Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year’s Eve (365/365)

2009 12 31 IMG_3285 Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve.  Middle age is when you're forced to. 

William E. ("Bill") Vaughan (American columnist and author, 1915–1977)

TIME:  5:59 PM
PLACE:  Mungo’s Restaurant
SUBJECT:  Me (taken by HH)

HandsomeHusband and I had a “once in a blue moon” occurrence this evening.  No kids.  Really, no kids.  My dad generously offered to keep them overnight this New Year’s Eve.  Of course, I jumped all over that!  Except for the time that my mom took DQ overnight in 1998 when we were both sick as dogs, I don’t think that HH and I have been without kids one way or another since DramaQueen was born in 1997.  We went to dinner with some friends and then went to see the movie “Up in The Air” with George Clooney.  We arrived back at home about 11:30pm, and were in bed by 12:01am.  We are the original party animals.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Twisted (364/365)

2009 12 30 IMG_3281 
George Costanza: What was wrong with that? I had a different interpretation! Do you
know anything about this pretzel guy?! Maybe he's been in the bar a really long
time and he's really depressed because he has no job and no woman and he's
parking cars for a living! (out the window to honking cars) Alright! Alright!
Shut up! Shut up! I hear you! I'm coming down! These pretzels are making me
thirsty!

“The Alternate Side.” Seinfeld. (Season 3). Perf. Jason Alexander. Castle Rock Entertainment, West-Shapiro. 1991.

TIME:  9:17 PM
PLACE:  The living room
SUBJECT:  Balloon sculpture

StellaDella has been playing with a balloon twisting book and activity set.  The set has balloons, a hand pump and an instruction book to make many different balloon animals and objects.  For the last couple of days, she has been blowing up and twisting balloons.  Her specialty?  Balloon pretzels – hold the salt please.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

St. Louis Skyline (363/365)

2009 12 29 IMG_3225 
The first time I ever saw St. Louis, I could have bought it for six million dollars, and it was the mistake of my life that I did not do it.

Mark Twain (1835-1910). Life on the Mississippi. Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1883.

TIME:  9:12 AM
PLACE:  Sauget, IL
SUBJECT:  St. Louis skyline

MonkeyBoy had another baseball camp with the Gateway Grizzlies yesterday and today from 9am to noon.  This one was held inside and focused on batting and pitching.  After dropping him off this morning, I stopped on the frontage road leading from the stadium and took this photo of the view of the Arch and skyline with the overcast sky.  I don’t like the grey dreariness of winter – how many more days is it until spring?

In other news, DramaQueen had her hair “low-lighted” today with an “All-spice” color.  She loves how it turned out. 

Monday, December 28, 2009

These ARE Pillows (362/365)

2009 12 28 IMG_3222 
[waking up after sharing the same bed in the motel]
Neal: Del... Why did you kiss my ear?
Del: Why are you holding my hand?
Neal: [frowns] Where's your other hand?
Del: Between two pillows...
Neal: Those aren't pillows!


Hughes, John. Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Perf. Steve Martin and John Candy. Hughes Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, 1987.

TIME:  8:29 PM
PLACE:  The couch
SUBJECT:  New pillows

I received some money from my dad for Christmas and this is what I purchased with part of it – pillows for the living room couch.  I know, I know, you can hardly contain yourself from the excitement of it all.  This is when you know you are an old, boring, married lady – you spend your Christmas money on decorative accessories for the house and then, to top it off, you take a picture of it for your blog.  I am so stinking pathetic.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sedum And Snow (361/365)

2009 12 27 IMG_3202 
Now the hedgerow
Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom
Of snow, a bloom more sudden
Than that of summer


T.S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot (1888-1965), Anglo-American critic, poet. Little Gidding (Four Quartets). . . Oxford Anthology of English Literature, The, Vols. I-II. Frank Kermode and John Hollander, general eds. (1973) Oxford University Press.


TIME:  4:27 PM
PLACE:  Front yard
SUBJECT:  Sedum in snow

We received a little dusting of snow this morning.  The kids were all excited, however we didn’t have much accumulation.  This is my “Autumn Joy” sedum, that I planted late this summer in my front flower beds.  I like this sedum, it started white, then gradually turned pink and finally a lovely red color.  I especially like the dark seed heads that remain on the plant over the winter.  I think it provides a nice contrast to the white snow. 

