Monday, December 31, 2007

Fun Monday: Favorite Cartoon

Holties House: I want you to tell us your favorite joke and/or show us your favorite cartoon. Please check out the link above and visit the other players!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas and New Year's and Caucus, oh my!

We're going to finish taking down our Christmas decorations tonight, I think. It's about time to do so. As pretty as they are, in a small place, we need all the room we can get, and a 7 ft tree, quite round takes up quite a bit of room.

New year's is right around the corner. I can't decide if I want to blog 365 or not. It seems kind of like a big commitment, but I blog almost daily, and am in pretty good practice due to NaBloPoMo in November...we'll see. I think I'll just keep up my healthy living campaign and not make a resolution.

Caucus -- it's a dirty word around here. Actually, it's all we've heard about for the last few months. The primary election in Iowa. And it takes place Jan. 3rd. We're going to talk it over and decide if we'll take part, watch, or even go. It seems crazy, but after millions of commercials, I think I'm MORE confused than I was before. I've never voted in a primary election before, just the final deal, and only on presidential years. It may be awful, but that's all I care about right now. Maybe once we have a family or are established in a community that we plan to stay in I'll care a bit more...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bears beat Packers TWICE... yet cold WEATHER was to blame?...

I have to say that this is the LEAST likely and most PATHETIC excuse I have ever heard, particularly considering where this came from : the mouth of Brett Favre. That the WEATHER was to blame for the December 23 loss to the Chicago Bears. Sorry, Brett, so, yeah, it was cold and windy, but umm.. weather conditions were near perfect October 7th then? Oh, wait, you lost THEN too!

A commentator from Pro Football Weekly ALSO gave the Packers a nod, saying, it was just too cold for them, etc... Umm, hello? Dude? Can you read a map? Green Bay is NORTH of Chicago. They are known for snow and cold weather, and yet the Bears supposedly played better because... oh yeah, they're a GOOD TEAM. Sure, they have had some offensive issues, etc. But you can't tell me that 2 months apart from good weather to bad that for some random reason that the Packers just WUSSED OUT!

Bite me commentators, and Favre, take a look at your MAP for once before you speak! Do you spend too much time out of Green Bay to realize that the temperatures are a BIT colder there than in Chicago? Worst weather my ass. How about saying you got beat by a fairly good team and owning your OWN mistakes. Okay, thanks!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Snow angel, tall drifts and rabbit prints...

Embracing the identity of mouse...

I don't know if you'll be able to zoom in and see it or not, but it says to Mrs. Mouse from Mr. Mouse... awww!

Treats I made for the Christmas Season...

Puppy chow, chex mix, peanut butter fudge, chocolate fudge with pecans, little chocolate molds (can you find the toy solider?), chocolate and almond bark covered pretzels, peanut butter cookies with kisses in the center, chocolate covered oreos... the only thing I didnt get done is the caramel corn. Too bad. Maybe another time. I think I went a bit overboard, but everyone seemed to love it!

Christmas Dinner... mmmm

I made my own Christmas dinner this year, my hubby helped. A lot. Luckily we had homemade noodles in the freezer and fresh canned green beans in the cupboard.. My hubby helped me by handling the turkey from soak to pan and then helped me get it back out of the pan and get the drippings into the gravy pan, and he stirred stuff and adjusted burners when I asked him to. That totally rocks. Taking what would have been a large undertaking and making it fun and easy. Hmm.. maybe I will try a big dinner like that again, knowing I'll have help makes it so much better! Check out my hubby's excellent bread cutting skills and my super new cutting board loaded with the turkey! The best part - beyond hearing my hubby groan 'oh I'm SO full' over my food for the first time in history -- was that there are a lot of leftovers!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Things to know about me...

Jenni over at Prairie Air (in Kansas) tagged me for this meme: The "rules" for this meme are:

1) Link to the person who tagged you. 2) Post the rules on your blog. 3) Share 7 facts about yourself. 4) Tag 7 random people and include links to their blogs. 5) Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. I am cheating and only doing 1-3. If you want to play feel free!

1. I like most Law and Order crime-type shows. Crossing Jordan, CSI's, etc. Recently I have had wicked dreams about the leading men in some of these shows. Go figure. I think I watch too much TV.

2. I really, truly am disgustingly, madly, hoplessly in love with my husband.

3. I could walk around watching birds, trees, animals, stars in the sky, etc. forever.

4. I have a very odd sense of humor. For example: this.

5. I wasn't a very popular kid because I learned lessons well and early. I didn't misbehave, so parents loved me, but the kids all thought I was weird, and treated me as such.

6. I was popular in college with everyone (but the extreme partiers group) because they had finally grown up to meet my intellect.

7. I'm really very quiet when you first meet me, but as time goes on and we become better acquainted, you'll figure out that I'm a pretty awesome person.

On the day after Christmas my true love gave to me...

a wrapping paper shopping spree....

Everything half price, you can't beat it. We had run out of paper and regular sized boxes to wrap with, we just had small boxes left. We also grabbed a ream of stick on tags. We had some but I didnt think they'd last through next year.

Broth was still on sale, and I love having a pantry full of broth. It's great to make soup out of, cook some noodles for a quick lunch, or make some gravy in a snap. So we grabbed another case for the larder.

Today my husband went outside around 11 and started cleaning up his shop, putting away his new tools. Which quickly led to working on his truck. When he came in finally to eat, the long lost missing piece that would allow him to start the Bronco and drive it showed up at the door. I forced him to have lunch and sent him on his way. He's happily a tuning away out there. I can't wait until he can finally drive it. It's been about 2 weeks now and he's about to go crazy waiting. Especially with all the snow, and 3 more inches slated to fall this week. He LOVES driving the thing in the snow. Mostly because it will climb up over anything or push about anything. And it will be his first time driving it since getting the transmission put in, which will be a real thrill for him.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

It sure was a great day! This morning I woke up and had a shower, came downstairs and turned on the oven for my breakfast casserole. My husband woke up and had a shower and we put the casserole in the oven while we opened presents. I got some pretty cool stuff- all stuff I needed like dumbbells for my workout, kitchen stuff, socks and gloves, a new watch. Awesome. I called my mom and we had breakfast and a nice boozy drink. We could have had mimosas if we had champagne. Then we fed the squirrels/rabbits and birds, and went for a long walk in the snow, back to the little wooded area in our subdivision. While there, we saw a small bird of prey with a little prey of some sort in his feet. We thought that was pretty neat. Christmas breakfast for the resident hawk. I made a snow angel.

We enjoyed some holiday treats and started lunch. It finally got done around 1 pm. We made turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, noodles and green beans and bread. Yummy. Can't wait for dinner for leftovers. We cleaned up after lunch and we took another long walk and followed the deer tracks up to the wooded area again. We took the camera and took a few pictures.

We've been hanging out, Matthew reading a magazine and me watching some tv reruns. I bet he's not ready for dinner, but he over ate, and I didn't.. Mm leftover turkey..

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Presents..

A new jacket, some bath and body works stuff, a complete scrapbooking extras kit, a shirt to wear under a jacket, 2 new homemade aprons, a second new tablecloth (1st one came early) and 2 napkins oh and also 2 rugs. Apparently I have something else coming but i dont know what it is.

My husband got a circular saw, a dremel, an air compressor, several sets including wrenches, screwdrivers, sockets, etc and a tape measure. He's in hog heaven. By that I mean he's very happy as he loves tools of all kinds and these will help him with his projects in the garage.

We are having a white Christmas as we are back in Iowa and welcomed 5 inches of snow. Poor rabbits are up to their eyeballs.

We saw plenty of hawks and such along the way back home, but perhaps the coolest was 2 bald eagles trying to fish from the same hole in the ice along the river at Burlington. Flapping their wings and such. Neat. No pictures as we were driving too fast in traffic.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Over the river and through the fog...

to the Christmas fests we go! We made it. After a quick (okay long) stop to visit with a former co-worker -- and verify that the former boss is totally insane, even impartial people who have class and tact came right out and said she's a psycho. Wonderful. Um.. yeah, after that we got on our way and arrived 'home' an hour later. 4 hour drive plus an hour-ish stop makes for a long day. My poor hubby. He should get something special for Christmas for putting up with it. Let's see, so for now I'll recount what we saw along the way, besides lots and lots of fog and the usual 'moos' and horses, etc.

