Thursday, December 27, 2012

Not all of us can be zen masters

My sister Abigail (the nice one the smart one blah blah blah) has also taken up running.  I keep encouraging her to get a puppy to make it more fun, but she looks pointedly at the puddle on my kitchen floor and says she'll think about it.

We were discussing what route to take on a run together.

"I only can run up hills to start,"  I explained, "Otherwise I get bored.  I need the motivation of the downhill to look forward to on the way home."

 Her response was to tilt her head and squint at me, "You can't run on flats?  You really have no inner life."

That girl.  She does cut to the chase, doesn't she?  To punish her, I took her on my longest run: up through the cemetery, across the golf course, over the ridge, and down the hill home.  At least I didn't make her pick up the dog poop.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Re-arranging the puppy

Last night, someone seemed to be snoring right in my ear.  It was loud, really loud.  It woke me up, sort of.  Not really.  I was confused:  one of The Man Who Lives In My House's best features is that he does not snore.  Magnus the mastiff puppy, on the other hand, does.  But this seemed to be coming from my pillow, it was so loud.

So I sort of gave TMWLIMH a shove and said, "Stop snoring."

This woke him up.  "I don't snore," he said peevishly.  "That's why you married me, remember?"


"Well it must be the dog, then.  could you re-arrange him?"

TMWLIMH was so tired that he must have decided it was easier to aquiesce than to tell me to stuff it and re-arrange the pup myself if the snoring bothers me.

So he got up and sort of adjusted Magnus' wrinkly face to give his nostrils better clearance.

This morning the Hooligans were arguing over who Magnus likes best.

I saw my chance:  "I know, I bet he'd like to sleep with you guys!  Fix up a nice bed with an old blanket between your rooms and we'll send him upstairs tonight."

It's a brilliant solution. They sleep like the dead.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The running shoe is on the other foot.

In the past, various people who love me (Thank you.  I do appreciate it.) have encouraged me to exercise. They say things like:  I don't want you to die first.

Isn't that romatic?

Sometimes I have listened to them, but never consistently.  Some of these healthy folks have gone so far as to herd/drag me out the door and try to get me to run with them.

I generally go until the first garage sale, at which point I have to stop and see if there is anything good.  Other compelling reasons to stop include (but are not limited to): hills, flats, empty houses with for sale signs (I like to peek in the windows), seeing people I know (and must chat with, naturally), puppies, pretty gardens,  people working in their gardens (I have questions!), lemonade stands, birdsong, free piles, dumpsters with non-stinky stuff sticking out of them,  etc.


There has been a change in my attitude.  Two changes, to be exact.  In the form of my two lazy dogs. The big one is old and the puppy is a mastiff.  They both really like to nap.  Sometimes the puppy has to be carried when we walk the smaller hooligan to school (4 whole blocks) or else we'll be very late.

Nonetheless  I am afraid to leave them alone in the house unless they are exhausted.  If they're feeling frisky and they get bored I'm pretty sure they will eat the couch.

So every morning  I snap on their leashes.  They roll their eyes at me.  Really?  They ask.  Because we're fine.  We'll just hang out here, maybe play a little biteface in the living room.  You go ahead.  don't let us hold you back.

No I tell them.  You'll enjoy it.  It's good for you.  You need the fresh air.  Come on now.  I can't go alone.  Who will protect me from cougars?

Exactly.  They tell me.  Nothing doing.  We don't care for cats.  See you later.  Have fun.  

At this point I fish the bag of treats out of my pocket and shake it at them.  You want this?  I ask?  Both dogs nod enthusiastically.  The little one starts to drool.

I take off.  They look at each other.  I can almost see them shrug.  Fine.  They haul themselves up and start trotting after me.  I have to remain just out of their reach for at least a quarter mile by which time they have forgotten their reluctance and are loping along cheerfully.  As am I.

The Man Who Lives In My House says that this whole interaction sums up my personality exactly:  I don't want to do anything unless I think it is my idea.

