Saturday, October 31, 2009

Obligatory Pumpkin Photo (304/365)

2009 10 31 IMG_1688 
'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Hamlet, in Hamlet, act 3, sc. 2, l. 388-90.

TIME:  5:52 PM
PLACE:  The front porch
SUBJECT:  Jack-o-lanterns

MonkeyBoy, StellaDella and I carved our pumpkins earlier this afternoon.  MB’s is on the right, and SD’s is on the left.  DramaQueen was busy with her BFF and didn’t help this year.  The three kids and I made our trick or treating trek a bit earlier than usual this year.  We started a little bit before 6pm while it was still light and were pretty much finished by 7pm.  When we returned home, DQ and I relieved HandsomeHusband of candy duty.  I brought Oreo outside with us to greet the masses…she enjoyed all the attention she received.  And so, another Halloween has come and gone - I hope yours was an enjoyable one!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Monet Tree (303/365)

2009 10 30 IMG_1653 
No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face.

John Donne (
English, Jacobean poet, preacher, and metaphysical poet, 1572–1631)

TIME:  5:59 PM
PLACE:  S. 13th Street
SUBJECT:  Fall Tree

As I was dropping DQ off at her BFF’s house and taking SD to a birthday party, DQ and I noticed that a strange phenomenon.  The sun was setting – which was unusual in and of itself, we haven’t seen the sun for many a day this past week – and lighting up only the top halves of the trees.  The leaves were glowing and It was a beautiful sight.  I hope to see the sun again tomorrow…I’ve missed it so.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Poultry-geist (302/365)

2009 10 29 IMG_1608 
A chicken and an egg are lying in bed.  The chicken is smoking a cigarette with a satisfied smile on its face and the egg is frowning and looking put out.  The egg mutters to no one in particular, "I guess we answered that question."

Unknown

TIME:  10:12 AM
PLACE:  Rainbow Ranch Petting Zoo
SUBJECT:  Buff Cochin chicken 

One of the nice things about working part time is that I can volunteer as a parent helper on school field trips.  SD had one today to the Rainbow Ranch Petting Zoo.  2 teachers, 6 adults, 21 kindergarteners and 23 first graders boarded the bus a little before 9am.  4 other adults followed in cars.  It rained yesterday so we were prepared for a muddy farmyard.  Luckily there was a break in the rain this morning while we were there.  We saw rabbits, goats, swans, ducks, deer, horses, zebus, zebras, donkeys, miniature horses, an ostrich, an emu, sheep, llamas, a peacock and a cat.  There was even a farm dog (a Great Pyrenees) named  “Stella.”  At the end we wandered through a corn maze.  We were going to eat a picnic lunch in a local park, but after we re-boarded the bus it started raining heavily again, so we ended up going back to the school.  The kids enjoyed themselves and behaved for the most part…a successful outing!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Picture of Helen (301/365)

2009 10 28 IMG_1582 
I opened up that old book
Photographs took me back
To your room
To your room
Pale green eyes
Strong and kind
I looked at a picture of Helen
I woke up in your room
Photographs took me back
To your room
To your room

I heard it in your voice
In a place so close

Walter Salas-Humara, “Picture of Helen”, The Silos, The One With the Bird On the Cover. Voltone Music, BMI and MCA Music, BMI, 1990


TIME:  4:18 PM
PLACE:  Front yard
SUBJECT:  Chrysanthemum 'Helen'

Every fall, I purchase some Helen garden mums.   There is a reason for that.  We purchased our home from a sweet older lady whose name was Helen.  In fact, I lived in the house next door for six years with Helen as my neighbor.  She and her husband moved into the house around 1934 when they married.  They had one daughter.  When I met her, she was in her mid-seventies and had been a widow for over 30 years.   Her daughter had moved out of state.  I loved visiting and speaking with Helen.  She would tell me stories of her life and listen to my tales of work and social life.  She was a guest at my wedding to HH.  “I wouldn’t have missed seeing you as a bride for the world, Susan.”  she said.  She also always told me that I looked like Princess Diana.  She rejoiced in my first two pregnancies and sent over casseroles to help out after DQ and MB were born.  All too soon she grew unable to manage on her own and moved in with her daughter.  We purchased the house from her and I still sometimes refer to it as “Helen’s house.”  She is still living down in Tennessee with her daughter.  The mums I plant are a tribute to her.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

DramaQueen Turns 12 (300/365)

2009 10 27 IMG_1575
TIME:  10:46 PM
PLACE:  The living room
SUBJECT:  DramaQueen – at age 11

2009 10 27 IMG_1578  
And thou shalt in thy daughter see,
This picture, once, resembled thee.

