Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007, Hello 2008

(Click on the Post title for a song)

It is the time of year when most people reflect on the past year, and have high hopes for what the New Year will bring.

Here are some good things 2007 brought to our family:

* Our new kitchen early in the year, that I had been wanting for 20 years in this house (the new built-in dishwasher is my favorite addition).
* A new Brother-in-Law, when my sister got married in March.
* My ability to quit my stressful job and work from home.
* Working from home provides me with a flexible schedule, that allowed me to spend more time with our 3 year old, and our grandsons.
* Our new Son-in-law, when my daughter Megan got married in November.
* A renewed focus on our health and well-being (our will power is another story, but we'll work on that).
* Continued contact with Good friends
* Supportive and loving families
* My kids did not have any major difficulties this year and are healthy.
* My new Bloggy friends !

Of course, the year brought bad with the good, but no point in focusing on that.

Here are my New Year's Resolutions, if you want to call them that. It's a list of what I hope to accomplish and be in 2008.

1) I want to take a few classes this year, for fun. The first class will be either a Health Food cooking class, or a Watercolor class. I'm undecided right now. The local Adult evening school offers both, so we'll see. I need to register in the next week or so. I'd like to take 2 more throughout the year.

2) Since I've been working from home, my brain has gotten a little lazy. I've found I need to keep my mind working more, so I am going to try to do crossword puzzles this year. I've always enjoyed them but don't often think of doing them when I have a spare half hour. I'm dragging out all my crossword books and keeping them in a visible place so I will be more likely to do them.

3) I love to read, but again, don't always have time. We have 3 tall bookcases in the house overly-crammed full of reading material. I've decided that instead of buying new books this year, I am going to start reading the ones we have. I've read some and have held onto them, but a lot are given by others and haven't been touched. Once I read them, I will either try to sell them on or pass them to others. I think I will add a sidebar to my blog soon, with books I already read and would like to pass on, and if anyone is interested, I'll send it to you for you to enjoy. I started a book swap at my old company and everyone loved it. I'd like to be able to get rid of one bookcase by the end of 2008.

4) I want to de-clutter our home and our lives. Our closet is the first place, then the living room, then the game closet, then the basement and...well, the entire house actually. Our house is very small, and I can't figure out how to hide the clutter, like DVDs and books and all of the other stuff that ends up laying around everyday. We are not sloppy, just cluttered, and it is hard to come up with new space for storage.

5) I want us to be healthy and more fit.

6) I want to be less critical. I try not to voice criticism often, but a lot of times I will think it. So I want to learn to be more tolerant.

7) I want to help my mother with things more often.

8) I want to be more firm with Little Grim when it comes to her sleeping in her own bed. She ends up in our room almost every night at some point, and it makes for a poor night's sleep most of the time. With her and the dog, we now need a king size bed. But when she knocks on the door at 3 AM, it is hard to be tough about it.

9) I'd like to have more dates with my husband, so we have to find time for that. Even if we just run out to a local pizza joint or the mall is fine with me. Getting out by ourselves is one of the biggest thing I miss because my income dropped this year. We don't get out the way we used to.

10) Hmm, I don't think there is a number 10.

So that is it. I'm sure I'll think of others. What do you hope to accomplish in 2008?

Happy New Year, Everyone! And Thanks to everyone who bothered to stop here and read my thoughts this year. I appreciate all of you - you help keep me connected (at times in some bizarre way!) with the outside world.

I'll leave you with this U2 song. Click on the title of this post (sorry, I couldn't get it directly on the post like most normal people). See you next year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

How much is your blog worth?

I swiped this from USA Admiral.

My blog is worth $6,209.94.
How much is your blog worth?

Mine is worth $6,209.94, but I have no idea why.

Who exactly is going to be paying me this money? That's what I want to know.

Christmas Meme

I'm so excited, RT tagged me for a Meme and it's my first one!

1. Wrapping or gift bags? This year, it is wrapping, I decided. I have the time, so rather than just quickly drop something in a bag, I thought I would wrap everything. I bought some nice bows and stuff.

2. Real or artificial tree? Real, I like the aroma. Although when I see the prices each year, I wish I had an artificial one.

