WaaaaaHooooo!! It's The End of November!!! Yippee!!


["Peanuts" theme music playing]
This is the last post of November, hereby marking my completion of the 2007 NaBloPoMo, and the NaNoWriMo, ... A giant 'Thank You' to my friends who have dealt with me being unavailable and distracted this month ... it's over with, at least until next year [grin]! Happy, happy, joy, joy!! Have a great weekend!!


Unlucky $1 M lottery winner may lose prize

[If you can't be a good example, then you'll serve as a horrible warning!™ - LaVeda]

Lottery winner wasn't supposed to gamble
By MARK PRATT, Associated Press Writer
Wed Nov 28, 6:49 PM ET

The winner of a $1 million lottery scratch ticket may not be so lucky after all: He's a convicted bank robber who isn't supposed to gamble. Timothy Elliott faces a Dec. 7 court hearing over whether he violated his probation when he bought the $10 ticket for the $800 Million Spectacular game at a supermarket in Hyannis.

Elliott was placed on five years' probation after pleading guilty in October 2006 to unarmed robbery for a January 2006 heist at a bank on Cape Cod. Under terms of his probation, he "may not gamble, purchase lottery tickets or visit an establishment where gaming is conducted, including restaurants where Keno may be played."

Elliott, 55, has collected the first of 20 annual $50,000 checks from the Massachusetts lottery commission.

A picture of Elliott, holding his first check, was posted on the lottery's Web site Monday, though it was removed by Wednesday. As part of his sentence, Elliott was put under the care of the state Mental Health Department and sent to a hospital for treatment, and state officials refused Wednesday to say whether he was still being treated.

A telephone number for Elliott could not immediately be located Wednesday, and it was not clear whether he had a lawyer. The lottery routinely cross references the names of winners with the state Revenue Department to see if they owe back taxes or child support, lottery spokesman Dan Rosenfeld said. In those cases, winnings go straight to the Revenue Department. But in this case, it will be up to the court to determine what will happen with Elliott's winnings.

"This is kind of new territory," he said.



Depositing A Milion Dollars Isn't As Easy As It Used To Be

Georgia man tries to deposit fake $1M bill

A bank teller in Clearwater had a million reasons not to open an account for an Augusta, Ga., man Monday, authorities said. Alexander D. Smith, 31, was charged with disorderly conduct and two counts of forgery after he walked into the bank and tried to open an account by depositing a fake $1 million bill, said Aiken County Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Michael Frank.

The employee refused to open the account and called police while the man started to curse at bank workers, Frank said.

The second forgery charge came after investigators learned Smith bought several cartons of cigarettes from a nearby grocery store with a stolen check, Frank said.

The federal government has never printed a million-dollar bill, Frank said.

Information from: Aiken Standard


For Those of You That Still 'Do Santa'...

Santa Tracker Starts Dec 1

This year when Norad tracks Santa on Christmas Eve, the official application to watch it will be Google Earth.

Starting on December 1st, there will be a special countdown to Christmas Eve.

Go visit the Santa Tracker site starting December 1 for details. Last year Google created a 3D game in Google Earth where you had to find Christmas presents somewhere on the Earth for the two weeks leading up to Christmas.

They had Santa's North Pole home and his sleigh rendered in 3D, and then the Santa tracker was linked to the Norad data.



I Has A Sweet Potato

I came across this one, and all I can say is 'Sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes, the bear gets you'...

I Has a Sweet Potato (Warning: language ... may not be SFW)

So, what kind of a day did YOU have?


Quote on Friendship

"We'll love you just the way you are if you're perfect."
-- Alanis Morissette


Following Instructions Is Important!!

Wanda's dishwasher quit working, so she called a repairman. Since she
had to go to work the next day, she told the repairman, "I'll leave the key
under the mat. Fix the dishwasher, leave the bill on the counter, and I'll
mail you a cheque."

"Oh, by the way don't worry about my bulldog Spike. He won't bother
you. But, whatever you do, do NOT, under ANY circumstances, talk to my parrot!"


When the repairman arrived at Wanda's apartment the following day, he
discovered the biggest, meanest looking bulldog he has ever seen. But,
just as she had said, the dog just lay there on the carpet watching the
repairman go about his work.

