About Me

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2 kids. Memories of Wolf and Boo. Many dear friends. Three siblings. Two parents. Samarra the crazy dog. The Player and Pi the Cat. I love you all!

Monday, December 10, 2012

What Would You Save?

Today I was in the "dilation room" at my ophthalmalogisit's office, waiting for the pesky eye drops to take effect and dilate my pupils.  I still had enough vision left to read a magazine.  I only read magazines at doctor's and dentist's offices.  That makes it actually fun to wait 30 minutes to get to a waiting room and then wait more!  It's a treat to read those magazines once in a while without paying for them.  (I do pay for and read The Sun at home, but since it has no ads it doesn't feel like a "magazine" somehow.)

But I digress.

My eyes are fine, by the way.  Unless you count the fact that I have early cataracts and surgery is probably going to be needed within the next year.  Of course, then I will only need glasses to read, which is actually...fine.  With me, anyway!

But again, I digress.

So while reading some magazine which shall remain nameless because, well, frankly, I can't recall what mag it was, I came across an article about the actress Viola Davis.  I have always (as long as I've been aware of her that it) liked Viola Davis.  But after reading the article I found that I not just like her acting, but also I think we would make good friends.   Here is why:

1.  She recently became a mom for the first time by adopting a baby at age 47. 
2   She has a good sense of what is important in life.

How do I know that number 2 is true?  Here's how:  she and her husband live in L.A. and recent wildfires threatened their home.  They found themselves with 5 minutes to take whatever they wanted out of their house and then had to evacuate.  Here is what they grabbed first:

1.  some hummus,
2.  a can of sardines, and
3.  some chocolate.

After that she asked her husband, "should we get the insurance papers?"
And her husband (who could also be my friend any day) said, "No, just the food."

So then they left.

I don't like sardines, though The Player is a big fan. 
So Viola and hubby, if you are reading this, I just have one thing to ask.  What KIND of hummus was it?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Shopping Situations

First, I went to Target.  I should have known from the situation of the parking lot, i.e. overly full, that I would not have a good time inside the store.  I left after about 15 minutes of being unable to manipulate my shopping cart safely among shoppers nor being able to find what I wanted to purchase there.  Which as it turned out wasn't anything.

I went to another store, which shall remain nameless because I bought J-dude's Christmas gift #1 there, and I won't say what store because occasionally he reads my blog over my shoulder.  The opposite of POS (parents over shoulder - code for kids who are typing to friends and don't want any cats to get out of bags...I guess that's KOS.)

Next I drove to the opposite side of town to get Sisi's #1 gift, but the store only had a few left...in pink.  Egad.  Pink will never do.  So now I need to do some more shopping, another day.  Or online.  Yes, online is sounding good after the Target situation.

I really do not like shopping in crowds.  But if I shop online I need to be sure that there are no KOS situations.

After giving up on more shopping, I called The Player to inquire about dinner.  After we discussed the situation  I stopped at The Jewel and bought a kielbasa.  I spent a long time looking at the various kinds, brands, meat options (turkey pork and or beef, turkey only, etc.) and finally picked out a turkey only polska kielbasa.

After that a college student came up behind me and said "hello" in a strange and sultry voice.  Must have a thing for older women shopping for sausages.  I said "oh hi" and ran as fast as I could to the check-out.

Now I'm home and kielbasa-mac-and-cheese is ready for dinner.  Adieu adieu!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Geo-Bee

I love maps.  I love maps so much that I even love reading about people who love maps.  Map-geeks, we call ourselves.  My 2 most worn pieces of reading material are

1. my old Betty Crocker cookbook and
2. my US atlas.

I loved reading MapHeads, a book of essays about maps and geography that even my dad, who taught me to love maps and books, found "boring."

So it is my great pleasure to announce that I have passed along my love of maps and geography to J-dude.  J-dude's school has a Geography Bee and he was picked as one of 5 kids in his sixth grade team to participate in the bee.  I thought the bee was tomorrow after school, but...it was today and I missed it.  Sigh.  Especially since the Dude got 4th place out of all 28 6th, 7th AND 8th graders to participate.  He claims it was good we were not there, so as not to make him nervous.  But still wish I'd had the date right.

I asked J-dude some of the questions in the Bee.  Just in case I had forgotten he is a sixth grader, he reminded me by saying..."I don't remember" with a little sneer in his voice.    I bugged him and bugged him and he said:  "It was about 2 mountain ranges, I could tell it was Chinese or Belgian, but it was a Japanese word and I don't remember."

