Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2012 Photo Challenge

I wanted so badly to complete another 365 project in 2011, but it just didn't work out between life & school it was too much for me.  Well, I've finished school -  YEA!!!! -and I'm ready for my next challenge.  I've also started a new job, so my time is somewhat limited.  But between me and my friend Ingrid we came up with a great idea.  If you haven't been there  - check out my photo blog.  

We are going to complete a photo challenge for the year 2012.  We post 2 photos a week, any day of the week and post the link to your photos on Twitter with the has tag #POTW52.  Each month will have a different theme so that we can work on some of the things that we feel can always be improved on.  There is also a flickr group - "Friends Photo a day challenge"  If you don't have a twitter account leave us a message with your flickr name & we will add you to the group.

The Challenge starts January 1, 2012 and will go through the whole year.  January's theme is Black & White images.

Hope you can join us!

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Corner of Glory & Freedom

Today is Veteran's day and for me it deserves a little more than a 140 character remark on Twitter or a few sentences on Facebook.  We as Americans owe our Veterans.  They have protected us, they have fought for us and more importantly they have sacrificed themselves in various ways for our country.

Those of you that know me, know I've been researching my family tree, in conjunction with other members of the family who are all working on different branches.  What has struck me more than anything is the number of people in my family that not only served their country, but fought in wars.  I have family in Germany that fought in the Napoleonic wars, and then served as border guards in what is now Serbia, before they emigrated to the US.  Just last night I was reading the Revolutionary War Pension files for two of my relatives and found that all four of the brothers in that family fought in the Revolutionary War - one under George Washington's command according to the writing.  My great-great-great grandfather fought in the Seminole War.  I know of 4 that fought in the Civil War.  I can't even begin to give you the numbers for WWI and WWII, but one of the cousins was killed in action in Saipan.  My uncle fought in Vietnam.  My dad, was overseas as a Medic in the Army, thankfully not in any combat.  He spent 2 years active duty and 4 years in the Reserves.

I find when I walk through a cemetery and I always bend down and clean the headstone of a veteran.  Yesterday while walking through my favorite cemetery I stopped by the War of 1812 veteran to show my respect.  I found a gentleman who fought in the 14th Illinois Infantry during the Civil War who hadn't been listed in the databases so I placed him up online.  Maybe someone in his family will find out where he's buried now.

It shouldn't take a holiday to remind you that our veterans are special, remember them year around.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I feel blah

Today was one of those days I wanted to stay in bed and let pass by me, but I have carpool duty this week so I had to get out of bed.  I will say that I drove the kids to school in my pajamas and a robe - my rebellion for the day.  When I got home I jumped back into bed and stayed there until the phone got me up.  Even then I decided the cat that was curled up next to me needed some "extra" love so I stayed in bed for him.

I did accomplish a few things today.  I went to Target.  I needed a few of the important things, but not important enough that I had to go full-fledge grocery store.  I also managed to not look like a complete dump at pick-up.  It is a rare day that I pick up in anything other than "work-out" garb.  ( I put quotations around work-out because they are rarely used for that purpose.)  I also accomplished cooking dinner today, which usually falls to my most fabulous husband, mainly because he likes hot food and I lack imagination most days.

I got in a fight with my mom.  I get to go to a middle school meet & greet.  Woo Hoo!  Hopefully I won't wake up at 2 AM in a cold sweat remembering 7th grade.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Before & After Great-Great-Grandpa

Here's great-great grandpa before & after.  I'm totally impressed with my tie!  

Before and After

This week, we had a cousins reunion to work on our family tree.  The most wonderful gift of all was a large portrait of my great-great grandmother.  She was quite beat up when I first got her, but with a few hours of work, I think I've fixed her up nicely.  Can't wait to share it with everyone.  I can't wait to see what my mother said about my work.  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thinking on a Thursday.

I so am going to start writing here more.  It has been at least 6 weeks - I've missed my blog therapy.  

