Thursday, April 30, 2009

Go Denny, Go

I'm from the northeast where NASCAR is an extremely minor entity. Oh we knew about the big races, but the drivers don't have nearly the same fan base as in the south. Baseball, football and hockey are the big sports.

Then I moved done south.

The boys live and breath NASCAR, they have their favorite drivers and love to watch the races on TV. I've learned quite a bit, I now know about individual drivers and I even have a vague idea about the standings. And I even have favorite drivers. Originally they were Elliot and Hermie Sadler, they are from Virginia and them seem like a couple of really nice guys.

Then Denny Hamlin blew in, he's a local guy and a pretty darn good driver. Then he started his charitable foundation and that pushed him over into being my favorite. It turns out he has a cousin with CF and as a result his charity's primary focus is Cystic Fibrosis. In fact tonight was his big "Short Track Showdown." This is his second year hosting an event at the Southside speedway. Last year he donated over $50, 000 to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This year he is trying to double it.

So all I can say is Go Denny! Go!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Umm, Yeah

I have this blog thingy and I'm going to sorta ignore it for the next few days.

My time right now is filled with invitations, namely Jake's Bar Mitzvah invitations. I have them mostly printed now (I got these fantastic diy kits from Naptime Productions) and now I have to stuff envelopes, set up a secondary invite for the post Bar Mitzvah kid party, address, and mail the dang things.

I still have all my other stuff to do, so something had to give. I'll be back, I'm just busy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ain't No Rest For The Wicked

It's been a long, long day and this seemed oddly appropriate.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Good Times, Good Dogs

I got back last night and I had a wonderful time. It's been almost four years since I've seen either my brother or his wife. Literally the last time my immediate family has been together was at my brother's wedding. But that's the reality of our being scattered from Vermont , Virginia and all the way to Colorado. My brother and I do make an effort to regularly visit my mother, but our schedules never seem to mesh.

However that all changed this weekend. My brother had planned months ago to see our mother on her 80th birthday. One night while chatting with him about his upcoming visit he said I should come.

He was absolutely right.

Larry told me to go, his mother was planing on visiting around then and she could help shuttle kids. So I bought my tickets for a quick weekend get away.

We ate good food, drank fare too much good wine and some very fine champagne. I made lemon squares for my Mom on her birthday, which we all devoured that night after we got home from an excellent dinner out (I highly recommend the Canoe Club in Hanover, NH). My brother and I also tidy up the place, he pruned a tree and hung pictures while I picked up dog poop finally released from winter's icy grip and reorganized the laundry room.

It was all too brief, but I had to get back to my day job, full time mom.

Today I picked up the dogs from the kennel. (Grandpa came down with Grandma and his asthma is horribly affected by the dogs. To help keep him healthy we kennel the dogs when the come. The dogs, by the way , love going to the kennel so it's no hardship on them.)

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
When I walked in the first thing the staff said was "Aww, you're coming to take my babies." I then got an almost ten minute love fest about how wonderful the boys are. They are super affectionate, Dell in particular. Their description of him wiggling on his back begging for more tummy rubs reminded me of several cartoons I cut out years ago.

Crunch too was a great lover of tummy rubs and these cartoons were spot on with him. It's nice to see that Dell takes after the old man.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Land of the $16 Hot Dog

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
My mother's 80th birthday is this weekend and I've flown up north for the festivities. I had an hour plus layover at JFK and discovered the land of the $16 hot dog. Mind you it's not any hot dog, it's a Kobe Beef Hot Dog. However fancy massaged cow meat aside, it's still a hot dog.

At least it comes with Parmesan fries.

As for my lunch, I decided to go to Wendy's instead.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Internets Are a Wonderful Thing

Grandma and Grandpa are visiting this weekend so the red boys are off to the kennel. Which is not really a bad thing in their minds. They get to bark their fool heads off, play with new people and meet other dogs.

Since Nate had baseball practice at 7:15 or so, my plan was to drop off the hounds and pick up some take-out. I would call it in after the kennel, drive on over to pick it up (it's about a 20 min drive from the kennel) and then head on home and have dinner. It was a great idea, except I left my phone charging at home.


I considered borrowing the phone at the kennel or finding a pay phone (a rare beastie in this day and age). Then I remembered, there is a library on the way, they have free internet access, and the take-out joint has on-line ordering!


I think that was my oddest use of the library yet.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Artist of the Week: Our House

I know I posted this before, almost two years ago, but Robbo's post reminded me of it and I thought it would be a good one for this week.

The kids still love this song and the whole thing was their idea. All I did was run the camera and kept the tripod upright.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bestest Boys

red boys
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
The red boys got to go to the vet yesterday. Dell was due for his annual check up and combo-wombo (everything but rabies, lepto, and the kitchen sink) shot and John needed his bordetella booster.

