Monday, September 19, 2016

Madly in {Puppy} Love



Engineer never wanted Diva to grow up not knowing the love of a dog so at 5 months pregnant, we trundled down English back roads to a tiny village outside of Oakhampton where a couple of guys were selling a Yorkie/Westie cross puppy.  When we got to their house, I was in desperate need of the loo (I was pregnant remember) so I asked the owner if I could use his facilities and when I came back out, Engineer had a wiggly matted dirty little ball of fur in his arms. 
He was grinning from ear to ear. 

He was smitten.

As we drove the windy way home, we decided on the name Truffles since it was close to Valentine's Day.  Engineer then spent every morning training Truffles to do all sorts of tricks.  She could sit, stay, lay down, roll over, play dead, beg, and wave.  He also taught her to freeze when a treat was on her nose until he said "okay." 

She was a smart as a whip. 
She was also stubborn as all get out.
She was every bit of a determined terrier.
Engineer said that she and I were peas in a pod; that's probably why she picked me as "her person."



As a puppy, Truffles would come lay across my feet while I was at the stove cooking.  She also liked to lay across my belly while I was pregnant.  She slept with us at night and many times I would wake up to find that she had wriggled her way under the covers and was laying on her back with her head next to mine on the pillow.  If I happened to move my face toward her during the night, I would be awakened by a wet nose touching mine and a lick on the face. 

Truffles loved walks in the English countryside, along the canal, or on the beach.  She especially liked the beach because that walk would end at a tearoom which resulted in a bit of cake for all.

She went with me everywhere, to Diva's school, to work, to the bank, to my parents' house.  She lived with us in two countries and two states, went on quite a few road trips with us, and outlived several of her doggie siblings.

You could always find Truff in a laundry basket or a bag, on a blanket or a pile of dirty clothes - anywhere warm, soft, and/or squishy.

Truffles had gotten a lot slower in her advancing years and walked with what we called the "Truffle Shuffle."  She was not without her problems, she had severe allergies, chronic ear infections, she became blind and deaf, and developed arthritis and mammary tumors.  It was when the tumors changed shape and size and she quit eating that we knew she didn't have much time left with us.



Engineer looked at me one morning last week and said, "You should take Truff and have a good day with her today; it may be her last."  So we did.  She rode with me to Diva's school (one of Truff's favorite things) and we spent a little while outside just letting the breeze caress her face. The dog affectionately known around here as Truffty Puff Dog McGraw and I ate pretzels (the only thing she would eat) and had a "Gilmore Girls" binge watching session.  She laid on my belly and slept like she had done when she was a pup.  I did a fair amount of crying and if a shifted at all, again, like she had done 15 years previously, she licked my face with her velvety tongue.  

On Thursday of last week, we said goodbye to our first "Little Girl" and on Friday Diva woke up to the first day in her life without Truffles in it.  Truffles almost made it to 16.

Engineer says we plant roses and dogs at every house.  We had planted roses months ago and on Thursday evening, we planted a dog.  

Monday, September 12, 2016

Madly in Love


It's amazing to me how something as simple yet bizarre as an integer can spark a conversation in our house.

I'm sure that I've mentioned before about Engineer's fixation with numbers.  I mean, c'mon...he is an Engineer after all.  It is literally his job to be obsessed with numbers.

This morning as he was checking Diva's Algebra II homework, one answer to a problem was 24.  Engineer then proceeded to describe how cool the number 24 is.  Please keep in mind, this conversation was before 6:30a.m.

  • 24 is divisible by the consecutive numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, as well as 6, 12 (6x2), and 24 (12x2) which are the doubles of themselves. 
  • The first numeral (2) is the square root of the second numeral (4).
  • Both numerals are even
  • Etc.  
In a bit of pre-coffee teasing, I said to him, "24 is certainly cooler than 38."  (Engineer just had a birthday last week and he turned, yes, you guessed it, 38.)

He shot back, "Ugh!  38 is the worst!  One numeral is even and the other one is odd, it's only divisible by 1, 2, 19, and itself!  38 doesn't even like 38!  The best thing that ever happened to 38 is that I turned it" and with that, he walked away.

