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Friday, January 30, 2009

Bacon Bits

Ever since I decided to substitute in our own town so I could try to get a job locally, I have been earning a pittance. My husband handed me a check that came in the mail for me today so I could sign it. He announced, "Here is some bacon." We always call my check bacon, it is just our thing. I complained, "It is so not bacon, it is barely bacon." You know what he said, right? "It's Bacon bits babe."

My favorite Joke EVER!

Two pieces of string walk into a bar and the bartender looks at them suspiciously. He says "Sorry, boys, we don't serve your kind here." So the pieces of string walk out again.

They're sitting in the gutter outside and feeling really thirsty when one piece of string says "Hey! I've got an idea to get me into the bar."

So he starts twisting and turning, wriggling this way and that, pulling out a few threads here and there. His mate's looking at him and thinks he's gone completely nuts.

Then the piece of string walks back into the bar. The bartender looks at him a little suspiciously again and says "Here, you're not a bit of string, are you?"

The piece of string replies "No, I'm a frayed knot

kidisms

This list will be continually updated and reposted, as each day goes by there are always funny things that happen in a school.

Misunderstandings

Teacher says, "Were going to be ahead of the game."
First grader whispers to himself, "What game?"

Things I never thought I would hear myself say:
Teacher: Keep your teeth to yourself, please."
"Let go, he is going to need his head."

Teacher asked first grade class what it meant to get up on the wrong side of the bed, she was going over idiomatic expressions. One first grade student replied,"I can't get up on the wrong side of the bed, I sleep in the corner."

Teacher asked during health lesson, " What happens when you don't eat your lunch?"
One student replied, "You won't have to go to the bathroom and waste it."

Teacher asked during review of emotions, "How do you feel about someone who messes with your things? Have you ever felt angry? How did you handle it?"
The first -grader nodded," When my sister was zero years old and I made nice and I didn't hit her in the face."

"Have you ever heard of a fuse?" The teacher asked the class.
"I'm confused!" yelled out a little boy.


Disgusting Moments
Today a first grader sitting next to me ate his booger. He didn't just eat his booger, he dug it out of his nose, ignored my protests to get a tissue, dangled it like a juicy gummy worm above his mouth, and sucked it off his finger. I made him go spit it out and he just did the same thing over and over all afternoon. Don't kids run out of boogies eventually? Meanwhile, another student picked his nose so badly, he had a nosebleed that just wouldn't stop.

Funny things you never thought students would do:
You know how teachers used to tie students to chairs, I think that happened to my sister in catholic school when she was 6. Anyway, it is probably every teacher's dream to tie down that hyper student just once to see if they can sit still. Today a student was tied to a chair, but this was self-inflicted tying. He took his sweatpants' waistband and tied it so tight around the back of the chair, that we couldn't get it off for ten minutes. We considered cutting it off, but then his pants would have fallen down. I finally took my knitting needle to it and he was released. We discussed how dangerous it was. Imagine a fire drill and us having to drag student and chair out the door...

Cute Moments
The first grade class was predicting which team would win the Superbowl in 2009. One students wanted to know which team beat the Philadelphia Eagles, when he found out it was the Cardinals, he chose the Pittsburgh Steelers because he was mad at the "...Mean birds that beat the Eagles."

Teacher said, "Write the spelling words without looking at the board." Two First-grade students closed their eyes and wrote the spelling words.

My son said yesterday, " Stop raining on my thunder."

Awful things you never thought students would do:
Middle school boy takes photos of little kids going to the bathroom.
Middle School girl takes photos of self in underwear on her bed and posts them on myspace.com
Middle school student piercesa nother student's tongue at lunch (blood everywhere)
A 7th grader throws out a perfectly good 7th grade friend, like in the actual garbage , films it and posts it on youtube.

Souperbowl Sunday


Today in school we had the best time sampling each other's soups. Each teacher brought in her specialty soup or chili along with copies of her recipe.
The school smelled delicious. Looking around I wondered that no one had thought to use those wonderful crockpot bags my sister Pinky had told me about. You simple put the crockpot bag in , add your ingredients, cook, serve, and when you are finished, lift the bag out. no cleaning necessary. As you may know sinks are few are far between in school, and teachers trying to clean out their crockpots in those little faculty room kitchens are funny. I have witnessed a few broken crockpots in my time. Or they just take the home to clean them out, and by then, the soup is caked all over the inside. The bags are lifesavers and worth every penny. This is one area I do not recommend going thrifty on.

