Sunday, November 29, 2009

Katie, bar the door!

For the most part, I really like my house.

I mean, except for the kitchen... which kind of sucks. Because I really thought by the year 2009 (almost 2010), we'd have one of those Jetson kitchens where you just push a button, and the food just comes out, fully cooked, and Rosie the Robot puts it on the dinner table? You remember how that was supposed to be a possibility by now?

Oh, and I don't much care for the tile, either.

But anyway. My house is about 17 years old. Which only makes it about 8 years younger than me. Which makes me a lying doody-head.

Aaaand... the front door of our house was in sad shape. It hadn't received much attention in the last several years... except for people knocking on it, putting flyers for tree trimming services on it, and occasionally slamming it. It has weathered a lot of... well, weather. Here's a picture of it... sad, I know.

So, we got a bid from a company to refinish our wood door, and after we choked a little (almost $350, people!), we decided that we were handy enough that we could tackle this 'little' project. (Ha. Ha. Ha.)

I have to admit... I helped very minimally. Phil said he could handle it. I think he didn't like listening to my suggestions (read: bossiness). He didn't exactly say that (smart man), but I have my suspicions.

We were nervous. We were apprehensive. We thought several times, "Now I know why that guy charges $350 to do this. You'd have to pay me a hell of a lot more than that to do this for a living."

And after several days of living with plastic sheeting over the front door...

... telling people through the plastic to go around to the garage, and taking the front door off each day to complete the next step (for some strange reason, it got progressively heavier each day)... here is the end result.

It is amazing what a handy husband can do with a little hard work and some internet research on 'How to Re-Finish a Front Door'. I do so love that man.

He, on the other hand, has put the brakes on me Googling, 'How to Re-Tile a Kitchen'.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Twirly girly...

Not sure why this video is so grainy, but I had to share it anyway! (We promised her coach ;)

Josie catching one of her tosses... but did you notice the turn, too?!!

So exciting! It's a hard thing to do, but she's been practicing her little heart out.

And you can tell by the way she freezes and looks at the camera that it is still a fairly new occurrence... as in, "PLEEEEZZZ tell me you got that on film?"

Way to go, Josie :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This one's for my mom...

This blog is for my mom (Hi Mom!), whom I teased a bit in my last entry about how she dragged me when I was a kid, from store to store in search of fabric.

It's true. I spent my formative years in Winn's and Hancock Fabrics, people. I know the differences in gingham, dotted swiss, chambray, broadcloth, terrycloth, velour and muslin, and I guess I should tell all you people that think I'm 'super crafty'... well, I come by it honestly.

Mom...because of you, when I was a kid, I always had beautiful, new clothes to wear that were different from what everyone else was buying at the store.

Mom... because of you, I never had to stress about a school project that required we dress up for something. (I can still remember the 'Italy' project I did in the 4th grade. I looked cute in that kerchief.)

Because of you, I have a childhood filled with pictures of the boys and I in coordinated outfits (you really loved gingham back then, didn't you?)

I always had bookbags embroidered with my name (even though I never had those nifty pencils with my name to put in said bookbags because of how you decided to spell it! ;)

I always had beautiful prom dresses that fit perfectly (hello, Miss Flat Chest!), and I never had to worry that I'd have the same one as someone else.

Mom... because of you, I got to pick out exactly what I wanted my wedding dress to look like (was it four different patterns we used, or only three?!!)

Now, because of you, I never freak out when one of my kids say they want to be...fill in the blank... for Halloween because I know you will guide me through it or probably just end up making it yourself.

Mom... because of you, not only was Josie one of the most adorable little pioneer girls in the third grade, but her little pioneer sister was a big hit, too! (Look at them, my friends... aren't they cute?)

And because of you, I'm still having the same conversation with people that I did thirty years ago.

Them: That is so cute! Where'd you get it?
Me: My mom made it.
Them: You're so lucky!

Yes, I am.

When I was a kid, I thought you made all those clothes and things for me because we never had a ton of money. Now I know that it is because you love me (AND we never had a ton of money ;)

It's always been your 'language of love'. Well...

Love you, too, Mommy.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pilgrim's Progress

Let’s just put it right out there.

I rock as a mom.

I almost never forget to pick my kids up at school. I only slightly embarrass them with my blog. And when I yell at them to pick up their shoes, I do it in the most loving way possible.

I mean, I’m just sayin’.

