Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sassy Hoops

Slick and I have a set of friends that we have had since Slick's MBA program days who are more fun than a barrel full of drunk monkeys. They were our crazy go out to dinner friends who loved Mac and Cheese as much as we and were willing and able to share bottles of wine. Then we had the Peep and we went out less often since most of what we talked about when out was that little stinker and since we liked being at home in comfy clothes watching the 46 inches of high definition glory that Slick got as an MBA graduation gift.
As fate would have it, our super-cool-fast-car-driving-minimalist-urbanite-but-living-in-the-suburbs friends became preggers with a set of wonderfully beautiful twins. Jules stays at home now with the two beautiful ladies and has started a business: Sassy Hoops. She was always super crafty and very creative and when she told me she was starting a hooping business I thought: COOL! If someone can do something creative with the plastic Wal-mart hula hoops it is definitely her. Oh how little I knew.
The Peep and I met for lunch with the two lovelies and Jules mainly to give them their "yeah you are born gift" (a mere six months after their birth) and secondly to get our own hoops. You can see from the picture that the basic white and red are no where to be seen. Peep and I actually have "Preppy Mint" colored hoops and we really are enjoying them! I can't wait for it to warm up a little- ok a lot- so we can hoop it up in the back yard.
Check out Jules' site if you might live in the Dallas area and be interested in taking a Hoop Class- that is right. Hoop Classes. How cool are these people!!??
If you live near me in the big city you might see me in the yard hooping with the Peep. Her hoop is sized for her little peeper sized body and she can hoop in the house. Adult hoops though are much heavier and larger than their child sized counterparts and man they are a workout!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Great Towel Rod Saga

We have a towel rack in the master bathroom that is technically Slicks. It has been down for, oh, I don't know, maybe 8 months. I took it off of the wall because it was loose and hey- I am handy and I was going to fix that thing.

There were already molly bolts in the wall so I couldn't just add new ones so I found the spackle and pulled the broken bolts from the wall. When I say bolts, I think you know I mean blue plastic things that the screws go into so that the towel rod can withhold the weight of an adult man without crashing to the floor. I removed from the wall the plastic bolts, spackled and repainted the mess. Then I was at the big box superstore near our house and happened upon a set of handy molly bolts. Being always on the lookout for fixer projects, I got the set and came home to drill holes and fix the rod. To no avail.

I neglected to notice that the big box superstore set of molly bolts were slick as the back porch on a freezing day of rain. Of course I did not notice this until I predrilled the holes, stuck them in the holes and the was able to pull them out again all with my bare hands... Time to refill the holes and repaint.

Good thing I have the paint right in the bathroom at all times. Seriously. I have got to put the two cans into the garage! They are still in the bathroom.

So last week I was fed up with the towel rack on the tub look and I am certain Slick was BEYOND fed up with the situation as he has been hanging his towel from the side of the bathtub for over 8 months.

I found industrial molly bolts in the linen closet downstairs and charged up the drill. I was ready to fix the problem. Where are there problems that a charged drill can not fix?? So I got the yard stick. Yes, a yard stick. I got it for $1 at the estate sale across the street last summer when I got some really great vintage Halloween decorations that I forgot to get out at Halloween. Please remind me next year!

The previous holes were at exactly 36 inches up form the bathtub. So I laid the level onto the side of the bathtub and balanced the yard stick on it to measure up 37 inches from the tub. Both sides. Drilled 4 holes. Pounded in 4 molly bolts. Screwed in 4 long screws and the backing of the towel rod assembly. Got onto the phone with the wonderful crazy neighbor. Couldn't figure out why the towel rod assembly was not jumping right onto the backs that were securely fastened to the wall. Told the wonderful crazy neighbor. She said she does not like hanging things because it never works right. I said I had measured perfectly and that it should be working. She said good luck. I jammed to rod into place and tightened the ti-niny little screws on the rod assembly to secure it with 1/8 inch of metal to the assembly that is now for all intents and purposes bolted to the wall. Looks great.

