Thursday, July 31, 2008

To each their own

posted by peppermint at 1:40 PM

My friend Christine sent me a link to this yesterday, and maybe it's old news and everyone has seen it before. Then again, maybe I don't care. Ever think of that?

You can read a little bit of background story at the website. It's a neat story, and times have certainly changed.

When they went to Africa to reunite with Christian, though, and he started to pick up the pace and stood on his hind legs - I was floored by that guy's reaction. Maybe if *I* had raised a lion for a year and played soccer with it in a field every day I would have been able to keep my wits about me when a full grown lion started charging me, then reared up and leapt at me. But chances are I would have made brown in my pants.

link to this entry


Sunday, July 13, 2008

As if we need help staying up late

posted by peppermint at 12:02 AM

I've gotten Tom addicted to iced coffee. I've never been a coffee drinker or a fan of warm drinks in general, but I vividly remember the day that I discovered Starbucks Frappuccinos. It was a good day. Before long the old miser who takes up residence IN MY SOUL sent me searching for a less expensive (and more convenient) way to feed my addiction and this is the method that works for me. It's not the only way to make iced coffee, and it may not even be the BEST way to make iced coffee - but I'm fairly sure that this is the easiest method you'll ever find. All it requires is a coffee maker, a standard pitcher of some sort, running water, and these two items (brand doesn't matter):

Brew a 10-cup batch of fairly strong coffee - and the only reason it's a "10-cup" batch is because that will fill a standard 2-quart plastic pitcher. So you can make more or less, depending on the size of your pitcher. As for "strong" - that's a matter of taste. A little stronger than you would make your usual pot of coffee, because the condensed milk is going to dumb it down a bit.

As soon as it's done brewing I pour it into the pitcher and add a few handfuls of ice. I'm impatient like that. If you're not on the verge of mainlining some caffeine, then you can stick the pitcher in the fridge and come back to the project later. If I were to put it in the fridge at this point I would forget about it for three days - so I add the ice to get it down to room temperature.

Then you can add the can of sweetened condensed milk. Or if you're my mom, you can add a can of FAT FREE sweetened condensed milk. Or FAT FREE unsweetened condensed milk (if there even is such a thing) and then the requisite amount of Splenda to achieve sweetness. Although I can't vouch for whether or not this would totally suck.

At our house, we simply add a can of fat laden sweetened condensed milk, stir it and stick it in the fridge. Tom will drink all 2 quarts of it in less than 48 hours. Then I scrape him off the ceiling, make him detox for a week, and start the process all over again.

link to this entry


Sunday, July 06, 2008

The pressure got to me

posted by peppermint at 12:23 PM

I feel I owe an explanation for my looooooong absence here in the blog-o-sphere. Our blog was hooked up to a feed for, a whole community of DIYers sprucing up their domiciles and sharing their progress on a routine basis for the good of the community as a whole. A GREAT community, and we were pleased to be a part of it, even though in comparison I often felt like we were more the "Special Olympics" of home renovation. Perhaps that's an element they felt was sorely lacking over there? We were happy to bring it.

Problem is, we weren't so much working on the house anymore. Tom hangs up his tool belt when school is in session, and I'm not much in the self-motivation department so if he's not working neither am I. I had started posting mind-numbingly boring things about our daily life in the absence of remodeling news, then I realized the folks over at HouseBlogs probably weren't all that interested in what I bought at Target, or how much my kid hates taking a bath. So I made a mental note to take myself off their feed, and I'll refer you back to my previous statement about lacking self-motivation, and then you might understand why it took me three months to do that. Also I'm still not sure that I did it right. If that's the case then .. I've done all I can. My only hope at this point would be that someone more intelligent than I will get so sick of my rambling that they'll remove me PROPERLY.

After three months had passed I started to wonder what I could possibly have to say. Obvious answer: not much. But now I've decided to bite the bullet and challenge myself to post regularly again. And because I'm a total masochist I've decided that I will challenge myself to post a few times a week throughout July in order to get myself back in the habit. Originally I was all "Hey, I'm going to post DAILY. How cool am I?!" but now that reality has had a chance to sink in I've decided to set my aim low. Also there'll be no apparent theme or goal to my posts, I'm sure.

Speaking of giant let-downs, I also abandoned my Project 365. Turns out life is pretty damn boring in Wisconsin through the winter, and I literally ran out of things to photograph. Also I started to resent the pressure. Some days I'd take three dozen photos that I loved, and others .. no photos at all. So the confines of the "per day" thing really got to me. Once I stopped worrying about the 365 aspect, I found myself taking more pictures. Which I'll still share, but not on a daily basis.

