Monday, December 24, 2012

I HAVEN'T TAKEN MY COAT OFF IN THREE DAYS

These past few days have been so busy, all I do is run in and out of the house doing errands.  Last week the kids had extra rehearsals for the Winter Concert at school, most of us were sick and had to visit a doctor, and then there was the shopping.

I was very late this year -- I just started my shopping on Wednesday.  Between my regular schedule and all the extra Christmas errands, I noticed that I just never took off my coat.



This is me, shopping online, with my coat on.

I would put on my coat to say, walk the dog, and then somehow, I just never took it off again until dinnertime.  My schedule would be like this:  walk the dog (outside), then grab lunch (inside) then go pick up a child (outside) then do some quick online shopping (inside), then go out to the mall (outside) then come back and eat a snack standing up (inside), then run out to the post office to overnight some presents (outside).

At one point my husband came home from work to find me unloading the dishwasher and talking on the phone with my coat on.  "Are you going somewhere?" he asked. 

I am always going somewhere!!


Yesterday at 6 p.m., I finally finished my errands with some food shopping at Trader Joe's.

Looking forward to hanging up my coat, and sitting down to relax!

Wishing you all peace.

   

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I'LL HAVE THAT FOR LUNCH

The other morning I was packing lunch for my son.  He likes cold cuts on a roll with lettuce.  When I finished making the sandwich, I had this left over.


That's a half a leaf of romaine.  I wrapped it up for later.

Yes, I have become someone who wraps up half a leaf of lettuce and eats it later.  This is partly economics ... why should I throw out perfectly good food? ... and partly labor saving.  If I had to wash a whole new leaf of lettuce for my sandwich, I might just skip it and eat my sandwich without any lettuce at all, thereby depriving my body of important Vitamin Whatevertheheck.

But since I have a clean and crisp leaf waiting for me in the fridge, healthy sandwich making is a snap!

One night after dinner I wrapped up these.



Those are two slices of a baguette.  Miraculously, they survived dinner with two hungry boys and a husband who never eats lunch.  They stayed nice and fresh in the plastic bag until I enjoyed them the next day with some cheese and a pear.

I remember my mom wrapping up, like, the last three tablespoons of ham casserole after dinner for her lunch the next day.  I remember thinking how that seemed sort of sad ... was that really her lunch?  Did we need to be that careful about saving food? Now, I think, boy it sure would taste good to have a few bites of ham casserole right now.

I also eat: the brown bananas no one else wants, the heel of the bread, the dregs of the cereal in the box that kids call "dust." Today it was Honey Smacks.  Not my favorite, but pretty good with raisins.

I love food, and I'm not picky, and mostly, I'm in a huge hurry all the time.  So having portion ready snacks is a must.

I'm not the only one saving food around here.  When my husband makes a lemon twist for our cocktails, he saves the rest of the lemon and puts it back in the fridge like this.



Lemonade, anyone?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

BAXTER AND THE MUFFINS

So.  Last Friday, as you may recall, Baxter ate a bunch of muffins off our kitchen counter.  He is doing fine now, as you can see.



Actually, he didn't eat as many muffins as we had originally thought.  That night, when I finally went upstairs to bed, I pulled back my covers and found this.


Baxter had "buried" a muffin in my bed.  Right on my pillow.   He had even pulled the covers up over it.  (Yes, I do have goldfish printed sheets.  That's a story for another post). 

Of course, we all had to howl with delight and hug the dog because we were so overwhelmed with his little doggy burying cuteness.

Then we wondered if any other muffins might be found around the house.  They were.

This easy chair is in a quiet corner in our house.  The muffin was tucked in like this.  Two days later, when my younger son was building a fire in the fireplace, he found another one in the wood basket on the hearth.  That makes three that we have found hidden.  Each of them had little teeny teeth marks on them where Baxter had gently carried them to their secure hiding place.

