Friday, July 31, 2009

Back to school... 19 days and counting.

Not that I'm looking forward to the kids being gone all day... I do miss them when they are at school, but I have to admit that I am tired and mentally exhausted as to what to do to keep us busy anymore. Plus my house could use a deep, deep cleaning. Which is nearly impossible when it's three against one, and sometimes even more than that depending on who is over at the time. On that first day back I am reclaiming my house! I don't even know how it happens because they do all help me pick things up but it seems like a futile battle right now.

So far we've finished a little clothes shopping and supply shopping. I have a few things left that are the weird specific things that every store is out of right now. Like the specific color plastic folders... with two pockets.... No brads.... etc. Of course you can't just go buy regular folders anymore.

For the most part it's done though. Today I got these shoes for Megan. I always slow down at the Converse shoes when I'm at Target and today these were begging to come home with us. The big sale sign made me come to a skidding stop. I love them. I only wish they were my size so that we could share them.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thinking of you....

No you haven't stumbled upon a cooking blog, Lord knows I am NOT known for my cooking! - and yes I did feel kind of silly taking a close up photo of part of our dinner tonight.... but mmmm, I had to share.

My dad told me before we moved here last summer to make sure we bought home grown tomatoes. Something about the soil out here. My mom said when she was little growing up in Ohio that she remembered stopping at roadside stands and getting a tomato and would eat it right there, on the side of the road. I think I remember her telling me how my grandma carried a salt shaker in the car just for this purpose.

Another one of my favorite things out here is all of the local produce. There are several organized farmers markets, but my favorites are the pick up trucks you see on the side of the road somewhere selling a tiny bit of produce from the back, or the houses along farm roads with signs of what they have for sale. It's the BEST part of being right on the edge of such a rural and farmy area. But I can be in a huge shopping area in 5 minutes, or downtown Cincinnati in 20. It reminds me of growing up in the Chandler area when I was a kid and there were still farms out there.

After doing some back to school shopping today we took the long way home down Kentucky 18. It's a pretty road I like to take when we're not in a hurry to get home. Today it was dotted with people selling homegrown produce. I bought these gorgeous tomatoes, some yellow squash, sweet corn and blackberries. My car smelled so good and earthy the rest of the way home.

The best is, I was over at a neighbors house telling her about my finds, and she said she had a ton of basil growing in her backyard. I got to go out and pick a bunch. We've been eating quite a few plates of tomatoes like this, with mozzarella cheese and a drizzling of italian dressing. The basil was .... awesome.

I entertained the idea of growing a garden sometime, but honestly I like it better this way. Enjoying what other people have grown or made. I have heard that there is a blackberry farm near here I'd like to take the kids to. One of my friends said that she picks enough to make blackberry wine, pies and homemade jam. Mmm.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


The blower and Matthew is kind of like a cat and a can opener. He hears it from inside and runs out so that I can 'blow him over' with it. He thinks it's hysterical. Today he decided to help. (Just as I was about finished which is why there is nothing really left on the sidewalk for him to blow!) Thanks for the late help. He ended up kind of pushing a couple of pieces of mulch in a circle on the driveway.

I'm just waiting until he is tall enough to push the mower up the hill.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


This picture makes me smile so hard that my face hurts.

Monday, July 20, 2009

These insects are really bugging me....

Such a pretty day.... and nothing to do. We did stop to see these adorable baby horses on the side of the road. Anybody who has been out to visit me knows about my favorite little drive on Richwood since I've always had that as part of my 'tour of my favorite Kentucky things.' There were 6 mommy horses and 6 babies.

One thing I have learned in my temporary role of single parenting is how much I really can do. There was a line on Designing Women that I remember exactly how Delta Burke's character Suzanne said, "The man should have to kill the bug." Even when I say it to myself while killing bugs, I say it with that accent. Somehow it gets me past the gross factor and makes it possible for me to do what needs to be done.

A couple of weeks ago I was totally disgusted by my pretty topiary tree outside my door. It was covered with those same creepy cocoons that one of our bushes had last year. Last year I was feeling charitable and left them alone but gave the bush a huge berth when I walked by it. As long as we left each other alone, maybe they can stay for a short time. But then when you're done... off with you. (Until I found out that they weren't even butterflies... they were MOTHS. Double ew.) Like Mike joked with me, that line in Indiana Jones when he sees the snakes by the light of his torch, "Snakes.... I hate snakes." That was me.... "Moths.... I hate moths." This was a nightmare. Where is the man to kill the bug?