To bring you up on what I am doing, well the easy answer is sliding slowly into oblivion.  Between school, my children, my husband - baseball, no basketball, hockey, dead people (ancestry) and work my life is pretty much insane.  My school is busy and almost finish - well at least this part of it.  The kids & my husband are a constant so that really isn't out of the ordinary, except that my husband is working constantly on influencing their sense of humor in ways that can only be described as LOUD.  Baseball - can't I just say TEXAS RANGERS and leave it at that?  No basketball,, I feel weird that it is hockey season without flipping channels to watch basketball during the commercials.  Work - well work is work.  I've been there 16 years so it really isn't that bad, just different.  The company has reorganized a bit and with the death of one of the founders.....sigh.....its sad to go in sometimes.

I still get out and take pictures on a regular basis, but I find that I have less and less time to be creative.  I'm looking forward to a break in school so that I can concentrate on all I have gathered in my brain and do something with it.  Hopefully, I haven't worn my brain out or burned up too many brain cells stressing about stuff that won't matter tomorrow.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Humor Fail.

I have this lovely lovely person in my office - oh and by the way she's lost 3 inches in her waist - me I ate all the candy that my friend G left in my drawer at work, so I've basically screwed myself of all the calories that I worked of on Thursday during my walk.  Any way this awesomely wonderful girl, calls me today and says she's been reading my blog and tells me I'm so funny.

You realize that I have to post something funny - the problem is when you try to fail.  Miserably.  So in honor of me failing to be funny I'm going to post a link to the funniest blog post in the history of the universe (well, at least July).  Jan - read this......

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Diet & Exercise Fail

I'm calling myself out - the kids went back to school and I'm still not exercising.  I'm still carrying the pregnancy weight from my youngest child and since he's hit 3rd grade, I probably need to get off my butt and quit talking about it.  The problem?

  • carbs
  • wine
  • i'm on the wrong side of 40
  • chocolate
I could go on and on and on, but that's not really an excuse.  I'm sucking it up and I'm off to walk at least 4 miles.  Well, as soon as I finish my coffee.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Things to do when the high is 110.

No that is not a typo - it was 110 degrees here today.  It was 109 yesterday and tomorrow it is going to be 111.  So if you don't live in a place that sees this kind of weather let me tell you what you should do.


Well, I've done 2 of the 3, I will start #3 as soon as I'm done here.  Unfortunately this is NOT what I did today.  Here's what I did and whether it was smart or not.

  • Drank hot coffee with breakfast even though it was already 95 degrees outside.  SMART, see caffeine.
  • Took a shower & washed my hair.  NOT SMART, drying your hair causes you to sweat and need another shower.
  • Take your child to the eye doctor & spend 3 hours in the office.  BOTH.  Smart, because H2 needs his eyes checked, Not-smart because when we got into the car it read 119 degrees.
  • Going to a cemetery to take pictures of tombstones for find-a-grave at 4:45 in 109 degree weather.  You can figure this out, but the kids behaved pretty darn good in the funeral home & luckily the graves were in an air-conditioned mausoleum so not to bad.
  • Water the yard.  NOT SMART.  See moving the water & the yard is already hay.
What did you do today?  And did you post a picture of your 7 day weather outlook?  Oh and notice the time on the iPhone when this was taken.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I'm so confused and I think I might be my own cousin.

I've been singing that song "I'm my own grandpa" all day.  Do you remember it? Well its stuck in my head.  Why you ask?  Well, I'm doing my family tree.  My mother did some work on my grandfather and then started on her own family tree with her cousin.  I got left my grandmother's family tree.  Well as you know when you are doing detective work - and trust me this is detective work - you hit dead ends and you turn around and go another direction.

So between the three main families that I'm researching - they intermarried 8 times, that I've found so far.  I realize back in the day you didn't travel far, but I mean spread out the gene pool.  Get some new blood.  I recently found a cousin who's descended from my great-grandfather's sister.  And I found that these families intermarried even more.  Granted when you have 8 or 9 kids it's not as bad as I make it out to be, but I think the family tree is kind of loopy.  I mean how do I show that one person's brother married that person's niece and her brother married that person's sister--in-law who is at the same time the first person's sister - or something along those lines.

I'm so confused I think I'd get lost in the lines traveling from one branch to the other.  I think I need an assistant or my mommy or something.  "Calgon, take me away!"