Like this one of Nicholas from Wednesday:

His gills are starting to grow in, and he's dabbling in the art of going underwater. Which is an abrupt change from LAST year where we had to observe strict "no splashing" rules in the pool due to his fear that his face would melt off if water touched it.

link to this entry


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Giant Bullseye

posted by peppermint at 12:30 PM

February is one of my favorite months out of the year for two reasons - both the Global Bazaar and the Domestics departments go on clearance at Target. Which means a smattering of new (and thoroughly unnecessary) things show up around our house every February. We don't need a whole lot of prompting to spend money at Target. You can frequently find both Tom and I among the large population of glassy-eyed Target consumers, wandering the aisles searching for the holy grail of bright orange clearance stickers advertising 60% off something we didn't even know we needed - but then there it was! We have no idea what we'll do with it, or even what it is ... exactly ... but it's 60% off! Who the hell cares?! And what a miracle that we were here on this particular day to find it! What are the chances?!

I started off by wasting spending my money on a bunch of large balls in various colors and textures. I don't have any idea why. Do I care? No. They were 50% off and they were sparkly, I don't normally need any more reason than that. I dropped them all into a large bronze bowl and set them on our sofa table for spring. Had I been sitting in the living room for weeks, wishing I had a large bowl full of large balls over on the sofa table? No. I hadn't. But I'm glad I have them NOW. The most entertaining part was watching Tom feign excitement over my totally insane purchase of sofa table balls. Because that's what you do when you love someone. You enable their insanity by telling them what a decorating genius they are.

Next, Nicholas and I stumbled upon a small silver globe. Was it a more justifiable purchase? Not even a little bit. Did I buy it? You bet. I'm qualifying it as an educational investment. Even though the land masses are only roughly doodled in. But if my son wants to know where China is it will get him IN THE BALLPARK. And that's more than he could say last week!

And I wrapped things up with a small hippo figurine because I have something of a hippo fetish, and it was under $3. When Nicholas was a baby I regularly called him "Nickopotamus" and while that nickname is no longer as frequently used as some of my other nicknames for him (like "Hey you .. the sticky one!") I still have a soft spot in my heart for all things hippo.

On the Domestics front I rummaged through the shelves and found a new duvet cover for our bedroom in a more cat-friendly color (beige instead of robin's egg blue). Also four drapery panels in a silk/poly blend. Curtains are an idea I'm slowly warming up to. I've never been a huge fan. They never hang right, they're visually heavy, and I don't like the look of closed curtains so I always have blinds of some sort on the windows anyway. At that point, why even bother? They're sort of useless. But they can give a room drama - and our bedroom was sorely in need of some drama. So for $8 per panel, I threw them in the cart. Chivus thinks the curtains are "magic curtains", and ever since this weekend when I hung them up his favorite thing to do is wedge his way between the fabric and the lining and sit there - motionless - as if this act makes him completely invisible to the outside world.

I ironed the curtains twice, then steamed them once they were hung, and they still looked like this. Which only proves my point about curtains. Someone told me that if I just leave them alone, time will take care of them. I'm hoping that winds up being the case or I may slowly go out of my mind.

link to this entry


Sunday, February 17, 2008

He's baaaaaaaack

posted by peppermint at 11:11 PM

This is what I like to call his "WTF?!" face. I'm on the receiving end of it several times a day, but I rarely have a camera in my hand when it happens.

The Mass Consumer of Financial Resources returned from his trip to Disneyworld yesterday. Hysteria and chaos have been restored to the house, the gray cat has started shedding copious amounts of fur due to the rapid and unpredictable movements of the small human, and Tom and I had to scramble to restock the pantry and refrigerator for Nicholas' requisite 10-12 meals daily.

Last night he asked to watch Indiana Jones: The Last Crusades again (I'm so proud) and then proceeded to curl up next to me under a big quilt for the entire movie - no doubt trying to regulate his body temperature after the abrupt climate shock. I wasn't about to question it because I can't remember the last time he sat completely still through an entire movie that he wasn't on Benadryl for a head cold. Back when he didn't have a "WTF?!" face. Like back when he was 3, and had all his teeth, and wore cute hats all the time that coordinated with his clothes. Clothes that I picked out, and he didn't complain about.

I think it was back in 2006 when I first started seeing the "WTF?!" face on a regular basis. He was right between preschool and kindergarten, we had moved back closer to our entire extended family, and he started to realize that I was NOT as awesome as he had once thought. In fact, I believe that he decided I was actually a major annoyance in his life - with my photo snapping and persistent reminders to get his hands OUT OF HIS PANTS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

But it's back now. Back to remind me that, before I address him directly, I should put some serious thought into exactly what I'm going to say/ask/demand. Because chances are? It's totally lame.


link to this entry