Showing posts from September, 2008

Shameless Commerce That's Tax Deductible!

It's been mentioned many times here in the blog how my boys are involved in Scouting. What started as an activity I thought would be Chef's and his alone, Gameboy decided that he wanted to participate as well. Now, in our third year of the Scouting adventure, I am happy that he decided his brother had a good idea. Honestly, I think it's done more for Gameboy than I ever could have imagined.

As with activities, there are fund raisers. Most of our family and friends live far away, but both the Troop and the Pack have chosen fund raising events that don't require you to be nearby! Did I mention that purchasing any of these items is TAX DEDUCTIBLE?! No, well, guess what? IT'S TAX DEDUCTIBLE!

I'm posting the details from Gameboy's first. His Troop has a Greenery sale as their only fund raising event of the year. There was a sample at the meeting two weeks ago and my gosh, you could smell this one wreath across the room (and I love the smell of pine). It …

Three years!

Sometime in the past year, I signed up with Blogoversary to remind me of the day the blog was begun. About two weeks ago, I started a post inspired by two friends and went off on a tangent. I do this often, but I cut that part out of that post that day. (If you're wondering, Mr. Linky and I have decided we can no longer be friends...unless I someday have readership ten times greater than what I do now. That was a stunning failure if ever I saw one!)

Today marks three years of writing this blog. The original inspiration was reading Polly PI's blog at the insistence of a friend. Heather would nag me and tell me I should do the same, that I'd be good at it (I'll let you be the judges on that front). She kept at it and kept at it. Finally, I figured that I should give it a try.

**If you go to Polly's blog, you'll notice that she dropped out of the blogosphere. While I miss her posts, somehow, I think she and the Light Haired Man are enjoying many adventure…

I'm Married to a Closet Doofus

Are you?

Do you know what I mean? Maybe you don't, so I'll explain. He *pretends* to be stupid for laughs. He used to do it in public, and royally embarrass me. Picture if you will, a hugely pregnant woman and the man next to her acting as if he weren't playing with a full deck. It was a wonder I didn't break my water and deliver Gameboy next to the Carousel in the Columbia Mall.

He loves hearing me laugh and if he hasn't heard enough, out comes the ding dong. The five year old trapped in an adult's body. Heard a train whistle? "Where toot toot?" and the happy, puppy dog persona emerges.

Tonight, he reduced me to laughing so hard, I was wheezing (a side product of asthma) He acted as if he was clueless about the phone. First, yelling at the top of his lungs "HELLO!" then "Hello?" then "hello?", then looking at me and saying 'why doesn't anyone answer?'

Thus begins the explanation, which he picks apa…

A Little Rant About My Beetle

I'm a Volkswagen fan. Truly, I love my car-it's my second new car purchased from VW and they are great. I like the road feel and responsiveness of the car. So much so, that when I drive anyone else's car, I usually feel like I'm driving a marshmallow.

However, I've got a few petty annoyances and one MAJOR pet peeve right now. Last year, in October, my left front headlight went out. Okay, that's annoying. The car was three years old at the time, so it's to be expected. I decided to head over to the auto parts store, get a headlight and Ed would swap it out for me, right?

Nope. Two things happened. First, the OTHER headlight went out less than 10 days after the first. Okay, we'll buy two headlights. Off to Advance we go and get two headlights. Then, the problem is discovered-Ed can't do it. Unlike any other vehicle we have owned, the headlights are situated in a manner that requires a mechanic (either it went on a lift of the bumper came of…

Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

Tra la la, tra la la la...

Chef Jr is a snuggle bug. After his bath tonight, he decided he wanted his snuggle time so I could smell his mango scented hair and satsuma fragrance body. And so that he could play Knock Knock with me.

Little did I realize his knock knock jokes would take me back down memory lane to a couple of Saturday Morning favorites that had extremely catchy songs.

Banana who? rapidly evolved to "One banana, two banana, three banana, four, four bananas make a bunch and so do many more..."

The theme song was written by a jingle writer. Now it makes sense that this song stays trapped in the brain!