Plus, when I help them with a school project, everything else in the house comes to a dead standstill. Dinner goes unmade. Laundry goes unfolded (and possibly souring in the washing machine). My blog goes unwritten (tragic, I know.) I don’t answer the phone. And that little kid that came over for a playdate? Well, honey, welcome to the Linson house, and find yourself a juice box in the fridge because I’m on project duty.

That’s right. I’m JUST that dedicated.

This week’s project? A pilgrim. And not just your garden variety pilgrim with the little starched white collar and black hat. Nope. This pilgrim had to represent the country of your ancestors. Dressed in traditional costume.

Oh, and did I mention that the pilgrim was to be crafted using…. wait for it…

A wooden clothespin?

I know, right? What the hell? How in the heck is a second grader expected to make clothes for an old-fashioned wooden clothespin? Paper? Felt? The label peeled from an empty Bailey’s Irish Crème bottle? (In my defense, it was practically empty before we got the assignment, and I just needed to finish it off. It’s my heritage, people.)

But Josie did Ireland last year for *her* pilgrim project. And after trying in vain to convince my boy that he REALLY, REALLY wanted to turn in a little Irish girl pilgrim as his project (he was having none of it), we decided to focus on Germany.

So, we were off… I sent Davis upstairs to find an old pair of khaki or olive colored shorts, so that we might fashion some lederhosen for the little guy, by cutting out a section of the fabric. He came back downstairs with the new khaki pants I’d just bought for him at Old Navy, making me very glad that I had not sent him on his mission with a pair of scissors in hand.

A piece of fabric from an old t-shirt made his shirt (and yes, Mother, I *did* have to use old clothes!) *Sidenote: My mother is shaking her head right now, reading this, because she simply cannot believe that I didn’t have any pieces of fabric in my house that I could potentially use as pilgrim clothing, as her craft room houses fabric that she bought back in the dark ages when she used to drag me to every Winn’s store in the capital city.

We made him a little hat, complete with a bird feather that Davis found in the backyard (let’s not get into a discussion of how dirty bird feathers are. Desperate times, people. Besides I gave it a visual scan for lice. I *told* you I was a good mom.)

Some green glitter on his lederhosen… and here is our German pilgrim:

If I thought it wouldn’t affect my… um… I mean *his* grade, I’d even glue a little beer bottle in his hand.

Because I’m *just* that kind of a mother.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

How to Cook your Thanksgiving Turkey

I know with the Thanksgiving holiday sneaking ever closer, (and it *is* sneaking, that damn Thanksgiving) you're probably scouring your old 'Joy of Cooking' for a great recipe for your turkey.

To baste or not to baste? Soak it in brine? Fry it? Flavor injections under the turkey's skin? (yep... we've done that, too. It made me think of botox. Turkey botox. Emeril said it would be wonderful. The taste was only so-so, but I've never eaten a turkey that looked so young.)

But, I think I've finally found the definitive recipe for cooking a turkey dinner. Feel free to use it as your own.

How to Cook a Turkey

by: Libby
age: almost 5

Where do you go to buy a turkey?

At H.E.B.

Do you have to do anything to get the turkey ready to cook it?

You have to put guacamole in it.

How do you cook the turkey?

I don't know how. Maybe with chicken. In the microwave. (Of course, she is referring to my famous microwaveable Turducken... hold the duck.)

How long does it take to cook a turkey?

70 hours.

What other food would you serve with a turkey dinner?

Bones and vegetables.
Oh, and noodles and spaghetti... and guacamole.

Yep, I guess that about sums up the traditional Linson Thanksgiving. There's always room for guacamole. ;)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What *I'd* like to know...

Things I know for sure:

1. It sucks getting up at 5:15 in the morning to leave the house and meet a friend to work out.

2. When you leave the house and notice an SUV driving slowly through your neighborhood at the a$$-crack of dawn, you try to pay attention.

3. When the SUV makes a U-turn in the middle of the street, you start to wonder.

4. And when the SUV is driving on the wrong side of the street, you assume that someone must be lost.

5. However, when you see the same SUV, taking the same exact path, driving in the same way, for the 3rd time in two weeks, you start to get suspicious.

Things I have learned:

1. When you call the sheriff’s department to report a suspicious vehicle, they want a license plate number (I actually had one.)

2. When you call the sheriff’s department to report a suspicious vehicle in your neighborhood four hours after the ‘incident’, they will want to know, “Is the vehicle currently in your neighborhood?” (which it wasn’t.)