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually three weeks before Christmas, because I like to enjoy it for a while.

4. When do you take the tree down? End of the first week of January usually.

5. Do you like egg nog? Gag; no! (I'm with RT on this one!) Why put the booze in a thick creamy substance? I prefer hot cider that's been heated with cinnamon sticks and slices of oranges in it. And it makes the house smell great.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Wow, that's a tough one. For years I wanted a pottery wheel, and never got it. Then I finally did and it was a letdown, cuz it kind of sucked. I guess it would be a doll I had could walk when I held its hand. That was pretty cool.

7. Do you have a Nativity scene? Yes, it is on top of the entertainment center in the living room. I don't put Baby Jesus in til Christmas Eve. I guess technically, the three Wise Men should be in another room since they haven't gotten there yet either.

8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Maybe that pottery wheel, just for the disappointment factor. Or maybe the year my ex-husband shopped for me at the dollar store at the last possible minute and didn't think I'd be able to tell.

9. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Mail, we sent about a hundred this year. I don't have addresses for all of you folks or I would have included you as well. No email usually.

10. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's a toss-up. I love A Christmas Story, but I also love the Muppets Christmas Carol, with Michael Caine as Scrooge. That one is edging into first place.

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? We try to keep our eyes out for things during the year, so I would say sometimes we've started as early as the summer. Then we put them in a bin in the attic to store them. But the bulk is done in December.

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Gosh, another hard one. Snickerdoodles for the cookie choice, my mother made them every year forever. My brother does the baking now. And candy canes, for the candy choice.

13. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Both, I put clear lights all around the center of the tree, and the colored lights around the outside. It gives the tree kind of an inner glow. No blinkers this year on the tree, we must have got the lights mixed up because we ended up with blinkers outside on the front bushes.

14. Favorite Christmas song? "O Holy Night"

I tag SoHoS, USA Admiral and Jeffro (if he's up to it!). Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday Happenings and Random Ramblings

I've been a very poor blogger this past week and haven't posted anything on my own site since last Thursday. I think it's just the holiday fervor. Here is what has been going on here at the Grim household:

Last Saturday, my sister and her husband had a cookie-baking party. I know people who do cookie exchanges, but they usually bake them in their own house and then show up with 50 million cookies to share with the group. Instead, the family got together to bake them together. My sis has two kitchens that are sort of adjoining, as their house has an In-law Suite that they opened up to give them more space. So we had the ovens going all day. I made Paula Deen's Loaded Oatmeal Cookies. They were yummy. I did substitute dried cranberries for the walnuts since I don't care for nuts in my cookies.

Of course, by the time the day was over, there was not a whole lot left of everything to take home! And what we did bring home is already gone. So I will probably make a batch or two of something this weekend to have on Christmas Day. One of the best cookies of the day - one of the teenage friends made a chocolate cookie with a Rollo candy baked inside. The candy melted and there was gooey chocolate and caramel inside when you bit into them. I only got one of them, which is probably a good thing.

The next day, we were supposed to attend another family Christmas party, this time on my brother-in-law's side. We usually only see this part of the family for a pool party in the summer, and then at Christmas time. But the brother-in-laws got iced in and couldn't attend, so we were not obligated to go. While we enjoy all of their company, we were relieved that we had the day to catch up on our own stuff at home. So we dragged Little Grim out for an afternoon of shopping and an early dinner at the local Bennigan's. It was exactly the kind of day we needed to get refreshed - no rushing. Hard to believe with the holiday shoppers out there, but we actually had a nice relaxing afternoon.

Monday, Little Grim and I had dentist appointments. This was her first actual visit, although she had come with me six months ago and recently with her brother, so she was familiar with the office. She did terrific. She drew the hygienist a picture to hang up in the office while I was getting my teeth cleaned. She stood next to my head and watched, and asked all kinds of questions about what the hygienist was doing. She was concerned about the bib they put on you. Bibs are for babies and she didn't want one. But she hopped right up in the chair when it was her turn and wore the bib, and actually had a fun time. She asked for Princess dental floss and a Princess toothbrush, which she was given, along with Princess toothpaste.

The hygienist was great with her. I'm thinking about writing the office a letter to thank them for making her first visit a good one. When we got out to the car, she said "I LOVE going to the dentist!". I took pictures with my camera phone, but can't figure out how to email them to myself (duh).

I'm having dinner tonight with my friend Lisa from work that I haven't seen in a few months, so Grimjack and the Little are on their own tonight. Then a Christmas lunch with my bosses tomorrow that I am also looking forward to - they have made reservations somewhere but won't tell me where, so I am meeting them at their office (which is also their house, since we all work from home). They've mentioned a Thai place near them so I'm sort of hoping it's there. But anywhere will be good, I'm sure.

Saturday, Megan and Baby Benny are coming up from Jersey, so we are having everyone over Saturday night. They won't be coming up Christmas day, so we are doing a causal 'Christmas' dinner so she can exchange gifts with her Pollyanna, and pick up everything we have for her and Chris and Benny, so they can open it all on Christmas morning at home, in their new house. Chris lost his Mom a year ago to cancer, and this year has been hard on him, with their getting married and the new house and not having her around to enjoy it with them. So they are laying low this Christmas.

I think I've bored you enough! Happy Holidays to all of you, and Thank You to everyone who stops by to read!

I do plan to post my New Year's Resolutions later in the month. I'd love to hear yours as well.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Declare Today is.....


Little Grim and I decided today was Pajama Day. She is sick this week, she had a fever over 103 last night, and decided to start vomiting all over me and the bed around midnight. So needless to say we didn't get a full night's sleep last night.

So after our shower/bath today, we both got into our fresh, matching blue PJs with the clouds on them, and are happily doing not much of anything today. Well, I'm working but it doesn't feel that way really, since I am in my...Pajamas! Oh, and a pink pair of Grimjack's socks that I accidentally washed with my red sweater.

Happy Pajama Day, All !!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Officer Chuck Cassidy

I was just out dropping off Little Grim at pre-school, and I was sickened to hear that some scumbag broke into the Dunkin Donuts where Officer Chuck Cassidy was shot and killed, and stole the donation jar that had been put there to benefit his family.

How low can someone go? Pursue him with a vengeance, Wyatt!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Coolest gadget we have for the Christmas Tree this year

Check this out:

The Christmas Tree Water Alert looks like a snowman ornament, and is attached to a sensor gadget that you place in your tree stand, in the water. When the water gets within an inch of the bottom of the stand, the snowman starts to flash. When the snowman flashes, you know it is time to replace the water in your tree stand.

We bought one two years ago at an after-Christmas sale for probably practically nothing, and hadn't used it. Grimjack tried it this year and it is awesome. I am always bad at remembering to water the tree, and usually after the first week or so, the tree starts dropping needles like crazy.

But now, I can keep the tree watered, making it less of a fire hazard. Sweet.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Remember These ??

My Number One Son, who is 17 and a half, was cleaning out his closet this past weekend (A Christmas Miracle) while I was away, and came across this,

stuck in the back of his closet. Since it has hot pink hair, I reckon that this particular Troll doll belonged to one of his sisters, which probably makes this troll over 20 years old. So it has survived quite a lot - the tortures of 4 children, and a nice long hibernation in the back of a dark closet. Remember playing with them, and brushing their hair?

Well, here is what the troll doll looks like now, after 5 minutes with the dog:

A Triple Amputee. Nice. Luckily Little Grim hadn't gotten too attached to it.

But notice how nice his hair looks - I brushed it before I threw it in the trash.

Letter to Santa

This is Little Grim's Christmas letter to Santa:

Dear Santa,

I want the froggy game. I will leave you cookies and milk, and carrots for the Reindeer. I love Reindeers.

Please leave balls for Benny and Bo. They are babies. I would like a new Bouncy Bouncy (this is what she calls one of those inflatable balls with a handle that she bounces on) and a ball for me.

You'll have to bring something for Lynda - maybe scissors. Maybe a pineapple for Steph, and a fish tank for sharks for Steve. For Megan, I would like a Peter Pan movie for us to watch at her new house.

I want a little dog that I can walk with dear Maggie (our dog). I want my own phone so I can call someone for real.

