Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Seasonal Confusion

As if neighbors putting up their Christmas lights weeks before Thanksgiving wasn't bad enough, the bulbs in the garden think it's spring already.

Rotting tuna smell in the closet

Every now and again, a truly wretched smell emanates from Nim's room. Foul, fishy, and rank, the smell pervades the whole space for a time, and then just as mysteriously dissipates. Time and again, this leads to a futile search for the source. It is as if there is some ossified fragment of a tuna sandwich hiding in the closet, which is occasionally knocked about enough to emit ghastly vapors from its gooey center. But there's no sandwich to be found.

But, lo, last night, we solved the mystery. Chad mentioned that he had found something on the web about electrical problems occasionally leading to strange odors; it turns out that some plastics can emit a fishy smell when heated. He snuck into her room after bedtime and patted all the outlets to make sure that nothing was hot or likely to incinerate itself in the middle of the night. Meanwhile, I was thinking about the light bulb I just replaced that morning. Nice bright 75 watt bulb in an ancient fixture that used to contain a paltry 40 watt bulb. Said ancient fixture was cranky when I put the new light bulb in -- the part around the bulb wiggled quite a bit because there wasn't really enough clearance for my fingers to turn the bulb straight and it kept trying to cross-thread itself. Just before bedtime, the plastic shield ring around the bulb fell off right into Nimue's (clean) barf bowl (the permanent barf bowl in her bed is another story...). At the time, I didn't really think about it, but jammed it back into place, knowing that it probably loosened during my fat-fingered struggle to replace the bulb. However, armed with the hot-plastic-smells-like-fish theory, I pulled it out again and sniffed. PFFFFAUGGHHGGHGHG!!!!!! The ring was a nice bubbly toasty brown like a good roasted marshmallow, and smelled like -- you guessed it -- rotting tuna.

The new bright hot light bulb was clearly at fault this time. The previous fishy odor incidents were probably caused by the light fixture being bonked a bit by people climbing up into Nimue's bed, putting a slightly different part of the plastic shield ring closest to the bulb and setting free a fresh cloud of fishy fumes. Time for an upgrade.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Secret Code


We found this scrap while Nimue was cleaning her room this week; she assured me it wasn't gibberish. Took me a while to figure it out...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Citizen of the Month



Nimue was surprised with a citizen of the month award for the November value (leadership) at the Friday morning flag salute at school this morning. I knew in advance, so could lurk in the background with the camera. Needless to say, this made her a very happy kid :)

According to her teacher, "Nimue has demonstrated leadership to the class by pursuing an interest (volcanos) and teaching the students. As a result of her interest and project, she has encouraged others to pursue their own interests."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

GO Kids

Today I discovered something really funny--some invisible ink from my invisible ink pen found it's way,somehow,
onto one of my secrets journal in the words GO Kids on almost every page!I laughed for three whole minutes!WELL,I don't know how it got there,I just know it's there.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thieving progeny

I lost me purple hat.
Made meself a new hat.
Offspring stole said hat.
Is awfully cute in that.

I still have no hat.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Friday Fun

I went mountain biking at Fremont Older last Friday.It was so fun!I rode 2 big hills!When I got
back,Ma was very proud.I'm so happy!

Friday, November 13, 2009

How is an emu like an iphone?

From Nimue's dinner conversations last night:

How is an emu like an iphone?

1. Can't have cars for 100 reasons, which include not being allowed to have a drivers license and not being able to drive.

2. Have at least 50 of something. An emu has lots of feathers; the phone has lots of applications on it.

3. Both can be found in Australia.

4. At least 200 exist.
(Poor Ma was curious and looked this one up this morning: the world emu population is 630,000-725,000 according to Wikipedia; iphone sales just for 2008 were something on the order of 13.7 million)

5. Can't fly.

6. Can run. (emu in the sense of using it's legs; iphone in the sense of being turned on)

7. both have the letter E.

