Sunday, December 19, 2010

Walking in a winter wonderland


You have a Picture Mail from Natalie Galletti

Message:
Giselle's art project from 11-30-10



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Awesome version of Heat Miser

Paul's been asking to have this played at least 4 times a day. We even bought the Christmas CD that has this on it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Posting mobil pics to the blog again, thanks Suzanne!


Message:
They finished redoing our neighborhood playground on Friday evening and we were the second people to use it!





Sunday, December 12, 2010

I really wish that my phone's pictures would post here!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Today's Google inquiry

Recipes for Sourdough Biscuits
sour dough biscuits - Google Search

The sourdough starter that we were given last week at art class is ready to be used. I prefer to not make the Amish Friendship Bread recipe that came with the starter - I'm not a big fan of eating baked sweets. I tasted the sour dough yesterday and was smacked in the face with the memory of my mom's sourdough biscuits that we ate with her apple-persimmon jelly or honey butter. Oh those were so good. So as soon as I find a good recipe I'll be baking us up a batch on this chilly fall day.

And the recipe that I picked is from Sarah's Musings   Sourdough Biscuits

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Google question of the day

can i refrigerate amish friendship bread dough - Google Search

and the best answer came from here


Sourdough Bread: How To Begin (easy sourdough for the beginner or novice)


Yes, the starter can be refrigerated.  When it's kept in the fridge it doesn't need to be fed as often and if you aren't trying to multiply it then you don't need to feed it so much either.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why are there no coffee vendors here at the ICE hockey game? It seems like a no-brainer to me.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

KLOVE inspirational verse for the day

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done.

~ Psalm 105:1, NLT | View in context |

Adam Sandler's Thanksgiving Song

Saturday Night Live - Update: Sandler Thanksgiving Song - Video - NBC.com

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Question and Project of the Day

The question of the day for Google
Prickly pear fruit recipes


The chosen answer of the day but modified to suit my pantry

prickly pear lemonade punch.pdf



And this page is great for more detailed information on Tuna which is the name for the fruit of the prickly pear cactus.
tuna-wrangling-aka-processing-prickly pear cactus fruit

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

This day in history

In honor of what happened on this day 53 years ago
Sputnik 2 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
feel inspired to see the movie My Life As a Dog.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Question of the Day

Where exactly are the withers on a horse?

Withers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Monday, November 01, 2010

Frozen avocados DO have a shelf-life and it's less than 6 years!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The start of a great novel!

Today's blog/item description from Woot.com is AMAZING! It's straight out of one of the novels I'm prone to reading these days and I LOVE it!!
Element 40” 1080p LCD HDTV

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Go Home!

So this afternoon/evening, some child left the side gate open and at some point Waylon noticed and took himself for a run (we had already done a 4 miler this morning).  Not knowing that this was going on, the kids were watching TV in the living room and I was redecorating in the master bedroom.  They hear someone at the front door knocking/scratching and ask who it is.  There was no response so they opened it as I was walking over and in rushes Waylon, with a big grin on his face as happy as can be and jumping all over us.  Silly good boy used the front door instead of the side gate that was still wide open.  He was all excited instead of exhausted so I'm guessing that he didn't go on too long of a run.

I tried, I really did!

I tried to post 3 pictures today from my phone while we were on our monthly field trip but they didn't post, OF COURSE!

Monday, October 04, 2010

books

OK, I'm feeling good about books again.  That whole City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass trilogy by Cassandra Clare really sucked the life out of me - by the 3rd book I was reading every 50 pages so that I could find out what was going on without having to slog through the other stuff.  My last skim was 50 pages before the end so I didn't spoil the whole book for myself.  Then I went back and read every page to have picked up all the details of the story.  That was tiring!  I finished them up on the 26th.

The next books that I read from the 26th through the 29th were the first 2 in the Sookie Stackhouse Novels by Charlaine Harris, Dead Until Dark and Living Dead in Dallas.  I loved the books and put the next 5 books of the series on hold at the library for me but only 2 of them have come in so far; I'll pick those 2 up tomorrow while the kids are at art class.  You may be familiar with this already as they are the books that the HBO series True Blood is based on.

Then I next read the first book in an awesome series that's at least 8 books long, of which the library system only carries the first and the last 2 books.  The Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine (she of The Morganville Vampires series) starts off with the fantastic book Ill Wind. I went to Half-Price Books to get the other books in the series but couldn't find any of them except for one of the most recent ones.  I did end up buying most of the books in the Broken Heart Oklahoma series by Michele Bardsley.  Next time, maybe on Wednesday while the kids are at PE I'll hit up the local Goodwill store; maybe I'll have better luck finding the books I want there and for cheaper.

I also picked up at the library a disappointing book by Patricia Briggs called Iron Kissed.  It's book 3 of the Mercy Thompson series but I gave up on it about halfway through the 287 pages.

But in my last library run I also picked up 2 winning books by Barbara BrettonCasting Spells and Laced With Magic; these books combine 2 of my favorite things - knitting and paranormal romance.  I finished Casting Spells about 30 min ago and once I finish this post I'll be starting on Laced With Magic (book 3 comes out next month).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I better hide my plant

Research is showing that a protein in Pokeweed has VERY strong anti-viral properties - as in it can kill the AIDS virus.  I better hide my plant before some giant pharmaceutical company patents the entire Pokeweed plant and starts going after people growing rogue plants in their yards.  You may laugh but it's happened before.
You know what isn't poisoned by eating Pokeweed?  Woolly Bear caterpillars, which are the larvae of the Giant Leopard Moth!! 





