Monday, November 29, 2004

AtHomeDaddy's Newest Fixation

Attraction, compulsion, craze, crush, fascination, fetish, hang-up, infatuation, jones, monkey, Call it what you want.

Rick has fed the frenzy by posting a couple of pictures for me. So, out of respect to my guitar playing, wood-working, truck re-building pal, I will refrain from calling my newest fixation an Obsession.

You can see the 1968 Chevrolet Long Wheel Base, Stepside Truck that might end up taking up garage space at Casa de AtHomeFamilia.

I am writing in a Spanish mode, since I seem to be getting a ton of spam in Spanish lately. I guess that would make it Spamish! Do you need to buy any Mexican phone cards, I seem to know a guy who can hook you up!

Or check out the 1948 Chevy Pickup that is sitting 10 feet away from the 1968.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

We'll Leave a Light on For Ya

This year, we were a little too busy to observe AtHomeDaddy's most sacred Thanksgiving Week tradition. Friday afternoons are always reserved for hanging the lights on the outside of the house. This used to be a competitive neighborhood. Every male over 10 would be out stringing Christmas lights by 2pm. I guess everyone has given in to the superiority of AtHomeDaddy. We are the only house lit, and we waited a day longer than in the past.

Tonight, The AtHomeFamily will sleep in the glow of 17 strands of Christmas lights decorating the eaves and porch of our house and the smaller displays of lights around our Half-an-Oak tree and Fort Walden.

Several hours of untangling lights, crawling on the roof, cutting stakes for the yard lights and wrapping the porch posts was well worth the effort. The Talker yelled out "Those are so beautiful..." When he first saw the light display.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Thanksgiving Family-Fest

Thursday The AtHomeFamily met up with 85 members of Dad's family for our Thanksgiving Day Family Reunion. Good grub and a good time visiting with AtHomeDaddy's siblings, some cousins and great aunts. Lots of people that I still don't really understand how I am related to, but everyone was well behaved, no fights or public drukeness and we had LOTSA desserts and turkey. Good times! BURP!

Friday morning, The AtHomeFamily and Bro's Fam went downtown with The Queen Mother to watch the Aggie Corp of Cadets march into town for a butt-whoopin'. Good Times! WHOOP!

Friday evening, Bro and I spent at our grandmother's farm, trying to help The Queen Mother and her siblings clean and straighten years of stuff and clutter. We stunk afterwards, but it was a productive day. It is always a good day at the farm when you have three adults in the cab of the truck and four kids under six years old, a 7 month old baby and five adults in the bed of the truck going up to the catfish pond to feed the fish! Good Times! BUMPY!

While at the farm, The Boss Lady and I got to take a close look at my grandfather's 1968 Chevy Pickup truck. This truck holds the very best memories of my childhood visits to my grandparents. But, right now the truck is full of rust, junk and cattle feed. If my Uncle is not going to use it then I am hoping that we can try to get it running and looking okay again. Once home I spent most of the night cruising Chevy truck websites. Good Times! STINKY!

This morning, We headed back downtown, to the exact same spot, for another parade. Actually, this was why we came down yesterday, but we had the schedule mixed up, so we watched the Aggies, instead. Big balloons, cool hot-rods and TWO Santas! Good Times! WOW!

The AtHomeFamily is 3 days into a restful 4 day weekend and we have managed to get everything done, EXCEPT rest. Hopefully napping a'plently will be on the schedule for Sunday. Good Times! WORN OUT!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Gil Came to My House

A couple of entries back, I mentioned that The Boss Lady had won a drawing.

I lied. She WON nothing. Endured would be a more appropriate way of stating what happened tonight.

I should have suspected something really bad, when Gil was 40 minutes late. He still wanted to go through his company info, but our low interest level slid even more as dinnertime neared, and then passed us by.

The prizes, Crap. But I knew that two days ago...

The waste of an hour at dinnertime, Boring. But I also knew it would be a waste two days ago...

Getting to make fun of Gil everytime I think of him in the next week, NOT Priceless, by any means, but laughing to myself about The Big Loser made the time pass quicker.

