Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mindless fun

How do you keep a puppy entertained for hours?  Toss snowballs into the yard and watch 'em try to figure out where they went!  Yeah, I know it's kind of cruel, but it's highly entertaining and definitely passes the time.

Peace and quiet....

I don't live in a crazy house.  There are only 3 of us living here and with a college-aged teenager, usually it is only the Mr. and myself at home.  Tonight, everything is almost eerily quiet around here.

It wasn't so this morning.  Mr. M was up before the sun in order to make it work on time.  He is really quiet when he gets up early but because of the snow last night, he let me know he was leaving.  I nodded back off only to be rudely awakened by the most god-awful sound.  I wasn't sure what it was but I was convinced that something was horribly wrong with something in the house.  The walls of my bedroom were vibrating.  All I could think was "This is going to be expensive to fix - whatever this is."

I listened intently and I finally figured out what was making the horrible, earth shaking, screeching sound.  My neighbor, Dr. Evil, was using a snow blower to clean off his driveway.  Now I am all for using mechanical means to clear off snow - we own a monster truck sized blower ourselves.  But this thing sounded like a wounded creature from some other world.  Dr. Evil must have gotten tired on every pass and stopped to rest at the top of his driveway.  Which also happens to be about 5 feet from my once slumbering brain.  I tried to drown out the "wapa-wapa-wapa" sound that was beating a hole into my cerebral cortex, but it wasn't going to work, so I begrudgingly got out of bed.  The vibration, noise and the incredibly dry air have given me a killer headache that will not go away.

But tonight is a completely different story. Mr. Monkeygirl is off bowling with his league tonight and probably won't be home until after I go to bed. Skaterboy is off to check in on his mom who hasn't been feeling well lately. Coal is crashed on the floor in the middle of the room, snoring up a storm.  He gets up ever once in awhile and moves to a different spot, but for most of the night, he has been semi-comatose!

I almost don't know what to do with all of this quiet time.  Fortunately, a new episode of LOST is about to start so I can at least fill up the next hour. Then I might do something odd and go to bed before the evening news!  I am wiped out today.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ziggies and the Kong

I think that Ziggies and Kong are the greatest inventions on the face of the planet.  I mean I love my iPhone and digital cameras are great.  The combustion engine has changed lives and electricity is nice to have.  But when you really get down to it, I have to give a big nod to the inventor of the Kong and Ziggie.

When you have a growing puppy who loves to chew on everything, especially your hands and feet and you are trying to work from home and get stuff done, you need something to distract them.  Wander around the house and find the Kong stuffed behind a door and insert a Ziggie and I can pretty much guarantee that I won't hear a peep out of the dog until he gets the Ziggie to a point where he can't reach it!  If you have a dog that likes to chew, these things are a must.  They are virtually indestructible (it is the only toy Coal has that hasn't been ripped apart) and it keeps him busy for hours!  Not only are they fun to chew on, but their snowman like shape makes them a fun fetch toy because the wobble across the floor in circles.  I need to remember to pull this one out when Coal gets bored being cooped up inside on these long snowy days!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I need your support!

I am starting a petition drive.  What we really need to stimulate the workforce is to institute adult snow days.  The weather here doesn't look promising for a good morning commute and many of the local schools have already cancelled classes for the morning.  

I am fortunate to be able to work from home and I will probably be exercising that option in the morning if white flaky stuff keeps falling from the sky.  But what I really want is a free day to lay around in my pj's watching stupid movies on TV or doing something crafty to kill time during the day.  So I am starting a petition drive to get people to lobby for adult snow days.  Kids get all excited and are more motivated after a unexpected day off so why not adults?  We deserve to have some fun too!

So feel free to add you vote by posting a comment.  The more the merrier!  And if you are the superstitious type, wear your pj's inside out and sleep with a spoon under your pillow.  It worked for Skaterboy last year and he isn't taking chances tonight and is praying for a day off tomorrow!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Men are crazy

I was just watching the local news and they aired a story about a group of guys who were playing softball today.  In the snow.  At a balmy 12 degrees.  And some crazy dude with really scrawny legs was wearing shorts!  I swear, some men are crazy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Position: Filled

Some days I wish I had an assistant.  I haven't been successful in convincing the powers that be that it is a necessity, but a girl can still wish for some help.

