Thoughts and photos by Lois. It's supposed to be funny, or thought-provoking, or both.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

NOW who believes in angels?!?!

Any questions? Nah, me neither . . .

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Xmas Unwrapping Wrap-Up

Ok, is anyone else SICK of packaging?!?! The twistie ties that require wire cutters to exricate the toy while your kid grapples and paws to get it out of the box? The millions of tiny transparent rubber bands that keep miniscule pieces in place? The boxes taped shut in completely incomprehensible places? The hard plastic bubble packs that nearly require a blow torch to cut through? Hmmmm . . . do you think the Made in China people are more amused or amazed by the crap they use to fasten the toys to their boxes?!?! In response, let me now hail the Christmas morning miracle tool, the Leatherman Micra:
Accept no substitutes! It wire cuts, it chops, it can opens, it screw drives standard AND Philips head (great for battery installation!). Thankfully this was handy in my purse for quick Christmas application. Next year, make these your stocking stuffers! Hmm - will have to think about that for the 3 year old . . . but, she is pretty dexterous . . .

And gratuitously, here are my kids opening gifts. Roman loves his bubble gum machine. Laney loves everything!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Monday, December 15, 2008

World's Cutest Mom!

Roman and I went to Idaho for a little visit 2 weeks ago. Here' s me and my mom Sunday 12-7-08 at my sister's house! Though she might modestly deny it, she is the cutest and smartest mom in the WHOLE WORLD! Hey, I love it when my kid tells me that too!

Okay, here's my cute middle sister and niece and nephew too:

Then somehow, middle sister (far left) looked the cutest in this picture. Tho oldest sister (center) looks cuter than me too (the best one of ME middle had her eyes shut). That's me -- such a giver, putting the worst pic of myself on the LoSpace. Anyway, do we 3 look alike or what?!?!

Inside to Robyn "I'm still STUMPY!!!!"

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Soccer: It's Really Hard

Roman's game face:

"Come on mom, I just want to sit on the team blanket and drink some water" face:
"This is my first trophy..." face:
Soccer is over. Roman's team won their final game yesterday, a shutout. Bella is still the leading scorer. Roman blocked a couple of kicks as goalie and told me on the way home that he is ready to sell his jersey to some other kid. I guess we'll have to find one named "Valenzuela" . . .

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

MOTO Headline of the Day: Lawyer Says (Michael) Jackson Is Ill

MOTO = Master of the Obvious. Go to your Yahoo! Featured News page today -- and that's one of the links. Michael Jackson -- ill . . . really??!?! How about mentally ill!!! I will not honor this goofball with a photo on LoSpace, but here's a link to the story:

Basically, the story says that Jackson's lawyer told the rich Bahrainian sheik who's suing Jackson for breach of contract, among other things, that his client can't travel to London to testify.

The story, hilariously, goes on to explain how much money this sheik gave Jackson for projects and expenses, reportedly millions of dollars, including $300,000 for a "motivational guru" -- money which the sheik considers an advance. Jackson and his attorney's are calling it a "gift".

Can you say "A fool and his money are soon parted" . . . ?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Best Face Forward - Product of the Month!

Here's another winning product review: RareMinerals Blemish Therapy. This stuff addresses blemish issues overnight (ok, maybe 2 nights . . .). For those who thought (mistakenly) that zits were going to fade from your life along with high school memories, this one's for you. The loose powder magically dries up yucky pimples and blemishes very quickly. The brush applicator prevents adding more oil to the problem while the sheer powder adds a little layer of cover-up. The upside of still having zits in your 30s and 40s is offset by gainful employment which allows you to spend $28 on a solution. Move over, Clearasil -- you are OWNED!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween Rocks on Rock Street

We had a clone trooper and a pink & purple fairy.
The night starts early and ends early when sunset happens at 540pm. Laney rode in the wagon with her friend Maya. They made it up and down 2 streets. Here are the kids by 800pm.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Save the Planet - Equal Opportunity

I love this quote from Jennifer Nettles of the band Sugarland on why she joined the virtual march with

"I watch the world. I watch people. I love both. I am afraid of the damage that is being done to both. We are worth protecting. Even if it's from ourselves. We don't have to be perfect. We just have to try. Let's try." is an equal opportunity -- our opportunity -- to make a difference. Can you try?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kick It Real Good!