In the first 5 minutes: a deer, munching on grass and a flock of turkeys
In the first 35 minutes: 24 hawks or birds of prey (maybe more)
After that: 20-30 more b-o-p, hundreds of Canadian geese on a pond, and a bald eagle (not in a pear tree)...

Merry Christmas or whatever you celebrate!

Hope you enjoy your season, and see what you can accomplish with a couple of stamps on a blank card. Isn't it neat? I love the little penguins! My husband was going, oh those are neat, where did you get those, when he stopped and said, oh yeah, you bought those stamps, I thought those were from the store. Woohoo! I guess I rock at stamping!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Puppy love...

Joy was commenting on her dog missing her today. I tried to reply to her, but apparently I'm too stupid to figure out her little code thing at the end that requires you to type in the hidden message or whatever, I never can see it, something about the difference between black and grey not distinguishable to me.. so Joy, here's my comment back to you, because your blog thinks I'm spam now...

I can relate to the dog thing. when I went to college, my dog pouted. Visibly. He wouldn't make up to me for a long time when I got back, and then he'd be happy, and then I'd say good bye and hug him, etc. and he'd start pouting again. now? When my parents puppies were little I stayed with them on weekends in the summer because my hubby was in Seattle for a college internship. My mom told me on a Monday that Willie was looking all over for me and kept waiting for me to emerge from the basement to walk with them.. poor guy. He still seems to like me (and everyone else) more than the other dog, Willie's just a lovey dove. Cole is more reserved and he'll take the rubs and be all jealous and butt Willie out of the way to get his turn, but he's not usually all over you. Willie will lay on your lap should you deign to sit on the floor. Immediately. Thump, plop plop flump, he's got as much of his body on you as possible. My other dog did that. But only to me. He'd only lay down on me. I don't think Willie's as discriminating. And the last time we were there, my hubby was still downstairs sleeping in the morning and Willie and Cole came in from a romp-- Willie kept wandering the rooms, specifically the computer room, he was looking for Matt. Is he there, no, how about now, no.. So sweet. So I totally get it. I think the dogs feel someone being gone just as much if not more than humans do.

I need a nap...

Yeah, I could go back to bed and probably lay there tossing and turning for a while, but usually, when I'm up, I'm up. So I'm stuck like this until oh say around midafternoon when I get sleepy, I may very well take advantage of it and take a nap. For now, just a quick blog before I reassess my to-do list and start the unholy adventure known as 'packing'.

I made the puppy chow last night and my husband shook the powdered sugar and coated the stuff for me in one of those large ziploc bags that they show on tv that you can carry anything in from art supplies to sports equipment blah blah, well they are nice for that, but they also worked in a pinch to make this stuff, as I didnt have any other container or bag that I could shake it in. My hero. Of course he did have to lick the spoon in between batches, but he happily washed what he had tasted off of so I could make the second batch right away. Did I mention that he loves chocolate? I made the stuff primarily for him. The only thing I didnt count on was that it's supposed to be kept in the fridge? wha? All the stuff at the store (which I have NEVER purchased by the way) is shelf stable, so I'm not really sure why homemade wouldn't be. Oh well.

Now I dont know if I should make caramel corn or not. For one thing, I'm out of big coffee containers or tins I saved (2 full of chex mix, 2 full of puppy chow) for that purpose. For another I have the above plus 6 pounds of fudge and I'm planning on making cookies. Oh and the little candy molds I poured up and chocolate covered pretzels and mini payday bars and oreos.. umm. Yeah, I may be done. At least I would think that a lot of this would freeze if necessary. I also thought I would be able to talk my husband into sharing some of this at work. Apparently not. I dont know, maybe he'll take some tomorrow, but as of this morning, he wasn't planning on sharing. I always used food as my work gifts, that way I gave away some and there was less for me to binge on, that if someone gave me something it wasn't like I didnt give them something, everyone loved it and you could give as much or as little away and everyone was still thrilled... I'd either take a big container in and let people eat some or take them little trays or containers singly, or both. Then they would have some to take home and some to enjoy at work. It worked out pretty well that way. I guess I was 'fixin' like I was still working. Oh well. Maybe next year I won't make as much.. we'll see... For now, I guess I better get a move on. No rest for the weary...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I have chex cereal coming out of my ears..

but 2 batches each of chex mix and puppy chow are done and in containers...

now just need to get the caramel corn and cookies done, cut up the fudge
and get everything packed


To do list, a little shorter a little longer...

I do have a little bit crossed off my list:

shop and wrap hubby's gifts - check
make pnut btr fudge - check
make chex mix - one batch, check - may make another one.. we'll see..
accounted for who sent me Christmas cards and made sure they got one back. check.
mailed card for friend's anniversary, had it ready and stamped, just needed to seal and send.

got gift for friend of friend who will be going through chemo asap. wrapped and card written.
may blog on this later...

the presents we are taking are already in a laundry basket and are now near the door.
we will have to black plastic bag them and put them in the back of the truck in case of snow/rain.

still need to get cooler or big container or both out for the treats and such..
I am supposed to take deviled eggs so i am going to boil them and put them
back in the egg cartons (a niece gets extra credit for egg cartons?)
anyway, being a good aunt and taking the cartons. we gave her 6 in November. i have one or two
in a bag to go and will have at least 2 more for her from the deviled eggs.

then i will just have to assemble them upon arrival.

i am blogging in between workout commercials so i better get back and
finish my workout so i can get to get cleaned up and then keep going on my to do list..

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What's left to do

Finish shopping for my husband
Buy ingredients to complete treats and take part of Christmas Dinner
Wrap his presents
Make peanut butter fudge
Make peanut butter kiss cookies
Cut up fudge and find a way to transport it and the other snacks
Make Chex mix
Make Cracker Jack
Make Puppy Chow if time

Pack clothes
Pack treats and presents
Survive the holiday preparations!

Can't wait til it's time to just enjoy!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Fun Monday: On the Road Again

Kitten says: I think it would be neat to hear about the story behind your home and the road you live on. It doesn't have to be historical, maybe just something that stands out to you. It would be nice to have pictures to go with your little story. I also would like to know who has the oldest house.

Well right now, we live on a dinky subdivision road that is pretty meaningless. So I'll tell you about where my family lives. They live on Six Corners Road. Guess how many corners it has. Yup, six. The name of their "place" is Atlasta Acres. In school shop class, I made a sign for them. It hangs on their hitching rail. Here's a picture of it this fall with decorative gourds. In the spring there are yellow lilies growing underneath the rail. Right now, the rail is likely covered in greenery with red bows.

The story goes that the place was named because "at last 'a' acreage" to live on. For a long time, my parents vehicles had A Acres 5 on the license plate, for the 5 family members. Now one has EHKLJ for the family members' initials. There's 15 of us now. Check out the family photo. Can you guess who belongs to who? There's a plaquard on the ground by the front porch that says 1912 or 1914. But the former neighbor swore that he saw the house being built, and he's only in his 80's, so it can't be that old. We moved there in 1982.

The driveway is 1/5 mile long. I walked it every morning for school. I rode bikes, walked it when I was sad, bored, the dog wanted to go out, the horse got loose, you name it. I'm pretty sure I still have a scar on my left knee from a day like today with a bunch of ice, I slid and went down on the knee, tore my pants and bloodied myself up a little bit. It was a place for solace, for quietness in the noise of life. And when we're back there, it still is. I voluntarily get up at 5:30 am and walk the dogs. It's a time for peace in this crazy world. Here's me circa 1996 or so on the horse, after it got loose and went to visit the neighbor's horses. My husband is going to sigh and ask me to grow my hair out again. But here it is, in all it's glory. I'm coming up to the driveway...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Reggie Bush, Eat your Heart Out!

