Blue finger

You know, it’s Halloween and all. My kids are always into doing new art projects and what have you. So this evening we made some stuff out of our lil’ batch of homemade play dough (can you even call it play dough if it’s homemade?). I rolled something that was starting to be the thigh of a full body but I thought, in the end, it looked more like a finger. So I made a finger and the kids had a love/hate relationship with it because, on one hand (no pun intended), they thought it was very realistic; on the other hand they were sort of grossed out by how real it looked.


So now we’re drying it out and using it as an ongoing Halloween decoration. Here’s to grossing your kids out on this Hallowed Holiday. Cheers!

A tank in the city!

Yesterday Oliver had a friend from school over to play at the house and, of course, he ran outside to turn the world upside while he played. I often find him out, when a friend is over, getting into stuff he really shouldn’t be. I think he just gets excited and conveniently forgets that we have rules.

He’s a really creative kid so I’m riding the line between, “You can’t do that! People don’t like it when you pilfer through their garbage and use it to make a robot”, and “Ok fine….make your robot from trash. Just wash your hands when you’re done!”.

Yesterday I came outside to find that he had turned the neighbor’s rubbish bin on it’s side, taped his Stomp Rocket to it and turned the whole piece into a tank. Here’s my world with this kid who always sees things in a different way.

PS- No wild pit bulls were harmed in the making of this tank and this tank does not contain trans fats. The tank even rolls!

Notice the firing of the rocket.


I guess it’s fitting that the spiders are everywhere considering it’s Halloween time.  Now that I’m taking the tomatoes into the house (not the whole plant, just the actual fruit) in preparation for the frost that’s coming, I’m having to fight off fat-bodied spiders that are webbing their world all over my garden. I’ll reach my hand into the plant to grab a few ripe tomatoes and, yuck, I’m ripping through a sticky web. They are everywhere! I seem to remember, way back when I use to live here, that this is the time of year when the spiders come out of the cold and into your house. Good times!


I really hate spiders. Some people dislike snakes but I friggin’ hate (exclamation point) spiders. When I lived in Hawaii I could handle the cockroaches that were big enough to skateboard on but the cane spiders caused me to stop in a panic filled silence. I still start to itch just thinking of those large, hairy bodies that dart and weave in anticipation of your every move.



A few weeks ago I was sitting on the computer in the living room, after the kids had gone to bed, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a large object moving towards the couch. When I looked over, I froze and gasped. It was a spider the size of a small poodle that was so large it created a shadow. I didn’t know what to do but I couldn’t imagine  sharing a home with this thing. I could just picture it eating the cat food in the middle of the night, moving the refrigerator when it needed to or trying on my bras when I wasn’t home. This thing was HUGE!


I had to get it killed. I looked under the couch and couldn’t find it so I assumed it was hiding UP in the couch. Then I considered myself sitting upon said couch one day and feeling a fuzzy arm reaching out for me, asking if I could pass the encyclopedia Britannica. I just couldn’t bear to share this space with a spider that large.


The determination set in to find this thing and put it out of my misery. I moved the couch, (something I’m sure this spider could have done himself) found the arachnid and splattered it with my flip-flop. Disgusting! I just kept imagining one climbing on my eyes while I slept and it freaked me out. After I killed it I literally jumped up and down and bellowed while shaking my hands. Maybe it was a symbolic act of ‘getting it off of me’ or something.


Now I’m sure there are more in the house somewhere but I’m super thankful that I saw this beast before it killed and ate my cat or something. This is the time of year where I’m sure I’ll see plenty more. I keep seeing small juicy ones in the garden. So goes life in a wet, rainy, lush, temperate climate. Give/take.

Fall Free For All

My kids made this life-like puppet and placed him/her in the living room today. Every time I walk by I gasp, thinking some random hoodlum is sitting in our living room wearing an old school motorbike helmet. It’s the shoes that are doing me in every time. It actually looks like there’s a small, deformed man with no arms hanging out on the couch.


