Sunday, December 21, 2008

Big Snows Call for Cozy Quilts!

We have 16" of snow on the ground and more coming tomorrow! It's just crazy having that much -it's actually over the heads of our dogs! Can you imagine? This is the biggest snow we've had since I moved up here & I love it!! (The good thing is that in this state it snows so often that there are hundreds of plows & salt trucks so even with this huge snow the roads were cleared by the next day!)

This snow plus reading this blog: has me in the mood to make a quilt! Think I will do that after the holidays... I haven't made one in a couple of years so it'll be fun!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Procrastination, Projects, & Precipitation

Can you believe that this time next week it will be Christmas?? I have so many things I want to do before it gets here! I don't know why, but it seems like I always wait til the last minute to make gifts & therefore don't end up making many. I don't know why I do that (procrastinate). I do it with things I enjoy as well as those I dread, which puzzles me.

Anyway, I hope to get several projects done this weekend! I want to make some American Girl doll clothes for W, and I'd like to make a scrapbook album for my mom (both for Christmas). I still haven't finished the little sweater I'm knitting for Andrew but I doubt that I'll be working on it any more until after the holidays.

We're supposed to get between 9 and 12 inches of snow tonight! If it does that I won't be going to work, so I brought some of my work home with me to do here. I love snow, and it'll be nice to work here at home, snuggled up under a blanket with the dogs beside me, a hot cup of tea steaming on the end table and the curtains open so I can watch it snow.

Sure, it might be more efficient to work at the table with everything within reach, but the comfort makes up for the inconvenience of working using a big book as my lap desk. I used to have one of those lap desk things that has a flat, hard surface with a pillow-like base that you put in your lap, but when Garcia was in his chewing stage he kind of destroyed it. They're very handy but I just haven't gotten around to looking for one. (Aha, see there - procrastinating again!)

Think I'll go look outside & see if the snow has started yet. We still have about 4 inches on the ground from last week, so if we get as much as predicted the snow will be way taller than the dogs!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Cutest Santa Ever!

If you look closely you will, in the midst of these pretty girls, spot a tiny Santa! He is absolutely the cutest little Santa I have ever seen! It is (as if you couldn't guess) my grandson Andrew, age 3 1/2 weeks old, surrounded by his big sisters aka my sweet granddaughters. Just seeing this picture makes me smile - I hope it makes you smile too! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Safe in God's Hands

I am so thankful that I'm at safe and snug at home tonight and not in the hospital as I could easily have been.

This afternoon on the way home from work ice was hitting my windshield like pellets. The road was terribly slick, and even though I was driving very slowly and carefully I suddenly slid sideways & crossed 3 lanes of traffic!
I then spun around in a complete circle, did another sideways skid, and then another circle. This was all done amidst fairly heavy traffic, but miraculously I didn't hit anybody & nobody hit me.
This was an unusual thing for me to have happen because normally when there's ice or snow I drive the Kia, and it is fantastic in bad weather. Today I was in the Mustang which is the coolest car in the world on dry roads but just ghastly on slick ones.

Anyway, while I was doing my highway ballet I felt a total sense of peace, an assurance that everything was going to be alright. At a time when one might expect to be screaming, or at least gasping, I was calm. I truly felt like I was being held safely in the palm of God's hand, just as these marzipan babies are being held in the hand of their creator. What a wonderful feeling, and so unexpected. Thank you, God, for keeping me safe today and getting me through all of life's hurdles.

Sometimes Things Happen for a Reason

Yesterday we found out that Ashley has something she wants more than an AG doll. I'm SO glad we hadn't already ordered one! (For history on this read the last blog.)

Yesterday afternoon DH bought her what she wants (it's in the dining room waiting to be wrapped) and I went ahead & ordered the AG for Whitney (the one that "looks like her" with the same hair color, eye color, etc.) If Ash decides she wants an AG doll later on then we will get it for her birthday in May.

Problem solved - HURRAH!

BTW, if you want to see something amazing, you should check out They make dolls to look like your child, even to details like facial shape and birthmarks! They're very cool. The price is frightening, but the dolls are cool, almost to the point of being spooky!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Brain is Spinning with AG Doll Choices

See these 2 girls? You'd think picking a doll for each of them would be easy wouldn't you? That's whyI am SO disgusted with myself! DH & I had decided to get the 2 oldest DGDs American Girl dolls for Christmas. When I got out the catalog I saw a code in it that was good for free shipping 'til midnight last night. (Shipping is based on the amount spent, & with ordering 2 dolls it would've been $25., so it was definitely worth trying to beat that deadline.) As luck would have it, midnight was just a couple of hours away.

Based on the things the DGD's descriptions of which Just like You doll they wanted, I discovered that picking which dolls to order wasn't nearly as simple as it sounds.

Only 1 doll has the coloring & lack of bangs (they both specifically said "no bangs") that met their description. Even she had freckles which Ashley didn't want and her hair wasn't like either girl... plus, I really don't want to get them identical dolls (even though the 2 of them look so much alike)... so there was a quandry.

I thought about ordering Kit for Whitney (here is Kit) she looks SO much like her (except that her hair is wrong color). However, she had said she didn't want Kit, she wanted a Just Like You doll... but to me Kit looks more like her than the other one did.

There is a Just Like You doll that looks SO much like Ashley except that it has brown eyes & Ash's are blue.

I went back & forth & back & forth until my head was spinning. Long story short, I ended up not ordering any. I am so disappointed in myself. DH reassuringly said it wasn't worth getting so stressed about, & that we'll just get them something else from their lists. I know how much Whitney wants one though, so I'm still not able to get it out of my mind.

Opinions? Suggestions? Reassurance that I'm not crazy for being so overwhelmed?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Two Weeks in Paradise

This morning when I woke up, the fact that my visit here is almost over hit me like a rock. Yesterday made 2 weeks that I've been here.. I have less than 48 hours left.

I have loved being here! I've enjoyed getting the kids up & talking with them while they eat breakfast & dress for school, driving them there, tidying the house, doing laundry (boy do 4 kids create a lot!), rocking the baby, talking with my daughter, making cookies, & doing all the day-to-day things that are part of a busy household.

I love seeing the girls' eyes light up when I walk into the gym in the afternoons to pick them up from school (did you know that all students must be signed out now when you pick them up from school? No more just ringing the bell & letting them all dash out of the building!) Driving home while they tell me about the school day is such a treat, and I even enjoy helping them with their homework in the evenings.

At bedtime the past 14 nights I've spent about half an hour telling them stories. Some nights they're tales of fairies, each one bearing a strong resemblance to one of the girls in the bed. The girls have always loved these, and during this visit a new character - Little Prince Artichoke - has joined the cast. Injust a year or two little Andy himself will be upstairs enjoying the stories along with his sisters!

When the girls get in bed late & there isn't time for a full fairy adventure, I share short stories about funny things some of the adults in the family when they were young. Particular favorites this visit included the story about G-mama and Papaw eloping on the train, and about the time Gran'ma wanted to have her hair short like the flappers (during the "roaring twenties) and her dad didn't want her to.

I love the giggles (and sometimes belly laughs) these stories generate. I know I'll be able to share bedtime stories with them again whenever I visit, but being here for an extended period has enabled us to have continuing sagas that just aren't possible during a weekend stay.

There are so many aspects of being here that I will miss. I'm not going to even begin writing about the baby - if I do I'll be sobbing in a puddle and that's really not the way I want to spend these last days here. Right now I hear him now making making little squeaky noises in his bassinet, so it won't be long 'til he's fully awake & ready for his mommy to feed him. Afterwards DD will give him to me to change & rock...

...I love that, the feel of his tiny, down covered head snuggled in the hollow of my neck, tiny bottom totally fitting in my palm, bitsy feet just reaching my chest. Hard to imagine that if he's like the other men in the family he'll someday be a six-footer!

Ok, gulping noises (he nurses like a champ!) are coming from the bedroom so I'm going to go get ready to enjoy another day of being a very present grandmother. I am so blessed to be able to be here for this experience, to have an employer who allowed me to be gone so long and a husband who understands (finally, after 4 grandchildren) just why I want to be here so badly!

Granted, I will soon be 400 miles away, but for now I'm right here & I will make the most of this chance to wallow in the joy of being a Nana!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Andrew Bryce has Arrived!

I have a grandson - my first! Andrew Bryce was born Friday morning, November 7, weighing in at 7 lbs. 11 oz. and 19 3/4" long. He is such a dollbaby! I got to be in the O.R. during the delivery which was an amazing experience. I'll write more about it later on, probably when I'm back home. Right now I'm enjoying snuggling Andy and playing with his 3 big sisters (aka my granddaughters Meanwhile here are a couple of pics of Andrew Bryce, AKA Andy!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Help! URL Contains Illegal Characters??

I wrote a blog over a week ago (when my new grandchild was born) & can't get it to publish. Whenever I try it says "URL contains illegal characters". The blog has 2 photos in it, so at first I thought maybe that was the problem, so I tried using a link to photobucket instead of uploading them directly from my computer but that didn't work, so I tried resizing them (smaller) but I STILL got that same message.

Anybody have any idea what I can do to get it to post? I haven't had much time to fiddle with it because I'm down here with my DD helping with the baby & girls.

(When I click 'preview' it shows the blog & photos just fine, it's not until I click 'publish' that I get the message "URL contains illegal characters". Help! Thanks!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Early Election Results

It's 9:30 here (6:30 on the west coast) and the tv announcers are already giving election results & predicting who will win. I don't think they should do this until everybody in the country has had a chance to vote. They started doing this before our polls even closed, and hours before the west coast ones did.

Just now FOX proclaimed a "winner" in a state which only has turned in 24% of its votes! How can you declare that somebody has won when barely 1/4 of the votes have been counted?!? It's ridiculous! I mean I'm as anxious as the next person to see who wins, but for heaven's sakes let's wait 'til we actually COUNT the votes before we start declaring winners!

It's Election Day! Go Vote - it's Not too Late!

Today is finally the election we've all been waiting for! I voted this afternoon at 1:30 and didn't have to wait in line at all! The pollsters said they'd been really busy earlier in the day & expected to be busy again whis afternoon/evening when people get off work.

This morning there were over 100 people waiting in line for them to open!! That was at 6am. They'll be open til 8 tonight which is a little later than usual.

Here in Michigan we still vote using paper & darkening in an oval (like the old achievement tests were done). When I moved here I was used to having voting machines where you just flip levers, so this took some getting used to. At first this didn't seem "official" enough - just paper and #2 pencil - but now I'm used to it.

Today I actually felt a bit of a thrill as I darkened in the ovals for President and for the yes/no question we had to answer regarding stem cell research. I felt so patriotic! I'm not sure why it hit me that way because I vote at every election so it wasn't anything new to me. Still, it was thrilling and I liked that! I felt like this year my vote really mattered!

I will be so interested in the election reports as they start coming in this evening! This is one election that IMHO hasn't been "cut and dried". I honestly don't know who will win. Very cool! :-)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

This is the Week!!

(photo from ultrasound taken at about 30 weeks)
This is the week we've been waiting for! On Friday my daughter will give birth to her 4th child. I am SO excited (and of course a little worried too since it'll also be her 4th c-section which is more than they really like for a person to have). I will be SO relieved when we have that little baby safely here and can relax knowing that he and DD are both fine.

I'll be going down for the birth and staying 2 weeks. My boss is fine with that (not that he had much choice - my kids are the most important thing in the world to me & I'd quit before I'd miss this). (Yes, I know they're both in their 30's but they're still "my kids" LOL. I mean, really, it'd sound kind of wierd to call them "my adults"!!!)

I'm to leave here Thursday morning but I swear I'm dying to leave sooner - like maybe RIGHT THIS MINUTE!!! I know I'll stay here through Tuesday so I can VOTE, but on Wednesday it's going to be a real struggle to point that car towards work instead of towards Kentucky!!

DD is to be at the hospital at 6 a.m. on Friday, so if you'd like to send some prayers her way that'd be great! She is going/has gone through this whole pregnancy totally without the help of her DH. They were in the process of getting a divorce when she discovered that she was expecting. That brought the divorce to a screeching halt because in their state you can't get divorced while pregnant.

Her DH has been a real @#%#$ throughout the pregnancy... to be honest I don't know how she has maintained her sanity with all the stuff he has put her through. She is such a forgiving person though that if he happens to show up for the birth she is going to let him be in the delivery room when the baby is born. (If he doesn't show up I get to be in there!! That would be SO cool!) Anyway, no matter what her DH does or doesn't do, DD has a strong faith in God and knows she had the complete love and support of her brother & me, and we can get through anything!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Here's a photo of my 2 oldest DGDs in their Halloween costumes. They were getting ready to go to the Halloween Sock Hop at their school. (They're in fourth grade and second grade... and yes, Hannah Montana's hair is a wig!) I won't get to see them on Halloween this year, but a photo is the next best thing. In the past I've gone trick-or-treating with them a couple of times, which is a big deal since they live so far away.

A couple of years ago I took them trick-or-treating in the neighborhood where I grew up (my parents still live there - about 2 hrs. from the DGDs' house). That was SO much fun - going around to the houses and watching the girls clamber up onto same porches that I had years ago. Cool thing was that most of the same people still live in those houses - 40 years older than they were back then but they remembered me & got a kick out of seeing the girls.

The odd thing was that (as I walked the girls around the neighborhood) whenever I ran into old classmates of mine (who were walking their grandchildren around they didn't act the least bit surprised to see me! Why is that odd? Because we hadn't seen each other since graduation night 1971! I guess it's because they've lived their whole lives right in that little town so they're used to running into old classmates all the time. I, on the other hand, moved away shortly after high school graduation so it's rare & exciting for me to see old friends. Really bizarre seeing them last when we were 17 and then running into them on Halloween night when they're age 55! It was almost like WE were in costume - "hey, let's all pretend like we're older..." Good times! Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Election

It's less than a week 'til the election and I'm still not thrilled with either one of our presidential choices. I don't like McCain's policy on the war, and he's so rich that he does seem to be totally out of touch with the "middle America".

Obama has a lot of good ideas but I'm not sure that he has enough experience to be president. Also, he just doesn't seem to be as patriotic as McCain and I do think it's important that the U.S. president love his country.

If McCain's voice didn't sound so much like Bush's it would be a good thing... and if he was more interested in ending the war that would be great!

If something were to happen to Obama, I think Biden would do a decent job as pres. If something happened to McCain I can't even begin to imagine Sarah Palin leading the country - I think she would be ghastly.

McCain pulled all of his political people & campaign dollars out of my state because polls showed that he was so far behind he decided to concentrate on states where he felt like he had a chance. I think that was pretty lame... makes it seem like this state isn't important to him at all. Despite this, today on the news they were saying that he has gained popularity this week here in the state that he tossed aside.

Just 5 days 'til we have to make our final decision. Aaaack!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Speculum or X-Ray Vision?

In the last few years we have heard the word vagina used more and more in the news, on talk shows, and even on Broadway. I don't have a problem with the use of anatomical terms, but it bugs the heck out of me when they're used improperly.

Reporters feverishly reported that "Brittney's vagina was exposed" as she was getting out of a car without wearing her underwear. This morning on my ride to work, the DJ shrieked "I don't want to go to a nudist colony & walk around with my vagina showing!"

Ahem, excuse me, but unless a speculum is being used or the observer has x-ray vision, there is no danger of seeing a vagina when a woman is walking around or getting out of a car, no matter how naked she is! That's because the vagina is an INTERNAL part of the body. The external part is the vulva. Why it's suddenly being called a vagina (even in the acclaimed "Vagina Monologues" is beyond me.

So, remember the little word vulva & don't hesitate to use it (and even correct those who are mis-using the "other V word". After all, you don't hear people referring to a penis as a testicle... The female anatomy, just like the male anatomy, deserves to be properly named.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Free Pizza for McCain signs (yes, really!)

A local pizza parlor here is offering a free pizza to anyone who brings in a McCain/Palin yard sign! It's their way of protesting the fact that McCain pulled out all of his people & funds & ended his campaign in Michigan about a month ago.

