Monday, December 24, 2012

Twas the night before Christmas

Well folks, it is a Christmas miracle.  We might just get a white Christmas after all.  I am happy about this even though there is the possibility Dave may be working tonight and tomorrow early.  We have a church that we plow.  So of course they get special exceptions on Christmas and Easter if it snows.  Maybe we will all pile in the truck with him, and hit up Starbucks since they are the only place open.  We can start a whole new family tradition.  We don't go a caroling we go a plowing and a shoveling.

The other day when I was trolling the world wide web I stumbled upon a Goop article.  The great Gwyneth suggests folding 1000 paper cranes for a friend who needs a wish this Christmas.  That must be some friend, since I have only ever seen this done at weddings and usually the whole family helps fold.  Sure it is non expensive but I am pretty convinced arthritis would set in on crane 999 and I wouldn't ever be able to move my fingers properly again.  But what the hell, she's right, at least it would be memorable.

This of course got me thinking of what other completely ridiculous Christmas gifts were out there that I would actually like to receive.  I am not talking about pajama jeans.  Although those jeans are pretty damn tempting for my lazy ass.  I am talking gifts no one would purchase for me.  Or maybe they would if the price was right!

1. And where does one go to shop for those Christmas gifts first?  Why straight to the Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog of course. :)  Oh Neiman's how I miss having cookies and salads with my friends in your cafe as a young girl growing up at the mall in the early 90's in Texas.

Now what would a now Colorado girl like me find in the Catalog this year.  Designer shoes?   Nope, chickens of course.,a,b,c,z&r=cat24050744&rdesc=The%20Christmas%20Book&rparams=xpage%3D64&icid=O5415

HOLY SHIT!  Please just open the link.  There are no words to describe Chez Poulet.  For anyone who has had to actually shovel chicken shit and the shit of 1000 barn swallows freeloading out of a coop will wonder..... artwork and chandeliers?  And let us not forget that Svetlana will personally fly from Florida to do onsite visits.  Because God forbid, you forgot to add oyster shells to the feed for your precious chicky poos.  But seriously, for $100,0000 why the hell is delivery not included.

Anyway moving on.

2. Yes, I will admit it, I read 50 Shades of Gray and its 2 follow up novels.  I didn't love it, I pretty much wanted to slap Anastasia the whole time for being so naive.  I guess I have read way too many romance novels in my lifetime because it just didn't live up to its hype.  It was a bland romance and too light to be a porn novel.

So the next gift I found is not an S&M/bondage room to add on to the back of our house renovation, (Sorry honey!) but a book on tying up chickens.

The reading in this has got to be better than 50 Shades of Gray, and I might actually get something out of it.  Because contrary to popular belief, I am pretty sure it is harder to truss a chicken vs someone to the bed post?  :)

3. I saw an infomercial for this next gift, and it peaked my interest enough to look into it.  Possibly because I thought it might come with Jillian Michaels instead of Svetlana yelling at my lazy ass to move it move it.  I guess that requires a trip to the Ranch for that to happen.  But finally, something with free shipping.

This actually looks promising.  Not only can I run the hills in Switzerland thanks to GPS maps, me and my introverted self can do it all within the privacy of my own home at my embarassing slow ass 15 min. mile pace.

4. While we are on the subject of working out, I thought I would share this next present with you.  I might not actually use it to work out with though.  It is way too pretty.  I would put it in my living room and just stare at it and pretend I am a hard core poser.

Oh my heavens!  I have wanted a stand up paddle board for a while.  Yes, I realize don't live near any ocean, and the closest lake was shut down last year due to high "bacteria" levels., (aka cow poop run off.)  But look at it.  My inner Gidget so needs this.  Once I figure out how to carry the damn thing that is.

5. And on the 12th day of Christmas my true love did NOT give this to me.

But I am pretty sure we might have some Timber Lok spikes in the job trailer leftover that we use to hold together raised garden beds with so Dave can make this for me.  My arm might turn green after wearing it, but according to Cartier it is "an expression of a rebellious nature and the reflection of self belief."  Perfect!