Woohoo! Okay, so I didnt' get to see the game, but I'm looking around the web for game shots. My man Stecker scored twice and the Saints won! Woohoo! That's why I'm screaming, Reggie Bush, eat your heart out! For a play by play, click here. With a 4.3 ypc average, I'm LOVING this. There's still a chance for playoff action, so hopefully there would be a lot more chance for us to actually see the game, as they are not usually televised in our area.

Sister in law's gift

I was trying to figure out what else to do for my sister in law for Christmas. She's pretty crafty and likes cooking, making cakes, etc. I have in the past given her icing recipes, measuring cups and a container of powdered sugar, etc. What I hadn't given her was an apron. Now I can sew pretty well by hand but I'm scared of sewing my fingers together on a machine. Yes, really. Same with glue, I can't hardly use superglue, let alone a hot glue gun. Not without supervision. Forget it. Or an iron either. I'm just too accident prone. Back to the apron. I didn't set out to make her one, I just looked down and saw them in Wal-Mart. About $5 for a plain white apron and I thought to myself, self, you can embroider something on that. And so I did. I looked everywhere for the patterns and finally realized that I must order them, and they finally arrived yesterday afternoon. I started working on it around 4pm and got done around 2 this afternoon. Not really too long all put together. Most of my issues were with figuring out how to get started again. Once I did some research I was all set, sat down and worked until midnight last night and then worked on it all day today. Now it's all in the washer getting the extra markings from the iron-on pattern off and it'll be ready to wrap up for her. Just in time...

Here's the patterns...

Here's the one I picked to use...

and here's the finished product!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Thumpity thump thump...part 2

I didn't know how true those words would be when I wrote them last night.

I fell down the stairs.

I'm not hurt, just a little skinned up. Probably would have been worse if they weren't carpeted. At least in general, I was smart enough to sink backwards and try to catch myself with my arms up and back and didn't break them. Did skin the crap out of my elbow though.. all together now.. awww. Thanks, I feel better. That and my hubby kissed my boo-boo. Isn't that nice? I think we're in training for world's silliest people or something. We kiss each other's hurts and bark at the squirrels out stealing bird seed, and howl at the moon.. Sigh.. I love that man..

Now where was I? Oh yes, what I did yesterday...

Yesterday i managed to cut out my felt horse candy cane cover thingys (technical term there) in green, sew them up, and add the eyes and ears. i need to get the reins on and they'll be done. i think those are going as gifts to my nephews and i'll use 2 of the red ones for my nieces. i'll still have 6 red ones on my tree, as i have the 2 holey old ones that my mom had ages ago.

i'm still waiting on the dumb fed ex driver. basically they decided that it was too late and too icy to attempt our street so they didnt deliver yesterday. and i need the stuff in that box to fix my sis in law's apron. argh! having it yesterday would have been SO nice. then i could be working on it right now, while my husband is still snoozing. we crashed at like ten after ten. now i remember why i dont drink. i get so damn tired that i can't see straight after one drink. me, the oink oink couldnt finish her dinner because she was too tired. yeah. eating was just too much of a hassle. that one i can't figure out. maybe i just wasn't feeling good to begin with. i do know my insides are now squirming going, HEY I need to eat something in here. stupid insides.. will have to decide to either wake up hubby to fix me an omelet, or open that rare can of cinnamon roll things that I let into the house. This time I had a coupon. Oh jeez, that makes me think to ask my mom to make cinnamon rolls for when we're home.. I bet she would if I asked. Hmm, insides really pissed now.. must go eat!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thumpity thump thump...

Between the snow and ice, the putting together of felt horse candy cane holders, making treats and keeping the hubby happy, I haven't posted. Mostly, I've been reading everyone else's posts. It didn't occur to me to go ahead and post. Duh. Like you guys want to see the same post sitting there since Monday. About like I want to see the same post on your site since Monday.

We had a date night tonight and I was able to drink all of my Pecos Peach, but barely. I feel like I could fall asleep right now. I'm a lightweight to the extreme. The drink has schnapps and champagne in it, along with some fruit, so maybe there's some redemptive value, or maybe not :-) probably just a load of sugar, and at this point, I dont really care. My only issue is that when you don't have something to eat first and you slurp too much of it queasiness ensues. I think I ate about 10 french fries and one piece of chicken. The rest is stuck in the fridge for later. My husband had lobster and steak and loved it. Finally some steak after his braces came off. That's probably the least I've eaten out in a long time. But also the most I've had to drink in a long time. I got just a tad bit giggly. I certainly teased my husband a lot more than I usually do. And I was very very happy to have had a date night. It warmed the cockles of my heart (did you know your heart had cockles?) I really miss our date nights...

This week we've had a lot of animals visiting. We had 4 rabbits at once. That was the most we've had at a time. The largest male squirrel jumped up and emptied the bird feeder for us (3 or 4 inches of ice and snow gave him enough height to get up there) and the hawk visited again and snacked on a blue jay I think -- quite disgusting, really, but he was so pretty that I didn't mind too much.

I need to finish shopping for my hubby and he needs to do all his shopping for me. And we'll be gone next weekend so this weekend is it.. okay I can no longer concentrate on this and the tv show i'm attempting to watch, so signing off..

Monday, December 10, 2007

Aaron Stecker Fan Club part deux

I'm so friggin stoked! Finally! A NO Saints game on our TV! And my bestest alumni player Stecker has been going, and going, and going, kind of like the Energizer Bunny. I need to go check his stats. (please amuse yourselves --not like that! okay, that's better)

With a pre-this game per rush average of 3.4 versus the injured Reggie Bush's 3.7, not too bad. He'll have to share the spotlight tonight with a couple other backs. He's had one touchdown in the loss to St. Louis, but he's proving himself a workhorse in this first half of play, much like his role at WIU in the late 90's. Go Leathernecks!

And finally, he's getting his props from the announcers. They're quoting his more than 5 ypc this game and comparing it favorably against Bush's measly 3.7 in his play time. My hubby thinks that maybe this good showing will net him some more cash. Maybe. I'd settle for more playing time. And one hell of a touchdown run ala Hester. Please? Well, it was worth a shot. Cause that guy can run! When I first saw Hester run, I was jumping up and down saying, that's how Stecker can run when he gets a chance. I saw it in college, etc. Yeah, I'm crazy....

Well, we're having a great time waiting for the storm to hit here in Iowa. Bundle up everyone. I'll see you on the other side. Bring on the thunder snow!

Fun Monday-Favorite Christmas Ornament(s)

Kaytabug says: In the spirit of the season I would like to see your favorite Christmas tree ornament. Not to be confused with the WHOLE tree. I want you to zoom in and show me one or a few(you know I can't choose just one!) of your favorite ornaments. If you don't decorate a tree, show me your menorah or dreidel, Kinara, or Yule Log. I want to see your favorite decoration for this holiday season. - So go check out the rest of the participants!

Okay, so I couldn't pick just one, so here's the majority of my favorite ornaments as a kid. These are mine, on my tree now, each of my brothers also has a bear of some sort, a fuzzy mouse (theirs were white, mine a much cuter grey), a little moppet with a package, and 2 wooden ornaments. Oh, and we can't forget about the little bitty rocking horses either! So tiny! It's green, so blow up the picture and look for it! We either got them as gifts from someone when we were really little, or they were bought in threes so we'd each have one. Each one is a little different, but of course some of mine were girly and theirs not. Note- I scooched them close together for the picture, they aren't really hung that close together. Just for pictures, kind of like little kids!

Someday I'd like to do the same for my own kids. Hopefully there will be old fashioned wooden ornaments again that I can find one day....

And my hubby and I have our own tradition, each year we've had a tree we've gotten an ornament. They are "couple" ornaments where someone is undoubtably snuggling someone else or sharing a special moment. They are entirely too cute. This year is Thumper and Mrs. Thumper and she kisses his cheek and there's a little twist knob you can run to make his foot go up and down and "thump". We havent had a tree for 3 years, 2004, 2005, and 2006. Should we try and catch up on ornaments or just let them be? What do you think?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Ride Horsey Ride - $2 horse

12 ft of rick rack 1.99 (40 percent discount) =1.19
red felt 20 cents
white felt 20 cents
6 horses = 1.59
with green felt 20 cents
= 12 horses 1.79
the green ones just aren't done yet!