The parrot, however, drove him nuts the whole time with his incessant
yelling, cursing and name calling. Finally the repairman couldn't contain himself any longer and yelled, "Shut up, you stupid, ugly bird!"

To which the parrot replied, "Get him, Spike!"

Some people just don't listen!


Bush Issues "Thankfulness List"

Pre-Thanksgiving Radio Address

In a special pre-Thanksgiving radio address broadcast from the White House, President George W. Bush asked his fellow Americans to join him in giving thanks for the following things:

“My fellow Americans, let’s be thankful for global warming, because as these winter months approach, it makes the world such a nice, toasty place.

“Let’s be thankful for all of the food on our tables, unless some of it is from China.

“Let’s be thankful that Pakistan will have free and fair elections, and maybe someday we will, too.

“Let’s be thankful for the iPhone, except for those losers who actually paid full price for it.

“Let’s be grateful that I didn’t take out a subprime mortgage on the White House like Mr. Cheney told me to.

“Let's be thankful that nuclear weapons haven’t fallen into the hands of the wrong people, like Nancy Pelosi or Rosie O’Donnell.

“Let’s be thankful that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s writers are on strike, and hopefully will stay that way for the rest of my term in office.

“Let's be thankful that even though my approval numbers are falling, they’re still higher than my grades at Yale.

“Let’s be thankful that Osama bin Laden dyed his hair in his last video, because that made him look really gay.

“Let's be thankful for Guitar Hero III, which really helps you get through those long Cabinet meetings when they're going on and on about the economy.

“Let's be thankful that our military commanders have nothing bad to say about the war in Iraq until after they’re retired.

“Let's be thankful that in nine months it will be August and then I can go on summer vacation again.

“And finally, my fellow Americans, let's be thankful that, even though Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize, I’m still a lock for the Nobel War Prize.”



Thanksgiving Day

The food has been prepared and eaten, the company has arrived and left. Everyone is sitting around in a post-gluttonous [is that even a word?] stupor while we watch our family's favorite Thanksgiving movie:

Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory

I've loved that movie since I was a child, and I'm happy that my children enjoy the movie as well. Especially the Oompa-Loompas, and their songs about bad children, which they are not
:::innocent looks all around::: A nice memoir of times gone by.


Proposed Bill Would Bring 4,000 Troops Back To Life

[In a perfect world...]

WASHINGTON—With more American military casualties in 2007 than any year since the war began, a bipartisan group of House representatives introduced a bill Monday that calls for nearly 4,000 U.S. soldiers who have been killed in Iraq to be brought back to life.

Cosponsors John Boehner, left, and Bruce Braley, middle, told reporters how the bill would make everything all better Tuesday.

"These brave men and women gave their lives for our country," Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD), a cosponsor of the bill, told Congress yesterday. "The least we can do is give them back."

Though most Democrats and Republicans remain deadlocked on the issue of a possible troop withdrawal, leaders on both sides have been able to agree that bringing thousands of soldiers back from the dead and returning them home to their families, alive and well, like nothing ever happened, is the "only honorable choice."

"Our proposal would completely change the course of the conflict from hundreds of people dying every day to everyone suddenly being alive again," said Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA), donning a "Support Our Troops—Bring 'Em Back From The Dead" ribbon. "This will not only improve morale at home and abroad, but will also make everything all better."

"I think we can all agree that making everything all better would vastly improve the situation in Iraq," Braley added.

The bill, H.R. 702, stipulates that immediately upon its passage into law, the 4,000 brave soldiers who lost have their lives in Iraq come marching triumphantly over the horizon, directly into the arms of their loved ones, looking the same as they did on the day they left home. Article II, Section 3 of the bill requires that each soldier be carrying one apple pie, to be consumed in full with family members as they sit around the dinner table and laugh and sing. A proviso in Article III states that everything will go back to the way it was before.

Supporters of the bill march in New York.

The bill would also prohibit troops currently stationed in Iraq from ever dying.

According to House minority leader John Boehner (R-OH), the measure, already long overdue, is the most effective way to ensure that the growing casualty rate in Iraq is instantly reversed and reduced to zero.

