Thursday, June 30, 2005

A camping we will go...

See how I'm sitting here instead of getting ready for the mammoth camping trip? That's because no posts = no readers and no readers = no comments. And just because I don't respond personally to every comment don't think I don't love them and you guys for leaving them.

I was up until way too late last night, or too early as the case may be, packing things up....five days in Maine with two dogs, two kids, a pop up camper (the guest house is hitting the road) and a canoe. Take that plus the fact that there's no electricity and no running water and you've got what amounts to alot of stuff to pack.

The fishy has been replaced. It was the girlie's that died. This time. I wasted no time in heading to Petco to pick up a new one. They're kind of a disposa-pet but I've become attached to my little aquarium. It's not like they give me any trouble. You won't for instance catch them running through the hugely expensive electric fence, yelping at the shock in mid-air, for the chance at the neighbor's cat. And then taking off to run to the park next door in the hopes of shagging a few fly balls at a little league game but instead catching the attention of a parent who calls the dog officer because he's pooped in the middle of the field and someone just might step in that. At least the dog officer waived the pick-up fee for me.

So, kiddos....I'm off. Off to Maine. I will take many pictures hopefully one that will coincide nicely with the Friday Show and Tell and hopefully it won't be as expensive as last year's trip which I chronicled for you all. I can't link to my own posts, somehow in all of the changes I've made I took out the ability to link to an individual post. Damn. But really, it was excellent reading, excellent. It's in the June archives from last year. I highly recommend checking it out.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Rest in Peace Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 26, 2005

For you, Lisa....

10 years ago .....

We had just moved back from Texas and had gotten engaged.

5 years ago....

I was 4 months pregnant with the girlie and the house was under going an almost complete reconstruction.

1 year ago...

I was just figuring out this blog thing and was getting ready for a camping trip to Maine.


I was really, really hot and totally appreciated the fact that we live on a pond.


I worked, swam, ate dinner outside on the deck in dripping wet bathing suits with the kids and played some Tony Hawk Underground.


I'm bringing my 4runner to the garage because the trailer hookup that we thought doesn't. Then I'll be going grocery shopping. oooh, the excitement. The boy's got a game, so we'll cool off at the rink.

5 snacks I enjoy...

tortilla chips and salsa
popcorn (with m&m minis if I'm lucky)
club crackers

5 songs I know all the words to...

I'm not listing kid songs here but seriously, that's all I can come up with.

5 things I would do with $100,000,000...

Buy half of my neighborhood.
Probably quit my job.
Buy a small home in a tropical locale.
Visit all fifty states
Throw the hugest of parties

5 locations I would love to run away to...

Nice Carribean Island

5 things I like doing...

watching a good movie
watching Patiots football
playing a game or something with the kids
sitting outside, having a drink or two in front of the fire.

5 things I would never wear...

mc hammer pants, ballet slippers, the winter coat my husband gave me for Christmas, a Wonder Bra and toe socks

5 recently seen movies I like...

Mean Girls
Finding Neverland
The Woodsman
Friday Night Lights
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

5 famous people I'd like to meet...

I'm way too socially inept to want to meet one famous person, much less five.

5 biggest joys of the moment...

Tomorrow is the last day of school.
Netflix is sending me three new movies.
We're heading to Maine at the end of this week.
The Jergen's Natural Glow lotion hasn't been at all streaky.
The Poison oak/sumac crap is going away.

5 favorite toys...

My cameras, this PC, the sprinkler, gameboy and legos (not for me but they keep the kids busy and quiet for hours )

5 more suckers...

I'm not punishing anyone else (ehem, Lisa!) Play along if you'd like.

My present concerns:

1. I've been blogging for a year now. Is it my one year anniversary? Well, yes. Last Friday. In my usual totally absentminded way I forgot all about it. Big deal? No, I just wanted to remember.

2. I was supposed to celebrate Fred's adoptiversary with the kids. Last Saturday. Strrrrike two.

3. I've hated the name of my blog from the minute I chose it.

4. When you're home alone at 1:00 a.m. - your dog growling and barking a few deep, warning filled barks is NOT the most relaxing sound in the world.

5. Finding Neverland. Good movie.

6. I thought I'd be happier that the house is quiet and I'm scheduleless until later tonight. *sigh*

7. My husband brought home a truckload of the most perfect sand box sand ever. There were nine kids in here the other day and this is what they built.

