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Archive for October, 2008

Happy Halloween!

We went to the annual downtown trick-or-treat yesterday, where the merchants set up tables outside and hand out candy. There’s always bounce houses (which we skipped) and live music, too. It’s always a lot of fun, and in the short time (about 1/2 hour) we were there, the kids got enough candy to last them a looong time! Tonight we’re heading to the mall for some trick-or-treat fun.

The local beauty queen ūüėČ

Melissa’s little kitty, that she made a costume for. See the peg leg?

Japanese Windflower (1)

Warning: I have many, many pictures of these beauties. But, I will pair up the pictures so you won’t have to look at 20 posts of the same flowers and get sick of my blog.

Fishing With Daddy

Monarchs In Flight

A few shots from my day at the Arboretum with Amber last week. I think we spent the most time at this little spot where there were literally hundreds of monarch butterflies (and a few other species). We kept coming back several times that day, to try and catch them in flight. Not easy! Those little guys are fast, and it’s next to impossible to focus on them. I did get a few (out of focus) keepers. The first one is my favorite and it’s actually mostly in focus. All taken with the 80-400mm lens.

Check out Amber’s shot on her blog.¬†She got a really good one!


Sara’s school had a fall carnival on Saturday, with games and activities in the classrooms; food, a costume contest and a pumpkin carving contest in the cafeteria;¬†a silent auction in the library;¬†and bounce houses outside. The kids come in their Halloween costumes and get to win candy and prizes.

Melissa was on a school field trip to Six Flags, and we took Sara to the fall carnival after her soccer game. She had such a great time! We bought $10 worth of tickets and she got to spend most of them on games and activities. The rest were spent on a slice of pizza, popcorn and a drink in the cafeteria.

Here’s my little Minnie Mouse, ready to head over to her school… and not very happy about mom wasting time with her annoying picture taking.

One of the classrooms was doing some little Halloween crafts and Sara made a ghost (with a little help from mommy). As you can see, she also spent some tickets on face painting and a tattoo.

Starry Night

30-second exposure, with the camera laying on a small table, pointing up into the sky.

Friends At The Arboretum

Amber and I went to the Arboretum on Thursday and had SO much fun! It was nice, getting out for a whole day and not have to rush back to pick the kids up from school (our husbands were nice enough to do that). We got to the Arboretum just after they opened at 9 am, and I think we headed back home around 4:30 pm.

(I shot your Canon with my Nikon! ūüėČ )

Think Pink (6)

Odd Red Flower (2)

Same type of odd red flower as yesterday, but a prettier one that hasn’t started wilting yet.

Odd Red Flower (1)

Saw these on an empty piece of property one morning when I was driving Sara to school. Don’t know what they are, but they looked almost fake, standing in bunches in that field.

RC Fun

Yes, my girls own remote-controlled cars. Sara has had hers for years, and Melissa bought hers just recently. We took them to a small parking lot down the street so they could drive them. Poor Sara was getting a little frustrated because hers was so slow.

Pumpkin Spice

Hershey’s really needs to stop coming out with all those yummy new flavors! These almost taste like pumpkin pie, and there is no chocolate! Unless that’s supposed to be white chocolate in the center?


Sisterly Love

Sort of.¬† These were taken at one of Sara’s recent soccer games. Melissa was supposed to cheer on the team, but there wasn’t exactly a lot of cheering going on, she was too busy playing with a little 1-year-old and pretty much ignoring the game. So when Sara scored a goal, I made Melissa go over to the other side of the field and tell Sara how proud she was of her (Sara got to sit out for a few minutes). Melissa was NOT thrilled, but she went anyway (because mom was blackmailing her with a school field trip to Six Flags).

OK, I’m going, but you’re NOT taking my picture!

Sara, good job, kicking that goal. I’m very proud of you –¬†said in a bored and I-don’t-mean-it tone of voice. Sara doesn’t care whether sissy means it or not and gives her a hug. Notice how Melissa is not hugging Sara back?

Sara, soo happy that she¬†kicked a goal and that¬†sissy came over to tell her how proud she is, won’t let her go and squeezes her as tight as she can. Melissa not liking it at all, and not even wanting to touch Sara, yells Ahh, Sara! Get off of me! Nope, not working. Sara is loving this even more.

Melissa realizes that she’s going to have to pry Sara off. Let GO!¬† Sara still keeps hanging on because she LOVES her sister! Melissa finally manages to get Sara to let go… probably because Sara was called back into the game. Ahh, sisterly love…

Think Pink (5)

Record High

NOT looking forward to Monday at all. (Screen shot from a local news website)

Sew Cool

… is what Melissa thinks her new bag is. She was taking her gym clothes to school in a plastic bag and that wasn’t working out too well. She needed a real bag and I offered to make her one. I took her to Wal-Mart – much closer than Hancock or JoAnn’s – to look at the fabrics, just to see what they have. I told her that if she didn’t find anything she liked, we would go to one of the fabric stores. She ended up picking out some black material with red flames and gold dragons (she loves dragons!!). I would have preferred if she picked a thicker fabric, but she really wanted the dragons, so I decided to just double it up. That worked out pretty well, and not only did it make the bag stronger, the “pretty” side of the fabric is on the inside, too.

Last week, while Melissa was home with the flu, I went to work on the bag. I didn’t have a pattern, so I made it up as I went along, using her gym shoes and clothes as a guide for the size – making it a little bigger so she had plenty of room. I also don’t have a sewing machine (maybe Santa will bring me one this year?) and the whole bag was sewn by hand. I found some drawstring at Wal-Mart, and some wooden beads that matched the fabric, to put at the ends of the drawstring. I didn’t plan on making a flap to cover the opening of the bag, but I didn’t like the way it looked, and added one on.

It took about 2 1/2 days to make the bag, start to finish, and Melissa loves it!! I expect her to use it a lot more than for just a gym bag. She came home from school yesterday and told me that one of her friends wanted to know if I could make her a bag like that if she bought the fabric. Unfortunately I had to decline, because I don’t know if I could make another one without a pattern.

Be Different

My First Blog Award!

Shelle from BlokThoughts¬†gave me my very first Blog Award today! Thank you, I’m so honored!

I would like to pass it on to a few of my Blog friends, who always take the time to comment on my posts, and whose blogs I love to read every day.

Amy , Doreen , Dalia , Anjeanette and Cheryl , this is for you!


A while back, Amy¬†posted about making her own butter on her blog, and I wanted to try it to. Yesterday was the day, except that I couldn’t find a jar big enough for 16-oz. of heavy cream. The store didn’t have any 8-oz cartons of cream. I ended up using an empty 2-liter bottle, which worked out really well. I poured the cream in, screwed the lid on, an started shaking…. and shaking and shaking and shaking. Didn’t even take two minutes for my arms to get tired, but I kept going. Sara wanted to help, and she got to shake for a minute, then me again, and then Greg for a few minutes, then me again.¬†At first you could hear the cream sloshing around in there, but the sound disappeared more and more, until it sounded like I was shaking an empty bottle. Hmm, what is going on? Did I mess it up? Heavy whipping cream IS the same as heavy cream…. right? Yes, has to be! I didn’t want to quit, so while I was shaking and shaking, I managed to pull Amy’s blog up on the computer (thankfully I bookmarked that post and saved myself a few clicks). I read through it again, while shaking and shaking and shaking, and yup, she mentioned thick whipped cream. OK, I’m doing it right. So I shake and shake and shake some more, until…. thump! YES! There’s that thump Amy talked about! We have butter!!! But do I keep shaking, or am I done? I’m not sure, so I shake it a few more times, just in case. I poured out the liquid, cut the top portion of the bottle off and used a rubber spatula to squeeze as much of the buttermilk out as possible, then spread the butter into a container and refrigerated until dinner.¬† It was the second best butter I’ve ever had! (The best butter was when we vacationed in Austria when I was about 4 or 5 years old. Yes, it was so good, I still remember it to this day! It was home made butter as well, but freshly made, not from a carton of heavy cream).

Rogue – The Saga Continues

The car is still not fixed. It’s been in the shop since…. I don’t even remember when. Over a week? They called last Friday and asked Greg to bring back the rental, and they would give him another Rogue to drive. Same model as ours with almost the exact same options (they actually were the same, but this blue one had a couple hundred Dollars worth or more options than ours). They said they wanted us to drive it so we could see what the gauges do, and guess what?! Same problems!!!! Then they try to tell us, oh, that’s normal! Uh-huh, yeah. I think NOT! Because the Nissan Frontier that we had as a loaner didn’t do it, the Nissan Quest they gave us as a loaner, didn’t do it, and the Quest we used to own a few years ago didn’t do it either!! It’s NOT normal! Over the week-end I searched online and found a Nissan forum where people were having the same problems with theirs, and at least one person got his fixed. Greg printed that out, and also went searching for some solutions and found a field manual to download, explaining exactly what needs to be done, as far as testing and repair.¬† He took all those printouts to the dealer today when we took the blue Rogue back, and gave them to the service advisor.¬† He came back, saying that they need to call Nissan tech support and see what they say, and ask permission to replace the problem part (what??? Ask permission to fix the car??).¬† At one point he even talked to the owner of the dealership, who told him that he would have taken the car back and refunded us all our money – IF the plates hadn’t been in yet (they came in on Saturday), and if we hadn’t already made our first payment. Great! Couldn’t he just pretend that the plates didn’t come in until this afternoon (after he took the car back) and give us a check for the full purchase amount, including down payment, so we could have paid it off? I really don’t see where the fact that we already made a payment makes a difference. In the end, they gave us $50 in gas cards and sent us home in our car, while they ask for permission to fix it. Probably hoping that we either give up, or decide to take it somewhere else, but neither is going to happen. I’m soooo tempted to buy that automotive window paint and write “Don’t buy at Nissan of (town name)” on the back window!

To be continued…….


Afternoon Light

The Dark Side

My dear friend Amber moved her blog from WordPress to Blogger recently (you can now find her here: A Frame In Time) and double dog dared me to create a blog over there, too. She didn’t think I would, but I did! See? The Daily Click on Blogger

But no worries, I won’t move to the dark side, like Amber did. I’m staying right here on WordPress. Personally, I don’t like Blogger. For one thing, the pictures are too small! Only 400 pixels wide, and there is no way to make them bigger. And, I just don’t like it.

The only good thing about Blogger are the thousands of free layouts, and that you can change the text colors, etc. I spent hours scrolling through the free layouts, and bookmarking some favorites, so I will keep my blogger account to play with the templates, hoping that some day, that option will be available on WordPress.