Sunday, December 13, 2009


Long overdue for an update, I see. Sorry, Facebook is easier.

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.... Our tree is up, the stockings are hung, the lights are up outside. And it's coooold. Almost done with the shopping, but need to start the wrapping today. I think we're going to see Brian's grandmother today, take her her gift and visit for a while. We were at Anne-Marie's last night, making cookies and candy and just hanging out. Had some wine, the first I've had in AGES. Expected to get buzzed and then have a headache, but neither occurred. I'm guessing it has something to do with body weight. :oP

We've got a new front door in and almost finished, Brian is going to finish up the trim and whatnot today, if he's feeling up to it. He wasn't feeling very good yesterday or last night, flu-like symptoms. The old door was letting so much air blow through we might as well have left it open. We went ahead and bought the new door so we could get the tax credit. And because it's purty.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Labor Day weekend, 2009

Saturday: rode the train (Seth loved it), got to Chicago a half-hour ahead of schedule (everybody loved that), had a steak dinner at Hotel Arnold (yum), watched a movie when the kids went to bed (by Grabthar's hammer!).

Sunday: went to church (and did NOT burst into flames), lunch at Cafe Arnold (on the house), afternoon at the Museum of Science & Industry (rock star parking!), deep-dish pizza at Moretti's (topping compromise reached after some intense--but bipartisan--negotiations), Settlers of Cataan until 1:30 am (guess who won).

Monday: breakfast at McArnold's (Seth finagled some waffles), packed the bags and stashed them in a locker at Union Station (with fingerprint scanning! on a luggage locker!!), walked to Michigan Avenue (OMG my feet hurt), saw the Oprah brouhaha (she shut down two blocks of Michigan Avenue for her show), found the LEGO store (spent some money in the LEGO store), homed in on the Girardelli chocolate store ("Would you like a free sample?" "What do YOU think?"), caught the bus back to Union Station (oh thank god), arrived in KC on time. And tired.

Thanks again to James and Kristal for being such great hosts. Gabriella is beautiful and you make great parents ... and you're great friends as well. We miss you but it's nice to have such a cool place to go visit now.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Am returned home from a nice, long weekend at Lake of the Ozarks; specifically, Ben and Karla's place near Laurie, MO; more specifically, near mile marker 43. Due to issues I won't go into in any great detail (let's just say the closer I am to a bathroom at night the better off I am), we decided to find a hotel room for the four of us (Brian, Seth, Lacey, and I), but we spent the rest of our time (not sleeping) at Ben and Karla's place. Actually, that's not entirely accurate. Brian and Lacey each spent large chunks of time taking naps sprawled across various horizontal surfaces. Seth and I, not so much.

We drove down Friday and beat everyone else there, so we unloaded the groceries, scoped out the situation, determined there was no possible way I could navigate the stairs at night without killing myself, and went and found a hotel room. Went back to the house to find Karla and Erlan in residence, and Scott and Jenni Harvey parking and setting up their pop-up camper. Ben and Chip and Nicholas showed up shortly thereafter and we got the party started.

Saturday we swam and went out on the boat and some people rode the inner tube (main channel!) (not me) and we "parked" in a cove and had some lunch and swam some more off the boat, and then went back to the house (where we found Ben's sister Amy waiting for us) and cleaned up a little and ate a big supper (excellent burgers, Amy!) and then we went out on the boat to see the fireworks. Seth fell asleep on the way out. We found a spot, were waiting for the fireworks to commence, realized a storm was moving in, and turned and headed for the house. At which time we decided that cowardice was the better part of valor (or however that goes) and we pulled the boat tarp out and no sooner had we done so than all hell broke loose and we got RAINED on. But we were covered up and Ben got us home none the worse for wear. And yes, Seth slept through all of it. One thing to note: today Seth was brave enough to "swim" on his own. He was wearing a life-vest and pretty much *couldn't* sink, but finally let go of Daddy and struck out on his own. He was very brave and VERY proud of himself...and now, of course, we'll have to watch him a thousand times closer when we're anywhere near a large body of water. Now that he thinks he's unsinkable.

