Saturday, October 31, 2009

Break It or Lose It

I'm starting to think that I didn't lose my camera's USB cord as much as I broke the pins while trying to jam in various cables, and now the camera won't take the one I think really should work.

So I sit here with no trick-or-treaters in my scary-in-the-wrong-way part of the neighborhood, shopping on Amazon before my Prime 2-Day Shipping runs out on November 6. I have found the following items in my cart:

Kingston 19-in-1 USB 2.0 Flash Memory Card Reader

It's 11 bucks and should remedy my broken camera sitchy.

Fisher-Price Doodle Pro Classic Orange

Cheaper version of the MagnaDoodle that was recommended by Jimmy's teacher-lady to do writing/coloring stuff without going through 40 pieces of paper. For Christmas.

Thomas & Friends: Holiday Express

We're a little Thomas nutty around here, and Christmas Thomas?? Forget it. This one will enter the rotation 3 weeks before Thanksgiving. (I'm just sad I don't have the skillz to pull this off a pair of needles.)

Framed Barack Obama 8x10 Photo Portrait of President

Nobody's perfect, but come election night any president who moves my hubby to tears of joy gets elected Pope at my house. For his birthday or Christmas, not sure yet.

Signing Time Volume 2: Playtime Signs DVD

Have you ever seen how fast little ones pick up sign language? Another recommendation by Jimmy's teacher-lady, we've been tuning into the Signing Times series on Youtube, this sign language lady is krayzee-animated and you can't help but love her. Jimmy sure does, so it's time for a proper DVD, for Christmas.

And that's it for now! Still debating on some other Christmas items, pretending that I can actually afford them is almost as fun. More stuff to break and lose, sledgehammer, what have you. Happy Halloween (toddler alligator photos to come soon...hopefully.)

Friday, October 30, 2009


Tomorrow night is Halloween and I'm bummed that the hubby has to work, but not surprised. The verdict is still out where Jimmy and I will be going (neighborhood or mall) but my bro apparently wants part in free candy and the presence of outrageous cuteness and will be beaming himself up to us, which is ok since he's offered to give me his Nikon camera cord that he no longer needs. I'm so excited to be reinvested with the power to upload photos! Thanks, Mark!

In the meantime, this is a video I watched at least seven thousand times in my third trimester, I found it very relaxing when I was banned from all the vices I craved into my circular system. Happy Halloween Eve!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Missing Camera Cord Yields Product Reviews

I'm going nuts trying to find the cord to upload photos. Right now we are all missing out on photos of stuffed peppers, and my front door. To divert the attention from this tragedy I've got a few product reviews:

LL Bean Animal Paws slippers. We received the moose version of these slippers as a hand-me-down, they are fantastic. They stay on Jimmy's feet (huge, major, omg plus) and when we take them off his toes are sooo warm. They also have traction on the bottom (little paw prints we've found behind our bootmarks in the snow--too cute) and we have decided are very much worth the highish pricetag, and now that he's close to outgrowing his moose pair I'm excited to find that ducks and skunks are on sale. The ducks are a little...weird, but I'm afraid the skunks might remind Hubby too much of his dearly departed Bessy. Decisions, decisions to be made before the sale runs out! Smother approved.

Playtex Straw Cups are a big, clunky big plastic waste of money. The cups and straws grow mold at lightning speed and it does not come off! A bit of a disappointment after having good success with Drop-Ins and the One Step system. Playtex should be ashamed for marketing these turd buckets, tsk tsk, Smother Disapproval!

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Ritz haven't made it to the Ritz website yet, but there was a $1.88/box Ritz Blitzkrieg at Shaw's last week and and this new flavor was among the many Ritz varietals that are now overflowing from our cupboards. They are Jimmy's latest favorite cracker. Kid tested, smmmmmmmother approved. Mmmm.

I'm delighted that Jimmy loves Cars. Pixar has managed to nullify our hatred for Nascar racing so much that we even break for that stupid "Life is a Highway" remake when Jimmy hears it on the car radio, and smile all the while. Great story, great animation, absence of dark scary villains and images, loads of wheels, engines, excitement, personality, old-timey lessons, and genuine laughs are among the many reasons we don't moan when Jimmy wants to watch it again. We're holding tight for Cars 2, vrroom vrrooom, approval.

As for my's a Nikon Coolpix Something and the cord should have a The Clapper attachment for times like these. Darnit!

