Wednesday, September 30, 2009

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

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

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

Sunday, September 27, 2009

In The Shadow of Lambeau Field

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

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

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

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Six Word Saturday

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

Thursday, September 24, 2009

We LOVE Our Green Bay Packers

I am participating in Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta, sponsored by Carrie at Candid Carrie.

The "Frozen Tundra" on a nice day!

The players riding kid's bikes to practice, from the locker room.

St. Vincent. His friend, the nun, sports an official cheese bra. All donations for photo ops go to the American Cancer Society.

Donald Driver executing a perfect Lambeau Leap. Watch those hands, ladies!

The Bikini Girls, of Maxim magazine fame . Is it HOT in here?
And the winners of the Great Poprs Giveaway, where you suggested a name for a Leader Dog puppy, are Tortuga and Freegal1000. Tortuga suggested Clara, and freegal, Gracie. Kristi, who will raise the puppy for her first year, won't be able to say definitively until she actually meets the pup. So they both win 5 multipacks of Poprs. The rest of you who suggested names will receive one multipack. Thanks for playing!

Last Day to Name the Puppy and Win!

This is the last day to enter the Great Poprs this special puppy and win! She will be a Leader Dog for the Blind, and give someone the gift of independence and mobility.

Winner will be announced Friday, so this is your last shot.

The winner will receive FIVE multipacks of Poprs, one each of color changing, rainbow, cinnamon, butter and strawberry. Each multipack contains 10 pouches of magic crystals, to sprinkle on good food to make it great! All who suggest a name will receive one multipack, so everyone is a winner.

Remember, this is a female puppy. She is German Shepherd and Labrador. And she has a very important job to do. Be creative, and have fun.

Monday, September 21, 2009

An Early Quilt

This is one of my favorite quilts, and one of the first that I made. It is an Ohio Star, on a natural background. The colors are rich reds, forest greens, rusts and browns, golds and soothing blues. The best part of this quilt, though, is that the plain blocks are hand quilted. Back when I had time!

The quilting pattern is a feathered wreath.

There are little tiny blood stains on the back in several places. If I were to try this again, all sharp objects would have to be hidden! With four boys, when did I ever have time to do this?

Must have been back in the days when the boys were in bed early, and I stayed up late. Now,
the reverse is true!

And no, none of the college-bound kids got hand-quilted quilts for their dorms!

Don't forget to check out my newest contest! It'll be lots of fun. And it involves a puppy!

Hmmmm....Enter quick...winner announced on Friday, Sept. 25.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"Mom, Was I Planned?"

These photos shot with a film Canon Rebel. Weekly Winners brought to you by Lotus at Sarcastic Mom. And BTW, don't forget: I've Got a Great New POPrs Giveaway going on...and it involves a puppy!

"Mom, was I planned?"

That's the question Soccer Boy posed last night at dinner. And I was surprised, to say the least.

"What possible difference could that make?" I replied.

He said "I just want to know." So I said, "Of course you were planned." I don't think he bought it, though. Because, the truth is, he definitely was not planned. We already had three boys, the youngest was eight. I was forty, for goodness sakes!

We finished dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, and each did our own thing. But his question was still swirling in my mind. So I went to the photo albums, and went back in time for a while...

And what I found, late last night, was a better answer to his question. After hours of looking at old photos, I saw a family that was meant to be made up of four boys, we just didn't know it at the time. But God did.

His older brothers are proud of him, they delight in everything he does. Big Bear cuddled him to sleep when he was a baby. College Boy helps him with his homework, and is way more patient than I am. Shark Boy uses him to work out! Just kidding.

He was taken to show and tell in fourth grade, because he was 100 days old on the 100th day of school. Other kids brought 100 pennies or 100 baseball cards. He spent the night in his brother's college dorm room, the first year he went away. They both needed to see each other. They taught him how to climb stairs, ride a bike, play soccer, ride a longboard, divide fractions, dive, use an ipod and computer, eat crab legs and mushrooms, boogie board, be tough, play beer pong (with Mt. Dew), play Texas Hold 'Em and text message. (Hey, he's 13 and his brothers are 21, 24 & 27).

