Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Inherited My Good Luck from my Daughter

Original Quangsters may remember a post I wrote about the ability of my daughter to win ev-er-y-thing.

Well, step aside youngster, because Mama's taking over.  I won three things in the past two weeks!

1. I won this amazing notebook from Carolina Pads .  Please see all my previous notes about how much I drool over office/school supplies. Luckily the cover is heavy duty and my saliva wiped right off!

2. I won a book from motivational guru and travel hacker, Chris Guillebeau. I got it in the mail today and can't wait to dig in. More on this book later, and where you can pick up your copy on September 7. (Yes, I take great pride in the fact that I got an advance copy.)

3. Is today my lucky day? Must be because not only did Fedex have Chris's book sitting on my porch when I got home for lunch, but I also won a personally designed clipboard from Bow Peep Creations! Mine will look something like this adorable sample:

Did I ever mention how I drool over school supplies?
{Photo Credit: Bow Peep Creations}

Too bad Utah doesn't sell lottery tickets.  I'm telling you, blog contests are worth the few seconds of time it takes to enter.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Drive

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Favorite Conversations This Week

My grandson, Avatar, to his mother Em: " I want knife rings, star daggers, a ninja suit, a samurai sword (but only when I am ten,) and cayenne pepper and chili powder and chopped up jalapenos so I can make a ninja paste."

Toddler in cart to weary father in Walmart: "I want Mommy."
Father, sighing: "How novel."

Me: "We bought Weston's school supplies today. You know, I really love shopping for school supplies."
Ex-husband: "I know. The Office Depot catalog always was like porn to you."

Weston, to me: "Mom, you should eat more of this Special K stuff. It says here you'll lose six pounds in two weeks!"

What about you?  Any intriguing snippets this week?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mad Hatter Tutorial

For those of you who wanted to know how to make the Mad Hatter hats in the below post, I got a message from the darling grandma tonight. She said she found the instructions on a site called Threadbangers. The video lasts only a few minutes and they make it look really easy, although the skill level is marked "intermediate."

Here's the link, for not only the hats, but a whole Mad Hatter outfit!

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's a Mad Wonderland

I am lucky to count among my acquaintances a very creative and fun-loving family. Over the weekend, the grandma had a party for her granddaughter who turned twelve. Not content to have an ordinary cake and ice cream pop-some-balloons party, this grandmother went all out with a Mad Hatter tea party.  I'm guessing the birthday girl will never forget her twelfth birthday. I don't think I'll ever forget it either, and I wasn't even there.

The birthday girl with her splendid cake

The amazing grandma who made all the hats. Each attendee decorated their own.

The great watermelon seed spitting contest

And now....various attendees and their mad hats!

The goodies

I don't think I will ever look at birthday parties in the same way.

Photo Credits: Leah Romero Photography

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sunday Serenity 8-15-2010

What do you get when you cross a very patient stray kitty with an inquisitive toddler?

Instant love

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

In Favor Of Footprints

By age seven, I knew that garbage belonged in trashcans and not wind-swept against chain link fences.
If I saw someone throw a gum wrapper or pop can on the ground, I would pick up after them, astounded at their carelessness.

As an adult, I happily participated in our city’s recycling program, carefully separating glass, plastic and paper into the appropriate section of the green curbside bin. I love the beauty of our world and do what I can to keep it looking fresh and natural.

There’s a trend afoot these days though that disturbs me.  The trend tells me that I not only need to do what I can to keep our world beautiful, but that in order to do so, I have to pretend that I don’t exist.  In other words, I have to erase my “footprint.”

I subscribe to an email newsletter that is pro-animal care and pro-environment care. The newsletter appealed to me because I do care about animals and I do care about our world.  Yet, unlike the publishers of this newsletter, I don’t feel that the best way to help animals or their surroundings is by eliminating humans.

Increasingly, this newsletter, which shall remain unnamed, tells me that I have to do all I can to decrease my impact upon this earth.  I have to switch to energy efficient light bulbs, fuel-efficient vehicles and avoid using aerosol sprays. That’s all right because I’m all about frugality and efficiency. I’m not about human annihilation. Many in the mainstream media support the views held in this newsletter.

A quiz on the newsletter site purports to tell me how much impact I have on the environment, in other words, my carbon footprint. It tells me that in order to justify my current vehicle driving I need to plant 98 maple trees per month. Let me tell you that I don’t drive a lot. During the summer, there are days when I never leave my backyard, and when I do travel, the furthest destination is Walmart, at seven miles away. And yet, to justify my life, I must plant 98 trees per month.  A simple web search tells me that maple trees run from $15-$50 each.  We’ll take the average at $32.50 and I’m spending $3185.00 per month planting trees.  Since we don’t make that much a month, I would have to get a job to support my tree-buying habit.  But I would have to drive to work and so the cycle continues.

Another article in the newsletter tells me that no matter how much I recycle, use cloth bags, conserve energy and plant trees, I still have one big problem remaining. I breathe.  Therefore, no matter how much I try to help our environment, I am still a polluter because I expel carbon dioxide. Yes, they actually said that.  Their solution was for me to eliminate my remaining “footprint” by donating money to companies that are devoted to reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Can I ask you a question that any second-grader can answer?  What do trees take in? Oh, carbon dioxide, you say?  Hmmm….

If I eliminate my carbon footprint, then what in the hell are my 98 maple trees per month going to inhale?

Given that we are to now feel guilty about exhaling, I am going to make a bold statement. I am not going to reduce myself until I am no longer here, just to please over-the-top environmentalists.

I am going to continue exhaling because these friends of mine eat it right up:

I am going to continue making footprints because, to quote Desiderata—“You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.”

I want you to make footprints too. I want you to leave this world, having made an impact. 

I don’t want you to reduce your footprint so drastically that you are ashamed to breathe. I want to see evidence everywhere---in your words, through your art, exploding through your creativity, dripping from your poetry, springing forth from your children---that you lived! That you were here and made a difference!

I want to know that I shared this beautiful world with people who refused to take life sitting down.

These are my feet…happily making footprints ‘til I die…

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Summer Splash

Summer, to me, is synonymous with water. Every August I feel an urgent need to get my fill of water so that I can feel my summer has been complete. Whether I fill that need by visiting an ice blue swimming pool, a stream making its way down a mountain canyon, or a sandy beach by a lake mattereth not.

Yesterday, Computer Geek, Weston and I went to a local lake accompanied by daughters Em and Gnome and their children. We spent a couple of hours watching kids play in the water until a sudden storm raced across the mountain. A beach ball flew across the sand, the umbrella turned inside out, and baby Chunk whimpered at the sudden cold. Until then, we spent an enjoyable two hours and we all came home a little tanner.

Grandson Chunk had fun throwing rocks on Grandma's chair

Pinque and Avatar


Weston, Chunk, Em, Pinque, and Avatar

Fun on the paddleboat

Ah...see what I mean?  Summer.

I love these trees growing in the water.

They made it back in the paddleboat right before the storm hit!

A happy Avatar!

Chunk with bottle, Grandpa's cell phone, and Mommy.

Doesn't this look like a blue tornado?

I'm thankful for loving family and warm summer days.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Oblivious Mom

My son saw this photo when I was downloading them from my camera.

Weston: Mom, do you know why I am in despair in this picture?

Me:  No. I didn't realize you were in despair.

Weston: Yeah, I had just hit my head and shins on the bar and was on my way to the fountain because it was so hot.

Never be in despair when your mother has a camera in her hands. Your pain will go unnoticed.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

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