Monday, April 29, 2013

Feel Free To Paint Your Toenails During This Post

I'm back! Not that I was really gone, I've been here. I mean, around. You know, physically. But after the events in Boston and Texas, I just felt like I needed a vacation from media for awhile. Because I'm such a delicate bunny.

It's not like I accomplished much while I wasn't here writing. Although there was this:

She went to prom with her beau. She went with a group of about 10 other couples. And the whole thing made me think some stuff to myself. Stuff like: Self, you cannot possibly have a daughter old enough to attend prom, because you are only a few years past that yourself! And: Self, this is just a preview. Someday you'll be watching her in a white dress. And then: Self, you must knock off that kind of thinking! And finally: Self, you are getting old. That stuff you said about just being past prom yourself? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Also, I may have found a new energy source. I think if you could find a way to harness the light that was coming off these kids, BAM! You could light the world! I mean, they were all just so beautiful and fresh and full of light. And they had absolutely no idea!

Youth is wasted on the young.

Let's see....what else?

Um, there was laundry. And dog walking. And trying to keep the dog from walking off with the laundry. Seriously. This has become a thing now. I walk down the hall past the laundry room and I find a random piece of underwear or dirty sock or damp dishrag laying in the middle of the floor. At first, I was blaming the children, thinking they were knocking stuff off of the ever-present-piles of dirties in their haste to grab a clean garment and get out of the laundry room before I could catch them in there and make them take their WHOLE pile of clean clothes back to their room instead of just retrieving one. piece. at. a. time. But then, it dawned on me that the culprit was more than likely the Dumb Dog, what with her excellent nose and the fabulous smelling capabilities that go with it. Oh yeah, and her propensity to find absolute joy in the grossest smelling stuff. Yep. Would that I could find the same joy! It would make doing laundry and spending any amount of time in either of my sons' rooms so much nicer.

Hmmm....there was also taking my younger son to the dermatologist to have something removed from his back and standing by his head to comfort him whilst the doc cut an inch long, nearly inch deep incision into his back. Guess what we talked about while this little procedure was going on? Pizza. It was highly disturbing. And I'm not usually grossed out by stuff like that. In fact, for the first part of it, I was pretty fascinated. And then the discussion of pizza came up and I had to stop watching for a bit. You're welcome.

Also, my house is the poster child for entropy. I have been trying to systematically go through the house and clean things up and throw things out. My children have been systematically going through the house and messing things up and bringing things in. This has been causing me to systematically eyeball my wine bottles more times a day than I should probably mention.

And now that it's almost May (and thank the heavens above, because April? You have bitten it HARD. It's been wet and cold around here. Hey April! Don't let the door hitcha on your way out!) I am equal parts excitement and dread. Excitement because YAY! Warmer weather (Sweet cracker sandwiches! It BETTER get warmer)! And warmer weather means more time outside playing and watching baseball and grilling and walking the Dumb Dog. And also, May means school is almost out. Dread because school is almost out and that means projects and Special Days which require my time and attention when I am in no mood or shape to give any more time or attention to anything but painting my toenails. Seriously. That's my attention span right there. If it takes longer or requires more effort than painting my toenails, I'm out.

Whew! I feel much better! Thanks for reading. Or alternatively, thanks for pretending to read while you painted your toenails.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Photo Friday: Spring Unfolding

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Little Crafty: Watercolor Map

Yesterday while spending time in the rabbit hole that is Pinterest, I came across an interesting site that unites my love of maps and my admiration for watercolors. You can find it here.  After fooling around with it for a bit, I had an idea. I decided to print out a couple of watercolors of places we had visited and frame them using some frames I had found on clearance at Target and set aside for later use.

It was a super simple process. It works like searching on google maps in that you type in the name of a city or country and then you can zoom in or out as much as you like right down to street grids, depending on how much detail you want in your map. Then you can choose watercolor, toner, or terrain depending on what you want. I wanted something less graphic and detailed than what you get with toner and terrain. But I could see doing one of these--especially toner for a more industrial feel.

