Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Queen of the House

I haven't been blogging this week 'cause I've been busy being the Queen of my House.
...except for the part about the kids.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Flashback Friday

To say I was a fan of Duran Duran when I was a teenager would be an understatement.

I was CRAZY for Duran Duran.

I had every record(make that cassette) they made and listened to them constantly. If I watched the HBO (or was it Showtime?) concert once, I watched it a zillion times. My dad recorded it for me on our gigantic VCR player in 1984. I knew every dance move Simon was going to make, could play air guitar right along with JT, knew every word the guys said between songs and of course every word in every song. BTW, my awesome and most excellent brother bought me the concert CD for my birthday a few years back. I've watched it...ahem...more than once.

One of my favorites...

In 2005 I got the opportunity to see Duran Duran in concert in Indianapolis. I jumped, and I mean jumped, at the chance. My friend Trish and I made the five hour drive to and from Indy in a giddy stupor. It was a night I will never forget and quite possibly the most fun concert I've attended to date.

I'm not kidding y'all...it was like being 14 all over again! I think I actually regressed into my teenage self that night. I screamed and sang loudly and danced and acted like a teenage girl and didn't care who looked at me or if they thought I was an idiot or not. And I don't normally act like that when people are watching. Giddy and goofy doesn't even begin to describe it. It was so. much. fun.

The band was as great as ever. They sang a couple songs from the album Astronaut which was their newest release at the time, but mostly stuck to the oldies. The crowd loved it! I wasn't the only one screaming, just so you know. And yes, the boys were just as striking and handsome as they were 20+ years ago...except Andy Taylor who I always thought was the ugly one. Simon LeBon, swoonworthy as ever. I so wanted to marry him when I was a teenager.

I found this short clip from the Indy concert...not the greatest sound quality, but still. Listen carefully and I'll bet you'll hear me screaming.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

She Stitches!

Finally finished up a stitching project! I started on this last year when my dad was having surgery...thought it would keep my hands out of the chips and my mind occupied during the wait. I pulled it out again a few weeks ago when he was having the second round of back surgery. Since I already have approximately 11,358 tea towels and room for no more, Jackie took them off my hands when I was finished.

The designs are from a vintage pattern set called Happy Fruit that I purchased on Pattern Bee. Pattern Bee also offers some free patterns!

Today I am taking a "mental health day" off work. I will be on the couch, watching a movie and working on this new project for at least two hours today. This gal is from a pattern set called Spaced Out from Sublime Stitching. They have a new pattern set called Sexy Librarians. I think I need it.

Off to the couch with me!

Panic Attack in 3...2...1....

The other day at lunch one of my coworkers was telling us about finding a snake in her basement. Let's just say that I'm not a fan of snakes and the whole story creeped me out. Blech. Full body shivers. I hate snakes.

I get home from work that very same day, pull into the garage and head for the steps to the kitchen door. As I was taking that first step up I noticed a piece of black hose or rope or something lying next to the step(and subsequently, my foot).

In under three seconds my thought process went something like this...

"where'd that come from"

"what is that anyway"

glance back down

"Debbie had a snake in her house yesterday"

"could that be a...naw..."

glance down once more

the frickin' thing moves



By this time I'm up the four stairs and on the stoop.

So I BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! with both fists on the door, meanwhile my feet are going a hundred miles an hour. Like a cartoon character, I'm running as fast as I possibly can(in heels, mind you), but I'm not moving forward because I am on the stoop and there are only two places to go.
  1. into the house...but the door is locked and I, in my panic, have lost the ability to put the key into the lock, turn the doorknob, and open the door.
  2. back down the steps...to where the giant evil snake that is certain to coil itself into attack mode and strike me dead in two seconds flat awaits.
My only option was number 1, hence the beating on the door-cartoon running in place- screaming at the very top of my lungs fit that ensued.


In reality the snake looked very much like this...which is bad enough.In my mind it looked more like this...I was still screaming and doing the "there's a snake in the garage dance" when we went back to try and find the snake...it had made its way under the stoop and into all of the junk that we have piled there so it took a little digging to find. Of course it didn't help me that ever so often Mark would thrust the rake handle at me and go "Rar!". It took ten minutes, but he did manage to wrangle the snake. "KILL IT! YOU HAVE TO CUT OFF IT'S HEAD!" I'd yell, but he didn't. He tossed the wretched beast into a wooded area of the yard away from the house.

SO yesterday the same co-worker who had the snake in her basement tells us that she found ANOTHER one in her BEDROOM the night before. Oh. Dear. Lord.

