Crunchy Thoughts

The thoughts are crunchier here.

February 12, 2019
by Carrie
Comments Off on kitchen complaints, episode fourteen

kitchen complaints, episode fourteen

This dinner is already not going well because Manwich saw fit to make a Bourbon Barbeque version of their Sloppy Joe mix in an uncannily similar package. Why would you do that to me, Manwich?? This exotic flavor is summarily rejected by the kids.

“Oh hey, I forgot to tell you,” I mention to Steven, “over at the four way intersection by the neighborhood there was a state trooper sitting there.”

Steven replies,”Hmm, that’s weird. Do you think it had anything to do with the Murder House?”

*record scratch*

Murder House???

See, a while ago, there was a house close to the neighborhood where a dude was murdered. There were news trucks out there for a few days. At the time when the kids asked about all the news trucks and cop cars, we said someone got hurt but they’re going to be okay. Little white lies, people.

Now we’re back to . . .

“Do you think it had anything to do with the Murder House?”

Steven pauses. I pause. Wait. Maybe it went in one ear and out the other. Maybe Lydia didn’t hear. I look at Steven. He looks at me, deer in the headlights.

I hear a gasp.

“Murder House?!” exclaims Lydia.

Nuts. She heard.

December 25, 2018
by Carrie
Comments Off on christmas eve update

christmas eve update

Times the cat has launched off the tree skirt and irritated Mom: 12

How many ornaments the kids have broken: 1

How many ornaments Mom has broken: 0, ha!

How many cookies Mom has made: 428

How many Godzilla ornaments are on Sam’s tree: 4

How many fully decorated trees are in the house: 4

November 23, 2018
by Carrie
Comments Off on the tree, 2018

the tree, 2018

Last year was the end of the road for our Tree. He was with us for 14 beautiful years.

I am notoriously picky about Christmas trees, so this year we ended up borrowing my dad’s tree. Same height, same width . . . but more branches. I knew this would be an interesting lighting setup this year.

And so, I now present to you The Tree, 2018:

The kids’ trees are in the dining room as usual.

Number of lights on the tree: 3,730! That beats the past record by 750! Of course, different tree, etc.

I’ve got to figure out how to do less lights. It’s getting a little ridiculous.

Times cat has eaten the tree and barfed: 0

Ornaments broken: 1

Trips taken to Lowe’s to buy more lights: 2

Amount of lights purchased: 1,600

Percentage of lights that are LED: 100%!

Cookies Carrie has made: 85


A short epitaph for the original Tree:

“There is no death in dying
There is so much life in life.

“So let this last leaf fall
Let the last bloom dry.
In my dying,
I am more than alive.” —
Ishrath Humairah

November 4, 2018
by Carrie
Comments Off on give me a squeeze

give me a squeeze

This morning I found myself reading up on some blog posts from ten years ago. The ten year anniversary of electing one of the most awesome presidents ever will do that to you.


I came up on this amazing post from December of 2008, which I had totally forgotten about. Ten years ago, Steven and I thought it best to curb our burping and farting around innocent little baby Lydia. So, ten years later, I figure I should give an update on vulgarity around the taco. As a side note, that little taco (though still little) is a whopping ten years old now. Makes her own sandwiches and everything.

We have had a nightly bedtime ritual going on for years now without many changes. First, we have Medicine and Pumpkin, when they take their nightly Zyrtec and then get to pick out a dessert from their Halloween pumpkin, which is an all-year presence in the house. Then it’s Teeth Brushing Time, when whoever is first finishing their Pumpkin runs as fast as they can to the bathroom, while the loser stands outside the bathroom, annoying their sibling and seeing how much they can get away with before getting yelled at for distracting the other.

That’s my least favorite part, by far.

Once teeth are brushed, then it’s time for Hugs and Kisses, then off to bed they go. More or less.

“Now what in the heck does this have to do with vulgarity, Carrie?” I hear you pondering.

Well, as I said, this bedtime ritual has not been changed much . . . except for one recent addition by Sam. Sam likes to hug as hard as he can. And boy I mean HUG AS HARD AS HE CAN. He wraps his arms around your waist and squeezes like a boa constrictor. One time this constriction managed to squeeze out a fart from me, and both kids hit the floor laughing.

