Saturday, October 31, 2009

now, on with the story...

Click here for previous events in our story...

The Nutcracker is so moved by the tears of Sleeping Beauty that he takes it upon himself to offer her a cool glass of water. He has no idea why he is doing this -- he is only a wooden holiday decoration, and, it is not part of the script. At the moment he hands the glass to her, their fingers touch -- their eyes meet -- and as if by magic (duh!) they fall in love.

The baby is lovingly adopted by The Nutcracker (who cannot have children of his own, but that's another story -- which I won't be telling here, or, for that matter ever!) The three are now united in goodness and off into the sunset they ride on their trusty steed, Donkey.

But wait! What about Jack? He agrees to take a job with a lower salary until the recession improves. He also agrees to pay overdue child support -- and -- most importantly -- he agrees to family counseling.

The evil spell has been broken -- and they all live happily ever after -- or -- until next halloween -- whichever comes first!



Hey,HEY... get that camera off of me -- I am not crying -- I have allergies...

Friday, October 30, 2009

brief interlude...

The blog will have to wait -- the kids went back to school today and I have a million errands to run....

Here's a happy photo to tide you over.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

to the rescue...

Click here for the previous events in our story...

Upon hearing the cry of "help, help" from Sleeping Beauty, citizens of movie land gather from far and wide. Familiar celebrities whom we all know and love, such as, "The Nutcracker", Donkey (from Shrek), Buzz & Woody (from Toy Story), and, Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and, Cowardly Lion (need I mention their movie?) combine their forces of goodness in order to save this common piece of Halloween paraphernalia, Jack Skeleton, and his son, Baby Jack.

To lead the way, Nick the Pirate, comes out of retirement -- accompanied by his parrot appropriately named "Gossip". As the celebrities ready for a possible confrontation with the evil witch, Gossip suddenly squawks -- "Jack is a deadbeat dad! He owes child support to the witch for all of the monkey children he has sired with her" -- "squawk". The celebrities are surprised by the outburst, but, alas they understand that there is a recession. However, this is not a good enough excuse for them and they learn this guy is known around the neighborhood as "Wise Cracking Jack". Sadly, this is not a situation in which they can be judgemental (remember - they are all fictional characters). They continue on with the mission to save their comrade.

Sleeping Beauty had no idea that Jack -- the man of her dreams -- is such a scoundrel. She is once again, inconsolable...

beware the wrath of a woman scorned...

Ohhhhh nooooo! The witch has begun to work her evil magic! She was outraged when she found out about this romance. She has kidnapped Jack Skeleton and Baby Jack too!

Ohhh, nooo, not my baby...

Oooh, nooo, not my Jack...

Sleeping Beauty is inconsolable...

Will I ever wake up from this nightmare? Sob... sob...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


...due to illness.


Both Sofia and Nicholas came home from school yesterday, with fevers. They both slept through the night -- only interrupted every 4 hours by the medicine schedule.

Plans for this week are shot -- oh well, that's life!

Monday, October 26, 2009

exhausted from having fun...

We had an excellent weekend filled with family and friends. Just what we needed to push us on into this week. We travelled to NY and attended the christening of our newest family member. Sofia picked up a few amazing treats from Nick the Balloonatic during the after-party. He is a celebrity of sorts, and well worth mentioning. He was entertainment for both the kids and the adults -- and a nice guy too! I give him two thumbs up. If you are having a party in the NY area, I would recommend giving him a call.

Friday, October 23, 2009

right under my nose...

I have been so busy that I never even noticed what was going on! It must be true love -- I'm sure he doesn't make that much for a "living"!

And, I think the baby is the spitting image of his father :-)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

...the transformation begins

The weather was so beautiful yesterday -- the eerie porch transformation was subdued by the loveliness of the flowers.


Hmmm, I guess that depends upon your point of view...


The creepiness must prevail !! The transformation will not stop !! Bwa*haa*haa!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

not alone...

Remember this... ?

Well... she's back from hiding in the arbovitae -- with her baby in tow!

We fished out 4 smaller ones floating in the pool yesterday. The size of this one just unnerves me. I sent this picture to the township environmental department. They should have some info back to me in a few days. Until then, all I can do is s-pray!