Best photo from Roman's first game is above. Best moment: Roman is in conversation with a player from the opposing team when the ball rolls right by them. See photo below for Roman's skills demo. The Gilbert Youth Soccer folk have decided to test the commitment of players and parents throughout the league with Saturday afternoon games through December 13. The temperatures were at least 90 yesterday but the Purple Dragons prevailed! They are 2-0. Manny said the best kid on this boys and girls team is an eyes on the prize little pistol named Isabella. Go Bella! Next time I hope I can go since this game landed right in the middle of Laney's naptime.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Another Exemplary RYW

Over Labor Day Weekend my sister and I repainted Roman's room - a Ruin Your Weekend Holiday Bonus! This required 2 coats of Kilz Primer and 2 coats of thick Behr paint. I think a pair of socks were sacrified too. The cottage white made the room bigger (the prior paintjob was dark muted blues). But the light bright walls were now too big and bare. He had requested a robot room for at least 2 years, so we found robot bedding in August, repainted walls in September and now, after 2 short months, 2 Behr rebates, and at least 5 trips to Michael's, voila, the decor is completed. Pretty much. Custom artwork by Roman's Mom takes TIME! Each robot is painted on a 22"x28" canvas with liquid acrylic -- so move over Martha Stewart -- you are OWNED!

I think this ruined more than one weekend, but the outcome is fun and happy. As a bonus, he also chose this very cool ceiling fan (Home Despot comes through again!) and it's a great accessory.

Friday, October 17, 2008

That's More Like It!!!

Though I'm crap at taking pictures with my camera phone, here's a happy thing for the day: gas under $3 a gallon! In more than one place!! And filling my tank for less than $30! It is sad to be excited about this, but compared with the rest of the economic news, what a nice change of pace.

Rite of Passage

Laney has enough hair for a barrette now! She got this one (she calls it "ba-loo") from her sitter, Miss Jenny. Can you say adorable? Now if I can just get her into her Halloween costume . . . hmmm, maybe Miss Jenny will be able to convince her to wear it . . .

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's Not Too Late!

My husband was stoked when he saw this bumper sticker on a car in Gilbert Saturday night (my camera phone photo was too blurry so we had to go the website):

It would be a great companion to his other stickers -- "Veteran Against the War" and "Bin Laden is a Conservative." I think Manny is a Goldwater Republican.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Product of the Week: SEEMS Like a Good Idea But . . .

(I know, I don't even do a product every week . . . but someone needs to address this):

I was looking at the Staples catalog when I saw these pens. Admittedly, it seems like a good idea, but really -- can you imagine how uncomfortable it would be to write with that stupid little flag poking out at your fingers? And the diameter must be fat and uncomfortable. Not to be daunted, the pen manufacturer actually includes the following features and benefits in a bullet list:

-Write notes on documents then flag the page for easy reference
-Twist barrel to open and reveal Post-it® flags
-Conceal flags for ease of use when highlighting
-Flag size: 3/8"W x 1-3/4"L
-Includes 150 flags

What?!?! Ok, first bullet -- duh, I know what to do with a pen, and a post-it flag. Second: Twist barrel to open and "REVEAL" Post-it flags?!?! Like they're a secret treasure?!? Third: Conceal flags for ease of use -- because why? They're totally irritating me when I try to write with the pen?!?!

Ok, I have to stop this post, it is just too absurd.

Friday, October 10, 2008

You sunk my battleship!!

Roman and his dad are playing Battleship. The game boxes are now all cool and aerodynamic and laptop-like. They've also upgraded the design with a radar sort of graphic on the top part where you put the pegs for what you've called out. The competition is stiff with Roman's fleet down an aircraft carrier and Daddy down a battleship. Uh-oh, Roman just lost his PT boat too.

Roman thinks the "Battleship" stickers that came with the game are for the winners. I'm not sure the strategic location of his remaining armada will fool Dad, but as of now he's learning something . . . I hope . . . maybe next week -- Bingo!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Another Lo-CD Evening

I got a set of cool abalone and coral bracelets in August. Two days ago, I started freaking out that the baby magpie (Laney) had made off with 2 of them, because I could only find 3. For some reason I had convinced myself there were 5. And I had let her play with 2 of them last week, I thought. So, being as they are almost new, I blocked out time in my schedule last night to straighten up while I looked for them. The beauty of this was at least I could multitask, right?