Ambrose Philips (1675-1749), British poet. To Miss Charlotte Pulteney in Her Mother's Arms (l. 7-10). . . New Oxford Book of Eighteenth Century Verse, The. Roger Lonsdale, ed. (1984) Oxford University Press.

TIME:  10:47 PM
PLACE:  The living room
SUBJECT:  DramaQueen – at age 12

12 years ago, DramaQueen entered my life and my heart.  I remember that day well.  I was already 6 days past my due date and went to my Ob-Gyn, Dr. B.,  that morning.  Nothing was going on.  He was pretty sure I would go on my own, and wasn’t planning on inducing me until November 1st.  I left the office depressed.  My sister was with me and we went to the mall next door, then out to Lebanon, IL to see if my Aunt (my mom’s sister) was in line for an alleged shipment of Beanie Babies (remember that craze?).  After we spoke to her and went into one of the shops, I experienced what felt like gas in my intestines.  By the time I arrived home, I knew I was having contractions.  I laid on the couch to watch Oprah and waited for HH to arrive home.  When he arrived home, I showered and timed the contractions, which were about 25 minutes apart.  They were all in my lower back and hurt horribly.  During one, the phone rang, HH answered and handed it to me as I was in pain.  It was my good friend, Denise, finding out how I was doing.  I told her through my gritted teeth that I think I will be having this baby soon.  Before we left, HH also insisted that I set the VCR to tape “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” so he could watch it later.  *shakes head*  

We arrived at the hospital a little before 7pm.  When the admitting nurse learned that my water hadn’t broken, she looked skeptical about me staying.  Nevertheless, she hooked me up to a monitor in triage.  Each time I had a contraction, the baby’s heart rate would drop like a rock.  HH beckoned the nurse to come in and review it.  She looked at the EKG and told me that they weren’t sending me home, and I would be having a baby soon. 

Things went pretty quick after that.  I was checked into a room and Dr. B. arrived.  He suggested that the best course of action would be a C-section as the labor was putting the baby in distress.  I looked at HH and we both nodded.  They prepped me for surgery.  I remember how cold the room was and the sting of the needle for the spinal anesthesia.
Dr. B. and an attending came in and went to work.  There was pushing and pulling and at 10:47pm, I heard the cry.  DramaQueen had entered the building.  HH cut her cord and I got to see her - she was perfect.  Soon I was put back together and they wheeled us back down to my recovery room, where my mom and sister were waiting.  HH held her for awhile and the picture of my husband sitting in the hospital chair, holding our first child is etched forever in my mind. 

Before they moved me to my hospital room, Dr. B. came in to see how I was doing.  He told me that I would of probably had to have a C-section anyway – Not only did DQ have the cord around her neck, but she weighed in at a hefty 9 pounds, 12 ounces and was 21 3/4” long.  Now she is 5 foot tall and weighs more than her birth weight.  Tonight, I took her to dinner, just the two of us.  Afterwards, she requested to have
ears double pierced (do you see the new silver studs in her ears?).  We shopped for some clothing and she chose 2 skirts, 2 shirts, a pair of tights and some “Twilight” shoelaces with “I *heart* Werewolves” printed on them.  Happy Birthday, DQ – I love you so very much!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cocooning (299/365)

2009 10 26 IMG_1571
If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me
And just forget the world
Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life

Quinn, Jonathan; Lightbody, Gary; Connolly, Nathan; Wilson, Paul; Simpson, Tom, “Chasing Cars.” Snow Patrol.
Eyes Open. Polydor (UK), Interscope (US). 2006.

TIME:  5:40 PM
PLACE:  The backyard
SUBJECT:  Cocoon

It’s another dreary and rainy fall day.  HH, DQ and SD all were not feeling well and spent this Monday at home.  I went into work this morning from 8:45am until 1pm.  When I returned home, the dog needed to go out.  While standing outside waiting for her to finish, I noticed several of these on the bush by the fence.  I’m more than certain that they are some sort of chrysalis.  I must admit to feeling a little jealous of what is inside it.  Lately I wish I could insulate myself and hide from the outside world.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bullseye (298/365)

2009 10 25 IMG_1565
“The odds of hitting your target go up dramatically when you aim at it.”

