Help Me Jeeves! The Children; they Are Multiplying!!!

We had a fun photo shoot yesterday & D was an active participant!!

I saw these really cool 'cloned' photos on Flickr & just had to try it.

Naturally, I do not want to clone myself, so I wrangled the girls to be my experiments.

I set up a make-shift studio, then I grabbed D first {she was the 1st one up, showered & dressed}. As usual she complained & was not cooperative.

Here is the very first pic I did ~

For some reason my craptastic camera was making the pics all grainy and the color was off. {Although it could have been the photographer. But I prefer to think it was the camera! I did drop it a couple of times at the pool!}

So I did some PhotoShop work on this. Kinda looks grunge. Or is in Emo these days??

I can't keep up....

See how she is lying on the floor like she's in horrible pain? Or being tortured? That's just her tremendous ability in acting when her mother asks her to pose for pictures.

Once she saw what I was doing with the photos, she fixed her hair & wanted to take more pictures!!

Now I know how to get her to pose!! LOL

As I was taking her pictures, then editing them, R & S had a look.

Guess who then wanted in on the act???

That's right. The older two.

Earlier S said I couldn't take her picture unless her hair was done & she had some makeup on. And she wasn't going to do all that unless she was going somewhere.

I guess that didn't matter anymore...

One of Dare's better shots ~

And R ~

I love how R's came out. I let the girls lead in the poses, just gave them some general direction to be sure their pose was in frame. They did a pretty good job.

Well, the younger two did. S's poses were half-assed.

She owes me a real shoot in the next couple of days!!


Some Relief

Well, I went to the office today {they opened at 10 instead of 9} and it turns out we weren't the only ones without AC Friday night. The main unit had some short & shut down. The complex manager had repairmen to the property early Saturday morning to fix it. But because it was so hot Friday & getting hot on Saturday, the unit took some time to catch up & cool all the apartments properly.

I let the guy know that it is still very hot in here, never below 80 if the temp outside goes above 100. I had put up with it the last 2 summers, but it is now unbearable & I won't go through another summer with the apartment not cooling.

He will have the maintenance guy look at it, but said most likely he will have to call in their AC repairman.

We'll see how it goes....



The dang, blasted office wasn't open yesterday by noon.

Or just after 2.

Which means if they did open it was just after 12 and just before 2.

So much for posting the office hours as 10-5.

And today the dang, blasted office is closed again, so I can't go down there & give them hell about our crappy AC.

This is only the 2nd or 3rd time I've had to tell them about it not working right. Maybe this time they'll get it right. As long as the temp stays below 100, we're good.

But, hell, we live in AZ. It's over 100 half the year!!

Saturday we woke up to a dead gerbil & a dead gold fish. {They will sure hear about that!}

Lets hope there are no more casualties as a result of the extreme heat....

Ok. It is up to 90-95, is that considered extreme???

So, I will go there first thing tomorrow morning.


Oh, and to make my weekend even better, I have wicked cramps. No fun when you're sweating buckets all night. {Which is a first for me. I usually sweat very little.}

And I lost my camera some where in this hot ass apartment.


crappy weekend.


Ick, Yuck, Gross

I woke up this morning at 5:30 in a pool of sweat, got up, took an ice cold shower, dried off with a pre-heated towel, {double ick, yuck, gross} walked across the warm carpet to the sauna like living room to find this...

My Google desktop widget said it was 84 outside.

Looks like the AC is not working. {Or rather, feels like it...}

Now I have to sit directly in front of a fan {one that is not blowing warm air} until 10, when the office opens.

Yup, it's gonna be a great day!!!



Yesterday, the younger girls & I went to the pool.


This nasty, disgusting, God awful humid weather is unbearable.

And don't even get me started on what it's doing to my hair!!

But, I digress.

Anyway, about 20 minutes after getting to the pool, jumping in, cooling off, then settling in on a lounge chair with a good book, some guy arrives with a backpack on & a bike.

He unlocks the gate, then struggles while getting his bike through it.

It was weird. Why would he bring his bike to the pool? But people do really weird things & I've given up on trying to figure out why they do what they do.

Just after he jumps in the pool the maintenance man walks by & asks "You live here?"

