Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Guitar Hero Fanatic!



Former Disney Imagineer and special effects wizard Ric Turner knows how to make the holidays fun for people of all ages! The genius installed 21,268 lights and LEDs and turned his entire front yard into a game of Guitar Hero!

Watch the video (above) as a little boy rocks Eric Johnson's Cliffs of Dover. All you gotta do is ring the doorbell to start the game!

Merry Christmas, nerds!



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Friday, November 6, 2009

Mollie brings us joy...


I have to be near you -- like right on your desk while you are working!


Or better yet, right on your keyboard!


Whoa! Its slippery on this floor!


Those white slippers started it!

Friday, July 24, 2009

So cute, this couple knows how to have fun!

Click here to smile today -- this is a combination of Fame and Dirty Dancing!

Have a good weekend! I've got Caitie overnight and we are bringing the ladder truck to a wedding tomorrow -- so I should have some cute pictures!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pure bliss...banana split delight!

Caitie having her "Big Eddy" at the Eveready Diner in Brewster, NY:

Before:



During:



After:

TA DA!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What I have been up to lately....

  • I went to Mohegan Sun with Grace (didn't win any money, only lost $20)
  • We ate at the buffet
  • Had drinks at Margaritaville

  • Saw No Doubt in concert (AWESOME!)

  • I hung some awesome chandelier vinyl that was a birthday gift from Grace in my office


  • I ordered my silver Tom's shoes online...

and aside from dealing with rain and bad cable.....I worked!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Like riding a bicycle....

So today I had to travel into the office for the wild and wierd experience of "going to work" because our cable company has a major outage and my modem wouldn't connect for the third day in a row...I can't remember the last time I was here...probably more than 4 years ago when I was moving back from Virginia, living in Martin's studio apartment until our townhouse was ready...

Some odd things that came right back to me:
  • My favorite cubical is CA165, Ext. 6011 - not too far from the copier/printer and ladies room but remote enough in the room that I'm "incognito" and can't be heard on the phone
  • I still had my printer installed, and WOW! systems printers are fast, quiet and better quality than my home ink jet.
  • Its eerily quiet in the mobility center - all you can hear is the quite drone of the too cold air conditioning...and a faint buzz from those around me.
  • There is so much room to stretch out and "organize" and nothing to distract me like TV, the doorbell or laundry.
  • The cafeteria food still isn't as good as the local deli, although they do carry Dunkin' Donuts coffee now.
  • It stinks to have to get "dressed" but I still wore my flip flops and hid my feet under the desk.

I'm HOPING that the cable is restored and I can go back to comfy flannel pants and a t-shirt and flip flops tomorrow...just as productive...hey, I'm just sayin'....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

If I lived at IKEA, this would be my office...

I love the wallpaper, the desk top...I turned to Grace as we we strolling through IKEA today and said, "I want to live here".... and I would visit Grace a couple "doors" down here:


Monday, June 22, 2009

...make it at home Starbucks black tea shaken lemonade (unsweetened)


I LOVE Starbucks black tea shaken lemonade (unsweetened) but at $3.60 for a Venti, I decided to try to find an "at home" alternative...

I use regular brewed Lipton tea - 4 teabags per half gallon container, hot Poland Springs water from my "machine"...then from A&P I found some Organic lemonade, just lightly sweetened with pure cane sugar ... in the right combination it tastes exactly the same! Yum! The BEST part is that I'm not having to cut lemons and have them accumulate in the sink .... the lemonade is JUST enough citrus to give you an excellent flavor!

Happy Birthday to me!

Only someone like me would appreciate these birthday gifts from my honey rather than jewelry or flowers....but we have already used the Griddler twice, and today I'm making double chocolate ice cream! Yum!

Enjoy your day!









Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The countdown begins....


No Doubt - Mohegan Sun...only SEVEN more days!
Gracie and I have our lime green bras ready!

Top 10 things that are annoying me today:

1. A pinchy headache that won't go away
2. The thought of seven straight days of rain, when all of my flowers are currently waterlogged beyond repair already- and having to move all my flower buckets into the dining room.
3. Craving chocolate and needing a big Hershey bar when I normally don't even think about chocolate!
4. Having too much work to concentrate on any one thing at a time
5. Remembering web passwords for every damn site...and not all of them allowing the same Userid and password due to constraints on the site.
6. My hot tea with lemon getting cold way to quickly for me to actually drink it.
7. Having to have a provolone cheeseburger because I'm all out of any other kind of cheese in this house!
8. Needing a full day to clean my house when I only ever have a few hours at a time
9. Not having anything I can come up with for dinner tonight that doesn't require a trip to the grocery store.
10. Heidi and Spenser Pratt and their idiotic rant about Al Roker and how he disrespected them...I hope they piss NBC off enough that they are black listed from everywhere else! I'm SICK of them...