And in the end, The Boss Lady did win a grill four years ago, so she can't be all bad, right?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

How to Dismantle All Feelings of Youth

There were lots of times in the past when I would have sold YOUR children into slavery to be the first on the block with the new U2 disc in the player. I guess those days are past.

I woke up knowing the following:

It is raining, AGAIN

The Talker was awake before me but The Girl is still asleep

The new U2 Disc, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb is released today.

I really don't want to take these kids out in the rain, to trek downtown, to my favorite music store, Waterloo, just to buy one CD. I have to go down there Friday to get a copy of KGSR's special release broadcasts, vol. 12 anyways, so U2 will just have to wait. Did I really say that? Here it is, another "God, it sucks getting old moment".

Today's reminiscence was brought to you by the letter U and the number 2.

2:00 pm, Tuesday, November 23, 2004

OK, an update - This is just sad, so you might not want to continue reading, especially if you still harbor any of your youthful self...

I did have to load the kids up to go shopping this morning. Not to the funky record store downtown, but to Target. For dishwashing soap, toilet paper and cat litter.

Now the really sad part - I could have cruised over to their CD section to look for U2's newest. But I forgot after I got busy comparison shopping the toilet paper.


Monday, November 22, 2004

The Big Winner

The Boss Lady is a big winner. Fitting, since life is all about balance and she married such a big loser.

Four years ago, we were out looking for a barbecue grill. I wanted the four burner model from Barbeques Galore. She wanted something much cheaper, from Target. While out shopping, The Boss Lady stopped to complete a bunch of entry forms for a grill give-away from a local radio station.

AtHomeDaddy is skeptical enough to never enter these things. I like my long distance carrier, I don't need more vinyl siding and I sure don't want more spam in my inbox! But dang it, she won the grill! A nice three burner model from Barbeques Galore! They handed over the grill that night, with no hassles, so everyone was happy. There is another chapter this part of the story, but I'll tell you later. Here is a hint. The grill is named Timmy.

Except that now she is addicted to entry forms. Any contest, any prize. Lots of personal info required? No problem. The Boss Lady'll enter your drawing for a garden full of deer attracting plants. Or for a solar powered baby wipe warmer. Or ANYTHING.

Dang it, she won again. While at a conference a while back. This time, she is getting an assortment of prizes. BUT, AtHomeDaddy has to sit through the company's sales pitch with her Wednesday night. Should be fun. The kids will be here, too since I don't want to try and find a babysitter that I trust on short notice. Plus I am sure the distraction will be welcome right in the middle of the big spiel.

So what are these people selling? Daycare center franchises! To us, people who won't leave their kids for a couple of hours with a baby sitter we have known less than 5 years. I bet they don't get any money out of us!

Good luck, salesman. You have your work cut out for you. And don't forget to bring any of our fabulous prizes!

Back to Normal

Around here, things are returning to normal. The Mother of the Bride headed home Sunday morning. The Boss Lady's sister, and three of her four daughters left Sunday afternoon. I don't think the fourth daughter was ever here.

Who really knows? There were too many females in this house to keep track. AtHomeDaddy was scared that a makeup and hair dance party would break out at any time. Is Hillary Duff NOT the scariest chick, ever? Luckily, I made it through the weekend with my nails and hair still naturally colored.

I am not sure The Talker was so lucky. He may have gotten a makeover. But, MAYBE he just needs a bath after playing with markers. We will just play in the mud this morning to wash it off.

After three more days of rain, it should be no harder to find a mud puddle outside than it was to find a hairbrush in this house over the weekend!

Saturday, November 20, 2004

AtHomeDaddy and The Talker are Outnumbered

At this moment, there are seven females in our house. Most are under the age of 15, but it is a dangerous shift in the usual balance of power. The Boy and I are supposed to be watching each other's backs this weekend, but he wimped out and is taking a nap.

Payback, I guess, since I did leave for a few hours to go fishing without him. But someone had to be the man of the house in my absence. And the dog is hiding in the garage.

The Yards, the Yards, the Yards are on Fire

A few years ago, Everyone in our neighborhood bought small patio fireplaces, most were pottery chimeneas. These never seem to last very long, possibly because AtHomeDaddy is friends with a bunch of pyromaniacs. They would build bonfires and the pottery would crack due to the high heat. The AtHomeFamily looked several times for a patio fireplace, but The Boss Lady would never jar loose of the $100 to get one.

