Monday, November 30, 2009

Today I decided to work on a gift that I am making and I needed some silver acrylic paint. I also decided I just *had* to watch "Twilight" again so I decided I could do both in the family room. I turned on the dvd and then spread out some newspaper on the floor of the family room. I got out the paint, a brush and a paper paint to pour the paint in and I was ready to go!

I shook the little bottle of paint really hard and then poured but it was too liquid-y so I put the cap back on, shook harder and when I took the cap back off to squeeze it out, silver paint splurted EVERYWHERE! All over the project I was going to paint, all over the TV remote, all over my pants, my shirt, my socks and my beloved new slippers! NOoooooo!

I was sitting cross-legged so I actually blocked the paint from getting on the carpeting but I have now ruined so many things! It is acrylic paint so it does not wash out. I am so mad and frustrated with myself about this. Aargh!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Spy told me today that Cam asked her why she and I always talk about who is sick in our houses. That is not entirely true but it seems in the past two months both of our families have been sick (mine more so than hers) and it is what we deal with daily so we compare notes and commiserate with each other. But, I guess we sound like two old biddies. So no more sick talk with Spy. At least while Cam is listening. ;)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

So we did not get out for Black Friday shopping (it is Stephen's "thing" but he is sick). But today I did take the kids shopping and we knocked off a few gifts for the giving tree. And we went to Co$tco but it wasn't as insanely busy as I was expecting.

After I took the kids home, I headed out again and went to the mall. I spent a lot of time looking at things (all for me!). I spent ages looking at boots at Nordstrom but I did not even try any on. I also spent ages looking for jeans in Macy's but to no avail. I was able to get two gifts for Stephen though and then I headed to the Lego store. We have learned to buy every Lego on the kids' lists then weed out exactly which ones they want and return the others. However, this year Jackson has two on his list that ~just~ retired. I so do not want to have to them off ebay again.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I don't call myself an animal lover but I do have respect for animals. I never "got" how people would cry over animals. I don't mean pets because of course people love their pets and their pets love them, but I mean people crying over squirrels or dead raccoons on the side of the road, etc. But, for the past two years when I read about polar bears I cry. I mean really cry! I cry when I read that airplanes and boats spot the bears swimming miles and miles from shore or any ice flow, knowing that the bears will probably drown before they get to something they can climb on. Stories of emancipated bears and rumours that the melting ice in the Arctic will make them become extinct.

Here is yet another story about the lack of ice for polar bears:
Much less stable ice for polar bears, expert says

Then I read stories like this ("Alaska fights to reverse polar bear listing") and I get irrationally mad. I may have to become an animal activist!!

Edited to add a new polar bear headline that I found this morning:
Starving Polar Bears Turn To Cannabalism :'(

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am thankful for my husband, who works so hard to provide for our family, who loves me and all of my idiosyncrasies and makes me laugh.
I am thankful for my children, who are funny, smart and I love them with every bit of my heart.
I am thankful for my health because I have friends have chronic conditions and know how they struggle at times.
I am thankful for my friends, who are considerate, funny, and full of great advice.
I am thankful for peppermint hot chocolate, it is very yummy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So, Jax and Dex are playing hockey and Dex is not doing any extracurricular activities. He had expressed an interest in playing bass guitar so I spoke to the owners of the music store where I take my lessons and they ordered in a 3/4 size bass guitar. It took forever to come in but it arrived today. I took Dex over to buy it but then they said he was tall enough that he would do ok with a regular-sized bass so we bought the regular one (along with a case and an amp).

Dex is delighted! This is something just for him and only he is interested in and I think he likes that. He starts lessons in two weeks. I hope it doesn't take too long before he is playing something that is more than just "noise". Ok, I sound like a mean mom with that but really I am so very happy for him!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oops - almost went to bed again without posting for NaBloPoMo...

Here's one of my favourite PEZ dispensers. For no other reason that I think it is funny to have made a Mr. Bean PEZ. And the likeness is great!

Monday, November 23, 2009

My next-door neighbour is having some work done on her house. Actually, it is her detached garage. They ripped off the second floor loft and built a bigger second story which they will use as a game room and "guest" room. The construction has been going on for about three weeks and since we live in a cul-de-sac the trucks and tractors and trailers have been a little in the way of me backing out of my driveway. In fact, one day I had to head to Spy's to pick up Dex after a playdate but my driveway was completely blocked and I could not get out at the time I needed to do so (fortunately, Spy was able to bring Dex home).

