26 February 2006

Who needs cookies?

Lars had strep throat last week, which meant he couldn't go to the playroom at our grocery store. When he learned he'd have to *shop* with me, his dismay was audible and visual. Huge alligator tears poured over his cheeks accompanied by hoarse croaking noises (all he could manage through the swelling in his throat) that wrenched hearts (and ears) of all those around us. He perked up in produce, though, when he realized that I'd let him weigh all our fruits and vegetables. His mood improved still further with increased involvement - choose six apples, bring over some cauliflower, red potatoes or white? By the time we hit dairy, he'd forgotten all about playroom. He picked out yogurt, cheese, canned bread, chip dip and jello snacks. While he was getting milk, I returned the dip and jello. He glared only for a moment before saying, "FINE. Then I'm going to get RED milk. My red milk what I like. And what's your favorite." Whole milk at our store has red caps, while the 2% we usually get has purple caps. I figured red milk was a reasonable trade for the dip and jello, as Lars has always been particularly attached to milk gallon jugs. Once, when he was two, we thoughtlessly used an empty milk jug as a bouy marker for the Remember Rom Rom Rubber Raft Regatta, causing Lars to sob uncontrollably. We thought he was sobbing because Chris was in the water, but the sobs continued even after Chris came out and picked Lars up. We finally figured out Lars was upset over the milk jug and Chris had to row Lars out to rescue it before he'd stop sobbing.

A few days after shopping, Ross found the red milk in the 'fridge. "RED MILK," he cried! Oh, the joy!

Lars skidded into the kitchen, full of pride. "That's what I got for you," he said, "What I got for you what's your favorite!" Ross practically threw himself at Lars in a hug that might have crushed them if they hadn't both been so full of happiness. Who needs cookies when you have RED milk?

Five Random Things (a meme)

I've been meme-tagged by Colleen! Here are five random things about me:

1. My husband urged me to start ice-skating lessons last year when there wasn't any NHL to watch and now I play left wing for the Bridgewater Wings C team.

2. In 44 days, we are taking the kids on a surprise trip to Disney World!

3. After years of trying to gain weight, I've finally figured out the secret: exercise. All those years I was a lump I couldn't keep a pound on...but I've gained at least 10 pounds since I started playing hockey in September.

4. I am jealous of my husband because he drives a Zamboni.

5. Chris and I sometimes put the kids to bed early so we can play networked computer games together.

I'll tag Spice Girl and bibliofilly...

21 February 2006

What will you look like in 100 years?

The elementary school celebrated the 100th day of school today with all sorts of activities and games centering around the number 100. First graders made macaroni projects depicting 100 in groups of 10, 5 and 1. They had contests to see how many numbers they could write in 100 seconds. There were also essay questions like what would you do if you had $100? And, my favorite:

20 February 2006

And the Oscar goes to...

The new National Lampoon movie features two of my favorites, Jon Bon Jovi and women's hockey. Please note that my hockey team doesn't really resemble the one in the movie...

17 February 2006

Well, well...

The exact location of our well has been something of a mystery since we bought the house two years ago and we've been so busy fixing everything else that finding the well didn't seem very important. Last week, though, our water pressure went from mediocre to mildly unacceptable. A day or so later, I stood in rapt confusion in the back hallway, listening as an odd chorus of glug-glug-glugging happened in the pipes. On investigation, it turned out that the water seemed to be leaking out of our pipes when the taps were shut off. We'd open a tap and get air spurts before actual water would appear and the amount of actual water ranged from a trickle to randomly spaced drips...in either case, not good! So, a well guy was called. He came over, charged for the visit, and wrote up a heart-attack causing quote for work that entailed finding the well, raising the well (due to new regulations about how far down the top of it can be placed), replacing the pump and changing the pipes to the house to code compliant material (on the assumption that if he would have to raise the well, the pipe material would also need updating). Chris looked worried and I was livid - the work outline seemed reasonable but I thought the guy's estimate was way out of line and made Chris get another estimate. Thankfully, one of our neighbors was able to recommend a well guy who came over on Wednesday and gave the same work outline, plus said we'd have to replace the UV lamp in our filter, and estimated it would cost less than 1/3 what the other guy said. The wash of relief was almost as good as a shower would have been! Still a sizable chunk, but not so daunting as to elicit heart palpatations. They arrived today to do the work. Here's what they found:

1. The well! Happily, someone had already raised the top, which whacked a nice chunk off the price.

2. The pump. Sadly, whomever raised the well did not replace the pump, as the manufacture tag on the pump was dated 1989. Our guess is the same drunk uncle who built the addition on the house may have done the pump work, in which case these findings are par for the course. While the corrosion on the bottom of the pump explains much of it's lackluster performance, the big split in the top casing is responsible for the glug-glug-glugging...that's where the water was actually falling back out of our house, into the well. Our first gravity check of 2006!