So that means I made him throw up for just four muffins.  Or maybe even less if we eventually find some more muffins buried around here.  The house is such a clutter filled disaster they could be anywhere.

I hope we find them before any mice do.



Friday, November 30, 2012

BAD DOG BAXTER

My dog Baxter is so cute. 


You'd never guess he is the devil.  A few weeks ago he got up on the kitchen counter and ate a stick of butter.  He puked all over the living room rug, at 10 p.m. that night when I was just snuggling down to bed.  I had to get up, clean it up, and it still stank in the morning.  It took us 10 days to get the smell out of the rug.

Did I mention he is a small dog?  Like 16 pounds!  How does he get up on the counter? 

I ran out this afternoon to take the boys' marching band uniforms over to the school in preparation for the big game tonight.  The football team is undefeated!  Go RiverDell! 

When I got back, I saw this.


I thought, uh oh.  Baxter got up here on the stove and nibbled on a homemade banana muffin that I had made yesterday.  Oh well, he didn't eat it all.  I guess he didn't like it.

Then I saw this.


That's the muffin tin upside down.  Oh, yes he did!  He ate the whole tray, wrappers and all.  There were probably eight muffins in there.

The muffins had chocolate chips in them, so I called the vet.  Dogs aren't supposed to eat chocolate.  They're not supposed to get up on kitchen counters and eat the homemade muffins you had planned for your family to enjoy, either.   

The vet said I had to make him vomit by giving him hydrogen peroxide.

Luckily, I had an old bottle upstairs.   I tried pouring a few tablespoons down his throat in the backyard, and he kept spitting it out.  Also, he kept getting distracted by a dead mouse belly up in the middle of the patio.

I had seen that mouse this morning, while I was enjoying my first cup of coffee.  I had planned to pick him up later in the day, when the mood to remove dead rodents struck me, but I got delayed by having to make my dog throw up.  And how is your day going?

I got some newspaper and a plastic bag and threw the mouse in the trash.   Baxter went nuts sniffing the patio where the departed mouse had lain.  But there was no time to mourn Lil' Squeaky's passing - it was time to get back to the puking.

I called my neighbor over and she and her daughters held Baxter down while I squirted the peroxide  down this gullet.  He still didn't throw up.

Finally, I put him in the car to take him to the vet.  He puked in the car right away!  Whaddagooddoggy!  It wasn't much, but I called the vet and she said that would be OK.  She said he might even throw up some more.  Hm.  Something to look forward to.

So I drove him all over the neighborhood for 20 minutes, taking lots of twisty turns, trying to get more out of him.  He didn't puke, but I got a little dizzy.

He still doesn't look too good ... little droopy in the eyes.


I guess I'd feel a little droopy, too, if I ate 8 banana muffins with chocolate chips and then drank 4 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide.

I'd tell Santa to bring him coal in his stocking, but he'd probably just eat that, too.


Friday, November 23, 2012

THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING

It's the day after Thanksgiving.  My husband is sheetrocking in the kitchen.



Looks good, huh?  And the ceiling's not bad either.

We're not the Black Friday types.  We're the "do we have to go anywhere today?" types.

The kids have been watching TV all day.  One is still in their pajamas and it's 4 p.m. right now.


They don't want to be in my blog.  "Mom!!  Don't put us in your blog!" 

Teenagers.  I told them to cover their faces.

Since I only had seconds on everything yesterday, including, but not limited to, buckets of appetizers, Turnip Gratin with Gruyere cheese from The Pioneer Woman.com, and two giant helpings of homemade raspberry cheesecake, I decided to treat myself--


to a chocolate shake from McDonald's.  Yes, I did have the whipped cream with it.  Thanks for asking.

And, because it's New Jersey, I did what all New Jerseyans do on the day after Thanksgiving ...

 


I started putting up some outdoor Christmas decorations.

I just know it'll look better at night.









