Monday, October 20, 2014

Yeehaw Kiddies!

I'm winding down a week earlier than I usually do for my Halloween sewing this year.
 
Not only that, but this has been one of the more productive and adorable Halloween seasons I've ever had as a seamstress.  First, I'd like to pimp out my business page.  I'd like it if you liked it.  Pretty please with a cow boob on top.
 
 
https://www.facebook.com/GoingApeCostume


Then I'd like to show off three versions of adorable.  Pin them.
 
 
 
Lucy Ball
 
 
 

Sunshine Fairy


Little Red Cowgirl
 
 
 
 
 
Then I'd like to apologize for foregoing my yearly Halloween tradition of posting farm animals in less than Kosher positions.  Usually that's what I do when I'm busy hovering over my sewing machines and I figure I should apologize for something.  Now, if I hover over my sewing machines, it's because I want to and not because I have to get done by Halloween!

Maybe I'll surprise my readers and other hangers on with farm animals around August

Yeah, pictures of goats around August sounds mighty fine.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Floofy.

"Mom, can we make cupcakes for lunch time concessions?"

It's a legitimate question.  My fifteen year old son joined FBLA and they have some kind of bake sale every day.  Dozens upon dozens of fifty cent cupcakes translates to a trip to Vegas to participate in all the future business leadership they can get their filthy hands on.
 
My answer was no.
 
Or, it was no for a week because it was asked at approximately 9:00 PM every evening.  If he wanted cupcakes, he had to ask earlier. 
 
Last night he asked at 7:00. 

I conceded on the cupcake front.

Looky...MBA Cupcake of Doom.
 
 


 
We baked twelve dollars worth.
 
Everyone loves my chocolate cake recipe.  Everyone.  It's my rule.  You love it.  Or else.

You don't have to love my marshmallow frosting recipe.  If you're vegan you're definitely going to hate it.  But, if you're okay with eating eggs, you should definitely try this fluffy, not too sweet, velvety, icing.   It holds it's shape well if you pipe it right after you've made it, then it sets up, and does ok without refrigeration for a day or two. 

Marshmallow Icing
4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Place the eggs, sugar and salt into double boiler.  Whisk constantly over simmering water until the sugar dissolves and the mixure is hot.   (Meaning, don't heat so much that you end up with a very sweet omelet but just enough to kill the germs that are out to kill you.)  You should have a very thick syrup.
 
 


Pour mixture into large bowl, add vanilla (and gel food coloring if desired) and beat with an electric mixer for three minutes or until volume has increased considerably and the icing holds it's shape.
 
 
 

Pipe immediately.  Or spread it with a spoon.  Or eat it right out of the bowl.
 
 
Self promoting Pinterest button here:
 
 
Hopefully this gets me out of bake sale duty for a month. 

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Humidity is rising. Barometer's getting low.

Yesterday, after several months of "thinking of the children", Utah has resigned itself to the Supreme Court allowing the lower court's decision to stand on gay marriage.  The state of my birth has gone kicking and screaming to the end of the rainbow.

Today, after a short court battle with the district attorney admitting that they wouldn't bother to appeal, my current state of Nevada has legalized gay marriage.
 
This makes me smile.

I lost a fan in 2013 when DOMA was repealed.  She felt an urge to tell me what God thinks.  I disagreed with her.  Not only because no one can know for sure what God thinks but because I was pretty sure God wasn't interested in being consulted about marriage law and state rights in the first place.  I could be wrong.  I don't know.  What I do know is that our constitution doesn't allow us to single out groups and we all get to avail ourselves of equal protections.

How come girls these days don't grow up wanting to be concubines?  What is the world coming to?
 
Tonight my local provider of electricity will be having a planned outage from 10 PM to 6 AM.

Tomorrow early morning the blood moon will rise over a dark city.
 
 


Apparently the red color is caused by the moon passing through the Earth's shadow but science/schmience, this has to be a sign of what God is thinking.

Either the locusts are going to show up and bodily fluids will gush from my faucets.

Or God thinks, "Disco!"

I'm going with Disco.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

I sit on my stripey butt and comment on blogs...

Welcome new housewives and other hangers on...I'm Becky.  I'm a housewife.  In a month I'll be forty years old.

I don't mind turning 40.  Really.  My crow's feet have landed on a face with over twenty years of marriage and parenting experiences.  This is unlike my stretch marks which just barged right on in without caring where they landed.
 
My youngest is nine.  You'd think the stretch marks on my butt might have faded by now, but no they have to stay obnoxiously purple.  I suppose I could consider them a mutant style super power.  They are the reason you could eat off my kitchen floor and why my toilets sparkle.

Some of you liked my page today based on a comment I made on this article:
 
 
http://www.babble.com/relationships/being-a-stay-at-home-parent-is-a-luxury-for-your-spouse/?fb_comment_id=fbc_722045584533542_722181291186638_722181291186638#f1c0c9e5ba2c91e
 
...and I thank you because obviously I have this housewife thing right down.  Since my kids grew out of toddlerhood my housewife success has increased by at least 80%.  Suddenly my children can converse instead of scream and that's been an immense help around the house.

My children, all sons, are now 20, 15 and then the 9 year old.  This makes me the old mom.  This makes me the mom that tells the new moms that they don't really need a $200 diaper bag because it's SOOOOO CUTE or a teeny blender to make baby food out of avocados and steamed jicama.  I'm the mom that says it's okay to pull boogers out of your kid's noses so they look presentable at the grocery store.  I'm the mom who thinks that if they eat dirt that it's good for their immune systems (probably the boogers too.  Don't repeat that.)  I'm the mom who once served cake and ice cream for dinner.

I have advice to give.

You're welcome to it, I guess.

What else have I got to do all day around here?  ;)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I'd rather spread the wealth.

It's arrived right on schedule.  School started a month ago.  The snot started flowing last weekend.

My husband brought the snot home.  He's a teacher.  Snot is part of the job.

Throughout this week he's hacked and coughed and snorted and otherwise dealt with snot.  He was bad enough off to ask the pharmacist to sell him the good medicine kept behind the counter lest the meth heads get a hold of it.

He took a couple pills, they worked as they should, and then he felt a little frisky. 

Cold medicine is an aphrodisiac.  Romance is more romantic without snot but apparently germ transfer happens regardless.

Today I started in on the sneezing and the sore throat.  By tonight I will be fully immersed in snot.  By Sunday I will be a dried and crusted human petri dish.

Cold medicine does not make me feel frisky.  When I take cold medicine I shouldn't drive or operate heavy machinery.  Even running my hair dryer might be a bigger risk than I should take.

So, if I start talking about farts and sex on Facebook, know that's me on my healthy days...but if I start up on conspiracy theories and Tea Party idolatry, you know that I took something in an effort to start breathing again.

 
 
 
 
Geez, I hope I can breathe.  For the love of all that is holy, I hope I can breathe.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Goodbye Ma Duggar. I love you.

I'm about to do a risky thing.
 
It's something I've been mulling over for a while.  At least three years.  There were always reasons not to do it.  It's too big of a change.  It will affect the kids.  We can't possibly live this way.
 
But, I think we can live this way.
 
It will be a shock at first.  Old habits die hard.  The kids will certainly be affected.  There may be tears.

It has to be done.
 
I'm going to cancel cable and honest, we'll be just fine.
 
This week one of my projects is to go over the budget for the upcoming school year.  When you live on a public school teacher's income from time to time it's good to comb over the money so you just don't go and blow it.
 
Cable TV.  It's blowing.

We can afford it and it's nice to spend ten minutes scrolling through a menu trying to decide what to watch, but ultimately we're not watching.  We're bored. 
 
Breaking Bad is over.   Mad Men is about done and I can hold on until it shows up on Netflix.  Sunday nights without the Walking Dead?  We'll figure it out.  No Duggars?  My lip is quivering a little...

Jon Stewart's on Hulu Plus for a substantial savings every month.

And Downton Abbey, Downton Abbey is only a PBS station away.  That Earl of Grantham is one sexy sexy man.  So is Mr. Bates but I think he's hiding more dark dirty secrets and Anna is going to become prostrate with betrayal.  At least three of them will get killed off.

Not even Sharknado can convince me to stay plugged in.

I plan on updating my readers and other hangers on about this decision around mid January.

The delirium tremens should be over by then but that's when the cravings will be at their worst.

Maybe I'll learn to knit this winter.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Gotta catch'em all

Woo I'm tired!

It's a good kind of tired.  The kind of tired that goes into putting a lot of work into something you love to do, being surrounded by people who also love what you do, and then saying goodbye to the ones you love.
 
Or sort of saying goodbye.  It was a premature embarkation.
 
This morning I woke up at five to drive my Navy son 120 miles to the nearest airport.  He'd come home on leave to attend Salt Lake Comic Con and leave always has to end.  We got into the airport, parked needlessly too far away, got to the right terminal via a long and crowded shuttle ride, and then discovered that his flight was scheduled for the next day.

This means that after a week of straight heavy sewing on Comic Con costumes, three days of crazy Con attendance, and one day of this night owl being up way too early, I have another day of get up and go tomorrow.  Waking up at five in the morning is always something makes me so goddamned chipper.
 
It's okay though.  An extra day with the Sailor Manchild?  I'll take it.

He had the time of his life at the Con.  Have a picture of my children.  That jowl faced woman in the middle is me. 
  
 

 Left to right, the Sailor Manchild as a human version of the Pokémon Gardevoir,  Becky - The Absent Minded Housewife as the housewifely Lucy Ricardo, my nine year old as Ventus from Kingdom Hearts, and my fifteen year old as Sora from Kingdom Hearts.

My little Ventus met these YipYips and it made him very happy. 
 

 
I met John Coffey and that made me happy.  Mmmm happy.


