Monday, August 31, 2009

S is for Sweet

I really need to carry a camera more often. If I did that, I wouldn't be reduced to blatantly copying my friends' Facebook pix to use here. Oh well. If you're my FB friend, lock your profile pix down tightly lest you be the focus of this blog some day. And those of you who aren't yet my FB friends? Keep your real names well-hidden from me. It's your only hope.
While you're no doubt rendered speechless at the quality of my introduction to today's post, I will risk impressing you even further by reminding you that today is A-Z or Z-A Mondays hosted by Jen.
And now, since I seem to be majoring in abrupt and awkward transitions, it's time to discuss how the letter S is for sweet. Do you see the afore-mentioned picture? It's my friend whose job it was on Friday to be MOB/mother of the bride. The wedding was beautiful with a bride and groom uncontainably in serious love. I was able to fit into a dress, so I was clothed, and all was well.
What an unexpected friendship the MOB and I have had since that year a century ago when I was her son's Sunday school teacher. I was an about-to-be mother; she was a seasoned veteran. And one Sunday, in a crowded restroom, we began to talk. Amazingly enough, that conversation is still going on though we have finally moved out of the restroom.
Since the beginning, she has always created enough time to listen, to counsel, to pray with and for me and my family, and to laugh. I think she's a wonderful mom, a great wife, and a friend. Now, wait. I forgot to add an adjective before friend, so here's a few. Just take your pick knowing that each one is the truth:
smart friend
humorous friend
dear friend
my friend.
Oh yes, S Sertainly Stands for Sweet.

Friday, August 28, 2009

FF: I Thought I Was Empty

Amazingly enough, I am nearly fragment-free this week, but I shall give it a good college-try. What that means is a mystery to me really, but I've never let not understanding stop me before.
Okay, Mrs. 4's and Sara and all you who participate in:
Here we go!

*Took my high-schooler to get her schedule and was thrilled when she was put in a homeroom with my new friend's son. That family is very controlled and conservative and the kids are soooo polite. I thought the boy would be a nice "friend" for my daughter. The very first thing the boy did when they got to their homerooms? Loudly rated the girls' chests.

*Pepper the dog graduates next week. By virtue of having only 2 dogs in class, she is assured the valedictory or salutatory spot. Can't wait for her speech.
*Went back to work this week. Haven't taught during the day for many centuries, but think I shall adapt to it.
*I often wonder if I would still teach even if I did NOT get paid. The answer: almost yes.

*Why, on the first day of school for me, when it was raining in a Noah's Ark-type manner and my shoes got wet, did one shoe start to emit soap bubbles?

*Did you know you can change the size of your font by pressing and holding ctrl and turning the wheel on your mouse?

*Kim-d's post made me laugh and laugh and laugh yesterday. Thanks, girlie.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Not My People

I suppose if I were filled with more spit and vinegar, I might look for some old family pictures to post here, but since I am kindness personified, I won't. (See how much I love you, Dad and Mom?) (And were we the only family that had trouble keeping every eye open when we tried for a family picture?) Since I won't be adding any family images from my youth, you must click over to this site and view some of the most interesting family pictures OTHER families have taken.

Before you click, here are some recent pix of my kids:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oscars: Here I Come

Thank-you, Sue the mermaid, for introducing me to One True Media!! And now, my first video!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday's Trivia: Things Are Getting Hairy!

Because you've been wondering,

Because you're the curious sort,

Because it's Tuesday,

Because I have nothing else to post:

It's time for ...

Here we go with a nod to!

1. The total number of potential beard hairs on a man's face is said to average around 30,000.

2. Beards grow about 5 inches a year.

3. Men without beards spend about 800-3000 hours of their lives shaving (10-15 hours a year)

4. Caution and Checkered's boys still swear by shaving with cake frosting. Says it leaves their skin soft and smooth.

And now your Tuesday is better for this knowledge.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Z-A Mondays: T is for ...

We are working our way from Z to A with a stop this week at the letter T.
Now, what does t represent in this house?

Tutoring? (I do dread the start of school and homework!)

Topsy turvies? (...back when I still had hope that they would work)

Targets? (He's a "real shooter" is taken literally around here.)

Since we are in the waning days of summer, I'll stick with a happy "t."
T is for trampoline.

After all these t's, I really do hope we are actually on the letter T this week. To find out, check out the other A-Z or Z-A bloggers.

Friday, August 21, 2009

FF: The Happy Edition

Fine. Fine. Fine! I'll be an optimist again. To prove it, here are things which have made me happy this week.

10. My child, candidate for Pickiest Eater in the Milky Way, has decided that he likes tomato soup.

9. Checkered is reading a book! (the final Harry Potter)

8. and he sat next to me last night to read it.

