Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Safe landing, upgrades...

So hubby landed safely (both times, layover in Ohio), I was just starting to get that sick feeling in my throat when he called to say he was in his hotel. Umm, a different hotel. They overbooked his hotel so they put him up at the Ritz for the night. No kidding.

They parked his car and took him over there, and they're going to shuttle him back for a complimentary RESTAURANT breakfast (no donut for him!) and then hold his luggage until his room is cleaned up and when he's back for the night then he'll be where he was originally supposed to be.

He said the people were really nice, and the second hotel was even nicer, attempting to hold the doors (for a 6ft near 200 lb dude, seriously?), and I was like, umm dear, you ARE in the south.
Oh yeah... he didn't think about that. Sheesh.

Anyway, by the time he got in, looked around and called me, he was ready for bed, which was about the time I myself was ready for bed here. I hope he slept like a rock. I know I did pretty well, I stuffed the decorative pillow sham underneath the covers like his torso was there and did just fine. Of course I woke up just before his alarm would normally go off (doh) so now I'm awake! I was kind of hoping to sleep in a little bit, but then I started coughing and needed a drink of water and by then my little eyes had sunshine in them and were wide awake.

He'll be traveling again Friday night (no stop this time so it will be quicker) and should be home just in time for bed. He's going to have the airport service bring him home so I dont even have to attempt to drive in the dark, yeah!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane...

Oh and if anyone is sending up prayers, my husband is heading to Atlanta for a 3 day conference and won't be back until Friday night, so we could use some prayers for safe travel for him and I could definitely use some 'stay calm' prayers over the next few days.

This is a great opportunity for him, will really increase his value to his company, and I know he's looking forward to it. I am always worried while he is flying but other than that I'm pretty calm. As it is, I only see him at night, so that will not really be a change, I'll have to talk to him on the phone (which he hates) or instant message, so that will definitely be different from having him wheedling for ice cream and scratching me with his day old scruffy face. Sigh.

Morels, Ham Balls, and Laughter...

Sometimes I wonder if I could possibly come from my own family. Sometimes, there is no doubt. My mother called me. Friday night, I think. She had gotten a new food processor and was trying to grind up some ham to make hamballs (think meatballs but a little sweeter and much tastier, with like a brown sugar mustard glaze, mmm!), usually she had the meat shop grind up some ham for her, but she found out that I used my processor to grind up ham for my hubby's ham salad and thought she'd give it a go.

Apparently, she and my dad were trying to get the thing put together and couldnt for the life of them get the lid back OFF once they'd test fitted it on. So much laughter ensued that I was led to ask what they had been drinking. Apparently it was only tea, but you could have fooled me. Once I realized it was almost exactly like mine I explained it very slowly and carefully and they got it. More laughter. I almost hung up the phone because my mother was beyond words she was laughing so hard. Do you ever get that way? I do, and that's how I know I'm at least related to my mother. Apparently it runs in the family. I don't usually laugh until tears run down my face like she does, I dont think my tears and laughter are that closely connected, but good gosh almighty, don't get BOTH of us laughing, you'll never get a straight answer. Especially if it's something that's not really that funny. That makes it worse. Was it really funny they couldnt get the processor lid off? No, not really, but once she was comparing herself and my father to monkeys, well, it did give me a little giggle. After more questions as to which blade to use and etc, she said she'd tell me how it went.

I heard from her again on Sunday and apparently it went fine. They also found 27 big morel mushrooms in my old stomping grounds :-(... here's the thing, though. I don't even EAT the mushrooms, I just like the walk and the hunt. I also pick blackberries, raspberries, etc and don't eat them. I harvest all kinds of things I wouldnt bother to eat. I think it's just being outside with a purpose. Something to do. I don't even mind mowing grass with a pushmower as it provides sunshine, muscle building and fresh air.

Am I weird? Maybe so. Is it genetic? Probably, but as long as there is something to giggle over and something to hunt for, I'm right there.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Fun Monday: Walking down Yellow Brick Road...

AOJ/The Lurchers is hosting this week! She wanted to hear about our favorite walk!

Here's the deal, my most favorite place to walk (so far) is 'back home' and I couldn't get there to take pictures. Oftentimes, I have found that walking, especially if you're walking in the woods can't be properly explained without BEING THERE. It's a total feeling and not just a sight. With
that in mind, I'll try and remember all my walks as a kid and explain them with words.

I love walking in the woods, no matter what time of year. In the winter, it's crispy and you can see your breath, you might sink in the snow or the mud, and it's just peaceful, no bugs to worry with, no snakes to try and avoid, just clear air and time to think.