Mal Pancoast, author

TIME:  6:23 PM
PLACE:  The kitchen
SUBJECT:  Shotgun shells & target

HandsomeHusband took MonkeyBoy to a turkey shoot early this afternoon.  On the first round, MB’s shots hit closest to the target and he won $50!  Good shooting buddy! 

I told MB about the time HH took me to a turkey shoot.  It was when we had first started to date.  The shoot was outside at a nearby VFW Hall.  I remember HH shot first, then it was my turn.  I had never fired a shotgun before and was a little nervous.  HH showed me how to hold the shotgun and how to sight the target.  I could hear the guys behind us making jokes about my shooting ability.  I shut them up, right quick.  I won that round and a 20lb ham.  They then turned to HH and started on him…and how his girlfriend outshot him that day.  

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Leaf and Stream (297/365)

 2009 10 24 IMG_1510
“Find myself beside a stream of empty thought,
Like a leaf that’s fallen to the ground,
And carried by the flow of water to my dreams
Woken only by your sound.”

Turner, Martin. "Leaf and Stream.” Wishbone Ash. Argus. Decca/MCA, 1972.

TIME:  11:01 AM
PLACE:  Knight’s Home Field
SUBJECT:  Leaf and stream

HH and DQ were still out of commission this morning and SD complained that her throat
was hurting her.  So I left them all at home and escaped the “Contaminated House of the Damned” for a few hours by taking MB to his football game.  It was a perfect day for football…cool temps (50 degrees) and bright sunshine.  And they won…34-12!  MB even made an interception.

We retuned home and I left for Target to purchase candy to had out at our parish’s “Trunk or Treat” that was scheduled after the 5pm Mass.  The kids are invited to wear their costumes (without the mask) to church.  Afterwards, they serve hotdogs, chips and drinks.  The cars are parked headlight to headlight and the children go from car to car “Trunk or Treating.”  The area is fenced-in so the kids are free to roam without worry.  The amount of candy my kiddos bring home is amazing.  I tell them that they don’t need to go out on Halloween…they've got enough!  Yeah, whatever Mom.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Basketball (296/365)

2009 10 23 IMG_1487 
“This is the second most exciting indoor sport, and the other one shouldn't have spectators.”

Richard "Dick" Vertlieb (American, sports executive, winner of the 1975
NBA Executive of the Year Award, 1930–2008)

TIME: 8:33 PM
PLACE:  The kitchen
SUBJECT:  Basketball

HH was sick today and I had to coach MB’s 5th grade basketball game tonight (with help from another player’s father, thank goodness!).  Waaay outside of my comfort zone, but I survived and I don’t think the boys were too traumatized.  I asked StellaDella to dictate the description of the photo for today.  Talk about “stream of consciousness” writing…have fun reading it!

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

“This is my brother’s basketball.  His basketball up close looks like a jail-walk and by the way my brother’s name is Monkeyboy.  And this is his basketball.  My sister cheerleads for his football and basketball, just like me.  But my, um, his sister’s are named DramaQueen and StellaDella.  The first kid was born was DQ, then it went MB, then it was me, SD.  Well, this is a property basketball, because it is a special one.  My Dad, that was his basketball, now he gave it to my brother.  If somebody robs our house we need to tell the jail that somebody robbed our house, but we don’t want it robbed, we just keep the door locked so we don’t get robbed and my…you don’t want to steal it, cause my Dad will call the cops.  You don’t want to steal it because it is his old football, no, basketball, I mean.  He was 5, I think, when his mom bought it for him.  You don’t want to rob him.  You don’t want to rob my room because I just got it cleaned.  That’s it.  Oh, my sister, has the flu.  You don’t want to come to our house really, cause she has the flu.  Well, it was nice knowing you, so come to this website and you better look for this basketball picture or if you don’t maybe it’s because you don’t know about it.”

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Werewolf Of London? (295/365)

2009 10 22 IMG_1480 
“I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
walkin through the streets of Soho in the rain.
He was lookin for the place called Lee Ho Fooks,
gonna get a big dish of beef chow mein.

Aaahoo, werewolves of London…”

LeRoy Marinell, Waddy Wachtel, and Warren Zevon. "Werewolves of London.” perf. by Warren Zevon. Excitable Boy. Asylum Records, 1977.