Today was the second worse day. First this this morning there was a pickup truck parked on one side of our driveway. Stephen was miffed but he was able to get around it. I was able to get out too but when I came back home, there was another pickup truck parked on the other side of the driveway and I could just barely squeeze my minivan through. I was irritated but not enough do make a big deal about it, knowing that this construction would soon end.

Later, my neighbour called me and apologized to me for the trucks blocking our driveway and said she was going to give the contractor hell for it. I told her it was not a big deal but I would prefer if they did not block my driveway (it has also been hard getting my garbage and recycling bins out and accessible to the garbage trucks). Anyway, my neighbour told me that if the situation were reversed, she would be plenty pissed off. And she would be. She would be out there yelling at the contractors to move and then telling off the neighbour who was having the work done.

Anyway, I am just looking forward to the work being done in her house and the trucks gone. And hope that when we have workers come to our house, they don't block her driveway!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I lost my American Express card...again. This is the second time this year and probably the 5th time in as many years. I often carry it around in my pocket rather than put it back in my wallet after I use it. Aargh! I was so frustrated especially because it takes up to 10 days for a replacement card and uh, Black Friday is this Friday.

So, I called Amex to report it missing and of course there were no new charges (I am sure it is somewhere in my house or car). I also told the rep on the phone that I was upset about losing it now because of Black Friday shopping. She told me that she can have a replacement card to me by Tuesday! ~whew~

Then I will have to call all of the places that automatically charge my card to give them the new number. Oh, and I need to remember to place the card back in my wallet immediately after I use it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Today was a very low-key day. At least for me. :) Stephen and Jax were up at 6AM for Jax's hockey game and Cars, Dex and I got to sleep in. Cars was still not doing well this morning (slight fever) but this evening he seems much better. Thank God for antibiotics!

I made some jewellery today and puttered around my craft/crap/hoarding room. Then we had a mortgage guy come by because we are refinancing our mortgage. He "owed" us a "free" re-fi because he screwed up with the interest rate when we bought this house (he did not lock in the rate so we paid more than we were expecting so it was an unpleasant surprise when we were signing the papers for the closing). Anyway, we will save a good amount each month by refinancing now so I did not mind or get embarrassed when Stephen gave the guy the business when he came by today and made him clarify things over and over and over again. ;)

Now I am off to surf the web for Christmas carols to learn to play on the guitar.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sickness Meter

So Cars' staph infection is actually a strep infection. Yikes! So he is now on an oral antibiotic (but we are supposed to keep applying the antibiotic ointment). And instead of me worrying about MRSA, I am worrying about flesh-eating disease! Just kidding (not really).

Anyway, he just needs to rest and get his strength back at this point. He keeps falling asleep in the car, when he sits on the couch and straight away at bedtime. He was sent home from school today with a fever but fortunately it was just a 1/2 day of school due to parent/teacher conferences so he did not miss much. Tomorrow he will stay home from hockey and his make-up soccer game. Poor boy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I volunteered at the school today for 3 hours. The first hour was in Cars' classroom. I listened to the kids read books that they took home and practiced. It was so cute! I also had to ask some of the kids to name five things they like and five things they dislike. It was sweet when some of the kids would say they could not think of more than one or two things they did not like.

After being in the class, I worked in the supply room doing "production" work. Basically that meant cutting out shaped pieces for the kindergarten classes for two hours! I have a blister on my thumb! I did get trained to use the laminator which is a big deal because in the past few years only staff have been allowed to touch the laminator.

The kids brought home their report cards today. I was pleased with them except for Dex's behaviour. He fancies himself the class clown and he does not know when to use his humour at appropriate times. Well, he is learning and I hope his behaviour continues to improve. His teacher seems no-nonsense and it is a big class (30 kids!) so no doubt she has no time for his one liners all of the time. *sigh* The conference with her tomorrow should be interesting.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cars' staph infection is looking a little less red and sore today which is good. Tonight, I had him soak in Tree Tea Oil (thanks for the suggestion, Lynn).

