Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Haiku

Waiting to go out

It's trick-or-treat time again

Candy bars galore


Scared to venture out

but the irresistable

pull of sugar calls

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

WW - Fall Fun

Last Thursday, I wanted Molly to see a sunset. So we ate dinner and got in the car for the 15 minute trip to the big lake. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy to see the sun at that point, so we didn't see what we came for. But we had fun talking about the lake and waving goodnight to grandma and grandpa to the south. Molly was, however, QUITE upset that the swings were no longer up. I tried to explain that, once the snow fences go up, the swings come down. No dice. Saturday, we went to "help" make apple butter at a friend's family farm. We did more watching than helping, but you know how it is when you don't want to be in the way? It was pretty cool, and we got some product for our presence.

Incidentally, making apple butter takes a long time. You have to boil cider down for several hours, then cook the apples separately (basically making applesauce in mass quantities), stirring constantly. The apples cooked for basically 6 hours before the cider was added back in, a bit at a time.

There was fun to be had in the corn crib while waiting. The girls were making "corn soup".

Lastly, take the mixture off the heat, add in sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. And lots of it.

Then back home Sunday for some relaxing and torturing of the kitties. Honestly, how many cats tolerate having costumes on? Do you see the death grip husband has to have on this one?

I got lucky and caught Scooter just waking up...she didn't fight it too much. But as you can see, she's clearly thinking, "I am SO going to poop stain this chick's side of the bed tonight."

Friday, October 24, 2008

IPod Songs Anonymous

Come on, we all have 'em...those songs that you'd hate to have exposed to everyone. I am known as a Queen of the Obscure Song, and there are definitely some obscurities on here. Anyhow, here goes:

1. Sailing - Christopher Cross
I challenge you to listen to this with headphones and see if you don't immediately want to be at the beach in a lounge chair at sunset. With headphones, you can hear all of the background instrumentation (likely synthesized, but who cares?) and it's soooo much better. I've loved this song since I was a kid.

2. The Sweetest Thing - Juice Newton
Another throwback to childhood. There were so many country crossovers in the early 80s that we all loved them. This was no exception. An especially good tune to belt out while using your hairbrush as a microphone.

3. Boogie in Your Butt - Eddie Murphy
The perfect song for an immature elementary schooler. Put a little tiny man in your butt indeed.

4. Alley Oop - The Hollywood Argyles
My family had the "Goofy Greats" LP when I was growing up...remember K-Tel? Yeah, baby. This is one of those songs that's only semi-politically incorrect.

5. The Lumberjack - Jackyl
I was seriously dating a guy who was into hard rock. I went to a Damn Yankees concert (no comments, please) and Jackyl opened for them. What can I say? I was hornswoggled into listening to their music by some sort of subluminal message, brought to me by the chainsaw playing of Jesse James Dupree.

6. 99 Luft Balloons - Nena
The German version only, please. Who didn't love this song?

7. The Girl is Mine - Paul McCartney & some weird other guy
Again. What tween girl in 1983 did not covet this album? I will still belt this one out in the car if it's on.

8. Puff the Magic Dragon - Peter, Paul, and Mary
Please tell me I'm not the only one who remembers this cartoon in the 70s. It was a seasonal special, but I can't remember what holiday it usually played around. I can still picture the animation in my mind.

9. The Girl from Ipanema - Stan Getz & Astrud Gilberto
I feel so groovy when I hear this song. Actually, it is pretty relaxing. I think I downloaded it because of some commercial a few years ago. I'm easy prey for advertisers.

10. Call to the Heart - Giuffria
Don't ask me where this one came from. I remember LOVING the song when it was on the radio (in 1984) at the age of 12. I still actually like it.

So tell me, what songs are you embarrassed about?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

WW - The Music in Me

Remember my new camera, that husband bought for my birthday this year? Well, one evening while playing hide-and-seek with my daughter, I found the old one. Under our bed. Apparently, it fell out of husband's jeans pocket when he took them off and, well, he didn't notice. Oh well. At least I found this picture:

We had pretty good seats, if I do say so myself. And yes, I know I'm old. Believe me, I was reminded by the number of legitimate geriatrics at the concert. We're talking people that served in the Korean War.

And for the daily dose of cuteness, I give you this:

Rockin' out at Best Buy with daddy. Check out the badass flashing witch amulet she's sporting. It really goes with that pink Wisconsin Ducks sweatshirt, no?

Monday, October 20, 2008


Ugh. First of all, hugs to my regular bloggy peeps who have also been feeling a bit down in the dumps. Maybe if I'd read your posts a few days ago, I wouldn't have felt quite so alone tonight when I broke down and cried from...I don't know what. Thanks for being so honest in your writing.

I have found that, if I'm feeling crappy on a Monday, watching The Big Bang Theory is pretty helpful. Highly recommended therapy.

And if I don't feel better the next day? I can get out my new Wii game (haven't gotten it yet) and pretend I'm slapping the sneer right off Jillian's face. Now that is a feature that I'd pay extra for.

Chins up, all!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

So Proud

My child surprised me twice this weekend-

The first surprise was when she wrote her name for the first time - WOW. I never anticipated getting so excited over something like that. But it was huge!

The next surprise was when I tried to have her write the word cat. I wrote it down, as seen above, for her to copy. What she did was draw what you see above the word cat. Isn't that the most adorable thing EVER?