I am madly in love with my self-assured nerdy Engineer who is actually the coolest thing to happen to 38. 

1-4-3 EM for making me laugh about math even before coffee.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Land of the Living

This was at the annual Arts District Open House in downtown Houston. That is Diva's friend on the right who gets roped into our silliness a lot of the time. They did not tell me that we weren't smiling for the photo, nor did they mention that my dress wasn't fastened in the back so it looks like I am wearing a tent. Thanks guys.

I took an unintentional 3 month break from blogging over the summer.

It wasn't that I wasn't cooking, wearing hats, loving my family, or generally doing perfectly practical things, it was that I was.

This summer one or more of us:
  • Met Frank from "American Pickers"
  • Went to Pine Cove summer camp
  • Attended White Sox, Astros, and/or Pirates' home games
  • Tubed in New Braunfels
  • Joined a chess club
  • Went to church camp in Colorado
  • Had a birthday
  • Jumped from an airplane 
  • Took ballroom dancing lessons
  • Became a member of a pirate bar
There were some other pretty cool activities (and a good deal of traveling) thrown in which all went by so quickly; but, now it's time to get back into a routine...as much of a routine as a complete overhaul on the outside of one's house and a 15 year old learning to drive will permit.

Yeah, life is only getting more interesting around here.

I just wanted to let you know that the Moppins Family still lives...and takes ridiculous photos.

More to come...




Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Madly in Love






It is finals week for Diva.  The culmination of this semesters' teachings wrapped up in a stress-filled whirlwind race to the finish line of her inaugural year in high school.

Engineer went on a business trip during this time; but, before he left at the crack of dawn, he left Diva a little note of encouragement at her spot at the breakfast table.

I didn't know he was going to do that and it made me smile like a Cheshire cat when I discovered the letter.

This school year has been almost amorphous with change. 
We changed houses, hobbies, and churches. 
Diva changed states, schools, piano teachers, and styles of education. 
Engineer changed jobs and with that, travel schedules. 
My roles have been modified accordingly. 

All of the adjustments have not been smooth ones.  Now we have come through the other side with the beginnings of routines forming....just in time for summer's distinct lack of routine.   

Back to the note. 
I am so thankful for Engineer's thoughtfulness in recognizing that Diva's journey hasn't been an easy one this year, but that she has been diligent to the very end.  He made sure to tell her he is proud of her accomplishments and that he was thinking of her.

Gosh I love that man of mine.

1-4-3 EM & DM!  




Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Purex Plus Clorox 2

*I was sent a bottle of Purex plus Clorox 2 to review.  All opinions and horrific messes are my own.

So this happened...


Once again I am literally displaying my dirty laundry.  The napkin pictured above was the nearest thing to me when I went to wipe up an unfortunate pasta sauce incident.

In our house, we don't tend to use paper towels.  We never have.  Instead we use dishrags and cloth napkins.

I've written before about the genius of using red napkins.  Obviously, those were not available at the time of the aforementioned saucy explosion.

Both sides were affected
Unless we are having a special meal at the dining room table, these napkins are what we use - even when we have "back door guests."  (You know what I mean, folks you are so comfortable with in your home that they come through the back door like family instead of using the front door like company.)

And although for the three of us well warn napkins aren't a big deal, I'd rather not have my guests use napkins that look like they've been used in a crime scene.

Fortunately for me, the good folks at Purex had recently sent me some detergent to review.  This is not just any detergent but detergent with the stain fighting action of Clorox bleach.

Boy did I have a doozy of a test for that stuff.  Not only was the napkin heavily stained, it was found in the bottom of the laundry pile days later.

Since the stains were so caked on, I followed the directions and pre-treated the areas with the liquid detergent for 5 minutes before washing the load.

Here was the result:

Did every trace of sauce get removed?  No.
Would I be embarrassed to use the napkin in front of non-Moppins family members?  No.

My only real issue with the detergent was that it was a bit heavy on the scent.  I prefer a lighter perfume in my detergents.  Saying that, the laundry out of the dryer did not have that strong of a smell.

I feel like the Purex plus Clorox 2 did the best job I could hope for seeing as those stains were thick, sticky, caked on, and had been there for several days.   

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