Monday, December 31, 2007

Dedicated To The One I Love

Back from Christmas vacation! Did anyone miss me? Don't answer that.

For today's edition of Nascar Monday, you get to spend 48 seconds looking at a tattoo that I got to look at for 3 hours back in November. It's a tattoo paying homage to the late Dale Earnhardt. When you're getting a tattoo of an athlete's number, it's always a good idea to make sure that they will always have that number. Isn't that right Jr. fans?

Countdown to Daytona: 7 weeks.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas I

Luke 2:1-14

Caesar Augustus, the Roman Emperor, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the nation. Everyone was required to return to his ancestral home for this registration. And because Joseph was a member of the royal line, he had to go to Bethlehem, King David's ancient home--journeying there from the Galilean village of Nazareth. He took with him Mary, his fiancee, who was pregnant by this time. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born; and she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.

That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared among them, and the landscape shone bright with the glory of the Lord. They were badly frightened, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! The Saviour--a baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in a manger--has been born tonight in Bethlehem!"

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others--the armies of heaven--praising God: "Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth!"

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Friday, December 21, 2007

More Auden Please

Please welcome back to the Home of the Lazy Dog... W.H. Auden, everybody. Very nice to see you again, Mr. Auden. May I call you Wystan Hugh? No? Very well, then. Let's get on with the show. Reading Epitaph on a Tyrant certainly calls to mind political figures throughout time but it also shows that for everything that we do there is a consequence. Our actions affect those around us, which in turn, affect those around them. Or something like that. Anyway, this poem also reminds me of what I'm like when I don't get enough sleep and what WD is like when he doesn't get enough food. And when those 2 things happen in one week, look out. It's been one of those weeks hasn't it WD?

Epitaph of a Tyrant by W.H. Auden

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Love Is A Fickle Thing

My dearest Sidney,
I just had to put permanent marker to rock and let the world know that I love you. But not 4ever. Not always. Oh, no, our love will end. I just don't know when. Tomorrow? Next month? In 2012? Don't get your hopes up, girlfriend. Live in the moment.
Temporarily yours,
David

We drove up to Mt. Nebo a couple of weeks ago, intent on doing some hiking, but the weather was not very cooperative. It was extremely foggy so I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked. But I just had to take the picture (above) of some of the graffiti found on top of the mountain. I thought it was hilarious. WD? Not so much. The gift shop was nice and was being visited by an old world Santa. I thought he looked an awful lot like Albus Dumbledore and I resisted the urge to ask him to explain Elder wands and Horcruxes. Maybe, when I drop Big pup off at school, I'll just ask one of the kids there to explain it to me.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Alphabet

Big pup made this in school last week. I had to ask him what each picture was because, well, they all looked like pictures of dogs or cats to me.

A-airplane
B-book, baby
C-cat
D-dog
E-egg
F-four
G-girl
H-hand
I-igloo
J-jar of jam
K-cast
L-upside down legs
M-man
N-nest
O-one
P-people
Q-
R-race car
S-scribble
T-two, three, tower
U-umbrella
V-vase
W-water, whale
X-x ray
Y-yarn
Z-z, zero

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sick Again

After both pups having colds over the weekend, Little pup now has pinkeye. Since I took this picture, it has spread to his left eye too. He looks pretty rough. He's been waking up every hour crying because he can't open his eyes, so I'll get a warm washcloth for him and he'll go back to sleep. Wait. Did someone say sleep? What's that and where can I get some?

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Dear Driver Of The #1 Bass Pro Shop Chevrolet

Before each race, the drivers do a lap in the back of a truck, waving to all the fans. All the fans wave back. That's nice. And when Jeff Gordon makes his way around the track, you can hear a wave of boos. That's nice, too. At least he waves. At least he acknowledges the thousands of people who paid a lot of money to come and experience a nascar race.

I'm looking at you, Martin Truex Jr. Could you, maybe, for 2 minutes act like you appreciate the fans? Give us all a little wave to say thanks for the support? I know that it's probably your least favorite thing to do but do you think that I wanted to spend all night baking cookies for Big pup's fall festival at school? No. I did not. But I did. Because that's my job. And the fall festival would not have been the same without my mexican wedding cookies. So you see, Martin, we all have our bad days. But if you wave, we will all wave back.

Countdown to Daytona: 9 weeks.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Paris

This is the story of 2 young girls who both dreamed of escaping their small, working class town. And while both were desperate to get out, the paths they chose to take were very different. Only one succeeded.

This is Carolyn Forche's As Children Together

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Proofreaders Needed

Should I be worried that the school that spells Santa Claus with an e is the same school that's teaching Big pup how to read and spell?

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pick Me! Pick Me!



My favorite John Grisham novel is The Runaway Jury. So when I received my summons in the mail last month I had visions of "Juror #2" dancing around in my head. For one person to have that much influence and power over a verdict is really exciting. And to put bad guys in jail and give their victims victory would be very satisfying.

And maybe I'm already secretly being watched by jury consultants. Maybe that toothless old man that came up to me and Little pup in Walmart the other day and told me that "there's nothin' prettier than a momma pushing her baby in a buggy" was actually a jury expert. Maybe when the guy in Subway asked me what I wanted on my sub and I said "the works" and he said "banana peppers and jalapenos?" and I said "no" because THE WORKS DOES NOT INCLUDE BANANA PEPPERS AND JALAPENOS and he smirked and said "Ah ha" well, maybe that was a test. And maybe there were hidden photographers everywhere last week when I was supposed to be picking up a pizza for WD and the pups, but I stopped at Sonic first for a chocolate shake then went into Atwoods and looked at baby ducks until WD called wondering what was taking me so long.

Hmmmm. Maybe.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Reason #87

I was looking through some pictures yesterday and found this one tucked into the folder of shame. It was right next to a particularly embarrassing picture of WD that I will share when he makes me really, really mad. Be nice, WD. But as for this picture, this is what Little pup had for breakfast the morning after Halloween. Does that make me a bad mother? Just look at all those empty calories. And I don't even want to know the amount of sugar in that bowl. But how can I say no to Little pup? Especially when he tells me every day, "Mommy, I love every inch of you." Could you say no to that? I didn't think so.


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Monday, December 10, 2007

Snuggle

Wait...What's this?...Why Elliott Sadler does sell snuggle fabric softener.


Countdown to Daytona: 10 weeks

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

What I Know For Sure

If you've ever read Oprah's magazine, then the title above will ring a bell. It's the title of a recurring column where she writes what she knows for sure about love, fullfillness, inhibitions, wisdom, intellectual freedom, etc. And while I'm not as eloquent as Oprah, nor are my topics as lofty as hers, here are a few things that I know for sure:


I know that men are incapable of multi-tasking.


I know that when a toddler says yes he means no, and when he says no he means yes.


I know that it's not a good idea to have Taco Bell past 10 p.m. when you're over the age of 30.


I know that you should never watch an episode of The Wonder Years when you have pms.


I know that it will rain the day after you wash your car and that your toddler's diaper will leak the day after you wash sheets.


I know that Oprah could buy and sell me for copyright infringement.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bumps And Bruises

We have another black eye here at the Home of the Lazy Dog. Big pup ran into the entertainment center and his right eye is bruised and a little puffy. Thankfully, it's not as bad as the time he fell off the bouncing bull. And then last night, Big pup and Little pup were allegedly playing together on the bed and allegedly they were both pushing each other and allegedly Big pup pushed Little pup and allegedly Little pup fell backwards onto the bed then to the floor. Allegedly. All I know is by the time I got in there Little pup was lying on the floor crying and WD was questioning Big pup on his whereabouts on the night of December 4 at approximately 6:04 p.m.

I think I'm about ready to wrap them both in bubble wrap and never let them leave the house.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Snickerdoodles

When I was a kid my parents didn't have a vcr or cable television. So when shows like How the Grinch Stole Christmas or The Wizard of Oz came on, it was quite an event in our house. We couldn't record it to watch it over and over, nor could we catch it on a TBS week long marathon. Back then, if you missed it, you were just out of luck. You had to wait a whole year to see it again. It was a big deal in our family. Momma would either make popcorn or fried pies. Or sometimes she would make cookies--either oatmeal or snickerdoodles--and Angie and I would get to lick the beaters.


So when A Charlie Brown Christmas came on TV last night, I got out the ingredients and my electric mixer and the boys helped me make some snickerdoodles. And some memories of their own.