I've been a little MIA the past few days. I'm working on possibly opening up my junior high diary and recopying some of those embarrassing little gems, idea courtesy of Swistle and Mortified. I also have tomorrow and Tuesday off, which is new this school year (hallelujah) and will be heading to Chi-town tomorrow with a good friend, a la Ferris Bueller. Minus the greasy parking structure dude and the awesome convertible. We're first checking out the Field Museum where they are having a very cool promotion - Target Second Mondays. Free admission to everything! Then, probably to browse at the American Girl Store. Yay!!!

See y'all Tuesday!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

WW - Mommy, what's that??

I had almost forgotten about this little gem...when M about 13-14 months old, we took her to quite a few animal places. The zoo, baby animal days at the agricultural college, the metropark with a working farm. Husband had taken a ton of pictures, per usual. We were in the car after one of these excursions and he was checking out what he had taken. All of a sudden, he started laughing hysterically, so much that he was actually crying and just about out of breath.

Here's why:

Completely and totally accidental. And priceless, if I say so myself.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Uh, yeah.

Is it wrong of me to covet the youngish lads pictured in the entryway of Abercrombie and Fitch? These dudes could be my pool boys ANY.DAY. I mean, I'm too old (and too cheap) to go in that store anymore, but oh, mama, walking by there, seeing those pictures, smelling that cologne. Wow.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Haiku Friday - Sunsets

How can I describe
the calm when I see all the
colors of sunset?
Okay, so maybe that doesn't make total sense. What does make sense? West Michigan sunsets. Seriously, they rock. Of course, this was only taken over my "pond" in the backyard, but the colors were still completely awesome. I was actually sad when I knew I couldn't catch the rest of this sunset over the big lake - it would've taken me 10 minutes to drive there and this is clearly the last of it.
So that's one reason I love living here, despite my post the other day.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sigh of relief and sheepish realization

*This ended up being a much longer post than I intended. Thanks for getting through the whole thing, if you do.*

First of all, huge sigh of relief...we now own only one house! We discussed it on the way home and decided that the way we did things ended up working out for the best. If we'd waited to move and husband had commuted, we'd still be stuck in a tiny house in a suburb in which I no longer wanted to live.

And now, for a little sheepish realization.

While we were hanging out in the town of Large Midwestern Big 10 University, I realized something that I never thought possible. Driving past the stadium (on a football Saturday, what kind of a dumbass am I?), through campus, past the building of my favorite job, shopping at the brand new Whole Foods Market, I had a discomforting feeling.

I was homesick.

Discomfort was the flavor of the day, because quite honestly, I didn't want to admit it. I had hounded my husband about moving elsewhere, as we were both really tired of the sardine suburb we lived in and no longer wanted the long commutes. I wanted better schools for my child, and a larger yard for her to play in. I wanted to be home before 6:30 at night.

We moved to our first house from an apartment in the town of LMB10U (see above) because at the time, I was in grad school and only making a part time secretarial salary. The suburb we moved to had houses we could afford, whereas LMB10U did not - I mean, we couldn't even afford a crackhouse there. Our mortgage payment was only $150 more than our rent was. But we were only 30 minutes away, and my in-laws were there so there were plenty of reasons to go back.

Husband tried to find a job near there, but without finding a job at the University, there weren't that many opportunities for someone with his work's kind of a specialized field.

Then came the posting for West Michigan. He applied, got the job, and we packed it up and moved to Beverly. We were back in "my" territory. Back where my maiden name is recognizable to most people. Back where my Dutch heritage is celebrated. Back nearer to my family, but with a good buffer zone. My husband loves our house. He loves where we live. He loves our yard, and the fact that he's justified in having a riding mower.

I, on the other hand, am sort of miserable.

I am different than a lot of these people. My whole view on life is different now, after spending 10 years of my life in what I think of as "granola city". I am waaaaaay more liberal than I used to be. While my religious views haven't changed greatly from that of my childhood (that and my husband is the same denomination as me, so there's no contention in that regard), my way of practicing is extremely different than around here. (No, I'm not Wiccan.) People around here are incredibly conservative, some won't even mow their lawn on Sunday. They go to church twice a week. I'm lucky if I get to service once every couple of months. I feel like my dry, somewhat asinine sense of humor isn't appreciated. I feel like the fact that I work out of the home is looked down upon, like I don't care about my kid enough to stay home (there are a ton of homeschoolers out here, and way more SAHMs than not).

I feel more at home with the granola people. The liberal, melting pot mix of people feels more like home to me. I want to live there again; to hear the planes with the advertising banners overhead on football Saturdays. To see the Goodyear Blimp flying overhead on big game days. To complain about the traffic for the annual summer art fair, but go anyway. To drag husband to shows at the Purple Rose Theatre. To be within an hour of most excellent malls. To be near my friends.

There is always a possibility for husband to move back. His job can be based out of that area, although it would still be a commute. I can get a job most anywhere, although it might not be my dream setting. I found myself looking at the real estate ads this Sunday, mentioning probably too many times (subtlety is not my forte) how inexpensive houses are out there right now.

What the hell am I doing to myself? *slap slap* I guess I'm just one of those people for whom "the grass is always greener...." was written. I'll get over it eventually.

But I'm still homesick.