The summer would be when I do the LEAST walking. The woods are full of critters going about their own business, and I wouldn't want them minding mine, so I don't mind theirs. In the summer, I'm more likely to be busy helping with gardening, the animals, or just sitting on the porch drinking tea or lemonade and saying how hot it is. Although I might escape down to the creek to see if I can find crawdads or scare up a frog in the cool mud, summer is a time best left alone.

Spring, oh sometimes I think that spring is my most favorite time to walk, but it isn't. Springtime walking has a PURPOSE. Starting way too early and going way too late, spring time walking would be all about MORELS. Skiff the garden and see if there's any asparagus poking through the ground, stuff the bag deeper in your pocket so as not to scare the mushrooms away with the rattling and HUNT! The fun thing was that you never knew where you would find mushrooms. There was never a definite spot per se, just as you can't guarantee where wildflowers will grow, you can't say where a mushroom spore will land and spring up overnight. There were a lot of years I searched for weeks after school, and then I'd go again with mom or both my parents after dinner, them hunting, me knowing there was nothing out there, but this time enjoying the walk for the bonding time. Teasing that our dog was like those pigs in France, smelling out truffles. Did nothing of the sort, of course, but it gave us something to laugh at.

Fall, yes, I think that autumn was the best time of all. You weren't rushed due to bugs, cold, or impending storms. There was nothing to search for and deep breaths would get your lungs full of intricate smells of life's journey passing by one more time. My FAVORITE place to walk was on the neighbor's property (of course) on a path called yellow brick road. Like out of the storybook. It was called that because in the fall the leaves would all turn yellow, orange, gold and brown, and as they were so tall and close together that the leaves would all fall directly onto the path and leave a golden trail to follow. There were years when the culvert washed out and you could only go so far and then you'd see the creek below where the big metal culvert should have been, it all bent up and straggling down the creek bed from a hard summer's storm. The next year it would be back again, dirt piled up on top of it, even with the road, so you could trudge on across and peer at the wonderment of the season, of life's never ending cycle, you really understood the gravity of our time here on earth in that walk. Seasons change, people, like the trees, would eventually go away, and the earth would renew itself.

I learned a lot about life on those walks. I still like to take them when I can, remember what it was like to live for the moment and not worry about the grander plan. Like in the stories, we never really got anywhere on those walks, but we did a lot of traveling and understanding in our own minds.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


will the rain and uckiness EVER stop? It's back down to 'brr' here again.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Say Something Saturday...

Ami is once again hostessing SSS. The theme is Grandfather.

I didn't know my mom's dad, he died before my parents even got married. My dad's dad was alive until I was a teenager. A few years before he died, he went blind and had to go into a nursing home. It was really sad.

I do remember, however, how his little house smelled. An odd mix of old person that you can't put an official smell to, something musty but not really bad. I haven't smelled that in a long time. He lived in another house before that, it had an upstairs and old quilts I slept under once. It was kind of neat and had a fireplace or something wood burning anyway. He would sit when we came to visit and tell stories. There were tons of little trinkets around, so I'd get tired of trying to understand the conversation the adults were having and wander around looking (not touching) at things. He was a nice man and always laughed and smiled at us. I guess that's as much as kid can ask for right?

He gave me a necklace with my 'last name' initial on it. I thought I'd be nice and consider passing it down to my niece (the only one who has the same last name) so I asked my parents and they weren't happy about it. I said that I figured all the girls got one and since my name had changed I'd pass it on down since my kids wouldnt have the same initial. They indicated that all the girls hadn't gotten one and maybe I should keep it. With frowns on their faces. It wasn't meant to be hurtful, it was meant to be a way to pass on the love I felt when I wore that necklace to another generation.

My grandfather (GRANDDAD) always had coke bottle glasses. He had 'an eye condition' and that was all he'd ever say. So not sure if there's something in the family history or not. Guess that will be something to worry about when I'm in my 60's or so.

I gather that my grandparents were not very 'fun loving' people on either side of the family. Too much work to be done and a lot of quiet otherwise. This was good. Because it made my parents a LOT of fun. Laughter was always something I knew and jokes (no matter how dirty) were told every day. We have a lot of fun little stories we tell: like the day my dad brought the pony in the house to prove to us kids that he could....

and the most fun thing is? That my hubby can now chime in with all these stories because he's heard them so much.. AND we've made up a lot of our own. Seems like our kids will get even MORE of a fun-loving household than the one I grew up in. Sure, maybe no one outside the family will "get it" -- but hey, it was good enough for me whether my hubby got it or not. And of course it's even better that he does and that our own silly routines are established and becoming a part of our story as a family.

Funny how things get passed down isn't it? Even by accident.

Friday, April 25, 2008

What would our Grandparents do?...

I've had some time to reflect lately about what is important and what is not. For instance, a bit of mold on a piece of cheese, eh, maybe not so big of a deal. Why throw out the whole block when there's only a patch of mold on one end? Why throw out good clothes when someone else may be able to get some use out of them? Take them to the salavation army, a women's shelter, or second hand store instead.

