Thursday, November 30

Singshot

This site is a karaoke lover's dream. Very fun.

You do realize I'm sacrificing my own pride in order to further the singing pleasure for the rest of you!

What Kind of Reader Are You?

Since I love reading, I thought this was a pretty cool quiz, stolen from my friend, P.

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you're not nerdy about it. You've read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Dedicated Reader

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

Fad Reader

Book Snob

Non-Reader

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz


What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you're not nerdy about it. You've read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Wednesday, November 29

The Bigger The Better


I have been informed that MonsterPaw is highly offended at the size of her Christmas stocking as compared to the one owned by HyperDog. If I remember right, last year we made a mad dash to CVS drug store because it was MonsterPaw's first Christmas with us and we had overlooked the need for her to have a stocking, thus the less than optimum size. I think Little Chic's stocking may have hosted some of the mousy toys Santa left since MonsterPaw's was a bit teeny. It appears that we'll be fixing this little problem to make things a bit more fair, or Little Chic is bound to fret for the next 25 days.

Tuesday, November 28

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

It broke my heart, but I threw away the lasting remnants of Thanksgiving dinner. Right into the garbage can, I did. Dumped that sweet potato casserole with the brown sugar topping, pitched that gravy and even the mashed potatoes. I just had to because I was eating all of it. By myself. And my scale was hating me and my body was feeling every one of those extra pounds when I rejoined my workout partners yesterday. You will notice that I waited until I had polished off all the macaroni and cheese as well as the remaining pie slices that were left when my family departed on Saturday. And I don't really even like pie that much. That's the problem with Thanksgiving dinner...it's just for eating, and eating, and eating.

Monday, November 27

Back To Being Me

I realize I have been unblogged for seven straight days. That must be a record for me. It is because I was living in the land of overachievement and superwoman status. I am happy to report that I have returned. The real me is back, including the floor that needs to be vacuumed and the laundry hamper that is overflowing while I am doing something more fun. I will give myself credit for volunteering for an hour at school this morning, working out (after a 10-day hiatus with that as well), getting groceries, buying supplies for Brainy Boy's school project and making a feeble attempt to begin putting things back in order after the house guests before I crashed. I will also say that my Christmas decorations are not up and I do not have even a smidgen of a plan of when they will rear their little heads out of their storage bins. I did enjoy having my fall decor up nice and early though, so maybe I can muster what's left of any gumption I might have and git 'er done by the weekend.

I was not un-thankful this holiday - I just didn't have an opportunity to record it for your reading pleasure. So here's my top 5:

5) I'm thankful I have a family to call my very own. Not the one I was born in to, but the one that I've created with my own beloved and the sweet ones that belong to us.
4) I'm thankful for the church that we found 8 years ago. Finding that particular spiritual home was a defining moment in our family.
3) I'm thankful for the friends I have. I went many years without any close friends but since having children, I have more friends with common interests to mine, than I can even count. And they all rock.
2) I'm thankful that I have a nice house to live in. And 2 vehicles. And more clothes than I need. And certainly way more to eat than I need.
1) I'm thankful for my relationship with Jesus Christ. If I had not committed my life to Him, I would be an emotional basket case and probably an addict of some type.

The amazing thing is that I did not do anything to deserve any of this or the many other things that I didn't take time to mention like health, extended family and material belongings that I own. There are others who are far more deserving that don't have these things, and sometimes I wonder "Why Me?" I think the thing that I'm most thankful for is that we don't get what we deserve. Because I'd have far less.

Monday, November 20

Best of Today

The funniest thing that happened today:
Watching 7 college kids go through Walmart buying their Thanksgiving groceries together debating whether or not Kraft shells & cheese was an appropriate side dish for such a special dinner and then seeing them horrified to learn that a party of their friends had just checked out and gone over their food budget and had to put some of their groceries back.

The grossest thing that happened today:
After returning from my trip to Walmart, I attempted to help HyperDog retrieve her toy from under the couch (she was pawing and whining for it) only to discover it was a real, live mouse cowering under the couch. I lifted up one end of the couch, HyperDog dashed under and took care of our little "problem" in a flash.

The most rewarding thing that happened today:
I used the staple gun for the very first time, ran out of staples and I took myself down to the hardware store and bought a new box of the right kind of staples - imagine that. This was after I hung two pictures each requiring 2 screws, AND I hung them straight the first time all by my lonesome! Another first timer. PLUS, I bought myself my very own measuring tape since Hero Guy's always seems to be in some mystery spot - and he won't know to borrow mine because he does not read this blog.

The hardest thing I did today:
I spent an hour scrubbing a huge iron stain off my shower wall. My weekly scrubbing session has been more of a quick wipe down and our water softener apparently is not making the best use of those Morton salt tablets.

The most repetitive thing that happened today:
Hero Guy came home with his 80th deer this morning (well, the 3rd buck this season, plus the coyote he shot on Saturday). He couldn't understand my lack of enthusiasm.

The most relieving thing I did today:
Cleaned out my one 'junk' cabinet in my kitchen that has been driving me nuts for ages. Bummer that the garbage truck won't be coming this week since my garbage day is Thursday (and they don't run a day late on holidays - they just skip a week).

Sunday, November 19

Cranberry Cheese Spread

If I were intelligent, I would spread my posts out for the week, rather than cramming them in one night. But at special request from my digital scrapbooking hero, here is a cranberry spread that I got from my sister, who is my home entertaining hero. The spread has been a hit both times I made it.

8 oz cream cheese, 1 Tbs orange juice, 1/3 cup pecans or walnuts. Mix these 3 ingredients together.

1-1/2 cups fresh cranberries coarsely chopped
4 green onions (scallions)
1 heaping Tbs canned jalepenos chopped
1-1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp ginger
3-4 Tbs fresh cilantro
Mix the second batch of ingredients together and refrigerate for 4 hours, THEN combine with the first set of ingredients.

Top with cranberries and cilantro, serve with crackers.

Minty Fresh

One of the bonuses I got from the Home Party Expo yesterday was a free sample of a peppermint foot soak and peppermint foot lotion from the Body Shop at Home girls. I hadn't intended to use it, but around 9:30 my aching feet saw the little sample jars and spurred me to fill a dish pan with hot water while I sorted through the dozens of recordings that Brainy Boy has programmed on to our new DVR (which we are getting for a 3 month free trial and we are loving it, I might add). No doubt we'll be paying the extra $5 a month for that come January 2007 since we'll be hooked by then. But back to the subject--my feet felt totally cool and refreshed as I headed off to bed, and HyperDog's breath smelled the same as when she chews through Hero Guy's pants pocket to scavenge his Polar Ice gum. Apparently the peppermint foot soak tastes as good as it feels. But you'll have to ask her about that since sipping foot soak water is her department.

You'd BETTER Forward This!

THIS has got to be one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time, in part because I can totally relate to it! Let's toast to all those people out there who detest getting those email forwards that go on and on and on.....

Thanks to Hero Guy's cousin, Mary, who forwarded me this little tidbit ;) She would also the the same Mary who introduced me to my Dearly Beloved all those years ago. You just never know what you're gonna get out of a friendship!

Saturday, November 18

Making A List

Extra things TO DO BEFORE NOVEMBER 18:
2 Parent Teacher conferences - check
Coordinate MOMs group meeting - check
Attend Thursday night Bible study - check
Enroll participants for financial class at church for the next 4 Sundays - check
Planning meeting at church for Christmas Eve - check
Baby Shower for friend - check
Take kids to Family Bingo at school - check
Let kids have sleepover with school friends - check
Visit Brainy Boy's bud in hospital after appendectomy - check
Take snacks to 100 5th graders on state testing days - check
Have 2nd appointment for Flu Shot study (and also get my $100) - check
Sing at Christian Women's Association - check
Coordinate MOMs group meeting (again) - check
Coordinate Home Party Expo - check
Shop for Thanksgiving - check
Have kids home for 4 half days and 1 full day off school - check

Wonder why I've had to skip kickboxing for the last 3 classes? But now it's really going to get busy because I can finally focus on Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Hang on to your hats....

Friday, November 17

Why Is It?

Why is it that when overnight guests are coming, I'm compelled to buy 2 new shower curtains AND liners, 2 new bathroom rugs, new tablecloth, a new set of sheets.....must I go on? This doesn't even take in to account the freshly painted walls and the 3 poster-sized prints I ordered of three photos I took AND the frames they need to go with them (although I must say the pictures are quite attractive). And we can't forget the numerous curtains and rods I've already put up as well as the picture frames that no longer match my new paint and are sitting in the basement waiting for the coats of spray paint to dry.

