Friday, November 30, 2007

Awesome hand lotion

'Tis the season for my hands to morph into those of a 90 year old and I must tell you about my Naked Bee hand lotion! I love it! It's not too greasy, it smells awesome, and my hands look slightly better to boot! I've found it in a couple of gift shops in town and I've bought the candles too, which also smell great but don't last very long. Their products would make great stocking stuffers. Don't forget to pick up some for yourself too! :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rocky the gourd

Betcha didn't know a gourd could inspire poetry, much less have a name!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Two beautiful women

My tia gave me a picture of my mom from way back. She was such a beautiful young girl! She's still beautiful now. Just a different kind of beautiful.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Homemade Christmas Cheer

Two weeks ago, I had to host a gathering of Catholic ladies. We call ourselves "Mother's Fellowship" and we gather once a month to talk about things spiritual and not-so-spiritual. My hosting duties followed shortly after the latest priest pedofile scandal in the news and I wasn't too gung-ho to discuss anything related to my disappointing church (see my previous rant on this topic here). Instead, I thought I'd share ideas of homemade gifts that I've gathered from places like Family Fun, blogs (I love this idea from Chef Messy), and magazines. I gathered the supplies to make this yummy cookie mix which everyone got to put together and take home.

I'd tell you what craft magazine I got it from but I left it at my mom's house over Thanksgiving and I can't remember. Here's the recipe, though:

Layered Jar Mix


All-purpose flour, 1 c
Salt, ½ tsp.
Baking soda, ½ tsp
Granulated sugar, ¼ c
Firmly packed brown sugar, ½ c
Toasted wheat germ, ¾ c
Quick-cooking oatmeal, 1 c
Dried cherries, ½ c
Golden raisins, ½ c
Sweetened flaked coconut, 2/3 c
Wash and thoroughly dry one-quart wide-mouth canning jar: Add ingredients to jar one at a time in the order listed(beginning with flour and ending with coconut), pressing primly with a flat-bottom glass or some other tamper after each addition. Be sure to make the layers as even as possible. Secure lid and decorate as desired.

Card Instructions for Jar:


½ cup (1 stick) butter softened
¼ cup milk, 1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place jar ingredients in medium bowl & stir. Set aside.
2. Place above ingredients in a large bowl and cream with a fork. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and blend with a spoon.
3. Drop dough by heaping teaspoons onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing cookies 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Where have I been???

....I hear all my millions of readers asking in unison! Well, I'll tell you. After the glorious defeat the Buckeyes handed to the Wolverines, I immediately switched gears (well, after I got over the Bloody Mary hangover) and my family and I packed our bags and headed to San Fransisco to visit my tia.

She's an incredible, fun loving, trend setting lady who I admire with all my heart. Sadly, this is her first Thanksgiving without her soul mate, my Uncle Roy. He passed away this past summer.

Here's some of the sights we saw when we were there.

Lombard Street

The Golden Gate Bridge

My son is riding in the upstairs part of this carousel (hard to see him...) I always take pictures of pigeons wherever I go. Here are some gay pigeons eating sour dough.

Pier 39 sea lions

A lovely view from Twin Peaks

I am so lucky to have such a wonderful and colorful family! Thank you for some beautiful memories!

Friday, November 16, 2007


Watching the maize and blue fall all over themselves trying to stop us is my joke of the day!!!


Tomorrow is the BIG game between the Mighty Buckeyes and that team from up north. In our household, it is a day when the earth stops it's rotating and revolving and nothing else matters. We do not take phone calls. We do not schedule play dates. We do nothing but eat, live and breath Ohio State football. If we win, life is as it should be. If we lose, we're like the groundhog and you will not see us for another six weeks.

