Monday, January 31, 2011

Closed for Weather

We are in the middle of a "blizzard warning" after having record high temperatures on Saturday. Work called at 5:30 and said they were closed tomorrow (let me tell you this is way early for a university to close) and the schools have closed for tomorrow. And you know what, we have had no precipitation at all yet. We have cold temperatures and the wind is blowing, but no ice, no snow, no nothing. We will see what happens overnight but I'm looking forward to no alarm going off.

Meet Me On Monday

OK, today I'm participating in the Meet me on Monday blog hop from Never Growing Old.


1. What do you put on your hot dog?

On the rare occassions I eat a hot dog, I like catsup.  If I get wild and crazy, I'll put a slice of american cheese on it and melt it.

2. Do you play Sudoku?

I love Sudoku. I do the medium puzzles (so I'm a green belt). I've tried to teach a few people how to play but they just don't get it. To me it is a great way to relax. I sometimes have to cheat but most of the time I can figure them out.

3. What is your favorite vegetable?

Probably broccoli. I like it steamed with a little bit of butter on it. And it should only be the florets. I don't like the stems. They are too tough.
4. Do you color your hair?

Of course I color my hair. That's what I spent last night doing. Currently it is Preference Chestnut Brown. If I do not color my hair, my family shames me into doing it by claiming that I cannot leave the house because I am an embarrassment with all my gray hair and roots showing. I've been doing it for 15+ years. I started going gray in my early 20's. I've had a few mishaps (the time it went flourscent purple was not good) but have always done it myself.
5. What is your favorite brand of clothing?

I don't have a favorite brand. I hate shopping, probably own enough clothes to get through one-two weeks of work without repeats. But I would say a good pair of Levi jeans always makes things look good.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Where was my tv show?

Wednesday night I have a date with my tv at 9pm to watch Top Chef. I faithfully watch this gem on Bravo. I've watched all the versions, even the sickly desserts one (well once the really weird guy was kicked off). So where was the new episode last night? It's not like there was some big event going up against it like the Super Bowl or the President's speech. I am so disappointed that I did not get my weekly fix. It better be on next week.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pet Peeves

Today is going to be a rant kind of day.  Why?  Because I want to, that's why. 

1.  Not returning phone calls. My first disclaimer must be that I absolutely hate talking on the phone. I would even go so far as saying I have phone phobia.  I'm not sure where this came from, but over the years it has gotten worse. So if I do make a phone call, it must be pretty important. And if I leave a message, it must be doubly important.  So return my phone call.

2.  Being late. I feel that being late is a sign of rudeness.  That you do not value my time.  That I am less important than you are. Believe me, I am just as important as you are.

3.  Overzealousness.  OK, this needs some explaining. In my job, I have to deal with a lot of people who always seem to need something or don't like how I'm doing it. I've been doing this for 20+ years so I think I know how to do it. I do not need you bugging me every ten minutes to see if it is done, nor do I need you to tell me how to do it. All you do is tick me off and I want to put you at the bottom of the pile and never help you.

4.  Superiority Complexes.  There is nothing worse than people thinking they are better than you because they have a PhD and you don't. I may not have a PhD from college, but I have a life one and I think that is pretty good. And your PhD may mean you are great in your field, but it doesn't mean a whole lot in day to day treatment of people.

5.  Intolerance.  Just because someone is different than you, doesn't mean that they are a lesser person. It just means they are different.

6.  24 hour news media. They seem to have taken over how we think. They tell us what we should be worried about and ignore other issues. Have the people in Haiti gotten miraculously better since the media wasn't covering the after-earthquake news? Why is one person's disappearance more worthy of news than another person's? Maybe if the media would stop saying how bad the economy is, it would improve because people who are doing fine wouldn't think they need to stop spending because the economy is so bad.

7.  Constant cursing in movies/music.  I am not a saint and I do swear occassionally. But do you really need to have someone say a curse word every other word in a movie/tv show or all the time in lyrics? Could you not come up with something better to say? I always told that if swore it just meant you couldn't come up with the right words. So perhaps these people aren't very creative.

Thanks for listening to the rant portion of the day.  Now get back to happy, joyful thoughts. I will.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Most Optimistic Person in the World

Last night I watched a documentary about the first person to drive an automobile across the United States. The year was 1903. His name was H. Nelson Jackson.

The Vermont, the touring car driven across the United States

There were no roads. He drove over wagon trails, railroad tracks, dirt paths. It is amazing that he made it over the mountains. He was only driving this because he made a bet. Then it became a mission. He paid for it all himself ($8,000). The car had no windshield nor a top. The tires kept getting punctured from rocks. They had to wait five days twice to have new tires shipped to them on a train or a stagecoach.

But through it all in his letters to his wife, he kept saying the worst is behind us. It will be easier from here. I don't know how he kept saying that. It would have been so easy to give up. He was an eternal optimist. And the best part was he was right. It did get better. He made it across the country in 63 days, well short of the three months he gave himself.

But did he stop there. No, he joined the army in World War I (he was in his 40's) and was a decorated hero. He started the American Legion after the war. He lived to be 82 years old.

Bud, the dog he bought on his trip with his own goggles

I hope that I will have just a small portion of that optimism in my daily life. Wow, with that you can do anything.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Crazy 911 calls

I just read a story where a woman called 911 because of a bad manicure. Really? Is that what 911 is for? She said the nail tech was waiving clippers in front of her because she was arguing and hit her in the lip. So she called not once, not twice, but four times, twice after a deputy was there. She didn't like his answers. And now she has hired an attorney because she got arrested for unlawful use of 911. DUH.

It is unfortunate that this is not an isolated incident. How many of you remember the 911 call for the wrong food order at a drive thru, the woman who wanted a date, the kid who needed help on math? 911 is for emergencies, real bonified emergencies. You know the ones where if someone doesn't come, you die. The ones where you witness a car accident and don't know what to do. The ones that really count.

Why does it seem like people don't understand certain concepts? I thought the 911 call was pretty self-explanatory. I guess I thought too much of people.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

20 Points - SAT

That's all that separates my daughter from $3,000 more in scholarship money. 20 little points. That's like four right answers on a four hour test. How can 20 points be so significant? How can a test determine so much?

Whitney is a smart kid. 4.0 GPA, active at school, varsity pom member, 14 years of dance. And yet, none of that seems to count on getting scholarships for college. What do they want? A 30+ on the ACT test for anything decent. Since when did grades at school not make a difference? This severely handicaps anyone who has test anxiety.

The system is unfair. I know my child can be successful at college, just like she has been at high school. It seems like no one wants to give her a chance because she doesn't have those 20 points.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

ICE...SNOW...Phone calls in the night

So the first "ice storm" of the season hit us overnight. It really wasn't much of a storm, the roads really don't look too bad. And we did get a little bit of snow to cover the ice. But at 6am first Dan's cell phone rang. I wondered who would be calling that. Then the house phone rang and I knew it must be school. And it was the automated voice "Due to icy road conditions, all school activities are canceled". Ah does that mean school or just the activities? At 6am my brain isn't quite working. So I logged into the news sites and it meant both. OK, go turn off Whitney's alarm. She was set to get up shortly after that and was awake but at least she knew she could stay cozy in bed. I went back to bed and figured I would just stay there and go in late to work.

About 6:45 I decided to get up and just take another look at the closings. There it was, my work was closed. Woohoo! I could get stuff done today. So I waited for our automatic phone call system to let me know we were closed. I waited for my email to say we were closed. It is now 4 1/2 hours since it was made official and I have received no emergency notification from work. The system failed. What makes this even worse, is yesterday we received our practice emergency email about how great the phone/email system would be in cases of emergency. Four emails of the exact same thing.

So it worked super good yesterday in the test. Probably the test broke the system. Epic FAIL!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Interior Decorating

We are so close to finishing updating the house. It has only taken us years to get to this point. The living/dining/kitchen has been painted. The ceiling still needs to be painted. But before that happens, we need to replace the kitchen light fixtures. They still are the builder's grade florescent light and cheap over sink light. I cannot tell you how hideous the florescent one is. So we have been light looking. Nowadays all kitchens have recessed lights, but we'd have to hire an electrician to rewire the whole place and we aren't going to do that.

So we need a light that will put out enough light so we can cook but also look good. This seems to be a very hard combination. Our kitchen isn't that big but it has 12' ceilings. It also is open into the dining room and barely separated from the living room. The only windows are in those other rooms.

Also we have replaced a lot of light fixtures in the house, so we know we like the antique brass look.

So we have come up with two options. Option one would have five 100 watt bulbs facing up and one 60 watt bulb facing down for the chandelier and then we would buy a pendant light for over the sink. They would be antique brass but they aren't necessarily quite the same style.

Option two would have five 60 watt bulbs facing up and have a semi-flush mounted light over the sink with either two or three 60 watt bulbs. This option comes in iron not antique brass but I couldn't tell a big difference. They are in the same style.
I don't know what to do. I'm so not an interior decorator. And I hate to get one and then after it is installed it not be enough light. What should I do?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I feel so stupid

OK, for the last couple of weeks I've made it a point to look at other people's blogs, start following ones that looked interesting and hopefully get others to read mine. I even did a blog hop thing hoping to get others to join me. Well I just found out that stupid google connect didn't add my link or picture on any of the blogs I've joined. So no one that I've joined knows I joined them. That sort of makes it hard for people to join me back.


Sunday, January 16, 2011


I finally made a cheesecake. I have always loved this dessert, thought it was too hard to make, so never made it. I have had a springform pan for over ten years (I insisted one Christmas on getting it) and have used it once for a stuffed pizza recipe. But I've decided to make sure and try one new recipe every week.

This was Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake weekend!

I tried to follow the recipe. But I somehow didn't grasp the drop by spoonfuls and then swirl technique. I sort of dropped by spoonfuls and spread it out, then tried to swirl. So it doesn't look like the picture in the recipe. It also was one of the messier things I've made with lots of utensils and having to have someone come into the kitchen to clean up after me.

We are still waiting for it to cool completely (I did follow that rule) so don't know how it tastes. But if the batter is any indication, I'm going to be very happy.

The finished product

Saturday, January 15, 2011

There she is...Miss America

OK, I have to admit, when I was younger I would live for this night. The beautiful women, the singing/dancing/playing piano. I just loved watching the show and pretending that I would win. Then as I got older, the contest diminished in value to me. I knew that our fair state of Oklahoma had a few winners, all it seemed from Oklahoma City University, the lovely school my daughter wants to attend. They are in fact, quite proud of their Miss America's there and have a whole wall of their photos.

So it came to my surprise that this evening was the Miss America pageant. Whitney decided to tape it to watch and after we had finished another show on the dvr, it switched over to it. The pageant hadn't changed a bit. Except that the girls seemed to have more "work" done than in the old days and the host wasn't quite the man that Bert Parks was.

Whitney went back to watch it (I hear it in the background as we speak), Miss Oklahoma is still in the running, and the singing has gotten worse (opera). I don't wish I had the crown like I used to, I criticize what they dresses are, but I do recognize that these are talented, beautiful women. If it gets them scholarship money, I applaud their effort.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Blog Hop

Breakfast - The Most Important Meal of the Day

Didn't you learn that when you were little? I am a strong advocate of breakfast. I have a bowl of cereal every morning. If I didn't, I would be a very cranky, hungry woman all morning and I would be sick from my morning medicine. So please eat breakfast.

That being said, how difficult is it to make breakfast at home? There are all sorts of options. Notice I didn't say break out the waffle maker, make eggs benedict and homemade biscuits every day. No, I get a nice bowl of shredded wheat or cheerios (they make chocolate which is totally yummy) and read the paper. If you really are rushed, grab a breakfast bar or bagel.

So when I saw that McDonald's was now serving oatmeal I had to ask myself, who in the world would get oatmeal at McDonald's? Is that such a difficult dish to make that you have to get it at a place known for hamburgers?

Instant oatmeal packets take all of one minute to boil the water in the microwave and they are already pre-portioned. If you want a better tasting oatmeal, get the big container of quick oats and it takes about three minutes. You can add whatever you like. I suggest brown sugar and raisins.

McDonald's serves there with or without brown sugar and they add apples. OK, so cutting an apple may take a little more time than the rest of the dish so that would be a benefit to McDonald's. But don't you spend at least five minutes waiting to order and get served? That really isn't a time savings if you could do it at home. Plus you have to eat in the car while driving. People pay attention to the road.
So please eat a nice breakfast at home and start your day right.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Stealing Candy from Babies

I didn't really steal candy from babies. I "borrowed" a scarf from my daughter. Seems like she has lots of accessories and I have none. Well a few but no scarves or chunky jewelry. I needed something to go with the very plain black sweater that I'm wearing today so I usually "borrow" a scarf from her. Today's version was a new scarf that she hadn't even wore herself. Pretty snazzy purple. I did ask before I borrowed and she gave me this one saying Ineeded a pop of color. Then she criticized my choice of boot saying you are wearing brown boots? I have jeans on and I can wear any darn color of boot I want to I think. And brown is a neutral. At least that's what they tell me on tv.

So I think I should probably buy a couple of scarves since she will be taking everything with her to college next August. I guess I'll have to take her with me so she can pick them out for me since I don't know how to match anything.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

James Bond is Returning!

OK, I'm just a little excited. I have a strange fascination for this James Bond character. When I was younger I watched all the movies over and over. I know all the lines, I can tell you all the girls, I can tell you all the gadgets. Then they brought Roger Moore in and sort of ruined it for awhile. Then a string of others who shall remain nameless and I lost touch with my beloved James Bond. (You do know he married a Tracy so of course I'm smitten).

Then Daniel Craig comes along and becomes the "blond" James Bond. Let me tell you my love affair began all over again. He has the sauveness that I love, the face and body of a Greek god, and of course the deadpan way of delivering lines that you just have to get more of.

I fell so back in love that I actually paid money to see the second movie he was in at the expensive movie theater. I believe that is the last movie I've gone to see at a theater.

So last year when they announced that money problems were going to postpone indefinitely the release of the new movie, I was aghast. How was I going to get my fix? I know I can continue to watch the movies every time they come on tv (yes I do that) but I need more. So today I saw a headline that talked about they have a new production company and in November 2012 the movie should come out. Do they have a story? No. Do I care if they have a story? No. Do they have Daniel Craig signed up again? Yes. Do I care that they have him again? YES.

So now I leave you with photos of my dear Mr. Bond. Only 23 months until I see you again.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How do you show Cold?

It is cold here this morning. -5 wind chill. But it is sunny. So I pose the question, how do you show cold through photos when there is no snow, no ice, just cold air? The best I could think of was shots of people's cold breath all bundled up. But does that really completely describe a negative wind chill? Is there a better way?

Monday, January 10, 2011


My church started a 21 day fast today. I've decided to participate but in my own way.

We received a book last week with details of different kinds of fasting: Fruits and Vegetables, Only Liquids, etc. None of that sounded appealing to me. I know I couldn't handle it. So I've decided to fast from chocolate.

Some of you may go chocolate? But if you know me, you know that I have to have chocolate every day or I become a very cranky person. Even when I was dieting, I had four or five pieces of dark chocolate every afternoon. So this could become a very big deal for me.

The purpose of fasting is to pray and have personal devotion for God. I always used to think that people who did these things were crazy. However over the last couple of years my opinions have changed. I understand why people do it. I understand why people are passionate about their faith. Notice I said faith, not religion. There is a big difference.

We were encouraged to choose a couple of areas that we wanted to pray for and focus on them. My plan is to pray for them every time I want chocolate. Of course I'll add in prayer at times I don't want chocolate but I think that this will be an interesting experiment.

I'll let you know how things go.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Stuffy Noses

Why do noses get stuffy? Why do noses get runny? Why do noses hurt like heck after you have been blowing them for days with "extra soft" tissue paper?

I've been dealing with this cold now for five days. It isn't that it is bad, it is annoying. It won't let me sleep at night because the only way I can breathe is by laying on my back and I cant sleep like that. It won't let me think straight because of the headache it has brought me. It won't let me blow my nose in all its loudness because I'll wake up the rest of the house.

So I sit here early on a Sunday morning, with a runny nose, headache and sore body. At least I can write about it.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I'm putting away all my Christmas decorations (give me a break we were gone for a week) and decided to see what I had. These are all my smore ornaments. It all started innocently with one cute one. Then it got to be a passion with a trip to Canada with clearance ones. Then my family got involved and started giving them to me as gifts.

I'm thinking of having a separate tree just for them. Does that seem excessive?

Friday, January 7, 2011


Why is it that we seem to eat the same things week in and week out? I have a huge box of recipes that we've tried and liked. I have a huge stack of recipes that I saw on tv that looked good so I printed them out. I have several cookbooks with recipes that I've marked to try that look good. And yet we continue to have spaghetti, pizza, hamburgers every week. I need to get out of this rut and cook again. Although as we all know, I don't cook, I prep. My husband cooks.

So bring on the cold weather food of gumbo, red beans and rice and chicken noodle soup.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Definition of clean

I'm home sick from work today so had to use my daughter's computer. So I'm sitting at her desk in her "clean" room. There is a foot tall stack of books, magazines and papers next to me. There are several store bags under the desk (no room for feet) and three pairs of shoes behind the chair.

I'm no expert, but I don't think this is Webster's definition of "clean".

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Look, it's a bird, it's a plane, no it's really a DEAD BIRD

So with all the stories about thousands of birds falling dead from the skies the news media is going crazy with theories. Fireworks, lightning, poison, sonic boom, alien encounters, apocolypse. The list goes on and on.

Does it really matter what happened to make the birds fall dead from the sky? Don't things happen all the time that are unexplainable? Is it really that important that we keep having it be reported on the evening news? And do we really need the media quoting twitter posts from unknown sources about wild theories?

Let's take it for what it is. A couple of fluke coincidences. Read nothing more into it than that.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Amusement Park/Fair Food

It is always interesting to see what kinds of foods are sold at amusement parks and fairs. You know not the standard burgers/hot dogs/ice cream but the stuff at the little carts or the big draws.

For example in Oklahoma we seem to have lots of corn dogs, indian tacos and funnel cakes. That may explain why Oklahoma is one of the most obese states with all that fried food.

When we were in California the first place we went was to Sea World. They didn't have a lot of food options open but there seemed to be churro stands. I thought how strange. So the next day we were at the San Diego Zoo. More churro stands. Then we went to Universal Studios and guess what, churro stands all over the place. Finally we were at Disneyland and I thought surely we would have some Mickey Mouse ice cream and goodies. Well I saw one of those stands but probably 15 churro stands. It got to be that I thought I was using cinnamon as a perfume. I didn't eat any of them but they certainly were very popular.

I assume that was a regional staple and I won't be seeing them popping up at the Oklahoma State Fair next year.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Differences between Disneyland and Disneyworld (other than the obvious)

This is for all of you who might be trying to decide where to go on vacation. I like to think of myself as a Disneyworld knowledge base but I had never been to Disneyland. How was I going to get around? Where should I go first? So I have developed a handy comparison for you.

1. They have some of the same rides but they aren't the same.

Space Mountain - better at Disneyland (cars are better, ride is smoother, it is darker inside)
Haunted Mansion - MUCH better at Disneyland because they themed it to Nightmare before Christmas. I don't like this ride at all but I rode it twice because of the theming
Splash Mountain - the one at Disneyland is a little longer but overall pretty much the same
Big Thunder Mountain - the one at Disneyland is a little longer but overall pretty much the same
Tower of Terror - different beginning to get to the top of the drop but overal the same awesome freefall experience
It's a Small World - much longer at Disneyland so if you don't want the song stuck in your head, don't ride it
Winnie the Pooh - Disneyworld is much better plus it is in Fantasyland instead of being way back behind Splash Mountatin at Disneyland
Soarin' - exactly the same
Pirates of the Caribbean - Disneyland is longers but I didn't notice much of a difference

2. Four Worlds compared to Two Worlds
Disneyworld has essentially four parks while Disneyland has two. That means that the crowds seem much larger at Disneyland because you can't spread the people out as much. Avoid any kind of school vacation time at Disneyland. Trust me, the crowds are terrible.

3. Fast pass and single rider
One of the best inventions for an amusement park is Fast pass. It seems like all of the popular Disneyworld rides have this option which basically makes an appointment for you to go to the head of the line. So no wait time. We used this to great success everytime we went to Disneyworld. Somehow Disneyland did not get the memo and only had a few rides with this option. This made it extremely difficult to avoid long lines (over 60 minutes in most cases). I don't go on vacation to stand in lines. That makes me cranky and defeats the purpose of relaxation. The other option that Disneyworld has is single riders. You choose that and get put in a seat when there is an odd number of guests on a ride. It works really well if you don't care who you sit with and it usually goes extremely fast. They only had three rides at both parks with this option.

4. People
The staff at both parks are great. But the visitors are different. I thought dealing with the "East Coast" crowd at Disneyworld was bad (especially since in Oklahoma people are pretty friendly and respect your space) but the people at Disneyland were just outright rude. I realize it was crowded, but please don't step right in front of me, push my daughter out of the way, and then look at us like it was our fault. Respect my personal bubble space. Also during shows please don't put small children on top of your shoulders so they can see. I respect you wanting to show your child the show, but please respect my right to see the show too.

5. Nighttime shows
Fantasmic at Disneyland is much better than at Disneyworld but the venue makes it lacking. Everyone just crowds around the lake instead of a separate theater where you can sit. And the World of Color at California Adventure is a joke to watch. You have to get a Fast Pass and line up an hour ahead of the schedule start of the show. Then it is a mad rush to stand around yet another lake for the show. If you aren't the first one in, you can't see anything up close. And if you are short, just forget about it. I enjoyed what I could see of the show, but it left a bad taste in my mouth.

6. Early Entry
We always stay on property at Disneyworld because of the extra benefits of going early and staying late. In California we didn't do that and stayed a couple of miles away. However the City Pass (I definitely recommend getting it if you are going to multiple places) offered one day of early entry with the three day pass. Unfortunately the parking lots don't open until one hour before normal park entry. So that extra hour we were supposed to have to get in got reduced to thirty minutes by the time we parked and rode the bus in from the parking lot. Come on Disney, get your act together.

7. Lack of Employees
I'm not sure why Disneyland thinks it doesn't need to be fully staffed during the busiest time of the year. There were a couple of rides that seemed to be staffed by two people. And they were too far away from the line to point people to the cars so the ride would be half empty while the line to ride was 30 minutes long. It got so bad that we were yelling at the people at the beginning of the line to just get in place. Really how hard is it to figure out that two people go into each seat. We never had this problem at Disneyworld.

8. Different Rides
Best rides at only Disneyland: California Screamin', Alladin show
Best rides at only Disneyworld: Expedition Everest, Rock n' Roller Coaster

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Fashion and Walmart

I know just the title makes you go what is she thinking. But you see some of the strangest things at Walmart. I used to always make sure to wear jeans instead of sweats because I didn't want to embarass myself there and then I realized that even in my sweats I looked better than half the people there. So I just wear what I wear around the house (as long as it matches).

Today I was there stocking up on supplies since we just got back from vacation. And not two minutes into the store I saw exactly what I was waiting for...a fashion disaster. I was in the cosmetic aisle and there was a woman probably in her 20's wearing pajama pants. Not just any pajama pants, but white fleece ones with big Mickey Mouse heads. She did have on shoes, not slippers, but the top she was wearing didn't match anything. Of course what could match those pants.

My first thought was darn I wish my had my camera so I could post this. Then I realized that I just couldn't take pictures of people at Walmart like I did at amusement parks. Sort of hard to explain that one to someone. And then I realized I DID have my camera. I had to talk myself out of taking it out of my purse. I need to come up with a reasonable excuse for taking photos of people at Walmart in future situations so I can post those photos.

Any ideas?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fun Sign

I always like looking at signs for businesses wherever we travel. While driving back from Florida one year we saw one for Birdcages R Us. A whole store for birdcages.

So in Hollywood we saw this one for dogs. I thought the interesting parts was "Canine Social Club". Is that like a nightclub for dogs? Or maybe a speakeasy?