Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Small-Town America Moment

Veggie Mom's last April 2009 contribution to the Random Complexity Writing Challenge. Total: 332 words.

You'd think that Appleton, population almost 100,000, would have some big-city ways about it.

But there's much about this Northeastern Wisconsin burg that's puts it right there in the category of Small-Town America. And that's what makes it such a neat place to live.

Aunt Julie had a "Small-Town America Moment" in the City of Appleton just the other day.

She had taken her family room blinds to be cleaned at a business recommended by a friend. A regular Mom & Pop, 9 to 5 kind of place. She'd heard the proprietor was the best in the biz.

Julie Eliz hauled the blinds out of the back of the car and up the steps. It was a little after 5 p.m. A hand-scrawled note greeted her arrival.

"Leave the blinds in the alcove, with your number attached," the note read. "Will call tomorrow with an estimate."

Julie looked around, a little unsure what to do. The "alcove" mentioned in the note looked pretty exposed. She didn't want to have to purchase new blinds if these were stolen. She says she hestitated more than a few minutes.

Well, this gal grew up in a real small town ~ Chippewa Falls, WI, population perhaps as high as 12,000, if you count the cows and the dogs and maybe the cats. She still leaves her keys in the ignition if her car is in the driveway, which this big-city gal finds pretty risky behavior.

The Chippewa Falls in her won out, though. Julie left the blinds. She received a call the next day, with the estimate.

"I'll call you when they're ready," the proprietor said. "If you can't make it 'til after 5, I'll leave them with the bill in the alcove."

Julie's not worried about paying the fellow. He trusts her to hold up her end of the bargain. Just like she trusted him when she dropped the blinds off.

That's what they do in Small-Town America. Trust is a beautiful thing, isn't it?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: And the Winner Is...

Well, that's grammatically incorrect. I should say, "And the Winners Are..."

And the Winners Are...

Marrdy, who is One Krazy Kat Lady, and happens also to be a Past POPrs Winner!

Rhonda, she of Rhonda's Rants,


Jessie, from Muthering Heights.

Ladies, please send me your contact info, and we'll get those POPrs Prizes out to you ASAP. Send your info, plus a contact phone for the FedEx if you please, to ~ Thanks!

Yesterday's Birthday Bash was my 15th POPrs Giveaway, and I'm not tired yet. Thanks so very much to everyone who made Uncle Lynn's day so special!

I'd like to close my Wordful Wednesday post on this note: The awesome POPrs infomercial above is brought to you by Hanna. Her Mommy, Heather, is a Past POPrs Winner, too. Little "H" loves POPrs on her applesauce. Isn't that sweet?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Birthday to The POPrs King!

I was gonna go all retro today, and show ya a photo from Back in the Day. But instead, I'm getting to the heart of the matter. Today's a Special Day for the POPrs King, which deserves a Front Page Headline. So, I thought we could celebrate Uncle Lynn's Birthday with a little ol' POPrs Giveaway. Whaddaya say?

Here's the dealy-O:

All you have to do to enter this Birthday Bash is to leave Uncle Lynn some Birthday Comment Lovin' today. That's right, just Comment up a Storm!

This is a one-day contest, and closes tonight at 11:50 p.m. EST. Tomorrow morning I will announce THREE WINNERS, chosen by Random Drawing, of course:

First Place:
A box of POPrs--all 8 flavors!--plus POPrs T-Shirts for the whole family AND my services as a "guest blogger" any one time you choose in this calendar year!

Second Place:
A box of POPrs--all 8 flavors!--plus POPrs T-Shirts for the whole family.

Third Place:
A box of POPrs--all 8 flavors!

Alternatively, if the Random Generator Thingy picks YOU as a winner of one of the Top Two Prizes, and you already own POPrs-wear (yes, that's right ~ previous POPrs Giveaway Winners are eligible), then I, Veggie Mom Herself, will offer you the POPrs ~ who in their right mind could pass up those scrumptious delicacies? PLUS my services as a "guest blogger" up to five times in this calendar year. SUCH a deal, huh?

