Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween with the Three Amigos

Trick-or-treat 2008 has come and gone, though the pumpkin is still aglow on the front porch as I type. :-)

J-Mav has been anticipating this evening for a few weeks now. He was excited about his pirate costume and the fact that he was going trick-or-treating with his two best buddies. Collectively, they are known (at least by their parents) as "the three amigos."

One of the amigos and his family came for dinner prior to heading out trick-or-treating. I made chili for the adults and mummy dogs for the kids. The mummy dogs were a hit! After dinner, the kids got into their costumes while we were waiting for the third amigo and his parents and grandparents (who are visiting from Florida) to arrive. Once he got to our house, we took pictures and got ready to head out.

Keeper-Boy decided he wasn't going to trick-or-treat this year. He voluntarily gave up a chance to get tons of free candy to stay home and hand out candy! Shocking? Yes! So we left him with instructions to not let anyone into the house and not let on that he was in the house by himself. We knew from past experience that there wouldn't be a whole lot of "business," and that our neighbor across the street was home and observant. :-) With instructions given to Keeper Boy, our entourage headed out into the beautiful, clear, and somewhat mild evening.

We had our pirate, a red Power Ranger, and a shadow Ninja -- along with six parents and two grandparents. They were well-chaperoned. :-) Things started getting interesting exactly two houses into our journey. J-Mav didn't want to carry his candy bag. But we were prepared with a back-up "overflow" bag, so even though he wasn't overflowing, he dumped his bag every few houses and that kept him happy as far as the weight of the candy bag went.

About a block into the journey, the Power Ranger shed his gloves and the Ninja gave his mask to his Poppy for safe keeping. A few houses later, the Power Ranger also shed his mask. Around that time, the pirate ditched his eye patch. We continued on... the boys got more candy, the parents and grandparents checked some of the candy to make sure it was edible, and the Power Ranger shed another piece of his costume.

Around this time, the Pirate shed his headband and the Ninja ditched his chestplate and arm spike band things. We were starting to wonder if the kids were going to have anything on by the time we got back to our house! The pirate was also moving slower and slower, complaining about his legs and feet hurting. They were still having a good time, so we decided to quit while we were somewhat ahead. We had been out for a little over an hour at this point. So we finished the street we were on and headed back toward the house.

Everyone left when we got home as all the amigos have a soccer game tomorrow morning (the Ninja's team is playing the team that both the pirate and the Power Ranger play for). Once inside, Hubby and I went through the loot and threw some away. The pirate went to bed and was asleep almost immediately. Argh! And, with J-Mav's blessing, I took some into my office already (the stuff no one will eat).

With the boys both in bed, the candy sorted, and the dishes from dinner cleaned up, we were left to ponder our first experience with what seemed to become strip trick-or-treating... hopefully not an idea that will catch on anytime soon!

Happy Pumpkin Day!

I don't have one particular topic to discuss today, but Happy Halloween to everyone! I am (mostly) off today. I did work on a white paper for a few hours this morning, but I'm not in the office. :-)

Random Topic #1 - Hockey
Keeper Boy had a rare, weeknight hockey game last night. It was his turn to be the door keeper, and, as usual, he did a fine job. Hubby was on penalty box duty. I'm sure he felt right at home as he spent many a minute there in the first several years he played hockey! But back to the kids... Keeper Boy's team won 3-2. The team is now 4-1 in league play. Next game tomorrow afternoon. Keeper Boy will be in net.

Random Topic #2 - Grandparents
We had a quick, somewhat last-minute visit from my parents last night. They used our place as a layover on their way to my brother's new house a little further west of here. They spent some time with the boys, Dad went with me to see Keeper Boy's hockey game while Mom stayed home with J-Mav (and got beat in a spirited game of Trouble). They ate breakfast with us this morning and headed out when I took the boys to school. A nice, but short, visit. We'll see them again soon for Thanksgiving!