Things that I don’t know for certain, but that I suspect:

1. Newspaper delivery girls do NOT appreciate having the sheriff’s office called on them.

2. My papers will be ‘delivered’ to the branches of the tree in my front yard for the foreseeable future.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Reading... not just for wimps!

I wish my name was Jeff Kinney.

He’s probably a bajillionaire right about now. He’s got fame and national acclaim, and has kids across the country clamoring for the next installment of his book series. And now he has a movie deal.

Haven’t heard of him? Then you must not have a boy between the ages of 7 and 12. He writes the ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ series, and Davis has become a manic devotee.

My son, in the past, has really only liked to read if the book in question involves plenty of pictures of:

1.) Star Wars characters

2.) military vehicles in various shades of camo, or

3.) frightening looking spiders or insects that look as if they could jump off the page at any time. He kept ‘TARANTULAS!’ out of the library so long, we could have wallpapered the bathroom in the late notices we received.

But he is hooked on the 'Wimpy Kid' books, and I’ll wander past his bedroom, expecting to find him on the floor, piecing together one of his crazy Lego creations, which he then ‘explodes’ by crashing it into another giant Lego creation… (hence the overabundance of Legos in the most unpredictable of places. Like his underwear drawer. Or his pillowcase. Or under my heel. Which, incidentally, hurts like a b*tch.)

And instead of Lego wars, he’ll be laying on his bed… reading. READING, people! I know… I need a minute. Sniff*

He loves these books. He borrowed them from our neighbor to read, and loved them so much, that we have since ordered the first three books from a Scholastic book order. And every day since then, I have heard about nothing else.

When are my books coming in?

--I’m not sure, honey. It might take a while.

Do you think it could be tomorrow?

--Considering we just ordered them today? Probably not tomorrow.

What about day *after* tomorrow?

Josie likes to read them, too, but that doesn’t really mean a whole lot. Josie loves to read any and everything, and in a pinch, she’ll read the terms of a credit card offer I’ve gotten in the mail, just so she’ll have something to read in the car. (Avid reader is an understatement with that kid.)

But they really are fun books (yes, even I read one), and I highly recommend them if you have a reluctant reader. But if I were you, I wouldn’t ask Davis if you could borrow his copies, just yet.

You’re welcome to check out ‘TARANTULAS!’, though. I know for a fact that it’s back in the library. ;)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A short conversation...

Josie: "Mommy, your birthday is coming up! What do you want for your birthday?!"

Me: "Nothing, really, sweetie."

(Thinking about it a little more...) "But if your Dad asks, tell him I'd like some perfume."

Josie: "Would you like perfume that smells like raisin bread?"

Um... huh?

Friday, November 13, 2009


Not much to say... just that this is a picture that I took last weekend when we were camping. And I love it oh-so-very-much.

Truthfully, it makes me want to tear up just the teensiest bit.

Four of the people that I love most and dearest in this whole world, headed to do a little fishing (yes, notice the fishing poles slung over their shoulders, 'Huck Finn' style.)

Have a beautiful day :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Snake Fake..

Look at this cute boy...

And what is he holding? Why, it's a little wooden snake that he painted at summer camp. He calls it 'Snakey'. Awwww...

After he made it this summer, it had a home on his desk for several months. It is jointed, so it looks like it could actually 'slither', given half a chance and a Pinnochio wish.

But lately, for whatever reason, he has decided to bequeath 'Snakey' to his Mommy.

"Here Mommy... I want you to have Snakey!"

"Mommy, I put Snakey in your room for you. You forgot him downstairs!" (Really? I did? I forgot him in the basket next to the couch, underneath all those magazines?! Wow! ;)

So even though he has officially given Snakey to me, he still likes to play with it, and occasionally rescues it from my room, and then...leaves it somewhere. Anywhere, really.

Now, I *know* that it is a toy snake. It is colored with Crayola markers, and looks like what I think a snake might look like if I'd ever done acid back in the early 70's. (You know, like if I hadn't been an infant back then, and all.)

However, it is STILL very disconcerting to be walking through my house, minding my own business (singing along with my iPod...ahem!), and finding Snakey here:

or here:

or worse yet...

So the next time you're at my house, and I offer you a glass of iced tea, pay no attention to the flinching.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

You had me at 'hola'...

Did you notice how my chest is all puffed out?

Noooo… I’m not still wearing the balloons from my Halloween costume (although, I have to say that I discovered that blondes with big boobs *do* have more fun. Go figure.)

It’s puffed out with PRIDE, my friends. Why?

Here’s a hint… “Hello, out there in Argentina!!”

