Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Mishaps

I think everyone dreams of the perfect holiday, and yet somehow we end up with a holiday mishap or two that at least make for a good laugh -- often after the holiday is over.

This year has been particularly hectic as university classes ran late, and I just finished grading finals and taking finals last weekend. So I've been doing my shopping a little at a time - that is dangerous, because I tend to buy more than planned .... For example, tonight as I was wrapping gifts I came to the CD that my brother (who is in Chicago now hoping his flight out tomorrow takes off and therefore is unlikely to be reading this before Christmas) had asked for. Both copies of it. Whoops, guess I should do a better job keeping track of what I purchase.

Today at long last I completed addressing Christmas cards and stuffing envelopes. After licking (ick) about 45 of them, I realized I only had enough stamps for 1/2 of the cards. So I picked Diva up at school early so we could hit the post office and the mall before the crowds (yeah right). We walked into the post office and I set the two piles of cards on the counter by the automated stamp machine (so we wouldn't have to wait in line.) I told Diva to take the pile of stamped cards and put them in the mail slot that said "stamped and metered mail." I then turned my back for one minute to buy the stamps, turned back - and no cards! I asked her where the cards were - "I put them in the slot like you told me." So into the line we go, where the postal clerk was fortunately amused enough by our tale to look through the barrel and find 19 cards of the 22 I think I put in without stamps. Some of you won't be getting your cards in a timely manner this year. Diva says it is all my fault as she wanted to stay in the car while I went in.

Last stop - the mall. Just a couple of quick gifts and we are done. We sneak in the back entrance, find a parking place immediately. Looks like pulling her out of school early was a good strategy. We find the perfect gifts and then we're ready to roll. 45 minutes later we made it out of the parking lot. I could have walked home faster.

Tomorrow we're cooking - hopefully we've reached this year's mishap quota. Then again, maybe not!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Simple Physics

Yes, I am working on my PhD. No, I am not a science major. Nor am I a math major. But I can handle really simple physics. Like this physics problem that I stumbled across yesterday.

You may recall back in June we fostered a mama cat, and five kittens were born. Or maybe you recall my talking about how having kittens in the house is kind of like having toddlers. Well, those cute little kittens are now six months old, and almost as big as our adult cats. Unfortunately, one of them has developed the habit of jumping up on anything and everything. He especially likes stuffed animals, so everything in the house with stuffing (including my Pal Mickey) has had to move to the closet for awhile.

So what does this have to do with physics, you ask? Yesterday I heard a crash of falling plastic in my bathroom/laundry room. The room looks like this:

Note that up on top of the cabinet is the plastic insert for my dryer - you know, the one you put sneakers on if you want to dry them in the dryer. I've had the dryer for nine years now, and haven't used that gizmo once, but I still keep it handy in the laundry room! As you may have guessed, Pepper jumped up on the cabinet tops, hit the plastic, and down it came.

I looked on top of the cabinets, but no guilty cat eyes were staring back at me. No guilty kitten ran out of the bathroom. No kitten was hiding behind the dryer. What happened to that darn cat?

Look at the photo again - notice that if the plastic insert tips up the trajectory is straight into the shower stall. And when I moved the hamper in front of the shower door, and opened the shower door, there was a guilty looking, frightened, but thankfully unhurt kitten.

I don't think he'll try that again. Maybe I ought to put plastic launch pads on top of all of my cabinets!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Madness!

What is it that brings out the worst in my home at this time of year? No, I'm not talking about the people in the house - I'm talking about the THINGS in the house.

Last year, you may recall reading that our waterbed mattress required replacement, so we got two new mattresses (might as well replace them all while we were at it) for Christmas 2008.

This year we decided to treat ourself to a new camera - a digital SLR after many years of camera envy toward our SLR toting friends. We were just ready to hit the 'buy now' button when there was a loud 'pop!' followed by a thunka-thunka-thunka coming from the laundry room.

Kilowatt took my nine year old washer apart, and yelled to Diva, "do you know what catastrophic means?" Uh-oh, this doesn't sound like he's got my washer fixed. He brought a piece of the washer in to me to explain that it wouldn't be getting fixed.

Looks like I'll be getting a new washer for Christmas this year....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December Already!

As you may have guessed from my long absence, things have been busy around here. I hadn't realized quite how busy until yesterday morning. As I grabbed a few minutes of peace and quiet in the shower, Diva yelled through the door - It's December 1 - hurray - I wonder what I got today?

There went my relaxing moment, replace by an "aw h*1l - forgot the advent calendar!" You may recall the masterpiece Kilowatt made from this post - our tradition has been that each day of December, Diva gets some small gift from 'Santa' in the calendar. Of course, that requires 'Santa' to remember to buy those little items, and then to remember that the calendar needs filling each night! (Note to new parents and parents to be: make your holiday traditions lower maintenance than this, you'll thank me.)

I hopped out of the shower, and quickly threw on a robe, wondering how to deal with this. Diva comes running up the stairs and proudly shows me her December 1 treasure - an LED votive (she's been begging for one, really). Whew - looks like Kilowatt wins the parental memory contest. Unfortunately, the only thing we had to put in for today (12/2) was another LED votive. Diva says this morning - "these come in 24 packs - am I going to get one of these every day?" And she wasn't happy about it.

So dutifully off to Target I go... stay tuned for info on the treasures I found!

It promises to be a busy month - we have a band concert, ice skating exhibition, dance holiday show, final exams, company coming, Kilowatt's birthday - ahh, December.

Is my tree up - no, are you kidding?

So until I get around to posting about those advent calendar treasures - here's a photo from last years' dance holiday show. As the tallest girl in her class, Diva often ends up center stage!