TIME:  9:34 PM
PLACE:  By the front door
SUBJECT:  StellaDella in Werewolf hood

Well, I finished SD’s werewolf hood tonight.  I just had to close the opening in the lining where I turned it, sew on two sets of hooks and eyes at the neck closing and finally tack the ears a little to make them stand up straight.  SD loves it.  She put it on and sat on the couch and watched some TV.  I asked to take her photo, and she said “OK, but don’t use a flash.”  Well, well, isn’t she Miss Bossy Boots tonight.  She did proceed to howl a little for me while I took pictures. 

(BTW, “Werewolves of London” is one of my most favorite songs ever!)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pretty OCD Pincushion (294/365)

2009 10 21 IMG_1470 
“Sir, you are like a pin, but without either its head or its point.”

Douglas Jerrold (English Humorist, Playwright and Journalist, 1803-1857)

TIME:  11:25 PM
PLACE:  The Dining room
SUBJECT:  Pincushion

We had the first basketball games of the season tonight.  HH is coaching both the 5th & 6th grade boys.  MB is on the 5th grade team and DQ cheers for the 6th grade team.  MB’s game was at 5pm at one location and the 6th grade game was at 6pm at a different location.  I ended up leaving MB’s game at half-time to get to the other game with the lineup, in case HH was running late from the 1st game.  The 6th grade played an exciting game, but ended up on the losing end 28-26. 

When we got back home, I started to make part of SD’s Halloween costume.  She wants to be a werewolf - “A scary one Mom.”  So I am making a hood with ears.  This is part of my sewing supplies, a pincushion that I made a couple of years ago.  Each time that I use it SD makes sure that all of the pins with the same color heads are placed back together.  If I forget and place a yellow pin in the white area, she has to remove it and place it back in the “right” spot with all of the other yellow pins.  I really can’t make fun of her…I sort my M&Ms into color groups before I eat them – by color groups!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Autumn Colors (293/365)

2009 10 20 IMG_1418
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

Albert Camus (French, author, philosopher, and journalist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957, 1913–1960)

TIME:  3:55 PM
PLACE: Outside the Quest Lab 
SUBJECT:  Maple leaves

Poor StellaDella, today she had to have blood drawn for a lead screening.  This is required by the Illinois District of Public Health.  She is considered “at risk” as our home was built before 1978 and renovations have been done to it in the past year.  She voiced her displeasure at the needle stick, but then sat still and watched the 2 vials fill with her blood.  I hope (and I think she does too) that we are done with medical tests for awhile.

This is the third day in a row we have had sunshine.  The temperature was warm, about 74 degrees.  It was a gorgeous fall day.  The late afternoon sun just made
everything glow.

Monday, October 19, 2009

They Suck The Life Right Out Of Me (292/365)

2009 10 19 IMG_1411 
“One thing vampire children are taught is, never run with a wooden stake”

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

TIME:  8:45 PM
PLACE:  The Living Room
SUBJECT: MonkeyBoy, StellaDella and DramaQueen

Definitely another manic Monday.  I worked today from 8:30am to 2pm, then ran to the grocery store to pick up dinner ingredients.  SD had a Daisy meeting, MB had basketball practice and DQ had cheerleading practice after school.  I completely forgot about MB’s Cub Scout pack Meeting and Halloween party tonight.  MB reminded me when he came home from practice.  So after dinner, we dug through the dungeon of doom basement and located the Halloween containers for costumes and accessories.  All were happy with the costumes we were able to cobble together and we made it to the Pack meeting by the skin of our teeth.  They each received colorful plastic vampire teeth in their treats at the party and decided to model them for you.  Isn’t it a lovely photo of my darlings?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Great Pumpkins (291/365)

2009 10 18 IMG_1390 
Linus: He'll come here because I have the most sincere pumpkin patch and he respects sincerity.
Sally Brown: Do you really think he will come?
Linus: Tonight the Great Pumpkin will rise out of the pumpkin patch. He flies through the air and brings toys to all the children of the world.
Sally Brown: That's a good story.
Linus: You don't believe the story of the Great Pumpkin? I thought little girls always believed everything that was told to them. I thought little girls were innocent and trusting.
Sally Brown: Welcome to the 20th century!

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,
(Christopher Shea-actor, Sally Dryer-actress,
Charles M. Schulz-writer, Bill Melendez-director, 1966)

TIME:  9:17 AM
PLACE:  Fairgrounds-Flea Market
SUBJECT:  Baby Pumpkins

After dropping off the kiddos at Sunday School this morning, I played hooky and headed to the flea market for a quick perusal of the goods.   One vendor was selling pumpkins and the morning light was casting interesting shadows on the pile.  Gathering up my courage, I asked if he would mind if I took a few photos.  No, he didn’t mind at all.

