Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Best of 2008

Best Posts
When I started Eat Your Veggies! back in June, I really had no idea what to expect. As the days, weeks and months have rolled on by, I think I've grown as a person, as a friend, and most certainly as a blogger. Every day brings new challenges~and new surprises as well. Who would have thought that Little Ol' Veggie Mom and The Great Big Blogger would become so tight, so fast? Hey, we're practically BFF!

Today I celebrate my 195th post of 2008. That's 195 straight days of posting at this humble site. A pretty impressive accomplishment, I'd say!

To Usher out the Old and Welcome in the New, I'd like to play off my Bloggy Buddy Vicki, and her Best Posts of the Week. For those of you In the Know, BPOTW is a wonderful showcase for your weekly Cyber Home Runs. Vicki's also hosting a Best Posts of the Year this week~you should Check. It. Out!

The following are what Aunt Julie and Uncle Lynn, my fabulous SIL and BIL, consider Veggie Mom's Best Posts of the Year. Yes, we've only been in the Blogosphere for six months, but we've got to start somewhere, don't we? And please, let us know which ones you like, or what you'd like to see more of. Hey~We consider Eat Your Veggies! to be your blog, too!

10. Would You Like Geraniums with Your Coffee? Who knew that used coffee grounds would perk up droopy plants? ~June 28

9. Happy Birthday, U.S. of A.! I've always loved this pic of The Wild One, getting a ride on Daddy's Back at the 1991 Desert Storm parade. A True Hallmark Moment! ~July 4

8. More Than a Patchwork of Memories. I started showcasing Aunt Julie's talents with this post of the "kweelt" she stitched for College Boy. For more of Julie Eliz's Handiwork, please Click Here, Here, and Here, too! ~July 9

7. Beat Those Back-to-School Blues with a Giveaway! Yes, this a post featuring one of Uncle Lynn's fabulous Pop'rs Giveaways. We did eight of 'em this year, can you believe it? This post also showcases a sweet snap of the tight-knit group of Pop'rs Cousins! ~August 22

6. Welcome to Wisconsin! This was our Day in the Sun with Blog Around the World, featuring my Hubz and Guest Blogger, Moker. ~August 26

5. Empty Nesters. This is the poignant post I submitted to Vicki for Best Posts of the Year. The title, I think, speaks for itself! ~September 12

4. Aunt Julie Hosts *Recipe Week*! This is the first post in the debut of Julie Eliz's two *Recipe Weeks* this year. To take a gander at her November offering, Click Here. ~September 15

3. Welcome, SITStas! Don't Let This Photo Get Your Goat! We were the SITS Featured Blogger in early October. Remember the Goats on the Roof? ~October 6

2. Fx4: Please Welcome Rowdy to the Pop'rs Family! This is but one of more than a dozen times that I participated in Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta. Rowdy, of course, is The Pop'rs Family's new dog. While no puppy could ever replace Trouble Elizabeth, who passed away in October, Rowdy's certainly added a "new dimension" to everyone's lives! ~November 7

1. Fx4: Bad Puppy! Another Candid Carrie offering. As everyone who owns a puppy knows, with the cute little ball of fluff comes a certain amount of exasperation, as well! Enjoy Julie Eliz's tale of Traveling with a Puppy! ~December 26

Ten seems like a nice, round number, so I'll cut it off here. Of course, I didn't mention Shark Boy and his adventures, or College Boy and the story that will steal your heart away. Nor did I touch on Soccer Boy and his run for glory, or Big Bear, and how he rescued my two in a Bonifide Wisconsin Blizzard. Then there are Vanna White's escapades, College Girl's tempting Toll House techniques, and The Wild One's mugging for The Green Bay Packers. And then, well, there are The Hapless Packers. But I need to stop. Happy New Year, Everyone!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stinky Cheese

The headline in the Milwaukee paper yesterday was "Good for Nothing." That was after

The Packers' 31-21 win over the hapless Detroit Lions. This season's Cheese Team will go down in history for making history: The Lions, thanks to Green Bay, went 0-16 this season. But we had a difficult time even beating Detroit.

Not much to cheer about over here. The Pack didn't do much better this year than the Motor City Crew. A 6-10 season does not a playoff team make. So this will be my last Public Commentary on Stinky Cheese...this season, at least!

Here's to the Wearing o' the Packers Plaid, not once, but twice; Packers Fashion Statements Extraordinnaire; a Rebuilding Year; Mr. Frowny Cheesehead; and, of course, Aunt Julie's Packers Parties. If The Pack had gone to the Playoffs, I would have had a few more posting opportunities, but that's just the way the Osthyvel slices da cheese, ya?

Now The Pop'rs Family has no team to root for in the NFL Playoffs. The Jets are out, too. And even though Brett's a Jet, he won't be playing in January, either.

The Good News is that there's always a good time to be had at Historic Lambeau Field. Here are Brett's Bikini Girls, renamed the Green Bay Bikini Girls (for obvious reasons!), out in Full Force even though temps dipped to 10-above and winds gusted up to 25 mph. Girls just gotta have fun, don'tcha know.

