Saturday, February 28, 2009

Some Fun in the Sun

D, Sarah and I are headed for Florida for a week. D plans on umpiring some college baseball. More than some, I think he has two games a day for most of the days we are down there. Sarah and I are hoping for some warm weather and some time by the pool. Jo is headed for camp.

The snow is now gone but earlier this week Jo enjoyed some time in the remaining snow.



The girl does love to run.


She did sit still long enough for me to snap this picture.


After I had taken this picture I was ready to go in but she wasn't. I ended up chasing her down the road. I wasn't happy and she really didn't seem to care. But I have to admit when I am laying by that pool next week I am going to miss her even though she isn't always a good girl.

Friday, February 27, 2009

American Idol

I hadn't planned on blogging about American Idol until they were down to 12 contestants but nothing much else is going on right now so I decided to start earlier than planned.

First, let me get you up to speed. Hollywood week is over and we are down to 36 hopefuls. Groups of 12 are competing each week with 3 going through to the next round. When these rounds are done we will be left with 6 girls and 6 boys. If you are any kind of math whiz you will quickly realize that 3 moving forward and 3 rounds equals 9. There are 3 wild card spots that will be filled with the judge's choice. I suppose they will choose 3 that they feel should have been voted through and weren't.

Round One: That was last week and you missed it and I am not going back. Too bad.

This week was Round Two. With 12 performances one would think that at least half of those would be memorable but you would be wrong. Out of the 12 I only thought 2 were really good and one was just plain fun.

One girl, one guy and a third guy or girl will be voted on by the viewing audience to go through to the Final 12. This is my pick for the girl who will be going through to the final 12. Her name is Allison Iraheta and she is singing Alone by Heart.

I don't remember 16 being like that. I do have to say her pre-interview by Ryan was horrible and based on that I didn't have high expectations for her. I'm still not sure if I am a fan of hers but she can sing.

This is my favorite guy of the night. It is Adam Lambert singing Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones.

As for the third pick to go through I really don't have a clue. No one else really stood out so I will just have to wait until I watch the results show later tonight to see who it is going to be.

Though I don't think he has a chance of going through, I have to admit Nick Mitchell, aka Norman Gentile, was the most entertaining act of the night. Nick is is real name but he sometimes performs as his alter ego, Norman. The fun part is you never know who is going to perform. Tonight it was Norman and it was just plain fun though Simon didn't find it amusing.

So what do you think? Do you think my choices are good enough to go through?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

All The Way From Chicago

I had planned on doing my Dinner or Disaster review tonight but something else came up. Or should I say flew over from Chicago? D flew to Chicago yesterday and came back this afternoon. After he landed he called me and said he had a surprise for me that he was bringing back from his Chicago plant. Whatever could it be? As soon as he got home I went straight to the pocket of his carry-on bag and pulled this out.


Do you know what it is? Here is a closer look.


It's another paczki! When he was visiting his plant he noticed a box of leftover paczkis from yesterday. For some reason he had remembered all of the whining I had done about the lack of good paczkis available here in Western PA. Being the good husband he is he brought one home for me.

What kind? He didn't know and I didn't care, it had to be better than the one I had eaten the day before. I cut it open and this is what I found.


It was an apple paczki. But the real question was would it taste the way a paczki is supposed to taste? Score, it was excellent! Chicago knows what they are doing over there. Even Jo agrees. She has been sniffing around the pocket of that bag all night long. I guess next year D is going to have to plan a trip to Detroit or Chicago so I can enjoy a paczki for Fat Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's Time!!!!

I have been waiting three years for one of these. Do you know what it is?

paczki, 2.09

No? Here is a closer look.

paczki, 2.09

Yes, it is paczki time. Today is Fat Tuesday. In case you don't know what Fat Tuesday is here is an explanation I found on the internet.

It's time to party it up, and Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday. It is also known as Mardi Gras Day or Shrove Day. It is a day when people eat all they want of everything and anything they want as the following day is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of a long fasting period for Christians. In addition to fasting, christians also give up something special that they enjoy. So, Fat Tuesday is a celebration and the opportunity to enjoy that favorite food or snack that you give up for the long lenten season.

It is a tradition for people to use up the sugar, butter, dairy and fat on Fat Tuesday in preparation for Lent. In Poland that means the baking of paczkis. Because Detroit is heavily Polish paczkis are everywhere and being the good Catholic that I am I always participated in the eating of these little beauties.

Sadly, when we moved to Western PA this tradition was not honored. My first Fat Tuesday here went paczkiless. Last year I spotted them but they were only available in boxes of six. Now I like paczki as much as the next person but six is about five too many. This year I spotted them again and again available only in a box of six. But I was brave and asked if it would be possible to buy only one. They thought about it and then said, "yes". Score! So my one lone paczki came home with me. I was so excited. It had been three long years since I had eaten one of these little beauties. My flavor of choice, lemon.

paczki, 2.09

I would like to say that it lived up to my expectations but I can't. I am sad to report that the bakery here in Western PA does not know how to make paczkis. It didn't taste at all like the paczkis of my Michigan years. Next year I will resist the temptation to buy a paczki and wait until I am back in Michigan to eat the real deal. In the meantime I will have to satisfy my paczki cravings with pictures from Hamtramck, the paczki captial of Michigan.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Stop All The Clocks

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

W. H Auden

Saturday, February 21, 2009

You Scare Me Too

My not that much younger sister wrote a blog post today that sounded familiar. Why you ask? Because I had seriously considered posting this weekend on the same subject and question. Reading her post brought to mind a conversation we had had via email earlier this week. It went something like this,

Me: oh, quilt lady, what kind of thread should i be using?

Sister: Thread. I like cotton threads not polyester. Do you have a Joann's? Gutterman is a favorite.

Me: i always buy gutterman. i like the spools truth be told.

Sister: Sometimes you scare me. I buy Gutterman because of the spools.

Ohhhh, scary. Are we twins separated at birth? Is there some mysterious connection between the two of us? Or maybe it is just that Joann's doesn't have that many thread choices (and the spools are cute) and we have the same blog ideas because we read the same blogs? It is just one of life's mysteries.

The thread conversation came about because a package arrived in the mail this week that contained this.


Some day those blocks of fabrics will be turned into this quilt called Me Plus You.


I love the colors and it just makes me happy to look at it. As soon as I get my taxes done I will be starting this happy little quilt. I will post pictures of my progress once I get started.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Are You Ready?

Well to be honest you don't have to be. What am I talking about? Why the conversion to digital tv. Today was supposed to be the day that tv stations were to stop transmitting analog signals and convert to digital. But the government has determined that people aren't ready. Never mind that we have been subjected to crawls, special programs and numerous newscasts about this very subject for the past several months. Because 5.1% of households are unprepared for the conversion we all must wait until June 12. Whatever happened to personal responsibility and suffering the consequences of said behavior? No wonder people are looking to the government to take care of them. They sure can't take care of themselves.

I digress. Some stations here in Pittsburgh have said, "too bad we are going through with the original date". Good for them.

My not that much sister sent this video to me some time ago and I have been saving it for this occasion. In case you are one of the unprepared here is a video which will explain everything you need to know so you too can receive digital signals on your tv. Just remember you only have until June 12.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Can I Just Say I Am Tired?

We are back home safe and sound but exhausted. We left for St. Joe Thursday and arrived in time to meet Cory and his family for dinner. We then made our way to Notre Dame to watch a little basketball. They were playing fifth ranked Louisville and Notre Dame had a seven game losing streak. The final score was 90 - 57. That would be 90 - 57, Notre Dame. Yes, it was a huge upset and an exciting game to go to. The 33 point victory was the largest ever against a league opponent. I went to bed too late.

We spent Friday gong from wedding appointment to wedding appointment. We looked at three reception venues, one rehearsal dinner option and met with a florist. The reception will be at one of the three choices we looked at. It will be either a tent, the South Dining Hall or a former ballroom (downtown) that is beautiful. She has two weeks to make up her mind. After that we drove up to St Joe and had dinner and then back to Sarah's for dessert. I went to bed too late.

Saturday we drove home and then went with our friends to a dinner/dance. The real attraction was the band that was playing. It was a Beatle's tribute band that was quite good. It was a lot of fun but I again went to bed too late.

I have spent today trying to catch up. Needless to say I am tired.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Against The Wind

D, Jo, and I are headed to St. Joe tomorrow and will be back Saturday. Cory's parents are driving up tomorrow and I believe we are spending Friday working on wedding plans.

Tonight storms are moving through western PA and the weatherman is predicting wind gusts of forty to sixty mph. Earlier this evening we heard something hard hit the house. Hopefully Ike cleaned out most of the dead wood from our trees last summer and we won't hear too much more of that tonight. If the winds don't die down by tomorrow morning we could be spending the day driving "against the wind".

Monday, February 9, 2009

Safety First


Workers performing service or maintenance on machinery and equipment are exposed to injuries from the unexpected energization, startup of the machinery or equipment, or release of stored energy in the equipment.

The Lockout/Tagout standard requires the adoption and implementation of practices and procedures to shut down equipment, isolate it from its energy source(s), and prevent the release of potentially hazardous energy while maintenance and servicing activities are being performed.

I am working on our master bathroom right now which involves painting and new light fixtures. This is how D does a lockout and tagout at our house.


Ironically D is at a safety course in Nashville right now.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

This Will Be My Last Post

on this subject. Sadly, football season ended last weekend. It was a strange season for me. I live in the city where the new Super Bowl Champions live, yet I follow with great interest the team in the city where I used to live and whose team went winless.

I can live with that but what I can't live with is Matt Millen being touted on NBC Sports as a football analyst. Every time I see him on tv spouting his "knowledge" of football, I have an overwhelming urge to throw a show at the television. Well, I can't do that but the local NBC station in Detroit has found a solution to this vexing problem. Read the scroll at the bottom of the screen to see how they dealt with football "analyst" Matt Millen and NBC Sports. It was pure genius.

