Thursday, May 31, 2007

Yesterday I cooked

26 pounds of ground chuck
12 cups of chicken

And, yes, I stood on a chair to take this picture.

Sometimes I'm a little nutty.


I also shopped at Aldi's and Target for a few things.

Target had Coke on sale. $2.75 a twelve pack. I bought four.
(I bought one pack of Cherry Coke with a very special helper in mind :o)

(We now have 168 cans of pop and 72 bottles of water waiting in the garage for the par-tay.)

Then I went to Aldi's.

My cooking friend, Amy, advised me to buy chicken breasts and salsa at Aldi's.
So I did.

As I was leaving the store I remember that I needed 25 packages of taco seasoning for the walking tacos. I had planned on getting these at Miller's for about $1.00 each.

Not a big deal when you are buying one.



So, we walked back into Aldi's to see if they had taco seasoning and how much it cost.

I was thrilled (yes, I was really thrilled) to find it at Aldi's.
And it only cost twenty-nine cents.

$7.25 instead of $25.00.


I was so excited by this deal that I enthusiastically related the whole tale to Anita and Byron and Patrick as we stood on the driveway chatting. (They stopped by with a perfect table and chairs for the party)

"$7.25 instead of $25.00!" I say with glee!

My husband looks at Byron as says, "We can retire now."

Funny guy.

Ah. The ordinary life.
It sure is fun.


Happy Birthday Patrick Jr.
We love you.
Have fun in Chicago and we will see you and Shelby tomorrow!
Stay out of each and every ditch!

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Last week Emma read Our Town.
Yesterday we watched the play.

It is a simple, touching play.
I think it is intentionally ordinary so Wilder can make the point
that ordinary life is utterly beautiful.
The author (and characters) decides that the living never realize
what the dead know.
That you must be dead to finally realize.

But I disagree.

We are all touched by death and illness during our lives.

In fact, the only good thing about death is that it awakens us to life.
The same with illness.

But perhaps Wilder was speaking to a younger audience.
Teens and 20-somethings very often haven't experienced death, intimately.
It's always a shock to the young.

Don't most of you realize what a delicious blessing it is to be alive?
The absolute joy of looking into our beloved's faces?

I think you do.
It's sad to think of living any other way.

Below are some choice quotes from Our Town;


"Both of those ladies cooked three meals a day - one of'em for twenty years and the other for forty - and no summer vacation. They brought up two children apiece, washed, cleaned the house ... and never a nervous breakdown. It's like what one of those Middle West poets said: You've got to love life to have life, and you've got to have life to love life ... It's what they call a vicious circle."


People are meant to go through life two by two. ’Tain’t natural to be lonesome.


We all know that something is eternal. And it ain’t houses and it ain’t names, and it ain’t earth, and it ain’t even the stars . . . everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings. All the greatest people ever lived have been telling us that for five thousand years and yet you’d be surprised how people are always losing hold of it. There’s something way down deep that’s eternal about every human being.

Do you realize?

"Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?—every, every minute?"
"Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you."

Encourage one another,

p.s. Wilder's vision of the afterlife was empty.
But it was not a religious play. Although,
don't you need God to have a heaven?
Odd to me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hello, Tuesday

Yesterday I shopped at Sam's with a friend.
A kind friend who knows how to cook and shop in bulk.
I bought loads of food and some fine looking plastic forks.
(At the graduation party we attended on Saturday, I saw these forks,
and I HAD to HAVE them.)

Now I have 300.

Now how's that for photojournalism?

Fine work.

I even took them outside to get better lighting.

Pioneer Woman better watch out.
I am on her tail with fascinating blog material, I tell ya!


What else happened over the weekend?

Katie's neighborhood friends were gone on Saturday and Sunday.
And this makes for some long days for her.
But they came home on Monday!

Kevin is a really delightful boy.
He asks lots of questions.
And they are funny questions.

And yesterday while they were playing Uno, Kevin was singing,
"The sun will come out, tomorrow!"

click on pic.

Here are the little Uno players.

QT pies!

They also played 'find the cat' and ran around and played inside and outside.

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man. ~Rabindranath Tagore

Wishing you time to enjoy the little ones and little things in your life.

Encourage one another,

Monday, May 28, 2007

Do you know this yard game?

It's just like horseshoes, but you use these metal 'washers'.

The washers need to land in a hole/metal tube in the ground.

I was told these were common at local parks many years ago, but only one park in the Madison area still has a set.

There is nothing so summery as the sound of a horseshoe hitting a metal stake.


Our father played horseshoes when we went up to a cabin in Hayward, Wisconsin.
He played with Mr. Irving.
KrisS' father, Bill.
They were best friends.

Long, long, ago.


They were both so good with children.
They would have played the 'washer' game with Katie.

No doubt.

Happy Memorial Day!

Encourage one another,

p.s. My firstborn arrived on Memorial Day in 1982.
It was the 31st.
I was changed forever.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Emma is working on her poster which will be set up at the graduation reception next Saturday.

She is sprouting her wings.