Tonight I think I found the perfect assistant.  She definitely has the right attitude and she thinks I am the best thing since sliced bread.  She is very petite so she won't need a very big space to work in. And I'm pretty sure I can afford to meet her salary demands (a feathery pink princess crown, a glittery star wand, and some chocolate chip cookies).  My 3 year old has volunteered to be my new assistant.  We worked on her phone responses tonight - the instructions - whatever they ask for the answer is "no!'.  

We didn't get off to a very good start but I was testing the waters.  She agreed to a kiss and a big, smoochy hug even though I instructed her that the answer was always "no".  We tried again.  "Can I have some more money?" I got a timid "no".  Now we are getting somewhere.  "Can I have some more time?" I asked.  The answer "No, dude!"  Seriously, she used the word "dude"!  If I could only get everyone to use the word "correct-a-mundo" on the phone with her they would get the lecture.  It is so cute to hear this little pixie look up at you wagging her little finger, one hand on her hip, and her head cocked off to the side as she is saying "I told you to stop saying that word."  What word, we always ask.  "You know, correk a mungo."  It makes me giggle every time.  

So if it wasn't against child labor laws, I would have a new assistant in the morning and would immediately pass an edict that everyone must use "correk a  mungo" when calling me and ask her what you call that eight legged sea creature is called.  You know the one - the "applepus"!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Emancipation Proclamation

The Monkeygirl household has been emancipated!  We all have been patiently waiting - or dreading - this day, but it has finally arrived.  Skaterboy finally has his own set of wheels!

I don't know if I am happy or sad about this turn of events.  I know that having Skaterboy having his own car means that I am no longer stuck at home without a car for hours at a time.  I know Mr. Monkeygirl is ecstatic about no longer having to share his truck.  We are both thrilled to know that when we do get in our vehicles, the amount of gas in the tank will be the same as when we parked 'em!

It has been something that as parents we have been able to put off for a long time.  Most kids end up getting some kind of car as soon as they learn how to drive.  We live within spitting distance of the high school so getting to and from school was never an issue.  His stint with an after school job was short-lived and his hours worked well with our schedules so it never became an issue.  Now that he is ready to start school again at the community college, we could have tried to rely on his friends to get him to school and back but that would be a tricky proposition - at best.

So with a looming deadline and completely different ideas about what makes an "acceptable" car, we set out searching for a car online.  Skaterboy came up with his suggestions -mostly impractical but really "cool" looking cars.  I came up with the practical suggestions - hey I thought the 4x4 pickup truck with the snow plow and salt spreader solved 2 problems at once  - he got a car and a job all in one!  Mr. Monkeygirl managed to cover common ground between us and found cars that were both parent friendly and spoke to the cool "project" car that Skaterboy longed for. 

Skaterboy and Mr. M set out early this morning to look at the latest object of obsession.    I should have known this wasn't going to work out.  The kid selling the car cancelled a couple of attempts to test drive the car. Then even though he promised to call right back, he refused to answer his phone for an entire day.  A few minutes into the test drive, the car died and the boys had to push it off the main drag onto a side street.  Then the cops showed up and wanted to give Mr. M a ticket for driving an unlicensed car.  Fortunately the policeman was feeling generous and let him go without a ticket after talking to the owners (who showed up with a can of gas).  On the way back, the car died again.  Skaterboy looked at his dad and said, "This car is not worth it."  Whew!  Mr. M thought it was a POS but was a little leery about dealing with a disgruntled 18 yr old.

They decided to stop at a dealer on the way home that had a car they were both interested in.  After a successful test drive (no cops involved and step-mom's approval), they negotiated a deal on a nice 2002 Chevy Cavalier Z24 with a 5 speed transmission.  Everyone is happy. Skaterboy has his own car.  Dad and stepmom are happy because he has something relatively safe and reliable.  

