Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Senioritus: its not just the kids, its me!

I am in the process of planning a graduation party for my son. There is no way around this activity. Harry wants one and I just cannot let him down. And, this is a big deal around here. because there are three seasons in this area: Winter, Summer and Graduation. For a month this spring, every weekend will be filled with breakfast brunches and open houses. Mostly open houses. Its ham sandwiches, potato salad and cake, the scrap book, the sports medal,s and the 4H ribbons. People get knew carpeting, resod their yards, put on additions, and plan years in advance. I AM NOT KIDDING.

When I started thinking about this I thought, we are going to have a big party, no wall of fame, no ham sandwiches and no cake, but we are going to have a live band and invite the whole universe. As time goes by, I find that my interest and involvement in Harry's school year is waning. I have gone to a few of his track meets. And to think of all those years I coached soccer teams in 30 degree weather, and taught religious education to all those kids (my son included!), its hard to believe i could be so disinterested, but its true! I am ready for him to fly the nest. As for a party, I'm thinking Harry can just invite his friends and i'll buy pizza! Well almost. I do have a few things up my sleeve. I am going to borrow some tables from the neighbors, and I'll pull out the bowling balls and pins, volley ball set, croquet, horseshoes and have at it I guess. Some of my family members are coming so I think they will help me set up. I guess its not so bad.


I went to a mosaic workshop and loved it. I have been dabbling in this activity for about ten years, starting when my son was very young. I would give him a hammer and let him break the tiles. He loved it.

What was great about this class was that the instructor gave us her formulas for grout and tile adhesive. Many of the pre-mixed varieties and other brands found at local hardware stores or tile stores have cancer causing substances (like latex) that are highly toxic. The instructors formulas do not have additives, are very strong and can stand subzero conditions. She gave me alot of information about tools, where to find quality, and techniques. It got me over a serious hump. She also offers classes in Puerto Vallarta in the winter and I am giving it serious consideration. I feel recharged and rejuvenated. Oh yeah.

(Pictures above: first one is my work area in the basement. I used to have alot more panels, but I gave them as gifts to friends and family at Christmas. The second picture is of the shoes I covered: mostly shells and some buttons and a buckle. I white washed the shoes with paint. One of the things she talked alot about was using negative space and how to achieve it. Also, I didn't have to grout between the objects. I am also working on a metal cigar box - humadore? that i am loading up with little porcelain animal figurines .. a zoo!)

HERE IS WHAT MY SON WAS SUPPOSED TO DO BUT HAS NOT DONE YET: He needs a new car, but has to clean up this one so we can sell it or give it away. Its got some serious problems and I don't want to put any more money into it..Harry's got some money saved so we'll just get a new one.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fifty is Nifty

This is a picture of my older sister on her fiftieth birthday which happened a couple of years ago about this time of year. We went to some kind of review in Chicago. I am sure you can tell the kind of review. Jenny posed with some of the entertainers. The club and this review have been around since the 70's and we heard that one of the entertainers (the "girl" in the middle) used to date Dennis Rodman. This night club, and I can't remember the name, is a popular event for bachlorette parties and the girls wear plastic lauas?help) and the emcee has them stand up and the "girls" prance with them or tell jokes. It was fun. My sister was surprised. The bigger surprise though was that I showed up.

My sister is the oldest of four and the first to hit the big 5 0. My brother is a year younger and turned 50 in 2006 and I am turning 50 this year. My little sister (who was always taller than me) will turn fifty not long after that. Yikes!

What I get the biggest kick out of though is the kids, our children. They think we are just such old turds, like we don't know what they are doing. Sheesh! Like we've never done what they are doing or know what they are talking about. Times change but not that much.

My niece Megan (proud owner of Pufkin the hamster, and winner in the Egg Decorating contest) is in the process of moving out of the house and into an apartment near Wrigley Field. We are all very excited about that and I wonder how she'll feel every weekend when several of her Aunts (and me too!) show up at midnite looking for a place to crash because they don't want to drive back to the burbs. I can't wait for the day my mother and Mario show up for the same reason. In our family it doesn't matter how old you are, you never lose it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

How we spent our weekend....

It was a warm, er well 40 ish and sunny Saturday afternoon so I went down our fencelines (we own the property on both sides for now) and cleaned out the bluebird boxes. I don't expect the bluebirds for at least another month, but when they come home for the summer they will want their houses move in ready.... I use a cordless drill with a phillips drill bit, and of course I always carry a refreshment.
We spaced the bluebird boxes twenty five feet apart, but swallows will also use these boxes as nests and usually every other box will have been occupied by a swallow. There is a difference in how they build their nests. The bluebirds fill them fuller. None were empty so I was quite satisfied.

On Sunday my son invited his buds over for a little male bonding. They cooked Gumbo. Someone's mom gave them a recipe and helped them with the shopping (where to go because it is hard to find ethnic foods like anduoille sausage in this area).

They cooked what normally takes about four hours and condensed it into two with tricks like high heat and the boys each did a 15 minute rotation on stirring, like every 15 minutes it was someone else's turn. I offered suggestions like, you should brown the meat first for better flavor but i was over ruled.

The put the minute rice in with the water and then boiled it (sigh).

I think they were happy with the results. I went out before they were done and while the kitchen was pretty neat when i left (they were cleaning as they went) it looked like a hurricane went through after that, even though amazingly all the dirty dishes were in the sink.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Egg Results are tabulated

First, thank you to all the Judges in this event:
Blackbird , gmcountrymama,those member of my family who always post ANONYMOUS comments so shall remain anonymous, erika, sharryb (who has two great web sites), ginnie, palm springs savant, suzy, kate, kaywag, and MizMell. You guys were great, even those of you who liked all of them!

Bulimiegg and Night of the Living Egg tied with 4 votes!
Eggceptional Ride and Eggy Rider came in with 3 votes! A close second.
Dirty Egg-tini finishes third.
Clown Eggs, Spartan Egg, Plaegg, and Eggstreme Lack of Time all recieved an honorable mention.

So the winners are: Megan (niece) & Me (YEAH OH YEAH!)
Jim (brother in law), Jenny (sister) were second.
Shannon (Megan's sister my niece) came in third (oh yeah!)
Me (again YEAH), Harry (my son), Mike (my brother in law) and Kelly (niece) all recieved honorable mentions. In truth conceptually and ironically some were pretty good. We completely missed the whole Spartan thing .. I thought the concept was LAZY, and not sure what Mike was thinking...probably his egg looked sick to begin with like uh yeah color. Eggstreme Lack of Time was simply clever, which is how I would describe my niece always.

Have to go out now and check out the neighborhood find Peter Rabbit and his family and have a discussion with them about the garden. There have been quite a few of his family members at the birdfeeder this spring.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Thankyou EGG JUDGES There is still time to vote

Thank you all for your input. I am going to tally the results and get back to you with the final numbers. There are still probably a couple more days for voting if anyone feels compelled.
We've had two more snow storms since I last blogged, and last night the temperatures were in the 20's, but it warmed up to 40 something this afternoon. Next week it will be in the 50's so say the meteorologists.

The ground is still frozen but the birds are singing up a storm. Chatting up their mates and what not. Its going to get pretty crazy around here, just wait and see.

I'll keep you posted, I promise.