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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Buckeyes!

Buckeye

This one is going to be a quickie.  I just have a few minutes, but this is another recipe worth sharing!
This is yet another treat that I remember fondly from childhood when we would go back to Pennsylvania for Christmas.  Cookies and candies are such a part of celebrations there...but I digress...as usual.

Buckeyes:
Step one:
1/4 pound butter
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 1/2 C. peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
(and a whole lotta love, to quote my friend Tim)

*combine the above (I use my bare hands) and roll into large-marble-sized balls.  Chill 8 hours.
Day 353- The Birth of Buckeyes

After the balls have chilled, stick a toothpick into each ball.  Then carefully melt the following in a small saucepan:
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 oz. parrafin wax.

Dip the balls in the chocolate/wax mixture and place on waxed paper to cool/solidify.

Buckeyes.  Sheer deliciousness.

Then you eat.

I usually AT LEAST double the recipe.  Once, I quadrupled it, but step one was nearly my undoing.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Soapbox.

Here's what I have learned from Facebook.

1.  No matter which candidate you support, you are either stark, raving mad or a genius.
2.  Each candidate is brilliant or has the IQ of a garden slug.
3.  Each candidate is looking out for your best interests.  Or he intends to ruin the American Dream.

If you can't see that BOTH sides are slinging propaganda and twisting words then you are delusional.

There.  I said it.

I have tried so hard to stay out of this, but I am so freaking tired of it.  Stop feeding the divisiveness with your mindless re-posting of other people's opinions and think for yourselves, people.  Those cute little pictures with snarky little sayings aren't encouraging real dialogue.  They aren't changing anyone's mind.  All they are doing is making YOU feel better about yourself because you feel like you are posting something clever and witty.  And you feel like you belong.

Shut off Facebook.  Shut off FOX and MSNBC and CNN.  Read.  Think.  Form your own opinions.  Stop allowing other people to tell you what you should think.

Trust yourself to be smart enough to think about the issues that are important to you.  And stop judging people who have different opinions.  We all have had different life experiences.  I found this article fascinating...especially the part that we need BOTH types (liberal and conservative) for society to function.

But I am sure that I am in the minority and I am what is wrong with America.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Flour never goes bad, does it?


I've been sick all week and I woke up this morning all ready to be productive.  Well, honestly, I was supposed to go golfing, but it was cold and crappy out, so I decided being productive was a decent alternative.  Also, I have a sitter coming over tonight and I didn't want to scare the poor girl off with the state of my house.
I had some bananas on the counter that were well-beyond edible and I decided that I should make some banana chocolate chip muffins.  They are yummy, my kids will eat them and they make me feel less like a failure for once again NOT eating the bananas.  I have such good intentions, I really do.
I went to the cupboard and got out the sugar and realized I had no flour. 
Never fear!  I knew there was an old bag in the back of the pantry.  And by "in the back," I mean, top shelf, can-barely-reach-it-even-when-standing-on-a-stool.  I climbed up on the stool and reached way up there with my stubby little arms and pulled down the barely-used bag of flour.  I swear, it weighed twenty pounds.  Ok, maybe only ten. 
I took the binder clip off of it and took a look at the expiration date.
Better if used by 05APR09.

Hmmmm.  Better?  As in "Better safe than sorry?" I tossed it.  All ten pounds of it.  I sure hope that garbage bag is as strong at the commercials say it is.
I climbed back up on that stool to see if there was another bag of flour up there.  And of course there was.  I wouldn't be me if I didn't have multiple, almost-used-up bags of all kinds of stuff sitting around.
Check the expiration date:
Better if used by 17May10.


At least it was a year younger than the first bag I dug up.  And there was probably only a cup of flour in the bag, so it wasn't nearly as wasteful.
After that second bag of flour, I just started tossing stuff. I figured if I had years-old flour, most of the other things on that shelf were probably past their expiration date too.  It was kind of cathartic throwing away bottles of sno-cone syrup that I had been squirreling away for the "next" summer. Looking at the flour evidence that "next" summer was probably 2008.

And then I discovered one last, mostly empty, sack of flour.  And I looked at the expiration date.
Better if used by 25Aug04.


