Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Cookie- as art

Yesterday we had some homeschooler friends over for a pre-Valentine cookie/cupcake decorating party. It evolved into a dip everything on the table in melted chocolate party (my kind of party). I totally view these as works of art. And I'm thinking it's a good thing I have broad range for what I consider to be art because I signed myself up for February Thing-a-day 2. I carefully considered it for a few days before I said the heck with it and just jumped in. Basically I'll be working on something (Atc's, scrapbooking,collage,etc.) for at least twenty minutes a day and posting a picture/link on the Thing-a-day website. I remember how inspired I was reading about it last year and I'm very excited to be involved with it this year as one of the 900+ participating artists. There is still time (but not too much) to sign up yourself here. I was reminded of it at a Yahoo group I'm on called the Imagination Tribe. I would highly recommend this group to anyone who likes to make and trade Atc's.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Cue the sappy violin music



Fifteen years ago tonight........

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I've been tagged, I've been tagged, I've been tagged, I've been tagged!!!!

Wow- I feel like a real blogger. I've done several of the memes going around blogland but I've always just stole the idea off another blog. No one ever tagged me to do one until now.
Thank you Pam! My dear friend Pam (who evidentially I chose for friendship, she didn't choose me). Three words people- Read. Her. Blog. Inspiring, wise, hysterically funny, true, maybe a little addictive- if you start reading it now, when she makes the NY Times bestseller list you can say "I knew her when." So here we go-
The rules are:
* link to the person who tagged you
* post the rules on your blog
* share six non-important things/ habits/ quirks about yourself
* tag at least 3 people at the end of the post and link to their blogs
* let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

6 quirky/unusual things about me-

1. I have a split personality- Past me, Present me and Future me. For years now I've referred to myself as if I were three distinctly different people.
Past me- the me of last week or earlier. God love her, but she was lazy. I want to think kindly of her but since she is the one responsible for many of problems of Present me it can be difficult. If Past me had ever done any cleaning around here Present me wouldn't be sitting in such a mess right now.Past me spent too much time watching tv, not enough time exercising, ate too much junk food, never cleaned enough, spent too much money at craft stores, dragged too much crap home from rummage sales and cluttered this whole place up. Also, she sometimes volunteered Present and Future me for things.
Present me- the only me I feel any loyalty to. Even though Present me does tend to sell out Future me by volunteering her for things, she's really just a great gal doing the best she can with the cards she's been dealt. A little tired and deserving of a nap perhaps. Not really in the mood to get much done today- but that's o.k. ......leave the dishes for-
Future me- now that's a girl who's going to be going places. Boy will she be capable! Won't bother spending time wishing past me hadn't volunteered her for things- she'll just do it! Tons of energy- exercises everyday! Earns big bucks (the details of this are a little hazy, hopefully nothing illegal). A lean, not too mean, cleaning machine! And a Homeschooling Mother extraordinare!

2. I won't eat the white part in the egg. Now I'm not talking about the "white" of the egg. You have the yolk, and the white (which is actually clear if you think about it) and then you have the two little squiggly things which might or might not be the chicks umbilical cord (just my personal theory) . I always remove them before I cook the eggs or use them in a recipe. I've gotten good enough at it that I can remove them without puncturing the yolk, in case I want a fried egg. I've even removed them from hard boiled eggs- no easy task I can tell you.

3. In my head, I'm just too perfect.I'm pretty conceited with very little reason to be.Not really about my looks (however there are days when I just have to blow kisses to the mirror). It's more about my homeschooling/mothering abilities. My kids are perfect- don't people want to know how I managed to make that happen? I know this woman- a homeschooling diva goddess. She once told me she can't understand why more young mothers don't come to her for advice and I saw her point. I have pearls of wisdom and nobody's banging my door down (or even calling me on the phone) to beg for the wisdom of my years and experience. Can you believe that? Me neither.

