Saturday, February 28, 2009

An Oscar for Veggie Mom!

You Would Win Best Original Screenplay!

You are insightful and expressive. You've always been a natural storyteller.

You know how to hook an audience, entertain them, and surprise them at the end.

Where people see everyday life, you see an engaging plot with interesting characters.

You notice details that other people ignore. People you've only met once or twice live inside your head.

Appropriated the above from Karla over at Zander & Me. I've been thinking about the Academy Awards all week, and the juxtaposition of the Glitz and Glamor with those cute little kids from Slum Dog Millionaire. Absolutely loved that movie. Hope its popularity and winning ways bring about a better life for some of the slum dwellers it so beautifully depicts.

Serious subjects aside, did you notice that, according to this online poll, I'm a "natural storyteller"? Just thought you'd want to know!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta: Meet Dave!

Remember the days when gas cost 30 cents? When you could pull up, crank down that window (yup, I'm not talkin' 'bout electric conveniences here!) and yell, "Fill 'er up!"? Well, Aunt Julie still has that luxury in her little ol' corner of Northeastern Wisconsin.

Meet Dave. He works at the Marathon service station in Neenah. Emphasis on "service." With a smile. His services, which as you can see are extensive, cost nothing. Just Fill 'Er Up, for the same price-per-gallon as the self-serves down the street, and you get your windows washed, your oil and window-washer fluid checked, and, of course, your gas pumped, don'tcha know.

Candid Carrie put me up to this. It's her day today. Please check out Carrie's Friday Foto Fiesta Finish. It's Freakin' Awesome!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Snot Monster in the Howse

This Kute Kritter was Kreated by someone on the Web known as Laurab25. The poor guy looks exactly the way Veggie Mom feels.

Yes, I know. I've been this way since last Friday. Every time I think I'm making a quick recovery, I suffer a snotty setback. I'm falling way behind in my duties as a bloggy friend and confident. Promise to get back commenting soon!

I need to Think Lovely Thoughts. It worked for Peter Pan, didn't it?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Mommy Recess

Recent research shows that recess is good for our kids. That's a big "duh" now, I think. In fact, I think we can extrapolate those findings and apply them to Mommies, too.

While exploring the Web for "adult beverage" recipes, I came upon this site. It features "Momtinis" in various incarnations and flavors. Here's one that just might be What the Doctor Ordered:

Pudding Shots (c/o Squidoo)

Basic recipe:
1 (3 1/2-ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup Irish cream
8 ounces Extra Cool Whip

1. Mix pudding and milk until well-blended.
2. Add vodka and Irish cream, mix well.
3. Fold in Cool Whip.
4. Divide into individual servings.
5. Keep in freezer.

Squidoo suggests you could use Kahlua with the Irish Cream (or instead of). Also, Chambord with cheesecake pudding, or root beer schnapps with vanilla pudding?

I suggest garnishing this particular "Momtini" with one of the sweet-flavored Pop'rs. I'm thinking this just might be the ticket to a fun Mom's Night In when Dad is On Duty...send them to a movie and Chuck E. Cheese, while you and The Ladies "indulge."

I'm adding this recipe to Aunt Julie's Kitchen. If anyone think of any variations, please let me know. Playing along today with Angie and her Wordful Wednesday. Time to get loose!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why You Should Eat Your Veggies!

In honor of "friendship Month," Mary Beth over at Blogmania is featuring bloggers that have developed enduring friendships through blogging. And guess who she featured first? I hate to brag, but listen to what MB said about me:

"You can feel her energy in her writing, which is quite an accomplishment. I can only imagine how spunky she is in person. From what I have seen, she is devoted to her friends and family, to promoting Pop'rs and to living life to its fullest."

Why thankyouverymuch, Mary Beth! Here's the full interview with Veggie Mom, if you're interested. And the photo above? Taken last summer, when we could get all 10 of us together at the beach!

Tell us a little about yourself, your family, etc......
Well, there are 10 members of the “extended”
Pop’rs Family. First off, there’s Uncle Lynn, my BIL, the creator of the incredibly good-for-you, wonderfully fun Pop’rs…the whole reason I’m online, urging everyone to Eat Your Veggies! Uncle Lynn is married to Aunt Julie, whose bailiwick is yummy food, homemade quilts, family photos, gardening and, of course, the dogs, Moses and Rowdy. Aunt Julie is also my hubby Moker’s Little Sis. Uncle Lynn and Aunt Julie have four boys: Big Bear, Shark Boy, College Boy and Soccer Boy. On my side of the family, there’s me, Veggie Mom, who’s married to Moker, Aunt Julie’s Big Brother. We have two girls: College Girl and The Wild One.

