Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Guts (304/365)

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“Men are like pumpkins. It seems like all the good ones are either taken or they've had everything scraped out of their heads with a spoon.”


TIME:  12:28 PM
PLACE:  The kitchen
SUBJECT:  Pumpkin carving

I completely forgot about carving a pumpkin this year until StellaDella brought it up yesterday.  Bad mom.  So I swung by the farmer’s market this morning and chose my five dollar and ninety-nine cent gourd.  I also picked up two small butternut squashes that we carved as well.  SD was in charge of eviscerating the pumpkin guts and also was the designing artist behind the facial features.  I did the all the actual surgical work.  It was an excellent team effort and we ended up with a lovely carved Jack-O-Lantern that we placed on our front porch to greet the trick-or-treaters this evening.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Beastie, Ghoulie & Ghostie (303/365)

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“From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!”

Scottish Saying

TIME:  6:28 PM
PLACE:  Church parking lot
SUBJECT:  StellaDella (Swamp Monster), MonkeyBoy (Evil Clown) & Devin (Scream)

Our church hosts a “Trunk or Treat” each year the Saturday before Halloween for all children from any parish.  The kids are invited to wear their costumes to the 5:00pm Mass; after Mass, everyone meets on the parking lot for free hotdogs, chips and drinks; a signal is given and the children go from car to car collecting treats; another signal is given about an hour later to end the event.  The kids made out like bandits.  DramaQueen opted out this year and went to a bonfire and sleepover at a friend’s house instead.

Friday, October 29, 2010

First Frost (302/365)

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“Day after day, throughout the winter,
We hardened ourselves to live by bluest reason
In a world of wind and frost....”
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. "Meditation Celestial & Terrestrial."

TIME:  8:11 AM
PLACE:  The Jeep
SUBJECT:  Frost on car windshield

We woke up to our first frost of the season this morning.  Brrrr.  That means that winter is just around the corner.  The ice was thick upon the windshield when we entered the car to drive to school and work.  When I returned home in the early afternoon, I noticed that the house was chilly.  The thermostat said it was 62 degrees – the furnace wasn’t working…again. *sigh*  Lucky for me, I know this guy who will fix it for just the cost of the parts ($42 this time) ~ the labor is free ~ he takes it out in trade later.  Thank you HandsomeHusband.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hoop (301/365)

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“To win, you've got to put the ball in the macramé.”

Terry McGuire..Dick McGuire's (American professional basketball player and coach, 1926–2010) wife, explaining the strategy of basketball.

TIME:  4:42 PM
PLACE:  Back yard
SUBJECT:  Basketball hoop

Grade school basketball season is in full swing now.  MonkeyBoy had a game this evening at 5:00pm – Our team lost by about 18 points but…MB actually made some baskets this game and he did not foul out – hooray!  That’s progress.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another Year Older–Another Hole In The Head (300/365)

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“Mother Nature is providential.  She gives us twelve years to develop a love for our children before turning them into teenagers.”

William Galvin (American,
Massachusetts' Secretary of State b 1950)

TIME:  9:04 PM
PLACE:  The Mall
SUBJECT:  DramaQueen & her cartilage piercing

I am officially the parent of a teenager.  *shakes head*  I’m currently in denial.  She wanted her cartilage pierced (among the many other things she had on her wish list) and due to HH’s schedule, it looked like she might have to wait until the day AFTER her birthday to have it done.  It would have been the end of the world if she would have had to wait.  Oh, the agony!  Luckily for her, HH made it home in time for us to drive to the mall before it closed.  She was nervous, but excited to have it done.  My baby is thirteen years old and beautiful.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Purple Cabbage (299/365)

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“The question of common sense is ''what is it good for?'' A question which would abolish the rose and be answered triumphantly by the cabbage.”