Katie is sprouting little baby wings, too.

She can make her own breakfast now and her own jelly sandwiches.
The milk pouring is still tricky. I still help with that :o)

She gets herself ready for the day (but forgets to brush her hair and teeth, still) and goes outside to ride her bike.
All alone.

This makes me very happy to see!

We don't have children for her to play with in our neighborhood.
And she needs to learn to have fun on her own.

This came easily for Emma.
Not so easily for Katie Gracie.

But there she was,
riding up and down,
riding with one hand,
riding all alone.

(Until I came out to check on her)


Yay for Katie.

(She did fall off at one point and came in the house all teary.
I washed her knee with cool water and she found the band-aids)

Isn't it interesting; we encourage and look on with joy as our little ones take steps toward independence.
Yet, these are the very same steps that take they away from us.
It's an important job, we parents have.
A job that takes all the heart and faith and effort we can muster.
I love my job.

Whenever I held my newborn baby in my arms, I used to think that what I said and did to him could have an influence not only on him but on all whom he met, not only for a day or a month or a year, but for all eternity - a very challenging and exciting thought for a mother.
~Rose Kennedy


See Maggie the cat in the first picture?
She only comes out to be with Emma.

But she waddled into the family room and knew right where to sit while Emma was working.

Right where to sit.

What a cat!

Hey! Have a great holiday weekend!
Have fun and stay safe on the roads :o)

Encourage one another,

Click on the pics to see them larger.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Woman on news says Jordin Sparks is obese

Oh! I just want to slap this crazy woman.

How can she utter such rot and take herself seriously.

I'm mad at her.
Friday Feast with some changes.

Name a smell you like to smell.
What is your favorite kind of cheese?
Who mows the lawn at your house?
Main Course
Are you looking forward to any of the summer movies?
Fill in the blank: At a graduation party...will you eat a piece of cake?

Fine Art Friday

Jeunes filles au piano by Renoir

Oh, how I love an Art Museum;
Were we have the privilege of mingling with beauty and history.
It gives me chills.

(By the way, the colors in my photos are so much nicer than any reproductions I see on line for sale. Go figure.)


Each parental unit has two minutes to speak about their graduate at the graduation next Saturday as we hand them their diploma.

You do not have to speak at all if you do not want to.

I am trying to think of something short and memorable.

Any ideas?

Encourage one another,

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Let's see now...what can we talk about today?


And the winner is....

Jordin Sparks.

Good. For. Her.

Blakey was gracious and knew it was coming, didn't he?
I hated his bebop singing so badly last night, I had to change the channel.
It was actually the worst thing on the show.
Right next to Kelly Clarkson's song....and Sanjaya's song. (and I like him)

But, when the 6 boys sang and the six girls sang...well, that was fab!

I was delighted to see Bette Midler on stage.

Yay!!! Don't you love her?

And I thought the Beatle medley was awful.

So that's it for this year. I watched more than usual this season.
And I think that's because of the talent of Lakisha and Melinda, and you all egging me on. :o)

During the show (the long, long, long show) I took photos of Katie.

The light was calling me.

And so was the wind.

Then I fiddled with my 'photoshop'.

'Hey look, Katie, you have purple eyes!'

And the proof...

That she's a real live relatively normal seven year old.

Look! Her teeth (first pic) are almost all grown in.
They are some big teeth.
Hope the others fit!


So now I have one week.

One week until crunch time. (that's for Matthew even tho he doesn't read this blog...Melinda, tell Matthew I said crunch time, it will make him smile)

Emma graduates next Saturday.
Friday night is set up.
Saturday night we (ha ha) are having a graduation party for Emma.

A big graduation party.

Over a hundred people graduation party.

I am not officially freaking out yet.
But it's a comin'.

Patrick did not want a party.
Matthew was graduated up north and Patty gave the party.
(I helped a little)

Emma wants a party. And I am really happy to do this.
But scared.

The largest gathering I have hosted in my life was about 18.

So I am...

1. planning the menu
2. borrowing Nesco's
3. Borrowing tables
4. buying plates and napkins
5. ordering a cake
6. ordering deviled eggs (I am not making these)
7. cleaning
8. painting
9. scrapbooking
10. shopping for food
11. starting to freak out!
12. changing sheets
13. cleaning

Gale/Thelma/Lynn has offered to come and help me.
Thank heavens.
Cause I wouldn't have asked.
I'm just really glad to have help.

really, really, really, really....

Matthew and Melinda and Patrick and Shelby are coming home.
I will squeeze the girls into Katie's room.
One of them can sleep on the aerobed.
(I need more twin sheets.)
The boys will sleep in the basement.

Like I said....Crunch Time

Any words of advice?

Words to calm my frenetic soul?


Encourage one another,

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Prechin' to the choir

I am putting together a photo album for Emma.
Included are photos of her school days.
I have done this for each of the boys.
They are very special.

Believe it or not, I am not very crafty at this type of I slap some papers and stickers on a page, the best I can, choose the best photo I can find and then write a little ditty along side it.

