Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Food and the Fashion

Look Brenda and Vicky! I got Isabel Chihuahua duds.

We were invited over to one of my sister's houses for Thanksgiving. We turned her down. David really really wanted to cook a turkey this year. He loves cooking turkey. We invited some people, but due to work conflicts, they could not come, so it was a quiet family Thanksgiving. I slept til 10 a.m. (thank you David) while David prepared the turkey and put it in the oven. When I finally managed to drag myself out of bed, this is what the gang was doing.

Playing Little Big Planet which we rented, which btw, is so cute!

The turkey was in the oven. Beautiful.

Jake had to be kept away from the stuffing. (Note....he's taller than the fridge.)

Then I got to work on the green bean casserole, sweet potatoes (that no one but I ate) and the rolls. The rolls. Check it out.

What does that bag say? Ten. Ten rolls. Count them people. Grrrr. They were yummy though.

David took the turkey out, made homemade gravy from the drippings, and I put the pie in the oven. Dinner was delicious.

And just because it's funny....

Friday we went to Downtown Disney because a) it's free and b) David had to work and we were bored. Isabel decided she wanted to look like "Minnie the Mouse" so she insisted I put the bow there.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Many the Miles

Sara Bareilles - Little Voice Pictures, Images and Photos

I picked up Sara Bareilles' album, Little Voice, this past September with some gift cards I got. I really like this album. So much, that it's bugging the heck out of Jacob because it's forever in my cd player. There are 12 songs on the disc and only two that I skip because I'm not that into them. The rest I love. (My favorite is "One Sweet Love," followed by "Many the Miles" and "Gravity."

Here are the lyrics to "Many the Miles." Click here to hear it in its entirety off her site. It's # 10 on the list. Just click the song name and it will start playing for you.

There’s too many things that I haven’t done yet, Too many sunsets I haven’t seen. You can’t waste the day wishing it’d slow down. You would have thought by now I’d have learned something.

I made up my mind when I was a young girl, I’ve been given this one world, I won’t worry it away. But now and again I lose sight of the good life, I
get stuck in a low light. But then Love comes in.

CHORUS: How far do I have to go to get to you? Many the Miles, Many the Miles. How far do I have to go to get to you? Many the Miles, But send me the miles, and I’ll be happy to Follow you Love.

I do what I can wherever I end up, To keep giving my good love and spreading it
around. ‘Cause I’ve had my fair share of take care and goodbyes, I’ve learned how to cry, And I’m better for that.

CHORUS: How far do I have to go to get to you? Many the Miles, Many the Miles. How far do I have to go to get to you? Many the Miles, But send me the miles, and I’ll be happy to Follow you Love.

Red letter day, and I’m in a blue mood, Wishing that blue would just carry me away. I’ve been talking to God, don’t know if it’s helping or not. But surely something has got to got to got to give’, Cause I can’t keep waiting to live.

CHORUS: How far do I have to go to get to you?Many the Miles, Many the Miles. How far do I have to go to get to you? Many the Miles, But send me the miles, and I’ll be happy toFollow you Love

There’s too many things I haven’t done yet. Too many sunsets I haven’t seen.

I like this song a lot, so imagine my happy surprise to hear my baby girl sing the chorus, loudly and with a huge smile. I thought "Wow, she likes one of my favorites, how cool!"

Yesterday, in the car with the whole family, the song played (because, the cd is forever in the car) and Isabel sang it. At the chorus, David started laughing. He said "You DO know what she's (Isabel) saying, right?" I was confused and said "Many the Miles." He laughed and said "No, listen!"

She wasn't saying "Many the Miles." She was singing "How far do I have to go to get to you, Minnie the Mouse, Minnie the Mouse!" HA HA HA HA!!! Listen to the chorus. Now sing it with "Minnie the Mouse." Of course that's what her 4 year old brain heard. and that's how we will forever sing it, Sara. :)

Friday, November 28, 2008


I went shopping at 2:30 p.m. today. I got butter, milk, peanut butter, eggs, two boxes of cereal and some sponges. That's it, and the store was not even busy.

