Thursday, May 30, 2013



I was at a picnic this month and during the conversation someone asked me if I had ever watched "Super Size Me." I have but I did not remember that well...so comes the re-watch.

----- I could have done without the McPuking.

-----"Study: Subway Sandwiches are Worse Than We Think." I had bought into the "health halo" and did not think they were bad. I did think they were non-filling for me...thus, I was hunger later. I was disappointed to find there was not much info to the article I just sited. The ending was most alarming though.
"A footnote: 41 people were excluded from the study as outliers because their meals exceeded 4000 calories."

This review is a post-in-progress. :-)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Great Sequester Damage List.....
Well, it's not a great list at all. :-(


Licensed photo by Johanna Ljungblom.

An ongoing and growing list. :-(


----- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is citing the sequester in the cause of a bridge collapse that occured recently.
----- A lot of damage to airports. Big delays. This is one cut that has been widely covered by the media.
----- Catholic Charities of Miami will be closing a Miami Gardens program that serves about 30 hot lunches a day to elderly residents of an apartment building.
----- All sorts of cuts to the benefits of soldiers.  I keep finding more things that are negatively affecting people in the military....it even goes so far as to include the timing for adoption of children.
-----Cuts to the Forest Service budget.  About half of that budget is normally used for fighting fires.

Monday, May 20, 2013

In My Life.....

----- There are a lot of homeschool conventions going on right now. I wish I weren't missing all of them.
-----We found a Dick Blick outlet store the other day. I am very excited about this. I am going to start focusing much more on artwork and I am starting to take a concepts and techniques class in about a week. My mother feels that I should sell drawings...maybe someday.
----- I am addicted to Candy Crush Saga. I play it in the little snatches of time when I need something to occupy my brain or relieve stress. I am on Level 75. I am happy that a good friend just started playing it, too.
----- The weather is bad tonight and we have diaper bags packed just in case we need to take shelter. The storming is so loud at times.
----- It is so sad to think of the children that drowned under the school in the Oklahoma tornado.
----- R.I.P. Ray Manzarek (The Doors).
-----I tried a quinoa salad tonight. It will take some getting used to but quinoa is good. I hope that Toddler will be willing to try it tomorrow. I am taking, and expect to easily pass, a nutrition and cooking class that is geared towards food for children (via Coursera and Stanford).

Monday, May 13, 2013

"Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor... Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting."
-Mother Teresa

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Snail Mail Holders and More



I am looking at residential mailboxes...one for our future use and one to point out to a friend who may need to replace theirs that keeps falling off.

The Whitehall mailboxes are nice from a utilitarian point of view. They go with a lot of home exteriors, seem very sturdy and don't rust.
~ ~ ~ The Whitehall models even have mounts with several boxes...great for landlords. :-)




__________________________________________


I am a bit puzzled by the personalized doormats. I haven't actually seen an aluminum doormat before and I don't know how one keeps them clean (or even gets their shoes clean). Hmmm.

I do know what coir fiber is as I have spent a considerable amount of time in home decor shops. I seem to be allergic to either the fiber extracted from coconut husks(coir) or something used to treat it when the mats are made. I did some research and found that coir is an allergen and there is often latex used in preparing mats...that would explain it for me. Still, if I really liked a coir doormat, I would just have Husband handle it and clean it. You can't be allergic through your shoes. :-)
~ ~ ~ I noticed that both the aluminum and coir doormats have free shipping.

An aluminum doormat that I like.
Filigree Rectangle Welcome Mat in "French Bronze"
Handcrafted and reproduced from a carving. :-)



I can't decide if I like this one more.
Mayflower Welcome Mat. I like the pretty gate look.



This is my favorite of the two coir doormats currently available.







MAILBOXANDBEYOND.COM

I like this song for some reason. :-)
Beautiful.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

What Us Big People are Eating.....