Random Topic #3 - Pumpkin Math
I volunteered this morning for the Kindergarten Pumpkin Celebration at J-Mav's school. For two hours, I ran a center for four or five Kindergarteners at a time where we did "pumpkin math." The three activities were estimating how many plastic links it would take to go around the pumpkin (24), estimating how many blocks would need to be stacked to be as tall as the pumpkin (11), and estimating how much our pumpkin weighed (10.5 lbs.). Once we established what "estimate" means, the kids had fun tackling the activities, though the estimations were fairly outrageous. Nonetheless, it was good time, and I saw some of J-Mav's friends as they rotated through the classroom I was stationed in.

Random Topic #4 - Blogs
My brother-in-law (BIL) and sister-in-law (SIL) both have blogs... mostly to keep each other up-to-date on their goings on while he's in Iraq for the year. If any of you is interested, his is and hers is

There's another blog that I read daily, called Fat Cyclist. I stumbled across it a little more than six months ago, after clicking a link from my cousin's blog. Though I've never met him, I am amazed by the man who writes this blog. He is an avid cyclist, a fabulous writer, and an absolutely amazing father and husband. His wife has terminal cancer, and the end seems to be near. I have never met, and will never meet, Elden or any of the people he talks about in his blog. But I feel like I know them. And my heart breaks for all of them as they deal with the decining health of an amazing woman, wife, and mom.

Random Topic #5 - Politics
Is it over yet?!?!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pulling the dreaded all-nighter...

Here it is, almost 3am and I'm still up and surrounded by a pile of paper, red pens, and candy wrappers. No, I didn't go back to school. We have a proposal due at work tomorrow (well, later today at this point) and I received it for editing tonight at 10pm... normally when I'm thinking about heading to bed! I truly thought I was going to be up all night, but it went faster than I thought. So I'm about ready to head to bed. 7am will come mighty quickly this morning.

While I wouldn't recommend this method of working, and I wouldn't have chosen it if I had the option, I must say the house is very quiet at this time of the morning. I have heard the occasional flopping over from J-Mav's room (he has a squeaky bed), and a random ear-flap from K-dog downstairs. Other than that, just me clicking away on the keyboard, the fridge coming on when it needs to cool down, and the furnace coming on when it needs to heat up. Pretty conducive to jamming through a 70-page document in five hours instead of several more than that.

Oh, and I can vouch for the freshness and tastiness of the candy we will be giving out on Friday night to any little ghosts and goblins that come to the door... in fact, judging by the pile of wrappers I've amassed, I think I can now be considered a subject matter expert on swedish fish and sour patch gummies.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


This was a divide-and-conquer kind of a weekend. Early Saturday morning, Hubby and Keeper Boy headed south to Richmond for two hockey games. J-Mav and I slept in a little bit and then did chores and braved the rain for his soccer game.

The soccer game was... soggy. They played in increasingly harder rain for the first half of the game and then decided to call it at half-time. At that point, I'm not sure why they didn't just let them play. They were all wet, and the parents were all wet. They don't keep score at that level, anyway. But it was what it was. J-Mav said it was very fun to play in the rain. :)

Meanwhile, in Richmond, Keeper Boy was in net for the first game of the day. Though, by all reports, the entire team didn't play all that great, they hung on and won 4-3. The entire team descended on a local TGI Fridays for a between games meal, which took almost the entire time between games. With no notice of a party of 30+ in the middle of the afternoon, they didn't have enough staff to be speedy. But, they all got fed and made it back to the rink for the second game. Keeper Boy was "door keeper" for that game. Apparently the team played even worse the second game, and they were shut out 4-0. :-( Hubby and Keeper Boy got home late last night and Keeper Boy hit the sack as his team had another game this morning and he was in net.

This game was against another local travel team and the team played really well all around this morning. Final score: 7-0. Not to take anything away from Keeper Boy's shutout, but he faced only four shots for the entire game. Good for the statistics (and good because it means the team was preventing the opposition from having any quality scoring attempts), bad for his attention span. Apparently at one intermission he went to the bench and asked if anyone had a checkerboard. Funny, Keeper Boy, real funny.