8. Katie Holmes, where are your parents, girl? Could Tom Cruise be ANY more ridiculous? I missed the Today show. Which in itself, isn't news since I don't watch the Today Show, but I read this and thought, "Whatinthehell?"

Friday, June 24, 2005

To do...

For the Friday Show and Tell...

Here it handwriting and the list of things that need doing. I can check off Route 44, the bank, and Courtyard. That's it. And it's one thirty. Not good.

On the other hand, the house is clean, I raked out a large area in the yard and ....ate lunch. Does eating lunch count?

Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 23, 2005

So my husband's taking the kids to Maine. He's on a delivery mission, bringing up the outdoor dog run that was given to us so the dogs won't become coyote food if we decide to take off for a hike or a swim. We'd keep them in the camper but the lab can open the camper door. Dumb like a fox that one.

He's leaving tomorrow and coming home Saturday evening so it's not a huge undertaking but I'm wondering how much caffiene I'd have to drink to keep myself awake for each and every hour of the peace and quiet. By Saturday around 5 p.m. I'll be impatiently looking out my kitchen window waiting for the kiddos to return. Then again, it IS only twenty four hours so maybe not.

I am so anxious to get up there this year. I'm pining for the Pine Tree State. *sigh* Only seven more days.

My son won a bike/skateboarding helmet today at school. First off, Hoo-Ray for him. He hasn't realized that the helmet he's been wearing has flowers on it. They're psychedelic flowers and kind of hard to make out. But the fact remains....they ARE flowers. Second off, thank you small town police department, you just saved me $30.00 that I would've had to spend once he wised up to the floral design.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Good Things

This is seems to be working. Somewhat.

I will listen to this. Loudly. With the windows down.

I am seriously wanting this.

My children and husband are heading here on Friday for twenty four blissful hours.

I am polishing my furniture like a crazy woman because of this. I cannot resist the smell.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Apparently the poison isn't ivy, it's sumac or something. I know... how about ITCHY. It's driving me batty.

I have all kinds of fun planned for today. The son has a dentist appointment. Always a good time but at least it's better than it was last year. It's not so cute when your seven year old covers his mouth and then hides next to his momma or under the chair (really, under the chair) when the hygenist tries to brush flouride on his teeth. Flouride. Last time he went and nearly died from embarassment when he found out just how easy it was. You would think a kid with a deep seeded fear of the dentist would actually try to brush his teeth well, but no.

I also get to spread three yards of wood chips under the swingset so that the kiddos don't get a skull fracture if they fall on the roots that are poking out. I like the spreading of stuff like wood chips and mulch - things just look better pretty much instantly. That and I get to check another thing off the giant cookout checklist.

It's Bad and I'm late.

Okay, I know I'm way late with this but I've got it. Something bad.

I couldn't get a picture because the underside of my right forearm is incredibly hard to position for the camera.

Poison Ivy.


Off to the races...

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Too Cool for School

Not only did I skip the Friday Show and Tell but my son skipped school and we took off for the entire day doing this. Geeks? You bet.

These were all places we had been before but never with a mission. A picnic lunch at one destination, nothing but mosquito bites at another, the best frozen slushies at one place and at the next place it was a rousing game of "I hid your shoe now you go and find it". It was sunny and beautiful. The perfect day for hookie.

I checked the show and tell last night before I posted, which I don't normally do, and found out that my posting a picture of my checkbook would have been alot like Jen's bad. And my posting a picture of Fred would have been just like Blackbird's bad. Y'know Blackbird I was checking my phone bills last month and there were an awful lot of phone calls to Tuvalu. In the middle of the night. One night I woke up and I heard someone talking, a voice I didn't recognize. I thought it was the T.V. but now it all makes sense. He was saying "First, get the 'puppy eyes' thing down. After that, you're set. You can do whatever. The best way to get into the trashcan, I find, is two paws on the rim and shift your weight and SLAM - it falls and it's like freakin' Christmas. Even though at Christmas I only had to rip through a bag and girl, I ate, like, 4 goddamned pounds of lasagna and some chocolate cake thing. I was sick for two days. It was AWESOME. Anyways, the trash...when they find it and you know they will, because that's just the way they are, do the puppy eyes. Works like a charm."

I mean, how was I to know Blackbird? Sorry 'bout that. His phone privileges are taken away for ..... have the cutest little face. And those puppy dog eyes.. c'mere and let me scratch those ears... Huh? What was I saying? I forget. Oh, yeah - Show and Tell Friday. um..the checkbook...okay, anyway...I skipped.