Monday, December 29, 2008

What's Your New Year's Resolution?

It's early, I know. But I wanted to get a head start on my Resolutions for 2009. Calvin & Hobbs always put me in the Festive Mood, too, so today seems like the best time to get underway!

And to those who voiced kindness and concern toward me and my Computer Predicament, these issues have yet to be resolved. So Eat Your Veggies! is coming to you via laptop. I have some cool holiday photos and whatnot to post as soon as our IT guy gets out here and solves the crisis. For now, this blog is going Low Tech, so no High Expectations, OK?

Veggie Mom's Resolutions for 2009

10. Exercise more.

9. Eat less.

8. Remember that Patience is a Virtue.

7. Once my Technical Difficulties are resolved, organize my computer's folders.

6. In that same vein, back up important files, including my precious pixes.

5. Explore more options in the Blogging Community.

4. Clean my desk at work.

3. Clean my desk at home. Keep both desks clean!

2. Clean the basement (This shows up on my list every year. Maybe 2009 is the year?)

1. Make sure to show my loved ones how much I really care.

I started on Numbers 10 & 9 the Day after Christmas. With all the leftovers, I'm sticking to low-fat offerings like the turkey, which I really could eat every day. And I've been going to the pool, and tramping the neighborhood each day since Christmas, so that's a good sign. I try a little harder with Number 8 every year, but still need to work on my Patience Quotient. Seven is an ongoing problem; I've got so many Bits and Bytes on my poor old desktop computer, that I fear I've freaked it out! Sticking with Number 6, of course, would help alleviate that problem.

For Number 5, what do you suggest? Some have told me to try BlogHer. I'm already a Devoted SITSta, but have had less success with Cre8Buzz, because that requires time. I'm intrigued with all the possibilities out there, but would love to have some suggestions from you! Numbers 4, 3 and 2, of course, go hand-in-hand. All I can say is, "We'll see." And Number 1 comes naturally; I hope I'm Showing the Love every single day!

Do you make New Year's Resolutions? If so, please share!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday's Cyber Cafe: We Are Currently Experiencing Technical Difficulties...

For those of you who haven't lived through this particular computer-related phenomenon before, the above pic captures what's known in the business as The Blue Screen of Death. Just a little Christmas Present from Cyberland to Veggie Mom. This means that all computer functions, including e-mail, Family Christmas Newsletter (which, because I'm running behind, was going to be a Family New Years Newsletter), correspondence, etc., has been put On Hold until further notice.

Eat Your Veggies! will continue to be brought to you, in all its glory, via laptop. And, if you need to reach Veggie Mom anytime soon, please use my Alternative e-mail, , until we can get a Computer Genius over here to sort things out.

The thing I'm most concerned about is the photos stored on the basement desktop that's currently experiencing technical difficulties. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a Christmas Season Miracle!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

RIP, Santa's Baby

Just a tiny bit more Christmas Trivia for you today. The Great Eartha Kitt, she of Santa Baby Fame, died on Christmas Day. Some of you may remember that Eartha's 1953 rendition, the original, ranks up there on my All-Time Christmas Carol List. The clip above is from a 2006 performance for the President and First Lady at the National Christmas Tree behind the White House. Looks like Eartha favored mink throughout her career!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Fx4: Bad Puppy!

As I have been lamenting this past week, The Pop'rs Family has Flown the Coop to FLA. They've got one more week down in more temperate climes, but wanted a share a Winter Puppy Story with ya.

If you'll recall, the Upper Midwest has been slammed by some Pretty Nasty Weather recently. Aunt Julie and Uncle Lynn and the Crew decided to bug out early, ahead of the storm.

Well, they loaded up Vanna White and departed Northeastern Wisconsin in the late afternoon. As they reached Chicago's outer suburbs, they were pretty pleased, to say the least. Nary a drop of frozen precipitation! But it was a Trip of a Different Temperature by the time they reached Indianapolis. Since ice was falling from the sky, and Vanna was having a difficult time skidding all over the Interstate, our Pop'rs Pals decided to Call it a Night.

But Rowdy, the new puppy, had other ideas. Yes, he had to relieve himself. And, no, being the rascal that he is, he did not, even after repeated entreaties. Pee, that is. Julie Eliz, already in her PJs, had even donned her shoes and winter coat, and headed outdoors. Four of these trips produced, well, nothing.

Except for the condition of Aunt Julie's shoes...the only pair she had with her, since two of The Boys had her suitcase in other car. And they weren't planning on traveling Down South 'til the weekend!

Rowdy wouldn't pee, and, downright discouraged, Julie called to him to return to the room. That's when she stepped in an icy, mushy puddle...up practically to her knees!

The Bad Puppy eventually Did His Business, after College Boy took him out for the fifth time. Aunt Julie's shoes didn't dry out for another 24 hours...after the family had already arrived in FLA and was settling in for a Long Winter's Nap.

Julie has this to say about the experience: "What's the difference between a baby and a puppy? You can put Pampers on the infant; the puppy takes much more work!"