I don't get Black Friday. The last time I went shopping the day after Thanksgiving was exactly 14 years ago. Jake was in a stroller and I spent breakfast, lunch and dinner at the mall with Jake's grandma and aunt (my ex's family). I spent zero $$ as we were broker than broke and watched as they shopped and shopped. I've never set foot in a mall on Black Friday since. I've never even purchased presents on Black Friday.

I have a co-worker who gets very excited about it. He and his wife scour the ads and set up a game plan as to who is going where. I told him just this Wednesday that I did not understand it. Why is he all excited about getting a tv for sale, when he has 3 already? Or the really cheap laptop, when last year, he camped out for another really cheap laptop? I told our boss that for me, if I'm buying a major item, it has to be a need, not a want. Like when the washing machine died last spring.

During a drive somewhere last weekend, David asked "If we see a flat panel/screen tv for less than a thousand, can we buy it?" and crickets chirped. "Are you crazy??" I finally said. He actually had a confused look on his face. Under a thousand, la di da, we must be rich.

A NEED is like today, when I had the septic tank company come over (love them, by the way, for not charging extra for same day service) to empty our tank. As our washer upstairs would empty, or a person took an upstairs shower, I could hear either the toilet downstairs or sink downstairs go "gloooop gloooop gloooop." I knew water was having problems getting out. I called them today, they came out today , the guy was super cool and said "You were smart to call us now. It was right on the verge of back-flowing into the house." That need was $189.00 and we had the "need" money for it.

Last year, I asked to draw names for the adults but no one else wanted to. We bought for us and the kids. The end, no one else. As did two of my sisters and their families. Financially, I was not interested in going into debt to buy gifts for everyone. We have always paid cash for Christmas and last year was tight enough for me to say no.

This year? We have not made the choice yet. The lists are out there, but we haven't made up our minds.

The Lunatic Cafe

The Lunatic Cafe Pictures, Images and Photos

This is book 4 of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. I'm not sure how I feel about this series anymore. David's already on book # 8 or 9 and he's over it. He's borrowing copies from a co-worker, my copy is from paperback swap. The author tends to describe what people are wearing in way too much detail. We're talking almost "Wheel of Time" detail here. Every time the lead walks into a room, restaurant, whatever, we have to hear what each and every person is wearing. Just feels like filler to me.

This story itself wasn't a bad one. These books deal with an alternate Earth, where there have always been vampires, gargoyles, zombies, ghosts, gnomes, fairies, werewolves, wererats, were-anything. Vampires and Lycanthropes (the were-people) have been given legal rights. As long as they behave, i.e. don't kill people, they have rights. Anita is a raiser of zombies for a living. If you need clarification on dead uncle Schmo's will, you call Anita to raise him so you can ask Schmo the question. She is also a Legal Executioner. She is allowed to kill vampires that the state deems need putting down.

So that's the back story. The rest of the series deals with her and the master of the vampires, Jean Claude, who is way to femme for me to seem like the kind of person she would dig, which she does. It deals with her cases, right now she's in love with a Werewolf too. There's a lot of sexual tension with her and both men, but no sex as of yet. I read comments on line where the author, in a few books from now, takes a weird turn and puts a "spell" on Anita so that all she wants to do is have sex. Um, what? I'm not sure I want to continue to soft porn. A co-worker once told me she thought "How could this woman (Anita) possibly eat, sleep or work anymore?" She quit reading the series too.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Is it old-hat to do a "Thankful" list? I hope not!


I am thankful for my husband. He's cute. His eyes are so blue. He's intelligent and can keep up with our insane/inane conversations. He's my map. He has fantastic gams. He's a nerd, but not as nerdy as me. He took me to see 'Twilight,' after he read all 4 books in less than a month. He calls me a lot with random things to say. He thinks I am hot and lets me get away with a lot of stuff. He has nice lips. His nickname is Lips to his college buddies. He grabs my butt in public, I smack him, he laughs. He's getting better with the grill.

I am thankful for my son. He's cute too. He is caring. He is nerdier than me. He is a royal pain in my keister (Mr. Gotta Have the Last word). He is musically talented and has really long piano-fingers. He's uber-smart. One day, he'll be smarter than me. But that time is not now, so go put those rubber bands on and for the love of my sanity, pick up your dirty clothes! (I am thankful that I have him to yell those things to.)

