Archive | November, 2010

Weekend Update at 9

30 Nov

I have finally recovered enough from our non-stop weekend to regale you with its exciting details.

Saturday Jordan and I packed up the kids in the car and set off for the middle of nowhere.  Which, surprisingly enough is in Western Oklahoma.  Who knew?  (And the kids didn’t mind being packed up as long as we poked holes in their boxes….drum roll, please.)  Jordan’s Great Uncle owns quite a bit of land out there and was also in the possession of most of his grandchildren.   Awesome stuff since that meant that Jaden & Fisher were constantly entertained.  Most of the entertainment stemmed from the elevator they had in their house.  (For reals.  I would have flipped as a kid if I’d visited a house with an elevator.)  Thus, as the adults visited downstairs, the kids rode up and down between the first and third floor about 38 times.  The loud “ding” that the elevator would emit upon arrival kept us up-to-date on their location.

Of course, the elevator didn’t get truly exciting until I agreed to ride in it with the kids.  Somewhere between the first and second floor we got stuck.  And then again on our way to the third floor.  It was hilarious….well, not really.  I was wondering how loudly we would have to yell for help and how long it would take for someone came to the rescue.  Thankfully the elevator, or “alligator” as Fisher calls it, sensed my panic and decided to get its act together.  [whew]  I  have never been so happy to see three flights of stairs.

And what was my favorite part of the day?  Seeing my first Wind Farm on the way home.  I must confess that seeing those giant, lumbering wind mills set as a backdrop to rural Oklahoma was amazing.  I couldn’t stop staring.  (Until I ran off the road…then I stopped.)  ;]

Sunday brought another full day of non-stop fun for us.  We drove up to Jenks, OK which is just outside of Tulsa to visit the Oklahoma Aquarium.  A friend of Jordan’s works there and offered to give of the grand tour.

 

As you can tell, I loved it.  The aquarium was practically crawling with turtles.  [sigh]  Look at that face?  It makes me want to pinch its cheek if that didn’t mean I’d take its head off by accident.

Jaden was content to view the exhibits at her leisure whereas Fisher appeared to be in a race to see everything at once.  (Either that or he was anxious to get to his favorite part…Lunch!)  By the time we reached the Shark exhibit Fisher had finally lost some steam and was ready to really soak in the scene before him.  And around him.  He really got a kick out of standing in the tunnel that ran through the Shark Tank.

 

 

And then came the Loggerhead Turtles.  (A moment of silence please.)  I am almost ashamed of how much I worshiped these turtles as a child.  Instead of logging several hours each day playing Super Mario Brothers, I would spend hours at the computer researching turtles, mostly Loggerheads, and dreaming of a day that I could work with them in the wild or at a facility.  Sadly, that dream didn’t come true.  However, getting to spend some one-on-one time with these guys was amazing.

 

 

This one in particular was super friendly.  (Or super hungry…I am going to pretend that he/she liked as for who we were and not for the slight chance that we were going to feed her/him.)

There were scads of other awesome aquatic creatures there, most of which were in areas too dark to document.  Didn’t want you to think that I was biased towards the turtles.  [Ahem]  ;)

Anywho…the day at the aquarium was amazing.  I could not be more grateful for the chance to have the full tour by Jordan’s friend.  Kudos.  It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience for us all.

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A spur of the moment post…

26 Nov

I pride myself in reigning in the occasional gush of feminine hormones, thereby keeping if from appearing here.  This is nothing more annoying than to listen to a woman on an emotional high rant about puppies…or unicorns, if that were possible.  (I certainly hope not.)

However, I have been unsuccessful tonight.  For who can control themselves when being seduced by The Puppy Song.  (Somewhere a fairy just lost it’s wings.)  I speak of course of the opening song to “You’ve Got Mail.”  My all-time-favorite-movie-in-the-history-of-the-universe.  For reals.  I cannot even begin to convey my deep-seated love of this movie…so I won’t.  Just know that this film makes me giddy with delight.  And, as you have probably guessed by now, I am about to watch it.

