Friday, February 24, 2012

Why you should give your kid a camera

Angie has been fascinated by cameras since she was able to grab a hold of one. It's no wonder really, since I love to take pictures (you noticed that did you?) and I especially love to take pictures of her (I have literally THOUSANDS of pictures from just the last 4 1/2 years). So it's no wonder she'll steal my camera if given half a chance. So I bought her her own camera for Christmas when she was 3 1/2 - one of those "kid tough" versions. It's fun to see what interests her. Here are some shots I found on her camera a few months ago...

Aunt Stephanie


It's Shawn the Sheep, it's Shawn the Sheep... 


Mommy, Pink Baby, Anna, Aunt Pat and Blue Baby



Purple Toes!

Big Girl Room!

My Stuff.

My Lamp.

Daddy's Platypus.

My Toes (again)!

As you can see, she's actually pretty good at centering her subject and focusing. All in all, I'm impressed.

I totally recommend parents buy their kids an inexpensive digital camera that's "kid tough". I bought this one for about $25, and it has been worth every penny :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I'm IT!

Admittedly, I don't play tag often. In fact, I have resigned myself to being one of the first victims in the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse because it seems like all of my friends like running, and I do not. My only real hope in that circumstance is to trip one of them...

But I digress...

My friend Amy aka Coffee Lovin' Mom recently tagged me in a post appropriately called "tagurit!" Here are the rules:

  • You must post these rules.
  • Each person must post 11 things about him/herself on their blog.
  • Answer the question the "tagger" listed for you in his/her post, and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
  • Choose 11 people to tag and link them in the post.
  • Let each blogger know that you have tagged them.
These things always sound a lot easier than they are. 

So, here are 11 things about me (gosh... what haven't I already covered??):

     1. I still sleep with a teddy bear when given the chance. Why? This explains it

Sleep With A Teddy Bear
Deviant Art - This is why you always sleep with a Teddy Bear. Why take chances?

     2. I am shy. No, really.
     3. I would live as a hermit if given half a chance.

     4. I was once a promising social media personality. 
     5. I once made the first page of the newspaper... 

     6. I almost failed the fifth grade. Mostly because I was bored.
     7. When last tested, my IQ was 148.
     8. When I was 16 my mom had a mental break down. I expect Angie will give me one much earlier. Any day now...
     9. I read The Lord of the Rings... and didn't like it. Soooo hard to read. I loved the movies though.
     10. I recently listened to Atlas Shrugged on audio book, and then started listening to it over again. So good.
     11. I collect stuffed animals. It's an addiction really.

The questions Amy asked me to answer:

Which room do you spend the most time in?
The family room - it's where our computers are. There's also a television in here, but we rarely watch it.

How big is the closet in your bedroom?
This is one of the best things about our house; we have separate closets! Lenny's is walk-in-size, mine is the length of the wall... I love it. It is HUGE.

A bad picture really... let's just say, there are two doors to it...
Have you ever locked yourself out of the house/car? Do tell.
Yes. Angie and I were headed out to the store and I locked my house/car keys in the house. It was rather anticlimactic though, my parents live next door so I just ran over there to retrieve the spare key.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Um... let me go count them. Forty-seven... and yet some weeks I only wear the same pair every day. Sad.
WomenBrashWomen's Komet Platform Pump
My newest pair of shoes. I love them.

What was your first job?
If I recall correctly, it was at a restaurant clearing tables. 

Who was on your bedroom walls growing up?
Honestly, I don't recall ever having posters of anyone up in my room growing up.

How do you take your coffee? 
With flavored cream, no sugar. Or black.

Did you buy your first car? What was it?
My dad bought me my first car, for $800. It was a 1965 Ford Mustang. It was never a show piece while I owned it, but I loved it. I'm still sad that we sold it. 

What is your favorite adult beverage? Share your recipe. 
I like red wine, out of a box. It's good, try it. My current favorite is Fruity Sangria by Franzia. 

Which record albums do you remember from your childhood?
The one I recall from my childhood is "Free to be you and me". I bought it for Angie and we listen to it some days on the way home from school. Seriously, it's a great album.

How did you get where you are today?
I'm not actually happy with where I am today, so it's not an inspiring story; I am working on that though. What I can tell you is: Never settle. Don't try to run away from your problems, but meet them head on. If you don't, it will come back to bite you in the ass most of the time.