I should have gotten a puppy years ago.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


The puppy has nearly doubled in size since we got him about 3 weeks ago.  He eats a lot, as you can imagine.  He dives into his food dish with wild abandon, gulping and smacking happily, after which he snuffles minutely over every inch of floor, hoping for stray crumbs.

The result of eating so fast and so much, (not to mention so many items that are not meant for canine consumption) are hiccups.  Which sometimes subside....and other times escalate into a crescendo of  heaves, with a projectile finale of dog barf.

Since this is a lengthy process we usually have time to grab him and toss him outside. The other night around four, though, we were awakened (by the horrible heaving noise) too far into the process to intervene.  The man Who Lives In My House jumped out of bed and grabbed the heaving puppy, who  an erupted at that moment.

"He threw up on my good pants!" The Man was outraged.

I was really not very awake.  I was not in a diplomatic frame of mind.  (Am I ever?  Sadly, no.) "That's what happens when you leave your pants on the floor."  was my response.

This was not what the man wanted to hear.  "Well you clean it up while I deal with the puppy and put my pants in the wash."

Deal with the puppy?  What did the puppy need?  I was wondering about this as I fetched the paper towels and the cleaning spray.  It's not a kid where you need to help them brush their teeth.

Turned out "deal with the puppy" meant "prevent the puppy from eating his own barf."

It's like a recirculating dog barf fountain.  How efficient.

I've asked this before:  Why do I like dogs so much?  It is a mystery.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A plague upon my house.

I was making my bed the other morning.  I'm not a neat freak, but I like to make my bed so I can pile stuff on top of it over the course of the day.  Anyway, I picked up one of the pillows to fluff it up and there was a cricket.

Eeeuw.  It may have been there all night.  

It could be worse.  It was not a roach.  But it was an insect.  And furthermore, I recognized it.  This was not a cute little lace-wing or grasshopper visitor from my garden.  This was one of the juicy brown crickets we buy at the pet mart for the Larger hooligan's leopard gecko.

12 for $1, if you're wondering.  I make him pay for them.  And I ask the pet mart lady to put them in a brown sack, so I don't have to look at them on the way home.  It makes a scratching noise as I drive.  Eeeuw.  

I remained calm, as there was no one home to come running if I hollered.  I flicked it onto the floor and stomped on it.  Sorry cricket.  Sorry lizard.  I felt a little bad, but mostly relieved.

I suspect that the cricket container got dumped.   The larger hooligan failed to mention this to me.  This shows that he has a strong sense of self preservation.  That's a good thing.  

Later, on the phone, my mom pointed out that these pet store crickets may be invasive.  Perhaps they will devour every green thing in the neighborhood, starting with my garden. It will be a plague of locusts.  She's not one to look on the bright side, is she?  Bad Grandma.

All because of the Larger Hooligan's insectivorous leopard gecko.  I liked it better when she was living under the stove, unbeknownst to me.  The ants that meander through my kitchen were mysteriously absent during that period.....

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

More excuses (this one barks and drools)

The plan after we got home from Alaska was to get another dog.  Because I don't know why.  I have mentioned our dog on numerous occasions when he does something dreadful or expensive.  I guess we like that, so we wanted more.  No one ever accused any of us of having a lot of good sense.

My vision was something small-ish but not tiny, young ish but not a puppy, and perhaps at least part poodle or terrier, for the low-shedding feature.

I visited local shelters and rescue places for about 6 weeks--one of the reasons I was too busy to post, ok?  I met a lot of dogs, but they were too old or too small or too scared or or or....

And then this guy crossed my path:

Even as I type he is snoring on my lap.  He snores!  And drools!  and has to be let out one or more times/night!  He's so cute!  He's gained 6 pounds in the two weeks since we got him.  He's some sort of mastiff.  So much for smallish.  He won't fit in my lap for another week or so. We named him Magnus.

Reminds me of the hooligans, actually.

Monday, October 1, 2012

my other excuses

For not posting most of the summer.....