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Everyday can't be a winner

Today has not been my day.  I can't win, I'd been thinking of some kind of phrase to start this off but I could decide between:

"Damn it all to hell!"
"Well, shit."

So instead I'll say today has not been my day and leave it at that.  It's really more lady-like.  If you have a better idea, I'm happy to take suggestions.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cemeteries, Boxer Shorts & Not Cooking Dinner

I forced my two young children to brave the heat and go cemetery hunting today.  I love cemetery hunting, there is always a good picture in a cemetery - well, most of the time.  And as I have been working on my family tree cemeteries have become even more of an obsession as of late.  So, I chose a cemetery I hadn't been to in a long time and tried to hunt down some photos for find-a-grave.  Well, no go.  My boys and I trudged up and down the rows looking for two little graves in the oldest catholic cemetery in Dallas without luck.  I often comment that I'm hunting dead people in my family tree search.  When you do that for yourself and you know how frustrating locating something can be you want to be able to help people do the same in their search.  If trudging through a cemetery can help someone else....who am I to deny myself the pleasure of helping someone else in their search.  It's really kind of pleasing to do something nice for other people.  In fact I wish more people thought of other people on a daily basis.

Now I'm totally thinking of myself after showering (trust me after an hour in the Texas sun in a cemetery it was needed) and dealing with my oldest's heat rash.  Seriously - its a million degrees in Texas, even before lunch.  It feels like hiking on the planet Mercury.  I'm sitting here wondering how I can get away with remaining in my husband's boxer shorts and promotional Dallas Stars t-shirt until bedtime; without coming across as completely anti-social or a boring old hag who has nothing better to do.  Well, I might not have anything better to do, I'm sure I could come up with something, but the heat has reduced my will to do nothing but maybe hold up my Kindle until I'm forced to try and get out of slaving over a hot stove for dinner.


Seriously.  Can't we just have a salad or wine, cheese & fresh bread.  Maybe a frozen margarita & chips and salsa.  Any of that works for me.  Will someone call my husband....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm a dangerous mom.

So my favorite family member that is not related to me, gave me & my boys the most wonderful book the last time I was in SA.  50 Dangerous Things (you should let your children do).  We've had so much fun doing little things that the book says are dangerous.  The kids even spent a little time doing blogposts themselves about their latest adventure.

Being extra adventurous this week, I cleaned out the hall closet and found an old printer that refused to print any more.  So we chose to have a little fun doing #34 Deconstructing an appliance.  My mom and Margie have bought some small ones for when we get back to SA, but this was good practice.  At first they just wanted to get it in pieces until I sat down with them and talked about learning how they are put together and what goes where and why.  The next time we do this we should learn so much more.

So far we've licked a 9-volt battery, driven a car, spent an hour blindfolded, and learn the art of swordplay.  Hmm, maybe we should whittle next - but hopefully with pa-pa in charge.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Question of the day

Why is it so incredibly hard to get kids to help around the house?  I have pondered this question over and over and over, all while plotting the demise of the children who ignore my existence while it is clean up time.  They won't go outside to save their lives - but if they can get out of picking up a wet towel they will brave 105 degree Texas heat to avoid the task.

I'd like to blame it on that guy I married my wonderful husband.  Actually he is quite wonderful - unless he is disciplining the children - which is NEVER - or if he's playing video games - because no one must interrupt video games.  NO ONE.  Although, I have less respect for the guys he plays Battlefield with, as last night I discovered they were drinking wine.  I love wine, but any self respecting soldier in the middle of war should not be drinking white-wine spritzers.  Beer, Bourbon or Scotch - that's pretty much the only options for soldiers.

Sorry, I got distracted, back to the lazy children.  How do you make lazy children clean up?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Enjoy Today

I haven't posted on this thing for a million years it seems like.  Maybe because life is going well and my need to vent is less than normal or maybe because I've melted in the heat in Texas.  I swear if you go outside with a Popsicle it will have dripped down your arm before you can walk three steps off the deck into the grass.  I'm looking forward to rainy September days, cold fronts & iced beverages.