I was driving home from work yesterday thinking about Debbie and the snake in her bedroom and the snake in my garage and wondering what I would do if there was one in the house, slowly beginning to panic once again.

Suddenly, the scene from PeeWee's Big Adventure when Pee Wee runs into the burning pet shop popped into my head. I laughed like an idiot the rest of the way home and my panic lessened considerably. But I still slept with one eye open last night.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pollywog in a Bog

Oh how I loves me some Barenaked Ladies music! I was tickled to discover that they've made an album of songs for kids(and adults who've not completely grown up).

...the Jamaican flying squirrel kills me!

And another one...BNLs Ed singing "There's a Word" (from the Bathroom Sessions)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Subways

I haven't rambled on about my Europe trip in a while so I thought tonight was a fine time to do so.

Among my many firsts in Europe was riding the subway. I was expecting the subways to be dirty, stinky, and scary. I guess I've seen too many movies depicting subways in NYC as being dark dirty pits where the dregs of humanity hang out. Even though Jackie told me they were fine, that's kind of what I was expecting. Despite my less than stellar expectations I was excited by the thought of riding the subways.

I've mentioned how neat and clean Vienna was...the subways there were no exception. Very orderly. People got on and off in an oderly fashion, and kept to themselves. If an elderly person got on and didn't have a seat, younger people would immediately 0ffer up their seat. (They did this on the trams in Poland too). Not too much difference in Prague, although the subways were more crowded there.

I never once got a creepy feeling or saw anyone who I'd deem a "dreg of humanity" in either city and we were on the subway late many nights.

Only twice were we approached for money. Once by a drunk guy and again by some teenage girls who were dressed in more expensive clothes than we were. They came up and said something to us (I think we were in Vienna and I'm pretty sure they were speaking German)which we didn't understand...then in giggly broken English they said "Do you have any money to give us?" Sure! Take our hard earned money, girls! Go back to the mall and buy more Chuck Taylors and chunky plastic 80's jewelry! Are you kidding me? Sheesh.We laughed about it, of course.

But yeah, I completely was taken in by the whole subway experience. I got a kick out of not only the ease of getting from point A to point B quickly, but also...
  • People watching. Lots of it.
  • The rush of wind as the trains sped by.
  • The atmosphere...very metropolitan and hurried.
  • The lights, the colors and the noise.
  • The way you could feel and hear the train coming before you could ever see it.
OK, I know what you're thinking. "Quit yer mindless blabberin' and show some photos, will ya?" Yeah, yeah.

I only exaggerate slightly when I say the escalators in the subway stations in Vienna went straight down and traveled at approximately 172.8mph. You had to be fast to get on and off and if you have a problem w/heights DON'T look down!
Subway stop in Prague. Staromestska is where the Old Town Square is located.
I have no idea whose random European legs those are.
The trains speeding by made for really cool photos!
SO that's my experience with subways. I'm a fan. I wish my hometown had 'em. Of course if we did there would only be four stops...
Our crappy excuse for a mall
The folks riding would not budge from their seats for old folks and pregnant ladies...and they'd probably blast really bad country-pop music and it would most likely smell like cigarettes and Old Spice. blech. I've changed my mind. I don't wish my hometown had subways.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hair We Go Again

It's been a while since hair was the topic of conversation here on the old bloggedy blog, has it not?

Since the trim that turned into a short haircut that I got before I went to Europe, I've been in a hair funk and I've let the color go without touching it up since before my trip. And it's bad.

My pink extensions, which I dearly love, are about five inches too long and I don't have the heart to cut them. I've been missing my tiny bit of punky pink hair had been toying with the idea of having some pink professionally "installed" along with some nice dark lowlights & blonde highlights. I have also seriously considered going to a brown color and adding chunky blonde highlights. I know, I know, I think about my hair waaaay too much.

Anyway, I've realized how expensive it is to have either of those things done. Multiple colors and processes costs money people! Sadly, all of my spending money is currently going into the gas tank.

I was feeling pretty blah and down about the whole hair situation when I put my favorite Harry Connick Jr. baseball cap on this morning to cover up the three inch root line I've been workin' lately.

This afternoon I pulled into Wal-Greens on the spur of the moment and grabbed a box haircolor. I wasn't even considering red, but that's what I walked out of the store with.

Here are the before and afters...

Warning...what you're about to see is scary...brace yourselves. This is dirty hat hair at 6:30p.m. with only the remains of morning makeup left. Just keepin' it real y'all.

I think this picture makes painfully obvious the reason for a NEED to stop at WalGreens on the spur of the moment. I like my hair blonde, but the fact that I wait waaaay too long between root touch ups doesn't make it the best choice for me.

