Monthly Archives: September 2009

WWC #103: Favorite Quote’L

This week’s photographs are brought to you by FAVORITE QUOTE and the letter L.

So many quotes, so little time, but here are a few:

old stone barn
“Were you born in a barn?!?” [close the door!!]

Like Father, Like Son

Like Father, Like Son

Leave them alone and they'll come home, wagging their tales behind them

Leave them alone and they'll come home, wagging their tales behind them

Okay, so the story behind this picture: Two years ago, EB had decided to go walking on Halloween night without telling us. We thought he was upstairs in his room, reading. He thought it was a good idea to take a small flashlight and walk from our dark, unlit neighborhood down to and along the old highway (now the “business route” — the new highway is a bypass).  This nice sheriff’s deputy brought him home.

I suppose that when a police officer brings your kid home, he’s going to stay and have a chat with the parents, not just drop the kid off in the driveway.  Makes sense, right?
And if the front door is unlocked, why would the kid ring the doorbell? It’s his own house.  So EB just walked in the front door with the deputy and took the lawman on a tour of the entire main floor, looking for us.

The house was a MESS with costumes and bags of loot flung about the living room. The two youngest kids were eating a delayed supper (it was 8:40pm on a school night) at a messy table; bags of non-perishable groceries were scattered about the kitchen counters and on the floor (I’d gone to the store the day before and been too busy and too tired to unpack them).  SuperDad & I were in the living room — drinking glasses of milk.  (Yes, it really was milk…for which I am grateful!)
That was the order in which the deputy viewed our house… from the darkened outside entrance and into the light of a very messy abode.  I still feel shame when I think of the state of the house that night.  (Note I did not say I felt shame that a sheriff’s deputy brought my kid home… that feeling happened when I looked up from my empty glass!)
I was MORTIFIED at the sight of a sheriff’s deputy standing in my messy kitchen.  And remember, the parents who had sat drinking [milk] in the living room had NO IDEA that the boy was not upstairs in his room.  It was SuperDad’s idea to take the picture; he thought we should document our kid’s first run-in with the law.
Oh, wait, that’s not the first time…. a Military Policeman once brought our 7yo home (same kid) because he was playing in the desert rather far from our house… and somewhat closer to the road leading on/off Post.  (We could see where he was playing from our driveway, so I wasn’t worried.  Hence, I don’t REALLY count that time…)

This photo brought to you by the letter L

This photo brought to you by the letter L

Large jack-o-Lantern Lit by an eLectric Light 😛
Yes, it is a humongous pumpkin riding on a parade float. No, I do not remember its weight.  Yes, it was a Lot of pounds!


The Weekly Words Challenge has become a schitzophrenic operation of sorts… Jay manages the blogworld side of things while Tink is hosting over on facebook … and then there’s always flickr.
So many choices, so many views, and so many creative minds!
Join us! :D

Shades of blue

photo courtesy of Google images

I’ve been thinking lately about color.

My 2nd favorite color has always been red. But I’m rather picky about that color — it has to be a “true red” — no orange tinge allowed.

My favorite color has long been blue, and for many years, that meant a striking shade of cobalt blue. But unlike red, I am fond of many, many shades of blue.
In fact, I am enamored with the entire spectrum of blue, from purple to green.

all photos courtesy of Google images

all photos courtesy of Google images

Does this expansion of my favorite color come with maturity?  I really don’t know.

Here’s your earworm for today…. you’re welcome. 😉

What are your favorite colors?  Have they changed over time, and if so, how?

5 Words

Quilly has given me 5 words and she wants me to share my thoughts on them.  After you’ve read my meme, if you feel inclined to play along, say so in the comments and I will send you five words of my choosing.

1. Trinket

When I read the word trinket, I initially thought of the following adjectives: cheap, flimsy, disposable, expensive… and already I have run into a cliche’, with thoughts of cheaply made [in China, do doubt], overpriced doodads created for the tourist trade.  And yet, there are trinkets of value — be that monetary or sentimental.  A rich person might consider a pair of diamond earrings to be a trinket.  This week, I received a package in the mail bearing a key-chain with my nickname on it, which makes me smile (and think of Guinness).   <– That’s a shout-out to you, KCINNOTX 😉  I think that ultimately, a trinket given to someone is a little gift that says, I was thinking about you today.  I know it’s not your birthday, but I want you to have this gift as a token of our relationship.

