Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February 4th - I Scream, You Scream...

we all scream for...ICE CREAM! Saturday, February 4th, was Ice Cream For Breakfast Day! We were so excited that this holiday fell on a Saturday so we could hang out and really enjoy this Buehlman family first. We like to introduce good people to each other so why not introduce two of our favorite things to each other?

Eggo, may we introduce you to Edy; Edy please meet our good friend Eggo.

Sweet mother of all things carbohydrate, those are the new Thick 'n Fluffy Eggos and they are fan-freak-a-deak-in-tabulous.

We are quite the matchmakers. This was a marriage made in all-things-delicious heaven...

So good.

As if our day wasn't sweet enough it was also "Thank a Mail Man Day." (Or to be politically correct, "Mail Carrier Day".) Either way, we wanted to thank the lovely men and women who bring bills, junk mail and, most importantly, the sacred Crate and Barrel catalog to our home through rain, sleet and the very rare snow.

I wrote a little card explaining the occasion and we threw in a little sweet treat too (hello! ice cream!). This was so much fun it made me wonder why we waited for a holiday to do it. A thank you and surprise treat for the wonderful service providers in our lives needs to happen more often.

So into the mailbox it went.

We were hoping to do a personal hand-off but we were not sure we would catch our mail carrier; they are tricky like that. We came home from running a quick errand to find this in our mailbox...

Ok, so it's backwards, but you get the drift. A sweet little "thank you" with smiley face. It was so nice. I am definitely feeling more random acts of kindness are needed. Perhaps "365 Random Acts of Kindness" for next year's blog? There aren't enough smiley faces in the world; it's time to do something about that.

February 3rd - Chew On This!

After all the confusion of Groundhog Day, it was nice to have an easy one to celebrate. February the third was Bubble Gum Day.

It seems like it should be pretty easy to celebrate, right? Well, we got off to a slow start thanks to some inferior gum. It is probably a bad sign when you cannot remember how old the gum was. I am fairly certain it is from two baseball seasons ago, though who knows how long it sat on a store shelf before that. It was brutal.

I had a grand vision of a picture of the three of us blowing bubbles the size of our respective heads; it was not meant to be. Spence tried first...

...without much luck. That is as far as he got. So Mark gave it try...

...and that is as far as he got. So we called in the professional...

Then the boys felt left out so they celebrated in their own way...

Did you ever know someone who actually stuck gum behind their ear to keep for future chewing? Did you ever try it? I tried it once when I was about 8 and it got stuck in my hair. It was very traumatic. Just a little cautionary tale on this hallowed holiday. Happy chewing!

Monday, February 27, 2012

February 2nd - Deja Vu All Over Again

I woke up on Thursday, Februay 2nd, feeling like I had seen this all before, done this all before, and I had a bizarre urge to be a golf course groundskeeper that only listens to Kenny Loggins. Then Mark reminded me it was Groundhog Day. That explained a lot.

Being a Pennsylvania girl I am always pleased to see one of my homeboys do his thing. My buddy Phil came out and saw his shadow. More winter. Dang it, Phil, that was not the answer I was looking for. So I decided to do a little research on Phil and his kind. What makes him the authority? Of course I turned to my Wiki-friends who supply only the most accurate information. If you want the whole story, click here. You will definitely want to check out the chart of groundhog predictions going back to 2008. Fascinating stuff. And it is not just Phil, there are a whole bunch of these characters around the United States. Don't think about it for too long because it is kind of creepy. All these people around the country, donning formal wear and pulling rodents out of their holes. See? It goes from cute and quirky to flat out weird.

I was going to pin the whole thing on the Pennsylvania Germans but it turns out this is a crazy Euro/Pagan/Celtic thing with badgers and bears formerly assuming the forecaster role. I am fairly certain this is how hobbies and sports were invented. There were a bunch of bored people running around doing crazy stuff like looking at animal shadows and predicting the weather. Finally someone got fed up and said, "Maybe we could just throw this cow dung back and forth," or "Let's knit a wooly mammoth sweater, I'm freezing."