Thank you,
Love, Kara and Maggie

When I asked her if she wanted to expain to Santa who Benny and Bo were (they are our grandsons, and her nephews), she said "No, he'll remember". She apparently told the Mall Santa about them.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

50 Things you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask....

RT had this voluntary meme at her site. I thought I'd give it a try. I even swiped her graphic.

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought? Ugh, I need a haircut.

2. How much cash do you have on you? About $4.50 in change.

3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR? Floor.

4. Favorite planet? Saturn.

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone? My daughter Steph

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone? Silent.

7. What shirt are you wearing? Pink Tee with sparkly beads around the collar.

8. Do you label yourself? Sure, who doesn't.

9. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently wearing? Some kind of sneaker from Walmart.

10. Bright or Dark Room? Bright.

11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you? Fun chick

12. What does your watch look like? Don't wear one.

13. What were you doing at midnight last night? Sleeping.

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
It wasn't actually a text message, it was an animated elf mooning me, from my sister.

15. Where is your nearest 7-11? Probably a mile and a half away. Two Wa-Wa's and a Cumberland Farm closer.

16. What's a word that you say a lot? Shit.

17. Who told you he/she loved you last? Grimjack, or Little Grim. I'm very lucky to hear it from my family frequently.

18. Last furry thing you touched? Rather not say, Heh! Actually it was the dog.

19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days? None.

20. How many rolls of film do you need developed? None, we went digital 4 years ago and got caught up.

21. Favorite age you have been so far? I don't think I really had a favorite, but I'm sure at the time that 18 felt pretty good.

22. Your worst enemy? Gummy Bears - I need a 12 Step program.

23. What is your current desktop picture? A picture of Little Grim when she fell asleep with a pretzel in her hand, and then she rolled over and it was stuck to her forehead. A Kodak moment she will hate me for later. See below!

24. What was the last thing you said to someone? I'll be right back.

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be? The money, since none of the rest of the family could fly with me.

26. Do you like someone? Sure, I like lots of people.

27. The last song you listened to? Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, sung by Little Grim in the car.

28. What time of day were you born? I actually don't know.

29. What’s your favorite number? My favorite number is 13, just because it was supposed to be unlucky.

30. Where did you live in 1987? PA, in the same house actually.

31. Are you jealous of anyone? Yes, people who do not have to work and can spend unlimited amounts of time with their kids doing fun stuff.

32. Is anyone jealous of you? All of my old co-workers, since I left the company to work from home.

33. Where were you when 9/11 happened? Home sick from work, watching it unfold.

34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money? I usually give it a smack to see if it will dislodge something, which never works, then I curse.

35. Do you consider yourself kind? 99% of the time, yes. If I find myself thinking unkind things about someone, I try to check my attitude - unless they deserve my unkind thoughts.

36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be? Well, I have two, so I would say base of spine (my son calls these 'tramp stamps') and...somwhere else.

37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be? Spanish would be the most useful but I would like to learn Italian.

38. Would you move for the person you loved? Yes, unless it was MN, which is where Grimjack's corporate office is. Weather up there around the lakes is way too crappy in the winter. Last time I was in MN, it snowed the whole time and was only 2 degrees out.

39. Are you touchy feely? Yes, once I know someone well.

40. What’s your life motto? Keep a positive attitude, it can make all of the difference in the world.

41. Name three things that you have on you at all times? My purse, crayons, coupons I leave in a shoe box in the car.

42. What’s your favorite town/city? Of the ones I've been to, I'd say London. But I've spent the most time in Philly.

43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash? Two coffees and a cookie at Starbucks yesterday.

44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it? I can't even remember. It's a dying art, unfortunately. I do always write things in greeting cards when I send them, though.

45. Can you change the oil on a car? No, but I can check it.

46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her? That he had beat up the current girlfriend. That was years ago.

47. How far back do you know about your ancestry? Only three generations back on my Dad's side, to Poland and Slovakia.

48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and what did you dress in? My daughter's wedding two weeks ago, a long flowery dress that I borrowed from my sister.

49. Does anything hurt on your body right now? Lower back.

50. Have you been burned by love? Sure, who hasn't?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy Birthday RT !

You should all drop by RT’s Place to wish her a Happy Birthday on Saturday, December 1st.

