Thursday, December 31, 2009

Here's to a Safe New Year

As a Mom, I really don't like New Year's Eve. My three oldest are now 27, 24 and 21. We don't have to worry about the underage drinking thing any more, but there are still plenty of hazards.

So tonight, I called each of my boys, told them I loved them and asked them who they were going to kiss at midnight.

Bob was first. He is going to go out with his former fiance, and staying at her parent's house.
You heard me right. Yeah, I know. Hmmm. We'll have to watch that one...

David is half sick and is going to a buddy's house to watch football and eat a good dinner. The friend is married and has a little one, so he's pretty safe there.

Number Three is going to dinner with his girlfriend, and they are coming back here. They don't want to do the downtown bar thing that most of the 20 somethings feel they have to do. I feel pretty good about that! Progress is being made.

Soccer Boy will stay up late and play video games. So all in all, looks like old mama bear will get some sleep tonight.

I just hate to have them out on New Year's Eve. No only do we have to worry about their
judgement, but that of every other person is a 50 mile raduis as well!

Hope your friends and family all have a great New Year's Eve, and many more.

Oops! I just heard Number Three come in, and it's only 10:25. Looks like I can go to bed early!
(late for me, any other day of the year). Good thing I saw the New Year's celebration in Australia this morning!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Just Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland

I am participating in Six Word Saturday, hosted by Cate at Show My Face.

Friday, December 18, 2009

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

We used to love to read this charming story to our boys. But these days, I have my own version.

It is called If You Buy a New TV. Here is how it goes...

If you buy a new tv to replace the old floor model, you will probably need to buy a stand for it also.
If you buy a new stand, you will probably find that it doesn't fit in the corner where it needs to be. So you will have to take out the built-in cabinet under the window.

If you take out the built-in cabinet under the window, you will find that you need to change the heat register, since it used to blow out through the cabinet.

If you change the heat register to the floor, you will notice that the brick from the side of the fireplace was removed to make room for the cabinet you took out. The brick will have to be replaced, because now you can see the side of the hearth.

You will want to hook up the surround sound that has been in the family room for 12 years and not used. Because after all, it's a new tv and the speakers have been just sitting there.

So when the sound guy hooks up the surround sound, he will tell you that the surround sound never worked before because you need a new receiver.

When you buy a new receiver and get the sound guy back, he will hook everything up. Three hours later, he will tell you that because of the way it was wired originally, some components sit under the tv and some are behind the couch in the armoire. In order to adjust the volume, you have to click over your shoulder, and have the doors to the cabinet open. So you will probably need to buy a new radio controlled remote, or never close the doors when the tv is being used.

When you buy the new remote, it comes with a guy to program it. It takes him three hours to program the remote, and it is very complicated. When he leaves, everything is fine. The next day, for some reason beyond our understanding, the tv has no sound. We have a Packer party planned, and there is no sound! After many frantic calls to the store, a salesman reached the remote control programmer, who does not work on weekends, and convinces him to make a house call on Saturday.

When the programmer comes on his day off and fixes the sound, you are grateful. You give him a big tip and have the party.

At the party, a guest says "Gee, that tv stand is kinda junky. The doors are hard to open and it sticks out into the room. I see you had to remove the cabinet to get it to fit in the corner. Now you need to fix the bricks and the vent. Why didn't you just have me make you a stand for the new tv?"

So you check to see if the old one can be returned, then say "OK" and hire him to build a new cabinet for the tv...

Do you see where this is going? Everything touches something else, and nothing is easy!

If this were only the end, that would be one thing. But no! There's more. Because nothing is easy, remember?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Here pfishy, pfishy

Sorry I've been away for so long! I have had many misadventures in the last week or so, but I

came THIS CLOSE to being a victim of pfishing. That is a scam where you are contacted, by e-mail or phone usually, by creeps meaning to do you harm. And they almost got me!

I was caught up in the busy pre-Christmas hustle and bustle when the phone rang. Think I was baking cookies and had laundry in and had the vacuum out, that kind of chaos. The caller said he was from BankCard Services and wanted to lower my interest rate. Great. I was distracted, but yeah, go ahead, lower my rate. So I talked and talked, hunted down my cards, and talked some more. I talked to at least two people, maybe three. They were soooo nice.