I am thankful for my daughter. She's this little bundle of energy. She beautiful. She's sensitive. She's easy (now). She doesn't eat anything. She loves, LOVES to draw. She's into Mario... and Luigi too. She squeals "Mommy's Home!!" when she hears the door from the garage to the kitchen open. She tells me I look like a princess on the rare occasions I wear makeup. She snores like her dad. She looks like me, only blond and blue-eyed.

I am thankful for the rest of our families; the sane and not-so-sane-ones, and the ones who look sane, but really aren't. Thankful especially for my sisters.

I am thankful for my friends. My real live ones, my long-distance ones, my "imaginary" (on-line) ones. You get me (or not, no matter. You're there).

I am thankful to God. For everything listed above and everything I haven't, which He knows, because He can see my heart.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dinner for Friends

We had a lovely dinner last Saturday night. With everyone's busy lives, it's so very hard to get people together for anything. I've been wanting these two families over for two years now! Since after we moved in. I gave the two families over a month's notice to put the dinner on their schedules, hoping I could get ahead of the Holiday madness, but one family could not come. Lo and behold, a high school friend of David's was in Tampa, so he was invited to come over for dinner as well. Counting us, there were 5 adults, 3 teens and 2 little ones.

I love playing hostess. I got the "formal dining room" (you have to say that with your nose in the air and say "fuh fuh fuh" right after) all gussied up. Formal people don't say gussied?

Here's the formal (fuh fuh fuh) dining room. Isn't it purty? (why is my picture over on the right? I didn't tell it to do that?) The china pattern belonged to my parents when they were married.

My mom handed them down to me. They are so 70's and I love them.

Just wanted to show you the piano. This is the formal (I won't do it) living room. The piano and pictures were given to us from David's grandmother's home after she passed. Jake plays the piano often. He's playing it now as I type. The picture above the piano is awesome. It was a Christmas gift to David's grandmother from when she worked in the White House...from President and Mrs. Nixon in 1969. It has a Christmas message from them. It's a little American and family history and the entire room's color scheme is based off that single picture.

Back to the dinner. The guests arrived early (we were betting late; we lost) and I wasn't even done cooking! Nor was I out of my sweats. Wow, bad hostess! Dinner was delish (chicken breasts cut into tenders, breaded in bread crumbs, grated asiago cheese, rosemary, thyme and garlic, fried in olive oil and then baked, angel hair pasta and tomato sauce, a green bean casserole, garlic bread out of the oven and salad. For dessert, my guests brought a lemon cake and some flan, and I had made my Killer Brownies.) We were stuffed and had a fun time hanging out with friends. It's just too bad we can't do it more often.

Ender's Game

enders game Pictures, Images and Photos
When Scarab (letterboxing trail name) and family came down, we talked books. They could not believe we'd never read any Orson Scott Card, especially his "Ender" series. On their second trip to our home, they came bearing gifts. A large tub of extra-large peanuts, (I've never seen peanuts this big. Huge, addicting Virginia peanuts), and this book, Ender's Game.

Set in the future, this book deals with an Earth that trains her soldiers young. I mean YOUNG. There are "bad insect-like guys" out there that attacked the Earth 70-some odd years ago. The Earth's governments just want to be ready.

Andrew (Ender) is a six-year old boy chosen by the U.S. government to go into training. The story deals with the mind games played on these exceptionally brilliant students. It was sometimes difficult to remember these kids' ages. They were too brilliant. I've yet to meet any child this skilled. I have a gifted son. These kids? Mini-adults,.... if the adults were super-genius Mensa dudes.

The book goes into great detail about Ender being taken from his family (psycho brother and sister he loves) to Battle School in outerspace, and everything this poor boy has to endure in order to be ready to defent the planet. The poor child.

The end though, is like.....what? Did that just happen? They did that to him and his platoon leaders? You're blown away. Then, when you think you know it all, you find out something about the bad guys that makes you even more blown away.