I've got a shot of one of those moths under our front light but I can't find it right now, oh well.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

books

I just finished City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, book 1 of The Mortal Instruments.  I'm not feeling very happy about the book right now; the plot twist that happened after the plot twist that I saw coming from a mile away is NOT settling well with me.  I'm anticipating another plot twist back in the direction that I want in the next book in the series which I'll start reading momentarily.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

books

I'm liking City of Bones so far.  I'm at page 174 and I LOVED the mention of 2 of Holly Black's characters that just happened.  Clary and Jace (City of Bones main characters) are going through NY City and see a group of homeless kids that includes Val and Luis (Valiant main characters).  I just LOVE when two different worlds overlap each other like that!!
Back to reading on this rainy day!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

books

OK, I just finished Strange Brew, a collection of paranormal short stories written by various authors.  Some of the stories were really good, some were OK, and some I skimmed through because they were just eh.  I was surprised that I didn't enjoy the Harry Dresden short story more.  I liked the TV show pretty well, so did Joe, but this story at least didn't grab me like I thought it would.  Oh well.
Now I'm starting on the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, it looks to be good.

Oh, I started reading a funny book to Paul while he was in the MRI machine this evening.  I picked it out at the library today while they were at Art Class.  It's The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy by William Boniface.  He liked it a lot and I think that Giselle may enjoy reading it on her own too.

Oh well, back to the books!

Monday, September 20, 2010

books

Oh, I finished Holly Black's Ironside; A Modern Faery's Tale several days ago.  I just hadn't gotten around to posting it although I did update my personal reading lists.  LOVED it!  I kind of hope there's a sequel of sorts because I've enjoyed the series so far.  I do hope that there aren't any more Kaye and Roiben because I want them to have a 'happily ever after'.  But Ms Black did write a short story related to them that was published in the Poison Eaters collection that I've already read.  Since I finished Ironside I've been reading a collection that I'm not done with yet due to a reading glitch called "my 6-yr old damaged his LCL playing soccer and I've been tending to him a lot".
Time to call the Orthopedist again and find out why they haven't called me back yet.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

books

About an hour ago I finished Holly Black's Valiant, book 2 in her Modern Faerie Tales series.  Good book, not great.  I don't regret reading it, especially since it took me less than a day to read the 314 pages. I guess I'll start on the 3rd book in the series, Ironside, tonight.  My eyes are feeling fuzzy but I think that's from all the mold in the air from all the rain last week.  More rain supposedly this weekend.  I hope it stays away until after Saturday's soccer games.

first things first

Yesterday we left the house at 9:30 am and didn't get back home again until 8!
First we drove 13 miles to a La Leche League Meeting at 10, then we high-tailed it back South to pick up lunch from Sonic and get the kids to PE by 12:50.  Then I popped to the library (practically next door to the PE park) and did some returns and checked out 2 books on hold and 2 more from off the shelf.  i had forgotten my errand list at home so I called Joe (who happened to be at home) and copied it down on some paper I had in the car.  Then I drove to Walmart to pick up a rubber tray to keep under the dog's indoor water bowl, then I went to Barnes & Nobles to get some school books for Giselle and renew my Educator's Discount card.  After dropping the books off in the car I went next door to Michael's to get aprons for the group I'm in who'll be serving Wednesday night dinner in 2 weeks.  I also got the paint to decorate them with and some more glowy sitcks. 
They're $1 for a container of 15 bracelets so I have to restock with 5 containers every time I go in there.  You can never have too many glowy sitcks, I always say.  And good thing too since of the 3 containers of glowy sticks that I brought on our camp out, almost one entire container was all duds!  Good thing I brought 3 instead of just 2 like I was going to do at first.
After leaving Machael's I had to drive across town another 10 miles to the Boy Scouts Store to get Paul's uniform that he needed for tonight even though he was going to be at soccer practice not at scouts.  I realized today while ironing on the required patches that one the patches they gave me was wrong.  Joe has gallantly offered to go and change it out for me.  Then I scooted back South and went to Thomlinson's Pet Food store to get, what else, dog food.  One of the 2 brands that we use was on super sale so I had to buy extra (they aren't going to carry it any more so I had to buy the last of their stock for 25% off regular price).  With the time creeping up on 3:30 I got to Sam's Club and bought 4 cases of 1-liter bottles of Ozarka for Joe, then headed back to the park to meet up with the other moms and kids after PE ended at 4.  We hung out at the park until 5:30 when it was time to leave for dinner at church followed by kids' choir and general hanging out until 8 pm.
Waylon was very glad to see us when we got home!

books

I finished Rachel Cain's Kiss Of Death about 15 min ago.  I'm really glad that I only have to wait 1 month until book 9 comes out.  I'm probably going to have to buy it since I'll be so far back in line on the hold list at the library.
Right now I'm number 6 in line to get the recently released Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare from the library but a friend of mine owns it, she told me at church Wednesday night, and said she'd loan it to me.  Although I think I'll wait to read it until after I read the sequel books.  See, it's like the Star Wars movies from when I was a teen - there were the first 3 Star Wars movies.  Then George Lucas made the 3 prequel movies and then the movies that WERE 1, 2, & 3 became movies 4, 5, & 6.  Well the new book, Clockwork Angel is part one of a trilogy that precedes the events in the first books City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, and City of Fallen Angels. 
So I'm not sure which of the 4 books I currently have checked out of the library I'll read next; I'm thinking it'll be the two Holly Black books, maybe.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

books

I just finished Rachel Caine's Fade Out, book 7 of The Morganville Vampires.  Intense would be the correct word for this one, less WOW than the last 2 have been.  I'm about to see what book 8 has in store for me - I bought it last night and got it autographed too.  I think that there's only going to be another 3 or 4 books written in the series and they aren't out yet so after book 8 it's on to my next library books.