We went to three WalMarts and a Michaels

and still didn't find the pattern I am looking for to hot iron transfer to an apron for my lil sis in law for Christmas. Apparently Michael's doesnt have them, just the giant books that aren't hot iron, and WalMart discontinued them from their stores in this area LAST WEEK!


So I ordered them direct from the company along with some premium flour sack towels to see if they're better than the generic ones from.. you guessed it, WalMart. I like making day of the week towels for people. I like using them so I guess I figure as long as everyone else uses their towels every day, that they'd like them too.

I ordered from here.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Friday, December 7, 2007

So cute! And umm, a little scary?

Okay so it's REALLY hard to get a good picture of outside when it's really dark through a glass door of a cute little bunny on reflective snow, but my hubby did an admirable job of trying! It was even CUTER when he pushed the snow aside with his WHOLE LITTLE NOSE to get at the little buried kernels of corn due to the rapidly falling snow. Sigh.. so when he ran away we threw out some more on top of the snow, and SOMEONE ate it last night, fresh bunny tracks in the snow..

It's equally tough to stand outside in your workout shorts, feet stuffed halfway into shoes, and circle this guy, trying not to spook him, but wanting a really good picture. Yup, that was me at 10 am yesterday, circling a bird of prey in 15 degree weather, in shorts. I think I need a better long distance camera!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

How Christmas Lights Blink

My husband explained this to me the other day. I think he was getting tired of me saying "blinky, blinky" every time they would blink, like an excited child, which of course, I AM dont you know!

Well if you too want to know "how come" Chritmas lights blink... here you go!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas Meme

What is a meme anyway? By the way, Happy Hanukkah to all those celebrating this week!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both

2. Real or Fake Tree? Fake
3. When do you put up the tree? As soon after Thanksgiving as possible, thanks to my honey.
4. When do you take the tree down? When we feel like it.
5. Do you like eggnog? Not gonna try it!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I think I got a horse once!
7. Do you have a nativity scene? No, but I'd like one to set out!
8. Favorite Christmas memory? Running in to see what Santa brought.
9. Person you consider the Queen or King of Christmas? Jesus. Duh.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever got? A very old Reba McIntyre cd instead of the new one.
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? The Santa Claus movies or the Misfit Toys "Nobody wants a Charlie in the box"
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I think about it before, but usually after Thanksgiving.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No! Wait, that's not true. When I was teeny tiny, I wanted to give my mom something for Christmas so bad, so I wrapped up some of the candles she already had and gave them to her.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Fudge. Or anything my mother makes.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? both.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Maria (the bird song by Garth Brooks) for non churchy and..
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Maybe both?
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Umm yeah! Edited to remove the S from reindeer. It doesn't belong!
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? People who get so wrapped up in the commercial, they forget everything about the spirit of the season and act horribly.
23. What I love most about Christmas? Definitely how other people react to their presents.
24. Tradition you've started with your family? We were getting an ornament each year that was a together ornament, starting with a "first Christmas together" ornament. But we haven't put our tree up a couple of years, so we only have the first 3, for 2001, 2002, and 2003.

How'd he do that?

We had put the slick outside pole up so the squirrels couldn't poach the bird seed. Guess what? Finally one of them got smart and grabbed the finch seed bag and hauled his little arse on up. The bags are in, and he's stuck scavenging with the other 4 squirrels. Can't they all just get along? If you want to know how to keep squirrels off of bird feeders. The pvc pipe works, just make sure there's nothing within jumping distance and grabbing distance for a little furry thing. Then your feathery things can still eat!
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Old Fashioned Felt Hobby Horse Candy Cane Holder

Hmm, this was a VERY inexpensive craft. If I were to guess, I would say so far less than $2 for 6 pieces so far, with the chance of making 6 additional from the same material. The only thing I haven't purchased is the rick rack. I bought 3 pieces of felt, for 20 cents each. I already had a needle and red thread, a piece of sewing chalk, a good pair of scissors and some superglue. If you had to buy a needle and thread, a piece of sewing chalk and superglue, your total would be $5, if you have them, I would say you could make these 6 for about 40 cents, with material left over. The scissors were from my grandmother. I have no idea how much sewing scissors cost. Regular scissors might make a slower go of it, but then again, it would be in investement if you plan to do any other crafting. And honestly, it didnt take that long to do this craft. I had a pattern already, as I had an old one that needs much tender care because his mane is all broken and his felt is holey, not holy felt. Holey felt. I imagine you could print out my picture, make it larger, and cut out the "felt" from my picture to make your own template. I traced and cut out the patterns one evening in a few minutes and slowly put the rest together while watching tv yesterday afternoon. If you did it all in one shot or had help, it would take a couple of hours. By the way, the candy cane is not "straight" compared to the pattern. The hobby horse has a bent head like he's pulling on the reins, so the cane is technically straight and will hang straight, but the horse will look bent forward. That's the way it's supposed to be.

First of all, I used my old template to trace with white sewing chalk one pattern, and cut it out, then used it to make the rest of the patterns, as you will see, my horses are bit fatter than the original, due to tracing around the outside with the mane still attached, etc.

You can see the comparison here. They are slightly bigger. Don't worry if your patterns dont all look exactly alike, just try and match up the ones that are closest, at the end you can trim off anything that is grossly extraneous. Use your horse head and cut out a "mane" in a coordinating color felt. It should hit near the top of the head. Don't worry about your coordinating color, it doesnt take that much for each piece. Just enough to have a mane sticking out as well as some inside to be sewn together. Maybe a half an inch wide.

Layer your white piece on the inside of two red pieces. Then I took a regular sewing needle and used a red piece of thread to sew the three pieces together. I'm sure you're familiar with knotting your thread at the end so that it doesnt pull through the fabric. I trim off the excess so that the knot is at the very end, and what I did was pull the needle and thread through ONLY the bottom of the white piece and all the way through the top red piece. This hides the knot between the white piece and the bottom red piece. Then I go all the way through all the pieces stitching backward once so that bottom stitch is solid. I started at the bottom of the mane and worked up to the nose, around to where the nose hits the jaw and tied off there and trimmed the excess. I went halfway through the top piece and hid the knot inside again. If you want, you can double stitch back around the nose and then back again (so really triple stitch) or do a chain stitch like in embroidery so you have a tighter hold around the nose. The first time, my horse's "nose" the candy cane poked right through. So far, with the double/triple or chain stitches, it is holding just fine.
Then you take your super sharp scissors and make small cuts in the mane to give it texture. It really is as simple as that.

Then of course I used superglue and glued on the "accessories." The ears could be pointy or rounded, it's not really important, as long as you think it looks like a horse ear. And you can put it wherever you want. If you do plan on putting on the rick rack for reins though, you may want to position it in such a way that it wont be in the way (see the first and second pictures for examples.) For the eyes, you could use a hole punch to "mark" the felt to cut around (i tried punching but it was too thick of material) and that works pretty well or you could cut an almond shape as well. If you do have punch of any shape that will go through, I think that would be fine. If you plan on using the rick rack, you can glue it on as well.

I think these make really easy and inexpensive gifts, or package tie ons that can be used as ornaments for years to come. I still need to get something for the loops and get those affixed and they'll be ready to hang on the tree!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Can I keep him? He followed me home!

Ah.. isn't young love great? Wait a minute, are we young anymore? We've been together since 1999, and still, sometimes my honey surprises me.

He gave me an hour's warning yesterday that he would take me shopping to try and get a lot of it done for our families before we were going to get a lot of snow (it's supposed to snow 3 inches today). What a man! I was so happy, I wriggled some responses out of his mother, wrote down everything I could think of for my folks and off we went!

