Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Getting to the good stuff

I've been going through the bookshelves lately in preparation for the eventual move. Most of the books and CDs have been given away, but I've listed some on

I must have gotten to the good stuff this weekend, at least in the CDs. I've sold four items since Sunday, one of them within half an hour of listing it. That's a record for me!

Skeeter was skeptical about the whole listing thing. He wants everything out immediately. He may be coming around to the listing idea though, since we'll have $40 extra for our vacation that only required about 10 minutes work and a little bit of shelf space.

Now to find a few more of those hidden treasures.


Recipe Box Swap: Neiman Marcus Brownies

swap blogpost

This is the recipe that my mom uses for her Neiman Marcus Brownies, although I've no idea how "authentic" it is. They are absolutely fabulous though. Our local police department now requests them at Christmas!

Neiman Marcus Brownies


1 box butter pecan cake mix
1 stick butter melted
1 egg

Combine cake mix, melted butter and egg. Mix well. Press into pan 9x13.


1 lb box confectioners sugar
1 stick butter melted
8 oz cream cheese
2 eggs
chopped pecans

Combine confectioners sugar, melted butter, cream cheese and eggs for topping. Pour over cake mix. Cover with chopped pecans. Bake @ 300 for 55 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.


Sunday, April 27, 2008


Skeeter is going out of town tomorrow. He got a call tonight at about 9:30. There is a sinkhole causing troubles about 4 hours south of us, and he's going tomorrow to meet with the consulting engineer.

He has to be there at 8 am.

Did you do the math on that? Be there at 8 am. Four hours away. That poor man. I have the timer ready on the coffee pot. It will start brewing at o'dark thirty, and he'll head out.

Thankfully, packing is one of my skills. I have had loads of practice, courtesy of one of Skeeter's previous jobs. We stopped the television show we had been watching (Numb3rs -- love that show) and started in. He was packed up and ready to go in about 15 minutes, including snacks for the ride, and we sat down again to finish watching.

There are loads of things that I can't do. Or that I can do, but not particularly well. But packing? I've got skillz.


Friday, April 25, 2008

I have the best job in the world

It is going to be all I can do not to ignore everything and everyone this weekend. I worked at the bookstore tonight, and I scored advance reader copies of

Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster

Secrets of a Shoe Addict by Beth Harbison

Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin

I'm currently reading Nancy Farmer's The Sea of Trolls. I'm only about 50 pages in at the moment though, so I'm going to have to step it up. I'm anxious to get to my new books.

If you only hear sounds of silence from this blog in the next few days, you'll know why.


Fun with Windows

Just too awesome.

Also seen on Graph Jam. Kristabella mentioned GraphJam a couple of weeks ago, and I love that site a little bit too much.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Miss Lucinda: Squirrel Stalker

Lucinda Louise (aka Lucy) spends most of her days outside. It's where she prefers to be on all but the coldest and hottest days.

A few days ago we had massive storms roll through, and I made Lucinda come inside. She wasn't happy about it and sat at the door almost the whole time. The backyard is her domain, and she guards it well. She tolerates the birds (mostly), but the squirrels? Oh no. Game on. She's caught and killed at least two in the last year.

The squirrels were in heaven that they had a Lucy-free day in the backyard. They frolicked around the tree -- Lucy's tree, in full view of the back door -- and it drove Lucy mad. Can you see the pure hatred in her gaze?

I think the squirrels were taunting her.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday Meme

Nothing to break the silence like a meme . . . . I've done this particular one before, so I'll try not to duplicate.

Tagged by Tina at Golden Goodness:

Seven Random Things About Me:

Both of my parents are left-handed. I am right-handed, but I do many, many things left-handed because that's the way I learned -- cutting meat, bread, or vegetables, playing pool, cleaning the counters or mirrors . . . .

I still hate The Disney Channel. We had the "privilege" of watching it recently, and I wasn't impressed. I have no idea why some parents think that these shows are a great thing.

