Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #62

Thirteen Things That Make My Kids Weird

  1. While my son did spend his first five years in the city, he now prefers the forest and sees that the city is overrun by advertising, excessive consumption, and garbage. He breathes a sigh of relief when we return to Creekistan.
  2. Both my children love expensive cheese, especially brie. Occasionally we'll splurge and buy a wedge or hunk of stinky French, Dutch, or Norwegian cheese, but we have to hide it. My daughter has been known to plunge her hand into a tub of Feta and eat a handful.
  3. Both my kids love the music group They Might Be Giants . It might be because I listed to them while I was in labor. Their funny and singable songs helped take my mind off of the pain.
  4. My daughter is a "princess," with long flowing blond hair, but she really loves superheros. She can correctly identify Batman, Robin, Superman, and Spider-man. Oh, and Austin Powers.
  5. Both my kids have great Evil Laughs and we practice laughing maniacally on a regular basis.
  6. If my daughter thinks things are getting out of hand, she'll yell, "Expelliarmus," really loud. (That's the Harry Potter spell for disarming.)
  7. We recently heard a promo on our XM satellite radio for a funny morning show. It goes like this: [Operator] "City and state please?" [Funny guy] "Blakameekmen" [Operator] "Can you spell that?" [Funny guy] "T-H-A-T" We thought that was so funny that we all just blurt out "Blakameekmen" every so often. Even my 2 1/2 year old daughter. It makes me laugh every time.
  8. We sit down to dinner just about every night. Nowadays, as sad as it might sound, it probably qualifies as weird.
  9. My daughter loves capers. You know, those small pea-sized things you sometimes see on gourmet shows. Last night I put a few capers on top of the pasta I made. Before we could all sit down to eat, she had picked out and eaten most of them. (FYI: Capers are the immature buds plucked from a small bush native to the Middle East and Mediterranean regions of the world. Fresh caper blossoms are not especially flavorful, but their sharpness increases dramatically after sun-drying and brining in vinegar.) I had to call it "The Caper Caper."
  10. Both my kids love sushi. No, sushi does not necessarily mean raw fish. They prefer the vegetarian variety. But my daughter is developing a taste for fish.
  11. My kids understand that music can be any interesting sound, and will experiment to see what sound certain objects make. We've been known to play an entire percussion symphony with only what's on the dinner table.
  12. My kids have hung around semi-famous artists and take it for granted. About four years ago, my son tested objects that were going to be featured in the children's section at the opening of the new Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. We went to the artist's studio and tried them out. He now has a "been there, done that" attitude.
  13. My daughter likes coffee. I have to keep it out of her reach. When I go to Starbucks (thank God there's a Starbucks near Creekistan now!) I have to get them to make a little extra and put it in a small sample cup for her. Don't worry, I don't do this often and it's usually in the morning. I tell her that she can't start drinking coffee until she turns 3. That's when I started drinking coffee.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Before and After

Just a quick update on the progress we've made on the house. Here is dramatic proof that are efforts are finally making a difference.

Photo number one is the house as we purchased it--complete with upturned furniture, abandoned car, bugs, mold, and lawn mower being eaten by grass.

Photo number two was taken this month--complete with patio, cedar siding, toys, and a lot of TLC.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #61

13 Uses for Freezer Paper

  1. Wrap meat to put in the freezer, especially if the deer was recently hit by a car and ended up dead on your driveway. Be sure to have the plastic-coated side of the paper on the inside, touching the meat. And don't forget to label the outside with a brief description of what's inside along with the date. I sometimes draw pictures of the dead animal with X's for eyes.

  2. Wrap those delicious fresh-smoked pieces of bacon from that pig you slaughtered. They make great morning treats for those overnight guests. But don't forget to put it in the fridge the day before so it has time to thaw.
  3. Kids love to use big pieces of freezer paper to color on. Just use the uncoated side!
  4. The coated side is perfect to put down on the table when you and the kids are playing with Play-Dough.
  5. In fact, the plastic coated side is perfect to put down under any project that is potentially messy.
  6. Not only is it great to color on, but it's good for painting on.
  7. You can use long pieces of freezer paper to make banners.
  8. The plastic-coated side is perfect for finger or pudding painting. Pudding painting is great because the baby/toddler can actually eat the paint. But I don't recommend keeping the artwork for very long.
  9. Freezer paper is great for covering school books. Then the kid can decorate them however they want.
  10. You can use it as a table covering for entertaining. If you provide crayons, your guests can draw on the tablecloth.
  11. This paper is great for wrapping presents. The kids can make their own wrapping paper!
  12. It's also good for wrapping packages that are going to be mailed, like those things you sell on eBay.
  13. You can put it down under raw meat when you're cutting it. This protects counters and keeps your cutting boards free of nasty microorganisms that can make you sick.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Sharing the Love for The Rock Chick

A couple of weeks ago, a blogger friend of mine, The Rock Chick participated in Blogathon 2007 with the worthy cause being VH1 Save The Music Foundation . You know me, I love music programs in schools and have practically supplied all my nieces and nephews with whatever instrument they want (flutes, clarinets, trumpets).