Bike Man; "No. I'm visiting my girlfriend."

Maintenance Man; "Yeah. What apartment does she live in?"

{Here is where it gets really funny}

Bike Man; "She lives in apartment 304 {the complex has no 300 numbered apartments}. No, no wait it's upstairs. Number 204."

At that, I put down my book and look at him, stunned. Did he say what I thought he said?

Maintenance Man turns to me; "You live in 204, right?"

Me; "Yup."

Maintenance Man; "He your boyfriend?"

Me; "Hell, no!!"

Maintenance Man kicks him out, all the while Bike Man is yelling "You want me to get my girlfriend? You want me to get her?"

He never came back with his 'girlfriend'.

The irony that he says his girlfriend lives in #204, it just so happens to be our apartment, and I was at the pool was too funny.

I wonder if his luck got any better the rest of the day....


Road Trip!!!

Yesterday Janice & I took a trip to Tucson.

We had a blast.

Except for her AC not working so great. :(

She's got a friend in NC who used to live in a mobile home park down there & he asked her if she'd go and take some pictures of it. So we headed out to find this mobile home park.

About an hour into the drive, around Red Rock I think, we stopped so I could get a shot of the mountains.

Two hours later, in the heart of boring South Tucson, we found the mobile home park. Unfortunately it is now a gated community for seniors that has a guard at the gate.

If your name isn't on the list to visit a resident, you don't get in. Kinda like the exclusive clubs in LA!!

So, taking pictures of an old trailer was out, but we had a full tank of gas & time to kill.

We'd heard about an airplane graveyard that was by Davis Air Force Base and we wanted to find it.

Getting pictures of airplane parts would be so cool.

There was also an airplane Museum, but we didn't want that. We wanted the graveyard!!!

We had no idea where it was, so Jan stopped at a Circle K and asked for directions.

They weren't very helpful.

It didn't help either that we didn't have a map, GPS or compass in her car. This was the one time having a Blackberry or I Phone would've come in handy!!!

We drove around for who knows how long, then stopped again at another Circle K to buy a map.

They were out, but gave us directions & said we were very close.

Had we a clue which direction was West & which was East, we might've found it a heck of a lot quicker!!

Instead we drove around in circles for who knows how long again, trying to find Valencia, when Jan decided if we didn't find it soon, we were heading back home.

She started towards the freeway when we stumbled upon AIRPLANES!!

We were like a couple of 4 year old boys yelling 'Airplanes! Airplanes!! I see the airplanes!! See the airplanes???!!!'

But they were the whole airplane. Planes the Air Force were probably still using.

And although they did make a kinda interesting picture, it's not as interesting as a picture of an airplane part would be.

Then, there it was!! To the left of us ~ piles & miles of airplane parts. Like a car junk yard. Only a little more organized & way cooler. Each different part was stacked all together in a designated area of the lot.

I love that. An organized junk yard!!

Unfortunately, if this was the graveyard we were told about, they no longer let you in.

Then again we got there about 4:00, so maybe they were closed. Either way, we could only take pics from the road. Which was a busy road with only 2 places to stop & pull over.

Jan turned around, she found a spot to pull into & I got the pic above {the planes were across the road} & a little bit of the graveyard.

We were bummed. Both of us really wanted to get into the graveyard to get a variety of pics, but had to settle on ones taken through the windshield as we passed by on our way to the freeway.....

After spending nearly 3 hours driving around Tucson, we headed back home. I got a shot of a cool looking mountain

And this

I'm not so sure I'd trust getting my steaks from this company!!

That is, if I ate steak!


Weird Weather

Normally, June in AZ is hot. VERY hot. But not lately.

I was out this morning at 6 and it was cloudy. With the sun peeking through.

I thought the sun would eventually break through. It usually does. Even when the weatherman says there is a chance of rain, there usually isn't.

But then, about 4 this afternoon, the wind kicked up. And the clouds thickened. Was there going to be rain after all??

Nope. Not a chance. Not tonight. About an hour later it was just cloudy. No wind, a bit warm & a bit humid.

Maybe tomorrow we will get that rain.




That's what I've said way too many times today.

I had planned on taking the girls to the pool. They need to get out & release all their pent up energies.

It turned out they had no clean beach towels and there was no money on the laundry card.


So, I figured I'd set up a makeshift photo studio in the dining room & take pictures.

I had to force S to be my model for one idea I had. I told her she was my model & had to do whatever I asked her to do whether she liked it or not. {Turns out she kinda liked it. See end result here.} The other two were being way too whiny to even try to do a photo shoot with.


So I turned to the cats. Although not always cooperative, it's usually easier to coax them into posing.

The batteries in my camera died.


I reluctantly cleaned up my make-shift photo studio & had the girls do the dishes before Savvy left for practice.

They started the dishwasher.

It didn't drain & leaked all over the kitchen.

And into the downstairs neighbors apartment.

Double crap!!

Now I have to scoop out all the water & hand wash a dishwasher full of dirty dishes.


But, hey! I get a new dishwasher!!!

Maintenance said I should have it by Friday!!

Now, I shall attempt dinner.

A pork roast.

I haven't cooked meat in, like, forever.

I had to Google recipes just to figure out what temp to set the oven to & for how long to cook it!!

I'm hoping it won't taste like

you got it



What IS That Smell????

This morning I was up by 6 {I slept in 'cause, well, I have no job & can!} and by 6:30 was deep into cleaning the refrigerator & freezer.

I give it a wipe every other day or so, but I kept smelling this horrible smell every time I opened the door.

And the girls have a very serious problem with spilling juice all over. They've even managed to get it on the front of the door!!

They said I was crazy & I'm always smelling weird things.

Which is true. I do smell things no one else ever seems to smell.

But I was determined to find the source of the rancid, rotten smell emitting from our refrigerator.

All I found was one small shriveled up grape under the crisper. Certainly not the culprit of the smell.

Maybe I was crazy & smelling things that weren't there!!

Regardless, I now have a sparkling clean fridge.

For the time being.

After getting rid of all the old/expired food, it was rather clear we needed to go to the grocery store!!

The only thing we didn't need was yogurt. Sean bought 20 of them yesterday!!!

But we sure could use some milk & eggs.....


Classic Movie & Other Things

Yesterday was movie day at Casa de Insanity.

Which means, whatever movies are on basic cable we like/haven't seen, we watched.

One of those movies was The Pursuit of Happyness. I love that movie. Not only because it stars Will Smith {He is sooo hot!!} but also it's a great story.

Then Sean came home & said we all need to watch Lonesome Dove.

It was the 20th Anniversary of the mini series, so AMC was playing it!! It makes me feel so old when they have 20th Anniversaries of movies/mini series.

I've never seen it, {although I somehow new who all the main actors were!!} so Sean, the 2 younger ghouls & I sat down to watched it. {S was at a friend's}

It's slow & kinda boring, but I have to watch parts 3 & 4 tonight because I need to know what's going to happen next and how it's gonna end!!!

So, tonight I will struggle to stay up another night until midnight just so I can finally say

"I've seen Lonesome Dove."


The Pool is Open

So yesterday morning we went.

It was dirty from all the wind we had the day before, and the girls weren't so into swimming.

R found a leaf in the pool she liked.

She made friends with him & they played for awhile.

Then Leif was getting tired & wanted to get out. So she let him sit on the towel to dry off & warm in the sun.

While Leif hung out with me on the lounge chair, {where he so kindly posed for pictures}, R & D hung out in the shallow end, {where there was less dirt & junk}, and splashed in the water.

I took a picture of the palm tree hanging over my lounge chair. Leif said he liked the jet in the upper corner!

The ghouls splashed some more.

I took another palm tree picture. Leif likes the sun in this one.

And the ghouls splashed some more, rode on each others backs while I took more palm tree & sky pictures.

Then we left.

On the way out, R took this ~


The Eyes Have It

Today was an odd day.

It was cloudy, windy & hot.

This afternoon there were even some dark clouds that looked like they threatened rain.

Naturally rain never came.

I took D to Target to use the last of her gift card from Grammy. She bought a Barbie & outfit for her.

Then we headed back home.

And did a whole lot of nothing.

Having the pool closed really sucks.

So to amuse myself and to play more with my camera, I had the girls pose so I can take close-ups of their eyes.