2. Sandwich

I made 4 peanut butter & jelly sandwiches this morning and packed them into 4 separate lunch boxes (except we don’t really use lunch boxes anymore — they are padded totes of various sizes and shapes).  When it comes time for my own lunch, I won’t be eating a sandwich.  I’ve got my eye on a frozen package of shrimp won ton soup.

3. Hair

There are days when I question myself — why don’t I care more about my hair? I have been rather spoiled, as it is naturally curly (no, I do not voice the character on Peanuts! 😛 ) and I don’t have to do anything special to it. I’m a wash, brush, and leave-it-be kind of gal.  I’ve been cutting it myself for the past 2 years.  But I’m aging and there is now gray mixing in with the multi-toned brown, with the gray showing especially well around my face.  It is past time to make an appointment with a person who can give me a professional cut and style, and perhaps even a bit of color.

4. Purse

Along with my lackadaisical approach to my own hair, I am not fancy when it comes to my purse. For many years, I have carried a medium-brown purse and been perfectly satisfied. This past Spring, I stepped out of my comfort zone just a little bit and bought this:

purseIt’s not fancy, but it threw some color into my life (although it is still a plain brown on the opposite side — I’m not that much of a risk-taker, LOL).  The good news is, I can shove a lot of great stuff in there!  I’ve been known to add a water bottle, a book, the GPS, travel brochures and still be able to zip my purse closed.  However, for everyday use, it is too big and I lose things in it.  Can’t find my keys? Better feel around a little more… they might be under the camera!

5. Splurge

I was raised in a home where we didn’t have much in the way of “disposable income” so I’m pretty frugal most of the time. I married someone of like mind, and our poor children truly believe that money does not grow on trees. My husband likes to tell me that we are “broke.”  He apparently thinks this will keep me from buying things we don’t need, but I’m really pretty good at considering needs vs. wants. However, there are times when I do splurge on expenditures: a pampering pedicure, my annual Girl’s Weekend, or scented candles (I went more than a little overboard purchasing PartyLite items when SuperDad was deployed).  Dining out is definitely a splurge.  It can be difficult for a frugal-minded person to spend money, especially on big purchases.  For example, in a few years, we will need to purchase a new clothes washer & dryer, and I plan to splurge and buy matching side-load models.  Do I NEED a side-load washing machine? No, I only need a washing machine, plain and simple.  I desire a nice side-loading machine –they save water and are gentler on clothing– but I don’t need one.  If my husband does not encourage me to go ahead and splurge on the nicer model, I am likely to re-think my plan… after all, we’ll have 2 kids in college and a third kid thinking about college applications by that point in time.  Some people see stars when they are bump their heads, but when reality bops me a good one, I see dollar signs and my desire to remain debt-free jolts into high gear.


This is a meme that I stole from Melli, who got it by participating in “Random Dozen.”  (Melli posted hers here.)   I’m adding one more (Thankful Thursday idea is from Mary Alice, a friend I am very thankful for!) and turning mine into a  “Thursday 13” ala Janet! If you can follow all of that, then you are ready to read my THURSDAY 13:

Thursday Thirteen

1. Please share one middle school memory. It can be good, bad, ugly, funny. Pictures or words, I don’t care, just share. Where I grew up, my first name (and last name, for that matter) was uncommon and I had never met another person with the same name. Middle School was where kids from different elementary schools met for the first time, and it turned out there was another girl with the same first name.    Our last names were also very similar. Everyone seemed to think this was wonderful and said, “You’ve GOT to meet this other girl! She has the same name as you do.”  For some reason, I was not excited to meet her –probably due to low self-esteem, I thought she would be so much better than me and wouldn’t like me, and then everyone would hate me…. ah, middle school angst.  Lovely stuff, eh?  ANYHOO… we finally met and found that we had things in common (we were the only girls who showed up in 6th grade gym class wearing undershirts instead of training bras… Moms, do NOT do this to your daughters!).  We have been close friends ever since and she is one of the participants in the annual Girl’s Weekend.

2. What’s your favorite Beatles song?
Today I am singing the happy birthday song because I am baking cupcakes (no, it is not anyone’s birthday, although SnakeMaster is celebrating his summer birthday at school today… hence the cupcakes) but there are so many good ones that I can’t choose a favorite.  “Good Day Sunshine” is always a happy one.

