Archive for November, 2008

Halloween 2008

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

OH - MY - GOSH!!!! I can’t believe that I forgot to give you all the Halloween update for this year.
Especially after the huge Halloween post on October 22nd! Scary

True to form, Big R came through again this year. It was touch and go for a while, as the alien spaceship had a few “technical difficulties”, but when crunch time came, he pulled out all the stops. All in all I think it was pretty successful. The kids thought his alien outfit was really cool,

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and the spaceship turned out great. The pictures don’t do it justice. You just can’t get the right colors, and details when it’s dark out; at least not with MY camera.

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There were several kids that wanted to be abducted, but their parents wouldn’t sign the consent form. Oh well, better luck next year kids!

And there were a couple of REALLY SCARY characters that came by for a picture with the Alien.

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By the way, Big R bought us MATCHING alien outfits for the occasion. I tried the mask on, but it was hot and stinky, and not at all to my liking. I guess my dedication to all things Halloween just isn’t as strong as his. Sorry dude! I’ll stick to taking pictures and refilling the candy bowl.

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I’m sure he’s already working on what he’s going to do for next year!!!

Stay tuned!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

I hope you all had a great turkey day, filled with friends and family, and dogs, and lots and lots of stuffing!

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November 22nd 1963

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Every year on November 22nd, I recall the day that JFK was assassinated. Just like everyone who was around at that time, I remember it like it was yesterday.

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I was in the 6th grade; Ms. Schuller’s class when it happened. There were only a handful of us that were allowed to go to gym class that afternoon, because we were the only ones that had all of our assignments done. (I didn’t really, but I figured I’d go to gym first and worry about the consequences later. It was one of my favorite things). Half way through gym class we were called back into our classroom. Ms. Schuller was teary eyed.

Our President, John F. Kennedy had been shot and killed in Dallas Texas. It was a moment in which the world stood still. A television was brought into our classroom and together we watched as the grim details of the afternoon unfolded. Then we were finally dismissed.

It was a Friday afternoon, and I remember that my older brother was in the hospital with pneumonia that he got every year due to asthma. It was the worst time of year for him. Being a (probably) pretty typical and selfish 6th grader, I was a little upset that my regular programming was cancelled for the weekend (due to the assassination and all).

The images of John and Jackie riding in the limousine and coming to the grassy knoll in Dallas were shown over and over again.

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I was a kid in Minnesota at the time, and didn’t have the foggiest clue what a grassy knoll was. But I remember the almost unbearably sad images of his children, Caroline and John Jr. staring in disbelief, certainly too young to comprehend what had happened, but sensing that something horrific had happened. And I remember Jackie, showing unbelievable control at the worst moment of her young life. Even as a 6th grader, the emotion of it was all too real.

Seeing John-John salute his fathers flag draped casket was almost too much to bear.

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The horse drawn carriage followed by the family walking in the street was heart wrenching. And I remember the “riderless horse”.

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Then, as if the assassination weren’t enough, there was the drama of Lee Harvey Oswald being shot by Jack Ruby. OMG!!! There was no end to it!!!

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It’s amazing, that even as a 6th grader, the images of that week were seared into my brain.

Do I think that Oswald was the lone assassin? Not a chance. Not that anyone cares what I think. But we will probably never know. Maybe we’re not meant to.

Rest well John. We hardly knew ye!

Stanley Update

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

I have been getting a little worried about Stanley (the spider in the kitchen).
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He’s been disappearing for days at a time, and then showing back up on the kitchen window. I don’t know where he goes; wherever naughty, disobedient spiders go, I guess. I did catch him on the cupboard once, but I cut him a break.

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Then the awful Texas summer finally broke, and I was able to actually open my kitchen window and get some fresh air!!! Yea!! I guess Stanley was hankering for some of the same, because he scooched by the loosely fitting window screen, and has been hanging out by the temperature gage (on the outside of the window) ever since. I mean, he’s been out there for a good 3 weeks!!! (Just so you know - I never ONCE said “hankering” the whole 39 years that I lived in Minnesota).

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He’s there every time I look. Now the weather is starting to get pretty chilly at night, and I’m a little concerned. Some of the temps are dipping into the 40’s and soon will come the 30’s. Each morning I wonder if Stanley will be gone - I have no idea what temps spiders can withstand, and each morning he is near the gage, waiting to greet me. (Don’t worry - I’m not so delusional that I REALLY think he’s there to greet me). But he is there, nonetheless.

This is probably the longest relationship I’ve ever had with a “wild” critter. It’s kind of interesting. He caught a fly one day, without a web being involved - but I will spare you the details. (I actually had a picture of him with the fly in his death grip, but decided to take it down for the squeamish. That’s you Paula!! Probably one or two others as well). The truth is, I’ve kind of grown accustomed to having him around. Don’t ask me why.

