Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ben 10

Ben 10: Alien Force is cool!

Friday, January 30, 2009


Giselle wasn't feeling well for a second day in a row so we stayed at home instead of spending the day at The Park on this upper-60's degree day. I guess we're allowed to miss one due to sickness every now and then but it's a bummer when it happens on a nice day. Wait a minute I live in Central Texas, almost every day is a nice day so it's not that big of a deal to have to stay inside/close to home on a nice day because it's sure to be a nice day again tomorrow. Which, in fact, it's supposed to be even nicer than today was - highs in the low 70's!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cool House

So we spent most of the afternoon in one of those typical bland, cookie-cutter, modern suburban neighborhoods...inside of one of the coolest houses I've EVER been in!

The kids loved it and wish that it was our house. They've taken one of those soulless high-ceilings, white-walls houses and transformed it into a multi-cultural oasis. The dining room was like being in Morocco, the master bedroom was like being in Italy, another bedroom was like being in an early 20th-century doll shop, the living room, kitchen and breakfast room were just super comfortable with a kind of Moorish-feeling, the schoolroom was bright and inspiring and covered with horses. Next time I'll take pictures and show y'all.

One of the things I liked about it was that even with the high ceilings and hardwood floors there was no echo in the house; which is SO typical of those style houses. You know what I mean, that harsh clangy noise that hurts your ears and makes you yell at the kids to be quieter. The trick was that they had wall hangings. Not framed pictures but actual hanging tapestries. You know, that's what they used in those castles in days of yore to keep out the cold and keep down the noise. And it wasn't 'Keep Austin Weird'-type tapestries (beach towels or Mexican blankets) they were REAL tapestries with a picture woven into the fabric and shiny metallic disks sewn onto them and fringe on the bottom and hanging by a real tapestry rod (not held up with thumbtacks).

My friend has done a HUGE mural in the master bedroom of the view from the patio of an Italian villa. She did it herself and it looks GOOD; pay-money-to-someone-to-paint-it good! She's actually still working on it; I'm sure that from lying there in bed looking at it every day she notices all the errors but to the normal eye it looks done. The rest of the walls of the bedroom are painted to look like the rest of a villa patio - stucco walls that are missing stucco in some places. Oooo, maybe she'll eventually do the back wall as the view of the outside of the house, or not.

Probably the coolest thing about it is that even though it had a total exotic feel, it didn't have that museum feel, it felt like a real house that real people live in. It had warmth, not at all sterile or 'oh, don't touch that!'. I tell you the house was AWESOME!

The only downside is that it's on the polar opposite side of town from us, maybe about 30 miles (I forgot to check the odometer). I guess that'll only make it more special every time we go over. BTW, the kids wanted to go back tomorrow; I told them that maybe we'd do it every 2 weeks.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

weather whine

Freezing rain tonight!
But 50's tomorrow so we can still make our scheduled trip to Pflugerville where we'll have lots of pfun with our pfriends!

Monday, January 26, 2009

why not to Do-It-Yourself

In looking up how to properly maintain a septic tank I came across this web page that has YouTube clips (5 of them) showing the five reasons that it's not always a good idea to try to do home repairs/construction yourself. Be prepared to wince and maybe giggle a little.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Poor Paul

My sweet, poor, little man, his top teeth are now loose and for the first time in his memory it hurts to eat. Tonight while eating spaghetti he started crying about it hurting to eat. Giselle and I had to explain to him that while his old teeth are coming out and the new teeth are coming in that it can often times be painful to eat. He insisted at first that it wasn't because his teeth were loose so I asked him to show me which one hurt. He pointed to one of his middle top teeth and I grabbed ahold of it and tried to wiggle it and it wiggled, A LOT. I swear that tooth was not at all loose earlier in the week when I posted about his molars! After that he didn't argue about it the cause of the pain.

After dinner they got ready for bed. Once Paul was all ready I had him stand in front of the mirror and wiggle his teeth with his own hand - he was pleased to feel them wiggle. I don't think those teeth are going to be attached for much longer :)

We better hurry up on that tooth box! I know that the tooth toy box is stocked and ready for him, and I guess that's the most important part for him.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Our latest favorite song

This song is so good that even Joe watched the video with us and was singing along! I dare you to not be singing it all day after watching the video!

I LOVE it!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Attention Renters

Attention all people that currently rent the place that they are living in:
When you move out, please be sure to thoroughly clean out the refrigerator and freezer. That doesn't mean just take all your food out of it. That means to take a sponge and some 409 spray cleaner and clean all of your food funk from off of the surfaces - vertical and horizontal! See after you move out, most landlords have the electricity turned off unless another tenant is moving in right away. Dirty closed refrigerator + no electricity = gross nasty stuff growing inside of the fridge and freezer that your soon-to-be-ex landlord's wife has to clean up.
Remember those times you paid the rent at the absolute LAST SECOND and we didn't say anything, well how about some payback? 5 extra minutes of your time on move-out day, that's all I'm asking for.