Now, all of our neighbors have moved up to Fire Bowls, mostly large copper bowls with no cover or grate. But they still try to build bonfires, so the copper bowls might not hold up for too long, either.

When the first Fire Bowl showed up in the neighborhood, AtHomeDaddy begged for one, but The Boss Lady did not want to shell out $150 for it, so it was time to improvise. And The Whitetrash Fire Pit was born!

I had a charcoal grill that had a broken leg. It was sitting by the house waiting for bulky trash pick up. I also had a big galvanized washtub. I yanked the rest of the legs off of the grill, put it in the washtub, hoping it would allow more air into the firepit. Then we built a REAL bonfire and got warm. This was a good system. Cheap and able to handle bigger fires than the neighbor's wimpy little fire bowls.

The Whitetrash Fire Pit has gone through a couple of changes, but it is still used. On cold nights, the neighbors will ask us to light the WTFP. Last night, when the neighborhood guys were playing basketball and enjoying the itty-bitty fire that was burning in Other Dad's copper fire bowl, AtHomeDaddy was smug. Several times someone mentioned the need for the WTFP, since the wimpy fire in the copper fire bowl just was not cutting through the chill.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Recent AtHomeFamily Happenings

Not much of substance lately on this blog. Too bad. If you want substance, go to InfoWars. But if you want to know what has been going on with The AtHomeFamily this week, then keep on reading. If you are looking for insane rambling, either site should satisfy you!

The Princess has learned to crawl. A few coordinated arm and leg movements on the carpet early in the week have led to free-range baby this morning. She has started figuring out how to crawl on the tile in the living room. Next challenge, the concrete floor in the kitchen. She just slides around in there right now. So guess where we will be playing for the rest of the day!?!

More useful than crawling, right now, though The Princess has learned her first Baby Sign. She is now letting us know when she wants MORE food. As it turns out, she ALWAYS wants MORE food.

This girl is on a roll! She has also learned to clap. She like this a lot because it gets someone to clap and play with her everytime she does it! She started clapping and we introduced the sign for MORE a couple of days later. Right now, it is hard to distinguish between the two, but if she is eating or sitting in the high chair it means MORE because she only does it once or twice. When she really gets to clapping, she can go for several minutes. The girl will clap however long it takes to get a response from SOMEONE. Come on over and she will show off for you.

The Talker has been learning to help his little sister find toys that keep her happy and not crying. This is a huge help for AtHomeDaddy! HE runs to check on her anytime she cries, now that she is not crying ALL THE TIME. And while we were stuck playing in the garage for four days this week, he really figured out pedaling his trikes. He usually lets the slope of the driveway do the work for him. Smart boy. If you have a big hill in your front yard, make use of it!

The Boss Lady has almost finished The Princess' baby quilt. Seven or eight months later than planned, but it looks great! The Mother of the Bride watched the kids last night so that The Boss Lady could finish sewing.

AtHomeDaddy has now finished 10 weeks of guitar classes. I am afraid that I am still a long ways from playing Merry Christmas for you this season. But maybe I'll jam on Happy Birthday for The Talker's 3rd birthday!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

So, THAT, is What They Do

The heater repairman has come and gone. Our house is nice and toasty, once again. When he got here, we were looking at a $75 tune-up. So how can it be that AtHomeDaddy is HAPPY that he just paid the guy $122?

Some blower motor thing evidently needed replacing, so our $75 tune-up jumped to a $400 repair very quickly. Then the good news started. I think he saw I was about to have a stroke when he said $400! Would that have been a HEATer STROKE?

First, he could re-use some parts, so that knocked the price down $40. Whoopee! Then, while removing the old parts, he found the real problem. Somehow a Dirt Dauber has gotten into the blower and made a nest. The nest was obstructing the blower and causing havoc. Once it was gone, no more problems and no new parts needed! Super Whoopee!

So to wrap up. AtHomeDaddy just spent $121 to get a guy to knock some mud out of the heater. But now we are warm so it was money well spent.

The Sun'll Come Out, TODAY.... Dangit!

