Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out With The Old

And in with the new.... a newly painted bedroom and hallway, that is!

As I said yesterday, the Evil Twin and I have been wanting to paint our bedroom for a while. In March, we will have lived in this house for 5 years.

Of course, Buddy's room got the first make-over, then when we were expecting Sissy, her room got a fresh coat of paint.

Shortly after Sissy was born, we had a MAJOR remodel: all existing wallpaper (except the kitchen) was removed and all newly exposed walls were painted. The kitchen floor was replaced with porcelain tile. The carpet in the Den,(living room to non-Southerners), Dining room and hallway was all pulled up and the original oak hardwoods were refinished. The main bathroom was gutted and completely redone (complete with porcelain tile floor to replace fugly pink CARPET - yes, carpet in a bathroom!), many light fixtures were replaced and all the carpet downstairs was pulled up and replaced with berber carpet, the two bedrooms downstairs (we use one as an office) were painted and lastly, we replaced 18 windows with vinyl double hung, Low E Argon Gas windows.

I think we had contractors in our house for a month - and it was chaos, but so worth it at the end.

We had three more projects to tackle: painting our bedroom, painting the hallway and removing all wallpaper from the kitchen and painting. This weekend, we get to knock out bedroom and hallway.

The kitchen wallpaper removal process will be slow and painstaking. There is a lot of wallpaper that needs to come down. I think we'll save that one for this Spring or Summer.

We do as much work as we can ourselves - obviously to save money.

At any rate, the Evil Twin did 2 coats of primer in the bedroom and one coat of the new paint today. One more coat of the new color tomorrow and we'll have a new bedroom to move back into for the New Year! Last night, we got to sleep in the guest bedroom. Like an adventure!

It's interesting that a large portion of our bedroom furniture is in the dining room and lining the hallway. it's sort of like one of those little puzzles where the pieces are shuffled all around until the puzzle is solved. Only in our case, it's a musical rotation of household furniture until it can be returned to its' rightful location.

Our room is on the small side, so I didn't get any before pics. I'll try to get an after if I can get a decent angle, but just imagine...

Our walls were a putrid peachy-pink color in FLAT paint. Our room was always so dismal and dark looking. I hate flat paint - we went with a satin this time around! Yay for new old spaces!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

PTSD

What a day! We had decided to paint our bedroom and the hallway while the Evil Twin had such a long amount of time off. So, we needed to buy the paint yesterday.

The Evil Twin and I both really like the Behr brand paint from Home Depot. The closest HD to us is out on Corridor G (which is an area we alternately call "Southridge" or even South Charleston). It's only 8 miles down the road, but it's not close to the Mart of Wal I normally shop. However, it IS near a Mart of Wal... just not the one I like.

As a matter of convenience, we thought we'd just go to the Deep Homo, buy the paint and supplies, then skip over to WM for groceries.

A great thought, but we didn't take into account how much of a madhouse that particular WM can be.

Yesterday, we could have won Jeff Kay's Wal-Mart game easy, flat out - before we even walked in the front doors!

Alternatively, we could have all gotten a Wal-Mart Bingo in no time:



And, now, you'll excuse me while I make appointments to have the entire family treated for PTSD.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Busy Weekend

We had such a busy weekend, I didn't have time to do any updates. As I said earlier, my best friend had stopped by on Thursday evening.

Many of our friends have moved out of state, but their parents or other family still live in WV, so holidays are generally busy trying to schedule just a little time with any one who has managed to make it back "home".

On Friday evening, we had two more friends drop by. One friend, K and I have known each other since our high school days. She and I didn't go to the same high school, but we ran in the same crowds. When we went to Marshall together, we were roommates for a while. She lives right over the border in Ohio now and we hadn't seen her for a few years.

Our other friend N is someone I met in college. K and I actually stalked him in the local 7-11 and worked up the courage to talk to him. See, back then, N had a blue mohawk and we just KNEW we had to meet him and become friends!

Over the years, N has added tattoos and piercings. This is his newest one, Bela Lugosi, but it's not finished:



He also has Johnny Cash on this same arm:



His left arm is nearly fully covered and he has done a great deal of this work on himself:



N ended up spending the night with us and that was nice. We were able to have coffee with him Saturday morning and visit some more.

Saturday afternoon we just spent relaxing. But, by Sunday, I was starting to feel stir crazy. I'm actually looking forward to the weekly grocery shopping trip today.

I'm also starting to lose track of the days. It seems like every day has been a Sunday, but obviously, it hasn't been! LOL.

The Evil Twin and Buddy are off of work/school for another full week and things are going good so far. Keep your fingers crossed that the Evil Twin lives for another Christmas vacation!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Gift

We had a lovely Christmas here. The kids both received things they adore. Sissy had been asking for a soccer ball for months and Santa brought one for her. She ran up and down the hallway in her night gown and Crocs for a long time kicking it about.

When I was pregnant with her, she was SO kicky, the Evil Twin used to joke about her being the next Mia Hamm (soccer pro). Perhaps he is right on the money!

We decided that, instead of the typical traditional Christmas feast, we would just order Chinese take out. It was great. We all ate way too much. Afterwards, we all had a fortune cookie. Sissy had the best one. Her fortune (and I kid you not) says, "Be patient! The Great Wall didn't got build in one day." Engrish anyone?

Anyway, Buddy and Sissy had plenty of gifts:



Then, Santa left his gifts (he always leaves them unwrapped here, so the kids know what he brought from what other gifts have been given):



My brother, sister in law and our niece and nephew came over for a bit yesterday. Our niece will be 5 in June and our nephew is only three weeks younger than Sissy, so all the kids had a good time. It was nice to see them again - they live about 2 hours away and rarely get to come this direction.

Then, my best friend came over last night. He and I commenced to drinking - as usual. Of course, he said he couldn't live on just oxygen alone. I tried to send his boyfriend a picture, but I don't think it went thru.

Oh well, I'll share it here and you can consider it a belated Christmas gift from me to you.



Now, what did you get ME?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

I hope all my friends and family out there have an excellent holiday season. It's 9:30 am on Wednesday and I've already baked some chocolate chip cookies. Whew - Santa will have a few cookies (with any luck - if my crew doesn't eat them all by this evening).

We watched Elf last night. The Evil Twin and I had seen bits and pieces of it, but never all the way through. It is really funny! I love Will Ferrell anyway - he's always so goofy.

I think I'm going to get a shower and perhaps whip up some waffles on my new grilly thing.

Then, I'm making a half recipe of the Mild Mexican Appetizer. I think we'll have plenty of things to snack on today! :-)

My house smells so yummy. I placed an order with Sabrae a few days ago and my pod warmer and pods arrived yesterday! I have the apple spice on right now and it's heavenly! I have to be careful about scents/candles because of our bird (birds have very sensitive lungs, so I don't like to burn candles).

Seriously, check out her blog and her products from Gold Canyon! :-)

And have yourselves a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chillin'

And grillin'. Some of you asked about the new George Foreman grill I recently picked up with the removable and dishwasher safe plates. It is handy. I've used it twice in the week I've had it and it's been thru one dishwashing already.

It also came with a few different plates, too. Like one that's for waffles and a flat one for cooking things like bacon. It has a lever on it, so it can be either pitched forward (like the regular grills - to cook meats and let the fat run off) or set for a flat surface (for doing waffles, etc.). I may not use the additional plates much, but I suppose they're good to have around if I take a shine to doing waffles or such.

I had seen this one in the Target sale circular and then researched it online, so I didn't see it in person like I would have liked to, but come on - I am not about to set foot in the Target this time of year! So, I ordered it online and it is not as big as I thought it would be. It's a good size, but I wish it was a smidge larger.

Now, there may be a larger one for all I know, but I didn't really look around too much. Besides, I wasn't willing to pay any more for it at this time. It's good - and we're enjoying it. So, it was worth the $$ in my opinion.