All you have to do to enter is to wish Uncle Lynn Happy Birthday today. For five extra entries, I'd LOVE for you to blog about Uncle Lynn's Birthday and the Contest. Follow me, for another five entries. Follow me on Twitter for another five. And, finally, post this cute little ol' Birthday Button at your place today, with a link back to this post, for five more entries.
Well, we're in Full POPrs Party mode now! And all Uncle Lynn has to do is just sit back, relax, and wait for all that Birthday Lovin' to come rolling his way. Happy Birthday, Pops!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Getting in Touch with Your Inner Frogger

A few silly frog thoughts for today, brought to you by All About Frogs:

Why are frogs so happy?
They eat whatever bugs them!
What car do frogs like the best?
The Beetle!
What do you say to a hitch-hiking frog?
Hop in!
What kind of sandles do frogs wear?
Open toad!
What is the first book a tadpole reads?
Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka.

Enough with the frog jokes, already!

The shot above is one from a series I've been running this year, called Thoughts for 2009. From an "inspirational" e-mail that's been circulating. For other Veggie Inspirations, please see Joy to the World; I Concur, Wholeheartedly; Living the 10th Commandment, and The Good Life.
I don't know who to credit for these snapshots of life, but I sure do like 'em!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Weekly Winners: It's a Dog's Life, Right?

Time for another edition of Weekly Winners, brought to you by Sarcastic Mom.

During my latest Road Trip to see my peeps, Aunt Julie and I took the doggies to the Kaukauna, WI, Dog Park .

The thing about Moses and Rowdy is they like to go in the water, no matter how cold it is. Here's Moses shaking off. That's Rowdy's butt on the his nose in something, for sure!

Although this shot doesn't show it, Rowdy went pretty far out. There was a family of ducks across the pond, and we were hoping he didn't notice...

Moses got tired of the cold water after a while and decided that being dry on land was preferable...

...while Rowdy found a friend to play with. I really like the colors and the composition of this one.

Once again, I snapped these shots using a Nikon CoolPix 4600, 4.0 Megapixels, 3x Zoom. Next week, I'll try to showcase some shots by my daughter, "The Artiste."

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Six-Word Saturday: Martha Stewart, I Ain't!

Launching into my second Six-Word Saturday, sponsored by Cate's Show My Face. Here goes:

Why I really love Tuesday Morning!

There, I've said it! Meet Floyd. He might be a flamingo, might not. But I picked him up for a steal at Tuesday Morning, right after my mulching hissy fit. He pretty much complements the rock garden, which is suffering from a serious lack of something colorful.

Don't worry ~ when the weather warms up (although yesterday it was freakin' 80 degrees in Wisconsin, of all places!) consistently, I'll plant some purty flowers to keep Floyd company.

Any suggestions?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Foto Fiesta Finish: A Quilt to Remember

In addition to being the POPrs Queen, Mom Extraordinaire and the owner of two rambunctious hounds, my SIL, Aunt Julie, is a quilter. You've seen quite a bit of her handiwork over here, most recently her Big Bear Creation.

In honor of Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta, Julie Eliz wanted me to exhibit one of her creations from a few years ago. I love the simplicity of this schoolhouse design, don't you?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Moms Gone Wild?

The other day I was contemplating the promises of Spring: the freshness, the eventual advent of Summer (sooner or later, you betcha) and all the possibilities the above entails.

Which got me to thinking, Dear Hearts, that it's time for another edition of Moms Gone Wild. Or, if you prefer, Mommy Recess.

While trolling the blogosphere the other day, I came across the most delightful of concoctions. Here is a "receipt," as my Nana used to say, which might come in handy during the evening after a harried day.

This delightfully cool beverage is brought to you courtesy of Momlogic. So is the pretty photo. She has a couple more MOMgaritas posted over there, as well. And, please remember: Those sweet-flavored POPrs make delicious, fun rimming material!

Sangria Margarita
(perfect for Cinco de Mayo!)

8 oz tequila
2. 12 oz margarita mix
3. 2 oz lime juice
4. 3 oz triple sec
5.4 oz sangria mix (not sangria with wine)

1. Pour tequila, margarita mix, lime juice, and triple sec into a blender with ice and blend.
2. Pour the mixture into the glass until 2/3 full, add the sangria mix.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: A Warm and Fuzzy Tale

First of all, in the interest of full disclosure, this isn't my photo. I acquired it from Funniest Pets, a blog that features All Things Crazy about critters and their humans. I'm not posting my own pix today, and I have a really good reason.

