Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy New Year!

Christmas is over......... it was a great success for all in my life as well as myself. I feel so blessed to have so many great friends who take an interest in my and my girls lives. It makes me feel so warm and fuzzy for all who make my life worthwhile!

The loot report: SS got her magnetix building set from Santa that she was wanting. KK also received her request, but got not 1 - but 3 yo-yo's from Santa. They even came with a little video about different yo-yo throws and such! WOW! They also got digital cameras with a nifty little photo printers, new shirts, and they each got a new board game! The winner for the toys for Mom - definitely the Rubik's cube in the stockings. It took me most of the day, but it finally all returned from my 80's youth and I can do it in under 5 minutes. Nothing like my personal best of 1 minute 10 seconds, but maybe I'll get there again! BWAHAHAHAAHAHA

I scored big! My friend, who I call "Gem" her in blogland took the girls shopping on Tuesday. They did well! They got me makeup brushes (what I hinted I wanted) along with my favorite perfume. I was really impressed that KK knew what the perfume was called! Mrs. S. get the award for the gift that made me cry (in a good way). She gave me a lovely framed picture of my mom along with a poem. It is such a nice picture of my mom - just how I remember her before she got really sick. Apparently Mrs. S. had enlisted the help of KK and scanned a pic that was on KK's time line of her life (a school project). She also got the item I was coveting the most - The Open Station. It is allllllll kinds of cool. :) Gem was gonna get me that also, but ended up with a nifty inside/outide thermometer/weather station do-hicky. I've always thought the one her house was pretty nifty.

Both Gem and Mrs. S. got their families Wii for Christmas this year. We spent awhile at each of their houses's yesterday partaking of the hilarity. Two things I learned: 1. I'm a bad driver in the virtual world too, and 2. I think I know what my girls will be getting for their birthdays!

But now........ Christmas is past. The tree will come down tomorrow and we can all start planning our New Years Resolutions for 2009!

Wishing everyone the best for the coming year. :)

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Spirit

For some reason I've never really been a person filled with Christmas spirit, I'd say especially in the past 5 or so years. I'm not one who decorates my house from top to bottom - most years we are lucky if we have a tree! I don't really like shopping with 5 hundred million other people.

What I do like about the holiday season - making candies! I made fudge last night - it was a cheater's fudge, no thermometer or beating, but it is pretty creamy and delicious. I brought it to work and my hope is that we will all have taste tests throughout the season and then everybody can say what they liked the best. I also love to make toffees and brittles - I even got a really cool candy thermometer for my birthday last year (thanks to Miss Steph - who gave me that great Williams-Sonoma gift card!!!).

In addition, one of my main goals as a parent - aside from the "growing them into good people" is to give my kids good memories of our lives. I want them to be 30 and being reminiscing and say to each other "do you remember when mom took us to the beach and we found all the sand dollars?" or "do you remember how much fun we had when mom took us to that miniature golf place?". To that end, I'm planning a fun weekend involving lights, boats, and much Christmas spirit.

Maybe I'm not a what people traditionally think of as a person brimming of Christmas cheer - but I really am trying my best!

Stay tuned next week for pics of our weekend adventures!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Piano Lessons

SS has started taking piano lessons (she had her 2nd this past Thursday). It was something she has asked to do for quite awhile, but we always did clogging and I didn't really want to add another night of activities to our world (I'm not really an out and about person in the evenings kinda person these days - I like to be home puttering my kitchen, being on the 'puter and generally hanging with the chickies!).

So, when we found out that there wouldn't be clogging classes this year, I found (or to be exact Mrs. S found) a sweet girl locally who gives lessons. First priority - she had to clean her room up completely to get to go to lessons (this was a feat in itself!), which she did with flying colors.

During the first lesson, my heart swelled with "I love this silly kid". It was basics, how to hold your hands - two notes and counting the notes in a measure.

I'm not a musical person - I don't have great rhythm. I had a tough time being a band geek in school, I was always tapping my foot to try to stay in time. BUT, the part I did enjoy was reading the music - so, I've been perusing keyboards and decided that I might want to learn how to play too! I think it would be fun, and I remembered how as a little girl I was totally enthralled with an organ that a friend of my parents had in their house.