I hate soap operas. I've never watched them, although my grandmother had a little thing going with One Life to Live.

My grandmother lived with us when I was growing up. She died when I was 12. My sister was 2 at the time, and I'm a little bit sad that she doesn't have those memories of Nana.

I took my first airplane ride when I was 16. I went to Washington, DC with a school group. When we arrived at the airport, the plane wasn't allowed to land due to ice. We circled the airport for two hours and were finally told that we had to land because we didn't have enough fuel to get to another airport. We landed, skidding the whole way, and ended up nearly half a mile from the terminal. They got our baggage out there on the runway and we had to walk to the terminal. That was really my first lesson.

I like the way my doggies keep me company, even if it's just listening to them snore.

Three years ago I switched Skeeter to decaf coffee without telling him. He had just been laid off from his job. He was drinking three or four pots of coffee a day and waking up in the middle of the night with migraines. At the time, we didn't have caffeine in our house at all. He knew that, but I made the conscious decision to keep buying only decaf without mentioning that to him. That first month was hard for both of us. I finally told him three months after he had gone decaf-only, after he was over the caffeine withdrawals. Considering that it had been nearly six weeks since he'd had one of those middle-of-the-night headaches, he wasn't angry. Annoyed at first, but not angry. And he'd agreed with me on not telling him. If he had known, there's no way he would have stood for it.

So there you are . . . a few extra bits about me! No tags this time, but let me know if you play along!


Friday, April 18, 2008

Procrastination makes me a copycat

I've had this post sitting my "drafts" since Sunday. No particular reason why I hadn't posted it, but I hadn't. And then Jenn Lancaster had to go and post HER favorite Kids in the Hall sketch, and now I feel like I copied.

Anyway, this is my absolute, complete, utter favoritest Kids in the Hall sketch. Ever.

And this is for Skeeter, who has two bosses named Dave. When they are in town at the same time, he always talks about them as "The Daves" and makes me think of this.

I am easily amused.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Traveling advice, or things I learned the hard way

Never order chili in a foreign country.

When going on an extended international vacation, it is better to pack too little than too much. If you happen to need something you didn't take, you can buy it there. If you take too much, you'll be shipping that extra suitcase (and crap therein) home within the first week.

Even when on a domestic vacation, pack light. You may be toting that suitcase half a mile to the terminal. In a blizzard.

It is unwise to go to a wine festival on your first night in Germany. You will drink too much. You may end up with a combination of jet lag and drunkenness, causing you to walk to your host's house in a manner that resembles an inept cat burglar. With your grandmother following and laughing like a maniac.

In like manner, take it easy on the free alcohol served on those international flights. Arriving with a hangover in addition to jet lag is not pretty.

Having your three-year-old son pee in a cup in the car is a Bad Idea, even if your husband insists otherwise. Even if it's nearly midnight and there is absolutely no exit on the interstate, it's still a Bad Idea. Boys do not have good aim.

Trust me on these.



Not terrible, I suppose, considering I'm not in an office setting.

67 words


Wednesday, April 16, 2008


SASS: Daddy, can you draw a dog for me?


(draws dog)

SKEETER: Here you are.

SASS: Um, Daddy? Can you draw a better one?


Wii are now hip

Skeeter came home last night with a Wii.

This is a Big Deal.

We have never been "in" on the game systems. Until a year ago, we only had a Sega Genesis that I bought for Skeeter in 1993. Yes. 1993. We had fun with that Sega though. Skeeter and I were a little bit addicted to Ghouls and Ghosts.

About a year ago we bought a used Nintendo GameCube for the family. Spyder likes the epic games like Harry Potter, but Skeeter and Sass and I prefer the old style games. Pinball is the current favorite. But even that move into newer gaming systems was behind the times, as the Wii had already been introduced, and the GameCube was out of production.

