Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tasty snack

We played school tonight before bedtime. It's one of my kid's favorite games. When they wake up on the weekends they run into each others rooms and the school day begins.

Tonight, my husband and I were the students. I raised my hand and obediently waited to be picked.

"Yes?", asked the teacher.

"May I have a snack?", I asked.

"Yes", she replied.

Her assistant, Mr. Alex, offered to go to the office to get my snack (times must be tough so they keep these under lock and key in the office).

He returned with my snack.

"Here you go. Here are some graham crappers."

Great. Graham crappers are my favorite.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hunka Hunka Stainless Steel

Out with the OLD (sort of old):

In with the NEW:

And just a note. Refrigerators look much smaller in the home improvement stores. Little construction needed to fit this puppy in - but that was part of the kitchen plan so we're all good.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Top of the counter to ya

A slab of granite (that won't match my current granite because it has apparently disappeared off the planet) will cost us almost as much, or more, than the cabinets we are buying.

So, it's time to play: What Is Your Countertop Made Of?

In my frustratingly, exhausting, obsessive compulsive behavior, I have scoured every search engine looking for things to cover my countertops with. Here are some of our thoughts:

Granite Tiles. Supposedly 1/3 the cost of granite. Sort of like taking the tile from your floor and plopping it on your countertops. Involves grout and that never makes me happy.

Corian. Thought this was much less expensive, but apparently only saves us a few hundred dollars.

Tile. I keep picturing the pink tile that graced the walls of most bathrooms in the 70's. I'm sure they are much more attractive now on countertops, somehow.

Butcher block. 146" of wood - hehe.

If you have any suggestions or pictures of what works for you - send them along. We'll begin to panic in 3 weeks when the cabinets arrive and we don't know what we're going to cover them with. Thanks.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Happy Anniversary - take two

So I thought I posted this last week. Better late than never, maybe?

Nine years. Wow. And 7 years before that. Hubby and I didn't celebrate our anniversary this year - at least not yet. He was sick. Our son was sick. And I was sick and tired.

So we've postponed it. No cards. No dinners. Not until we can laugh and not cough (or in my case fall asleep in the food).

Nonetheless, there are many reasons why I love celebrating with him, even if we don't do it on the actual wedding date.

1. He makes me laugh. A lot. At things I never thought I'd laugh at.

2. He dances funny in the kitchen, even if the kids aren't there to be entertained.

3. He lets me bitch at him. Or about others. Or at him some more and he never bitches back when I'm on a role.

4. He won't admit it, but he gets just as excited as I do when the new People magazine arrives.

5. He goes along with the plans, even if the plans suck.

6. He drives me home when I'm tired feeling no pain from celebrating with friends.

7. He still likes my butt even if it's continuing to expand.

8. He helped me produce two fantastic children - with amazing skin tone (thanks to his genes).

9. He is the best Dad to our kids.

10. He is the best friend I could ever want.

11. He tells me "the food is good" even as he chokes down a piece of dry pork chop fresh off the grill.

12. He saves. I spend. Ying. Yang.

13. He looks handsome to me, even in a tank top and croc sandals.

14. He cuts a mean lawn pattern.

15. He loves me, for me, no matter what.

This one's for you baby - Go Yankees!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Birth of a new kitchen

It's going to happen. We're getting more cabinets and counter top space! WOOOHOOOO! Do you see me jumping up and down? I am.

And sadly, that means the island we so loved when we first moved in, will now be reused to create more storage and counter space next to my stove so I can actually mix and prepare food on a counter top longer than 12" wide.

Have we used the island almost every day since we started this redesign adventure - ABSOLUTELY. Will I miss it? Probably. But when I think about not having to run out into my sweltering (or freezing depending on the season) garage to retrieve a crock pot, or mixer, or roll of paper towels, I get giddy.

The final plans are heading this way today. If we sign off, we could begin our renovations as soon as Labor Day weekend. Now, does anyone know how to build a wall and hang a new window? We'll keep you posted here on all the fun!

