Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pichu's still part of the family....

In case anyone was wondering, I did not take poor Pichu back to the SPCA after that last traumatic entry I posted last week. We have, in fact, had a successful walk every day since then! I'm still trying to figure him out and he's probably trying to decide about us too. I've done a little reading and diagnosed him as a "shy dog." I've never had a dog with this kind of temperment so I thought joining a forum of fellow shy dog owners might help. I found this one called shy-k9s. I had to write an essay of why I wanted to join and get approved and then they sent me this long list of rules for posting that has kind of intimidated me. I'm just going to lurk for awhile and see what I can find out....

On the fun side, he loves the kids and smothers them with kisses when they're on the floor. Here's some blurry photos of Pichi in action:

Pichu went ballistic last night about the ferocious dog lurking on the other side of a dark window! It was too funny! His fur was standing straight up on his back and it makes him look like a camel! I took this photo before he got all riled up.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A glimpse into a six year old's mind...

Every week, my son brings home a story he has written and illustrated. This week, this is what came home. In case you can't read it, it says, "I got lost (lots) of leftovors (leftovers). I omoste (almost) got kild (killed). I got full." I'm thinking, "When did he almost get killed while eating leftovers? What is his teacher thinking is happening in our family behind closed doors?" The drawing didn't help me answer any of these questions. It looks like some sort of half-human, half-animal creature capturing other horribly mutated creatures who can fly. I had to go to the source and ask. I know you're supposed to be all sensitive and positive so as not to crush their fragile budding self esteem, etc. You're supposed to say in a voice dripping with syrupy sweetness, "Tell me about your drawing, sweetie." I felt that my son's ego was secure enough not to beat around the bush. I asked him, "What in the world is this?!" He gave me a very long, drawn out, rambling explanation but here's the gist of it. His teacher asked them to pretend like they were wolves and to write a story from that perspective. His story was that he ate a bunch of scraps laying around and then a Polar Bear almost ate him (picture one). He escaped and caught himself a baby seal (picture two) and then was full. I'm thinking we'll push him more towards the sciences going forward.....

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Monday, January 28, 2008

I'm cleaning dah-ling!

I bought these fabulous rubber gloves the other day at The Paisley Palmetto gift website. My friend, Alicia, runs it from Hawaii. She has gathered a collection of very cool, unique gifts that you have to check out. She was the first mom I met in the MOMS Club who wore stilettos, and in this small town, that takes guts! I KNEW, when she announced she was opening a shop, that it would ooze style! I have three pairs of these gloves now (two for friends and one for me) because, if you have to clean the toilet, why not make it feel a little more glamorous? It's my first purchase from her site but I know there will be more. On top of the one-of-a-kind gifts she offers, her customer service and follow up are unmatched! You go Alecia!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A little break...

While I could go on and on about the primary in SC yesterday and the disappointing results of W&L's Mock Con, I'm going to take a break from my political ranting and tell you about one of the coolest gifts my kids got for Christmas this year.

It must be prefaced with a story, though. My brother and his family live in the Chicago area and we visited them this summer. It was the year of the cicada that happens at seventeen year intervals. You couldn't walk in their backyard without crunching on molted cicada skins and being pelted with random flying kamakazi bugs. I know they don't have mouths but it seems their humongous eyes don't do them much good either. The sound was deafening and you had to yell to be heard over their mating calls! My daughter was in bug paradise and was playing matchmaker by picking them up and setting them on top of each other.

My sister-in-law found these cool gifts from their buggy summer and encased them in paper- mache ornaments for all the nieces and nephews. When they cracked them open, they found a real cicada preserved in glycerin soap! The kids thought they were so cool and we now have one in the soap dish in the guest bathroom. So far, we haven't had any company to freak out but maybe soon...

Friday, January 25, 2008

It's a political day!

I'm totally immersed in politics today! Washington & Lee University is holding their Mock Convention today and tomorrow (they always do the party that's not in power so this year, it's the Democrats). It's such a spectacle! I was going to go watch the parade of delegates this morning but it's freezing out there! I'm sure the students will get in full character dress of the state they represent as they parade down Main Street! Check out this list of some of the featured speakers today and tomorrow:

  • Virginia Governor, Tim Kaine
  • Former NY US Representative, Geraldine Ferraro
  • Reverand, Jesse Jackson
  • Virginia US Senator, Jim Webb

    Also keeping me entertained today is this hilarious top ten list that Barack Obama recently did on The Letterman Show.