Normally I'll bring them in separately, but I was brave and decided to haul them in together and be done with it.

I'm so glad I did, they were complete angels. A little girl, I'd hazard at about 18 months old, and her big (maybe 3) brother glommed onto the red boys in the main waiting room. The girl would lightly whapped the boys and squeal with excitement while her brother would bury his face in their necks and give big hugs. John was very tolerant and would lean into the kids and Dell was deliriously happy to get any sort of attention. I was so proud of my dogs being so good with the little ones. I wasn't a bit concerned about how they would react, that is the advantage of a well bred dog.

In the examining room they continued their good behaviour. The tech, as always, gushed over her "babies." She is so happy to see my dogs. John really outdid himself. In the room the table doubles (or should I say triples) as a lift, a scale and an examining table. John hopped onto the lowered table and sat right down. He calmly rode it as the table slowly lifted him up to waist height.

I was amazed. He was cool and collected, heaven knows Dell would have freaked out over the experience.

As for the shot, he stood still as a statue. Not a sound, not a flinch, just a little lick when the vet gave him a treat.

Dell too was perfect on the table and he got two shots. The vet and the tech fussed over the both of them afterwards. The vet then told me that the red boys were the best dogs. He loves their temperament and he can see they are healthy and sound.

They are the bestest boys.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Back to School

running with Rosco
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Today was the last day of spring break.

We watched a lot of bad television, played mini-golf and went go-karting, and even played outside when the weather was good.

But all good things come to an end and it's back to school for the lot.

So you can try running away Max, but I will find you a put you on the bus.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Get a Load of These Firecrackers

It's almost unbelievable what those girls can do. It's a long clip, but I watched to the very end.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Time to Make Oompa Loompa Food

Spring is here, the crab apple is in full bloom and that means it's time to vacuum the tree.

This year we only have three tents so far and now they are gone. I really love our Shop-Vac.

Oh and I would like to note that my local computer guys totally rock. I dropped off my CPU at 11:00 and it was all fixed before 2:00. I'm willing to swap out video cards and add memory, but I don't fool around with the power supplies.

Stupid Computer

So here I am, so proud of my reformatting the hard drive and reveling in my computer's speed when the stupid power supply ups and dies.

Well at least everything is backed up.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Artist of the Week: Seder Plate

About to take the ball
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Since tonight marks the start of Passover we have a special Passover edition of Artist of the Week.

A couple of weeks ago Max and Rebecca got to make their own Seder plates at Hebrew school. Rebecca, as always, had a lovely creation. She drew a tulip, nicely centered on the plate, surrounded by cut out images of all the traditional items. Max, however really outdid himself, kind of like here in soccer where he is just about to take the ball. He is one of the smaller players (all right I'll admit it, the smallest on the team), but he is one of the toughest. He has no problem going up against the much bigger kids on the field. Rebecca creates beautiful things all the time, but sometimes Max steals the show.

Professor Owlwood
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Anyhoo, a few weeks ago Max brought his owl beanie baby, Professor Owlwood, with him to school. On that particular day the class was creating their own Seder plates. Max used his Owl as his inspiration.

His owl is absolutely dead on, here is a link to the beanie baby itself. Admittedly the actual Seder items are piled at the owl's feet, but they are there. We oohed and awed over his creation (Rebecca was definitely a bit put out, she's used to be the artist star of the family) and his first question was, "Will I be artist of the week?"

Why yes we will Max, yes you will.

Happy Passover.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Sometimes a Mom, Sometimes the IT Department

So I blew off Monday's post because not only are the kids home this week, but our geriatric computers were getting a might bit testy.

Larry's was the first to go with his browsers becoming erratic and ultimately crashing. In the end even brand new versions of IE and Firefox wouldn't function. So after a some hemming and hawing and a spanking new external hard drive to store his huge (and I do mean HUGE) assortment of iTunes, we reformatted the bugger. Now every thing works as it should.

Then mine started getting a bit odd. I could no longer log on to read my email in FGirefox, IE was just ducky, but in Firefox I was always being thrown pack to the login page. If I did use the wrong password I would get the appropiate error message. So I pulled out the old and downloaded a sparkly new version.

No dice.

Which really started to bug me. Meryl urged me to pursuit it more, but dang it at almost five years old and with multiple users it was time to wipe that baby clean. And honestly, I kind of like reformatting hard drives, it's oddly liberating. So I too have a new external hard drive for all my digital pictures (I'm more a visual person) and a nice clean hard drive. The kids were a bit saddened by the loss of save files in their games, but hey now the get to start anew.

