Friday, May 29, 2009

School's Out

Today was officially the LAST day of school.

Now the delightful darlings and I have 2 1/2 months of unbroken time together. Even though at first I felt like the picture above, I decided that summer can be a fun time for us. It will just take a little planning on my part. So this weekend I'm putting together my game plan (probably in a list, since I love them so) and we will go do some fun things, do a lot of swimming, a little hiking, and other more structured, planned activities.

Hopefully that means our summer will be more like this:

I also foresee many home projects being finished, because when the darlings fight they owe me work. And I saved spring cleaning until now. *rubbing hands together in anticipation*

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Joke of the Day

Two members of Al Qaeda were sitting around drinking fermented goat's milk.

One pulls his wallet out and starts flipping through pictures and they start reminiscing.

"This is my oldest son, he's a martyr."

"This is my second son. He is a martyr also."

After a pause and a deep sigh, the other Al Qaeda guy says wistfully, "They blow up so fast, don't they?"


HA HA HA HA!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Stick Figure Family

Ooo. A new way to procrastinate on the internet. (Because I can't find enough things to do online.)

Customize your own stick figure family and post it on your blog, facebook, or anywhere else. How fun!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thinking of going raw?

Many of us know (or at least have heard about) the touted health benefits to eating organic food. I admit that organic usually tastes better, but I have to appease the inner Penny Nazi and if I'm going to pay twice as much for organic, I pass. So I guess I'm a semi-convert to the organic thing, but I'm getting more converted all the time.

Have you ever thought about going raw?
I'm not talking the WWF Raw kind of raw. (Although it's perfectly okay if you want to have a smack down. *backing away slowly*) But I'm talking about the Raw Food Diet.

The raw food diet is a diet based on unprocessed and uncooked plant foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nuts, grains, beans, nuts, dried fruit, and seaweed.

The idea is that cooking food destroys enzymes and nutrients. So a raw diet typically consists of at least 75% "living" or "raw" food. Raw isn't some acronym or fancy name given to something. Raw means exactly what you think it means: raw. As in crunchy carrots a la Bugs Bunny vs. crinkle cut soft ones.

Proponents of the raw food diet believe it has numerous health benefits, including:
  • Increased energy
  • Improved skin appearance
  • Better digestion
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
(I do write non-fiction books, so yes I researched this. You can find out information here and here and here. Note: these links are pro-raw diet. There are those that disagree.) I think eating more raw food is probably a good idea, just for health and energy. But at this time I'm not completely switching over to it.

So why am I blogging about it?

Because my sister is much braver than me and has decided to jump in with both feet. Not only for health and weight reasons, but because her youngest child is special needs and many believe that diet can help modify behavior of children with various disorders. It only stands to reason that diet has some affect. (Ever fed your kids cotton candy? Yeah, then tell me food doesn't affect kids.)

My sister's blog is a great resource if you think you might want to give it a shot. She has links to different sites and shares her experiences (here's why she decided to go raw) and--more importantly--her recipes. That way she can tell you if something works or doesn't, and how she did it. She's already figuring things out, why not let her guide you?

For example, here's a post on The World's Best Chocolate that's 100% good for you. And here's a recipe for a perfect smoothie for St. Patrick's Day. Hint: It's very green. (I was real hesitant to try this out, but I was talking with another friend who raved about how much she loves her kale shakes for energy, so I guess kale--it's a kind of lettuce, I think--is on the shopping list.)

I'm not switching to raw, but I'm willing to give some things a shot. How about you?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Camera Thief

We went to take pictures and found the picture card full. Strange. Last time I used the camera there was plenty of room. Hmmm, I wonder who the culprit is?



This is a small fraction of the surprise pictures we found. It was so nice of the one who "borrowed" our camera to leave clear evidence.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

In case you don't have enough of ... me

*I just realized this blog title might sound a bit arrogant. It is very tongue in cheek, fyi.

Remember I have another blog called Bookmom Musings that I encourage you to visit. That blog talks about the mysterious and almost heart-attack inducing excitement of being a writer, gives you weekly vocabulary you can use to sound all intelligent and snooty (if you need a word for the perfect butt, which sounds much better than "the perfect butt," for example), and shares fun you-tube videos about writing like this take of "Never Surrender" by Corey Hart. Not to mention my world-changing thoughts on publishing, movies, and anything else I want to blog about as I procrastinate working on the current book. (Because blogging is technically writing, so it's not as bad as--say--laying on the grass staring up at the sky, right?)

The latest fun at Bookmom Musings is this hilarious news report about the Star Trek movie that I shamelessly stole from someone else's blog.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Splashes of Happy

Life is full of things that can make us worried, sad, fearful, angry, and a whole list of other feelings that can bring us down.

One thing that I've learned (and have to keep reminding myself) is that part of being happy is finding joy in the little things. For some reason today I'm thinking of them as little drips or splashes of happy. Like when you get splashed a little by a sprinkler when you walk by. But just remember, if you get enough splashes, those equal a wave. (Sorry if this analogy is too obscure, or just plain lame.)

I'm going to share some of my splashes of happy (the yard edition).


Lilacs are my favorite flower. And it's great when I get a whiff of their fragrance from a gust of wind from just the right direction. The other day I decided I wanted that fragrance in my house, too, so I snipped some and put it in a vase in the center of the kitchen table. My daughter almost exploded from excitement at the "girlie" idea (I'm not know for my "girlie" ways). She was so proud of me.

The water perry in my rock wall. This picture doesn't do justice to the happy little flowers.

The thyme plants, which bloom these cute purple flowers in the spring.

My garden.
Esp. these little tomato plants which I know will grow up to be great big plants of red, delicious bounty!