This is what I purchased.I was a tad freaked out at the intensity of red after the initial color. BUT adding the highlights afterwards helped .

I'm mostly happy with it. And yes, I did apply a bit of makeup(but I did not groom the eyebrows, so ignore them). I never know if I truly like a new cut or color until I see it with makeup. Weird, I know. Someone please remind me to touch up my roots in about three weeks, OK?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Avast, me hearties and beware...for here there be pirates!

Today 'twas Talk Like A Pirate Day, mates!

Our teachers & staff really got into the spirit of the day. They rock!My principal made a "phone call" over the intercom to let the entire student body know she had been captured by pirates who were in league with those who had taken over the school for the day. She called back several times throughout the day to update the students on her status as a captive.One of the kindergarten classes wrote a letter to the pirates and sent them a treasure chest filled with books in exchange for our principal. They decided the reason pirates had captured her was because they wanted her to teach them to read! So cute!I, of course, had a ball traipsing around the building, reading to the children and refusing to answer to any name other than "Mad Bess Bonney" my pirate name courtesy of the Pirate Name Generator. Our principal(photo above) also went from room to room reading pirate stories...the students looooove it when she acts silly. They're used to it from me. One of our primary teachers, Bloody Jack Flint (or something like that) helped out w/reading stories too...he made a fine scallywag scurvy dog pirate! Southern Belle Mama was my co-conspiritor in getting TLAPD going! Next nine weeks...LUAU!
We had a party for some of the wee pirates in the library media center. On the menu...grog, Chips Ahoy and Goldfish. Hats courtesy of Long John Silvers! By the end of the day, some o' the pirates were gettin' a might punchy.
'Twas a good day! But me voice is gone and me bones is weary. This pirate be headin' for the sweet solace of slumber. 'G'Night me hearties!

Flashback Friday...The Pirate Movie

I remember thinking this was a totally awesome movie back in the day. Not so sure how it would hold up today but I may have to find a copy anyway.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Lunch Bag

The bag in this post is the one I usually carry my lunch in. It's cute. I like it. It was one of the first things I made when I started learning to sew.

I decided yesterday that I needed a new lunch bag. Something a little bit bigger with a wider bottom. I had some fabric left over from when I made this purse and this is what I came up with.I couldn't be bothered with a pattern so I sorta made it up as I went along and now of course, I wish I'd have taken the extra time. The lining is very floppy and I put in a cardboard bottom...duh...what if I want to wash it?? I was going for a deliberately off center design on the pocket, but it's not enough off center to look deliberate. Wow. I really am my own worst critic, huh. Anyhow I may take it apart entirely and redo it OR I may use it until it needs to be washed and then redo it.

Note to self...use a pattern next time.

Still, it DOES have tiny robots all over it! And I suppose that's all that a girl needs in a lunch bag, really.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Before the Fake British Accent...

This is how a procrastinator does Friday Flashback...on MONDAY! No school today, I feel lots of goof off time coming on.

SO I was a HUGE fan of Madonna when we were both much younger(OK, I'm still a fan, I admit it). I didn't go to the extreme that the girls in this video did, but I did wear the black rubber bracelets, the headbands/hairbows and the black eyeliner.

My favorite scene in this clip...the wannabes climbing out of the back end of the car! You know they were dying of embarrassment because Dad had to drive them to the Madonna concert in a station wagon!

We'll call this one Weigh In # 2 OR Why two pies in one week is not a good thing...

Aaaarrrggghhh! Wait...it's not Talk Like A Pirate Day yet! Still, that sums up how I feel this morning over weighing in.

Last week at WW I was down 4.2. That was great...I was happy with that. For Thursday, even with my journey into decadence I was down another 1.8 at my WW meeting.

I ate a lot on Wednesday and luckily it didn't catch up with me at the weigh in on Thursday. My 21st anniversary was Friday so once again I indulged. Mark took me at Bart's and we had a fantastic meal. But did I stop after the meal? No, no, it was a celebration so of course I had to have desert again. This time it was the incredible Toll House Pie topped with a big scoop of ice cream and drizzled with hot fudge.

And the combination of the two has caught up with me this morning. I've gained. I'll say it again "Aaaarrrggghhh!!!"

BUT I'm getting over it and I'm not worrying about it. I have until Thursday before I have to face the scales again and my goal is to weigh in and be happy with the results. Right now, I'd be happy if I show a weight loss of zero by Thursday. I just don't want this gain to "go on record".

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Shiver me timbers!

