Thursday, January 31, 2008

Friday's Feast #8


Appetizer
What is your favorite kind of cereal?
I like Frosted Flakes and Cap'n Crunch. Yeah, I'm a grown-up!

Soup
When was the last time you purchased something for your home, what was it, and in which room did it go?
We purchase a 42" Sony Bravia LCD HD Television. It's in our living/family room.

Salad
What is the funniest commercial you’ve ever seen?
There's one where the guy sends this huge load of coins to the drive through teller, and it bounces off the wall and explodes inside the teller station. Funny! And the one that reminds me of Monty Python where they are using the ATM and the arm comes out of the ATM and rips the guy's toga off (like ATMS's are ripping us off when they charge extra fees.) I don't know why, but those two tickle my funny bone! I usually avoid commercials.

Main Course
Make up a name for a company by using a spice and an animal (example: Cinnamon Monkey).
Garlic Hippo - We sell Italian food!

Dessert
Fill in the blank: I haven’t ______ since ______.
I haven't been asleep before midnight since some time last year.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #17


13 Books I Want to Read – not necessarily in this order:
1. Cold Case by Stephen White – crime-fighting from a psychologist’s point of view.
2. 7th Heaven by James Patterson (due out in February) – Women’s Murder Club series.
3. Maximum Ride #4 The Final Warning by James Patterson (due out in March) = A breathtaking story - a girl who can fly has to save herself from the scientists who want to control her--and maybe save the world in the process.
4. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – set in Afghanistan about a privileged boy and the son of his servant.
5. For One More Day by Mitch Albom – a suicidal man encounters his mother’s ghost.
6. The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis (I’ve started it, but I need to fnish. – Satire at its finest – a character is coached to tempt people away from God.
7. The Appeal by John Grisham (brand-new!) – Courtroom drama, legal thriller.
8. When Mars and Venus Collide by John Gray. – Attempting to cope with stress, men and women are too exhausted or overwhelmed to deal with each other.
9. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - A classic - one man's obsession to create life -- and the monster that became his legacy
10. The (ENTIRE) Bible in one year – read the entire bible in one year in 15 minutes a day or less.
11. Warning Signs by Stephen White – psychologist struggles with patient confidentiality issues.
12. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks – a man enlists, struggles with separation from his love, then the Twin Towers fall and change everything.
13. The Daring Book For Girls by Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz – Every girl’s invitation to adventure.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Desire (For Writer's Island)


My heart pounding intensely,

a steady drumming in my ears,

a tangible longing at the core of my soul,

hanging suspended in mid-air,

My blood is liquid heat,

rushing to my face,

leaving my cheeks scarlet,

and leaving my palms drenched.


10 Signs a Book is Written by MEme

I was tagged for this meme by LUCY!

10 Signs that a book was written by me.

1. The story is about twins a boy and a girl.
2. There are two step-daughters involved.
3. The father is a passive-agressive type.
4. The story is written for pre-teens and teens.
5. The cover of the story is artfully decorated.
6. The font would be in a deep forest green or a royal blue, or both.
7. Stargazer lillies would appear in the book somewhere.
8. The evil step-mother would be based on me.
9. There is lots of music and other general noise in scenes from this book.
10. The main character likes to make up her own lyrics to familiar tunes.

I tag Kellan, Jen, and Herb for this meme!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Give Me Five!


I'm here for my first 'Give Me Five' Monday! Better late than never, I sometimes say. The 'Give Me Five' Monday meme is designed to share fun information with each other in a simple short list! Click here to read more! Thanks for hosting this meme, Becca!


Give Me Five vacation destinations you've already enjoyed or would like to some day.


1. I haven't traveled extensively, but one thing I enjoy is visiting relatives. A very unique place to go is Hot Springs, Arkansas. There is the historic district full of nostalgic shops, museums, and photo oppotunities, as well as the "Duck" tours, Lake Ouachita, and Hot Springs National Park (pictured).



2. I was fortunate enough to go on my second cruise a couple of years ago. My children and 4 other family members had a wonderful time. We went to several destinations, but one of the most beautiful and unique was Roatan, Honduras. There is not a lot to do there except go to the beach, which is gorgeous, but the countryside is also absolutely lush! I would not recomend wandering through the towns or villages without a scheduled tour, but the trip from the port to the beach was breathtaking.



3. A place I have been a number of times is Las Vegas. The last time I was there was with my sister two years ago. Shows, casinos, people, lights! There is always something to do in Vegas!



4. I have been to Cozumel twice, once as part of a cruise, and once with my husband about 2 1/2 years ago (for our "honeymoon" if you can call a second-marriage trip a honeymoon). It was heaven! He has always told me to find my "happy place." I did. It's on the beach with a good book, a cold drink, and the one I love.



5. Orlando, Florida! I've been there twice, but it's been many years, and I am so excited because I get to take my kids there in March. My twins are 11, and they've never been. I never really thought it would be possible, but I've dreamed about it, and we're going! Our flight is booked! I can't wait to take them to Disneyworld, in particular. There are other things to do, but that is my favorite. I'm also looking forward to seeing the animal kingdom, which wasn't there last time I visited. It really IS the happiest place on Earth!