I totally forgot that I was to drop off a case of water for the teachers' luncheon at the school today. I bought the water on Monday morning and had been driving around with it in my car. I thought briefly about dropping it off yesterday when I took Cars to school but decided against it. It was to be dropped off this morning by 10:30am and I figured last night I would just drop it off about 9am. Well, this morning I gave not one thought to it while I went about my day. Suddenly, at 12:15pm I was driving home (from working out and costume store as I needed an Abraham Lincoln hat and beard for Jax's biography tomorrow) I remembered that I forgot to drop it off! I raced into the school all stinky and sweaty, interrupting the luncheon to drop off the case. Thankfully, they actually did have enough water already. I am blushing just thinking about it! Aargh! My worst nightmare - being late for something!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cars has a probably staph infection on his buttocks. Ugh! We'll know for sure in a couple of days and I am praying that it is not MRSA. In the meantime, we are applying an antibacterial ointment and if it does not start getting better by Thursday, he will have to go with oral antibiotics. Poor little boy.

And I am hoping it will not spread amongst anyone else in the house.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Shout It Out Loud

Stephen took Jax and Dex to see KISS at Key Arena in Seattle last night. They went with two other dads and their 11 year old sons as well. Everyone enjoyed it but all agreed that it was not the type of concert they would never have to see more than once.

Before the concert, they went to dinner at a restaurant near the arena. There, they ran into our next-door neighbours. Kind of remarkable considering the restaurant is over 20 miles from our house (and the neighbours were not going to the concert). However, last July when Stephen took the kids to see Green Day at Key Arena, they went to the same restaurant and our next-door neighbours on the OTHER SIDE were there. Isn't that so weird?

Anyway, Stephen is thinking about taking the boys to see Bon Jovi in February. I wonder who they will see at McMenamins then?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Today we were all zonked. This afternoon Jax and Dex had a nap in preparation for the KISS concert that Stephen has taken them too. Cars fell asleep on my bed watching a movie and I fell asleep on the couch while watching the Seahawks lose to the Arizona Cardinals. I awoke about 4:25 - too late for me to take Dex and Cars to religion class. Just as well because Cars was still sleeping. He was supposed to go to a birthday party today but about 10 minutes before it was to start I realized that he was in no shape to go. He has a bad cough and he looks sick (although no real fever - 99.1F). I will see how he is in the morning...I am worried about pneumonia.

So, Stephen took the older boys to the KISS concert (they just walked in the door). Cars and I went to Red Robin for dinner. Now I am wide awake from my nap so I think I will go check out what is on tv.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Spy and Ash's families came over for dinner tonight. I wanted a simple party but of course Stephen wanted a gourmet meal. It was really, really good (teriyaki salmon on cedar planks, stuffed pork loin roast, rosemary potatoes and a salad with a bacon, shallot vinaigrette dressing. Yummy! Dinner was late though (we probably did not eat until about 7:30.

As you all know, I am so not a cook (Stephen made dinner). But, I did make a dessert that seemed to be a hit. It was apple crisp served over ice cream with whipped cream on top. The dessert was a huge hit which was nice because I had to find an apple crisp recipe that was wheat-free and most recipes that I found called for flour or gluten-free flour (rice or spelt) which I did not have.

Oh, I forgot that I also made a cranberry salsa which I thought was a bit too citrus-y (too much lime juice). I got the recipe from Spy's SIL and hers was so much better. Hmmm....maybe she omitted an ingredient on purpose so mine would not be as good as hers! I have read that some people do that! Hmmm.... Spy's SIL is a saboteur! ;)

Friday, November 13, 2009

If I were not doing NaBloPoMo I would not post today. I really have nothing to write about.

So I leave you with The History of PEZ:

In 1927 in the country Austria, Edward Haas came up with this new peppermint candy.The word PEZ comes from the German word for peppermint (pfefferminz). It was an adult breath mint that he decided to market as an alternative for smoking. From the word pfefferminz they took the first, middle and last letter and came up with the word PEZ.

PEZ was carried around in pocket tins. Then in 1948 they came out with the "easy, hygenic dispenser" that we all recognize now to be a regular. In 1952 PEZ wanted to expand their sales so they set their sights on the U.S.A., to make their product more appealing to Americans. They placed heads on the dispensers and marketed it for children.

In 1973 PEZ built their U.S. plant that is located in Orange, Ct. In 1983, Mr. Scott McWhinnie became "PEZident" of PEZ here in the U.S. In 1990 the size of the plant was doubled. It operates 24 hours a day. In 1987 feet were added to the base of the dispenser. To date PEZ has made about 300 different dispensers.

PEZ Dispenser without feet and with feet

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gotta be quick to get in before midnight for NaBloPoMo...

Glorious sunny day today. Raked leaves for 2.5 hours. Book club tonight - a great tme as always!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I have posted this in previous years but it is important and worthy or being posted every year.