 
 
The Sailor Manchild bought a bunch of Pokémon badges and that made him happy.


 

All the costume watching made me a happy girl in general.  We left each day tired.


 
 
This is what I hope to be doing tomorrow as soon as I get back from the airport. 

Then it's back to the sewing.  Halloween is coming.

Monday, September 01, 2014

No one has announced that Wil Wheaton will be showing up, so I'm not going to bother with makeup.

I've got maybe a half hour to post before I have to head back to my sewing machine.

Salt Lake Comic Con is next week.  It's expected that my family will go in costume since I'm the fool who has been sewing them for more than half my life.  I've been snorting lint for several days.  I'm high on rayon.
 
I haven't done too bad in recreating these from some video game I don't play:

 

 
And this thing from a cartoon and video game or fan-fiction or cosplay or whatever other media this hails from that I don't watch or play or participate in:
 
 
I'm making myself a costume.  I was enthusiastic about it once.  Now I'm just hoping that it will cover all the parts of my body that Utah requires.

If I keep covering myself in sewing lint I can just go as a tribble.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

You told me you were combing your hair!

This summer my sweet and gentle fifteen year old middle son suddenly slammed right smack dab into puberty.  I knew it was coming but the whole suddenness of it was hilarious.  One morning he was cherubic and high pitched, the next morning he'd become a bass voiced towering pimple. 

He weighs 94 pounds and wears size 27 X 34 jeans.

No, those numbers are not fudged even a little bit for dramatic purposes.

He's only around 5'8" so this makes him a pair of boney legs with a head on top.  Finding clothes to fit this kid has been an adventure that I wish could have been solved by an eagle sized plot hole.  Instead I just had to buck up and start searching for pants at the beginning of July and for the most part I was successful.  He might have brickwalled into puberty but I didn't think he'd gain thirty pounds in two months.  He be skinny. If there is anyone that couldn't climb a rope in gym class, it's him.

In fact, he tried to get out of his sophomore gym class this morning.  Without parental permission.

He had this silly idea that he could successfully complete his entire high school career without attending a single gym class.  The school counselor foiled his plans and enrolled him in a weight training course as a little first day surprise.  That is her job.  She makes sure the youth of the community get their fair share of math classes and P.E.  She's seen me shoot tequila so I don't question her methods.

I did think that weight training was an fine choice considering it was about the only choice he had left for a gym class.  It's not necessarily how much you can lift but how loud you can grunt, right?  Any weight can look impressive if you give the act of lifting it full dramatic effect, screeching and moaning and quivering with effort.  Then if you bang the weight back onto the floor after your reps, it's like putting an exclamation point on the whole act.

This is what is was like when I had weights in high school and I was a 100 pound, 5'10", little girl.  Barely even broke a sweat.  I took a class called, "CoEd Jogging" the next year.

The boy comes home from school, glares at me and says, "I about puked in gym."

He never glares.  Ever.  Even this glare looked kittenish.

I feel badly about this for about a half second.

Then I reminded him that at least he doesn't have to take gym while he's on his period.  Leaking through your tampon during a dead lift is embarrassing.

On the upside, I doubt he'll get so into weights that he'll outgrow his impossibly sized pants.

He'd better not.  You can't even hand me down pants that size.
 

Monday, August 25, 2014

I wanna whip out my squirrel.

 
 
Hi.

I decided to take the summer off from the blogosphere, or whatever the coolest bloggers are calling it these days.  Bloggy-land?  Blogsylvania?  The Digital Written Self Promotion Depository?  I'm sure it's one of those.  Instead of trying to schedule being funny three to four times per week, I decided to allow my brain and body to do as it would. 

Today is the first day of school, the first day of schedules and homework and going to bed early, and it's time to get back at it.  The break was needed but I've missed it.  I've missed you.

Summer proved a lovely time.  My family took the time to be with each other in a new way.  It was good to be relating to my husband in a new way since his Aspergers diagnosis.  Where I usually gird up my girdle for summers because of the increase in the demands of family life, the loss of space and the over abundance of housework, I can genuinely say that is summer has been simple and wonderful and harmonious. 

Summer simplicity has made me realize that I was suffering from literary constipation. You get backed up when you think you always have to try to be profound with the funny.  It was like my every post needed to impress that I'm deep enough that if you stepped in it, you'd have to pull your feet up out of your shoes and leave them stuck in the mud of my mind.

OK, so the jokes are stuck in the mud too.  We'll fish them out eventually.

Deep as mud seems to be the way with blogging these days.  There is so much you want to touch upon because it's stuck on our collective social media psyches.  Everyone has an opinion on politics and pop culture and race relations and war and charity and celebrities and healthcare and family life.  Some even expected that I should voice an opinion on this sort of thing or that sort of other thing...which is a reasonable expectation when you've written other opinions on anything from sex to why other people's children smell funny...so being obliging is a natural response.  These things matter and being of the world, they matter to me too.

I found, however, that instead of husband and kids and cats pushing in on my space, it was everything else that I thought I should be concerned about.  It's all so much noise and then my brain went down with the shoes and the jokes.