That's what led me to say "What would our Grandparents do?" -- sure it's a play off of the oft used 'WWJD' bracelet from a few years ago, but it doesnt negate the message any does it?

I had this come up recently when there was an odd looking chunk on my frozen pizza. At first I did a double take. It kind of looked like sausage, but didn't really seem to BE sausage. Hmm. So I did what any good blogger would do and took a picture for blog fodder. Then, I used a knife, pried off the 'odd bit' cut into it, sniffed it, still couldnt figure out what it was, and took another picture. Hey, it's 2008. I have readers to please...anyway, I threw it out and cooked the pizza. And you know what? It didn't hurt me one bit! My hubby had some too and neither of us keeled over, died, or suffered indigestion, amazing!

I think that this is odd behavior in today's society. It shouldnt be, but it is... Take for example, a trip we made to visit our family in IL, we went through a 'college town' and stopped at a pizza place there. We ordered a HUGE pizza and some garlic cheese sticks (kind of like a thick pizza crust with cheese and garlic and some marinara to dip in)... We ate a healthy portion of the cheese sticks and had a good long talk about the future. I find that we do this most often over a meal out or a long walk. Funny, isn't it, how you do that when you don't have distractions like tv or blogging to get between you? Anyway, I digress. Our pizza showed up, with an older guy (not our teen server). Of course, I looked at it and saw the problem right away, but wasn't overly concerned about it, we were supposed to have a half/half pizza and instead, the 'goodies' were spread across the whole pizza (I think it was ham and sausage.) Before we could even open our mouths to say thank you (as we try and do every time!) the manager said, we realized when this was already made that there was a mistake, so you have a correct pizza in the oven, and we brought this to you to snack on until it comes out. Is that alright? We were BLOWN away. We said, oh well you didnt have to do that, it's not a big deal, but the guy was INSISTENT. Like we were going to get up and run out or like he'd had some REALLY bad reactions before as to people dealing with this situation.

So we ended up with a whole pizza plus some and a couple breadsticks left over. My family, they were thrilled, because when we showed up at snack time (between dinner and bed time) with a whole pizza? They were digging it!

We still ponder over this from time to time. What great big meanies they must have had in that restaurant (hey, I can SEE if it was green peppers and you order pepperoni or something- but it was the right ingredients, just spread over the whole pizza) to make that guy so apologetic and insistent.

What would our grandparents have done? Well, my grandparents didn't really have pizza. Not much anyway, my parents didn't even have it until they were either dating or married (they celebrate their 40th anniversary this year), but I imagine they would have scraped off what they didn't like and eaten it anyway.

Yes, I DO think customer service is important, for instance I don't want a dirty glass with another woman's lipstick on it, but if it's something I can work around, I don't make a big fuss about it. I might order a sandwich plain and if it shows up with something on it, I'd probably just scrape it off and eat it anyway. I'm not talking about being a doormat here, I'm talking about being REASONABLE.

I think that's what we're missing a lot of today: being reasonable. Along with it's close cousins: compassion, rationality, pitching in to help out, and manners. Seriously, folks! When is the last time you gave a great big smile to the person giving you your burger and fries through the drive up window? Or said thank you to the pierced nose and eyebrow kid making your sandwich fresh in front of you and asking 'would you like that toasted?' I think modeling these behaviors to the younger generation--especially if they are serving YOU, is a MUST-DO in this society. Yes, you should expect good service and politeness, but really knock these kids socks off and turn that politeness right back on them. They probably will not forget it. Remember, what would your grandparents do? Then do it, and see the way the world changes around you.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Call me Ishmael, er Fido...

I live "in town". I grew up "in the country". In the country, I expected that if I went for a walk in the late spring or summer, that I might have to fight some bugs.

I did NOT expect what I found last night. I walked into a small nature area 2 days ago just far enough in to smell the smells (it was too wet to keep walking)...but it was enough.

I had kept finding crusts of blood underneath my fingernails but I figured that somehow I'd inadvertantly picked my nose or a scab in my sleep (hey, unconscious, right?) and gotten some blood.

What I did NOT count on was that little jaunt in the woods leaving me with a parasite. Yup, behind my ear, just like Fido, I ran my hands through my hair (underneath where my glasses rest), there was a tiny tick attached to me. Of course, growing up in the country and spending half my life picking ticks off of various dogs, I knew immediately what it was and the reason for the black crusty stuff under my nails, I'd been scratching at the 'tick dirt' and didn't even realize it. Dammit. I told my husband to come over here 'right now' and take the tick off. Sure enough, I was right. Luckily, it appeared to only be what I call a 'dog tick' and not a deer tick, but I am going to google to be sure.

Guess I'll be sticking to concrete from now on.