Monday, October 26, 2009


I found myself in a Perspective Check when I told my late-nite working hubby that he should wait a few minutes before leaving so that he could watch Donny Osmond competing on this week's episode of Dancing with the Stars.

His meeting was 3 miles away from our house and knowing how much the show means to me still argued that he could be on Stevens Ave by the time the commercial break was over, but that he would stay to watch Donny if I genuinely believed it was worth that time.


I...I just couldn't believe.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Birthday Shoutout

This is to wish my father a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!

And a video of Jimmy making the birthday present for his Grampy. It's taken days to dry, but the artist felt he needed to use *just* the perfect amount of paint.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!! Apologies for not being able to celebrate it with you. The rat and the rac fly at midnight!

Friday, October 23, 2009

In Maine, You Do Foliage Reports

The leaves outside our house are changing.

I think they're so pretty! If these aren't Maples, there are Maples out there because I remember Wally mentioning wanting to tap them for syrup but we obviously couldn't because of transient neighbors and the likelihood of their biofluids mixing with the syrup, and that they'd probably want to keep any pails for themselves, or destroy them onsite. No, no foraged sugar shack for us, not along this avenue of many diverse fruits (and nuts! Yuk yuk!) And homeless drunk people.

And meth-heads.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Twig Rig

Building woodstove fires is wicked easier this year thanks to these:

These are harnessed sticks from the box elder that Wally had to cut down in order to put up our fence last spring. He knew the branches would make awesome kindling but wasn't sure how to store them so that they'd stay un-mucky, and in one place. But after encountering some thought and some orphaned wire and a recycled pallet he had his answer. I call them "the genius bins" for no real reason other than a passing comment he made (and doesn't remember making) about being a genius for putting them together.

And I agree! I love our genius bins! AND our cheap easy kindling wood. Happy woodstove season! (all seven months of it...)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Creamy Perfiduosity of Cheesed Macaroni

Lately I feel like frame-by-frame I've been watching Jimmy turn into a cookie-vore (sometimes cheeza-vore...) so I broke out the book that I found so darling on a 2008 Oprah rerun, and then found last Thanksgiving at the Christmas Tree Shoppes for $6.99.

I chose to ignore the controversy mired around Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious and to just focus on the tips and suggestions provided in its new, clean, fun three-ring binder. Soonafter I discovered I wasn't immediately prepared to complete any of the book's bondafide resssss-i-peezz, but felt that I had to do *something* with my veggie-deprived child, and the bag of cut cauliflower in our refrigerator's "crisper."

The only thing to do was to steam, cuisinart, and photograph my cauliflower purée next to the Annie's (pronounced the Cape Elizabeth Whole Foods way, with the clenched jaw, schwa-A, Vermonty, hybrid-driving thing) creamy mac and cheese box.

And then I did it, I placed half of a cup of cauli-puree into the Ahnnie's&Fromage and Jimmy devoured it. I was so pleased! Personally, I could taste the difference, but I also like steamed cauliflower so it wasn't a imagine my surprise when Hubby made an unexpected trip home for dinner and admitted that he too found the M&C&C tasted just great.

Nevertheless, the moment I told him that there was cauliflower in it, his lip started curling upwards.

I've decided to take Jessica or Missy or Nina or WTF'ever's advice about keeping the sneaky deceptive veggying a secret, because it is then that it sincerely works.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Chump Dump

Seriously, some people take the "more flies with honey" philosophy a little too far, they excrete the aura of "salesman", and still think schmoozing a CSR will get them awesome service when generally, it only does the opposite.

I recently had a caller who had my eyes a-rollin' and a-hitting several of my uh-nuh nerves and it made me think of the trends these people are using, with failure. They include:

*Referring to non-floating objects as "she", which is fine among friends or if you're wearing flannel and wielding an axe, but when a novice does it it's just obnoxious: "This transaction, I think she's got a problem." No.

*Greasy schmuzl, at the end of a long list of bs that someone should already have and I certainly don't care about. "I'm looking for information of when I last had an itchy bum, I need to know who when why where how often how deep how much, all that good stuff." Ugh, no.

*Uncomfortable total exposure, feeling the need to tell me that you're being nice, just so I get it, so I understand that it's NICENESS that I'm encountering, a concept so foreign to a CSR that it needs to be pointed out, and attended to. Frequently comes with regional accent, when it comes at the end of the call I just feel dirty: "I've always figured I get more flies with the honey..." :shudder: No. Stop.