I am not making this up.

So either
1.  Sixth graders are programmed to drive their parents crazy, or
2.  We should be worried about the level of geography knowledge among middle-schoolers, or
3.  All of the above.

What.Ever.  (My sixth grade response to not knowing the answer.)  I am still very, very proud of my boy.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hope You are Not A Robot

Today I "marked as spam" 4 comments on old blogs.  One was pretending to sell Peyton Manning jerseys, which J-dude wants to purchase just to bug his grandma, because the 2 of them are the most avid and opinionated football fans in our family and just because he loves her.  That's the way it works.

Regarding the need to prove you are not a robot:  I think the Comment Moderation on old comments is working, so that the rest of us don't have anything to prove.  Of course if I blogged more regularly (ahem) I would be able to have more data with which to verify this hypothesis.  (Note clever wording to avoid dangling participle at end of previous sentence, something that bugs me only slightly less than spam comments from robots and only slightly more than Peyton Manning.)

Mentioning Peyton will probably bring more robot comments.  So would mentioning Ugg boots.   Oops.

Yesterday, December first, in Central Illinois, the 4 of us worked together to put away the summer outdoor paraphanelia such as the trampoline fabricky parts, the patio furniture, grill, and deck pots.  And then today the temperature was in the 60s.  Go figure. 

Today there was some major room cleaning by the little people, some major squirrel-chasing and an unacceptable amount of barking outside by Samarra, and some leaf-raking by The Player.  What did I do?  Hmmm...I made an acceptable amount of chili.

It is the beginning of Advent and today's reflection at NCC revolved around the theme of Hope.  What Wild and Crazy Thing do you Hope to see in your lifetime?  My answer was that there would be No Fear.  I believe fear is the root of all evil.  Fear drives us to do ridiculous things...be greedy for fear of not having enough, do absurd things in the name of health care for fear of dying, treat people inhumanely for fear of the differences between us.  I wish we could see the connections between and among humans, animals, plants, the Earth and the Universe.  If we would let it, hope could also drive us to do ridiculous things...be generous, accept, be compassionate, open our eyes.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Robots need some Limits

Here is what happens when robots are allowed to comment:

 Hello! every fan, is HOT on sale In 2000, he was inducted into the Ottawa nhl team jerseys Sports Hall of Famering an array of supplements and home wares all of the average fans may not be in a position to afford such in spite of the truly great looks Every single Rugby buff within the NFL understands this particular
hermes: 350-001 Exam CCIE Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert Exam Number/Code : 350-001 Exam Name : CCIE Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert Questions and Answers : 136 QAs Price: $ 120 One of the lists consists of Spanish words and the other one of corresponding pictures for these words If you're looking to have an excellent gift for your difficult to buy for a part of your existence, try an Texas Longhorns football jersey The Dolphins also designed and produced features on its www5 sacks, the 49ers tied for third in the NFL with 44 sacks However, if the NFL refused to accept Robinson, then the small potatoes said they would consider wearing a and other players like to go play overseas


This comment appeared (followed by some websites where you can buy some NFL Jerseys I suppose) on a very old blog.  So now I will be moderating comments on older blogs.  But still trying not to make you prove you are not a robot.  Oy.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Robots Welcome

At the request of someone who shall remain anonymous, I have attempted to change my blog settings so that you need not Prove You are Not A Robot in order to leave a comment.

If lots of robots start commenting, I wonder what they would say. 

"Danger, Will Robinson!"?

"Dave, ...Dave,...I don't think you should do that..."?

"Bleep doop bip bop."?

"I'll be back."

"Do you want fries with that?"

In any event, the person who shall remain anonymous should be happy and will now be free to comment without cussing loudly in the process when s/he cannot read the little blurry numbers or run-together letters.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Books Galore!


Friday night Sisi, The Player, and I went to the Normal Public Library book sale.  J-dude was at his first Junior High School "activity night"  (a dance in one gym and sports in the other gym in case dancing is too scary for your 11 year old self.)   The 3 of us managed to purchase enough books that when we got home I looked around and said, "We definitely need to move into a bigger house."

Everyone else pooh-poohed that notion.

This morning we got up and do you know what I said?  I said "Let's go to the book sale AGAIN!"