Alrighty then, my victims chosen "tagged" are: 

  1. Matt Conlon of
  2. Kendall of - my very favoritest blog EVER (except yours of course... really)
  3. Corinne of Ode to Blogging - the dearest friend who I've not actually met.
  4. Nicole of the blog she needs to get around to writing dammit... 
  5. Miriam of Dancing with Dragons is Hard on Your Shoes - and soon to be PUBLISHED!! 
  6. Elizabeth of Lizzy Writes - because I miss her all of the time
  7. Tim at - I miss your blog - please come back!!
  8. The ladies at Bitches in the Burbs 
  9. My dear friend Brian Meeks, published author and super nice guy of
  10. Bridget at - one of the smartest and SM savviest people I have met.
  11. You! If you want to be tagged, let me know. I'm sure I have missed a LOT of people :)
OMG this isn't over yet???

Ok, my 11 questions:
  1. Coulda, woulda, shoulda - what do you wish you'd done?
  2. How many pairs of shoes do you have?
  3. Who is your favorite artist, and why?
  4. What did you want to be when you grew up?
  5. Favorite type of M&M?
  6. Bucket List - do you have one? 
  7. 10 years from now, what do you expect social media to be like?
  8. Do you sleep with a teddy bear?
  9. A bra that "adds two cup sizes instantly" - yes or no? 
  10. Do you watch Dexter?
  11. Zombies vs. Unicorns? Who would prevail??
Shew! Well, have fun! Looking forward to your answers. 

I have become a 1950's man...

Lenny was laid off in late June. For six glorious months I had a House Husband. He cooked, he did the shopping, he didn't do all of the housework, but he certainly helped. I should point out that Lenny is Italian, and a very good cook. He also knows how to "balance" meals, something I am not good at.

Money was tight, but life was good.

Then he went and got a job...

The first full day he worked, he came home after six. I met him at the door, "I don't think this is going to work out."

"What? Why? What's wrong?"

"I'm not sure I appreciate this selfish desire of yours to work outside of the home. I had to cook my own dinner!" Obviously I was upset. I mean, have you tried my cooking?

And what did he do? He burst out laughing. The nerve. So, I fed him dinner.

That shut him up. Ha!

It's been about two and half months now. We're limping along. The bills are getting paid, but I've had to suffer my own cooking on far too many evenings. Some nights Lenny will call me to tell me he's on his way home from work and I announce "good, I just started dinner. I'm experimenting!"


"Aren't you excited?"

"Do you want me to pick up something to eat on my way home?"

I remind you, this is his fault. I was quite happy having a House Husband, but noooo he wanted to have a job.

He still makes my lunch for me, complete with snacks to eat for breakfast at work and throughout the day, but when I come home I like to have a nice meal waiting for me. Who doesn't?

Then last week, I called out to the garage where he was working on his bike after getting home. "Um hun, where's my romantic Valentine's Day dinner?" I asked.

"You know, I was talking to one of the guys at work and he suggested that maybe I already do too much for you... and if I do things for you all of the time it's not as special," he offered.

The nerve. "Oh really? Haven't I told you not to talk to your 'friends' about these things? That guy probably doesn't have a happy relationship. In fact, I bet he's destined to die unhappy and alone. Besides, it's always special."

Lenny appeared to agree, but we ended up eating leftovers for dinner.

I'm keeping an eye on him.

So, my goal in life is now to make enough money that my husband doesn't have to work outside of the home. I'm not sure I like this new crowd he's around...

Oh, and he's incredibly handsome too. It's best to keep him home all to myself :)

Yes, I am incredibly blessed :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Horseradish Incident of 2012

This is the tale of three bottles of horseradish.

Bottle #1 had been living in the refrigerator for a few months, half full. At some point the top came off of it and much of the horseradish's bite had faded by the time it was replaced. Past its "best by" date, but hey... it's horseradish, it found happiness in first my belly and then my husband's mixed with steak sauce and sopped up with delicious tri-tip steak. I added so much horseradish to my steak sauce that it would have easily counted as a vegetable serving.

Wait... is horseradish a vegetable?

Oh well, no matter...

Within a short period of time, Bottle #1 was empty and we moved on to Bottle #2, which was also half full. The difference was immediately noticeable and the ratio of horseradish to steak sauce was immediately modified. However this bottle was also past its "best by" date and we still added liberal amounts of horseradish to our steak sauce.

No, I have no idea how/why we ended up with two half full bottles of horseradish in the fridge...