-----"Perfect Beef Stew" is what we will have for dinner tonight. My first foray back into cooking all the time (since I was on bedrest and Newborn came into our lives). A slow cooker recipe.
-----Later in the week, I am making a three-bean taco chili with an emphasis on getting my Toddler, the picky eater, to finally eat sweet peppers. Currently, he is extremely interested in them every time and insists that he wants some but, every time but one, he chews them really good and then spits them out. It's a texture thing. I have learned that if I change the shape (diced and bright on top to be mixed in with this chili), make it a small portion of the shunned item when he is hungry after an exciting day, and point out when he liked it before....that works wonders. If I can successfully get him to eat two bites of a shunned food and like  it then we are good to go after that. It wasn't that long ago when all I had to do was say that he was trying new things like Sam I Am to get him sampling.
-----The chili recipe is actually going to be my version of a colorful dish emphasizing vegetables for a child . This is part of a class on nutrition/cooking for children that I am taking via Stanford and Coursera. There will be a few tomato slices on the side (which Toddler likes) and a glass of milk. We will follow this with strawberries for dessert (there was supposed to be plum slices also but we have to wait for them to ripen).
-----Fresh Garden Vegetable Salad with Black Olives.  Another one that I am going to try presenting to Toddler in some way that he will be eager to eat. It is a paleo recipe. The blog post I linked to said the dressing is healthy vs. "PUFA-rich" vinagrettes that are found at the grocery store. Now I must look up what it means for something to be PUFA-rich.
-----Beef Chili with Bacon and Black Beans. Pretty close to several of our standard chili recipes (other than the bacon). Still, I want to experiment with this.

Kudos to Husband for taking Toddler on a night drive to get him to sleep and to pick up all the ingredients for these recipes and other groceries. Husband said Toddler was telling him what everything was. When I asked if Toddler said he wanted anything...salad dressing. :-)
Along with a happy, sleeping Toddler, Husband also brought and made up my requested turkey sandwich. There was even a surprise bottle of Gatorade. Perfect for doing chores at the end of a hot day.
I love our family and our life.

---Reason for title? Newborn is a Nursie Baby. :-)

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

O Canada. O Calgary.

Tonight I was looking at a Calgary real estate site. No, I am not moving to Canada (though it would be wonderful to go on a getaway near the Canadian side of Niagara Falls for a while).

I am not familiar with Calgary real estate agents...
so, the site of the Cliff Stevenson Group was my first introduction to what buying a house in Canada is like.
---The Cliff Stevenson Group site has an accompanying video blog. :-) I hope that this portion of the site starts getting used again. I noticed that there are also 31 videos on YouTube (last update a year ago).
---Houses on this site all seem to be fairly large.
---The prices are $200,000+. This is not my price range but it does give me an idea of where the nice areas are for planning future vacations.
---This real estate agency actually keeps you updated about both feedback from potential buyers and developments in the housing market! The Cliff Stevenson Group goes the extra mile to make sure sellers know in a timely manner that someone is coming to see the house. :-)

I wish that all real estate agents in the U.S. put such detail into helping sell the house quickly and effectively. Sigh,

Things for us to do in Calgary:
---Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Next time I listen to a full-fledged orchestra, I will be wearing noise-buffering headphones like my children do though. Why? Last time I listened to an orchestra, not only did my ears ring...but my heart rate also was abnormal the whole time. Perhaps it was because the performance was in an area that was too small for such. Hmmm.
---Calgary Zoo. Of course, zoos cause me to pause morally. I do support all the things that they do to help animals (that and the educational value are why we go). I am also hoping that we get to the Cincinnati Zoo here in the States this year.
---Firefighters Museum of Calgary. This would be great for when Newborn gets older. At the end of the summer, we are planning on taking Toddler on a trip to one of the fire stations here in the States.
---Calaway Park. Large amusement park. :-)
---Calgary Tower. The $20 cost is probably worth experiencing at least once. I don't know if children go up in this observation tower for free. You take an elevator up and one of the levels has an area where tourists can stand on glass and look down. The view includes the city and the Rocky Mountains. :-)
---Calgary Stampede. Huge 10-day event! Includes a rodeo, agricultural fair and exhibits, art exhibits/sale, a trade fair and a midway (among other things).




This video was for sellers...about whether the home is clean enough for possession day.
I disagree with Cliff on one point in this presentation-sometimes a buyer does appreciate the things left behind.
I am not talking in terms of a sofa that the seller didn't want but antiques and other items with great resale value may be something that the buyer will be happy to find a home for. :-) I think there should be a candid and honest dialogue between buyers and sellers about anything that gets left behind. :-)

Monday, May 06, 2013

Entertainment :-)

-----Men in Black 4 apparently has a writer. :-) Will you be going to see it?
----- One music festival will air-drop beer to attendees...using a drone. Will you be attending any music festivals this year? I plan on going to one music-themed convention and two festivals...none of which allow beer (or drones).

