Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Game of Life (059/365)

2009 02 28 IMG
“If you take the game of life seriously, if you take your nervous system seriously, if you take your sense organs seriously, if you take the energy process seriously, you must turn on, tune in, and drop out”

Timothy Leary (American writer, psychologist, futurist, and advocate of psychedelic drug research, 1920-1996)

TIME: 8:35 PM
PLACE: Living Room Coffee Table
SUBJECT: The Game of Life 

DramaQueen is spending the night at a friend's house and  HandsomeHusband is attending a Rotary Club dinner tonight.  That left MonkeyBoy, StellaDella and myself at home this Saturday evening.  We ordered Chinese takeout and played the Game of Life.  MonkeyBoy won with $1,480,000.  I came in second, and StellaDella came in third.  She didn't care, she was just happy to be playing a "big kid's game" with Mom and her brother.  No turning on, tuning in or dropping out was attempted. ;)



Friday, February 27, 2009

Dave is 40! (058/365)

2009 02 27 IMG_1558 
"Hoc vinum Falernum annorum quadragenta est. Bene aetatem fert."

Translation:
"This wine is forty years old. It certainly doesn't show its age."
Cicero (Roman politician, lawyer, orator and philosopher, 106 BC-43 BC)

TIME: 6:59 PM
PLACE: Putter's Bar & Grill
SUBJECT: 40th B-Day Party Necklace

My brother-in-law turned 40 on Monday and my sister gave him a surprise birthday party tonight.  My contribution was these party favor necklaces, modeled here by HandsomeHusband.  My sister and I scanned two youthful photos of Dave and used Photoshop to place the text onto the picture.  We took the files to Kinko's where they filled an 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet of paper with each photo-12 to a sheet.  They also printed and laminated them for us.  Yesterday, I cut the pictures apart and wired them onto black and silver Mardi Gras throw beads.   All of the partygoers wore them in support of Dave's journey into his 40's.  Happy Birthday Dave!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

#%$^&%* Retaining Wall! (057/365)

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“Did you hear about the psychic who was involved in a fender bender?
He had an auto-body experience."

Unknown


TIME: 12:02 PM
PLACE: The back driveway
SUBJECT: Very scraped up bumper

This little mishap actually occurred last night as I was backing out of a parking space after DramaQueen's basketball game.  There was a retaining wall on the other side, it was dark, and DQ was crying and upset about the way the game went down (very aggressive play and they lost).  I was a trifle distracted and misjudged how far back the retaining wall actually was - It obviously was closer than I thought.  I got an estimate today - $528.21 and it will take 2 days to fix.  Ouch.  It's scheduled to go in on March 9th.  Sorry honey!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Sure Sign of Spring (056/365)

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“A blunderer is a man who starts a meat market during Lent

James Montgomery Bailey (American journalist, 1841-1894)

TIME: 4:13 PM
PLACE: St. Mary's School Parking Lot
SUBJECT: Fish Fry sign

Today, Ash Wednesday, is the first day of Lent.  Lent is the liturgical season of forty days, beginning today and ending with the celebration of the Paschal Mystery (Easter).  Lent is the primary penitential season in the Church's liturgical year, reflecting the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert fasting and praying.  On this day, we are marked with ashes in the sign of the cross on our forehead, reminding us of the end of this life and our longing for eternal life in God, through his Son, Jesus.  During Lent, through the spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting and charitable giving, we recall our baptismal promises and renew our commitment to a life of faith.

As a Catholic, aged 18-59, HH and I are required to fast today, limiting ourselves to one full meal and two smaller meals with no snacking between meals.  Catholics age 14 and older also abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all Fridays of Lent.  Children under the age of 14 are encouraged to abstain or do some sort of penance during the Lenten season.    I've suggested to the three children that they give up shouting and snapping at each other.  This was met with incredulous stares.  Obviously, we need to work on this aspect of the Lenten season. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jake and Me (055/365)

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"I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts."

