Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dickinson Bayou Brawl

The Dickinson Bayou Brawl is a canoe race held once a year on Dickinson Bayou (in Dickinson, TX). Most of the participants are students of Mrs. Kathie Derrick's homeschool Science and canoeing classes. LittleJ just started taking canoeing a couple of months ago, and absolutely loves it. Here he is at the beginning of a race called the "War Canoe Race". This a race which includes teams of four students, various ages and experience in each canoe. They much race to a certain point, turn around, and "portage" their canoes (take them out of the water and across a certain expance of land) three times at designated spots. Meanwhile, any of your competitors may try to tump your canoe, throw mud at you, steal your oars, etc., to try and delay you from winning. Hence the "War" part of the race! The above pic is LittleJ at the beginning of the race. He is the second child in the green canoe.

Here are one of the canoe teams portaging their canoe. LittleJ's canoe is actually behind this one, coming across the land (the boy in the blue vest is on LittleJ's team.... J is behind him kind of bent over carrying the canoe). Note the girl on the left side of the picture...she is throwing mud at the teams coming across the finger of land.



video

Here they are at the finish!!
In case you are wondering, why doesn't he have a paddle? Earlier in the race, the girl in the back, who is steering the canoe, lost hers in a battle to keep the canoe upright, so she took LittleJ's in order to keep steering. Tiny's comments at the end of the video are too cute.

After the race, you can see that it is not the cleanest activity, but boy was he happy!

Guess who's team came in FIRST place???? Wahhooooo!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Somebody emailed me this, and because I'm bored and just feel like it, I'm going to post it here instead of mailing it out to everyone in my address book (although because I didn't mail it out, I will NOT get my wish, and I will have bad luck, and I will not receive the $10,000 check promised to me by Bill Gates)....

Ahem....

Four jobs I've had - (besides my current job(s)....
1. Counter person at Pennington's Fried Chicken
2. Sales person at... Joskes, Dillards, Palais Royal, On Stage, Gymboree, Eddie Bauer...
3. Radio News and Talk Show Producer at KIKK Radio
4. Tech Writer in both Aerospace and Oil/Gas Industries

Four movies I could watch over and over -
1. You've Got Mail
2. While You Were Sleeping
3. When Harry Met Sally
4. Sweet Home Alabama

Four places I've lived -
1. Houston, TX
2. Seabrook, TX
3. League City, TX
4. Wilmington, DE (when I was TWO!... I was desperate to name somewhere else!)

Four TV shows I love -
1. CSI:NY
2. Criminal Minds
3. House
4. Good Eats

Four places I've vacationed -
1. Salt Lake City, UT
2. Nashville, TN
3. Orlando, FL
4. On the MS Southward (Cruise of the Caribbean in 1986)

Four of my favorite dishes -
1. Chicken and Sausage Gumbo from Floyd's
2. Chicken and Dumplings from Crackerbarrel
3. My bacon-wrapped meatloaf
4. Fajitas from Chili's

Four favorite drinks -
1. Sweet Tea from Chick-Fil-A
2. Peppermint Latte from Starbucks
3. Vanilla Coke from Sonic
4. Water

Four sites I visit daily -
1. My Facebook page
2. A bunch of Blogs (I know it's not one, but I have them bookmarked on a pop-down menu... Ginny, Cheryl, Celeste, Kathy (finger pointing at Kathy!) and more if I have time).
3. Townhall.com
4. Fox News Stockmarket page

Four places I'd rather be right now -
1. Camping in the country with my family
2. Making something in my art studio (without any interruptions!)
3. Asleep
4. Watching a movie with my honey on our big screen tv with dinner and dessert!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I'm on Facebook!

Hey y'all! I'm on facebook now! How cool is that? If you are out there, and are on it too, feel free to look me up.

What else is new... Buddyboy is off this week in Austin. Bugman's parents came and took him to visit Keith's Uncle Terry. Terry played on the PGA (you can read about him here, if you are into knowing that sort of thing). Buddy has been wanting to go and visit and get some pointers from Terry for awhile. Well, it finally happened! What a first day they had yesterday... golf lessons in the afternoon, and Terry gave Buddy TWO pairs of Footjoy golf shoes (and he needed new ones). He also got some new golf gloves, some balls, and he gets to "borrow" Terry's Odyssey putter! He has to bring it when he comes back to Austin (is that an invite, Uncle Terry?). Today, they were going to play nine holes at the country club, lunch, more lessons, and dinner at Terry's house. Then they'll play some more tomorrow and some more lessons before heading home. I know how exciting it is for Buddyboy!

I am hoping to have a little extra time tomorrow to make a card for an upcoming birthday (hehehe). I also am hoping to sign up for a class with Janet Hopkins at By Design next weekend. I was thinking I would miss the class but they added an extra on Friday night! Whooo hooo! I am so excited. I hope Bugman doesn't mind.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

New Pics and Art

For those two or three of you who might actually read this, I will be cross-posting some of this on my other blog...

I had 207 items on my camera, so decided it was time to download. But before I did, I took some pics of my latest piece. I was inspired by a sermon our pastor did where he talked about listening with your head vs. listening with your heart.


What is the "18-inch Gap"? It's the approximate distance between your head and your heart. How do you hear Him? Do you hear Him directly, or through a filter?



Close ups...

That's Newton, my cat. He looks on a bit disinterested. Why are you bothering me, he wonders.

This is one of the largest pieces I have ever done, approx. 12" x 18". It was incredible doing it... it started as I heard the sermon, and began sketching and taking notes right there in church (well... who said when you take notes in church they had to be written???). I then came home and didn't actually work on it for a few days... maybe weeks.... I did a rough layout, tried various letters and options... The color even is inspired. Grey, behind the head. Why? What do we call the brain (pssst.... grey matter!). And what color is the heart (um.... supposedly red, right?).
My hubby (the Bugman) thinks its weird, but then again, he thinks most of what I do is weird. He loves me enough to be impressed, and to build me a "studio" in our garage.

Oh, and Novel Approach is open again after the hurricane, and had a Hurricane sale where you (for a fee, of course) stuff the bag. I came home with a bundle of stuff including lots of papers, Pinata alcohol inks, some Neopaque paints, some Memory Makers acrylic paints, some stickers... and more paper, and more paper. And ONE Magenta (brand) stamp. Love Magenta (older stuff especially). I intended to get there at 10 a.m. when they opened, but last night my back was broken out (allergic reaction to SOMETHING we can't identify) so I took Benedryl. Not good, in that I did NOT want to get up this morning, and ended up there an hour late (and I'm sure I missed out on a bundle of good stuff).

BTW, how come when I DO cook lately no one wants to eat, but if I DON'T cook, then they gripe that there is nothing to eat??? I just can't win!

Oh well.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Here I am!

How are you all? We are doing well. Ike was kind to us, although our business has been SLOW. Bugman had to venture into new territory...no, not bug territory, but employment territory. Bugman AND Buddyboy have gone to work "for the Man". Bugman is delivering pizza for a major pizza chain, and Buddyboy is going to be answering phones and making pizzas. I thought about a parttime job (hmmm... William-Sonoma would be good... ) but we figured after taxes, and paying for Legoboy to babysit, I would have about a buck left for profit. Not really worth it, huh?

School is going well, but I am getting burned out. Legoboy leaves me weary, and Buddyboy is really working hard in his Biology class, but is struggling to keep up. Luckily his teacher (my favorite doctor!) is so kind-hearted and understanding. She is really trying to help him. I am proud of him.

Shall we mention politics? Uh, no, let's not. It's too depressing for me.

Oh good news (yes, there is some!). God is good! And... for the first time in 15 years, we are getting a "refund". I overpaid when we filed our extension, and we are getting a bunch back and with the "stimulus" check (what a joke) I will have more than enough to pay my school taxes, my county taxes, my homeowner's insurance, my windstorm insurance, and my city taxes. LOL... wait, where did that money go that I got back?????

Other good news! I found a plumber (bless his heart... he was wonderful! Mike's Plumbing here in League City) and he got our gas line run... and my new stove was delivered, and is now hooked up! Waaaahoooo! and I am now "cooking with gas!". I am soooo happy. You can see what I got here.

Okay kids are hungry. guess I should go feed them. They always seem to be hungry... hmmm.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Surviving Hurricane Ike

Howdy friends. Life has been pretty busy the past few weeks. We got back to school, as well as starting co-op. I just haven't had lots of time for blogging.

Just to let you know, yes, we did stay for Ike. For those reading this who may not know, I live approximately 25 miles northwest of Galveston, straight up I-45. Compared to many in the Houston, Galveston area, our town weathered the storm very well. Most of our little town has power again, and things are starting to feel more "normal".

