Friday, December 31, 2010

11:59 pm

Happy New Year
May all your dreams come true.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


There is only ONE day left until 2011 begins.
I will make DAILY CHALLENGE goals.
I will attempt my year at NO SHOPPING.
I will cherish EVERY day.  Happy or Not.
I will live EACH day.  To the fullest.
I will SMILE.
What are your resolutions?
Your daily challenges?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

furry friends

furry friends that need food, shelter and water?
one furry friend that needs a lot of space?

Twas the night before Christmas Eve, and all through the house,
the phone was a ringing, perhaps it's my spouse.
But really who can it be?
Why it's the Hallmark Store... when you care enough to send the very best.
Yes, this is me.
Why, that is the most fantastic surprise I have ever heard of ... today.
So we jumped in the car to see what was the matter.
We arrived with a bang because we looked bedraggled of course.
Congratulations, they said.
He needs a good home. 
BUT will he fit in a "Mini"???

My darling daughter #2 is having a good luck moment.  She won this DOG in a drawing at our local Hallmark store.  All because I visited about two weeks ago in search of the "Bathroom Snowman".  BUT all I found was the "Refrigerator Snowman".  Upon my exit, I noticed a small box.  I wrote down a name and slipped it in.  Not really aware of what I was "trying" to win.  Well this GIGANTIC dog is sitting in the playroom now.  Taking up a lot of space.  Yay for FUN drawings. 

My darling daughter #1 won a pair of FIRST CLASS ROUNDTRIP TICKETS to anywhere in the WORLD that AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIES... when she was 3 years old.  My husband and I had a fabulous Eastern European Vacation ... I suppose she'll hate us when she finds out that we traveled and left her at her grandparents.  It's four years later and I still have the phone message claiming our amazing WIN.   And while we were on our trip, her grandparents wrote her name on a raffle ticket at a carnival... where they won a gigantic TV. 

So, go ahead and use daughter#2's name for any drawings you see... she just may win you something TOO.

AND Perhaps darling daughter #3 will win the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes??!! 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

City lights

Big city lights?

Small town lights?
Winter Wonderland lights?
Synchronized light and music show lights?

Here's to a sparkly 2011 !

Monday, December 27, 2010

Planes, trains, and autos...

Safe travels to all of you who are
skybound, roadbound, seabound or railbound!
And may your destination be a journey...
or a return to home sweet home.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Acorns or bust?

Enjoying the simple things...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all!
from our home to yours...
may you have a joyous holiday season...
see you next year!

Best Wishes for 2011
Don't get stuck in a rut...
or a chimney!

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

Jingle all the way!

Hoping SANTA brought you something special!
Have a fabulous Christmas Day!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the TWELFTH day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
Eleven crackers popping
Ten miles running
Nine crockpotting meals
Eight hands for cleaning
Seven stockings hanging
Six bottles of wine
Five carats gem
Four suggestions
Three pixies
Two chocolates
And a holiday memory

Yahoo!  It's Christmas Eve!  I cannot wait to jump in bed and wake up to a morning of new memories, laughter, happy faces, sunshiny skies, warm phone voices, savory smells of hot syrup, and LOVE!

May you all have a Magical Christmas!

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the ELEVENTH day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
Ten miles running
Nine crockpotting meals
Eight hands for cleaning
Seven stockings hanging 
Six bottles of wine
Five carats gem
Four suggestions
Three pixies
Two chocolates
And a holiday memory

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the TENTH day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
Nine crockpotting meals
Eight hands for cleaning
Seven stockings hanging
Six bottles of wine
Five carats gem
Four suggestions
Three pixies
Two chocolates
And a holiday memory

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the NINTH day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ...
Eight hands for cleaning
Seven stockings hanging
Six bottles of wine
Five carats gem
Four suggestions
Three pixies
Two chocolates
And a holiday memory
* because I absolutely LOVE the crockpot!
Try this recipe:

Crustless Pumpkin Pie
1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Bisquik-type mix (try Pamela's baking mix for Gluten-free)
2 eggs
2 T butter, melted
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp ginger
2 tsp vanilla extract

The Directions:
4 quart crockpot and it was the perfect size according to the timed directions.  If you only have a larger sized crockpot, use it, but the batter will spread out even more and it will cook faster.  Do not use a smaller one, it will take a very long time to cook.  Plan accordingly. 

Spray cooking spray into your crockpot.

Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients, and whisk until fully blended.  No need to use a mixer.

Pour the batter into the prepared crockpot.
Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for about 6 hours.  (This is with the 4 quart crockpot).
Chech your "pie" after 2 hours on high, and 3 hours on low, then check every 30 minutes. 

When fully cooked, the pie will look just like a finished pumpkin pie.  The batter will have browned and will crack in a few places.  The center will have set enough for you to touch it without getting batter on your finger.

Let sit in crockpot until room temperature, then spoon into serving dishes and top with whipped cream.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the EIGHTH day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ...
Seven stockings hanging
Six bottles of wine
Five carats gem
Four suggestions
Three pixies
Two chocolates
And a holiday memory

Hooked on Holidays

A few of my favorite things:

Roasting Marshmallows is so much sweeter than roasting chestnuts!

Christmas Palms in the midst of bare trees!

Festive Cacti

Incredible pines with a hovering full moon

and Illuminated full moons

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the SEVENTH day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ...
Six bottles of wine
Five carats gem
Four suggestions
Three pixies
Two chocolates
And a holiday memory

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the SIXTH day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ...
Five carats gem
Four suggestions
Three pixies
Two chocolates
And a holiday memory

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the FIFTH day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ...
Four suggestions
Three pixies
Two chocolates
And a holiday memory

PS this promise ring is from my daughter's little friend... and it can be purchased at Claire's -- in the mall.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the FOURTH day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ...
Three pixies
Two chocolates
And a holiday memory

* And all suggestions resulted in:
{1.  No; 2.  No; 3.  No; 4.  And a  h*#$ No}

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the THIRD day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ...
Two Chocolates
And a holiday memory

* a.k.a. parent goggles

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the SECOND day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ...
And a holiday memory

* Oh, because two is sweeter than one!
* And, that true love will probably eat the second!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the FIRST day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ...

* because we all know how difficult it is to get one person to smile.  Times 5.
{CC, Thank you for the beautiful photograph memories}

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thought of the Day

It is finally the weekend and ...
This pretty much sums up my thoughts for the day!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Early Dementia?

Signs that I am losing it:

1.  I told a mommy friend that we would meet her after "hockey" practice. 
Well, as far as I know, nobody in my family plays HOCKEY.  I don't even think it is hockey season.  I cannot even imagine where the word hockey surfaced from inside my brain?!  I was not even thinking about hockey.  The word just blurted out.

2.  I did an oversized load of darks.
Except I forgot to add the clothes.

3.  A friendly stranger asked me, "What is your baby's name?!"
With a serious straightface, I replied, "PEARL".  And although it may be her middle name, we don't even remotely refer to Alexandra as "Pearl"... we occasionally call her "Alex"!

4.  I wrote the date September 27, 2010 on a check yesterday.
The cashier kindly told me that I could not backdate a check by ten weeks.  So now I ask where have the last three months gone??

5.  After the cashier told me the exact date that we are currently on, I called "V's" school to see if I paid tuition this month because I could not believe that it was already the 10th of December. 
So, the lovely lady that answers the school phone informed me that I actually paid twice this past week... and would I like the second check to cover January's tuition?

6.  I took my Little "P" to her fun day school on Wednesday.
The school director smiled and politely reminded me that I was a day early.  But they indeed looked forward to seeing Little "P" the following morning ... at 9:00 am. 

7.  Currently I do not have a watch so I am usually early or late.  Never on time.  On Monday, I was really early -- by two months to be exact -- for a dental appointment. 
I was humiliated.  I have spent the week contemplating and fighting the urge to find a new dentist. 

Could this "mommy brain fog" be a post-partum issue?
Doesn't it go away?
Is it the lack of sleep?
Is it anxiety?
Is it dementia?
Is my plate too full?

I am seriously thinking about POAS (for those of you who don't know this acronym:  peeing on a stick) -- I lose my brain when I fall pregnant.  But surely that cannot be it.  In fact, there is pretty much no way that can be it!!  Well, I must go and finish that bottle of Pinot before I think any further about POAS. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Implosion Explosion

Sunday morning, at 8:00 am, the community hosted a big event for our still sleepy city of Fort Worth -- home to Texas Christian University.  People gathered along the road blocks with steaming hot coffee because the temps were sitting at 33 degrees.  Ladies donned scarves, heavy jackets (heavy for Texas) and boots {most clothing - purple in color}.  Men huddled.  Children ran around.   Dogs in sweaters compliantly sat.

The Football Stadium came tumbling down...
The big purple castle in the sky exploded...

And After:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

a man in uniform

Today started like any regular, normal, ordinary day in the "T" household.  One attending full-day school, one napping, one working, one day-dreaming and one playing.

The doorbell rang.
Which in itself is an oddity.  Since we were doorbell-less for nine years.  Something about "cutting" the wrong wires when I was cleaning.  Yeah, don't ask!  In those nine years, we didn't miss the bell.  Really.  So, when it does chime I barely recognize it.  Usually I think it is the kids playing with their electronic toys.   And since the wire mishap in 2001, technology has advanced itself in the form of WIRELESS DOORBELLS.  Yipee!!  We have been saved from a big re-wiring project that involved crawling around in a one-hundred degree attic!

So, the wireless doorbell chimed.

And it was Mr. Fed-Ex.

Since I was armed with 3 month old baby, Mr. Fed-Ex offered to bring my boxes inside the foyer (new testing shoes have arrived; one for walking and one for running!!)  And that is when it happened!

"P" came around the corner to see who was "visiting".  She had been playing whatever it is two year olds play ... not sure she even realized what she was playing. 

Mr. Fed-Ex:  "Well, NOW, I have SEEN everything!"

Me:  "Yeah, well, I uhhh...."

Mr. Fed-Ex:  "This is great."

Me:  (silently) "Could it get any worse?" 

Mr. Fed-Ex:  "My sister-in-law is pregnant, do you mind if I take your daughter's picture and send it to her?"

Me:  "Go ahead.  I am not sure if I should be embarrassed or not?!"

Mr. Fed-Ex:  "This has made my day."

"P" is sporting her ball-baby-belly; announcing to Mr. Fed-Ex that she has tummy-sick and she goes to her pretend kitchen sink and vomits. 

Me:  I smiled as if to say that this play was exactly what happens daily in our house.
(internal conversation) "Glad it made someone's day because I am in dire need of a double shot {espresso, people}!" 

Toddler Lesson #1938:  one can never quite know what to expect from a precocious personality.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Run, Penguin, Run!

I love this fun run. 
I really love the trophies:  Penguins!

So, it was my oldest daughter's debut at her first chip timed race of two miles.  She was competing for a trophy and not the everyone-who-finishes ribbon.  Her nerves really kicked in before the race since we had not really been practicing our daily runs.  More like a couple-of-times-a-week runs.

The weather was perfect for a morning race.  Even my little "P" competed in the 1K and she ran the entire (.6) mile.  At the end, she started waving to the cheering bystanders.  She had so much fun.  She did not even consider riding as I strolled along-side (behind) her.

Little "P" finished in 10:17 !  Wow !  Well, we (the parent goggles) thought it was Wow !

Little "P" finishing the race and receiving her RIBBON !

And here comes "V" !  She kicked it in at the end to finish in 18:52 according to her chip!  The photo is a lot blurry because it was so exciting to see her round the corner and race toward the finish line in a much faster anticipated time (I was counting on 21 minutes ... she "showed" me!) that I was jumping all around with fast cheery hands!

And the Results are IN:
"V" placed 2ND in her age group !!

PS  this winning photo is a lot blurry because her dad was soooo excited that she placed in her first timed race ever!  His hands were all shaky from proudness!  Husband is a serious runner (may have bragged about his running talent a lot before...) with sub-18 minute PR 5Ks; sub-36 minute PR 10Ks; sub-2:46 PR marathons!  With those PR times ... I can boast!  Can't I??

Monday, December 6, 2010

odds and ends...

The end of something is always the beginning of something else.  How profound!

I traded in my pom-poms for running shoes.    
(Shhhh!  Don't tell "XXXX"  because I test shoes for another shoe manufacturer.) 
I traded in my retirement fund for stay-at-home fun.
I traded in my late evenings for early mornings. 
I traded in my soccer sprints for long distance jaunts. 

And I don't regret any bit of my life.

Once upon a time, I ran a fabulous Millennium marathon in New Zealand.  I met some co-runners that became friends.  Acquaintances, at least.  And five years later, I ran into a fellow NZ marathon runner in New Orleans -- of all places!!!  What a coincidence!  It was the first time in my whole entire life that I had "happened" into someone in a place that neither one of us was a resident.  We were both visiting from different states. 

So, my once-in-a-lifetime coincidence sort of happened AGAIN.  The only difference was that I was in my home state.  But surely, this thing cannot sort of happen again.
Only too bad for me ... it did!!
An EX -- standing front and center -- waiting for the run's starter gun to sound into the atmosphere.  I'm positive it is HIM.  Although it has probably been 16 years.  More or Less.  16 years. 5 months. 1 week.  And 3 days.  Since we walked in opposite directions.  Neither one of us turned around to watch the other one go. 

How can I hide?
I am really not in the mood for idle chit-chat, catching-up, grandiosity or introductions. 

I hunkered down in a mob of runners as if to tighten my laces.  Certainly I look different.  Hopefully, unrecognizable?
short hair vs. long hair.
lighter hair vs. darker hair.
glasses vs. lasik
him vs. husband-at-hand
single vs. armed-with-children

And at that moment, HE looked up ... HE directly looked at me as I stood up from fake-lacing ... HE met my gaze ... OHHHHH SHIT ... HE KNOWS IT'S ME. 
Wait, maybe not.  Perhaps, he never had lasik and he cannot 'really' see me?!
And why is HE running???
He wasn't a runner.  When did he start running?  Why would he be running in my hometown?  Why is he here - here?
AND for the record, he still isn't a runner.

Saved by the starter gun.
Mile one.  check.
Mile two.  check.
Mile three.  check.
One-tenth of a mile.  check.
Water station.

Bib #382 approaches from the wings.  Closer.  My name is being called.  Shouted.  Screamed.  And I am oblivious.  Cannot even hear it - really.  Must be meant for someone else.  This positively cannot be who I think it may be.  But, in reality, it is!

Ex:  "Hey, don't I know you?"
Me:  Blank look.
Ex:  "Hey, Melissa, it's me, a$$hole."
Me:  Another blank look.
Ex:  "Aren't you, Melissa?"
Me:  Turning up fake hearing aid; "I thorry, I not Anissa."
Ex:  Blank look in return.
Ex:  "Huh?"
Me:  Blank look.
Ex:  Now shouting because it will solve my deaf problem, "Seriously, aren't you Melissa?"
Me:  Furiously signing. 
Ex:  "What the h#@% is going on? I just wanted to say hi."
Me:  Turning up fake hearing aid some more.  Signing nothing relevant. 
Ex:  "Ugh, well, sorry."
Me:  Big sigh of relief.

Thank you God for giving me this peculiar talent of signing and using my "deaf" voice!  So weird!  But totally feeling appreciative!  And thank you God for giving me a supportive husband who plays along perfectly with my deaf-play as he fake-signs back to me!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

cleanliness is a state of mind


My new DIY project that I would like to explore is "Soap Making". 

How fun would it be to make your own soap?  Would my children want to "wash" their hands more often if they participated in soap-making?  Does homemade soap possess the same effectiveness as storebought?  And most importantly, will DIY soap be "cute"? 

Based on past DIY experiences, I think I will begin "soap making" from a kit.  Not from scratch.  And I will not break a microwave, blow a burner, or create some unforgivable, unmanageable mess. 

I want to make these:

Wish me luck!