If I was going to be able to use my front door for the next month, they had to go. Not to mention this year I wasn't feeling nice about them being there. I learned that they ruin the plant and there is no way those mofos were going to kill my swirly topiary tree. They are too expensive to replace, and having one would look stupid.

Off to Home Depot to buy spray and find out what I had to do. I spent 3 hours on a weekend with gloves and a bag, picking over 100 of these cocoons off the tree. Then I sprayed it with the poison and stuff to nurse my sick little tree. I did it. I killed the bugs, helped the tree and felt a sense of pride.

Today I opened a window to let the breeze in and I noticed some wasps going under the fake shutters on the window. I took my can of wasp spray out and noticed that there were A LOT of them. Going into at least 4 of the 16 shutters on the front of the house. When I sprayed under one of the shutters about 20 of them fell out dead. Then I found two nests. OK... this is war. I had to go to the hardware store and buy several cans of wasp spray. We're ON wasps. You don't know who you're messing with. This girl can kill the bugs.

I knocked down the nests standing on a ladder and reaching with a broom handle. The kids were inside all crammed into a window laughing at me and pointing to wasps that were getting away so I could spray them. Megan took a video of me twirling the broom and acting tough. Those years in the color guard paid off mom.... I was like a broom twirling, can spraying wasp killing ninja.

I hope this is my last battle with infestation of any sort of bug. Even though this girl can kill them and kick their butts.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

cheapy facelift

Here is my newly updated kitchen table. It looks nice, but I still have two more chairs to do. I plan on eventually putting some sort of fabric on the seat covers. Ideally I'd like to get some sort of big print/loopy floral or something for some color in the kitchen. I just don't know if my ideal fabric exists since I haven't been out yet.

I give up on trying to start and complete anything during the summer anymore. The mom countdown is on until school starts. One more month. This has been a nice summer and I think we've kept pretty busy and well rounded. I'm just ready to claim my house again.

Not that I want to rub it in or anything - you know I'm a weather geek - but we are enjoying low 70s today! Last night it was in the low 60s and we were actually cold. Which is also the first good nights sleep I've had in a long time without the help of ambien. It's supposed to be like this all weekend, and then heat up again next week. At least I know that the cooler temps get me out of taking the kids to the pool this weekend, which the boys have been driving me crazy about all week.

I'm feeling like a road trip this weekend.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Right now...

It's still summer vacation. No "I'm bored" statements yet. Some days are more exciting than others. Nothing really to blog about, so I'm going to do something I saw on Ali's blog then. These are interesting to go back and read over the years and see how many things have changed.

Right now...

Outside my window... the street is wet from rain that we had earlier, sunny, breezy. Every body's lawns are trimmed for the weekend and my neighbor has the most beautiful hydrangeas.

I am thinking... about feeling overwhelmed, but at the same time happy of my accomplishments today. (cleaned mini blinds outside on the driveway and vacuumed the house.) Made dinner and it's all cleaned up already.

I am thankful for... the boys playing a video game together so nicely. Sometimes they really do love each other! Air conditioning (it's a little humid thanks to the rain.) and a game of Sorry on the front steps with Megan.

From the kitchen... chicken breasts sauteed in garlic and butter, spinach, rice and rolls.

I am wearing... denim shorts, a brown Old Navy Tshirt and a ponytail.

I am creating... a puddle on my desk from the condensation from my cup of ice water.

I am going... to take a shower and go to bed early tonight. (with help from an Ambien.)

I am reading... The Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. - and several books on Russian Tortoises before getting one for Trevor for his birthday next month. I'm educating myself in all things tortoise.

I am hoping... for a good night's sleep, for my kids to have good solid and long lasting friendships, for Mike to be safe, for comfort and stability, less stress and a super miraculous job offer with the same amount of pay for Mike in the United States.

I am hearing... the boys in the same room as me playing a Lego Star Wars video game, a lot of laughing and Megan's phone letting her know she got a text. (She's texting a friend back and forth.) Nickelback on the Direct TV channel.

Around the house... Piper is at my feet, folded laundry is on the couch waiting for little hands to take it upstairs, Legos all over the floor.

One of my favorite things... something as simple as waiting until 9:00 tonight to go sit outside and watch the fireflies. I do this nightly until they are gone for the season. Sometimes the kids go out and watch with me. Hearing the cows near the house moo.

A few plans for the following week... go to the pool, go to Cincinnati for errands, library, daily chores. Maybe scrap something.

