Friday, December 28, 2012

A Great Present!!

Audrey got Larry a Shark vacuum for Christmas.  Just a little handheld vacuum that she thought would make it easier for Larry to vacuum the stairs.  Her thinking was that it would be so much fun for him that she wouldn't have to vacuum the stairs herself anymore.  

We have a BAD pet hair problem and it always drifts to the stairs.

Audrey was especially excited about this particular Shark because it was made to vacuum up pet hair.  In fact it was called the "Pet Hair Shark".

Larry mis-read the label and thought it was made to vacuum  pets.  We could see him sizing Lucy and Ellie up as he was cradling the Shark in his arms, considering the risk to life and limb when he tried it out on the cats....

Larry had a sad moment when he realized that he was mistaken.

It was just as well.

The cats would have taken him out after his first try.....

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Remarks Made Whist Speeding Down I-66

Larry and I were running late last week. 

We were dropping stuff off at Mary's party and then going on to dinner with Sue and Spence.

We were supposed to drop the stuff off at 5pm, then meet my friend Sue and her hubby Spence at Maggianos at Tyson's Galleria at 6pm.

We started getting dressed at 5pm.

We started gathering the stuff to drop off at 5:20pm.

We tore out of the house, predictably leaving half of the stuff behind, at 5:35pm.

At 5:49pm I looked at Larry and said, 

"One of us needs to get our shit together.

Only one of us can be out of it at a time."

We have been going thru a difficult time.  Generally we kind of take turns going thru patches of funk and the other one picks up the slack.  But somehow the moon and stars have aligned themselves in some bizarre formation that has both of us sleepwalking thru our days.

Which is unfortunate when there are two jobs, two basset hounds, five cats, and a house that is  getting more disorganized by the minute.

I can't remember the last time I made a list.

It is going to get better.  It just has to.

So this weekend, Mary is graciously watching ALL the dogs, and we are going to North Carolina to The Waverly House, a great bed and breakfast that is having a Christmas special. And we are going to rest.  And reconnect.  And maybe do a little Christmas shopping.  And make some lists.  And work on getting our act together. 

And hopefully come back on Sunday recharged and ready to dig in to Christmas and housekeeping and FIVE dogs and 5 cats and two jobs.

Wish us luck.

And by the way, we dropped the stuff off at Mary's, changed our location for dinner, (What were we thinking?? Dinner at Tysons on a Saturday in Dec??), (And it was a lovely dinner - we really do need to get together more often!!) went back to Mary's party for a little while, and went home, happy that we had accomplished not one but TWO things!!

And that's a start.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Lesson Learned

Today we learned a scary lesson.

When I got home with the grandkids around 4:00 I gave Grey two childrens Clariton because the cats make his head really stuffy.
Then we drove over to IHOP to meet Larry for dinner.  After dinner Neve and I took off for Target and Larry and Grey went home.
Neve and I got home around 8:15 and as we were showing off our purchases, Larry mentioned that he had given Grey some allergy meds because he was all stuffed up.


Larry ran to call Spence and I urged Grey over to drink some juice and began thinking about how I was going to tell Shayne and Jess.

Spence suggested that we call Poison Control and gave us the number.

Even tho I was busy mentally reviewing all the routes to the nearest ER, I called them.

The Poison Control people were very cheerful and quick.  They told us that it should be okay, just keep an eye on him and try to regulate his doses more carefully in the future.  "Oh, you can take THAT to the bank!  I assured her.

When we called Shayne back to tell them what the Poison Control people said, I mentioned that Neve had slipped on the stairs in her too big boots and scratched her back and that perhaps they should pick the kids up while they were still in one piece, more or less.

He laughed and said that we weren't going to get off so easily and then wondered out loud how he ALWAYS came back from HIS Gran's house without a scratch. 

"Julia wrapped you in bubble wrap the minute you got there," I said.  "Larry and I keep it real...."

Just the same, I think that I'll keep a little closer eye on Grey-be tonite.

Grey, aged 3....
Just in case....

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Electronic Family

Shayne texted me the following picture:

Shayne: A young Darth Vader reads Dora.

Me: (Thinking that it was Neve)  OMG So Cute!!

(Then I sent the Tiny phone picture to my email and realized that it was Grey.)

Me: Wait.  Is that Grey???

Shayne: No, Mother.  Just a random young boy in his skivvies....

Shayne:  We keep them around for entertainment....

(That's what I get for asking....)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Strange Day on Facebook

A couple of months ago I opened up my Facebook timeline and came upon the strangest juxtaposition of posts that I had ever seen.

You all remember the Adam Levine picture that went around on Valentines Day??  The naked one?  Yep, that one.  We all saw it.

Well, then there was the time when I posted a picture of Larry while he was still a young whippersnapper on his first tour of Korea - complete with RPG glasses.

And then this is what happened --

Life's just not fair....

Larry looked at it and sighed and said "That just isn't right."

And he's right.

I've NEVER been able to grow my nails like that.....

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Blue Angels pack plane full of toys for kids displaced by Sandy

Blue Angels pack plane full of toys for kids displaced by Sandy

I am writing this because the Blue Angels and their plane the Fat Albert that was packed full of toys for Toys for Tots to distribute to kids that were displaced by Sandy was a great thing that happened.

And because it brought joy to lots of children.

And because I played a small part in it.  (Well, my Isuzu did - it transported banners and signs and Audrey to the event!)

And because my coworkers worked their collective rear ends off coordinating the Blue Angels events in Atlanta, Washington DC and Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst in New Jersey.  (You guys Rock!!)

But mainly, I am posting this for my brother Bryan and my friend Sue who are not Facebook regulars and missed this when I posted it on Facebook.

Now you can join us and play Where's Audrey? our version of Where's Waldo?

So click on the link above, watch the video carefully and you will see Audrey in several different places in the background of the film clip.  She has sunglasses on and her hair is up.

Go forth - and Find Audrey!!!

(And donate to Toys for Tots!  Little kids depend on it!!)

Monday, December 3, 2012

We Just Can't Have Nice Things -The Poinsettia Chronicles

It took all day but I finally got my dining room table cleaned off!!  (Don't judge me!)

ah, so pretty!!

I admired it for a few minutes, then we took our dinner into the front room (sigh) to eat. 

(Project Runway (on DVR) was not going to watch itself, after all!)

I came back a scant 42 minutes later and disaster had nearly struck!! 

Just ignore the floor.  Cleaning the dining room is a process....
Two more inches and I would've lost my new poinsettia and then I would've had to hunt down and seriously harm a few cats....(I am looking at YOU Billy and YOU TOO Sminky!!!)


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Short Ribs - Just Like the Chef at Universal Studios Makes!!!

When we went to Las Vegas to visit my brother over Thanksgiving, I may have mentioned that we went to LA and toured Universal Studios.

Bo and Sarah treated us to the VIP Tour, and part of the package (which included looking down at the little people who didn't get to get out and wander around the sets and who had to stand IN LINE to ride the rides) was a buffet lunch at a fancy restaurant with cloth napkins and a chef in a white jacket and toque and everything!!

In the buffet line there was a lot of seafood - it was California, after all - and then I spied the short ribs!!  The chef smiled approvingly as I grabbed one - he told me that I had made an excellent choice!  And he was correct - they were so good!

So yesterday while Mary and I were at the commissary, seeing if we could in fact spend ALL the money in my bank account, I remembered to pick up a package of short ribs.

Short ribs used to be a kind of a scary cooking proposition until one day when I was at work at my old job at Alvey's a little family run grocery store that had the best butcher and the freshest meats in the area.  They showed us how to cook them so that they were tender and flavorful - yum!

Beth at the fancy buffet.

So here is my recipe for Short Ribs!  Enjoy!!

You will need:

One package of short ribs
One envelope of dry Lipton Onion Soup mix.
3 cups water
1 cup good wine - red or white
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 onions sliced in large slices
8 oz of mushrooms - optional
olive oil, salt and pepper
2 packages of brown gravy mix
one can of mushroom soup

Brown the short ribs on all sides in hot olive oil on high heat in a large skillet. Salt and pepper them. 
Set a  dutch oven on a burner and add the water, wine, bouillon cubes, and soup mix and bring to a simmer.
When the short ribs are browned place in the liquid in the dutch oven, and saute the mushrooms in the skillet that you browned the short ribs.  Salt and pepper them, then add them to the dutch oven.  Add the onions to the skillet and lightly brown them.  A(dd a little more olive oil if the pan looks a little dry.)  When the onions are browned, put about a cup of the liquid from the dutch oven into the skillet to deglaze it and add all to the dutch oven.
Put the lid on the dutch oven and set in a 325 degree oven for 3 or 4 hours til tender.
Take the short ribs out of the pan and set aside in a warm spot.  Put the dutch oven back on the burner and set on medium high heat.
In a quart size mason jar, dump a cup of water, the contents of the gravy mix and the undiluted mushroom soup.  Put a lid on the jar and shake until it is thoroughly mixed.\Pour the mason jar mixture into the dutch oven and stir quickly with a whisk until the gravy is thickened and bubbly.
Serve with boiled or mashed potatoes or rice or noodles.

Short ribs, mashed potatoes and gravy and cauliflower and cheese....

Trip to Walmart

It was a busy day!!

Grey and Neve hadn't been over for two weeks and I wasn't planning on them coming by  until Shayne asked "Do you want to go to Mimi's?" and they shouted "Yes!".

We needed to pick up a humidifier for Grey but the kids wanted to come straight to the house to see Scottie Jane so we tabled the trip til later.

Later included digging out a big box of blocks and a big tub of Aunt Mary and Aunt Audrey's Barbies.

Later included lots of cuddling with Scottie Jane.

Later included ordering pizza and making chocolate chip cookies and and licking the beaters and spatulas.

Later included Neve conditioning her hair by working a large handful of baby lotion into it. Don't ask me why.

Later also included catching up on Max and Ruby on the DVR and Lego TV On Demand while Mimi did some unexpected unscheduled work from home.

So when we finally couldn't put off going out and getting that humidifier, we were looking kind of worse for wear.

Going to the store went a little something like this:

"Larry!  I need to run to Walmart and get that humidifier.  Do you want to go?"
"No!" he yelled down from his office, where he was doing homework.
"Grey, do you want to go?"
"No!" he said as he looked up from playing with the Star Wars cloud car that we had found with the blocks.
"Neve, do you want to go?"
"YES!" She said as she uncrammed the New Kids on the Block Danny doll and his red headed girlfriend out of the Barbie van.  (They had been on their way to a concert with another couple - guys in front, girls in back - all gloriously naked except for Danny who had on a teal bikini bottom that I understand belongs to Brenda from 90210 - but I am not judging.)

I looked down at the two of us and I hoped to God that we wouldn't see ANYONE that I knew.

Then as we walked up to the entrance of the Walmart Neve said, "Mimi, PopPop and Grey didn't come with us!"  

"Nope, they sure didn't" I replied.

"Oh Mimi, we're having a Girls Night!"  Neve said with quite a bit of excitement. 

I looked down at that three year old happy little cookie dough smeared face with the baby lotioned hair and all of a sudden, I didn't care who saw us at the Walmart.

Neve and I were having a Girls Night.