The extra bonus?  Now we can make him do errands for us during the day while we are at work!  Score one for us!  P.S.  I would have posted a picture if the car had sat in the driveway long enough for me to get out the camera.  I guess I have to get up early in the morning to get a shot in daylight!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I thought the Car was painful

Pumped up by my enthusiastic response to the race car, I thought I was up for a new challenge.  My niece is a Tinkerbell freak (as all 3 year princess girls should be) so I got the Tinkerbell and Friends cartridge for my Cricut.  Even though Coal swallowed my first Tink whole, I decided to try again. 

This should have been easier since there are far fewer pieces than the race car.  I forgot one important thing, Tink is a fairy and fairies are all feathery and light.  That means they have very detailed cuts that are absolutely teeny-tiny.  After several failed attempts at getting the speed and pressure just right for the paper, this is what I was able to come up with.

I decided that Coal wouldn't be getting a Tinkie for dessert tonight so I am going to give this one to my boss. Well, it is really for her daughter since she misses her mommy when she is gone.  I hope she likes it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tink went Bye-bye

Last night while baby sitting the M&M's I was looking for ways to keep them busy and happy and away from the crazy puppy that lives in my house.  We locked ourselves in my office with a huge stash of toys and all of my cropping supplies.  Heady from my weekend success at creating a race car of the most awesome proportions, I decided that we could create more race cars together.  

I quickly came to my senses and realized that 4 year old's do not have the patience to cut and assemble 40+ pieces of a race car.  We cut the initial layer of DJ from the movie "Cars" and then he quickly wanted to move on to the next car.  We one layer for Boost. Now he wanted "SnotRod".  In an effort to provide equal time to his sister, we switched from "Cars" to Tinkerbell.  We picked an really cute Tink and cut her out in no time.  All my little princess was worried about was that I didn't rip her Tink and that she had to have "sprinkles".  She carried her Tink to the dinner table and then in the after dinner confusion, she left her on the table.

After the M&M's were safely tucked in the car and headed home, I realized that Tink was still on the table.  No problem, I would just save it for her next visit, right?  Wrong!  Coal apparently thought Tinkerbell looked fun to play with so he snuck her off the table and proceeded to chew up all of Tink except for the tip of her wings that I managed to snatch away from him before he disappeared under the dining room table.

Hopefully, the M&M's have a short memory and won't remember that Tink was left behind - or I guess I could just cut a new one.  No one would be the wiser!  

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A lot

A lot.  Two little words can pack a powerful punch.  Depending on how you use these two little words, it can be a good thing or a bad thing.

Earlier in the week, whenever they were uttered it wasn't with a good connotation. There were a lot of meetings, a lot to consider, and a lot to do at work and at home. There wasn't a lot of time, there wasn't a lot of sleep, and there wasn't a lot of down time.

But by the weekend, these two little words were twisted in a positive way.  We had a lot of time, a lot of things to consider, and definitely a lot to do.  There still wasn't a lot of sleep but that was because we wanted to stay up all night!  We had a lot of food, a lot of fun, and some of us had a lot of patience.  All in all we got a lot done!

This weekend was our annual girl's scrapbook escape.  We all meet at a local hotel and take over a conference room for the weekend.  We pack up all our supplies, a ton of snacks and few changes of clothes and head off to mainly relax but if we happen to get a little closer to being caught up on our books, even better!

I am not a speedy scrapbooker.  I never have been.  I have a tendency to come up with these "brilliant" ideas for a page layout that take forever to complete.  I've copied a pattern in a swimsuit for a completely coordinated page.  I have created an entire paper pieced baby album in about a month or so, while working full time, going to school full time, selling my house and moving.  Oh yeah, and this was all over the holiday season.  Yes I am a glutton for punishment!  

I'm not always happy with my creations, but everyone seems to love them.  As the 'artist', I see all of the flaws (real and perceived) and I'm not sure I will ever be thrilled until something is absolutely perfect.  After a very long week at work, I decided on Friday night to create a race car using my Cricut machine.  It looked relatively simple.  After all, all I have to do is to punch in a few buttons ad the machine does the rest, right?  Yeah, right.  This particular car ended up being created from at least 38 individual pieces of paper that all needed to be glued together.  After a very, very long week, this was not a project that should have been started after 10:30 pm.  But I have never been overly smart and I am completely determined and refused to give up.  About an hour and a half later, I had my master piece completed and I have to admit that I am pretty proud of the results.  There are a few things I would do differently next time, but overall, I think it rocks!  Let me know what you think of my creation - good, bad or indifferent.