Besides blogging, what are some of your hobbies?
Let’s see…I love to read, garden, go for long walks…I’m a fairly decent cook, and a pretty good writer, so I’d include those in my interests, too. But as far as being crafty? That’s Aunt Julie’s side of the family! Except for coaxing day lilies out of the soil every spring, I’m just not that handy!

How did you get started blogging?
Well, Uncle Lynn wanted to get the word out this new seasoning he developed at his plant in Northeastern Wisconsin. He thought it would be fun to blog about
Pop’rs, and asked me what I thought about the idea. Several of my friends have started blogs, so I naturally was pretty enthusiastic. On June 16th of last year I finally got my feet wet! It took me a while to find Veggie Mom’s “voice,” but the rest, as they say, is history!

What do you like best about blogging?
I consider
Eat Your Veggies! to be a forum not just for Pop’rs and the Pop’rs Family, but for my visitors as well. I love sharing my everyday thoughts and dreams. Plus, as a blogger I have a built-in “sounding board” in the blogging community. I love the freedom that the Internet brings. I can be sitting here in my dusty basement, and communicate with others halfway around the world! I also enjoy meeting new friends and making common connections. And I get a lot of encouragement and advice, which is nice!

You have such a strong network of online friends. Which bloggers have you created an especially strong bond with?
I’m close with several blogging buddies. Susie, from
Susie’s Homemade is one of my faves…she and her wonderful husband, Jeff, just redesigned my blog, which is awesome! I also have a strong affinity for Karla at Zander and Me, and The Lovely Mannequin, at Fractured Toy. Mannequin’s friends, Frankie and Cupid, are the best…plus they’re featured in my new redesign as well. Check out the Polaroid in the upper left-hand corner that’s labeled “Pop’rs Pals”!

Do you share any common threads with your fellow blogging friends?
We all love sharing stories about friends, family, work and food. Especially food! And every time Uncle Lynn hosts a Great New
Pop’rs Giveaway, I seem to make even more bloggy buds. Wonder why that is?

Any fun vacation plans in 2009?
Pop’rs Family vacations every summer at North Carolina’s Outer Banks. We’ve been going there for years, and consider this lovely strip of sand more of a sanctuary than a vacation spot. Last year we were able to get all 10 of us there at once, which was a very special treat! Other than our annual beach getaway, though, I’ve been saving my sheckels…with two kids in college, I can’t afford a fancy vay-cay right now!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Katrina Survivor Has a Happy Ending

As New Orleanians and the rest of us ready for tomorrow's Fat Tuesday celebrations and the advent of Lent, please take a look at the e-mail Aunt Julie forwarded me yesterday. For more news and photos of Molly Click Here. Hope you all down in NOLA have a wonderful next couple of days!

Ya gotta meet Molly...

She's a grey speckled pony who was abandoned by her owners when Hurricane Katrina hit southern Louisiana . She spent weeks on her own before finally being rescued and taken to a farm where abandoned animals were stockpiled.

While there, she was attacked by a pit bull terrier and almost died. Her gnawed right front leg became infected, and her vet went to LSU for help, but LSU was overwhelmed, and this pony was a welfare case. You know how that goes.

But after surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly, he changed his mind. He saw how the pony was careful to lie down on different sides so she didn't seem to get sores, and how she allowed people to handle her. She protected her injured leg. She constantly shifted her weight and didn't overload her good leg. She was a smart pony with a serious survival ethic. Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee, and a temporary artificial limb was built.

Molly walked out of the clinic and her story really begins there. "This was the right horse and the right owner," Moore insists. Molly happened to be a one-in-a-million patient. She's tough as nails, but sweet, and she was willing to cope with pain. She made it obvious she understood that she was in trouble. The other important factor, according to Moore, is having a truly committed and compliant owner who is dedicated to providing the daily care required over the lifetime of the horse. Molly's story turns into a parable for life in post-Katrina Louisiana. The little pony gained weight, and her mane finally felt a comb.

A human prosthesis designer built her a leg. The prosthetic has given Molly a whole new life, Allison Barca, Molly's regular vet, reports. And she asks for it. She will put her little limb out, and come to you and let you know that she wants you to put it on. Sometimes she wants you to take it off too. And sometimes, Molly gets away from Barca. "It can be pretty bad when you can't catch a three-legged horse," she laughs.

Most important of all, Molly has a job now. Kay, the rescue farm owner, started taking Molly to shelters, hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. Anywhere she thought that people needed hope. Wherever Molly went, she showed people her pluck. She inspired people, and she had a good time doing it.