3. If I asked you to describe your most comfortable outfit, what would it be?  😛  Pajamas, LOL

4. Would you rather host a party or be a guest?
I’m going to admit it: I would rather be a guest and not have to do all the work! A party is a lot of work.   But I DO like hosting get-togethers and spending time talking and laughing with people.  I even enjoy planning the food & drink, but once it has begun, I don’t like being bothered with details — I want to focus on the FUN!

5. Do you think we will move completely from traditional books to digital ones, and if we do, are you OK with that?
While I don’t believe we will ever totally move from traditional books, I would be VERY sad and unhappy if that did happen… so no, I’m NOT okay with that! There is just something special that I love about an actual book — the feel of it in my hands, the rustling of pages, even the smell.  You can’t get that from a Kindle or a computer monitor.  And really, I can’t read long articles on a computer monitor.  My eyes start to bug out and my vision goes fuzzy.  I can’t concentrate anymore.  Also, it is hard to snuggle with a child and read digital stories (although I do share some lovely blogs that way).

6. Do you learn best by reading, listening or experiencing?
I often need to do all 3 of the above before I can truly learn something new.  I think it has something to do with my personal comfort level regarding confidence in my newly-learned skill.

7. If you are (or when you were) single, what is the kiss of death for you concerning the opposite sex? (That is, what is one trait or behavior or habit or anything at all that immediately turns you off from considering that person a potential match for you?) 
Hating children (or even disliking babies and kids) would definitely be the end of any attraction for me, since I love kids and have often worked with kids.  My dream was to be a SAHM, and I am living my dream.  :D

8. Snacks. Salty or sweet?
Salt is a rare craving, so I am usually all about the sweets (to my great detriment).  However, what I really want is a mozzarella cheese stick!

9. Look around you in a four foot radius. What object is around you that you didn’t realize was there or forgot was there? How long has it been there?
There are so many things within TWO feet of me that I don’t know where to begin!  The computer desk is SO cluttered, and it is entirely my fault (and mostly my clutter).  I did just notice that I still have the summer camp schedule for the local parks & recreation department over in the corner… clearly, that needs to go out to the recycling NOW!

10. What is your favorite Tom Cruise movie?
Hands down, my favorite Tom Cruise movie was Top Gun.  It might have something to do with the soundtrack…

11. You buy a bottle of shampoo and discover that you don’t like what it does to your hair at all. What do you do with that full bottle?
I could probably put it in the boys’ shower and it would get used, but if it was truly useless for hair, I would use it to scrub soap scum off the shower walls.  (That’s a trick I learned from the

12. Your favorite Fall comfort food? (Last week it was beverage.)
Fall is the time when I think about pumpkin pie and taco soup.  I’ll probably be serving that for Halloween, since the pie can be made in advance and the soup can simmer on the stove and eaten at each person’s convenience.  (It will be a busy day with a band competition, a parade, trick-or-treating, and probably a cross-country meet or at least a good run.)

13.  What is one thing you are thankful for today?
I am thankful for a dependable car!  I know that this is something I should not take for granted, so today I am thinking about it and being thankful.

WWC #102: Squares Go Green

Even Melli played this week… and on time, too!  Yes, I know I am late again this week.  I’m in the midst of a couple of superCRAZYbusy weeks… well, to be honest, September and October are superCRAZYbusy months.


This week’s WWC is all about SQUARE and how to GO GREEN:



Well, *I’m* square (or round with legs and arms, whatever) and I have this SQUARE magnetic dry-erase board in my kitchen to help me stay on track.  I have 4 different pens (blue, red, black, and green) — one for each kid– to color-code scribbled information.  The blue scrawl refers to SnakeMaster’s tick bite last Spring: the dates when he was bit, when we found the tick, when he was tested, and the test results (negative) at one month.  We live in an area with a lot of Lyme Disease, so I’m not ready to erase that information quite yet.

2009 September I Shop Green

One of many bags I keep stashed in the car… or the house if I haven’t yet unloaded them…

2009 September Go Green

SnakeMaster & Ella are GOing GREEN!  Note the “Pirate Booty” sticking out of the top of the bag.  Of course, I was late in getting that, too, or we would have had it on Saturday for Talk Like A Pirate Day.


Thanks to Jay for keeping the Weekly Words Challenge going in the blogworld side of things while Tink is hosting over on facebook and  flickr.