Saturday, November 17, 2012

HURRICANE SANDY

I haven't posted anything because of Hurricane Sandy.  We didn't have any major damage, but we did lose power for a week, and the kids lost a week of school, and somehow that has become an excuse for my whole life and schedule to go to hell in a hand basket.

The Sunday Sandy hit, I did some grocery shopping.  Good thing I didn't need bread.



We lost power Monday.  The house wasn't that cold yet, but my son bundled up anyway. 


Power outages are boring.  Sleep is a good option.

We hadn't been able to get a generator before the storm.  The house got cold. After about three days, because the kids couldn't go to school, and my husband and I couldn't work, we checked into a hotel.  My husband had made the reservation a week before, so we had a room.

I love him.

We had figured since we didn't spend money on a generator, we could afford a short stay in a hotel.  We spent two days there, and it was wonderful.  They had power, and a gym, and an indoor pool, and TV.  We tried to make it a vacation  - knowing that we would be going back to a cold, dark house.

Then, on second day, we got a text from a neighbor saying our power had come back on!  We would be going home to a warm house!

Before checking out, we went down to breakfast.  My husband stayed upstairs to pack, and I took the boys down to eat.  I tried to talk to the boys about how grateful we should be to have power when so many people were suffering.  They agreed, sort of, and then started teasing each other, and then got rambunctious, and then the older one threw pepper in his brother's face, which got in his eyes.  He started coughing, sneezing, and trying to rinse his eyes.   I yelled at the older one, and called him an idiot nice and loudly.  People stared. 

I cleaned up our table, and noticed this sign.


Perfect.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I'M WEARING DORKY PANTS



I am not a fashionista.  I'm pretty sure I’m not even fashionable.  I try to look good, but I hate shopping, and I usually get dressed in the dark before everyone else is up, or right after a workout when I’m already running late, so I have a bad habit of not really paying attention to what I put on.

I am vain, though, if that helps.

Although not fashion-savvy, I am not an idiot, either.  And the other day I realized, with a sinking feeling, that I was wearing really dorky pants.

See?  Help me.

I realized this smack in the middle of the day, when many people had already seen me in these pants, and I was busy enough that there was no way I was going to change out of them.  I would just live out my day in Dorkdom, and make a mental note to throw these out and get some new pants.

It gets better, though, because I have these pants in three colors:  navy (seen below), chocolate brown, and light khaki.  Dork Mania!


A few years ago I loved these pants.  I found them on sale at Sears (I shop for myself at Sears!  Ceaseless Dorkdom!) and they fit so well, and were flattering, and I have such a hard time finding pants that fit, and plus I hate shopping anyway, so I snapped up three pairs just like that.

I have paired these pants quite successfully for three years now with a variety of boots, scarves, sweaters and blazers.  I have worn them with sandals and tees in the warm weather.  They have been invaluable.  I have even received compliments on these pants.  But now, suddenly and without warning, they are unbearably out of style.  They probably were never IN style, but they had a certain unremarkable quality that led them to be called “classic.”   Classic means Dork if you’re not careful.



I swear I do not have a wedgie in this picture.  But Dork pants can be deceiving that way.


I need to get rid of these pants, if only to keep my teenager's respect.  My husband, by the way, thinks these pants are great.  (I married a Dork!)
 
But since, as I mentioned, I own three pairs of these beauties, tossing them all out at once means a big dent in my wardrobe.  I don't want to throw them out until I have some new pants.

This means I am going to have to go shopping.  Worse, I will have to enter a dressing room and TRY ON PANTS. The dressing room is going to have mirrors.  And it will probably be drafty.  It's almost enough to make me want to keep wearing the pants.

But no, I will resist that urge.  I will not go gently into that Dork Night.

Today, Dork Pants safely tucked away, I am wearing white corduroy jeans that are kind of high-waisted.  They're from the Macy's Petite Department. God help me, I'm addicted to Dorkness.

See you at the mall this weekend! 



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

OUR NEW DOG


This is our new dog.  His name is Baxter.


