Friday, December 31, 2010

Tornado Watch (365/365)

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“In some places it's known as a tornado. In others, a cyclone. And in still others, the Idiot's Merry-go-round. But around here they'll always be known as screw-boys.”

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

TIME:  12:21 PM
PLACE:  Looking west

As I was taking down the Christmas tree, the tornado sirens went off.  That, of course, made DramaQueen go into hysterics.  Then, when I went outside to continue with the de-Christmasing of the porch trees, lights and garland and to watch the skies, it threw her into a tizzy.  “Come inside!!!! Come INSIDE Mom!!!  Oh my god…is there going to be a tornado? Are we going to be ok!?!  Mom! Come! In! Side!”  So I went inside, got my camera and went back out.  MonkeyBoy came with me.  He thought the weather was pretty neat.  I took another couple of shots, we started up the porch steps and all of a sudden, a wave of wind and rain hit.  It was like someone turned on a switch.  We barely missed getting soaked.  MB was impressed.  DQ was hysterical.  We all survived.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Getting Beautiful Stresses Me Out (364/365)

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“A dog's idea of personal grooming is to roll on a dead fish.”

James Gorman

TIME:  8:00 PM
PLACE:  Kitchen

Poor doggie.  We took her to Petsmart to be groomed this afternoon.  She was stinky and her nails were long and “clicked, clicked, clicked, clicked” much too annoyingly on the laminate floor for my taste.  When we dropped her off, she had a look of panic on her face, as if we were leaving her forever.  When we returned to pick her up, she about pulled the groomer’s arm out of their socket as they were walking her to us at the desk.  We bought her a new pink collar to replace her old faded one while she was getting all pretty.  Now she smells sooo much better – and she isn’t as “clicky” either.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Monkey Joe (363/365)

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“I love to go to the playground and watch the children jumping up and down. They don't know I'm firing blanks.”

Emo Philips (American entertainer and comedian, b1956)

TIME:  8:03 PM
PLACE:  Monkey Joe’s
SUBJECT:  Monkey Joe inflatable

My niece, Shayne turned 5 today.  My sister called last night to see if the kids wanted to meet up at Monkey Joe’s – an inflatable play center - this evening to help celebrate (her big family party is scheduled for this coming Sunday).  My brother-in-law even offered to watch the kids so my sister and I (and DramaQueen) could go shopping for a couple of hours.  Did I mention that he is my favorite brother-in-law?  OK, he’s my ONLY brother-in-law, but does that really matter?  In any case, we left the children with D-- around 6pm and made it to Target (which didn’t have anymore peppermint Oreos dammit!), the mall and Borders bookstore before heading back around 8pm to relieve him of his duties.  There were no broken bones or other casualties while we were gone…a successful outing!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Siren Song (362/365)

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“The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.”

Oscar Wilde (Irish Poet, Novelist, Dramatist and Critic, 1854-1900) *The Picture of Dorian Gray*, 1891

TIME:  3:30 PM
PLACE:  Pantry
SUBJECT:  Peppermint Oreo cookies

These are one of the 50% off Holiday foods that I purchased at Target on Sunday.  Really, who can resist a package of Oreos for only $1.49?  Not me.  I thought the peppermint would be in the filling…but no, it’s even better – it’s in the cookie – mmmmm, minty chocolate goodness.  I need to eat them all so they don’t tempt me anymore – and then maybe I just might make another trip out to Target to purchase more.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ohhh, Sparkly (361/365)

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“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand-and melting like a snowflake...”

Francis Bacon, Sr. (English Lawyer and Philosopher. 1561-1626)

TIME:  3:19 PM
PLACE:  North side of the house
SUBJECT:  Icicle on Rose of Sharon branch

Back to the grind today.  I was sooo tired.  That’s what I get for staying up way too late and playing Peggle on the Xbox.  Stupid, addicting game cutting in on my sleep time – but I managed to muddle through work and made it back home without falling asleep at my desk.  After I ate a late lunch, StellaDella just had to show me the icicles she spied out of the window by my computer desk.  She thought it was so cool how the afternoon light made them sparkle.  They won’t be here much longer, we are expecting temps to hit the mid to upper 50’s along with some rain on Thursday.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

December Tree (360/365)

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"In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne'er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.”

