Monday, May 31, 2010


well, here it is monday and i am feeling all better! except i ate too much!

we hosted the memorial day cook out here at the hellhole. bilbo managed to get the yard mowed amidst several rain showers and the rain held out while we grilled. luckily, we had planned to eat inside, though!

the menu was:

hot wings
bacon jack onion burgers
tomato pasta salad
green beans
corn on the cob
olives and pickles
and two desserts-
banana blueberry crunch cake
mocha pudding trifle (mmmmmmmmmmmm!)

mom and dad came, and elle, kaye and kaye's boyfriend. there was a lotta eating and a lotta laughing. t.willie was his usual entertaining self!

a good time was had by we remembered and gave our silent thanks for those that have given their lives for our freedom. hope your memorial day was as full and meaningful.

*please click on over to pioneer woman's blog to check out all her reader's wonderful, emotional military coming home pictures. have a tissue handy...
(above image taken by missfranciepants for pw photo assignment)

grateful for:
1. our country, our freedom
2. good food, good family times
3. the chance to miss t.w. some this weekend while he was away with his mom :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

under the weather

sorry folks, i have been "under the weather" the last couple days. hopefully, i will be "on top of the weather" by monday...i'll be baaaaackkk......!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

them damn skeeters

our home, the hellhole, is in a low part of our county. this means that, when we get a lot of rain, our yard floods pretty badly. we are used to it, we've been living here FOREVER! but in the last few years, we have noticed that it seems like some areas of the yard never quite dry out. as a result, we get a lot of moss and a lot of moss-quitoes.

now, moss, i don't mind. it's pretty and green and soft, but mosquitoes are another thing! this time of year is when they start getting bad. (as if a mosquito is ever good!) we can't sit out on the porch or in the yard without getting eaten alive. it's not even safe to go to the mailbox!!

poor t.willie seems to be their favorite white meat! he went out back to bring in a toy the other day, was only out there three minutes and he came in with two big ole red bites! they really swell up on him, it's very impressive. and last evening, he was bitten on his head, at the exact spot where his hair whorls out! the one good thing is, the bites don't seem to bother him at all, he never scratches at them.

last year, bilbo and i went online to search for ideas for how to rid the yard of the critters. what we decided to try was a garlic based repellent. now, i gotta tell ya, i LOVE the smell of fresh garlic cooking, but this stuff...not so much! it is a garlic concentrate that you mix with water and spray all over your yard. it is supposed to kill the mosquito eggs and larvae by suffocating them and repel the live ones.

last year, we didn't think we noticed much of a difference. bilbo sprayed a few nights ago, and i still think it's not working. so, okay, back to the internet. does anyone know of a solution we could try? PLEASE let me know, those skeeters are really BUGGING us!!

1. for my soft dog under my feet
2. kaye's box of junior mints (shh, don't tell!)
3. for a day spent with t.w.watching him in his wading pool

Monday, May 24, 2010

he *ROCKS* those undies!

big news! big news! t.willie has been spending all of his waking hours in undies! yes, the diapers are on their way out, i am so glad! it has not been easy, as he couldn't care less if he was wet or dry, but i have pushed and prodded and bribed and nagged and he has responded...YAY!

just check him out with his "tar", he IS a rock star!

so grateful:
1. for my new new blender that makes delicious smoothies with the press of a button
2. for all the fresh produce that has been cheap lately
3. for that boy and diapers going the way of the dinosaur-HUZZAH! tee hee hee

Friday, May 21, 2010

grillin and lovin it!

we love this time of year, when the gas grill is dusted off and meat and fresh veggies(and sometimes, fruit and bread) are cooked to perfection.

bilbo and i have gotten to be pretty experimental (emphasis on mental!) about our grilling. in the last year, we have tried grilled garlic, italian and french bread, squashes, portobello mushrooms, peaches, and just last weekend, romaine lettuce. all were good, some were great! we especially love grilled pork chops, mmmm so good!

next we want to try whole beer can chicken, pizza, pineapple slices, nectarines and bananas, among others. i am feverishly hunting new recipes.

while i was at the tasty kitchen site (pioneer woman's site), i stumbled across this guy's yummy sounding recipes. he has a blog called patio daddio bbq-love the name! his blog is dedicated to every aspect of grilling, from food to marinades to the best grills to use.

this recipe for asian chicken on a stick looks awesome!

there are SO many more, go check out patio daddio's blog, he'll be your new grill friend!!!