This time all 4 of us went and bought more books.  When we got home I said....

"Let's clean out the garage!  And then de-clutter the house!"

The Player and I cleaned the garage.  The kids have no idea what items were given to the Bromenn Thrift Store.  Items that were stored in the garage.  So not on their minds, directly.  But Sisi, with her hoarding instincts and ESP will probably ask for that one little fire engine toy from 6 years ago...or will look in the garbage can in the driveway for the first time in years and see that it's full (for the first time ever) and go digging around...

If that happens, we are DEFINITELY moving to a bigger house.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Big Bang Yin Yang

I wish I could have worked Zig Zag Tie Dye into the title, too, but that would have made me woozy.  Here is my latest mosaic effort, inspired by Tasha Dunn's reflection at NCC on October 22nd on amazing images from deep space, and by the marriage of a scientist (Tasha) and a minister (Chrissy). 

 
 
 
 
Here's a close up to make you smile:
 
 
Thank you, inspirational women!
 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Saggyboobosity

What should a mother do if her 10 year old daughter suggests maybe she (the mother) needs to put on a bra when by the way the mother is wearing one.  This mother didn't know what to do except laugh and lift up her shirt.  She thought perhaps it was a sign that the mother might

1.  be too old to be the mother of a 10 year old.
2.  need to shop for some new (firmer?  pointier?) bras.
3.  make an appointment with that plastic surgeon after all?
4.  just laugh and blog about it.  OR
5.  coin a new term and see if it will go viral.

Any further suggestions are, as always, welcome, unless you are a weirdo blogstalker.  And even then if your comment is really funny I might not delete it.

Happy Tuesday y'all.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Meet Mister Mortis

Saturday morning J-dude and I played some board games before breakfast.  We played Yahtzee (his favorite) and then we got out the Taboo game and had some fun just guessing the words from the cards.

 
 
 
You may recall that in Taboo you try to get your team to guess one word by giving clues but without using any of the 5 "taboo" words on the same card.  For example:
 
 
 
I was standing at the stove stirring oatmeal while Jeremiah gave me clues.  Then he picked a card and looked at it a long time before he asked me, "Mom, WHO is Rigor Mortis?"
 
********************
 
 
Here is the pie I made for our veterinarian who has been kidding me about making him a Jelly Bean Pie for a couple years.  Don't worry, Dad, it's got pudding inside, not rhubarb!
 
****************************************
Saturday afternoon The Player and I went for a walk at Parklands. 
 
 
 Trees turning along the Mackinaw, lots of serenading birds, and this wonderful pooch who accompanied us along the way with 2 sticks in his mouth most of the time:
 
 
He was a sweetheart.  Don't know his name, but I don't think it was Rigor.
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What's for Dinner?

Saturday nights there are no kids palates to please at our house, so we often have things like Tofu or try a new dish they probably would turn their little noses up at.  (Dang dangling preposition)  Last night we were reminiscing about our lunch at Cafe 28 in Chicago and the quesadillas in particular.  I pulled up their lunch menu and it listed the items in the quesadillas:

Sun dried tomato pesto
Salsa Morita
Brick cheese
Garlic mushrooms

and then chicken or steak or sauteed spinach or...whatever type of quesadilla you order.

I had to GOOGLE all the ingredients except the cheese.  Turns out salsa morita is made with chipotle peppers.  Found chipotle salsa in a can at The Schnucks.  The label said HOT.  So we used just a wee bit in the first quesadillas but added more the next time around.  Hot Schmot!  Delicioso!

Garlic mushrooms were found easily at the Olive and Antipasto bar at The Schnucks, too.  So far so good.  I already had some cheese at home.  I bought corn tortillas, then found a little container of sun dried tomato pesto, but after looking at the ingredients I decided I could make my own.  Here's a link to the recipe I used:  sun dried tomato pesto.

We used refried black beans instead of meat.  And they were great!  I fried them in a little oil until they were crunchy.  We ate them before I could get the camera out. 

There is left-over pesto so I think we'll try it on some pasta today (while the kids turn up their little noses and have hamburgers.)
 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Meet Samarra

We have a new addition to our family!  Meet Samarra, a 1 year old girl from the Humane Society of Central Illinois!