And today I cleaned. Ho hum. And tomorrow is Father's Day. The husbands gift is sitting at the post office. How thoughtful of me, not to pick it up in time. And no, it isn't a book of stamps.
We watched Huck Finn last night starring Frodo Baggins as Huck. His eyes were creepily big back then.

Tonight I'm assisting in the construction of a diorama for 'Fly Homer Fly'. The paint is drying. That's my high point for the evening. Watching paint dry.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Bad Mojo or Sleep Deprived?

So, tempting the fate of the internet gods might not have been such a wise idea.

Realistically, the children are just tired. Tired of school and all that it entails. Tired because we are tired of school and all that it entails. And letting them stay up way past a reasonable hour on Friday and Saturday night and kind of ignoring any prudent bed time for the past four nights.

As hot as it was it is now that cold. 50 degrees. My son wore a jacket outside this morning. WTF.

Kate's list of all things summer brought back many good memories. Jumping out of the pool and running through the neighborhood wet hair flying because you heard the ice cream man's bell on the next street. Carving your initials in the warm, soft asphalt on a scorching hot day. One last bike ride around the block. Thinking you were cool because you were allowed to mow the lawn.

Today's fun is different, but still good. The ice cream man comes to the beach - I walk, the kids run - but we always buy. We've traded the asphalt road for a dirt road - a good decision especially in the winter because the snow always sticks. We still bike ride, but there aren't as many blocks, tons of cul-de-sacs though and that depresses me a little. The son has inherited the love of lawn mowing and we smile knowingly. I love our house near the lake, I'm hoping my grandkids do to.

I spent Wednesday with a friend and just the girlie and her girls. They swam in the pool, showing off their different tricks and we went for a ride through the woods on these... so much fun. They've bushwacked a race track through their yard and then we zipped across the street to race around her inlaw's sulkie track, then through the woods, some cornfields, over a bridge or two. The girlie and I laughed for an hour straight. It's good to have friends with expensive taste.

And the Show and Tell this week? Something BAD.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

New Found Glory

My kiddos. Still getting along. I realize I'm tempting the intenet gods right this very minute but I like to live dangerously. That and I'm still, after two and a half weeks, in shock.

There were arguments, lots and lots of arguments. "He pushed me", "She said she'd do XYZ and she changed her mind AGAIN", "I'm tell-ing" guys know how it is.

And then came the gypsy moth catepillars. They decided to catch a few and make a habitat for them. My son fancies himself to be a mini-researcher. The habitat? His radio flyer wagon, with sticks and leaves and bark and moss. Duct tape running up the sides where the wooden rails don't quite meet and two pieces of plywood for the lid. The best part, no assistance was requested by the kids for, like, two hours while they were working on it. And there was no arguing.

That was the beginning of the end. They would get up early, six a.m., and get dressed - my son picking out the girlie's clothes, and head for the great 1/4 acre wilderness we call a yard. They'd pick catepillars for the habitat or spend an hour making signs for their new catepillar business. 1 cent for the little guys and two cents for the big yucky ones - in case you're interested. I'd have to call them in for breakfast.

It has since graduated to drawing together, playing tag in the sprinkler, the boy reading to the girlie as they spend more nights than not tucked into their sleeping bags on the floor in one of their bedrooms, selling their pokemon cards to each other. That'll be two cents for Rattata, please.

They are currently in the cellar with my craft paints. Which are really not my craft paints at all, seeing as how I'm not very good at all things crafty. They are my "kids you've been good you can use MY paints today" paints.

I was reading, I think it might have been here, but I've forgotten - that her pediatrician told her that as long as the kids are good at least 60 percent of the time, they're good kids - don't expect too much. Seems a little low, but she has two young boys. A few weeks ago I would've taken the sixty percent and run with it. Before the gypsy moths, when the kids were together I was getting a solid thirty percent. Fighting and attitudes flying. The Quest for the Cup contest is still going on, but the points being minused were outweighing all of their good deeds.

We are now tipping the scales at a conservative 85 percent. Yes, it's THAT good. The rewards are small but there are rewards. They come in the form of CD's I've made for them or ice cream right after school or a pack of Pokemon cards or listening to my Green Day CD for a dance party or maybe staying up late to watch a movie. Not that we wouldn't have done those things before but certainly not with the frequency that we do them now. Those are their rewards.

And my reward? My son is the big brother my daughter has always wanted him to be. The big brother I always knew he could be. And she is his best friend.