On the other hand, my husband got to do a full investigation of all the areas a tick might hide, and if you've ever heard Brad Paisley's song 'Ticks' -- there's a reason the guy wants to check her for ticks. It involves taking all your clothes off and becoming very touchy feely.

Just call me Fido...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What's up with hotel specialty rates?...

While researching a possible trip to Florida later on this year (finally a real vacation?), I ran across 'specials' for various things, including golf, romance, spa and something called 'babymoon' packages. These are trips that you take when you're pregnant as a getaway before the baby is born. A second honeymoon I guess? The ones I ran across usually offered something like a massage or breakfast in bed, ice cream or a movie, something like that, but something that almost ALL of the ones I clicked on (don't you hate it how you get sidetracked like that?) -- offer a bottle of champagne. Umm, hello? If you're pregnant you're not supposed to be drinking. Dorks. Also the prices were pretty outrageous for no more 'extra' that you 'get'...

You can get basically the same package labeled as romantic instead and it's 100$ less per night. What gives? You get pregnant and you are automatically supposed to be stupid? Sheesh! Why would you pay that much more for an ice cream bar or chocolate dipped strawberries? Good grief!

Actually the most reasonable packages were ones where you do stuff 'outside' of the hotel such as golf. Personally? I think I'd rather just upgrade from a Days Inn or Holiday Inn to a nicer hotel suite and forgo their breakfast in bed package for an extra $500 on top of your room (that's actually what one of them says "$500 on top of your room charges")... for ONE massage, One breakfast and some berries? I think not!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Funny sparrow or another bird altogether?...

What's on my pizza?

It's time for everyone's favorite game show


You don't win any fabulous prizes but still it's fun anyway. Oh and I took it off and cut it just to see if I could figure it out. It's the same shape as like 2 sausage balls but the wrong color. I also sniffed it. Still no clue. I threw it out and baked my pizza anyway!

Earth Day...

Happy Earth Day everyone. We're celebrating Earth Day by planning to waste/use a bunch of gas driving to NC for a family get together and back in June, just when gas prices should be insane. Awesome, huh? But this will most likely be our only chance to go, so we're going. At least we're conning the 'rents into driving their (probably new) vehicle that will get 24 mpg minimum instead of our 16 mpg truck.

Does that count?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fun Monday: Moments...

Southern Doll asks: What have you done in your life that was worth doing? I want to know the moments in your life that you hope will be the ones to pass through your mind when your time comes.

The first thing I must say is that for me, life is FULL of these moments I would want to remember, from the times I stood up for myself or someone or something I believed in, to seeing a little rabbit munching on corn on our little patio, these fill me with such joy, that I feel like I am blessed. A smile breaks out over my face for seemingly no reason, and my heart swells and I see God's work all around me. Of course, a few are special, and here they are:

1. Marrying my husband--when you really feel like you've found your soulmate and someone who will make you happy forever, I mean what can get better than that?

2. Trek-I sponsored/raised a puppy that was supposed to go into the Leader Dogs for the Blind program. I taught him obedience, took him to speak to groups around my county, and into stores, banks, schools, all to socialize him for his future work. He passed all of his tests with flying colors. Unfortunately, he had hip dysplaysia and was rejected from the program. After many crying days, mom relented, and he came back to live out his life with us. It was a short life, only 10 years, but what a sweetheart and a great dog I raised. I am very proud of all my work with dog training, and hope someday to have the chance again. You can see a picture of Trek here he's the white colored golden retriver. He'd just gotten a summer haircut, that's why he's not fluffy!

3. College activities-Wow did I spend a lot of my college time doing 'activities' -- so much so that when I finished my senior year, my advisor said that when I got to heaven that there'd be a gold star by my name and that the name of my organization would be by it. This from a cranky dude who made everyone cry (except me, I never screwed up, ha!)... anyway, those are some of the best GROWING moments of my life. I really changed and became a better person through those moments.

4. Appendix-Wow, did having my appendix rot away inside me ever change my life! I found out how much weight I was actually carrying -- housework, laundry, regular work, plus helping out my folks, and how much of an independent I really was, and how much I hated being an invalid when I was used to being so much on my own. I couldnt tie my own shoes, for the first couple of days couldnt even take care of myself after I'd used the toilet. It was very sad and I learned a lot about myself though that. I also learned how fearful I now WASN'T of death, secured my faith in God on a much deeper level, and vowed to live life and not worry too much about things anymore. It's made me such a better person that I can't describe it.

5. Riding Horses- This one is just for fun. I loved riding my horse and feeling the wind in my face and blowing through my hair, just one on one time communing with an animal that could really hurt you if they wanted to, but who was gentle as can be, like a loving mother. Some days, like I bet today is going to be, it's just warm enough to feel warm with a jacket on, but if you were riding you'd need it for the breeze, I can almost smell the horseflesh and feel the soft nuzzle on my hand or bump on my face when she was trying to get my attention. I can feel myself flying over the fields.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A tree farm?...