Enjoy today!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Second Best Soup in My House

The first - GERMAN SAUSAGE SOUP, but that is not what's cooking in my house tonight.  My husband's Bubbie used to make the most fabulous barley soup in the world.  It was thick and flavorful.  Her trick - blend the vegetables so the boys didn't know what they were eating.  So I often make this soup and put everything I can think of in it.  Today I'm making Beef Barley Soup.  I'm using the left over roast & trimmings from Sunday's Pot Roast dinner.


It's different every time - which is the beauty of it.  Here's what I did tonight.  I took the left over pot roast and chopped it up and set it aside.  I sauteed an onion & a garlic clove in the soup pan with a little olive oil.  Then poured the left over liquid, carrots and onions from the pot roast and added a little water.  I then chopped up some celery, some fresh green beans & threw in a handful of spinach for a little extra anti-oxidants.  Cook till all the vegetables are tender.  Get out the boat motor hand-blender and blend until smooth.  Add the left over pot roast and barley (however much it takes to make a hearty soup) and cook till barley is tender.  Serve with a warm loaf of fresh bread.

It's truly awesome.

Now sometimes I add potatoes, turnips, leeks, pinto beans if I don't have any beef.  Mushrooms, a can of tomatoes, broccoli anything you have on hand.  Make it up as you go along - that is the beauty of it.  And the best part, your kids (and husbands) are eating all these healthy vegetables and they don't know it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Time to vent....

I would probably do better if I posted more regularly on this blog.  I need a place to vent and throw stuff out there.  I need advice.  I need people to reign me in before I go all crazy loon on a particular issue.   That being said, I need to let loose.

My baby is yet again not being given a fair chance.  He's got vision issues, you've heard that before.  But this year as room mom, I've seen a whole different side of education and I'll tell you I don't like it one bit.  My child is in an exemplary, blue ribbon elementary school.  SO WHAT.  He's gotten farther behind, because of either lack of funds, lack of interest in forwarding my child, a total lack of communication between parent & teacher and lack of follow up with special education.

I find disorganization from the teachers appalling.  Several of us moms made ourselves available to the teachers to make their copies for them, to do folders, to take some of the daily busy duties away from them so they could focus on our kids.  The problem, they couldn't get organized enough to let us help them, we sit there and waste our time waiting on them.  We go up to help and instead of having a stack of stuff ready for us they are still conferring on what homework will be ready to go home that afternoon - mind you it is 30 minutes until the school day is over.  There is a lack of control by the teachers in some of the rooms, there is a lack of organization from most of them, there is too much yelling.  And my personal favorite, the reading teacher who doesn't turn her light on in her classroom.

@*&$(#  !(#$&#   *$&@#!

I'm waiting patiently for the Special Ed coordinator to call me back.  I've talked to the assistant principal, I'm trying really hard to compose an email to the teacher that is basically now the bane of my existence.  I have to take care of this logically and without emotion, and that is h-a-r-d for me.  I want to go in there guns blazing and with a take no prisoners attitude.  Don't tell me I need to homeschool him, I am no teacher and never will be and private school is not an option.  This school needs to be completely and totally aware of the fact that they are stuck with my kid and I can only do so much and that depends on communicating to me what his problems are.  You will have to explain his test scores to the world when he fails and you lose your coveted exemplary, blue ribbon status.  YOU AND YOU ALONE.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My firstborn is 10!

My firstborn is 10 today.  I'd like to tell you his birth was all wine and roses, but alas, its more like George Carlin doing a stand-up routine about Richard Pryor lighting himself on fire.  Yes, it was fabulous, earth-shattering and amazing, but it wasn't perfect.

Monday, January 22, 2001 I was at work.  I was fat, I hadn't seen my feet in months and felt about as sexy as Rip Taylor would look in a g-string.  I was going that evening to see my Dallas Stars whip up on somebody over at Reunion arena and I told the whole office I was not coming in Tuesday because I was bound and determined to be not pregnant.  We were 5 rows off the glass.  Now, if you ever saw a hockey game at Reunion Arena you know that 5 rows off the glass was down at the bottom of a very long staircase.  I was 37 weeks pregnant, and well you really don't want to know how many times I had to walk up the stairs to go to the bathroom.  Then when we left the arena, I walked up 4 flights of stairs to the car, because 1) I was surprisingly energized & 2) I didn't want to wait for the elevator.  Somewhere on the way home my hormones got the better of me & well, lets just say The Husband went to sleep on the couch that night.

