Friday, February 29, 2008

Down With Stars

It's Poetry Friday! New and improved with more Auden! Well, not exactly new or improved but I do have one more W.H. Auden poem to share. It's called The More Loving One. And I hate to admit it, but this poem perfectly sums up my experience with an ex-boyfriend. He was a star and I, unfortunately for me, was the more loving one.

The More Loving One by W.H. Auden

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sucker

A couple of days ago, when it was so cold outside, Little Pup wanted to go out and ride his bicycle. In just his pajama's. In 39 degree weather.


After a few minutes of arguing, I managed to put his heavy coat on him but he absolutely refused to zip it up.


Me: "You can't go outside until you zip up your coat."
Little pup: "NOOOO!!!!!"
Me: "Then you're not going outside."
(long pause)
Little pup: "Mommy, go in the bedroom and lock the door."
Me: "Why do you want me to do that?"
Little pup: "So you won't see me go outside with my coat not zipped."


Awwwww.....see what I mean--his cuteness is UNBEARABLE and all efforts to resist are futile. And not only did he get to go outside without his coat zipped up but I gave him chocolate pudding afterwards.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Last Great Race On Earth

The 2008 Iditarod is just around the corner. It's always held the first weekend in March and this year that's March 1. It's a 1150 mile race from Anchorage to Nome and lasts over 9 days. There's 96 mushers running this year and I'm rooting for Karen Ramstead and her huskies. There's not many (or any, really) that run all Siberian teams, but Karen has run an all Siberian team since her first Iditarod in 2000. She's had to scratch 4 of the those races and even got the Red Lantern award in 2001 but I'm still pulling for her.

The Red Lantern is awarded to the last musher that actually crosses the finish line. When I talk about a driver in Nascar getting the Red Lantern, I'm referring to whoever technically finishes in last place, running or not.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

California Part II

It's a special Tuesday edition of Nascar Monday! After being rained out Sunday, the race started promptly at noon yesterday. Little pup and I fought bitterly over the remote and he won. I am no match for a 3 year old. A 3 year old in Buzz Lightyear slippers. The cuteness is unbearable. So I wound up listening to the race on the computer.


Elliott Sadler didn't have a good car throughout the whole race. It was tight in the center for the majority of the race and was really bad on entry to the point where he said he felt like he was driving on a dirt track. When Jimmie Johnson complains about his car being tight in the middle, he pits, they fix it, and he finishes 2nd. When Elliott Sadler complains of the same thing, his crew chief responds "10-4. Just hang in there." And he finishes 24th. That puts him 13th in the standings.


Carl Edwards gets the win, Sam Hornish Jr. gets the Red Lantern, and we're in Las Vegas next Sunday.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

California Part I

It was a very rainy weekend out in Fontana, California. The race was delayed for a few hours while Nascar dried the track. Finally, at 5 p.m. central time the race begins.

Kina Grannis sang the national anthem (Me: who is this? couldn't they find someone better than this?). Several T-38's flew overhead (WD: T-38's? that's all they could get?). And a San Diego linebacker waved the green flag. Come on, California.

After several laps of racing, the water begins to seep out of the seams in the racetrack. Casey Mears hits a slick spot, Dale Jr. hits him hard, then Sam Hornish Jr. runs into Mears as well, pushing Mears onto his side. The front of Sam's car bursts into flames, both drivers exit and are okay. The race is stopped for another hour while Nascar tries to dry the track. Again.

At this point, I take advantage of the lull in the action and bathe the boys. Have you ever seen a bathroom after someone gives 2 little boys a bath? It's not pretty. Dirty clothes, wet towels, and tubby toys everywhere. I get to clean that up this morning.

When racing gets underway a lot of the cars are having problems with the engines overheating. It starts to rain and Elliott Sadler spins out trying to avoid another loose car. The rain continues so Nascar waves the red flag after 87 laps of racing. 87 laps that should have never been run in the first place.

Finally, at midnight, Nascar said to heck with it, let's run this thing at noon on Monday.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

A Bright Lure

A couple of years ago, we took the boys to the zoo for the first time. We would stroll by the animals and I'd name each one we walked past. "That's a monkey...That's a giraffe...That's a snake..." Then we stopped to watch the bobcats. "That's a bobcat," I said. Big pup looked around, puzzled. Finally, he asked, "Where's Wendy cat?"


Parents of toddlers are laughing hysterically right now. Non-parents of non-toddlers? Not so much.


And whenever I'm having a bad day, all I have to do is think about my boys and how sweet and funny they can be. And then my own dark hours aren't so dark anymore.


Mermaid Song by Kim Addonizio

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Spinach Roll-Ups

Have you seen the commercials for The Olive Garden's new Lasagna Rollatini with Chicken? I have. And everytime I do I curse the fact that we live an hour and a half from Little Rock. Actually, the first thing I do is drool. Then I sob. Then I curse. WD is one lucky man, huh? Since it is unlikely that the town I live in (population 511) will ever get an Olive Garden restaurant, I have had to improvise.