So: emus are the same as iphones. Ah, the logic of the seven-year-old....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mother-daughter transmogrification

I felt like I was turning into my mom again yesterday morning. On the way to school, there were these intriguing-looking large binders on the sidewalk in front of one of the nearby houses, clearly up for grabs. They were too big to reasonably carry, so I tried to ignore them. I tried really hard. Alas, on the way home from dropping Nimue off, I succumbed to the urge to go investigate.

Investigation of such objects is the fatal first step down the slippery slope of sidewalk treasure acquisition.

It turns out, these particular objects were carpet sample books. Each one contained two attractive 18"x24" samples with bound edges suitable for use as doormats or the like, as well as several pages of smaller scraps just screaming to be used for projects. Maybe a cat scratching structure. Maybe a patchwork mat for Nimue's endless stuffed animal games. Maybe.... The heavy 18"x24" binder covers and pages are thick enough to have many construction uses as well.

Too many possibilities to leave behind. Clearly. Also too big to put in the bike bag, too heavy and unwieldy to strap onto the rack with the puny bungee cord I had in the bag, and too heavy to carry all three in one hand while wheeling the bike with the other hand. Still several blocks from home. What to do, what to do? My solution was to carefully balance the three large books across the top tube and seat of the bike and sort of lean on the whole mess to stabilize it while walking the bike the rest of the way home. As cargo transport, this method leaves a lot to be desired, both in terms of stability (the three wanted to slip in all directions off the skinny bike) and steering (they were big enough that I couldn't really turn the handlebars more than a couple of degrees before hitting the sliding pile of binders, thus increasing the aforementioned stability problem). I did, however, at least make it home without anything falling off.

I haven't yet degenerated/risen to my mom's level of prowess (not dragging mannequin legs home from garage sales yet), but she's a couple of decades further into the found treasure habit. I'm doomed...

As for the other part of the transformation, it turns out my mom has been walking around on a broken leg (fibula) for about a month. Sound familiar? It's the same bone I broke in my ankle a few years back, only further up the leg in my mom's case. She crashed her bike on some evil railroad tracks that angled across a curve in the road she was riding on. Unlike me, she went straight to the emergency room (that experience thing to her advantage again). Once there, the doctor diagnosed her sprained ankle, but failed to do an x-ray of her whole leg to catch the break further up. Fortunately, the whole thing appears to be aligned and healing up correctly even though it wasn't caught right off, and she probably just made the trade-off between some extra discomfort for the excessively itchy cast she would have gotten. And the mental oddness of thinking "What? I've been walking around for a month on a broken leg?" She's been riding her bike too. One tough mom :)

More images of Halloween fun...

Nimue the Cartoon Chicken.
She decided on this costume way back in February, perhaps after reading too much of The Far Side. We saved several months worth of plastic milk jugs, pillaged a couple of old stained t-shirts, picked up a remnant piece of yellow crinkly fabric for a dollar, added a bit of craft foam and a rubber glove and voila: SuperChicken!

Upon arriving at school, it became very clear that in a race between Harry Potter, a bug-eyed alien, and SuperChicken, our feathered friend was the hands-down winner :)

Spooky food
Todd and Sarah and family joined us for a spooky Halloween meal before we took the kids out trick-or-treating for waaaaaay too much candy. Not pictured are the delicious salty dark chocolate cookies with white chocolate filling in the shape of ghosts, pumpkins, and moons that the adults got for dessert (we ate 'em all up too fast). Chad was responsible for the watermelon brain.

The obligatory pumpkins.

Chad's is the one with big teeth; Nimue did the snowman stack, the Ma pumpkin, and the sharpie'd cat mini-pumpkin; mine is the eyeball-infested creation (note the excellent shadow cast on the garage door when you enlarge the last one by clicking it). Perhaps there's been too much dinnertime discussion of "The All-Seeing Eye of Ma" lately....

Monday, November 2, 2009


Yesterday I ate 17 candies,so I barfed at 5:30 A.M.I had to wake Ma to clean up my sheet.All night
my tummy felt bubbly,until I barfed.After that my tummy really hurt.I guessed it was probably
because it was empty.I can't go to school today.That means I can get started on my volcano
project for school!