That’s right. My blog is now being read internationally. Oh yes. It’s true.

A colleague of my husband’s called yesterday to tell me that his girlfriend reads my blog. She lives in Argentina.

AND, she’s getting her Master’s in Communication, AND wanted my permission to use my blog in one of her classes. Something about focusing on different types of… um… well… communication, I guess.

I have to be honest. When Chris called, I was in the middle of putting together a baked ziti for dinner, hiding the holiday toy catalogs under the banana peels in the trashcan, making sure that the neighbor’s cat did not make a snack of our guinea pigs, and making sure that the kids did not make a snack of the cupcakes I’d baked and decorated for the baseball party.

Seriously, I think I would have been more pissed about the cupcakes than the guinea pigs. I’m only ‘kind of’ kidding. (Those cupcakes took me a long time.)

So I wasn’t, in the strictest sense, hearing every little thing he said. He may have mentioned that she found the blog hilarious, but then again, he may have mentioned that she wanted to use this blog for nefarious purposes or as an example of ‘How Not to Win Friends and Influence People in the Blogosphere’. I’m not 100% sure. Like I may have mentioned, I was on high alert for guinea pig and/or cupcake catastrophes.

With all that being said…in the spirit of international hospitality, I just want to say hello to Vicky. (Don’t be alarmed, Vicky. Really. I directly address people in my blog all the time. The local weatherman, for instance. Or people that cut me off in traffic. Or Girl Scout leaders that need to take a chill pill. Anyway, I digress.)

For my more local readers: Now, now… don’t you worry. The PlanetLinson you’ve come to know and love will not be changing. I won’t suddenly start sprinkling all of my entries with phrases like, ‘Mira Vos!’ or ‘Tal cual’ or even ‘Todo bien?’ (Damn… what did we do before we could just Google “Common Phrases in Argentina”?)

I mean, I’m just saying. It’s all bueno.

All I can think, though, is how cool it is that my blog gets to go to South America. Cool, but a little unfair.

My blog gets to go to Argentina. Me, on the other hand? I only get to go to the Spanish food aisle in H.E.B.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What is it? What's the deal?

What is it about blogging that makes me think I can start each new blog the same damn way?!

What is it about writing a blog that makes me think I'm the Seinfeld of blogs? "What's the deal with airplane bathrooms?! What's the deal?"

See the last two blogs for evidence.

If you see this again, I will expect you to call me on it. ;)

Monday, November 9, 2009

A fish tale...

What is it about fishing that sounds so relaxing? The early morning hour? The cool, calm of the lake? The gentle splash of your line as you cast it into the water? The quiet contemplation as you focus on your bobber, and patiently wait?


Add to that three kids, and…

Early morning… yes. Calm lake? Yes, until the kids start throwing rocks and sticks into it. And waiting patiently for a nibble on the line? Yeah, right.

Relaxing? Not even a little bit.

Forget about fishing at all with your own rod and reel that you carted along (with great hopes of catching ‘the big one’)… you’ll spend your time:

1. re-baiting hooks,

2. untangling one fishing line from another child’s fishing line,

3. Casting again and again because somebody wants it “really, really far out there. That’s where the good fish are!”

4. saying the following phrase repeatedly: “Don’t dump the worms in the water!”,

5. untangling a fishing line from a hapless dog that just happened to wander onto the fishing pier (poor dog!),

6. saying… “Watch your bobber!”

7. saying… “No, we’re not done yet.”

8. …“No, we’re not leaving yet.”

9. …“You have to be patient. This is not ‘Wii Fishing’. It doesn’t happen automatically.”

10. … “Seriously, stop dumping the worms into the lake.”

In truth, Davis and Josie can bait their own hooks (even Mommy doesn’t do that… yuck), and they can cast it themselves, and get pretty good distance. And Josie will patiently wait and watch… watch… watch her little bobber until she gets a bite.

The younger two get bored a little more quickly. They reel in their line after just a couple of minutes to ‘check and see if the worm is still there’. We re-cast, and within minutes, the lines are either hopelessly tangled or the kids are wanting to ‘take a little fishing break’. (Hey, I thought fishing *was* the break!)

Libby is least likely to want to participate (even though she has a totally rockin’ Barbie fishing pole… pink, no less!), and hands it to us to throw her line out again. Our camping trip this weekend was no exception.

We were fishing in a little cove on Inks Lake, and there she sat with her little pink fishing rod. We heard her start to giggle, and when we looked over, we saw her bobber bouncing around in the water. She thought that was pretty funny, I guess.

