Saturday, March 31, 2007
Well, guess what!?! The women at 5 Minutes for Mom and the Dyson company are giving away one of the new Dyson Slim vacuums!
Head over to 5 Minutes for Mom and enter!
If I happen to win, someone will be getting a fantastic Christmas gift this year!
The rules are:
1) Go to Wikipedia
2) In the search box, type your birth month and day but not the year.
3) List three events that happened on your birthday
4) List two important birthdays and one death
5) One holiday or observance (if any)
- 1902 - James C. Penney opens his first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming.
- 1970 - An oxygen tank aboard Apollo 13 explodes, putting the crew into deadly peril.
- 1997 - Tiger Woods becomes the youngest golfer to win golf's Masters Tournament.
- 1570 - Guy Fawkes, English Catholic conspirator
- 1743 - Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States
- First day of Thai New Year.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Where do you do most of your reading? Your favorite spot?
I do most of my reading on the "comfy chair" in the living room, with my very old, very special blanket that The Michael's mom made for me when I was about 17.
The comfy chair is also old, an overstuffed, oversized armchair that is big enough for an adult and a child, which makes it the perfect reading chair. Sass and I read there quite a lot, and I tend to do my alone reading there as well.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I decided on the Dyson Animal 07, since I liked having the little mini-brush for upholstery. Ooooh, love it love it love it!
With my dust allergy, vacuuming always gave me a headache. Always. It doesn't matter whether I used my mom's Rainbow or our little Bissell or something in between. Quite simply, the Dyson doesn't. I can't smell that "vacuum" smell. My nose doesn't itch. My head doesn't hurt. It's a little bit of bagless heaven.
And it sucks! (Quite a good thing for a vacuum, you know.) Before, I could run the vacuum, then sit on the floor to play a game with the children, and I'd find dog hair. Every single time. Since the new vacuum, I might find a stray hair or two, but nothing like before. Maybe that will end eventually, since I'm still sucking up over two years worth of hair.
In short, the Dyson gets two very enthusiastic thumbs up from me!
Sunday, March 25, 2007
1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yes, my grandmother's sister.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Can't remember.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes, most of the time.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LUNCH MEAT? Smoked turkey
5 - DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yes.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Heck, yeah! I'm great!
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Oh yes.
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? No.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Most definitely not.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CEREAL? Currently it's Clifford cereal.
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Very seldom.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I think that I am when I have to be.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ICE CREAM? Peanut Butter and Chocolate
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Eyes and mouth.
15. RED OR PINK? Red.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVOURITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Oh, loads of things. It's hard to pick just one.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS MOST? overall, my Nana
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? n/a, but leave a comment if you participate
19. WHAT COLOR TROUSERS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? tan capris, purple crocs
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? cucumbers
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? the doggies crunching their food
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? indigo
23. FAVOURITE SMELLS? fresh coffee, bonfires, sweet oranges
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE TELEPHONE? my mom
25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? of course
26. FAVOURITE DRINK? I almost can't believe it, but a bottle of cold water.
27. FAVOURITE SPORT TO WATCH? downhill skiing
28. HAIR COLOUR? brown
29. EYE COLOUR? blue
30. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? no
31. FAVOURITE FOOD? at the moment, it's Southern home cooking
32. SAD MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS ? Happy endings
33. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure
34. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Purple
35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Winter
36. HUGS OR KISSES? entirely depends on who
37 FAVORITE DESSERT? fresh strawberries with cream
38. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? n/a
39. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? n/a
40. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
41. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? "Napa Gold. The Gold Standard in Filters."
42.WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TELEVISION LAST NIGHT? the news
43. FAVORITE SOUND? giggles
44.ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Beatles
45. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Switzerland
46. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Arkansas
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
So, picture books were our focus in the Reading Challenge, hosted by Jennifer at Snapshot. As I reported earlier, I was quite pleased with our progress in the Read to Me challenge. We were reading several picture books every day. I was, however, quite tired of reading the same books over and over, and I decided to take a more active role in choosing our picture books.
I am happy to report that Sass was just as pleased as I to add a few new books to the routine. She has now begun to choose books that don't have "Clifford" in the title -- a huge step! At first she chose the ones that I had introduced, probably because they were ones that she remembered reading recently. But after a couple of days, she started choosing ones that had sat neglected in the bookshelf.
It's once again opened her up to reading a variety of books, all for fun. Not because it's part of our schoolwork or the book that she and I are reading together, but because it's what she wants at that moment.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I turned on the air conditioner this evening.
Normally I try to make it to May 1 before turning it on for the summer. Today's high hit 80 degrees though, and the temperature in the house tonight was -- are you ready? -- 87 degrees. That's with the fans running.
Hot and uncomfortable does not make me a happy mama. Or a happy wife, for that matter. So I made an Executive Decision and threw aside the May 1 ideal. Skeeter doesn't particularly like hot and uncomfortable either, so he was perfectly fine with my Executive Decision. I am usually the one who laments my lack of willpower.
Now it's a much more comfortable 76 degrees, and I am quite satisfied with my coup.
Enter, three ring binders.
Now, all of our paperwork is kept in three ring binders. Bank statements, mortgage statements, cell phone bills . . . every bit of paperwork that we need to keep is three-hole-punched and put into the three ring binders.
We use three of them -- one for banking matters, one for bills, and one for tax deductible receipts. Most of the paperwork we get is already 8.5 x 11, and it's a simple matter to punch the holes and put it in its proper binder.
