Friday, March 28, 2008

separated at birth?

I guess you could say I've worked on way too many Nike photo shoots...Abbie's butt is awesome, don't ya think? (Abbie's on the left.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

'nuff said...

Not sure what the criteria would be for judging the "Ultimate Fish Stick" contest. I suppose we'll be seeing a show by the same name on the Food Network soon. Maybe with Bobby Flay and Paula Dean going mano a mano in a pit of fresh tartar sauce.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

it's the easter penguin, charlie brown!

This penguin first showed up on the roof of our car parked in the driveway on Christmas morning...he migrated across the street on New Year's eve. And now he's back. And he's got eggs!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

many paths lead through the forest, but they all come out on the other side (eventually)

Sometimes I'm busy. Really busy. Extremely busy, even. (Not too busy, apparently, to read other blogs, but busy nonetheless.) Yesterday I was musing about all the strange and sometimes actually readable ideas that come screaming through my addled head at two in the morning, and other equally inappropriate times. Today the universe confirmed how interconnected we all are: Christine at Just Another Manic Mommy posted about her top ten unused ideas. (Some of which are way better than any of mine I've actually deemed good enough to post, by the way.)
So. I seem to have lost the trail where I was headed. Oh, right: it's truly amazing to me that we (humanity in general) can often be on such similar wavelengths, and yet there seems to be a limitless number of ways we express those thoughts and ideas. 

I tend to get ahead of myself when I get an idea that I'm excited about, and embark upon a journey that may ultimately end up going nowhere. When I first discovered blogging, I had so many directions I wanted to go, I set off down multiple paths, some of which I'm still wandering aimlessly.   One in particular, Dietary Indiscretions,  has been languishing in the dark nether regions of my imagination for months now, and has yet to actually get anywhere.  Meanwhile, the events that inspired the original idea are beginning to fade into the fog of my short term memory.  So, this morning I've decided to spend a little more time telling those tales of the four-footed knuckleheads who hog all the most comfortable spots on the living room furniture, and who knows? maybe I'll come out of the forest on the other side with more ideas than I went in with. 

Thursday, March 20, 2008

how not to do laundry

We have a system for doing laundry at Camp Cactus...the evolution of which seemed to happen rather organically, and naturally (meaning: nobody actually designed the system, it just sort of occurred; and said system's evolution has happened at an agonizingly slow pace, like the melting of the glaciers before global warming). Here's how it works:
Step 1: There are 3 baskets, beautifully handmade by child laborers highly skilled workers in China. One for WHITES, one for LIGHTS, and one for DARKS. With me so far? Ok, these three beautifully handmade baskets usually reside in our ridiculously huge bathroom, waiting patiently to be filled with the correct shade of dirty laundry. (This seems very simple and logical and easy to why do both of our grown children insist upon doing their own laundry in one giant, washing machine- killing load? But, I digress...)

Alternate Step 1: See steps three and four for explanation.

Step 2: The now-full basket of dirty laundry is moved into the hallway outside the bathroom, waiting for someone (anyone?) to carry it down 2 flights of stairs, over 2 baby gates (a story for another time) to the basement laundry room/hovel to be washed until sparkling clean, or at least smelling like spring rain.

Step 3: The sparkling clean, smelling-like-spring-rain laundry is plopped warm and fresh out of the dryer into its beautiful and functional Chinese basket, carted back up two flights of now exceedingly steep stairs, over two baby gates (destined to someday cause one of us in our increasingly aged condition to break a hip), to the bedroom, where it is deposited in the middle of the floor. This location was chosen (again in some organic, evolutionary way) for its position relative to moving about the bedroom, meaning of course that anyone wishing to move about must step around it. Evolutionary timeline of this era: millions of years (okay...maybe a day or two or five) Which brings us back to Alternate Step 1: (see above) where dirty laundry waits not for an empty basket.

Step 4:
After a few days sitting in the middle of the bedroom floor, the piles of dirty laundry have grown too big for the bathroom, and something must be done. So, the basket is emptied onto the largest flat surface available for folding.

At which time, it has started to resemble a giant sand castle molded in the shape of a hideous malformed lump, startling the lounging cat, and causing whoever faces the task of sorting (and sometimes even folding) this pile to sigh loudly and complain about the whole system.

There. All done. Now isn't that better? Stay tuned for my next tutorial: How to fold like a photo stylist. Coming soon.

Monday, March 17, 2008

kiss me, I'm Irish...

Here's a limerick in honor of St. Patrick's Day:

Ashley Alexandra Dupre
got Elliot Spitzer to play.
Big bucks he shelled out,
'till his secret came out:
seems his weenie had led him astray.

I think tonight we'll celebrate our Irishness with a nice curry...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

what's in your front yard, part deux

I like this one, and although it's technically in a side yard (corner house) it gets high marks for the 3D effect.

The lion head is one of two flanking this front walk.

This one speaks for itself. Rock on.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

the birds!

We have lots of crows in this neighborhood. Sometimes, in the evening around dusk, we'll be walking the pups and suddenly become aware of the noise level rising...and rising...until we're being subjected to some kind of crazy crow symphony or something. (But it's not exactly what I'd call a melodious sort of symphony) We look up, and notice them massing in the trees above us. More and more arrive like they're late for a party, already half drunk and very rowdy. Then, I guess after the head crow decides they've disturbed the peace and freaked out enough humans in this neighborhood, they all fly off with a cacophony of caws to the next party place (could it be a crow bar?) leaving everything eerily quiet. The first time I witnessed it, I shuddered, feeling a little like Tippi Hedren in The Birds. I called the Audubon Society once, and they told me that crows don't exactly flock, (so what exactly do you call that... assembling? swarming?) they're actually just joining up to roost somewhere, probably down along the river. (in a van?)

So, this brings me to today.   I was walking the dogs and heard a bunch of cawing, and saw two or three crows doing lots of flapping and diving at something high up in a tree. It wasn't moving, and at first I though maybe some nut had put one of those fake plastic owls up in there, but then I realized it was a hawk. It was sitting very calmly while the crazy crows were all in a tither.

I was totally fascinated. I read a book called "Owls in the Family" when I was a kid, and learned that crows can't stand owls...but they never mentioned hawks. I wonder if hawks ever eat crows?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

what's in your front yard?

Ok, I've been thinking about this for awhile...Ever notice how some front yards are very pedestrian, but others?...oh my god! This is the start of an occasional series on curb appeal. (Could I possibly be watching too much HGTV?!)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Well, it's March first, and I feel as if I'm finally emerging from a very long, dark winter. We've just had two weeks of unseasonably sunny, warm and highly optimistic weather, coupled with the second total lunar eclipse in a year (and a leap year, at that!)'s truly the looniest end-of-winter blues I've experienced in a good long while.

My head's been cloudy with the flu for the last week. Oh, yeah-I thought that drinking Emergen-C (powdered vitamin C and B supplements that usually pack quite an antioxidant wallop) three times a day would ward off the nasty bug that seems to have hit everyone in the last couple of months. No such luck...although maybe it would have hit me harder without the extra vitamins. Who knows? I'm just grateful the worst of it seems to be over.

It's taken me all day to write the previous two paragraphs, so I guess I am still under the weather. I did make it outside to walk the dogs this morning, and had an early afternoon burst of energy, enabling me to plant a few flowers and clean up the accumulated dog poo in the yard. Yay. Now I'm (pardon the pun) pooped out again, ready for a nice cup of tea and maybe a Girl Scout cookie. Hey, at least I got to wear my groovy new gardening boots for a few minutes.