As Hubby and Keeper Boy were gone all day for two out-of-town hockey games and J-Mav had a soccer game this morning, it was just the little guy and me today. (Look for the weekend sports report tomorrow... still have another hockey game tomorrow morning, so I'll wait to post the update.)

Anyway, I took J-Mav out to dinner tonight (his choice) as his reward for getting all the required stickers on his behavior sticker chart at school for the week. He chose one of the local steak houses--likely because he thinks it's cool to throw peanut shells on the floor. :-) After we were done, we went to Target for a few things. I had a craving for swedish fish candy when we were leaving, so I said, "I think we need to get some swedish fish. You like them, don't you?" It took all I had not to bust out laughing when he replied, "Indeed I do, Mama."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday peeve

Riddle me this. Why do people feel the need to talk on their cell phones in a public bathroom? Or in any bathroom, really. The only person I have EVER talked to while using the facilites is Hubby and I'm pretty sure I have done that only once in the nearly 20 years we have been together. On the other hand, I regularly go into the restroom at work and hear people having entire conversations while, not just in the restroom, but while using the facilities!

What's up with that? Discuss.


Feel free to leave your opinion by clicking the comment link below!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Flu-Mist rocks!

Well, I don't know that for a fact as I have always just gotten the flu shot, but my kids assure me it's true. What I do know for fact is that my children are "shot-phobic." There is high drama when a shot is due for either of them. They come by this honestly, as Hubby would rather have his toe nails ripped off one by one than even look at a needle (let alone have it come anywhere close to piercing his skin--or anyone else's skin in his generally vacinity, actually)

I took Keeper Boy and J-Mav to their pediatrician's office this afternoon for "Flu-Mist evaluations" to see if they were eligible to receive it (instead of the shot). Basically the doctor asked me a series of questions about each child and listened to each of them breathe. I knew Keeper Boy would be fine because he's had Flu-Mist once before, a few years ago. Wasn't sure about J-Mav. This is the first year he's really been old enough, and he was diagnosed with asthma as an infant (though he seems to have outgrown it at this point).

Long story short, they both passed their evaluations with flying colors and were given the Flu-Mist squirt up the nose right then and there. No whining, no screaming, no dragging any children out from under the exam table or pinning any arms down so a needle could be jammed in. In fact, there was actually giggling because I'm told it tickles... GIGGLING!

Was it worth the fact that our insurance may not pick up the $50 tab for each kid? Definitely. Now if I could convince Hubby that he won't actually get the flu from Flu-Mist, maybe some year we will ALL be vaccinated! Yeah... I can dream.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I was driving down a local heavily used road this morning on the way back to my office from a meeting, when one of those temporary light-up signs caught my eye. You know, the ones they put up to warn of construction closings or delays. It alternated between two messages:




Perhaps VDOT needs an editor...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

100,000 miles!

This is a little anticlimactic since it happened on Saturday, but my car hit 100,000 miles when I was driving on I-81 from my brother's new house to the ice rink for Keeper Boy's game. Hopefully it has another 100,000 miles in it!

Nothing like taking a picture of your odometer...and having that picture bust you for speeding...

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Back in September, Keeper Boy's team traveled up I-95 to New Jersey to play Team Comcast--a travel team that plays in the tier above Keeper Boy's team. The boys seemed a little nervous and starstruck and never got into their groove. They lost that game 9-1. Ouch. That's a long way to drive for that outcome!

Why were they starstruck, you ask? Well, they knew the head coach of that team is Keith Primeau (former Detroit Red Wing and Philadelphia Flyer) and that his kid plays on the team. When we arrived at the rink that day, they discovered that Danny Brierre's (current Philadelphia Flyer) two kids also play on the team. And, in fact, Danny Brierre was behind the bench that day as an assistant coach. To the kids, kids of NHL players = really good squirt players. End of discussion.