Thanks for letting me vent -- I feel much better! What's bugging you today?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

...the story of my life...

A big pile of books, with no time to read!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Having a hard time getting over the hump today...

Have you ever been deep in a funk and haven't been able to climb out? I'm getting there...deeper than I want to be at this point, deeper than I have been in a while...I have gotten out of the house and did my hair/makeup but I just can't shake this gloomy feeling...sinking deeper...stuck...tired. I was hoping it was just the cold, dreary last breath of winter -- but its more than that...its bills, medical stuff, food UGH...this economy sucks and things that wouldn't normally be so bad are just unprecedented...its pirates and taxes and shots and unemployment and headaches....and, and...

What are your secrets for getting out of "the funk"? I'm open to anything...

Maybe some spring flowers?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

My foot hurts! And other cranky musings for a Thursday...

  • My left foot is really hurting...and its swollen and I can't keep it in certain positions...its probably stress fractured again! My right foot feels slightly better, but not by much...I need to stop running around and standing on my feet so frequently, easier said than done, right?!?!??!?!
  • Yesterday and today they have been replacing rotten wood on the outside of our townhouse, so its been constant banging, hammering and wood falling from great heights (starting at 9:00am)
  • Martin got most of the cleaning done for me before my sister came...I love that guy! I still have to clean my bathroom and do a quick once-over of the whole house...the girls had another "not so great idea" and spread purple Easter grass all over the first floor of the house...after wearing it as hair...they are so funny...until they had to help me clean it up!
  • Caitie is coming tonight to spend a couple days with us...she's going to help me organize the toy closet in the loft and we'll do some fun things ... she's going to help us on Saturday at the shop, while we paint and move things around, she can organize the ink containers and I'm sure will find some fun things to play with, she always does! I feel like even though she was here while Elizabeth and the girls were here, I didn't really get to "see" her or smooch on her.
  • I have to bake a dessert for Sunday...want to make something "red velvet" for Marty's sister's house...we already celebrated with my family last weekend (I actually feel like its over and done with!) so it should be sorta relaxing
  • I need a new keyboard! I spilled jelly on my old one (its at least 5 years old) and the keys are sticking...I have it on order, I hope it comes today! The space bar is particularly troublesome!

Okay, enough crankiness for today -- I'm going to do a separate post with some cute Easter pictures....

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Topic jumble Thursday

I have a jumble of topics to share today:

This is amazing...it will brighten your day!

I'm not making good progress on my list, but it will all come together in the end... I got to do some stamping and "paper piecing" last night...posting here so I can share with everyone:


Here's some sad news and an output of today's economy:

GL Canceled!
Soap Opera Digest has learned that the cast and crew of GUIDING LIGHT were notified today that yes, the 72-year-old show has been canceled and will turn out the light on Sept. 18. "Being on the air for more than seven decades is truly remarkable, and it will be difficult for all of us at the show to say goodbye," said Executive Producer Ellen Wheeler in a statement. "I'm proud of everything we’ve been able to do, including outstanding storytelling, our community service around the country with Find Your Light and the launch of our new production model. This show has such a rich history, wonderful fans, and I'm honored to have been a part of the GL legacy."

Adds GH Executive Producer Jill Farren Phelps, who helmed GL from 1991-95: "GUIDING LIGHT has a very special place in my heart. I began my career in daytime there as a production assistant and later returned as executive producer. It was a privilege (both times) to be a part of such a fabulous group of people who did such outstanding work. Some of the most talented actors, writers and directors have walked through the doors of GUIDING LIGHT. The industry will mourn the loss of this beloved show, but GUIDING LIGHT leaves a rich legacy for all of us in daytime to treasure. I wish all my dear friends a gentle landing."

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No April Fool's Joke!!! Win a spot to an AWESOME scrapbooking event!

You can win a FREE space to the Scrap, Etc. Event!