Nothing mattered more on some days than feeding the ground squirrels in my yard.
 



This is everything that is right in the world.
 
Today is my 21st anniversary too.

It's a great day.  The weather is cool and gorgeous.  I can smell rain in the air.  The kids came home happy and healthy.  None of my cats have vomited on the carpet.  I sewed.  I ate yogurt.  There will probably be nooky later.

Hi again.  Nice to be here.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Two slices of turkey bacon is 70 calories. Two slices of real bacon is 80 calories.

Last summer, when I was going through problems with my petulant bladder and subsequent fun with several courses of antibiotics, it dawned on me while standing on the doctor's scale that I had gained weight.
 
There were clues before that of course.  Bigger pants.  That's a certain clue that your frame isn't as small as it once was.  I also needed bras with actual cups and structure because I'd gained myself some boobs.  There was the embarrassing purchase of granny style underwear to cover my butt with.  My wedding ring wasn't coming off my finger.  People asking me when I was due...that sort of thing.
 
Those of you who knew me in high school probably think that it's a fluke that put on a pound or two.  In high school I was the tall girl with bird bones.  The girl who ate like a horse, sucked down Mountain Dew and had a difficult time finding pants long and thin enough.  If any of you wondered why it seemed that I wore the same pair of jeans every day it's because I'd bought four pair of that style because they fit.  I have a 36 inch inseam, for gosh sakes!

Girbaud jeans were stylish at the time.  They did not fit.  Therefore I thought they were ugly anyway.
 
 
Twenty years since high school, three pregnancies, eight years of fun with my hormones, and a love of all things cake, and my BMI was on the edge of  having a "fun personality".
 
I signed up on MyFitnessPal in October. 
 
As of today, I've lost twenty-five pounds.

Considering that my goal is thirty pounds, how it's gone so far ain't too bad! 
 
How did I accomplish this feat?  I ate food, and counted every calorie that went into my mouth 95% of the time, finding that sweet spot of eating just a little less than what it takes to fuel my body in a day.  MyFitnessPal helps you with this.  It's fabulous.

Did I up the exercise?  Well, no.  Just changed my diet.  Now that the weather is warmer I'm looking forward to getting out hiking. 
 
Did I eat a ton of rabbit food?  Sort of.  You find that when you're at a calorie deficit, you want to eat more roughage because it's low calorie and it fills you up.  Otherwise I didn't suddenly go gluten free or Paleo or Atkins or Southbeach.
 
Did you deprive yourself of food that tastes good?  No.  You just budget in your favorites.  Like butter.  Doritos.  Peanut butter chocolate easter eggs.  Whole milk.  Alfredo sauce.  Cheeseburgers.  Girl Scout cookies.  You may want to eat an entire bag of Doritos but you stop at an ounce.
 
Weren't you hungry?  At first, yes.  My body was used to the feeling of being very full.  I powered through that with oatmeal and celery.  The feeling went away when my hormones started to level off.  When my hormones levelled off I found I didn't crave the refined carbs nearly as much as I used to. I'm not an emotional eater. 

You didn't buy diet food?  Other than fresh veggies and meats?  No.  It's not necessary.  Besides, diet soda tastes like ball sweat. (I don't care if you love diet Coke and you're offended by my using the term "balls".  It's straight up testicular perspiration.)  You don't necessarily get more food and less calorie for your buck or your taste buds when you buy food marked "lite".  That said, Hebrew National 97% lean hotdogs are incredible.

How did you track the calories that went in your mouth?  With a postal scale.  Everything gets weighed.  Especially the calorie dense foods like cheese.

Did your grocery bill go up?  Nope.  My husband has joined me on the diet and because we're buying way less snack food, our grocery bill has fallen.  We also eat out a little less because it's difficult to track calories at a restaurant.
 
What about Christmas?  I gave myself a week to eat what I liked.  I gained two pounds back.  Then I got right back on the horse.
 
What do you weigh now?  Not sayin. 
So, what's your pants size then?  Long.
So, what's your bra size then?  Not large.  Not large in any way whatsoever.  Not even medium. 
 
Have a pic, taken nice and fresh, five minutes ago:
 
 
 
 

Monday, April 14, 2014

I must rule with needle and thread.

I've been sewing a lot lately.
 
Or rather, I've been a vigilant keeper of cats off my sewing lately.
 
Never ever place a hyperactive cat and a new tissue sewing pattern in the same room.  What you'll end up with is mounds of shredded and unusable pattern, clouds of cat hair, and a look on the cat's face that says, "Yeah, so?"
 
I've been enjoying the fabrics of my ancestors.
 
When my Grandmother on my father's side died in 1994, she left behind a hoarded house full of craft materials, yarn and fabrics.  What could be salvaged was, and I inherited a lot of surprisingly well kept yardage.  Well kept...and most of it pretty cheesy.  Great for the costumes I sew. 
 