Girl Scout peanut butter cookies are safe!

For everyone that is concerned about the safety of the peanut butter in the Girl Scout Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies and the Peanut Butter Patties: they are perfectly fine and are salmonella-free.

For everyone that was using their concern as an excuse to not buy Girl Scout Cookies from your local scout: they are perfectly fine so you now have no excuse for not buying any!

word of warning

Don't eat a lot of cheesecake if you're doing a great job of losing weight on a low-fat diet. That's all I'm saying.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My plumber is also an electrician

Joe's now finished rewiring all the light switches in the house so that there's a separate switch for each ceiling fan in the house. Instead of there being one wall switch that turns on the power for the fan AND the light, there's now 2 switches on the wall - one for the fan and one for the light. This task involved much crawling around in the attic that has over a foot of blown insulation and about 2 feet of clearance in most places. And the use of the walkie-talkies that we got for the kids for Christmas. Thanks Honey, this'll come in super handy in the summer when I want a convenient way to turn off the light but leave the fan on.

The leak is all fixed and the carpet is pretty much all dried out. I would think so: we've had less than 20% humidity for the last 3 days and there've been 2 Vornadoes, 2 tall floor fans, and 1 space fan blowing on the pulled-up carpet and foam for the last 3 days.

I'm going to watch some Sabrina, The Teenage Witch on TiVo and then go to bed.
See ya!

Monday, January 19, 2009


I used to have a shirt that looked like the one in the picture for today's deal. If you're reading this after today the link is this I'm positive that it looked better on me than it looks on this guy!


In honor of Paul's 5th birthday last week his 2nd bottom 6-yr old molar has made it's appearance. The first one broke through around the beginning of December. I know, you're saying "6-yr old molars? But he just turned 5! That's so soon!" But see you have to keep in mind that while Giselle was a bit early with cutting her first tooth at 4.5 months and loosing her first tooth at 5 yrs 4 months (although the permanent tooth had come in a month earlier), Paul cut his first tooth when he was a mere 3 months and 10 days old. And to totally blow the myth out of the water that you can't nurse a kid once they get teeth - I continued to nurse him for an additional 3 and 1/2 years.

He's been grinding his teeth at night a lot lately, which I know from Giselle is a sign that teeth are coming in, but I expected that it was because he was going to be loosing his baby teeth soon. I didn't really expect those molars yet. I do help him to brush his teeth but I brush his whole gums, whether he has teeth there or not and his mouth is full of toothpaste foam so I hadn't noticed that first molar until it was all the way cut through last month. This other one cut through the gum a few days ago.

I guess we better get a tooth box made for him quickly since I expect teeth to be coming out soon, not just coming in. Giselle's bottom canine teeth are wobbly, she's glad about that.

Back to school.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

weekend plumber

Fortunately my plumber is cheap - I just have to feed him and have marital relations with him regularly.

Giselle noticed a wet spot on her bedroom carpet this afternoon and mentioned it to me as I was putting her to bed at 8. Thinking that the dog had relieved herself there earlier in the day I investigated. Fortunately the dog had not peed there; unfortunately the carpet in half of her room was soaking wet and it was coming from beneath the wall that adjoins the 2nd bathroom. We pulled up the carpet and underlying foam to start drying it out while we searched for the cause of the water.
First Joe pulled up the toilet, thinking that might be leaking but that was bone dry underneath - good thing since we had just had tile put down and had replaced all the seals. Then he checked behind the sink since there's a big hole in the wall above it for the medicine cabinet that Joe's in the process of installing (a process that involved rerouting the pvc sewer vent pipe in the wall); no leaks there. That left the tub/shower. In the process of diagnosing a small leak behind the shower, the pipe outright broke; spraying water all over the backside of the wall in Giselle's room and leaking out onto the concrete floor in her bedroom. Joe goes running out the back door to grab his "turn off the water at the main valve" tool and then ran through the house to the water meter/main shut-off valve out front. See, here in the South where it doesn't freeze, the water shut-off is outside at the water meter out by the street - about 1 foot below the surface of the ground.
So, he gets the water shut off and then he had to cut a hole in Giselle's wall to get to the pipes. Of course this all happens AFTER Home Depot has closed for the night because it's Sunday and they close early on Sundays so no repair parts would be available. But he cut away the bad sections of pipe (using the pipe cutter that his Dad had bought for him earlier that day, ironically enough), Dawn came up the street with some Shark caps to cap off the pipes and Joe turned the water back on so that we'll have running water in the AM. At least until he has to turn the water off again to make the repair.