Today, Brian and Lacey decided to try a little fishing near our hotel room (we had a dock right outside our door, basically), but didn't catch anything so it was short-lived. We headed back over to Ben and Karla's where we had a big breakfast (excellent eggs, Amy!) and then pretty much just sat around and visited until it was time to leave. Brian helped Scott and Ben a little down on the dock, trying to fix one of the boat lifts. Seth and Erlan played together a lot ("We caught six roly-polys!") and we had some lunch and then headed home. Oh, yeah, also, this morning we stopped at little roadside park that we found between our hotel room and the road back to Ben and Karla's house, that turned out to be a little roadside park I was at, oh, maybe about twenty-five years ago. Has a little memorial to Zach Wheat (baseball player)...and we had gone down many moons ago with my dad so he could visit with Wheat's grandson (or whoever). Kind of a coincidence, I guess.

In any case, we had a good weekend and are looking forward to going again sometime. Oh, and uh...I forgot to take my camera. So if I can finagle some pics out of Karla, I'll try and remember to get something posted sometime. Otherwise, you're just going to have to take my word for it.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Seems as tho I just haven't had much time to write on the blog lately. For those desiring a few trip details...Myrtle Beach was nice, but it ain't no Key West! We did have some excellent seafood at a buffet called Captain George's, and we spent some very fun and relaxing days at the beach. Excellent body surfing and wave jumping opportunities. Going out just past the breakers and riding waves makes me happier and more relaxed than just about anything else in the world. It's a true wonder that I live in the middle of the country and not on the edge of it somewhere. I must really love Brian!

Back at home and at work now, of course. Time marches on. I'd love to say we have some great Fourth of July plans approaching, but we do not. We might hook up with some folks we know whose son Seth goes to preschool with our son Seth, they're pretty cool. We chatted with them today at the ice cream social at the preschool and due to Joe's work and all the hay mowing/raking/baling about to commence they never seem to be able to make firm plans for anything in June or July either, so even if the guys are out in a field somewhere, Cindy and I and the two Seths may manage to make a day of it. Sparklers may even be involved at some point. (Yes, the metal ones! Dammit, we're mollycoddling these kids!!!)

Did you know I found out there's a Target right down the street from my office? I love Target. If Brian were paying more attention, the words "I'm going to Target today" would send a cold chill down his spine. They make more money off of my impulse purchases than I care to discuss. ("Hm. These flip-flops are only five dollars. I'm wearing flip-flops today, and I have four or five more pair at home, all rather similar. But these are only five dollars. I must have them!") (True story.)

I also love The Penguins of Madagascar right now, it is hands down my favorite new TV show this year. Seth's too. The new episode "Needle Point" is one of the funniest cartoons I've ever seen, I laughed my ass off. Tom McGrath is a comic genius, I am absolutely in love with his voice and comic timing (he's Skipper). In the movie Madagascar II, when he's in labor negotiations with the chimps, who are demanding paid maternity leave, and he goes "Maternity leave?" (then looks under the table for a moment, and pops his head back up) "You're all males!" leaves me gasping for breath every time.

Too much information? I was afraid of that...

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Myrtle Beach (June 2009)

Saturday, May 2, 2009


We went to Worlds of Fun today, the weather cooperated and our friends Jim and Trisha Williams were there, from St. Louis, with their kids Sydney and Jake. Syd sang in a choir competition this morning (still waiting to hear how her group did) and then they spent the rest of the day at WoF. Seth really enjoyed himself, I think. We spent the first part of the visit in the Camp Snoopy area, with the rides for the little kids. There's a little roller coaster there, the Wacky Worm. Seth rode it six times! Snoopy and Lucy came out to see the little kids but Seth wouldn't go near them (truly his mother's son!). Then we hooked up with Jim and Trisha and had some lunch (four slices of pizza, three fountain drinks, and one water = $38), and then split up and rode some other rides. Brian and I did manage to ride the Mamba while Seth went with Lacey and Trisha. We also rode the Octopus, since Seth was big enough if we accompanied him. The ride I really thought he'd enjoy, Le Taxitour, he hated. Go figure. Then shortly before we left, we found a little "theatre" where the Peanuts characters shared a little stage with any kids there and they sang and played some games. Seth finally agreed to share some space with adults in furry costumes, it was very cute.

