Friday, November 21, 2008

a sweet weekend

It's just around the corner. It's so close you can almost taste it. You think I'm talking about Thanksgiving, which I am seriously anxious for, but I'm actually talking about the holiday baking season. It's like March Madness in the kitchen. I've been patiently waiting, but all the holiday displays and sewing I've been doing around here have me jonesing for some goodies. However, I'm not ready to bust out all the ingredients and start making the season's first batch of cookies (which is always peanut butter kiss cookies). So, to tide me over until next weekend, or at least until tomorrow, I've made a little concoction with the things I had in the cabinets. I melted a bag of semisweet chocolate chips and stirred in a 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, a 1/2 cup of pecan pieces, and about 1/2 tsp of orange zest. I'll let you know if it turns out...I can't think of a single reason why it wouldn't. And, frankly, it's pretty healthy. For candy.

On the creation front, I have successfully made the first Ouiser snuggie. It is made from tie-dyed fleece and therefore looks like an insane hippie monk should be eating pot brownies on your couch. I can safely say that I believe I have made vast improvements on the Snuggie, and I declare all Snuggies bought from TV inferior to the Ouiser snuggie. Mine has the foot pocket that I promised, so your feet stay safely tucked under the blanket, and mine has a kangaroo pocket. It is perfection. Made out of fleece. I'll be making a High School Musical version and a gray fleece version this weekend. My family is going to love me this Christmas. They just might not appreciate the genius right away. I've managed to whip out a couple more little odds and ends in the past few days, and I'll share pictures later. For now, I'm going to clean all the thread off the desk and off the floor.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


OMG. OMG. OMG. There is no better way to put it. No better way. I must have some of these.

Those of you who know me well know that almost everything I own has 3/4 sleeves. Even most of my sweaters. I don't know why. I don't know if I'm really that fond of my tiny wrists that I like to see them all the friggin' time. Or maybe it's just that I'm short and most full length sleeves end up being pulled up lest I drag them through food. Either way, the bottoms of my arms are always, always cold, and thus, I must have arm warmers. I also must, must know who the brilliant person is who thought to put leg warmers on their arms because I want to hug them and bake them cookies and say, "thank you. I love you. I really, really do."

a little southern

I spent a lot of time in high school at speech tournaments and doing drama stuff. In doing that, I worked diligently on losing "my southern." It started when I realized that most of the people I knew recognized no difference in the words "pin" and "pen." Then I realized that most of the world equated people with deep southern accents as either dimwitted or drunk on mint juleps and bourbon. Because I wanted to do well in the tournaments, show a grasp of basic principles of pronunciation, and be viewed by others as seemingly intelligent, the southern accent was relegated to the back of my brain. It was banished...only to be encountered when I was, in fact, dimwittedly drunk on bourbon or in the presence of my family.

I spent a lot of years proud of the fact that people would tell me they barely heard my southern accent. Then Feathernester basically ruined my life.

The other night, she was recounting how much she loves to tell the story of my aunt calling me out when using my "not southern" voice when we first moved. Apparently, when talking to Feathernester and Mr. Feathernester, I would turn on the anti-southern accent so as to ease them into southern life. My aunt looked at me and asked, "why are you talking like that?" I don't remember this at all, but it stuck with Feathernester and she thought it hysterical. She then told me that, whereas she used to not detect my southern, now it's "all southern, all the time." Like I'm one of those easy listening radio stations. "All Phil Collins, all the time." Darn.

Really, I don't care too much. I still properly pronounce words like "pen" and "library."

However, I have realized that my daughter has really started elongating her words. Especially her vowels. "Babydoll" is "babydaaawwwl." "Light" is "liiiiight." Her friend Carson is "Carseeeen." I could go on and on. I worry that people will think my daughter has been hitting the bourbon hard at an early age. Someone, help us, please.

Happy hump day, peeps. Or "peeeeeeeps," as S would say.