My husband (Bugman) decided to stay for the hurricane, and I wasn't going to leave without him. So, stay we did. It is incredible to witness the power of God in action. Truthfully, the storm wasn't as scary as I expected, but maybe that was because of the peace I had (read Psalm 91 over and over!). It was after, with no power and it being so miserably hot, that was so awful.

We had really no damage to our house, no fence to fall, and so just a lot of tree-debris to clean up. Bugman got a new chainsaw and had lots of fun (still is!) helping neighbors cut up limbs and trees in their yards.

We spent Saturday after the storm cleaning up our yard of large debris items, and then cleaning up the gutters and storm drains on our street to help the water go down. Many on my street were not as lucky as us, and had large (HUGE) trees down in their yards or even in their homes.

Sunday, we left after church to go out of town. Our congregation meets in a school, which turned out to be the hardest hit school of all the ones in our district (so who knows where we will meet after this!). We met at our pastor's home for that Sunday. We left Sunday and headed for Roanoke, TX (just north of Ft. Worth). We stayed with our dear friend Pat (kids call her "Mama Pat"... she loves it!). We got a call Monday that there was power again in our house, and Tuesday we headed back. We ate lunch at our favorite Roanoke spot Babe's Chicken Dinner House and went away happy.

Wednesday was dedicated to finishing our yard, as well as helping other families with theirs. Other than a slight altercation with a neighbor (who wanted to wait for "the city" to take care of his problems), we actually had a great time, bonding with neighbors and getting to know some we had not met before. Our side of the street had power on Monday, but our neighbors across the street had none until Wednesday night. We ran an extension cord over to them so they could run a fan, or plug in their refrigerator.

Stores have been low on lots of items.... milk, cheese, eggs have been scarce, but are getting more plentiful. I went today and was able to get everything I wanted. I think one of the keys is to go EARLY. Gas lines are getting shorter. Over all, we have been blessed in more ways than we can imagine!

So many in our area are still without power. It is quite sad and depressing. My sister-in-law up in Kingwood (north of Houston) may not have power until late next week.

I think the saddest part for me is throwing out so much good food (and then smelling it rot in front of the house).

I will blog more later. I am still in awe of the power of God and how much he does for us.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Just to show off... here are my boys.
Left to right... LittleJ (7), Buddyboy (16), Tiny (4) and Legoboy (13).

Isn't that an awesome picture?

Freezer's Fine

You know, since Sears got bought by Kmart, it's service and quality have diminished greatly. It was very disappointing for us, as we had always bought Sears items due to their great service and policies. Well, the deep freeze is a Kenmore (bought five years ago, before Sears changed hands) and since we didn't want to deal with Sears (my service nightmare story has to do with another Sears product... I'll tell it another day!), we called an independent service guy. He told us that our model had had lots of problems in the past, and made suggestions as to what the problem might be, but said on top of all that, he couldn't come until Monday. Great. I might lose all my stuff!

So, we caved and called Sears. They said Saturday. Great. We'll take it.

That was Tuesday. I thought I was going to have to go through five or six more nights of listening to that stinkin' alarm go off at 3 a.m. out in the garage telling me it was "off temp-er-ture" (said in my best Marvin Zindler accent).

But, God is so good! Wednesday, they called and said a technician would be in the area that day, could he come by and check today! Yes, Ma'am! The tech was a 37 year Sears repair veteran, and knew EVERYTHING! He checked the freezer, said it was fine, but gave us some advice (it was off temp because of the nine gallon bottles of water I put in it in prep for the "hurricane", and because of the boxes I had stored on top... which kept the condenser working harder). He also came in and told bugman how to fix the door to the fridge inside (also a Kenmore, 10 years old). AND.... when bugman said "I want your card so I can request you next time" we found out he is a MASTER PLUMBER! How cool is that??

Now, why is that cool, you may ask. It's cool because we need a plumber who can run a gas line to our kitchen for our new stove! I really feel like God sent this wonderful man our way to bless us. We are very excited. Bugman will call him next week to set up a time to get the line installed. Meanwhile, I need to find a scratch-and-dent store to see if I can find my stove at a discount price. LOL.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Mow, Mow, Mow your lawn...

We got a new mower. One of those old-fashioned mowers. No engine, no gas, no noise. No, we didn't buy it because how environmentally friendly it is (although it's a plus, huh) but because it was cheap, I never have to go buy gas for it, never have to have someone else come start it, etc. AND, my almost-8 year old (LittleJ) can use it! He loves it. I like to sing when he mows... "On the mow again, J can't wait to get on the mow again..." He laughs, and wants to know where I learned that song. It actually does a good job, as long as you don't let the grass get too long. Did I mention that you can mow at 7 a.m., and not worry about waking the neighbors? How cool is that?




