Saturday, January 31, 2009


In honor of the Super Bowl which is contested tomorrow, I have provided you with your video of the day. This has absolutely nothing to do with football just so that you know. It does deal with why people really want to watch the Super Bowl. No, not the Super Bowl ads although those are a plus. I don't even think most people watch because they actually love football. No, it is the food. The snacks, the lovely hamburgers, the appetizers, the deli sandwiches. You get the picture. Thanks to Aunt Judie for the video. I just don't have time to scour YouTube for all of this stuff. So here, without further ado......GUACAMOLE!


Friday, January 30, 2009

7 Quick Takes (Vol 8)

Have you noticed how many people are joining in each week. This is so much fun but it takes me several days to visit all the blogs. Make sure you go over to Conversion Diary to check out all the installments.
Have you noticed that in the last few years the cost for Girl Scout cookies has gone up, the boxes have stayed the same size but the cookies and how many are in the package have decreased dramatically. I used to buy Girl Scout cookies every year, I eagerly anticipated when my neighbor girls would come to my door. But no more. The deal I get isn't worth it because it isn't any deal at all. In fact, it feels like I am getting ripped off. Yes, I know that it is a fund raiser. Sigh, another tradition bites the dust.

Is there any reason why I should keep my 25 year old nursing school text books? I can't think of a reason why I should move them to another house. These things are big and heavy, I wouldn't be surprised if I was charged extra just to haul them. I think that they are going to go bye, bye but I just have to talk myself into it. I am always afraid that if I get rid of them the next day I will need them. However, with the internet I can probably get the info faster than getting out my Whaley and Wong and looking up something to do with Pediatrics. OK, I am going to do it. I may throw out my back moving them but they are going. Today.

Lookee, lookee at how clean and organized my pantry is now. I just love going in there. It took me most of Friday afternoon to get everything cleaned out, organized and put back on the appropriate shelf. Man I love organization.


Sorry about the quality of the picture here folks but it was early in the morning and I was taking this picture with my telephoto lens from the upstairs bathroom. I have to say right off the bat that we have A LOT of deer around here and I have commented on my feelings about them in this post. Be that as it may I still like seeing them in the woods. This particular deer can be seen quite frequently resting in the ravine behind our house. She is alone during this time of the year and she may be pregnant. I am just hoping that she has only one baby this year rather than the twins or triplets that she normally seems to produce. PLEASE only one fawn this year.

Does someone want some snow? I have PLENTY and would be willing to share. It would be no problem at all. You see we had some more snow fall from the sky this week. And with the latest snow fall that puts us at around 40 inches.....for the month of January alone.
This is the amount of new snow that fell on the deck. I measured in a place that I had shoveled free from snow so that I could get an accurate total. You should see the pile of snow that has been growing from the snow plow. I would venture a guess that the last of that snow pile will not melt until well into April. Lovely Cleveland weather, just lovely. And I think we got another inch or two last night.

What better way to spend a snow day than baking a new cookie recipe. These lovelies are "Strudel Oatmeal Cookies" and they are very yummy I can tell you. Isn't your mouth watering just looking at them.
Come on over for a cup of coffee or better yet a cold glass of milk and I will share them with you.

How can it be that my Bethany Anne is 18 years old today. I KNOW it is hard to believe that I have an 18 year old (let alone a 22 year old and an almost 21 year old). It seems like just yesterday (cue the music) that she came into the world, that she was this little blonde thing that always wanted to "do it MYSELF!"
Happy Birthday Benny Boo! (pictured with her boyfriend Luke, "he's nice boy"). Love you to pieces.

See you next week when we will bring you more exciting (cough, cough) snippets from around the globe and up my street.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

His Excellency: George Washington

His Excellency: George Washington

Ellis, Joseph J.

Knitting Sticks: 4

George Washington is so much more that the white haired "Father of our Country". He was both self-controlled and hot tempered. He knew want and plenty. He spent too much and put himself on an austerity program. He was ambitious and humbly aware of his inadequacies. He was our first President and yet it was a job he neither wanted nor sought. In fact, just as an aside, in the times in which George Washington lived it was considered extremely bad manners and "form" to campaign for a publicly held job. Something to think about in this day and age.

I am sure that I had the same general view of George Washington that most people hold. He led the Continental Army during the War of Independence, he was our first President, he lived at Mt. Vernon, he was married to Martha (a paragon of virtue and patience). But if that is all that I ever knew about GW then I would be missing so much. He loved another woman but married Martha. He traveled extensively in the lands east of the Mississippi but he only traveled outside of the US once and that was on a trip to Barbados with his brother. He was the general who led the Continental army but his record of wins in battle was not as impressive as you would think. I am positive that most people in this country have no clue how close we came to never being this country, how desperate the situation was and how instrumental George Washington was in winning the war. He understood that if this new nation were to survive it needed to look westward to the vast uncharted lands that were now available not eastward to Europe. We had to be a new people not a model of the old. He was a slave owner who struggled with slavery. He realized that slavery must be eliminated in the US but did not free his own slaves until after his death. A man of contradictions who was loved when not in office and vilified by the press when serving. Does that sound like anyone else you know.

This bio is the first in my attempt to read through biographies of all the Presidents of the United States. It is in conjunction with the U.S.President's Reading Project which I found in my travels through the blogosphere.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I just have to say that sometimes parenting is easy and sometimes it is hard. I am sure that you know that if you have kids. When my munchkins were little parenting was often hard in a physical sense. I was tired. There was a time when I had three children under the age of 5. Like I said, I was tired.