Oh! One other perk: it came with a contoured scrubby thing, so I just snap the plates off, run them under water and do a little scrubbing, then throw them in the dishwasher! MUCH easier than the old style grills without the removable plates.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas To Me!

I've always been a sort of lucky person, but only in aspects of my life that didn't include winning things. I suppose I've broken my streak somewhat this Christmas season.

First, I won a Thanksgiving Platter from Our Name is Mud. That's just super awesome and I don't even care WHO you are. I won something!

Lorrie seems to always have some really nifty give-away going on and I played along on another occasion - just for fun, really - I never expected to win anything again.

But, I did:



How cute is THAT? It's a votive holder and I love it to pieces!

I love all things Christmassy and I love all things free, so my heart grew about three sizes larger when I saw my new Christmas addition.

Okay, I think I've mentioned that the Evil Twin and I don't exchange gifts to each other, but I did buy myself something:



We already have two of these grills. One is a smaller one we bought when they were first available. Then, my parents' bought a large one and didn't like it, so they gave that one to us. We liked the grills, but clean up is a drag. I'd be scrubbing for days sometimes to get one clean. This one has removable and dishwasher safe plates, thereby making my life infinitely easier. Seeing as how we run a load of dishes almost every day, we could cook with it every evening if I plan it just right.

I DID get a little something for the Evil Twin too, although it came a few weeks ago. It's a vinyl figure:



Bossy Bear was created by one of the ET's favorite artists, David Horvath. We like to call Sissy "Bossy Bear" because, well, she is so awfully bossy!

The Evil Twin and I (along with Bossy Bear) will be spending the day at Walmart today. I'm happy to have the help, even as I anticipate the trip to be sheer hell on wheels.

Wish us luck! :-)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Winding It Down

Today is the Evil Twin's last day of work until January 5. Thanks to holiday time and some well positioned vacation time, he managed to score a big chunk of time off. Yay! Now, let's keep our fingers crossed that we can actually stand to be together solidly for all those days.

Sometimes, I think there is such a thing as "too much togetherness".

Anyway, today is also what I THINK should have been Buddy's last day, but he has to go a full day Monday AND Tuesday. I get the 180 day rule for school attendance, but really... I think 2 days into June would be preferable to cutting it so close to Christmas. Oh well. Nothing I can do about it unless we get so much snow, school is cancelled on those days.

So, that is my schedule for the next few days. Then, Christmas break! Yay. I am so ready for it. Typically, I don't like change, but I do like breaks from the normal routine sometimes. And, I'm ready for this break.

Last night, we had Buddy's school Christmas play.

That is almost too much people interaction for me. Apparently, everyone thinks the Christmas play is THE event of the school year, so grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. are all invited. The result is that the gym is over crowded - people are standing up and standing in aisles to photograph/videotape their little darlin' and it seemed like when I could HEAR anything, it was mostly all the people around me snorting and snotting and carrying on.

I swear, I have stayed healthy this far this year and if I wind up with a cold or worse because I had to be around a bunch of filthy germ wagons last night, I will be royally pissed! Royally!

Of course, Sissy wouldn't sit still and that just added to the drama. But, really, who can blame her? My ass was numb after an hour on the metal folding chair and I was ready to get the h-e-double toothpicks out of there as quickly as possible.

The play (what I could hear or see of it) was cute, but the next time I have to attend such a function, I think I'll slip a lump of coal up my butt. Most likely, I'll have a lovely diamond to show off later. That's how tense those things make me.

Anyway, the highlight of the evening was that after the play - and since we were already out and about - we decided to go to our little town's Festival of Lights. At the city park, they have a Christmas light display each year and we had never been.

It's neat because you just drive along the path and get to take in all the lights. There is one location where you can stop and get out. Santa is there with hot cocoa, but since we already saw Santa at Tamarack, we just kept driving.

So, you wind all up in and over the park and let me tell you: when they say "Festival of Lights", they ain't kidding. It was sooo elaborate. The kids loved it. The Evil Twin and I admired it and it just made the previous stress of the evening melt away!

We've decided that touring the Festival of Lights will be a yearly activity from now on.

And, now, I can sleep well knowing that when I die, I have had at least one full hour knocked off of my time in purgatory. I "gave at the office (school)" last night!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Wrap Up of Miscellaneous and Questionable Content

Ok, I know you all are dying to hear about my colon blow experiment. Well, there's not much to tell really. It should have been called "The Beans and Broccoli Kit" because it was mostly a gassy feeling I had.

Of course, you might also know my motto of: Never trust a fart ™

So, I spent a lot of time worrying that I would have a "situation". Nope.

I also was secretly hoping I might pass a rubber chicken. Not that I've eaten a rubber chicken or anything, but you know those little capsules that you can buy? You soak them in water and they become these little foam animals?

For $20, one would think the manufacturers could have disguised a rubber chicken capsule as the Mega Fiber capsule and I would have never known. But, no.

I ate a billion Mega Fiber pills, about half as much "Gentle Laxative" pills and a few handfuls of "Super Milk Thistle" pills over the course of my two week experiment and don't really feel any different.

I didn't even lose ONE freaking pound. Then again, old Aunt Flo swooped in last weekend (and still won't get the hint I don't WANT guests), so I'm thinking there's probably some water weight there - and besides which, I tend to go into werepig mode when PMSing, so I could blame the copious amounts of food I digested in that time frame as well.

Anyway, there ya go. $20 for some farts and a touch of diarrhea. Next time I have a notion to do this, I'll just buy a Baconater from Wendy's for $4.

In other news, Sissy and I were up at the Mart of Wal on Monday. We were having a pleasant shopping experience when an older lady approached us. Sissy started SCREAMING and I turned to face the woman and she was so SCARY looking. She had bright red lipstick that was smeared on way past her lip line and really overdone make up all over. She looked like the Joker.

Sissy kept screaming, crying, clawing at me to hold her. It was pathetic really. And the lady asked, "What's wrong with your baby?" I said, "Oh, she just hasn't had a nap today." (she never takes daytime naps anyway....) and just tried to push the cart away from her.

A few aisles over Sissy said, "I scared of clowns." I know, baby, I know.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Good Office Party

Okay, so fast forward a few years. I started working at a decent company. This place had people I actually got along with and didn't mind spending the day in their company.

The office Christmas party was a joint event to raise money for a local homeless shelter, which is an event I can get behind. Number one: It's a party. Number two: It's absolutely for a good cause and there is NO overhead costs being covered by the party. I mean, the owners of the company never meant to re-coup dollars to pay for the party. Every cent raised went to the cause.

Plus, it was a great work environment. I loved my bosses and their families and all my other co-workers and their families. It was just a fun, fun evening.

Sadly, shortly after I left, the company was sold to three employees (who I know and love), but they did not carry on the tradition of the debauchery of the standard office party.

But it was fun while it lasted. They had an open bar (woohoo), and had the event catered, so there was good food. And, they offered to pay cab fare for anyone - ANYONE - at the party who felt it was unwise to drive at the end of the evening.

It just goes to show you - companies who value their employees and provide a great work atmosphere have better parties after hours and will probably have more attendance.

Another good office party is one where the employer has a luncheon for the employees. The Evil Twin's office does this. Everyone brings a dish and the whole affair is done around lunch time. This means, no one has to have it eat into their free time - they're already at the office during the day anyway.

This year, the "theme" was international foods or something like that, so I sent a recipe I got from my mom, Mild Mexican Appetizer (which I will list below, then I'll add it to the Glamorous Recipes page).

Mild Mexican Appetizer

2 lg (8 oz) bricks of cream cheese
Small jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce
jar of Picante Hot sauce
(Optional - small package of cooked shrimp)
1 small can of chopped black olives
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 bunch of green onions, chopped - include green tops (I used enough to make about a cup of onions)
1 pkg each (the 2 cup bags) of shredded monterey jack cheese and cheddar cheese.

