Monday, October 29, 2012

Profound Pictures of Fall in Iowa

Well, since I have Baby #2, I have been out cattin' around taking lots of pictures of things that I think in my head will be really cool, but in actuality are pretty boring.  I don't mind though, because I love to pretend that I am all artsy and try and take really profound pictures.  Snort.

It was really pretty around here for about a minute a couple of weeks ago.  Then it started to get rainy and windy and all of that beauty fell to the ground.  I think that most of it was in our yard as I can count 25 bags of leaves out beside the garage.  Don't feel sorry for me, I didn't rake them up.  That was Swim Girl's fun job on Saturday.  She says that her arms are still sore.

I call this one "Leaf in the Driveway".  See.  Profound.

I actually really love this shot.  Those are acorn hats!  Squirrels got the nuts.

Oh, and remember that post that I did earlier this month called, "Fierce Creatures"?  It was all about the dangers my kids face daily from the wild animals that live near them.  This time we have something much more exciting to worry about. We have Hurricane Sandy bearing down on Computer Boy in Manhattan.  He is safe so far with lots of water, food and candles.  His toys are fully charged and he is ready.  He did say that he went to get more beer, but the line was all the way to the back of the store so he left.  Maybe tomorrow.  Right now he has power, but I guess that they are going to turn off the grid below 34th street later, so he will be in the dark.  Not drinking beer apparently.

The one redeeming thing about all of this is that I only have one kid in the eye of the storm.  Last year, not only did Swim Girl survive a really nasty earthquake in Baltimore County, but also both kids survived Hurricane Irene.  Yes.  My children have this knack for danger.

Iowa can be pretty sometimes.

Oh, snap.  I have this thing about grabbing pics of dead animals in the road or by the road or anywhere, actually.  This little guy looked fine.  Just dead.  I have another pic of a different squirrel, but I thought that one at a time was best.  I don't want to flood the market.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Are Those Boobs?

I finally found something that I had been looking for literally since the kids were in grade school (they are all in their 20's now).  You will laugh, but that's okay.  I found a candy corn cookie cutter.  Shut up!  I was wandering around the mall in Iowa City and lo and behold the heavens opened up, there was a bright light and a choir and everything.  Not only that, it was the last one they had!  Of course, I bought it.  Duh.

I love to make sugar cookies.  That's right, the chill for an hour, get flour all over, roll out kind.  Love them.  I have two great recipes and each kid has a preference.  I hope I got Alaska Girl's right.  If not, Tin Man and Rach will have to eat them.

Don't they look pretty?

Let's see, there were bats, pumpkins, moons, cats and ghosts too.

Ok.  I'm getting hungry now.  Oh yeah.  Now for the tie in to the title of this post.  No, I didn't just put the word boobs out there to get you to read this.  Well, maybe I did a little.

I also make these cool little candies around Halloween called eyeballs.  But they have a tendency to look like boobs before they are finished.  Here, let me show you.

Told you so.

They are actually not boobs, but eyeballs; a peanut buttery, Butterfinger concoction of goodness.  There is a process.  See below.

First you make the yummy ball part with butter and powdered sugar and peanut butter and a Butterfinger candy bar.

Then you get out your cute Babycakes warming thingy that Swim Girl gave you for your birthday and you melt the white chocolate.

Then you coat the boobs, I mean eyeballs and add the iris center.

Then you add really yucky looking red gel icing and voila.  They don't look like boobs anymore.

Mmmm.  Eyeballs.

And here is the goodie box, all packed and ready to head up north.  We always pack goodies in popcorn.  That's the kids favorite part.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hang in There

Just a short little blurb to let you all know what I have been up to lately.  It hasn't been art (unfortunately).  I have been up to my elbows working on family projects for Christmas.

One is the annual family calendar that I put together for my siblings, parents and my kids.  I collect the goofy photos that everyone has taken throughout the year and plop them on a layout on Shutterfly.  Then I hit a button, put in my cc number and in a few days I have a Christmas gift for the whole gang.  Pretty sweet.