"It's obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role to play in life," Moore said. "She survived the hurricane, she survived a horrible injury and now she is giving hope to others," Barca concluded. "She's not back to normal, but she's going to be better. To me, she could be a symbol for New Orleans itself."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Living the 10th Commandment

When I was younger, I just knew where I was going, and what I was going to do with my life. Then reality hit.

Family. Job. Mortgage. Life.

For a while there, I had a difficut time following the 10th Commandment. No, not the part about coveting my neighbor's wife...the rest of it: desiring all those material things that can make a 20-something drool.

My life has turned out so differently than I had ever anticipated. It has become richer, fuller, more satisfying. Not perfect, but getting there.

We're in a new chapter, Moker and I. As Empty Nesters, we don't see The Girls as much as we once did. College visits, winter break, the occasional chance to catch a sporting event...and Bleacher Booty.

What is it the T-Shirt says? Life is Good. Well, it is!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Good Life

Aunt Julie shared an e-mail with me that's going around, called "Thoughts for 2009." Not sure where it originated, but the communiqué consists of inspirational photos and sayings. The above tandem struck me as being particularly encouraging for a cold Saturday morning in February.

I'm encouraged for a number of reasons. Our health is good~well, except for the Killer Cold I seem to have come down with! The sun is rising earlier in the morning and setting later in the evening. We might not have much, but we have each other. I visited a friend's blog the other day, and she had posted photos of the first crocuses and daffodils trying to make a valient effort to push through the dead leaves and the frost of the Winter of 08-09. Could the day lilies be far behind?

When you get lemons, make lemonade. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Prescription for a Killer Cold

No, I can't take credit for this shot; a blogger named Shortie posted it last year. But the sign represents exactly the way I feel today. You know, all those Larry U. Swimmers were coming down with something last weekend. Probably picked up the sniffles from them. So, I ended up not only with Bleacher Booty, but a Killer Cold. Thanks, kids!

Here's to a warm down comforter, a good book, and perhaps several mugs of Aunt Julie's Hot Cocoa. With lots of teeny-tiny marshmallows on top!

Candid Carrie, and her Friday Foto Finish Fiesta, are my muses this morning. Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Baby Boxing Match

Aunt Julie possesses a "Dog Family." Veggie Mom presides over a "Cat Family." You've met some of our critters, right here. Remember Trouble Elizabeth and Moses in the garden? What about Patch, the Fat Cat? Or Rowdy, the puppy whose name implies everything? And then, of course, Moses and Rowdy as Beach Bums.

Whatever your persuasion~and I know many of you out there feel pretty strongly about the subject of Family Pets~you'll be taken by this Pas de Deux between a Baby and his Boxer...of the doggie variety. The clip comes from The Bonnie Hunt Show.

After viewing this, I beg to differ with anyone who still believes that All God's Critters have no "soul."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Aunt Julie Recommends

Aunt Julie and I are both inveterate readers. We don't always agree on a book, but each of us relishes completing a really, really good read. Julie Eliz just finished The Space Between Us, by Thrity Umrigar. No big review here: "I just LOVED it," Julie enthuses.

Once upon a time, not too long ago, Aunt Julie journeyed to visit us at the beach. One of our prime pastimes at The OBX is grabbing a good book and heading out to sit in a wobbly chair on the sand, the Atlantic Ocean crashing in our ears.

During this particular vacation, Julie Eliz had run out of things to read. I was out doing errands, and she rang me up, as the British would say.

"Hey, pick me up another book."

The request from my SIL seemed simple enough, but I have to say that I was just a wee bit intimidated.

"What kind?"

"Oh, you choose. I trust you." Three words that weighed heavily on my mind as I rifled the shelves at a local Big Box Store.

I ended up coming back to the Beach House with The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver. Despite its heft (546 pages), I liked what I read on the back cover of the paperback. The story looked like it "fit" my SIL. And, I supposed, I could always take it off her hands if she didn't like it.

The verdict? "Best book ever," Julie said when she put it down on her towel four days later.

I read Poisonwood next, and have to agree. When Aunt Julie just LOVES a book, I tend to take her seriously. So, perhaps you should check out her latest recommendation. As the critics might say, it definitely won't disappoint!

This post is part of Angie's Wordful Wednesday. Please visit and join the fun!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rockin' the Pop'rs!

Meet Monsoon. He's Ryan Ashley Scott's adorable little guy. Monsoon, it seems, loves his Strawberry Pop'rs! His Mom, who runs
Optimistic Cynicism, won our Impromptu Bloggy Carnival Giveaway in January.

Monsoon, buddy, I "get" that you adore Strawberry Pop'rs in your milk. But have you tried them on ice cream yet? Click Here for more ideas...and keep Rockin' those Pop'rs!