Maybe it's just that I'm not a detail girl and I don't notice that things need freshened up before they begin to look shabby - Nah, that's not it. I'm obsessed with the most minute details.

Maybe it's that I'm frugal and I'll do without so that I can save a few bucks? I wish I could say that was the truth.

I'm forced to admit that I'm sure it's because I'm a hopeless procrastinator. I notice something that needs to be done, but I wait until it's absolutely driving me crazy OR until somebody is coming that will actually witness that I've put the task off far too long.

The bonus is that once they're gone, I'll have that many fewer things on my TO DO or TO GET list. The drawback is that I've about driven myself crazy running around like a madwoman doing errands and taking care of things that I really should have done a long time ago.

And now, I'm going to crash....

Wednesday, November 15

Home Party Queen

I have always loved home parties - you know the kind where you visit somebody's house and a consultant will be selling the latest kitchen gadget, skin care product or scrapbooking supply? I'm a catalog fiend anyway, and I love to browse every catalog that comes into my mailbox. I'm not typically a hoarder, but those catalogs really like my house and they usually stick around a while. Although I love looking, I tend to go for the authentic buying experience, so stores are generally my preference....except that home parties offer the best of both worlds--they have those glossy catalogs that make everything look so irresistible, but you actually get to see the product before you order it.

Last fall, I came up with the brilliant (and at the time, I thought it was original) idea of holding a mammoth home party show around holiday time in my kids gymnasium at school. I figured it would be an opportunity for those consultants to get their names out and for us customers to see lots of stuff in one place. We ended up organizing it as a fundraiser so the school PTA actually makes some money on the side.

Anyway, in my scheme, the plan would only work if there were many different home party companies, otherwise no one would take the time to attend if it were just a few of the well-known standby companies. I began to scour the internet and quickly became obsessed with the number of different companies that do parties at people's homes. Our first event was a success, and I was able to coerce 38 different companies to come, some from quite a distance. Since it was a hit, we are repeating the event this year...this coming Saturday. I have to admit that I'm drooling over all the stuff these companies offer, although I will be restraining myself a bit more than I did last year. I can testify that several of my family members got unusual gifts courtesy of these obscure companies, but I did go a bit wild.

Since I'm sure you are dying to know, this year's line up includes - Arbonne International, At Home America, Avon, Body Shoppe at Home, Cookie Lee jewelry, Creative Memories, Discovery Toys, Home Made Gourmet, Home & Garden, Home Interiors, Itz Enterprises (health products), Kara Vita skin care, Lady Emily fashions, Lia Sophia jewelry, Longaberger baskets, Mary Kay cosmetics, Northern Lights At Home, Pampered Chef, Princess House, Party Lite, Spa Girl Parties, Simply Fun, Southern Living at Home, Stampin Up, Swiss Colony Occasions, Silpada jewelry, Thirty One Gifts, Tastefully Simple, Taste of Home, The Traveling Vineyard, Tupperware, Vantel Pearls, Weekenders clothing, Yoffi jewelry.

Probably the most unusual group coming is Vantel Pearls-they give you an oyster and you crack it open on the spot to find your pearl. You can then have it set in jewelry if you want. My biggest disappointment is that I wasn't able to get anybody from Tomboy Tools to come to this area. You can't even imagine the number of wonderful sales opportunities I've turned down nor the number of home parties I've declined to schedule! I think that's the downfall of being the contact person with my number on all the correspondence. Although I'm looking forward to it, my life will be a lot simpler, my phone messages will be lots fewer, and my email inbox will be much more empty once it's all over! I'll be glad for that.

Tuesday, November 14

Handy Dandy Me

My painting project has come to a temporary close until after the holidays, and I must say I am feeling quite self-satisfied at this point. Hero Guy did supply the initial impetus to get started, and he lent some manpower to the painting of the living room (and I will also give him credit for installing two curtain rods in the living room windows because I didn't trust myself in that high visibility area).

However, Me, Myself & I painted the entryway, the dining room and the hallway, removed and reinstalled all outlet covers, did all the taping and un-taping, spray painted two 16 x 20 picture frames, went on innumerable runs to Lowe's and even bought a couple of replacement face plates for light switches and/or outlet covers which had never been installed in the first place. These are all things I would have previously waited on to have help.

