Monday, October 27, 2008


Ten old fashioned terms I'd like to bring back into our daily lexicon:

1. Shenanigans (My boys and their shenanigans!)
2. Snazzy (Brooke, that's a snazzy top you have on today!)
3. Razzle-dazzle (This power point is boring. Let's add some razzle-dazzle.)
4. Houligan (Those houligans across the street are up to no good again.)
5. Trousers (These trousers are tight on me!)
6. Scram (Here comes Steve, we'd better scram.)
7. Meat hooks (Get your meat-hooks off of me!)
8. Unmentionables (I washed my husband's unmentionables with my red shirt, and now they're all pink.)
9. Davenport (Let me move the cat so you can sit down on the davenport.)
10. Drainboard (I left the banana bread out on the drainboad; help yourself.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween at the Zoo

We went to the zoo last night for the Pumpkin Prowl, and it was dark and scary for Fezzik, but fun for the rest of us!

We saw this fantastic acrobatics troupe from Portland, Kaz├╝m, performing to The B-52's "Planet Claire." It was amazing.

And the Youth Company from SANCA. No video, but they juggled glowing balls in the dark, and jumped rope (sometimes while juggling). These kids were so composed, even when they missed. I'm always in awe of folks who can pick up and run with it after a snafu, without a hint of poor showmanship. This is the place where we'll take The Amazing So and So for acrobatics classes once he turns two.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Winter Squash Obsession

This is the best thing I've ever done with a butternut squash. The sweetness of the squash melded perfectly with the roasted garlic. It sounds weird, I know, but if you like squash, you won't be disappointed. This recipe will serve 6 as a side dish, pretty easily.

2 or 3 lbs dry winter squash (Butternut, Blue Hubbard or Kabocha would work well. Use any dry squash, but not acorn or Delicata - they're too wet and won't caramelize enough when you roast it)
6 big cloves of garlic
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. olive oil
Salt, pepper
Preheat oven to 325

1. Peel and gut the squash, then cut it into tiny, 1/3 inch cubes. You can be lazy and cut the cubes bigger, but the extra caramelization that happens when you cut it into teeny tiny cubes is worth every knife stroke. Trust me.
2. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. You can use more if you are trying to ward off vampires, or if you're my friend Anna. I would use more next time, for sure.
3. Place the squash, garlic, flour and salt and pepper in a mixing bowl, and stir it all together.
4. Oil the bottom and sides of a large roasting pan. The biggest you can find. Then dump the squash mixture into the pan and pour the olive oil over the top. You can use more oil if you're not watching your girlish figure. It's good with more.
5. Bake/roast for 2 + hours, until the squash is golden brown all over.
6. Serve. Don't expect leftovers, but if you can't eat it all in one sitting, it's very, very good hotted up the next day too.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Movie Night

New drink recipe:
1 part Stoli Vanil vodka
2 parts root beer
Serve over ice

Had my three favorite belly dance friends over to watch "The Belly Dancers of Cairo" last night, and we finished off a fifth of vanilla vodka. Yummy!

Good movie, too (I think).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's time for another installment of Things I Own and Love.

My Grandma Bonnie's kitchen timer, from the '40's or '50's. It was one of the three items I claimed from her basement after she died a few years ago, along with her pickle crock and her Staffordshire china dog. There is beauty in the timer's simplicity (and its Bakelite hand).

This timer serves us well. We use it for timing such things as hard-boiled eggs, tooth brushing, time-outs (not often), and clean-up blitzes (not often here, either). Most recently we have been using it to time Fezzik's reading sessions, not because we want to make sure he reads the specified homework amount, but because we want him to have enough time to live a little, too. Kiddo never puts down the books.

Except today, when he strapped his calculator to his belt loop and exclaimed "I know it's weird, but I like doing random calculations."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Awesome Decorating Tip # 42

I'm no Martha Stewart. But every now and then, I come up with a good homemaking idea.

Also, Halloween is my favorite holiday without presents.

And I like to outfit my home very creepily for this occasion.

This year, to build on the interior creepiness, including my handmade shredded muslin curtains, I've decided to print out old photos, portraits, dageurrotypes, and silhouettes, replacing my usual pictures and prints.

I've found some awesome images online, Victorian funeral portraits and antique autopsy photos. These are too gross even for me. But I really like the idea. You out there, yes, you, without the 7-year-old, feel free to make giant autopsy prints.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Overheard at the playground this morning:

Mom 1: You're a shining example. A single mom, with two kids, and no job, yet your kids are still dressed to the nines.
Mom 2: It isn't easy, but I do try to dress them really well. Nordstrom, Baby Gap, you know.
Mom 1: You do a great job of it.

Me (in my head): what does that make me? I'm a married mom, with two kids and a great job. Even so, my kids' wardrobes are about 75% thrifted. Right, that makes me smart.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Actual Conversation With My 89-Year-Old Grandma

I love my grandma. This will scratch at the surface of how cute she is. [By the way, she's a died-in-the-wool republican; I try not to hold it against her.]