James Russell Lowell (American Poet, Critic, Essayist, Editor and Diplomat, 1819-1891)

TIME:  5:14 PM
PLACE:  Front yard
SUBJECT:  Ornamental cabbage

The sounds of tornado sirens and the freaking out of DramaQueen over said sirens woke us up at 4am this morning.  Groggily, we all trooped downstairs to the living room and watched the storm alerts to see if we needed to head to the basement.  Luckily, all we experienced were some strong winds and the warnings expired at 5:15am.  4 out of 5 of us (HH being the 1) went back to bed for another hour.  The DramaQueen has also been home from school the past two days due to a very sore throat, upset stomach, headache and slight fever.  She thinks she will be ok to go back to school tomorrow – she has to, it’s her birthday and she can’t miss that.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Scary Skeleton (298/365)

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“It's fascinating to think that all around us there's an invisible world we can't even see. I'm speaking, of course, of the World of the Invisible Scary Skeletons.”

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

TIME:  4:07 PM
PLACE:  Front yard
SUBJECT:  Halloween decoration

When I got out the Halloween decorations out a few weeks ago, SD insisted on helping.  Her “helping” consisted of placing every single Halloween decoration we own in random places.  She hung this skeleton outside on the tree – I didn’t notice it was there until last week.  I must admit, that girl does have some excellent decorating vision.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hawk (297/365)

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“I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.”

James Wright (1927-1980), U.S. poet. Lying on a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota (l. 11-12). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.

TIME:  1:44 PM
PLACE:  S. 77th Street

Today started out a little slowly and painfully for me.  I had attended an informal 25 year class reunion last night and did not get home and to bed until 4am this morning.  The way I felt when I crawled out of bed at 9am just reinforced the fact that I am definitely NOT 18 anymore *ahem*.  At noon, my Aunt Alice – my mother’s older sister - had a 75th birthday celebration at her daughter’s home.  It was overcast, but was warm and even though rain was in the forecast, none appeared, so it was very pleasant sitting outside in my cousin’s backyard and chatting with the relatives.  It also helped that I was feeling better from my previous night’s escapades.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Stare Down (296/365)

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A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.”

William Henry Davies, 'Leisure'

TIME:  10:44 AM
PLACE:  Living room
SUBJECT:  Jack and squirrel

The squirrels have been romping and running on the front porch like maniacs lately, hiding nuts in my planters and strewing dirt all over my porch floor.  Jack sits on the back of the couch and observes them.  My favorite part is when he “chatters” while watching them…he wants to catch those rodents so badly.  I think the squirrels know when he is watching them and purposefully run back and forth on the railing to tease him.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Before The Dance (295/365)

“On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet.”

George Gordon Noel Byron (1788-1824), British poet. Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, cto. 3, st. 2 (1812-1818). Referring to the grand ball in Brussels interrupted by the start of the Battle of Waterloo.

TIME:  6:19 PM
PLACE:  Front porch
SUBJECT:  DramaQueen and her friends

Busy evening.  HH had a 5th grade basketball game to coach, SD had her Girl Scout Halloween party and DQ had her junior high Halloween dance.  Three friends of DQ came over and helped each other get ready.  DQ decided to wear a dress, while the others went with a western theme for their attire.  She was supposed to wear an orange wig that we bought, but for some reason decided against it.  I don’t know why, it looked so cute.  I drove the group to the junior high.  Apparently, once I started driving, I became both invisible and deaf, because they started chatting and gossiping about who’s dating who, which girl is snobby, which boy is cute, which one is nice, but not “dating” nice.  It was an amusing and an educational experience.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

October Tree (294/365)

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"The clump of maples on the hill,
And this one near the door,
Seem redder, quite a lot, this year
Than last, or year before;
I wonder if it's jest because
I Love the Old State more!"

