Friday, December 28, 2007

Laugh for the Day

This letter in the newspaper yesterday morning made me giggle ... (and giggle harder at the thought of how many people won't get it!)


Eight glasses of water?
Hard to swallow

So now researchers say there is no evidence to suggest that one needs to drink eight glasses of water daily, which the Nutritional Council recommended in 1945 ("Myth busters," Dec. 22). Just think, all of these years we've been diluting ourselves!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thanks, E-Girls!


One of the favored gifts this year for the boys came from the E-Girls of Denver (daughters of my friend Alice, their names all start with "E".) They sent the boys message fans - you can set a personalized message in the fan blades - it's magic if you ask me - and it lights up whatever you want it to. Here, Ben makes his into a thank you note!


And here, Ty lets the world know what is on his mind:


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We had a good couple of days spent with family, exchanging gifts, greetings, and good wishes. The boys & I were buy until the last minute, finishing up some gifts we made. I made mittens for my sister-in-law and neice, and the boys made beaded book marks for all the relatives - Ty is holding up a handful, making it hard to see, but they were a big hit!

Christmas Eve we spent at our house. Steve came over, too, and we all exchanged gifts.


The boys got Steve an automatic-adjusting wrench, and they got me season 10 of Friends - the final season, which I never saw and so now can satisfy my curiosity about what exactly happened to Monica, Rachel, and all the rest!


The boys got each other Legos ... they didn't even bother wrapping them, just left them in the bright yellow bags and made each other close their eyes when handed the bags to try and inject an element of surprise!

Ben's gift from me came in a huge triangular box -- he called it the industrial strength Toblerone, and that really is what it looked like! (it was two books inside.)


On Christmas morning Santa had come to Steve's so we were all there for the "big" gifts. Both boys got a Nintendo DS ... which is what they really, really wanted (and were pretty confident they were getting), and that was the end of that ... they played pretty much the rest of the day!



In the afternoon we went to Steve's sister's house for lunch, then in the evening we went to my brother's house for dinner - a long, full, day.




More pictures and details coming later :-)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

huh?

There is a new commercial on TV these days which should be meaningful and powerful. It's about girls in Africa who can't go to school for a few days each month ... because they lack "protection" - at least that's what I think they call it, though right now as I type it that sounds like birth control, which they probably don't have either but that is a whole-nother issue.

Anyway, the "tagline" of this commercial (which is for Kotex, and touts that when US consumers purchase Kotex produtcts, the company will now donate products to these girls so they don't have to miss school) is "Use your period for good."

Ummm, as opposed to using your period for evil?

Finally -- all these years it's just been a hassle -- but now women can unite. And. use. our. periods. for. good.

I will sleep better tonight.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Daily Coyote

Stumbled across this new site the other day and I enjoy checking it out if not daily, at least once or twice a week. It's pictures of a coyote growing up as a pet (of sorts) and the story of how it came to be.

There is a part of me that wistfully wants to live this woman's life. When I was young I thought I would live a life like hers once I was all grown up. Ah well! I'll just have to make due with my poodle and bichon.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Two Weeks Left

I just spent a few minutes reading my final posts of 2006. I was specifically looking to see if I had made any New Year's Resolutions so I could report in on how I did. While I wrote about the making of resolutions, I didn't exactly make any, other than to say that I was starting Tae Kwon Do which should help me lose weight and be more fit.

Tae Kwon Do lasted until I went to Africa this summer and then I never got around to starting up again. Now I've joined Snap Fitness, and hopefully that will last longer (and, BTW, I can bring free guests any time if anyone wants to check it out!)

As Christmas is drawing near and the end of the year is naturally following, I do find myself thinking about what I want from 2008. 2007 has been filled with so much that I did not plan on, and so much of the change has been so good but some of it is frustrating. I hope that in 2008 I can find ways to better manage those parts of my life which currently frustrate me. Some of it is professional, some of it personal, some of it financial, some of it physical.

I am going to try to come up with a tangible list of resolutions for the coming year. Measureable resolutions. And realistic. (might be a pretty short list!) So that a year from now, when I look back, I can compare where my life is then with where it is now. And celebrate.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

TA-DA!!!!

Not only are they both done, but they are both the same size and the stripes even mostly kinda match up! Woo-hoo! (Now the real test is will I ever make another pair?!)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

O, Christmas Tree

Earlier this week we put up our tree. We had to find a fairly narrow one to fit in the space available and I think we did quite well! So does our holiday dog whose favorite spot these days is lying on the landing, nearly as high as the tree-top! He must feel really big when he's up there.

