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


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


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!"

Another New Lay Out

OK, this is way too much fun. Jessica makes it so incredibly easy. And I am fast coming to the conclusion that I need a better camera. Hope Santa is good to me this year!
From this summer's wedding ... my new/ex sister-in-law!

Monday, October 15, 2007


I signed up for an online Photoshop class and it started today. I am SO excited. I just completed the first assignment, and here is what I created:I just look at it and grin, can't believe **I** made that. Granted, she already had the background ready for us, and all the embellishments - we just had to provide a photo and write the text. But still! **I** made that!! Can't wait to see what she teaches us next!

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Supreme Court Gives Gore’s Nobel to Bush
Stunning Reversal for Former Veep

Just days after former Vice President Al Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts on global warming, the United States Supreme Court handed Mr. Gore a stunning reversal, stripping him of his Nobel and awarding it to President George W. Bush instead.

For Mr. Gore, who basked in the adulation of the Nobel committee and the world, the high court’s decision to give his prize to President Bush was a cruel twist of fate, to say the least. But in a 5-4 decision, the justices made it clear that they had taken the unprecedented step of stripping Mr. Gore of his Nobel because President Bush deserved it more.

“It is true that Al Gore has done a lot of talking about global warming,” wrote Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority. “But President Bush has actually helped create global warming.”

Friday, October 12, 2007

Knitted Bacteria

Haven't done this, don't know that I will, but it's a cute idea.This pattern makes an oval-shaped bacterium about 4 inches long
(that's about 50,000 times actual size). It's especially cute half-way done and upside-down!

Getting that MRS degree

New course offering: a BA in humanities with a concentration in homemaking. Strictly for women only. Apply at Baptist University in Fort Worth, Texas.

This is for real. The class syllabus includes getting stains out, meal preparation, and "general homemaking."

Apparently not all Baptists think it's a good idea, but the Southern Baptists (which is the same group Jimmy Carter left because they were getting too extreme) say it's simply following the Bible-appointed rules for a woman's place in the home.

I just don't even know what else to say.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

it speaks to me ...

The danger for most of us
lies not in setting our
aim too high and falling short,
but in setting our aim too low,
and achieving our mark.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Is this for real?

OK, I know you all are thinking I have way too much time on my hands - which totally is not true, it's just that the only interesting parts of my day usually involve some form of media because why would I choose to write in my blog about the grammatical errors I edit in Power Point presentations for 7th graders?

Anyway. Tonight was flipping through channels (trying to convince myself that a wee break before heading down to the computer to finalize a grant proposal was in order) and I find a show called "America's Most Smartest Model."


I honestly didn't have a clue as to whether I was seeing a real show or if it was a re-run of a Saturday Night Live spoof. So I watched for a few minutes to see if I could figure it out, and it seems to be for real.

I have to hand it to them, I loved the challenge they were doing when I was watching. They had to dress themselves from a rack of clothes and then walk the runway in their best high-fashion walk ... but while they were walking, they had to list as many words as they could which fit into a designated category. One person had to list states (apparently we have 53, as Memphis, Indianapolis and Seattle are now states, at least in this young man's mind.) One had to list non-US cities. One had to list flowers. He said "Rose. Tulip. Rose. Tulip." and then fell silent. One had to list elements off the periodic table - now, I thought that was REALLY unfair, given the other categories -- but he did very well, and actually named about 10 before saying "metal" - which they beaned him for but I thought it was an understandable mistake, since so many types of metal are legitimate elements. Of course he walked like a 4 year old, not even remotely like a model. Only one or two of the 10 (12?) contestants could both walk and talk at the same time.

So sad, really, to have all those stereotypes reinforced. (note: I will not be watching this one to see who gets eliminated next ...)

Homework for Moms & Dads???

On the radio yesterday the Satellite Sisters were talking about a ninth-grade teacher who assignes homework to his students' parents - and the parents' completion of said homework affects their child's grade. I found the article in the NYTimes, Spreading Homework Out So Even the Parents Have Some, and just read it though. While the intent is good, i.e., to get parents more involved in their child's school work, I really cringe at the thought of telling parents they have to do homework or their kids will suffer the consequences. I resent a teacher assigning parents another task in their busy lives. What surprised me most, though, was how few parents complain. On the other hand, I remember worrying about making a fuss for fear that I would provoke a negative response taken out on my children, however subtly or unintentionally.

How would you respond if you were told as a parent that you had to do an assignment to give your child a chance at an "A"?

