The most requested thing for dinner around here? Noodles. With butter.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wetland Winged Wonders

The view from my back door...
The poles in the wetlands were "planted" a couple of summers ago after the county took out all the vegetation because it wasn't native. They turned the lush green wetlands into brown dirt and tall dead stumps with a pond winding around the area. The green has come back, and with it, birds of all kinds. We see ducks, hawks, Canada Geese, and this heron who presides over the whole scene.
I wish I would have been able to capture it in flight- the wingspan is huge.
My camera isn't very sophisticated, but I'm sure glad it has a zoom feature.

Contest coming up on the weekend!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Have you seen these?

Have you seen these GIANT marshmallows? They are GINORMOUS!

One GIANT equals four regular marshmallows. Four!

Who thought this up?

Could they make them any bigger? Like, as big as your head?
How many regular marshmallows would that equal?

Imagine the s'mores! I mean S'MORES!
If you caught one on fire, would it take four people to blow them out?

I'm kind of in awe...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Sting

Most con games have an elaborate set-up, one that takes planning and very careful timing. This "sting" was not like that. No, the opportunity came to me right out of the blue- dropped in my lap from heaven...

The backstory:
The dog we had a few years ago was crazy. He ruined my carpet- and not in the way you suppose he might ruin a carpet. No... he ATE it. He found the seams that ran between the carpet pieces and he unraveled them and ate the yarn. Not a pretty sight on a berber carpet.
(An even weirder sight later on the lawn...)

Fast forward a few years and we now have laminate floors throughout the downstairs. This means that I do not have to schlep my Very Heavy And Very Powerful Vacuum Cleaner up and down the stairs. I can leave it upstairs where the carpets live (because it is, after all... Very Heavy).

The story:
So, my dear daughter and I went to Bed Bath & Beyond (not to be confused with Infinity & Beyond) to find a smaller vacuum for bare floors.
(Ha- if my floors were bare, I wouldn't need to vacuum them!)

I seriously considered those little robot-vacs that scoot around the room and then recharge themselves automatically. Those are cool, but not exactly inexpensive.

While we strolled through the vacuum section, I read some boxes and weighed the pros and cons of each vacuum- most of the time out loud to my captive audience.

And then it happened.

The gift from heaven.

A voice from the shopping cart rose above the clamor of the store. It asked me the question of all questions, the one that moms everywhere pray to hear...

"Mom?" (in that he-followed-me-home-can-I-keep-him tone.)

"Yes, dear." (somewhat absentmindedly)

"Mom, do you think if we get this vacuum, it could be MINE? I could be the one to use it, and only me?"

Um, what? Did I hear that right? I must have because my heart started pounding and I almost broke into a sweat. The lady in the aisle next to me has hushed her child so she can hear what happens next. I proceed to make the face that shows I am thinking very hard about the question- I really don't want to mess this up...

"Hmmmm. I don't know. I think this is a big machine for a small girl."

The lady in the next aisle has disappeared. Turns out she is doubled over and trying to cover her giggles.

"Puh-leeeeeze, Mom? I'll be careful."

Seriously? She is begging for a vacuum? I gotta milk this...

"Are you sure? I'll have to teach you how it all works..."

"Yes. Yes mom, I am sure. I want my own vacuum."

I give a heavy sigh combined with pursed lips and shoulder shrug (She can't win easily or she won't appreciate it.) The lady in the next aisle is on the floor now.

"Ok, I think this might work... but on one condition."

"What? I promise I'll take care of it and use it. I PROMISE."

"Ok, but this is yours. I can't use it and you can't use mine. Deal?"


As we paid for our purchase, she proudly told the clerk that it was HER vacuum and that I couldn't use it. The clerk gave me a questioning look but I just shrugged and said, "Hey, it's her vacuum. If she wants to vacuum, she can vacuum."

As we left the store, I can't be sure, but I think I heard applause...