1. for grillin' season, duh!
2. for fresh fruit in my smoothies
3. that t.willie loves all foods, including every vegetable, except butternut squash-too slimey, he said!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

jillian michaels wants YOU!

so, okay, i admit it, i don't really know who jillian michaels is. yeah, i know she's some fitness celebrity who trains the biggest losers. but i have never actually seen her, as i do not watch tv and i am NOT a loser!! hahaha

what i DO know is, that i am tired of her pointing finger popping up at me from various websites!

hey, i'm a big girl, i know how to navigate if i want to buy a wii program. i do not need some ridiculously fit woman to jump out at me and scare me into exercising!

alright, now that i think about it, maybe i do. i mean, i DO own a wii and it has been at my daughter's house for several months now. and i would like to lose some weight and get fit...but, hey! no! still, i hate those freakin' pop-ups on websites, that's my point...i think...
and speaking of points, yeah, her pointing finger just makes me feel singled out! like she's saying "hey, you! loser! get away from that computer and exercise!" that's all i'm saying...

so, yeah, you- miss jillian, hasn't your mom ever told you, it's not nice to point?!!

(jillian michaels fitness ultimatum 2010 $19.99)

1. that my daughter, elle, lives so close (but not too close!)
2. that spaghetti is just as good as a leftover
3. that t.willie has turned the corner in his potty training--woo hoo, dry undies all day today!
(him, not me...well, me too!)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

same old, same old

this has been just another day in a long line of days, or perhaps a long line of daze. i get up, i feed animals, people, myself. i clean up from animals, people, myself. i read email, newsletters, recipes. then it is time for another meal, another clean-up....over and over, everyday. it's boring, in fact, i'm boring myself right now!

the high point of my day is getting a high score on my handheld yahtzee game. (537, in case you're wondering!) yeah, and i keep it in the bathroom to play while i'm on the...well, you know...! between potty-training t.willie and my peanut-sized bladder, it seems like i spend my whole day in there! good thing i have a game to play!!

on days like this, when t.w. doesn't nap, it seems like the afternoon just drags on and on. but, never fear, summer is almost here! then i'll have to deal with the tedium AND the heat and humidity, mosquitoes, slugs, filling the wading pool, emptying the wading pool.....

i can't wait.

grateful anyway:
1. for the chance to be bored since a lot of people have too much to do
2. for having people and animals in my life whom i love
3. for good company in the bathroom!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

i'll get to it...tomorrow!

do you know about the day zero project? it is a website started by new zealander, michael green, as a place to set and achieve your personal goals. the challenge is to complete 101 things in 1001 days. you set the goals specific to you.

some of these goals will be quickly done and some will take more time and effort. the website gives you a place to set down your goals and a place to check them off when you have met them.

i was intrigued when i read about this, as i am a horrible, no good procrastinator! what an excellent way for me(or you) to concretely set goals and see that they are carried out! the time frame of 1001 days (2.75 years) gives ample time to achieve even your long range goals.

i have already started my list of 101 items, such as:

1. back up and sort the digital pics on my computer
2. lose 10 pounds (that's a given!)
3. create a gallery of family photos on one wall of the house
4. join a yoga class
5. plant blueberry bushes
6. write a short story
7. start a compost pile
8. try making a quilt square
9. make freezer jam
10. avoid shopping at wal-mart for two whole weeks(or longer!)
etc., etc.

you get the idea. i have 39 goals so far, i guess #40 should be "finish list of goals"!! hahaha

anyway, if this sounds like something you should do, i urge you to check it out. it's pretty cool, i'll let you know how i am doing occasionally, and hopefully, i'll finish my list!

grateful for:
1. pizza-i cannot tell a lie!
2. fresh herbs, especially basil!
3. dinner time without a 2 1/2 year old--again, cannot tell a lie!

Monday, May 17, 2010

those were the days

i remember way, way back in the good old days, back before t.willie learned how to crawl, when life was good. when all we had to worry about was how many toes he could get into his mouth...

yeah, that was not bad at all. then there was the time when he discovered books. oh, he devoured them!

yeah, well, those days are SO over! one day last week, he was a little hellion all day. finally, i told him he had to stay in his room and play while i went and recovered on the couch. all was fine for a while until i heard the bathroom door shut. i got up, went down the hallway and opened the bathroom door to find.....t.w. at the sink sucking down his toothpaste from the tube!!!!!

unfortunately, i don't have a picture of that, since he was mightily and speedily sent back to his room!

oh, for the good old days.............

1. that having lots of rain can sometimes result in a rainbow afterward
2. and also, in plants growing quickly
3. that a sense of humor can save the day

Friday, May 14, 2010

as PROM-ised!!!

who are these adorable kids all dressed up for senior prom??

oh, you may have guessed, it's bilbo and me back in 1981. i think bilbo was rockin a tom cruise vibe there, don't ya think?! and me, well i sure don't remember those glasses being that BIG!! and the farrah-esque hair flip, very 80's!

oh, we had fun that night. i remember dancing a lot. bilbo was such an enthusiastic dancer that he was voted best dancer and was given a cute little plastic trophy! after the prom, we went out with some friends. later, us and another couple ended up at the beach and we made out in the sand at the water's edge. we didn't get home til the morning. ah yes, that was a great night!

so great, in fact, that i decided to keep that stud muffin around, so i married him! hahaha, that was for you, lor!

just look at the devotion on bilbo's face!

i remember my dad taking the pictures and making me laugh. he does stuff like that, he's trouble! so, this wraps up "everything prom" week. i hope ya had fun and that it brought back good memories of your own proms or teen dances.

follow this link to watch a beautiful video of our class of 81 prom theme song

1. that i married my prom date
2. that i stuck with him through thick and thin
3. that we won't have to deal with high school proms again for a looong time!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


ah, prom night...everything seems so special! you search for the perfect dress, the perfect shoes, the perfect accessories and, of course, the perfect date!

some of you may not know that bilbo baggins and i are high school sweethearts, now married 27 years. our senior year was in 1981. we had been going out since the year before, with a couple minor break-ups, and so senior prom was a given.

but if i had not already had the perfect date, i do have some alternates that would have worked.

here in descending order:
alternate #10 christian bale- totally LOVED him in "little women"

#9 dermot mulroney- especially in "my best friend's wedding"

#8 christopher o'donnell- oh yeah, his role in "three musketeers" was adorable!

#7 matthew mcconaughey- in ANYTHING! (or nothing!)

#6 antonio banderas- "zorro" never had it so good!

#5 john cusack- love him in "high fidelity". and he just seems so nice!

#4 sean astin- OMG!! he was the cutest hobbit EVER!!!

#3 aidan quinn- drooled over him in "practical magic" (and he's irish!)

#2 *a tie with #1- johnny depp- captain jack sparrow...need i say more?!

he deserves two pictures!
and #1 (tied with johnny) steve martin- yes, had i not hooked up with bilbo, steve and i would be together now!

stayed tuned tomorrow for the BIG prom week finale!!