Monday, September 13, 2010

books

I finished Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine 30 min ago.  Once again, all I can say is WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!!  And just 3 hours ago I actually met the woman who wrote the book and got her to autograph my reading list.  I'd stick around and post more but I've already spent the last half hour updating my reading list and this blog.  Now I've got to get to reading book 7 in the series; I bought book 8 earlier tonight at the Smart Chicks Kick It book tour stop here in Austin.
We've got a field trip in the morning to a local US Post Office; that should be fun!

replay

I just watched this again for the first time since we got Waylon 4 months ago. This is EXACTLY how Waylon acts and sounds, especially Joey who keeps standing on the arms of the chairs (although Waylon doesn't do that since he's not allowed on the furniture).



We love our squeaky dog!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

books

OK, just a quick post to state that I just finished Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine, book 5 in The Morganville Vampires series.  WOW, WOW, WOW!  That's what I'm saying about this book in the series, just WOW!  Gotta leave and get on to book 6.  I'll be sure to buy book 8 at the book signing TOMORROW NIGHT and I'm sure that I'll be eagerly waiting to get book 9 when it's published at the end of this October.
See ya!

books

I finished Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine this morning and have already moved on to book 5 of the series.  This series is great, I don't want to stop reading it!  But real life calls and we've got shopping for cleats and groceries to do this afternoon so it won't be until tonight that I'll finish book 5 and start on book 6.

books

OK, I probably actually finished the book just before midnight but I had to edit my reading lists first before making this post.  I just finished reading Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine, book 3 in The Morganville Vampires series.  Book 3 was just as good as the first 2, maybe even a little better.  I love all the subplots that run through each book and how they thread each book together.  The final 2 twists at the absolute very end blew me away!  The only thing I missed in this one was that there was no recap of the book and teaser of the next book in the form of Eve's journal entries like at the end of the previous 2 books.  Oh well, just a minor thing.  Now I'm off to read book 4, Feast of Fools.  I doubt I'll finish it tonight but maybe before church in the morning...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

pause

Just finished a 30 min break for dinner prep and eating.  I had only gotten to page 60 before the dinner break but I had to take an earlier break in there to refill the pool for the dog to soak in.  He's exhausted himself by running around the backyard non-stop while I was out there reading all afternoon.

books

I just finished The Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine, book 2 in The Morganville Vampires series.  At about 250 pages each, I'm taking 5 hours to finish each - my standard reading rate is 50 pages per hour.  So if I start now, even with a break for dinner, I should finish book 3 tonight and get a good start on book 4 before I go to bed.  Depending on how much caffeine I drink this evening, I just might finish book 4 too!  I think it's looking good for getting all 7 read before Monday night.  I'll still be short two books but that's ok, maybe I'll buy those there at the signing.
Wish me luck!
Wow, in my rush to start on the next book I almost forgot to mention the one I just finished.  Well, I guess that my enthusiasm for reading the next book is actually a really good review - The Dead Girls' Dance was so good that I'm eagerly rushing to read the next in the series, Midnight Alley.  I 'm not doing full reviews of any of these books, if you want that kind of information you're welcome to read all the reviews at the Amazon.com link I post for each book.
Now, I'm off to refill my quart cup of ice water and then head back out to the back porch where I'll be reading until the kids make me feed them dinner.  Hey, I DID wash all the dishes this morning before I started reading for the day.  And I took Giselle to soccer practice, and I returned some shin guards to Target, and I got my eggs and veggies and bacon and sausage at the farmers market, and I picked Giselle up from soccer practice (I surprised her with a lemon/pina colada Jim Jim's).  So I haven't been sitting around all day just reading.

Friday, September 10, 2010

books

We're about to head out to the park for the rest of the day but I just finished book 1 of The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine, Glass Houses.  WOW!  I am SO glad that I've got the next 6 books already checked out of the library because this is a good one!  It doesn't hurt that it takes place in Texas  :)  I love that the school the main character goes to is Texas Prairie University, aka TPewwww!    I'm looking forward to after dinner tonight when I can get to reading book 2, The Dead Girls' Dance.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

books

I finished Holly Black's White Cat earlier this evening.  Wow! What a really good book!  Twists and turns in the plot abounded, and a great twisted ending that made me want to scream because the 2nd book in this new series won't be released until APRIL of next year!!
Now on to the Morganville series.  I've got the first 7 in the series and they look to be quick reads so I should be able to finish them all before The Smart Chicks Kick It! book tour comes through Austin on Monday night.  I feel that it's only proper to have read as many books possible by all of the authors who will be there on Monday night.  In this case Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Holly Black, Rachel Caine & Cassandra Clare will all be in attendance.  I've read books by them all except Rachel Caine since my holds on her books haven't come in yet at the library.  Rather than get any of my books signed, I'm going to get my reading list signed by them all.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

books

I finished The Poison Eaters by Holly Black yesterday afternoon.  It's a collection of 10 of her short stories that have previously published in other places and 2 new ones written just for this book.  Most of them were really good compared to what some other writers put out but I think that Ms Black is more in her element in full-length stories. 
I'm now reading the first book in her newest series, The Curse Workers.  I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around the story but I think that's because I've read about too many alternate realities over these past several months and I'm getting some of them mixed up.  It's either that or this sinus headache that I've had for the last 3 days.