We've been invited to the neighbor's for their version of "Kegs and Eggs." I've volunteered to put together a Bloody Mary bar. Here's my shopping list:

  • V8
  • Tomato Juice
  • Clamato
  • lemons & limes
  • cilanthro
  • salt & pepper
  • Tabasco (red & green)
  • horseradish
  • Sriracha sauce
  • cherry tomatos
  • jalapenos
  • pickles
  • red bell pepper
  • celery
  • olives

    GO BUCKEYES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Thursday, November 15, 2007

    Almost forgot!!!

    How many batteries does it take to beat Michigan in football?


    I want to switch to this church!

    I heard a story on NPR the other day that there are STILL cases in the Catholic church of priests molesting children and being reported to higher ups. The higher ups then do nothing with the information (except maybe destroy it). The police are not contacted and the priest is not removed from contact with children. This latest case involves Father Daniel McCormack (the molestor) and Cardinal Frances George (one of the guys turning a blind eye), who was just elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    As a Catholic, I am outraged that,
  • the abuse went on for fourteen years without being addressed
  • no one in the Chicago archdiocese is being held accountable
  • Cardinal Frances George failed to immediately remove Father Daniel McCormack upon notification of the allegations
  • Not only is Cardinal Frances George not being held accountable, he is being PROMOTED by his peers!

    I shot an email off to my local parish’s priest asking him to whom I may write a letter expressing my outrage and here’s what I found out. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops vote from within their ranks for the new President of USCCB. If you wish to put something into writing, please write to:

    Mr. Jimmy M. Lago, Chancellor
    Archdiocese of Chicago
    The Pastoral Center
    P.O. Box 1979
    Chicago, IL 60690

    I plan on doing that. Any other Catholics out there who feel the same should let these people know that we will not tolerate the abuse or the failure of the church to root it out and address it. Until I see a systematic change in our church, I am going to assume that all priests are pedofiles (how can I be assured they’re not, if the organization is more worried about covering it up than protecting our children) and my kids will NEVER be alone with a priest.

  • Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    I don't want to be a code monkey!!!!

    I'm auditing a database management course this term and I feel a lot like this guy (except I don't want the pretty girl). Here's some sql code I just wrote:

    SELECT id "Movie Id",
    title "Movie Title",
    description "Rental Code Description"
    FROM movie,
    WHERE movie.rental_code(+)=rental_category.code
    ORDER BY code, title

    Three More Days!!!!

    YUCK! I can barely look at this picture! Read on for the joke of the day....

    How many University of Michigan students does it take to change a light bulb?

    Two. One to do it and another one to claim they did it just as well as any Ivy League school.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    Why I eat lunch with the door closed...

    ...because a salad, attractively displayed in the lunch line with big pieces of fresh lettuce and full circles of red onions, looks like this when you have to put it in your mouth!


    Bo Schembeckler died and went to heaven. St. Peter met him at the gate. "It is so great to have you here Coach." St. Peter leads Bo to a nice little 2 bedroom ranch home painted maize and blue. Upon entering, Bo finds the house decorated in Michigan colors with "M"'s all over. St. Peter leads Bo to the nice backyard with patio. Bo looks up on the high hill above his new home and sees a giant mansion all decked out in Scarlet and Gray and a big Block "O" flag flying on the flag pole. Bo turns to St. Peter and angerly asks: "Why in the heck does Woody get such a big house and I get this little ranch house??" "Oh," says St. Peter, "that is not Woody's house, that is God's house."

    Lloyd carr is on the Ohio 5 yard line in the closing seconds of a game
    tied 14 - 14 and prays for inspiration. He looks to the heavens and says
    "God what play should I call." God answers "throw a flat pass to the
    right". Lloyd calls the play and it is intercepted and returned all the
    way for a touchdown giving Ohio State the win. Lloyd once again looks to
    the heavens and says "God why did you call that play". God pauses and
    says "Hey Woody why did we call that play?"

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    Another joke for ya!

    Why did Michigan change their field from grass to artificial turf?

    To keep the Michigan cheerleaders from grazing at half time.

    Can I Clean Your Toilet???