 
 
She has lots of energy and spunk.  Play Catch is her motto.  The kids ran like crazy around the back yard with her this afternoon.  Now she is resting on the kitchen floor and Await Scraps is her mantra.  Love love love!
 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Thursday's Child(ren)

Thursday's Child has far to go...I think.  Is that right fact checkers?

On Thursday I climbed onto a school bus and sat in the last seat with a kid that said, as we pulled out of the school parking lot, "Sometimes I get car sick."

Fortunately he didn't, no puking, though there was some bouncing around and sticking his hands out of the window which gave the bus driver some degree of heart failure.  I managed to keep said boy's hands in the windows the rest of the way there.  For that I received several compliments from other parents and the teacher who knew better than to sit with said boy.

I was assigned a group of three kids that were my charges.  Sisi and two of her buddies.  I have BEFORE HIKING pictures of them:

 
and AFTER HIKING pictures of them:
 
 
Here's my favorite photo of the day, though:
 
 
I would like to say that I knew this was going to be such a great photo, but it was just dumb luck.
 
The park, Matthiesen, near Starved Rock, is stunning this time of year.  In fact, the kids and The Player and I are thinking of heading there on Monday, since there is no school and it is supposed to be a little warmer than it is going to be today while we are at the Discovery Walk watching Kathleen as Georgina Trotter. 
 
Many of the kids in Sisi's class had never been anywhere like this state park that is only an hour away from here.  The comments I heard from 9 and 10 year olds such as "This is AWESOME" and "I LOVE nature, it's so BEAUTIFUL!"  made all the discomfort of riding the bus and traipsing up and down over 300 steps to get into the dells well worth it.
 
 
 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Normal seems so...Dark!

The Player drove us home from the train station Wednesday night and I believe I asked him about 4 times if he was sure he had his lights on.  He kept assuring me he did.  I kept asking him.  Finally he flashed his brights then dimmed them to show me that he did indeed have his lights on. 

But it still seemed so dark in front of our car.

Sisi has a phrase for these kinds of moments when things don't make sense.  She says "What the PIE?"

So in this WTP moment, we realized that after 3 days and 2 nights in Chicago, which is the City of Very Bright and Many Streetlights, Normal seemed very underlit.  We are streetlight challenged.  Or perhaps because of a lower crime rate and much less night-time traffic we don't need so many bright street lights.

We stayed in a Chicago neighborhood that needed a lot of lights.  South Side on State and 26th Street.  Nice hotel, well-priced on Hotwire,  just outside the normal realm of where I wander in Chicago.  Next time I'll stay out of the "McCormick Place" area on Hotwire.

We ate breakfast at Lou Mitchell's, lunch at Cafe 28 (Cuban food ...yum!  Best quesadillas in the whole world) and dinner at Joy's (thai food.)  We went to a Cubs game (they lost) and had dinner at the Salt and Pepper open-air diner down the street from Wiggley Field.  We shopped at Powell's bookstore and Unabridged Books.  I got to hang out at the Chicago Mosaic School and talk with Karen and Andrea there (and I bought some stuff and learned what I can order online from their store Tiny Pieces.)  We went to The Green Mill and The Player got to talk with Patricia Barber before AND after the first set.  We had to leave early because the music was going to continue to 1 a.m. and we had to go to...26th and State... on a bus.




Wednesday we hung out at the Harold Washington Chicago Public Library.  I discovered the picture files on the 8th floor.  What a treat!  Drawers and drawers of magazine photo clippings in folders by topic.  Topics like...Mosaics. 



 
 Hundreds of pages like this to browse.  And a lot of books on mosaics, from which I gathered more ideas.    It was a great trip, but tiring.  I kept thinking about getting home to rest, then remembered that I had signed up to go on Sisi's class field trip to Matthiesen State Park on Thursday.  Yowza.  My poor legs.  Climbing about 300 steps in and out of the canyons and trying to keep track of my 3 charges.   Pictures from that trip soon!
 
 
 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Off to the Windy City

The Player and I are heading to Chicago on the train tomorrow, for a couple days of R&R.  We have some tickets (train tickets and baseball game tickets), a hotel reservation, and some general plans.

The plans include

1.  The Green Mill on Monday night to see Patricia Barber tinkle the ivories,

2.  Bookstores galore.

3.  Good cheap seats for the Cubs game Tuesday night, thanks to a losing season!

4.  Did I mention bookstores? 

5.  A visit to the Chicago Mosaic School and their store called "Tiny Pieces."  I expect I might feel I've passed through the pearly gates when I walk in their door.