But the reason I bring this up, this morning, is that I am sad that my children are grown. Looking back at all of the photos is so sweet and fun...and it breaks my heart a little bit.

I don't have regrets and I guess that is a bigger blessing than I'll ever be able to fully comprehend, but, oh those little children...I loved having them and caring for them and laughing with them and just glancing at their adorable little faces.

And the boys are far away...and it seems like forever ago that they were home with us...

I want to go back. I want to time travel. I want to stop crying.

I was created to love these children.
I know it.

And part of that loving is letting them go on to their own lives;
Their own loves, their own faith, their own families.

So I can't say I don't love what is to come, I look forward to and am curious and excited to see what happens next.

But in those moments, when I look back, at our happy little family that once was,
I get a little weepy.

And I thank God that He knew I wouldn't be ready for the empty nest at 49.
And that he decided to bless us with our Katie Gracie.

I don't know what's in it for her :o)
But for me, she is a great gift.

Cause I have no interest in going out and making my dreams come true in the big world outside the home.

My dreams have come true, right here.
In our little home.
With our little family.

The sweetest picture of all time.
And the last time Matthew was sweet to Emma.

I need to get busy and stop wallowing.

All this to say.

Treasure your time together.

Drink in the big gulps!!!


Congratulations to Apolo.

Hope to see you around, Joey.
Maybe Joey can be a Doc on Grey's Anatomy and be the ray of light we are all looking for on that show. McHopeful or McFunny.


Does anyone think that Blake has a chance to win?
It just seems so clear to me that Jordin will win.
She's a doll.

Did you vote?

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'm it.

I've been tagged.

I must tell you 7 random things about me.
I've been blogging for 3 1/2 years.

Is it possible to tell you Seven MORE things about me???

Let's see.

1. I know the book Go, Dog. Go! by heart.

2. One of my favorite songs is "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf.
Matthew thinks it's shameful that I like this song.
I still think it's brilliant.

3. I bought some perfume in Paris. It is called Nina by Nina Ricci.
It's yummy and my husband likes it. He usually doesn't like the perfume I choose.

4. Every night, before bed, I pluck tiny hairs on my chinney chin chin.
I wonder why the hair on my chin grows so much faster than the hair on my head.

5. I still like Kiddie Cocktails.

6. I subscribe to Cottage Living and think it is the best magazine ever.

7. I thought Kris Kristofferson's hands, in the movie 'A Star is Born', were extremely sexy. They still are.

See what I mean?

Tagger:tagger/OC Mom


And here is the promised American Idol story as told to me by long time family friend and cool person, KrisS:

So, we wait in this long long line...and finally get in. We had seats in Section F, row 5, seats 6&7. We thought they might be nosebleed. But there is NO nosebleed. the studio holds 350 people. I have been to bigger weddings!! Actually, we were 10 rows behind the judges. So, we had great seats and could see everything. We had to be in our seats an hour earlier than show time, so we got to see Blakes, Melinda's and Jordin's parents. We saw Brendan/Brandon, one of the first off..try to extend his 15 minutes. We saw Haley Scarnatto. She is BEAUTIFUL!! And Lakisha was there. Ok, can I say that Lakisha is tinier in person...shorter would be the word, AND thinner. She doesn't look anywhere as heavy as she does on the tv. The show is about to start. They name the judges...Paula is about 4'6" and weighs 26 pounds. She is so small that walking through the crowd, you cant see her over the sitting people. Ryan comes out...he is a pencil. Short and anorexic. Then we see the three remaining contestants. Jordin is stunning, and no where as big as she looks on tv. She is just surrounded by short people. Jordin is probably the average height and build for todays teen. Blake is short, and Melinda does not look near as heavy or deformed. It was a real eye opener.
Since the judges didn't have a lot of screen time, during all the film clips, Simon is tipping Paula's chair, playing with her hair, poking her..he is talking to randy, randy is talking to paula, paula is talking to people behind her. If they were students in school, they would get detentions. OH! We saw Simon's girlfriend..Terry. Her waist is as big as my ankle.

Great observations, Kris!
Those are exactly the details I want to know!!!
I'm not kidding.
I have been fascinated with how large Jordin looks!
And it's very interesting to know she's just surrounded by miniature Hollywood types.

I am so glad I live in Wisconsin, where the women have real body parts and tummies and thighs.

Cause in California, they'd try to shoot me down for fear I was Godzilla or something!!!


Prom Candid

Dancing to Thriller, just like Jennifer Garner in 13 going on 30.

Watch Jenna liven up the party on youtube.


What did you think of the dancing last night on Dancing with the Stars?

I didn't care for Joey in the pink shirt and brown pants.
But I still voted for him, five times.

I liked Apolo's cha cha.
His hip hop, not so much.


Who will get the most votes?

I wish the winners got more than that dopey disco ball trophy.



Dance till the stars come down from the rafters
Dance, Dance, Dance till you drop.
~W.H. Auden

On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet.
~Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Encourage one another,

Monday, May 21, 2007

Have you heard the new country hit?