As an extra bonus, I completed 19 pages this weekend.  I normally get about 5 or 6 done because I spend more time looking for things or thinking about what I want to do.  I was in the zone this weekend!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Demanding to be heard...

Coal is a little persistent.  At 40 pounds and growing every day, he has a way of making his point.  He insists on helping me every time I try to post but I keep telling him to get is own blog if he has so much to say.  Coal's favorite post is "||}}|{{><>?::{>>:" I personally don't get this one, but I'm sure there are some smart Yorkies out there who would totally get this joke!  Since Wylie and Marcel got their own post, Coal is demanding to get his share of the action.  So hear we go with Coal's first meme/tag....

What breed are you?  I thought I was all lab but one day I pointed at something, so mommy thought I might be part pointer.  Ever time I speak, mommy and daddy call me a hound dog. One day we went to visit this really nice man in a white coat and he said I was a mix of all 3. I like being a mixture 'cause I get the best of all 3 breeds!

How old are you? I am exactly 25 weeks old today.  I'm not very good at math so daddy says that means 5 months old.  I don't know what that means either but if daddy says it is so, then I have to believe him.

What is your full name? Coaltrain.  Even though it sounds like I might have been named after the legendary Jazz composer, my mommy and daddy aren't that cool.  I really got my name because of my color and the fact that I am very strong.  Everybody usually just calls me Coal - you know like "All I got for Christmas was a lump of coal"?

Do you have any nicknames?  What is a nickname?  Is that what mommy and daddy always call me?  My nicknames must be "Coal, no!" or "Coal, off!" or mommy's favorite "Stop chewing on me!".

Where do you usually sleep?  When mommy and daddy let me run free, I love sleeping on the couch.  I wait until mommy gets up to go in the other room for something and then I steal her spot 'cause it is all nice and warm!  They bought me my own bed but it is more fun to drag it around the house than to sleep on it!

What is your favorite thing to do?  Daddy has a whole bunch of these things that he puts on his head to cover his fur, I can't remember the real name, but they smell just like my daddy and I love my daddy.  Well anyway, I like to sneak into daddy's room when he isn't paying attention and take one.  I only take one!  Then I prance down the hall and go hide under the dining room table.  It is so funny to watch mommy and daddy try to reach me under there! When they come to one side, I run out the other side and go hide under the tree with all the shiny lights on it.  Daddy has a lot of these things so I can play this game for hours!

What is something interesting/unusual about you? I don't know what this really means but I keep hearing mommy talk about this thing called "spay/neuter" and she says I have to have both.  Yeah!  I get both!  I don't really know what any of that means but she also tells people that I only have one ball and that the other one didn't drop. But she is crazy, I have like 5 different balls and I usually drop the ball when I bring it to her.

Who is your best friend?  There is this guy, he kind of lives in a house by my backyard. Whenever I hear his car or see him come outside, I run over and sit on the hill and give him my most adorable, head tilt look!  It must work because he comes over to me every time! I will just sit there, very quietly, until he gets close enough to pet me and then I run up to him, tail waggin' to get my daily dose of petting!  If I get tangled up on the pole, I just have to sit there and look at him and he will come over and free me up.  Don't tell him, but I can do it myself, but if that means he comes over more often, then I'm all for the pathetic look!

Did you go to obedience school?  I think I'm too young for school but I heard mommy and daddy talking to a lady the other day about sending me to school soon.  I think I'm pretty smart so I don't know why I need to go to school.

Can you do any tricks?  Have you ever seen those Captain Morgan commercials?  I can make mommy strike that pose when she is cooking!  My favorite trick for daddy?  I wait until he isn't looking and I untie his shoes!  And I love to make sure that my boy has his pants appropriately low.  You know how the kids these days wear 'em!

Any last comments?  My mommy and daddy rock!  They sent me to this great doggie hotel for New Year's Eve!  Most dogs would have been stuck at home all alone but I got to go play with some other puppies and have a p-a-r-t-y!

So if any of Coal's friends out there want to be tagged, feel free to join in!!