Friday, November 28, 2008

The Anti-Black Friday Exercise

I was over at the New Dream website (which I found while trying to assess our carbon footprint the other day) reading their Simplifying the Holidays pamphlet when I came across a fascinating Compacting Christmas activity.

They suggest adding up ALL the money you spent on Christmas (still have your receipts from last year?!!!), and when they say all they really mean all... stocking stuffers, wrapping paper, gifts... the whole nine yards. Then see what percentage it is of your annual take-home income. If you discovered you spent more on Christmas then say your year's heating bill would that change your spending perspective? Or if it's more than you spent on a full month of food?

It's one thing to look back and realize you spent a hell of a lot more than you intended (or with all the little incidentals... then you realized). It's a whole different thing to realize you spent more than you did on a house payment. Not that we did... or you did... but you know what I'm saying. In general I think most of us set up our spending either based on guilt, or precedence, or an arbitrary number... I don't think very many of us do it from this *whole picture* perspective. I know we never have.

When we get home I'm going to look up our last year's spending and I'll let you know what our percentage of spending was. I'll also let you know what I plan on spending this year.


So far only two of the kids have puked.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Just Be Glad You're Not In My Family

or there would be a pretty good chance I'd want to harm you right now.


Two Boots Sangria

3 parts red wine (1 bottle)
3 parts OJ (3 cups)
1.5 parts Wild Cherry Brandy (1.5 cups)
1 part 7Up (or similar.. 1 cup)
sliced fruit

mix juice, brandy & wine together and chill
pour in soda before serving and serve over ice

Now we didn't have most of this stuff on hand today so I made it with wine, OJ, weird old brandy, ginger ale and an additional 2 cups of apple cider. It's fantastic and somewhat more seasonally appropriate. The wild cherry brandy is much sweeter than what I used and it needed a little mellowing ;)

Does It Look Like I'm Having A Happy Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Trot

Need help this Thanksgiving?

Here's how to do it:

The Brine

The Roasting

The Carving

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Drum Roll Please

And The Furious Compacting Christmas winners are....

Congratualions go to:





email me your addresses and then check your mailboxes

There's Still Time

If you haven't entered already then giddy up!

We'll be doing the drawing tonight!!

Turkey Day Etiquette Questions:

So tell us what do you do?!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

What's Gonna Work?... Team Work!

The kids are working together in a tag team fashion to take break me. I woke up this morning ... well I guess I woke up several fucking times last night ... then I was woken up this morning by Kid crying hysterically. I guess when she looked over and saw Baby and I missing she freaked out. It turns out I had decided to sleep on the goddamn floor in an effort to save my back... and Baby was with me since she woke up crying hysterically shortly after I disappeared to the carpeted nether regions.

Well Kid's wake up came at 6. I know some of you out there are thinking "6?!! We got up at 5 every day!" Yeah well we don't. And the kids apparently got a hit of crack mixed in with the Sander's bump cake they had before bed. They should have been tired at 8:30 (their usual bedtime) since they had gotten up early yesterday too... but Baby was just romping around the bed growling like a rabid gorilla... which made it understandably difficult for Kid to fall asleep. After about 45 minutes I threw in the towel and let them get back up. An hour and half of gymnastics later (hmm... seems all the visiting might be a bit over stimulating) I got them back down. So do the math on that one and you'll find they went down close to 11.

A little while later I settled in on the floor. I probably had about an hour of sleep before Baby startled awake crying and then joined me. She then woke up a handful of times more before Kid woke me up at 6. So, yeah, I don't think I ever even had a full hours sleep at a stretch. I did get Kid back to sleep for another 2 hours after some snuggling.

At 8 she woke me up by saying, at top volume, "Mom can we get up?!"

"SHHHHH!!!!! Go To The Bathroom & Go Up Stairs!!!" I whispered in my stern whisper yelling that motherhood has bestowed upon me.

Kid walked to the bathroom (it's in our room) and turned on the light flooding our floor bed in unwanted luminescence. She went to the bathroom then strolled over to the bed and continued at top volume "Can you get me some new underwear?!"

I appreciate that Kid has adopted a new modesty (you may recall it was mere weeks ago that she was quite comfortable flashing the missionaries) but get the fuck out of the goddamn room before you wake up your sister!!!!!! (Don't worry I said all that in my head while burning a hole in hers with my death rays) When I denied her request Kid then threw herself wailing on the floor then after I actually whisper yelled "GET OUT!" She left.

One minute later she returned and walked up to the bed and said at top volume "The big dog loves to follow me!" Great. Leave. I think you know this isn't going to play out in any extra sleep for me at this point but I'm not going to just give in to her at this point either. "Go upstairs!" I whisper.

And she does... not. She lingers just out of sight rustling something and making me want to explode. Of course my entire body aches and my neck feels like it was bashed with a bat all night long so it is hard for me to lift it up high enough to scan for her... plus I'm still trying to keep Baby asleep. "Ruby!" I whisper. She shows up and I beg her "PLEASE I NEED TO SLEEP! Go upstairs!!!"

Two minutes later I slither out of bed and turn the monitor on. I stumble up the stairs and join Kid for Mickey's Clubhouse. Baby woke up 15 minutes later. My day has officially begun. I've had 10 minutes of sleep. They've had 9 hours opposed to their typical 12... so... today should go well.

Wish me luck.

And send the coffee fairy.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Truth

I went into Ann Arbor today. I tried to do it with an eye for the negative, but goddamn it Ann Arbor is factually nicer than Asheville. It was almost astounding to take in. Even the weird strip malls and houses that back in my AA days seemed to sit too close to the road on Stadium looked luxuriously well maintained... and seeing that there are easements with grass and trees EVERY where... were further from the road then any house I've seen in Asheville outside of the Biltmore estate! I mean everything is clean and it stands out like "LOOK AT ME!!!! I DON'T HAVE ANY GRAFFITI OR BOARDED UP (or cracked, or unstaged, etc) WINDOWS!!!" For real folks. I had actually gotten used to Asheville (and I should note that I'm not nearly as upset about being here as I feared... just noting factual differences) so it's almost odd to see things so well kept. Even the highways seem cleaner... if that is even possible. It just makes me wonder even more about what the hell is going on down there. Seriously! I'm driving around in a state that is going through terrible economic times and still things look new and maintained.
I don't know what to tell you other than buy a plane ticket to Asheville drive around the entire metro area and then get one to Ann Arbor and get back to me on your impressions. I'd be pretty surprised if you walk away with a very different take on things.

The good news is that I saw our house and lived through it. I was really worried it would be a horrible grief inducing experience but it was okay. The house looked familiar but it didn't have the "this is the house you brought your babies home to" vibe shouting out at me as we drove by. In fact it seemed small and like a house we had outgrown when I saw it. Kid seemed okay too. I did notice that we left a wind chime on our porch (which I actually always hated) and I felt the strong urge to sneak up on the porch and steal it back.. but I resisted.

That's all for now.

Only 2 more days to enter the Compacting Christmas Giveaway!
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