We surprisingly found a lot of things in a short amount of time. Probably around 2 hours and we have at least 90% done for everyone else. We still haven't shopped for each other. I found a few cutesy things to put together for the women and the guys are getting some basics, but in general, we're a lot of the way there. I haven't started wrapping yet. There's not a whole lot of chance that anyone will show up on our doorsteps unannounced, so for now they're staying that way. Besides, I'm pleased as punch as to what we've done so far, and I would say for right now, I want to feast my eyes on all the goodies.

I was so worried I wouldn't be able to get out and do the shopping since there's still a thick layer of ice everywhere. And my prince rescued me and took me shopping.. Sigh. I'm so glad that he followed me home. And that I decided to keep him!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Bad girl, bad girl, whatcha gonna do, when they come for you. *Updated

Okay, so I was just really, really bad. Actually I just stood up to my old boss, who after I did all her work for a year, saved her ass when she didn't come to work, or didn't work while she was at work for 6 months while she was pregnant, and I got a mediocre evaluation from her when I was leaving (okay so it was 4 very goods versus all excellents. I was not happy.) Anyway, from what I have heard through the grapevine, she has let the place go all to hell, she comes into work late and leaves early, then asks if her workers get there on time (the other people in the building didnt miss that if SHE was there on time, she'd know if they were on time), asks other people in the building to spy on her workers, so see if they were talking to each other too much !?! What is it about the pot calling the kettle black? And so far about 1 out of the 4 initiatives that were scheduled to be done by now have been completed. Whatever, anyway, I pointed out that their website was down. The lady that updates the website told me that there had been server damage but it was up, and to check out the site, that the boss had said that to update the site, to take off all the old information and leave only something like *to be updated later, please come back* on it. And that the boss just wouldn't listen to her when she said that wasn't a good idea, that you have a hard time getting people to come back to a website if there's not SOME sort of idea as to what had been on there, the boss made her type the exact phrase in with her watching. Talk about micromanaging. Anyway, I emailed her and pointed out that perhaps her website person was right and that she should let her do her job. I got a request for a phone call. This is from a former boss mind you. And when I didnt call her within 2 hours, he he... get this... She wrote me this huge ass e-mail about how concerned she was and how she and the other lady were going to handle it. The most passive aggressive I'm threatening you e-mail I've ever gotten. Because I pointed out that her worker was telling her the truth and doing a good job. She could have just said, "thanks we're working on it" but did she do that, no! Whatever. I totally just blasted her back with this long drawn out email that told her I saw right through whatever hidden stuff she was trying to throw at me, that I'd be damned if she'd ever treat me that way again, and that basically I wasn't intimidated and as far as I was concerned, the subject was closed. I ended with a Merry Christmas! Sweet!

* Would you believe she tried to "alpha dog" me again? And she tried speaking for the other lady in the office, saying "if this is what a conversation with you is going to turn out like, WE are not interested" -- I told her to speak for herself, that if the other lady thought I was out of line, she'd tell me. Then I hammered her management style and passive aggessive nature. She's so blind to it that it's funny. Oh and I told her "no hard feelings" - cause I don't have any! Just thought I would share!

This is awesome!

Fun Monday -Hit me Baby One More Time

Robinella is hosting fun Monday for Dec 3rd, and she says: In honor of exhaustion, color and self-love, I present you with this week’s assignment. I want you to dig through your blog files and show us your best effort. Why you consider it your best is up to you. C’mon, you know you have a favorite - show it to me one more time.

I listed three. So I didn't follow the rules! The first is my statement of acceptance of any blogger worldwide. The second is my own little take on a bit of comedy, and the third is all sweet and sappy over my hubby, who is so cute and cuddly, I just had to include it! Here goes....

Wednesday, March 7, 2007 Pea Green with Purple Polka Dots

Our right to be different is, in a deep sense, the most precious right we human beings have. Lillian Smith

I think that difference is a beautiful thing. Sometimes the people I get along the best with are ones that by the pure virtue of being around them makes me stretch my thinking and comfort zone.

So let it be known, i don't care if you're black, white, speak a different language, wear different clothes or just have really abnormal ideas, if you're straight, gay, or can't quite decide yet, or any thing else you can think to separate yourself from the world, I don't care if you're pea green with purple polka dots, you're okay with me.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007It's Time..the Open Letter to Britney

Dear Brit,

I can understand that you may be somewhat remiss in your fashion sense due to growing up with your barely covered ass promoted all over the place, but as a mommy and a grown woman, shocking but true, no one wants to see your ass anymore. Please cover it. And all other jigglies as such you possess. Here's some simple steps to getting dressed as to no longer torture the rest of us with your cheeks.

Step 1: Put on the clothes you want to wear today.
Step 2: Look in mirror. Do you look cute? Fine.
Step 3: Bend over facing the mirror. Can we see your nipples or even most of your breasts? Please put on a camisole underneath what you're wearing and try again. Great.
Step 4: Bend over perpendicular to the mirror. Can we see your ass? Put on underwear. Can we still see your ass? Put on leggings, tights, or pants underneath your too short dress.

Better? Good. Oh, yeah, don't forget your wig and to pay your nannies. It's time to parade your kids outside wearing a decent amount of clothing. Don't be alarmed if people don't look at you. Didnt you say you wanted some privacy? Okay, now you're ready to be a real woman.

The one who's tired of having to hear about or accidentally look at your ASSets on the internet, tv, and every other conceivable place.

Sunday, October 14, 2007Fun Monday--Team "S"

Janet from The Planet of Janet, wants to know...Describe your meeting with your spouse/significant other. I especially want to hear "meet cute" stories. And it doesn't have to be your actual current sig/other. Perhaps the "meet cute" story is a former boy/girlfriend... or even a best friend. Illustrate with photos, of course. So go check out the other participants when you're done being disgusted by my sickly sweet story.

My hubby and I met in high school. Well, I would say we officially met in high school, even though we went to the same grade school too. We had PE class together. We did the kind of but not really dating thing that 14 year olds do. Then he moved to another school. I graduated and went to college. He went into the military. When we were both older and wiser, we started chatting online. I started it. We still have the e-mail to prove it. So I got what I wanted, I guess. :-) I e-mailed a mutual friend and asked if "MS" on his e-mail forwarding list was the same guy we went to school with, knowing full well that it had to be. Having thought he had a good sense of humor, and had an elfin cuteness, I started it! We emailed and chatted every once in a while after that. We met up once in Dec. of 98 when he was home on leave in between his schooling for the military. We had a mutual interest and hung out for a couple of minutes. More chatting and email ensued. It was all very half-flirty, half cool interest. What are you doing. How's class, etc. At one point, he flat out said he wanted to see me in August when he was on leave again. I took it as a silly thing, just hang out. True to his word, HE CALLED ME! I couldn't believe it. We went on our first date. To see "sixth sense"--I don't like scary movies. I put my hand on his leg and squeezed when I was scared-which was a lot. To my surprise, we both enjoyed that. A couple of days later he called and we watched "inspector gadget 2"--if not for the one dad and kid in the theater, we probably would have made out in the movie theater. Instead, he took me out to the lake dock and we looked at the water, talked, etc. When we were walking back to the car, he stopped me and kissed me. I was kind of surprised. I was ready for the second. That was much nicer. We sat in his car and talked ravenously until 5 a.m. No kidding. Really talked. and a (very little) more. My parents said they'd wished I'd waited another hour to come home. The coffee would have woken them up instead of me. Later that week we went to a bigger town to try and find a part for his dad's mower. Just an excuse to hang out, again. On the way back, we stopped at this stand of evergreen trees and just talked about the past, the future. He tearfully said he'd never wanted anyone else (oh he's going to be so mad at me) --that was so special. I still smile inside when I see those trees. We have been heart-fully together ever since. Distance, oh yes, distance and work and school have separated us. But we have always come back together in the end. He's my first and only lover. Times are crazy, they have been hard, they've also been good. We're the kind that might be frustrated, but we sit and make a plan. "We get through it, we always do" is said very often around here-he says the first part--I say the second. We make a great team.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Garth Brooks

How many of you love the G-Man? I have all of his cd's until this most recent rendition. I haven't checked in to see if you have to buy the whole set or if you can just get the new songs. I need to do that soon. I even have both Christmas albums, and they have been transferred to my computer, along with the rest of the cd's, so I can have a Garth Brooks fix whenever I need it, no cd player necessary.