On Sunday, while I was hauling mulch (22 bags, grand total!), my new neighbor came over. Seems she had been gardening as well (like minds think alike!), and when a commotion errupted from her basement window well.

I went back over next door to see what I could see. And I saw three practically brand-new kittens ~ two black and one white. They must have been hungry, 'cause they sure were raising a ruckus!

Turns out Mama Cat had been dragging those poor little critters hither and yon, as new mothers tend to do. MC is a feral cat, and has been hanging around the neighborhood for a good little bit, defying all our efforts to give her shelter or at least a free meal.

My neighbor, though, said Mama Cat had not been seen for at least 24 hours. So, naturally, this kind woman was worried about the kittens.

The shelters were closed (remember, it was Sunday), the pound was shuttered (Sunday, again) and the only people answering their phones were the Animal Control people. They said that if MC didn't come back in another 24, they'd come pick up the kittens and take them out of harm's way. In the meantime, they recommended that my neighbor let Mother Nature work her will on the situation.

So the neighbors spent the night listening to persistent mewing, and I worried myself sick over raccoons, foxes, even deer, although I know they just eat mostly tulips this time of year. I checked in later, though, to find out that this story has a happy ending after all.

It rained cats and dogs Sunday night (OK, I know, cheesy, but still...), but when we checked the window well the next day, Mama Cat was back at her post and the kittens were exhibiting voracious appetites, all!

We inquired of my vet, who adopts out foundlings. He said to put a cover, of sorts, over the window well, with just enough room for MC to get in and out, wait a few weeks, and call him in the morning.

So that's my Warm and Fuzzy tale for today. Brought to you by Angie's Wordful Wednesday. And when I can get a closer look, I'll bring you a real picture of my new neighbors, OK?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

No, She Didn't!

Actually, yes, she did.

The Wild One had an...errrrrrr...episode in the bathroom the other day. She really had to go. She rushed down the hall to the dorm's communal john. She acquired an empty stall, scooted on in there, and ripped down her jeans.


Yup. Cellie, lodged in her back pocket, went right in the drink. Fortunately, before she'd done her business, so TWO had the good sense to fish the phone out. Then she let fly.

So, whaddayado with a drenched cell phone? Google registers more than 3.2 million hits, many of them giving advice on that very topic. We checked the first 20 or so, and it was a no-go. I prefer blingaling's warning about potential disaster. The photo above comes from his post, which says, in part:

"People have gotten their arms stuck trying to fetch their cell phones from a flushing toilet. Is it really worth that much to you?"

Nope. Don't think so. Rather just make my daughter pay the damages.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Aunt Julie's Kitchen: Santa Fe Quiche

This recipe is so delish, even the persnickity Wild One enjoys it. I was getting tired of the same-old-same-old, so went Googling for a quiche recipe. I was having one of those Retro Mondays, and just felt like getting my egg on.

Well, one thing led to another, and before I knew it, I had five different quiche recipes in front of me. I took a little of this from one, a smidgen of that from another, and before I knew it, I had a dynamite dish that (almost literally) will blow your socks off!

Santa Fe Quiche: Veggie Mom Version

8 eggs, beaten

8 ounces shredded monterrey jack cheese

12 oz. to 1 lb. chorizo sausage, browned/drained

1/2 cup skim milk

1 cup browned hash browns; frozen OreIdas will do!

1 tbs. chili powder

2 Anaheim chile peppers, roasted and cut into strips

1 Pillsbury pie crust (or, you can make your own!)

Directions: Combine the eggs, cheese, chorizo and milk. Mix together. Then brown the hash browns in the chorizo grease, adding the chili powder for a zesty flavor. Add the hash browns to the other ingredients, then pour into a pre-made pie crust (or you can make your own!) that is lining a deep-dish pie plate. Take the chile peppers out of the oven and slice them vertically, making sure to remove all seeds (they're hot!). Decorate the top of your quiche with the peppers, as shown in the photo above. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees F. Serve with a salad, and you're good to go. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Weekly Winners: Spring Has Sprung!