In any case, we all had a good time and it was GREAT to see the Williams family again, however brief. Hopefully we'll see them again before another year goes by.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


There is a duck who has made a nest under the edge of a large round hay bale, one of the many that's currently in our yard. Her feathers are about the same color as the hay, except for a flash of white and green. I almost missed seeing her, she was very well tucked away. I didn't get too close, I didn't want to scare her or frighten her away. Of course, now I will worry about her and her eggs. We have dogs and cats roaming around, after all. I'm going to pretend it's the same duck that I found in our basement last year (or was that two years ago?) as that makes the story better. She was so happy that we got her out without hurting her that she decided to come back and lay her eggs nearby.

An update on my cousin Alan's condition: he is alert, can eat solid foods, recognizes his family, and can speak (tho with some slurring). I haven't heard any update on his paralysis, so I have no idea if that will improve or if he'll remain partially paralyzed. Still don't know much about strokes, even tho I watched my Grandmother essentially disappear before our eyes when she had her first one. Or maybe that's why. I think I tend to avoid the topic.

We still have two kittens, Mama cat has relocated them to one of the smaller sheds now. The female has long hair, white with black and orange thrown in. I've been calling her Fluffernutter. The male has shorter hair, white with black and gray spots/stripes. Tried calling him KitKat but it hasn't stuck, will try coming up with something else. Have a feeling they'll end up being my outside cat family.

Another weekend flown past, very little to show for it. Didn't even really get to sleep in, either day. The wind woke me this morning. I really, Really, REALLY hate spring/summer storms, and am already sick to death of the wind. It just will not let up.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Waiting to hear what's going on back east tonight; apparently my cousin Alan suffered a "significant stroke" today. He's about 44, 45 yrs old, too young for this. His older brother, my cousin Rocky, died in 2001, and their father, my Uncle Butch, died just a couple years ago. Not sure what is going on with that branch of the Zarrelli family but I don't like it!!

Other updates...we're looking forward to getting to meet Gabriella Arnold later this week. James and Kristal are in MO for a week (well, Kristal and Ella are, anyway) so we're meeting up with them on Thursday evening so that we can visit with all three of them before James leaves for work commitments.

[I bought a new book I'm thoroughly enjoying right now, Michael Palin's Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years. I don't know what it is about diaries or journals, but I find them fascinating, and here's a very funny guy talking about a very interesting topic during a very interesting period of time.

We bought the movie Bolt recently for Seth. I'd had three or four people talk about how funny it is, especially the hamster, Rhino. I was underwhelmed, to say the least. The pigeons in that movie were funnier than Rhino, and that's not really saying much. I much prefer the penguins and King Julian in the Madagascar movies. And the fact that I'm arguing the merits of one set of animated characters over another is really peculiar, anyway...

What else. Uh...I finally got some "girl time" this past weekend with Wendy and Karla. We met up in Lee's Summit for lunch and some power shopping. It was much needed, appreciated, and enjoyed. We're next hoping to get together in May at Wendy and Andy's for a splash-in-the-creek day followed by a campfire and cookout. That's, uh, not just for the girls, by the way, that's for all of us. :o)

Some pics from Easter.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Gorgeous day, eighty degrees fahrenheit, March 17. Great for the drunks out in Westport tonight! Now, those were the days. Start drinking at 9:00 am, wind down around ... oh, 2:00 am. I'll bet Jenny's out there right now. All the single ladies, put your hands up!

We're having a party for Lacey's birthday this weekend, incredibly hard to believe she's turning 16. I've known her half her life now. The first time I met her was in a parking lot, I was meeting Brian and Lacey for Red Friday, and I pulled into the lot and parked and turned the ignition off and turned to open my door...and she was already standing at my window, checking me out. Funny kid. Good kid. Argues like a barrister, but good.

Seth is sitting across from me right now with dirty knees and a big scrape/bruise on his forehead (faceplant on the playground at preschool), checking for toe-jam. When we got home he jumped right in his jeep and cruised around the yard for about half an hour. Totally happy. That thing was worth every penny.

