Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fortune Cookies...

fortunecookieLast weekend we found ourselves with a free Saturday night...quite a rare event in our busy household.  The boys lost their playoff game (by one goal in overtime) so we were able to skip the rest and head out early.  Everyone was hungry and so we decided to go out to eat.

Relying on GPS to find a restaurant isn't always ideal.  If you aren't looking for a known restaurant, it's always a gamble.  We vetoed a few hole-in-the wall mostly take-out Chinese places in favor of sit-down dining.  We almost ended up at Mezcal, but the wait was too long and it was nearing couple, date-night time so we opted instead for ChopSticks, which was perfect for family dining.  They sat us in the back room near a large birthday party with kids and adults of all ages.

We didn't have to worry about disturbing anyone's dinner, were surrounded by other families and everyone found something they liked to order off the menu.  The food was delivered quickly, two pots of tea were consumed (with lots of sugar) and my son even tried actual sushi and fish eggs!

At the end of meal, they delivered the fortune cookies.  I know most of you have played that silly game of adding "in bed" to the end of your fortunes.  Looking for a more G-rated version, I suggested we add "on the toilet" to the end instead.  My three children love nothing more than potty humor so this resulted in bouts of laughter as we read fortunes such as:

A wise man says nothing...on the toilet

One who loves to sing will always find a song...on the toilet

The fastest and easiest is not always the best way...on the toilet

As we went around and read our altered fortunes, all of us were giggling and being quite silly.  As we left the restaurant I was thinking about how much fun we had, just being together.  Time goes so fast, already my oldest son is as tall as my chin and has the same size feet as me.   Saturday night was a reminder to take the time to unplug, get out of the house, away from the projects, turn off the phones and electronics, and just have fun being together...on the toilet.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


[caption id="attachment_1007" align="alignleft" width="450"][/caption]

My Mother tells me interesting stories that I usually dismiss because they just seem too crazy to not be true...  For example, she recently told my husband and I that after her Mother had her third baby she refused to get out of bed.  Apparently my Grandmother said that her legs wouldn't work and she could not walk.  I believe that she was suffering from a severe case of postpartum depression, but that has no bearing on the tale.

My Grandfather decided to help.  While she was sleeping he took two live electrical wires, crossed them and shocked her feet.  Wait a minute, yes he basically sent an electrical current into his wife's feet on purpose.  Some would call this electrocution.  The husband interjected to ask if these were 220 volt wires.  Deemed irrelevant to the story, my Mother continued that this shocking of my Grandmother awoke her and made her so furious that she jumped out of bed and chased my Grandfather out the room presumably to kill him.  He ran out of the house where he hid until she calmed down, feeling very smug about curing her leg problem.  Yes, she did get out of bed and start taking care of the house and the children again.

So these are the geniuses I am descended from which only makes it more ironic when she starts telling the husband about how intelligent I am and did you know I has a "MENSA level IQ".  Really?  How do you know?  Well apparently she had me IQ tested before starting kindergarten, at the tender age of four.  What exactly does an IQ test for a 4-year-old look like?  Are you a genius if you know your colors?, can read?, ponder the cosmos?  The whole thing seems suspect to me...although I do think I can use this to my advantage during arguments.  How can the husband not concede to my wishes when I am the one with the MENSA level IQ.  I did marry him.  I must be brilliant.

To answer the MENSA question once and for all, I decided to take an online IQ test.  Coincidentally, the normally $18 pre-screening "so you think you are smart enough for to apply to MENSA" test is free during the month of January.  You have one more day to take advantage of this special offer at:

The test is four parts and timed.  You have 8 minutes to complete about 20 questions in each section.  The first section was weird partial pictures of hands and forearms where you identify right or left.  Seriously.  The rest was logic and math questions, which I happen to like.  I took the test amidst distractions and probably would have done better if I focused a little more, but part of me just wanted to prove Mother wrong.  Yes I still have not outgrown my tendencies toward teenage rebellion...and unquenchable curiosity.

These are my results.  I am convinced that I botched the right/left questions...


You scored a 69 on the Mensa Home Test.

Scores between 63 and 70 from the online test are above the 86th percentile and indicate an approximate IQ range between 116 and 125. This high score indicates a strong possibility that you may qualify for membership in Mensa!

Pretty inconclusive actually.  What the next step requires is paying $40 to take a 30 minute test.  If you score in the top 2% you are eligible for MENSA membership.  Then you get to join and pay dues for the privilege of wearing around an I am Smarter than You pin.  Ok, not really, but I can't help thinking about it that way.  When I was in college working as a waitress I would occasionally have the privilege of waiting on the MENSA meeting.  They were pretty eccentric and did not tip well, despite their grasp of high math.