He is a Cockapoo/Bichon Frise mix.  In other words, a white, fluffy mutt.  We rescued him over Labor Day weekend, and so far, he is fitting in very well.  He is only a year or two old, and has a lot of puppy playfulness, so he has brought a lot of joy to this house.

We needed some joy in this house, because this summer we lost our previous and thoroughly beloved dog Oliver to cancer.  Oliver was a Westie/poodle mix.  In other words, a white, fluffy mutt.  He was only seven, and we were heartbroken.  This is a picture of Oliver in his healthy days.





Yes, we realize the two dogs look somewhat alike and that we might need therapy.

Actually, Baxter is our therapy.  We still miss Oliver, but it helps to love another dog.  We are having a lot of fun with Baxter.  Recently, I had some workmen in the house, and Baxter was just howling at the nail gun going off, so I strapped him in his car harness and we went to the park.  Then I remembered I hadn't had lunch, and was starving, so we went to McDonalds.




We went through the drive-thru and I ordered an extra hamburger for Baxter.   I took the bun and pickle off of it, and let him eat the burger in the backseat. 


It occurred to me that I had just taken my dog to lunch and the park, and we were really enjoying ourselves.  I chatted with him, and rolled down the window for him, and kept looking back to check on him. 

I probably should have had more children.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

YOM KIPPUR AT MY HOUSE



The kids have off of school today because it’s Yom Kippur.    

To all my Jewish friends:  I wish you a rich and meaningful holiday.  For those of us who are not Jewish, this is a day for kids to stay in their pajamas until their parents yell at them, which I just did.
 
I finally turned the TV off at 11:00 to moans of outrage.  Then I showed them the list of chores I had made for them to do:  strip their beds, practice their music, do homework and clean up their dresser tops, which look like this.




During my recitation of their chores, they mimed various suicide attempts:  shooting themselves in the head, hanging themselves with their bathrobe sash, instant heart failure.   

I took the remote away, so they could not turn the TV back on.  They lay on the floor for a moment, and then went upstairs.

I heard the familiar sounds of cap guns going off, doors slamming, giggling, and footsteps back and forth.   They will play until they fight, then I will break it up, then I will yell at them to get the chores done.  When they finally do, they will be hungry for lunch, which will require 45 minutes and 5 plates, two skillets and a lot of milk.   

Then it will be time to take my oldest out shopping for jeans that fit, because this is his only free day between now and Halloween.  When we get back from that, he will want to know what’s for dinner.

And I wonder why I can’t get anything done when they’re home.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

MY SON'S CHECKUP

This week I took my first born for his 15 year old physical.  I love the kids' checkups.  I love when they get weighed and measured and the doctor tells them to stay away from soda and eat more vegetables and go to sleep early on Sunday nights to catch up on their rest.

And I love seeing this.



My son used to fit on that scale.  Whenever I'm in the office, I stare at the scale in disbelief.  How did that silly baby waving his legs in the air as they weighed him turn into the young man with size eleven shoes?

In the first year of your baby's life, you have checkups every 3 months.  My sister and I would get so excited for these checkups.  Mired in a routine of sleepless nights, nursing, and cranky nap times, we would look forward to these visits as a big day out.  We would call each other up and talk about what we were going to wear, including a full face of makeup.   It felt so great to be at the doctor for a fun reason - instead of fever or a cough that kept you up all night - so getting nicely dressed was a good way to celebrate that.

Yesterday my son stood on the regular scale.  He was 5'11 and 147 pounds.  I wore red capris and a partial face of makeup.  Afterward, he helped me return some things at Ikea.  When we got home he was starving, so he made a huge batch of pancakes for he and his brother for lunch.  He put a jalapeno pepper in one of them and declared it delicious.

Growing up is weird and wonderful.

Monday, September 17, 2012

BACK TO SCHOOL FUN

My husband and I had two Back to School Nights this week - one for the middle school and one for the high school.