Five people have the opportunity to win! Yes, you read that right! They are giving away FIVE spaces to the Scrap ETC event! And there are FIVE ways you can win:

1. Post a comment on the blog.
2. Tell your friends to come and post a comment, and if they do, tell us that they referred you! Both of you will get a chance!
3. Post this contest on your blog---and post a link in the comments!
4. Post a link in the comments to anywhere else online that you have posted about this!
5. Post it on your facebook or twitter status---and let us know that you did!

They will draw the names on Thursday morning, April 2! Start posting NOW! For updates and registration. If you miss anything, don't worry, you can check it out at Scrap ETC.com!

Monday, March 30, 2009

I need to have a Bulletproof Attitude this week...

One of my favorite blogs is Kal Barteski's [I] LoveLife blog...I read it every morning, first thing. I think one of the most appealing aspects of her blog is that she's so positive and really fights to get things done...as an artist, a mom, wife, and friend -- there are days that she realizes life's limitations and just goes with the flow. I need to have a week like that...

My sister and the girls come on Saturday this week...after a weekend of being sick, sick, sick (totally stuck in bed with a major head cold)...and not getting a THING done, I need to have a PLAN for this week...and I need to execute it with bulletproof precision!

So in true "Kal" style, here's the plan:
Monday - Clean the kitchen, dining room, and start to put all the decorations on my dining room table in the basement (some of them are Christmas, shhhh!)

Tuesday - Vacuum up the stairs and clean the bedroom, my bathroom, Martin's bathroom and the office; food shop

Wednesday - Who am I kidding?!? It will probably take two days to accomplish Tuesday's "list"


Thursday - Vacuum up the next set of stairs, dust and vacuum the loft, straighten out the closet so that anything "important" is out of the way so that little kids don't destroy anything, finish setting up Easter decorations.

Friday - Finish anything that didn't get done all week, pick up anything needed for our "Easter brunch" on Sunday including eggs, candy for the eggs.

Saturday - Make the souffle, buy champagne, pick up the Ricotta pie at the nearby deli

In between, I'm basically starting a new job with a new set of responsibilities at work, laundry, dishes and dinners...I can do it! Yes, I can!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Ten Things I Like About Blogging...

In celebration of Sandi's 600th post, I have done my own "Ten Things" list:

1. Its like a diary you can share with friends.
2. It pushes me to take pictures so that I can share them.
3. It lets me share cards and scrapbook pages I make, and gives people ideas.
4. I originally set it up to share the progress of our log home, which is temporarily stalled due to season of the year and the economy - but has turned into so much more!
5. It allows me to share things with my sister and her girls who live 450 miles away.
6. Since I enjoy reading everyone else's blog, it allows me to "give back".
7. It allows me to keep a running history of what's happening in my life and look back at the trials and tribulations happening at the time.
8. Although sometimes I'm bad about posting, I'm always thinking about things I want to post and share.
9. Its fun to "tinker" with technology and figure out how to add different gadgets and widgets to my pages.
10. The design element of the blog itself is fun, especially now that there is House of 3 designs to add to my blog.

Sniffly Friday...

I have a humongous cold today...it started yesterday -- so I'm miserable today. Yesterday was a REALLY tough day at work, 5,000 people got laid off, a lot of people I knew from my department.

I have the dishwasher repairman coming today to rebuild the inside of the dishwasher and I have to get the clown car to Danbury Toyota for an oil change that is looooong over due! I think if I get those two things done, I'll be doing great today! I really need to go to the grocery store and restock the entire pantry...that's just wishful thinking, though. Just organizing dinner in my head will be taxing enough!

Have a happy Friday and I hope you are all feeling fine! Enjoy the weekend!

Monday, March 23, 2009

When you are in your 40s and your body lets you down...



I think I would rather have my "ghost" in the house and lose all my light bulbs at once than have the bulk of my friends having issues with their health at the same time...that goes without saying...but I shed a tear or two today for all of my friends with health issues that are plaguing them and I just want to hug them all!
My friend Mary did something to broke her leg for the third time this year, just as she was healing from her second break...
Lisa is having continuing health issues from surgery and not getting answers....and her body is letting her down...
My sides have been alternating a dull ache/pain...and its not my shoes (inside joke). I have had headaches to kill an elephant!
I think its the Monday blues...I NEVER liked Monday's, no matter how optimistic people are, its tough going from fun, free weekends to "back to the grind" Mondays.
Anyway, I went to last night with friends...it was fun and we had lots of wine and laughs! It made a Sunday evening that much more bearable!
This week I have sorta a regular week....mostly work, some doctor's appointments on Tuesday. Nothing really fun planned, just daily grind...I plan to start walking in the cold sunshine, get myself organized, clean my house...take more pictures, cook more, laugh more...eat some Cadbury cream eggs...
Have a great week, stay healthy and smile!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Unfortunately Sara...