I met Jesus
behind the paint counter
at the Home Depot,

Well, hang onto your hats buckaroos, it's a comin' your way.

All because of a little paint chip miracle.

It all started with a website. I spotted a dining room painted the most lovely shade of blue, my eyes had ever seen.

I feel madly, deeply for it, I tell ya.

So I left a comment pleading for the name of the blue paint.
Weeks passed as I pined away for the name of my true love.
Then, it appeared. The kind blogger replied.
The paint's name was Rainwashed by Behr.

I wrote it down on a scrap of scrappy paper.
I will never forget you, my dear.

A few months later with graduation looming in the very near future, I decide it's time. To paint.

So off I go with my scrap of paper.
I head right for the Behr paint chip wall.


There. Got it.

I hand the chip to the very lovely paint maker woman.
And she gets to work making me a teeny can of paint so I can slap it on the walls to test it out.
Cause that's the right thing to do.

On my walls Rainwashed looks baby blue, not so robin's egg blue.
But I trust that it's gonna be okay.

Last Saturday morning, I headed over to the Home Depot in my F150 Pick-up to gather the paint.
Naw. Just kidding.
I was in a blue Volvo.

At the paint counter, I stumble for the name, 'rain...rain...' and head toward the chips to find it.
But the kind old paint-man says, 'Rainwashed?'

I'll never forget you, again.

The paint gets mixed, shaken, (not stirred) and I am on my way.

I paint the ceiling pure white.
Lynn arrives and sees the color patches of the walls and thinks they look cool.
But reserves further comment. (which was probably killing her, but she was being kind)

She decides to tackle the sliding door. It is the harder job and she is a fighter.

I open a can of blue paint and roll it right next to the sample patch.

And it is completely different.

Lynn, says, "I like that much better!"
"I do, too. What is going on?"

So I look for the sample quart.
Lynn and I compare the 'ingredients'.
They are completely different.


The lady at the counter gave me the wrong stuff. She must have just gotten confused.
She mixed me some Rainwater instead of Rainwashed.

And to this Lynn states, 'You met Jesus at the paint counter.'

And we giggle and marvel at our little paint miracle.

Just the right color.

Lynn is sure we would have hated the Rainwater. 'Too cold. Definitely would have given us headaches. You would have hated it in a week.'

So I paint and paint and Lynn says over and over...
"This is a great color!"

And just yesterday as I dug thru the mess to start putting the family room back together, I found the original paint chip.
The one I chose and handed to the first paintmaker.

Click it.
Can you read it?

It says Rainwater.
It was my fault.
I pulled the wrong chip.

Here is what I wrote to Lynn,

When I picked out the paint chip at Home Depot, I picked out Rain Water.
It was my fault all along.
I have Rain Washed handwritten on my paper...but the chip I chose said Rain water!!!

And here is her reply;

"Well. That's an even BIGGER miracle! Jesus knew exactly what you needed.
This is proof that Jesus cares about color. You ended up with the correct color in spite of yourself!
I wonder how many other people have met Jesus at the paint counter?"

I wonder too!

Now, who can we get to sing this sure fire hit?

Encourage one another,

Come back tomorrow for the first hand, inside scoop on American Idol!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Home School Prom 2007

Jon and Emma

Click on each picture to enlarge.
Here is a teeny sampling of pictures I took (tonight)last night.
It was such a fun time.
All of it.

I won't be able to blog in the morning as I will be painting.
So. Here it is for now.

Enjoy :o)

Encourage one another,

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Feast

List 3 emotions you experienced this week.

Name a car you’d love to have.

Describe your typical morning routine.

Main Course
Have you ever emailed someone famous? If so, who, and what did you say to them? Did they reply?

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones?

HT to


Grey's Anatomy

'Everybody hurts....sometimes.....'

And on Grey's Anatomy...everybody hurts and is dark and twisty.

Share your thoughts in the comments.
I'd love to hear them!

And I just thought of this...
the only normal people ever on the show...
Mere's mother-in-law
George's father

All dead.

Are the writers trying to say something?

Remember thirtysomething?
Remember how folks got tired of all the thirtysomething whining and angst?

I'm having 80's TV flashbacks.

(It just so happens that 'Gary' from thirtysomething is a producer of Grey's.
I'm just saying)


Fine Art Friday

Degas' Dancer

Do you like the top/original photo?
Or do you like it cropped?

I like the uncropped photo for a few reasons.
The glare on her face is not as noticeable in the first photo.
Seeing her amid her surroundings only emphases her serenity.

And I can imagine her thinking,

"I still have my dignity, even in a glass box with small bronze creatures! Puf."


Fun with photoshop/photofinale

I desaturated this picture, but not all the way.
Can you see the pink in Katie's lips.

Prom pictures tomorrow!!!
Come back and see all the glamour and fun :o)

Encourage one another,

***Beware. The comments are behaving badly today.
Copy your comment before hitting 'publish'.
Just in case.
I have lost three posts myself.
So sorry.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Such pretty, delicate flowers.
Do you know what they are?