I was distracted.  Because we went to Alaska, which is kind of mess-with-your-head-distracting.

Really.  When Alaskans come to the Northwest and their friends show them around our natural wonders, they must be so un-impressed.

To illustrate:

We went on a 3 day kayak trip.  The weather was perfect.  
It's just crazy pretty.  The seabirds make a huge racket.  Some of the coves looked like snow globes with the air full off birds, wheeling and calling.  The water was full of sea lions, otters, Dahl's porpoise, orca and humpbacks.  A pod of orca swam right under the boat.  

That's a chum salmon--the kind they make into dog food.  They're fun to catch because they put up a fight.   

Goons in the wild.  They were doing their Hussein Bolt move.  (We watched the olympics whenever we had access to a TV.)

The smaller Hooligan loves all aspects of fishing, including the guts.  He got covered in fish guts and blood as he made discoveries:  "This fish ate a fish!"  Other tourists were taking pictures of him.  He was quite a spectacle.  

I regret not buying that mask.  

We caught a limit.  

Bear cub in a berry thicket. 
The smaller Hooligan and I found pre-columbian spear points.  We wanted to keep them, but it would have been un-ethical and illegal, so we buried them in a special spot, where we can find them again someday. 

 Our friends Darcy and Chet live in Anchorage.  They graciously took it upon themselves to show us how locals have a good time:  This involved flying us in their small plane to a glacial lake near Palmer. It took 3 trips to get us, our gear, their dog, and the coolers of beer and moose steaks to the site.  Once there, our minds were blown AGAIN, by how wild and remote it is.  We saw mountain sheep and bear tracks.  Moose steak is delicious.

I would go back in a minute.  I told my college kid neighbors to go seek adventure in Alaska instead of Africa.  Sure, Africa is all the rage.  I would like to go there someday, but it's so expensive to get there, and their moms must worry.  Alaska is comparatively convenient/cheap.  You can drink the water.  As long as you avoid mother bears and crevasses, plane crashes, hypothermia, etc.  it's fairly safe.    

Friday, September 28, 2012

How we spent our summer

He came rushing inside and grabbed his (brand new) jacket.  "Why are you putting on your jacket?"  I asked.  "It's 80 degrees."

"I am going to ride down the hill on my stomach," he explained.  "I need protection.  I need leathers."

"Why don't you go find that leather cowboy jacket in the dress up box?  It will work better and your new jacket will not get ruined."

His eyes lit up and he disappeared into the basement.  He reappeared attired as you see above.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Motivational Fright Wig

I've been terribly busy, as you can see:

Hair this big does not happen without great effort.

I know.  I look like Phil Specter.  But it motivates the hooligans.  They get out of bed in a timely manner to come see how insane it is every morning.

We are never late to school.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

More Prodigal reptiles

Quite a few times our tutles have runnoft.  2/3 of them have returned.  Starshine is still AWOL.  If you find a grape-fruit sized Southeastern Box Tortoise in Southeast Eugene, please give her lots of snails and be warned that she will live 40-80 years, depending on where you get your information.  I failed to research Turtles before I said yes.  Lesson Learned.

More recently the Leopard gecko when AWOL about 6 weeks ago, (See 2 posts previous).  We tore the house apart and had given up hope.  Meanwhile, life has gone on.  The hooligans have been up to various hijincks, particularly playing war, riding skateboards (with helmets), sneaking off to the corner store for candy every possible chance, and going off to sleep away camp at the beach this whole week.

In their absence, the house has been very quiet.  It is clean and peaceful.  I have been staying up late doing various projects.  Tonight I shuffled into the kitchen for water when something caught my eye  peeking out from under the stove.

The words MOUSE!RAT!ROACH! were flying at me-- it was none of these.  I know my mouse rat roach--I lived in Baltimore for 4 years, after all.   It was a yellow and black speckled head-- indubitably the gecko.  

The Man Who Lives In My House was right behind me when he heard me croak, "Lizard!"

He knelt down and peered under the stove, "She's right there!   Run up and turn on the heat rock, Kate!"

