Monday, June 27, 2011

How did I forget this one?

In all of my busyness that has been this summer, I forgot to mention one big happening in the 'hood. New neighbors!

The neighbor who built the Amazing Wall O' Wood has sold her place and moved away. The new crew is in and almost settled. Much to The Princess' delight, they have a Golden Retriever dog. All the important stuff, right?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Who said I could rest during the summer?

I woke up with a headache this morning. That is nothing unusual and the fact that my headache wasn't too bad, not unusual either. I drove the boy out to day camp at 8am and ran a couple of errands on the way home. I can only force myself into a Wal-mart before 10am and the MINI needed a new license plate frame thingy. Sure I could have bought the $45 one at the dealership. But instead I went with the $10 a pair frames that are made of an entirely less interesting shade of black plastic in a totally different Chinese factory.

I digress. It is almost 2 am and I am blogging. My bad.

Once home, The Boss Ladies, Sr. and Jr. needed to run some other errands. Seeing as it was closing in on 10, we had to limit this outing to Target and the hardware store. Nothing terribly interesting to report at either of these stores. Sorry to disappoint. Well, that is not entirely true. I bought a new set of red wine glasses and they are super, duper cool. But everything else was uneventful. The real fun started when we got home and I realized that my headache was getting worse. A lot worse.

Three house of napping, followed by a couple of hours of snoozing and laying around and I was finally able to sit in a room with lights and people and not scream at either of them.

Anyways, I generally sleep 5 or 6 hours a night, so now I am a full day ahead on my sleep. And it is 2am. So here I am, wide awake even after I put the new wine glasses to good use earlier in the evening.

Back in the day, before kids I would have been out in the garage, running power tools on a night like this. Now I am afraid of waking children. I am even more afraid of what happens if the children were to wake up Mommy, so I think I'll skip all the possibility of causing great harm to myself and I'll go read some more blogs.

After I published this blog post, I realized that I was going to tell about something entirely different, that would more closely relate to the post title. I have recently fallen into one of the easiest traps for a new teacher. It is summer and I am not paid for extra work I do during the summer (with the exception of a few staff training days), Yet I have been out at my new classroom no less than three times in the past two weeks.

I used to get annoyed with the wife for giving up all of her free time to work at her school during the summer. Now the tables have turned. For goodness sake I was even telling The Boss Lady that I need to run to the teacher's supply store soon. Who the heck am I? And what have they done with that cool, laid-back stud I used to be?

Sunday, June 19, 2011


The Princess woke up early (or at least earlier than I planned) this morning. I wasn't totally ready to face the morning pet-feeding chores, so I went and crawled into her bed to chat for a few minutes.

She started telling me all about her awesome bear stuffed animal. Yeah, I had no clue either. Turns out, she was trying to remember all the details of a toy that she had dreamed about. The Princess was ready for me to fire up the sewing machine and get working on her newest masterpiece. Now I am not totally clueless around a sewing machine. My mother would have never, ever allowed that. But creating a 3D toy from scratch? Yeah, this sounds like a project best passed onto mom.

Less than 2 hours later The Boss Lady and The Princess have a pattern created and the fabric parts cut out and pinned together. They have a plan for finishing the bear in short order. Planning and working quick, not my strong suits...

The Talker set out this morning to design a brand new board game. He worked solo for an hour or more and in the end the wife and kids sat down to play the new game. It involves a lot of math, so I wasn't invited.

With all of the creativity flowing around here, I went out in the backyard and worked on my newest masterpiece, the wine bottle tree/garden trellis. All I need now is to empty another few dozen cool looking bottles. Or maybe I'll gather some from the neighbor's recycling bins and save my liver all that hassle.

The Boss Lady has her own plan for creativity today. She and the boy are leaving in a few minutes to take the dog to Dirty Dog Wash for a bath. That is always a three hour adventure in wet, smelly mess. Lucky for me, I get to skip out and watch movies with the girl!

Catching up after a busy start to the summer

The Princess had a fairly big surgery last week. I won’t go into a lot of detail here since The Boss Lady has blogged the surgery elsewhere. Email me if you need the address to that blog. Due to the personal info posted over there, I won’t link to it here. Now, 4 days later, she is doing great. She is currently singing Taylor Swift songs and splashing in a nearly empty bathtub.


Elsewhere in the AtHomeFamily kingdom, it is HOT! 100 plus for something like 12 days in a row. So I have thrown in the towel on the garden. This morning I took down the gate and let the chickens have the parched and burned up leftovers.

1 2

This is not the first pampering the birds have gotten this week. It has been so hot out in the back 40, that I bought a misting system to help keep everybody cool in the backyard. If you are sitting right near the mister, you can notice a big difference in the temperature. Not that I want to hang out there anyways. I hung the misters in the trees near the chicken coop and I saw that 6 of the 7 birds (and 1 cat) were hanging out under there during the hottest part of the day yesterday.