Here they are from a distance.
They are perennials...and they grow and bloom all summer.


Isn't it hard to see your favorites leave on American Idol?
Melinda handled it very calmly.
Did anyone notice her small fan base on her hometown visit.
That was telling me something.
Blake kissing his papa was soooooo endearing.
Jordin has a huge fanbase.

I didn't see either Janet on the show or KrisS.
Janet would have been Jordin's hometown tape.
KrisS would have been in the audience last night!!!

Janet, what is your school called?
Did they show any of her visit at your school?

So long Melinda.
You're gonna go far.


Emma is planning a mission trip to India.
She really can not wait to get out there to serve and spread the love of God around :o)
We went to the travel nurse yesterday and it was weird to get prescriptions for typhoid and malaria.
Her small group will travel to Vijayawada.
Here is a little about Vijayawada.


I heard from the dermatologist office yesterday afternoon.
The bibopsy results revealed a basal cell carcinoma.
On June 6th, I will discuss methods of treatment with whomever;
Cutting or burning or some sort of thing.

I am not freaking out.
I'm going to be fine.


Tonight is the season finale to Greys Anatomy.
Big questions:
Will Cristina marry Burke?
Will George leave Callie O'Malley?
Is the Chief's wife going to make it?

Personally, I think Cristina and Burke are a horrible train wreck and I hope they don't get married.

I used to love to swing.
Now it makes me queasy and my bottom feels mighty squished to even sit on a swing.

Katie still enjoys it :o)

The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside -

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown -
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

~Robert Lewis Stevenson

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Guess who's going to the Prom on Friday night?



And well...Emma too.

But she goes to these things all the time.

I haven't been to a prom since 1975.

And going as a chaperone is going to be just perfect for me.

I won't be getting dressed up.
I will try to look respectable and not too frumpy...
I will wash and curl my hair and put on mascara and lip stick of some sort.

But there is no paging thru Teen Vogue for me, looking for just the right hair-do...or jewelery....or shoes....

This is my kind of gig.

I'm delighted be a little fly on the Prom wall this year.
I will take pictures. I hope that's allowed :o)

Emma is going this year, for the first time, with. a. boy.

He is a very nice boy named Jon.

They have been friends for a long time. And both of them thought it would be fun to have a 'date' for prom. They have a blast together! ( people say THAT word anymore?)

Emma's look is hippie chic.
Think Kate Hudson.

We bought her dress in Paris.

Tra la.

For my senior prom I went to downtown Chicago and bought the most glorious chiffon, flowery dress. It was so pretty and I loved it very much.
My date.
Not so much.

In fact, I have loads of pictures of me hamming it up in that gorgeous dress (it cost $80 at Bonwitt Teller) but not one picture of the boy.

he he....

What a teen ego maniac.

It's odd.

Teens either adore themselves or they despise themselves.

Isn't that interesting?

I pretty much adored myself.

Ha. I just made myself laugh.

Not really, all the way.
I was self conscious and was always longing for the boys that were not interested in me....

But I was basically a happy girl.

I grew up in such a nice a nice town...
We didn't have any of the pressures you hear about.
Hotel rooms, booze, ...and you know what.

I was lucky.

So is Emma, to be honest.
She gets to enjoy an innocent, old fashioned prom.
The senior (homeschoolers) have worked for months putting it together.
Music and menu and decorations and all...

How about you.
Did you go to your prom?
Did you have fun?
Did you look amazing? :o)

If I find a photo of myself...I will post it.
It will take a bit of digging.

'think, think, think...'

Sue and me.
Sue's Senior Prom.
Isn't Sue's dress darling?
I'm wearing a hand me down from Nancy.
I liked it.'s low cut.
I didn't notice back then.
But I spent a lot of time in bikinis back then...
so this was probably modest in my eyes!

If you find a prom photo...why not post it.
It's that time of year.

And in the sage words of Bill and Ted,

Be excellent to each other. And... PARTY ON, DUDES!

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Last May 15th I started the Fat Flush.
I thought I would give you the one year update on my weight loss.

I'm pretty sure my total, total loss was 30 lbs.
The initial two months saw the greatest weight loss.
Even tho I stayed with 'the program' the weight loss slowed.
But it did work for me.
Hence the 30 lbs lost by August.

But as my hair started falling out in large amounts.
I started worrying that the diet was causing this.
And I was tired of the strict diet, to be honest.

So, I counted points, did a little South Beach, ate a little more balanced and kept the weight off.

I gained and lost the same five pounds for the rest of the year.

So, in total on my FF anniversary.
I have lost 25 lbs. this year.

That is good. I'm am glad for that.
I don't feel badly about myself for not doing better...

I could, but I'm pretty gracious with myself ;o)

Remember how I gave up caffeine/Diet Dr. Pepper?

Well, I confess that I started drinking it again last winter.

And to be honest, the quality of life with caffeine is much better than without.