If you are standing with your head cocked to the side. I went back and re-measured. Sure enough, 37 inched up from the tub is exactly where the screws are placed. And then I don't know what made me look but somehow I happened to see- the dang dang dang tub is not at all level.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tastyness in Wimberley

On the girls trip we had the most delicious lunch at a boutique restaurant in Wimberley, Texas called the Leaning Pear. It was recommended to the girls by friends we saw in the Wimberley Glassblowers Shop.

Glass blowing. Not just for Renaissance Fairs anymore.

This was super coll fancy glass blowing. Imagine the lighting in the Atlantis, Bahamas or the ceiling in the Bellagio in Vegas. This was expensive cool, but really hot, glass blowing complete with demonstrations on Saturdays. If you find yourself in the Hill Country hit the glass blowers shop. After lunch.

Man the Leaning Pear had a wonderful menu complete with a pear salad. I had the BLT without T and with BRIE! Yum. The patio was a perfect spot on a lazy Saturday afternoon and the company excellent.

See from our pic that we continued to look for interesting restaurants in the Wimberley area- finding Inzos complete with cold adult beverage. The weekend was great- but alas, it is good to be home with the Peep and Slick.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Peace and Quiet at last

For the last several months the electric company has sporadically been in our back yard working on the lines. They came the first time I think in October. They finished on Thursday of last week. They had to change the cross bars, pull wire and then pull lines.

On two poles.

This would be fine except that it required the banishment of Putter Rooskey to Chief and Lulu's house because the first day the guys came she barked for 4 hours. Non stop. She almost gave both of us a heart attack. So I convinced the contractors of the big bad electric company that if they wanted access to my poles again, they should come by the day before and let me know so I could take care of the dog.

Thankfully they agreed and now we are indebted to my parents for their dog hospitality- and we did not even get to go on a trip for it! I mean if Slick and I have gone somewhere for the last 5 years, Chief and Lulu have been glad to watch Putter, but for all of these days of noise, we were here listening to it! You can see in the pictures that there were a few trucks and lots of equipment. It was all loud. And the 10 or so guys here working in the back yard. Friendly, but in our yard!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pure Fun

Girls weekend is more fun that one can imagine. If you have not been on one in a while I will let you know you should do it. Soon.
There are things that happen on one that just don't normally go on in life. At least in my life. Maybe in some collegians life. Take the 4 hour trip to get to our destination. Fun filled car singing complete with mini-microphones and an ipod stocked with 2,000 of the best singing songs ever. We had a wonderful time playing name that tune and try to distract the other drivers ,. Our biggest fan was the driver of the Muzak truck on I-35. It was pure girl fun.

Take the stop at the roadside convenience store for "supplies." Tasty pumpkin muffins and kolaches. YUM. Not so for the pickled eggs. nice for having Biscuit pose beside, not for purchasing so much...

Arriving at our destination we happened on a herd of deer- seriously 10 deer in a neighborhood!

And then there is the shopping. WOW the shopping. We spent a few hours at the Pottery Barn and William-Sonoma outlets. OUTLETS I tell you. Things were begging to jump into the buggy. A buggy at William-Sonoma!!! And like everything in the store was an additional 60% off! They were practically paying me to take things home!! Well, I guess I had to pay the, $203.97 to take everything home, but I had three big bags!!

I know today is going to be a red letter day as well because for the first time in a long time I slept until 9:oo and we are having some of the world's best donuts for breakfast. SHIPLEYS! Got to run before they are all gone!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

TV: How much is too much

So the Peep is home from school today because she had a little (99.7) fever this morning and she REALLY needs to go to school tomorrow- so I thought sacrifice today and she will be well by tomorrow.

The thing is that the less I do in the day, the less I really want to do. When I am up and moving and getting things done, I get LOTS of things done. All mom's know this, I think. We can do 56 loads of laundry, send 1655 e-mails, clean all three potties and cook a tasty dinner while vacuuming and watching Murder She Wrote Marathon.

Enter a "sick" kid on a day where I need to file 8 months worth of papers and bills, pack for a girls weekend, change sheets, empty the dishwasher, take my donation to the Charity Store of our choice, blog, read blogs and move the furniture in every room downstairs to get with the organized home by Feb 1.

All she wants to do is watch princess movies with me on 47 inches of high definition glory in the living room. And the more I watch the more of a TV coma I slip into and the more I want to watch. And eat. All I want to do while watching is eat. Dang that fever.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Shiny Shoes

By now you are probably aware that the Peep loves shoes. She has more pair that she wears than I do. She has flips, sandals, other sparkly flips, light up princess, the boots, house shoes, purple crocs, house shoes and now a pair of sparkly light up Mary Jane's.
The new sparklers first appeared in our lives when we were shopping at Peep's Shoe Mecca and found the boots.
Last weekend we had to return to Shoe Mecca to exchange the
boots as wearing the same pair of shoes 24hours a day will cause them to look about 4 years old in only 3 weeks. For the price of the boots, I'd like them to last longer than 3 weeks.
Mecca was wonderful and a new pair actually arrived here yesterday via courier. When I told the Peep she was going to need to alternate her boots with another pair of shoes, and that Mecca did not have any boots at the store and they were going to send us some, she announced that she would like the sparkly light up shoes from the previous trip, please and let's hurry.
The girl is smart and now we are the proud owners of a pair of fancy boots and a pair of fancy tennis shoes.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Plastic Ribbon

Once upon a time at Lulu's house we had this really cool plastic ribbon for putting bows outside. This was YEARS ago. I was in high school and had a red bow on the unused trailer hitch on my triked out Maxima. Tricked out meaning when my parents bought it it had EVERY option available from leather seats to sun roof and power everything. It was a sweet ride.

So the ribbon- it was Red Ribbon Week and tie a ribbon on your car time and mine was such nice plastic ribbon that it stayed fresh and nice from October through Valentines Day when the haggling of my friends caused me to finally cut it off. We have been looking for the same ribbon since without success... until the corner house of Chief and Lulu's neighborhood this year at Christmas used the ribbon to tie up their garage doors like a package.

Like any good obsessor, Lulu went over to see where the neighbors had secured the ribbon. No luck- they had saved it from the previous year and couldn't remember where they found it. Enter Saturday. Slick and I went to the International Gift Market in Dallas and happened upon the ribbon! And in a showroom where we will be opening an account! If you want some of the coolest plastic red red ribbon known to man (and woman) let me know and I can get you a bolt. I don't know the pricing yet, but it will certainly be worth every penny. This stuff is the best outdoor ribbon ever. It is perfect for using on mailboxes, lamp posts, mailboxes, car grills, columns and tree wrapping. So versatile, so long lasting, you'll wish the holidays lasted longer!

Puter Rooskey

So I am in our chair called the cafe- a story for another day- trying to post and Putter Rooskey the Super Beagle is determined to sit in the chair with me!
I can't reach the keys very well and she keeps looking at me waiting for me to move the laptop put of her way so she can settle in my lap easier! Crazy dog!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Organized Home Part 2

So I got this really cool set of frames for my Birthday from Lefty and Bucia. They were back ordered forever and came in just in time for Christmas. I have opened and hung all of them on a wall leading out of the downstairs bathroom. WOW. They look really cool, but kind of creepy because unlike in this photo, they have no pictures in the frames yet.

I was really careful with the spacing since Slick is a stickler for straight and level- but it turns out that like many other places in our vintage 1949 home, this wall is not plumb. What is plumb, you might ask. Well that simply meant that the dang wall is as crooked as they come.
I measured down from the ceiling the same number of inches for the four columns of frames- as I really like the grouping look for the set- and they are almost exactly the same- but just not exactly... When they have actual pictures in them, I will let you see. Until then- take a look at these cool whimsical frames- I highly recommend them!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Organized Holiday Home

Slick and I are working on getting all of the Christmas boxes and the many bags of garland into the attic and in the meantime on getting the Valentines ones out so the Peep and I can flood the house with LOVE. Slick was in the attic looking for the Valentines boxes- he found seven for Halloween, two for Thanksgiving, fourteen for Christmas, six for Easter and ONE for Valentines.
I am trying to get things organized around here before I open it to put anything out- you know- move a little furniture, throw away a few old magazines, file the last six month's worth of receipts for the Paper Business... but I had to take a peek to see how I could have managed to fit one of the most fun holidays into ONE box.