Monday, February 16, 2009

You're Not Dreaming...Veggie Mom Puts on a Pretty Face

There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self. ~Author Aldous Huxley

No, you're not Soccer Boy seems to be, in this sweet Aunt Julie snap! Veggie Mom has a new "look," and wants to give you a little peek into the thoughts behind her transformation.

Huxley, who wrote that odd classic, Brave New World, is only partially right. Yes, I try every day to my approach to life, to others, to myself. But look, Dear Readers, at what else I've had a hand in improving. Eat Your Veggies! enters a new era, with a new face.

I've shared my thoughts on blogging with you for about eight months now. I've made so many cyber-contacts, and I hold your friendships dear. But I've also coveted some of your looks...and learned that while it might not be easy to teach an old dog new tricks, it is possible to help her do an about-face.

It all started with a note from Susie, who runs Susie's Homemade. She and her talented husband, Jeff, are into blog redesign. I took them up on their offer, and I'm livin' large now!

A Great Big Thanks to Susie and Jeff, of course, for their patience and perseverance.

And thank you to others who contributed in both big ways and small to this blog redesign. To the Lovely Mannequin, and her Pop'rs Pals Frankie and Cupid, thanks for the photo that adorns the button on top of my left sidebar...if you click on these cute critters, you'll get a gander at my blogroll.

Thanks to Aunt Julie, who provides so many of the sweet snaps for this blog. I've inaugurated a special place for Julie Eliz in this new on the button at the top of my right sidebar, and you'll get all of the yummy recipes from Aunt Julie's Kitchen.

If you click on The Pop'rs Family in the right sidebar, which features a silly snap of Shark Boy trying to skimboard at the beach (another Aunt Julie photo), you will find all of the sweet, silly, quirky tales of the family members who make this blog go 'round.

And, of course, thanks to Uncle Lynn. Without his inspiration and his fabulous Pop'rs, none of this would be possible! We have a special button for Mr. Pops over on the there and you'll find posts that take you through Uncle Lynn's amazing Pop'rs Journey.

Yes, Veggie Mom is still a work in progress. I continue to post every day, and try to bring all of my friends something fresh, new, current, interesting. The Blogosphere is so vast, and I realize that I'm really lucky to be a part of it. Thanks for coming back every day...this redesign, really, is for you.

So, if you like Veggie Mom's transformation, please stop over to see Susie. She'll help you put on a pretty face, too!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bleacher Booty?

Veggie Mom and Eat Your Veggies! are on the road this weekend in Iowa for the Midwest Conference Swimming Championships at Grinnell College.

Larry U. is making a great showing this year, but the parentals of team members are suffering from paralysis of the derrière...also known as Bleacher Booty. Yes, College Girl and The Wild One are working hard, but Mom wonders if there are any benefits to precariously perching up to seven hours a day on crowded carpeted blocks, hovering over a chlorinated sauna.

Ah, the woes of a Swimming Mom. But we're having oodles of fun, too. Plus, it's great to see My Girls!

The team eats pasta twice a day to keep fueled for the competition. So do the parents, but they're not doing much but sitting around. Hmmmmm...probably need to get back in the pool myself when I get home!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Flowers and Chocolate...And Giveaway Winners, too!

Happy Valentine's Day, everybody! Veggie Mom is sooooooooo excited this morning, 'cause I get to announce the winners in our little ol' Great New Pop'rs Valentine's Day Giveaway. And the those lucky folks, drawn completely at random, are...

MammaDucky at Princesses and Pickles and Ann at AnnOnAndOn. Ladies, please send your contact info (including a phone number, 'cause Uncle Lynn ships by FedEx), plus the T-shirt sizes of each of your family members to . We will get your prizes~a box of Pop'rs, that good-for-you and fun seasoning, plus Pop'rs Wear~out to you right away!

Hope everyone has a wonderful, heart-filled day! Remember: You deserve flowers and chocolate!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Favre Signs on with Pop'rs Team

OK, we fooled ya, didn't we? But Brett the Jet is up to his ol' high jinx. He announced Wednesday that he's retiring again.

Before we get to that, let's get to this. Last day to enter our Great New Pop'rs Valentine's Day Giveaway! Click Here for details. Comment on all of Veggie's posts this week for extra entries!

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled program.


After so many ups and downs, with Brett, the Jets and The Pack, we just want to kick back, relax, and read this article from The Onion, which always puts others who practice the craft of satire to shame. Something about Brett and an itch. Please read'll laugh!

Playing along with Candid Carrie today. You know she's the Purveyor Extraordinaire of the Friday Foto Finish Fiesta!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pop'rs Butter Supreme Soup

Today's Pop'rs Infomercial features Bethany, whose brother Ben cooked up such a Great Pop'rs Infomerical for us last month.

