Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to.
William E. ("Bill") Vaughan (American columnist and author, 1915–1977)
TIME: 5:59 PM
PLACE: Mungo’s Restaurant
SUBJECT: Me (taken by HH)
HandsomeHusband and I had a “once in a blue moon” occurrence this evening. No kids. Really, no kids. My dad generously offered to keep them overnight this New Year’s Eve. Of course, I jumped all over that! Except for the time that my mom took DQ overnight in 1998 when we were both sick as dogs, I don’t think that HH and I have been without kids one way or another since DramaQueen was born in 1997. We went to dinner with some friends and then went to see the movie “Up in The Air” with George Clooney. We arrived back at home about 11:30pm, and were in bed by 12:01am. We are the original party animals.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
George Costanza: What was wrong with that? I had a different interpretation! Do you
know anything about this pretzel guy?! Maybe he's been in the bar a really long
time and he's really depressed because he has no job and no woman and he's
parking cars for a living! (out the window to honking cars) Alright! Alright!
Shut up! Shut up! I hear you! I'm coming down! These pretzels are making me
“The Alternate Side.” Seinfeld. (Season 3). Perf. Jason Alexander. Castle Rock Entertainment, West-Shapiro. 1991.
TIME: 9:17 PM
PLACE: The living room
SUBJECT: Balloon sculpture
StellaDella has been playing with a balloon twisting book and activity set. The set has balloons, a hand pump and an instruction book to make many different balloon animals and objects. For the last couple of days, she has been blowing up and twisting balloons. Her specialty? Balloon pretzels – hold the salt please.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The first time I ever saw St. Louis, I could have bought it for six million dollars, and it was the mistake of my life that I did not do it.
Mark Twain (1835-1910). Life on the Mississippi. Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1883.
TIME: 9:12 AM
PLACE: Sauget, IL
SUBJECT: St. Louis skyline
MonkeyBoy had another baseball camp with the Gateway Grizzlies yesterday and today from 9am to noon. This one was held inside and focused on batting and pitching. After dropping him off this morning, I stopped on the frontage road leading from the stadium and took this photo of the view of the Arch and skyline with the overcast sky. I don’t like the grey dreariness of winter – how many more days is it until spring?
In other news, DramaQueen had her hair “low-lighted” today with an “All-spice” color. She loves how it turned out.
Monday, December 28, 2009
[waking up after sharing the same bed in the motel]
Neal: Del... Why did you kiss my ear?
Del: Why are you holding my hand?
Neal: [frowns] Where's your other hand?
Del: Between two pillows...
Neal: Those aren't pillows!
Hughes, John. Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Perf. Steve Martin and John Candy. Hughes Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, 1987.
TIME: 8:29 PM
PLACE: The couch
SUBJECT: New pillows
I received some money from my dad for Christmas and this is what I purchased with part of it – pillows for the living room couch. I know, I know, you can hardly contain yourself from the excitement of it all. This is when you know you are an old, boring, married lady – you spend your Christmas money on decorative accessories for the house and then, to top it off, you take a picture of it for your blog. I am so stinking pathetic.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Now the hedgerow
Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom
Of snow, a bloom more sudden
Than that of summer
T.S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot (1888-1965), Anglo-American critic, poet. Little Gidding (Four Quartets). . . Oxford Anthology of English Literature, The, Vols. I-II. Frank Kermode and John Hollander, general eds. (1973) Oxford University Press.
TIME: 4:27 PM
PLACE: Front yard
SUBJECT: Sedum in snow
We received a little dusting of snow this morning. The kids were all excited, however we didn’t have much accumulation. This is my “Autumn Joy” sedum, that I planted late this summer in my front flower beds. I like this sedum, it started white, then gradually turned pink and finally a lovely red color. I especially like the dark seed heads that remain on the plant over the winter. I think it provides a nice contrast to the white snow.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Willy Wonka: Don't you know what this is?
Violet Beauregarde: By gum, it's gum.
Willy Wonka: [happily, but sarcastically] Wrong! It's the most amazing, fabulous, sensational gum in the whole world.
Violet Beauregarde: What's so fab about it?
Willy Wonka: This little piece of gum is a three-course dinner.
Mr. Salt: Bull.
Willy Wonka: No, roast beef. But I haven't got it quite right yet.
Stuart, Mel. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Perf. Gene Wilder, Denise Nickerson and Roy Kinnear. David L. Wolper Productions. 1971.
TIME: 2:05 PM
PLACE: The window seat
SUBJECT: Gumball machine
We (DramaQueen and I) did wake up at the
butt crack of dawn and made the trek to the mall for some after-Christmas shopping. We didn’t do too much damage; I picked up a couple of ornaments, some T-shirts and pillows for the living room couch. Oh, yes and a festive gold tinsel tree to hold more thrifty ornaments. The tree I bought at Dillard's where people were stinking nuts! They were buying the German ornaments and nutcrackers by the boxful – to resell on eBay later I bet’cha. While I was there, I picked up a couple of 4lb boxes of gumballs to fill our gumball machine. It’s been empty since early September. Now MonkeyBoy & StellaDella are scrounging the house for nickels to put in it.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Bombeck, Erma. I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression. New York. Doubleday & Co. 1973.
