There’s No Place Like…

I have always hated dusting.  I just don’t get it.  It is the least satisfying of all household chores: you run a cloth along the tops of picture frames and under vases and in the end the entire room looks exactly as it did before.  Even a cleaning a toilet leaves me some satisfaction because there is definitely a transformation when I clean the toilets that my three boys have all taken their best aim at over the week.

Lately, though, dusting has become my favorite thing in the whole world.  I’d be dusting right now, if I weren’t sitting here baking cookies and blogging while Leo naps.  This week I am dusting the “old” part of the house, the part that didn’t get remodeled, which is about 75% of the house and which is covered in dust that would probably be best measured in pounds.  I swipe and the dresser top actually changes color from gray to white.  I have to change rags all the time, they get so dirty, and I feel like I am making a difference.  I am a difference maker!

More than the actual dusting itself is the thought that with each room I dust, I am one hour closer to moving back home.  This one radio station has already started playing Christmas music, and I nearly peed myself when they played “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” 

Folks, I’m going home for the holidays.  Home sweet home.  Home, where the heart is.  Home, man’s castle.  Home, where you hang your hat.  Home, where you scratch where it itches.  Home, the place where clichés are made but the beds never are.

But you can bet your best dish rag that my home, at least for a week, will be dusted.

Rotisserie chicken
Wild rice and butternut squash salad
Plain old peas
Chocolate cupcakes with mocha Swiss meringue buttercream frosting

Kind of, Almost, Not Really Home

The remodel is almost done!!  Which means, of course, that it feels like forever until it’s going to be done.

You know when you go on a road trip and you drive eight hours back home, and you finally make it to the cities where you do your shopping, run your errands, where you visit friends, where you spend 90% of your time, and your heart gives a little “Woop woop!” because you are home, HOME!…and then you are still sitting in the car for another half hour through city streets and stoplights and side roads, and that last half hour seems as long as all the other eight hours because you weren’t actually home home yet?

Yeah, that’s how I’m feeling.  There are just a few days of work left on the interior.  Two days, in fact.  All that’s left is some tiling, hanging a couple chandeliers, and installing the appliances.  It’s such a puny amount of time compared to the four months since it all started, but it still feels like an eternity before we’ll get to move back in.

We have a ton of cleaning to do.  There is dust EVERYWHERE.  When I touch anything in the basement my hands get coated in a sticky, gray dust that covers everything.  Blech.  I went into the attic to get some hand-me-downs the other day and even the attic is covered in sawdust.  Don’t even get me started on the garage, where most of the sawing has taken place; I think we just need to toss the garage out along with all the other remodel junk and buy a new one.

Still, we’re almost home.   Dorothy really said it best, didn’t she?  Now bring me my ruby slippers—I’ve got some heel clicking to do!

Homemade mac ‘n cheese
Roasted asparagus
Chocolate brownies with orange frosting

Eye of the Hurricane

I have never been in a hurricane before, but I can tell you I know what the eye of it feels like.  It feels like this morning, the first morning in three months when we have not had one or two soccer games to attend, no birthday parties to host or go to, no social engagements of any kind, no meetings about the remodel, no furniture shopping to do.  Nothing.

So what’s it like in the eye of the hurricane? 

Well, we all rolled out of bed whenever our bodies told us to and grabbed the closest available blanket to walk around in.  We sprawled around a deck of cards and played a game of war, cracking up at Leo’s overexcitement each time he won a round.

Kevin helped me put together a playlist of our favorite 80s songs and we are playing that now while our boys clean up their rooms and fight a little bit, reliving our own childhoods for us before our eyes while we drink coffee and turn up the volume to Wham.

Leo put on his sunglasses and chased Kevin around the house with a sword until Kevin finally turned around and clobbered him with his yoga mat.  (Whenever Leo puts on his sunglasses he feels entitled to do and say absolutely anything he feels like.)



We sat around the table eating thick slabs of homemade bread, all of us together (!!).

I gathered all the boys in my bed to read our latest read aloud (The Wheel on the School, an old Newbery winner and one of the sweetest books I’ve ever read).  Vincenzo looked at my nightstand and started giggling and giggling, noticing that I had hijacked his soccer trophy and made it my own.


(It now indicates that “Mamba” (that’s me!) won an award for “Most Hugs Scored 2015.”)

The boys got distracted in their cleaning up and are now playing Legos together, creating storylines and modifying their creations together.  And for once, it doesn’t matter that they are distracted by Legos—they have 48 hours to get their room cleaned instead of a tight little window, rush rush.