Then as children grow you move from physical tiredness and drain to emotional. Yup, it isn't physically draining any longer to be a parent, it is emotionally draining. I should clarify that in this particular instance that we are dealing with I am agitated because I want to defend my child from something that has hurt her greatly. But.......I can't just jump in any longer and fix the situation. She is old enough that she can deal with this situation on her own, even though "her heart has been stomped on". It isn't appropriate for parents, after their kids are a certain age, to just jump in and fight the battles for them even though that is our natural inclination. That is hard to remember when you child has been hurt. So very hard to remember and to abide by.

I am trying, I really am. But I have to tell you that when one of my munchkins is hurt then I want to deal with it. But.....I am dealing with it in other ways. I am talking to myself a lot, having imaginary conversations with certain people and triumphing over them utterly. If you were to come to my house and observe me I am sure that you would be calling the white truck to take me away, I am talking to myself so much. I am trying to channel my energy into my workouts, to "work my mad out" so to speak. And, I am asking the Lord that my heart will be right in this situation, that I will not hold onto this anger that I feel and that I will say and do the right thing when I encounter this person in daily life (and I will encounter this person I assure you). Praying that my munchkin will find a way to deal with this situation that will bring her joy and will not have her loose all the happiness that she has felt participating in this particular activity for the last 6 years.

Don't you just hate that I am writing all this in that euphemistic style that just doesn't give you all the juice details. Sorry, details are changed (or in this instance not supplied) to protect the innocent. You will just have to live with it.

Like I said, it is hard parenting sometimes.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Star Wars

If George Lucas had been a 1920's silent film maker.

Friday, January 23, 2009

An Interview (of me, a small one)

The blogosphere is a fun and addictive thing. I am constantly amazed at how big the world is and yet so small. I have a "Ravelry acquaintance" who has commented on the blog on occasion. I also read her blog. Imagine my surprise when I found that she lives in the next town over from me. How cool is that!!! Anyways, Chris was "interviewed" on her blog by Grace. Grace had been interviewed on her blog by someone else. Now, I am going to be interviewed by Chris. Five easy questions, at least I think they will be easy. We will see how I really feel when I am done with the post.

1. I see that you like old movies. what is your favorite movie of all time?
Oh man, this is a hard one. You have to start with a hard one! You know that I love movies (except anything with Sean Penn in it). It really is hard to narrow it down to just one. The Lord of the I love that one but not the most. The Sound of, a solid contender but not "the one". The Trouble With Angels, Star Wars, Independence Day, anything Fred Astair/Ginger Rogers, Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, You've Got Mail, The King and I, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. No, no, no, no, no. I am thinking. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. My favorite movie, the one that I would watch over and over would be Now Voyager with Bette Davis and Paul Henreid. I don't remember the first time that I saw this movie, it was probably late at night during my teenage years. All I know is that it is my favorite.

2. What kind of things do you like to knit?
Ah, an easy question. I have to say that at the moment my favorite things to knit are socks. I don't know what it is about socks that just "jazzes" me but once I figured out how it all worked then I just couldn't stop. I currently have two different pair of socks on the needles and am comtemplating a third. I may need an intervention.

3. Are there any new knitting skills that you would like to learn?
Well, I have designated this year as "The Year that Debbie Knits a Sweater" (not to be confused with "Debbie Does Dallas". I used to live in Dallas and everyone just HAD to mention that porn movie to me. Ha....Ha). I think that is going to be my new skill for the year. For some reason the thought of knitting a sweater is scary to me but my "knitting mentor" Cindy tells me that if I can knit socks then I can definitely knit a sweater. I just have to get up my courage and buy the yarn.

4. I see that you have the smartest dog in the world. What is the gender-type of dog and what does he do that makes him so smart.
Oh this is going to be a long answer, so be warned. Max is what we like to call a "dog by committee". We think, only think mind you, that he has Lab, Border collie and Golden Retriever in him but we can't be sure. He and his 4 litter mates were left at the back door of the local animal shelter when they were about 8 weeks old so we never saw the parents. Max is the most routine oriented dog I know. I can set my watch by him. He looks at me at 6am and wants to be fed and then stands and looks at me right on the dot of 3p wanting to be fed again. Like clock work. He puts himself to bed in his crate at about 9p most nights. I don't have to tell him to go to bed, he just gets up and wanders into the laudry room and goes to bed. He does not like any kind of yelling, not that we yell around here or anything because you know we don't so just leave it OKAY! If he sees that there is football or basketball on the TV he quietly gets up and exits the room and goes into his house. When we are outside with him he feels the need to herd you around. When the girls are swimming at the Cottage he has to herd them in the water. He knows exactly where his invisible fence "line" is and he doesn't violate it, even when he doesn't have his collar on. I could go on but you see what I mean.

5. I see also that you do some reading. What kind of books do you like to read?
I read a variety of different types of books. I would have to say that I most enjoy non-fiction, history to be exact. I especially like books dealing with history from 1800 to 1945. I have quite a growing collection of books dealing with nurses and their experiences during WWII, rather a small niche but one that I am interested in.

I have also taken on the challenge to read biographies of all our US Presidents. It is an open ended challenge and hopefully I will be done by the time that President Obama is finished in office.....after 4 years we can only hope.

Now that we are done with the questions here is what I want you to do if you are so inclined
1. leave me a comment saying, "Interview me"
2. I will respond by emailing you 5 questions. I get to pick the questions and I will need your email.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed you will ask them 5 questions.