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thanks For The Gumball Popeye! (360/365)

2009 12 26 IMG_3188 
Willy Wonka: Don't you know what this is?
Violet Beauregarde: By gum, it's gum.
Willy Wonka: [happily, but sarcastically] Wrong! It's the most amazing, fabulous, sensational gum in the whole world.
Violet Beauregarde: What's so fab about it?
Willy Wonka: This little piece of gum is a three-course dinner.
Mr. Salt: Bull.
Willy Wonka: No, roast beef. But I haven't got it quite right yet.

Stuart, Mel. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Perf. Gene Wilder, Denise Nickerson and Roy Kinnear. David L. Wolper Productions. 1971. 

TIME:  2:05 PM
PLACE:  The window seat
SUBJECT:  Gumball machine

We (DramaQueen and I) did wake up at the butt crack of dawn and made the trek to the mall for some after-Christmas shopping.  We didn’t do too much damage; I picked up a couple of ornaments, some T-shirts and pillows for the living room couch.  Oh, yes and a festive gold tinsel tree to hold more thrifty ornaments.  The tree I bought at Dillard's where people were stinking nuts!  They were buying the German ornaments and nutcrackers by the boxful – to resell on eBay later I  bet’cha.  While I was there, I picked up a couple of 4lb boxes of gumballs to fill our gumball machine.  It’s been empty since early September.  Now MonkeyBoy & StellaDella are scrounging the house for nickels to put in it.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas! (359/365)

2009 12 25 IMG_8761 
“There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.”

Bombeck, Erma. I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression. New York. Doubleday & Co. 1973.

TIME:  7:48 AM
PLACE:  The living room
SUBJECT:  Christmas tree
(photo taken by HH)

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!  Here at the Sujomi household, we opened presents, HH made a tasty breakfast (and cleaned up!), Grandpa came by to see what Santa brought the kids and we spent the rest of the day playing with new toys and just being lazy.  A perfect Christmas day in my opinion.  Tomorrow, DQ and I are leaving the house “bright and squirrely” to meet my sister, sister-in-law and niece and hit the after Christmas sales.  DQ will be armed with her new phone in case we are separated by the masses.  She can’t wait.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Stair Picture (358/365)

2009 12 24 IMG_3152
The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:  the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. 

William E. ("Bill") Vaughan aka Burton Hillis (American columnist and author, 1915–1977)

TIME:  6:58 PM
PLACE:  Dad’s house
SUBJECT:  The cousins

On Christmas eve, since the birth of the first grandchild, a picture is taken of the grandkids as they sit on the steps of my parent’s house.  This year, we are short two grandchildren…my niece and nephew from San Francisco did not make it into town this year (my niece is actually in Italy visiting a friend – lucky her!).  Before we eat dinner and open gifts, all the cousins sit on the steps and we take photos.  In this picture, MonkeyBoy sits at the upper left, then going clockwise, we have my oldest brother’s two children, Michael and Brandi (who is the oldest cousin), then StellaDella, my sister’s daughter, Shayne (The Bean), DramaQueen and finally, my sister’s oldest son, David who is sitting in the middle.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Wrapping (357/365)

2009 12 23 IMG_3135 
Bah, humbug!" No, that's too strong
'Cause it is my favorite holiday
But all this year's been a busy blur
Don't think I have the energy

To add to my already mad rush
Just 'cause it 'tis the season.
The perfect gift for me would be
Completions and connections left from

Last year, ski shop,
Encounter, most interesting.
Had his number but never the time
Most of '81 passed along those lines.

So deck those halls, trim those trees
Raise up cups of Christmas cheer,
I just need to catch my breath,
Christmas by myself this year.


Butler, Chris.  "Christmas Wrapping."  Lyrics. Perf. The Waitresses.  A Christmas Record.  ZE Records, 1981.