So now, each night when Sam is coming up to give me his Hug of Death, he asks me, “Fart?” Then he comes up to hug me, whispering under his breath the whole time, “pleasefartpleasefartpleasefart!”

He has about a 30% success rate.

September 26, 2018
by Carrie
Comments Off on a ten year old bullet

a ten year old bullet

Ten years ago today we were dealing with a constipated cat. Renton eventually gave birth to one of his children at the vet.

Later that night my sister gave birth as well.

Happy Tenth, Elizabeth!

(I stole this pic from Cathy’s Facebook, since I am stranded on vacation without my computer)

September 12, 2018
by Carrie
Comments Off on kitchen complaints, episode thirteen

kitchen complaints, episode thirteen

Last night we had tacos for dinner. Taco Tuesday! Sam began to sing one of his more frequent songs:

“It’s raining tacos! From outta the sky! Tacos! No need to ask why . . . . . Why??”

After the third time through, I hit my daily limit. “Sam, I’m done with that song. Eat your dinner.”


Not five seconds later . . .

“It’s raining tacos! From outta the –”


He immediately looks shocked and exclaims, “Oh, I forgot!” I believe he truly did forget. Time is irrelevant to him.

“Dude, I just said that five seconds ago.”


Two seconds later . . .

“It’s raining –”


August 27, 2018
by Carrie
Comments Off on kitchen complaints, episode twelve

kitchen complaints, episode twelve

Another day, another breakfast. This time Lydia opts to take a shower first, which means they weren’t eating at the same time. Thank goodness for small miracles.

Sam is just finishing breakfast when Lydia makes her way from the shower to the kitchen. A few minutes after he goes into the bathroom to brush his teeth I hear, “Lydia?”

“Lydia’s in the kitchen making breakfast, honey,” I reply. “What do you need?”

Sam steps out of the bathroom and says in a very serious voice, “Umm, I need to have a little talk with Lydia.”

This should be interesting. “Well, she’s in the kitchen.”

Sam makes his way back into the kitchen. “Umm, Lydia? You made a bit of a water mess in the bathroom and I had to clean it up.”

Oh man, how is Lydia going to take that? I glance at her face, expecting to see The Glare, but instead she looks surprised, and even a bit guilty.

“Ohh, I’m sorry!” she squeaks. “That was from my feet when I got out of the shower.” Wow! Looks like we’re going to get the Polite Kids today! And on a Monday, too!

Sam still wanted to finish his point. “Well, I had to clean it up.”

“I’m sorry,” she apologizes again.

Sam, expecting Lydia to have said ‘thank you,’ quickly replies, “You’re welcome.” Then a beat. “Wait . . .”

Both kids hit the floor laughing.

August 8, 2018
by Carrie
Comments Off on no vacation goes unpunished, II; a.k.a. the week of fixing

no vacation goes unpunished, II; a.k.a. the week of fixing

Hey, remember that time we tried to go on vacation and there was a perfect storm of sickness, busted air conditioners, and dumbass doctors? Yeah. Good times.

Since then we have had many successful vacations with the only running curse being of the Celebrity Death variety. Sorry, Carrie Fisher.

So, when Steven and I decided to take a little mini vacation this past weekend, it was just that: a little mini vacation. Easy to organize; easy to implement, and by Saturday we were back in town and fetching the kids — success!

The End.



On Sunday morning Steven was washing some dishes, then he came into the bathroom and began running the shower. He answered my inquisitive look with, “The water is warm, but not hot . . . I wonder if it just needs time to get back up through the pipes.”

“Is the pilot light lit?” I asked. Our hot water heater is gas-powered, and it’s always made me a bit anxious, knowing there is a little gas flame both in the basement (water heater) and the attic (regular ol’ air heater).

A quick excursion downstairs showed the pilot light was indeed not lit, nor could Steven get it to relight. This led him to the gas meter outside, where ever so slightly we could smell a bit of gas.

So . . . we called the Utility Company Formerly Known As Alagasco, who promptly came out, tightened the small leak, but found the gas is going to the water heater just fine. The water heater was a separate issue.

