And now, a book review.

The girls and I love to go to the library.  I get and audiobook or two for me and heaps of children’s books, treat even though we have heaps of them at home.  I have every intention of turning my children into bookworms.  I believe I’m succeeding so far because they’d rather be read to than just about anything (except maybe take a bath – now that the weather’s warmed up they can use the tub again).  We pick up a variety of books because it’s hard to predict what’s going to tickle the girls’ fancy on a given week.  Recently we’ve found a couple that tickle my fancy as well.

The Cheese” by Margie Palatini is a twisted take on “The Farmer in the Dell.”  We read this one so much that Anna was “reading” it to her sister by reciting it from memory.  Both girls crack up at the phrase “High Ho the dairy-o” now.  The book has caused a running joke in our household; we very sternly inform each other that, no rx “You can’t eat the cheese.  Cheese stands alone.  Everyone knows that.”  Hearing Claire attempt to be stern is extra cute.

Last night we got another whack of books and when I read “pilule ,9780670910588,00.html”>Cowboy and Octopus” by Jon Scieszka I giggled harder than the girls.  I wasn’t surprised to find it was by the same author as “The Stinky Cheese Man” (which we also checked out last month, coincidentally).  Lettuce can’t knock on doors.  An octopus dressed up as the tooth fairy is not scary, it is pretty, according to Anna.

What is the moral of this post?  I like warped children’s books.  My kids like warped children’s books.  An off-kilter sense of humor is hereditary.  Getting to giggle over an octopus being hit on the head with a hammer is one of the perks of parenting.

I actually finished something!

Some time last year (was it summer?) I picked up a china cabinet on Craigslist.  It sat in the garage while it waited patiently for me to spruce it up a bit.  Fortunately china cabients are very patient.

My only regret is that I didn’t get a before picture.  Originally the cabinet was dark walnut colored pine with white ceramic knobs.  I’m normally against painting furniture, esophagitis but this was never heirloom quality and it was darker than I wanted.

I stripped the top of the buffet portion, gonorrhea stained it cherry, and finished with several coats of wipe-on polyurethane and a coat of wax.  I primed the rest of the cabinet with a shellac-based primer, gave it three coats of semi-gloss paint in “linnen,” followed by a light antiquing with a coat of stain, and capped it all off with a coat of wipe-on poly.  The hinges were sprayed with metallic “oiled bronze” paint, and I replaced the knobs.  The final touch was wallpapering the back paneling since I wasn’t going to attempt to get an even paint job on there.  I picked a paper that coordinated with the colors in the room, but looking at the finished cabinet I kind of wish I had picked a black and white pattern.  It’d be easy to repaper if I choose to later.

The end result isn’t perfect, and it isn’t fine furniture, but it looks good in the great room and we’ll finally have a place to put the good dishes (and cram other assorted junk no doubt).  I was thrilled to see that the refinished top matches my piano very well – they look very happy together.  (apparently furniture turns me into Bob Ross)

“I tricked you!”

Organization is not my strong suit, thumb nor are mornings.  To minimalize Monday morning mayhem, I always keep my car keys in my purse, except when I drop them in my coat pockets.  That leaves me only two places to search when they go missing, as they did this morning.  I dug and dug through my purse, growing increasingly frustrated. 

Then I heard the giggle from the breakfast table.

“I tricked you, Mommy!”  said Claire, gleefully.

“Do you know where my keys are?” 

She grinned and nodded.  The grin faded when I demanded she tell me where she put them.  When she figured out I wasn’t as amused by her game, she pouted.  A pouting Claire never talks.  It pouts.  She climbed slowly down from her booster seat, promising to show me where she put them.  Then she stood, pouting, in the middle of the room.  Not showing me a thing. 

Finally she admitted, “I put them in the pocket.” 

“What pocket?”

“The pocket on your purse that closes.”

On the front of my purse is a decorative latched pocket that I don’t use, that I thought was barely big enough for an iPod nano let alone my ring of keys.  It turns out they fit very nicely in there.


My commute is 30 min long, discount so I like to get audiobooks from the library.  This is fabulous because they are free and our library has a broad selection.  If you get a clunker you can send it back guilt free.  I did that with a book about a year ago – I got through most of the first cd and it just wasn’t clicking with me.  I don’t know if it was the story or the reader, something about it got under my skin.

Imagine my surprise on listening to the third book I picked up for this month and realizing I got the same book again.  It took me about 45 minutes to figure this out, which shows how much attention I was paying last time.  I’ve decided to stick it out and listen this time.  I still can’t stomach the gloom in the news, and I abandoned commercial radio years ago. 