I didn't think she'd opt to crawl into his hand, but I was wrong.   Everyone loves TMWLIMH: my mother, the dog, the kids, even the lizard.

The Larger Hooligan will return to a clean, purged, and re-arranged bedroom, with his lizard restored to the tank on his dresser.

I think he may forgive me for touching his stuff.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Taking Advantage of The Hooligans' Father

Our house has been in need of a doorbell ever since we bought it--6 years ago.  There's a place all set up to wire one in, so if The Man Who Lives In My House had his way, he would have ordered something on line and paid someone to install it.

His way is not my way.  I kept my eye open for the perfect door bell and found this:

It was at a very random estate sale a couple of months ago.  It was not one of those houses where everything is awesome.  It was ordinary dishes and household stuff that was a bit overpriced.  This thing, though, was $75 (which seemed very reasonable), only I found it on Sunday, so it was half price.  When you pull the chain, the little man's arm moves and the bell rings.  

I brought it home with a lot of triumphant crowing.  The Man was dubious.  "It's kind of weird."  he said.  "And how are we going to install it?  Drilling into the stucco makes me nervous. "  So it sat in the closet. 

Enter Father's Day.  The Man requested a very traditional/stereotypical gift:  A new grill.  Saturday I hie'd myself to True Value to buy one.  I knew better than to wait for the perfect thrifted grill:  that would not meet The Man's needs.  While I was at it, I brought my Doorbell thing along and consulted with Simon, the hardware expert, about how to install it into the stucco entryway.  Simon set me up with a masonry bit and several other widgets.  Then I ordered the proper grill which will be assembled and delivered by those nice people on Wednesday.  I love my hardware store. 

The Man was in a cheerful, traditional and stereotypical Father's Day mood.  The time was right to ask him to perform Handyman chores.  Ordinarily he HATES this stuff.  He wants to like it, but mostly he  finds installing hooks or wiring a light or painting a wall tedious and aggravating.  On the other hand, he thinks I do these tasks in a random and haphazard manner, which is true.  So I handed him the bag of supplies, passed along Simon's advice and left him alone.  

The result:

He is extremely and deservedly pleased with himself.  "I did not even swear!" he pointed out, ""And it's really cool!"  Well duh.  To thank him, I made him a gin and tonic, and did all the clean up.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Reptiles were not in the fine print

Neither was football, but that's another post.

A perfectly horrible day, kicked off by the younger hooligan crying quietly int his waffles as he comtemplated what to write in his teacher's end-of-the-year thank you card.  He loves his teacher, loves school and hates goodbyes.  Every year we go through this, but usually it doesn't happen until the last bell rings.  This teacher is particularly spectacular.

Meanwhile, upstairs in the lair of the 12 year old, the gecko was missing.

Hysteria ensued.

I have trouble relating to the affection my elder son feels for his gecko. But there it is.  And the social studies final was set to commence in a mere hour.  How was he ever going to remember details of ancient chinese dynasties when the lizard was not in her proper place.

If he hadn't yelled at the smaller hooligan when he came to help search, I would have had more sympathy.  Even without sympathy, I spent the entire morning excavating all the dust/spare change etc. from under every bed, bookcase etc. upstairs.  To no avail.  At least it's a lot cleaner.

I have been accused of being glad she is gone.  I am not, if only because now I will worry that she is going to re-appear, say, in my hair at one in the morning.

Sleep well!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Big shoes to fill

I just ordered two pairs of navy blue converse low tops, size 10 and 10.5, mens, for the Larger Hooligan.  It occured to me that just 2 years ago, we wore the same shoe size-a women's 8, which is about a men's 6.  His feet have grown 4 sizes in two years.  It must be painful.  It is certainly painful on the budget.

At least he has good taste.  It's a pity we can't share anymore.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

More like barbed wire than velveteen.

This bunny glared at me from the shelf:

"Buy me!"  He snarled.  So I did.  Isn't he fierce?  I was quite intimidated.  He reminded me of someone:

I send him to my nephew with a note:

Dear Cupcake,
Please keep a close eye on this bunny.  He is very fierce.  He bit me.  Happy Easter!
Love, Aunt Kate

They get along very well.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Post auction Post

I have not exploded, nor has my house been condemned and my children removed by the state-  although I would not welcome a social worker just yet.  I am slowly restoring order to my normal life.  I don't really feel like it, though.  What I feel like doing is counting the money and crowing.

We raised a record $27,000 at the auction this year.  And it was a fun party, which is just as improtant as the fund raising, in my opinion.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Take Cover

The Smaller Hooligan: "I kind of need a haircut."
Me:  "Ok, as soon as the auction is over next Friday, we'll get you a haircut."
Smaller Hooligan:  "Everything has to wait until after the auction."
The Man Who Lives In My House:  "Mom's not even going to go to the bathroom until the auction is over."
Me:  "Yeah, next Saturday I am going to explode."
TMWLIMH:  "It would be best if you did that somewhere far away, like maybe at an ordinance range."

Sunday, April 1, 2012

C6H12O6 Negotiations

The Smaller Hooligan deigned to accompany to the grocery store.  I sent him to the cereal aisle to make selections.

"Pick out anything you like that's under 7 grams of sugar,"  I cautioned.
He narrowed his eyes at me, "How about 14?"
"10, and not a speck more."
The deal was struck.

He was gone a long time.  I got the chicken, milk, sour cream, eggs, ran into a neighbor--we were bemoaning the school budget woes at length when he re-appeared, empty handed.

"You couldn't find a cereal you like under ten?"
"No, You know that kind they were advertising on TV in the hotel with the cavemen?" (that would be fruity/cocoa pebbles--he is not acquainted with The Flintstones) "Well I found it, and the fruit kind has only 9 grams, but It looks like I'd be eating a pink turd.  Why would I want to eat that?"

An excellent question.

He was very cross.  It was as if those wily advertising agents had promised him a gift that he'd looked forward to eagerly, which had turned out to be gross.

We settled on mini-wheats and special K.

I think I won this round.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Reprecussions of Playing Scrabble against an only child

The Man Who Lives In My house used to refuse to play scrabble with me.  Because I always won.  As a sibling-less child, he played board games with his granddad while his grandma hissed in the background, "You let him win, Clair, YOU LET HIM WIN!"

I learnt at my mother's knee.  She never let me win.  It was educational.  I did get pretty good.  My mother and my sister (The Nice One?  She is also The Smart One.  If you combine those two things, doesn't that create The Annoying One?  HMM.) can beat me, but not too many other people can in the three dimensional world.

The only way to beat Bad Grandma and Abbey is if I cheat and sneak extra tiles, which I have been known to do. (You can't cheat on the iphone.  Frustrating.)  Recently, The Man has discovered the scrabble app on his iphone.  He has been practicing

He can beat me quite easily now, although he uses all those stupid words that are not really words, like "qi," and "ki".  Technically, this is not cheating, but I don't consider those to be viable words.  Using them is inelegant and smacks of desperation.  On my planet, you can only use words that are actually  part of your vast and evocative vocabulary.  Don't you concur?

But I digress:  he spent a night with my parents a couple of weeks ago.  I got a gleeful text:  "I  BEAT YOUR MOM AT SCRABBLE!"

My mother refused to comment. She just made a hmmmph noise.  This evening I arrived at her house with the Hooligans in tow. We are spending the night and meeting up with The Man tomorrow.  After dishing up icecream for the Hooligans and walking the dog, my mother whipped out her iphone.

"I got this great app for playing scrabble," she mentioned casually. "Look, I have 5 games going with complete strangers.  I'm not winning all of them, but I'm doing pretty well."

Just then my phone rang.  It was my sister.  "You know how The Man beat mom at scrabble two weeks ago?"  I asked her, (She did.  He made sure to tell everyone.)  "Now Mom's playing iphone scrabble with complete strangers.  She's not going to let that happen again.  Uh oh, Abbey, she's continuing to play with one hand and she's flipping me off with the other. 