    On the Hillary front, this interested me. It's the NY Times endorsement of Hillary. Surprise! Surprise! The part that I think everyone should note is the following quote from that article:

    "As strongly as we back her candidacy, we urge Mrs. Clinton to take the lead in changing the tone of the campaign. It is not good for the country, the Democratic Party or for Mrs. Clinton, who is often tagged as divisive, in part because of bitter feeling about her husband’s administration and the so-called permanent campaign. (Indeed, Bill Clinton’s overheated comments are feeding those resentments, and could do long-term damage to her candidacy if he continues this way.)"

    Here's my prediction, she'll do it for a while, because the spotlight is on and because she's on an upswing right now. As soon as the issue dies down and or she loses a primary, it'll be back on full force because winning is more important to her than the good of the party or the country. Mark my words!

  • Thursday, January 24, 2008

    What have I done????

    I was taking my dog for a walk this morning and, in the last 100 yards or so, accidently dropped the leash. It's one of those ones that lets out and retracts in a plastic spool that you hold on to. The noise of that plastic part dropping freaked Pichu out and he took off in a total panic. It kept bouncing around behind him and the more he ran, the more panicked he became. He was getting all tangled and yelping and tripping and it was horrible to watch! I couldn't catch him but gave it all I had. I ran at a full sprint back to the house and ran in to grab the car keys because, by that time, he was nowhere in sight. The whole time, I kept thinking, “He’s gone. I’ll never get him back. He’s going to strangle himself or break a leg and he’s going to die in a ditch somewhere and I’ll never find him. What am I going to tell the kids?”

    When I came running out of the house with my car keys, he was in the back yard cowering and completely freaked but, at least, not running anymore. He wouldn't come near me. At first I tried to approach him but he would retreat walking backwards and I was afraid he'd begin running again. I decided to stand still and let him come to me. I sat on the ground for a good ten minutes while he stared at me. The whole time I spoke to him in a soothing calming voice and then slowly I approached him and unhooked the leash. He was limping initially but now seems OK. My lungs were on fire from running faster than I thought I could. After I got him in the house and settled in his crate and my adrenaline went down to normal levels, I started coughing violently and couldn't stop. I actually threw up because the coughs went so deep! It incapacitated me. After about an hour my lungs felt a little better and I could get up and move around a bit.

    It’s been about three and a half hours since it’s happened. I’m still shaking and I feel like I’ve done a hundred crunches. I’m physically and emotionally wiped out. Why is this so hard? Why am I such a spaz that I can’t deal with this kind of stuff? Why did I decide to get a dog that my husband wants no part in taking care of? I’m at a low point right now and could do with a pep talk but there’s really no one I can think of to share my traumatic experience with for sympathy and reassurance. How pathetic that I have to post this into cyberspace instead…….

    Wednesday, January 23, 2008

    It's Feasty Boy night tomorrow!!!!

    Hey everyone! Tomorrow night's the night to tune into the best show on television - The Feasty Boys Eat America! OK, I'm a little biased because it's my good friend's husband who is starring but not by much! These guys are a blast to watch and I can say for a fact that Jim Stump (he's the one on the right) is exactly the same in person. He's always in a good mood, and I have never been disappointed when we've gone over to their house for dinner! I've tried a number of their recipes and I can attest to the fact that they're quick, simple and mouth-watering good!

    Set your TIVO program to Travel Channel at 10pm Thursday night or watch it live! YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED!!!

    Then, if you want, click on the website link above and write nice things about them! Those of you who don't have nice things to say can keep them to yourselves! :)

    Tuesday, January 22, 2008

    If not Obama.....

    Saw this windows display today after eating lunch out. This is the only other candidate I can live with if it's not Barack. Steven Colbert talks about today's politics as it is - a total farce. He's a hottie to boot! I honestly don't see that much difference between what he has to say and what G.W. has been saying the last eight years in office (something Steven would consider a compliment, I'm sure).

    Monday, January 21, 2008

    Unity is the great need of the hour...

    I had a nice Martin Luther King Jr. Day today. There was a party for the kids in the afternoon. My friend noted that 99% of the attendees where white but that's the kind of homogeneous town we live in, sadly. I want to make sure my kids know about people like Martin Luther King, Jr. because of their surroundings. We live in what's considered "The South" for the first time in my life and I am still amazed at how slow things have progressed as far as racial tolerance, around here. Most places in town are open and Martin Luther King Jr.'s holiday is minimally acknowledged.