The iceplant in the rock wall.

Petunias. I just like them.

Our Golden Rain Tree.

My girly-girl's delight in mud.



So go enjoy your own splashes of happy. And share in the comments, if you feel so inclined. :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Walking/running across America

That's right! I've decided to RUN across America.

I'll start in the most northeast corner, which is Madawaska, Maine. I'm not sure where I'll end up, but probably somewhere in Southern California, with various detours along the way. (Maybe.)

Okay, before you get *too* impressed, I have to admit that I'm not really running across American in Forrest Gump style. I'm doing it virtually.

I've joined the virtual walking tour of Deborah Talmadge (who just happens to be my mom. Hi mom! *waving*). She came up with this baby genius creative way to make those miles on the treadmill a little more interesting. And the more people who join the more fun it will be!

Won't you join us walking/running across America this summer? And invite other family & friends to participate. Just link to Deborah's post that starts it all.

I'll keep a counter in the sidebar of how far I've gone and I'm really curious how long it will take me to get across the country. (From Augusta, Maine to Los Angeles, California is 3300 miles. Yikes!)

And we're off! This morning I ran 5 miles to kick start my Tour Across America!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

How much is a mom worth? I'm over $100,000

Happy Mother's Day!

Here's an article on "What is a Mother's Work Really Worth?" It talks a bit about the unpaid value of a mom and my favorite part is the link to a Moms Salary Wizard, where (according to the site) Families Can Customize Mom's Job Description and Create a "Mom Paycheck."

I took it for a whirl and , adjusting for median job salaries in my zip code, I am worth:

$146,475

I put in the hours I spend on different jobs per week (estimate) and the wizard calculated the hours I work, plus my hourly wage, and - the kicker - the overtime. This is what I could have been paid for a year for all the work I do on a regular basis.

You can even print out a check for that amount. I plan on printing it out and hanging it on the fridge so I can look at it on *those* days (you know the ones) and remind myself of the minimum value I'm giving my children.

So what are other moms worth?

*We all know a good mom or dad is truly priceless.

**And this is not a competition, just a fun little thing for Mother's Day.

Friday, May 8, 2009

No flowers for me- I want space battles for Mother's Day

Last night my wonderful husband gave me my Mother's Day present early. He walked in the door with a huge smile and handed me two little pieces of multicolored paper:

Movie tickets to the new Star Trek movie!



I do believe I squealed and jumped up and down. (Does my darling know me or what?) And I guarantee he wouldn't have gotten that reaction with jewelry or flowers.

I know you're dying to know. How was the movie? One word:

AWESOME

Oh Great Big Globs of Romulon Red Matter was it awesome!

From start to finish. Good acting, great script, epic music, incredible effects. I think I've had enough space battles, explosions, and inside Trekkie jokes to last me until I go see it again. (And yes, I will. Right after Terminator: Salvation and Transformers 2 and G.I. Joe and Harry Potter and...and... and...)

If you're curious, here's a review of the movie which is more than one word.

Happy Mother's Day to me!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Optimism is overrated

You know that earlier blog post about not giving up and being optimistic? Well, forget it!

I'm having a pity party.

Agent response from reading my full manuscript: "You’re a very strong writer and you have quite a commercial concept. That said, I just didn't connect with your manuscript to the extent that I need to in order to offer representation, so I'm going to have to pass. "

I'm going to pout for a few hours. Then I'll pull myself back together. But this pity party would be much more effective if I liked chocolate. Binging on baby carrots and yogurt just doesn't feel the same.

**Note: It's really annoying when you plan on wallowing in self pity and you're just too busy. By the time I have a spare minute I'll probably be getting over it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Spring Break (only a few weeks late)

Whew! Time sure flies. I *finally* uploaded the pictures from our Spring Break trip to San Francisco. We got to spend a few days with Jason's brother John & his family who we don't see too often. It was a trip full of driving (yes, we drove), family, fun, and lots of cold wind. *brrrr* No sunny California for our spring break, but that's okay.

So on to the pics:

The California Academy of Sciences
In Golden Gate Park - a beautiful place. The Academy was really cool, and obviously half of the city thought so too, because it was packed! It took more of the day than we had planned, but it was way cool.

The Aquarium


I really, really wouldn't want to run into this guy in a swamp.


Princess's favorite butterfly in the rainforest dome.

Can we have one for a pet, mom?

** No animal was harmed in the taking of this photo. It's not a real turtle.
In case you were worried.**


On to the Golden Gate Bridge.



Here you can see how HUGE the cables are!


Taking BART to the city



Alcatraz

On the tour.

Think long and hard about your behavior from now on, boys. Alcatraz gave mom some great ideas. And yes, that *is* a threat.

Solitary confinement... not a bad idea.

No more whining. I mean it!

Anyone else think the fabulous view from the prison might have been cruel and unusual punishment? Oh, wait. They were locked up inside. Nevermind.

The movie we saw--twice--on the trip. And every day since then we've heard "She likes to Move It, Move It. He likes to Move It, Move It" ad nauseum. It's almost like our morning get-ready-for-school theme song.

The book on CD we listened to for many hours of driving. It kept the kids' interest - which kept them from fighting (as much). Bless you, Brandon Mull!

Jason & I also went for a run in some beautiful country. It gave me spring fever like nothing else! Then the next day my friend texted me a pic of the 4 inches of snow in our backyard. :(

I thought I took more pictures than I apparently had. Like any pictures with cousins, or on the cable car. *facepalm* I'll have to get those from my SIL Samantha. (Please, Samantha?)

We had a good time and I foresee more San Francisco trips in the future.