Saturday, February 19, 2011

Valentine's Day and Replacement Items

So I got a new camera a couple of weeks ago and have been playing with all of the special settings. Guess what I was learning how to use when I took this series of pictures:

That's right . . . the "smile detection" feature. That last picture's a little scary -- looks like I'm trying hide an inside-out Boston creme doughnut behind my purse. I wasn't, though. There was no need -- the doughnut was already in my stomach.

The camera also has a "twilight" feature, which really comes in handy when you are on your Valentine's date with your husband and are killing time until your food comes:

You know you've been married for 14 years when, on your Valentine's date with your husband, your husband is more interested in taking pictures of his wine glass than he is of taking pictures of you. Our date was really fun, though. We went to Bonefish Grill and then to Ruth Eckerd Hall, where we saw the play Young Frankenstein. Dez and Heidi harassed me about the completely un-romantic date I had planned, but I would note that Heidi and her husband ignore Valentine's Day altogether and Dez just has issues. Joe loved his Valentine's date surprise (I didn't tell him where we were going until we were on the way there) and we had a great time.

Since I last blogged (not counting the Otter post), our family has come to a decision about school for next year. We're going to homeschool Casey -- so my Mom Cave is going to become a school room in addition to being the laundry room/sewing room/library. The Mom Cave is big, but not quite big enough for all of those uses, so I probably won't be able to put an espresso bar and mani/pedi station in there like I originally planned, which is a disappointment. But school is more important, I suppose, and if I have any time left in my days between schooling, working, laundry, and barely cleaning my house, I'll have more to blog about. Yay!

Also since I last blogged, we had (yet another) engine put into our Expedition. The original replacement engine we purchased to put in a few months ago had several problems, so the warranty covered a replacement for the replacement. So the first replacement came out:

And the new replacement went in -- along with a new torque converter, water pump, and who knows what else that Howell (our mechanic friend) did not want to tell me because everytime he said, "looks like we're also going to need a new ____" -- I screwed up my faced and hissed at him. But the car is running like a dream now.

Except that the fan for the a/c doesn't stop running when you take the key out of the ignition and there's that random beeping whose cause we can't seem to track down.

Whatever -- so long as people on the sidewalk don't drop flat to the ground anymore when we drive by to avoid what they think is machine gun fire coming from our car.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Please, Let Me Be The First to Un-Invite You

We host several parties at our house each year: small birthday parties for the kids, a much larger birthday party for Joe and/or Dez, a Christmas or New Year's party (never both), sometimes a smallish 4th of July party, and this year we even added a Praise & Worship Bonfire. For the past three years we have also hosted a Super Bowl Party.

Please do not get the wrong idea -- I love throwing parties and having people over and eating and laughing and losing track of the children. But I hate the Super Bowl Party.

If you have not yet received your invitation to the Super Bowl Party, it's not because you've been dropped from the exclusive Flamingo Party Guest List -- it's because I've been passively-aggressively refusing to send them out. Flamingo Joe would say that telling you that I'm refusing makes it more "aggressive-agressive."

Grandma and I spend hours getting the house clean, chairs and tables set up in the proper place (if outside, on the porch; if inside, in the man cave) and then wait the requisite 4 hours or so while the football game is played, the commercials are dissected and analyzed by the party attenders, and then spend two hours or so cleaning it all up -- not that our party attenders don't help clean up as much as they can, they always do. But it's on a Sunday, so the kids still have to be bathed and bedded at a reasonable hour. So if I stop cleaning to go upstairs to put the kids to bed, Grandma labors on downstairs by herself even if I tell her not to. I have enough guilt from letting Grandma do too much of my job, I don't need any more. And I just don't care enough about football to get excited about a game between two teams that mean absolutely nothing to me. So I don't like a party where I prepare for it, wait for it to be over, and then clean up -- not unless I'm getting paid.

But . . . Flamingo Joe loves the Super Bowl party. He likes to say things like, "What do you mean it's a lot of work? Everybody brings their own food to grill and they help clean up!" I don't really understand how he completely blocks out all the work he himself does to prepare for the party -- getting the grills ready, pulling wires/cables downstairs into the man cave or to the porch so that the game can be shown on the movie screen, cleaning up all the tools, canoe, lawn mowers, wood, etc., around the house. It takes him all day.

I know that you are thinking that I'm being selfish because I won't help my husband throw a party he really wants, but I throw all those other parties that he likes, too, so I think I'm on solid footing here.

This year, I conferred with Grandma and discovered that she also hates the Super Bowl party. We have agreed that the Super Bowl Party can go forward as usual so long as Flamingo Joe sets the entire thing up and cleans up everything (this means that no food tables or trash cans can be left in my office foyer to greet my clients on Monday morning). He must also not lose the children.

Grandma and I will be at the movies -- we will sit through three, if necessary. We may also go shopping at Bealls, have dinner, and go to Starbucks. That will be the only way to keep her from actually pitching in out of pity for Flamingo Joe. We will be home in time to put the children to bed, if we can find them.

So if you actually do get an invitation from Flamingo Joe in the next few days for the Super Bowl Party, I just want to warn you that if you are the first person to use the bathroom at our house on Sunday, you will probably need to clean the toilet before using it. For that matter, you may want to bring an extra roll of toilet paper, just in case.