Layer in a 9 x 11 baking dish. Let cream cheese soften before. Mix equal parts of Ragu and picante sauce (or to taste - I used about a cup of each) and layer ingredients in order listed. Serve with Tortilla chips, corn chips or snack crackers (I like the Tostitos).

I make mine w/o the shrimp simply because some people don't eat shellfish for religious reasons, have allergies or high cholesterol. It is good WITH the shrimp, but I find it's easier (and less expensive to make) without them and still good.

Office Parties

I was having a conversation last week with my best friend for all of my life (like, we've been friends since we were FOUR years old and she's only one day older than me) and she was telling me about her office Christmas party.

The party involved one of the tiredest old tricks of the trade: the gift/re-gift game. For example: all participants' names are put into a drawing. The first name drawn selects a gift from the variety on display, opens it and ooohs and aaahs or whatever. After this point, any other name drawn can either choose a wrapped gift or "take" an already opened gift from the person who has it.

This is a popular and "fun" game for most. I find it offensive and boring. And moronic.

I never get the humor involved in this or other such "gift trading" type games. It seems fruitless. Who's laughing? The poor schmuck who goes home with the shittiest gift???

And why is that funny?

You know what's funnier? A fart in an elevator! A turd in a punchbowl!

So, I've had a few jobs in my life. My first job out of college was the worst job I've ever had - and I had worked waiting tables and retail. But, working for the local Girl Scout Council was the worst.

First off, those women were the biggest bunch of bitches on the planet and they will also serve to be the reason my Sissy will never be a "scout". I'll elaborate more on this later.

But, when I worked there, I was fresh out of college and it was a salaried job with benefits, so I considered myself lucky (at $16K a year... har har). They had the holiday party on a weekend night, and not attending was not an option. Either you showed or you risked your job.

And, I couldn't bring a date or my spouse (later), so I had to attend by myself on a night I should have my total free time. There was no alcohol, but plenty of booolsheet. I hated it. It was the worst night of my life for several years.

At the Girl Scout Council, we did the "White Elephant" gift exchange. That means, a person brings something really tacky and wraps it up nicely, then everyone "fights" over the tackiest thing. Puh-lease! I am an adult! I always tried to leave as soon as possible after eating and the super stupid gift exchange.

Please, don't buy Girl Scout cookies this year. I don't. If you'd like to make a difference, please just give a dollar or two directly to the girl's troop. It's a better use of your money. Trust me.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Running Late

Last night, the Steelers game went a little long, then stupid CBS decided to run 60 minutes in it's entirety (which was frankly 60 minutes too long - it always is) and so my beloved Survivor finale didn't start until 8:30.

For those who don't know, the finale for Survivor is always a 2 hour deal, then after that, they have a one hour "reunion" show where all the contestants share the stage and talk about their time - short or long - playing the game.

Well, I like to watch it all and as I watch, I enjoy swilling Chardonnay like it's going out of style.

This morning, I've been a little slow on the draw - plus a certain special monthly friend flew in to visit yesterday and I'm not feeling so hot.

Add that to what I'm sure will be a very crowded Mart of Wal (hey, it's cheap and I need LOTS of stuff this week), and I'm not exactly chomping at the bit to get my day going.

The plus side is that it's almost 70 degrees, according to my digital indoor/outdoor thermometer here in the house. The weather channel icon on my laptop is saying 57, but I suspect it's just warmer around my house than in the burg as a whole. So, at least I don't have to get bundled up like the Michelin Man just to leave the house! That almost makes going out worthwhile.

So, I will leave you with a question... Have you ever been to an office Christmas party where one co-worker Xeroxed their butt/crotch/boobs? I've never witnessed that type of shenanigan, but I do have some office holiday party stories coming up. And let me just add: I am SO glad I don't have an office to deal with any longer. Give me a whiny toddler any day. Even whiny, it's a lot more bearable than most co-workers!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Shakedown, I mean "Interview"

Gingermagnolia had a fun thing on her blog wherein she was interviewed by a fellow blogger. I volunteered to let her interview me and here's what happened:

1. Exactly what size ARE those luscious ta-tas?
I'm currently in a 36D, although I think I may be deluding myself a bit. Next purchase will be a DD. And, they're not enhanced in any way. They just get bigger and bigger. I'm pretty sure it's wishful thinking or the power of positive thinking on the Evil Twin's behalf.

2. What are any piercings and/or tattoos you have?

I have 12 earrings, but currently only wear 10. I should have 6 in each ear, but I wear 6 in my left ear and 4 in my right (and I only clean around them with alcohol wipes - I never take them out because it's too much of a PITA).

I have three tattoos. One is a rose, one is a lizard and the third is a tribal design. They're all done "together" on my left thigh, so most people think it is ONE tattoo, but they were done at different times by different artists.




3. If you didn't have the name "Evil Twin's Wife," what would be your alias?

Flaminica ... which is the wife of the Flamen Dialis (it's kind of an inside joke), but notice how I bring it all around to the "wife" thing again? I must really be wrapped up in my wifely duties. LOL.

4. What is your most favorite/least favorite thing about being a hausfrau?

The best thing is that I can make my own schedule for the most part (unless I have to attend an appointment or function), but I love the flexibility of it. And, of course, being available for my children. The worst thing is that many of my closest friends in real life work full time, so I don't really have anyone to hang out with or talk to during the day. I'm getting involved in a mom's group, though, so that might be improving.

5. What is your most prized (non-human) possession?

My laptop! It keeps me connected to people when I feel lonely - and lets me read news in the bits and pieces way I can get to it.

Thanks for the fun questions, Ginger!

Link back to the original post....so, I linked to Ginger in the intro, but her link was this. I'm a little confused, here.

Put the rest of the rules in your post:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions. (for the love of Pete, make it easy for me to find your email address....you know mine).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

And here's your Sunday submission. I'm off to do the crossword and cryptoquip.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It Should Have Been This One

Remember when I mentioned that Sissy did a photo shoot for the state of WV. There's a campaign going on now through WV Division of Tourism called "Come Home to WV". It's a plea to try to get West Virginians who have left the state to come back.

So, they wanted to set up a shot that would show a family presumably returning to the grandparents house for the holiday with their own children in tow.

I said I would never do this (show my kids), but I love this cover so much. It was rejected as presented and went back to the drawing board. Sissy will not be on the cover after all. They decided to use three completely different and unrelated shots for the actual cover.

That's okay.... my girl had her first modeling gig:

Friday, December 12, 2008

I Love Where I Live, But...

Our county - Kanawha (pronounced CAN-aw-uh) - waits 'til the very last possible second to announce school closings or delays.

The Evil Twin woke me up at the usual time this morning and I, in turn, woke up Buddy to get him ready for school. While he was eating breakfast, I glanced out the window and saw snow on the grass, cars, roof-tops... So, I figured I should check the local weather channel online to see if school was even in session.

Buddy goes to a private school that follows our county schedule... Unless our county public schools have a teacher in-service day and in that case, they follow the next county over. Confused? Yep, me too.

I never know what the public school is doing because I don't have a kid in public school (yet). So, I checked the school info and Kanawha AND Putnam were on a 2 hour delay.

I tell Buddy to get back in bed and I do the same. I woke back up when I heard Sissy on the baby monitor. I got back on the local channel website to see if there were any changes - like I said, they all like to make last minute decisions. So, I check and Kanawha is still listed as a 2 hour delay, but Putnam was listed as closed. Hmmm. What to do?

I decided to wing it and assume it was still a 2 hour delay. That didn't make Buddy very happy when I had to wake him up the 2nd time...

It didn't make ME very happy either. I really don't want to have to do school pick up if it's icy out there. (the Evil Twin called his office and said he'd be a little late, so he could still take Buddy in this morning - he doesn't like the idea of me driving with both kids if the weather is bad).

