Saturday, November 22, 2008


Turkey Tom hiding by the Thanksgiving Tree!

One table set and ready for action...
...and another!
the spiced cider station...
Thanksgiving NotebookIndex Page

Guest List Page
Dish by Dish Ingredients ListMaster Shopping List, separated by store name

I thought I would share my "Thanksgiving Notebook" (doesn't everyone have one?!) with you, as the BIG DAY rapidly approaches. Now, in my defense, the year this notebook was created, I was entertaining 20 plus people for dinner and wanted the food to be really yummy. I am a self proclaimed "psycho organizer", so how could I have pulled it off without my handy-dandy Thanksgiving Notebook? I find myself "spinning my wheels" if I don't establish a way to direct my rapid-fire thoughts into some semblance of order. I broke down each dish I planned to serve into a grocery list, and then combined all necessary items onto a master grocery list. I also went to a couple different stores, according to where the necessary item was on sale for the best price. It really did simplify things, and allowed me more time to enjoy family and friends as they arrived. The "guest list" section was generated to be cut apart and made into place cards. My daughter and I made really cute place cards, and also handmade napkin rings (for our paper napkins!) out of recycled plastic napkin rings that I picked up for next to nothing at a garage sale, some fabric remnants, and my Sizzix machine and scrap paper. I am including some pictures of that Thanksgiving--it was a blast! We are spending this holiday close to home with some dear friends, and we are truly thankful for all we have been given! After dinner, (which will be served on heavy-duty paper plates for fast clean up!), we will watch movies and play games for as long as we can before the turkey kicks in and we need to nap! Then we'll do my favorite thing--we'll get out all the leftovers and eat again!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


If you're not in the mood to go out in the backyard and throw a ball or stick for the Family Fido, rest assured, there's another way to keep man's best friend busy. My friend and I were sitting in my dining room just the other day doing our important work (read: doing crossword puzzles and reading magazines) waiting for the kids to come home from school. Now this particular friend of mine has a sort of "animal magnetism", because Scooter just can't seem to leave her alone whenever she visits. Or maybe it's that he knows he can ALWAYS sucker her in to throwing the ball for him. Or maybe it's the tasty lotion that she wears and he licks off her legs...ANYWAY, she decided to trick him by hiding the ball he'd just dropped in her lap in our basket of shoes (it runneth over) by the front door. Jack Russell's are notorious for being diggers, so he was in heaven playing his new game of hide and seek! We laughed and watched the shoes fly out of the basket, and Scooter run back and forth and jump in and out of the basket like a dog on diet pills. It was a real hoot and a half, I tell you. The pictures speak for themselves, especially the blurry ones! I guess I should've put my camera on Sports Mode!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Okay, it may be official, I've lost my mind. Does anyone see the time? That's right, it's 2:30 in the morning (why is the clock at the bottom an hour off? hmmm...). I just finished working, and had to post a quick note about an author I recently found. She's not new, but she's new to me, and I am absolutely digging her books (I've read 2 this week, and have started on a third). Her name is Nancy Moser. I found her accidentally, because I totally judge books by their covers. I understand the metaphor behind not doing that, with people and all, but with books? Come on! There'd be no jobs out there for graphic designers, photographers, and marketing folk if we didn't judge books by their covers! Anyway, the first book I read by her is called "The Good Nearby". The message in this book was so powerful, uplifting, and overwhelmingly simple! It was truly a life-changing read for me, and I READ A LOT! Almost as often as I think about cleaning my house (but don't) and eating chocolate (totally do)! If you get a chance to check her out (ha ha, from the library--get it?!), you won't be disappointed! Here's a link to her website.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