    There are some people in this world who have placed themselves above the rest of us and are continually adding to an invisible list in their heads of tasks or duties beneath their self-imposed grandiose status. Irene Némirovsky wrote about this eloquently in her book Suite Francaise, which I highly recommend. Today, when I innocently asked a professor if he had already made a copy of my timesheet, he went on and on about what a ludicrous thought this was. Imagine him standing in front of a copy machine for five seconds of professorial time!

    In Suite Francaise, the first half is about the Nazi invasion of Paris. The Parisians are fleeing out of the city and the ones who struggle the most are the upper class. Their skewed notion that money, fame, and social status entitle them to more than their fellow countrymen during a mass exodus with food shortages, air raids, etc. is comical.

    I strive for the opposite in my life. I will perform the most menial tasks and hopefully do so without complaining. There is nothing that I expect someone else to do that I will not do, or learn to do, myself. I am certain that no amount of wealth, fame, or rise in social status (however unlikely) will change this. So? Who wants their toilet cleaned?

    Sunday, November 11, 2007

    Joke of the Day

    Q: Why do the University of Michigan grads hang their diplomas from the rearview mirror?

    A: So they can park in the handicapped spaces.

    Saturday, November 10, 2007

    We're from O-hi-O!!!!

    I heard that L.Carr is only going to dress 25 players this Sat........the rest can dress themselves!

    A Sad Day for Buckeyes

    OK. I admit I never really thought we were number one worthy. I love the Buckeyes and all but I didn't expect to hold a number one ranking like we did all of last season. That being said, I really really hated losing the game today. I have a bad taste in my mouth from other unexpected losses we've had to the Illini and I was hoping I didn't have to add another one to the list. Here's how I'm consoling myself. If we HAD to lose a game this season, I'm glad it's this one. I LOVE beating "the-team-that-shall-not-be-named" and I LOVE playing and winning in the Rose Bowl. I am expecting both of those things to still happen so the season is still salvagable. Go check out the Dead Schembechler's website to get revved for next week! Also go here to vote for the Buckeyes in the big Rivalry (they're down at the moment...) GO BUCKEYES!!!!!!!

    Friday, November 9, 2007

    Talent in the Neighborhood

    Just received this from the proud father. He thinks his son's performance in this video is the reason the housing market in our neighborhood has frozen....

    Wednesday, November 7, 2007

    My Coffee Shop

    I love my coffee shop! I stop there most mornings for my double shot skinny latte that I grab and scoot out the door. I don't even have to order anymore. Last week, Courtney saw my car go by and by the time I got parked and in the door, my drink was ready! The best part about the shop is the people that work there. Courtney gave me advice on how to get my sick cat to eat something (babyfood), and gave me the coolest earrings that don't work for her anymore. She also gives tours of downtown in carriages. Kelly turned me on to Sufjan Stevens and the nuances of how to say $3.50 (tree fiddy). It came from a South Park episode called "Succubus." Carrie is so talented and makes beautiful jewelry. She also juggles another retail job downtown. Anna just started there and I don't know what all she has going on right now but I've known her since she was a home-schooled teenager starting high school. Most of this I've gleaned from our quick morning conversations while I wait for my coffee. They are all a great start to my day and I couldn't live without them (I had to say that because I gave them my blog address and they're checking this out - for the real scoop, go to KIDDING!).

    Tuesday, November 6, 2007

    Book Signing

    I went to a book signing this evening with my friend Julie. Lisa Solod Warren was signing the collection of essays she edited, entitled Desire: Women Write About Wanting. It was my first book signing ever so I didn't know what to expect. I was a little let down because there was barely anyone there when we arrived about an hour into it. I guess that made it better for talking to Lisa, though, because she had time to do more than just sign the book. It turns out I know one of the other contributors in the book too. Jenny Siler wrote an essay that was included in the collection. We were done after about 10 minutes but neither of us wanted to call it a night when we had just gotten out so we grabbed some coffee and dessert. Julie was smart and did the decaf route and I'm totally wired and will be up all night. So to summarize, the book signing was kind of a dud but it was nice to get out and spend time with a friend.