1. that it's not a crime to dream
2. that reality can be just as good, if not better
3. that my dating days are OVER!!
(but we can still go out friday night, bilbo!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

PROM-ise to freak you out!!!

to continue everything prom week here at the hellhole, i will re-visit the movie "grease". now, i know there isn't a prom, per se, but there is a high school dance and i say same difference!

i'm sure you all know the story of sandy and danny and about the ups and downs, the highs and lows of their complicated high school romance. but behind the scenes, standing RIGHT behind sandy, actually, are the "pink ladies", the cool chick gang of the school. and their fearless, sassy leader is none other than "rizzo". she's tough, she's loose, she don't take no crap from nobody!

oh yeah, riz gets sandy to try a cigarette for the first time, she fools around on her boyfriend, she thinks she may be pregnant...she's just plain bad news, is what she is!!!

so, thinking about grease and rizzo and the year the movie depicted, 1958, i got to thinking about my parents. if my calculations are correct(and they seldom are), my mom's senior year was 1958. huh, freaky! but, wait, it gets freakier!!!

i hear you saying, "tell me more! tell me more!!" okay, i will!

here is my mom's senior prom pic (that's my dad, too):

here is a pic of stockard channing, who played rizzo:

and here is a pic of her and her guy at the dance:

let's look at mom and dad again:

here's rizzo:

here's mom:(check out the hair!)

they have the EXACT same hair!!! now, i'm by no means implying that my mother's teen antics were anything like rizzo's, but the hair is the same, the flower on the right side of the dress is the same...i'm just saying!!

and is it just me, or does rizzo's guy look JUST like my dad???
freaky? scary? you better believe it is!!! but there's more.....

the high school where these greasy kids go, is called "rydell high".
get this... my mom's maiden name was RYDELL!!!!

i kid you not! now, that's freaky!!

1. that my folks have managed to keep each other around ALL these years!
2. that i finally, at 10:27 pm, got this posted!
3. that t.willie is able to enjoy excellent great-grandparents

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

PROM-ising job prospects

tonight's movie review that involves a prom is "never been kissed" with drew barrymore. here is the product description:

"In this hilarious, heartwarming comedy, Drew Barrymore shines as a budding journalist who's determined to go from 'geek' to 'chic' when she is sent back to high school on her first undercover assignment to learn about today's teens. At first, Josie is thrilled with the opportunity until she remembers her nickname from years ago: "Josie Grossie!" Can a former clueless nerd navigate the hallways of high school without trippin over her own feet?"

yes, it was predictable. yes, it's hard to picture drew as a homely, nerdy girl. yes, it's hard to believe that she is a teen in the movie. but still, i liked it! it was cute. it made me laugh. and her name in the film was "josie", also my nickname for several years when i was very young.

so here she is in the beginning of the movie:


and here she is at the end:

aahhh! that's better!

here is the hottie teacher she falls for:

and, finally, here is the prom scene...just look at that tiara!!!

it's a funny movie, check it out!

and, hey, check out this photo of my niece, kip, when she was a high school junior (in 2004?)

that's her on the far left, she is a pretty blonde...usually, when she is not a pretty redhead!

grateful that:
1. we have movies to escape from reality
2. all it takes to feel pretty, is to put on an awesome dress!
3. t.w's mom took him OUT of this house this evening!!!
(2 year olds, the reason animal mothers eat their young!!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

everything PROM week

let's talk molly ringwald. i know, i know, some of you may hate her. some may be saying molly who? some of you may be saying "man, i love me some molly hatchet!" but i gotta say, back in the 80's, i was a molly ringwald fan.

oh, to have that curly red hair! but really, i want to talk about her movies, in particular, "pretty in pink". i still love that movie! her relationship with her deadbeat dad, her relationship with duckie (jon cryer of "two and half men" fame), her relationship with clothes, and then in the end, where she gets the cute, rich guy...and the kiss! oh, teen angst was never so good!

in honor of molly and this movie and for the start of "everything prom week", here are some pink prom dresses that are sure to WOW!!

exhibit #1 the cute, sweet dress

exhibit #2 a little less cute, a little less sweet

exhibit #3 the perfect cinderella dress

exhibit #4 the YIKES! dress

exhibit #5 the fiddle-dee-dee-tara-is-burnin' dress

exhibit #6 the every mother's nightmare dress (is that charo?!)

and here's molly....classic!!

1. that my prom/teen days are over!
2. that i can relive it in the comfort of my living room, thanks to molly
3. that t.willie's teen days are faaaaaar down the road!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

mama mia!

this is an ode to my mom,
the mother of ME!
she had two kiddies
and then she had three

along came a fourth
enough! my dad said
if we don't stop this now,
i can see what's ahead!

ok, not really
that's not how it went
but mom did have four kids
i'm sure she was spent!

dad and mom took us camping
which meant tons to me
that, and the summers
we spent at the sea

mom, she was busy
doing all that moms do
doll clothes, school cupcakes,
halloween costumes, too

as we got older
mom's day job changed
she went back to school
we were somewhat estranged

she taught us to handle
some things on our own
but when she was needed
we'd just pick up the phone

she worked in the schools
as a teacher's aide
those kids were so lucky
hey, they had it made!

us kids, we grew up
some of us fled
well, the others did-
i couldn't be led!

eventually, mom and dad
moved to tennessee
so did two of their kids-
younger sister and me

younger sis went to college
at a school in knoxville
i soon moved away to
california, to wed bill

through the early days
of my married life
i missed my mom much
like the pain of a knife

soon, i was having
a babe of my own
and then came another
my, how i'd grown!

meanwhile mom worked
at ole wally world
my girls grew older
our lives had unfurled

one day mom found
a lump in her breast
we knew not, at the time
that this was a test

but mom, she held tough
she fought tooth and nail
the whole fam was grateful
we knew she'd prevail!

and so she did!
we were happy aplenty!
and so we still are
though, that day goes back twenty

so, this long-winded rhyme
is just so's i can say
i'm so thrilled to still have
a mom on mother's day!

i love ya, my lil darlin!

grateful :
1. well, i guess you know what i'm grateful for...!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

happy happy, joy joy

so, t.willie did not nap AGAIN today! it pains me that i don't get that time to myself to rest and recoup. he was put into his bed, he tore apart his bed and, upon being taken out of his bed, he smiled and said "i make you happy, mostly!"

yes, yes he does! couldn't argue with that!

have a nice day!

1. for self-restraint
2. for deep breathing exercises
3. that he makes me happy ...mostly

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

the kitchen help

we do not have any kind of television dish or cable service. we have a blue screen unless we choose to watch a dvd or video. (yes, we still have videos! don't judge!) t.willie has many children's dvds and videos.there are the favorites that he watches over and over...and over and over....these include disney sing-alongs, "kipper the dog" and "spot".

the very favorite of the three are the "spot" videos. i don't know why, because i find them sooooo slow and boring! but when, t.w. watches spot, he seems to be studying EVERYTHING spot does!! now, spot is a preschooler puppy and so, i guess, someone for t.w. to look up to.

well, one day recently, he was watching the episode where spot goes to visit his grandma and helps her do chores around the house. he helps dust, vacuum, mop, sweep and wash dishes. all things any grandma would want help with...providing it was really help!

i wasn't really paying attention to the movie and didn't realize that my activities were mirroring, more or less, spot's grandma's. i generally put a movie on for t.willie while i clean up and this was just another day of the routine.

but, this time, when i went to use the vacuum, t.w. had a minor fit saying "my job, my job!!" i didn't think much about it, as he thinks every job is his job! then, when i was at the sink filling it for washing up the plastics and pots, here he was again. as he was dragging the stool over, he was begging "wanna wash da dishes! i doin' it!"

so, what could i do, i gave him the bottle brush/scrubber and showed him what to do. (i'm thoughtful that way and he deserved it!) he was very serious as he swirled the brush around and around the dishes. at one point, he looked up at me with the sweetest smile and said, "just like spot!" and then it hit me! he was copying his hero spot!! i answered that, yes, he was a good helper, just like spot.

now, of course, the novelty has worn off a little. but he still wants to wash dishes every now and then, he picks up his things most of the time, he loves to sweep and he feels it is his duty to dry off the table after i wipe it.

t.willie is every grandma's dream helper...and he's so cute!

grateful today:
1. for my hubby who buys me dirt and peat moss and plants, oh my!
2. for that and so much more
2. for my little helper