It would behoove The Man not to become complacent, is all I'm saying.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Moody Revenge

We drove to Portland for my sister (The Nice One)'s birthday.  The larger Hooligan came prepared, with a smart phone and large ear phones--the better to pretend he was somewhere else, like a really cool techno party in space.  Yeah.  Awesome.

I tried not to mind that he doesn't like us anymore.  He gets this from me, in spades.  I was an insufferable asshole as a teenager.  I've been hoping that owning up to  this and eating lots of crow about it would insulate me from having to co-exist with similar behavior from my child(ren).  No dice.  Remorse gets you nothing.

Towards the end of the drive I asked him to turn down the volume in his headphones because if I could perceive his techno (which I could) it might damage his hearing, which might interfere with his future music appreciation, etc.

"You just hate techno,"  he snarled, his voice cracking.  (Well yes, I do, am I so transparent?  Well, yes, I am.)  "I love techno,  I'm always gonna love techno.  I hate your stupid music.  Why do you have to listen to NPR?  I hate the music they play in between stuff.  It's so stupid."

What is he talking about?  They play Ratatat when they transition on NPR.  They love techno as much as he does.

He was able to emerge from his funk and be fairly pleasant at the birthday breakfast.  (I locked all technology in the car for the duration).  Afterwards he went home with my parents while I ran a couple of errands and the Smaller Hooligan accompanied Senor Cupcake (the nephew) and his mamas to the park.

I called my mom (Bad Grandma) after about an hour and a half, "Is the Larger Hooligan being reasonable?"  I asked,  "Or is he lurking in a corner with those damn headphones? "

"He is being delightful," answered my mother smugly,  "I don't know what you're talking about when you say he's surly."

"Mom," I begged,  "I know that it must be incredibly tempting for you to egg him on after what you put up with from me, but please, The Man Who Lives In My House is at a meeting in Canada for this entire week and The Larger Hooligan is very nearly larger than I am.  Could you please, out of the goodness of your heart, encourage him to cooperate insofar as he is able?"

Bad Grandma laughed her evil laugh, "I was glad that I was always bigger than the two of you. I must say."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Don't take your hooligan shopping

There were some needs in the Hooligan wardrobe.  The smaller one has outgrown his sneakers.  The larger one's t-shirts have become an embarassment to me.  He could care less, but gets annoyed when I make him go change before we have people over for dinner or something.

I took them to Portland.  My plan was to have lunch with my parents, go downtown and have a fun time shopping, and then back to my folks' for dinner before going home.  This was a great plan except for the fun time shopping part.  We found a parking spot between REI and Powell's.

 I wasn't trying to challenge them.  We weren't shopping for me!  I know they have limits! I had no intention of so much as pausing in front of the window at any of those lady stores they hate so much.

Inside REI, they went straight to the display of flashlights and pocket knives.  They were loathe to come look for anything they actually needed.  They kept asking to go across town to the army surplus store where they could buy a de-activated grenade.

"But that serves no purpose," I explained.  "And besides, you already have one and ninja stars, as well, because your father is so very nice to you.  We are here to get some things you actually need.  You get to choose.  I won't have to return anything because you don't like it or it doesn't fit.  This is a good thing!  You get to make decisions!  Just try it on!"

They rolled their eyes at me.  "Can't you just order us stuff?"

Truly, I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  I suppose I should've just run with this:   Hell yes I will order stuff.  I will order striped shirts and plaid button downs and bow ties, also pants with little whales embroidered all over them.  I will order saddle shoes.

Forget about cool!!  I could make them look so adorable if they would let me!  They have no idea what risks they are taking here.

I dragged them upstairs.  There were actually no loveable sneakers, in the smaller hooligan's opinion.  And only one t-shirt that fit and wasn't made of something so high tech and organic that it was a reasonable price.  We did, however, find excellent snowboots, which we bought a size too large. They should last through this year and into next, and they were on super sale.  Apparently they are "cool"  as well.  Isn't that nice.