    Monday, November 5, 2007

    Sunday, November 4, 2007

    Deal? or No Deal???

    My husband has threatened/ promised that, should I make an addition to the family in canine form, he will begin to take unapproved ski trips as often as he likes. I'm thinking he already does this. He goes out west at least once or twice during a season and takes another handful of day trips in the area.

    He's very financially conservative which should curtail him from taking many more trips. That, plus the guilt of leaving us more frequently, should keep things at status quo regardless of a new four-legged family member. Lastly, the threat of skiing more will only affect our family from November through March but we'll have a pooch year-round. It doesn't sound like a bad deal. Right?

    Here's what scares me though - it will be I who has to come home every day to let the dog out, take him to the vet, arrange for care when we vacation, take him for walks, pick up poop in the yard, etc. I won't be able to even think about asking Scott to help with any of this. If I do, I can hear the lecture already.

    Should I do it? I love dogs. The kids are at a perfect age and will also get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Even Scott, who will pretend like he doesn't, will warm up to it. He grew up with dogs and loved every minute of it.

    I'll keep you posted......

    Saturday, November 3, 2007

    Two More to Go....

    My Buckeyes had me scared for a bit. I can't remember the last time we were down by a touchdown. Especially in the shoe. I'll remember not to doubt next time! The final score of 38 - 17 left no doubt of who is still undefeated and number one! I love my Buckeyes and Jim Tressel!!!!!

    Thursday, November 1, 2007

    Another Scarlet Letter...

    OK. Here's what I do. When someone asks me to volunteer for almost ANYTHING, I say yes without hesitation. That's just how I am. I like to help out. This works out well most of the time for all parties involved. I feel good about contributing in my community, and people get what they need.

    About three to four times a year (I don't keep track on purpose), I say yes to too many different things and something falls through the cracks. This happened today. I volunteered to work at the school bookfair and didn't show up. This happened even after writing it in my daytimer, on the fridge calendar, and getting a reminder phone call.

    After cooking all day yesterday for my Halloween party, making it to my children's Halloween parade, making a dip for my daughter's class party, going to my database class and to work, and then today; cleaning up the party aftermath, meeting a contractor who will be quoting us on a new roof and painting, preparing a casserole for the teachers at my children's school, putting in a couple hours at work, arriving for early pick-up, and trying to remember piano lesson and conferences tonight (which I had to arrange a babysitter for), I could not keep the bookfair in my feeble brain.

    The worst part about it is I flaked on the same woman at least a few times before this so my reputation is sealed. It doesn't matter if I remembered and fulfilled 95% of the committments I made. The only thing people will remember is, "That flake, Ellie couldn't even remember to show up for a two-hour shift at her children's bookfair!" It's almost better to be unreliable all the time because it's a whole lot less effort and a person like that has a reputation about as good as mine. It's a small town and word will be out by this time tomorrow for sure. It sounds paranoid, I know, but it is so true. I might as well tape a scarlet "F" (for flake) on my shirt whenever I show my face in public. Poor me!

    Pumpkin Soup

    Halloween was a festive occasion in our home last night. We shared it with three other families this year. I put together a nice spread which included pumpkin soup, green chili cheese cornbread muffins, spider dip, apple bread, homemade chocolate spooky things on a stick, and a deli tray from Kroger. I wish I would've taken a picture of it before everyone started digging in! My favorite thing was the soup! I took a picture of my leftover lunch today so you can see how tasty it looks.

    My friend bought me this magazine called For the Love of Pumpkins that had the recipe. The magazine also had tons of beautiful photographs and ideas for how to celebrate the season. I loved the wedding ideas and wish Scott and I could've had an October wedding like the ones picture here.

    This page was the inspiration for my white sparkly pumpkins. I didn't want to wait for an October wedding to try them out!