So today, Team Comcast came to our rink to play. Our kids looked like a whole different team! It was a GREAT game, which ended in a 3-3 tie. Keeper Boy had a really good day in net.

To top off the great game today, Keeper Boy was also able to get Coach Primeau to sign a rookie card we found in his vast hockey card collection. He had actually taken it all the way to New Jersey to get it signed last month, but the coach left the rink before Keeper Boy was even out of his pads. Today, he was ready. He came out of the locker room after his coach's post-game speech (still in his enormous leg pads) and just waited for Coach Primeau to come out. There's only one way out of the rink from the locker rooms, so he was able to catch him and ask him to sign the card. (I think he was prepared to tackle him had he not stopped...) Coach Primeau laughed when he saw it was his rookie card and made some comment about that picture being taken a long time ago. Keeper Boy was thrilled.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In other news today...

J-Mav scored a goal during his soccer game and was very proud! He was also excited that it was chilly enough for him to wear his Under Armour shirt for the very first time. It's the little things. :) On the way home from the rink tonight, he also counted to 100 with very little help. Cool!

And I spent most of the day at my brother's new house helping him paint. It's a really nice house and I was thinking it was going to be great for he and his family to be living in the same state... but as I discovered today, he's still an hour and a half away!! Not exactly right down the street, but hopefully we'll be able to get together more often. Of course, he's actually been living WITH us since April and I sometimes go two weeks without seeing him because of our schedules. If I can't seen him when he's living downstairs, I'm not sure what makes me think I'm going to see him when we have to drive an hour and a half!?! But we're sure going to try!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Love this picture!

I don't have anything new to say... I just wanted to share this picture. It's Keeper Boy as time expired in his team's game last Sunday. :-)

Thoughts on the last debate and the Phillies going to the World Series

So I was updating my Facebook status live during the debate with random thoughts. My cousin (RDM) was doing the same thing. I thought it might be fun to post them all here. I don't know what his official political persuasion is, though I think it's pretty obvious that he doesn't care for McCain. And I don't know if Obama would be a good president or not, but he's certainly less scary to me at this point than McCain. No offense to any of you who are McCain/Palin supporters. :) Some of this isn't as funny when you don't know what was being "debated" while the comment was made, but it's still amusing. Moreso RDM's than mine. Here we go...

RDM [9:12pm]: Wait... Joe vs. The Volcano?

ME [9:14pm]: Thinking that John McCain is a creepy old man.

RDM [9:15pm]: McCain looks so snarky.

ME [9:17pm]: Laughing b/c her cousin said McCain looks "snarky." Ha!

RDM [9:18pm]: Hey Hey Hey - some of my good friends started as Marketing Assistants!

ME [9:19pm]: Can McCain look and/or sound any more uncomfortable?

ME [9:21pm]: I never noticed before that they're both left-handed. Hmmm...

ME [9:23pm]: What was THAT face?

ME [9:28pm]: Vowing to use the word repudiate in at least one instance tomorrow.

ME [9:31pm]: Oh for God's sake... get over Joe the Plumber!

RDM [9:32pm]: WHO THE F... CARES???? Can we get back to the issues? The real issues?

RDM [9:35pm]: here's an idea... have a debate right now!!!!!

RDM [9:38pm]: I like acorns... especially in the fall.

RDM [9:39pm]: Choosed to? Choosed to?

RDM [9:44pm]: I want to see Ron Paul come in and show these two what's what.

ME [9:48pm]: Can't wait for election day to come and go so we don't have to see as much of these two.

ME [9:54pm]: Wondering when Columbia started helping the U.S. stop the flow of illegal drugs into this country?

ME [9:55pm]: By the way, the Phillies are winning in the 5th!

ME [10:00pm]: oh boy, Joe the plumber is back.

RDM [10:01pm]: I like kittys.

ME [10:08pm]: Exhausted from listening to all this crap.
(To which RDM commented: "Don't you think that our 94 year old grandfather could set McCain straight?")

RDM [10:11pm]: Is McCain wearing pink lipstick? I'm not judging... just observing. Maybe he needs a more autumn color?