4. How can I put this? Globally speaking- I know we're as rich as Zeus. But for the U.S. - specifically New Jersey- we're just gettin' by. I'm pretty sure that Tim wouldn't want me to put his salary out there but it might surprise some people. He works so hard and has earned some raises over the years but it's not a lot of $. And due to homeschooling we are a one salary family. OK, so here's the weird part- I don't really mind it. More than that- I'm good at it. There's very little outward difference in the way we live compared to people we know who make two times or more what Tim does. I should say- we have enough for what I am blessed enough to be able to consider the basics - i.e. house, food, medical care. We pay most of the bills, most of the months, but not always all of the bills, all of the months. We were careful not to get into a mortgage we couldn't afford. We qualified for way more than we spent. We drive old cars that we bought used. When our dryer broke we got one for free off of Craig's list. When our oven broke I cooked on the top of the stove for weeks until I found a replacement at a flea market (practically new and only $25!). I'm pretty good at ferreting out ways to find family entertainment on the cheap.I'm not embarrassed to invite people over for a party and just serve them hot dogs and chips. When there was a concert we wanted to go to we woke up at 5am to sell some of our stuff at the flea market to earn the ticket price. I don't think it's bad for the boys to grow up this way- they seem to appreciate the things they get a little more when they have to work for it or wait for it.

5. I'm obsessed with baby names. I think up names all the time for babies I'll never have. This weeks top contenders- Gabriel Emmet for a boy and Marisol Isaboo for a girl. Or maybe Milo Indigo or Daisy Blue. Anyway I'm always interested in what people are thinking of naming their babies- especially celebrities. I'm dying to know what Tim Burton and Helena Bonham-Carter (love her) are going to name their little baby girl. I like the name Jayden James and I wonder how Britney Spears came up with it. (on a side note - How thrilled am I that I finally figured out a way to get Brit's name in a post? Now if I could only find a way to mention Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton not wearing panties, I just know my google hits would go right thru the roof!!!)

6. Last one- I asked Tim for help thinking up this one. He immediately replied "You believe in Zombies" - which is so not true. I do believe, however, that one can never be too prepared for a potential (read inevitable) Zombie invasion. And by prepared I don't mean anything practical like stockpiling food , flashlights or weapons. I mean like waking up the hubby late at night to try to plan things out -i.e. escape routes, how to protect our sons and the best ways to destroy our zombie neighbors. Before you start to feel sorry for him- he's the one who, four years ago, rented Shaun of the Dead- on Christmas eve no less. I never really thought much about Zombies until I watched the first twenty minutes of that movie. I've written before about my feelings about Zombies and posted a Zombie test here.

So this is the part where I'm supposed to "tag" three other people to play along. Problem is I only really know two other bloggers and one of them tagged me so- "Tag" Aimee you're up- unless you don't want to ( if you can't think of weird things about yourself, I'm sure I could help you out).
And anyone else out there who wants to play- consider yourself tagged!

Edited to add- Tim would like me to post that our middle of the night Zombie discussions are always one sided. For some reason he doesn't seem to want people thinking he actually spends any time considering offing the Zombie neighbors. He won't talk about Alien invasions either. However, there was that one afternoon- back in 1999- that I got him all hepped up about the Y2K thing. For about a half an hour. Good Times.

A Tale of Two Parties

Two parties in 24 hours, 30+ cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents.
Cake, candles, ice cream, video games, flowers, cards, presents, s'mores (strawberry marshmallows!), goody bags,lollipops as big as your head......

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

All hail me....

The Queen of Procrastination , the Duchess of Denial, the Baroness of Grandiose Plans, the Countess of Clean Closets......

A little pre-party Q and A-

Question: Why would someone who has 4 days to get her house ready for a couple of parties spend two of those days focussed on cleaning out her bedroom closet?
Answer: She wasn't raised properly. Certainly not her fault.*

Question: If I have so damn many clothes, Why do I wear the same six things over and over?
Answer: I dunno- maybe that raised properly thing again?

Question: In which order should you prioritize the following- sink full of dirty dishes, dusting for the first time in months, vacuuming the filthy carpets, mega order at the foodstore, baking-not one but two birthday cakes?
Answer: Easy one... re-pot a few houseplants (don't clean up after yourself), watch American Idol, update your blog.

Question: Why would someone who is having 14 people over on Friday night and 17 people over on Saturday afternoon spend time today organizing her scrapbooking alphabet stickers?
Answer: I don't think you can call it "organizing" if you just looked at them for a while then put them all back in the drawer.

Question: How much do I love my scrapbooking alphabet stickers?
Answer: A whole lot!

Question: What do 100 origami peace cranes look like?

Seriously, people- I might be in some trouble here.

* I ran this theory past my mother tonight-she claims she did the best she could with what she had to work with.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I pretty much already knew this.....

Your Quirk Factor: 65%

You're so quirky, it's hard for you to tell the difference between quirky and normal.
No doubt about it, there's little about you that's "normal" or "average."