Monday, September 06, 2010

books

I gave up on reading The Returners by Gemma Malley this evening.  After 100 pages I found myself skimming forward to try to find interesting parts and kept not finding any.  I think I'm going to start another book by Holly Black after the kids go to bed.  She's another of the authors who'll be at the Smart Chicks Kick It! book tour stop in Austin next week.
We're back to reading the Percy Jackson series before bed as a group.

books

I finished Michelle Rowan's Lady & the Vamp yesterday in the very early am.  That's book 3 in the Immortality Bites series.  What a fun series, I like these ones that make me laugh.  So many of these books are full of angst and no humor at all, Michelle Rowan blends a little angst in with a good load of humor.  And I finished Melissa Marr's Radiant Shadows at about 1:30 this morning; book 4 in the Wicked Lovely series.  I liked that this continued the story on from another point of view just like the previous books in this series.  I look forward to the next book in the series being released next year.  Melissa Marr is one of the authors who'll be at the Smart Chicks Kick It! book tour when it comes through town next Monday.  Joe's going to watch the kids so I can go!  I'm not sure what book in my pile I'm going to read next but today's a holiday so I may or may not get a lot of reading done.

Friday, September 03, 2010

books

I finished Marked by P.C. & Kristin Cast in the wee hours of this morning.  Wow, this is one that I wish I already had the sequels checked out of the library!!  Not a cliff-hanger by any means, the book finished very well, but I want to know MORE!  Instead, next I'm going to read the 7 Morganville books that I checked of the library on Wednesday.  I wonder if I'll get any reading done while on the camp-out this weekend?

Thursday, September 02, 2010

books

Just finished Ghostgirl: Lovesick by Tonya Hurley.  I assumed that this was book 3 of a trilogy but she ended the book "the end?" so who knows what'll be published by her next year.  I'm not sure what I'm going to read next, I've got a lot to choose from so I mught just watch TV instead.

spooky!

On this day (September 2) in 1666 – A large fire began on London's Pudding Lane and burned the city for three days, destroying St Paul's Cathedral and the homes of 70,000 of the city's 80,000 inhabitants.

The spooky thing is that for school yesterday (September 1) we read in our history book, Story Of The World Volume 3, about the plague hitting London AND the Great Fire of London!  The city and surrounding area had approximately 500,000 residents prior to the plague and only 300,000 after the plague.  Then just a few months later, the fire took out 80% of the city's buildings!  Not a good time to be a Londoner!!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

books

Oh, I finished Ghostgirl: Homecoming by Tonya Hurley last night and now it's on to book 3 in the series.  Book 3 is also chock full of chapter titles that are actually song titles from 'back in my day'!  On the side, when it's quiet and I can concentrate, I'm rereading How To Talk So Kids Can Learn by Faber and Mazlish.  UT uses this as an instructional text in their teaching program and it's been about 2 years since I last read it.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

books and music

Question:  What do all of the following song titles have in common?

"Bad Connection" by Yaz (aka Yazoo)
"Epitaph for the Heart" by The Magnetic Fields
"Dead Sound" by The Raveonettes
"Girlfriend in a Coma" by The Smiths
"Imitation of Life" by REM
"Back in Your Head" by Tegan and Sara
"Bird on the Wire" by Leonard Cohen
"This is How I Disappear" by My Chemical Romance
"She Sells Sanctuary" by The Cult
"Die Young, Stay Pretty" by Blondie
"Shadow of Doubt" Sonic Youth
"Pretty Vacant" by Sex Pistols
"Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order
"Tomorrow Never Knows" by The Beatles
"Alone Again Or" by The Damned (my preferred version) or Calexico
"We Will Become Silhouettes" by The Postal Service
"This Must Be the Place" by Talking Heads

Answer:  The song titles are all chapter titles in the book I'm currently reading.  Odd thing is that the book was written/published in 2009. 

goose egg

I'm eating the last goose egg of the 2010 goose egg-laying season for dinner tonight (fried, sunny side up).  It was plucked from the nest exactly 2 months ago (I write the date on them) and I'll eagerly await the 2011 season for the next 6 months!

The kids are having home-made chili cheese tots.

National Buy A Book Day - September 7

Philip Athans is the New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation and ten other fantasy and horror books including the just-released The Guide to Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction.   He had the brilliant idea to start a National Buy A Book Day to help support print authors and bookstores nationwide.

"... any book will do, by any author, in any genre, in any format. You do not need to spend more than you can afford. A $7.99 mass market paperback counts. A $4.99 children’s book counts. As long as the book is new and full price, buy it from an indie, from a chain, in the suburbs or the city, whatever. If the book you’re buying is by a living author, we can encourage people who are writing now to keep writing. If you have the means and desire, buy more than one book. One book is all I’m asking, but if you can afford two, buy two, or three, or . . . Buy your book at a store you particularly like, in an area that has few bookstores, that otherwise supports your community, or you know is struggling—or buy it from any of the big chains. I don’t care.
Books are worth saving. Authors are worth supporting. Any town is always better having any bookstore in it. People who work in bookstores are literate, intelligent book lovers, and the world is a better place if they have a place to ply their trade. I love books, and I love book people—all books, and all book people."