It actually quit raining yesterday afternoon. We celebrated by firing up the BBQ grill and cooking some hotdogs outside.

Hopefully it will not rain today, either. The Talker and his daddy need to get outside. Neither of us like being inside, especially when we have no choice. Now that the monsoons are behind us, we can go throw some rocks into the creek. Or we can splash some huge puddles. We will probably be muddy messes when we are done. But AtHomeDaddy won't get glared at by the neighbors like if we had actually been outside during the rain. But we really need to make use of all of this water.

So stand back. And don't wear your good shoes. 'Cause if you come within 20 feet of The Talker today, you will get wet. If it isn't raining. Because we don't want the neighbors calling The Boss Lady to report us.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Daily Flu Shot, Anyone?

The Princess had to get her follow-up flu shot this morning. For the youngest patients, they give the vaccine in two doses, a month apart. No problem, except that AtHomeDaddy forgot all about it. Luckily, The Boss Lady did not. So, 30 minutes to get to the Pediatrician's office in the rain. 10 minutes in the waiting room, 10 seconds (I am NOT exagerating) in the exam room, and 30 minutes getting home. Sounded like too much hassle for not much payoff. Boy, was AtHomeDaddy wrong!

The Princess has not napped worth a darn in a month. After her shot, she has napped like Sleeping Beauty. So I am hoping we can get her another shot tommorrow. What about next Monday?

You Know it is Really Raining

When they deliver the morning paper by kayak.

Did I tell you it is raining again? A new crawler, an almost three year old and AtHomeDaddy stuck in the house for a fourth day straight will be A LOT of fun! As long as the satellite receiver does not dork out, we will be fine because Disney channel broadcasts little kids shows straight through until 4:30 pm.

Thank God for TV. And Excedrin. And Dr Pepper.

But AtHomeDaddy wishes death, soggy shoes and a broken umbrella while trying to wrestle a toddler and a baby into the house without anyone getting too wet - on the weatherman who forecasts rain for a fifth day around here!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Breaking News - Awwww Sh*t!

Today was one of the few days that The Boss Lady had to work extra long hours. It is never fun when she has a 13 or 14 hour day and we are glad that they don’t occur more often. It was a tough day and the hard part was only starting when the day was ending. Because at 10:04pm, on Monday night,


Seven months and 10 days ago, she was born. Now she is mobile. Crap. Crap. Crap-ity-Crap.

Actually, she has been fairly mobile for a few weeks. The Talker never rolled to get around when he was little. She had just about perfected that move. Last week I found her half way behind the TV cabinet. No telling where I may find her now that her legs are actually useful. And don’t forget about the baby proofing that we have to redo in a big damn hurry. I mean, it is an amazing thing to watch a child learn to crawl. I just wish it were YOUR child. Because what I am really think now is…Oh Crap.

Rainy Day, Take 3

This is the third rainy day in a row. It is supposed to be this way all week. What a lot of fun this will be for The AtHomeTrio. Having the three of us trapped in the house all week usually means that the house will be a disaster area by the weekend, and the entire AtHomeFamily will be busy cleaning house for two days. But this week should be a little better than usual.

Thursday we are having company, and we have to keep things looking nice. I would not want to embarrass my lovely wife by having a dirty house when the Heater Repairman stops by on Thursday morning. Yep, the heater is on the fritz, so it is time to bust the budget and bring in a repairman. I stared at the furnace for 30 minutes, but that did not help. I mumbled a few "choice" words at it, but that did not do any good, either.

Plus, the Windstar, from now on to be know as the WinSad, is crapping out, too. So we are headed to the repair shop this afternoon for a new Idle Air Controller. At least the 4th one on this vehicle. It is pretty sad that it has done this so many times, THAT I can diagnose the problem.

Add to all of that, The Mother of the Bride will be here for three days this week. So this week The AtHomeTrio will be stuck at home with the Mother of the Bride, without a vehicle, inside because of the rain, while trying to keep the house clean and waiting for the furnace repairman. Sounds fun.

Wanna come play?

Friday, November 12, 2004

Back to the Workshop

The junk pile/garage has undergone an amazing transformation during the last few days. For some reason (Let's call that reason - The Princess), about seven months ago, the entire workshop idea was put to rest. Since then, the most creative thing I have done in the workshop involved separating light clothes from dark.