Just to prove I could, I finished the project by installing not 1, not 2, BUT 4 curtain rods my very own self, causing me yet again to ask why I've been living without curtains at my bedroom windows for 11 years. Apparently my ploy at making Hero Guy feel 'needed' didn't have the desired effect--I suppose that only works on those with co-dependent tendencies, which Hero Guy definitely does not have (self-sufficiency is one of the qualities he loves best). And I didn't even make any boo-boos, leaving 'extra' screw holes in the wall when I installed my curtain rods as Hero Guy did with his. And I used the little wall toggle screw-fastener thingys that you are supposed to use, which he also didn't do.

I just might go into the handyman business. Too bad the community college doesn't teach a shop class for wannabe fixer-uppers, although I did find a company that does home parties called Tomboy Tools that comes to your house and teaches you to use their tools and then sells you little girlie-tool kits. It's like The Pampered Chef for home projects!

Sunday, November 12

Things that Make You Go Ewwwwwww.....

I was happy to see Hero Guy pull in tonight, not just because we missed him while he was away for 5 days, but also to have him investigate the whereabouts of the mouse that kept me awake for the last two nights. I had a suspicion the critter was in the vicinity of this particular outlet as HyperDog and MonsterPaw stayed busy all night sniffing and poking around. Sure enough, this is what we found when we took off the outlet cover. Hero Guy was a bit disappointed that the mouse had opted to electrocute itself rather than be shot between the headlights by the BB gun.

Saturday, November 11

Luck or Skill?

It would seem that the hunter has been successful yet again. Hero Guy left on Wednesday morning, heading to the Adirondack mountains for a wilderness fix. He was going under the guise of hunting, but the area is so remote and monstrously big, it's possible to go for a week and never see game. But not this guy. He called to report that he shot a seven-point buck, the first deer anyone has shot in the area this season. He is over-collecting in the accolade department, so I may need to relegate him to the garage if he begins to get obnoxious. Luckily he's already gotten a bigger trophy this year, so #1, we will not be paying to have this head stuffed and #2, this seriously shortens hunting season for him. Yeah on both accounts.

Thursday, November 9

The Best Laid Plans

What I Planned:
To skip the Bible study that I am loving (Breaking Free by Beth Moore) to let my two favorite kids have their two favorite friends sleep over and taking my 2 plus their 2 Best Friends Forever to family Bingo to support the school PTA. Bonus points - Doing this all alone since Hero Guy is in the Primitive Forrest tracking down additional trophies.

What I Got:
A blue Bingo marker "explosion" by the girl BFF which caused the demolition of 2 winter jackets, 2 pair of pants (one bought new today), 1 favorite shirt. In addition, the five of us returned to my house with very stained arms and hands. As my luck would have it, all ruined articles of clothing except for one winter jacket belonged to my own children. Why is that?!

Please excuse my while I go and gaze at the soothing new green paint on my living room walls.

PS-Believe me, I would have posted pictures except that Hero Guy took my camera into the deep woods while he's stalking the big bad wolf.

Wednesday, November 8

Mad & Crazy Hunters

Hero Guy, being the avid sportsman that he is, had to have at least one offspring share his enthusiasm for hunting. Brainy Boy can't be bothered sitting in a tree stand for hours on end when you can't chat about the funniest Dilbert comic you just read. He has gladly passed all his camouflage to Little Chic and she readily accompanies Hero Guy whenever he'll let her.

On this particular Saturday trip, they did not see a deer. But they did see a small bobcat. That's pretty unusual around these parts, although not unheard of. The best part for Little Chic is that "Bobcat" is MonsterPaw's given name so she was thrilled to see the real namesake for our own family pet. Hero Guy was thrilled to have an opportunity to gloat about seeing such a sight in the wild. And they didn't even get a picture.

Tuesday, November 7

Flames A'Glowin

I've missed sharing my feeble attempts at wit & wisdom with you for the past couple of days, but I'm getting too much enjoyment out of the fresh coat of paint my living room got and now I'm on a spree. I'm a veritable painting machine, going for a bucket of deep plumb tomorrow to freshen up my scarred dining room walls.

Anyway, I haven't been alone while doing the sprucing. MonsterPaw has been keeping me company while I'm painting....warming every last extra toe of hers in front of the fire.

Sunday, November 5

Too Close For Comfort

Depressing: Def., "Realizing that you and your Dearly Beloved are entirely to close to wearing the same pant size.