New Knitting

I've managed to do a bit more knitting here and there, a few rows at a a time (ok, more than a few rows at some times ... like when I'm watching Survivor or Amazing Race.)

I did another Amazing Shrinking Bag to send to a friend for her birthday. This time I only did the shrinking process once so it ended up being the right size (according to the pattern.)

Then this weekend the Knitting Queen came over to teach me how to make socks.

By my calculations, this is the most expensive sock I have ever owned, and I don't own it's partner yet (well, I guess technically I own it, but there is some assembly required.) I didn't even have to buy the yarn (that was my birthday present! What a nice friend that Queen is) but even if my time was worth minimum wage, this is one high-priced sock.

Luckily I really, really like it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Home for the Holidays

My friend Shawn introduced me to this company ... One trip through the website and I was hooked. Measure and tape ...
Rub carefully ...
Peel away ....
Wow! What a great decoration!

Friday, November 30, 2007

What a Fine Looking Family!

Was searching through old stuff last night (and not finding what I needed) but did come across this and thought I would share. I do'nt remember when it was taken but it has to be around 1982 or so ... so maybe 25 years old? We really did clean up nice!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Another fun new website

Jessica keeps finding these fun and whimsical websites.



Today it's The Monster Factory.

Some of these guys may show up in some Christmas packages this year .... (shhh!)

Happy Birthday to Me!

My birthday is next week, and to treat myself I bought myself something that will allow me to get something back in my life that I have dearly missed since moving last February.

I bought myself the opportunity to listen to my children play the piano. A real piano just wouldn't fit in our townhouse, but this keyboard is perfect.

Right now they are having great fun trying all the different sounds and effects of the keyboard - there are 500, Ben tells me! I'm sure we will all be discovering our favorites in the days to come.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

First Snow!

I wish this was the view out my front window but alas, it is not. This is my parents' view, though, after the first snowfall of the year on the northern shore of Lake Superior.

Beautiful!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mitting Knittens!

This weekend I took a mitten-knitting class ... or, as I keep saying, a knitten-mitting class. I took the class with my friend The Knitting Queen, and I was feeling quite proud of myself last night. In the actual class, I finished the first of my pair of mittens. Yesterday, I made the second one, and started a new pair, getting mitten #1 about 1/3 done. Man, was I feeling accomplished!

Then I got an email from The Queen, saying in that same amount of time she had made 53 pairs of mittens in 16 different sizes, while standing on one foot, and with one eye shut. But that's why she is The Knitting Queen and I am but a lowly novice.

Anyway, I like mine and will keep making more - albeit slowly - and will post the results!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BEN!

My first-born is a teenager now.
Wow, that hardly seems possible. I remember so clearly what life was like when it was just Ben 'n' me, hanging out at home or ECFE or strolling the Mall with Sharon & Sylvia. He was always such a radiantly happy baby. I only remember two times ever that he cried seemingly without end ... both were in the wee hours, and one time I was in his bedroom with him and the other I had him downstairs ... eventually whatever it was ended ...

He was a beautiful baby. The kind that could be dressed head-to-toe in blue and strangers would approach us at the mall - regularly - and say "What a BEE-YOU-TI-FUL little girl!!!!!!!!" Once, after I explained that my baby was, in fact, a boy, a grandmotherly woman retorted "oh, but he's much to pretty to be a boy." Whatever.


Trucks, construction sites, trains, and "The Hammer People" were his favorites. "The Hammer People" was his name for "Home Time" - the home remodeling show still on (now hosted by a friend of mine's sister!)

When Ty came along, Ben was still his cheery self, he never asked that the baby go back, and never was mean to him. It probably helped that Ty "brought" Ben a present in the hospital! Gradually Ben got taller, began reading, became interested in Legos, and then more technical games. The levels of his books, games, and Lego sets have all increased in complexity, but those three things remain his great loves in life!


I don't really know how I feel about being the mother of a teenager, it is certainly strange to contemplate. The first 13 years have been wonderful, so I guess I am excited to see what the next 13 bring!Happy Birthday, My First-Born!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cool New Website to Explore

WOW. I just was led to this site - an online marketplace purely for handmade items. I am having a ball just browsing. Here are some of the things that I am finding fun :-)



Could be a dangerous site to spend too much time on ... on the other hand could be a great place to do my Christmas shopping this year!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Really didn't like that brown

Well, I decided that brown template was not for me. I'll try this one for a while and see how it feels.

Just too busy and uninspired to write much these days. Will try to do better!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

November - new look and new tear-jerker

Today is November 1 and I was so happy to be done with the pink - it's for a good reason, but I get tired of seeing that color! So now we are into a fallish, harvesty look.