When my Dad's sister died in 1998, I again became the recipient of craft materials and fabrics.  My Aunt, she had much better taste which means the yardage isn't as easily costume-fied. 
 
Costume-able?
 
Something like that.  No one wants to go out on Halloween in blue cotton broadcloth.  Besides, there wasn't enough blue cotton broadcloth to pull something more than this:
 
 


Are you Sting on spice or are you just happy to see me?
 
What I'm saying is that if you really really really need a pair of flying underpants for Halloween, I'm happy to make some for you in return for adequate compensation.  But I won't be making a pair simply because I have just the right amount of fabric in my stash.
 
Instead, I'm weeding out the yardage and making a few practical, non-costume items for my Etsy shop.
 
Please, take a look.
 
 
https://www.etsy.com/shop/GoingApeCostume?ref=l2-shopheader-name


And please like my costume page on Facebook. 
 
 
https://www.facebook.com/GoingApeCostume?notif_t=page_new_likes

 
Thanks...and my cats thank you too.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

I'll fiddle with my twiddle and diddle with the middle and make a magic riddle that'll turn the giant little.

My fifteen year old son has discovered Dungeons and Dragons.

We took him out to dinner at The Spaghetti Factory last month and a roaming balloon artist made him this:
 
 

Neither the dinner or the hat has anything to do with Dungeons and Dragons specifically, I'm just illustrating what kinds of goings on in this kid's brain makes D&D an attractive pastime. 
 
Today my son went straight after school to a friends house to engage in Satanic frolickings until way past dinnertime.  He asked permission and I said that he might go if he didn't have any homework and he called from a land line.

There are worse things a fifteen year old boy could be doing and just because that fifteen year old plays D&D, it doesn't mean he's precluded from doing them.  That's why I tell him to call from a landline.  They don't install corded telephones up in the hills three miles outside of town where the kids go to drink beer and abuse abandoned mattresses.  He stayed at his friends house and had make believe adventures along with chips and bean dip.
 
What I'm happy about is that now, more than ever, a boy who likes all kinds of nerdy and geeky stuff is allowed to like that stuff.  Or a girl.  People who love D&D don't have to hide the fact.  They can loudly proclaim, "Bow to your Dungeon Master!" and you would be obligated to roll a twelve sided die to find out how much groveling you should be doing.

You don't have a twelve sided die?  You've got to grovel long and low for that infraction.

We bought him this T-shirt for his birthday:
 
http://www.welovefine.com/5034-infinite-nachos.html#.U0Sv5ulOWM-
 
 
He looks appropriately skinny in it.
 

Monday, March 24, 2014

You know what? That's not sanitary.

Every time I buy myself new underwear, I face a strange ethical dilemma of my own making. 
 
Since my husband was diagnosed as Asperger's, I've been exploring new thinking and old thinking, true thinking and untrue thinking.  Ethical dilemmas about underwear falls under the category of old thoughts.  I'm going to write about it. 
 
It's fun to buy new underwear.  New underwear holds so much promise.  It's fresh.  It's bright.  It fits better.  Sometimes it's sexy so that when you walk from your bureau to your bathroom wearing just your underwear, your husband grunts at you when you cross in front of the television.
 
My old underwear was still in good shape but it was falling off my behind. This is part of my ethical dilemma and old thinking...spending perfectly good money on new underwear when the old underwear hasn't worn itself so thin that you could tell if I was circumcised or not.
 
That joke doesn't work because I'm a girl.  I haven't got a better one so you'll just have to stay with that imagery.  Let me know when you're finished.
 
The second part is after I've decided to buy underwear that will stay on my body, I hesitate to throw away the old underwear, because there might be a perfectly good use for all that cotton knit.
 
I want to emphasize right here and now that my old underwear did indeed end up in the trash.  New thinking eventually won out.  All my old underwear went right into the trash.  After I washed them.  Because you never know where your underwear is going to end up once you've thrown it away so they might as well be clean.
 
Old thinking...that's the thinking I had when my hoarding Grandma was still alive, when I was growing up on the farm, when I was a dirt poor newly married mother in college.  The thinking that you use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. 

That platitude is fine and dandy when it comes to a lot of things.  There are some days of the month that it's way better to wear your old saggy underwear than to do without.  But making do or wearing something out has it's limits in polite society.   There are never days where it's better to figure out how to crochet a rag rug for your mud room out of strips of past due granny panties.
 
Yes, that is where my old thinking took me.  It's fun to recycle!
 
When my new underwear gets old, I'm looking forward to deciding against crafting with them.
 
 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It takes a lot of work to get a toilet to flush properly.

Last November, my child was cleaning his bathroom and told me that there was an issue with the toilet.
 
Expecting a little leak in the water feed, I soon found that the issue had grown into a flood.  That's the term to use when the toilet flushes and the flush goes out from under the toilet all over my floor.
 
I thought I only had to replace a toilet seal and we'd be good.  Upon closer inspection I discovered I also had to replace the tile around the toilet and the vanity to the side.  Luckily I did not have to replace drywall.
 