This message is sponsored by Candid Carrie, and her Friday Foto Finish Fiesta. Hope everyone enjoyed Family and Fun yesterday!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Santa on a Snowmobile?

At least the city plowed so Santa could get through! Hey,'s down to bare pavement in places! Here's to the Merriest of Christmases ever, from The Pop'rs Family to yours!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

All I Want for Christmas...

Some of you long-time readers might remember Veggie Mom and Her Pretty Pedicure in honor of Election Day. I wore Packers Plaid (featured above, also), and settled in to watch the returns from the Comfort of My Own Home.

Those of you who follow us over here in Pop'rs Land also know that we're all Hard-Core Green Bay Packers Fans around here. And I usually post about the most recent Packer Debacle a couple of days after the game, to make sure the sting has worn off a little.

Today is no different that in weeks past. Last week, I brought you the Latest in Cheese-Wear. The week before that, I spoke optimistically about A Rebuilding Year. The week before that, I featured Mr. Frowny Cheesehead.

Today, you can plainly see my Packers Plaid from Monday night's game. Of course, I'm wearing my moccasins, 'cause it's winter, and all. And Jordy Nelson, My Favorite Packer Rookie, is striding across the TV screen. But we still came up short! Even Patch the Cat, whom you can see in the bottom right-hand corner of the pic, has her ears back. It's been That Kind of Year!

Congrats to all you Chicago Bears fans out there. What can I say? All I want for Christmas is a Green Bay defense that isn't Made of Swiss Cheese!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pop'rs Grab Bag

Welcome to The Land of Pop'rs! Since Aunt Julie and Uncle Lynn and three-quarters of The Pop'rs Cousins have flown the proverbial coup and Gone to FLA for the holidays, they've left Veggie Mom up here in The Land of the Frozen Tundra to mind the store.

We've come across a couple of wonderful comments/posts the last few days, and Just. Wanted. To. Share.

First off, Mrs. 4444, our fellow Wisconsin Blogger and Past Pop'rs Winner, had a pressing question, about both Pop'rs, and about Norwegian holiday baking, too!

The first question is easy to answer: "Which Pop'rs is your son putting in the chocolate milk?" Soccer Boy, Aunt Julie's youngest, is a chocoholic. "He puts Chocolate Pop'rs in his chocolate milk," Julie Eliz says. "It's the only way to go!" So if you need some Pop'rs for your milk, Mrs. 4444, we'd be delighted to hook you up!

It also seems that Mrs. Cuatro Cuatro (Get It? Four Fours?) has been doing her holiday baking, with a Scandanavian Twist. She's been turning out fatigman, rosettes, and krumkake, and posting her results on her cooking blog, Mrs. 4444 Cooks. I saw a mention over there the other day, and wanted to know if she made sandbakkels, a Pop'rs Family Favorite.

Turns out that Mrs. 4444 is all about krumkake, a Norwegian word for "curved cake." This delightful Christmas Treat is pronounced "croomkaka," and is made on a special iron. The Wild One became enamored of krumkake a few years ago, and we bought her an iron to do the honors.

"Maybe your daughter would like to swap recipes? I tried a new one this year and it did not pass, but I am always open to new recipes."

You ask, we answer. Here is a Pop'rs Family Recipe, hot off the krumkake iron! This is a tried and true recipe, that's been in the family for decades.

Aunt Jean's Krumkake
1 quart heavy cream, beat dry
Add to the whipped cream:
2 cups sugar
dash of salt
2 Tbs. vanilla
4 cups flour
At the very last, gradually add 2 cups of whole milk to this combo.

The batter will end up looking a lot like pancake batter. Preheat your krumkake iron, add the batter in the proper amounts (don't let it overflow!), and away you go! The krumkake on the right are not ours (we're doing that tonight), but taken from Mrs. 4444's cooking blog.


Next off, we're beginning to hear from the winners of our Pay It Forward contest. If you'll recall, Becky, Rhonda and Tara R. were our winners, and Aunt Julie made them special Pop'rs-infused chocolate bars. Well, Rhonda and Tara R. have reported back, and the reviews are encouraging!

First off, here's what Rhonda had to say: "I got the brand new, not even on the market yet, popping chocolate bars from Veggie Mom's Pay It Forward contest and their Pop'rs company. And the week before that I received the other package I had won through Veggie Mom. Two Pop'rs flavours (Rhonda's a Canadian, so she adds that extra "u" in some of her words)! And they are SO COOL! I've actually just been eating them right off my hand, although I know they are supposed to be sprinkled onto your food. And yes, the chocolate bar is half-eaten. And since this picture was taken, it is missing even more of itself. I cut up a couple of little pieces to hand over to my family to try and they have since been looking for them to have more. But my generosity only goes so far." Thanks for the Vote of Confidence, Rhonda! And we'll let you know when Pop'rs Bars come to a Store. Near. You!