My rash is nearly gone, I'm happy to report. Just nearly.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Spent a good part of my morning at urgent care again. Last night I started getting a rash on my chest and arms and face, and this morning it was everywhere, and my face was swollen. Got a steroid shot and a prescrip for prednizone, and some antihistamines. It has maybe started to go down a little, but not much. I have NO idea what's going on, an allergic reaction to something, but god knows what. I can't think of anything I did differently yesterday, didn't use any new soaps or lotions, didn't eat anything new or unusual.

Looks like MU just won the Big 12 championship. Woot! So much for the Baylor bandwagon. I read earlier that the arena wasn't even a third full, and scalpers couldn't get $10 for tickets. That's kind of ugly.

I downloaded the new U2 album over a week ago and still haven't listened to it. I don't know why not. AND, I don't even know what it's called or what any of the songs are. (When asked, I always say U2 is my favorite rock band. Does this now disqualify me from being able to say least with a straight face?)

I'm sitting here typing this and watching Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey undressing each other. If that doesn't make you want to kill yourself I don't know what will.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Another Friday rolls around. This time last week I was unconscious, I was SO sick last Friday. Dr said viral bronchitis but I don't think it could have been that. I've had bronchitis before and this wasn't anything like that. In any case, I feel better now.

My very good friends James and Kristal had their baby this week, Gabriella Jean. She'll be called Ella, I believe, and not Gabby, thank goodness. :o) Seth is very interested in her, we got to have lunch with them around the holidays and Seth thought the whole "she has a baby in her belly" thing was fascinating, so now that she's "out" he asks about her a lot. The inevitable questions are bubbling around in that active little brain of his, I'm sure.

MU won their basketball game last night, apparently. KU and KState both lost yesterday. Funny. Even funnier -- I don't care!!

Random pictures to follow...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


What? Where have I been? Oh, you know. Job. Husband. Kid. Freelance work. A house to keep up with.

We bought another cow this past weekend. What? Yeah, “another cow.” Now we’re up to three cows. We bought the first two around the holidays. Lucy and Ethel. The new cow is Roseanne. She has a heifer calf, her name is Darlene. What? Yeah, yeah. Television names. You noticed. Lucy and Ethel are both pregnant. If Lucy has a bull-calf, just guess what his name is going to be.

Uh…we’re starting with the prep for the Myrtle Beach trip. Seth is already talking about what he’ll wear. We priced airline tickets and discovered it was WAAAAY cheaper to fly to Charlotte than directly to Myrtle Beach. So we'll rent a car (we would have anyway) and drive down to the beach, it's about three, three and a half hours. For an old hand at car-trips like myself, that's a cake-walk.

Seth. Seth is good. I am finding, however, that the Fours are definitely worse than the Twos or the Threes. And when you’re dealing with a smart Four, you’re really in trouble. I don’t have any specific stories to pass along today, just suffice it to say he's got a huge vocabulary and he knows how to use it. He also knows how to use charm and dissimulation.

Also, in case anyone else was wondering but had never bothered to really find out, I just read a little about why February only has 28 days. Probably at some point in my youth we studied this topic, but I didn't retain the info. So...

When the Roman calendar was first created, it was established to keep track of the agricultural cycles of planting and harvesting. There were, initially, only ten months, March to December. But a guy named Numa Pompilius decided, around 3000 years ago, that a calendar that basically overlooked one-sixth of the year didn't really make sense, so he decided that a year should have 355 days...approximately the length of twelve lunar cycles. Extra days ("leap" days) were added to keep the calendar roughly in tune with the seasons, and January and February were added then (to the end of the year). Since Romans considered that even numbers were unlucky, he made seven months 29 days long, and four months 31 days long.

But, it turned out he’d need one even-numbered month to make it come out to 355 days. So February was picked, since, at that time, it was the last month of the year, and was “assigned” only 28 days. It wasn’t until a long time later that Julius Ceasar reorganized the calendar, bumped it up to 365 days, and moved January and February to the beginning of the year.