Ugh... time to get in the shower, I suppose. At least it's Friday! :-)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

We Have a Winner! (updated)



And there ya have it - the WINNER of the Fiestaware spoon rest. I just need the winner to email me at eviltwinswife(at)gmail(dot)com with a mailing address!

This was lots of fun. I wish I had something for everyone who told me a funny/tragic kitchen story, but alas, I do not.

So, as a consolation prize, you will hear the Evil Twin use his "Circus Barker/Radio DJ" voice. And you can also catch my voice at the end.

I gathered the names, cut exact same size slips of paper and made sure to not write too hard on any one slip, then the Evil Twin and I folded them twice in half, in the exact same manner, so all little folded slips were identical. (It was VERY scientific and all....)

Luck o' the draw. ;-) And, if you didn't read this particular person's comment, go back and do that. It is hilarious!

Oh, and here's his blog info: SoLow at 100MPH and Counting. Check him out!
Glam Thurs.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's Memeo Timeo

I loved reading all the entries for the spoon rest give-away and I almost want to say "Thanks for entertaining me.", but the truth is: my readers who comment entertain me EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Still, it was nice to have new stories and there will be a taped drawing later on which will be Thursday mornings post. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I have to steal a Meme from Tiff, who stole it from Biff and lord only knows who it actually originated from (another preposition ending sentence.... get over it).

46 ODD things about you: (meaning me and such)

1. Do you like blue cheese? Yum! Especially with Wendy's Fries.

2. Have you ever smoked heroin? Never smoked it.

3. Do you own a gun? Yes, we have a few.

4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? I only drink water during the day.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Yes, I have major white coat syndrome, which works great with my anxiety!

6. What do you think of hot dogs? They're nasty, but tasty.

7. Favorite Christmas movie? Scrooged.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Ice water, a little coffee.

9. Can you do push ups? No.

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? My engagement ring and my mom's engagement ring.

11. Favorite hobby? Reading.

12. Do you have A.D.D? No.

13. What is one trait you hate about yourself? Procrastination.

14. Middle name? I don't have one, unless you'd like to know the middle name I was given at birth, before I was adopted. It was Renee. My adoptive parents didn't give me a middle name.

15. What is your favorite TV show or movie? Survivor - I only watch one other show, and that's Dexter.

16. Name 3 things you bought yesterday. Stamps, ornaments and Christmas cards.

17. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink. Coffee, water, wine

18. Current worry? None

19. Current hate right now? None

20. Favorite place to be? Home

21. Where would you like to go? Walt Disney World and that is going to happen in May!

22. Name three people who will complete this? Someone who has no blog material. Someone who is wanting to take an easy road and someone who likes to take random memes.

24. What shirt are you wearing? No clue. It's from Old Navy.

25. What year would you go back in time to? None.

26. Can you whistle? Yes.

27. Favorite color? Purple.

28. Would you be a pirate? No.

29. Favorite girl’s name? Camille

30. Favorite boy’s name? Ellis

31. Last thing you dreamed about? Can't remember.

32. What’s in your pocket right now? No pockets.

33. Last thing that made you laugh? Talking to my bio mom on the phone last night. She and I have the same sense of humor (Imagine that!).

34. Best Halloween costume? I once went as a bride - 15 years later and I'm still happy!

35. Worst injury you’ve ever had? Twisted my left ankle (severely).

36. Do you like where you live? No - I LOVE it.

37. How many TVs do you have in your house? 5

38. Who is your loudest friend? The Evil Twin

39. How many dogs do you have? 0

40. Does someone have a crush on you? I hope he still does. Judging from the amount of groping that goes on around here, I'd say "yes".

41. What is your favorite book(s)? Tuck Everlasting, The Life of Pi

42. What is your favorite candy? Snickers

43. Favorite Sports Team? Steelers

44. Favorite Sports? Football

45. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Sawing logs

46. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Oh, shit. We gotta get moving! (the Evil Twin forgot to set the alarm, but we weren't TOO late).

The Nap

When Buddy was born, I either bought or was given a tiny square blanket in an aqua color. I think I bought it at Kohl's, but it just might have been a shower gift.... It's been about 11 years ago, so I'm a little foggy on the details.

This "blanket" is an exact square and not really large enough to be a covering type of blanket, but it has a waffle weave knit pattern, accompanied by an edging of about 2 inches that is a nylon (or satin-y feel) material.

Buddy never took to it, instead, he preferred his "tatty rags". Which were the "fancy burp cloths" made of terry cloth with a stitched trim. He liked to gnaw on the trim and thusly, they became increasingly ratty and gained their name of the "Tatty Rag". He would cry and carry on at night if he did not have a tatty rag in his bed.

Luckily for us, the fancy burp cloths were plentiful and easy to find. I bought a boat load of them. The Evil Twin would throw them out as they became ever rattier.

Fast forward about 8 years. I had Sissy and I had also kept all of Buddy's blankets. I figured a receiving blanket was a receiving blanket - color be damned.

Before she was born, I washed them all up, including that small mint colored blanket that Buddy never cared for much.

Somehow, Sissy found it amongst all the other blankets in her room. She calls it "Nap" or "Sleepy Bye".

Turns out that little tiny square is a Baby Morgan blanket. I decided to do some research on it the other night because Sissy loves it so and I can't really get it away from her easily to wash it. I figured if we had a stand by or two, they could be on hand for emergencies.

Baby Morgan company stopped producing the blankets in 2003 - a full THREE years before Sissy was even born! Apparently, the blankets are still very popular and my only searched turned up used blankets on eBay for outrageous prices.

In my desperate research, I learned that a company called Bright Future took over Baby Morgan and produced almost identical blankets. But, I need a MINI one. In the aqua or MINT green color.

I think I may have to add more personal insurance to our home for Nap. As it is, we're getting to the stage where Nap must accompany us on all outings.

Leave it to one of my kids to become attached to something no longer manufactured.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Are You In It to Win It?

Feeling all warm and fuzzy for the holiday season and spurred on by contest give-aways on many other blogs (and having been the winner of one contest myself - over at Our Name is Blog), I decided to do something similar here.

It won't be a regular feature, but it's something I thought would be fun. So many of my readers found the post on Fiestaware interesting and really loved the pieces.

While I was at Tamarack on Saturday, I picked up one piece for myself and one piece for the lucky winner of this contest:



It's a Fiestaware spoon rest in the Peacock color. This color is so festive and bright, it just makes me smile. Plus which, I figured even if you owned no other pieces of Fiestaware, one little spoon rest on your stove wouldn't seem out of place - and plus, plus which it's a very practical item, too!

Spoons and their resting spots are important to me.



I purchased something different for me, because I already have a spoon rest, in Cinnabar.

And, as an aside for some of you rabid collectors out there, Fiesta is apparently discontinuing Heather - The shop at Tamarack had some pieces of that for 20% off and I saw a bowl I thought I must have, but I was so loaded down with stuff (everyone's coats, my own handbag, etc.), I couldn't pick it up and I couldn't get the Evil Twin's attention amidst the chaos with the kids and the chatting and all the love with my aunts, uncles and cousin in the mix. Oh well... I saved money there! (by not spending anymore).

So, here's how we're gonna work this deal. Leave a comment detailing some funny or tragic kitchen/cooking experience you've had. That will get you an entry (one entry per person - I want to be fair). If you don't cook, just make something up. Keep in mind that if you win, you will need to email me your name and mailing address to eviltwinswife(at)gmail(dot)com. I'm not a crazy stalker - I don't have TIME for it!

The contest will end Wednesday (12/10) at 6AM. All names will be put in a bowl and the Evil Twin will draw. I'll announce it on Thursday's blog and hopefully, the spoon rest will be on its merry way shortly thereafter (as soon as I get the winning address and can bribe the Evil Twin into hitting the post office).