And about a month ago, I bought a Nintendo DS for the children. A friend was selling it, and I had been debating on getting one for a while, so I bought it on somewhat of a whim. The children have enjoyed it though.

So then yesterday, the Wii.

This foray into current gaming technology is dizzying. And I've heard horror stories recently about children who prefer to do nothing other than play video games, so I've been a bit concerned about the recent acquisitions.

Skeeter set up the system today, and the children and I spent a happy hour or so playing bowling. And then? They went outside for the rest of the afternoon -- making an obstacle course, drawing butterflies, and making a drainage system for the "Spyder Pond" that they made.

I'm still not sure how I feel about the game systems, but I'm less concerned about how it will affect the children.


For Tina

Look at what I bought as my happy-birthday-to-me present!


Monday, April 14, 2008

Hungry Planet

A most fascinating look at nutrition and diets around the world in a Time photo essay, an excerpt from the book Hungry Planet by Peter Menzel.


Sunday, April 13, 2008


My birthday was this weekend. It hasn't really felt like it though.

Normally I am all about my birthday, celebrating for two weeks on either side. Um, hello? A day to celebrate how wonderful I am? I am so there.

This year? Not so much. This year, the children were the ones who pushed forward with the birthdaying -- the cake and ice cream, the gifts, the celebrating. As for me, I'm not really sure how I feel about the whole birthday thing. It was a good weekend, just not one that felt particularly birthdayish.

We've had an odd sort of late winter/early spring. One or another of us has been sick since January. As a result, we've been spending our time with just the family rather than participating in group activities like we normally do. Now that we're all mostly well -- only a few lingering coughs --we've recently been venturing out to do a few things again. This past week was the beginning of it, getting back into the routines that we all know and enjoy.

Spring always seems like a time for renewal to me, much more than the New Year. In spring I can see the circle begin again, and I've always been glad that I celebrate my birthday at that time, hand in hand with the season.

Perhaps this birthday was simply more reflective, with a different sort of appreciation and joy.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Our next party

Skeeter and I love having parties. That's interesting in itself because he swears he hates people. All people, doesn't matter who. And yet, he loves to have parties at our house. He is a walking, talking oxymoron, people.

At any rate, I have found the theme for the next one we have. Check out the redneck party at Sweet Tea! Oooh, they could be my neighbors, y'all!


Friday, April 11, 2008


Tonight as we were driving, Skeeter and I were discussing those wacky little talents that some of us have.

Some people can wiggle their ears. Julie can lift one eyebrow (a la Spock), of which I am absolutely, completely, wholly jealous. I have this funky, unexplainable thing I can do with my mouth. Really it's just an exaggerated sneer, but it sounds so much better being unexplainable.

Skeeter and I were trying to figure out if he has a particular talent when Sass spoke up.

"I have a talent," she said.

Skeeter looked back and said, "So tell me. What's your talent?"

She immediately responded, "I can roll my eyes."

Skeeter and I just looked at each other, trying not to laugh. Skeeter regained his composure first and said, "Yes, honey. I know you can. And I'm sure you'll perfect it when you're about 12."


My children are equally amusing

Lest you think that Sass is my only funny one:

SPYDER: Now that I've gotten you a birthday present, I can worry about more important things.

ME: Like what?

SPYDER: Like my wish list for my birthday. It's only a month away. You need to get started.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Am I really?

You're Catch-22!

by Joseph Heller

Incredibly witty and funny, you have a taste for irony in all that you
see. It seems that life has put you in perpetually untenable situations, and your sense
of humor is all that gets you through them. These experiences have also made you an
ardent pacifist, though you present your message with tongue sewn into cheek. You
could coin a phrase that replaces the word "paradox" for millions of

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.


Modesty is her greatest virtue

I swear, I can't make these things up. Tonight's bedtime conversation with Sass:

SASS: I don't think I want to grow up.

ME: Why not?

SASS: My face will change.

ME: Yes, it will. It's part of growing up.

SASS: That's what I mean. I'll look different.

