Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Bambi!!!

Today is Bambi's birthday!  Go on over and wish her a happy one!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Hour Friday and Happy Christmas to All!

Today is Friday, so for Bambi and Otin, that means Happy Hour Friday.  Go check them out.  They've always got something to be happy about.

Today I'm happy it's Christmas.  A few of Mom's neighbors came over for a Christmas morning feast.  I'm happy that after breakfast we loaded up the gang and went over to a park near the Truckee River to walk around.
I'm happy we've been having some nice quality family time.  Here Aunt Bambi and her nephew are checking out the dart guns Santa left under the tree.
There's lots more to be happy about.  Check out Bambi's post for the happy tale of our walk to Emerald City and the happy story of the turkey.
Have a happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

George has Found A Forever Home

Last night I got some wonderful news from Jackie at Hope Rescues .  Our latest foster dog, George, has found his forever home.  George wasn't up for adoption when we took him in shortly after Thanksgiving.  The rescue was worried about placing him in a home because of his medical issues.  George had distemper as a puppy.  It is a horrible disease and it left George with lasting neurological damage.  He has some obvious defects; his facial muscles don't work and his eyelids don't close.  He walks a little funny too.  But he is the sweetest dog.

When he first came to us, Jackie said she wasn't sure if he could bark because they never heard him.  For the first few days, he was very quiet.  Then one day, as Ginger and Sassy barked at the door, he joined in.  He also would not go up or down the stairs.  We weren't sure if he was unable to climb them due to his neurological issues, but it seems he just didn't know how.  Once he got the hang of it, he was running up and down like a regular dog.

I'm so happy for George.  What a wonderful Christmas for him.  I don't know the family he went to.  But I'm sure they are going to love him like we did.  Merry Christmas, George.  We'll miss you!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

He's Touching Me!

Today I've had the 3 boys home by myself.  I know, I'm their mom.  It's my job.  But it was a somewhat difficult day.  Hubby wasn't here, it's cold outside, and everyone was in a grumpy mood.  At one point I yelled at them to just not touch each other.  Next thing I knew, one of them was saying "He's touching me because he's touching the couch, that is touching the floor, that is touching my chair, that is touching me!"  There are days that I think I can't win.
Will I ever get caught up on the laundry?
Will I ever get caught up on the dishes?
The dining room table has needed to be cleared off since before Thanksgiving.  What am I going to do with all that crap?
What the hell am I going to make for dinner?
Will I be able to teach these kids to love and respect others?  I've obviously failed at teaching them to love each other.
How are they ever going to be able to navigate this big scary world?  I want to be a good example for them, but I'm not perfect.  I get frustrated and lose my temper.  I yell more often than I wish I did.  But I don't pick up the nearest toy and throw it when I'm frustrated.  I don't hit back, or kick back, or pinch back.  How do I get them to understand that they can't do that?  Why would a kid think it's OK to be mean to his own brother?  Especially when that brother is younger and smaller?
How do any of us grow into responsible adults?
It's really a big responsibility - to raise kids.  And sometimes I wish I was doing a better job.
But I'm trying my best every day.  Hopefully, something is getting through.  My youngest got a "gold slip" every day last week for being generous at school.  My oldest has been volunteering his time helping  at the adoption days for a local dog rescue.  The middle kid is my most empathetic, and is the kindest to his brothers when he's not being mean.

You may be wondering why I'm thinking about this at 10:25 on a Saturday night.  Well, I was just over visiting The Mother Load  and found her description of life as a mom so true.  At least my hair was clean today.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Hour Friday

Hey Everyone.  Thanks to the Wizard of Otin and Rxbambi we have something to be happy about on Fridays.  So go check them out, link up, and tell everyone why you're happy today.

Today I'm happy it's Friday.  I'm going out to dinner with my hubby, then we're going to the St. Louis Blues hockey game.  Lately, since we only have two seats, we've been taking turns taking one of the kids to the games.  But tonight we are going together!