I hope y'all have a Merry Christmas and may Santa bring you peace, happiness, and all your wishes.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Tis the season

Because I am at a loss for words, (shocking I know.)  And because sometimes, some people just say it better then I can.  I thought I would include this link, because she has said it way better than I ever could have.

In the meantime I thought I would share with you some pictures of how we decorated our house for Xmas.  Note:  This is not a fancy house tour with gorgeous close ups of bowls of shiny fruit on the kitchen table and glitter in the bathroom.  It is a just an i phone glimpse into our clean and simple house the day the new museum executive director and collections curator came over to look at some of the old dairy equipment in the barn.

Please excuse the evil dingo dog eyes throughout.  I am pretty sure they are possessed, but it also seems they were interested in being in almost all of the photos no matter how hard I tried.

These photos are also a record for me of what my house looks like now before we dig a 900 sq. ft. hole 10 ft. deep next to it in Jan/Feb. More on that to come. ;)

This is also the closest we will get to a Christmas card this year folks.  Enjoy!

See.....It is possible for 4 people to live comfortable in only 900 sq. ft.  The 1 bathroom for all of us however is becoming a whole new problem entirely.  :)

May you have a Merry Christmas!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Tap dancing African Americans in November

So I spent this morning arguing with Calla that Bill Gates was not an African American tap dancer.

She came in and proudly proclaimed that she learned some stuff at school this week.  So I asked her what.  Fractions, Abraham Lincoln and that the word instruments is really hard to spell and why is it on her spelling test?  Sorry Charlie, I can help her with the spelling words from hell for a 1st grader and Lincoln, but the fractions are on her father to teach her because I swore on a dead relative I would never, ever, ever do fractions after I graduated from High School.  Hell, I didn't even do them in College.  If I have to measure out ingredients for cooking something that calls for fractions because I am doubling it, or worse cutting it in half,  I just press the button on my pretty pink phone and ask Siri's happy ass to convert it for me.  I might as well use it for something educational vs. asking Siri how many times a day does a Rhino  Don't even get me started on Geometry that was the other set of deceased Grandparents I swore on never to do either from that day forward as well.   

So I started going though a list of African American tap dancers in my head, Gregory Hines, Savion Glover etc. etc. wondering why we were talking about dead presidents and famous African Americans.  Isn't that February?  What happened to the Native Americans, Pilgrims and the Mayflower, it's November? 

I even gave her the benefit of the doubt and suggested that maybe she was thinking of the Apple guy who was on Dancing with the Stars.  No, she proclaimed, he wasn't black!  Oh....and Bill Gates is?

Then to make matters worse she suggested that maybe it was Martin Luther King.  Umm...maybe not.  Baby girl was really confused at this point and caught herself and said No wait, he didn't tap dance he was an Abolitionist.  Ok, so now we are back to Lincoln, but at least she was somewhat closer to his profession.

At the end of it all, I am pretty sure she was talking about Bill "Bojangles" Robinson since she  mentioned that Shirley Temple might be his daughter.  Ding ding ding.  Not the daughter, but close enough so I know what movie she is referring to now.

I am really happy that she is learning about diversity and even the Arts in the little country school bubble she goes to.  So much emphasis these days is put on Math and Science.  I know it is important too, but so is PE, Music and even instruments.  :)  I just hope they keep it up.  However with what they are already teaching her she is well on her way to becoming one of those National Spelling Bee champions.  Especially once they finally realize it is December and up next on her spelling test is mele kalikimaka.

Aloha and Mahalo my friends!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Babies, soup, and cupcakes

It's Monday and I am officially out of the "good" Halloween candy.  We are down to random flavor Tootsie Rolls, (love the chocolate ones, but lemon?......,) Gobstoppers, and Smarties.  In other words, rocks and chalk.  I have no intention of buying more, even though Target just replaced any orange and black bag of candy and with a green and red one in the back of the store.

A couple of weeks ago a good friend of mine asked if I would help her and some other gals to plan and give a baby shower to one of our fellow dancers.  My first shower was almost entirely all fellow dancers a few of my best girl friends, and was a really good time.  Calla is still rocking the tutus.  Since I didn't really need a lot for India, we got together and had lunch at Fiona's.

