Friday, April 29, 2011

Don Rickles, I am Not

The other day, I was walking down the hallway at my daughter's middle school. My husband's former roommate from freshman year at college happened to be strolling just ahead of me with his pride and joy: identical twin daughters. He and I have conversed many times when our kids were not around about our lives with twins, but on this occasion Scott was able to gesture to his girls and mention, "Hey, Kim! These are MY twins." I am not exaggerating when I say his daughters are extraordinarily beautiful. Scott really must obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon, because in another year or two, he will need to start wearing a long leather duster from under which he can whip out a pump-action sawed-off shotgun to scare away all the teenage boys.

In response to his introduction of these stunning creatures, I drily remarked, "Gee, Scott. Too bad your girls are so ugly." Except the delivery was all wrong. It was more like, "Gee, Scott." pause *crickets* pause "Too bad your girls are so UGLY." pause *blink blink* pause

I don't think Scott quite heard me—or maybe his brain was trying to process my hilariosity—but one of the girls immediately widened her eyes in horror. She couldn't believe that some poorly-dressed, elderly woman had just verbally abused her. I should have gone for the hyperbole factor, with "and FAT, too! and MEAN!" until they realized I was joking. But, no.

I attempted a conspiratorial wink with an explanatory, "Heh! You're beautiful!" to the girl, but it came out as an eye tic and indecipherable mutter. Then, in desperation, I turned to Scott and in a overly bright voice, exclaimed, "Your girls are gorgeous!" He looked confused and kept walking. The girls rushed past in awkward silence.

When will I learn that if you have to explain a joke, it isn't funny. You see, I was saying the OPPOSITE of the truth . . . er . . . um . . . pfft . . .

Also, Don Rickles is a totally hip and contemporary reference.

Dinner last night: ham and bean soup, cornbread

Exactly one year ago:

Exactly two years ago:

Exactly three years ago:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Threat, an Apology, and an Excuse

Which do you want to hear first?

Okay. The threat: if I have to look at a moose's rear end passing by my living room, so do you.

The apology: I am deeply sorry for my dirty window. That is truly horrifying.

The excuse: Our beagle, Daisty, scratches on that particular window when she wants to be let in. The window is nowhere near a door, mind you, but it's the perfect spot for a dog to stand and stare imperiously down on her humans, who tend to lounge on the comfy furniture in the living room. I have no idea why Daisy's scratch marks look like hand smears. Oh, wait. I do know. I have 4-year-old twins with muddy hands who like to pretend they're beagles scratching on the window.

Please don't judge my housekeeping skills . . .

. . . or I'll make you look through dirty windows at a moose's heinie.
And that's not a threat—it's a promise.

Dinner last night: shrimp salad

Exactly one year ago:

Exactly two years ago:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fun Overload

I'm not sure which is more fun . . .

coloring Easter eggs, or . . . 

hunting Easter eggs, or . . . 

eating the candy inside Easter eggs!

Dinner last night: ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, green salad, jello salad, pistachio salad, dinner rolls, peanut butter pie

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Here we are, heading into Easter weekend. I hope your family is able to celebrate this holy season together.

My 13-year-old has invited two friends over tonight. They've requested pizza or cheeseburgers for dinner, but I may offend their delicate natures by making spaghetti and meatballs instead. Sidenote: when I was younger, my friends and I used the phrase, spending the night or slumber party; today's kids say, sleepover. Also, playdate? We used to say, visit or go play with. You know you're getting old when your children roll their eyes at perfectly good lingo, but that's another post for another day . . .

On Sunday afternoon, our best friends and their two little boys will come over for Easter dinner: ham and scalloped potatoes, because we're fancy like that. We'll hide a ton of eggs for all the kids to search out. The backyard is a soggy mess, but the front yard has dried nicely, so I think we'll plan an outdoor hunt.

Have fun looking for eggs in the woods, kids! Don't let the moose getcha.

May your basket be filled with lots of jelly beans. Or something like that. Happy Easter, gentle readers. He is risen!

Dinner last night: pasta alfredo with shrimp

Exactly one year ago:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Here, Moosie, Moosie, Moose

My sister-in-law drove up the AlCan Highway a week ago for a brief visit to Alaska. Along the way, she snapped pictures of all kinds of wildlife, including fox, caribou, eagle, and coyote. She only needed a moose to complete her collection. "Oh, don't worry," I assured her. "You'll see plenty around our house."

Not a single moose showed its face while she was staying here. Of course, the minute she left, a skinny-legged twig eater set up camp in the woods behind our house.

Don't be shy, fellow. Come on out and say hello.

Good boy!

That's close enough, mister.
Familiarity breeds contempt.

Dinner last night: sloppy joes

Monday, April 18, 2011

Family Room Shenanigans

After staring for months at the patch of wall in our family room that I painted yellow LAST YEAR to see if I liked it, I finally decided that yes! I think I do! Maybe? and committed to painting the rest of the room. One thing led to another, and now my husband and I are in the midst of a full-blown redecoration . . . wait, it's more than that. Renovation? No, it's not quite that involved. We're not knocking down walls or anything. Re-do? I guess that's what you'd call it. We're painting, swapping out light fixtures, putting in crown molding and trim, etc.