I can't be spoilery, because I don't want to ruin it for anyone. The "Ender" series has several books. I'm already going to get the next one in the series.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Week in Pictures

We've had a busy couple of weeks (birthday party for one of my sister's kids two hours away, visit from Scarab/Thomas, going to Disney to meet with Boston friends) and just have not had time to post all these pictures, so here goes:

Hello, it's me! BTW, I have maintained my 27 pound weight loss for the past 3 months. Pretty much up or down 3 pounds. I would like to lose more, but am not too stressed about it. I remember complaining that I just wished I weighed what I weighed before I had Isabel, and I did it. I would like to lose 10-15 more, but I see myself and am happy, so I've been working out 3-4 times a week, but eating pretty much whatever I want, hence the maintaining.

Here's my dad, holding my niece/Isabel's cousin Lyric, and Isabel. This was at my other sister's two kids' birthday party.
Lyric's mom, my youngest sister Lissette, made this cake for out other sister's kids. Pretty awesome!

Candy Corn! Sugary Goodness.

Well she is half Scandinavian, you know. What a mix! Puerto-Swede? Swedricanish?

Is this not the cutest outfit? She's a DOLL!

Emptying garbage cans made me realize the extremes in my kids' ages. :)
My camera's night shot setting stinks. There is no humanly possible way for me to keep the camera still enough to not blur it. This is Cinderella's castle covered in Christmas lights. It changed colors (blue, purple, pink, yellow, white) and is so pretty. We went to Disney after work, the eye doctor and the orthodontist, to meet with one of my friends from Boston.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's called "Saving the Environment," Lady!

Having tons and tons and tons of plastic Walmart, Target and grocery store bags can get overwhelming. There are only so many I need to keep in my home for small garbage can liners. Usually, I would gather the extras up and take them to a store that has the plastic bag recycling bins out front and place them there. But, really, what happens to them after that? I don't know, but it bothered me enough that I made a very small investment for what I think is a very large return: Canvas grocery store bags for $1 each.

Publix reusable bag Pictures, Images and Photos

Their looks are deceiving. When opened, they are huge. They can hold more than a regular plastic bag. I only own 4 (three Publix and one Walmart; all 4 black) and haven't had to get any more for my trips, because they're so roomy.

For over a month, I've been using them. Keeping them in my car is very easy, and I've gotten into the habit of remembering they are there. I also don't care that I am using a Walmart one inside Target, or a Publix one inside Winn Dixie. They can get over it and be happy I am spending my $$ in their establishment at that moment. For me, it's all about the sales, baby.

Most stores are getting used to people using them. They're displayed everywhere. David, though, hasn't really seem them "in action."

The four of us went to Walmart last weekend to get some miscellaneous items. I took 2 bags in with me. As we head to the cash register, David sees me handing them to the lady. He observes her fiddling with one and says "Wow, those look like a real pain." (Gee, thanks.)

The Walmart cashier then proceeds to say "Oh, I know. Every time I see someone with them, I just roll my eyes." She said this. To people who have just handed her the bags. I stood there staring and fuming at both of them, and she proceeds to check us out.

They sell them there and she rolls her eyes at people who use them? It's called "Saving the Environment, Lady!" Look into it.

Just Give Me My Quesadillas, Already!

We live on the edge of a relatively new suburban city (about 20 years old), right next to a very rural city. There is nothing out here, save horses, a car repair place (love them though), a mom & pop diner (gross!) and the Super Walmart that opened a year or so ago. If we want to go out to eat, or do anything other than Walmart-related shopping, we have to go one county over (30-40 minutes) or to another city in our county (25 minutes. NOT the rural city we're right next to).

About a month ago, on my daily commute to and from work, I notice a new building going up. Oh, the possibilities! A sorely-needed restaurant? A new branch of our bank? A book store (dream on, Kaaren). The building went up quickly.

And then the sign went up.

Dollar General Pictures, Images and Photos

Oh, COME ON! Less than a mile from WalMart?? Really?!?!