The Boss Lady told me The Mother of the Bride will be here for three or four days next week, so out to the garage I went. A little general cleaning and organizing Wednesday was followed with a Thursday morning trip across town to Harbor Freight for loads of sanding belts, gloves and things made by indentured servants in China. But, at least they keep it cheap for AtHomeDaddy.

Yesterday afternoon, The Princess and I continued re-organizing and cleaning. So much so, that last night I was out in the garage, making wooden trucks. Once again, this area can be called "The Workshop" without fear of Bob Villa coming over to pistol-whip my ass with a 2hp router. Though, truth be known, I am much more scared of being beaten down by Handy Ma'am.

All of this seem like a lot of work to avoid the Mother-In-Law? Honestly, it is no trouble, I swear. Plus, I have already promised to make a dog feeding table for My So Called Aunt. Now that I can actually find my workbench, her furrier and more expensive children might get to eat their dinner from a miniature picnic table before New Year's.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Princess' Picture Page Updates

AtHomeDaddy finally got a couple of new pictures added to The Princess' geocities picture page. Sadly, I pulled the fishing pictures down to make room for more pictures of the girl.

If you missed seeing AtHomeDaddy with his Gafftopsail Catfish, too bad. Maybe soon I'll set up a webpage with pictures of my fishing adventures.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Halloween Picture

AtHomeDaddy is only 8 days late getting a picture of The Purple Dragon and Olivia the Pig posted. It is over on The Talker's geocities picture page. Email me if you want the address. If you are worthy, I'll send you the URL. Don't worry, you are probably worthy.

True confessions time: I actually got the pictures posted quickly, considering we just took the pictures LAST NIGHT!

Sunday, November 07, 2004

The Rest of the Story

Fishing was not the only thing that happened this weekend. The AtHomeFam had a blast hanging out and "eating ourselves stupid".

The best sight of the weekend? It was not watching The Talker be brave and touching the black drum fish. It was not hearing The Princess laughing while running around with Momma at Pop's dock, either.

The very best thing we saw this weekend... three elementary-aged kids playing on the roof of an old house with a garden hose. They were trying to chase and squirt each other off of the roof with the hose on full blast! I think someone needs to buy these kids a playscape. Or a Taser.

I felt like we should stop and dial 9 1 and dial the second 1 right after the scream! You just KNOW someone ended up in a bloody heap on the ground a few minutes later. Glad they were not my kids. But mostly, I am glad The Talker was asleep when we drove past "WaterWorld". I really do not want to try and explain to the neighbors why "Super Harold" is on the roof, with a garden hose...

Fishing Report

Weekend Fishing trip - A complete success! Just because you are so interested, here is the fish tally for this weekend:

Three Red Drum, two were keepers, one 24" 4 1/2 pounds and one 28 1/2" 6 1/2 pounds. Both will be dinner one night this week. The other was a 14" long throwback.

Three Flounder, two throwbacks 14" and 10", and one keeper, 16" and 3 pounds that will be going on the grill Monday night.

Two Black Drum, one 20" and one 12", both throwbacks.

Fourteen Hardhead Catfish. All throwbacks.

The larger red drum and both black drum were caught on the sail line. I caught the other red drum using squid and the flounder using artificial lures. All but two of the flounder were caught on Pop's brand new dock. The other flounder were caught in town on the public fishing piers.

The last catch of the weekend was the best of all. I was trying out a brand new rod and reel, an early Christmas present from Pops, when I bent over to pick up a flounder and I knocked the rod into the water. After providing a laugh for the locals, someone loaned me a long-handled net and I fished my new rod out of the bay. Thank Goodness for low tide.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Gone Fishin'

A Much needed weekend of fishing at Matagorda Bay is finally here. AtHomeDaddy will be fishing tonight and right through the weekend. I may not see my family again until Sunday afternoon, when it is time for us to head home. Not really sure what the family will be doing while I am fishing. I could ask. But I won't. Because all that really matters is that I will be fishing.

I am going after Red Drum this weekend. Perfect weather and The Boss Lady bought me a bunch of new tackle so that I can land a big one.