Boys are mysterious creatures.  After a short trip to Powell's for some dis-topian sci-fi and the latest Wimpy Kid (ugh), we got back to my parents' at dinner time.  My mother had spaghetti and meatballs simmering on the stove.  My sons joined my father on the couch, where they happily watched some show about war.  With everyone settled and an hour before dinner, my mother and I zipped over to the nearby shopping center, where we shopped and chatted peacefully, without buying a thing.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Obsessed on two fronts

Front #1:  The school auction.  I am doing it again.  Because my middle name is SUCKA!  I have some highly competent and experienced help this year.  I did last year, too, but now I know what to ask for.

Front #2:  ebay.  I sold those shoes that I mentioned in my last post.  Then a high end sweater ($68.50 plus shipping).  That means I've netted around $275.  Not bad, right? So I'm on the HUNT!  for anything that is priced very low and seems like it might be a hit.    The best part is writing the description.  I feel like Elaine on Seinfield when she worked for Peterman.

For example:

"These Black Danskos have a red accent and a sporty adjustable strap at the ankle for a precise fit.  They feature a waterproof padded section around the top of the shoe, leather for the main part of the shoe, and the standard thick rubber clog sole.      

They are in excellent condition.  The sole has no visible wear and the leather is clean and uncreased.  The interior has no sweat or dirt marks.  There was a little dust on the creases on the bottom which cleaned up easily.  If it hadn't been for that I would have said these were NWOT.  

If you're not already addicted to Dansko comfort and style, these shoes will win you over.  They are favorites of nurses, chefs, flight attendants, and anyone else who spends long hours on their feet.  Try these out or supplement your collection!  You can't have too many Danskos"

I don't want to say what I paid for them because maybe you want to bid on them.   I'll say this:  the amount I spent would send you running to the nearest thrift store to find your own bargain. I don't care for danskos, myself, or I'd keep them.  But I'm a wooden sole kind of girl.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

An update, in case you are wondering:

The brown shoes mentioned in the last post sold for $105 plus shipping ($8).  They are being sent to someone in Ohio.  The red ones have 12 hours to go and are currently up to $113.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dabbling in re-sale, thrifting, and blogging.

What I didn't buy: 

 Who donates a whole rack of bowling balls?  These would be an awesome art installation type feature if you had an enormous rec room.  You could make a huge marble roll thing--like a gyrotron?  those wire sculptures from the 70s...but huge, with bowling balls instead of marbles.  If I didn't have children I'd be a famous artist, or just a famous crazy person, clearly.   But I'm terribly busy doing whatever it is I do while they're at school.   I guess I go thrifting, and blog.   

What I did buy: 
 This fabulous mid-century magazine rack/ash tray.  This styling lady was thrifting with her styling husband.  Who gets a husband who will thrift?  Lucky!  She approved.  I put it in the new bathroom, where it looks so groovy.  The place where the ashes once were tapped now holds the soap.  I haven't even revealed the new garage lounge/bathroom.  Maybe next post.  

I also bought:

Would you wear these shoes?  If I had small feet (size 6, narrow) I would wear the ones on the left.  They are so gorgeous that I bought them anyway, for $10.  They still have the price sticker on the bottom--you can't quite read the numbers, but I looked them up:  Chie Mihara shoes run between $300-$400.  I knew they were pricey, but that took me by surprise.  Sadly,  none of my friends has feet quite that small.  So there they are, all $350 retail's worth.

The ones on the right, I would not wear, myself, but they are brand new Salvatore Ferragamos.  No wear whatsoever.  They set me back $5.  Some well-heeled (haha, sorry) country club lady never must have decided red wasn't her color. Or something.   Size 11B.  Make that a well heeled country club lady with rather large feet.

So I am dabbling in Ebay land.  I have thought about this literally for years.  I was intimidated:  Ebay involves technology.  It turns out to take about 8 minutes to do a simple listing.  I have 3 bids on the brown shoes and one on the red ones.  5 days, 19 hours to go.  I'll keep you posted.