The rest of the afternoon was spent on research: why it wasn’t working (probably the whole burner assembly and thermocouple), should we replace just that and hope it fixes the problem ($200) versus an entirely new heater (~$600 and up; more with install), how much longer a 12 year old heater can last (not much longer), and self-install versus hiring a company (we’re handy, but are we natural-gas-appliance-installation handy?). By the afternoon we were in the replace-the-whole-heater camp, and we began the process of getting a new heater installed through Lowe’s. Money was paid; we are ready to go!

What a Sunday.

That evening we had a lovely dinner of pork tenderloin and roasted vegetables . . . even though the oven warmed up the house pretty good (“It’s hot in here!” Lydia exclaimed. “Go take a cold shower then,” Steven retorted). We ended the day watching an episode of The Last Kingdom downstairs.

Well, at least I was watching it. Unbeknownst to me, Steven wasn’t paying attention; he kept checking his phone.

He was checking the Nest app . . . watching the temperature in the house climb.

After the show was over Steven finally fessed up to what was going on: the house was at 83 degrees.

Ho. Lee. Shit.

After that, I’m sure I was a most unhelpful wife, roaming around the house while constantly muttering, “I am going to lose my mind,” in between some choice curse words. Steven is better under stressful situations and by 10 p.m. he had the problem diagnosed: a bad capacitor, just a $25 part and easy to fix.

It was a long hot night, but by 7:30 the next morning Steven was in Pelham buying the first capacitor he could find, and within the next hour the air conditioner was fixed!

One problem down; one to go. It was now Monday, we had air conditioning (yay!), and now we just needed to add hot water.

But then . . . my email program started acting up, so a fair portion of that day was spent on computer troubleshooting and talking with their support team. One more thing to fix — add it to the pile.

Monday came and went, but no call from the Lowe’s contractor.

Tuesday came and my email was beginning to behave, but then a weird issue came up with my iCloud account. Once again I was computer troubleshooting. I even ended up on the phone with Apple Support before I was able to resolve that issue.

But still no call from the contractors.

By lunch I was back on the phone with Lowe’s, who had REASONS . . . and so we waited.

Later on Tuesday afternoon I finally get that blessed call from the contractor, only to hear: “Yes, we can be there Friday to evaluate the water heater.” Thus began a great phone conversation between me, Steven, their scheduler, and the owner of the company. We all eventually agreed to blame Lowe’s, but we were still looking at Friday at the EARLIEST for an install.

Meanwhile, Steven and I were learning the Art of the Cold Shower. The kids were surviving on a mix of boiled and cold bath water. At times I have felt like I’ve been mixing a witches’ brew.

Wednesday morning the contractors were on schedule to come by and evaluate the install job. Around breakfast Lydia comes up to me: “Mom, something is up with my phone. I kinda changed my password then I forgot what it was, and now my thumbprint won’t work or anything.”

She then hands me her completely disabled iPhone. Add it on the pile.

By mid-morining the installers were here and having a look at the water heater. The dude says everything looks good, should be an easy install, but the next step in the process is they have to submit changes to Lowe’s, then we have to approve those changes in cost, then we can schedule the install.

At 3:30 p.m. I get the call from Lowe’s: the apparently easy install still required a 25% increase in price, and I AM DONE WITH THIS.

By 4:00 p.m. we had cancelled all of the Lowe’s horseshit and found a different installer who, though the price was still higher than Lowe’s original (and complete bull) quote, could install a new water heater on Thursday morning.

Then I was tackling Lydia’s phone, which now required a hard reset and restore. Apple’s logic is something else, man: “Type in your password wrong six times? RESET ALL THE THINGS.” At one point I was again on the phone with Apple Support because neither my nor Steven’s computer was seeing her phone at all . . . and it turned out to be a bad charger cord. That was embarrassing.

Well, that pretty much bring us up to speed. Lydia’s phone is now fixed (“You’re the bestest, most awesomest mom ever!”), and the running theory is we will have a water heater installed by lunchtime tomorrow.

The . . . End?

July 8, 2018
by Carrie
Comments Off on dewey is a great organizer

dewey is a great organizer

My books are all carefully arranged via the Dewey Decimal System (heavy on the history and life sciences):

. . . and then there’s Steven’s Computer Languages section (just heavy):