Monday, November 17, 2008

weekend update

Another Ouiser weekend in pictures. I will say that, sadly, we forgot the camera for Saturday morning's trip to the Monkey's Treehouse, which S friggin' loved. It will end up being one of our haunts.
Make-shift doll furniture for Little People #2 girl. Complete living room with sofa, end tables, lamps, and chair. There was also a bedroom and a driveway leading to the front of the "house." MoWask, those doll furniture links may come in handy much sooner than I'd anticipated.
A bed for Bea. S calls her bear "B." At least, that's what I thought. Now I've decided she's named her Bea after my grandma. Most of the time, the animal or doll that's in the bed is tucked in. And they always get a goodnight kiss.
Daddy got fancy-poshed, which is like getting punk'd but without the meanness and with super fancy posh accessories.
Ready for church. Add a peacoat and my sunglasses to this look and you can imagine what we looked like walking down the street. Very fancy posh.
I don't know if any of you other marrieds have this problem, but somehow, M and I always manage to dress alike. Always. We are the incestuous Bobsy twins. Nice.
Birthday gift for Aunt Mel. She loved my choice of wrapping paper. I swear.
Decorations for Aunt Mel's birthday. S and I made them. Please don't judge my mess of a house.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

a toddler drum circle

A little peak into what life is like with S and L. Loud. Of course, it's pretty easy to see why my kid is ginormous. She's eating her drumstick. Really, I like to think that she's play-multitasking. Drumming and play cooking at the same time. That's my girl.


My friend Kristie calls her little musings "dots," so today is all about the dots.


Green showers. I thought a lot about the shower issue based on Scarlet Lily's post yesterday. I know I've mentioned before that, like her, my showers are not game for greening. I will not speed shower, navy shower, or take a cold shower for the earth. I just won't. And, sadly, I will admit that I am not a person, like Feathernester, who takes quick showers. I linger. I always have. Most of the time, I linger until the water needs to be turned a little warmer. That's my cue to get out of dodge. Sometimes, however, I linger until every last drop of warmth is exhausted from my water heater. I admit it. Judge me if you will. Now, this isn't an every day occurrence, so don't flip your lid completely.

Out of curiosity today, I timed my shower. I've done this before, and I've never been thrilled with the results. Today was a no frills day. No shaving, no special exfoliating, no lingering. Just the basics: wash face, wash and condition hair, wash body. I timed in at six minutes almost on the nose. I didn't rush, but I didn't dawdle. But, seriously. Every couple of days I do shave. There's at least three to four minutes. Plus, I like at least 45 seconds to appreciate the warm water when I first get into the shower. I have a hunch that this shower thing is going to eat at me forever. I will say this. Jennifer Aniston claims to take three minute showers. Three. And she claims that she also brushes her teeth in the three minute shower. I really, truly believe that she has to be lying. Or, she is the dirtiest human being that ever walked the earth. You decide.


Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. We're gearing up for the holidays around here. You already know that. You also know that I am crazy type-A, and most of my gift shopping is done. Finished. And now, every gift that we've purchased is wrapped and neatly stacked. I worked on it yesterday. I felt an odd sense of completion. It's the same way I feel when I organize a drawer or clean out the fridge. I feel at peace when things are all organized and done. Aaagh. A big, cleansing breath.

However, I've been thinking a lot about gifts this year. I know that lots of people think about these things, but it's so easy to get caught up in the insanity. I love to buy presents for people. I love knowing that someone will love or appreciate something that I've given them. I love it when I stumble across some random object that immediately reminds me of someone that I love. What I don't love is the sense of obligation to find gifts for people. Especially when so many of us don't need anything. Especially when so many of us should be getting rid of stuff instead of accumulating more. I think, that when you can't find a perfect gift for someone for the holidays, you should be able to say, "I just couldn't find the right gift this year. Maybe next time." Or you should at least get a waiver. You should be able to give a middle-of-the-year gift instead of a Christmas gift because, honestly, who knows when you'll come across that perfect gift. I sound like a total Scrooge, and I swear I'm not. I just hate that people, including me, get caught up in the craziness that is feeling like you have to, have to get gifts for every single person that you know. It's just nutty. Again, judge me if you will. Maybe I am Scrooge McOuiser.


The Snuggie. Oh, how I love you, Snuggie. Why couldn't Neiman Marcus have invented you instead of some "As Seen on TV" hack? I know that a blanket with sleeves seems like the epitome of laziness. I get it. I get that it seems quentisentially lazy American that we can't be bothered to take our arms from under our blankets to use our remotes or send text messages or whatever, but come on. When I'm vegging out on the couch catching up on Law and Order reruns, I am trying to be as lazy as I can. I deserve a blanket with sleeves. I've usually earned it by washing my way through obscene amounts of laundry. Now, I'll give you that if you are wearing it around all day, you are too lazy. But for the couch, this thing is genius. I'm going to start making them. I'm going to improve on them, though. I'm going to put a little pouch at the bottom to tuck your feet into. Watch out, friends. The Ouiser Snuggie may be coming your way. You should be so lucky.