"Dodged the Bullet" and Broken Freezers

It's been a so-so day.
We "dodged the bullet" (as Bugman likes to say, making fun of the media coverage), in that Edouardo went northeast of us and we are just having a bad thunderstorm. It is hilarious... all these businesses are closed, all for naught. At least the dentist was smart... he didn't officially say he was closing. Buddy (16yos) had an appt. this morning and it still happened.

On the other hand, I have strep throat. I started with a slight sore throat Friday night, turning into a horrible, throat-closing experience by Sunday. I kept waiting for it to improve, but no. It has steadily gotten worse. I can barely swallow. Called the Dr.'s office today, and it's closed due to the storm. Same with the local Rediclinic. Egads! Luckily, I have a lovely doctor, whose email and cell phone number I happen to have. She called me in a prescription for Antibiotics... yes, I am that desperate! I feel fine, except for not being able to talk and swallow!

And on top of all that, my deep-freeze is acting up. Yesterday, I rearranged it, making room for a whole bunch of frozen gallon-size water bottles. Last night about 11pm, the alarm went off... the door was locked, and the temp was about 10 degrees. It went off again about 2:15pm, and the temp was about 15 degrees. Bugman says it should be about zero. Great. So today we called a repairman... of course, it is *just* out of it's warranty period! Find out that this model has had repeated problems, that may cost more than a new Freezer! Yikes! But, upon reading online here, I found that sometimes it can be a clogged defrost drain. So, Bugman took apart the freezer bottom, and lo and behold it was blocked by ice. We cleaned it out, loaded the food back in, and we are now in the "wait and see" period. Praying that the alarm does not go off again. Meanwhile, I have an appt for a repair guy to come Saturday between 1pm and 5pm. That means, that he'll be here at 5pm if I stay home, but if I leave, he'll show up at 1pm. Saturday is my "sabbatical" day. Bugman is taking boys off to "the farm"... a farm owned by some friends out in Flatonia. I get two days ALONE!!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Battening Down the Hatches...

We are here at home, readying ourselves for tropical storm (hurricane?) Eduoardo (or however you spell it's name!). I'm stocked up with water, batteries and canned goods. I figure whatever I don't use, I can send with the kids camping this weekend! Seriously, I don't think that there will be much to worry about. Some of my friends have left, or are leaving town, but not us. After the Rita fiasco, Bugman has declared that we'll just ride it out. Hope you all stay dry!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Yes, one more

Thanks to Celeste for doing this. It really was fun to do!

Here's how to play:
1. Type your answer to each of the questions below into
Flickr Search.
2. Using only the first page, pick an image.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into
fd’s mosaic maker.
4. Save image to hard drive and post to blogger.
5. Copy HTML code for flickr photo credits and paste into blogger at the bottom of the post.

1. What is your first name? Susan
2. What is your favorite food? Italian
3. What high school did you go to? Clear Lake High School
4. What is your favorite color? Shades of green
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Kevin Bacon
6. Favorite drink? Sweet Tea
7. Dream vacation? Tuscany
8. Favorite dessert? Baskin Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip
9. What you want to be when you grow up? Artist
10. What do you love most in life? Jesus
11. One Word to describe you? Multi-tasker
12. One hobby of yours? Collage Art

1. black-eyed susan, 2. Spaghetti in Tomato Cream Sauce, 3. DSC_0012, 4. Green, Green, Green..., 5. Kevin Bacon, 6. Sweet Tea, 7. Tuscan Countryside Winery October 20, 2003, 8. this always makes me happy :), 9. Work space, 10. Operador de vôo - Flight operator, 11. 365.37: multi.tasker, 12. Art Journal Page

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Yeah, another one of these...

that I lifted off Celeste's blog (can I post a link to your blog, Celeste?).