Tara R. also gave Aunt Julie's Creation a Rave Review: "I got my Pay it Forward prize from Veggie Mom this week. Envy me, because these are fabulous. Creamy milk chocolate bars made with those tongue-tingling Pop’rs. These homemade treats have a wonderful combination of smoothness and a crispy surprise. For those familiar with Cadbury bars, these remind me a lot of Flake. Thanks, Veggie! These are awesome."

Rhonda's photo of her Pop'rs Loot is below. Make sure to stay tuned...we've got a Great New Pop'rs Giveaway in mind for the New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Presents: You Might As Well Do It Yourself

OK, stop me here if I seem to be getting too carried away. But this is an interesting service, of which you might wish to avail yourself as the holidays approach.

A British retailer is providing a gift-wrapping service to customers that smacks a little of "loving hands at home." If Jason or the Texas Chainsaw guy were doing the wrapping, that is. hired a couple dozen forklift operators and warehouse assistants to head up its newly formed "CrapWrap" division. If you feel, after watching this video, that your chain has been yanked, then, yes, Virginia, people still pull practical jokes in the Christmas Season, and charge a pretty penny, too!

As one forklift operator-turned-gift-wrapper explained, "I am rubbish. We're not given any instructions. I'm just asked to make a hash of it using lots of brown tape and making sure there are rips and untidy folds. It's nice to get away from the normal work: cleaning, packing and moving stuff around. Wrapping is a good distraction." More than 500 folks have hired out this gift-wrapping service since it opened its doors last week.

Please be patient with this Brit have to watch a short promo before delving into the "meat" of things, as it were...Get it? They're "butchering" the job!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Singing a Grinch-Like Tune

In recently More Festive Missives, I've posted the praises of all The Merry Movies packaged for our Holiday Enjoyment; I've caroled my joy over Holiday Music Makers; I've even lambasted the losers who deigned to Shut Down a Church Christmas Tree Lot.

But today, the Sunday Before Christmas, I'd like to just say one thing. I've. Had. Enough. Enough of those folks who think they're being funny, or cute, or poignant, or All Three, by recording Stupid, Tacky and/or Sappy Holiday Songs.

Yes, I love Alvin and the Chipmunks. Quite Christmasey, in a chessy way, of course. But beyond those cute critters, and a few other novelty tunes, I find nothing funny nor cute about Dead Grandfolks, Toilet Paper Runs to 7-11 or Drunk Daddies, especially around this particular holiday season. And if I hear that song about The Shoes for Mama one more time, I might have to blow holiday chunks all over my dashboard.

A brief explanation. Our local "easy listening" station goes All Christmas, All the Time, some time around Turkey Day. I am happy to pre-select this station on my car radio. I listen to Nat King Cole, Mariah Cary, and even Donna Summer carol the Tidings of the Season on my way to and from work. And I hear a lot of awesome tune-age this time of year. But I have to Draw. The. Line. Somewhere!

Here, then, is Veggie Mom's Top 10 list of The Worst Holiday Tunes Ever. Please Feel Free to add your thoughts on the matter. I'll be back to my Happy Holiday Self tomorrow. I promise!

10. The Christmas Shoes. OK, I'm sorry this little boy's mama is in a bad way. But the family seems as if it can use the money for more pressing matters. Why do you suppose new shoes will help the situation?

9. Snoopy vs. The Red Baron. I adore Snoopy and all of Charles Schulz's Peanuts Gang. But I can't figure out the purpose of this song by The Royal Guardsmen. Is it a One-Hit Wonder? It seems like a blatant nod to commercialism to me.

8. Anything by the Beach Boys. Well, Little Saint Nick is OK, I suppose. Hope I'm not insulting any nostalgia buffs. But they can't sing. Seriously.

7. Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer. Not amusing. At all.

6. Merry Christmas from the Family, recorded by Rosie O'Donnell and The Dixie Chicks. I really liked Rosie's first Christmas CD. And I love the Dixies. This song, though, is just in bad taste. Plus, it really stretches Rosie's already limited musical abilities.

5. Merry Christmas from the Family, recorded by Robert Earl Keene. Think this is the original of this abysmal song. I always picture Larry the Cable Guy and Jeff Foxworthy when I hear it. Not funny, even in a quaint I-Don't-Have-No-Teeth-So-I-Think-I'll-Make-Fun-of-My-Circumstances-Because-Everyone-Else-Will-Anyway kinda way. Pitiful.

4. Santa Baby, recorded by Madonna. Why did she think she could cover something by
The Great Eartha Kitt?

3. Please, Daddy, Don't Get Drunk for Christmas. The Late, Great John Denver should have known better. What a downer.

2. I Want a Hippo for Christmas. What is this song?

1. Your Choice Here. Please. Well, I could only come up with nine nasty songs. Let's get the Seasonal Snarkiness into Full Swing. But just for today, OK?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Airport. A Snowstorm. A Poem. And a Traveler's Tale.

~Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening~

Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near,
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep,
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
~Robert Frost~

Yup. The Girls had to travel yesterday in the biggest dang snowstorm you ever did see. Substitute "airplane," "airport," etc., for "woods" in this classic Frost poem, and you'll get the idea. Pretty, but also pretty aggravating. Remember...these are the kiddos who had to be rescued by Big Bear the Sunday after Thanksgiving!

Hope all of you Hearty Midwesterners and Northeasterners get dug out safely and successfully!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fx4: Christmas is for Children

The Pop'rs Family is headed for the Florida Panhandle tomorrow. Two weeks at the beach, returning in Early 2009. Wanted to get one more Cutie Pie in before they head South to warmer climes.

Eat Your Veggies! will remain online through the holidays, so never fear~Veggie Mom is Here!

Big Bear is sitting on Santa's lap, when the World Was Very Young. Aunt Julie calls Big Bear's Pal "The Best Santa Ever," and we agree!

Playing along today with Candid Carrie and her Friday Foto Finish Fiesta. Click on over there and have some fun!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

But Where's the Christmas, Carol?

The punchline to a very old joke, the rest of which I just can't quite remember. But, in keeping with the season, I wanted to do another Holiday-esque list for you, in the musical vein, if that's OK. We over here in Pop'rs Land were sooooooooooooooooo tickled by your response to our Christmas Movie List, that we decided to bring you another Very. Special. Treat.

Yup, you Saw This One Coming, didn't ya? After yesterday's mention of Nat "King" Cole, I had to just Put Him in a List, didn't I? So, here for your viewing enjoyment, and in No Particular Order yet again, is a Top 10 Seasonal Songs List for you to ponder. And please, let us know...What's your favorite Tune this time of Year?

10. Joy to the World, performed by Mariah Carey. Yes, and this rendition, above, was filmed at Disney World, and yes, Chip & Dale and Goofy and Baloo the Bear, et al, are chiming in on the chorus, along with everybody else in the Disney Parade. Gotta love the Three Dog Night tribute. And the Red Cinderella Gown (or is it Snow White?) is a nice touch, too!

9. Silent Night. Well, everyone's done it, from Bing Crosby to Britney Spears, but I'm still moved almost to tears, especially when the choir sings all the verses on Christmas Eve.

8. The First Noel was my FIL Ernie's favorite Christmas Carol. So it's one of mine, too.

7. Oh Come, All Ye Faithful, in both Latin and English. Nat "King" Cole does one fabulous rendition in both languages. I always love to hear the choir sing this one on Christmas Eve, too!

6. Santa Baby, performed by Eartha Kitt. This is Kitt's most recognizable song. She first performed it in 1953. OK, it's not a Christmas Carol, but it still counts, doesn't it? And you'll give me Extra Brownie Points when I tell you that Eartha Kitt was the Original Cat Woman in the 1960s Batman TV show. So there!

7. Christmas Time, by Alvin and the Chipmunks. OK, all right, already. Not a Christmas Carol. But if we didn't hear this cheesy little tune every Christmas season, Where. Would. We. Be?

6. Oh, Holy Night. Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, and even *NSync and Donna Summer have performed this. But I still like Johnny Mathis' version.

5. Santa Claus is Coming to Town, performed by Bruce Springsteen. Straying into Pop Culture a little here, folks. But Bruce is The Boss, after all!

4. Feliz Navidad, by José Feliciano. A classic, oui?

3. Frosty the Snowman, performed by the Ronettes. This is 1963, part of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound. No Christmas would be Complete without it!

2. Sleigh Ride, performed by anyone, anytime...even the Middle School Band! We have fond memories of The Wild One on clarinet in the 8th-grade ensemble. The kid with the bells and his buddy with the contraption that cracked like a whip are the stars of that video, for sure!

1. The Christmas Song, performed by Nat "King" Cole. For years I wanted to taste chestnuts because of this song. Let me tell ya, they're pretty over-rated. But this song, this artist, epitomize the Christmas Season for me!

What are your Favorite Seasonal Songs? Do tell!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

ChapStick and My Cell Phone

Welcome to Veggie Mom's 50 Fabulous Facts! The rules are simple. If you open this post, then you Just. Have. To. Answer. The. Questions, Too! In a Post. At Your Place. Stole this from Lynda, who stole it in turn from Hot Tub Lizzy. Hope you get into the Spirit of Things, and steal this from me, OK?

Before we commence, the title of this post is not~I repeat, NOT~the title to a new country song. It's the answer to Question #35. So, here goes nuthin'. Or somethin'. Or, Anything Goes!

1. Do you like cheese? Did someone say Cheesehead? I am a Cheesehead!

2. Have you ever smoked? I’m pretty hot anyway, but the answer is “yes.”

3. Do you own a gun? Scared to death of ’em, so the answer would be "no."

4. Do you like listening to Christmas music? There’s a reason Nat Cole's middle name is "King."

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Depends on the appointment. Does a dentist count as a doctor?

6. What do you think of hot dogs? When I was preggers with The Wild One, hot dogs are all I craved. I was a walking advert for the Hebrew National Brand.

7. Favorite Christmas song for all time? “The Christmas Song.” See #4, puh-leese!

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Decaf Grande Skim Latte. Moker sez I could keep *Bucks in biz, all by my lonesome!

9. Can you do push ups? Lots of ’em! The orange sherbet/creamsicle Flintstones variety, butofcourse!

10. Who is your favorite "Grey's Anatomy" Character? Izzy, but she needs to So Get Over Herself—and get over Denny, too!

11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My Mom’s 1954 1-carat Tiffany engagement ring. Daddy bought it for her at the Real Tiffany & Co., on 57th & 5th in NYC.

12. Favorite hobby? Does Blogging count? Otherwise, reading.

13. Do you eat "exotic" foods? Yes. Anything but lima beans, and if it had enough salsa in it, I’d probably eat the lima beans, too! I tend to stay away from frogs legs and insects, but I have tried gator. Tastes like chicken!

14. Do you have A.D.D.? Huh? What was the question?

15. What one trait do you hate about yourself? I tend to interrupt. Moker calls me “Veggie Mom Interruptus.”

16. Middle Name? Mom

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? This survey sure is long, do you think my answers are interesting, what was the question again (see #14)?

18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday? Decaf Grande Skim Latte (see #8), and I don’t think I spent a Hot Penny on anything else. Pretty amazing, no?

19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Green Tea, Decaf Grande Skim Latte (see #s 18and 8), Agua from the Tap.

20. Current worry right now? Hope the kids get home safely from California on Friday.

21. Current hate? As Mama used to say, “Hate is an awfully strong word,” but if I had to hate someone? My company’s “Middle-Management.”

22. Favorite place to be? Duck, Nawf Caro-LINE-a!

23. How do you bring in the New Year? Quiet dinner at home. Maybe a DVD. Getting’ too old for Champagne and Caviar!

24. Where would you like to go? Cuba. Especially Old Havana.
25. Name 3 people who will complete this? I’m hopin’ for Z’s Mom, Melissa B. and my New Bloggy Friend, Annie.

26. Do you own flip flops? More of a Birkie gal, myself. I have both the summer and the winter variety!

27. What shirt are you wearing? Green OBX sweatshirt, no hoodie.

28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Don’t believe I’ve ever had the pleasure!

29. Can you whistle? Yup. But I always wanted to learn to whistle between my fingers, too. Can you teach me, please?

30. Favorite color? Green (see #27). Also, favorite color of The Green Bay Packers and The New York Jets!

31. Would you be a pirate? Too violent (see #3). But I'd love the Booty (see #s 11 and 47).

32. What songs do you sing in the shower? “Ease on Down the Road,” (from "The Wiz," don't ask me why) or anything I’ve just heard on TV or radio. And I don't so much sing it, as whistle it (see #29).
33. Favorite girl's name? Tallulah.

34. Favorite boy's name? Jerome.

35. What's in your pocket right now? ChapStick and my cell phone (sounds like a good name for a country song!)

36. Last thing that made you laugh? A co-worker, disrespecting “Middle Management” (see #21).

37. Best bed sheets as a child? Don’t know that I had anything other than white. BUT, my favorite kids’ sheets, hands down? College Girl’s Little Mermaid set!

38. Worst injury you've ever had? Broke my tailbone when I was hit by a car at age 14.

39. Do you love where you live? Oh, But of Course!

40. How many TVs do you have in your house? Three, but who's counting?

41. Who is your loudest friend? Steve. Especially on his cellie!

42. How many dogs do you have? Zero (I'm a Cat Woman), but my SIL has two!

43. Does someone have a crush on you? I can only hope!

44. Do you get embarrassed easily? Sometimes. Depends.

45. What is your favorite book? May I pick two? To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, and In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote. Coincidentally, they were childhood friends, and Ms. Lee helped Mr. Capote with the research on his blockbuster real-crime novel.
46. What is your favorite candy? Hershey’s Kisses. Or anything in the Whitman’s Sampler.

47. Do you know all the words to the Fresh Prince theme song? No, but I’m partial to Will Smith!

48. What song do you want played at your funeral? Anything Beatles, except maybe “Helter Skelter.”

49. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Sleeping. Probably snoring, too!

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? I wondered what I was gonna post today.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pretty Cheesy

The Pop'rs Family was again crying in their Beer Cheese Soup on Sunday, as their once Proud Green Bay Packers took themselves out of the Playoffs~and effectively out of our hearts~for the season. We pretty much had to punt at Aunt Julie's Packer Party, as Our Team lost to the Lowly Jacksonville Jaguars.

"The jig's up, the season's effectively over and the Green Bay Packers have been dismissed from relevancy for 2008," writes Bob McGinn of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "They can't beat anyone, not even the Jacksonville Jaguars with maybe 45,000 semi-interested souls watching at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium."

The Pack needed Divine Intervention to help them on Sunday. Guess the lovely couple above wasn't enough! And looks like we'll be following the New York Jets for the rest of the season. Just remember~Brett's a Jet!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Santa's Little Helper

~Ode to a Giveaway,

By Veggie Mom~

Christmas is coming, the blog is looking lean;

time to think of something

to help us to be seen!