"How much longer are we going to let these troops stay deceased? Two years? Three years? Forever?" Boehner said. "If we allow this to happen, then the insurgents have already won."

Added Boehner: "Thousands have made the ultimate sacrifice. Let's make sure they are repaid for that sacrifice in kind."

Though the bill enjoys broad support, a number of politicians have claimed the move is shortsighted and could destabilize the region if the reanimated bodies of the U.S. military returned to the living world as undead ghouls devoid of consciousness. Braley, however, dismissed such fears.

"I assure the American people that the reborn troops will appear just as alive and vital as they did mere moments before they were killed. In no way will they be an unholy abomination of undead flesh," Braley said.

Scheduled to be put to a vote in December, the bill has endured numerous setbacks, including fierce debate over which soldier should be brought back to life first, a core of Republicans who say they will only vote yes on the condition that the reanimated troops are immediately redeployed to Iraq, and Sen. Ted Stevens' (R-AK) multiple attempts to tack a rider onto the bill that would bring back his dead wife.

Though the bill is expected to pass the House, some Senators claim suddenly bringing back thousands of deceased Americans might send the wrong message to America's enemies.

"The tide in Iraq is turning," Sen. Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT) said. "American men and women dying in droves has worked thus far—it is not time to abandon this strategy."

Congress is also expected to begin drafting legislation that would completely heal all 28,385 wounded U.S. soldiers. If passed into law, any troops who have lost limbs to amputation, infection, or car-bomb explosions can expect their arms and legs to grow back within six months. In addition, the bill would guarantee that those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder will not have post-traumatic stress disorder anymore.

Even if the measure passes both the House and Senate, however, President Bush has promised to veto the bill.



Witty Knitting

When I saw these photos, I wasn't sure whether to admire them, or think 'these people have entirely too much time on their hands' ... the former won out... enjoy!!

8 Examples of Witty Knitting


For The 'Geek' in You...

Ultra- Cool!!!

Blue LED Binary Clock

You've got the horn-rimmed glasses and the pocket protector, now get the clock for computer geeks.

• Unique binary time display is easy to look at even if it is hard to read-until you know the trick
• The perfect gift for the binary freak or computer geek in your life
• Two modes available for twice the confusion; "BCD" mode and "True Binary" mode
• Once you know the secret, you'll have to work hard not to give it away
• Dimmer switch to cool the blue even cooler-if, that is, you think it is possible to get cooler than this
• Sleek design is complemented by a sleek price - $24.95

My eldest took one look at this page, and declared that it was "lame... who wants to spend 15 minutes trying to figure out what time it is?!?" Well, as I told her, "I'm just a soul who's intentions are good... "

Click the link for the secret to reading it... [grin]


Watching Spider-Man 3

The children thought that they weren't going to like it, but I heard them laughing and clapping, and they insisted that I watch it. As a comic book fan, and a fan of Spider-Man, I was sort of like, "eh", as far as catching #3 in the trilogy.

I have to admit, it was pretty good! The special effects were fabulous, and the story was pretty good, and funny, too!

Some of our favorite stuff from movie DVDs are the director and actor commentaries - learning about how the movie was made - all the background stuff, the work that different people like the composer, the sound effects people, and the storyboard artists do, and how the movie is put together. In many ways, it adds to our enjoyment of the movie, and sometimes, is more enjoyable than the movie itself.

My third child is very much into writing and putting on plays at home - complete with costumes that she designs, and makeup. The behind-the-scenes stuff has been a big help; she's learned how creative the special effects people have to be to get the job done... everything is not done with expensive props. Even things that you find around the house can be pressed into service as things totally different than the lives that they have in the everyday world. Coffee cup lids can become a computer console, packing foam can change the shape of the walls so that you are in what looks like a cargo bay. It's interesting, and a lot of fun!

So, I suppose that we'll be stringing rigging somewhere inside the house, so that we can figure out the physics of web swinging, lol!!


Japan’s Lunar Probe: HD Moon Photos & Movies!

Author: Leonard David

Check out the world’s first high-definition movies - shot on location at the Moon.

Japan’s Kaguya lunar explorer carried out onboard high-definition television (HDTV) from about 62 miles (100 kilometers) away from the Moon. The image taking was performed twice on October 31, according to officials at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation that developed the camera system.

The movie consists of two sequences - one shot over the western region of Oceanus Procellarum. The other is a fly over of the Moon’s north pole region, flying over the northern part of Oceanus Procellarum to the north pole.

Kaguya is in excellent shape as it circles the Moon - just joined by China’s mooncraft that just entered its working orbit of roughly 186 miles (300 kilometers) above the lunar landscape.

Take a look at that movie by going here: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency



Japan Shoots First High-Definition of Earth Rising

Japan's space agency said it has shot the first high-definition image of the Earth rising, showing a crystal clear blue planet emerging from the moon's horizon.

The images were taken by Japan's Kaguya probe, the most extensive investigation of the moon since the Apollo missions of the United States that began in the 1960s.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said in a statement that the agency, working with Japan's public broadcaster NHK, "have successfully performed the world's first high-definition image of an earthrise."


The images show a brilliant blue globe with a white top at Antarctica against a backdrop of pitch black space. Australia is visible as a lightish brown island, as are the craters of the moon's surface.

The first image of the Earth was taken in 1959, when US Explorer VI took the first photo from space while passing over the Pacific Ocean.

Images of the Earth quickly became icons for the growing environmentalist movement amid concern that modern industry was destroying the planet.

The Kaguya took the image of a nearly full Earth as it travelled some 100 kilometers (62 miles) above the Moon's surface.

"We may also try to shoot images of a full Earth," JAXA spokesman Akinori Hashimoto said.

The 55-billion-yen (495-million-dollar) Kaguya probe, named after a fairytale princess, was launched from southern Japan in mid-September.

The agency plans to begin the main part of the moon study in mid-December, including a review of the lunar gravity fields, Hashimoto said.

Japan has been expanding its space operations and has set a goal of sending an astronaut to the moon by 2020.

© 2007 AFP


Blue Skies and Starry Nights

After so many nights looking up at the gorgeous night sky, and being unable to take a decent picture for my blog (or my desktop), I came across this widget:

Astronomy Widget

I've installed this widget, and it's pretty fantastic! You can customize it for your location, even which direction you want to look toward (N/S/E/W)

For you PC users (the widget is Mac-only), there's a web version:

Starry Night Online (Beta)

You personalize the view via zip code, or, for the more technically minded, with latitude and longitude. It will even label stars, planets, and constellations! Pretty cool and far out!! Enjoy!!


PSA: To Stay Healthy Over The Holidays, Do What Your Mother Told You...

Wash your hands, thoroughly and often!!

Hand washing critical to avoiding illness over holidays, expert says

A Purdue University expert says food safety this holiday season should start with soap.
"It's cold season," said Laura Palmer, a Cooperative Extension Service specialist in foods and nutrition and a registered dietitian. "There are many germs, and you will be around many people over the next few months, whether as the cook or a guest. It all comes down to proper hand washing if you want to decrease your chances of getting sick."

Palmer recommends washing hands not only after using the restroom and before and after food preparation, but also after handling raw meats and other foods that can contaminate ready-to-eat items. Hand washing also is a good idea after touching telephones, cameras and other frequently used items.

"Be sure to work soap into a lather for 20 seconds," Palmer said. "Wash around rings and under fingernails. Rinse hands thoroughly under running water and use a dry paper towel to turn the faucet off. It doesn't do any good to wash your hands if you touch the knobs everyone turned on with dirty hands."

Preventing sickness during the holidays, especially food-borne illness, requires vigilance from both cooks and partygoers, Palmer said. To stay healthy during the holidays, Palmer offers the following food tips:

* If you're cooking, start with a clean kitchen. Look beyond countertops by wiping down the refrigerator and oven door handles, drawer handles and faucets. Use separate cutting boards for meat and fresh produce or cheese. Sanitize all work surfaces and utensils following food preparation.

* Keep in mind the two-hour rule. Don't leave perishable food out at room temperature for more than two hours. Bacteria can grow, leading to illness.

* Beware of buffets. Buffets are fun ways to offer a variety of food to crowds, but take care that items are served appropriately. Deli meat and seafood items should be served over ice or otherwise kept cold. Cheeses and dips made with dairy products also should be kept chilled. If you notice that such items aren't set out properly, opt for a different snack.