David L. Cady, October in Vermont  

TIME:  3:32 PM
PLACE:  Front yard
SUBJECT:  Red sunset maple tree

The weather forecast calls for rain on Saturday and that very well might be the end of the beautiful foliage.  So, instead of chancing it, I decided to post the monthly tree photo a few days earlier this month as I’m afraid that if I wait until the 26th, all of the leaves will have fallen from the branches.  We’ve had a beautiful October this year; cool mornings, warm afternoons and plenty of sunshine - the best kind of fall days.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Red Berries (293/365)

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“On the motionless branches of some trees, autumn berries hung like clusters of coral beads, as in those fabled orchards where the fruits were jewels . . .”

Charles Dickens (English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian era, 1812-1870)

TIME:  6:22 PM
PLACE:  YMCA soccer fields
SUBJECT: Red berries

Tonight was MonkeyBoy’s first basketball game and StellaDella’s last night of soccer.  MB’s team played well, but lost.  SD was sad that soccer was over.  I’m glad one extra-curricular activity is dropping off the schedule, but wonder why there always seems to be another one to take its place.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

MonkeyBoy’s Got Talent (292/365)

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Squidward: Good evening, and welcome to the first Annual Squidward Tentacles Talent Show. Sponsored by the Krusty Krab, home of the Krabby Patty... 'cause no one else would give it a home.

SpongeBob SquarePants. “Culture Shock." Season №: 1. Episode №: 10a. Airdate: September 18, 1999.

TIME:  7:12 PM
PLACE:  Grade School
SUBJECT:  MonkeyBoy

Our grade school’s annual talent show was held this evening.  MB showcased his abilities by playing his saxophone.  He played a tribute to the USA melody – God Bless America, Yankee Doodle and America the Beautiful.  He performed wonderfully.  In other news, DramaQueen had a tooth pulled earlier in the afternoon.  She had an issue with a baby tooth that just didn’t want to come out, even though the permanent tooth was in behind it.  She says that she is finally “un-numbed”…I think she is still a little loopy from the gas they used.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fallen Apple (291/365)

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“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.”

Bernard M. Baruch (American Economist and adviser to US presidents, 1870-1965)

TIME:  9:41 AM
PLACE:  Work
SUBJECT:  Crab apple

The crab apple trees at work are drooping with fruit.  As I passed them this morning, I must have heard at least 3 of them plop to the ground.  During a break, I went outside to take some photos.  As I was shooting away, one of those crab apples actually fell and hit me on the head.  Luckily, they are small and fairly soft, so it didn’t hurt too much.  Plus, I have a hard head.   

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Me & My Daughters (290/365)

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“Our daughters are the most precious of our treasures, the dearest possessions of our homes and the objects of our most watchful love.”

Margaret E. Sangster (American poet, author, and editor of Harper’s Bazaar. 1838-1912)

TIME:  5:51 PM
PLACE:  Roller skating rink
SUBJECT:  StellaDella, DramaQueen and Me
(photos taken by HH)

My brother John’s father-in-law celebrated his 70th birthday at the roller rink.  Admission was a new pair of shoes which are going to go to the
Shoes For Orphan Souls ministry.  My sister Cathy and her two kids and my Dad also attended and skated.  Dad, Cathy and I each hit the floor at least once.  Dad said that the wooden floor was a much harder landing than the frozen pond he used to ice skate on years ago.  I narrowly avoided a face plant myself.  I’m thinking I’m going to pop a few Tylenol before I go to bed tonight.  Even though I do that, I bet I’m gonna be be sore tomorrow. 

2010 10 17 IMG_4168w
*StellaDella and me actually skating”

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Striped Fields (289/365)

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“To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 3 (1836, revised and repr. 1849)

TIME:  6:10 PM
PLACE:  Mine Haul Road
SUBJECT:  Cleared field

The new refrigerator arrived today…it is a whole 2 cubic feet larger than our old one.  It also feels larger because I tossed out all the fuzzy, green, rancid items when transferring food from the old fridge to the new one.  Always a good way to make more room in the refrigerator!  I couldn’t get an interesting photo of the new appliance, so after supper, I went for a drive to see what there was to photograph.  I drove some back country roads and found this field.  I liked the tracks that were left on the ground after the harvest.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sun Flower (288/365)

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“There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, with the help of their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.”