Once I zoomed in to what I wanted, I simply printed. This part might take a little trial and error. My print preview allowed me to see exactly how the map would appear on my paper, enabling me to go back and shift the map around to get the area I wanted since when you print, it prints out the details in the top corners that you don't really want to show. This is how the watercolor of Indy printed out. (It's trimmed down here to fit my frame.)

I found three of these frames on clearance at Target. I wasn't crazy about the fabric insert, but I liked the frame color and the matte.

After I trimmed my paper, I just placed it right over the frame backing (the fabric was glued on here and I didn't even take it off, since it was quite thin and didn't bleed through my paper.) and clipped the backing right back into the frame.

This is the one I did of Sanibel and Captiva Islands off the Gulf coast of Florida as a reminder of our lovely vacation last year.

Voila! Easy, fast, and cheap--just how my husband describes me on our first date. Wait. No, that's not right. Easy, fast, and cheap--just how I like my craft projects. There. Much better.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Photo Dump

Pictures from the last week or so from my dslr and my phone.

3 generation selfie.

Yes, we drive through a town named Boody on our way to my hometown. We also drive through a town called Willeys. The 10 year old boy that inhabits my brain finds that hilarious. Alas, I didn't get a picture of Willeys. This time.

This is how all my hands in SCAT looked. Ugh.

His favorite thing from his Easter basket.

Sean's beautiful blue slushie.

Our kicks. On Rt. 66.

She grabbed my camera to take some selfies. 

Then her brothers got involved.

So much for that idea.

Yep. We hid some eggs at Tastee Treat. 

Also at the Lincoln and pig statue on the courthouse lawn.

These people look normal. But if you wait in line with them a while, you learn otherwise.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Random Thoughts: Spring Break, Gnats, and Dog Walking

Do you hear that? That sweet sound of silence? My children are back in school after Spring Break. Now the fact that I'm enjoying the silence is not to say that I didn't enjoy the little darlings while they were home, because I did. But I didn't particularly enjoy the trail of kid garbage left wherever they went. If my kids were Hansel and Gretel, they wouldn't drop only bread crumbs, they would drop shoes, dirty socks, bath towels, candy wrappers, soda cans, water bottles, juice pouches, dirty dishes, jackets, blankets, and sporting equipment. They would have absolutely NO PROBLEM finding their way home, methinks.

We spent Easter weekend in my hometown with my parents and took a day to visit my beloved's mom and sisters just down the road. It was a strange Easter as my brother (Uncle Grumpy) and his family were in Florida instead of with us (where they should have been). That's the first time we've spent an Easter without their family. It was strange. And my kids were very disappointed as they very much wanted to pal around with their cousins. To assuage this disappointment I planned a different Easter egg hunt this year.

Usually the eggs are hidden by the kids over 13 for the kids under 13. Since the cousins were gone, the only ones under 13 were Sean and Mary. I decided that we'd have an egg scavenger hunt around town instead. It was a hit. Maggie, James and I hid eggs with clues (and candy) around town, then my mom drove Mary and my dad drove Sean to find the eggs. We had a good time going to different places that the kids knew and loved. It would have been even better if I was good at math and didn't have more clues than eggs. Ooops! Things worked out anyway and it ate some of the daylight that the kids normally would've spent moping about their cousins being gone. (Hey Uncle Grumpy's family?! Have I made you feel guilty enough now?)