And so has my back! The first really long stretch of decent, sunny weather means flowers are flocking to my beds, so I have to make them cozy.

Ended up hauling 17 bags of mulch yesterday, and I still didn't have enough! But the true advent of Spring means that I can think about putting this sucker away...

Don't know if you can see in the reflection and the blinding sunlight, but that's an ice scraper in the backseat. Just in case. Now, you Dear Readers who have stuck with me all these months know that I just love to indulge in a pedicure now and again...

But Spring really means that my piggies are going into Serious Dirt Farmer Mode for the time being!

Weekly Winners are brought to you throughout the blogosphere every Sunday by Sarcastic Mom.

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I didn't use very fancy equipment to acquire these shots. Try a Nikon CoolPix 4600, 4.0 Megapixels, 3x Zoom. The Wild One took her fancy photo equipment to college with her. She's the Artiste in the family, butofcourse!


This just in: Veggie Mom has taken pen (computer keyboard) in hand to enter Scribbit's April Write-Away Contest. You should, too!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

6-Word Saturday: Spring's Promise

My first time out with Six-Word Saturday, which seems to be a nifty way to let everyone know what's on my mind, with the added challenge of curtailing my verbosity. The question remains: Is brevity my strong suit? Let me give it a go:

Hyacinths show promise of impending Spring.

How's that for a first-timer? My Six Words, BTW, are brought to you by Cate. She presides over at Show My Face. You've probably seen her around. You should stop by and share.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Simon Says?

Susan Boyle Sings on Britain's Got Talent 2009 Episode 1 @ Yahoo! Video

Finally ~ someone who can wipe that nasty smirk off Simon Cowell's face.

You've probably all seen her by now, but I thought I'd share this video as part of Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta. Not sure if I'm allowed to post a video as part of this weekly extravaganza (the rules, please, Madam Chairman?), but this vid does involve images, so what the heck!

You probably already know the story, too. Susan Boyle, a 47-year-old, single lady from Scotland, who says she's never been kissed. I think she's been "saving" herself for just this moment!

And Simon's actually smiling. A genuine, honest-to-goodness, from-the-heart kinda smile. And he and the other judges look genuinely amazed. Hope it wasn't just staged for TV.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's a Dog's Life

Look! It's Bo!

See Bo run. See Bo tow the First Lady and the Prez across the White House lawn. See the adorable First Daughters embrace the idea of having a First Puppy.

Bo's not a "rescue" dog, as first promised by the Obamas. He's what's called a "second chance" dog. He's six months old, and the first family he boarded with before the First Family didn't work out.

Bo is named in honor of First Lady Michelle's late Dad, whose nickname was Diddley (as in oldtime rocker Bo Diddley). Most importantly, he's hypoallergenic, so 10-year-old Malia won't sneeze. And 7-year-old Sasha, perhaps, will teach Bo how to swim (no, he apparently doesn't know even how to doggy paddle, and yes, he has webbed feet).

This NBC video is pretty and packaged. You should also view the raw footage of Bo's arrival, posted on YouTube. This Portuguese Water Dog is not camera-shy, that's for sure.

I guess this means that the puppy's full name is Bo Obama. Ya think?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Spring Snowstorm

If you think snow isn't possible in April, think again. While I was visiting my peeps last week, we had a crazy, blowing, ice-snow mix that went on for a couple of hours. In April. The official Month of Spring.

Of course, last week's precipitation was just like spitting in the ocean compared to the Spring Storm of '96. Here are College Boy (holding the sign), Shark Boy (holding the baby) and Soccer Boy (in his warm and cuddly snowsuit) standing on Aunt Julie's back deck.

Yes, you read the sign correctly. Snow. On April 15th. Must have been a present from Uncle Sam, huh?

As Moker always says, "Wisconsin has two seasons: Nine months of winter, and three months of tough sledding!"

Participating in Angie's Wordful Wednesday. Come join the fun!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

They've Got Two Lips for Tulips!

Seems like Northeastern Wisconsin is at least one season behind the rest of the country when it comes to Spring. But we won't see Spring at all if the deer and bunnies in Aunt Julie's neighborhood have anything to say about it.