3. Finally, the new pump. Currently installed and providing 40 - 60 lbs. of pressure to all taps in our house. I did not get pictures of the new pipe, but did get to drive under it in a semi-fun parody of the limbo on my way over to the arena to shower before heading in to the city for a meeting today. There are cleaner places to shower but the water in the locker room was evident, hot, and not screaming - I was thankful for all three. I will be celebrating in my own shower tomorrow. Chris has, predictably, already tested the bathtub...he says it works very well.

15 February 2006

New applications

Leave it to Dave Barry to dig up strange things...it's never occurred to me to use padding like this! Do you suppose the torpedo shape will ever become popular in this application? There's a whole catalog of interesting garments but, as Dave cautions, you probably shouldn't investigate while at work...

Who, besides me, is amazed I figured out how to put in a link?

13 February 2006

Toys and boys that read

New technology arrived today! Amazing that 2GB of information fits on a device the size of a quarter. Lars wanted this post in "blood red" because he likes RED. He's reading this post now - it delights him when I type his name and other words he knows. Ross is whispering all the words as I type...nothing gets by him anymore!

Things to do on a snow day

A short list of things to do on a snowday:

1. Do a smug little happy dance that your local library has a digital check-out system that allows each patron to take up to 99 books out at once. 99 books!! All those books!! Wonderful books! When you're all happy-danced out, print a list of the 38 books your husband somehow carted home last time he took the kids to the library and then send everyone on a scavenger hunt. Hand out prizes for first book found and most books found in total. Reserve a special award for any child who spontaneously decides to read a book. Double Grand Prize goes to you, in the end, when they all head out to return the books. First, they're out of the house and second, you won't owe $9.50 per day when they all become overdue at once.

2. Attempt to keep your appointment at the orthodontist. Spend about an hour trying to drive ten miles, seven of which are on a highway that is fully plowed and dry. Have the office call you when you're about six blocks away (but still wedged in non-moving traffic) to say they're closing early and want to reschedule you. Try to keep the "if you turn me around now I will be the one rearranging teeth next time I see you" edge out of your voice while you ask if they'll see you before they leave today.

3. Kiss three boo-boos on assorted parts of your five-year-old, the most recent of which was obtained sometime last week, that are being brought to your attention in the hope that you will forget you've just asked him to go find and put on his slippers. Be impressed that he planned ahead and thought to save the little scrapes up for future use as distraction.

Anyone got any other ideas? I'm running out and it's not even noon...

Plow dreams

Despite the fact that our roads are now quite clear and it's a gorgeous sunny day, schools here are closed. Western New York ex-pats are confused by this until they realize that Buffalo alone has more plows than this entire state. Also, for a good giggle, a large number of the "plows" here are garbage trucks, fitted out with cute little plow blades. When it snows, I dream of plow teams clearing the roads, wing-on-wing, with salt flying.

12 February 2006


After one good snowfall in Autumn, we've had three months of really mild winter so waking this morning to find a snowy paradise was a treat! We lazily got around to the day, checking the view from all the windows, calling friends to see how much snow had fallen in their towns, making pancakes. Eventually, everyone got bundled up and we headed out to shovel the path, uncover cars, and make some snow angels. It's light and fluffy powder, not good snowman or forts, so the kids spent the hour digging for treasure, "making it snow" (by hitting low tree branches), and playing with neighborhood friends. I hope we have enough cocoa to handle the masses if there's no school tomorrow!

10 February 2006

The real reason...

A few months ago, I discovered the intriguing world of blogs. After some searching, I've found a few authors that hold my interest time and again and I've found that I actually look forward to their new posts in the way I imagine people a century ago looked forward to new installments of stories in literary magazines.

I've thought, on occasion, that perhaps I should start my own blog but haven't. My best friend started one and it's tons of fun - the comments bring as many giggles and tugs at my heart as her own posts. Recently I offered a comment in one of my favorite blogs to lurk around and actually got a mention on the main page, which was a surprising thrill!
Then, today, the following phrase came through in a professional e-mail communication:

"You betchya bippie I am!!!"

...and my very first thought was, "Oh, I have to put THAT in my blog!" Together, the force of my thought and the encouragement of friends seem like reason enough, so, here I am. Wish me luck!


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