Big pup: Can I have one of those? (pointing to the beaters on the mixer)
Me: Well, if you're not worried about salmonella, you can.
Big pup: I'm not!
Little pup: I'm not, either!
Me: Okay, go ahead.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
cinnamon-sugar

In a mixing bowl beat the butter with a mixer for 30 seconds. Add the cup of sugar and baking soda. Beat till combined. Beat in egg and vanilla till combined. Then beat in flour till combined. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll balls in cinnamon-sugar to coat. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. Let cool. But not too much. They're best warm.

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Mmmm....Butter

Would you buy country crock butter if Elliott Sadler told you to? No? Snuggle fabric softener? Maybe?

Countdown to Daytona: 11 weeks.

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Aiming This Poem Straight At Your Skull

I've been seeing so many hawks lately and every time I catch a glimpse of one I think of one of my favorite poems by David Wagoner, To a Farmer Who Hung Five Hawks on His Barbed Wire. I also think of it when WD tries to convince me that an unusually high amount of birds are using his truck as a means to commit suicide. But that's another story.


To a Farmer Who Hung Five Hawks on His Barbed Wire by David Wagoner

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Little Brunswick Stew Please

This dog wants a squirrel. Bad. When we lived at Little Rock AFB, there was one time when a squirrel was jumping from branch to branch in our yard. Then, all of a sudden, the squirrel lost it's grip and fell to the ground right in front of Howard. The squirrel quickly took off for the nearest tree while Howard stood there in stunned silence, not quite believing what he had just seen: a squirrel falling out of the sky!


And now, that's exactly what Lexie is hoping for. An unathletic squirrel lacking in jumping skills, an overweight squirrel on a very thin tree branch, an absentminded squirrel paying too much attention to the birdfeeder and not enough attention to the red siberian husky on the back porch. She's watching. And hoping that this will be the day when squirrels fall out of the sky.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

WD The Explorer

Recently, WD was searching for someone in the woods. About 75 yards in, he saw the suspect lying face down on the ground. WD approached with gun drawn and shouted "Show me your hands!" No response. WD continued to advance toward the man and shouted again "Muestreme sus manos!" Finally, a response. Spanish it is then. The man began to stand up and WD ordered "No se mueva! Manos arriba!" Thankfully, the suspect complied.



WD's spanish kicks in the same time his adrenaline does. I, however, would've been totally lost in that situation. Unless the suspect was actually a young hispanic girl with a disproportionately large head and eyes, travelling with a talking monkey, searching for a prince who is being held against his will by a wicked witch in a magic tower and the only way to open the door and save him is to say "abre!" I could do that.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Big Pup Likes...

Big Pup has 2 obsessions right now. Well, 3 if you count his predilection for the word awesome. I'm sure he picked it up from the kids at school and yes, it's very cute and yes, his fish tattoos are awesome and yes, Spongebob cereal is awesome but if he could just throw in a cool or groovy every now and then that would be awesome.

His other 2 favorite things are signs for buried cables and roadkill. It's not unusual that I get questions like "Where did that dead cat go?" or "Can you slow down so I can see that dead deer?" And I guess it's normal for a 5 year old to be curious about death and rotting carcasses but is it normal to announce "Warning! Buried cable!" everytime we pass one of those orange signs? Because we have a lot of them around here and having to hear that every 10 seconds is not awesome. Or cool. Or even groovy.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

Me Too

Okay, that's enough holiday cheer and merriment for now. Let's discuss something a little more important shall we? How about the repression of the female identity in a male dominated society? Or at least that's what I think Margaret Atwood is talking about in her poem, This Is a Photograph of Me. Or maybe she's talking about a fetus in the womb. Or maybe she's discussing the perception of poetry and art. Or maybe she's telling me to do laundry and go get groceries. Oh, wait, that's WD. Okay, I'm sticking with the repression theory.

This Is a Photograph of Me by Margaret Atwood

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!


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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Who's That Girl

Who's that girl and why is she sitting on the hood of an '89 Mustang?


Whoever she is, will someone please tell her to put on a more respectable top? God forbid her children would see this photo someday. Oh, yes, in 10 years she'll have children. Two to be exact. And then she'll spend 5 years changing diapers. Five. But don't tell her that part, though.


Will someone also please tell her that she's making the right choice by moving to the big city after high school? That creative, artsy, right-brain void she feels will be filled. Hallelujah. And she'll discover espresso along the way. Double hallelujah. And that small town she was so adamant about leaving? She'll return with husband and children in tow, moving for the 7th--and last--time in her life.


And, for the love of all things good, please tell her to go easy on the candy, ice cream, and chocolate. She'll thank you when she's 34.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cast Away

Taking the pins out of Big pup's arm proved to be easier than putting them in.

We arrived at the hospital at 6 a.m. last Friday. I didn't bother getting him dressed before we left the house, I just left his pj's on and I wish I had done that last time. The nurses let him keep his pajama pants on. That was nice. He took some medicine to relax him--it was just as yucky as last time--but now, instead of making him goofy, it made him very sleepy. He could barely keep his eyes open and he was slurring his speech. Eventually, the nurses came in and wheeled him to the operating room, so I got out a book and managed to read 2 pages before the doctor came in and told us they were done. They kept him in recovery for about an hour then they wheeled him back into our room. He was awake, very alert, talkative, and in a good mood. After he had some apple juice and an orange popsicle, I put his pajama top and slippers back on and we both rode down on a wheelchair. From then on it was like any other day.

One more consultation with the doctor in a couple of weeks and then The Broken Arm Incident of 2007 will be over.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Homestead

Nascar's season finale aired yesterday and to no one's surprise Jimmie Johnson won his second straight championship. He actually finished 7th in the race but it was enough to secure the trophy.

Elliott Sadler started 31st (ugh) and finished 38th (ugh). He ended up placing 25th for the year in the points standings. He wasn't running that great and when he hit the wall on lap 69, it caused damage to the rear deck and his car went from not so great to really bad. In Elliott's In the Field article for Nascar.com, he says he and his dogs (he has 83 of them!) will be up at 6 a.m. this morning getting ready to go hunting. About halfway through yesterday's race, Rodney Childers, his crew chief--I mean, team director--had a question for him:

RC: Are you going hunting tomorrow?
ES: F***, I don't know. I don't feel like doing anything right now. It
sucks, I make one little mistake in the corner and it costs us the
whole weekend.
RC: It's all good. I make mistakes, we all make mistakes. We'll get this
day over with and put the season behind us and start working on next
year.

I'm guessing he did go hunting this morning. In the article he mentioned how hunting is like therapy for him and it sure sounds like he needs it after this race. It's funny to hear them have regular conversations while driving over 100 miles per hour. In Texas, Elliott and his spotter discussed NFL games. Very funny.

Matt Kenseth gets the win, Jimmie Johnson gets the championship, Johnny Benson gets the Red Lantern, and we're in Daytona February 17, 2008.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Call Me Ponyboy

When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.


I think that ranks right up there with "Call me Ishmael" for famous first lines in literature. Anyone who paid attention in 8th grade English will recognize those words from S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. Or maybe not. It seems that some schools have banned the book for depicting drug and alcohol abuse and violence. But that's not what I remember most about the book. I remember Johnny and Ponyboy watching the sunrise while Ponyboy recites Robert Frost's poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay. Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold....

Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Finally!

Today, I'm picking up Big pup from school and taking him to the orthopaedic clinic. If the x-rays show his arm is healed then they'll take the cast off tomorrow. Which means tomorrow will be another groggy day.

The school is having the Kindergarten Thanksgiving program tomorrow. It's a shame he doesn't get to go. He was going to be a little Indian boy and his line was, "One day a kind Indian came to the Pilgrim's village. He liked the Pilgrims and wanted to help them." Doesn't that seem too long for a 5 year old to memorize? Or maybe a 5 year old has better memorization skills than I do. All I know is I would want the line They ate turkey, corn, and pumpkin or this easy one And everyone gave thanks.

Although I'm a little sad that he doesn't get to participate in the play, it does mean that I don't have to go out and buy him slacks and a white shirt. And for that I am very thankful.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Quack! Quack!

Emergency Room visit--$75
Orthopaedic office visits--$185
Hospital bill--$940
Having Aflac insurance--priceless!