In Flanders Fields by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again

Monday, November 09, 2009

I think this blahg needs to be renamed the Sickness Meter!

Cars is *still* sick. I called the doctor's office today and spoke to a nurse. Judging from his symptoms, he probably has H1N1 (high fever, fatigue, sore throat, cough and it all started with a headache). So, even though he had the shot, it was less than two weeks ago so he would not have built up enough immunity by now. Apparently he also needs a booster (when/if it ever becomes available).

So, he missed school today, he will miss school tomorrow. No school on Wednesday so hopefully he will be able to get back to school on Thursday.

I am feeling a bit better now. All day today I felt like crap but tonight things improved. I still may call my doctor to see if she recommends a second round of antibiotics.

Looking forward to the Spring!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Cars is sick again. It started yesterday with a headache, cough and fever. He seemed ok this morning after we dosed him up with Advil so we decided to go to the Sony store in Seattle. We got on the highway then Cars announced that he thought he was going to throw up. Since we were in Stephen's car - he floored it and we got off the next stop. Cars did not throw up after all but he held a plastic bag on his lap as we head back home. No school for him tomorrow.

So, I then headed to Seattle myself and I bought a new laptop. Now I have to set it up but I am very excited about it. Dude, I cannot wait to get rid of this Dell. (we'll probably just reformat it and keep it for the kids use for homework).

This morning I was reading PostSecret and I am sure that I know who sent in this secret. The drawing of the Madonna is very, very similar in style to the Madonna icons that a woman at my church paints. So, I have decided that it is her secret. ;) I don't know her very well at all or else I would ask her.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Having very close online friends is very difficult concept for people who do not frequent forums, message boards and chat rooms to understand. They think how can you call someone you have never met a friend? Now, I was fortunate to have met Shelly IRL (in real life) but even if we had never met, we would still have been great friends. We shared joys and sorrows and laughs. Shelly was very generous with her time and always found the time to answer people when they posted and needed some advice or an ear.

At one time,'s stay-at-home parents forum was a very special place. Besides Shelly, I met many other really great people...friends. We were in touch daily and were great support to each other through pregnancies and births, deaths and divorces, first steps and first days of school. And forum wars (one cannot forget about those! ;)

All of these years later, I am so happy to continue to call them my friends. Many of us have kept in touch (in delphiforums) and also on facebook. And still others through blogs.

So, for your support, friendship and love throughout the years, I thank you - Shelly/Raingirl*, Mar*, Chris/Snapper, Kris, Krista, Christa/Honey, Jill, Katy, Katie, Lynn, Tabitha, Sheila, Silvia, kk, Stacy, Heidi*, Pley/Tracy, Robin, Beth*, Sarah*, Sarah, Sarah, Sarah (that makes me laugh), Paula, L'Rae* and Kimmer. I am sure I have forgotten someone. And while I know many of those names listed do not actually read my blah, I shall make sure I thank them elsewhere. You guys rock!

* Those whom I have met IRL

Friday, November 06, 2009

Rest in Peace, Shelly

In honour and memory of my dear friend, Shelly, the biggest Beatles Fan I ever met.

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is
Still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be. Yeah
There will be an answer, let it be.

And when the night is cloudy,
There is still a light that shines on me,
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be,
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

Shelly, Me and JoJo
Ballard Locks, Seattle WA
August 2005

Thursday, November 05, 2009

In honour of Sesame Street's upcoming 40th birthday, today's PEZ Blahg is brought to you by the number 5 and the Letter P.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Today, my neighbour asked me if I wanted a few plants. I said "Sure", thinking she would be giving me a few "babies" from her many plants. She ended up giving me 9 mature grass plants! Wow! I love these plants and I was hoping for some small ones that would, in a couple of years, fill out and look nice along my front walk. I was so surprised and delighted that she gave me 9!! I planted them and hope they take. I will take pictures in the spring. ;)

She also had dug up dozens of strawberry plants and offered me some so i took 15. I hope they spread nicely so in the spring I will have lots of strawberries (if the slugs and rabbits don't get to them first).

I had no where to plant the strawberries so I dug out a few plants that I hated in the backyard. While I was in the backyard, I cleaned up a few leaves from one of the beds, including leaves around my Japanese maple (here's a picture from Summer '08)

I also decided to dig up a few more plants that I hated but then ran out of time so I left everything where it was and went to get the kids from school. I did not get back to the garden for another three hours because it was a glorious day and the kids played at the park (and I had a nice conversation with Spy). Anyway, when I got home, I went finish the job and I noticed that my wheelbarrow was moved so I figured that lawn guys had been while I was gone. I went back to trying to dig out a plant and I glanced over at my Japanese maple and just about DIED of shock!