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Big, bulky shoulder pads are the greatest invention ever. :-)

OK...everyone's blog is spying on me today.
Google gets more intrusive every day.

Apparently, Google/Blogger is aware of the fact that I listen to Midnight Oil and have done so recently.

This kind of data mining really made me angry when they made it obvious they were keeping track of what hotel I liked to use.

I have every privacy setting enabled, tracking supposedly turned off, etc. I am tempted to start inserting random "interests" like an obsession with shoulder pads into my life (yes, I did this out of humor/annoyance for a bit at one point).

Friday, May 03, 2013

----- A solar plane is taking a cross-country flight across the United States.

Homeschool Mother's Journal; May 3, 2013


In my life this week…
Doctor's appointment for Tiny One. This means Little One got stickers and a coloring page (a highlight and a new tradition for when he goes to his sister's doctor appointments). Our doctor is in demand so both children now have all appointments scheduled out for the next year! I really like the doctor as he looks into every concern even if he is pretty certain of the answer and he actually REALLY, REALLY interacts with the children.  :-)

In our homeschool this week…
Toddler  pre-school. We sing a countdown song about "5 Green Speckled Frogs" and look at a bullfrog picture. There have been several episodes of "Little Einstein" this week. Playing outside while the weather was nice for a change...slide, swing, getting pulled around on a cart (and talking about how the wheels turn). Reading a book that has construction vehicles that Little One has not encountered before. Put up a wolf poster (Little One got to pick the location...which, for some reason, was Daddy's dresser). I took a nighttime walk with Little One and we talked about the moon, the stars and worms (he just missed seeing a nightcrawler). Outdoor play with a variety of bottles including squirting.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
Little One and Daddy movie outing. Little One has been on a lot of "Adventures" (what we call short trips for errands). Plans for two music festivals, a convention, visiting family and the wedding of some friends.

My favorite thing this week was…
---Little One says "I love you" often now. He came up to me and hugged my back while saying, "I love you so much, Mommy."
---Watching both children sleeping. Especially if they are napping near each other.

My kiddo’s favorite thing this week was…
Little One: Playing with a variety of empty plastic bottles.
Tiny One: Seems to recognize name at times, interested in big brother and excited to nurse. I think she's a happy baby. :-)

Things I’m working on…
-----Learning to play the guitar for my children. I am taking a class and I aced the guitar parts quiz. This weekend I start actual playing.
-----Figuring out the arrangements for Tiny One's Dedication. I intend us to do a lot of preparing, both as far as the event and being spiritually ready, so this will be very educational for our toddler.
-----Little One knows how to scroll the phone and has a big technology vocabulary. I am working on finding some Android Apps for him. SUGGESTIONS ARE WELCOME. I am looking for games that we can play on the phone and ebooks for the tablet.

I’m cooking…
A vegetable soup with chicken broth this evening. We made a (wineless) veggie paella the other night.

I’m grateful for…
Two friends getting married, a lot of opportunities to be involved in various ministries, a friend has asked me to teach them how to blog for the ministry work that they do, a soft bed at the end of a long day.
---Little One "read" his first word yesterday. He had told me that the label on a mattress said "Daddy" and I told him that it said "bottom." Daddy was amazed yesterday when Little One walked up to the mattress, pointed and said, "That says bottom."

I’m praying for…
A new vehicle when we need one.

I rewarded my kids this week by…
Little One is seeing a movie with Daddy.
Magnum bar on the patio

Something I am ogling or have my eye on…
Copies of newborn photos for the relatives (Tiny One). Target Mobile has a coupon for 40 prints that expires today plus they are on sale....making my photos FREE.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…
We like going to thrift stores. This was a find a while back.
Note: I said find...NOT purchase. :-)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

They Said It.....

"The baby booby bird just earned three stickers and is dancing the blue-footed booby ballet."
~ Line from an episode of "Little Einstein" that caused me to pause.

"When I record somebody else's song, I have to make it my own or it doesn't feel right. I'll say to myself, I wrote this and he doesn't know it!"
~ Johnny Cash

:-)



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