Friday, November 30, 2007


Have you ever tried to find information about a specific thing on the Internet and couldn’t? Yeah, me neither...

Ha! Not true. I recently tried to find out a few things, and I came up with nothing.

For example, on the TV show, CSI, when they go into a house or building of any kind to search it, they all take their flashlights in with them, and they use the flashlights instead of turning on the lights. Why do they do this? I’m pretty sure the answer can be found somewhere out there on the Internet, but I couldn’t find it. Gotta ask the right questions, y’know. Meanwhile, my family is getting tired of me telling the TV to just turn on the lightswitch, dumbass.

Also, on the new sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, which I think is totally hilarious, I know that the guy who plays Leonard, actor Johnny Galecki, was on the show Roseanne years ago. (Also, Sara Gilbert is on this show, & she was Darlene on Roseanne.) On one episode on The Big Bang Theory, Leonard is wearing a robe that looks so familiar to me... I think it’s a robe like one he wore on Roseanne. I’ve searched the Great and Wonderful Internet, but nada.

So, yeah, sometimes I search for useless crap information on the Internet and am disappointed. But probably not as disappointed entertained as I am at the useless crap information I do find.

So anyway...

After watching the movie, Sweet Home Alabama, for the fifth or twenty-first time or so (we likes us that movie - if you haven't seen it yet, get out from under your rock and rent it, heck, just buy it!), I got wondering about those gorgeous glass sculptures made from lightning hitting the sand... aka, fulgerites. So I did an Interent search for them...

Google: Results 1 - 10 of about 39,900 for fulgurite
Yahoo!: 1-10 of 44,800 for fulgurite

Lots and lots of info on fulgerite. Whoever wrote that bit about fulgurites in the movie must have known diddley-squat about fulgurites, because I believe there is no way to romanticize these:

Not attractive. Very, very interesting. But not attractive. Well, not attractive in the way this is...

This is a photo I took of the scene in the Sweet Home Alabama movie, where Melanie discovers Jake’s glass business... and wouldn’t you just love to own every piece of glass featured in that showroom... So I wondered who made all those beautiful glass pieces? I asked the Internet and found Simon Pearce. I love this. And these, too. Oh, and these, and these. If I win the lottery...

Thursday, November 29, 2007


One of Sammy's friends gave him a super cool gift for his birthday. I'm not sure which friend it was, but it was an excellent idea so it was probably a girl... (Oh, yeah!) In a gift bag was one of these red and white striped plastic popcorn containers, like a mini popcorn bucket from a movie theater...

I think I have seen them at Target, in that dollar section that's right at the entrance to the store.

Anyway, in the popcorn bucket was a package of microwave popcorn, a couple large boxes of candy, like Nerds or something, and a gift card to Family Video. Sammy really liked the gift, and he's used the popcorn bucket several times now. Very cool gift for a teenager.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

9 Days

November 16th:

November 22nd:

November 24th:

November 25th:

That last remaining leaf...

stayed in place for another day, but it was gone yesterday.

What a difference 9 days can make...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Another Moultrie Surprise

We're enjoying Kev's game camera. Kev took the carcass of the 1st deer he shot this season and put it out in the woods. He piled some logs on top of it, thinking that hopefully it wouldn't be immediately dragged away... and then he set up his camera. We were hoping to see some coyote photos. We hear them all the time, but never see them around here. Very elusive creatures in our neck of the woods.

We didn't expect to see this...

It's a Red-tailed Hawk, & here's a close-up...

There were only 2 photos of it, and this one shows him having helped himself to the carcass...

Isn't he a beautiful... I've seen him a few times. Or at least I think it's him. We don't have that many hawks in our area, so I'm pretty sure the Red-tailed Hawk I've seen on our property before is this gorgeous fellow. It was very exciting to see these photos, and we're looking forward to the next batch! It's like opening a Christmas present...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, Pumpkin!

Our Joycie (aka Kevin, Jr.) is 19 today. My, oh my, how time flies.

Joycie was born on Saturday afternoon, close to 4pm, on November 26, 1988. My labor for her started very early Friday morning, and since I had pigged out big time at Thanksgiving dinner the day before, I wasn't positive at first it was labor pains. But, oh yes, indeed, it was. Contractions progressed slowly but steadily throughout the day. When they were about 8 minutes apart or so, Kev and I got in the car and headed into town. We arrived at the hospital close to 6pm. By the time we got there, contractions were about 3 minutes apart and very strong. We were settled into a room, and my contractions were about 2 minutes apart. I had back labor with Joycie. Soon my contractions were one minute apart, lasting for about one minute. This is what is known as hard labor or active labor. When I would have a contraction, Kevin would use this wooden massage tool to massage my lower back. (I still have it. Somewhere.) This went on for about 20 hours. They don't call it labor for nothin'.

Finally our baby girl was born. Our beautiful Joyce. 19 years ago today.

And if you followed that link describing active labor, you may have noticed that it states that the average active labor lasts 6 hours. Proving that Joycie is above-average from the get-go. That's my girl.

When she was very little, I nicknamed her my Pumpkin-Pie-O... because at Thanksgiving time my very favorite thing was always my Mom's pumpkin pie, but after Joycie was born, my favorite thing at Thanksgiving time is her, my Pumpkin-Pie-O. (When she was little, she loved to hear that story of her nickname over and over and over... by middle school, not so much... now, well, let's just say she tolerates it.)

Update: Kev, Sammy and I were going to drive over and see Joycie when she got out of class shortly after 7pm tonight. Kevin and Sammy just got home, and before they got here, I called Joycie... she had just gotten out of class... I told her we were thinking of visiting her, but she told me she has plans with 3 girlfriends... I'm glad. She will likely have more fun. I told her that her Daddy said that it just didn't seem right not to see our baby girl on her birthday. But we would live. When the boys got home, Sammy was standing in the kitchen and he said, "Man, I really wanted to see Joycie tonight. It just don't seem right, dawg." I said, "She made plans with friends, and we saw her all weekend. And don't call me dawg." I turned around and looked at him; he was standing there petting Reilly. He said, "I was talking to the dog, Mom." Oh.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hey, 19...

Joycie will officially turn 19 years old tomorrow. We had a family birthday party for her yesterday evening. It was one of those fun, relaxed evenings with family. Very enjoyable.

Aunt Janet is going to take her on their traditional birthday shopping trip, and family members will make it very nice for Joycie since they know her well and gave her cash for her birthday. Sammy got Joycie a Sims PS2 game, which made her pretty happy.

Kev and I gave her a book, "How to Write Songs for Guitar," which was fitting because her other gift from us was a small box I wrapped up containing the receipt for her Martin.

Highlights of the evening included the gifts from her boyfriend, Mike, and his family. Mike's mom and dad, Izzy and Mickie, and sister, Angel, and brother, Tony, gave Joycie a set of candles that smelled delicious and a hunting coat. Mike gave Joycie the matching bibs, and there was also a hat and socks to complete her hunter orange ensemble. Joycie was very happy!

But... there was more. This is the gorgeous bracelet from Mike...

The big hit of the evening was this beautiful scrapbook from Mike... His Aunt Rose helped him make it for Joycie. It was so romantic and creative and thoughtful, and well... look how happy it made her...

We could all tell that it made Mike very happy to have made Joycie happy. That boy sure made points with this family! And with Joycie...

I bought Joycie's birthday cake... when we went to the Meijer bakery to get Sammy's birthday cake, Joycie saw the "Pirates of the Caribbean" theme and told me that was the birthday cake she wanted. So she got it...

After she blew her candles out, I still held the camera...
and so I told her to "look 19"...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Can't teach an old dog...

new tricks... That saying has been going through my mind so much lately. Ever since the "fall back" of daylight savings time occurred, I have been waking up at 4:00am. Every morning, even weekends. My alarm is set for 5:30am, but I wake up at 5:00am... which is now 4:00am. My mind is trained and is apparently too old and stubborn to be flexible to the idea of daylight savings time. Nice.

Joycie wanted to sleep in yesterday, but she was up by around 9:00am. She has to get up early for classes, which she's been doing since the end of August. And now her mind is trained. I find this very entertaining. Welcome to adulthood, baby.

Kev and Sammy drove down to Ford Field yesterday to watch the Midland High football team lose to Detroit Martin Luther King in the Div. 2 State Championship. It was a great game to watch. The boys had a great day together, including stopping in Saginaw for dinner at Hooters.

I've long been against Hooters and other establishments of their ilk. Something about having boobs as the primary reason for a restaurant's existence just doesn't float my boat. Sammy likes having dinner there. Very much. Of course, he's 13 years old. Go figure.

This morning I pointed out to Kevin that the Hooters girls are all around the age of his daughter. How's that feel? He would not want his daughter working there... 'nough said.

We used to have a Mexican restaurant in town called Chi-Chi's. I believe it was a chain that went under. They had great nachos and margaritas, though. We used to go there pretty often. Then a guy I worked with at the time, who is Latino, told me that in Spanish, chi-chis means titties. After it closed and then they turned the Chi-Chi's building into a Buffalo Wild Wings, I wasn't sad to see the sign change. Every time I looked at the Chi-Chi's sign, I thought Tit-Tit's. Unappetizing. Oh, and p.s., Buffalo Wild Wings' chicken wings are about 500% better than Hooters', just so you know.

Kev just told me that Sammy's PE teacher, who is one of our high school's varsity football coaches, told Sammy to get his buddies and they all need to lift weights three times a week after school. Sam is in 7th grade, and he's clearly already being groomed for Varsity football. I'm just not sure how I feel about that. Sammy loves playing football. And basketball. I just don't want those team sports to define his high school years. Sam is a pretty smart kid, the straight-A's type, and he has a lot of interests besides sport. Like girls. And music, reading, movies, hunting, shopping (yes), video games, myspace & IM'ing... and cutting, splitting and stacking wood with his Dad. I read that bit over, and I think I don't need to worry about Sammy. But I will.

I just made our second pot of coffee. Both kids still sleeping. I started writing this post an hour ago, but have stopped and come back to it several times. Kev is watching the Midland game that I recorded for him yesterday, and as I type this he's explaining to me how different it is being there vs. watching it on TV with the announcers. (Yes, honey, I'm listening.)

Friday, November 23, 2007


When Kev and I moved out to our property over 22 years ago, one of the first things I did was to put in an herb garden. It has changed over the years, but it's still there. Sadly neglected this year... but there is always next year! (That seems to be my standard gardening motto of late.)

My Mom and my sisters, Janet and JoAnne, have also grown herbs through the years. Janet still has many herb plants, incorporated with other plants and flowers around her house. Janet has a knack for that gorgeous, unstructured look of gardening... it looks beautiful and unplanned, but it's all very well planned. And very well taken care of.

When we built our house 15 years ago, Janet gave me a gift, something she made. She did 4 small paintings of herbs on ceramic tiles with little frames...

They have been hanging on the wall in my kitchen near the pantry door ever since. It has been a very long time, but I believe I got to choose the herbs... parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme. Those of you my age probably just sang those words to yourself.

By the way, do you like my new masthead?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sometimes the universe speaks

Since my lovely sister, Kathy, is putting on the Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family today, I am sure she was up early stuffing the turkey. My contribution is baked ham. Easy breezy.

My favorite ham to buy is Amish Country Brand, boneless, hickory smoked & fully cooked. It doesn't taste smokey, just good, pure ham. I bought 2 whole hams, each about 9 pounds. It'll be too much ham, of course, but Thanksgiving dinner leftovers are the best.

I just got done going down into our basement to find my roasting pan to bake these fully cooked hams. Really, a few hours in the oven makes them super luscious.

So I set the roasting pan on my island counter, and I got the 2 hams out of the refrigerator. Already setting on the counter are a basket of napkins, a basket of paper plates (back from the days of attending domino-effect Longaberger parties), paper towels, a butter dish and a couple of other miscellaneous items. When I set the hams down, I knocked into the basket of napkins and then I heard something hit the floor.

The basket had knocked off a couple of small things. What landed on the floor was a little plastic container of slivered almonds and a fortune cookie. Joycie picked up Chinese food Monday, and Sammy always gets almond chicken, but he doesn't like almonds... so we always ask for them on the side (because Kev likes them), and they put them into a small plastic container. No one used the almonds this time, though. Fortunately, the container stayed closed as it landed on the kitchen floor. I picked up the almonds and the fortune cookie and went to toss them into the garbage... and it seemed like such a waste to not even read the fortune, so I popped opened the fortune cookie (we like to make the plastic go "pop" & the louder, the better, even at the restaurant) and broke it open... this is my fortune:

I smiled for the entire 5 minutes it took to get the hams in the oven.

It's frozen, it's white, it's...

finally falling from the sky! SNOW!

Those are Kev's tracks in it out to the pole barn to go hunting this morning. And back again to get his rifle, which he forgot. Rich fodder for long-term teasing, that. He's going to get plenty tired of me asking him if he remembered his gun.

So already that's two things this morning that make me happy, happy, happy!

Thank you.

Oh, and coffee. Coffee makes me happy. I stepped outside onto our porch barefooted to take that photo, which meant stepping into the dusting of snow on the front of the porch and the steps... my feet got cold & I rushed back to my nice wonderfully hot cup of joe. I briefly considered pouring it on my feet.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Some people...

who I am thankful for...

Kathy, for handling Thanksgiving dinner for us all.

Nathan, for fixing my/Sammy's computer... he finally has wireless high speed 'net on his computer in his bedroom.

My boss, for being so understanding about the problems I'm having with my neck; seriously, the guy totally rocks.

Sandy, for being so patient with us uncommunicative Tyrrells.

Kathy C., for still sending my kids birthday cards even though I am such a crappy communicator/friend.

Mom and Dad, for being my wonderful Mom and Dad.

And I'll end this list tonight with that, though I'm so very thankful for each and every member of my family. I am in the thankful mood, in preparation for tomorrow's feasting with family. I love Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I was checking out my kids' myspace pages today, and I decided to share with you some random comments from their pages, and some comments from them on the pages of their friends...

  • oooo i liketh your background. very earthy.
    speaking of earthy, a sign on the back of a bathroom stall informs me that termite farts emit as much methane as the american industry, and is considered to be a major contributer to global warming.
    dang termites.

  • Hooray. i know that you have blackmail on me so I always have to be on your good side.

  • pillage and loot! what else is there to do on a wednesday night?

  • hello lovey, thank you for coming over and watching that movie again with me. I am surprised that you wanted to see it again after I had seen all of it. It was quite disgusting. Oh and you should always wear an apron and reindeer antlers;-)

  • Then you should tell her that and teach her to be a real person and not one of those things called a girly girl.

  • I love you too!!

  • HAHAHAHAHA she would....I love your mother :)

  • mmk. What does that mean. Speak in English please. more mimes killing, or Milk Must be Kind. I don't know what you are trying to say. AHAHAH

  • and mike is not in a coma and I am not smelling him. and all that matters is what I think, so at least you got something right.

  • hey the girl two doors down the hall from me was playing the shins... and i walked in and was like 'ARE YOU LISTENING TO THE SHINS?!' witty, i know, no need to point that out. but she seems cool.

  • I really don't know, I told kara a porsche, but if you want you can get me a motobike. I wants me a motobike!

  • rats. you've caught me... too bad you can't make it here in time to save them! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • quit being so negative! negativity is bad for a person's health.

  • If all three of us were one person we would be amazing.

  • Yet hope remains while the company is true.

  • the one you brought me, i tried it on with my mom and she really liked it. it will sparkle. i like sparkles.

  • ok johnny icicle. from now on i'm tundra boy.

  • It that were us I would be in the mink coat and you would totally be in the glam rock ski suit

  • hey darling... fyi the third twilight book is out. thought you ought to know :-)

  • apparently, there was a guy in our driveway last night w/ a gun, and our neighbors were fighting eachother or something and someone got shot. i found this out from david, as none of my family thought it would be of interest to me.

  • Ok sounds good. I will be ready to Folk and dance. Similar to rock and roll but better hahah

  • thanks!
    : )
    it went really good.
    kind of boring cuz every teacher went over the same crap with all the rules and stuff.
    but it was good.
    it was good to see you again tonight sis. :]
    love ya.

  • WHAT! Mike and Ben are going to your apartment. WHAT! I have to work from 5-10 WHAT! So you are talking to him. HAAAA. That is crazy. MY brain hurts

  • yeah show me what i'll look in 20 years and i'll show you what you'll look like

  • thank you for making me look like liv tyler:-) and it's a babushka not a nun.

  • At least I look happy.


This was a surprise to see on Kev's Moultrie photo card...

Kev and Sammy went nuts.

These were no surprise...

but then they multiplied...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Frosty Moon of November

Last Thursday, Opening Day, when it was starting to get dark and Kevin and Sammy were not yet in from the woods, I could see the moon in the sky through the south-facing window of our dining room. This is my view when I'm sitting at my computer. It was a beautiful, chubby crescent moon, and the sky was still very blue, but getting darker by the second. I grabbed my camera and got 2 photos during those few moments before it was too dark. This jpg file doesn't do it justice, so you'll have to use your imagination...

As I walked back into the house, niggling at the edges of my brain was a poem, or nursery verse or something that I knew as a kid that was about the moon... but I just couldn't recall it. I sat back down at my computer and started searching. I never did find whatever it was I was looking for, but I found some old memories anyway.

And I found this web site, Ongoing Tales, which is really neat. Old-time poetry set to old-time music, which you can turn off if you want. I think kids would like it, and it would introduce them to some lovely old poems.

This is the poem I found about the crescent moon, and though it isn't a poem I could recite, even bits of, it seems familiar to me. And another cool tidbit, my photo is of a waxing crescent moon... a new moon...

   by Eliza Lee Follen

   Dear mother, how pretty
   The moon looks to-night!
   She was never so cunning before;
   Her two little horns
   Are so sharp and bright,
   I hope she'll not grow any more.
   If I were up there,
   With you and my friends,
   I'd rock in it nicely, you'd see;
   I'd sit in the middle
   And hold by both ends.
   Oh, what a bright cradle 't would be!

   I would call to the stars
   To keep out of the way,
   Lest we should rock over their toes;
   And then I would rock
   Till the dawn of the day,
   And see where the pretty moon goes.

   And there we would stay
   In the beautiful skies,
   All through the bright clouds we would roam;
   We would see the sun set,
   And see the sun rise,
   And on the next rainbow come home.

Beautiful, isn't it? It got me wondering who Eliza Lee Follen was and if she published many poems. It turned out to be a bit difficult to find information about her, though I finally found this small bit, and now I would like to read her book. I could find much more information on her husband, Charles. Reading about the 2 of them just made me like her poem, The New Moon, even more.

I like taking note of the moon phases. The difference in how the moon's phase provides light at night out here in the country is noticeable. I've been out walking in the yard or the woods (no, not alone) a time or two during a full moon when it seemed almost as bright as day, well, a cloudy day anyway. I like to know if the moon is waxing or waning. And while I was on the Star Date site, I found this interesting article... so a "new moon" is technically a "none moon" and not a crescent at all. Hmmm...

This list of names for each full moon is also interesting... so we are coming up on the Frosty Moon of November.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

It's addictive...

or, here's my post with the most links ever

Since we now have high speed Internet, I can finally watch some of those YouTube videos that it seems like the entire rest of the world is talking about... and I'm addicted to this one... it's "1234" by Feist, you know, the one that's on the iPod commerical.

I've watched it so many times. I think it's a great video, and I like the song... I like how the video and the tune seem so dang fun, but the words to the song are not... teenage hopes, tears, lies, sleepless long nights, money can't buy you back the love that you had then... The contradiction is downright cool.

Leslie Feist has a great voice. I also watched her "My Moon My Man" video on YouTube, and it's pretty cool, too... set on an airport moving sidewalk. But the lighting drives my eyes nuts. She is a little odd for my taste. If you go to her myspace page, or on YouTube also, you can listen to her recording of "Sea Lion". I don't really care for her version of it, though. I prefer the one on the soundtrack to the movie, "The General's Daughter" from 1999. (Holy cow, 1999? my, how the years fly.) It's included on the first track as "She Began to Lie" by Greg Hale Jones, with a note that it contains "Sea Lion Woman" performed by Christine and Kratherine Shipp. I bought that soundtrack primarily for that song. It's an old folk song, and you can read more about it here.

And like you can't find it a kazillion other places on the web, here are the song lyrics to "1234" written by Sally Seltmann and performed, very popularly, with no small thanks to Apple, by Feist:

     One Two Three Four
     Tell me that you love me more
     Sleepless long nights
     That is what my youth was for

     Old teenage hopes are alive at your door
     Left you with nothing but they want some more

     Oh, you're changing your heart
     Oh, You know who you are

     Sweetheart bitterheart now I can tell you apart
     Cosy and cold, put the horse before the cart

     Those teenage hopes who have tears in their eyes
     Too scared to own up to one little lie

     Oh, you're changing your heart
     Oh, you know who you are

     One, two, three, four, five, six, nine, or ten
     Money can't buy you back the love that you had then
     One, two, three, four, five, six, nine, or ten
     Money can't buy you back the love that you had then

     Oh, you're changing your heart
     Oh, you know who you are
     Oh, you're changing your heart
     Oh, you know who you are
     Oh, who you are

     For the teenage boys
     They're breaking your heart
     For the teenage boys
     They're breaking your heart

All the dancers on the video look like they are having a blast. I also find impressive how Leslie Feist dances so well in those tall heels.

When I watch it on YouTube, I like to pick out one person out of the group of dancers and try to follow them through the video. Try it for yourself, it's fun. Hey, you'll like it, too... yeah, you... you know who you are...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Happy shoes

I've been enjoying Fussy's daily shoe photos. NaBloPoMo is the brainchild of Fussy, and Miss Eden has also joined NaBloShoeMo, a public group on Flickr. I like seeing the photos of all those shoes, some are pretty wacky. Very entertaining.

I'm one of those shoe shoppers that will look at some pretty wild shoes, but I always hit the same shoe section time after time. Because yes, I'm a creature of habit, but also because I just love sneakers. Love, love, LOVE 'em. And I love that I am finally on a job at the company where I work where I can wear sneakers daily. I've been able to do so for about 5 years now, but I spent the first 25 years having to dress up for most it. By dress up, I'm talking heels and pantyhose. Spent a few years with business casual, which still on occasion required heels and pantyhose.

To put this in perspective, I would cheerfully go to my grave never having to wear heels or pantyhose again. That is the woman I've become, and I'm very happy about it.

For one thing, I have problems with my ankles, and at age 22 I had surgery on both of them where the sub-talor joints were fused with bone matter scraped off another portion of my ankle that grew abnormally large; this surgery necessary due to degenerative arthritis. Long scars on the outside of both feet, under the ankle bone bumps. After 25 years, those scars are still very sensitive. Do Not Touch. Through the years, I've learned that the most comfortable way to live my life does not include heels. Pantyhose I just hate because, well... because they're pantyhose.

I could do 30 days of shoe photos, but it would be pretty boring. Oh, sure, there'd be some excitement with a couple pair of work boots and my trusty L.L. Bean Maine hunting boots... but for me, it's mostly sneakers and flip flops...

For sneakers, it's mostly New Balance running shoes or cross-trainers, I think they're called... though I rarely, if ever, actually run in them. They have great support, though, and are usually lightweight. New Balance is the one brand that I can easily find in my size, a 7.5 wide, though I can make do with a normal width if I have to. Like the white and deep rose pink pair on the bottom, right of the photo. Loved the color, had to have 'em and had to buy normal width. Also newish are the brown and light blue pair just to the left of those. Also New Balance and incredibly comfortable. I have to stop myself from wearing them every day.

The totally striking black and yellow flip flops were purchased at Wal-Mart several years ago, because I saw them and felt a rush of school spirit. They are those soft, bouncy kind of soles, and I can wear them all day long. I have on numerous occasions, and at some point, Kev thinks I got water inside the soles because now when I walk, they gently go whooshhh, whooshh with every step. Not usually noticeable, but I liked to wear them at Space Studios because the studio floor is cement... but the whooshhh, whooshh seems so loud in that space that I finally gave up. I now wear my old navy and gray New Balance with no socks... the pair toward the top, left. You can tell I wear those all over with bare feet because the insides of the shoes are filthy dirty. I'll wear those to the ballgames, kick them off, walk in the dirt barefoot and then put them back on. Makes 'em pretty dirty. But it's my filthy dirt, so I'm ok with that.

My other favorite flip flops are the silver and black Adidas, again, I've had them for years. Note the frosty pink on 'em. I painted that on with nail polish. Isn't it cute? Though I didn't do it for cuteness. I did it because at the time, both Sammy and I had the same flip flops in the same size, back years ago when he had small feet (13 years old and wearing a size Mens 11 now). Painting frosty pink on my pair assured me that Sammy would NOT touch them. His pair are still around somewhere because back then that boy could never wear out a pair of shoes; his feet grew too fast.

And where all those sneakers in that photo came from, I have many more, but I was too lazy to get them all out of the closet, or up from downstairs or from the garage, and so on, to photograph them. (Bad enough I had to put all of those back when I got done with that photo.)

I enjoy shopping for shoes and looking at shoes other than sneakers when I shop. I like to go through the clearance area and see all the shoes there making their final attempt to find a home. If I wore a size 5 or 11, I could find some awesome deals that might even tempt me enough to wear something other than sneakers on occasion. Nah... probably not. It's a theory that can't be proven, because in the town where I shop, I never see a size 7.5 on clearance. When I know there is a sale, I will definitely look for my size, though. But clearance, forget about it.

When I come home with a new pair, which of course I got on sale, I'm usually met with comments like, "what, another pair of sneakers?" Yeah, well, Kohl's didn't have the leopard shoes in my size. Whatever.

Friday, November 16, 2007

(Glass Shattering)

I left work early today so that I could pick Sammy up at school as close to his quittin' time as possible so we could get home early. Kev and Sammy made plans to go out hunting together this afternoon, so we had to dash home to give them time to get ready for the woods. On the ride home, Sammy was talking with me about hunting with his dad yesterday.

Early yesterday morning, before 5:00 am, Kev, Sammy and I were up and getting ready. I wasn't going out hunting, I was up to make hot chocolate, fill thermoses and pack food for them. I bought some Michigan apples at the fruit market on Wednesday, and I packed some of the apples for the boys.

This afternoon, while we were driving down Homer Road, Sammy explained to me that when he eats an apple, "just as an apple, not cut up or anything," it's really loud when he eats it. I asked him if he scared all the deer away. He said, "Dad asked me, where'd you get your apple, Ace Hardware?" We both laughed so hard, I nearly had to stop the car. We laughed on and off the rest of the way home.

The Ace Hardware bit is a reference to that sitcom, "How I Met Your Mother" on CBS. The episode was on this past Monday evening, & it's called "Spoiler Alert." I'm not a super huge fan of the show, but I like it. Generally, it's ok. But that episode was hilarious. Kev usually won't watch that show with Sammy & I, but he did this time and he was busting a gut laughing. You can watch the episode online on CBS Innertube. I think you can enjoy this episode without having watched any of the other episodes. So go, watch it... your stomach muscles will get a work out from laughter.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

On the menu...

Fresh venison! Kev got a spike; Sammy didn't get a shot.

But I think the boys are too cold to smile...

...and they're tired. That was a long day out in the woods, over 12 hours.

Opening Day

Kevin and Sammy are off out back to spend the day in the woods. Out back is the back 40... we have 80 acres, all woods, and it's a long 80, which means it's a quarter-mile wide and a half-mile long. Our house sits near the road on the short edge, our West property line. All the hunting takes place 'out back' nearer the East property line.

Our property is surrounded on 3 sides by state-owned property, to the West, North and East. Kev will often go out on state land, in the more remote parts that have difficult access. But when he's hunting with Joyce or Sam, they stay on our property. Joycie will be out later this afternoon to hunt until dark, after her last class, about mid-afternoon.

Today, there are going to be a lot of hunters North of us on the state land... I've been hearing them drive back there for the past hour or so. It's about 6:30am right now, so they're all trying to get in and settled before dawn breaks.

Our road has a 'No Outlet" sign at it's beginning because the dirt road deteriorates into a two-tracker, but before that happens, there is a large turn-around area just off our Northwest property corner. Off the turn-around, our road continues North as that two-tracker, and there are also trails going to the East and West, put there about 20 years ago when the DNR had those parcels clear-cut. When that clear cutting started, I was initially pretty upset. We had just moved out here, and if you have ever seen clear cutting done, you know it's ugly. And there were huge vehicles in and out during that time, which nearly destroyed our road.

But then when it was all done, the road was repaired, the trails remained, and this huge area was available for all those hunters to park. Prior to that, they would park along side our road very close to our home. In fact, the first year, on opening day, they nearly blocked me in because they parked in front of our drive. Also, we have this gigantic white oak near the road, and they would pull into the woods there and park under it because there was no real ditch in front of it. That oak became a popular parking area, for hunters, including coon hunters, as well as drinkers, smokers and people making out.

As the crow flies, that oak is not that far from our house and also, our dogs' house. Back then we had two German Shepherds, and every time someone parked there, the dogs would bark constantly. We tried to discourage parking there with 'No Trespassing' signs and by piling up brush in front of that area. Finally, after the clear cutting opened up that road, we got some help from the Road Commission to put in a little ditch there. Problem solved.

I think it's going to be a nice day for hunting, weather-wise... and I hope to post a photo of smiling hunters later today...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Green-eyed boy

Recently, Sammy expressed an interest in getting Photoshop, and since we have our new, fast Internet, he was looking around for it the other day. I was up in his bedroom working on his computer, tired and frustrated, when he arrived at the bedroom door to tell me that Photoshop software was something like a thousand bucks, but we could download a copy and use it for 30 days free, so could he please download it? He wasn’t too happy when he got a vehement “no” from me.

It took a while, but I finally figured out what he wanted. He just wanted to screw around with some photos of himself for his myspace page. I found a bunch of bitmap files of just an eyeball, and I made him explain them to me… he was trying to take a photo of himself and make it all black & white except for his eyes. Which is one reason why he wanted Photoshop. So I showed him the not-so-quick-&-easy, but free way to get that same effect. Actually, I’m not sure how to use Photoshop, so maybe my way is just as quick & easy. It didn’t take me long, probably less than 5 minutes. Here’s the end result, the photo how Sammy wanted it...

