October 30, 2009

Goodbye, Old Friend

On a half-priced Tuesday in 1995, I purchased the Lovemobile at Value Village on North and 3rd for $35. Overpriced, even then. But the way love is, we couldn't help ourselves. So we threw it in the back of my boyfriend's truck and happily drove it back to the dorm room. I have so many happy memories of the Lovemobile. It sat in one dorm room, my Junior and Senior-year apartments, then moved on to my very first apartment of my own all by myself, and ultimately into my married home. Knowing the red velvet couch was one of the ugliest sites ever seen, I repeatedly submitted it to ugly couch contests. One year its companion couch (because this is actually the love seat) won big on Regis and Kelly. So the Lovemobile and I felt we won by proxy. I had decided to throw it out years ago, but then Riley commandeered it. And how could anyone deny this? But all things come to an end. So yesterday, I paid the Bayside Village $70. (Yes, twice its original payment 14 years ago) and when Beerman got home from work, we hauled its threadbare bones out to the curb.
And this morning when the garbage guys came to pick it up, C-man cried. And I've got to admit, I didn't like seeing it go either. Goodbye, old friend. We've had many memories together on your velvety lushness. Rest in peace.
*********************** On another front, it's Halloween time. So, we've been carving pumpkins. It was very important that his pumpkin look "fierce". (Seriously, is he channeling Posh Spice? Fierce?)
And today is the Halloween party at C-man's school. May the force be with you.

October 29, 2009

Falling leaves

I'm mental Jell-o right now. So in lieu of something witty, here are a couple of shots that make me smile.

October 28, 2009

Guess who?

While HER blog shows the field, I prefer the shot of Supermom in the stands.Maybe this will help...


I turn around this corner, onto the road that is slightly angled to the northwest, heading for the second house on the right on the second block, at least once a day for the past 8-ish years. But it wasn't until the other day, when I decided to go for a walk to try to unlock my back, that I realized how familiar this turn really feels, and how happy I am to make this turn. I know where the potholes, dips, and cracks are. I know where the road narrows a bit so that if a car is coming from the other way, you have to make sure to get extra far over to the right-hand side. I know which house is going to have a kid screaming down the driveway toward me, which one will have someone sitting out front waving as I pass, and which one will have a blind dog come tearing out after my car. And it got me to start thinking about all those other familiar things I do and see every day and take for granted. And it made things a little bit better. I'm not sure I'll make the turn toward home again without making at least a little sigh of contentment.

October 27, 2009


Is it Friday yet? It sure feels like it. Beerman and I had an actual date last night. Impressive. Even better, it was to see Jake Leinenkugel speak. I love.that.man. Today Beerman's being followed by NPR. I'd have given them an interview, if they'd just asked nicely. I guess me standing up and teaching, or sitting at my computer in a gray cubicle isn't "worthy" or something. Meanwhile, my feet are killing me from standing all day. Whew.

October 25, 2009


My back is totally frozen up. Earlier, I decided to go for a walk to see if I could un-sieze it (to the coffee shop, because if I'm going to be in this hell, it's going to be with a really good latte in my hand), and had to have Beerman put my friggin' shoes on. I am saying a lot of bad words in my head today. A lot of bad words.

October 24, 2009

Wow, that was incredibly dorky

We went to Discovery World today because they had a special Star Wars thing. We even let C-man wear part of his Jedi Halloween costume to get in the spirit of things.He thought meeting a droid was pretty cool. And getting the Storm Troopers tattoo was totally awesome!Then we went to see all the people who create their costumes, some of whom claim they took years to build. Seriously? Are you catching that dude on the left of the Storm Troopers? (My favorite Storm Trooper is the fat chick on the right, by the way. Yeah, LOADS of chubby Storm Troopers in Star Wars! Totally authentic.) Anyhow, check the dude on the left. Yeah. The one in the freaking GHOSTBUSTERS costume. Seriously? This was when we decided we were WAY done with the Star Wars thing. So we checked out the aquarium part for a while. (Successfully getting him past his fish phobia. Yea!) And ended the fun with a two-thumbs up at Five Guys. Mmmmm... burgers... Like Beerman said, "Well, I never thought I'd do THAT. Guess I can check that one off the list." Indeed, Beerman. Indeed.

