Wednesday, December 31, 2008

We Start With Sarah

Yes, our Christmas celebration started the day before we arrived in Coleman. We headed to Sarah's house on Tuesday to meet up with her and Cory. Cory was a few hours behind us so the three of us went to a nice Italian restaurant that is in St. Joe. The food was fabulous. It is cooked to order so you better not be in a hurry when you dine there. Sarah and I were smart and split a meal and it ended up being just the right amount.

I wish I could say this was on Sarah's door but alas it is not. This wreath was on her neighbor's gate. It looked so pretty with the lights and snow on it that I couldn't resist taking a picture of  it.

st. joe, mi, 12.08

Look who is on the top of her tree.


What a pretty tree! One of these days she needs to get her ornaments that are stored in our attic. She has quite a collection. Every year we have given her an ornament representing something that has happened in the past year. Can you guess what what this year's ornament was about?


This is her gift for her future mother-in-law. Didn't she do a good job making it look pretty?


I think Cory was pleased with his new golf balls.


I may regret giving her my old camera.


The next day it was on to Coleman. Stay tuned.

Monday, December 29, 2008

How Did You Do?

Well here are the answers to the quiz I posted a couple of days ago. How did you do? I believe my not that much younger brother got them all right. Way to go. And now on to the answers.

1. "I'm a winner!"


2. "There was a day I could do it all."


3. "Do you twitter?" This was said by many but I may have said it the most times. No picture. I'm behind the camera not in front of it.

4. "I'm voting for this person so then everyone will feel good."


The response, "You must be a democrat." was said by me.

5. "You should live my life."


6. "She took my world away from me."

This picture was pure luck, I'm glad I captured it.


7. The last two comments about computers and lost pictures belongs to this person. You would have to be deaf not to get this one.


I hope you enjoyed my little quiz. In the next few days I hope to get some more pictures posted. That involves using my old computer which I really don't want to do. I LOVE my Mac.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Say What?

While I am sorting through my pictures and making some kind of sense of them I thought we could play a game. After all, this family seems to like games. This will be easy if you were paying attention. Can you you tell me who said what? Give it your best shot. In a couple days I will post the answers. Good luck.

I will start with an easy one. 

1. "I'm a winner!"

2. "There was a day I could do it all."

3. "Do you Twitter?"

4. "I'm voting for this person so then everyone will feel good."

      With the response, "You must be a Democrat."

5. "You should live my life."

6. "She took my world away from me."

Last but not least, "Where's my picture?" and "I've never had a fire at my house."  Those aren't the exact quotes from this person but they are close enough. 

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Picture Heard Round Ron's World


I just want you to know I blogged this from my new Apple. You can teach an old dog new tricks. Well, a few tricks. I can't get messenger loaded yet. 

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Would You Like A Sneak Peek?

Tonight I made my throwdown entry. I just hope it travels well. Here is a sneak peek.

Onions, not so out of the ordinary.


Oh, I see a few carrots.


Butter. As Ina says, "How bad can that be?".


A little green never hurt anything.


The finished product. You didn't really think I would show you did you?


But I can show you what I am bringing for a dessert. They are Italian Cookies and I think they turned out pretty well. They sure look Christmasy.


Did Santa come early? Jo?


Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm Almost Done

torturing you. Yes, it is now week eleven of my twelve week scrapbooking class. I know, you are thinking it will never end but it will never fear. In fact, I am working on my last two layouts and hope to have them done by Monday night. Yes, even I need a break.

This week was all about type. All I am going to say about that is there are a lot of rules.

The first layout shows that using plain old fonts can be interesting. Here is my take on the sketch she gave us to copy.


Layout two is using contrasting type in the title but keeping the main journaling clean and simple.


The last layout is a Real World Color layout. She suggested using hot orange, yellow-orange, gray and light cream.


Later this week I will be posting the last of my class assignments. Do I hear cheering?

Friday, December 19, 2008

I Always Do As I Am Told

especially when it is my not that much younger sister being bossy.

I did her Christmas test. I am not sure what test she did that she was a gingerbread house but I did the test What Does Your Christmas Say About You.

Your Christmas is Classic I could have guessed that.