I won’t go into a montage about why I love this movie, but I will say that it is the epitome of my every childhood wish.  (That is until the quaint book store is squashed by a larger chain store…but I digress.)

Anyway…sorry for interrupting your perfectly wonderful post-holiday daze.  If you were wondering, I am about to entertain myself with songs about puppies, bouquets of sharpened pencils and caviar garnishes.  [sigh]  Pure bliss.

Paper Pilgrim Disgust

26 Nov

Ah, Thanksgiving.  It was good.  We cooked, we ate, we watched the National Dog Show.  Classic.  Then, just before the sun set, we decided to string up some Christmas lights in the front yard.  (I like that the Pilgrims that Jaden & Fisher drew are watching us from the window as we defile their holiday.  Sorry folks, Christmas is way more exciting.)

I’ve never decorated a yard in lights, and since everyone does it, I figured it would be an easy task.  Wrong.  Did you know that you have to be strategic about this kind of thing?  Like making sure you decorate things so that your male and female plugs meet up in the right place?  Well, we figured that out after we’d decorated half the yard.  [nervous laugh]  No worries.  It was only a frosty 32 degrees outside.  The blowing wind kept us motivated.  ;]

How cold was it, you say?  Cold enough for me to put on a hat, which I have never done.  And for me to break down and put on a second pair of gloves, which I have never done.  It was about this time that I wished I had put on my Cuddl Duds.  (That’s right…not only am I drinking un-sweet tea now, I’m also wearing long underwear.  I’m a woman on edge!)

After losing sensation in all my extremities, I decided to press on.  The yard turned out looking quite festive and the kids were utterly thrilled.  [smile]

Heck, I even walked the dogs later that night in the 20-some-odd degree weather.  Who needs toes, right?  ;]

Pine Cone Parade

25 Nov

 

Ah…Thanksgiving has arrived.  Cranberry-Eggnog Muffins have been eaten.  The children are absolutely hyper.  The dogs are outside treading through a foot of sycamore leaves.  And the local brown paper bags have teamed up with our pine cones to put on a show.  Beat that, Macy’s.  [wink]

After cooking for six straight hours yesterday, all I have left to do is bake this morning.  Soon all we’ll have to do is eat and try to stay warm.  (The wind-chill outside right now is 24 degrees.)   It will be an awesome day.

So, Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  I hope you all have a lovely day and full bellies.  [smile]

 

Spiders and Mice and Turkeys, oh my!

24 Nov

Apparently Lemon did not look at the calendar this morning before she decided to fall asleep on the laundry.  Doesn’t she know that it’s the day before Thanksgiving?  The day of preparation?  The day of frantic, last-minute runs to the grocery store?  The day of hit or miss cleaning as you try to bake two things at once?  [sigh]  Obviously, she either doesn’t know or couldn’t care less.

And now I have to be the bad guy and move her.  [shaking head]  I guess I’ll do the laundry later.

In other news…

We have discovered two, count ’em two black widow spiders in our garage in the past week.   That doesn’t even include the one we found at our office.  Nice.  Do I want to go rummaging around in the garage for my scarf?  Absolutely not.  I value my fingers.  All eight of them…plus two thumbs.  [wink]

Then, the day before yesterday I stroll into work  to be confronted with the phrase, “Let’s talk about rats.”  Yes, lets.  Apparently the mice/rats that live in the field behind our office get cold in the winter.  Psh.  Go figure.  And at some point they’re going to want to cozy up with us in the office.  Well that’s good news.  The poisonous spiders are getting lonely.

After recovering from the shock of more creepy-crawling-nastiness, I was given a tour of rat poison locations.  It’s a great way to start your day.  Coffee…and rat poison.  It’s like eggs and bacon.

No worries, the kids were given a stern talk about our upcoming visitors along with a serious talk about their accommodations.  Breakfast buffet?  Right this way sir.

I keep hoping that the mice will develop the gift of higher thinking.  Maybe follow after Remy in Ratatouille  and go to France.  France loves mice, right?

By yesterday the kids had come to terms with the mice situation and were eager for hourly reports of their progress.

Jaden:  Have any mice showed up at the office yet?