Feel free to tell your friends. Twitter it! Or, whatever. I just want this to be FUN.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It Means The Season Officially Begins

Every year, we travel to Tamarack in Beckley, WV to meet up with my aunt, uncle and cousin from Lewisburg and my aunt and uncle from Winston-Salem. It's kind of a practical "halfway" mark for all of us.

We visit and have lunch - the Tamarack food court is run by the Greenbrier Hotel people and they have some mighty delicious food there, for not bad prices.

Plus, from just after Thanksgiving until Christmas, Santa visits. He doesn't sit on a throne and have the kids wait in line to see him. Santa kinda wanders around the place and gently approaches children. Then, he spends a good amount of quality time with them. He's very patient, funny and sweet. We love him.



This is our 7th year of this gathering and I know by now this is the real Santa. He probably comes to Beckley because it's slightly warmer than the North Pole, but still gets a good amount of snow... so he can feel at home, ya know?

My aunt picks the date, then lets the rest of us know which Saturday in December we will be meeting up. It doesn't matter which weekend she picks, it almost always snows on that weekend. Saturday was no exception (I think it merely rained last year). It started snowing about noon and we gathered up the savages and got on the road to home by about 1ish.

Feeling all Christmasy, all of a sudden - after having visited Santa, the snow falling outside, and having a few wrapped gifts for the kids (given by aforementioned aunts, uncles and cousin), we decided it was time for the tree:



We got to take in all the cool products made by West Virginia Artisans while we wandered around Tamarack:



A Quilt



Face Jugs

And of course, the Fiestaware area:



I did bring back a little something special for someone. We'll find out more tomorrow!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dishing

Many people commented on the dishes in the dishwasher from yesterday. Those dishes are Fiestaware. Fiesta was designed by Frederick Hurten Rhead in 1936. It was in production from then until 1973 and then re-issued in 1986.

I'm not sure at what point, but it was taken over by the Homer Laughlin China Company and that company is located in Newell, WV. Newell is a little town in the almost very most Northern point of WV, near Wheeling (which is a larger city).



If you look at the image above, the large star is the capital, which is Charleston. That's around where I am, but up in that skinny part, towards the very top is Wheeling and near that is Newell.

The Evil Twin has actually been on a business trip to Wheeling and was able to tour the plant there. He also brought home several new pieces of Fiesta for me.

I started by collecting 5 piece place settings in different colors. I don't own more than one setting of any certain color... they're all different, in the colors I like. I tend to like the more unusual colors, like chartreuse and persimmon. I avoid the pastel colors, like Rose to the extent I can (But, I do own a Rose colored coffee mug). I think that was one the Evil Twin brought home after his business trip.

Anyway, the Fiestaware company rolls out new colors of dishes every now and again. They also decide to discontinue certain colors after a bit. The Chartreuse I spoke of earlier was on a limited 2 year run. I was lucky enough to get a 5 piece place setting, a salt shaker and a mug.

Here's my cupboard:



You can catch various pieces of Fiesta in side spots or up top, along with my mom's Corning ware or Pyrex or whatever that is.

I also covet my mugs:



And my little teeny coffee cups (they come with matching saucers) and also my sugar and creamer:



I have some knick knacks:




(Be glad I didn't show my butter dish, my salt and pepper shakers, the pie platter, my serving dishes, the pasta bowl, or the spoon rest, etc. It's a terrible sickness).
I used to buy the entire place settings for each color I liked. Now, i just buy what I like by the piece.

I don't need service for 20, but I have 13 dinner plates I love. I buy them one at a time.

Finally, if you'd like to know more about the chronology of Fiesta, here's your link. Scroll down to find out the dates and all or look at the headline links for more information.

Fiestaware is available in most department stores worldwide. We're going to Tamarack (a haven for the WV artisans) on Saturday and they have a Fiesta shop there. I plan to make a purchase for myself and also a purchase for a give-away on this here blog, too!

Perhaps that might be Monday's post. We'll see how much I get accomplished over the weekend. :-)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Load Master

I don't make it a big secret that I am a submissive wife - I am, after all, the HO (the Home Office) and not much is accomplished around here that I don't have a direct hand in doing.

There is one little secret, though. The Evil Twin can load a dishwasher far more efficiently than I ever thought about. (and yes, I ended that sentence with a preposition).

He didn't want me to post this pic, because he feels he has had much better organized loads (and he has). But for now, I call him the "Load Master" and he seems to be pleased.

After all, I do all the food shopping, meal planning and preparation, I think he feels it's only right to pitch in and help after the meals.

Plus, I think he doesn't exactly like the way I load the dishes, and that makes his asshole all winky and stuff, so.....if he does it, he does it "Right" and his butthole can take a break.

Here's his system:



Thing of beauty, no?

There are times where being married to a former Air Force man comes in handy. Like, dishwasher duty or practically anything else.

And, after Sissy was born, he did *everything* around the house for three weeks - and I mean, he did laundry, and my food came to me on a tray and everything!!

Stop yer hatin', he's already taken!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Feeling Blah

I'm sorry I don't really have anything for today. It's cold here (again - although warmer than yesterday). I went to the school PTO meeting last night, which is always a trip.

And that kind of zapped me. Now, I'm having a hard time getting motivated today.

I think it's the realization that this is only the beginning of Winter. I still have to endure at least 3 more months of this crap.

Perhaps I'll feel cheerier when the Christmas tree goes up. That always makes me happy.

Speaking of trees, what kinds do you like best? I love a Blue Spruce, but after many years of unsuccessfully searching and when I would find one, it would be way too expensive, we finally broke down and bought an artificial tree. It's very pretty, not a fake blue spruce, but still light like them.

I opted to buy one without lights already on it because I figure if the lights on the thing quit working, then it was kinda pointless.

Also, I go for the small, clear and non-blinking lights.

I've collected Hallmark ornaments (among others) since 1992, so I have enough to do probably 5 trees, but we only have room (and energy) for one, so we have to pick new favorites each year. That's fun.

I hope we can get to that this weekend, so we can enjoy it for a couple of weeks before we end up taking it down.

That's all I got for ya today. The Winter Blahs and Christmas Trees. Feel free to discuss either in the comments.... I'll check back later. It's noon and I need a shower.

Oh, and on the Whole Body Cleanse front: there has been activity, but nothing really special or anything. Day 2, 12 more days to go. I should be right cleansed by Christmas, huh?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Purchasing

Okay, so I did get to the Mart of Wal on Monday - as usual. You all should know by now that I am such a creature of habit, that even having a near miss colo-rectal situation and feeling the VERY hard and heavy Monday blahs of laziness, that I would still maintain my routine and get to the grocery store.

Besides, I had checked the weatherchannel online and saw that it called for possible snow flurries this morning.

In the off chance that it might be more than flurries, I made my decision to just get the shopping finished and be done with it.

Sissy and I went to the store. We started our shopping and while I was in the aisle to buy shampoo and conditioner, she spied the fish tanks. She loves those things.

So, we wandered over to observe the fish for a bit. Geez. I wish they'd get an employee to swing by those tanks every hour or so with a net and scoop out the fish who've been "trampled" by the others in the tank. I saw at least 6 floaters in 15 seconds. One poor dude looked nibbled upon. ICK!

I did my shopping and decided to cruise over to the poop-aid remedies. Just to look, mind you.

They did have the "As Seen on TV" Colon Blow. It was cheaper than the infomercial, but still had a price tag I wasn't willing to gamble on. I kept looking and then saw this one:



It seemed scientific enough and was attractively priced at $19.99. If it does what it claims on the box (not evaluated by the FDA or anything y'all), then it's well worth the cash. If not, I'll soon know and let you know, so you can save some green.

This is a 2 week program. I won't expose any gory details or even have photographic evidence of anything restroom related (that's just going too far). But, I will give an overall assessment of the product and let y'all know if it's great, good, fair or poor.

