Thursday, November 30, 2006

There was a time when cutting down the Christmas Tree was the highlight of the holiday season...

Every year (after Thanksgiving or my birthday, whichever came last) I would look forward to driving out to the 'ole tree farm, trudging across miles of fields full of trees searching for that perfect tree. There were so many choices, short and fat, tall and lean, long-needled, short-needled, trees with 'holes' in them that could be turned to the corner and hidden under ornaments...

Yes, cutting down the real tree and carrying it, regardless of the cold, the pine needles that worked their way under your coat and shirt collar, and coating your hands in pine sap...Yes, this was Christmas!

Then approx 5 years ago, our tree died.

What you say? The trees will die anyway? That is what happens when you cut them off from the support system of their roots?

Ok. I accept that fact. The tree was supposed to die.


One week before Christmas the tree gave up the ghost and all of its needles.


So on the last trash pick-up day before Christmas, ours was the only house that had a dead, brown, needless tree at the curb waiting for pickup and a new, dead, green, plastic tree up and decorated (and I got it 1/2 priced too!!)

So this year I wormed into the crawlspace and hauled the Christmas Tree upstairs for assembly.

Yes, we are officially in Christmas mode here at the Playground!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I am sooooo ashamed!

Imagine wife.imp suggested that she would not mind a snack (late nite) and continues to ponder the subject, finally deciding on popcorn. Even though I was not (apparently) one of the snack items considered, I trotted out to la cocina and tossed a packet of popcorn in the microwave.

Ok, I need to digress here. Yes, I have been cooking since the tender age of 12. I started cooking popcorn in a pot on the stove. I do know what a microwave is....

I knew I was in trouble when:
1- after starting the microwave I started pouring soda in a glass and decided I need not rush the process as the timer was still showing 61/2 minutes.

2- I finished pouring the soda and realized there was less noise in the kitchen than what one usually associates with popcorn popping.

3- After the timer beeped and there were no sounds, no smells of cooked or burnt corn kernels, I realized what happened. Instead of pressing the 'popcorn' preset button on the blamed machine, I actually told it to defrost 11/2 pounds of ground beef!!

I believe this actually ties (for total amount of stupidity) the time (I was 14) when I was making a Lemon Meringue pie from scratch and discovered we did not have one graham cracker in the house. However we did have a full, unopened box of Ritz All-Purpose Crackers...

So what are your food faux pas?

Monday, November 27, 2006



Ok, around 8:10 tonight I flipped the t.v. off of the Disney Channel (it was bathtime for the imps. It was almost bedtime for the imps. I had to finish assembling our Christmas Tree).

To make my case, 'That's So Raven' was over. A new show was juuuust beginning to start and Monday Night Football was also starting:

boy.imp: Santa! (whiny voice that fully registers both his anger and sadness as only a three -year-old can) I want Santa! (brief pause as he glares directly at me) Bad Daddy! Bad Daddy! You put football on!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Time-Hasteners - Take Two

As we are embarking on the current version of the the holiday blues (you know who you are: In-Laws planning on stopping by , Kids are home ALL DAY from school, work is a bear; no more holiday days or sick days, and right now where is all that Darn Snow??

So, because Time is ever moving (no matter how slow), I am proffering items 12-10 on my list of daily interludes:

12: - This baby has been around for years! It has been an Uban Legend. It might very well (and probably is) be fake. But funny is as funny does!

11: - ok, ok you look at this and say 'Whahuh?' But think about it! Stickmen bearing weapons! Ok, it's a bow, but still...

10: - ok, this is officially a trend. But let's take away the bow and update the weapons!


oh, you're welcome!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Since My Birthday is Sunday and we ARE in the Midst of the Holiday Season...

... AND we are at the start of a long stretch of the looooong holiday season when those of are still fully involved in the grinding, soul-wearying, endlessly gray, mind-numbing, work-filled days, want nothing better than a brief respite, a smile, a chuckle, nay--mayhaps a hearty guffaw!

So, since I no longer fight the Man for table-leavings and scraps (eg: a salary) I am going to list 15 of my past and present 'Time Hasteners'.

