that point. Miles 40-50 were hard ones for me. But after we got on the road again, the body started working kinda like it's supposed to and I started feeling much better. And I have to say (not for the first time) that the Elgin sausage was THE BEST I've ever had and the beer was pretty darn good too. I scarfed them both down in absolute record time. It wasn't a pretty sight.

I don't have any photos yet, but soon I'm sure SJ will be blogging about this latest Adventure very soon and she's bound to have some good ones.


Day Two

Day Two of National Blog Posting Month and already the shallow well of Interesting Things to Say has run dry. I obviously didn't muster up the effort required to make my way to Bubble Boy's office to post photos from Halloween. I guess I'll save those for a day when I have absolutely nothing to say. Not like today when I can at least ramble about something.

So, even though nobody cares and Mighty Girl has educated me enough to know that Nobody Cares What I Had for Lunch, here's what I ate today.

Breakfast: yogurt with frozen blueberries and 1/4 cup granola. One mini Twix.

Lunch: Grilled chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-a with only the bottom piece of bread. Yummy waffle fries. One mini snickers.

Snack: I lost count of the number of mini candies. Maybe 7?

Dinner: God. This is a little embarrassing. I remember seeing broccoli and roasted red peppers, and asparagus, then came the pasta, chicken cacciatore, and slice of spinach/mushroom pizza, and finally peach crisp, coffee gelato, tiramisu cake and some sort of cream-filled puff dipped in chocolate. Cannoli Joe's is an evil, evil place.

I won't be having an evening snack. I think I'll just waddle upstairs and sleep before the big ride. Hopefully I won't still feel like a Weeble Wobble tomorrow morning.


Skipping over things for this

Well, I haven't been able to sit down and put together a post about our night of begging for candy or put up any of the fabulous pictures Bubble Boy took of the kids (ours or the ones who joined us for trick-or-treat fun). Those photos are on Bubble Boy's computer and that seems SO HARD to me. I don't know why this is. It's a Mac...it's even got a beautiful 24" screen and a wireless mouse and keyboard. So it's not like I don't know how it works. But it's in his office and it seems like so much effort to go all the way in there. Maybe I'll work up the energy to walk down the hall sometime tomorrow.

But until that happens, I just decided on a whim that maybe I'd try this. I have no high expectations for myself, but thought What the Hell? Why not me? Because obviously Quantity is more important that Quality, and since neither is currently happening here at least I can control the Quantity.

My parents rolled into town this evening because they're going to keep things moving here while Bubble Boy and I embark on our crazy quest to ride our bikes 62 miles to Wurst Fest. I haven't been on my bike in almost 3 weeks and it's reasonable to say I haven't been at the top of my game lately. For example, for our annual Halloween fest, I make my Uncle Whit's famous chili (from my autographed copy of The Texas Experience). It's a tasty, mild chili that is very family-friendly. But when one makes a mistake and puts in 3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper instead of paprika....not so much. Spicy doesn't really describe The Pain. The hole in my esophagus should be healed by Thanksgiving. Chili-making privileges have been put on hold until I can prove that I can be trusted with the spice rack again. All that to say, 62 miles may present a bit o'challenge for me, but SJ gave me a Team Toprope shirt and I plan to earn it.