*Unauthorized usage of trucker talk. Again, with the alien industryspeak: "My account number is Three Six Niner Four.... " NO!

*To really activate the bitch switch is to call me something I didn't tell you to: "Hey Raytch, how's it hangin', listen, I need you to do this for me..." Wow. In this culture a 2-second phone greeting is not a long enough friendship to start with the nicknames, it doesn't charm anyone, Glengarry, and only inspires me to lie about how I'm completing all your "favors" when really I'm just hitting the mute button and making fun of you to coworkers.

It is my understanding that millions of dollars each year is spent on sales training. Is it time for trillions? For the victims of poor salesmanship? Call me, I can help.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Double Masterpiece

I love coming home to find photos I didn't take. Today Hubby apparently took a photo of Jimmy's artwork from their day.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

What's Black & White & Tragic.

I'm at work with not a lot of time to describe my recently deceased cat or profoundly grieve his loss. This morning I learned of his death, I am of course sad but life must go on, right.

It's when life does go on that it really SUCKS. I was sitting between calls, catching up on Eileen's blog when she mentioned the mouse that can no longer invade her pantry, when my mind zipped to just last week, when I heard a faint clank of JUNK that Bessy didn't knock off the frigerator top as he jumped down from it, dangling a mouse between his teeth. Like a jedi, he moved. He wasn't brave and he wasn't social and he wasn't smart but what a loss we're suffering without our "special needs" kitty, our mouse-catching savant.

And then I went to log into a particular program. My mind flapped through the 1001 different logins we have to use here, and uh oh, my stomach sank. This was the one I knew would haunt me. I knew I should never use a pet's name as part of a login, but there he was. Every other day it was just keystrokes and a number that flew across the keyboard, but not today. How could I have not cherished him while he was here? How come I didn't think of him everytime I logged into SYSTEMX??? WAAAAH, Bessy!!!! Why did you eat that fiberglass??? :ugly workplace sobbing: WHYYYY????!!!?


Friday, October 16, 2009

ME: 10 Things

The cyberfolks over at Cyberschool Mom Diaries have challenged us e-peeps to post 10 Honest Things About Myself. Well twist. My. Arm.

1) I get food headaches, and I'm presently sporting one right now from filching homefries off of Jimmy's robot plate, serves me right.

2) I've never used the word "filch" in my life, in fact I'd never even heard of it until I went to the to look up a word I could use in place of "bogart" because "bogart Jimmy's homefries" seemed a bit trying-too-hard, and I figured "filch" gave the right tone I was looking for...although truthfully it is a bit too close to "felch", especially when my son is part of the topic.

3) I prefer the 10-key format on keyboards and get overwhelmed when my laptop forces me to use the numbers that above the letters.

4) I believe that all great movies have at least one scene featuring Bob Balaban.

5) I've been waiting for weeks to get a stiff neck to see if this crazy lady's video trick works. Of course, she also gives tips on how to get a stiff neck...but I'm just not there yet.

6) I can't wait for Christmas so I can play with the Thomas train track we plan to get for Jimmy.

7) I have unrequited love/hate feelings for Dr. Phil.

8) I want Jimmy to get into Ballroom Dance.

9) My survival skill: Looking on the bright side.

10) If my hubby wasn't so emotionally bent on giving Jimmy his name, I would have named him Francis or Adrian. As it turns out I LOVE his name as it is.

So, there's 10 things!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Jimbo: First Hood

Hrrm, that post title is supposed to be a spoof on Rambo: First Blood, but it's not really working, is it. Still, I'm very proud that I bought this Rambo-riffic camouflage yarn after the sun went down tonight and had finished knitting my FIRST HAT before Jimmy even went down for na-nights.

Frugal Christmas 2009 is officially AWN.

And the gifts keep coming, I got a number of 'art' photos to share.

Actually, I'm only posting them because I think the colors of my house and my hat model look better when the flash is off. It's just that they're, uh...a little hat fuzzy. Happy Start of Hat Season, all!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Waterfront Property

Our property abuts a field, and in the field is a body of water. The veritable wetlands of Libbytown.

