Showing posts from February, 2009

Florida Strawberry Festival, A Study in Lights

This afternoon,we went over to the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City. There was method to my plan of arriving around 4:30-5:00: I wanted to take pictures of the pretty lights.

After a lunch of homemade pork lo mein, we ventured across I-4. If you're a local and you are going, understand that once you come within about a mile of the Festival grounds, you're going to be sitting for a while. Just so you know.

(Obviously, we got there after crawling along US 92)

Tonight's concert was Third Day, but that wasn't why we were there. We're all about the food, the rides, and the strawberries (but that's another story.) I'll give you two different views the Festival-the pretty light report and the Festival food preview.

I need to note this here. If you've ever considered getting a Gorilla pod, do it! I bought the cheap knock off at WalMart to shoot that video that wouldn't upload and it worked like a charm. Tonight, I wrapped it around ride ga…

The Mystery of the Lost Followers

Here on Blogger, there is a very cool feature that was introduced several months ago. If you have a Blogger account(you don't even need to have a blog), you can 'follow' (or as Grandy calls it, stalk) any other blog. When you sign into your Blogger account, there's a feed list of sorts, one that you can go down and check on your favorites if you don't want to use a feed reader (or even if you do).

Anyway, many Bloggers recently complained of losing followers. Where did they go? Are they lost somewhere, stranded along a random dirt road off the information superhighway?

More likely, some recent minute Blogger change took them off follow status. SuzanneSez only had a few followers (just seven of you,) so it wasn't that dramatic, but now I've only got 5. I've lost more than a quarter of my followers and they may not even know it!

On top of that, I've been asked by a friend how she can follow my blog. Considering all the lost followers spirited …

Coo Coo For Cocoa Puffs!

I won this shirt from Staci's blog!

Cocoa Puffs are one of the few brands of kiddie cereals we can have in the house, because they don't have dyes in them. I love the retro look and suspect I'm going to have to keep an eye on this one that Gameboy doesn't claim it. (Ed can't).

Thanks, Staci!


After a year in the local middle school, Gameboy's teachers and ESE coordinator agree with us that a mainstream setting does NOT work for the child.

I'm tearing hair out here with all the things that have gone on in the past month. Let's just say that I finally had to say to the school counselor last week "I know it's not politcally correct, but you have to consider Gameboy as being a crack addict, but the crack is anything having to do with video games or computer games.

We warned them-give the child an inch (by saying "if you do this, we'll give you computer time") and he'll take 3000 miles. They were all told DO NOT under ANY circumstances give him computer time or reward him with games. They ignored this suggestion. Then we got the phone calls that he was misbehaving after they did exactly what we said would cause problems. My response "Didn't we tell you this would happen?" and the answer would always be a timid "Yes,…

Tasty Thursday Again!

This week, a staple of my youth: Mom's Marinara Sauce! In addition, Chicken Cutlet parm that was inspired by Borelli's and Eggplant Parm, perfect for Fridays during Lent.

Come on over to MomDot and check these recipes out!

Here are the pictures:
It's not Marinara without onions.
Sweating the onions and peppers.
Five minutes later.

The peeled tomatoes. They should be mashed, and they give a nice amount of chunky bites.A nice big, pot of marinara. Yum.

What's For Dinner Wednesday

After I wrote the earlier post, I video taped something to go along with it. And...

I can't get the darn thing to upload. Label Daddy is about to announce their winner, and the VIDEO is supposed to be awesome. That leaves me out. (and kicking myself that I was a good girl and didn't succumb to the $100 Mino Flip I saw at Circuit City today.)

In food news, I found a recipe the other day for Knishes. They are a yummy treat to enjoy from street vendors in New York City. There are typically two types you will find,

Both types feature a dense dough and a mashed potato mixture inside.

The recipe I got stated it was based on Yonah Shimmel's recipe. I should have known it was wrong, for it called for PHILLO dough. However, I figured I'd give it a try.

They were good, but they weren't Knishes. Instead, it was more like having potato puff hors d'oeuvres. I think that next time, I'll go with my original thought, to make them with pizza dough.

Label Daddy BlogHer '09 Sponsorship

BlogHer '09 Full Sponsorship
As promised, I'm sharing my experiences with Label Daddy, who is fully sponsoring a trip to:

As the mom of two boys, I'm used to things disappearing. You name it, we've lost it. Silly me, I thought that when they got older, that we wouldn't lose stuff. I was wrong. They're Scouts. We send them off with various camping gear, never to be seen again. It happens.

Enter Label Daddy. They've got great labels reasonably priced, perfect for marking all the kid’s stuff. Two orders later and Label Daddy has impressed me on many fronts, especially-

1. Quick service. Both orders shipped within 24 hours. I got an email with a link to the FedEx tracking page. Both arrived cross country in five days!