There will be more lessons. Like driving, and how to treat a girlfriend. Things big brothers were made for. And I don't want to miss a minute of it.

Sometimes, the best things in life aren't planned!

After Fifteen Years, Vanna White Retires!

Not THAT Vanna White...This one!

Hey, doesn't EVERYBODY name their cars?

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

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Name the Puppy Great New Poprs Giveway

Yesterday, I talked at length about the Leader Dogs for the Blind program, and the part you can play in naming a Future Leader Dog puppy.

My great friend, Kristi, has raised eight previous puppies (not 9 as was previously reported!).

These are the names they were given:

Moses, Daisy, Vince, Odin, Liise, Ingrid, Scout, and Abby

Moses is my favorite, maybe because he did not go on to complete the program, because of a slight hip problem, and he is lying at my feet as I write this! It is also the name of a great leader!

Odin, Liise and Ingrid are Norwegian names. Kristi is a proud Scandinavian.

Vince was named after Vince Lombardi, another great leader. It was fun to give the puppy a name that also reflected the state in which he was raised. This pup was a black lab, with a big head. Vince fit him to a T. And I think he wound up with a man, so it was perfect.

Anyway, you get the drift. Come up with a name for the next puppy. Think of great leaders, Wisconsin or any other tie-in you like. The puppy will be a female, German Shepherd/Lab mix.

The contest will run through Thursday, September 24th. The winner will be announced Friday, September 25th. Kristi will choose the winner herself, and the name will be put on all of the official documents, and will be the name this dog will learn as she is growing in her Leader Dog skills. Her eventual owner will be introduced to her with the name you choose. HAVE FUN!

All entries will receive a 10 pack of Poprs, and the winner will receive one 10 pack each of all five flavors! This is the introduction of FOUR NEW POPRS FLAVORS. Uncle Lynn is anxious to hear what you think about them. As of this week, all five flavors are available at Festival Foods.
Learn more at

The varieties of Poprs are:

*Color changing, for yogurt
*Cinnamon, for applesauce
*Rainbow, for cupcakes
*Butter, for veggies
*Strawberry, for ice cream

Have fun with this one! Only one entry per person, please. Check back to see the names that have been suggested so far, and next Friday, to see if you are the WINNER. Good Luck.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Destined to Lead

I am participating in Wordful Wednesday, sponsored by Angie at Seven Clown Circus.

Founded by three Detroit area Lions Clubs members in 1939, Leader Dogs for the Blind provides dog guides to people who are blind and visually impaired to enhance their mobility, independence and quality of life.

Leader dogs are raised by volunteer puppy raisers. Leader Dogs could not be provided without the assistance of volunteer puppy raisers.

There are nearly 400 puppy raisers in 22 states and Canada. Puppy raisers travel to Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester, Michigan, to pick up and return their puppies.

Seventy percent of puppy raisers raise more than one puppy in their lifetime.
Puppy raisers receive their puppies at 7 to 8 weeks of age and return them to Leader Dogs for the Blind between 12 and 15 months of age.

Puppy raisers teach puppies basic obedience, house manners and good etiquette while exposing the puppies to all types of environments, such as:

  • Churches, stores, amusement parks, sporting events
  • Different types of people
  • Different types of floors and stairs
  • Different sorts of animals, including squirrels, cats, birds, dogs and farm animals
  • Loud sirens
  • Busy sidewalks and bicycles.

Some puppy raisers are able to take their puppy to work with them . Puppy raisers are responsible for meeting at least monthly with their puppy counselor. Volunteer puppy counselors are regionally placed. Counselors organize obedience lessons and exposure opportunities for the puppies.

Puppies who see and experience a large variety of environments during the first year of their lives will be more confident when exposed to future experiences .
Raisers provide health care, food and necessary supplies for the puppies.

Raisers have the privilege of naming the puppies.

Puppy raisers follow very specific guidelines, such as:
  • When puppies are in public wearing their “Future Leader Dog” bandannas or jackets, they are expected to be clean and well mannered.
  • Puppies will be taught to stay off furniture .
  • Puppies are expected to lay quietly at meal time and not beg.

Each month, approximately 30, 1-year-old puppies are returned to Leader Dogs for the Blind to begin formal training .

My friend, Kristi, has raised 9 puppies to date. They have all been Yellow Labs up to this point.

Moses, the love of our lives, was her first. He went everywhere with her, restaurants, church, the grocery store. No place is off limits to Future Leader Dogs. Anywhere a blind person would be welcome, these puppies are welcome.
After a year with Kristi, Moses was returned to start training, and Kristi took another puppy home. Not long after, she got a call. One hip was not perfect, and did she want him back? That was easy! So I picked him up part way home, and drove him the rest of the way to her house. Two of my boys rode along, and fell in love. How could you not? But Kristi had plans for him. We bid a tearful goodbye, and I whispered "If your plans fall through, call us." And that's what happened.

Kristi is devoted to raising these wonderful dogs, and giving them a terrific head start for the life they are going to lead. This German Shepherd/Lab mix will be her tenth! Moses was a "Career Change", one is undergoing training now, and 7 have been placed as Leader Dogs.

Which brings us to the puppy at hand.

Your task, privilege, is to come up with a name for this puppy. She will be picked up in Rochester, Michigan on October 3. The name will be decided before then, so that it can be put on the formal documents. (Once she has the puppy home, I'll be able to publish a photo of the actual puppy you have named. The one that has appeared so far is a photo furnished by Leader Dog of a former Shepherd pup).

Tomorrow, check back for names Kristi used for previous puppies. And I'll have info on the prize for this new Great Poprs Giveaway, too!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

This Little Girl Has a Very Big Future

She is going to be a Leader Dog!

And you can help name her!

Details of this new Great Poprs Giveway coming soon, so check back with us every day.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Feel Another Contest Coming On!

I am participating in Six-Word Saturday, hosted by Cate at Show My Face. Those are my six words in the title of today's post.

Stay tuned for contest rules. This is gonna be a fun one! I'm off to a wedding this weekend.

Should have some photos to share next week. And check back often. When you see this cute little guy again, he'll be announcing the new contest. It'll be another Great Poprs Giveaway!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?

I am participating in Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta, today. Go visit her, OK?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Grab Your Kleenex...

I was driving through town the other day, not thinking about anything much, when it happened.

Right there, behind the wheel, I felt my chest tighten and my field of vision narrow. Tears came into my eyes and I had to pull over. All because I was following this...

What's the big deal, you say? Well, grab the Kleenex, and I'll explain..

I'm the youngest of three kids, the baby in the family, the only girl. My Dad died when I was 24, and my brothers had already left home. It was just my Mom and me. I had just been accepted to two top graduate schools (Columbia, MO and Auburn) when he died. There was no way I was going away to school and leaving Mom alone. How would we pay for it? What would she do alone? So I got a job and we muddled through. I needed her as much as I thought she needed me.

Long story short, I met a great guy (Uncle Lynn, the Popr's King) and we got married. Moved away and had two kids. My brother had children too. She was a Grandma. She retired. Life was good. Not perfect, but good.

Mom had four sisters, and a brother. Her brother died of a brain tumor in his thirties. There was cancer in her family. One spring day, we got the news that Mom's oldest sister had it. She died a few months later. The next spring, the next sister was diagnosed. She moved home from Atlanta to live with Mom, and she also died shortly after. Summer turned to winter, then to spring.

In the middle of a party for my birthday, on March 11, 1986, my brother called. He never called. I said "Hey! You remembered my birthday! Why this year?"

The pause was eternal. He said "Oh. It's your birthday. Never mind. I'll call you tomorrow."

Another long pause, and I remember saying something like "Oh my God. It's Mom, isn't it?"

Kidney cancer. I spent the next months during the week with her, and on Saturdays, I'd drive 3 hours across the state to go home and do grocery shopping and laundry for my husband and kids, and the next day I'd go back to Mom's. My husband's Aunt Mable moved from Milwaukee, in with us, to take care of the kids. We got along that way for months.

Then one night, in the middle of the night, things changed. Mom's sister was with us, and so was Mom's friend Alice, from California. They had been in nursing school together, and had remained close all that time! They took my brother and me aside, and said it was time to take her to the hospital. We called an ambulance.

I drove alone, and followed the ambulance. About half way there, the light came on in the back, and I saw her sit up on her elbows and wave to me!

Later, my aunt told me that my Mom knew I was behind them, and she didn't want me to worry. So she summoned up her strength, and made the most unselfish gesture ever. She had the driver turn on the light so I could see, and she waved to me.

She only lived another day or two, and died Labor Day Weekend. I don't know, don't want to know, the exact date. It's been 23 years. But I have not forgotten anything about that night. It was all she could give me at the time, and it was everything. I'll never forget it. And I'll never be able to follow an ambulance again ever, without sobbing, as long as I live.

And that's OK. I love you, Mom.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

No Empty Nest Here!

For more Weekly Winners, go see Lotus at Sarcastic Mom.

I have four boys and I'm a stay-at-home mom. It's the job I've always wanted. Doesn't pay well and the hours aren't great, but I never wanted to be anything else. And there have been days, believe me, when I questioned that decision from sunup to sundown. But there were more days when I felt like the luckiest person in the world.

My boys are mostly grown now. They are 27, 24 and 21. The oldest two share an apartment, and the other is a senior in college. We have empty bedrooms. The phone doesn't ring much. The washing machine actually has time to dry out between loads. The grocery bill is way down, and so are the water and gas bills. I could be REALLY depressed...

But that fourth boy is still at home. He was a 40th birthday present from my husband, who said "some day I would thank him." I found out about him on my 40th birthday, and that afternoon, my new eye doctor asked if I needed bifocals! "Well, you are 40, you know." The thought of carrying graham crackers and pacifiers in my purse again brought tears to my eyes. It was harder to get up in the night with each baby, so I wondered if this one was going to feed and change himself in the middle of the night. He was delivered in that brief period when hospital stays were limited to 24 hours for deliveries. That is not enough time. At 40, you need a week!

But Uncle Lynn was right. I have thanked him lots of times over the years, but now that the 21 year old is back at college, and the two oldest are settled, we were that close to an empty nest!

And that's not something I'm looking forward to! So thanks, honey. Again. Now let's go watch a soccer game!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Puppy Love

Meet Darby, the newest POPrs Pooch.

My six words brought to you by
Cate at Show My Face.

He's about as cute as they come, don't you think? Just what my mother-in-law needed. And as the newest puppy in the POPrs Family, he's probably going to steal some of the attention away from Rowdy.

And Darby's a soon-to-be 100-pound dog! This is when you want to wave the magic wand and keep him a puppy forever...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

America's Got Talent...

You might remember the post last week about the wonderful opera singer, Barbara Padilla, who is competing on the reality show America's Got Talent. Last night, the first five of ten finalists were chosen. Check these guys out!

I'm with Sharon Osborne, the judge, who looked at the blonde cowboy and said "Call me!"

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Do Kids Learn Poems in School Anymore?

The pretty photo of the too-soon-red maple tree the other day got me thinking.

Fall is coming at us fast! And since it is the very best time of theyear, there are lots of things to love about fall. Lines of a poem were swirling in my head. A poem I learned back when dinosaurs roamed the earth! Here it is.


The goldenrod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.

The gentian's bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun.
In dusty pods the milkweed
It's hidden silk has spun.

The sedges flaunt their harvest,
In every meadow nook;
And asters by the brook-side
Make asters in the brook.

From dewy lanes at morning
The grape's sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow burrerflies.

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer's best of weather
And Autumn's best of cheer.

This is stretching my memory a little, but I think the 5th-graders in Mrs. Newton's class (she was also the principal) who learned this poem got to recite it for the younger kids during classtime. So we got time out of class to practice and more time out to recite. It was a great deal. I'll have to check with my friend Kristi. We've been friends since second grade, and she remembers lots more than I do.

Brought to you by Angie's Wordful Wednesday. Enjoy!