So after about 30+emails between all of us, some Pinterest research, and a shopping trip in the freezing rain with 3 kids, we pulled it off.  Seriously how did I ever plan events without Pinterest?  Actually, in hindsight it probably would have made me insane with every bride showing up with ridiculous requests involving mini farm animals and Christmas lights.  Nevermind.  Moving on.

The day started with us gathering at my friend Mackenzie's house to lay out all of the food and decorations.  I was in charge of the favors and was the left arm to the hostess with the mostest.  Sadly I didn't take any pictures of the favors, but my girls and I wrapped 35 bottles of nail polish in a rainbow array of pink colors while Dave plowed snow Sat. night.  The lady at the store asked what I was doing with all of them I told her it was for a baby shower.  She said, "Well thank God it's not a boy."  "Who likes blue nail polish?"  Um....Me!

Because we knew it would be a bit chilly out we decided 4 varieties of soup from Spoons and bread from Great Harvest would be yummy.  Turns out it was like 20 degrees cold yesterday so chili, and broccoli cheese soup was perfect.  We pooled crockpots like a church ladies at a social and away we served.
Time to eat

A good friend of the Mother to be offered to make cupcakes.  Since none of us are ever willing to turn turn down cupcakes, we munched on chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, and gingerbread flavors.  We also put out various pink swirled suckers and candies in bowls to snack on while presents were opened.  Thus creating a dessert bar with coffee for everyone.

The gorgeous mother Allison in the center 
Good Friends 
And Family
After all of that I wasn't up for cooking dinner, so I stopped at my favorite restaurant, ie. Mom's Kitchen Diner for carryout.  On the menu: Soup.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fowo, not Foco

So a couple of weeks ago the girls and I decided to leave Dave at home working and packed it up and hightailed it to Texas during Calla's Fall Break.  I hadn't been back to Fort Worth for about 10 years.  Friends graduated, got married, had kids and moved on.  I graduated, started a business, had kids etc. etc..  So there wasn't really any chances to go back and visit.  Back in the day after I moved to CO, trips back to Texas involved lots of ballet classes, swirly margaritas, and Fraternity parties.  This trip involved none of that.  Sure I could have taken a ballet class, but my kids don't drink swirly margs, (neither do I anymore for good reason.)  And even though I like to think of myself as a fun and nice Mommy, I am pretty sure we weren't invited to any Fraternity parties at TCU.

Needless to say it was a bit of a challenge at first to decide what to do with kids.  After talking with some friends who have kids now, and are still living in the area, it seemed like a lot of the things they do with their kids, are what we used to do back in the 80's and early 90's.  Perfect!  What went from  being an issue of what are we going to do, turned into how much can we shove into 3 days.

Wed- Flew into DFW and drove to Ozonas at SMU in Dallas to meet my friend Ingrid for lunch on the patio.  As most of you know Colorado doesn't have much humidity.  Texas on the other hand has more then it knows what to do with.  I was not looking forward to that smack yo mamma in the face humidity that hits you as soon as you exit your nice air conditioned car.  The weather however was perfect.  So perfect I had a hard time believing where I was.  Not too hot, not too humid.

After lunch we headed to the Galleria to do some shopping.  Because what else do you do in Dallas besides shop?  Don't answer that.  I am sure there is plenty to do, but let's not burst my fantasy here.

I had arranged before I left home for all of us to have Tea at the American Girl doll store.  We were not disappointed.  For $10 a piece (not including the damn dolls) we had a feast of cupcakes, fruit and mini sandwiches. Each doll was given a seat at the table and her own cup of Sprite.  Our waiter was adorable, and we were sugar highed and stuffed by the time we rolled out of there.
Nope didn't forget Tiana this time.
Julie just hanging with the tea pot as big as her head.
After tea it was time for some retail therapy at Nordstrom and H&M.  Since we had been up since 4 am CO time there was a point where the kids did reach their limit, and the sugar high was toast.  This was about the time when they started to pretend they were the mannequins in the displays.  India found one she particularly liked and made friends with.  Baby was tired.  I swear to you they did this themselves.  I had nothing to do with it.
Do not hate me because I am beautiful. 
 The drive back to Ft Worth was a bit of a pain with all of the traffic and I didn't realize the lights weren't on in the rental car till I had a hard time seeing.  Brilliant concept I know.

