Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our Thanksgiving Adventure

Our morning started with about eighteen inches of snow. I woke at six to my neighbor across the street snow blowing his driveway. Yep 6 AM snow blowing. He really knows how to have a good time.
So I got up. He has a long driveway and there was no way to sleep through that. I had coffee instead and read all of your blogs. Go me!!
Then I went out and cleared a spot for Jason to pull the truck in when he got home. Yep. I am a good wife. I hope he doesn't get used to that. It probably won't happen again.
So Jason came home and attacked the snow with a shovel and a vengeance. It was a vicious fight but he won.
And then and then and then the power went out. On Thanksgiving Day when everyone in all the whole world has to use the oven, the power goes out. Lucky for me I didn't have a turkey in the oven. We were very fortunate to be invited to a friend's house. We will get to that adventure in a minute. But first, lets go back to my powerless kitchen. I had big plans for Thanksgiving morning. I wasn't in charge of the bird. So I thought I would whip up a few delicious appetizers and mouth watering desserts. Nothing like the loss of power to bring one back to earth. Instead I made things that could sit and wait to go in the oven at our friends house. Stuffed mushrooms anyone?
Do you remember that part back at the beginning where I said 'we got eighteen inches of snow'? Well that was just the start. It kept snow all day. We had quite a slippery little adventure getting to their house. Our 25 minute trip took about an hour.
It was so worth it though. They were the most gracious hosts. The food was fabulous. They barbecue the turkey. It was out of this world. It had a little smokey hickory flavor and so juicy. It was hands down the best turkey I have ever had. (Sorry Mom.) In fact, I think I will be trying this very soon myself. We had wonderful company and great food. What could be better than that.
We had a rather hair raising ride back home but my little mini van is a champ. And we made it home safe and sound. We came in and put two very tired kids to bed. When I went to check on them later, neither of them had moved a muscle. It was a long day but a very good one.

Hope you Thanksgiving was a little less exciting but just as fun and tasty.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Hello Bloggy Internets..you are still there aren't you.

It seems the blog has gone rather ignored the last few days. Wait until you hear the tale. Thanksgiving was an adventure this year. Tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

11 Years Ago Today

11 years ago today I took an oath that forever altered the course of my life. No other 15 seconds in my lifetime had a bigger impact on the direction my life took. I raised my right hand and said:
I, Ellyn, /// DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR /// THAT I WILL SUPPORT & DEFEND /// THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES /// AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC, /// THAT I WILL BEAR TRUE FAITH ///AND ALLEGIANCE TO THE SAME, /// AND THAT I WILL OBEY THE ORDERS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES /// AND THE ORDERS OF THE OFFICERS APPOINTED OVER ME, /// ACCORDING TO REGULATIONS /// AND THE UNIFORM CODE OF MILITARY JUSTICE--/// SO HELP ME GOD
As I stood there and said the words so many before me had said my heart pounded like never before. I was so afraid of what lie ahead. But I knew I was supposed to be there at that time and in that place. I knew what I was doing was important. It wasn't going to be easy but the best things often aren't. I thought of my parents standing at the back of the room. I could feel their pride all the way up where I was. I knew they were a little scared too. They stood there and watched as I became an adult.
Three days later I called them on Thanksgiving Day a blubbered like a baby. I think I ruined Thanksgiving that year. Sorry guys.
Since that day I have had an opportunity to travel to places and do things I never would have imagined before. The units I have been associated with have done good things all over the globe. I got the opportunity to play a small part in those things. For that I am so thankful.
While I no longer have a direct affiliation I still feel a small swell of pride when I hear of the great things that our military is doing. I think I will always miss my Air Force days. It was a way of life. Everywhere you went, you had a built in support system. I will always miss the comradely of being a part of something bigger than myself.
No, I didn't they didn't let me fly these. I did get to sit in one though. That was pretty cool.

I took care of survival equipment. Pretty much all the gear you saw in Top Gun was stuff I worked on. But they did it all wrong in Hollywood. Ask me sometime. I will tell you about it. Just to clarify, I didn't work on the gear on the set of Top Gun. I was eight when that movie came out. And I still would have done a better job than Hollywood did. You weren't confused, were you?
Oh how I kick myself now for making all of my big pictures little back when I had a smaller hard drive. It makes for some pretty grainy memories.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hands

The inspiration for this post came from Memarie Lane. She posted some pictures of her beautiful baby the other day. One of the pictures was of her little girl's hand. That was all I needed.