It will never end for those poor Lion's fans. Not only are they subjected to sport's analyst Matt Millen, they also have to endure this Lion's commercial.

What I really found funny was some of the comments left by some of the youtube viewers.

"Believe in Now! Again."

"I think the shot of the empty stadium is from next years week 1 game!!!! They took a time machine to get that shot!"

"It's fitting that Schwartz walked out to an empty field. This may not change come opening day due to the most incompetent and belligerent ownership in the history of the NFL. Thanks a lot Ford, you douchebag."

"I'm still on board. Go Lions."

"My poor lions."

This comment pretty much says it all.

"dont make a commercial just win a darn game!"

See you next football season. The Lions can only go up from here and the Steelers have no where to go but down. Maybe they will meet in the middle.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

25 Things About Me

1. I'm a follower, evidenced by the fact that I am doing this. Enough said.

2. I am afraid of heights yet that doesn't stop me from doing some things. I have gone rappelling off of cliffs out west and actually enjoyed it.

3. I would give up meat before chocolate. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't have at least one piece of chocolate but it isn't unusual for me to go an entire day and not have any meat.

4. I can't fall asleep at night if my feet are cold. I keep a pair of socks stashed at the bottom of the bed in case I need them.

5. I want to learn how to quilt. Thanks to my sister I just may.

6. I have this thing about my stove top being clean, even while I am cooking. That has resulted in more than one burnt finger.

7. Someday I am going to sleep in a tent in the Sahara Desert.

8. I don't own one piece of Steeler clothing and in this town that is highly unusual.

9. I used to have panic attacks when I was around junior-high age. They always occurred when I was in a place with a lot of people. Of course, in those days there wasn't a name for it and one day they just stopped. One of life's mysteries.

10. I watch The Hills. I know, I know.

11. I gained thirty pounds when I was pregnant with Sarah and didn't acquire one stretch mark to show for it. Go me.

12. I have always wanted to live so far up in the mountains that I couldn't be found. That leads right into number

13. I'm a loner and love the time I spend by myself.

14. I still have my pillow from when I was very young. If you find that disturbing, it wasn't new when I got it. That is one OLD pillow.

15. I believe in love at first sight.

16. I decided about three years ago that I needed to give up Mountain Dew. Too many calories and too much caffeine. I had my last Mountain Dew the day we moved from Monroe. I haven't had one since, not even a sip. I loved that stuff, fountain only, but it hasn't been that hard to give it up.

17. I ate the same breakfast every day for four years when I was in high school. Two eggs, two pieces of toast and a glass of milk. I still love that breakfast and had one egg and two pieces of toast for breakfast this morning. Some things I won't give up.

18. I understand how the electronics for the tv work better than Dave.

19. When I was young I vowed I would never leave the farm and now I know I will never move back.

20. I have gotten a finger stuck in an ice maker. I was lucky I only lost some skin getting it out. Did you know if you unplug the refrigerator that doesn't stop the ice maker from trying to turn? I have also glued my fingers together with Super Glue. That necessitated a call to Poison Control. Two words, vegetable oil.

21. I don't drink. I think that is a reaction to seeing so much alcohol abuse growing up. I vowed to never go there.

22. I am always cold. Until the thermometer hits eighty, I have to wear long sleeves or a sweater. I've gotten used to it.

23. I am disgustingly healthy. I haven't had the stomach flu since I was a child, have never had a sinus infection and maybe average one headache a year. I have been told by doctors that I have a high metabolism and a high pain threshold. Whenever I tell a nurse at the doctor's office that I don't take any medications they are always shocked. I attribute it more to luck than a healthy lifestyle.

24. I was recycling long before it was popular.

25. Sometimes I feel bad for Sarah because she is an only child. Maybe I should have tried harder to give her a sibling.

Bonus: Some know that my major in college was Plant Ecology but few know that I also have a minor in Chemistry. What can I say? I love numbers and chemistry is all about numbers.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

By The Numbers

The first month of 2009 is behind us and eleven more months loom before us. How are you doing on your resolutions? When I belonged to the Y in Monroe this was about the time when the people who had made exercise one of their resolutions were beginning to fade. January was always busy and crowded but by the end of February everything was back to normal until next January.

I, myself, have done fairly well. So far I have walked 56 miles. Last year my total was 604 so I am well on my way to meet or exceed that goal. I have also spent 11 1/2 hours on the bike trainer. D and I went hiking once during January. I am still walking Jo most days and have shoveled the driveway a few times.

I believe I am supposed to be eating at least one piece of fruit a day. As far as I know I missed three days. I thought of it late at night and just didn't feel like doing anything about it.

So all in all I haven't done too badly. I am hoping the momentum of January carries on into February. I will just keep pushin' on.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Are You?

Beverages. Check.


Snacks. Check.


Who am I trying to kid? Snacks. Check.


A big-screen HD television featuring my favorite Steeler. Check.


The most important item of all. Check.


We're ready. Are you?

About Me

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

Newton's Cradle