ME [10:21pm]: Oh that silly teaching certification... who needs it?

RDM [10:25pm]: Yes! Reform 3rd Grade! I have been calling for that since 1982ish.

ME [10:27pm]: Confused as to why McCain keeps talking about how Sarah Palin knows about autism... her baby has Downs Syndrome. No?

RDM [10:32pm]: "Good Job, Good Job, Yea Yea" What, was McCain channeling his inner GW Bush?

RDM [10:43pm]: Ok... enough for tonight.

At this point, I had given up on debate analysis and flipped over to the Phillies game...

ME [10:46pm]: Amazed at the catch Victorino just made!

ME [10:50pm]: Gawking at Garciopara's nose. Wow.

ME [10:56pm]: Off to bed... will watch the end of the game there. 'Nite all.

I did watch the end of the game there, and I'm delighted to report that the Phillies will be playing in the World Series!!!! Very exciting. I do have to admit that I missed much of the 9th inning, as I was apparently studying the inside of my eyelids; however, I was awake for the last two outs and saw the celebration after the win.

The stuffed Phillie Phanatic I have had since I was about Keeper Boy's age (maybe longer) always sits on a shelf in my office. He went to college with me and has been on a shelf in every office/cubicle I've occupied since graduating. This morning I moved him to a place of honor on the corner of my desk where all can bask in his green, furry glow as they walk by.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My bad... one conflict resolved

I was going to pick Keeper Boy up from school to shuttle him to the rink for a Goalie Session when I heard on the radio that the Phillies play TONIGHT for the glory of going to the big show. I don't know why I was thinking Thursday. Anyway, the 8:22pm start time is just about perfect for when I get home from my "old lady water exercise class." AND, it eliminates one program from my Thursday night lineup. Woo hoo! It's the little things in life that make me happy.

Of course, I'm going to be tired tomorrow because if the Phillies are definitely going to win tonight, I'm going to have to stay up to see the celebration. And if the game is close, I'm going to have to stay up to see if they can pull it out. If they're definitely going to lose... well, we're not going there. That's not going to happen, right?

Go Phillies!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Left-hand larceny

So hubby and I were watching the Caps game on the VS network last night, and there was some idiot doing the color commentary. His name was Daryl Reaugh. We looked him up on the Internet Hockey Database( and discovered he was a goalie that didn't spend much time in the NHL, but had a pretty decent minor league career. Anyway, he wasn't an awful commentator... EXCEPT when he pulled out his thesaurus. Good grief, the guy seemed like he was trying to use big words and lots of adjectives whenever he wanted to say something. It made for a lot of WTF?! moments during the game. Here are a few of my "favorites:"

"This should be delicious."
[Said after a penalty shot was awarded to Alex Semin... which he didn't get to take, anyway... the refs said Michael Nylander had to take it... no matter, he scored. But delicious? It's a hockey game, not a gourmet meal!!]

"... rather than the rah rah sis boom bah."
[Speaking of the quiet leadership style of the Canucks' Sedin twins. I'm just trying to picture the Sedin twins with pom poms in front of their teammates in the locker room...]

"That was left-hand larceny."
[Said after the Canucks' Roberto Luongo made a particularly nice glove save... as opposed to right-hand robbery, I guess.]

I don't know, I just thought some of the things this guy said were goofy.

A few other items of note during the game, which was great, by they way. The Caps won 5-1 and dominated throughout. Netminder Brent Johnson earned his 100th win while facing only 10 (yes TEN) shots on goal--a new franchise record. Way to go, Caps!

Next up: Pittsburgh on Thursday. Thursday is going to be a marathon of channel surfing for me. Grey's Anatomy is on. ER is on. The Caps are on. And the Phillies will be trying to win he NLCS and advance to the World Series for the first time since 1993! The remote will get a workout.