Anyway, let me boil it all down for you. Wiki does not indicate any formal meteorological training for any rodents anywhere. Education aside, there are also geographical considerations (i.e., it may be sunny in Wisconsin but not in Idaho) that definitely renders this a gray-area-non-science. We, of course, decided to take matters into our own hands.

Oddly enough, Spence has a stuffed groundhog (don't ask, I really don't have an answer) so we sent the "Mayor of Our Backyard" out with Smithfield Sal to see what the story was for our little corner of the universe...

That is definite shadow. But we live in Smithfield so it was not official until we hauled out Smithfield Sam (rhymes with ham, get it?)...

He too saw his shadow so it is official. Six more weeks of winter and bacon.

On my way back inside I noticed that our whole front yard and cul-de-sac were completely in the shade. What does this mean? I now am wondering if we will have an early spring in the front yard and six more weeks of winter in the back. I am so confused. Heck, I can tell you when spring is coming. It's when it doesn't get cold any more. Sheesh.

I had enough of this crazy business and turned my attention to more important matters - Crepe Day. Mai oui, c'est vrai! I whipped up an easy crepe batter (recipe here) and we finished our day with cinnamon and sugar, and Nutella crepes.

I don't know what the weather is going to do but it looks like six more weeks of dieting for me.

Friday, February 24, 2012

February 1st - Go With The Flo

There were so many holidays today it was actually a little overwhelming. Here is what we had to choose from:

  • Robinson Crusoe Day
  • Hula in The Coola Day
  • G.I. Joe Day
  • Car Insurance Day
  • Serpent Day

We had snakes in January, so Serpent Day was out. No islands nearby to get stranded on, Crusoe Day was out (too bad it didn't fall on a Friday, that would have been a whole other story). Mark is our official G.I. so Joe didn't have a chance. That left us with Hula in The Coola which is a day to channel our inner-summer selves, don grass skirts and coconut bras, drink pina coladas, and pretend it is not winter. Except that it is 60 degrees outside. We actually passed on the luau and went straight to Car Insurance Day. Who wouldn't? No one parties like car insurance agents!

Of course, there is more to the story. There was never any question we would celebrate Car Insurance Day as long as we had one thing. Flo. For years now, a few of us on the street have urged my dear friend and neighbor, Katie, to dress up like Flo from the Progressive car insurance commercials. If you know Katie, she looks like Flo and she talks like Flo. All she needs is the pricing gun. So when this day showed up on the calendar, I asked her if she would be our Flo. "You already nailed my mailbox with flying fruitcake. Why not?" she said.

Unfortunately my camera was on the wrong ISO and it is a poor photo. But we have Flo and a fully insured motor vehicle. All we need is Big Money.

January Recap and Outtakes

Just for fun I thought I'd take a look back at our January celebrations and see how we did.

In January we:

  • celebrated 46 holidays
  • shot five holidays "on location"
  • celebrated 10 holidays that included food and/or drink
  • tried three new recipes
  • spent $14.50 on props (not including food)
  • took over 150 pictures
  • did not realize our cats would get so much air time
  • did not realize our cats swear like sailors
  • kept it too real - it wouldn't hurt me to put on make-up every once and awhile and not show our dishes piled up in the sink
  • had a ridiculous amount of fun

I also thought I would share a few outtakes from our celebration photo shoots:

Popcorn Day

Hat Day

National Bubble Bath Day

Harlem Globetrotters Day

Feast of Fabulous Wild Men!

Beer Can Day

Friday the Thirteenth
Looking forward to more celebrating. Jump in anytime - Make Every Day a Holiday!

January 31st - Traveling Light

Mark and I love it when the Holiday gods smile upon us. Tuesday the thirty-first was Child Labor Day and what by chance were we doing that day? Why, we were flying back from Long Island! Would it have been nice to celebrate this at home when we had 6 loads of laundry to do or a load of mulch to spread or tires that needed rotating? Sure, but we had some pretty heavy bags with us.

Don't worry. He is stronger than he looks.

But requires a lot of direction...

It was one of the most relaxing trips I remember taking in a long time...

He seemed to be pretty happy about his tasks so we made sure he got in a little extra work when we got home...

This is the best holiday EVER! I think I am going to start saving up for next year.

January 30th - The Weeny and Her Hero

January 30th did not hold much excitement for us. It was Escape Day and Inane Answering Machine Day. We were still in Long Island so we couldn't orchestrate any jailbreak-esque scenes and we didn't particularly feel like staring nonsensically at a phone receiver, and we were too busy shoving as much Italian food in our faces as possible. So we took the day off thanks to Mark. He stepped up to the plate and literally took one for the team.

January was National Blood Donor Month and Mark is our designated blood donor. Every year one of my New Year's resolutions is to give blood and every year I chicken out. I know how important it is and I just cannot do it. I am a doctor weeny. I am a needle weeny. I admit it. Mark, on the other hand, could be a walking pin cushion and not care. He has veins doctors and vampires dream about. He's a good guy. He's my hero.

I love the guy posing with the bag of blood. Good man.

Interestingly enough nobody from the American Red Cross knew it was blood donor month. What?! What the heck is their PR/Marketing department doing? Was the oversight just here in Smithfield? Did our folks not get the memo? I was kinda dumbstruck. Please tell me whether you heard any PSAs to the contrary in your area. If not, I think I may have found a new job heading up the ARC's PR department. How are you, quite literally, the largest blood-sucking organization on the face of the earth DEPENDENT ON DONORS and you miss NATIONAL Blood DONOR Month? Somebody please answer this for me.

But back to the bloodletting babe above. On a totally serious note, some lucky person is going to have that man's blood running through their veins. I hope it helps.

January 29th - TBC

TBC...To Be Celebrated. January 29 was Puzzle Day and Corn Chip Day. Great day, but it hasn't been celebrated. This is one of those days we missed. We were in Long Island and enjoying all that it has to offer, which did not include puzzles or corn chips. It is a sad commentary on the state of things that we have not had a moment to sit down in the last three weeks and do a puzzle whilst munching corn chips. So I am skipping this day...for now. It will be celebrated. Mark my words. And when it is, you will be the fourth to know.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

January 28th - Up The Old Kazoo

Wait a minute...that's wazoo, right? Well not on Saturday, January 28, the holiest of high days in the music world - it was KAZOO DAY! Who doesn't love a kazoo? Think about it. Have you ever met anybody who doesn't like kazoos? Didn't think so.

We were very excited to celebrate Kazoo Day since we were in Long Island, NY with Mark's sister (you know my favorite SIL, Linda, I'm always talking about?) and her family (which include my favorite BIL, Ant; my favorite nephews, Nick and Alexander, and my favorite Dog-in-Law, Luigi) and Mark's mom (my favorite MIL, Hazel). We were all gathered to celebrate the first of this year's amazing family milestones, Hazel's 80th birthday!

Forget pictures of the family, here's a picture of our cute DIL Luigi:

Look at the Weege. Isn't he cute?

Although she technically does not hit the big 8-0 until mid-February this was the weekend we could gather the clan for a long weekend. More on the celebration in February but here is a preview thanks to Kazoo Day (don't worry, the celebration was markedly better than our kazoo tribute to Hazel).

We tooted played "Happy Birthday" to Hazel at breakfast. (Again I look like I'm trying to smoke that thing. What is it with me? I gotta work on that.)

Now I know what you are thinking. "This is all very nice but I wish Vanessa had recorded this so I could fully experience the moment. What was she thinking?" I was thinking you would say exactly that and did, in fact, record the moment for all eternity, or as I like to say, to go down in the anals of Buehlman history. That one never gets old.

Ask and ye shall receive, my friends:

As I said, the rest of the celebration was far better than our kazoo rendition of Happy Birthday. My favorite picture is this one, taken directly after the video:

Look at Hazel's face. Let me translate, "Eighty years old and this is what I get?" Now that I am thinking about it, we seem to be getting that face a lot lately.

You are probably so mesmerized by our kazoo-ing that you forgot there was another holiday celebrated today. Nothing says "Happy 80th Birthday Nana!" like "Rattlesnake Round-Up Day"! Yeeehawww! In order to avoid more faces like the one we got above, we decided to celebrate this one in the privacy comfort of our own home.

What are the odds that we would get home from New York and find a nest of snakes loitering in our hallway? (Look it up, that's what a group of snakes is called. See the in-depth research that goes into this?) 