So we will continue to leave the window open a crack, in case it gets too brutal out there, and he needs to come back in.

And in the words of Tom Bodett “We’ll leave the light on for you”.

Be safe, my friend!

True Confessions

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Anyone who knows me well at all, knows that I am a lousy housekeeper. It’s not a fact that I’m proud of, believe me. I wish I was better. It’s something I’ve struggled with for years. My sister in law keeps an immaculate house - with 3 kids and a husband, and a dog, and company constantly in and out of the house. It’s just part of who she is. It’s NOT part of who I am. I didn’t get the “good housekeeping gene”. Don’t get me wrong - I’m not saying that she doesn’t work hard at it. She does! But I could work day and night and never have my house half as clean or organized as hers.

As I look around my house - really look, I see scarcely a surface that isn’t piled with crap. It’s one of my biggest vices. Paperwork, and dog stuff - that’s a good share of it. Half the time I really don’t even notice the junk that is piling up. Don’t worry - it’s not one of those houses that has rotting food in the corners, and 4 dumpsters worth of trash - nothing quite that dramatic. But the place could certainly use a good overhaul. I blame my undiagnosed A-D-D for my inability to tackle the job. It seems overwhelming at this point.

So Wednesday, after a grueling night at the E.R. clinic, I decided to unwind by watching Oprah from earlier that day. She just happened to be doing a show on the “Clean Up Your Messy House” Tour - moving across America helping others, just like me, get it together. Peter Walsh is the head dude, helping people clean up and clean out. I felt a little encouraged as I watched him pop in on unsuspecting Americans whose houses looked remarkably like mine - some even a bit worse.

As Peter explained, you do things in small increments. Ten minutes a day, that’s all - and commit to 6 months. Well, of course I had to do the math. That’s about 30 hours of work. And of course, I should see a significant difference by then. So I started a few days ago, and imagine that I should be able to see a pretty big difference within a month. I can’t wait!!!

As his Grandmother said, “What’s the best way to eat an elephant? One bite at a time”. Although I don’t condone the eating of elephants, I get the picture. And I think for me that is the key - don’t look at a whole room, it’s too overwhelming. Just look at one little corner, or one little table, and spend 10 minutes on it. It seems DOABLE that way! I’m Excited!!!!!

Normally, you KNOW I would have taken tons of pictures to share with you, but I’m a little embarrassed by the mess I’ve made so I’ll only share one for now. It’s a table in my office / den. It sits behind the computer table, and as you can see, it’s pretty much unusable. (The fluffy stuff under the table is for the “two terriers” to land on between parties).

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Maybe when I’m done with the project I’ll share more pics, but for now, I just want to challenge anyone else who feels the way I do: that the job is just too big to tackle. They just started this “Clean Up Your Messy House” project, so jump on board. It’s not too late. Peter will send monthly e-mails with tips to make the process easier. It’s painless - I promise!!

Fall in Texas? Could happen!

Friday, November 14th, 2008

I am SO happy that the brutal Texas summer seems to be (finally) over. I’m a Minnesota girl, and fall has always been my favorite time of year. I tease people down here that Texas only has two seasons: summer and winter (if you can really call it that. I dare say that no self respecting Minnesotan would ever call what they have down here “winter”). At any rate, there’s not much spring or fall.

But the temps have finally broken, and it’s been hovering in the 80’s and now even the 70’s for the high. Hell, that’s practically winter right there - for Texas that is. I noticed today that there are even a few trees turning the traditional fall colors. Not many, mind you, but a few. Just enough to make me feel like fall might really happen. So I had to get a couple of pics.

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It’s good dog-walking weather and sitting out on the patio with a glass of wine weather. You have to take advantage of it, because summer is SO stinking long here!!!

I had a couple of the dogs at the park the other day, working on tricks and heeling, and actually said out loud (me, not them) that the weather was absolutely perfect!!!! The dogs totally agreed.

Even though I miss fall in Minnesota terribly, I sometimes will secretly admit (to myself) that I don’t really miss the winters, although they seem to be getting milder lately. I talked to my sister in law today who lives 90 miles from the Canadian border, and she said that the temps were dipping into the 30’s and even the 20’s. Yeah, my 70 degrees sounds pretty good about now, as I sit here in my shorts and T-shirt. I guess I’ll stay awhile. At least for the fall.

Veterans Day

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Today, November 11th is the holiday when we remember and honor our military veterans who have given so much for our country, and for the freedoms that we too often take for granted.

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We honor the present, and the past, the living and the dead.

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We honor those who serve SO far from home, and all the comforts that we enjoy. Many of them just kids.

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We can never repay our fighting men and women for the price they pay for us. But please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, and spend a few minutes giving thanks for what they do and have done for us.

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