Heat, Hissy Fits and More Heat

I spent all of last week in New Orleans for work, which meant that I spent the entire week before that trying to clear my desk of all outstanding tasks. Too much work makes me a dull, dull girl. My blog has turned into a neglected wasteland.

Though the trip was business as usual, I ate my fair share of oysters, shrimp and any other seafood that would stand still long enough for me to snatch it up. While I wallowed in good food, I also wallowed in the weather.

When I got to New Orleans, the first thing I noticed was that the temperature was at least 15 degrees cooler than my North Louisiana town. Better yet, it RAINED…like a lot! Considering that we haven’t seen more then 2 minutes of rain in at least a month, I was almost dumbstruck by the falling water from the sky. Between the rain and clouds, the temperature was certainly summer-like, but nothing compared to the drought-infested, near-desert that has become my home town. As I drove home, I actually watched the temperature reading in my car dash creep up 20 degrees as I made my way back north, landing squarely at 105 degrees by day’s end.

As my town marks its’ ba-gillionth day of heat over 100 degrees, and never-ending heat advisories, I feel like I’m at my wits’ end. Do you KNOW what happens to two energetic boys that are confined to the house and cannot play outside in the 115 degree heat index inferno? HORROR, I tell you, HORROR! To make matters worse, I am in my full blown, sick-of-summer hissy fit that usually doesn’t crop up until late August. If the snarly hissy-fit-of-doom is already upon me, how will I survive another two months of summer heat? Yep, it’s my own version of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

So, I guess it’s time to engage in a little distraction therapy. I’ll ogle my fall cookbooks, get started on some handmade Christmas gifts and hit up the library for every fall and holiday related book I can fine. Maybe if I bury my brain in images of fall, winter and fun, my body will forget the fact that it’s about to have a heatstroke.

Anniversaries

This past week, my husband and I celebrated our anniversary. Nine years of marital bliss is certainly worth celebrating, and we always love a good excuse for a tasty meal and some cocktails.

Usually, we take a vacation day on our anniversary to spend some quality time together, but since the nature of my work means that judges and subpoenas often dictate my schedule against my will, we were stuck waiting an extra day to celebrate. Despite this slight delay, we lined up a babysitter, and spent an entire day meandering, eating and enjoying each other’s company. When you have two boys and two very high-stress jobs, slowing down to enjoy one another is sometimes a fiercely conscious effort.

My husband and I always work hard to make our anniversaries special. We both have a very deep, strong belief in the concept of marriage, and I think we both feel that, before we can be good parents and friends, we must first be good spouses. Sure, it sounds like a cheesy Hallmark card, but I think that our determination to maintain a healthy marriage is the reason that we continue to have a family that laughs together, every single day. Even when we were dead broke with two kids to feed, we would make our anniversaries special by doing no-cost things for each other. A special anniversary is not about the money we spend; it’s about both of us taking the time to slow down, celebrate each other, and acknowledge that our continuously healthy relationship deserves special acknowledgement. So, here’s to the past nine years and many more to come.

Heat-Induced Insanity

We are on week two of excessively high temperatures…like triple digits until bedtime kind-of-heat. In fact, my car registered 111 degrees when I left my office today, and the air conditioner didn’t put a dent in that whatsoever. By the time I got home, I was a sweaty, snarly mess.

Me and Summer are definitely not friends anymore. I think we need time apart. I hate to say it, Summer, but I’m just not that into you.

The heat itself is bad enough…everyone has shorter tempers, cranky dispositions and the threat of budget-killing electric bills. However, I’ve got a triple threat: two active boys and a persistent heat advisory that makes it too hot for them to play outside.

Do you know what happens when energetic boys are confined to the house???

BAD Things!

Other than the expected bickering, fighting and destructive mayhem, my boys also lose all common sense when they have too much energy and not enough diversions. For example, last week, my youngest decided to make a “feelings book.” What on earth is that, you ask? Think Pat the Bunny. He wanted to create a booklet of items with various textures, for whatever random reason that existed in his six year-old mind; he planned to create this book by gluing samples of found objects into an old notebook. Fine, whatever. If the kid wants to glue random trash and scraps to paper, I’m all for it if it buys me ten minutes of peace.