(Oh, I know Janice is going to yell at me.
But my fingers are in my ears. (But, I know you love me. And I love you for caring)

I like the pep and the ability to stay up until midnight.
I hated being so sleepy by ten o'clock.

And all that water really cramped my sleeping style.
I was waking two to three times a night to tinkle.


What is more important to my health (mental and otherwise)?

Hydration or uninterrupted sleep.

I choose sleep.

It's a good thing.
For me.

And so is a little gardening...and working up a sweat.

Along with the pink pail, I planted the white iris and two tomato plants.
The pink rose didn't make it thru the Wisconsin winter.
I am sad to report. It reminded me of my mother.

Katie and I weeded a little, watered a little and got dirt under our fingernails.

I like the idea of planting a sunflower for her.
She would like that :o)

And I will now dream of my most favorite food in the whole wide world.
Fresh tomatoes.


Hope you voted last night for your favorite dancer.

And I hope that was Joey.


I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond. ~Mae West

I've been on a constant diet for the last two decades. I've lost a total of 789 pounds. By all accounts, I should be hanging from a charm bracelet. ~Erma Bombeck

My wife is a light eater. As soon as it's light, she starts to eat. ~Henny Youngman

Encourage one another,
And thanks for picking up the slack in the comments yesterday :o)
That was fun.


p.s. When I started eating a more traditional diet. My hair did indeed stop falling out. Imagine that?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Don't forget to vote for Joey tonight!!!!

Waitin' on their world to change....

On Saturday, I drove down the road, with Katie to buy some plants to fill my pink bucket.
Katie didn't want to come, because it sounded like a really boring errand.
But, she's was lonely and I wanted her to get out of the house anyway...
and I was buying my mother's day gift for myself and needed a child to come along to legitimize the purchase :o)

A woman down the street from us sells plants from her yard. She has a wonderful choice and most of what she has is from her garden. She is always out there, puttering away. She is not like a sweet genteel garden lady tho. She is one of those rough, salty-tongued, grandmotherly types. In fact, she had a visiting grandson working in her yard who was blaring rap of some sort, but, he turned it down as soon as she asked him to. He was a good boy.

So I started gathering my plants and the Gardenlady tells me what goes best, where.
(I love this about her. I need the garden guidance)

And Katie spots a kitty. Which is always a treat.
And hears some puppies barking. And she asks if she can see them.
And the nice grandson, brings out two five week old King Charles Spaniels.
So tiny.
Not cute enough to make my heart start yearning.
Which is good. I'm content with my camera.

I asked Gardenlady where to buy potting soil and she tells me to go and get the free compost at the city dump.

Another good tip.
'cept it's closed until Monday.

So today I will search for the free compost.
And tomorrow I will show you my potted masterpiece.


Both of the boys called to wish me a Happy Mother's day.
That was so nice.
And each of the girls got me a card.
Katie chose a violet for me at the Gardenlady's.

I thought Emma forgot about it,
So her card was a nice surprise.
And she wrote really nice things to make me tear up.

Do you go thru the mind games before your birthday and mother's day?

'No one will remember. I'm not going to tell them. I'll see if they remember on their own. Maybe I should say something so I get something I want...
Naw. Maybe I will just go and buy myself some plants.'

I'm so immature.

Do you remember saying,

You're so immature?
You're so queer?

What expressions did you utter in high school that you haven't said...since high school?

I feel like I have just written the most boring blog entry in three years.
The highlight is going to get compost.

Let's have fun in the comments, anyway ;o)
I'm depending on you.

Encourage one another,

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Her skin may not always look that creamy,
but those eyes, those eyes,
they are dreamy.

My serene Miss Emma.

As she got ready for the concert last night, she pulled her hair back and brushed on some mascara...and she looked so pretty.
So I made her stand in the window to cast some light on her loveliness...
And this is how she looked.

Moments before a concert...
when she will sing a solo...

We are not the same, my Emma and me, we are so very different.
I would be fluttering like a butterfly, and chattering like a squirrel.

But Emma is filled with calm.

And ya know, the most important thing to me, as a mother, is knowing my children love the Lord.

And the serenity in our girl's face is really what is on the inside.

A quiet and gentle spirit.
A spirit that is confident that God loves her and that He is in control.

What greater gift could I ever ask for on Mother's day?

May your gifts be as sweet.


George Macdonald (1824–1905)

WHERE did you come from, baby dear?
Out of the everywhere into the here.

Where did you get those eyes so blue?
Out of the sky as I came through.

What makes the light in them sparkle and spin?
Some of the starry spikes left in.

Where did you get that little tear?
I found it waiting when I got here.

What makes your forehead so smooth and high?
A soft hand strok’d it as I went by.

What makes your cheek like a warm white rose?
I saw something better than any one knows.

Whence that three-corner’d smile of bliss?
Three angels gave me at once a kiss.

Where did you get this pearly ear?
God spoke, and it came out to hear.

Where did you get those arms and hands?
Love made itself into bonds and bands.

Feet, whence did you come, you darling things?
From the same box as the cherubs’ wings.