Seriously?  My brain shut down for a minute. Wait.  What year is this?  2012.  This expired in 2004.  A little quick math tells me that was oh, approximately EIGHT years ago.  And if it expired eight years ago (still struggling with this) I must have bought it like ten years ago.  That sack of flour is as old as my daughter.

Conclusion:  I should clean out my pantry more often.  

By the way, I am a little ticked off that those Box Tops expired. I bet the school could have used them six years ago.
  
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Evil Genius

Chester. Allegedly a short-haired boy kitten. Turned out to be a long-haired girl kitten. Named for the brilliant cat from the Bunnicula series.

  shot_1324662246787Look at her. She doesn't look like the sharpest pencil in the box, does she? Maybe only playing with 48 cards. Elevator's not making it to the top floor. You get the idea. We routinely catch her with her tongue hanging out. I look at that face and I think how sweet she is. And how dumb she is. And my heart swells and I just want to hug her and love her and call her my own.

And then 5:30 am comes along and she shows her true colors.

I am a sleeper. I love and cherish my sleep. If I wake up one minute before my alarm goes off, I am completely irritate. I don't get up a single minute before I have to. My love of sleep is part of the reason I only had two kids. Call me a quitter, but it's the truth.

Chester thinks that she should eat at 5:30 am. I think that's bull(you-know-what.) I can normally sleep through anything. I slept through a tornado once.  It went down our street and knocked down the tree in our front yard.  But I can't sleep through my iPad being knocked off of my nightstand.

It all started a few months ago. She would come in and gently paw the plastic bag in the garbage can, making that annoying crinkly sound. I got the better of her. The garbage can now sits on top of my tall dresser. Score one for Shannon. A few days later, I heard her next to me, making this flopping noise that I could not identify. I did NOT want to open my eyes, because once she sees the whites of my eyes, it's game over. I finally figured out that she was picking up the corner of the area rug and letting it flap back down on the hardwood floor. And looking at me expectantly. I'm not sure if she is smart enough to be proud of herself, but that furry little face sure looked smug. 

She has figured out how to make noise in any way she can. She paws at the closet door. There's a shoebox under my bed that she has started eating. If you don't think listening to a cat chew on cardboard (smack, smack) at 5:30 am is annoying, I would be happy to let you cat-sit Chester for a while. Barrettes and bobby pins are a favorite. They make a fun little tinkling noise when they hit the hardwood floor. My glasses make an ever bigger noise when she knocks them off.

Locking her out of the bedroom helps, but then she just goes in and annoys the kids.  I have too much mommy-guilt to let that happen.

The morning that I thought I might kill her was the morning she knocked the iPad off the nightstand. I chased her down the stairs, muttering incoherent threats. She hasn't done that again, but I only think that is because I keep it farther from the edge.

  IMAG0316It hasn't kept her from trying to eat it, though.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Don't Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Both of my kids played travel ball this summer.  Keebles' softball season began the last weekend in March.  KJ's last baseball tournament ended July 15th.  In between there, we had 120+ games between the two of them and not a single free weekend.  Don't get me wrong.  I am not complaining.  I know what I signed up for.  I am just laying out the facts here.  And one of the facts is that is was face-meltingly hot Memorial Day Weekend and just got worse as the summer wore on.
JJ took this week off for some much-needed rest from work.  We decided that since we hadn't taken a family vacation this summer, we would take the kids to a baseball game this week.  Yay!  Family Fun! Now, granted, JJ had ulterior motives.  He's a Dodgers fan, and it's a heck of a lot cheaper for the four of us to drive to St. Louis or Chicago than to fly to L.A., and the Dodgers were in St. Louis playing the Cardinals this week.  
My children are die-hard Cubs fans.  For those of you who don't live in Central Illinois, the Cubs-Cards rivalry is nearly as tragic as the Civil War.  My children were not happy about going to Busch Stadium, but after we spun it as "A Cool Trip To a Major League Ball Park," and "It's Autograph Night" and "Make This Sacrifice For Your Dad," they decided it would be fun.
So, the stars aligned and KJ's baseball camp got done an hour early. JJ bought a bucket of baseballs for autographs. We had plenty of time to get down there for autograph night.  The trip down was great...good conversation, giggles, snacks, and lots of water.  No traffic.  We parked right in front of Busch Stadium.  And we opened the car doors and the heat hit us like a blast furnace.
What have we done?
Now, I will say that I LOVE the fact that Busch Stadium will let you take in a small soft-sided cooler filled with water bottles.  THANK GOD I knew that ahead of time.  It was a life saver.  We stood and waited to get into the stadium for 15-20 minutes, sweating, all the while, I was trying to convince the 2 K's that this was good fun.  We got into the stadium and one of the ushers directed us to where the autographs were being signed.  The line went up and up and up the ramp.  We just kept climbing, trying to find the end of the line.  We got near the top and found another, shorter line for two different autographs.  Score!  Those poor suckers in that long line were never going to get autographs in the 30-minute time slot.
And so began the waiting game.
At first we were in the shade.  But is was still hotter than Hades.  Tempers were short.  Keebles was contemplating using her baseball as a weapon against her brother.
No patience