Read Philip's complete original post here  

Monday, August 30, 2010

books

I just finished Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley; now I'm on to book 2 in the series.  It was good fun book but not great.  I really liked all the music references to songs that I'm familiar with.  Who'd a thunk that all the songs I listened to 25 years ago would be the classic goth songs of today?!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

books

I just finished Holly Black's Tithe; a modern faerie tale.  Book 1 in yet ANOTHER series of YA paranormal novels.  I've put books 2 & 3 on hold from the library so I'll be getting them read in the next week or two.  I think that I'm going to start on the Ghost Girl series next.  I've got all 3 books checked out already so I won't have to deal with any cliff hanging this time, unless there's a book 4 that hasn't been written yet that isn't mentioned on the author's web site.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

books

I just finished reading Ghost Huntress Book 2: The Guidance by Marley Gibson.  Imagine The Ghost Whisperer as a teen and with friends.

Friday, August 27, 2010

books

I started and finished reading Gemma Malley's The Declaration yesterday.  After constantly reading so many books that are parts of (seemingly never-ending) series for the last 6 months, it was pretty refreshing to read a stand-alone book.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

eggs

So this latest egg recall is yet ANOTHER reason that I'm so glad that I get our eggs from a local farm!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

2nd Google search of the day

So, the Bridge of 33 Arches led us to a site that had pictures of the Engineering Wonders of the World which led me to look up pictures and information on the Falkirk Wheel.  Joe and I watched a special about this on TV several years ago and it was SO cool to learn about - it just opened for use in 2002 so it's pretty new.
Here's the Google link to all the pictures of the wheel
http://www.google.com/images?q=falkirk+wheel&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=ekB1TOGMDoOB8gaD1LjqBg&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=6&ved=0CEYQsAQwBQ&biw=1440&bih=724

and here's the Wikipedia page with all the information about it, complete with some links to stop-action photos of it in motion.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falkirk_Wheel

Google search of the day

Because of what we were reading in history today we did a search for pictures of the Bridge of 33 Arches located in Iran.
http://www.google.com/images?q=bridge%20of%2033%20arches&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1440&bih=724

and the best pictures can be found here:
http://www.happy-art.ch/happy-art/Iran-2.html

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Google inquiry of the day

Who sings the original version of "Life is a Highway" that was remade for the movie "Cars"?

Results http://www.google.com/search?q=life+is+a+highway+original&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a


The chosen answer is from Wikipedia (which is where most of my answers come from)
""Life Is a Highway" is a song written by Tom Cochrane, from his 1991 album Mad Mad World. The song was Cochrane's most famous song, as it was a number one hit in his native Canada. The song also peaked at number six on the Billboard charts in the United States in 1992. The song has been covered and released by Chris LeDoux, Jerry Jeff Walker and Rascal Flatts."

Sunday, August 08, 2010

World Party - Ship of Fools

What a great song! I regularly sing verse 2 under my breath about people I encounter in my life.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Texts post but not pictures

Monday, July 19, 2010

Real Simple Magazine Daily Thought

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”

― Morrie Schwartz

Monday, July 12, 2010

Real Simple Magazine Daily Thought

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Real Simple Magazine Daily Thought

“The most important things in life aren’t things.”
Anthony J D’Angelo

Monday, June 28, 2010

Big Time Rush - Famous

They're a modern day version of The Monkees, complete with the goofy TV show. And I can't get this song out of my head!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Real Simple Magazine Daily Thought

“If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.”
Win Borden

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

another search

And this single/album also
Breakfast in America - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
March 1979

another search

We were looking for a release date of this single and album.
Baker Street (song) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
January 1978

Monday, June 07, 2010

second search of the day

coppertone sport spray pump bottle - Google Search

and it came up with no solution for me - it doesn't exist anymore. Boo!

my question of the day

My personal question of the day that I Googled an answer for was "What are the pesticide residue levels in orange juice?"
The answers that I came up with were:
"Six foods had very low TI's (10 or less) each time they were tested: Frozen/canned corn, milk, U.S. orange juice, U.S. broccoli, bananas, and canned peaches. Not quite as low, but still relatively "clean," were frozen/canned sweet peas, U.S. and imported apple juice, frozen winter squash from Mexico, tomatoes from Canada, Brazilian orange juice, and U.S. wheat."  From http://www.annieappleseedproject.org/pesresinfood.html

"Pesticides are not the only contaminants in food that may affect children's health adversely. Industrial contaminants (such as dioxins, PCBs, and mercury), microbial contaminants (such as E. coli), and natural contaminants (such as aflatoxin) also can be found in foods. The Pesticide Data Program does not analyze foods for the presence of these types of contaminants, although other government programs monitor for some of them."    From  http://yosemite.epa.gov/ochp/ochpweb.nsf/content/food_contam.htm

"9 Pesticide Residues Found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program"    From  http://www.whatsonmyfood.org/food.jsp?food=OJ     I'm going to bookmark this website for future reference, it's fantastic!

