Tuesday, December 30, 2008

this 'n that

Christmas has officially taken its leave from our house.

Actually, it was gone by the 26th when I hauled the tree down to the basement. That's how I roll...once the day's over, I like to quickly clear out the evidence.

Here are some random shots from Christmas '08.

Logan put out reindeer food on Christmas Eve. After about two tosses of the oats and glitter, he ran for the house. I don't blame him; it was cold out there.

Here he is with this year's haul.

Todd had great fun putting together this toy garage. He was brandishing a screwdriver and spewing profanity when I went to bed.

We went to cousin Carie's house on Christmas day. Here's Dad with Mr. Nibbles, the resident bird.
Nibbles has got to be the sweetest avian specimen I've ever met. I think he should come live at my house. Maybe Carie would like to trade Nibbles for the beautiful and charming Bud Bird.

Todd and Chino are craning their necks to catch some sort of educational programing on TV. I think it was a monster truck rally.

Here's what Santa brought me. It's sort of like a compadre for my regular sewing machine and means I don't have to zig-zag my seams to finish them.

After staring at the box for several days, I finally learned how to use it and made Mom these pajamas for her upcoming birthday. But I don't think they'll fit her so I might have to keep them for myself. Darn.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

the christmas play

Logan's acting debut was a huge success last Sunday during our church's Christmas play.

He was incredibly convincing in his role as a shepherd. It's obvious from the photo that he got into character, delivering a convincing portrayal of a reaction to the angel's proclaimation of Christ's birth.

Naw, just kidding. He's actually reaching out and tearfully saying "Mama."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

building a bear

I have a knack for acquiring items based purely on my exaggerated sentimental nature. Quite often, they're objects for which I have absolutely no use or need.

Such was the case with Grandpa's jacket. It's one of three jackets I ended up with after he died.

It's been hanging in the closet for a couple of years now. And around here, closet space is minimal.

So last night, I got out the scissors. Now, the jacket looks like this.

The brown material was the outside of the jacket and the plaid was the lining. The buttons were on the pocket.

The tag on the inside indicated that Grandpa liked to shop at Sears. I put it on the bear's behind.

I have another one of Grandpa's items, too. Any idea what I can turn this into? My husband would say scrap metal.

Friday, December 19, 2008

How long is too long?

This is Kasey. He's 16 years old and nearing the end of his nine lives.

For the most part, he gets around alright. Still purrs and craves our attention.

But he's got some medical problems that can't be fixed. The writing's on the wall that his days are extremely numbered. He declines visibly each week.

I've drawn a mental line in the sand about how far I'll allow him to deteriorate before taking him in for that final vet visit.

If he shows signs of obvious pain and distress, it's a given. If he starts using the upstairs as his personal toilet, something will have to be done.

At first, it was easy to be ojective about the notion that we'd have to intervene. But as the inevitable inches closer, that's becoming more difficult. My fear is that I'll let things get too far gone before I can muster up the courage to do it.

That's because Kasey and I go way back. I knew him long before my husband, son, and many of my friends.

I got him from some drug dealers while I was still in college. It wasn't part of a transaction; I wasn't affiliated with them.

A friend in one of my classes knew they were trying to get rid of a cat and since I've always been partial to Siameses, she gave them my number.

When I drove over to check him out, I first took in the large supply of their merchandise on full display in their kitchen. They took me to a back bedroom and opened a dark closet door to let Kasey out.

That's where they'd been keeping him; they didn't want their landlord to know they had a cat (I thought later that it was ironic they were more concerned about hiding the cat than their drug supply).

Inside the closet, Kasey had a bowl full of large-breed dog food and no water or litter box.

I picked him up and his feet never again touched the floor of that nasty apartment. He's been with me ever since, a loyal friend.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

so terribly sad

I found a heartbreaking link to a story today on another blog I frequent.

It's about a family who lost their baby to cancer. Now, they've discovered their newborn has a brain tumor as well as one on her spine.

Reminds me that I have a lot for which to be thankful.