In the next picture, I put a quarter down on the concrete so you can get a size reference. I know, I am brave to get that close (pats self on back).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

where I have been...

...right here -- stuck like a fly in that big spider's web on the porch! I'm too busy to even take pictures! What a nightmare!

Remember this ? I have 4 things left to do. Time to start making a new list -- well, maybe after I take a break!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

order from chaos...

Remember this... ?

Today it became this! :-)

We are having some awful weather -- so outdoor projects are on hold. I am still working on Sofia's halloween costume -- all the difficult stuff is done -- so a few hours worth of work should finish it. Today is a great day for that! The decorations on the porch are mostly holding up -- there are some that needed to be retrieved because of the windy conditions -- and others that are not waterproof so they are taking up space in the front room.

The bad weather is actually helping me get things done -- so I am on my way upstairs to take advantage of this. When the sun finally pops its head out tomorrow, or more likely Monday, I will be able to move on with other things then.

Carpe diem!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

quiet thursday...

What could she be thinking about? Maybe this...

Hope you have a chance to do your favorite thing today too! :-)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

am I the only one...

...who doesn't know about using vinegar for stainless steel appliances? This was mentioned today on one of the HGTV shows. It smells much better than the kind you buy in the aerosol can, and, works just as well.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

tuesday pretending to be monday...

The weather temps are a bit erratic -- but the trees know what season it is! Now, if I could just figure out what's up with the male population in this neighborhood -- the girls are way outnumbered by the boys (about 4:1). Dad's meet at the bus stop corner in the morning for a bit of chit chat (they outnumber the Mom's by 2:1). It's all good...

Monday, October 12, 2009

whatever makes you happy...

The kids are home from school today for the Columbus Day holiday. The weather is gray and cold.

Sofia is making a mess with homemade play dough.

Nicholas is doing some light reading above the mess on the floor.

And I am on my way upstairs -- to my own mess -- in my happy place.

Hope you're having the same kind of carefree day! :-)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

who ya gonna call...


Thursday, October 8, 2009

hooray for thursday...

:-) !

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Yesterday, I was exhausted after spending 3 hours weaving spider webs on the porch, then vacuuming the pool. I mentioned to Rick that next year we should have the cover on the pool BEFORE I start putting up the Halloween decorations. He just looked at me and chuckled. Am I the only one not finding the humor in this?

Anyway, onto today. We had a dark and stormy morning with no sunrise. After the troops left, out came the sunshine -- and it feels like summertime is back! The pool filter was not running -- so while breakfast was making itself on the stove, outside I went to flip the switch. We have made it a habit of lifting the skimmer cover to check inside since this incident way back when. With skimmer checked and switch flipped, I was on my way back inside -- when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye...

You really need to double click on the picture to get the full effect. ~~shudder~~ Is that a baby octopus?

Okay, so what do I do with that thing? And, besides being hideous, it was eating the little dead bugs that were floating around it. I poured some chlorine crystals on it, but that didn't seem to phase it. Then, I got the net and a shovel out of the garage. I planned to pick it up with the net and then smash it. By the time I was brave enough to pick it up, it had floated into the deep end of the pool by the newly planted arbovitae. Sooooo... I picked it up with the net, but, when I turned the net over to get it out somehow it flew into the arbovitae and it was gone!

So, unless I find something else to do -- I will be looking out the back window alllll day just to see if I can catch it when it reappears.

Moral to this story -- If the cover was on the pool...well, you know the rest!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

happy pumpkins...

We had some beyond gorgeous weather here on Sunday. So gorgeous, that we decided to take time out from the overwhelming list of things to do and just enjoy it. First we went pumpkin picking at a local farm. Well, not really pumpkin picking -- more like pumpkin choosing. Nicholas and Sofia each picked out a pumpkin to carve on Halloween -- Sofia is showing hers proudly in this picture!

We had a little fun with the oddly shaped gooseneck gourds too. Afterwards we took an old fashioned Sunday drive and I was able to shoot some fantastic photos. Don't you love the horses in my new header? They were so friendly I almost wanted to take them home with us! I'll post more pictures of our adventure during the week. Today, I'm a bit crunched for time -- and I'm already out of the starting gate...