So I'm spreading my love for The Rock Chick and helping her become an "A-List" blogger. Perhaps, when she becomes famous, she'll thank those "little people," like me, who helped her along the way!

Life is RANTastic

“Let’s rock The Rock Chick’s World! Send Life is RANTastic to the A-List.”

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #61

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

13 Videos That My Kids Watch Over and Over

  1. Popeye - The old old old black and white cartoons. They can't get enough for some reason. Luckily, they are cheep and available at Evil Wal*Mart.

  2. Austin Powers - Okay, maybe not quite appropriate for kids their age, but they love him. Perhaps because it is rather immature humor. My daughter (2 1/2) loves the music and the costumes. She's been known to strike a pose and say "Give me back my Mojo!"

  3. Batman - They love the campy Batman movies. I can hardly stand to listen to them with the bad one-liners and terribly villains.

  4. Harry Potter - They love the movies, but know that the books are much, much better. Sometimes we discuss the differences between the movie and book. But we still enjoy the movies for their special effects.

  5. Thomas and the Magic Railroad - When my son was younger, he loved Thomas the Tank Engine. We had all the Brio railroad stuff and some other extras like blankets, etc. But we watched the stupid movie that was loosely based on the TV series. I thought I "lost" the movie when me moved to Creekistan, but I recently found it. Now it's back in circulation.

  6. Alf - You know, the 1980's sitcom about the alien living with a suburban family. We have the entire series on VHS that someone taped when the shows actually appeared on the network, complete with the old commercials. It's a walk down memory lane. I play a game with my son where he has to guess the premise of the show before the first commercial break.

  7. The Nightmare Before Christmas - Actually, they love just about any Tim Burton movie. I don't mind, because I also love Danny Elfman, the guy who does most of the music.

  8. The Tick - This is a Saturday morning cartoon series from the early '90s. So stupid it's funny, and yet so smart, it's stupid. Let's hear the battle cry, "Spoon!"

  9. Dr. Doolittle - More precisely, Dr. Doolittle 2 with Eddie Murphy. We don't have #1 and I don't know if we've ever seen it. But we got the VHS cheep and they love it. We also have the original movie made ages ago and they like that one too, but it's terribly long.

  10. The Incredibles - Even me and my husband love watching this video. Very clever premise and great animation. We especially love those scenes with Edna Mode. We're always repeating her: "No Capes!"

  11. Star Wars - Any of them and even the cartoons The Clone Wars.

  12. The Lord of the Rings - Yep, another series of movies that may be too old for them, but they seem to understand most of it anyway.

  13. Star Blazers - An old Anime video dubbed into English in the late '70s and early '80s.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #60 - SPOILER ALERT!

SPOILER ALERT! My 13 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Predictions

Let's see how I did with my predictions from a couple of weeks ago:

  1. The Weasly wedding will take place, but will be interrupted by an uninvited guest, possibly Greyback, the werewolf. Okay, I was close. It was interrupted by a Patronus, and then by Death Eaters.

  2. Harry will find the place where his parents were killed. But I don't think he'll find anything important there. Wrong! Harry did find important things there, and even a trap!

  3. I believe that Harry's father died after his mother, not the other way around. There is something important to the fact that James remained alive longer than Lily. Wrong. It was Lily that died last, trying to save the baby Harry.

  4. The infamous RAB will be Sirus' brother. Ding! Ding Ding! I was correct! Regulus Arcturus Black .

  5. One of the horcruxes will be hidden in the Black home, and Kreature will be guarding it. I don't think he'll be cooperative, and his head may end up on the wall next to his mother's. Wrong. Although Kreature did have a horcrux for a while, it was stolen from him. Also wrong about the house elf remaining mean. With proper care and sympathy, he turned out good! I'd love to try his French Onion Soup!

  6. Even though both Harry and I don't like Snape, he'll be a good guy in the end. At least he'll prove to be mostly honorable, quite possibly he'll die trying to save Harry. Correct! Severus' love for Harry's mother Lily is what ultimately made him good. His memories in the Pensive is one of the places in the book that made me cry.

  7. Neville will become stronger and more confident and will avenge his parents. Yeah Neville!

  8. Harry and Ginny will get back together. Yep, and have three kids!

  9. Dumbledore's painting will be hung in several important places in the wizarding world, and Harry can visit him and ask him questions. Mostly wrong. We only know of his painting in Hogwarts and Harry only visits him in the end.

  10. I think that one of the Dursley's will perform magic, possibly Dudley. But I don't think he'll like it. Wrong. But Dudley does show his appreciation to Harry for saving his live. In a way, that is magic.

  11. Filch's cat, Mrs. Norris, will be an unregistered animagas and a deatheater. But Crookshanks will kill her. Wrong. No mention of Mrs. Norris that I recall. Bummer!

  12. Faulks will help Harry in a very important way. Wrong. Faulks must have flown the coop!

  13. Everyone who reads the book will be very sad, either because someone important and loved dies, or just because there will be no more Harry Potter books to look forward to. I know the latter is true for me. Correct!