Well, my hubby is thinking that he likes his job, his workplace and his co-workers enough to stay. He thinks maybe he thinks long term. Well, I guess that's good? In which case, we need to get out of this apartment and find a real house to live in.

We saw some land for sale in the paper so we took a drive to see it. Apparently? It's either half or the full monty of a Christmas tree farm. About a mile from a river. Most of it appears to be old growth, big trees that smell piney and fresh.

The problems? No creek, which we'd like, and it's all apparently on SAND. We don't know what to do with sand. We were raised on good black earth of IL. And pine needles. There are cows nearby, which may smell in the heat, and it's down a bit of a gravel type road. No "regular trees" which we are used to. It's also 45 minutes from Matt's work.

The good things? We saw 2 hawks, a cotton tailed bunny, and evidence of deer and turkeys (we're guessing). There are old growth trees all around the property, except on the back side, and that's bumped up next to a field. In theory? We could cut a small swath in the trees and put a house in the middle of all those trees and have insulation winter and summer. Also? No one would be able to see us if we decided to dance outside n@ ked.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

When the boy went out to play...

I went shopping and attempted to take a nap.

My hubby went and played some game system Xbox 360, etc, with a buddy of his from work. I gather that they group had a good time, because then they wanted to go out to dinner. Of course my sweetheart left his phone at home and didnt even think to borrow a phone and call me ahead of time so he shows up and says, we're going out to dinner, oh you've made something, can we still go out to dinner?


Leftovers will still be good tomorrow. Dinner was good enough and the company was intelligent and entertaining. Good enough for me!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Rain Rain Go Away...

Can you say, rain? Inches of rain? All day long? Ugh! But hey, it may be good for the morels in a few days...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

5 Things I Aim to Get Back This Summer...

1. Popsicles in the sunshine
2. Koolaid grin
3. Barefoot wanderings
4. Sun bleached hair
5. Natural tan

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Kids Chores A Lost Art?...

When I was a kid, I HAD to do chores. They may not have always been the same thing, but I still had to help out around the house. And I DID NOT get paid for it. How about you? With today's busy lifestyle, it's nice to have a list for your child to see, "check" off or use stickers to indicate that their chore for that day is complete. Don't you think? Lots of parents now use these as bribery, I am NOT going to comment on that. Did you know that there are even printable chore charts now? One thing I will say is that chores, no matter what they are, especially if they are age appropriate are GOOD for your children. When I was a kid, my chore list probably would have consisted of: take care of animals, unload and reload dishwasher (when we had one), set the table, help in the kitchen, and help clean off the table. Guess which things I do AUTOMATICALLY as soon as I "go home" again? You guessed it-- I take care of the animals, and do everything with the dishes, without being asked. My mom and I work in concert in the kitchen. It's kind of nice. I even have my husband about half kitchen trained (7 years) and I think that's good progress. I guess those chores were good for me, weren't they?

Magazine Boycotting, Part 2...

Okay, I think I've officiallly HAD IT!!! Click here for Part 1
I went online, because I couldnt call their stupid, I mean, them, and UNSUBSCRIBED from their "continuous service" plan -- which to me means I'll have to resubscribe in the summer. That's fine, I was tired of all their red-lettered "pay me now" idiocy, when I had already paid for my first year (due up in June and July).

Guess what?

Now on my magazines, it says 2009!!!! They've added me on to next year ANYWAY! Argh!!!!
Hello? Don't they get it? Apparently not!

Once my final issues for 2008 (June/July) show up, I'm writing cancel on the next bill I get and sending it back. Yes it will cost a stupid stamp, but I'm tired of their garbage. If I'd WANTED you to add me on for another year, well then I would have STAYED subscribed wouldnt' I? Argh!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Stop what you're doing and watch this...

No, seriously. It will take about 45 minutes, but it is SO worth it. I've been yakking on and on about Eli Stone and now it's time for some of you to talk back. If you don't love this show, well then you just aren't an awesome human being. Seriously!

That's the abc full episode player, if it doesnt work, go to, you'll have to install the player, which is perfectly safe, and won't cost you a thing. Come on, here's the one I want you to watch: "Waiting for That Day" 04/14/08 Eli foresees an earthquake and sues the city of San Francisco to save it.

Come on, a lawyer with a brain aneurysm sues his own city based on a vision he had, in an attempt to shut down the Golden Gate Bridge for a couple of hours (at rush hour)... one of his law firm's partners attempts to oust a senior partner because of his continued tolerance of Eli's --breaking out in dance numbers at inappropriate times and sticking up for the little guys'-- ways.