    The highlight of my day came when I watched this inspiring speech. It literally gave me goosebumps! It's 30 minutes long but is worth watching the whole way through! Some of the more memorable quotes (I took notes) were, "Nothing in this country worthwhile has ever happened except somebody, somewhere decided to hope." and "The stories that give me my hope don't happen in the spotlight." Check it out for yourself:

    Sunday, January 20, 2008


    My son, flooder of bathrooms, opener of car doors at 65mph, couch-jumper who knocks out his teeth, has just been busted using the Photo Booth software on our new Mac. I guess it's harmless enough but, if I let it go, he'll find a way to crash the PC somehow. Look at the attitude oozing from these shots he took of himself! At least it makes for a humorous blog entry.....

    Saturday, January 19, 2008

    Making good on a threat

    My husband promised that, if a dog entered our house, his ski vacations would pick up. He's making good on his threat now. Last week he drove three hours to a ski shop where he was custom fitted with these menacing looking boots. After returning home, he decided that he needs a new pair of skis as well. So this morning, he has set off again and will be gone the entire day. He hasn't even taken a trip yet but don't worry, it's been booked. Jackson Hole extreme ski camp is waiting for him next month and he's desperately trying to get another trip in before all the snow melts. He's got a full time job so it won't be easy. My assumption that his penny pinching ways would prevent him from taking full advantage of his threat is not coming to pass, so far....

    Thursday, January 17, 2008

    Snow day!!!

    They closed school today. It's been such a pretty snowfall and we're all enjoying 24 hours of down time! It's been coming down since early this morning and is finally slowing down but getting a bit icy. Yikes! We took our time getting dressed. Made it outside around 10ish. The new puppy loves the snow and keeps gulping mouthfuls of it! My kids finally clicked on what it means when people say, "Don't eat the yellow snow."

    Learn something about.....


    Here's a new theme of posts I'm starting. I like learning new stuff. It doesn't matter what the subject is; history, science, literature, technology, whatever! Everytime, I learn something cool, I'm posting it under this header.

    I actually am pretty uneducated about ancient history but this is kind of a fun way to learn about Mesopotamia.

    To learn more, Wikipedia has a good write up here. Also, the British Museum put together a nice website on it here. Washington State University also has a website but it's a little more of a dry read. You can find it here.

    Happy learning!

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008

    I miss Lety!

    I faithfully watched the telenovela La Fea Mas Bella on Univision both to improve my spanish and because it was such a fun, crazy, romantic story! Now it's over and I'm lost. I think part of the reason it was so appealing to me too was that Lety was such an ugly duckling but, underneath it all, a beautiful soul. Ugly Betty does OK at conveying this message but doesn't quite pull it off as well.

    Daniel Mead is no match for Fernando Mendiola either! Sigh.....

    Monday, January 14, 2008

    My talented crafty (in a good way) mother

    My mom is the master of crafts! When I suggested a homemade Christmas, she was all over it! I will be featuring most of her creations bit by bit. This first one is the coolest. Check it out, it's Little Red Riding Hood.

    Flip her over and she's Grandma!

    Turn her bonnet to the back and she's the Big Bad Wolf!

    Saturday, January 12, 2008

    Who can turn the world on with a smile?

    One of the best TV theme songs ever!!!!! I could watch this over and over and over.

    Friday, January 11, 2008

    My favorite photography blogs

    Thought I'd share with you some of my favorite photography blogs starting with my sister-in-law.

    Bellygiggles is her business blog. She's started her photography business after quitting her full time job to stay home with my nephew, who is two and niece, who is six months old. This year she put together some amazing Christmas cards! She hasn't done a photo shoot for our family yet but I plan on hitting her up during our next beach trip! Some of my favorite pics are these ones and these ones.

    Dooce's photographs are ALWAYS entertaining. She does a daily dog one, and this one is a classic! The links are near her banner at the top and she updates them daily (I think).

    Sheye Rosemeyer has an amazing photography blog! She recently suffered a terrible loss which she also chronicles in her blog. Despite what she and her family has been through, her bright personality and creative genius still shines through. Visit her site but be prepared for your heart to be broken as you relive her tragedy. On a happier note, her recent post on potty training is brilliant!

    Kimberly Peterson Photography is my personal favorite because she took these amazing pictures of me and my family last summer. She was looking for guinea pigs to build her portfolio and I yelled, "PICK ME! PICK ME!" after seeing all the beautiful photos she's had on her blog. Here's a sampling of our family photoshoot:

    I think she really capture the joy of being a kid with these two photographs!