15) Trogdor the Burninator - - I have never met Strongbad, but color me a fan for this animation alone. Oh, and turn the sound down!!

14) Pendulumeca - - It is almost criminal the way you can have so much fun with just the one mouse button.

13) The Hamster or Frog from Turn the volume down and remember (Diane this one is for you) You can envision the most annoying imp.worker in you department in these situations!!)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

My Apologies to Radioactive Girl. The Picture of the Turkey was Great! The Bird looked perfect! Well almost perfect, since it had a name and all...

I felt it needed a personality...

Lunch Out

Ok, I have been invited to lunch with the wife.imp and her co-workers!
Yes, the Trophy Husband is going on display for the holidays!!

I must keep this short so that I can get out the power washer and scrape of the grime and grit built up over the last....oh, 30 odd years!! LOL

Then I will have to go do some shopping. Some for me, some for the holidays!

Being the 'Kept Man' might have its advantages!

anyone know what time Oprah is on?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ailing Imps, Bloody Murder in the Shower, Imps Butt Heads, Mama Loves Snoopy Doo

Ok, now that you know the topics and their order:

1) Boy.Imp woke this a.m. and informed me "I don't feel like my usual self."
--Ok. Boy.Imp usually tears through the house until we rope his hands and feet together and plop him in the car, only cutting him loose upon arrival at the Imp-Sitter's house.

So we take his temp. Very close to normal. Into the car....

P.M. temperature is a different story. I admit that I made a mistake and gave him his medicine too early. He is now feeling fine and making up for lost time!!

2) Girl.Imp goes into the shower and within moments is screaming bloody murder. Ok, she is only screaming about her bloody toe. Apparently she dropped a bottle of shampoo on her toe and split it open.

However thanks to quick application of a cleansing solution she forgot about the pain from the blow to her toe and started to blow on her toe to relieve it of the sting of the cleanser.


3) Things got better until boy.imp wanted to see what the fuss was about and crouched down to get a closer look at girl.imp's toe. But, boys being boys, no more blood was gushing out of said wound and he got bored and stood up. However at this exact moment, girl.imp was bending over to point out what will soon be referred to as her 'Shower Scar'.

4) The premier broadcast of the brand-new Charlie Brown was on and wife.imp was in the midst of expressing her surprise:
w.imp: This is brand new. You missed it but earlier Scooby Doo was on a surfboard and ramping off of one of those half-pipes...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

You realize that you are still a parent when the biggest proclamation of the night is not 'OSU 42 - the men with the Ugly hats 39'

Yes, the Buckeyes (coincedentally our alma mater) is one win away from regaining the national title.

We beat UofM!

We have the potential Heisman winner as quarterback for our team!

One would think that I would be deliriously happy right now. However, boy.imp managed to Harsh my High:

Picture the Scene: On t.v. is the subway commercial where the 'Thin Jared' is wrestling the 'Fat Jared'. boy.imp wanders into the room (filled with my relatives and friends of the family))

boy.imp: It's Daddy!! (pointing at the 'Fat Jared' who is being tossed out of the wrestling ring)

Happy Holidays!

While you are eating your pumpkin pies, pumpkin rolls, and other assorted goodies, please feel free to spare a kind thought for me and my celery and rice cakes...

photo from website:*N5MLy3wo5CvLBPkQJKov4xQp5Fd3Ig=/large/membertag/ohio%20state

Thursday, November 16, 2006

As Heard At Bath Time:

me: ...what's taking you so long?
girl.imp: I'm trying to take off this band-aid.
me: Come here. I'll do it.
g.imp: Will it hurt?
me: It will sting, but not for long.
g.imp: Mommy!
wife.imp: Yes, honey?
g.imp: I want YOU to take this off for me!
wife.imp: Ok. Why me? Why can't your daddy...?
g.imp: He said it will sting. I want you to do it so that it doesn't hurt.
wife.imp: Ok. Stand still (grips one end of band-aid and jerks...)
g.imp: OW!
wife.imp: whoops. It only came half way off. (TUG!)
g.imp: OW!
wife.imp: (TUG!)
g.imp: OW!

g.imp: OW!

me: Here let me do it. (tugtugtug)
me: (TUG!!)
g.imp: OWWWWW!!
me: Ok, go get in the shower now!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Out of the Mouths of Imps

girl.imp: Daddy?
me: hmmm
girl.imp: Daddy, you need to excercise
me: (what??) I do?
girl.imp: yes, you do.
me: why?
girl.imp: because you are starting to look like grandpa!
me: Oh, in what way?
girl.imp: in the belly! You really need to get on the treadmill. You have not been on it in ages.
me: well, I hurt my foot...
girl.imp: but you really really need to start using it again...

Now that I am thoroughly depressed....Bring on the Holidays!!

picture borrowed from The Santa Claus Magic Picture Photo Album (

Monday, November 13, 2006

It Is a New Week and What Shall I Do with My Time?

Well today wife.imp took off for a day trip to NJ. So I continued the streak and got the imps up and out the door EARLY!!

On my way to drop girl.imp off at her school I noticed a disturbing trend occurring with my neighbors' yards. No I am not talking about the alarming number of outdoor Christmas decors popping up like winter mushrooms. However, might I remind you folks of a little known holiday we used to observe here in the mid-west?


Anywho, the problem was that the yards were neat, green and utterly leafless. I gave this long and careful consideration while travelling the byroads back to the manse. I might have a few leaves littering my yard. But are they enough to warrant spending the day in the yard???

The Backyard

The Deck

The Front Yard

Thursday, November 09, 2006

So This Week Is Almost Over and 'Normalcy' Shall Return

Playground Events:
For the 4th straight day - Up Early!!

(However I did cheat and send boy.imp to the sitter's in his PJs. But she likes kids. She likes my kids. She likes to pamper and spoil my kids. She did not mind at all that he came in his PJs. I did include a change of clothes for him tho. IN FACT, this worked out so well, I have him dressed in his sweat pants for tomorrow morning!)

For Boy.Imp's birthday, I broke my 'TIP REDUCTION' calculator:

Yes, even though service was 'slower than molasses', I relented on my tip reduction principles.

I believe it was because the server actually was somewhat pro-active in her approach. Perhaps she was the only one...She called the manager over and explained the dilemma: 'the imps had been sittingfor over 45 minutes, hungry and mostly well-behaved with no sign of his corndogs or her grilled cheese (I had a fajita).'

So what does the cheapass manager offer? He was going to keep charging full price and comp our desserts! Hell, I had all but written dessert off! I still had homework to review, baths etc... waiting for us at home!

I did manage to remain polite. I was afraid to speak, but I did keep my hands on the table at all times. The food eventually appeared and the imps ate. We then took our free desserts to go. However I did leave a nice tip for the server. (Yes dear, I was thinking of you here as I know that this was a special evening and we should spread the love...).

So we get home and NEITHER imp wants to finish the dessert!!! (Honey, it is all yours when you get home!)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Now that we have reached Hump Day...

Events concerning the Playground (Tuesday):

The imps were up and out the door EARLY (see that honey? Early! Am I gloating? Yes! Why? Because that makes TWO days in a row! Yeah Baby!)

Of course wife.imp will take one look at the inside of the house and ask, 'So what was the point? The house is a mess. If you got the imps out as early as you claimed, why is not our humble abode...well...tidy?'

I, of course, will stare at the tops of my feet, mumble something about rain and parades and point out that I did at least take out the trash.

However this is a bridge that need not be crossed until -- later.

Today's News:
Did I say 'two days in a row?' Silly me. Three days in a row baby!! Who rocks? I do!! LOL

However it is a good thing that I browbeat girl.imp into opening her eyes (this girl must have had gene grafts taken from my younger brother. Both she and he could sleep through fires, floods, tornado, hurricane and the larger part of any day.) So I have resorted to the final measure. One that was used so effectively on us, when we were tiny.

After shaking, calling, pulling, rolling girl.imp until my voice goes hoarse, I fill a small tub of ice water and ...

Yesterday and Today she got out of bed without my needing to resort to the 'Early Morning Shower.'

This allowed me to get out of the door, cruise down the street and make a wrong turn in the a.m. rush hour traffic. After turning around and going all the way across town (small towns do have this charm), I dropped g.imp off at school with minutes to spare.

But my big accomplishment was not this. No. Today I corrected a problem that has been nagging the back of my mind ever since the elder sib and his wife stayed with us for our youngest sister's wedding last month.

I made the error of leaving them at home with a DVD playing. It seems they became somewhat disoriented and confused while trying to manipulate the 6 remotes that we use for our entertainment needs. I find no difficulty in managing the remotes. Drop them in a bucket in the dark and I will find the exact one needed for any task. But since ES and Wife suffered for 4 hours without anything to occupy their time (ahem--at least nothing needing further investigation..?), I have felt the need to condense.

The old remotes were not sufficient to universally adapt to all the electronics. So I, today, purchased a 7th remote. Yes, I added one more to the pile (and then threw the pile away). Yes this last remote, all by its lonesome runs every electronic item in the house. And since they are all piled in the corner of the family room, it is quite convenient!

OH! And today is boy. imp’s 3rd birthday. I bought him a remote controlled car. (sorry honey, but you are in Zurich and I am here. LOL!! I cannot wait to try out.....I cannot wait for b.imp to try out his new present!)

Let us look at Tuesday's results:
Events outside of the Playground:

Ohio voted against using Sin Taxes to 'pay' for college tuitions! I guess this finally shows the 'big city mucky-mucks' that we actually do wear more than suspenders and 'chaw on tobaccy out here in the hinterlands!

To date: Gamblers - 0 ; Voters - 3

Smokers - No love given - yet again.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Something Humorous for Mother of 2

As we all know, I foolishly made a boast and of course made an even bigger mistake of forgetting this incident in rushing pell-mell to make this boast.

Yes, we here at the Playground are finding ourselves in the uncomfortable and rare occasion of having to admit our fallibility.

What, you might ask, what prompts this astounding admission? Weeell, it all began with my preparations for wife.imp's departure. I knew that with her gone, I would have to have a menu for the week. So, I decided on a pot roast on Sunday.

I do pot roasts very well. In fact, my pot roasts are only bested by my 'world-famous' sausage stuffing. So, now that we have established that this 'goof' is food related and that I cook a mean roast, what was the problem?

I blame the garlic.

Yes, I love me some garlic. Garlic, pepper and onions. If ever a seasoning was a divine gift to humanity, Garlic was the gift. If you have not noticed garlic has a strong presence. It does not merely announce itself, it demands an accounting.

So, after infusing (yes, I said infusing, get over it!) the roast with this divine presence, I loaded up the slow cooker and wandered out of the room, certain that the week was kicked off in the proper manner. With Good Food!

In my defense, the power cord from the slow cooker is white. So is the cord from our rice cooker. So, after lovingly (yes, I said lovingly, get over it!) preparing the roast and plugging in the rice cooker, I went back to puttering around the house.

Now, one might ask, 'Did he not notice the food was not cooking? Did he not realize that the imps did not prefer raw meat at dinner?'

Well, yes, I knew this. However the scent of garlic followed me throughout the house and at times seemed to grow stronger. Hence, I believed the roast was cooking and that we would be eating on schedule!

Imagine my surprise/chagrin when I went to test the meat/veggies and found everything sitting uncooked, warmed merely to room temperature.

So, what meal did the imps start the week off with?

Nutella and Jam, followed with 'Cookies and Cream' ice-cream.


photo cribbed from ''

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Well she has gone...

Yes, wife.imp has left for Zurich and a week full of work in the Swiss Alps. Most people would be green with envy.

But let me tell you, my e-maginary friends, a week full of non-stop work, INSIDE, even in the alps does not bring the joy people might assume.