I am SO glad that Joe knows how to do this stuff and I am SO glad that Giselle told me about the wet spot on her floor!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

better than coffee

What can be better than coffee? I'll tell you what.
A big scoop of Blue Bell Vanilla Bean ice cream with about a tablespoon or so of instant espresso powder poured on top and then mixed in.
Espresso Ice Cream. Oh Yeah!
I was up until 3 last night after having some for dessert at 8 pm.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside!

(I'm not shouting, that's the way it copied over from the National Weather Service)

Don't worry about me, it'll be back to highs in the upper 60's by Monday. Besides, I'm in my winter-denial mode - all I need is a turtle neck and a sweater, forget about a jacket or socks. The only reason I'm wearing pants instead of Capris is that I'm too lazy to shave my legs.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Too pre-occupied to bother with posting.
Thanks for dropping by though!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Joe stopped traffic today to recover a flat of white pansies that had fallen off the back of a truck. He came to a stop in the middle of the road, got out of his car and then carefully scooped the plants off of the street and put them back into their 4-inch pots; saving all but 3 of the 24 plants. He brought them home and presented them to me with a look on his face that should have been captured on film. (Did I just say 'film'? Gosh I'm showing my age!)
Thank you Joe, they're the best flowers that I've ever gotten!
I promise to plant them tomorrow morning before school.

Monday, January 05, 2009

fun in the cold

Paul had 2 friends over today and the 3 of them discovered the joy of riding the Big Wheels down the big hill in the back yard. Actually they didn't discover it, I told them it'd be a blast and that they should try it. They were really glad that they listened to me! The John Deere tractor did the hill once but I made sure that wasn't done again - can't have that getting broken. I didn't take any pictures this time but I'll be sure to next time, and I'm SURE that there'll be a next time! But next time I hope that it won't be only 37 degrees, or whatever the temp was at that time - we could see our breath it was that cold.
That's all I've got.
I'm going to either read or watch TV, I'm not sure which.
The first day back at schooling went REALLY well today, for all of us!

Sunday, January 04, 2009


windy and cold - we left the house for church this morning and I doubt that we'll leave it again for the rest of the day!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

another fan!

No not THAT kind; I still only have 4 official followers.
I'm talking about the ceiling fan in our kitchen. The 25 yr old tolerable fan/light combo is gone and we now have a very nice, modern, 3-bladed fan/light combo in its place. With some work, Joe converted the new lamp part from using 3 candelabra bulbs to using 2 100 wt bulbs (incandescent or cfl) so that we'll be able to actually read at the table. And after 45 min of tweaking, it's vibration free even at mach speed.

Although as I typed this I was struck by an ocular headache. I realized that with the fan at medium speed, the flickering of the shadows on the wall in front of me (behind the computer screen) was at the exact WRONG speed for my eyes and was totally messing with them. I've switched the fan to low and while the pulsing is still very noticeable in my peripheral vision, hopefully it'll be something that I won't notice when the lights aren't on. It may actually be a problem with the bulbs being cfl's or that there are 2 100 wt bulbs, not the fan speed at all. No, it's the flickering of the shadows. Sounds like a personal problem to me.

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Anti-Whine

And now starts the beginning of my 6 week long weather loving/weather hating season, since as my unofficial title of meteorologist I always state that winter in Central Texas starts on New Years Day and ends about Valentine's Day. I'll whine for 2 days about the temperature and then I'll gloat for 3. Today and tomorrow and Sunday I'm gloating; sunny and 78 today, partly sunny and 81 tomorrow, and still warmish on Sunday with a low of 41 at night. Monday our high is only going to be 5 degrees warmer than the night before so I'll be whining then; oh, and it's supposed to maybe be rainy too.
In the meantime, I'll be at the park this afternoon with the kids loving the fact that I'm in short sleeves and Capri's on January 2nd.

Why is Capri capitalized? My inquiring mind wants to know.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Another Year Begins

Paul fell asleep on the sofa, curled up behind my curled up legs, around 11. Joe went to bed about 11:30. I fell asleep on the sofa around 11:45. Giselle fell asleep in her bean bag around 12:45 and the 3 of us went to bed at 1:30 ish. We slept in until almost 9 and it's been a fairly mellow day. Joe put the soundproofing fascia on the dish washer, I covered the 19 yr old picnic table with vinyl, and the kids had some Pokemon battles with the kids from next door.

I need to run and cook up some black-eyed peas and rice to go with the fish and pork loin for dinner.

We're watching 'Horton Hears A Who' right now, Paul is wanting to leave the room since the mean Vlad is about to show up and we don't care much for mean people.

See ya!