Facebook is known for all of its questions, surveys, top 10s, etc. This one was to type "Unfortunately + your first name" into Google and see what it comes up with....here's mine:

  • Unfortunately Sara needs a bit more work on donning the hat
  • Unfortunately Sarah wasn’t there when we were visiting but Bea kindly showed us around.
  • Unfortunately, Sara's is trying to be too many things and ends up being mediocre overall." - ouch...
  • Unfortunately Sara is not doing the Monkey here - well, that's a good thing...
  • Unfortunately, Sarah has inherited her father John's big feet - they will be shown in a separate picture coming later :)
  • Unfortunately Sara did not take home any awards but she was able to attend the awards ceremony and I’m sure she had a great time!
  • Unfortunately, Sarah Palin doesn’t believe in women having any other type of freedom of choice! She may make a nice corn field but she would make a terrible and dangerous Vice President
  • Unfortunately, Sarah can not respond to all the emails she receives, but she welcomes and appreciates your comments.
  • Unfortunately, Sarah didn’t make it through the 72- hour mark without needing surgery,”
  • Unfortunately Sarah saw them so Jo, wanting to protect Sarah, told him to leave. Feeling sorry for himself, he got drunk and went missing for a few days...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In my ideal world...

  • My dishwasher would WORK and I wouldn't be on my 6th service call to get clean dishes
  • There would be more hours in a day, I wouldn't be working at midnight -- or if I was, I would still have time to relax, watch tv and snuggle with my honey
  • My sister and her two girls would live closer
  • Food would not have calories and we wouldn't gain weight, we would all be at our ideal weight, no matter what we ate
  • We wouldn't need money, everything would just be available when we needed it, as we needed it...
  • The sun would always be shining and we wouldn't have any dark, cloudy, rainy or snowy days (unless we wanted them) -- and the temperature would be constant, warm but not too hot as well
  • The laundry would fold itself and put itself away
  • We would never get headaches
  • The house would clean itself -- especially the floors!

Thanks, Wilna for making us think about our ideal world!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Random thoughts to catch up the last few months...

My messy desk, flowers from my sisters and nieces ... part of my wallowing in procrastination mode.
    I have been in "full procrastination mode" the last few months -- the year started off pretty good with my "DO" motto, but I have just lost it lately. Here are some random thoughts about the last few months:
  • I haven't posted since January 21, 2009! Time really flies -- once I get past this post, I'm sure it will be better again...one giant step...

  • I had surgery to remove endometriosis and am recovering but I still get tired sometimes...its going to be ongoing for at least the next six months to prevent it from coming back...at least it wasn't something worse...

  • Work has been crazy busy ... but I'm SO HAPPY to have a job in this economic environment; two friends husband's have lost jobs in the last month or so.

  • I'm tired from having to make follow up PHONE CALLS for every little thing from the dishwasher repair to the doctor...can't anyone get back to ME?!?!?

  • I got a bonus from work, but it was all gone within 24 hours

  • We finally got the cable modem working again, so that both Martin and I can be on the computer at the same time (PHEW! This was a rough one)

  • I finally got my taxes in to the accountant, less than a month before they were due...and I"m probably getting money BACK!

  • I finally got contacts that I can see out of, but still need reading glasses for when I read a book -- they are adjusted to my computer screen for work

  • We are going on a "Cruise to Nowhere" at the beginning of May for a long weekend...I can't wait, I have never been on a cruise ship

  • I had a great start at Weight Watches and lost 17.5 lbs, the next few are the hardest...I have to get back into the groove.

  • I'm tired of GE telling me to fix my dishwasher by using White Vinegar and Lemonade -- why can't it just be FIXED without props!

  • I'm finally getting a handle on my checkbook...I canceled all the "autopilot" payments and can finally keep track of things!

  • I have been taking pictures, but not scrapping them!