October 23, 2009

This body + skinny jeans = ugh

So skinny jeans are in. And from what I'm being told by reliable sources (fashion designers), they're here to stay for quite a while. As in, years. Damn. Damn. Damnit. So I have a couple of pairs of the right boots, but now need the jeans to stuff in them. Which is what sucks. Because I have the HARDEST time finding jeans. That's because I have a waist AND a butt. And no, I'm not wearing a pair of Lees they keep advertising. Because, while I don't want a gap, I also don't want them to ride so high they'll choke me. But other than those, boy have I've tried. Cheap jeans. Expensive jeans. Midpriced jeans. I've gone online to get recommendations for curvy girls and hippy girls and gap-free desiring girls and ordered pairs specifically for my shape only to end up with a gaping coin slot to show for it. I've tried jeans like most women try lipsticks. And still, nothing. So now, according to Oprah, I'm supposed to get the CJ by Cookie Johnson jeans. And the worst part? I'm going to go try them on over lunch. Sigh... Thank God grunge is coming back too. I used to love the "every day is flannel day" approach.

October 22, 2009

Finding beauty somewhere

It's cold and rainy and there's a low front that will.not.go.away. So I'm showing you what's good about Fall so I can remember too! All year long we put up with these damn weeds we can't seem to kill. But then in the fall, they turn into perfect orange lanterns. So this year I decided to make my peace with them and bring them inside for table decor.
Fire engine red leaves And then, of course, there's my kid (did you think I could get by without showing him?)... happy as can be, in his froggie rain coat on the way to wait for the bus this morning.

October 21, 2009

Things I've discovered lately

  1. When your back is hurting, having a kid jump on it unexpectedly makes it really hurt. As in, ohmygodicantmovemylegs kind of hurt.
  2. I've just discovered Bon Iver. I know, I know, about time. But I'm so completely out of what's cool that the first time I heard of them is when they came back to chair AIDS Walk Wisconsin (because they're from here). And now I learn they've got the New Moon soundtrack too. Isn't that just perfect?
  3. Picnik is the poor man's photoshop, and works pretty well until I can take the time to learn Photoshop.
  4. The love I feel for my chiropractor is indescribable, but the wait for my 2 p.m. appointment today feels like for.ev.er.
  5. Even though rain sucks for my physical well-being, I really do like it. It feels kind of mentally cleansing.
  6. I need someone to physically clean my house. It sounds entirely lame, but it's become too much for me to do. So, I've called a bunch of cleaning services, because I'm pretty sure it's time to stop cleaning my own toilets.

October 20, 2009

Say cheese

Today is C-man's picture day at school. We had to practice his smile, because he has such a great one until it comes to posed photos. Then it looks, as Beerman aptly pointed out, like he ate too much cheese. We'll see how it comes out. But for the love of God, PLEASE don't tell him he looks good. I went with a zip-up sweater with a shirt underneath, thinking that would be the least "handsome" look that he wouldn't balk at. I was wrong. So somehow I got some gel in his hair and he left for school with the damn sweater on. What happens from here is now out of my hands. ************ In case you didn't hear, I forgot to send something for show-n-tell yesterday. Because I heard about it the whole.ride.home. Sigh... It won't be the last time I screw up, kid. ************ I went to the chiropractor yesterday in so much pain, I could barely breath. I walked away from that table like a rock star. Woo-hoo! As Dad always said, it feels soooo good when it stops hurting. I think I'll stay away from throwing cords of wood in the near future.