* Use food thermometers to cook foods to a proper internal temperature. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers guidelines on cooking temperatures for a variety of foods online at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Is_It_Done_Yet/index.asp

* When reheating leftovers, be sure food is heated to 165 degrees. Simply "warming up" food does not protect against illness. Cold foods should be kept at 40 degrees or lower.

Source: Purdue University

Americans Announce They're Dropping Out Of Presidential Race

WASHINGTON—Citing exhaustion, an overcrowded field of candidates, and little hope of making a difference in 2008, roughly 300 million Americans announced Tuesday that they will be leaving the presidential race behind.

The U.S. populace, which has participated in every national election since 1789, said that while the decision to abandon next year's race was difficult, recent events, such as disappointing victories by both Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani in regional straw polls, left them with no real choice.

"We gave it our best shot, and for a while it seemed like the American people actually had a chance of coming out on top," Weare, NH resident Mark Simmons said at a press conference in front of his suburban home. "Unfortunately, as much as we'd like to remain optimistic, it's become clear that this just isn't our year."

Added Simmons: "Maybe you'll see us again in 2012."

Though initially excited about making universal health care a reality and putting an end to the Iraq war, the American people appeared visibly worn down after only three months of campaigning. According to Beltway observers, idealism among Americans began to fade after the first series of major televised debates in August, during which every citizen in every state realized they would have to compromise their core values in order to remain in the race.

Factors including intense media coverage of seemingly trivial issues, destructive partisan bickering, and the relentless exploitation of 9/11 only seemed to further discourage Americans from making it to Election Day.

"As the obvious underdogs, we knew that the chance of Americans winning in 2008 was slim to none," said Seattle native Paul Waverchuck, who claimed he was looking forward to spending more time with his family after giving up politics. "I guess there's just no room at the table for the vast majority of this country's citizens."

Some pundits predicted months ago that U.S. citizens would lose steam before the first round of primaries in January. Unable to endure the breakneck pace of morning talk-show interviews and the constant coverage and scrutiny of Hillary Clinton's laugh, Americans reportedly began to lose focus as early as mid-September.

A strong October surge in several states by Republican candidate and Mormon Mitt Romney made it clear to thousands that it was time to throw in the towel.

"Once Law & Order star Fred Thompson declared his candidacy and Barack Obama started using religion to win votes, you could tell America's heart wasn't in it anymore," Washington Post correspondent Dan Balz said. "They knew it was over for them."

While not necessarily shocked by the news, some political observers have lamented the recent departure of the nation's citizens from the 2008 elections.

"American men and women were the only real opposition to frontrunners like Clinton and Giuliani," New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd said. "They were the only ones who seemed to have the public's best interest truly in mind. Without them, it's not going to be much of a contest."

While admitting to being disappointed by the results, Americans said they would continue to pursue lasting social change, whether by working overtime shifts in order to make education more affordable for their children, or by selling some of their belongings in order to provide medical coverage for aging family members.

"Politics are all well and good, but sometimes you have to look for solutions outside of Washington if you want to get things done," said Henrietta Tanner, a single mother of three from Boise, ID. "Like standing in line at the food bank down on Cavendish Avenue, for instance."


Quote on Cause and Effect

“The next time you find yourself stuck in a long line at an ATM machine, traffic jam, or supermarket checkout counter, resist your urge to react. Do not get frustrated. Do not become impatient. Do not get angry. The line is there to test you, and to give you an opportunity not to react. But if you do react, the situation controls you. The situation becomes the cause and you the effect.”
~Yehuda Berg

This used to be me. I spent so much energy struggling against whatever situation I was in, by the time it was over, I was seriously exhausted. Now that I live here, I try to arrange my life so that I don't have to wait. Now, I find that when I do have to wait, it's okay... I'm not frustrated or angry. It is what it is, and I find that now, I can wait.

Unfortunately, it's not a thing that I can explain well to other people, especially when they are in the throes of emotion. Maybe I should print up this quote, lol!!


Baby, It's COLD in Here!

Ok, maybe not *that* cold, but you get the picture :-)!

But why was it cold? The house has no holes, etc., to bleed heat... and we aren't running the air conditioner.

