Sunday, February 15, 2009

Romantic Purgatory

There seems to be an arbitrary sort of romantic purgatory for men. If a guy somehow finds himself in the seventh level of hell for forgetting an anniversary, then he can work himself out of it by buying just the right gift. But only at Zales or Jared's. And strangely enough, there does not seem to be a reciprocal phenomenon for women. I did not see or hear one single commercial this year that was geared towards getting a woman to buy Valentine's Day gifts for the man in her life.
You see this same sort of trend in all of the wedding drama/reality shows. It's all about the babe in the dress with a princess-because-I-deserve-it complex too big for her budget. Who cares if the guy even shows up.

That's not love. Do you want to know what love is?
  • Love is getting up at 4:30 every morning, regardless of how you feel or what the weather is, to provide for your family.
  • Love is grocery shopping together and calling it a "date".
  • Love is reading the same story for the 29th time this month.
  • Love not caring that your vacations always seem to be planned around where and when the next medical appointment will be.
  • Love is trading the Mustang for a mini van.
  • Love is pretending to be interested when your spouse goes on and on about letterboxing (or antique tractors).
  • Love is when you are okay with the fact that the fanciest restaurant that you've gone to in years is Chili's or that the only movies you ever see in the theatre anymore are animated.
  • Love is looking at a spouse who isn't in their prime anymore and being attracted to them anyway.
  • Love is knowing that they mean it when they mumble "I love you" 2 seconds before the snoring begins.
  • Love is not having to outspend the other in order to prove your love.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Super Fort

Since today is J's 10th birthday, we are avoiding everything resembling work: housework,'s all out the window. The first item on our list of non-work things to do was to construct a Super Fort (which, as it turns out, felt a lot like work to me). Welcome! Come on in!
The "Front Door" is the tunnel entrance, good for little people and cats, although I did manage to shimmy through it once.
THE FORT is roughly the size of Barnum & Bailey's Big Top. It is approximately 18 x 15 and engulfs a large portion of our living room. We thought about making it bigger, but decided to save some blankets so the girls can sleep in it tonight.
THE FORT is held together with duct tape and bench clamps and is safe enough to be OSHA approved (provided the girls follow instructions and don't turn the lamps on and burn the whole thing down). A tripod props up the center and there is even a skylight complete with "spy telescope".
There are several ventilation and peep holes, plus a larger back door entrance that the dog and bigger people can use. This would also be the place for snack deliveries.
Did I mention that THE FORT conveniently engulfs the TV? The first thing the girls did was drag a stack of books inside, but currently they are watching the DVD of old Underdog cartoon that I picked up at the video store. I will now have that theme song permanently stuck in my head.

Later, we will pop popcorn, read part of Prince Caspian together, watch J open presents and maybe even eat supper in THE FORT. We'll leave it up until we either need the tables and blankets, or until it falls down, whichever comes first. All the work was completely worth it when I got a bear hug and was told I was "the best ever"!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

101 Uses for a Coffee Filter

As if I needed another distraction, I have hit upon an idea that will not only get me out of an unlimited amount of laundry folding, but could actually be helpful as well.

According to Rachel Hardage in 101 New Uses for Old Things, you can take common household objects and use them for multiple tasks, some of them far outside their original purpose. (I'm vaguely remembering doing this with a safety pin some time back) Now Rachel gives us 10 uses for each of the items on her list, but being the obsessive compulsive types that we are, I think we can do better than that. Don't you? Let's see if we can come up with 101 uses for each item. Starting with the Coffee Filter:

  1. *Diffuse the flash on a camera.
  2. *Strain wine from a bottle with a broken cork.
  3. *Serve popcorn or other snacks.
  4. *Help with kitchen prep. (by holding cut veggies, herbs, chocolate...)
  5. *Cover items in the microwave.
  6. *Prevent soil from draining out of flowerpots.
  7. *Prevent scuffs and scratches on fine china. (I already do this-yay for me!
  8. *Protect hands from Popsicle drippage.
  9. *Serve pita sandwiches.
  10. *Clean windows or glass. (*These first 10 are from Rachel's own list. We're on our own from here on out.)
  11. Make funny little hats. (see the silliness above)
  12. Make coffee. Who would have thought?
  13. Make tie-dye butterflies. (use spray bottles with diluted food coloring, and when they are dry, pinch them in the middle and wrap with a pipe cleaner for antennae.
  14. Make skirts for Barbies.
  15. Use as mini portable garbage cans for craft projects (thread clippings, paper scraps, glitter...)
  16. (Here are the ones that were sent in by others) My husband uses them as potato chip snack containers as he sits on the couch. They absorb grease. From Gramatrick.
  17. Put it in a strainer and use it to dip dead bugs out of a hot tub (mini pool net)
  18. Strain herbal tea
  19. Strain broth when making gravy
  20. Line a glass pan with them and fill with cake batter when cooking in the microwave for non-stickness. 4 From Romana.
  21. I use them to make little "bouquet garnis" for apple cider. From Hufflepuff Lost.
  22. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.
  23. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.
  24. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.
  25. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a filter on a kitchen scale.
  26. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters.
  27. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them. Soaks out all the grease.
  28. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.
  29. Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers." 8 from Woody Clowns.
  30. Very mild abrasive towlet for scrubbing delicate items. From Just4bees.
  31. They also come in handy when making paper flowers.
  32. The unbleached kind make for fun shredding material for hamsters.
  33. You could fold one up and use it as a bookmark.
  34. Or use one to blow your nose in a pinch. 4 from Mother of five.
  35. They also work great for cleaning your spectacles, I have discovered.
Your turn. Email or leave comments and I will add to the list. Upcoming posts will include other lists for different items. Just think of all the chores we could avoid!