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Don’t go into the pumpkin patch…

Yes, another don’t do ___ with my husband post. This time it’s about poor innocent pumpkins and sweet Halloween children. The girls have waited a few days to paint and decorate their pumpkins. Jim helped them yesterday while I went to an appointment to be fingerprinted as a school volunteer.

He calls me on the phone and says “Anna come home right AWAY!”
I think panic, crisis, the end of days, he set the house on fire again (yes, he did it once already this year), or worse. “Whats the matter?”
“The girls won’t let me make scary pumpkins. I need you to go to the store and pick me up 3 pumpkins so I can have a massacre in front of our house.”
I hung up.

What did he do for our 2010 Halloween pumpkin decorations when left alone with the girls?


He helped Granuaile carve out this pretty face she drew. She didn’t want the guts removed because it was too much work.


He made Eilis clean it out herself. Something she wanted to do, and then not want to do after 5 minutes. But he kept her doing all the work and in the end she made a wonderful jack-o-lantern pumpkin. Congrats Eilis!


This is Jim’s pumpkin for me. It’s cute, sits on our steps, and just looks sweet.

Don’t go to the rainforest with my husband

Are you detecting a pattern in these posts?

My husband, the Michael Crichton-ist environmentalist will call and hoot and holler and have them revive Alexander Graham Bell from the dead to come to our house, to have the Yellow Pages people pick up the phone book their companies threw on our lawn and haul it away.  He will spend hours on the phone calling companies from whom we have received junk mail to tell them never to send it again and accuse them of being a drain on natural resources.

Quite the granola crunching, tree hugging, environmentally conscious creature, no?

The other day, Monday, October 18th, 2010, I left him alone in the car while I went into class. His sole purpose for even going to school with me is so I don’t have to park four miles away with the lack of available parking.  As he waits, he listens to Radio Times. And poor Marty Moss-Coane happens to have on

Peter Raven

Stuart Pimm

From WHYY – this is what the show was about…
Did you know that the UN declared 2010 the year of biodiversity to draw attention to the rapid rate in which species are disappearing from the planet?  And today, officials from around the world are gathered in Japan at a UN summit on biodiversity to talk about the loss of biodiversity in the world – experts say that one-third of amphibians and one-fifth of mammal and planet species are threatened with extinction.  This hour, Marty talks with two of the world’s preeminent conservation biologists about why biodiversity matters and how to halt species extinction.  Our guests are PETER RAVEN, a botanist and President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden, and STUART PIMM, a conservation ecologist at Duke University.

What is Rainforest Crunch Ice Cream?

Ben & Jerry’s began producing Rainforest Crunch in 1989, after co-founder Ben Cohen met with Jason Clay, who was then directing a nonprofit Cambridge, Mass. outfit called Cultural Survival Inc. At a Grateful Dead benefit concert for the rainforest, Clay made the pitch that, by helping poor rainforest people derive economic benefit from the harvesting of rainforest products, nut purchases could combat both poverty and the clear-cutting of rainforests for very profitable timber sales.

What do Rainforest Crunch ice cream; two well respected experts on bio-diversity, and my husband have to do with each other?

My husband called into the radio program, and in one short question – which was in effect “Don’t we already own all the Rainforests after buying all that ice cream?” caused the two experts to verbally stumble over each other in their race to derail the train of thought my husband was barreling down.

In case you want to hear him nearly cause a train wreck…


The fun happens around minute 34 of the podcast. They were so not prepared to deal with my husband.  They haven’t had the years of training that I’ve had.

And at the end, their attempt to laugh off his question once they have their composure only goes to prove what that lady from South Park said the other week: “No matter how rude you are to someone from New Jersey they will convence themselves that you really do like them”

Why did I marry a Jersey boy?

Don’t go to a comedy club with my husband


What’s that saying – burn me once, shame on you.  Burn me twice, shame on me.

If you’ve ever met me, I think I come off as kind of quiet, shy, and whatever the opposite of flamboyant might be.  I’m sort of vanilla, who just happened to end up married to rocky road.

So last Halloween, the first time we took my husband to the Laugh Floor Comedy Store at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, I was worried when they appointed him “That Guy”.  “That Guy” is the guy that they keep coming back to with their jokes, and most “That Guys” sit there with a confused look on his face, and lets himself be the butt of all jokes.

Not my husband.