Hope you have a fun and quiet weekend, because I will.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

King of Mashers

The one domestic skill that The Boss Lady has yet to figure out is making mashed potatoes. But I never remember until after the potatoes are on my plate. Several years ago, we compromised and switched to boxed mashed potatoes. No more complaints from me. No more worrying about it for The Boss Lady.

Yes, I will eat potatoes from a cardboard box. If that concerns you, you should see the other crap that I eat.

In the last few weeks The AtHomeTrio have started dealing with the grocery shopping again. We have the time to watch for good deals at various stores and we can go when the stores are not crowded. But, AtHomeDaddy cooks like a convict, nothing too complicated and usually microwaved. And whatever I cook usually tastes like it came straight from the prison kitchen, too. So The Boss Lady still handles most of the cooking and making the grocery list.

I was hopeful several weeks ago, when The Boss Lady told me about a discussion she had at work, about how to make mashed potatoes. Then, "bag of potatoes" showed up on the grocery list last week, right before the entry for "mashed potatoes" - meaning a box of potato flakes. I was giddy walking through the store with my two children and my sack of 'taters. Real mashed potatoes for dinner! I was so happy, I forgot to buy the box of potato flakes. What a great life!

I was so ready, that I never even put the potatoes away, they went right on the counter, next to the sink in a cut crystal bowl! That was Thursday, a week ago. The potatoes were still in the bowl, this morning. These potatoes had bunches of eyes on them from sitting on a sunny counter top, so it was time to take matters into my own hands. Even the potatoes could see that! Get it?, potato eyes, see that... AtHomeDaddy is a funny dude!

So, thanks to a KitchenAid mixer from The Mother of the Bride, and the little cookbook that came with it, I ate mashed potatoes for breakfast. They were good! Slap yo' Mama good. Might be enough for lunch and dinner, too. Definitely the best mashed potatoes ever made in this house!

Then again, that might not be saying much.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Yep, Me Too!

Yes, I voted. Almost two weeks ago, thanks to voter-friendly absentee voter laws. The Boss Lady voted a week ago this past Friday.

And that concludes the political discussion on this blog for another four years.

Come Back on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 and I'll expound on politics again.

Dog Food Pizza?

I swear I did not give The Talker Dog Food Pizza for lunch. But I was letting him watch LazyTown while he was eating lunch. He would not touch the pizza and finally he told me that his pizza "has dog food on it".

What the heck?

Quit worrying, Mother of The Bride, your grandson NO LONGER eats dog food. It was just sausage on a frozen pizza. So I picked off the "dog food" and now he is eating like a champ. Glad I could help him out.

And now I am off to eat the rest of the dog food pizza. Bon Apetit!

Dr. Day

The Princess had an early morning Dr's appointment to check out her cough and to see if she needed a prescription help her get over a little cold. She was fine, until the Pediatrician tried to check her right ear. That 19 pound, six-month old took a swing at the Dr. I saw it. She tried to punch him in the ear. That was Clue Number One that her ear was hurting.

It took both of us to hold her so he could look in her ear. He thought it was not too bad of an infection, but The Princess said otherwise. She told the Dr. "Look, buddy, my ear hurts, quit screwing with it!" So we get 10 days of Amoxicillin. Could be worse.

For the record, the kids pediatrician is fine with the dose of benadryl that I give The Talker when his allergies are acting up. He even told me, "It will make him sleepy, too, so enjoy the quiet time."

So there. Nanny Nanny Boo Boo. I was right.

Monday, November 01, 2004

I Want Candy

All day I have chased The Talker away from the candy stash in the kitchen. He got to pick a few pieces after lunch because he was in a great mood and he was not whining! But I did not let him slip into a diabetic coma by eating all of his treats at once like I tried when I was a kid. See, I AM a responsible parent.

Sadly, The Princess did not forego the whining today. She is feeling bad, so she whined and screamed anytime I put her down. Since I had a headache and sinus infection, I didn't want to hear that noise so I gave in and toted the little bundle of joy all day long. Hopefully she will feel better in the morning. Hopefully, I will too. And let's all hope that The Talker does not realize that I have already eaten all of the chocolate candy from his Halloween stash.