Tuesday, November 25, 2008

7 degrees of Elvis

You all know the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon game, right?

Well, my mom ran into Mark McKinney's mom a few days ago, and this is what came from that conversation.

When I was in 5th grade I was in a local theater production of The Wizard of Oz. During that particular production I sat in the munchkin house with Mark McKinney and we even endured a tornado in that house (along with a few other people.) Well as it turns out, Mark is now going by Gil McKinney and he's playing a doctor on ER. Which totally connects me with Elvis.

So here it goes.

1. I was in the Wizard of Oz with Mark Gil McKinney.

2. Mark Gil McKinney is on ER - George Clooney was also on ER.

3. George Clooney was in Ocean's Eleven with Brad Pitt.

4. Brad Pitt is married to Angelina Jolie.

5. Angelina Jolie was in Gone in 60 Seconds with Nicolas Cage.

6. Nicolas Cage was married to Lisa Marie Presley.

7. Lisa Marie Presley is Elvis's daughter.

Special Bonus - in 2004 Mark Gil McKinney played Young Elvis in a production of Elvis has Left the Building.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mountain Climbing

A couple weeks ago we rode our bikes to the back of our subdivision to the park. There's a playground there that is perfect for Landon's abilities. This video is of him climbing the rock part of the playground. Unfortunately I missed the jumping celebration he had when he got to the top.

This is a short week. I'm only work 2 days this week, then we go on our Texas road trip circuit. I'm already tired, just thinking about it. I only mention it because, well, in all likelihood I won't be posting anything while we're gone.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I know it's exciting, but try not to faint.

It's Friday. I'm at work.

I worked from home yesterday because of contractors. And get this. They actually showed up. I know. Crazy. I haven't been able to get a contractor to show up when they said they would the first time since Ike. And these people called like Saturday and said they'd be here Thursday, and they totally showed up. Imagine that.

Anyway. Remember a while back when I was buying special saran wrap to put on my cheese grater style windows to try and save $0.02 on my electricity bill?

Well, we bit the bullet and bought new windows. We are replacing all of the diamond leaded glass windows on the front of the house. I cannot wait to see what this saves us on electricity - although we might not feel the bulk of the savings until next summer. The windows had so many cracks in them you could actually feel the air-conditioning coming through them on the outside, and in the dining room if the rain was ever so slightly slanted we'd get some small water puddles.

This is the kitchen window before:

And after:

I think the bright whiteness of the trim is going to take some getting used to, but it will be nice to be able to open these windows on a nice day and have a cross breeze. Or, you know, get rid of the smoke from my cooking faster.

This is the master bedroom before:

And after:

Our bedroom was a fire hazard previous to this, because we only had one means of egress. Now our windows open, so we'll be able to escape in case of a fire. And these windows are double hung, so we can open the top or the bottom and the screen slides too!

These are the upstairs windows before:

And after:

I think these are the ones that look the best. And the panels will come out completely, so if I ever decide to wash the windows (STOP LAUGHING!) I can pop them out and clean the outside too!

When I went to pick up Landon after school, I had left all the lights on upstairs and we had taken the blinds down to accomodate the installation of the winodws. He could see straight into his room and see the "NDO" of his name on the wall. I had no idea it would be so exciting. "Dat's me! Mine! Name! Mine a me! YAN NAN!"

And this is the dining room window before:

And after:

Oh, did you catch that? Yeah - so the salesman was all "I'm afraid to measure those bow windows, they're going to be pretty tight, I'm going to send an installer out to measure them."

So he sent one, but not the one that came to install them.

So these guys were all, "I don't think these are going to fit."

They had 10 panels to choose from, they chose the 5 smallest ones and completed the bedroom bow window (barely, they said it was an ultra tight fit), but that left them with the 5 biggest ones for the dining room, so they couldn't do it, they just wouldn't fit. They're going to be re-ordered and they'll be back in 3 or 4 weeks. The biggest irony? The dining room window was the one we really needed replaced most.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Slide Show Audience

I'm alive! Yesterday my ear finally drained and left my ear drum saggy or something. I had no pressure, but I still couldn't hear anything. Well I'd say 25% hearing. And since I only have 25% hearing in my other ear - let's just say having a conversation with me was a real treat. I had the TV up 8 notches above what I normally listen to, I was probably yelling at everyone without meaning to. But it's gone. Gone gone gone! Yay for feeling better.