Friday, October 05, 2007

What the World Eats

What do people in different parts of the world eat in a typical week? How much do they pay for that amount of food? This excerpt in Time Magazine shows 15 of a series of photographs answering these questions. I really enjoyed the photographs - it was fascinating to really look at the types of food spread out, comparing the ratios of fresh produce to packaged products, just the sheer bulk of food to feed families of various sizes in different countries, but also the artistic qualities of the photographs themselves -- I mean, take a minute to appreciate the arrangment of the food items, the careful stacking of boxes, cans and other containers -- this is true art.

I really want the book now. At a minimum I am going to B&N to look at it off the shelf. Then maybe it will go on my Christmas wish list.

Very fun site

Today I was checking up on my daily blogs and Jessica shared something she had found -- Random Got Beautiful. It's a collection of photos grouped by color, and it's quite fun to look through. I submitted 4 photos:

We'll have to see if any get added!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Hello friends - my blog has gone Pink in October in support of October Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Bloggers everywhere are joining to bring attention to the fight against Breast Cancer.

Visit Susan G. Komen for the Cure for ideas on how you can help. Your TO DO list:
  1. Educate yourself
  2. Show your support
  3. Get Involved
  4. Make a difference
The sites listed above can get you started on your list!

I have lost dear friends to breast cancer, but thankfully I have more friends who have beaten it! Join me in helping continue to raise awareness to find a cure.

The Polar Opposite

This is the daughter of my very close friend in Chicago ... she is a senior in college and is "flying high" in every (positive/legal) meaning of the phrase! I just got this photo today and had to

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Hmmm .....

From today's Dilbert blog ... made me laugh, as I never would have thought this way - but it's probably totally true! I always slow down when I see one of those machines.

"Around here, the police have little portable trailers with radar and a display sign. They leave it unattended on side streets. The radar tracks your car and the display tells you how fast you are going. They’ve discovered that motorists slow down when they realize the device is tracking their speed. This doesn’t work on me. When I see that trailer, I speed up because I know the police won’t put both the trailer and a real policeman in the same neighborhood. It would be a waste of money to have both, since the trailer with the radar slows down everyone but economists. "

Click here to read the entire ranting .....
(note ... I do not appreciate his musings on women who get stopped for speeding, though. Sometimes he is funny, sometimes really not so much.)
Britney lost her boys. Honestly, no matter what your feelings for her may be, this is very sad news. Not that I am saying she should have full custody, but to have none at all? Imagine, as a mother, no matter how many mistakes you had made, and how unprepared you were, and how many bad choices you made .... being told by a court that you could never have your own children live with you, never kiss them goodnight as part of their bedtime routine, never be part of their day-to-day lives.

Will this be the shock she needs to pull herself together? Or will this be the final blow that pushes her off the edge?

It's just such a sad situation, all around.

Monday, October 01, 2007

It's Official.

Move over, Survivor, I have a new favorite show. I have become totally addicted to Dancing With the Stars.

It's so fun. So uplifting. So cheerful. So invigorating. And so not mean, spiteful, and there is no lying or cheating or backstabbing involved.

The show ends each week and I dance around the living room. The boys look at me with bemused expressions on their faces. I don't care! I'm imagining doing the quick-step. The mambo. The foxtrot. How fun is that?!?

This year I am loving the race car driver, Helio something-or-other, and the Cheetah Girl, whose name I am unable to remember. And Marie Osmond is on - looking terrific, and I know her personal life has been really hard these past couple of years, so it is wonderful to see her enjoying herself so much. And Jane Seymour - well, she is amazing. The oldest person in the competition yet one of the best. 'Elegance personified' is how one of the judges put it last week, and it's so true.

We get to know the dancers - which is maybe the part I like best. On early seasons of Survivor you got to know the contestants, and got to care about them. Now the show is all about the competitions, and you never learn anything about the individuals and their lives. DWTS lets us know the personalities, the weaknesses and the strengths - and it is just so much more fun.

And they don't vote each other off - instead, you really get the feeling they all enjoy one another's company so very much, and they are all rooting for each other.

Yeah, my new favorite. Not that I am giving up Survivor, I have too long of a history to simply walk away. But Dancing leaves me feeling happier! And that is a good thing.

Knitters, Unite!!!

Woo-Hoo!!! Hey, our bridges are in disrepair, our educational funds are lacking, health care - what''s that? - but.

Our State Government knows what's important. Next week, October 7-13, is officially Knitter's Week in Minnesota!!! I think that means it's our patriotic (state-riotic?) duty to knit all week. Nothing but knit.

I'm so on it!

(Thanks, Lisa, for the info!)

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