Monday, August 17, 2009

A day in the Emergency Room

If you don't friend me on FaceBook, or talk to me on the phone, then you may not have heard I spent Monday morning in the ER. I'm fine. In fact, I've only been admitted to the ER twice - once when I was young and I barely remember it (although under all my hair there is probably the scar to prove it) and once with food poisoning. And after that trip I thought a saline drip was the best thing ever invented. It was hubby who wasn't doing so hot this time.

I dropped the kids off to school early - thankfully it was swim day so they were eager to go - and then went back home to pick up my husband for the one mile trek to the hospital. I really do appreciate having a hospital close's an odd comfort in my sometimes panic-stricken world.

He had been running a really high fever for over 24 hours and wasn't showing any signs of getting better. My mind instantly raced to "H1N1" and how we were going to be visited by men in germ-proof outfits like the ones from E.T., put in lock down for a week crawling the walls until we got the "all clear" from the CDC. I didn't have enough food to feed us all for a week. How would I get my CSA pick up? I have a hair appt and she leaves for a 2 week Puerto Rico vacation on Thursday so if I miss this appt I will have a frizzed head of dead-ends and wayward tendrils!

You see the priorities?

When we arrived around 7:45 I walked him in, sat him with a nice triage nurse, and went to park the car.

When I returned, he already had a mask on, had popped 3 pills for 102.5 fever and looked even worse than when we got there. I'm not sure whose hands were sweating more, mine or his.

We were almost immediately taken to a lovely, 2 bedroom suite with a private bath and view of the Valley.

Ha. I'm joking.

We had room #4 with 2 beds and an oxygen hookup in case he needed it. Like I wanted to see my 47 year old husband hooked up to oxygen. I wasn't going to handle this situation very well. I'm bad in crisis. I'm the one that would drive past the accident and call 9-1-1 on my cell but wouldn't have it in me to stop.

Add to that, the fact that my ever-expanding-vacation-enjoying self could barely squeeze between his bed and the wall to sit in the "comfort chair". You know, the chair where you're supposed to sit and ask,

"Are you thirsty?"
"Do you need me to help you to the bathroom?"
"Are you going to vomit on me?"

That made me feel a tad bit claustrophobic. But there we sat. His body shook in the bed from the fever. I covered him with the see-through sheet they provided to keep him warm. Until he started to sweat and then he didn't want it on any more. I'm not even sure how much time had passed before the nurse came in to do the H1N1 test - I was literally obsessed with getting this done and over with. I was sure with all his symptoms he had the bloody swine flu.

Ever have a flu test? Nasty. A wire q-tip is shoved up your nose. As the nurse put it, "All I have to do is just put this up your nose, but I can tell you it's not all that pleasant." I had sympathy pain watching it happen. If I haven't said it, sorry about that honey. Didn't look fun.

When the Dr. arrived he asked the same questions as the nurse (can't they read the form?) and decided to take chest x-rays. At the same time the flu tests came back NEGATIVE!

I was dancing in the hall with the gospel choir singing "Hallelujah!!" (You're picturing an episode of Scrubs right now, aren't you?)

That is not to belittle the obvious pain and discomfort my hubby was in, but MAN was I happy I didn't have to stay cooped up for a week with the whole family germs.

Once the mixture of acetaminophen and ibuprofen kicked in, and I could breathe a little easier (and so could he), the eavesdropping began!

It's hard not to listen to all the goings-on in the hall. We identified *at least* two addicts with social workers getting the low-down on detox.

"I can't promise you you'll be out of here by 4:00 today. That's not how detox works."

How many times do you think the nurses utter those words a day? They are special people. I wouldn't believe a word that anyone said - seriously. I thought our room mate was totally scamming the system so she could avoid going to work. I don't know why I thought that but I did. Mean, huh?

There were a lot of old people - those poor old people - who were having problems breathing from the heat. Broke my heart as each one was wheeled by.