    Kissing someone while being photographed was very painful for my shy non-PDA husband...

    Thursday, January 10, 2008

    New Year Resolutions

    So far I haven't thought about resolutions too much, but here goes, off the cuff...

  • I will buy less books and read more that are on my shelf (my current ratio is buy 5 for every 1 I read).
  • I will lose 15 pounds (A whole year to do this? Not unrealistic...)
  • I will say no when people ask me to do stuff and I have a full plate.
  • I will be sweeter with my family (don't laugh).
  • I will work on the garden and get it looking a little nicer.
  • I will not add any hobbies or projects until I get a handle on the ones I currently enjoy.
  • I will watch less T.V. (not hard if this writer's strike keeps up)
  • I will get my Christmas cards out on time in 2008.
  • I will learn Photoshop and iMovie software.
  • I will be less judgemental.

    That's all I can think of as I sit here. I'll pull this up at the end of the year and see how I did....

    Tell me your resolutions!

  • Wednesday, January 9, 2008

    Bad omens

    It looks like the Buckeye loss at the National Championship game on Monday was an omen of bad things to come. I can't believe New Hamphirians let me down like this! Come on! Did Hillary's crocodile tears move you?! Did you believe Bill when he said Obama and Hillary's support of the Iraq War were almost the same? They're not! I heard today that there were Obama supporters out there that were so sure he was going to win that they cast their vote for McCain in order to thwart Romney. If that's true, I bet they're kicking themselves now! Let's hope Americans come to their senses in the primarys to come and they're not like the ones in this video:

    Monday, January 7, 2008


    My juggling act is getting shakey! Having a very sweet but very needy dog in the house is making it difficult to maintain work, kids & house. That plus I'm not getting enough sleep because I've been sleeping next to Pichu on the guest bed since we brought him home on Friday. He's been crated three times today for a total of 3.5 hours and I'm putting him in one more time when I go to pick up the kids from school. I feel so guilty. Pichu hates his crate! I can't even ask my husband for any help as he did not approve of this whole thing. HELP!!!!! Anyone who wants to lecture me, please don't. I only want "poor you" and "it'll get better" messages!

    Friday, January 4, 2008

    We've gained a dog.....

    ...but lost a husband to a winter of skiing (as he promised). Pichu is a six-month-old Golden Retriever (or so thinks the SPCA). He seems worth it except for the fact that he immediately pooped all over the car on the ride home. It was a very looong five minute ride home! Now that he's been washed, it seems much better. Isn't he the cutest?!

    Obama won!!!!

    I am so excited I took a picture of my breasts! I gave everyone in my family Obama t-shirts for Christmas. Whether or not they wear them is a different story. Whether or not they'll fill their t-shirts out as nicely as I did is impossible! The best thing about the primary in Iowa is that Hillary Clinton came in third!!! Ouch! I was hoping that voters would see through her well-oiled political machine and vote on the issues and Iowans didn't disappointment me. Thank you Iowans!

    Buying t-shirts was more politically active than I've ever been. The other thing I did was register on Barack Obama's website to get updates. In early December he asked us to write letters of encouragement to the volunteers at the campaign headquarters in Iowa. I hand wrote five letters to different cities in Iowa thanking them for their hard work helping the Obama campaign. It's fun getting involved and feeling a part of the process and Barack is great at tapping into that energy.

    I'm hoping New Hampshire plays out the same way!

    On a side-note: Congratulations too to Mike Huckabee who ran a positive campaign. He's a little too evangelical for me and I can't image a world with a "President Huckabee" but I like him better than the rest in the Republican group!

    Wednesday, January 2, 2008

    Happy New Year!

    I'm back! I missed you, my little blog!

    Visiting the family is always an adventure and this trip fulfilled those expectations. As I promised, though, I will not be posting any stories about it here. See my previous post "Secrets."

    I must share with you pics of my in-laws house, though! Hopefully this doesn't break the promise. It won first place in their neighborhood. I hear it wasn't the first time either. They have the lighting down to a science with wood frames built for each window that are screw mounted on and off! Congratulations on a beautiful job!

    I spent the entire day on January 1st making this cupcake. Seriously! Why, you ask? I honestly can't tell you. All I know is it started when my mom pulled out all her felt and a book I gave her for Christmas. It finished when I declared myself the victor in a battle of wills between me and whoever wrote this evil craft book and labeled this an "easy" project! At least I have more to show for the day than my husband, who spend New Year's Day watching lame bowl games....