Notice the tulip on the right. A tad scruffy, but blooming, nonetheless. What about its neighbor? Think that particular plant served as an appetizer for Peter Cottontail. And, wouldn't you know it ~ the pretty purple blossom was Bambi's dessert before the evening was over!

A couple of my neighbors spray deer and bunny repellant around their yummy Spring plants to ward off those who would feast on daffodils and tulips. But even though some of these products say "natural" or "safe for the environment" on the labels, I'm still a little wary.

Please help us out here, before there's no Spring left in the seasonal flower bed. Do you have a trick for keeping these critters away?

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Dog Made Me Do It!

The Random Complexity Writing Challenge; March; 581 Words!

John Grogan made me cry. My daughter said I wouldn’t. My SIL said I shouldn’t. But I cried anyway, the day that Marley died.

Marley, as most of you well know, is the name of an incorrigible Yellow Lab owned for 13 years by Grogan and his wife, Jenny. Over Christmas Break, while I was casting about for a gift for College Girl, I thought of Marley.

I’d heard the movie was atrocious, but the book way better. I went with the book.

College Girl accepted this stocking-stuffer from “Santa” with a knowing smile. She loves reading about animals, but her Mom has a track record.

I am, after all, the one who urged the child to read Old Yeller when she was in 4th grade. Poor kid cried and cried. Buckets. Blamed me for exacerbating her concerns about the health and safety of every family pet from there on out.

Oopsies! I had remembered loving the book when I was about 10. I’d forgotten that the dog dies in the end. But from what I’d heard, Marley and Me was a much lighter read than that.

So CG took Marley back to school. And, in between classes in Spanish Lit, history and a seminar on the Holocaust, she finished Grogan’s tribute to “The world’s worst dog.”

She said Marley and Me was a “good read.” Said she’d teared up a couple of times, “but nothing like Ol’dYeller. You know how that book ends, right Mom?”

Fast-forward close to four months. When I went to College last week to visit my peeps, I brought along a book. During the course of my visit, I finished my latest literary companion. So I turned to my kid.

“What about Marley?” CG queried.

“I don’t want to cry on the plane,” I retorted.

“Oh, Mom. It’s not that kind of book. You won’t cry. You’ll laugh, mostly.”

As I was preparing to leave toward the end of last week, I put my pocketbook and my reading material on the counter in Aunt Julie’s kitchen.

“You’re not reading Marley, are you?” The dismissive tone in Auntie J.’s voice was unmistakable.

“Well, sure,” I replied. “CG says it’s an easy read, and that I’ll laugh, mostly.”

Julie, who is the Mom to four boys and two dogs in real life, simply shrugged.

“I don’t know. It didn’t do much for me,” said the woman whose taste in literature I most admire. But Julie, much like CG, assured me that I wouldn’t cry.

“It’s not that kind of book,” she said. “It’s an easy read. You’ll laugh, mostly.”

Well, to tell you the truth, I did laugh a lot, much to the chagrin of the woman sitting next to me on the flight home. Hmmmmmmm…probably should add guffawing to the list of no-no’s in Veggie Mom’s Guide to Traveler’s Etiquette!

Didn’t quite finish Marley during the trip. It really is an easy read, though, and I digested most of it en-route. I had a couple of short chapters to go the next day when I decided to spring for a pedicure.

And that, Dear Readers, is the sad, sad ending to our tale. Marley does indeed die in the end. And Veggie Mom did indeed cry. So much so that the nail technician worried that her ministrations had hurt me in some fashion.

“No,” I said, reassuring her that my piggies felt just fine. “It’s this dumb dog. He just died.” So much for happy endings.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Remembered: 1987

Dare I say it? This photo is a relic! Here we have Big Bear on the left, carefully dipping his egg in the dye, and Shark Boy, who finds the whole business really funny, for some reason.

However you may be celebrating this special day, I'd like to share a poem that my kids learned when they were even younger than this. The rhyme comes with hand motions, too, so knock yourself out. Happy Easter!
PS: I'm a newby at Sarcastic Mom's Weekly Winners, so please bear with me. Obviously, this is an old shot. Snapped by Aunt Julie with a Canon Rebel, I'm pretty sure. A classic film SLR digital back then!

Five little Easter eggs, lovely colors wore (hold up five fingers);
Mother ate the blue one, then there were four (bend down one finger).
Four little Easter eggs, two and two, you see;
Daddy ate the red one, then there were three (bend down next finger).
Three little Easter eggs, before I knew,
Sister ate the yellow one, then there were two (bend down next finger).
Two little Easter eggs; oh, what fun,
Brother ate the purple one, then there was one (bend down next finger).
One little Easter egg; see me run!
I ate the very last one, and then there were none (open up both empty hands)!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

We're All Top Moms!

What do Sarcastic Mom, Dooce, Scribbit, Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, Cheaper Than Therapy, An Island Life, If Mom Says OK, Fractured Toy, Stacy's Random Thoughts and Eat Your Veggies! have in common?

I know, you were going to say that we're all fabulous and fun to read, right? But besides the obvious, we're also all members of Alltop, one of the newest ~ and coolest ~ ways to stay in touch on the World Wide Web.

You'll find funny posts, like White Trash Mom's take on Peeps Gone Wild; you'll find fun seasonal posts, like The Opmom Blog's Crafty Easter; you'll find fresh posts like City Mama's thoughts on the Hipness of Goodwill.

Alltop is a great way to stay in touch and stay current on what your favorite bloggers are up to. Obviously, Little Ol' Veggie Mom has some big shoes to fill. So, please, click on the Alltop link in this post, or on the Alltop badge under my Welcome Wagon button down on the left sidebar, to see what's what.

And if you want to get in on the fun, Alltop's FAQs explain the site and how to become a part of this wonderful cyber-forum.

Have a little blog-hopping time penciled in for this weekend? Hop on over to Alltop. Where Veggie Mom, Dooce and The PW all have a place to call their own. Cyberspace really is the Great Equalizer. Indeed.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Candid Carrie Helps Big Bear Celebrate His Birthday

A few years back, when the world was slightly younger and so were we, Big Bear entered this crazy world. Today's his birthday, and Candid Carrie is helping him celebrate.

Aunt Julie and I were going through photo albums the other day, and came up with this precious shot. She's the New Mom in this photo. B-Squared was a cutie, wasn't he? Still is!

This celebration brought to you by Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta. Happy Birthday, Big Bear!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Get Out of My Way! Please?

March; Random Compexity Writing Contest; 607 Words!

As everyone knows, I've been on a mission of mercy, visiting my peeps up at Larry U. But I have a bone to pick with my fellow travelers today.

What's up with the rolling luggage? Yes, my suitcase rolls, too. But I don't carry the entire contents of my house when I go on vacation!

Traveling has become quite a contact sport ~ seriously! To make the experience a tad more pleasant, I've developed a few Rules of the Road. Follow them, and you'll be guaranteed smooth sailing!

Veggie Mom's Guide to Traveler's Etiquette

10. Please keep to yourself. Not interested in your suitcase, your child or your nasty Taco Bell To-Go invading my space.

9. Keep the cellphone braying to a minimum. If you have a hearing problem, get help. You're not gonna convince the BF that he should love you more by braying like a jackass into your portable cellular device.

8. If you insist on being in a hurry at the security checkpoint, the FAA has developed alternative procedures for people like you ~ for a fee. Otherwise, please wait with all the rest of us, and politely take your turn. Crowding me from behind won't make me go any faster. In fact, I might even take my time, knowing that I piss you off.

7. Similarly, don't take your shoes off at the security checkpoint any sooner than you need to. The rest of us waiting in this humongous line don't care to know that you have a foot odor problem.

6. If the TSA Dudes bust you for too many liquids or gels, suck it up. Standing there debating the size of the personal items in your plastic, Zip-loc bag just holds the line up and ticks off the TSA Dudes.

5. I did not choose to travel by air in order to sit next to a fat man who's just consumed the biggest burritto of the century. I have no qualms with your size; but your flatulence grosses me out!

4. Learn to sprint in an airport. This is particularly wise in meat markets like O'Hare, Atlanta and LAX, where the airlines will tend to change your departure gate to the one on the other side of the airport at the last minute. But when you sprint, please be aware of those around you. We do not cherish being bowled over and bruised by a business-person who is about to miss his flight.

3. If your carry-on luggage does not fit in the overhead bin, please don't stand there for 10 minutes, pushing, shoving and cajoling this inanimate object. Please accept the flight attendant's offer to check your bag "planeside." All that means is that they'll stow it for you, and you can claim it as soon as you exit the plane.

2. Speaking of flight attendants, don't be rude. Safety is their first job; your comfort is but a secondary concern. It's not the flight attendant's fault that you paid eight hundred gazillion thousand dollars for your flight. The flight attendant is not there to wait on you hand and foot. And, frankly, no one cares if you're upset that the flight doesn't have a meal. Just don't eat. See Number 5 if you have any more questions about this.

1. Adopt a ramrod straight posture while pulling your rolling suitcase. This will keep your suitcase ~ and its contents ~ close to your body and not anywhere near mine. I couldn't tell you how many dozen times during this recent journey I tripped over someone's a) extended arm; b) rolly handle; or c) entire rolly suitcase. In fact, I stopped counting.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Playing Dress-Up

All I need to tell you is that even College Kids play Dress-Up. Especially in the dorm, when one wants to find something else to do besides study!

Here we have two lovely examples of Study Fever at its pitch. Danny is from Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Many around those parts call residents "Youpers," for short.

College Girl, let's just say, is from more moderate climes.

In this priceless snap, snagged during Freshman Year at Larry U., the gals decided to dress up as each other's "climate."

CG, you see, is pretending to be a "Youper." Danny, oh,butofcourse, is going for the Beach Baby look. Enjoy Angie's Wordful Wednesday ~ I know I will!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Everyday Italian with Giada and The Wild One

The Wild One loves to cook. She bakes, she zooms up homemade guacamole, and she sure does love her pasta. One of my favorite Mother's Days in recent years involved TWO putting together an Everyday Italian dish that she learned from her friend, Giada De Laurentiis.

OK, Giada isn't really a family friend. She's more of a Boob Tube Buddy. Even in between classes, TWO loves to catch snippets of The Food Network, and her favorite is Everyday Italian.

In this video, Giada prepares Simple Tomato Sauce. This red sauce serves as a staple in many of Giada's ~ and TWO's ~ recipes. The key, of course, is in the simplicity. One thing, though, I don't really understand: How can Giada cook without messing up her fashionable outfits? As my Nana used to say: One must always wear an apron in the kitchen!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Empty Nest? Not!

Have you any idea how many children it takes to turn off one light in the kitchen? Three. It takes one to say, "What light?" 
and two more to say, "I didn't turn it on."
~Erma Bombeck~

Veggie Mom, reporting on location with College Girl and The Wild One. No Empty Nest Syndrome here the past couple of days. I'm taking a few days off to Commune with My College Kidz, and they've shown me a thing or two.

Most of my recent college education involves the cost of groceries ("More Ramen Noodles, please!") and the location of the nearest mall.

I love 'em, I really do! I guess I just wish I didn't feel like a Human ATM Machine all the time!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Don't Be Shy!

I, like many of my Bloggy Brethren, have a stat counter, which spews data at me every week. Since I'm not much of an expert, I really don't know what to make of all the referrals, entry clicks and exit clicks, but I do know page views. And I average, in any given week, about 96 page views a day; close to 700 in any given week.

Whew! To hear the experts tell it, that's a lot of traffic! But one thing I don't really understand...why would someone visit a site like mine, digest its content, then slink away without commenting?

If my stat counter is to be believed, oodles of people visit
Eat Your Veggies! So, I have a pretty basic question: Why all the "lurkers" out there?

As you probably know, a lurker is one who hangs out at a blog, but doesn't comment. I'm not sure how the "professional" blogging world views lurking, but I guess I just don't understand the need for anonymity.

OK, I understand if my posts are tedious; if they're silly; if they're just plain uninteresting. But I'd like to think I create posts that are at least mildy bright, if not downright sparkling.

But the comments? They're just not coming. A recent snapshot proves my point. Monday: 9 comments; Tuesday: 9 comments; Wednesday (A "theme" day, with
Angie's Wordful Wednesday): 19 comments; Thursday: 8 comments.

During that same time period, I had visitors from Oregon, Indiana, California, Arkansas, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Nevada, Virginia and Florida, to name a few. And don't forget the international traffic: Canada, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Mexico, Germany and, of course, Unknown. But I guess we don't know if Unknown is an international or a domestic visitor, do we?

My questions to you are these: Am I doing something wrong, or are bloggers basically shy people at heart? Is there something else I should be doing that I'm not? Why are all these visitors lurking in the shadows of cyberspace?

Hey, I'm a friendly gal. And I'm still pretty new at this Blogging Business. So, please ~ suggest, offer, push and insist with me. I won't take offense. If there's one thing I've learned in my life, I'm really good at responding to constructive criticism.

Nana taught me that it's impolite not to have a "welcoming" atmosphere in one's home. Well, my red (cyber) carpet is out. I'd love for you to leave a comment. Pretty please?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste!

Been running around crazy all week, trying to tidy up things at work and launch a Great New Adventure over the weekend. Well, an adventure for ME, anyway! Going to visit my peeps at college for a few days. Buy them some groceries, take them out to eat, and generally do a little mothering, for a change.

In all the hustle and the bustle, though, I seem to have misplaced something. I was doing a little blog-hopping the other day, and noticed that a Dear Bloggy Friend had left me some bling. Of course, wanting to be supportive and all, I planned to post the bling this weekend. I even wrote the award down, with the link, so I could give proper credit. And then promptly recycled the sheet of paper on which I'd noted all this important info.

Went back to my desk last night, to prepare a pretty post. No note, no nothing. And my brain is so fried that I can't, at the moment, remember who blinged me with what.

So, if you're a giving person, as all my Bloggy Friends are, and you're reading this, please take pity on me! Leave me a comment, tell me of how much you love me, and remind me that I'm not such a bad person, after all. And if you decide to rescind my bling, so be it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Doing the Chicken Dance with Candid Carrie

Daddy is a Badger ~ that would be a grad of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Big Sis is considering becoming a Badger in her post-grad life. So it's only natural that The Wild One taught the Badger Band how to do the Chicken Dance at a UW football game so many moons ago.

Playing along with Candid Carrie today. She's the First-Rate Founder of the Friday Foto Finish Fiesta!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Green

It's not that easy being green;

Having to spend each day under Federal scrutiny.
When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold,
Or not worry about salmonella poisoning.

It's not easy being green.
I’d rather be ordinary like so many other ordinary things.
Now people tend to notice me more by my absence
As I’m swept from the local grocery store shelves.
I’d rather blend in ~ like an apple, or perhaps a pear or plum.

But green's the color of Spring (and pistachios).
And I taste so good when combined with almonds and fudge
In Baskin-Robbins ice cream; and my shell is fun to crack, too.
My green can be salted, roasted or just served up plain.

When green is all there is to be
I wonder why, wonder why the Government inspectors...
Wonder why they don’t think I’m safe to eat!
Green ~ and yummy ~ is just the way I want to be.

With profound apologies to Joe Rapposo and Kermit the Frog. Penned in a moment of frustration with the one million-pound pistachio recall. Veggie's first April entry in the Random Complexity Writing Contest. 161 words.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Color Me Sleepy

I love this photo for a number of reasons. The colorful sleeping bags. The two little dirty-blond heads peeking out. The slumbering swimmers.

Those who are regular readers know that my children are competitive swimmers. Sometimes, while on a road trip, they have to wrestle a few winks in between sessions; sometimes even in between events. They know from 30 combined years of hanging around the pool deck that food and sleep are the fuel that makes those pistons hit at the proper intervals for elite college competition.

Michael Phelps they're not; they're oh-so-much-smarter than that!

So they snag some sleep when they can. It's not always this colorful, nor peaceful, but every so often they paint a pretty picture, don't they?

I thought about engineering an April Fool's Day post, but decided to use this sweet snap instead. Please join us for Wordful Wednesday, over at Angie's Place. You'll be glad you did!