Pablo Picasso (Spanish Artist and Painter. 1881-1973)

TIME:  3:38 PM
PLACE:  Front porch
SUBJECT:  Chrysanthemum

The gigantic mum that I purchased a few weeks ago and placed in the planter on the front porch is now covered in blooms.  The color spectrum on the flowers from rust to yellow is simply amazing.  It has such happy colors; every time I look at it, I can’t help but smile.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Shoe Love (287/365)

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"Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, you'll be a mile from them, and you'll have their shoes."

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

TIME:  10:32 PM
PLACE:  Living room
SUBJECT:  My shoes and Jack’s tail

Not feeling the picture taking today.  *shrugs* It happens.  I did receive a compliment on my shoes today.  They were $9.99 from Lands’ End overstocks.  I bought them earlier this summer, when I was ordering my swimsuit.  Apparently, Mr. Jack likes them too.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rusted (286/365)

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“If you rest, you rust.”

Helen Hayes (1900-1993), U.S. actor. My Life in Three Acts, ch. 19 (1990). An actor from age five until into her seventies, and thereafter a speaker and an activist on behalf of the elderly, Hayes used to tell this to the audiences at her speeches.

TIME:  6:34 PM
PLACE:  YMCA Soccer fields
SUBJECT:  Rust on metal barrel

Some Wednesdays are busier than others and this was one of them.  I worked from 8:30am-1:30pm; stopped by Target to pick up dog and cat food; supervised after school basketball practice from 2:30pm until 3pm when HH got off work; picked up MB from band practice at 3:30 at the junior high school; took SD to a Daisy meeting at 5pm; stayed there to help with their project until 5:45pm when we left to go to soccer practice at 6pm.  After practice, we picked up DQ and MB and stopped by my dad’s house to admire his new curtains; then we went home and I helped children with homework.  Now I’m done and going to bed.  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sunset (285/365)

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“If your eyes are blinded with your worries, you cannot see the beauty of the sunset.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti (Madanapalle, Andhra Pradesh, India, writer and speaker on philosophical and spiritual issues, 1895–1986)

TIME:  6:27 PM
PLACE:  Home Depot parking lot
SUBJECT:  Sunset

I think that autumn has some of the best sunsets around.  This one was pretty to see as we were leaving Home Depot this evening.  It also symbolizes the sunset of the time spent with our microwave and refrigerator.  Both are leaving us and going to appliance heaven.  Hmmm, first the lawn mower, then the microwave and refrigerator,..I do hope no more of our household devices feel the need to desert us.   It’s getting to be rather expensive.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Power Up (284/365)

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"It's-a me, Mario!"

Mario, Super Mario Brothers, Nintendo video game

TIME:  5:24 PM
PLACE:  Backyard
SUBJECT:  Mario & mushroom

The kiddos were off school for Columbus Day today - the last of their 4-day weekend.  And what else did today bring?  A case of the gout for the ol’ HandsomeHusband…he says it is very painful…poor guy; and the purchase of a new lawnmower as our old one bit the dust and the grass doesn’t stop growing.  Before MonkeyBoy cut the backyard, I found this mushroom and decided that StellaDella’s Mario figurine would be perfect to photograph with it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ghost In The Paneling (283/365)

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“The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts.”