TIME:  9:42 PM
PLACE:  Bedroom
SUBJECT:  Present wrapping paraphernalia

I finally wrapped presents tonight.  It was a trick keeping StellaDella out of the bedroom.  But I told her I was wrapping presents from Grandpa (which I was) and she kinda sorta accepted why she couldn’t come in.  I was able to wrap the Santa presents too and hid them in plain sight under a sheet by the basket of dirty clothes.  Looks like a big old pile of laundry – she won’t suspect a thing.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cutting It Out (356/365)

2009 12 22 IMG_3116
"Run, run, as fast as you can!
You can't catch me!
I'm the Gingerbread Man!"

The Gingerbread Man, A classic folk tale

TIME:  9:01 PM
PLACE:  Kitchen
SUBJECT:  StellaDella

Today I realized that we hadn’t baked any Christmas cookies yet.  And Christmas is only 3 days away. – yikes.  So I made up some gingerbread dough and had “help” making cookies.  I wish I had more patience when it comes to making cut-out cookies with the kids.  It frustrates me when they don’t maximize the cookie cutter placement on the rolled dough.  Then, I get annoyed with myself for being so anal about something that in the scheme of things, is truly not important.  It’s a vicious circle.  So tonight, I changed my tactic.  I cut out 3/4 of the cookies, then let SD go to town on the remainder while I cleaned up the kitchen.  This worked out well, she was happy and my frustration level was almost non-existent.  Everyone was a winner!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Sign Of The Apocalypse (355/365)

 2009 12 21 IMG_3111  
Remember that as a teenager you are at the last stage in your life when you will be happy to hear that the phone is for you.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1951), U.S. journalist. "Tips for Teens," Social Studies (1981).

TIME:  4:25 PM
PLACE:  The kitchen
SUBJECT:  Cell phone

Well, we did something we will probably end up regretting – we purchased a cell phone for DramaQueen for Christmas.  We’ve been thinking about it for some time now.  I’ve been wavering between her being too young and wishing she had one with her when she is at functions without me or HH.  One thing good about it, we can use it as a disciplinary tool, e.g. we can take it away from her if her behavior is not acceptable.  Sigh.  I think mainly I am just not prepared for the teenage years that are rapidly approaching our doorstep.  It means that I am getting older and that is something that I am not ready to accept at all. 

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Vintage JAPAN (354/365)

 2009 12 20 IMG_3101 2009 12 20 IMG_3099
A bargain ain't a bargain unless it's something you need.

Sidney Carroll (American, film and television screenwriter, 1913-1988)


TIME:  9:55 PM
PLACE:  Living room
SUBJECT:  Thrifted JAPAN ornament

I like to collect vintage “Japan” ornaments.  I NEED them (yeah, right).  One of the little things that makes me happy, is discovering one of these ornaments in a thrift shop.  What makes it even better is only paying $0.20 for said ornament.  I know, I know, I live a sad and pathetic little life.  I admit it.  I found this little guy on Wednesday.  I had a small window of opportunity (under 30 minutes) to visit one of my favorite thrift shops after work and before I had to pick up StellaDella from school (DramaQueen & MonkeyBoy had an after school function).  I whizzed through the store, and found this guy and another similar gal hanging on the shop Christmas tree right before my time ran out.  Forty cents for both?  Yeah, I think that’s in my budget.  Score!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Italian Cookie Run (353/365)

2009 12 19 IMG_3094 
Non essiri duci sinno tu mancianu, non essiri amaru sinno ti futanu

Literal English Translation: Do not be sweet lest you be eaten, do not be too sour, lest you be shunned
Idiom: All things in moderation (something I need to keep in mind with this food!)

TIME:  10:16 AM
PLACE:  Rosciglione Bakery
SUBJECT:  Cookie Cases

We went on our annual “Italian Run” this morning.  The whole family goes every year – us, my dad, my oldest brother and his family, and my sister (she came by herself this year-sweet freedom from the kids!).  First we went on the Hill in St. Louis to Viviano’s for cheese, bread, olives, wine and bread.2009 12 19 IMG_3078 Next stop was Volpi’s 2009 12 19 IMG_3079 
for salami and prosciutto, then we headed to St. Charles and my cousin’s bakery for cookies.  My Great Aunt Marie-my paternal grandmother’s youngest sister-joined us this year. 