Me: So, Gram, who are you voting for this year?
Gram: Well, I just don't know.
Me: What do you think?
Gram: I think I like O-bah-na [sic]
Me: Yeah? Me too.
Gram: I heard O-banna is a Hindu.
Me: I'm pretty sure he's a Christian, Grandma. [in my head, I'm screaming: NOT THAT IT MATTERS]
Gram: Oh really? I heard he was one of those Muslim.
Me: No, he has been a member of a Christian church in Chicago for years.
Gram: Oh, that's good. I really don't like that MacLaine, though. I just can't stand that MacLaine.
Me: Yeah, me neither. I don't like that MacLaine...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Boys

The Dark Knight on a Dark Night

Are you sitting down? Lawnboy and I went on a date last night. Without the boys!

We dropped the kiddies off at my auntie's house, and Fezzik got to ride a motorcycle with his Uncle Otter. He was terrified and even tried to put off the ride, but he came back with a grin from ear to ear, and exclaimed "This was the most fun I've ever had in my entire life!" Yeah, forget taking him to Italy, or Disneyland, a 10 minute ride on a Gold Wing wins. Whatevs.

Lawnboy and I had intended to grab a quick bite to eat and go see "Burn After Reading," but the quick bite took longer than we anticipated, so we were late. The Indian food was worth it, though. We rolled up to the cinema and saw that "The Dark Knight" was playing in 10 minutes, so tickets were procured and we saw the first grown-up movie we've seen in a long time. I can't remember the last.

I'm not a movie buff, but I know my pop culture trivia, and I've heard people bantering the words "Oscar-worthy" about, in reference to Heath Ledger's Joker performance. I was skeptical, chalking most of the rave reviews up to his death, but he did a fantastic job as a deeply scary villain. Aaron Eckhart is great too, as Harvey Dent. Did you see him in "Thank You For Smoking?" If not, you should.

I've enjoyed many a graphic novel, but I am not a huge comic nerd. I like Batman because he has a real story. It's not random, what he does. There's more feeling to it, and it's more real. He's not super-human. I guess I like the realism.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Week of the Baby Doll Arms

I would like to lay it on the line for you right now and say that I don't go in for trends. Remember the movie "Titanic?" I don't, because I never saw it. Were you an early adopter of Capri Pants? It took me a good year before I tried on a pair of those puppies. And right now, I'm giving those stupid open-toed boots the stink-eye. I hope I won't have to go on record next year and tell you I have three pair. Which gets me to my point: I didn't read "The Secret," and I don't think I believe in the Law of Attraction.

However, that doesn't mean I don't appreciate coincidence when it crosses my path.

You know how when you first spot someone new at work, and then it seems like they're following you down every hallway? Or how about when you learn the definition of a new, big word? Shortly thereafter, it's on a billboard you pass on your way to work. And in an email from your company's CEO, and then you hear it on CNN the next day. You know what I'm talking about, right?

Well, this week, this weirdness was manifested in the form of baby doll arms. Suddenly they are everywhere. I told you that I was shopping for a unique rack for my sister's birthday. I hit Etsy to see what cool handcrafted thing I could find, but all that turned up was this.

What the?! Creepy! I sent a picture to Sis to make her laugh, and she asked me to please not send her one.

Then, Saturday night? What should appear before my very eyes, but this?! Awesome, but also extremely creepy!

Enjoy the week of the baby doll arms with me, and please let me know if you run into any yourself!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Sissy's Birthday

My sister recently unearthed my mother's collection of antique beaded and mesh purses. They were weird to me when my mom was collecting them, but now that she's gone, they're one more thing I have around my house that remind me of her and fill me with good memories.

So, we divided them up among us, and she asked me for some kind of vintage-y display rack for her birthday, to show them off at her house. Mine are boxed up awaiting the right house to display them, and also waiting for my boys to get old enough to trust around them. I don't think the purses would win in a light-saber-vs.-mesh-purse battle. I'm just sayin'.

She found some cute racks at Anthropologie, but they looked mass-produced and, well, common. I thought she and the purses deserved more.

So I got her these.

From here. Aren't they cool? They kind of remind me of coral, but they're really tree branches. Muahahahahaha, it's all a part of my Eeeevil Plan to decorate the world in a woodland theme. For Christmas, she's getting a dead deer. Or something taxidermed.

Friday, October 03, 2008

La Cuisine

The kitchen is coming along swimmingly. Especially when you consider that the labor is free.

That said, all cabinets are installed. The recycled slate countertop option didn't pan out (more on that next week), so I've been trying my best to find an acceptable substitute.

My dad's realtor was generous enough to give us her wholesale secret code, so when we went to the special tile store, we said a magic word and POOF!, everything was discounted by 25%. I found some porcelain tile that isn't my first choice, but the price is right, it's available for pickup today, and I'll have a working kitchen soon. So I DO NOT CARE if it's not slate. Or recycled. Or an old chalkboard.

The in-laws are behaving quite nicely, I must say. No complaints other than that I have to wear clothes to and from the bathroom whether I want to or not. Oh well.

Sunday is the day I should have a workable kitchen, then in the next 2 weeks, everything will be exactly in place as planned. YIPPEE!!!