6.  Good cheap ethnic food, preferably near a bookstore.

See you later this week!















Wednesday, September 26, 2012

No Cohesive Theme to This Blog. Does that stop me? No.

This little fellow was on my deck the other morning digging through pots of soil.  I don't know if he was burying nuts and seeds for the winter, looking for more stuff to hide away, or getting ready to try out for the backyard whiffle ball tournament:

 
By the time I got my camera out he was out in left field warming up.
***********
I've been mosaic-ing again.  The last couple of projects have taken me a while.  Here is one that's  hanging on the wall above The Player's desk:
 
 


My favorite part of this piece was breaking plates and cups to create the background of the Peace Sign.  Irony is better than ironing any day!

Here's my latest effort, still need to figure out what to do with the outer edges and then it will need grouting.  I think it will live outdoors in the garden area.  It's a tree, not a scorpion.  In case you were worried.


Any suggestions on what to do with the outside sections are more than welcome.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Smattering

Sisi's school celebrated Spirit Week last week.  One day was Crazy Sock Day.  Sisi usually wears unmatched bright colored socks anyway, so she borrowed One Halloween sock and One Christmas sock from her mama.   Crazy hat day she wore her usual blue bandana.  Crazy Hair Day - she took OFF her bandana. 

Finally School Colors day rolled around.  Black and Orange.  Sisi decided (the evening before) that she would like to splatter paint a t-shirt for school.  We drove off to the Dollar Tree and bought her a $1 white t-shirt with black sleeves.  Mama already had some fabric paints.   She painted the front that night and we hung the shirt to dry.  The next morning she painted the back and we hung the shirt in front of a fan to dry.  The results were pretty satisfying:

 
A closer view of the back:
 
 
AND now that Spirit Week is over, she has the shirt hung on her bedroom wall, like the Art that It Is!
 
 
 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Writing Is On The Wall

Many times as I've driven through downtown Bloomington I've wished I had my camera to photograph some of the old fading ads painted on the sides of brick buildings.  Yesterday I had my camera in my purse for some reason.  In fact, in the morning I found it there and thought to myself "Why the heck did I bring that today?"   I found myself driving through downtown Bloomington with a little extra time on my hands. 


 
Madison and Center Street
 
South Main, just before Oakland Avenue.  (Pianos packed and moved!  Wow!)
 
 
Barber shop at the corner of Front and Allin. 
 
 
Meanwhile, on the home Front:
 
 
J-dude gives new meaning to licking the pan.
 
 
 
Sisi rocks with her homemade bow, quiver (from duct tape!) and arrows.  But she still spells archery "Artchery."
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Who Loves Ya?

Here is who loves the weather lately:  The Hibiscus Sisters (sextuplets?) !



Since we got lots and lots of inches of beautiful rain followed steamy tropical temperatures my hibiscus has gone wild.  I love those red wild flowers, even if I don't much enjoy being outside in the steam bath with them.

Here is my latest mosaic project, ready for grouting tomorrow.

 
 The picture frame will hold Sisi's school picture when it arrives as she is wearing a royal blue t-shirt in her photo.  I have long since given up on hoping she will do her hair up and wear a nice shirt for picture day.  This year it was a Parks and Rec Grade School Basketball t-shirt that is about 2 sizes too small, a blue bandana over her hair, and a blue sweatshirt that I believe she draped around her shoulders.  She is definitely Her Own Girl.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Now Where Was I?

I seem to have some difficulty attending to my blog these days.  I don't seem to roll out of bed bright and early as I once did, brew up some java, and start up the blogging machine.  I can attribute this desire to stay in bed longer to the warm body in the bed next to me and new curtains that keep more of the early morning light!  Thank you IKEA! (For the curtains, of course!)

The Player is in O-HI-O this holiday weekend visiting his kids, other family, and friends.  My kids decided that even though it's a holiday I should get up at the usual time.  Hmmm.  Well, here we are.  I am blogging and they are working on their homework.  Sisi has to write a 2-page essay on the topic of Respect.  Her entire class was given this assignment after some unfortunate occurences in the classroom on Thursday.  She maintains her innocence in the scandal (I think too much talking out loud was the problem) but is working diligently on her assignment.  I suspect there will be a sentence or two about not punishing the innocent in the essay.  When her teacher asked us to write something about what she should know about our child, I wrote "Sisi has a mind of her own."  I wrote much more of course, but that was the topic sentence of my paragraph. 

J-dude has some science homework which is to decorate his science folder with 10 drawings of "things related to science."  The point, of course, is to get the kids to realize that almost anything can be related to science.  For J-dude that translates into "I can draw pictures of every kind of sports equipment and be finished."  Oy.

I have been working on mosaics more and more.   AND I found, while surfing the net looking for mosaic ideas and materials...The Chicago Mosaic School!  They offer workshops and classes.  So one weekend soon I hope to trek north and actually learn from some more experienced mosaic makers! 

At NCC we are coming up on our 20th anniversary as a Community.  One of our hopes is to create a display of mosaics that everyone will participate in.  I'm pretty excited about that!  More to follow as the project gets underway.  We have a couple real artists who are willing to coordinate and teach and build.  It's gonna be amazing to work on this together!

Friday, August 24, 2012

What I Did After My Summer Vacation

On my summer vacation I went to Michigan.  Wait, you already know that.  When I got back:

1.  I took the kids to the dentist to have their 6-year molars sealed.  Supposedly this financial investment will protect them from cavities, drilling, fillings and pain.  And protect me from spending even more money for their dental health in the future. 

2.   I took the kids shopping for school supplies.  Supposedly this financial investment will further their education.  And protect me from supporting them when they are adults, WAY in the future.

3.  I went back to work.  Supposedly this allows me to make these financial investments.  Today is payday so I guess the proof is in the pudding, er bank account, today.

4.  The kids started school.  Half day Wednesday and full days Thursday and Friday.  J-dude began Middle School.  He walks home, via the Elementary School and accompanies Sisi home.  This allows me to work a little later.  See numbers 3, 2,  and 1.

5.  I made a mosaic on a picture frame.  It's very colorful.  Now I cannot figure out what kind of photo could possibly look good inside it.  I might have to turn it into a mirror.

 
 
I do like this one quite a bit.  Pieces of stained glass for the tiles and white grout. 
 
6.  I continued reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.  It's the book for our book group's September meeting.  It's awesome.  I am enthralled with this book.  I'm just a little over halfway through the book.  We found a copy for purchase in Michigan at Reader's World bookstore in Holland.  That is one wonderful little book store.  If you head to Holland or thereabouts, check it out. 
 
This book was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize in 2004 or 2005.  All I can say is, I would like to read the winning book that year.  It must be sumthin'!
 
 
 


Sunday, August 19, 2012

HBTTP

happy birthday to the player!

He knows I'm cooking salmon for his birthday but he doesn't know there is a carrot cake with 6 candles in the kitchen.  I won't reveal his age except to say it has at least one six in it.

We returned from our vacation to Michigan this afternoon.  Holland, Michigan for the 3rd year in a row.   This is the first year we've had the luxury of a house instead of a hotel room, and we are hoping to get a house on Lake Michigan next year.  

The kids are spending a few hours with their dad, and the adults are relaxing at home.  The car is unpacked and there is no urgency to the pile of laundry.  A bottle of wine is open in the kitchen.  I arrived home in time to watch 2 innings of the Cubs game today, in which they lost in the bottom on the ninth on 2 pitches by a rookie pitcher.  Oy!  Definitely back home to reality.

It looks like we had significant rain while we were gone, as when we left our grass was brown but upon return it is much more green.  Yahoo!

I am going down to the kitchen now and make noises as if I had made that cake.  HA! 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Next Dimension

Thinking in 3 dimensions is a challenge for my brain.  I remember the days of working in hospitals and trying to figure out how to arrange a person, an oxygen tank, an IV pole, a wheelchair,a hospital bed, me to help and then somehow thinking I had it all arranged but still finding either oxygen tubing or IV tubing or both wrapped around me as I moved the person from wheelchair to bed.  Now I work in people's homes where there is rarely an IV and only occasionally oxygen tubing and my people are mostly able to make that move on their own with minimal tangling assistance from me.

My name, when I wrote it using a signature recognition program that my sister Connie had, was interpreted as Kinda Tangly instead of Kim M Tingley.  Apropos!!

So, why did I choose a 3d project for my next mosaic project?  I do not know.  Memory loss may have been to blame.  I enjoyed the first steps but as the project went on I felt overwhelmed by the colors I had chosen and not feeling good about how they worked together and trying to get flat pieces to lie down on an orb, and not being able to visualize how it would look when finished.