This morning got an email from a friend with a YouTube link, from "Britain's Got Talent" -- it is worth finding time to watch. A real feel-good, tear-jerker :-)

Happy November!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Birthday, Ty!!

Ten years ago right now I was recovering from the anesthetic after my C-section for Ty's birth. I told him tonight he looks a little different than he did that day. Here we are when he was 2 days old:Here Ben welcomes his brother:And here he is today, opening his gifts at the restaurant of his choosing -- Old Country Buffet. All the retired folks shuffled around us with smiles on their faces and wished him a happy day.

It was kind of hard to tell, since he has such a poker face, but I think he was pleased with his gifts.He hates it when I say this, but MY BABY is so OLD!!! I just can't believe it's been ten years.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Laugh til it hurts

I spent the weekend with a friend and we laughed so much and so hard that I am totally, completely miserable today - the muscles around my rib cage hurt more than I can ever remember them hurting. She said she heard somewhere that good laughter adds 8 years to your life. She & I will be living 'til we are about 148, I think!

feels really good.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New Knitting Project

OK, today I finished knitting-felting project #2! And though I realized too late in the game that I shrunk it too much, so instead of being a bag you can carry a file folder and pad of paper in, it's a cute purse-type bag instead, I still am pleased as punch with it. (I know, a little humility would be a good thing here ...) Honestly, though, when things are this simple and yet turn out so impressive-looking, it's hard not to be even a teensy bit giddy.
First, done knitting but haven't washed it yet ...
And here, after washing not once but twice (my error) ...

And those of you who are particularly detail-oriented will recognize that my bag matches my slippers :-)

Gotta love power tools

Today I did three handy-person (no gender assumptions here!) jobs around the house and I am feeling quite adept at wielding minor power tools :-) I have my Dad to thank for that. He has been building and fixing and constructing and re-doing things since I was a baby, and growing up I was often his right-hand-girl, assisting with all kinds of projects and jobs. I learned early on how to use most tools - either through using them myself or observing him closely. As a result, there are very few household repair-type jobs that I don't feel qualified to tackle. And there's something empowering about even little things - like installing a new smoke detector (one of today's jobs) in under 10 minutes! I went to the hardware store this morning (the local one, not Home Depot) and enjoyed walking up and down the aisles, looking at all the cool stuff and imagining the projects which would make purchase of said stuff necessary ... it was not unlike, in a small way, the feeling I get at bookstores. Just experiencing the richness of the offerings, knowing that whatever I need I could get, was a pleasant feeling.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Something new to fill my mindless hours ...

Aww, I have a new fantasy. It's to be part of the Rock Bottom Remainders. Have you heard of them? It's a group which convenes once or twice a year to perform for charity. A band made completely of famous authors. Amy Tan. Stephen King. Dave Barry. Scott Turow. This list goes on and on. They are passably good though certainly will never stop writing for this gig. But they all look like they are having so much fun, and what an incredible group of people just to hang out and chat with.

Go to You Tube and search for Rock Bottom Remainders. It's a fun way to waste some time ....

Friday, October 19, 2007

TGIF

Well today it's raining (wow, what a shocker) but I am feeling better than I did a couple of days ago. For one, it's MEA - so no school yesterday and today, which just makes the days a little easier. For two, Colby seems to be over whatever it was that was irritating both ends of his digestive tract. And for three, I bought myself a present: The Tassimo.

I fell in love with this gizmo on my girls' weekend away last month. My Knitting Queen friend brought hers along and we all enjoyed cappuccinos all weekend long ... I knew it was just a matter of time before I succumbed, and this week seems as good as any to give myself a treat.

It's so cool ... makes incredible cappuccino, latte, hot chocolate, or regular coffee and/or tea in individualized servings. For me, just one cup at a time is perfect! And Ty is loving the hot chocolate.

If you would have told me a year ago that a machine which makes hot caffeinated beverages would bring me joy I would have scoffed.

Live and learn, baby, live and learn.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It feels like Monday

Things I hate:

1. being awakened by the sound of a large dog retching on my bed
2. adult acne
3. ANOTHER day of rain and gloom

Can I just go back to bed for a year?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Jack-o-Artwork

As we get ready to plan our artistic endeavors for this year's Halloween decorating, I thought it would be appropriate to post photos of pumpkins at the State Fair to offer inspiration!



You've got the semi-basic designs of faces ... The seasonal variation on a theme ...
And our personal favorite, the "make it look like something else altogether!"

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