On the whole, not good.  I was annoyed at first but soon I was overcome by the tingling sensation of HOME IMPROVEMENT!  This is an activity I enjoy very much even when I cause myself bodily harm while doing it.  I could brag about bruising myself but instead I'm going to brag about an ultimately successful bathroom makeover.
 
The before photo of the boy's bathroom of yuck and doom:
 
 
 
Unusable!  But then, all by myself, I:
 
Removed the sink and faucet.
Removed the vanity.
Removed the toilet.
Removed tile.
Ground the cement flooring around the toilet flange more level.
Installed a new toilet flange and seal.
Cut and installed new tile and grout.
Installed a new vanity.
Shortened a drawer in the vanity to allow for plumbing.
Resurfaced my old countertop.
Installed the old sink.
Plumbed and installed a new faucet.
Plumbed and installed the toilet.
Installed bead board paneling.
Installed new trim.
Painted.
Caulked.
Installed a new wall cabinet.
Installed a new light fixture.
Installed new bathroom hardware.

My husband reads my list over my shoulder and begins to sing, "All by myself...I wanna be...All by myself!"

He might be too, if he keeps that up.  He can't hit one correct note out of five.
 
Anyhow, after photos of the boy's bathroom of dry and awesome!
 
 

 
 
 
I cannot recommend enough the product I used to refinish old laminate countertop.  I used one kit to do my kitchen counters more than a year ago.  They've held up to hard use fabulously.  That's why it was easy to choose this product again.  Daich Coating has paid me nothing for the recommendation for it's Spreadstone Countertop Finishing Kit, nor will they ever have to.  At $125 dollars and free shipping, the kit covers 50 square feet of ugly counter without odor, mess or much hassle.  It comes in several colors.  I chose ivory.
 
 
 
 
I chose this color blue as it matched my master bathroom.  I like this color so much that I painted my kitchen bar this weekend.  It adds a lot to the whole room. 
 
 

 
Next up, refitting my pantry.  I love power tools.


Wednesday, March 05, 2014

An Open Letter to Rachel Canning (Who I know nothing about, except what I saw in the news and could glean from her Facebook page.)

All day I've been chuckling over the news story of the eighteen year old New Jersey high school student suing her parents for support.

Have a YouTube:



 
 
Dear Rachel,
 
I apologize for chuckling, but I laugh because, oh girly, you don't know how good ya had it.

...and you don't know how good you're about to have it.

Because when you are eighteen years old, you've graduated high school, you've got a job, you're living on your own, and you're paying your own way, you can make all your own choices and do exactly as you like.

That's the gift your parents have given you and the gift Judge Peter Bogaard has given you.  The opportunity to make it on your own steam.  The opportunity to know exactly what you are capable of.  The opportunity to find value in what you've worked for.  The opportunity to take responsibility for and learn from the consequences of your own mistakes.

That makes you one lucky young woman.  You can take that and run.

As a parent of a kid just older than you are, a kid just younger than you are (who I would have named Rachel had he been a girl), and a kid a decade behind you, I can't say that your family life and rules were much different than in my house, not that my telling you so would make you feel any better this evening.

...Well except that I didn't provide my oldest with a car, because he didn't meet the line we'd drawn as parents to earn that privilege.  Had he met that line, he would have had to pay for his own gas and his own car insurance.  My other kids won't find the car rules any different.  Otherwise, their legs aren't painted on.

We don't provide our kids with cell phones unless they can demonstrate a need for them, and then if they do need them, they will have to find a way to earn money to pay for it, and there will still be parental controls in place.  Portable wifi-capable devices for kids aren't allowed in my home.  If they are minding their manners they can access all that on the desktop in the family room where I can monitor them.

We weren't going to finance a private school education because that money just wasn't in the bank.  Public school can be a great education if you work at it.  Likewise, we are limited in funding extracurricular activities and school social functions, both because it's not in the bank and because those extras and a social life are earned, not given.  Nor are we banking entire college educations because if they are responsible for half of it or more, it won't be a wasted experience.  Scholarships are much emphasized any way you can get them.  (Someday let me tell you about the whiny over-funded girl I stared down in one of my college classes.  Her sense of entitlement was outrageous.)

We wouldn't allow our kids to continue in those extracurricular activities at all, despite great grades and scholarship offers, if they had been caught drinking under age or had ever been suspended from school.  Even if their cheer leading squad had earned a spot at nationals.  In my house that's serious and won't be tolerated.  If there is any drug use at all I'm going to be the first one to call the authorities.

We scrutinize and judge the kids my kids hang out with and my kids know it.  If we have to limit time with those kids, friends or romantic interests, we will, because that is our job and our right.  Again, a social life is earned, not given.

While in my home, even if my kids are living with us at age 35 which I hope they are not unless it was an emergency, they will still have to be polite, be orderly, be a contributor to the household, and let us know how late they will be when they are out.  When they are under eighteen these are rules meant to help them develop into considerate adults and to keep them safe.  When they are over eighteen these are expected because I will have raised considerate adults.

