Monday, October 31, 2005

Arrrgh, matey

My pirate name is:

Bloody Grace Kidd

Every pirate lives for something different. For some, it's the open sea. For others (the masochists), it's the food. For you, it's definitely the fighting. Even though you're not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Electric Toilet Paper

My husband's great-uncle was a child of The Depression. Like many children who grew up never knowing if there would be enough to eat at supper, Uncle Bill became a great stockpiler in his later years. When he died, he left a modest two-bedroom home crammed full of "emergency supplies."

A short list of some of the items that I understand were in his basement:

Dozens of cases of Coca-Cola, three gallons of mayonnaise, an ancient glass gallon-jar of "sweet and sour mixed fruit", forty or so cans of tomato soup. Fifty pounds of ice melt, and hundreds of rolls of paper towels and toilet paper.

When the in-laws cleaned out Bill's house, they gifted us with some of the paper products, name-brand, still in their original packaging. An excellent deal for both parties: they get rid of a bunch of junk, we save money on paper towels for the next year.

The only problem is that whenever the paper towels or the toilet paper get damp, they smell like hot electrical wires. This turns cleaning up a spilled cup of tea into a "Where's Waldo"-type hunt for the outlet that smells like it should be smoking. It means a trip to the bathroom often leaves me wondering if maybe I should unplug my electric toothbrush once in a while.

Hey, but as least my life has some ... er ... spark.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Great Pumpkin v. Santa Clause

Ok, so it's not even Halloween, yet I have Christmas carols spinning around my head, dancing with sugarplums and snowflakes. This is not because I happen to love Christmas music (I've been known to play "Silver Bells" in July). This is courtesy of the screwed up retail world.

Where there should be ghosts and goblins, there are elves and reindeer. Even Sears, the manly, hardware-centered department store, has gotten into the Christmas spirit. Three weeks ago I stopped in to purchase a new water filter; instead, I found myself browsing aisles festooned with sparkly garland and embroidered velvet stockings.

All this pre-Halloween Christmas cheer gives me the heebejeebies. When Santa comes to town, all my holiday insecurities suddenly return from their summer vacation, where they spent long days lazing in the sun by the pool. Sometimes they drank mai-tais. Now they're back, and ready to work.

Confession: I am a horrible gift-giver. Possibly the world's worst. I can never pick out just the right gift - often I get in the right ball park but then don't pick precisely the right item. It is always embarrassing on Christmas morning to see someone's face when they are trying to decide how best to praise a gift they hate.

(Not to mention that Christmas should never be about gifts, anyway. But that's a whole 'nother diatribe. With Advent coming up, I'm sure I'll have plenty of time to get into that issue.)

What makes this gift-giving blight worse is that everyone I know is great at giving gifts TO me. Like the mini-prep that my mother-in-law gave me a few years ago. Not something I would have asked for, but something that has become indispensable in my kitchen.

Because of my gift-giving issues, I love it when people make wish lists, even though I am really bad at making those, too. The problem is that there are very few reasonably-priced items that I want. If it's something necessary, I buy it for myself. Everything else is either too expensive (a trip to Greece) or too menial (new dish towels) to make a nice gift. But in the spirit of Christmas, I'll make a list.. Here goes:

1. New oven mitts. Mine are nasty.
2. Rummikub
3. A mini-DVD camcorder, to capture Tommy's cuteness for posterity.
4. A rosemary tree.
5. A leak-proof travel mug that will fit in my cupholder.

Sadly, that's all I can think of right now.

I'm going to put sleighbells on my jack 'o lantern and leave cookies and milk for the Great Pumpkin.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A pic of coltrane Posted by Picasa

Diaper Picasso

My son seems to enjoy modifying his diapers. No matter what, the moment I finishing fastening all 200 (ok, maybe I exaggerate a bit) of the little snaps on the legs of his clothing, I hear the distinctive "splurt" that means a diaper customization job has just been completed.

Which means, of course, that he wants a fresh canvas RIGHT NOW so that he can have more artistic, olfactory fun.

Sometimes I wonder if having a diaper-free baby would be more effective, then I have visions of poo covered clothing, carpeting, bedding ... and I decide that I am too faint of heart to try this particular child-rearing technique. Kudos, though, to those who use it successfully. It would certainly cut down on our diaper bill.

Well, off to the diaper mines ...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Momma Duck and Tommy, on his 2 month birthday. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Well, I guess it's time to christen my new blog. It's supposed to be a release from spending all day talking to an 8-week-old and a stubborn, if brilliant, dog. Ha. We'll see how things go. Welcome to my twisted little world.