Thursday, May 28, 2009


Mister C and I went to the Desert Botanical Garden today to see the Chihuly exhibit. On the off chance that you don't know who that is, he's the artist who does the incredible glass sculptures. I've seen pictures and I've even seen one of his smaller works at a local library. He has had exhibits at the Louvre, the Smithsonian and, for the less artsy of my readers, he even has a statue hanging from the ceiling of the Bellagio in Las Vegas. So he's definitely well known. But this exhibit winds through almost the entire 50 acres of the gardens and it is just amazing to see. This exhibit has been here since last November and is winding up this weekend.

I, of course, waited until the last possible moment to go and had to share my awe with all 5 million people that live in Phoenix. I am so not kidding. A good percentage of them were courteous and aware enough of their surroundings to not walk in front directly in front of other people taking pictures. The rest...not so much. I had at least a dozen photos that had somebody's head dead center in the shot. Mister C was ready to kill people by the end of our visit. There's a pretty good chance I would have helped him hide the bodies if he had. Having said that, the pictures do it absolutely no justice. Chihuly's artwork is magnificent.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coming apart at the seams

I've been working with some clients for the last six weeks now. They are a lovely older couple that is buying a house for her daughter and grandchildren to live in. We put offers in on several properties prior to getting the one that we currently have in escrow. We are supposed to close escrow on June 9th. That's fourteen days from now. And here's where it gets interesting. They have a large sum of money to use as the down payment on this house. I have no doubt that the money is there. I am quite sure it was gotten from honest means. BUT. They can't prove it. Oh, they can prove the money is in the bank. But they can't prove how it got there. It isn't "seasoned" as the bankers say. Which is to say that it simply appeared there one day. And that day was less than 60 days ago. Now, my client says that the money came from selling her home in Mexico. Which is perfectly legal. Although not usually done in a parking lot. With cash. And no witnesses other than her daughter.

So now we are at a crossroads. We can continue to try and find someone that can send proof of the transaction to the bank. We can continue the transaction only using the "seasoned" money and getting a larger loan. Or we can watch in horror as the whole deal blows apart thereby losing my clients their earnest money and all the other money they've spent on other necessary items pertinent to purchasing a house such as inspections and the appraisal. And oh yeah, the 150 hours and those 700+ miles I've put on my car driving them around and going back and forth to their house? Wasted. I've put a lot of time and effort in this and I am hoping against all the odds that it doesn't go down the tubes this late in the process. Because that would be a really sucky way to start my career. Although, I guess I'll have the fodder to write a "what not to do" list for my future clients.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Just a few moments

In honor of all of the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we cherish in this country.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


My child has always loved water. When he was really little, I would set him up on the kitchen floor with several bowls of water and a bunch of measuring cups. He would spend an hour or better pouring from one cup to another, from the cups to the bowls, then back again. When he could walk, my folks got him a water/sand table that he just loved. He would spend hours playing at that table. When we built our pool at our Chandler home, he was the first one in and spent as much time in it as we would let him. When we moved back to Arizona after living in the Midwest for 18 months, the home we bought didn't come with a pool. And he really misses having one.

Today, we spent the day with some friends of ours. And they happen to have a pool. Which Master J spent six hours in. He left the pool a total of three times, twice to use the rest room and once to eat. He's now passed out in his bed. He fell asleep on the way home, which he never does. It was a really fun day. Now I'm thinking I need to put a pool in the backyard. I just need to sell twenty houses to pay for it.

This is how he spent half of his time...

This is how he spent the other half...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What do Hooligans do all day?


Sleep some more

Give their owner some attitude for waking them up

Find a new place to sleep

Friday, May 22, 2009

Poking the tiger

This is the look you get when you resort to poking the cat with your big toe because she won't acknowledge the fact that you are calling her by name. Repeatedly. And progressively louder. Rotten beast.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Change will do you good

Do you recall back to October? When we were living in the Midwest and Master J was going to Midwest Loser Elementary? Things weren't going so well for Master J then. He spent the better part of his days in trouble, in isolation or in the principals office. Things changed for the better when we got back to the Southwest. It's amazing what a good teacher and a good support system can do for a kid. Things changed a lot.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bird Dog

Nora is nothing if not obsessive. So it didn't surprise me any this morning when she started obsessing about the grapefruit tree.

Like this...

And this...

But after fifteen minutes of this I was finally forced to set down my coffee cup and go see what she was obsessing about.

And found this...

And now she is banished to the inside of the house unless under strict supervision. And she is saddened.

Like this...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

ADHD Much?

Master J had to bring a picture to school two weeks ago for a school project they were doing. I kind of forgot about the project until the night before it was due. So I took a 5x7 out of a frame for him to take in the next morning. Nothing more was mentioned about the picture or the project.

Early last week, Master J informed me that his teacher had told them that if they wanted their pictures back to let her know, otherwise she would dispose of them. Not sure why that is, but I guess that's somewhat irrelevant. So I told him to make sure to ask for the picture back. Four times last week I reminded him to please ask for the picture back. Each time, he assured me he would. Then he went to school, and promptly forgot. So earlier today when we were playing a game, I reminded him again that he needed to bring home the picture. Our conversation...

Me: Now, do what do you need to ask Mrs. T for tomorrow?
MJ: My picture.
Me: Right. You're not going to forget again are you?
MJ: Of course not!
Me: Are you sure? Because I asked you four times last week and it still never made it home.
MJ: I'll remember.
Me: Would it be easier if I wrote a note and put it in your backpack?
MJ: That's a good idea.
Me: Okay. I'm going to go write a note for you to give Mrs. T so you can bring back the picture.
MJ: Okay!
Me: (less than two minutes later, after writing the note) I wrote the note and I'm putting it in your backpack.
MJ: What note?
Me: Seriously?
MJ: Seriously, what note?.
Me: I think my head's going to explode.
MJ: Really?


Saturday, May 16, 2009

What's in the bag?

Almost three years ago Mister C & I went to Mexico thanks to his hard work and his company's generosity. They sent a bunch of employees and their spouses to the Four Seasons in Punta Mita for five days and four nights of luxury and pampering. Every night, when the hotel staff turned down the sheets, they would leave a gift from the company. One night it was a bottle of wine with a silver wine holder thingy. I'm sure there's a more technical name for it. One night it was a painted, stone panther made by local craftsmen. And one night it was a large beach bag filled with a six pack of beer. Good times I tell you.

Well I loved the bag, but I really had no use for it. I mean, I only carry a wallet and it's too big to be a purse anyway. I don't go to the beach since I live in a desert. And it really wouldn't be practical as a carry on for travel because there's no way to close it tight. Fast forward to my new career.

I discovered very quickly that I need a lot of stuff with me at all times. I usually carry with me at least one purchase contract and all the paperwork that goes with it, pens, a white out pen, binder clips, a notebook (or two), mileage log, sheets for each property I'm planning on viewing, special key to get into the properties, mace (you never know), gum, lipstick, laptop, wireless internet plug in thing that's totally awesome, wallet, business cards and various snacks. The first week or so, all of this stuff was just floating around in my car. But then I remembered the green Mexico bag. And I I gave it a try. And it has been fantastic. Everything fits beautifully and looks great to boot. But there is a down side. The Hooligan. He looooovvveeesssss the bag. He is perpetually rubbing on it, knocking it over, trying to chew it. You get the idea.

This morning he went above his normal havoc. I have the picture to prove it. Can't you just hear him..."Let's see what we have here, almonds, paper, leftover croissant, oooh pens!"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Brooding Behavior

I've mentioned before that I have a big fish tank that I most recently populated with cichlids. They are quite entertaining to watch and so far (knock, knock) have been pretty peaceful. I don't really care for the way the biggest one launches out of the tank in the morning for his food, but I'm getting better about timing it so I don't get splashed. As much.

About a month ago, I noticed that my "electric yellow" female was hanging out under one of the big rock formations all the time. She and the male had taken most of the gravel out from under the big rocks and spit them out in big piles. Very much breeding behavior. But I hadn't seen any results. I thought for sure I would see some eggs or something hanging around. But no. Just the female laying under the rocks and the male occasionally chasing off some interloper.

About three weeks ago, I saw a little cichlid swimming around behind the rocks. How cool is that? He was about 1/2 an inch long and had blue stripes all over his body. He mostly stuck around the rocks and his big, bad Mama. And he has grown every time I see him.

About a week and a half ago, I was looking for my "baby" and I saw an even smaller baby hiding under the aerator. He was about 1/4 of an inch long and he was also covered in blue stripes. Weird coloring for the offspring of an electric yellow female but I guess I really don't know what they're supposed to look like anyway so who am I to judge?

This whole time, the female was still hanging out under the rock. I keep wondering if she's just really anti-social (for a fish) or what. I started wondering if maybe she was being bullied. So I started throwing a little bit of food directly in front of her hideout. She's pretty much ignored it. But she must have gotten hungry. Because yesterday afternoon, I went to feed the beasts and threw some sinking pellets directly in front of the rock she was under and she came charging out. I'm thinking to myself "finally! she's finally got hungry enough to brave the tank." She circled the pellets for a few seconds, went to the nearest plant, and spit out a mouthful of babies into it. Then she spun around and started eating the pellets. And she did not stop. She ate everything that fell in front of her. Then she went over to the main feeding area and started eating everything over there. I think she was starving from holding her babies in her mouth for who knows how long. Her babies meanwhile, hovered in the plant watching the direction she had gone. She eventually ate enough and went back over to the plant. I assume she went to go collect her babies but she got nerved up with my big face pressed up against the glass watching her every move. She would look at the plant, look at me, back up, look at the plant...eventually I gave up and went away. I really wanted to see the babies jump back in her mouth though. And I totally get the whole "spit out the kids and go take care of yourself" thing too.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day to all you know what I mean. Mister C ordered me some beautiful flowers that arrived yesterday afternoon. Master J put together a little book and a laminated sheet of love at school this week.

The book he wrote explains how I am 6 feet tall with "tan" eyes and that I really like fiestas in Mexico. I'm not sure, but I think my child may be confusing me with Hank Aguirre celebrating cinco de Mayo. I have no idea where he comes up with his stuff.

I'm not sure if you can read the sheet or not, but there's a lot of talk about feeding my child in it. Apparently that's very important to him. Considering he's a boy who already has been known to eat the cold lunch I send followed by whatever hot lunch the school is offering, I think I may be in trouble in the next few years. I may need to sell a house a month just to feed the boy. Also, please note at the bottom where he mentions that I help him to be nicer to the other kids. Is it possible that he's listening?

Additionally, Mister C put up my clothes line for me. How exciting is that? Aside from being more economical and "green", I love the smell of line dried clothes. I've wanted one for awhile now and he finally did it this morning for Mothers Day. As you can see, I've already hung my first load on the line.

I'm sure both Mister C & Master J will be thrilled to know that their skivvies have made their debut on the internet.

And lastly, Master J won a trophy for being one of the top two readers in his class. He actually read more than any other second grader, but they give two trophies in each classroom instead of one for the top grade level reader. He's so proud of himself. And I couldn't be more proud of him.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Can't a worker get a break?

I had to deliver some paperwork to a client today so Mister C took Master J to his swimming lessons. They got home about 15 minutes after I did and they brought pizza with them. Mister C informed me that he needed to eat in his office because he had an online class that he needed to "go" to. So Master J and I sat down at the table with our pizza and, well, you know the drill...

MJ: My class got pushed back.
Me: Huh?
MJ: My class. I was supposed to have a class at six but it got pushed back to 6:05.
Me: How do you know it got pushed back?
MJ: I got a call from Bill.
Me: Who's Bill?
MJ: He's my boss. He called me on the way home from swimming and told me that the meeting got pushed back.
Me: He's your boss?
MJ: Yeah. He's the manager of my company.
Me: I didn't know you had a job.
MJ: Well, I don't have it yet. I'm trying for it though.
Me: Really? What's the job?
MJ: You know, garbage truck driving and stuff.
Me: Oh. So what's the class for?
MJ: Well mostly it's just some helpful hints on how to drive the trucks.
Me: That makes sense. It's probably good to know how to drive them before you get the job.
MJ: Yeah. But the meeting got pushed back so I have time to eat.
Me: That's good.
MJ: It's going to be broken up into two parts too.
Me: Really?
MJ: Yeah. It's going to be 15 minutes, then a 30 minute break, then 15 more minutes. It will take about an hour all together.
Me: It's nice that they give you a break in the middle.
MJ: Yeah. Well, I gotta go get on the call. Thanks for dinner.
Me: Not a problem. See you in an hour.

Ya think he's been listening to Mister C too much?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Captain Goofball

A little construction paper, a lot of tape and a whole lot of imagination and you too could become a super hero!

Friday, May 1, 2009

The first lost tooth

Master J finally lost his first tooth. I couldn't be more proud. He's always been a little behind the curve on the physical aspect of life. Although he started rolling over at 10 days old (yeah, 10 days), he didn't start walking until he was almost 15 months old. He didn't get his first tooth until he was 11 1/2 months old. As a side note, he got weaned at 11 3/4 months old. So I'm not totally surprised that he didn't lose his first tooth until he was eight. The last one in his class. But I'm even more happy that I got to see it happen. And so did my camera.

The tooth is so loose it's laying sideways.

Maybe eating an apple will help.

Nope, still there.

Woo-Hoo! It's out!