Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Birthday Quilt to Remember

As The Wild One's birthday approaches, I've started thinking again about Aunt Julie and her marvelous quilts.

Julie Eliz stitched this one for TWO when she was a baby. The pattern is called Basket of Lillies. The POPrs Family came to visit for Christmas, and this was The Wild One's first Christmas gift from her Auntie Julie, the Quilting Queen.

This beautiful creation usually hangs on a dowell rod on the wall behind our bed. Today it's draped over Baba's Bench. I wouldn't leave it outside in this quaint setting for long, though. Too many of our feathered friends frequent the adjoining bird bath!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Celebrating the 4th with The Gilmore Girls

Everyone's home to celebrate the 4th, so I thought I'd continue my tradition of commemorating special occasions, this time with a Patriotic Pedicure.

One of the things that's so different between my house and Aunt Julie's place is the female quotient. You see, I'm the Mom of two young women; Julie Eliz, on the other hand, has four boys at home.

The major difference? We spend our time watching Gilmore Girls re-runs and they're more than likely to have a Lethal Weapon marathon running.

But all joking aside, I'm happy to have my peeps home. Turned out one of Aunt Julie's Blueberry Pies last night. More is in store, as we count down to fireworks and the 4th.

What do you have planned for the upcoming festivities?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weekly Winners: Martha Stewart, Eat Your Heart Out!

Shot by Aunt Julie with a Canon Rebel XTi
College Girl is moving into a new apartment soon. Of course, CG's newest adventure gives Aunt Julie just the excuse she needs~to go garage-sale-ing. Auntie J. called me at work with a Furniture Alert.

"I found the cutest retro kitchen tables and chairs!"

"Don't you already have a table and chairs?"

"No, silly. For College Girl!"

I hadn't known we were in the market. But take a close look at this set, circa 1955. I went to Retro Planet.com, and couldn't find a chrome and vinyl dinette set like this for less than $1,497...

...and guess how much Julie Eliz paid, for the table and four chairs?

Would you believe $45? For the set? Of course, the lovely yard and garden aren't included in that price. I just love the detailing on the chairs, as well as the funky, jointed legs. Aunt Julie apologized because the vinyl is buff and not one of those whacked-out Happy Days colors...

...but College Girl, especially, loves this set. And how cool is it that the table comes with an extension, too!

Of course, I guess this means that my eldest has to learn to cook now. Or else she'll end up incorporating this lovely set into her unique "filing" system.

I call it the "drop it anywhere and run" approach to staying organized. She used it quite successfully at her old place. It features papers, books, used fast food containers and every other kind of flotsam and jetsam, which land where one flings them~on top of or within about 10 feet of the kitchen table.

Whatever works. But I'm provisioning CG with a recipe box stuffed with a slew of recipes from Aunt Julie's Kitchen. Then maybe she'll have me over for dinner some evening, and I'll be able to enjoy my food on this lovely dinette set.

A mother can only dream, right?

BTW, Weekly Winners is sponsored by Lotus over at Sarcastic Mom. Please drop by and share some Sunday love!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

SWS: Stop and Smell the Roses?

Here's an Aunt Julie Exclusive~Rowdy the Puppy, enjoying the backyard on a summer's day. Looks a little like he's enjoying the scent of those roses from yesterday's post, doesn't it?

Oh, I forgot to mention that today's Six-Word Saturday is brought to you by Cate at Show My Face. And here are my six words:

Stop and smell the roses, Rowdy!

Ah, it's a dog's life, right?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta: Happy Bloomin' TGIF!

Aunt Julie never ceases to amaze me. Please meet William Baffin, a Canadian Climbing Rose. If you'd like to see a different perspective of Mr. Baffin in all his glory, please take a gander at Shot Number 2:

When I visited Julie Eliz quite recently, Mr. Baffin was still a wee lad. Looks like he's been eating his POPrs, for sure!

Playing along with Candid Carrie, who smells pretty sweet, in my book!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Could Veggie Be Mommy of the Year?

DATELINE, NORTHEASTERN WISCONSIN...THURSDAY, JUNE 25...This just in to our newsroom. Veggie Mom, she of POPrs Family Fame, has been nominated as the Mommy Blogger of the Year!

Yes, it's almost too much to imagine, but Melissa B., my BBBF (Best Blogging Bud Forever), has nominated moi to receive this awesome award.

Project Mommyhood plans to crown the Mommy Blog of the Year, and nominations are now open.

I realize that there are sooooooooo many Mommy Blogs out there that getting Little Ol' Veggie Mom's hopes up on this deal is a little like spitting in the ocean, but it's worth a shot, right-O?

I wanted to give my POPrs Pals a little taste of the past year at Eat Your Veggies! so that you might be inspired to pop on over to Project Mommyhood and second the nomination. Or "third" it, if ya want to!

There you have it, POPrs Pals! Not to brag or anything, but these are only a few of my favorite things from one-year-plus of coming to you through the miracles of cyberspace. So if you have the time, please stop by Project Mommyhood and send some love my way. You'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Intercourse is Lovely!

OK, before you go and label Eat Your Veggies! as an R-rated blog, take a look at this lovely quilt. It was hand-sewn in Amish Country~that would be Intercourse, Pennsylvania, right outside of Lancaster.

College Girl was a high school junior, she got it in her head that she'd like to attend a small college. Well, PA is full of 'em and we visited a number, including Gettysburg, Dickinson and Franklin & Marshall, which is in the heart of Lancaster.

Neither one of us had ever been to this part of PA before, and we spent one long afternoon exploring. The Amish all live out beyond the city limits. It's a real thowback to simpler times, with rolling farmland, buggies, bonnets and little towns with names like Bird-in-Hand and, of course, Intercourse.

I shot the snap above in my living room. My Amish quilt from that college visit of long ago is draped over the chair we inherited from
Aunt Julie and Moker's grandmother, Hilda. I'd just finished washing the quilt, and thought the setting would be perfect for a classic shot.

When you purchase a quilt from the Amish, you get the history behind it, too. This Double Wedding Ring Quilt was made by Rose Stoltzfus of Lancaster County, PA, in 2003. I purchased it at Christy's Quilt Shoppe on Center Street in Intercourse, PA.

College Girl, of course, decided on
a small college~in Wisconsin. But I got a beautiful family heirloom out of the bargin.

I'm sharing this special shot as part of
Angie's Wordful Wednesday. Do stop by, if you have a chance!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We Need to Clean Up Our Act

Our dishwasher has been out of commission for a week. So, we've gone back to the good old-fashioned method~washing dishes by hand.

I hadn't really realized how dependent we were on the modern miracle of KitchenAid until the dishes started stacking up in the sink. And getting on my last nerve.

Yes, the family knows how to do dishes by hand. We frequently employ the sink, the faucet and the good ol' drying rack after special occasions, when we have too many dishes to load. But with four people coming and going at all hours of the day and night this summer, and no one specifically assigned to "dish duty," things have become a tad chaotic.

I'll wash the breakfast dishes. Then College Girl might come through with a coffee cup and put it in the sink. And when the stack becomes less-than-manageable, The Wild One and Moker start leaving dishes all over the place.

Yes, I'm going a littel nuts here. And I'm really afraid that our friends the ants might come back for a visit before we get the dishwasher problem resolved.

I'm the first to admit that my kids are lazy. But when I drafted the girls to help with the dishes last night after dinner, it was as if I were speaking Russian to them, and asking them to paint a stack of nesting dolls.

My Mom always had the kids form an assembly line: one for washing, one for drying, one for putting away. And after a little bit of "who's on first, what's on second?" last night, we were humming like the well-oiled machine I remember from my childhood.

Until Moker came through and put his ice cream bowl in the sink. Without even rinsing it out.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Hip-Hop, Veggie-Style!

I was sitting out in the backyard yesterday, just enjoying the Summer Solstice (longest day of the year, official first day of summer, and all that jazz), when this cute little guy bounded by, about 10 feet from me.

The bunnies in our neighborhood are getting bigger. That tells me two things. First off, the predators that have been known to frequent our neck o' the woods, such as racoons, foxes and, yes, even the occasional coyote, have diminished in number.

Secondly, I guess I need to cut the grass. A little too much clover to be had back there, huh?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weekly Winners: Happy Father's Day!

Shot by various cameras over the years, most of them of the Cannon Variety

Welcome to Weekly Winners, brought to you by Lotus, aka Sarcastic Mom. Today's post is a retrospective, in honor of Uncle Lynn and Father's Day. So, here we have The POPrs King...

...facing down a baby hawk at the OBX last summer;

...moving College Boy to school in the fall;

...getting his Big Break with an article in The Milwaukee Journal;

...hanging with The POPrs Family at the beach;

...watching the goats graze on the roof in Door County, WI;

...cheering on The Packers at a home game with Grandma.

Happy Father's Day to Uncle Lynn and to all the other hard-working Dads out there. Hope your day is special!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

SWS: She's the Hissy Fit Queen!

Just one thing to do this morning, and that's jump right into Six-Word Saturday:

She's definitely the Hissy Fit Queen!

Yes, this is a shot of The Wild One, at the lovely age of two. The child who used to bang her head against the wall.

This is one of my favorite portraits of TWO during her Hissy Fit Phase. I can never figure out if that's the face of an angel or a demon.

Thankfully, she's learned to use her words. But we recall some monumental storm clouds that rolled through our household in years gone by.

Cate at Show My Face hosts Six-Word Saturday every week. Please come along and join in the fun!

So, angel or demon? Which do you prefer?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fx4: We're in the Army, Now!

OK, I confess. I don't have the most consistent parenting style. That's why I was surprised to take this quiz and find out that I apparently fall under the category of "Sgt. Strict."

Of course, it never helped that I had two little girls with such different personalities. College Girl was compliant; I could put her down on the living room rug in front of Sesame Street, and she'd be good for a couple of hours. Well, I never did that, but I imagined it, several times.

The Wild One, natch, lived up to her nickname. In addition to constant attention, she demanded to be fed when she demanded to be fed. Let me share a little soap-opera drama with you.

Picture this: SAHM, with 2-year-old and 5-year-old underfoot, gets an offer she can't refuse. An old friend has enough Frequent Flyer miles to take two people~that would include moi~to the Cayman Islands for a loooooooooonnnnngg weekend.

The only catch? Moker would be flying solo during our Girls' Weekend Away.

Imagine my surprise when I got a call at the hotel.

"What's wrong with The Wild One?"

"Gosh, I don't know. I'm in a hotel thousands of miles away. Is she still breathing?"

"Of course she's still breathing. But she's also hopping up and down in the kitchen and banging her head against the wall."

"What time is it there?"

"About 5:30."

"She's hungry, silly guy."


"Yeah. They eat early, remember? Did you forget dinner?"

"You mean if I feed her this will stop?"


"Thank God."

Well, she was only two. And she hadn't quite learned to use all her words yet. Playing along with Candid Carrie, and her Friday Foto Finish Fiesta. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet...

The title of this post is from Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." I've been in a gardening mood for a couple of months now, and came upon this shot in the POPrs Family Archives. It actually was snapped by The Wild One in San Francisco a couple of years ago.

The colors, the contrast and the framing show hints of the artiste in my little girl, don't you think? But I have no idea what kind of flowers these are. Anyone have any guesses?

Here's the rest of the "rose" speech, spoken by Juliet, as she reflects on the love of someone from the House of Montague.

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: The Gal with the Green Thumb

I think we established a long time ago that Aunt Julie is the Gal with the Green Thumb. Well, June is bustin' out all over right about now at her place.

"This is my newest baby," Julie Eliz enthuses. "It is a tree peony. The petals look just like crepe paper. They are about 8 inches across. Just beautiful!

"It's just finished blooming, and won't flower again until next year at this time," Julie says. "Bummer."

What isn't a bummer is those Topsy Turvy Tomatoes of hers. I saw them just the other day. They've got blooms already, so we'll see what happens when those crazy, upside-down things start to bear fruit. I promise to keep you updated.

Thanks so much to the winners of our POPrs Giveaway, and to everyone who stopped by yesterday to help me celebrate my First Blogoversary. Tons o' Fun, huh?

Today's post is brought to you by Angie and her Wordful Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happy Blogoversary to Moi, and Presents for You!

Meet Eric. He helped Uncle Lynn out down at the Festival Foods roll-out of POPrs in the grocery store's yogurt aisle last month.

Eric's here to announce the winners in my One-Year Blogoversary POPrs Giveaway. We put the numbers in at Random.Org, and here's what popped out:

And what do they win, anyway? Well, a Box Full O' POPrs-all eight flavors-that delicious and nutritious new seasoning brought to you by our own Uncle Lynn.

When I started this blog exactly one year ago today I had no idea what to expect. And now I'm so at home in the blogosphere, it's like I've always been a part of it. Thanks, everyone, for making this a very special 12 months!

Ladies, please e-mail your contact info to veggiemom@poprs.com. Can't wait to hear what you think of Uncle Lynn's POPrs!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Soccer Boy's a Surfer Boy

First of all, to enter my One-Year Blogoversary POPrs Giveaway, click here. I'm announcing the winners tomorrow on the actual date, so please stay tuned!

Third of all, who's that in the shot above? None other than Soccer Boy. Of course, he was just a Wee One, back in the day, and the skim board pretty much towered over him. But he loved to stand there by the edge of the ocean, watching his older brothers do their thing.

We called him Surfer Boy back then.

I saw him at our Family Reunion (don't worry, pics coming soon!) this past weekend, and Soccer Boy's no longer a shrimp. In fact, I think he's taller than I am. And I'm not tiny, towering over most of my friends at 5'9".

Northeastern Wisconsin had its own brand of Beach Weather over the weekend. Temps in the 80s, and pelicans on the river.

What could be sweeter? Well, there is that matter of the POPrs Giveaway...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Weekly Winners: A Blogoversary and a Giveaway

Shot by The Wild One
Canon Rebel XTi

Welcome to Weekly Winners, brought to you by Lotus over at Sarcastic Mom. Today I'd like to talk about a Blogoversary and a Giveaway. And show you some cute shots along the way! But first of all, meet...

...Tina and Sophie. Tina has tried for a long time to get her cute kid to eat her veggies, among other things. Then she discovered POPrs, that nifty new, fun and nutritious seasoning. Here, Sophie's trying Color Burst POPrs on her cereal...

...and what about Cinnamon POPrs on her morning toast?

What would make your yogurt "sing "in the morning? Well, Sophie says either Color Burst, Raspberry, Cocoa...

...Strawberry or Cinnamon POPrs, of course!
As a matter of fact, Sophie's a fan of all eight flavors!

So, POPrs Fans, here's the Giveaway part of this post. Veggie Mom (that would be me!) launched Eat Your Veggies! almost one year ago to spread the word. About healthy eating. About her crazy family. And about Uncle Lynn's cool new POPrs...which are good and fun for you, too!
We'll have five big prize winners in this POPrs Blogoversary Giveaway. Each will receive a Box o' POPrs, containing all eight yummy flavors.

All you have to do is leave me a comment here for one entry. Follow me on Twitter and you get one more entry. Follow my blog and that gets you an additional entry. And blog about this Blogoversary Giveaway for five more sweet entries!

Uncle Lynn will pick a winner by random drawing on Monday, June 15, at 11:59 p.m. We'll announce the Five POPrs Winners on my One-Year Blogoversary, which is Tuesday, June 16.

So get crackin', friends. Hope to hear a lot from you soon!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Six-Word Saturday: A Great Giveaway!

Retro College Boy wants to remind everyone that Veggie Mom and Eat Your Veggies! are celebrating a BIG Blogoversary on Tuesday. Thought we'd use Six-Word Saturday to make the announcement:

Big POPrs Giveaway Kicks Off Tomorrow!

That's right, POPrs Fans! We went on the air with Uncle Lynn, Aunt Julie, Veggie Mom and the Gang on June 16, 2008. So I'm sponsoring a Great POPrs Giveaway to celebrate.

Starting tomorrow, please leave me some comment love for a chance to win a Boxful o' POPRs...that yummy, fun seasoning, that's GOOD for you, too! We'll pick five winners by random drawing, and make the BIG REVEAL on Tuesday, which is my one-year mark.

In the meantime, stop by to see Cate. She sponsors Six-Word Saturday every week!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta: Family Matters

Going to a "family reunion" of sorts this weekend. Don't know if all of these members of the extended POPrs Family will be there, but quite a few of them will be.

I'm sure I'll have some tales to tell. Stay tuned!

Just had to dip into the POPrs Family Archives once again for Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta. Happy Friday, once again. Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Topsy Turvy Tomatoes

I think we've already established the fact that my SIL, Aunt Julie, has a pretty green thumb. She had the kids out in the garden just a couple of weeks ago--digging, pulling, hauling, grading. The result? This lovely area for hanging her Topsy Turvy Tomatoes.

I did a speck of research on these amazing gizmos, and they've got a pretty interesting history. These upside-down planters are actually based on the original plans from the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. According to Jill M. on eHow, these gardens were one of the original Seven Wonders of the World.

Topsy Turvy Tomatoes are also known by some as a Tomato Swingset, Tomato Gallows (I really like that one!) and a Wall of Tomatoes.

Hanging these babies upside down, apparently, solves lots of tomato-type problems, such as fruit rot and bugs. Julie Eliz has planted Big Boy, Better Boy, Big Beef and Roma varieties.

Will she have a better tomato harvest this season?

"We'll see, " she says. Ever the optimist!

For a look at the rest of the Wordful Wednesday Harvest, please visit Angie, OK?

Monday, June 8, 2009

They Serve So We Can Be Free

The WWII Allies commemorated the 65th anniversary of D-Day over the weekend. I didn't want to let this red-letter day slip away without remembering Aunt Julie's Dad, Ernie, who served in the Navy during the war and was part of the Omaha Beach Invasion.

President Obama's poetic remarks in Normandy on Saturday set the scene and helped us remember:

"That was the year (1944) that Hitler ordered his top field marshal to fortify the Atlantic Wall against a seaborne invasion. From the tip of Norway to southern France, the Nazis lined steep cliffs with machine guns and artillery. Low-lying areas were flooded to block passage. Sharpened poles awaited paratroopers. Mines were laid on the beaches and beneath the water. And by the time of the invasion, half a million Germans waited for the Allies along the coast between Holland and Northern France.

"At dawn on June 6th, the Allies came. The best chance for victory had been for the British Royal Air Corps to take out the guns on the cliffs while airborne divisions parachuted behind enemy lines. But all did not go according to plan. Paratroopers landed miles from their mark, while the fog and the clouds prevented Allied planes from destroying the guns on the cliffs. So when the ships landed here at Omaha, an unimaginable hell rained down on the men inside. Many never made it out of the boats.

"And yet, despite all of this, one by one, the Allied forces made their way to shore-here, and at Utah and Juno; Gold and Sword. They were American, British, and Canadian. Soon, the paratroopers found each other and fought their way back. The Rangers scaled the cliffs. And by the end of the day, against all odds, the ground on which we stand was free once more.

"The sheer improbability of this victory is part of what makes D-Day so memorable. It also arises from the clarity of purpose with which this war was waged."

Thank you, once more, to all, like Ernie, who served, and to all who wear the uniform today to keep our country free.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Designing Playful Desktop Marketing Strategies

A video for Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta? You betcha!

Meet Myles the Cat. Shark Boy brought him home to Meet the 'Rents last week and he's been aclimating himself to The POPrs Family ever since.

Talked to Aunt Julie the other day, though, and she sounds like the Snot Monster is in the Howse. AJ is deathly allergic to kitty cats, even if they are quite helpful around the desktop.

I'll let you know as the situation develops. For now, Myles is driving Rowdy the Diving Dog crazy, and helping Uncle Lynn with some POPrs Marketing Strategies.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney?

Well, not exactly. This White Pelican doesn't reside Down Under, but rather along the Fox River in Northeastern Wisconsin. We brought you a shot of one of his buddies last summer.

If you focus really hard on this majestic bird and not on the scenery, you can just see him down on the Gulf Coast of Florida, right?

And, no, his name is decidedly not Gerald. Nor is it Nigel. But this fella is authentic enough to be friends with Nemo, that's for sure!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Weekly Winners: On the Road Again

I've written in this space before about the ups & the downs of teaching a child how to drive. Well, here is the genesis of that story: I couldn't even go near my kid and her bicycle, for fear of World War 3 errupting.

She was 6; I was a little older. I know, I was the adult, but still a young adult. My position was that Mommy Knew Best-about everything, including getting the training wheels off and going for a solo spin.

College Girl was having none of that hoo-haw. She was gonna ride when she felt like riding. And her Mommy wasn't going to be part of that equation.

One weekend, CG asked her Dad to take the training wheels off. Then she asked for a push. KER-PLOP! She fell on the driveway, and skinned her knee.

I made a mental note to teach her how to ride alongside the lawn, and fall on the grass.

After that First Fall, the bike stayed garaged for a week. She hit me up after school one day. Wanted to try out that two-wheeler again.

KER-PLOP! She rode alongside the lawn, and aimed her fall perfectly-but tumbled off the wrong side, and skinned her other knee.

The bike went back in the garage again. For the next several weeks, I'd steal a peek at it when I went to wheel the trash down to the curb on Garbage Eve. I mentioned once or twice that I thought the bike was getting lonely.

College Girl was having none of that. She went back to her American Girl Doll books and even volunteered to practice the piano.

I figured if the child had turned to the piano as a refuge, then bike-riding was a lost cause.

Until Aunt Julie showed up.

College Girl and Julie Eliz put the bike in the car and headed for the nearest large parking lot. Within 30 minutes, the kiddo was burning rubber like she was Danica Patrick.

Danica Patrick on a pink Huffy bike with a pink-and-white basket centered on the handlebars. Oh, and pink leggings, too. The quintessential Haute Couture of the 6-and-under set.

This tale is sponsored by Angie and her Wordful Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Introducing: The Incredible, Amazing, Diving Dog!

Several members of the POPrs Family went Up Nort to a cottage on the lake over Memorial Day, and look what they discovered...

...Rowdy the Puppy knows how to dive. Puts me in mind of an old amusement park down in Texas, which featured Ralph, the Swimming Pig. If memory serves, Ralph also knew how to dive. My Nana, who lived in Central Texas, took us to Aquarena Springs in San Marcus quite a few times.

The Springs was converted a while back to an environmental center for a local university. Which leaves us with Rowdy. He's pretty entertaining, though, isn't he?

Monday, June 1, 2009

You Can Have Britain's Got Talent...I'll Take Big Bear, Any Day!

"Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed." ~Buddha~

The POPrs Family Archives are yielding the funniest shots, aren't they? Here is Big Bear, showing off his amazing talents. He'd put Susan Boyle to shame, I tell ya!