Once the line got moving, moods improved.  Except for when you ended up in the sun.  And contemplated jumping over the edge because there was no escaping the heat.
Still waiting.

We kept watching the clock, knowing the autograph signing ended at 6:30.  KJ kept announcing: 20 minutes left.  13 minutes left.  4 minutes left.  With two minutes left, we were so close.  I stepped out of line to take pictures. 

Autograph night

And then, the "handlers" shut it down at 6:30.  My kids were four from the front of the line.  FOUR.  1, 2, 3, 4.  They now have one more reason to hate the Cardinals.  (On a side note, the one player that was giving autographs did get picked off at first base.  It made the 2 K's feel a little better.)

So, we trudged up to our seats, and sat in the sun.  Dear God, why must the sun always be out?

Sheer Joy!

A little sun?

Keebles and I kept a close eye on the temperature.  

Game Time Temperature

It had dropped to a refreshing 92 by the time we left the game at 10:00.

The one thing that could have saved the evening was Dippin' Dots.  But KJ was too hot and cranky to wait in the three-mile-long Dippin' Dot line.  So, we sat through 10 innings of a good ball game with two cranky, sweaty, sticky kids.  (Not that JJ and I weren't sweaty and sticky ourselves.)  We left after the 10th because we still had a two-and-a-half hour drive to get home.
I wish I could say it was all better because the Dodgers won, but they didn't.  Cardinals pulled it off in 12 innings.  And that just made my kids even crankier.
We'll look back on this and laugh someday, right?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My personal hell.

I swore I wasn't going to whine about the heat.
I have been broken by the heat. I am going to break my promise.
Oh.
My.
God.
I apologize for offending anyone with that sentiment, but what I really want to say is much much worse.
Back when decided to let Keebles play travel softball, I knew we had a tournament the weekend after the Fourth of July. I have lived in Illinois for 24 years now and I ain't no dummy. I knew this tournament was going to be hot. I have been mentally preparing Keebles for the fact that it was going to be a scorcher since March.
I had no idea.
Apparently, I did something to piss Mother Nature off. She decided that she would show me HOT.
Day one, it was 101. Keebles is the catcher and she has all of that gear and that mask. I was worried about her, but she got through it. I can't say the same about the home plate umpire, who was white as a sheet and disoriented. She was taken away in a golf cart. I am happy to report that she is fine.
Tomorrow is supposed to be 104. Saturday is now forecast to be 106. What the hell?
No, exactly, this is hell.
Some of you enjoy this weather. I like it chilly. I like to pile on the sweatshirts and blankets. I like to snuggle. I am a quarter Swede for crying out loud. Does even get above freezing in Sweden?
As for hot weather, I hate it. I can't possibly get naked enough to cool off. I don't want anyone to touch me. I smell. Sweat runs down my back and pools in my, well, you get the picture.
This.
Is.
Torture.
So, on a miserably hot day, what do I do? Suggest my most-favorite pizza place in the world for a team dinner. Now, mind you, I have never actually eaten there. All through college, I always ordered carry-out from Del Carmen's. J and I would get a 16" double decker and it would feed us for the weekend. We show up with twenty people at the actual restaurant and it's this small little place with barely-there air-conditioning. I look at the other parents on the team and they are looking at me like, "Seriously, Shannon?" Cue the pounding heart and panic! But the service was friendly and fast and the pizza was to die for, so I dodged that bullet. Whew!
Now off to sleep in the sweet, sweet, air-conditioning before sweltering again tomorrow.
Maybe I should move to Antarctica.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

KJ and the Deere

Let's start off with a couple of facts:


  1. My lawnmower hates me.  I am quite sure that my neighbors stare and laugh as I spend 20 minutes trying to get it started, barely keeping myself from kicking it and then finally doing a happy dance when it sputters to life.  
  2. It does not behave that way for my husband.
  3. My husband is in India for business.
  4. It has been a bizarre spring and the grass is thick and luscious and really needs to be cut.  It is March 25, 2012, for the record.