So I think I am going to leave my little MENSA experiment at that..let's call it a draw...within the realm of possibility but certainly not definite. I still should win all the arguments though!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

TOH Reader Remodel Contest

[caption id="attachment_950" align="alignleft" width="450"]The finished bath room - view from hall way door opening The finished bath room - view from hall way door opening[/caption]

Good News!!!, the downstairs bathroom made it into This Old House 2013 Reader Remodel Contest. You can view the entry here:

TOH Reader Remodel Contest 2013

If you really want to review all the nitty gritty dirty work that went into this project, click here.

A shout out to everyone who made this room possible,

  • the husband the demolition man, tile man, painter man, wood-working man

  • my Dad the BEST PLUMBER EVER who saved us about $7K

  • Pammy the wallpapering maven

  • James Smith Contracting who built the built-ins.

Winter Office Project Update

The winter projects are moving forward after a slight holiday set-back...  The office walls have been rocked and mudded and primed.

The Professional Paint Crew has been hired...

[caption id="attachment_982" align="alignleft" width="450"]cassie This one is having way too much fun...[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_983" align="alignleft" width="450"]This one looks a little dangerous... This one looks a little dangerous...[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_984" align="alignleft" width="450"]painters Partners in Crime...[/caption]

The wall color has been chosen...
Benjamin Moore Mistletoe

More coming soon...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

why I hate my birthday

Happy New Year!!!

My birthday falls on New Years Day and it has got to be the worst birthday ever.

Baby New Year

I know I get a Rudolph cartoon character with giant ears to represent me (my ears are fine by the way), but I can't think of a worse day to be born.  In fact when we were thinking about having children I absolutely refused to have one born in December or January.

Here's why...

It starts out bad as a baby...

  • Your parents miss a tax write off so right away you start out costing them money.

You get shortchanged as a kid...

  • Your birthday falls over school break during the holidays so everyone forgets 

  • You will forever be hearing "Here's your Christmas/birthday gift" that is if they remember about your birthday

  • Your birthday gift, will always be wrapped in left-over holiday paper or be delivered in gift bags sporting Santa or snowmen.

  • You are expected to open your combo Xmas/birthday gifts when you receive them at Christmas so there are no gifts on your actual birthday.

  • The timing is terrible, did I mention that it falls one week, seven short days after Christmas?  You wait all year for Christmas and then your birthday and then spend 11 months waiting I envied those summer babies with their every six months of gifts!

Now that I am an adult, and I have outgrown a lot of the present hype (although who doesn't like a present, maybe I am lying a bit) it still hasn't gotten much better.

  • You receive all those lovely Yankee swap gifts that people want to get them out of their house and are so excited to have your birthday arrive to relieve them of them

  • You start getting all those holiday bills so you are flat broke, waiting for payday and not really in the mood to spend any more moolah on your birthday

This year my sister had the flu so we exchanged gifts on her doorstep - quickly transferring the bags of presents away from the germs.  She said, "The little purple bag is your gift from last year.  I haven't gotten you one this year yet."  I think at that point she should have just pretended...

My Mother however, takes the cake.  Literally.  She asked what I was doing for my birthday this year and I told her that I really didn't have any plans so she said she would come visit me and bring a cake.  I said that sounded great.  She called me that morning while she was baking to ask what kind of frosting I wanted.  We settled on a chocolate cake with whipped cream frosting like she used to make when I was younger.  She was worried about transporting it in her car so she decided she would pick up the cream at the market by my house and we would finish the cake together.

The husband took the boys off on an outing while my daughter and I waited for my Mother.

Well...she arrived late and breathlessly came in the door with an exclamation of "You will never guess what I did."

Uh-oh.  "What, Mom?" I asked, with a sinking feeling.

"I got to the store and realized that I forgot my purse."  Ok, I can work with that.  "Then I went to look for it in the car and I realized I forgot the cake.  I must have left if sitting on my kitchen counter."

Wait, let me repeat that, she forgot her purse and the cake and drove an hour without noticing.

Of course I told her she had to turn around and drive the hour back home and go get it, to which she told me that she didn't have any gas and needed to borrow cash.  I gave her my last $10 plus $ from the kids piggy banks.  Then she left to go to her friend's house for dinner.  Thanks, Mom.

The husband arrived home with a cheesecake to smooth things over.  I think even he pitied me, which says something.

So that was my birthday.  Pretty poignant.  Definitely memorable.  Can't wait for next year.