I have always been fascinated with hands. Each one unique to it's owner. East set has a story to tell in the lines and scars.
When I was a child I fell off my bike and filleted my hand open. I walked my bike back home crying all the way. I still have scar today from that accident. I would probably not even remember this incident if not for the divot I still sport on my right hand from it.
When my babies were small I used to play with their hands for hours. They were so innocent and perfect. Not a single flaw or line. No blemishes marked them. They had those tiny dimples on the back of their knuckles. I kissed those tiny hands daily.

By contrast I think of my great grandmother's hands. She was an immigrant and a farmer's wife. To say she worked hard would be an understatement. She raised children and milked cows with those hands. By the time I came along her hands were very old. They were gnarled and tired. For most of my childhood she still lived the life of a farmer's wife. One of my most vivid memories of her was when I went over to visit her and Grandad. They had a dog almost as old as them. Shadow liked nothing more than to sit as his mistresses feet and be petted. I imagine it probably hurt her arthritic hands to pet him but she did it anyway. I remember watching her hands glide over that dog's head. She looked so frail. Her hands looked so old to me. Her stories were told in the lines on her hands. (I hope to revisit this amazing woman in a future post.)
Now I look down at my own hands. My hands are strong. I have changed a thousand diapers and wiped a million tears with these hands. I have served my country. I have lived, loved and learned with these hands. They are serving me well. Someday I hope they look like my grandmothers hands. It will mean I have spent my life doing productive things with them.
I have confidence this little boy will do wonderful things with these hands. I have visions of him soothing his own babies with them; much like his dad comforts him.

And this one. She will be mischievous and get into lots of trouble with her little patties. But I know she will also do great things with them too.


Thanks Memarie for the inspiration.


On More thing. For today and today only I will up the ante. For each and every visit I get in the next 24 hours I will give 50 cents to Food For The Poor. Further details in the side bar. Go tell someone to stop by.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tea Time with Toddlers

Say that 10 times fast.
I have always enjoyed a nice cup of tea on a frosty day. Something about it just feels cozy and soothing. This year Mark started enjoying this daily tradition with me. He gets up from his nap everyday and asks to have some. It has become a ritual for us.
Then, tea in hand, we sit at the table and talk.
I swear I am not torturing him. He just wouldn't smile. I think he was still feeling a little slow from his nap.

I have learned many an interesting thing about my toddler at tea time. He told me who threw sand from the sand box at school yesterday. James, in case you were wondering. I also found out Anna is a boy. And to think all this time I have been putting her in pink. How embarrassing.

My recipe for a successful tea time.
Two cups you don't care a lot about.
Two tea bags. I like lemon.
12 oz of not quite boiling water.
2 ice cubs to cool down toddlers not quite boiling tea.
One talkative toddler.
It helps if you have one of these hanging around too.

Just cause they are cute. It also help the toddler feel like the big kid.

And just for the record: See that wood paneling. Hate it. Icky. We are painting soon. Very soon. Today maybe. OK maybe not. But soon

Thursday, November 20, 2008

When Life Hands You Lemons

Eat them.
video
Anna didn't like them quite as much.
videoThis is what happens when the parents break out the margaritas before putting the kids to bed. Bad. Bad. Bad.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Front/Back Door Meme

My mom over at Dlyn does a fun Meme. Every month you post a view from you front and back door. It is neat to see the change of seasons. You should give it a try.
This month we are looking a little drab here. Fall is over but winter hasn't really gotten going yet. Everything is a little brown and sad looking.
Front.

Back. Do you like our lake? We have been getting a lot of rain lately.

And just for kicks. This is what it looked like three weeks ago right after our first snow storm. We got almost two feet of snow. Then 4 days later it was 65 degrees. Weird weather here in Upstate NY.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Quick One

I don't have much time today. This is Jason's first day back to work after several days off. This always makes for a interesting day here at home.

I do have time to tell you about something though. I recently joined Facebook. I have reconnected with several people I went to school with. It has been such a treat to see where everyone is living now and what they are doing since last I saw them. If you are one of the three people who haven't yet joined do it now. You won't be sorry.

OK things are starting to fall apart here so I better hurry.

Secondly, don't forget about my food drive this month. Details in the side bar.