I was about to chuck the whole thing.  I did not chuck the whole thing.  I grouted it with white non-sanded grout and prayed:

After grout and prayer and cleaning it up, it seemed I had a miracle on my hands: 


Ok, the thing about a 3D project is it's hard to show the result with one photo so here are a couple more. 




 
I'm more happy with this project than I expected to be along the way, but my next project will definitely be FLAT!  Let's hear it for 2 dimensions.  Hip Hip...


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Endless Summer

This week J-dude tried out for the baseball team at the middle school he will attend this year.  The team he tried out for is the 6th-7th grade team, a.k.a. the 7th grade team.  He didn't make the first cut.  He's short and not a very impressive batter.  Since the coaches didn't see him in a game situation they did not see his exquisite instincts at almost any position.   He was bummed out, quietly, for a couple of days, then this morning he announced that "the coaches made a big mistake."  Yes, indeed.  It was the first time he'd ever tried out for anything.  I think he learned to handle his disappointment well and with egotistical grace!  If there is such a thing.

Sisi completely wore out her swimsuit, it's official as of yesterday.  She came home from a waterpark trip with the Parks and Rec department and announced that her suit had disintegrated to the point of total transparency at about 2:30 p.m.  I rushed off today to get her a new one.  I looked at the old suit and I don't think it's quite that bad.   On the other hand I did toss it in the trash. 

I had a good week at work.  Today it's raining a little off and on (hurrah...let's hope for more ON before the evening is done.)  And I made a peach pie.  I think that's what we are having for dinner.  With ice cream for dessert.

One more week of work and then The Player and the kids and I are off to Michigan for a week at the beach.   Then 10 more years of work and I might retire.  (With a few more trips thrown in, I hope.)

School starts 3 days after we get back.  Where has summer gone?  I don't think I'll need to worry, it's going to feel like summer here until the end of November if the Weather Channel is correct. 





Monday, July 30, 2012

Life is a Bowl Full of Bacon

Sisi was supposed to photograph our beautiful bowl full of cherries yesterday before they were eaten.  Somehow she did not accomplish that task.  I think she got distracted eating cherries.  In any event, this morning life took on a beautiful new meaning for the kids:  BACON!



We have bacon about twice a year at our house, so it's right up there with Christmas and birthdays on the This Is a Good Day scale.  The Player made the bacon today, which made him a Good Person as far as the kids were concerned.



This is the last photo I was able to take of the bacon.  Kind of like the cherries.

I went out to the garden a few minutes ago.  Here is the bad news (in spite of watering and one-tenth inch of rain last week):


The Plant Formerly Known as Sugar Snap Peas.


No Longer Bleeding Heart

Here is the good news:  HIBISCUS LIVES!

and The Cubs beat the Cardinals yesterday in the bottom of the 10th!  Oh Yeah!  Life IS a bowl full o'bacon!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

In Which God and I Show Off

Whenever there was a beautiful sunset my friend Arthur would say That's God showing off!  Just the other night after the double rainbow, God outdid herself:


Today she reminded me of more subtle signs of her amazing-awesomeness:


Slurp Slurp = Praise the Lord.

I am not nearly as awesome but I am going to show off my latest project.  No more about God, so if your are just reading my blog for the fabulous spiritual insights (and I feel sorry for you if you are) then you may stop now.  But if you want to see my art skills advance to the level of a somewhat inept ninth-grader, keep on keepin-on.

When we last saw this project it was a partly glued mosaic design.  Here it is at stage 2, all tiles glued on. 
At this point I realized some of the border tiles were over the edge, and my original plans to use the shadow-box lid frame were now kaput.  But I learned to do this from a book that had an entire section called Mistakes.  So I don't feel too badly.  In fact, I don't feel badly at all.

Here is the stage that makes me bite my fingernails like it's the ninth inning and the Cubs are up by 2 runs and the man whose name we no longer speak aloud in our house is coming in to ruin the game pitch.


I actually had to go lie down and stay away while the grout settles a bit.    Then the fun part, wiping off the extra grout to see what it will really look like:


It's not completely done, another grout wiping session coming up, but you can see what it will look like.  I'm happy. Cubs Win.  Cubs Win.

 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What Does It MEAN?