Have a Good One, RT!

Road Trip, Part Two !

I'm heading back to Cape May tomorrow to help my daughter and son-in-law unpack. They moved into their new house this past week, in Erma NJ. Little Grim and I are going down until Wednesday, and we are leaving earlier than expected, due to the incoming wintery weather that is due Sunday. So, we are heading out tomorrow afternoon instead. I won't have any blogging time tonight or tomorrow before I leave, so have a good weekend, All, and I'll 'see' you later in the week.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Out of the Mouths of Babes....

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO MARRY? (written by kids)

You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
-- Alan, age 10

No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with.
-- Kristen, age 10

Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.
-- Camille, age 10

You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.
-- Derrick, age 8

Both don't want any more kids.
-- Lori, age 8

Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
-- Lynnette, age 8 (isn't she a treasure)

On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
-- Martin, age 10

I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns.
-- Craig, age 9

When they're rich.
-- Pam, age 7

The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that.
- - Curt, age 7

The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do.
-- Howard, age 8

It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.
-- Anita, age 9 (bless you child)

There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?
-- Kelvin, age 8

And the #1 Favorite is........
Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck.
-- Ricky, age 10

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mrs Grim's Holiday Gift-Giving Tips

In the spirit of the upcoming Christmas Holiday and since we are deluged with junk gift catalogs at this time of year, I decided to seek out some interesting and mainly useless gifts for you to give your loved ones this year. So here they are.

This is my favorite - For the pregnant missus or girlfriend. If I had a pregnant friend, I would seriously buy her this shirt, but I don't. But Wyatt, if you are interested, you can find it at

Here is a towel you can give, in case you know someone who is confused after their shower. Or maybe they are just a buttface and you want to let them know that.

This one is for that special homeless friend who is living in their car. It is a heated blanket that can cover up to two people (for those nights when a special friend is invited to sleep over), the cord of which can only be plugged into the lighter of a car. In the old days of Drive-in Movies this might have come in handy.

Here's one for the good cook in your life. It is an egg separator. Personally, I wouldn't be able to eat anything that came out of his nose, but the ad says "You get the job done - with a giggle!". How about with vomit?

Here is a good one for the bitter, scorned woman in your life. I'm not hanging up a sign in my house that says testicles, but if you know someone whose favorite song right now is "I will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, this is the gift for them.

Here is another personal favorite. What a Turn On! Cuz we women love a man with a square penis.

Here is a party game I bet you don't have yet. Sit around with your loved ones after your holiday dinner and share the sounds of laughter (and much more). NOTE: Includes compact disc with flatulence noises that can alter the course of the game in an instant.

Watch out for that 'Silent But Deadly' penalty card.

Or how about a 'Bog Monster' for your nervous friends who are afraid of everything. Imagine their surprise in the middle of the night when they lift the lid and this guy jumps out. I guess I'm old school, I think Saran wrap over the seat is funnier for your guy friends. And for the special woman in your life, just leave the seat up so her a$$ hits the cold bowl. Hey, I just saved you $16.95 with that suggestion.

Lastly, we all know someone who is saving for something special - maybe a trip or home improvement, or something for their kids. Why not give them a place to put their spare change? As an added bonus, the bank makes farting noises when coins are deposited! Who wouldn't love that? This will make saving their money so much more entertaining. This can be yours for the low, low price of $14.95.

Those are my holiday gift tips for today. I hope this was helpful.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Take the Booze test....


I swiped this from Jeffro at The Poor Farm.

I didn't expect to be a Lush, I guess I know more about alcohol than I actually drink it.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Count Your Blessings

From our Family to Yours - Safe travels to everyone going to visit loved ones, and we hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving! Don't forget to count your blessings!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My week

I haven't been doing much blogging lately, either on my own or on others' blogs. The last few weeks have been busy, as they are for everyone. With the upcoming holidays, things will probably not calm down until after New Year's.

Here is what has been going on this last week:

* I've started working on some Christmas gifts. My newly married daughter Megan was in the Campfire Girls for about 6 years, when she was younger. It's sort of equivalent to the Girl Scouts but they don't sell cookies. They earned badges, went camping, raised money themselves for traveling to events, and so on. They sewed or glued their badges and beads onto ceremonial gowns that they made themselves and would proudly wear to meetings and events. One of her Campfire leaders, Jackie Bolger, was a wonderful woman who became a mentor of sorts to my daughter. Jackie encouraged her in everything she did and I'd like to think that my Megan became the wonderful woman she is, in part due to Jackie. A few months ago, Jackie became ill. I had been wanting to do something with her Campfire gown and decided to make two shadow boxes, using parts of the gown and all her awards that she worked so hard for all those years. Jackie died the day before Megan's wedding. I completed the shadow boxes this weekend, and they turned out beautifully. I made them to hang one above the other, so it looks like the front of her gown. Jackie would be proud.

The other gifts I am working on are scrapbooks for each of my older kids. When they were younger, they sometimes complained that they didn't have complete baby books. Two of them didn't even actually have baby books. With 4 kids in a relatively short period, who had the time? So I decided to go through all my pictures, and make each of them a scrapbook from their childhood. I just finished the oldest's book today. I know the girls will love them, I'm not so sure about the boy. But he will get one anyway, hopefully along with all of his Cub Scout gear and badges in a shadow box as well, if I have time. He'll probably care even less about that - his shadow box is more for me. I was his Cub Scout leader for a time so he earned a good portion of his awards due to our joint efforts.

Oh, shoot, I hope they aren't keeping up with my blog.

* Our dog has really been agressive lately, and even more so since she was boarded for those few days while we were away for the wedding. I work from home and she's been making my life miserable every day, by barking incessantly when she wants attention, and nipping. So tomorrow we have a dog trainer coming to the house to observe her and teach us how to re-establish leadership and dominance. Hopefully this intervention will help. Otherwise I'll have to replace her with a little tiny dog I can carry to the Mall in my purse. (I would never do that, but I have seen it in our local mall, and I don't get it. Why would you take your dog to the Mall? They don't even have a pet store in ours.)

* End of a Discussion between Little Grim and I (I don't recall what we were discussing but according to her, she was right and I was wrong and she was getting increasingly frustrated with me):

Me: I'm sorry, I'm afraid you're incorrect.

Kara: Well, I'm afraid you're...stupid.

That was the funniest thing she said to me all week. To her credit, she looked very sheepish when I turned and walked back into the room to explain that was very rude and she owed me an apology. She did apologize. I can't imagine what she will be like in 10 years.

* I joined Weight Watchers (again) last week. I go on Tuesday nights. Coincidentally, Kara's pre-school teacher, with whom I went to high school, does also, so it gives us a chance to catch up on the last 25 years. It's like my big night out, since I don't get much interaction during the day. My first week was very successful, I lost 4.8 pounds. That is a great motivator and hopefully this time I will see it through. I'll be 47 next year, and being on the slippery slope to 50 sure makes you re-evaluate your health.

* Oh, and I lost a part of a filling tonight during dinner so I now have to try to get into the dentist tomorrow.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Support Operation Bedding

My daughter went to a fund-raising Holiday Gala last night, held at the William Penn Inn in Gwynedd, PA. The Gala was held to raise money for Operation Bedding. This link takes you to the website. The Gala included cocktails, dinner, Art Viewing and a live auction. Here is the information provided by Mary Conboy, mother of Lance Corporal Adam C. Conboy, killed in Iraq Friday, May 12, 2006. Mary Conboy attended the Gala and their Guest Speaker was Petty Officer Christopher Painter.

"Operation bedding came to be after a Sunday morning phone call from our son Adam. At the time he was serving in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He asked if we could send him sheets and pillows, he requested forty sets. He explained that the troops had no sheets and the weather was so hot that the comfort of a clean sheet would be nice, Adam was concerned that his friends have the same comforts that he had and that's why he needed forty sets. He jokingly said, "Get Operation Bedding going, Mom."

That Friday he was killed.

Without even realizing it, Adam had inspired his own memorial fund. For the funeral services, we requested donations instead of flowers so we could grant Adam's last request and send a shipment of supplies over to his friends still serving in Iraq.