So we leave her at the airport and as they commence boarding in preparation of the WAIT before the pre-flight check, prior to storing the luggage, before fueling the engines, as they commence the operations to begin moving the airplane onto the flight deck in order to wait their turn to take off, wife.imp calls for one last check. A brief conversation ensues then I hand the phone to girl.imp:

g.imp: yes, uhuh, yes, I love you, uhuh, yes, I know, 'Don't do DRAMA to daddy.'...

Talk about CUTE!!

Oh, elder sib also got his 1st deer ever during the last hour of the last day of his hunting trip. Dad told me it looks rather more like a large dog (meaning tiny tiny deer). But it qualified!

Friday, November 03, 2006

The FEVER has visited

What fever you might ask?
Am I one of those horribly clueless parents that is here to brag about how high the fever was? Do I revel so much in the suffering of others that I am willing to poke fun of the imps illness?

Of course not!

Here at the Playground we feel the imps are the center of our universe, to be cherished and loved unconditionally.

However, while we might love and cherish other family members, Playground rules do allow us the occasional chuckle as said family members' misfortune.

Deer Season Is In Full Swing

Now I am not a hunter. Not that I am opposed to the wholesale slaughter of the adult Bambi's roaming throughout our great State. After all, I saw how reducing the kill limits led to starvation and disease that also decimated that population.

So now that I have moved the soapbox onto a pedestal, let's digress and discuss my elder sib's infatuation with 'The Hunt'.

ES.imp has been an avid bowhunter for upwards of 10 years. To date, he has lost 5-8 arrows and made 0 kills. However, this week he came OH SO CLOSE!

Picture sitting for two days in freezing temperatures with body-numbing, cold rain pounding on you as you sit, perched 14 feet in the air on a 3'x4' metal platform. At some point during these 48 hours you might start to question your verve, your desire, your need to chase the thrill. That tiny platform and the nerve-numbing water pellets that ceaselessly beat at your will, sapping your desire, stealing your warmth and then you see it!

Without the slightest whisper it appears. A large buck, the object of your dreams your fantasies, the reason you left the missus alone in her bed three States away, strolls calmly out of the underbrush. NOT.50.FEET.AWAY.

And he does not scent you. In fact, he continues to approach, only to pause when within 15-20 paces. He then then turns sideways, presenting the PERFECT target. Only then, at the moment the arrow is raised...


Yes, ES.imp was struck with the FEVER. He found it impossible to do more than hold the bow and arrow in the air and breath helplessly at his prey.

Then the Buck moved on and action returned to ES.sib's limbs.

There is always next year...

(I have been informed that there is no 'next year' for me tho'. I am reliably informed that my $$ will be spent on skiing equipment. Any deer hunting I do, shall be done with the front end of my vehicle...)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Long Time No See...

Sometimes this is what I feel when I get home from work and find everyone in bed or going to bed (and recently...Running around avoiding bed with all their power...)

So to catch you up on recent events...Pictures from my sister's wedding (girl.imp was the flower girl) Not Happening!! You might recall that we (I) forgot to pack the camera so we (I) am relying on my relatives to bail me out and forward some pictures...

Not for one minute have I allowed myself to believe that wife.imp has forgotten about her lack of photographic joy from this event!!

Now going backwards in time:

Boy.Imp has become somewhat temperamental recently. More often than not he will go immediately to whining and pouting rather thank ask for something first. So one morning I had an early appointment and took girl.imp to school. Wife.Imp was left with taking b.imp to the babysitters.

b.imp: (clutching the front door with both hands and shrieking, not screaming, shrieking) I don't want to go! I want to eat breakfast! I don't want to go! I want to eat breakfast!


Unfortunately for wife.imp, she was late for work, the day was warm, and our neighbors that do not cow-tow to the 9-5 daily lie, were puttering in their yards and privately marking our house as the one to caution their imps against going too near. I am still awaiting the preliminary visit from Children Services.

HALLOWEEN has come and gone. It was rainy and wet and cold and I got to stay home! LOL

Wife.Imp prefers to wander the darkened streets in her costume rather than stay home and greeting visitors...(not that I am implying in any way that wife.imp is a closeted street walker/worker. Nosiree, that would be -- wrong. ).

Here are some pictures of the Imps In Costume: