Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween report

Well, another Halloween has come and gone. Mike is off at a sleepover at a friend's house, and Annabelle has a friend over for a sleepover here. I'm sure everybody is eating a lot of candy tonight.

Annabelle went as Sally, the ragdoll from Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas:

And Mike was "Joe the Plumber," complete with fake plumber's crack:

It's hard to believe that this was our fourth Halloween here at Knox. It feels like we got here just the other day, but that was a long time ago. Speaking of a long time ago, here's a picture that I have shamelessly filched from my sister's MySpace page:

That's Jenny as the devil and me as a ghost with our dad. Now THAT was a looooong time ago!

It's a great pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bringing up the rear

I went to Louisville today to exchange some pants at Ann Taylor Loft (my new favorite store) and to find a fake plastic butt for Mike's Halloween costume. Can you believe I had to hit 5 Halloween specialty shops, not to mention Spencer's, before I got lucky? I've heard of trying to score some crack, but this is ridiculous!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Overheard by Mike at school today

"I really like John McCain! If I was 21 years old, I would totally vote for him."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Remember the scarf I made last winter/spring? Well, it was cold enough to wear it today (although we should be back in the 60s by Friday). I snapped a picture so that you could see it as well as my new glasses:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Vested interest

One of my projects for this summer was to teach Annabelle how to use the sewing machine. She made a really cute lined vest with a musical theme (click on the pic to zoom in and see the details)! My mom reminded me when we were in Florida earlier this month that I never got around to blogging it, but that was because thus far she hadn't gotten around to wearing it. This is Red Ribbon Week at school though, and today is dress-up day, so she chose to debut her new vest:

Pretty snazzy, no?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Gross but oddly fascinating

The other night, Mike came to me with a tiny little plant sprout that he found poking out of the drain in my bathroom sink. Weird, but not THAT weird. Then tonight, I found ANOTHER little sprout, so I pulled out the drain-stopper-thingie (I'm not sure if that's the technical term--better ask Joe the Plumber) and found 2 more of the little fellas reaching towards the light from the darkness of a good sized clog of hair:

Tomorrow I'm going to plant them in some dirt and see if I can get them to grow. I'm dying to know what sort of sink crop I was raising! Maybe it'll be a bean stalk . . .

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Getting out the vote

This morning the kids and I and a couple of Mike's friends went to New Albany, Indiana, to canvass for Obama. I was a little apprehensive, as talking politics to total strangers is NOT my idea of a good time. At this point in the campaign, however, the emphasis is on making sure that people make it to the polls to cast their ballots. So we were sent out to a low-income housing area with a 6-page list of voters, each of whom had been identified in the past as being Obama friendly. Our job was to make contact and remind the voters about early voting and see if they needed a ride to vote on Election Day.

That sounds simple enough, and we started off with a bang. Voter 1 wasn't home, but some of her family members were there, including an elderly woman who happily took a flyer and ranted a bit against Palin. Mostly what we found over the rest of the morning though was that people either weren't home or the voters we were looking for had moved. In the latter cases, a lot of the new occupants declared themselves to be supporters. In the end, we had 3 voters identify as McCain supporters, including the fellow we dubbed Naked Guy, although I'm pretty sure he was wearing underwear.

After we finished off our list, we went to IHOP for lunch. IHOP is a rare treat around here, as the nearest Kentucky location is a good 100 miles from Fort Knox.

Mike and Annabelle already had campaign shirts that I bought them when I went to Louisville earlier, but Gabe and Courtney wanted to get shirts as well, and the New Albany office wasn't selling anything. We made a quick stop in Louisville on our way home for shirts:

All in all, it was a great experience, and we're hoping to go do it again next weekend!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Trying to clean off the DVR

I'm so behind on my TV watching. I set the DVR to catch all my favorites, and it's starting to fill up. I need to watch and purge, watch and purge. Tonight Mike and Annabelle are out with friends, and it's just me and the cat and dog. I think it's time to turn off the computer and try to catch up on this season's "House."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A nice day for voting

This is one of those fall days that I suspect is the reason some people love fall. I would love fall if I didn't know the misery waiting for me on the other side of it. Winter, bah! I've been trying to get in on the fall love though, as you can see from my madd holiday decorating skillz:

I decided to take advantage of the lovely weather, so Ginger and I walked to the post office to mail my absentee ballot. I've never voted in person before--can you believe that? In 2004 I was in Germany, in 2000 I was in Hawaii, in 1996 I was in Virginia, in 1992 I was in North Carolina, and in 1988, while I was in Florida, I was away at law school in St. Petersburg. Before that I was at home but too young to vote. As a result, I have never gotten an "I voted" sticker. So I'm giving myself one here:

It's what's for breakfast

The other day I bought some pears at the commissary. They were pretty hard, so I put them in a paper bag on my counter to ripen. I was really looking forward to having one for breakfast today, but when I reached into the bag, I found that they are all still hard as rocks.

So I turned my attention to the peaches I bought at Walmart that same day. Now I know that we're well past peach season locally, but these were from California and looked just beautiful but also a little hard. This morning, however, they felt just perfect, so I cut into one . . . and found the inside was disgusting! I tossed it out in the backyard for the groundhogs (I consider the groundhog hole to be my composting system) and cut into another. It also was disgusting, so I tossed it into the yard after the first and turned my attention to the one food that never lets me down: mint chocolate-chip ice cream!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ceramic porn

There are any number of websites where one can buy Polish pottery, but Blue Rose Pottery sends a glossy catalog via snail mail. My catalog arrived today, and I can't wait to look it over in detail. I don't often order though, because just like I go to craft fairs and think, "Oh, I could make that," I look at the Blue Rose catalog and declare, "Why, I could buy that for a fraction of that price in Poland!" Except, of course, that the drive from Kentucky to Poland is really, really long. Sigh . . .

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Back to normal?

Today is the first day since we got back from vacation that I have felt really great. I don't know how one gets jetlag without switching time zones, but somehow I manage. I've been trapped in a terrible cycle of staying up way too late and then going back to sleep once the kids leave for the bus. Last night though I fell asleep so early that when the 11 p.m. bugle went off, I thought it was the 6 a.m. bugle and jumped out of bed so as to beat Mike to the bathroom. When I woke up enough to realize what time it was, I was positively overjoyed. You know how good it feels to wake up and discover you have an hour before you have to get up? Discovering you have SEVEN hours left to sleep feels at least 7 times as good.

Meanwhile, as I type this, I'm enjoying the bassoon music coming from Annabelle's room. She is now playing bassoon with the middle school band and the E'town youth orchestra, plus she just got invited to join the high school band for their winter concert, and she's continuing on with her private lessons as well. So she has plenty of music to practice! Sometimes I'll hear something especially lovely and I'll call out to her and ask what it was, and 9 times out of 10 the answer is "It's the Weissenborn!" The Weissenborn is her German-English bassoon "bible." When we say it, we pronounce the W as a V and put a lot of Germanic gusto behind it. That amuses us to no end.

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's the Political Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

These just amaze me. You know that traditional jack-o-lantern with the triangle eyes, the one that little kids like to draw? I have a tough time making one of those.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

When life gives you lemons . . .

. . . buy a new gadget! This is my new favorite kitchen toy:

I am all about fresh lemonade these days, and with my handy-dandy lemon squisher I can get a cup of juice out of 5 lemons in under 10 minutes. While I'm busy with the juice, I have a cup of sugar melting in a cup of boiling water to make simple syrup. Pour the juice and the syrup into a 2-quart pitcher and fill the rest of the way with cold water and voila!

In other food-related news, we were supposed to have fish tonight. I had a couple pounds of arctic char (think of it as a kinder, gentler salmon) soaking in Soy Vay Island Terriyaki and brussels sprouts roasting in the oven when I realized that I was completely out of jasmine rice. This, I figured, is why we let Mike get his driver's license, so I sent him up to the commissary to get some. Unfortunately, the commissary had already closed for the night, and I'm not quite ready to send him to Walmart. So I stuck the fish back in the fridge for tomorrow night, ordered a couple pizzas, and nibbled on roasted brussels sprouts while we waited (TWO HOURS) for them to arrive.

While I was waiting and "watching" them cook our pizzas, I took the Dominos poll. I am pleased to report that Obama is kicking butt in that poll. The Philly cheese steak sandwich is also doing well:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fun Saturday

My hair smells like smoke, but we had the most fun this evening! Dear friends of ours from Fred's old office were hosting a promotion party at their house, so we went there to hang out for a couple of hours. It was so nice to see our friends again, and the food was terrific! The weather has turned chilly, so they had a fire going (hence the smokey hair). I'm glad I grabbed my winter jacket at the last minute, and I was especially pleased to find a glove (just one) in the pocket.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Upside down funny for Friday

This is hysterical! People are taking pictures of dogs lounging upside down and then flipping the photos for some truly classic shots like this one:

Go here to see more! (Hat tip to Tess for finding this one.)