One of my favorite recipes is Spinach Roll-Ups with Parmesan Sauce. Now, to copy The Olive Garden's new rollatini (like I did in the picture above), just add chicken, some reserved sauce, a chopped sun dried tomato, and parsley. But, trust me, you really don't need all that froufrou stuff, the spinach roll-ups are perfect by themselves.

8-10 lasagna noodles, cooked according to pkg directions
10 oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
16 oz cottage cheese
4 TBS Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp pepper

While lasagna noodles cook, mix together remaining ingredients for filling. Spread a few TBS on each cooked noodle, and roll up end to end. Stand up in a 2-quart casserole dish.

Sauce:
3 TBS butter
3 TBS flour
2 cups milk
6 oz pkg Parmesan (minus the 4 TBS for the filling)

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and brown. Add milk and whisk until there are no lumps. Add Parmesan and continue to stir until cheese is melted.
Pour over roll-ups and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Rhyme's With Roach

This is Angie's new purse. And if you know what brand it is, she will be your best friend. And if you own one, she may just marry you.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

That's A Fact

I trust everyone had a wonderful President's Day yesterday? Because, according to Big pup, it is the BEST HOLIDAY EVER!

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Daytona

It's the 50th running of the Daytona 500! And another excuse to gorge oneself on wings, potato skins, and cheese dip! I laid claim to one couch and WD chose the other couch while the boys, with nary a piece of clothing on, ran around the house pretending to be cats.


But that's another story. After 3 months, Nascar season began with 200 laps of racing in Florida. Trisha Yearwood sang the national anthem, the Thunderbirds flew overhead, and Darrell Waltrip and previous Daytona 500 winners gave the command to start.


Michael Waltrip, with his gold wheels, led the 1st lap.....and then dropped to 20th by lap 8.


Starting around lap 41, Kyle Busch took the lead and held it for the majority of the race. He's driving the M&M car this year which is no longer #38 (it's #18) or a Ford (it's Toyota). Lots of changes this season.


The "middle" of the race wasn't that eventful. There weren't that many yellow flags. And the commercials were mostly leftover from the Super Bowl. But then came the final 30 laps. Things got serious. Drivers began to make their moves. Some were good but most were bad. As a matter of fact, 4 of yesterday's 7 yellow flags were during those final 30 laps.


As Tony Stewart led the final lap, Ryan Newman, with drafting help from Kurt Busch, passed Stewart for the win. And the home of the lazy dog erupted in applause. Take that Tony Stewart.


Elliott Sadler started 35th but finished an impressive 6th.


Ryan Newman gets the win, Kenny Wallace gets the Red Lantern, and we're in California next Sunday.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Wine, Yes. Wind, No

Earlier this week I had made a list of love poems to mull over, picking one to post today in honor of Valentines Day. There were a few wonderful ones from those familiar favorites W.B. Yeats, W.H. Auden, and Margaret Atwood. But I kept going back to a poem by Billy Collins called Litany. Every time I read it I couldn't help but laugh. Collins opens up with a couple of lines from a love poem by another poet and proceeds to poke fun at traditional romantic poetry. Very funny and yet, very touching at the end.


Litany by Billy Collins

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

I Heart Reese's

Who says that holidays are becoming too commercialized? Not me. Bring on the Reese's trees, eggs, and hearts...the shamrocks, flags, and driedles...the nina, pinta, and santa maria...Any excuse to consume this delectable treat from heaven is fine with me.


Happy Valentines Day!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The X-acto Boston Model KS Table Mount Pencil Sharpener (or Love, Peace, and Happiness)

There were only 2 things Big pup requested from Santa Claus this past Christmas: a big truck with a double trailer and a pencil sharpener.


The only big truck I found that had a double trailer came from a hobby shop and wasn't very "playable." Santa went ahead and got it for him and he liked it for about 2 minutes. But the pencil sharpener? He LOVES the pencil sharpener. And it's a good thing his birthday is coming up because he is in desperate need of some new pencils. (Hint, hint everybody).


Come to think of it, my birthday is coming up, too, and I'm in desperate need of a Fujifilm 7.1 mp Finepix s700 digital camera with 10x optical zoom and image stabilization. (Hint, hint everybody).


P.S. Big pup is actually asking everyone to get him a cat for his birthday. I implore you, do NOT get him a cat! Pencils are much easier to take care of.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

...And That's How You Get To Tall Mountain!

Sunday, while the pups visited with grandparents and great-grandmothers, I joined WD and one of his co-workers on a 4 wheeler ride. (I rode on the back while WD drove). I was hesitant about going. I didn't want to slow anyone down by stopping to take pictures and I'm not into hot dogging at all. I was hoping for a nice, leisurely Sunday ride. And, for the most part, that's what I got. There was an unfortunate moment when WD decided to exit the main road and drive through a not so shallow stream but other than that, I enjoyed it.