Before JJ left for his trip, I asked him is he thought there was any way the mower would run.  He looked at me like, "Not a snowball's chance in hell," but humored me by spending 30 minutes working on it before he did the other three thousand things he had to do before he left.  It did not start.  No big surprise.


Cue this beautiful Sunday and my lawn is out of control.  Rather than buy a new mower, which is what I really want to do, I instead went to my neighbor to borrow one.  My neighbors are awesome.  And sitting in the driveway is a little green John Deere riding mower.  Now, my yard is approximately 10 square feet and takes my son 20 minutes to mow it with our push-mower.  A riding mower is overkill.  But, my neighbor only had the riding mower, and was more than happy to let KJ use it.  Mind you, KJ has never driven a riding mower before.  He's really good at Mario Kart though, so this was bound to be successful.

My neighbor gave KJ a quick lesson on how to drive the thing, taught him how to turn the blades on and off and away he went.

DSC_5019

I could not stop giggling.  First of all, I told you the lawn was thick and luscious.  Look at that grass fly!

DSC_5021

Secondly, the mower uses two levers, not a steering wheel.  KJ drove it, not in a straight line, but more like he was testing its turning radius by weaving in and out of cones.  At top speed. At this point in time, I am howling as he tried to navigate the tiny front lawn with this lawn mower that was way too big for the job.  Start.  Stop. Back Up.  Knock over some landscaping blocks.  Turn again.  Weave across the yard.  Try not to fall off of the driveway.

As we were walking home from DQ tonight, he told me the front lawn looked like ocean waves.  I tend to agree.

ocean waves

One of the lessons my neighbor gave him was to pay attention to the direction the grass is coming out of the mower and try to blow it back into the yard.  That obviously worked.

DSC_5032

Now KJ wants a riding mower so he can get the yard done in 4 minutes rather than 20.  Well, that's not bloody likely.  He did a good job for his first time, but he does need some more practice.  There are several tufts in my front yard, and my garden did not escape the wrath of KJ and the Deere. But, all in all, it was a good experience for KJ.  Now he knows the joy of choosing a tool that is way too big/powerful/fancy for a particular job.  He's on his way to manhood.

carnage




Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Hunger Games!

Let me preface this by saying, yes, I read the books. In fact my entire book club read all three books in one month. (We're crazy like that.) Because I discussed the books with my book club, I know them fairly well. I am not completely obsessed though. I have not read them multiple times, I do not write fan fiction, I did not wear a Team Gale or Team Peeta shirt to the premiere and I certainly did not put my hair up in a Katniss-style braid.

 It's not long enough.

 Without any further ado (but probably many more side-comments,) here are my thoughts about The Hunger Games.

 Oh, yeah. There are probably spoilers. Don't read if you are just going to get mad at me about it.

 1. I felt differently about the three main characters after watching the movie. Peeta has always been my favorite. He is protective, strong, kind, big-hearted and has great people-skills. I felt like the movie portrayed him as wimpier than he was in the book. I have never seen Peeta's self-sacrifice as wimpiness. (I know others disagree. Feel free to tell me I am wrong in the comments.) When I read the book, I didn't really care for Gale. He seemed a little too self-serving for my taste. I really felt for him in the movie. I was never a fan of Katniss in the books. Wait, let me re-word that. I admired her grit, but never actually liked her in the books. She never seemed to be herself. I felt like she was both manipulated and manipulative and only did and said things if they benefited her. I realize this is a survival skill, but it bothered me. She felt more complete to me in the movie.

2. I must be getting old, because that shaky hand-held camera work about pushed me over the edge. There were times when it was effective in showing the absolute chaos, but damn. Sometimes I just wanted to FOCUS on something. On the other hand, I LOVED how at times the outside noises would be overpowered by the noises in Katniss' head and we could really know how overwhelmed she was feeling.