Here is the soup recipe that won the day.
I personally make cream of Potato Soup and my recipe is different than this one.

Christie's Delicious Baked Potato Soup


4 large baked potatoes 2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
6 cups milk, whole or 2% 3;4 tsp. Salt
~ tsp. pepper
4 green onions, chopped
12 slices bacon, fiied and crumbled 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 (8 oz.) cup sour cream
1 package kielbasa, cooked and chopped
Cut potatoes in half. Scoop out pulp and place in a small bowl.
Melt butter in large pot. Add flour.
Gradually stir in milk. Continue to stir until smooth, thickened, and bubbly.
Stir in potato pulp, kielbasa, salt, pepper, and three-quarter~ of the onions, bacon, and cheese.
S. Cook until heated. Stir in sour cream.
Transfer to slow cooker set on low. Top with remaining onions, bacon, and cheese.
Take to a potluck, or serve on a buffet table straight from the cooker.
Variation:
Add slices of Velveeta cheese to make soup extra cheesy and creamv.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What is the root word?


I was helping my son study for his spelling test. I asked him to spell lawyer.
He replied, "l..o..y..e..r."
I asked him to try again. This time he answered, "l..o...w...y...e...r..."
I shook my head and questioned, "What is the root word in lawyer?"
"LOY"
"What is a loy?" I asked?
He sighed and firmly spoke, "It's what lawyers do!"

Too funny.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Knitting & Crocheting Club - Beginnings

BubbleShare: Share photos - Easy Photo Sharing

These photos are from our first meeting, our meet and greet night at Casciano Coffee Bar and Sweetery. We had 18-20 people show up, some brought their sons and daughters, others brought friends and family. It was such a nice evening, and we had a good mix of beginner and master knitters. What a great way to spend a winter evening, we shared our projects, taught each other, and ripped out stitches as necessary. I thought that the awful weather would be a deterrent, but apparently, that IS the best time to get out. We took over the back half of the coffee shop and we might not have been able to do this if it was more crowded. I can count my New Year's Resolution to learn how to knit a success! Well, I will actually count it a success when I have finished the scarf I am knitting for my daughter. It is for Valentine's Day, so I have a definite deadline.
I think the best part of the evening was realizing that sometimes people need a just a little push to do something, or continue with a hobby they enjoy. There were a few women who brought projects that had been languishing away in closets. I learned how to knit a few days before our Meet and Greet and felt like I had to bring in something substantial. I had over a foot of scarf completed, so I felt good about it until I saw the two ten year olds complete that much during our meeting. Others took needles in hand for the very first time and promised to come back at our bi-weekly get-togethers.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thrifty Tips #7- Pull-ups and Panty Liners

My dogs wear pull-ups with panty liners in them when they are in heat. I use one pull-up per dog with a liner inside, change the liner 1-2 times a day based on usage and they are still allowed to roam throughout the house and interact with us and each other. We had tried all the expensive items Petsmart had for dogs, and none of them fit to our satisfaction. One pull-up makes it through the entire heat period if non of the other dogs get ahold of it. After all, dogs will be dogs. If there is a problem with fit, we just use clips to tighten them, or we have stapled them shut with the staples facing up. They slip on and off dogs for outside walks, and they look really cute. My husband prefers the pull-ups with the velcro sides, I prefer the pull ons if we can find just te right size. we use 2-3T on our raging schnauzers.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thrifty Tips # 6 --Banana Bread

My local market always has a box of bananas for free that have gone "bad" actually they are perfect for banana bread. Just take home the free bananas, peel and freeze them for the next time you need to make bread, or make many loaves at once and freeze. This idea is thanks to Pinky who got me freezing my ripe bananas in the first place to eliminate the fruit flies.

google verify

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Cheat the Cheat


My son has a diabolical plan the cheat the cheat at Guitar Hero. On performance mode, he plans on playing a song perfectly without the notes, to do this he must first videotape the note on expert level, then play this on a small screen while playing performance mode. What a cheater. I was disappointed, I would feel so much better if he memorized the song and THEN played it perfectly.