Please, please watch this episode and come back and comment. I am DYING to hear someone else's take on this episode.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Home, sweet smelling home...

Okay, so our house doesn't always smell great. Sometimes, due to what I'm cooking, it smells wonderful, and sometimes, well it just smells like house. One thing it NEVER smells like? Smoke. We live in a smoke-free apartment, which for two people like us, is great! My husband smoked for a few weeks while he was a pre-teen, until his mom made him smoke a pack until he turned green. I never smoked, not once. All four of our parents smoke or have smoked in the past. Mine? Don't do it in the house anymore. His do. Guess where we stay when we visit? You guessed it. My husband is actually allergic to smoke. I just can't breathe around it. I have started staying away from people who are smoking because it makes me cough and wheeze so much. If we did live in a place where people had smoked before, then we'd have to go through air cleaner ratings and get a purifier to clean out the house, because no matter how much you try, you just can't get that out of the air unless you completely air out the house, wash the walls and ceilings. Trust me, my parents did that and I am blessed every time we go to their house that I can breathe and not have to suck in lungs full of smoke. Now in the 2 states we have lived in they are passing or have passed laws requiring inside communal areas to all be smoke free. Yippee! P.S. This is not to shame those who do smoke, I can't stop you, but I hope you stop yourself!

Fun Monday: My Life Through Photos

Nekked Lizard People are hosting Fun Monday this week, here's the rules: FIVE PICTURES - FIVE WORDS PER PICTURE.Any 5 (FIVE) pictures, any subject, and any 5 (FIVE) words to describe and/or explain each picture.

Shared life, home and love.

Making gifts IS the fun.

Cooking sustains our family traditions.

Friends always make you smile.

Nature, God's gift to me.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

April PSBIN: Recycling Center

For the past month, my husband and I greatly reduced the amount of trash that went to the landfill. Because our apartment did not come with curbside recycling, yes, we get free trash pickup, but they dont go the extra mile for the planet, we had been badly throwing everything but drinking vessels away. Bad us. Before we left our home planet, he he, we had started recycling with a vengeance, every box and bottle was recycled, and our trash was practically non existent. This month? Same thing.

It makes me really realize how much extra packaging there is in this universe. Our local recycling center, however, takes most glass, reyclable plastic, paper and cardboard, and well I presume they recycle it, I don't know exactly where it goes, but it makes me feel a LOT better knowing that at least we tried. It was simple: We looked up the recycling center online, found out the hours, and when we could go, we went. We packed all the smaller boxes and bottles inside bigger boxes, and voila, dropped them off to a very friendly dude, who made short work of separating it all out for us. The most I had to do was break down boxes and rinse out jars, and you know, that wasn't just too hard. Our trash was cut in half, and we feel a TON better about our environment. Awesome!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Say Something Saturday - Seuss style

You're trying to bake a cake from scratch. Everything is going wrong, from having to substitute ingredients to the oven not working properly. (Is it too hot? Too cold? Not level? You decide.)Rhyme it, Dr. Seuss style.Make it as long or short as you want.Make up silly words and have fun with this. Draw a picture to go with it.

The size is wrong of my ingredients: egg;
I burned myself on the leg.
My oven door won't shut just right;
and the party is tonight!

I hop the net to look and see;
how many powdered eggs would be;
just the right amount to sub;
for my leaking egg-filled glub.

My flour is AP not cake;
why did I ever try to bake;
a specialty super-duper treat;
for my guests so soon to eat?

Ding dong the witch is dead;
pour the cake over top my head;
there went the door bell too soon;
why did I do THIS in June?

Off with my apron, tuck my shirt;
hide the overwhelming hurt;
throw the mess out the back door;
sweep the shells up off the floor.

Pull the tabs up off the lid;
so glad I took the time and hid;
a box of treats from plain view;
pretend I made them, just for you!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Tornado Season... This time of year in the midwest can mean only one thing: Tornado Season. The time when we gather our laptops and blankets and hide in a secure area in the lower level of our house in case a twister comes along and tries to blow us away. Would this really help if one hit our condo? No clue. But still, when the siren went off, we turned off American Idol, grabbed the laptop and the blankets we could find, and cuddled up close in the laundry room. When the second siren went off, we thought it was an all clear siren, the 'severe weather' live uplink had also been removed from our local weather channel (that's where I stole, I mean linked the picture from, hoping not to be in copyright violation), umm, yeah so it turns out it was because someone thought that they saw a tornado just a few miles from us. We're not sure why they blasted it again, because it really fooled most of our area I suppose, and if there had been one on the ground, we would have been toast, or compost, or something. Anyway, I remember the nice calm days of country living where you could see for miles, and even though the sky may have turned some odd colors, no one ever sent you pell-mell for a lower level of the house. Basically, we sat out on the (covered) porch and watched storms roll in. It was probably one of the best ideas my folks ever had. If you have a kid that's scared of storms, it's the best thing you could ever do for them. Let them be out and watch the lightning and hear the thunder and realize that 99.9% of the time there's nothing to hurt them in a storm if they're inside.

Now my husband and I, well we have other ideas when it storms. Let's just leave it at that. :-)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

bawk bawk bawk...

Cadbury Bunnies...It's springtime, they are visiting at 8 am instead of 9 pm... go figure...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Time out...

It snowed here, which made for sinuses run wild. Still recovering from the reeling smack I was dealt last night thanks to the weather. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Boycotting Magazines...

You know, I've never called for a boycott in my entire life. I normally get two magazines. One is O, the Opr@ h one, and another is Redb00k. Both are parent corped by Hearst Mag@ zines. They are PISSING ME OFF. Seriously.

I got one in June and another July. Then why have I been getting 'renewal' requests since January? Hello? Anyone? I um JUST got the magazine six months ago. I am PAID UP through June on one and July on the other. It even says so on their fabulous little stickers on the front of the label that comes to my door. The renewal/requests for payment get nastier each month. Yes, I've been getting one each month for each magazine for almost half a year now for a magazine that is paid up until midsummer. Way back when, I remember getting one when I had about 2 months to go, and then one the month that it was due. I paid it when it was on the last month. Does their excessive waste of paper piss me off? Why yes it does. What's wrong with going green people?

First of all, no one needs that many reminders to update their subscription. Either it comes in the mail or it doesnt, if it doesnt, gee you find out you didnt pay it and you resubscribe, or not. Second of all, have you noticed this little 'caveat' that they 'sign' you up for? It's called 'preferred renewal' or some such garbage. Basically, without telling you, they sign you up for this program that will 'continue' your 'service' without the 'hassle' of resubscribing. Umm, bite me. I get bills all the time and I pay them on time. It's not a hassle to me. On the nasty letter they send, it says 'you SIGNED up for this service, so you've agreed to pay etc' and I'm thinking what, 6 months in advance? You can UNSUBSCRIBE to the 'preferred renewal' or whatever it's called, if you go online (nary a phone number to be found to call them on any notice I've ever received) and enter your code from your label and they take you out of the 'service' --- does this stop the monthly and now twice a month bills? NO! As soon as you do that, they start sending you emails as well as the paper things, which they now call invoices.

Basically all these things are saying is your payment is now due, you've been getting your subscription and its time you paid for it. And I'm thinking, yeah you jerk wad, I did, 6 months ago. NO, I will NOT pay you a second time for the first year, nor will I pay you 6 months in advance for a magazine I'm not sure I want to continue getting. I really may boycott these magazines, heck I may boycott all magazines. It's ridiculous, and of course they charge more to renew than your entry rate. Something which I dont tolerate. If I can get it online by going to your website and pay $10, would I pay $21 under your 'preferred subscriber' plan? Heck no!

Get a life, Hearst magazines, forget this 'preferred subscriber' plan of yours, it's a bunch of bunk, you're pissing honest people like me off, and you're liable to start LOSING customers. Oh and your stupidity is polluting our environment.

Commercial conversation...

Isn't it weird the topics that commercials can bring up? Just last night, my husband slyly asked if an IUD was anything like an IED. I very calmly replied back that perhaps that wouldn't be the best location for an explosion. Then we both laughed.

Have you seen the commercial we saw? It's for planned parenthood (promoting IUD's of course), and those silly 2 rabbits seem to keep multiplying and multiplying, until the screen is just full of baby rabbits. I guess that's supposed to *imply something?

* hmm the first guess I got made me think that maybe I wrote this entirely wrong. my point was, do they think that people that 'need' planned parenthood have a bunch of nookie and thus a bunch of kids? or what? 'poor people' multiply like bunnies?

maybe it wasn't as funny as I thought.. hm...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Photo Cards...

Here's a question: How would YOU use Custom Photo Cards outside of any particular holiday? Cards are ultimately customizable, can be promotional, announcement related, or just for fun.

I would definitely use a photo card, for something other than a holiday, to announce a pregnancy. Come on, think about it, a cute little blob of 'something' waving its' little fingers at the sonogram camera, and that's how your entire family knows that there won't just be the two of you anymore. Perfect, right? That way, you can sit back and FIELD all the phone calls instead of making all of them, plus you'll have a broader reach than perhaps you have phone numbers for. Have a Great Aunt in Oklahoma? Her excitement will reach four people at least before it reaches you, she'll be THRILLED to be included in on the big announcement, and your little blueberry will be up to it's ears in home-knitted booties before you know it!