Case in point - Hero Guy came 'har har-ing' out of the bedroom relating that he had accidentally been wearing a pair of my jeans for the last 15 minutes. He wondered why they felt so weird (translated - TIGHT) until he took them off and inspected the tag. He gloated that at least he knows he can fit into a Ladies Size ___ (you really think I'm going to tell you the number?!).

My Observations:
1) He had a MONSTER wedgie, so the jeans were entirely too small for him.
2) They are my "fat" jeans, a size bigger than what I actually wear, but I just like the broken-in feeling of them. Or the roominess or something.
3) They were the stretchy kind of jeans, so an elephant could have painted itself into them.
4) What's he bragging about having a girlish figure for anyway? Not very macho if you ask me.

Hmph.

Saturday, November 4

It's All in a Day's Work

Hero Guy and I have a few straggling rooms in our house with the original 11-year-old paint on them, which is not a pretty sight considering that when we moved in I insisted on everything being white. I was protesting against living in a log house so I was determined to keep the interior as modern and non-country looking as possible with the all open floor plan and large expanses of white walls.

Many of our rooms have since been painted but our living room, which we really didn't use much until the last few years, was one of them. It was getting to the embarrassing point, especially considering the non-washable surface of flat paint (who knows who chose that particular finish--not me!)

Anyway, at the first hint that Hero Guy might be willing to actually help me paint today, I dashed around all day Thursday and Friday gathering supplies and only making one boo-boo with a quart of paint that turned out to be the WRONG color. That's quite an accomplishment for procrastinator such as myself. We started at 8am, done by 12:30, room put back together by 1:30. It helps that we had the heat blasting and fireplace going considering the irritating snow flurries we got yesterday. Unbelievable--Thanksgiving isn't even here yet, and we're getting snow.

But I digress. I'm happy today. Because my living room walls don't look like I let my kids use them as hand towels anymore. At least for a bit anyway. I also got a bonus. I realized that it was entirely unnecessary for me to wait for 11 years to have Hero Guy install an outlet cover on the one outlet that is in complete and utter view from any standpoint of the room--I did it perfectly well myself. Now I just have to get going on the complementary taupe color that will finish the room and flow into the rest of the house. Somehow I know I'll be doing the rest of the painting by my lonesome.

Thursday, November 2

Say "No" To Crack

This Longtail "T" was the featured product in the Deluth Trading Company catalog I got yesterday. It's a real lifesaver for plumbing customers everywhere. The description goes "Sharing a little too much information? In 2002, in the cause of modesty and good taste we introduced the Longtail "T"....solving an age-old problem: The infamous, much feared Plumber's Butt.

The kicker is that it comes in a bucket labeled "Crack Spackle". Whew, problem solved!

Wednesday, November 1

Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo...Which Should I Devour First?

One of my favorite bonuses of having children (a bonus being something you never realized was going to be a pleasant part of parenting) is the post-Trick Or Treat ritual of candy sorting. I'm sure all households go through this, although some may call it by another name. It happens under the guise of "helping" your child sort through and categorize the candy they've gotten in the order of its desirability. The key rule is that this must be done while the child is not home.

My sorting piles looked like this:
Pile 1: Little Chic loves this candy so much she has inventoried it and will totally notice if I eat even one. In this pile were two full sized candy bars! Who gives those?
Pile 2: I love this candy so much that I'll stop at the drug store to replenish the supply if Little Chic notices I ate one. This pile includes Twix, Snickers, M&M...well, half the haul anyway.
Pile 3: Not chocolate
Pile 4: Anything homemade - nobody is allowed to eat.
Pile 5: Almond Joys (I love, Little Chic hates).

Pile 5 finished with 5 mini Almond Joys so I figured for the next 5 days I could treat myself. Then I reconsidered and figured that it wasn't a good idea to tempt myself for 5 days in a row, so I ate them all. Right after my kickboxing class. I'm banking on the fact that one's metabolism does indeed stay elevated for an hour after exercise.

Some other interesting things collected during last night's round: Several trinkets such as Playdough (which will go in the craft box), a Frankenstein ruler (which will come in handy on some future project), a sticky hand (which will mark up my windows and walls) and a spinning top (which doesn't work).

The winner was a little Ziplock bag decorated with a pumpkin sticker containing a Snickers bar, a lollipop, a package of dental floss, a travel tube of toothpaste and a gift certificate for $10 off the first cleaning at a local dentist's office!