Someone build me a Chili's!! I want my quesadillas, my southwest egg rolls, my mudslide, David's Presidential Margarita!! I love Chili's, in case you're wondering. My favorite casual dining restaurant. Someone BUILD one in our city, for pete's sake. A Dollar General? MAN.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Last Days of Summer

Last Days of Summer

This book was received as part of a postal letterboxing ring (we send a favorite book and a stamp carved based on the book, to a group of people). This is one of the most fun books I have read this year. The style of the book is different than normal. The book is written in letters and Western Union notes back and forth between various characters, report cards, psychologist notes, newspaper clippings and baseball schedules.

The story deals with a 12 year old Jewish boy, Joey, living in a neighborhood where he and his Japanese best friend get beat up on a regular basis. Joey is an incredibly smart, wise-acre, who decides to befriend a baseball star, third-baseman Charlie Banks from the New York (baseball) Giants. The story mixes real life (World War II, FDR, Hollywood) with these fictional characters.

Charlie Banks is a young, hardheaded and famous baseball star and does not want to deal with an annoying fan. But Joey is a force of nature all his own. The book deals with about a two-year period of their friendship, including the foul-mouthed Charlie learning the Torah so Joey could get Bar Mitzvah'd. I laughed out loud A LOT and had to stop and explain to Jake why I was laughing.

If you are looking for a fun, laugh-out-loud, bittersweat book, check this one out.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Are You Sure There Wasn't a Hidden Camera?

David was out making a delivery last night. He approaches a house; the front porch is screened in, locked and pitch black. He knocks on the screen door and waits. A female opens the door to the house and walks into the front porch area to open the locked screen porch. The the conversation goes something like this (I'm paraphrasing because he told me the story at 2:30 a.m.):

David (taking the items out of the bag)...
Her: I am so sorry I'm out here like this. My boyfriend wouldn't give me the blanket.
David: Huh. O-kay.

Lady is not wearing any clothes and is using her arm to cover her breasts.

Her: My boyfriend wanted to know if you'd take $5 off cause I came out like this.

He said he could not see much (yea, right. LOL) because it was night, no porch light and a screened-in porch. He went back to work to tell his boss and co-worker who were all "Yeaaaaa! Was she hot?" "Not really." "Aweeeee, Man!"

So, observations. This woman has:

a) No self worth. She lets her boyfriend tell her to do this and she does it?


b) No shame. She thought this would be funny and maybe knock $5 off the bill?

Either way, sad and funny. I laughed at David's re-telling of it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

You Can't Fool Me, Soda Companies!

In Wal-Mart, in Target, in Publix, in Winn-Dixie, it's all the same (only the names will chaaaange! Sorry, channeling Bon Jovi).

They run sales every month. Three 12-packs of soda for $10. Sometimes it's 4 for $11. We buy diet. (Please, this is not a post on the pros and cons of drinking sodas; don't want to hear it.)

Then, I started noticing something weird.

The sales stickers still say 3 for $10, or sometimes 4 for $11....but they are now 8 packs. Go, check it out.

We've stopped buying them. I'm now maybe buying a 2-Litre (which, I heard from a co-worker, are getting smaller. Have not seen that yet) every two weeks, but no more cases.

That's just insane. How can they think they can get away with that?

They've lost my business.

Monday, November 10, 2008



I finished the "Uglies" trilogy and I have to say first, not a teenager. I know, I know. Shocker. I read this because my son asked for the first book and I read it off his bookshelf. Uglies was not so bad. It was teen-angsty but it was a fun, mixed up world. Pretties was not bad either. But by the time I read "Specials," it was pretty formulaic, which is why I say I am not a teen. I don't want to knock a teen writer's writing.

By formulaic I mean, kid thinks one way, then after going through hard times, thinks a totally different way, only to be bonked in the head my the bad guys and forced into her original ideas anyway. All three books were the same thing. Tally thinks she wants "A" but after many struggles, she wants "B" but the bad bad government forces "A" on her. In this book, she was forced to be a "Special," a super-human scary strong government bad guy and eventually breaks out of it. Like she broke out of being pretty in the book before, like she broke out of being an Ugly destined for prettiness.

Anyway, it was a quick read. Some things bugged me, including cutting scenes. Cutting. It was disturbing. This is a book for teens and although you know she's a bad guy while she is doing it, it is still disturbing knowing that this book is showing kids cutting themselves to feel "icy."