 "· U.S.-grown produce generally is more likely to have higher residues than imported fruits and vegetables. There are a few significant exceptions - such as tomatoes grown in Mexico - but the data do not support the stereotype that imports have worse pesticide problems than domestic produce.
· Organochlorine pesticides banned in the 1970s still show up in foods that kids eat today. For instance, dieldrin remains in soil, and crops such as squash, cantaloupe, soybeans, sweet potatoes and spinach contain significant residues. Although its use is banned, FDA "action levels" permit dieldrin residues in foods that are higher than the EPA says is "safe."
· Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate insecticide, was detected in 22 foods the PDP tested from 1994 through 1998. The highest chlorpyrifos residues show up in apples from New Zealand, grapes from Chile, tomatoes from Mexico, and domestically grown soybeans."   From  http://www.consumersunion.org/pub/core_food_safety/002324.html

I'm not sure how to interpret the information from this site but it's good for searching a WIDE variety of food items for pesticides   http://www.codexalimentarius.net/mrls/pestdes/jsp/pest_q-e.jsp

The motherload of info on orange juice!   http://www.amazon.com/Squeezed-About-Orange-Agrarian-Studies/dp/0300164556/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275925384&sr=8-1  "The flavor is sourced from all parts of oranges everywhere…Typically, the orange oils and essences that juice concentrators collect during evaporation are sold to flavor manufacturers, who then reconfigure these by-products…into ‘flavor packs’ for reintroduction into orange juice."

"despite what advertisers claim, most orange juice is neither fresh nor natural (not in the way most of us would define those terms). Think about it; how could it be truly fresh year-round, when oranges are a seasonal product? Sure, it may be “not from concentrate,” but raw juice is often heated, stripped of its volatile compounds and flavor-rich oils, and stored for as long as a year before it reaches the consumer.  Something called “the flavor pack” is used to return most of the “natural” aroma and taste to the product."   From http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/food/2010/04/27/squeezed-the-secrets-of-the-orange-juice-industry/ 

and the final hit from the first page of Google returns:
"Many parents depend on apple juice as a staple in their children’s meals and snacks away from home. However, apples are one of the Dirty Dozen. Washing and peeling do not remove pesticide residue. As a result, you can expect that any apple juice made from conventionally grown apples will also contain higher pesticide residues.  A simple switch to orange juice will reduce the amount of pesticides going into growing bodies, with a healthy dose of vitamin C included."  From  http://hubpages.com/hub/Five-Easy-Ways-to-Reduce-Your-Familys-Pesticide-consumption


And an interesting personal note -
Last month several cartons of the orange juice that we normally get (HEB Groves Choice Lots of Pulp not from concentrate) had a definite tangerine or truly fresh-squeezed taste to them.  It's a taste I normally equate with our homemade fresh orange juice made from oranges from The Valley in mid-winter which is when they are actually ripe for the picking.  It was GOOD!  So either it was from 6-month-old US stock from the winter and just now hitting the shelves or it was new stock from South America where it's now becoming mid-winter.

Friday, June 04, 2010

enough

3 hours of nonstop swimming in a creek is enough for Waylon.  At 4:30 pm he decided that he was too tired to swim anymore and walked out of the creek heading over to the playground to rest for the remainder of the afternoon.  As soon as we came home he crashed on the floor and was out like a light.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Real Simple Magazine Daily Thought

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

― Buddha

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Waylon on the hunt

From last month.  On Friday Park Days Waylon spends over 2 hours swimming in the creek hunting dragonflies, water striders, tadpoles, fish and birds.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

maybe again when she turns 16

6 years ago today, Giselle awoke to a ceiling full of 3 dozen balloons on her 3rd birthday.  Never again have I surprised her like that but maybe I'll do it again when she turns 16.  16 dozen balloons - now THAT will be impressive!


Saturday, May 29, 2010

ears

Giselle got her ears pierced on Thursday as one of her 9 yr-old birthday gifts.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Real Simple Magazine Daily Thought

“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
― James Arthur Baldwin

Friday, May 07, 2010

Texas Stars


We went to our first Texas Stars ice hockey game tonight.  The kids had a blast and we'll be sure to go again, a lot!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Alyss of Wonderland

I just finished reading book one of three in the Looking Glass trilogy by Frank Beddor.  And I just finished reserving the next 2 books in the series online with the City library system!
I've been on a string of successes with the books that I've chosen to check out of the library and have just poured through them.  Giselle has been inspired by this and reads her books at every opportunity - first thing in the morning, after school, and before bed.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Star Wars

Great movie!  Go watch it!  The best 3 min you'll spend all week!
May the 4th Be With You

Saturday, May 01, 2010

reading and water

I spent 6 hours today reading the entire book "Wings" by Aprilynne Pike.  Most of that time I was sitting out on the back porch overseeing the kids play with the hose - filling the pool twice and using one of the Slip-n-Slides for the first time this season.  Waylon was not impressed - he prefers his water in creek or river form like it was for 2 hours yesterday at the park.

Friday, April 30, 2010

swimming

Getting things together for Friday Park Day and Waylon's hour-long swim in the creek.

games

Mahjong this morning, Bunko tonight!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Real Simple Magazine Daily Thought

"There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage." ― Martin Luther

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Jars Of Clay - Flood

We didn't take any pictures but we saw this band sing this song and others live at the State Capitol this afternoon in support of The United Methodist Church's Imagine No Malaria campaign kickoff. It was a really good show and a lot of money was raised.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

love bites

Waylon is a nibbler, especially when he's really happy.  Fingers and bums are his favorite.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Books

As a family we're reading the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.  We're on book 2 of 5.
Giselle is currently reading the Pure Dead series by Debi Gliori.  She's on book 2 of 6.
Paul's currently reading every Pokemon book that the library has in stock.
I'm currently reading all the books in the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong (and rereading the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer for the 5th time).
Joe's reading some manual or another.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

more bugs

The second Chinese Praying Mantis egg sack hatched open this morning!

