Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Sign Of Things To Come

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


This gorgeous little maple tree seems to have a mind of its own! But if you look closely, there seems to be some damage to the trunk. I'm hoping this is the cause of the display of red leaves in AUGUST, though the high for today is the low 60s.
School starts Tuesday. Where did summer go?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

America's Got...Barbara Padilla

I admit it. I'm hooked on America's Got Talent. And last night, this performance gave me goose bumps.

The semi-finals will be a lot of fun to watch. I also loved Voices of Glory and Kevin Skinner. And don't forget the amazing voice of Lawrence Beaman. When each one of these acts is on, they are my favorite!

Non-traditional acts include Mario & Jenny, the naughty elderly comedienne Grandma Lee, and Paradizo Dance.

Watch tonight, as the field of 40 gets narrowed again. Who's your favorite?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Aunt Julie...Mommy Blogger of the Year?

Isn't this face adorable? I'm talking about Soccer Boy, not me! But Eat Your Veggies! is being featured today on Project Mommyhood. Remember? I'm one of 12 Mommy Blogger of the Year Finalists.

Veggie Mom started this project more than a year ago, and I'm carrying on the family tradition. Veggie and I are the Dynamic Duo. All you have to do is vote. It's not that hard. Just click here and look for the poll on the right. Click Veggie Mom. Click Vote. And you're done!

Thanks to all of you for the support you've given me since I took over from Veggie Mom in July. You're the best!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


On August 29, 2008, a brain tumor was found on Luke's left occipital lobe and on Tuesday, September 9, 2008 the tumor was removed at Children's Hospital in Milwaukee.

So begins an entry on the journal page for our friend's little boy, Luke.

Caring Bridge offers free, personalized websites that support and connect loved ones during critical illness, treatment and recovery. It was one of the first social networking blogs!

Since Caring Bridge was begun in 1997, there have been 155,000 personal web pages created to give families an outlet for medical information about their loved one. The information is immediately available, and eliminates the need to make all of the phone calls necessary to update family and friends. The site includes sections to post information, a guestbook for concerned people to post their well wishes and prayers and a photo gallery.

If you know someone with a critical illness, premature baby, cancer treatment, stroke, war deployment or injury...consider creating a Caring Bridge webpage for them. It's simple to do and free of charge. It's a great way to easily stay connected to friends and family.

Check them out here. It can make all the difference!

And tonight, say a little prayer for Luke. He's a great kid, battling a terrible disease.

Thank you!

FYI: Voting has opened in the Mommy Blog of the Year Contest. Vote for Veggie Mom and Aunt Julie...Pretty please? Thanks!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fx4's Friday Floral Fiesta

FYI: Voting has opened in the Mommy Blog of the Year Contest. Vote for Veggie Mom and Aunt Julie...Pretty please? Thanks!
Since my flower garden is on its way out, thought I'd share some of the blossoms that won't be seen in my front yard again anytime soon...Brought to you by Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Hour I First Believed

FYI: Voting has opened in the Mommy Blog of the Year Contest. Vote for Veggie Mom and Aunt Julie...Pretty please? Thanks!

Now that my beach vacation is over, it's time to let you know what my choices were for beach reads. Many of you made suggestions, when I ran the great Everyone's a Winner POPrs Contest, everything from the Bible to teen vampire books.

These were my picks...

Lots of you suggested My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult. It will be released as a film, starring Cameron Diaz, soon, if it hasn't already been released. Loved it, and didn't see the ending coming. Wow! No matter how good the movie will be, READ THE BOOK FIRST.

I also read Three Dog Life, by Abigail Thomas. It is the story of how a woman adjusts and carries on after her husband was struck by a car, and is left with traumatic brain damage. It's relatively short and easy to read, and not as depressing as you might imagine. Rates as OK; it's not bad and not great either. Which leads us to...

My favorite is The Hour I First Believed, by Wally Lamb. It is a fictionalized story about the aftermath of Columbine for one family. It mixes fact and fiction beautifully, and also spans the time of the Civil War to the present. Sounds weird? Well, I loved it. It's long-725 pages-and I confess, I have about 50 pages more to go. Walking on the beach took precedence over reading.

This was not a suggested title, but I had read another book by Lamb and remembered liking that, so I gave it a shot. Loved it.

If you take my advice and read The Hour I First Believed, also try I Know This Much Is True. It has been reviewed as "the saga of the century. Best, most wonderful, most dramatic, most powerful..." It's the other novel by the same author I referred to above. Gee, maybe I need to read that one again!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Packers vs. Vikings: 576 Tickets Available!

For the Packer Viking game Sunday, November 1, 12:00 at Lambeau Field.

Prices range from $348 to $1,800 (note: tickets may sell for more than face value).

My best guess is that Brent (Brett) didn't see the sweet post I did about him back on July 29th, or he NEVER would have worn purple.

What do YOU think about the continuing soap opera that is Brett Favre?

Actually, the first meeting of the Pack and the Favre-enhanced Vikings will be a Monday night game, in Minnesota, October 5 at 7:30. Watch it on ESPN. We Packer fans are waiting to play the Vikes at Lambeau, Brett's home for 16 years...

Because I'm one of the 10 Mommy Blogger of the Year Finalists, I was required to answer a questionnaire. Uncle Lynn and I had fun going through these sharp questions. All modesty aside, I think I might have "aced" this test. Please tell me what you think! And, don't forget to vote for me over at Project Mommyhood!

1. In your opinion, what makes a great, readable blog?
I love reading humorous, relevant blogs; the ones that make me "think" are great. I also love parenting tips and recipes!

2. What traits do you think our Mommy Blogger of the Year should possess?
The Mommy Blogger of the Year, first and foremost, has to be able to take herself seriously, while at the same time realizing that "it is what it is," and that life goes on. In other words, "silly" has to be part of the mix, big-time. This realistic approach to "Mommyhood" will keep her on an even keel, while at the same time keeping her readers a little off-balance.

3. Why are Mommy Bloggers so important today?
Oh, gosh, so many answers come to mind. Mommy Bloggers remind us that we're not alone; that it's OK to mess up sometimes, that kids are resilient, and that being a Mom is the best job in the world!

4. If you were stuck on a deserted island...what 3 things would you take with you?
My family, my dogs, and rum, to go with the tropical fruit! I'm assuming that this would be a tropical island, right?

5. What is probably the best Mom Story you have?
I've always loved the beach. When I was pregnant with Soccer Boy (my 4th), I took an innertube into the ocean, planning to spend some time floating around in the gentle surf, watching the dolphins. I guess I must have fallen asleep; when I awoke from my slumbers, I noticed I was waaaaaaaaaayyyy too far beyond the shore. The currents were carrying me out to sea! I panicked briefly, but was relieved when a hot young guy in a kayak came by and asked if I needed help. He towed me to shore. Before he rescued me, I thought I was headed for Bermuda!

6. What do you plan on doing if you win our Mommy Blog of the Year Contest? (Going to Disneyland?)
I'm going to that deserted island you mentioned, with my family, my dogs and a bottle of rum, if that's OK!

7. What do you want the public/readers to know about you?
That I've got 4 boys and a wonderful husband. You know, Uncle Lynn, the POPrs King! I love my family (natch), I'm a gardener (except when I'm killing the petunias and the topsy-turvy tomatoes) and I'm also a quilter. I'm a beachcomber, too, and I'm always on the lookout for bargains! I'm also really involved in the family business. Uncle Lynn, aka my hubby, Mr. Pops and the POPrs King, makes a product that encourages kids (and everyone else) to eat their veggies! Hence, the name of my blog, and my prime purpose in the share a little bit about me and my familywhile getting the word out about the POPrs King and his adventures!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

WILD on the beach!

FYI: Voting has opened in the Mommy Blog of the Year Contest. Vote for Veggie Mom and Aunt Julie...Pretty please? Thanks!

I'm back from my beach vacation, and am slowly getting back into the swing of things. Today, I must have done 14 loads of laundry! The little black skimmer isn't the only wildlife we saw on the beach. Check out these photos...

Guess the Keep Off the Dune sign only applies to you if you can read!

My niece, The Wild One, and I took a jeep tour of the northern beaches, north of Corolla, in hopes of getting a glimpse of the wild Spanish mustangs. We were successful, as you can see. In all the years of going to the Outer Banks, I can't believe we hadn't done this before. We had a ball! I get excited at home when I see a deer in my neighborhood. Just imagine seeing a wild horse.

More about them another day. Gotta "hit the hay," as my horsey friends would say. It's way past my bedtime.

Thanks for all the book suggestions, too. I'll be letting you know what I ended up with.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Six-Word Saturday: End of Summer?

Leaving the beach means summer's end?
Brought to you by Cate at Show My Face. And FYI: Voting has opened in the Mommy Blog of the Year Contest. Vote for Veggie Mom and Aunt Julie...Pretty please?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta: I'd Like to Thank the Academy...

Wow...I can't believe it! I've made the finals in Project Mommyhood's Mommy Blogger of the Year Contest!

I guess the tales of Uncle Lynn, Aunt Julie and The POPrs Family have some entertainment value, huh? Voting gets underway on August 15th. In the meantime, I'd like to recap my week at the beach. The highlights, of course, centered around the wildlife.

We saw ghost crabs burrowing in the sand during our evening walks on the beach.

We saw majestic pelicans soaring over the ocean. Incoming!

On the other end of the spectrum, we saw birds of a much different feather...

And, of course, we saw lots of wildlife of the human variety!

These shots were brought to you by Candid Carrie and her Friday Foto Finish Fiesta. But of course, you already knew that, right?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mystery Bird

While walking on the beach yesterday, I saw a queer little bird I'd never seen before. He was black, with a white tummy, and short little red legs. The legs looked like they were not in the right place, like he was about to tip over. He had a long beak, and the bottom part was longer than the top. It had a bright red band on it, at the base.

Later in the day, I took my camera and set out to see if he was still nearby. Sure enough, he was waiting for me in about the same spot. So I took a few shots. People walking by asked what kind of bird he was. Seemed like other beach-goers were seeing him for the first time, too.

Back at the house, I did a little research. Turns out he is a black skimmer. And he looks like this:

The video above shows the black skimmer family. It'll be fun to look for these critters on future beach walks.

Speaking of beach walks, the shelling here is not great, but we seem to find one little treasure every day. Today, it was green beach glass. Yesterday, the skimmer! Back to reality in a few days...Gotta run! So much to do, so little time...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: What Are the Chances?

Most of you know by now that I'm a quilter. I have always wanted an antique quilt. And an applique quilt, since I don't have the time or talent to make my own, would be my pick. I cut a picture out of a magazine years ago of a family room, with the most wonderful navy and white quilt on the wall. I saved it for years, as the model of the ideal quilt. One I would love to have someday...

Time went on and the little magazine clipping was tucked away and forgotten. Years later, on a very hot summer day, I was going through our little weekly newspaper, The Shopper, scanning the ads: garage sales, pets and household items for sale. Buried in the middle of the last section, was an ad that read:

For sale.
Old magazines, books,
clothing, quilts,
canning jars, postcards etc.
Call 722-xxxx.

Wait a minute. Quilts. Hmmmmmmm. Well, it couldn't hurt to call. So I called the number. A man answered. He sounded elderly. I asked about his ad, and wondered if the quilts were still available. "Oh, honey, you don't want those old things!" We talked for quite a while, and I said I'd really like to come and see them. He gave me directions to the house, and I told him I'd be right over.

When I pulled up to his little house, I could not believe my eyes. He'd hung the quilts on the line. There were three of them. One was a Grandmother's Flower Garden. It was from the '20's, made of tiny little hexagons. Another was a Log Cabin. The blocks are made of strips, in a pattern of dark and light. And in the middle of the two very average quilts, hung this...

My ideal! The quilt from the magazine.

I remember getting goose bumps on a 90-degree summer day. Unbelievable! It was fluttering in the breeze, in all its glory. I got out of the car to meet my host. He was, indeed, an elderly man. We walked over to the line and I asked him if he knew where the quilts originated. He wasn't sure, but thought maybe Pensylvania. He said the one on the right would be the best for picnics. I told him I was kind of fond of the little one in the middle. He thought I was nuts. Why, with the sun shining through it, you could even see the cotton seeds in the batting! And the old gent was right, the quilt was old. Not a bad thing, for someone looking for an antique.

To make a long story short, I bought all three quilts. I tried to take them to an antique shop for him, to see how much money I could get him for them. He wouldn't hear of it. He never dreamed they were worth anything, he just wanted to get rid of them. He was thrilled that I thought "those old rags" were worth keeping.

And I think I paid $85 for all three. The lovely hand-appliqued and quilted Oak Leaf quilt, from the mid 1800's, periodically graces the wall of my family room. And look closely. The dots on the navy fabric are tiny stars. Love it!

This incredible story is brought to you by
Angie and her Wordful Wednesday. You should stop by and see her today!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Crabby at the Beach

This little guy is a ghost crab. He blends in really well with the sand. It's fun to go out on a the beach at night with flashlights and look for these guys. They scuttle into their holes when they see you coming. And THESE guys...

are what we had for dinner. DELICIOUS! Enjoy your week. I'll take care of things at the beach! By the way, the reading is going great. Thanks for all the suggestions you gave me in my Great Everybody Wins Poprs Giveaway!

I'd already read My Sister's Keeper, thank you very much. And I loved it, too. Didn't see the ending coming, either. I have another Jody Piccoult book, but forgot it at home.

More about books later. And hey, all you winners, remember to let us know how the Poprs went over! Enjoy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Wonderful Bird is The Pelican

A wonderful bird is the pelican.
His mouth can hold more than his belly can.
He can hold in his beak,
Enough food for a week.
I'm damned if I know how the hell he can!
Dr. Thomas Caceci

I'm off to see the pelicans! They are my favorite birds. Probably because they remind me of the beach. They are only associated with good times. And the poem makes me laugh!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Weekly Winners: Bloomin' Beautiful!

These clematis are so pretty, I am considering taking out two climbing roses in favor of them. The roses are wonderful when they blossom, don't get me wrong, but that's only about a week.

I find myself asking "what have you done for me lately?"

I could add a few blue morning glorys and have a wall of blossoms all summer long! And no mildew or fungus or any of the other rose problems.

Think when I get back from this vacation, that'll be the plan!

These shots taken with my Canon Rebel XTI digital camera. Weekly Winners brought to you by Lotus at SarcasticMom.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Six-Word Saturday: Smelling So Sweet!

I am participating in Six -Word Saturday. Stop by and visit Cate at ShowMyFace for more fun. Tell her Aunt Julie sent you!

Take time to smell

the roses!

Have a great weekend.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Calling All Winners!

Wanted to tie up some "loose ends" before I start my Big Beach Bash. I've heard from most of the winners in my Everybody Wins POPrs Giveaway...the rest of you need to give me a holler!

If you're one of those fabulous readers who recommended a great beach read for Aunt Julie, please make sure you send me your contact info. Just shoot me an e-mail:, and your prize will be on its way.

Looking forward to sending you some beach reports from North Carolina's beautiful Outer Banks...stay tuned!

This update is brought to you by Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta. So, there!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Minute Rice is my new best friend!

Yep. Good old-fashioned Minute Rice.

Not the latest mascara or face cream, not some fancy car. Not even the woman at Macy's who swore I couldn't be the mother of a 27-year-old!

You see, College Boy's room is a disaster. Has been all summer. He is working long, hot days at a very physical job. Out of the house by 6:30, seldom home before 10:00 at night. He makes good money, in overtime, but he doesn't make his bed. Or pick up dirty clothes. Or take out the dirty dishes and empty Gatorade bottles from the room. He told me to just shut the door, and not worry about it...but he really has no time to do his laundry either.

So I did all of the above, including several loads of laundry. Stripped the bed, hung out the sheets. And instead of hearing "Oh man, Mom, you're the BEST" I heard...

"What the @#%*& happened to my iPod?" "Why is my room so CLEAN?"
Turns out, his iPod Touch ($300 plus his music, movies...) was in the pocket of some shorts. And went into the wash. Then, was either hung on the line or dried in the dryer.

You could see the water inside it. The pictures were all wavy. If I had just shut the door and not worried about it like he asked... Yeah, right. When pigs fly.

His girlfriend suggested we put it in a ziploc bag full of rice, and maybe the rice would absorb the water. It was the best, the only idea we had. Short of buying a new iPod. So that's what we did.

And it WORKED! By the next morning, the iPod is as good as new. Good save!

Wish we would have tried it with the cell phone that took a dunk in a glass of beer. "Since when do college boys pour beer into glasses?" I asked, thinking that was pretty upscale. "Beer pong," was the answer. So much for upscale.

This wasn't the first phone to take an unscheduled plunge. There was one in a swimming pool in Florida and one in the lake. Both were retrieved, both were ruined. Or maybe not.

But I'm satisfied that this time, a box of rice saved me a bunch of money.

Hope you never have to try it, but you never know. Rice might work for you, too.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Topsy Turvy Tomato Tragedy

As many of you know by now, I was "experimenting" with Topsy Turvy Tomatoes. Well, turns out I am the Tomato Torturer. Plants that come home with me are marching toward certain death. You can almost hear them at the garden center, saying "Take him! He's much nicer than I am..." Pleading to be spared.

It's not that I don't try. I plant them with the best of intentions. Water them. Pinch off the suckers. Fertilize. Hope.

I've tried several different locations in the yard, looking for the place with just the right amount of sunshine. I've amended the soil. I've planted in pots and in half whiskey barrels. I 've doused them with Miracle Grow for Tomatoes. Bought young plants and plants that already have little green tomatoes on them. I've sought advice from experts.

This year, in my never-ending quest for the perfect home-grown tomato, I've spared no expense. I spent lots of $$ on the project. Huge 8 X 8 cedar timbers with copper tops, wrought iron hooks, and the infomercial-touted suspended planters. I planted them with fertilizer-enhanced, moisture-controlled soil. Placed them in a sunny locale. Watered daily.

And this is the result...

Our pal Jerry, who supplies us with his home-grown delights, diagnosed the problem as blossom end rot. Too much water. Too much love. Too funny! To him, that is.

They hang on the "Tomato Gallows" (thanks, kids), blow in the wind, and wilt. So I water them. Every day. It's a vicious cycle of wilt and water. The more they wilt, the more I water.

He's seen the struggles. It cracks him up. Thinks all you have to do is buy some plants and plant 'em. Yeah, right. Says his grow like weeds, and not to worry. They'll have enough in his garden to eat their fill, can salsa, and still be able to feed my BLT cravings.

Good! 'Cause I love home-grown tomatoes! I just can't home-grow 'em.

BTW, this tragedy is brought to you by Angie and her Wordful Wednesday. Well, she sponsors this weekly gathering. Today, I'm supplying the drama.