As usual D did not co-operate.

I took R's pic first.

Her eyes aren't really this dark. The original pic was a little dark in the exposure, but I liked it when I edited with the black & white, so left it.

Then it was Sa's turn. I had her do up her eye so I'd have one "natural" eye & one funky eye.

S's eyes are hazel & change from green to blue depending on her mood or colors she's wearing. Today they were looking bluer than usual.

After 'eye' photos & when Sean got home we all {except D} played a couple games of Yahtzee. R whipped our butts the first round {she got double Yahtzee!}, and Sean won the second.

I'm proud to say I came in 3rd both rounds!!

Before the day ended, I wanted to get a couple pics of the clouds.

Since they're so rare in these here parts.

These were taken just before the sun set.


Sculpting & Baking

Yesterday S was spending the night at a friend's & D was hanging out with Aunt Shannon.

So it was just R & I again.

We took a short walk around the block in the morning. We were looking for anything interesting in the neighborhood.

We didn't find anything.

Our immediate neighborhood is very boring.

So we went back home. Plus it was getting hot.

I read & she played on the computer.

Then we were bored.

I remembered from when I cleaned out the art box a few weeks back, that I had some leftover Sculpey clay. So I pulled that out & we began sculpting.

I wanted to make a cheeseburger & hot dog, which was not all that easy without brown clay.

Oh, you can make brown clay. That's easy. Tan or beige though, is a bit more difficult.

R helped me by making the cheese, lettuce & tomato for the burger & the mustard & catchup for the hot dog.

She chose the easy items to make!!

I baked them just a bit too long, so the bottoms are dark brown.

Kinda like how I bake refrigerated biscuits!!

Then R wanted to make a cupcake. Which meant I made the cupcake, 'paper' wrapper and cherry.

And she made the 'frosting' & sprinkles. She didn't want to strain herself!!

Then I took the leftover pieces and made a 'shroom.

S saw it as soon as she got home, she asked if she could have it. I said sure & you'd think I gave her diamonds.

Or a hundred dollars......


Just the Two of Us

This morning R & I went to Target. She got a gift card from Grammy & wanted to buy some shorts.

That took all of 30 minutes.

We then spent about another hour looking around, just browsing.

It was nice just the two of us. Checking out what we both love ~ cameras!!

And we had no one else bugging us to look at what they're interested in.

Or whinning because they're bored, tired, hungry, their feet hurt, blah, blah, blah....

They never out grow that, do they?

This is the camera she wants ~
Until I can afford it, she's just going to have to borrow mine.

I couldn't decide between 2 that I'd like to have ~
But until I can afford them, I'll just have to use my good ol' Fujifilm.

And continue to practice getting close ups like this ~


A Trip

Because the pool is closed, we decided to go here this morning ~

We walked there.

It's literally across the street from the apartment.

Along the paths around the library, they have walls with bits of stuff cemented in them.

We've look at these hundreds of times, and still enjoy them every time we go to the library.

They even have them along the pathways themselves.

I love little pieces of art like this sprinkled around.

Inside the library, they usually have art displayed created by local artists.

They're renovating the area the pieces usually hang, so there is nothing to appreciate right now. :(

We didn't stay very long. Less than an hour. R couldn't find the books she wanted, they've all been checked out.

D found 2 she would like to read.

So tomorrow, she is required to sit with me & read for at least an hour.

She said she was OK with that, which is a big deal coming from her since she really hates to read.

She is definitely not her mother's daughter!!


Another Morning at the Pool

We stayed in yesterday. There was no way I was going out in the heat or sun with my shoulders hurting as much as they do.

And naturally, when kids stay in the house all day, they begin to drive me & each other crazy.

So, this morning we went back to the pool.

I stayed in the shade & covered up.

I only left the shade & uncovered long enough to take a couple quick dips in the pool & cool off.

It felt great on my sunburn.

I did take a few pictures.

I'm loving the 'sport' setting I just discovered.

Today, D was a willing model.

I was inspired by a shampoo commercial for these shots & she pulled it off so well.

I didn't do too bad myself!!!

I think the motion of her hair & the water is awesome.

If I don't say so myself, I did a pretty darn good job of capturing it.