Easily, it turns out.

There were things purchased but unopened from Martha By Mail the now defunct Martha Stewart pre-jailbird mail order company that I loved, packages and packages of heart shaped paper lace doilies and what surely are a million heart covered pencils for the Peep's class party.

After reading this month's- and the the previous six months of Domino one of my new favorite magazines... my plan is to get it all together this month- which means 14 days and counting- but please- don't be too hard on me if I have to stop for a few minutes and make some heart shaped cookies or something- I mean how often can I use the 11 different heart shaped cookie cutters that I have collected over the last 10 or so years- each of which I LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Seriously, I love them.

PS: I thought you might enjoy this picture of the Peep at Valentines 2005.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I am not a fanatic about many things- well maybe, but not today.

Slick wears contact lenses that most days he puts in after he showers and gets dressed. It took me years to conclude that the fact that he sees very little in the shower was the reason he never wanted to clean it.


I have made him promise that in the event I meet and untimely demise, he will hire a cleaning service for this sole purpose, to clean the shower which he rarely, if ever sees.

The sinks he does see- and routinely will use his face towel to wipe off! Gross!

I purchase unnatural amounts of the DOW Scrubbing Bubbles and spray it often in the sinks just to freshen them up. It's on sale at Costco and the Peep and I went for a stockpile last week.

We are safe from germs for at least a couple of months... whew.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Boots

So the Peep is a huge shopping fan, as long as it is for her. She LOVES clothes and shoes and one store in particular where they have a piano player for HER enjoyment.

We were at her favorite store a few days ago looking for a new pair of non-tennis shoe shoes. She found a pair of boots she loved.
I checked the price. OK- try them on.
Slick and Peep found a sales person and they were off to try on the beloved boots.
Then I started thinking. Was that line next to the price part of the dollar sign, like one of the lines of the dollar sign was over too far to the right, or was that part of the price???
I rushed back across the ample children's shoe section to check on it again and unless this store has three vertical lines in their dollar signs that dang line was part of the price!
I whipped around to shout to Slick that the price was more than I pay for my own shoes when much to my sad eyes Peep and Slick were parading around the store in the new boots- both with silly grins about how cute they were.
I was a goner.
We now are the proud owners of a pair of boots that are absolutely adorable. The Peep calls them her Cowgirl Boots and wants to wear them every day.
Every day.
They have had one day off in the 13 days we have owned them. That was a crazy warm day where we all wore flips.
Lord help us and the Peep when she is really fashion savvy.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Letter to Jack Ingram

Just in case you Google yourself from time to time, I would like to write a letter to you Jack Ingram, country singer, to say thanks.

I have seen you many times over the years- mainly the ones when I was an undergrad with too much time on my hands and girlfriends with too much disposable income.

We saw you at the Aardvark, the Pig, the Sigma Chi something or another... one night we drove to visit Duke in Waco and saw you after an opening by some new guy named Pat Green. Thanks for the beer that night which you purchased for me when I said Hi to you at the bar.

It has been these last couple of months though that I have enjoyed you most. Months where the Peep has been belting out your songs from the new CD. She and Slick went to the local Best Buy to pick up a copy and they listened to it on the way home- Peep loves the local radio station- and they love you- playing your songs often- much to Peep's delight.

She is particularly fond of "Number 11, Mommy... skip to number 11!"

The first time I heard the Ava Adelle song I said to Slick that he better not listen- he is not too good with songs about daughters... I love it though- hearing you go form crazy bar brawl versions of Whiskey River- a wonderful rendition- to this lovely song about you daughter- nicely done.

I guess the Road does Truly go on Forever- and man- with a kid to sing along with- The Party NEVER Ends.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


The strangest thing happened yesterday.
I was in a local supermarket- I use the term super loosely- because they did not have any food. They say on their website that they are crazy about food. I'm thinking just plain crazy.