I'm happy that there are lots of presents under the tree.  Only a few are for me, but that's ok.  I hope the kids aren't too disappointed.  Their lists were long and they are not getting everything they asked for.  But it should be good Christmas for them.  And Santa will be bringing a few other things too.

I'm happy I got to go to the skating rink with my 3rd grader's class yesterday.  It was fun to see all the kids (well, all the ones that got to go.  if they hadn't behaved during the semester they had to stay at school) skating around with their teacher.  My son's teacher is a really funny guy.  He was wearing an old blazer complete with a couple of rips and a buffalo hat complete with horns.  It was cute to see him out there helping the kids that couldn't skate well on their own.

I'm happy I remembered to take my camera yesterday but I couldn't get many good pictures.

I'm happy I'll be attending my 1st grader's Christmas holiday party today.  Just think.  An hour with 21 first graders, excited that today is the last day of school until next year and pumped up on sugar plumbs.  If this is my last post ever, you'll know why.

I'm happy I have dogs. It makes me happy to see Sassy sitting up in her chair.  And I like how Ginger follows me around the house.  If I'm home, she's usually in the same room with me.

I'm happy we're going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house for Christmas.

So.  What are you happy about?  If you want to play along, go see Otin and link up.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Baby!

Today I've been married to my wonderful hubby for 21 years.  (21 long years, he'd say!)

This is us on our trip to Scotland.  We went to celebrate 20 years together.  We are on the shores of Loch Ness.

I just wanted to say "Happy Anniversary, Hubby!" and let everyone know how lucky I am.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Thanks to Little Ms Blogger, we can rant and rave on Wednesdays!  Go check her out.  She's always funny.   And Rxbambi has some good ones too.  

Santa said last week that I couldn't have any more rants until after Christmas.  So I guess I'll just rave.

* Rave: hmmm.
ok, ok,
* Rave: I'm just about done buying Christmas presents.  We are not really going overboard this year, so it wasn't too hard.

* Rave: I still have one kid that believes in Santa!

* Rave: I was totally glad to see that Mean Owen did another post!  Check him out. :)

* Rave: I stopped by Hope Rescues yesterday and got the scoop on Tommy's new home.  It's on several acres, with a family of totally devoted "dog people".   He's got 2 doggie siblings, both girls, who have already put him in his place.  (he needs that, according to Jackie).  And he's as happy as can be.  A true rags-to-riches story if I ever heard one.  Go to the website and read his story on "Tommy's page"  if you don't know it.  But be prepared to cry, tears both of heartbreak and of joy.

I may add some more raves as the day goes on.  Thanks to Santa I won't be giving any bad thoughts long enough to rant!
Happy Wednesday!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Clifford and the artist

Clifford, as he has been named by Hope Rescues, was hit by a car and left on the side of the road.  When Hope learned about him, they called Animal Control.  Animal Control already had him in their truck, and were on there way back to their facility to euthanize him since he was so badly hurt and had no identification.  Well, of course Kim and Jackie would not hear of that, so they convinced the Animal Control officer to take the dog to the hospital for treatment.  What they didn't expect was that after two very involved surgeries to repair his injuries, including a shoulder broken in three places, they would have spent their whole December budget on this wonderful dog.  I don't know the exact numbers, but the first surgery cost over $1600.  They put a donate button up on their website but have had few donations for his vet bills so far.

Enter the talented artist Charlie.  Charlie is the mascot at one of the Hope Rescue foster facilities.  He has contributed paintings before for the purpose of raising money for the homeless dogs and cats at Hope Rescues.  For Clifford, he has painted some beautiful Christmas wreaths.  These will be auctioned off in a silent auction to be conducted by email.  If you'd like to bid on one of these beautiful paintings, or would just like to learn more about Clifford, please visit their website here.
And thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Friday!  Thanks to Otin and Rxbambi, we can be happy on Friday :)!  Go see them.

I'm happy today because:
* Even though I have a kid home today, his fever is now gone so I can send him to the Parents' Night Out at the University tonight.  He will go with little brother, then Hubby and Big Brother will go out for a nice dinner with me.
* I'm happy to be going out to dinner with my Hubby even though 13-yr-old is coming along.  He likes going to "grown-up" places for dinner so it will be fun.
* I laughed when my kid said that I should play a game with him so he didn't become a "potato couch".
* George is a great little dog and I'm enjoying being his foster mom.  I hope he doesn't get too depressed when we drop him off at the shelter before our trip for Christmas.

That's why I'm happy.  How about you?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Update on Tommy

Some of you may remember that I posted the story of Tommy, the dog thrown away like trash back in October.  (see the post here)

Well, I just wanted to give you the good news.  Tommy now weighs over 50 lbs and has been given a clean bill of heath.  His neck is healing beautifully and he was released for adoption.  On top of that, he has a new home!
The first picture was taken on October 29, 2009.  The second one, Tommy running in the yard with his ball, was taken on December 3, 2009.  What a huge difference!

If you are looking for a great animal rescue to support or to adopt from, please go visit Hope Animal Rescues at

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Thanks to Little Ms Blogger, we can all rant and rave about stuff on Wednesdays.  What a great way to get it all out there!  Thanks LMB!

Rant: Sassy doesn't seem to like our foster dog George all that much.
Rave: Ginger is playing with George as I write and they are having a great time.  Maybe Ginger does like him, despite the growling when he tries to steal her toys.

Rant: George needs to be wormed again.  I didn't feel like making the 30 mile round trip to the shelter to get the med, so I asked my vet here for it.  He wouldn't give it to me without seeing George, then he charged me a $40 office visit on top of the charge for the drug.  I'm fine that he needed to see George.  It is a prescription and all.  But I didn't really think it was fair to charge me for the visit when George didn't need an exam.  He didn't even check for worms or eggs.  Just took my word for it.

Rave: I like that I don't have to kennel George when I go out.  He's (almost) completely housebroken and I haven't had a problem leaving him out.
Rant: I am tired of cleaning up puke, though.  Poor George.  Because of his neurological problems, he coughs and pukes alot.  I know he can't help it.
Rave:  At least he does try to clean it up whenever he pukes. :)

Rave: I'm glad my friends and I got our book club back together.  We met at a friend's house last night.  Talked about our kids.  Drank wine.  Ate snacks.  And chose 3 books to read during the next 3 months.  We are going to read The Girls From Ames this month.  Looks like it will be a good one.  I'll let you know.
Rant: Bambi was busy being a bingo rockstar last night so she didn't come to book club.

Rave: I have Bunko tonight, which is just a hoax.  It's basically just girls night out.  Tonight we are exchanging gifts.  It's supposed to be a funny gift.  I'm bringing a Snuggie.  (oops, hope none of the bunko girls read my blog!)

Rave: My 13 year old kid went to the bingo thing with Bambi last night and was actually helpful.

Rant: I need to catch up on laundry (as in clothes), but I have two sets of wet bedding to wash from last night and one set from the night before.  I need the pediatric urologist to come to my house and do my laundry!
Rave: Neither of the kids (7 and 8) woke up wet in the middle of the night to tell me about it.  We all found out together in the morning when I woke them up.
Rant: This bedwetting thing is really hard on their self-esteem.  It especially bothers the 8-yr-old, who is already a really sensitive kid.
Rave: I've been able to keep my exasperation about the excess laundry to myself (and you!) so that they don't know how much I hate this!!!!

Well, I guess that's it for this week.  I'm off to strip beds and get that washer a-goin!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monoword Manic Monday

Stop by and see Ace at Dancing with a Full Deck to see her MMM.

Ginger and Sassy contributed today's word:


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Green Giveaway!

Hey, there's a new green giveaway from The MotherLoad.  I thought I'd play along!  Go check out her site.  It's great.
OK, so the question is, what are we doing to be more green.  Well, actually, I've been trying to be green for quite a while.  Here's what I/we do:
  • I bring my own bags to the grocery store (most of the time).  I think they are better anyway.  They are easier to carry and hold more than bags the stores offer.
  • I try to buy locally produced products.  This is both in the grocery store and at the local farmer's market.  Next year we may even be part of a garden co-op.  I've got to send in my application.
  • We have a compost bin in the back yard.  We put vegetable and fruit scraps, used coffee grounds, egg shells, etc. into a cute little container on the counter.  When it's full, out to the compost bin it goes.
  • We have a vermicomposter as well.  Yup.  Worms.  We started it when we were at the botanical garden at the university.  We put veggies and fruit in there with the red wiggler worms.  They eat the scraps and produce worm castings (aka: worm poop) that are good for the house plants and garden.  We've only had it a few weeks, so I've yet to harvest the castings.  Should be fun.
  • I make my own card stock from the paper in the shredder, then make greeting cards from it.  It's a fun little hobby.
  • The kids bring home lots of papers with writing only on one side.  That paper goes into the printer, is saved for grocery lists, etc.  
  • We have 3 recycle bins we fill up every week.
  • I shop thrift stores.
  • I've gotten stuff from freecycle.
  • We turn our thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer.
  • We turn off lights and watch our water consumption.
I guess that's it for this list.  We may do something else, but I'm not thinking of it at the time being.
Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out the green giveaway at the Mother Load (above). 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy Hour Friday

Happy Friday Everyone!  I'm playing along with Otin and Rxbambi on their Happy Hour Friday fun.  Check them out!

  • I'm happy it's Friday.
  • I'm happy to be giving George a happy home experience.  He's really super sweet.
  • I'm happy I got up early to have some alone time before having to get kids up.
  • I'm happy I got to spend time with my sis yesterday and I'll see her today at the gym.
  • I'm happy I'll be dragging my ass to the gym!
  • I'm happy for my hubby that they will be building a new science building.  The governor and the president of the university were here this week to make the announcement.
  • I'm happy hubby will get paid this month.  We'll see about next month!  (Can't touch the new building money for payroll, BTW).
  • I'm happy to catch up on bloggy friends' lives.  
  • I'm happy Bambi reminded me that number of comments is not directly proportional to one's worth as a person!
I suppose there's more to be happy about.  But I've got to get those kids moving.  And I'll try to be happy about it, despite the impending whining, bitching, fighting, yelling, etc. :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Hi All,
Today is Wednesday so I've decided to play along with Little Ms Blogger and do a Rant and Rave Wednesday.  Check out her blog, I'm sure she's ranting and raving today!

Rant: I can't seem to keep up with everybody on the great little questions.  But Ali of Inner Ramblings of a Mid-Life Momma asked a great question the other day about favorite christmas decorations.  I'm late, but here're some of mine:  1. Santa made from seashells from our friends Uncle Charlie and Aunt Eleanor.  They brought it back from Grand Cayman.

2. Handmade ornament by my dear hubby when he was but a boy. 
 3. Hawaiian Santa (?!)
Rave: Great idea, Ali!  Sorry I'm late. :)
Rant: I can't figure out how to put my pictures where I want them in my post.  I must be doing something wrong!

Rant: I'm sick today.  I hate being sick.  Mom's are not allowed to be sick.  Does anyone do the laundry, or the dishes, or the whatever-needs-to-be-done when Mom is sick?  No.

Rave: My 7-year-old came down crying this morning.  When I asked him what was wrong he said he was frustrated because he was trying to put new sheets on his bed (we have bed-wetting issues) but couldn't get them on right.  I was so surprised and proud and happy that he'd even think of doing that himself!  (I went up to investigate and found that he was trying to put queen-sized sheets on his twin bed.  That was the problem, poor guy).

Rant: Laundry (including 2 sets of sheets and 2 blankets that were clean when I put them on the beds last night).

Rave: High capacity washer and dryer that will hold two sets of sheets and at least one of the blankets.

Rant: George is a pacer.  He seems to have a hard time just settling down.  He flops his big (adorable) feet.  Plop, plop, plop, around and around and around the room.  I have to put him in is kennel at night or he paces around all night!

Rave: George is the sweetest little thing.  It shouldn't matter that he has neurological issues.  He needs a home.  Is there anyone out there who wants a super sweet, totally house-broken (absolutely no accidents in the house yet!), completely quiet lover with a few neurological problems?  He'd give you more than enough love and joy to make up for them!

I guess I could come up with more, but the washer is done so I've got to tend to the laundry, and do a bazillion other things before I give out.  Have a great Wednesday!  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 30, 2009

This is George

This is George.  Yup, he's our newest foster dog.  But there something different about this foster experience.   You see, George is not available for adoption just now.  He's got some medical issues.  Most likely he had distemper as a puppy that caused permanent neurological damage.  Or maybe he was just born this way.  Anyway, he walks funny, his eyelids don't work so when he blinks a little membrane from the corner of his eye goes up in a reptilian  sort of way, his breathing isn't right, and I think he may have some digestive issues.  But, OMG, he is the sweetest thing ever.  And he doesn't bark.  Kim and Jackie said they have never heard him bark.  I don't know if he can't or just doesn't.  But it's really nice to have a quiet dog around for a change.  
George has actually had a pretty good life so far.  He was rescued as a little baby with his mom and litter mates.  He's now a year old and has spent that year in the care of the good people at Hope Rescues.  I don't think they expected him to live this long.  And something the vet said makes them think he won't have a normal life span.  Those are the main reasons why he has not been put up for adoption like his mom and siblings.  
We picked him up on Saturday.  And he is doing great.  We have not had a single accident in the house.  He loves Ginger and Sassy (Sassy's not that fond of him).  He's quiet.  He's friendly.  He's interested in his surroundings.  (The kids have been calling him Curious George.)  He's interested in the cat, but not to the point of trying to eat him.  The only thing is that he needs to learn what he's allowed to chew on and what he's not supposed to chew on.
Maybe this time in our house (I guessing at least 'til Christmas) will 1. give him the chance to see what it's like to live with a family and 2. prove to us and to Hope that he would make a good pet.  Maybe then he could be considered for adoption.  That would be great.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Head to Head with Tang

Ali edited my picture for me (got rid of the horse's ass for one thing!).  Thanks Ali!
Sometimes you are just in the right spot at the right time with the camera.  That's what happened yesterday.  We'd gone to our friends' house for Thanksgiving.  It's a 3 hour drive, so they invited us to spend the night. Laurie has two horses and boards two others at their farm.  My 8-year-old was feeling a bit left out inside because the other kids were playing the wii and there wasn't a space for him.  He asked if he could go out and see the horses.  I followed with the camera.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Random Thoughts Tuesday

Hey Y'all,
It's Random Thoughts Tuesday again.  Thanks to the Un-Mom!  So let's get a little random.

I'm stressed today because I let my checking account balance get below zero.  This never happens to me.  Of course, I suck at money.  I never balance my checkbook.  I just (usually) make sure there is plenty in there before I write a check. (yeah for the internet).  But this week my AmEx bill had plane tickets on it (5 of us flying to Reno, NV for Christmas) and I forgot it was scheduled to auto-pay from my checking account.  So I scrounged up as much cash as I could and made an emergency deposit.  But still have at least $60 in fees to pay now.  Sucks.  Let's just hope hubby actually gets paid this month!  Don't ask me for money til after Thanksgiving.

Only my 8th grader has school today.  The other two are out for Thanksgiving.  Sucks for him.  He asked if he could skip today but I said no.

Our latest foster dog, Shelby, did not get adopted this past weekend.  I took her to the shelter on Friday to meet her prospective family but they chose Gabby instead.  Good for Gabby.  But, as for Shelby, we did not take her back.  She's sweet as can be, but not a good fit for our family.  She needs a fenced yard to run in.  With us, she was always yanking her neck on the leash.  And she's afraid of my husband for some reason.  He tried talking sweetly to her, ignoring her, giving her treats, but nothing worked.  That made it difficult when he needed to take her out.  So we will get someone else after Thanksgiving.

I've got to get the house cleaned up today.  The dog sitter will be in my house Thursday and Friday and I don't want her to know I'm a total slob!

My youngest was home yesterday and wanted to decorate for Thanksgiving.  So we did.  

OK.  That's all for randomness right now.  I've got to get kid out the door!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Hour Friday

I'm playing Happy Hour Friday, thanks to the wonderful duo of Otin and Rxbambi.  Go check them out.  They are both really happy this week!

I'm happy that there is a family interested in meeting Shelby.  I took her to the rescue shelter today.  They are looking at several dogs, but hopefully they'll choose her!

I'm happy I got to meet Tommy today.  He's the dog that was horribly abused then thrown in the trash, left for dead.  If you don't know the story, look on Hope Animal Rescues website and go to Tommy's Page.  His wounds are healing wonderfully and he's the most loving little thing I've ever seen!

I'm happy I got to take Bambi a latte today.  It was actually a grande skinny carmel latte.  That's her favorite.  I'm glad I took it to her because she's been having a bad day.  Some mean woman even yelled at her and called her a bitch.  I know.  Crazy!  (I took her a cookie too).

I'm happy my friend at the expensive medi-spa was not able to talk me into Botox.  I'm too young!  I did buy a couple of facials, though, since they were on sale.

I'm happy my son was actually at school today.  You see, when I got home from taking Shelby there was a message from the school that he was not there.  I saw him get on the bus, so if he wasn't at school I had no idea where he'd be.  But there was just a miscommunication between the teachers and the office staff.

I'm happy the Blues won their game last night!  LET'S GO BLUES!

I could probably come up with more things to be happy about.  But right now I've got to get to the laundry.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Little Ms. Blogger does a great Rant and Rave Wednesday.  A few other bloggers have joined in the fun so I thought I'd do it too!

* Rave: I love fostering dogs.  I get a great feeling knowing I'm helping out a worthy cause and I get to hang out with a homeless pet and give him/her the love and attention they are craving.  Plus, I get love and attention from them!  
This is our newest foster girl, Shelby.  Isn't she cute?

*Rant: Why is it that I'm constantly picking up pee, poop, or puke?  I asked my 13-yr-old to take Shelby out while I stripped and made his brothers' beds (it's the beds I stripped, Otin, not me).  He said he'd do it right after his movie was over.  So she peed and pooped in the living room.
Someone, I think the cat, puked in the den.  And the reason I was changing the sheets is that my 2 younger ones have bedwetting issues.  So that's kid pee, dog pee, dog poop and cat puke I've cleaned up today.

*Rave: They had a "parent night" at my oldest child's school today.  It was a chance to meet with the teachers and hear a presentation by an outside speaker.  I really enjoyed it.

*Rant: The parent "night" actually started at 4:00.  There were actually more teachers there than parents!  Well, many parents can't get there by 4:00.  Not if they work.  It is a very small school and kids come from all over the county.  If they want to boost parent participation, they should take a survey of the parents and see when it would be most convenient. 

*Rave: I love going to the gym to workout.  I go with my sister when she isn't busy pushing drugs (my sis is Rxbambi, for those of you who don't know).  It's fun to work out with her 'cause she's just that great!  And when she's not available to workout, another woman (Betsy) has agreed to be my surrogate sister.  She's fun to work out with too.

*Rant: I work out 3 times a week, almost without fail, yet I weigh the same as I did when I started working out 2 years ago.  Yes, I'm firmer.  You should see my biceps!  But I'd still like to weigh less.  It's that little thing called "eating too much" that's the problem.

*Rant: If you can believe it, the State of Illinois owes the university where my husband works 124 million dollars.  And because the state hasn't paid, the university may not be able to make payroll next month.  They are "pretty sure" everyone will get paid this month.  But next month is up in the air.  Hello!  This is just crazy!  How can the state just not pay?

Well, I guess that's it for my rants and raves.  Hopefully, hubby will get paid and we won't have to get rid of our internet service!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Meet Shelby

Yup, another foster dog.  This is Shelby.  She was rescued several months ago by Hope Rescues with her 4 sisters.  All 4 of her sisters have since been adopted.  Now Shelby is waiting for her forever family to find her.  She is super sweet and about 9 months old.  She wasn't too sure about the fostering thing last night when we brought her home.  She was definitely confused about where she was and why.  And she was scared, despite our best efforts to put her at ease.  I guess that's because she can't remember anything but a kennel environment.  I don't think she's ever been in a home.  But she seems a little more comfortable this morning.  And I'm sure once the boys get up, she'll be ready to play.  Anyway, if you know someone looking for a puppy (one that is past the chewing on everything and peeing in the house!), send them my way. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy Hour Friday

Happy Hour Friday was started by our dear friends Otin and Bambi.  Check them out.

This Friday
  • I'm happy I don't suffer from paraskavedekatriaphobia, or any other phobia, for that matter
  • I'm happy that the guy who hit my mailbox came to the door to tell me about it.
  • I'm happy he also offered to pay for it.
  • I'm happy that my handy-man lives in my neighborhood and that he keeps spare mailboxes in his garage (we live in a neighborhood where everyone's mailbox is identical).
  • I'm happy it's Friday.
  • I'm happy you are here to read my blog!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Theme Thursday - Telephone

Telephone Booths - a thing of the past?  I assume so.  These booths are in Scotland at Fort George.  There is something about them that Americans find cool.  Like double-decker buses in London.  Maybe it's the red color.  I don't know.  I wonder if there will be any to take pictures of on my next trip to the UK?

For more TT's, go here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Making Family Memories

Sometime last month I took my kids to the local pick-your-own apple farm for some good, old-fashioned quality family time.  My husband had to work, so it was just the boys and me.  It was a beautiful October Sunday.  

So picture this: a happy mom and her 3 happy boys off to the apple farm on a warm October day.  They arrive and run excitedly to the tractor-drawn wagon and wait patiently and quietly for the other apple-pickers to get on.   As the happy family rides out to the orchard, the boys talk nicely to each other and genuinely enjoy each other's company.
The family gets out of the wagon and walks happily over to the golden delicious and jonagold apples that are ready for picking that week.  As per instructions, they pick a juicy-looking specimen, rub it on their shirt to get all the dirt off, and taste it to see if they like it.  Having decided the apples were good, they pick a bag full then happily wait for the wagon to return so they can relax a few minutes at the play area.  When it's time to leave they go happily to the car and ride quietly home enjoying the rural scenery.
That's how I choose to remember the day.  That's not exactly how it happened.

They didn't really want to go to the apple farm, but it was better than church.  So we went, despite the opinion of my 13-yr-old that it was a stupid thing to be doing.
There were bees in the orchard.  The guy there said they were sweat bees and that they wouldn't sting.  But they were annoying and the kids were sure they were going to get stung.  So two of the kids headed back to the playground area after about 3 minutes of apple picking (grumbling about the fact that they had to walk because the guy with the wagon wasn't back yet).  The other one stayed with me about 5 more minutes.  Then he also wanted to go back.  When I got there someone was crying about something one of the others had said or done.  I was told it was a stupid trip to a stupid apple farm and why couldn't we have just stayed home?  I paid for our apples, then rounded everyone up for the short trip home.  On the way home I enjoyed the sounds of kids arguing but I've chosen to forget what it was they were arguing about.
I guess I'll get the pictures printed and make a cute scrapbook page so when the kids grow up they can tell their kids what a great mom I was for taking them to the apple farm.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Halloween Night

I know, it's way past Halloween.  But I wanted to show you all how cool the sky looked that night.  We headed out just as the sun was setting.  When I saw the sky, I had to run in and get my camera.  Of course, my middle child needed just one more picture before I handed the camera to DH and we headed out to trick or treat.  This year he insisted on using a pillowcase for his candy since that's what his teacher did when he was a child.  He's totally enamored with his 3rd grade teacher this year.  I think it's because he's a man and he's never had a man teacher before.  Plus, they get to eat worms when they read "How to Eat Fried Worms" this year.  How cool is that!  Everyone hopes they get Mr. R for 3rd grade.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hi everyone!  Time for Aloha Friday, a day to relax and answer easy questions from each other thanks to Kailani!