The outpouring of gratitude from our troops was so overwhelming, we knew this effort must continue. Since then, with the support and generosity of others like yourselves, we have been able to send nearly 10,000 boxes of basic supplies to our troops, bringing the comforts of home to Iraq. We believe it is a simple and personal way to express our gratitude to those so willing to lay down their lives for our freedom."

I just wanted to share this information. I only heard of this through my daughter, who is dating a former Marine. We have in the past sent care packages over to Iraq, but it has been a while and this was a good reminder for me to keep our soldiers in mind, especially with the holidays coming up. If my son or daughter was serving, it would make me happy to know that someone cares.

All Gave Some, Some Gave All

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

We're Back

I finally have some time for blogging. Thanks to everyone for your Congratulations and Best Wishes!

My daughter's wedding turned out wonderful. They had to virtually do all of the planning themselves, with frequent phone calls to us, since they live two hours away. Everything was terrific, in spite of my daughter being the Supreme Procrastinator. (As an example of her procrastination - her aunt had to do alterations to her wedding dress the MORNING of the wedding - I kid you not).

My four girls are the two on both ends.

The ceremony was held at the Cape May Lutheran Church. My daughter was raised Catholic, but her husband Chris is not, but my daughter really wanted to get married in a church so they selected that one. The pastor was a young, very personable, former military chaplain. His personality came through and the ceremony felt intimate even though he did not know the kids well. Although I admit, we had to focus on keeping control of Little Grim, who was the flower girl, and our grandson Benny, who was the ring-bearer and is 18 months old. So we probably did not hear as much of the ceremony as we could have.

These are my four kids from my first marriage along with Chris the groom and Benny.

The flower girl and ring bearer walked down the aisle hand-in-hand, with him dragging the pillow next to him. Kara held on to him so tightly, she forgot to drop the petals from her basket. She decided to do that during the actual ceremony, which kept her busy for a while. Unfortunately we don't have clear pictures of them going down the aisle.

After the ceremony, we adjourned to The Peter Shields Inn around the corner for the reception, where our new son-in-law is a chef. He actually made the crab cakes for his own wedding. The kids planned the whole menu and the food was fantastic. (Two of the girls and I ate dinner one night there last summer, when Chris cooked, and it was the best meal I'd ever eaten.)

There was a digital baby grand piano at the Inn. If you've ever seen an old Player Piano, the keys move while the music is playing, as if someone is actually striking the keys. Kara thought that was great and was trying to play at the same time. So someone gave her a Tip glass. She made $2.25.

Cake Cutting

Here is the bride dancing with Kara, Benny and our other grandson Bo.

Here is a close up of their cake topper.

You CAN have your cake and eat it too!

We took Benny after the reception on Friday so the kids could take a short honeymoon in Williamsburg, VA. They picked him up last night - I am so out of practice with having more than one young child in the house. Fortunately he is a great sleeper, so we had some respite at night!

Here are Kara and Benny in our hotel room Friday night, enjoying their 'healthy' dinner - hot dogs and cheese fries from a local pizza joint.

We did take the kids out into town for while Friday night, since the reception was a luncheon, but we didn't spend much time walking or shopping,etc. Luckily for me, I am going back down around December 2nd for several days, to help them get settled in their new house. They have closing 11/27 and have to be out of their rental house by Dec 1st. We'll try to squeeze in some Christmas shopping at the Delaware outlets while I'm there. We can just take the ferry over.

A great time was had by all. It is hard to believe it is already over.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Road Trip !

We are leaving shortly for my daughter's wedding down in Cape May, NJ. So I will not be blogging for a few days, but I'll stop in and catch up with all of your writings when we get back. I leave you a link to a song, click on the post title.


Friday, November 2, 2007

The Charles "Chuck" Cassidy Family Memorial Fund

You may or may not have heard about Officer Chuck Cassidy, a Philadelphia police officer who was murdered this week. Our Philly detective friend Wyatt at Support Your Local Gunfighter is appealing to his readership to Please donate what you can to the Charles "Chuck" Cassidy Memorial Fund.