I highly recommend getting Aflac to anyone with kids. It picks up where your regular insurance leaves off and pays your share of the bill for you. But only in case of accidents. For instance, Little pup's trip to the ER for croup: not covered. Little pup's trip to the ER when mommy dropped a spaghetti sauce jar on his head: covered.

On a related note, while driving by a local Baptist Independent church a few weeks ago, I couldn't help but notice their sign out front. It said, What you need is Life Assurance, not Insurance. And while I wholeheartedly agree that what's missing in ch rch is u, I'm going to have to disagree with this one.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

An Autumn Night's Dream

I sat down in the grass. WD sat down beside me. We were soon joined by 3 women. I thought, Why do I have to socialize with strangers? Why can't I just sit with WD and not have to say anything? Now I'm forced to think of topics for small talk. I can't think of anything. One of the women begins to flirt mercilessly with WD. She has spit hanging from her mouth. Why don't her friends give her a nudge? They look as uncomfortable as I am. I look up. There's a diesel truck with a flat bed trailer hauling a John Deere tractor flying in the sky. It's quite impressive. The pups would like to see this, I thought. Everyone around me glances up at the truck weaving through the clouds. It's getting closer and closer. I start to worry. "I have a bad feeling about this," I said. I look over at WD. He's enjoying the attention from Little Miss Spittles. She's asking him about Nascar. Seriously, she has spit dangling like a pendulum from her mouth. Can anyone else see this? I look back up at the sky and the flying truck is headed right for me. "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!" I say over and over. Little Miss Spittles leans over and puts her ear towards my mouth. She doesn't understand what I'm saying. I don't want her anywhere near me. The truck is hovering right above me so I lie back and kick it away. I sit back up and see that the truck had crashed into an overpass, causing the structure to collapse. I'm sitting there in disbelief, looking at the jumbled mess of concrete and cars and WD says to me, "Well, you said something bad was going to happen."

I really don't have very many dreams at all, but this one was a doozy. I woke up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding, trying to think of alternate dream endings to make things right.

The one thing I remember from Intro to Psychology in college was that the professor ate a Tootsie pop during every class. Analyze that! The second thing I remember is that the dream theorist, Alfred Adler, believed that the less dreams you have, then the less problems you have and the more psychologically healthy you are. Woo hoo! Good to know. He believed that our dreams are correlated with the problems in our daily life. I think so, too. In just this one dream you find my discomfort around strangers, me ignoring my instincts, my inablility to make small talk coupled with the feeling that I need to make small talk, the search for Christmas presents (big trucks with 2 trailers) for the pups, and, of course, my fear of bridges. However, I have no idea what to make of the woman drooling over WD.

WD? Do you have anything to tell me?

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Phoenix

Not having to listen to Rusty Wallace's commentary last week in Texas (live and in person!) has spoiled me. I hit the mute button on the remote control and turned up Elliott Sadler's in-car audio on Nascar.com's Trackpass. So much better. Why didn't I think of this earlier in the season? And am I the only one that thinks it's weird having Brad Daugherty comment on Nascar and not the NBA? I am? Really? Okay, nevermind.


Anyway, back to the Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson show. Elliott Sadler started 16th in yesterday's race. After finishing 12th last week and 14th the week before that you would think that this week he would place 10th. Right? Wrong. Try 27th. His car wasn't liking any of the changes made to it. He could never get a handle on turn 1 and that's what did him in. In other Sadler news, it was announced over the weekend that he will have a new sponsor next year. Goodbye Dodge Dealers, hello Best Buy. And goodbye $32 worth of Dodge merchandise we bought last week in Texas.


Jimmie Johnson gets the win (again), Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets the Red Lantern, and we're at Homestead next Sunday for the final race of 2007.

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Grimm Indeed

In Hansel and Gretel, Gretel pushed the witch into the oven and unlocked the stable door, freeing her brother. They returned to the witch's house and gathered all the valuable stones and pearls their pockets could hold, then made their way through the forest and found their father's cottage (minus their stepmother--she had died). The story ends like this: "So all their troubles came to an end, and they lived together as happily as could be."

I don't know. I'm thinking that not all their troubles ended. Especially for Gretel. Louise Gluck thinks so, too. Here's her poem Gretel in Darkness.

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Tell Me A Story! On Second Thought...

Children's stories haven't always been as simple as Goodnight Moon or Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (one of Big pup's favorites) They haven't always been full of fun nonsense like Green Eggs and Ham. Actually, classic children's literature can be downright scary.

In the original story of The Three Bears, it wasn't Goldilocks that stumbled onto the Bear's house. It was a very bad, dirty, disrespectful, old woman who ended up jumping out of an upstairs window. The Bears were left to wonder if she broke her neck in the fall or was picked up in the woods and sent to jail for vagrancy.

In the original story of The Three Little Pigs, the pigs were turned out by their mother because she could no longer take care of them. The first 2 pigs did not survive. They were eaten up by the wolf. The third pig then boiled the wolf and ate him for supper.

In Cinderella, her stepsister's cut off parts of their feet in order to fit into the gold (not glass) slipper. When the Prince saw the blood covering their feet, he knew neither one was his true bride. And on the way to Cinderella's wedding, 2 birds pecked out the stepsister's eyes as punishment.

And of course there's Hansel and Gretel. A story of 2 children abandoned in a forest by their father and stepmother. They came upon a candy house built by a witch to lure in children and eat them. The witch locked Hansel in the stable to fatten him up but Gretel managed to save them both by pushing the witch into her own oven.

And yet, without Prozac, Paxil, or psychotherapy, they all lived happily ever after.

Or did they? Be sure to check out tomorrow's poem!

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Texas Part 2

As a race fan, there is nothing better than the start of a race. When the cars are making that final "warm-up" lap, gaining speed as they head into turn 4, revving their engines with 160,000 people on their feet as they race across the start/finish line, green flag waving, signaling the start of a 500 mile journey where anything can happen. Unless you're in Charlotte, then you might as well get a jump on traffic and leave early because you can pretty much bet that Jimmie Johnson will win.

But this is Texas, a track Elliott Sadler has won at. He couldn't get it going in the Busch race Saturday so I didn't have much hope for him in the cup race. But he really turned it around Sunday and finished 12th.
I have no idea what happened with the other cars. My eyes and scanner were on the number 19 the whole race.

Jimmie Johnson gets the win, David Reutimann gets the Red Lantern, and with 2 races to go we're in Phoenix next Sunday.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Texas Part 1

We're back from Texas! We had a great weekend but it was exhausting. I will try to put up a recap and pictures tomorrow.

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Friday, November 2, 2007

Memory is Permanent

Michael Ondaatje's To A Sad Daughter is another of my favorite poems. One reason is because the girl in the poem reminds me of myself. Although I was never into hockey, I couldn't get enough of the Boston Celtics and the Buffalo Bills. I had posters. I wrote fan letters. The high school librarian would save the new issues of Sports Illustrated for me so I could be the first to read them during study hall. And like the daughter in this poem, I also suffered from those "purple moods." Deep, dark, plum, magenta, crimson, bruise-like purple moods that leave your mother to turn to the yellow pages in search of psychologists. It also puts into words how I feel about the pups. I, too, will sell my arms for them and hold their secrets forever.

To a Sad Daughter by Michael Ondaatje

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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Boo!

Halloween was a success! Well, half a success. Big pup had a great time. His favorite part? "Getting a bunch of candy." His least favorite part? "Going back home." My least favorite part? Lugging an uncooperative 3 year old out of the van, into the van, out of the van, into the van....My favorite part? Going back home.

Poor Little pup. He didn't have very much fun. There were times when he seemed to enjoy it but overall he just didn't have a good time. I think it was a bit scary and overwelming for him. He said that next year he's not going trick or treating. He said that he'll go to All Saints day Mass, come home, watch Wheel of Fortune with the porch light on and not answer the doorbell when it rings. Then wait for his house to get tp'd. Or maybe he said he'd just stay with Pawpaw. Right now that sounds like a good idea to me.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Paula Deen's Grilled Apple, Bacon, and Cheddar Sandwich with Roasted Red Onion Mayo

Wow, that title is a mouthful, isn't it? How 'bout just Grilled Cheese?