2. Quality products. I first ordered their small all purpose labels to use in clothing. Their labels can be laminated, but Gameboy has sensory issues. I skipped it on the first order to minimize irritating him. Guess what? They've …

Label Daddy BlogHer '09 Scholarship Entry

Remember when nearly every blogger I knew went to BlogHer ‘08? At the time, I wrote about what blogging meant to me. Today, you're going to hear and see a little more of that.

Why? because MomDot and Label Daddy are having contests for Label Daddy's BlogHer 09 Scholarship! Label Daddy BELIEVES in the POWER of BLOGS!

They're sponsoring Trisha, Bridgette and Alicia at MomDot's hotel fees for BlogHer. Even better, they are sponsoring Sara, the Label Daddy mommy blogger's WHOLE trip! Label Daddy is awarding two partial scholarships and a full scholarship !

Long time readers know that I'm still job hunting. The current plan is to eBay my way there. Heck, I'll even flash some boobies, if that's what it takes, but I’d rather show MomDot or Label Daddy team why they should send me!

I first started the blog to keep in touch with family and friends. The title "So, You Don't Get Any Phone Calls From Me" was inspired by complaints of infrequent …

The Lament of a Lefty

After 42 years on this planet, I've known I'm different. Many things come to mind, but being a lefty is something I just accept that hey, the world isn't designed for my dominant hand. Adapting is something that is second nature and I rarely think of the fact that I am a southpaw. (though some would say I'm more ambidextrous than normal.)

While it's been no big deal to me, I realize that it creates a problem of sorts for my other half. See, I think part of his joy at having two boys is that his visions for the future included manly man stuff like watching races together, going camping and eventually, playing music together.

It hasn't quite worked out that way.

The camping thing has come along nicely, he's got a monster truck buddy in Chef Junior but the music thing? Well, there's this small problem of Ed being the lone righty and our children? Well, they're not.

The Punnett Square defied the odds with our two. We've got two lefties. For …

The Pause Button

Yesterday's Soundtrack Sunday brought back memories of small boys in the backseat of a car, singing Bear's "Goodbye Song" or the Toileteer song from a potty training video or Gameboy changing the lyrics of an October Project to "Don't Take My Mommy". Those days were notorious for me saying that I hadn't found the darn pause buttons on my kids.

You know what I mean, right?

You want to freeze those adorable moments, to stay in that stage forever. For years, I complained I hadn't found the pause button! I wanted to stay at certain ages and stages forever.

At the time, I didn't stop to consider the fast forward, rewind and eject buttons. Those would be good, too. Maybe even better than that pause button I was fixated on.

Kid said something so funny that you want to share it with the world? Rewind
Kid's throwing a temper tantrum? Fast Forward
Meltdown at DEFCON 4 and climbing? Eject
Child has mastered something for the first time and your…

Got the Munchies?

Quizno's is giving away a million free subs. Mmmm, Quiznos!

Go get yours before they are gone. Make mine a Black Angus, thanks!

Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

When you're a parent, you end up watching hours upon hours of children's programming. Most if is is stuff you'd like to find industrial strength earplugs because it's extremely annoying.

Sometimes, though, there are the gems among the stuff that passes as educational. One of the friends from college that I reconnected with via Facebook worked on one of the best shows the boys watched. A comment made on a cast and crew picture today reminded me of how much I liked their "Goodbye" song, as well as the other shows in the Playhouse Disney lineup at the time.

Step in the wayback machine, because I think that both are gone from the Disney channel lineup: Out of the Box Tony and Vivian would sing songs, do crafts and teach lessons in a cool playhouse in their backyard. (We saw them live at Dulles in 2000 and enjoyed the live as much as the show)

Bear in the Big Blue House. This Henson Production show is something that Jim would have loved. Great characters,…

Small Talk Six-Mardi Gras

In honor of Mardi Gras, today’s topic is the “6 things you would be willing to flash someone for.” You can answer this with a list of 6 words, 6 phrases, 6 sentences, 6 paragraphs, 6 photos, 6 videos, etc . . .

1. An all expenses paid 14 day trip to Hawaii for me and the family. This way, I only have to worry about the darn leg surgery expenses!

2. A new vehicle for Ed. I've got a darn good car I love, it's time he had a good one.

3. A house, or the money to buy one. I'd like this one, but the, I kind of need a job to afford to live here! It needs 3 bedrooms, two baths an office, big eat-in kitchen and a yard, thank you.

4. Tuition for the next few years of college and a monthly stipend so I don't have to work and can max out the classes I take.