Here are the details:

Members of the Philadelphia Police Department's 35th District have established a trust fund for the family of Police Officer Chuck Cassidy, who was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, November 1, 2007 .

Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so in the following ways:

By mailing a check payable to:

The Charles Cassidy Family Memorial Trust Fund
901 Arch Street
Philadelphia PA, 19107

Donations can also be personally taken to the 35th Police District, which is located at 5960 N. Broad St. Philadelphia PA, 19141 or to any of the following Philadelphia Police and Fire Credit Union Branches:

901 Arch Street, 7604 City Avenue, 8500 Henry Avenue, 3338 S. Broad Street, Leo Mall - Byberry and Bustleton Avenues, 7500 Castor Avenue, and 3330 Grant Avenue.

Thank You for your support.

Reminiscing about 1977

Someone emailed me a post from the 15 Minute Lunch blog, which I had not visited previously. Apparently Johnny Virgil's post about a 1977 JC Penney Catalog he came across has rocketed his blog to insane viewing proportions. I'm sharing it here because it was hilarious and deserved pimping. Check out the rest of his Blog here as well.

Ah, the good old days.....

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I had to go to Walmart the other day, for jeans (you know why, if you read an earlier post titled 'My Embarrassing Moment"). They carry Talls in jeans, which I have trouble finding. Plus, let's face it, they are cheap.

Anyway, I pulled into the parking lot, and noticed a black Hummer on the right. Not sure what model exactly, but it was one of the bigger ones. There were a few parking spots available past it on the same side, but I noticed a women standing in the spot next to the Hummer so I pulled in the one down from that. I got out of the car and went around to get Little Grim out of the back of the van and happened to glance over at the woman in the empty parking spot.

I then did a double take. The woman was....drumroll, please....DUSTING the outside of the Hummer, with some sort of duster. I kid you not. That is why she was standing in the empty parking spot.

I wanted to remind her that she was in the Walmart parking lot and most shoppers would not care if her Hummer was dusty. Now there is one woman who needs a dose of reality and has too much time on her hands.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Our Scurvy Pirate

This is her best "Aarrgghh". She doesn't like wearing the eye patch, though.

Happy Haunting !

Iowa Taxman chooses Trick over Treat

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The taxman in Iowa is going after jack-o'-lanterns this Halloween.

Most pumpkins are used as decorations, making them taxable, Iowa has ruled.

The new department policy was implemented after officials decided that pumpkins are used primarily for Halloween decorations, not food, and should be taxed, said Renee Mulvey, the department's spokeswoman.

"We made the change because we wanted the sales tax law to match what we thought the predominant use was," Mulvey said. "We thought the predominant use was for decorations or jack-o'-lanterns."

Previously, pumpkins had been considered an edible squash and exempted from the tax. The department ruled this year that pumpkins are taxable -- with some exceptions -- if they are advertised for use as jack-'o-lanterns or decorations.

Iowans planning to eat pumpkins can still get a tax exemption if they fill out a form.

The new policy, published in the department's September newsletter, has some pumpkin farmers feeling tricked this Halloween. "I don't mind paying taxes, but let's get real here, people," said Bob Kautz, owner of the Buffalo Pumpkin Patch in Buffalo, just west of Davenport.

Fill out a form to eat a pumpkin? Nothing would be sillier.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Did You Know...?

...that Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.

The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,446 pounds.

Pumpkins are fruit. They are 90 percent water and contain potassium and Vitamin A.

Native Americans dried strips of pumpkin and wove them into mats. They also roasted long strips of pumpkin on the open fire and ate them.

Colonists sliced off pumpkin tops, removed seeds and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. This was baked in hot ashes and is the origin of pumpkin pie.

Illinois grows more pumpkins than any other state in the country. It harvests nearly 12,300 acres of fruit.

Halloween also is recognized as the 3rd biggest party day after New Year's and Super Bowl Sunday.

Trick-or-treating is thought to have its origins in a European custom called souling where people would beg for "soul cakes."

Legendary magician Harry Houdini died in Detroit from a ruptured appendix on Halloween in 1926.

*Courtesy of The History Channel, Little Grim's Crayola Cookie Kit, and Puking Pumpkin courtesy of*