End of today's dots. Have a good one, peeps.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

one up-ed

MoWask totally one up-ed me. I listed a couple of the random things that S is grateful for (though she doesn't understand the concept of being grateful), and she went off and listed 106 things that she loves. I can't compete with that. Looks like being in California for a week is kind to her. While I'm happy about that, I am having trouble figuring out new things for S today. You see, it's raining, so we haven't been outside, and that's where S is the happiest. That's where she finds things. So, I'm winging it today. We finger painted for the first time yesterday, and I assure you she was grateful for squishy orange paint. She's also thankful for rocks. I let her bring in four rocks that she collected yesterday, and she keeps finding them and declaring, "Mommy, found rock. Ooooh." So, finger paint and rocks. Beat that, MoWask. :)

Also, we went to the gym today for the first time in forever. Getting a president elected is hard work that excuses one from one's dedication to treadmills and big empty rooms where you can do yoga alone. Now, however, I'm back at it because I can tell how much weaker I've gotten and I don't like it. Anywho...

While there, I grabbed a magazine for perusing while on the elliptical machine. I haven't subscribed to Real Simple in years because I felt like the articles kept repeating themselves, and I honestly don't need any advice on how to organize my closets (all shirts in order of the color spectrum), my junk drawers (don't believe in the concept; if it's junk, I don't want it), or beneath my sink (how much crap do you need under there really). But, there were a couple of articles in this one that I had a chance to read and really enjoyed. One was a guide to recycling, which I thought was greatly helpful in that it explained to me why I can't recycle certain things that I've been dropping off for ages. Oops. The other article was on focusing. I find it hysterical that I need to be doing several things right now, but I'm not. I'm blogging. It's a distraction. Looks like I should focus.

Anyway, enjoy your Wednesday. I'm going to clean the bathroom. Focus, Ouiser, focus.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

the ouiser tree

Per Feathernester's post, here's my tree.

Also, in preparing for Thanksgiving, I've written down the things S has seemed most thankful for the past two days. Of course, it's written in sidewalk chalk in front of our house next to a big turkey that we drew. According to our sidewalk, you should give thanks for leaves, sticks, chalk, cheerios, outside, music, and friends. I'll try to keep you posted on the things that she's grateful for as the season progresses. I am certain there will be a lot of repeats.

As for me, I'm grateful for warm slippers and gloves and for having Reading Rock books around the corner...and an owner who seems to know exactly what I want to buy. LOL.

Monday, November 10, 2008

perfection on consignment

Okay, seriously. No matter what great thing you think you may have found thrifting or on consignment, you can never, ever beat what I found last week. Behold perfection...

For anyone not in the know, M's life, prior to Geography, revolved solely around tennis. As he pretty consistently works on S's forehand, this shirt speaks volumes. Seriously, you could find a pencil sketch by Renoir, and M would argue that this shirt trumps it as most awesome find.

Also, a little more greatness. I had a chance to work at the Americana Folk Festival a couple of Saturdays ago. You know, spreading the Obama love by selling buttons and whatnot. I took along sidewalk chalk, and here is some of the artwork. The peace dog was drawn by a kid that couldn't have been more than seven. How wicked awesome is that? "Put aside your differences" was done by this girl and her bandmates.

Friday, November 07, 2008

another week in pictures

While life is a little less hectic thanks to the election of Barack Obama, things are still a little crazy around here. Mostly, I've got a couple of months of real housework to do. I'm trying to get it done in pieces, but my body has other plans. My body is telling me to go into recharge mode. We'll see who wins...

Either way, here are a few photos from last weekend. Please note the Crunch Bar in the second picture. It is the one and only piece of candy the kiddo got from trick-or-treating. She held onto it like it was made of solid gold.

Have a great weekend, peeps. I'm off to shower.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

yes we did

That's all I have to say for now. It was a long day of poll watching and return watching, but everything was worth this feeling. It was all worth knowing that my daughter will grow up not thinking that there are boundaries to what she or others can achieve. It was worth it to feel proud and consequential.

Yes we can. Yes we did. Yes we will continue.