Archive for November, 2008

Treasure Tuesday

If your house is anything like ours, these would be perfect!


We’re crazily running amok getting ready to leave in the morning.

Happy Treasure Tuesday!


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This is another of my favorites from the pile of pictures Ralf brought back from his trip to Austria.  It just makes me smile.  I was hoping to get a little story behind this picture, but it was new to Charlotte.  Here’s what she did say.

My dad (Robert) is 2nd from the left, sitting down is my uncle Charlie, my dad’s best friend and married to his sister Hilda. This must be in the 1930s.

From what my site reader tells me, I have way more readers than commenters.  And I know some of them are far funnier and better writers than myself. So, for this Memory Monday, I need your help.

Who are these crazy Austrians and what in the heck were they doing when this picture was taken???

I’ll post some of the best comments later in this week for you to read as you’re sprawled out on your aunt’s Barcalounger in a tryptophanic coma induced by too much turkey and pumpkin pie.

Happy Memory Monday!

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It’s the little things that count, right?  So here’s my list for this week:

I’m thankful:

  • For Facebook.  It’s my lifeline to the world outside of small town Idaho.  And I’ve found so many old friends that I never would have connected with otherwise.
  • That my car battery didn’t die after being on all night Tuesday.
  • For ORBIT gum because of all the yummy long-lasting flavors and because you can blow bubbles with it even though it isn’t called bubble gum.  My favorite flavor right now is Sangria Fresca. The box is orange.
  • For online shopping.  Without it I might have been forced to craft together my own ventriloquist dummy with discarded doll parts, miscellaneous nuts and bolts, and mismatched baby clothes from the ever present D.I. bin in our garage.  Now that would have resulted in extraordinary creepiness!
  • That my main floor floors are vacuumed and spotless … even if only for this present moment.
  • That the dog finally came home after spending two hours in the cow patch behind our house and that I was able to spray off most of the manure and hitch hikers stuck to her much-too-long tresses.
  • For WordWorld.  Will has learned almost all his letters thanks to this genius show.  If you have a toddler in need of alphabet training and you haven’t seen this, it’s on PBS.
  • For Advil.  It’s been my friend the past 3 days while I’ve been on the verge of a migraine.  Anyone have this problem?  It’s a fairly new phenomenon for me but one that comes back every month to visit.
  • For the upcoming holiday.  I’m looking forward to family, turkey, sweet potatoes, pie, games, parades and football on T.V., and a break from the schedule rut.

Happy Thankful Thursday!

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So I don’t have any crazy, off-the-wall, rural, farm land, cows “multiplying and replenishing the earth” type pictures or stories today.

I do have a question to ask though.

Isn’t there a law against collecting rubbish from around your property, setting fire to it, and burning the dickens out of it for like two days straight?

Is this legal?  Because if it is, I may have to start a petition or something against it.  I know none of my neighbors in California ever burned more than their finger on the grill of their poolside grill/bar/entertainment center.  Heck, isn’t it illegal to even smoke within 50 feet of the state itself now?  Someone help me out with this.  I’m sure the smoke from the smoldering manure/leaf/cornstalk piles, or whatever they are, can’t be good for your lungs  or the aroma of your clothes, hair, house.

Maybe it’s just me.  Is it just me?  Help me understand.  Lorena?  Someone?

On another note.  Every year the PTA puts on a contest for kids all over the nation to showcase their talents in the arts.  It’s called Reflections. I love the arts. I’ve always thought it sounded like fun.  But none of my kids ever wanted to do it.  Until this year.  Erik wanted to submit something.  (OK, I was able to talk Erik into submitting something).  He loves art too.  The theme this year was “Wow”.

I love this kid.  (Does that sound familiar?)  He is a kind-hearted, sweet, gentle soul.  After sketching a couple of ideas, he decided he would watercolor a picture of something that made him feel “Wow”.  That thing was a rainbow with clouds arching over a field of flowers.  And he did a great job.

We went to the awards ceremony last night.  His division, K-2nd grade, had the most entries in the category of visual arts.  Being the realistic mom that I am, I was prepping him.

“Don’t be disappointed if you get a participant certificate.”

“Not all kids can place.”

“We’re just proud of you for particiapting.”

“Whatever happens, we love you”  , etc…

Guess who won first place???


An award, a picture in our small town gazette, and the best part… a $10 gift card to Target!

Me, being the frazzled single parent this week that I am, forgot the camera so I shot this when we got home. I don’t have a picture of his painting because it’s being sent on to regionals, but I’ll post it when it returns.

Have a great Wednesday!

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Just last night I had a Christmas gift request from my 10 year-old son. Now keep in mind that this is the same kid who has, in previous years, asked for a carnivorous plant, a saxaphone, and a ferret for Christmas.

This year he’s decided he wants one of these:


Apparently he wants to learn how to throw his voice, develop a stand-up routine, and completely freak out his mom and sister late at night.

Freaky no? As I’ve been scouring the internet I’ve come to find that there are some pretty frightening dummies out there. I may have to recruit the services of Santa’s elves to make one a little less intimidating.

Happy Tuesday!

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Memory Monday

When I first met my husband, little did I know that I would become part of such a ski-loving family. Having grown up near the Alps in Austria, generations grew up skiing. And they were all really good at it. I tagged along a few times with the whole family when they came to Utah to visit. I soon learned that my paltry snowplowing skills were no match for the black diamond runs I too often found myself petrified atop of. (OK, they probably were more like really scary blue runs…but still). Soon enough, they learned to relinquish me to the mercy of the green runs for the day (which were conveniently close to the lodge full of hot chocolate and heat.) These days I just skip the snow, awkward boots, and soggy mittens altogether and stay home heating up hot chocolate for everyone else instead. I think we’re all happier that way.


In honor of this skiing family, and with the ski season soon upon us, I found this picture of Ralf’s grandmother. She’s the one on the right. Charlotte sent me this insight into it:

This picture shows Herta and her two sisters-in-law Hilda and Fini in the late 1940s or early 1950s on a ski slope in the town we lived back then. This was a small town of about 1000 people at the outskirts of Vienna. Since many houses were bombed out, my parents had adapted part of a former spa into an apartment where we lived till 1958. You could ski all the way to the house!

Have a great day!

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I just love this guy.


Jack’s the kind of kid that looks sweet and unassuming on the outside but who quietly observes and takes mental notes on the inside. Just when you’re least expecting it he’ll regurgitate these tidbits in the form dry and wry humor. He’s always been this way. I remember how his kindergarten teacher commented on how he “got” funny little nuances that all the other kids missed. He has a healthy appreciation for humor. This has immensely helped him make friends since sending him back to public school this year. I’ve heard from other moms how their kids think “Jack is really funny!”

At school the 5th graders are focusing on writing in preparation for some state writing assessment. Jack’s brought home several practice essays in the past couple of weeks. For posterity purposed I wanted to post his first essay. A hint of his sense of humor comes out in this. Word for word here it is:

Crushing Flys

Hi, my name is Jack. For this D.W.A. practice you have to write an experience you had with an insect. I do not have many stories. I’m usually not around insects. But I’ve figured it out.

It all started when my Dad told my sister and I to go play the piano. So we went into the piano room and waited. My sister got on the piano.

All of a sudden, I heard a buzz. “Buzz, buzz, buzz!”

I leaned over to the windowsill and saw a fly. It was one of those fatties that could not fly because of their weight. I don’t have a passion for an insect like this. I used to, but not any more. I wanted to test his dodgeing skills.

I looked around for something and found a file. Down it went towards the fly. Then, ZOOM, the fly jumped away. ZAZAM, SWISH! The fly kept getting away.

OK, now his dodging skills are complete. Time for smart and clever tests. I headed the file towards his back, but then, aimed it to where he’d run. With a CRASH I destroyed him. He wasn’t clever.

That was what I wrote about. Crushing flys. Just an ordinary fly story. I’m glad I met him, because if not, I wouldn’t have anything to write about. Oh, I crushed him right before I played that piano.

The End

Have a great weekend!

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