So that's the net of the last few months...now back to "regularly" scheduled posts...thanks for hanging in there with me!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

President Barack Obama Inaugural Address

...or as my five year old niece Jillian would say, here is a speech by our new President, Rock Obama:

"My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our for bearers, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many.
They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics."

"We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn. Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise healthcare's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.
To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.

We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Abraham Lincoln Quote...

"Nowhere in the world is presented a government of so much liberty and equality. To the humblest and poorest amongst us are held out the highest privileges and positions. The present moment finds me at the White House, yet there is as good a chance for your children as there was for my father's." --Abraham Lincoln

...and today that was proven.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

16 Things About me....

Ok, my long-distance friend, Sandi, considered me "tagged" so here goes:

1. I absolutely LOVE television, I can't go to sleep without watching for a while, until I'm tired.
2. Its all about the texture of food for me, I can't stand broccoli because of the "furry" flowers on it, it has to be cooked and chopped. I'm wierd about tomatoes as well, I hate grape/cherry tomatoes unless they are cut in half.
3. I love most colors, except I have never really been a blue person. It looks terrible on me, and I only really like Navy and powder blue for crafting.
4. I can't stand recycling -- I know, I know, its good for the environment, global warming, etc. but I'm from the "Throw it the F%*$&(% out" generation (the 80's) and I can't stand the mess or effort --but I try to do it.
5. I'm terrible with cards; birthday, holidays, etc. I'll be really good one year, and really bad the next. Its not that I don't care, I just can't get it together sometimes, even though I make them.
6. I HATE having to put on makeup and do my hair (which takes forever to dry and straighten). Hair and make up is an effort for me and most of the time a big waste of time.
7. I have always had a little black dress, and until recently (the last few years), wore it frequently. However, when giving the option, I'll wear red first.
8. I love to cook but hate to decide what to make -- just tell me what to cook, no matter what and for how many, and I'm fine...but sometimes deciding what to make is my hardest decision of the day.
9. I'm not a big dessert eater. I will eat it, but most of my excess body weight is from snacks, noshes and portions of food...not sweets. My favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chocolate chip -- I like crunchies in my ice cream (like chips or sprinkles) and will put sprinkles in my coffee (on top of whipped cream) if I'm going to be really indulgent.
10. Even though I have a coffee-themed kitchen, I was never really a coffee drinker until recently (last few years) and I have to have stuff in it (Equal, cream), not ever black, like my mom. I never have coffee in the a.m, I always drink tea with lemon for breakfast -- coffee is my dessert/treat.
11. I love doing laundry but totally hate folding it and putting it away. I will wash and dry (fluff and fold) all day -- but leave it all in a big pile at the bottom of my bed and it goes from the floor to the bed several times before it actually goes in the closets/drawers.
12. I don't like most people right out of the gate -- most every one I have worked with or have met, I'm not real keen on but they grow on me.
13. I bought a standard transmission car before I knew how to drive it. It was a little red Ford Escort GT (sport) and I barely got it home...my uncle had to take me out and teach me how to use the clutch and drive up hills.
14. I love to read junky books that I can finish in a day or two -- the more "intelligent" books usually take me forever because they are too easy to put down. I love authors like Danielle Steele, James Patterson, John Grisham because I can finish them in a day.
15. I'm blind as a bat and can't function without glasses or contacts -- don't ask me to hear you while I have my glasses off either...cause it won't happen. I need three kinds of eye gear currently, bifocals, contacts and reading glasses (hello, I'm over 40).
16. Most people laugh when I tell them my age -- people think I'm at least 10 years younger than I actually am and have had people in doctor's office go hysterical when I tell them how old I am (really, it just happened in the mall the other night).

This was much easier than I expected! Thanks, Sandi!

OMG! AMAZING Chocolate Chip Brownies!

Just LOOKING at these will make you gain weight, and I have been trying REALLY hard to follow Weight Watchers, but, of course, I couldn't resist. I clicked right over to Betty Crocker's site and made them today...there is only one word to describe them: ORGASMIC! They will definitely be the next "dessert" I bring anywhere...so easy and so GOOOOOOD!

"Playing store" comes full circle...