MonkeyBoy had a football game at 2pm.  They lost 34-20.  But, I must say that MB played a heck of a game and I’m not just saying that because I’m his mother.  He made some key tackles and did very well offensively as well.  Looking back to they way he played last year (his 1st year of playing football) compared to this year, I can see that he has definitely improved his game.  Way to go son,  I am very proud of how hard you have worked so far this season and of the effort that you are putting forth during the games.  You are doing great!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Unpared Pears (290/365)

2009 10 17 IMG_1377 
“There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (American, essayist, philosopher, poet, & leader of the Transcendentalist movement, 1803–1882)

TIME: 7:23 PM
PLACE: New Athens, IL
SUBJECT: Pears

A fairly quiet Saturday, compared to last week’s with its family reunion.  Tonight we went as a family to a friend’s surprise 50th birthday party at a Knights of Columbus hall.  The man is a big Dallas Cowboy fan and the hall was decorated with a blue, silver and white theme.  These pears were piled in a bowl on the head table.  Why pears?  I have no idea, but I’m sure there was a good reason for them.  One thing that I can’t get over is the fact that it only cost $1.25 for a draft beer in the bar.  Sweet action!  I think I need to drink there more often.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Life In A Fish Bowl (289/365)

2009 10 16 IMG_13362009 10 16 IMG_1319  
“How I wish, how I wish you were here...
We're just two lost souls
swimming in a fish bowl,
Year after year....
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found?
The same old fears.
Wish you were here.”

Pink Floyd (
David Gilmour/Roger Waters). "Wish You Were Here." Wish You Were Here. Harvest, EMI (UK) Columbia, Capitol (US), 1975.

TIME:  4:06 PM
PLACE:  Radiology Dept, St. Louis Children’s Hospital
SUBJECT:  Aquarium equipment & Butterfly fish

This afternoon, StellaDella had an appointment for a renal ultrasound and a
voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) to check out her kidneys.  The ultrasound was a piece of cake, the VCUG…not so much.  Hey, I completely sympathized with her, I always said the catheter insertion was the worst part of my c-sections.  But, she was a trooper and survived the procedure.  Turns out, Miss SD has vesicoureteral reflux with her left kidney.  This is when urine from the bladder flows back up into the kidneys.  This can lead to germs in the kidneys and an infection in the urinary tract.  The treatment?  She will be taking a mild dose of antibiotics daily to prevent further urinary tract infections.  As she gets older, I was told that the reflux should go away on its own.

The hospital had a fish tank in the waiting room and SD enjoyed looking at it.  The fish “wrangler” was there, preparing three new fish for the tank.  He sat for about 20 minutes, answering SD’s questions about the fish and listening to her stories about school and her pets.  I thought that was very nice of him to do that.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blue And Yellow (288/365)

2009 10 15 IMG_1297 
“I, a light canoe will build me... that shall float upon the river, like a yellow leaf of autumn, like a yellow water lily!”

Hiawatha (member of the
Mohawk Nation,  instrumental in founding the Iroquois Confederacy alongside the Prophet Deganawida, The Great Peacemaker, and creating for them a constitution known as the "Great Law of Peace" (Gayanashagowa), circa 1525–1575)

TIME:  9:15 AM
PLACE:  5100 block of West Main St.
SUBJECT:  Leaves on mailbox

After making the deposit for work this morning, I drove by the mailboxes in our parking lot and dropped some paid bills in the slot.  As I did, I noticed that the yellow leaves that fell from the overhanging tree and the blue box made a nice color combination.  I also liked the reflection of the tree on the wet surface.  So I parked my car and debated walking back to the box with my camera.  I gave myself a little mental pep talk, “You won’t have a picture today if you don’t do take it now…you will kick yourself later for not taking this picture….a few moments of embarrassment for a picture is worth it…come on, be a man!”  I took my advice and did it.  See, I’m FINALLY getting over my shyness about taking pictures in public.  Yes, I am whacko, HandsomeHusband will vouch for that.  But that’s why he loves me so!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Happiness Is A Warm Seat (287/365)

2009 10 14 IMG_1281 
“Happiness does not consist in things, but in the relish we have of them . . .”
                                                                 
François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld, prince de Marcillac (French, author, accomplished 17th-century nobleman, 1613–1680)

TIME:  7:42 PM
PLACE:  The Jeep
SUBJECT:  Heated seat button

Last week, while running some errands with MonkeyBoy, I pushed the button for the driver’s side heated seat.  It lit up, then went out.  No heat!  MB tried the passenger seat.  His side worked.  I pouted.  In my world, heated seats make the colder weather a tad more tolerable.  I NEED them to survive in the winter.  So I scheduled the Jeep in for service today.  They fixed it quickly and even better, it was covered under warranty – no charge!  Now I can enjoy a warm rear end as I go to work, run errands and chauffer the kids around.  Pure bliss.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Who Is That Masked Girl? (286/365)

2009 10 13 IMG_1271 
Without wearing any mask we are conscious of, we have a special face for each friend.

Oliver Wendell Holmes (American Physician, Poet, Writer, Humorist and Professor at Harvard, 1809-1894)

TIME:  3:12 PM
PLACE:  The back seat of the Jeep
SUBJECT: StellaDella’s mask

Rain or shine, normally all three kids walk home together.  After school today, MonkeyBoy had basketball practice and DramaQueen had patrols and cheerleading practice, so I went to pick up SD.  I waited for her in the foyer and she ran up to me wearing the mask she made in art class.  In case you can’t figure it out, it’s a black cat.  She wore it out to the car where I took her picture.  When we got home, I put it on and told SD to let Oreo out of the kennel and we would see what she would do when she saw me wearing it.  Oreo came bounding out of the kennel as she normally does and then when she saw me standing there with the mask on, she skidded to a halt on the laminated floor.   I said “It’s me Oreo,” and then she realized who it was.  The mask had no effect on the cats though.  More than likely, they just didn’t care!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A View From The Rear (285/365)

2009 10 12 IMG_1257
"If a dog jumps in your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer." 

Alfred North Whitehead (British Mathematician and Philosopher, 1861-1947)

TIME:  9:00 PM
PLACE:  My lap
SUBJECT:  Jack

When the lamp is on at my desk, Jack usually likes to nap under its warmth.  But if I am sitting there, he will sometimes lay on the top of one of my upper thighs, with his rear towards me, his head at my knee and his back claws extended into my leg for balance.  Now that it is getting cooler, he will lay like that often.  When he does, this is the view I have of him.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

All That Glitters (284/365)

2009 10 11 IMG_1138 
"There is a natural hootchy-kootchy motion to a goldfish." 

Walt Disney (American motion-picture Producer, pioneer of animated cartoon films. 1901-1966)

TIME:  8:15 PM
PLACE:  The fish tank
SUBJECT:  Dorothy the goldfish

Dorothy is StellaDella’s goldfish.  She originally cost a whopping 12 cents and was about an inch in length when we got her.  She enjoys her goldfish flakes and now is about 4 inches long.  We cleaned the fish tank today – we were a little behind schedule and it was getting kind of icky.  We use an instant treatment to make the tap water safe for the fish and I never trust it.  I always cross my fingers and say a prayer that it works.  I really don’t need to discover a “floater” the next morning.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Family Reunion (283/365)

2009 10 10 IMG_2276 
“If you don't believe in ghosts, you've never been to a family reunion.”  

Ashleigh Ellwood Brilliant (English, author and syndicated cartoonist living in Santa Barbara, California. b1933)

TIME:  6:19 PM
PLACE:  Mascoutah, IL 
SUBJECT:  The extended family

The big family reunion was held today and it went quite well.  I finished the slideshow Thursday evening and HandsomeHusband got me all fixed up with a projector, screen and sound equipment to play the show from my laptop.  He even set everything up last night while I was at the concert so it was ready for today.  He also helped co-ordinate the picture taking of the different family groups.  The photo above is of all the families together. (I am on the far left in the back row, you can just see my face peeking out).  Each group was identified by a particular color…my grandmother’s family all wore navy blue shirts. Green, white and orange were worn by three other lines.  However, we were all outnumbered by the “Purple People” as we called them: my Aunt Marie’s family.  Marie is my Grandaunt and the youngest and last surviving sibling of my grandmother’s family.   I was able to obtain a copy of a video of my grandmother’s oldest sister – who passed away at the age of 97 (almost 98!) in 2003 - being interviewed about her early life.  Love it!  Now we are all supposed to meet again at the same place in late February to make ravioli.  We use a recipe from my grandmother that makes 5,000 at a time.  It is definitely a recipe that it helps to have many cooks in order to get it done!

Friday, October 9, 2009

They Were Giants (282/365)

2009 10 09 DSCF6582 
“I could take the Harlem night and wrap around you,
Take the neon lights and make a crown,
Take the Lenox Avenue buses,
Taxis, subways,
And for your love song tone their rumble down.”

Langston Hughes (American Writer, Poet and Essayist, 1902-1967)

TIME:  10:06 PM
PLACE:  Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO
SUBJECT:  The Pageant marquee

Tonight I went with my sister and cousin to see “They Might Be Giants” at the Pageant in St. Louis.  They performed their platinum album Flood in its entirety.  TMBG is the band behind the “Malcolm in the Middle” theme song – Boss of Me.  My kids love them, but I was a selfish mom and didn’t take them to see the band.  This was a 14 year old and up show anyway and we had over 21 seating in the balcony.  I had my camera with me like I always do, but the band requested no cameras so I had to make a trek back to the car to return it.  *shrugs*  I still had my cell phone which had a camera, but I honored the request of no pictures of the band.  I did try to take one of the guy at the end of the row in front of us.  He was really getting into the concert, dancing like crazy…very badly though.  If I was a betting man, I would say that he was single.  The pictures didn’t turn out – not enough light.  As expected, the geek factor was pretty high at this concert, I swear “Hurley” from was sitting in front of us.  All in all, both the music and the crowd was very entertaining, and we all enjoyed it.  This is the front of the venue, taken through my windshield, after the concert .

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Green Means “Go” (281/365)

2009 10 08 IMG_0828
Bad weather always looks worse through a window.

Unknown

TIME:  6:04 PM
PLACE:  West Main & 17th Street
SUBJECT:  Traffic lights

The kids are off school tomorrow for a teachers institute day and Monday for Columbus Day.  Because of that, I kept thinking that today was Friday and have been feeling discombobulated all day long.  Today was dark and dreary with a cold rain.  Football and cheerleading was canceled tonight and I must admit to be feeling rather relieved that it was.  One less place for us to be.  We ended up making a quick run to the video store for a movie and game stock-up for the long weekend.  I took this picture on our way back home.  As I was taking this quick shot, I got the horn from the impatient driver behind me – what’s the matter, couldn’t they see I was practicing my art?  The nerve of some people, geez.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sunglasses At Night (280/365)

 2009 10 07 IMG_0825
“Now go out and get yourself some big black frames
With the glass so dark they won’t even know your name
And the choice is up to you ‘cause they come in two classes:
Rhinestone shades or cheap sunglasses
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah”


Frank Beard, Joe Hill, William Gibbons. “Cheap Sunglasses.” ZZ Top. Degüello/El Loco. Warner Bros. 1983.

TIME:  8:55 PM
PLACE:  The kitchen
SUBJECT:  Me and my sunglasses

I purchased a pair of sunglasses in July of 2007 from my optometrist.  The cheap pairs I had been buying were breaking after a month or so.  The glasses I chose were pricey – over $140 - but I liked them, so I bit the bullet and spent the money.  And until about a week and a half ago, they had served me quite well.  I had just got into the car and was fishing around for my shades in my purse.  That’s when I found out that they had broken in half right at the nose piece.  Ugh.  So the next day, I decided to stop by the eye doctor’s office and see if by any chance, they could fix them (I briefly considered black electrical tape, but quickly dismissed that idea).  The doctor’s assistant called the manufacturer and the manufacturer said that they could do better than fix them, they would replace them…NO CHARGE!  Oh, I did a happy dance!  That was on Friday, September 25th.  Today I picked up the new pair.  Once again, I can venture into the sunlight without squinting.  Life is good.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hip Hipporay! (279/365)

2009 10 06 IMG_0694 
Is a hippopotamus a hippopotamus, or just a really cool Opotamus?

Mitch Hedberg (American, comedian, 1968-2005)

TIME:  3:57 PM
PLACE:  Pediatric Assoc Inc.
SUBJECT:  Hippopotamus figurines

StellaDella had a follow-up appointment at the pediatrician today to verify that her kidney infection is completely cleared up.  It was…Yay!  One bank of the exam rooms have windows that overlook a large plant bed.  The doctor’s office workers have placed animal figures throughout the foliage.  The kids always enjoy looking out the window and spying the animals.  There are dinosaurs, beavers, giraffes, dragons, frogs, lizards, goats, horses, chickens, fairies, unicorns and the above hippos (and lions and tigers and bears, oh my!).  For an idea on the actual size of the figurines, that’s a 3-leaf clover between the mama and her baby.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Like New (278/365)

2009 10 05 IMG_0685 
“If, while watching the sun set on a used-car lot in Los Angeles, you are struck by the parallels between this image and the inevitable fate of humanity, do not, under any circumstances, write it down.”

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950), U.S. humorist. Metropolitan Life, part 4 (1978). Advice to prospective writers

TIME:  6:31 PM
PLACE:  Lebanon Ave. 
SUBJECT:  Used car lot sign

As I’m driving to my dad’s tonight (we were going to ride together to our final family reunion meeting). I realized I had no picture…again.  I passed this sign on the way and turned around and snapped away.  There, done and done.  This sign is from a used car lot that is located right by the ice cream place I photographed on April 25th.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Which Way To Go (277/365)

2009 10 04 DSCF6578
Willy Wonka: So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, (Gene Wilder-actor,
Roald Dahl-screenplay & book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," David Seltzer – screenplay [uncredited], Mel Stuart - director, 1971)

TIME:  11:57 AM
PLACE:  State St Road and Ross Ln
SUBJECT:  Double arrow sign

MonkeyBoy still wasn’t feeling too well today, but did end up playing football.  I’ve got to give him credit – he made some good tackles and played hard.  They lost big time though.  I don’t remember the final score, it was either 28-0 or 34-0.  Not pretty.

This sign was at the “T” intersection on our way home.  It reminds me of how I feel most of the time – being pulled in two different directions with no time to do anything.  Actually, I feel like I’m being pulled in a kabillion different directions, but I don’t think there is a street sign that reflects that!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mirrored Image (276/365)

2009 10 03 IMG_0671 
Mirrors should reflect a little before throwing back images

Jean Cocteau (French Poet, Novelist, Actor, Film Director and Painter, 1889-1963)

TIME:  1:54 PM
PLACE:  The town square, looking east
SUBJECT:  Bank of America building

This morning started with a trip to the pediatrician - MonkeyBoy tested positive for the flu.  Who wants to bet on which child/spouse will succumb next?  It’s not the puking kind of flu, thank goodness.  We are hoping that he will be well enough for school on Monday, but we’ll have to see.

DramaQueen, StellaDella and I did end up meeting my dad downtown to partake in more chili eating (and a funnel cake!).  There was a car show this afternoon as well as face painting, a bouncy house and “rock” climbing for the kids.  HandsomeHusband gets a break from being with the “sicko” and is going tonight to peruse the chili goodness, while I work on the slide show for the upcoming family reunion.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Gas Access Cover (275/365)

2009 10 02 IMG_0668 
“He that lives upon Hope, dies Farting.”

Benjamin Franklin, (Founding Father of the United States of America, polymath, author, printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, soldier, and diplomat, 1706-1790) “Poor Richard's Almanack,” 1736

TIME:  5:58 PM
LOCATION:  200 block of East Main St.
SUBJECT:  Gas access cover

Tonight, our town had its annual Chili Cook-Off and I thought this would be an appropriate photo for today.  I worked the Historical Society’s dessert booth from 5-8pm while DramaQueen roamed the event with her BFFs.  After my shift was over, I ate 2 chili samples at 50 cents each and then had a “Frito Bag” (chili poured into a snack sized bag of Fritos") for $2.00.  There was a nice family crowd tonight and the weather was perfect – a little brisk, but not too cold.  Tomorrow, we will return with my dad and do some more sampling. 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Very Fuzzy Caterpillar (274/365)

 2009 10 01 IMG_0632
"Who are you," said the caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, "I—I hardly know, Sir, just at present—at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then."

Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson] (1832-1898), British author, mathematician, clergyman. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, ch. V, Macmillan (1865).

TIME:  3:27 PM
PLACE:  The front porch
SUBJECT:  Caterpillar

I went with my sister Cathy to the St. Louis Library today to help wrangle my niece while she did some work for a class she is taking.   I was taking some pictures in front of the building as we left and a couple of guys asked what I was doing, so I told them about my project.  One of them asked to take his picture, so I did.  Then Cathy treated me to lunch at Crown Candy Kitchen for helping her.  Mmmmm - BLT’s with TONS of bacon and a Hot Fudge malt – the perfect lunch!   On the way home, I received a phone call from the school saying that MonkeyBoy  wasn’t feeling well, so we stopped by school  and brought him home.  He’s feeling a little better now, but is really tired.

StellaDella found this caterpillar after school and carried it cupped in her hands as she and DramaQueen walked home.  She really wanted to keep it as a pet and was disappointed when I wouldn’t let her. 

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