Added after the fact because I sound like I'm living in a fantasy land:
Of course I know that they're little and this could all come crashing down around me in, say, five minutes. But the key to the success of this new found glory would be the fact that I'm not letting myself get overly worked up over a two second or five minute argument. They go to their rooms for some cooling off (or in the case of ninety degree heat - alone sweatbox time) and it ends with an apology and a handshake.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Short term memory loss

I almost forgot that only months ago we were buried, in girlie's case, up to our eyeballs in snow. Cold, wet, cold, white, cold, scrumptious and did I mention cold? snow. And some of you, you wished (and me too - but only once or twice) and wished for summer. Well, it's here. And it's sweaty and miserable. And hot and sticky. But luckily this being New England, it is scheduled to last for precisely one more day and then the temperature is supposed to drop twenty five to thirty degrees.

Posted by Hello

Also, note to anyone looking to escape the heat...sign your kids up for hockey IN THE SUMMER. Guys, it's heaven in that rink. Like 50 or 60 degrees and so damn refreshing. I can't wait to go back tomorrow night.

 Posted by Hello

 Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Two down, four hundred eighty six to go

Well, two thing are checked off the cookout to do list. My boy has been pestering us to have a big party here so he's finally gotten his wish. Albeit it was made under drunken duress, but it's been offically scheduled.

Today was hot and sticky and altogether Augusty. I'm resisting all air conditioning urges. This heat is temporary and the A.C. in the window right above this computer is permanent until we get ambitious in November and take it out. It's damn heavy.

There was much swimming and barbequeing and have I told you how well my kids are getting along? No? Well, they are. We are going on our THIRD week of wonderfully stress free living here at Casa de Jenny. I will wax poetic about this newfound bliss another time ....when it isn't midnight and I have to get ready for the usual Monday Melee.

What did I say we'd do???

Warning: Even though the Smirnoff Ice things look and taste remarkably similar to Invisible Kool-Aid they are not in fact, Invisible Kool Aid.

And while drinking copious amounts of them on a blistering hot day (mmmm, so good and icy cold) be careful that you don't volunteer to host a HUGE HUGE cookout for say, two weeks after the 4th of July without first mentally checking off all of the things you'd want done before a HUGE HUGE cookout takes place in your yard.

'Nuff said?

Friday, June 10, 2005

For the Friday Show & door knob. Looks like the keys have hit the door on more than one occasion, chipping the paint. It wasn't the result of THAT many drunken nights...or was it? Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The first swim. He's right...the water is cold. Not cold - can't feel your hands - just cold.The pond water level is the highest we've seen it get in the past nine years. Usually those steps aren't submerged and we have a little sandy beach. I miss the sandy little beach. Posted by Hello

Dinner. A 29" striped bass the husband caught this weekend. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


She is the bane of my existence, this Toodie. She's poked holes in the door panels of my new-to-me 4runner with knitting needles, she's ripped ten dollar bills in half, written on the sofa and the kitchen walls, crumpled up homework and much, much more.

She is the imaginary friend of the girlie. To be fair, apprarently there is good Toodie...who plays games and dollhouse and helps with puzzles and bad Toodie who wreaks havoc with my life.

I have threatened to kick Bad Toodie out of our lives only to be met by crying and caterwauling. My son has sat on Bad Toodie and threatened her. (Which, really, this is something to see) My husband has threatened to leave her at the store or restaurant or wherever when she's causing a problem. Ripping clothes off the racks? Toodie did it. Rip open all the sugar packets at a restaurant? Damn Toodie.

I might have posted about this before but Toodie took a little sabbatical and it seems that she's returned. Seriously, people think I'm crazy when I roll my eyes and say with a sigh "Toodie" as I discover the citronella candle buckets filled with sand and dirt. Not that I'm not crazy but I try to keep it a closely guarded secret.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Well, internet friends...the J family seasonal guest house is open for business. It's been scrubbed and swept and smells like the fresh outdoors. Care to join us for a breakfast on the patio? Lunch at the pond? Dinner on the grill? Drinks by the fire? No? Well, I am kind of a stinky hostess. By day hour two I'll be telling you to help yourself to anything - because I'll be enjoying my summery drinks too much to bother with you all. But're welcome anytime...

The guest house Posted by Hello

Monday, June 06, 2005

What rhymes with Orange?

I am recovered, mostly. The kids are in bed, not bathed but eh, their teeth are brushed so that's something.

