Hello Weenie

Last year my brother had a blog and instructed me NOT to blog about Halloween. Then he got high on Kit-Kat’s and told me to go for it. Then he woke up with a sugar hangover, checked my blog, and sent me a nasty text. I’d HEARD about nasty texts, but frankly I don’t see what the big deal is.

THIS year, my brother does not have a blog. But he does have a flicker account where you can go and see what he spent his Halloween doing. Let’s just say – boys are weird.

Speaking of weird boys – JD took a few photographs, emphasis on FEW.

A bumble bee. One might mistake her for a WORKER bee. Emphasis on MISTAKE.

A Pink Lady. She’s not actually old enough to watch Grease, but I filled her in on all the good parts.

RimFire: I’ve only heard of Rizzo.

Me: Yeah, she’s the mean one. Then there’s Frenchie the hairdresser, uh…oh, oh, and SANDY. She’s super sweet, and really nice, and very kind.

RimFire: I think I’ll stick with Rizzo.

I stayed home and passed out candy while AmmoGuy and JD took the girls for candy. They came home with a bucket EACH. Now I’m going to have to go and inspect each and every piece for needles, poison, and suspicious packaging. Especially those Reese’s Cups. They look TOTALLY suspicious.

Holy Sunday

I have an embarrassing confession to make. Today I cleaned our bookshelves, and even though we own FOURTEEN bibles, I’ve never actually read one the whole way through. Pathetic, I know.

14 bibles and an entire shelf full of Christian topics like fasting, fear, money, abortion, and by authors like Lucado, Piper, Alcorn, and NYSEWANDER, and yet I’m the girl saying, “You know that thing in the bible about what good would it be to love people that are easy to love? It’s in there somewhere, look around.”

So despite the fact that I have a brand new NOOK and can instantly download books without shipping, I’m refusing to read another book, Christian, fiction, or non-fiction, until I finish reading the entire bible from cover to cover.

Who’s with me? I have one or thirteen you can borrow.

A Tale of Two Field-trips

The MoonPie went on her first, public school field-trip today. At least that’s what she SAID she did with the $8.00 I gave her. Supposedly, she and 100 other 3rd graders took a couple of buses to a GOLD museum. Which doesn’t explain why she came home all excited about petting a horse, a goat and a pig. What kind of daughter have I raised when GOLD is not enough to get excited? Hasn’t she heard all of the Goldline commercials? A good day of panning could set us for life. Or at least pay our mortgage for a month.

Ironically enough, while she was out mining for gold, so was I. At the bridge table. Louise, the lady I played with several weeks ago, called me this week and asked if I wanted to play. The local club was having a special game with “gold” points available. When you play bridge at a local club, the points are usually “black”. You get “silver” points for winning at sectional tournaments, “red” for regional, and “gold” for overall placings and section tops at regional events. Are you still awake? Let’s put it this way, gold points are hard to come by. And it matters because it takes 300 points to be a Life Master and of those 300, 50 have to be silver, 25 gold, and 25 red. SEE? It’s vitally important!!

Luckily, we won 1st in our bracket. The fact that our bracket was poor is beside the fact. I won 1 black point and .06 GOLD. Combined with my previous gold points from playing bridge for 8 years, I now have .07 gold! Almost a tenth of a point of gold and I didn’t have to touch a pig.

I think we all know who had the best field-trip. Sweet!

If You Don’t Use It

I used to be an Activities Director at a retirement community. I LOVED working with the elderly, but I noticed a disturbing trend. The moment they moved in to the community, they forgot every skill they no longer needed. This was INDEPENDENT living, and most all of these people moved straight from their own home, where they’d been living alone. Day Two would go like this:

(Ring, Ring) Me: Hello?

Senior: Hello, This is Sally Ellison in apartment 2120. Can you please come and flush my toilet?

Me: I’ll send John right up.

I mean, they would be awesome, active people. They played bridge, went on trips, balanced their checkbooks, but if there was someone around to do the job FOR them, they’d pass. Not everyone obviously, but enough to annoy me. Okay, maybe just that one lady, that one time, but I’m easily annoyed.

Anyway, I used to work in Atlanta. I worked for writers off Freedom Parkway, photo labs on 10th, and a photographer in Buckhead. Then I moved to the suburbs and suddenly I’m like, ME? Drive to Atlanta? But that would entail the IN-TER-STATE.  I am Granny Grunt, driving 30 miles an hour in the fast lane with my blinker on for 12 miles.

What happened? I don’t know, but it’s scary. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t have a lot of skills left to lose. I’m pretty much down to sarcasm and turning on the TV, and that remote is starting to mess with my head.

You may have too much stuff when…

you are thinking that a tornado hitting your house would not be the worst idea.

Okay, I’m sure that’s insensitive since people have actually HAD their houses hit, but I really was weighing my options of packing up all my stuff or just throwing it away when I thought, “What IF the Lord just dispersed it for me?” I mentally thought of what I’d grab and take into the basement and really all I could think of was MoonPie’s teddy bear. And MoonPie, of course.

I’m over all of the junk in my house – the cheap, yard-sale crap I’ve brought in over the years, the out-of-date clothes, the dusty books – less is more! The problem is if I get RID of everything that I have that doesn’t fit, I’ll be sitting in an empty house wrapped in my Snuggie.

Wouldn’t it be nice to throw everything in your closet away and start over? Here’s what I’m thinking I would need. Well, not NEED really, but would be happy with.

2 pairs of good fitting jeans

1 pair of khakis

1 black suit

1 black dress

1 white dress-shirt

3 solid t-shirts in white, black and red

3 dress shirts, big enough to hide my ever-expanding waistline

2 cable knit sweaters

I might be boring and predictable, but it would be awesome not having to worry about what to wear. That’s it – I’m going to do it. This Saturday is clean-up, pack-up, throw-away time!

Unless there’s a tornado warning. Then I’m going to wait it out. No sense doing all that work for nothing.

A Lesson in Perseverence

In 2009, MP rode in her first horse show. She was scared to death, with a belly full of butterflies, but she did it. It just happened to be the last show of the year, and they combined it with the year-end award ceremony. MP rode well, got through it and settled in to watch the awards. You have to ride in at least two shows to win, so she was one of the few people who didn’t qualify.

THIS year, they combined the Fall Festival with the awards ceremony. Because MP had competed in THREE shows, she was sure to win something in her division! Try Foxberry Riding Academy 2010 Champion!

Her instructor, Miss Kim, was very encouraging about how MP’s skills have improved. I should say so! Last week, when her lesson was finished, Miss Kim came walking up to me. I’d heard her yelling instructions to MP and the other girls, but frankly, I hadn’t been paying attention. I’d be talking to the other mom’s and enjoying the beautiful weather. Anyway, I noticed that Miss Kim was looking a little frazzled. So I asked if she was okay?

Ummm. It seems that MP was riding a new horse, Chester, and asked him to canter. Because MP’s legs weren’t tight against the horse, they began to flop up and down against Chester’s sides. So he’s like, “What the shezizzle?” and starts going faster. Which causes MP’s legs to bounce even HARDER. Chester is looking at her like, “Oh no you DIDn’t!” and continues to fly around the arena. I don’t know WHY Chester speaks like SnoopDog, but he does. So around and around he’s going and MP is hanging on for dear life. Her feet come out of the stirrups which is NOT GOOD, and her eye glasses are half way down her face. She’s got one hand on the saddle and the other hand around the reins. Miss Kim is about to have a heart attack and is screaming, “PULL THE REINS!” Finally, MP pulls Chester to a stop, looks over at Miss Kim and says with a smile, “That was CRAZY!”

This might explain why Miss Kim was praying for rain this week.

The bottom line is that MP is really into horses and is gaining confidence every week. Pretty soon she’ll be ready to lease her very OWN horse.

I have seen the future. And it’s very expensive.

Moron Test Kitchen – Halloween Edition

Two for ONE!

The MoonPie got invited to a Fall Festival (and by Fall Festival I mean HALLOWEEN) event at the barn where she rides. Everyone was asked to bring something and I chose fruit, but then I noticed they were holding a Scary Dessert contest. Perfect! I’d been waiting on just the right occasion to make my Bloody Glass Cupcakes!

First, the glass. I don’t have pictures of this step because it’s simple and boring, so use your imagination. Combine 3 cups of sugar, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of Kyro syrup. Put it in a pan and heat to 300 degrees – also known as “Hard Crack” stage. Yeah, that’s TOTALLY what I thought hard crack meant. Anyway, dig out your candy thermometer, then realize your candy thermometer is DEAD, so dig out your meat thermometer which only goes to 225, but wing it because you can always cook it a little while longer. I’m sure that will work. And when you pour it into a buttered 9×12 pan and wait 24 hours and it STILL hasn’t hardened, throw it away and send your husband out for a new candy thermometer. Or just skip those steps in the middle, whatever works for you.

Where was I? Boil to 300 degrees, then DO NOT STIR AGAIN. Instead, take it off the heat and pour it into a buttered 9×12 pan. Let it sit and it will harden. We gave ours about 3 hours. Then we hit it repeatedly and it looked like this.

Awesome! Now make the cupcakes. I used Pillsbury and followed the directions. No big deal – just plain cupcakes with WHITE icing. I enlisted some help.

While the girls were putting the icing on the cupcakes and inserting the glass, I made the blood.

I took 1 can of cherry pie filling and pureed it. Then I put the cherries, 1/2 cup of water, 1/4 cup of fine sugar, a 1/2 tsp of lime juice, and a tablespoon of cornstarch in a pan and brought it to a boil. Then I let it cook until it was thick. Yum.

Last step was to put the blood onto the pieces of glass. Doesn’t that look scary? I was a certain winner! Moron Test Grade – hmmm. We’ll get to that.

Because I ALSO had to bring fruit – I gave JD a job.

First he cut off the bottom of a watermelon so it would sit flat, then he began to “shave” off the top portion.

He cut a deep line in the middle, then began to cut swirly lines around the sides.

Left hemisphere, right hemisphere, the temporal lobe. Delicious!

Then he carved a face into the rest of the watermelon so it looked like you were actually eating his brain while he sat there staring at you!

Moron Test Grade – Okay, it was the hit of the party. My totally awesome Bloody Glass Cupcakes got NOTHING. Not even an honorable mention. No one ate any! JD won the grand prize and, can we all agree that watermelon is not a DESSERT?

Oh well, we all had fun. Who cares if I spent 2 days cooking glass and that I have dried cherry/blood all over my counter tops? When I got home I got to deal with this –

I’m pretty sure I could win a Scariest Kitchen contest, so that’s something.

Holy Sunday

I was going to post a video and be done with it, but I decided to write about giving. It’s what I’ve been thinking and talking and reading about lately, so why not?

Last week, a friend and I were talking about how nice it would be to be known for your giving. ACTUALLY I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to go around telling people that you’re a giver, but if you have to be known as SOMETHING, it might as well be that. Am I right? The problem is that you really have to give. And while I TRY to be sensitive to the needs around me, I mean – last year we attempted the YEAR of Giving Dangerously – I’ve realized something kinda sad. I give out of excess. I can remember sitting with JD at a banquet and thinking about the check we were going to write, really pondering just HOW MUCH to give. So we wrote a check. And suffered nothing for it. We didn’t stop going out to eat, didn’tstay home from movies, nothing.

Is giving out of excess really giving? If I give away clothes that don’t fit, or a television that’s been replaced with a newer and better model, what am I doing really??? I’m cleaning out my house. And if we write a check for money we don’t miss, is it giving or just lame? Where’s the sacrifice?

The bible has a lot to say about money, including something about sacrificing the BEST, and giving the first fruits.  A friend told me about a family that keeps a jar on their table. Every time they decide to spend money on eating out or going to  a movie, they put the same amount of money in the jar. If they can’t afford to do the entertainment AND the jar, they don’t go. Then every month they donate the money to a different missionary. I think it’s a pretty cool idea. I don’t know what we’ll do, but I want to do MORE in this area.

Think you’re not rich enough to help?  Check out this link to see how you stack up against the rest of the world.


Have a great Sunday!


I’ve seen two action movies over the last few days. The first was RED, starring Bruce Willis who I love and not just because he’s bald with strong cheekbones. Okay, those are the only reasons. The movie was a definite “meh”, so you might as well wait until it’s out on DVD.

I also ordered LOSERS from NetFlix. It stars Jeffery Dean Morgan who played Denny Duquett on Grey’s Anatomy which I LOVE so he gets a thumbs up. It was a a hip and stylized movie, but still a “meh”. Is every movie now required by law to have a shot of the tough guys walking in slow motion?

We recently signed with NetFlix. It’s 8.95 a month, you get one movie at a time, AND free download streaming. Which means I can watch a movie on my computer, MoonPie can watch a different movie on her computer, and JD can watch a THIRD movie on his laptop. Three movies, three different rooms – how awesome is that? The bad news is we rarely get to see each other. But the good news is I don’t have to watch MacGruber or every episode of Horseland. I think it’s a fair trade.