5. All expenses paid trip to BlogHer. Hey, I want to get there and I'll do that for the 1500 that convention ticket, hotel, airfare and incidentals will cost.

6. The fully stocked kitchen of my dreams. Gas Viking stove, h…

Tips For Transitioning From One Laptop to Another

Porting over my information from one machine to the other is going to be interesting. The fact that I can't launch .exe files makes some transfers tough. I thought I'd get both laptops on the network and just pull from the old to the new. However, the HP can access the network, but is not visible as being on the network! Tomorrow, there will be some playing with that machine to get it recognized.

Some things to use or remember that ease the transition:

FoxMarks-If you're a Firefox user, this web based app is a dream. It maintains your bookmarks on the web, but you can use it to upload them from one machine, then 'add a second machine' and download all of them at once. As the veteran of a hard drive failure, one where I lost some bookmarks forever, I love this idea.

iTunes-Installing this on your new machine is easy, but how do you get all the music back and forth? Well, you can use your iPod to do it. Remember this-you want to deselect your Auto Sync mode o…

I Have a New Laptop

I am typing this on the new Toshiba. However, things weren't as easy as opening the door to FedEx dude and signing for my computer. Noooo, what actually happened:

A. Waited for the knock on the door, figuring it would show up early.
B. By noon, decided that if I took a shower, delivery would appear while I was in the shower.
C. At 1:15, open up the Office Depot chat window to find out who was delivering and when. Got Willard/Wilfred, who said that it would be delivered via third party and that info was unavailable. Do slight steam, because Ed is off today and we were housebound until that delivery came
D. At 5:15, after delivery window passed, open 2nd Office Depot chat window. Express irritation that we wasted Ed's day off sitting around for delivery and that I would be in Brandon tomorrow and would go to Best Buy. CSR asks for my phone number and tells me someone will "Call back ASAP"
E. 7:30 rolls around and I call the 800 number. At first, when I check order …

Tasty Thursdays-Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

This week over at MomDot, my Tasty Thursdays column features two warm your belly chicken meals.

If you like Outback Steakhouse's Alice Springs Chicken, here's a good variation. Theirs is grilled, this one in baked. There's uses mushrooms, mine uses onions. Other than that, the dish is the same.

You've heard me mention Paprikash many times here. I love the stuff. What's not to love about Chicken and Onions? The recipe is over at my favorite mom blog site.

Any recipes you'd like to see? Let me know and I'll work on putting them up!


From Patchy the Pirate, as he'd been called at school:

back to normal:

Waiting For the FedEx Man!

After visiting a handful of retailers and websites the past week, I finally decided on a purchase. A laptop. Mine is hosed, and well, with starting college this summer, it's probably a good idea to get a newer one (and a second battery for that one, but first things first.)

The contenders and what happened-
Staples-I bought the HP from them just over four years ago. After a similar search, I found they had the best price for what I wanted. Purchased online while recuperating from leg surgery, it arrived the day I returned to work.

This time around, I looked at their offerings after faxing off a document. They had a great sale, but I didn't have the funds that day. A second look and the sales weren't good. Then I found something on their website that said "In Store Only-Special Order."

Wouldn't that imply to you that you'd purchase it at a brick and mortar location, and if they didn't have it, they'd order it? That was my assumption, but the…

What's For Dinner Wednesday

Since I've been home nearly every night, there's one thing the kids were used to enjoying a couple nights a week that they hardly eat: Pasta. I do make it, but not enough for their liking, apparently.

Last night, Chef Jr. asked for tonight's dinner. He said he wanted Ravioli in 'that Asiago Cheese Sauce" that I used to make Pasta Asiago last month. Thanks, Chef, you just came up with the world's easiest dinner for tonight.

A bag of ravioli, salad and a frozen loaf of garlic bread came out of the fridge. I spent a couple of minutes grating Asiago and making the cheese sauce. (Note: if you make an alfredo sauce but substitute Asiago, don't add any salt-it's pretty salty to begin with.)

I'll keep that one tucked in reserve for the days I don't feel like spending a lot of time making dinner!

Yet Another Reason I Love Our Boy Scout Troop

Gameboy has fulfilled all but one requirement to achieve his Second Class and First Class Scout rank (and has some requirements towards Star Scout, too). That one requirement is a toughie-he needs to know how to swim. Not just the ability to stay afloat that he already has, but lengths of a pool.

This probably will require a lot of swim lessons for him, private ones at that. We can't afford that and we're not even sure that he'll gain anything from the time invested. I'll be contacting the local YMCA to explore options for him. In the meantime, he's still stalled in ranks.