With all this I remind my kids exactly what I said above...when you're 18, job, paying your own bills, yada yada, do what you like.  I'm serious about that too.  If they want to ride the roller coaster with the rest of the grownups, I won't stop them from that point on, with all the fun grownup stuff that entails.

I'm told that my kids will hate me and my husband for our house rules.  That's okay.  I comfort myself with the fact that neurologically it won't last.  You see, the last parts of the brain to develop in young adulthood are those governing decision making and impulse control.  (Those are the same bits that make the terrible twos such a laugh riot until the kid is four years old.)   When they get older they will be able to see why I laid down the law.  By the time they have teenagers of their own they'll see it clearer than ever. 
 
Hopefully, and before you've done too much damage, you'll understand more of why you're parents demanded of you what they demanded of you...and I say that knowing that I have no experience with your family life and I live clear across the country in Podunkville.  From the looks of things clear over here your life has been blessed and what you've been asked to give has not been at all unreasonable.

The path you've chosen is not an easy one.  Choose it you did and you are entitled to exactly what adulthood is.
 
It will make you into a better woman.  Woman.  Not the girl you are now.  Count on it. 

(Ask me how I know.)

Monday, March 03, 2014

Defying Gravity

So, Ellen broke the Twitters and Oscar ratings were the highest in years.
 
Good!  Because I love The Oscars.  I don't get a flying duck about any other award show that famous people show up at to give each other warm and fuzzy feelings but The Oscars holds a place in my heart.
 
I say this even though it's been years since any of the films nominated were presented through the medium of interpretive dance.  Selfies aren't quite as interpretive but at least Kevin Spacey was in there.
 
So, it's my pretense and my pleasure to bestow upon Hollywood the Absent Minded Oscars Best Dressed and Worst Dressed awards.
 
This year I had an easy time of it.  My best dressed stood out from the beginning and though 97% of the attendees were dressed well, our winner for Best Supporting Actress was stunning.
 
 
 
Lupita Nyong'o chose a simple style, a daring well tailored decolletage, and a color that stood above all the neutral tones you usually see at The Oscars.  Lovely.

And the worst dressed.  This also stood out from the beginning, even though a bra-less Liza Minnelli got a chuckle, and near had me rolling on the floor.
 
 
 
Out of all the pregnant ladies attending, Elsa Pataky took her glow a wee bit too far.  It's difficult to shove a nine month pregnant body into an evening gown and I've never had to do so, but I do know that if the occasion had arose I wouldn't have gathered my sheer beaded tent under my belly and revealed all that side boob at the same time.
Special appearances of my side boobs are reserved for trips to the grocery store and make out sessions in automatic carwashes.
 
...and I am so out of milk.
 


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Steamed

Greetings from my bathtub!

Seriously, I'm buck nekkid, in my tub, hair up in a bun, tablet in a Ziploc bag, vapo-rub up my nose, trying to soak out a germy little post for Valentine's Day.

See?  My view from the tub.


That's all the photo you're getting.  I can't aim the tablet camera towards myself naturally and keep it PG 13 anyway.  Sorry if that ruins your day of love.  You can always imagine my pasty lack of sunshine or my stretch marks.  You're creative like that.

My day of love is already down the tubes on account of much phlegm, coughing and fever.

My lover stayed home from work today.  Sometimes he wore his pants and sometimes his pants interfered with his napping.  There is no sound that can compare to the sonorous snore of nasal congestion.  When I wasn't thinking about how sexy that was I was listening to my old cat, Baxter, snore in harmony.  He's missing teeth so he gets runny noses too.

My head is starting to feel like a campfire marshmallow so even though my husband will also be staying home tomorrow, there won't be anything happening worth mentioning besides marathon watching season 2 of House of Cards.

Kevin Spacey can join me here in this tub.

I wouldn't mind sharing a germ or two with him.

He might even think vapo-rub is hot.

Monday, February 10, 2014

He's an excellent driver.

I knew exactly how I wanted to start this post this morning but I've since forgotten.  Trust me.  It had a hook.  T'was witty it was.  Act like I started this post that way, okay?  Good.  Thanks.

Forgetting is actually pretty funny once we get into the subject of this post, which I have not forgotten, because it's been on my mind in one form or another for the last month.  Learning a whole new way to organize living and thinking and interacting sort of sucks out the motivation for some other parts of life.  You would think that I would be blaming my hairy legs on lack of motivation but that's just my normal for winter. 

So, here goes.... 

I'm Becky, The Absent Minded Housewife, and I've been married for twenty years to a man newly diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.

(Or, since the DSM-5 has dropped the term, my husband is high functioning on the autism spectrum.)




For those of you that know Justin, you know that my husband is an exceptionally intelligent, funny, quirky guy.  Some of you might have thought that he couldn't possibly be autistic and some of you think that the diagnosis makes perfect sense.  What I know is that I'm immensely attracted to the way he thinks.  It's easy for most people to see why we fell in love and why I married him. 