And speaking of the Phillies... while watching the Phillies game last night after the Caps game was over, I learned in passing that the team's pitching coach is named Rich Dooby. Hee hee. Might explain something about the nights when the pitching is less than stellar. :-)


There are signs posted in the stalls of the women's bathroom at my office. Sadly, they have been there for months. Even more sadly, this must've been an ongoing problem if management felt the need for signage.

Please keep bodily fluids inside the toilet. Thank you, Management

Yes. Really.

Monday, October 13, 2008


We spent the weekend in North Carolina, where Keeper Boy's hockey team had two games against the Jr. Hurricanes. We split the series, making the 4+ hour drive home much more tolerable.

Saturday afternoon we came out skating hard. Keeper Boy was on the bench for that game as the coach alternates he and the other goalie by game and it wasn't his turn. He did a fabulous job of opening and closing the bench door for line changes, though! Anyway, the team came out skating hard, passing, and shooting on net. They looked great! At the end of the first period, they were down 1-0 against this Jr. Hurricanes team that is a tier above them in level of play. But it went downhill from there. Not sure if the kids were tired from sitting in their cars for all those hours earlier in the day, or what. But the final score was 8-0. It wasn't pretty.

Sunday morning was a different story. Looked like a different team. It was Keeper Boy's turn in net and he had a good game. The team, too, looked like a different set of kids out there. They skated hard for all three periods, shot on net at every opportunity, passed the puck... it was a great game all around. And they were rewarded for it. Keeper Boy's team won 6-1! I'm sure that made the long trip home a lot happier for everyone! I know it did for us. :)

Columbus is coming!

So J-Mav has been learning all about Christopher Columbus in school for the past few weeks. He has come home with projects each week, such as "Christopher Columbus' map" and a drawing and description of the "three boats." I've actually been pretty impressed with how much information he's been able to spout off when asked. But late last week, at the dinner table one night, we were talking about our days and I asked J-Mav to tell us about Columbus Day. What is it celebrating? He very enthusiastically responded with wide eyes, "It's the day Christopher Columbus comes!" Hmm... wonder if he brings presents?

Friday, October 10, 2008

There's a new scent in the air...

... fresh ice!! The NHL kicked off its regular season last night, and spirits couldn't be higher in our house! The NHL Center Ice package has been renewed, and we are geared up for another season of watching any and all hockey games going on at any given time.

Of course, our first love is the Washington Capitals, who open the season tonight in Atlanta against the Thrashers (which, by the way, is a stupid name for a hockey team). Let's go Caps! We'll be cheering from the comfort of our [thankfully] now-skunk-odor-free-sofa.

And Saturday night is the home opener against the Chicago Blackhawks. How I'd love to be there to witness the return of netminder Cristobal Huet to the scene of his late-season heroics in backstopping the Caps to a post-season appearance. This is not so much because I jumped on the Huet bandwagon--I am a firm and committed Olie Kolzig supporter and fan (and I'm heartbroken that he's no longer a Capital)--but more to see how the crowd reacts to him.

But alas, we will be in Raleigh, NC this weekend with Keeper Boy's hockey team, which has two games against the Jr. Hurricanes. At least if we can't see the "big boys" play in person, we'll still be catching some great hockey!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ah, smells like...


I did some Internet research today to figure out how to get the friggin' skunk smell out of my house (mostly downstairs and that's the door I opened and inadvertantly allowed the cloud of funk to come in, apparently). I found a wide range of suggestions, from large quantities of Fabreeze, to odor neutralizing substances, to expensive machinery to clean your air. I decided to start cheap and low tech and go from there.

When I came home from work, I poured vinegar into two small bowls and coffee grinds into another small bowl. I took all three downstairs, placing a bowl of vinegar on the mantel and the other two bowls on the piano. J-Mav and I ate dinner and then we left the house for our evening's activities.

When I returned a few hours later, I was pleasantly surprised to not really be greeted with a wall of skunk upon walking in the front door. Progress! My brother confirmed that he, too, didn't smell anything when he walked in the front door. Yay!