Before long we were out of horseradish, so my husband purchased two more bottles of Beaver Brand Extra Hot Horseradish - which, by the way, is very yummy...

Note: My husband refused to pose with the bottle.
So once again it was steak night. Lenny spooned out a liberal helping of horseradish and mixed it with some steak sauce, coated a piece of steak with the mixture and popped it in his mouth.

Immediately his chair shot back about a foot as he gripped the table and croaked "Oh My God!"

I did what anyone would do... I laughed.

"Not funny!" he choked out, bolting to the sink with tears in his eyes.

I thought he'd run to the sink to spit the steak out, but no he later explained after gulping down a full glass of water, he thought he was going to have a NOSE BLEED from the strength of the horseradish. He told me his upper lip hurt, from the inside where it attached to his nose.

I was, of course, still chuckling and eating my horseradish in moderation for the rest of the meal. He told me I wasn't nice to laugh, but I retorted... and these are words to live by my friends...
If you're going to laugh about it later, you may as well laugh about it now.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weighing In

One of the (many!!) differences I have noticed between men and women is weighing ourselves.

For example: I only weight myself first thing in the morning, completely nude, after going to the bathroom, with dry hair - sometimes I will even take my watch off, you know, just in case it adds a little bit of weight.

On the other hand, my husband will weigh himself at night, fully dressed, wearing work boots, after dinner... then the next morning prior to taking a shower he'll jump on the scale and look astonished at his miraculous weight loss from the night before... which he promptly writes off saying "well, I did just poop" and then merrily goes about his day.

Me, I'm still agonizing that he weighted less than me the prior night... *sigh*

My goal weight: 2 pounds less than him, whatever that may be.

It's a good thing I love him so much :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

More books that make me look forward to driving

So very sorry to have taken SUCH a long hiatus from my blog. There really is no excuse...

As I mentioned in my earlier Books that make me look forward to driving post, I drive two hours a day. I have all but stopped reading actual books, because I have discovered something wonderful... listening to audio books allows you to multitask - something you can't really do while holding a book. For example, my newest favorite thing to do is to put together a puzzle while listening to a book and enjoying a glass of wine.

Really, it doesn't get much better than that... relaxing, yet mentally stimulating.

So grab a puzzle - my most recent one was this... Early to Rise by Darrell Bush... I love this picture

And grab one of these books. The books themselves are fantastic, whether you listen to them on audio or not... 

 The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins - This is the first book of a trilogy, all of the books are out though, so you can go ripping through them - and you will. I am looking forward to seeing Katniss on the big screen as well. If you didn't know, these books are being made into movies. The books are always better though (with few exceptions) so read the books now, before you see the film.

 Divergent by Veronica Roth - This book is technically a young adult book, but don't let that dissuade you from listening to/reading it. Wow... fantastic novel, and the first of a trilogy. They're not all out yet, so if you don't want to be like me and chomping at the bit for the next installment (coming in May!!) you can put this on your "to read" list. This book is very similar in tone to the Hunger Games series - post-apocalyptic world with a young, female lead.

 A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness - This is the first book of The All Souls Trilogy (are you seeing a pattern here??). The second books is due out in July. Ms. Harkness is a history scholar, and it shows in her writing. In the world she creates witches, vampires and daemons are real, among us and take great pains not to call attention to themselves. She'll have you believing it before you are a quarter of the way into the book. This book has it all - history, mystery, suspense and romance. I can't wait to read the others!

 The Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger - Soulless is the first of this series; which is currently up to four published books - the next one is due out March 1st(!!). These books are laugh out loud funny! I love, love, LOVE Alexia! This series is populated with dramatic vampires and sexy werewolves and a writing style that will delight you from beginning to end. This is my first foray into "Steam Punk" books - but I loved every moment of it! Also, you should check out her webpage ( - also fantastic!

 Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder - Another trilogy... ok, I admit it, I love series books. I think I mentioned this before, I have a passion for series books. Once I find characters I liked, I hate to let go of them. Some of my best friends have been characters in novels. One of those friends would be Yelena, who is offered the position of food taster rather than be executed. Over the three books you'll explore Yelena's past, present and future in a world filled with magic, intrigue and mystery.

That's all for now. I have other books to recommend, but they just don't fit well with these. These ladies, both the characters and the authors, made me laugh, they drew me into their worlds and they left me wanting more. What more could you ask for?