It seems we are having a problem at our house. It's a very wiley, very sneaky problem indeed. The specifics were reported to my hubby and I earlier in the week by our 10 year old daughter. It seems that she's been waking up with someone's DOG HAIR on her p.j. shorts. I say SOMEONE'S, because I don't want anyone to think I'm jumping to conclusions, or that I'm not being sensitive to everyone's right be assumed innocent until proven guilty. Let me back up the bus here a minute and explain. Katie has asthma, which made committing to a dog in the family a tough venture. We bought our Scooter Pie from a family member who promised to take him back and love him (naturally) if things didn't work out between us. So off we went, folding under the pressure of aforementioned daughter's plea that "she had a hole in her heart that only a dog would fill". I'm not kidding, those were her words at age 7. Her future in politics or sales is bright, I think. I immediately requested a "dog run" of my husband, who drove across town to get the 4 month old "surprise". As soon as she saw the dog come through the door of our home in his cage, she gasped, "Scooter!", and the name stuck! Those first few weeks with Scooter in our home went fairly well, and we established a few "house rules" for him. The NUMBER ONE RULE was that he would reside on the first floor of our home, and would NOT BE ALLOWED upstairs where all of the bedrooms are. We have wood flooring downstairs, and it's relatively easy to sweep up the mounds of dog hair that accumulate daily. I am often heard remarking that I think I could build an entirely new dog from the hair that I sweep up. Things were going along nicely, and everyone was following the rules. Or so it seemed. Sometimes, especially lately, I have had dreams of ringing bells (could they be dog tags?) as I lay sleeping in bed. But there's never been any evidence that would suggest a night time visitor on the second floor...until now. More research is pending, and I'm looking for a jury of his peers should I find enough evidence to convict. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Hey, guess what? Did you know that if you cut in line in high school, they will stuff you in a garbage can? It has to be true, because I heard it from a kindergarten friend of mine this morning. Also, CORN is made from the CORNUCOPIA (which strangely resembles the Bugle snack). This last part is my own observation.
If it weren't for the vast knowledge imparted to me by these worldly little folk (just ask 'em), I'd be forced to get my information from the news, or some other terrible place, and that just WOULDN'T DO! I do prefer to believe that MOST of what they tell me is true, because they are unjaded by pessimism, political correctness, and the cynicism of the world. To them, UP is UP, DOWN is DOWN, and no one gives a flying fart what color anyone is. I just giggled a little when I typed fart. Come on, you can laugh, it's a funny word.
Today, I told the the class the story of "The 3 Billy Goats Gruff". We used a felt board, just like in the olden days. Even though most of the kids had already heard the story, they all clapped at the ending, when the mean old troll got tossed into the lake by the biggest Billy Goat Gruff. They clapped because that's what you do when the bad guy gets his, and the good guys win. There's no gray area, no hurt feelings afterward. It just IS what it IS, and that's the beauty of the innocence of a child!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Well, it's Sunday night again, and I ALWAYS seem to have a hard time going to sleep on Sunday nights. It's partly the anticipation of the week to come, and partly not wanting to give up the weekend that was. I find myself cruising the blogs, reading books, cleaning (yikes! yes, even cleaning) and every other little thing under the sun to avoid going to bed. Where I won't sleep anyway. I saw something shiny on a blog earlier today, can't even remember which blog it was as I looked at lots and lots, but it had to do with COUPONS! I've tried the coupon thing before, and frankly, I'm not very good at it. But, in lieu of the stinky economy right now, I AM GOING TO GIVE COUPON-CLIPPING ANOTHER GO! I'm always so inspired by the shoppers that get ridiculous amounts of groceries for chump-change--like $287.00 worth of groceries for $ .47. I WANT TO BE THAT GUY! I get the whole "coupon, ad matching, stuff on sale" combo. concept, but find that most of the stuff that falls under this category isn't the stuff I'm buying anyway. Not that there's anything wrong with tuna-flavored SPAM (kidding here), but it just isn't what sounds good for dinner. EVER. That being said, I'm vowing right here and now to look really closely at what's already on sale and I will try to combine it with a coupon. Isn't this great stuff??! Yup, it's really late! If anyone out there has any money saving ideas, feel free to leave me a comment. I'm an ALL OR NOTHING girl, and right now, I'm ALL about the savings, baby! Happy Monday to all, and to all a great Veteran's Day holiday on Tuesday!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Halloween 2006: Her hat says "Sprint", and she has a phone charger cord in her hand that fastened to the side of her shirt. We made her "buttons" with my Sizzix machine circle punch, craft foam, and a white pen. Her tinfoil antenna was stuck through a hole in the back of her hat!
My boy Stumpy.
My favorite felon and her pumpkin-head creation!