This Friday is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. And come on, when you have license to talk like a pirate, why would you NOT? Get yer swashbucklin' duds together, practice yer "Aaarrrggghhhsss! an' join me in celebratin' this fun an' silly holiday!My principal OK'd TLAPD at school! WooHoo! Or should I say Yo Ho!!!

Me plan is t' bust in unannounced an' take o'er as many o' th' classrooms in me school as possible! While I be thar I`ll read a Pirate story o' course!

And in the afternoon some of my swashbuckling colleagues and I are going to "kidnap" a child from each classroom(as a good behavior reward) and take them to the library for a pirate party! I have a couple more ideas up me sleeve too...it should be a hoot! Have I told you being a school librarian is the most awesome job ever?

I set out yesterday afternoon and found what I think may be the perfect swashbuckler costume(on a budget of course) at the Goodwill Store. I also picked up a fine Pirate hat along with some other pirate essentials and got this arm art in honor of pirates everywhere.For my friends who have children, allow me to recommend a few fun pirate picture books. All available on Amazon and most likely at your public library!. I'll also encourage you to search online for tons of fun pirate related websites w/history and crafts so you and yours can get in on the fun too!

I've read these first two to students in the library numerous times and they are always a hit.Also Fun...You can't go wrong with the Magic Tree House books.I love this one...This one tickles me...
And this is my book of choice Friday when my pirate alter ego goes bursting into classrooms.Nonfiction books about pirates. The first pictured is one in a series of four or five books. My students love them.
LinkAnd for older students(and adults---without question) I give you one of my all time favorite books. Highly entertaining.
So...you have four and a half days to read about pirates, watch some pirate movies and brush up on your pirate speak! Go to the library, watch Pirates of the Carribean and come back Friday for some photos(I hope) and share how you celebrated Talk Like a Pirate Day!

It turns out I am not stuck in the 80's after all!

I came across this over on Misty's blog and thought I should find out once and for all if I am really as stuck in the 80's as I think I am.

Apparently not.
even though I am Here's where I really belong...And it's not so far off either...it would be my decade of choice if I were in the driver's seat of Doc Brown's Delorian.

You Belong in 1956

You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Heard At Work

"Mrs. C you always call me by my brother's name! Can you just give me a nickname so you won't get us mixed up?"

Said with much enthusiasm..."Me and my brothers were walking on the railroad tracks and we heard a Hobo playing drums...in the woods!!!"

"You seem like the kind of chick who would be into vampires."

"Mrs. C...you silly!"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Would you say they have a plethora of pies?

Today, after Dad's surgery, Shea and I went for lunch at the Grand Traverse Pie Company.

He had been telling me about it and he's blogged of the place and posted some fun pie eater sketches and more pie eater sketches. Between hearing/reading about it and sitting in the hospital waiting room a most of the morning, I was more than ready to give it a try.

And no, the irony of a person on Weight Watchers eating lunch at a restaurant whose name contains the word PIE is not lost on me.

But it didn't stop me from eating there either.

And when they say Pie Company, they mean it. You walk in the door and are immediately slapped in the face with pie. Pies of all shapes and sizes. Pies in both the fruit and cream variety. It was Pie Overload! It was a Pie-O-Rama! You might say it was a Plethora of Pies!

Surely you don't think I ate any...

Of course I did. You expect me to go into a place called Pie Company and NOT eat pie? It wouldn't be right.

After what I thought was a "light" lunch of a half chicken salad(duh, they use REGULAR Mayo, not the fat free version I've been using to make it at home) sandwich on whole wheat bread and a cup of chicken noodle soup, I made my way back to the pie case.

Dear Lord. SO many choices. Not just pie...baked goods too. Cheesecake...plain, chocolate chip and cherry topped. Brownies. Cookies. Assorted Flavors of Muffins. Apple Dumplings. Giant Rice Krispie Treats. Death-by-Chocolate Cake. Turtle Cake. I could go on. It took me about five minutes to decide on a slice of peanut butter chocolate cream pie.

If you could take a bite out of Heaven, I imagine it would taste like the Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie at Grand Traverse.

It was one of, if not THE most perfect pies I believe I have ever tasted. The chocolate...decadent, rich and this is gonna sound weird but "old fashioned" tasting. The peanut butter...smooth and creamy...just the right balance to the chocolate. Crust baked to flaky perfection. If that's not enough it was topped w/whipped cream and peanuts. I'm drooling thinking about it.

I ate half of it. It took every single inch of willpower I had not to eat every last bit of it and then lick the plate. But I didn't.

So tonight I'm filling out my WW journal and look up the nutritional stats online.