**The words for NEXT TUESDAY are “favorite quote” and the letter L.**

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
September 22nd is (oops!) was Elephant Appreciation Day!

What perfect timing: Ella is here for a visit during Elephant Appreciation Day! Really, truly, it is wasThis website told me so!  I know, you are SO marking your calendar for next year so you don’t miss it!  😛 LOL

When Worlds Collide

My worlds are colliding, and I blame facebook.

First, it was myspace.  I was there for the teens in my Sunday school class; it was fun way to be a part of their lives.  And I admit it, I loved creating a webpage with color and music that displayed my personality.  I haven’t been back in a while, because everyone switched over to facebook.

Ah, facebook. Those teens were headed off to college and asked me to join “so we could still be friends.”  Apparently, myspace was SO high school. 😛  I kept the myspace (now basically abandoned)  and joined facebook.  For a long time, it was just those same friends on facebook. I moved across the country and kept in touch as they became adults and expanded their own worlds.   Then one day, people from my own high school days began to appear and ask to be my friend.  “Okay,” I thought, “this is kind of fun!”

Blogging hit me like an asteroid in January 2008. Susie (and her commenters) made me laugh and cry, and I was soon venturing out on my own.  By mid-February of that year, I had joined a photo meme called the Weekly Words Challenge and that gave me another group of bloggers to follow. (Bonus: it also renewed my interest in photography!)  I told a few friends IRL about my blog and some of them have followed along as lurkers.

But this past spring, bloggers suddenly began appearing on facebook and I took a risk and “friended” some of them.  Kcinnova unmasked!
Around the same time, many more friends from high school showed up. I started hanging out on facebook a little more often. And pretty soon…


A friend I know from 9th grade is trading comments on my wall with a blogger I’ve “known” for 18 months.  I’m meeting bloggers in person (and no one has been an ax murderer… at least, not that I know of).  My vacation photos from the summer are a mix of old friends, family, and bloggers.

When Worlds Collide (facebook)And every single one of these people is my friend on facebook.

It’s not TOO weird. I’m the same person, regardless of the communications format.  But when my tangent circles begin to merge into one another, it does feel like … I’ve entered another dimension. [cue music from The Twilight Zone]

Purple Reign

I was beginning to think it would never happen.  It had been such a terribly long time.  But today, for the first time since the end of the 2003 season, the University of Washington beat a ranked team from a BCS conference. Back then, it was Purple Reign over the Washington State Cougars in the Apple Cup.  But last night was even sweeter than a cross-state rivalry win, because the UW Huskies beat the USC Trojanswho just so happen to have been ranked 3rd… although not anymore… 😛

Ah, yes, there is joy in Mudville tonight.

Unleash Your Inner Pirate

You KNOW what today is, don’t you?

Aye, Matey! It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Talk like a Pirate banner


It happened just outside of Sharpsburg, Maryland, so that was the Confederate name for this battle: Sharpsburg.  The Yankees called it Antietam.  Today, most of us refer to it as the single bloodiest day of battle in all of the American Civil War.

September 17, 1862

Today is the 147th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.






The Sunken Road — also known as Bloody Lane

DSCN1724 Here is a view of the Sunken Road as seen from an observation tower.  The War Department had the tower built in 1896 as part of the U.S. military’s early efforts at building an open air classroom at Antietam. Indeed, this battlefield continues to be an educational experience.

The War Department established 5 National Military Parks in the 1890’s —   Antietam, Gettysburg, Chickamauga-Chattanooga, Shiloh, and Vicksburg.  These five parks were transferred to the National Park Service in 1933.

The Sunken Road was both a blessing and a curse.

The Sunken Road was both a blessing and a curse.


The bridge over Antietam Creek

The battle over this bridge lasted for 3-1/2 hours

The battle for control over this bridge lasted for 3-1/2 hours



DSCN1753After the Battle, the bridge was renamed and became Burnside Bridge, named after Union General Ambrose Burnside.

This tree somehow survived all those hours of crossfire.




More men were killed or wounded at Antietam on September 17, 1862, than on any other single day of the Civil War.  While it was not a decisive victory for either side, it was a turning point in The War Between The States.  I encourage you to click on this link and learn more.


Sept. 16th

I have an announcement! Today is El Grito de Independencia, that is to say, Mexican Independence Day.

I think that calls for a margarita!



I’ve got the blog on auto-pilot for a few days while I’m taking care of business.

I’ll get around to visit you all when I can.