Then there was the traditional beating of the pinata. As I've said before, nothing says 'He is risen' like taking a whack at a papier mache duck with a long stick. ;)

The day after Easter, we headed about 90 miles south to Saint Louis. (For the purposes of trying to sound like we vacationed somewhere exotic over Spring Break, we have been pronouncing that city's name with a French pronunciation. Think: Sahn Leweee. You are more than welcome to join us in this. I think if enough of us do it, it could be A Thing.) Even though we grew up a short hour and a half away, my beloved and I had never taken our children there. We decided to take a day and rectify that situation. We first headed to the Arch where we waited in line for security while embarrassing ourselves in front of our fellow line-waiters. One son was attempting parcourt on the sloped sides of the entrance, another was desperately trying (and mostly failing) to take panoramic shots of the Arch from underneath it with my phone, one was taking photos on her phone while being accosted by a strange man dressed like a '90s rap artist, and one was doing everything she could to aggravate everyone else by either mocking them or not being satisfied with things. We are delightful to be in line with.

Once we got in and purchased our tickets, we had just enough time to buy some salt water taffy and root beer barrel candy at the mercantile before waiting in another line to board the 5 seat tram/pods to the top. Then we split up (boys/girls) and took the 4 minute ride to the top with strangers (who we discovered, were from nearby places--hello boys from Sacred Heart-Griffin! Hello couple from South Dakota with family in Chatham where we have family!) who were probably quite happy to be shed of us once the trams came to a stop.

When we got to the top, we elbowed our way through the crowds to the windows and took pictures and oohed and ahhed. Except Sean, who is afraid of heights and decided that just making the trip up was enough for one day and who stood in the exact center of the milling crowd so he wouldn't have to see out the windows.

After the Arch, we stopped for some lunch and headed to the zoo. There we saw lots of animals--including Sean's favorite, the Somali wild ass. You know why it was his favorite? Because it gave him a legitimate reason to say the word ass. And like any 11 year old boy, he was very creative in finding ways to work it into conversation throughout the day. We also ran into friends from our neighborhood--causing everyone to muse about what a small world it really is. And then I had that stupid, insipid song in my head all day and willingly shared it with my family by singing it loudly and poorly as often as possible because I love them and I am a giver.

After the zoo, we dropped Patrick at his hotel (he was staying behind on business) and I drove the kids home to my folks' house to spend the night before heading back to Indy. And I only almost wrecked the car once because of a McConnaughay fit, brought on by my eldest son's Cartman voice and the town of Raymond. Now if we want to give something or someone particularly high praise, we call it/them Raymond.


Maggie, James, Mary, and I went to drum circle last week. Sean opted not to go as he didn't "see the point of having some dirty hippie* tell me about hitting a drum" when he could be outside playing with his dudes. We had a great time. It relieved our stress (but did make our hands a little sore) and had us laughing. The folks at the drum place said as the weather warmed, they'd move the circle outside. We have all agreed we are going back. Maggie even said she's going to go with a group of friends. It was an hour well spent.

*The instructors might lean toward hippie just a skosh, but were not in the least bit dirty.


I have been trying to teach the Dumb Dog manners. And part of this requires me taking her for leashed walks and teaching her how to be sociable without appearing ridiculous. This means that when people approach, I shorten that leash to nothing and often make her sit until the people have walked by. This is so hard for her, since what she really wants to do is bound up to them and wag them into submission, that while she's sitting her hindquarters quiver. Then when I give her the command to continue walking she does a full body shake. If you happen by when we are walking, you'll be able to easily identify us: I'll be the weary human with several loaded poop bags walking the yellow hound that looks as if she's suffering from fits.


I have floaters in my eyes. Nothing to be alarmed about, just the occasional black spots floating by. However, sometimes I think the floaters are gnats out in front of me and I wildly wave my arms about my face trying to clear the air. Then I realize what I'm seeing are floaters, NOT gnats, and I look around to see if anyone saw me.

This morning while walking the dog, I was walking and noticed the floaters again. Rather than embarrass myself in front of the neighborhood by flinging my arms about at nothing, I took a deep breath and kept walking, thinking that the floaters would settle in a minute. This would have been a great plan, if the floaters were really floaters. Instead they really were gnats and as I took a deep breath, one flew up my nose. So instead of waving my arms about my face, I stood there hacking and honking and snorting and doing a little dance because I was totally squicked out about inhaling a gnat.

That was so completely NOT RAYMOND!