3. Ceasar Flickerman is one smarmy S.O.B. Great job with that character!

4. I loved Woody Harrelson as Haymitch. I had pictured Haymitch as a little softer and bald, but I like this casting choice.

5. It was really neat to see how the Gamemakers controlled the games.

6. I did expect the Capitol fashions to be more over-the-top. The Capitol felt a little bit like The Emerald City.

7. I would love to have Lenny Kravitz be my designer, you know, if I had a designer.

8. I was disappointed in the Chariots/Tribute Parade. I had imagined way more stylized costumes showcasing the different districts. They just looked like different colored gladiator costumes to me. Peeta and Katniss' costumes looked like something out of Star Trek. That being said, Katniss' "Girl on Fire" dress was pretty awesome. I'll take one of those.

 9. I had imagined President Snow much frailer and ickier...Donald Sutherland's version was much more complex. We got to hear his thoughts about Katniss. I liked that. Nothing in this world is black and white.

10. I would give it 4/5. I enjoyed the hell out of it. I was on the edge of my seat (and completely jumped out of my skin at one point in time.) When Katniss was ascending in the tube, my heart was pounding. I laughed. I cried. Is it out of the park? No, but it's definitely a triple. See it in the theater.

 For those of you who want to know if you should take your kids: I took KJ and three of his 6th grade friends. They had all read it (that was my rule) and they knew what to expect. Between the four of them, they gave it an average of 9.5/5 stars. (4/5, 4/5, 5/5 and 25/5.) I would not take my 4th grade daughter. I have not let her read it either. The subject matter is just plain dark. The scenes are not too gory, but it is intense. The scenes between Katniss and Peeta are chaste...crap, all of the ED commercials on TV are way worse than this. Some of the scenes are quite emotionally wrenching.

 Bottom line: You need to know your kid. Can they handle a story about kids being forced to kill other kids on live TV?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ruining my children, one crummy movie at a time.

I have always known that I am an older-kid-type-person.  I taught high school biology back in the day.  I loved my freshmen.  They were awkward and squirrely, still malleable and adorable. They were uncool enough to be able to talk to.  They were fun.
I have also always been a little mystified by babies.  Don't get me wrong, I love them, but I can't for the life of me understand why people just want to keep having them.  I love to hold them, and pat their little diaper-covered bottoms, smell them after a bath.  But that not sleeping part is sheer torture for me.  I remember the nights of tucking my kids in, and as soon as they would hit that crib mattress, they started crying again, and then I'd be crying again and I'd be sure that I was never ever ever going to sleep again, boo hoo hoo, boo hoo hoo.
Believe me, I harbor serious mom-guilt that I was not better at handling those first six months. I wish I could do it all over again and be less stressed, be more Zen, but I can't so, yeah.  Moving on.
The older my kids get, the more I enjoy them.  There is this sick, twisted part of me that looks forward to the junior high and high school years.  I know we will have some bumps in the road, but I'll be able to talk to them. They will be people, with personalities and brains that can process more than "Elmo loves you!" or "Why?  But Why?"
I really do have a point.  As the kids got older, I started to introduce them to some of my favorite movies as a way to keep myself sane. In hindsight, this may not have been the wisest choice.  JJ let KJ watch Army of Darkness when KJ was 3 or 4.  (In JJ's defense, he only let KJ see parts, but when your three-year-old is walking around saying, "This is my BOOMstick!" you get some strange looks).  KJ was an early and fantastic talker.
Not long after Keebles was born, I was at Wal-Mart with the kids getting some retail therapy, perhaps looking for other adults to talk to.  Remember, I willingly admit that the early years were not my best as a mom.  One of my favorite things to do was to fish in the $5 bin for old movies.  Lo and behold, one day I came across Ghostbusters.  I probably hadn't seen it in 20 years, and I remembered it as funny and harmless, so I bought it and watched it with KJ.  In my defense, he was only mildly terrified of Slimer.
Not long after that, KJ got Men in Black as a gift.  He was probably 5 or 6.  Of course, I let him watch it.  It's hilarious.
We added the Star Wars six-ology to the repertoire.  I would not allow KJ to watch the end of Revenge of the Sith because he loved Anakin so much.  I was worried about how seeing his hero become Darth Vader would affect his psyche. See? I do have limits.  Then we added in the Indiana Jones Trilogy.  I made them cover their eyes when the faces melted off at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and when the heart got ripped out in Temple of Doom.  But they needed to see these movies on order to be culturally literate elementary students.  How else would they ever understand the meaning of, "You cheat, Dr. Jones!"
As time went on, the movies they liked got to be ones I could watch without stabbing myself in the eye.  We replaced Elmo and The Wiggles with Pixar movies and other computer-animated movies.  We had reached an equilibrium.
Now they are older (12 and almost 10.)  A few months ago, they saw the edited-for-TV version of Happy Gilmore. They walked around quoting it, saying, "The Price is Wrong, Bobby."  And they laughed.  I was dying though: they were quoting it wrong.  So, I broke down and let them watch the real version, because I couldn't let them be the only two kids in North America who didn't know what Happy really says, "The Price is Wrong, Bitch."  Not that they understand the reference, but still.
Tonight, I let Keebles watch The Cutting Edge.  It's only PG, so I felt pretty safe.  Now I am fairly certain I have ruined her idea of romance for the rest of her life.  She's going to have to take up figure skating so she can fall in love with some washed up hockey player turned figure skater.  That's going to be costly.
Before you think I am the worst mom ever, I still won't let them watch anything R-rated.  KJ's friends can't believe he hasn't see Wedding Crashers or Bridesmaids or The Hangover.  I don't let him play any rated M games.  It affects him socially.  His buddies have all seen the movies and play the games.  They laugh and talk about them and he is left out.  But I won't budge.  Not while he's still a pre-teen.
We will see how this all turns out.  I never ever brag about my kids.  I feel like it is in poor taste.  That's something for grandparents to do. I will say this.  I am proud of them and how they have turned out so far.