Homemade Granola bars

Loosely based on this recipe. I omitted the salt, water and cranberries. I added wheat germ, honey (in place of some of the brown sugar) and salted peanuts. They turned out pretty good- a little crumbly but that's probably because I didn't measure things out I just eyeballed it.


Today I'm making......
  • mugs of hot tea for sick boys.
  • homemade granola bars (recipe following)
  • phone calls to old friends.
  • plans for birthday parties.
  • meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner.
  • progress on a new year's resolution (11 down, 989 to go)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Life, Death ,Cake, etc.

This morning my cousin gave birth to a beautiful baby boy! One year ago today our Grandmother died. I think it's just a great honor to her memory and a wonderful way to mark what otherwise could have been a sad day for our family. We all miss you Nanny H.

My sister, Tracy is an artist and her medium is frosting.

So, guess what I did- I found the little book that came with my camera and finally figured out how to take close-up pictures! Yay me! The above is a mug that I got from a rummage sale a while ago. It's so tiny- I'm using a penny as a saucer!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

101 for my 101st

All right, getting up, brushing myself off, and climbing right back up on the horse. O.K. maybe not RIGHT back but you'll have to forgive that little spell of wallowing in my misery. Of course now that I carried on to just about everyone about how TRAGIC losing the first list was, my concern is that people might actually be expecting something entertaining to follow. I'm not really that interesting ( except to myself, I fascinate me). So anyway- here goes.......
  1. 1. I am the oldest of five sisters.
  2. 2. Next month, I will celebrate my 22nd wedding anniversary.
  3. 3. I have three sons.
  4. 4. I live 3 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.
  5. 5. I have a streak of pink hair. It used to be blue and green.
  6. 6. When I'm a blue-haired old lady, I want to literally have blue hair.
  7. 7. I homeschool my two youngest sons.
  8. 8. At my wedding reception the D.J. played "50 ways to leave your lover" by Paul Simon.
  9. 9. This still amuses me.
  10. 10. What he didn't play was "Follow you, follow me" by Genesis, our wedding song.
  11. 11. I gave birth to my youngest son on my 30th birthday.
  12. 12. I prefer odd numbers to even.
  13. 13. Thirteen is my lucky number.
  14. 14. I have never had a professional manicure or pedicure.
  15. 15. This bothers me not at all.
  16. 16. I'm a registered Democrat but I vote Green, if possible.
  17. 17. I can't follow recipes- I usually add or change ingredients.
  18. 18. Don't like to read directions either. I always try winging it first.
  19. 19. I am very allergic to seafood.
  20. 20. I prefer Pepsi to Coke but it's all poison and I'm trying not to drink any of it.
  21. 21. I like to do Sudoku puzzles. (My hubby thinks this is a boring fact that shouldn't be included on the list)
  22. 22. I'm a very fast reader. ( the only thing dh could come up with at first when he was challenged to think of a more interesting fact about me then)
  23. 23. I once saw a ghost.
  24. 24. I don't really know how to use my cell phone and I don't want to learn.
  25. 25 I went to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville when I was 5 years old.
  26. 26. I tend to accrue huge fines at the library.
  27. 27. I went to the Plaza Hotel in NYC for my honeymoon.
  28. 28. We have a pool but I haven't gone in it for the last two years.
  29. 29. I have been to Walt Disney World in Florida 7 times.
  30. 30. I've been to Disneyland in California twice.
  31. 31. I'd go back tomorrow, if I could.
  32. 32. My favorite artist is Van Gogh.
  33. 33. I love the music and the movies of Doris Day.
  34. 34. Coming home from my first day of kindergarten, I got off at the wrong bus stop.
  35. 35. For the first 18 months of our marriage we lived with my grandparents.
  36. 36. Esthetically, I prefer random to patterns.
  37. 37. I've been a maid-of-honor three times.
  38. 38. I buy most of my clothes and household things at flea markets, garage sales and rummage sales.
  39. 39. I have a very hard time paying retail.
  40. 40. I saw the movie "Jaws" when I was 11 years old.
  41. 41. It still effects my enjoyment of the beach.
  42. 42. I put great stock in birth order.
  43. 43. My sons gave me a cowbell for Christmas so I can be in their band.