Italo Calvino (
Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels, 1923–1985)

TIME:  9:09 PM
PLACE:  Basement

I really couldn’t think of anything to take a picture of today.  Another flower?..nah.  The kids?…nah.  The pets?…nah.  What we had for supper? ~ an extremely tasty soup and homemade bread btw…nah.  Eh…I just could not get inspiried at all.  Then, as photo time opportunity was ticking away, I stumbled across my subject.  I was doing the laundry and noticed that the paneling was looking a little ghostly and cobwebby this evening.  Woo hoo, success!  And very appropriate for this Halloween month as well.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Vari-Colored Leaf (282/365)

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“Vari-colored leaves
waft at wind's gentle prodding--
Autumn rites recur”

Victor Gendrano,
Haiku and Senryu Harvests

TIME:  6:12 PM
PLACE:  Front yard
SUBJECT:  Maple leaf

I was up bright and squirrely this morning to work the grade school’s rummage sale.  I was there from 6:30am until the Salvation Army truck picked up the remains at 3:00pm.  It was a $1,466 success!  It should be enough money to purchase 2 heavy-duty picnic tables for our outdoor classroom that we recently landscaped (all with volunteer help mind you).  I am whooped and thus I was laying on the ground taking photos this evening.

And because I can, I’m posting a second picture this evening.  It is one of the new pet we have at the Sujomi casa…isn’t he furry and lovable?  He’s an outside pet though…I do have my limits.
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Friday, October 8, 2010

Flower No More (281/365)

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“Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.”

Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892), British poet. The Princess (l. 164-168). . . Tennyson; a Selected Edition. Christopher Ricks, ed. (1989) University of California Press

TIME:  6:16 PM
PLACE:  Front yard
SUBJECT:  Dried, dead flower

Autumn is my favorite season ~ I love the colors, the cool, crisp air, the celebrations of Halloween and Thanksgiving ~ but Autumn also brings out the melancholy in me.  Autumn days seem to bring about more reminiscing than any of the other seasons do.  The death of the plants, flowers and the leaves on the trees very much reminds me of my own mortality.  I think about how we are not here on this earth for a long period of time and how stuff I think is very important really does not amount to much in the grand scheme of things.  No matter what happens in my life, the earth will still turn; the sun will still rise in the east and set in the west and the cycle of the seasons will still continue.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Many Marvelous Markers (280/365)

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“The fact that nobody liked me at school began to fade out of my mind like blue magic marker reminders scrawled on the back of a greasy fist.”

Marilyn Manson (born Brian Hugh Warner; American musician and artist b1969)

TIME:  6:30 PM
PLACE:  Grade school
SUBJECT:  Markers

Our grade school had a Family Reading Night and Pajama Party this evening from 6-7:30pm.  The kids got to wear their pajamas and there was bedtime stories, crafts, and popcorn cookies and milk to eat.  Each child who RSVP’d to the event and attended with a parent or guardian, received a Ziploc bag full of books to bring home with them, courtesy of a grant awarded to our reading teacher.  When the Reading Night was over, I took the kids home and returned to the school to help begin to set up for a rummage sale we are having on Saturday to raise funds to purchase some tables for our outdoor classroom.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Breakfast Of Champions (279/365)

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(~click picture~ to embiggens for best view)

“The spider spinning his web for the unwary fly. The blood is the life, Mr. Renfield.”

Garrett Fort (1900-1945), U.S. screenwriter. Tod Browning. Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi), Dracula, speaking to Renfield at his castle (1931). From the play adapted by Hamilton Deane and John Balderston (1899-1954).

TIME:  8:47 AM
PLACE:  Work
SUBJECT:  A spider eating some flies

As I was walking into the office building this morning, I met up with a secretary who works for another lawyer down the hallway.  She pointed to the crab apple tree and said “Did you see our office mascot up there, that huge spider?”  I turned and spotted him in the branches.  It looked like he chose a good spot for his web, as it was covered in flies.  The secretary and I talked a bit more and we both were of the opinion that he was a pretty cool spider ~ just so long as he stayed outside and didn’t visit us in the office building.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Leaf Pile (278/365)

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“In autumn, when the leaves are brown,
Take pen and ink, and write it down.”

Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson] (1832-1898), British poet. Through the Looking-Glass. . ; pseud. of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson Oxford Book of Light Verse, The. W. H. Auden, ed. (1938) Oxford University Press

TIME:  3:00 PM
PLACE:  Grade school
SUBJECT:  Leaves against the fence

About 3 or 4 days a week, I walk to the school with Oreo to meet StellaDella when she is dismissed – MonkeyBoy usually has patrols, band or basketball practice after school and cannot walk home with her.  We’ve been having some pretty, crisp autumn days the past week or so and it’s been nice to take the walk.  Oreo loves it, she gets to smell wonderful things on the way there, sometimes she even spots a squirrel or two and best of all, she receives all kinds of attention and love from the children once we arrive at the schoolyard.  Leaves are beginning to turn and fall off the trees and the wind has blown them up against the chain link fence in the playground.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Vapour Trail (277/365)

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“First you look so strong,
Then you fade away.
The sun will blind my eyes,
I love you anyway.
First you form a smile,
I watch you for a while.
You are a vapour trail,
In a deep blue sky.”

Ride. "Vapour Trail." *Nowhere*. Blackwing Studios, London, 1990. CD.

TIME:  8:55 AM
PLACE:  Parking lot at work
SUBJECT:  Condensation trails

I like to imagine where the planes and all the people on them are heading.  It has got to be more exciting than heading into the office on a Monday morning.
~Click~ to listen to “Vapour Trail” by the band, Ride – one of my favorite songs from the 90’s.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Take A Bow (276/365)

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“Sometimes you just have to bow to the absurd.”

Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Up the Long Ladder," Jean-Luc Picard, Stardate 42823.2

TIME:  6:32 PM
PLACE:  Front porch

I managed to do laundry, get some Halloween/Fall decorations up *and* I even sat on the front porch in one of our reclining chairs and snuck in a 45 minute nap on top of it all.  I call that a good Sunday.  This is one of the pansies I planted on Thursday…I love the “faces” pansies have and this one looks like it is taking a bow and so do I for all my accomplishments this fine Sunday.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

And So It Begins (275/365)

 2010 10 02 IMG_0087w
“Adolescence is a period of rapid changes.  Between the ages of 12 and 17, for example, a parent ages as much as 20 years.”

Author Unknown

TIME:  11:17 PM
PLACE:  Kitchen

I survived the sleep over.  Actually, they weren’t too much trouble.  I did have to go out this morning and pick up some doughnuts for breakfast, but that wasn’t a big deal.  This evening, the girls and I accompanied my Dad to the mall where we did some curtain shopping for his house.  He had his foyer, living room, dining room, kitchen and bedroom painted last week and none of the old curtains worked with the new colors on the walls.  After we picked out the curtains, SD had her ears re-pierced (she had left her earrings out too long and the holes had closed up) and then DQ had to check out dresses for the dance her junior high is having at the end of the month.  *Sigh*  I foresee many disagreements about the “appropriateness” of dresses in my future.  Luckily, we found one that we could both agree on (trying to find a dress for a 13 year-old that doesn’t look like she could be working a street corner is hard to find these days) and it was reasonably priced (on sale for $30).  It is a fall/Halloween dance and she is planning on wearing orange accessories with the dress: earrings, necklace, tights and black shoes.  I think she will look pretty cute in it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

At The Chili Cook Off (274/365)

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"Wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili."

Last words of Kit Carson, American frontiersman (1809-1868)

TIME:  7:43 PM
PLACE:  Downtown
SUBJECT:  Fountain & chili tents

Our city is holding its annual Chili Cook Off this weekend.  HH and MB are out camping with the Boy Scouts until Sunday, so it was just DQ, SD and me who went downtown to meet my dad and do some chili eating.  Holy cannoli was it ever crowded.  We ate several varieties and Dad even popped for a funnel cake, much to SD’s delight.  I could have eaten more chili, but SD wanted to go sit by the fountain in front of our courthouse.  I sat there with her for about an hour while DQ walked around the Cook Off with a few of her friends.  I don’t know how it happened, but somehow, I’ve ended up with two additional 13 year old girls spending the night at my house this evening.