I'm not into oversharing... especially where this subject is concerned. What do you think I am, some sort of psycho?

(that's a rhetorical question... just comment and walk away... thanks!)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Coveting

The Evil Twin was flipping around the TV stations yesterday and happened to stumble upon an infomercial for one of the more well known colon blow products.

You know, the one that uses scare tactics to make viewers believe there is 30 years worth of gunk lining ones colon, etc.

Well, we watched in awe for a while. And we both looked at each other and said, "I wanna do that!"

There's a certain fascination with bowel movements that lingers with us long after the elementary school days about joking about dookie.

The Evil Twin and I are nothing if not immature.

So, I got on the website. They wanted $60 and if you signed up for that plan, apparently we'd be sent new kits every so often. I guess just blowing your colon out once isn't enough....

I told him that I had seen similar products at the Mart of Wal for about $20. He said, "That's almost worth the gamble..." But never committed to it.

I guess next time I'm grocery shopping (either later today or tomorrow - I'm not completely sold on doing it today. I'm feeling more inclined to blow it off and go tomorrow), I'll take a look around and see if anything looks appealing.

And I'm thinking about this now because I almost very nearly shat my pants earlier. I never understood how that could happen to a person, but apparently, it IS doable to go from feeling nothing to "uh oh" in about 20 seconds.

Of course, I bolted to the restroom, but it could have been a "situation", if ya know what I mean.

Dodged that bullet....But, then my mind turned back to yesterdays's colon blow commercial. Perhaps I could use such a product.

I'll think about it and if I decide to go for the blow, I'll let you know.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wishing....

The Evil Twin and I saved a lot of Buddy's nicer toys. He wanted to save them for Buddy to give to his children. I wanted to save them in hopes of having a sibling for Buddy. (the Evil Twin never wanted a second child after Buddy's perilous prematurity - and he thought one was plenty. Of course, Sissy has him wrapped around her little finger!).

So, we saved some of the nice blocks, shape sorting toys, wooden puzzles, books, etc. There is a lot of stuff! Buddy was the first and only grandchild on my side until he was 6, and my parents were very generous - he was showered with gifts all the time.

As Sissy gets older, we've been bringing some of the age appropriate toys out for her to enjoy.

Sometimes, there is a lapse in judgment on our part and we bring out something with lots of parts or one that she is not able to master just yet and that is followed by frustrated howls on her part.

During these times, we will look at each other and say, "We'll have to wish that one into the cornfield."

Basically, that means the item goes back into storage for a while.

One of the first toys that met this fate was a shopping cart with play food items. Initially, we thought she'd have fun pushing it around. But, what actually happened was that each and every play food item was strewn out on the floor, all willy-nilly.

We had just overestimated her level of imaginative play at that stage, so the shopping cart and it's contents were "wished into the cornfield."

When it's appropriate, it will reappear from the cornfield.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could wish all life's troubles into the cornfield?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Disgusting Advert

You all know I don't really watch TV - unless it's Thursday night and "Survivor" is on, or if we happen to be catching new episodes of "Dexter" on DVD - and we still haven't started season two yet. (Sorry, Buzzardbilly - but I have your DVDs ready to return).

The TV is on all the time, though because my family (the rest of them) love the TV. We have the big ass TV, which is a draw for everyone:



When the Evil Twin and I first got together, he told me he didn't like Charmin toilet paper. Not a problem for me. My mom had bought Quilted Northern for as long as I could remember and that's what I continued to purchase as an adult.

But, when I asked the Evil Twin why he didn't want Charmin, he told me, "Because it balls up in your ass."

I've never personally experienced that, but I believed him.

Then, I heard from others who said Charmin balled up in your ass crack. Ewww!

But the other day, I was sitting here, minding my own business when I saw this commercial:



Apparently, Charmin is trying to convince folks that it DOESN'T leave TP balls in the ass crack no mo.

I had to change the commercial because the one I saw was taken down, who knows how long this one will last, but this commercial (above) is the same gist as the one I saw. And one commenter even says it better than I ever could:

"These Charmin commercials are so disgusting. They are basically talking about how Charmin toilet paper leaves less pieces tangled in your asshole hair."

Amen, bro.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

I made a pumpkin gingerbread trifle yesterday and that's been in the fridge. Mine doesn't look anywhere near as appealing and attractive as Paula Deen's, but hey, she's a pro.

I finished my cranberry sauce that was emailed from Juanuchis. I had a couple recipes that were sent and it was hard to pick, but last minute - this one seemed easiest. It certainly smells tasty.

We'll also have green beans (made with bacon fat, natch), mashed potatoes (made by hand) and gravy (made from a packet), corn, dressing/stuffing (Stove Top variety that my family digs), rolls and sausage roll croissants. Oh! And the ham and turkey from Heavenly Ham.

I'm taking a break with some coffee while I wait on the potatoes to boil.

I'm thankful for many things: my husband and children, having a safe home, all my family and friends - including those of you I've had the pleasure to meet and get to know through my blog, several of you becoming my friends in real life!

I'm grateful to live in the greatest and free-est nation in the land... which provides me freedom of speech, in which I can come here and vent my spleen on any topic I can think of - free from censorship or persecution.

I'm thankful for wine in a box and getting to snuggle in bed with the two strongest, most supportive arms around me every night. Life is good and now, I'm off to finish the feast!

I hope each and every one of you has a glamorous Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

She's a Sissy

Sissy, who is 2 years and 10 months old, has all of a sudden developed fears of things. Many odd things.

I guess it started around Halloween time when Buddy's mask spooked her and she began saying, "I scared of Bubbie's mask." And, we keep saying, "That's still your bubbie behind the mask. It's just make believe."

Then, there was the house she and the Evil Twin encountered that had a talking brain type thing on the sidewalk. Apparently, it opened into halves and made shrieking sounds when someone walked by. She calls it the "clam" and she is now scared of "clams".

While she enjoys looking at ladybugs in books or on cartoons, when one got in the house a couple of weeks ago, she flipped out completely until I scooped it up and threw it back outside.

She's also long been afraid of the vacuum cleaner, despite the fact that I run the stupid thing nightly...so it's not like it's some unfamiliar beast. She just has never liked it (come to think of it, me neither, but everyone likes to eat crackers and shit in the living room/den area and I can't stand seeing crumbs..... my OCD - and loathing/fear of cockroaches - wins again! Rats!).

But about 2 weeks ago, she started with absolutely losing her mind in the bath tub. We couldn't figure it out.

I even looked online for answers and discovered that fear of the bath around toddler-hood is not uncommon at all, but there are a variety of ways to deal with the issue. Seeing as how Buddy never did stuff like this - he was, in fact, the model textbook child and still is - we were just flummoxed.

It seems there are two camps. The camp that says: don't make their fears seem trivial. You (the parent) will crush their widdle spirits if you force them to endure the X (bath, ladybug, vacuum cleaner ... no matter how irrational the fear may be). The other camp says: Children need boundaries and they need a parent. As the parent, you call the shots and they must do the necessary things in life or get used to ordinary things in life.

The Evil Twin and I kind of fall into Camp B.

But, we felt really guilty about the bath thing. Mainly because we weren't sure if there was something traumatic about the bath for her. i bathe her quickly and only leave the room for ultra brief moments (think: walk down the hall and back in about 15 seconds), so I knew she had not fallen, plus she sits/stands on a non-skid mat. The water is never too hot.

So, we're thinking: Did she get shampoo in her eyes? Did I scratch her with my nails on her coochie when I briefly wiped it off? What was going on?

Well, we found out last night.

It's the MOST obvious fear a toddler might have and we never considered it.

She's scared of the drain. She HATES, loathes, abhors the evil drain and all its' inherent evil devices.