The first time, every time they put the camera on him, he smiled, made hand gestures, and at one point, started pointing at me, leaning in to grab a kiss.  Can you say “mortified”?  Sure you can.

So I should have known better a few weeks ago when he excitedly asked to go into the Laugh Floor again.  Memories should have come flooding back to me, but no.  It’s like childbirth.  It’s excruciatingly painful when it happens, but the memory wears off when it’s cushioned with a year’s worth of smiles and happiness.

And there I was, seated next to “That Guy” again.  Only this time, determined to make a bigger ass of himself than he did the first time around, every time they put the camera on him, he got up and did some kind of a dance – not as good as the one Elaine did on Seinfeld.  More like this one:

Then of course, he insisted on sliding closer to me on the seat, despite the fact that not only had I moved as far down the row as I could, but I was holding another man’s hand and another woman’s child to make sure no one could possibly think that That Guy was My Guy.

The cast members, however, thought he was hysterical.

It’s a pattern.  During a comedy show at Downtown Disney, when asked for the names of common household items, That Guy yelled out “chainsaw!”.  Seeing the Amazing Jonathan in Plantation?  I think the crowd laughed more at how loudly and oddly Jim was laughing than they did at Jonathan’s act.  And our first comedy show together – which we went to in the middle of a wedding reception for one of his aunts when a cockroach crawled out of the salad plate – I thought it was quirky and cute when he shouted out to the stage when they asked for suggestiosn.

Never again.  There will be no more Laugh Floor for This Girl.  At least not when I have That Guy in tow!

Oh – and let this be an apology to my cousin Rick, who is a phenomenal Improvisational comedian in Philadelphia. Now you know why we never come to the show!

Civilization V – the game that crashes

Civilization V video bugs
Civilization V from Sid Meirs was a birthday present from the girls and I to Jim. Luckily for Jim, he has been playing the series for years and has shown our two oldest how to play the turn based strategy game.

If you buy a computer game for a computer geek and its broke, that counts as two presents, right? According to Anna math, the game, the game he actually wanted, and a broken game that he has to fix. So thats three presents.

Unfortunately for Jim, even on his high end computer, with large amounts of monitor space, memory and graphics card memory so he can see to use the computer – even though he sits about two inches from the screen – Civilization V doesn’t seem to want to work well.

I did all the homework of a non-geek mom – I saw the box, knew my retired, legally blind husband loved the game series, and put it in the shopping cart to be wrapped and presented with love.

Had I done my homework online as only a true geek, nerd, gaming geek, or retired Microsoft Jim can do, I would have found all of the issues people are having with the game not working. Playing Civilization V on a high end system with all the settings turned on is causing all sorts of issues. Jim and Eilis watched the opening cinematic movie the first time thrilled together. The second, third and fifth time when they could not skip past it, the thrill was gone and Eilis left the room abandoning her father to his present and his fate alone in favor of a SpongeBob rerun.

In my quick checking, I found a suggestion to turn the settings all the way down to I guess Civilization IV or the stone age, and Jim responded in true geek tones “Yeah I saw that also, but follow-ups have people saying the game goes black or crashes even more”.

As I write this, one half of the left screen is blank, the rest a beautiful image, and on the right screen a very very small rest of the game that I can’t see and he has no chance of using. I will stick with the shoulder rub form of proven tech support and follow Eilis out of the room.

Good luck and Happy Birthday enjoying those three wonderful birthday gifts xoxo

Granuaile steak and the grill

Granuaile asks every day “When is Daddy going to start cooking steak tonight?”   This is hardly a child who knows her Daddy is retired on disability and her Mom going back to school to supplement our changes in lifestyle – especially the upcoming loss off the wonderful health insurance we have had for 13 years through Microsoft.

She just knows five things about dinner:
Steak or anything else grilled means more play time outside
Pizza means Daddy is trying to set the house on fire AGAIN
Pasta means Daddy cooks on the stove (okay, it means Mommy cooks on the stove, but she lets Daddy stir the pasta so he doesn’t set the house on fire AGAIN)
Swooshee (or Sushi, for those of you who have yet to purchase your Rosetta Stone – Learn to Speak “Granuaile” version) is eaten on the living room floor
And the doorbell means the deliveryman is here so Daddy doesn’t set the house on fire AGAIN

How awesome to be a little kid again?