For those that aren't already the proper size -- usually tax deductible receipts -- I tape them onto a sheet of paper that is the correct size. This method has the added advantage of giving me an easy space to write the tax deductible reason if it's isn't readily apparent.
Easy, organized, and compact. Works for me!
Check out all of this week's Works for me Wednesday tips at Rocks in My Dryer!
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Since it seems that warm weather is upon us, I went through part of his closet, culling the "almost-too-small" and packing away the "should-be-okay-for-fall." That's when I noticed it. The "should-okay-for-fall" shirts were always the ones that I had trouble getting to stay on the hangers.
He's rushing headlong into those dreaded tween years, and I'm not ready for it. Not one bit.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Sass and I have been progressing in the Read to Me challenge, and I feel like I'm right in the middle of success and failure.
Since we already read so much, I decided to use the challenge to read more plain ole picture books to my Sass. We started by simply letting her choose books from her bookshelf.
Success! We're now reading several picture books a day (except today, since Ryan and Olivia were here to play for several hours). It's been working quite well. She has complete control over what we read during "our time," and I think she likes it. She is also quite pleased that during this reading time, it's usually just the two of us. She loves her brother, but . . . well, time apart is sometimes a good thing. She loves the extra individual attention, and (to be perfectly honest) I love spending the extra time with her.
Failure. Since I decided to let her do the choosing, we're reading the same Clifford books over and over and over. Yawn! I have memorized Clifford the Firehouse Dog, Clifford and the Big Storm, Clifford's Kitten, and Clifford's Manners. There are more, but you get the idea. All Clifford, all the time.
Since we've started to develop the habit of reading these picture books, I have decided to take more of a role in choosing. She can certainly still choose some, and I'm sure that Clifford will be part of it. We just have so many great picture books that it seems shameful that we're only using a handful.
Here are some of the ones that I'm planning to feature this week.
The Napping House by Don and Audrey Wood. One of Sass's favorites, and I'm actually quite surprised that she hasn't chosen this one on her own. Repetitive, but it has great rhythm, and I think that those are the main reasons Sass likes it so well.
Weslandia by Paul Fleischman. One of Spyder's favorites as well, but I don't remember whether I've read it to Sass or not. The illustrations are excellent, and the whole plot is just so imaginative that I can't see anyone not enjoying it.
Rapunzel by Paul Zelinsky. Again, one of Sass's favorites, and it's one she would probably choose herself if she could get out of the Clifford rut. We used to read it regularly before we started on chapter books at night.
My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss. I used to read this to Spyder regularly, but it just never became one of the ones in Sass's collection. It actually helped Spyder quite a bit in being able to define his emotions at an early age, and I think his self-awareness is all the better because of it.
The Parable of the Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs. It seems only appropriate since Easter is only a few weeks away. I also like that it teaches a good lesson in patience as well as in understanding that one can't make a judgment call without knowing all the facts.
Olivia by Ian Falconer. Quite a precocious pig, one that Sass has can recognize in herself. She can relate to Olivia, and she likes hearing about her misadventures. This book has never been one of our mainstays, but it should be.
I've already pulled out these titles and put them in our book basket, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow when we can get started!
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Friday, March 09, 2007
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Me too! There are several dishes that I used to I avoid making because it made the house smell like grease or chorizo or what-have-you.
I have now discovered the secret to keeping those less-than-wonderful scents at bay -- vinegar!
Pour a cup of vinegar into a cup or bowl and set it near the stove. (I use a Pyrex measuring cup and set it in the center of the burners on the stove.) The vinegar will absorb the odors and your house won't have the lingering smell hours after dinner is over!
Check out all of the Works For Me Wednesday Kitchen Edition at Rocks in My Dryer!
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Oh, where is the poem
That I wrote?
Oh, I despise
That I am broke.
over and over and over.
And in true Spyder fashion, he was cleaning his room so that he could find something that he'd misplaced. I've no idea what his lack of funds had to do with losing the poem though. Perhaps he wanted to hire someone (me? Sass?) to locate it for him. :o)
Monday, March 05, 2007
It's been one of those things that he's been avoiding because it always seems like such a daunting task. It's really not, but I completely understand how he feels. I feel that way about the laundry most days. At any rate, it's been one of those tasks needed to be done, but he never quite got around to doing.
He's had his eye on a little self-indulgence though. He gave me something similar for Christmas, and we both love, love, love it. And to be honest, he needs something to sync his calendar more than I do. So when he asked if I thought it was okay for him to get it, I said, "You can buy it as soon as our taxes are done."
That was just two days ago, so I suppose that was all the encouragement he needed.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Just as in the first book, Maisie is thoughtful and insightful, alert and astute throughout. We were given her history in the first book, and it seems as if she is comfortable with where she has come from and what she has become. As we read further, we learn that Maisie hasn't quite come to terms with how life brought her to become Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator.
So far, all of Maisie's mysteries have come as a result of repercussions of World War I, and each has allowed her to delve further into who she is and how she came to be. I found that I was fascinated with the details surrounding The Great War. I studied it in school, of course, but there were many times that I had to jot down something to look up later.
In general, I do not recommend series as a whole, simply because I am usually disappointed with the later books. However, the Maisie Dobbs series is a welcome change to that trend. I have thoroughly enjoyed them all. As with any series, I do suggest that they be read in order. The books in the Maisie Dobbs series are as follows (in chronological order):
Birds of a Feather
Messenger of Truth
Very highly recommended.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
The winning sentence?
Massive evil squashed poodles always graciously entertain forbidden pickled vegetables.
Thank you. Thank you very much.