ME: Yes . . . .

SASS: But I'm beautiful now! I want to stay that way!


No one can ever accuse us of being seasonally appropriate

The children decided yesterday that they wanted to bob for apples. Why? No idea. Your guess is as good as mine. I know that fall is apple-bobbing time, but I've always thought that apple-bobbing was more a warm weather activity anyway. I mean, really. Who thought it was a good idea to stick your head in a bucket of water when it's cold outside!?!

When they started raiding the refrigerator, they quickly realized that we were completely apple-free. We needed to make a stop in at the grocery store anyway, so we picked up a few.

So today, at long! last! they bobbed. It was amusing.

Sass started out being dainty, holding her hair back.

That didn't last too long though. She realized that she wouldn't be getting an apple with the dainty approach.

Spyder hates getting water in his eyes, so he decided that he'd use his swim goggles to get a better look at the target.

For a while they even shared the bobbing space.

And they ended up soaked afterward, but they had a blast.

And now if you'll excuse me, I have puddles to clean and clothes to wash.


Choose your own adventure, blog style

When I was a girl, I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books (which are finally back in print!). Nerdy? Yes, but I've already mentioned that.

Nancy Pearl Wannabe has coordinated a Choose Your Own Adventure on various blogs! Here is the first installment. Who knows where you'll end up!

Hat tip to Vanessa (who wrote one of the endings) for the link.


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Worth 1000

I love photography, but I've never learned how to manipulate digital photos. As a result I'm fascinated by the photos on the Worth 1000 website.

Make sure to check out vintage ads for modern products. Very amusing!


Thursday, April 03, 2008


I need to get cracking if I intend to visit all 50 states! I've only been to 19 so far! But I didn't count the ones that I'd only seen through the windows of airport. I can't see that as really visiting.

create your own visited states map


Recipe Box Swap: Buffalo Wing Dip


Buffalo Wing Dip

16 oz softened cream cheese
1 lb grilled chicken (I use pulled rotisserie chicken)
1 cup ranch dressing
1 cup Red Hot Sauce
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions (optional)

Stir the softened cream cheese with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add ranch dressing, Red Hot sauce, and chicken. Mix thoroughly.

Pour into baking pan. Sprinkle with cheese and bake uncovered 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted thoroughly. Add chopped green onions to the top for garnish. Serve with tortilla chips.

Check out more good stuff at this week's Recipe Box Swap at I Have to Say!


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Because Super Girl is redundant

SASS: Look, Mama! It's my Super Girl picture!

ME: Nice! Why doesn't she have an "SG" instead of just a "G"?

SASS: She doesn't need it. Everyone already knows she's super!


On moving

I thought I had mentioned the moving thing before, but maybe not . . . .

Skeeter's project is scheduled to last until December 31, 2008. That's a give-or-take though because (as we all know) "schedule" is just another word for "maybe." Plus, it's a big project, and all sorts of things can put them behind (or ahead, but behind is probably more likely). Like yesterday. The site flooded, and this week will be spent repairing existing structures and drives, not making new ones.

That Company already has a plan for where he's supposed to go (Chicago area), but that could change too.

It's all just a big fat "IF" right now. Not enough for me to get excited about it, but definitely enough for me to start preparing.

Good news! I sold two things from my inventory!

Bad news. I think I donated one of the things to the library last week. I'm still looking for it, but I'm pretty sure the library has it. I wonder if I could buy it back.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

All photos taken by Sass.


I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't this.

You Are a Comma

You are open minded and extremely optimistic.

You enjoy almost all facets of life. You can find the good in almost anything.

You keep yourself busy with tons of friends, activities, and interests.

You find it hard to turn down an opportunity, even if you are pressed for time.

Your friends find you fascinating, charming, and easy to talk to.

(But with so many competing interests, you friends do feel like you hardly have time for them.)

You excel in: Inspiring people

You get along best with: The Question Mark