October 19, 2009

I'm pretty whiney today

My back has seized up and I can barely walk. (My 2:30 chiro appt can't get here soon enough) I'm worried about getting the flu or H1N1 or whatever the hell is out there, because, well, I'm one of those immunocompromised people you keep hearing about dying from this shit. And I forgot it was show-n-tell day at school, so I'm sure at the very least I'll get a note home today, but more likely will get the trophy for the BadMom award of the day. The joys of being me today. So in lieu of me complaining some more, I'm sharing a shot I like from this weekend.

October 18, 2009

Swenty Version of Sweetest Day

This weekend, everyone got together at Grandmas To start cutting the wood at 9 a.m. And splitting the wood... And throwing it in the truck... Until the garage was finally filled around 6:30 p.m.
The cousins had a blast just hanging out... And at the end of the day, the whole clan was tired and sore, but together. A sweet day, indeed. All my photos of the day can be found HERE.

October 16, 2009

Game On!

After going back and forth, I decided that we would go see Wild Things tonight. Unfortunately, the 2 theaters we usually go to are booked solid. There is space at one about 20 minutes away, but after reading some of the reviews, I think it might be a little scary for C-man. But yet, another night watching Star Wars makes me want to about vomit in my mouth. So while the family doesn't even know it yet, it's going to be game night! You know, good old fashioned Sorry and Monopoly and, okay, probably more like Uno Attacks and something else fun I find at Target on my way home from work. I might even let C-man win one or two of them. Sweet! ****************** And congrats to Kathi on winning yesterday's pay-it-forward extravaganza. The winner was selected by a highly professional system of a 4 year old picking a number between 1 and 8. Lucky #6 won.

October 15, 2009

Simple Things Inspire a Pay it Forward

Some days are harder than others. And on those days, it's important to take the time to remember to be thankful for the simple things that make your life worthwhile. Like...
  • consoling C-man this morning because he only had the blue uniform shirts clean, and he doesn't like to wear those because everyone calls him "handsome" all day long.
  • having the phone ring for Beerman to wish us a good morning from Denver.
  • finding brown socks that actually matched when I got dressed for work.
  • laughing with the lady who makes my fabulous latte about her granddaughter.
  • the thanks I got from a co-worker when I gave her freshly knitted hats for her upcoming babies.

A while back, I was the recipient of a pay-it-forward from Country Girl/City Girl. And while I've worked really hard to pay it forward in my non-blogging life, I feel like I need to spread the wealth in blogland too. So leave a comment with what simple thing you're really thankful for today, and I'll pick 1 lucky comment-leaver at random as the grand prize winner. Now go on and be happy!

October 13, 2009

Team Arthur Itis

Want to walk with me in this year's Jingle Bell Run/Walk on November 8th at the Milwaukee County Zoo? Then sign up HERE right now. Registrations for the team are due in by Monday, October 19th.


I don't think I can string too much together today, so here are my random thoughts...
  • I need to wean myself off caffeine. I can now drink a latte at 5 p.m. and it has no bearing on me whatsoever. This is bad.
  • However, today is is not the day for that.
  • Everyone around me is sick. I will not go down. I will not go down.
  • 2.5 years ago I released a travel bug in a geocache with the mission to get to my mom in Northern Wisconsin. It made it to Duluth, and I was happy it was finally going the right way. Today, I got the notice it's in Nebraska... WTF?
  • The travel bug I released in Italy a few weeks ago is already in the Czech Republic.
  • I really need to learn how to swim better. I have the best of intentions to inquire about private lessons at my gym.
  • I need to get my child in a pool without running away from it like a screaming mimi so he can learn to swim in the first place.
  • I'm pretty sure if I have to play "Jedi" one more time, I'm going to go nuts.
  • One more reason why I am not capable of being a stay-at-home-mother
  • It occurred to me this morning while listening to talk radio, that the conservative pundits believe average people are irresponsible and should be locked up forever when they do something against the letter of the law. However, when individuals run companies, due to the "economic forces", individuals will not become criminals, but make the responsible decision that is best for everyone and the environment. Let me summarize. Individuals = bad, Individuals running companies = good. Hmmm...
  • I resisted the scarf-wearing trend last year. While in Italy, I bought a few cashmere ones. I am now a scarf-wearing addict because, who knew, they're warm!
  • I have not slept more than 2 consecutive hours for 10 days. This weather is absolutely killing me.
  • I could really use a latte.