And now they are fighting about Legos.  I’ll just turn Meatloaf up a little louder…

And now they are playing video games and not fighting, and I am sitting here blogging and enjoying the fact that we are all doing some of the things that make us happiest right now.

In two weeks, basketball starts up and we will be going through the other side of that hurricane, scheduling and squeezing things in, splitting up for various games and naptimes, eating dinner at 4 because the kids won’t be back again until bedtime, inevitably messing the schedule up a time or two and feeling very wind-whipped.

And I love it. I do!  I wouldn’t have life any other way.  The boys are so happy, our life is so full of family and friends, and we are brimming with laughter.

But man, it is so nice to have a little break from normal for just a weekend or two.

Crab cakes
Roasted asparagus
Israeli couscous with roasted vegetables and feta
Chocolate mint sandwich cookies


Full disclosure: the title is the funniest part of this whole post.

What did I used to blog about so much, people?  I used to have to much to say and now…I’m not sure what to say!

I’ve gotten a little political lately, which isn’t fun to blog about.  Like, I got a little interested in the race for a school board director and actually attended a PTSA meeting to hear the candidates speak.  Want a recap?  No.  You don’t.

I’m rallying people in my city to stop the city council from putting buses on our trail.  Want to hear more about the plan to put BRT on the CKC via the ST3?  No.  You don’t want to hear about that either.

The kids haven’t even been doing anything funny lately, unless you think it’s funny when Leo bites Rocco, which I DEFINITELY do not think is funny.  NO BITING.  NO!!

Seriously, the funniest thing that’s happened around here is when Vincenzo went to put brown sugar in his oatmeal and he packed it down on the spoon first because he knows that you always pack brown sugar down when you are baking cookies. 

See?  Even the funny stuff isn’t that funny.

Oh Lord, I am blogging about oatmeal now.  I told you!  I’m out of ideas!  Quick, let me put a picture in.  Surely I have a funny picture or two?


Dear God, that’s a picture of a cheap rug I might buy for under the table.  That’s not funny at all!

A jacket I might buy my kid.  These are not funny!


The dimensions of my new stove??  Come on, MrsMouthy.  Get your game on!


You are waiting for me to drop that one line now that is funnier than all my blogs put together.  You are thinking this was all just a big setup so that I could BAM make you laugh your pants off.

Nope.  Not a setup, just another a picture of some paint chips (yes, that is whipped mint, for those who have been following).


So go home now.  I’ve still got nothing, and now you’ve got nothing, too.  Neiner neiner.

Shrimp scampi
Fresh fruit
Vegetables & hummus
Gingerbread cake (thanks, McStreamy)

BOO! (hoo hoo, Halloween’s over)

Scenes from Halloween.  Oh, how I miss you, Halloween!

Halloween breakfast:


Eggs “funny side up,” as the egg mold proclaimed.

The jack-o-lanterns:


A funny face for Leo, a dragon for Vincenzo, and Steve/Herobrine from Minecraft for Rocco.

Halloween cookies, please note their were no shortage of eyes this year:


Then somehow the boys got the idea of hiding candy under the frosting and all the rest of the cookies looked like this:


Awww, look at the cute little cookie is all dressed up for Halloween in its pile of poo costume!

And now for the best part… costumes!

They were convincing…


they were ridiculous…


they were terrifying!


(Leo had decided to be a skeleton because it’s the scariest thing he could think of, and figured if he was the scariest thing on Halloween then nothing else could scare him.)

Oh yes, we can’t forget Kevin’s costume.  It’s obvious what it is.


Right?  You all looked at that and said, “Sweet Marshawn Pinch costume, Kevin!” 

Go ahead and groan.  He is the punch line to some joke that hasn’t yet been told. 

We went to a Halloween party and a friend of ours said, “Well, at least it trumps the last thing I saw him wearing,” which was this:


I went as myself, only I curled my hair and put on eyeliner for once and when people asked me what I was I told them I was dressed up as a supermodel. 


I added that usually I wear some kind of a costume for Halloween but everyone always guesses supermodel no matter what I’m wearing, so I decided to just go with it this year.

Next time I’m going to wear the same thing and say I’m going as Laziness.

Crisped brown rice with beef and eggs
Green beans in cider vinaigrette
”NemNem cookies”*

*Leo collected as many “nem-nems” as he could on Halloween night and as soon as he got home he gathered them all up and brought them to the kitchen, insisting we make “nem-nem cookies.” 


How could I say no?!