Stay tuned (hahahahahah I crack myself up!) and see if it is a cool as I think!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

There are Just Random Times

.... that I miss my mom. Most days, after 5 years of being without her - I've learned to cope. "They" (ya know, the infamous they) told me that the sadness, missing, and hurt would get better with time. And it has. (Don't ya just hate it when "they" are right?!?!!?).

But on occasion, there are times I would like her to pat my hand and say "Sweetie, whoever told you life is fair was lying to you". Tonight I wish she was here with me to offer her love, support, and unusual little phrases of wisdom. That was my mom's job in my life. To be the person who loved me no matter what - I could be fat, skinny, smart, a dork, a little girl, a woman, a mom myself........ she loved all those parts of me.

It's just a little pity party, I promise to get on the lighter side again soon. (Maybe when it isn't dark at 4:15!).

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Friday, November 14, 2008

A Day In May

Last May, before I started working at the school, I was sitting at my little computer desk in the living room and something caught my eye out the window.

Imagine my shock when I saw THESE guys. Those are bulls, people. Not just plain ol' cows, but bulls.





They were walking and munching and looking at me.


Immediately I called the people I was sure they belonged to and then grabbed up the camera, because I am pretty sure not many people I know can fathom the thought of bulls on your front lawn!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanksgiving Food Thoughts

The past couple of years, we have spent Turkey Day at The Smith's. It is always a day full of yummy food, kids, and making me glad (yet again) that Mrs. S. is my friend. Besides, she has to worry about the main things: turkey & stuffing and then I get to show up with a few dishes that fulfill my need to be culinary. It is a winning situation for me!

This year I want to take an appetizer, 2 side dishes (well, okay maybe 3! LOL) and a dessert that the pie-hating SS will eat. (Seriously, no pie, no cobbler, no crisp: no fruit fillings, no cream fillings, not even pumpkin, nada - I'm even afraid to make a chicken pot pie these days because she would starting crying "but I don't like pie!"). So, I'm considering going with some kinda spice or carrot cake or something of that nature. I'm still pondering.

So far, I've decided on a few things: I'm definitely going with my Cooking Friend Breeze's version of Green Bean Casserole, it is very good. Last year I made a Cranberry Orange Sauce from Tyler Florence that I even liked, and I'm not a big fan of cranberry sauces - so it will probably make another appearance. Mrs. S. has requested the periannal Thanksgiving side of..... coleslaw???? LOL I do believe she wants it more for leftovers with her turkey sandwich, but I'm happy to obilige with my other Cooking Friend Kathye's recipe for "Everlasting Coleslaw". This stuff rocks the world!!!!

Everlasting Coleslaw

Heat 1 c white vinegar and 1 1/2 c sugar until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Dissolve one envelope of Knox unflavored gelatin in 1/4 c cold water and add to the vinegar and sugar mixture. Let cool, and then beat in 1 c of vegetable oil. Add 1 t celery seed, 1 t salt and 1/4 t (+/-) black pepper and pour over the following cut up vegetables:

6 - 8 c shredded cabbage
2 c grated carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
1 c chopped green pepper
2 c chopped celery

Toss and refrigerate at least 24 hours before serving. Stir a couple of times to keep all the veggies in the dressing.


As soon as a decide on my appetizer and dessert, rest assured all be talking about that too!

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Homecoming Week plus Halloween

Since KK is now a 6th grader and in middle school, we had our first taste of the dress-up days and this year, Halloween was thrown in for good measure!

KK had a handle on the "Crazy Hair Day". She wanted her very own 'fro and I did my best to oblige!

My favorite day was "Super Hero or Teacher Day". KK didn't want to be Supergirl or Wonder Woman, instead she said "I want to be Mrs. C." How cool is that???



Not to be outdone by KK getting all the fun all week long, SS and I dressed up for Halloween.


SS was a terrific "Japanese Girl" and I was really impressed at how well she turned out!


I was a "little girl" - what could be better than wearing your jammies to work??

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I Miss Summer

So, to relive those wonderful days when it wasn't almost dark by 4:15 and it wasn't raining for days on end, let's look at our trip to Ocean Shores last August.




Here are my chickies & I all dressed and ready for dinner out. We went to a seafood restaurant and SS scarfed down a whole bucket of clams and KK & I had our first oyster shots. YUM!