If I were a good blogger, I'd offer up a complete BEFORE and AFTER post, but I'm currently in the MIDDLE. I should wait until I have a finished product, but I can't stand it. I've got to show you bits and pieces of what we've done so far.

The first thing we did was paint. I quickly realized that all yellow would overwhelm us with its sunny brightness, so I used green on accent walls.

Then, we replaced the fluorescent lights with these modern fixtures (still fluorescent). I can't show you a picture of the old lights, because my husband already disposed of them, so you'll have to trust me that these are a great improvement!

Next, I headed to the fabric store, while my husband stayed home and replaced the almond? bisque? off-white? outlets and switches with clean, white panels pictured above. I love this paisley material and will use it over the windows.

Right now, we are in the process of painting crown molding and trim that we will install ourselves.

The most exciting part of the new look should be the flooring. We currently have a speckled? mottled? multicolored? carpet about which I used to proudly crow, "It hides a multitude of sins!" The family room is the one area in the house, other than the dining room, where we allow the kids to eat and drink. Unfortunately, after years of four children eating snacks during movies, the carpet is no longer hiding anything. The stains are gross: chocolate milk . . . juice . . .  ground-in gold fish crackers . . . urine from the dog—at least I hope it's from the dog, but with my girls, who knows? We've ordered maple hardwood flooring, which should be here in 2 weeks? 3 weeks? 6 months? This is Alaska, so I won't hold my breath. It'll get here when it gets here. Until then, try to visualize the glory that will be my family room floor:

Tell me you love it. Especially the yellow walls. They make the room feel like a cheerful and airy sun parlor, not a kindergarten classroom on crack. Right? RIGHT?!

Dinner last night: leftovers

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy Days Are Here Again

According to the calendar, spring began in March. We've still got snow on the ground, BUT the driveway is clear, so the girls have been riding their bikes in circles and drawing lots of pictures with sidewalk chalk.

I outline their bodies on the ground, and they color them in. 

Look at what my little eye spied . . . 

. . . a bud on the lilac tree! Maybe the calendar is right. Spring IS here!

On second thought . . . 
something tells me we won't be hunting Easter eggs in the backyard this year. 

Dinner last night: homemade chicken noodle soup, cornbread muffins

Exactly two years ago:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

They Haven't Killed Me . . . Yet

I was bending over to buckle a twin into her carseat when BRRRPPPT, an electrical shock ran through my lower back, as it does every six months or so. That's it. That's all she wrote. Can't move. Lumbar muscles have gone into a rock-hard spasm that pitches my entire torso over to the side. This episode has been particularly debilitating; in fact, I would rate this as the second-worst back pain I've ever felt.

The gold medal was awarded to the time when I worked at an office early in the morning by myself—as I crossed the room with ONE FILE in my hand, not even a heavy stack of books, my back inexplicably seized up on me. I literally fell to the floor in agony and COULDN'T GET UP. I wriggled across the floor like an eel? worm? cockroach? and was able to brace myself against the wall into a sitting position. About an hour later, a co-worker arrived and helped me stand. I eventually drove myself home and shuffled to my bed, where I lay on my side for 3 days, crying and moaning in pain. I couldn't take any medication due to my pregnancy with twins at the time. Let me tell you, the actual delivery—ripping babies from my womb—was a piece of cake after that experience with back pain.

This very morning I read in the paper about a woman who was left on the floor for 3 days by her twin sons, until she died. How much do you want to bet her back went out and she dropped to the ground in pain, but the twins were too occupied eating goldfish crackers and watching Clifford the Big Red Dog on TV to notice?

Dinner last night: sour cream enchiladas, refried beans

Exactly one year ago:

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Running Man

About two years ago, I was waiting to turn my car onto the main road, when I saw a guy in a hoodie jacket shuffling along the bike path. When I say shuffle, I mean a Tim Conway old man shuffle—he was BARELY moving. The thing was, he wasn't elderly. He looked to be in his late 40s. Even if his countenance was exceptionally boyish, he couldn't have been more than mid-50s in age. He was slim and handsome and inching along. It was clear to me that something was wrong physically, and my best guess was that he was recovering from a stroke and working through partial paralysis.

Since that original sighting, I've seen him regularly in the mornings. His shuffle has gradually evolved into a walk and then a kind of walk-run. This morning, I passed by him and he was actually moving forward in a slow jog. He's still a turtle, but he is definitely a JOGGING turtle.

You know, I wanted to stop my car right then and there, hop out, skip over to that guy and give him a big hug. I didn't approach him, though, because after the hug, what would I say? Awkward. Still, I hope that some day I'll be brave enough to let him know how inspirational he has been to me. To see him, day in and day out, forcing his body to move, makes me want to cry and laugh at the same time. You go, dude!

Dinner last night: spaghetti and meatballs, garlic toast, peas, green salad

Exactly one year ago: