Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Goodbye October - It was Nice to See You - Hodgepodge

Last week of October's hodgepodge questions from Joyce. Come join the party.

1. What's something you're dealing with that might be described as tricky?

Trying to figure out where to go for Christmas. We've all taken vacations this year but not all together. So we have grand ideas but a smaller budget.

2. What's your treat of choice?

Peanut M&Ms.

3. Did you/will you carve a jack-o-lantern this month? Which real (living or dead) or fictional 'Jack' would you most like to meet in person? Why?

No jack-o-lanterns for us this year. We haven't done that in a long time. I think the last time we bought a kit so we could make a design and of course we messed it up. I never liked having to clean out the pumpkin and since it stays warm here you can't do them too early or they get moldy.

Jack the Ripper and I would be prepared and catch him. I'd be the world famous sleuth who solved the mystery.

4. In your opinion, what's the grossest sounding word in the English language?


5. When did your heart last skip a beat?

Last year when Dan fell and broke the bathroom sink while cutting open his chin and breaking six teeth. In the middle of the night. A night at the ER and very lucky that he didn't fall a different way and really mess up his head.

6. Monster Mash by Bobby 'Boris' Picket, Michael Jackson's Thriller, Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon, or Ray Parker Jr.'s Ghostbusters...your favorite 'scary' tune?

Thriller of course. So many vivid images of the video. My freshman year of college I remember a group doing a big production of it and I thought wow, this is what college is all about. Yes it was right after the album came out so I'm that old.

7. It was a dark and stormy night when______________________________.

the lights went out and never came back on. (I'm taking this prompt as how to begin a scary book not what really happened.)

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Daylight savings time is Sunday so an extra hour of sleep comes my way. Set your clocks back unless you happen to live outside the U.S. or in Arizona.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Fragments

Mrs. 4444 host Friday Fragments and has some really cute photos of her dogs. You should check it out.

Half-Past Kissin' Time

I've had to run the heat a few mornings in the house. Yay fall is here!

What is it about new jeans that make you hate wearing them? I bought two pairs and already decided I was returning one before I even wore them. Then the second pair the first time I wore them had that new jean yuck factor. I hoped by washing them it would get some of the stiffness and smell off them but they still smell. The outside is soft but they seem stiffer than my broken in by years of wearing them jeans. Oh how I love broken in jeans. Guess that's why distressed jeans are so popular.

Stupid criminal of the week is the guy who tried to pay his water bill with cocaine. He put it in an envelope and when a mysterious powder substance was found the police were called. After it was determined it was cocaine, he was pretty easy to track down since his address was on the bill.

We keep trying new recipes and nothing is making us go wow. But it is about time to pull out our old staples of comfort food that makes lots of leftovers. And I just need to plan better because the freezer is full of pork and chicken that just has to be thawed to cook with. 

This week I got notice that I need to right a progress report on a grant we got. Nothing strange about that except it is a report on one month but we didn't get the grant until the last day of the month. So I think my report will be "Nothing to report due to not receiving grant". Think the government will accept that?
I wish I lived near wherever this photo was taken. I miss fall leaves.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


It's Wednesday which means hodgpodge time from Joyce. Thanks for another round of questions.

1. When it comes to good manners, what two top your list of most important?

Saying please and thank you. I think if you have those two phrases the rest of good manners comes along for the ride.

2. Let's open a proverbial can of worms...Common Core. Are you familiar with the term (talking education reform in the USA)? If so, care to share your thoughts? In your opinion, what is one of the biggest issues schools (in your home country) face today?

I hate that so many teachers feel like they have to teach for the test. But I think there has to be some kind of standardized test to show where students are in learning. So it is a catch 22 situation.

We have to get more students to get into math and science...especially girls. We fall way behind in that area and the way technology is going, you have to be good in those areas to get ahead in life anymore.

3. Name a celebrity whose fashion sense you admire and share why.

I don't pay attention to celebrities let alone what they wear except for the odd awards shows I watch and most of the time I'm stumped as to why someone would wear what they are wearing.

4. How are you affected by the changing seasons?

I love fall and the return of warmer clothes. But I don't like the dry hands and lips I get so I keep plenty of lotion and chapstick around.

5. Scariest book you've ever read?

I don't read scary books or watch scary movies. Too many other things I do like to spend time on something I don't.

6. What time of day are you most hungry? What's your go-to snack?

About 10:30am. Breakfast has worn off and it isn't lunch time. I keep a variety of snacks in my desk drawer...cereal bars, granola bars, 100 calorie packs. So it changes daily.

7. Do you lean more towards being too needy or too independent? Which do you find harder to deal with in others?

Too independent. It is hard to ask for help. In others the too needy so I distance myself from them.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

It is getting to be that time of all the cute baby dress up in costume photos. I never did do that to my child by man are some of these cute.
This is from Cute Baby Costume

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Las Vegas Things To Do

If you've been to Las Vegas, you know there is so much to do that doesn't involve gambling and drinking. Really I promise. This time we went to two things I had never been to before

The first was the Secret Garden at the Mirage. It is a dolphin and cat exhibit that was started when they had Siegfried and Roy's magic show with the white tigers. We had free tickets (otherwise it is a little pricey). The first thing you see is the dolphins. We got there right when they were doing a training session and you really need to try and time it to see that. It wasn't too busy and we were able to get very close to the dolphins.

I didn't even zoom for this picture

Then you go through to see the tigers, lions and leopards. Since it was mid-afternoon they were all sleepy.

The other new thing we did was go see O at the Bellagio. It is a Cirque du Soleil show and wow. No pictures of course but here is the trailer they have so you can see some of the magical things they did.

Of course some of the other things we did were free and spectacular. The conservatory at the Bellagio is amazing. They had it decorated for fall. It had 8,000 mums inside and smelled incredible. They also had giant pumpkins and a talking tree.

You can't miss the fountain show at the Bellagio either.

It was a great vacation and still can't believe that my baby is 21.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Las Vegas Chocolate

Yes this is an entire post about chocolate in Las Vegas. Because they have a real French chocolatier there and it was as good as Paris chocolate.

Jean Philippe Patisserie

This was the first dessert we got. It had chocolate mousse inside and was oh so delicious. One bite and I knew we would be back.

And really who wouldn't be back when you saw these concoctions?

This is entire display made out of chocolate and sugar in celebration of the Cirque show at the Aria.

Closeup views of a couple of parts. WOW!!

Then they had smaller cake displays.

And the world's largest chocolate fountain (with the Guiness Book of Records certificate to prove it)

How about tasty treats to take home?

And then we ended our second visit with lunch and a chocolate crepe.

You must go to this place if you are in Vegas. They have one at the Bellagio and one at the Aria.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Happy Birthday in Las Vegas

I just got back from four days in Las Vegas to celebrate my daughter's 21st birthday. So many sights and photos.

Let's start with the obligatory pictures of the strip.

Then of course you have the interesting stores.

We had good food and saw some great things. I'll hold those until later.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Another week of questions from Joyce. Thank goodness we don't get graded on timeliness on answering. It is one of those weeks people.

1. The USA will mark Columbus Day this year on Monday, October 14th. What's something you need or want to explore (literally or metaphorically speaking)?

Europe. The whole continent too since I can be big in thinking.

2. The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz, Ursula from The Little Mermaid, or Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty...who do you most love to hate?

I'll go with Ursula although how you can love to hate a Disney character I really don't know. But she is not quite as evil as Maleficent as anyone who has seen Fantasmic at DisneyWorld can attest too.

3. Is open-mindedness a virtue?

I wouldn't call it a virtue.

4. How often do you weigh yourself?

Probably once a week. I use my Wii Fit to do it which is usually a little lower than I really am. If I really want to know the correct weight, I'll go to the freight package scale in our office. It is pretty accurate.

5. This question comes to you courtesy of Rebecca over at Making Memories, so thanks Rebecca!

Costa Rica was recently named the happiest country in the world on the Happy Planet Index. What's the happiest country in the world to you, and what makes it so?

Well I don't think our country is pretty happy right now with all the government shutdown. I looked at that list and I didn't agree with any of the top 10. Of course I wouldn't know who was happy since all we get is negative news.

6. Besides The Bible, what is one book you think should be mandatory reading for high school students? Why?

To Kill a Mockingbird. Teaches compassion, courage and strength of character.

7. I went shopping at some nearby outlets last week, and while I was there, I picked up a couple of Christmas gifts. How about you? Have you started your holiday shopping yet?

No Christmas shopping yet. I have come up with a few things I want though.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Our dog has been acting weird again lately. I think the neighbor's chickens have thrown her for a loop. Monday night she spent 30 minutes with me in the bathroom right next to a full tub of water. She hates water and didn't even want to get up until I made her.
Here she is laying on towels next to the tub.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Elephants at Church - You Mean that Doesn't Happen to You?

Sunday we had two elephants at church for people to ride and the pastor brought one up on stage. Surely every church has elephants...right?

Lest you think we just have carnivals and animals at our church, Pastor Clark started a series entitled "Elephants" about all those things that heavy in church or that you don't want to talk about. You know "Elephant in the Room" kind of stuff.

In other things this weekend it was cool so I cooked and baked. I tried to make an apple galette which is a fancy name for a rustic tart. It turned out ok but I had too many apples for it to form right.

I also went shopping. Our town just got a DSW a few weeks ago and HomeGoods opened up last weekend. Plus I had Kohl's cash to spend. I did good buying just a few things and spending less than $75 on boots, candles, and some decorating stuff.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Fragments

Another Friday, another attempt to relate my life through fragments. Thanks Mrs. 4444 for hosting.

Half-Past Kissin' Time

The stupid criminal this week is from my home state. Seems like he robbed a house and used the bathroom. He didn't flush and left a piece of used toilet paper on the ground next to the toilet. The police did a DNA test on the toilet paper and arrested him since he had previously been convicted of burglary. Moral of the story is flush the toilet and make sure everything goes down.

Gas is still less than $3/gallon near my office. By the time I need to fill it up again I'm sure that won't be the case.

One week until I take Whitney to Las Vegas for her birthday. Hotel is paid for and so are the show tickets. So all that is left is food and gambling. And that shouldn't be too much.

The government shutdown has meant that our building is very quiet. And that I'm getting my butt kicked in Words with Friends by my furloughed colleagues. That extra time makes them want to pick harder words.

Baseball playoffs and OU football will make for interesting weekend tv viewing.

My church will have two live elephants on Sunday to give rides. Why you might ask? Because we start a series called Elephants about all the things that no one ever wants to talk about in church. I haven't heard if the pastor wants to ride one into the church. That would be tricky.