Pretty cool, huh. He’s quite creative. Here’s how I did it...

The original photo looked like this...

and I wanted to make it black and white, like this...

so I opened it using Microsoft Office Picture Manager (right click on photo file, select Open With & choose it), and I chose Edit Pictures, then selected Color (or you can go to the Picture menu & choose Color). I then changed the Saturation to -100, making the photo black & white.

I did a File Save As to save the black & white photo, retaining the original photo file as is. Sammy decided he wanted his eyes to show more green, which sometimes his eyes are super green, other times golden... they change depending on what he’s wearing and what the light is because he has those ever-changing hazel eyes. Lucky, gorgeous boy.

So anyway, I decided to really green up his eyes, and it didn’t matter that everything else became more green as well, because only his eyes would show...

I once again opened the original photo using Microsoft Office Picture Manager, then chose Edit Pictures and selected Color again, this time changing the Amount to something like 25 and the Hue to 130...

Again, File Save As for the green version. Then I opened both the black and white and the green version photo files in MS Paint. On the black and white, I wanted to erase his black and white irises, so to make that easier to do I first selected View, Zoom, Large Size, then I selected the erase tool and erased his irises... looks spooky, huh...

Then I took it back to normal size, View, Zoom, Normal Size, and without saving that file or doing anything else with it, I simply selected the entire photo (you know, CTRL+A, or Edit, Select All), copied it to clipboard (CTRL+C), then I went to the already open green version and pasted it on top of it (CTRL+V) – but it is important that Draw Opaque is not activated (Image, Draw Opaque should not have a checkmark next to it), and you get this...

Oh, and by the way, you can’t save the black and white photo with the eyes erased out of it and use it later to paste again... I don’t know why it doesn’t work that way, but it doesn’t, because the spot you have erased isn’t a hole in the photo any longer.

Now this would be very time-consuming if you were trying to do something more elaborate than a couple of little eyeballs, but for those of us who, a) don’t own Photoshop software or any other special photo editing software, and b) don’t have time to learn how to use it even if we had it, this is an easy way to get popping green eyes, eh?

And it made my boy happy. I believe his exact words were, “You rock, Mom!” I’ll take it. And I love looking at those green eyes... or...



or how 'bout this...


OK, I'm done now. That was fun.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More about the birthday boy

It's been brought to my attention that I didn't do a blog post about Sammy's birthday party with the family...

Sammy's 13th birthday was on Sunday, November 4th. We took him out for a late birthday breakfast. Joycie's boyfriend, Mike, joined us, and the 5 of us headed to iHop, Sammy's choice.

As usual, iHop was super busy, so we had to wait quite a while to get a table. And then the table we got was right near the windows, so the sun was pouring in... sounds great, but we were cooking in about 2 minutes. Notice the menus standing up in the window in that photo above? I put those there to block some of the sun. And it worked, too. Made it quite bearable.

Our waitress was an older gal, and she was a hoot. She took our orders, then when she left the table, she took the coffee thermos away with her, saying to us that she would bring us a full one. Then Kevin said, "and you'll bring us some mugs, too?" She looked at him and, not missing a beat, said, "No, I'll bring you some straws, though." Here's your sign...

Too funny. I told her we had a birthday boy with us, and after our breakfast, a big group of iHop folks came and sang to Sammy, while our waitress put this huge ice cream sundae down in front of him.

It was awesome, and the waiters and waitresses really got into the song. They all clapped and sang loudly:
     I don't know but I've been told
     Someone here is gettin' old
     Good news is the ice cream's free
     Bad news is we sing off key
     Sound off
     Sound off
     Bring it on down
     Happy Birthday to you!

Sammy loved it. He digs that kind of attention! And I dig him... my sweet birthday boy...

After breakfast, we headed to Meijer and picked up some stuff for the family birthday party and some birthday balloons for the boy. Sammy and I picked out 13 balloons... and then we realized we had to fit them into the car for the drive home... it was tight... and fun...

Joycie and Mike thought it was very fun...

Sammy got mostly birthday cards with cash from his grandparents and aunts, uncles and cousins, which was great because he wanted to buy himself a new iPod. Kev & I got him some MSU apparel. Sam's a big MSU fan for some reason, so he was quite happy. (So was I, coz I got them on a 30% off sale at Meijer!)

And this photo is just to show you those eyelashes...

Joycie got Sammy the "300" movie DVD, which he has been wanting...

And then we had cake, which was what Reilly had been looking forward to all evening...