Edited to add: Oh, my goodness! As I was sitting here typing this post, our doorbell range 3 times. I ran downstairs and found that we had been boo'd. I'll let the kids open up the bag when they get home. This weekend we will prepare 2 boo bags of our own to deliver under cover of darkness therefore spreading the spooky fun even further. We have a really great neighborhood!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ready for the weekend

Today was remarkably unblogworthy. I went to a school board meeting this afternoon, and then took Annabelle to her youth orchestra rehearsal this evening. I stopped by Kohl's and bought Mike 2 pairs of jeans that don't fit him and then picked up supper at Panera. Now I'm watching my Thursday night shows ("The Office" is absolute genius) and hoping to get to bed at a decent hour.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Nothing to nag about

For the past couple of years, every time Annabelle mused, "What should I read next?" I helpfully replied, "The World of Henry Orient." Every time she picked up another book, I said, "You really ought to read The World of Henry Orient." It got to the point where if I so much as opened my mouth in the company of books, she would irritably cut me off with "Yes, yes, I know--The World of Henry Orient!" And now she's gone and done it. She read it. And liked it. AND I KNEW SHE WOULD IF SHE WOULD EVER GIVE IT HALF A CHANCE!

So now I have nothing left to nag Annabelle about. But . . . you! Have YOU ever read The World of Henry Orient? Wanna borrow my copy?

If you want to know what it's about, go check out Annabelle's blog. She has very kindly posted her book report.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

October resolution

I used to really like fall. When we were in college, my cousin Julie and I would literally squeal with excitement over sweater weather. It was easy to be happy about it then--we were in central Florida, and we had a couple brisk days and then everything was warm and normal again. Now, however, my hatred of winter has eclipsed my enjoyment of fall, and I think that is too bad. I noticed when we drove back up here yesterday that there's a little color to the trees, and it got me to thinking that autumn here really is pretty. So I have decided that this year I will embrace fall! I bought a bag of funny-shaped gourds at the commissary today to put on my table in a basket, and I might even get a pot or 2 of mums for the porch.

I still reserve the right, however, to whine like a big dog about winter.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Oh, Auntie Em!

We had a great fall break, but it sure feels nice to be home again. It was odd though to walk in tonight and find my pre-trip to-do list sitting on the kitchen counter. All that preparation, and now it's over.

We spent last night in Alabama visiting with Fred's folks. Today on our way north, we took a detour and drove through Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to take a quick look at Middle Tennessee State. They supposedly have a really excellent music production program, which is one of Mike's interests. It looked like a nice campus, and we will have to go back sometime for a more in-depth visit (one in which we actually get out of the car).

We rolled into the driveway at about 7 p.m. tonight, and by 7:30 we had everything unloaded and unpacked (keep in mind that "unpacked" and "put away" are very different concepts). Mike did his first solo drive--up to the store for milk.

I've got my laptop set back up on my bed, and I thought I would spend the evening catching up on some of my Internet surfing, but right now even that feels too much like work. So instead I think I shall put the computer away and turn on the TV and see what the TiFaux recorded while I was away.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Preparing for takeoff

The car is just about packed, and we should be on the road within an hour. I figured I would go ahead and blog now so that I don't have to worry about signing on from Alabama tonight. We've had a great time in Florida, but it has gone by way too fast!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Florida--Saturday (again)

We capped off our Florida visit with a trip this evening to Bellini's with my parents, Jenny, Jeff, Grandma, and Dave:

Now we're finishing off a DVD we started earlier, and then we need to finish packing. It's almost time to start counting down to our spring break trip to Florida (I hope)!

Friday, October 10, 2008


Wow, have we really been here a week already?

Today was supposed to be our daytrip to St. Augustine, but after back-to-back trips to Gainesville and Orlando (and not getting home from the latter until around midnight), we were just too exhausted. So instead we took it easy and hung out around the house all morning. In the afternoon, we took Annabelle to watch the DHS homecoming parade since her friend Karen was in it. The girls wound up getting to walk most of the parade route together!

This evening Fred and I went to the pre-game party for my twenty-fifth high-school reunion. I was a little nervous, but it was a lot of fun! Tomorrow we're all going to the family cookout at DeLeon Springs for lunch, and then tomorrow night we're meeting my grandparents for a final visit to Bellini's.

And then . . . GASP! . . . it'll be time to pack up and start the long drive home the next day.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Busy day today! UF was great, and today is UCF. First though, there's a cuban sandwich in my future. And then there'll be Thai food tonight followed by a movie as we kill time waiting for Fred's flight to arrive. We won't be home until well after midnight, so I'm taking care of my blogging early.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I'm going ahead and blogging now, because the rest of the day will be crazy-busy. We're in the thick of college-looking right now--Mike visited a class at Stetson yesterday--and we'll be spending the afternoon touring UF in Gainesville. When we get home, it'll be time to grab a bite to eat, and then I have class (online) from 8 to 9:30. I can't believe how fast our time in Florida is flying by!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


One of our favorite parlor games is sitting around pondering who plays us in the movie. I long ago claimed dibs on Tina Fey to play me. So now that Tina is getting rave reviews portraying Sarah Palin, I thought I would try my hand at Tina/Sarah. Annabelle taped it with her MacBook and uploaded it to her YouTube account:

Say it ain't so, Joe!

Worth 13 minutes of your time

Keating Economics: John McCain and the Making of a Financial Crisis:

Monday, October 06, 2008


Remember a little over a year ago when I posted this pic of Mike with his brand new learners permit?

If I weren't so lazy, I would be posting a similar photo today of him with his unrestricted license. Maybe tomorrow. But yay for Mike for passing on the first try! That's better than I did. I flunked on my sixteenth birthday and when I tried again a week later, I got the same humorless examiner, who totaled up my points and then totaled them up again and said, "Well, Miss Boyd. According to the numbers you passed. But I still don't think you're that hot."

I just got back from a delicious supper with my friend Cathy, and now we're getting ready to pop in a DVD.

Edited to add: OK, I've been shamed into getting up and getting a picture. Specifically, my father advised me to make sure to get a good shot of Mike's high school graduation so that I could use it 4 years later when I blog his college graduation. So here's the happy boy and his ticket to freedom:

Sunday, October 05, 2008


We went to Orlando today and met our friends Hal and Desiree for a dog party at their house. While the grownup humans sat around drinking margaritas and visiting, the kids jumped in the pool. Ginger couldn't resist jumping in for the occasional dip herself:

After her swim, Ginger dried off by rolling in the bushes:

Then she and Dez's dog Panda had a spirited game of tag around the pool:

Ginger was one tired puppy by the end of the afternoon:

The dogs stayed behind for a nap while the humans went out for Indian food.

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Today was a welcome break after all the driving of the past couple days and the week of trip prep that came before. We were all about banana pudding and movies, mostly of the 1980s variety. We watched the DVD of Annabelle's "Beauty and the Beast" show this morning, "War Games" this afternoon, and "Breakfast Club" this evening.

Snaps to Mike's friend Mark for retrieving Mike's retainers from his room and to my neighbor Sandy for overnighting them to us!

Friday, October 03, 2008


We're here! The drive wasn't too bad all things considered. We pulled in around 5:30, and by 6:30 we were off to Bellini's for supper. I am planning on eating my way through the upcoming week with Bellini's on either end--hot roast beef and cheese tonight, manicotti next Saturday.

Tonight we watched the Ft. Knox/Ft. Campbell football game online. Unfortunately it did NOT go well for Knox, but it was cool to be able to watch the game from 800 miles away.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Next post from Florida!

I've got 4 and a half hours until I pick up the kids so that they can change clothes and we can hit the road. I've still got a long to-do list, but a lot of it is just little stuff (like setting the DVR to stop recording "Daily Show" and "Colbert Report."

One complication is that our heat is broken, which I discovered last night at 10 o'clock and 70 degrees. I'm going to call Knox Hills at 8 when they open and see if they can get somebody here this morning. I just worry about coming home in mid-October to an unheated house. Brrrrrr!

OK, time to start crossing stuff off the final list!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Putting the college in War College

Fred is managing to have a pretty good time in Pennsylvania. Last weekend was the annual Air/Shipwreck Ball. I'm kind of fuzzy on the details, but it doesn't seem like any ball I've ever been to. Here's a picture from part of the festivities (see Fred on the boat?):

Actually, come to think of it, that looks like way more fun than any ball I've ever been to!