1. Where is your cell phone? nightstand drawer
2. Your significant other? Bugman
3. Your hair? Short and Gray
4. Your mother? In Heaven
5. Your father? In Kansas
6. Your favorite thing? Ink, Paper, Paint
7. Your dream last night? Nope
8. Your favorite drink? Sweet Tea
9. Your dream/goal? Heaven
10. The room you’re in? Bedroom
11. Your church? ARP
12. Your fear? My sister not knowing Christ
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Still Homeschooling
14. Where were you last night? Home
15. What you’re not? Thin
16. Muffins? Banana
17. One of your wish list items? Pretty Little Things
18. Where you grew up? Seabrook
19. The last thing you did? hug
20. What are you wearing? Jammies
21. Your TV? BIG
22. Your pets? Cats
23. Your computer? Mac
24. Your life? In Christ!
25. Your mood? Happy
26. Missing someone? Mom
27. Your car? Sienna
28. Something you’re not wearing? Shoes
29. Favorite store? By Design OR Novel Approach
30. Your summer? HOT
31. Like(love) someone? More than I can count
32. Your favorite color? Brown/Turquoise
33. Last time you laughed? Tonight
34. Last time you cried? Sunday
35. Who will re post this? Kathy?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

here's what's happening

Hey y'all out there in blogging land...
We have been quite busy this summer, despite Bubba not testing for his 2nd degree blackbelt. He decided early on that he did not want to be in martial arts any more (after seven years of training). He has become obsessed with golf, a not-so-cheap sport, and tried out for the Junior HGA (Houston Golf Association) team, and made the cut! Amazing! So, when I am not toting him from one golf course to another, he is busy playing in different tournaments around the area.

In addition to all that, Bubba officially turned 16 (yikes), and is now taking driver's education. Bugman was going to do the Parent-taught driver's ed that the state offers (the cheapest route) but if you are not a meticulous record keeper (and Bugman is not) then you will not do well with this course. After hours of trying to remember what was driven when, he gave up and said "Just enroll him in a driving school" and that was that.

Being that he does not test well, Bubba did not do so well on the final written test. He panicked and when he saw the other children turning in their test, thought he had to finish quick. Because of this, he got several wrong. But, God is gracious, and we went back the next day. They allowed him to retest, and he did fine (and he was in a room alone, by himself. That was very helpful). Now, we just have five weeks more of behind-the-wheel testing (two hours a week, once a week). It has really changed since I was a kid. They don't have to go down and do that driving test (with the parallel parking) like we did as kids. They just finish the driving school, then go and hand in the paperwork and get a license.

Legoboy officially turned into a teenager Tuesday. Okay, he did not physically change, and he doesn't look any different, but he is now 13. He is taking it easy this summer, attending the occasional martial arts class, reading tons of books, helping tutor 1st thru 3rd grade readers at the library, and being in love with the new lego store in the mall.

LittleJ and Tiny have been taking swim lessons. LittleJ is progressing nicely, however poor Tiny just doesn't seem to get what is going on and has been stuck in the same class for three sessions. They won't let him move up unless he can do certain movements, so we'll see how he does at the end of next week.

It has been raining almost everyday. Bugman has had a huge termite job scheduled that he just keeps having to postpone and postpone.

We are schooling some through the summer, and are working hard on teaching LittleJ (and Tiny!) to read. I am going to the gym (YMCA) three days a week to work out. I will also be going on a homeschool mom's retreat in July, and Bugman and I will be going to the big homeschool conference in August held in the Woodlands (THSC). We will go this year without kiddos, and enjoy a nice two night stay in the Marriott!

I'll post some swimming pics and lego store pic later!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Overheard from a 4-year old...

As Tiny was doing "his business"... and Bugman was waiting for him to finish (so he could help clean him up)... Bugman announces "oh, man, kid...you're going to kill me!" (from the odor).

Tiny responds "You're not killed, Dad! It's not killing me either!"

A Short Rant...

I simply do not understand my in-laws. Someone, if you can, please explain to me the logic in all this...

My husband's parents are retired. Therefore, they do not work any longer. That is fine. My FIL has worked many, many years and deserves his time "off". They have no kids (at home). They live in a large, four bedroom house, all alone. I have no problem with this either. Their home is paid for, and this is good!

However, we found out that the reason they could never make it to our boys baseball games (which were always on Saturday mornings) is because that is their laundry day, and according to my FIL, it is a major undertaking. Now forgive me here, but I just cannot understand this. If you are retired, and have no major obligations during the week... AND there are only two adults in the house... how much laundry CAN YOU HAVE... and how come you can't do it during the week?

See me as cruel, heartless, whatever, but as the mother of four boys ages 16 down to 4, that homeschools AND runs a full-time business... I can certainly make time for laundry during the week (and I guarantee that I have more laundry than them! Even with my oldest two boys doing their own laundry on their own designated laundry days).

I also do not understand how they can have "too much to do" when they KNEW they were leaving on Thursday... didn't they plan for this? I know I have... I started cleaning house on Monday, and packing on Tuesday, so that I could leave on Thursday by noon.