Bethany's sharing her mom's recipe for Pop'rs Butter Supreme Soup. Tracy P., as many of you know, is famous around these here parts for being a Pop'rs Giveaway Winner, and for her Beer Cheese Soup, too!

The Secret Ingredient in this recipe? Why, Butter-Flavored Pop'rs, of course! Bethany just sprinkles this delish, fun and nutrish seasoning on, and her store-bought soup (to which Mom added leftovers, I'm told) is totally transformed!

To enter our Great New Pop'rs Valentine's Day Giveaway, Click Here. Or Here. Or Here. Or even Here! And make sure to comment on today's post, too. The Giveaway ends tomorrow at 11:59 p.m., when Uncle Lynn will randomly select two Proud Pop'rs Winners!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: I Scream, You Scream...for Pop'rs!

Here's Cute Karla from Zander and Me, a multi-tasking, multi-talented Mega Mom and, of course, Pop'rs Giveaway Winner. She and Z are modeling the awesome Pop'rs-Wear that you, too, can win for the whole family if you enter The Great New Pop'rs Valentine's Day Giveaway!

Zander really is a Pop'rs fan. I'm thinking he's making that face because Mom wants him to pose and act all nice for Veggie, and he has other ideas...that's a 2-year-old for ya! If you Click Here, you can see a video of Zander demonstrating that a Spoonful of Pop'rs really does help the medicine go down!

Make sure to leave me comments on every post this week! That means you can comment Here. And Here. And Here, for sure! And, quite naturally, on Today's Post, too. The Giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, so remember: The more comments, the better your chance of winning Pop'rs and some fabulous Pop'rs T-Shirts for you and yours. We're announcing two winners on Valentine's Day, so leave me some Sweet Comment Love!

Playing along today with Angie and her Wordful Wednesday. You should play, too!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pop'rs Hits the Top 40 Countdown!

First off, for more info on our Great New Pop'rs Valentine's Day Giveaway, Click Here! Make sure to leave a sweet comment on Veggie Mom's posts all week. Uncle Lynn will pick our two luck winners Friday night.

Today we're featuring Soccer Boy and his goof-ball friends, trying Color Burst Pop'rs on yogurt. That's SB's friend, Wilson, doing the honors. Soccer Boy is slightly off-camera. He's the one who cues up the Pop'rs Hit Machine. I'm sure this tune will make the Top 40, aren't you? Middle-school boys...gotta love 'em!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tune in for Pop'rs-and Giveaway-News!

To enter our Great New Pop'rs Valentine's Day Giveaway, Click Here. And don't forget to leave comments all this week. The more comments, the more chances you have to win!

Uncle Lynn and his Pop'rs have made big news in a BIG way recently. Click on the video above to see the interview he did with local Channel Five. And Uncle Lynn also Pop'd up in the pages of The Milwaukee Journal. For that interview, Click Here.

For those of you who are still confused about this delicious and oh-so-good-for-you seasoning, Click Here.

"We're the missing link between good food and eating," Uncle Lynn told the reporter from The Journal.

For more info on "Mr. Pops" and his journey, you can also read the "chapters" he's been writing for Veggie Mom.

Chapter 1: What to do when a good idea pops into your head

Chapter 2: What puts the "Pop!" in Pop'rs?

Chapter 3: Travels with Mr. Pops

And if you want to see more of moi, please Click Here. I'm guesting over at Tiffany's Place today. Yup, Veggie Mom is in the Howse! And I'm counting it as part of my February contribution to the Random Complexity Writing Challenge: 633 words!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

"Pop'rs Rock!" That's Why You Should Enter Our Giveaway!

First of all, meet Bella. She's a Big Pop'rs Fan, and has agreed to do this endorsement. Bella's Mom, Jeannie of Jeannie's Happy World, was one of Uncle Lynn's giveaway winners in November.

OK, Pop'rs Fans, we've got a good one for ya this week! In honor of the "season" and all, we bring you The Great New Pop'rs Valentine's Day Giveaway!

Uncle Lynn is rewarding Two Lucky Winners with a complete box of Pop'rs, that delish, fun and good-for-you seasoning that encourages everybody to Eat Their Veggies! T-shirts for the whole family, too!

All you have to do is to is leave a sweet comment right here in honor of Valentine's Day. You're allowed to comment once a day all week, and each comment gets you one giveaway entry. For five additional entries, please sign up to follow me! And for five more entries, post about this giveaway on your blog, and send the link to And guess what? For another five giveaway entries, you can follow me~that would be Veggiemadre~on Twitter! I just learned to "Tweet," and it's a blast!