Your wish for the New Year is more happiness. Um, I'm pretty happy now.

For you, Christmas is a spiritual holiday. You can't separate it from your beliefs. That is true, Christmas should be a spiritual holiday.

You are patient when it comes to Christmas. You don't celebrate too early, and you don't like seeing holiday decorations in October. Ding, ding!

You like to have an authentic, traditional Christmas. Doing it the old fashioned way is important to you. I don't know about that. I hate being so stuck in a rut meaning that nothing can ever change.

You like to celebrate Christmas your own way, and you don't like to have to compromise. Of course, I want it my way. Who doesn't?

You enjoy Christmas, but you find it to be a bit of a burden at times. Burden? Sometimes it is more like a noose around my neck.Have you listened to the words of the song playing on my blog this month?

You give big during the holidays but nowhere near as much as you'd like to. I'm not sure I know what they mean by that one.

This was the result from the Wrapping Paper Test.

You approach the holidays with responsibility and cooperation.
You'll do your part to make sure that everyone else has a happy holiday.

You aren't particularly picky or high maintenance during the holidays.
You're happy to be in the company of people you love, and you're willing to "go with the flow."

Of all the types, you are the most likely to give someone exactly what they want.
You're also the most likely to wrap all your presents well - to prevent peeking!

I can't argue with that.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Should I Be Worried?

Today she


found this


under my chair.


Like I said, should I be worried?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Here's The Winner!

I started my throwdown recipe yesterday


and will finish it up today for a taste testing at dinner tonight.

Looks good doesn't it? When I told Sarah what I was making she told me that I was cheating. Cheating? I think not. Just good strategy is what I say.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Scrapbooking, Week Ten

Yes, people, this class is almost done and you won't have to look at my scrapbook layouts anymore but until then we are now at week ten. It was all about color this week.

For this layout we had to find three photos with similar colors. We then had to find the four major colors in those pictures. Next, narrow those colors down to three and use those colors in our layout. My four color choices were blue, green, yellow and orange. I dropped the orange and went with the remaining three colors. This is a parade I had been at in Ireland. It was by far the most colorful parade I had ever seen.


We had to choose a triadic color scheme for this layout. I choose green and blue and dropped the orange.


For this we just had to pull colors out of a photo and find paper to match. I pulled green and brown out of the photos and went from there.


That's it for Week Ten. I already have two of the assignments done for this week and will be posting them later. Like I said this class is almost done so I am close to being done torturing you.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Wish I Had A River That I Could Skate Away On

There are two little known facts about me. Well, not to D and Sarah but maybe to the rest of you.

One, is I sometimes find a song that I will obsess over. I will play it over and over for weeks and never tire of it. The other day I was thinking to myself that I hadn't had a song like that in a long time. In fact, I couldn't remember the last song that I had really, really liked.

Two, I really don't like the Christmas season. It is all too much. Too many expectations and fuss. It is so far from what it was intended to be and what it should be. I spend December waiting for it to be over. I had a song on my blog at the beginning of the month called Get Me Through December. And that is exactly what I want to do, just get through it.

Well, two days ago my need for a new song and dislike of December collided. I have a new song. It is River by Sarah McLachlin. Yes, I wish I had a river that I could skate away on for the next three weeks.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm Falling Behind

Not in actually doing my scrapbook layouts, just in posting them. We start Week Eleven tomorrow and I am posting Week Nine. Where does the time go?

Week Nine and Ten are about elements good design. This week it is element of line. Horizontal, vertical, diagonal, I think you get the idea. Having strong lines in your layouts gives unity and helps hold the items on a layout "together".

In this first layout assignment can you see the two strong lines? One an actual line (the horizontal strip) and one implied (the line dividing the left pictures from the right picture)?

bps, week nine

Here is the second layout. The two rows of horizontal pictures draw a nice strong line across the pages.

bps, week nine

The third layout is a Real World Color layout. We were to use tints of green, white, orange and black. Green and orange are part of a triadic color scheme. Her layout had the picture going horizontally but that didn't work with my photo so I turned it ninety degrees. Not only does this have a triadic color scheme it also has strong vertical lines. I think this is one of my favorite photos of Sarah.

bps, week nine

Coming soon, Week Ten.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

ND vs Syracuse, Part Three

I believe when I last left you Sarah and I were making our way to our seats. We went up when we should have been going down and therefore got to the entrance where our seats were just as the band started playing the National Anthem. We stood in the entrance and listened and just as we started moving again we heard a familiar sound.

We caught just a glimpse of them as they flew over.

We finally made it to our seats to find this at our feet.


Let me just say it was cold. Though I understand from people who moved down in front of us in the fourth quarter it was even colder in the seats above us. I understand why the snow wasn't removed but it really became an issue more than cold feet later in the game. But for now, Here Come the Irish!!


After the players come onto the field they run to the other side of the field and kneel and say a prayer. Knowing now how the game ended, I say there should have been a little more kneeling and praying.


Who in the world could she be talking to?


I think John was really surprised at how plain our scoreboards are. That's the Nd way. No fancy scoreboard, no logo on the field and no names on the backs of jerseys.


John and D seem to be enjoying the game.


Isn't he just a happy little guy? Well, he was until people started pelting him with snowballs. Yes, people weren't content to just stand in the snow, they had to throw it. Many people were escorted out of the stadium that day.


He wasn't the only one used for target practice that day.

Notre Dame football players were pelted by snowballs from fans sitting in the student section during their loss to Syracuse on Saturday.

“To throw snowballs at their own team, I didn’t think that was a smart thing to do. I guess (they thought) it was funny,” defensive tackle Pat Kuntz said after Syracuse upset the Irish 24-23.

South Bend was hit with about 10 inches of snow Friday. While the field had been cleared before the game, there was still snow along the fringes and in some areas of the stands.

Fans at first threw snow in the air, but then quickly switched to tossing snowballs toward the Notre Dame sideline. Defensive lineman Ian Williams got hit in the helmet, defensive end Ethan Johnson was struck on the left cheek and a St. Joseph County police officer on the sideline looking into the crowd got hit in the chest. An NBC camera man also was a frequent target and several snowballs reached the field, although none landed near where play was occurring.

I won't even try to defend the people throwing the snowballs. I understand their frustration about the game, the coach, and the 2008 football season but throwing snowballs at the football players and various other people was just plain stupid.

But one student disagrees with me, here is his view of throwing snowballs that game.

The Associated Press wrote an article entitled, "Notre Dame Fans Shower Players with Snowballs," but this drastically over-exaggerates the extent of snowballage. Let's be real, if you give drunk students snow, anonymous coverage in crowded stands, and the worst football game to date, then they are bound to send some snowballs flying. Truthfully, few snowballs were actually directed at the players, as 90% of them were thrown just within the student section. Cops on the sidelines got absolutely creamed but no one is complaining about that (for good reason). The camera man standing in a large crane in front of the students was hit pretty consistently too, but only because he has intruded on our view of the game for the last four years. But by the end of the game, most of the players that were hit were merely casualties of snowballs obviously intended for head coach Charlie Weis. It should be noted that these snowballs weren't actually made from the snow in stadium, but rather, students collected their own frozen tears and just tried to make Charlie feel some of their pain.

Anyway, at the half we were ahead and it was time for the half time- show. I really enjoyed this song and from the sounds of it so did the rest of the crowd. It's always fun when the whole stadium sings the same song. From the looks of it this was filmed in the student section. If you look carefully you should be able to see us just to left of the goalpost in the upper right corner of the screen.

A half-time tradition is that the seniors throw marshmallows at each other. The administration has tried to put a stop to it the last couple of years but they haven't been very successful. It was better than the snowballs that they had been throwing during the first half.

Things started to go downhill after half-time. Look carefully at the scoreboard.


Second and 47?! That was an omen of bad things to come.

It is now the beginning of the fourth quarter.

"This is Tim McCarthy for the Indiana State Police...

Here is an explanation of that announcement.

"Who wants to listen to a policeman telling everyone to behave themselves?" Tim McCarthy asked himself. He knew the answer.
The year was 1960 and McCarthy had just been promoted from trooper in the Indiana State Police to safety education sergeant. One of his new responsibilities was to make an announcement at Notre Dame home football games reminding people to drive safely on the way home, but after two games he knew people weren’t paying attention.

He decided to change that by adding something to the message.

At the first home game in 1961, the message was about drinking and driving, and McCarthy ended by saying, "The automobile replaced the horse, but the driver should stay on the wagon."

More than 220 stadium announcements later, fans in Notre Dame Stadium fall silent in eager anticipation during the fourth quarter when they hear, "May I have your attention, please. This is Tim McCarthy for the Indiana State Police."

They know what’s coming: a reminder to drive carefully and courteously on the way home, punctuated by an often groan-inducing play on words.

By the end of the game we had seen too much of this.


The final score: Notre Dame 23, Syracuse 24. It is hard to believe but things went downhill from there.

After Saturday's football game, in keeping with tradition, the Notre Dame marching band played the "1812 Overture" as a tribute to its head coach.

For most of the last four years during that song, devoutly loyal students have further honored Charlie Weis by forming a "W" with their hands.

On Saturday, for the first time, it felt like an honor for a goner.

Some of those hands formed into fists. Some cupped around mouths that booed. Some formed around snowballs and flung them.

Only a handful of those hands formed a "W," with most students instead trying to figure out how to shape an "F."

That's the only letter that suits their coach these days.
LA Times, Bill Plaschke

It certainly was an interesting game. I can say I have never been to a football game like that. Let's hope next year goes better than this year. Charlie is coming back but that will be his last year if he doesn't turn this team around. Any predictions?

All in all we had a good time. I wish John could have seen a better game but that just means we will have to take him back. Maybe we can get his dad to come too?

Friday, December 5, 2008

ND vs Syracuse, Part Two

I believe I ended my last post with us leaving South Dining Hall. We were now headed to see the football team. Before the game the team attends Mass and then as a group walks over to the stadium. Everyone lines the sidewalk and claps and cheers as they walk by. When we were in the Basillica I had asked the usher when Mass was and when they would be leaving so we our timing should have been perfect. The usher was mistaken, Mass was earlier than he had thought so we had missed the football team. Oh well, next time.

While Sarah and D headed for the parking lot to get our football tickets from Uncle Phil, John and I headed over to watch and listen to the band on the steps of Bond Hall. They perform all of Notre Dame's traditional songs as well as the music that will be played at that day's halftime show. It is a popular event and usually is quite crowded and today was no exception despite the cold. But as luck would have it we were early for that so we walked over to the Library to pay homage to Touchdown Jesus.


Back to Bond Hall and the band. Did you know the band is the oldest collegiate marching band in the country?


Here is a short clip of the band playing on the steps.

As soon as the band was finished playing we headed over to the Administration building to listen to the trumpets play. I have never seen it so crowded. John and I couldn't even get under the dome. Despite that it still sounded great.


John and I didn't know it but Sarah and D were there too except they had managed to get under the dome. Can you see them in this video?

Various parts of the band are performing in this general area and then regather outside the Administration Building just like us. Another piece of trivia for you, students are not allowed on these steps until they have graduated. Until she graduated Sarah always went in a lower level doorway and would walk up the stairwell to get to the first floor. Graduation has its privileges.


The band regathers and then are led by the Irish Guard and the cheerleaders to the stadium. People line the sidewalks to cheer as they make their way to the stadium.
Even though it was cold there was still quite a crowd.


We walked to the stadium and took up our perch so we could watch the band enter the stadium. Sometimes we can get to the front but no such luck today. Here comes the band!

nd, 11.08

Once the band was in John and D decided to find their seats but Sarah and I decided to stay and watch the rest of the show. The teams will be coming through to do their warm-ups on the field. When the visiting team comes through the Irish Guard stand at attention at the top of the tunnel and the band stands at attention. As the football team walks by everyone is quiet and stares.


All that changes as the Irish make their way to the field. The Guard remove their hats in respect and the band plays the fight song as the crowd cheers. It really is fun to watch. Here comes Jimmy!


Here comes Charlie!


The show was over and Sarah and I made our way to our seats.

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I'm strange, but I've got a great sister!

Newton's Cradle