I actually created a schedule for myself to follow which included antihistamines, decongestants, antibiotics, Airborne, zinc, OJ, Zicam, washing my hands, sanitizing my office, and Nyquil. It was pretty extensive, but my little matrix got me through. I'm also eating chicken noodle soup for lunch everyday.

And of course, now Clint is sick.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tasty Tasty Drugs!

I am the proud new owner of some kind of generic Sudafed and a Z-pack. The Z-pack fought with me initially about whether or not it would give me the second pill that you take on the first day, but I was firm and consistent and it finally relented. Now I just have to wait for it to work. And, yeah - my ear is so full of crap that my ear drum is bulging out. On the side that's my good ear to begin with. So no, I can't hear you. At all.

Whip It

My head is about to explode from the congestion. I think I may have caused my own ear infection. AGAIN. So here's the deal, as a person who cannot think about anything serious right now, and a person who isn't sure she'll make it through the night tonight. (I did call and get an appointment at the work clinic, maybe they'll give me some tasty tasty drugs.) In the meantime, I set up auto posting of light pictures for this week. If I recover I might actually add to them, but otherwise - enjoy the show.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I have never paid so much money to be insulted in my life.

We bought a Wii for each other for Christmas. We haven't had a game system in the house. Um. Ever. And I wasn't completely sold on having one. I mean, if we got one it had to be the Wii, because at least you have to get off your butt and move a little. We are clearly 8 and cannot wait until Christmas. I was excited to play, we played each of the games that came with it. Yay for bowling, I suck in real life, but am unstoppable in Wii world. Uh, boxing is hard, and tiring, and possibly the best workout I've had in ages.

And then I did the fitness challenge.

And then it told me my Wii age. 62.

And then I threw it in the garbage, because no one is allowed to speak to me like that. Not only that, you can only do the challenge once a day, so it would be another 24 or so hours before I could prove to myself that I am not 62.

Clinton, of course, is a cheapskate and pulled it back out of the garbage and because he's mean and evil, he tied the controller to my hand and MADE me do it again the next day. 58.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. 33. This has nothing to do with my competitive streak. Nope. Nothing at all.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. 29.

The Wii can stay.

But now I'm not sure I want to do it again, because what if my age goes up?

Also, Clinton bought me a WiiFit, so I shall be trying that puppy out this weekend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Photographic Evidence

Landon has two shirts to match his two grandpas. I've already posted the pictures of him and his Grandpa Wood in their matching shirts. It finally got cool enough to put him in the sweatshirt his Aunt Kathy made him to match his Grandpa Logan's sweatshirts. Grandpa Logan has an entire set of sweatshirts made by Kathy that depict every vehicle he's owned since his little green truck, including his sailboat and tractor. Landon's has his police pedal car on it.

We went to the park over the weekend and Landon actually came within 5 feet of a stranger. A little boy 2 years and 8 months old came with his father and was sliding down one slide and Landon went - of his own free will - and slid down the other slide. He is totally making progress in the shyness department. He still wouldn't speak to him, but at least he came within playing distance. Also, that little boy got to the end of the slide and jumped off every time. When they left, Landon felt the need to try.

We have our own personal Sid. She may be canine and answer to "Feenie," but she's pretty destructive when she wants to be.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On Beyond Bovine Trials #5, #6, #7, #8, & #9

What a weekend for the experiment that I bet you thought I forgot about.

I'm marking some regulars off the list this week and one newbie.

#5 - Iceberg lettuce - I made a salad where I combined iceberg lettuce and romaine lettuce. I actually prefer my iceberg lettuce on tacos, but Clinton prefers salad of iceberg lettuce. Landon prefers to lick salad dressing off his fingers, bypassing the lettuce altogether.

#6 - Romaine lettuce - see above. Except I don't like romaine lettuce on my tacos, I do prefer it in my salads.

#7 - Yellow onions - I made The Pioneer Woman's Pot Roast again, so I am able to cross off the yellow onions. I'm not sure if this counts; we didn't really eat the onions, but they do flavor the meat...you make the call in the comments.

#8 - Carrots - and of course the carrots went into the pot roast as well. I love a pot roast carrot. Mushy, beefy, yum!! Clinton eats them, but I don't know that he loves them or anything. And Landon, Landon is in the raw carrots only camp. He will not even entertain the idea that carrots might just be yummy cooked as well.
And finally, the newbie - #9 - Acorn squash.