John Steinbeck (American author, 1902-1968)

TIME: 9:08 PM
PLACE: My brother's house
SUBJECT: Jake

This is Jake, the most mellow yellow Labrador in the world, crashed in front of the couch during a Partylite show.  Jake lives with my brother and sister-in-law.  SIL works as an assistant to the veterinarian I use for our family's cats and dog.  I love our vet - She has a mobile office and comes to our house.  I love the fact that I don't have to pack 3 animals in the car for veterinarian visits.  The vet just drives to our house with her mobile office and SIL comes inside and takes the victims animals out to the van.  Exams, weighing and shots are all done in there.  It is so convenient and well worth the price of the home visit.  I highly recommend it!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bark (054/365)

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“I think people tend to forget that trees are living creatures. They're sort of like dogs. Huge, quiet, motionless dogs, with bark instead of fur.”

Jack Handy (American Writer and cast member of Saturday Night Live from 1991-2003. Famous for his Deep Thoughts comedy sketches.)

TIME: 1:40 PM
PLACE: The backyard
SUBJECT: Pine tree bark

A tall pine tree stands in our yard.  When we purchased our home, the lower boughs reached to the ground, providing the children with a "clubhouse".  I joined them a few times, and pine needles littered the ground, providing cushioning for the floor and scenting the air.  But the lower boughs were scraggly, and many were brown and dead.  HH  eventually took a saw to the boughs, raising the canopy of the tree, making it easier to walk underneath.  It provides a shady place to sit in the summer, and a natural umbrella when taking the dog out in the rain.  In the summertime, cicadas leave their shedded shells on the trunk and my son enjoys chasing his sisters with their empty carcasses and listening to the girls scream with fright.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Paddle Faster, I Hear Banjos (053/365)

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“Pray to God, but continue to row toward shore."

Russian Proverb

TIME: 2:51 PM
PLACE: Cabela's
SUBJECT: Kayak Display

Ahhh, Sundays...today started with a delicious brunch with a family friend.   The children were surprisingly well-mannered.  No spills, whining or bickering.  A success!  We then took our friend to the airport.  She is flying to Florida for a 10-day vacation...the lucky lady.  Afterwards, HandsomeHusband had suggested going to Cabela's since it is close to  the airport.  So we wandered around there for a bit, and then some other stores that were in the attached outlet mall.  HH purchased a new pair of brown shoes that he needed, the kids played on the indoor playground and then we left.  A quick stop by a local volunteer fire department for their BBQ fundraiser and we made it home.  Now I need to do laundry and some picking up around the house.  Nothing says "I love you" like a drawer full of clean underwear.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Young Jane Austen (052/365)

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“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

Jane Ausen (British Novelist and Writer, 1775-1817) Northanger Abbey

TIME: 8:55 AM
PLACE: Junior High School Lobby
SUBJECT: DramaQueen

Each year our school district encourages the students to develop original stories to practice good writing.   All children from kindergarten through eighth grade, as well as special classrooms, are encouraged to participate.   The best writings from each class are honored at an assembly.  At this assembly, the best manuscript from each school is announced.  Those students then attend a regional "Young Authors" conference in April.  Today, DramaQueen was honored for her story entitled "Camp Jumble".  Although her manuscript did not receive the "best of school", we are still so very proud of her!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Promise of Spring (051/365)

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“Beneath the crisp and wintry carpet hid
A million buds but stay their blossoming;
And trustful birds have built their nests amid
The shuddering boughs, and only wait to sing
Till one soft shower from the south shall bid,
And hither tempt the pilgrim steps of Spring.”
 

Robert Seymour Bridges (English Poet & Physician, 1844-1930) "The Growth of Love" (6.9)

TIME: 7:57 PM
PLACE: Dining Room
SUBJECT: Budding branch

Sunday was our Cub Scout Pack's Blue and Gold Banquet with the theme of "Family".  Traditionally, each boy makes a centerpiece to decorate the tables.  As I am the Webelo-1 Den leader, I had to come up with an idea for our den.   My big idea was family trees.  I cut branches from a bush in our backyard.  We mixed up some plaster of paris, and poured it in a tin can to "plant" our tree branch.  Cub scout scrapbook paper was taped around the outside of the can.   The boys cut out green construction paper leaves and wrote a family name on each leaf: the scout, brothers, sisters, parents, and grandparents.  They then used hot glue to attach the leaves to the "tree" branch.   We did this last week Tuesday.  On Sunday, at the banquet, we noticed that the branches were budding!  The boys thought that was pretty cool.  The moisture from the plaster of paris and the warmth from being inside must have forced the buds.  The buds have continued to grow this week.  It's so nice to see some green...Come on Spring!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rolling in the Dough (050/365)

2009 02 19 IMG_1315
"I got sick of the dough, and thought I'd go on the loaf."