Okay, I realize that to call this simply a grilled cheese sandwich is a bit like calling Multi BIS/Ch. Chudrinka's Dance In The Wind SDX by the name Breezy. But that's a really long name for a sandwich. Even it's acronym, PD's GABCSRROM, doesn't work. So, grilled cheese it is. Albeit a more flavorful, filling, delicious grown up version of your basic grilled cheese sandwich that Big pup lives on. But whatever you call it, it is heavenly.

2 slices thick cut sourdough or another hearty bread (I used wheat)
4 slices thick cut bacon, cooked crisp
4 slices of cheddar cheese
1/2 Granny Smith apple, cored, sliced thin
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup of mayo
salt and pepper
butter

Toss onion, oil, salt and pepper together on small rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove, let cool. Transfer to a blender, add mayo and pulse till smooth and creamy.

Heat skillet over medium heat. Spread 1 slice of bread with red onion mayo, top with 2 slices of cheddar, then the bacon, next the apple slices, the rest of the cheddar, finishing with another slice of bread that's been slathered with red onion mayo. Butter the outside of each slice of bread and add to the hot skillet. It's easier to build this sandwich in the skillet.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy 67th Birthday Daddy!

See that little boy in the middle? He grew up to be the exact opposite of a lazy dog. He knows everything and can do anything. He does have one peculiar trait that I'm glad I didn't inherit though: he doesn't like sweets. Imagine never knowing the joy of chocolate cake topped with chocolate cool whip and crushed oreos. No, that's a world I'd rather not live in, thank you very much.


When he was growing up in the 1940's and '50's, all the kids at school had to eat all the food on their plates before they could leave the lunchroom. Including dessert. And as much as he hated to, the teacher would always make him finish his dessert. Then he would go outside and throw it up. And it's not just desserts he doesn't like, it's anything with a hint of sweetness to it, like spaghetti/tomato sauce or barbeque sauce. He can tolerate an ice cream sandwich, though. But only half. Half. I could eat 3. In the bathroom. With the lights out. I have dessert issues, too.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Atlanta

A Nascar pit crew can change 4 tires in under 15 seconds. Do you know how long it takes Walmart to change 4 tires? 6 hours! WD and I learned that very expensive lesson Sunday. But onto more pleasant news....

To commemorate Jeff Gordon's Cup debut at Atlanta 15 years ago, he delivered the "Gentlemen, start your engines" command which I thought was a very cool idea. I wish he had put a little more passion into it though. Remember Matthew McConaughey 's delivery? Just like that. Although, anything is better than when they get the ceo of the company that sponsors the race. Boring.

Richard Petty starts the race waving the green flag and loses his hat in the process. It sat on the frontstretch for awhile but they didn't even let him wave a yellow for debris on the track. Go figure.

I did not have access to Elliott Sadler's in car audio yesterday but he must've had a good car. He started 10th and finished 14th. At one point he had dropped to the 33rd position and I figured it would be another one of those races. I was very happy to see him finish so well. I would have been happier if he had gotten some TV time. Maybe next year...

Another exciting finish. Denny Hamlin gambled on staying out during a caution with 10 laps to go but lost. He ran out of gas on the restart and caused a mass of cars to jumble up which took out leaders Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch. The race ended under yellow as Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s tire came off which sent him into the wall hard. It looked bad but he climbed out okay. No bow this time, though.

Jimmie Johnson gets the win, Mark Martin gets the Red Lantern, and we're in Texas next Sunday. And this time I mean that literally--WD and I are headed to the Lone Star state this weekend!

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Five Dollars Richer

When I was kid, I hated when a tooth would come loose. My mother was always on me about pulling it as soon as possible so the new tooth would come in straight. I was always afraid it would hurt so I never reached in there and yanked one out. At least not for a quarter. I do remember one time Angie and I tied one end of a string around our cousin Ginger's loose tooth and the other end of the string around a door knob. Then we shut the door. Nothing happened. The string kept slipping off her tooth. I hope the pups have Ginger's brave attitude instead of my fearful one.


The other night as I tucked the pups into bed I decided to introduce the whole concept of loosing teeth and the tooth fairy. I don't think I've ever discussed it with Big pup and since he's approaching 6 I thought it would be good idea to give him a heads up before teeth start Falling! Out! Of! His! Mouth! He took the news well, especially when he learned there was money involved. I wonder, what's the going rate for teeth these days?

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Happy 88th Birthday Granny H!

This is a picture of my grandmother, Edna, taken in 1944 with her husband and 2 (of 3) pups. Just 25 years old with 3 kids and a husband in the war. Know what I was doing when I was 25? Sleeping till noon on Saturdays, eating dozens of blueberry muffins slathered with butter, catching up on a weeks worth of Days of Our Lives on the vcr. Yep. It was rough.

The other day we were sitting on her front porch, watching Little pup play with the kittens, when she started telling stories of what it was like growing up in the 1920's and 30's. I learned how they stored their meat in a smokehouse while the milk was lowered down into a well to keep cool. And although she enjoyed churning butter, making soap was her least favorite of all the chores. They raised cattle and hogs for meat, chickens for meat and eggs, grew all their vegetables and fruit. Occasionally, they would hitch up Jeff (their favorite horse) to the wagon and head to Bangert's store where they would trade or sell some of their goods for things like sugar or flour.

But my favorite story and Granny's favorite memory involved doughnuts. Every once in a while, Granny's mother would make a huge batch of yeast doughnuts that filled a dishpan right up to the top. Granny, her 4 brothers, and all the kids in the neighborhood got together and ate doughnuts, drank lemonade, and played games. And by the end of the day, the dishpan would be empty.

Mmmm...doughnuts. Yeast doughnuts. Light, airy, Krispy Kreme-like doughnuts. Which, by the way, was founded in 1937. But to hear Granny talk, Vernon Rudolph had nothing on her momma's doughnuts. And although I don't have her exact recipe (I believe it involved the use of hog lard), here's one that's a Krispy Kreme knock off that sounds pretty good. Someone needs to fix me up a dishpan full of these!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Happy 8th Birthday Lexie!

Early 2000, I started searching the internet to find another Siberian Husky. As people with dogs know, they are like potato chips, you can't have just one. Plus, Howard was almost 2 years old and needed a playmate. We didn't check the newspaper for breeders. We had done that with Howard and had since learned more about the unethical business of "backyard breeders." With so many unwanted dogs in shelters and rescue groups, we were sure there was a young, red and white, female Siberian out there just for us. Unfortunately, searching Arkansas' shelter websites left us empty handed, so I decided to check out some Siberian Husky rescue groups in the surrounding states.

One such group, Husky Haven, is located in Houston, Texas which was about an 8 hour drive from where we were living. I didn't think it was too far to drive for a dog so I clicked on their website and there she was! A 4 month old, red and white, female named Sadie. I immediately sent them an email. Several days passed and finally, on Valentine's Day we got a call telling us to come on down and get her. So the very next day we drove to Houston and I was in heaven. Huskies everywhere! I kept saying to WD, "she's perfect! she's so perfect!" We brought her back to Arkansas, changed her name to Lexie (after the wrestler Lex Lugar), and she quickly adapted to our family, letting Howard know early on that she's the head Siberian.

A couple of month's after we brought her home, I sent a letter on Lexie's behalf to HuskyHaven. It's towards the end of the page--8th from the bottom. It brings back a lot of memories. And although I don't spend as much time with her as I did before I had children, I still think she's perfect.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Big Pup's Big Break

This is the story of how Big pup broke his arm. Aka DHS case #571124.


Saturday night (10-13-07) we were just sitting around, flipping channels, watching Elliott Sadler lose on ABC and watching Arkansas lose on ESPN. The pups weren't interested in either one. They wanted to wrestle. So WD obliged. As WD and Little pup wrestled on the floor, Big pup decided to jump over WD. 1st jump? No problem. 2nd, 3rd, 4th jump? Still no problem. 5th jump? Big problem. Big pup didn't quite clear his daddy, tripped, fell, and landed awkwardly on his right arm. He immediately reached for his elbow and started crying. He was in a lot of pain. He held his arm close to him and had to be carried from couch to bed, bed to couch, all night. He woke up every hour and was popping grape Tylenols every 4 hours but nothing seemed to help.


Sunday morning he was still in pain and his arm was still swollen so we took him to the ER. We were hoping for just a really bad sprain but the x-rays showed a break at the elbow. More specifically, a type 2 supracondylar humerus fracture. He was actually very good. He cooperated with the nurses and didn't even cry when they wrapped his arm in a splint. I wish I could say I behaved as well as he did. I felt so lightheaded and thought I was going to be sick. The doctor had to move Big pup over so I could lie down next to him on the hospital bed. So embarrassing. The doctor turned to WD and said, "Don't you wish you had a picture of this?"