When we were younger, my sisters and I would get packed up and travel about 1.5 hours to Sheffield, Mass. (past the big smiley faced barn and the checkerboard wall) to my "Aunt Peg's" house -- she was Peg Smith, of Peg Smith Fashions in Mount Kisco, New York and my mom worked for her before she had kids. She retired to Mass. and had an AWESOME "potting shed" (this thing was about 100' by 10') and it contained an old cash register, old green guest check pads, and all sorts of fun and interesting items that we played store with every time we went there.
Full circle for me came when this past weekend, we were moving the last of the stuff around Martin's shop so that they can finally sheet rock and put in outlets and lighting post-fire (last January)...we found the old Crop Room electric cash register and some odds and ends that Caitie thought were as special as my Aunt Peg's old bits and pieces.
To quote my sister Carol, "That household has more fake food than anywhere I have seen!" We have plastic fake food, imitation brownies, cakes, cookies, waffles, breads and orange juice (the kind you find in furniture stores)...and even little shopping baskets...instead of a huge shed, we have a huge closet (in the loft). When Jillian came to visit, the two of them played in that closet for HOURS!

I hope this memory will be as special for them as it was for me and my sisters.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What do you wish for 2009?

I think I'm going to make this for dinner. Edited: I couldn't find pistachios anywhere in the store, so I used a Thai Peanut "breading" instead.

I'm tired of boring, not knowing what to make for dinner nights...I think my wish for 2009 will be to keep things exciting, moving forward and "out of the pile"...how's that for a transition? I'm going to ponder this for a bit longer, but it really connects with my one-word for 2009, DO...I wish that I can keep that mentality, stop wasting time...it moves quickly enough as it is...

Here's a couple more pictures, first is my veggie soup I made yesterday -- it started as a Weight Watchers veggie soup, and I just kept throwing everything that resembled a vegetable from my fridge into it, including pesto and a leftover tomato. I ended up adding some leftover orzo pasta and believe it or not, chunks of chicken from leftover Chicken Marsalla! It was delicious and I have a big container in the freezer!

The next picture is my new awesome Dansko clogs -- its not secret that my feet ALWAYS hurt me, whether I work a lot, stand up a lot, rest, whatever! I got these on sale, wore them for four hours last night and my feet and lower back feel GOOD today! So far I think they were well worth the money I spent on them.

Monday, January 5, 2009

My horoscope supports my "one word" for 2009

"Deadlines have to come first, no matter how much you'd rather be off having fun"

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Day 3: 365 Photos

Here is my Day 3 photo, which is the first day I did this ... Day 1, I had a house full of people who were focused on eating and vegging (myself included) and Day 2, I think I was just in shock and awe that I survived the holidays. This is my own version of the Project 365 a KOTM by Becky Higgins...the kit sold out really fast -- but Tracy is giving one away here.

So here's a couple of pictures of this year's "Coffee Tree" one of the only trees we decorated (aside from the Christmas Ficus with red lights and candy canes) since we were away.





Some highlights of the holiday aside from Disney World were:
1. I got to spend time with both sisters and their girls.
2. Elizabeth and I started a "fluff and fold" service for Carol, whereby my washer never stopped for three days straight -- but we got all her laundry done!
3. We had some awesome Mexican food for New Year's Eve and got to see the Mariachi band, including my dad's Mexican brother.
4. We had a nice "family dinner" with the cousins with Raclette and a sorry attempt at chocolate fondue.
5. Chloe had a ball with all the kids and only left us a few "presents" (she's forgiven, it was very cold and snowy outside...poor "Southern pooch".)
6. We got tons and tons of snow on New Years Eve, but still had a nice lunch with my Aunt Val and Uncle Ray...and we learned that the girls are piano savants! LOL! We also made awesome sprinkled cupcakes where there were more sprinkles than cake!

I hope you all have a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2009! Lets all focus on our "One Words" and just DO it!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Ok, okay...got it -- I need "one word" for 2009!

More than one person has told me that "one word" is the way to go for the future, rather than a list of resolutions...so looking at the list and what I want to accomplish this year...I think probably the best fitting word is:

do
1. to perform (an act, duty, role, etc.):
2. to execute (a piece or amount of work):
3. to accomplish; finish; complete:
4. to put forth; exert: Do your best.
5.
to be the cause of (good, harm, credit, etc.); bring about; effect.
6. to render, give, or pay (homage, justice, etc.).
7. to deal with, fix, clean, arrange, move, etc.


I'll elaborate more on this later...but for now, I think this sums up the goal of this year...I have collected, saved and procrastinated enough for 2008...it feels good when its DONE!

Thanks, my firends....especially Sandi and Grace!