Here's the thing. I would LOVE to have gone to see the concert in KC, it would have been awesome. You're reading the gal who would put "seeing a GB concert" on her 100 things she wanted to do in her life list. Then he stopped touring. And of course, we don't have to $500 or whatever ridiculous amount the tickets were going for after the secondary vendors snapped them all up.

My husband? Went to see him in Florida while he was in the military. And he didnt even like country music back then. He went because his friends were going. He takes every opportunity to rub that in. Sigh.

One of these days he'll tour again and the tickets won't be a small fortune. Then I'll have a chance to cross something off my list.

Would you like paper or plastic?

Did I mention that I got a good giggle out of my nine year old niece when we went home in October? I know I told you about going walking for field corn, i.e. where we gathered a huge plastic trash can full of field corn for our squirrels that we feed. I dont think I told you about her serious lack of "country" knowledge, even though she's been raised there every weekend for her whole life.

So we were walking, I was trying to get some clear brain time, some exercise, and she needed something to do, so I allowed her to come along. It was a little bit muddy, and we were at the end of the row, I had taught her how to step on what she thought might be a full ear and if it squished, it definitely wasn't. If it didnt squish, it probably was and you could look at it, make sure it wasn't too muddy (since we were putting them in a container to save for the whole year, moisture is NOT your friend) and take off the outside and put it in the bucket.

Okay, so we are at the end of the row, and she sees one, and says, oh there's one, it's still in the plastic...


I'm thinking to myself... plastic. What the heck does that mean? And then I realize, she means its still in the husks. I say, M... do you know.. and she said, I know I didnt say it right, but I don't know the word. I said to her, well, corn does come from the store in plastic, but out here it's called husks. Yeah, she's so not a farm girl...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Christmas Tree - Decorated

Three of our mice ornaments (the one on the left belongs to me, the upper right to him, and you know, I have no idea who the third belongs to.. ) it's odd that he got mouse ornaments before he met me.

The Life of a Software Engineer

Hey, my hubby has been posting lately! Yeah! I think my Nablobloblo has corrupted him!
If you know anyone in the computer business, they may be interested in what he has to say!


Blog Bling

Holly from AFF recently gave me this bling for my "continual optimism." I think it's awesome to be thought of that way. Like I'm a cheery spot in someone's day! Woohoo! I think I'd like to give this to Karina, because we're probably worlds apart in our experiences, but she just shares them so well! And what is there to friendship but sharing! We all color our worlds differently, and I'm glad she's out there with her crayon!

Friday, November 30, 2007

I did it! i'm my own hero!


Amy from a family story is hosting a site on product reviews. Check it out!

All together now.. AWWWW

My husband called his little sister this morning at 7 to wish her a happy (14th) birthday.
Awww. And I didnt even remind him!

NaBloPoMo is over!

That's not quite as exciting as I was expecting it to be. I did make a few new bloggy friends and got to post about a lot of random stuff. The pantry thing didnt turn out to be a whole month thing, but that's okay too, I put a lot of my recipes out there for people to steal and enjoy! That made me happy!

Plus now it will be December, doh, 25 days until Christmas and this weekend its supposed to snow, ice, etc. starting tomorrow morning and continuing throughout the day. Wonderful. I guess I need to get to the store soon to stock up!

I am still pretty happy about having posted for a whole month. It gave me the impetus I needed to go ahead and forge forward, and as a result, I'm a lot more comfortable with posting. yeah!

So thanks for reading, and if you do want to hear anything specific from me, please feel free to ask, show me yours and I'll show you mine (within reason, people), or what have you!

Things I'm thankful for...

Nov 1 - For blogging buddies
Nov 2- For the income to afford take out a couple of times a month
Nov 3- For the luxury of heated homes
Nov 4- For an extra hour or two of sleep
Nov 5- For a hubby who says thank you for his coffee in the morning.
Nov 6- For a hubby that says he's thankful he has me every day.. aww!
Nov 7- For the ability to speak, read, and write. The right way.
Nov 8- For the unconditional love of children, puppies and God.
Nov 9- For family
Nov 10- For 2 ovens when you're drying 6 loaves of cubed bread.
Nov 11- For veterans (thank you)
Nov 12- For music that conveys so many emotions and memories.
Nov 13- For projects that never end -hey at least you're not bored, right?
Nov 14- For the kind of love that leaves you all tied up.. in knots.
Nov 15- For fluffy, fuzzy and feathery friends to feed.
Nov 16- For dreams that DON'T come true.
Nov 17- For less crowded stores before 10 am!
Nov 18- For making up after a fight :-)
Nov 19- For a husband that supports my efforts and listens to me.
Nov 20- For love.
Nov 21- For a nice warm night last night.
Nov 22- For a warm jacket to ward off the rain.
Nov 23- For peace and quiet.
Nov 24- For inconsiderate and rude people to remind me how to treat people.
Nov 25- For Christmas music on the radio.
Nov 26- For not having to work this morning. Boy am I tired! But thankful!
Nov 27- For doctor's visits without much pain.
Nov 28- For pain to remind you what it's like to live without pain.
Nov 29- For internet, tv, and radio. They keep us connected.
Nov 30- For the end of NaBloPoMo of course! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Real tree for Christmas?

Did you ever go to cut down a real tree for Christmas?
I remember we did a few times when I was little, and they were grown on sand, with those awful little sand burr things on the ground, when you'd step on them, they'd go right through your shoes and poke your feet.

The trees smelled pretty good back then. Now I dont know if I'd want to deal with all the needles and keeping it watered. Maybe in a few years. But for now, the artifical one works just fine.

Leg bones connected to the...

My parents puppies kept going up to the waterway/set aside in between the front fields while we were there for Thanksgiving. We figured there had to be something up there to draw them back time and again.

They got their answer. A large leg bone showed up. Then today, a rack of ribs. My mom couldn't believe it. I could, I mean, people do shoot deer and don't catch up to them, they wander off and die. Guess a big one died up in the waterway.

Mom was wondering why they weren't eating their food so well, mmm big deer to snack on, guess that beats kibble any day!


I just wanted to remind everyone that reads my other blog that I'm still posting over there, and I describe the situation that happened over the holidays in more detail. I'd like some feedback, if you would. Just click on the link for user profile on the left and click on "next generation."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving overview 2007

Well, let's see, my hubby put up a ceiling, I helped make 8 batches of noodles, cube 3 loaves of bread, make the stuffing, etc. I made 5 dozen deviled eggs for 2 events, smiled on cue, and only got pissed off twice. Once at each event. Because I was taunted. The rest of the time, I had a sunny disposition.

I cleaned and walked puppies and cleaned some more. I went without a shower, didnt make a fuss when my hairdresser bailed on me (again) and dealt with countless relatives from all stripes of fabric. I giggled at my aunt's tale of trying on spanx, put out fires (not literally) and kept them from starting.

In short, I made life a little easier for my mom with her 40 plus crowd at her home and didnt throw a stink (though I should have) when I was humiliated at my hubby's family gathering.

I just can't stand it when a. people ask questions when it's none of their business and b. make fun of "who wears the pants in the family" when you ask your spouse do help you with something.

Argh! Can't he just get a container off a high shelf without it being a penis-size debate among the men? Give me a break.

See, sunny disposition!

Ahh.. the holidays

Isn't it just great? It reminds you of why you only get together a few times a year.
It brings up good memories, and bad ones.
It means people sticking their noses where they don't belong. And then acting hurt when you tear their heads off.

Yeah, I've been hounded since BEFORE my husband and I were married (virgins) as to when we were going to have kids. By HIS family. It was like, um, duh, we're not having them before we get married. And I've been personally hounded ever since. My husband doesnt seem to get it. Of course, his life won't be the one drastically changed by pregnancy. He'll, like, have to go get ice cream and stuff. And since he'd be the one working, it would be like, um gee, I'll watch the kid tonight so you can take a shower this week. Not a 24-7 thing. That's the way the world works. Color me bitter, but sometimes men just don't get it.

As for his family, they can all bite me. It's none of their business.

By the way, saying " we're just having fun practicing" usually deflects the questions pretty well.

Internet trouble

i'm having internet trouble, it only stays on for 5 minutes at a time so bear with me until i get it straightened out..

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

okay, this makes me mad...

God bless Rachael Ray, seriously. I don't have anything against her. Or Valerie Bertinelli. But the pair of them made me really angry today. Here's the scoop:

Twenty something guy has a trio of nephews that need adopting, so he does. Word gets out. He's picked as "superdad" and since it's the holiday season, why not lavish some money on this guy. Okay, first of all, the circumstances behind all this I dont know. Maybe it was some tragic accident. Either way, he has 3 kids now. And he has 3 bosom buddies that help him out, crash on his couch to help with the kids. I'd personally think he was pretty well set. I don't know.

Anyway, these kids are like 3, 4, 5 years old. Stairsteps. Back to the holiday thing, the American express people decide that EACH kid needs $1000 worth of gifts UNDER THE TREE. That's right THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS for one holiday! They take the dad shopping and he just can't figure out what to buy, but he makes sure they get some clothes (kudos to this guy) as well. There's a bit of money left, cause, like how are you going to hide that much stuff for the kids in your house, and the little boys go and buy him an Xbox game thing and some games the whole family can play together. Fine. THEN. They cut back to the show and each of the 3 guardian angels that crash on the couch get a THOUSAND dollars to spend on their own Christmas. Fine.

THEN they announce that since it's so tough to get meals on the table, this guy is getting a free balanced meal delivered to his door for everyone every WEEKNIGHT for a YEAR. Oh and by the way, we called your boss, you're getting a raise and a Christmas bonus. Oh and by the way again, you're getting $50,000 to spend in any way you want on yourself. Go back to school, whatever.

I'm sorry, that's just WAY TOO MUCH! What's going to happen when next year, they've blown through all those toys and all that money and they're back to ho-hum how will we make Christmas for these kids match up to the THOUSAND dollars apiece that got spent on them last year. It's ridiculous. These kids won't ever know what to expect. They aren't old enough to get that this is a one time thing, they'll expect it next year too. And how is that guy going to keep up? How is he going to explain it?

And of course my other thought it, well, gee, that's nice, but what about all those other hungry, can't buy presents cause we're running out of money, people out there in this world. Sure, this is a good guy, but does he really deserve that much? Does it matter what he deserves?

I grew up in the 80's where downsizing hit our family hard, and even if it hadn't, we never would have had an Xbox, or a DS, let alone one apiece! Plus all those other toys. Give me a break. I don't think Christmas should be that commercial. What is it teaching those boys? You know, way back when, it would have been nice to have had 2 - $25 gifts, we had about one apiece plus the things we NEEDED such as clothes, gloves, and a few things in our stockings. That was it. And we thought we were in heaven. We (at least I) knew we didn't get as much as our peers at school, but that really didn't matter when you were in your pj's in front of the tree just playing with your my little ponies or GI Joes or whatever. You had time with family and thought about Santa and ate yourself silly on candy from your stocking before breakfast hit the table. We didnt need $100 apiece let alone $1000.

What do you think? Did they give those kids way too much? Is is going to confuse them the next time an event comes up and it's back to normal? Am I just being bah humbug? Is it just one more example of a corporation or a celebrity trying to make up for their bad behavior over the intervening year? (not saying either Rachael or Valerie is bad)

Doctor's visits...

Well I had my annual today (everyone be glad it's not you).
It wasn't too bad really. I also got a tetanus booster and my blood drawn.
That was quite the complicated adventure. Oh well!

The worst thing was the blood draw, yes, really, it hurt the worst. I couldn't
believe they gave me the tetanus booster in the arm! I expected a sore rear.
But I can't even feel my arm where it was! The blood draw, I can still feel. Argh!

And the rest didnt even seem bad at all. I got a lady this time. Small hands.

Well, all's well that ends well!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Fun Monday - I'll show you mine if you show me yours...

Blue Momma says: I want you to show me your......projects. More to the point, I want to see your unfinished projects. I have so many that I really need some reassurance that I'm not the only one. Home improvement projects are what I have in mind, but it you don't have any of those show me any kind of project - needlework, cooking, scrapbooking, etc. You can even show me your spouse if they qualify as a work in process.

Well, let's see, right now all I have that's unfinished is shopping and decorating for Christmas.** You can see the horsey cane and Santa Kiss on there in place of ornaments. We need to buy more lights to replace old ones that have duct tape on them. We havent had a big tree since 2003.

My parents have a ton more projects, but right before Thanksgiving my husband helped them finish one. The short story is, all the pieces were there to finally finish the ceiling in their basement bathroom, but no one got around to putting them up. He took Wednesday off from work and besides helping set up tables and such, he spent the whole afternoon finishing the track pieces and putting the ceiling tiles in. He even tracked down the local heating guy for them and got him to work up a piece to make the vent drop down to the drop ceiling and went and picked it up just before dinner. He put it in so dad could see it before dinner. Mom was so happy she made him a pie. Apple pie. After Thanksgiving. As a bonus. Isn't that nice? Three years ago we painted the bathroom right before Thanksgiving and this time we got the ceiling in. It's finally finished. Now all the other projects are going to have to fall into line. Mom's planning on moving into the basement soon and tearing up the upstairs and redoing it. At this point, I wish we lived closer so we could help. Or that Oprah would come help them redo it. Sigh.

A special bonus picture of the reindeer I got for Christmas a long time ago when Matthew and I were dating. He always gets a big hug and a shake when he comes out of the box (he has a bell on his collar) and then he gets a good seat somewhere near the action so he can see what's going on. I know, it's silly. At the end of the season he gets tucked back away with the Christmas ornaments until the next year.

** Okay so I'm totally lying, but my camera battery died again. I guess that goes on the list for things to buy. Darnit. Umm yes, I do have 2 scrapbooks that I would be much further along with if our printer would suck (pull in) photo paper and print on it. Don't know why it wont, it just won't. I have one almost finished for my hubby and a second one for my lil sis in law to be completed for her for High School graduation present. Shh. It's a surprise. Anyway, those are my 2 undone projects. That's the truth!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Hey ya'll, it's time to put up the tree while watching the Bears game. We have safely returned from all our travels, sorted through the junk mail, and emptied our luggage. We're 2 steps ahead. Now it's time to decorate for the next round of holidays.

Come back tomorrow for Fun Monday, which is hosted by Blue Momma.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Have you ever...?

tried to write a post with 2 black labs trying to "help you" use the mouse? no.. well you should sometime!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Crazy times

It really seems crazy that the holiday is over with. We still have to go to a dinner tomorrow. Right now we're puppy sitting. One of my parents old friends died recently and they were lucky enough to have us here to watch them, feed them, let them out, bring them back in, basically just treat them like little humans!

I'm glad to though, as it's comforting to have little snuggly things to pay attention to and to pay attention to us.

I didnt eat too much for once, although I have an idea I will still need to work out extra hard as I probably did take in more calories in the last 2 days than normal. Hope everyone had a great holiday. Check further into my blog for Christmas ideas!

Santa Kisses!

Another neat crafty thing for the season is the hershey's kiss holder. Now they can be anything, not just Santa, that's just what I happen to have laying around. The instructions for making these cuties can be found here. The one I have of course as you can see is not covered in fur, it's fully stitched. And a little dirty from all the chocolately hands that have held it over the years. You just pop a kiss into Santa's mouth and hang him on the tree!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Candy Cane Holders

I mentioned in my holiday traditions post about the horsey-head candy cane holders. They make a little stick horse out of the candy cane on the tree. I now have a picture so it's not all "what are you talking about, I can't picture that" - tada! I HAD ONE in my Christmas stuff. So here ya go!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Silicone baking cups- Gift Idea

Save a tree or two. Invest in these Silicone baking cups that can be re-used over and over! No need for paper liners!