Monday morning we met with an orthopedic surgeon. He explained that because of where the break was at, 2 pins would have to be inserted to hold it in place for it to heal. Surgery was not what we were wanting to hear. It seemed like the news was getting worse and worse. We went from the orthopedic clinic to the hospital and completed the admittance paperwork and then we went to the Catholic church in that city and had the parish priest bless Big pup's arm.


Tuesday morning came quickly. We had to be there at 6 a.m. for surgery at 7:30 a.m. When we got there they put his hospital gown on, checked his temperature and heart rate, and gave him some very bad tasting medicine to relax him. And relax him it did. He was a little goofy and kept asking everyone their name. The nurses were very nice and gave him a toy monkey to take home.


At 7:30 a.m. they wheeled him into the OR, but not before I gave him about 5 kisses--he said he wanted a million (awwwww!) The procedure didn't take long at all and it wasn't long before they were wheeling him back into his room. They wanted us to go ahead and start trying to wake him up but he was out like a light. Eventually, he started coming around and they brought him some Sprite. He did get a little upset when he saw his other arm was wrapped up too and said "They gave me 2 casts?!" Actually, it was holding his IV in place. The nurse removed it and we got him dressed and said our goodbyes. He slept on the couch the rest of the day, waking late in the evening for ramen noodles, sprite, and pain medications.


Wednesday, he was up and around, playing with toys, even making a trip with WD to pick up his homework from school.


Thursday, he went back to school and everything is back to normal. Thank goodness. It was a long week!

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Martinsville

Well, let's hope that this week is less hectic and eventful than last week. And let's hope that Elliott Sadler can recover from his dismal finish at Charlotte with a top 10 at Martinsville! Okay, that may be too much to hope for. How about a top 20? Again, too much. Top 30? Uh....no. Elliott finished 40th. He started in 14th position and ran good until lap 90 (of 500). His teammate, Scott Riggs, ran into him and sent him to the garage for repairs. When Elliott finally made it back on the track he was over 100 laps down with no way of catching up.


This race set a record for yellow flags. There were 21 cautions and I think Martin Truex, Jr. was involved in all of them. Okay, maybe only 5, directly, but still, that's a lot for 1 driver.



Now for a few questions:
Does Jimmie Johnson get tired of winning all the time?
Does Clint Bowyer ever get mad?
Does Rusty Wallace ever get tired of talking about how great a racecar driver he was?
Does anyone really order raisins instead of chips at Subway?
Does anyone watch Caveman on ABC?


Jimmie Johnson gets the win, Aric Almirola gets the Red Lantern, and we're in Atlanta next Sunday.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Little pup had another bout with croup last night. It lasted from around 2-4 a.m. Is it wrong that I'm so tired of buying medicine I didn't get his prescription filled? We alternated between steam, the humidifier, and sprite.
Big pup did great in school yesterday and we're all looking forward to today. TGIF!

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

When it rains it pours....
Little pup woke up late last night crying, coughing, and wheezing. It sounded like the croup because it was more like barking than coughing but we wanted to be sure so WD took him to the ER last night. They confirmed that it was the croup and gave him some medicine that would help clear his airway. He finally went to sleep around 2 a.m.
Big pup seemed in such good spirits yesterday that we're going to try going to school today. We will see how that goes...

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Big pup is doing much better today. He finished his pancakes this morning, took his medicine, and has been up and playing with trains, cars, and video games. I think he'll go back to school tomorrow. Thanks for all the well wishes!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

No cast yesterday. Big pup's having arm surgery this morning to insert a couple of pins to hold everything in place. Poor Big pup....

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Charlotte

What a weekend we've had here at the home of the lazy dog. Little pup and I both are sick and Big pup broke his arm Saturday night. We have an appointment at 8:30 this morning for him to get a cast. I'll try and get some pictures up tomorrow.



So, needless to say, there's not much of a Nascar report this morning. Elliott Sadler started 16th and ran terribly throughout the whole race. He crashed on lap 175 (of 337) and spent a lot of time off the track for repairs. He ended up finishing 41st. By the way, what was up with turn 4? It would be interesting to know how many cars were taken out by that turn. And, I may have mentioned this before but doesn't it seem that ever since Tony Stewart and ESPN had their little spat, Stewart isn't getting very much air time these days?

Jeff Gordon gets the win, Ward Burton gets the Red Lantern, and we're in Martinsville next Sunday.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Wake Up!

Good morning! It's Poetry Friday! Last week I wrote ad nauseam about the moon. Now let's talk a little about the sun shall we? Today's poem is A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island by Frank O'Hara. I've always loved this poem. It's so light and fun and then it takes a turn at the end and becomes dark, ominous, and mysterious. I just love it when poems do that. There is a bit of controversy surrounding the authorship of this poem. Some find it a little too prophetic at the end. You see, poor Frank was run down by a dune buggy at Fire Island and this poem was found after his death. So while most do attribute it to O'Hara, some think that it might have been penned by Kenneth Koch. However, if you ask me, it has Christopher Marlowe written all over it.

A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island by Frank O'Hara

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Sad Clown

See this clown? He's not happy. Look past those floppy shoes, that big, red nose, the cartoonish clothes and make up and you'll find one disgruntled clown. I'm guessing he's 30% Bozo, 30 % Emmett Kelly, 25 % Homey, and 15% Pennywise. Sunday, as we stood in line for the circus, he went up and down the line juggling and twirling his hat for the kids. In the meantime, he was complaining to any adult that would listen how they're being worked too hard, they had to travel 150 miles in 1 week, it's too hot, they can't set up the bleachers in time for the first performance, he has to share a dressing room with the poodles. Okay, I made that last one up. Everything else? True story.



The circus got mixed reviews by the pups. Big pup really enjoyed it, anytime he gets cotton candy is a good time. Little pup did not like it at all. He thought everything--the animals, the acrobats, the clowns--was very scary. So, of course, I forced him to have his picture made with a clown. I'm sure I've scarred him for life.


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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sick As A Dog

Big pup has the flu. Wow, that kid can vomit. He's always thrown up at the drop of a hat though. Little pup, on the other hand, has never, ever thrown up. Food coming out of his mouth? It just goes against everything he believes in. So, we're all suffering from a lack of sleep here. And a lack of creativity as well. Hence, another post of text messages.

I'm full of butter and not in a good way.

Sadler is leading!

The ops manager stabbed himself in the nose with a screwdriver.

Free range organic eggs. 3.26. Got em.

Centurytel. A thousand curses!!!

I was selected for a pee test but they didn't tell me until I came out of the restroom.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Before you click on the video, a story...

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I recently had a panic attack. It was late at night, I was by myself, Spanglish was on TV, and all of a sudden, I started getting those first little feelings of an attack: a feeling of uneasiness, the pressure building up in my head, my heart rate starting to rise. A lot of times I'm able to stop it at this point. Something as simple as a change of scenery can work for me. For example, if I'm inside, I go outside or if I'm reading a novel, I'll switch to a cookbook. If that doesn't work then I start feeling lightheaded, the anxiety increases, my throat feels like it's closing up, and my heart continues to beat faster and faster. This is when I call WD to talk me down. Unfortunately, that night he was dealing with something involving drunken Mexicans, a chihuahua, and a car threatening to fall off a mountain. So he didn't exactly have the tme to deal with his crazy wife. Eventually, the panic subsided and everything was back to normal.

I'm not sure what brought it on. Maybe it was the fact that I was all alone in the house late at night. Maybe it was watching Adam Sandler take on a dramatic role as a successfull chef. Who knows. As long as I don't have a heart condition like the guy in the video. Roll tape.

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Talladega

The good thing about pre-race shows for Talladega is that you can always count on an interview with Elliott Sadler talking about his crash/flip/wreck that happened there in 2003. The bad thing about pre-race shows for Talladega is having to watch footage of his crash/flip/wreck. Scary.


Michael Waltrip is on the pole! Happy face! And leads only 1 lap. Sad face. He actually ends up leading a few more laps throughout the race. Oh, here's a funny story about him. We saw him at the track in Texas a couple of years ago and he was surrounded by several scantily clad buxom women and I said to WD, "Michael Waltrip is such a big star he doesn't need those girls around him to bring in fans." WD looked at me for a few seconds and finally said, "You do know those are the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, right?" Um, whatever, he still didn't need them.