We quickly surrounded the oddly symmetrical nest. Clearly we couldn't handle the job on our own so we called in our ace snake wrangler, Ellie.

NOTE: Next rattlesnake round-up, wear better shoes.

The snakes soon overpowered us...

Fortunately, they all seemed to take a particular liking to Spencer...

I think maybe Ellie's forte is mouse wrangling. 

January 27th - This Blog is Going Down the Toilet

I am going to stop before I even start and apologize. Why? If you make it through this post you will know why. If this is your first visit to my blog I am so, so, SO sorry. Please stop here and come back another day. Please. As I type, I feel like I am literally watching a train wreck. I can hear the whistles, I see the steam engines headed toward each other on a path of destruction and yet...I can't stop looking! I can't stop typing! Someone, please help me...It's an illness. I can't stop...

The day started off innocently enough. Friday, January 27, was "Punch the Clock Day". That's an easy one. Two out of three Buehlman's recommend not getting out of bed in the morning. Care to guess which ones?

And the third Buehlman? I don't know if it is his military training, or just really annoying discipline, that gets his cute little behind out of bed in the morning. I prefer to luxuriate a bit, wake up at my leisure, sip some coffee, watch some Good Morning America, ease my way in to the day. Of course I have that little cranky pants up there to take care of so that is usually a bit of a pipe dream but a girl can dream that she's still dreaming.

Then things went down the drain...literally. It was also Thomas Crapper Day.

Apparently Mr. Crapper is fodder for much debate. Turns out he didn't really invent the toilet but he made it better and, according to my Wiki friends "more popular". I'm not sure how you make the toilet more popular. Bad mexican food makes toilets popular, not plumbers. Just saying. Find out more than you ever cared to know about Mr. Crapper here and here.

One of my favorite facts was that he served as the Royal Sanitary Engineer for various members of the British royal family. Not only am I adding that title to my numerous other titles around here, but I am putting "Royal" in front of them and "Engineer" behind them: Royal Transportation Engineer, Royal Culinary Engineer, Royal Linen and Sundries Engineer, Royal Castle Readiness Engineer... Doesn't that sound much better? Anyway, I bet no one made fun of his name after that assignment.

We celebrated Thomas Crapper Day with dignity. A party hat, some pom-poms and general love for the toilet that serves us in our times of need so well. We love your strong, solid presence and at times weep for your cool, smoothness, and most of all we are grateful that you accept our offerings without judgement and then whisk them away to a better place. Thank you, Thomas Crapper, for whatever the heck you did to make our potty what it is today!

This is the point where you should definitely stop. If you have not been reading this blog, please turn around and come back to the next post. If you have been reading this blog then the following may not surprise you, it may disappoint and offend you, but it won't surprise you. And if you have known us long before this blog, you won't be surprised at all.

I live with two boys so it all went down hill quickly. Spencer requested constipation face pictures...

And then Mark requested that he and Spence do a two-gun salute to Mr. Crapper...

I will leave it up to you to ponder whether those are water guns or not....

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Recipes are in the house! Although I try my best to add links for any recipes I share here, I received a request for them to have their own little home. I think that is a great idea. Of course, it is also completely self-serving since the chances of me finding those recipes again are slim to none, so now I know exactly where to find them. (Thank you to my most favorite SIL, Linda, for the suggestion!)

If you look at the top of the blog box you will see two new tabs. One is for "Recipes" and the other is for "Resources" which provides links/info for what I use to gather my holidays.

If you have any ideas how to make this blog more user-friendly, or just more awesome, please let me know. I'm learning as I go so I'll do my best!  And, as always, thanks for joining me on this crazy adventure.

Happy Celebrating!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

January 26th - Gettin' Down(under)!

Channel your inner-Crocodile Dundee folks, January 26th was Australia Day. Oy!  That's "'Appy Auusttrraaahhhlia Day, Mates!" in the land down under.

This is our kind of holiday. We grabbed our Foster's oil cans and threw some shrimp on the barbie. Color us happy!

And look at my own little Hugh Jackman...