  44. 44. I failed my drivers test at 17 and didn't try again for a year.
  45. 45. I once pointed at the last fish left in the tank and said "why won't you die?" and it died within the hour.
  46. 46. I try not to point at living things since then.
  47. 47. I completely and utterly knew I was having a girl each time I was pregnant.
  48. 48. My boys names would be Maggie, Emma and Molly if any of them had done the decent thing and been born a girl.
  49. 49. I am very superstitious and I knock wood all the time.
  50. 50. I once went in a Mosh Pit with two of my boys, my niece and my nephew.
  51. 51. I would do it again.
  52. 52. When I was 13 I watched the Love Boat every Saturday night. I wanted to be a cruise director like Julie.
  53. 53. I get very very seasick.
  54. 54. I once went backstage at a Bruce Springsteen concert. Tim and I were with Bruce's brother-in-law and he got us in. Billy Joel was there. I was pregnant and we left early.
  55. 55. We spent a year being foster parents. It was very hard.
  56. 56. I dream of selling our house and most of our stuff and buying a RV and traveling the country.
  57. 57. I tend to romanticize things like long road trips with family, planting big gardens and pet ownership.
  58. 58. My favorite flower is the daisy.
  59. 59. I've been to Stonehenge.
  60. 60. Every morning I drink two mugs of hot tea.
  61. 61. My favorite mug has "I heart my Godmother" on it.
  62. 62. Every morning I wish I did a better Marlon Brando imitation.
  63. 63. I have seen UFOs.
  64. 64. My favorite TV show is The Office.
  65. 65. My Nana K took me the first time I went to Atlantic City and I won $100.
  66. 66. My Nana K took me the first time I went to Bingo and I won $20.
  67. 67. I want my future grandchildren to call me Nana.
  68. 68. I don't ever drink alcohol.
  69. 69. I think about taking it up sometimes.
  70. 70. I once borrowed a incubator from a friend and hatched chickens. Nine of the ten eggs hatched and that's a 90% hatch rate which is unheard of from a first timer.
  71. 71. The chickens were born on Easter and lived with us for 7 months before they moved to a farm and starred in a major motion picture.
  72. 72. I once camped with my boys in a line in a Walmart parking lot for 36 hours so they could buy the latest video game system.
  73. 73. I was a cheerleader and I won a trophy.
  74. 74. It was for "Most Improved".
  75. 75. I've been to the Grand Canyon.
  76. 76. I own a turntable and a large collection of record albums.
  77. 77. I once went horseback riding on the beach in Mexico with my sister and I liked it so much I went back to the same beach a year later with Tim and the boys and did it again.
  78. 78. I'm a fan of Rankin/Bass animation.
  79. 79. I love the smell of honeysuckles.
  80. 80. I spent months raising donations and training to be in The Avon 3 day / 60 mile walk for Breast Cancer research. It was canceled by the sponsors after one day and 15 miles.
  81. 81. I'm not over it.
  82. 82. If I could pick a superpower, I would fly.
  83. 83. I went to a Peace Rally in Washington DC and I walked next to Cindy Sheehan for two minutes.
  84. 84. All I could think to say to her was "thank you".
  85. 85. I drove a small part of Route 66 and would like someday to drive the whole thing.
  86. 86. I was elected Vice President of the P.T.O. at my oldest son's school.
  87. 87. I could never pick a favorite color.
  88. 88. After 18+ years of marriage ,Tim and I renewed our vows at The Little White Wedding Chapel in Vegas.
  89. 89. Elvis was there.
  90. 90. I really enjoy meeting/observing celebrities and taking pictures with them.
  91. 91. My favorite comic strips are "Baby Blues","For Better or Worse" and "Doonesbury".
  92. 92. Random qoutes or song lyrics often pop in my head, like "Kiss my grits" or lately, "Don't tase me, bro."
  93. 93. I sold Tupperware. My mother hosted the one and only home demonstration I did. As I handed out the order books I told people it was very expensive and Rubbermaid was cheaper and just as good.
  94. 94. I maybe wasn't meant for a career in sales.
  95. 95. I worked at a bank as a teller for 3 days.
  96. 96. I called out sick for two of those days.
  97. 97. I've worked as a paper delivery girl, a waitress/chambermaid,and in a bakery.
  98. 98. If you blinked, you missed it.
  99. 99. I'm the least Virgo Virgo you could ever meet.
  100. 100. I used to love thunderstorms and I still do but it's harder now that I live in a house with a leaky roof
  101. 101. I have extraordinarily good luck (I knocked wood while I typed that).