This all started because i bought new sugar and powdered sugar and didnt realize that the new bag plus the old wouldnt fit in the container together. so..............i dumped the old stuff out into a bowl and put the new bag in the i have a bowl of sugar and powdered sugar sitting on the counter. i said, gee i'd like to get rid of the powdered sugar, but i'd have to make like cake or hubby jumped right on it. oh if you could make cupcakes i would take them to work.. mmmk.i was in for it. then i realized.. .duh no cupcake pans because i hadn't had them forever since we moved like 4 years ago they were all packed away. so we decide to go to the store. we poke around and finally find these.... they are bakeable freezable and also dishwasherable and i think for about six dollars for 12, they are a steal, and could be a great present.

Here's what you do... tada, you bake the person muffins in the cups and put them in a basket, and tie the box to the basket with some ribbon.tuck a dishtowel over the muffins and voila! a perfect gift. i would recommend 2 sets since cupcakes usually go in sets of 24 to a box mix. you wash them first and dry them out, spray a little cooking spray in them and fill them. stick them on a baking sheet and then bake them, pull the sheet out and let them cool. the cupcakes or muffins will pop right out. of course, if you're giving them away, just leave them in the cups so that they can see how they work, or have to wash them. duh! he he! and that's a gift with a baked good, which everyone could use a little breakfast muffin right? oh and of course a new tea towel and basket. still.. a good deal all around!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Take out containers...

I told you recently about the take out containers you could put on the back of those cute santa sleigh things... as a gift for a secret santa or someone else you dont know really well but must give a gift to. I bought these containers about 3 years ago from Crate and Barrel. However, I have seen them recently at Michael's craft store as well. They are typically less than $1 apiece and look just like chinese take out containers, down to the little wire handle and tuck in flaps. They are food grade, and I have used them for giving small gifts of candy and cookies at the holidays, or a small gift throughout the year. You can even get them in holiday patterns now. They also come in various sizes from what would hold around a golf ball to what would hold a quart of rice or a small stuffed animal like a webkinz or beanie baby. You could add a ribbon to the metal handle and punch a hole in a gift tag to attach it to the gift, or just stick a label on the box. If you don't put anything too greasy in it, or directly stick the label on it, the person could even re-use the box for something else, even another gift. Save a lot of paper this Christmas on your tiny trinkets.

Basic Pantry Staples ed. 19 & 20

Edition 19 Vanilla and 20 Cocoa powder

Did you wonder when I'd ever get to chocolate? Well here goes! Vanilla extract is a fabulous ingredient to have in your pantry. It's used in almost every cookie or baking mix. I get mine from the Watkins dealer, or rather, my mom does (it's not like drugs, really!) but Watkins is kind of like Tupperware, there are only certain dealers, and since I move so much and she stays put, she'd always have the same dealer and I wouldnt. Plus, I only use a bottle every 2-3 years, as I bake less than she does.

And cocoa powder. This I use in cookies, frosting, basically anything you want to chocolate-up. Recently I've used it to add to an angel food cake mix to make it "chocolate" angel food cake. My husband sure likes that. Today I'm adding a frosting recipe for you. It's taken directly out of the "Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book" and its a must for someone trying to please a chocolate lover, whether that be yourself or someone in your household.

Ed.19-20 Recipe
No-Cook Fudge Frosting

4 3/4 C powdered sugar (it says sifted, but i never do)
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 C butter or margarine, softened
1/3 C boiling water
1 t vanilla

Combine powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add butter, boiling water, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed till combined. Beat for 1 minute on medium speed. Cool for 20 to 30 minutes or till mixture reaches spreading consistency. This frosts the tops and sides of 2 (8 or 9 inch) cakes layers*

*or the top and sides of a 9x13 or 24 cupcakes, basically anything you can make out of a boxed cake mix.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fun Monday -Embarrasing Story

Karisma is hosting Fun Monday. She wants to know: I want you to take a trip down memory lane, and keep right on going, right back to your childhood. And I want to hear "THAT STORY". You remember the one? Yes, you do! The one your parents, siblings, extended family or friends, would never let you forget, live down or get over!" I'm going to cheat on this one since I can't think of anything anyone still talks about...

I have a hard time thinking of anything that I did that no-one would let me live down. Although I can think of 3 things - all related to music that make me go - no I didnt do that, although I really did.

1. "Baby's got her blue jeans on" -It's a country song about a girl that stops traffic in her blue jeans. Yup as a little kid I went and put my blue jeans on and danced in the kitchen. I wanted someone to think I was that hot.

2. Singing in the shower - yup 2 older brothers outside in the kitchen listening as I'm beebopping my own made-up song about being in love with someone. Never sang in the shower again. They were laughing so hard when I came out.

3. Wrote a song - left it laying out. I wrote a note on the corner reminding myself to show a friend of my A from high school. I left it laying on my desk and my mom was in there just a bit too long to be plausible. From something my mom said one day in the last year or so, she thought I had a real crush on the guy - he was just really into music (gay) although no one would have dared to say it out loud 10 years ago, I got a message from him recently and he's in a good relationship. Yeah! More love in this world.

And the song, well I can only remember 2 verses and a part of the third -I'm guessing on that first line there (yup I was hung up on being a virgin - so what, I was like 16)... hey at least it wasn't depressing poetry that took up 99% of the time from age 12-18... here it is.... think Sarah McLachlan singing it- that's how I hear it anyway. The point was that ... well I don't know, like you can be in love with someone and not know them? Be in love before you meet the person... this was NOT written ABOUT anyone.. more about that someone special I'd meet one day. Oh and I did, I married my own crazy lover. And I'm so glad I did.

Crazy Lover

You sent me roses
one every hour
can you imagine my surprise
when the first flower arrived, at noon.

At midnight I was crawling into bed and
and you showed up at my door with the last rose.

Then you kissed my hand and slipped away beneath the moon.

You're my crazy lover,
even though we've never slept together
you're my crazy lover
in my dreams

...As I wake up to the dawn
And I reach out to find you gone..

You're my crazy lover,
even though we've never slept together
you're my crazy lover
in my dreams

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Who's Rubbed the Big Guy? I have!

Abraham Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site, Springfield Illinois
It is rumored to be good luck to rub Lincoln's nose.
The nose is about 7 feet off the ground.

Take out containers and a cute craft for Christmas

I dont' think I've posted about this yet, so here's a nifty gift for that hard to buy for co worker, secret santa at work... or a cute giveaway for a holiday party, decoration for your table, etc. If I can do it, anyone can do it. All you need besides candy is a pair of scissors, scotch tape, a bit of ribbon, string, or cord, and a little box or "take out" container. The candy consists of a regular hershey bar, a chocolate santa (both can be bought in sets of 6), 2 candy canes per sled, and some of the teeny candy bars for "presents" on the front. The take out containers (or small box if you prefer) are great to hold an ornament, a small present or like we did a check for our nieces and nephews.

All you do is take the Hershey bar (or your favorite wide bar), and tape the canes to the bottoms/sides of the bar. Line up the canes with the back of the bar, the bows of the cane rest just in front of the bar. Just use a length of tape and stick the edge on the bottom of the bar in front and back, letting the rest lie on the table face up. Set the cane on top, and roll the tape over it to the top of the candy bar. Try and keep the cane straight so it will "sit" level and the "runner" will not bow in or out. Once you get both canes/runners attached and adjusted so they're level, you're ready to finish your project. Attach your small box to the back of the bar with tape. Add the santa with a loop of tape on the bottom to lean up against the box. Add a loop to its back to the box if necessary. Make sure you still have room for "presents" at the front. I attached 2 of the mini candy bars together bottom to bottom with a piece of tape and tied a piece of cord or ribbon in a knot. I taped the knot down and then used the edge of a pair of scissors to curl the ribbon. Voila, Santa comes to visit with candy and a little gift, whatever you wish to add to the box.