Sunday, October 25, 2009

and We're Back...

Ummm... we're back. And we made it. We moved. And it's been almost half a year, but we've finally settled in. The house is half empty but we're in and it's slowly becoming "Home". Three times the room and the kitties still aren't satisfied with the square footage.
The biggest issues have been adjusting and tinkering with the outside- landscaping, etc. We had no idea of the physicality and effort required in setting up a nice lawn. Or removing unwanted (leaning) trees. Or mowing. But these is good times. And we're getting better at it.

My wife also informed me recently that she has spent the last few months growing in her natural eyebrows... (?).

Sunday, March 29, 2009

AoH- We're Moving... Nuff Said

The staff at AoH is currently moving to a better location. All activity has been put on hold until further notice. We simply can't expend any energies outside the realm of carrying boxes and furniture, plus mouse hunting...
Thanks for your patience.
We'll be happy to share random, useless knowledge again once the new digs are settled.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

AoH- Augy Sleep-Over Comments

We were blessed to have a visitor stay with us this past Friday night; none other than the esteemed Augustine Pirate Captain Robot with Wigglers Sigler, nephew extraordinaire. Augy brings a certain level of expectation (re: energy level needed) in that he believes his Uncle Josh is a never-ending supply of adventure and laughs. While I do get pretty amped about seeing him, I must say we needed about 3 hours of sleep after he left Saturday- not that we didn't dominate or anything, we just don't have the experience others have in the constant supervision of kiddos department. So Friday night was set up by Jenny telling me that Augustine loves to run errands with people, even if they're mundane and boring. He's a task oriented kid, what can you say? With Brienne needing at least an hour to work on her masters project, Augustine and I ran 3 extremely important errands.
(1) We needed to make double sure that the home we just bought was ok- so we packed up the car and headed out to Powell to "super Robot spy" on the house. Everything seemed in order. For the record, he refuses to sit behind the passenger side in back ever again. We had to shake on that one. Apparently it's not where Pa-Pa sits him (directly behind the captains chair?) so why would I? Sound logic...
(2) We also really needed to go to the pet store and secure some kitty treats. If there's one thing all our animals are learning, it's that Aug loves to hand out treats in bulk! (Izzie went numero duo about 5 times yesterday) We spent a good hour at Petsmart eyeing up the aquarium accessories and parakeets ("parrots") and gold fish, along with also getting a "laser pointer" for the kitties. This was paramount for their happiness he seemed to think. If you don't know, I'm a pretty die-hard Star Wars fan, and have a replica lightsaber that Augustine absolutely demands to play with every time he comes over. He doesn't actually like Star Wars he says, but lightsabers are ok. I usually get whacked a good many times by "accident". We also have a battery-operated back-rub-bug that has green light up feet. Very Aug indeed. So the laser pointer is a by-product of all things lasers and light-ups he encounters at casa-de-uncleHep.
(3) Our final errand was getting Aunt Brienne some Star Bucks. He obviously takes his cold, because he went straight for the chocolate milk ("kanye"), and even thought we should grab an apple juice box for Olive! I assured him Olive had some at her house, but he still mulled it over pretty hard before consenting to the greater wisdom. Best hour and a half of my week!
Arriving home we presented our gifts to those left behind. Aunt Brienne was most pleased with her Caramel Hot Chocolate, but the kittens were over-taken immediately by the obsessive wantings of Izzie Puppy, who craves the laser point more than anything else in the world. FACT- Izzie got so excited from having Augy point the laser around the room and chasing it, she peed in the middle of the downstairs... twice. Once Friday, again Saturday morning. Augustine later quietly told her not to do that again. It's 50/50 whether Zule got the message or not.
Wrapping up the evening with Augustine is always fun; we simply put in a family DVD favorite, Emmett Otters Jugband Christmas. For the record, Chuck isn't a bad gang leader, he's just misunderstood. The Riverbottom Nightmare Band is and always will be an outlet for attention-starved muppets. Think about it. And don't hock your son's tool box to buy clothes. Come on Ma Otter, you're better than that!
Magic Stars Cereal! The only way to roll AM style when the Aug is in for the weekend. I got a solid 3 hours sleep Friday night, mostly because our bed is designed for 2 people, 3 cats and a dog; adding a child isn't what the designers intended. So having my arm dangling off the side and having one of Augy's legs drapped on me all night with 2 kittens by my ankles and Izzie watching and being jealous all night induced Tolkienesque dreams and waking up at 5:30 am. Breakfast first, then a good old fashion laying in bed telling knock-knock jokes ensued. There certainly was not a "chocolate ice cream brunch" an hour later either! Augustine told us the "funniest thing he's ever done at our house" was when he was randomly talking and burped really loud mid-sentence. We laughed about that for a long time. Then Brienne put the "Heir of Sigler House" in the bathtub with about 15 rubber ducks and let him splash around a while.
Finally our visit started to wind down, so Augy and I hooked up the PlayStation 2 and settled in for a few good rounds of Tony Hawk Underground and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. He loved the skateboarding, mostly jumping off the Boston pier into the river... again and again. Star Wars is a little trickier with the controls, and I don't like playing it much either. He let it slide. (whew!) All in all a great 12-15 hours of solid nephew spoiling and random silliness. We drew a couple pictures for Mommy and Ma-Ma and Pa-Pa that he colored; I was pleased to see he took the drawing of "him with a lightsaber" and decided to keep that for himself. Ah- and so it begins with the sci-fi minded child. I also assured him that my Snake Eyes action figure will be making the move with us, so he can play with it at the new house. With all the major events covered, he relented (rather quickly) to Pa-Pa picking him up for the day and going off for even more adventures. Then, and only then...finally...our pets slept. :)
Too be a kiddo again- AoH