How did they all just come to be you?
God thought about me, and so I grew.

But how did you come to us, you dear?
God thought about you, and so I am here.

My heart if filled with gratefulness.

Encourage one another,

Friday, May 11, 2007

Fine Art Friday

Painting on the wall at the Vatican Museum.
This painting looks best large.
So, click on it :o)

Isn't she just the most beautifully dressed angel?
She's not going with the crowd and wearing white and gold and sliver.

Besides loving the fabric and colors of her garb, I like her foot.
And that man with the shovel...doesn't he have a flirty pose?

Oh. And for your daily Latin quiz.
What is written on the mural?


The Friday Feast is not posted I will pose to you the questions asked by James Lipton each week on "Inside the Actors Studio".

What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What turns you on [creatively, spiritually or emotionally]?
What turns you off?
What is your favorite curse word?
What sound or noise do you love?
What sound or noise do you hate?
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
What profession would you not like to do?
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?


What did you all think of Grey's Anatomy last night?
Did anyone watch Survivor?
(This is the show I watch that I don't tell you guys about...but such clever doings last night have prompted me to come out of the Survivor closet. Anyone?)


I forgot to share that in the high school Flame concert tonight...
Emma has a solo!
Her first solo.
So we have a extra special reason to look forward to the concert.

Flame has been a wonderful group for Emma to be involved with and we are grateful for the hard work it takes to run a homeschool co-op such as this.

I know a few of the hardworking servants visit this blog...
so to you gals....

*big smooch*... a hearty thank you....and God bless you!


Well...that's about all for now.
Get to work and I'll see you in the comments :o)

Encourage one another,

Thursday, May 10, 2007

There is nothing as delightful as a summer day
in May.

Look at that.
My camera can take black and white photos :o)
I pretty much knew it was possible...
but just hadn't taken the time to figure it out.

I fiddled with the 'photoshop' a little bit too.
I upped the contrast and sharpness.

I also found a setting to use in florescent lighting (which would have been just the ticket for the Monday recital) and a setting to use in direct sunlight.

Direct sunlight is very harsh and washes away the color from skin tones.
And if you stand someone under a tree...they get big blotchy shadows all over their faces.

I tried the direct sunlight setting here.
As you can see I made Katie face directly toward the sun.
It was noon.

I think it worked.

And if you don't think it was murder for this child to pose like that...

Here she is in a more natural state of being :o)

My camera is a mini computer (without the keyboard) but I will learn to use it.
I will.
I will.


So long to Lakisha.
See you on Broadway, dear one.

I was sad to see her quiet lack of confidence.
I love her.

How about that medley of BeeGee's songs?
Very nice!

And Barry's hair.
Not as bad as the Trump's.

And by the way.
I have decided.

Jordin is the winner.
Hands down.
No doubt.

Janice and Janet you must go see Jordin when she comes back to Glendale this upcoming week!!!!
Each contestant has hometown visits!
Please go and tell us all about it.
Janet, she might even come to your school!
She might even come to your house for a swim.....



That's how the day goes around here...
Almost summer.
School's nearly done.

Katie has only math to complete each day.

Emma is reading Bird by Bird for English, Fahrenheit 451 for great books and QB VII for history. She has completed Art History but continues to work thru Physics.

I am working on Graduation stuff for Emma, and wedding stuff for Matthew and Melinda, and a photo album for Emma, and Friday night is Emma's final choir concert, and prom is next weekend (I get to be a chaperon) and we have a college graduation to attend this Sunday....
and well...a couple of other things that I can't quite remember right now....

This time of year gets crazy for everyone, doesn't it?

I just feel so grateful for all of it.

I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
Psalms 69:30

Encourage one another,



desaturated and sharpened up
Thanks Crissy!!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

First things first.

Joey in the bottom two.

That is an outrage.

And I only have myself to blame.

And you.

We really must start voting.

You can be sure I will use all seven (or whatever it is) votes next Monday.

An outrage, I tell ya.

As Miss Clavel says, "Something is not right."


Is that big enough for all to see?

"But my ability to pick something up and read it-which has gone unchecked all my life up until now-is entirely dependent on the whereabouts of my reading glasses. I look around. Why aren't they in this room? I bought six pair of them last week on sale and sprinkled them throughout the house, yet none of them is visible. Where are they?"
~Nora Ephron

That's us.

My sister Nancy told me to watch out.
At 43 my eyes would go.
And they did, just like she said.

I was told.
'You still have 20/20 vision...
your eyes are just getting old.'

But, as I've said before...I don't mind the glasses so much,
they hide the sagging eyelids.

Really, this book is a hoot and a half.
But don't bother reading it until you are 45.
It's funnier when it is happening to you.

I'm sure to you young ones, it would read like boring Science Fiction.

But I loved this comment about reading and I think we can all nod in agreement to it...

"Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it is a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real.
Reading is grist.
Reading is bliss."

~Nora Ephron

And then Nora talks about Lost Food.

Food that once was, and can not be found now.

Do you have a food like that? I do.
I'll tell you about it in a minute.