I could never understand the cheat books, cheat websites and action replay cheat-code plug ins. Isn't the whole purpose of playing the game to actually beat someone or the levels? I guess it doesn't matter how we do it, as long as it is done. I haven't let him buy the books for the video games until after he beats them since he started reading, so he could go back to do all the things he missed. It did help him to hone his reading skills since he really wasn't into chapter books all that much in the first and second grade. We have to think about the message we are sending. If kids know they can juts go to the internet to get cheat strategies, they will never struggle to figure out the games on their own. I know this has been happening since video games were developed, but it is the dark side of the whole gaming world.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Defcon 6?

I was listening to a friend today talk about how they were woken up at 2:20 a.m. by their carbon monoxide alarm. She lives alone and was so scared that she called the police and fire department. The firefighters showed up along with the police officers and she waited in her jammies in the car. After a few minutes, they informed her that the battery was low and she needed to replace it. They didn't have any on hand so off she drove to the local convenience store to get some more. The funny thing is is that she saw a Lb on her alarm for a few days and thought it meant security level 6, not low battery. I don't feel so bad anymore about losing my figure, eyesight, hearing, and brain, after all, she is not yet 30.

The New Black

OK, I know I have been lazy, I have had nothing creative to say for 2 or three days. Yesterday I went to a job interview for a position that I was way overqualified for. In this economy, overqualified is the new black. I have no idea if I will get the job or not; I assume everyone who applied for it was just as overqualified as me. I hate interviews, I hate writing follow up thank you's because there is always one person in the room who I do not know the name of and I have to jump through hoops to get their name after I have forgotten it. That is my quandary or quest today, find the person's name. I forgot it 10 seconds after it was said to me. I ALWAYS do this and I should just start taping my interviews clandestinely in order to save myself this grief.

I go over and over questions that I may be asked beforehand, and I never get asked those questions. I get asked completely different questions. I always think that I have handled them all well, but I am biased. I just hope I have better luck this time around. I am not serving fries yet, but it is coming. Of course, I may not even be qualified for that job anymore, I have been out of the food business for over 10 years. I would probably be pushed to the bottom of the applicant pool.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Asking a lot from pudding


My daughter asked if she could have a pudding, I reassured her, "Of course, you can have a pudding, I bought you butterscotch at the can-can sale."
She replied, "I know, but I had tapioca last time, maybe I will have the butterscotch...which flavor has the least fat?"
I answered, "Maybe the Chocolate, but I think all three are non-fat puddings."
"Which one is better for me?" She persisted.
"They are pudding, none of them are better than the others," I explained carefully.
She sighed and inquired, "Well, which is better for my skin?"
"I think you are asking a lot of the pudding, " I sputtered. She laughed and went to get us both one.
Wow, my skin feels better already, I should stop buying that expensive moisturizer.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Latest Candy Punk Accessory

Going to be making this craft next because I just shortened and hemmed my nephew's blue jeans and we have plenty of denim left over. I have to go to the Walmart to get the snaps, but I think My way is easier, I just use printable iron on sheets and iron the design onto old t-shirt fabric and cut it out. I don't do all that bubble jet soaking stuff. That is like 4 unnecessary steps.

Stop Buying Gold?

The only way to get the miners to stop using mercury is to stop buying gold. I have been watching the reports on the internet and listening to NPR's exhaustive coverage of the mining practices in China and Indonesia. It makes me sick that all this mercury pollution is over a few grams of gold. Honestly, I will personally never buy anything gold ever again without wondering how many people died or got sick from mercury poisoning. It is a cruel decision to make. After all, mining is a job that pays for families that would die without an income. Either way these people lose... All that glitters...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thrifty Tips # 5 --Green Cleaning Solutions

POACHED from Clarisse's Financial Notebook Check out her site, great stuff for Thrifty moms.



Cleaning Wipes
Use a round plastic container, drill hole in lid about 1/2 inch, get an ex large roll of good paper towels cut in half to make two small rolls (leave plastic covering on while doing this, electric knife works best doing this)! Place one of the small rolls in plastic container save the other for later as a refill.
Cleaning solutions

General Surface Cleaning
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups water

Window and Glass Cleaning
1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Which ever one you pick or if you decided to use other half of paper towel roll in separate container. Pour one solution on top of the roll in the container. Place lid on container, allow paper towels to absorb the solution for 4 hours to overnight. Open storage container and take out the wet cardboard tube from the center of the paper towel roll and toss. Now thread the inside of the paper towel roll where the card board was through the hole in the lid and close lid. After awhile paper towels may dry out, if so add more of the solution and let sit overnight before using again!