The top 6" of my tree was broken off and was laid on the brick wall! Noooooooooooooo!

I was so upset. I took the photo then marched in and emailed the owner of the business to tell him that my tree was broken. He replied that he was going to tell me about it and will replace the tree. *sigh* I am sure that the tree does not need to be replaced (at least, I hope it won't die from the top being snapped off), but it is my Japanese maple! Wah!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Pez Me

Today, I decided it was time to dust the PEZ cabinet and move a few things around because there was no more room to add my newest PEZ (Woody and Rex from "Toy Story").

I took the PEZ out and had to keep them together by group (all Peanuts, all Star Wars, all Garfield, all Mr. Bean, etc). Then I dusted each and every one, sprayed the glass shelves with Windex then put them back in. I shuffled them around and a few hours after I started, I was all done.

I did take some photos as I went so I thought I would share a few photos:

Monday, November 02, 2009

Newest PEZ from a Dear Friend

Today in the mail I received a package from my friend, Tabitha. In it I found this:

The Donald Duck PEZ is the one I sent to Tabitha. It was to keep her company as she traveled from her home in Texas to NYC where she underwent surgery. PEZ was happy to keep her company as she traveled from her home in Texas to undergo heart surgery. The baseball PEZ is from New York - it is a Yankee's PEZ. The cow PEZ is from Texas (Tabitha's home) and it is a Chick-fil-A PEZ! Along with a little note from Tabitha (I mounted the note in the shadow box that Tabitha sent).

Here is a photo montage of PEZ's visit to NYC (photos are courtesy of Tabitha and I hope she doesn't mind that I snagged copies of her pix):

First, PEZ on the plane, PEZ's first NYC cab ride, PEZ enjoying a slice of New York pizza, PEZ in Central Park and PEZ sharing a hospital meal with Tabitha.

Tabitha, thank you for sharing your trip to NYC with me. I am sorry that you had to have the surgery and I continue to send you healing thoughts and prayers. You are a wonderful friend.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

A Cadillac Medical Plan?

With so many people unable to afford medical insurance or be ineligible for it, I am very fortunate that we have a great plan through Stephen's work. We have no co-pay for doctor's visits or prescription drugs (unless we chose name-brand over generic then we pay $40). I do not need a referral to see a specialist and we have mental health benefits (which allowed me to see my Crazy Doctor for two years as well as allow Jax to see his psychologist for one year where they used biofeedback to teach him how to calm down when he is anxious).

This morning, I was able to take advantage of one of the other great parts of the plan which is a house call by a doctor. Yes, an actual house call! As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have not been feeling well for about a week but it was not until last night that I knew that I needed to see a doctor and it could not wait until Monday. I called our nurse line and after several questions, I was referred to the medical mobile service. They called a short while later to say that a doctor would call me. And he did and he came by to examine me. Sure enough, I have a severe sinus infection (which explains why it felt as though my head were about to explode and why I was coughing up icky stuff).

So, is my plan one of the so-called "gold-plated Cadillac plans" that people talk about?

It may seem like a very ritzy benefit to have access at home to a doctor but really it is less expensive for the company to send a doctor out than for a visit to an emergency room or urgent care center. I have had friends who have had the doctor come out to give their kids stitches, diagnose an ear infection or inspect an infection (possible MSRA). How much money did the company save? Probably a lot. I know last spring when I took Dex to the emergency room when he had pneumonia, our medical plan was charged over $500. And we were in/out in 40 minutes in which was probably the only one time in which the ER visit was faster than a house call (which I was hoping to get at that time but the nurse said that I had to get Dex to emergency ASAP). I will see when we get our explanation of benefits how much the medical mobile service charged for today's visit.

In the end, it was only four hours after I first called the nurse line to the time I was picking up my prescription at the pharmacy (they told the doctor it would take 45 minutes when he called it in). If I had gone to urgent care, I am sure I would have spent at least that long waiting to be seen due to the huge number of people who are currently ill with flu-like symptoms (probably H1N1).

So, is it a Cadillac Medical Benefit? Nah, probably more of a practical car like a Toyota (with some bells and whistles). ;)