October 12, 2009

Sweet Dreams

While in Munich, we slept on the best bed ever. It was the Sweet Sleeper Bed at the Sheraton. I slept the entire night without waking up. (And no, it was not all alcohol-induced) And dear God, they're for sale. And we desperately need a new mattress. http://tiny.cc/szkNt Since C-man has been making his list, I am too. I think Santa needs to start thinking pretty seriously about this one...

October 11, 2009

A Matter of Faith

It's Sunday. And I didn't go to church. Again. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-church. I send my kid to a Catholic school, after all. But I don't get out of mass what I think I'm supposed to. Usually, because it goes something like this. Wake up. Get ready. Get C-man ready. Go to church. Sit there for 20-ish minutes before C-man gets bored. Pull out stuff for him to quietly play with. Pick up cars that he's dropped. Get the markers out for him to color. Pick up the markers he's dropped and have rolled 3 pews in front of us. And so on... Could I make him sit for 1 hour and be quiet? Sure. Would any of us enjoy any of it? No, because we'd be too concerned with whether he was being "good". But I don't like NOT going to church. Skipping is not something I'm comfortable with. Yes, I know that walking Harry at the park and talking about how amazing it is that the leaves are turning colors with my 4-year old is something that's a pretty incredible experience. But it's not the same. (Not to mention the self-imposed pressure of thinking we should be going, since C-man's in school there). So there's my dilemma. How do I have a meaningful church-going experience with a religion that doesn't promote Sunday school or kids leaving church during mass? And no, switching religions isn't in the cards. So for right now, I'm at a loss for finding an appropriate compromise, which means none of us goes each week, and I continue to feel a little empty about it.

October 9, 2009

Rutabaga custard pies

What do I do when Beerman is out of town (again)? Cook!

I made the rutabaga custard pie recipe. Apparently it was enough for 2 pie shells! So far so good, but then again, I haven't tried it yet.

It's going to freeze tonight, so I'm on a roll, harvesting things. Right now I have my valerian root drying in the oven. C-man hates the smell of it, but too bad. I pay buttloads for this stuff at the health food store (it's a really nice gentle, natural sedative in tea form), and if I can make my own, I'll plant a ton of it next year!

October 8, 2009

Intriguing Recipe

It's Thursday, so it must be CSA box pickup day. I'm going to really miss these boxes. Next week is the last of the weekly deliveries before they go every-other-week until the end of November. It's just one more sign that Fall is here, I guess. Sigh... Anyhow, in this week's CSA newsletter, they included a recipe for Rutabaga Custard Pie (out of "from Asparagus to Zucchini"), and it's intriguing me to no end. So I'm sharing it. I'll let you know if it's any good after I make it, and let me know if you make it. (If I can get the fact that I have rutabaga in the house past Harry, who LOVES rutabaga and barks sassily at you until you give him a piece!) Rutabaga Custard Pie 3/4 lb rutabaga 2 large pears or apples 1 T maple syrup 1/2 t coriander 1/4 t ginger 1/8 t nutmeg 2 eggs 2T brown sugar 1 C half and half 19" pie crust Heat oven to 400 degrees. Peel rutabaga, cut into 1" chunks; steam or boil 20 minutes. Peel, core and quarter pears; add to rutabaga and cook 10 minutes longer. Puree, then add maple syrup, spices and salt. In separate large bowl, beat eggs with sugar until thick. Stir in rutabaga mixture and half-and-half. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 25 - 30 minutes longer, until custard is set. Additional maple syrup can be drizzled over top to sweeten. Enjoy!