Of course, when I think of the Banana Splits, I think of another one with a catchy theme song, HR Pufnstuff:

This of course makes me think of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, but that theme song didn't stick around in the recesses of my memory for thirty five years. I found it on You Tube and I think my brain did its best to block that one out! Let's just l…

A Round of Applause

To Jill, Heather and Jason for completing Walt Disney World's Inaugural Expedition Everest 5K! Woohoo!

A few years ago, another friend, Liz, had plans to walk the Walt Disney World Marathon and encouraged me to join her. I didn't get very far on that journey-but I did get the iPod to walk. Liz did two other events, but has yet to get here to Florida for a race.

Yes, if my friends are involved in a race, any race, it seems that the Disney events are what motivate them to get active. I'd like to be able to join them all someday, but for now, I give them a hearty CONGRATULATIONS for finishing. You guys ROCK!!

Florida Air Museum

Today was the Smithsonian's Free Museum Day, and since we're never ones to turn down something free, the family ventured out to visit the Florida Air Museum. We've visited many automotive museums and a train museum, now it was time to see some planes.

(Bummer here is that we were going to get together with friends, but Chef decided he wanted to hang out with friends in the morning. He changed his tune when he realized we were going to see planes.)

It was a cool way to spend a few hours. The museum is heavy on vintage planes and a few military aircraft. While technically it wasn't a 'hands on' type place, the planes weren't roped off-you could look right into the cockpits or touch the propellers. I honestly can't tell you who got the most out of the experience, because we were all enjoying different aspects of the venue.

Half of the main (air conditioned) building. The hangars aren't cooled, which makes me glad we didn't visit in the heat of…

The End of Believing?

A couple of weeks ago, Chef Jr confessed something to Ed when Gameboy and I were out of the house. "Dad, I know." Ed replied "Know what?" and was informed that our younger child just doesn't believe in the man in the red suit anymore.

As parents, we got a lot more mileage out of playing that role than most. I found out when I was seven or eight and discovered the cache of presents in my brother's closet that were later tagged as coming from the big man himself. Ed figured it out because ALL the presents were wrapped in the same paper (which is why Santa always had different paper in this house.).

We knew the day would come and discussed the plan of attack with the subject matter. For each of us, there may not be a real person. We believe in the spirit of giving that Santa represents and they both discussed this. Ed also asked Chef to keep the secret from his older brother. Additionally, he asked Chef to not bring the subject up with friends.

The ot…

A First for Me

And an educational experience for the kids, to boot.

I've never contributed to a political campaign, other than to buy buttons or bumper stickers. My wallet has never been fat enough to contribute in that manner, and right now, it's got moths in it.

However, I got a call the other day to offer my support in another way and I agreed. This afternoon, I'll be spending a few hours at the local campaign headquarters for Obama, doing whatever is asked of me for that time. Time is something I have plenty of nowadays, so I might as well put it to use.

The kids are coming along. I had hoped to leave them at home, but I realize that this is a great opportunity for them to see how the political process works beyond what they see on the news. Unlike Giggles and I, neither one of them was in the fifth grade in a presidential election year and thus, they're not learning the US Government in an election cycle.

That was an interesting experience. Back then, our teachers encouraged…

Game Night

Last night, I had the age old dilemma in this house. Two kids, both wanting the TV for different activities (Wii for Gameboy after all the homework he did, whatever dreck you can find on Cartoon Network for Chef Jr). As I'd promised Gameboy that he would get the Wii after doing all the homework, he got it.

That left me with a sulking kid. Teenage girls could learn from this one-he's got it down to an art. He wanted TV, and the only other one isn't hooked up to cable. Each room in this house is wired for it (can you tell our landlord was a bachelor when he built it?), but it's an old TV that isn't cable ready without a box. What to do? I suggested playing some games and Chef's face lit up like it was Christmas.

I've got tons of board games waiting for when the kids are old enough to comprehend them, though the time is drawing closer for those (Pictionary, for one). We opted to play the ones that we got last year, Othello and Life.

The box is right-a m…

What's For Dinner Wednesday

This week, Ed decided WFDW for me. He found a BBQ Pork Loin while marketing the other day and grabbed it. I was game for trying it, why not? Granted, I like getting unseasoned Pork Loins so I can work my own magic on them, but this one wasn't bad. I suggest giving them a try when you're pressed for time and/or ideas. (50 minutes in the convection toaster, woohoo)

A few weeks ago, I found a recipe for warm German Potato Salad. I thought it would be a good side for the pork, and this time I winged it. I used less mustard, more bacon and sauteed the onions in bacon fat. Yum!

This Saturday is FREE Museum Day!

The Smithsonian is sponsoring FREE Museum Day this Saturday, September 27th. Check it out HERE.

Now, off to decide exactly which one we'll check out this weekend!

A Word About Online Assessments

They're great, because I didn't have to drive over to Brandon to take an hour's worth of tests.

They're frustrating, because I loathe Internet Exploder so bad that I had to dig it up after viewing phase one of the aforementioned assessment.

They're good at showing you're a ding dong, because you didn't actually SEE the attachment the recruiter sent with the email that stated that you had to use Exploder. I should have known this, because the company's career website doesn't do any filtering in Firefox.

They terrify you when you have to do numeric data entry without a keypad. I use a laptop. Oh well, no 18,000kph for me this time.

They make you go BOOYAH when you finish one in less than the time that is allocated.

Now, I wait. Cross your fingers, because this is a GREAT company that Ed will tell you I am annoyingly partial to!**

**As is the norm for me, no prospective or current employers will be named in the blog. All I will say is that it is a Fort…

In Which I Answer Your Burning Questions...

Last week, I asked my lovely readers for questions. Several of you rose to the occasion, and today, you'll get some answers!

Okay, the first question (well, two questions) come from the lovely Grandy of California. She asks:

Ok...on to my question...
If you could re-do anything from your past, what would it be? and... Would you do it differently?

I gave this one a lot of thought, but I kept coming back to the same things. There are a bunch of things that were spectacular disasters in my life, things that most people would want to redo properly. However, I look at most of my failures as character building.

For that reason, there's only one thing that I would have changed. I would have finished up my degree. Here I am, twenty years later, just six credits shy of that Associate's. The reason has been the same over the years-time and money kept me away.

There's your answer, Mary. If I could change anything, I would be the first college graduate in the family. In…

More St Augustine


Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

The Soundtrack of Spouses

As far as musical tastes go in this house, there is a lot of common ground. We had favorite bands in common before we even started dating. We listened to many of the same radio stations when we lived in NY, and while I hadn't delved as far into prog rock as Ed had, I had more than a passing interest in the genre.

However, there is a lot that each of us listens to that the other would not choose to listen to if left to our own devices. In fact, I listen to stuff that annoys Ed. (He gets even-he plays computer games at. top. volume. that I cannot STAND. I guess we're even). I try to be considerate and play things that he doesn't like softly or wait until he's not around. Sometimes, I fail.

Right now, the prime offender is Moosebutter. That has a lot to do with a small child liking the song as much as I do and requesting to listen to it loudly several times a day. Chef especially enjoys miming the Wookie sounds and he's picked out s…

St. Augustine

Donna and I whiled away an afternoon in St. Augustine. The weather was dodgy, the waterfront was flooded (apparently, it is a tidal thing) and the shops were pretty interesting.

This year, Chef is supposed to learn Florida history. Usually, the school district takes the 4th graders on a trip here, but the budget shortfalls have axed all field trips. Sometime soon, we'll bring the boys here to the fort and historic downtown.

The skies weren't the best, but the company definitely was! I could photo hunt to my heart's content and I had a companion who takes the same slow pace that I've adopted. Woohoo!

Looking up from a hotel...
Donna at Donna's on St. George Street
Wind Socks
One of the many beautiful archways
As I've mentioned to Donna, whenever I find these markers imbedded into a street, I take a picture. This goes back to the ten days on Block Island, when I thought the USGS marker at the lighthouse fascinating. Since then, looking through pictures will prob…

Days of Wine and Chocolate

Really good wine:

Really good chocolate:
If you're a fan of Snickers bars, my personal crack, or that sweet/salty combination, chocolate with sea salt on top is really good!
Really good ice cream:

We went into Publix to get ice cream and spied a half gallon of Egg Nog Ice Cream. I figured that they probably had Barnie's Santa's White Christmas available if they're trotting out eggnog. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE! Forget our usual MO of stuffing the freezer with Girl Scout cookies, I think filling up the space designated for sweet treats should be filled with half gallons of this flavor.

Off to have some fun for the day...