There's a Bloggy Gal named Kelly

who says she has just the trick

to do a blog re-design

for her would be so quick!

She's doing a Bloggy Giveaway

so we can see her wares

and she guarantees satisfaction,

to wipe away our cares!

She'll give your blog a makeover

if you're declared the winner,

and clean up some of this bloggy mess

that makes our place grow dimmer.

So, please, submit your entry

to Kelly's Creative Contest

so Fabulous K Creative

can make you look the best!

The contest runs thru Friday,

that's just five days away;

you must post about the contest,

in order to have a say

in whether you're a winner

but of course, you know you'll be,

if Kelly sees this little poem,

then maybe she'll PICK ME!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cyber Cafe Sunday: Puppy Love

Pop'rs Family, being Dog Folks and all, wanted to share this special Clip from Cyberland as an Early Holiday Present.

These San Francisco Shiba Inu puppies broke a Web Cam record yesterday. Originally a Litter of Six, the three boys and three girls are certainly lend the "Awwwwwwwwwwww" Factor to the Holiday Season. Meet Autumn, Ayumi, Amaya, Aki, Akoni and Ando.

The first three are girls; the next three are boys. They are the first litter born to their Mama, Kika. Don't know how many will be left when this post airs, but the San Fran Family wants to keep at least one puppy, who will continue to broadcast on the Web. The live feed isn't up Sunday, since five of the puppies are being adopted today, so here's a YouTube Tribute, instead.

Sort of a new take on Puppy Love, huh?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas All Wrapped Up

Moker and I did a rare thing last night...we went to dinner and to the movies. Yup, a Real Date!

We saw Four Christmases, which lends a silly and somewhat bittersweet spin to the Holiday Spirit. Yes, Reese Witherspoon's Epiphany is pretty much cliché. But this Christmas Confection is just that...quite a lot of sweet, innocent, festive fun. Plus, Vince Vaughn shows his comedic chops once And again. Witherspoon made me laugh out loud several times.

This 21st-Century Christmas flick put me in mind of Holiday Fare from Christmases Past. My Top 10, in no particular order, are:

10. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)-The little girl is a tad annoying, but Santa is One Fine Gentleman!

9. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)-The Original...of usually better.

8. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)-Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed...What's not to love?

7. Holiday Inn (1942)-Irving Berlin wrote the songs, Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire sang and danced their way through the film. I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas. Need I say more?

6. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)-I have a particular soft spot for all made-for-TV Charlie Brown flicks. And for Charles Schulz and his Misunderstood Anti-Hero.

5. Annie (1982)-OK, this was released in June, but I always consider Annie a Christmas Production. Aileen Quinn, who played several of The Orphans on Broadway, is a great Annie, and Carol Burnett is The Best Miss Hannigan. And then there's Bernadette Peters as Lily St. Regis and Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks...I could go on, but I won't.

4. Annie (1999)-If I can't have Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan, I'd want Kathy Bates. A fun bit of trivia: Andrea McArdle, the Original Annie on Broadway, has a cameo in this film. Kristen Chenoweth of Wicked fame plays the role of Lily St. Regis. This particular Annie was released in time for Christmas.

3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)-An Original and a Classic. A Classic Original. Boris Karloff is the narrator. Priceless!

2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)-Ron Howard, Director; Jim Carrey, the Grinch. Need I say more? Oh, one more thing...I have no clue why this re-make does not have an exclamation point in the title!

1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)-Chevy Chase and Randy Quaid are So Awesome Together! "Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead? "

So, what did I miss? What are your favorite Christmas Classics? Do Tell!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Kweelt!

Aunt Julie, known 'round These Here Parts as the Crafty Quilter, whipped this one up Years Ago, she says, to Celebrate the Season. The Kids called Julie's creations Kweelts when they were little. We love the Artistic Arrangement, Julie Eliz, but hope the Santa Quilt made it safely inside and out of the elements soon after the photo was snapped!

Please click on Links 1, 2 and 4 to see Each One of Julie's Recent Masterpieces. And Click Here to Play Along with Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Fiesta Finish!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Winners and The Wise Men

When It Snows, It...

Blizzards? Blows? Blankets Everything in White Stuff?

Searching for the Proper Metaphor to describe the Tsunami of Activity going on in Pop'rs Land these days! We do have the White Stuff Up to our Keisters, so thought we'd lighten the mood by sharing some Sweet News.

First off, remember our Pay It Forward plan? Well, we had Three Winners in this mini-contest, designed to get us all in The Holiday Spirit. In fact, it's Not Too Late for the rest of you to join in. Click here, to see how!

AnyWho, Aunt Julie just finished making, and Uncle Lynn and his guys at The Pop'rs Plant just finished wrapping, the Homemade Gifts for Becky, Rhonda and Tara R. Let me let The Proud Pop'rs Queen explain:

"Each winner got two milk chocolate bars with plain popping candy in them," Julie Eliz says. "They were made in molds from a local candy store and sealed in cellophane at the Pop'rs Plant. We make them for Soccer Boy and his pals occasionally."