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Snake Eyes Missions - #1

Mission Objective: Punish "Sawyer" for destroying my mental (dreamy) image of Juliet on LOST.
Yeah- here's the deal. The Sawyer character is a dirt ball, liar-liar-eyes on fire crack-puppy. Not that he doesn't have a good line now and then, but Sawyer stands for all that is wrong with fellas today. And he can't find a razor to save his redneck ass. Now they've gone and actually "tainted" the one nice girl left on the show (blondie doctor Juliet) by hooking her up with Sawyer based on their being together on the island. Come on girl, there's like 9 billion other guys on earth. Why settle for the guy who has longer hair than you do just because he's around. Girls are so stupid sometimes...
I hereby commission the silent-stealthy one to use any and all mean necessary to totally wipe out James Sawyer. I don't even need proof. Just get it done big guy. And maybe after years of therapy and penicilin shots, Juliet can go back to being the delicious little cutie she was at the beginning of tonights episode. I'm so bummed I could cry. Stupid Sawyer. Girl don't you know he's going to dump you the minute Freckle Face comes back and gets all "I love Jack but Sawyer is my soulmate" blah blah blah. Poor Juliet. Maybe this was an alternative universe and it never actually happened, like they do in comic books sometimes...
- AoH

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Litterbox Confessions- Tales of 3 Kittens That Rule My Life

Ralphie Update 03/03/09-
Monday night was by far the best Ralphie Bad-Boy has behaved in several months. Our pre-bedtime ritual may have changed if this continues. Ralph kicked things off with wanting to get "a touch", which is code for I yell "who wants to get a touch?" and all the animals (Izzie puppy included) come running down to the kitchen and take turns standing up on 2 legs and batting at the little bag of kitten treats I hold. Franklin Big-Boy is the master of this little game. He actually registers excitement on his face, while the other pets just have that "food=good" look. Anyways, Ralph was all jacked up to get a "touch", and then he sort of got "super-hyper" for about 20 minutes... and then he crashed. Next we filled up the food bowl! Before long there was a sleepy Bad-Kitty laying between us in bed while we watched tv. Full belly equals sleepy right afterwards apparently. I think the key here is to pet him a lot and make him want to relax and chill out (as opposed to play guerilla-warfare and jump on your face at 2 am). Best night of sleep I've had in maybe 3 weeks. And all I got this morning was a slight claw-scratch across my left palm and wrist. What a good kitty. And to think I suggested Benedryl a few days ago...

Monday, March 2, 2009

AoH- Great One-Liner...

From's Peter King, in his weekly column "Monday Morning Quarterback" featuring a segment he calls "non-football thoughts"-
I'll pay $50 to the first person who can end winter.
- AoH

Sunday, March 1, 2009

AoH- Whoops... I Accidently Deleted My Original Blog

Well- that's going to happen from time to time. Not that the group following this page is uber-big or anything.. We won't have to send out a mailer or to get membership back, etc. So, anyways... Let's kick March off like this-
There are 31 days separating Brienne and me from moving into our new home. From the time we both decided to make this a long-lasting "us thing", we've both wanted similar things in life- simplicity, good jobs, freedom to travel and explore the world, being close to family, good friends, nephews and nieces. But now we're basically a month removed from being in THE home base. We fully intend to live the next 30 years in this place, and we are both energized for the upcoming months. Except this next one is going to take forever! So many little ideas and concepts and designs to put into play, and we have to wait some 31 days. I'm smiling while I write this, but we've all had to wait for what we want at some point, and now it's so close; it's almost mockingly close.
Sitting around drinking coffee and pouring over design magazines and interiors, websites about garage floors, drawing floor plans of furniture placement, color schemes and renovation ideas for each year; what a wonderful time to be together and hopeful. I fully realize how fortunate I am and have been these last 5 years with Brienne at my side, always slowly being guided and aimed at this next month. One of our funniest little side jokes was after we got married, maybe a week later- she asked me "so what do we do now?" And I answered with a smile "I guess we just hang out for the rest of our lives". Now we'll have a place that's ours to hang out at.
And don't think one of my first goals isn't to get my sweet little Izzie puppy a fenced-in back yard so she can wander around O.U.T. at her own pace. The "Zule Retirement Home" so to speak. Course she's going to have 3 little brothers to keep her company the entire time.
So the dates and such for the next month look like this: Our final approval letter happens 3/7/09, followed by another week before we will start packing up the apartment. Brienne doesn't want to start packing too soon, but our little "wink wink" idea is to unload a bunch of stuff to 'Goodwill' or the dumpster. There's a "trade-in" store just down the road where we'll probably exchange old movies and cds we're not using for cash/credit too. Our closing date is Monday, March 30, with the final walk-through/inspection occuring 48 hours earlier on that Saturday. As of Thursday, April 2nd at 10:00 am, we are the residents of the house. Brienne and I both will take that Thursday and Friday off to clean and move small stuff. Saturday, April 4th is big-boy moving day, U-Haul and all. It should be a quick job, mostly because we don't own that much and are totally excited to box up the apartment early. I actually think the basement and maybe the living room are going to be empty for the first few months we live there. One piece of furniture at a time I guess... So March, hurry up already. We need to get to the beginning of April- that will probably be one of the best weeks of our lives.