Here is the surf the next morning and the chickies after a quick romp. I didn't think they would want to go in since it was so cold, but they were hearty and rolled up the pants and went for it! I guess I'd forgotten that when you are a kid, it really doesn't matter - its the ocean!


We were kinda freaked out this first time we saw these signs!





Let's not forget Daisy! She wore her booties so that she wouldn't get sand on her feet. She was so tired after our weekend away!



One afternoon outside of Westport we ended up at a beach that had the most sand dollars I'd ever seen. They were all whole, and some were even still alive! We gathered them up for this picture. There were also awesome agates and other assorted pretties all over. We had great time hunting for them all.

It was much cooler on the coast then we are use to over here in the desert, but we had a great time. Since I'm such a horrible driver, it did seem like a long drive (5 + hours) but it was definitely worth it! Hopefully, we can do it again!

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Summer 2008 - The Recap

Summer seemed to fly by at a break-neck speed this year. Here's a quick recap of some of the highlights.

June was full of many activities - Hot Shots basketball camp, Vacation Bible School, Mrs. S's 40th birthday bash and my adjusting to working full-time again after having so many months of a much slower (if somewhat poorer - LOL) life.

Once July hit, it seemed to have whizzed by much too quickly. The highlight was the girls week long trip to Camp Zanika Leche. They were so excited and so grown-up. I did expect SS to have a little bit of trouble (i.e. tears) but she started saying "Bye Mom" the minute we arrived!

I had BIG plans of what I would accomplish and get to do with a whole week without my "mom duties", but it turned out much differently than I was thinking. The Monday I had a wisdom tooth removed and by the time I felt better on Wednesday and I missing them so terribly I couldn't even gather up enough gumption to do anything fun. We have been apart before, but never have we had a "no contact" order. Although, in an emergency I could have gotten a hold of the girls (and vice versa) the camp thinks contact is best kept to letters. I understand the reason, but boy did it make my week long!

But, soon enough I did get my little munchkins back and I was so happy to see them I decided to make a day of of touristy activities closer to home that we never take the time to go to.

We started with a stop at Smallwoods Harvest. Be sure and check out the "cow train" in the farm fun section! I even rode it - it is basically grampa pulling everybody all over the farm with the John Deere Gator. At $2 a head, I think they are making a killing! I even rode and I must say it was fun - especially when he drove through the sprinklers! This is also where I we went on a tasting frenzy - they little tastings set up of lots of things in the mercantile.... pickled things, butters, jams, hot sauces. KK even suckered me into buying her a jar of pumpkin butter even though I was sure I could make me own!

Next we stopped at the The Cashmere Pioneer Village and Museum. It was pretty cool, we all enjoyed it quite a lot. They had extensive collections of both kinds of artifacts. They gave the girls little papers with a list of things they could see if they could find. It made it fun - and they were really looking at all the things.

Next stop was the Aplets and Cotlets Factory Tour. That was mostly the gift shop since the factory was closed since it is Saturday, but we did see the equipment and enjoy the free samples. We couldn't resist buying some too.

Next it was lunch/early dinner at a cool 50's dinner called Studebakers. It was next to the biggest antique stores I've ever been into. KK exclaimed "it is as big as a Wal-mart!".

Finally we rounded out our day with a stop at a fruit stand that makes the but handmade fresh-fruit milkshakes. It was the only place we went I couldn't find online! LOL It was still a terrific raspberry milkshake!

Summer went to fast this year. Here's to next year!!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Two Words for You!

September payroll! See you in October!

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Friday, August 22, 2008

What a Week!

What a week it has been in my world! I have a whole camera full of wonderful pics I want to share and tell stories about, but those will have to wait a few more days and I'll just tell you about this week.

It all started with a trip to Moses Lake on Monday to get KK the spinal x-rays being requested because of some pain she is having in her lower back. She has been complaining for a few weeks (like 6-8-) that her "butt" hurt when she stood up after sitting. So I mentioned it when we were in the doctor's office for something else and he ordered this x-rays just to make sure it wasn't more than growing pains.