My question is:
Do you have a pet? And if so, what kind?
We've got 2 dogs, a cat, a leopard gecko, 3 fish and a shrimp.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Theme Thursday - Castle

Today's theme is castle.  Check out other posts for Theme Thursday here.

This is Kildrummy Castle in the beautiful Scottish countryside.  It was one of my favorite castles in Scotland.  I think one of the things I liked best about it was that it wasn't a big tourist destination.  It was just a beautiful ruin next to a pasture where sheep were peacefully grazing in the afternoon sunshine.  Sure, Edinburgh Castle is a must see.  But this place inspired me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lucky Mark Buehrle

Mark Buehrle got to get his picture taken with Bambi and me this weekend.  "Who's Mark Buehrle?" you ask.  Well, you are obviously not a die-hard Chicago White Sox fan.  Mr. Buehrle is a pitcher for the White Sox and he recently threw a perfect game.  Anyway, that's not why he got his picture taken with us.

Mr. Buehrle is a supporter of Hope Animal Rescues in Alton, IL.  He was at a fundraiser this past weekend for Hope.  It was a wine and beer tasting event (surprised to hear Bambi was at a wine-tasting event?).  For a donation (100% of which went to Hope Rescues), one could get a picture with Mark Buehrle, have him sign it, and/or have him sign a bottle of wine.  So we did all three.  
Wish you'd been there?  Or do you wish there was a winey way you could support Hope?  Well, you can order your very own bottle of Mark Buehrle's wine.  It won't be signed, but the proceeds go to Hope Rescues.
There's a link on Hope's website.

And I like to mention that the event was at the Grafton Winery.  Mike and Lori, the owners of the winery, donated the space for the event and also donated 10% of wine sales during the event to Hope Rescues.  It's a really cool place.  If you are in the St. Louis area, you should check it out.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


This is Tommy.  I've copied the notice about him and the pictures strait from the Hope Rescues website.  I just don't understand people sometimes.  You don't have to love dogs if you are not a "dog person".  But this?  Unbelievable.

Every time we think we have seen the worst of what people can do to an animal we are proven wrong.  This poor dog was starved nearly to death, beaten, burned, and had an extension cord that had grown into his neck tearing at his flesh. Then to top it off his owner simply put him out with the trash, literally.  Tommy was found by the trash man as he dumped the can into the truck.  Hope Rescues rushed to his aid and took him to Horseshoe Lake Animal Hospital where he is today for immediate medical attention.
The staff have commented on how he wags his tail non stop, and gives kisses to anyone who will allow him to give 
them a kiss, even though he must be in unbearable pain.  
Hope Rescues is working with the Cahokia police department to try and bring this barbaric person or persons to 
justice.  In the meantime we ask that you pray for Tommy, he will be undergoing surgery, and will have a long road to 
recovery ahead of him.
When you go home tonight, give your own pet a longer hug, and a softer pat on the head, and be thankful that they are 
with you and not with someone who would do them harm.
If you have any information on the person or persons who may have done this please call Lieutenant James Jones

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Theme Thursday

The theme for this Thursday is Halloween.  Check out other Theme Thursday posts here

Last night was once again a time to do something together as a family.  We carved pumpkins.  Because of martial arts, we had dinner at 7.  Then 2 of the kids had to finish homework that was started before martial arts.  So it was getting late by the time we started the pumpkins.

We bought the pumpkins from the kids down the street.  They had planted a pumpkin patch at their grandparents farm and tended it all summer.  Two of the kids were with me.  They took the last two "extra large" pumpkins for sale.  So they got one of the "large" ones for their big brother.
Time to start carving.  Big brother doesn't want to participate because the pumpkin his little brothers picked out was smaller than theirs.  Obviously, they did this out of disrespect for their elder brother!  Whine, whine, bitch, bitch, we get past it.
Then there are spats over who gets the knife first, no one wants to stick his hand in the goo inside the pumpkin, who gets to put which candle in his pumpkin, etc.
Right now all I can remember from the night is the complaining.  But I did get some good pictures.  If a few years we'll think we had a great evening carving pumpkins together as a family.