Somewhere along the time the 22nd became the 23rd the pain began.  Just a little at first twinges on the sides of my gigantic stomach.  About 3 AM I called to The Husband who was not ready to speak to me again.  by 6 am I was miserable and told said husband to get his ~bleep~ off the couch and get in here.  We then called the doctor and were on our way to the hospital to have the kid.  ~~FYI, I passed my office manager in Monday morning traffic on the way to the hospital.  I don't think I've ever mentioned that before.~~  Then got the hospital and my blood pressure was something normal over 91.  Well it was the 91 that got me.  The doctor decided to break my water and get on it with.

Well, we didn't get anywhere.

I eventually got an epidural - Sorry, I have a high tolerance, but there is no way we are going to have that much pain in THAT AREA and not have drugs.  Sorry for all you natural childbirth people, but I wanted drugs.  The nurse in the labor & delivery room wouldn't up the pain meds so I laid in that labor & delivery room in pain and not progressing.  After about 3 days (really about 12 hours) the evil thing with a stethoscope said to push & well 2 & 1/2 hours later they went for tools, 15 minutes after that I'm being straddled  by some blonde nurse ~funny that I remember blonde~ with her hand pushing the kid in place (yes, girls - that way) and being pushed (at a full run) by I don't know how many people down the hall to an OR.

 My son was "sunny-side up" or upside down.  His spine was along my spine and basically got stuck. I want to say this,  my doctor - the one that wasn't on call - came up to assist with the emergency C-section.  She came in all scrubbed up, looked at me and said, "You will do anything to get out of an episiotomy."

I of course laughed my evil laugh and said "I told you that on my first pre-natal appointment."

She replied with, "I didn't believe you'd take it this far."

I remember being strapped in; I remember being freezing & shaking; I remember my husband asking "What's that?"  and being told "Her bladder."  The next thing I knew I was being shown a naked, screaming child with a cone-head.  An honest to goodness cone-head.  It was from the forceps, and the little cute cap they stick on only covered the cone part of the head - you are trying to imagine this in your head right now, and yes, it was that bad.

I didn't get to hold him right away as I was strapped to a table, and all I can tell you is you don't really forget the birth - you don't forget the pain.  It hurt, well, until I got the good drugs. I still laugh every time I think of what my doctor told me about the episiotomy and that the word bladder came up during delivery.  I still can't believe she came up to the hospital when she wasn't on call.  What I really can't believe is that it has been a decade and this cute little boy is still causing trouble.

I'm sure that The Husband will remember it completely different.  I will say this, my boy E is special and I wouldn't trade him, his daddy or his little brother for anything.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Welcome to my 2011

Hello old friends.  I've missed my time here lately, I hope to be back here more often in 2011.  I'm going to be honest 2010 kinda sucked.  Why you asked? I actually spent time in the hospital for a reason other than birthing babies.  That was new to me.  My baby got smashed in the face by a 9 iron.  That was an experience.  Too many people died.  Too many people have been diagnosed with cancer ~ one very closer than you would think ~ but who prefers to remain anonymous.  Its not all bad, treatment for ANON has finished and quickly and outlook so far is very positive, but it affects you.  More than you realize.  Your office mate having cancer and a family member having cancer are two different things.  It makes you realize what is important, put things in perspective and unfortunately makes you tear up at the most inopportune times.

I'm starting another 365 project taking pictures and posting everyday.  Looking forward to getting back in the groove and creating something amazing.  I'm also addicted to Words with Friends.  Code name: dijea if you ever want to play......

My resolution for 2011:  Make somebody laugh every day.  Laughter is after all the best medicine.  Here's hoping that 2011 is pretty stinking fabulous!

I also noticed while finishing this post that somewhere I have a tag for underwear....I might need to go back and read that entry.