To make a long story short, I gave them my full card number, expiration date and 3 digit security number. For two cards. Oh, and to be a complete moron, I also gave them balances and credit limits. Brilliant! I finally sat at the desk, and Googled Bank Card Services. Interest rate reduction scam came up! So I read it, and guess what! That's what this was, almost word for word.

We were just at the part where he said that for "$895 they would guarantee me that I would never pay a double digit interest rate on any of my cards again, and could I just record our conversation?". When I said "Let me think about it" he made some comment like "Good luck
paying off your balance at that rate, expletive deleted", and hung up on me!

So I called my bank Saturday morning and confessed what I had done, and they closed the account and sent a new card. They were able to determine that up until that time, no new charges had been made. Wow. That sound you hear is me, breathing a sigh of relief!

Another common pfishing scam is the e-mail, telling you that you have won a foreign lottery.
They go on and on. Pay attention, and just say, "Hey, I'm on the Do Not Call List. How'd you get this number?" And if you aren't on the list, get on it. Problem solved.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


To the best Christmas movie ever!

All week, AMC is having back-to-back showings of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, to celebrate the movie's 20th anniversary. You should watch it at least once or twice!
What is your favorite Christmas movie?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Do I Make You Proud?

This sweet video comes from my friend Kristi, who raises Leader Dog puppies for the blind.

Grab a Kleenex and enjoy!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Woodson More Than A Football Player

I am participating in Six Word Saturday, hosted by Cate at Show My Face.

If you read this blog, even a little bit, you know I'm a Packer Backer. And a Brett Favre fan.
Even when Brett is wearing purple. And I love to love Donald Driver too. But my eyes have been opened to another player, who is really amazing.

Charles Woodson is a little guy. But he is big in many ways. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1997, while a Junior at the University of Michigan. He took the award over such future football greats as Peyton Manning and Randy Moss. He became the first defensive player to win college football's most prestigious individual honor. But that is only the beginning.

Before the start of the Thanksgiving Day game between the Pack and the Detroit Lions, in Detroit, it was announced that Charles Woodson had given $2,000,000 to the new University of Michigan's Mott Children's Hospital.

He said his mom always gave her best to people, even when she had little to give. She is his role model. After he had his first child, he has wanted to make a difference in a deeper way than just playing football. "My reason for working so hard has always been to be a part of something great," Woodson said.

Charles Woodson is a very bright spot in a world of selfish, self-destructive professional athletes and musicians and actors in such abundance these days. Think I'll go out a buy a jersey!

If your kids want a sports hero to look up to, why look any farther than Charles Woodson?
(Did I mention that he is gorgeous, too?) Think I'm ready to let Brett go...

Black Friday

Look familiar?

I've only done this once. Went to Target at 4 in the morning, years ago, and cannot even remember what I was hunting for. I do remember that whatever it was, I did NOT get it. And made a resolution to stay in bed, digesting turkey and pumpkin pie, on all future Black Fridays.

But not this year. You see, now it is 3:25 a.m. and I just finished shopping online. I was in bed early, pooped from the long day of cooking and cleaning. My eyes popped open at 2:00 or so and could not get back to sleep. So I got online, to browse, and ended up with three great deals.

Wish I could tell you what they were, but my kids read this blog. (Hi, boys). Amazon had a Lightning Deal and I took it. Turns out that by the time I went back to shop some more, it was already gone. Saved 50% on something I was going to pay full price for in a store. Something that is never discounted. So I scored, and in my pj's, too!

So, after I congratulate myself, I'm having a piece of pumpkin pie, with lots of whipped cream, and going back to bed!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Crock Pot Stuffing

At Thanksgiving, when oven space is at a premium, I like to make my stuffing in the crock pot.

Another benefit of not preparing the stuffing in the bird is not having to worry about the internal temperature of the stuffing, to avoid possible food poisioning issues. That said, here's a very easy, fool proof crock pot stuffing recipe.

In 1 cup of butter, saute 2 cups each chopped onion & celery. Add 1/4 cup chopped parsley.
Season with:
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. sage
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Pour this over 12 cups bread cubes.
Stir in 4 1/2 cups chicken broth, and 2 beaten eggs.
Mix well. Put in slow cooker.

Cook on High 45 minutes, or on Low 4-8 hours.