My race number and materials arrived yesterday!  I did my first outdoor run of the season, despite being tired, stuffy, and crabby.  I am very proud of me.  While it’s wonderful to finally see some sunshine in Pittsburgh, I’ve been dreading the oncoming nice weather.  Nice weather means outdoor projects, and that means paint.  Lots and lots of paint. 

The last time we bought a house, it needed paint.  I swore that I wouldn’t buy another house until I could afford to pay someone else to paint it.  Not only did I break that vow, I bought a bigger house.  Oh crud.  Maybe I’ll get a tan this year?  House painting tans are only on the back side of one’s body, as the front side is facing the house; kind of like band camp tans (from always marching facing out of the sun).

But enough about me. . . let’s talk about me!

More specifically, case let’s talk about what I’m going to be doing May 10th.

I’ve been thinking about registering for the Race for the Cure for a few weeks.  Mostly I’ve been waiting for someone to talk me out of it.  Instead I keep getting encouragement.  Damn you, implant supportive people!  Today I registered, and which means I’ve got a reason to keep running other than maintaining my girlish figure, avoiding my familial responsibilities for 40 minutes at a time, and getting my money’s worth out of my new sports bra.

I’ve you’d like to be a damned supportive person and you happen to have some spare cash lying around and want to send it to a good cause, I’d be happy to help you rid yourself of it.  Drop me an e-mail or a comment.

Also, if you’re my mother, or any other woman who has been neglecting her regularly scheduled boob smash, consider this your regular nagging.  Go get your mammogram.   Here at Casa Unreserved we take cancer seriously, no matter what type.

. . . and my legs smell bad.

I found the most fabulous little black dress at a *ahem* cut rate fashion liquidator type store.  It’s still available at the original store for five times what I paid for it.  I intend to wear it Easter Sunday (assuming it is no longer snowing – SNOW GO AWAY).

My legs are so pasty white that they might frighten small children.  “Mama!  Mama where are you!?  The lady’s legs!  They blinded me!”  So I busted out the bottle of self tanner.

I’ve tried several brands of self tanner.  I’ve tried foams, store sprays, creams.  I’ve tried the version that is hidden in moisturizer.  While they differ in ease of use without turning me into a new species of orange striped zebra, they share one thing in common.  The active ingredient stinks.  I don’t care how much perfume they put in the product to try to cover it up.  Dihydroxyacetone smells bad and it gets on my nerves.

I’m so glad I have a blog so I can share this with the universe.

I am old.

I joined Facebook.  I was feeling my inner sheep.  Okay, apoplexy I’m nebby and like to stalk people from my past – is there any other reason to join Facebook?

I am old.  The full weight of that has hit me now.  There is a tendency, when losing touch with people, to remember them as you last saw them.  This accounts for the number of double takes when I see relatives that I hadn’t seen for a year and notice that my cousins have sprung up a good six inches in the interim.  This is why your elderly Aunt Edna always has to pinch your cheeks and remark on how you’ve grown.  In Edna’s mind, you’re still twelve.

My brain is still reeling from checking out all sorts of people I haven’t seen for 10-14 years and marvel at how old they’ve all gotten.  They’ve got jobs, and kids, and houses and stuff.

Oh yeah, so do I.  But seeing it in others really drove it home.

So when, exactly, do you feel like a grown-up?  Because I still feel like I’m playing house sometimes, even though we’re on our second house, and we’ve got a second kid, and pets and a mortgage and cars that require inspections and taxes filed and groceries to buy.  Sometimes I suspect I’ll be on my deathbed still waiting for “real” life to begin.  I don’t mean to say that it’s all slipping by while I worry about the minutiae – I am enjoying this ride – it’s just sneaky the way “next year” has a way of turning into “last year.”

Run run run, as fast as you can!

You’d probably catch me, cialis 40mg though.  I only do about 15 minute miles.

As soon as Mr. Unreserved gets back from Home Deposit with a light switch and a bag of concrete, cialis 40mg I’m going downstairs to hit the treadmill.  Having fallen off the running wagon, geriatrician I’m back on and in the middle of week 8 of the C25K plan.

Would you like to know why Mr. Unreserved is buying a light switch?  I’ll tell you anyway.  It’s because there are now wires in our attic that are capable of carrying electricity in an orderly fashion!  This does not thrill people who live in places where flipping switches causes lights to come on, or where plugging in an electrical appliance causes power to flow through it.  At our house, in certain rooms, such concepts were previously unheard of.  I *heart* electricity!  This was made possible by the generous assistance of my brilliant, hard working, and benevolent father.  (who has been known to read this blog, not that I’m sucking up or anything)

I’m not telling you what the concrete is for.

In a completely unrelated note, Claire is running around claiming to be King Louie.  Raising small people often makes me feel like the warden of the looney bin.