The real Stumpy and his pumpkin head creation!

There's nothing like a scorching sinus infection from putting you behind on your resolve to post Halloween pictures in a timely manner! I have been fighting this booger (pardon the pun) for a few weeks now, and am sad to say that it's kicking me in the ba donk a donk. I'm now on steroids (GRRRR!) and a new antibiotic, so we'll see what happens! Our Halloween theme this year was "If we don't already own it, too bad, we're not going to buy it", so the kids repurposed some older costume parts and were very resourceful! Gone are the days of the $40.00 a piece Disney costumes, and truthfully, those were never their (or my) favorites anyway. I have always loved putting together their costumes in a creative, do-it-ourselves kind of way. We've made a bunch of really neat costumes through the years--maybe I'll dig up some old pictures and post them. Many are (gasp!) not digital, so I'll have to scan them in. One of my favorites was Katie's costume 2 years ago--she was a cell phone! She was completely phone-obsessed, so it was a natural fit. Everyone got a big kick out of it, and she was as proud as she could be! This year, she was the prisoner (guilty of stealing Halloween candy, she said!), and Nate was the Headless Horseman, sans the horse. He looked totally creepy, which pleased him to no end. All in all it was a really fun night, and the kids had fun running through the neighborhood with friends collecting tons of candy! Unfortunately, it's still flowing freely around our house--into my mouth, and onto my midsection...oh well, it should be gone in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas goodies!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I'm off to cast my vote. It may just be one vote, but it's MY vote, and I'm so thankful to live in a place where I get the luxury of having my opinion matter! We are so blessed as a nation! Whoever wins this election today needs the support of a UNITED NATION under GOD--divided we fall, united we stand! That being said, I'm gonna go punch the heck out of some chads!

"So much has been given to me I have no
time to ponder over that which has been denied."
Helen Keller

Monday, November 3, 2008


When my son was just a couple years old, he called his uncle Jeff, uncle Beff. We still call him that to this day, I just don't think he's aware of it. We went to the hospital Saturday to see Calli and Jeff as they celebrated his birthday in the hospital cafeteria. I was amazed at Calli's progress--it's been awhile since we've been there to see her due to our amazing collection of viral germs around our house. If she had been able to open her eyes (a side effect of the brain stem injury she sustained), she wouldn't have gotten even a sideways glance from anyone walking by--no one would've even thought she was a patient there! It was wonderful to receive smoochy kisses and tight hugs from this little even made up for the lashings I received from the plastic bead necklace she was whipping about! I thought this was the sweetest picture--what better birthday present for her dad than the gift of his littlest girl's life itself? I have no doubt that with therapy and God's grace she'll be doing things that no one would've imagined as she lay in the hospital bed just a month and a half ago!



This time of year is my favorite for so many reasons: the crisp, cool air, the smell of evening fires, the holiday hoopla that ensues, and the pretty little plastic containers in all my favorite stores. Yup, that's right, you heard me. I have such a hard time saying no to all those little wonderful plastic containers that the Glad company and so many others dress up so fancily for the holidays! There's the Halloween containers that are sweetly adorned with pumpkins and ghosts, the Thanksgiving ones with the fall leaves, and oh boy, don't even get me started on the winter and Christmas collection. Whoa Nelly! I have posted some pictures of my faves right here for your admiring gaze. I think they speak to my freakish need to organize things--all things--even food. Of course, they can hold other things too. I've used them to give gifts in, store craft materials, and even store game pieces for seasonal games. If I made a list of my top 100 favorite things (and I think I may just put that on my list of top 100 things to do), these would probably rank higher than scratch-and-sniff stickers. I know, right?! I really like them a lot! What's your favorite quirky thing about the holiday season?