7 Quick Takes (Vol 7)

Lookee, lookee "7 Quick takes" now has a cool logo. Thanks Jen! Make sure that you go over to Conversation Diary and check out the rest of the weekly entries. I just love Fridays (for a lot of reasons).
Obviously this week was momentous in Washington D.C. and all over the US. Barak Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. I watched a lot of the coverage on Tuesday even though I had not planned to. I didn't vote for Barak Obama but I have to tell you that I want him to be successful. I was awestruck by the whole thing and at least one point was moved to tears much to my amazement. Of course it is historic because President Obama is black. But I was just overcome by the fact that no other country that I can think of has a transition of power like we do. At one point there were 5, count 'em, 5 former and current Presidents on the platform. Not only were we transitioning from one administration to another but also from one party in power to another and all went smoothly and with grace and humility (except for the no class jerks who booed Bush when he entered and when he left). Amazing.
By the time some of you read this I will have started cleaning out and reorganizing my pantry. Oh I get shivers of joy just thinking about it. I hate when things that started out organized slowly descend into chaos (sort of like the government). Makes me crazy(sort of like the government). So, after I get back from my monthly prayer breakfast with some friends I am going to totally empty my pantry, clean it top to bottom and put everything back. I can hardly wait.
Yesterday was a perfectly sunny day here in Northeast Ohio. Amazing. We so rarely have a day when there is not a cloud in the sky. We are one of the cloudiest places in the US during the winter time so a totally sunny day is a joy. I had to be out to do a quick errand and I saw a ton of people out running or walking or taking the dog for a walk. We know how to enjoy the sun when we see it. If we could just see it a little more that would be really nice.
When do you listen to music (if you do that is). I love my ipod and I love most kinds of music (with the exception of rap). I listen to music all the time. But, I can't listen to music if I am writing or reading, the low level distraction just seems to disrupt my thought processes. So, I must write and read in relative silence. That was really difficult when the girls were little hence very little reading was done by me. My DH on the other hand does some of his best work with music blaring. Just goes to show how different two people can be.
Oh yeah, tonight is homemade pizza night!! I love pizza, I really love pizza. But, when you order pizza from the local pizza place it is really expensive, and I tend to find that it is a tad higher is salt content than I like. The salt issue is why I don't ever eat Pizza Hut pizza. What do they do at that place, soak the pizza in salt solution? But I digress, which is normal. I have to say that I wish I had taken up making pizza while the girls were still little and at home but I didn't. I can and do make my own pizza dough on occasion but tonight I will be using fresh dough purchased at our local food market. It is really good and we love the whole wheat dough. I have experimented with using my pizza stone as opposed to just putting it on a tray and baking it and I have to say that the pizza stone didn't make it that much better and added to all the clean up mess. Oh dinner time can't come fast enough.
Breakfast this morning will be spent with my prayer buddies. Isn't it a wonderful thing to have a group of women who you know are praying for you and your concerns just as you are praying for them. These women have all been my friends for many years and we all have children who are about the same ages. I love my Friday morning monthly "prayer breakfasts". Of course, I have to confess that I also love the fact that I will have bacon and eggs plus biscuits while we are sharing prayer requests but that is just the icing on the cake (so to speak). I really love bacon.
I really hate ironing. I do, I just don't like it. But I still have to do it and I don't have any spare children around here who will do it for me so I guess that will be one of the tasks for tomorrow. I do have to say that I take my husband's good shirts to the cleaners where they put a lovely amount of starch in the shirts and press them. When he had a job that required him to wear a suit every day that ended up being a lot of shirts going to the cleaners. Now he works for a "golf entertainment company" which means very little suit wearing. Just as an aside, he looks REALLY good in a suit so I sort of miss those days. Anyways, I will get the ironing done tomorrow morning so that it won't be hanging over my head.

See you next week!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Things That Make Me Happy

Yup, today is a day that just screams for a list of the things that make me happy. I suppose that you could also say one or two of them are guilty pleasures.

- cold pizza for breakfast. Throw in an ice cold glass of Coke (regular ONLY) and that would be perfect.
- watching "The Housewives of Orange County". I KNOW it is terrible. I can't seem to help it.
- my garden. There is something very therapeutic about pulling weeds.
- silence. I love to sit in my house and listen to the silence.
- popcorn, made by me, with just the right amount of butter and salt. Not the pre-packaged microwave popcorn mind you.
- old movies on Turner Classic Movies. I don't care for Ted Turner but this channel is genius.
- trying a new recipe and having it come out just right. This week it was "Pork Medallions with Apple Cider Sauce". Yum!
- when I am reading my Bible and the light goes on and I think, "Wow, I never thought about it in that way before."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our New President

I warn you in advance that this will be a long post. I try to keep them managable but this one just got out of hand. So sorry. Ignore if you want, I won't be offended (much).

Today we, the people of the United States of America, inaugurate a new president. Think about it. That is a powerful thing. It is an amazing thing. We go to the polls with the full expectation that our vote will count, each and every one of us. We don't have to vote for a certain person because we have been told to vote for that person, or because the ruling party members stand over our shoulders and make sure that we vote "the right way". We go and pull the lever or punch the card or touch the screen for the person that we want to vote for. There is generally no violence, there is no fear that the election won't count. I am not getting into the debacle that was 2000. Bush won that election, even the New York Times acknowledged it, albeit on the back page of the back section weeks later in very small print.

So, today we elect Barak Hussein Obama as the 44nd President of the United States of America. He was not my choice, we all know that. But even if he wasn't that doesn't mean that I wish him ill. Just the opposite in fact. I want him to be a good and successful president. I will give him the respect that is due him for the office that he holds (the same does not hold true for the truely loathsome Democrats in Congress but that is best saved for another post). I will pray for him and his family daily. And, I will rejoice that we in this country have elected a black man to the office of the president.

I think about a portion of Martin Luther King's Letter From A Birmingham Jail when I think about the election of a black man to the presidency. You need to read the entire letter for yourself, it is well worth the time. But the part that comes to my mind is:
We have waited for more than three hundred and forty years for our constitutional and God-given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jet-like speed toward the goal of political independence, and we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward the gaining of a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. I guess it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick, brutalize and even kill your black brothers and sisters with impunity; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see the depressing clouds of inferiority begin to form in her little mental sky, and see her begin to distort her little personality by unconsciously developing a bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son asking in agonizing pathos: "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross-country drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tip-toe stance never quite knowing what to expect next, and plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness"; then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into an abyss of despair.
Never again to I want to hear that a black person, here in these wonderful United States, can't make something of himself or herself. Racism, as it existed for MLK and in that time, does not exist now. Do not tell me that it does because it does not. Opportunities are open for all even if you are a kid from the projects. If you want to make something of yourself you can. Just because you choose to dress like a thug and speak in an unintelligble way don't claim racism to me.

President Obama has promised many things to many people and already he has acknowledged that he will not be able to deliver on some of those promises. Many view him as "The One, the Messiah, the one we have been waiting for". That is a scary thing. He is a human just like you and I, with good and bad points just like you and I. He has feet of clay. When he doesn't live up to the shining and lofty things that many are expecting of him what will those people do? My daughter suggested that if and when that happens people will say that he really isn't "black enough". I wouldn't be surprised.

I pray that Barak Obama's commitment to his wife and family will be an inspiration to a generation of black men and women where births run around 70% out of wedlock and where stable marriages and husbands and fathers in the home are a rarity. Just as an aside I think it is pretty darn cool that he is moving his mother-in-law into the White House.

I pray for the safety and health of our new president. For the safety of his family.

I pray for wisdom for him in what I think is the hardest job in the world. That he would always have in the forefront of his thinking what would be best for all the people in this country. That he would not cave into pressure from those on the far left who would take our country softly but swiftly down a path that looks like socialism.

I pray that our military men and women will learn to respect him as he is their Commander in Chief. This one may be a tough sell but you never know.

I will watch some of the Inauguration festivities today even though I find it rather offensive that in a time when there are so many who have lost jobs and homes, who are struggling day to day to make ends meet, that the new administration will spend a reported $150 MILLION on all the Inauguration festivities. I will listen closely to what President Obama has to say in his speech. And I will wait. I will wait to see the tone that he sets in the first 100 days or so. I will wait to see what he does and how he handles the House and Senate. I will give him the benefit of the doubt (unlike those on the left who never did that for GWB). And most of all I will pray. For I know that the Lord is soverign over all and that this President serves because my God will it so.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Thank You George W. Bush

Today is the last day in the 8 year presidency of George W. Bush. I doubt that there will ever be a time when I could say this personally to him so my blog will just have to do.

Thank you President Bush for keeping me and the country safe the last 8 years. Your critics scream that you have made us less safe during your presidency but.....I don't recall any terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11/01. Did I miss one? No? Then I believe I am safer. Do you think for one nanosecond that if the Islamic terrorists who hate us so virulently had been able to they would have hit us again. You bet they would! Do you think that they have stopped trying? I believe that they have tried again and been thwarted, we just don't know all that is going on and has gone on. I for one don't have National Security clearance (and don't want it for that matter) so am not privy to all that has gone on. Think how you would deal with things if YOU had the security of an entire country resting on your shoulders. Think you could have done a better job? I doubt it.
"As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before 9/11. But I never did. Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our Nation. And I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe." George W. Bush in his farewell speech to the nation.

Thank you President Bush for your compassion and caring. If you think that this man isn't fully aware of the fact that soldiers have given the "last full measure of devotion" on his watch then you are blind. All you have to do is Google "pictures of President Bush and wounded soldiers" and you will be overwhelmed. How many times has he quietly visited Walter Reed hospital or taken time out to run with soldiers or visited with the families of servicemen who have been wounded or have died. He hasn't asked or sought publicity when doing these things. He has just done them because they were the right thing to do. I might remind you that he has had the unenviable task of presiding over 6 Medal of Honor ceremonies.
Thank you President Bush for the freedom that has been brought to the people of Iraq. We can debate another time the minute details of the Iraq war. I would be glad to have lunch and chat about it. But I think that this picture says it all. Thank you to The Anchoress blog for the pic.
We take for granted the privilege that we have of voting for our leaders never thinking that there are so many places in the world that don't have that privilege. Now Iraq does. Deal with it.

Thank you President Bush for doing what is right and difficult in the face of unbelievably nasty opposition. Thank you for following your conscience and doing what was in the best interests of the nation. I can't think how hard it must have been to get up every day and know that there was so much BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) out there. You have done your job with seriousness and humor. Humor at the situation and humor at yourself. I always have more respect with someone who can laugh at themselves and the situations that they are in. I hope President Obama can do the same (haven't seen it yet).

Thank you President Bush for your commitment to Africa. If you only followed the news coming from the MSM (main stream media) you would never know that George W. Bush is well loved in Africa and with good reason. Here is why he will be remembered well in Rwanda and Africa. Thank you to The Anchoress for the link. Didn't know about all of that did you? We all should have.

Thank you President Bush for the picture of love that you have shown in your commitment to your wife, the respect that you show for your parents and the pride that you have in your children. After the last president that is refreshing. Thank you also that you have been willing to say that there were times in your life that were not good, that you struggled but that you persevered and overcame.

I could go on and certainly this is just my list. I can't inumerate for you all the governmental things that have happened on his watch, for a great round up of that go to this post at Gateway Pundit. I just want to say thank you. You will be missed.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Of Airplane accidents and other things

So, as usual, I have been very interested in the crash of USAir 1549. I don't know what it is about airplane crashes that interests me so. Is it because my brother flies planes for a living? Is it because I fly fairly frequently? No clue but I just have this thing about plane crashes. That sounds morbid and it isn't really. I am not interested in the gory details. Rather, I am interested in the personal aspects of people interaction and of how people react during these stressful situations. Perhaps I can blame it on the original plane crash movie, Airport, which is a wonderful pleasure to watch. Or perhaps it is my favorite made for TV movie A Thousand Heros, which deals with the crash of United 232 in Souix City, IA in July 1989.

When I read about one of these crashes I most often wonder how I would act in that situation. I think that we all want to believe that we would be the person who selflessly allows others off the plane first, who helps rescue people. The person who, when confronted with an emergency situation puts others before themselves. It feeds into that little part in all of us that wants to be the hero in the situation. The "Walter Mitty" in all of us and don't tell me that you don't have even a tiny shred of this in you. We just never know if we will be like the selfless pilots from USAir 1549 or the passengers on Flight 93. Or will we be like the idiot in the movie Airport who keeps yelling, "We are going to die, we are going to die." Until the nun slugs him that is.

I will have to admit that I usually have a "disaster plan" in my head when I get on board an airplane. I do know where the exits are and I look around me to get a take on the people that I might encounter. If I have time I know that I will take my little travel wallet out of my back pack and put it in my poclet. And, I am sorry to say for myself, I would then take out my camera and start taking pictures. I hate to say that about myself but I know that if I had the chance I would do it.

You may be wondering, won't you be scared if this were to happen to you. I am sure that I will be but it won't be because I am scared of death. That is one thing that I am not scared of because I know where I am going after I die, I will be with my Savior in heaven. No, I am more worried about not actually dying but living with some horrible injury. I think we will leave that right there.

So, I am overly interested with plane accidents but that won't stop me from getting on another plane. It just makes me cautious. It means that when the flight is done and I am deplaning I always thank the pilot or co-pilot who might be standing there for a flight well done. It also means that I am going to spend the next hour on this very cold morning reading about air disasters on Wikipedia. What else do I have to do, it is cold outside.

Friday, January 16, 2009

7 Quick Takes (vol6)

Yahoo!! It is Friday and time for some Quick Takes. Thank you Jen at Conversion Diary for this idea. I missed doing this last week but someone had to be tasked with going to Florida and enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. It just happened to be me.
I love my dog Maxwell. He is the absolutely best dog EVER! Who couldn't love this face?
However, for all his perfectness he still drives me crazy with all the going in and out. Alert, alert deer in the yard!! Has to go out. Alert, alert, a leaf fell somewhere in China!! Has to go out. Alert, alert there is another dog who has entered the neighborhood three streets over!! Has to go out. In and out all day.
He does have one other tiny habit that he just can't help. He gets into the garbage when we are gone and takes out candy wrappers and used kleenex. He takes his finds back to his crate to enjoy them. He always looks so guilty afterwards but he just can't seem to stop.
In the "dog" vein. It probably says something bad about my basic nature that I think it is funny to see what happens when Max forgets that he has his "zappy" collar on. I am bad, I know. You see, we have lots of woods and lots of wild things that live in those woods. Things that a dog would love to explore and follow. So, when we got a dog we also decided that we would get an invisible fence. This has been an excellent investment and Max was extremely easy to train. It only took one "correction" and he had his boundaries all figured out. Now you have to know that when he has his collar on and he enters the "no go zone" that he gets a series of audible signals that tell him, "You had better move buddy and quickly!" However, we will often go long stretches of time where I don't have his collar on. He is so smart that he stays within his yard limit, even when the UPS man is at the end of the driveway. He LOVES the UPS man. But, even though he doesn't actually violate the line he gets closer and closer. So, today he has his collar on. I sat at my desk and watched as he went closer and closer to the "no go zone" and sure enough, he was sniffing intently at a certain spot and all of a sudden he jumps two feet (OK I am making that up) and runs back onto the driveway. I laughed. I am bad. We have to get our daily humor wherever we can.
It is so cold outside this morning that my nose hairs froze. Too much information? Sorry. You see, that is how I can tell that it is below 10F. When I would go to the grocery store with my mom I would stick my head down into the freezer section and feel my nose hairs freeze. That is strange I know and it probably says too much about the inner workings of my mind but it is what it is. I still do that on occasion when I get something out of the freezer section at the store, I am just more discreet about it. Anyways, the old nasal cilium squeeled in horror and clumped together this morning. It is cold.
I am debating how much of the Inauguration hoopla that I will be watching next week. I find it a tad ironic that the Bush Administration was so criticized for their "Inauguration Extravaganza" in 2004 but there has been none of that from the MSM for all that is being done this time. I didn't vote for Obama but I am not willing to condemn him right off the bat. I am waiting to see what will happen. I will give him the respect that is due him for the office that he holds. That being said, I am not about to turn on any of the major networks and subject myself to all the gushing of the talking heads for the day. I think I will watch the main proceedings on CSPAN. That way I get just the essentials and not someone talking over what I want to see and hear. I do want to listen to the Inaugural address.
I am on an "organization spree" around here. Now some may say, "Is there anything in your house that actually NEEDS to be organized?" Well yes, there is. I am going to be moving in a year or so and I don't want to transport anything that I don't actually need (a lofty goal I know). There are lots of boxes in the basement that need to be gone through and sorted. Also, I want to empty out the pantry and get all that reorganized, it drives me crazy going in there. So, that is what I will be doing this winter. I will keep you posted on how I do. I love to organize.
This is my "year of the sweater". Yes, this year I am going to knit a sweater for the first time. Right now that sounds really good so perhaps I should start it soon. I don't think that sweaters are something that you want to be knitting in the middle of the summer time. I know that I can do this, heck I conquered my fear of knitting socks and taught myself how to do that. Knitting a sweater shouldn't be difficult right? I hope.
Well, I am stumped for a number 7 at the moment so I will go and eat my oatmeal, which is a good source of iron, which I am in need of at the moment. You know how sometimes there are signs that something isn't quite right but you just don't put them together, even though you might have a degree in nursing. For 6 months I had an all consuming urge to eat ice all day long. I just couldn't get enough of it. Also, I just didn't have the usual energy when I worked out, I just had real trouble with the machines at Curves. Didn't think anything of it until after a routine blood test. The doc calls and says, "Well, you are moderately anemic and I want you to take supplimental iron for a while." Yes, a hemaglobin of 8.4 is moderately anemic (but not the lowest that I have ever had) so I am taking A LOT of iron. If it was summer I would be rusting in the rain and making metalic noises when I walked. But, once my iron levels started to go up the eating of ice (which is called pagophagia by the way) has diminished and my energy level in general is better. So it is off to eat oatmeal (which I love). See you next week.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

RIP Patrick McGoohan and Ricardo Montalban

Goodness, two of my favorites gone on the same day.

I have a feeling that many only know Patrick McGoohan from his role as Edward I in Braveheart. He was so deliciously evil in that role I will admit. I also knew about Patrick McGoohan because he and I shared the same birthday. Just one of those odd coincidences.

But, if all that you know about him is his roll in Braveheart or on Columbo then you are missing out on one of the best things and that is The Prisoner. This TV show, which only ran for 17 episodes (one season) was a favorite of my fathers as I recall (correct me if I am wrong there Dad). I remember watching this show and always waiting for the weird white bubble thing to come and stop him from escaping. The freaky part was that there was some person face plastered on the inside of the bubble.

Here is just a little snippit for The Prisoner. I think I will have to see if the series is available on Netflix. Check this series out, you won't be sorry. "I am not a number, I am a free man!"

The other death yesterday was Ricardo Montalban. Of course everyone knows that he was Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island. Admit it, you watched that show every week like I did. Admit it! I just had to see which low level star had scored a guest spot. It was one of those 70's shows that you just had to watch.

But to me, Ricardo Montalban will always always be Khan Noonien Singh. Oh Khan, you revenge driven space crazy. The character first appeared in a classic episode "Space Seed" of the original Star Trek. Well worth watching if you can find the DVD (which I have if you need it). Then, he popped up again in the movie Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan and saved that movie series from horribleness. If you have seen the first Star Trek movie then you will understand that it had no where to go but up. The DH will tell you that I have seen The Wrath of Khan more times than I can count. I just love it (along with The Hunt for Red October).

Here is one of my favorite scenes from the movie. In fact, I believe that a viewing of the entire movie may be on tap for today. Just to say goodbye.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Of Mammographies

One of the phrases that women most hate to hear is, "It is time for your annual Mammogram." Lovely. I am going to vent here so if you have "sensitive reading eyes" then avert them. There may be times when I use words like BREAST! or BREAST! or perhaps BREAST! Just warning you in advance.

I am fully convinced that this particular test was definitely designed by a man without benefit of input from any woman, except for maybe Calista Flockhart who has nothing on top to speak of. I also think that if there was some way that this machine could be used to extract info from terrorists we would all be living peacefully. Just one mention of the machine would elicit all the Al Qaeda intel we could ever use. Osama Bin Laden would be toast. I am just says all.

So, on the appointed day you go over to the mammogram center with fear and trepidation. The center has called you a day or so before to confirm that you are actually going to show up and not conveniently "forget". They also will remind you that you should not wear deodorant that day. Now if it is the winter time then that isn't a problem but in the summer, well you get the picture. No wonder there are so many chairs in the waiting room. They want to give all the women space to spread out since we haven't used any "pit juice" that morning.

First you have to fill out all that paper work. This is the same paperwork I filled out last year, getting writers cramp in the process. Surely you have all this info somewhere in the bowels of the system. Isn't there just a box to check that says that everything is the same as the last time I was subjected to this? No? Drat! So, I fill out paperwork.

Wait, wait, wait. Hope you have something interesting to read rather than all the medical/women's magazines sitting there telling you that you aren't eating right and you weigh too much and your life could be happier. Yes, my life would definitely be happier if I wasn't here.

Ah, my name is called. Yes! I am enthusiastic to have been called but then I remember WHY I have been called. It is sort of like when I take my dog to the vet. He is so excited to go, to get there.....and then he remembers exactly where he is. Oh, this is the bad place. I always think that there should be a sign on the door that says, "Abandon hope all ye who enter here." Perhaps not. So I follow the tech in to the changing area where she shows me the place to lock up my purse and "upper body garments". Trust me, I don't need to lock my purse up. All I have to do is drape my shirt that has been against my deodorantless body for quite some time over my purse. No one is going near my purse, believe me.

After "disrobing" (hmmmm, I wasn't wearing a robe when I came in here) you have to sit in another waiting area. It is the "Disney principle". You wait and wait in line until you get up to the doors. You think, "when I get through those doors then I will be able to get on the ride!" You go through the doors....and find another line. So you wait until the tech calls you. This girl looks to be about 12 years old. Honey are you sure that you know how to operate this thing? I know that there is some kind of diploma on the wall with your name on it but those things can be bought on the internet. Oh fine. So, I sidle up to the old "viseometer", take one sleeve off and plop one of the girls down on the metal surface. Yeow that is cold. Then the fun begins. No it isn't enough to just let the girls lay there on a surface that has the temperature of Chicago city streets in winter (or a speculum. If you don't know what that is look it up). No, they have to be "made stationary" so that the machine or as I like to think of it, the instrument of torture, can get a clear picture the first time around. Please!!! I don't want to have to retake any of these pictures.

