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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Happy Birthday ...

to my nephew - the infamous Isaac!

I can't believe it has been 2 years already!





Enjoy your family birthday party tonight!

And I hope that Mommy picked out a "fun" present for you from Aunt Beth !!

Note: Yes, I took the easy way out - sent money and made Mommy do the shopping !!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Which One Would You Like To Wear To Work Today?






















Wear One Proudly !!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fun Monday #9 - Why Do You Blog

Many apologies for this being so jumbled (and vague) but time has gotten away from me today. Long day at work and some errands (stupid washing machine) I had to run. It is almost 10:00 and I haven't seen "dinner" yet - at this point, why bother?

PB&J will probably do the trick (AGAIN)!!




Lisa at Lisa's Chaos is this week's host. Her assignment is:

I’d like to know more about you, what makes you tick. I’d like to know how you started blogging. Did you keep a diary under lock and key safely hidden as a child? Do you still? Do you share the same things on your blog that you would have, or do, in your diary? Why did you start blogging and why do you continue? May as well throw in any roadblocks you have run into while blogging. If you still have your old diaries we’d love to see them.

* What makes me tick - I'm too tired to even attempt this one, so it will have to wait for another time. One thing I will add though is that I am too tough on myself (so I am told). Others seem to notice "what I have done (or accomplished) in my life" I always seem to dwell on the things that "have gone wrong" or what I haven't done. My self-esteem has improved somewhat but it still needs a lot of work.

* I started blogging at the urging of my youngest sister . She let me know what she was doing (her blog). I would check daily. Then I would check the people on her blog list daily. Finally, I said "What the Hell?" and started one myself. I had (and still have) bigger plans for it, but it consumes a lot of time (that I don't seem to have most days). My thoughts and ideas don't flow as easily as her's do. I struggle with ideas - I'm not as creative BUT I shall not give up - I will get there some day!!

* Diary? I don't recall keeping one as a teenager, but do keep somewhat of a journal at the present time. I have had a lot of ups and downs in the last say, 10-15 years that really screwed me up (emotionally) for a while. The journal was (is) a way to keep things in check (see 1st * above). Basically, I look back from time to time to remind myself that I'm not a total failure in all things called "Life". And NO I don't share some of the things that I write (or have written) with the Blogosphere. Some maybe, but not most.

* I started blogging to keep in touch with family who "aren't right up the road". SJ is in CO and now my parents are too. Mom and Dad read (and never comment) but I know they are there. Also, the other sister (who comments anonymously) lives an hour down the road and she reads too. I work outside of the home, she doesn't - so I share with her also because there isn't always time for the "quick" phone call. I don't think any of my brothers read - but they could if they wanted too!!

Even as important as family, I still blog to keep "in touch" with all the "blogger friends" that I have found out there. I have met one in person (other than the obvious) and hope to meet some more soon. And not just in the good 'ole USA either! Because of the Secret Swaps, I have made a blog friend in the UK, another in Ireland and yet another in Canada!! There are many that I read every day - just to keep up with what is going on in their lives. I laugh out loud and sometimes tears come to my eyes and sometimes posts just make me think. I don't always comment, but I do read ...

* Roadblocks - TIME and the feeling that what I post is boring ... PLUS I don't have a clue what I am doing most of the time, hence, no bells or whistles or bling on my site. I can type and download pictures but that is about the extent of my ability.

If you are still here ... go check out Lisa's Chaos for all of the other (timely) participants. It will take me days to check them all out myself - BUT I WILL !

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Highway Robbery

Yesterday, as I was looking at the Weekend Section of the local newspaper, I came upon the listings of upcoming performances for a local venue in Northern Virginia called the Birchmere. I saw that Michael Bolton was scheduled for a performance on September 20th.

Back in the day (yes, I am older than most of you that might possibly read), I was a BIG Michael Bolton fan. I went to his concert when Celine Dion opened for him at the now non-existent Capital Centre. I went to his concert with Wynonna at the Nissan Pavilion (which by the way, was very entertaining - country and pop put together - I had my doubts at first but they pulled it off rather well.) I even dragged my little sis to a charity softball game in Washington, DC between the Bolton Bombers and a local Radio station. There were other concerts in between (just can't remember where and with who!).

These were all before he cut his hair!!

Most recently, I saw him perform at the 2006 rehearsal for "A Capitol Fourth" which is held every year in Washington, DC on the 4th of July. That was completely by accident - I had no idea who was performing until after we got to the rehearsal.



Anyways, I have gotten older and he is no longer "an object of my affection". He has gotten older and his popularity is no more. But, I thought this could be a trip back down memory lane, so I checked out the site to see how much the tickets cost. I figured that $25 - $30 was a fair price to go back in the past for a night. (plus it would be a night out which I don't have many of any more). Imagine my surprise when a ticket cost $100. A Freakin $100.00 !!! I don't think so !! For that price, he would have to do A LOT more for me than just sing. And, frankly, I'm just not interested anymore !!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday Nite Thunder

15 weeks ago, I started bowling on a summer league. The next morning, I couldn't move! People ... it had been at least 8 years since I had picked up a bowling ball and bowled 3 games in a row one night a week ! My shoes are probably considered antique and my ball, well, is one of those Columbia Yellow Dots that I don't think anyone uses anymore. Plain black with a yellow dot and my name is engraved into it. With 3 regular holes drilled in it! (Lots of folks nowadays use a finger tip ball). I was rather embarrassed each time I set it in the rack because everyone else's looked so pretty - all swirly in color or all shiny and such. Some people even have bowling balls that are clear and have things suspended inside of them! I remember seeing a skull in one and dice in another. Mine has big gouges in it - looks pretty sad ... but why get a new one when I bowl like crap whether the ball is old or new?

On the first night, you have to pick a team name - ours was "It's All Relative" Why? Because we are all related (I can hear the groaning - give us a break!) ... me, my son, my daughter-in-law and my sister.

The first night I bowled 98/130/112. The last night I bowled 135/120/135. A little bit of improvement, but NOT MUCH .

Today was the night that we received our monetary awards. 10 teams and we came in 7th. Hey, at least it wasn't last. $180 for the team (4 people - $45 each) Not too shabby for a summer league and being down near the bottom. We got a team award too -imagine that? 1st place for High Team Handicap Game - 995 (that's total pinfall plus handicap for the 4 of us combined). The rest of my team probably carried me that night because I bowl like crap on most games. I have no skill - I have no talent - if I get a strike - it's by accident, not a result of my skilled talent. Son and sister are pretty consistent and put me to shame each and every time. DIL improved her average by 12.95 pins. Me ... enough said.

I am rather proud of my team though - they each got at least one individual award. Sister got Most Improved Average for a Female - plus 15.7 pins (152 to 167.07) - AND she got 1st place for Female High Series Scratch - 590 (total pinfall count - no handicap). Son got 1st place for Male High Handicap Series - 812. DIL got 2nd place for Female High Handicap Series - 737. We all have a little extra money in our pockets tonight!

I didn't get any individual award because I SUCK at bowling. But, it was fun and I enjoyed the socializing and such. I got to meet a lot of nice people (except for one team that eventually quit [many complaints from the other bowlers] - they brought their 3 young children with them and let them run wild and they stunk (literally) - they were some dirty, unkempt and disgusting folks - I've seen homeless people roaming the streets with better hygiene).

Plus, I got to see my granddaughter each week - tonight included ...



It's hard to believe she is 5 months old already and has 2 little teeth trying to find their way through her gums. She smiles and makes giggly noises all the time - except for this moment ...



when she was just too busy playing with her feet!

I have my Thursday nights back ... that is until Grey's Anatomy comes back on for a new season. I've so missed McDreamy !! What will they come up with now that Addison and Dr. Burke are gone?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - When Graphic Artists Get Bored ...










Sunday, August 19, 2007

Fun Monday #8 - White Lies

This week's host is theotherbear at uncaringbear This is what she has asked us to do:

Share with us a little white lie that you may, or may not, have gotten away with. Perhaps it's something more sinister than a little white lie - maybe even a deep dark secret that you've kept buried for years! All the better! Now's your chance to get it off your chest and confess: "Yes, I did eat that last slice of cheese cake", "No, I wasn't washing my hair that Saturday", "Those pants do make you look fat"!

There IS a little white lie that I often tell.

When I meet someone new, and the conversation turns to my life events, I am not always honest about my wedding date. I will tell them it was December 5, 1975.

This is not the truth !!

It keeps people from judging me before they even have the chance to get to know me.

What I will tell you next is not a family secret - they all know - even my oldest son.

In reality, I got married on December 5, 1976 - about a month and a half after my son was born on October 18, 1976.

And just so you know ... I wasn't forced to get married, it was my choice. It was what I wanted to do (at the time ...if only I had known what the future would bring).

One date that I never tell a white lie about is JANUARY 5th, 1989 - the day my divorce became final !!

Make sure you stop by and visit theotherbear and find out what other's little white lies (or dirty little secrets) are.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday Silliness

Big People Words!

A group of kindergartners were trying very hard to become accustomed to the first grade. The biggest hurdle was that the teacher insisted on NO baby talk!

You need to use "Big People" words, she was always reminding them.

She asked Chris what he had done over the weekend. "I went to visit my Nana." "No, you went to visit your GRANDMOTHER. Use "Big People" words!"

She then asked Mitchell what he had done. "I took a ride on choo choo." She said "No, you took a ride on a TRAIN. You must remember to use "Big People" words."

She then asked little Alec what he had done. "I read a book," he replied. "That's WONDERFUL! the teacher said. "What book did you read?" Alec thought real hard about it, then puffed out his chest with great pride, and said, "Winnie the SHIT."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Wedding Tradition Gone Bad?

As it turns out many years later ... Maybe for her ... but not for me !!

This upcoming tale sounds a little freaky but I assure you THAT IT IS THE 100% TRUTH!

Way back in the day, certain wedding traditions took place at almost every wedding, today NOT SO MUCH! Many current brides now have a modern day approach and do it their own way, not the way everyone in the past had done it.

The tradition that I refer to is the throwing of the bridal bouquet.

(No, this isn't me!)

As stated in Wikipedia,under the section labeled United States Customs / Christian weddings:

The bride tosses her bouquet over her shoulder to the assembled unmarried women; the woman who catches it, superstition has it, will be the next to marry. In some social groups, the process is repeated for unmarried men with the groom tossing the bride's garter for the same purpose.

I put emphasis on the statement ... will be the next to marry. You wonder where this is all going - don't you?

In my case, the superstition took on a completely new meaning,

because THE YOUNG LADY WHO CAUGHT THE BOUQUET AT MY WEDDING (not a guest invited by me, I should add)

Are you ready for this ??






IS NOW MARRIED TO MY EX-HUSBAND!!


Thank God, that he is now HER problem and NOT mine!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fun Monday #7 - Your Favorite Treat



Beckie at Give It A Try is the hostess with the mostess this week and wants to know what your favorite treat is.

Her assignment is:

I want to know what your favorite treat is. Is it sweet or sour? Is it plain or salty? Is it candy or chocolate? Is it homemade or store bought? For instance, if your favorite is chocolate, tell us what kind specifically - sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes not so much. I have heard a lot of talk about Junior Mints, but is it your favorite or just a tasty treat? It can be anything, popcorn, peanuts, ice cream or chips, maybe you have more than one favorite - that is ok, just show us your favorite(s) and tell us why you like it so much. C’mon, what gets you all juiced up?

My favorite treat is .... Well, I absolutely love dark chocolate but one can get that any time they want. A treat is something special, something that isn't readily available when you "just have to have some!" So ....

My favorite treat is both sweet and salty and tastes best (in my opinion) when you can devour it freshly made. You can't go to the grocery store and buy the real thing (although you can get something close, but it just isn't the same). You have to go to a fair, a craft show, flea markets, the beach or just about any place where a special event might just happen to be taking place.

My favorite treat is KETTLE CORN !




If I smell it in the air, I have to buy some. If you are with me, I might share (a little) but usually I eat the whole damn bag all by myself !! Not too sweet and not too salty - but oh, so good!

Make sure you check out all the other special treats - I wonder how many of them will be chocolate of one variety or the other ?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

What is a Plout?

While sitting and eating my lunch today, I decided to take a peek at the supermarket ads that had come in the paper on Wednesday (yes, today IS Saturday) and came across an ad in the Safeway flyer for Sweet Plouts for $1.99 lb. I say, what the hell is a PLOUT? The picture showed something that looked like a nectarine or an apple. My curiousity got the best of me, so I checked out the trusty Wikipedia and this is what I found:



A pluot (pl├╝-ot) is a tradename for a fruit developed in the late 20th century by Floyd Zaiger. In the United States, the fruit is known by most regulatory agencies as an interspecific plum[1]. It is a complex cross hybrid of plum and apricot, being ¾ plum and ¼ apricot in parentage.

The fruit's exterior fairly closely resembles a plum's. Pluots are noted for their sweetness (due to a very high sugar content) and for their intense flavor. They are also very, very juicy. Pluots are also rich in vitamin A.

"Pluot" is a registered trademark of Zaiger's Genetics.

Who knew?

Also, there are fruits called Apriums, Peacotums, Plumcots and Grapples.

Doesn't Floyd Zaiger have anything better to do? Like, say, find a solution for World Peace?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

My Summer Secret Swap Has Arrived !

After having such a rotten Sunday (I got over it!), It was a welcomed surprise to have a "parcel" leaning up against my door when I arrived home from work. My SUMMER.SECRET.SWAP had arrived across the ocean from the wonderful lady at Peppermint Tea. She definitely made my day a much better one. First things first - before changing my clothes or doing what I normally do - I had to open the package (like a little kid on Christmas morning) and this is what i found.

A very cleverly done (although I have to admit, I kinda did the same thing) note that started out ...

Hello Beth

I've been lurking on your site ever since you sent my mum (I love the way the English folks call their mother MUM )(chrisb) a parcel as part of frannie's secret swap.

(it must be destiny that Beccy got my name - I have Irish blood in me (she lives in Ireland) and I sent my Secret Swap to her wonderful Mum in the UK (Beccy is a born English girl and I have English blood also) - we all truly are connected to each other in one way or another like one big happy family.)

S unflower egg cup


- sunflowers are so summery

U mbrella


- have you seen the rain in Ireland this summer?

M ousse au chocolat bar


- needed to get over all the rain !

M aeve binchy - whitethorn woods


- Ireland's most famous author.

E nglish breakfast tea cup


- from an English girl, with summer flowers

R eusable drink coolers


- because I'm sure your weather is better than ours.

All those goodies ! WOO HOO!! The umbrella has an incredibly long handle which is awesome. The chocolate was a little bit squishy when it arrived but it wasn't anything the refrigerator couldn't handle! The drink coolers will look fabulous in my next cold beverage and the tea cup will definitely be used for some hot tea. I can't wait to find a few free moments so I can start reading my new book. I have never used an egg cup before, but what better time to start than now?

Beccy ended her note with "I hope you enjoy your summer parcel". You bet, I will !!

Many thanks to CPA MOM for organizing this Summer Secret Swap. It has been fun - both receiving and sending !!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Credit Card Scam Info

I received this information at work and decided to send it out so no one gets scammed. People in the Northern VA area have received calls of this nature. Be careful !

VERIFIED ON SNOPES IF YOU CARE TO RECHECK

"This is happening in southern Alberta right now and moving. This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want. Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it.

By understanding how the VISA & Master Card telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself. One of our employees was called on Wednesday from "VISA", and I was called on Thursday from "Master Card".

The scam works like this:

Person calling says, "This is (name) and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460, Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a marketing company based in Arizona?"

When you say "No", the caller continues with, "Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives your address), is that correct?"

You say "yes".

The caller continues - "I will be starting a Fraud Investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1-800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. "Do you need me to read it again?"

Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works:

The caller then says, "I need to verify you are in possession of your card." He'll ask you to "turn your card over and look for some numbers." There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the last 3 are the Security Numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card.

These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the 3 number to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, "That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?"

After you say no, the caller then thanks you and states, "Don't hesitate to call back if you do" and hangs up. You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the card number.

But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back. Within 20 minutes to ask a question. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99 was charged to our card.

We made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number. What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don't give it to them. Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or Master Card directly for verification of their conversation.

The real VISA told us the they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card" If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you are receiving a credit.

However, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchased you didn't make, and by then it's almost too late and/or difficult to actually file a fraud report.

What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a "Jason Richardson of Master Card" with a Word-For-Word repeat of the VISA scam. This time I didn't let him finish. I hung up! We filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this scam is happening. I dealt with a similar situation this morning, with the caller telling me that $3,097 had been charged to my account for plane tickets to Spain, and so on through the above routine.

It appears that this is a very active scam, and evidently quite successful."

Monday, August 6, 2007

Fun Monday - #6 - Aprons and Tea Towels



Ms Cellania all the way over in the UK is the gracious host of Fun Monday this week. She is trying to keep us in the kitchen but it ain't happening here in VA.

Her assignment is:

'show your aprons' it can be your favourite or an unusual one or more than one. Be creative as you like; and secondly if, like me, you have lots of 'tea towels' that are brand new (or could be an old favourite) I would like to see those as well and hear the story behind the picture- was it a gift from a holiday, a present from auntie that you only use when she visits etc...........

I have accepted the assignment and will show you all TWO of the aprons that I own. I own them but have NEVER used them! My "try to keep my clothes clean" approach is to use a paper towel sitting on the counter or say "the heck with it" and wipe my hands on my pants or whatever I am wearing !

I don't have a clue how I obtained this first one.



It is authentic - the real thing - straight from an A&W (I didn't swipe it - that much I do know - but evidently someone did!)



I do have memories of visiting cousins in Essex Junction, VT as a child and walking down the street from their house to get a big frosty mug of root beer at the drive up type of establishment that A&W used to be. No paper cups - a real mug that was cold! Of course, you had to stay there to drink it because you couldn't keep the mug. Not like the fast food joints of today, that's for sure! And come to think of it, I don't think there was inside seating. You drove your car up to the "lane" spots (kinda like a parking spot under a tin roof) and someone came out to take your order. They put one of those tray thingys on your almost rolled down all the way window and then brought the food out to you.

Don't know how I got it though ... maybe it was years later, after the cousins had grown up and left home - my aunt may have given it me ? Haven't got a clue. Do they still use that style at the places today (you know, you go in and you have your choice of A&W or Long John Silvers). It just isn't the same - those truly were the good old days back then.

I know where I got the second one !!


Bet you can figure it out too!

It was a blood donation gift - one of many that I have received. I have given quite a few a them away but I think I still have one in the original packaging if anyone would like it.

I do have many memories of my grandmother in her kitchen ALWAYS wearing an apron. Making things from "scratch" - especially those delicious donuts that she would make in the frying pan (no written down recipe, either). She never made the "holes" for she and my grandfather but always made them (rolled in sugar) for us kids if she knew we would be there. We always looked forward to her package at Christmas because there were always bags of donut holes inside. No one could ever make them as good as she. How I wish she were still here with us - Christmas has never been the same since she passed away.

And for the tea towels, I don't have any. Well, maybe some packed away somewhere that had belonged to either of my grandmothers but I wouldn't have a clue as to where they would be. My Mom probably has some but I don't have the time to fly to CO to take a picture before this day is over.

This will just have to do in their place ....



It would have been a bit more appealing if he hadn't had on long pants and a sleeved shirt but you get the idea don't you? (He is my nieces' uncle and he cooked the food at her baby shower)

Sorry this is so late - of course I had to work late again - that shouldn't be allowed on Mondays (it makes my post late)! Be sure to check out everyone else's aprons and make sure you stop by and visit Misslionheart - it can't be missed !