7. My youngest boy now prefers the History Channel to Cartoon Network.

6. My child's doctor actually understands not only what I say, but what I don't say.

5. My daughter has been hearing about her friends who have spent the summer smoking and drinking, and she is disgusted.

4. My garden of grand intentions has produced 10 cherry tomatoes AND 5 ears of corn.

3. I return to work next week and I'm ready with completed syllabi and course plans. Okay, fine. I'm not ready, but I will be BECAUSE I'M AN OPTIMIST, OF COURSE!

2. Loving Patrick Taylor's An Irish Country Doctor and An Irish Country Village. I've been thinking in a brogue all week.

1. We will attend a wedding next week for the daughter of my dear friend. That I have not a thing to wear will certainly pale in comparison to the joy of this most unexpected love.

0. I can admit that maybe I lied when I said I was okay with nothing to wear to the wedding.

-1. The Boy Scout now has all his badges on. Thank-you very much, Miss A Corgi and Betty (why didn't you tell me your new blog was up????) for telling me to take the sewing machine out of the box and read the directions watch the dvd. Now on to the Cub Scout shirts and brag vests.

-2. Thank-you, Miss Chesapeake Bay Woman, for the suggestion. It turns out that Checkered is a sewing maniac.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

In Layman's Terms, If You Will

It defies logic.

It was spontaneous.

I can't believe I did it.

I do not sew despite my mother's best efforts, but I have bought a sewing machine.

I am tired of fighting a needle through all those scout badges.

So, in a moment of great badge weakness, and with the "just get one, already," words of a friend echoing in my head, and perhaps inspired by the novel, A Single Thread,

I got it.

But now my question: what in the world do I do now?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just a Little Annoyed

I choose to be an optimist. Except today. I'm just feeling annoyed and am tired of excusing it away. So, in the spirit of feeling better, here is a list of things currently annoying me:

10. The man behind me in the grocery store who insisted on putting his groceries on the belt before I put mine up there.

9. The teen-ager in another car who was deeply upset that I didn't go through the yellow light at our local intersection.

8. I have to carefully watch my diet this week because my physical is on Friday.

7. Watching my diet all week will not make one bit of difference in any results.

6. Myself for thinking the man behind me at Walmart was trying to cut in front of me when he was really an employee trying to empty the returnable cans/bottles bins.

5. My dog loving to swim in her wading pool AFTER she pees in it.

4. My broken dishwasher whose job it was to teach my children to hand wash dishes, yet the dirty dishes silently stack themselves on the counter

3. My inability to create clever little blog graphics like so many of you do.

2. The followers list I removed from my blog so I wouldn't feel a slave to it; nevertheless, I wonder what would happen if I re-posted it.

1. Mosquitoes. Fruit flies. Great black wasps.

0. The customers at the local cigarette shop who ALWAYS park in the fire lane thus impeding traffic for everyone else driving by.

Thank-you for listening. I'm done....for today.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday's Trivia: Amusement Parks and Aging

Teens (especially teen girls) comprise the largest percentage of amusement parks visitors.


People under 35 like new rides.

Maybe that explains why you struggled, Checkered.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Z - A Mondays: Uniform

When my oldest boy joined Cub Scouts, he was quite focused. He didn't much care about the badges, experiences, or even the community involvement. What completely captured his imagination was the UNIFORM.

Since then, he has begun to climb through the ranks and has learned more than we ever dreamed. He has been given opportunities to laugh, to build his confidence, to help others. He has formed great friendships and met wonderful adults.
We don't regret anything about Scouting.

The adage says, "The uniform makes the man."

Maybe there is something to that afterall.
Link over to Jen's and meet more A-Z or Z-A bloggers.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Fragments: The Food Edition

  • It's Friday!

It's time for defrag!!

Thanks to Mrs. 4's for running these memes!!!

  • Have you ever had Claude's Barbeque Brisket Marinade Sauce? If not, get yourself to El Paso, Texas and get some. I love the fragrance. I love the flavor. I love the ease. I don't love how far it is to El Paso.

  • Speaking of El Paso and Claude's: The one who introduced me to Claude's is my younger sister, Dr. Red. She has finally joined Facebook (from which I immediately stole her picture); you all should head over there and meet her.

  • Coney dogs are very popular in this area: hot dogs with a thick, meaty sauce on them. The chili is just a bit spicy; the casing on the dogs just a bit crunchy. Hold the mustard on mine, please.

  • During Pepper the Dog's behavior class this week, my 7 year old son confided to me that he absolutely loves the way the treats there smell. That would be the DOG treats. He is thinking about buying some and leaving them open under his bed so he can smell them all night.
  • I like the Cake Boss show but wish they would leave out the contrived drama and simply show us more of his magnificent creations.

  • My daughter made this cake this week:

4 eggs

2 cups shredded zucchini with peeling

3/4 cup oil

1 tsp. vanilla

1 (4 1/2 oz) instant chocolate pudding

1 1/2 tsp. instant decaffeinated coffee

1 pkg chocolate cake mix

Blend well and bake at 350 for 1 hour in a Bundt pan or 40-45 mins in a 9x13.