This has bothered several leaders. They've been afraid that the lack of advancement would sour Gameboy on the whole scouting experience. There are things that they don't realize about him-that right now, it's providing an organized social environment to attempt to interact with his peers, and that is probably more important to him than the the ranks.

Last month, one leader talk…

Lovely Spam, Wonderful Spam

I entered a blog contest that is supposed to send an email with a discount code on a product I would like to purchase. Thinking that perhaps the email went to my spam account, I'm sifting through the spam. Some of these subject lines are quite humorous, don't you think?

**These are real email subject lines taken from my spam folder today!**

Acquiring a boner has never been easier You mean you don't buy yours at the local discount store? I've always thought that was simple!

The most powerful weapon for your se>.< battles Umm, your se>.< battles? Does that have something to do with Pokemon?

Do not brake, go in a leg in due course How do you go in a leg?

Dont try your bad luck in love! Use blue pilss!
I didn't know I have to try bad luck in love. BTW, what are pilss?

Why people like FakeWatches? because it's Cheap $186+- only and 99.99% Similar to Original, most brands available qfcflv nblt Dude, I have never spent more than 50 bucks for a wat…

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

This weekend's camping trip at Fort DeSoto brought us into familiar territory. Very familiar territory. My Mom and Stepdad (and grandparents prior to them) lived in South Pasadena, a mere minutes from the campsite.

Just before we left Friday afternoon, I realized that despite discussing making Sloppy Joes as one of our meals while camping, I did not pick up a package of ground beef. We also neglected to pack a colander to drain our shells and cheese. Unlike camping where I didn't know the area, this time the area had familiar businesses. Rather than waste daylight making a stop, it was decided we'd set up camp, then I'd go get what we needed.

The tent was set while still daylight and off I went. A left out of Ft. DeSoto, then when I got to the Don Cesar, I made a right onto Gulf Boulevard and into very familiar environs. It was weird. Prior to moving to Florida, we'd spend a night or two along this road. It was hopping, as is typical for mid-February. Our …

Fort DeSoto Camping

We have returned from camping at Fort DeSoto Park, as evidenced by the previous entry!

It was a great weekend at a new to our pack campsite, one that I would DEFINITELY go to again. For those of you who want pristine privys, this place is not your cup of tea. The toilets were spartan, the showers cold water only. However, they worked and were better than the ones we experienced last year in Ruskin.

If you look at the Ft.DeSoto websites, the group camp site isn't labeled on the map. It is separate from the rest of the campsite on a little peninsula. It was wooded, with little beaches all around. At night, even with the occasional car passing by, it was very quiet and peaceful.

Our tent is on the left:Closer view of our tent:The official SuzanneSez family camping breakfast:Chef spends more time untangling the fishing lines than he actually did casting a line:Gameboy, who was more interested in having casting a sinker than actually trying to catch fish (this is apparent when the…

Kid Plus Mom's Razor Equals

Interesting results!

We returned from the camping trip and had plans to visit Bob, Maureen and Coaster Kid. My kids were coated with a layer of dirt and sand, so each was told they were to take a bath, Gameboy first.

Due to having the sensory issues, he does NOT like to wash his hair. He asked me to cut his hair in an effort to avoid washing it. I told him it had to be washed, even did it to ensure he wasn't too smelly.

Well, he comes out of the tub reasonably clean (today, he was introduced to a pumice stone to slough off the elbows and knees he doesn't clean well). Chef was up next. As is typical, Chef called for my assistance with the fact that "Mom, there's HAIR in the tub." Yes, there was more than what Gameboy sheds, but hey, he could have sweated a bunch of it out while camping.

Nope. A few minutes later, Gameboy was sitting in front of the TV and turned to ask a question. Hmmm, he looks different. See if you can see the difference:
Yes, he did this t…

Reports From the Field

It is a gorgeous weekend for camping. Not quite as warm as predicted, but still rather pleasant. We had a brief cloud cover a while ago, but it has passed. Twenty years ago, if you told me I'd be camping, I would have told you you were crazy. If you told me I'd be camping in FEBRUARY, I would have called the men in white coats to haul your butt away!

This is the bridge we traveled over to get to the campsite, all in order to avoid Malfunction Junction (where I4 and I275 meet) during rush hour. Friday rush hour and a three day weekend at that intersection is not one I recommend enduring!

The view about 100 feet from our tent. In the distance, the low white domed structure is Tropicana Field.

Yes, I got in the water. Salt water is supposed to be good for My Stupid Leg(trademark pending) and I took a dip in the hopes of stoping the #$%@$^@$^#$$!@#$^ itching! So far, so good. Water is probably about 65 degrees right now.

Obviously, some of us don't like to follow the rule…