So, one of "the girls" is laying there and then the tech has to manhandle her a bit to get her positioned. Arm up a bit, no not that much, oops too much, now right there. Don't move, don't twitch, certainly don't scratch the itch that invariably shows up. If you twitch so much as one nerve then the whole thing starts all over again. After all the minute positioning is done the tech starts turning the knob to bring the other part of the vise down. Turn, turn, turn, turn, turn. This is like something straight out of a Stephen King novel or something. You can see the big flat piece of plastic slowly lowering, down, down. You KNOW it isn't going to be pretty but you can't do a thing about it. I always have to laugh (well not right then but later) because at this point the tech steps away, behind her protective barrier (is that to protect her from the xrays or from being attacked by one of us) and says, "Now don't breathe, just hold still." NO PROBLEM. I am trying not to scream and breathing isn't really a problem. I am just hoping that my breast hasn't been flattened into a giant pita bread like thing. A slight humming and clicking. Hurry up, hurry up things are going numb over here. Then the tech pushes a button and the vise is released. Is that angels singing as the pressure is lifted and I can breath? Is there a bright and happy light infusing the room? Oh no, that is just the blood rushing back to my head and other parts of my anatomy. Joy.

But wait, you aren't done yet. No, that particular breast needs to be viewed from another angle so you have to do the same thing only rather than smooshing "the girl" from top to bottom, you get to do it from side to side. Wonderful. So, we go through the same thing from side to side and then we repeat the process with the other breast. You know, I am holding my breath so much that I might just pass out from oxygen deprivation long before this thing is done. Now wouldn't that just add insult to injury.

Finally, I am done with the whole thing. I stand there for a moment.....finally asking, "Am I done? Do I need to wait for anything?" The reply is in the negative. What! No final goodbye, no drink and conversation, we have been so close after all. Nope, she is already prepping for the next innocent victim of her nefarious plot. So it is off to get dressed and exit the fast as I possibly can. Thank goodness I only have to do this once a year. I think I need some "retail therapy" to help wipe out the memory.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Skymall Magazine

Just a question....who actually buys the stuff that you see in the Sky Mall Magazine "located in the seat back in front of you" on every airplane in the US and beyond? We all look at that thing in the few minutes we have after we stow all our stuff and before the plane actually lands. You know, that no man's land of time where you can't listen to your ipod and there isn't time to start another chapter in your book. I am sure that people are struck by things in that catalog that they just have to have. But for the life of me I can't understand why.

Now I should say right at the outset that I am not a fan of any gadget that does only one specific thing, with the exception of the coffee maker. So, I am not sure why anyone would want an "8 slot hotdog warmer" that would take up counter space. How about the blow up triangle pillow that you can stuff in your carry on bag. You put it on the tray table and then lean froward to sleep. No thanks, that just means that I have to blow the thing up to use it. I will pass out long before I actually can use the pillow.

Hey, how about the "behind the door cat climber" where your cat can indulge their natural ability and need to climb....all for only $170. Hmmmmmm, no thanks. That is what high pieces of furniture, Christmas trees and fireplace mantles are for. And not wanting to slight the dog population there is also a set of stairs so that Fifi can climb up onto your bed with ease and sleep on your pillow while you are at work.

Wow, I could get this cool (and huge by the looks of it) wine thing that dispenses the "perfect wine, in perfect amounts at a perfect temperature" whether red or white. Or how about a counter top slushy drink maker where you can produce a margarita at the touch of a button. My SIL owns one of these BUT she used to own a restaurant and this came home with them so she has an out.

Hmmmmm, doesn't everyone need an "Italian style pizza oven that delivers trattoria freshness for six." Six individual pizza's cooked to perfection for only $130. Ever think that the regular oven and a $10 pizza stone does the same thing? How about the "Mind Spa" that provides soothing sounds and calming lights at a measly $349. Hey, they have the "Peaceful Progression Wake up Clock" that looks like some weird monster from a 50's Sci Fi movie. Then there is the "Million Germ Eliminating Travel Toothbrush Sanitizer" (just the name is worth the cost right?). It sanitizes a single tooth brush in 7 minutes. Of course, it also gets your bag pulled at security when they think it is a small bomb. And finally, with all your free time you can get the "World's Largest Crossword Puzzle." a 7 foot by 7 foot crossword puzzle that will set you back a mere $30. Of course, once you have completed it then it is worthless.

I could go on and on. If it is weird, if it is weird and has one unique use, if it is weird has one unique use and is expensive you will find it in the Sky Mall Magazine. Go forth and spend you frequent flier, the economy is counting on you!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

We will be back after this short break

Sorry for the light posting this week, it is busy busy busy here. I am taking a short break (only until Tuesday) to go on a little trip with the hubby. Pictures and commentary when I get back. Obviously there will be no "7 Quick Takes" this week. I made the decision not to bring my computer with me. I am only gone a few days and I can be untethered from the machine for that amount of time......I think.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


So, I am having to drive a rental car for the next several weeks. We have had to play "musical cars" and I drew the rental straw. I mentioned several weeks ago that my youngest daughter had an accident (not her fault thank goodness) with resulting damage to "Annie" the little orange Aveo. So, we drop the car off at the dealership to have the damage assessed and fixed. We knew that it would be a day or two before the thing was done so the dealership gave us a rental. No prob.

Imagine our surprise when the dealership tells the DH that the car won't be done for......2 weeks and the repairs are going to cost......$3500!! Oh I am so glad that we don't have to pay for that. But that also meant that I would have to drive the putt-putt mobile for a while.

This is the weirdness of the situation. The rental is very bare bones (it is a Enterprise rental after all). There are no power door locks or power windows. I haven't had to actually roll down a window in a car for a LONG time. The first time I had to do this I actually had to stop for a moment and remember the arm motion. That is just sad. Also, you have to visually look to make sure the doors are locked. Oh the agony!

But, the crazy thing is. For all the bare bones nature of Putt-Putt she actually comes with Sirius Satellite Radio! Huh? Yup, I might have to actually expend arm energy to roll down the window but that won't matter in the long run because I am going to have an accident while scrolling through all the channels that this thing has. 180 channels! All Elvis! Bill Bennett! A channel just for music from the 1940's! Audiobooks! Sports (nah who cares about that), News! The possibilities are endless. I am hooked.

Friday, January 2, 2009

7 Quick Takes (Vol 5)

Here are my 7 Quick Takes. Thanks Jennifer over at Conversion Diary for this continuing bit of weekly fun.
One of my absolute favorite things is dinner with my family. We have always made it a practice at our house to sit down together for dinner. Now obviously that hasn't always happened because someone had to be someplace else. But, when we are all here we eat together. My girls tell me that this is really a very unusual thing amongst their friends, that most of them don't sit down to dinner with the rest of their family. How sad that is. Some of the best times (and some of the worst for that matter) have happened when we were sitting down at the table. The conversation, especially now that they are all adults is so much fun. There is so much laughter. It just makes my "mother's heart" sing for the rest of the evening when we have had so much fun together at dinner. We had a great time at breakfast and at lunch on Christmas day. So much laughter. It was great.
Daughter Ashley cracking up at something.
I hate taking down the Christmas decorations. That is when I wonder why I go to all this trouble of decorating. However, I also look at the taking down process as a time when I can give the house a thorough cleaning (we know how much I love cleaning). Now that the whole house vacuum cleaner is working correctly again I can really vacuum. If I could just get motivated to actually take everything down I would be doing great. That motivation just hasn't showed up yet. Maybe tomorrow.
Is it just me or are there fewer movies being produced that you want to see more than once? We rarely go to see movies in the theater (we are "Netflixers" most of the time) so when I do go to see a movie that I pay good money for I want something that I really enjoy. That just doesn't seem to happen these days. We went to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" on New Years Eve. The reviews had been good and I have to say that the movie was OK but not great. It was about 30 minutes too long and there were times when I would say to myself, "what the heck does THAT have to do with the story line". I may also be one of the few people in the world who thinks Brad Pitt is a one dimensional actor. Whatever movie he is in it is always the same facial expression, the same timing, the same same. He just gets paid so much and gets so much "air time" because he is so pretty (and because of Angelina Jolie).

I remember fondly the days when I would go to see a movie and then couldn't wait to go and see it again (the summer I saw "Star Wars" 7 times comes to mind). The last movie that I can remember that brought me that much enthusiasm was "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King". Perhaps it is a function of age but I don't think so. I like movies, I like them a lot. It is just that my time is precious and I don't want to waste it. There just aren't many great movies anymore. Trust me, I watch old movies on Turner Classic Movies, I know a good movie when I see one.....and when I don't.
Sometimes I have trouble remembering that I was 17 (almost 18) once and what that felt like. So, I get up at 6:45a on New Year's Day, yes I let myself sleep in a little for those of you who are going to bug me. So, I am ambling downstairs to start the elixir of life brewing and I see that there is light coming from my youngest's room. Hmmmm, they got home really late last night, or really early depending on how you look at it (1:30a which was when I told her she had to be home). They must have fallen asleep and didn't turn the light off......Silly me.......she and her friend never went to bed. D'OH!!!! Now it would NEVER occur to me that someone would forgo going to bed. I LOVE bed. I love my flannel sheets and my silk comforter that my wonderful hubby brought back all the way from China. No way would I pass that up just to TALK all night. What were they thinking. Oh.....yeah.....they are 17 and can still do that and not look like the Creature from the Black Lagoon come morning.
I love journaling. I love having a place where I can be totally open, totally honest. It is so freeing. I had a friend who, years ago, gave me a great piece of advice as far as my journal was concerned (thanks Diana!). I had been reluctant to put down anything and everything in my journal. What if my kids, in later years read that I was angry with someone or upset about something. She encouraged me to put down what ever I wanted. If I had a fight with someone, journal it. But also be sure to journal the resolution of the fight. Don't stress about what someone else will think, it is YOUR journal. You can go here to see a longer post about my journaling.
One of the things that I anticipate the most about the new year is starting on a new journal. My journals start out the year looking like the skinny one on the right and end up looking like the bloated one on the left.
The other thing I anticipate is putting the old journal on the shelf with all of it's mates. Excitement! This year I have to start a new shelf.
Do you have any foods that you absolutely hate? Something that you refuse to eat? I hate, loath, and filled with disgust at the thought of liver. I am shivering just at the thought. My mom used to serve it once a month when I was growing up. I knew that smell....bacon and onions ruined by liver. There was no escape. I had to eat it. And let me tell you that there is nothing that can make that stuff any better. Not ketchup, not A1 sauce, not Heinz 57. Nothing. I vowed that when I "grew up" I would never eat liver again and would never serve it to my kids. I have kept that vow. Just thought I would let you know. It popped into my head this morning and then flew out of my fingers. The strange thing is that I absolutely LOVE liverwurst which is also liver. One of the great pleasures in life is a liverwurst and sweet pickle sandwich with mayo. YUM! Go figure.
I have to have the annual mammogram this morning (TMI?). Such a lovely thing to start the year off with. I am sure that it will generate some sort of blog post later. You have to approach these kinds of tests with some sort of humor.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Dave Barry's 2008 in Review

OK, so I just have to post this. Dave Barry always makes me laugh. It is a tad long but worth the reading.

Dave Barry's 2008 in Review

Happy New Year 2009!

Happy New Year everyone. I rang in the new year as I always do, in bed, watching the ball fall in Times Square and wondering why Dick Clark didn't just say, "I have had enough" when he had his stroke several years ago.

I will be back tomorrow with another addition of "7 Quick Takes". Have a great day.