Friday, January 11, 2008


Well the worst thing that could ever happen, happened. Last night I worked on my 100th blog post for hours. It was 100 facts about myself and it was quite possibly the best thing ever written. It was chock full of bloggity goodness. Funny...fascinating... pithy...real... a treat for the eyes. And I got all the way up to number 96 before I accidentally deleted it all. I tried and tried to get it back but it was just....gone. Forever. Tim heard me screaming and came in to try to fix it but to no avail. Gone....forever. I know all about the stages of grieving. I was surprised by how fast I moved from shock to anger. I almost threw my mug of tea at the monitor (number 36 - my favorite mug...... the list was GOLD, people, pure GOLD). I considered writing the F word 100 times to mark my 100th post- but I gave this blog address to friends and family- we even sent it out in our Christmas letter...WHY?!?!...none of them ever read it. Then I moved from anger to sorrow, cried a while, then took to my bed. I will never move on to the final stage (acceptance). I will wallow in my misery forever. I might need a wee bloggy break. I am considering doing a 101 fascinating facts for my 101th post. It could never be as good as the original, but I must remain strong and carry on. I already know what 101 might be.

101. I might tend to occasionally get a tad bit over dramatic, sometimes.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Global warming, Random and The King

When I think of those poor polar bears on the melting ice- it's almost enough to affect my enjoyment of these last couple of days. Whether you believe in global warming or not, you have to admit on the east coast it's unseasonable to say the least. The middle of January is not supposed to be t-shirt weather. Still we've been loving it- we had a bonfire on Monday night and today we met friends at the park for tennis and hanging out.
edited to add- I usually run it past the boys before I post anything or any pictures about them. After viewing the pics, Riley would like me to add that if you want to buy a pair of the ultra-cool jeans he is wearing you can find them at Zumiez.

Random Bits-
My next post will be number 100 and I've been working on something special for it.
Tomorrow Riley and Tim have their first guitar lesson.
Tomorrow night I'm going to visit with a friend that I haven't seen in years. We're going to see this movie.
Tim applied for his passport this past weekend and he might be going to Guam next month.
I took this quiz and thought it was interesting - no surprises with my results. I've been liking this candidate for a while now.
Today is The King's birthday!!!!!! Happy Birthday Elvis-

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Turn 'em up- turn 'em WAY up

Inspired by Stephen King's Top Ten lists- here's the top ten songs that Griffin, Riley and I looked for on the radio last year. This was hard to narrow down and I'm sure while we're out and about in the car (pretty much the only place we listen to the radio) the next couple of weeks, we'll hear many songs that should have made the cut. They mostly like rock and heavy metal- I like rock, pop and sometimes tune in to the oldies stations. So here they are in no particular order......
edited to add- Hey! I just realized there's only one woman singer! What am I teaching these boys?!?!? Oh , hell to the no.


Dani California- Red Hot Chili Peppers

Capital G - Nine Inch Nails

Thnks fr th Mmrs- Fall Out Boy

Hey There Delilah- Plain White Ts

Stronger- Kanye West

The Underdog- Spoon

Rehab- Amy Winehouse

Rockstar- Nickelback

Paralyzer- Finger Eleven

Bleed it out- Linkin Park

Thursday, January 3, 2008

You cannot perceive beauty, but with a serene mind.
- Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year! 2008

After many, many years of making many, many New Year's resolutions you'd think I would know better- still I enjoy thinking of this time as a fresh year, a fresh start. The possibilities, the potential. Cruising around blogland, I've read what others are pledging this year- changing bad habits, starting new hobbies, etc. Several were just to-do lists- they were interesting and inspired me to think of what I'd like to accomplish this year.

  • Re-learn to play my flute.
  • Organize two or more field trips for homeschoolers.
  • Participate in at LEAST two ATC trades with the Imagination Tribe.
  • Fold 1,000 origami peace cranes to be given out to friends, family and at peace marches. This is a big undertaking that I'm not getting into lightly- It might take me all year but I'm going to do it!
  • Try very, very hard to take my kids to visit my Aunt Carol in Ohio this summer. This depends on money and our cars.
  • Spend some time on Flickr- uploading photos , visiting others and leaving comments.
  • We're planning to do a "unit study" on immigration this spring , culminating with a trip to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
  • Find the little booklet that came with my digital camera and read it!
  • Make more time for crafting.
  • Learn more about practicing Mindfulness. I need to be more mindful about what I'm eating,what-how-where I'm spending money , how I spend my time , the kind of examples I'm setting for my boys, being thankful for all my blessings, etc. Basically I feel I need to be more Mindful.