Yep, I am a foolish, foolish woman.

So, my youngest child presents my husband with his “feelings book,” and as my husband flips through this latest creation, he realizes that something is amiss. Because the “scraps” the heathens used to make this book look eerily familiar.

The frickity-fraking kids decided that they wanted all their favorite blankets represented in the aforementioned “feelings book,” so they cut samples out of every dang blanket they have. Then, they glued these samples into their raggedy notebook, and presented the finished product with pride to their father.

About ten minutes later, I get a phone call.

“Now, honey…don’t freak out…”

Riiiiiggghhhttt.

*insert two solid minutes of blistering profanity*

Lesson learned; when the heat confines the heathens to house for too long, disaster inevitably follows. Never assume that common sense will prevail when heat-induced boredom sets in.

In the meantime, no one thought to tell Granny about this incident, so she assumed that my washer or dryer began to randomly eat blankets. Given that I’ve recently dropped a significant chunk of change on a new oven and a broken dishwasher, poor Granny spent the week agonizing on how to tell me about this potential new appliance repair problem.

I think exasperation may be permanently stamped onto my face.

Tackiness is the Mother of Invention

This weekend was packed full of friends, family and food, but I also managed to squeeze in a little home improvement project that I’ve been contemplating for months.

Our historic home has several built-in storage areas, which are typical features of craftsman bungalows. One of these areas is a small part of hallway, and it is basically a section of floor-to-ceiling shelves. These open shelves provide much-needed storage space for my plethora of platters, serving pieces and cake domes, all of which I use on a fairly regular basis.

Sadly, I am not Martha Stewart. If I were, I probably could fashion and maintain a method of displaying this mish-mash of stuff that is both cute and functional:

But, alas, my inherent laziness knows no bounds. I finally decided that I needed to cover this area in a way that still kept the shelves accessible, and didn’t look too…tacky. With a sewing machine, a yard stick and no idea what I was doing, I hopped to it:

All I knew was that I did not want to do anything that involved screws, holes in the walls or other misguided attempts at handiness, so I assumed tension curtain rods would be a good starting point. I used the yard stick to measure each shelf (since they are not all the same size), and cut out fabric panels that were several inches larger than my measurements. I then hemmed the fabric and sewed a pocket for the tension rod, using my pathetically basic sewing skills. Ta-Da!!!:

It may not be Martha, but it’s good enough for me.

Now, if I could just cordon off the heathens’ room as a hazmat zone…

I May Never Eat Broccoli Again…

So, I was cooking dinner last night, and decided to whip up a side of broccoli with a little lemon butter to go with the King Ranch casserole that was heating in the oven. I grabbed a bag of frozen broccoli out of the freezer, and dumped it in a pot of boiling water, all while toasting the end of the work-week and planning a Dexter marathon with my husband.

I few seconds later, I noticed something strange-looking in the broccoli…

 

 

Look away if you’re squeamish…

 

 

 

In fact, skip this post all together…

 

 

 

I warned ya….

 

 

 

Last Chance!….

 

WTF IS THAT????? And yes, I said WTF…but if you found that creature in your broccoli, you’d say WTF too.

Needless to say, I’m off the broccoli for a while.

Weird Science

My dad, being the super-cool Granddad that he is, sent my oldest heathen a Mythbusters’ activity kit for his birthday. Even when he aims for quasi-educational, my dad makes sure such gifts will still be fun and interesting for the boys. They always flip when a Granddad package arrives, because they know hilarity will usually ensue.

Last weekend, we let Booger open his Mythbusting kit, and get straight to work on the various experiments contained within…with proper precautions and supervision, of course.

He exploded a balloon…twice, and built a mini-marshmallow gun, all while learning about the science of air pressure:

Meanwhile, his brother probably wants to flee the S’more-like warzone.

Or build a marshmallow gun of his own…but then my husband would “need” one too.

And I’d be back to hiding in the bathroom…