Monday, July 06, 2009

random monday

Another week... they just keep melting into each other anymore. Today I started painting my kitchen table. That table used to be so beautiful but it has a sad abused past. It was so pretty when it was new. I was so proud of having a piece of furniture that was brand new and that I had picked out. It was my pride and joy. Then within that first week Megan accidentally dumped a bottle of nail polish remover on it and it stripped the stain on a huge area on the top.

It was as painful as that first dent or scratch that you get on your brand new car. It hurt, but I couldn't do anything about it at that point and Megan felt awful. Getting mad wouldn't have done a thing.... and she's the kind of kid who punished herself because of the guilt. (OK, but yeah inside my mind I was FURIOUS!) Mike tried his best to sand it and re stain it, but it was never the same.

Then I started finding marks on the back of the chairs that I couldn't figure out where they were coming from until one day I saw Matthew whose mouth was at the same height chewing on the back of the chairs! nooooo. Can I have a nice piece of furniture? Please? Who chews on chairs?!?!

So basically I decided I was going to work with the 'distressed top' and paint the legs and chairs black and put a new fabric on the seat covers. So far I've done the table and I'm working on the chairs. I have no idea how long it will take to complete my little project, but in my mind it will look great. I hope to be able to find fabric like I have in mind too. Then I'll post pictures.

On top of that today, I mowed my lawn and decided I'd be mom of the year and make some cupcakes. Megan comes in from being out for several hours and says:

"Oh those brownies look gooood!" (I used my silicon heart shaped muffin tin thing that I have made brownies in before, so surely she was confused.)

me: Those aren't brownies, they are cupcakes.

megan: no, they are brownies.

me: no... they are chocolate cupcakes.

megan again: No.... they are brownies.

me: Ok whatever (I'm starting to get a little irritated and wondering who she thinks she is to start getting an attitude with me.) if you are going to argue with me then you can't have one.

megan: Oh, well they smell and look like brownies.

Me.... after getting so angry I go to get the box out of the kitchen garbage to prove her wrong. "Dammit. They ARE brownies." smart alec.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

I have no idea what kind of bird this is, but he's been coming back to the top of our tree since yesterday. He's beautiful, and this is one of the times I'd really love to have a zoom lens. We get cardinals and blue jays like crazy, so maybe this guy is just claiming our tree.

Today should be a more promising day for fireworks. Yesterday we had a steady rain all afternoon all the way into the night. Some people still were setting off fireworks, but it wasn't like it was last year where there was so much smoke from all of them that it looked like fog. The country club usually has a huge display that we can watch from our driveway. Yesterday when I drove by they had huge tents outside like they were expecting a lot of people. Hopefully it was just delayed until today and we'll get to see them tonight.

We ended up lighting some sparklers in the garage. Woohoo.

Yesterday was a nice day though. One of Trevor's friends had called and asked if he and Matthew could come over and play. They were there nearly all day. So Megan and I took advantage of our alone time and went to the grocery store and had Panera Bread for lunch. It may not have been the typical 4th of July (cold and rainy) but it was still nice. I hope everybody else enjoyed theirs!

Saturday, July 04, 2009


Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

How I spent my summer. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Remember that movie Groundhog Day? Sometimes my days feel like that. Or it looks like I rarely do laundry. Because Matthew is one of those kids who has a daily routine.
Surprise... Reds hat, another Reds shirt (we had to have two to alternate with the other one.) and the familiar sounds of Star Wars coming from the little movie player. I can't tell you how many times I hear that theme song or the song that plays when Darth Vader shows up. You know the one. I do love the little pile of Lego people next to the movie player.
If life had a soundtrack this summer.... it is Star Wars. And the kid follows me around telling me about it. You know, how Luke is really Darth's son? But how Darth started out as Anakin Skywalker, or how Obi Wan Kenobi's name is really Ben? The boys are constantly playing with the Star Wars Legos. When did things get so Star Wars crazy around here? At least when daddy is home he does the best Chewbacca sound. If you want to get every body's attention just do that! Or do that little hand thing that Darth Vader does to choke people with the force.
Can it really BE 65 degrees on a summer day? I mean for real. I feel like I'm going to wake up. Last week I was complaining about being a little too hot. Thank you whoever sent this weather. Can we please have this for a few more weeks?
Another thing that has become so routine is what is actually going on right now. At noon on Wednesdays the tornado sirens go off for testing. As soon as I hear it start I just yell out of habit, "It's Wednesday Trevor!" Sure enough he comes down the stairs at the same time saying, "Is it Wednesday?" He hates those things. Everybody else ignores them. I just hope there's never a real tornado on a Wednesday at noon because I'll be upstairs doing life as normal.