So that is what I've been doing the past couple of days. Loading up drivers and squaring everthing away.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Finally a Game

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
After three weeks of cancelations and miscues, Max finally got to play soccer.

The first week of practice was conceled due to snow. The first and third weekends of games were canceled due to rain and the second week, well... that was interesting. Originally we were scheduled for a game, but league decided to redo the schedule the day before and give our team a bye. However, they negelted to inform our coach about the change so three teams showed up for one game. It all got sorted out and we ended up having a practice instead.

But Saturday it all came together and our team got to play.

I love this picture of Max. Another parent took it and sent me a link to his site. The photo shows how undaunted Max is when he plays soccer. The kid he is up against is nearly twice his size, but that didn't bother Max. He messes about with his older brothers all the time so this wasn't new to him. He can be such a tough and scrappy little guy.

SA for the game, I think we lost. I'm not sure, but it really didn't matter. It was a glorious day and Max finally got to play.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Photographic Assistant

Max and Rebecca 1
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
I found these photos and I thought it would be fun to share them with y'all.

They are from roughly seven years ago, Max and Rebecca were mere babes in arms. Grandma Diane and her good friend Signy, who is a photographer, came down to see the babies and take some pictures.

I remember the set up for these particular shots. The dynamic duo were on the floor on top of a very colorful mat. In fact it was deemed far too busy and a green throw was artfully placed around them. Just as the picture was about to be taken Crunch poked his head in the frame and gave Max a good face washing.

Max and Rebecca 2
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Once he was done with his self appointed duty he wandered off.

Max was completely unfazed (Which is quite a contrast with how would feel now, he does not like anyone or anything to kiss him and a dog washing his face is complete anathema to him.) and Rebecca squealed and reached toward Crunch.

Some would say the first picture was spoiled, but I love the sequence of the two pictures. I added the captions to them after they were first scanned in 2002 and to this day I still think they are funny.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Evil Genius

On Alert
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
This is the dogs' preferred position, halfway up the stairs and looking out the back door. From there they have a clear view of the backyard and the deck.

They keep a wary eye out for marauding squirrels and pesky deer. If either is sighted, the dogs give voice and rush down the stairs to be let out. It is an important job and they take their guard duties very seriously. I feel so safe with the two of then on patrol.

Except now John is starting to mess with Dell's head.

John is one of the smarter dogs we have ever owned, only surpassed by Rally. She was brillant at getting her own way and manipulating everyone. If she had opposable thumbs, we would have been doomed. She would regularly trick Crunch (who was far larger and dominant) out of the comfy spot in our home in Wisconsin.

John is following in her footsteps.

A year and half ago he first demonstrated his intelligence by raiding the kids' candy buckets. An average dog would have ripped into them and gorged on the treats within, but not John. No, instead he would select one piece of candy a day. This lasted for about two weeks. I would find the occasional wrapper on the floor and would blame the kids. That is until I saw John in action. He would carefully put his paws up on te bench next to a candy bucket, slowly stick his nose in bucket, and then oh so delicately remove one piece of candy. I was stunned, then I moved the candy to higher ground.

Earlier this week John demonstrated his evil genius again. He causally walked by the back door, gave a mighty bark and contined to walk on. Dell, meanwile sacked out on the rug in the other room, sprang into action and high tailed to the backdoor, sounding the alarm. I let him out and watched him barrel off the deck, in search of whatever John said was back there. John then climbed the stairs and happily wagged while I told him what a naughty boy he was.

Just like Rally.

Poor Dell, he is such a very sweet and loving dog, but he is not the sharpest tool in the shed. I'm afraid he has a lifetime of being fooled by his brother.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Artist of the Week: Blue

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
This week's artist is the always energetic Nate.

I had taped his painting down on the floor to flatten it out a bit, it was too large for the scanner and I needed to photograph it. After shooting the first frame or so Nate flung himself over and inserted himself into the photo. The resulting picture was just too good to pass over, you really get a feel for his energy and out in out goofiness.

The shirt he is wearing pretty much sums him up. It is one of the few shirts I have gotten him that has some sort of message on it. When I first saw it I just had to get it for him. He immediately liked it and quickly grew to love it after seeing Adam Savage wearing the very same shirt on MythBusters.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Anyhoo, this is about art and not sartorial choices.

A few days ago I found this painting stuffed in his backpack. Jammed between notebooks and snack containers, it is a miracle it survived the journey home intact. When I unfurled it I was struck by vivid blues. I'm not sure what the artistic theme was, but I do know I like it. Blue is my favorite color and this painting has a wonderful assortment.

This one is a keeper.