Sunday, November 30, 2008

a give-away!

Edited to add: Oh my goodness gracious...I've been plowing through the master list of giveaways and am googly eyed after spending HOURS trying to enter everyone's contests. If I have to complete another word verification tonight, I'll tear my hair out by the roots.

I'm convinced it can't be done in a day, so I'm extending this until nighty-night time tomorrow...9-ish or so.

Meanwhile, keep the stories coming. Heidi, oh my gosh...cigs from Grandma? And Julianne, I feel your husband's done the same thing before (and let me tell you, he paid DEARLY. He's still paying, in fact).

Good luck, everyone!

One of my favorite blogs, Sew, Mama, Sew!, has organized a give-away day today. You can read about it here, but the idea is that everyone who participates gives away a homemade item to a blog reader.

There's a master list over there of participants, and if you've found me, I'm assuming they got my email.

So, welcome! Make yourself at home and please don't mind the dog fur on the sofa.

My contribution to the give-aways is this makeup bag that I whipped up over the weekend.

It's made from Amy Butler fabric and has a contrasting lining and zipper. I've made several of these in the past few weeks as Christmas gifts.

Here's how to enter.

Leave a comment by midnight CST describing the worst Christmas gift you ever received. Was it a homemade makeup bag, perhaps?

Mine, hands-down, was the industrial-sized box of Top Ramen my dad gave me when I was in college. I thought the enormous package under the tree had to contain something wonderful - a computer, perhaps, or at least a case of beer.

Fifteen years later, I still can't walk past Top Ramen in the grocery store without a slight twinge of repulsion.

Now, it's your turn to share your story. I'll randomly select a winner THURSDAY NIGHT, post the results and notify the winner. Your makeup bag will be in the mail Friday.

Unless, of course, you live nearby. If so, I'll drop it off at your house along with a kid and an animal or two.

United States entries only, please; with Christmas breathing down her neck, Mama doesn't have the coin to ship internationally. Good luck!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

deck the halls

We're throwing up the holiday decorations here at the Rogers Manor.

Bud's thrilled that he'll get a visit from Santa this year. He could probably use a nice, warm sweater to hide that bald belly.

Hubby was a tad reluctant to put up the Christmas lights. Last Sunday on our way back from church, I asked him when we could expect to see the display.

"I'm not putting up lights this year," he growled. "It's a pain in the butt."

Then, he scurried across the street and helped the neighbors hang their lights. I was so proud, especially as I surveyed the barren exterior of my own home and pictured myself teetering on the ladder.

Those lights were going up one way or another. I decided to call my dad and asked if he'd help me hang them.

The thought of Dad having to come over to take care of the job proved too embarrassing for Todd...just the effect for which I'd hoped.

So yesterday, without a word of protest, he got out the ladder and hung the lights.

But I'm still keeping Dad on standby after Christmas when it's time for them to come down.

Monday, November 24, 2008

my version of a thanksgiving feast

We're going to Dad's for Thanksgiving. But you won't catch me getting anywhere near the turkey.

A bologna sandwich will do just fine.

That's because after partaking of some turkey leftovers from last year's Thanksgiving food-fest, I experienced a dreadful and gruesome bout of food poisoning.

The puking was so violent that at one point, I prayed for release via a sure and speedy death.

I found out later that apparently, you're not supposed to store leftover turkey on the bones the way we did. Instead, it should immediately be cut from the carcass.

Please take this lesson to heart; otherwise, you'd better add adult diapers and an extra-large barf bucket to your grocery list.

But as for me, I'm playing it safe. Just a plain bologna sandwich, please.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

phoenix phamily phun

Last week, we were treated to a last-minute visit from Cousin Robert.

Robert works for an airline and is often able to zip into town from his home in Phoenix. When he does, we always find something new and unusual to do.

During this visit, we went to the St. Louis City Museum and ate at the elegant Hillbilly Heaven here in the metropolis of Wright City. The fragrance of cigarette smoke from that fine establishment still lingers in the fibers of my jacket.

But the highlight of the trip was the afternoon we spent in North St. Louis taking pictures. Robert and I share a love of photography and every time we get together, the cameras come out.

Our favorite subjects are old, dilapidated buildings and there was no shortage of them that afternoon. Here are a couple of the 500 or so pictures I took.

Friday, November 7, 2008

good eatin'

Augie and Tilly were treated to a full check-up today at the vet's office.

I thought they'd be excited about the break from their usual routine, but they proved me wrong. Augie whined like a newborn and Tilly shimmied out of her collar in the parking lot, then challenged me to a footrace.

Once inside, their adventure included a round of shots and what the bashful technician vaguely referred to as a rectal exam.

I felt a little guilty on the drive home and decided they deserved a treat. So I pulled off at the local meat market and asked if they had any scrap bones.

"We sell them for $3," a surly worker replied.

Seemed like a lot to pay for someone's trash, but I handed over the money. It was a rare extravagance and the dogs would probably get an hour's enjoyment out of the feast.

Several minutes later, a worker came out hefting a huge, bloody box that he flopped into the front seat of my van. Inside were the most massive bones I'd ever seen. They were dripping with scraps of flesh and utterly repulsive.

When we got home, Augie made off with something that looked like a spinal column. Tilly delicately nibbled at a pelvis.

The box was too heavy for me to lift, so I wrapped up the bones in individual packages and put them in the garage freezer.

The neighbors probably wondered what I was up to with all those large, bloody bones. Too bad Todd's not out of town for a few days; I'd like to keep them guessing.

Augie, our gentle and timid lapdog, reacts to the suggestion that he share his portion of bloody ribcage.

"This beats my usual grub," Tilly says.

Monday, November 3, 2008

settling a score

I've been nagging Todd for about a month to change the burnt-out lightbulb in our garage.

Finally, I decided to clamber onto the roof of Grandpa's car and do it myself.

But after the job was done, I decided to toy with Todd a little.

After all, if I let him become too cozy with the notion that I'll take care of his unsavory chores, I might find myself hanging Christmas lights next month.

I found a template for a fake invoice. Then, I entered the information of a make-believe handyman service and printed it up.

I then stuck it in the folder with the rest of the bills.

He's going to be steamed when he thinks this is what I had to resort to in order to get that lightbulb changed. It's about a week's worth of his beer money, after all.

I can't wait.