This Great Giveaway runs through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, February 13. We'll announce the winners on Valentine's Day! So, get Poppin'! You know you want to!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

That Was Then...

First February entry in the Random Complexity Writing Challenge
232 words

Ode to a Burrito Baby

This time back then...

Dad was shoveling between blizzards.

They kept marching to our doorstep

one right after the other.

This time back then...

You were screaming, all wrapped

up in your binky like a burrito.


the nurses knew just what to do.

This time back then...

The doctor cut off

my meds...well, the strong ones, anyway.

And I had to make do

with codeine-laced Tylenol.

This time back then...

we brought you home from the hospital

and Daddy said, "Which way is up?"

and "Where's the 'off' button' on this thing?"

But you ignored him

and kept exercising those vocal chords.

Til your face turned scarlet, I might add.

This time back then...

you didn't know how to tell time,

and so you slept like a baby


during daylight hours,

and shrieked like a banshee




This time back then...

Daddy would bundle you up

in your car seat,

and you'd go for a ride.
With Mr. Clown, dangling by one
thin piece of orange yarn hair.

Sweet slumbers.

This time back then...

I memorized the first three

Dr. Seuss books,

because you had so many

ear infections

you decided to stay up
with the Late, Late Show.

Madeline kept you company, too.

Two decades passed like

pages blown off a calendar

in a 1940s movie.

Where did all those days go?

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Pop'rs Family Gets Crabby for Candid Carrie

One of The Pop'rs Family's annual traditions is going to the beach at North Carolina's Outer Banks. The other tradition is ordering steamed crabs and then posing with the critters out on the deck of the beach house before we eat 'em.

This is a shot from a few years back. From the left, if ya really want to know...Back Row: Veggie Mom, College Girl, Moker, The Wild One, Uncle Lynn. Front Row: College Boy, Soccer Boy. Shark Boy and Big Bear have apparently Left the Building (a la Elvis!). Aunt Julie, of course, is taking the pic.

We've had such lousy winter weather recently, that we wanted to re-live warmer times in toasty climes. Candid Carrie put us up to it...Please join the Fun at her Friday Foto Finish Fiesta. For real!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bloggy Birthday Bash!

Hey, all you friends out in Cyberland! We've got a couple of Cool Birthdays to celebrate! My oldest, College Girl, is celebrating a very special day is the Lovely Lizzy, of Hot Tub Fame! Please give them both a proper Birthday Shout-Out!

Cheese Head!


Love your show, babe!

Lizzy shares your b-day!

Everything's groovy!

Girl, you rock!

Extra ice cream today!

Gotta place in my *heart*!

Incredibly awesome!

Ridiculously crazy sometimes!

Love ya lots, sweetie!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Thank You, BATW!

I'm having a difficult day today. Debbie, the Hostess with the Most-ess, has decided that it's time to "park the plane for good." That quote comes from her Monday post, where she explains that Blog Around the World, affectionately known to fellow travelers as BATW, has been grounded.

Debbie's done BATW for six months now. She has a family, including two beautiful kids. She has "mommy duties," she explains, and many more interests that have gone wanting in the 180 days or so that she has been taking all of her Bloggy Friends on trips across the US and around the world.

It's been a really fun ride, Debbie. Thank you for your friendship, your camaraderie, and, most of all, for opening up our eyes to the Great Big World known as Cyberspace. Please go on over to say adieu...remember, we're not saying "goodbye," but rather, "until we meet again."

We know that all good things must come to an end, but BATW is the kind of experience that will stick in my cyber-conscience forever. I'll never forget getting my first e-mail from Debbie, asking me to explain The Badger State to her 700+ readers. I was nervous, excited, thrilled to be recognized. That post, Welcome to Wisconsin, was my first real Blast into the Blogosphere. The rest, as they say, is history. And I have Debbie to thank for that.

Today's my first time participating in Angie's Wordful Wednesday. I'm pretty sure the point is not to write so many words. But I can't help myself. Good travels, Debbie. And you know we'll keep in touch...'cause I'll be lurking over at your other home, This is the Life!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Guest Blogger: Travels with "Mr. Pops"

The third in a series of installments designed to share Uncle Lynn’s amazing story with all of our Pop’rs Pals. For Chapters 1 and 2, please Click Here and Here.

Well—it's been too long, but here is some more of my story. Probably reverse vanity, where I am thinking no one cares, but Veggie Mom told me to write something, so here it is!

I found myself in Barcelona, Spain, with my hopes and prayers for a positive meeting leading the way. You should know that this was my first trip out of the US, other than small childhood family forays into Canada and barely across the border in Mexico. Barcelona, if you have never been there, is a beautiful and exotic city, especially for someone from little Neenah, Wisconsin.