You can read their story and offer well wishes and prayers here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

an only child's quest for entertainment

Logan's gotten the short end of the stick with this icy weather.

We've been housebound for a couple of days and I've used that time to try and finish my Christmas sewing. So he's had to come up with creative ways to occupy his time.

Yesterday, he constructed an obstacle course for our dog. The highlight was a high-jump made from bungee cords he drug up from the basement.

Augie's tired of being inside, too. So he had no trouble playing along.

That's the bird cage on the left. Bud was thrilled to be part of the event staff. His neck's probably sore this morning from repeatedly trying to get his head through the bars to bite the dog.

They both crashed like a ton of bricks at nap time. I guess that for Logan, a four-legged sibling is better than none.

Monday, December 15, 2008

sure, it might get a mite lonely around here...

...with hubby away this week on a business trip.

But there's one thing I won't miss.

Here's a chronological account of the first four days last week...





The sight of his dirty skivvies in the hallway burns my retinas every morning. I need to think up a clever solution. Maybe I'll hang them on the coach lights or from the mailbox. Or I'll wrap them up and give them to him for Christmas.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

man, they hack me off

My family is on my last nerve today. I feel like just grabbing a belt and swinging at butts.

This morning while I was out, Logan brought up every toy he owns from the basement. He has a sizeable collection upstairs as well. All are now on display in a heap on the living room floor and in the hallway.

Then, hubby gave him my cell phone and taught him to call our home phone. He's done this no fewer than 25 times today. Once the answering machine picked up, he screamed every profane word he knew.

"Butt, wee-wee, poop, pee, toot," he shrieked.

Then, he dragged the newly reupholstered kitchen chair to the counter so he could stand on it in his filthy shoes, reach the answering machine and replay the barrel-in-the-mouth-invoking chorus over and over.

Hubby hasn't been bothered. That's because he's spent most of the day tucked comfortably into bed. That's a whole 'nother post. Grrr.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas crunch time

I'm spending the weekend finishing up some last-minute Christmas gifts.

Bud enjoys it, and so do I - at least until he poops on my back.

Gosh, I have a bony neck. Is that normal? It looks more like a bird neck than Bud's. Wish my butt and thighs were that bony.

Friday, December 12, 2008

a little peace and quiet

Dad has taken Logan for the day so I'm enjoying some time to myself.

It's refreshing to have a break from the usual Sponge Bob marathon. Instead, the TV is tuned to some quality programming.

On another note, my hopes were dashed that the Minnie Mouse theme of the doo-rag I made at my dad's request would deter him from sporting it. No such luck. He swiftly placed it on his dome, then put the pleather version on Logan.

Have a great day and steer clear of trash TV.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

last-minute gift ideas

Holiday shopping can be a drag. The pressure's on to find that perfect gift that will convey love and appreciation to the recipient.

If you've found yourself in a gift-giving quandary, here are some suggestions to quell the angst. All have been tested in my home.
Gift idea #1: The fart machine.
Our model produces a cadence of 15 toots. Comes with a convenient remote control for long-range gags.
It's brought about hours of family fun for us (and dread amongst my relatives who are on edge at the prospect that I might gift one of their children with it).

Gift idea #2: A kind, loving pet. This is always a good option.

Not sure about size or breed? My advice is that bigger is always better.

And try to retain an element of surprise for the recipient. Don't drop hints; just show up with that incontinent great dane.

Gift idea #3: A useful household item.

Would you rather err on the side of practicality? Try something like the item in the above photo.

No need to wrap; it's already attractively packaged. Add a bow for maximum effect.

Gift idea #4: A distinguished piece of glassware.

To me, refined slogans such as the above add an element of class that elevates the item to heirloom quality.

Gift idea #5: A figure-flattering garment that bears a personal slogan.

This is a thoughtful choice when you tailor it to the interest of the recipient. "Alcoholics Anonymous worked for me" or "Chillin' Like a Villain at Alcatraz" will evoke such fond feelings each time the recipient pulls them out of a clothes hamper for one more wearing.

Thrift stores offer a plethora of options. Or, you can just plow through your own dresser drawers and scrounge up a suitable shirt.

I ordered my little brother a couple of t-shirts for his Christmas gift. They arrived today, one bearing the word "Mexico" beneath a large donkey sillhouette.

I failed to notice when ordering that the donkey's nether-regions are greatly emphasized. Oh well, it'll give little brother another option when he's choosing something to wear for church or a job interview.

Gift idea #6: Let yourself be the gift.

If you don't feel like coughing up the coin this year, simply attend the family festivities with a pleasant disposition such as the one radiating from Todd in the above photo.

You might need some assistance to muster this up before facing your family. If so, try hitting the sauce the night before, then getting up early the next day to shovel snow while your head pounds through your ears.

Upon arrival, immediately guzzle down the hair of the dog that bit you. Then, sit back and watch your family delight in your cheerful presence.

That's what Todd did. Aren't the results heartwarming?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

tom, part II

Tom, our magical Christmas elf, continues to earn his keep.

Last night, we went to the elementary school Christmas party. In keeping with tradition, Logan refused to sit on Santa's lap for a picture.

I warned him that Tom was peeking in the window to monitor his behavior. He opened the window and investigated just long enough to receive a reprimand from one of the teachers.

A bit of history...photos with costumed characters have largely been unsuccessful in our family. Here's last spring's Easter bunny shot. The only reason he agreed to at least touch its fur is because I told him that otherwise, he wouldn't get a fart machine in his Easter basket.

But last night, the fear of Tom's presence got him up on Santa's lap.

According to the book, Tom's supposed to disappear on Christmas Eve when he goes back to the North Pole with Santa. But Logan's birthday's in February. Maybe I could come up with a different character to serve the same purpose. Any ideas?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

a Christmas visitor

Meet Tom.

He's taking a long vacation at our house and will be here through Christmas Eve (yeah, I know the cat lamp looks a little creepy in the photo).

Tom is part of the Elf on the Shelf gift set. He came with a book that explains his job, which is to report each night to Santa the behavior of the child who resides under our roof.

His book explains there are certain rules necessary for him to work properly. Most importantly, no one can touch him or he'll lose his magic.

Each morning, we go on a search for Tom to find where he landed after delivering the previous night's report.

Yesterday, he was in our bedroom clinging to the cat lamp. Today, he's on the living room shelf.

Logan's behavior since Tom came to visit has been incredible.

Best $30 I ever spent.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

be careful what you wish for

Dad has hounded me for several years to make him a distinguished piece of headwear known as a doo-rag.

And for years, I've put him off, not wanting to contribute to his delinquency.

You see, he already has one, and it's repulsive. The red, pleather-trimmed bandana makes him look like he's ready to attend a meeting of a street gang.

But Dad showed up the other night clutching his vile doo-rag like a child with a beloved stuffed toy.

"I want you to make me one of these," he said, shoving it into my hand.

Knowing he wouldn't be put off this time, I went online and found a pattern. Then, I searched for the perfect fabric.

Remember that Minnie Mouse costume?

By the way, I had to bribe Logan with a pack of M&Ms before he'd let me take his picture modeling this silly thing.

let's play school

My young scholar wanted to play school the other night.

Todd and I agreed to join in on the fun, then waited for him to assign our roles. We assumed he would take on the part of the teacher and that we'd pretend to be his students.

Instead, he walked over to the corner, and with disturbing familiarity and ease, assumed the above position.

It must be how he spends a lot of his time at preschool.

I should probably consider this to be foreshadowing of the future behavior we can expect as he embarks on his public school career.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

a winner!

Congrats to Joanna who said...

Worst present ever was from my old ailing great-aunt. I was 15 and she gave me a pair of toweling fabric underwear. That would have fit a 5 year old. Yeah it was pretty bad lol!!

Random.org chose her as the winner of the make-up bag, which is pictured above with an extremely cooperative male model.

Thanks to all who entered. This has been lots of fun and I loved reading your stories. Some of them made me grateful for my Top Ramen.

Merry Christmas, and please stop by my blog anytime.