That's another thing, the language tended to bother me. Adjectives like Icy and Random describe people. And the nicknames (Tally-Wa, Shay-La, Zane-la) were annoying.

So again I say, I am not 16, I am an old establishment fart, so this book was not for me.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bragging Rights

My son's in his first year of high school and I'm in my first year of denying my age. What a co-inkydink!

He brought home a progress report 4 weeks or so ago that was not pretty. A's-D's! Mostly for not turning in work, which kills me because it was par for the course last year. I explained to him that this year, things count. They count for college. Crazy as that sounds, he needs to start in ninth grade making a difference. When I was in school, we did not get serious until Junior year. Not anymore.

He brought home his first quarter report card. All A's and B's! I did the Whoot dance (not pretty) and told him he could get himself a reward.

We were at Disney's Hollywood Studios last weekend with some friends from New Jersey. While he was on a ride with one of them, I was in the shop at the exit to the ride and noticed a belt I was sure he would love. When he got off the ride, I showed it to him and sure enough, he loved it.

Check it out.

The buckle is a seat belt buckle. Cool Beans, eh? I'm proud of you, boy!

Breaking Dawn

Breaking Dawn Pictures, Images and Photos

I finished book # 4 of the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn. I enjoyed book 4 better than books 2 & 3 for sure. Just a few things, though.

Renesmee? Seriously? I'm talking about the name itself. And maybe even her entire existence. I was kind of bummed with the whole thing with her & Jake, like it was too convenient. Why not someone else, anyone else? Even Leah. I'm trying not to be spoilery with the unread masses.

I liked what Bella became, it was a necessary to save her, but not the fact that she was not a typical one. She passes go and collects $200 in 2 days?? Everyone else in the entire history has 2 years of pain and horrible hunger and...she's ok? Another convenient plot point.

I loved her special gift though. When she stopped Jane from hurting people, I was all "HA! That'll teach you, Jane!" I enjoyed the scenes with all the different "people" coming to be their witnesses, with the La Push pack backing them up and the scenes with the Volturi. That was fun and exciting.

I am also starting to read the version of Twilight that Stephenie Meyer started writing from Edwards pov, Midnight Sun, that she stopped writing because someone leaked it on the internet. She's upset and stopped writing, but the beginning is available of her site, here.

Now I'll just wait for the movie. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yo Voté


Less than 15 minutes, in and out, right around 3:50 p.m.

Now, the wait.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Muffets and Caribou Barbie and Dr. Horrible, Oh My!

Killer Mutant Pumpkin! Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!

Halloween every year is always a little tough. Month-end at work is usually a hectic time anyway, so trying to get all my work done so I could be home in time to get the kids ready for Halloween is always rough. Add to that the fact that David could not take off work, and I had extra fun trying to get home in time.

I was lazy this year for Isabel. Not that I made any of her costumes yet anyway. They've all been successful E-bay purchases. But lazy me took too long, so I took my sister-in-law's (David's sister) offer to send me some costumes. She has three girls and a boy and makes them their costumes every year. She sent me a list of what she had and I chose Little Miss Muffet and a Pirate Girl. (side note: The Pirate Girl costume was so good, that when her eldest daughter wore it to a homemade Halloween contest, she did not win because the judges thought it was a store bought one. Boo on them.)

For some odd reason, Isabel was afraid of the pirate costume. It came with a parrot for the shoulder and everything, but I had a hard time convincing her to put even these pieces on. Isn't it great? All home-made by David's sister, Jennifer. (Isabel's looking at the parrot, who is slipping off her right shoulder).

She loved Little Miss Muffet, although she kept saying Little Bo Peep. I explained each nursery rhyme so she could understand which is which.

Jacob said he wanted to wear my Dr. Horrible costume. Being the fantabulous mom that I am, I said sure. I could come up with something, hence.......Sarah Palin. Not too good though because I don't have bangs, but as a last minute costume, I was ok with it.

Coming down to wire, Jake chickened out on the costume, so I was back as Dr. Horrible. (watch "Dr. Horrible" Here) We three went to visit David at work, ordered a pizza and ate it on the tailgate of the Jeep before heading out. It rained a bit, but all in all, it was a fun night.