Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Art of a Different Sort

As I wandered the halls of my son's elementary school last night,
I discovered some interesting new artwork on the walls.

Here's one created by my 10-year-old, Remy.
(I've shared his artwork before, my little madcap prevaricator!)

It took me a second, then I figured out what was going on in this piece.

Can you guess?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dog Sitting, A Piece of Cake, Right?

As our plans for Thanksgiving solidified this fall,
I knew I needed to find a place for our sweet Annie to stay while we were out of town.

I called our vet early on, and was surprised to discover they were full!
Weeks in advance!
And I was a few animals deep into the waiting list.

After a lot of calling around and worrying,
it hit me that I have a friend who might be willing to help.
She was wonderfully willing to dog sit.
I was so relieved.

I figured Annie would be easy, a piece of cake
 ... but of course, she proved me wrong.

While we were gone:

She shed a massive amount of hair on a daily basis. 
She threw up. 
She developed an ear infection and shook her head non-stop, 
causing her collar to rattle all night. 
She threw up again. 
She snored loudly. 
She threw up yet again. 

No problem, right?

Our friend deserves a medal!

Any good dog-sitting stories?


Monday, November 26, 2012

My Boys' Christmas Wish List

It's that time of year again.
The time of year that relatives begin asking what my boys want for Christmas.

I usually ask the boys to make a list.
They haven't given me their lists yet,
but I do know the most important items on them.

At the top of my teenager's wish list this year:
  • An amp ... for his electric bass guitar. 
  • Halo 4 (a video game) 

  At the top of my 10-yr-old's wish list this year:
  • a double-bass pedal for his drum set 
  • Call of Duty Black Ops 2 (a video game) 

 I'm sensing a lot of noise in my future.


Friday, November 23, 2012

How I spent Black Friday

We hiked through Ball's Bluff Battlefield and National Cemetery.
 Civil war soldiers were buried there.

Then we joined a historic tour of Oatlands Plantation.

And finished the day with a family game of Dictionary and a movie.

How did you spend your Black Friday?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Grocery Store Scavenger Hunt

We're visiting my mother in Virginia right now,
 and she was determined to introduce us to her new grocery store.

This isn't just any grocery store, of course.

It was Wegmans.

However, to keep the boys busy while we shopped,
my mom prepared a grocery store scavenger hunt.

If you can't read that, here's what it says:

Naan Bread
Dragon Fruit
Duck Fat
Gluten Free Cereal
Triple Cream Brie Cheese
Indian Buffet Tandoori Chicken
Fresh Wild Samon
Something from 8 Different Countries

My boys had to find all these items and
take a photo of each one on their smartphone.

And it worked.
It kept them busy for a long time.

In the meantime, I discovered a plethora of new fruit:

Dragon Fruit

Horned Melon


Star Fruit


We bought one of each, and I can't wait to try them!

Have you seen anything in the grocery store you didn't recognize?
Have you ever tried the dragon fruit, the horned melon or star fruit?


Monday, November 19, 2012


Alpacas are funny lookin', but so cool.
They hum.
They are incredibly soft.

Now my 10-yr-old wants one.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Different Perspective

Sometimes I'm driving down the road, looking only ahead, until I am forced to stop at a light, and I find myself looking around, and I realize the beautiful sunrise behind me. I might have missed it if I hadn't been looking. 

Now I find myself being more observant, and I keep looking for that sunrise.

Have you seen any sunrises lately? What do you see on your drive? 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Not Parenting at its Finest

Yesterday was not parenting at its finest.

 My teenage son was sick with strep throat, so I worked from home in order to take him to the doctor, get meds and make sure he was okay. He was grumpy, but bearable.

However, when my 10-yr-old son returned home from school, that's when the fun began. Grumpy, sick, restless teenage son started messing with his little brother, who is notoriously short-fused.

Little brother lost his temper and kicked older brother in the knee ... older brother's inured knee. Older brother lost it and smacked younger brother back ... which had me jumping into the argument, yelling, the dog hurrying from the room due to all the angry noise.

Moments like these make me wonder what I'm doing wrong. or right.
Am I raising heathens?
How much to punish, who to punish?
What could I have done preventably to keep this from happening in the first place?
Is it even possible to keep this from happening?
Why are boys so physical?

Please tell me other people have moments like this with their children.

Moments where they want to tear out their hair and lock up their kids in the closet and seal their mouths with duct tape.

Parenting it hard, yo.


Monday, November 12, 2012

The San Francisco Bush Man

Last March, while visiting San Francisco,
I experienced a local legend in action.

The Bush Man of San Francisco.

Outside the Alcatraz Ferry Pier, on Fisherman's Wharf, was a man.
A man, sitting on a milk crate, hidden behind large eucalyptus branches.
And ever so often, he would lunge from the bushes and yell at unsuspecting tourists,
causing them to scream and jump in fright.
And hoping to earn tips.

 People (us included) stopped to watch as he scared other tourists who walked by.
It was very entertaining.
And strange.

And that's how we encountered the World Famous Bushman.

Do you have any local legends in your town?
Have you ever seen the San Francisco Bush Man?


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Photo Bomb

Found a photo from my trip to California in March of this year ...
and found this hilarious photo.