John Keats,  In Drear-Nighted December 

TIME:  4:40 PM
PLACE:  Front yard
SUBJECT:  Red Sunset Maple tree

A last, lovely, do-nothing day before work beckons tomorrow.  DQ and I went to Target, not for the sales, but to purchase cat food and Q-tips.  We did manage to spend some money on 50%-off gingerbread Pop tarts, dark chocolate Hershey kisses, peppermint Oreos and some black velvety sweatpants and hoodie for StellaDella.  We came back home and I played a rousing game of Plants vs. Zombies with my son on his Xbox.  Then I booted him off the system and played Zuma (a marble popping game) while the dog and son fell asleep with their heads on my legs and SD fell asleep as she lay down beside me.  I only got up because I needed to take the picture of the tree for the month.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Morning 2010 (359/360)

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“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:  7:37 AM
PLACE:  Living room
SUBJECT:  StellaDella, DramaQueen & MonkeyBoy

Before the present unwrapping carnage occurred, I managed to get the three kids posed in front of the tree with their new Pillow Pets - It’s a Pillow.  It’s a Pet.  It’s a Pillow Pet! – Vendetta the Unicorn, Slick the Penguin and Po the Panda.  HH made breakfast, lunch *and* dinner (my dad came over and ate supper with us) – gotta love that.  Me, I spent the majority of my day setting up and troubleshooting new electronic devices (cell phone, Mp3 player, Xbox Kinect and Nook for the kids and a new Garmin for HH and myself).  Other than that, it was another lazy Christmas Day spent at home.  Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa Is Out (358/365)

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“Alas! How dreary would be the world if there was no Santa Claus!... There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.”

Francis P. Church, New York Sun, Sep. 21, 1897

TIME:  5:42 PM
PLACE:  Public Square
SUBJECT:  Santa’s House

Since 1963, children in our town have been able to visit Santa in his very own home away from home.  On our way to my Dad’s house for Christmas Eve dinner, we drove by his temporary dwelling.  The snow covered sign indicated that he was out – Of course he was out, it’s Christmas Eve and he has to deliver all of the Christmas gifts.  Sheesh.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Old Milwaukee (357/365)

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“Beer built right.”

Old Milwaukee beer slogan

TIME:  4:20 PM
PLACE:  Beauty Shop
SUBJECT:  Old Milwaukee beer
(taken with my crappy cellphone camera)

I was my beautician’s last customer of the day and after she had put color in my hair and it was processing, she asked if I minded if she had a beer.  I told her that wasn’t a problem and then she asked if I wanted one too.  Well of course! - I never look a gift beer in the mouth.  She pulled two Old Milwaukees out of the compact refrigerator.  While Old Mil is not my beer of choice, I have to admit that my first sip of it tasted pretty darn good.  I don’t agree with the “America’s Best Tasting Beer” slogan on the top of the can, but in all honesty, it’s not the swill that some consumers claim it to be.  Hey, did you know that in 2004 it took home the gold in the Great American Beer Festival competition?  Take *that* you haters.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

SOOC Surprise (356/365)

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“When everything flows into place - washes dry tonally correct, crisp and sparkling, the light scheme is sound and the "accidentals" are all happy ones - I'm temporarily in a euphoric state.”

Bill Luff – artist

TIME:  8:25 PM
PLACE:  Living room
SUBJECT:  Christmas floral arrangement

I was playing around with my Christmas gift – a Canon 50mm f/1.8 II camera lens – taking several shots of a floral arrangement that friends had sent us.  I took pictures of it with the candles in it lit; the candles unlit; I placed it in front of the little tree with the white lights behind it; then moved it to the front of  the big tree with the colored lights behind it;  I placed it against the solid colored wall; I took pictures from far away; I took pictures as close as the lens would allow…I took a lot of photos.  After downloading and reviewing the shots, I came across this one.  This is straight out of the camera – just slightly cropped – I liked it the best.  I like how the pinecone and the red rose in the lower corner are the only things in focus; I like the bokeh behind the pine cone and I like the funky way the greenery turned out.  It is a happy accident.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Solstice Moon (355/365)

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“Now is the solstice of the year,
Winter is the glad song that you hear.”

Jethro Tull. "Ring Out, Solstice Bells." Songs from the Wood. By Ian Anderson. Island Records, London, 1977.

TIME:   8:10 PM
PLACE:  Mall parking lot

Today marks the official beginning of winter here in the Northern hemisphere.  Technically it began here at 5:38pm Central Standard Time.  I was cleaning up the dinner table when it started.  We ate a little earlier so DramaQueen and I could go shopping afterwards for some final Christmas gifts.  As we were leaving the mall (and it was torture being there, the crowds were killing me), we saw the full moon as it came out from behind the clouds for a brief moment.  It was nice to see.  We wished that we could have seen the lunar eclipse last night, but the sky was overcast and prevented us from observing it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Shiny Brite (354/365)

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“Be merry all, be merry all,
With holly dress the festive hall;
Prepare the song, the feast, the ball,
To welcome merry Christmas.”

William Robert Spencer (English poet and humorist, 1769-1834)

TIME:  7:00 PM (yesterday)
PLACE:  Living room
SUBJECT:  Vintage Shiny Brite ornament

Some of you might have seen this photo yesterday before I deleted the post and replaced it with DramaQueen’s portrait.  I’m posting it today because #1: I need to do laundry so HH has work clothes and whites to wear for work tomorrow - I firmly believe that nothing says “I love you” like a drawer full of clean underwear. - and #2: I am tired and so do not feel like thinking of a photo to take for today.  What a slacker.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Grumpy (353/365)

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: Hey there, Mr. Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down
you wanna know what you've gotta do?
Marlin: No I don't wanna know.
Dory: [singing] Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.
Marlin: Dory, no singing.
Dory: [continuing] Ha, ha, ha, ha, ho. I love to swim. When you want to swim you want to swim.
Marlin: Now I'm stuck with that song... Now it's in my head.
Dory: Sorry.

DeGeneres, Ellen, and Brooks, Albert, perf. Finding Nemo. Dir. Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich. 2003. Pixar.

TIME:  9:55 AM
PLACE:  St. Augustine’s gym
SUBJECT:  DramaQueen (photo taken by HH)

Already it is the last Sunday before Christmas…gah!  We had a family session at Sunday School this morning.  DramaQueen was a Grumpy Gus the entire time…then she got even more grumpy when I won Christmas Word Bingo and she didn’t.  My “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!” chant apparently annoyed/embarrassed her even further.  *Giggle*  It’s so much fun to pester your children in public.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Canned Tomatoes (352/365)

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“The path of civilization is paved with tin cans.”

Elbert Hubbard (American editor, publisher and writer, 1856-1915)

TIME:  9:20 AM
PLACE:  Viviano & Sons, Inc., St. Louis, MO
SUBJECT:  Marconi canned tomatoes

This morning was our annual “Italian Run” for the holidays.  We met up with Dad, Great Aunt Marie, my sister, my brother and his family and my niece’s friend and his family at Viviano & Son’s in St. Louis.  Then we bought fresh salami at Volpi’s and finally made the trek to our cousin’s bakery (Rosciglione's) in St. Charles for Italian cookies.  The best part of this tradition?  Eating lunch when we return home – fresh baked bread with Filzetti salami, some caccicavallo cheese and a sprinkling of olive oil with cookies for dessert.  Later tonight, I think I’m opening the bottle of Riesling we bought.  The kids are driving me to drink.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bed Head (351/365)

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“The hair is the richest ornament of women.”

Martin Luther (1483-1546), German theologist and leader of the Protestant reformation.

TIME:  9:34 AM
PLACE:  1st grade classroom
SUBJECT:  StellaDella

SD’s 1st grade class and their 4th grade buddies had a special “Polar Express” activity this morning.  I was one of the parents who volunteered to help out.  They were able to wear their pajamas to school for this fun day.  Tickets were hidden in their backpacks and after they found them, they needed to count coins to purchase the price indiciated on the ticket.  Then they “boarded” the train, listened to the story of the Polar Express, drank hot cocoa and ate chocolate from silver platters, met Santa - who gave them a bell from his reindeer harness - and then went to three areas of Santa’s workshop for activities.  There, they made a necklace with their bell, wrapped presents, cut out cookies and painted a scene from what they imagined they saw while looking out of the train window.  After that, they “boarded” the train again, sang songs and finally returned to the classroom in time for lunch.  They had to keep hold of their ticket to do all the activities – SD decided that the safest place to keep her ticket was in her hair.  Only my child.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Peppermint Bark (350/365)

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Cosmo Kramer: Who's gonna turn down a Junior Mint? It's chocolate, it's peppermint, it's delicious.

"The Junior Mint." Seinfeld. Perf. Michael Richards. 17 Mar. 1993. Television.

TIME:  3:55 PM
PLACE:  Kitchen
SUBJECT:  Three Layer Peppermint Bark

The kids had an “icy road” day off school today, so I made them work.  We made this peppermint bark as well as a toffee pretzel bark and packaged them in mason jars to give as gifts to their teachers.  The above peppermint bark is. To. Die. For.  Seriously.  White chocolate, crushed starlight mints, bittersweet chocolate, heavy whipping cream and peppermint extract combine together to make the most heavenly flavor experience. *swoon*  I had to make a second batch, so we would have some for our own ~ it won’t last long though.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Office Space (349/365)

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Ms. Angela Li: All right! A two percent raise and a space heater for the teacher's lounge.

"Lucky Strike." Daria. Perf. Nora Laudani. MTV. 26 Mar. 2001. Television.

TIME:  1:15 PM
PLACE:  Work
SUBJECT:  Space heater & file drawers

As in other parts of the country, we’ve been experiencing below normal, bitterly cold temperatures here in the Midwest.  My office is located in the lower level of our building.  We have the most craptacular HVAC system ever.  It is always cold in my office (even in the summer, I have to have wear sweaters) – and with the weather we’ve been having it is simply freezing!  I am so thankful that I have a space heater, even if it is an older model…it keeps me warm and that is all that matters.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reading (348/365)

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“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.”

Victor Hugo (French romantic Poet, Novelist and Dramatist, 1802-1885)

TIME:  9:44 PM
PLACE:  Home
SUBJECT:  StellaDella

I am amazed at SD’s current reading ability.  It seems like all of a sudden, everything just “clicked” and off she went.  She reads cereal boxes, newspaper headlines, whatever is on the computer screen, road signs and any book she can get her hands on.  Tonight she announced that she was going to read her bedtime stories to me.  The tales were “Click, Clack, Moo” and “FrankenStella.”  I love watching and listening to her as she reads the stories and sounds out unfamiliar words – I can almost see her mind working as she does it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cold Geese (347/365)

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Something told the wild geese
It was time to go.
Though the fields lay golden
Something whispered—’Snow.’”

Rachel Lyman Field (1894-1942), U.S. writer. Something Told the Wild Geese (l. 1-4). . . Oxford Book of Children's Verse in America, The. Donald Hall, ed. (1985) Oxford University Press.

TIME:  8:33 AM
PLACE:  S. 52nd St.
SUBJECT:  Canadian geese

The kiddos were off school today because of the freezing weather. *rolls eyes*.  I still had to go to work though.  When I got into the Jeep on this morning, the outside temperature gauge read 5 degrees Fahrenheit….a bit chilly.  You know its freezing when you see Canadian geese all curled up in a ball to keep warm.  These guys were on a lake near my office building.  Their bottoms have got to be frozen!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cold Cornfield (346/365)

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"Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the withered air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.”

Emerson, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), “The Snow-Storm.” 1-5.

TIME:  12:34 PM
PLACE:  South 11th St.
SUBJECT:  Cornfield

Last night, as we slept, the snow arrived.  We didn’t get as they were predicting, but there was enough to mess with people’s minds as they were driving.  Plus, our temperature dropped like a rock: from the 50 degrees we enjoyed on Friday to about 16 degrees right now.   The wind is blowing hard so it’s downright brisk out there.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gingerbread Latte (345/365)

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Dr. Frasier Crane: Yes, I'll have a non-fat, decaf latte, please. Oh, what the hell? Look, make it a full-fat mocha with extra whipped cream. What the hell, put a slice of bacon on it!

"A Word to the Wiseguy." Frasier. Perf. Kelsey Grammer. 20 Feb. 1996. Television.

TIME:  6:25 PM
PLACE:  Borders Book Store
SUBJECT:  Gingerbread latte

This morning I awoke to the sound of thunder – thunder - in December!  Crazy.  We had a ton of rain and dropping temps all day.  If that rain were snow, we’d be in a heap of trouble - just like DramaQueen’s gingerbread man who accompanied her latte at Border’s this evening.  Oh, he looks happy, but that’s because he was unaware of his fate.  He was consumed within seconds of having his photo taken. 
On a sad note…my brother and sister-in-law had to euthanize their dog,
Jake, last night due to health issues.  He was part of their family for the past 11 years and he was a good dog.  We will miss him.  RIP Jakers.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thrifty Themed Tree (344/365)

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Clark Griswold: The most enjoying traditions of the season are best enjoyed in the warm embrace of kith and kin. Thith tree is a thymbol of the thpirit of the Griswold family Chrithmath.

Christmas Vacation. Perf. Chevy Chase. Dir. Jeremiah S. Chechik. 1989. Warner Bros. Pictures

TIME:  9:29 PM
PLACE:  Living room
SUBJECT:  Christmas tree #2

This is a 6-foot tree that I originally purchased to decorate our front porch…and it did for several years.  Then last year I realized that if I wanted to display my thrift store ornaments, I would need another tree.  So, I changed tactics on the outside d├ęcor and kept this inside for my treasures.  Funny, I would get jealous of the themed trees I saw in magazines or at department stores - you know, the ones where all the ornaments matched  – but tonight I noticed that all of my thrifty ornaments co-ordinate wonderfully with their main colors of red and white.  Without even trying, I have a themed tree.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Season’s Greetings (343/365)

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What did the salt say to the pepper?
”Season's Greetings!”

Joke, Unknown

TIME:  10:36 PM
PLACE:  Living room
SUBJECT:  Christmas salt & pepper shakers

I found these flirty cuties at the flea market in November.  The vendor only charged me a dollar for the pair.  Mrs. Salt happens to be a little paint-worn.  I like to think it’s because she’s been having a fun time with Mr. Pepper.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gunboats (342/365)

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“You know what they say about guys with big hands and big feet?…
They wear big gloves and big shoes!”


TIME:  4:13 PM
PLACE:  Dining room

MonkeyBoy needed black shoes to wear with his band uniform for the Christmas concert this evening.  He and I went to the shoe store to purchase said shoes.  Can you believe that my 11-year old boy is wearing a men’s shoe size 9-1/2…his feet are larger than mine!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Under The Hawthorn Tree (341/365)

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“Have you noticed that even the busiest people are never too busy to take time to tell you how busy they are?”

Bob Talbert (American, newspaper columnist, 1939-1999)

TIME:  4:07 PM
PLACE:  Grade school
SUBJECT:  Fruit on a Hawthorn tree

*Sigh* Just another relaxing day on my day off.  I spent my morning at school, helping out with the PTA’s annual Santa’s Cottage.  Santa’s Cottage is an event that lets the kids shop for family and friends in the gym.  The “cottage” has small gifts, knickknacks and other items that range in prices from 25 cents to four dollars.  Then it was off to the beautician for a haircut at 11:30am and then to the grocery store to pick up ice cream for the 4th & 5th grade boys basketball celebration after school.  I also stopped by the bakery to pick up a cake HH had ordered.  At the celebration, HH took individual and team photos of the boys; I served them cake and ice cream and our town’s police chief and a local Paralympic athlete stopped by at HH’s invitation, to congratulate the boys on working hard this season and the importance of giving their best in all that they do.  Ahh, well…I was busy for good causes, there is always Thursday to get other things done.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Blue Plaid Flannel (340/365)

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Cher: So, this flannel thing. Is that a nod to the crispy Seattle weather, or are you just trying to stay warm in front of the refrigerator?

Silverstone, Alicia, perf. Clueless. Dir. Amy Heckerling. 1995. Paramount Pictures.

TIME:  9:32 PM
PLACE:  My desk
SUBJECT:  HandsomeHusband’s flannel shirt

When it gets cold, like it is right now, I like to wear HH’s Sherpa lined, flannel shirt.  It’s soft, warm, comfy and large enough to fit over whatever I happen to be wearing.  The kids also like to throw it on when they take the dog out.  Poor HH, I think the kids and I have been wearing it more than he does lately.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Jerky (339/365)

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Dale Doback: Dad, we're men. That means a few things - we like to s*** with the door open, we talk about <redacted>, we go on riverboat gambling trips, and we make our own beef jerky. That's what we do, and now that is all wrecked.

Reilly, John C., perf. Step Brothers. Dir. Adam McKay. 2008. Columbia Pictures.

TIME:  6:21 PM
PLACE:  Kitchen
SUBJECT:  Beef jerky in the dehydrator

HandsomeHusband helped out a friend on Saturday and they gave him a gift card to Sears.  He sent me to the mall last night with the gift card and a mission – to buy a food dehydrator.  I’m not one to turn down a shopping trip (especially one with free money!), so I gladly did as he asked.  He thinly sliced a round steak this morning, marinated it for a few hours and placed it in the dehydrator.  It still needs a couple more hours of drying time.  MonkeyBoy is just salivating with anticipation.  I think we are going to have place the jerky under lock and key, otherwise MB will eat it all tonight.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Seeing Santa (338/365)

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Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] The line waiting to see Santa Claus stretched all the way back to Terre Haute. And I was at the end of it.

Shepard, Jean, perf. A Christmas Story. Dir. Bob Clark. 1983. Warner Bros. DVD.

TIME:  10:48 AM
PLACE:  Murphy Company
SUBJECT:  DramaQueen, Santa, StellaDella and MonkeyBoy

The annual Murphy Company Christmas party was held today (see last year’s post for background on the gathering) and I managed to force talk DQ into attending with us.  I NEEDED to have the annual photo with Santa taken so I could have it for our Christmas cards.  I fear that this might be the last year for a photo like this.  The sullen, angst-filled, I-don’t-want-to-be-seen-with-my-family, teenage years have arrived…God help me.  She did manage to produce a happy face for the photo – I’m glad, she’s beautiful, but even more so when she smiles.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Broken (337/365)

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“Everything goes wrong all at once.”

Quantization Revision of Murphy's Laws

TIME:  6:51 PM
PLACE:  Kitchen
SUBJECT:  Kitchen table

We have had another catastrophe at the Sujomi household.  Our kitchen table broke this evening.  It is an old table – my mom got it from my dad’s side of the family back in the 1970’s and it must have been at least 20-30 years old then.  She gave it to me when I bought my 1st house in 1993 and it’s been in my kitchen ever since.  About 2 years ago, it developed a crack on one end where a couple of planks had been joined together in making the surface.  Well, tonight when DQ was leaning on it, that crack finally snapped apart completely.  Scared the bejeezus out of her.  She was upset, but I assured her it wasn’t her fault and I’m sure we can fix it.  Wood glue, clamps and some braces underneath should do it – I hope.  If not, I guess I’ll be shopping for a new kitchen table.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Glee (336/365)

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Schroeder: This is the music I've selected for the Christmas play.
[Schroeder plays Fur Elise]
Lucy Van Pelt: What kind of Christmas music is *that*?
Schroeder: Beethoven Christmas music.

"A Charlie Brown Christmas." Writ. Charles M. Schulz. 1965. Television.

TIME:  7:16 & 7:37 PM
PLACE:  Junior High School gym
SUBJECT:  StellaDella & MonkeyBoy

The two youngest participated in their grade school Christmas program this evening.  SD had been serenading me the past couple of weeks by practicing her songs.  It was a short (45 minutes), sweet program and all the kiddos did great.  Then we all went to the cafeteria for cookies and lemonade.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Concerned & In The Way (335/365)

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“Cats can work out mathematically the exact place to sit that will cause most inconvenience.”

Pam Brown (
Australian poet, b1948)

TIME:  7:44 PM
PLACE:  My bed

I was not feeling well this evening.  I didn’t eat supper and as soon as I finished helping StellaDella with her homework, I went upstairs to bed.  (How sad is it that I took my camera, because I knew I needed to take a picture yet for the day?)  After I got into bed and turned on the TV, Jack climbed up and lay down on me.  He looked a little concerned that I was in bed so early.  That made up for the fact that he blocked my view of the screen.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Technical Difficulties (334/365)

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Samir: No, not again. I... why does it say paper jam when there is no paper jam? I swear to God, one of these days, I just kick this piece of sh** out the window.
Michael Bolton: You and me both, man. That thing is lucky I'm not armed.
Samir: Piece of sh**.

Office Space. Perf. Ajay Naidu and David Herman. Dir. Mike Judge. 1999. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

TIME:  6:49 PM
PLACE:  Kitchen
SUBJECT:  Cordless phone

Our cordless handsets have been slowing dying on us; they weren’t holding a charge and sometimes, when we dialed out, it wouldn’t register the number that we pressed.  So, today, I purchased a new cordless phone with 4-handsets and set them up.  However we are unable to use them.  Why you ask?  Well let me tell ya…MB and his friend were playing basketball and managed to knock over some scaffolding, which in turn fell on the telephone wire that connected our house to the main line.  While the wire didn’t fall down, something in it must have snapped.  We have no phone nor internet at the present.  An AT&T repairman is scheduled to arrive tomorrow.  I wonder how much this is going to cost us.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Perfect Tree (333/365)

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“The perfect Christmas tree?  All Christmas trees are perfect!”

Charles N. Barnard, author

TIME:  7:16 PM
PLACE:  Living room
SUBJECT:  The bottom of our Christmas tree

This perfect Christmas tree was decorated by a professional 6-year-old without any parental supervision.  Please, do not attempt this at home.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Afternoon Shadows (332/365)

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"I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow."

Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)

TIME:  4:06 PM
PLACE:  Front porch
SUBJECT:  Shadows cast from Capital Pear tree

I managed to get all the Thanksgiving decorations put away, the Christmas tree up (with lights!) and even put lights and garland on the front porch banisters.  StellaDella and DramaQueen began hanging ornaments on the tree this evening; and I ‘m hoping to be done with all of the holiday decorations by Thursday.  That’s the plan at least.
The Capital Pear tree we have in front is one of the last trees to lose its leaves.  Usually, they hang on until the beginning/middle of December.  They just turned yellow last week.  I was trying to take some photos of the leaves, when I noticed the shadows they were casting on the front of the house.  The cool afternoon light makes it look like clouds have been painted on the siding and porch column.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

November Tree (331/365)

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"No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds -

Thomas Hood, No!

TIME:  3:51 PM
PLACE:  Front yard
SUBJECT:  Red sunset maple tree

For some strange reason, all day long, I kept thinking that today was Sunday.  The holiday and the kids being home from school has discombobulated me.  I’m glad it’s Saturday – gives me a whole ‘nother day to get things done…or at least think about getting things done and then taking a nap instead.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Santa Beads (330/365)

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“It was good because I got some beads.”

Mardi Gras saying

TIME:  10:48 AM
PLACE:  West Main Street

The kids, dog and I walked up to Main Street to watch the Santa Claus parade this morning.  We sat on the sunny side of the street – so even though it was a bit chilly, we had the sun shining on us which helped to keep us warm.  Many parade participants handed out beads – MB and SD decided to place their overflow on Oreo.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful (329/365)

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“We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”

Friedrich Gottlob Koenig (German, Inventor best-known for his high-speed printing press, which he built together with watchmaker Andreas Friedrich Bauer. 1774-1833)

TIME:  9:01 PM
PLACE:  Home
SUBJECT:  Thankful feather

StellaDella and I made this feather for a school project earlier this month.  Each 1st grader decorated a large construction paper feather with their family; all of the feathers were displayed as part of a large turkey outside of their classroom. 

My sister hosted Thanksgiving at her house this afternoon.  My responsibility consisted of making the dressing and green beans (fresh ones, with onions and bacon – yum!).  I am thankful for the food we ate, the wine we drank and the family we celebrated the holiday with.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Raindrops & A Flirtation (328/365)

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“No matter how happily a woman may be married, it always pleases her to discover that there is a nice man who wishes that she were not.”

H. L. Mencken (American humorous Journalist and Critic of American life who influenced US fiction through the 1920s, 1880-1956)

TIME:  4:13 PM
PLACE:  Front porch
SUBJECT:  Rain on copper light fixture

This day before Thanksgiving was a dark rainy one.  Nevertheless, my day was brightened by a good-looking, younger guy next to me at the credit union drive up lanes.  He told me I was pretty, he loved my beautiful smile and he’d like to take me away and make me feel like I was sixteen again.  I told him that I didn’t think my husband would like that ~  he said that he’d have me back before the husband knew I was gone.  I said that while I appreciated the offer, I had to decline and then wished him a Happy Thanksgiving.  And yes, there was a big, silly grin on my face the rest of the drive home.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Enter Illinois (327/365)

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“Praise the bridge that carried you over.”

George Colman the Younger (
English Playwright and Writer of scurrilous satiric verse, and theatre manager whose comic operas, farces, melodramas, and sentimental comedies. 1762-1836)

TIME:  12:41 PM
PLACE:  Heading east on Indiana State Route 66, New Harmony, Indiana
SUBJECT:  Toll bridge over Wabash River

I volunteered to take a road trip to Evansville, Indiana today to fetch my godchild from the University of Southern Indiana for Thanksgiving break.  I looked at it as a tiny get-a-way for myself.  It took about 2-1/2 hours to get there and I enjoyed every child/job/housework-free moment of it.  I used my brother’s GPS and on the return trip for some reason, it took us the scenic route home, via New Harmony, Indiana.  It was a pleasant ride back – I got to spend time with my niece chatting and catching up.

Monday, November 22, 2010

You Know You Want To (326/365)

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“Nothing makes it easier to resist temptation than a proper bringing-up, a sound set of values - and witnesses.”

Franklin P. Jones (Philadelphia reporter, public relations executive and humorist. 1908 - 1980)

TIME:  5:59 PM
PLACE:  Grade school
SUBJECT:  Fire alarm

SD had a Daisy meeting from 5-6:15pm and I stayed and helped the troop leader wrangle the girls.  The fire alarm is right by the school office.  Whenever I walk by an old-school alarm like this, the devil on my shoulder always urges me to pull it, just once.  I know that it’s wrong to sound a false alarm, but It’s so red, shiny and tempting.  Must. Control. Urge. To. Commit. Misdemeanor.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Project Runway (325/365)

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“Fashion can be bought.  Style one must possess.”

Edna Woolman Chase (American, editor in chief of Vogue magazine from 1914-1952, 1877-1957)

TIME:  4:34 PM
PLACE:  Living room
SUBJECT:  StellaDella’s fashion design

Late this afternoon, SD decided that she NEEDED to craft something.  So she grabbed a paper grocery bag and asked me to cut off the bottom, cut 2 holes in the sides for her arms and turn it inside out to hide the printing on it.  She then drew a design on the front and cut fringes - or as she calls them “crumbles” - on the bottom.  She then modeled her creation for me.  I think she has a future in the fashion design industry.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gingersand (324/365)

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Xander: Wait. Hansel and Gretel? Bread crumbs, ovens, gingerbread house?
Giles: Of course. It makes sense now.
Buffy: Yeah, it's all falling into place. Of course that place is nowhere near this place.”

"Gingerbread." *Buffy the Vampire Slayer.* Perf. Nicholas Brendon, Anthony Head, and Sarah Michelle Gellar. 12 Jan. 1999. Television.

TIME:  3:49 PM
PLACE:  Downtown
SUBJECT:  Sand Gingerbread House

As part of our city’s annual gingerbread Christmas festivities, several local businesses and our Main Street group sponsored the sculpting of this sand gingerbread house on our public square for the Christmas season.  The sand sculptor started on Wednesday morning and was finished by this afternoon.  During the month of December, our city also has an annual gingerbread house building contest (one of these years I’d like to enter), a 5K run and a downtown gingerbread cookie walk.  Santa arrives next week Friday in the annual Santa Claus parade.  Kids will be able to visit him in his cottage right next to the ginger-sand house.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Threaded Support (323/365)

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“We deceive ourselves when we fancy that only weakness needs support. Strength needs it far more.”

Anne Sophie Swetchine (known as Madame Swetchine, Russian mystic, born in Moscow, and famous for her salon in Paris, 1782-1857)

TIME:  4:29 PM
PLACE:  Back yard
SUBJECT:  Support pole threads

The HandsomeHusband removed a rotten porch structure at the back of the house and had to place supports under the roof until the new porch is built.
We have an additional 13-year-old child this evening.  DQ’s friend is spending the night and tomorrow they are going to the mall with her mom.  Better them than me – I hate going to the mall on the weekends.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Unexcelled Beverages (322/365)

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“That was the best ice-cream soda I ever tasted.”

Lou Costello (American, comedian, d. March 3, 1959) – his dying words.

TIME:  6:51 PM
PLACE:  Home
SUBJECT:  Elk soda crate

I picked this up at a yard sale back in September - I think I paid $2.00 for it.  I searched the internet, but couldn’t find much of anything on the Elk’s Beverage company.  I did find an Elk’s Beverage wooden soda case on eBay.  That listing states that the case up for auction is circa the 1920’s-1930’s.  Other than that, I have no information.  In any case (Ha! - “any case”/ “soda case” - I made a pun, how amusing), this crate is sitting on my file cabinet, holding my small collection of photography books.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Turkey (321/365)

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I hate turkeys. If you stand in the meat section at the grocery store long enough, you start to get mad at turkeys. There's turkey ham, turkey bologna, turkey pastrami...Someone needs to tell the turkey, man, just be yourself.

Mitch Hedberg (American Comedian, 1968-2005)

TIME:  7:09 PM
PLACE:  Living room
SUBJECT:  Turkey salt shaker

I think last year, when I took a photo of my “Thanksgiving At Grandmother’s House” I mentioned that I did not have many Thanksgiving decorations.  Well, I decided to correct that this year.  I kept an eye out for inexpensive, old, turkey salt and pepper shakers and other figurines with a fall theme.  I picked up 2 sets of shakers – each with a tom and hen – and two tom shakers that lost their mates, all under $2.00 each.  In fact, I scored this little guy, marked “JAPAN”, for only 50 cents.  I do love the thrill of the hunt and the excitement of a cheap find.  <== I am so pathetic.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

An Empty Nest (320/365)

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“An empty nest! It used to bear
A happy burden, when the breeze
Of summer rocked it, and a pair
Of merry tattlers told the trees
What treasures they had hidden there

James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916 / Indiana / United States) “An Empty Nest.” lines 11-15.

TIME:  4:26 PM
PLACE:  Front yard
SUBJECT:  Bird nest

Our Purple Sand Cherry shrub has shed all of its leaves and revealed two bird’s nests tucked away in its branches.  I knew there was one nest in it (I had taken a picture of the baby birds earlier in the spring), but didn’t realize that there was a second one as well.
In other news, MonkeyBoy’s basketball team tied 23 to 23 in overtime (In grade school, if they are tied at the end of the game, they play one overtime.  If tied at the end of overtime, then a tie is recorded for that game).  And guess who made the shot that got our team from 21 to 23 points? It was my boy…He made the basket as time ran out.  Go MB!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Hair-Dryer Thinks Your Hairdo is Interesting (319/365)

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Bugs Bunny: [discovers the monster] Uh-oh. Think fast, rabbit. My stars! Where did you ever get that awful hairdo? It doesn't become you at all.
[Sits the monster down and starts brushing its hair]  Here, for goodness' sake, let me fix it up. Look how stringy and messy it is. What a shame. Such an interesting monster, too. My stars, if an interesting monster can't have an interesting hairdo, then I don't know what things are coming to. In my business you meet so many interesting people - Bobby pins, please - but the most interersting ones are the monsters. Oh, dear, that will never stay. We'll just have to have a permanemanent.
[Runs to get some dynamite and puts it on the monster's hair like rollers]
Now, I've got to give an interesting old lady a manicure, but I'll be back before you're done.
[Leaves; dynamite explodes, leaving a huge bald spot on the monster's head]

Water, Water Every Hare. Dir. Chuck Jones. 1952. Warner Bros. Pictures.

TIME:  8:08 PM
PLACE:  Bathroom
SUBJECT:  Hairdryer

The blow-dryer was laughing at me this morning…cheeky little thing.  You don’t think I’m being paranoid do you?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Corn Rows (318/365)

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• The average ear of corn has 800 kernels, arranged in 16 rows.
• There is one piece of silk for each kernel.
• A pound of corn consists of about 1,300 kernels.
• A bushel of corn contains about 27,000 kernels.

Corn facts from

TIME:  2:39 PM
PLACE:  Back porch
SUBJECT:  Dried ear of corn

Although I didn’t decorate with them them this fall, in the past I would place dried cornstalks on my front porch.  In December, when we would take them down, I pulled the ears of corn off the stalks to feed them to the squirrels.  Earlier this summer, while trying to organize the basement, I discovered a whole container of dried ears of corn that I had apparently forgotten about.  We’ve been leaving them out in the backyard and our porch for the squirrels this fall.  They are loving it ~ it’s like they have hit the corn jackpot…lucky squirrels.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Speed Reading (317/365)

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“I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.”

Woody Allen (American Actor, Author, Screenwriter and Film Director, b.1935)

TIME:  6:40 PM
PLACE:  Kitchen table
SUBJECT:  DramaQueen & book

I took DQ and her BFF to the mall today so DQ could spend some of her birthday money.  I really do not like going to the mall – especially on a Saturday - but I sucked it up and chauffeured my eldest and her friend there so they could shop.  DQ bought a purse, a cell phone cover and an iced coffee.  I popped for lunch.  On the way home, we stopped by the bookstore where she picked up the newest installment of the Diary of A Wimpy Kid series.  As you can see, she has already devoured read the entire book.