Since my husband is an extremely mature, organized, thoughtful person who cares about his sons' educations, he brought a note pad to the evenings so that he could write down helpful ideas as they occurred to him.

He even made a list for himself.





Alas, he did not have time to complete everything on the list.  There was simply no time to go to the bathroom, much less flood it.  Back to School Nights are so hectic!

We learned all kinds of things about our childrens' teachers, grading, curriculum and schedules.  I don't know how the kids do it.  I was exhausted.

In French class, my husband passed me a note in which he asked me to the Homecoming Dance.

I said yes.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

TOO MUCH TOO SOON

I was in the checkout line last week grabbing a few last-minute items for dinner, and I saw this.



No.  People ... please ... no.  Are we really going to start talking about Christmas?  I still have swim goggles on the floor of my car.  Seeing this




is bad enough.  I don't want to think about Halloween costumes, even though my kids do.  Before you know it, people are going to have scarecrows on their lawn, and mini-haystacks, and pumpkins, and all other manner of autumnal decorating.  That's bad enough, but ...





Holiday baking?   I am begging you, do not use "cookie" and "swap" in the same sentence until November 1st.


I still have beach towels in my laundry bin from Labor Day weekend.  I push my face into them and smell the chlorine just before I wash them, so I can have one last scent of summer.  Yes, I am pathetic, thanks for noticing.

Are you thinking about the holidays?  Am I the only one that still wishes it was summer?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

LUNCH AND SHOPPING



Like many of you, I spent some time at a mall this weekend.  I happened to be browsing in a Banana Republic store with my teenage son.  While he was checking out the sunglasses, I saw this darling dress.



I adore gray wool, and the shape of this dress is a nice classic style that I love.  Hm.  I looked closely at the dress and saw the tag.  I could not believe my eyes.






Sorry, the picture is bad.  I’ll translate – the tag says Size 00.  Double Zero.  The dress is a Size 00. 

Do you know what this means?  It means that a Size 0 is too big for some women.  It means there are women who get into a dressing room and try on a dress and sigh “Oh, dear, this Zero is just hanging off of me.  I need a smaller size!”


While I was pondering this phenomenon, my son came over, ready to leave.  I showed him the tag.  He rolled his eyes.  Then he pointed out that double zero means the same as regular zero, because 0+0=0, and 0x0=0, so the double zero thing is, basically, completely meaningless.

My son is an excellent math student.

Then we went to lunch at Red Robin.  I ordered a delicious sandwich that came in a basket, and the basket had paper on it, and the paper had this writing on it.


OK, another bad picture.  It says “Fries are far as the stomach can eat”.  Does the double zero know about this offer?

At the mall, stores want you to wear a Size 00, but restaurants want you to stuff your face with unending fries.  It's very confusing.  This is why I tend to avoid malls.

 I got the fruit salad instead.  It was mighty tasty.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

LEAF ME ALONE




I went out to weed this morning.  I saw this on the ground.



My heart sank.

I know how many of you love fall:  the autumn leaves, the sweater weather, the crisp schedule of school days.  To you I say … no.  No thank you.

Summer is my favorite season.  I don’t mind that I have to take three showers a day.   I don’t mind that there is no schedule and everybody eats a different lunch at a different time and leaves banana peels by the TV.   I don’t mind that the kids’ rooms look like this.



I don’t mind that we eat dinner at 8:30 simply because I was too lazy to start cooking it earlier.  In fact, my husband and I wouldn’t eat it at all, except that the kids get hungry.  Silly growing boys!

I miss the heat wave we had earlier this summer.  Crushing heat is a great excuse to do nothing.  It’s too hot to vacuum, or garden, or cook.  It's too hot to think or make decisions.  You either read by the air conditioner or you go to the town pool.   But now that things have cooled off,  I’ll have to get serious.  After all ... this is waiting for me.



I won't think about it now.  It's Labor Day Weekend.  I am only going to think about this.




 Woo Hoo!  Happy (it's not over yet) Summer!