Back to Elliott. He starts 10th, leads some laps, and does good. Really good. Until the "Big One" at lap 145. He runs over some debris and starts to struggle. Late in the race, Waltrip blows a tire and takes out Elliott. His day is done and he finishes 24th. (Talladega ends up taking 18 cars out of the race).


With only a few laps left there was a line of Dodges on the outside led by Ryan Newman and a line of Chevrolets on the inside led by Jimmie Johnson. Will it be Newman or Johnson? Neither! Jeff Gordon passes Johnson on the final lap and takes the checkered flag. He also takes a lot of trash thrown at him from the stands.


Jeff Gordon gets the win, Jeff Burton gets the Red Lantern, and we're in Charlotte on Saturday night.

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Friday, October 5, 2007

Meow!


Speaking of moons...again...

I can remember back in college, sitting in a poetry class not paying attention to the lecture, thinking about....I don't know, whatever 19 year olds think about. Stuff? Anyway, I suddenly realize that the lecture had stopped and everything was quiet. I looked up from my notebook and saw tears streaming down the professor's face. He had been reading a poem by William Butler Yeats. Yeats can do that to you. And you don't even have to be Irish, Catholic, or have 6 children with the surname Murphy, but it doesn't hurt. Today's poem is called The Cat and the Moon. And, for the love of all things Irish, do not tell Dr. Murphy this poem is in a Baby Einstein video. There's not enough Kleenex in the world for those kind of tears.

The cat went here and there.
And the moon spun round like a top,
And the nearest kin of the moon,
The creeping cat, looked up.
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
For, wander and wail as he would,
The pure cold light in the sky
Troubled his animal blood.
Minnaloushe runs in the grass
Lifing his delicate feet.
Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
When two close kindred meet,
What better than call a dance?
Maybe the moon may learn.
Tired of that courtly fashion,
A new dance turn.
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
From moonlit place to place,
The sacred moon overhead
Has taken a new phase.
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
Will pass from change to change,
And that from round to crescent,
From crescent to round they range?
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
Alone, important and wise,
And lifts to the changing moon
His changing eyes.

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Greek Spinach Bake

Now it's time for one of Little pup's favorite side dishes. He's such a good eater. Spinach, fish, fruit, froglegs. He eats just about anything. The other day he ate a whole can of corn for lunch. We call it "Dora Corn" because there's a huge picture of Dora the Explorer on the label. Genius! Thank you Green Giant! Now can someone please put a picture of cellulite on tubs of Cool Whip because I'm having some trouble losing these last 5 pounds. Okay, grab a pen and paper, here's the recipe:

3 eggs
2 - 10 oz boxes of frozen spinach (thaw, squeeze out excess water but leave a little moisture)
8 oz reduced fat feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp dill
2 tsp minced garlic

In a medium bowl, beat eggs with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together. Pour into a 2 quart baking dish that's been coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, uncovered. If I have any on hand I'll sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on top before it goes in the oven.

And, you know, spinach is very good for you. It's high in folic acid which plays an important role in preventing heart disease, stroke, and ensuring proper fetal development (I'm looking at you, Kristina!). Enjoy!

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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Camera Tossing

Speaking of moons....

Last week, after I put the pups to bed, I took my camera outside to take a few pictures of the full moon (100% full!). It was huge, white, and splotchy. Kind of like me when I was pregnant. But I digress. I took about 5 or 6 shots but it wasn't coming out right. Too blurry. Subject too small. It just wasn't working. So I decided to do a little camera tossing. Well, not so much tossing really, more like waving it around a bit. Ryan Gallagher is credited with creating this technique and has instructions on his site http://cameratoss.blogspot.com/. Basically, you set your camera at a slow shutter speed, point it at a light source, and press the shutter while tossing (or waving) your camera.


The picture above is a collage of the moon pics I took that night. Definitely a first timer when compared to the stunning shots from the camera toss group at flickr. They'd probably look down on a measly camera waver like me. Maybe they'd let me join their group if I passed out recharged batteries and Gatorade?

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

61% Full

So I've got igoogle set up as my homepage on the computer. I put a few practical things on there like the weather, the date and time, and a couple of news sites. Then there's my celebrity and cooking sites, People and Betty Crocker. Oh, and then there's Physics Today and Scientific American....what? It could happen. But the one that always catches the pups eyes is the phases of the moon module. Big pup is especially fond of it. Whenever he sees it, he'll say "Look, the moon is 85% full! That's big!" (or whatever the percentage is that day). It's become a pastime of ours. When we're outside in the evening he'll ask, "Mommy, what percent is the moon tonight?" And I'll just make up something off the top of my head--as usual when it comes to answering his questions. But lately I'm getting very close. He asked me the other night what percentage the moon was, I told him 95%. We came in and looked at the computer, it was 90%. So close. Then yesterday I was only off by 1%!

Okay, I'm looking at the moon right now and I'm guessing it's 55% full. I'm gonna check to see if I'm right....and then I'm gonna get a life.

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Monday, October 1, 2007

Kansas

I was in Pine Bluff and Woodlawn, Arkansas this weekend so I didn't get a chance to watch Sunday's race. From what I read it sounded pretty exciting. Elliott Sadler finished 8th (? and !). So...maybe if I stop watching alltogether he will do better? Most articles described the race as "wild" and "controversial" so I will attempt to break down the controversy. Here's how the race ended, with 4 laps to go:

1. Juan Pablo Montoya blew a tire.
2. Caution came out.
3. No restart due to darkness.
4. Field was frozen.
5. Greg Biffle was leading so he got the win even though
Bowyer and Johnson
crossed the finish line before Biffle did.

Got that? Good. Now someone please email this post to Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson because they don't get it at all. As for the rest of the race: Home Depot has a potty mouth. The Clydesdales ran over Tony the Tiger and Kellogg's is not happy. Little Debbie caused a big wreck and took out a couple of chasers. Darn those Star Crunch Cosmic snacks. Trouble with a capital T, I tell ya.

Greg Biffle gets the win, Ryan Newman gets the Red Lantern, and next week we're in...wait for it...wait for it...TALLADEGA!

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

He is Risen

When I was growing up, the Catholic view of children was that they were just miniature adults. There's catechism class, not Sunday school, there's a cry room, not a nursery, there's Mass every Sunday, not vacation bible school. There was nothing really for kids. So when I was around 13 or 14 years old, I was intrigued by an invitation to attend a church camp hosted by a local Baptist church. I know. Catholics and Baptists. Oil and water. Anointing oils and big dunking booths of water. But how bad could it be? We both shared basic beliefs. Right?

Everything went smoothly enough. So smooth that I actually only remember one thing about that week. The Holy Eucharist. As Catholics, we believe that the wafer we take during communion is the body of Christ. Not a symbol, but the body of Christ. So imagine my surprise when their communion consisted of a Pillsbury biscuit and grape juice. I went ahead and swallowed it down. Just like I did at breakfast. Don't get me wrong, having been an English major I'm all about symbolism, but really, canned biscuits?

So I finished out the week with no outbursts. Then came back home to the familiarity and comfort of candles, chalices, rosary beads, and statues of the Virgin Mary. Then I promptly said three Hail Marys for having negative thoughts about Baptists. Amen.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Say What?

One day while at the computer making out with photoshop--my latest fling--I was, consequently, ignoring the cries of my children. I can get lost in photoshop's eyes for hours. Magnificent, glorious, pixel enhanced eyes. And really, how can I think about changing diapers or preparing dinner when I'm trying to choose between the burn tool or the soft omni lighting effect? Finally, after the millionth "Mommy! Come here!" I hollered back, "Can you please just hold your horses?" That bought me about 5 seconds of silence then big pup said, "What horses? Do I have horses? Where's my horses?" I walked right into that one, didn't I?

I dropped little pup off at my parent's house one day and said "See you later, alligator!" He gave me a big smile, waved back, and said "Have a good day, Crocodile!" Close enough.

I decided to try out another saying on big pup the other day.
Me: "Hey, I have something to tell you."
Big pup: "What?"
Me: "A rolling stone gathers no moss."
Big pup: ::gasp:: "No moss?!"
Me: "What do you think about that?"
Big pup: "Well, I think it's stinky.....like butts!"