But when Hubby and Keeper Boy came home from hockey practice and came upstairs, I proudly mentioned that I thought I was onto something with getting rid of the skunk smell. Hubby made a face and said something to the effect of, "yeah, but what's the new smell"? I told him my research indicated that vinegar and coffee were odor absorbing neutralizers. His response: "Smells like ass."

So which is worse?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The date is set!

December 18th.

Keeper Boy and his teammate will be competing in the finals of the Capitals Youth Hockey Shootout for the Squirt I division during intermission of the Caps vs. Blues game that evening. Gametime: 7pm.

They earned this awesome opportunity after competing in the preliminary rounds at the Kettler Iceplex (the Caps' training facility) in mid-September. In fact, Keeper Boy's travel team has TWO teams competing in the finals. The other goalie and another teammate made the finals in the Squirt II bracket and will be competing in their finals at a Caps game in April. Way to represent!

Coach has made practice optional on the 18th, and several of the guys' teammates and their families are going to attend to root the kids on. Keeper Boy will have his personal cheering section of friends and family on hand, as well. We are up to 15 as of now. WOOOOO!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Eau de Skunk...

It's not a scent I would highly recommend.

Approximately 90 minutes ago, I was sitting here minding my own business... sort of watching Dancing with the Stars, cutting out pumpkins for J-Mav's teacher (I do my volunteer time in the form of cutting, stapling, and pasting stuff at home rather than in the classroom), and thinking that I probably needed to stop cutting and get online and create the document shell for a new proposal bid we just got in at work. All of the sudden there was a commotion outside. I didn't think it was a canine uproar over Misty May-Traner being out of the competition on Dancing with the Stars due to a dancing-induced ruptured achilles tendon, so I jumped up and looked out the back door. K-dog was stumbling around and frothing all over the brand new patio and "rubbing" her eyes with her paw. I opened the door and instantly knew what had happened. I slammed the door shut again, but by then the damage had been done. The house REEKED of skunk. And poor K-dog... although she's been warned time and time again about staying away from the black and white striped cats... She and Hubby see them many mornings on their walks. But I digress.

I ran upstairs to tell Hubby what had happened. (He was watching TV in our bedroom as there is just too high of a sequins and fringe quotient on Dancing with the Stars for him to watch, even if there ARE former pro-football players and beach volleyball players with great abs on the show.) He came down to get the hose and calm K-dog while I ran to the Internet to find a de-skunking recipe. Found one that looked successful from the many comments and ran up to CVS to get supplies. Thank God for 24-hour stores!

Hubby bathed K-dog with the prescribed concoction, which the recipe warned is "highly combustible when stored in a covered container" (nice!), and she was surprisingly calm throughout. Meanwhile, I lit every scented candle we had and opened windows because at this point it smelled better outside than it did inside!

Everyone survived and the dog is now passed out on her pillow after her traumatic experience. She smells fine, but the house is freezing and has kind of a pine-vanilla-gingerbread-sugar cookie-with skunky undertones-smell to it. Wonder if there's a market for that?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Just divide it in four...

Back before we had four kids between us, Hubby and I, and my BFF and her hubby, got together two or three times a week for dinner... often with little more notice than either BFF or I walking into the other's office at the end of the day and saying, "wanna do dinner tonight?" Neither of us had baseball/hockey/soccer/fencing/gymnastics practice to shuttle kids to, so most often the response to that question was, "sure"... especially if the Caps were on TV that night. Whichever couple was the "guest" brought dessert. That was the standing arrangement. It didn't need to be discussed. It was just the way it was. Whatever said dessert was, we almost always just divided it into four. We were younger and had better metabolisms (or so we told ourselves) and splitting it up that way meant no leftovers. :-)

Over the past 12 years, the dinners have become less frequent and definitely less spontaneous. Coordinating our schedules now sometimes seems like it requires a master planner. But we make the time and we do pretty well considering how busy we all are. The dessert arrangement is still loosely in place, though we no longer just split it four ways. Sometimes the kids eat some, too. Sometimes there are just leftovers. But tonight we sent cookies downstairs for the kids, who were watching a movie after dinner. Hubby was cutting the chocolate pie for the adults and looked up with the question written on his face. I don't even remember who said it, but it was like going back 12 or so years in time... "what the heck, just divide it in four."