In an attempt to assuage her fears, we're trying to acknowledge her fear and not make light of it (Oh, that's just silly). We're actually trying to reason with her (You're too big to go down the drain). It doesn't seem to be working. So, I just wash her as fast as possible and that is that.

Please, let this pass quickly.

____________________________

March 6, 1940 - November 26, 2005. Mom, I miss you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Food Issues

A couple of people commented after yesterday's post and asked if I was a vegetarian because I said I wouldn't eat ham or turkey.

I am NOT currently a vegetarian, but for nine years (1983 to 1992 - from the age of 15 to 24), I was a vegetarian.

The moral and ethical principles were a part of it, but my primary reason was that I found (and to this day, still find) many meat products to be distasteful... i.e. they don't taste right to me.

The ham and turkey thing started long before I became a vegetarian, so I never really "gave" those up. I never ate them - ever. I'm sure I tried them at some point and decided "Yuck, never again", and that's the way the story goes.

Just the smell of turkey makes me gag.

So, I'm not cooking one. Besides, even a turkey breast would be wasteful in this family. The Evil Twin will eat it, Buddy will eat a small bit, Sissy will eat a smaller bit still and we'd be left with a metric assload of leftovers that would eventually go in the trash.

To save myself of the trouble of all that, I just go to Heavenly Ham, which I believe to be a chain type store, and buy a sufficient quantity to feed the savages and have no leftovers. My normal cheap self must reconcile in my brain that this is for the best. Heavenly Ham is expensive (their Heavenly Turkey is also pricey per pound). But, once a year, it's not going to break the bank.

In addition to not liking ham or turkey, I also don't eat anything on a bone. There are only a few chicken type dishes I like.

I have never eaten: a pork chop, a buffalo wing, lobster, any organ type meat, or duck. I'm also picky about the preparation of meats - to wit: It must be WELL done. Nothing pink, nothing wet, nothing raw.

I agonize while at restaurants and rarely order chicken dishes because I'm positive they'll be under-cooked. I also don't do roast beef unless I am completely convinced by the waitstaff that the roast beef is well cooked and almost devoid of fat.

Oddly enough, the pork products I do like are quite possibly the nastiest around: bacon and sausage. Love the stuff.

When I was a vegetarian, I didn't eat ANY meat. I didn't eat soup made with any meat stock. I didn't even eat fish or seafood. I was what is known as a lacto-ovo vegetarian. That means I would eat products with eggs or dairy (milk or cheese, yogurt), but didn't eat anything with a face.

The funniest thing about being a vegetarian in this area at that time was that it was difficult to find vegetarian products (like soybean or textured vegetable protein), so I pretty much had to be really creative.

Also, I found it amusing that I encountered people who told me to "just pick the pepperonis off" a pizza or would think it was okay that my item was cooked on a surface that had just been used for a meat product.

What was the one food I missed most of all during my nine years of no meat? Tacos. I tried Tofu Tacos, but it just wasn't even close. And I do like tofu. These days, I can easily find TVP (textured vegetable protein) in my grocer's freezer (they're like little crumbled pieces of ground beef, but not actually meat at all) and I bet those would make good tacos.

So, the first thing I had when I decided to walk away from my vegetarianism was a taco from Taco Bell.

I still order vegetarian options at restaurants all the time and I'm quite happy with that. But, there's also nothing wrong with a big old cheeseburger (well done, please) either!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Now With More Glamour!

As you can see, the Evil Twin has made a few changes to the header from yesterday. He wasn't happy with the font (typeface), so he found one he liked better. This one is called "Girls are Weird" (the part that has the glamorous life of a).

So, he changed that and he added the glass of Chardonnay over there. My hands are full, but it's waiting for me.

And, notice how the glass is almost completely full? None of this tiny half glass servings for me. That's just how I roll, people.

He wanted me to send him a few pictures of myself, so he could have something to look at as a guide in order to draw me.

The one he used was this one:



Which is very funny. I took this shot myself in order to entertain one of my friends over on Facebook when he had commented on a different photo that I looked deranged or something.

I had never shown this picture to the Evil Twin - but he agreed it was perfect!

Because we all know: Looking like a deranged Betty Crocker is hot.

Hey, my blog, my rules.

And, he also added some pupils to my eyes, so I don't look like a deranged Betty Crocker Zombie. That's not hot.

I fiddled around with the cookie cutter templates that Blogger offers and chose a new one. The jury is still out on that one.

Who knows? You might wander by and it'll be all different again. Of course, I am lazy - so my motivation to really fiddle around with this stuff is LOW.

I am excited about my new header, though. I had often wondered how people had such interesting headers - and all it took for me to figure it out was just clicking around on the ol' template for a second.

I'll be running out later to buy groceries for the week and to pick up our Heavenly Ham and Heavenly Turkey (neither of which I will eat). I hope you're all anticipating the holiday feast and having a glamorous Monday!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Make Over - Updated

Well, it appears I am (the blog is) getting a make-over today. To what extent, I do not know.

The Evil Twin is in charge of this and will only say, "It'll be perfect. You'll love it."

While he's feeling all make-overy, perhaps I can sweet talk him into also designing that tattoo I've been waiting more than a year for. If it ever materializes, it will be my fourth and final tattoo.

Being married to a designer is interesting (he won't use the A word - artist - he claims it sounds pretentious). It's even more fun for the kids. On the odd occasion where Buddy has had to take a bag lunch to school, he doesn't go with just a brown sack. He gets a full cartoon on his lunch sacks.

I suppose the Evil Twin will have to brush up on his princess drawing skillz for the time Sissy gets in school.

If you ever go to the Joe's Crabshack at Barefoot Landing at Myrtle Beach - they have a framed piece of the Evil Twin's doodlings. While were there several years ago, he picked up the brown paper they leave out for people to draw on and did a full cartoon of our family (minus Sissy, at the time - she hadn't been materialized yet, but we WERE working on her back then LOL) and the amazingly bad luck we were having on the vacation.

He handed it to an employee while we were on our way out and they said it was so good, they were going to frame it and hang it up. We haven't been back since, but we need to go to see if it's still hanging around. :-)

Probably the greatest thing is that we have a full graphics shop in our house. Lots of fun pens, rulers of all types, t-squares and for a birthday gift last year, I bought him the full licensed Creative Suites 3 for his computer - don't google it for prices if you don't want to pass out. I actually found it someplace for about half the listing price.

Also, it's looking like Buddy has been genetically blessed to have some of the Evil Twin's talent. He certainly has a fine teacher!

Okay, I'll be back later. Looking a little different, so get ready....

I've got a new header! Cute, innit? Now, I just have to figure out how to do some other stuff to the old blog here and since I'm a dummy and don't know about codes and such, this is going to be a work in progress for at least the next 24 hours. Be patient as you think of me, over here pulling my hair out and downing Tylenols and Chardonnay... Come to think of it, I may not make much progress.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Pet Deviled Crab

I was reading Fat Kids Lie the other day (another one of my favorite blogs), and he had posted a picture of a cinnamon bun which he had put red hots on it for eyes.

This reminded me of a story from my past.

When I was in college - and I believe I've mentioned this before - I dated a guy who we'll call Spit, cause that's the punk name he was known by back then (what is it with me and guys with weird nicknames? Perhaps the following story will reveal my issue).

So, I was out one evening with Spit and a few other friends. Spit and I were vegetarians (he still is to this day and I know this because we've remained friends over the years). But, for whatever reason, we ended up at Captain Ds to get something to eat.

I know you may be thinking that vegetarians eat seafood, but that is not true. My rule was that I didn't eat anything with a face and that included fish and shrimp, etc. Spit would crave the batter dipped fish every now and again, which is probably why we were at Captain Ds. I probably got an order of fries and a hush puppie or something because I've never been a fan of fish and I didn't like any other seafood at the time, either.