“Libby, you got a bite! Reel it in! Pull hard!” We were all cheering for her (well, with the exception of her brother, who was fully pissed that it wasn’t *his* line.)

So she did (with a little help from Daddy)…

Didn’t catch anything on your last fishing trip? Guess you need to get yourself a little pink Barbie fishing rod.

And of course, take along your Daddy to help you bait it, cast it, watch your bobber for you, reel in the fish, take the fish off of the hook, and hold it for you for pictures.

Now, *that’s* what I call fishing. ;)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Housework and Homicidal Maniacs

What is it about belting out a few Broadway tunes that makes sweeping and mopping a kitchen floor so much easier?

That was me this morning… iPod blasting the soundtrack from ‘Wicked’, alternately cleaning the floor and dancing with the mop (You’re trying to picture it in your head right now, aren’t you? Go ahead… I’ll wait.)

Finished with the kitchen, and feeling inspired, I moved onto the powder room, and then the entryway, progressing from ‘What is This Feeling?’ to ‘Defying Gravity’ to ‘No Good Deed’… singing at the top of my lungs. (I can’t hear myself with the music blaring through my earbuds, for which I am eternally grateful.)

Dancing around my house. My EMPTY house.

Until I feel a tap on my shoulder.

I jumped. I screamed. And I just about peed all over my nice clean floor.

And then I smacked the intruder.

Who happened to be my husband.

Who had just happened to come home for lunch. “Don’t you remember I said I’d be home for lunch today?”

Um, no. No, I did *not* remember.

Anyway, when I regained my voice, I yelled at him that he should NEVER sneak up on me like that again. For all I knew, he was a homicidal maniac, and I could have used my mop as a deadly weapon.

Of course, he tried to point out that he had done no such sneaking… he had opened the garage, walked into the house (which incidentally triggered the door chime), called my name a few times, and finally had come over to tap me on the shoulder to get my attention. (and then, of course, he added that I should not keep my music so loud anyway)

Well… still… I happen to call that 'sneaking'.

And then I asked the most concerning question of all…

“Um… you didn’t hear me singing, did you?”

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Reasons I am worried...

Reasons I am currently worried about Davis

1. Today I heard him say the following phrase: “Libby, you’re the best little sister ever!” (And when I looked around the corner, she was not offering him her entire bucket of Halloween candy)

2. When I came home from the PTA meeting tonight, Phil told me that before going to bed, Libby had needed help taking off her necklace. He had gone upstairs to help her, but by the time he got there, Libby’s necklace was already off.

Phil: Did you take off your necklace by yourself?
Libby: No… Davis helped me.
(you mean that he yanked it off of you while you were kicking and screaming, right?! No? Hmmm…)

3. Davis read to her from his Donald Duck comic book this afternoon. Let me repeat that: He. Read. To. Her. (I know... I'm still slightly shaken.)

4. And then… I found this…

A picture that Davis had colored for her. And written her nickname on the top. ‘LibbyLoo’

And truly... the only thing that is keeping me from rushing him to the emergency room?

The fact that it is a picture of someone being attacked by a shark.

Truly. ;)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween makes me happy :)

I think we all know how much I love Halloween. Next to Christmas and my kids’ birthdays (notice I did not say *my* birthday), its just about my favorite holiday.

I love the candy (a little too much, I might add… but seriously, where else can I get just 3 Whoppers in one little mini pouch?!), I love the colors of the season (heck, I even got married in October!)… but mostly, I love the costumes.

Ah, the costumes.

And this Halloween was no exception. I have a couple of friends that mentioned to me on the day of the ‘Adults-Only!’ Halloween party that they still hadn’t decided what they were going to be.


Them: “No big deal. I still have a few hours left until the party.”

Me: “You’re crazy, Cynthia*”… um…I mean, “You’re crazy, friend who shall remain nameless for the purposes of this blog.” ;)

(*sidenote: my nameless friend and her hubby rocked it out as H1N1, complete with pig snouts.)

The kids chose their own costumes this year, again. And I survived.

They were… Hannah Montana, a soldier, and a ‘cutie witch’ (Lib’s words).

So now that they are picking out their own costumes (one of them was even purchased, and not homemade! Egad!), it is just my poor husband that is subjected to my costume craziness, I guess. He’s a good sport, as we all know.

We have quite a storied Halloween history, together, but I have say that this year, I think we outdid ourselves…

I hope for your sake, you don’t have a bounty on your head, because Dog and Beth are comin’ for ya!