Apparently the first set of x-rays only revealed the need for further x-rays. We went and had those done on Thursday evening. I stopped at our clinic this evening to see if they had the results.... they did. She has some big word congential abnormality in her vertabrae. The only thing I really know at this point is that there will be a pediatric othropedic specialist in our future. I don't really think it is seriously serious, or diabiltating or anything like that. I'm just sad for my baby there doesn't seem to be a clear easy answer for her pain. She is just afraid they are going to give her a shot. For such a tough little thing, she is a big ol' bag of whimpy when she has to get a shot!

In addition, to that stress, we lost a pet. For the past 5 1/2 years, we have had 3 Grow-a-Frogs co-habitating with the girls and I. I have always thought these were the hardiest pets ever - and such a conversation piece! People were always like "Are those FROGS?". Tuesday KK called work almost hysterical, "I think Lily is dead." You must understand, that I have had this conversation before, and it always ends with me saying "Are you sure, or is it sleeping?" Which they did quite often, laying perfectly still on the bottom of the tank. But something in KK's "Yes, I'm sure." told me that she WAS really sure. I almost started crying and was very sad, that a fixture in our lives for such a long time had left us. According to the website, the frogs have an average life-span of 5 years, so I can only assume she left us because of old age. We had a lovely little frog funeral that evening and buried Lily the frog along the fence line by our shop. I'm a little alarmed that the other twos' days could be coming to end fairly soon. :(

On another side note - I have discovered another very weird idosyncrancy about myself. I have to have things symmeterical. Especially things printed. I had to print up little cards at work to keep track of people's leave on - I think in the past they were just copied onto card stock and then cut. It made me insane that some where different sizes, that the boxes were extremely small to write in and the whole thing is was just slightly askew. I was trying to figure out how to print two out on a page, and have the same margins for each when cut in half. Anyway, I mentioned my dilemma to Shermie, my new co-worker, his comment was "uh, that is so OCD." Which kinds cracked me up at first, ME - OCD???? I only wish, but the more I thought about it I decided it was probably true - I can handle dirty dishes, dust bunnies, but I get nuts when I seeing printing this is not aligned - pretty much OCD, huh? I really wish I could trade my need for lined up pages, for a need for clean dishes!!!! BWAHAHAAHAH!

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Salads

I have been on the salad making roll lately! I have to preface this whole post by saying that I wish I could take mouth-watering photos of my food like all my Cooking Friends, but alas... I haven't graduated to that step.... yet! BWAHAHAHAH

The salads all started per Tina's request for her birthday lunch at the bank. So.... I wenta searchin':

Our first stop was Rice A Roni Salad on Allrecipes highly recommended by my Cooking Friend, Cookin' Mama - that is her mouthwatering photo with the recipe. This is very yummy stuff, I highly recommend using real full-fat mayo (sooo, sooo bad but sooooooooo good! LOL). Besides Tina's birthday lunch it has also made appearances at the potluck at church, the potluck for the drama club cast party, and Mrs. Smith's big birthday party. Everybody loves it! I don't change a thing, just use a good quality chicken (I usually poach it in a bit of chicken broth).

Next it was Greek Orzo Salad also from Allrecipes. This is so simple and it so good with the artichoke hearts and feta cheese. John from the bank almost ate the whole bowl! It too was a big hit at Mrs. Smith's birthday. All the girls wanted me to blog about it, so here ya are girls!

Also from Allrecipes for Tina's lunch I made a Chicken Pasta Salad two ways. I started with this recipe but didn't have enough feta for the full recipe, so I took half of the pasta/chicken/tomatoes/seasonings and served it the feta/italian dressing. I took the other half and mixed it up with cubed swiss cheese and extra thick ranch dressing. Everybody really like the ranch version. Also, I did not broil the chicken I just poached it again with the seasonings in chicken broth.

By this point, I was on a salad binge! So also for the drama cast party I was obsessed with the "white" no mustard potato salad I'd had at a previous birthday party (see the pic below where I'm annoyed to be caught stuffing myself with the wonderful potato-y goodness!) so I gave Martha Stewart's recipe a try. I kept my add-ins just to hard-boiled eggs. I like it a lot, but it still didn't match the other (I don't know who made it, so I can't even ask for the recipe - so if you happen to have made it for that party and are reading this, please share!).