TIME: 7:48 AM
PLACE: The living room
SUBJECT: Christmas tree
(photo taken by HH)
I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! Here at the Sujomi household, we opened presents, HH made a tasty breakfast (and cleaned up!), Grandpa came by to see what Santa brought the kids and we spent the rest of the day playing with new toys and just being lazy. A perfect Christmas day in my opinion. Tomorrow, DQ and I are leaving the house “bright and squirrely” to meet my sister, sister-in-law and niece and hit the after Christmas sales. DQ will be armed with her new phone in case we are separated by the masses. She can’t wait.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
William E. ("Bill") Vaughan aka Burton Hillis (American columnist and author, 1915–1977)
TIME: 6:58 PM
PLACE: Dad’s house
SUBJECT: The cousins
On Christmas eve, since the birth of the first grandchild, a picture is taken of the grandkids as they sit on the steps of my parent’s house. This year, we are short two grandchildren…my niece and nephew from San Francisco did not make it into town this year (my niece is actually in Italy visiting a friend – lucky her!). Before we eat dinner and open gifts, all the cousins sit on the steps and we take photos. In this picture, MonkeyBoy sits at the upper left, then going clockwise, we have my oldest brother’s two children, Michael and Brandi (who is the oldest cousin), then StellaDella, my sister’s daughter, Shayne (The Bean), DramaQueen and finally, my sister’s oldest son, David who is sitting in the middle.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Bah, humbug!" No, that's too strong
'Cause it is my favorite holiday
But all this year's been a busy blur
Don't think I have the energy
To add to my already mad rush
Just 'cause it 'tis the season.
The perfect gift for me would be
Completions and connections left from
Last year, ski shop,
Encounter, most interesting.
Had his number but never the time
Most of '81 passed along those lines.
So deck those halls, trim those trees
Raise up cups of Christmas cheer,
I just need to catch my breath,
Christmas by myself this year.
Butler, Chris. "Christmas Wrapping." Lyrics. Perf. The Waitresses. A Christmas Record. ZE Records, 1981.
TIME: 9:42 PM
SUBJECT: Present wrapping paraphernalia
I finally wrapped presents tonight. It was a trick keeping StellaDella out of the bedroom. But I told her I was wrapping presents from Grandpa (which I was) and she kinda sorta accepted why she couldn’t come in. I was able to wrap the Santa presents too and hid them in plain sight under a sheet by the basket of dirty clothes. Looks like a big old pile of laundry – she won’t suspect a thing.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The Gingerbread Man, A classic folk tale
TIME: 9:01 PM
Today I realized that we hadn’t baked any Christmas cookies yet. And Christmas is only 3 days away. – yikes. So I made up some gingerbread dough and had “help” making cookies. I wish I had more patience when it comes to making cut-out cookies with the kids. It frustrates me when they don’t maximize the cookie cutter placement on the rolled dough. Then, I get annoyed with myself for being so anal about something that in the scheme of things, is truly not important. It’s a vicious circle. So tonight, I changed my tactic. I cut out 3/4 of the cookies, then let SD go to town on the remainder while I cleaned up the kitchen. This worked out well, she was happy and my frustration level was almost non-existent. Everyone was a winner!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Remember that as a teenager you are at the last stage in your life when you will be happy to hear that the phone is for you.
Fran Lebowitz (b. 1951), U.S. journalist. "Tips for Teens," Social Studies (1981).
TIME: 4:25 PM
PLACE: The kitchen
SUBJECT: Cell phone
Well, we did something we will probably end up regretting – we purchased a cell phone for DramaQueen for Christmas. We’ve been thinking about it for some time now. I’ve been wavering between her being too young and wishing she had one with her when she is at functions without me or HH. One thing good about it, we can use it as a disciplinary tool, e.g. we can take it away from her if her behavior is not acceptable. Sigh. I think mainly I am just not prepared for the teenage years that are rapidly approaching our doorstep. It means that I am getting older and that is something that I am not ready to accept at all.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
A bargain ain't a bargain unless it's something you need.
Sidney Carroll (American, film and television screenwriter, 1913-1988)
TIME: 9:55 PM
PLACE: Living room
SUBJECT: Thrifted JAPAN ornament
I like to collect vintage “Japan” ornaments. I NEED them (yeah, right). One of the little things that makes me happy, is discovering one of these ornaments in a thrift shop. What makes it even better is only paying $0.20 for said ornament. I know, I know, I live a sad and pathetic little life. I admit it. I found this little guy on Wednesday. I had a small window of opportunity (under 30 minutes) to visit one of my favorite thrift shops after work and before I had to pick up StellaDella from school (DramaQueen & MonkeyBoy had an after school function). I whizzed through the store, and found this guy and another similar gal hanging on the shop Christmas tree right before my time ran out. Forty cents for both? Yeah, I think that’s in my budget. Score!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Non essiri duci sinno tu mancianu, non essiri amaru sinno ti futanu
Literal English Translation: Do not be sweet lest you be eaten, do not be too sour, lest you be shunned
Idiom: All things in moderation (something I need to keep in mind with this food!)
TIME: 10:16 AM
PLACE: Rosciglione Bakery
SUBJECT: Cookie Cases
We went on our annual “Italian Run” this morning. The whole family goes every year – us, my dad, my oldest brother and his family, and my sister (she came by herself this year-sweet freedom from the kids!). First we went on the Hill in St. Louis to Viviano’s for cheese, bread, olives, wine and bread. Next stop was Volpi’s
for salami and prosciutto, then we headed to St. Charles and my cousin’s bakery for cookies. My Great Aunt Marie-my paternal grandmother’s youngest sister-joined us this year.
Here is Aunt Marie at the bakery. That’s StellaDella in the purple coat. Aunt Marie turned 84 this year and I hope I take after her in the aging department – I think she looks like she is in her late 60’s.
My favorite cookie there? The Biscotti Regina, a sesame covered biscotti. I’m thinking dinner tonight will be some Caccicavallo cheese, Filzetti salami and freshly baked bread with cookies for dessert. Mmm, mmm.
Friday, December 18, 2009
- Sir Walter Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel
- (1833) The Complete Works of Sir Walter Scott, Volume 1 0f 7, Canto Fourth, VIII, NY: Conner and Cooke
TIME: 9:32 PM
PLACE: Powell Symphony Hall Lobby
Tonight my Dad had tickets for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Celebration concert at Powell Symphony Hall. We all got gussied up in and when we left the house it was even starting to snow-very festive! We were not permitted to take pictures inside the orchestra area, but could take all we wanted in the lobby. I snapped a couple while taking StellaDella to the restroom during the event and took this one quickly while we were leaving. MonkeyBoy actually curled up in his seat and slept during the second portion of the concert. *shakes head*
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Sunset Blvd. (Gloria Swanson-actress. Written by Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder and D.M. Marshman Jr.
Billy Wilder-director, 1950)
TIME: 10:20 PM
SUBJECT: My legs and new shoes
OK, I’m embarrassed to admit that I bought these Jessica Simpson shoes today. Oh, and those fishnet tights too. I was doing some Christmas shopping and also trying to figure out what the heck I am going to wear to a Holiday concert we are attending tomorrow night. It is at Powell Symphony Hall with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. I saw these shoes at Macys and thought they were pretty cute. I had a black leather skirt at home and I thought that the the shoes would go well with the skirt, some tights, a dressy camisole, a black blazer and a scarf. I tried it all on but I’m still not sure. I’ll have to sleep on it.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Chandler: You know what's weird? Donald Duck never wore pants. But whenever he's getting out of the shower, he always puts a towel around his waist. I mean, what is that about?
”Friends" (1994) (The One Where No One's Ready [#3.2])
TIME: 7:02 PM
PLACE: The kitchen
SUBJECT: Holiday dishtowels
My friend, Denise, stopped by last night to drop off my Gold Candle Canyon and Tastefully Simple order from her annual party. She brought me a Christmas present - Christmas dishtowels that she originally wanted to give to me last Christmas. She had thought that they would go perfectly in my orange kitchen. She said that she meant to give them to me last year, but one thing led to another and it didn’t happen. There was peppermint bark in the gift bag as well, but she said she forgot that was in the bag and that we probably shouldn’t eat it – it was past the “best by” date of May 2009. I said I’d feed it to the kids and HH anyway. We both had a good giggle over that. Just two old friends being goofy.
Do you see that the stove is missing its knobs? We have to keep them off as the cats have been known to jump up to the window behind the stove and sometimes turn the knobs with their back paws. The burners don’t turn on all the way; all you can hear is the “click, click, click” of them trying to ignite and smell the gas spewing out. As a matter of fact, I woke up to that sound and smell last week. Not a good thing.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
And NOW! grinned the Grinch, “I will stuff up the tree!”
And the Grinch grabbed the tree, and he started to shove,
When he heard a small sound like the coo of a dove.
He turned around fast and he saw a small Who.
Little Cindy Lou Who, who was no more than two.
The Grinch had been caught by this tiny Who daugther
Who’d got out of bed for a cup of cold water.
She stared at the Grinch and said, “Santy Claus, why,
”Why are you taking our Christmas tree? WHY?”
But, you know, that old Grinch was so smart and so slick
He thought up a lie and he thought it up quick!
“Why my sweet little tot,” the fake Santy Claus lied,
“There's a light on this tree that won't light on one side.
“So I'm taking it home to my workshop, my dear.
“I'll fix it up there, then I'll bring it back here.”
And his fib fooled the child. Then he patted her head
And he got her a drink and he sent her to bed.
And when Cindy Lou Who was in bed with her cup,
HE went to the chimney and stuffed the tree up!
Dr. Seuss. How The Grinch Stole Christmas! New York: Random House, 1957.
TIME: 9:22 PM
PLACE: The living room
SUBJECT: Deer & Tinsel Tree craft
StellaDella and I made this tree yesterday after reading “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” (our advent book for the day). Bella Dia had posted a Book and Activity for each day of Advent back in 2007 and is revisiting it this year on The Crafty Crow website. I had printed out all of these last year and planned a few crafts with our books this Advent. We will be doing a few others next week when the kids are out of school. I need to give them something to do to keep them from annoying each other!
Monday, December 14, 2009
TIME: 4:34 PM
PLACE: Bradford Place
SUBJECT: Gouldian Finch
StellaDella’s Girl Scout troop and MonkeyBoy’s Webelos den went to an Independent Senior Living Center after school to sing Christmas carols and hand out Christmas cards and cookies to the residents. MB brought his saxophone and serenaded them by playing a selection of Christmas melodies. The men and women enjoyed the kid’s singing and MB’s playing. I wondered how many Christmases have been celebrated collectively by these older folks and how many more they have left to experience. It didn’t surprise me that I got tears in my eyes thinking about this as I am an emotional wreak anyway. To collect myself and get in control of my tears, I decided to study the huge finch aviary that was by the common area where the kids were singing. Most of the birds were flying and flitting around the enclosure, but this one just sat there and seemed to be listening to the caroling.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
"Think what a better world it would be if we all-the whole world-had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap.”
Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)
TIME: 1:43 PM
PLACE: St. Paul’s UCC Church
SUBJECT: Cookie with sprinkles
StellaDella had a Daisy “Winter Wonderland” program from 1-5 pm today. They had face painting, sang Christmas carols, decorated cookies, had a snack, made a craft, played games (soda bottle bowling/winter dress up relay/beanbag toss) and watched a movie (The Polar Express). HandsomeHusband and MonkeyBoy went to another Meat Shoot and DramaQueen had a birthday skating party. Of course, I had laundry to do and I even tried to do a little straightening up in the
dungeon of doom basement.
This week is the last week of school, then it’s Christmas break for the kids. I can’t believe that there are only 18 more days left in this year and Project 365. I’ve been thinking about what to do for 2010 – I'd like to keep this up but do it a little differently. I’ve several ideas and if I ever get a chance to sit and gather my thoughts together, I might even be ready to go by January 1st. I’m thinking of a week of a certain color/subject/technique. How about you all…are you going to continue with a picture a day in 2010? Will you change how you approach your photos? I need more ideas!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Orange you glad I didn’t say “banana”?
StellaDella’s favorite Knock-Knock joke
TIME: 7:34 PM
PLACE: The kitchen
SUBJECT: California Oranges & Mandarins
One of my favorite things about this time of year is oranges. I love, love the California Cuties Mandarins. I can eat a whole 5lb box all by myself. Today, a friend of HandsomeHusband gave him some oranges that he brought back from a recent visit to California. We had Chinese take out tonight and these were perfect for dessert.
Friday, December 11, 2009
TIME: 8:37 PM
PLACE: The kitchen
SUBJECT: Cabinet curtains
I just finished making these. Last November, I painted my kitchen "Roasted Squash." If you look to the right in the second picture of the post, you can see where the doors were taken off of the cabinets for painting. They were never put back on. I liked having the open shelving (and not getting irritated each time someone left the doors open). However, I could never arrange the dishes Martha Stewart-y enough to suit me and it just didn’t look very nice. I found this outdoor fabric at Joann’s about a month and a half ago, and thought it would go nicely with the orange walls. I had issues deciding how I was going to hang them. I wanted them inside the opening and knew that tension rods were not going to hold them up. I finally decided on a wooden dowel and closet pole sockets. I quit procrastinating, got off my duff and sewed them up tonight after dinner. There was no ripping involved and minimal cursing during the sewing. I cut the wooden dowels myself with the power miter saw (HH was already in bed) and I still have all my fingers - a plus! Now, that’s what I call a successfully completed project.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
TIME: 9:11 PM
PLACE: The study
SUBJECT: Laura's Christmas Star
This year for Advent, I had DramaQueen pick and wrap 24 of the many Christmas books that we have accumulated. She also numbered them so that "The Night Before Christmas" is the final book to be opened. Each night, StellaDella unwraps the appropriate numbered package and we sit and read the book before bedtime. Tonight was "Laura's Christmas Star" by Klaus Baumgart. I think I like this way to countdown to Christmas more than any other Advent calendar we have had in the past.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Buddy: I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.
Elf (Will Ferrell-actor, David Berenbaum-written by, Jon Favreau-director, 2003)
TIME: 9:12 PM
PLACE: The kitchen
SUBJECT: Starlight mint pyramid
Well, even if the calendar says we have 12 more days until winter begins, I’m thinking that it arrived today in my neck of the woods. The wind was blustery, the temperature dropped into the teens and we had flurries. No snow accumulation though. Do you want to hear my snow theory? Well, even if you don’t want to hear it, I’m going to tell you. My snow theory is that if it is going to get cold like this, then it needs to snow, otherwise it’s just wasting my time. Obviously, Mother Nature doesn’t think much of my opinions.
I love Starlight Mints. Walgreens had them on sale last week, buy 2 bags for $3.00 and get a bag free. How could I resist? Plus I
needed wanted some to fill up one of my PartyLite Naturally Modern Votive Holders. I was playing around building a pyramid with some extra ones, and thought that the pattern they made was a good subject.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Clean shirt, new shoes
And I don't know where I'm goin' to
Silk suit, black tie
I don't need a reason why
They come runnin' just as fast as they can
Coz every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man…
Billy Gibbons, Billy; Hill, Dusty; Beard, Frank. “Sharp Dressed Man.” Lyrics. ZZ Top. Eliminator. Warner Bros, 1983.
TIME: 7:54 PM
PLACE: Junior High Cafeteria
Tonight was the grade school Christmas program. Since we have a small gym/cafeteria, the school uses the Junior High School gym for the performance. Sunday, DramaQueen and I went shopping at the mall for a new dress for her – she said she had nothing to wear and actually, she was telling the truth! MB and StellaDella needed new clothes as well. If they would just stop growing, all their clothes would still fit, but they don’t listen to me. MB is still easy to shop for, he will wear whatever I purchase. I bought him these new shoes, pants, shirt and a real tie. HandsomeHusband tied it for him tonight, but will be teaching him how to do it on his own. He thought he was stylin’ and I thought he was too!
Monday, December 7, 2009
Gingerbread Man: NO! Not the buttons! Not my gumdrop buttons!
Shrek (Conrad Vernon-actor, William Steig-book, Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson-directors, 2001)
TIME: 4:13 PM
PLACE: School stage
SUBJECT: Gumdrop Truss Bridge
MonkeyBoy is working on his Webelos Engineer Activity Badge. Today at the den meeting, we discussed different kinds of bridges and their differences. Then we constructed a model of a truss bridge using toothpicks and gumdrops. We started with a single truss and then added a second level. The den mother (me) had a blonde moment and forgot to bring a cupful of pennies to test the strength of the bridge, but the boys enjoyed the activity anyway. I’ve been MB’s den mother since the beginning when he was a Tiger scout. I’ve enjoyed doing it, but I must admit, I am looking forward to him moving onto Boy Scouts and my volunteering being finished at the end of this school year. Does that make me a bad mom?
Sunday, December 6, 2009
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads;
Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863), U.S. poet. A Visit from St. Nicholas (l. 3-6). . . Anthology of American Poetry. George Gesner, ed. (1983) Avenel Books.
TIME: 10:24 PM
PLACE: On top of the piano
SUBJECT: Santa figurines
Do you celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas? St. Nick was Nicholas of Myra, a saint and Bishop of Myra (Myra was located in Turkey.) His MO was to give secret gifts – such as leaving coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him. He is said to be the model for Santa Claus. On December 5, the Eve of St. Nicholas Day, when I was a small child, we would put stockings at the edge of our beds or on our bedroom door before we went to sleep. The following morning, we would wake-up to find that St. Nick had filled our stockings with candy and small presents – for us, there was always a pair of socks included in the mix. Supposedly, if we were bad, he would leave coal – but we never saw that (although, a few times, we probably would have deserved it!). I have continued this tradition with my children. St. Nick always leaves a fancy toothbrush (Spinbrushes this year), a family DVD (Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian), along with candy and other small items.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
TIME: 10:53 AM
PLACE: Murphy Company
SUBJECT: Clockwise: MonkeyBoy, DramaQueen, StellaDella, The Bean and RegularMilk
My Dad works for a construction company. For the past several years, one of the mechanical contractors they work with has had a Saturday Christmas party that is totally geared toward the kids. The 3 kids and I met Dad and my sister and nephew and niece there this year. This year they had a pancake breakfast, pictures with Santa, crafts, cookie decorating, stories, a BBQ lunch and face painting. The face painting is always a big hit as you can see. Yes, that is “Team Jacob” on DQ’s forehead and not to be outdone, SD had “Team Edward” paint on her arm.
Where was HandsomeHusband? He was home, fixing the furnace. Apparently the sensor board decided to quit during the coldest morning we have had so far this winter (in the low 20’s last night!). Our house got down to 57 degrees – a tad chilly. I am eternally grateful that the part was in stock at the local heating and cooling business; that the warranty covered the cost of said $390 part; and finally that my HH has the knowledge and skills to install the part himself, saving us even more. I knew there was a reason why I married him!
Friday, December 4, 2009
The Simpsons, Marge vs. the Monorail, 14 January 1993 (Season 4, Episode 12)
TIME: 8:29 PM
PLACE: 6525 Chippewa Street, St. Louis, MO
SUBJECT: Donut Drive In
The kid’s school sponsored a Parent’s Night Out this evening. I forked over $15 and the three
rugrats darlings were fed pizza and kept out of our hair properly supervised for three hours. HH and I took this opportunity to go out to eat. We went to our favorite sushi restaurant in St. Louis – Nobu’s. We’ve been going since HH took me there on our 1st date 20 years ago. Tonight, we sat at the sushi bar and toward the end of our dinner, I mentioned this fact to Noboru Kidera, the owner and sushi chef. He congratulated us and asked about the kids (they’ve been going there since they were tiny babies – MB inhales the cucumber and California rolls and they all enjoy the miso soup with extra tofu). He had some fresh pineapple brought out for us to commemorate our “anniversary”. HH said it was the sweetest pineapple he ever tasted. Afterwards, we drove to Chippewa Ave (Route 66) and Ted Drewes for some custard. It was 8 o’clock at night and a chilly 29 degrees out but there we were, standing in the cold to get our custard.
This “Donut Drive-In” is just down the street from Ted Drewes on the old Route 66. HH stopped so I could take a couple of shots, then it was time to hit the road and pick up the kids. The three hours went way too fast.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Traffic Cop: What's the matter? Didn't you see that traffic light?
Frosty: What's a traffic light?
Traffic Cop: Up there on that lamppost.
Frosty: What's a lamppost?
Traffic Cop: Are you trying to get a ticket, wise guy?
Frosty: I'd love one. To the North Pole, please.
Frosty The Snowman (Paul Frees, Jackie Vernon, written by Romeo Muller, Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr. - directors, 1969)
TIME: 10:00 PM
PLACE: The Dining Room
SUBJECT: Crocheted Snowman
I crocheted this snowman 2 (or was it 3?) years ago from a RoxyCraft pattern. My snowman does not look as nice as the original. Being that I was a self-taught crocheter, I’m lucky that he didn’t turn looking like a mutant. I like crocheting, but haven’t picked up a hook all year. I find it to be like cross-stitching, logical, orderly and soothing. Plus I find it fascinating…you start with a long piece of yarn, basically, tie knots with it on a metal hook and you end up with (in this case) a snowman! It’s magic.
On a related note, one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2009 was to learn to knit. I’m thinking that I am going to fail in fulfilling that resolution. Something to aspire to next year, I guess.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Mysterious affair, electricity.
Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. A, in "Theatre II," one of the dramatic pieces in Ends and Odds, p. 92, Grove Press (1976).
TIME: 10:18 PM
PLACE: My bedroom
SUBJECT: Electrical outlet
I never noticed before how the electrical outlet looks like two shocked faces. Quite appropriate I think. I hope that it’s not because of what has been going on in my bedroom! *wink*
(Can you tell I am running out of ideas lately? The time of the photo is getting later and later each day and I think that my subject matter is getting pulled out of my a*# at the last minute!)
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Without health, there is no point. To anything.
TIME: 3:58 PM
PLACE: The study
SUBJECT: My bandage (picture taken by HH)
I was a good mom, finally. The county had seasonal influenza vaccinations available and so I took the kids to get their flu shots. I picked them up from school at 2:30pm. They were excited to leave school a half hour early. That excitement lasted about 5 minutes until I told them where they were going. MonkeyBoy volunteered to go first and he took his shot like it was nothing. DramaQueen followed suit, I got mine, then it was StellaDella’s turn. She was a little more vocal about the initial stick, but she recovered quickly.
On another note, a couple of weeks ago, HandsomeHusband purchased SD 4 additional goldfish to keep Dorothy company. This evening, we had a tragedy…we found a “floater” in the goldfish aquarium. The deceased was one of the new guys. SD did NOT take it well. RIP my gold friend, RIP.
Monday, November 30, 2009
TIME: 10:26 PM
PLACE: The living room
SUBJECT: Wooden rocking horse ornament
I must have painted this back in 1971 or 1972, when I was about 4 or 5 years old. My mom purchased a wooden paint-by-numbers ornament kit and allowed me and my brothers to choose and paint one ornament. Mom ended up “correcting” my brothers’ efforts, but apparently my attempt was completely unsalvageable. She must have loved it as only a mother could, because she hung it on the tree every year. I moved out of my parents house in 1993 and during my first Christmas in my new home, Mom gave me my artistic masterpiece so it could adorn my own tree. Every year, I hang it with honor.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
Norman Vincent Peale (American, Protestant preacher, author and a progenitor of the theory of "positive thinking", 1898–1993)
TIME: 11:05 PM
PLACE: The living room
SUBJECT: Christmas tree lights
Well, I actually DID start decorating for Christmas today. I was able to get the tree set up at least. Only the lights are on it for now though. Ornaments will have to wait until tomorrow. I have an artificial tree and I put the lights on “old school” – wrapping them from trunk to the tip of each individual branch. Yes, it is a pain in the rear, but I like a lot of lights on my tree. I could purchase a pre-lit tree but they just don’t have enough lights on them for me. Plus I can’t see shelling out money for a new tree when the one I have is still in excellent shape. I’m
cheap frugal that way.
Do you like this shot? I used the “fireworks” setting on my camera and moved it in a circular motion while pressing the shutter to take this photo.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
There's no sauce in the world like hunger.
Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616), Spanish author. Teresa Panza (Sancho's wife), in Don Quixote, pt. 2, ch. 5 (1615), trans. by P. Motteux. This well-worn proverb was attributed to Socrates by Cicero in De Finibus, bk. 2, sct. 90.
TIME: 9:21 PM
PLACE: My Dad’s kitchen
SUBJECT: Spaghetti sauce with meatballs
Tonight was the “Family” Thanksgiving. The family being my Dad, my oldest brother and his family, my younger sister and her family and my family. I have another older brother, who lives in San Francisco with his family, but unfortunately, they did not make it into town for the holiday. My Dad had the idea for each of us to make a pot of spaghetti sauce and meatballs and bring it to his house where we poured them all in to one huge pot. We all have the same base recipe handed down from my Dad’s mother, Edna, but it is interesting how the end result differs from parent to child and from sibling to sibling. Doesn’t matter…the melding of the four sauces was superb. Dad made some chicken spiedini, bread and a salad to round out the meal. We also each brought some pie – pumpkin, chocolate pudding, pecan, peanut butter and apple. I also brought the turkey cookies I made. We all ate way too much.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Buddy the Elf: SANTA! OH MY GOD! SANTA'S COMING! I KNOW HIM! I KNOW HIM!
Elf (Will Ferrell, written by David Berenbaum, Jon Favreau-director, 2003)
TIME: 11:17 AM
PLACE: West Main Street
SUBJECT: Santa and Mrs. Claus
The day after Thanksgiving is our town’s Santa Claus parade. We had beautiful weather – plenty of sunshine and it was about 50 degrees. DQ, SD, Oreo and I went to the parade, MB and HH had to leave early for MB’s Pilgrim Bowl football game (we joined them after the parade – they won!). Both girls collected plenty of candy, SD was handed a stuffed dog and even Oreo received dog treats from the parade participants. The final float of the parade was the most important one, it carried Santa and his wife.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (American Poet, Lecturer and Essayist, 1803-1882)
TIME: 8:02 PM
PLACE: The kitchen
SUBJECT: Turkey cookies
Well, I hope that a Happy Thanksgiving was enjoyed by all those in the States today. We will be celebrating the with the “Family” on Saturday so we just had a small quiet dinner at Sujomi household. HH made a ham, garlic mashed potatoes and a wilted slaw (all very tasty – especially because I didn’t have to cook!) and I made pumpkin pie for dessert. Heck, I even got out the wedding china.
I made these cookies last night and the kids helped ice them this evening. These will be coming with us on Saturday to Dad’s house. A funny thing about these cookies, they are called “Sour Cream Sugar Cookies”. My dad hates sour cream. He even jokes that he doesn’t like anyone who likes sour cream, but these are his favorite cookies! He prefers them un-iced and I made sure that I have a container of those just for him. If you like a not-too-sweet cookie, then you should enjoy these.
Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
In a medium bowl, sift together:
3-1/4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Then, in a mixer combine:
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat for 2 minutes, then blend in 1/2 cup sour cream. Change your attachment to a dough hook and slowly add the flour mixture.
Roll and cut out with cookie cutters.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
Cool on wire rack.
Ice as desired.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Mad Men. By Matthew Weiner. Perf. Christina Hendricks. American Movie Classics, AMC. 2007
TIME: 12:39 PM
PLACE: The Study
SUBJECT: Desk chair roller
My current desk chair is a recent purchase from Goodwill. For a mere $15 I became the proud owner of a vintage steno chair…it looks exactly like this Rockwell Steno Chair which has a refinished price of $850(!). It is the most comfortable desk chair I have owned. It supports my lower back perfectly and has a nice little recline on it as well. This is wonderful for when I desire to lay back and “check my eyelids for leaks” for awhile.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Dean Martin (American Actor and Singer. 1917-1995)
TIME: 7:33 PM
PLACE: My nightstand
SUBJECT: My eyeglasses on a holder
This little ceramic holder was painted and given to me from my Aunt Alice (my mom’s sister) in 1975 for my 8th birthday. Yep, it’s true, I have had corrective lenses since 2nd grade. I am horribly nearsighted and have astigmatism. At my eye exam last Thursday, for the 1st time in 15 years, my prescription, which had been holding steady, changed for the worse. Oh the perils of being over 40. The good news is that my sight can be corrected to 20/20 in my left eye and 20/30 in my right eye. Now I have new gas permeable contacts on order. All I can say is thank goodness for modern optometry – otherwise I would be on a corner, selling pencils from a cup.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Buying something on sale is a very special feeling. In fact, the less I pay for something, the more it is worth to me. I have a dress that I paid so little for that I am afraid to wear it. I could spill something on it, and then how would I replace it for that amount of money?
Rita Rudner (American, Comedienne, Writer and Actress. b. 1953)
TIME: 7:39 PM
PLACE: My desk
SUBJECT: Celluloid Snowman ornament
This past weekend, being the third full weekend of the month, was the flea market at our town’s fairgrounds. I went on Saturday – alone no less! – and pursued the treasures that were there. I love hitting the 50 cent/3 for $1.00 boxes of Christmas ornaments to search for that “special” ornament for my family’s “Ugly Ornament Exchange.” My mom started it after finding what she thought was the most god-awful ornament at a yard sale and suggested that my sister and I find one and we do an exchange at Christmas. And so a tradition began. We are on the hunt all year for that one of a kind ornament. My sister and I actually like these orphaned little guys. The sadder the better. We have even purchased special tabletop trees to display their loveliness. I promise to take pictures of my “special” tree after I get it up this year.
This vintage celluloid snowman I found is not considered “ugly”. I like to collect ornaments made in Japan from the 1950’s to the 1970’s. I used to be able to pick them up at yard sales, estate sales and thrift stores for under a quarter, sometimes even for a dime. Now, that their popularity has grown, it is getting harder and harder to find the bargains like I have in years past. Oh well, it makes the thrill of the hunt all that more exciting. I did find this guy in a 50 cent box on Saturday. He has a hole on his left side where the celluloid has melted, but it can’t be seen when he is sitting. Vintage celluloid? Check! Sad ornament because he is deformed? Check! Did he need a home because no one else would possibly want him? Check and Sold!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
And the night shall be filled with music
And the cares that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. "The Day is Done." l. 41-44. Yale Book of American Verse; ed. by Thomas Raynesford Lounsbury. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1912.
TIME: 8:26 PM
PLACE: The living room
SUBJECT: Tent & Oreo
I attempted to clean and organize the dining room and living room today in anticipation of Christmas decorating this coming weekend. This year, I decided I will begin decorating the day after Thanksgiving instead of putting it off until the week before Christmas. My holiday spirit has been gone for the past seven years or so and I would like to get it back…for both the kid’s sake & mine. While
hiding putting some things away in the window seat, I found this play tent that my mom had bought for MB when he was about 3 or 4 years old. I decided to set it up and SD loves it. She immediately wanted to have a sleep over in it and attempted to camp out in the living room last night. She ended up crawling into my bed about 3am. I’ll keep it up until Friday, then it’s decoration time!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.
And yet the world,
Displays a certain
The beauty of
The bone. Tall God
Must see our souls
This way, and nod.
Give thanks: we do,
Each in his place
Around the table
Updike, John. "November". A Child’s Calendar. Holiday House.
TIME: 8:25 AM
MB went out with HH this morning for breakfast and picture taking. This is one of the photos he snapped and I immediately thought of this poem. “A Child’s Calendar” is a book of poetry by John Updike that I have read over and over again to the kids. It has one poem for each month of the year. The November poem is my favorite verse from the book. I think MB’s photo illustrates it beautifully. This picture also inspires me to imagine what could be around the bend. Just think of the possibilities.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Meyer, Stephanie. New Moon. New York. Little, Brown and Company. 2006.
TIME: 7:23 PM
PLACE: Living Room
SUBJECT: New Moon collage
(The following post was written by DramaQueen)
OMGOMGOMG NEW MOON IS SO AWESOME! The books were incredibly awesome! I’m seeing New Moon today at 10 pm. I can’t wait! What it’s about is Bella Swan is in love with Edward Cullen. [You probably already know that] Bella goes to a birthday party for her at the Cullen’s. Bella gives herself a paper cut, and Jasper tries to drink her blood. [He’s the newest vampire] Edward fights him off and Bella get thrown into glass. Carlisle stitches her up, and things go back to normal. Until a few days later. Edward leaves Bella because he is a vampire and he thinks that Bella doesn’t need him. He thinks that he might kill her. [Which he almost does in BD] Bella is depressed for about 4 months. [October, November, December, January] So she sees her good old friend, Jacob Black. [He’s so hot! EEEEE!"] They hang and build motorcycles. But, when they try them out, Bella sees Edward. For some reason, whenever Bella is doing something dangerous, she sees Edward. Bella busts her head and Jacob has to run to her and take off his shirt, [HOT] and put it on over her head. Then the get it fixed up. Bella starts to see change in Jacob. It turns out, he’s becoming a wolf. Later, Harry Clearwater, [Charlie’s best friend. Charlie is Bella’s dad] dies of a heart attack. Charlie goes to the funeral. Alice comes back to see Bella. Jacob comes over. The phone rings and Jacob answers it. It’s Edward. Edward asks where’s Charlie, and Jacob says “At a funeral.” Edward hangs up. Bella is freaked. Alice tells her that Edward thinks she’s dead, and that the have to get to Volterra. Edward wants to die, too. Jake doesn’t want Bella to leave, but she has to go. They go to the Volturi Castle. Bella stops Edward. Then they see Aro. [King of Vampires] He says that he hopes to see Bella as a vampire, since she is mortal and she knows all about the immortal. They return home, and Charlie is really mad that Bella went to Italy with no permission. She gets grounded. And that is New Moon! TEAM JACOB! I ♥ WEREWOLVES!!!!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Accidents, and particularly street and highway accidents, do not happen - they are caused.
Ernest Greenwood (Romanian-American, Professor of Social Welfare, Emeritus, Berkeley, 1910–2004)
TIME: 9:58 PM
PLACE: Across the street
SUBJECT: Overturned vehicle
Around 9:45 I hear a loud "boom, boom" and the house shook. My first thought was that someone ran the stop sign and hit HH's car that is parked in front of the house. I go outside and see that a vehicle has crashed on the side of my neighbor's house and is lying on the driver's side. I dial 9-1-1 and go outside to see if the person is ok. Other neighbors are there as well. They are able to get her out through the rear of the car and had her sitting in the street. I went back inside and got a blanket to cover her until the ambulance arrived. Her cousin was following her and speaking with her on a cell phone(!) and said that the driver told her that the brakes were not working. The car ran up a lawn, damaged a porch, came back down into the street and then went between a stop sign and a fire hydrant and clipped my neighbor's brick house (which was 4 houses away from the 1st house she hit!), ran into their air conditioner unit and somehow flipped and landed on its side. Several police units, the fire trucks and the ambulance arrived on the scene. They took her to the hospital and the truck was towed away. I do hope that she is ok. I also hope that the accident was caused by faulty brakes and not because she might have been under the influence. Why am I feeling so cynical about it though?
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
TIME: 7:57 PM
PLACE: DQ’s bedroom
SUBJECT: SD’s & my legs
This is what I wore tonight to the charity event. (Brown “Me Too” boots ($6 @ Goodwill), white tights - no, my legs are not THAT pale - ($5 @ Wal-mart) and tan corduroy skirt ($3 on clearance at Wal-Mart). Not pictured is an orange cami and a white hoodie (Old Navy). SD is in the background wearing leggings from Target. Her shoes are from Payless)
The event went well. For a donation of a toy or $20 per person, we get to sample food from around 20 different restaurants. There were gift basket raffles and the County Animal Shelter held a drawing for 2 dogs and 3 cats. DQ purchased a ticket for one of the cats but
thankfully unfortunately, she did not win. I’m stuffed and it was for a good cause. All donated gifts and proceeds will go to local needy families. I like that fact that it is a local charity. Due to the economy, our charitable contributions are not as much as they have been in years past. But this is one event that we definitely keep in our budget every year.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
TIME: 4:28 PM
PLACE: Kitchen table
SUBJECT: Potato Soup
Today was a perfect day for soup. It was still chilly, rainy and dreary outside. To make things even more depressing, I had to go to the Mart of Wal. I really do not like going there, but we are attending a charitable function tomorrow night and I needed to purchase 5 toys as a donation/entrance fee for the family. I survived, and I hope the kids will enjoy the items I chose: a Tonka dump truck, a Fischer Price Doctor kit, a Littlest Pet Shop play set, a Nerf N-Strike Recon CS-6 and a Lap Harp. SD has already stated that she wants Santa to bring her a Littlest Pet Shop play set too. I told her to start her list.