He did it because he was so far behind in the polls here that he didn't think he could catch up. I've never heard of anybody doing that - and I have to say that it did make me think that if he's that interested in my vote (not) then should I be interested in giving it to him? Also, since he didn't hesitate to blow us off before he was even elected, how would he treat us afterwards?

Here's a clip about the pizza... and one of the few times (thank goodness) that you'll see a news anchor talking with his mouth full. Yech!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"Yes, We're Buying Gold"

"Yes, we're buying gold." That's what the lady on the phone said. I've been hearing about a lot of people selling their gold items (old rings or whatever) now because the price of gold is high. I've been toying with doing that myself.

Actually, more than toying, I thought I was definitely going to do it until called the jewelry store & heard the lady say I could. Then I started having second thoughts... do any of the items have more sentimental value than gold value? Will I regret never any of it again?

Does selling your jewelry mean you're desperate? (It always does in the movies.) Should I use the money to pay off bills, give it to DH for his dental work (bridges must be paid for in advance) or buy something special for myself since it was/is my jewelry?

Suddenly I feel like a toddler yelling MY toys as I clutch them to my chest!

Hmm, sounds to me like I may not quite be totally ready to do this. I wonder if gold prices will go any higher? It's not like I HAVE to sell it right this minute, I could wait & see if it goes up.

Still.. gold is at an all time high right now, and these are things I haven't worn in YEARS. You know, I think I'll take a few odd things with me to work tomorrow... things I'm sure nobody in the family would want and that I don't feel attached to. Then, if I'm in the mood, I may just swing by the jeweler's & check it out...

I'll keep you posted!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Cheap Fun

I had so much fun yesterday afternoon & you won't believe where. In the Salvation Army Resale store! I went in to see what they had for babies, and OMG you wouldn't believe all the baby clothes they had that looked brand new (some even still had the tags on them!) I bought BUNCHES for what I'd have spent for just a couple out outfits at the department store.

It was so much fun going through them, & the more I looked at the more excited I got about the coming baby. I'd forgotten how SHORT the little legs are on the newborn size outfits! I know the baby won't get much wear out of that tiny size, but I bought some anyway because when he outgrows them (probably at about 1 week old) they will be enjoyed by his 3 "big" sisters for their dolls.

While I was looking at the clothes "Sally's Boutique" (as my friend likes to call it) was playing great 70's music including lots of Beatles tunes, so I just had a ball. Who knew being thrifty could be so much fun?!!

House Hunting for DH's Parents

This morning DH & I had fun house-hunting for his parents. They want to move up here from several states away, so rather than make multiple trips to check things out they're trusting us to find them a place. We'll take care of buying it (with their $$ of course) and then they'll come up & move right in. They lived here years ago so are familiar with the area.

We found a nice place in one of those "over 55" manufactured home communities. (In other words a trailer park but VERY nice.) Everyone keeps their yards looking beautiful - landscaped and everything. It's on a lake & you have a boat slip plus all sorts of other amenities.

The lake is the part that got DH's attention - he loves to fish! I have a feeling that if they do move into that community we may be visiting them a LOT! The home that we chose is on a wonderful lot - lots of gorgeous big trees and a porch/deck that his dad would LOVE. He pretty much lives on the porch when the weather permits. DH and my son built one for him a few years back & it has been used & enjoyed SO much - it's the best thing they could've done for them!

DH called his mom & told her about this place & she was very enthusiastic. They just put their home up for sale yesterday & have already had 10 phone calls and 2 people come look at it! It's way out in the country, which isn't good when you get to be their age but will be great for a younger, healthier family. I hope it sells soon. They'd like to get up here before winter.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sarah Palin

When I first heard that a woman had been nominated for V.P. I was pretty excited. However, as I've learned more about Sarah Palin, my enthusiasm has vanished. I'd like for our country's leader to be compassionate, someone who values life, and after watching this video I'm afraid she's not that person.

I found the video below to be horrifying. What do you think? Is there something I'm missing that makes this behavior ok?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Remembering September 11th

It has been a week now since the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. I want to share this poem that I read on-line:


As the soot and dirt and ash rained down,
We became one color.
As we carried each other down the stairs of the burning building
We became one class.
As we lit candles of waiting and hope
We became one generation.
As the firefighters and police officers fought their way into the inferno
We became one gender.
As we fell to our knees in prayer for strength,
We became one faith.
As we whispered or shouted words of encouragement,
We spoke one language.
As we gave our blood in lines a mile long,
We became one body.
As we mourned together the great loss
We became one family.
As we cried tears of grief and loss
We became one soul.
As we retell with pride of the sacrifice of heroes
We become one people.

We are
One color
One class
One generation
One gender
One faith
One language
One body
One family
One soul
One people

We are The Power of One.
We are United.
We are America.

by Cheryl Sawyer
Ignore the campaign aspect of this video & just watch it to hear what the soldier has to say.

It stunned me... I guess because I'm wanting to rescue the soldiers & bring them back here so they'll be safe but here's this guy saying he wants to be there. It's hard for me to understand.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Family, Fun, Fondue, and Furry Friends

DH & I had the best time Saturday night with my son & DIL. They had us down for the weekend, & (in celebration of my birthday) had a special fondue dinner out on the deck. The atmosphere was great - with the tiki torches burning and a warm breeze blowing it felt almost tropical. The food was great - there was cheese fondue with a great variety of foods to dip in it, and later a chocolate fondue with fresh fruits & brownie cubes to dip in it. YUM!

The deck is huge, so the furboos had plenty of room to run around with DS & DIL's poodle without being in the way. They (the fuzzywhitedogs) just LOVE to go there to visit! Mr. Poodle is their favorite furry friend; DS gets down on the floor & plays with them (which they love), and DIL slips them tasty treats that they're not allowed to have at home. No wonder they get recognize the exit off I-75 that takes us to their house!

While we were there DS & DIL surprised us with a birthday gift that will be SO much fun!! (DH's birthday is just a few weeks after mine.) What is the fun? Well, they're taking us to see ROBIN WILLIAMS next month! Woo hoo!! That should be great! He is SO funny & outrageous, I've enjoyed his humor for years! What a nice gift - we're counting the days!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Who moved the dogs down? Woot woot..

I just changed the template I'm using for this page (using one of the standardized ones) and now the FuzzyWhiteDogs photo is too far down! Anybody know how I can get it back up to the top?

Don't tell anybody, but...

...If my son-in-law doesn't straighten up I may just have to kill him.



Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dissecting the Blogging Corner of my Brain

Today I had somebody ask for my blog address. This was the first time that has happened, and I was kind of taken aback. I've never actually bothered to see what my blog address is, so even if I'd wanted to I couldn't have given it to her right that minute.

A little later I found myself thinking that if I were to give her access to my blog I'd first need to go back & edit it, crop the photos I've posted so they'd be "just right", etc. "WHAT?" my brain screamed, "it's just a BLOG, why should it be perfect?" From the depths of my brain came the answer - the reason for my hesitation was that the blog isn't perfect.

When I was growing up I was supposed to be perfect (ahem, note to parents: not possible - I'm not Jesus)and sometimes I have to consciously remind myself that I no longer have to live by anybody's standards but my own. To me, blogs (like e-mail) are a very casual means of communication; they don't need to be even close to perfect. I never use spell check when writing either one, I just say what I have to say & go on.

So.. having dealt with the perfectionist aspect of the quandry, I STILL wasn't sure whether I wanted to give her the address. (If I do this will be the first person IRL to whom I've purposely given access to my blog. A few people I know have stumbled upon it when following a comment thread but I've never actually said "here, come read my blog".)

Most of my blog readers are dear friends from the scrapbooking community. I've never met any of them in person but feel as close (often closer) to them as to anyone I see on a daily basis. I know they aren't quick to judge people...

AHA! ...THERE lies the other reason for my hesitation... it's the fear of being vulnerable... of taking the risk of letting somebody know more about you than you might tell them face-to-face.

So, now that I've figured all this out, will I give her the addy? Probably. Will it be today? Probably not.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Roni is hosting a Cat ATC Swap so I decided to join in. These were fun to make - relaxing because I wasn't trying to achieve anything in particular, just having fun playing around with my scrapbooking supplies. If you click on the photo below you'll get a close-up view that lets you see the card details - texture, brads, etc.

When I first heard of ATCs I wasn't sure that I wanted to make any because I didn't know what you were supposed to do with them after they were finished (other than trading them). Turns out you can use them on greeting cards, scrapbook pages, etc. Lots of people collect them & put them in notebooks using those clear plastic pages with pockets that are usually used for baseball cards.

After making the first couple I decided that I like making them after all. It's very relaxing. There aren't any rules other than the size & keeping them flat enough to fit into a plastic sleeve.

If you've never made one give it a shot! You don't have to be a scrapbooker - even if you're at work & just have an index card & a pencil you can make one! Go for it!

Some of these are the cards I ae for it:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

You're THIRSTY?? Oh no! NOW what do we do??

For years I've chosen bottled water as a thirst quencher, thinking of it as healthy, refreshing, and calorie-free. Now they've come out with a study that shows that bottled water which has been heated (left in a hot car for instance) contains a cancer-causing agent that's exuded from the plastic of the bottle itself. While we do have control over whether we leave our bottled water in the trunk or not, we don't have control over where the stuff is stored (maybe in a hot warehouse) before it reaches the grocery store... so, scratch water off the list of safe drinks.

We always known (because our moms told us) that pop is a bad choice. Last year a study supported the moms' opinions, specifically informing us that cola beverages are acidified using phosphoric acid which is very bad for the kidneys. Definitely scratch that one off!

Now, I like milk as much as the next person, but I don't think of it as particularly thirst quenching. Also, it leaves a film & funny taste in your mouth unless you happen to be at home where you can brush your teeth after drinking it... so scratch that off the list too.

Kool-aid has tons of sugar, and sugarless kool-aid contains artificial sweeteners that do who knows what to the body!

Fruit juices are great but high in calories.

I don't like coffee.

Most energy drinks have caffeine which isn't good for you.

That leaves tea, which I great, but which either is full of sugar (love that McDonald's Sweet Tea!) or else artificial sweetener (bad bad bad).

Alcoholic beverages may be thirst quenching, but I'm pretty sure you'll get lots of odd looks when you walk into work carrying your morning beer!

So, what are YOU drinking these days? As a single-kidney-ed goddess who has no desire to become kidney-less, I'd really like to know!

Friday, August 8, 2008

What dog are you? (quiz)

Karen sent me a fun little quiz. Turns out I'm a poodle - who knew? LOL! What are you?
What dog breed are you? I'm a Poodle! Find out at
Intelligence, style and good looks in one able-bodied, well-manicured package? But of course! You are a Poodle, and proud of it. You scoff in the general direction of passers-by who cast admiring (or is it amused?) glances your way, knowing doggone well that if your private jet were not waiting to whisk you off for a spa weekend getaway, you would handily paddle their hindquarters in a game of Trivial Pursuit. Blindfolded. You are well-educated and enjoy the finer things in life, but are not above taking an impromptu skinny dip in an old limestone quarry. It would, however, be soooo much more convenient if said quarry came with a towel boy and swim-up cocktail service, of course.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Cast of Big Brother

Ok, just finished reading the bios for the new Big Brother characters. Who the heck writes these things anyway??? One woman was described as a "blonde bombshell" and another one as a "firecracker". Good grief, that just sounds like something my dad would've said back in the 1950's! Even he knows that those are totally politically incorrect adjectives in today's society!

This season the Big Brother cast is a bit more diverse (but not much) than it was during the writer's strike. They got a lot of complaints then because most everybody was the same age & race.

Now they've got a 75 year old man and a woman in her 50's. The cast is also a bit more ethnically diverse, with one woman claiming to have given birth 4 months ago to "a medical oddity - twins, one black and one white". Umm... ok..... what an odd thing for a mother to say! It got her on the show though, so hmm...

We usually like "root for" a houseguest who's from our state, but this season the oguy from here sounds like a real jerk! We shall see.

Have you read or heard anything about the cast? Any of them live near you?

If you're inclined to say "oh for heaven sakes, you have a Master's Degree, surely there's something better for you to do with your time!" just keep it to yourself. I know that already, but I'm gonna watch it anyway. So there! (pout face like a 3 year old) Ya know, sometimes you've gotta take your fun where you can find it, and I choose to find it in the Big Brother House.

Feeling ugly today?

God Looks at You and Sees Only Beauty!

How cool is that?

Big Brother 10

The new Big Brother show begins this Sunday night! DH & I have watched every season since it began. The first summer it was on it aired 3 times a week, & we didn't miss an episode! Of course we were newlyweds, & it was fun snuggling up on the couch to watch it.

Now, many "houseguests" later, we're still hooked. Some seasons have been good, some stupid, and the last one was just plain sleazy but we still watched! After all, every season but one was aired in the summer when there's nothing else on & it's too hot to be out running around. (I hear you Texas girls laughing at me saying it's hot up here, but hey, hot is relative!)

Big Brother remains one of the shows DH & I like to watch together, so it's time to stock up on popcorn and get ready for the fun!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Baby news! (errr.. fetus news?) anyway, COOL NEWS!

THIS JUST IN ... DD's 4th baby, due 18th, is a BOY!!! She had a 3-D ultrasound today. I can't wait to see the photos & video!! When the ultrasound tech announced that it's a boy, the youngest of the baby-to-be's 3 sisters said "but I don't want a boy, I want a girl!".

The tech asked why... 3 yr. old little Bri said "BECAUSE I DON'T WANT SPIDERMAN STUFF ALL OVER MY HOUSE!" An hour or so later she was bragging to the waitress that she was going to have a little brother, so sounds like she's going to keep him after all. LOL!

The 2 older girls were hoping for a boy all along. When told (by phone since they're visiting their other granny) the oldest, little Ms. A. said "is it REALLY a boy??" and the middle, little Ms. W. said simply "YAHOOOOO!"

My feelings exactly! :-)

(not because it's a boy, but because it is healthy... although this will make the blue sweater I started knitting a few weeks ago go very nicely! :-) I just had a feeling that it was a boy. Nana's intuition?!)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

10 Reasons to Hope when You're Hurting

For 3 nights in a row now I've found myself unable to sleep. My thoughts keep going in circles in my head, trying to wrap themselves around the fact that one of my oldest friends is dead. I got an e-mail from her son on Wednesday afternoon with the news, and I'm still reeling.

I know that many other people are hurting tonight too, so when I came across this article a few minutes ago I felt like I should include it here:

10 Reasons to Hope When You're Hurting

by Steve Arterburn and Mike Marino

1. God is truly in control. If God is God, then nothing happens apart from His knowledge and permission. While it is difficult to imagine why God allows some painful things to happen, His character, revealed in the Bible and through the testing of generations, leads us to the conclusion that He is willing and able to sustain you during the worst of times. We were crushed and completely overwhelmed, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:8,9

2. There is an eternal life to come. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the Glory He will give us later. ~ Romans 8:18 He will keep you strong right up to the end, and He will keep you free from all blame on the great day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. ~ 1 Corinthians 1:8
3. The story isn't finished yet. Time after time, the Bible records hopeless situations that ultimately ended in victory. Think of Job's sickness, Joseph's betrayal by his brothers, David's adultery and the many who were healed in mind, body and spirit. But Joseph told them, "Don't be afraid of me. Am I God, to judge and punish you? As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil. He brought me to the high position I have today so I could save the lives of many people." ~ Genesis 50:19,20

4. God has not given up on you! Don't give up on Him. "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." ~ Jeremiah 29:11

5. There is likely purpose in your pain. Ask God to reveal His purpose in allowing this difficulty in your life. That's a legitimate question to ask. Often, the answer comes in the process of dealing with your circumstance. Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything. ~ James 1:2-4

6. You are loved! Even the most unlovable person in the world is actually loved so much by God, that He let His Son die a terrible death to restore their relationship. God does love you! He sees your pain and weeps with you. He has sent Me to comfort the brokenhearted and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent Me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lords' favor has come, and with it, the day of God's anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, He will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair. For the Lord has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for His own glory. ~ Isaiah 61:1-3

7. Your prayers are heard. You parents – if your children ask you for loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him? ~ Matt. 7:9,10

8. You are not facing this alone. …For God has said, "I will never fail you. I will never forsake you." That is why we can say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper, so I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?" ~ Hebrews 13:5,6

9. Others have made it through – you can too. Try to connect with others who have gone through similar situations. You will find hope, strength and encouragement. A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12

10. Reach out to someone else who's struggling. Place your focus on someone else and invest your life in him or her. You may discover that your peace of mind is found in being a source of hope for another. All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3,4

Monday, June 16, 2008

Things I'm especially thankful for:

1. On this Father's Day I'm glad my dad is alive and well! We talked over an hour on the phone today. There was a time several years ago when we didn't know if he was even going to live or not, so having him doing so well 4 years later is just great!

2. The hot spell has broken - it's 67 right now with a breeze that feels fantastic!

3. DH came through his oral surgery with no problems. (Now we're being careful to ward off the dreaded dry socket!)

4. DD is planning to come up this Saturday & spend a few days!

5. The dogs are both potty trained even though we didn't really know what we were doing when we trained Polly, and we were told Garcia might not be trainable since he was older when we got him & had spent his life up to that point in a cage.

6. DS got back safely from an overnight trip (via plane) to Atlanta.

7. Mr. T has resigned & won't be making life a living hell for Mr. D. anymore (at work). WOO HOO HURRAH YEE HAW!!! (turning flips around the room for that one!!)

8. There's a McDonalds near our house so when DH was craving a strawberry shake today (he can't eat solids right now) it was quick & easy to get one for him.

9. I finished the back of the baby sweater I started knitting Thursday & I love the way it's looking! It's really pretty and the pattern turned out to be easier than I'd expected. :-)

10. On what would've been our 35365th wedding anniversary (well, actually our 37th but geeze that's a lot of years!) XH mentioned the date to DD. Oddly enough, it made me feel good to know he hadn't just totally forgotten about it even though the marriage ended 24 years ago.

Now it's your turn! What are YOU thankful for today?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Tornado & Thankfulness

Yesterday afternoon a tornado ripped some huge trees up by the roots and twisted the tops off of others like a corkscrew. Many homes and cars were damaged when trees crashed into/onto them. All of this happened about 1/4 mile from our house. It was SO scary - the wind was blowing at 60-80 mph -- our trees were leaning sideways in the wind but somehow they didn't break. In the midst of all this the tornado sirens began to shriek. If the storm hadn't already had you in a panic that siren would've done it for sure!

Now, 27 hours later, 250,000 local people are without power. Grocery stores and homes have refrigerated food spoiling. One small grocery alone had to throw away 40,000 pounds of meat, dairy, and produce today. We can only imagine how much has been put into dumpsters state-wide.

We live right in the middle of all this, but we still have power and our trees, home, and cars were untouched. Go figure. In the midst of all this mess I got to thinking about how fortunate we are, & how much we all take for granted. I thought I would make a list of 10 things I'm grateful for at this very moment. These will be just off the top of my head - no deep thought (I'm too sleepy for much depth!).

I'm thankful because:

1. nobody was killed locally in the tornado
2. our home wasn't damaged
3. we both have jobs in a state where that's no longer the case for many families
4. we have air conditioning & are comfortable right now despite the heat and humidity
5. we're relatively healthy & so are our families & pets
6. we have friends & family to love and who love us - we even received phone calls from friends checking to see if we were ok after they saw our neighborhood's damage on the news
7. our neighborhood doesn't have drive-by shootings or gang violence - I can walk outside at night without fear
8. Friday the doctor called & told me that my annual kidney scan to check for recurrance of cancer is clear - that makes 6 years! (Even though it's not expected to recur, it's always nice to have solid evidence.)
9. my kids are great
10. God is taking care of us all

I'm not even going back to check spelling or wording - I'm going to bed!
I'd love to see a list of things for which YOU are thankful today!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Parents and Puppies

My sister is reading a book called "Toxic Parents". I haven't read it yet, but she said it's amazing. I'm debating on whether to read it or not. Just reading a review of it made me X out of that page very quickly & go on to reading something much less threatening. I guess maybe it hits a little too close to home... or does it? Yeah, it does. I mean, if the review was threatening then that probably is telling me something right there. Maybe not. I don't want it to. So. hmmm. Just call me the Queen of Denial! (Hey, that goes along with the Cleopatra blog from the other day, heh heh.)

Have YOU read "Toxic Parents"? If so, what did you think?

Took the furboos to the groomer today & OMG you should see the little guy! His hair is SO short!!! He still has his floppy bangs & floofy tail, but the hair on his body (Havanese have hair, not fur) is maybe half an inch long! Surprisingly, I like it. Rubbing it feels like velvet! He no longer looks like a teddy bear, but he is going to be SO happy not to have me having to brush out tangles. (He hates to be brushed!)

Ms. P. on the other hand, even though she hides when she sees the brush & comb coming out, actually goes to sleep while I'm brushing her! Because of that, we left her hair fairly long. Right now she looks like a dandilion - all white & poofy. They both smell soooo good! Wonder if it will last 'til Saturday? That's when they get to go see Sharkey the Poodle! Meanwhile I'll get to see DS and DIL which will be cool. :-)

Cleopatra, the Queen of DeNial

What color are you?

This quiz was fun to take! It had a much better variety of answers than most quizes do. Give it a try & tell me what color YOU are!

You give your love and friendship unconditionally. You enjoy long, thoughtful conversations rich in philosophy and spirituality. You are very loyal and intuitive.

Find out your color at!

Monday, May 19, 2008

I'm first! I'm first!

Since I wrote about childish feelings on the blog below, I have to add another one. This one is more positive -

On one of my friend's blog pages my site is first on her list of her favorite blogs. Every time I see that I smile. Now, you have to remember that the list is in alphabetical order which is the reason I'm on top, but it still makes me smile!


How many Cleopatras ARE there anyway?

Isn't it funny how deeply we feel about our names? We've heard them spoken in many tones, in many places, and they've become as much a part of us as our eyes and noses. I hadn't really thought much about how personal a name is until recently.

I'm in an on-line group that includes several of us with the same first name. We'd each added a bit to the end to differentiate one from the other. (for instance: CleopatraBob, CleopatraF., and CleopatraCincinnati.) Well, recently one of the Cleopatras dropped the suffix and started using just the name Cleopatra.

Every time I see "my" name there identifying someone else I feel myself frowning. It'd be different if we'd all gotten together & decided who was going to be THE "Cleopatra" but we didn't. Usually I'm good about sharing, but for some reason this is really bothering me.

I find myself thinking that people might read things that she has written and think that I am the one who wrote them. (Not that she writes anything "bad", she is a lovely woman and a very kind person which is one more reason why I don't understand why it bothers me that she's using our name without the identifying suffix.)

Really this is the first time I've ever been around a group of friends that included someone sharing my first name. Maybe that's why I feel so possessive about it. I could always change my forum name, but I've been on there for years & don't feel having the hassle of people not knowing who I am, etc.

I guess I could change it to just Cleopatra, too, & get people REALLY confused with 2 of us sharing exactly the same name... maybe the other Cleopatras would do the same... heck, maybe everybody on the forum could just become Cleopatra! (snort!)

Anyway, just had to talk about this because it has been on my mind & you know me - if it's on my mind long enough it ends up on this page. (Well, maybe not ALWAYS but sometimes.) It's not a big deal and I don't know why in the world it makes me frown... but thinking about having 200 Cleopatras on a forum did make me snicker, so that's an improvement! (Well, IMHO it's an improvement - the cat who was sleeping on my chest until I so rudely woke him up with my snickering might not agree.) (snicker)

Signing off - the Childish Cleopatra

Friday, May 9, 2008

Healing Prayers

I just found out that the wife of one of my son's friends has traveled down to the Mayo Clinic this week for her 1-yr. checkup to be sure she's cancer-free. You can read about her battle with the rare disease here: (It's a very upbeat blog, her DH is just an amazing person.)

As she undergoes this battery of tests please join me in taking a moment to pray that all will be well! Thanks!

Life's simple pleasures: Spring Violets

Tuesday DH came in with a tiny gift for me: a tiny wild violet that was growing in the yard! He said "I brought you this 'cause I know you love Spring - I would've brought more but this was the only one I could find".

OMG how sweet is that??!! Can't you just picture this 6 ft. guy out there spotting a 1/2 inch violet & stooping down to get it just for me?

Just when I think he doesn't have a romantic bone left in his body he does something like this! Thinking about it makes me smile. :-)

Friday, April 25, 2008

... and Baby Makes Four!

Remember a couple of weeks ago I posted about DD having a surprise for me? Well, here it is! I'm going to have a 4th grandchild!! How wild is that???!!! I'm VERY excited!

Yesterday they did a 3-d ultrasound and here's what he/she looks like:

For those of you who are ultrasound -challenged, I'll map it out a bit. The head is on the left. the hand closest to us is in its mouth, the other one is pointing toward the umbilical cord. On the right side you see waht looks like a little finger poking up.. that's the right leg. The left leg is hidden by the umbilical cord (that enormous thing close to its leg).

Ok, all together now, "AAAAaaaaaaaaaawwwwwww!"

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Microwaved tea vs Boiled on the Stove & steeped

I love hot tea. For a l-o-n-g time now I've been preparing it by filling a mug with water, adding a tea bag, & nuking it for a couple of minutes. It had been forever (think years) since I'd actually boiled water on the stove & poured it over the bag in the old tried and true fashion.

Well, last weekend DH was working on the kitchen & had the microwave moved out to the back 40 somewhere so I resorted to boiling water to make the tea. Guess what? It tastes different!

When I lived in England the importance of starting with cold water, & bringing it to a rolling boil was really stressed. I couldn't really taste a difference when I started with warm water just to see what would happen (wild and crazy 18 year old that I was).

Several years after I moved back to the States my friend Peggy made me a cup of tea using the microwave. Since it was so quick and easy I started making it that way too, and have continued to do so ever since.

What I discovered on Saturday is that when boiling water is poured over the tea bag it really brings the flavor out. Earl Gray tastes like Earl Gray instead of Lipton's. English Breakfast Tea tastes like English Breakfast Tea instead of Lipton's... you get the drift!

Does this mean I'm abandoning microwave tea? Nope, as a matter of fact just this morning I nuked my tea. What it DOES mean is that if I have a special tea and want to see how it REALLY tastes, you'll find me huddled over the stove waiting for the water to boil in its slow, old-fashioned way! Now, where did I put that whistling tea kettle?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Good Times!

Didn't want to go to bed leaving you with the semi-depressing blog I wrote a minute ago, so here's a more positive thought:

This time next week I'll be visiting one of my very favorite people in the world! He also happens to be one of my children. What a blessing having offspring you love so much and enjoy being around! So many parents can't, but my kids have grown up to be the type of people that I choose to have as friends, not just relatives.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Morning: make cinnamon rolls; Afternoon: die.

This morning my friend Wanda's co-worker went to her job as a cook at an educational camp for children. She made cinnamon rolls, did all the usual stuff, and left at lunchtime. A couple of hours later Wanda got a phone call - her co-worker had died!

She was in her late 30's & appeared to be healthy. We don't yet know what happened. The worst part is that she has a son who's a senior in high school; his dad died 1 1/2 years ago.

The boy is such a private person that when he returned to school after his dad's death, he told those who asked that he'd been at Cedar Point (amusement park) with his mom. He didn't tell any of his fellow students that his dad had died.

He's a good kid and the principal is offering to let him stay with him until the school year ends. He has no relatives in the area, and has pretty much kept to himself.

Why am I telling you all this? Because it has just been going through my mind over & over & I'm hoping that by writing it down it will no longer dominate my thoughts. It's such a sad situation, so hard to understand why something like this has to happen.

DH said "well, it just shows how unpredictable life can be - you never know when it might end." Kind of freaked me out because that's about the third time in the last few days that somebody has said that to me.

Think somebody's trying to tell me something? (Not that I think I'm about to die, just that maybe I need to make some big changes.) Only problem with that is that it would involve moving 400 miles, not very practical.

Is Organizing a Hobby?

Ok, went into my scrapping room tonight with every intention of making some pages but could NOT decide which pictures to use. I think I just have WAY too many photos! Anyway, instead of scrapping I ended up taking photos out of an old album and dividing them up by subject. (I'm going to do some subject albums instead of chronological ones.)

This is all fine and dandy except that I've spent SO much more time organizing than scrapping! Maybe I'm exhibiting signs of OCD... or maybe my real hobby isn't scrapping, it's organizing! Hmmm...

Monday, April 7, 2008

oh my!

Isn't it interesting how the most unexpected things sometime happen. Wow! That's all for the moment, just wow!

Nah, it's not really all.. you know I have to say more than THAT! LOL Well, DD gave us some news and you could've pretty much knocked me over with a feather! It's a joyous thing, just odd circumstances.

Anyway, I'm going to go with the joyous part of it instead of freaking out about the rest. :-)

I'm having a blast with her & the 3 girls right now. The middle one went to work with me today & worked her little heart out, stapling, stamping, highlighting, and just generally having a ball (she loves to play office). :-)

Tucked them into beds about an hour ago (an early night) and am about to go there myself (well not to the SAME beds but you know what I mean).

Good night everybody! (Prayers for DD wouldn't be a bad idea.)

Monday, March 31, 2008

We Have BUDS!!!!

At some point between 6:00 p.m. Sunday and 11:30 p.m. Monday, the little tree in our yard sprouted BUDS!! I'm totally pumped! SPRING WOO HOO!!! We actually had a thunder storm yesterday, how Spring-like is that?!

You do remember that we had 4 inches of snow just a few days ago... well it is gone already! That's the funny/great thing about Michigan: Spring is slow in coming but when it finally does it's like it's on fast-forward.

Now, brace yourself for something wierd:

When I first spotted the buds, I was standing just inches from the branches. After a moment or two of staring at them in amazement (I actually realized my mouth was agape) I had the urge to bite them! How crazy is that?!?!

It was like I couldn't get close enough to them, just wanted to chomp them off like celery. (No, I didn't do it!) Best I can figure, it must be some sort of primal instinct or something... the cave girl supplementing her winter diet with greens at the first opportunity. Think about that tonight when you're preparing dinner - anybody want a bud?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The birds are coming back!!

I am so excited, I think warm weather may be coming after all! Since it snowed 4 inches the night before last I'd just about given up hope that Spring was ever really coming. Then, yesterday afternoon I went outside and "CHIRP!" there was a robin sitting in the very top of the (very bare) maple tree in our front yard!

As I stood admiring the robin, a gaggle of 7 Canadian Geese went honking by in V formation overhead! I practically jumped up & down for joy!! Birds!!! Off in the distance I could hear birdsongs like something from a Disney movie. This was a real treat in an area where all has been frozen with virtually no birds in sight for nearly 6 months!

The sun is shining, birds are singing hurrah! Even if it snows tomorrow, today will get me through another week or so at least. :-)
Robin in tree

I can't take credit for this photo - I found it on line... but it looks exactly like the robin I saw. (I'm so excited, this is my first time to post a pic on the blog and it worked!!)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

People from your Past

I saw this quote and kind of liked it - makes you stop & think.

There comes a point in your life when you realize who matters, who never did, who won't anymore, and who always will. So don't worry about people from your past,there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tagged Again! (different questions)

I've been tagged ;) Different one this time so here goes....
Ok, here are the rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you –
It was Laurie: (I don't know how to do that fancy little thing where it just shows the person's name for the link. Anybody want to teach me?)
2. Post the rules on your blog. Done.
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
1. I will not drink milk out of a plastic glass. It tastes funny.
2. I love it when the trunk of my car is clean and neat (or, better yet, empty).
3. Seeing how things are made or manufactured fascinates me.
4. Brushing my dog is relaxing to me.
5. Although I work at a church, it has been months since I attended a service.
6. When I really like a piece of clothing I keep wearing it for YEARS. My favorite sweatshirt is about 15 years old & was bought at a flea market for $5. I think I've gotten my money's worth out of it. heh heh
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. If you're reading this & feel so inclined, consider yourself tagged. :-)

Is Nothing Sacred? American Idol Features Beatles' Songs

Daggone it, American Idol contestants, SHUT UP with the Beatles' songs. You're slaughtering them, it's horrible, unforgivable, and I can't stand it. Just because the copyright or whatever to the songs has become available for use does not mean you have the right to destroy a piece of my history. What a nightmare.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Bush,Waterboarding, and Terrorists

I don't often write about political issues, but this one really spoke to me (or should I say screamed at me) and demanded a response. Here's the article, followed by my opinion. I hope you'll share your opinion too.


Article by Jennifer Loven, AP writer, March 8, 2008

President Bush is poised to veto legislation that would bar the CIA from using waterboarding — a technique that simulates drowning — and other harsh interrogation methods on terror suspects.
The president planned to talk about the veto in his Saturday radio address.
Bush has said the bill would harm the government's ability to prevent future attacks. Supporters of the legislation argue that it preserves the United States' right to collect critical intelligence while boosting the country's moral standing abroad.
"The bill would take away one of the most valuable tools on the war on terror, the CIA program to detain and question key terrorist leaders and operatives," deputy White House press secretary Tony Fratto said Friday.
The bill would restrict the CIA to using only the 19 interrogation techniques listed in the Army field manual.
The legislation would bar the CIA from using waterboarding, sensory deprivation or other coercive methods to break a prisoner who refuses to answer questions. Those practices were banned by the military in 2006, but the president wants the harsh interrogation methods to be a part of the CIA's toolbox.
Backers of the legislation, which cleared the House in December and won Senate approval last month, say the interrogation methods used by the military are sufficient.
"President Bush's veto will be one of the most shameful acts of his presidency," Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said in a statement Friday. "Unless Congress overrides the veto, it will go down in history as a flagrant insult to the rule of law and a serious stain on the good name of America in the eyes of the world."
He noted that the Army field manual contends that harsh interrogation is a "poor technique that yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say what he thinks the (interrogator) wants to hear."

Ok, boys and girls, how many of you knew we (the U.S.) used techniques like waterboarding? I sure didn't! In fact (call me naive) when I saw the title of the article I thought it was going to have something to do with water sports & the environment!

Before the twin towers were brought down by terrorists on 9/11 I would've been right out there with those protesting a bill that would allow prisoners to be treated in an "inhumane" way. However, things are different now. Even though the New Testament teaches us to be loving in the face of evil, the Old Testament said "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" and somehow to me that seems more applicable in this case.

If you have thousands of innocent people whose murder could be prevented by pouring water on one evil guy, I say GO FOR IT! You know good and well that his country is torturing American prisoners, so why should we be all warm and fuzzy with this murderous man who's helping plan the sequel to 9/11?

I'm not a big George Bush supporter, but on this one he has me in his corner. I don't think these practices should be outlawed. Whether they're actually used or not, just knowing that they might be could help deter evil-doers. (Think about it - when you were a kid and you knew the teacher could paddle you if she wanted to, didn't that contribute to your good behavior?)

When reading this article I was already shaking my head but what really made me go "OMG!" was when I reached the part about Senator Edward Kennedy's throwing in his 2 cents worth. Excuse me, Eddie old boy, but I happen to remember a little situation back in '69 when you left a woman to drown while you saved yourself & ran off to make up a cover story to protect your "political image". I was just a kid, but the horror of it impressed me so much that I remember it to this day.

Mary Jo Kopechne (the starry-eyed young woman who was with you when you drove your car off a bridge) hung on to life for a couple of hours in that dark, cold water, no doubt waiting for YOU to come back with help and save her! But no, you were too busy making up a cover story to protect the great political future that you thought you were going to have.

How interesting that you didn't give a flying flip about an innocent young woman alone in that car under the swirling water, slowly drowning, but you have all this compassion for a terrorist, whose purpose in life is to murder and maim, having water is poured over his face. What a hypocrite!

I just can't believe that you have the gall to ride out on your high horse and declare that BUSH is committing a SHAMEFUL act! Look in the mirror, buddy boy! Just how stupid do you think the American people really are???

Monday, March 3, 2008

Ten Years Ago & other "Tag" answers

Brenda and Sherri both tagged me so here are my answers (I'm supposed to tag 3 people now but lucky for you I'm not going to ;-) :

10 years ago today I was: tired of my long-time BF, tired of teaching math, tired of having an "empty nest", tired of where I lived, tired of life pretty much (I changed almost all of those things and am better now).

Things on my to do list for today: Well, it's after 10 p.m. so I probably won't be doing a whole lot more today. I will take the clothes out of the washer & put them in the dryer, use my new lint roller to remove the totally demolished (way beyond shredded) kleenex that attacked DH's jacket when it was in the dryer, turn on the dishwasher (I already have it loaded), figure out what I'm going to wear tomorrow, take the dogs for their last walk of the day, brush my teeth, wash my face, moisturize like crazy (I'm trying to do better on that).

4 things I would do if I became a billionaire:
1. share
2. give my condo to somebody who needs a home & buy myself a place on the lake or ocean;
3. travel around the world
4. spoil my family - starting by buying everything in the fabulous (child's) bedroom display that I saw yesterday in Ikea for little B.

3 bad habits: I put often things off 'til the last minute (not at work, just at home), let things "get to me" instead of blowing them off, and eat too many sweets (but I really enjoy them).

5 jobs I have had: babysitter; refreshment stand at the drive-in movie (that was fun); dietary aide at the hospital; teacher; administrative assistant

6 Things most people don’t know about me:

OMG SIX?? That's a LOT! Ok, let's see..
1. When I was 9-10 I wanted to be an archaeologist.
2. As a toddler one of my goals was "to smoke Camels like Daddy" (if you know how I feel about smoking you'll know why that's so hysterical)
3. I can't stand romance novels.
4. I prefer to eat grapefruit without sugar.
5. I didn't particularly like dogs until a couple of years ago.
6. I was once a labor coach for a friend and got to be there when her baby was born. It was fabulous!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The "bad guys" won this round.

(written in red because I'm so #*@$ fired up)

My mind is so full right now that I hardly know where to begin. I don't know how much detail to go into or even whether I should write about it at all, because it involves church and I don't want to say anything that will turn people away from religion just because of the actions of a handful of people.

Anyway, it involves my job (I work at a church). Long story short, the kindest, most caring person in the church is being basically exiled because the most un-godlike person, one who (no I'm not kidding) claims that he is without sin went whining to the Bishop when he couldn't have his way.

For 3 months this (good) guy is forbidden to have anything at all to do with anyone in the church - if he even so much as speaks to a parishioner on the phone he will be de-frocked. Even if one of his long-time parishioners is seriously ill or if someone dies, he still can't even speak to them or write them a card, much less give them communion or officiate at their funeral.

I am SO mad about this I'm surprised that my head didn't just blow right off my neck when I was told about it. I'm still mad and it has been over 6 hours since I found out about it.

They're going to lie about what's really going on & I refuse to do that so I just might become unemployed very soon. There's no way I'm going to be able to go along with the story they're planning to give the parishioners on Sunday. I will not sit there and say this leave of absence was done at the good guy's request, which is the cover story they're planning to use.

How the heck a person in such a position of authority (aka the Bishop) can be hoodwinked into believing a load of crap and basically ruining a life and possibly a career because he (Bishop) didn't even bother to check out the facts before taking action is beyond me. Talk about living in an ivory tower!! AAaaaaaaaargh!

That's all for now - although no doubt I'll be going on & on about it more later on. Meanwhile, if you are a religious person, please pray for peace for this man who's being crucified and if you're not a religious person please don't let this writing make you think all religious leaders are bad.

On the way home I stopped & got a couple of Krispy Kremes (nature's tranquilizers) so although I'm still not feeling totally tranquil I have at leaststopped screaming, crying, and throwing things (ok, ok, granted it was just a kleenex- but I did throw it with great power and emotion!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sign Language & Hillary Clinton

My DS & DIL got to see Hillary Clinton today! Actually my DIL did the interpreting for her (sign language aka ASL), how cool is that? She interpreted for Obama a couple of months back. In the past she has had the opportunity to meet & interpret for a wide variety of famous people, everybody from Lily Tomlin to Billy Graham! It's really interesting to listen to her tell about what those people were like.

DIL and DS taught taught me a few signs before their wedding so I could introduce myself (about half the guests there were deaf and communicated via ASL) but I would like to learn a LOT more. I think it would be a handy thing to know how to do, not just when I'm with their friends but also in case the need arises.

When I was waiting for DH in the doctor's office the other day someone popped her head in and told the receptionist that there was an elderly couple outside that needed help but she didn't think they spoke English. A couple of the nurses went out and helped them. (It's a new medical office building but talk about poor planning - you have to walk about a mile (well maybe that's a slight exaggeration) to get from the parking lot to the specialist's office.

Anyway, the nurses went out with a wheel chair & brought the guy on in, his wife walking beside pushing his oxygen tank on wheels. After she signed him in & they sat down I noticed them talking to each other using ASL, so what the woman had thought was a couple not speaking English turned out to be a deaf couple.

Made me wish I could talk to them - they seemed so isolated - but somehow walking up to them & telling them whose mother I am didn't seem quite appropriate at the time. ;-) Since it had been over a year since I'd used the few signs I did know, I wasn't sure that I remembered them correctly & didn't want to screw up.

DS once referred to somebody as a hooker when he meant to say something else - just a difference in finger position can bring a whole new meaning to a sign. I figured this couple had been through enough already with trying to make it down the hall and then having to use the wheelchair and all without having some strange lady (me) come over and proposition them in the waiting room, so I just smiled and nodded and left it at that.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Snow Sparkling in the Moonlight

I just came in from walking the dogs & I have to say it is absolutely beautiful outside! It's snowing the very tiny flakes you get when the air is extremely cold and dry. They sparkle like glitter in the moonlight - floating all around in the air like tiny fairies - pretty amazing!

I just really enjoy cold weather. Right now we have a hard snow pack of about a foot covering all of the ground, with drifts and piles higher here & there. The pile of snow (now solid ice) that came out of our driveway is as tall as I am! Really! (... and the driveway isn't all that big!)

My sister told me a few days ago that she now has forsythia blooming in her yard. One of my scrapping friends in S.C. has daffodils blooming! Made me wonder if we really live in the same country - or even the same continent! We've had more snow here than in many years & I'm loving it! I won't complain any when spring comes though LOL.

Here, Spring is a lot different than in KY. Down there in March trees start blooming and spring flowers pop up even if there's still snow on the ground. Spring lasts for a couple of months before Summer comes blasting in around the first week of June with temps of 100.

Here, plants don't even think about turning green until June (yes, the lilacs wait 'til June to bloom), but when things finally do start awakening from their winter sleep they do it in "fast forward" mode.

We go from bits of visible green to huge green leaves in less than a month - way less than a month! It's just nuts. It's like the plants know that if they're going to have much of a life they'd better hurry since winter's first snow arrives in October!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Pretty gross, you may want to skip it.

What the heck is wrong with me??? I'm sitting here feeling ill because of a photo I just saw. Why did I look at it? I dunno. :-( I was just merrily surfing along, randomly clicking on things that took me from one website to another when all of a sudden there was a page of pics of people jumping out of the twin towers on 9/11.

That sounds really bad, but to be honest the photos were so surreal - the people suspended in mid-air, clothes flying out like wings - that it didn't make me sick. Sad, yes, but not sick.

What did make me sick was a photo that had originally been included in that gallery but then was removed because it wasn't actually taken on 9/11. It was taken of a guy who had "just" jumped 20 floors. The article "helpfully" explained that the jumpers at the twin towers were virtually obliterated when they hit the ground. This guy, on the other hand, resembled road kill. Why did I look at it? I don't know. Why did I find myself studying every aspect of it very closely? I don't know.

Why did my mind have to start thinking about my friend who jumped off the bridge into water that "when jumped into from a great height is the same as hitting concrete" therefore meaning he may have looked a lot like this guy? I don't know. There was a photo beside that one of another jumper (again, not from the towers) who had landed on his/her face. The clothes were gone (blown off?) but you couldn't tell if it was male or female. It looked like an empty fat suit.

I'm a normal person who doesn't like gore. I won't even go to movies that are bloody... but here I am staring the remains of these real people when I won't even go watch the fake ones with fake blood. It's just very odd. I'd like to share it with DH (you know how sometimes sharing something reduces its enormity in your mind) but I know he would be totally grossed out. I am too, but I brought it on myself.

I hope I don't end up like those poor people with my body all broken. I hope I die in my sleep while wearing nice pajamas.

I feel like I'm going to cry or throw up or both, and I brought this all on myself. How stupid. I should've just stayed on the scrapbooking page.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Today it was 2 degrees and with the 45 mph winds figured in the wind chill factor was -25 degrees! Yep, that's TWENTY-FIVE BELOW ZERO!

Right now it's 2 below (that 's the actual temp, wind chill is of course even lower). The police are scouring the area for homeless people who are outside. They're taking them to warming shelters to keep them from freezing to death.

Ok, enough about the weather already! It's pretty much all anybody is talking about around here though! B-o-r-i-n-g !

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Eukanuba Dog Show

Garcia & I are watching the Eukanuba Dog Show right now. Yes, G. is a dog but he is watching this as intently as any human would! First he was sitting beside me on the couch watching it, but then during the last commercial he got DH's blanket & pulled it down onto the floor. He then got his favorite toy, placed it on the blanket, & layed down beside it, right in front of the tv!

Garcia seems to prefer light-colored dogs. When one catches his attention he hops up & runs to the tv & stands on his (really short) little hind legs so that he can see it better! Soooo cute!

So far his favorite has been the 15" beagle. For it, he actually gave the screen a little lick and then looked behind the tv to see if maybe the beagle was going to come around & play with him.

I've never had a pet who watched tv before so this absolutely cracks me up! If & when I figure out how to post photos I'll put one on here showing him - a new breed - the TV Hound! :-)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Only google your XDH if you want to get annoyed.

My DS told me several months ago that he had googled my XDH & discovered that he has declared himself to be something of an expert on ADHD. Just now I tried it (googling XDH that is, not declaring myself to be an expert).

I think my blood pressure is currently 20,275,783 over 4000.

OMG he is giving advice out like it's candy at a Christmas parade!! AAAAaaaaaaack!! Not only is he attributing all the problems his DD (from his current marriage) is having to being ADHD, but he has also decided that HE has it too... and if that's not annoying enough, he is even saying that one of our children has it which is absolutely ridiculous!!

How would he know if they did or not anyway, he spent so little time with them he wouldn't have a clue. He even sent a birthday card to DGD with a sappy note about her beautiful big brown eyes... excuse me, Mr. Gran'pa of the year, but the kid's eyes are bleeping BLUE just like her mother's -your DD's - or maybe you thought hers were BROWN too???!!!

He goes on & on advising young parents on the ADHD Forum that "because ADHD kids are attention seeking you should ignore them". Well, excuse me buddy but IMHO a large part of the problem with your "new" DD is that she is just screaming (both figuratively and literally) for attention! Poor kid gets absolutely none from you OR your wife.

I just want to slap him! (I am not normally a violent person, but I swear if he were to walk in right now I'd enjoy nothing more than pelting him with every plate, glass, cup & saucer that I could get my hands on!)

Here he is giving out advice when:
#1. he didn't even raise his first 2 kids; and
#2. he's basically making this 3rd child raise herself because he and his current DW are both too sorry to get off their butts and get involved. Why the heck they were allowed to adopt a child in the first place is beyond me.

Geeze, what is they say about "a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing"? Well, if you look that old saying up on Wikipedia his photo should definitely be beside it! What an idiot. (Idiot is not a word I normally use, but it is his word of choice when putting people down so I'm using it because of that... taste of his own medicine and all that - not that he'll ever read this.)

I just cringe thinking of the damage his "expert advice" may have caused already. Some of the posts are over 5 years old! :-p

Anyway, had to share that, it was either tell you or go out on the street and look for an innocent bystander to beat up. (Would be hard to find a bystander, innocent or not, tonight because it's 18 degrees outside.)

Thanks for listening, I feel better now. Still annoyed, but better.