The kids bought me a 12 bottle wine cooler for Father’s Day. I am always looking for something new to learn about (previously it was trucks- which I am still working on, boats- that I lost interest in and set sail on craigslist, cigars- which I enjoyed but annoyed everyone else with, guitars-which I still can’t play but somehow now own two and… The Boss Lady can give you the entire list). This year I have been soaking in as much info about wine as I can handle. I still have no vocabulary to describe wines that I like or don’t like, but I am having fun shopping for bargains and reading up on different varietals and vintages.

Cruising the ‘net for wine info, I ran across several sites about bottle trees. Our neighbor used to add all of her empty wine and beer bottles to the limbs of a dead tree in the middle of her yard. You could see it from our kitchen window and it actually was pretty cool when the morning sun hit the bottles. And it was only half as tacky as you might think. Anyways, I started my own bottle tree this morning. I don’t have a dead tree to decorate, but I do have a bunch of wooden trellis surrounding our garden/chicken fun park. So with the addition of some 1/2” dowel rods, we have the start of a spectacular piece of yard art. I’ll post some pictures of the bottle trees soon.

Best of all, it isn’t in your yard. You are welcome.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What would summer be without surgery

The Princess will be having surgery in a few hours. Hopefully this will finally correct a lifetime bladder problem. The Boss Lady set up a blog a few weeks ago to mark the progress towards this surgery. I am not posting a link to the blog, since we have used real names and locations over there, Email me if you want the address. But please don't be too mad if I don't get around to responding to the email quickly.

It has been a long road to get to this point and I thought I was all good with this surgery, which may last upwards of 5 hours. I headed to bed last night at 11 and finally fell asleep at 5:15. Good times!

The Princess got some good sleep and she has gotten to front load on Popsicles and Sprite. the breakfast of pre-surgical champs. She will be staying in the hospital for a couple of days minimum, maybe up to 5 days so a snack is certainly welcome.

Monday, June 06, 2011

The start of the kid's summer. Mine will wait a few more daze

The kids finished up school last Friday at noon. I originally thought that I would finish up after a couple hours this morning but last week's bombshell re-hire announcement changed my summer.

I thought the kids and I would return to our slothful AtHomeDaddy ways quickly, but I have to knock out a couple of more days of staff training and prep for the fall semester. Wednesday the kids and I going to head out of town for a day or two and hit Six Flags Amusement Park. Bro and his family took the kids to the park earlier in the spring and bought season passes for the kids. The Boss Lady bought herself a season pass a few weeks ago, when she and the kids went back tot he park with cousins and The Mother of the Bride.

I haven't been to Six Flags in somewhere near 20 years, but I bought a season pass the old fashioned way, over the internet. They had a price break before Memorial Day and I may not be a roller coaster fan, but I AM a cheapskate, so I got my pass for half price.

And in another sign that summer has surely returned, my head is now shaved. I used to shave my beautiful brain bucket most summers, but I skipped last year because I was out looking for a teaching job. No need to scare a potential hiring principal. Since that ship has sailed and I have a new gig lined up, I can return to my roots (or lack of) and be comfortable this summer. There is a pic on facebook if you need a glimpse...

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Seriously shortening the Summer season

Throughout the Spring I have been planning a great Summer of nothing. The kids and I were planning to go back to our AtHomeFam ways of sleeping late and seriously under-utilizing our time in constructive ways. With one exception, we all have season passes to Six Flags, so trips to Dallas and San Antonio would be plentiful.

I have been in such a weird place, with my new career starting with a bang in January and dying with an explosion that rocked our family in March. All along there has been a slim chance that my job would be restored and all of the drama from the Spring semester would be ended.

The slim chance occurred yesterday afternoon at 4:37pm.

I sneaked out of the skool a few minutes early. Hey, was a short-timer with no prospects for the Fall, remember? I had cleared out my desk a few minutes earlier and the kids had helped me haul my stash of pens and office supplies to the car. It was a surreal walk to the car. Driving away was weird, too. true, we have a few more work days the semester, but the text books are in, the computers are off and this Spring might as well be DONE!

I was only a mile or so from the skool when the Principal called me on my cell phone to let me know that she could re-hire me into my current, ending position. Uh, yes! Would I want to work for her next year? Uh, yes!

The kids and I stopped to buy The Boss Lady (not the Principal, well at least not THAT Principal - stick with me, this is confusing...) some flowers so that I could break the news about my job. Anyways, I spent most of the evening rethinking my summer calendar. There are suddenly lots of trainings and staff development workshops that I will need to attend.

So my permanent gig as AtHomeDaddy V 2.0 is now on hold, hopefully for a long while. (But thanks to the way Texas pays for public education, we might be back in this same type of boat next Spring. Whatever. We will deal with that when it comes around).