I took a picture of my mom taking a picture of me,
and discovered my sister, photo bombing in the background.

I love them.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Majestic Annie

 She loves pizza crusts, stinky boys and tennis balls 
and sleeps with a stuffed rabbit.

Enjoy other fun animal pictures over on Camera Critters!

Camera Critters

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sunrise Haiku


 Thank goodness for the
Camera in my iPhone,
I captured beauty.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

BlogHer Book Review: Reflected in You by Sylvia Day

I read Bared to You and Reflected in You by Sylvia Day for the BlogHer Book Club.
These two books are part of a series.(Crossfire Novels)
I think I read them both in one day.

Adjectives that come to mind after reading them:


 Eva and Gideon are both damaged on the inside, but they fall in love with an intensity that scorches the pages. It's pretty hot. However, they have to deal with insecurities and overcome some adversities to make their relationship work.

 Usually I don't like the books with intense love-at-first-sight, all-consuming obessive love affairs, because the characters act stupid. (Like Twilight) But, I was able to put that aside and enjoy this series. It was fun to read.

 And the true test of a enjoyable read, would I be willing to buy the next book in the series?
Yes. I think I would.

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own. 


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Alphabet Photography

I love to give personalized gifts.
And I also love to receive them.

So, I jumped at the opportunity to order a personalized, Alphabet Photography framed photograph for my home.

First I chose my word, then I typed it into the website, where they showed me the photos that would represent each letter. What was really cool was that I was able to change the photograph for a letter, if I didn't like it. (there were 40 or more photo options for each letter!)

When my shipment arrived, I was so impressed with how well packaged it was.
(and I wish I'd taken a picture before I tore into it!).

I absolutely love it.

The high quality impressed me.
The photos were taken by award-winning photographer, Jennifer Blakeley.

They used a 3” solid wood frame with a dark Chocolate finish accented with gold leaf.
The frame is matted with a museum quality double mat with a V groove.
It is even hand signed and dated by the artist

I know exactly where I'm going to hang it.
It gives my living room a little more pizazz,
a little more personalization
and a great conversation piece.

I love the photography!
Now I want one for each of my boys.
Good Christmas gift idea!
Great house-warming present.

Alphabet Photography photographs everyday objects that resemble letters of the alphabet, and then arranges the photographs in a collage to create any name or word. They have over 1000 photos from around the world to choose from.

See how it works:

The perfect customized gift that includes photographs from all over the world, this is the original Alphabet Photography. Celebrity owners include: Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate, Tyra Banks, Ryan Seacrest, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, John Schneider, Nelly Furtado, and many more!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Alphabet Photography. The opinions and text are all mine.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Civic Duty

Today I waited in line in 40 degree weather to do my civic duty.

I stood in this line for an hour and a half.

I probably should have done early voting,
but there's something kind of wonderful about coming together with fellow Americans
as we exercise our right to vote.

There's bonding. A sense of pride and solidarity, no matter who we're voting for.

Monday, November 5, 2012

What are the Chances?

This is the beautiful Texas sunrise I saw this morning
while waiting for the tire place to open.

What are the chances of having two flat tires in 5 days?
In the SAME TIRE?!

Either I have really bad luck,
or someone's messing with me,
or the first flat tire wasn't fixed properly.

What's your guess?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I used my extra hour ...

To make my boys jambalaya tonight.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Making Memories with My Grandmother


Today I spent the day with my grandmother.

I had my hair done,
where she bribed the hair dresser to put my blonde in my hair.

We had a lovely lunch at la Madeleine,
where she reminded me to wash my hands
and told me to use a straw with my drink in case the glasses weren't clean.

We went clothes shopping,
and each picked out totally different clothes from the other.

We talked, we laughed, we spent time together.
And it was a wonderful day. 


Friday, November 2, 2012

I Don't Drink

I don't really drink.
I'm not against drinking,
but I just really don't drink alcohol.

I don't buy it.
I don't have it in my home.

Maybe because I have had some alcoholics in my life?

I really never drink,
Except on a rare occasion ...

like the one a few months back
when I saw these adorable, individual-sized wine bottles
at the grocery store.

So, I picked up a couple,
bought them,
took them home
and put them in the refrigerator
to promptly forget about them
for months.

Until tonight.

Tonight, I decided I felt like a little wine.
I had to hunt through my refrigerator to find those tiny bottles.

About halfway through one bottle,
I was done,
that was enough.

And then my 10-year-old found it and looked shocked.
(I told you, I never drink)
Then he ran to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator.
When he came back to me, he said, "Darnit, we don't have any orange juice."


He continued, "We can't make mimosas."


"Remy, how do you know what mimosas are? When have you had a mimosa?"

He game me a little smile and said, "Oh, I've had one before, they're great."


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Flat Tires, Costumes and NaBloPoMo

Happy November!

 I'm participating in NaBloPoMo,
so you'll be seeing (I mean, hearing from) me a LOT this month.
Every day in fact.

Also, here's my 10-year-old from last night.
A scary specter.

(I won't mention all the, ahem, drama 
that occurred for the hour leading up to this photo.)

My day started with a flat tire.
 But it ended well!

I absolutely love seeing friends and family's photos 
on Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and Instagram over Halloween.

Did you have a nice Halloween?