Monday, October 5, 2009



what did you say...

ohhhh...Happy Monday! :-)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

that happy place thing...

Um, and just in case you were wondering... This is what I worked on yesterday, while everyone else was so busy. Yup, I was in my happy place again! How lucky am I?

just when you think you're finished...

We got a red sticker during our final inspection for the pool last week. When I saw that, a million thoughts ran through my head -- all previously discussed with the powers that be. So, when I read the handwritten note on the sticker that gave the reason for the denial, I scratched my head. Our garage door leads into the part of the yard where the pool is located. According to our township code: 1) the door swing needs to open into the garage 2) the hinges need to be self closing 3) there must be a self closing latch on the door at least 54" from ground level. Of course, none of this applies to our current garage door -- and -- the powers that be forgot to mention this during the planning process. We scratched our heads a few more times and then Rick headed off to the local home improvement store for supplies. Within the next few hours, the door frame was turned around, the hinges replaced, and, the doorknob replaced. The hardest parts were accomplished -- so the master carpenter called it a day.

Today, the latch will be installed, and the project will be done.

I have been complaining about the functionality of this door since we moved here -- and I am very happy with the results of this unexpected project. I hope the inspector is happy too!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

...saturday morning

Sofia was up with the birds this morning -- or more appropriately for today -- up with the fog! Guess she had a good night's sleep -- because she hasn't stopped yet. This is what she's done so far this morning...

Before this, she worked on her sewing cards. First she took the lacing out of all 12, then she redid them.

She just went downstairs to "find" more things to do. My coffee is just kicking in -- hopefully she can stay occupied until I'm up to full steam. Then we're working on the halloween costume and decorating the porch.

Hope you're having fun today too!

Oh, if you're wondering why she is wearing that knit headband -- she was complaining of a headache and said that it makes her head feel better.

it must be autumn...

...the fog is back!

I woke up too late -- the fog is really heavy right at daybreak. I'll have to wake up earlier tomorrow and get some good pics!

Friday, October 2, 2009

mom...I need pants...

Today was wear your favorite sports team shirt at Sofia's school. Last night she complained that she doesn't have a favorite sports team. Soooooo....Nicholas and I reminded her that she has soccer shirts from her own soccer teams, and, she also does gymnastics -- but we need to buy a new shirt for that. After deliberating (overnight of course), this morning she was fine with the green soccer team shirt. As we were dressing, she announced that she also has gym today. The weather has been warm enough to wear shorts on gym day, but today it is barely 50 degrees, so shorts are out. Jeans are not allowed for gym. So, we needed to find stretchy pants that match the green/black/white soccer shirt. Normally, I select the pants first on gym day -- and then find a shirt to match. But this morning was different, sigh... As Sofia complained, I tried to figure out why the black velour flare pants that were stuck in the back of my head were nowhere to be found in the pants section of the closet. Then, a little voice inside my head whispered... open the dresser drawer...what you seek will be found inside.

There they were! Along with 29 other pair of pants that do not fit her anymore. Me thinks it's time for a bit of drawer maintenance! Oh, don't be concerned -- there are about 10 pairs of pants hanging in the closet that fit her just right. :-)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

yea! my day off...

Does anyone feel the same as me? September seemed as if it would never end. Now it's October 1st and I feel like I'm running behind. This is my to do list of things that I know of. If I write everything down, it won't seem as bad. I need to take a deeeeeep breath and organize...

make appt. for flu shots/take screaming children to get flu shots

halloween porch decorating

halloween costume making

orthodontist (today)

figure out what to make for tonight's dinner (so I can ignore grumbling kids and hubby while making it, after coming home from the orthodontist, today)

closet cleaning

laundry (today)

pumpkin picking

pay bills (today)

garden clean up for winter (end of month)

pool closing

garage door project (we just found out about this after the pool inspection yesterday)

attend christening party for family member

prepare outfits for kids to wear to christening party

make appt. for haircut/get haircut/color hair

parent teacher conferences

prepare outfits for kids school pictures

Okay, I feel a little better -- so for today, time to go do the things that are not on the list!