Homemade Veggie Wash
1 tablespoon lemon juice to 2 tablespoons of baking soda with one cup of water. Put mixture in spray bottle. Wash veggies and fruits all them to sit for a few minutes then wipe. You can also use this mixture to let kids help clean kitchen (play only)!

Homemade Spray Cleaner
Mix in spray bottle
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
use in kitchen and bathrooms. Allow to stand 10-15 min on shower walls before scrubbing then rinse!

Furniture Polish
Mix in spray bottle
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
Shake well spray small amount onto cleaning cloth.

Clean and sharpen Garbage Disposal
Add ice cubes into disposal along with lemon juice and turn it on and let it sharpen and clean away!

No-Wax Floor Cleaner
1 cup vinegar to a gallon of water

Wood Panel Cleaner
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup vinegar
2 cups warm water
Wash with a soft cloth and then dry

Wood floor cleaner
Quarter cup of Apple Cider Vinegar to a Gallon of water

To Remove Stickers
Moisten with vinegar and let it sit for about 10 minutes and then remove

Spills on Carpet
Soak up as much as the spill as you can. Spray mixture of half vinegar and half water. Let sit for 2 minutes then blot. Repeat if needed.

For Persistent Stains on Carpet (after you try the above Carpet Cleaning)
Use a mixture of 1 teaspoon vinegar 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap and 1 cup warm water.

Clean windows
Spray half vinegar and half water, wipe clean

Glass Cleaner II
CLUB SODA! If you're not a big fan of the vinegar used in many glass cleaning recipes, use either flat or fresh club soda. Works FANTASTICALLY at getting your glass and windows sparkling clean, and it's a frugal option too. Just pour it into a spray bottle and use as you would any glass cleaner.

Clean Silver, Pewter, Copper, or Brass
Dissolve 1 teaspoon salt in one cup of water. Add flour to create a past (1/4 cup or more) Apply the paste to the metal item and let stand for at least 15 min. Rinse with warm water and polish with soft cloth.

Build up on faucets
Use mixture of one part salt to four parts vinegar

Help prevent mildew on shower curtain
Spray with vinegar

Clean Pipes and Clogs
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup vinegar
Let mixture bubble and then rinse with warm water. Do not use on garbage disposals.

Microwave Cleaner
1/2 cup vinegar
1 cup water
place in microwave safe bowl and cook in microwave till it starts to boil. Then scrub clean.

Coffee and Tea Stains on China
Use mixture of vinegar and salt

Clean Sponges
Soak in water with lemon juice and vinegar, microwave for 1 1/2 minute (keep wet or the will burn)

Bleach Alternative
1/2 cup 3 percent hydrogen peroxide in the rinse cycle.
or 1/2 cup lemon juice in the rinse cycle.
Hang clothes in sun, sun is a natural bleacher.

Hand Sanitizer Gel
1/2 cup aloe vera gel
1/4 cup 99% rubbing alcohol
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon fragrance oil, optional
Mix ingredients together.Pour into a pump-style bottle or a squeeze bottle.Use a quarter sized dollop and rub hands together. Wipe residue off of hands with a paper towel.

Garbage Can Deodorizing
1 teaspoon tea tree oil
1 cup baking soda
Mix and work out all the lumps with a fork. Sprinkle in bottom of pail after liner is removed.

Daily Shower Cleaner
In a 32 oz spray bottle, pour in 8 oz of rubbing alcohol, then top it off with water. After spray the walls and shower curtain. You won't have to rinse.


Cleaning your Coffee Maker with Vinegar
Pour a few cups of plain white vinegar into your coffeemaker (withOUT any coffee grounds) and let the machine run through as usual. Then run through with plain water to get entirely rid of any lingering vinegar. The acidic vinegar will work fantastically well to clean your coffeemaker from the inside out.

Antiseptic Spray with Tea Tree Oil
3 tablespoons liquid soap
20-30 drops tea tree oil
2 cups water
Mix in spray bottle and apply. Uses natural tea tree oil - a fantastic natural antiseptic!

Automatic Dishwasher Soap
1/2 cup liquid Castile soap
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 drops tea tree extract (or oil)
1/4 cup white vinegar

Store in squeeze bottle. Use 2 tablespoons per wash in a standard size dishwasher.