But I suppose I could always end up paying for therapy later.

P.S.  Because I hate having posts without pictures...here's another way I am ruining them.  I served root beer floats in real beer mugs.  Gasp!

Root beer floats

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Music...

I haven't watched the Grammys in, well, hell, I don't even know how long.  I am totally out of touch with the pop music scene.  I'll admit that.  I'm (un)cool like that.
Listening to Adele makes me want to crank up the stereo (ok, iPod) and belt it out baby.  Listening to Chris Brown makes me wonder how a human makes those noises.  And then I realize that humans don't naturally make those noises and I dismiss his music. 
I like songs I can sing along to.  I don't sing well, but I sing loud and with enthusiasm.  I can't make weird techno-sounds so there's no way I can do it loudly and with enthusiasm, so that style of music is not on my radar.  Britney Spears?  Same thing.  Voice too studio-ized.  Rap?  I got no rhythm, so that's no good either.
"What do you like, Shannon?"  I'm so glad you asked!  Here is a list of some of my favorite sing-along songs. 
  1. "Yellow Ledbetter" by Pearl Jam.  Do I have a flipping clue what the words are?  No.  Does that matter?  No.  Eddie Vedder is one of the greatest voices to try to mimic.  Try it.  You'll like it.
  2. "Champagne Supernova" by Oasis. 
  3. "Patience" by Guns -n- Roses.  Axl Rose is another fanatasically fun voice to try to mimic.
  4. "End of the Road" by Boys II Men.  Ok, so I can't hit the low parts, but it is so over-done with emotion that it is irresistable. Completely.
  5. "Somebody to Love" by Queen.  I have yet to hit that last "Lo-o-o-o-o-ve" but I keep trying.
  6. "Go Your Own Way" by Fleetwood Mac.  I was brainwashed at a young age.  My father believes Fleetwood Mac to be THE BEST.  Once this song landed on Rock Band, I rediscovered it's awesomeness.
  7. "Honky Tonk Women"  by the Rolling Stones 
  8. "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers.  It started out with a kiss...
  9. "Your Love" by The Outfield.  Josie's on a vacation far away...sing it.  You know you know it.
  10. "Into the Mystic"  Much more mellow than the above the selections, and a little low for me, but that chorus.  Oh, that chorus.
  11. "Sometimes Salvation" by the Black Crowes.  Just throw your head back and sing.
  12. "Squeeze Box" by The Who.  Best sing along song about an accordian (ahem) ever.
  13. "Plug in Baby" by Muse.  Wow.  Turn that one up.  (My daughter hates it.)
  14. "Laid" by James.  I hate that I can't introduce this sing-along to my kids.  The chorus is so catchy. 
  15. "Barrier Reef" by the Old '97s.  If you don't know this song, you should.  It's catchy and not exactly wholsome, but funny.
  16. "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John.  I didn't love this song until I saw "Almost Famous."  I have loved it with my whole heart ever since.
  17. "Stickshifts and Safetybelts" by Cake.  Cutest. Song. Ever.
  18. "One Night in Bangkok" by Murray Head.  Best song ever from a musical about Chess.  Plus it has my favorite line from a song:  I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine.
  19. "Take Me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver.  Try to NOT sing along.
  20. "American Girl" by Tom Petty.  Not even Silence of the Lambs could ruin this for me.
  21. "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha.  Stupid Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie.  I would have never liked it if wasn't for you.
  22. "Dancing With Myself" by Billy Idol.  Let's sink another drink!
  23. "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera.  I will never have a voice like that, but it's fun to try.
  24. "Texarkana" by REM.  I don't know what it is about this one, but it just gets me.
  25. "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga.  Roma-roma-ma-ma
All right.  I'd better go to bed.  I have to work tomorrow, after all.

