Tuesday, April 29, 2008

PHOTOGRAPHER WANT TO BE

I discovered the bug for photography later in life. I wish that I would have known what I do now or had my digital camera when I was in my 20's. I would have loved to work for National Geographic traveling the world and snapping photos for them. But instead I am a middle aged housewife enjoying the hobby of photography. I have wonderful subjects at my disposal to practice with though. My great nieces and nephew are always willing or unwilling to have their pictures taken. Here are a few of the pictures I took last week. ***************************************************************************

Monday, April 28, 2008

MARVELOUS MONDAY

The weather here is absolutely wonderful! I love the cool mornings and evenings we are having. I know to enjoy it because our hot, hot days will be here soon enough. The dogs must love me, too, because I take them on many walks throughout the day with weather in the 60's. Here are some gorgeous flowers that are growing around the neighborhood. Go out and enjoy your MONDAY.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

SUNFLOWERS

I have always loved sunflowers. I even tried growing those big mammoth ones once. It was pretty cool when they died and I dried the sunflower seeds for the birds. Maybe I will try doing that again. These are some pictures of sunflowers I have taken over the years.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

DON'T PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD!!

This is what happens when you play with your food!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

JOIN MY PITY PARTY

My doctor put me on the drug, Effexor XR, to try and help my night sweats, insomnia, and menopausal symptoms. I realized after gaining weight that the drug was the reason. So now I am trying to wean myself off of it. I noticed last night that I was somewhat dizzy and had some vertigo problems. I didn't realize that it was from not taking the Effexor. This morning I got on the internet and looked up the drug and how to wean off of it. Well, everything I was feeling was written about RIGHT THERE on the page!!! Oh my, I wish I had never started the darn drug. Looks like I am in for a pity party for a few weeks!!! WANT TO JOIN IT?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

SOCCER BANQUET IS COMING

The senior soccer players are being honored this week at the annual soccer banquet. Each senior girl was to make a poster of all their years playing soccer and other interests. Most of the girls have played since they were 4 years old!!! That is 14 years of their lives!!! Here are pictures of the Varsity soccer team and Avery for the 2008 season. Although it didn't last long enough (loosing in the first round of playoffs) Avery enjoyed her time playing with them. Avery's poster for the party is a surprise until Friday morning. I will post it then.

Monday, April 21, 2008

GIVING AN IV

My oldest son is getting his Paramedic certification and recently had to learn how to put in an IV. When he was home over the weekend he was looking for guinea pigs to practice on. "NOT ME", I said!!! So Avery's boyfriend, Keller, volunteered and I took pictures. I have to admit that he did a great job and got it in the vein the very first time he tried without any pain to Keller. He had to use a blood pressure cuff as a tourniquet. We also used the hat and coat rack to hang the IV bag from. (remember we are in my kitchen!!)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

ARE WE KILLING OURSELVES?

TRENTON, New Jersey (AP) -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is looking into the possible health hazards of lead in artificial turf installed at schools, parks and stadiums across the country.

Two fields in New Jersey were closed this week after state health officials detected what they said were unexpectedly high levels of lead in the synthetic turf and raised fears that athletes could swallow or inhale fibers or dust from the playing surface.

The artificial-turf industry denied its products are dangerous. But the CPSC it is investigating.

"We have a great deal of interest into any consumer product that could be used by children where children could potentially be in harm's way because of lead exposure," CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson said.

The United States has about 3,500 synthetic playing fields made of various materials, including nylon and polyethylene, and about 800 are installed each year at schools, colleges, parks and stadiums, according to the industry's Synthetic Turf Council.

Pigment containing lead chromate is used in some surfaces to make the turf green and hold its color in sunlight. But it is not clear how widely the compound is used. The New Jersey Health Department found lead in both of the nylon fields it tested, but in none of the 10 polyethylene surfaces it examined.

Both nylon fields were AstroTurf brand surfaces.

Lead can cause brain damage and other illnesses, particularly in children.

Fibers don't break off easily on nylon fields, according to Dr. Davis Lee, a Georgia Tech professor and consultant to turf manufacturers. He said even if fibers were to come loose, the lead pigment particles still would not fall out.

Artificial soccer, baseball and football fields are popular because they are durable and eliminate the need for watering, pesticides and mowing. Costs start at about $300,000 and go up depending on the type of turf, the size of the field and other factors.

Friday, April 18, 2008

PASSOVER IS COMING

Pesach, known as Passover in English, is a major Jewish spring festival, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt over 3,000 years ago. I am hosting the first night seder on Saturday night with 31 other people in my home!!! The ritual observance of this holiday centers around a special home service called the seder (meaning "order") and a festive meal; the prohibition of chametz (leaven); and the eating of matzah (an unleavened bread). On the eve of the fifteenth day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, we read from a book called the hagaddah, meaning "telling," which contains the order of prayers, rituals, readings and songs for the Pesach seder. The Pesach seder is the only ritual meal in the Jewish calendar year for which such an order is prescribed, hence its name.

The seder plate contains various symbolic foods referred to in the seder itself. It will have bitter herbs, a shankbone, charoset, parsley, and a hard boiled egg. Today will be spent making a brisket and the Charoset. Charoset is made from apples, nuts, cinnamon, and wine. It is all ground together and symbolic of the mortar used by the Hebrew slaves to build Egyptian structures. The charoset is sweet because sweetness is symbolic of God's kindness, which was able to make slavery more bearable. Below is a link that explains the symbols to you with humor:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awl1KCo_oZ0

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

KITTY LITTER CAKE

How to Make Kitty Litter Cake

If you want to make a real cake for a cat lover, with a good sense of humor, this will do the trick. Not only does it look frighteningly realistic (without any actual litter or litter box contents, of course), it also tastes wonderful. INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 spice or German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 white cake mix
  • 1 large pkg vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 pkg vanilla sandwich cookies
  • Green food coloring
  • 12 small Tootsie Rolls
  • New, cleaned litter box
  • New, cleaned litter scooper
  • Poo

Steps

  1. Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box. Use any size pan. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature.
  2. Prepare the pudding mix and put it in the refrigerator for now.
  3. Crumble the white sandwich cookies in small batches in a food processor (scrape often to get every little piece) or by hand. Set aside all but about 1/4 cup.
  4. Measure 1/4 cup of cookie crumbs and add a few drops of green food coloring to it. Mix with a fork or shake everything in a jar.
  5. Crumble the room temperature cake into a large bowl. Toss it gently with half of the remaining white cookie crumbs and enough chilled pudding to moisten (not soak) the crumbs.
  6. Put the cookie crumbs and pudding mixture into a brand new, clean litter box.
  7. Heat three unwrapped Tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and until they're soft and pliable. Pinch the ends so they are no longer blunt--you want them to look convincingly like what cats put in the litter box, right? Repeat this process with as many Tootsie rolls as you'd like to add, microwaving them in batches of three.
  8. Bury the shaped Tootsie rolls in mixture and sprinkle them with the other half of the cookie crumbs.
  9. Scatter the green cookie crumbs lightly over the top. This will mimic real litter, where many of the grains are often blue or green.
  10. Shape 3 more Tootsie rolls and scrape them on top of the cake. One can hang over the side of the litter box. Sprinkle them lightly with cookie crumbs.
  11. Place the box on a newspaper and sprinkle a few of the cookie crumbs around. Serve with a brand new, cleaned litter scooper for that extra touch!

Tips

  • Stir the batter well! Although you may find clumps in a litter box, clumps in delicious cake aren't very good.
  • If you decide to skip the green food colouring, drip a few drops of yellow colour onto one spot of the cookie "litter" to make it look like the litter box had been used recently!

Warnings

  • Keep your cat/dog away from the cake. They might try to eat it and could get sick from the Tootsie rolls. They probably won't mistake it for a real litter box, but it's better to be safe than sorry in this case!
  • Make sure that the litter pan and scoop are NEW and most certainly are NOT USED. Also, do NOT bake the cake in the litter pan. Bake in a similar sized cake pan and then flip the cake, when cooled, into the litter pan.
  • If you want to preserve the look of using a real litter box, but are worried about the plastic, it couldn't hurt to line the inside of the litter box with plastic wrap, and just lean the scoop against the side as a decoration.
  • For safety reasons, (i.e.toxic plastic) rather than use the real litter box, you may want to use an aluminum baking pan, which you could place into the kitty litter pan. It has the same gross effect.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

TAKING A REST

I had an art teacher in high school that would give you grief if you asked to use the bathroom. He would tell you to take a "rest" in the restroom. I guess he though he was being funny. ******NOT****** How would you like to walk into this bathroom and see the floor painted with this image. Pretty cool right?