I used another Pioneer Woman's recipe for this one.

This is an acorn squash.
This is an acorn squash cut in half - looks pumpkiny.

This is an acorn squash with it's guts removed and 1 1/2 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp brown sugar put in it's place, and then drizzled with pure maple syrup - or as I like to call it, liquid money. (In an attempt to not buy something with HFCS, I bought 100% pure maple syrup. Which cost me nearly double for about 1/4 of the syrup.) Also, Pioneer Woman didn't mention this, but my squashes would not stay up right. I made little holders out of crumpled aluminum foil to make them stand up.

Here's a picture of the maple syrup. I thought it needed its own picture. It was the major cost of this recipe.

Bake for 30 minutes at 400° covered with foil and water in the pan, remove foil from top, bake another 25 minutes. Turn oven to broiler and cook another 5 minutes.

I suggest waiting about 10 minutes for them to cool; it took a while for the molten lava in the middle to not burn the ever loving crap out of my tongue.


Clinton: [Head tilt, really thinking, probably about how to say he doesn't like it without insulting me] It does the cotton candy thing.

Me: [Confused] Whaaa? What's the cotton candy thing?

Clinton: You know, it like dissolves in seconds in my mouth.

Me: [Confused as to why this is a bad thing.]

Clinton: I can see where someone would like it, it's okay, but not really my thing.

Me: It has a similar flavor to sweet potatoes, I don't like the maple flavor much, it's overpowering. Considering I really only like butter and brown sugar on my sweet potatoes - in fact I don't even really like maple syrup on my pancakes, I wonder if I'd like it better without the maple syrup.

So there you have it, it was good, but overpoweringly sweet and maybe if I could tone it down I'd like it better. It was not fault of the squash, but the recipe I think.

Next trial - fresh coconut. Oh and I decided that in the spring I'm going to grow upside down tomato plants (like the infomercial except I'm making my own.) So if you have a good tomato recipe, bring it on. (Uh, I don't know which kind of tomato I'm going to get, so if your recipe calls for a certain kind of tomato, let me know that way I can look for that kind when I go to buy the plants.)

Because this experiment seems to be at risk of becoming an experiment in which I cook everything with the pioneer woman's recipes, I'm going to ask for some help. She just posted a recipe for turnip gratin. This seems really right up my alley - I mean, it's full of cheese, how could it not be. But I want to see if there's something better out there. Do you have a turnip recipe?

And any other recipe for a fruit or veggie that you like, I'll take those recipes too

Monday, November 10, 2008

Missing Baby

I should have probably posted this on Saturday when he went missing.

He's very cute, he's 33 inches tall, and weighs just over 30 lbs. Has some scraggly curly baby fine blonde hair.

Last seen walking into Sports Clips.

Was replaced with this little boy, who is also cute, but is most certainly not a baby:

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Prepared, doesn't mean results

Last night we went out to dinner with my Great Aunt and Grandmother. I emptied the camera before leaving the house in anticipation of some good family type pictures. We ate at a restaurant at a small airport. With small planes. And helicopters. (Landon, how do you land a plane? "Down!!") And I have no pictures of any of it because my camera never left my purse. GAAAAAAAAAAH!!

Here's a few pictures from the month. They'll have to work for now.

Why yes I do allow my 2 year old to climb up the slide.

He's also got the GQ pose down.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Carol gave me an award!

I'm supposed to pass it on to 5 other people.
1) Nonsoccermom - writes about her kids, work, and movies.
2) The Modernish Father - writes about his kids, work, and movies. And happens to have the same kids as Nonsoccermom. Also some baseball and politics.
3) Baggage - she write about her adventures as a single mom in foster care.
4) Aunt Becky - she writes about all kinds of stuff, her past, her kids, pretty much everything.
5) Marinka - she writes about her kids and NYC and her general thoughts on stuff.
I have no comment on the outcome of the election, other than THANK GOD IT'S OVER! Now we can get on to breaking campaign promises as per usual after an election.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

5 Inadvertent Benefits of Food Poisoning

We still don’t really know if it was food poisoning or some very very mean stomach virus. I prefer to think it was the former, because that way I can banish the restaurant from my repertoire and be done with it and never think of it again. The latter would require purchasing large plastic bubble suits for the three of us and that’s going to get expensive. I don’t even know how to start with the cleaning of plastic bubble suits, are they dry clean only? Are they like jackets and you only wash them once you see dirt on them or do you wash them daily like your normal clothes? See why I blame food poisoning? It’s just easier.