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Peanut Butter Sauce


Anyone looking for a good peanut butter sauce to serve over chicken? I was. Until I came across this one from the lid of a Smucker's peanut butter jar. I had to make a couple of changes to suit our tastes and now it's WD's favorite dish.


1/3 cup natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon garlic powder
red pepper flakes (I use one of the packets that Pizza Hut gives you when you order takeout--I think it's about 1/2 tsp)


Mix it all up until it's nice and creamy then pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. WD eats it like gravy. It's that good. The original recipe calls for 1/3 cup of water. Way too runny, but you could certainly add more than the 2 TBS I use to make it thinner. The original recipe also calls for 1 tsp of sugar but given my affair with Dr. Agatston I decided to omit it and it still tastes great. Try it!

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Dover

The Monster Mile. Dover, Delaware. Who thought Matt Kenseth was going to win this? I did. So I took a nap. When I woke up, he was out with a blown engine, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Petty had a spat, Tony Raines gave Robby Gordon a taste of his own medicine and Elliott Sadler still wasn't doing any better. I was actually glad to see that pile up towards the end of the race. It shook things up a bit and helped Elliott move up and finish 17th.

I had a mild panic attack the night before so I didn't get much sleep. Hence the reason for the nap during the race. My notes were sparse and I had no commercial reviews. Just wasn't into this race.

Carl Edwards takes the win (but fails the post race inspection) while A.J. Allmendinger gets the Red Lantern. Next race is next Sunday in Kansas.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

We've all experienced devastating moments in our lives. Whether it's someone breaking our heart, not getting accepted for a job or into a certain college, or suffering the loss of a loved one. Been there. Done all of that.

I can remember riding in a funeral procession years ago, passing grocery stores and laundromats, wondering how anyone can think of doing laundry at a time like this? But, for them, it was not an "important failure". The world doesn't stop for us when we're having a bad day. Life goes on. Whether we want it to or not.

Musee des Beaux Arts by W.H. Auden

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Go Away, I'm Eating

I've had it with all of the creepy crawlies around here.


We finished building our house in February. Since then we've had many different animals visit our backyard: fox, bobcat, wild turkey, deer, rabbit, raccoon (R.I.P.). And for you Dr. Suess fans, yes, I do feel like a big, fat Once-ler sometimes. But spiders and insects? They can go.


One night last week, I had just put the pups to bed, turned on the hall light, and sat down in the living room to recover from the ordeal of Bedtime. Getting a 3 and 5 year old to take a bath, brush their teeth, get into their pajamas, and turn out the lights is usually followed by a recovery period involving a tub of cool whip and some peanut butter. As soon as I sat down I noticed a scorpion crawling down the hall. Creepy and dangerous. I squashed it and flushed it and told WD that as much as I hate grandaddy longleg spiders, I'd rather have them inside than scorpions. Welllllllll, yesterday I came face to.....face(?) with a grandaddy longleg on the shower curtain. Hate. WD was in charge of killing that one. Right now there's 5 of them plus a praying mantis on the front porch, and 2 walking sticks on the back porch. Not to mention a hundred mayflys hovering everywhere. I think I'm surrounded.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Breakroom Incident

Angie and I used to work at a department store together. She still works there. I don't. Have I mentioned I'm lazy? Anyway, everyday like clockwork we would take a break at 9:30. We would head up to the breakroom, change the channel from Sportscenter to Ned & Stacey, sit at our table, and enjoy our morning snack.


Before I go on, I have to tell you something about being a twin. You don't have to spend your life honing your social skills to make friends because you were automatically born with one. A lot of people mistake this lack of sociability as snobbery. For this reason, we had some enemies. Well, that and switching the channel from ESPN to Ned & Stacey at exactly 9:30 every morning. That didn't help.


Anyway, one morning while enjoying the antics of Thomas Hayden Church and Debra Messing, two guys came into the breakroom and sat at the table next to us. It was no secret, they didn't like us, we didn't like them. Yet, we're adults, we were civil to each other. But one of them made the mistake of making a passive aggressive remark about our television habits. That's when Angie slammed down her goo goo cluster, turned to them and said, "That's right, you go ahead and start something, but I'm gonna finish it!"


Oh, yes. She did. It was an awe-inspiring moment. More so when you realize this is coming from a person who usually comes up with quick-witted responses 2 hours after the fact. Remarkable.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Babies



Oh, I love babies. Especially baby feet. I know, some people are all about their little hands, or their little baby head, or even that baby smell. Not me. My babies smelled like sour Similac. Not good. But baby feet? That's my weakness.

Both of my cousins had babies recently so I've had baby feet on the brain. On the brain not in my belly. Nope. Two pups are enough for me. Although I admit that whenever I see those cute little tiny baby sleepers I do get a hankering for another one. But then I remember the hemorrhoids, engorged boobs, sleepless nights, and the general everyday pain that comes from PUSHING A HUMAN BEING OUT OF MY BODY! But, of course, they are totally worth it.

Congratulations to the new moms and dads and welcome to the world Charlie and Lainey!

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Monday, September 17, 2007

New Hampshire

Elliott Sadler started 7th in yesterday's race in Loudon, New Hampshire. Can I just leave it at that? He started 7th. He always does great qualifying. He drives a pretty car. He has a dreamy Virginia accent. The end. Except. It's not.

What an up and down day for the former candyman. 7 to 13 to 2 to 29 to 5 to finally....38. Is that irony? 38? He was loose along the wall, had a lot of chatter in the middle, and experienced battery problems throughout the race. It was an uneventful race, really. Sorry to see Ward Burton hit the wall. Love those Burton brothers. More Virginia boys, I think. I've seen the Carl Edwards backflip and WD has seen Tony Stewart climb the fence but we'd definitely give those up to have seen the Bowyer's Burnout. Awesome.

Unfortunately, I'm unable to comment on commercials. There were none. Oh, except for one. The ABC affiliate in Arkansas showed commercials for the upcoming show Dirty Sexy Money over and over and over and....over.

Clint Bowyer gets the win, Brian Vickers gets the Red Lantern, and we're in Dover next Sunday.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

A Mammoth Poem

Good morning, class! Today's poem is The Man-Moth by Elizabeth Bishop. I would love more than anything to type this poem on this page with no rerouting involved. However, ever since reprinting Amanda Barker, I have had a recurring nightmare where a mob of dead poets are beating down my door with lawyers in tow. Pretty scary. So, please go ahead and click away. You won't be sorry. Read. Ponder. Blow your nose. And then I need a 20 page essay on human failure, ambition, loneliness, and vulnerability by Monday. Get to work!


The Man-Moth by Elizabeth Bishop

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

"Animals at Play"

If you read dooce then there's a good chance you've seen this already. It's a slideshow of a polar bear playing with a couple of huskies. Not my huskies. Mine would run away. Far, far away.



http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/play/audiogallery/soundseen.shtml

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Game Night

I spent the past weekend visiting my sister, Angie, in Little Rock. Saturday night Billy came by to say hi and joined us in a fun game of Scattergories. It was pleasant enough. Not too many challenges. Here's how we play Scattergories.
Something "W" found at the beach:
Wind? Ummm....okay.
Watercress sandwiches? Well, sure, someone could bring watercress sandwiches to the beaches.
Lamps? Ummm....no, not really, it doesn't even start with a W but we're all friends, so that's a keeper.
It's an enjoyable game. It's also a scathing indictment of the Arkansas public school system.

The real fun began when Angie brought out the Uno cards. The first game was very civil. But the second game was another story. I somehow managed to win so Angie and Billy played for second and third place. We were hyped up on Diet Coke and Krispy Kremes and things got a little tense. It all started when Angie put a red seven on a blue six. Then all heck broke loose. Billy insisted that it was an illegal play. Accusations, insults, and threats flew across the table. If Angie was a dude, I'm certain punches would have been thrown. Billy's argument was that you can't make a sequence of plays in 1 turn. Angie's argument was that "the beauty of Uno is flop, flop, flop and I'm out!"