  • Then she made lunch for her brothers. I think I will forgive the fact that cleaning up the kitchen afterward never entered her mind.
  • And now we'll close with a reference to natural milk producers. My very middle-aged and conservative neighbor has taken to sunbathing topless in her back yard. No picture here. You'll just have to take my word for it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Button Pusher

I was minding my own business watching my boys play ball at a local historical park, Greenfield Village. At some point, I got curious about the pulse button on my camera. Well now. Who knew I could take so many pictures so quickly on my point and shoot?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


How is it, that with all the words in my life, I've run out of things to say?
Shocking, I know.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday's Trivia: the Wienermobile

The famed Wienermobile, originally designed by Oscar Mayer's nephew, made its debut in 1936. Although gas rationing kept the Wienermobile off the roads during WWII, it has been back in action since. Each year, college students compete for a one-year rotation driving it cross country. It does occasionally have mishaps, such as this July 2009 incident:

One would like to think that if the Wienermobile were still build on a Jeep chassis, this might not have happened.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A-Z Monday: V is for Volleyball

When I first saw the A - Z Monday meme courtesy of Suz's blog, I was intrigued. How simple. How fun. How much I wanted to join. They were on the letter M. I had the same reaction when they were on the letter N, the letter R, and by the time they got to the letter X, I had stopped promising that I would join the fun.

I made a big deal about missing the alphabet train, and then Busy Bee Suz told me they were going back through the alphabet AGAIN. But guess what letter they were on? X. After looking through my brain, I opted out of the letter X option.

But look where I am today! I'm here just in time for the letter V. And for me, V is volleyball.

Volleyball first flirted with me back in 5th grade.

"Come on, Sweetie. You want to play! How hard can it be to hit a ball?" it cooed to me gym class after gym class.

So I took a swing and hit that ball just as hard as I could - right into the net - and my turn was over.

We played again in 7th grade, 8th grade, and 9th grade gym class. And every.single.time I hit that simple little ball, it went into the net or directly out the side of the court. Then there was the time it hit the girl's head right in front of me.

Volleyball left me bruised in arm, bruised in ego, bruised in career goals.

So I grew up and got married and my ever so sweet husband who knew me very well, signed us up for a volleyball league.

Okay, that was a bad argument, but I am a wonderful sport and played for two seasons.

Again, the ball went sideways, off other players' heads, and sometimes backwards.

When I announced my retirement from volleyball, no one cried or gave me a cruise or a gold watch. They just said, "Okay," and quickly ran the other way.

Last week, I saw a volleyball set for the pool. It was marked down significantly, and it was cooing, "Come on, Sweetie. You know you want to play! How hard can it be to hit a ball?"

I thought about how I am still taller than 3 of my kids and I am getting in shape. I thought how there would be no super athletes trying to spike the ball off my face. I thought how I could look like an Olympic athlete right here in my back yard.

The net came home and set up. The kids got in the pool. The ball went flying out of the water and I went to retrieve it. I hit it back to the kids and the ball flew right over the pool. The second attempt sent the ball under the pool deck. The last attempt hit my daughter's friend in the head.

I like volleyball, but it's plain to see,

the oh so easy sport of volleyball

really hates me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

FF: The School Edition

~It's time! It's time!! Friday Fragments and Friday's Freewrite. Grab ahold of those pesky little thoughts swirling around and around in your mind and unload them here. It's the best stop of the week.

~I enjoyed last week's luncheon with the Jills. One of the Jills did some teaching in my garden. It seems that those lucious berry plants I was growing so successfully were weeds.

~School supply shopping yesterday. $160 for notebooks, binders, crayons, and page protectors. Still need at least one graphing calculator and one backpack. The hallelujah news is that the trombone has been paid for already.

~Pepper the dog is, thus far, excelling in her schooling. She has impressed us with how quickly she is learning. Of course, most of the things that have been taught in the first two classes were things we had already taught Pepper at home. We will NOT be telling the instructor that.

~Facebook is beginning to make me feel very boring. Did I not do anything fun during high school or college?

~Have you ever had an initial and brief phone conversation with someone and decided they were very odd only to have your in real life meeting confirm that? How frustrating when that person is my child's doctor or teacher.

~Our NYC-loving daughter has returned home just in time to get registered for high school. The papers about academic integrity, bus service, scheduling, guidance office procedures, and dress code were all tossed aside in favor of the paper about the homecoming dance tickets. The very first school supply we bought way back at the beginning of the summer? Her dress.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Brain Blips

These keys look nothing alike, yet I almost always take the wrong one - only to have to return to the house for the correct key.


Nor do these two creatures look especially similar.
Why then, must I constantly call each one by the other's name?