Well they had a little- but it was strange, I say again.
It was Wednesday.

Every shopper knows not to go to the grocery store on Monday because the stockers have Sunday night off and the shelves are bare Monday mornings. Every shopper knows a new ad starts on Wednesday so the shelves are busting with goodness and sales on every aisle on Wednesday. I went to the store on Wednesday.

It was not my regular nice upscale store- but it was a national chain in our neighborhood... Should have been nice.

I started in produce- the tomatoes had the mange. I don't mean one or two were funky- I mean all of the Roma tomatoes that should have been nice an luscious red had spots on them that looked like mold- I am thinking it really was mold.

Then the bananas- SIX FEET OF BANANA SPACE: EMPTY. There were two brown bruised bananas. Six feet of black plastic space, empty. I asked the guy unloading boxes- are there any bananas in the back- the response- a truck just arrived, can you wait an hour??
AN HOUR?? No thanks.

Then the eggs. I am a stickler on the eggs. I open the package and touch each of them to make sure there are no lingering cracks or slime from broken eggs in other cartons.
SEVEN DOZEN. That is how many different cartons I had to open to find a complete dozen without cracks- or in several cases, crunchola'd shells. It was ridiculous!

I am wondering- since Slick was at one time in the grocery business, I wonder things at the store- does the National Chain know that they have this bad seed?? We live in a nice enough neighborhood. Shouldn't we be able to go to the store and get undamaged nice food?? What would the regional managers and national officers of this corporation say to a store where several of the things on my list were not in the store and where the checkers spent more time talking about how they were going to be out sick on Monday than talking to me??

I don't want to own a grocery store, but I'd sure like the people who do to pay more attention to them- at least this one- but I am afraid I will not know if it gets cleaned up because I will be returning to my neighborhood store, purchasing my Ingredients for Life.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Parenting 101

So when the Peep was pretty little, Slick and I took this wonderful class on Filial Therapy and how to have a certain parenting style and philosophy where we give the Peep age appropriate choices among other things, but the choices are the part we stuck with the most.

There is much research and thought on the style- we currently employ our own version of it- and just a few days ago I told the Peep she needed to choose to hurry and get dressed and have TV in the afternoon or keep messing around and there would be no afternoon TV time.

The girl looks right at me and says, "OK no TV."


Then the same night while trying to go into her room to talk to her pretend horse instead of brushing her teeth- I let her choose to brush her teeth NOW and listen to the radio at bed time - one of her favorite things- or go talk to to the imaginary horse and no radio.

Her response: you got it, "No radio, mommy."

I need to get better naps in the afternoons so I can craft better choices.
I realize and Slick and I will have our hands FULL.

Christmas Card from a Bride

I work with brides helping them select their wedding paper ensemble- things like Save the Dates (STD), invitations, napkins, programs and personal stationery for all the many thank you notes.

This summer I had a particularly wonderful bride who was super funny about the fact that she was over thirty years old and did not in fact need the requisite year to plan her wedding, thank you very much, she could throw together a wonderfully traditional one in six months.

Immediately after meeting with her, we created her perfect STD's, had them overnighted into the Big City and she was on her way!

She and the groom selected lovely invitations after hours of looking and then she and her mother spent hours here as well looking at personal stationery for both of them.

Last week I got the most beautiful Christmas card from her and her groom- a picture of them leaving their reception under a shower of red rose petals- with their married names printed on the bottom below Merry Christmas.

It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to know that I helped- even in a small way- start out their life together, for there would have been no rose petal throwers without the extension of the invitations...

Monday, January 7, 2008

Is it just me?

So for Christmas we got Lefty a new computer and a wireless router so he can check his e-mail from anywhere in his house.

We spent 2 different Saturdays trying to set it up, and then another night for over 4 hours. I am a pretty smart person and I have set up two different routers in our house over the years, so I was certain I could figure this out.

I mean really- plug stuff in, turn it on.

On the router web page there was a huge disclaimer in red ink that said they were experiencing an unusually high call volume and that basically people should not call with questions- so I maneuvered all around the site printing pages that should have helped with the installation.