Monday, April 12, 2010

He's Here!!!

Waylon on his first morning, out cruising the property line.


Checking on the birds in the neighbor's back yard.

Making a second lap around.

After a hard afternoon at the park.

Learning what "dog tired" means - 7 am run, 8 am breakfast, play in the back yard, 10 am walk, car trips all over town, another walk, playing in the backyard, swimming and playing with other dogs at the park for 2 & 1/2 hours, pre-dinner nap (picture), dinner, help take out the trash, another run at 9 pm, and he put himself to bed at 9:15!

The insects

Here are the praying mantis pictures, as promised.  Look how cute and tiny they are!


The new dog!


Walon has arrived!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Praying Manti

The first of our 2 Chinese Praying Mantis egg sacks hatched today!
So, we're in the middle of school, I think we were just finishing History (Story of the World Volume 2), and all of a sudden Giselle shouts out "It's hatching!  My praying mantis egg is hatching!!"  After staring at it for a few minutes, we decide that it'd be better to let them all hatch out outside in freedom instead of in the mesh cage.  It took quite a while for them all to hatch.  I got some weeding done in the meantime.  The instructions said that from 20 to 200 would hatch, I think we got the 200 one!  Hopefully Paul's has just as many inside when it hatches in another few days. 
I took pictures but they were so tiny and almost see-through so they didn't photograph very well.  Not that that's stopped me from posting pictures before.  It's mainly that I didn't feel like downloading them onto the computer.

Monday, April 05, 2010

soon?

We're still giving Joe some time but the kids and I are going to explode if we don't have one of these by Memorial Day!



Seriously, aren't these the cutest dogs?!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Kids Love Swings!


A typical Sunday at the HOPE Farmers Market.

The Tornado


Two want it to spin and two don't want it to spin!

More Carnival

Carnival

Saturday, April 03, 2010

not posting!

I sent a lot of great pictures from the carnival tonight but since none of my mobile pics are uploading STILL none of them are here currently.
We had a lot of fun!
I'll post the pictures here another day.

Friday, April 02, 2010

An early dinner at Romeo's 3-30


We stopped by Romeo's restaurant on Barton Springs after the museum for an early dinner.

Laguna Gloria with friends 3-30


A last minute field trip to the Laguna Gloria Art Museum with another home school family. A great way to spend a beautiful day.

+ one more kid 03-28


We added another child to the fun and ended up with 5 kids and 1 adult riding home on the golf cart

sunday at the park 03-28





The kids trying hard not to get sick from spinning too much

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Real Simple Magazine Daily Thought

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”

― Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

problem

I've been trying to post pictures mobilly for the last several days but none of them have been getting through. Sorry

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Real Simple Magazine Daily Thought

“Friendship, love, health, energy, enthusiasm, and joy are the things that make life worth living and exploring.”

― Denise Austin

Senor Don Gato

We learned this song in Spanish Class today and this, by far, is the best video for the song!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Wildflowers

The first blue bonnets of the year at our house

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Annual events

Every year on Thanksgiving weekend we put up the greenhouse and every year on the weekend closest to the Ides of March (the 15th) we take down the greenhouse. And by 'we' I mean me with some minor assistance on the main panel.
So today I took down 2 of the 3 panels; I'll take down the 3rd panel tomorrow evening or Monday morning.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

50% Off Mexican Food at Iron Cactus - LivingSocial Deals

50% Off Mexican Food at Iron Cactus - LivingSocial Deals
Offer is good for only another 20 hours from now. Must be used by May 31, 2010. Good at the Galleria location!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dr Laura's opinion and me agreeing

Doctor Laura on the devaluation of real relationships by the "Famous People"

http://www.drlaurablog.com/2010/02/25/hollywood-hookups/

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dog Gone

The last picture ever of our dog.
September 15, 1994 to February 16, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Spring is here!

Tomorrow is the unofficial First Day of Spring here - true winter starts Jan 1 and ends Feb 14 in Austin. We'll maybe have about a dozen random nights with a freeze between now and March 12 but pretty much all the days will be above 55 from here on out. Sorry friends in the NE, but this's why I live HERE not where you are.

Spring flowers

My Father's House

My Father's House
words and music copyright by Audio Adrenaline

I don't know where you lay your head
or where you call your home
I don't know where you eat your meals
or where you talk on the phone
I don't know if you got a cook
a butler or a maid
I don't know if you got a yard
with a hammock in the shade

I don't know if you got some shelter
say a place to hide
I don't know if you live with friends
in whom you can confide
I don't know if you got a family
say a mom or dad
I don't know if you feel love at all
but I bet you wish you had

Come and go with me
to my Fathers house
Come and go with me
to my Fathers house

It's a big big house
with lots and lots a room
A big big table
with lots and lots of food
A big big yard
where we can play football
A big big house
Its my Fathers house

Ibidibidee bop bop bow whew! yeah!

All I know is a big ole house
with rooms for everyone
All I know is lots a land
where we can play and run
All I know is you need love
and I've got a family
All I know is you're all alone
so why not come with me?