  2009 12 19 IMG_3080 
Here is Aunt Marie at the bakery.  That’s StellaDella in the purple coat.   Aunt Marie turned 84 this year and I hope I take after her in the aging department – I think she looks like she is in her late 60’s.

My favorite cookie there?2009 12 19 IMG_3083   The Biscotti Regina, a sesame covered biscotti.  I’m thinking dinner tonight will be some Caccicavallo cheese, Filzetti salami and freshly baked bread with cookies for dessert.  Mmm, mmm.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fleur De Lis (352/365)

2009 12 18 IMG_3071 
The treasured fleur-de-luce he claims
To wreathe his shield, since royal James

Sir Walter Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel 
(1833) The Complete Works of Sir Walter Scott, Volume 1 0f 7, Canto Fourth, VIII, NY:  Conner and Cooke

TIME:  9:32 PM
PLACE:  Powell Symphony Hall Lobby
SUBJECT:  Grate

Tonight my Dad had tickets for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Celebration concert at Powell Symphony Hall.  We all got gussied up in and when we left the house it was even starting to snow-very festive!  We were not permitted to take pictures inside the orchestra area, but could take all we wanted in the lobby.  I snapped a couple while taking StellaDella to the restroom during the event and took this one quickly while we were leaving.  MonkeyBoy actually curled up in his seat and slept during the second portion of the concert.  *shakes head*  

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Film-Noir (351/365)

2009 12 17 IMG_3050
Norma Desmond: ... All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.

Sunset Blvd. (Gloria Swanson-actress. Written by Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder and D.M. Marshman Jr.
Billy Wilder-director, 1950)


TIME:  10:20 PM
PLACE:  Bedroom
SUBJECT:  My legs and new shoes

OK, I’m embarrassed to admit that I bought these Jessica Simpson shoes today.  Oh, and those fishnet tights too.  I was doing some Christmas shopping and also trying to figure out what the heck I am going to wear to a Holiday concert we are attending tomorrow night.  It is at Powell Symphony Hall with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.  I saw these shoes at Macys and thought they were pretty cute.  I had a black leather skirt at home and I thought that the the shoes would go well with the skirt, some tights, a dressy camisole, a black blazer and a scarf.  I tried it all on but I’m still not sure.  I’ll have to sleep on it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Throwing In The Towel (350/365)

2009 12 16 IMG_2969 
Chandler: You know what's weird? Donald Duck never wore pants. But whenever he's getting out of the shower, he always puts a towel around his waist. I mean, what is that about?

”Friends" (1994) (The One Where No One's Ready [#3.2])

TIME:  7:02 PM
PLACE:  The kitchen
SUBJECT:  Holiday dishtowels

My friend, Denise, stopped by last night to drop off my Gold Candle Canyon and Tastefully Simple order from her annual party.  She brought me a Christmas present - Christmas dishtowels that she originally wanted to give to me last Christmas.  She had thought that they would go perfectly in my orange kitchen.  She said that she meant to give them to me last year, but one thing led to another and it didn’t happen.  There was peppermint bark in the gift bag as well, but she said she forgot that was in the bag and that we probably shouldn’t eat it – it was past the “best by” date of May 2009.  I said I’d feed it to the kids and HH anyway.  We both had a good giggle over that.  Just two old friends being goofy.

Do you see that the stove is missing its knobs?  We have to keep them off as the cats have been known to jump up to the window behind the stove and sometimes turn the knobs with their back paws.  The burners don’t turn on all the way; all you can hear is the “click, click, click” of them trying to ignite and smell the gas spewing out.  As a matter of fact, I woke up to that sound and smell last week.  Not a good thing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tinsel Tree (349/365)