We took a trail up Mount Magazine which took about 4 hours, round trip. There were a couple of times when it got too steep for comfort and I got off the 4 wheeler and walked. It was also very rocky in certain areas and yesterday my back was sore all day. WD is wanting to go back in a couple of weeks but I think I'll wait until it warms up a bit before going back out again. It was more than a little chilly up there on that mountain. I do know that the next time I go, I need to make sure the batteries are fully charged in my camera.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

What a busy Speedweek it has been down in Florida. First, there was some excitement Friday night when Busch and Stewart got into it during practice. They traded paint on the track and then afterwards, it was rumored that Stewart punched Busch. They were warned to stay away from each other after that so we will see how that goes.


Saturday night was the Budweiser Shootout. It is a non-points race that includes the pole winners from 2007 and the winners of the previous Bud Shootouts. Elliott Sadler didn't capture any poles last year so he wasn't included. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the race in his new 88 car.


Yesterday's qualifying race determined the polesitter for the Daytona 500. That honor went to Jimmie Johnson while Michael Waltrip came in second, therefore getting the outside pole position. Sadler didn't even come close. Out of 53 drivers he placed 35th.


This coming Thursday will be the Gatorade Duels. That's 2 150 mile races that will determine the rest of the field for Sunday's race. Sadler actually won one of the duels last year so I've got high hopes for him this Thursday. He will be running in Duel #1 starting 14th.


Countdown to Daytona: JUST ONE MORE WEEK!

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Comparing Poems

1. This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams


2. Variations On A Theme By William Carlos Williams written by Kenneth Koch


3. And finally, To My Husband written by Ali the Lazy Dog:


I have thrown away
the papers
cluttering up
the desk
and which
you were probably
saving
for.....who knows
Forgive me
I go on a cleaning spree
when I'm sad
and angry


Which one do you like the best? Don't answer that. That was a rhetorical question. Unless you like number 3. Otherwise, nevermind.

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys

There are times when the boys are so overwhelmingly sweet that it takes all the self-restraint I have to not buy them a pony. Gramma Deb thinks they're overwhelmingly sweet, too, and beat me to it. Last year, she got the boys a 2 year old blue roan filly named Blue. I wish we had the land to keep her on but since we don't, Blue lives in Mtn. View with her other horse friends. We visited them a couple of weeks ago. She isn't at the point where they can ride her yet so instead, they rode Plug with their daddy. And they loved it. And I love that they loved it. It's an opportunity I wish I had when I was a kid. Thanks, Gramma Deb!


On a sad note, a tornado passed through Mtn. View Tuesday evening and tore down their fences (among other things). All of the horses were rounded up except for Plug, who is still missing.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

"Bright Sadness"

Today is Ash Wednesday. A day when the priest takes the ashes of the burned palms from last years Palm Sunday, and makes a cross on our foreheads, saying something to the effect of "you are dust and unto dust you shall return" (Gen. 3:19). This helps to remind us of our own mortality and calls us to repent.


And if you're between 18-59 years old, you must fast and abstain from meat today. Which means we'll be having spaghetti for dinner tonight. A lot of spaghetti. With garlic bread. A lot of garlic bread. Okay, enough about food.


Ash Wednesday kicks off the season of Lent--the 40 days (minus Sundays) preceding Easter. It is a time of fasting, abstinence, prayer, repentance, sacrifice, good deeds, and spiritual discipline.


It's been said that it takes 21 days to form a habit, so let's dust off our rosaries and try to forget about those M&M's in the cabinet, shall we?

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

First Anniversary!



video


A year ago this month, the builders finished the construction of our new house and we moved into our dream home. I put together a video of the pictures I took throughout the 4 month process. It's not perfect. To be honest, I needed to do one more revision (this is a second draft) but just the thought of laying out another storyboard of over 40 pictures makes me weep uncontrollably.

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Monday, February 4, 2008

No Smoking

WD was for the Patriots. I was for the Giants. I won. However, after consuming approximately 2 gallons of cheese dip, I'm too full to gloat.


In Nascar news, Bristol Motor Speedway has banned smoking. A Tennessee law went into effect late last year prohibiting smoking in sports arenas. (Texas, are you listening?) A BMS spokesperson said that "smokers will be asked to extinguish cigarettes and cigars when spotted." Good luck with that.

Preseason testing ended this past weekend in Las Vegas and California. While Elliott Sadler did pretty good in Vegas, his test speeds in California weren't that great. I'll be on the look out for Nascar haulers on I-40 this week heading back to the east.


Countdown to Daytona (and more cheese dip): 2 weeks.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Greek Freak

I'm sorry. I've tried to forget him but I can't. Seriously, I've tried to stop thinking about him but I just can't get him out of my mind. I'm forever drawn to him. And you, my readers, must suffer my obsession. So here it is. Another poem about Icarus. It is Landscape with the Fall of Icarus in the simple, clear language of William Carlos Williams.


Landscape with the Fall of Icarus by William Carlos Williams

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