After straightening the playroom, and organizing, and cleaning, and peering under couches and furniture, it was about 11pm. Time for bed. For some reason on a whim, I pulled out the jewelry catalog, looked at the bracelet page and I realized I AM NOT missing 2. There were only 3 in the first place! Then I thought, if only I had indulged my OCD in a different way to begin with and checked the total number of bracelets in the first place, I would have saved sooooo much time. On the other hand, the playroom would not have been straightened, either. I can't tell if I need professional help, or not.

Oh, and I found all but one piece of the set of 4 puzzles that were scattered throughout the now I'm going to have to see if it shows up, or consider blocking out time in my schedule to search for it. Or get professional help.

Postscript: another years-old missing item found! While cleaning out a drawer so I could store the 97 CD-ROMs that had accumulated on my desk (do these things breed at night or what?), I found the knob for a recliner that had been removed (probably by the first baby magpie). The knob keeps the chair at the desired reclining angle AND I had scraped my leg on the uncovered screw at least quarterly for the past 3 years. Win win win! The chair is "fixed," no more scraped legs, my desktop is clean, the desk drawer is organized, and Lo-CD is happy!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Before & After Contest

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! LoSpace wins "Even When You're Not, You're Hot" Award. Like Joe Dirt said, "You can't have no in your heart." I'd like to thank my stylist, Debbie Saenz, a goddess and genius. Also Dr. Derek Gochnour, my orthodontist in Boise, Idaho. May I also acknowledge Smashbox cosmetics for their contribution to my look!

Move over Oprah, here's our own local version. It's part of a contest. I could explain, but I won't. Let me just say, there's a reason for hair/makeup/photography professionals.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Get Your OWN Palin Family Name

Whether you love her or hate her, you have to admit -- those kids have unique names. Now thanks to a genius AK blogger, you can get your very own Palin Family Name! Come on - it'll be fun!

Snooker Hinge Palin

Monday, September 22, 2008

All New Better Dead Than Red!

Warning: This material may be offensive to fans of McCain and/or Communism. And possibly of elephants and army-navy surplus stores. Read further at your own risk!!!
PS I am not very good at Photoshop . . .
PPS And how cool is my sister for still being able to find this t-shirt in her closet in 2008?!?!

Sometime in the early 80's my sister was on a school trip that included a stop in Sandpoint, ID (yes that Sandpoint). She got a "Better Dead Than Red" shirt at the army-navy surplus store. Recently we were laughing at the new connotation of "red" as in "red states" and what the shirt meant now. So we remade the shirt -- for the new political "red" . . . see the progression above.

#1 Original
#2 Slammed in focus groups for seeming to link McCain with Communism
#3 Ok, no hammer and sickle. Hmmm, needs a little something more
#4 Now that's more like it!

Get your orders in now!

Friday, September 19, 2008

They're Called "Athletic" Thighs . . .

So my friend Myra gives me some Lucky Jeans -- they have shrunk and are now too short for her. It is sad that I wear the same size jeans as someone 4 inches taller than me, but . . . oh well, you win some and you lose some, jeans and genes.

I do not want to hem them, which would require getting out my darling vintage portable Bernina sewing machine, which is older than me, so I try shrinking them . . . at this point I must explain that the salesperson at Lucky Jeans said you can shrink them several inches in the dryer (thus the hand-me-down from Myra, because they did shrink in length -- too much!). After some hot water/hot dryer therapy, the jeans seem a little shorter -- but here's the catch: now the thighs fit perfectly BUT they are too long and too big in the waist. In fact, the thighs are now tight enough to hold up the top of the pants! The athletic thighs strike again!

Yes, I call them athletic thighs -- and in their honor, I have created the Shawn Johnson Athletic Thighs Award. I love this girl -- what an athlete. In fact, if you do not love Shawn, just feel free to move to China right now. And through judging manipulation that will surprise no one, I have awarded the inaugural SJAT medal to myself!! In closing, may I say, "You go Shawn -- kicking @$$ for athletic thighs everywhere!"

Unfortunately, in a cruel twist of fate, these jeans would be waaaaaaaaaaaaay too long for Shawn . . .

Monday, September 15, 2008

Make Your Own Gap Ad

Here are all my parents' grandkids. Words cannot say how great they are, or how much I love them, or how much fun it is to have this picture. So . . . just, here it is.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I Mean Really -- Who Reads These?

When you were shopping for your most recent house purchase (or even your first house), any realty listing with "cottage" in the description (often accompanied by the term "charming") was probably red flagged in your mind, because cottage is a realtor euphemism for "small." So today I'm looking at a fundraiser email where they have a million magazines for sale and one of them is Cottage Living. How specialized is that? Who are their loyal readers? How do the editors devise new and creative articles month after month, issue after issue? Obviously, these people are professionals.

I also noticed the eye-catching, yet disturbingly "which of these things is not like the other" title Garden and Gun. How did these two items hook up in the publishing industry? I would love to take a peek at their demographics, I can tell you.

In my neighborhood, and across central and southern Arizona, and maybe even a great deal of California, we need our own "living" publication . . . maybe we could call it Suburban Stucco "Life in the Southwest Subdivision".

Here are some proposed articles . . . c'mon, who's with me?
"Fixing the Cracks -- for Good"
"Sun Screams: Pretty Windows That Beat The Heat"
"Lifetime Roof Tile Warranty: Dream or Reality"
"Harrassment by HOA -- Are YOU Compliant?"
"Best Use of Tandem Garages, 2008 Contest Winners"
"New Build or Existing Home, How I Chose" (Drama in Real Life)
"A Clean, Well Lighted Shed: Keeping it Invisible from Surrounding Properties"
"Easement Shmeasement -- How One Family Makes Four Feet Seem Like Ten"

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

RNC Repeats "Creativity" With Old White Guy Speakers

How disappointing and frankly, lame. Harkening back to 2004, the RNC once again turns to disillusioned and disenfranchised (and pretty much disowned) members of the Democratic party to speak at their convention. Is this their best and brightest? Can they not find someone younger, more energizing, and non-polarizing who is actually an (R) to speak?
2004 Convention: Zell Miller, age in 2004: 72
2008 Convention: Joe Lieberman, age in 2008: 66
Are these men the future of the party? Great -- really appealing.

And if Sarah Palin continues to call the Iraq debacle a "task from God," I think people, and not just McCain's campaign organizers, need to get pretty scared. It reminds me of the speech that crazy French archeologist makes in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

(AP quote: "Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God," she said. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God's plan." This from a speech in Alaska, June 2008).

Monday, September 01, 2008

Roman Starts the Big K (blog backlog from 8/11)

Roman is pictured at left attending Meet the Teacher night, Polytechnic Elementary. Roman's charter school is affiliated with ASU so Sparky was in the house! On right, first day of school: ready to rock with new backpack and all! This charter school touts tailored instruction with an individual learning plan for each student. We'll be heading to a PT conference in a couple of weeks to check out what they'll be throwing Roman's way. I hope it's a good challenging curriculum but I'm okay if they hold off on particle physics til spring semester...

More Congratulations to Sarah Palin -- Soon to Be Grandmother!!

No wonder Bristol (far R) looks stressed out in this picture!

(from the AP 9/1/08) Sarah and Todd Palin say their 17-year-old unmarried daughter is pregnant. John McCain's running mate Sarah Palin said Monday that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is five months pregnant, an announcement aimed at rebutting Internet rumors that Palin's youngest son, born in April, was actually her daughter's. A statement released by the campaign said that Bristol Palin will keep her baby and marry the child's father. Bristol Palin is five months pregnant, and the baby is due in late December.

As long as we're checking out the daughters, Willow looks like she's wishing she had a different kind of drink in her hand!!

Now: what are the odds that in one calendar year you can (1) have a baby (2) be selected as the first ever woman on a Repubbly ticket and (3) have a grandchild?!?!?! Pretty slim chances I'd say. This is one for the history books. And the pro-lifers.

Friday, August 29, 2008

LoSpace Congratulates Fellow Vandal Alum

... Sarah Heath Palin for her meteoric rise from the University of Idaho Class of 1987 (just two years ahead of Lo's own 1989 Centennial graduating class) to the hallowed aisles of John McCain's Straight Talk Express campaign tour bus.

All I can say is that I thought McCain might do something mavericky (you read that here first though I won't be surprised if Stephen Colbert thinks up the same word) in his veep choice but this really comes out of left field -- or the left side of your United States map.

I don't recall meeting Sarah during the school years we shared in Moscow, Idaho, perhaps because she was studying rather than visiting the Garden or Mikey's Gyros, but in closing may I say "GO VANDALS!" with a straight-arm fist pump . . .

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hey SUV Drivers!

Check it out . . . oh, what? Yes, I'm sorry, this photo is a little blurry, but look closely at that number on the right . . . it's my 4dr Civic hybrid averaging 56.9 mpg (personal best). So when you blow by me on the freeway in your 15 mpg highway Suburban please wave because I won't be seeing you in line at the gas station. Nyaah nyaah.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Move Over DIY, It's RYW

Two weeks ago I assigned myself a project: repainting a 2nd hand CL (craigslist) dresser for Laney. This is what I call a "Ruin Your Weekend" project because what with trips to the store, the prep, and the actual work, your weekend is pretty much ruined. But back to the dresser: the person selling it described it as "shabby chic," which was what the prior painter had attempted to achieve; however the outcome would be better represented as "just shabby" mainly because the paint looked like they had stalled at the primer stage. Then it had numerous distressed areas, some clearly planned, others more haphazard, the latter of which, on closer inspection were probably the work of a family pet or large rodent. ANYway . . . the CL set included 2 dressers, and the second serves as the "before" picture since I don't think I have a copy of the original anymore . . . and in my RYW efforts, I decided to go ahead and do something pretty creative, which was to coat it with sufficient quantities of paint to achieve complete coverage (shut up Myra, I know what you're thinking...).


The schedule for ruining my weekend was as follows:

Saturday am Go to Home Despot (you can do it; we will MAKE you) and buy paint, sandpaper, brushes, etc etc. Discuss at length the paint shade and type with HD paint guy. Wait for paint mixing and browse the doorbells (hey, they're right around the corner). Buy materials. Proceed to Manny's parents to borrow sander(s), tools, gloves, steel wool, more sandpaper, and commiserate about how much this project is going to ruin my weekend. Return home and start sanding. Send husband back to HD for spackle to fill most obvious rodent/dog distress marks. Quit sanding at 1130 because garage temperature is approaching 98 degrees. Wipe dresser with steel wool in final feeble attempt to do something as cool as Andrew Dan-Jumbo of HG TV. Complete prep work and collapse, dehydrated in the house, complaining to family of possible heat exhaustion. Render self useless for remainder of day.

Sunday am Arise by 700 with every intention of starting work ASAP. Make coffee and peruse the Sunday paper. Hit the garage promptly at 830 to continue sweatbox torture conditioning. Wipe, steel wool, and blow dust off paintable surfaces. Paint first coat; ask passing neighbor for advice, agree on need to change brush size and direction. Hope this end of dresser will be facing away from high traffic areas. Paint three coats with 1 hour drying intervals and call the job good when garage reaches sauna conditions for second straight day. Fantasize about finding cute girly coordinate drawer knobs for less than $4 each, which has thus far proven impossible. Retreat to air conditioned house and chug gallons of water while texting friends and family of triumphant project completion. Return to garage after dark to reinforce and WD40 sliding drawer hardware.


Monday am Move repainted dresser into Laney's room and resolve to re-post companion dresser on CL rather than attempt repainting it as well. Rationalize that one 24 lb kid does NOT need two dressers and a full-sized closet with shelves! See "after" picture above -- cute affordable drawer knobs still pending (call me a cheapskate but for some reason I cannot spend $50 on cute knobs for a $75 dresser, I just cannot!). I am thrilled to observe that Laney's store-brand pull-ups actually coordinate with the room decor. Life is GOOD! Plan next RYW project: repainting Roman's bedroom over Labor Day Weekend. Crap - viewing this picture just reminded me I wanted to change out those shlumpy bun feet.

Postscript: that "before" picture is actually very flattering: the thing looks much worse in real life. Hmmmm maybe that's the photo I will be posting on CL to get that shabby chic piece out of my garage!!!