They made this because we went to the Fall Free For All arts festival downtown and the kids saw giant puppets that were dressed like a bad nightmare complete with stilts and strange masks. It was a lot of fun and even the breast cancer walk was there handing out free chowder and yogurt. Once they left though the population dropped to about 3/4 of what it was (sigh). We did stay to watch the flea circus but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t really hard to see. Go figure.

Happy hour

Tonight we hit the town for a happy hour menu at one of our downtown spots. It’s similar to the drink menu but rather they have meals for about half the price. Restaurants all over our state do it and it’s rad!

It’s Friday so I was looking forward to Matt getting off at a reasonable hour and hitting the local hipster pub and wood-fire pizzeria with the family. You can get $5 wood-fire pizzas and the kids get free drinks. They even thought of families and have little games that kids can play while they are bored waiting for the food to come. But the wait was too long at the pizzeria so we had to high tale it to the “Irish” pub that serves $2 sliders (please tell me that doesn’t mean what I think it means), fish and chips and everything thing else deep-fried that makes your aorta clog while you sit and listen to Irish drinking songs by Paddy.

So I got my happy hour order of fish and chips and let me put the emphasis on the singular form of the word fish in this instance. I had one piece of fish the size of a free range egg that was huddled next to my overflowing basket of chips. I basically got an order of CHIPS with side order of fish. It was less than delightful to pay what we payed for more fried potatoes than you could shake a leprechaun at but I think we just needed to do that. We’ve not had a family outing in a while.

I can say it was great to be downtown with the family, seeing the trams go by and watching people pass on their way home from work. When I left Tacoma, over a decade ago, there was NOTHING downtown to do in the evening. Everything shut down at 5pm. It’s developed massively since I left and it actually feels like a city.

We ate our overpriced, happy hour meal (more like a happy meal, minus the cool toy and fun box to draw on), wiped our mouths clean of the grease and headed home. All the while I kept thinking what life would have been like at The Hub where a wood fire pizza would have brought joy to one and all. I complained only 3/4 way to our parked van, all while Matt graciously grinned and listened to my rant about fine dining. I obviously don’t transition well. I had my heart set on the Hub but our plans were foiled by long lines at the hipster hotspot. It’s not only my nearly seven-year old son who gets an idea in his head and can’t let go if he doesn’t get what he wants.

I enjoyed our family date night, even if my heart bellyache about sliders that are working their way through my kids as I write this; even if I feel myself developing food born ailments due to the lack of any sort of nutritional value that may or may not have been consumed tonight. It was yet a grand night out on the town. I’m stoked that we live in Tacoma. FYI, avoid the happy hour at the Irish pub downtown. Head to the Hub if you can!

She’s five

We took her for a donut and the local LeDonut, then out to a special toy store to pick out her toy. When her and Matt went out for a donut I decorated the house with balloons and pink crepe paper so when she walked in and saw the house, she gasped. Not hard to please and surprise this one! Next we picked blackberries from the bush outside to make the frosting for her cake. Her Tinkerbell candle for the cake was played with so much that her head fell off. I tried to solder it back on with hot wax but Tink ended up looking like a Mattel burn victim in the end. Yet that Disney character WILL sit at the top of a lemon blackberry cake by birthday time!


All day long Chloe kept saying, “You know, it’s my birthday today?” like we were forgetting or something. When our family came to sing, eat and play she opened the door and directed her guests to the designated present placing spot, which was picked out early that day. “Mama, the gifts will all go here.” and she would point to spot on the floor where she would collect and stack the loot.


When her guests arrived we all looked at old photos of her from the past four years. I told her a few stories about what she was like as a baby (which is always hard for a kid to understand; they were a baby once). Once her gifts were opened Oliver said, “Is that all she gets?” (hush, boy!) and then she spent the last half of the evening playing in her own imagination in the living room while the adults did boring stuff like sit at the table and talk.


She’s just dreamy, if I do say so. What a delightful little girl with a delightful little voice; charming, playful, sometimes shy and very imaginative. She can still entertain herself for hours by playing with small toys. Happy birthday, darling. I think the world of you and I love you heaps!