Anyway, one of the friends we were with ordered a sampler platter that came with a deviled crab. He didn't eat the deviled crab, so we turned it upside down and stuck four french fry pieces into it for legs.

Then, we dotted on some ketchup for eyes. We named him Russell and took him out on the town for the night.

Before we ended our adventure, we went to a local grocery store. Russell came along too.

Russell was left on a shelf in the cereal aisle. I don't know what happened after that.

But we cracked up at the thought of some store clerk discovering him, sitting there getting riper by the minute.

And I'm over here laughing just remembering it. I'll have to email Spit so he can read this too.

RIP Russell. You were a fun deviled crab.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pimping My Husband

Well, I'm not pimping him as much as I am pimping something he designed for a friend.

Many of you are already loyal readers of the West Virginia Surf Report and huge fans of Jeff Kay. Jeff and the Evil Twin go way back, to a time when the Evil Twin worked in one of this area's most influential record stores.

Back in the 70s and into the early 80s, Charleston wasn't exactly the cultural hot spot that would attract national record chains, but there was one local store and that store still stands today.

The Evil Twin worked there from the late 70s to about 1984, so he met many people during that time. Anyone who loved music and wanted to buy music shopped at this store. It was THE ONLY record store around.

Over the years, the Evil Twin met many people like himself - people who truly loved music, sometimes very obscure music or imports and he liked to share his enthusiasm with like minded individuals. One of those people was Jeff.

The Evil Twin did a great deal of artwork for the shop and when Jeff wanted someone to design new tee shirts for the WVSR, the Evil Twin volunteered. Jeff remembered his work from the record store and so they began talks on what to do.

Here is the final product:


(Click for larger image)

How cool is that? If you'd like to own an Evil Twin original design, not to mention a really cool and well made t-shirt promoting a fine website, click here.

Now, I promise: it may seem as I'm trying to sell things here recently. But no.... yesterday's blog was just so I could brag I won something and perhaps send a few people Lorrie's way (after all she did send me something free and pay for shipping, I wanted to do something for her) and today's blog is all about bragging about MY husband and his talent, plus helping out a friend.

Besides, everyone can use a mug or a t-shirt! ;-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tickled to Bits!

A few days ago, I was cruising around blogland and I decided to check in on one blog that I happen to really like a whole bunch, Our Name is Blog. The super cool chick who does this blog is not only funny, but hella talented artistically too. Her name is Lorrie Veasey and she has her own company, Our Name is Mud.

She designs the most wonderful ceramic pieces - mugs, platters, bowls... you name it. What I love most about these designs are they are colorful, fun and above all, functional. These are products any one could use on a daily basis.

Much like the Evil Twin uses his coffee mug everyday (that I bought for myself, but he drinks way more coffee, so I selflessly gave him ownership of said mug):














Okay, so back to the point.

She was having a contest to win a big Thanksgiving package of her creative genius. To enter, one had to vote for her blog to win Best Hobby Blog on Blogger's Choice.

I think her hobby is more than great, so I went over and voted.

I got a runner up prize! I didn't expect to win at all, but I was thrilled to be chosen in a random drawing for a 2nd prize.

So, 2nd or runner up prize wasn't mentioned, I had no idea what to expect, I only knew it would be fantastic. So, my anticipation was in major HIGH GEAR.

Tuesday evening, UPS delivered a box to my door and I tried to take a picture of the outside, but it just turned out kinda iffy.

Then, I dove into opening the package. This thing was packed like Fort Knox! That is a skill I both appreciate and admire!

Look what I won!!!:














I have plans for this baby for Thanksgiving... Oh, do I have plans.

My first thought was to use it to serve my mom's sausage rolls and I think that's what I'll do.

Sausage Rolls
Brown sausage in a pan. Open can of Pillsbury Croissant rolls and roll out each one flat. Place a spoonful of cooked sausage in the center of roll, and roll up according to package directions. Bake. They taste like little sausage biscuits and they don't last long (might want to buy extra if you have a large family or loads of diners).

Once again, Thanks! to Lorrie and Our Name is Mud.

Now, get over there and check out their products. There is something for everyone and the prices are fabulous!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Young Ones

This is one of my favorite bits from the British TV show, "The Young Ones":



And that's how I feel sometimes.

"God, I'm bored!" And it's another game of travel Scrabble.

Luckily, I don't have anywhere I need to be today, but I do have lots of little busy-body activities, like sorting through old magazines and such, to keep me occupied.

That's a good thing today - we had some snow last night and a light dusting on the ground this morning.

When the Evil Twin came in from work yesterday, the first thing he started on was a fire.

He has become quite the "Hearth Master" as we like to jokingly say.

Oh, he works those fires, my friends.

The bad thing is that once the fire dies down, it feels a little chilly in here. The thing can put out more heat than we anticipated. Which is great - we're always concerned about the power going out and the house getting too cold. We don't have to worry about that this winter. We can all gather around the fireplace for a bit - our electric company is generally very good at getting the juice running again quickly.

Well, those two weeks of Fall we had were nice while it lasted.

I'm outta here for my day of busy work.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Home Office

Or, the HO, I suppose might work.

I take care of all the little things that happen in our household. Even though our health insurance is through the Evil Twin's employer, I'm the one who reads over the booklets and makes decisions each year regarding our health plan (they generally offer several different types of plans and the booklets go over all the deductibles, co-pays, services offered, etc.).

I'm the person who fixes lunches in the morning. For the Evil Twin, that usually means Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday - on Wednesdays, he goes out with co-workers to a chinese buffet. For Buddy, it means just on any random day where the hot lunch offering is not something he wants.

If the Evil Twin's lunch plans differ on any given week, his co-workers will joke with him about "Running it by the Home Office". That would be me - the Home Office.

The Home Office makes many decisions, both large and small. The Home Office takes care of getting the bills paid on time and in full.

The Home Office scours the grocery circular to see what food items are on loss leader for any given week, clips coupons (as appropriate) and plans meals before the Monday shopping trip.

The Home is where the Heart is.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Shenanigans

The Evil Twin and I are having company over tonight. The Evil Twin is in the kitchen working on his extra special chili. After that gets going on the stove, he's going to run to the store for a few odds n ends.

I'll finish cleaning up the house.

We're excited because this couple who is coming to visit have been friends of ours for a very long time. In fact, I met T in college. After we graduated, she met D and they became a couple. They are unmarried by choice and they are childless by choice. But, they have been a solid couple for almost 17 years now. They're super cool and great with our kids - very patient... something that I lack at times.

Anyway, it's T's 40th birthday tomorrow, so we'll have a surprise cake for her.

It should be a good time. Plus, we're going to make another attempt at fire starting...LOL. We were a little intimidated after our first (failed) attempt. I guess there's a learning curve for everything.

Growing up, my dad always had cozy fires going. He had mastered the art of it, but I never observed him. I should have. He taught me lots of things, but that wasn't part of it and he passed away before I got my own house with a fireplace (or more technically speaking: he saw this house - he just didn't live long enough for me to have the fireplaces cleaned and then have a chance to show me how it works).

So, it promises to be a full and fun day.

I might have to have a little snack to tide me over until CHILI time! Yum!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Brain Bug

I get so frustrated when I get a song stuck in my head. Often, it's a decent song, so it's not too bad.

Earlier this week, it was the theme to the Popeye cartoon, which the Evil Twin had been singing to Sissy. That was pretty awful.

This morning, I woke up with this:



I liked this song back in the day.

And the video even features a little person. It's a known fact that I find little people fascinating. Always a bonus...

I'm sure I'll hear enough music on Noggin throughout the day to erase the over and over and over again in my head - that's the annoying part.

Because I was too busy watching "Survivor" last night to try to work on my blog last night, this is late and now I actually have to deal with Sissy (I try to write later in the evening after she goes to bed, then schedule it to publish in the morning), this is it. I hope you all have a great Friday!