Come and go with me
to my Fathers house
Come and go with me
to my Fathers house

It's a big big house
with lots and lots a room
A big big table
with lots and lots of food
A big big yard
where we can play football
A big big house
Its my Fathers house

Come and go with me
to my Fathers house
Come and go with me
to my Fathers house

It's a big big house
with lots and lots a room
A big big table
with lots and lots of food
A big big yard
where we can play football
A big big house
Its my Fathers house

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The matching scarf

Made with yarn from Yarn Harvest

The hat

Made with repurposed yarn from Yarn Harvest

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Today's task

Mowed the grass in the backyard

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Shark tank

Today's field trip to the shark tank located in a bar downtown

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Texas winter

It was Giselle's idea jan 19 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

more

Oh, and 5 more Lego kits and 2 more Playmobil kits entered the house this evening from the party. Good thing Paul got some bigger storage bins for his birthday too!!

soap

I just gotta say, I LOVE the scent of the Lemon Verbena Mrs Meyer's Clean Day Liquid Hand Soap. It's just so refreshing!!

Sunday, bloody Sunday

One kid sliced his finger open at the party today on the bamboo stays inside of the Mexican pinata. He and his brother got their cupcake and ice cream cup to-go.
The rest of the party stayed blood free which is actually a pretty amazing feat considering that in just our group there were 15 boys and 2 girls riding around the park on scooters, bikes, roller blades and skate boards.
Once again, the weather was in our favor for an outdoor party in the middle of January. It wasn't the 66 to 68 degrees they had promised but 63 was wonderful in the sunshine.

I need to work on the latest knitting projects (another hat for me, another washcloth, and a sample square) and finish them up so I can start on the hats for preemies that our church knitting group is starting on and a scarf for a friend so I'm outta here.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cupcakes

Mmmm, beaters

making the cupcakes

I'm about to start making the cupcakes. For the first time I'm going to use cake flour, wish me luck!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The pirate ship has docked


Playmobil set no 5775 with 291 pieces is now fully assembled!



I love that Playmobil instructions are so detailed that they even show how to tie the correct boating knots when putting the strings on the ship!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

new

We got 4 foot by 2 foot drip pans to contain the dog's drips while she sleeps. They work well!
Paul got a giant Playmobil pirate ship for his birthday today. I haven't finished building it yet.
Only 14 cookies remain of the 91 baked this afternoon.
I lit 36 snake fireworks in the church parking lot after dinner tonight to the delight of a half-dozen small boys and girls.
Everyone at dinner at church tonight sang "Happy Birthday" to Paul after the opening prayer.

Paul woke up this morning and said that he had just had the greatest dream. He said he dreamed that he got a giant hug from everyone and that was the greatest gift that he could ask for. What an awesome kid! So Giselle climbed over me and gave him a giant hug. Another awesome kid!

Why I love my big oven

91 cookies baking at one time!

Birthday breakfast at Jim's

The Texas Two Step

Saturday, January 09, 2010

too cold

Paul and I spent the day inside playing Legos and Sega Genesis video games.
Giselle spent the day down in the workshop with Joe. They went out for lunch with some other people but Paul and I stayed home.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Baby it's cold outside

It was fun to watch my VERY COLD dehydrated outdoor potted plants spring back to life after I poured water on the soil. See, the roots of a potted plant with dried out soil can easily be as cold as the air temperature (below freezing). BUT if the soil is damp (full of water) then the soil and the roots in it stay at the temp of the frozen water (32 degrees). This is why you can stay warm in an igloo when it's 30 below zero outside - with all of that ice, the air around you stays at 32 degrees instead of dropping lower.
Our thermometer is reading 33 right now right next to the house. Too bad that's Fahrenheit not Celsius.

Monday, January 04, 2010

tooth

Paul lost tooth number 7 during dinner tonight. Top right 2nd incisor. That's 7 teeth out and in since March plus two 6-yr-old molars since December of 08. Giselle is anxious for her top two canine teeth to come out just not before her two bottom canines finish coming in all the way.

upcoming

Well, the invitation has been sent so it's time to make room for more Playmobil and Lego sets.
I'll make 6 dozen cookies to take to PE on the real birthday, another 6 dozen to take to dinner at church that night, and then the cake(?) for the party. I'm thinking cupcakes though because they're easier to serve but it's more fun for me to decorate a cake. I'll have to pour through my cookie recipes to find several that will decorate easily. I might really NEED to buy some flour this time around, instead of THINKING that I need to - I've actually used up all those packages that I kept buying every time.
Oh, and I can't forget to get to buy hot chocolate mix. I know, gross and lazy. But I've got to make enough for 13 active boys and that's the easiest way to make bulk. Wait, no it's not. It'd take just as long to boil water as it would to heat the milk and melt the chocolate. That's it, no fake hot chocolate for THIS birthday party! Assuming 2 cups per kid makes 26 cups of hot chocolate, times 8 oz per cup equals ... 208 oz ... 2 gallons of milk should do it just fine and I just so happen to have a 2 gallon Thermos beverage container.
I'll need some mini marshmallows to go with it, either that or some cans of whipped cream. Oh, I see a food fight in my future if I get the whipped cream so that's out. Do I get the old fashioned paper cups with the fold-out handles or just get the plastic cups and let the kids burn their hands?
Decisions, decisions!