I am also working on another project that I am not at liberty to discuss.  Let's just say that a small, important task is getting done in a manner that is getting completely blown out of proportion.  It involves old pictures, Shutterfly, lots of scanning and a quick trip to STL.  I am finding myself getting surrounded by the layers of all of this and I may drown.  I may survive too, but the drowning is looking more likely.

When Christmas is over, I will clue you all in to all of the gory details.  It should be cool.

Needless to say, this early Christmas project stuff is cutting into my art and blogging time.  Add the fact that I have been working a ton and you have clean hands on this lady.  I don't like clean hands.

At least I got to be messy with the kids today.  That involved gourds and paint, always a guaranteed mess when you are talking 4 year olds.  Thank goodness for small blessings.

PS:  Swim Girl helped out at school today and she didn't run screaming from the building or anything.  Not even when she had to work with the 3 year olds.  I am impressed.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Game for Cats and an Air Freshener Just for Divas

You may know that we have recently become a TCH (Three Cat Household).  Not by choice.  When Swim Girl moved home from the East Coast, her cat (The Squirt) had to come with her.  She is nuts about that cat.  But, apparently not nuts enough to stay home.  She has been in Phoenix for the past couple of weeks so we get to babysit.

Normally this would be no problem.  There is a slight hiccup here.  Miss Diva Herself (Skittles) has yet to stop trying to kill The Squirt, so new kitty has to stay locked up in Swim Girl's room.  This means that her litter, food and water are all in there.  I go in and sit and watch my online classes for an hour or two a day, but there isn't much room for The Squirt to play with anything other than my feet.  I don't like that.  She has recently started to attack the window where a box elder bug is stuck on the screen.  I haven't the heart to take it off.  She enjoys it so damn much.

We are trying to rectify the 'attack the new cat' situation with something that I had never heard of before.  It is a plug in diffuser for cats.  It has a replaceable insert thing that is filled with liquid cat pheremones.  That's right; feline feel-good, Xanex-type stuff.  We can't smell it, but apparently the kitties can.  It's supposed to calm them down (just like Jasper in The Twilight Series does with his mood altering super power).  I plugged it in last week and I think it is working.  We will see tomorrow when there may be another post all about the demise of the The Squirt.

In the meantime, I have been feeling sorry for the newbie so I took in my iPad today and put it on the Game for Cats app.  Hallelujah and Praise the Lord, The Squirt is still too dumb to know it's a trick.  She had a blast trying to catch the laser on the screen.  Pluto and Skittles are way to worldly for the game, although if you catch Miss Diva Herself in a good mood she will play.

At least I had fun snapping pics and laughing.

Two paws should be better than one!

Where is it going over there?

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Because I am a lovable, forgetful nut, I am going to go backwards in time and post some stuff from this past April.

We ran over to KU Land for my nephew's Eagle Scout Ceremony.  I had never been to one of these.  What do they do?  Do they salute the flag and say the Boy Scout promise 5 million times?  I just didn't know.  But, we were willing to give it a go and see what happened.

Of course, my brother (Ad Man) let us know a few weeks ahead of time so that we could plan this all out.  He even sent us an official invitation.  Ad Man had to do some fast talking but he managed to convince the Parentals to come.  Something about they had never been to any of the kids games or tournaments or horse shows, you know, really good guilt trip stuff.

We were staying in KC, KS because the only problem with staying in KU Land in April is that one weekend in the spring they have the intersquad football game.  So, you guessed it, it was the same weekend of the Eagle Scout thingy.  We ran into town anyway and had some good fun at the yarn shop (?).  Do it if you dare.

If you have never been to an Eagle Scout Ceremony, let me tell you, it is pretty cool.  You need to go.  Just randomly show up at one, it will be alright.  There is the part where they bring in the 'colors', better known as flags.  Then all the Boy Scouts come in with their uniforms and badges and things.  There are speakers, there is a part for the mom and the dad, then the new Eagle Scout speaks.  I learned a lot of things about my nephew.  He seems pretty cool.  At least, that is what everyone said.

After the 'colors' 'retire' (they walk the flags out), you get to go to the next room for food.  There were bowls of gummi bears, chocolate, cake, punch; all sorts of good yummy things.  If you are really lucky, you are at the place where the new Eagle has done his Eagle Project.  Then you get to see it.  And it might be a locked wooden shed that he built.

After a good dinner at Ad Man's favorite Chinese restaurant, it was time to truck the Parentals back to the hotel.  It was a long day for them and they had to get to the train station by 3 pm the next day for the trip back home. If you have parents who are in their 80's you will understand.  I think they were recovered by that Wednesday or Thursday.

PS:  There really isn't more to read, but I put a bunch of pictures after this jump break.  Eagle Mom, this is for you.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fierce Creatures

You know, I love being a mom.  I love my kids.  I know that they love me even though they have moved almost as far away as possible while still staying in the continental US...oh wait, one is not in the lower 48.

When your children move away to college and beyond, you still worry about them.  It doesn't matter that they are halfway across the country.  There was a commercial for some facial tissue that showed a mom getting a phone call from her sick son who was away at school.  She grabbed a box of that tissue, traveled for hours and gave it to her suffering son.  I can't for the life of me remember the brand, but I so get that emotion.  Your kids are your kids forever.

Uh huh.  Then your kid(s) decides to do something brilliant like live in an area where there are creatures known to maim and destroy humans.  Just because they are old enough to drink without a fake ID doesn't make them smarter than, oh say, a bear.  This brings me to my latest thoughts about my kids and their proximity to fierce creatures.

You have all heard me talk about Alaska Girl.  Well, I will get back to her in a minute.  Let me remind you that Swim Girl lived out west for a couple of years in the land of Orange.  County that is.  Just like the housewives.  She would ramble about and find cool places to hike and bike.  Alone.  By herself.  Without leaving a note for her roommates indicating where to start looking for her body if she never made it back.  Then one day, I get this picture.

Really inspires confidence that my child will be safe.

Thankfully, she is back in the bosom of her family which means that she has moved back home, doesn't have a job, has her crap all over the place and plays with her cat all the time.  Love you, Swim Girl.

Now, Alaska Girl has long given me fits of worry over her safety from critters.  I recall the brilliant idea she and a friend had that involved driving to Alaska on the Al-Can Highway (which takes a week) using nothing but used cooking oil.  They spent a lot of time getting oil from the school, straining it, saving it.  I asked what all that used oil smelled like and my daughter said, "French fries."  I pointed out that maybe it wasn't the smartest plan to drive and camp through remote bear country smelling like a giant, moving human French fry.  She had to think about that one.  They wound up flying

So, she is living in the far north and has fierce creature encounters nearly every day.  It makes me just tingle with joy.  Remember her job stint working for the bear viewing airline company?  They got damn close to those grizzlies.  And then you may remember these pics from this summer.  All are designed to put my worrying heart to rest.

This is Valet Bear.  He was seen often around the valet lot where she worked.  He was known to jump up and down on a new Mercedes to try and get at sandwiches left in the back seat.  Imagine getting your car back from valet with bear claw marks.

And this is Condo Bear who was seen, you got it, right outside her condo.  Just warms my heart.

Of course, we mustn't forget On the Walk Home from the Resort Bear.  I am starting to be glad that she has a dog that trees these things.  

Remember, please, that I am not even discussing the wolves and moose (mooses? meece?).

Now there is a new animal in the fierce creature menagerie.  A kitty.  See.

It's a backyard kitty.  It only wants to play.

Like I said.  I am really glad she has this dog and she is absolutely not allowed out in her yard without him!  No way.  I am sure that she will adhere to that even though I am nowhere near her.  Right?  Right?????

Well, at least I don't have these worries about Computer Boy since he lives in Manhattan.