And finally, I will be raising the ante on my food drive one day this week to an as yet undisclosed amount. Check back soon.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Monday Morning Quarterback

This isn't about a MMQ. I just wanted to say that. This is probably my only football post so this may be the only time I get to say it.
The Packers played yesterday. And they were on TV. Oh, you didn't hear. I thought surely the whole world had heard. Well it was an exciting event here.
I see you looking at the mess in the background. Stop it.
It isn't a secret that I don't really care for football much. It isn't that I don't like it. I just am not interested. A bunch of grown men strutting around the field knocking each other down doesn't ring my bells. I am pretty sure before we got hitched someone in Jason's family, probably his brother, (Hi Chad) pulled him aside and had a talk with him. He probably said something along the lines of, "You know she isn't like us. She is different. She doesn't like the same things we like." Something like that. I don't know what Jason's response was. But I am sure he was love struck. He was able to look past my obvious faults. That and I can cook. He likes to eat.
I think his family has also come to terms with the fact that I am a non-fan. They don't stop talking when I come in the room anymore. They can see past my issues. They understand that I am a person too. Even if I don't like football or *gasp* the Packers.
Anyway, when the Packers are on TV it is very exciting here. We (read Jason) must prepare. There is much work to be done on game day prior to kick off. We (read Jason) must hunt down his favorite football. This football is far superior to all other footballs in the land. We (read Jason) has to pick out his attire. We (read Jason) must make sure the proper quantity of beverages are made frosty. And then when kick off comes Jason assumes the stance. He will stand in the same spot and sway for three hours. Back and forth, back and fourth. Then when something happens he yells. Unless the kids are asleep. Then he yells very quietly. I call it whisper yelling. You can tell if it was a good or bad thing by the pitch of the whisper yelling.

All this time, I stay as far away as possible. You thought I watched it with him didn't you. Are you nuts? If I went over there he would talk to me about football. Now I ask you, would that be good for anyone? I think not.

I decided today, to poke the beast. I like to live life on the wild side. Who cares that he is twice my size and out weighs me by a good 75 lbs. OK, OK 50 lbs. You didn't have to laugh. That was just mean.
At first he tried to ignore me. But you really can't ignore the annoying woman with the camera for long. I just get more irritating.

The end of the story is the Packers won. Go Packers!! Otherwise this post would not exist. I said I poke the beast, not climb in the cage and smack it around. I do have some self preservation.

I was kidding about my in laws. They have welcomed me from the first moment I met them at Parris Island 10 years ago.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Picture Meme

My mom over at at dlyn found this meme on Cronicles of a country girl's site the other day. You open the fourth folder in your picture file. Then go to the fourth picture in the folder. That is the picture for this meme. Here is mine.
Anna is popular for this Meme. Mom's was of her too. She is sporting the dress my Grandmother made for her this summer. This is not one I would have ordinarily put up here. It is a little dark but still cute.

Here is the best part. You are officially tagged. All who read the meme are obligated to participate. Go search and post you pictures. Don't forget to let me know so I can come and look.
Happy Saturday!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oh The Stink I have Known

Who knew I would do two skunk posts in one week. I never would have guessed.

You remember that line from my post the other day where I said "We took Daisy to the mud room to regroup." So sorry we did that. I think the mud room is going to stink like skunk for the next year. Not only does the room stink but everything in it stinks too.
See these coats. Every one of them needs to be washed. It takes two cycles with vinegar to get the smell out. Ask me how I know that.
Still haven't put the kids Halloween baskets away yet either. Just saying.

Lauren's Birthday gift. Little stinky. It wasn't in the mud room at the time of the incident. Why I put it there in the aftermath I don't know. Dumb, I guess. Lauren, I am sending it anyway. It am sure it will sit on a lot of pallets on open runways between here and there. That will get the funk out. By the time it get to you it will smell like JP8. Like always.
Jason went back to work the other day. His boss made him change his boots because they stunk so back.
These aren't his boots.
Hats, gloves, mittens, scarves and the like all need the vinegar treatment.

Worlds best stroller. Quite stinky. Not sure just what to do with that. I will wash the cover but the frame is bad too. Maybe the vinegar treatment in a bucket with a rag.

Being a stinky family does have advantages. We went to Walmart yesterday. Everyone stayed out of our way. It was great.

I could have just said my mud room is stinky. But don't you think this was more fun.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Rare Event

What is she looking at you ask yourself.

A big brother who, for once, is actually playing nice.
Shocking.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Story

See this dog.

Let me tell you a little story about this dog. You see this dog has a history; a past if you will. She is not very bright. In fact she is down right dumb. In the past we have been able to keep her out of trouble. A quick jerk of the leash here, a strong word there. It wasn't easy but we did it because we are her people.
Last night, Jason went outside to let her in for dinner. He called. Nothing. He called again. Nothing. By now I had come to the door too. I called. Nothing. I told him she might have gotten her lead caught around something. He went down the stairs to investigate. He pulled her lead. It came easy. She wasn't on it. He pulled in her lead with her collar still attached. I panicked. She wasn't there. I rushed back in and got a flashlight and a leash and headed out into the night. I called loud. Nothing. Again. Nothing. Then I heard something. I turned and she was racing for me. Relief filled me. She is a a good dog. I didn't want her hit by a car or anything. You remember, she isn't that bright. I walked her up on the porch and the smell hit me. BAD! BAD! BAD! smell. Skunk but worse. So bad. We took her to the mud room to regroup. I did a quick google search and found this recipe. I mixed. I bathed. I rinsed. I smelled. Still stinky. Not as bad but still there. I am out of ingredients. This morning I am off the the drug store to buy more peroxide. For now she is in her crate in the basement. It stinks down there. Sorry Daisy. You dumb mutt.

BTW, does anyone know of any skunk smell remover besides the old tomato juice trick? The google gods say is doesn't work.

Don't forget about my project for this month. For each and every person who visits my site this month I am giving one nickel to Food For the Poor. Tell everyone you come across to come and spend my money. Thanks for your help.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Reason Mark Gets More Interviews

Anna is very uncooperative.
video
Thanks for all the well wishes for Anna. She is feeling much better. She is eating and sleeping again. And as you can see, she is way fun again. This makes her parents very happy. Don't forget about my project this month. Details below or in the sidebar. I like to give you choices.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Fairy Tale

Food for the hungry charity drive below.

Once upon a time there lived a handsome and very nice little boy,

a beautiful little girl with impossibly long eye lashes,

and a very tolerant cat.

They all lived in a house together. One day the cat became very sick and had to be tucked in on the couch. The little boy said the cat was cold so he covered him up with a blanket and laid beside him.

They laid there together for a long time. The little girl came to investigate.

She brought her screwdriver just in case. A girl must always be prepared.

She deemed all the cat needed was more snuggling. So she helped her brother.

All of the the rest and snuggling did the cat much good. He went to go irritate the mean and evil stepmother.

THE END
Oh, and there was a rather jealous dog in the mix too.

THE END
OK so she wasn't a stepmother but the actual mother. She was mean though. Very very mean.
THE END

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Shameless Blog Promotion

I bet you thought my own. Well actually, I mean this one. I ran across blog this blog this morning. Head on over. She is donating all of her proceeds this month to help the hungry; here and around the world. Food For The Poor is her charity of choice.

OK so I have a teeny bit of self promotion here. As you can see I don't run ads here in heaven. But I want to join in the fun too. I am in the giving spirit. So here is what I have decided to do. For each and every visit to my site during the next 30 days I will give 5 cents to the charity listed above. I don't have huge amounts of hits everyday. So here is what you have to do. Tell your friends. Tell your neighbors. Tell your family. Most importantly tell your bloggy buddies. I will be tracking daily our progress and put the totals in my side bar. Make sure to keep checking back because I may just decide to up the ante near the end of the drive. It is my peice of heaven and we play by my rules. Maybe I will even give a prize away to the person who is the nicest to me. But probably not so don't count on it.


In other news, I took Anna to the doctor yesterday. She has been cutting teeth this week. I initially attributed her unbelievable crankiness to that. But this different. Worse. Much worse. So yesterday we went. My poor baby has a double ear infection. The worst part of all is she is blaming it on me. Really all that is wrong in the world this week is my fault. The good news is the doctor said we should see improvement in a day or two. Right now that seems like a really long time. She is sitting on my lap crying as I write this.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Musician

He is a chef, a composer, a singer, a writer....Whats next?
videoYou will notice his mother was a teeny bit confused during the taping for this film. She was not handed the script before we started.


I hate that this video is so dark. This little musician would not be moved.

Monday, November 3, 2008

How Warm is Your House?

As the weather turns colder, we are starting to turn on our furnace more and more. I love this old house but it is a touch drafty. We are sweat shirt and sweater people. It feels cozy to put on more clothes and cover with a blanket but it is also a way to economize for us. I read somewhere, for every degree you lower you thermostat you save 3% on your heating cost. That is a lot if you lower your thermostat by 5 or 10 degrees. We keep our house at a balmy 62 during the day and 60 at night. I am slowly tricking my family into being comfortable at lower temperatures. About once a week I decrease the temp by one degree. I am hoping we will get to where 60 is comfy for us. We are almost there.
How about you? How warm is your house right now? If you are one of those stinky people down south you probably still have on your air conditioning. You do, don't you? Admit it. Well poo on you.
Kidding! You are still here, aren't you? Because really I was kidding. I love you guys. And when the snow and ice starts to get to me I am going to come and live with you. I will bring my rug rats and my dog and my cat. Jason has to work so he will have to stay here.(Someone has to support my high class lifestyle you know) That would be alright, right? Oh goodie.
Anyway, back to my original question. How warm do you keep your house in the winter? Nice and warm or a little frosty to save some green. I would love to know.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Mail Box

Mark just came up to me and said he wasn't messing with the mail box. In case anyone was wondering, he was the kid NOT playing with the mail box.