Monday, January 23, 2012

He prefers HBO, for some reason.

It has taken a year of tireless campaigning to convince The Man Who Lives In My House to watch Downton Abbey with me.  I found it myself about six months ago when he was away at a meeting.  I watched the entire first season  over the course of 3 days on Netflix.

It is, as you probably know, SO ENGROSSING.  Who will Lady Mary marry?  What is Mr. Bates' secret?  Why does Anna find him attractive?  Why is Mary so mean to Edith?  Will Sybil become a suffragette?  More importantly, will she run off with Branson, the chauffeur? And why, oh WHY is it no longer customary to dress for dinner?  Because I really want to swan around in a drapy, beaded frock.

None of this sounded appealing to TMWLIMH.  He is afraid that if he watches Masterpiece Theater, he will turn into our parents.  In fact, he might age.  Perhaps avoiding PBS is the secret to his youthful visage! (I have completely given up on hope of him ever watching antiques roadshows)

 I don't care.  The show is so good it is worth it.  I will just go get some botox.  I cajoled him into watching the opening episode of season 2 with me.

"World War I has started!"  I promised, "So there will be explosions!  And trenches.  And bad Germans, although not yet Nazis."

Well this piqued his interest, albeit grudgingly.  Is this not mysterious?  Why is a man attracted by war, but not love and intrigue and issues of social class?  He sat through the 2 hour special with me.

"What did you think? I asked him as the credits rolled,  "Wasn't it great?  Aren't you excited for next week?"

"Well, it was better than I was expecting," he admitted, "But I think they could improve it a lot if those women just took their clothes off."

Thursday, January 12, 2012


We are going to the mountains this weekend.  This plan just happened semi-spontaneously.  I informed the Hooligans.  The Larger Hooligan is in a snit because his leopard gecko is about to shed and he feels he must be there for her.  Apparently you have to provide a bed of moistened moss.  You would think that this was the birth of his first child.

The Man Who Lives In My House is the one who ok'd the aquisition of a leopard gecko.  I handed this issue off to him.  He started making some calls.  

TMWLIMH  to Lauren, one of our babysitters:  "Hi Lauren, What do you know about lizards?...............So you don't have a phobia of lizards?  Good...................How would you like to housesit a lizard this weekend?.......................No the Dog will be with us, it's just the lizard................Yeah, the hot tub is working...................Oh, what about crickets, are you ok with handling crickets?....................Yes, live ones..........

(to the Hooligan:  how often does the lizard need to eat crickets?)

..... It only needs to eat every few days.  You won't have to deal with crickets.............You'll do it?  Cool.

I don't know how much Lauren will charge us to house sit a lizard, but it's coming out of the Hooligan's allowance.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I have nothing to say. But a girl's gotta eat...

So I give you this cake:

The back story is the basic cake recipe originated off a land o' lakes butter package.  The orange/chocolate modification came from a cake called the "Cassata" that used to be served at the Bread and Ink Cafe on Southeast Hawthorne Street in Portland.  It was so good.

I think my tongue has a photographic memory.  This did not help me much in school, but it's great when I try something amazing  in a restaurant that I want to re-create at home.

3/4 C butter
3/4 C sugar
4 egg yolks
Until fluffy.

2 t grand marnier or other orange liquer,
zest of 2 oranges,
1/2 cup orange juice,
1/4 cup milk or cream,
2 t baking powder,
1/8 t salt
2 C flour
1 c mini chocolate chips (the darker the better).
Mix until just blended, pour into greased loaf pan.
Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes.

Cool and frost with a dark chocolate ganache frosting.

I make this by melting the rest of the chocolate chips and adding 1/4 butter and a little cream or milk until it has a nice spreading consistancy.

You don't really need to frost this cake--it's pretty great straight up, but frosting does make it a little fancier if you're having a dinner party or something.  Just serve it in slices, like bread.