Do not substitute conventional liquid soap for the Castile unless it is a 'low sudsing' soap. Regular soaps will produce too many suds and overflow the dishwasher.

Dishwasher Rise
Use 1 teaspoon corn starch in the rinse cycle. All comes out clean & crystal clear.
Or just use white vinegar.

Oven cleaner
Ketchup, yeap plain old ketchup!

Make homemade cleaning products antibacterial, add a few drops of tea tree oil.

Stain Remover for Clothes
1/4 Cup Borax or Washing Soda
2 Cups Cold Water
Sponge on and let dry, or soak the fabric in Borax mixture before washing in soap and cold water.

You can also use these products alone to remove stains:
Plain White Vinegar
Hydrogen Peroxide
Fels Naptha
Castile Soap
Try also a cream of tartar and water paste for stains. Rub on the spots, allow too dry, and wash as usual.

Laundry Softener
2 Cups White Vinegar
2 Cups Baking Soda
4 Cups Water

Combine slowly and carefully over sink. The baking soda and vinegar will fizz. Pour into plastic bottle, cover, and shake. *Hint - Reuse your "Downy" bottle. Use 1/4 cup in the final rinse or in a "Downy Ball".
Or just use plain oh white vinegar!

Homemade air/fabric freshener spray
1 c. vinegar
1 c. water
1/2 tsp vegetable glycerine
1/2 tsp essential oil of your choice
Makes enough for a 16 oz bottle.
Place in a spray bottle and shake well. The glycerine emulsifies the E.O. so it doesn’t sit on top of the water. You can double this recipe for a 32 oz bottle. Vinegar is suppose to be excellent for smoke odors too.

Laundry Detergent

Recipe 1
I have been using, 1/2 cup to 1 cup baking soda to wash our clothes...and I use white vinegar in downy ball to the line...that's it...works great!!

Use peroxide in the wash or mix a paste of baking soda and peroxide and let it set on the stain..this is a poormans oxyclean!
I will also list some other recipes though.

Recipe 2
2 gallons hot water, one bar soap grated (use Fals-Naptha, Ivory, Sunlight, Castile or Zote all bar soaps no heavy perfume bar soaps), 2 cups baking soda
Melt grated soap on saucepan with enough hot water to cover. Cook on medium low heat, stir frequently until soap is melted. Then add the baking soda, stir well. Use 1/2 cup per full load or 1 cup for very soiled load.

Recipe 3
12 cups grated castile soap
12 cups boiling water
1 cup baking soda
2 teaspoons of lavender essential oil or oil of your choice.
In a large 2 gallon stainless pan, mix soap and water. Simmer for 15 minutes, stir often. Add the rest of ingredients, cool and use 1 cup for each load. This also works well for general cleaning. Make sure to use the vinegar in the rinse with this one.

Fresh Carpet Mix
2 cups of baking soda
1-2 drops of essential oil
Mix the baking soda and the essential oil drop/s together. Be sure that it is very well mixed. Since you will only be using one to two drops of essential oil, the mixture does not get much damper than regular baking soda. Simply sprinkle the mixture on your rugs and carpets. Let set for a few minutes and vacuum up the mixture.


These are totally poached many times removed from the web. I am putting them here, in case I cannot find them again.

LIke This Song

I like this song, don't much care what slideshow is playing. When I look up the translation, the lyrics are a bit wild so I won't post them here.



Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thrifty tips #4 Can Can Sale & Consumer Reports Calendar

Shop-rite's Can Can sale starts this Sunday, January 11th. Have to track this to see if it is the same dates every year.
Consumer reports puts out this calendar to track sales during each year.
Update: Can Can sale is every January and Every July.

The times, they-are-a-changing...


Last night when the local transformer blew leaving us without electricity, my husband ran around with the flashlight while I ran around with my ipod Touch. It has a flashlight app that is really bright. I was able to find a few candles and blind myself when I unwittingly turned it towards my eyes. My daughter was using the glow of her Nextel to get up and downstairs and of course we used our cell phones to call the electric company. After all my complaining that candles are the worst Christmas present ever, and after throwing away all the ones whose smells I just couldn't take anymore, I discovered that I had complained away and discarded all my emergency candles except a few tea lights. I need to restock the emergency kit, seriously! Should I put candles and matches in it or prepaid cell phones that double as light sources?
Thank god for technology, or we would have been in the dark. Oh, the open netgear signal we sometimes use when our internet goes down is now encrypted. BUMMER! I guess they are changing with the times too.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention, when I called the electric company the lady asked if anything unusual was going on. I told her that my husband was doing unusually well on his wiiplay video game when the power went out. He had 10 tanks and probably fried the transformer. It was all I could think of when she asked me. Then I remembered it WAS raining and very windy outdoors, so I added that information.

