05 December 2009

Bell Ringers and Guilt

Should I feel guilty that I don't put money in every bell ringer's container?  Because the looks that one gets when one doesn't are very guilt producing.  And what's up with Santas in the grocery store?  Sitting on twelve pack thrones no less. 

We have truly given over the asylum to the lunatics.  Truly.

Just sayin'.

24 November 2009


I was busy in October making my son's dreams come true.

The Green Lantern and Star Sapphire

Considering that there are no Green Lantern costume patterns and no one has ever heard of Star Sapphire except my son, I had to wing a lot of it.  I have never sewn pleather.  And I don't do stretch fabrics.  Ever.
Until now.

Aren't they adorable?
The only things I didn't make are his gloves and his mask and the rings.
My son made rings for each of them, learned how to make a mold and sprue and the whole nine yards, and cast them, and put little LED lights in them. He also molded the mask out of some moldable stuff that hardens.

The rings all lighted up.  I thought that was really cool.  Give a nerd a child, and you get two nerds. 
Feel the love.

So, as a side story:  #1 son comes over to my place to use my workroom.  He has morphed an old Superman action figure into a character of his own creation and wants to make a cape.  An action figure cape.  This is after I made these costumes to his (often) very extreme demands.  He works down there (my workroom/studio is in the basement of our house) for awhile, then comes up and states:  "Fabric is the most difficult medium to work with!  It moves all over the place.  I don't know how you do it."

26 August 2009

Praying Mantis

Came home yesterday to this hanging out on my garage. Poor guy only had one "arm". He was really quite large: about 3 inches stem to stern.

It's pics like these that really make you realize just how badly your house does need painting!

23 August 2009


With my mother, who recently moved in to live with us:
[While watching Millionaire when Ken Jennings was the "expert".]

PJ (That's my Mom): That Ken Jennings. I don't know why they have him as an expert on there. He made his money on Wheel of Fortune, not Millionaire.

Me: You mean Jeopardy, Mom. He was a multi-million dollar winner on Jeopardy.

PJ: No, it was Wheel of Fortune.

Me: Jeopardy, Mom. Jeopardy.

PJ: No, it was Wheel of Fortune.

Me: *Sigh*. Okay Mom, whatever.

PJ: Oh, you mean Jeopardy! I thought you were saying Millionaire! That's right, it was Jeopardy.



Heard from my son, who was home eating for a visit:

Mom, I'm gonna take the jalapeno pepper jelly home with me 'cause I'm the only one that eats it.

Like he's here the other 22 hours of each day, each week.

11 May 2009

Gold Fish?

I have a goldfish plant. Because I can not do anything really normally, my goldfish on this plant do not really look like goldfish. They look like sharks. Or maybe remoras more than sharks.

They certainly are not evocative of little round fishes with puckered up lips ready to kiss each other. These look like they are on the prowl for fresh meat.

10 May 2009

Hanami Iowa Style 09

I love that barberry bushes flower. Unobtrusively. After they leaf out. Makes the prickles after hero hubby shaves them bearable. Almost. Here's a kind of a closeup. They are just very sweet.

Flowering almond.

The people that built this house planted this gorgeous bush in a corner on the side of the house where 1) NO ONE sees it unless they walk between the houses; and, 2) NO ONE sees it.

Lilacs. Need I say more. I can smell them just looking at the picture. Oh, wait, that's because the window is open! Silly me.

09 May 2009

Mother's Day

My son ordered tulips for me for Mother's Day. They were not a surprise. He told me he ordered them 2 weeks ago. He always does that! If he had kept his mouth shut, I would have had a surprise for once in my life. Alas. The card says: "My son went to Holland and all I got were these crappy flowers."
He has never been to Holland. It's a joke. And the flowers are NOT crappy. Red tulips make me want to puke, because of a previous experience in, oh, 1975, with tulips and Valentine's Day and idontwantogointoit, but these are just beautiful and sweet and I love them!

We try to have fresh flowers pretty much all the time.
They're reasonable to purchase at Sam's Club and keep
fresh for about 3 weeks. Unfortunately, I no longer have a cut flower garden, so I have to purchase them. This is our current bouquet. I just kind of loosely arrange them. Nothing drastic. I like them to look a little jumbled.

29 April 2009

Monster from the bathroom sink

Imagine my surprise this noon when, while brushing my pearly whites (or pearly beiges), I looked down and saw something growing out of the overflow drains in the sink! Here is a photo, sink hairs and all. This opened up all sorts of questions in my mind. What the...? was the first.
When I went to pull it out - I kept pulling and pulling. This thing is a mile long! How in the world did it get there? What the heck is it, Eggar? What kind of gunk lives in that drain that would be even half hospitable to a plant to grow in? Can I start growing sprouts in my sink overflow drains as a second income? WHAT PUT THE SEED THERE?

To say that I'm mildly puzzled is an understatement.

03 February 2009

The "Big Game" Party Highlights Minus the Football Commentary

I apologize for the crappy photo placement and spacing, etc. Blogspot just doesn't have a great program for arranging photos. I did the best I could without obsessing.

The Cards just scored with the tremendous catch that some guy with dreads caught. It was great. The guys were pumped.

Half time and Jeff, B'dette and Terry are talking.

Son Daniel and his wife weren't interested in the game much. At all. They posed for a creepy picture of her holding a knife up behind Daniel's back, but Jerry deleted it from the camera before I could upload it.

I think she's hatching the plot to take that creepy pic. She's got a "muahaha" face. If yaknowwhudimean.

At the feeding trough. Greg just couldn't get enough of the blue cheese dressing, and used every delivery system I had out there for it. The only one he didn't use was his fingers. Way to go, Greg!

Lisa hates American football because she's from Romania and doesn't get it. But she does like food and talk and catching up.

"The Big Game" Party Food

[We aren't allowed to use the SuperBowl term because of copyright, unless that's for advertising only, but it's fun to be a butt about it, so I will use "BG" for "Big Game" and will always put it in quotes.]
I didn't think to take pics of the food until it was basically all gone, but here are the high/low lights:

We had Buffalo Chicken Wing dip (awesome, I did make that), chips (almost gone. The green ones are cilantro lime by Mission Chips. Yum) Blue cheese dressing (as dip), ranch dressing (as dip) and homemade salsa. Yup. Went to a lot of work for this one. (Drip sarcasm all over that last sentence and eat with a dash of vinegar.) The blue cheese dressing was a huge hit with Greg whose wife hates blue cheese and therefore doesn't buy the dressing. I always manage to pick something to serve when the Schaefers come over that Greg loves but doesn't get often.

Carolyn brought a plate of shrimp and crackers and cocktail sauce as well as an awesome Raspberry Zinger cake. I made brownies. Not from a box. There used to be a lot of shrimp on that plate. Those are the pink things hiding up in the right section. They didn't want their picture taken. There are people like that in every group. Annoying.
Bernadette and Jeff brought rumaki - the water chestnuts wrapped in bacon and baked with sauce on them. They were GONE before I thought to take pics, and didn't think an empty and clean crockpot would be exactly artful. Or whatev'.

Son Daniel brought and cut up a melon so we would have some healthy, fibrous food to eat. Well, I did have a plate of broccoli, carrots and zucchini, and a bowl of celery. There was not one item left from those, either. My son, who was raised on NO SUGAR or CHOCOLATE for the first 2 years of his life, and very little thereafter; who ate WHOLE GRAIN EVERYTHING FROM THE WOMB UP and NEVER ate a meal at my house that didn't include AT LEAST one vegetable, and rarely (if ever) included opening a box or can unless it was Uncle Ben's rice or tomato sauce or something like that, thinks I don't serve healthy food ever and assumes that I will have only fatty, sugary, and non-fibrous foods when I cook or serve meals/parties. That's because he has discovered for himself what I taught him passively all those years about good eating. Just because in the past 5 years I have grown weary of meal planning and cooking...Geez.

Overall, I consider it successful if: everyone got enough to eat without being stuffed and there were no leftovers. They did and there weren't.

22 January 2009

Deer Junction

The particular backyard that we share with our neighbors has, for some inexplicable (or maybe, explicable) reason, become a thoroughfare for white tail deer. The picture below is from Google images to show you what we are up against:
I personally seem never to be able to actually see these rabbits with long legs, noses and tails, but I have spoken to actual people in my family who have. All the tracks in the snow tell the story, though. While I am peacefully fighting bad guys, having babies or unplugging monstrous plugged toilets during the night (think about it. The answer will come), the white tail deer are carousing in my neighborhood.

They come from or to the neighbor's yard from or to mine. How confusing. Coming or going, I don't know. What I do know is, there is a bird feeder on the neighbor's deck, where all those tracks end up eventually. There are also a couple of suet feeders to the right of the arborvitae on the right. You can see the deer tracks veering off around the trees. As if some intrepid white tail wanted to see if by some miracle during the day the suet feeders may have burst open, making it possible to gobble up the fat and the seed in them.This is where the deer trail off after stomping around under OUR feeder, which they empty during the night, keeping us from filling it during the day. Or quite possibly, they trail up the street into our 'hood this way, and then check out the neighbor's for whatever they can holla up. Dunno. What gets me is we watch for deer when we are driving anywhere, but to avoid them. When we are in the mountains, we watch for deer so we can gawk. Go figure. What would a New Yorker do out here? They would be stopping every 5 minutes to see deer or pheasant. Which I saw yesterday in abundance in northern Iowa. Pretty gutsy, those guys. There were 17 of them out in a field. Fields are white right now, and pheasant are dark. Maybe they don't have any natural flying enemies. I'm just saying...it were me, I would wear some camo or sumpin'. There are at least a couple of ROBINS up here, and have been for about a week. Either they are very confused or they are from the Arctic Circle and think -20 degrees is balmy. This is robin #1.
Here is a picture of the OTHER robin's hiney, (NOT a racial slur, it's hiney because it's short for HIND END) because he is being obnoxious. This was taken January 22, 2009. In IOWA. In all fairness, today the temp got up to 34. But these guys have been around for a while - since the first of the year.
This is the site of the purported attack by a hawk or other raptor, about which I previously wrote. I think another one happened after the last snow, but the tracks are too degraded to photograph now. And if you want to know why I didn't take the pics when they were fresh, it's because it was -0 out with a wind, and I just didn't think it was THAT important, that's why. If you compare this to my drawing (see http://iloveshibori.blogspot.com/2008/12/mr-falcon.html ) you will see that it was fairly accurate in the way things look, with the exception that this photo is taken from a completely different direction altogether.
On another other side note, Mr. Falcon was back today. Possibly. Hero hubby saw something but wasn't sure. I tend to err on the side of throwing caution to the wind, so I am going to say that my hypothesis is correct, and Mr. Falcon shows up once a month to hunt in this general area.
It's my blog and I can err when I want to.