To no avail.

Then last Friday night I broke down and called the help number.

They told me that the 2 week old router was outdated and needed new software that I could download from their site and call back. When I said it took over 10 minutes to get this guy on the phone and couldn't he just wait while I downloaded to tell me what to do next the answer was NO. Bummer since the download took almost 60 seconds.

The call back took 28, yes that is 28 minutes before I got a live person and finally after 2 full Saturdays and 4 hours at our house I got the router up and working.

Now I have to get over to Lefty's to install the dang thing!

Thank goodness he is a patient man!

And I am thinking- if the router company knows that this issue exists, shouldn't they put a sticker on the boxes still on store shelves that says don't waste your time trying to install this thing- you need to download and upload software first?? Maybe it's just me?

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Slick works for the Big Bad Broadband Company. He does lots of different things there but one thing is to go to CES a big consumer trade show.

In Las Vegas.

Every year.

I think this is year six. He tries to make it sound like it is NO fun at ALL.

I am pretty sure I know better.

Slick is a real Renaissance Man. He can cook on the grill. He can cook in a turkey fryer. He can cook in the yard. See that fryer on the table! That is NO Fry Daddy of days gone by- that is a serious cooking tool at our house. Sometimes we have entire menus planned around how we can utilize the fryer to it's fullest extent.

Take Christmas Eve for instance- we host the Feast of Seven Fishes because Slick's parents are Italian. This is a serious Italian Catholic thing where we actually prepare SEVEN DIFFERENT fish and eat them on Christmas Eve. This year was our fourth year to host and Slick was almost exclusively the chef- with trusty Paper Girl as the sous-chef/ dishwasher.

Slick purchased and prepared anchovies, squid, clams, crab, shrimp, tuna, scallops and the bonus fish: smelt. We did use pre-made but still home-made Antipasti that contained tuna and the anchovies were canned- but everything else was purchased fresh and cleaned and cooked by Slick here in our main kitchen. It was delicious. Except for the smelt- I think I could do without that next year.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

My Sist'a is the Bomb

Lots of people have sisters but MY sister is the best.

I know I said that I am not a fan of blogs where people just tell what they have for dinner and stuff.... but... Thursday night- and almost any night we ask- she brings take-out to our house for dinner.

She brought Chinese from our favorite place and it was dang tasty.

Then she had some meaningful coloring time with the Peep. They have a great relationship where Peep asks for stuff and Hill-Dog gives it to her! Hill-Dog took her to the Zoo for her birthday, buys her sassy pants for presents with sequins and embroidery and lets her stay up way too late.
Hill-Dog is a special ed teacher and as far as we are concerned: The Teachanator- or something like that- banisher of Illiteracy across the city. I think she has a face book page- but I really don't have a clue how all of that works- so all Hill-Dog info should be gathered from me.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Yummy Cow Girl Cookies

The Peep and I made these delicious cookies to take for snack at our cousin's house for play date. They are one of my FAVORITE cookies of all time! I remember eating them in elementary school when the mom of a friend made them. She kept them in a tin like a fruit cake might come in and man- they were delicious!

The recipe:

1 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
2 cups quick oats
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream shortening and sugars- mix well. Add eggs- beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients. Dough will be CRUMBLY. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto Silpat covered cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

The Peep and I baked three pans at the same time in our cool convection oven and rotated after 5 minutes, then 5 more and then for 2 for a total of 12 minutes. This recipe makes about 9 dozen cookies.
We are working hard at eating all of the cookies as fast as possible!

Welcome to the Adventure 1/2/08

Welcome to the Adventures with Paper Girl!
I am Paper Girl, the rule following first born daughter of a nice suburban family. I have a lovely husband, Slick, and an even lovelier daughter, The Peep.

My family is a little concerned that I am taking on yet another project, but being a new year, I think getting thoughts from my brain into the world seems like a great idea!

I am sure you are interested in hearing all about the eight members of my family- and I assure that all in good time, my friend, you will learn about Hill Dog my Illiteracy Fighting Sister, Lefty, Chief, Lulu and Busia.