Yes, I must be unreasonable to see this as a problem. Maybe it's all just too funny. My mother was never like this, and neither was my grandmother. My father has an excuse...he's 65 and still working full time at one job and part-time at another.

Just food for thought.

Off on a Trip

We are off on "vacation", off in Anniston, Alabama, to visit my husband's relatives (his Mom's side of the family) and celebrate his parent's 50th wedding anniversary.

Originally, we planned this trip thinking that we would get spend time with all his relatives (his Aunt Doreen lives here, well, in Birmingham... his Aunt Shelby lives in Atlanta, and his Aunt Pansy is coming down from Virginia for the big party... plus all the cousins) however, things have not gone as planned.

Seems most of the relatives won't be here until late Saturday OR won't arrive until Saturday. I guess that's the same, huh? Anyway, Aunt Doreen had to go to Atlanta for some event with her family and won't be back to Alabama until Saturday night. Aunt Pansy won't arrive until sometime Saturday, and the same for Aunt Shelby. We just heard from Bugman's parents and THEY aren't even here yet! They were supposed to leave yesterday but had "too much to do" and so couldn't leave until today. We talked about an hour ago and they were about 8 hours away.

So here we are... the only ones here. Bugman and kids are down at the hotel pool getting wet. I am about to go finish unloading the van (which we just bought... did I mention that? Guess not... more about that later.) Tomorrow we are hoping to go to Talledega Raceway (Nascar!) and the Motorsports Hall of Fame. Maybe some relatives will arrive by then??

Friday, April 25, 2008

My "Gimmee Five"...

Something quick to post, courtesy of Ginny's Small Studio...

Five Things on my List To-Do Today

1. Last day at co-op
2. Buy and make "hor dourves" for Tom to take to the High School Formal
3. Press Tom's shirt for said formal
4. Call backs to customers who called while I was out (business)
5. Clean Bathroom

Five Things That Make Me Happy Today

1. No co-op for three and a half more months!
2. Quiet children
3. Working in my art studio (last night)
4. Less Stress today than yesterday
5. Going out to dinner tonight (with only my beloved hubby and two kids... the two that are cheaper to feed!)

Five Places I have Lived

1. Houston, TX
2. Conroe, TX
3. Wilmington, Delaware
4. Seabrook, TX
5. League City, TX

Five Favorite Movies

1. You've Got Mail
2. Lord of the Rings (trilogy)
3. When Harry Met Sally
4. Shawshank Redemption
5. Any light and fluffy romantic movies (Return to Me, The Lake House, While You Were Sleeping, etc.)

Five Things on My Desk Today

1. Too much paperwork (business desk)
2. Pile of unmounted rubber stamps to be filed in a notebook (art desk)
3. Pile of "Take and Makes" from the local scrapbook shop hop (to be put away) (art desk)
4. Lots of scraps of paper and piles of ink pads from project completed last night
5. Folders to be replaced in file cabinet (Business desk)

Five Artists I Like

1. Robert Rauschenburg
2. Joseph Cornell
3. Kurt Schwitters
4. Michelle Ward
5. Too Many Others

Pick any one of the above and share your five here or do the whole list on your blog and link to the comments here.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Spotted around town...

I saw this along the road as I took my son to the driving range:

It has the owner's name on the side, and looks to be made from some kind of old oil can or gas can. My kind of recycling! Kewl yard art! Up on a pole, greeting passersby as they drive down the road.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Homeschooling Illegal in CA

I knew it was bound to happen, it was just a matter of where... and it doesn't surprise me that it's California that is where it is starting.

A state, where children are taught same-sex tolerance and education, and other controversial things in their public schools was bound to decide that those families who are teaching their children at home (many in an effort to avoid these teachings) are wrong and that the state needs to control the education of these future voters.

First, go take this poll, and tell whether you think that the STATE or PARENTS ought to control a child's education.

You can read the LA Times article about this here.

HSLDA is preparing to file some sort of response to this ruling. You can read their reaction here.

(side note... why would you homeschool in a state where the law is not clearly stated without joining some sort of support organization that would aid you in case something like this happened?)

From much of what I have read, this family was being taken to court not because of homeschooling, but because of possible child abuse. This is not the family that we, as homeschoolers, would liked to have "used" as a test case in the courts. They are not a typical homeschooling family.

I love homeschooling in Texas. If this happened here, you cannot imagine the backlash that would happen. Egads!