Look at him! He's Australian for AWESOME!
I love to see my men at work burning the midnight oil. (That's two 80's Australian band references wrapped up in one lame sentence for those of you not familiar with the 80's Australian band scene. For those of you that got it, my apologies, it had to be done. And please don't set my bed a burnin' while the earth is turnin'.)

Are you thinking we forgot Spencer? No worries, mate!

Our little Joey was part of the celebration too.

January 25th - ALT + CTRL + LUV

I'm not fooling anyone. I like nice things. I'm not going to pretend I don't. That said, I honestly believe I have a healthy view of all things material. I'm not prone to weeping if something breaks; it's something less I have to clean. The only thing that I would truly weep over is if I were to lose my pictures. The rest of the stuff is just...stuff.

I credit our military life for this perspective. Believe me, I get royally tweaked about plenty of other things, but stuff isn't one of them. My favorite time during a move was when the van, filled with all of our belongings, would pull away from our house. It was all gone, except the things that really mattered: us, our important financial/personal documents, pictures, and a family antique or two. I've never felt so free and unburdened. The first time we moved and that truck pulled away I couldn't believe the euphoria I felt. It really put things in perspective for me. Was I happy to see our stuff again? Sure. Would I have been rendered catatonic if I never saw it again? Nope.

Do you have the feeling I am leading up to something? You betcha. Despite my "Un-Material Girl" (yup, that's a Madonna shout out) groovy-ness, there is something that holds my heart like no other. The forbidden fruit...Apple.

First there was the iPod and I was so smitten with it I couldn't imagine ever being happier. And then I got an iMac. And then I got an iPhone. I love it. I want to marry it. And when the iPhone 4S gets a male equivalent of Siri on it, whispering sweet nothings to me, I will marry it. To put it in perspective, if my house were burning down I'd stick it in my pocket before hauling my pictures out. And then we got an iPad. {{big sigh}}

Why this long winded diatribe? Well, friends of Steve Jobs, January the twenty-fifth was Macintosh Computer Day. Although the boys are Apple devotees as well, I took care of celebrating the day, just my iFriends and me...iKnow, iAmWeird.

Aren't they cute? I just want to pinch their cheeks.
And I was the one whispering sweet nothings to my beloved iMac...

I shouldn't love anything as much as I love my iFriends. But I do. I may need an intervention.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

January 24th - There's Beer in Them Thar Hills!

January the 24th provided a laundry list of holidays to celebrate. Here is what we had to choose from:
  • Eskimo Pie Patent Day
  • Belly Laugh Day
  • Compliment Day
  • Beer Can Day
  • Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day
Our only goal this year is to celebrate one holiday every day. Anything beyond that is pure icing so there is never any pressure to do them all. However, it can be hard to choose sometimes.

I nixed the eskimo pie because all of these food related holidays are killing me, and we still had 3/4 of the blonde brownies left. I have my limits. Hmm...so which should we choose, which should we choose? Oh come on, of course we chose Beer Can Day. Don't be silly.

We each had a beer with dinner. We have an impressionable young man in our house so we do take care with how much we imbibe so as not to be irresponsible, drunken boobs around Spence. And then he went to bed. Those two beers up there in the picture are the next two beers we had because we forgot to take pictures of the first two. Whoops.

I'm not sure what happened after that. It all gets a little hazy...but I remember something about a walrus...

and then Mark lost his beer at some point...

This pretty much took care of Compliment Day ("Honey, you look so cute with a beer can on your head!") and Belly Laugh Day (cuz who doesn't love a walrus with beer can tusks?)

And then there was Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day. I wish I had recorded some video of me walking around the house yelling, "Eureka!" and "Tarnation, I know there's gold in them thar hills!" and "I lost my daggum right eye fighting' that hornswogglen son of mule in the rush of '49, but durn it the gold kept-a callin' me." I never met a "Talk Like Something Silly Day" that I didn't like. The more we celebrated Beer Can Day the better my grizzled prospector impersonation got. Weird, huh? Even weirder, I started to look more and more like a grizzled prospector...

(I just googled "Grizzled Prospector" to find this image and there is a Facebook page for "I like to talk like a grizzled prospector." Go figure!)

It didn't occur to us until the next morning that it wasn't called "EMPTY Beer Can Day" but by then it was too late.