Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ice cream

s had her 2nd grade end-of-school ice cream party yesterday, and i went to school to help out. the kids piled on toppings, whipped cream, cherries, candy... really disgusting looking messes. while most of them gobbled it down and wanted seconds, one little girl was clutching her tummy.

"i feel sick!" she cried. "i'm not supposed to eat that stuff!"

"why?" i asked. "are you lactose intolerant?"

"naw, i'm just fat! i weigh ONE HUNDRED AND TEN pounds!"

i didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

i'm over you, diet coke

some of you know that back in november, i gave up my one-a-day diet coke habit. understanding that one a day was not really such a bad habit, i nonetheless knew that it was nothing but bad for me, and decided to make the switch. what did i switch to? tea.

the reason i switched was health, but the decision was facilitated by my extremely handy father who installed an instant hot water tap in my kitchen. being a busy person, the appeal of mug-bag-tap instant tea was ingenious in its simplicity. no kettles. no waiting. beautiful.

i've bought piles and piles of different teas... black, green, white, red. flavored & unflavored. iced and hot. sweetend and unsweetened. it's such a nice variety, and i've found that i can easily shift flavors with moods and weather. lovely!

right now my fave is trader joe's ruby red chai. it tastes great hot and cold, sweet and plain, with and without milk. other favorites include just about anything by mighty leaf, and the occasional jasmine green tea.

i still enjoy an occasional diet coke at a restaurant, but MAN am i glad i made the switch. i've saved money, added variety, and maybe, just maybe, saved a little bit of myself.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

cat nicknames

we have a cute little gray and white tabby cat named jingle bell. i know that jingle bell is NOT the best name for a cat, but we got her around christmas time when s was about 5. it was the most magical name she could consider at the time, so the unfortunately named jingle bell came to be.

now, jingle has a little issue with corpulence. such an issue that she cannot reach her nether regions in order to clean herself. this has led to hundreds of dollars in veterinary bills for urinary tract infections. yeah, i know, great. TMI.

she's the sweetest little tolerant kitty. the kind of kitty that follows you around and gazes up into your eyes. the kind that licks your fingers and toes until they shine. the children absolutely adore her because she lets them carry her around and tease her about her weight.

which brings me to the topic. jingle bell is not the greatest name, and i am prone to calling her bell or bella or bellina. bellicose would be more apt, but i digress. the kids have come up with the oddest names for this poor cat. mostly h. his names for her include belly eller, bellorgin blub, blubberg meowgen, bellee- bellew-bellub and bellatin gelatin. s calls her dinda bueller.

WHERE ON EARTH do they come up with names like this? and what on the earth do they mean? i've asked them, and they just shrug, content in their own little world of imaginary nicknames. the other animals and people in the house are not nearly so nickname-endowed as poor jingle bell. otherwise, you'd probably be wondering what they call ME.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

char chek

are you looking forward to the new star trek movie? everyone at our house is excited to see it... except s. what does that mean? that means t will take h to see it tonight, and i get to stay home with s. it IS a school night, so i don't mind. i'm sure i'll get to see it another night.

h is watching the first star trek movie so he can do a compare & contrast for homeschool. he used to LOVE the theme song to star trek: voyager when he was a baby, and whenever he would hear it playing on tv he'd drop everything to listen carefully. when it was over, he'd clap and say "WAY, char chek! (yay, star trek)" we thought he was adorable. we still refer to it as "char chek" occasionally. my, how the times have changed.

if you see it, let me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

7 and 1/2 months

yes, it's been 7.5 months since i last blogged.


and i was reminded today (ahem, you know who you are) that i haven't blogged in a long time. now, the specific number 7.5 was NOT mentioned, but i've been feeling the pressure in my own mind to put up something, ANYTHING, on my blog so as not to let it die completely.

the beatles are playing on itunes by request of s, who is partial to "everyone's got something to hide except me and my monkey." we both wait with bated breath until the beatles version of rock band is released. won't that be excellent? we'll need to crack out the ol' drum kit and go to town.

there are 24 more days left of public school for s, and then she, too, will be a homeschooler along with h. it's been a tough time being home with him and NOT having her here. i am honestly relieved that she chose to homeschool next year as well. for all of you who ask how long i plan to homeschool, the answer is simply: i don't know. we put one foot in front of the other and take it one day at a time. hopefully i am not crippling them for life.

spring is here, and although i should be outside doing yardwork, i despise yardwork. i had a lengthy battle with the lawnmower recently, and cursed our acreage. the pollen is at record levels, and i'm about to just give up on the landscaping... or rather... lack thereof. with all the interior projects we've done over the winter, it's my kingdom for a break, isn't it? isn't it??!

there. i posted. happy?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

a charlotte of our own

just outside the door from where i sit and type, a beautiful orb weaver spider has laid an egg sac.  she is so beautiful that i just had to call for the kids and show them.  they decided that she was just like charlotte in "charlotte's web," so we have dubbed her "charlotte" in honor of the character.  here she is, watching over her unhatched babies between the rungs of our side porch:

here is a bit closer on her underside...

and a bit closer on the egg sac...

and here she is from the front.  how lovely to find such a treasure!  we'll keep an eye on her and her babies... maybe we'll have a real learning experience if we see them hatch!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

gratuitous pet shots

the days grow shorter, and the weather grows cooler.  it's only supposed to be 81 degrees today!  fall is upon us, and the kids have already started dragging out the halloween decorations.  a little premature i admit, but we do love halloween at our house.  the more time to enjoy the holiday, the better.  they've already chosen their costumes... h will be a magi from magiquest... the interactive game he played this spring in myrtle beach and this summer at great wolf lodge.  s will be laura ingalls from the little house books.  she just loves the stories of pioneer days, mainly because they tell so many animal tales.  she has her little sunbonnet all ready to go.

homeschooling is going well enough that h says he never wants to go back to "regular" school.  we'll see about that.  you can follow our exploits in so far as i am able to post about them on my other blog.

here's jane and tibby for your viewing pleasure.  thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

vacation deal!

i just discovered an excellent vacation deal!  hotels in hilton head 75% off... THIS WEEKEND ONLY!!!!

OMG!  it would be SO GREAT to be there amidst tropical storm hanna's wrath!  let's all meet there for a joint vaca, ok?

too good to pass up!


Saturday, August 23, 2008

homeschool blog

i started a blog about my brand spanking new homeschool experience.

check it out if you're interested... i'm attempting to chronicle our first year of homeschooling.  we'll see how it goes, and if i'll have time to post on EITHER blog.

here it is...

...and thanks in advance for any and all moral support.

Friday, August 22, 2008

my girl is funny

just a little twisted humor from my 7 year old.

you'd think it was a commentary on her grandpa, but she calls him "papa."

what a funny girl.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


well, we've finally been reunited with t after almost a month of separation. he flew here yesterday, and s celebrated by pulling out the front tooth that's been dangling for a few weeks. now she has that toothless grin so cute in kids this age. the tooth fairy came, yada yada.

today on the beach while swimming in the big-but-dangerous waves, what did the girl find floating in the surf? a full can of beer. and it hadn't even expired yet! but alas, it was a busch. almost undrinkable. well, it was a good find anyway. she was proud of herself. here's a strange photo of her 2 big things:

h built an army of sand yesterday then invited the kids next door over to help destroy it. good times.
and LAST but not LEAST... my mom paid s $5 to pit 3 quarts of cherries to make cherry pie for a special treat for t. she diligently put each cherry on the pitter, pushed the plunger, and placed the pitted cherry in the bowl until the whole lot was done. it wasn't until we all started to eat our delectable slices of homemade cherry pie that we realized almost none of the pits had actually been removed! we giggled and giggled, blaming that darn batch of cherries that "grandma" had pitted. s promised to teach grandma how to do a better job with the pitter. s counted the pits on each of our plates to see who had "won." grandma won with a record 9 cherry pits in her piece of pie. we were just glad we hadn't invited company! oh, and the pie was heavenly. wish y'all could've had a slice (with the winning number of pits).

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


asked by 7 year old s while pointing to her ribs:

"wait a minute, wait a minute. what are these piano things right here called?"

Monday, July 28, 2008

fried smelt 'n' figs

two of my favorite things, both of which i only am able to have once a year.

imagine my joy when today i was able to have both together! what a combination! gourmets of the world are taking note, i'm sure. oh, and i washed it all down with a vernor's ginger ale.

fried smelt i only get when i'm visiting my parents in michigan. for those who are unfamiliar, smelt are little fish with the heads chopped off, rolled in batter, and deep fried. you eat the whole darn body... spine, fins and all. a few years ago i did a post on bortell's fresh fish market south of ludington on lake michigan.

figs i can usually only find at whole foods market in chapel hill. but today at the meijer store in ludington, there they were... 2 packages for $4! i was moronic with delight. the produce shoppers must have thought i was nuts.

so, on the way home from our shopping trip, i savored each bite of my lunch. it was heavenly.

you can go vomit now.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


i promised a post on my summer reading, and i'm as good as my word. for those uninterested in kid lit, just stop reading now, for that is where i have been engrossed. the reading list was chosen for me by h, my rising 4th grade reader. he is neck-deep in "harry potter and the goblet of fire," but has a short stack of books he'd like to read before he jumps into h.p. #5. i try to read everything the kids read so we can discuss it afterward (although i admit skimming junie b jones and magic tree house) and this summer list is no exception.

the first book he chose was "the city of ember," a first novel from author jeanne du prau. i suspended my disbelief, and buried myself in the city below the ground along with the main characters lina and doon. i would have LOVED more character development, more descriptions, more logical explanations... but alas, i had to realize that it is a kids book. from that point on, i enjoyed it for exactly what it is; a courageous adventure story with a cliffhanger ending. will they escape ember before the city dies?

which brings me to h's second choice, the follow-up to the previous book, titled "the people of sparks." kinda gives away the ending of the first book, huh? it's a good "lord of the flies"-style what-if book that gives kids an idea of tolerance versus anarchy. it was more depressing and less adventurous than "ember," but still i'm looking forward to reading the 3rd installment in the series, titled "the prophet of yonwood," which supposedly explains how the emberites ended up in the city underground.

but instead h assigned me to read "the tale of despereaux," a newbery award winning book by the author of "because of winn dixie," kate camillo. his teacher read it to the class this past year, and he loved it so much that he begged me to buy it, read it, and then proceed to make s read it. this is a lovely, well-told fairytale with charming characters and enduring themes. it worked it's magic spell on me, and i understood why h was so taken with it. sophisticated yet simple, it told the tale of a little mouse who dared to be different, and where the consequences took him.

although i'm clean out of kid books for the moment, i did pick up "shadow of the wind" by carlos ruiz zafon and am thoroughly enjoying it so far.

now onto our summer listening...

last month weezer came out with their new album, their third self-titled album, but i call it red. i replaced "high school musical 2" in the cd changer of the ol' minivan with this, as hsm2 had run it's course with my brain. the kids were instantly absorbed, and made me play the first 3 songs on the album over and over until i almot got sick of them. we proceeded on to the entire weezer library for variety, and they are choosing their favorites among the repertoire. h likes "say it ain't so," and "the greatest man that ever lived," while s is prone to "pork and beans" and "island in the sun." she likes the "dip-dip's" in that one. my enduring favorite by weezer is "the sweater song."

at sam's club i found a "woody woodpecker" anthology on dvd. woody is one of the few old cartoons they DON'T show on boomerang which is a howling shame. he's hilarious! walter lantz was a genius. the kids are cackling their butts off, something like they do while watching "tom and jerry." nothing like the oldies but goodies, is there?

i would write about the summer movies we've seen thus far, but i'm out of breath.

hope your summers are all pleasant and may they all be filled with good reading, listening and watching as ours has.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


i greet you once again from the lovely western shore of michigan. we will be here, as usual, for an extended amount of time, soaking up the rays and enjoying the cooler temperatures. my parents are always kind enough to host us without either losing their marbles OR kicking us to the curb. so, for THAT, i thank them profusely.

i realized it's been awhile since h made a blog appearance. his hair has gotten really long, and is now, in fact, longer than his sister's. this creates no end of glee for the girl, who has morphed into a camo-garbed tomboy this summer. so here is h in his goggles after having explored the depths of lake michigan. this is the first year, believe it or not, that he has consented to swim underwater. we never pushed him, and after 9 long years, he is finally discovering the joys of swimming.

we were lucky enough to have a visit from my high school pal tracey and her son kailash who are normally found on the small island of koh tao off the coast of thailand in the gulf of thailand. the kids spent a fun day in the sand while tracey and i reminisced. below is the lovely lady who was once my maid of honor about a zillion years ago...

that's all for now. today is a wee bit overcast, so i may take the kids to a movie or sumpin'. although, it's terribly tempting to curl up with a good book while they're giggling at old woody woodpecker cartoons! more on what i'm reading in my next post. promise.