Attracted to some of his behaviors?  Hmm, not so much.  As marriage went along, some of these behaviors were becoming more pronounced.  I could list them all so you could get an idea, but I won't because it would just bog you down in context and it wouldn't be fair to him anyway, just know that Google is your friend and that these behaviors were about as attractive as a lingering fart.  They weren't just quirks, but issues that ran pretty deep, and it was exhausting.

We'd hit a brick wall when it had come talking it through or compromising.  At first there were discussions.  Then there were circular arguments.  There were longer circular arguments.  Then there was not allowing myself to engage in the circular arguments.  There was passive aggression.  There were emotions and then there was tiptoeing around communication to avoid the emotions.  Then there was confusion and a division that neither of us could quite bridge even on our best days.  Then the cherry on top, having to deal with life events any man on the street would find stressful, deaths of people close to us and launching our oldest son into the Navy and adult life.

Two years ago, I suggested that Justin see a therapist.  It was not a kind suggestion.  I didn't suggest that WE go see a therapist, and it's not because I didn't think I could use one, but amazingly that we found ourselves on the same page as who was responsible for the smell.  Something was going on with him and he needed an objective third party to work through it. 

A year ago, Justin found a therapist that was a good fit. 

Last month, the therapist gently suggested Aspergers.

Which again is funny, because many times when people are diagnosed as an adult it's because they've gone to see a professional about problems in the marriage.

Aspergers.  If Oh-pur Winfrey were still on my TV at four o'clock in the afternoons, you could hear her bellowing, "Ah-ha MOMENT!"  So THAT was what that thing he did back then that made no sense at the time was all about. Problems?  Well...duh.  He's an "aspie" and I'm what they call "neuro-typical".  Even though our magnetic fields are so attracted to each other and we are a natural fit in many ways, there are times when either of us will get turned around and we will repel one another.  It's just the way we are wired.

Besides, you don't stay married twenty years unless you still like one another, and I do.  I love him and I care about him, and I truly like my husband.  He's a good father and my mate.

To begin to help us turn our magnets back into alignment, Justin's therapist suggested we both read The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband by David Finch.

You can listen to David Finch and his wife, Kristen, tell their story on This American Life.  It's Act Two.

Anyhow, just like I'd forgotten how to start this post, I'm unsure of where I should end it. 

I put it out there.  That's good enough for now.

Oh, and Justin supplied the title to this post.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cuddles the Master Chief

Today is the first anniversary of my Navy Manchild joining the Navy.

Navyversary.

Navalversary.

Annum SeaDog.

He's still finding his sea legs, though at the moment he's got shore duty across the country.  To offer him congratulations for his first year, I'm posting several photos of cats wearing sailor outfits.


 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Just wait until you see what I got you for your birthday, son.

Monday, January 27, 2014

I need help from the government and I need it bad.

Dear Mike Huckabee,


I think I love you.

Or maybe it's lust.  I lust you. 

Yeah, it's definitely lust.  I don't have a warm fuzzy feeling deep in my heart like all the other times I've been in love.  I have a hot zippy feeling in my special purpose.  It's not a rash.  I checked.

I can't help it, Mike.  I've had a tubal ligation, and no longer require prescribed contraceptive medications, so I'm free to unleash my libido on any unsuspecting male that my husband approves of.

My husband suspects, or he's been susceptible, so my libido has only been unleashed on him for the last twenty years.  This has been mutually beneficial for both of us but now that I'm nearing 40, and my cougar is beginning to purr, I'm wondering if he'll be able to take what I'm about to dish out.

Though he's never approved of any unsuspecting males thus far and only two or three unsuspecting females, it might be worth it to convince him that propositioning you is an outstanding idea.  It's a win for him because he won't become emasculated by any dalliances we might engage in and hey, it's obvious it's a win for me.

No, Uncle Sugar didn't pay for my surgery.  Let's stay on the subject here.

I'm hot for you Mikey.

Hot.

It's not a hot flash, I'm sure of it.

It's pure, adulterated, uncontrollable, breathless, lust for your fine Arkansas form.

 
 
I wet my lips when I look at your smile.
 
The part in your hair makes me shiver.
 
I want to nibble on your wattle.  I need to nibble on your wattle.
 
When you speak in public, and point your finger above the microphone, I imagine that you're pointing at me, and I'm hormonally wooed by your very words and your pasty countenance.  Sometimes I miss half of your sound bites because I have to get up and change my clothes.
 
Let's get together, Mike.
 
...and if I happen to conceive your love child, despite my tubal ligation, we'll call it what it is....God's approval of a beautiful and extremely sexy time in our lives.
 
Who knows what we'll title the sex tape. 
 
If you have any ideas about that, let me know.  I'm desperate to hear from you. 
 
 
With much lust,
 
Becky - The Absent Minded Housewife
P.S.  I promise to shave my armpits before we meet.
 


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