Well. There you go. How could you argue with that? They agreed to disagree and Billy went outside for a cigarette while Angie had 3 more doughnuts.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11


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Monday, September 10, 2007

Richmond

After starting 6th in his home state of Virginia, Elliott Sadler finished a disappointing 27th. His car couldn't keep up with the track all night. He told his crew chief (I'm sorry, team director) that every time they would pit to make changes, they would just make things worse. After repeatedly losing positions Elliott finally came on the radio and asked if there was anything that he could do to help them make better decisions. Guess not. Another frustrating race for Sadler fans to say the least. Here's something else to add to the frustration: the huge map of Arkansas in the corner of the screen showing counties under a flood watch. Lucky you, Rhode Island.

Thanks for the panic attack Montoya. Another fire again this week. I believe you owe me some Zoloft, Juan Pablo. The final 25 laps were really exciting. Kevin Harvick makes the cut, Jr. does not, and David Ragan shows what he's made of racing with Nascar's posterboys. Great job, David.

I have only one commercial to address this week. Pizza Hut. I love your stuffed crust pizza but really, dippin' strips, p'zones, bigfoot, cheesy bites, and the edge? I admire your creativity but enough already!

Jimmie Johnson takes the win. The Chase for the Cup begins next Sunday in New Hampshire.

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Friday, September 7, 2007

Twenty Questions

Did you know that 5 year old's never stop talking? It's true. Never. Here's what I have to endure every afternoon on the ride home from school.

"MOMMY!
Did you see me on the playground?
Why did you pick me up at school?
Why are we getting on this road?
Are we turning left or right?
Are we going to me-maw and paw-paw's house?
Are we getting on the interstate?
Why are we getting on the interstate?
Why are we watching Spongebob?
Where are the DVD's?
Why does that truck have 2 trailers?
Are there shoes in that Walmart truck?
Why is that car in the ditch?
Is there a woman driving that truck?
Why did you bring your van?
Where is daddy's truck?
Where is daddy?
Is he at work?
Can we go to the park?
Did you bring my scooter?
Do I have to go to school tomorrow?"

His questions change from day to day. My splitting headache does not.

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Perfect Hot Chocolate

Today I share one of my greatest discoveries: the perfect, the ultimate, the best hot chocolate recipe ever. Last winter, I was fed up with all of the mixes sold in the grocery stores. They tasted weak, watery, and had absolutely no flavor. After doing some research online I came across a recipe from Jeffrey Steingarten's book It Must've Been Something I Ate. It sounded good and looked easy enough so I gave it a try. And....wow! It's just....wow! So good. You know that feeling you get when you see Shepard Smith on Fox News? That inexplicable giggle like a school girl giddiness? No? Really? Well, trust me, you'll never go back to Swiss Miss again.

2 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder, loosely packed
1 3.5 oz dark chocolate bar, chopped (I used Dove chocolate and a mini chopper)

In a 2 quart saucepan, stir together milk, water, and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add chocolate and cocoa. Whisk until dissolved. Put into blender for 30 seconds. Heaven.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Momma's Boy

When my youngest pup was born 3 years ago, he wasn't the easiest baby to take care of. First he would cry, then he would cry some more, followed by a little more crying. I don't even think we went to church for 3 months. Maybe it was nature's way of getting even with me for having a caesarean. Anyway, he wasn't into baby swings, bouncers, or Baby Einstein. He didn't want anything to do with his daddy or anyone else. All he wanted was for me to hold him. 24/7. He was a momma's boy from the get go.

Eventually he grew out of the 24/7 thing, especially when he discovered that Paw-paw will carry him everywhere. I was relieved. There were dishes that needed washing, huskies that needed feeding, and a toddler that needed potty training. He no longer wanted nor required my undivided attention.

That is, until a couple of weeks ago when school started for his older brother. Now it's just me and my little pup once again. I'm really enjoying this one-on-one time with him. He has grown into a perfect little boy. Well, except for the crying thing. He still does that. A lot. Other than that, perfect.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Caution: Contents May Be Hot

Welcome the newest addition to our pack. My Starbucks travel mug. He holds 16 oz and he has his daddy's chin. He was not planned at all but was born out of a love for espresso. Ahhhhh......espresso.

Rewind to 1995. The O.J. Simpson trial keeps viewers glued to the television while Toy Story plays on the big screen. A small town girl from Arkansas takes a job at the first Starbucks cafe to open in the state. As a barista, I learn the art of making the perfect latte and cappuccino. I offer up demitasses of con pannas and macchiatos. I introduce to my fellow southerners the wonder that is a mocha. The knowledge is overwelming yet empowering at the same time. I am able to expound on Ginsberg's obsession with Walt Whitman with confidence and passion while Dickinson dashes make their way into my own writing. However, customer service jobs stink to high heaven and do you know what's worse than a rude customer? Why, a rude customer who hasn't had his morning coffee, of course! So I left, taking all of their secrets with me.

Fast forward to 2007. As I drive my oldest pup to Kindergarten, Clifford the Big Red Dog plays on the portable DVD player and my travel mug sits in the cupholder. I quickly glance in the rearview mirror to make sure nobody sees me take a sip of my decaf 2% no whipped cream sugar-free cinnamon dolce latte. I'm too slow. My 5 year old sees me and yells from the backseat, "MOMMY! You CAN'T drink and drive!"

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Monday, September 3, 2007

California

I know that it has been awhile since ESPN has covered Nascar, but do you think they realize that there are 42 other drivers besides Dale Earnhardt Jr.? Oh, Elliott. How do you go from 6 to 42 in just 25 laps? He complained about the car being loose and darting around the track all night. Am I really missing The Girls Next Door for this? Elliott finished 35th. I don't care who the driver is, whenever a car catches on fire I'm usually screaming "GET HIM OUT! GET HIM OUT!" Michael Waltrip's Ghost Rider impression was really scary. Glad he's okay.

Now for the commercials. Nationwide Car Insurance. Boo. My bill kept going up until I called to cancel. Then you offered to lower the price. Too little, too late Nationwide. Boo. Always love the Napa commercials. Funny. Stop showing fast food commercials at 10:30 p.m. I'm talking to you McDonald's. Stop it. There's nothing I can do about it. You too, Subway. Knock it off.

Jimmy Johnson takes the win and we're under the lights at Richmond next week.

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Friday, August 31, 2007

Reading is Fun!

After reading James and the Troublesome Trucks or Percy Covered in Chocolate for the millionth time, sometimes I need a little break. That's when this former English major drags out her dog-eared, espresso stained, worn and battered second edition of (drumroll please) The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry. Love, love, love this book. All 1865 pages. I don't have my college diploma, my parents have that (as well they should, they paid for it!) but I have this book. If you think you're not into poetry, read Amanda Barker by Edgar Lee Masters:

Henry got me with child,
Knowing that I could not bring forth life
Without losing my own.
In my youth therefore I entered the portals of dust.
Traveler, it is believed in the village where I lived
That Henry loved me with a husband's love,
But I proclaim from the dust
That he slew me to gratify his hatred.

In just these eight lines Miss Amanda becomes a real person. I can hear her voice. I know what she looks like. I can see her spirit leaning against her gravestone telling her story to anyone who passes by.

Class dismissed for now. It seems that little star has fallen out of the sky and Dora must get her back to her friend the moon. Rapidamente!

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

First Day of School

This is my oldest pup. Last Monday was his first day of kindergarten. He was so excited that school was finally starting. He got up at 5 o'clock that morning and was ready to go. 5:oo. In the morning. 5. So I got everyone dressed and fed, then loaded up his school supplies, including the 32 crayons that had to have his name written on each one. And off we went . No tears or tantrums. My little boy. My firstborn son.

The next morning he hid under the coffee table screaming, "I AM NEVER GOING TO SCHOOL AGAIN!" But we won't talk about that.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Best One-Liners

I was looking through my saved text messages the other day and came across some interesting/funny/peculiar one-liners. Enjoy!

Scared to eat breakfast.

I am not looking at dirty webcams!

School. Smooth like chocolate. No, a chocolate bar with nuts.

Do you pay for texting?

Great Wraps. I'm bad.

Got money.

My favorite is the first one. It's from my sister and if I remember correctly she was texting me from IHOP. Which, if you ask me, is not the best place to be when you are scared of breakfast.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Splurge!




Don't judge me! I've lost 14lbs. since Mother's Day so I thought I deserved a little treat. My husband was at work, the kids were at their grandparents house and I didn't have to share! And it doesn't really count if I'm splurging on diet cookies does it? I had already eaten 3 packages before I noticed the warning at the end of the ingredients list. Let's just say I was glad I was home. Ahem. Ok. Bye.


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