Click here to see what others consider their top five vacation destinations.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


My husband must know I plan this out and post it because earlier today, he asked, what's on the menu for this week? He doesn't usually ask me that! I think he reads my blog in secret. And if you're reading this honey, the love letters in my "closet" piece don't exist. That was pure fiction. I just had to use the word paramour! Now on with the menu.
Monday - Mexican Chili - chicken breasts, can of black beans, can of corn, large picante sauce, and 2 cloves of pressed garlic. Let it slow cook for about four hours, and voila'! Eat over tortilla chips or rice. Add cheese, sour cream, and/or guacamole.
Tuesday - Spaghetti and meat sauce, sauteed zuchini, and garlic bread.
Wednesday - I'm taking hubby out for his birthday dinner.
Thursday - Guys night out. The kids and I will probably eat fast food.
Friday - Pizza night!
This is such an easy week for me! For more menu plans or ideas, visit organizing junkie by clicking here.

What's in Your Closet? (Sunday Scribblings)

The prompt at Sunday Scribblings this week is "miscellaneous." This is what popped into my head.

A handful of old love letters from a long-ago paramour.
Faded and yellowed with age.

Plastic bins, old photographs, childhood memories.
That photo for the dance and tumbling routine.
Yellow leotard, lace pinafore, Dutch hat, and wooden shoes.
Scrapbooks with detailed pages for every major holiday or event.

A green binder, a maroon binder
Old report cards, childhood drawings, college papers.

Pictures of those first ultrasounds for baby A and baby B.
Among them vaccination records and social security cards.
Birth certificates on fancy legal paper.
Savings bonds that mature in seven years.
An impenetrable firebox under lock and key.

Clothes in sizes too large, too small, and just right.
Shoes to match. Or not.

An autumn wreath of burgundy, gold, and green.
Perched on a top shelf hanging on for dear life.

Sheets, pillows, and blankets.
Ages since they were used.
The smell of inattention permeates them.

Christmas decorations tucked away for ten months of the year.
Colorful candy-cane candles, stocking hangers, next year’s Christmas cards.

Collectible LP’s, each meaningful in its own way.
Situated in a pink crate and dusty from sitting unused.

An ancient Avon box to hold gift wrap, ribbons, bows.
Bright, colorful gift bags of all sizes to suit one’s needs.

And what’s this?
I’ve been looking all over for this!
Serendipity!

To read more Sunday Scribblings, click here.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pay it Forward Book Giveaway

Deadline approaching! January 31 is next Thursday. Free books!
I am giving away two books!

Number 1 is a paperback copy of Cutting Edge: Tom Clancy's #1 Power Plays, created by Tom Clancy and Martin Greenberg and written by Jerome Preisler. Set in Africa, two entities try to control a fiber-optic cable. Black-market commodities, terrorists, and kidnapping are involved.

Number 2 is a hard back copy with cover jacket of James Patterson's 5th Horseman. This was a number one "New York Times" bestseller. The Womens Murder Club, a fascinating hospital and courtroom thriller, is the 5th in the series (although you don't have to read 1-4 to enjoy the 5th book).


Here are the rules, compliments of Overwhelmed with Joy! who started the Exchange:
1) Approximately once a month, I'll pick a book to give away to one lucky reader (you don’t have to have a blog to enter). It may be a book that I've purchased new or used, or it may be a book that someone has shared with me that I really like.
2) Details on how you can enter to win will be listed below.
3) If you're the lucky winner of the book giveaway I ask that you, in turn, host a drawing to give away a book -- any book, it doesn't have to be the one you just won -- for free to one of your readers. If you mail books out using the media/book rate that the post office offers it's pretty inexpensive. If you don't have a blog, please donate the book to your local library or shelter once you've finished reading it.
4) If you're really motivated and want to host your own "Pay It Forward" giveaway at any time, feel free to grab the button above to use on your own blog. Just let Overwhelmed with Joy know so she can publish a post plugging your giveaway and directing readers your way!

To enter, simply leave a comment letting me know which book you would like to win. On January 15th, I will choose a winner via random number generator. Please make sure I have a way to contact you, too, if your e-mail isn't listed in your Blogger profile. And that's it! Good luck, have fun, and happy reading!

Scrolling Saturday


The purpose of Scrolling Saturday is to choose one of your archived posts and repost it for your new blogging buddies. This is a post from August 8, 2007:


I was reading another blog tonight (I'm sorry I don't remember which one - I hadn't learned about linky love at this point), and she brought up the idea of having an imaginary dinner party where you could invite anyone you wanted, real or imagined, alive or already gone, past, present, future. Who would you invite to your dinner party? Here's my list:

1. Jesus, so I could speak to him in his earthly form.
2. My daddy, because I miss him so much.
3. My son's imaginary friend Buddy and my daughter's imaginary friend Birdie. They could probably help me solve a lot of mysteries. That also takes care of #4.
5. The new superintendent of schools in my district who will be named in January of 2008.
6. Noah. I'd like to know about the planning and preparations for the flood and the convenant of the Rainbow.
7. The man who invented pantyhose (I'm sure it wasn't a woman), so I could ask him, "Why?"
8. My preacher, Jerry.
9. His wife, Kristine.
10. B., a religious mentor.
11. His wife, Ruth.
12. The entire Rascall Flatts band. That would make 15 guests, right?
16. Hunter Pence, the youngest new Astros ball player.

How about you?
For more Scrolling Saturday participants, click here.

Friday's Feast #7


Appetizer
How many times per day do you usually laugh?
Quite a few, but I'm not sure if they're all genuine laughs. My husband is pretty funny, and the kids crack me up a lot, but work is so stressful that I don't get to laugh there as much as I'd like to, mainly with the other adults (versus with the students).

Soup
What do your sunglasses look like?
Tortoiseshell-type frames with medium dark lenses, small to fit my face. Nothing special.

Salad
You win a free trip to anywhere on your continent, but you have to travel by train. Where do you go?
If that's the only way I could get to New York, that's where I'd go. I want to see it. My husband has been there once, and he isn't longing to go again. So... take me! Plane, train, auto. I don't care which one. I just want to see it and say I've been there.

Main Course
Name one thing you consider a great quality about living in your town/city.
Mild winters. Being close enough to a large city to have venues available for fine arts, museums, theater, dining, shopping, sporting events, lakes, rivers, and oceans, and so on. Oops. That wasn't one thing!

Dessert
If the sky could be another color, what color do you think would look best?
Light Pink. That's a pretty color.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thankful Thursday and a Flower "Quiz"

You Are A Lily

You are a nurturer and all around natural therapist.
People see you as their rock. And they are able to depend on you.
You are a soothing influence. You can make people feel better with a few words.
Your caring has more of an impact than even you realize.


I believe this is true of me, and I love lillies, especially stargazer and calla lillies. I think my purpose here on Earth is to mother, teach, and guide. But sometimes I get so tired. I want to be nurtured. I get so tired of giving, and giving, and giving all the time. I wonder if other people ever feel that way.


In the long run, I am thankful to have the gifts that God gave me, and I know that instead of whining, I should be grateful, so I'm going to ask God for graciousness and try to be thankful for all that I have.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #16


13 Phrases/Words I say Waayyy too Much

1. Whatever! (This is said with sarcastic inflection)
2. Okay, sooooo…???
3. Well, allright then. (read – if that’s what you want to do, then fine!)
4. I have no desire to [see that movie] [or insert other action].
5. Your point is?
6. Ummmmmmmm… NO!
7. Hurry up! (My daughter is a slow-poke)
8. Where are my keys?
9. I can’t hear you (because my hearing is getting strange. I really can’t hear when people talk in a normal voice, then when they whisper, I can hear it)
10. I’m just sayin'…
11. Don’t you think?
12. What, you gotta be kiddin’ me!
13. And my favorite… What was I looking for? (to which the kids always respond, “I don’t know. I’m not your brain!” Well, apparently, my brain isn’t working as well as it used to!)


Happy Thursday Thirteen Everyone! Visit more 13ers by clicking here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

My brother-in-law's grandson in the snow on a recent trip to Colorado - complete with photo-shopped snowmen. I thought it was cute!

Heads or Tails

My first heads or tails! Thank you, Becca! Click on Heads or Tails to visit Skittles' Place for the whens and hows of this meme.

January 22: HEADS - Any of the five senses (Hear, Touch, Smell, See, Taste)

I am sitting here at the computer on a late Tuesday night, and I hear the air freshener go pffft! letting out a burst of autumnal sweetness into the room. I look over and see a clear glass half full of liquid. I reach over for a sip of cool water and feel the condensation on the glass that has been sitting there for a while now. The water tastes clean and pure if somewhat lukewarm.

Did I do this right?

Monday, January 21, 2008

At A Crossroads (Writer's Island)


This week's topic at Writer's Island: “Fork in the Road." You could also interpret the prompt as a “Crossroad”. It carries a like meaning, and provides essentially the same inspiration. A simple decision made at a ‘fork in the road’, or a ‘crossroad’, can lead you to a significantly different destination.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gloria had been considered a very talented actress back home. Long-legged, good-looking, witty, charming, and vivacious. Here in New York, she just blended in.

But now, she was so excited to be a part of the production of "Seussical" at the Richard Rogers Theater on West 46th Street in New York. Lisa, a girlfriend she had met in the building where her tiny flat was located, had to quit the show after its run had already started, and the producers and stage manager had told Lisa she would be let out of her contract only if she found a replacement of equal talent.


Gloria thought it would be her big break! Divine Luck! Right Place at the Right Time! Her acting, singing, and dancing talent would finally be showcased. She was bound to be offered more parts as a result of this hit musical. As it turned out, she was a bit player in the last two months of the run. Apparently, she was a replacement for an extra who the other cast members had disliked, and that dislike trickled down to her simply by association. The director and stage manager never even learned her name, nor did many of her castmates. Her last performance was May 20, 2001.

She auditioned for another play opening July 11. It was a comedy called “A Thousand Clowns” playing at the Longacre Theater. The casting director had told her [rather sarcastically] that comedy was NOT her forte.

She tried out for “If You Ever Leave Me, I’m Going with You” at the Cort Theater. It would start July 17th. This casting director said she didn’t have the “look” for live theater.

There were countless other auditions, all with the same dreadful, disappointing results – “Major Barbara,” “Mama Mia,” and even one called “Urinetown!” Dreamgirls was opening September 24th. Oh, she had dreamed about that one! She just couldn’t stand any more rejection. She would have to go home to Minnetonka, Minnesota and work at the Ridgedale Mall selling shoes, handbags, or worse, burgers at the food court. She could work for Cargill, Inc. Her uncle had always said he’d create a job for her, but she was too proud for that.

Her family had given her six months of financial and emotional support to make a go of it in New York, and she’d already been here since January. Now it was September. Too many pretty faces, too many gorgeous actresses with high hopes, too much competition, too much negativity, and too many actresses willing to get their parts based on the couch call. And the rejection stung. It bit into her self-worth and wouldn’t let go.

Her lease was ending, and with no job in site, she was at a crossroads. Should she bite the bullet, ignore her family’s requests to come home, and get a waitressing job while continuing to look for the elusive part of her dreams, the one she’d actually be considered for? She knew it could take years! Or should she tuck her tail and go home?

On September 10, 2001 she boarded a Northwest Airlines nonstop flight from New York to Minneapolis, heading home. She has never regretted that decision.


(Author's note added 1/22: If you were not living in the US on 9/11/01, the ending of this story may not bear any significance.)

For more on the topics "Fork in the Road" or "Crossroads," visit Writer's Island.

New Blogs, New Memes Anyone?


I’ve spent way too much time lurking around the blogosphere this weekend! In addition to visiting the blogs in my sidebar, I’ve stumbled upon a few new blogs (new for me, that is). One of them is Where’s Mommy’s Prozac? Boy, I can relate to that title! She’s a mom who likes to read, scrapbook, watch movies, and spend time with her family. Sounds a lot like me! Pass the Prozac! (Actually, I prefer Zoloft, but that’s another post.)


Another blog I enjoy from time to time, so I guess it’s not completely new, but I want to share with everyone anyway, is Herb Urban. He’s always great for some sarcastic humor and a tart slice of not-so-daily life. This guy is a wealth of knowledge, albeit not necessarily things we need to know, which is part of what makes this blog so fun! Anyway, check it out and see if you don’t enjoy your visit!


Last on my list today is the Irish-Catholic Potty Mouth Speaks Kindly. I was drawn to this blog because my step-daughter’s names are Heather and Kathleen, but that’s not why I stayed. She’s another mom who’s witty, interesting, and I totally relate to her.


I hope they don’t mind my sharing their blogs with all of you. I hope you’ll click on over to them.

I visit 5 Minutes for Mom and Home Sanctuary daily. If you haven’t checked them out, why not? (except maybe you’re a dude, not a mom. That’s using my teenage language.)


I really enjoy memes. The memes I am participating in on a somewhat regular basis and some which I just stumbled upon include:
Menu Plan Monday sponsored by Organizing Junkie
Tackle it Tuesday sponsored by 5 Minutes for Mom
Wordless Wednesday
Thursday Thirteen

Thankful Thursday
Friday’s Feast
Scrolling Saturday
Sunday Scribblings
Sunday Scrappin’
Writer’s Island


If you have a new meme for me, please suggest it! It’s not as if I couldn’t add another one! Have a great day!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


It's going to be a great week in our household!


Today, Sunday, we had a delicious new recipe - Chicken Parmesan - that my husband found on food network. We created it all together, from scratch... It was expensive, but it was also delicious.


Monday - My mom's recipe - Texas Brick Chili. We'll eat it with some soft, white bread or crackers, a little cheese on top, and some avacado slices.


Tuesday - Braised Balsamic Chicken - a recipe I have used before from AllRecipes. I'll also make Rosemary Potatoes and have some green beans.


Wednesday - Cheesy Pigs-in-a-Blanket. I don't need a recipe for this one. It's easy. But I'm linking to one at AllRecipes anyway.


Thursday - Guys night out. What will the girls do? Maybe Subway.


Friday - Pizza Night!


Saturday - Date night with my husband at some fabulous (I hope) restaurant!


Thank you to organizing junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday!

Sunday Scrappin' First Post

I love to scrapbook, but I don't have as much time for it as I wish I did. I found a site called Sunday Scrappin' whose description is - This meme is for ALL paper crafts, not just scrapbooking... but "Sunday Papercrafts" or "Sunday Whatever-You're-Making" just didn't have the same ring to it! :) I'm hoping it will inspire me to drag my supplies out and get busy making memories more often, because I truly enjoy it! I'm posting a couple of my ta-da's because they link to a previous post I wrote about holiday memories.

My to-do this week is to finish a collage for the bulletin board at work. My sixth grade classes are reading The Watsons go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis. I had the students research the culture of the US in 1963. So, we have lots of pictures of politicians, space-related photos, actors, musicians, hairstyles, civil rights events, and so on. I'm making a collage of the pictures for the classroom.

I'm enjoying visiting other paper-crafters' pages and getting fresh ideas and inspiration. Visit other Sunday Scrappin' pages by clicking here. In fact, join in, if you'd like!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My First Blog Post Ever!


In honor of my first scrolling Saturday, I am re-posting my original post from December 13, 2005. I've come a long way since then! Except, I still forget whether or not I washed my hair after I get out of the shower, unless I do things in the same order every day. Call me forgetfulone!


Well, here I am in the world of bloggers, although I have no idea what I'm doing or why I'm doing it. Of course I have heard of blogs, but do people really read them? Or do they just read them if they're on a site they like or if their friend writes one? I'm really curious about that. Who actually reads these? How do you find them?The title of this blog refers to my forgetfulness. Often, I'll walk into a room and forget why I went in there. I can usually back track a little and figure it out, but it's really annoying! But, I can never do this without saying out loud, "What did I come in here for?" or something along those lines. My 9 year old twins respond with, "I don't know. I'm not your brain." You'd think I'd learn not to say it out loud, but it is virtually impossible. So... I guess that's all I have to say right now.

Win one of these!

Visit 5 Minutes for Mom, and you could be the winner of a new Insignia Bluetooth MP3 Player. The contest is sponsored by Best Buy. Go on, click. You know you want to!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Friday's Feast # 6

Appetizer
What is your favorite beverage?
Coca-Cola! It’s the real thing, baby.

Soup
Name 3 things that are on your computer desk at home or work.
A boring pencil cup, a telephone, and a water glass (at home).

Salad
On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how honest do you think you are?
I try earnestly to be honest. I would rank myself an 8. Wish I could say 9 or 10.

Main Course
If you could change the name of one city in the world, what would you rename it and why?
I think I would rename League City and call it Southshore. I would combine it with the Clear Lake are where I live. The main area of League City is a neighborhood called Southshore Harbor. I just think it sounds classier than League City.

Dessert
What stresses you out? What calms you down?
Students, my own children, and my job all stress me out. Sitting at the computer writing or blogging calms me down.

Thankful Thursday


We sometimes realize we have so much to be thankful for, and other times we completely forget. I have been having a rough week for a number of reasons, and now is probably the best time, when I'm feeling low, to verbalize (so to speak) my blessings.


1. I have a God who forgives me even when I don't deserve it.

2. I have a set of moral rules to live by.

3. My children are a blessing. No, they're not angels, in fact, sometimes quite the opposite, but I am blessed to have a legacy that I can train up in the way they should go.

4. I am blessed to have secure employment and the ability to save money for retirement, which won't happen for about 15 - 20 years. Another blessing is being able to save for college funds.

5. I have a dependable, paid for vehicle that gets me from point A to point Z and all points in between.

6. I am thankful for my family. Lots of stress and headaches, but the love makes it worth it all.

7. I am becoming more conscious of my need to pray throughout the day and to make an extra effort to make a connection with the Lord.


God bless each and every one of you. Here's hoping tomorrow is a more positive day.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #15


13 Movies in my Netflix Queue
1. The Dead Girl: A small close-knit community near Los Angeles is thrown into turmoil when the brutally desecrated body of a vibrant young girl is discovered in a field. A series of seemingly unrelated dramas in the lives of the town's residents ultimately converge and reveal answers to the murder itself.

2. Reign Over Me: Consumed with grief after losing his family in the World Trade Center attacks, a widower seeks help from his former college roommate , who's now a dentist. A thought-provoking look at friendship and post-Sept. 11 society in New York City.

3. Casino Royale: Film adaptation of Ian Fleming's first novel. Daniel Craig debuts as the new Bond who takes on a corrupt financier in a showdown of Texas Hold 'Em. You'll learn Bond's back story as the action-packed film takes you to the Bahamas, Madagascar and other exotic locales.

4. Deliver Us from Evil: This unsettling Oscar-nominated investigates the life of 30-year pedophile Father Oliver O'Grady and exposes the corruption inside the Catholic Church that allowed him to abuse countless children. A mix of victim stories and a disturbing interview with O'Grady provides a view into the troubled mind of the spiritual leader who moved from parish to parish gaining the trust of congregations ... all the while betraying so many.

5. Hannibal Rising: The myth of the menacing Hannibal Lecter in this terrifying prequel that attempts to trace the murderous roots of the cannibalistic killer. The film follows Lecter from his hard-scrabble Lithuanian childhood, where he witnesses the lengths to which hungry soldiers will go to satiate themselves, through his painful sojourn in France and his final facedown with FBI agent Will Graham, leading to his eventual capture.

6. Stardust: A young man journeys to a magical world to win the heart of his true love in this charming fantasy. Tristan has promised Victoria that he'll retrieve a fallen star to secure her love. Along the way, he battles a pirate named Captain Shakespeare, an evil witch, and other assorted goblins and ghosts.

7. Superbad: (Why is this movie in my queue?) high school comedy - best buddies facing separation anxiety as they prepare to go off to college. Attempting to score alcohol for a party (believing that the babes will follow), the boys' evening quickly dissolves into chaos.

8. Little Children: The lives of several adult suburbanites, who have yet to surpass adolescence, intersect on the streets of their small town in unexpected ways. While on-the-go wife and mother Kathy is preoccupied with her career, Sarah a mother who does not know how to mother, is busy having an affair with stay-at-home dad Brad -- Kathy's husband.

9. Sleepover: As their first year of high school looms ahead, best friends Julie, Hannah, Yancy and Farrah have one last summer sleepover. Little do they know they're about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Desperate to shed their nerdy status, they take part in a night-long scavenger hunt that pits them against their popular archrivals. Everything under the sun goes on -- from taking Julie's father's car to sneaking into nightclubs!

10. Flight 93: Sept. 11, 2001, was a dark day in the history of America. But amid the tragic events, many heroes emerged. This gripping drama recounts the story of the passengers of United Flight 93 and their courageous efforts to wrestle control of the hijacked plane from the terrorists before it crashed in rural Pennsylvania. Originally aired on A&E, the heart-pounding reenactment was produced in cooperation with some of the victims' family members.

11. Memoirs of a Geisha - Set in 1929, this tale follows 9-year-old Chiyo, who is sold to a Kyoto geisha house. Chiyo endures harsh treatment from the owners and head geisha Hatsumomo, who's envious of Chiyo's stunning beauty. Rescued by Hatsumomo's rival, Chiyo blooms in her role as a geisha, but World War II threatens to change her privileged life forever.

12. Something to Talk About: Grace Bichon has a career, a child and a happy marriage -- until she learns that her husband, Eddie, is having an affair. She moves in with her outspoken sister , while her mother, Georgia, and wealthy father, Wyly, side with Eddie in the conflict. But when Georgia finds that Wyly has been a philanderer too, she kicks him out and sparks a war between the sexes!

13. Door to Door: Tells the story of salesman Bill Porter, who came into contact with many people during his decades of knocking on doors. Porter, suffering from cerebral palsy, didn't allow his condition to stop him from pursuing a career, and his story touched the hearts and lives of many of his potential customers.
If you've seen any of these and have a movie review or comment, let me know! The queue can always be updated!
For more Thursday Thirteeners, click here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday



I don't know if you can tell, but this spider has spun an intricate web, and I was very fascinated with her work.

For more Wordless Wednesday participants, click here.


What a Day!


I normally participate in Tackle it Tuesday, and I had planned my tackle to be learning about my new cell phone. My husband and I finally got fed up with company A, and he went and signed us up for company B yesterday, which means new phones. I love my "old" Samsung phone, and I am so used to it! I would like to have had a Razor, like the kids just got, but he wanted us to have the same chargers so we could share. I know! I know! So I ended up with a new LG phone which is probably great, but I'm not used to it. It's more difficult to open, and the backlight goes away so I can't see the time on the front without flipping it open. Minor details I'm sure, but changes, nonetheless. The new phone is on the left in the picture; the phone I like is on the right.

And, even though I am paid up through February 11th, I have to honor my contract with Company A through February 2nd, and if I try to cancel it any sooner, I will be charged $175. Which, in the long run means, I will have to change phone numbers. That's a bummer. That would be like telling a tenant - yes, you're paid up through February 28th, but if you move out prior to that date, you're breaking your contract, and we'll have to charge you for that. I'm paid up, for goodness' sake! Let me go! They don't make it easy for you. So, I will not be able to use the same phone number unless I wait until February 2nd to activate my new service. It just doesn't make sense!

Company A claims they cannot turn off the Mobile Web access without also turning off text messaging. Company B claims that they can turn off the web access and keep messaging. Company B also offers a discount through my husband's employer, and Company B includes unlimited text and picture messaging. The only thing Company A does that B doesn't is let you rollover your minutes. We never use all our minutes, so they roll over forever. Seems pointless.

But I do have a point, and that is that I am going to have to learn how to use my new phone. I didn't get to do that for a tackle today, but I'm going to do it soon!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Tag!

I was tagged by Latree at Dandelion!

These are the rules :
1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. A. Share 5 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog; or
B. Share the 5 top places on your “want to see or want to see again” list; or C. Share 5 things you never pictured being in your future when you were 25 years old.
3. Tag a minimum of 5, maximum of 10 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
The tagees have a choice of which they want to do.
************************************************

Here are five places on my “want to see” or “want to see again” list, in no particular order.



1. Hamilton Pool and Natural Preserve, Hill Country near Lake Travis, Texas is breathtakingly beautiful, peaceful, and has the only real waterfall I am likely ever to see in my lifetime. There are also awesome nature trails and places to relax. This is a “see again” place.



2. Cozumel is on my list of “see again” places. The laid-back culture, the beaches, snorkeling, dining, and relaxing all appeal to me. Plus, that is where we honeymooned.



3. Italy is on my and my husband’s “bucket list” – you know, the things you gotta do before you kick the bucket! The food, wine, history, art, architecture, and thermal springs are all fascinating.



4. New York City is also on my “want to see” list. The lights, shows, boutiques, restaurants, monuments, Ground Zero, the Brooklyn Bridge, 42nd Street, and even Central Park are attractions.



5. The last place on my “want to see” list is Greece. Unfortunately, I can’t interest hubby in this one. He’s not a fan of Greek food, but I think it’s delightful. There is history and art combined in architecture. The Parthenon, The Acropolis, the temples, and other monuments, not to mention the natural beauty of the surroundings, all contribute to why I would like to visit Greece someday.




I am going to tag Natalie at State of Confusion, Paige at Superpaige's Pad, Jenn at And Then There Were Four, Cynthia at Springmont Cottage, Penelope Anne at The Cafe at the End of the Universe, Jen at Jen's Humble Opinion 2, HolleeAnn at The Vasquez 3, and Lucy at LuLu's Petals and Kellan at On the Upside. Click their blog names to visit their blogs and see why I chose these particular super-ladies!

Treasure on the Island (for Writer's Island)


The topic at Writer's Island this week is "Treasure."

A rogue, a desperado, a buccaneer…
Jean Baptiste LaFitte, Prince of Pirates;
Legend proclaims him the Terror of the Gulf,
From New Orleans to Galveston,
And all points in between.

On the beaches of Galveston Island at Campeche,
Near the haven of Maison Rouge.
Legend whispers of long-forgotten treasures buried deep.
OH! to discover the prize within those grains of sand
Perhaps not washed away with the tide.

Trinkets and beads,
Tarnished golden coins,
long forgotten spices,
genuine silver utensils,
swords of foes who met an ill fate,
rings, pendants, and ivory broaches.
rubies and sapphires and jewels of all types.

Legend says that these are the treasures he left behind.
To see what others are writing about "treasure," click here.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Menu Plan Monday



Thank you, Organizing Junkie, for letting us link up to you for Menu Plan Monday. I get meal ideas, and since we get to see how others are planning their meals, it prompts new ideas. Most important, it forces us to plan ahead and organize our week. Thanks!

Monday - Large pasta shells stuffed with cheese and swimming in Classico Vodka Marinara Sauce with a sprinkling of grated mozarella on top; tossed salad.

Tuesday - Busy day chicken rice casserole served with green beans and bread and butter. (click name of dish for simple recipe.)

Wednesday - Light chicken stuffed with cheese and brocolli, angel hair pasta, and corn.

Thursday - Guys night out. This week, the kids and I will probably go to The Fish Place.

Friday - Traditional New York style pizza, baked fresh, flash frozen, and shipped to us in Texas. It'll be our first try with this.

Saturday - "Date" night for me and hubby. Who knows where we'll end up?

Have a great week everyone!

For more Menu Plan Monday, click here!


The Date - for Sunday Scribblings

The Topic for this week’s Sunday Scribblings is “The Date”
You can either write about an actual date (blind or otherwise) or about a particular date or a due date or a deadline or the best day of your life or the day that changed your life (or if you feel cheeky you could write about the date that is a food.) Several dates came to mind. Read on to see which one I chose.

My first NON date with my husband of the last three years (we were too scared to call it a date) was January 10, 2002. I’ll save that for another post.

The date that devastated my life was October 10, 2004 when my father passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at the young age of 69. I have written about that date at least twice, once recently, and I don’t think I can [emotionally] visit that topic again right now. But I linked up to my 2 Sunday Scribblings in which I did speak about that date. Click the word "twice" or the words "once recently" to read those posts.

However, on a lighter note, my son and I found ourselves the only two people (in a household of six) home for dinner this Friday night, so I decided to make it our “date night.” Yes, he’s only 11, but he will eventually date, and I wanted him to see how a date goes and make sure he knows how to treat a lady properly. He opened doors for me, he was pleasant and agreeable, and he even filled the drinks and brought them to the table for me. We had a nice steak and potato dinner at Tony's barbecue.

After dinner, we hit the mall. He’s been wanting a cover for his cell phone. We picked one out then browsed the mall at bit. He even let me go in Build-a-Bear. When we left the mall, he agreed to go to Borders with me to look for some books. He continued to open doors and say please and thank you the entire night. When we got home, I got a good-night hug thanking me for the date. Then he kindly let me retreat to the solitarity of the master bath to take a long, peaceful, hot soak in my moisturizing detox rocks from Bath Junkie. I think I’m teaching him well, don’t you?

To see how others responded to “The Date,” click here.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday's Feast #5


Appetizer
What is your middle name? Would you change any of your names if you could? If so, what would you like to be called?

My middle name is Lynn. If I could change my first name, I would choose Paige, Olivia, Adrianna, or Lilly.

Soup
If you were a fashion designer, which fabrics, colors, and styles would you probably use the most?

I would use soft fabrics such as chenille, cashmere, rayon, or a soft cotton/poly blend. My styles would have simple lines, no frills or ruffles, nothing too plunging in the front. My favorite colors are rich brown, teal, black, light pink, taupe, forest green, and burgundy.

Salad
What is your least favorite chore, and why?

That’s a tough one. I dislike grocery shopping – I don’t know why! And packing lunches for school. I’d rather clean the toilet!

Main Course
What is something that really frightens you, and can you trace it back to an event in your life?

I am frightened of snakes. When I was very young, we lived in a new house in an area that was still being developed. One day, a long, black snake curled his way up the birdhouse pole on his way for some lunch. At first, it looked like a black garden hose, and apparently we had one of those. But a few minutes later, it was in a different position. Needless to say, it was a snake, and a very long one at that, and the neighbors had to come kill it since my dad wasn’t home. I also remember walking down the trail at BlueBird camp and seeing a snake (albeit a ribbon snake) right by my leg, poised and tongue flicking. I hate snakes!

I also fear rejection, but I won’t get into the hows and whys of that one. This would be toooooo long!

Dessert
Where are you sitting right now? Name 3 things you can see at this moment.
I am sitting at a glass-topped computer table at the back of my living room. I can see a telephone, a computer speaker, a water cup, and a pencil cup in my peripheral vision at this moment. Not too exciting! But I’m glad to be back at the feast! I just couldn’t answer last week’s questions. Too emotional for me at the time.

Feel free to join in the merry-making at Friday's Feast!


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #14


To a writer, one word can make all the difference. I present 13 ways to say the word "walk." Whether you walk down the sidewalk, down the stairs, across the kitchen floor, or in a park, choosing the right word can sometimes make all the difference in the world.
Amble
Lumber
March
Meander
Pad
Parade
Race
Shuffle
Stroll
Stumble
Traipse
Travel
Traverse
My favorites are Meander and Traipse. What are yours? Or is it one I didn't include?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Writer's Island - "Over the Horizon"

This is my first post at Writer's Island. The topic is "Over the Horizon."

Over the horizon - there are demons with gnashing teeth, skin of leather, and hearts of steel, waiting to descend from the red-smeared sky and devour me. There are cutting remarks, criticisms, and evil plots clamoring to enter my brain and demolish it bit by little bit. There are backstabbers, mischief-makers, liars and thieves, waiting to rob me of my humanity, my dreams, and my goals. Conspirators masquerade as knights in shining armor anxious to spear me with their poisonous swords. There is danger lurking in secret over the horizon.



Over the horizon - a bird calls to me with a whispering trill. The blue sky is dotted with patches of fluffy, white, cotton-candy clouds. There is mercy, gentleness, and goodness waiting to move into my soul with softness and love. There are friends, family, and supporters cheering me on my journey, offering words of encouragement, guidance, wisdom, and praise. A feeling of warmth is eager to surround me. There is beauty to behold in all its luminous glory over the horizon.

To visit other writers at the island, to read the entire prompt, or to find out how to participate, click here.

Wordless Wednesday


The sunrise from my backyard on January 3, 2008.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Tackle it Tuesday!



I tackled the business of getting a chart of household chores posted on the refrigerator. We have a home of five, sometimes six people, and I can not do it all and work full time, so I have assigned the kids relatively simple tasks for weekdays (unload the dishwasher, feed the dog, etc.) and some cleaning tasks for weekends (windex glass tables, upstairs bathroom, and so on), with a reminder that they can earn some extra $ for doing extra work (suggestions included), and another reminder that their first job is to be a good student, complete homework, and practice music. It's on my fridge and ready to go! Here's what it looks like:



Sunday, January 06, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


Monday - Slow cooked roast beef with carrots & onions and roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

Tuesday - My favorite beef and cheese enchiladas made with fresh flour tortillas.

Wednesday - We will be eating at church. We'll probably have Mexican Stack.

Thursday - Guys night out. We girls will probably eat at The Fish Place or Jason's Deli.

Friday - Stuffed pasta shells with Classico Vodka Marinara Sauce, salad, and garlic toast.

Saturday - I get a night off! Maybe Sunday, too.

For All of my Cooking and Baking Friends!


A Cowboy’s Wife is having a contest on her food blog! You can win a Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer and she’ll ship anywhere so everyone is eligible!
The Prize:
The winner will receive a brand new Hamilton Beach 4.5-qt. Eclectrics Stand Mixer, Pineapple Yellow!!


About the mixer:
From Hamilton Beach’s “Eclectrics” line, this all-metal stand mixer comes with a host of accessories - a Flat Beater for cakes and cookies, a Dough Hook for bread and a Wire Whisk for whipped cream or pudding. The 4.5-qt. stainless steel bowl comes with a Pouring Shield that helps prevent splattering while in operation. The pouring shield has a built-in chute for adding ingredients. Powered by 400 watts, the stand mixer has a two-way mixing action to ensure all ingredients are incorporated into the mix. The quick-release, tilt-up head assists when removing the bowl. 9 x 14 x 14-in. When you’re ready for a kitchen re-do, don’t call in the carpenters! Instead, “counterscape” your kitchen with Hamilton Beach’s retro-designed, affordably priced electrics in happy, sun-saturated colors. Their “Eclectrics” line includes updates to those classic appliances from the 1950s. All of their “Eclectrics” are available in six colors: Apple Green, Moroccan Red, Pineapple Yellow, Intrigue Blue, Sugar White and Licorice Black.

Friday, January 04, 2008

New Friends - Sunday Scribblings


The theme for Sunday Scribblings this week is “new.” It could be new hopes, new dreams, or new year’s resolutions.


“The shortest distance between new friends is a smile.”
Unknown

A few days ago, my son and his friend were riding in the back of my Forerunner on our way to spend Christmas gift cards. They were playing a game where they waved at people in other cars and tried to get the people to wave back at them. They decided that the people who waved back were nice, and the people who didn’t wave back were “sour.”

As we were walking in to Target discussing their poor results (1 in 5 waved back), I told them to smile at people because if you smile at someone, they will smile back. I believe that is true, and we had fun putting the theory to the test. I'm going to take my own suggestion and try to smile more. People can’t help but smile back, and it fits with my intention to project happiness even when I might not be feeling very happy. Maybe in the process, I will make a new friend. I am reminded of a song we used to sing at Campfire Girl camp:
"Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold. "


Image - http://lonestartimes.com/2007/08/14/

To read how others responded to the prompt "new," click here.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #13



I am in the mood to reminisce a little, thinking about my birthplace and my hometown, where I have spent most of my life. I still live within a 45 minute drive of Humble, Texas, and my mom still lives there as do many of my friends. I miss living there, so here is a bit of historical trivia about my hometown.
1. Humble is located 18 miles northeast of Houston, Texas.
2. George Bush Intercontinental Airport is 5 minutes away.

3. Humble is named for Englishman Pleasant S. Humble, a San Jacinto River ferry operator whose family settled there before the (US) Civil War.

4. The “H” is silent (pronounced “umble” not “humble”).

5. Located on the Texas and New Orleans Railroad, later the Houston, East, and West Texas Railway.

6. The station was once known as “the rabbit” because railroad passenger
s shot rabbits when the train stopped on its way from Houston to Shreveport.

7. The First United Methodist Church of Humble was established in 1886. (Click on the link for an inside look at the historic chapel.) This is where both my sister and I were baptized, confirmed, and married.

8. The first school in Humble was established in 1890 and had 50 students, and I taught for the school district from 1993-2004.

9. Humble became a pioneer oil “boom town” in 1904 when oil was discovered in an area known as Moonshine Hill (figure that one out).
10. In 1905, Humble had the largest producing oilfield in Texas.



11. Ross Sterling (later, a governor of Texas) founded the Humble Oil and Refining Company in 1911.

12. Humble Oil became known as Exxon over two decades ago.

13. In 1912, during a drill, what was supposed to be oil turned out to be a free-flowing artesian well which later provided water to the bath houses and private homes. It is still flowing today and is located across the street and half a block from the Church.


Historical Information about Humble, TX can be found here and here and here.
I hope you enjoyed my brief history lesson!






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