2009 12 15 IMG_2944 
And NOW! grinned the Grinch, “I will stuff up the tree!”
And the Grinch grabbed the tree, and he started to shove,
When he heard a small sound like the coo of a dove.
He turned around fast and he saw a small Who.
Little Cindy Lou Who, who was no more than two.
The Grinch had been caught by this tiny Who daugther
Who’d got out of bed for a cup of cold water.
She stared at the Grinch and said, “Santy Claus, why,
”Why are you taking our Christmas tree? WHY?”
But, you know, that old Grinch was so smart and so slick
He thought up a lie and he thought it up quick! 
“Why my sweet little tot,” the fake Santy Claus lied, 
“There's a light on this tree that won't light on one side.
“So I'm taking it home to my workshop, my dear.
“I'll fix it up there, then I'll bring it back here.” 
And his fib fooled the child. Then he patted her head
And he got her a drink and he sent her to bed.
And when Cindy Lou Who was in bed with her cup,
HE went to the chimney and stuffed the tree up!

Dr. Seuss. How The Grinch Stole Christmas! New York: Random House, 1957.

TIME:  9:22 PM
PLACE:  The living room
SUBJECT:  Deer & Tinsel Tree craft

StellaDella and I made this tree yesterday after reading “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” (our advent book for the day).  Bella Dia had posted a Book and Activity for each day of Advent back in 2007 and is revisiting it this year on The Crafty Crow website.  I had printed out all of these last year and planned a few crafts with our books this Advent.  We will be doing a few others next week when the kids are out of school.  I need to give them something to do to keep them from annoying each other!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear? (348/365)

2009 12 14 IMG_2880 
As long as we live, there is never enough singing. 

Martin Luther (German, Monk, Priest, Theologian, Initiator of the Protestant Reformation, 1483-1546)

TIME:  4:34 PM
PLACE:  Bradford Place
SUBJECT:  Gouldian Finch

StellaDella’s Girl Scout troop and MonkeyBoy’s Webelos den went to an Independent Senior Living Center after school to sing Christmas carols and hand out Christmas cards and cookies to the residents.  MB brought his saxophone and serenaded them by playing a selection of Christmas melodies.  The men and women enjoyed the kid’s singing and MB’s playing.  I wondered how many Christmases have been celebrated collectively by these older folks and how many more they have left to experience.  It didn’t surprise me that I got tears in my eyes thinking about this as I am an emotional wreak anyway.  To collect myself and get in control of my tears, I decided to study the huge finch aviary that was by the common area where the kids were singing.  Most of the birds were flying and flitting around the enclosure, but this one just sat there and seemed to be listening to the caroling.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mmmm…Sprinkles (347/365)

2009 12 13 IMG_2798 
"Think what a better world it would be if we all-the whole world-had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap.”

Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)

TIME:  1:43 PM
PLACE:  St. Paul’s UCC Church
SUBJECT:  Cookie with sprinkles

StellaDella had a Daisy “Winter Wonderland” program from 1-5 pm today.  They had face painting, sang Christmas carols, decorated cookies, had a snack, made a craft, played games (soda bottle bowling/winter dress up relay/beanbag toss) and watched a movie (The Polar Express).  HandsomeHusband and MonkeyBoy went to another Meat Shoot and DramaQueen had a birthday skating party.  Of course, I had laundry to do and I even tried to do a little straightening up in the dungeon of doom basement. 

This week is the last week of school, then it’s Christmas break for the kids.  I can’t believe that there are only 18 more days left in this year and Project 365.  I’ve been thinking about what to do for 2010 – I'd like to keep this up but do it a little differently. I’ve several ideas and if I ever get a chance to sit and gather my thoughts together, I might even be ready to go by January 1st.   I’m thinking of a week of a certain color/subject/technique.  How about you all…are you going to continue with a picture a day in 2010?  Will you change how you approach your photos?   I need more ideas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Orange You Glad (346/365)

2009 12 12 IMG_2752
Knock, knock
Who’s there?
Banana
Banana who?
Knock, knock
Who’s there?
Banana
Banana who?
Knock, knock
Who’s there?
Banana
Banana who?
Knock, knock
Who’s there?
Orange
Orange who?
Orange you glad I didn’t say “banana”?