I arrived on a Saturday night so that I would have Sunday to recover from my travels. Good plan! Since I was anxious about my coming business meetings on Monday, I was hardly able to sleep on Sunday. With a standard tourist map in hand, off I went to see the sites.

Problem here: I am not a history buff, nor am I a seasoned traveler who researches his destination to know all of the good historical or even interesting sites. So, my chances to see cool things are more accidental that planned. Nonetheless, I was able to walk down to the sea on La Rambla.

At the end of La Rambla, a famous Barcelona Boulevard, sits the famous statue of Christopher Columbus pointing the wrong way. The monument is placed at the site where Columbus arrived in 1493 after his discovery of America the year before. In the 19th Century, Columbus was considered a Catalan—some historians still claimed he was born in Catalonia, hence the monument to the famous explorer in Barcelona, home of the Catalans.

Along the way on La Rambla is the Mercat de Sant Josep/La Boqueria. A brief description:
Probably Barcelona’s best-known market, ideally situated just off La Rambla this market is a must whether sourcing ingredients for a fine meal or just wandering through. It´s an assault on the senses, with smells coming from the fish to the fruit. The food sold at the market ranges from ready-made fresh fruit salads for the tired tourist, to literally fresh-out-of-the-sea, still-moving crabs and lobsters (maybe you would also like to look out for the whole sheep´s head!?) Not to mention the bright sweets counters that will act like a magnet for any child (or adult!).
My first time seeing meat displayed everywhere in its original form; the lamb fetuses sent me off to other adventures!

The architecture of Barcelona is otherworldly to a Neenah boy: Antoni Gaudí, the most famous of Barcelona’s architects, worked and influenced work all over this beautiful city. His most famous work is one of the most striking pieces of architecture in the world: the Church of the Sagrada Familia.

The idea of a new church was launched by a devote organization whose goal was to bring an end to the de-Christianization of the Barcelonese, which had started with the industrialization and increasing wealth of the city. A plot of land in the new Eixample district was bought in 1877. The architect, Francisco de Paula del Villar designed a neo-gothic church and lead the construction, which started in 1882.

One year later, the modernist architect Gaudí took over as lead architect at the age of 31. From that moment on, Gaudí devoted most of his life to the construction of the church. Instead of sticking to the original plans, Gaudí changed the design drastically. The ne- gothic style made way for Gaudí's trademark modernist style, which was based on forms found in nature. When he died in 1926, only one facade (the Nativity Facade), one tower, the apse and the crypt were finished. Because Gaudí was constantly improvising and changing the design while construction was going on, he left few designs and models. And most of these were destroyed during the civil war in 1936.

Still, architects now have a clear idea of what Gaudí had in mind. The last version of his design called for a church 95m/312ft long and 60m/197ft wide. The church eventually will be able to accommodate 13,000 people. When finished, the Sagrada Familia will have a total of 18 towers. Four Towers on each of the three facades represent the 12 Apostles. The towers reach a height of 90 to 120m (394 ft). Another four towers represent the 4 evangelists. They will surround the largest, 170m/558ft tall tower, dedicated to Jesus Christ. The last tower, dedicated to Virgin Mary, will be built over the apse.

Even though the Sagrada Familia is far from finished, the remarkable church is well worth a visit. You can visit the crypt were Gaudí is buried. A museum tells the story of this great architect and the history of the church. You can also visit the towers. A lift and a long walk will lead you to the top of a tower from where you have a magnificent view over Barcelona. The climb is not recommended for those with fear of heights or for people with claustrophobia!

I didn’t mean for this chapter to become a travelogue, but let’s just say I had quite a day!

Monday soon rolled around, and with a new day, the meeting that would change my life. I traveled to the plant where Pop Rocks are made. The owners, the Ramons (their first names, really!), greeted me and let me tell them about my idea to make everything pop. Their reaction was bemusement, as they were a candy company, and the idea of using Pop Rocks as an ingredient was new to them. But they thought there was enough of a chance, though, that they decided to let me see what I could do, and made an agreement that was something like a commissioned sales agreement.

I was free to see if I could convince anybody that my idea was a good one. So, off I went back to the US with agreement in hand, ready to conquer the world with an idea no one had ever heard of. Well, my next post, which I promise will come soon, will start us on my big journey—these little popping things have actually landed me in almost 30 countries in all parts of the world. And my travels are also responsible for the birth of Pop'rs! Looking back, I still can hardly believe it. That’s why they call me Mr. Pops!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Veggie Mom~and Pop'rs~Exclusive!

Editor's Note: Before we start Today's Post, I'd like to ask you to help do a Bloggy Friend a favor. Mr. Fairway, Hubz to my friend Melissa B., is a finalist in the 2009 Bloggies. Please Click Here to vote for Mr. Fairway's Golf Blog as Best Sports Blog!

