Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Greetings

How does time go by so quickly?? It seems like we were just celebrating the 4th of July, when I looked up and realized it was almost Halloween. I can't believe I let things slip up on me because there is nothing I enjoy more than a bright orange pumpkin . . . or two . . . or ten, sitting around. So yesterday I rushed out to get one . . . or two . . . or ten! I know I spent way too much time inspecting each candidate, mulling over the individual nuances in color and shape, and trying to decide on just the right pumpkin for our Jack-O-Lantern. Eventually I came home with not one (or ten), but two perfect pumpkins.

It reminded me of when my kids were smaller, and the "event" that Halloween was. Next to Christmas, it was always the highlight of the year. For many years my in-laws hosted a pumpkin carving party for all their grandchildren, and they also invited tons of the neighborhood kids too. My mother-in-law spent hours decorating her house with handmade tissue ghosts and stringy spider webs. Then she brewed some wonderful apple cider and baked mountains of delicious Halloween goodies. My father-in-law drove to a local farm and bought dozens of pumpkins for the party, and each child was allowed to select his own pumpkin from the pick-up truck filled to overflowing with the orange bounty. It was always fun to watch the reactions of different children when it came time to scoop out the gooey contents from the pumpkins!! Usually there were a few daredevils who dove in hands first, slinging pumpkin goo with abandon; others were much less willing to get messy, so mom or dad might need to lend a hand or give a little extra encouragement. Each kid was also given a sharpie pen to create a perfect Jack-O-Lantern masterpiece. Some little artists labored forever drawing just the right face on the bumpy, uneven surface. Other kids whipped out a JOL face in record time. (And to prevent the need for a trip to the ER, the adults did the carving. :)

Such wonderful memories for so many kids (and grown-ups too!) Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hey, Robo-Callers.....

. . . I voted two weeks ago, so I'm not answering the phone again until after Tuesday.

With 5 registered voters in our household, our family must be the political equivalent of a voting motherload. Five voters. . . in one house! Every political Tom, Dick, and Harry (plus a few Tippecanoe and Tylers too) must have our phone number; and each one insists on telling me how despicable the other guy is, and then begins begging for my vote, at least 18 times a day. No joke, we had close to 10 messages on our machine yesterday. Ten messages. In. One. Day. It's like a telephone version of Spam-a-lot, or an annoying neighbor who keeps knocking on the door asking for a cup of sugar.
Now, I'm all for the First Amendment, but somehow I'm not sure this is what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they envisioned free and open political discourse. After all, they didn't even have caller ID back then.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Have a Bad Case of WRS

Image found here: University Lifestyle

White Rabbit Syndrome (WRS): A condition in which the "hurrier" you go, the "behinder" you get.

Only known cure: Take a deep breath, face looming deadlines head-on, and keep plugging along. Or, if that doesn't work, then get rid of all clocks. :)

Deadlines, schmedlines!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Let Us Run With Perseverance The Race That Is Set Before Us..."

“I ate more fettucini alfredo, and drank less water, than I ever have in my entire life. People always talk about triumphs of the human spirit. Well, today I had a triumph of the human body. That’s why everyone was applauding me at the end. My guts, my heart. And, while I eventually puked my guts out, I never puked my heart out.” ~Michael Scott, The Office


I almost chickened out, but today I ran my very first 5-K. I wouldn't classify it as "fun," but it really wasn't that bad. . . and I didn't even "puke my guts out!!"

Two of my daughters came home from college last night to run the race with me, so this morning I knew there was no turning back. We got up early, grabbed a quick (light :) breakfast, bundled up, and headed out the door. I was a little nervous, but the girls, who are experienced runners, calmed my nerves; and when the race started, they helped set my pace. When my mind started finding excuses to slow down or (heaven forbid!) quit, they encouraged me along the way and distracted me with chatter and laughter. The very best part was that, near the end, each of my girls grabbed one of my hands, and we all crossed the finish line together. A little unorthodox, but to me it was an epic finish. Our time was 26:38, which even qualified me for an award in the "old lady" category!! Ha! What a day.

“Life’s battles don't always go to the strongest or fastest man,
But sooner or later the man who wins is the fellow who thinks he can.”
~Steve Prefontaine

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cars Will Be Cars

And sometimes our temperamental and fickle car gets on my very last nerve. Perhaps it may be time for an upgrade; or at the very least, it may be time to find out when the next stagecoach passes this way.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Kids on the Blog

It's that time again over at SpookyTimeJingles!

Swing over for all things spooky......

And for all things Jingly....

Also check out the very special guest artist!!!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Out With the Old

[Here's another article for my "Weird and Wacky Local News" file. Again, I'm rendered a bit speechless by the headline, and quite honestly, I just have to wonder what was going through the donor's mind as he cleaned out his closets. "You know, honey, it's high time we got rid of all this stuff and we just don't really need all this old ammo anymore. I'm sure there's someone out there who could find a good use for these junky old bullets."

Whatever happened to donating "Sweatin' to the Oldies" videos, or Grandma's old tupperware, or creepy David Hasselhoff CDs, or bright orange Naugahyde ottomans??
What were these people thinking?! ~cn]

Donor leaves ammo with local Goodwill


If you've been here before you'll no doubt remember reading these other adventures in oddity:

Very Punny

I Guess a Pry Bar, Bolt Cutters and Pliers Are Part of This Guy's Drum Kit

The Final Frontier

What is This World Coming To?

I'm Pretty Sure They're Not One Size Fits All

Chickened Out

You Just Can't Make Up This Stuff

A Bark Worse Than a Bite

No Shrinking Violet

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Return of Sir Spam-a-lot

So, I was perusing the extra features in my blog yesterday and noticed on the dashboard that Blogger had added an anti-spam feature in the comments section (apart from the moderation and verification functions.) "WooHoo, Blogspot!" I thought, "now I can totally get rid of that annoying squiggly letter verification thing-y on my comment form!" Score one for the little guys, the real-life people who are suffering under the aggressive use of technology, the real-life folks who are forced to spend precious moments out of their busy lives trying to wade through those funky letters, all in an effort to have their heard. With great satisfaction, I promptly disabled the word verification and went about my day, confident that Blogger's spam-i-cide would take care of the evil bots trolling around wreaking havoc in Blogland. It was my own small way of making life one or two clicks easier for all of humanity. (Okay, maybe not all of humanity, but at least for the tens of people who actually read my blog.)

Now, less than 24 hours later, not one, but two "anonymous" comments have appeared on recent posts..... anonymous comments of questionable authenticity. Anonymous comments encouraging me to buy weird medicine at some less-than-legitimate sources.

Okay, world, if we can put a man on the moon, (heck, if Lady Gaga can figure out a way to make a dress out of raw meat) surely someone can figure out an easier, less intrusive way to deal with insidious Spam-bot messages!! Sadly, for now, we have to do battle the old-fashioned way and I have been forced to initiate the comment verification process, again. I know how inconvenient it is, but Sir Spam-a-lot and Son of Sir Spam-a-lot have left me no other choice. My apologies to all the real people, again.