So, I'm thinking ...

Rats! I'm going to have to call the HVAC repair guy to come over *again* to fix something else on this unit, and he's already been over twice this year :::::::sigh::::::::

So, I take a look at the unit thermostat, and, sure enough, the temp is set at eighty degrees, and the fan is on 'auto'... but why isn't it blowing hot air?

I lean closer to the thermostat, placing my hand on the wall and the computer monitor underneath the thermostat to steady myself, and realize...

HEY!! This monitor is HOT!

It's a beautiful, contemporary slim monitor, but apparently it kicks out just as much heat as the old fat ones, because once we turned the monitor off (#3 child was on it the entire day, working on her play costuming and makeup), the heat was back on again... hooray!!!

And I didn't have to call the repair guy, pay a fee and look stupid [whew]!

Remind me sometime to tell you about the time I tried to repair a toilet, lol!!

[Image credit : http://www.istockphoto.com]


Word of the Day: Aliterate

aliterate (ay-LIT-uhr-it) noun

One who is capable of reading but not interested in it.

[From Latin a- (not or without) + litteratus (learned), from littera

Today's word in Visual Thesaurus: http://visualthesaurus.com/?w1=aliterate

Aliterates stand somewhere between literates and illiterates. They can read but don't want to. Whether they can alliterate, we're not sure.

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

"The avowed aliterate has relinquished an activity that is uniquely human. (Apes can watch TV)."
Linton Weeks; Essay; The Washington Post; Jul 14, 1996.


*Another* Quiet Day, LOL!!

I am loving all this peace and quiet... I haven't even had to mediate many disputes since November 1 ... I think because the children know that their misadventures will become blog fodder [evil grin], so they are minding their Ps and Qs.

I think that I'm going to have to blog daily after this project is over with, just to keep the peace around here... this is *really* cool!!

Another quiet evening, coming up, and I leave you with today's Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Skyscape with Comet Holmes
(Go to the link to learn more)



I spent the early afternoon catching up with friends on the phone, and jumping because the children like to sneak up on me and put their cold hands on me. (Fall weather has finally arrived here)

"HEY!! THAT'S COLD!!" I screech, just like I had been surprised by the sudden appearance of a cold-fingered child.

[child giggles and runs away]

Two minutes later, the next member of the tag team sneaks in to 'surprise' me with, you guessed it, their cold fingers :->!

It reminds me of the time when everyone was five and under, and they used to sleep in shifts, so that one of them was *always* awake and needing my attention... Ahhh, the old days of sleep deprivation. I am proof that whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, lol!

It seems like yesterday that I was dealing with diapers, strollers, slings, sore body parts that you cannot mention in public, The Big Comfy Couch, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (all the incarnations up to 2000), Barney (shudder), Power Puff Girls (so glad they got Buttercup to take that bath... ewww!), and the Donut Man (I was beginning to feel like I had a hole in the middle of my *head*!!) and yep, sleep deprivation. Now, my contemporaries are discussing marriage plans for their children.

It is not my turn yet for that, I have maybe a year or two before that begins, but it seems like yesterday that I was seventeen, waiting for my life to start, and now it is [deleted] years later, and I'm middle aged... time is moving too fast!! I'm still trying to get ready for Y2K, for crying out loud!!

Ah, well. Getting older is better than the alternative :-).


It seems weird...

for it to be sooo quiet here, for two days in a row. Many days, I don't even think about posting, because I'm so happy that the day is over, and I'm wiped out. Now that I've committed (maybe I should *be* committed, lol!) to writing in this blog every single doggone day, I'm finding that I've hit a boring patch. [sigh]

I mean, the most interesting thing that happened today is the arrival of the Transformers movie at my house ... which I am previewing as I type this. The language is a little rough in patches, but the special effects are pretty fantastic. This movie is definitely not for the sensitive under 13 children (rated PG-13) ... those scenes where the bad transformers are chasing people are pretty scary (at least to me... I'm getting sensitive in my old age), unless you want to be dealing with nightmares :-).

Other than that, there's not much happening here. But [looking around furtively], I'm not complaining, because there'll be all kinds of things happening soon, and it will be all I can do to keep up, much less blog about it!

Hey, at least it's not still Tuesday [grin]!


It's Only Tuesday! *

WASHINGTON, DC—After running a thousand errands, working hours of overtime, and being stuck in seemingly endless gridlock traffic commuting to and from their jobs, millions of Americans were disheartened to learn that it was, in fact, only Tuesday.

"Tuesday?" San Diego resident Doris Wagner said. "How is it still Tuesday?"

Already the week is unbearable for these New Yorkers awaiting a subway train, and it's only Tuesday.

Tuesday's arrival stunned a nation still recovering from the nightmarish slog that was Monday, leaving some to wonder if the week was ever going to end, and others to ask what was taking Saturday so long.

"Ugh," said Wagner, echoing a national sense of frustration over it not even being Wednesday at the very least.

According to suddenly depressed sources, the feeling that this week may in fact last forever was further compounded by the thought of all the work left to be done tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, and, if Americans make it that far, possibly even Friday.

Fears that the week could actually be going backwards were also expressed.

"Not only do Americans have most of Tuesday morning to contend with, but all of Tuesday afternoon and then Tuesday night," National Labor Relations Board spokesman David Prynn said. "If our calculations are correct, there is a chance we are in effect closer to last weekend than the one coming up."

Added Prynn: "----."

Believe it or not, it's not even lunchtime yet for these commuters in Southern California.

Reports that this all has to be some kind of sick joke could not be confirmed as of press time.

Isolated attempts to make the day go faster, such as glancing at watches or clocks every other minute, compulsively checking e-mail, hiding in the office bathroom, fidgeting, or reading a boring magazine while sitting in the waiting room, have also proven unsuccessful, sources report.

The National Institutes of Standards and Technology, which oversees the official time of the United States, is flatly denying that it has slowed or otherwise tampered with Tuesday's progression.

"The current Tuesday is keeping apace with past Tuesdays with no more than one ten-thousandth of a second's variation at the most," NIST spokeswoman Dr. Geraldine Schach said. "However, I sympathize with the common consensus that this week has already been a colossal pain in the neck."

Labor Secretary Elaine Chao released a statement addressing widespread speculation that it might as well be Monday for all anyone cares.

"We understand this day has been tough on many of you, what with meetings mercilessly dragging on and an entire stack of files still left to organize," Chao's statement read in part. "Yet we urge Americans to show patience. The midweek hump is just around the corner, and we have strong reason to believe that Saturday will be here before you know it."

"Go about your lives as best you can," the statement continued. "Do not, we repeat, do not take a sick day, as it'll make the rest of the week that much harder to endure."

In the meantime, citizens are doing their best to cope with the interminable week, though Tuesday is still hours away from ending.

"The more I try to speed it along, the longer it almost seems to take," said Dale Bouchard, a Chicago-based broker who has been waiting for today to be over since it first began earlier this morning. "Honestly, today could not have come at a worse time this week."

In the meantime, the latest wristwatch consultations indicate that it is somehow still Tuesday, if that makes any sense at all.

* - Expletives deleted for the family audience; view unedited version at the source:


Monnnnday, Mondayyyyy...

It's been a pretty quiet day today, no fires, no rampaging dogs, just an ordinary day on the 'farm'.

The weather is getting colder, by SC standards... those of you who are living up North, where it has begun to get *really* cold at night, probably think that we are soft and pampered... and we are [smile]! However, with the cold coming on, we are starting to see the arrival of the fall colors on the trees.

It seems as though we were waiting, just yesterday, for the cold weather to stop, so that we could plant our spring gardens, and now it is time to prepare those same gardens for winters' bite. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the concept of a three-season (depending on the weather) garden. What luxury, to be able to eat fresh food from your garden (almost) all year long!!

No photos of the fall trees yet... check back in a few days... they should be out in full force then :-)!


Sunsets, Courtesy of Mother Nature

I was inside the other day (I need to get out more), and the children all tumbled in, talking over one another excitedly. Before I can get out a 'what in the world?', they drag me outside because "you **MUST** see this"!!

I'll admit, I thought that it was going to be bad news, like the fence was broken, etc.. But I was wrong... it was this:

This picture is not Photoshopped. And in person, it was a real showstopper. I was speechless (and, if you know me, that's not an easy thing to do)!