OK, I know...I'm supposed to pay homage to The Great Ground Hog today. Well, I. Just. Can't. Do. It. Especially since I just know that he's gonna see his shadow today and run back in his burrow...which, of course, means Six More Weeks of Winter!

Instead, I'd like to be a little more upbeat, and highlight one of Uncle Lynn's new Pop'rs Pals. In fact, Kathleen, of Katydid and Kid won a recent Pop'rs Giveaway! And yes, that's one of Kathleen's Yogurt Parfaits, with Stawberry Pop'rs on top. Rush on over there Right Now, and ask her for the recipe!

Anyway, Kathleen hosts a Featured Blogger every Friday, and guess who was up last week? Why, Veggie Mom, of course! Click Here to get the full scoop.

Kathleen asked some Probing Pop'rs Questions, and was quite the investigative reporter. So, we wanted to reprint those, along with Veggie's Awesome Answers. Right Here. Right Now. So sit back, relax, and consider yourself entertained!

Kathleen: What is your blog about?
Veggie: It’s about the health of the whole family…as the blog subtitle says, “Food, Family and Fun.” This means everything from eating healthy to the Adventures of The Pop’rs Family. Oh, and I throw in some randomness every so often, to keep it interesting!
Kathleen: Where does your blog title come from?
Veggie: My BIL, Uncle Lynn, asked me to start the blog as a vehicle to get his new seasoning product, Pop’rs, better known. Pop’rs are a fun, healthy way to encourage folks to Eat Their Veggies! Among other things, of course.
Kathleen: When and why did you start your blog?
Veggie: I think I answered part of that with the last question. But I’ve always been interested in writing, and Uncle Lynn asked me what I thought of the proposition of doing a blog that was targeted at family issues. My first post, entitled
“Let’s Get Poppin’!” was published June 16, 2008. Eat Your Veggies! sort of evolved from there. After a few tentative posts, I think I found my niche in the Blogosphere. I really don’t know if there are a lot of “hybrid”-type blogs out there like mine. By that I mean that I try to focus on our family, but at the same time I’m trying to get Uncle Lynn and his product, Pop’rs, better known in the blogging community.
Kathleen: What would you like to add to your blog in the next year?
Veggie: I’m looking at redesigning it right now. You know, so I can incorporate more great info without all that cluttered, claustrophobic feeling. I’d love to do a regular interview feature with Uncle Lynn and some of the folks who have tried Pop’rs and really like them.
Kathleen: What are some of your favorite blogs?
Veggie: Oh, gosh, that’s a difficult question to answer! I have to say that Zander and Me, Fractured Toy, If Mom Says OK and Living and Loving Every Minute of It! really speak to me, on different levels. But I love all the bloggers I’ve met so far on this adventure, and hope to meet many more thoughtful people along the way.

Kathleen: What is one of your pet peeves about blogs or bloggers?
I really don’t get irritated, except just a tad at the Lurkers out there. If you’re going to go to the trouble of visiting a blog, why not leave at least a little “Hello” to let someone know you’ve been there? It's nice to know that someone’s been paying attention, I guess.
Kathleen: What advice would you have for any new bloggers?
I say speak from your heart, and you can’t go wrong. I think folks in the cyber community want to hear honest, from-the-heart dialogue. They love to hear family tales, or silly little stories about office interactions. You don’t have to be all serious all the time and pontificate about Great Things. Just be yourself! Get out there and make friends with other bloggers. These friendships create traffic and the traffic creates a buzz, and before you know it, you’ve taken off, and there’s no looking back!
Kathleen: What is something that people might not know about you?
Veggie: I’m left-handed, I can say the alphabet backwards, and I have a crush on Will Smith. Oh, and I detest lima beans. I don’t even know if Pop’rs could jazz those up enough for me!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I'm Rootin' for the Squirrels in the Big Game Today!

Editor's Note: Before we start Today's Post, I'd like to ask you to help do a Bloggy Friend a favor. Mr. Fairway, Hubz to my friend Melissa B., is a finalist in the 2009 Bloggies. Please Click Here to vote for Mr. Fairway's Golf Blog as Best Sports Blog!

In honor of Game Day, we wanted to share one of our favorite Super Bowl Commercials. Where do the suits at Geico come up with these ideas, anyway? Disclaimer: No annoying, furry rodents were harmed in the making of this commercial.

Seriously, now...who's your pick in Tonight's Big Game? Or are you just going to a Super Bowl Party for the food? Do Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson and Bruce Springsteen float your boat? What's your favorite Super Bowl Commerical of all time?