Monday, November 30, 2009

Rocking Horse (334/365)

2009 11 30 IMG_2510 
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

Pablo Picasso (Spanish artist, painter, draughtsman, and sculptor.1881-1973)

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

Oh Christmas Tree (333/365)

 2009 11 29 IMG_2499
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

In The Sauce (332/365)

2009 11 28 IMG_2440 
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

Coming To Town (331/365)

2009 11 27 IMG_2371 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

Turkey Talk (330/365)

2009 11 26 IMG_2348 
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 egg
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

Industrial Roller (329/365)

2009 11 25 IMG_2296 
Joan Holloway: Good Morning, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

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

I Can See Clearly Now (328/365)

2009 11 24 IMG_2245
…'Hey lady! do I look all blurry to you? 'Cause you look blurry to me!'

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

Celluloid Snowman (327/365)

2009 11 23 IMG_2234
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

Pup Tent (326/365)

2009 11 22 IMG_2217
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

November (325/365)

2009 11 21 DSCF6947 
“The stripped and shapely
Maple grieves
The loss of her
Departed leaves.

The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.

And yet the world,
Nevertheless,
Displays a certain
Loveliness—

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
During grace.”

Updike, John. "November". A Child’s Calendar. Holiday House.

TIME:  8:25 AM
PLACE:
SUBJECT:  Road

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

New Moon (324/365)

 2009 11 20 IMG_2189
Bella Swan: Well, Gran, you might have noticed that my boyfriend glitters. It’s just something he does in the sun. Don’t worry about it…

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

Accident (323/365)

2009 11 19 IMG_2163 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

Tights And Leggings (322/365)

2009 11 18 IMG_2155
A bone to the dog is not charity.  Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog. 

Jack London (American, author, 1876–1916)

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

Potato Soup (321/365)

2009 11 17 IMG_2129 Soup is liquid comfort. 

Unknown

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.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pineapple (320/365)

2009 11 16 IMG_2120
He is the very pineapple of politeness!

Richard Brinsley Sheridan (Irish playwright and Whig statesman, 1751-1816) The Rivals (1775)
 
TIME:  8:34 PM
PLACE:  The kitchen
SUBJECT:  Pineapple

A very rainy, very dreary, very depressing Monday here in the Midwest.  After work, I went shopping at ALDI’s to pick up a few items and saw that they had pineapples on special for a mere $1.19.  Now pineapples do not ripen after they are picked and I’ll admit that they looked a little green.  However, this one does has a sweet scent, so I’m hopeful that it will taste pretty good anyway.  For the price I paid, I am willing to take a chance.  Plus, I will admit, another reason I bought it was that I thought it would make a good picture!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pig Nose About Sunday (319/365)

2009 11 15 IMG_2103 
“Always remember, a cat looks down on man, a dog looks up to man, but a pig will look man right in the eye and see his equal.”

Winston Churchill (British Orator, Author and Prime Minister during World War II. 1874-1965)

TIME:  12:50 PM
PLACE:  Tri-Township Park Petting Zoo
SUBJECT:  Pig

MB had his “extra” football game this afternoon.  The weather definitely wasn’t as nice as last week Sunday.  We were on the “prairie” and the wind was blowing.  It reminded me of being up in Champaign, IL during college and the wind whipping all around as I scurried from one end of the campus to another, attending classes.  But it was a good game…we won.  MB even scored a touchdown – his 1st!  It made me such a proud football mom.

The park where they played has a petting zoo and SD and I stopped by to see the animals before the game started.  This is one of several pigs who was quite loud in their demands for something to eat.  SD giggled at all of the grunting and squealing going on.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rubbing Buddha’s Belly (318/365)

2009 11 14 IMG_2101 
Depend on the rabbit's foot if you will, but remember it didn't work for the rabbit.

R. E. Shay (Humorist)

TIME:  7:06 PM
PLACE:  Bamboo Valley Buffet
SUBJECT:  Happy Lucky Buddha

HH did some plumbing today.  Our commode wasn’t flushing properly.  HH surmised that something had fallen in and that was what was stopping it up.  Of course, fixing it wasn’t a simple process.  HH had to run to the hardware store twice an ended up having to bust the porcelain to remove the toilet.  The good thing was, we had a spare unit from the other bathroom we’re remodeling to put in its place.  We were placing bets on which kid we could blame.  The odds were on MB, but we would have lost that bet.  The culprit?  DQ’s toothbrush.  At least the toilet works now.  *sigh*

Tonight, DQ is spending the night at a friends house and HH is attending 2 different functions.  So MB, SD and I went to the Bamboo Valley Buffet for dinner.  They have this Happy Lucky Buddha in the foyer and the kids always rub his belly when we enter and leave the restaurant.  If you look under their hands, you can see where the gold is completely rubbed off his belly.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Snap, Crackle, Pop (317/365)

2009 11 13 IMG_2080 
Last night I dreamt I ate a ten pound marshmallow. When I woke up the pillow was gone.

Thomas Frederick "Tommy" Cooper (
British, Prop comedian and Magician, 1921–1984)

TIME:  10:59 PM
PLACE:  The kitchen
SUBJECT:  Rice Krispie Treats

I purchased marshmallows and Rice Krispies on yesterday to make Rice Krispie treats.  I had the bag of marshmallows on the kitchen counter and it drew MonkeyBoy and StellaDella to it like a magnet.  Those two could suck down the whole bag before you knew it was even opened.  There were originally 6 cups of miniature marshmallows in the bag…when I measured it late this evening to make the treats, we were down to four.  I needed to make them before all the marshmallows disappeared.   So after the family went to bed, that is just what I did.  Of course I had to sample one to make sure that they turned out OK.  It was hard to tell with just one sample, so I had to have another.  They tasted fine, although I am tempted to eat another, just to be sure.  ;)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cuckoo Clock (316/365)

2009 11 12 IMG_2061 
In Italy, for thirty years, under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed. But they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, and they had five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

Graham Greene (1904-1991), British author, screenwriter, and Carol Reed. Carol Reed. Harry Lime (Orson Welles), The Third Man (1949). To his friend, writer Holly Martins. Based On Greene's Novel.

TIME:  8:04 PM
PLACE:  My Dad’s kitchen
SUBJECT:  Cuckoo clock

I spoke too soon on Sunday regarding MonkeyBoy’s football season being over.  They are going to play 3 more games – 1 against another team who also didn’t make the playoffs (they are just playing so the boys have more game time) and 2 games over Thanksgiving weekend…aka “The Pilgrim Bowl”.  Therefore, MB had practice tonight.  I had to take him as HandsomeHusband had a 6th grade basketball game to coach and DramaQueen was cheering at said BB game.  After the game HH and I switched children at the football practice and the girls and I ended up at my Dad’s house with his Girl Scout cookies.

This cuckoo clock was brought from Germany by my Aunt Alice (my mother’s sister).  I can’t remember exactly when Mom acquired this, but I know that it’s been over 20 years ago, because Mom had it before I met HH.  The nieces, nephews and my kids, all loved this clock.  They would get so excited when it was time for the cuckoo to come out of his door.  Many times Mom would advance the time just so that they could see the cuckoo do his thing.  She held the kids up high, so they could get a better view of the bird and then while the wooden people twirled to the music, she would twirl and dance with her grandchildren in her arms.

(Special thanks to Dad for suggesting this photo today!)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran’s Day (315/365)

2009 11 11 scan0048a 
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." 

John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy (American, 35th President of the United States, 1917–1963)

TIME:  1918
PLACE:  Unknown
SUBJECT:  Frank Kosar

In honor of Veteran’s Day, I have posted a photo of my maternal great-uncle, Frank Kosar.  Frank was born May 29, 1895 in Illinois near East St. Louis.  On June, 5, 1917 he was part of the first registration for the WWI draft.  At that time, he was 22 years old and working as a coal miner for the Suburban Coal Co.  He had blue eyes, light hair and was of medium height and build. He was single and living with his parents, Frank and Mary Kosar.  Less than a year later, on April 29, 1918, he began his military career with the United States Army as a private, assigned to the 37th Division, "C” Company, 148th Infantry also known as the “Buckeye Division” under the command of Major General Chas. S. Farnsworth.  He fought in France on the Western Front, part of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, in the Verdun Sector.  On September 29th, 1918 he was wounded by a bullet in the hand.  According to his memoirs, due to a high fever he had from an infection, the bullet was removed without anesthesia.  After he was stabilized, he was sent back to the United States and after recovering from his injury, returned to his home in January of 1919.  He was awarded the WWI Victory Medal and World War I Victory Button (Bronze).  However, he suffered from what we know know as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  In January of 1922, the local paper reported that "Driven insane by memories of the horrors of battle in France, Frank Kosar, 26 years old, world war veteran, was taken to the Jacksonville State Hospital by Sheriff Martin Schnipper.”  He would remain there until his death on November 6th, 1927 at the age of 32.  The official cause of his death was tuberculosis which was related to his service with the American Expeditionary Forces in France.  Frank was buried at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Belleville, Illinois.  I just wanted to say “Thank you” to Great-Uncle Frank, and to all the veterans who have served us and our country.  Your service is greatly appreciated more than words can say.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rock Lobster (314/365)

2009 11 10 IMG_2033 
'Tis the voice of the Lobster; I heard him declare,
'You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair.'

Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson] (1832-1898), British poet. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. . ; pseud. of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson Oxford Book of Children's Verse, The. Iona Opie and Peter Opie, eds. (1973) Oxford University Press.


TIME:  7:01 PM
PLACE:  Knights of Columbus Council Hall
SUBJECT:  Lobster Dinner

Two local Democratic Clubs sponsored a Lobsterfest tonight and, as HandsomeHusband is in the political scene, we went to offer our support and eat some crustaceans.  Having been dragged under duress cheerfully accompanied him to many other political functions, I can honestly say that this was one of the better fundraising events I have attended.  We had freshly cooked Maine lobsters, corn, potatoes, and slaw (with feta cheese!).  Good stuff.  Thanks for taking me to this one honey…I enjoyed it!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sax-a-ma-phone! (313/365)

2009 11 09 IMG_2031
Marge: It's so quiet here without the kids.
Homer: What I wouldn't give to hear Lisa play another one of her jazzy tunes. [talks into her saxophone to the tune of Beethoven's fifth] Sax-a-ma-phone! Sax-a-ma-phone! [sighs] Oh.
Marge: I miss the way Bart would say something, and then say "dude".
Homer: I wish I knew something about the baby I could miss now.
Marge: You mean Maggie?
Homer: [happy] That's it.

The Simpsons, Home Sweet Home-Diddily-Dum-Doodily, 1 October 1995 (Season 7, Episode 3F01)

TIME:  8:39 PM
PLACE:  Living room
SUBJECT:  MonkeyBoy playing the saxophone

MB had a basketball game at 7pm tonight – then had to come home to finish homework and practice his saxophone.  He will be playing in a Veteran’s Day assembly at school tomorrow afternoon.  He was sounding pretty good tonight…why even DramaQueen mentioned that his playing didn’t hurt her ears.  Wow, she actually gave him a compliment!  The world must coming to an end. *wink*

Sunday, November 8, 2009

End Of The Season (312/365)

2009 11 08 IMG_2009 
We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time.

Vincent Thomas Lombardi (American football coach, 1913–1970) 

TIME:  2:53 PM
PLACE:  Edwardsville High School
SUBJECT:  Ring in Cheer binder

MonkeyBoy ended up having his last game of the season today.  They lost 19-13 this afternoon, which made their record 5 & 4…not good enough for any playoffs.  They will play in a “Turkey Bowl” game over the Thanksgiving weekend against another city football league.  But other than that, this is it until next August.  I wish they would have done better and made it to the playoffs, but a little part of me is glad that we get a breather from an extra-curricular activity for a little while.  It was a beautiful day for football - sunny and 79 degrees.  I could handle this weather all year long.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

You’re Gonna Need A Bigger Hose (311/365)

2009 11 07 IMG_1882 2009 11 07 IMG_1915
Love Is A Burning Thing
And It Makes A Fiery Ring
Bound By Wild Desire
I Fell Into A Ring Of Fire

I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Fire
I Went Down, Down, Down
And The Flames Went Higher
And It Burns, Burns, Burns
The Ring Of Fire
The Ring Of Fire

June Carter Cash and Merle Kilgore,  "Ring of Fire."  performed by Johnny Cash.  Single. 1963.

TIME:  8:45 PM & 8:56 PM|
PLACE:  East Carondelet, IL
SUBJECT:  Bonfire

A friend of HH’s has an annual bonfire around first weekend in November and tonight was it.  They cook up chili and hotdogs, have a tractor ride down to the levees, play music and have plenty of fire.  This year, we even brought the dog along with us for the festivities.  She listened better than the kids did that’s for sure!  The bonfire is fueled by wooden pallets and plenty of gasoline.  More gasoline was used this year as the pallets were wetter than they have been in years past.  The pallets were stacked about 2-3 stories high, not quite as high as last year, but it still ended up being quite the impressive burn.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thanksgiving At Grandmother’s House (310/365)

2009 11 06 IMG_1778
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. 

Thornton Niven Wilder (American playwright and novelist, 1897–1975)

TIME:  10:26 PM
PLACE:  The Living room
SUBJECT:  Department 56 Set

HandsomeHusband gave me this set in the fall of 2005, when I experienced my 1st Thanksgiving without my mother.  I didn’t feel much like celebrating that year (heck, I STILL find it difficult to get into any holiday spirit), but his thoughtful gesture touched my heart.  I don’t have many Thanksgiving decorations, so I am glad that he presented me with this one.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Howlin' At The Moon (309/365)

2009 11 05 IMG_1773  
I know there's never been a man in the awful shape I'm in
I can't even spell my name, my heads in such a spin
To-day I tried to eat a steak with a big old table-spoon
You got me chasin' Rabbits, walkin' on my hands
...And Howlin' At The Moon.

Well, Sug, I took one look at you and it almost drove me mad
And then I even went and lost what little sense I had
Now I can't tell the day from night, I'm crazy as a loon
You got me chasin' Rabbits, pullin' out my hair and Howlin' At The Moon…

Williams Sr., Hank.  "Howlin’ At The Moon."  Lyrics.  Honky Tonkin’, Single released 1950.

TIME:  7:56 PM
PLACE:  The northeastern sky 
SUBJECT:  The moon

All I am going to say is that while I was taking this picture tonight, StellaDella was in the background, providing sound effects with one of her patented werewolf howls.  Ya’ll needed to be there.  It was something else.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Going Bananas (308/365)

2009 11 04 IMG_1771 
“Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it”

Mary Jean “Lily” Tomlin (American actress, comedian, writer and producer. b1939)


TIME:  6:59 PM
PLACE:  The kitchen
SUBJECT:  Banana stickers

Lately, I feel that the phrase “going bananas” describes me quite clearly.  It seems I have so many things that I need to do, should do, have to do, not to mention the things I want to do.  I cannot seem to wrap myself around them, contain them and organize them into any semblance of order.  I have become overwhelmed and just want to crawl into a corner with a blanket wrapped around me and shut down.  I almost wish I could just rent a dumpster, throw everything away (both physical and mental clutter) and start completely over from scratch.  I realize that I am very fortunate in many ways – my family is healthy and happy, I have a husband whom I love and who loves me, I have 3 great kids, we have a roof over our heads, food in the cupboard and clothes on our backs.  I guess I just need to stop, take a deep breath and remind  myself that I should focus my attention on the things that will matter ten years from now – not the small stuff that will be forgotten about in a week or two.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Eighth Plague (307/365)

2009 11 03 MG_1733 
Who knows what sort of seventeen-year locust will next come out of the ground?

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 366, Houghton Mifflin (1906).

TIME:  2:15 PM
PLACE:  The backyard
SUBJECT:  Cicada shell

School conferences started the day off at 8am this morning.  All three children had good reports, DramaQueen and MonkeyBoy both made the honor roll (which reminds me of the bumper sticker “My kid can beat up your honor roll student.”) and StellaDella is right where she needs to be academically.  Way to go kids! – you must get your smarts from your mother. *wink*   

After running some errands, we came home and MB helped me clear the yard and garden.  We filled 4 containers of yard waste.  The yard looks so much tidier now and ready for the winter.  I found this cicada shell while we were clearing out the corner garden bed.  He needed a close-up!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Smoke, No Fire (306/365)

2009 11 02 IMG_1704
Worriers spend a lot of time shoveling smoke.

Claude McDonald (American, writer, b1925)

TIME:  12:00 PM
PLACE:  St. Luke’s Hospital
SUBJECT:  Steam pipe

Yesterday, MonkeyBoy’s football team ended up winning their game by forfeit as the opposing team did not show up to play.  So, MB’s team decided to scrimmage against each other.  HandsomeHusband said that he had never seen them hit their opponents as hard as they hit each other during that scrimmage.  MB tackled a teammate and hurt his upper left arm.  He couldn’t raise it past his shoulder and had some pain.  So this morning, I called the pediatrician and made the trek to her office.  A visit to the radiologist and two x-rays later, we got good news - there were no breaks or fractures!  He will just be sore for awhile and it should resolve itself with no further issues.

This steam pipe is visible from the parking garage that is attached to the hospital and the doctor’s offices.  After I took this, we went to Costco for a cheap lunch (you can’t beat $1.50 for a jumbo hot dog and a soda!) and the purchasing of pancake mix, a gallon of syrup, trash bags, almonds for my father, and winter coats for the rugrats.  Such excitement.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

DramaQueen & The Bean (305/365)

2009 11 01 DSCF6811
When our relatives are at home, we have to think of all their good points or it would be impossible to endure them. 

George Bernard Shaw (Irish, playwright, critic, political activist, 1856-1950)


TIME:  6:12 PM
PLACE:  The Dining Room
SUBJECT:  DramaQueen and her cousin The Bean

First off, I’d like to know just who took my extra hour today…I really could have used it as we had DQ’s family party this evening and even with that extra hour, I still didn’t feel I had enough time to get everything accomplished!  I didn’t even get to take a photo today, so this one is lifted from HH’s camera.  Anyway, the “Bean” is my sister’s second child and also the youngest grandchild in the family.  She will be 4 years old at the end of December and my lord is she a pistol.  Already I’m feeling sorry for the man she marries.  She is bossy, stubborn, opinionated and T-r-o-u-b-l-e (note the capital “T”).  I just love her!  She was born in December of 2005, so unfortunately, Mom never got to meet her.  But I’m sure that she is up there laughing at how the Bean gives my sister so much grief.

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