Thursday, July 22, 2010

Johnson's Law

"Anything that can go wrong will go wrong all at once."

I don't mean to complain, but....

In retaliation for all the time, money and attention we've been lavishing on our plumbing lately the upstairs a/c unit crapped out this afternoon. Good thing it's only 97 today and not 100! (Trying hard to be optimistic here folks.) We haven't needed a/c service in forever... Mr. J usually takes care of minor emergencies (ie clearing clogged drain pipes on the a/c unit) but he's out of town until late tonight. So luckily I got someone to agree to come out tonight... the first place I called couldn't make it until MONDAY morning. I know it's your busy season and all... but COME ON. Monday? Really?

Note to future self: Add "updated plumbing, electrical and a/c" to my list of requirements if we ever move again.


I love my Apple wireless mouse. Except it EATS batteries.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

If I had a million dollars....

I would so totally redecorate. Ok, maybe not everything, but almost. Like 93% of the house. The rugs. The upstairs curtains. Every blessed thing in our bedroom. The dining room*. I'd replace the horrible ceiling fans and definitely the "period" light fixtures in the dining room. I'd repaint. Redo floors. New kitchen. New indirect overhead lighting. Retile bathrooms. Oh, and I'd DEFINITELY put in a pool and nuke the entire garden. I'd keep the new downstairs curtains, the cute black demilune in the living room, the porch furniture, the awesome gas grill, the dining room rug, the kids' bedroom/playroom furniture and the TV/media console. I'd probably keep my new little front window sofa, but only because it is so cute and comfy and I fit perfectly on it when I want to lie down for 5 minutes.

And I'd buy all new stuff from here.

Check it:

Sideboards (see above, for office, and below, for dining room)

New dining room chairs
Office desk

King size, please

Cabinet for dining room

Dining room table

See their site for more drool-worthy goods.

* Well, maybe our current dining room might stay. It is very pretty and I still like the "British Colonial" look, but I think it worked a lot better in our old bungalow (which was a very feminine house) vs. our prairie style home (which has lots of horizontal lines and is sort of a masculine house). Does that make any sense or am I just overtired?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Picture this

We are the most incredibly lame picture taking family in America. Not for lack of equipment, mind you. Our phones may be pure 90s, but we both have digital cameras and Mr. J has a very expensive Sony digital video camera that got stuck on an undesirable setting about 4 years ago and hasn't been used since. He refuses to refer to the manual for such things preferring to believe, I believe, that things will eventually work themselves out. I'm still waiting. Meanwhile, in this digital age, our youngest child goes sadly unvideoed. He might as well have been born in 1906, not 2006.

Anyway, the main reason we have so few photos of trips and events and stuff is because we're the kind of people that forget to bring our camera to events. Actually, that's just me. Mr. J will bring his camera, but after snapping 3 or 4 "candid" pictures of the kids -- and by candid I mean he yells at them to smile for about 5 minutes while he sets his exposure, light meter, focusing lensy thingys and then gets frustrated and angry when they forget what they're doing and move at the very second before he snaps the shot -- he finds an interesting leaf or flower or fungi or insect and then will take 344 pictures of that. And while I love his artistic vision and all, I really don't want 344 identical pictures of a pale purple coneflower taking up valuable space on my hard drive. Which is OK because he hardly ever downloads pictures anyway.

Then there's the fact that often we're not doing anything worth photographing, even while we're in some of the most beautiful and interesting places on Earth. We're not big on crowds and we loathe lines, so quite often our idea of sightseeing is to linger in outdoor cafes drinking beers and Fantas. Or walking around, semi-lost. We take pictures of doors and chairs and leaves and almost everything but ourselves. If you don't believe me I'll show you the pictures from our week in Aruba. Pictures of the wild Aruban landscape? Beautiful secluded beaches? Interesting early Dutch architecture? Aloe farms? Forget it. We've got 4 sunset shots, 2 of palm trees, 1 of a boat and about 165 of an iguana savaging a box lunch under a beach chair.

We do have some good shots from our recent road trip - we actually went to places like The Georgia Aquarium, World of Coke, St. Louis Arch and Mr. J has many of his canoe trip in the Ozarks and of the beautiful Kansas prairie. (Many of which you'll just have to imagine for yourself because he will NEVER EVER EVER get around to downloading them to the computer.) But, like I said, I'm not much with the camera and as a result, from an 18 day road trip, I only have about 45 pictures. Here are two of my favorites:

At the Georgia Aquarium with my BFF Lisa and her eldest son (my godson). Note my brilliant job catching everyone looking in different directions. Skillz!

Here are the kids & Mr. J at the Union Station Marriott in St. Louis. My mom remembers taking the train out of Union Station when she attended college in St. Louis, so I thought there was a certain serendipity to us staying there. It was very, very beautiful and the Marriott people managed to keep the grand architecture and interior artistic details intact. Pictures? Oops. Sorry, no. You'll just have to believe me.

Friday, July 16, 2010


We've been swimming 'bout every day this week. And no, not in our leaky old house. At real pools with friends and stuff. It's niiiiiiice because it is really, truly, I kid you not too hot to do anything else outside, including weeding my weedy garden of weeds. At least the weeds are green, thus giving the impression, at least from half-a-block away, of a lush expanse of lawn. Up close? Notsomuch.

In other riveting news, I've been round the block with T-Mobile because, while my phone is pure 90s, I don't think my ringtone has to be -- I'm more a classic rock girl (I'm also more of a 80s new wave girl, but I am having a terrible time trying to find "Charlotte Sometimes" by The Cure.) ANYWAY I'm thinking something cool like the gong sound from the beginning of "Hell's Bells" or a snippet from "Over the Hills and Far Away." But it turns out that although T-Mobile SAYS my phone can download ringtones, I have to pay an exorbitant price to them and they still can't guarantee it will work because my phone's browser is old, old, old. It might as well be a Tandy. Time for an upgrade? Eh. Not yet. Guess I'll live with what I've got.

Next week stay tune for the update on Anders' wild Birthday Bash 2010. These 4 year olds are going to throw down!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Ah the lovely sound of a fountain tinkling gently. If only it weren't INSIDE the house.

More after the plumbers come bearing wrenches, pipes and estimates.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

5 years in

I've been keeping this thing running for 5 years! Zowie! And here I thought it was just going to be a temporary journal of our lives in Kosovo, you know, so our family in the States could keep up with us.

Pardon my lack of posting lately. It has been hyper-busy what with our ginormous road trip, homecoming transition issues, Mr. J starting up a law firm and other whatnot.

It has been uber-hot and rainy here and I'm just not in the mood to add one more thing to my plate. I'm already regretting that I laid down the "no-cereal challenge" at the beginning of the summer because, although most breakfast cereals are full of dubious -- albeit delicious -- ingredients and make equally dubious nutrition claims, they are unquestionably convenient. Making your own granola twice a week? Notsomuch. Oh well.

See you over on Facebook.