It does make me wonder if this judge is appointed, or elected? If he's elected, he's not thinking about the possible future of his job.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Word of the day...

Blatherskite...
A noisy talker of blatant rubbish; foolish talk or nonsense.

Is that like Twaddle...of the mouth??

(much thanks to Bill O'Reilly for this lovely word)

Politics as Usual

My husband and I went and voted bright and early on Tuesday. It was not that crowded at 7:30 a.m. at our precinct. We were back there just before the polls closed, so that we could attend our precinct convention (we voted Republican, in case you couldn't guess that).

We pulled up and could not find a parking place. It was PACKED! Bugman dropped me off, and and ran in to see how long the line was (this would determine how long before the precinct convention would be able to start). Just about everyone there was there to vote in the Democrat primary. AND... several people that were there told me that they were Republican, but were voting (either for Barack or for Hillary) to keep the other from getting the nomination (it's all silly to me).

Surprise surprise to them, after the polls closed, some then tried to attend the precinct convention... on the Republican side. Uh, NO. The didn't get it. But, I'm a Republican, they protested!! Yes, we replied, but you voted DEMOCRAT... so you have to attend their CAUCUS... They didn't realize how crossing the road to vote would affect them later. Now, these people cannot participate in the process (precinct, senatorial/county, and state conventions).

Because we were first to arrive, and because of our "experience" in politics, Bugman was made "Chairman" of the convention, and I was secretary. We ended up with 13 people from our precinct in attendance. We all will now be delegates to the senatorial/county convention.

I think this whole mess with the dems is a hoot. As for John McCain, well, he's not my choice, but I will live with it. I personally don't see a whole lot of difference between him and many of the democrats, except he's pro-life.

Did any of you all vote Tuesday? Did you participate in the convention/caucus process? How was that for you?

Also, I find it a telling sign that my children, especially Tiny (4) and Joe (7) know who ALL the players are (Obama, McCain, Hillary, Bill, etc.).

And, did I mention that many are hounding Bugman to run for Mayor AGAIN? I said, fine, they can pay the fee, put you on the ballot, and we'll see what happens. But so far, he's not doing it. I won't put out a dime for it this time.

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

In order to save money, we are eating at home more (although we eat at Taco Bell sometimes after working out at the YMCA... probably cheaper than eating at home!). I am also searching for new recipes to try... and here's a new one that was a huge hit with my family. We LOVE bacon (ahhhhh.... the smell!). (side note... two smells I just love.... bacon frying.... and coffee brewing.... but I don't think a bacon-frying candle would sell well....)

No, this is NOT the most heart-healthy recipe, but I did make it with turkey bacon, which is less fattening, and you could use a leaner beef.

Paula Deen's Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

1 pound ground chuck
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 (8-ounce) package sharp Cheddar, grated
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs, toasted
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 (3-ounce) can French fried onions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck and next 8 ingredients, mixing well.

In a small bowl, combine the ketchup and mustard. Stir 1/4 cup ketchup mixture into meat mixture, reserving remaining ketchup mixture.

Press meat mixture into a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan, or shape into a loaf and place on a rack in a broiler pan. Spread remaining ketchup mixture over loaf. Bake 40 minutes. Top with French fried onions; bake another 10 to 15 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Is one Pledge enough?

I have been watching intently the political process as it takes place in our country. As many of you know, we have been involved in local politics for a long time here in our own little hamlet, and my interest and involvement does not stop there. I will tell you up front, I am not happy with any that are running for president, and when it is time to vote, both in the primary and in November, I will be struggling with what to do.

That said, there has been a controversy stirring regarding Mr. Obama and whether he does or does not put his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. Upon further investigation, I found that it was NOT the pledge where he did not put his hand over his heart, but during the National Anthem.

Now, the first thing I will say is this: when I was growing up, we were taught to put our hand over our hearts during the pledge, but NOT during the National Anthem. We were to stand, quietly, with our hands at our sides and sing (or not sing). Now, a big hullaballew is being made over Mr. Obama NOT putting his hand over his heart during a song. I don't have a problem with him NOT doing that. I have a problem over everyone else doing it!

The Star Spangled Banner, while a lovely song with a lovely sentiment (that often will bring me to tears when someone sings it properly!) is not a promise - a pledge - to do something. It is a song describing what our country is and what it stands for. I think taking off my hat, standing at attention, and quietly listening or singing is honor enough.

Regarding the pledge, I have been discussing this with my very opinionated friend AP, and she says that "How many times must one take a pledge? The continual cultural pledging is nothing but propaganda and indoctrination. Why do we home school?" An interesting point. Once I pledge my allegiance to the flag, how come I have to continue to do so? Especially if I haven't stated that I change my mind?

One of my boys (legoboy) stated that one of his teachers at co-op got angry when he wouldn't put his hand over his heart during the Anthem. Ha. I told him next time to have them come find me (since I am almost ALWAYS there) and I would be sure to clarify things with them.

I would be interested in any feedback.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Working out

We joined our local YMCA back in November when it opened. I was such a good girl... going in two to three mornings a week and working out. I would work on 12 weight machines (they call it "Fitlinxx"), and do 10 minutes on the elliptical machine, and 10 on the recumbent bicycle. Then, Christmas came and we went out of town for 10 days. And out went my exercise routine.

I think I've gone four times since New Years. Bad, bad me.

So we went today. I feel like I did a good thing... 12 weight machines, 20 minutes on the treadmill, and 15 on the elliptical. Let's see if I can get back by Saturday!

(I would go during the day, but they have no "child watch" for older kids - ages 6 to 11 - until 4pm. If I leave Little Joe at home while I work out, he won't allow Legoboy and Bubba to get any school work done. I have complained about this many times... reminded them that not ALL kids are in "school" during the day, that there are many of us homeschoolers who are members).

By the way, did I mention my oldest son, Bubba? Now, you can tell HE'S been working out!! Yikes!!

The Return was inevitable

Yes, I am blogging again (HI KATHY!)... she is always happy when I blog something.

My life has been crazy lately. However, I keep repeating that HE is in control. He works everything out, for the best, in HIS timing.

So, I hope to get back to blogging again.

Some of what has gone on I won't get into (not interesting) but some I will...
My wonderful iMac crashed over thanksgiving. Hard drive bit the dust. So, Apple replaced it (free, of course, since we had Apple Care). We also learned the hard way about backing up. I had not backed up my harddrive in about three months. Actually, I had only backed up my Quickbooks, and nothing else. So I lost it all... photos, everything. I am quite bummed about that.

We purchased Leopard (waaahooo! For those who are NOT Mac savvy, Leopard is the new operating system...kind of like Windows is for PC). Love it, love it! One of the lovely new features is Time Machine. Time Machine will back up your ENTIRE hard drive to another source... in our case, that would be an external hard drive. It will do it every hour, if you want. I do it whenever I do something major... download pictures, input invoices, create important documents, etc. I just hook up the external hard drive, and turn on Time Machine.

Well, come January, I noticed I was having problems with several items. So I took it back in to have it looked at. Turns out the new hard drive was biting the dust, so they offered me a brand new laptop. Not "new" but same as my old one, BRAND new... with all the new stuff. Too kewl. I love it! Bad news... most of my back ups on my external hard drive were corrupted due to the bad hard drive. Yikes. They salvaged some, but not much. However, so far this time so good. Yes, I guess I had the "one bad Apple". (yes, bad joke)

I will say, I have had the best (BEST) service ever from Apple. I love being able to go in and talk to a HUMAN being and getting immediate attention. Not spending ages on a phone, pressing 1, then pressing 2, then waiting on hold for the next available person that doesn't speak English as their primary language (no offense, but I would rather deal with someone on my own continent that understands me and I understand them). Groan! I log on to the Apple website, make an appointment to see the local Apple "genius" at the local store, and then go in at my appointed time. You just gotta love it!

Bugman also went on a binge and purchased a 50" Plasma TV! Wow!! Yes, Paula Deen looks different in High Def! To go with this lovely (ah hem) item, we made a trip to Ikea (love that place, but you need a day and a half to shop the store... no wonder they have a restaurant!) and I was able to find a modular "entertainment" unit (glorified bookcases) that I liked (you can see it here). I was able to put together what I liked and as long as Tiny doesn't use the drawers as a staircase, we'll be in good shape.

Here is a picture from our Thanksgiving in Roanoke (Texas!) with our friend, Pat. Look who came to eat with us (LOL!) Pictured are (from left to right): Me, Little Joe, Legoboy, GWB, Bubba, Tiny, and Pat. Bugman took the picture. I have one with him in it, but I hardly ever show myself, so I decided to use this one instead. We were missing Kate, Pat's daughter (she's like Bugman's sister, LOL). Pat is Bugman's Thai Mom (Bugman lived in Thailand for awhile before we were married). Kate was off in sunny CA, while we were freezing and having SNOW!!