Monday, November 30, 2009

Home Again, Home Again....

jiggity jog.  Now that my library job is over, I am once again among the unemployed.  It was a really neat experience, and allowed me to get paid, and to put on my grown-up clothes every day and interact with not only students, but with adults.  Sadly, there doesn't seem to be another job lurking anywhere on the horizon, so at the moment I'm trying to get some Christmas gifts knit and crafted. 

There's always subbing, but at this point, the thought of getting those 5:30 AM phone calls to tell me where I'll be working that day (and not knowing what to expect when I get there) is excruciatingly painful to me; the whole concept goes rather against the grain of my control-freaky planning-ahead type personality.

So, instead I decided to stay home and eat an indecent amount of Veggie Straws (sadly, I succumbed in a moment of weakness in Costco yesterday, and now have a GIANT bag of these in my house.  They will soon be gone, which is why I don't buy junk food - I have zero self-control, and have learned that I just can't keep this sort of thing in the house - the same goes with Tootsie Rolls, but I digress...).

I did teach a flute lesson this afternoon; sadly, said lesson began with my student announcing that she hadn't had a chance to practice for the entire week.  I never quite know what my response to this sort of honesty should is so exciting to know I'll have to spend the next hour listening to music that desperately needs practicing.  On the other hand, I do get paid for 1 hour what I would make for a HALF DAY of subbing - and I didn't even have to wake up at 5:30 AM for the privilege.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I am going to be 40 in March.  I don't mind turning 40, and in fact have been calling myself 40 for a while now (The Professor's birthday is 6 months before mine, so when he turned 40, I jumped on the bandwagon too).  Unfortunately, however, this milestone seems to be coinciding with everything I own breaking down.

About 2 months ago, my Kitchen Aid died (granted, it was almost 20 years old, but still...).  Then my cell phone's screen went completely blank and refused to return.  Then the toilet handle broke off, followed, in quick succession by the flapper in the tank.  And then, while standing in Michael's yesterday purchasing a birthday present for one of the bazillion birthday parties the kids go to (it's standard to invite the ENTIRE class to these things 'round here) the strap on my purse snapped off, sending it to the floor with a loud thump.

Do you think my life could qualify for some sort of extended warranty?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What to do on a Tuesday Night?

I know - go to the Humane Society and get a dog!  As it's been almost a year since we lost Sophie, we finally decided that it was time to get another dog.  We went to the Humane Society based on a picture they had on their website, but this little dog just sucked us in.  He was so friendly, and so odd-looking - he definitely looked like he needed us.  His name is Tobie - yes spelled with an ie - seems to match his offbeat look.

They told us he's about 8 months old (he's definitely young - really playful and chews on whatever he can find) and I would guess he's around 15 pounds, although I'm never good at guessing anyone's weight.  He's very sweet, and hopefully housetrained.  The Humane Society provided us with a crate and a bed, and he was very happy to hop right into the crate as soon as I set it up.

We stopped at Target for a bowl and treats, and of course the prerequisite squeaky toy, which he has pretty much squeaked since we got him home.  He and Big Trouble deserve each other, I think.  Maybe I'll put them both into a room with their noisy toys and they can wear each other out!

Welcome to the family, Tobie!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Not a Clue....

Well, we finally celebrated Big Trouble's 7th birthday with his friends.  For those of you playing along at home who know his birthday is in the very beginning of October, it was the earliest we could come up with.  He wanted a mystery party, so I made some funny invitations with magnifying glasses and a fingerprint (courtesy of yours truly) inviting 7 little children to come to his "Mystery Party."  Then, of course, we had to actually come up with a mystery!

As we live in a fancy schmantzy area, many of the birthday parties 'round these parts are held at a party location, or if they are at home, they involve a giant blow-up bouncy castle or a petting zoo for entertainment.  As we are not of the fancy schmantzy persuasion ourselves, we have to provide our own entertainment.

We came up with a backstory that some priceless pearls were stolen from Lady Dowrymple (myself) with the characters of Princess Clara and Princess Sara Pizzabox (Miss Serious and a friend) and Professor Wafflemeyer (The Professor, of course!).  We secreted clues around the house, and the kids had to figure out riddles to find the next one.  The jewels were finally located, with the Professor's fingerprints all over them, and I think a good time was had by all.

We made detective badges, played freeze dance to spy music, pinned the magnifying glass on the detective's hand, and created codes.  All in all, an excellent day, even if the power went out an hour before it was to begin (I had frugally planned to make pizza, but even though my oven is gas, it's got electric buttons, so the pizza place across the street, who did have power, came to the rescue).  Luckily the power came back on right before the quests arrived, and the birthday boy enjoyed his day.

P.S.  The Professor wrote some really funny clues - I've included them in case anybody is interested - he sat down and not 1/2 an hour later printed these out.  We cut each one out and put them in their appropriate locations.  I'm trying to convince him that we can parlay this talent into some sort of lucrative position, but I'm not having much luck...

If you wish to find the jewels,
you will need the proper tools.
Step one: find a growing green.
See the clue you've never seen.

Searching hard?  With all your might?
Look for music black and white.
Think of keys that make sweet sound.
And your next clue will soon be found.

Lady D. is in your debt.
You are close, but not there yet.
You've walked by me lots of times.
Find the book that's full of rhymes.

Pearls were stolen just today.
A mighty wind blew them away.
You will find a clue with ease,
if you search inside the breeze.

Never was a thief so bold,
to hide a clue inside the cold.
Go to where you feed your belly.
The clue is sitting by the jelly.

Dirty hands?  Make them shine.
Or the jewels will still be mine.
Solve this and you'll still have hope.
Go to where we wash with soap.

Getting close, detective buddies.
Time to finish off your studies.
Find the place where students write.
A clue is hidden in plain sight.

Boys impress the sweetest girls
with the gift of precious pearls.
The way to our dear Lady's heart
is pinned up there with paper art.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Week Already?

I can't believe how the time is zipping by - Halloween has now been over a week, and all we have left are an embarrassingly big bowl of candy on the counter (sadly, quite a bit less big than last week - and the kids only get one piece a day, so you can draw your own conclusions about where it's going....) and what is left of Mr. Pumpkin.

I figure if I'm going to have to drop 8 bucks on a pumpkin, we are going to get our money's worth. So, Halloween night found me slicing him up and cookin' him down. When I mention actually cooking a pumpkin to people around here, they look at me oddly, as if I just said we cook up our furniture. I like to think of us as not cheap, but rather like the Native Americans, we use all the parts of the pumpkin after the hunt.

The kids had a good time - Miss Serious dressed up as Pippi Longstocking - I fashioned a hat with wires and braided red yarn pigtails, and Big Trouble was an abstract painter, complete with palette, painter's smock, and a big curly french moustache (his request).

We went trick-or-treating with friends, and had brought some Fair Trade chocolate for reverse trick-or-treating. One of our friends (a true-red Republican) dubbed them our leftist-liberal chocolates, but we handed them out anyway. All in all, an excellent evening.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Minty Fresh

Although I haven't blogged in about a bajillion years, I have very few available words of wisdom, except for these: Whatever you do, don't get toothpaste in your eye. Just don't. And then, don't tell your husband that your eye is burning because you got toothpaste in it, because he will oh so helpfully ask you if the tube says anything about what to do when you get toothpaste in your eye. The same tube that you can't read, because - oh that's right - you've got toothpaste in your eye.