She not only does a great job on the downstairs floors, but the hose attachment really helps her when cleaning out the car.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


And, dear Autumn, I love your scents. The smell of leaves in a pile, the smell of apples, applesauce and cinnamon-y apple pies, the warm smell of stews and soups that go with "sweater weather", the earthy scent of pumpkin pies that seem to find their way from WinCo to our house with startling regularity, the smell of the last grass-cutting of the season, and the smoky backyard burning odors all conspire to make me feel indoors-y and cozy and ready to start that book that has been sitting neglected on my nightstand for weeks.
And let's not forget the smell of cake. Birthday cake. Chocolate birthday cake... mmmmm. (Thanks, mom!)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dear Autumn,

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

I love the change to cooler weather. (Ok, this summer has officially been the coolest around here since 1980, but for someone who actually ENJOYS the coolness, it was AWESOME. And now back to our regularly scheduled fall love fest...)

I love the start of school. What's not to love? I get to meet my new students in their new haircuts and new school clothes and new school shoes. All the classroom ideas that have been cooking in my brain since March get to be tried and refined and played with until they are either perfected or rejected. It's like a big puzzle. Every time I fit a piece into place, the endorphins in my brain commence firing. It's a huge rush. Yeah, I'm a geek. And then there's the school supplies aisles at WalMart. Oh. Hold me back. Seriously- have you ever seen so many cool pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, protractors, paper, organizers and binders? How did I ever manage in grade school with just a few Pee Chees?
(My teaching space in my classroom. That timer is so cool.)

I love the start of school for Abby. She is learning to geek out on all the stuff as well, so we are making it a tradition. She gets a new teacher, new classroom, and new things to learn, and I get to help her with her math and book reports and memory verses. I could be a student forever.

I love the rain. What a great excuse to just stay home and cozy up with a good book... "I'm sorry, I can't come out to play, it's raining."

I love the NFL. I don't love the commercials, so I mute them, but I do love a good football game on a Sunday afternoon while I'm doing the laundry and thinking about a nap. I also mute the TV when Al Michaels is announcing. He is probably a nice guy in real life, but his nasal voice and inability to pronounce "New Orleans" just drives me nuts. Unfortunately, the teams I follow all lost this weekend, and the Steelers (Steal-ers) won. Ick.

I love the trees. We have a nice variety of leaf colors around here- from translucent yellows to the orange, red and standard brown of fall. Mixed with the evergreens, they are beautiful. Contrasted against a bright blue October sky, they can make your eyes ache.

I love the dark. I'm a troll. My favorite two days of the year are the day we set our clocks back, and December 21st because it has the most hours of darkness. Again- a good excuse to stay home and do crafts.

I love the thought that maybe, just maybe, we will see snow this winter. Doesn't happen every year, so when it does occur, it is special. It is so special that I make snowballs and save them in my freezer. One each year that we have snow. There are 4 in my freezer right now. They aren't taking up much space, and they are helping to keep it cooler, you know, in case we not only get snow, but also ice and power outages. The snow in my freezer should keep my frozen items cold for at least 12 minutes longer than if they weren't in there. Every minute counts, people, every minute counts.

I love the prelude to Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Of course, I agree, Christmas is too commercial. It's not about all the trappings and presents and lights... ) The thing is... humming along with the carols at the store in October just makes me smile and think about what is to come...

Friday, September 3, 2010

This dog needs a job

I'm not talking about a job as a sled dog or a seeing-eye dog. We have no snow and I'm not visually impaired. No, he needs a different kind of job.
I'm thinking he needs a more practical job like... say... cleaning toilets or doing laundry.
Now THAT would be helpful.
He's cute, but he definitely could be more helpful around the house.

At least he's not barfing much any more.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

We have a winner!

Julianna Lawson was the first to comment with the correct answer to yesterday's contest. She'll get her prize Sunday morning when I see her in church.

The photos of the signs displayed the word "Pie's" when it should be "Pies" and "prescription's" when it should be "prescriptions".

The use of an apostrophe indicates possession- like something belonging to the pie or the prescription.

For example, "The pie's crust was tender and flaky." is a correct use of the 's. The crust belongs to the pie so you use an apostrophe. But if you want to just talk about more than one pie, you use "pies". No apostrophe.

I see this mistake all the time around here. Usually, it is on a handwritten sign for a garage sale or something similar. I'm not too shocked to see it on a local pie restaurant, but it was surprising to see a major pharmacy like Walgreens make this rookie mistake.

Next contest at the end of September. Stay tuned!

Oh- starting my version of B90x today. Going to read through the Bible in 90 days. I have one person who is joining me- anyone else?