Inspired by the Friday Show n Tell I took a trip to the local Target, which for the love of Pete I will never call Tar-shey (however that might be spelled), to find a few new things. Jen's Invisible Kool-Aid check. I searched the aisles for Badger's Jergen's Natural Glow Moisturizer. No luck. I happened upon this. Sounded similar.

Editor's note: The very definition of the word similar should tip you off to just how this expedition to self tanner land ended up.

I got home, read the label again. How hard can it be? Mistake number one: Poor lighting. Mistake number two: Watching Tom Brady on Saturday Night Live at the same time as attempting self tanner application. Mistake number three: Doing this all pretty close to bed time.

I wake up, do the whole morning thing, skipping the shower because I was headed outside to spread mulch and plant flowers in ninety degree heat. I do a quick once over, not inspecting too closely. Eh, one little streak on my forearm. I congratulate myself on the wise purchase and awesome rubbing in skills I seem to have acquired since my last bout with these types of products.

I garden, get hot and drrrrrty. rowr. Really, though, just with topsoil. We head to the pond for the first swim of the year. I brave the sub zero temps up to the waist and then go sit on a towel to thaw out catch a little more sun. I look at my feet, contemplating painting my toe nails before the pool party we were attending after lunch. Wow, I'm thinking that dirt is really ground in. And kind of orange too. You SO know where this is going. Fucking streakville. My feet look like orange zebras. The back of my left calf - a nice patch a little larger than an oddly shaped quarter. The backs of my ankles, the underside of my right bicep and the side of my right calf. All patchy. Orange patchy. I scratch at the streaks on my foot, great it's SCRAPING off. This should feel good. I run to the house and exfoliate like a crazy person.

After the mad exfoliation dash I'm red but it's that temporary red you get from scraping the top eight layers of skin off. We head to the pool party where I promptly drank myself giggly, enjoyed the company of the hockey parents we can't let go of, laughed until I cried, and sat in the sun because apparently that Jergen's stuff is impossible to find.

Next time I get the urge to try the product of the week I'll go for Kate's IPod or drive forty miles for Blackbird's heavenly smelling dish soap. Either would have been preferable.

Ahhhhh, Mondays

I'm exhausted, sunburned and on my way to school, daycare, work, bus stop, daycare, homework, dinner ice skating, home. Will post later.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Two items and One Wish

For Blackbird's weekly Show & Tell.

This Method all purpose cleaner. It really doesn't get the job done like my first love, 409, - but it smells good. Like a chemically enhanced flower.

And Crystal Light on the go...because water is, well, water and crystal light actually has FLAVOR. The iced tea flavor is a little weak but this one is delicious. It may stain though, so beware.

I would like to photograph my third item of the week but I don't know where to find a 'Kill Every Damn Gypsy Moth Catepillar in the World' type of product. These things are everywhere, on the house, the kids toys, the cars, the lawn. You can no longer go barefoot, rather you can but be prepared for the ultimate in disgusting.

Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


See how innocent I am? Soon I will be blowing winterfresh berry bubbles out of my butt, but right now I'm so cute it doesn't even matter. And you would never ever find me standing on the kitchen table licking it clean. Never. Ever. At least not today. Posted by Hello


I am so pathetically sick.
P.S. I also ripped apart the girlie's cup and drank her entire chocolate milkshake. Thank god it was only a kiddie size. oof. Posted by Hello

Things I will find in the yard later this week

Depending on my dog's digestive schedule.

One pack of Winterberry Frost gum - minus the paper wrappers but the aluminum wrappers have disappeared with the gum.

The leather part of the baseball.

One glittery purple pencil - still have a piece with the eraser though.

One plastic baby bottle, one plastic cupcake and one lipgloss all left by those kids whose parents are (STILL) working next door.

And no, this is not all the work of Fred the deceptively cute beagle. The other dog, Baxter, my 'good' dog - has taken a turn for the worse...
When I told my boss that I'd lost all of the meeting stuff I didn't use any profanity. None. Do you know what she said to me??? "What? You're worried? Oh well, shit happens."

I so love my job.

My son is attending a field trip to the Zooquarium today. Part zoo part aquarium I guess. Whatever. I couldn't chaperone because I've reached my quota of one trip per school year. Apparently too many parents volunteer for these things and they only allow us one trip per year so everyone gets a fair chance to prove that they are, in fact, the best and most involved parent , eh I mean, help the teachers.