Thurs- Woke up, went for coffee in our jammies and returned 3 hours later.  We just kept on driving.  It was good to see my old house and school, but also it was crazy to see how much had changed and how little had changed all at the same time.   Back at home we got cleaned up and planned the rest of our day.
Lazy girls
A little architectural salvage and more retail shopping for Mommy & Ingrid and a train ride through the park for the kids.  Did I mention the weather was gorgeous?

Oh goody goody a train.
Dinner that evening was at the Central Market Grocery Store.  Seriously, this was no Piggly Wiggly or Kroger folks.  The outside had a Food truck, a live band, patio area where you can take your food and wine and listen to the band, and even a playground.  Every freakin' grocery store should have a playground.  Best. idea. ever.  I was sold when Ingrid told me they had a pickle bar.  Everyone got to choose what they wanted to eat like at Whole Foods.  I had 5 different types of pickles and sweet tea. What.....I was in Texas.  Pickles go with BBQ.  I just left that part out.

Pickles and only pickles, the rest of the line was filled with olives and sauces.
They variety on everything was amazing, and a bit overwhelming.  These are all Rice Krispy Treats.  Ummm. Yeah.
How is one supposed to choose between sprinkles and marshmallows?
Fri- Our last day in Fort Worth.  This was the point where we had to make a decision.  Do we head Downtown to watch them drive the longhorn cattle up the street and eat Mexican food, or do we go to the Cultural District and visit the Botanical Gardens and Museums.  Ultimately it came down to the fact that I am a landscaper who has cows as neighbors.  My kids don't give a hoot one way or the other about Mexican food.  So the Japanese Gardens and Science and Cowgirl Museums it was.  This turned out to be the best choice.

The Japanese Gardens are just what I remembered them to be as a kid.  Only I have a much better appreciation for them since I now know what goes into creating and constructing the landscape, and how long it has taken some of those plants to grow and fill in.  I took lots of pictures for Dave and the girls had fun feeding the koi fish.
Tea House
Inge and Indi - Say that fast 4 times.

I solemnly swear I am up to no good.
Koi fish.  Greedier then my chickens.  

After the gardens we headed to the museums.  One of the cool things we stumbled upon at the Science Museum was a Titanic exhibit.  This was amazing.  It was great because we pretty much had the whole thing to ourselves since all of the school kids had left for the day.  So the docents were more then excited to talk with adults some of the facts and stories from the ship.  Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures, but trust me if this comes to your town, go see it.

Upon entering the exhibit you are given a passport to see if you, a fellow passenger, lived or died on the ship at the end. The hallways through the exhibit were setup to resemble the different classes and hallways on the ship.  You essentially became part of the ship, even down to the coal room.   Many artifacts were on display from the wreckage, and the pictures and stories that went along with the whole process from building to sinking and now.  The kids were able to touch an "iceburg" and even a part of the hull from the actual ship.  There was also an additional IMAX show that accompanied the exhibit, but we were out of time to nab tickets for that.  The final room included a large wall with thousands of names written on it.  These were all of the different passenger classes and crew who were on the ship.

In the end I found out I was the only one out of our group who perished.  My husband and I owned Macys Dept. Store.  (Of course I did!  :) )   I decided at the last minute to get off the life boat and stay with my beloved husband.  Our maid and butler lived, but we went down with each other.  How tragically romantic, and stupid.  Seeing as I am not that chivalrous in real life, you bet your bottom dollar my ass would be on that life boat today.

That night the girls and I said goodbye to Ingrid and we stayed with a friend of mine since Kindergarten who lives closer to the airport.  Random fact: Her husband went to the same High School here in CO as me. We didn't know each other.  They made dinner for all of us including another friend of ours growing up.  It was good to hang out and catch up with all of them and their adorable children.  The kids had a blast, and were sad to leave.
Juile, the kids and I.  Sadly no Michele, or her kids
I feel like I saw Texas in a whole other different light this time.  Through the eyes of my children.  It was the Texas I remembered enjoying growing up with.  There were many other old friends and neighbors who I wished I could have seen and visited with, but our time there limited.  Not sure when I will return, but I am really glad I went, and was able to share a bit of my childhood with my kids.

Have a good weekend.

PS. In case you all were wondering if Dave missed out.  No, he has been to Fort Worth with me before.  He is good.  The End.  :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Trick or Treat

Well I suppose I should post our Halloween pictures now instead of the Texas trip because I know everyone will be moaning and groaning about seeing someone else's kids in a freakin' halloween costume a week later.  Honestly, don't blame ya one bit.

So let's start with the day.  Getting 2 kids ready for school and all of the crap they have to take with them is a serious part time job daily.  Did we get the library book?  Wait, did you sign off on the spelling homework, or was I supposed to?  Where the heck is Tiana.  She won't take a nap without that damn Tiana doll.  Somebody better dig her up like now.  Anyone need lunch or is it pizza day?  I need a day planner to keep it all straight, and my kids need rolling suitcases to schelp it all to school in.

Then BAM along comes a Halloween party and suddenly it is like flight operations organizing all United flights in and out of DIA.  You have to remember which kid was allowed to go to school in costume with a change of clothes in their backpack, and which kid had to go in their regular clothes with their costume in the backpack.  Of course you can't forget one item from that costume because all Holy War will break out.  God forbid ya forgot the matching headband.  The Zombies might as well come and get me now, the world will be ending.

Oh and snacks.  Don't forget the snacks for the class.  They know it is the end of the month and the quarter for work.  So they know you can't help at the classroom party, but you better damn well send snacks in your place.  It isn't like the kids won't be getting enough sugar and candy that evening so let's have a party involving juice boxes, cookies, cupcakes and gummies.  God Bless the teachers who have them all day and get anything done.  Did I mention India didn't nap yesterday?  Well no shit she didn't nap, I am shocked they got her to even lie down.  I would have been like a 3 headed purple monster swinging from the cubbies.

Any who, they had fun and truthfully in all my bitching that is all that matters.  I did dress up, which doesn't usually happen.  Now I know why.  No one else did.  Whatever, I went as Rosie the Riveter.  

My Father in Law bless his heart asked if I was supposed to be Aunt Jemima.  Really!!!!! I have no words.
All images from Google

The resemblance is striking.  Truthfully I can't tell the difference, but it may be the candy talking.

By the way if you would like to learn more about the history of Aunt Jemima click here:  I had no idea Disney was involved.  Kind of cool!

Since we live in the country, we have no trick or treaters and we have nowhere to trick or treat.  Even though my closest neighbor looks like Rob Zombie everyday, we all head elsewhere to get our sugar fix.  This year we trekked it into my Brother in Law's house.  Needless to say the children were more then excited to stop taking obligatory pics and get a move on.  

Calla went as a mermaid.  She learned how hard it is to be like a mermaid with legs in a tight dress when she blew out the back of it at school.  I spent our drive in sewing up an 8" hole in the back seam on the way into town.   Confucius say: snatch the candy relays are best done in looser clothes, not a mermaid tail.

India went as Marie Antoinette.  With her head on.  FYI it is 10:30 on Nov. 1st and she has officially been in the costume over 24 hrs. now.  Dave dressed up in overalls and a flannel.  He had a rainbow afro wig to wear but India told him he looked scary an it had to go.  It was just scary to see Dave with hair again, rainbow or not.

After getting at least 1 slice of pizza in each kid, we all went out as one big funky bunch to terrorize the neighborhood.  I say big because at one point I think there were 30 of us.  The group just kept growing.  Some of the people in the neighborhood got really into Halloween.

I mean they really got into Halloween.  My pictures don't do it justice.

This house was really cool.  It did scare India a bit, but the people who lived there were so nice.  I just wonder how long they will leave it up, and if they get this into Christmas?

The kids crashed pretty hard on the way home.  The sugar high was long gone.  This was the best part of the evening for Dave and I because we had to "inspect" the candy to make sure it was ok.

Yeah it was fine.  This morning when Calla woke up she asked for the Sour Patch Kids to go in her lunch.  What Sour Patch Kids?  You didn't get any Sour Patch Kids?  I packed you a Tootsie Roll.  *Grinning*

Hi Ho Hi Ho it is off to the gym I go.  But only after Mrs. Butterworth and I have our lunch date at Aunt Sarah's Pancake House.

XOXO, Cara

Monday, October 29, 2012

Peacocks at Target and Stealing Pumpkins.

This weeks theme song will be brought to you via Los Straightjackets and the Munsters.

I could have conjured up Brobee from Yo Gabba Gabba singing "It's Halloween," but I love this more.

I am back from Texas and I must say it was an enjoyable trip.  One I can actually remember all of the details of for a change.  I guess that happens when you take your 2 kids with you.  Still sorting through all of the pics, so you will have to look at other pictures today instead.

We started the weekend with ballet of course.  Calla and I headed to the studio to take class and my parents picked up India to take her on their weekly jaunt of grocery shopping and to Sam's Club.  She loves this outing.  All of the old ladies handing out samples at the end of each aisle love her too.  She usually comes back to me stuffed full of all sorts of random samples of food and drink, and coupons for dog food and Preparation H.  However, this week the small child named after a large country decided she needed to be in costume because Nene and Papa would take her to get candy if she was in costume.  Digging though the bin churned up Alice in Wonderland.  Kind of sad she will be the last blond baby to wear this.

After meeting up with all of them after class for lunch at Mimi's, not only did my Mother manage to find candy, she found the Chick fil A baby cow, a petting zoo, and various other people dressed as Zombies.  Calla dug up Rapunzel.

Sunday we celebrated Dave's Mom's birthday at their annual leaf jump.  Just ignore grumpy pants.  She had a wonderful time actually.  

My Father in Law hid a bunch of mini pumpkins balls in amongst the leaves and the goal was to find all of them.  The kids had fun with their cousins, and kids from the neighborhood.  We gifted my Mother in Law a lump of coal from the Titanic wreck.  I'll explain in the Texas post later.  

After that, we hit up a local Nursery to score some pumpkins.  My kids were feeling deprived that it was almost Halloween and we didn't have any.  So with a 1/2 an hour left until their closing we quickly hopped out, grabbed some pumpkins, threw them in the truck and jetted.  Pretty sure we looked like a bunch of pumpkin thieves to everyone around us.  But the owner had already told us to come and pick put what ever we wanted.  And Lord knows I have more than paid for a brand new car full of pumpkins there this year.  

Back at home with our stash, everyone started carving outside until it was realized that the Cowboys were playing football on the tv inside.  Later on that night as the girls were brushing their teeth I found that drywall saw he was holding to carve the pumpkins sitting on the bathroom counter next to India and her toothbrush.  Must have been a good game.  

Twit and Twat love pumpkins.  Who wants to take bets on how long they last on the porch before Rusty gets bored and eats them candle and all like last year?

Scrounging around the fridge and freezer I found chicken broth, hominy, tomatoes, chicken, and green chilies.  So dumped it all into a pot added some onions and cumin and called it green chili chicken posole stew.

I also dumped a half a stick of butter in a pan with some pumpkin seeds and spices and toasted those bad boys up.

Then I ladled it all up with some cheese and fresh cilantro and tossed some pumpkin seeds on top.  Just call me Martha.  Currently, I don't have most basic ingredients in the pantry like sandwich bread to make the kids lunches, but I do randomly have all of the fixings for that concoction, a large bottle of fat free vanilla coffee creamer and 5 different jars of pickles.  Not to worry though.  I plan on shopping in my parent's pantry later today because I am not about to brave Sam's Club at 5 pm.

So, I am actually dressing up for Halloween this year.  I don't often do that other then say a witch's hat, but the girls talked me into it, and thanks to the clearance rack at Tarjay Boutique I am able to.  For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook and Pinterest, you know about my want lately for a peacock.  Sadly this did not come in my size, but I am pretty sure it will fit the Dip Shit Dingo Dog.   Oh Rusty Roo....Donde Esta?  Mommy has something for you.  ;)    

Hasta pepita!