There was a 6 year old boy strapped down - brave kid - who fainted from the heat and hit his head on the concrete. That made me tear up. I have a 6 year old.

There was the priest who held the door open for me as he arrived to give one of those sick souls their last rites.

There was the angry husband whose wife had cut an artery by shaving so now his trip to the beach was canceled. If I were her I would have used the razor on him.

We were visited by a nurse who kept insisting we were pushing the call button. Come to find out, the light she was looking at belonged to room #3. Hopefully that person didn't really need help because she kept coming into our room.

After 5 hours it became apparent that we were VERY LUCKY we arrived so early because the place was jammed with people. They were calling nurses down from other departments to help out.

The nurse who was accusing us of pushing the button returned to take hubby's vitals so he could go home. Ready. She put the thermometer in his mouth and was looking at the blood pressure machine for the results and was getting frustrated. Ah, you might want to check on the little box attached to the other end of the thermometer stick? Just a thought.

As she was searching all over the room for the gauze that was right on top of the cabinet, I had to blurt out, "It's okay honey. She doesn't usually work in this restaurant so she's not sure where the supplies are." Luckily she laughed and confirmed she was from a different floor. Great. Is that why my husband shouted, "We have a bleeder!" after she took the IV out of his arm?

But in all seriousness, the nurses, doctor, x-ray techs and blood tech were all fabulous. And we walked out the door with 800mg Ibuprofen, a Z-pack and a positive pneumonia diagnosis. Until next time Holy Family Hospital...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dear {insert name here}

Dear parents of the little boy skateboarding without a helmet on, down a busy road;
Where are you? Do you have any idea your 8 year old is flying down a main road with a soda in one hand and a skateboard under his feet with NO helmet or pads on? Didn't think so.

Dear roof contractor who sent the hot bodies next door to redo the roof;
If I need a new roof, can you send the same team? I love working from home.

Dear neighbor across the street;
You're NOT a roofer - leave the shirt on.

Dear neighbor who moved in but has yet to emerge after 2 months;
Are you there? Hello? Why buy a huge house by yourself and then not invite the neighbors over to see how you decorated it? Geez.

Dear little 72 year old lady down the street who had 6 empty gallons of Ernest and Julio Chablis out for recycling today;
You little minx. Who knew?!

Dear lady at Target on her cell phone who was more concerned with the details of Julie's breakup than her son darting out into the parking lot;
Do you know the parents of the 8 year old who skateboards without a helmet? Thought so.

Dear jerks who left an old car seat and all their trash from their car in the Target parking lot;

Dear Service Manager at Ira Lexus, Manchester, NH;
You rock! Thanks for honoring the coupon I forgot to bring with me and sending the check. Really, you rock!

Dear Target for leaving kitchen knives out for display in the housewares section;
Ahhh...Duh? Like the world needs easier access to potential weapons.

Dear Twitter;
You know what you did. And don't you dare do it again, you hear?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Grease Lightening

"It's Grease Lightening....Go Grease Lightening you're burning up the quarter mile...Grease Lightening, Go Grease Lightening."

Isn't it funny the songs that stick in your head ALL NIGHT LONG and are still there in the morning?

My husband and I had a Yard Sale last weekend. Not a very profitable one because, as a marketing professional, I failed miserably. My boss should fire me. I know better. We didn't put any signs up the night before, or at key intersections, AND we only put one at the end of our street around 9:15 after we got our lazy asses up and dragged stuff onto the driveway.

Yard Sales are a lot of work. If nothing else, I should have taken a "Learn to Speak Spanish in 60 seconds" course just so I could negotiate properly. Holy Hispanic-fest. And I can say this because I married one. If he wasn't there to be a translator, we wouldn't have sold 1/2 of what we sold. And all you Latino ladies, I love ya, but you all can't be JLo so put some damn clothes on girl - and start with a bra!

I digress.

So our Yard Sale was fun for the kids. They were in charge of kids items, and actually managed to make $10 selling old books, some rusty beach chairs, plastic pocketbooks and a few baby bikes. As we were taking items out of our garage my son kept saying, "Are you going to Yard Sale that?" So cute.

One of the fun discoveries hidden in the garage (which was why I had the Grease song in my head for days) was a box full of LP's (for those under 20, I'm not going to explain). Go figure - Michael Jackson's Thriller was in there. Cha-ching on eBay? Probably not. Madonna's Like a Virgin. Bruce Springsteen. Take a look:

Any look familiar to you? I'm sure Fairly Odd Father is shaking his head thinking "her taste back then was as bad as it is now"...but I can see how my love of Pop began. Blame it on the Monkees.

And while I didn't "Yard Sale" these, we did try to sell some of the less popular ones, without success. I mean, really, who is looking for Rock of Ages by K-tel records?? My dad contributed a bunch of CD box sets that sold like hot cakes. Who knew an 8 year old would be so excited to find a Kiss box set? And it was obvious her mother didn't have any idea who the make-up laden boys were.

You show us everything you've got
You keep on dancin' and the room gets hot
You drive us wild, we'll drive you crazy
I want to rock and roll all night, and party every day!

Ahhh...those were the days. I loved them just because they had a song with my name in it "Christine Sixteen".

Overall, we unloaded some big items that were taking up space in our basement and garage. Our biggest sale was a circa. 1972 rollaway, metal bed and mattress for $8. Sometimes not being able to speak the language comes in handy...I didn't know how to say "Are you sure? It's kind of nasty."

As they say, "one person's trash is another person's treasure."

And if you are looking to educate your kids on diversity, Yard Sales are the most amazing social experiments out there.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Stranded on an island

While I repeatedly dream of being stranded on an island - with a 4 star resort conveniently located there - and no children allowed - the truth is that this post is about my kitchen island.

Or "The Dump". Because no matter how hard I try - everything gets dumped there. Mail. School projects. Broken toy bits. Receipts. Shopping lists. Bread. Moldy bread. Pens. Crayons. Headbands. Purses. Water bottles. Bug spray. Plastic jewels and Stickers.

Are you with me?

So, by some miraculous twist of fate, I decided, I need a kitchen make over. Ok...I don't need it but man it would be so nice to have more cabinet and counter space.

I will just spread the island castaways across other parts of the kitchen but perhaps it won't look so cluttered then?

(Like my attempt at a fake floral display in the center, as if that would mask the clutter? Ugh.)

The kitchen redo conversation started when I happened to look to the left of that island one day and realized I had two huge kitchen windows. 5 feet high by 6 feet long. The people who owned the house before us added a family room and redid a lot of the house and must have planned on putting in a drive thru because that's the only real reason I could imagine for having so much window in the kitchen, and so little wall.

What if the lovely - albeit HUGE - windows turned into one normal size kitchen window and we put walls back up? That could hold cabinets? Like a kitchen is supposed to do? Then we could do a lot of fun stuff like move all of this out of our garage and into the kitchen, to live where the other kitchen things live (without spiders and car exhaust fumes):

What if we moved the sink under the window, where a sink is supposed to be, and I could use the space where the old sink is to make a new "island" bar for stools thus more seating? Brilliant.

So I took a quick poll on Facebook - to keep or lose the island!

Women I haven't spoken to in 20 years responded with "Keep the island", "Long Live the island", and "You are never going to actually go through with it so leave the island alone!" I actually made that last one up, because when I started adding up what it costs to put up and replace cabinets, match or choose new granite and put in a new window...let's just say it's cheaper to get a cleaning person to organize my island clutter for the next 15 years than to get a new kitchen.

I guess I'm off to clean the island - again.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ta da! We're golden...

OK. It's done. Painting during the most humid days of the summer is NOT recommended AT ALL!

Let me know if you love it or hate it? I'm totally on the fence.


And after:

Should I go back to green? I knew it! HONEY...get the primer back out. I'm feeling green!!