Anyway, on to the benefits:

  • A child free weekend – sure you don’t get to enjoy it because you’re spending 65-75% of your time on the toilet in one form or fashion, but at least you only have to wipe your own butt.

  • Weight loss – not that this is a fool proof system and not that it’s the healthiest way to lose weight, but I did lose 3 lbs over the weekend.

  • Overcoming addiction – after spending three days eating minimally and drinking mostly water and Gatorade, I went through my caffeine withdrawal while experiencing the rest of my issues and it was barely noticeable. In fact the carbonation hurt my stomach this morning when I got my usual, so I will probably be kicking the habit once and for all.

  • Clearing your DVR – it’s not like you can do pool maintenance or mow the lawn, you have to maintain a certain proximity to the bathroom and you’re weak to boot, so, since you have nothing else to do but watch TV, it’s time to clear the DVR.

  • Renting movies – once the DVR is empty, it’s time to rent some movies. Redbox is awesome if you know you have the uninterrupted time to watch movies and will not be late returning them. This of course requires at least once person to be in good enough condition to drive. We rented Baby Mama – predictable, but cute, also, we taught Landon to give Mojo – so totally worth it, and Leatherheads – I don’t know, I couldn’t really concentrate on it, it was too slow and I ended up going downstairs to finish laundry instead.

What you thought I’d talk about voting on election day?


Go vote.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Monthly Newsletter #25

Dear Landon,

Today you turn 25 months old. Your monthly milestone achievements are a little more subtle. You are still so much of a baby, but growing so quickly into a real little person. A person with opinions and wants, and a little person who wants nothing more than to help do whatever it is the grown-ups are doing.

This month has been a bit of a trial for us healthwise. You have had a cough for nearly the entire month, for which the doctor finally gave us antibiotics to hopefully clear out whatever is causing it. We ate dinner with your Grandma Wood this past Thursday, she was in town for the quilt festival. And immediately upon arriving home each of the three of us succumbed to what we now believe may have been food poisoning. Your bout was brief. You must have gotten rid of it all in the one puke. All over me.

Daddy and I suffered through the night and then Friday afternoon made the decision to send you to Grandma Logan’s for Halloween. I was pretty upset because I wanted to be with you for your first trick or treating, but I knew that I was in no shape to walk next door, much less all the way around the street. I hope this is not an annual illness, but it is eerily familiar. As it turns out, you refused to leave the house or put on your costume for trick or treating, so next year I will get to take you on your first trick or treating expedition anyway.

Your day care progress is unbelievable. Your original teacher left after a couple weeks, the replacement teacher left a few weeks ago. The new teacher, it seems is a dream. I get a better vibe from her, but more than that, when asked if you want to go to school and see Ms. Ashley, your face lights up! This morning, you walked in on your own two feet. You went straight to Ms. Keisha’s lap. Well, kind of, you made a slight detour and got another lady’s hopes up that you were coming to her, but nope. Anyway, there were no tears. It was awesome.

I should also note that your day care is teaching you sooo much stuff. I love it. I love that you are asking what things are, I love that you are repeating things. I love that you are so interested in everything around you. I hope you can hold on to that level of curiosity.
Currently, your sentence structure isn't quite right, but it will get there. I think it mostly stems from a lack of known verbs. You're more about nouns. Like if you want juice. it's "Juice. Me." And while on paper that sounds ultra demandy and kind of snotty, it's very very cute, and very often, without prompting, you even say "tink coo," (that's "Thank You" for the uninitiated.) when you get what you ask for.

Your self sufficiency training is going well, although sometimes it seems you become the parent. Case in point, this morning I had you completely ready to go to school. Windbreaker, backpack, all set to walk out the door. When you tilted your head and gave me a funny look. “Jacket?” I told you that you were already wearing your jacket. “Mommy, jacket.” Oh, mama needs her jacket. “Yesssth.” We were not allowed to leave until I was wearing my jacket. Thank you, for looking out for me.

I have no requests this month, except you know, quit getting me sick.