Duck (s)! and Green Hats

When we moved into our house last year, the swimming pool came complete with three ducks, two of which were real and one was of the plastic top, floating chlorine tablet holder variety.  After a week or so, the real ducks moved on, but not before laying an egg in the rocks poolside.  Haley, our only dog at the time, was curious but not enough to cause undo stress to ourselves or the ducks.

This morning as I was preparing breakfast I happened to glance out into the backyard.  There they were.  Back again.

Ducks again

This time we have two dogs.  And this year I do not feel as confident that our lovely dogs will resist the chance to pretend to be bird dogs.  For now, we shall attempt to keep dog/duck separation and hope the ducks decide on another location to start a family.

And also this morning this happened.  They look a bit like mischievous leprechauns, don’t you think?

Green Hats of course

So there you have it, a post of two unrelated pictures.  Ducks and green hats – it is sure to be an interesting day.

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Those People

Today we were those people.

You know the ones.

The people who have pool noodle battles in the middle of the Costco parking lot.

Pool Noodle Collage

Our last summer pool noodles, the cheap Home Depot ones, had long ago gone the way of a phoenix bird from the Harry Potter books.  But instead of loosing all its feathers and making gagging noises before it bursts into flame and majestically rises from its own ashes, reborn, our pool noodles slowly and methodically shed clumps of polyethylene foam in pool-filter-clogging sizes and wheezed, before rising from the pool deck to rain down sun-faded bits of probably cancer causing material across our backyard.

This year we sprang for the larger, squishier, slightly odiferous Costco pool noodles (the label promised that the chemically odor would fade after a couple hours out in the sun).  I let the pool noodles ride shot gun on the way home, although we did crack the windows.  After lunch, the boys went swimming.  The pool noodles were enjoyed and the odor did indeed fade.

 Pool Noodles

Let us hope that these pool noodles, when their time comes, simply fade away and allow themselves to be unceremoniously thrown away.

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Simple Sunday – Zombies and Robo-Sharks

It was the quarantine.  Or maybe the robo-sharks.


It could even have been the intensive laser testing.  Whatever it was, it has kept me from gaining access to my computer for the past two months, from blogging.


It was most certainty not something as mundane as everyday life, being too busy, or simply being too lazy.

Nope, upon deeper reflection I am convinced it was the zombie quarantine.

We are here.  We are doing well despite what you might think based upon the posted warnings one would currently find at the end of our hallway.  And while Cody and Carter’s room may look like ground zero for a robotic shark vs. zombie knockout and takedown, I must confess that this is the general state of things when it comes to the tidiness of their room.

Typical room

Barring any unforeseen giant squid takeovers or crooked toothed monkey invasions, you should see me around the blogosphere again soon.

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Simple Sunday – Seahawks, Root Beer, and Cooking with a Cat

Carter decorated our house for the Seahawks game today.  You can thank us for the win.

Seahawks 12th man

Tonight is also the much anticipated First Annual Root Beer Taste Off.  The taste off is the brain child of Cody, who happens to enjoy root beer a little too much.  We have purchased four different types and have invited a couple friends who are bringing another brand as well as some vanilla ice cream to use for root beer floats.  The taste off will be a blind taste test.  Cody has labeled cups, created a key so he can keep track of them all, and made a punch card for each person to use to rate the various root beers.  He is also planning on making a bar graph with the final data.  That is so Cody.

(If you are lucky I will write a follow-up post on the root beer brands and the ultimate winner.)

Root Beer Collage

And finally, no root beer taste off is complete without being followed by a dinner of crockpot roast with veggies and Yorkshire Pudding.  I put that together this morning with the help of Princess Leia.

Cooking with Princess Leia

Never a dull moment here at Casa de Shoes on the Wrong Feet.

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Lay off the Candy, Alice Cooper!

Husband and I were having a conversation at the dinner table tonight about a band that we are going to see with some friends next month.  The band, Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers (the lead singer was in the band The Refreshments prior to this), is one we have enjoyed and seen many times prior to having kids.

Apparently this is the twentieth anniversary of The Refreshment’s rather popular album Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big & Buzzy.  Because of this, The Peacemakers are going to release one song off this album each month with a guest singer.  The first song, Banditos, will be sung with Alice Cooper, a friend of Roger’s and a local of Phoenix.  Just a short time before we left Phoenix to move to Washington, we saw The Peacemakers play a gig where Alice Cooper got up on stage and sang a couple songs with them.  From what I remember of it, it was pretty cool.  I may have had a beer or two so my memory is not clear (and it was a long time ago, just saying).

Husband made a comment that he thought it was pretty cool to see Alice perform, especially since he rather expected him not to live much longer.  What was left unsaid, since both Husband and I knew it, was that Alice Cooper partied hard and perhaps did not take as great a care of his body as he should have.

Carter did not know this.  And why should he.  So he asked Husband why he thought Alice Cooper would die soon.

Husband was busy talking with Cody about something so I told him it was because Alice Cooper did some unhealthy things when he was younger and that he did not take good care of himself.

Carter thought about this for a few seconds and then asked what exactly did he do that was unhealthy.

I was forming my words carefully before speaking when Carter piped up.

“Did he eat too much candy, momma?”

Jolly Ranchers, Snickers, Mars Bars, Payday, Skittles – mine all mine!!!

Yes, Carter, yes he did.  Among other things, I am sure.

Ahh, how naïve my sweet little boy is…

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Simple Sunday – Coffee with Zombies

Without my morning cup of coffee, I feel a bit like these two fellows.

Coffee with Zombies

No home is complete without zombies growing on ones kitchen counter…

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2015 – Shoes on the Wrong Feet Style

I tried, honest I did.  I tried to limit each month to one picture.  As you can see, I failed right away and continued to mostly fail throughout the entire thing.  I went back through the many (oh, so many!) photos I had taken in 2015.  I did this mostly randomly, although I did focus on a couple highlights such as our new critters, and I made sure to get a image from each month.  I enjoyed the process and I hope you enjoy the end result.

A very Happy New Year to you all!



The first five minutes of 2015 – proof that I was awake and celebrating (and I am pretty certain that Husband is holding an IPA, although not in a champagne flute).


In 2015 we were still living in the apartment.  Here are my three boys in their typical state (and Haley simply ignoring the goings on).  I think I took this picture to show off the boys in their new Christmas socks but the picture is really so much more than socks.



We did a lot of hiking in 2015.  Here is a great picture of Husband and Haley.



Disneyland.  Yup, my mom treated us all to a wonderful time at the happiest place on earth.  It was pretty sweet!



Our family got a membership to the Desert Botanical Gardens.  We love it there and go every month or so.


Cody created and documented his very first recipe.  Over the year he has made it several times for us, each time using his recipe card.



May was moving month for us!  I moved classrooms, moving from my very first classroom into another one on the same campus.  We also moved from our apartment into our wonderful Central Phoenix home.  A tiring but amazing month!



Summer is a time to stay hydrated, especially here!  We got new water tumblers for the occasion.


Summer is also the time for lemonade stands.  The boys got some serious business but during the down times they were prepared with reading material.


Sasha, our sweet rescue dog,  joined our family in early summer.  Cody and Sasha hit it off right away.



A visit to Washington to spend time with my mom.  Playing on the beach was a serious highlight.


July is a good month for chilling by the pool with a cold Mexican beer.



August was back to school month.  Here is a picture of one of my small group reading tables.


This was also the month in which we got Princess Leia and Chloe from the humane society.


And finally, a picture of the August setting sun from our backyard, just because.



We were thrilled when our neighbors gave us the keys to their cabin for Labor Day weekend.  We made a road trip out of it (Perry the Platypus rode super shotgun on the dashboard) and had a wonderful time getting out of the heat on the Mogollon Rim.



October is a great month for dog walking and we did plenty of it both in the desert mountains a short drive from our house and right in the park and desert in our neighborhood.  Happy dogs!


We also celebrated with family and friends our first Practice Thanksgiving in our new house.



Husband’s father died in November.  This month was filled with memories, sadness, and reflection.  We hiked the mountains near our house and on our way back had desert rain fell upon us.



December and our rosebushes continue to bloom.


The sky was also in bloom on one of our many evening walks around the park in our neighborhood.


A year of ups and downs was capped by a very nice Christmas (and a cat with a Nerf gun, of course).

I am excited to see what is in store for our little family, Shoes on the Wrong Feet, in the year 2016.

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Last night after dinner we headed out to Safeway – where all the cool kids go after dinner on a Monday night – to pick up a couple items.  (This is very atypical for us but considering it is winter break and I have no work tomorrow and the boys no school ((and Husband works from home so has a short hallway-length commute)) it was totally doable.)

We had in our cart the five items on our list plus the obligatory two or three impulse items and were heading toward the checkout when something caught my eye.

me:  Oh look, champagne!  We should get some champagne for New Years!

Husband:  But we don’t like champagne.

me:  Well, I know that – but it is what people do on New Years Eve.

Husband:  Continuing his thought as if I had not spoken, Plus when was the last time you were actually awake at midnight on New Years?

me:  Well…!  I tried to sound huffy, but I knew he was right.

Husband:  I mean, I am all for optimism but…his voice trailed off.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  We continued to the checkout sans champagne.

So if in the off chance I actually make it to midnight, we can toast each other with a nice hoppy IPA, our typical drink of choice.

Would it be wrong to use champagne flutes for our IPA?

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In One Eye Blink

Carter had great plans for his dreams last night.

In his dreams, he was going to fight and defeat Kylo Ren, a character from the new Star Wars movie we saw yesterday.

Upon awaking this morning he stumbled into Husband’s office, where Husband and I were talking.  Carter had on his warmest pajamas and was clutching to his chest his two most loved stuffed owls.

carter:  Poppa?  How did your dreams go last night?  Apparently Husband had told Carter that he too was going to dream a Star Wars dream.

husband:  I don’t remember my dreams Carter.  How about you?

carter:  Well.  I went to bed and then in one eye blink it was 7:00 and it was morning!

He sounded a little upset, cheated out of a well thought out and greatly anticipated dream.

Not one to give up, he is planning his Star Wars dream today in hopes that it follows him to bed tonight.

Star Wars Dreaming

I hope he gets his dream.

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Simple Sunday – Star Wars Sunday

How did you spend your last Sunday of 2015?  We awoke early to watch the force awaken – in 3-D at the IMAX.


After the movie, which was awesome, we went out to eat for my favorite meal – second breakfast.  On our way home we stopped by the zoo and spent an hour or two walking around and taking in the sights.  It is nice to be members so we can pop in and spend as little or as long as we like without worrying about maximizing our time and money.

The rest of the day has been spend at home puttering about.  Husband mowed the lawn.  Cody, Carter, and I cleaned and organized their room.  The boys and I still have one more glorious week of winter break off work/school ahead of us.

It has been a very fine day indeed.

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