One slice of that pie has 13 WW points!!! YIKES! Nearly 600 calories and 15g of fat in that ONE slice of pie. ONE! Luckily, I only used 7 by eating just half.

And it was worth it.

Every. Stinking. Point.

A Thankful Update

Dad's surgery went well. He was in the hands of a gifted surgeon and many prayers were heard and answered today. Recovery should take a month or so.

Thanks again to those of you who prayed on his behalf and I would ask that you keep him in your prayers.

Prayer Request

Just a quick request for any of my bloggy friends or random googlers looking for Baked BBQ Chicken or Bluff City Monsters who might stop by today.

My dad is having his second back surgery today...a difficult surgery. Please pray for a smooth operation and speedy recovery for him.


Monday, September 8, 2008

I'll just call this one Weigh In #1

I'm participating in the Looking Fine in 2009 Challenge over at The Daily Mish-Mash. My diet of choice, Weight Watchers.

The question of the week posted on the Challenge page...what songs get you pumped up to move?
My workouts are all DVD or Zumba class, so the music is preselected, but at Zumba I love it when we do a routine to a Gwen Stefani song. If I were making a walking mix, I'd probably have several Barenaked Ladies tunes, some upbeat showtunes(yes, I am a dork) and a ton of 80's music(yes, I am a dork who is stuck in the 80's).

Sooo. this first week on the challenge was a good one!

At my Thursday night WW weigh-in I had lost 4 pounds(it had been two weeks since my last WW weigh in). This morning I weighed and believe it or not, another 3 pounds were gone! WooHoo!

What did I do this week that I haven't been doing for the past several months?
  • I tracked my food and points.
  • I exercised at least four days during the week.
  • I limited myself to only one regular Coke each day(reg. Coke is my downfall so drinking only one is HUGE).
  • I tried harder than I have in some time.
Yay me!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Two Belated Birthdays

I cannot believe I forgot to mention the birthdays of two people I love most in this world!!!

My Dad...August 24th. Words don't do him justice. He's that great. Happy Belated, Birthday Dad! Love you!
With Mom a couple years ago at the Loveless Cafe.
With me, Shea and Bryan sometime in the early 80's.
With me, 1968.

And Bryan. My little brother would have been 35 on August 25th of this year.
With Shea in the 70's being his normal silly self...dig the HeeHaw overalls!
With Jackie, mid 80's.
On a cruise to the Bahamas several years ago . One of my favorite photos.

When Bryan left us, a light went off in this world that can never be turned back on. But I can still find reason to rejoice...because I know one day we will be together again. Miss you and love you, Bryan!

For Bryan...a song from one of his favorite movies.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Weight Watchers has me getting reaquainted with my sewing machine...

As I've mentioned, I am not so good at the points tracking portion of Weight Watchers. I don't waaaannnnna write down everything I eat she whines.

Still, I want to stick with the program and be successful. I know that writing down what I eat and tracking daily points is a huge part of that. Therefore, I'm tracking.

I'm not crazy about the free trackers they give out at the WW meetings. They're too small and there's absolutely no cute factor there...and I need cute, people!

With that in mind(and feeling I'm spending way too little time w/my sewing machine) I decided to make myself a new tracking journal.

I picked up a small notebook and began digging through my fat quarters. Using some FQ I got in a swap and a tutorial that I found here, I ended up with this.I did think to add a flap and Velcro closure to the pattern. I would like to try this again w/some stiffer fabrics or perhaps a layer of interfacing. A pen pocket and a pocket to hold my points finder thingy would be a nice addition too. This won't be the last of these that I make...it was fairly quick and easy and I think just as a journal they'd make nice gifts.

I think it'll make tracking points at least a little more bearable. BTW---good news to share on Monday about my weigh-in this week! Yay!

And yes, those are cupcakes on a WW points tracker journal. Hee hee hardy har! I kill me!

Celebrity Look-A-Likes

I came across this website a while back called Totally Looks Like. Funny, funny stuff.

For example:

Quentin Tarantino totally looks like Squiggy!
quentin tarantino, pulp fiction, squiggy, laverne and shirley

Sarah Palin TOTALLY looks like Tina Fey
sarah palin, alaska, tina fey, snl

David Bowie totally looks like a Polish Chicken!
david bowie, polish chicken, labyrinth

Donatella Versace totally looks like Janice the Muppet!

donatella versace, janice the muppet, the muppets

And since I find the obvious to be funny...

Clark Kent totally looks like SUPERMAN!
clark kent, superman

So today when I got an issue of Ladies Home Journal in the mail, it immediately struck me that

Paula Deen totally
looks like my Halloween cat vase!