Curly Howard (American comedian, vaudevillian and actor, 1903-1952)

TIME: 11:20 AM
PLACE: Kitchen counter
SUBJECT: Homemade playdough

StellaDella wanted to play with playdough today and our store-bought stuff was all dried out.  So we made some.  I really like this dough.  It's much softer than the manufactured brands and you don't have all those "Play-doh crumbs" to deal with. 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Homemade Playdough Recipe

2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar (this is optional but if you have it use it-it makes the dough more elastic)
food coloring

Mix all ingredients except for food coloring in a saucepan.  Stir and cook over low heat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan.  This will take about 10 minutes or so.  The dough will be thick and resemble mashed potatoes.  Poke it with your finger.  If the dough doesn't stick to your finger it's ready.  If it is sticks, then cook it a little more.

Turn out the dough on a plastic mat (I use my trusty Tupperware pie mat) and start kneading when it cools down.  If you want to color your dough, make a divot in the middle and add your food coloring.  I divided up my dough into 4 equal balls - StellaDella wanted 4 colors.  Knead until the color has worked its way through the dough. 

That's it!  Store in a air-tight container.  This dough lasts a long time.  The last batch I made lasted 6+ months!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Somewhere Over the Rainbow (049/365)

2009 02 18 IMG_1277 
"Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray.”

Lord Byron (English Romantic poet and satirist, 1788-1824)

TIME: 12:11 PM
PLACE: Mother's Day Out - Purple Room
SUBJECT: Paper Rainbows

Today was my day to volunteer at StellaDella's Mother's Day Out program.  The program requires that a parent volunteers in a 3 or 4 year old classroom four times each year.  This is my second time helping out in this particular 3 year-old classroom.  My niece (my younger sister's child) is in this room.  Volunteering involves helping out with the projects, reading books, making sure hands are washed after using the restroom, refereeing in the gym, providing a helping hand opening lunch boxes and cleaning up all messes.  The kids made the paper rainbows pictured above today.  I've tried to get HandsomeHusband to take a turn, but I guess my powers of persuasion aren't all that great in this area.  It's really not so bad.  That being said, this should be my final volunteer day.  A permanent helper has taken over the last 2 days I originally signed up for.  Woo Hoo - Sweet Freedom! 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Matter of Perspective (048/365)

2009 02 17 IMG_1224 BW
"We live in illusion and the appearance of things. There is a reality. We are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That is all.”

Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche (Buddhist meditation master, scholar and teacher, 1905-1989)

TIME: 6:15 PM
PLACE: County Courthouse
SUBJECT: Looking down from the 5th floor

I set up a field trip for our Cub Scout Pack at the County Courthouse tonight. Our State Representative came and spoke to the boys about state government and local history. He gave each boy a book of Illinois government, a map of Illinois and a pin. The trip counted as a "Go See It" for our Tigers, and fulfilled an achievement requirement for our Wolves, Webelos Ones and Twos. Our State Rep. made it very interesting and informative. Afterward, HH, the kids, a good friend and I went to a local Mexican restaurant. A couple of margaritas, some tacos, tamales, chili, sopaipilla and Ice creams were ordered and consumed. All in all a very nice evening.

Monday, February 16, 2009

HandsomeHusband's Snake (047/365)

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"It's not that I don't care for snakes,
But oh what do you do
When a 24-foot python says …
I love you?"

Shel Silverstein, "Snake Problem", A Light in the Attic, USA: Harper Collins, 1981

TIME: 9:49 AM
PLACE: The study 
SUBJECT: Garter Snake

The HandsomeHusband rescued this snake in December.  I posted about it here, on my other blog, Suzy Homemaker.  Today was the first time it came up through the hole on the top of the flower pot that we have in the aquarium for its den.  My cat, Jack, was going nuts.  Whenever the snake comes out from under the pot, Jack is on top of the aquarium, twitching his tail and usually knocking something down in the process.  Soon the snake will no longer be a part of our happy family.  The plan is to release it at a nearby hiking trail, sometime in late April or early May, when the weather turns warmer.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Using Your Noodle (046/365)

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"Oh look, it's Mr. Noodle's brother, Mr. Noodle."

Elmo (Sesame Street: Elmo's World, Kevin Clash - actor, 1998)

TIME: 11:31 AM
PLACE: The kitchen table 
SUBJECT: Handmade Wheat Noodles

The HandsomeHusband made lunch today:  Handmade wheat noodles, a red sauce with shrimp, mushrooms and Italian sausage, onions, garlic and Italian seasonings and on the side, a slaw with bacon.  It was very tasty.  The kids helped him unroll the noodles and place them on the plate to dry slightly before cooking.  He has made noodles before, but today was the first time he used wheat flour.  He's looking out for my fiber intake.  What a sweetheart!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love Letter (045/365)

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2009 02 14 IMG_1117 
Eddie Valiant: I suppose you used the old lipstick on the mirror routine huh?
Roger Rabbit: Lipstick, yes. Mirror, no. I found a nice clean piece of paper. [He holds it up and begins to read.] 'Dear Jessica. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. One one thousand! Two one thousand! Three one thousand! Four one thous...'

(Who Framed Roger
Rabbit, Robert Zemeckis - director, Bob Hoskins - actor, Charles Fleischer - actor,  1988)

TIME: 8:11 PM
PLACE: The study 
SUBJECT: HH's Valentine

Well, I told you I was crafting HH's valentine late last night and today.  I actually finished it and gave it to him about 3 this afternoon.  Then we had MonkeyBoy's basketball game (an away game) at 4:30.  We returned about 6 and had dinner.  I forgot to take a picture of the valentine before I gave it to him, so I stole it back for a photo shoot just a little while ago.  I pilfered used the instructions from LucyKate Crafts and pretty much copied her tutorial verbatim.  I used my snap setter instead of sewing on a snap and button as she did though.  I sewed the address using my free-motion quilting foot on my sewing machine - the first time I've ever used that foot - fun!

What's inside?  Well, I took some private photos just for HandsomeHusband's eyes.  He did enjoy them. *blush*

Friday, February 13, 2009

Candles in a Row (044/365)

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“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

Buddha (Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)

TIME: 7:40 PM
PLACE: My brother Michael's kitchen 
SUBJECT: Birthday candles

Today was a busy day, I went to work this morning after dropping StellaDella off at Mother's Day Out.  Then I picked her up at 1pm and went to MonkeyBoy's school to help with their class Valentine's Day  party.  Home for a few hours, where I started to make some Valentines for the kids and HH. (Nothing like last minute crafts...I don't know if I'll have them done by the end of the day tomorrow-but they will get them eventually!)  HH brought home fish for dinner, then we left for another family birthday celebration.  My niece and godchild,  Brandi Elizabeth, turned 17 on Wednesday.  More cake & ice cream to sabotage my weight loss plans...but it was so good.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Kimono Valentines (043/365)

2009 02 12 IMG_0977 
Ralph Wiggum: “It says 'I choo-choo choose you' and there's a picture of a train!"
Lisa Simpson: "Yeah, great gag."

(The Simpsons: I Love Lisa, Wesley Archer - director, Nancy Cartwright - actress, Yeardley Smith - actress, 1993)

TIME: 4:04 PM
PLACE: The kid's desk
SUBJECT: DramaQueen's homemade valentines

We decided to make valentines this year for the kid's class parties.  We did some surfing on the net and found a treasure trove of ideas.  The generosity of the people who post tutorials and provide patterns without any compensation is just amazing.   There was soooo many wonderful valentines out there that we had a hard time deciding what to make.  DQ finally settled on making these cute kimono valentines from Zakka Life.  (That's why I was running around town yesterday looking for Dum-Dum pops!)  I showed her how to use my paper cutter and she went to town, cutting kimonos, wrapping ribbon for the sash, inserting the lollipops and drawing on the faces with a marker.  I think she did a great job and they turned out really cute.  I just adore handmade valentines!  

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Clouds (042/365)

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“A promise is a cloud; fulfillment is rain.”

Arabian proverb

TIME: 10:27 AM
PLACE: Heading east on Highway 15
SUBJECT: Clouds

We reached our high temperature of of 52 degrees this morning.  Then the winds and rain moved in and the temperature dropped.  Tomorrow is supposed to be mostly sunny and have a high in the mid 50s.  I ran around town today looking for certain suckers for DramaQueen's valentine project.  I could not locate exactly what I was looking for, but I did obtain an acceptable substitute.  The day was therefore a success!  Little things like that can make me so happy.  How sad is that?    

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

StellaDella (041/365)

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"Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead.”

 Lucille Ball (American radio and motion-picture actress and comedy star, 1911-1989)

TIME: 8:46 PM
PLACE: The Study
SUBJECT: StellaDella

Today is officially StellaDella's birthday.  She turns 5 years old.  As she let me know this morning, today is her "real" birthday and Friday was a "fake" birthday.  She conned me into purchasing yet another Webkinz - a hedgehog, which she promptly named Spiky Girl.  She also campaigned for another cake, but settled for choosing supper tonight - cheese pizza with a candle in the middle and a "Happy Birthday" serenade.  I can't believe my baby is 5 years old.  It seems like just yesterday she was born.  It scares me how fast life is going these days.  I'm so glad I have this project to document our day-to-day lives.  We love you and are so blessed to have you in our lives StellaDella!  

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tree Rat (040/365)

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"I don't know why, but I think I'm going to kick Spongebob's butt tomorrow."

Sandy Cheeks (Spongebob Squarepants: The Great Snail Race, Stephen Hillenburg - executive producer, Carolyn Lawrence - actress, 2003)

TIME: 9:25 AM
PLACE: The back yard
SUBJECT: Squirrel in trash can

StellaDella and I had to make an early morning run to the grocery store for birthday cookies for her Mother's Day Out (MDO) class.  While there, I picked up some ground beef to make hamburgers for supper.  On the way to MDO, I decide to swing by the house so I can stash the ground beef in the refrigerator.  When I pull up in the driveway this site greets me.  See what happens when you don't close the lid tightly to the garbage can?  Riff-raff moves in.  Check out the evil eye that he's giving me.  Sorry to disturb you Mr. Squirrel!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Kissing the Spire (039/365)

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I'm looking for a new direction
Where in the world am I?
I took the word the word was resurrection
and then you took me out to climb

Higher and higher
higher and higher
higher and higher
Kissing the spires
higher and higher
  higher and higher
higher and higher
Souls on fire

Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch and Les Pattinson, Echo and the Bunnymen, "New Direction", Echo and the Bunnymen, Album, Warner Bros., 1987

TIME: 1:19 PM
PLACE: National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows
SUBJECT: Millennium Spire and Candelarium

DramaQueen achieved high honors for the quarter.  Our school recognizes those who do this with a Sunday brunch at the Shrine.  It's a great brunch.  Scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage, salad, mashed potatoes, green beans, roast beef, fried chicken, hot wings and dessert.  I went with her today, while HandsomeHusband took Monkeyboy and StellaDella to a ham and beans lunch.  After our brunch we drove around the Shrine grounds for a bit and I stopped to snap this photo.  The spire was built in response to Pope John Paul II's call to prepare for the Great Jubilee 2000 as a time full of hope, "a new springtime of Christianity."  This spire is 85' tall and overlooks the Shrine's Amphitheatre.  At the base of the Spire, where I took this photo, you can make a prayer request with a votive candle.  However, due to the season, none were lit today.  The Shrine also has a nice playground with a fountain for the kids to splash in.  It's wonderful to go to on a hot summer's day.  I am soooo looking forward to doing that again!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Valentine's Dance (038/365)

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“Do not cease to drink beer, to eat, to intoxicate thyself, to make love, and to celebrate the good days.”

Egyptian proverb

TIME: 8:07 PM
PLACE: East C--- Community Center
SUBJECT: Valentine's Decorations

HandsomeHusband and I had another date night tonight.  We went to a Valentine's Chicken and Beer Dance to benefit a volunteer fire department in our county.  Only in the Midwest can we combine, chicken, beer, and a romantic holiday while at the same time, raise money to fight fires. ;)  The food was tasty, the beer cold and the company brought a smile to my face all night.  What more could you ask for?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Birthday Cake (037/365)

2009 02 06 IMG_0533
"This was the bestest birthday party ever!"

StellaDella (Birthday party honoree, b2004)

TIME: 7:38 PM
PLACE: Dining room table
SUBJECT: StellaDella's 5th Birthday cake

Our StellaDella will turn five years old this coming Tuesday the 10th.  Tonight we celebrated with my dad, my brother and my sister and their families and my good friend Denise and her family.  A simple supper of bratwurst, hotdogs, chips and HandsomeHusband's wilted slaw (very yummy!) was served.  StellaDella had talked me into purchasing a piñata after school today (she chose a dragon) and after cake, ice cream and presents, the kids took turns whacking away at it.  Grandpa drew the short straw volunteered to hold it up at the end of a bat.  It was soon decapitated and Tootsie Rolls, beads, squishy dinosaurs, small plastic turtles and rubber monster finger puppets flew from its carcass, landed on the floor and were snatched up by squealing children.  Happily, Grandpa survived his duties without any injuries.  Shortly after the last guest left, StellaDella declared the quote as written above.  Mommy and Daddy are so glad you enjoyed it sweetie...We love you so very much! 

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tea Time (036/365)

2009 02 05 IMG_0515

“Strange how a teapot
Can represent at the same time
The comforts of solitude
And the pleasures of company"


Zen Hakiu

TIME: 9:32 AM
PLACE: The kitchen
SUBJECT: Enameled tea kettle

This teapot sits on top of my refrigerator.  It originally belonged to my maternal grandmother, Mamie D---.  My mom told me that water was boiled in this kettle every day for tea, coffee, oatmeal, doing the dishes, cleaning and anything else that needed hot water, including baths.  The kettle now has rust spots and today I noticed a small hole has recently emerged through the rust on the bottom of the kettle.  Mineral deposits have long constricted the spout opening and coat the inside.  Although I cannot use it, I keep it for a connection to my ancestors and my past.  It reminds me that Grandma had a stove the same color as the kettle.  The stove had four gas burners, two gas ovens above and a wood burning oven down below.  It reminds me that when I was four,  I opened the door to the wood oven and found that Grandma and Grandpa stored their cereal and crackers there.  It reminds me that the gas burners had heavy covers on them that you lifted off with a special metal pry bar.  It reminds me that moments are the things that are remembered and kept forever.   

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Puzzle Pieces (035/365)

 2009 02 04 IMG_0504
“There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.”

Deepak Chopra (Indian Ayurvedic Physician and Author, b1947)

TIME: 8:29 PM
PLACE: My Desk
SUBJECT: United States puzzle pieces

After I finished at my client's office today, I had time to peruse one of my favorite local thrift stores before StellaDella was finished with Mother's Day Out.  I love thrift stores, yard and rummage sales.  You never know what you are going to find.  This particular store is staffed by older volunteers.  I'd say their average age is about 70 and they are the nicest folks.  My paternal-great aunt who is 83, volunteers there on Thursdays.  On the game shelf, I found this, which is not only a puzzle map of the United States, but it has the world on the reverse side.  Bonus!  Plus, as I was checking out, I was told that today was 1/2 price day.  It just kept getting better!  My puzzle price? - a mere quarter.    I am digging the graphics on the state pieces.  I can recall putting a similar puzzle together when I was in grade school.  StellaDella and I will assemble the USA tomorrow. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Shadow Owl (034/365)

2009 02 03 IMG_0468 

"St Agnes' Eve - Ah, bitter chill it was!
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold;
The hare limped trembling through the frozen grass, 
And silent was the flock in woolly fold.”

The Eve of St. Agnes, John Keats (English Romantic Poet, 1795-1821)

TIME: 3:44 PM
PLACE: Coffee table in living room
SUBJECT: Viewmaster and its shadow

First of all, my sister and I attempted to be one of the millions of people scamming obtaining a free breakfast at Denny's today.  We drove by the building, saw the crowds and promptly turned around and went to a restaurant on the other side of town.  While it was not free, it was delicious and less stressful than waiting around with 3 kids under the age of 5.  I sincerely hope that all the waiters and waitresses at Denny's were tipped very well today.  I'm sure they deserved it.

On to today's photo.  Can you tell my fascination with shadows and lighting?  I took several photos today, but I just wasn't feeling I had anything to post.  When I had uploaded all of today's shots, my youngest saw this one and said, "Look Mom!  It's an owl and he's waving at us!"  So here is our owl shadow, waving at you on our lovely distressed coffee table.  Enjoy! 

Monday, February 2, 2009

Basketball Game (033/365)

2009 02 02 IMG_0387 
"Sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win, and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose. Winning or losing is all one organic mechanism, from which one extracts what one needs."

Gloria Clemente (White Men Can't Jump, Ron Shelton - director, Rosie Perez - actress, 1992)

TIME: 7:04 PM
PLACE: Franklin School gym
SUBJECT: Basketballs and chairs

DramaQueen had a basketball game tonight.  HandsomeHusband is the coach and recovered enough from his flu bug to make it to tonight's game.  DramaQueen is not too happy about playing basketball this year.  She was excited at first, but then only 3 girls from her school signed up to play.  HH had already volunteered to coach the team.  He contacted another coach at different local school and they worked together so that the 3 girls would play on one of that school's teams.   The day DramaQueen brought home the uniform was especially tragic.  She moped in the front door and when I asked what was the matter, she answered without stopping to catch her breath, "I don't want to play for that school I want to play for our school I don't like their red uniform [our school's color's are purple and yellow] and they gave me number 10  I'm not 10 I'm eeeeeleeeven!"  Tears are just streaming down her face and she's hiccupping from crying so hard.   I got her to calm down a little and had her go to her room and lay down.  Oh my.  I just can't wait until the teen hormones kick in.  It's not going to be pretty.

We got our clocks cleaned tonight.  But, the girls played their best and we did score 7 points - which is 7 points more than last Monday.  I'm predicting a double digit score for Wednesday's game!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Birthday Tart (032/365)

2009 02 01 IMG_0372 
"The Queen of Hearts she made some tarts
all on a summer's day;
The Knave of Hearts he stole the tarts
and took them clean away.
The King of Hearts called for the tarts
and beat the Knave full sore
The Knave of Hearts brought back the tarts and 
vowed he'd steal no more."

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll (English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer, 1832–1898)

TIME: 4:36 PM
PLACE: The kitchen counter 
SUBJECT: HandsomeHusband's Birthday Tart

The HandsomeHusband (HH) was sick in bed all day today.  He did tell me that he still wanted me to make his birthday tart.  So off I went to the grocery store for the ingredients.  After I finished it, I carried it upstairs and the kids and I sang "Happy Birthday" to HH.

The official name of the recipe is "Hershey's Vanilla Chip Fruit Tart".  My mom got the recipe from a friend of hers whose son works for Hershey.  She would always make this for dessert on Easter.  In fact, I have a picture that HH took of Mom and my sister on Easter back in 1990 or 1991.  They are sitting at the table and Mom is tilting the tart for the photo.  The photo is next the recipe Mom wrote out for me when I moved out of the house.  Originally, I put the picture in the book so I knew how to arrange the fruit.  Now that Mom is gone, I like having the picture in the book just because. 

While I was typing this blog entry, HH made his way downstairs for the 1st time in 24 hours. I served him a piece of the tart and a glass a milk.  Maybe he's getting better!

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