Okay, so maybe that's not for you, how about this? You get a HUGE promotion at work. You'd love to make a big deal out of it, but tooting your own horn in public is not something you usually do. How about this, create a party announcement and throw yourself a big bash! Make the announcement all about the promotion, and tell everyone that you'd love to spend more time with them before the REAL WORK sets in, and invite them in for a barbecue, house warming for that new home you'll get with the money, and just invite everyone to celebrate with you!

Fun Monday - First Celebrity Crush

Jo is our hostess for Fun Monday. yeah! She wants to know about our first celebrity crush. I wonder if I'll be alone. I wonder what my husband will think. I bet he won't be shocked...
Michael J Fox anyone? I was a kid of the 1980's what do you expect? Click on his name for his foundation, which is striving to fight Parkinson's disease.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Pretty Nails...

Hey guys, I just have to let you know about this new product, and NO this is not a paid advertisement, it's something I just found and it worked really well! Sally Hansen Color Quick Fast Dry Nail Color PEN!!! It's got a little brush on the end and a click-type end on it, so the polish slowly clicks out until the brush is saturated with color. Then, you use it like a regular pen/marker (although its a brush). I for one had a lot less trouble with getting polish all over the skin on the sides of my nails as it was easier to hold the pen steady and the bristles spread out less. It even worked great on my teeny tiny toenails, and believe me, I'm not kidding, they are TEENY TINY. The polish was a bit pricy (around $7), but the coverage and ease of use was definitely worth it. I only needed one coat. I have no idea how many mani/pedis I can get out of it, but compared to the cheap polish I normally use, it's a great investment. I got bright pink and orange. So far I used the bright pink and it is a very pretty color for spring/summer sandal season.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Say Something Saturday #2...

Ami's at it again. It's another Say Something Saturday and it's a good one. Want to play? Just read the blurb and make up your own answers...... It's dusk on a warm summer evening. You're walking down a tree-lined street in a lovely neighborhood. As you pass a lovely two-story house, set back from the street as far as it can be, you see the legs of a child (boy? girl? you decide) hanging down from a tree. Because you're omnipotent, you know this child has a bouquet of wilted flowers in one hand, a raw egg in the right pants pocket, and is very excited waiting for the neighbors to come home. Why? Why is s/he in the tree? Why does s/he have a raw egg? Is it broken? Whole? What kind of flowers? What happened all day to lead to the child waiting in the tree?

Alex had had a busy day, and couldn't wait for the neighbors to get home. Alex's neighbors happen to be an aunt and uncle, who were coming home from the hospital with a new cousin. Alex had never seen a newborn baby, up close, and couldn't wait for the opportunity. All day long, Alex ran around, exploring the yard, and with grass-stained pants, a snotty nose wiped repeatedly on a shirt sleeve, and a robin's egg (freshly hatched) in a pocket for safe keeping, Alex pulled some dandelions for a bouquet, and climbed into the tree house awaiting their return.

Friday, April 4, 2008

One of those days...

Do you ever have one of those days where you just wish you could get back into bed and stay there? Well today is one of those days for me. My husband was sick most of this week, and taking care of him put an extra toll on me. The volatile weather drives my sinuses crazy, which in turn drives my stomach and associated system crazy. Word to the wise, stomachs do not like to be full of sinus drippings. They just don't. They hate it as a matter of fact. And they will tell you in various manners how much they hate it. Luckily my husband felt better yesterday and was able to take care of me for a bit. I slept propped up on 3 pillows trying to keep my sinuses from draining last night. I'm not sure if it helped. I hope it did, because another day like this, and I won't get out of bed, I'll just stay there like a weakling demanding to be cared for. Because this? Is so not working for me...

have a good Friday everyone.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Fun evening...

I really had a fun evening with my husband last night. Okay, okay, get your minds out of the gutter, actually the fun I had was listening to the birds, watching tv, and eventually, getting bored with tv and playing music videos from youtube for him. I think he mostly let it become background noise if he didnt recognize the song, but the ones he did recognize I could see him mouthing the words and his toes moving back and forth. He was buried in his computer, probably reading about trucks. Oh well. It still was a lot of fun. Look for your favorite oldie but goodie on youtube today. You'll be surprised at what's out there!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Milk duds...

Does anyone else love Milk Duds? They're something I dont' often get because the caramel tends to stick in my teeth, but I found a movie-sized boxed for less than $1 at Wal-Mart, so I picked it up. It's been some of the most enjoyable candy I've had in a very long time. Chewing it is very satisfying, and apparently I got a fresh box, because the caramel wasn't sticky, and it chewed up without gumming up my smile too much :-) Who can beat chocolate covered caramel anyway?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fool's

Okay, it's no joke, it has been snowing outside this morning. Seriously? Mother Nature has a good sense of humor! At least all the animals seem to be happy-go-lucky today. Squirrels shaking their bushy tails, birds twittering non-stop, and rabbits hop hopping along.. spring has sprung...