Monday, April 14, 2008

HEARING

Your ears are extraordinary organs. They pick up all the sounds around you and then translate this information into a form your brain can understand. One of the most remarkable things about this process is that it is completely mechanical. Your sense of smell, taste and vision all involve chemical reactions, but your hearing system is based solely on physical movement. I saw this picture in our local paper this morning. They were advertising hearing aids. Do you think they are selling a little man that crawls inside your ear? Crazy huh????

Sunday, April 13, 2008

OUCH

While surfing the internet I came across this website where they displayed Mursi Tribal Portraits. My girlfriend's son and daughter in law are traveling in Africa and so I was interested to see some of the people. If you click the link below you will see some very strange pictures of them. The lip dishes look VERY painful. http://www.pbase.com/trevvelbug/mursi

Ethiopia - Mursi Tribe

The Mursi tribe lives in Southern Omo Valley in Ethiopia. In a very secluded area in southern Ethiopia, only a few Mursi villages are left: the women still wear large lip-dishes and the men are fierce (and feared) warriors The Mursi people live in one of the least accessible areas of Ethiopia. When a British anthropologist visited them for the first time in the early 1970s, they had never heard of the country of Ethiopia where they lived. The Mursi are survivors whose isolated geographic location, combined with the crises of drought, famine, war, migration, and epidemic diseases has shaped their identity. Cattle raids and civil instability between bordering ethnic groups is merely a means of survival. Every aspect of daily life revolves around cattle and crops, which set the economic standard among the Mursi. When they trade in the market, crops and cattle are exchanged as money. When a young Mursi girl reaches the age of 15 or 16, her lower lip is pierced so she can wear a lip plate. The larger the lip plate she can tolerate, the more cattle her bride price will bring for her father.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

STEP DOWN TO REALITY

I started this quilt almost a year ago as a challenge between 3 other friends around the country. We exchanged a dozen men's ties and decided to make a quilt with them. Immediately I had the idea of doing a staircase. I have no idea where that came from but I went with my first thought. After completing that part of the quilt, I lost interest in it. But now I have become inspired again and have gone back to it. The appliqué is almost done and the beading has started. This part takes the longest for me and is the most fun!!! I plan on beading the railing first. Hopefully you can see the beginning of the pole work.

Friday, April 11, 2008

SIGN OF THE TIMES

Sign over a Gynecologist's Office: 'Dr. Jones, at your cervix.'
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In a Podiatrist's office: 'Time wounds all heels.'
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On a Septic Tank Truck in Oregon : Yesterday's Meals on Wheels
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On another Septic Tank Truck: 'We're #1 in the #2 business' +++
At a Proctologist's door: 'To expedite your visit please back in.'
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On a Plumber's truck: 'We repair what your husband fixed.'
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On another Plumber's truck: 'Don't sleep with a drip. Call your plumber.'
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On a Church's Billboard: '7 days without God makes one weak.'
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At a Tire Shop in Milwaukee : 'Invite us to your next blowout.'
+++ On a Plastic Surgeon's Office door: 'Hello. Can we pick your nose?'
+++ At a Towing company: 'We don't charge an arm and a leg. We want tows.'
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On an Electrician's truck: 'Let us remove your shorts.'
+++ On a Maternity Room door: 'Push. Push. Push.'
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At an Optometrist's Office : 'If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place.'
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On a Taxidermist's window: 'We really know our stuff.' +++
Outside a Muffler Shop: 'No appointment necessary. We hear you coming.' +++
In a Veterinarian's waiting room: 'Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!'

Thursday, April 10, 2008

ALLIANCE FOR YOUNG ARTISTS & WRITERS

Each year the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are held at the Regional and National levels. One must first place in their own region before being able to move on to the National level. My daughter won a Gold Key Award at the Regional level for her art portfolio. So they send her portfolio on to NYC where the National awards are judged. With a little luck and a lot of talent her portfolio qualified for a silver medal award! That means that she will be honored at a special ceremony in Carnegie Hall in NYC. She will walk across the stage to collect her medal. (if we can swing flying there and making it back in time for her high school graduation) Only five people got a Gold Medal above her! We are so proud!!! http://www.artandwriting.org/ Here are three of her pastel drawings from her portfolio: