Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It is almost time to say good-bye

to the year 2008 ~ and welcome in the year of 2009.
I don't know about anyone else, but I can certainly say that I am curious as to what 2009 will have in store for each and everyone of us.
May 2009 hold a special gift for you; and may that gift be one that is not materialistic, but from the heart. May you be embraced in peace, love, happiness and joy. May good fortune and good health be your constant companions.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dear Family and friends, and fellow bloggers ...

May this Christmas be your best Christmas ever. May you be surrounded by happiness and laughter, warmth and love, good health and good cheer. May you be blesses with good health and good fortune. May the spirit of Christmas fill your heart with a gladness that lasts the whole year long.
Merry Christmas from our house to yours.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Manda got her license today!
I am happy, scared and excited all at the same time.

Congratulations Manda Bear!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

God Bless our Soldiers

This morning on my way to work, I decided to tune into KNCI; my favorite local country station for the morning traffic and news. As I was listening to their broadcast, I heard them recite the following poem which brought tears to my eyes.

A Soldiers Poem...






















This poem is a reworked version from the original which was written by Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt stationed in Washington DC in 1986.

Throughout the years a request has been added to theses words.

Please share these heart warming words with your friends. The Christmas season is here and a great deal of credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.

Thank You and Merry Christmas.
Proud to have been able to serve.
Mike Meehan ETCM(SS), USNR (Retired)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I am a slave

.... to my cell phone. Yes, I am one of "those" annoying people who takes her cell phone everywhere, and relies on it for everything. However, I do have strict set of rules and manners that apply to public cell phone use. I know that no one else needs, wants or cares to share in my cell phone conversations, or text messages. Oh, I love texting!

I don't have a fancy, totally up to the moment, best of the best technology cell phone. I have a cell phone that is nice. It is not the perfect cell phone, but it does satisfy my needs. Except I can not assign personal ring tones to incoming text messages, and that annoys me. I am a customized ring tone addict. Donny Osmond, LeeAnn Rhymes, Sugarland, Reba, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Rehab and many more artists make my phone sound like a concert of happiness.

My cell phone has become an extension of me. I use my cell phone as my alarm clock, I set calendar reminders in it and use the tip calculator when out to dinner. I use the note pad to make grocery lists, keep track of Manda's dance numbers at recitals and other random reminders. I load music onto my cell phone and use it instead of an additional MP3 player. And,

My contact list is huge.

It is not that I "know" and talk to a lot of people, but I use my cell phone as my phone book. Every person I do know is listed in my cell phone. My daughters friend's numbers, along with all my co-worker's, and many of my husband's co- worker's numbers are in my contact list. I assign groups to all my contacts: Family, Friends, Manda's Friends, Dance, Co-Workers, School Contacts, Medical, Retail, Misc. If I have to contact 411 to get a number, I save that number to my cell also.

I am on my third blue tooth. My first and very favorite one apparently became a cat toy. Harley got it one night, and nearly two years later ~ he refuses to tell us where he batted it around to. He probably thought it was one of his stuffed mice.

I don't like the blue tooth stuck in my ear, but CA law requires it while driving, and I do like the extra added benefit of having my hands free even at home when I am working around the house or enjoying my craft room. I don't have to wear my bluetooth in Manda's car, it has the Sync system powered by Microsoft and, until she gets her license, I have been driving her sweet ride more than my own wonderful crossover.

Why is it that the teenager ended up with a better car than Mom and Dad??
Don't answer that one. Please.

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Christmas cards are made!

Oh yeah! I am so excited. I spent the entire weekend making Christmas cards - at whopping 65 of them to be exact. Luckily, I still had about 20 cards I made last year which I can use this year, because making nearly 100 cards this weekend would have been insane.

Tonight I can address and stamp all the envelopes and then tomorrow I can mail them all. If I can remember, I will have the cards scanned and add pictures of them to this post later.

Then on Wednesday night, I have to start baking .... never got to that this weekend.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Carols

I couldn't resist posting a lil Christmas cheer. One of the best things about Christmas is the music. There are a great number of talented artists who have recorded / performed Christmas songs. Here are two I thought would warm up the morning:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Stephenie Meyer

is a wonderful author. And, I have to say a BIG "Thank you!" to my daughter, Amanda. It is her fault completely that I am now a big fan of Stephanie Meyer.

Thank you Amanda!

Manda started reading the "Twilight" series last year on the recommendation of her freshman english teacher. Manda was hooked instantly, but I had no interest in the series. A human, a vampire and a wolf .... yeah - okay .... I'll pass.

But then, "TWILIGHT" was due to be released in the theaters, and of course, Manda wanted to see it. I felt compelled to read the book at that point. I read about 1/2 of the book before the movie came out. We went to the movie the day after it was released, and after seeing this wonderful story on the big screen I was completely hooked and finished the rest of "TWILIGHT" before the weekend was over.

By Thanksgiving I had read all four books in the series.

Check out Stephenie Meyer's web site for information on the wonderful author, her books and other projects.

I love Christmas music

and have been listening to my FAVORITE cd for several weeks now!

(Yes, even BEFORE Thanksgiving.)

I have multiple copies of Donny Osmond's "CHRISTMAS AT HOME" so that I can listen to it in my car(s), at home, in the craft room, and at work.

The year it was released (1997) it was my gift of choice to my friends and family. I think I must have bought 30 copies of the cd. I remember haunting all of the Target's in our area, and trying to buy just about every copy they had. It was fun and so very worth it.

Track Listing **

Track /Title
1 Angels We Have Heard On High
2 God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
3 I've Been Looking For Christmas
4 After December Slips Away
5 he Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
6 Baby, What You Goin' To Be
7 Deck The Halls / Hark The Herald Angels Sing
8 I'll Be Home For Christmas
9 Who Took the Merry Out of Christmas
10 O Holy Night / Divine
11 Soldier's King
12 The Kid In Me
13 My Grown-Up Christmas List
14 Mary Did You Know?
15 Come To The Manger

I enjoy all the tracks on "CHRISTMAS AT HOME" and my personal favorite changes from day to day. But two tracks are always my favorite: "Soldier's King" and "Mary Did You Know?"
** track listing courtesy of donny.com

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Puppy Love, Soldier of Love, Enduring Entertainer

or is that "endearing entertainer?"

As I logged into Comcast to check my email this http://www.comcast.net/slideshow/entertainment-celebbirthdays1209/5/
caught my eye.

I couln't help but smile. Go on ~~~ click on it.

Yeah, that is what brought the smile to my face .....

Happy 51st Birthday Donny Osmond!

(I guess if he is in his 50's, it is time for me to admit that I am no longer in my teens!)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I really do not like being sick

Russ was ill with the flu after Thanksgiving. I thought Manda and I would avoid it, but we did not. Both Manda and I started feeling yucky around Tuesday afternoon. Manda started feeling super cruddy Wednesday evening, and by 9 that evening, she was full on sick.

By Thursday Morning I felt almost as horrible as Manda - my whole body ached everywhere, I was nauseated, and food sounded horrible. Manda went to school, but came home after 1st period. We both spent the rest of the day between the restroom and trying to sleep. Notice I said trying because there was not much sleep that could happen as restroom trips were the main activity of the day.

Friday was better for Manda, and worse for me. Although she still could not think about food with out wanting to heave, Manda was able to go back to school. On the other hand, I was so dizzy it hurt to focus. Food was not an option. Sleep was a necessity that had been severely lacking.

Saturday was marginally better - the dizziness was mild, and food was started to be an option, as long as it was bland. I had sent Russ to the store on Friday to get all the ingredients for a roasted turkey and mashed potatoes - nutritious, not too heavy and bland enough that we'd be able to eat it.

Today was better and thankfully I was able to actually leave the house. Manda had a Christmas dance recital. Then we came home so she could catch up on homework.

I am still cautious around food, and feel like I have recently been ran over by a Smart Car, but I can tell I am on the road to recovery.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Vote for Brandon

One of my favorite bloggers is Don. Don's brother Brandon is currently involved in a music showcase and contest. Don, being the proud older brother is directing our attention to his brother's talent. And, once I listened for myself I could hear why. Brandon has a voice that should be heard!

PLEASE, PLEASE, take a moment and take a listen.
Brandon has written and submitted: "Thine Own Son"

You can read a little about Brandon,
and hear the other song he has posted, "Bring Me Home"
which is every bit a wonderful as the song he has entered in the contest.

Then, please register (it is free!) and VOTE for Brandon Osmond.

Please - go now, listen and vote for Brandon Osmond's "Thine Own Son" And, if you are so compelled, go back every day and vote again. It would mean so much to me for you to listen and cast your vote for Brandon. His voice is amazing!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankgiving Traditions

Every household has it's own traditions for the Holiday season. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. I love the warmth of the time the family shares enjoying each other's company. I love the laughter and the happiness. I love the traditions of recipes which have been handed down and shared from one family member to the next.

Our family gathers around the table to share a delicious meal which includes a turkey stuffed with my mother in law's stuffing which she learned how to make from her Mother's recipe. It is fragrant and delightful. I am not sure what we enjoy more, the turkey or the stuffing .... hmm!

Irene taught me the recipe about 12 years ago, and I have to say, I love it. I love eating it, and I love to prepare it. We hand grind the onions, celery and old fashioned white bread together and then blend in sage sausage, eggs, chicken broth and a combination of spices including ground sage, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.

Last year, Manda prepared the entire turkey dinner; from refrigeration to cleaning and preparing the fresh Zacky Farms turkey, to making the stuffing and placing the bird in the oven to proudly serving us a meal which had been roasted to perfection. Every bite of the meal she prepared for us was a delight to our taste buds.

The 18 pound turkey came out juicy and tender, stuffing bursting with flavor, moist and dense, each layer of flavor full and vibrant. Her mashed potatoes were thick and creamy, fragrant with fresh ground garlic and topped with real butter and a dash of pepper. Manda created a gravy using the turkey drippings and the meat from the neck and innards, which she had carefully ground into small pieces. It was delicious! The yams were baked with just a touch of brown sugar and butter, their sweetness a refreshing partner to the vibrancy of the stuffing.

Yum! My stomach is already growling.... and it is not even lunch time!

One of the other things we always take the time to do during the holiday season is to reflect on all the reasons we have to be thankful:

I am thankful for the love of my family and friends, our health and happiness, and the joy we share. I am thankful that in these tough and uncertain times, there are family and friends to seek comfort and understanding in. I am thankful for the sound of laughter and the sight of a smile. I am thankful that I am getting to know new friends and fellow bloggers and appreciate that you each share your wisdom and sense of humor with me. I am honored.

I hope you and your families have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008


.............. was simply AMAZING!

That is all I have to say ...........


Well, okay, I do have more to say, but for those two or three people who have yet to see (or read) this amazing story ~ I'll keep my mouth shut and let them discover what they are missing.

Special "Thanks!" to the wonderful group of teens I had the pleasure of sharing my movie viewing pleasure with. Each one of you is an awesome person, and I really enjoyed our excursion to the theater!

Amanda, Brittani, Tori, Brandon, Morgan, and Madison --- these teens know how to make every moment a hilarious one. Thanks, guys!

I'm a Bella! I found out through TwilightersAnonymous.com. Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!

Check out this great site for more Twilight fun: http://twilightersanonymous.com/
Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Anyone who has pets will really like this.

You'll like it even if you don't, and you may even decide you need one!

Mary and her husband Jim had a dog named Lucky. Lucky was a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy.

Inevitably, someone would forget and something would come up missing. Mary or Jim would go to Lucky 's toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky ' s other favorite toys. Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box.

It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this disease.... in fact, she was just sure it was fatal. She scheduled the double mastectomy, fear riding her shoulders. The night before she was to go to the hospital she cuddled with Lucky.

A thought struck her ... what would happen to Lucky? Although the three-year-old dog liked Jim, he was Mary 's dog through and through.

'If I die, Lucky will be abandoned ' , Mary thought. ' He won't understand that I didn't want to leave him. '

The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death. The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated,and Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks.

Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully, but the little dog just drooped, whining and miserable. Finally the day came for Mary to leave the hospital. When she arrived home, Mary was so exhausted she couldn't even make it up the steps to her bedroom.

Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap. Lucky stood watching Mary but he didn't come to her when she called. It made Mary sad but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed.

When Mary woke for a second she couldn't understand what was wrong. She couldn't move her head and her body felt heavy and hot. But panic soon gave way to laughter when Mary realized the problem. She was covered, literally blanketed, with every treasure Lucky owned!

While she had slept, the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement, bringing his beloved mistress all his favorite things in life. He had covered her with his love. Mary forgot about dying. Instead she and Lucky began living again, walking further and further together every day.

It's been 12 years now and Mary is still cancer-free. Lucky? He still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box, but Mary remains his greatest treasure.

Remember ... live every day to the fullest And never forget ... the people who make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones who care for us.

With thanks to my wonderful Mom for sharing this treasure with me! And, with special thanks to Lisa and Carrie for keeping Miss Tapping Toes doing cartwheels of joy! You ladies are a true treasure!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

All Rise!

Here comes the judge .....

Manda had the pleasure of being a defense attorney for Teen Peer Court last night.

Her case was a tough one that centered around a 16 year old Hispanic male who had been charged with battery for pushing his mother and punching is father. While Manda's client speaks English, his comprehension and use of it is limited. Neither the father or mother speak English; the primary language spoken in the home is Spanish and of course, Manda is only learning Spanish in high school. Luckily the client's 18 year old sister speaks fluent Spanish and has a decent command of the English language so she was able to assist with translations during the deposition portion of this case.

Manda's 16 year old client was charged with battery of his parents which occurred when the mother refused to allow her son to take the family car. The client pushed his mother and stormed past her into the family apartment where a verbal argument ensued. The father who was outside at the time of the argument came inside to resolve the issue, and unfortunately, was unable to do anything but make matters worse.

The 16 year old client ended up punching his father several times, and when ordered to leave the apartment and never come back, he picked up an orange from a nearby counter and threw it at the back of the father's head. Further argument ensued, and random items of clothing and boxes were also thrown at the father by the son, and at the son by the father.

When the 16 year old refused to leave, a member of the family called 911 for assistance. The 16 year old left the premises before the law enforcement agency arrived on scene. Neither parent required medical assistance, but they did elect to press the charge of battery against their son.
It was noted that earlier in the day both the father and the son had been drinking beer outside.
The father had drank 4 beers, the son 2. The 16 year old client who had left the family home was gone for nearly 48 hours before returning.

Since this time there have been no further incidents, and the family is trying to move forward and get past this trouble. (talking to Amanda it seems there are other issues and "things" which the family needs assistance with, and this incident is actually fairly minor in the grand scheme of their every day life.)

The prosecuting attorney asked for the following penalty to be assigned to the 16 year old:

8 times served on the jury
40 hours of community service
AA meetings

the prosecuting attorney felt that the 16 year old needed severe punishment to learn his lesson and change his behaviour.

Amanda asked for the following penalty and assistance to be assigned to the 16 year old:

2 times served on the jury
20 hours of community service
Anger Management Counselling
6 months of AA meetings
Family Counselling

As the defense attorney and being privileged to know more of their inside story, Manda felt the family could better benefit from a direct assistance approach, and that counselling and AA meetings would be more beneficial to the future of this family.

The jury found the following penalty to be appropriate:

2 times served on the jury (one for each parent he had physical contact with)
20 hours of community service (10 hours for each parent he struck)
Family Counselling
Anger Management
6 months AA meetings

When questioned by the Judge on their determination of the penalty and why they chose the exact penalty as requested by the defense, the jury replied:
"People make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes are not made by one person. Sometimes the family is the reason. This family seems to need help, and if the defendant is punished too firmly, he made decide to rebel and get into more trouble."

Additionally, the director of the Teen Peer Court program instructed that the 16 year old client (who incidentally turned 17 today) do the following:

get a job
get a driver's license (or stop driving)
take a parenting class (he has an 18 month old daughter)

Amanda and her mentor attorney felt like their client received what was needed to hopefully re-direct him onto a better path of choices.

Unfortunately, only time will tell.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's Manda's birthday ...

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday dear Amanda,
Happy Birthday to you!

Dad and I hope your 16th birthday is sweet, and your day is full of everything that is happy and makes you smile. You make us smile; you are a teen to be supremely proud of.

You fill our hearts with love and joy. Thank you for being you!

Happy Sweet 16th Birthday Amanda!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


The bend of this proud firefighter's head seems to reflect every ounce of the exhaustion and sorrow which seems very tangible even through the cool while grace of ice which forms the sculpture. The sorrow of the angel by his side, seems powerful in it's comfort even as the angel grieves while at the same time striving to give comfort.

We must never forget. And, we must never forget to honor those who serve us and daily place their own life on the line for our safety, whether it is a member of an armed service, or an officer of the law, or a fire fighter - there is someone watching over us, fighting for our safety, our freedom 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Thank you to my dear friend, Sandy D. for sharing with me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Crafty Creations 2008 ... an encore presentation!

If you like a good craft fair that is stocked with a great blend of hand-made items, then you need to check out
Crafty Creations 2008 Eighth Annual Fall Craft Fair.

Crafty Creations has handmade crafts created by local crafters - these are not your "retail" crafters who mass produce items, but rather crafters who create with a passion, and love to share their talent and artisty. You'll find many one of a kind items.

Crafty Creations features Fall, Harvest & Christmas Decorations, Gifts, Home Decor, Jewelry, Clothings, Food items & Much Much More!

This year they are featuring many new and exciting items ~~ so bring your shopping list, and let Crafty Creations help you avoid the holiday boredom of retail shopping.

Crafty Creations main even craft fair was last weekend, but by popular demand they are back this weekend for special as requested encore presentation of their annual craft fair.

Come check out Crafty Creations this Saturday, November 15, 2008
They will be open for your shopping pleasure from 10-5

Crafty Creations is located at:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

CCDA Fund Raising Fun Event:

On Friday, November 14th,
between the hours of 6:00 - 9:00 pm
Cast and Company Dance Alliance is having a fundraising party at

John's Incredible Pizza Co.

John's Incredible Pizza Co., is just that! Incredible! They have a scrumptious buffet which includes a generous variety of yummy items from the garden to create your favorite salad; a baked potato bar; a pasta bar; and a dessert bar which includes freshly made on the spot donuts.

Of course they also have their fabulous pizza buffet - I have seen just about every imaginable type of pizza being offered, including peanut butter with jalepeno; cheese; combination; and pesto pizzas. I have even tried their mac and cheese pizza. I love a good crust, and their pizza is made on a tasty one: not too thin, and not too thick ~ just right.

When you have had a chance to eat, John's features a great indoor amusement area which features a scaled down bowling alley, a roller coaster, and other great midway games. It's loud and fun.

So, come on out and enjoy a fun meal. If you need a flyer, please call me and I will be happy to meet you at the door when you arrive, this way Cast and Company Dance Alliance will get credit for 15% of your receipt.

Thank you in advance!

Monday, November 10, 2008

In just 1 week

My lil' girl will turn sixteen .... it seems almost impossible. Although I do have the grey hair to prove it.

I can clearly remember the day I discovered we were expecting our miracle child. I doubt that I will ever forget the pure elation of the realization that we would have a precious child to love and raise and watch grow into his or her own person. We chose not to find out whether we were expecting a son or a daughter, but in my heart, I knew I was carrying a precious, sweet girl.

I can remember the excitement I felt even during those painful hours of labor, as we waited to bring our precious baby into the world. Hearing her first cries was like a gift of the Angels, and holding her for the first time was a moment I will cherish always.

Each moment of her life has been precious. I would not trade being her mom for anything in the world. I could not wish for anything more wonderful then the lessons she has taught me as our daughter.

I could easily detail every moment from birth, to starting school, her passion for dance, her love of school and her addiction to reading ~ and still I would just be scratching the surface of the person she is and the depth of my love for her.

This time next week I will be the proud mother of a sixteen year old. Turning 16 is a milestone in an of itself. Turning 16 and still being a wonderful child whom your parents love and respect, that is a treasure beyond compare.

Thank you for being my treasure precious girl!

We love you.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Get ready for a whirlwind!

A whirlwind of activity .....

November has traditionally been one of our busiest months of the year, and this one is going to be very much the same. Usually by now we are neck deep into the activities and stress of the dance world with extra practices and costume fittings and the general hectic pace that for some reason tends to surround the dancers at this time of year. But, since Manda decided not to do "Company" this year and focus her fancy foot work on tap and Tap Company - life isn't as driven by dance as it has been. Don't get me wrong, it's still busy just not as.

However, for every dance class that Manda is not taking this year, there is a club or activity to take its place. She has embraced life as a high school student, and is trying to enjoy each moment to the fullest possibility. She is not a "party" "social" girl - she is an involved girl. When she is not on campus for regular class time, she is on campus for Teens for Humanity, Link Crew, A Teens and a few other clubs that I can not remember at the moment.

Next week starts a hectic calendar of events that include:
An over-night babysitting gig
Manda's fourth driving lesson,
My mom's arrival to share in the occasion of Manda's 16th birthday,
A fund raising dinner at Jon's Incredible Pizza,
An extra tap class practice (Manda is looking forward to that, she LOVES tap;)
Dinner with the family for Manda's 16th birthday,
A Sylvia Besana Holiday Parade practice with the Stars and Little All-Stars,
Manda's actual birthday,
A Mock Trial meeting
A Teen Peer Court trial (it's only 2 weeks away and she still does not have the client details)
A Stampin' Up! workshop
Kim's birthday
Jill's birthday
The Sylvia Besana Holiday Parade
taking Manda and her friends to see Twilight
Manda's DMV licensing test
putting up the tree for Christmas
getting my handmade cards done and in the mail
starting the baking for Grandma's butter cookies .... yum!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Help make history!

I voted ......

did you?

Sunday Baker - a BLOG to ENJOY

I know I have mentioned this blogspot before, but I just can not resist mentioning it again.

If you have not already found her on your own, well, it's worth the small effort it takes to click on the link above and lose yourself in the wonder that is Tanya's blog. She always post great ideas and yummy recipes. Her blog is so welcoming, I feel like I am sitting in her kitchen ~ not at my keyboard.

If you hurry, you can even participate in her two latest contest:

The Grab Bag Game - submit your favorite, must take pot luck recipe to the comments - and WOW! there are some really yummy ones listed already!

The Stitchy Girl Apron - submit an unexpected blessing - Mine is the blog world which I just recently discovered.

No matter if you are a recipe lover, need a great idea for house and home, or if you just want to explore, come and meet Sunday Baker at http://comeandpeek.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 3, 2008


That is the number:

It's 9:09 am as I start this blog;
It's 9 hours until dinner --- butternut squash soup, with a spinach salad!
We had a total of 9 (yes, we counted them) trick or treaters on Friday .....
9 /11 was when Halloween trick or treating started to become much less popular ....

I miss the days when we used to have over a 100 trick or treaters! It was crazy answering the door for that many people, but it sure was fun to see all the costumes and hear all the laughter.

Our house used to be the gathering place. My mom and step dad would come down from Yerington, and mom would make a big pot of taco soup. Jill, Drew, Dorothy, Gil and Lil, Brandon, and Tori would bring a yummy side dish or dessert and a great bottle of wine. Barney (and then later Moose and Gracie) would come along and walk with us as we took the kids door to door. Michelle would bring Autume and Elliot, Karen would bring Kristen and Ryan and Randy and Jessica would be with us too. Sometimes, Logan and Jacki would bring Courtney and Darrien, too.

The grandparents (My mom and step dad, Lil and Gill and Dorothy) would stay at the house and hand out candy to the trick or treaters. The rest of us would head out en mass and trick or treat through the entire neighborhood of about 110 houses. Throughout the neighborhood there would be several large groups of kids with their parents, all out enjoying the evening. There were kids and families everywhere!

It was frequently cold, and when our warm thermoses of hot chocolate and bailey's would run dry, the fathers would give up and take the youngest of the kids back to the house for hot apple cider and more taco soup. The oldest kids would hang on until they could not carry their load of candy, their fingers were cold, and they were exhausted.

We'd all stumble back into the house. The kids bounty of candy would be dumped on the floor so the moms could inspect it, and the kids would share their treasure with the parents and grandparents. Jill loved the "dots" and 'mike and ikes" and I always loved the "tootsie rolls" and "milk duds."

Exhausted and with a supply of candy large enough to feed a third world nation, the children would one by one, close their eyes and drift into a Halloween sleep, their bags of candy tucked firmly at their sides.

I miss those days!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Check out the Shimmerz!

Shimmerz Paints are coming out with new colors (actually, they are coming out with a whole new product!)


I could not resist sharing this with you! And, I am definately adding these to my wish list, they're shimmy shimmy coco-pops cool!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I was at Carmen's house for a Stampin' UP! Christmas themed stamp a stack card making event this evening (the cards are BEAUTIFUL, Thank YOU! Carmen!!) and Carmen's mother - in - law, Gail was there, too.

She had participated in an event at her school. It was a staff memeber dance / tribute to Michael Jackson's Thriller. When I found out the dance had been video taped and was on youtube, I knew I had to post it!

So ---- here it is!!! Enjoy! The staff did a great job, I would have loved to have seen this performance in person:

I dare you ......

Come on! I dare you, in fact I double dog dare you to watch this video and follow the instructions. Watch the entire video, come on, I dare you,

and, when you are done ~ if you haven't already .... VOTE!!!!!
raise YOUR voice and be heard.

Thanks Don, for sharing, and thanks for the video.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Penelope Lane

One of my friends / co-workers is having a baby before the end of the year.

I am really excited for Jessica and Bryan! They are a totally cute couple and will make awesome parents.

Jessica is the nanny of "Master's" children B and T. She is wonderful with them and has been with them for a few years. Manda gets to spend plenty of time in her company also and she always says how sweet Jessica is.

Jessica and Bryan had this amazing New Year's Eve wedding which I had the pleasure of taking B and T to. The wedding was done in red, white and black with a very cool night club type theme - NOT tacky and NOT gaudy --- very elegant, and very fun. I have to say, it was truly a wonderful way to usher in 2008.

Jessica's shower was this weekend. Manda and I crashed and went with Jill, T, and Grandma Lil.

The shower was in Elk Grove in this pretty little neighborhood. At the shower guests had the opportunity to decorate (using Tulip paints) a onesie for the baby on the way. It was such a cute idea!

I loved being able to share something "handmade" as a keepsake for the baby.

Penelope Lane will be born before the end of the year and Jessica has started a pool on her blog.

I don't think Penelope will wait till Thanksgiving to make her entrance into the world, and neither does Manda, so here are our best guesses:

Robin says: Wednesday, November 19 8pm - 11:59pm
Manda's guess: Monday, November 24 8am - 11:59am

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday Baker - a BLOG You HAVE to READ

Okay so I found this blog that I love to read, and it has quickly become one of my favorite places to hang out.

Not only is Sunday Baker http://comeandpeek.blogspot.com/

a great place for yummy recipes, she also has great blog followers who leave wonderful comments and share insight and stories. This blog is like a warm, great smelling over-sized kitchen full of wonderful friends, laughter and people who enjoy life.

Come on and check it out! As an added bonus to celebrate her 1 year blog anniversary she is having a really great give-a-way! Come and join the fun!

Just click here, pull up a seat and enjoy!

I am a "sucker"

.... Oh yeah ..... I caved!

Manda has been totally missing her beloved kitty Pebbles since she disappeared over a month ago. Pebs was a tortoiseshell with what we affectionately refer to as: "torti-tude." She was spunky and independent and full of sass and personality.

Manda and Russ had already been to the SPCA several times, but I firmly refused to go, and was stubbornly standing my ground about bringing a new feline fur member home -- "No!"

That was until we saw the Auburn Cat House advertisement in the newspapers this weekend. That is where we got Pebs from 8 years ago. It must have been "meant to be," as when we called they had a torti whom needed a home.

We talked about it as a family and decided to wait. That was until Grandma Irene called and wanted to know what Manda wanted for her upcoming sweet 16th birthday. Well ..... now that you ask, and I am not standing right in front of the child...

So, Russ went and picked up his mom and they drove to Auburn, where they picked out a totally adorable 4 month old tortoiseshell kitty.

Manda is in love with her new kitten ~ her name is Harvest and she is adorable!

Of course, I too, love the new kitty ~~ but Harley is still my boy. And, no matter what anyone thinks, I think HE is still "the" cat of the house. He is soooo cute, and so adorable and he has me wrapped around his sweet little whiskers.

Harley thinks that Harvest is smelly and tiny and annoying as all get out. Harvest thinks that Harley is a big bully and she just wants to sleep in his favorite spot and play. I think they will learn to get along.

Yesterday morning I found Harvest asleep on Manda's bed, and Harley keeping a close eye on the nearby bookshelf.

This morning, Harvest was still confined to the bathroom, and Harley was firmly holding court in the center of Manda's bed, looking quite content.

Of course, once Harvest was running free that chase was on. and Harley was determined to show Miss Harvest just who is the head cat of the household.

Friday, October 24, 2008

What's for lunch?

Well, thanks to a timely phone call from Master ~ that was answered for me today.

"Hey Bob, can you get me some lunch, please?"

Master has been eating VERY healthy
and really watching his over-all physical well-being,
so instead of even thinking I could decide what to feed him today
(yes, I do know his preferences fairly well after 17 years,)
I thought it would be best to have him decide.

"Sure Master, anything in particular you want?"

"I could really go for a GYRO." (pronounced "YEE-ROH")

Hmmmm .... I am a food lover, and can usually figure out where to go to fully satisfy just about any type of request; but this one, well ~ it stumped me.

"Okay Master, where do I find you such a creature in Roseville?"

"There is a place called the Pita Pit over on Eureka, they have them."

"Okay cool, I'll get lunch!"

I logged onto Google to see if the Pita Pit had a web-site,
and being a savvy restaurant,
they do:


Mmmmmmmm .... just reading their menu online sold me, and then actually walking in the door of this little place made my mouth water. It smelled really good, and it was spotless (And let's face it, that is always a plus when dealing with food!)

I ordered each our GYRO's (with seasoned lamb and beef strips) on a wheat pita.

Masters' had shredded lettuce, red onions, green peppers, cucumbers, pickles, salt & pepper, cheddar cheese and a creamy cucumber sauce called Tzatziki.

Mine had hummus, avocado, shredded lettuce, romaine lettuce, fresh spinach, cucumbers, sprouts, feta cheese and the cool creamy cucumber sauce, Tzatziki.

While the really nice guy behind the counter was assembling my pita, he asked me if I really like hummus, and when I responded that I do, he asked if I had ever tried the babaganoush. I had not. So, he grabbed a few cucumbers and spread them with the babaganoush.

YUM!!!! I really like hummus, but the babaganoush which is made with an eggplant base is even more flavorful and yummy. I will definitely be having that on my pita the next time.

When my order was complete and wrapped, I thanked the staff and came back to the office. When I unpacked my order, there was a little side car of babganoush and a small stack of 10 cucumbers tucked in my carrier bag. How sweet was that?

My gyro pita was DEVINE! I ate every bite and did not have that over full, bloated, why did I eat every bite feeling.

Thanks, Master for creating a monster! I think I've just added a new favorite place to order lunches from.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Monkey Business

Once upon a time in a place overrun with monkeys, a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each.

The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest, and started catching them.

The man bought thousands at $10 and as supply started to diminish, they became harder to catch, so the villagers stopped their effort.

The man then announced that he would now pay $20 for each one.

This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again.

But soon the supply diminished even further and they were ever harder to catch, so people started going back to their farms and forgot about monkey catching.

The man increased his price to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so sparse that it was an effort to even see a monkey, much less catch one.

The man now announced that he would buy monkeys for $50!

However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now buy on his behalf.

While the man was away the assistant told the villagers, "Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has bought. I will sell them to you at $35 each and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each."

The villagers rounded up all their savings and bought all the monkeys.

They never saw the man nor his assistant again and once again there were monkeys everywhere.

Now you have a better understanding of how the stock market works.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Have you ever ...

... had one of those nights where you have a "ton" of "things" that "have to get done" but none of them end up getting done?

I did last night! I had so much stuff on my "To Do" list, but none of it got done. I had been battling a headache all afternoon, and by the time I picked up Manda and she drove us home, the headache was taking over. (I hate it when a head ache wins!)

Knowing that Manda was hungry, had homework to do and needed to be in bed before 11:30, and that there was no way I was cooking, we stopped at KFC and picked up chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy. We got home, added a green salad and ate a nice warm dinner.

My head was pounding, and I really wanted to tackle my "To Do" list, so I ice packed my neck and shoulders, sat in the recliner and put my feet up, figuring that after a 1/2 hour of ice I'd be able to function. That was until the cat jumped up into my lap and snuggled in for his after dinner cat nap.

So much for my "To Do" list! The cat and I both fell asleep. Manda woke me about thirty minutes later when my ice packs were starting to melt. I woke up long enough to kiss my sweet daughter good night and zombie walked down the hall to bed.

It was only 8:00 pm! Oh well .... off to zombie land sleep my headache and I went.

Too bad I still have the headache. I slept well though.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Stuck in my head

Ugh! I can not get this little diddy (okay, technically, it's a cheer that I heard way too many times on Friday night) out of my head!

What about? What about?
What about our color shout?

What about? What about?
What about our color shout?


and a


What about? What about?
What about our color shout?

What about? What about?
What about our color shout?


and a


Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Night Lights

Tonight I am going with my daughter to her high school's football game. This may not sound blog worthy, but I am already getting a chuckle out of the event. "Why?" you may ask; well because I grew up here in Roseville.

Granted, I am a transplant from another northern California location (that is a WHOLE different topic,) but we moved here when I was just 13, and I fell in love with (at the time) the little city that is Roseville. The people are friendly and I instantly felt like I was "HOME." At the time I moved here there was 1 junior high school and 2 high schools.

As an eighth grade student I attended Warren T. Eich Junior High School. And, even though I was a "newby" I never felt like an outsider, and I quickly discovered that all though every one was friends on campus, there were imaginary battle lines drawn --- between the rival high schools.

You were either:

a Roseville Tiger or;
an Oakmont Viking .....

I was a Roseville Tiger (graduating class of 1985)

I was totally proud of those Tiger roots and vowed that no child of mine would ever be a Viking. When my husband and I were looking at places to live, I very carefully reviewed boundary lines, researched the elementary schools and (the now 3, or is it 4? ) junior high schools in the City School District, and compared notes on the schools (there are now 4) in the Roseville High School Joint Union High School District.

Then it happened. I found a house I knew I wanted to live in, and it was inside the boundary lines of Oakmont High School. Manda was only 11 months at the time, so I figured that I had four years in which to fall out of love with my house and MOVE to the other side of the district so that she could go to school with other future Tigers.

Well, so much for that plan! Manda started elementary school at Crestmont Elementary and loved being a Coyote.

Then she moved on to Warren T. Eich Middle School, where she found her personal stride as a WILDCAT. She was on the Flag/Drill team for one year, and the next year she was the proud editor of the WILDCAT yearbook. It was really cool to have Manda attending a school that I had also attended. A few of the same teachers are still there (or involved in the school board.)

Last year Manda became a very proud freshman at OHS. Yes, she is a Viking! And, yes, she is a PROUD royal blue wearing, Oakmont Viking. Both of our cars have the Oakmont "O" on them, and her school spirit is only overshadowed by her school involvement. She participates in "A" Teens, Link Crew, Teens for Humanity, Mock Trial and several others that I can not remember.

So tonight, we will attend the OHS vs RHS football game at Roseville High School. We will sit on the visitors side, and I will cheer loudly for the VIKINGS ("Here Kitty-Kitty, Here Kitty-Kitty, Here Kitty-Kitty ~ SMACK!)~ because I am a proud parent of a wonderful Oakmont Viking -----

yea .... never say never --- it always comes back to bite ya!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ugh!!! It's that time of year

.... just early Fall and already I can hear more sniffling and sneezing everywhere around me.

Even Manda started in a few days ago ~ and I immediately made her start in on her prescribed allergy / asthma routine. Hopefully this year she won't be as miserable as she was last year. She is on a new allergy medication: Zyrtec which seems to be working well for her.

And, her new glasses will help for those days when the allergens make wearing her contacts uncomfortable.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday Fun

Just because it's Wednesday, and I have nothing more exciting to blog about today, I have decided to treat you to one of my favorite YouTube videos:


(I did not embed it for my own personal reasons ~~~~ I'm pretty sure some people will understand)

And, because I really could not resist, I had to post this video of one of the dances from "In the Mix 2008" This was an amazing, incredible, totally wonderful dance - I think everyone should have a chance to see it:


That video I fully planned on embedding, but the HTML editor did not any of the tricks I tried, so I apologize ~ but I promise ~ its worth clicking on to see the incredible talent of these high school dancers.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Why Dogs Bite People

Seriously ~ Is it really necessary to torture your dog by dressing it up? Some of these dogs look totally pissed off. Others just look like the tolerate it.... Poor Dogs!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


My friend Jessica tagged me -
and I have to list 7 things about myself that no one else knows (or not many people know).

So here goes!

1) I am shy. (Yes, I hide it behind the sarcasm)

2) I think the the glass is half full, I wear rose colored glasses, and I do believe that most people are basically "good."

3) I can not stand to watch scary movies.

4) I was the pop corn girl when my mom managed a movie theater. I popped 100's of bags of popcorn every night. But, since I was only 12 at the time, I used my grandmother's name and social security number. To this day, I love freshly popped pop corn! YUM!

5) I used to be able to run up and down a flight of bleacher stairs with ice skates on.

6) I am near sighted in one eye and far sighted in the other.

7) When I was pregnant with Manda, I ate liverwurst and pickle on a toasted english muffin for lunch every day.

I tag:

Mama C

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mmmmm! Delicious!!!!!!!

My Mom was here yesterday for a lightening fast visit. While she was here we went to lunch at Lenny's (our favorite sub shop) then ran a few errands, picked Manda up from school and went shopping at Mom's favorite clothing store Cristopher & Banks.

For dinner Mom us this really delicious, very tasty Minestrone Soup.
The house smelled divine while she was slaving over the stove; but even the scent of the cooking soup did not do the flavor full justice.

This is a recipe we will be using again. It was not hard to make, is good on a budget, is pretty healthy and is nice an filling with out leaving you feeling bloated. I can not wait for dinner tonight, we are having left-over soup!

After dinner last night, Mom gave us our anniversary present: A beautiful lamp which tucks behind our couch and has 5 over head "light streamers"
It's a beautiful piece of furniture in and of it's own right, but together with my living room, its stunning!

Thanks Mom for the love, the laughter, the illumination of our living room, the books and of course for this wonderful soup!

Minestrone Soup

Get everything ready first, then put together

3 Sweet Italian Sausage links, casing removed.
(Used potato masher to flatten and separate while browning.)

4 Thick slices of bacon chopped. (I used scissors to cut about 3/4 wide.)
Combine with and brown with the sausage.

1 Small onion (I used yellow)
5 cloves of garlic chopped, add to meat just before it's browned.

2 cups sliced carrots:
Add to the meat after it's browned, cook a few minutes; then add

1 cup chopped celery and cook few minutes more.

Then in large pot:

1 can diced fine stewed tomatoes in basil. (I broke mine up with my fingers.)
2 large, plus1 small can Swanson chicken broth

Add the following ingredients to the above and then cook till the veggies are almost done,
( I used low heat after adding everything. )

1/4 of a head of cabbage, chopped

4 cups of sliced zucchini--about 3 small

1/2 bag of fresh spinach, used scissors again to chop up

Salt & pepper (to taste)

Italian Seasoning, just about 3/4 teaspoon

Cook till everything is done then add:

1 can sliced potatoes, diced up

1 can cannellini beans, drained (if you can not find cannelloni beans, used white beans)

1 cup small elbow or tubetini pasta cooked

Cook till the last ingredients are heated.

Serve with freshly grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese and French bread

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I am a "copy cat" today

(with thanks to Mama C!)

My Elite 8:

8 Favorite TV shows...
(I confess, I don't watch that much t.v., so I only came up with 6)

2. Hell's Kitchen
3. Clean House
4. Flip this House
5. News (KCRA 3 and KXTV 10)
6. GAC Top 20 Countdown

8 Favorite Restaurants...

1. Lenny's Sub Shop
2. Olive Garden
3. Eva's (the BEST mexican food!)
4. Lucille's
5. Spaghetti Factory
6. Fresh Choice
7. Joe's Crab Shack
8. Mel's

8 things that happened yesterday...

1. The laundry got finished
2. The refrigerator was cleaned spotlessly
3. My hubby came home from work in a good mood. (Yes, that is special)
4. I slipped and fell on the tile in my entry way, now my ankle hurts
5. The house is completely cleaned, and ready for Mom's arrival today!
6. I shopped for the ingredients for Mom's soup she is making tonight.
7. I was at work by 7:30 am and did not leave until 6:00 pm
8. The lights in the office supply room were fixed

8 things to look forward to...

1. My Mom's arrival this afternoon!
2. Giving my Mom a hug (she always smells so nice)
3. Amanda's master tap class with one of the "Tap Dogs" this weekend
4. Finishing several Halloween crafts projects this weekend
5. Amanda turning 16 next month (where has the time flown??)
6. Amanda getting her license next month
7. Thanksgiving
8. Baking Gram's butter cookies for Christmas

8 things I love about Fall...

1. The crispness to the air, and the cooler tempuratures
2. Cold nights
3. Longer evenings
4. Hot apple cider (Manda's favorite!)
5. Thanksgiving - I love making Thanksgiving dinner
6. The leaves falling and creating a blanket of color
7. New neighbors (2 of the foreclosed houses have SOLD!)
8. Snuggling with my hubby on the cold nights

8 things on my wish list...

1. Being able to spend more quality time with my husband
2. Continued happiness and good health
3. Manda being able to compete with Mock Trial this year
4. That we knew where / what happened to Pebbles ~ it sucks not knowing!
5. Swapping closets (Scrapbook room and Hall closets)
6. Economic stability
7. Taking a class at the local college (first time in 17 years!)
8. Manda making it through this semester with a solid 3.75 GPA

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Freedom to love who you want .....

Yes, I believe that all persons should have the freedom to love who they want, but I fully believe that a marriage is between a man and a woman.

Same sex partners should be allowed to have a legal relationship and not have to hide in the closet, but that relationship should not be a marriage.

I just read this on my local new station's web site, and had to post it. I
may not be of the LDS faith, but I can appreciate their possible actions to help restore marriage to that of a man and a woman.

Mormons Recruit Out-Of-State For Prop. 8
Mormons Living Outside Calif. Asked To Volunteer For Phone Campaign

POSTED: 4:37 pm PDT October 8, 2008
UPDATED: 4:41 pm PDT October 8, 2008

SALT LAKE CITY -- Mormons living outside California have been asked to volunteer for a telephone campaign to help pass a ballot initiative on marriage there.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is part of a coalition of conservative groups backing Proposition 8, which would ban gay marriage in California's constitution. The measure will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Church elder L. Whitney Clayton said in a statement that members could be asked to call friends and family at home in California to encourage their support.

The campaign would be on an "if-needed" basis and will be tested, but may not be fully implemented.

The organizational effort comes at the request of the Protect Marriage coalition, Clayton said.

Clayton also said many students attending church-owned universities have asked how they might help and could be enlisted to make calls.

The church has branches of its Brigham Young University in Hawaii, Idaho and Utah.

Church officials said no calls have been made so far and the coalition had not yet decided whether to activate the inter-state phone network, the statement from Clayton said.

It's unclear what would trigger it.

There are about 770,000 Mormon church members in California.

A June letter from church President Thomas S. Monson asked California Mormons to give their time and money to pass Proposition 8.

The church holds up traditional marriage as a sacred institution ordained by God.

Mormons have been active participants in the campaign both as volunteers and financial contributors, giving an estimated 43 percent - some $8.4 million - to the Proposition 8 campaign, according to the Web site mormonsfor8.com.

The site is tracking campaign finance reports and trying to identify Mormons making individual contributions of $1,000 or more.

The church planned a satellite broadcast on Wednesday night to church buildings in California, Utah and other select locations so leaders can speak to members.

Topics will include participation in the coalition campaign and church marriage doctrine.

Besides Clayton, the broadcast is scheduled to include M. Russell Ballard and Quentin L. Cook, who are both members of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, the church's second-highest governing body.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press


What is is about these two songs that makes me smile?

Is it the catchy beats?

Is it because the team captain of my high school made us twirl our flags endlessly to them, making us "hit" a mark with each and every beat of the song?

Is it because they remind me of high school?

Who knows.... I just know that I like them both:

Another One Bites the Dust ~ Queen

Eye of the Tiger ~ Survivor

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fear Factor


The California state budget signed just last month is already in trouble because of the sinking economy and financial turmoil.

The worldwide credit crunch is endangering California's plans for what would usually be a routine 7 billion dollar loan to even out the tax flow into the state treasury.

The state is looking for options because of the tight credit markets.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is meeting with legislative leaders Wednesday to talk about what can be done. He and state legislative leaders may consider a special session this fall to deal with a new budget mess.

and if that isn't enough financial news to frustrate you:

Dow Plunges Despite Government Efforts
President Says Bailout Will Take Time

POSTED: 4:38 am PDT October 7, 2008
UPDATED: 1:17 pm PDT October 7, 2008

Wall Street has had yet another dismal day, extending its heavy losses as investors' worries about the financial sector wiped out early enthusiasm over the Federal Reserve's efforts to inject confidence into the credit markets. Trading remained fractious and grew more turbulent in the last hour, with the Dow Jones industrial average losing more than 500 points and all the major indexes falling more than 5 percent.

This latest plunge, which followed a big drop on Monday, came after Bank of America Corp. reported its third-quarter profits fell 68 percent. The market's gloom was also fed by comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who warned that the financial crisis could prolong the difficulty the economy is facing.