Then as the last new salad experience, I had to try my favorite non-personal friend blogger, PW's Asian Noodle Salad. It was totally awesome, but the recipe made a cubic-you-know-what-load and I got tired of it before it was gone. I'd make it again if it didn't make so dang much! The girls weren't fans, which I was actually surprised KK didn't like it. Oh well, her loss - but it was still too much just for me.

And finally I'm giving you two of my all-time favorite salad recipes. Both of these come from my RAK Pack Friends and our cookbook.

Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Salad - from Ms. Kelly Luna
1 1/2 c. cucumber, thinly sliced
1 1/2 c. tomato, sliced
1/2 c. onion, sliced (I like red onions for this!)
2 T. Splenda (or sugar if you like)
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. dried dill weed

Mix veggies in a glass bowl. Mix other ingredients together and pour over veggies. Refrigerate for at least an hour (longer is definitely better). Serve with a slotted spoon.

This is a summer treat! I have used dried cilantro in place of the dill for a different change of pace and love it like that as well.

Spinach Strawberry Salad - via Ms. Stephanie Hawkes

Dressing
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. red onion, chopped
3/4 tsp. poppy seeds
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. salt
Mix together and set aside.

Salad
6 c. spinach
2 c. strawberries
2 T. almonds, slivered

Mix salad and toss with dressing.

What a treat with good strawberries!!!!! I want some now.

Now run off and make yourself some salad!!!!

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

What a Spring It's Been

Whew! So much has happened in the past 6 weeks: the girls started Little League, had their year-end recital in clogging, had the grand performance of Alice of Wonderland, KK's 5-grade field trip, and many other year-end activities! In the midst of all that, I started my new job at our school district as the payroll officer, but more about that later - this post is all about pictures from the last 6 weeks!

Back in May we attended a party where The Smith Family were also in attendance.


Here we have KK & Mrs. Smith's 2nd daughter, Carley. Carley & KK are only 3 weeks apart in age and we also have pictures of them rolling on the floor as tiny-tiny babies!
Here is what I thought was a super nice pic of Mrs. S. I love it when she smiles like that!
Here I am - looking less than thrilled to get my picture taken while I was scarfing down the best potato salad! I've been on a quest ever since to duplicate this masterpiece of simplicity!
Here is SS at the party hamming it up. Notice she is wearing my dad's Timex. It was the one thing of his she wanted and she wears it all the time.

Next we are off to KK's 5th grade field trip to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma. It was sorta of a long bus ride, but at least I had Mrs. S. to entertain me!

Here is KK with the jelly fish. I was under strict instructions all the time "take a picture"!
Those were hungry little goats! I think he would have jumped out of the pen if she hadn't given him the pellet the minute I snapped this picture!You are never too old or too cool to ride the carousel and wave at your Mom!

Now we will begin the series of events that was the whirlwind from Memorial Day to the last day of school!SS dressed for the Clogging recital. I love it when she let's me "poof" her hair. She always says "Mom, are you going to make me look like poodle?" LOL
KK dressed for her "Fabulous" routine to High School Musical. I am sad I didn't get a pic of the Kung Fu Fighting outfit - she looked awesome!
Here they are making funny faces for me. Such little hams!
Here is SS during her performance. I know it isn't a great photo - but she put her little all into that dance. She did that arm roll, shook those maracas, and sung the song the whole time - I was so proud!
Here is KK watching her feet during rehearsal. Watching them makes them do the moves correctly, didn't you know that?

Before we leaving the clogging performance, I've just have to say how proud I was of both this year. They both have been in clogging since they were 4 and I have to say for both of them this was the year where I could see so much improvement in their skill levels. It makes it worth the money I've paid out all these years! LOL

Next was the drama club performance of "Alice in Wonderland" after months of practice the big day finally arrived. They had two shows - one for the whole school and another for the parents/friends.

SS aka The Catepillar was less then thrilled to have had her face painted green for the better part of a whole day. KK aka The Mad Hatter was a little happier. I don't have any other good pics from the performance - I was having trouble with my new camera in the dimly light gym. I'll figure it out soon!

Lastly, but certainly not least we got all gussied up for the Spring Music Concert. As a 5th grader KK played the recorder and SS, as usual, sung her little heart out.

Aren't they just so pretty???? I love it when they turn out so cute!
KK looking at me like "Mom, I'm smiling because you are making me for this stupid picture you are making me stand here for. Don't you have a million pictures of me standing like this for every concert I've ever been in??" Or something like that. She is about to be 11 - who knows what she really thinks in the devious/genius little mind of hers.

SS looking just slightly less devious than her sister. And yes, she said "Why do you make me look like a poodle??!!?"

So, their you have it - what we've been doing in the Spring '08. Stay tuned for Summer '08!

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Idiosyncrasies, phobias, and just plain weirdness

It has come to my attention that I might have a few of these lurking in my psyche. I’ve already told ya’ll about the whole snake problem. It is pretty bad, my loathing of snakes. I’m not sure having actually overcome my fears enough to whack one has alleviated my fear and loathing of them – I’m considering something drastic to get over this. Like, um.. not leaving my house until Halloween when they go back to hibernate? No..no… I just planted all this wonderful lawn, I’ve gotta enjoy that, right? How about hypnotherapy? Hmmmmmmm… I’ll have to give that some thought.

But, in addition to snakes – I apparently have a whole menagerie of weird issues. Working at the bank has brought out more than a few of these issues.

Like my fear of crossing the street. I live in the country and our small town doesn’t have cross-walks or even stop lights for that matter. I am usually okay crossing streets in a town with stop lights and little blinking WALK – DON’T WALK signs. It is crossing in unmarked, unmanned areas that seem to cause me the most grief. The post office is directly across the street from the bank. Most days somebody usually walks to get the mail for the bank and if asked nicely enough, the mail for the others of us who also have PO Boxes. I tend to get a lot of mail and one day they wanted to send me, because they were all tired of toting all my junk. I was game, until I realized what a scary proposition that was….. crossing that crazy street with no cross-walk and people zooming by willy-nilly. I did it – but not without realizing why the previous 20 years I had always done my banking and then driven across the street to the post office! All the others decided I was just plain whacko, but hey, do you know what happened about a month ago? A car rolled across the street (from the other direction) and hit a parked car at the post office. If that wasn’t enough to prove my point about it not being safe, just this week a large truck was parked and rolled across the parking lot (from yet another direction) and this time took out the flag pole and a railing! I think I can safely say I am finally justified in this particular phobia, don’t you?

I have to admit another fear. This one is just plain weird. I don’t like the back supply room of the bank. It isn’t that it has creepy crawlies, or that I’m afraid it has snakes in it. It is just a large room, with tons of different things and I don’t know where a single thing I’m looking for is in its chaotic organization. Not that it is that messy, it isn’t. I just plain hate going in there and trying to figure out if that is really the roll of printer tape I need for my teller machine, or is it just adding machine tape, or is it the tape for the credit card printing machine? I just hate that feeling. Where are the $1000 straps, why aren’t they here with the $100, $500, & $2000 straps? Nope, they aren’t – because so many things are strapped in $1000’s they have their very own place on a different shelf from every other strap. Hey, Susie – can you get some rubber bands? After 5 minutes I had to admit defeat that I couldn’t find the rubber bands. I just hate that feeling. Hey, but wait it does make me feel marginally better that nobody could find the rubber bands since we were out. It basically is a room that I avoid at all costs. That’s just weird.

I have never considered myself a picky eater (ya only have to take a view of my behind to get that one!), but I have decided I AM getting pickier as I get older. First there is the Diet Pepsi thing. I love Diet Pepsi the best – in the plastic 20 oz. bottle or the can, no fountain junk for me – ick! On please, oh please do not put vanilla, cherry, lime or any other weird concoctions into my Diet Pepsi. I don’t want it maxed, I just want it plain. I will drink Diet Coke if it is the only other choice, but I like orange (but only Sunkist), root beer (but only A&W), or Squirt better. Absolutely no Mountain Dew or Dr. Pepper or something else weird they try to make. I love corn, but I do not want it mixed into anything. I love to cook, but avoid most “Southwestern” recipes – because they all add corn. I like just corn, plain. I don’t like Cesar dressing. I like those little 180 energy drinks, but only the orange –not the blue. See – picky, picky. On the other end of the food spectrum there is my absolute addiction to canned peas. Yep, mushy canned peas. We probably eat peas 2-3 nights a week. Weird.

It’s okay – I’m good with you thinking I’m weird.

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Sigh... It's that time of year again.

Yep, it's true. It is snake season again. In case you don't know this about me, I LOATHE, DETEST, HATE, and any other description you can think of to say about how much I don't like snakes.

I have lots of snake stories, more than any normal person should have. I'll just hit the highlights for you: senior year of high school and the snake guy assembly. He decides the chick who looks like she is about to puck and pass out should HOLD THE HEAD of a 20-foot python. Luckily, some girl I didn't even know spoke up and said "I think she has a really weak stomach". Bless her heart, I ended up holding it somewhere in the middle, thank goodness!

Fast forward to 2004, one early May morning I was meandering down the hallway of the house I lived in at the time, and see a snake slithering the other way! I shrieked and went running the other direction. (KK loves to do an imitation of this to this day!) After much hysterics, crying, calling, and more crying - the snake was found about 5 hours later and removed. I went straight to the Humane Society that day and adopted Sunshine. I figured at least if I had a kitty it would alert me to anything amiss! My handiest friend from the orchard where I worked at the time came with a big ol' can of spray foam insulation and did the place up right! We figured it must have come up by the furnace since there was a hole in the floor there.

Then we have this past January, and let me say just for the record - snakes usually aren't out here around in January, I was minding my own business working away at my little teller window at the bank. I notice the two other tellers standing behind me and one of them says "Hey Susie, what's this?" I turn around and she is pointing down - so I look. Welllllllll... I then screamed, jumped up on my stool, which broke and continued to scramble up onto the counter all the time banging up my legs something good! They thought it would be funny to see how I'd react to a STICK, that looked like a snake. hhhhrrrmmmmppphhhhh Not so funny. (Okay, maybe a little funny, but more for them and not me!)

And then we arrive at today - yep... it happened today. My first snake of the season, well if you don't count this one of from the Smith's Adventures (which I didn't actually see in person, just got a view from Mrs. Smith's cell phone). So, I came home around 3 pm today to bring poor Mimzy home from his big boy trip to the vet - if you get my drift, and what do I find next to my steps. Yep, a snake. I have never actually whacked a snake myself - although I have memories of my mom doing it on this very property I live on. My mother, was quite a woman and I sometimes wonder how she was so strong and did things I can only imagine to be strong enough to endure. But, I digress - so after some hysterics (no crying!) and a couple of phone calls - I decided, hey - I'm a grown up woman. A mother - I've endured childbirth of two 9 lb. babies, I can deal with a snake, right? So - the only weapon I have readily available - my snow shovel. Now I realize, probably not the best option because the blade isn't very sharp (not like a regular shovel or a hoe) so I start a whackin' it with the snow shovel. Guess what it does - it tries to BITE the snow shovel. I kid you not. So, I keepa whackin' until it quits a movin', shakin' in my high heel sandals the whole time.

I love where I live. I love being a part of a small community - I love having my girls grow up here, where I did. I love having my past, present, and future all right here.

I DO NOT LIKE SNAKES.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Self-Promotion

Since this my blog and I get to talk about whatever floats my boat, I've gotta talk about the jewelry! I have been selling jewelry since February 2005 and I really, really love it! I recently changed direct sales company because I thought Jewels by Park Lane had a lot to offer, both to me and my customers.

Here is my company website: http://www.myparklane.com/mlittlewood

The customer program is insane - for everything $30 you spend you get something for equal value for only $12 more. That's $60 of jewelry for $42! At $60 you get 2 at a $60 for $12 each (that is $180 for $84). At $90 you get 3 (yes, three!) at a $90 value for $12 each ($360 for $126). In addition, they run the specials all the time to get an extra item absolutely FREE!!! I tell people all the time that I find this company INSANE! I recently had a customer purchase $825 retail for just $225 including tax/shipping! Is that just not crazy?

Hostesses are an entirely different thing - they offer well over 25 items all at least $50 retail for only $8 for just having a show! Then, for every person who places an order you get a $20 credit - and things only get better from there! Special credits for hostesses, hostess only jewelry items and the list just goes on!

And listen to the JBPL warranty: if any items has any problems in the first 120 days (including tarnishing and including the baby grabbing it off your neck!) they will replace it for you FREE! After the first 4 months, they will still replace it for for just $5 FOREVER! Yes, forever. If they don't make that particular item in 2028 and you lost a stone, they will give you something from their current inventory of comparable price/style (i.e., earrings for earrings, bracelets for bracelets) for just $5. INSANE, I TELL YOU!

And guess what?!!?!? It is so exciting - they have changed our shopping carts and the website and you can now shop with me directly from the website and still get your $12 bonus items and have things shipped directly to you! Of course, if you'd rather order with me directly or better yet, let me come to your house and eat your snacks and talk to all your friends, I'd be more than happy to do that to!

Jewelry makes my heart happy. Truly it does.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pet Pictures

KK has been on a pet picture taking adventure today (along with the mold growing on her science project - ewww!). Here is a sampling of the pets, I'll spare you the mold. LOL
This is Daisy, the Shi Tzu - we just thought it looked particularly cute in BW, with the soft edges. Her life around here is just so rough she is too exhausted to hold open her big blue eyes!
Here she is wearing her "Love at First Bark" dress. She wears clothes most of the winter. She is very tolerant of playing dress-up!

This is Mimzy - he is the "baby" kitty. He came to us last October at less than 12 oz. I'm not sure what he weighs now, but his very lion-like, in my opinion! He is also a huge klutz. I'm actually surprised he is balancing on the back of that chair, as it moves. He is always, always knocking over things!
This is Sunshine - AKA "Fat Cat". She has been here longer than both the dog and other cat. She will have been here 4 years on May 05 - she was already grown up when we got her from the animal shelter. I picked her because she struck her paw out of the cage she was in and touched my arm. I knew she was suppose to be mine right then. She is quite the huntress and unlike her fellow feline, is quite a delicate little jumper. She goes pretty much any where she wants and rarely knocks stuff over. I have a big ol' soft spot in my heart for this kitty-cat.

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Story in Pics

DOND - April 01, 2008

The is before I left the house in the morning. My KK did a great job of taking the pic, but couldn't somebody have told me the jewelry was whacky!?!?!?Here we are! We made the drive (with the help of Jill, my GPS!) - I looked thrilled, Mrs. S. looks like "What the heck am I doing out here in the cold with this crazy chick?"
Okay - So maybe it is a tad bit cold!
Those are all the people in front of us! We need to make it over by the doorway. We should be there in no time at all (yeah, right!).
Can you see those? This girl had a $$ headband. Just wait, she'll seem normal in just a minute!
The is Afro Dude. That was one scary scary afro. I swear there were birds living in there! Mrs. S. had to be very covert to get a pic of him. He was definitely on to us. He, also was standing in the second round line at the end of the day!

Yep, you are seeing correctly - he has braids in his beard!

Awwwww... it's a Red Hat Lady. She looks cold.
Those were some pants. What else can I say?
I call this lady "Mean Mom" - because if I did that to my kids they would disown me. Seriously. And really, that girl looks less than thrilled, and I think the mom is shooting daggers at Mrs. S. for taking her picture!
Do you think they are the Double Mint Twins? BWAHAHAH!
Hey, guess what!!?!?!?!?! We are about to get to go inside! Look at all those poor cold souls still in line out there! Heeeheee, they know they all wanna be us - just about to go into the building!
Inside is AWESOME! I now have sparkely shoes on and think they made my smile bigger!
Inside the sights continue on! Can you see it? That dude has antlers on his head!
mmm.hhhmm.. You are correct, that is a real live bunny rabbit in a Victoria Secret's shopping bag. Mrs. S. kept losing this treat in the crowd, he was sorta a short little guy. And - yes, it's an eyeball.
There I AM! Getting my 30 seconds of fame. See.see.. behind that really boring lady in the Betty Boop shirt. Look down, those are my silver sparkle shoes!
Whew! It's over! Even Mrs. S. looks happy now. She is probably relieved her toes aren't frozen anymore. Maybe she is just happy that she finally is going to get some food! Or maybe, just maybe she is happy she helped her best friend realize a dream! : ) And hey, couldn't SOMEBODY have told me the necklace was whacky?!?!?

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