I tried to get R to do it, but she was having trouble executing the "hair wave".

She said it is because her hair is so much longer than D's.

I don't know. Sounded like a lame excuse to me.

More pics here.

That's going to be it for awhile on the pool pics.

Apparently some dumb asses decided to party at the pool & not follow complex rules.

So now the pool is closed indefinitely.

Tomorrow we must find an alternative activity.

I have a few ideas....


Splish, Splash We're Having a Blast - Pt 2

As the younger ghouls & I were getting ready to go to the pool the other day, I was looking for some sunblock.

We had a bottle from last summer, which it turned out S had used up.

Naturally she neglected to tell me we needed more.

R told me she had bought some of her own. So while she slept, R snuck in the room to snag it.

Normally I use a sunblock of 30 SPF or higher. My pasty white skin can't handle anything lower than that. Turns out the sunblock S had was only 15. Fine for the ghouls. They have the skin type of their dad. They typically don't burn they get golden brown.

Not me.

But we had nothing else. I figured something is better than nothing & I won't be in the sun that long. You see, usually when I want pool pictures, the ghouls will cooperate for a bit then they want to swim. Then I go lay in the shade & try to get shots from the lounge chair.

But they were having so much fun jumping in the pool.

And over my head.

I lost all sense of time shooting tons of pictures. Both good & horrendous. I didn't realize until 20 minutes before we went in, I was in the pool, in the sun with only SPF 15 for 2 hours!!!

The results are not pretty.

Please ignore the fact that this Lycra tank, although equipped with a built in bra, does not do my sagging boobs any justice! Also not pretty!! Wearing a bra was much too painful.

The only place I could set up the camera that was at the right height to take a self portrait was in the bathroom. And the lighting in the bathroom sucks. Big time. But you can still see my bathing suit marks.

Uggggg!! Saggy boobs & lumpy cellulite arms. Man, I really need to work out.

But it's so much work.

And I need a hair cut. It's beginning to look a little raggedy.

Man, I hate self portraits.

Especially when I need a haircut & a personal trainer!!

So today we did nothing again, while I sat on the couch reading with cold cans of tea on my shoulders.

Ahhhhh!!! Sunburn.

It is now officially summer....


Splish, Splash We're Having a Blast - Pt 1

The younger two have been bugging me to take them to the pool. But I don't like to go later in the day.

Like when the working parents are home from work & kids are outta daycare. I hate going to the pool when there are a bunch of bratty screaming kids there.

And I don't like going in the middle of the day.

It's too hot.

I know that sounds weird. But here in good ol' sunny AZ, the middle of the day is murder.

When it's a-hundred-and-Lord-knows-what degrees, the pool tends to be a little to warm for my liking.

You don't want to sit out for any length of time either.

Actually, you can sit out for about 5 minutes before you're boiling & need to jump back in.

Into the pool that feels like a tepid cup of tea & that will cool you off when you first jump in.

After that you just feel wet.

And warm.

So I told the girls we'd go to the pool, but they had to get up early.

R & D got up at 10.

Which was fine. The pool was empty.

S, the lazy punk, was still in bed.

We had 2 hours of fun and the whole pool to ourselves.

I took a few pics.

Rather than post them all here, I put them up on my Flickr page so you can see them all.

Click here to view.

Then it was getting too hot & the Ghouls were getting hungry.

So we headed back to the house for lunch.

We had brownie sundaes.

Then grilled cheese sandwiches.

S, the lazy punk, was still in bed.

Lazy Weekend

The girls & I had a very lazy weekend.

Not that we're so busy any other weekend!! This was just very much a lay-around-and-do-nothing kinda weekend.

One of the things we did do was watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD all Saturday morning.

S said something about it being a low budget TV show, 'cause Buffy always wears the same boots.

I said they were her "slayer" boots. Required attire to successfully slay vampires & demons.

I guess she thought that sounded good.

I didn't get the usual smart ass remark about how much of a dork I am.

Later on I took D to a friend's for a sleep-over, then S to her friend's for their sleep-over.

Except when your 15 ½ it's called 'hanging out'.

Then I read all day & R played Sims2 for about 6 hours!!

Yup. It was a very productive weekend!!