To think, the City doesn't tax us extra for the view (possibly explains the pollution in this lush oasis?)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Evening Reading

Cozying up beside my laptop, learning all about my Tempwood, and my dreaded thru-da-wall chimney and my CMP-luvin' Eden Pure heater. I know that some cultures are warm for free, they get their tsunami demolitions for free, but HERE, we get to work and pay for our houses to burn to the ground. Awesome!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Little Hands

...know what they want! For some reason my desktop lost its ability to internet (sob!) so we're down to the laptop, and I'm starting to get the feeling that Jimmy doesn't like the internet much at all. On the laptop I'm in a different chair and closer to his play area and he's started to grab my head to tear my eyes away from the screen and into his face. He slyly picks off keys, sometimes I can't get them back on (goodbye, Caps Lock and Number Three) and when he's really done with the laptop, he's figured out that he can close it shut and wave it buh-bye.

Tonight I put those useful little hands in fingerpaint.

I know that fingerpainting is supposed to be messy, but I forgot just how much!

Friday, October 9, 2009


About 3 years ago Blue Eyes from CJ's Firewood dropped off the final 2 cords of our firewood, and today the planets all aligned so that I was home, Hubby was home, no one's back was broken, we started bombing the moon, the weather was good, there was no Elvis impersonator practice, and most impressive of all, Jimmy was taking a decent nap so we could finally stack it! We were pretty psyched, but also pretty surprised when Channel 8 showed up, presumably to cover the event.

I mean, I knew it was a big deal to us, to finally get the pile out of our driveway, but I didn't think it was THAT big of a deal! I was a little mortified to think that Southern Maine would consider it newsworthy that we were finally picking this huge mess up, that our wood pile was so blightful and such an inconvenience to everyone in the region, but ultimately I think I scared the newsguy away with my camera, he drove off after "pretending" to check out a mild car accident at the corner. Jeez, slow news day, Channel 8????

But we're stacked up for a warm winter with our wood dry and cozy under the Jethro wrap. More happy fall, y'all!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Four Day Foliage

I took this photo October 4.

Today it looks like this:

I also took this photo 4 days ago:

Today, it looked like this:

It's kinda like a page out of Highlights!

Four days ago my baby looked like this:

Then today, this kid came out of my camera.

Who is this little BOY?

I always figured I was just a lazy slob because my zippered hoodies always do this:

but it turns out the left-shoulder thing is hereditary! Whoa!

Jimmy wouldn't eat the leftover stuffed shells I served for lunch, but he did eat baseball field dirt.

Other stuff from October 8:





Freakishly large greenbean,

...and a whole bunch of other stuff I didn't have a camera for. I love Thursdays, Thursdays are my favorite!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday Handicap

Cableless and air-prone to pixelated problematics, I bow to gawds and divine t.v.ention that this show airs on Channel 8. It takes up a lot of my time and my innermost soul so I'm a little light on Monday night updates. Go Kelly!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Errrm, 'Scuse Me....

....I thought the SkyMall was just for useless shit.

It sorta doesn't even matter that it's spelled wrong, I love it so. I heart kre8tifs spellings and portmanteaux (hell-o, 'kickasserole') and all, but I have to apollo-jize to any 2-A'd Rachels, because I never really got it. I recently read that the alternative spelling 'Rachael' came from the popularity of the name 'Michael.' But it's a "ch" sound...not a "k" sound... what's the urge to make it match 'Michael'? AND I've been a Rachel long enough to know that everyone spells the double-A'd one wrong, it's a force so strong that it even makes them spell mine wrong. Countless correspondence pieces I've received addressed to 'Racheal.' But no one ever spells 'Michael' wrong. It totally screws with people's minds-ael! Casserole agita!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday Cough Sauce 666: Casillero del Diablo Carmenere 2007

I bought this one before I realized "Carmenere" was Chilean for "Cherry Cough Syrup." Blech. I bought it haphazardly at the convenience store next door, it was $9.99, I thought it was $7.99, a clunker from the start. It was at the checkout that I also realized it was a Concha y Toro product, I hadn't had 'the Bull' since the old 'hood when I hung out with my nephew's mom, when my nephew was the same age Jimmy is now, when his favorite movie was Disney's Hercules and Princess Diana was being murdered by Prince Charles. So for old time's sake Jimmy and I tossed in the Hercules DVD as I tip-toed down memory lane. No, there was no chugging down memz lane, cuz forshizz the Carmenere Box deuce double-o sevz is fomerching a Diablo Cody-sized P for being Wiener Punch in a wine bottle. (Ooh, yuck, sorry for the Juno scripting. See, I told you this wine is bad!)