After I gathered my wits, we took the photo, and I told the crew, that they were right... this absolutely was a must see!

We watched the sun go down, and took some more pics:

The lights in this photo are my nearest neighbors' (about 2 acres away) power pole lights... it was about 7:30pm.


No More Fried Food For Us!!!

The other day, while I was talking to one of my children, I saw an orange light reflected on the door of the room that I was in. Being an experienced Mom, I had already started moving toward the light when I heard a voice call "MOOOOMMMM!!!" in that tone that tells you that Murphy has come to visit, and brought his younger brother, Trouble.

I dashed into the kitchen, and saw flames erupting from a pot on the stovetop, into the microwave/range hood directly over the stove. My eldest took one look, and while I got out the baking soda, ordered the children out of the house, then she got a metal bowl (both are used to combat grease fires) for the pot. My second in command (#2 child) herded everyone else outside to sit in the van (so that they'd be out of the way).

In the meantime, the flames were licking the underside of the kitchen cabinets, and the decision was made to call the Fire Department (this decision wasn't anything as calm as the way that I'm telling it now, lol!!)... while we fought the fire... the main danger that I was concerned about was that we would not be able to get the fire put out, and would lose our home (although, we'd get a new one... but who wants to go through living in a hotel room for months?!?). The children were already outside, so I wasn't concerned about any loss of life.

Between the two of us, we got the fire put out, but the microwave exhaust screen was still on fire while we were on the phone with 911, so the Fire Department came out, while we waited outside. (The microwave is part of our kitchen exhaust system; the concern was that the fire had gone into the exhaust system, and could smolder into a fire later on, if not checked out.)

The FD checked everything out, we *had* put the fire completely out, and with minimal damage. The most severe casualty was the microwave (right); the cabinets didn't get burned at all, thank heavens! And there's the smoke mark cleanup [shudder] on the walls and ceiling over and around the stove.

It was all over with in less than an hour, from first sighting of orange light, to the FD pulling out of the yard, to calling my homeowners insurance agent. Whew!

Of course, my child (#3), the amateur photographer, was upset because we didn't get a photo of the beautiful, shiny new fire truck that was parked in the yard ... sorry, Mom was a *little* bit distracted, lol!! She had to content herself with taking photos of the partially melted microwave. (Note to self: Designate child #3 to grab the camera in an emergency, lol!)

Needless to say, we ate take-out that night!! And, no more frying food (the oil caught on fire because the electric eye was up a wee bit too high... we're *still* trying to make the transition from gas to electric!) for us... if it can't be baked, we're ordering out :-)!!

Kudos to the children for moving like a well-oiled machine in the face of danger. Thanks to the fire department for arriving so swiftly to our call! Family emergency training works, and my family is (living) proof!!


On A Country Lane...

that's where I live. Actually, the country lane runs next to my property (on the right in this picture), I don't actually drive on it much, because right in front of my driveway is a perfectly good paved road that heads to the highway :-).

But, I still think that it is pretty, especially when the trees that lose their leaves begin to turn (it hasn't begun here in full force yet... give it a few more cold nights). And, it's also pretty quiet. My city friends think that it is *too* quiet, but that's because they are used to the cacophony (definition: a discordant and meaningless mixture of sounds: the cacophony produced by city traffic at midday.) that they hear all day, every day in the city. If I ever miss the noise and traffic, less than a half-hour away, there is a city, complete with traffic and crowds... almost like home [evil grin]!!


It's November Madness!!!

Well, it's November 1st, and as I posted on my other blog, there's a lot going on, so I thought this Word of the Day was a good one:

lexiphanes (lex-SIF-uh-neez) nounjavascript:void(0)

One who uses words pretentiously.

[From Greek lexiphanes (phrase monger), from lexis (word or phrase) + -phaneia
(to show).]

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

"The danger is in becoming so seduced by the lexiconic that we became lexiphanes. There's no excuse for indulging in the bombastic at any time, of course."
Murray Waldren; That's Language; The Australian (Sydney); Jul 16, 2005.

Hopefully, that dread fate won't happen to me, lol!!

LaVeda (living LaVeda loca, lol!!)

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