Nora's lost food was cabbage strudel.
It vanished from Manhattan in 1982.

"Once upon a time I ate quite a lot of cabbage strudel, and then I sort of forgot about it for a while....and I feel bad about it for many reasons, not the least of which is that it never crossed my mind that my beloved cabbage strudel would not be waiting for me when I was ready to remember it again."

~Nora Ephron

Doesn't she have an easy, readable style?
I like it.

So my lost food.

Roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy.
Mostly the gravy.

And actually, I didn't lose it.
It left.

And I promise you. I will stand next to my mother in heaven some day and learn to make that gravy. That perfect dark brown beef gravy.

Cause it is not to be found this side of heaven.

I can almost hear Jesus saying,
"Esther, will you make your roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, tonight?"

Encourage one another...and tell us about your 'lost food',

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The sweetest dance class ever and
blurry, poorly lit, no flash photos and squamous cell carcinoma...

That about sums up my day yesterday.

Who can guess the ballet the girls are preforming?

With the end of this class/recital, comes the end of ballet for Katie for now.
Mrs. Mast at Storybook Ballet only teaches up to 7 years old.
Mrs. Mast is so lovely and perfect we all want her to teach forever.
But she has her niche.
Which she fills with grace and beauty and professionalism...
And I am going to miss her.

Katie is not so sentimental.
She doesn't know quite how special Mrs. Mast is...
and she is dying to take gymnastics again.

We can only take one special class like this at a time and Katie has been longing to go back to gymnastics.


So I go to the doctor, and she cut off 13 tags(Um. Gross) and then she said, "Well this we will biopsy"
And I thought bibopsy.

From what I could see, I have a little red 'rash' on my back. Under my bra strap.
So, from what I could see, (cause you can't see your back very well) it was nothing at all resembling skin cancer.

But I guess when you are looking at it with an experienced eye.
It looks like squamous cell carcinoma.

She (the NP) was quick to tell me that this is not a melanoma and not serious.
But she will biopsy (bibopsy) it and call me....and if it is THE cancer, it will be removed.

No biggie.

(And by the way, every time the NP says biopsy to me, I feel just like Fezzick and say bibopsy in my head. Those of you who have read The Princess Bride will understand this.)

So I left the clinic feeling fine but a little tiny bit disturbed by this news.

And then I started getting teeny tiny little stings in 14 spots on my body.

Yeah, there goes the lidocaine.

And I didn't worry, really.

And then...

Each time one of my little owies called out...

I worried again.

And after dinner I wanted a turtle sundae and I realized I was really starting to worry.

Because, stuffing down fear with food works really well. (sarcasm...kinda)

But I didn't do it. I recognized what was going on.
And had my hubby take a picture of my owie instead.

And it does look most like a squamous cell carcinoma.

Cause you know...I was slowly convincing myself all day that it was a melanoma.

Every day, I pray for people every day who are young and have cancer and they are brave and have great faith and it breaks my heart.

And I don't know if I could be one of those brave ones.

I really don't know.

So, for now, I will practice a lot of denial until I find out more.

And play a guessing game.

Name that movie:

"It's not a tum-uh (tumor)."

"I want you to tell them it ain't so tragic!
People do get better.
Tell them it's OK to talk about the cancer!"


Did you watch Dancing with the Stars?
Who do you think will be in the final two?
(Will they do a final two or will it be a final three?)

Encourage one another,

NP is nurse practitioner.
For some reason...we never get to see a doctor.
I think it has something to do with our insurance plan.
I'm not making this up.

Monday, May 07, 2007

If you know Ree...
and even if you don't know Ree...
Today is the day to go and see what she's doin' over at her blog.

She is giving away her beloved camera.

A Nikon D70.

Why, you ask?

Cause she is generous to a fault.
And it is her 1st anniversary of blogging.
And her blog, in one year, has soared to meteoric acclaim.
Well deserved acclaim.

(She averages 5000 visits a day! And she just opened a showing of her Pioneer Woman photography at a fancy gallery!)


Today she has a contest.

Name that photo contest. These are very popular events at her blog.
With great prizes!
And they are extremely competitive!

If you pick a name that makes her 'hiney tingle' and forget to pick her toes....

You will win her Nikon D70.

I predict she will have 2500 entries.

Go over and see what all the fuss is about....

And win yourself the camera of your dreams!!!

Confessions of a Pioneer Woman


So I'm trying to take Emma's senior picture by myself.

Here is my best photo so far.

I could use a little photoshop help...
But I think I can make this work.
What do you think?

No really. I don't want to know.
It's been hard enough to get one this good :o)

Just tell me you love it.




I'm going to post this real early...
Cause I have an appointment to have moles removed this morning.

Nothing serious.
Just yucky tag type moles.


So that's what I'm doing as you are drinking your coffee and reading blogs and trying to win a camera....

It's okay if you don't think of me.

I hope I don't have any stories to tell about it,
if that's alright with you.

Encourage one another,

One more thing.
How about that header?
I learned to change it here.