Sometimes Green Living Bites

This morning as I stood on the stoop to watch my son get on his bus, I noticed that I was wearing two different colored socks, one blue and one black. The energy-saving bulbs in my house provide a ghastly light that does not enable me to distinguish the difference between the two. I need sunlight or real light bulbs in order to see colors properly. Remember Elaine from Seinfeld who stocked up on the sponge birth control when it went off the market? I am going to have to do the same with incandescent bulbs or I may just have to give up ever matching socks again.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Thrifty Tips #3

Checking those greys? Don't need a full dye, just need a touch up? Do not spend money on ONE touch up kit, it doesn't make any sense to spend almost as much as you would use on a full head of hair. I buy one full dye kit and use the ratio on the box to make little batches for touchups. whatever the weight or volume is, I just halve or thirds it. If you have a kitchen scale you can squeeze the amount of color right onto a bit of wax paper to weigh it, or you can eyeball and just squeeze out one third of the tube and mix it in with a third of the developer. I use a separate, reusable squeeze bottle to mix this in. I just save it from the last dye kit. No need to buy anything special. I also reuse the gloves after dying.

There is enough dye to make three full touch-up applications in one dye kit, and the color will be true-er because it came from the same dye lot. There is always plenty of conditioner left over, just don't use it all. If you have a lot of hair that needs touching up, use 1/2 the solution. NO ONE CAN TELL YOU DYED YOUR HAIR FROM A BOTTLE INSTEAD OF A SALON, unless of course, you really mess up and choose a shade that will not integrate well. I always reserve a bit from the touch-up solution to pull through to the ends, just in case the touch up is way darker or lighter than the original shade. You would not have enough to do this from a regular touch-up kit, they really barely give you enough to cover the roots. It does take longer to process than a quick touch-up kit but it is worth saving $15, doncha think?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Thrifty Tips #2

Batteries are on sale at Radio Shack this week, stock up while you can! They are 1/2 off. I know short post, but If I keep track of all the sales during this year, I know when to buy items next year instead of wasting my money. I am going to add pages to my price book for each month and put in the things that are on sale in my town and local area by month. It won't help this year, but it will help next year. Oh, I guess I should mention that I started the price book, little three ring binder I keep in purse would work well, for now it is on my ipod touch. Had the idea from Jenn Fowler at Frugal Upstate, who by the way had her first radio show this evening FrugalCoast 2 Coast on BlogTalkRadio. She is full of ideas and I plan on implementing a lot of them. Thanks Jenn!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Who'd you buy that gift for anyway?

Talk about buying gifts for our kids that we really want for ourselves… I was inspired by David Niall Wilson- a dad who blogs at Dad-o-Matic, my comment has turned into a mini post.
I bought a doll for my daughter for her first christmas, a beautiful blond one I named Amydoll. My daughter never played with it once, even though I handed it to her on many occasions. She would push it off her bed onto the floor to get burned by the radiators.My friends who knew me from that period in my life will tell you that Amydoll was the safest place to hide my contraband cigarettes in the car, because my daughter never touched her.

I still kept that black-footed doll and 13 years later she lives in the very back of my daughter’s closet. She is no longer dressed in the $50.00 dress that I bought for her in a children’s store, she is all tarted up with nailpolish for eyeshadow and an outfit I sewed for another doll. Her hair, which I used to condition and brush, is now cut off. I used to pack her everyday along with my daughter’s diaper bag when she went to mom-mom’s house. My daughter never touched her until she entered her experimental phase with makeup and scissors. As you can see, she is missing some hair now.
Amydoll was the doll I always would have wanted as a little girl. My daughter enjoyed stuffing legos into the VCR.
Now my 13-year-old daughter is my Amydoll, I enjoy taking her shopping, messing with her hair, and taking her to the salon for pedicures. She is so much more fun to play with than Amydoll, who never actually thanked me.

99 Things I May or May Not Have Done

This is a fun little meme that I grabbed from Expat Mom. All you do is bold the things you`ve done.

1. Started your own blog - or two or three . . .
2. Slept under the stars - a few times on the roof
3. Played in a band - sang with a band
4. Visited Hawaii -
5. Watched a meteor shower - once
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland - several times
8. Climbed a mountain -
9. Held a praying mantis -
10. Sang a solo- hated it
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch - watercolor, pencil drawing . . .
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning -
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables - yes!
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train -
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked - don't tell my kids
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill - those are called “mental health” days.
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb -
26. Gone skinny dipping- again don't tell my kids
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset - It`s been a while, though.
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight - my best memories of my twenties
46. Been transported in an ambulance - bad reaction to Comtrex
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling- best time ever!
52. Kissed in the rain - ooh la la!, you bet!
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater - as a five year old and as a teenager
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class -
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies- 200 cases!
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check-My first mortgage payment- never give your hubby the mac card!
68. Flown in a helicopter Loved it, but it was hot and loud!
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial Beautiful!
71. Eaten Caviar- too many times to count- miss the good stuff though.
72. Pieced a quilt - just a square, does that count?
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job- both times by complete idiots.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone - my toe
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle - behind John Roman, my legs got numb after 20 minutes
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car- what a waste
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eatingdo fish count?
88. Had chickenpox - when I was 3!
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one - several, in fact
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee - on my eye!

Play along if you like!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Camera Sweater- Vat a day!


Today was very busy, we made curtains for my daughter's room out of other curtains and scarves and then my daughter asked me to make her a camera case. I didn't get too nervous, after all there are patterns on the internet for just about anything. Here's the rub, she wanted it made out of recycled sweater material to match the leg warmers I made her last week. CandyPunk strikes again!

Taking a deep breath, and silently cursing myself for saying yes in the first place, I got out the trusty old laptop and found a pattern from the Crafters Community. Back to that later. I found said sweater material and a suitable interior fabric that would be sturdy enough to protect the camera. After all, we are not trying to keep it warm, cozy, and fashionable, we are trying to protect it, right? I dug around in the button tin full of vintage glass buttons from the 50's-70's, yes, back in the 1900's, remember them? I managed to find a cute button to dress up the Camera Sweater.
Only thing that could have made this cuter would be if I made the whole thing look like a little sweater, with arms and everything. Didn't think of it in time though. Anyway, I was following the pattern, everything was going well, until I hit a SNAG; I just couldn't understand the directions anymore. So, I improvised and it turned out well, I will use a different pattern next time. I will also use anything but sweater material, to hard to work with and the top stitching barely shows at all. So if you have a good pattern, send it to me. Why would there be a next time? Because now my son wants one and he already has a camera case. Oh vell. Here are pics!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Pandora's Box Opens

Today was a revealing day. I was on the phone with my dad and he had a lot to say. At first it was interesting, I was finding out where my grandparents worked and what they did for a living. Then the conversation shifted to my grandfather in particular and how he was cheating on my grandmother. Apparently, he had the girl he worked with call him at my mom's house. After my grandmother started to get suspicious she asked my parents if they knew anything and they lied to her. What a blow. That's what happened after she had 7 kids and worked a full time job, her kids and husband turn on her. Beautiful. I was better off not knowing. Unfortunately, that was not all that the gods had hidden in the box, I had to listen again to the tale of the divorce my parents went through when I was three. It really didn't sound like either parent wanted my sister and I after they split up. I guess at heart I always knew, but when little details got revealed, the picture became much clearer. So disappointing and so not necessary to know. What a bunch of lying, cheating, self-involved jerks.

Raging Schnauzer with Terrets


My dog has Teretts Syndrome today. Seriously, she keeps barking at nothing, little woofs, big woofs, singing woofs, and whining woofs. I do not know what to make of it. I have checked all the appliances, the blinds are now all closed and no one has knocked on the door in three hours. She just keeps going on and on. It seems that the pressure of cars passing by on the street is getting to her. It is her hot-button issue. She doesn't even need to see them through the blinds anymore, today she just hears any engine and cannot control herself. She is just emitting little barks every 30 seconds. Someone hit her bark button and it stuck.

Family Dreamcatcher

There are two strong dreamers in my house, my son and I. My son dreams every night, and I dream when I get more than five hours of sleep. In other words, not very often. My son gets up every morning and immediately wants to share his dreams with me before he even brushes his teeth. I am always having to send him away until he is clean and fresh, but he never forgets his dream while he brushes. Mine slip away if I do not write them down right away.


Lately he has been having nightmares, I think it is from too many video games with his dad, he thinks it is because his dreamcatcher in failing. He actually took it out of his room this morning and put it on the table. It has been banished until further notice, probably to live in squalid circumstances in a junk drawer somewhere.
I told him a few weeks ago that HE was the family dreamcatcher. He thought this was funny, but it is true he catches the most dreams out of all of us.

Thrifty Tips #1

Inspired by Jenn Fowler at Frugal Upstate, I have decided to post ways we save money in our home. Hopefully we will have many of them by the end of 2009. Jenn sets a pretty high bar and I aim to reach it. I will tag my Thrifty Tips and put them all into one post at the end of the year.
We all love those Swiffer floor cleaners, especially the mops. It is so convenient to just throw away the dirty mop and dusting pads, but this unneeded trash disturbs me as much as the price. Since I have hardwood floors, don't get excited, they are in poor shape, I have to use something that won't damage them any further. I will not spend 7 or 8 dollars on a box of mop pads or dusting pads, I use them too often, so I have cut down my shammies that I get from our local gas station every year to fit the Swiffer mop.
I just put a new hem on them so they don't fall apart. I sometimes use some scraps of elastic for the sides. I have lots of scrap sewing supplies laying around and I always keep my eeys peeled at yard sales for ribbon and notions. These things are indestructible, I have some from 15 years ago and they are still going strong. They are like bar towels, they have a bit of texture, but get really soft in the wash over time. Obviously, the money I save on mop and dusting rags goes to my gel nails. I have my standards after all. Here is the finished product. I just take the used ones off the mop or duster and throw them in the wash with the rag load. The shammies do a good job at getting the dust off the walls too. With window air units and ceiling fans in my house we get an extraordinary amount of dust, so they are invaluable and so easy to use on the walls.
I do not use paper towels much anymore, One to one and a half rolls of Viva a month is good for us. My friend Deb brought over a roll one day for me when the dog was getting sick and I loved them better than Brawny. They are more expensive though, so we have cut way down on our usage. It is amazing how if you HIDE the paper towels, people start using the rags. And guess what? Rags fit in those cute little cloth dispensers we use for the disposable shopping bags. I am going to make one just for the rags today. I will post the pic when I am done in the update.
UPDATE:
Ok here it is...

Changes

Change is hardest for children, especially when we have done our darndest to protect them. Yesterday my daughter was upset because the website for her musical theatre company is finally shut down. She was only in this company for the past three years, but it felt like home to her and her performing friends and she planned her year around it. She couldn't wait to get into the older cast. Last summer, we kind of had an inkling that it would fold. There were money problems, coupled with the death of the director's husband, the moving of the musical director, compounded by the introduction of her new boyfriend and his new fiance, it all just fell apart and the the kids paid the price.

There are other companies they can go to but this was all theirs, and now they will be split up like children after an amicable divorce. My daughter is trying desperately to keep in touch with her friends, we have movie and bowing nights in central locations to them all. The hardest thing to let go of is the certainty that they can all be together and perform under a talented director. Lets face it, not all kids theatre is amazing and we will have a hard time finding someone who can put together a show like her old director. So this is the most disappointing change that my daughter had to face, it is a loss and she mourns it. I wish I could tell her that in the scale of things, this is not too bad, there are going to be much harder changes coming...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year Hopes

2008 was a very reflective year for me, I have regrets and hopes for the future, you have already had the former, now here are my hopes.


I hope my family stays healthy.
I hope people are nicer to each other.
I hope the economy perks back up.
I hope I find a full-time teaching job.
I hope Pinky stays warm during the rest of the winter.
I hope no more soldiers die.
I hope my daughter's back is not going to need a brace.
I hope my husband finds a decent new crew.
I hope my son grows to his satisfaction.
I hope my dogs don't get any tics this year.
I hope no more of my friend's marriages fall apart.
I hope I don't get the flu.
I hope we are able to fix the pre-lit Christmas Tree- or it is going out the door.
I hope I get fit.
I hope the new president doesn't quit, I would.
I hope my friends hopes all come true.
I hope we get Nickleback tickets.





Selfish Hope:
I hope I get a new bathroom, or carpeting, or a Maid. Any of the three will do.

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