Me: No, I am sure that they are still out in the field, waiting for the cold to come.

Jaden:  Have you ever seen a mice in the wild?

Me:  Yes, actually, I have.  When I was a child I picked one up and it bit me.  It was very dangerous since they carry diseases that could make you sick or even die.

Jaden: [gasp]  Did you live?!

Me: ……. Obviously.

Cornstarch and salt and everything nice.

22 Nov

We kicked off the Christmas season a little early this past weekend.  (Shameful, I know.  I have long been a proponent of giving Thanksgiving it’s time to shine before diving into Christmas.)  My mother-in-law helped Jaden and Fisher make their first Cornstarch/Salt Clay ornaments.  I had never heard of this project, but apparently it was one that several generations of her family had done as children.  The concept is cool, the recipe is simple and the fun to be had is endless.  I cannot wait to decorate the tree this year.  It will definitely have a “homey” touch.


Once the dough was made, the kids got to work.  Using cookie cutters, they cut shapes out of the dough to be used for their future ornaments.  No, this isn’t regular cookie dough.  Yes, you can eat it…but I wouldn’t suggest it.  Cornstarch, salt and water?  Not that appetizing, folks.


Once Jaden and Fisher got into the swing of things, the excitement of the project took hold.  And things got a little….crazy.


They went from quietly cutting out the dough to pounding it feverishly with cookie cutters as crazed looks enveloped their faces.


They were delirious with excitement and drunk on the anticipation of  painting.  Oooh, painting.  Could this project get any cooler?

 

The painting phase was so intense that I failed to document it.  So sorry.  However, I don’t think that a table full of painting children is any place to be when you’re a camera.  Especially a nice camera.  So, the camera sat it out until the ornaments were painted and laid out to dry.

In the end, the ornaments were AWESOME.  Jaden took her time, paint the foreground first and then the background last.  She claims it’s the best way to paint.  Fisher, however, painted all of his a solid color, then added stripes at the last moment for interest.  They are definitely interesting.  [wink]

Though fragile, if packed away carefully, they could last for years.  And if not, they’re cheap and easy to make.  It could easily become a tradition.  [smile]

Decapitated Christmas

18 Nov

This week I’ve gotten to experience Oklahoma in its true form….windy.  My father-in-law says that the wind is due to Texas sucking and Kansas blowing…but that’s for you to decide.  [wink]  (I think his remark is aimed more towards sports than the weather…in case you didn’t catch that.)

Anyhoo, I’ve been frickin freezing.  I’m not used to this kind of weather.  Normally I don’t experience highs in the 50’s until January…at least, that’s the way Georgia does it.  I used to hate that.  I would lament the fact that it was fall for crying out loud and why couldn’t Georgia acknowledge that it was fall?  70’s?  Come on!  Alas, I’ve gotten my wish.  It’s been in the 50’s this week…in November.  (Say whaa?)  For reals.  And not only that, yesterday I got to enjoy my very first wind advisory.  (Unfortunately, Hallmark doesn’t make a tree ornament for that…)  What’s that you say?  The 50’s a bit too cold for you?  Well…what are your thoughts on some 30 MPH winds?  I know, I know…a bit extreme, but you haven’t really lived until your ears scramble back into your head to escape the cold.  It’s such a rush.

And then this morning came another first…my virgin trip out to my car with a bottler of de-icer in hand.  Ohhh…ahhh.  [snicker]  (She said virgin!)  There’s nothing more fascinating than spraying ice away with neon yellow chemicals.  [sniiiif]  Wake up and smell the chemicals, my friends.

So, what am I going to do about it?  I am finally going to break down and purchase an ear bra.  The darn things won’t stay on my head, but at least I am making the first step.  [wink]

 

 

 

In other news….  Have you started buying Christmas gifts yet?  No?  Me either.  [sigh]  I have not a clue what to get anyone.  Well, that’s not true.  I do have one idea for my mom…check it out:  Yep.  Cat toys.  Decapitated animal cat toys.  I only buy the finest for my mom.

See what I mean?  This would make for the wrong kind of memorable moment on Christmas moment.

So, yeah.  I’ve got some work to do.