Monday, January 23, 2012

By the Book


I swear that my kids take after their dad and had I not given birth to them, I wouldn't think that they were mine too.
There is one way in which Keebles is like me. She is a voracious reader. When I was her age (4th grade,) I had just discovered Nancy Drew. I tried to get her to read Nancy Drew, but after a failed AR test, she refuses to read any more of them (I will bite my tongue about that.) Now, she's working her way through the Harry Potter Series. She just finished Order of the Phoenix yesterday and was quite annoyed that I was attempting to take a picture of her as she read.
It's good to be the mom.

Photo Challenge Submission
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Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 Favorites

I had a hard time choosing my favorite photos from 2011.  I started to go through all of the photos on my hard drive, then I realized that would take a month of Sundays, so I just took my favorites from my Project 365.   
Without further ado, here are my favorite photos from 2011.

Here is JJ, just after midnight on January 1, 2011.  The lighting isn't great, the photo is a little noisy, but I just plain old like it.

Day 9

I took this one of my son, just after I got my D7000.  It was dark so I cranked up the ISO and didn't care about the noise because I love action shots.  I was so glad I did because I am in love with this shot.  I entered it in one the The Pioneer Woman's contest and she chose it for one of the groups.  It wasn't a finalist, but that doesn't matter to me.  It also happens to be my son's favorite photo of the year.  By the way, the ball did not hit him.

 Day 127: Leap

I love my cats.  Poor Einstein was left alone after we had to put our other two cats to sleep within five months of each other.  We adopted Chester and you can see just how Einstein felt about that at first.  I like to imagine he is looking at me, saying, "Seriously?"

Day 139: Tolerance

We took our kids to Riviera Maya this year.  It was their first time in the ocean.  We snorkeled every day.  I couldn't justify the underwater housing for my D7000, so I took a chance on a Dicapac.  It's a Ziploc Baggie on steroids, with an opening for the lens.  My little Canon Powershot did a great job.  The only issue was that I had NO idea where I was aiming.

Day 215:  FISH!

Here is my daughter, heading to her first softball tournament.  I love her experssion and I think that she has the most beautiful eyes. 

Day 275: Game Face

In November, we played hooky from school and took the kids to St. Louis.  These kids grew up together in playgroup, from the time my daughter was 6 months old.  We were so excited to go to the Arch and then it was foggy.  Total bummer.  We had lots of fun anyway.

Day 333-Reunion


I totally fell in love with this car.  It was parked at one of my son's baseball games.  It was an exercise in composition as there was an UGLY chain link fence off to the left and lots of cars parked around it.

Day 184:  Vintage Car

This was photo 365 of my Project 365 and I love love love it.  We went out to dinner for my birthday and then ate so much that we decided to walk around the outdoor mall.  All of the Christmas lights were up and they were just gorgeous.  And, of course, I go NOWHERE without my camera, so while my family shopped, I played with bokeh.
Day 365- Bokeh fun