"I really like these special Pop'rs Bars!" Aunt Julie enthuses. "And they are not commercially available! Someday…"

Hey, you Winners, you...I've got a great idea! Blog about your Early Christmas Present, and maybe Oprah will see your High Praise! Well, we can dream, can't we?

Next, the Winners from our
Great New Pop'rs Thanksgiving Extravaganza have started to Get Their Loot. Jeannie even Blogged About It at her Happy World! Then, she posted a video of her daughter, Bella, doing The Chicken Dance. Think that child had a few Pop'rs in her?

We close today's post with a Word from The Wise Men:

~In a small southern town there was a Nativity Scene that showed great skill and talent had gone into creating it. One small feature bothered me.

The Three Wise Men were wearing firemen's helmets.

Totally unable to come up with a reason or explanation, I left. At a "Quik Stop" on the edge of town, I asked the lady behind the counter about the helmets. She exploded into a rage, yelling at me, "You stupid Yankees never do read the Bible!" I assured her that I did, but simply couldn't recall anything about firemen in the Bible.

She jerked her Bible from behind the counter and ruffled through some pages, and finally jabbed her finger at a passage. Sticking it in my face she said "See, it says right here, the Three Wise Men came from afar!'

Borrowed from Clean Jokes for a Dirty World. Enjoy!~

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Grinch Comes Early This Year

The Grinch tried to steal the Christmas Spirit from a church in Maryland last weekend. Seriously.

Seems there's a Local Law that says one can't sell Christmas trees in that neck o' the woods until December 5. Yup. The church started selling its trees the day after Thanksgiving, which would be November 29. So, because they were Six Days Early, The Law Shut. 'Em. Down.

Did I mention that the tree lot was run by a church?

The Inspector in Charge closed the lot, but in the Spirit of the Season, didn't fine the House of God. After much hubbub and many consultations, officials let the Deacons Deck the Halls once more.

BTW, no one seems to know a) Why the law states that Christmas tree sales must only be conducted between December 5 and December 25 on any given year, and b) Who ratted out the church.

What did the Pastor have to say about recent events involving her flock?

"They didn't teach me this in Seminary," she said.

This just in: The Pastor, who has authorized Christmas Tree sales at her Methodist Church for the last six seasons, is allergic to all Pine Trees, whether imbued with the Christmas Spirit or not. And now, probably, she's allergic to Politicians, too!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"It's a Rebuilding Year"

Susie, over at Susie's Homemade, is a Green Back Packers Fan, just like those of us over here in The Pop'rs Family. She says there's no reason to be too upset about The Pack's recent losses. Her mantra? "It's a Rebuilding Year."

Time to take solace in The Packers' storied past, and its quirky fans, who are parodied in the recent Packers Pro Shop commercials running in our area. This one features the Crazy Packers Fan and Wide Receiver Donald Driver, Number 80. I swear, these commercials make some of us laugh instead of cry in our Leinies! Oh, and more about our Family Connection to the Leinenkugels Brewery in an upcoming post!

Not a lot of Happy Campers at Sunday's Packer Party. But I guess if you're not gonna have a winning team, you should have Cool Gear. Or at least funny commercials about that gear.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Virtual Cookie Exchange!

You probably remember me blogging about my fabulous MIL, Grandma Vera. This wonderful woman was an Expert at All Things, from Babies to Baking. I remember when my SIL, Aunt Julie, had Big Bear, her first. He wouldn't stop screaming when Julie Eliz tried to put him down for a nap.

"Put him down and close the door," Vera counseled.
"But he still screams," Julie said.
"Then go down the stairs," Vera advised. "If you can still hear him, go to the kitchen. If you can still hear him then, go outside, close the outside door, and sit on the steps."

Vera knew such things instinctively. She also knew her way around a kitchen. Baking-especially Norwegian Christmas treats such as Lefse, Cut Out Cookies and Sandbakkels-was her specialty.

Sandbakkels-Norwegian for Sand Tart-are basically a different kind of sugar cookie, from Across the Pond and Up Nort in the Old Country. The recipe is deceptively simple, and the cookies are pressed in special Sandbakkel Tins to hold their delicate, sunburst shape. Some folks put some kind of custard in the Sandbakkel shells, or sprinkle sugar on them. Most of us here around the Pop'rs Family prefer them plain.

So here, then, is Grandma Vera's special recipe for Sandbakkels. We're playing along with Tracy P.'s Virtual Cookie Exchange. Click on over there for a delightful, delicious way to spend the Holidays!

Grandma Vera's Sandbakkels
1 stick butter
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
3 cups flour
big, rounded teaspoon of cardamom

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and margarine together. Add the sugars and the egg to this mixture, and stir well. Gradually add the flour, stirring each time, and putting the cardamom in the first cup of flour. Chill the dough overnight. The next day, press the dough into Sandbakkel tins. Bake at 350 degrees until light brown, about 10 minutes. Turn the tins over on a sheet of aluminum foil, and after they cool slightly, squeeze each gently until the Sandbakkels pop out. Enjoy!