This basic recipe can be doctored any way you wish. I love the ease of using the crock pot. It is served from the crock pot, so it never has a chance to get cold and gummy on the buffet table!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Boys & Their Boards/version 2

When I checked in this morning, I had three comments. Two were lovely comments from good followers who comment frequently. One was not. Turns out, it was spam. Porn spam.
If any of my readers opened it, I apologize! I now have word verification in place to eliminate the problem. Please let me know how the word verification is working, as my book tells me it is not seen by the author. Guess it was bound to happen sooner or later. What a world...

Today is the day Soccer Boy has been counting down to on his calendar. His brother comes home from college for the weekend. They are planning to eat junk, stay up late, play XBox and skateboard.

Longboard, excuse me!

I love this shot of them. Like peas in a pod. I hope that when I am long gone, they are still the best of buddies! That's what it's all about, after all.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Grammar Police

No, I'm not a teacher. Just an everyday user of the English language. And a bit of a detail freak.
Some would say a perfectionist. Others, worse.

So when I heard a local radio personality pushing a trip to the Caribbean recently, and excitedly proclaiming that "Travel Company XYZ has arranged for you to join my wife Amy and I," I cringed.

I could hear my Dad's voice gently correcting me, at least 40 years ago, after making just such an error. He would patiently ask me questions to get me to see my mistake, and lead me to correct it on my own. And no, Dad wasn't an English teacher. He sold houses and insurance.

So, Dear Local Radio Celeb, let's just say that for the moment, your wife was staying home.
(Sorry, Amy). Would you then say "Travel Company XYZ has arranged for you to join I?"

Didn't think so. Of course," you are invited to join Wife Amy and me on that lovely trip to the

Southern Caribbean." is how the ad should have been written. Lesson learned. Thanks, Dad!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dry Spell

Ok, it's November 6th and my last post was pre-Halloween! I'd call that a major dry spell.

How to get over a dry spell...hmmmm..........Think I'll have a beer first,

and then make some lists or something.

After dinner, (guests tonight) and the dishes are done, and homework checked and laundry folded. And it's a nice night, so maybe after the dogs get a little walk. Yeah, that's a good idea. Pretty soon, it'll be too cold to walk them.

Oh jeez, I have to run out and get turkey for Soccer Boy's lunch tonight too. And milk. Probably need to stop at the gas station first. Did I mail that bill today? Better run by the Post Office, too.

Probably be too tired to write after all that.

I can't even imagine what life was like for my Grandma. She did all this without a dishwasher, electric oven, washing machine, refrigerator, or car. Of course, she could pick veggies from her garden, or the root cellar, so she didn't need to run into town every day. And the turkey would have been one whose neck she chopped off, and whose feathers she plucked! The dog didn't need walking. He went down and brought the cows up to the barn twice a day for milking.

And she definitely would not have had a beer! It would have been a brandy.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Meaning of Halloween

At our house, Halloween is known as the day when children dress up in wonderful costumes and go out with one purpose...


(They keep all the Nerds, Sour stuff, suckers, gum and Gummy candy. Hey, it's a win win situation)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Welcoming Brett

The city of Green Bay is trying to come up with some unique ideas to welcome Brett Favre back to town on Sunday. What do you do for a guy who has a street named after him?
There is talk of trying to set the record for the WORLD'S BIGGEST WAFFLE! Funny!
Go Pack GO!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Looking at Ghosts of Halloweens Past

I am participating in Six Word Saturday, hosted by Cate at Show My Face.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What Can Possibly Compete With That?

Our friends, Joe and Elizabeth are having their annual Halloween party. It has been the event for years. They rent the Boathouse, which is a lovely old building on the lake, with a great view of the water. It has a kitchen, fireplace and room for 100 of their closest friends. There is room to wander outside, and a place for a band or DJ. There is always lots of food, and plenty to drink. And I hate to go!

You see, I'm not a dresser-upper. And at this party, the costume is the thing. There have been some great ones, but none of them mine.

Last year, I was a McCain supporter. Ha! All my costume amounted to was a navy sweatshirt, with a McCain bumper sticker on the chest, surrounded by blue led lights. The perfect Sarah Palin stole the show. (I didn't know Elizabeth knew Tina Fey).

The year before last, I was Tom, the Blendtec guy. I wore a lab coat, goggles, and carried a rake.
Turns out, I'm the only one who knows about the Youtube sensation Will It Blend?

A few years ago, the Dad who coaches soccer with Uncle Lynn, was Anna Nicole Smith. He was wonderful! And so unexpected, for a buttoned-up architect like Craig to be her! Memorable.

But here's what really got me! Joe and Elizabeth had the best costumes! Very cerebral...

This is what they wore (sorry, not actual photos) ...See if you can guess what they were...

Elizabeth's costume...

and Joe's costume...

and they were...

Peace & Quiet!

Any suggestions would be welcomed! Otherwise, I think I'm going to be sick that day!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rembrandt Tulips

Have you ever seen anything as gorgeous as these Rembrandt tulips? They are my very favorite! Love how the two colors swirl and blend together.

My last post was about planting bulbs, and I'm happy to say that I planted some of these beauties. Now it's just a matter of getting through the long, cold winter...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Delayed Gratification!

Somewhere along the line, I remember learning that delayed gratification was a good thing.

But I've always been a more immediate gratification kind of girl.

There are lots of examples...why wait to get home to a nice dinner when you can have a Snickers right now? Or why study, when you can go out with friends right now?

Or why save money when there's $50 burning a hole in my pocket right now? You get my drift.

But there is one instance when I'm all about delayed gratification...Fall! Because when you plant a handful of these right now...

six months from now, you'll be rewarded with a display like this...

or even this...

The weather here has been so cold and grey, it's set some kind of record. But tomorrow is supposed to be one of those magical, bright blue sky, nip in the air days that are too few in northern Wisconsin. And there won't be many of them, either. And then all winter, I'll be thinking about my treasures, waiting in the frozen ground, to finally come up and announce that spring has sprung. So, if you can stand a little delayed gratification...

Get out there and plant...and one more thing...POINTY END UP!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October is...


St. Elizabeth's hospital, in Appleton, Wisconsin has Walk-In Wednesdays. Mammograms are done on Wednesdays, no appointment needed.

Last Wednesday, that is just what I did. It was easy and fast. There was no time to dread the procedure, and maybe call to reschedule, as I have been known to do.

So what about you? Have you had a mammogram recently? Are you due?

Now, if they would just offer a walk-in colonoscopy, we'd really have something!

Brought to you by Six Word Saturday, hosted by Cate at Show My Face.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Another Car, Another Name

I think naming cars is silly. Would never set out to find the right name for a car, like it is some newborn child or something. Frivolous. Ridiculous. But sometimes, you just can't help it.

Like the white conversion van , affectionately named "Vanna White." My first named car.

Well, it happened again. Vanna retired, and was replaced by a silver Lincoln Aviator. Uncle Lynn asked what the car's name was, and I said something like "huh?"

"You know, a name, like Vanna White for the old van." And out of my mouth, completely unexpetedly, came the perfect name for my new car...


Monday, October 5, 2009

Real Men Wear Pink

Here, in the Shadow of Lambeau Field, there is a mighty big battle brewing tonight!

But the NFL and the players are acknowledging, all month long, the battle so many women and their families are fighting against breast cancer. Look for the pink in tonight's game. Word is that Brett's shoes will be pink. His wife, Deanna, is a breast cancer survivor. And that's the real battle. After all, football is just a game. And in the midst of all the hype, that's a good reminder.

Deanna Favre, breast cancer survivor

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Making the Ocean Safer... shark at a time!

The POPrs crew went on a Florida panhandle vacation last week. The trip was strictly guys-only.

They hung out in the sun, smoked cigars, ate oysters, talked smart and shark-fished. There may have been some adult beverages involved, also! All in all, it was a great bonding, team-building experience. And based on the number of sharks caught, they are all rethinking ever swimming there again!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

In The Shadow of Lambeau Field

We, here in the shadow of Lambeau Field, have a new favorite TV commercial. Watch it, and you'll see why!

No, I didn't shoot the commercial, but that gets my nomination for Best TV Commercial of the Year! Even Packer fans have to admit, that's funny...

Weekly Winners are brought to you each week by Lotus at Sarcastic Mom. Go on over and give her some comment love...pretty please?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Enjoy fall's splendor...Winter's coming, remember?
Six Word Saturday, sponsored by Cate at Show My Face.