So here's the problem with letting the cat out of the bag that you're writing a blog... the more people who read it, the more accountable you are!! :-)

When I wrote about Weddingpalooza Weekend, there was this nagging thought in the back of my head that I was incorrect in stating we hadn't been to a wedding since my brother's in 2004; however, I didn't think too long and hard about it. Well, how stupid and embarrassed do I feel? Not only have I BEEN to a wedding since then, but I was IN said wedding. Good grief...

My cousin (yes, it was another cousin's wedding) emailed me tonight and said she begged to differ that I hadn't been to another wedding since my brother's and reminded me that I was standing at the front of the church in a red bridesmaid's dress (with Keeper Boy up there as a Junior Groomsman and J-Mav serving as the Ring Bearer) at her wedding in July 2005. She wasn't mad... in fact, she was laughing at me. But I wanted to crawl under a table!

Thing is, I have no idea why this wedding slipped my mind. It was a great wedding. It was over July 4th weekend. Three of the four of us were IN the wedding. We adore my cousin's husband. I have no good excuse. I feel shame. Sorry D & G!!

Just wanted to set the record straight!!

Friday, October 3, 2008


Tonight I am attending the Washington Capitals' pre-season game against the Flyers courtesy of my BFF (I believe that's the hip blog/text way to say best friend... if not, call me square and let me know what I just said.. ha ha). She sent me an email earlier this week that said something along of the lines of, "Want to go to the Caps game with me on Friday night?" My response: "Yep." Not many words needed... the answer to that question is pretty much a no-brainer!

So I'm decked out in Hubby's new-logo jersey (I haven't gotten one yet) and I'm ready to go. Soft pretzel, Diet Coke, and ice cream for dinner tonight, baby!!

C-A-P-S Caps, Caps, Caps!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

There's no place like home...

I found myself heading north again late Monday night in preparation for helping my parents move to their new home in the next county north (about 15 miles from their "old" home). They now no longer live in the home they built the year I was born and have lived in ever since. It's weird. I thought I'd be really sad or nostalgic or something. But that didn't really happen. I have been gone from the house, at this point, a year longer than I lived there growing up... and my bedroom was long ago redecorated into a guest room that in no way resembles the way it looked when it was "mine." But still. I came home from the hospital to that house. I probably lost my first tooth there. I learned how to play the piano and clarinet there. I learned (not without many tears of frustration) how to rollerskate (on four wheels, thank you very much) and ride my bike there. I had my high school graduation party there. I got ready for my wedding there...

The move actually took place Tuesday and went well. There is a lot of unpacking to do at the new house and some odds and ends to retrieve from the old house, but the bulk of it is complete. And most importantly, I completed my main task of getting their computer hooked up at the new place and getting their new email accounts created and working (and teaching them how to use the new provider's email interface). Check, check, and check. I have received several emails from my mom and dad since returning home, and since no one was at the house to help them, I guess I taught them well. :)

But back to the old house. I stopped there yesterday morning on my way home to pick up a bench. Dad was there waiting for the TV guy to come to take the flat panel off the wall and transport it up to the new house and install. I walked through the house for what will probably be the last time. I didn't have enough time to do what they do on Survivor and pause in each room and share a memory or say something nice about each room (ha ha), but it was strange to walk through the house with it being mostly empty. Everything echoed. I'm actually feeling more sad right now writing about it than I felt while I was actually walking through.

So now when we go home for a visit -- our first one will be Thanksgiving -- it will be to an unfamiliar area, in a house where we don't know where anything is and where much of the furnishings are new. We may feel more like visitors at first, but it's true that "home is where the heart is." My parents have hearts of gold and are some of the most generous, loving, family-oriented people around. So, as long as they're there, it'll be home.