StellaDella’s favorite Knock-Knock joke

TIME:  7:34 PM
PLACE:  The kitchen
SUBJECT:  California Oranges & Mandarins 

One of my favorite things about this time of year is oranges.  I love, love the California Cuties Mandarins.  I can eat a whole 5lb box all by myself.  Today, a friend of HandsomeHusband gave him some oranges that he brought back from a recent visit to California.  We had Chinese take out tonight and these were perfect for dessert.

Friday, December 11, 2009

It’s Curtains For Me! (345/365)

2009 12 11 IMG_2749 
Fall the deep curtains,
delicate the weave,
fair the thread.

Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961), U.S. poet. "Archer."

TIME:  8:37 PM
PLACE:  The kitchen
SUBJECT:  Cabinet curtains

I just finished making these.  Last November, I painted my kitchen "Roasted Squash."  If you look to the right in the second picture of the post, you can see where the doors were taken off of the cabinets for painting.  They were never put back on.  I liked having the open shelving (and not getting irritated each time someone left the doors open).  However, I could never arrange the dishes Martha Stewart-y enough to suit me and it just didn’t look very nice.  I found this outdoor fabric at Joann’s about a month and a half ago, and thought it would go nicely with the orange walls.  I had issues deciding how I was going to hang them.  I wanted them inside the opening and knew that tension rods were not going to hold them up.  I finally decided on a wooden dowel and closet pole sockets.  I quit procrastinating, got off my duff and sewed them up tonight after dinner.  There was no ripping involved and minimal cursing during the sewing.  I cut the wooden dowels myself with the power miter saw (HH was already in bed) and I still have all my fingers - a plus!  Now, that’s what I call a successfully completed project. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Book It (344/365)

IMG_2746 
The greatest gift you will ever receive will never be found under a Christmas tree. It is far too valuable to be stored in any other place but in the depths of your heart.

Unknown

TIME:  9:11 PM
PLACE:  The study
SUBJECT:  Laura's Christmas Star

This year for Advent, I had DramaQueen pick and wrap 24 of the many Christmas books that we have accumulated.  She also numbered them so that "The Night Before Christmas" is the final book to be opened.  Each night, StellaDella unwraps the appropriate numbered package and we sit and read the book before bedtime.  Tonight was "Laura's Christmas Star" by Klaus Baumgart.  I think I like this way to countdown to Christmas more than any other Advent calendar we have had in the past.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Starlight Mints (343/365)

2009 12 09 IMG_2701 Buddy: I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.

Elf
(Will Ferrell-actor, David Berenbaum-written by, Jon Favreau-director, 2003)

TIME:  9:12 PM
PLACE:  The kitchen
SUBJECT:  Starlight mint pyramid

Well, even if the calendar says we have 12 more days until winter begins, I’m thinking that it arrived today in my neck of the woods.  The wind was blustery, the temperature dropped into the teens and we had flurries.  No snow accumulation though.  Do you want to hear my snow theory?  Well, even if you don’t want to hear it, I’m going to tell you.  My snow theory is that if it is going to get cold like this, then it needs to snow, otherwise it’s just wasting my time.  Obviously, Mother Nature doesn’t think much of my opinions.

I love Starlight Mints.  Walgreens had them on sale last week, buy 2 bags for $3.00 and get a bag free.  How could I resist?  Plus I needed wanted some to fill up one of my
PartyLite Naturally Modern Votive Holders.  I was playing around building a pyramid with some extra ones, and thought that the pattern they made was a good subject.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sharp Dressed Man (342/365)

2009 12 08 IMG_2675 
Clean shirt, new shoes
And I don't know where I'm goin' to
Silk suit, black tie
I don't need a reason why
They come runnin' just as fast as they can
Coz every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man…

Billy Gibbons
, Billy; Hill, Dusty; Beard, Frank. “Sharp Dressed Man.” Lyrics. ZZ Top. Eliminator. Warner Bros, 1983.

TIME:  7:54 PM
PLACE:  Junior High Cafeteria
SUBJECT:  MonkeyBoy

Tonight was the grade school Christmas program. Since we have a small gym/cafeteria, the school uses the Junior High School gym for the performance.  Sunday, DramaQueen and I went shopping at the mall for a new dress for her – she said she had nothing to wear and actually, she was telling the truth!  MB and StellaDella needed new clothes as well.  If they would just stop growing, all their clothes would still fit, but they don’t listen to me.  MB is still easy to shop for, he will wear whatever I purchase.  I bought him these new shoes, pants, shirt and a real tie.  HandsomeHusband tied it for him tonight, but will be teaching him how to do it on his own.  He thought he was stylin’ and I thought he was too!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gumdrop Bridge (341/365)

2009 12 07 IMG_2623
Gingerbread Man: NO! Not the buttons! Not my gumdrop buttons!

Shrek (Conrad Vernon-actor, William Steig-book, Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson-directors, 2001)


TIME:   4:13 PM
PLACE:  School stage
SUBJECT:  Gumdrop Truss Bridge

MonkeyBoy is working on his Webelos Engineer Activity Badge.  Today at the den meeting, we discussed different kinds of bridges and their differences.  Then we constructed a model of a truss bridge using toothpicks and gumdrops.  We started with a single truss and then added a second level.  The den mother (me) had a blonde moment and forgot to bring a cupful of pennies to test the strength of the bridge, but the boys enjoyed the activity anyway.  I’ve been MB’s den mother since the beginning when he was a Tiger scout.  I’ve enjoyed doing it, but I must admit, I am looking forward to him moving onto Boy Scouts and my volunteering being finished at the end of this school year.  Does that make me a bad mom?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Jolly Old St. Nicholas (340/365)

2009 12 06 IMG_2601 
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads;


Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863), U.S. poet. A Visit from St. Nicholas (l. 3-6). . . Anthology of American Poetry. George Gesner, ed. (1983) Avenel Books.

TIME:  10:24 PM
PLACE:  On top of the piano
SUBJECT:  Santa figurines

Do you celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas?   St. Nick was Nicholas of Myra, a saint and Bishop of Myra (Myra was located in Turkey.)  His MO was to give secret gifts – such as leaving coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him.  He is said to be the model for Santa Claus.  On December 5, the Eve of St. Nicholas Day, when I was a small child, we would put stockings at the edge of our beds or on our bedroom door before we went to sleep. The following morning, we would wake-up to find that St. Nick had filled our stockings with candy and small presents – for us, there was always a pair of socks included in the mix.  Supposedly, if we were bad, he would leave coal – but we never saw that (although, a few times, we probably would have deserved it!).  I have continued this tradition with my children.  St. Nick always leaves a fancy toothbrush (Spinbrushes this year), a family DVD (Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian), along with candy and other small items. 

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Motley Crew (339/365)

2009 12 05 IMG_2596 
Motley's the only wear.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Jaques, in As You Like It, act 2, sc. 7, l. 34. Motley was the costume of a professional fool.

TIME:  10:53 AM
PLACE:  Murphy Company
SUBJECT:  Clockwise: MonkeyBoy, DramaQueen, StellaDella, The Bean and RegularMilk

My Dad works for a construction company. For the past several years, one of the mechanical contractors they work with has had a Saturday Christmas party that is totally geared toward the kids.  The 3 kids and I met Dad and my sister and nephew and niece there this year. This year they had a pancake breakfast, pictures with Santa, crafts, cookie decorating, stories, a BBQ lunch and face painting.  The face painting is always a big hit as you can see.  Yes, that is “Team Jacob” on DQ’s forehead and not to be outdone, SD had “Team Edward” paint on her arm.

Where was HandsomeHusband?  He was home, fixing the furnace.  Apparently the sensor board decided to quit during the coldest morning we have had so far this winter (in the low 20’s last night!).  Our house got down to 57 degrees – a tad chilly.  I am eternally grateful that the part was in stock at the local heating and cooling business; that the warranty covered the cost of said $390 part; and finally that my HH has the knowledge and skills to install the part himself, saving us even more.  I knew there was a reason why I married him!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mmm, Forbidden Donuts (338/365)

2009 12 04 IMG_2573 Homer:  Donuts. Is there anything they can't do?

The Simpsons, Marge vs. the Monorail, 14 January 1993 (Season 4, Episode 12)

TIME:  8:29 PM
PLACE:  6525 Chippewa Street, St. Louis, MO
SUBJECT:  Donut Drive In

The kid’s school sponsored a Parent’s Night Out this evening.  I forked over $15 and the three rugrats darlings were fed pizza and kept out of our hair properly supervised for three hours.  HH and I took this opportunity to go out to eat.  We went to our favorite sushi restaurant in St. Louis – Nobu’s.  We’ve been going since HH took me there on our 1st date 20 years ago.  Tonight, we sat at the sushi bar and toward the end of our dinner, I mentioned this fact to Noboru Kidera, the owner and sushi chef.  He congratulated us and asked about the kids (they’ve been going there since they were tiny babies – MB inhales the cucumber and California rolls and they all enjoy the miso soup with extra tofu).  He had some fresh pineapple brought out for us to commemorate our “anniversary”.  HH said it was the sweetest pineapple he ever tasted.  Afterwards, we drove to Chippewa Ave (Route 66) and Ted Drewes for some custard.  It was 8 o’clock at night and a chilly 29 degrees out but there we were, standing in the cold to get our custard.

This “Donut Drive-In” is just down the street from Ted Drewes on the old Route 66.  HH stopped so I could take a couple of shots, then it was time to hit the road and pick up the kids.  The three hours went way too fast.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Crocheted Snowman (337/365)

2009 12 03 IMG_2548 
Traffic Cop: What's the matter? Didn't you see that traffic light?
Frosty: What's a traffic light?
Traffic Cop: Up there on that lamppost.
Frosty: What's a lamppost?
Traffic Cop: Are you trying to get a ticket, wise guy?
Frosty: I'd love one. To the North Pole, please.

Frosty The Snowman (Paul Frees, Jackie Vernon, written by Romeo Muller, Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr. - directors, 1969)

TIME:  10:00 PM
PLACE:  The Dining Room
SUBJECT:  Crocheted Snowman

I crocheted this snowman 2 (or was it 3?) years ago from a RoxyCraft pattern.  My snowman does not look as nice as the original.  Being that I was a self-taught crocheter, I’m lucky that he didn’t turn looking like a mutant.  I like crocheting, but haven’t picked up a hook all year.  I find it to be like cross-stitching, logical, orderly and soothing.  Plus I find it fascinating…you start with a long piece of yarn, basically, tie knots with it on a metal hook and you end up with (in this case) a snowman!  It’s magic. 

On a related note, one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2009 was to learn to knit.  I’m thinking that I am going to fail in fulfilling that resolution.  Something to aspire to next year, I guess.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Shocking (336/365)

2009 12 02 IMG_2529
Mysterious affair, electricity.

Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. A, in "Theatre II," one of the dramatic pieces in Ends and Odds, p. 92, Grove Press (1976).


TIME:  10:18 PM
PLACE:  My bedroom
SUBJECT:  Electrical outlet

I never noticed before how the electrical outlet looks like two shocked faces.  Quite appropriate I think.  I hope that it’s not because of what has been going on in my bedroom! *wink*

(Can you tell I am running out of ideas lately?  The time of the photo is getting later and later each day and I think that my subject matter is getting pulled out of my a*# at the last minute!)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Shot In The Arm (335/365)

2009 12 01 IMG_2514
Without health, there is no point.  To anything. 

Everett Mámor

TIME:  3:58 PM
PLACE:  The study
SUBJECT:  My bandage (picture taken by HH)

I was a good mom, finally.  The county had seasonal influenza vaccinations available and so I took the kids to get their flu shots.  I picked them up from school at 2:30pm.  They were excited to leave school a half hour early.  That excitement lasted about 5 minutes until I told them where they were going.    MonkeyBoy volunteered to go first and he took his shot like it was nothing.  DramaQueen followed suit, I got mine, then it was StellaDella’s turn.  She was a little more vocal about the initial stick, but she recovered quickly.

On another note, a couple of weeks ago, HandsomeHusband purchased SD 4 additional goldfish to keep Dorothy company.  This evening, we had a tragedy…we found a “floater” in the goldfish aquarium.   The deceased was one of the new guys.  SD did NOT take it well.  RIP my gold friend, RIP.  

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