Sisi and The Player called me outside tonight after the little rainstorm we had.  Welcome precipitation!  And this is what they showed me:



Sisi repeated, about 40 times, "A double rainbow!  What does it MEAN?"  Until The Player looked like he might start to cry.  "Don't cry, I said."  Oh wait, that's not what I said.  I said, "You're not the boss of me."  That's because first he said to me "Don't say What does it MEAN?"

Well, anyway, I took about 100 pictures of the rainbows trying to get the entire thing in the frame, and failing.  So here are some other shots of this natural beauty.


and one more for good measure:



I hope it means a promise of a little more rain sometime in the next 40 days or 40 nights.  We need more of that sweet wet stuff!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Latest Project Underway





Here's the start of my next mosaic.  Thinking to do the rest of the piece in the cool irridescent white tile I got on Saturday at Keen's.  Or maybe make a dark blue border around the very edge of the piece.  I haven't decided yet.  I have decided to grout in a light blue.  This is the top of a box (about 8 inches square) that has a frame that will go over this piece to make a removable lid.



I started out with a much more complicated idea, then kept simplifying it into something I could actually do. 

More photos as we progress. 

Maybe I will learn to make grout out of hummus. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The End of the Season

First, to answer my Gentle Readers' questions about what happened with the Mountain Dew Code Red.  Oh, if only it had been a spill or a fizzy eruption of gooey red pop on my new carpet.  I would have been much happier if that were the case.  No, no, it was more along the lines of a Mt St Helen's explosion of bad behavior, fueled by caffeine and sugar in never-before-seen amounts.  It was a record breaking moment of 11 year old defiance of all that it right with this world.  It was...

I think I am suffering from PTSD and cannot really say what happened without years of counseling.

Ok, it wasn't that bad.  But it was still pretty ugly.

So no more sugar in the morning, sugar in the evening nor sugar at suppertime.  And definitely no caffeine until he has grown up and moved to Alaska.

Speaking of Alaska, we watched the movie Big Miracle on DVD last night and it got 4 thumbs up at our house!

Ok...end of the baseball season for J-dude was today.  Because his team lost in the semi-finals of their league.   Game one was an easy win for the boys of Carls Ice Cream (what a great sponsor, eh?).  Game two was a nail biter and J-dude scored the winning run in the bottom of the last inning!  Today, game three...Carls' team played a team that had not lost a game all season and the last time these two teams met we lost 15 to 1.  But today we only lost 4 to 2.   J-dude pitched 2 innings and did very well pitching.  I was really proud of him.   Good season J-dude!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Piece of Good Advice

When your son has been really really sweet for a day or two, he might ask for something out of the ordinary.  He might ask for something that you normally would say No to without even giving it a second thought.  But when your son has been sooooo sweet, you give it a second thought.

When you give it a second thought he seizes that opportunity, gets his sweet size 6 foot in the door, and convinces you that it would be fine to buy him a soda pop while you are at Jewel-Osco.  He convinces you that he wants to try something new.  He wants to try Mountain Dew.  But not just any Mountain Dew, no, he wants to try:


All I can say, is

Don't even think about it!

That's my advice.  Based on experiences too horrific to mention.  Shudder.

Monday, July 16, 2012

In Which the J-Dude Gives ME a Gift on His Birthday

Yesterday J-Dude turned eleven!  He spent the day at his dad's house, so I didn't get to see him until the evening.  He did receive several gifts from the grown-ups in his life including a Wii soccer game, a very cool wiffle-ball set that has a ball that can be thrown for a curve, slider, knuckleball, and change-up, a real Whammo frisbee, and an indoor over-the-door basketball hoop.

While he was playing in the backyard with the wiffle ball, I was on the deck working on my next mosaic project.  For project number 2 I decided to do something a little easier.  I found 2 mirrors with large wooden flat frames at Goodwill, and I bought some leftover tiles at Keen's Wholesale Tile Store in Normal (the wholesale seems to have expanded into smaller amounts for individual projects since the economy took a downturn.)  This project is "self-grouting" which means the black background serves to separate the tiles in the design and no real grout is needed.

Here is the finished product:




After it was done J-dude asked me if was going to hang it up somewhere in the house.  I said I might, or I might give it away as a gift to someone.  J-dude said "Would you give it to me as a birthday gift?"

Would I?  Heck Yes! 




Thanks birthday boy!